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Old 12-28-2023, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn of ‘83 View Post
This is all your opinion, not fact.
No, it’s a fact, not just my opinion, that the Abrahamic God is assigned incoherent/inconsistent/self-contradictory/logically impossible properties, by you believers. Not even mentioning the mythical stories, that people absurdly regard as facts of history.

 
Old 12-28-2023, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn of ‘83 View Post
So, belief in a higher power is reasonable.
Why do I get the impression that you ask questions so you can try to draw conclusions you want or need to draw, warranted or not, from my response. I said all along some people consider belief in a higher power reasonable or at least personally useful. Some do not. Myself, for instance. I also was very careful to point out that popularity <> correctness so that for instance the fact that 74% of Americans currently claim to believe in god (whatever that statement means to them) is not any sort of proof that theism is either correct or more "reasonable" to hold to -- much less your specific understanding of theism.

In fact even by the most charitable definition of "evangelical", only 35% of Americans are evangelical so therefore roughly 2 out of 3 people in this country do not have your understanding of even the Christian god. So ... maybe they believe in the same god but they believe in ultimate universal reconciliation, or that god gladly receives LGBTQ persons without shame or condemnation, or that transubstantiation is a thing, or that women should serve in positions of authority, or that the Lord's Day should be on Saturday ... this does not really allow you to say that your particular specific hermeneutic is reasonable, which I feel is probably what you are trying to say. I think the evangelical hermeneutic is along for the ride and we are not talking strictly about theism "in the large"

So at any rate, IMO belief in a higher power isn't reasonable if it's literal belief, no. There is a kind of provisional belief ... one might say the internal thought process is something like "I choose to pretend this is so because it makes me feel better or I just like it or have some subjective hunch it's true, and I don't particularly care what other people's chosen pretenses are" which is very different from "I believe this because II Carbuncles 2:27 told me to" or "I believe this because my dogma / interpretation of choice says god demands it of me" or "I believe this because I claim god says it is right and correct, even though I can't support that with any evidence or logical argument, and sometimes not even with a coherent scriptural argument".

I am not sure you can see the distinction; yet, it's an important one. If you understand that your beliefs are personal and subjective and chosen rather than externally imposed and objective, you have more epistemological humility and tolerance than the average Christian fundamentalist in my experience.
 
Old 12-28-2023, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Free State of Texas
20,439 posts, read 12,779,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Why do I get the impression that you ask questions so you can try to draw conclusions you want or need to draw, warranted or not, from my response. I said all along some people consider belief in a higher power reasonable or at least personally useful. Some do not. Myself, for instance. I also was very careful to point out that popularity <> correctness so that for instance the fact that 74% of Americans currently claim to believe in god (whatever that statement means to them) is not any sort of proof that theism is either correct or more "reasonable" to hold to -- much less your specific understanding of theism.

In fact even by the most charitable definition of "evangelical", only 35% of Americans are evangelical so therefore roughly 2 out of 3 people in this country do not have your understanding of even the Christian god. So ... maybe they believe in the same god but they believe in ultimate universal reconciliation, or that god gladly receives LGBTQ persons without shame or condemnation, or that transubstantiation is a thing, or that women should serve in positions of authority, or that the Lord's Day should be on Saturday ... this does not really allow you to say that your particular specific hermeneutic is reasonable, which I feel is probably what you are trying to say. I think the evangelical hermeneutic is along for the ride and we are not talking strictly about theism "in the large"

So at any rate, IMO belief in a higher power isn't reasonable if it's literal belief, no. There is a kind of provisional belief ... one might say the internal thought process is something like "I choose to pretend this is so because it makes me feel better or I just like it or have some subjective hunch it's true, and I don't particularly care what other people's chosen pretenses are" which is very different from "I believe this because II Carbuncles 2:27 told me to" or "I believe this because my dogma / interpretation of choice says god demands it of me" or "I believe this because I claim god says it is right and correct, even though I can't support that with any evidence or logical argument, and sometimes not even with a coherent scriptural argument".

I am not sure you can see the distinction; yet, it's an important one. If you understand that your beliefs are personal and subjective and chosen rather than externally imposed and objective, you have more epistemological humility and tolerance than the average Christian fundamentalist in my experience.
Still, you do not raise an eyebrow in disbelief when you encounter someone who believes in a higher power, do you? If I’m correct, why is that? Isn’t it because it’s reasonable, if not to you, in general?
 
Old 12-28-2023, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Free State of Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primaltech View Post
No, it’s a fact, not just my opinion, that the Abrahamic God is assigned incoherent/inconsistent/self-contradictory/logically impossible properties, by you believers. Not even mentioning the mythical stories, that people absurdly regard as facts of history.
You said Deism is reasonable. If so, then belief in a higher power is reasonable.
 
Old 12-28-2023, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn of ‘83 View Post
Still, you do not raise an eyebrow in disbelief when you encounter someone who believes in a higher power, do you? If I’m correct, why is that? Isn’t it because it’s reasonable, if not to you, in general?
Internally I sometimes do. Out of politeness, I almost always succeed in keeping it off my face. It is just not a battle I pick in real everyday life. Live and let live so long as it works in both directions.

And yes that's partly a function of being a circumspect minority where 3 out of 4 people I might randomly meet will believe in some form of god, and probably around here something like 1 in 4 will believe in something closely resembling your understanding of god.

