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An Experiment for Brave Christians

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posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 02:54 PM
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I'm sure I'll live to regret this post.

I was an atheist for years. I'm a Christian now; have been for well over a decade.

I already tried "the challenge." I guess you could say I withdrew. Not that I'm ignorant, one of my degrees is in physcial anthropology.

I tried to read The God Delusion once, and got bored and moved on to other things. I follow a lot of Dawkins' arguments pretty closely, and made myself listen to the special NPR did on him recently.

To me, his emotional issues cloud a lot of his issues (just like a lot of zealous Christians!). His membership in the antitheist "Brights" society is an example of what I mean. The name definitely implies that its members are more intelligent than the rest of humanity (the 94% that disagrees).


The God Delusion, from what I read, is sort of like the manifesto of a colorblind man who cannot see chartreuse; he can't see it, and anyone who can suffers from a delusion that destroys their ability to use logic.

Oh yes, and every one should listen to him and do what he says because he knows more and is "brighter" --in other words his special insight gives him moral authority---gee, isn't that the sort of bigoted self-aggrandizing you'd expect of . . . a Christian????

If Dawkins (or anyone else) doesn't share the content of my faith, that's their business. Just don't foist your belief system on ME!

Yes, I've read all your books and I just don't agree.

The argument of most atheists is that if the Bible contains one error, the whole thing is wrong.

But I'm not like that. I believe in Evolution. And just because the theory of evolution contains some obvious erros doesn't make the whole thing untrue. You have to remember that Evolution was composed over generations, by people who sometimes misunderstood what science was trying to tell them. In a lot of ways, evolution is as much a history of people coming to know science, as much as it is perfect truth.

Do I believe that australopithecus is the missing link? No. I was taught that in college; they've revised the taxonomic tree three times since then.

See, I understand evolution as a truth story, rather than as a true story. I think it's probably based on historical fact, and logic revealing itself over the generations to scientists. But not every part of it is true.

I have witnessed supernatural events; I've had my life changed by supernatural events. And Dawkins saying that it is untrue because it didn't happen to him is sort of like a blind man telling me I'm only imagining stars in the night sky. . . .


all the best.

.




posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by dr_strangecraft
 


brights aren't anti-theists...
actually, dawkins has specifically brought up that he's iffy about the name because he's afraid that it'll bring up that idea about the group

next you're going to say that everyone who identifies themselves as "gay" instead of "homosexual" is an anti-heterosexual because they think that homosexuals are happier than heterosexuals

the use of the term "bright" is to show that there's nothing to be ashamed of in being an atheist, as the term itself has been demonized heavily.


I have witnessed supernatural events; I've had my life changed by supernatural events. And Dawkins saying that it is untrue because it didn't happen to him is sort of like a blind man telling me I'm only imagining stars in the night sky. . . .


it's not that it's untrue because it didn't happen to him, it's untrue because you cannot prove it.
if it had happened to dawkins it would be the same case for him (or any other good scientist)
personal experience counts for nothing in terms of what's real and what isn't.

we can measure the presence of stars without using the visible light spectrum, but there's no way to prove anything supernatural has ever occurred.



posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

brights aren't anti-theists...
actually, dawkins has specifically brought up that he's iffy about the name because he's afraid that it'll bring up that idea about the group

next you're going to say that everyone who identifies themselves as "gay" instead of "homosexual" is an anti-heterosexual because they think that homosexuals are happier than heterosexuals



Are you telling me what to say????

Are you trying to pigeon-hole me?

Or are you a prophet?

(maybe it's some kind of thrashing service?)

And I'm not the only one who believes the title "Brights" is unfortunate, to say the least; wikipedia mentions some of the group's supporters who refuse to use the name, for the exact reason I gave.

wikipedia article on brights movement







it's not that it's untrue because it didn't happen to him, it's untrue because you cannot prove it.
if it had happened to dawkins it would be the same case for him (or any other good scientist)
personal experience counts for nothing in terms of what's real and what isn't.



See, I'm so old-fashioned that I believe the truth exists independent of our perception of if. North America and its native inhabitants didn't just materialize out of Columbus' brain in 1492.

