Originally posted by Astyanax
I don’t understand why people think one has to be either a hardcore religious adherent or some ‘deny everything that can’t be measured’
Nobody thinks that. Everybody over the age of about fifteen knows there is a spectrum of belief between pure atheism and unquestioning religious
I could accuse you of the same dumbing-down oversimplification of which you are accusing others, simply for having made that statement. The
relationship between knowledge and belief is far richer and more complex than the caricature you are trying to draw.
Yes you are quite right. I did make a simplification here though if I realized that my post by someone of your methodical critiquing skills were to be
the next poster I would probably have been a little more careful. But it is not totally without cause. You see your very response belies what you and
the large majority of people who share your point of view seem to believe. That Religion, or at the very least a belief in a God which sits totally
outside of creation is the only belief system available.
Now you’re obviously quite intelligent, and I’m sure if we were to sit down and discuss these matters over a nice cold beer you would concede that
yes there are many belief systems which sit outside the major religious spectrum. But even your statement in the last paragraph about an
‘omnipotent, omnibenevolent deity’ implies that this is how you believe I think, and that is simply not the case. I would if pressed classify
myself as a spiritual pantheist, and I would hazard a guess that the majority of people here on ATS who are not atheists (outside of course the
regulars in the ‘Origins’ and ‘Conspiracies in Religion‘ Forums) would also classify themselves as spiritual, not religious. And with that
spirituality comes a general acceptance of mainstream science, but also a belief that ‘God’ is not separate being and exists independently from
the universe. It’s just that we believe there is likely something ‘more’ out there.
Yes this is very vague, but the realms of spirituality are just as individual as it’s adherents. I know you will say this only proves that it cannot
be true for ultimately there can only be one truth, but we feel that we are simply do not have enough knowledge to judge fully what is true. Therefore
many a spiritualist’s beliefs, for better or worse, are often a mishmash of age old mysticism and New Age thinking.
So getting back to your original point, anyone over the age of 15 may well believe that there are many religions
, but realizing there are many
belief systems is an entirely different thing. I am quite confident in saying that most people do not posses anything more than a slight inkling that
there are beliefs which lie outside those which the major religions expound.
This is why I made that fairly simplistic statement. For there are very few atheists who would actually go to the trouble of posting (apart from maybe
the Buddhists) who will not immediately jump down your throat about Creationism or Intelligent Design the moment the concept of a belief system which
is not atheism is raised. Most people simply do not seem to think about such things deeply enough to find out what other beliefs are out there, and it
is for this reason I felt such a statement would be adequate.
Being ATS though, I probably should have known better….
Besides, you are confusing atheism and empiricism. Empiricism arises from the belief that the only reality worth troubling oneself about is
that which is palpable and measurable. It is the basis of all practical human inquiry, and especially of science. But it is not atheism. Atheism is
simply disbelief in gods. That disbelief may be founded in empirical inquiry, but empiricism is not the only foundation from which atheism can
spring. Many Buddhists, especially the most thoughtful ones, are atheists; but Buddhism mostly denies what empiricism asserts.
I do realize this, but you must admit that there would be very few atheists who are not empiricists. Also people who practice Buddhism as merely an
everyday world view may well be atheists, but those who take it up a few notches will surely leave the realms of atheism behind and enter into a world
that is spiritual. It’s just they do not place any importance on any spiritual realm which sits outside of themselves
I believe that any sufficiently intelligent and courageous person must eventually become an atheist. This is a personal opinion with which
anyone is welcome to disagree. It has nothing to do with hardcore empiricism and everything to do with the fact that the concept of an omnipotent,
omnibenevolent deity is both logically and morally contradictory; God is, quite simply, an absurd concept.
I believe I’ve answered most of this above already, but in light of what I’ve already said above could you please qualify the statement
I believe that any sufficiently intelligent and courageous person must eventually become an atheist
Because this makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever, even though I do realize this is merely your opinion….
Though I may completely disagree with your premise, I just can't help laughing this statement
I can conclude that both sides of this ridiculous fight are the same, you are both too close minded to gasp the truth (that we are a
part of an elaborate experiment of the evolution of self conscious energy - but that story is for another thread)
Yes, I'm sure we're all too stupid to understand the Theory of Everything you found floating in the bong water.
edit on 7/2/2012 by 1littlewolf because: (no reason given)