David vs. Jonathan

David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
David vs. Jonathan

I've been back for a week, and I still can't get access to the One on One forum; I don't see any reason why we can't do this thing right here and now. I've just about gotten to the point where I see this sort of discussion and debate with anyone - believer or non-believer - as a completely pointless waste of time, and I have a website to run, so if you want to do this speak up. Some things I want to know, for the record are . . .

1. Do you want other people to participate and to what extent? Anything you decide regarding this is fine with me so long as you clearly state what that is before beginning.

2. Do you want iwbiek to moderate and what exactly does that mean? Would he act as a judge in a public hearing, a referee in a boxing match or a director of a play? I personally think that the first would be unfair, the second unnecessary and the third possibly a good idea. On the other hand, what else would I expect than the first, I can tolerate the second and the third would intrigue me. So again, I am leaving it to you with only the stipulation that you make clear your intentions.

3. The topic of discussion you have left to me, and I want to be fair about this, so here it is. There will be a new topic each Friday, beginning tomorrow and ending the following Friday. If, after each of the topics have been exhausted you wish to add more you have the option of doing so as long as I agree to a weeks worth of debate on the topic. Likewise if any of the topics listed you would want removed inform me now and it will be duly noted. If a topic is exhausted before the week's end the following topic will begin on that following Friday as scheduled. Either you or I may request a delay in the debate for any reason and it will be moved to the following Friday.  

1. Religion.

2. The Political / Social Atheist Agenda.

3. The Bible.

4. Science.

Lets keep this in this thread. Later today (This post was made at 12:02 A.M. my time) I will post my first entry on religion.

 

 


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
Religion

I actually see very little point in debating religion. You and I most likely see religion differently, but the harmful effects of it we would agree upon. To me religion is a strict system of beliefs. Everyone is religious in the sense that all have a strict set of beliefs. Religion, in my opinion, takes any system of beliefs and organizes it for the masses. They do this for the profit or gain of the organization itself. Then it is distorted and abused to feed the insatiable needs of the organization itself, to the detriment of its adherents, supporters and anyone else that gets in the way. Just like Capitalism. MTV used to mean Music Television. VH1's motto was music first.

Taoism may have started out as a simple approach to nature, a rejection of the political Warring States Period but it transmogrified into desire for immortality and eventually superstitious priests for hire to bless homes and businesses. The Israelites broke their covenant with Jehovah and today refuse even to pronounce his name out of superstitious fear. The apostle Paul warned, rightly so as it turned out, that Christianity would reject the true Christian teachings and replace them with fables or myth. Easter from the fertility goddess Astarte, Christmas from the pagan winter solstice and Dickens, the immortal soul from Socrates, the trinity from Plato, hell from Milton and Dante, the cross from Constantine, the rapture from Darby.

I think that the most important thing as far as religion goes is the separation of church from state.

 


JonathanBC
Posts: 139
Joined: 2010-01-28
User is offlineOffline
This isn't my post to begin

This isn't my post to begin the debate, just to answer your first post. I'll have to wait until this evening to read your other post and reply to it. I'm having some personal issues today, but I apologize for the short delay. I'll tackle your questions in order.

I don't mind anybody adding to the discussion, but I will ignore it. Free country, free internet, free forum. I'm not going to reply or even acknowledge posts from anyone else, simply because I don't want to get side tracked. I want to answer you, and you to answer me. If you feel capable of multitasking, you're welcome to. You have my sole attention.

I understood iwbiek more as a consultant than an official of any kind. I fully accept he's more educated on the subject of religion than I am. I don't mind saying that. If either of us are full of shit, I expect him to correct it if possible.

I don't have a problem with any of your four topics. However, I don't think there is any such thing as an "atheist agenda" but I don't mind debating that. I can only speak for myself, as you can only speak for yourself. But we'll get to that later. I'll make my first post later, and I hope all is well with your brother.


NoMoreCrazyPeople
atheistSuperfan
NoMoreCrazyPeople's picture
Posts: 969
Joined: 2009-10-14
User is offlineOffline
David Henson wrote:I

David Henson wrote:

I actually see very little point in debating religion. You and I most likely see religion differently, but the harmful effects of it we would agree upon. To me religion is a strict system of beliefs. Everyone is religious in the sense that all have a strict set of beliefs. Religion, in my opinion, takes any system of beliefs and organizes it for the masses. They do this for the profit or gain of the organization itself. Then it is distorted and abused to feed the insatiable needs of the organization itself, to the detriment of its adherents, supporters and anyone else that gets in the way. Just like Capitalism. MTV used to mean Music Television. VH1's motto was music first.

Taoism may have started out as a simple approach to nature, a rejection of the political Warring States Period but it transmogrified into desire for immortality and eventually superstitious priests for hire to bless homes and businesses. The Israelites broke their covenant with Jehovah and today refuse even to pronounce his name out of superstitious fear. The apostle Paul warned, rightly so as it turned out, that Christianity would reject the true Christian teachings and replace them with fables or myth. Easter from the fertility goddess Astarte, Christmas from the pagan winter solstice and Dickens, the immortal soul from Socrates, the trinity from Plato, hell from Milton and Dante, the cross from Constantine, the rapture from Darby.

I think that the most important thing as far as religion goes is the separation of church from state.

 

I aupologize if this is supposed to be a 1 on 1 but I just have a question I have no intention of debating religion.  David you seem like a knowledgable guy, you haven't made any outlandish claims from what I have read.  What is it exactly that you believe in?  You are a theist, but you seem here to be saying their is a greater truth underneath all these man made verses.  So what exactly is your position in a nutshell.  You believe "Jehovah" is the true god, so what does that mean for you.   Do you belong directly to a particular church, or do you have you own take?  


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:I

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

I aupologize if this is supposed to be a 1 on 1 but I just have a question I have no intention of debating religion.  David you seem like a knowledgable guy, you haven't made any outlandish claims from what I have read.  What is it exactly that you believe in?  You are a theist, but you seem here to be saying their is a greater truth underneath all these man made verses.  So what exactly is your position in a nutshell.  You believe "Jehovah" is the true god, so what does that mean for you.   Do you belong directly to a particular church, or do you have you own take?  

I consider myself a Bible student. My beliefs are very similar to the JWs but I belong to no organization, denomination or church. On some points I disagree with the JWs, like, for example, the idea of the anointed is just stupid religious nonsense. Usually anything that the JWs try and apply to themselves is nonsense, like their anointed, the two witnesses of 1919. All they have really done is take the bits from other religions, primarily the 7Th Day Advents, removed the pagan influence and added some of their own applications for candy, like the two witnesses and the anointed partaking of the memorial.

I don't think there is a greater truth underneath the scriptures, I just think they have been distorted through misinterpretation, misrepresentation and misapplication. I'm like a JW without the religion, pretense and obligation to a governing body. I can't even really call myself a Christian because I am unbaptized. Who would baptize me? My primary focus right now is The Pathway Machine, a response to the Skeptic's Annotated Bible, but from time to time I like feedback and discussion.


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
JonathanBC wrote:This isn't

JonathanBC wrote:

This isn't my post to begin the debate, just to answer your first post. I'll have to wait until this evening to read your other post and reply to it. I'm having some personal issues today, but I apologize for the short delay. I'll tackle your questions in order.

I don't mind anybody adding to the discussion, but I will ignore it. Free country, free internet, free forum. I'm not going to reply or even acknowledge posts from anyone else, simply because I don't want to get side tracked. I want to answer you, and you to answer me. If you feel capable of multitasking, you're welcome to. You have my sole attention.

I understood iwbiek more as a consultant than an official of any kind. I fully accept he's more educated on the subject of religion than I am. I don't mind saying that. If either of us are full of shit, I expect him to correct it if possible.

I don't have a problem with any of your four topics. However, I don't think there is any such thing as an "atheist agenda" but I don't mind debating that. I can only speak for myself, as you can only speak for yourself. But we'll get to that later. I'll make my first post later, and I hope all is well with your brother.

Agreed. My brother is doing okay for now, thanks. Take your time and respond at your liesure.


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4198
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
 hey guys.  i basically

 

hey guys.  i basically offered my services in doing what i normally do on internet forums anyway: call out hyperbole and oversimplification, regardless of who it comes from, and correct errors in areas of which i'm knowledgable, which rules out the physical sciences i'm afraid.  i will not interrupt the debate with my own arguments unless asked for my opinion, nor will i expect any feedback to my comments other than a brief acknowledgement if they are considered well-founded.  i will not hang around all the time either, just to make that clear.

 

 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


NoMoreCrazyPeople
atheistSuperfan
NoMoreCrazyPeople's picture
Posts: 969
Joined: 2009-10-14
User is offlineOffline
David Henson wrote: I

David Henson wrote:

 

I consider myself a Bible student. My beliefs are very similar to the JWs but I belong to no organization, denomination or church. On some points I disagree with the JWs, like, for example, the idea of the anointed is just stupid religious nonsense. Usually anything that the JWs try and apply to themselves is nonsense, like their anointed, the two witnesses of 1919. All they have really done is take the bits from other religions, primarily the 7Th Day Advents, removed the pagan influence and added some of their own applications for candy, like the two witnesses and the anointed partaking of the memorial.