But maybe that makes me superstitious.




we can measure the presence of stars without using the visible light spectrum, but there's no way to prove anything supernatural has ever occurred.


Nor to disprove it, either. You cannot disprove ghosts, because you may have chosen the wrong setting or instrumentation. Your failure to find the supernatural doesn't alter its existence either way.

Howabout a counter-challenge: read Charles Fort's The book of the Damned.


If you got a chance to listen to him interviewed on NPR, Dawkins got upset when somebody mentioned anomalistics. Dawkins, apparently, is against anyone even investigating the paranormal.

Basically, my difference with him (an you, I suppose) is actually more philosophical than religious. I'm not a reductionist; while Dawkins definitely is. He believes that human behavior is 100% rooted in, and can be explained by, biology. And biology is really just chemistry. And chemistry is really just physics. And physics is really just a bunch of . . . unquantifiable quanta . . .

who's being superstitious now?

Can you explain a buddhist monk deciding to immolate himself, to protest the strife in vietnam, purely in terms of chemistry?

Personally, I guess I just cannot believe in the same things you do.


all the best.

.

[edit on 9-4-2008 by dr_strangecraft]



posted on Apr, 10 2008 @ 04:52 AM
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reply to post by dr_strangecraft
 


i wasn't trying to pigeon hole you, i was pointing out to you that it's ridiculous for you to use the term as reasoning to call them anti-theists because it would ridiculous for you to call someone anti-heterosexual for using the term gay or, from another perspective, anti-homosexual for using the term straight.

those who aren't gay aren't sad, they're straight
those who aren't straight aren't crooked, they're gay
those who aren't brights aren't dim, they're...something else...i believe that dennet has suggested super

all 3 terms imply something positive, do they not?

...though i can understand why you might have reacted in such a way. i should proofread my posts before posting for the sake of conveying what i mean more clearly

my apologies.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft


it's not that it's untrue because it didn't happen to him, it's untrue because you cannot prove it.
if it had happened to dawkins it would be the same case for him (or any other good scientist)
personal experience counts for nothing in terms of what's real and what isn't.



See, I'm so old-fashioned that I believe the truth exists independent of our perception of if. North America and its native inhabitants didn't just materialize out of Columbus' brain in 1492.

But maybe that makes me superstitious.


um..how does that even contradict anything i said. i said that truth exists independent of personal experience, so you just agreed with me.
what's real is something that can be measured objectively.





Nor to disprove it, either. You cannot disprove ghosts, because you may have chosen the wrong setting or instrumentation. Your failure to find the supernatural doesn't alter its existence either way.


then i'll just say the logical thing, i won't say it exists and i will live as though it doesn't exist until it is proven that it exists.

do you believe in garage dragons, russel's teapot, the invisible pink unicorn, or the flying spaghetti monster?

let's take the teapot. it could be there, but we can't measure that it's there. it wouldn't change the fact that it's there...but it's not something you'll believe in



Howabout a counter-challenge: read Charles Fort's The book of the Damned.


that claptrap? i read it when i was...what, 14? it's the reason i stopped believing in the paranormal.



If you got a chance to listen to him interviewed on NPR, Dawkins got upset when somebody mentioned anomalistics. Dawkins, apparently, is against anyone even investigating the paranormal.


so am i, it's a waste of resources. otherwise bright and intelligent minds waste their time and money on things



Basically, my difference with him (an you, I suppose) is actually more philosophical than religious. I'm not a reductionist; while Dawkins definitely is. He believes that human behavior is 100% rooted in, and can be explained by, biology. And biology is really just chemistry. And chemistry is really just physics. And physics is really just a bunch of . . . unquantifiable quanta . . .

who's being superstitious now?


not sure if anyone's being superstitious, but your argument is more than a bit ridiculous.
he's rooting everything in the natural world...things that have a pure scientific basis are in no way superstitious.



Can you explain a buddhist monk deciding to immolate himself, to protest the strife in vietnam, purely in terms of chemistry?


you probably could, but it would take reams and reams of paper just to explain word choices in that way, let alone an act as complex as self immolation.



