Would proving evolution to be fact, really affect believers of Christianity? [Kill Em With Kindness]

ryandinan
Posts: 59
Joined: 2008-03-26
User is offlineOffline
Would proving evolution to be fact, really affect believers of Christianity? [Kill Em With Kindness]

I ask this question, after having read numerous debates from both sides of the camp.  Evolutionists bring up the evidence that supports the theory, and Christians typically point out the "lack" of the "missing links" (i.e., why there isn't a croc-o-duck), or other things that they don't quite understand about the theory, since it doesn't fit into the preconceived belief that the Earth is 6,000-10,000 years old.

Regardless of the overwhelming evidence to prove evolution to be a real process, I started wondering, "Would proving evolution to be fact, actually have any affect at all on Christians?" (and especially, young-earth Christians).

If it would have no effect - what is the point of debating whether or not evolution is "true" to these folks?  Are their other arguments that could be more effective at reasoning about the existence of god?

 

 


Thomathy
SuperfanBronze Member
Thomathy's picture
Posts: 1861
Joined: 2007-08-20
User is offlineOffline
theacrobat wrote:You mean

theacrobat wrote:
You mean meme pseudoscience. I find it comical that people such as you like to present cockamamie theories as real science. 
Oh, I don't think anyone would ever present meme 'theory' (or any 'theory' of meme 'theory') as real science.  I could be wrong.  Gosh, I hope not.  That'd be terrible.  Bad, icky, thoughts.

 

 

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5810
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
And science does indeed

And science does indeed study existence from the smallest scale to that of the entire visible Universe and beyond, from the purely mechanical to the nature of mind and consciousness,  without pre-judging what will be found. The image of the microscope grossly misrepresents what 'science' encompasses. Science does indeed try to understand all of life by studying all of life.

The religious obsess over the 'why' , the 'purpose', but there is no reason that there should be such a purpose to be found, at least outside ourselves. The search for such an external justification for our existence is the vision of the slave, who can only conceive of purpose in his master's will.

Only someone with no real knowledge of the scientific approach could make such claims as a made in that post. Many many scientists will point to the infinitely greater wonders revealed by our investigations into the Universe than the primitive, ignorant, error riddled 'visions' of the relgious scriptures.

The writings of Carl Sagan, for one, give the lie to the sentiments expressed in that post.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


ryandinan
Posts: 59
Joined: 2008-03-26
User is offlineOffline
theacrobat wrote:Haven't

theacrobat wrote:

Haven't really ever checked out the bible much have you?

Yes, I have actually.

Quote:

The same text that has his writers question where God is in all this suffering? If he has fallen a sleep on them? The Bible is perhaps one of the most reflective works on meaning and purpose that I know, particularly when it covers hundreds of years of thoughts of generations in flux and at the barrel. We don't get from Leviticus to Jesus Christ, from an eye for an eye to something as profound as turn the other cheek, from the love of ones neighbor extended to ones enemy with out some serous self-evaluation. 

You say that the Bible is "one the most reflective works on meaning and purpose" - that you know of.  You clearly need to branch out and read more then.

Quote:

A religion is always understand within the context that one lives in, to make sense of the life we live. And contrary to what some naive atheist believe, this sense of life is not a reflection on the scientific mechanics of it, but the poetic sense of it, they why are we here, not the how did we get here. And it's continually reflective on this, not stagnantly. 

I beg to differ.  There are many Christians that believe the Bible is the literal, infallible word of god - and believe that every jot and tittle can only be interpreted in one, specific way.  The Bible makes some very clear claims as to the ORIGIN of the universe, how the earth and all of it's life came into existence - Claims that clearly have no evidence to back them up - and many of which fly in the face of what science has revealed to us.  You keep using the word "reflective", like it means something meaningful; It just sounds like poetic nonsense to me.

Quote:

When a religion fails to give a person a comprehensive view of the world he lives in, it dies, either he abandons one faith for another one, or abandons faith all together. 

What does this tell you about religion then?  As science uncovers more and more mysteries, religion has less and less to fill.

Quote:

The other myth that individuals here like to peddle, as Hamybe seems to be trying to do, is that science is not a comprehensive worldview, in fact it's not a worldview at all. We don't understand all of life by looking under the lens of a microscope. Science can only inform a worldview not replace it.

Right... Science is an epistemology - it gives us the method in which we acquire our knowledge about the universe we find ourselves in - it helps us define it.  From this knowledge, we are capable of forming our worldviews.  Without science, humans had a pretty archaic worldview - a worldview which invoked supernatural explanations to natural phenomena, as there were no other alternatives.  I think this is what Hamby means as well - so I think we're all on the same page here.  However, what place does religion have in a worldview that is defined by science?  The supernatural has no meaning to science.  The supernatural tells us nothing that can be tested to be true.  So what purpose does it serve?

Quote:

A competitor towards religion in the secular marketplace, are worldviews such as humanism, which I find to be far more dimwitted, and embarrassingly less reflective than any of the worlds great religions. 

There goes that word again... "reflective".  It would seem that you're distilling religion down to "philosophy".  Of course, there is much philosophy contained within many religions.  That doesn't make the rest of the supernatural nonsense contained within, worth anything at all.  Philosophy exists just fine without the supernatural.  What specifically, in your religion, allows you to have a worldview that is truer, and better than one that is defined by science and philosophy?

 


theacrobat (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
ryandinan wrote:a worldview

ryandinan wrote:
a worldview which invoked supernatural explanations to natural phenomena, as there were no other alternatives. 

This is another point were anachronistic reflection takes place. The supernatural is not evoked for the purpose of giving an explanation to natural phenomena, but rather evoked to find a means to control the uncontrollable, or to have hope in their present world in the face of an undissuadable tragedy. Those in the ancient world rarely had the means as we do to avoid certain tragic fates, as the victims of floods (they had no FEMA), plagues, wars, etc. How could they preserve any hope in these things for which despair is to prevade?

In an inability to control their fate on their own, they had to project this control to supernatural forces, faith in the only thing that could make the impossible possible, to preserve any sense of hope they could have at all.

An ancient society facing an inevitable war against a superior foe, would have faith in the hands of the gods, to turn their odds into their favor, or they would have to accept inevitable despair. The invoking of the supernatural is in the end only an expression of faith against the odds, an expression of hope in the face of inevitable despair. 