I don't think there is a greater truth underneath the scriptures, I just think they have been distorted through misinterpretation, misrepresentation and misapplication. I'm like a JW without the religion, pretense and obligation to a governing body. I can't even really call myself a Christian because I am unbaptized. Who would baptize me? My primary focus right now is The Pathway Machine, a response to the Skeptic's Annotated Bible, but from time to time I like feedback and discussion.

 

I don't really debate the existance of a "god" (pure creator, with no known attributed characteristics), but I do find it hard to understand how rational people choose a certain god, name, holy book over others.  I would imagine if their was a god and he was good and rational he'd probalby think these holy books are all cooky don't you think?  I guess for me to entertain the truth their is a good and rational god I would consider wise, he would have to have done more than present (or allow to be presented) the smorgesborg of various holy books and texts that lets face it are filled with many ubsurtities and confusing passages that lead someone like me to conclude it's all bs.  I'd think he would want to show me that he is good, and wise, and rational and make no mistake of his intentions being misinterpreted by mere man (The bible exlpains a merciful/wrathful god and a peacefull/war general like jesus.)  What is one suppose to think?  All I can make of the bible is it seems pretty silly, and why it and not the Quran as truth.  I've read alote of the Quran, same kinda stuff as the bible (familes/stories/laws/god talking etc...) but with a little more "join or die" colour to it.

 

  So why Jehovah?  Is that the name that god refers to as  himself? Is Jehovah's just mans word for the only true god?  Does that then mean that the same guys in the Quran as the Bible are refering to Jehovah and not Allah?  Are they the same god?  

 

I guess the question is why adhere to these books that are so specific.  Just be a good person, a wise/rational/good god couldn't possibly care if you were a Muslim or a Christian or an Athiest as long as you loved your family and tried to make good decisions to do the right thing everyday and had a good heart.  I guess I just find this to be a more rational theistic position:  That their is a god, and we should be as good people as we can, take care of our world, don't "wait around" for some rapture and if their right and there is a good god he would welcome you.  As soon as someone starts picking apart these holybooks to make them seem devine, and even more devine than others I just find it like they're kicking water uphill. 

 

 

 

  


JonathanBC
Posts: 139
Joined: 2010-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Oh David, you really do

Oh David, you really do entertain me. I'm starting to like you. I don't want to quote you line by unless necessary, and I don't think it will be necessary until we reach something technical. You know everything you said, so I'll just jump in.

I fear already, we're headed in the direction of wordplay. To say religion is a strict set of rules opens the floodgates and watches its own definition freefall. The term "slippery slope" does no justice. I accept that you've always claimed to hold a loose definition of God and religion, but I don't think you would open a law book and say that it outlines a religion known as the penal code. I don't see a sign declaring "no shirt, no shoes, no service" and call it the religion of the beachfront cafe. You must have a more narrow definition or the conversation breaks down immediately.

Just to keep this thread going, I'll follow along with your definition. I can do that, because I do indeed deny religion even by how you would define it. Do I believe the sun will rise tomorrow? Yes, right now I believe so. But it is possible, however unlikely, that a black hole could envelop the Earth in the next twelve hours or so. I also believe if I throw a ball up, it will come down. If dark matter suddenly ceased to exist, there wouldn't be enough gravity to bring my ball back to me. I'd revise my belief. So why doesn't this count as religion? Because I can't think of a single statement that I will always, under all circumstances believe. Nothing is figuratively set in stone.

Religion, likewise, is not set in stone. The holy books have been settled for quite some time, but interpretation continues to evolve. Look at the Vatican stance on practically anything, and see it change over time. It might have taken centuries to apologize for Galileo, but it did happen. You'd be hard pressed to find a Catholic who denies that the Earth orbits the sun still. Religion evolves. Everything changes.

The negative points of organized religion I think we agree on. I don't think you would have called for the execution of Galileo. We both find it despicable and we both speak out against it. Other than doubting the historical impact of the things you listed, and finding your definition absurd, we agree. For example, I don't deny that the Divine Comedy seriously impacted the cultural relevance and perception of Hell, especially in art. However, I get the feeling you would put more weight in it than I. The same goes doubly for Christmas and Dickens. But I'll stop here as I don't mean to stray far from the topic at hand.


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4198
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote: So

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

 

So why Jehovah?  Is that the name that god refers to as  himself? Is Jehovah's just mans word for the only true god?  Does that then mean that the same guys in the Quran as the Bible are refering to Jehovah and not Allah?  Are they the same god?  

   

 

on a related note, i've often wondered why the JWs insist so doggedly on the outdated anglicization "jehovah" anyway?  most scholars agree it's based on nothing more than the tetragrammaton conflated with the vowels of "adonai," which were sometimes inserted to remind the reader not to pronounce the name of god.  either way, it's a corruption, and certainly would not be recognizable to an ancient yahwist.  if they really care about getting back to the "original" name of god, then why not just print the tetragrammaton (YHWH), or better yet, leave the hebrew characters intact and unvowelled?  why not read it as "adonai" or "hashem"?  why not use the more commonly accepted form "yahweh"?

and why have we settled on a form of the tetragrammaton anyhow?  why not "elohim"?  why not "el elyon"?  why not "jah"?  why not "theos" or "kurios" or "despotes" or "abba"?

why not go the ultra-pious, orthodox jewish route and use "G-d"?  (jesus, furrycatherder used to irritate the shit out of me with that.)

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:I

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

I don't really debate the existence of a "god" (pure creator, with no known attributed characteristics), but I do find it hard to understand how rational people choose a certain god, name, holy book over others.  I would imagine if their was a god and he was good and rational he'd probably think these holy books are all kooky don't you think? 

No, and I've noticed that atheists, skeptics etc. have a habit of doing that. "I would imagine that if there was a god and he was _____ and ____ he would do exactly as I would like to imagine he would." At first this may appear to be an appeasement to whatever remains intact of the sensibility in religious thinking (for what it is worth, almost nothing) but it is more likely a reflection of the atheistic idealism which is certainly no more certain or factual than blind belief.

If I discovered something through my studies that I had missed all of these years and decided that I had been wrong all of this time and had no choice but to abandon the belief in the Bible and Jehovah God I wouldn't feel the need to fill some void within me regarding what might happen to me after death, or what my purpose here on earth while living might be. Nor would I rush out to find a new god like some new drug because I have studied the others and know them to amount to nothing. I would suffer no loss of the illusion of a prescribed morality nor would I ever call myself an "atheist" because I know that anything and anyone can be a god and so there are more gods than I could count in a lifetime.

Some say it depends on geographic location but the people I know from the USA don't believe in God and my neighbor who is from Africa is a Jehovah's Witness. Some say it is education but the people I know have a minimal education and she, from Africa, speaks 8 languages and teaches at the local college. There are of course exceptions to every rule. Most atheists are opposed to religion and think that to be religious you have to believe in a god, and they see god as a threat to their fragile eggshell minds, but Buddha didn't expound upon god. The closest he came to that was a quixotic and quasi practical perspective on nature. If I had to sum it up as accurately as possible and descend from the dizzying heights of Occam's razor I would say people believe what they want to believe but they can't believe what they don't know, but even that seems contrary to the truth because when it comes to the knowledge that springs from the stagnant pool of theism and atheism it looks most like a septic tank.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
I guess for me to entertain the truth their is a good and rational god I would consider wise, he would have to have done more than present (or allow to be presented) the smorgasbord of various holy books and texts that lets face it are filled with many absurdities and confusing passages that lead someone like me to conclude it's all BS. 

A sort of divine book burning orgy of "wisdom and justice" reeks of humanity. And there you go again, imposing upon the divine. If people believe what they want to believe and seek out the knowledge they want to find like I suspect they do, truth should not be, but almost always is, subjective. If you look for the truth beyond what your mind is fixed upon and it is within your grasp then you can't subjugate it to your own whims.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
I'd think he would want to show me that he is good, and wise, and rational and make no mistake of his intentions being misinterpreted by mere man (The bible explains a merciful/wrathful god and a peaceful/war general like Jesus.)  What is one suppose to think?  All I can make of the bible is it seems pretty silly, and why it and not the Quran as truth.  I've read alote of the Quran, same kinda stuff as the bible (families/stories/laws/god talking etc...) but with a little more "join or die" colour to it.

You and I are mere men, and so subject to the possibility of misinterpretation of everything, not just The Bible. The Quran is obviously man made propaganda. The Bible is far more intellectually honest and fair. Historically and archaeologically demonstrable. The Pirque Aboth and Nihongi are secular histories. The Dhammapada is the path of the teachings of Buddha, but the earliest writings of the teachings of Buddha came no less than 500 to 1,000 years later and the Bhagavad-Gita is instruction on sanatana dharma (law and order) of the sampradayas (sects). Mythology. The Tao Te Ching was Li Erh's rejection of the world in a period of time known as The Warring States period. A simple approach to nature. By the time of Chuang Tzu it had become about mysticism and immortality.