This has nothing to do with it being either true or reasonable to believe in god; your persistent argument ad populum is so habitual that I suspect you don't even see it. I just see no reason not to get along with people so long as they aren't overtly haranguing or judging me. Many probably do, although I don't declare my atheism or lead with it ... but I don't go to church, I have relentlessly rationalistic views, and they sense that I'm an Outsider. But to whatever extent THEY raise THEIR eyebrows, like me, they by and large do it internally or vent privately to others within their tribe. That is how civil society works, to the extent it hasn't been dismantled -- often by religious extremists. We find common ground and cooperate on that basis and agree to disagree on the rest.
 
Old 12-28-2023, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn of ‘83 View Post
You said Deism is reasonable. If so, then belief in a higher power is reasonable.
I don’t know what “higher power” means. You’ll have to define that.

I said that Deism - specifically Deism - is a relatively reasonable enough hypothesis, or belief. But, that is specifically because it has nothing to do with Christianity or the Abrahamic traditions.

Deism says that God created the universe, and that’s it. He immediately peaced out and didn’t do anything else, he doesn’t necessarily have any opinions about it or desires with it, and he lets the universe play out as it will- without any intervention or involvement, in anything at all, let alone any human affairs.

There’s no bibles, no dogma, no crusades, no wars, no jihads, no silly stories about apples.

It’s not a religion. That’s why deism’s fine.
 
Old 12-28-2023, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn of ‘83 View Post
You said Deism is reasonable. If so, then belief in a higher power is reasonable.
Perhaps you are implying that theism is reasonable, therefore atheism is unreasonable. IDK. That wouldn't follow, you know.

I tend to think of it in terms of people having understandable but inherently unsupportable reasons for believing in one or more gods. Inherently, because gods are outside of space and time and therefore cannot in any way be intersubjectively verified.

People don't believe in god because they're being unreasonable. They do it because many, many generations of theist hegemony have taught them a sort of learned helplessness that makes them feel bereft without the superficially comforting doctrines about heaven, salvation, and (at least ultimately) transcendence of the human condition. The Overton Window for them just doesn't make the absence of god thinkable.

It is my view that humans aren't savable because they will always be true to their nature. Christianity promises to make you a new creation, but I see no actual evidence that this happens, sustainably, at scale, in the ways it would need to happen to improve the human condition. Everything Christianity actually promises must be displaced into the afterlife precisely because it isn't realizable here in this life.

I see "sin" as a misdiagnosis of human nature. Humans are self-contradicting messes. Peace-loving, yet war-mongering. Loving, yet selfish. Someone or other once said that when humans became sentient, they could barely bear that burden. I think that is true to this day. Uniquely in the animal kingdom so far as we presently are aware, we understand that no one gets out of this alive. And we hate that because we think we deserve better -- apex predator that we are. So we invent all sorts of things, including our gods, to make this realization somehow tolerable.

I think that is an entirely reasonable belief. You clearly do not. My belief in the reasonableness of the things I wrote above doesn't make me right. Your belief in the reasonableness of your dogma doesn't make it right. So it seems to me that a personal and subjective assessment like reasonableness is a fool's errand. Each of us flatters ourself that we are reasonable -- so what. The real question is what evidence can we present for our view, in the hopes that it might modify the views of others at least a little.
 
Old 12-28-2023, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Free State of Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primaltech View Post
I can criticize a fictional character as much as I want. You Christians describe your God and ascribe him his back story and characteristics and behavior, and I criticize the ridiculous, awful character that you present.



No, we don't. That's a complete nonsensical concept, upon any rational analysis.



God does not exist. People made up that character, and describe him as some kind of conscious being that loves us. Okay. But that is an imaginary, made up character. We are evolved animals that live on one planet in a vast universe of hundreds of billions of galaxies, governed by physical interactions of particles.



Mankind imagined, and therefore predates God.



Also, they did not exist, and that whole nonsensical tale is not how homo sapiens got started. FYI.
Quote:
Originally Posted by primaltech View Post
I don’t know what “higher power” means. You’ll have to define that.

I said that Deism - specifically Deism - is a relatively reasonable enough hypothesis, or belief. But, that is specifically because it has nothing to do with Christianity or the Abrahamic traditions.

Deism says that God created the universe,
and that’s it. He immediately peaced out and didn’t do anything else, he doesn’t necessarily have any opinions about it or desires with it, and he lets the universe play out as it will- without any intervention or involvement, in anything at all, let alone any human affairs.

There’s no bibles, no dogma, no crusades, no wars, no jihads, no silly stories about apples.

It’s not a religion. That’s why deism’s fine.
Which is it? Does God exist? Seems like you’re speculating possibilities.
 
Old 12-28-2023, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
9,830 posts, read 7,256,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn of ‘83 View Post
Which is it? Does God exist? Seems like you’re speculating possibilities.
What? That’s really your response? Why do I even bother?

I am an atheist. I didn’t say that I was a deist. Merely that I think it’s a reasonable enough position, especially compared to any variety of theism.

You can’t really disprove deism, or find evidence against it. There’s just simply no evidence for it.

Deism is kind of like believing that the world is an intentional simulation, basically.
 
Old 12-29-2023, 03:55 AM
 
Location: Free State of Texas
20,439 posts, read 12,779,436 times
Reputation: 2497
Quote:
Originally Posted by primaltech View Post
What? That’s really your response? Why do I even bother?

I am an atheist. I didn’t say that I was a deist. Merely that I think it’s a reasonable enough position, especially compared to any variety of theism.

You can’t really disprove deism, or find evidence against it. There’s just simply no evidence for it.

Deism is kind of like believing that the world is an intentional simulation, basically.
If there is no God, as you say, Deism is not a reasonable idea.
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