posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 07:10 AM
That's it, 'Pascal's Wager', thanks. Being somewhat fossilized, my memory is an untrustworthy servant.
Concerning the chances of atheists converting religionists, I thought, that we already agreed that the average atheist arguments aren't that good.
And that the same can be said about average religionist argumentation. Both parties insist on arguing on 'home-ground' and being those, who make the
rules. This makes communication impossible and dungthrowing or violence follows.
But we're both beginning to repeat ourselves now, so I'd rather continue to build on what exists of a dialogue. I have tried (my bad, if this
hasn't come through) to be clear on the point, that an underlying common epistemological basis is a necessity for communication. And that implies an
introspective openness and a willingness to question doctrines.
My basic education was in hard emipiral science (on something like college level). At university I changed to social sciences, which added and
enhanced some facets of my growing 'map' of existence. After some years I eventually arrived to the opinion, that empirical science is as much of a
doctrinal beliefsystem ('scientism') as e.g. many religions are.
1/ As a methodology for finding 'truth/reality', scientism is severely limited by its selfdefined parameters, which in a completely dogmatic,
exclusive way denies 'data' outside hard-science parameters.
2/ As part of a social context, scientism propagates for its conclusions, just as any other belief-system does. With the exact same shortcomings, e.g.
disregarding consequences. To my knowledge more than half of the world's scientists are involved in big-money or power-grabbing activities, where
ethical, social or 'truth'-seeking considerations are of secondary importance.
So naturally I have on both counts distanced myself from scientism as being the ultimate 'map', just as I distance myself from religion on the same
grounds. Humans are imperfect (whatever that means in different contexts), but to create circular, self-proving 'maps', re-inforced by doctrines, is
no way to 'truth/reality'. Neither as a personal tool, nor in social contexts.
Example: If scientism (pretending to be THE methodology) is selling out to e.g. the professional warprofiteers, without ethical considerations, this
demonstrates, that it as a 'map' of existence is very incomplete. An important dimension of existence is ignored.
The exact same critic can be raised against practically all religious or political 'maps'. If you're 'saved' and support the the 'map'
generally, you are, even as one of the 'good' guys, co-responsible for the 'bad' guys, sharing and supporting the same 'map'.
Hitler did present some ideas, which weren't stupid (it's many years since I read 'Mein kampf', and it's illegal here now, so memory...), and
several more ideas, which were atrocious. If you voted FOR Hitler (as many germans did), can you say: "I only voted for SOME of his ideas" (as many
germans did later)?
Or: How can priests from the same religion 'bless' soldiers on opposing sides, by giving assurance of having 'god' on your side? This is the same
as scientists helping to produce weapons to both sides.
All belief-systems, presented as a whole based on common basic assumptions, are responsible for weeding out 'misuse' (be it epistemological or
social). You, adjensen, has chosen to interpretate the bible, possibly only NT, as a loving, caring, tolerant and non-hierarchial 'map'.
The rest of us out here, not really caring about christianity's 34.000 inner schisms, see a beliefsystem originating from a book, which apparantly
can be interpretated any way, according to personal inclination or the-powers-that-be. Ranging from total brutality to everlovingness. It's a
completely reasonable attitude to question all the basic doctrines of christianity, which has erupted in violence continuously for 2000 years.
(Alternatively I don't see much loving/caring manifested by christians. As compared to the violence), unless one counts: "I'm exposing you to my
missionary zeal, FOR YOUR OWN GOOD" as loving/caring.
So, critics of christianity aren't willing to play the game on christian homeground, or seeking detailed knowledge about christianity's changing
manifestations, we just see a basic (often brutal) belief-system, which all christians defend generally, whilst quibbling amongst themselves on