This sort of framework is not even foreign to unbelievers, you find similar sort of expressions, though void of the same sort of magically symbolism, are product of magical thinking nonetheless. In replace of religious belief's of divine providence, of MLK's Promise Land, you get visions of secular utopias, such as the beliefs of what communism would bring. In the thoughts of our "new atheist", the Dawkins, Dennet, Harris like we get the magical sort of belief of achieving our true potentialities, of an inherently good nature tainted by outside forces such as religion, that the end of religion will usher in a new and glorious dawn of man. Such beliefs (though somewhat exaggerated for affect, but no less magical) are the basis for why even such a forum like this exist.

ryandinan wrote:
-There are many Christians that believe the Bible is the literal, infallible word of god - and believe that every jot and tittle can only be interpreted in one, specific way. 

Literalism in the expression of some Christian faiths didn't spring out of nothing. In fact modern literalist and our atheists have much in common, in a dewey-eyed devotion to science, and a modern sensibility devoid of poetic imagination. It is why they require from the bible a sort of modern history textbook precision, which is far from the sensibility of premodern men who cared little for what actually happened, but rather for what was the meaning of what happened.

Even this sensibility, in it's modern expression, in the Christian faith, is to reform one's religion into the context of modern of life. With the rise of modern science, and the curiosity it brought along for the privileged, and the desire for such men to find that sort of quesy wonderment in the Bible, some men desired to read it back into their religion. 

(this is not to say a sense of literalism did not exist prior to the modern age, but rather the reasons for why it existed than and now, are not the same.)

Quote:
The Bible makes some very clear claims as to the ORIGIN of the universe, how the earth and all of it's life came into existence - Claims that clearly have no evidence to back them up - and many of which fly in the face of what science has revealed to us. 

Now this is where, we see how the atheist and those creationist think alike. The Bible makes no such claims about the Origin (other than god created all) of the universe, or of how the earth and all of life came into existence. Such claims involve a great deal of anachronistic thinking. To say that the Genesis creation story is a claim on how the earth and life came into existence, is no less sillier than saying that the story of the Tortoise and the Hare is making a claim that rabbits and turtles can talk. 

It assumes with great of arrogance, that not only were men of the ancient world ignorant, but ignorant of their ignorance as well. Individuals such as yourself, the Dawkins and Sagans of the world, assume that their scientific curiosity about the hows of life, is a biological rather than culturally placed curiosity. That it is something inherent in us, rather than something that developed as the result of having tools to explore such questions, and the privilege needed to devote oneself to pondering them

I can be a testament for this, in that I had no real curiosity about the hows of life, the mechanics of how we came to be. Though I've spent a good deal of time learning about evolution, the desire to learn about it only sprung up when I became familiar with controversy brewing over it. From the earliest age I can remember, I had no problem accepting evolution as the explanation, but had no real interest in learning this explanation, it was trivial to me. It was as if a mathematician had presented a long and intricate equation and said that a certain number was it's solution. I had no desire to explore if he was right or wrong, the solution and the problem were trivial matters to me. Trivial to the questions that really mattered in my life. I had no emotional interest in the solution.

And contrary to what you may feel, I do not buck the norm, in fact the greater deal of humanity is no different than me. The bible is nearly null and void of such reflection, in fact you'd be hard pressed to find one verse in the New Testament speaking of God as creator. It's only the privileged who are so devoted to contemplating these mechanics. For those who live lives of any real suffering, or oppression, meaning becomes the most vital question of their existence, the "is there any hope or meaning in all of this or not"--a question for which their despair and hope hinge on.

I'll assume our common atheist so deluded with their dimwitted way of thinking can hardly grasp this. As they assume this sort of wonderment, Dawkins sense of wanting to bow down in front of the stars is universal. As Bobspence attempts to peddle in his post:

"many scientists will point to the infinitely greater wonders revealed by our investigations into the Universe."

He like Sagan fails to understand that beyond privileged societies, this sort of wonderment is null. The stars and the biology of life is as amusing to me as the taste of a cup of tea before bed. The Bobspences of the world are no different than a stamp collector speaking of his passion for collecting stamps, and speaking of the few in his collection he is fond of the most, but the difference in the intelligence of the stamp collector and the Dawkins/Sagans of the world is that the stamp collector more than likely knows that everyone else is unlikely to share in his amusement.

Quote:
What specifically, in your religion, allows you to have a worldview that is truer, and better than one that is defined by science and philosophy?

Well, you pretty much created a dilemma with a blur of an opponent. I find Jesus Christ, a Christ centered worldview to be the truest approximation of life there is, as the pervading voice of what love, beauty, forgiveness, hope, meaning there is to be found. I find the Christian worldview to be superior to any other worldview in this encompassing regard, nor is this worldview void of scientific insights in it's contemplation. SO the question you asked is a bit senseless, in that you would have to define that worldview, like pit the christian worldview against a defined humanist one, and what in this worldview gives a truer understanding of Love and etc... than the Christian one.

But it's been my experience, that I rarely find individuals vouching for any other worldview, besides their undeveloped ones, that have barely thought of the questions that the Gospels attempt to confront. Unlike some theist, I surround myself with works from all sorts of perspective, from Dawkins, and company, to the Bertrand Russells, and Daniel Dennets, to the Sagans, or those very old school philosophers, but I have yet to find a work that reflects on what the the writers of the Gospels reflect on, with even the slighted bit of depth. If you know of such works, let me know, because there's a decent chance i'd look into picking them up. 

To quote Pascal:"The philosophers talk to you about the dignity of man, and they tempt you to pride, or they talk to you about the misery of man, and they tempt you to despair. But "Where, but in the simplicity of the Gospel, can you hear about both the dignity of man and the misery of man?"

BobSpence1 wrote:
The writings of Carl Sagan, for one, give the lie to the sentiments expressed in that post.

Well, I for one consider Sagan as social critic, particularly in his work "The Demon Haunted World" to be dimwitted. And I thought this when I was an unbeliever. Sagan is surely no Karl Marx. In fact I wrote a long and lengthy essay on it (as well as on similar ideas of others) some years back for an English class, that my Californian professor now accompanies with the book in every subsequent reading of it. If you desire, i can email it to you.