 

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
So why Jehovah?  Is that the name that god refers to as  himself? Is Jehovah's just mans word for the only true god?  Does that then mean that the same guys in the Quran as the Bible are referring to Jehovah and not Allah?  Are they the same god?

I'm going to answer your question specifically regarding the name in detail when I address iwbiek's post in this thread in response to you. Are Allah and Jehovah the same? No, Allah is God in Arabic, and it corresponds to the Hebrew Elohim, a plural of majesty of elohah (god). Over time the Jews developed a superstitious fear of the Name Jehovah and it was replaced with the generic term Adhonai (lord). When you see LORD, with all upper case, that is where Jehovah the personal name of the God of Israel originally appeared. You should know all of this.

 

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Iguess the question is why adhere to these books that are so specific.  Just be a good person, a wise/rational/good god couldn't possibly care if you were a Muslim or a Christian or an Atheist as long as you loved your family and tried to make good decisions to do the right thing everyday and had a good heart.  I guess I just find this to be a more rational theistic position:  That their is a god, and we should be as good people as we can, take care of our world, don't "wait around" for some rapture and if their right and there is a good god he would welcome you.  As soon as someone starts picking apart these holy books to make them seem divine, and even more divine than others I just find it like they're kicking water uphill. 

 

They all attempt to get something. Either the truth or power, money, fame, insanity. There is far more to it than a politicized morality. God's law is written in all of our hearts - morality isn't an issue. It isn't about being "good."


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4198
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
David Henson wrote:The

David Henson wrote:

The Dhammapada is the path of the teachings of Buddha, but the earliest writings of the teachings of Buddha came no less than 500 to 1,000 years later and the Bhagavad-Gita is instruction on sanatana dharma (law and order) of the sampradayas (sects). Mythology. The Tao Te Ching was Li Erh's rejection of the world in a period of time known as The Warring States period. A simple approach to nature. By the time of Chuang Tzu it had become about mysticism and immortality.

 

as i've pointed out before, in mainstream hinduism the bhagavad gita is devotional literature, not scripture.  and i contest the idea that it deals with sampradayas but rather with the three yogas.  it seems to me that it comes down firmly on bhakti yoga as the best and most practicable choice for human beings.  regardless, as it's not in the vedas, it's inappropriate to use it as a comparison with the bible and quran.

taoism is a specialty of mine.  first of all, as daisetz suzuki strongly contested the notion that zen was any type of mysticism, i contend that this applies even more-so to philosophical taoism, unless we're willing to convolute mysticism until it means nothing more than any contemplative tradition.  second of all, while the stories of legendary sages are not present in the lao tzu as they are in the chuang tzu, i see no reason to view chuang tzu as a vulgarization of taoism.  chuang tzu, like the confucians, seems to doubt that humanity can ever attain to the state of ancient humanity again, so i don't think it's about attaining immortality or magical powers in any literal sense.  rather, it's a collection of instructional fables propogating and, to a lesser degree, popularizing the quietistic philosophy of lao tzu in a further reaction against the rigidity of li-worship codified by post-mencius confucianism.  it's not only a "simple approach to nature," but a simple approach to human society and even government as well.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


NoMoreCrazyPeople
atheistSuperfan
NoMoreCrazyPeople's picture
Posts: 969
Joined: 2009-10-14
User is offlineOffline
David Henson wrote: No, and

David Henson wrote:

 

No, and I've noticed that atheists, skeptics etc. have a habit of doing that. "I would imagine that if there was a god and he was _____ and ____ he would do exactly as I would like to imagine he would." At first this may appear to be an appeasement to whatever remains intact of the sensibility in religious thinking (for what it is worth, almost nothing) but it is more likely a reflection of the atheistic idealism which is certainly no more certain or factual than blind belief.

 

  I don't see anything wrong with doing this.  It's simple if god is ______ and _____ then he would act accordingly like a being that was ____and____.  All your saying is man doesn't properly understand ____ and ____ so man wouldn't properly understand god's way of being _____ and _____.  And therefor stating "it is confusing for me that apparently god is _____ and _____ but his actions don't seem to reflect that", and that that this is somehow blind.   I hate this argument, I won't entertain the idea that a wise god expected me to not use this brain he gave me to make sense of things. 

 

David Henson wrote:

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
I'd think he would want to show me that he is good, and wise, and rational and make no mistake of his intentions being misinterpreted by mere man (The bible explains a merciful/wrathful god and a peaceful/war general like Jesus.)  What is one suppose to think?  All I can make of the bible is it seems pretty silly, and why it and not the Quran as truth.  I've read alote of the Quran, same kinda stuff as the bible (families/stories/laws/god talking etc...) but with a little more "join or die" colour to it.

You and I are mere men, and so subject to the possibility of misinterpretation of everything, not just The Bible. The Quran is obviously man made propaganda. The Bible is far more intellectually honest and fair. Historically and archaeologically demonstrable.

So that makes it truth?  I agree the Quran is a poorer piece of literature, more incoherent and violent and obviously is a younger book, but to me that doesn't=bible is truth.  Their are truths in the bible, but that doesn't mean their was really talking snakes.  As far as human misinterpretation of "god's" holy books, I find this argument to be completely bunk.  I only am a human, I can't be anything else, I only have my human eyes, and human brain that you say god gave me.  To say god inspired a book that would represent him to humans, and allowed it to be filled with upsurdities and bs that he knew many humans using their brains would find undevine, and then say "your well functioning human eyes and human brains that god gave you aren't understanding the message that god inspired for you the human to understand," simply wont do for me.      

David Henson wrote:

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
So why Jehovah?  Is that the name that god refers to as  himself? Is Jehovah's just mans word for the only true god?  Does that then mean that the same guys in the Quran as the Bible are referring to Jehovah and not Allah?  Are they the same god?

I'm going to answer your question specifically regarding the name in detail when I address iwbiek's post in this thread in response to you. Are Allah and Jehovah the same? No, Allah is God in Arabic, and it corresponds to the Hebrew Elohim, a plural of majesty of elohah (god). Over time the Jews developed a superstitious fear of the Name Jehovah and it was replaced with the generic term Adhonai (lord). When you see LORD, with all upper case, that is where Jehovah the personal name of the God of Israel originally appeared. You should know all of this.

  Haha "you should know all of this,"  Oh should I?  Do you not remember conversing with me a few days back about my Jehovah's Witness upbringing, I am fully aware of the fact Jehovah's named was changed to "god" and "lord".  It's one of their favorite things to tell people.  That was infact the point of my question was to get this exact response.  So why Jehovah?  And you say because it is the original name from your research or something along these lines.  And I wonder, why does that make it any more true?  Why is older, or original, or "these guys said it before these guys changed it" = it must be true.  I have no problem with someone who just believes in a god and leaves it at that.  But  I guess I'll never understand how rational people can pick a name for god from their research into other people picking names for god.  And then go further to say they get him and others don't.  It's seems so arrogant and dellusional to me, atleast it is surely strange.   

 

   


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
Taoism

iwbiek, 

In 1956 Mao Tse-tung paraphrased an expression of Chinese scholars: 'Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools contend.' This expression deals with the period of Chinese history called the Warring States period, a time from about 1122 - 256 B.C.E. when the mighty Chou dynasty had deteriorated into a loosely bound system of feudal states engaged in continuous warfare. It was a burden upon the common people.

The authority of the traditional ruling class was weakened by the constant turmoil and suffering and the people were getting tired of the whims of the aristocracy. Long suppressed ideas and aspirations burst forth like a "hundred flowers." Ideas on law, social order, government, music, agriculture, literature, conduct and ethics became known as the "hundred schools."

Two of these schools of thought endured and influenced life in China for over 2,000 years. Taoism and Confucianism.

The Tao, which means the way, road or path, but can also mean the principle, method or doctrine, was a sort of harmony or orderliness in the universe - a sort of will of heaven itself over any divine will other than the universe itself. A providence rather than a Creator serves as a divine will or legislation.

The belief that there is a natural and correct way to do anything and everything and that everyone has a proper place and function. For example, if a ruler performed his duty and dealt justly with the people - looking after the sacrificial rituals pertaining to heaven, then peace and prosperity would prevail over the nation. If the people also played their part of the Tao and followed it there would be harmonious peace. But if they resisted it there would be chaos and disaster.

Chinese philosophical and religious thinking was greatly influenced by the Tao, and Taoism and Confucianism seemed to actually be two different expressions of the same concept. Something I always thought was kind of interesting. Tao was mystical and advocated inaction, quietness and passivity. It was a shunning of society and a return to nature. Everything will come out right if people sit back, do nothing and let nature take its course.

Confucianism, on the other hand, was more pragmatic, teaching that social order would be maintained when the people set about their intended role and duty. Ruler-subject; father-son; husband-wife; etc. It provided guidelines for these positions.

Lao-tzu, meaning "Old Master" or "Old One" was the founder of Taoism. He was said to have lived in the sixth century B.C.E. though that is uncertain. The reason for the title Lao-tzu is mythical more than anything. He is said to have been carried by his mother so long before he was born that his hair had already turned white by the time of his birth. Myth? Ya' think?

