The R.R.S. Reformation -- a worthwhile read for atheist and theist alike.

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The R.R.S. Reformation -- a worthwhile read for atheist and theist alike.

Good evening R.R.S. I've recently been contemplating the impact the R.R.S. will have on the future. I know what the R.R.S.'s ultimate goals are, but I began thinking about other possible outcomes that may come about in the future as a result of the efforts by the R.R.S. (and other groups with similar conviction) One of the outcomes I found most hopeful and profound, being a believer in God, would be a religious reformation.

Now before too many banners of protest are raised, may I make an effort to clarify myself.

  My idea of a R.R.S. Reformation is that of a metaphorical notice posted on the front door of every church throughout the world. A big, "HEY! What do you think of this?!" for all the world to see. Perhaps allow the finger pointers to realize the other three. 

I feel that with the onslaught of evidence in favor of evolution and other scientific advances shows a necessity for times to change within the religious mind set of the world. Furthermore, difficult arguments concerning God and other metaphysical beliefs held by believers would cause some well needed reflection, and perhaps, reform. Reform to what? I cannot pretend to speculate. But, I'm sure that we all have some special place in our heart for the thing we hate most about religion. Maybe the reform could start there. 

So what do you think R.R.S.? Atheist and theist alike, what are your prospects for possible reform outcomes if the R.R.S.'s ultimate end cannot be achieved? Would you be pleased or just as uneasy/disdainful toward religious dogma as you are now?

 

 

 

 

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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jread wrote: Good evening

jread wrote:

Good evening R.R.S. I've recently been contemplating the impact the R.R.S. will have on the future. I know what the R.R.S.'s ultimate goals are, but I began thinking about other possible outcomes that may come about in the future as a result of the efforts by the R.R.S. (and other groups with similar conviction) One of the outcomes I found most hopeful and profound, being a believer in God, would be a religious reformation.

Now before too many banners of protest are raised, may I make an effort to clarify myself.

My idea of a R.R.S. Reformation is that of a metaphorical notice posted on the front door of every church throughout the world. A big, "HEY! What do you think of this?!" for all the world to see. Perhaps allow the finger pointers to realize the other three.

I feel that with the onslaught of evidence in favor of evolution and other scientific advances shows a necessity for times to change within the religious mind set of the world. Furthermore, difficult arguments concerning God and other metaphysical beliefs held by believers would cause some well needed reflection, and perhaps, reform. Reform to what? I cannot pretend to speculate. But, I'm sure that we all have some special place in our heart for the thing we hate most about religion. Maybe the reform could start there.

So what do you think R.R.S.? Atheist and theist alike, what are your prospects for possible reform outcomes if the R.R.S.'s ultimate end cannot be achieved? Would you be pleased or just as uneasy/disdainful toward religious dogma as you are now?

Personally, i see nothing wrong with religion, generally speaking.  What i wish to be reformed though are the people behind the religion.  No matter how wonderful the belief system, if the one in charge is a serious nutcase followed by equally disturbed nutcases, then you got a seriously bad situation.

No matter how fast or high tech a car is or well-tuned, if the driver is no good, or drives while under the influence, you are almost guaranteed an accident.  So do you blame the car when that happens?  Of course not!  Its the bloke behind the wheel whose at fault.

If only the Islamic mullahs would tell their faithfull to please stop making public artworks from the blood and carcases of the innocent, and if only the roman catholic church would castrate their pedophile priests or give them something else to vent their raging hormones by allowing them to marry, then the world, though woudn't become a paradise, would be a slightly better place nonetheless.


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wavefreak wrote: While I


wavefreak wrote:
While I understand your points on theists and their assumptions about atheists, I'm not sure how you got to me making those same assumptions. My only assumptions about atheists and how they handle loss is that they do have a coping mechanism that works for them and that it involves a higher level of rationality than most people employ.

ABx wrote:

And that's a pretty big assumption about something you have no way of knowing.

And exactly which part of my assumption is wrong? That athiests have coping mechanisms that work or that atheists approach things more rationally?