Quote:
The search for such an external justification for our existence is the vision of the slave, who can only conceive of purpose in his master's will.

Another poor assessment on your part. A religious person who finds a sense of great purpose and meaning in his life, conceives of it's greatness as being God's own. If he found a greater sense of meaning and purpose that he felt wasn't God's own, he'd abandon his god, or Gods all together. He is not a slave to the masters will, but freely sees his will as his master's own. 

Quote:
The image of the microscope grossly misrepresents what 'science' encompasses. Science does indeed try to understand all of life by studying all of life.

My use of the image of microscope, was not intended to be implied literally, but rather to convey that science is concerned to that which is reducible. Science is not all encompassing, and to understand this distinction in spheres is rather simple. Imagine if your wife were to ask you why do you love her? She's not seeking a scientific answer for it, about the biology of your sentiment of love, nor are you going to provide that sort of explanation for her--unless you're seeking a divorce. She is seeking a "poetic" justification for why you love her. Or if I were to ask what is the meaning of true love, scientist within their medium would hardly be able to articulate it beyond a mere biological sentiment. But rather the question involves the poetic reflection of our everyday lives to explain it, to give it meaning. Notions such as morality, beauty, love, justice, all fall under this sphere, though such notions can be informed by science, science is not a sphere that defines the truth in them, just like thinking more scientifically does not mean that i would be thinking more morally. 

And it may just be that such poetic reflection is trivial to the common atheist on this forum, who lives in his own version of disney land, and it may just as well explain ryandinan antagonism to "poetic nonsense". But for those whose everyday lives involves conflicts and struggles with this poetic sphere, such as suffering, and despair, prevailing indifference, it's not this sphere that's trivial, but rather the scientific sphere you exalt

The Bible as books written reflecting on conditions of suffering, misery, and oppression of the ancient Hebrews, which accumulates in the Gospels, with the image of the suffering and humiliated God is a work of poetic reflection not scientific reflection. 

And though you and privileged others may be able to shake yourselves off of poetic reflection, for me, even if i were to no longer believe, it would still be a Christ haunted world. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FreeHugMachine
FreeHugMachine's picture
Posts: 152
Joined: 2009-04-02
User is offlineOffline
theacrobat wrote:Extremely

theacrobat wrote:

Extremely long post

I think I should commend you on your ability to write.   Clearly you have a good debate skill and understand rhetoric.  Your suggestion that ignorance accompanied by suffering and despair justifies God is still very irrational (I see your argument as justifying why people are willing to be irrational).  You say in one hand that such thought is a privilege and that many don't care, but still believe that the many that don't care are (ultimately) right in their belief?  If I don't care about something I don't claim ultimate knowledge of it, that is the embodiment of rational thinking.  I will agree that many suffering people would come to a religion in order to come to peace with their current despair because of good to come (after death) without questioning it merely because of their situation.  What I don't do is validate their religion because of their position or desire for good to come (after death).  I argue that although one might cry at the death of a fictional character in a book they are reading the book itself is no more true (non-fiction) because of it.  The Bible can be used to introspect our nature and bring hope, it can also be used to do the opposite.  Remember that the Bible was written by man, a creature that is known to express its emotions through poetic language.

 

If I made a bad case remember I only reflect my own thoughts and am unaware of any support from other individuals on this forum.

[Free Hug]s are no longer available
Please refer to our older [Cheap Hug] model.
*provides slightly less comfort*


ZuS
atheist
ZuS's picture
Posts: 562
Joined: 2009-02-22
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:I happen to

BobSpence1 wrote:

I happen to disagree with all the Ten Commandments to some degree, at least when treated as absolute decrees, and disagree fairly strongly with most of them.

Killing is the easiest one to accept, but even there it is not workable without allowance for exceptions, from self-defence to euthanasia.

Not bearing false witness, if restricted to the formal situations those words conjure, such as a courtroom, is OK. But to make telling untruth a sin is total BS. Just the case of lying about the whereabouts of someone seeking refuge from a murderous pursuer is one of the more obvious cases.

Stealing should generally be discouraged also, but I can envisage situations where it may avoid worse outcomes.

Honouring your father and mother is a fine sentiment, but hardly deserves a position in such a famous list, particularly when such things as rape and torture and enslavement of your neighbour are not considered worth including.

The remaining items I regard as very questionable or downright bad.

So no, the 'Ten Commandments' most certainly are not remotely deserving of their exalted reputation.

Actually, you agree with the 10 commandments ot a significant degree. All the stuff you mention as objections are just the differences that make debates and reevaluation of positions possible. If you agreed fully, there would be little to discuss and thereby little to keep our mind on the target.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


ryandinan
Posts: 59
Joined: 2008-03-26
User is offlineOffline
theacrobat wrote:ryandinan

theacrobat wrote:

ryandinan wrote:
a worldview which invoked supernatural explanations to natural phenomena, as there were no other alternatives. 

This is another point were anachronistic reflection takes place. The supernatural is not evoked for the purpose of giving an explanation to natural phenomena, but rather evoked to find a means to control the uncontrollable, or to have hope in their present world in the face of an undissuadable tragedy. Those in the ancient world rarely had the means as we do to avoid certain tragic fates, as the victims of floods (they had no FEMA), plagues, wars, etc. How could they preserve any hope in these things for which despair is to prevade?

In an inability to control their fate on their own, they had to project this control to supernatural forces, faith in the only thing that could make the impossible possible, to preserve any sense of hope they could have at all.

I agree that religion is also for the purpose of "controlling the uncontrollable" (as well as explaining the unexplainable).  Regardless of the different uses of religion, none of these say anything about whether or not the religion is founded on truth.

Quote:

This sort of framework is not even foreign to unbelievers, you find similar sort of expressions, though void of the same sort of magically symbolism, are product of magical thinking nonetheless. In replace of religious belief's of divine providence, of MLK's Promise Land, you get visions of secular utopias, such as the beliefs of what communism would bring. In the thoughts of our "new atheist", the Dawkins, Dennet, Harris like we get the magical sort of belief of achieving our true potentialities, of an inherently good nature tainted by outside forces such as religion, that the end of religion will usher in a new and glorious dawn of man. Such beliefs (though somewhat exaggerated for affect, but no less magical) are the basis for why even such a forum like this exist.