Personally, I guess I just cannot believe in the same things you do.


it's not about belief, it's about accepting the evidence. the evidence shows that human brain activity is purely chemical.
you take '___', marijuana, PCP, etc into your body, it alters the chemistry of your brain, you perceive things and behave differently.

do you have evidence that human action comes from anything but chemistry?



posted on Apr, 10 2008 @ 08:54 AM
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No, I don't have "evidence" in any kind of rigorous objective way. But then physical evidence is not largely relevant to the metaphysical.

I don't have any problem with logic and the scientific method. I rely on them from one moment to the next. On the other hand, when it comes to a real, living person, I acknowledge that most of our . . . person-hood is not encompassed by normal waking consciousness.

In that sense, the human personality is sort of like an iceberg--7/8 of the true mass is hidden from our immediate perception. There are large parts of any human that are lived on a subconscious, or maybe even a superconscious level.

For me, science and reason are very useful tools. Nothing more.

When I work on my house, I use lots of different tools. No one tool does everything I need. Now, scientific method is a useful thing, like a pipewrench. For a lot of problems, ONLY a pipewrench will fix it. But you cannot build a log cabin very will, by only using a pipewrench. It's specialized for other tasks.

Likewise, as grateful as I am for logic, I would never try to use "logic" to choose a mate. The people I've seen that have always been miserable. So yes, when I was ready to choose a mate, I appealed to the supernatural. And we are both (and our kids) profoundly happy with the result. Was it wrong of me, not to try to use science?

See, science is based on logic. And logic comes from . . . the grammar rules of the greek language. There are other languages, with other rules. But because of Alexander, we use Greek rules for our semantic categories.

Do you speak Attic Greek? How logical is that?

I believe that practically everything humans do is illogical, including the way they apply logic to a given situation.


Finally, how do you KNOW that there's nothing to the paranormal? Isn't that a pretty big risk of making a making a type II error? Failure to reject the null hypothesis is usually the single most expensive logical error an investigator can make, in terms of resources, because future inquiries will proceed from that incorrect retention of the null hypothesis.

That attitude reminds me of Sir Isaac Newton, after he'd been made a member of The Royal Society. He spent most of his time refusing to investigate the "myth" of hot stones falling from the clear blue sky, because such meteorites would conflict with his theories of celestial motion.

He and his friends held up scientific progress for four decades because they were sure they knew what was impossible, more so than a bunch of superstitious peasants who couldn't record or offer lab evidence that stones sometimes fall from the sky.


all the best.



posted on Apr, 10 2008 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by dr_strangecraft
 


Hi. You have managed to put into words some things I, and many other Christians with a rigorous scientific training, would balk at even attempting - for fear of the size of the task.

I would like to pose sincere question to you: would you say that when you were an atheist you were deluded? If you are willing to provide an answer, perhaps you could provide a clear definition of your understanding a what a 'delusion' actually is at the outset.



posted on Apr, 10 2008 @ 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by pause4thought

I would like to pose sincere question to you: would you say that when you were an atheist you were deluded?



Yes.




If you are willing to provide an answer, perhaps you could provide a clear definition of your understanding a what a 'delusion' actually is at the outset.


I thought of a definition while I was doing things just now, then made the mistake of looking on dictionary dot com before posting. Now I have their version in my head and can't get it out.

I would have said (before looking) that an illusion is a mistake of interpretation, based on the limits of perception, or an incorrect relation of different bits of knowlegedge. Like seeing a mirage and believing you're looking at the image of a distant lake, when it is really an image of the sky refracted through a lay of hot or cold air. An illusion is a mistaken interpretation of input.

I would have said that a delusion, on the other hand, is a conclusion that someone has actively lead you into, or that you maintain yourself. People deluded by the idea that their Enron stock may eventually have value again.

But I saw that the definition of a delusion, as in Dawkins title, is a mental illness that keeps someone from admitting reality.

So, there you have it. Dawkins and company believe that faithers are . . . mentally ill.

Sort of elitist, isn't it? To think that more than 95% of humanity is . . . mentally ill, and only if you are in a tiny minority are you actually sane (at least potentially--you could still be bipolar and an atheist, after all). I think Mark Twain said that madness meant being a minorty of one.