 


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

If you won't even define the terms YOU used in YOUR OWN agument so that I may understand you better, I see no point in continuing to converse.

Sorry I asked you to clarify and expound upon your own statements *shrug*.

 

I consider sex a need. You do not. Clearly we have different ideas of what a need is. Since "need" is central to the discussion, without agreeing on what this means, then it is pointless to continue.

 

I'm sorry you can't meet me half way.

 

*shrug* 

I tried to, by asking you to explain exactly what you meant when you said theism satisfies a need atheism could not.

I'm willing to let you define terms, then go from there.

So far, you've only tried to argue from analogy, poorly if I may say so, and have refused to tell us exactly what you meant with your statement.

I want to understand you better, but you seem unwilling to let me do that.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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ABx wrote: [Sorry Yellow

ABx wrote:

[Sorry Yellow #5, I hope I'm not intruding on your line of thought here. My intent is to add to it, but one never knows for sure] 

You're not intruding at all, I appreciate the input - you've actually phrased things much better than I have.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Here's my hand at defining

Here's my hand at defining the idea of a human "need."

 If you say something like sex is a need, is seems to me that you're saying sex is something we instinctually want/crave/desire. As a result, to generalize and say that sex is a need for all human beings is going too far in my opinion. You would have to consider those who never want to have sex, and as a result, would need to make your claim that sex is a need personally for you, but not for all human beings. This isn't what you want though because then you can't make your analogy to religion as a need for all human beings. Religion then, would only be stated as a need for you.

I would have to agree with Yellow, that a need would be things such as water and oxygen; without them, we die, no matter who you are. Those things would be considered needs. Surely no one would die from not having sex. Therefore, if someone has gone their whole life without sex, then they would be a shining, living example of how sex is not a need. Merely, sex is a strong desire.

Similarly, I think Yellow would then just swap out and say, "I can survive without religion as a human being, just like I can survive without having sex."  

I think the problem wavefreak with using the word "need" to describe sex or religion are the words that are synonymous with 'need' such as 'necessity'. They both seem like the same word but are subtly different...

 

Need:

  1. A condition or situation in which something is required or wanted: crops in need of water; a need for affection.
  2. Something required or wanted; a requisite: “Those of us who led the charge for these women's issues … shared a common vision in the needs of women” (Olympia Snowe).
  3. Necessity; obligation: There is no need for you to go.
  4. A condition of poverty or misfortune: The family is in dire need.

 

Necessity:

    1. The condition or quality of being necessary.
    2. Something necessary: The necessities of life include food, clothing, and shelter.
    1. Something dictated by invariable physical laws.
    2. The force exerted by circumstance.
  1. The state or fact of being in need.
  2. Pressing or urgent need, especially that arising from poverty.

 

[I highlighted some of the key parts that I am referring to.]  

 

See, 'need' is used in both definitions to describe the other. This seems to be where the conflict lies between the different opinions of the meaning of 'need'. By comparing these two definitions, I think it may be clear to avoid using 'need' when speaking of sex and religion within human beings lives. But, use 'need' when speaking of oxygen and water as a part of human beings lives.  

You could perhaps say that sex and religion are "lesser needs" but then that wouldn't get the desired meaning across. (presumably) 

That's just my two-cents.  

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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Holy crap, so NOW you open

Holy crap, so NOW you open up and flesh things out, thank you, that's all I had been asking you to do.

Quote:
wavefreak wrote:

 Ironically, the eloquence of your reply actually supports my point. Many people wouldn't make it through the entire thing. Theism is easier.

It is indeed easier. Like I've been saying, for many people, any answer is preferable to no answer. I can understand that, I've been there myself.

It takes a long time an a lot of effort and reflection to get beyond such things.

 

Quote:
Here is a major difference. For those that believe in an after life, memory *cannot* have the same significance. Their loved one is not gone forever, just in another place. I don't see anything in atheism that can match the power of this, whether or not it is delusional.