I'm sorry, but how in the world is that "magical thinking"?  Thinking about a world in which religion is discarded in favor of science, is not a belief.  It's a goal.  It may be a lofty goal, that may be difficult to achieve, but it's not in the realm of "magic" or "supernatural".  It is something that could occur in the real, natural world.

ryandinan wrote:
-There are many Christians that believe the Bible is the literal, infallible word of god - and believe that every jot and tittle can only be interpreted in one, specific way. 

Literalism in the expression of some Christian faiths didn't spring out of nothing. In fact modern literalist and our atheists have much in common, in a dewey-eyed devotion to science, and a modern sensibility devoid of poetic imagination. It is why they require from the bible a sort of modern history textbook precision, which is far from the sensibility of premodern men who cared little for what actually happened, but rather for what was the meaning of what happened.

What purpose does "poetic imagination" serve in a scientific inquiry?  Science is used to determine truths and facts about our natural world, through an objective, structured approach.  If poetic imagination was inserted into the process, it wouldn't work.

As for Biblical literalists lacking this poetic imagination, who are you to say that the Bible requires such an approach when interpreting it's passages?  After all - what amount of poetic imagination is required to soften the meaning of the biblical laws - and specifically, the more brutal, ethically and morally inferior ones, such as: Stoning adulterers to death, torturing/killing your children for disrespect, owning slaves, etc?  If this is supposed to be the most perfect, divine document, I wouldn't expect to find such rubbish within.

 

Quote:
The Bible makes some very clear claims as to the ORIGIN of the universe, how the earth and all of it's life came into existence - Claims that clearly have no evidence to back them up - and many of which fly in the face of what science has revealed to us. 

Now this is where, we see how the atheist and those creationist think alike. The Bible makes no such claims about the Origin (other than god created all) of the universe, or of how the earth and all of life came into existence. Such claims involve a great deal of anachronistic thinking. To say that the Genesis creation story is a claim on how the earth and life came into existence, is no less sillier than saying that the story of the Tortoise and the Hare is making a claim that rabbits and turtles can talk.

The Bible doesn't make these claims?  Yes, it does.  The Genesis story, in particular, is full of specifics.  While I agree that it is silly because I know it's fiction, you re-interpret it from an apologetic, "poetically imaginative" angle, to hand-craft it to be "compatible" with your modern understanding of  the universe.

Quote:

It assumes with great of arrogance, that not only were men of the ancient world ignorant, but ignorant of their ignorance as well. Individuals such as yourself, the Dawkins and Sagans of the world, assume that their scientific curiosity about the hows of life, is a biological rather than culturally placed curiosity. That it is something inherent in us, rather than something that developed as the result of having tools to explore such questions, and the privilege needed to devote oneself to pondering them

But they were, by today's standards, ignorant.  They didn't have the knowledge we have at our disposal today. 

Of course our desire to understand our world is biologically inherent in all of us.  The "culture" of the person seeking the answsers to the "how's of life", is simply one of many filters that affects the results.  The people that wrote the bible were not seeking scientific truth; They were passing along myths as reality.

Quote:


For those who live lives of any real suffering, or oppression, meaning becomes the most vital question of their existence, the "is there any hope or meaning in all of this or not"--a question for which their despair and hope hinge on.

I'll assume our common atheist so deluded with their dimwitted way of thinking can hardly grasp this. As they assume this sort of wonderment, Dawkins sense of wanting to bow down in front of the stars is universal.

And why do you assume that religion provides a truthful answer to the "meaning" of life?  Because it makes you feel good when you think about heaven?  That's hardly a reason to believe something is true - and seems to be the main reason why so many people want to believe it.  And "dimwitted way of thinking"?  Try Realistic.  We're not clouded by religious dogma.  This doesn't mean we don't understand and experience emotions such as hope and despair.

Quote:

Quote:
What specifically, in your religion, allows you to have a worldview that is truer, and better than one that is defined by science and philosophy?

Well, you pretty much created a dilemma with a blur of an opponent. I find Jesus Christ, a Christ centered worldview to be the truest approximation of life there is, as the pervading voice of what love, beauty, forgiveness, hope, meaning there is to be found.

I realize you believe in Jesus.  But I asked you specifically, what in your worldview was superior to all others.  Why does belief in Jesus give you the idea that you have a greater insight into the world and it's workings?  The "teachings of Jesus" are not unique to the Bible...  Regardless of the amount of "reflectiveness" the Bible may contain, it says nothing about whether or not belief in a supernatural deity is true.  These invaluable philosophical reflections you speak of, only attempt to give credence to a book that is mostly founded on fiction.  Take out all the supernatural and nasty bits of the Bible, and what do you have?  A book called the Jefferson Bible.


 

 


ryandinan
Posts: 59
Joined: 2008-03-26
User is offlineOffline
I didn't realize that the

I didn't realize that the Ten Comandments had gray areas, open for interpretation...  If it says "Don't Steal", doesn't that mean ALL stealing (regardless of the situation) is a sin?

One reason why, if this WAS a list of divine origin, it would not be open to such debate.


ZuS
atheist
ZuS's picture
Posts: 562
Joined: 2009-02-22
User is offlineOffline
ryandinan wrote:I think

ryandinan wrote:

I think you're missing the point here though.  Indeed, there have been many people, of all different belief structures, that have contributed to the advancement of human society, in some way or another.  But, don't make the mistake of directly crediting their contributions to the world, due to the fact that they say they believe in a god.  Sure, there are many examples of people that do "good things", solely because of their faith  - such as missionaries, philanthropists, etc.  However, there are also plenty of atheistic people that do the same type of thing.  They're just motivated differently.  Of course theistic people deserve respect and support when they do good deeds - but we should recognize their acts, and not their faith.

I think you are wrong. I don't think people ever do good things solely because X, religion included. There are all sorts of reasons working simultaneously any time a person does ny one good thing. I just generalise that plathera of reasons to who-the-person-is, religion included.

But I was very specific with what I said - I said we would be fucked, meaning significantly worse off as a collective, were it not for what those people did and continue to do. Religious belief is a part of who those people are, and that says something about people in relation to society and the significance of a certain kind of religious belief in that context. For us to ignore that on the grounds of progress in our rational abilities is insane.