So, with that new definition, was I deluded?

Yes. Frau Dr. was throwing out some old papers, and found some essays Id' written during my atheist phase. Practically every page was ranting about the impossibility of a supreme being, the ultimate unfairness of reality, the meaningless-ness of existence. Stuff an atheist shouldn't care about.

You might be tempted to say I wasn't a "real" atheist, since I was still talking about a Deity, even if I didn't honor one. I would disagree. I think practically every Atheist is obsessed with the God or gods he or she claims not to believe in. They talk about God a good deal more than most Christians do.

[fnord]

That's not just rhetoric, either. Who's the big BAD atheist on this page?

madness in my . . . . "soul?"

Interesting name for someone who doesn't believe in any non-material realities. But maybe it was meant as irony.

What is madness, but a delusion? And thinking you have a soul to be insane with must be some sort of . . . god-delusion.

Not to pick on that one poster, though. We all choose lighthearted, even ironic names for ourselves. These aren't the droids you're looking for. Move along.

[/fnord]

all the best.

[edit on 10-4-2008 by dr_strangecraft]



posted on Apr, 12 2008 @ 05:27 AM
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reply to post by bobafett1972
 



Hello

Hijack?? Did YOU read the OP


if you don't want to take up this challenge, i'd like to see why. It was a question

I gave my answer, Its how this whole Q & A thing works i believe

david



posted on Apr, 12 2008 @ 05:43 AM
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reply to post by dr_strangecraft
 


Judging by his beefy "I'm God" thread, there is a danger that MIMSy is indeed suffering from a 'God delusion'. My teenager just said "I'm sure he's got issues, Dad." Fortunately we all recognise that it's intellectual sparring that lights his fire, not mental illness.








[edit on 12/8/08 by JAK]



posted on Apr, 12 2008 @ 05:47 AM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


...well, in the context of that discussion i think i'm god
...outside of the context of that discussion, i'm definitely not thinking that

but yep, it's intellectual sparring

...so, has anyone bothered to pick up a book by one of the "four horsemen"?



posted on Apr, 12 2008 @ 12:01 PM
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reply to post by dr_strangecraft
 


IMO, Dawkins is heavily narcissistic. Most of us are a little narcissistic, but he pretty much takes the cake.

How many narcissists does it take to change a light bulb?
(a) Just one -- but he has to wait for the whole world to revolve around him.
(b) None at all -- he hires menials for work that's beneath him.

Pretty much sums it up form him eh?



posted on Apr, 13 2008 @ 06:29 PM
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reply to post by idle_rocker
 


really? he doesn't seem to take an opinion of himself that's too high. in fact, he tends to talk up the ideas of others a hell of a lot more than his own. in the god delusion i was surprised by how it's "daniel dennet this" and "sam harris that" and so on with the ideas of many other thinkers

i've often seen many theists take a negative impression of dawkins, but that often just has to do with him disagreeing with what they believe. since i'm giving you the benefit of the doubt (you've more than earned it), what about dawkins makes him come off as narcissistic?



posted on Apr, 13 2008 @ 09:14 PM
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|---ATHEISM EVANGELISM---|

Is there a point to this thread other then to evangelize for Atheism?? Are you out to antagonize members??

I READ THE BOOK and proceeded to use it as toilet paper after flushing out my colon with prunes and Metamucil for two weeks straight.

Recyle. Read it then wiped with it. Dawkins...from a fool to my toilet paper spool.

Threads like this only pit atheists against a world of theists. GET A LIFE.

[edit on 13-4-2008 by Snoopy64]



posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 05:06 AM
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Originally posted by Snoopy64
|---ATHEISM EVANGELISM---|


ugh...not this **** again...



Is there a point to this thread other then to evangelize for Atheism??


no, i'd really just like to see how theists would reply to the arguments. that was all i wanted to know



Are you out to antagonize members??


nope.



I READ THE BOOK and proceeded to use it as toilet paper after flushing out my colon with prunes and Metamucil for two weeks straight.


well, apparently you're out to antagonize me.

can you at least tell me how you found the arguments?



