Try this one on for size and see if it fits<br><br>It's a Salon.com article, so I don't know if you'll be able to see it without registering (which costs bucks). I'm an atheist myself, but I don't subscribe to the Dawkins-Harris approach to atheism . . . not by a long shot. I remember what that great presidential candidate, Dick Gregory, said at a rubber-chicken dinner once back in 1968: "I'm a vegetarian, but I ain't gonna knock that chicken off your plate."<br><br>Words to live by <br><br>   
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It fits like OJ's glove. For a theologian he does argue convincingly since he lets go of the "god of gaps" (god is needed to explain the unexplained by science god) but he doesn't quite make it.<br><br>He just needs to let go like Mother Theresa and just completely let go of faith. It is scary, especially someone who has spent an entire life in believing a faith. But dang, when you get down to the rubber meeting the road it is still the belief in the mumbo jumbo.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p><br>The hidden assumption behind such a statement is often that faith is belief without evidence. Therefore, since there's no scientific evidence for the divine, we should not believe in God. But that statement itself -- that evidence is necessary -- holds a further hidden premise that all evidence worth examining has to be scientific evidence. And beneath that assumption, there's the deeper worldview -- it's a kind of dogma -- that science is the only reliable way to truth. <p><hr></blockquote><p>Bullsh[i][/i]it. Scientists do not believe that all evidence has to be "scientific evidence". That makes it sound like scientists can only believe what is tested in the lab. That they kneel at just a different altar of religion called "science".<br><br>I do not need scientific evidence. But I will not believe something that is entirely made up. Possibly a subtle difference to the author but not to me. He would refute my belief in the Invisible Pink Unicorn (mhhnbs) but I would retort my faith in the IPU (bbhhh) has far fewer mumbo jumbo work arounds than his faith.<br><br>I sped read it. Will read it again later. Interesting. I would prefer my republican presidential canidates believed in religion like this guy but they know they would not be elected.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
I think the point about evidence was that it needs to be materialistic in some fashion or other. Anyway, I'm glad that there's someone who speaks publicly against the jumbo dumbo approach to religion that says that literalism is the only way to understand religious texts.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>I don't think theology is being responsible if it ever takes anything with completely literal understanding. What we have in the New Testament is a story that's trying to awaken us to trust that our lives make sense, that in the end, everything works out for the best. In a pre-scientific age, this is done in a way in which unlettered and scientifically illiterate people can be challenged by this Resurrection. But if you ask me whether a scientific experiment could verify the Resurrection, I would say such an event is entirely too important to be subjected to a method which is devoid of all religious meaning.<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>   
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When it comes down to it my definition of anything outside of "materialistic in some fashion" is supernatural and I do not want to base my life or philosophy on a card trick. I enjoy being fooled by a good card trick but what I really like to see after the show is how it was done. That I find is much cooler than sitting there thinking Uri Geller is a psychic. That's just stupid. This author is just another magician not showing you the whole trick. His shtick is he knowingly reveals everyone else as magicians, just not him. Right. <br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>As if that blind rage had washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much like myself—so like a brother, really—I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again. For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate. -Albert Camus<p><hr></blockquote><p>The problem with these theological conversations is that they always hinge on the idea of making meaning in life for other people. That is what makes no sense to me about the sort of aggressive atheist approach or the aggressive evangelist approach. Theology is not given to science. It's not even given to reason. But yet people see some worth in it because it is a framework for which they make meaning in their life.<br><br>Aggressive atheists will never be able to win over an audience (even compared to the most hateful cult) because they don't only purport to destroy the idea of God, but the idea that life has meaning. That's the scariest thing for people. Most can live without religion. People who believe that there is nothing to life kill themselves.<br><br>We are biologically predisposed to a need to feel connected with other people. Philosophies that explain that connectedness will always be more successful than ones that ignore it.<br><br>(disclosure: grew up Catholic, was agnostic, thought about Unitarianism, now firmly in the camp of "none of anyone's business" )<br><br>-- Charlie Alpha Roger Yankee Whiskey
I've turned into an aggressive atheist not because I want to win over any audience. I just want religious fools to stop screwing up the world and telling me I am a lesser citizen of the world because I do not believe in their god. Huckabee and Romney are doing that. Romney did it blatantly with his last speech but every single politician does this. They have to or they will not get elected.<br><br>I don't have a big problem with Buddhism or Unitarianism because they aren't trying to mess with the world or control people in harmful ways. I suppose you can think of a few more which do not proselytize nor try to overtly control their flock. But the three majors do it. Judaism doesn't proselytize my kids. They don't want me or my kids to become jews so they get some benefit of the doubt but Zionists are a whole other kettle of fish as well as Christians and Muslims. They are dominant religions which can't help but want to turn more people to their God. But what if we just want to be left alone? What if we just ignore these religious fundamentalists? Then we end up in this screwed up world we are devolving into. The Crusades were some screwy times but religious blow back that is happening today in virtually every country of the world is because we have allowed religious nut cases too much slack.<br><br>People are being killed in France over the wearing of a scarf. The UK politicians can't bend over fast enough when the Islamic board of regents complains. And here in America we have a requirement of religion to become any kind of politician above dog catcher.<br><br>Tell me I am lying when I tell my daughter she cannot become President of the United States not because she is female but because she is an atheist. Tell me that is a fib and I will stop being an aggressive atheist. This world has tried allowing everyone to believe what they want and atheists should shut up and look at the state of the world. <br><br>No, now is not the time for passivity. Now is the time to explain to people your life does have meaning without being buggered by religion. If you want to keep your faith that is fine with me. If you can do that without rubbing my face in it or thinking less of me you can do whatever you want. Just don't gather into groups and do nutty stuff. And I would include in "nutty stuff" sitting there quietly while your fellow religious person says something disparaging about a single other religious group or atheist without responding, "you are an as[/i]shole." If saying that to a religious as[i]shole makes me an aggressive atheist then sign me up.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Now is the time to explain to people your life does have meaning without being buggered by religion.<p><hr></blockquote><p>I'm yet to understand what the word meaning and the word life have to do with each other.<br><br>Old farts, the hidden caulk of civilization. Jim Atkinson<br><br>
_________________________ Old farts, the hidden caulk of civilization. Jim Atkinson
I absolutely agree with a big part of your sentiment. There is no reason anyone should ever back down off of their own rights to be treated with integrity and fairness. It also is absolutely ridiculous that we are concerned with whether or not Mitt Romney believes in the power of seer stones and not about whether he thinks war or economic policy is an ethical issue. (Is it just me, or was anyone else's intelligence severely harmed when Gov. Huckabee dodged the question Who Would Jesus Execute with a logically disingenuous argument about Jesus being smart enough to stay out of politics?)<br><br>The following is an interesting radio segment about the so-called new atheism.<br>On the Media: God No!<br><br>-- Charlie Alpha Roger Yankee Whiskey
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