Sort of like the arguments for removal of Glass-Steagall regulation back in 1999 - we now have financial models and powerful computers that will allow us to avoid another financial crysis. What happened? Obviously, removal of the law weakened already flimsy influence that the honest part of the economist and legal regulation population had, while doing nothing to harm sharlatans and swindlers. Our disregard and disdain for the religious element, that has been present for as long as man has existed, will weaken the voices of our allies and do nothing to harm the dogmatic ramblings of of closet-atheists.

ryandinan wrote:

So wait... Are you saying, that if a "religious person" willingly breaks one of the ten commandments, they're automatically an atheist?  If so, I'd have to disagree completely.  A theist could break a biblical law (and most do daily), and immediately feel the remorse, regret and guilt caused by their actions, as they believe they have just sinned against god.  Their reasons for commiting the "sin" could be any number of things - but it doesn't immediatly sever their belief.  After all, the great thing about Christianity, is that you can sin, and ask for forgiveness.  However, those that commit "sins" regularly, knowing this loophole, are likely just playing the game, and probably don't hold much stock in the idea of a god.  They play the game because they feel like they've covered all their bases.  These types of people may not automatically be atheists, but they may not subscribe to all the details of Christianity.  By most definitions, they would be theists or deists...

Excuse my lack of precision. I work with the following definition: A person who can rationally justify disobaying divine law of a particular diety is atheistic in respect to that diety. So I am not really talking about actual act of sin at all, just saying that people who say sin is ok aren't Christian, for example.

It absolutely is a convenient definition, because you can proclaim Pat Robertson to be a closet-atheist on the grounds that he claims to be a priest while advocating assassinations of human beings and explains his deviation from divine law of Christianity in rational terms. In fact, he is atheistic in respect to any diety known to me, except maybe Satan.

Is my definition correct? If you ask the best of theists, they would probably say something in the lines of - every man is a child of... etc. But they will appreciate the help with taking responsibility for the bigots, fascists and pragmatic cynics and taking some of their divine backing away from them. For our purposes it will do just fine, as long as we have an alternative from the religious camp to step in. And we do have alternatives, even though they tend to get shot periodically.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


ZuS
atheist
ZuS's picture
Posts: 562
Joined: 2009-02-22
User is offlineOffline
ryandinan wrote:I didn't

ryandinan wrote:

I didn't realize that the Ten Comandments had gray areas, open for interpretation...  If it says "Don't Steal", doesn't that mean ALL stealing (regardless of the situation) is a sin?

Yea, you are right. We have conditionality in our moral principles, so we can agree with divine rule to a certain degree, but the divine rule can never agree with our conditionality.

ryandinan wrote:

One reason why, if this WAS a list of divine origin, it would not be open to such debate.

It's not open to debate. If you think it is, you are an atheist.

 

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


ryandinan
Posts: 59
Joined: 2008-03-26
User is offlineOffline
ZuS wrote:ryandinan wrote:I

ZuS wrote:

ryandinan wrote:

I didn't realize that the Ten Comandments had gray areas, open for interpretation...  If it says "Don't Steal", doesn't that mean ALL stealing (regardless of the situation) is a sin?

Yea, you are right. We have conditionality in our moral principles, so we can agree with divine rule to a certain degree, but the divine rule can never agree with our conditionality.

ryandinan wrote:

One reason why, if this WAS a list of divine origin, it would not be open to such debate.

It's not open to debate. If you think it is, you are an atheist.

 

 

Eh... I still think there are many people that truly believe in god, but interpret the Bible like 'theacrobat' does; That is, they read it and adapt it to fit the contex in today's world.  In other words, they truly believe in god, and they truly believe the Bible is pliable enough to bend and contort to agree with modern eithical and moral standards, as well as break a few of the rules, if the situation allows.  And of course, all this interpretation is up to each individual.  They still believe in god, but to some other, more strict, literalist Christian, they may be going straight to hell, due breaking the rules.  It still doesn't define them as an atheist.  They just think the rules are more open to interpretation.

If what you mean to say, is that in the eyes of god, they might as well be an atheist, then sure.  But we both know that god probably doesn't hold an opinion on this, since he likely doesn't exist. Eye-wink

 


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5810
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
ZuS wrote:BobSpence1 wrote:I

ZuS wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

I happen to disagree with all the Ten Commandments to some degree, at least when treated as absolute decrees, and disagree fairly strongly with most of them.

Killing is the easiest one to accept, but even there it is not workable without allowance for exceptions, from self-defence to euthanasia.

Not bearing false witness, if restricted to the formal situations those words conjure, such as a courtroom, is OK. But to make telling untruth a sin is total BS. Just the case of lying about the whereabouts of someone seeking refuge from a murderous pursuer is one of the more obvious cases.

Stealing should generally be discouraged also, but I can envisage situations where it may avoid worse outcomes.

Honouring your father and mother is a fine sentiment, but hardly deserves a position in such a famous list, particularly when such things as rape and torture and enslavement of your neighbour are not considered worth including.

The remaining items I regard as very questionable or downright bad.

So no, the 'Ten Commandments' most certainly are not remotely deserving of their exalted reputation.

Actually, you agree with the 10 commandments ot a significant degree. All the stuff you mention as objections are just the differences that make debates and reevaluation of positions possible. If you agreed fully, there would be little to discuss and thereby little to keep our mind on the target.

The only ones where I specifically mentioned my objections were the the ones where I found some merit. I disagree completely with ALL the ones I did not specifically qualify as having some merit. So I don't see how you came to that conclusion.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


ZuS
atheist
ZuS's picture
Posts: 562
Joined: 2009-02-22
User is offlineOffline
ryandinan wrote:Eh... I

ryandinan wrote:

Eh... I still think there are many people that truly believe in god, but interpret the Bible like 'theacrobat' does; That is, they read it and adapt it to fit the contex in today's world.  In other words, they truly believe in god, and they truly believe the Bible is pliable enough to bend and contort to agree with modern eithical and moral standards, as well as break a few of the rules, if the situation allows.  And of course, all this interpretation is up to each individual.  They still believe in god, but to some other, more strict, literalist Christian, they may be going straight to hell, due breaking the rules.  It still doesn't define them as an atheist.  They just think the rules are more open to interpretation.