Actually, Li Erh, the more practical sounding founder of Taoism known later as Lao-tzu, can be found in the Shih Chi, or historical records by Ssu-ma Chien, a respected court historian of the second and first centuries B.C.E.. Li Erh was a clerk in the imperial archives at Loyang, central China. It says:

"Lao Tzu resided in Chou most of his life. When he foresaw the decay of Chou, he departed and came to the frontier. The custom-house officer Yin Hsi said: 'Sir, since it pleases you to retire, I request you for my sake to write a book.' Thereupon Lao Tzu wrote a book of two parts consisting of five thousand and odd words, in which he discussed the concepts of the Way [Tao] and the Power [Te]. Then he departed. No one knows where he died."

Most scholars doubt the authenticity of the account, but the book known as Tao Te Ching ( "The Classic of the Way and the Power" ) is considered the primary text of Taoism. If you actually compare various translations, even just those online, you see that the change of some characters and their meanings have caused a great deal of confusion regarding the various interpretations. It is almost as if the meaning of the text is completely up for grabs with no possible way to fairly guess the original meaning.

Taoism's second sage was Chuang Chou, or Chuang-Tzu. Master Chuang. (369-286 B.C.E). He elaborated upon the Tao as well as introduced the yin and yang of the I Ching to Taoism. The common people remember him best by this, from a dream: "Once Chuang Chou dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering about, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Chuang Chou. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Chuang Chou. But he didn't know if he was Chuang Chou who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Chuang Chou."
Lao-tzu didn't make an issue of agelessness and resilience, but some of the texts of the Tao Te Ching may have suggested this theme which was later expanded upon by Chuang-Tzu and much later still by later Taoist religionists. It began to evolve into a possible means of tapping into the secrets of nature and heaven and becoming immune to physical harm, diseases and death.

Taoist started experimenting with meditation, breathing exercises, and dieting. Methods thought to delay aging and death. Legends of immortals who could fly on clouds and disappear at will and who lived on sacred mountains or remote islands began to circulate. Chinese history tells of the Chin emperor, Shih Huang-Ti, who sent a fleet of ships with 3,000 boys and girls to find the legendary island of P'eng-lai, the abode of the immortals, in order to bring back the herb of immortality. They didn't find it but it is thought that they populated the islands later known as Japan.

It was during the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E. - 220 C.E.) that Taoism began to practice magic in full force. Emperor Wu Ti, though promoting Confucianism as the official State teaching, had been attracted to the Taoist idea of immortality. Such as the 'immortality pills' developed by the Alchemist Taoist - by fusing lead (dark, or yin) and mercury (bright, or yang) they though they were imitating the process of nature. Mercury and Lead.
They developed magic talismans that could render one invisible and invulnerable, to walk on water or fly through space. Then the magic spells of yin-yang on buildings and doorways to repel evil spirits and wild beasts.

When, by the second century C.E. Chang Ling or Chang Tao-ling, established a Taoist secret society in western China, practicing magical cures and alchemy Taoism had already transmogrified from a philosophy to an organized religion. In this society each member was levied a fee of five pecks of rice, and so became known as wu-tou-mi tao (Five Pecks of Rice Taoism).

Chang Ling claimed to have received a personal revelation from Lao-tzu. He was the first "Celestial Master!"

Anyway ... ol' Chang wouldn't be around for long, 'cause he succeeded in making the elixir of life and ascended alive to heaven, riding upon a tiger from Mount Lung-hu (Dragon-Tiger Mountain) in Kiangsi Province. The reincarnation of Chang began! An order of "Celestial Masters" reincarnated from Chang began.

During the Tang dynasty (618 - 907 C.E.) Buddhism started to challenge Taoism in Chinese religious life. To counter this Taoism started to dig deep into the roots of Chinese folklore and religious tradition. Lao-tzu was deified, Taoist texts were canonized, Temples, monasteries and nunneries were erected, much in the Buddhist fashion. Taoism adapted a pantheon of gods, goddesses, and fairies - from folklore the Eight Immortals (Pa Hsien), god of the hearth (Tsao Shen), City gods (Cheng Huang and guardians of the door (Men Shen).

Taoism became an amalgam of elements of Buddhism, Superstition, Spiritism, Ancestor Worship and even Christianity. Priests for hire from your favorite branch of gods and goddesses to protect against evil at funerals, homes and businesses. They celebrate festivals and perform rituals.
That's religion for ya' folks. Truth burried deep beneath a sea of bullshit. No longer truth.

 


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4198
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
David Henson

David Henson wrote:

iwbiek, 

In 1956 Mao Tse-tung paraphrased an expression of Chinese scholars: 'Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools contend.' This expression deals with the period of Chinese history called the Warring States period, a time from about 1122 - 256 B.C.E. when the mighty Chou dynasty had deteriorated into a loosely bound system of feudal states engaged in continuous warfare. It was a burden upon the common people.

The authority of the traditional ruling class was weakened by the constant turmoil and suffering and the people were getting tired of the whims of the aristocracy. Long suppressed ideas and aspirations burst forth like a "hundred flowers." Ideas on law, social order, government, music, agriculture, literature, conduct and ethics became known as the "hundred schools."

Two of these schools of thought endured and influenced life in China for over 2,000 years. Taoism and Confucianism.

The Tao, which means the way, road or path, but can also mean the principle, method or doctrine, was a sort of harmony or orderliness in the universe - a sort of will of heaven itself over any divine will other than the universe itself. A providence rather than a Creator serves as a divine will or legislation.

The belief that there is a natural and correct way to do anything and everything and that everyone has a proper place and function. For example, if a ruler performed his duty and dealt justly with the people - looking after the sacrificial rituals pertaining to heaven, then peace and prosperity would prevail over the nation. If the people also played their part of the Tao and followed it there would be harmonious peace. But if they resisted it there would be chaos and disaster.

Chinese philosophical and religious thinking was greatly influenced by the Tao, and Taoism and Confucianism seemed to actually be two different expressions of the same concept. Something I always thought was kind of interesting. Tao was mystical and advocated inaction, quietness and passivity. It was a shunning of society and a return to nature. Everything will come out right if people sit back, do nothing and let nature take its course.

Confucianism, on the other hand, was more pragmatic, teaching that social order would be maintained when the people set about their intended role and duty. Ruler-subject; father-son; husband-wife; etc. It provided guidelines for these positions.

Lao-tzu, meaning "Old Master" or "Old One" was the founder of Taoism. He was said to have lived in the sixth century B.C.E. though that is uncertain. The reason for the title Lao-tzu is mythical more than anything. He is said to have been carried by his mother so long before he was born that his hair had already turned white by the time of his birth. Myth? Ya' think?

Actually, Li Erh, the more practical sounding founder of Taoism known later as Lao-tzu, can be found in the Shih Chi, or historical records by Ssu-ma Chien, a respected court historian of the second and first centuries B.C.E.. Li Erh was a clerk in the imperial archives at Loyang, central China. It says:

"Lao Tzu resided in Chou most of his life. When he foresaw the decay of Chou, he departed and came to the frontier. The custom-house officer Yin Hsi said: 'Sir, since it pleases you to retire, I request you for my sake to write a book.' Thereupon Lao Tzu wrote a book of two parts consisting of five thousand and odd words, in which he discussed the concepts of the Way [Tao] and the Power [Te]. Then he departed. No one knows where he died."

Most scholars doubt the authenticity of the account, but the book known as Tao Te Ching ( "The Classic of the Way and the Power" ) is considered the primary text of Taoism. If you actually compare various translations, even just those online, you see that the change of some characters and their meanings have caused a great deal of confusion regarding the various interpretations. It is almost as if the meaning of the text is completely up for grabs with no possible way to fairly guess the original meaning.

Taoism's second sage was Chuang Chou, or Chuang-Tzu. Master Chuang. (369-286 B.C.E). He elaborated upon the Tao as well as introduced the yin and yang of the I Ching to Taoism. The common people remember him best by this, from a dream: "Once Chuang Chou dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering about, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Chuang Chou. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Chuang Chou. But he didn't know if he was Chuang Chou who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Chuang Chou."
Lao-tzu didn't make an issue of agelessness and resilience, but some of the texts of the Tao Te Ching may have suggested this theme which was later expanded upon by Chuang-Tzu and much later still by later Taoist religionists. It began to evolve into a possible means of tapping into the secrets of nature and heaven and becoming immune to physical harm, diseases and death.

Taoist started experimenting with meditation, breathing exercises, and dieting. Methods thought to delay aging and death. Legends of immortals who could fly on clouds and disappear at will and who lived on sacred mountains or remote islands began to circulate. Chinese history tells of the Chin emperor, Shih Huang-Ti, who sent a fleet of ships with 3,000 boys and girls to find the legendary island of P'eng-lai, the abode of the immortals, in order to bring back the herb of immortality. They didn't find it but it is thought that they populated the islands later known as Japan.