Recyle. Read it then wiped with it. Dawkins...from a fool to my toilet paper spool.


Dawkins is no fool...
he's not too cool for school.

sorry, i had to make that rhyme, it just sounded appropriate.

see, i've never once said that a holy book makes good toilet paper...yet you say a work by an atheist author does...
and they say the atheists are antagonistic.



Threads like this only pit atheists against a world of theists. GET A LIFE.


i have one, why don't you get some manners.

[edit on 4/14/08 by madnessinmysoul]



posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 12:23 PM
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Here is a review of "The God Delusion" I found in NewScientist I thought was pretty good and right on the money.

Imagine There's No Heaven
by: Mary Midgley



Richard Dawkins wants to live in a world without religion because he holds it repsonsible for the world's greatest atrocitities. While Dawkins is clearly sincere, he is labouring under a flawed ideology of his own, says Mary Midgley.


THIS book is one of many that celebrate an allegedly bitter war between Science and Religion, two epic figures representing rival forces between which we must choose.

Different people understand this "war" differently. In the US, the default attitude (that of normal people) is increasingly assumed to be religion, because scientific or Darwinian world view is still taken to mean social Darwinism, the brash, brutak dictrine of the survival of the fittest that Herbert Spencer taught so successfully in the US and which deeply influenced the Nazis. In recent times the sociobiological rhetoric of "selfishness" and "ruthlessness" in natural selection has served to reinforce this impression of meaningless brutality, leaving religion as the only tolerable option.

In the Middle East, however, talk of a scientific or Darwinian attitude stands for something different but no less hateful. It means primarily western materialism: the brash, greddy, uncaring lifestyle of people whose rulers trampled over oriental cultures and who trample them with increasing vigour today. Traditional religion appears the only alternative to this odious attitude.

Thus, once the scene is polarised, once the two vast abstractions are set up, their ideologies turn the debate into incurable conflict. In that spirit, the preface of this book cries out for the abolition of the enemy: "Imagine, with John Lennon, a world with no religion. Imagine no suicide bombers, no 9/11, no 7/7, no crusades, no gunpowder plot....."

These examples are, of course, endless, and the thought that removing religion would end such large scale atrocities accounts in large part for the rise of anti-religious movements. Howeverm the regimes they gave birth to during the 20th century included the governments of Nazi Germany, Pol Pot's Cambodia and Stalin's Russia. It is not clear how it was possible for these regimes to commit the three most monstrous crimes of the epoch, but what does emerge is that removing religion had not helped at all The roots of great crimes plainlly lie deeper than the doctrines people use to justify them.
*****WA's note: No that is NOT a apologist stance, unless aplogy took some new strange meaning I don't know*****

In any culture, rogues defend their actions by professing whatever standards their society respects. Until recently, of course, Christianity was the norm in the west, but Marxism and fascism proved jsut as effective. Science, too, it turns out, can easily be used this way, as both Germany's and South Africa's justification of racism demonstrates.Religion is not really relevant at all, unless we carefully define "religion" to link it necessarily with atrocities.

This. of course, is the tendency of Dawkin's book. Dawkins is no rogue though: indeed, he is sincere in regarding God and religion the enemies of rationality-- and in arguing that they are linked to atrocity to such an extent that they must be resisted. So mush so that he is forced to assert that faiths which do not use the concept of God, such as Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, are not really religions at all.
****WA's note: Can we say playing cut and paste with the facts so you can get the result you wanted when you started?****
He also works hard to exclude scientists, such as Einstein, who firmly and repeatedly used religious langauge to express what are plainly central elements in their thought, from taint of religion.

Dawkins is irritated by the Einstein phenomenon, and complains of a "confused and confusing willingness to label as 'religion' the pantheistic reverence which many of us share with its most distinguished exponent, Albert Einstein". He insists that thus reverence has "no connection with supernatural belief". Pantheism, however, is unmistakably a religious attitude. And when, like Einstein you speak of an immanent god, a divinity pervaiding the world, and when like Spinoza, you equate God and Nature, words such as "supernatural" do not mean much.