If what you mean to say, is that in the eyes of god, they might as well be an atheist, then sure.  But we both know that god probably doesn't hold an opinion on this, since he likely doesn't exist. Eye-wink

I am not interested in what God thinks about closet-atheists, but I am interested in the nature of people's relation to religion. If you have someone you just described - someone who follows the word of God as long as it's convenient - you are most likely looking at someone who does not follow the word of God at all. Faced with the choice between following the word of God or just doing what's convenient, they would only pick the word of God if it's convenient at the same time. In fact, even their religiosity is a choice of convenience in many cases.

This is not a serious theistic position and is useless to us atheists in what I proposed. We don't need to convert closet-atheists and we probably can't untill we make their religion inconvenient. Someone clever would ask if it's not futile to de-religify closet-atheists, since they would just look for another dogma that would fit their convenience to unite beneath, and I think this is an interesting question worthy of a thread of it's own, if not a whole website, or a thousand. Human and societal mechanisms involved here are important and need to be understood if we are to have any hopes of influencing our environment constructively. 

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


ZuS
atheist
ZuS's picture
Posts: 562
Joined: 2009-02-22
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:The only

BobSpence1 wrote:

The only ones where I specifically mentioned my objections were the the ones where I found some merit. I disagree completely with ALL the ones I did not specifically qualify as having some merit. So I don't see how you came to that conclusion.

Brushing the ones you completely disagree with aside for the moment, does this mean you accept my porposition regarding those you have mentioned? Namely, that your objections to them would cause discussion on the topic every time the topic would arise?

To give you an example: let's say you think death penalty is a good idea in some cases, but this group of people insist that there can be no justification for it. Given their arguments were intelligent and not entirely based on supernatural law, would this create a discussion on the nature, purpose, morality, usability, social function and the like of the death penalty?

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5810
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
ZuS wrote:BobSpence1

ZuS wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

The only ones where I specifically mentioned my objections were the the ones where I found some merit. I disagree completely with ALL the ones I did not specifically qualify as having some merit. So I don't see how you came to that conclusion.

Brushing the ones you completely disagree with aside for the moment, does this mean you accept my porposition regarding those you have mentioned? Namely, that your objections to them would cause discussion on the topic every time the topic would arise?

To give you an example: let's say you think death penalty is a good idea in some cases, but this group of people insist that there can be no justification for it. Given their arguments were intelligent and not entirely based on supernatural law, would this create a discussion on the nature, purpose, morality, usability, social function and the like of the death penalty?

Sure, but the Ten Commandments are simply irrelevant,  and should play no part in such discussions. unless someone wants to discuss the different historical attitudes to morality that the Ten Commandments are one example of. They are merely one expression of the very different ideas and moral imperatives that people have held to in different cultures over time, and should not be given any special place today as anything other than an example of the very and confused thinking on such issues by that culture and tradition, as an example of how relgious ideas can warp moral thinking.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


ZuS
atheist
ZuS's picture
Posts: 562
Joined: 2009-02-22
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:ZuS

BobSpence1 wrote:

ZuS wrote:

... does this mean you accept my porposition regarding those you have mentioned? ...

Sure ...

Awesome.

BobSpence1 wrote:

... but the Ten Commandments are simply irrelevant,  and should play no part in such discussions.

They are very relevant to people you will be engaging in a discussion and will play a part indirectly. I said we are dealing with intelligent people and they will of course look for arguments that they think will appeal to you, while gathering other bases of support around other appropriate arguments pointing towards the same result. Argumentation, as always, takes the audience into account and same will be for the theistic arguer. In fact, the religious part might never even come up. You might get up from the conversation with a priest, thinking that you have just had a very intelligent chat with an atheist, who just happenes to have very strong feelings and arguments for abolishment of the death penalty. And you might even be right about his feelings and arguments, his religiousness being just a side effect and the cause of who he is.

BobSpence1 wrote:

unless someone wants to discuss the different historical attitudes to morality that the Ten Commandments are one example of. They are merely one expression of the very different ideas and moral imperatives that people have held to in different cultures over time, and should not be given any special place today as anything other than an example of the very and confused thinking on such issues by that culture and tradition, as an example of how relgious ideas can warp moral thinking.

We would need more time and a lot more space to debate the sillyness index of the commandments and the fruit of that discussion I think would be great. Suffice to say they are a part of a system that is as old as we we can look back, and this should make us take things of that sort seriously. I know it's a strong statement, but this is a strong and resilient system. We don't want to leave that kind of social structuring power to sharlatans, swindlers and cynical pragmatists. To the contraty, we should engage in it constructively.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


Thomathy
SuperfanBronze Member
Thomathy's picture
Posts: 1861
Joined: 2007-08-20
User is offlineOffline
Zus, are you suggesting that

Zus, are you suggesting that somehow the ten commandments are actually objectively moral rules by which we should live?


 

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


ZuS
atheist
ZuS's picture
Posts: 562
Joined: 2009-02-22
User is offlineOffline
Thomathy wrote:Zus, are you

awesome, doublepost.


ZuS
atheist
ZuS's picture
Posts: 562
Joined: 2009-02-22
User is offlineOffline
Thomathy wrote:Zus, are you

Thomathy wrote:

Zus, are you suggesting that somehow the ten commandments are actually objectively moral rules by which we should live?

How the hell did you go about getting that out of my posts?

I am suggesting that ritualistic law-prescribing religiosity and sectarianism has existed for as long as we can count history and that this should be taken seriously. I am also suggesting that there are plenty religious people who we can relate to almost seamlessly and that they can provide us both with knowledge about the significance and a constructive base for working with religiosity in society.

Finally I am suggesting that we can combat dangerous people (bigots, charlatans, swindlers and pragmatic cynics) within religions by adopting them. Provided we have the aforementioned alternatives, we can attack these individuals or whole organizations by insinuating that they are atheistic in respect to their own God. This is not an I-win-button, but it will encourage the kind of religiosity we can more easily live and work with.

So smile and pick up a course in religious history and philosophy from a theologian you can relate to. A great place to start are comparativist scholars, since they take many religions and work with them the way an atheist would.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


Thomathy
SuperfanBronze Member
Thomathy's picture
Posts: 1861
Joined: 2007-08-20
User is offlineOffline
ZuS wrote:Thomathy

ZuS wrote:

Thomathy wrote:

Zus, are you suggesting that somehow the ten commandments are actually objectively moral rules by which we should live?