It was during the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E. - 220 C.E.) that Taoism began to practice magic in full force. Emperor Wu Ti, though promoting Confucianism as the official State teaching, had been attracted to the Taoist idea of immortality. Such as the 'immortality pills' developed by the Alchemist Taoist - by fusing lead (dark, or yin) and mercury (bright, or yang) they though they were imitating the process of nature. Mercury and Lead.
They developed magic talismans that could render one invisible and invulnerable, to walk on water or fly through space. Then the magic spells of yin-yang on buildings and doorways to repel evil spirits and wild beasts.

When, by the second century C.E. Chang Ling or Chang Tao-ling, established a Taoist secret society in western China, practicing magical cures and alchemy Taoism had already transmogrified from a philosophy to an organized religion. In this society each member was levied a fee of five pecks of rice, and so became known as wu-tou-mi tao (Five Pecks of Rice Taoism).

Chang Ling claimed to have received a personal revelation from Lao-tzu. He was the first "Celestial Master!"

Anyway ... ol' Chang wouldn't be around for long, 'cause he succeeded in making the elixir of life and ascended alive to heaven, riding upon a tiger from Mount Lung-hu (Dragon-Tiger Mountain) in Kiangsi Province. The reincarnation of Chang began! An order of "Celestial Masters" reincarnated from Chang began.

During the Tang dynasty (618 - 907 C.E.) Buddhism started to challenge Taoism in Chinese religious life. To counter this Taoism started to dig deep into the roots of Chinese folklore and religious tradition. Lao-tzu was deified, Taoist texts were canonized, Temples, monasteries and nunneries were erected, much in the Buddhist fashion. Taoism adapted a pantheon of gods, goddesses, and fairies - from folklore the Eight Immortals (Pa Hsien), god of the hearth (Tsao Shen), City gods (Cheng Huang and guardians of the door (Men Shen).

Taoism became an amalgam of elements of Buddhism, Superstition, Spiritism, Ancestor Worship and even Christianity. Priests for hire from your favorite branch of gods and goddesses to protect against evil at funerals, homes and businesses. They celebrate festivals and perform rituals.
That's religion for ya' folks. Truth burried deep beneath a sea of bullshit. No longer truth.

 

 

is there a point to all this, david?  i said taoism is a specialty of mine.  so is buddhism as a matter of fact.  so is chinese history as a matter of fact.  i made a very specific argument that i disagreed with what seemed to be your assertion that chuang tzu marked the degradation of philosophical taoism into religious or superstitious taoism (if i misread you, please just say that and be done with it).  i would kindly ask you to restrict your response to addressing that argument as concisely as possible, if you wish to respond at all.  to confront me with a wall of text that reads like a synopsis of an introductory textbook in the history of chinese thought is entirely unnecessary, and the obvious implication it makes about me is quite franklky insulting.  i thought i had made it quite clear that i do not make assertions when i'm not at least moderately proficient in the background, nor would i have bothered to make the assertion if i had not been confident that you were at least moderately proficient in the background. 

 

 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
JonathanBC wrote:Just to

JonathanBC wrote:

Just to keep this thread going, I'll follow along with your definition. I can do that, because I do indeed deny religion even by how you would define it. Do I believe the sun will rise tomorrow? Yes, right now I believe so. But it is possible, however unlikely, that a black hole could envelop the Earth in the next twelve hours or so. I also believe if I throw a ball up, it will come down. If dark matter suddenly ceased to exist, there wouldn't be enough gravity to bring my ball back to me. I'd revise my belief. So why doesn't this count as religion? Because I can't think of a single statement that I will always, under all circumstances believe. Nothing is figuratively set in stone.

Then, would you say that it is possible that your beliefs regarding God could change?

JonathanBC wrote:
For example, I don't deny that the Divine Comedy seriously impacted the cultural relevance and perception of Hell, especially in art. However, I get the feeling you would put more weight in it than I. The same goes doubly for Christmas and Dickens. But I'll stop here as I don't mean to stray far from the topic at hand.

Those things had a more profound influence on Christian theology than culturally, although in the case of Dickens the culture was more profoundly Christian and Christmas was more a cultural experience than a Christian one whereas hell would be primarily Christian. Take, however, Constantine's influence of Christianity in the case of the cross. Mons Perret spent 14 years researching the catacombs of Rome, counting 11,000 inscriptions and concluded that "not until the latter years of the fourth century does the sign of the cross appear." Dean Burgon's Letters from Rome agree, reading: "I question whether a cross occurs on any Christian monument of the first four centuries."

 --------------------------------------------------

My primary focus on religion, however, is a tired one for most atheists, namely; that atheism is religion!

 


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:  I

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

  I don't see anything wrong with doing this.  It's simple if god is ______ and _____ then he would act accordingly like a being that was ____and____.  All your saying is man doesn't properly understand ____ and ____ so man wouldn't properly understand god's way of being _____ and _____.  And therefor stating "it is confusing for me that apparently god is _____ and _____ but his actions don't seem to reflect that", and that that this is somehow blind.   I hate this argument, I won't entertain the idea that a wise god expected me to not use this brain he gave me to make sense of things. 

I don't have a problem with someone saying if god is _____ and _____ then he would act accordingly like a being that was ____ and _____. What you said earlier was . . .

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
I do find it hard to understand how rational people choose a certain god, name, holy book over others.  I would imagine if their was a god and he was good and rational he'd probably think these holy books are all kooky don't you think?

This seems, to me, like someone saying "I think that if NoMoreCrazyPeople were good and rational he'd love God the Father and The Son and he would think those atheists are all kooks." That sort of remark doesn't mean jack shit. If I want to know what NoMoreCrazyPeople thinks about that subject I don't want my or anyone else's speculation, I want to hear it from you. Not to mention that my own personal opinion regarding who is good and rational doesn't depend exclusively upon whether a person believes in God, but for someone else that might be different. You are pigeonholing the concept of a god based upon your own opinion which has nothing to do with using your brain he gave you to make sense of things. It's an emotional justification at the least and at its worst a judgmental slanderous assumption. 

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
So that makes it truth?  I agree the Quran is a poorer piece of literature, more incoherent and violent and obviously is a younger book, but to me that doesn't=bible is truth.

No, I agree, but to me that is a personal conclusion. The Bible is truth, the Quran isn't. It is a personal responsibility for me and I don't expect everyone to agree. Everyone makes up their own mind. For me this isn't based upon choice, but for some people it is.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Haha "you should know all of this,"  Oh should I?  Do you not remember conversing with me a few days back about my Jehovah's Witness upbringing, I am fully aware of the fact Jehovah's named was changed to "god" and "lord".  It's one of their favorite things to tell people.  That was in fact the point of my question was to get this exact response.  So why Jehovah?  And you say because it is the original name from your research or something along these lines.  And I wonder, why does that make it any more true?  Why is older, or original, or "these guys said it before these guys changed it" = it must be true.  I have no problem with someone who just believes in a god and leaves it at that.  But  I guess I'll never understand how rational people can pick a name for god from their research into other people picking names for god.  And then go further to say they get him and others don't.  It's seems so arrogant and dellusional to me, atleast it is surely strange. 

That doesn't make any sense to me at all. If my name is David Henson but for some stupid reason everyone decided that to say David Henson was wrong I would still be David Henson.  

 

   


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:is there a

iwbiek wrote:

is there a point to all this, david?  i said taoism is a specialty of mine.  so is buddhism as a matter of fact.  so is chinese history as a matter of fact.  i made a very specific argument that i disagreed with what seemed to be your assertion that chuang tzu marked the degradation of philosophical taoism into religious or superstitious taoism (if i misread you, please just say that and be done with it).  i would kindly ask you to restrict your response to addressing that argument as concisely as possible, if you wish to respond at all.  to confront me with a wall of text that reads like a synopsis of an introductory textbook in the history of chinese thought is entirely unnecessary, and the obvious implication it makes about me is quite franklky insulting.  i thought i had made it quite clear that i do not make assertions when i'm not at least moderately proficient in the background, nor would i have bothered to make the assertion if i had not been confident that you were at least moderately proficient in the background. 

You told me what Daisetz Suzuki thought about it and I told you what I think about it, sorry if you find that insulting but you better get used to it.


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4198
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
David Henson wrote:iwbiek

David Henson wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

is there a point to all this, david?  i said taoism is a specialty of mine.  so is buddhism as a matter of fact.  so is chinese history as a matter of fact.  i made a very specific argument that i disagreed with what seemed to be your assertion that chuang tzu marked the degradation of philosophical taoism into religious or superstitious taoism (if i misread you, please just say that and be done with it).  i would kindly ask you to restrict your response to addressing that argument as concisely as possible, if you wish to respond at all.  to confront me with a wall of text that reads like a synopsis of an introductory textbook in the history of chinese thought is entirely unnecessary, and the obvious implication it makes about me is quite franklky insulting.  i thought i had made it quite clear that i do not make assertions when i'm not at least moderately proficient in the background, nor would i have bothered to make the assertion if i had not been confident that you were at least moderately proficient in the background. 