You know what, I will give you that point. You're right, it is a wonderfully comforting thing to think you are going to see all your dead friends and loved ones again some day - unless of course they go to hell or heaven and you go to the other place, but let's leave that aside for now. 

Problems arise however when you realize such hope is based upon little more than wishful thinking. When that happens, you lose that comfort, but it is replaced by something equally comforting, and IMO, more honest.

I've lost loved ones both as a believer and as a non-believer, and I can honestly say, it hurt just as bad each time.

As a Catholic I figured I could see them again and tell them all the things I should have before they shuffled off the mortal coil, and we'd be happy together forever. Once I let go of that fantasy, I've made it a point to let people know what they mean to me before they die, and when they do die, I keep them in my mind. And in all honestly, I don't find one method more comforting than the other, for in each case they were simply honest manifestations of my belief.

At the very least, non-belief has given me a sense of urgency, and it's manifested itself in all of my relationships for the better.

 

Quote:
For someone that believes in an afterlife, accepting atheism means losing their loved ones forever. That is no small hurdle to overcome.

 Yes and no. It is difficult to get beyond such happy fairy tales, for lack of a better way of putting it. However, once you DO get beyond such, it is no longer comforting, obviously.

Your beliefs offer as much comfort to me as mine offer to you, in a nut shell.

This does NOT mean that I have any more difficulty dealing with loss than you do or vice versa, and it certainly does not mean we need beliefe in God or an afterlife to deal with death.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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heh sorry Yellow, I didn't

heh sorry Yellow, I didn't know I was supposed to say something Eye-wink But, I couldn't resist jumping in the mix!

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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jread wrote: heh sorry

jread wrote:
heh sorry Yellow, I didn't know I was supposed to say something Eye-wink But, I couldn't resist jumping in the mix!

Jump in, always jump in! That's the whole point of these forums.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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jread wrote:See, 'need'

jread wrote:

See, 'need' is used in both definitions to describe the other. This seems to be where the conflict lies between the different opinions of the meaning of 'need'. By comparing these two definitions, I think it may be clear to avoid using 'need' when speaking of sex and religion within human beings lives. But, use 'need' when speaking of oxygen and water as a part of human beings lives.  

You could perhaps say that sex and religion are "lesser needs" but then that wouldn't get the desired meaning across. (presumably) 

That's just my two-cents.  

Yeah, "need" is an awfully strong term, which is exactly why I took exception to the statement that sparked this whole discussion.

I agree that all humans would have similar needs, wants, desires, etc - whatever they are.

What bothered me was the statement that I somehow have something unfullfilled, because I don't believe in god.

Humans are wonderfully adaptive and flexible creatures, and most of us find ways of getting by and reconciling the brutalitity and amazingness of the world around us within our own belief systems.

This says little about the validity of such systems (philosophy and science do that), rather, it speaks of the human will.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Yes and no. It is difficult to get beyond such happy fairy tales, for lack of a better way of putting it. However, once you DO get beyond such, it is no longer comforting, obviously.

Your beliefs offer as much comfort to me as mine offer to you, in a nut shell.

This does NOT mean that I have any more difficulty dealing with loss than you do or vice versa, and it certainly does not mean we need beliefe in God or an afterlife to deal with death.

I think to some degree you are reading into my statements things that are not there. I know there are theists that think atheists are cold hearted b*******s. I am not one of them. I believe that loss is deeply painful for all of us.

 

My point is simply this. The logic of atheism is in-accessible to many people. Many people just don't care about or understand deductive reasoning. These people would have to accept atheism on "faith" because somebody else said it's correct. These people are not going to easily give up something as deeply imbedded as theism based on the word of another especially when they don't understand what is being said.

[MOD EDIT - removed swear word per Kill 'Em With Kindness forum rules] 


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Yes and no. It is difficult to get beyond such happy fairy tales, for lack of a better way of putting it. However, once you DO get beyond such, it is no longer comforting, obviously.

Your beliefs offer as much comfort to me as mine offer to you, in a nut shell.

