4 of 17
4
Annihilation, Afterlife, Majesty & Immaculate Conception
Posted: 02 March 2007 06:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1585
Joined  2006-10-20

[quote author=“andonstop”]Often those who claim to have no faith, do; just not in the conventional organized religious definition. It is my humble opinion that anyone who appreciates Sneeches has a Godly level of faith. How do you see yours?

I think you and I are going, ultimately, to the same place, we just have different ways of getting there.  To paraphrase Aristotle, men argue over the means, not the ends.

As one who prefers a Taoist or Stoic label over an atheist one, I suppose the primary source of my dislike of the Koran and Bible is how it can be used by the faithful against me, just like the stars on the Sneeches’ bellies.  I look for commonality of the mind first in meeting others, and use the differences to understand them more.  I use labels only for identification.

 Signature 

“All extremists should be killed!” - neighbor’s bumper sticker

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 March 2007 06:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  93
Joined  2007-02-19

[quote author=“burt”][quote author=“CanZen”]I just want to make a comment on the idea that there are fundamentalist atheists.  I really don’t see how rejecting certain ideas or dogmatic texts can make a person fundamentalist?  What most atheists are doing is getting rid of beliefs that have no evidential justification, in that sense they are returning to a cognitive purity in which they originally came to be as conscious beings.  I’m not saying that they are returning to the state of a new born baby, but rather after careful examination of their religious (theistic) indoctrination they realize that these beliefs (in a deity) are unfounded.  And they have tons of evidence that proves this unfoundedness.  They don’t have any proof that god doesn’t exist, but there is plenty of evidence that acceptable alternatives to a belief in a deity can account for this cognitive delusion.  They thus return to a state of purity, by rejecting beliefs that require faith, they are not fundamentalists.  Unless you see them as fundamental in their purity . . . but that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned.
Bob

But there can be atheists who are dogmatic about their rejection of religious belief.  You can tell them by their reaction to religious types—their ranting as it were.

Exactly my point, Burt, thank you very much.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 March 2007 03:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  54
Joined  2007-02-16

[quote author=“burt”]

“You must understand that none of the gods are seekers after truth.  They do not long for wisdom, because they are wise—and why should the wise be seeking the wisdom that is already theirs?  Nor, for that matter, do the ignorant seek the truth or crave to be made wise.  And indeed, what makes their case so hopeless is that, having neither beauty, nor goodness, nor intelligence, they are satisfied with what they are, and do not long for the virtues they have never missed.”

“Then tell me, Diotima, ...who are these seekers after truth, if they are neither the wise nor the ignorant?”

“Why a schoolboy… could have told you that….  They are those who come between the two, and one of them is Love.” 
                        Symposium 204a,b

Eloquent, burt. Care to share the source?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 March 2007 03:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  54
Joined  2007-02-16

[quote author=“Skipshot”]I think you and I are going, ultimately, to the same place, we just have different ways of getting there.  To paraphrase Aristotle, men argue over the means, not the ends.

As one who prefers a Taoist or Stoic label over an atheist one, I suppose the primary source of my dislike of the Koran and Bible is how it can be used by the faithful against me, just like the stars on the Sneeches’ bellies.  I look for commonality of the mind first in meeting others, and use the differences to understand them more.  I use labels only for identification.

I think you are right, Skipshot, we are going to the same place. Reminds me of a quote which had a profound influence on me in my youth; I forget now whether it was Confucius or Zen in origin, “There are many paths to the same mountaintop.” I would argue though that the Koran and Bible are used against people only by the faithless. It is a pleasure to exchange ideas with you.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 March 2007 04:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2927
Joined  2006-12-17

[quote author=“andonstop”][quote author=“burt”]

“You must understand that none of the gods are seekers after truth.  They do not long for wisdom, because they are wise—and why should the wise be seeking the wisdom that is already theirs?  Nor, for that matter, do the ignorant seek the truth or crave to be made wise.  And indeed, what makes their case so hopeless is that, having neither beauty, nor goodness, nor intelligence, they are satisfied with what they are, and do not long for the virtues they have never missed.”

“Then tell me, Diotima, ...who are these seekers after truth, if they are neither the wise nor the ignorant?”