You told me what Daisetz Suzuki thought about it and I told you what I think about it, sorry if you find that insulting but you better get used to it.

well, of all the things you told me, that's the one thing i didn't see.  i didn't see you venture any working definition of "mysticism" and why zen buddhism and/or taoism fits that definition.  all you did was give me an unwieldy mass of basic historical info, most of which i'm already familiar with (hence being a bit insulted) and the rest of which i can easily look up if i find it necessary.  if you did have your ideas buried in there somewhere, i'd be much obliged if you'd excavate them and put them on display.  otherwise, rather than "get used to it" i'll just end the exchange.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


NoMoreCrazyPeople
atheistSuperfan
NoMoreCrazyPeople's picture
Posts: 969
Joined: 2009-10-14
User is offlineOffline
David Henson wrote:I don't

David Henson wrote:

I don't have a problem with someone saying if god is _____ and _____ then he would act accordingly like a being that was ____ and _____. What you said earlier was . . .

"

I do find it hard to understand how rational people choose a certain god, name, holy book over others.  I would imagine if their was a god and he was good and rational he'd probably think these holy books are all kooky don't you think"

 

And...  The bible is all over the place, full of upsurtities and non-sense.  So If god was rational one would assume he would find atleast those passages kooky.  No?  He's cool with all the non-sense in his book, he's cool with all the upsurtities, well then he couldn't be that rational.   Could you give me some examplesi in the bible I may have missed that are real examples of devine knowledge something I couldn't confuse with man made jargain.

 

David Henson wrote:
 

The Bible is truth, the Quran isn't.

Why, because you like it better?

 

David Henson wrote:
 

It is a personal responsibility for me and I don't expect everyone to agree. Everyone makes up their own mind. For me this isn't based upon choice, but for some people it is.

And it is not my choice that I can't find any logic in a devine wise rational being being represented by these strange and upsurd holy book/s.  I've tried hard to see it, I can't.  It just doesn't make any sense. 

 

 

David Henson wrote:
 

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Haha "you should know all of this,"  Oh should I?  Do you not remember conversing with me a few days back about my Jehovah's Witness upbringing, I am fully aware of the fact Jehovah's named was changed to "god" and "lord".  It's one of their favorite things to tell people.  That was in fact the point of my question was to get this exact response.  So why Jehovah?  And you say because it is the original name from your research or something along these lines.  And I wonder, why does that make it any more true?  Why is older, or original, or "these guys said it before these guys changed it" = it must be true.  I have no problem with someone who just believes in a god and leaves it at that.  But  I guess I'll never understand how rational people can pick a name for god from their research into other people picking names for god.  And then go further to say they get him and others don't.  It's seems so arrogant and dellusional to me, atleast it is surely strange. 

That doesn't make any sense to me at all. If my name is David Henson but for some stupid reason everyone decided that to say David Henson was wrong I would still be David Henson.  

 

  Ok, you win, Jehovah is the only tue god, all you have lead me too is a god that really just seems like an ass.  This god is such a bummer, he seems to like the smell of burnt flesh, and is obsest with virgins and sex and genitals (never understood the hole religions obsession with sex thing), he seems to use alote of violence and do alote of nutty things, he gets jealous and feels wrath.  This god sucks!  If their is a god it would be nice if he had a sense of humor, could be sarcastic, and was HUMBLE and wasn't such a "Worship me or DIE!!!!!" kinda guy. You know.  This Jehovah guy just seems like a wanker with little mans syndrom, he needs to chill out.      

 


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:well, of all

iwbiek wrote:

well, of all the things you told me, that's the one thing i didn't see.  i didn't see you venture any working definition of "mysticism" and why zen buddhism and/or taoism fits that definition.  all you did was give me an unwieldy mass of basic historical info, most of which i'm already familiar with (hence being a bit insulted) and the rest of which i can easily look up if i find it necessary.  if you did have your ideas buried in there somewhere, i'd be much obliged if you'd excavate them and put them on display.  otherwise, rather than "get used to it" i'll just end the exchange.

Well, I don't know what to make of this, iwbiek. You mentioned mysticism and zen buddhism and or taoism, which I thought was a bit odd, but I don't have any problem with it. If you are looking for a detailed discussion on that subject you are talking to the wrong guy. I gave you a brief history of Taoism, but that is all I know about it. Actually I wrote that years ago on another atheist forum when I was so drunk I couldn't even speak. I later polished it up somewhat and included it as a brief history of Taoism on my Earthling website which no longer exists. There I also published on line, of course, the Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tzu, along with the Dhammapada and a discourse on the Four Noble Truths by the Venerable . . . someone, the latter which I enjoyed very much, as well as a brief history of Buddhism which is lost.

Uh, if you want to tell me something about mysticism regarding Buddhism and Taoism you are more than welcome to do so, I would find it interesting but I'm not going to argue with you about it. I don't quite get how anyone could read the Tao Te Ching and the Chuang Tzu and not say that the latter wasn't leaning far more to mysticism than the former but maybe you and Suzuki know something I don't. I'm keen to learn. Of course, I've never known anything that could have such a varied translation as the Tao Te Ching.


JonathanBC
Posts: 139
Joined: 2010-01-28
User is offlineOffline
David Henson wrote:Then,

David Henson wrote:

Then, would you say that it is possible that your beliefs regarding God could change?

Absolutely. You'll not find me saying anything to the contrary. I've denied the holy spirit, so if your God is real, he'd be pretty pissed at me. But yes, I'd be a fool to state definitively "there is no God." I'd rate it right up there with gravity stopping, in terms of likeliness. It could happen though, and things could happen that make me believe in a God or Gods.

Tell me, David, how does atheism qualify as a religion under your definition? I don't want to give you a canned response here, but I don't understand your logic. What strict rules are there in atheism? Why wouldn't that count the same to the religion of the beachfront cafe I mentioned before? Three questions. Shouldn't be hard to answer.


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
JonathanBC wrote:Tell me,

JonathanBC wrote:

Tell me, David, how does atheism qualify as a religion under your definition? I don't want to give you a canned response here, but I don't understand your logic. What strict rules are there in atheism? Why wouldn't that count the same to the religion of the beachfront cafe I mentioned before? Three questions. Shouldn't be hard to answer.

I should have clarified that. I find myself trying to respond to more than I have time to clarify. Most atheism doesn't appear to me to be at all like religion. Most atheists are content in disbelief and care not at all to discuss or debate it. They seldom give it a moment's notice. The very small percentage of atheists who are more vocal in their approach, those who I refer to as the "militant atheists" who post on message boards defending their disbelief and attacking the beliefs of others, who put up billboards and have bumber stickers and buy books and attend lectures by the likes of Dawkins, Hitchins, and Harris are, in my opinion, religious in nature. Religious like.


JonathanBC
Posts: 139
Joined: 2010-01-28
User is offlineOffline
David, don't be ridiculous.

David, don't be ridiculous. You defined religion as "a strict system of rules" now you've edited your post to say "a strict system of beliefs." I'm holding you to what you said, you can't get out of it by editing your reply. It's morally reprehensible and makes this entire discussion pointless if we can go back and change our words.

You're trying to make this thread look like you're not a complete idiot. It isn't working. By your definition made in your own free will, atheism is nothing like a religion. It doesn't fit. There isn't a set of rules or beliefs for atheists.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Posts: 7580
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
The one on one forum is

The one on one forum is broken right now, and I'm bogged down with the real life jobs and can't get to it.  Sorry.  

Please donate to one of these highly rated charities to help impede the GOP attack on America 2017-2019.

Support our activism efforts by making your Amazon purchases via this link.


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
Sapient wrote:The one on one

Sapient wrote:

The one on one forum is broken right now, and I'm bogged down with the real life jobs and can't get to it.  Sorry.  

No worries. Completely understandable. This seems to do in a pinch.


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
JonathanBC wrote:David,

JonathanBC wrote:

David, don't be ridiculous. You defined religion as "a strict system of rules" now you've edited your post to say "a strict system of beliefs." I'm holding you to what you said, you can't get out of it by editing your reply. It's morally reprehensible and makes this entire discussion pointless if we can go back and change our words.

You're trying to make this thread look like you're not a complete idiot. It isn't working. By your definition made in your own free will, atheism is nothing like a religion. It doesn't fit. There isn't a set of rules or beliefs for atheists.

I have never, ever, said said that religion was a strict system of rules. That is just stupid. I didn't edit the post to change it because I never said it. You kept saying that and I allowed it, but I really don't think that I would have had to changed that to be any less of an idiot in anyone's mind here, my definition of religion can do that quite well on it's own, thank you very much.

However . . . I have said everything I need to say on the topic of religion, so unless you have anything to add I will concede this first round gladly to you, as I had intended to do from the start. I had a point, I knew I didn't want to labor it, just make it so I concede. Next Friday . . . The Atheist Agenda, which I will also concede more than likely.


JonathanBC
Posts: 139
Joined: 2010-01-28
User is offlineOffline
I didn't expect a winner or

I didn't expect a winner or loser or scorekeeper or any such thing, but okay. Before moving on, you've still not answered a question I've laid out many times. Given your definition of religion, how does atheism meet that criteria? Any group of atheists, "militant" or not. You'd probably put me in that category, as I've done myself. I'm on this forum, after all. But even in the fringe atheist groups, even in the absolute most proactive, what strict set of rules or beliefs is there? That's your definition. By which, I stress again, tens of thousands of secular groups or social groups fall under. Every social movement or political party becomes a religion to you. One of the few demographics without a strict set of anything is atheism. If you can address this, and tell me what I believe, I'm willing to move on. I just want an answer because I've asked so many times in so many ways.