This does NOT mean that I have any more difficulty dealing with loss than you do or vice versa, and it certainly does not mean we need beliefe in God or an afterlife to deal with death.

I think to some degree you are reading into my statements things that are not there.

I'm honestly not trying to, but your statements thus far have been quite vague. I'm working with what you give me - or don't give me, as the case may be.

Quote:
I know there are theists that think atheists are cold hearted b*******s. I am not one of them. I believe that loss is deeply painful for all of us.

[MOD EDIT - removed swear word per Kill 'Em With Kindness forum rules]

Well thank you for that, I agree, but do you believe that one NEEDS theism to get through something like that? Your statement certainly implied that, did it not?

That statement has been the whole point of our discussion.

Quote:
My point is simply this. The logic of atheism is in-accessible to many people. Many people just don't care about or understand deductive reasoning. These people would have to accept atheism on "faith" because somebody else said it's correct. These people are not going to easily give up something as deeply imbedded as theism based on the word of another especially when they don't understand what is being said.

And I've agreed with you. Theism is VERY difficult to let go of.

My problem, as I said, was with the statement that sparked our conversation.

So, does one need god belief to deal with loss? Does theism provide something other beliefs cannot? Do you still stand by your original statement, or have you seen that you might have maybe overstated the case, likely out of understandable ignorance, maybe just a bit?

Or would you like to actual clarify and furthur defend your original statement?

Either is cool with me.

 

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Well thank you for that, I agree, but do you believe that one NEEDS theism to get through something like that? Your statement certainly implied that, did it not?

This will probably seem to be evasive, but I'll try to be clear.

 

In the context of this thread, I was stating that theism fills a need. I was not claiming that that was the only way the need can be filled.

 

But the deeper question is whether *I* believe that theism is *necessary* to meet this need. This question puts us on a collision course that I don't think will lead to a fruitful discussion. My brand of theism is atypical, but by definition, assumes such needs are met in a different manner than atheism allows. For instance, while I am not convinced that there is an afterlife, I don't exclude the possibility. And while some atheists conceed that some type of afterlife may be possible, they consider it highly unlikely. I consider it just as likely as not. These types of differences frame issues of dealing with personal loss in completely different ways. An atheist can claim that theists reliance on fairy tales to deal with loss on a deeper level prevents true resolution and closure. A theist can counter with denying an afterlife is what prevent true closure. The two views are irreconcilable.


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Well thank you for that, I agree, but do you believe that one NEEDS theism to get through something like that? Your statement certainly implied that, did it not?

This will probably seem to be evasive, but I'll try to be clear.

You're right, it does seem evasive. All I wanted was a straight answer.

Quote:
In the context of this thread, I was stating that theism fills a need.
ALL belief system fill a need. You claimed that your belief system could fulfill a need mine could not. So I began asking for clarification and elaboration, and you've given me niether.

 

Quote:
I was not claiming that that was the only way the need can be filled.

Bull. You said: "Theism meets a need that atheism can't. It is irrelevant that it is irrational. Until atheism can meet these needs, people will never embrace it."

What is there not to understand about that: Your belief system supplies something mine cannot. You said that, in plain english. I've spent post upon post trying to get you to elaborate on that, and you've still really yet to define what this need is.

It would of been so much easier and simpler for you to say, "You know, I kind of put my foot in my mouth there" and have been done with it - which is exactly what I think you did. Instead, you ran with it, and here we are.

Quote:
But the deeper question is whether *I* believe that theism is *necessary* to meet this need. This question puts us on a collision course that I don't think will lead to a fruitful discussion.

Then you probably ought not have said what you said if you did not want to have this discussion.

Quote:
My brand of theism is atypical, but by definition, assumes such needs are met in a different manner than atheism allows.

This does NOT mesh with your original statement.

If it did, your original statement would have read something like: "Theism meets a need that atheism also meets, just in a different way".

But of course, you didn't say that. You said something completely different.  