Einstein understood this well. His langauge is only suprising if you assume, as Dawkins seems to, that science is the only possible source of knowledge. Thus quoting Martin Rees's remark that such questions as why anything exists lie "beyond science", he simply cannot see what this might mean.

Similarly, when he cites NOMA-- "nonoverlapping magisteria", the acronym coined by Stephen Jay Gould to describe how, in his view , science and religion could not comment on each other's sphere-- and Freeman Dyson's description of himself as "one of the multitudfe of Christians who do not care much for the doctrine of the trinity ot the historical thruth of the gospels", Dawkins declares flatly that they cannot mean what they say. ****WA's note: Sounds like wishful thinking on dawkies part*** As scientistsm they must be atheists.

It seems not to have struck Dawkins that academic science is only a small, specialized, dependent part of what anybody knows.
Most human knowledge is tacit knowledge – habitual assumptions, constantly updated and checked by experience, but far too general and informal ever to be fully tested. We assume, for instance, that nature will go on being regular, that other people are conscious and that their testimony can generally be trusted. Without such assumptions neither science nor any other study could ever get off the ground, and nor could everyday life.

When we build on these foundations we necessarily use imaginative structures – powerful ideas which can be called myths, which are not lies, but graphic thought-patterns that shape and guide our thinking. This is not irrational: the process of using these structures is a necessary preparation for reasoning. Thus the selfish gene is a powerful idea, so are the Science-Religion war, Gaia, natural selection, progress, and the hidden hand of the market.

With the largest, most puzzling questions, we have no choice but to proceed in mythical language which cannot be explained in detail at all, but which serves to indicate what sort of spiritual universe we percieve ourselves to be living in. This is the province of religion. Adding God is not, as Dawkins thinks, adding an illicit extra item to the cosmos, it is perceiving the whole thing differently.

For a long time, this kind of language was reasonably well understood. Since the mid-19th century, however, there has been a disastrous attempt to get rid of it, keeping only literal statements of fact. This is, of course, the root of religious fundamentalism, which tries, absurdly, to treat the whole of that strange compilation, the Bible, as literal fact. Yet in so doing it is only responding to a less obvious fundamentalism on the scientistic side, which claims that our knowledge reduces to one fundamental form – the literal statements of science. Both extremes show a similarly crass refusal to admit the complexity of life.

Dawkins is, of course, quite right to express horror at Biblical fundamentalism, especially in the neocon form that centres on the book of Revelation. But it is not possible to attack this target properly while also conducting a wider, cluster-bomb onslaught on everything that can be called religion. Since this particular bad form of religion is spreading rapidly in the world, we urgently need to understand it: not just to denounce it but to grasp much better than we do now why people find it attractive. It is not enough to say, as Dawkins does, that they are being childish.

We also need to ask why they have found the other attitudes that are open to them inadequate. As I have suggested, this means becoming more aware of the inadequacies of our own way of life, which are obvious to them and which put them off the opinions that we profess. What we need, in fact, is a bit more self-knowledge.”



posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 12:27 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 




see, i've never once said that a holy book makes good toilet paper...yet you say a work by an atheist author does...
and they say the atheists are antagonistic


This may or may not mean be what you wanted it to mean but sounds like you liken every atheistic work to a holy book.

More likely I think we scratched the surface here of, what you know,if we explored more deeply you'd be forced to admit you follow a religion.



posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 03:35 PM
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reply to post by WraothAscendant
 


no, i wasn't equating it to a holy text. i'm just saying that i don't attempt to intentionally antagonize people by equating reading material that someone thinks highly of to toilet paper.

i much like the god delusion (though it's far from my favorite book...)

hell, i've never even said i've wanted to use a chick tract as toilet paper, let alone the bible...

i'm just making a point about how i'm not trying to antagonize people

now wraoth, why are you quoting an article from someone who has had a beef with dawkin's for the last 2 decades?

i'd more like to at least see how you'd respond to the book.

i know it wouldn't temper your beliefs, i just want to see what you think of the book in general (hell, you can even feel free to comment on the writing style)



posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 03:37 PM
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reply to post by WraothAscendant
 


Western governments feign adherence to Christian principles or morals, but it has to do with getting votes.