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
JonathanBC wrote:I didn't

JonathanBC wrote:

I didn't expect a winner or loser or scorekeeper or any such thing, but okay. Before moving on, you've still not answered a question I've laid out many times. Given your definition of religion, how does atheism meet that criteria? Any group of atheists, "militant" or not. You'd probably put me in that category, as I've done myself. I'm on this forum, after all. But even in the fringe atheist groups, even in the absolute most proactive, what strict set of rules or beliefs is there? That's your definition. By which, I stress again, tens of thousands of secular groups or social groups fall under. Every social movement or political party becomes a religion to you. One of the few demographics without a strict set of anything is atheism. If you can address this, and tell me what I believe, I'm willing to move on. I just want an answer because I've asked so many times in so many ways.

Listen to what I'm about to say, because it sounds ridiculous and irrelevant but it isn't.

The safest way to use a public toilet is to sit directly on the unprotected seat. People, especially women, will go to all sorts of means of protecting or avoiding the seat of the toilet because they think they are protecting themselves when in fact their efforts are counter productive. They will either reach for some cover, the area of which is almost always more contaminated than the actual seat itself or they will actually hoover over the seat so as not to touch it and the contaminated contents of the bowl will splash back on them. They will sit their purse on the floor, which is the most contaminated surface in the restroom, and go back to the restaurant and set their purses on the table where they eat thinking that they have pulled it off. 99% of purses that were tested after leaving a public restroom had fecal matter on them. 

People become indoctrinated into all sorts of silly things, which seems to them the right thing but in fact are emotional fixations. 

Religion, and politics are the most obvious, but it can be absolutely the most mundane things as well. How to go to the bathroom, preparing food - chances are in your home the kitchen is the most unsafe place, far more so than the toilet. Which wine is the best, which art, music, fashion, sports team . . . all of these things, in some people, create religious adoration. Animal rights. Ricky Lake and her animal rights activist group once stormed and vandalized a fur manufacturing establishment without realizing that it was a fake fur manufacturer. People will argue and fight over which wine, music, sports team, sport itself, or political party is THE correct one. Religion is everywhere in everyone in some capacity, because religion is a strict system of beliefs regarding anything. It becomes an emotional attachment and blind to its own corrective measures.

Most atheists are content in disbelieving without any sort of emotional fixation or religiosity, but the militant or fanatical, those outspoken such as yourself and every atheist posting here are extremely religious. More so than most foaming at the mouth Xians or political people. And those are the top 2 religious minded groups. 

You are like religion in almost every single way. In its infancy, yes, but it is a profoundly aggressive infancy. How so? 

Most religious or political minded people know very little about the Bible or political documents and history of that which they strictly adhere to the principles of, and yet due to their emotional attachment will defend it to the death. This makes it obvious that they are emotionally attached to it and that emotional attachment is a very powerful force in their lives. You can't reason with it, you can't demonstrate the flaws in the lack of thought that goes into it because it isn't really, no matter how much the adherent suggests or actually thinks it is, about anything other than that emotional attachment. 

If a neutral party were to read most of my responses to atheists here, and the atheist reaction to it, and weren't put off by my verbosity or vulgarity, they would see this in action on the part of the atheists. To the atheist engaged in battle, their defense or attack seems perfectly logical and reasonable, but in actuality they are just shouting "blah, blah, blah" and thinking they are making perfect sense for 2 very important reasons. Firstly they are, in their own minds, correct in thinking atheism is the truth, the light, the path and more importantly they are attacking the opposition. The defense is most important to the religious or political because if you had nothing to defend against your emotional attachment it would free your mind and you could see the flaws in your thinking and your action. 

When I deal with foam at the mouth fundamental Xians it is the exact same things as dealing with atheists.  


JonathanBC
Posts: 139
Joined: 2010-01-28
User is offlineOffline
I'm happy with that. I got

I'm happy with that. I got what I wanted, which is for you to admit that groups such as animal rights activists are, under your definition, religious. The point I'm trying to get across is that the problem lies in the word religion and all its baggage. To give a similar example, Einstein, Hawking, and other prominent scientists have referred to God in the sense of Spinoza's God. Or alternatively, the electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear, and gravitational forces. My problem is, why call that God? Likewise, why call any strict set of beliefs a religion? You don't have to answer that if you don't want, it's largely rhetorical.

You brought up several other objectionable points, but I think they should be obvious to anybody reading this, so I don't feel a need to go in depth on them. Also, I don't mean to drag this on, if the conversation is finished to you. Suffice it to say, it's an army of straw men. I won't convince you any differently. Hopefully I can get back to a few of these on the next topic when you lay out my agenda for me as an atheist.


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
The Atheist Agenda

JonathanBC wrote:

I'm happy with that. I got what I wanted, which is for you to admit that groups such as animal rights activists are, under your definition, religious. The point I'm trying to get across is that the problem lies in the word religion and all its baggage. To give a similar example, Einstein, Hawking, and other prominent scientists have referred to God in the sense of Spinoza's God. Or alternatively, the electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear, and gravitational forces. My problem is, why call that God? Likewise, why call any strict set of beliefs a religion? You don't have to answer that if you don't want, it's largely rhetorical.

You brought up several other objectionable points, but I think they should be obvious to anybody reading this, so I don't feel a need to go in depth on them. Also, I don't mean to drag this on, if the conversation is finished to you. Suffice it to say, it's an army of straw men. I won't convince you any differently. Hopefully I can get back to a few of these on the next topic when you lay out my agenda for me as an atheist.

What does Richard Dawkins want? What does Christopher Hitchins and Sam Harris want. Besides selling books and getting paid to speak their mind. What do they want? What does The Rational Response Squad want? What does JonathanBC want? What do these people want?

The believer, ideally, wants to spread the good news. I personally want to give attention to the misrepresentation of the Bible, to correct misinterpretation and incorrect assumptions regarding the Bible.

The atheist agenda makes no sense to me as it is presented. That is to say that there is no such thing as a god and to claim the Bible is nonsense. Why devote any amount of time to that?

To me the atheist agenda seems to be to speak out against the political and social domination of Christianity and to a lesser extent, Islam. This seems strange to me because the atheists are so poorly organized. Not only that, but if the political and social majority is religious in nature how could you possibly expect that very system to change itself or to benefit from it in a way which would suit you?

Is it about money? The aforementioned authors are making a fair amount of money, and I've noticed that on most message boards I go to the most likely ones to ask for donations are the atheist ones. On my message board things like Private Messages are free. Here I have to subscribe by donation. But I don't think it is about money.

What is it all about? Abortion, same sex marriage, stem cell research, evolution in schools?


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2929
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
David Henson

David Henson wrote:

JonathanBC wrote:

I'm happy with that. I got what I wanted, which is for you to admit that groups such as animal rights activists are, under your definition, religious. The point I'm trying to get across is that the problem lies in the word religion and all its baggage. To give a similar example, Einstein, Hawking, and other prominent scientists have referred to God in the sense of Spinoza's God. Or alternatively, the electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear, and gravitational forces. My problem is, why call that God? Likewise, why call any strict set of beliefs a religion? You don't have to answer that if you don't want, it's largely rhetorical.

You brought up several other objectionable points, but I think they should be obvious to anybody reading this, so I don't feel a need to go in depth on them. Also, I don't mean to drag this on, if the conversation is finished to you. Suffice it to say, it's an army of straw men. I won't convince you any differently. Hopefully I can get back to a few of these on the next topic when you lay out my agenda for me as an atheist.

What does Richard Dawkins want? What does Christopher Hitchins and Sam Harris want. Besides selling books and getting paid to speak their mind. What do they want? What does The Rational Response Squad want? What does JonathanBC want? What do these people want?

The believer, ideally, wants to spread the good news. I personally want to give attention to the misrepresentation of the Bible, to correct misinterpretation and incorrect assumptions regarding the Bible.

The atheist agenda makes no sense to me as it is presented. That is to say that there is no such thing as a god and to claim the Bible is nonsense. Why devote any amount of time to that?

To me the atheist agenda seems to be to speak out against the political and social domination of Christianity and to a lesser extent, Islam. This seems strange to me because the atheists are so poorly organized. Not only that, but if the political and social majority is religious in nature how could you possibly expect that very system to change itself or to benefit from it in a way which would suit you?

Is it about money? The aforementioned authors are making a fair amount of money, and I've noticed that on most message boards I go to the most likely ones to ask for donations are the atheist ones. On my message board things like Private Messages are free. Here I have to subscribe by donation. But I don't think it is about money.

What is it all about? Abortion, same sex marriage, stem cell research, evolution in schools?