How the hell did you go about getting that out of my posts?

I am suggesting that ritualistic law-prescribing religiosity and sectarianism has existed for as long as we can count history and that this should be taken seriously. I am also suggesting that there are plenty religious people who we can relate to almost seamlessly and that they can provide us both with knowledge about the significance and a constructive base for working with religiosity in society.

Finally I am suggesting that we can combat dangerous people (bigots, charlatans, swindlers and pragmatic cynics) within religions by adopting them. Provided we have the aforementioned alternatives, we can attack these individuals or whole organizations by insinuating that they are atheistic in respect to their own God. This is not an I-win-button, but it will encourage the kind of religiosity we can more easily live and work with.

So smile and pick up a course in religious history and philosophy from a theologian you can relate to. A great place to start are comparativist scholars, since they take many religions and work with them the way an atheist would.

Well, it was a question ... and I wasn't following the thread exactly.  Ugh, thanks for the answer.  Yeah, I don't think anyone is saying that we can't learn from the religious or that there isn't a reason to study religious history.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5810
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
ZuS wrote:BobSpence1

ZuS wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

ZuS wrote:

... does this mean you accept my porposition regarding those you have mentioned? ...

Sure ...

Awesome.

I am always prepared to engage in a serious discussion of things like the death penalty. I do happen to disagree pretty strongly with it.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

... but the Ten Commandments are simply irrelevant,  and should play no part in such discussions.

They are very relevant to people you will be engaging in a discussion and will play a part indirectly. I said we are dealing with intelligent people and they will of course look for arguments that they think will appeal to you, while gathering other bases of support around other appropriate arguments pointing towards the same result. Argumentation, as always, takes the audience into account and same will be for the theistic arguer. In fact, the religious part might never even come up. You might get up from the conversation with a priest, thinking that you have just had a very intelligent chat with an atheist, who just happenes to have very strong feelings and arguments for abolishment of the death penalty. And you might even be right about his feelings and arguments, his religiousness being just a side effect and the cause of who he is.

BobSpence1 wrote:

unless someone wants to discuss the different historical attitudes to morality that the Ten Commandments are one example of. They are merely one expression of the very different ideas and moral imperatives that people have held to in different cultures over time, and should not be given any special place today as anything other than an example of the very and confused thinking on such issues by that culture and tradition, as an example of how relgious ideas can warp moral thinking.

We would need more time and a lot more space to debate the sillyness index of the commandments and the fruit of that discussion I think would be great. Suffice to say they are a part of a system that is as old as we we can look back, and this should make us take things of that sort seriously. I know it's a strong statement, but this is a strong and resilient system. We don't want to leave that kind of social structuring power to sharlatans, swindlers and cynical pragmatists. To the contraty, we should engage in it constructively.

The Ten Commandments as such say nothing about penalties, and of course taken in isolation are inconsistent with the death penalty.

If we are discussing the pros and cons of the death penalty or similar issues, I am simply not interested in the Ten Commandments, I will not consider them relevant unless someone else brings the subject up, then it becomes a different discussion on the history and origins of morality and ethics. Otherwise I will stick to topics which are directly relevant to the issue of legal penalties and problems with the death penalty in particular.

I have really said all I think needs to be said about the 10C. To repeat, I am more interested in discussing the way moral thinking has evolved, and the 10C are just a well-known example of one, or strictly three (if you allow for the different versions in the book), codifications of such ideas from a particular time and context.

If you are concerned to remind me that the history of thinking on issues should always be taken into account when discussing the issues, I think you overstate the importance.

If you want to point out that we should take into account the background of the person you are talking to, then sure, but I prefer to concentrate on the issues, and am less concerned with 'strategic' argumentation. Maybe you are suggesting it will make me less effective in argument, but I will be less satisfied in 'winning' an argument if I have resorted to such strategies rather than digging down to very specific and hard-to-blur problematic points.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


ZuS
atheist
ZuS's picture
Posts: 562
Joined: 2009-02-22
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:If you want

BobSpence1 wrote:

If you want to point out that we should take into account the background of the person you are talking to, then sure, but I prefer to concentrate on the issues, and am less concerned with 'strategic' argumentation. Maybe you are suggesting it will make me less effective in argument, but I will be less satisfied in 'winning' an argument if I have resorted to such strategies rather than digging down to very specific and hard-to-blur problematic points.

I see argumentation as a mode of cooperation. As such there is nothing to win, other than greater understanding and insight in our society, necessary for anyone who wishes to influence the same society. But now to more fun stuff.

BobSpence1 wrote:

If you are concerned to remind me that the history of thinking on issues should always be taken into account when discussing the issues, I think you overstate the importance.

The history should remind us that the thinking is current - the history is happening now. To get to the topic you are interested in discussing, I hope you don't think that starting with the period of enlightenment we somehow evolved in our moral thinking and that you can put certain ways of thinking in neat boxes on the shelves of time. We are not the pinnacle of evolution of moral thinking simply because we think same things we thought 2000+ years ago. Given appropriate circumstances, we will shift to the modes of thinking identical to those during the 16- and 1700s witch hunts.

If you are interested in "evolution" of moral thinking - i.e., the change in ideas in relation to the circumstances - then analysis of historical contexts can be taken as our only viable mode of experiment and are very important. They are direct analogies of modes of thinking in relation to circumstances today. The 10C were only an example of a product of same mechanism that produce ideas of today, and that with no more sophistication than was present back then.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


marshalltenbears
marshalltenbears's picture
Posts: 223
Joined: 2009-02-19
User is offlineOffline
no

I don't think it would have an effect on them because many have devoted too much of their life to it and it would be devistating if you realized how much of your life was wasted, or how many sunday mornings in my case.

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


treat2 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
ryandinan wrote:I ask this

ryandinan wrote:
I ask this question, after having read numerous debates ...If it would have no effect - what is the point of debating whether or not evolution is "true" to these folks?...

I think you've stumbled on something worthwhile to understand and accept. Moreover, you know the answer.

Now consider this...