People who truly follow Christ's teachings seek to 'love the Lord God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and love their neighbour as themself', which Christ said are the greatest commandments. If governments followed these principles they'd be pouring countless trillions into overseas development out of sheer selfless love until living standards were equal everywhere, instead of prioritising projects like NASA and the military.

Thus while I follow the logic of your discussion, my main response is that the well-known mix of 'fundamentalist Christianity' and politics in the US is at best a parody of the Christian faith, notwithstanding the fact that it is undeniably widespread.


Dawkins is, of course, quite right to express horror at Biblical fundamentalism, especially in the neocon form that centres on the book of Revelation.

I agree with Dawkins. Did I say that?

The Bible was twisted to justify apartheid, and the Roman Catholic church perpetrated the Crusades. Similarly Revelation is today being misapplied to geopoloitical debate. I am horrified to think it is being used in the context of any military agenda.

At this point it gets a bit subtle, but bear with me. I am far from alone in believing that the basis upon which Revelation is being interpreted is entirely fallacious. This is a theological debate, and I won't go into it here. Suffice it to say that a widespread interpretation of (an admittedly difficult) part of the Bible is no reason to reject the Bible itself, or a strong commitment to it.

My subtle point is that there are two vastly different phenomena which are both referred to as 'Christian fundamentalism', and are thus incessantly confused with each other, especially by those who oppose Christianity:

1) Faith in Christ and a life devoted to following his teachings

2) A movement that claims Biblical justification for political objectives

I do not deny that many true Christians have become embroiled in the latter. But I do say that category 2 is an aberration that has existed only a short time, and that it is a travesty of true Biblical Christianity.

Sadly I have to say I understand why the latter movement leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. To my mind the movement under discussion is doing a great disservice to the cause of Christ, not least in parts of the world where Christians form a minority, for if Western academics can't grasp the difference, what chance have onlookers in the East got?

The faith that I advocate is a wholly different enterprise. It is based on selfless love and peace and goodwill to people of every nation.

WraothAscendant: Based on your analysis, it may well be that if this were the 'Christian fundamentalism' that Dawkins saw influencing world politics he would not have written such a vehemently anti-christian diatribe.



posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 07:44 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Did you read the review?
Or did you just remember that she had a beef with him? Hell just dealing with the more enthusiastic of those that agree with the book makes me agree with her review. And it doesn't take one having a "beef" with someone to disagree with someone else.

Considering the amount of I dealt with adherents of his book as much as I have, well, doesn't fill me with the need to read it. It's title alone speaks volumes.
You should note that means I am giving those people the benefit of the doubt as to being intelligent enough to understand what he meant and not just dismissing them as stupid.
Sure, it could be said I should do my research, but seems to me like that would just annoy me more.

Which as I have said before aren't valid until irrefutable proof that he is right is shown. Calling someone's beliefs delusion, fantasy, or etc when you don't really have proof that to support stance is, well, ........... for lack of a better term incredibly ignorant.

Especially when its all together possible Christianities JC may have existed and may have in fact been some special spiritual figure, but those that came after may have twisted it to support their grabs for power. I wasn't there I don't pretend to know and I refuse to judge history on hearsay seeing as to the simple obvious fact I wasn't there.




[edit on 14-4-2008 by WraothAscendant]



posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 08:19 AM
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no, i read the review. i just wanted to know what your specific thoughts were

now, dawkins only calls certain aspects of the belief in a deity delusional. the title is a catch all, it's meant to be controversial to sell books. if you'd just bother opening it up, you'll see what i mean.

he is more specifically referring to some people that feign a belief in a deity, or have very heavy doubts about its existence and just keep going for the sake of their culture, some sort of indoctrination, or other reasons that would involve not being honest to one's self.

and i understand what you mean. i far from 100% agree with dawkins (and have never stated otherwise), but i'm just wondering at the responses.

i'd also suggest hitchens' work god is not great, though that one may be a bit harsh...

i just want to see responses to the arguments. this is more about how we all perceive a notion differently.



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