 

Your mistake is to assume there is any overall agenda.  Clearly there is not.  A constant lament of atheist activists with a specific agenda is there is no common ground from one atheist to the next.  Some see theism as a threat to the future of humanity, some don't like living in a theocracy or near theocracy, some just like to fight and feel smug, some see profit, some thing religion and science cannot live side by side and choose science, some don't like the current social stigma attached to atheism and want to make it main stream, some think religion encourages ignorance...there are thousands of reasons and I doubt you will get more than a weak common thread, even on this specific board.

And to top it off, the majority of atheists simply don't care and are not interested in anything beyond their own lives/communities/interests/non-related activisms.  Since atheist does not have any kind of dogma encouraging activism, or even zealotry, most atheists are not interested in being active for any atheist causes.  So asking anything beyond, "What is *your* motivation?" is sort of futile.

 

In case you want to know, my personal motivation is 1) Social stigma.  I hate the fact that atheists in America are one of the most disliked and mistrusted classes.  I hate that I don't feel comfortable admitting my atheism at my workplace.  I hate the fact that a Presidential candidate in America *must* be a theist, and a theist of a specific sort.  2) Fundamentally most religions are about magic, and I think that is a damaging idea.  As a child, I was taught things in the name of religion that are simply wrong.  Outright crap.  Fundamentalist religion can be the antithesis of critical thought.  3) I don't like the fact that so much of the world is governed by religion.  Sharia law, the thread of conservative Christianity in American politics...yuck.

I am not as extreme as some on this board, in that I don't call for the destruction of all religion.  If a theist is 'liberal' enough to 1)  Accept that an atheist (or other type of theist) can be as 'good' as any theist and operates under that principle  2)  Accepts science and rational/skeptical thought as the primary way to discern truth in the universe and is willing to side with science when science contradicts a religious idea  3) Is able to separate politics from religion and public policy and 4) Don't teach their kids that the only way to "truth" is through the religion they inherit...then my objections to theism disappear almost entirely.

 

Of course, the problem with that is when you remove those four things you aren't left with much of a religion.  But every step towards liberalization is a step forward, in my mind.  I would rather live in a world filled with hippie crazies like Deepak Chopra (sp?) and Luminon than Fred Phelps and Jerry Falwell, or any group of theists who wants to create a theocracy and mold the world into the shape of their delusion.

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


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
David Henson wrote: What

David Henson wrote:

What does Richard Dawkins want? What does Christopher Hitchins and Sam Harris want. Besides selling books and getting paid to speak their mind. What do they want? What does The Rational Response Squad want? What does JonathanBC want? What do these people want?

Who knows?  At least some of the people you mentioned have real careers and have published in scientific journals.  Maybe they are tired of all the misrepresentation and deliberate ignorance in the world.

I agree with Jonathan - it must be pretty cushy work not to have to do any real research, to write one opinion paper full of pseudoscience and then get paid for repeating it over and over and over .....

David Henson wrote:

The believer, ideally, wants to spread the good news. I personally want to give attention to the misrepresentation of the Bible, to correct misinterpretation and incorrect assumptions regarding the Bible.

I won't argue with you any more about the bible.  You change what you said in response to the criticisms made of your arguments.  You decide what words mean and use the interpretations that suit your opinions.  I won't play that game and I won't discuss it with you.

David Henson wrote:

The atheist agenda makes no sense to me as it is presented. That is to say that there is no such thing as a god and to claim the Bible is nonsense. Why devote any amount of time to that?

Because so many people use the bible to justify creating laws to criminalize science and victimless crimes.  Because they want to brainwash children to be just like them.  Because they are trying to push their personal agenda on everyone else by law.  In short, because we don't want to live in a theocracy.

David Henson wrote:

To me the atheist agenda seems to be to speak out against the political and social domination of Christianity and to a lesser extent, Islam. This seems strange to me because the atheists are so poorly organized. Not only that, but if the political and social majority is religious in nature how could you possibly expect that very system to change itself or to benefit from it in a way which would suit you?

Is it about money? The aforementioned authors are making a fair amount of money, and I've noticed that on most message boards I go to the most likely ones to ask for donations are the atheist ones. On my message board things like Private Messages are free. Here I have to subscribe by donation. But I don't think it is about money.

What is it all about? Abortion, same sex marriage, stem cell research, evolution in schools?

If you are quoting scripture, people very often just throw money your way.  If not, you gotta ask for money.

For me, it is about fighting against having theocracies.  All those bits - reproductive freedom, homosexuality and equality under the law, science and not pseudoscience - are just pieces of that pie.  Yes, I sincerely believe there are groups of people - not everyone who is theist - who want a theocracy in their version of religion.

Which conjures up a vision of a congress or parliament fighting amongst themselves as to whether the judeo-christian god is three or one.  Or some other point of difference between sects. 

edit: apologies, trying to fix the quotes, I managed to post twice.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Deleted the messed up post

Deleted the messed up post for you.

 

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


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:Deleted the

BobSpence1 wrote:

Deleted the messed up post for you.

 

thanks, I'm not usually so ham-handed. 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
David Henson wrote:The

David Henson wrote:

The believer, ideally, wants to spread the good news. I personally want to give attention to the misrepresentation of the Bible, to correct misinterpretation and incorrect assumptions regarding the Bible.

So why can't you see that at least one motivation for the activist atheist is essentially the same, to correct misrepresentations and misunderstandings of what we personally regard as the ultimate source of truth, knowledge and insight?

Why does the believer's 'agenda' make sense and ours doesn't? 

My commitment to truth, and the search for deeper truths as I see it, is at least as strong as yours, so why can you not see that it makes at least as much sense as yours? We just have very different criteria for judging what is a valid source of fundamental truths - the Bible and religious experience, vs. Science and unfiltered reality itself.

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


JonathanBC
Posts: 139
Joined: 2010-01-28
User is offlineOffline
I've never met Richard

I've never met Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, or Daniel Dennet. I can't speak for them. I assume you've never met Fred Phelps. I wouldn't ask you to speak for him. You have access to the same materials I do by all five of the people I just mentioned. It isn't hard to find their opinions about what they want.

I said before this started, I don't think any atheist agenda exists. Likewise, I don't think there is an overarching Christian agenda. There may be an agenda for smaller groups of Christians, but I'd never claim it to be universal.

All I can offer is my own agenda, which leads me to something important. You claim the "atheist agenda seems to be to speak out against the political and social domination of Christianity and to a lesser extent, Islam." There are two different ways this can be interpreted. If you mean that atheists speak out less against Islam than Christianity, you really don't know us very well at all. I've stated on this forum that if I had the ability to press one button and remove a religion from the face of Earth, it would be Islam. I think it is the most dangerous to society as a whole. You might expect my reasoning to go something like "the Quran is a violent book and Muslim fundamentalists are lately responsible for countless deaths" but no. I think the most pressing issue is the rule of death to apostates. 

Now, the other interpretation is that you mean Christianity dominates politics and society in the West. That's mostly true. I'm just not quite sure what you meant.

RRS has a huge spectrum of opinions and beliefs. Everything from socialism to libertarianism, with everything in between. That's just politics. On atheist activism, I think you're going to get a similarly distant variety of opinions. If you ask me something, I can tell you my own opinion, but it would no longer be the atheist agenda, it would be the Jonathan Clements agenda. There are plenty of atheists who disagree with me.


David Henson
Theist
David Henson's picture
Posts: 491
Joined: 2010-02-15
User is offlineOffline
I have to say. I have been

I have to say. I have been thinking about this and I really don't see any need to continue with it. I don't like it that I have been accused of editing my posts because I was wrong about something. The first time you (Jonathan) acused me of that I let it slide after correcting you and then you do it again and now cj is jumping on that as well. I have been saying for as long as I can remember that religion is in a basic sense a strict adherence to belief and that is what I said here. Nothing that you would have said would have made me change that. If I had said a strict adherence to rules that wouldn't have actually changed anything either. If, in the end, all you have to do is say that I changed something because I was wrong I just don't see the point in it.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
 The idea of 'strict

 The idea of 'strict adherence to a belief' is virtually meaningless without qualifying what the content of the belief is.

Otherwise, you could simply say I 'strictly adhere to the belief that one should not adhere strictly to any beliefs'. That cannot quite make sense as it stands. The only way we 'get it' is to assume the two uses of the word 'belief' there to refer to slightly different categories of belief.

In the same way, not believing in God is in a different category of 'belief' from religious belief.

Or I could say that "I absolutely believe that the likelihood of God existing is extremely low". That shows another problem with your definition. 'Beliefs' which contain specific acknowledgement of uncertainty are in a different category again.

You could take any statement of what they believe or don't believe, by any atheist here, prefix it with "I strictly adhere to the belief that ", and turn it into a 'strict belief'.

So your definition is quite inadequate.

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


JonathanBC
Posts: 139
Joined: 2010-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Read my last post again. I

Read my last post again. I didn't bring up you editing posts a second time in this thread. I've only ever pointed it out twice, and the first was to point out that you misspelled eliminate. You have the right to edit your posts and I have the right to ridicule you for it. If you choose not to pursue a conversation because somebody points out your mistakes, what are you doing on the internet?

You can edit your posts but you can't edit mine. I suggest you read my previous reply and in turn respond to criticisms that are actually in it.