"When I am weaker than you, I ask you for my freedom because that is according to your principles. When I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles."
~ Frank Herbert
Actually, your goal is very much like that of the agnostic which is to wedge open a gap of ignorance and try to assert that atheism is just a religion as well. Sure, you do make an attempt to hide it just like William Lane Craig tries to but, despite the language and the philosophical ramblings, that IS your whole point. You want to wedge your theism into that gap in order to give it a seat at the table; at least your motivation in that respect is clear. I suspect that agnostics do it to address psychological needs.
Last edited by William Rea; Feb 16 2017 at 10:22 PM.
I am an atheist, I lack belief; if you can't show it, you don't know it and I'm not interested in somemanymostism.
If you don't try to tell me what I believe then we will probably get along fine.
So i don't expect anything BUT ad hominem from you, as it seems to be the only weapon in your arsenal. My conclusion? Folly. Those who cannot reason, but employ logical fallacies are fools, & irrational, hysterical 'debaters'. If you applied my general observation to yourself, it was aptly placed. Is it surprising to me that you will double down on insults & other ad hominem arguments? No. I expect that. Most of the time, as i point out quite often, i ignore the peanut gallery of hecklers & irrational debaters, but occasionally i'll point out the emptiness & absurdity of the 'arguments' presented.. to try to differentiate between reason & folly. But it is beyond my ability, or even desire, to try to force reason on those who are committed to folly.
I think there is a valid argument that religious institutions have done more over the centuries for humanity.. medical care, food, shelter, & other humanitarian ventures used to be completely in the realm of charitable institutions. If people want to spend their hard earned money on that, who am i to find fault? If they want to watch & fund nature shows, or go to sporting events, or collect stamps, why should i object? I do not see this as a valid argument at all. That is a judgement call, at best, with no way to quantify whether the money spent on voluntary religious contributions is 'useful' or not.
There is no other option, for the atheist. Either he must declare his beliefs dogmatically, or provide a disclaimer. It is no different with theists, as i have pointed out. And, it is my intent to hold a place for you at the philosophical table.. but rational discussion with dogmatists, from either side of the supernatural spectrum, is always difficult.
Far from promoting ignorance, i am revealing Truth. I extend wisdom & insight to those who would open their minds to the bigger picture, & give up their petty dogmatic beliefs for a moment. Consider the expanse of eternity, infinity, & the finite knowledge of man. A broad mind, aware of its own limitations is a much better tool for inquiry than a closed, dogmatic one, convinced of its own superior knowledge.
I post this quote every so often.. it seem very pertinent in the forums, where opinions are handed out like candy, with no inclination to support them. But it is the age we are in, & there have been irrational fools forever.. now, they just can post all the time on the internet.
Still, my main point, here, if there is one, is to warn of the dangers of dogmatism, from wherever it comes. It is not exclusive to any ideology, but is a human trait. The scientific revolution of centuries past sought to provide methodology & inquiry to replace dogmatic, mandated 'science', but that is no longer the current climate. We are, IMO, in a period of 'anti science' where reason & facts can be simply declared by an elite class, & the True Believers turn off their own minds & trust in the privileged elite. I hope someday for a return to skeptical scrutiny, & the encouragement to ask, 'Why?' I probably won't see it, but i have seen the reverse, as we have left the station of reason, & embarked on the train of madness & folly.
Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. ~Eric Hoffer
Your confuse your assertions with logical arguments.
I have repeatedly and clearly stated my position.
I referred to your childhood indoctrination in response to your nonsensical arguments that PBS Nature shows are indoctrination.
Last edited by ecco; Feb 17 2017 at 06:14 AM.
I believe most people arrive at their beliefs through multiple influences.. experience, childhood, parents, teachers, peers, and perhaps some personal study. Nobody exists in a vacuum, but we are all products of the influences & experiences of our lives. Our 'world views' are molded through these experiences, which might or might not include personally acquired evidence. This is not empirical, but subjective, so it is not useful in scientific methodology. But, there is evidence there, & a logical conclusion to the belief or world view.
At least, with some. Some people are just dogmatists, believing in what others have told them. They esteem or respect some personality, & it flavors their outlook on origins & the supernatural. They do not inquire themselves, but 'trust' what they have been taught. This is the 'indoctrination' that i have stated in this thread & others. Few people, if any, can completely escape the indoctrination of the surrounding status quo.
My personal experiences, & details as to how i came to embrace them, are a private matter that i do not wish to subject to hecklers & mockers on an internet forum. I have stated my beliefs, as a theist, & have made no claims, other than as a belief. I do not claim empirical evidence for my beliefs, just as i do not see that for any beliefs about the supernatural. My arguments here are from empiricism & objective reality, not based on subjective or anecdotal evidence.
I will say that i have made the journey from agnosticism, my earliest childhood belief (i don't know!). I knew people around me who believed, & who didn't. I was a sponge, as most children, & just soaked up the impressions of others. I then transitioned to a 'weak' atheism, to use the terminology here, & doubted the existence of any supernatural realm, & eventually became a dogmatic/strong/gnostic atheist, declaring 'there is no god'. It was a personal revelation.. an experience with something 'supernatural', that turned the course of my life toward seeking the truth about this mystery of the universe. I am convinced of the existence of God, & a supernatural realm that is beyond the capacity of our finite, material bodies. I cannot define it, or explain it, but i believe it exists, from my own experiences & from others throughout the history of man. I am not impressed with dogmatists who try to declare THEIR beliefs about the supernatural as Absolute Truth, any more than i'm impressed with an atheist who does the same. For me, dogmatism is the enemy of Truth & inquiry, from whatever ideology it springs from.
Spirituality is an inward, introspective activity. Without some doubt as to our own perceptions, or any circumspection of our beliefs, it is too easy to slide into the comfortable easy chair of dogmatic belief. Wisdom, imo, is embracing self doubt & introspection. It is realizing the limits of our personal knowledge, & allowing some awe & mystery to dwell within us.
"The fundamental cause of trouble in the world is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt." ~Bertrand Russell
Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. ~Eric Hoffer
"To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous
as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin."
Cardinal Bellarmine, 1615, during the trial of Galileo
I respect not wanting to expose that on this message board, it's definitely a hostile place at times. Without exposing too much, can you say a little bit more about this personal revelation? It may not be something you can qualify as evidence to others but do you consider it to be a type of evidence that you rely on?
That IS, as you said, a "lack of belief."
People who use the descriptor "agnostic" also DO NOT BELIEVE IN ANY GODS. That also is a "lack of belief."
BUT people who use the descriptor "atheist" almost certainly do not do so because of the "lack of belief" that any gods exist...but rather because of a positive "BELIEF" that no gods exist...or because of a positive "BELIEF" that it is more likely that no gods exist than that at least one god exists.
They would use "non-theist" or "agnostic" if that were not the case, because the group known as "atheists" contain MANY, MANY, MANY people who BELIEVE that no gods exist or that it is more likely that no gods exist than that at least one does.
The comment that many of us "don't understand what atheism fundamentally is at all"...IS NONSENSE.
We can discuss this is you'd like.