If you successfully transferred the brain of a fruit fly into religious Fundamentalist would it really make a difference? Moreover, if you could magically erase the religious beliefs of a Fundamentalist, do you think you'd have created a "happy" Atheist?

In a nutshell the point is this... a Fundamentalist stripped of their identity would be a lousy and miserable
Atheist. They would be clueless. They require dogma. They
are unable to cope with life without magic. They do not understand how to formulate their own beliefs. They've always done as they were told, and know no other way of living.

In short, an Atheist attempting conversion of a Fundamentalist is lacking an reasonable understanding of human behavior and needs.

That is exactly your point, and I'm in agreement. It's not only futile, but it's a waste of time, as you're dealing with an organism which acts and reacts like a fruit fly.
It acts instinctually, not with the ability to actually comprehend what it is doing does not require significant independent knowledge, nor does it require any significant consideration of what it is doing or what is going on around it. So too the Fundamentalist. Such folks would (as you have correctly concluded), "be" miserable Atheists.

Their brains do not permit them to think and behave independently. They require to be told what and how to think, how to behave, and how to react.

It's not only not worth debating fruit flies, it's pointless, just as you've finally realized.

Regards, -T2-


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10549
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
If I hadn't ever converted a

If I hadn't ever converted a fundamentalist I might agree. But I have, so I can't.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


treat2 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
I'm so glad for you. It's

I'm so glad for you. It's something we as Atheists can all be proud of, and take on faith as one more accomplishment
to your credit. Thanks!


Madmax958
Posts: 35
Joined: 2009-04-28
User is offlineOffline
treat2 wrote:That is exactly

treat2 wrote:
That is exactly your point, and I'm in agreement. It's not only futile, but it's a waste of time, as you're dealing with an organism which acts and reacts like a fruit fly

I find this statement to be completely ridiculous speculation. Forget the poster before who mentioned that he converted a religious fundamentalist.

Would you be at all likely to believe self-incriminating testimony on the possibility of converting fundamentalist christians?

I was one. I believed everything the bible was true and I thought that evolution was wrong and had many holes in its theory. Were it not for my friends who must've been of a different mindset than you, my brain would likely still be enslaved by christianity. We need to attempt to convince people. Just because you argue with a theist over and over again and at the end of the argument, they do not concede, does not at mean they will never hear your words. From my experience it is usually long after you give them the right thoughts that they finally start to put the pieces together. Perhaps if they happen to later on broaden their knowledge and in light of that new knowledge gain a new understanding of your arguments that were previously given to them and possibly still remembered.

Religion is not a human necessity nor an instinct. It is culturally founded, mostly from the parents. It is irrational to think we have religion in our instincts because all of the animals, who act much more instinctual than us, clearly do not believe in religion. Religion was only possible with language and primitive understanding. People had a necessity for a God to fill in the gaps way back when, but now people can start replacing that with scientific knowledge.

It may take a long time, but know this:

Religious extremists parading as scientists will continue to give out fake theories. And they can only come up with so many fake theories to account for the same shit. Eventually they are going to run out. Yet scientists will always be able to show how these scientists suck. This means that those who lie more on the fence will be more likely to be convinced by scientific theory if they truly haven't made up their minds yet. We need to assume that we can change people, lest you wish to doom our earth and future species to the likes of complete religious control.

Not only is there a current statistical positive correlation with atheism and knowledge/intelligence but if we look at history we can see that the percentage of atheists has increased along with our major breakthroughs in science. There's no reason to think this trend won't continue as scientists get smarter and smarter and the general public is merely a few steps behind, also getting smarter. How about when we find other life in the universe? That would surely level the playing field. And it is definitely rational to assume there is some other life out there given the huge number of stars and therefore huge number of planets to go along with them. 

Consider the words of Michio Kaku, he is a futurist after all and I would trust him more than myself about aliens.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw8dcb8iKSM

 


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
 To answer the original

 To answer the original question:

 

I do think it makes a difference, in the long run.  Literalism and evolution cannot co-exist, full-stop.

 

Once you eliminate literalism, the theist accepts the idea that his/her religion is not infallible, or at least is subject to interpretation, and that crack is an open door through which science and reason creeps.

 

Once science and reason are accepted, the theistic notions about the supernatural slowly retreat as one after another fall to logic and evidence, just like it has in modern societies.

 

Eventually all you are left with is the modern, oh so common liberal "theist" who has nothing but cosmology arguments for the existence of a god, and their entire life is secular in everything but theory.

 

From that point, I think the argument is over, and we have won.  If the only religious concept that remains is the unprovable concept of a creator-being, the person is now secular.  I think this is a very strong trend all over the world.  Outright atheism is increasing, and the category of, "spiritual but not religious" is booming.

 

If a average citizen from 1500AD were to see modern society, he would think religion was dead.  Unless we regress to an age where science is no longer the dominant factor in society, religion will continue the decline toward total irrelevancy.

 

Religion is already dying, and Darwin helped pull the trigger.

 

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


fishpaste (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Evolution has nothing to do

Evolution has nothing to do with theism or atheism, so no it wouldn't, and it shouldn't at all.


ryandinan
Posts: 59
Joined: 2008-03-26
User is offlineOffline
fishpaste wrote:Evolution

fishpaste wrote:

Evolution has nothing to do with theism or atheism, so no it wouldn't, and it shouldn't at all.

 

Fundamentalist Christians would certainly disagree with your statement.  They consider evolution to be a threat to their beliefs, as it contradicts so many of the things mentioned in their holy book.  Why do you think evolution always gets brought up during a religious conversation?  Evolution and religion may indeed have "nothing to do with one another", but they are certainly at odds with one another, in terms of what claims they make about our universe, our place in it, and how we got here.


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
fishpaste wrote:Evolution

fishpaste wrote:

Evolution has nothing to do with theism or atheism, so no it wouldn't, and it shouldn't at all.

 

Have you read the question in the OP?  It is about evolution affecting Christians, not theists in general. 

 

Does it affect Christians?  Of course it does.  I was raised in a fundamentalist family and educated in a fundamentalist school.  Evolution is a direct attack on the beliefs of anyone who is a Biblical literalist.  To say it has nothing to do with fundamentalism is simply ignorant.  You cannot be a literalist and believe in evolution, and getting a Christian to reject fundamentalist literalism is a *huge* deal.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.