I've given you opportunity after opportunity to simply explain yourself, or retract the statement or whatever, and now you're trying to insult me by saying what you said was essentially completley different that what you actually said.

Own up to your own words.

 

Quote:
For instance, while I am not convinced that there is an afterlife, I don't exclude the possibility. And while some atheists conceed that some type of afterlife may be possible, they consider it highly unlikely. I consider it just as likely as not. These types of differences frame issues of dealing with personal loss in completely different ways. An atheist can claim that theists reliance on fairy tales to deal with loss on a deeper level prevents true resolution and closure. A theist can counter with denying an afterlife is what prevent true closure. The two views are irreconcilable.

Yeah, all of that is well and good, and completely different from your original statement.

I haven't forgotten exactly what you said, but I think you have. I see this all the time (on both sides). Somebody says something, frankly insulting or not very intelligent, makes a feeble attempt to defend it, hopes people forgot what the argument was about, and waters down their original point into something amiable.

I've had enough of that crap.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Yeah, all of that is well and good, and completely different from your original statement.

I haven't forgotten exactly what you said, but I think you have. I see this all the time (on both sides). Somebody says something, frankly insulting or not very intelligent, makes a feeble attempt to defend it, hopes people forgot what the argument was about, and waters down their original point into something amiable.

I've had enough of that crap.

And the crap that I have had enough of is your confusing an loosely worded opinion with a formally presented argument. If I made an imprecise statement it is because I thought the context of this thread allowed it. Apparently, if I don't always use the utmost precision in my statements it leaves me open to castigation from the thought police. I'll make you a deal. When I see all the atheists on this site using absolute precision in their posts then I will do the same.

If you want something more formal, then try this.Putting aside noncognitivist objections to the coherency of the god concept and all its corralaries:

 

Premise 1: final dispensation of the soul requires divine intervention.

Premise 2: this intervention can be influenced by the survivors by some form of willful interaction with the deity.

Premise 3: proper resolution and closure for the loss of a loved one is dependent on this willful interaction between the deity, the believer, and the soul of the departed.

It then follows that because an atheist does not interact with the deity, the atheist cannot acheive proper resolution and closure for the loss of a loved one.

 

Because you will disagree with all three premises, you will disagree with the conclusion. And that is that. 

 

 

 


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Yellow it's odd really, I

Yellow it's odd really, I don't think wavefreak read my post. I tried to help, I tried...


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Yeah, all of that is well and good, and completely different from your original statement.

I haven't forgotten exactly what you said, but I think you have. I see this all the time (on both sides). Somebody says something, frankly insulting or not very intelligent, makes a feeble attempt to defend it, hopes people forgot what the argument was about, and waters down their original point into something amiable.

I've had enough of that crap.

And the crap that I have had enough of is your confusing an loosely worded opinion with a formally presented argument. If I made an imprecise statement it is because I thought the context of this thread allowed it. Apparently, if I don't always use the utmost precision in my statements it leaves me open to castigation from the thought police. I'll make you a deal. When I see all the atheists on this site using absolute precision in their posts then I will do the same.

 And you're STILL running with it. You WERE being precise and presenting a point in your original satatement - if you had not been, it wouldn't have taken you three pages before trying to claim that isn't what you were doing.

Like I said, you can actually respond to what I've been saying and clarify your point for us finally, or simply let the whole thing drop. One way or another, I think you need to take accountablity for what you said instead of being continually evasive.

Quote:
Because you will disagree with all three premises, you will disagree with the conclusion. And that is that. 

If you want that to be that, then let it be that, I'm frankly sick of going in circles with you. Up to you.

 

 

 

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
LosingStreak06 wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

Theism meets a need that atheism can't. It is irrelevant that it is irrational. Until atheism can meet these needs, people will never embrace it.

I felt the need to quote the above in an attempt to emphasize it, as it rings very true.

Not really. I'm not sure what need theism fulfills - whatever it is, I obviously do not have it or it is satisfied in other capacities.

I think we've been conditioned to "need" it. We can obviously do without it, the vast majority here do such every day.


Ditto.