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Old 03-29-2007, 02:30 PM   #84
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Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Sorry for the short reply but you've essentially only made three points, so I'll address them outright and move on.

Your points:

(A) Your god is not demonstrable according to natural law, yet it is necessary and logical.

(B) Belief entails no immediate proof, yet it isn't arbitrary or unreasonable.

(C) I hold to an ultimate truth.

Addressing (A): Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that your god need not be falsifiable by natural law--it still needs to be such from a logical standpoint, since you are claiming it to be logical. So if can't be demonstrated scientifically (despite your use of scientific data to back it up), demonstrate it logically, in the abstract.

Addressing (B): Faith--in and of itself; for the sake of faith; according to your selected definition---is arbitrary. Indeed, one can have faith an anything for any (or no) reason, can they not? (It isn't necessarily unreasonable, just oblivious to reason.)

Addressing (C): It is, of course, important to note that I have left room for the possibility of a supernatural--because if one did, it would become pretty obvious pretty quickly that I do not endorse an "ultimate truth." I simply do not. A supernatural may, in fact exist, I simply lack belief in it (justifiable even by your definition). And please, do note that my lack of belief says nothing as to its ultimate existence. Moving on...


I am anxious to get to your argument for your god, but you'll forgive me if I tie up a few loose ends concerning faith at home and aboard, as I really do think that your liberal theistic stance is causing you to deluded yourself.

You're even stretching the definition of fundamentalism to include most things that you just don't like about religion, even if they have nothing to do with fundamentalism.
Excuse me, Mike, but I am stretching nothing when I include, as evidence of rising fundamentalism, media such as the Left Behind book series and the rise of mega-churches and fundamentalist universities in the United States. You, as a liberal theist, should be just as (if not more) concerned about this phenomena, given that you see it as a bastardization of what it what the purpose of faith supposedly is. It is an undeniably fact that George W. Bush's America has done damage to the wall between church and state, if only for the growing consensus that secularism has "gone too far." You have rising abstinence-only education, a state redefining science, and billions of government money spent on "faith-based initiatives."--these should all send a chills down your spine, yet you marginalize it. Why?

But I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Such is the case for a lot of religious liberals, providing cover for the idea of faith all the while oblivious to those who would use it to scheme a theocracy. Fundamentalism may (at the current time) be a minority, but it has the vast majority of the country as its sympathizers.

This is astoundingly ignorant. First of all, science demonstrated that God didn't created the world in six days, not that God didn't create the world. Since most religions hold their creation stories as allegory (including the overwhelming majority of Christianity), there is no conflict here. Science explains how, not why or from what.
First of all, science has demonstrated a secular theory for the evolution of the Earth itself. I've seen the computer model of it; you should look it up. Your assertion that "science demonstrated that God didn't created the world in six days, not that God didn't create the world" is specious. God simply isn't in the equation it all.

Secondly, where is the evidence that the Bible's account of Creationism was taken as anything but literal truth for most of Western history? Why don't you tell me, Mike, if it was just an allegory all along, what was the secular leading theory of life which most historical Christians believed? Surely no one was punished for heresy for suggesting secular theories.

Finally, you've invoked the famed (or perhaps infamous) liberal theistic/liberal atheist NOMA argument, conceived by the late, great Stephen J. Gould: that science explains the how and theism/religion the why--probably the single greatest example of political correctness gone awry. There are so many problems with that line of reasoning that it is deserving of it's own thread, but for the purposes of this discussion, I'll simply cite a passage from Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation:

Consider the recent deliberations of the Roman Catholic Church on the doctrine of Limbo. Thirty top theologians from around the world recently met at the Vatican to discuss the question of what happens to babies who die without having undergone the sacred rite of Baptism. Since the Middle Ages,Catholics have believed that such babies go to Limbo, where they enjoy what St. Thomas Aquinas termed "natural happiness" forever. This was in contrast to the opinion of St. Augustine, who believed that these unlucky infant souls would spend eternity in hell.

Though Limbo had no real foundation in scripture, and was never official Church Doctrine, it has been a major part of the Catholic tradition for centuries. ... Now the great minds of the Church have convened to reconsider the matter.

Can we even conceive of a project more intellectually forlorn than this? Just imagine what the deliberations must be like. ... When one considers the fact that this is the very institution that has produced and sheltered an elite army of child-molesters, the whole enterprise begins to exude a truly diabolical aura of misspent human energy.
What you have just read was how theology goes about ascertaining the "why" so untouchable by science. This is to say nothing of the religious parsing the claims of science to find those which are compatible with their beliefs, the obvious fact that religions do actively assert objective "how" claims, and the growing fields of science which are beginning to explore "why" questions. My friend, NOMA just don't wash. It sounds great and all (like all political correctness) but it ultimately has no basis in reality (like all political correctness).

Anyway, I should at least be grateful, I suppose, that you didn't play the "a day for god is different than a day for us" card.

To sum it up:

(A) Fundamentalism is a rising problem in the US and indeed the world. Just as religious liberals in Europe are bending over backwards to appease Muslim fundamentalists and their backwards beliefs, religious liberals in the US are just as asleep when it comes their eroding separation between church and state, and oblivious to the rise of fundamentalist culture in terms of media and institutions. Seriously dude, watch Jesus Camp.

(B) Science is in conflict with The Bible because the Good Book makes many, many claims which are incompatible with the nature of the universe--far too many of which cannot to be dismissed as allegories. Whatever allegories can be drawn from when God turns a woman into a pillar of salt for look back on a city He destroyed, or when God kills a man for ejaculating outside of his dead brother's wife (to go no further than the book of Genesis) certainly aren't particularly useful ones. This biblical hopscotch is not only dishonest, but evidence of an underlying dogmatism of theistic liberalism in general--one which says that no holy book can ever say anything that is ever flat wrong, and that everything which appears to be so was never to be taken literally anyway. The fervor with which may statements have to be "astoundingly ignorant" as opposed to simply misguided is evidence of this.


You say "so-called 'boundaries'" as though I'm making it up, when it's an established tenant of modern physics.
See, I don't mind you calling me names (as if "you and your kind" was the worst insult ever) but I do give a damn when you distort my position. I do not an any way suggest that you are making it up, only that your use of the word is "misleading." Hell, I even concede that limitations do exist: "It isn't enough, for the purposes of this debate, to assert that there are limitations to the natural world. It being finite and all (in time if not space), that fact is patently obvious."

And nevermind the fact that you completely ignored the point, which is that said limitations ultimately say nothing as to the plurality or singularity of the universe.

Last edited by Nicato; 03-31-2007 at 06:23 PM.
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