“Why a schoolboy… could have told you that….  They are those who come between the two, and one of them is Love.” 
                        Symposium 204a,b

Plato’s Symposium, lines 204a,b, Socrates is recounting a conversation with a priestess, Diotima, on who are the true seekers of wisdom.

Eloquent, burt. Care to share the source?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 March 2007 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3765
Joined  2007-03-11

I am a Christian who is new to this discussion.

Skipshot said: “As one who prefers a Taoist or Stoic label over an atheist one, I suppose the primary source of my dislike of the Koran and Bible is how it can be used by the faithful against me, just like the stars on the Sneeches’ bellies. I look for commonality of the mind first in meeting others, and use the differences to understand them more. I use labels only for identification.”

If the Bible was not used against you by the faithful, but instead was offered as a means to benefit you, would you still dislike it? If so, why?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 March 2007 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5404
Joined  2006-09-27
[quote author=“Bruce Burleson”]If the Bible was not used against you by the faithful, but instead was offered as a means to benefit you, would you still dislike it? If so, why?

As I said in the other thread, Bruce, it is up to me to decide whether or not the Bible or its verbiage are of any conceivable use to me. That you would offer the Bible as a ‘benefit’ to someone else simply by virtue of the fact that you find it beneficial is an enormously arrogant and foolish act (because it implies that you assume that most people here are not already quite familiar with the contents of that book). There is simply no point in wasting a dozen exchanges with you as you politely meander towards an assertion of the Christian God’s ultimate authority in this world, a concept to which most people here will object more or less as strenuously as I do.

 Signature 

INVEST in cynicism!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 March 2007 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1585
Joined  2006-10-20

[quote author=“Bruce Burleson”]If the Bible was not used against you by the faithful, but instead was offered as a means to benefit you, would you still dislike it? If so, why?

Welcome to the forum.

I do not like to answer hypothetical questions of which yours qualifies.  If you could give some examples of how the Bible could benefit me in this life without persecution by the faithful, the consequences of an afterlife, is not covered in another philosophy, and still retain my understanding of life, I am willing to listen.  But I must qualify your credentials of ethical studies besides in the Christian/Muslim/Jewish tradition.

By persecution, I mean it in the sense of how homosexuals are treated by Christians in Red State USA.  Since you are new to the forum it is fair warning that most of the atheists here are well aware of surveys distinctly putting atheists in the lowest class of people Americans trust - below Muslims and homosexuals.

 Signature 

“All extremists should be killed!” - neighbor’s bumper sticker

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2007 03:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3765
Joined  2007-03-11

Salt Creek: I agree that it is up to you whether or not you find the Bible useful. My question to Skipshot was, as he indicates, hypothetical, so there was nothing arrogant in it. I think you are reading too much into it. I was interested in a statement that he made, so I asked him a simple question. He didn’t seem to think it was arrogant.

Skipshot: Sorry about the persecution -  I didn’t come here to throw stones.  I do not think that Jesus intended his words to be used as a sword to persecute others. That comes as a result of Christianity having been the predominant religion in this country for so long. It actually does better as a minority religion, which it will probably soon become. Forget about us red-staters for a moment. Since I am sure that you are familiar with the Bible, if you personally had encountered the Jesus that is portrayed there, how do you think he would have reacted to you?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2007 04:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5404
Joined  2006-09-27
[quote author=“Bruce Burleson”]Since I am sure that you are familiar with the Bible, if you personally had encountered the Jesus that is portrayed there, how do you think he would have reacted to you?

It’s not my place to fight Skipshot’s battles for him, but he just finished telling you that he does not care to answer hypotheticals. You just asked him another one. Perhaps it is the best rhetorical tool you find at your disposal to keep a conversation like this going. But I can think of other explanations for this sort of stubbornness.

If the Bible was not used against you by the faithful, but instead was offered as a means to benefit you, would you still dislike it? If so, why?

Salt Creek: I agree that it is up to you whether or not you find the Bible useful.

How do you reconcile these two thoughts? The real question for you, Bruce, is to explain how you think that offering the Bible as a means to benefit others is really anything other than an act that benefits you as an act of obedience to its commandments? In that sense, your proselytizing is an act of pure selfish personal aggrandizement.

Here’s a hypothetical for you then: If you agree that it is up to me whether or not I find the Bible useful, what is accomplished by offering it to me on the basis of your opinion that it might be “beneficial” (i.e., “useful”)? What is the purpose of proselytizing?

Trying to get evangelists to understand this is like trying to teach a pig to sing: It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

 Signature 

INVEST in cynicism!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2007 06:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1585
Joined  2006-10-20

[quote author=“Bruce Burleson”]Since I am sure that you are familiar with the Bible, if you personally had encountered the Jesus that is portrayed there, how do you think he would have reacted to you?

I’m not concerned with Jesus’s opinion of me, but rather his follower’s opinons.  As stated earlier, I do not question your commitment to Jesus, I question how your commitment affects how you treat those who do not follow the Bible, or even your interpretation of it.

I’m sure you did not come to throw stones but perhaps to learn an atheist’s thoughts.  If you decide to stay you will find the regular posters are here because of a common disbelief in all religions and a desire to know the world and life through logic and reason, but beyond this the opinons diverge.

 Signature 

“All extremists should be killed!” - neighbor’s bumper sticker

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2007 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3765
Joined  2007-03-11

Salt Creek: Once again, I was asking Skipshot a question, and he doesn’t seem to have the same problem with my questions that you do.  Maybe I’m dense, but I don’t see a contradiction in 1) offering something to someone and 2) allowing them to decide whether or not they want it.  But in any event, I am not proselytizing anyone.  I did not offer the Bible to to you or anyone else here. I simply wanted to know if Skipshot’s reaction toward the Bible was primarily produced by how other Christians had acted toward him, or by what he read about Jesus himself from the Bible. 

Skipshot: Thank you for your response. I assume then that one of the primary reasons you have rejected Christianity is because of how other Christians have treated you.  Had you been treated with respect and without condemnation, would that have made any difference, or would you reject any religion regardless of how its adherents acted toward you?  I hope that question is not too hypothetical.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2007 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  775
Joined  2006-12-04

Bruce Burleson,

I reject the Bible because it is presented as a ‘non-human’ source of advice on how humans should act.

If I were God or Jesus, then I might find it useful. But since I am a human being, it has little or no relevant information.

It is like using your car repair manual as a guideline for repairing your computer.

The only thing we really learn from the bible is that it’s god doesn’t have a clue about human nature.
But since it has nothing in common with us, that should not be surprising.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2007 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3765
Joined  2007-03-11

Joad:  Jesus was human (as well as divine), so his words to us about how to live are not “non-human.”  Furthermore, each person who wrote down the words of the New Testament was human. 

To the extent that the New Testament was inspired by God, why wouldn’t a higher order being be able to instruct a lower order being how to live?  We train animals and teach them to do certain tasks. Why couldn’t a God be capable of doing likewise to humans?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2007 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5404
Joined  2006-09-27

[quote author=“Bruce Burleson”]Joad:  Jesus was human (as well as divine), so his words to us about how to live are not “non-human.”  Furthermore, each person who wrote down the words of the New Testament was human. 

To the extent that the New Testament was inspired by God, why wouldn’t a higher order being be able to instruct a lower order being how to live?  We train animals and teach them to do certain tasks. Why couldn’t a God be capable of doing likewise to humans?

Watch out, Bruce. You are beginning to refer to these concepts as if they were true for everyone. Wassamatta, you running out of steam in “polite mode”?

You’re making an assumption that the “New Testament” was “inspired” (whatever that means) by an entity called “God” (whatever that might be). Don’t imagine that everyone else here is just along for a ride on your roller coaster of theistic jargon.

By the way, it does not make a damn bit of sense to a rational being for you to assert that some “entity” was both “human and divine”. Save this crap for the church supper.

To the extent that the NT was “inspired by god” (zero per cent) it might contain unimpeachable instructions on how to live, ones that a human might find valuable (to the extent that the instructions were inspired by god - i.e. 0 per cent). The NT shows every evidence of having been written by conniving human beings for political purposes, and none of having been divinely inspired.

 Signature 

INVEST in cynicism!

Profile
 
 
   
4 of 17
4
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed