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Author Topic:   Is science atheism?
Raphael
Member
Posts: 167
From: Southern California, United States
Joined: 09-29-2007
Member Rating: 3.3


(1)
Message 76 of 104 (886557)
05-23-2021 6:35 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by dwise1
05-23-2021 4:37 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
dwise1 writes:

I decided I needed to learn more about what I was supposed to believe as a Christian, so I started reading the Bible...

Thanks for sharing about your experience (not sarcasm). I don't really have any reason to come against it, except to say...it sounds like you experienced many of the things I also dislike about fundamentalist Christianity, and frankly, oppose as counterfeit.

So just believing something makes it like a religion?

Not at all! As I said, I do not think atheism is a religion or club or anything. I have learned a lot from the responses of others in this thread, and I feel myself shifting on this point. It seems to me that since atheism is not a religion/creed/club/group, it is so deeply personal, different people hold their atheism differently. It would be arrogant of me to assume (as PaulK pointed out) I understand how each person holds their atheism.

Just as it would be arrogant for you to assume how I hold my theism .

For that you call us "arrogant", whereas the true arrogance in all that is in Christians' thinking that they have a right to force their beliefs on everybody else.

I don't disagree, Christians (I am one) can be the most arrogant of all. However I will only add an addition: arrogance can grow anywhere, especially in echo chambers where you surround yourself with people who believe and think like yourself. There is a sort of grace that happens when you meet someone who has totally different values and beliefs and realize wow, I'm not right about everything, this person has a gift to give me! This is why I intentionally seek out others who believe differently and attempt to understand them. It's why I'm here, too

You are leaving too much out.

Agreed! I realized after, it was an extremely simplistic model, however I did say "non-scholarly," you were warned!

And if your scenario would result in ignorant savages resorting to superstition to try to make some sense of what's happening around, do you think that that would be a good thing? Why would you think that?

Hmm, I don't know if it is a good or bad thing. We all impose meaning onto things, whether they have meaning or not. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Are ancient spiritualistic cultures, like Native North Americans, Inuit, Jamaican Taino, or Australian Aboriginals lives better now because of colonialism, genocide, religion (counterfeit Christianity, still, ironic), science, disease, clearcutting, industrialization (the list could go on)? In some ways, definitely. But mostly no. Now what?

My point is, whether or not the spiritual significance peoples impose onto things reflect any higher or objectively real reality is irrelevant; myth, mythos and meaning are powerful cultural forces and have given meaning, purpose, and beauty to life for millennia. Though personally I do believe these things reflect actual spiritual reality, one does not need to to see what these beliefs add to humanity and human flourishing.

Also, your scenario begs of question of what you would call "atheism." To us atheists, it means "not theism.

Unpack this more, if you would. What does "not theism" mean to you? You reject theism? You do not believe in theism? If it is not a stance, why take a stance? If it is a stance, what stance is it? Is it an intellectual category under which, say, agnosticism and anti-thism might fall as types of atheism? How do you understand this?

Indeed, you have done the same thing several times in your life, looking at other religions and deciding to pass on them. Did you need some "objective knower of truth" to make those determinations? Or did your sense of smell suffice?

This is true! Though I would rather say I remain agnostic to Ganesha, Susanoo and Zeus; while I have thoroughly investigated their truth claims and found theirs wanting, nobody knows anything about the supernatural, as you have said, therefore I remain open to new data, always.

To put it a bit more succinctly, I don't have to submit my beliefs to some Grand Inquisitor for validation. I only need to be satisfied that I cannot believe in your religion.

That's helpful to understand. And I respect where you're at man. Appreciate this dialogue!

- Raph

Edited by Raphael, : grammar, gloss


This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by dwise1, posted 05-23-2021 4:37 PM dwise1 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by dwise1, posted 05-31-2021 3:56 PM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 78 by Percy, posted 06-01-2021 10:31 AM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 86 by dwise1, posted 06-06-2021 8:28 PM Raphael has not yet responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4606
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.5


(1)
Message 77 of 104 (886695)
05-31-2021 3:56 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by Raphael
05-23-2021 6:35 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
Sorry for the delay. So many things happening (eg, IRS suddenly wants immediately 25 years of our parents' family trust's tax returns which don't exist), including taking a few check-out breaks.

DWise1 writes:

Also, your scenario begs of question of what you would call "atheism." To us atheists, it means "not theism.


Unpack this more, if you would. What does "not theism" mean to you? You reject theism? You do not believe in theism? If it is not a stance, why take a stance? If it is a stance, what stance is it? Is it an intellectual category under which, say, agnosticism and anti-thism might fall as types of atheism? How do you understand this?

Oh so much more than you may think. To be honest, I included that because it does lead to so many more areas of discussion than most would simplistically assume. Or rather that certain confusion enters into discussions because the different sides' assumptions lead us to talk past each other. I will start this by point out those different assumptions and the effects they appear to have.

So, what is theism and what does it concern itself with? I'm not trying to be rhetorical here.

Theism may be very basically about believing in gods (which itself is very ambiguous as developed below), but that's only a very small part of it. Included with coming up with gods (or "revealing them") is the creation and generation and evolution of theologies and religions regarding those gods.

Hence theism is not just about gods, but rather is mostly about the religions and theologies associated with those gods. Our two sides seem to choose different sides of theism to concentrate on.

From what I have seen of fellow atheists (and looking within myself ... which is all too often the basic defense used to theists to support their position), the mere existence of any god is immaterial. Rather, most atheists and (most especially) anti-theists concern themselves far more with the religions that have been created and built up around those gods. Whether any of those gods actually exist is moot or otherwise immaterial (as per the necessity of agnosticism, a god could exist but bear no resemblance to the god of those religions and definitely have no bearing on those religions ... though I doubt that many atheists have thought that one through yet), but rather the problems are with the religions centered on those gods.

So then, most of the discussion and statements we see from the atheists deal much more with the religions and the detrimental effects that they can have and have had on individual members and on society. "God" has almost nothing to do with it.

 
In stark contrast, Christians tend to fixate solely on the very question of the existence of their god and never go anywhere close to their religion or theology.

Most encounters atheists have with theists are in terms of (often hostile) "challenges" to our atheism put in terms of "WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE IN GOD, YOU (vitriolic perjorative term -- let your imagination run wild here and it will still fall completely short from what I've heard/read over so many decades?)?" Not "Why are you raising those questions and objections to the operations of Christianity?", but rather it's always only about their god.

Almost every time we try to talk with Christians, they never want to talk about anything interesting. Instead they keep harping on nonsense like "Why do you hate God so much?" or "You keep fighting so hard against God; just surrender to His Love for you!" or "Your belief that God does not exist is just that, a belief that requires as much faith as our own belief in God and is far more arrogant than our faith is!" (basically, the argument that I recall you having started off with). Or "You are only pretending that God doesn't exist so that you can sin without guilt!" -- that one usually from Christians who want to use that legalistic loophole in their own impoverished concepts of morality or had used that loophole themselves (eg, local YEC activist whose autobiography describes him doing exactly that so now he insists that "having been an atheist himself" (demonstrably false, by his own admission, but then he has always been an outrageous liar) he "knows full well" that atheists just want to get away with sinning and escaping responsibility for their actions).

Keeping in mind the caution about actual mileage: But none of that has anything to do with what atheists actually think. All of it just comes across as yet more ignorant nonsense. Which is made all the worse by those same steadfast Christians' refusal to even listen to our corrections and explanations, which makes them willfully ignorant.

Generally, when atheists reject Christianity, it is Christianity itself, the religion itself and the adverse effects it has on individuals and on society (especially when religions gain political and police powers). When atheists get together and talk with each other, what do you think we discuss? Do you think we just sit around and share how much we do not believe in the gods? Of course not, that would be so boring and useless! Instead, we discuss a wide range of topics, including science, politics, current events, and popular culture. Regarding religion, discussion is mainly about religion's attempts to interfere with politics and with our rights, or which COVID-denier pastors of large churches have most recently died of COVID (we can never get too much irony in our diet). We might examine the doctrine or history of particular religions. As for as the gods go, we might discuss the mythology of the various gods, including where and how they most likely got borrowed from other cultures' gods (very few of the gods were ever created ex nihilo, but rather were borrowings and/or amalgamations of other gods).

 
So why do theists misunderstand atheists so much? Asking them directly hasn't seemed to work, so we have to try to analyze our observations. First, there's what they are taught about atheists, which they're never clear on. I suspect that a lot of what they are taught about atheists comes from their doctrine. For example, if their doctrine teaches that everybody believes that God exists, but many are wilfully defiant, so that is what they think that atheists are doing. If their doctrine teaches that morality is based on being personally responsible to God, then they assume that atheists are trying to avoid personal responsible since without God there's nobody to be answerable to (how wrong that is!).

And then there's that fascination with the existence of "God". I think that they are projecting that onto us. That their god's existence is very important to them and they give that far more thought and attention than they do to their religion and doctrine. For them, their god is all important and the religion part basically just comes along for the ride.

ABE:
{


This hyper-importance to theists of the existence of "God" could explain why they are so immensely hostile to atheists. Because of their confused definition of atheism (ie, that we don't "believe in God" which they interpret as us not believing in the existence of their god (that being a moot point for us)), they apparently feel that we are denying the existence of their god. Or worse, that we are actively trying to disprove the existence of their god and so are actively attacking that very concept. And, in their fevered minds, what else could that mean except that we are trying to destroy religion and turn everybody into atheists! After all, they want to convert everybody to their religion (especially what are generally referred to as "evangelicals" with a global mission assigned to them from Jesus himself!), so why not just project their own insidious mission onto the atheists like everything else?

We atheists tend to interpret that inordinate hostility of theists towards us as signaling their own strong insecurity and lack of faith in their own beliefs. Why else would they be unable to accept that there are people who do not agree with them? That they would view us as threats makes no sense to us.

BTW, we atheists don't generally care what anybody else believes, just so long as they don't try to use it as a means of or reason for doing harm. Which includes when theists attack us, in which case we will defend ourselves.

Frankly, I prefer discussion, an exchange of ideas and information. So sad that that is prevented by the theists.

}

For example, I'm sure that many atheists have had this particular experience. A Christian (usually a fundie) is trying to convert or convince the atheist. He keeps needling to get the point of asking, since the atheist is "so reasonable", would he be reasonable enough to allow for the possibility of a god's existence. Hey, the basic necessity of agnosticism that we cannot prove that something that could possibly be considered a god doesn't exist. But the very instant that the Christian gets that smallest of concessions, he seizes upon it as absolute proof of the truth of his "God" and of his entire religion in all its mass quantities of minutiae. He won that argument! He proved the atheist wrong!

OK, perhaps a tiny bit hyperbolic, but that is basically how it has always gone down in my experience. The instant that any concession is made for the possibility of the existence of the supernatural, the Christian would immediately jump to the conclusion that it's his god and his religion. Why? Because in his mind there are no other possibilities! Not for the slightest instant does he even begin to consider that there are many more steps required for his proof. If the supernatural exists, then he'd have to prove that supernatural entities exist, then intelligent ones, then hyper-intelligent ones, then powerful ones, then ... , then a god, then ... , then his particular god. After that, he'd have a long chain of proofs, albeit infinitely more feasible, to narrow the correct religion down to his own. It's like that classic single-frame cartoon which Phat posted for us in Message 140: a scientist/mathematician has been working on a problem on a chalkboard and all he has is the beginning premises and the conclusion and in the middle he has written "Then a miracle occurs", so his colleague advises him, "I think you should be more specific here in Step Two." The Christian immediately jumps from his initial assumptions to his conclusion while completely bypassing Step Two which is all of the work.

Why do they do that? I think a large part is due to their ignorance of religion. As with Pascal's Wager they think "either God exists or He doesn't" is binary and that not only is there only one "God", but that one "God" is his own. He has no concept that there are millions if not billions of gods, most of them personal variations of a group's god such that there is not just one "Christian God", but different ones practically for each different denomination/sect/congregation/etc. He thinks that if he and some random stranger he meets on the street both say "God" then they're talking about the same exact thing. The difference with atheists is that we can see that so we are aware of it.

Similarly, he may be aware that there are different religions, but his is the only true one. Not only would he most likely know nothing about those other religions, but he also would not know about the myriad different Christian religions. Again, if he and some random stranger he meets on the street were to say to each other, "I'm a Christian.", he'd think that they both believed the same things. Not likely! In reality, since he thinks his own form of Christianity is not only the only true form but also the only form of Christianity there is, when he hears some of what other Christians believe he will most likely classify them as "not Christian" (eg, the creationist belief that if you accept evolution then you are an atheist even if you are a practicing believing Christian, that Catholics and Mormons "aren't really Christians").

Of course, most atheists are very aware of the existence of many different religions and often even know something of how they differ (as well as some of their history). For that Christian, the only meaningful question would be, "Do you believe in God?", after which there's only one way for everything else to fall into place. To an atheist, that question is completely meaningless because it says nothing whatsoever about which god and which religion associated with that particular god. Plus there's the question of "What do you mean by 'believe in God'?"

And so both sides are left talking past each other.

 

On that penultimate sentence, we find that theists tend to conflate and confuse the meaning of "believe in", which is very ambiguous. Theists tend to view "to believe in" to be an existence question: "Do you believe in the existence of God?" The other meaning of "believe in" someone or something is to place one's faith and trust in that someone or something. That meaning is the better one and has nothing to do with the question of whether that someone or something exists. Id est, it is not an existence question. At best, the existence question is necessary in the case of believing in that someone or something, though not necessarily always (exempli gratia, theologies or philosophies which depend on gods or the like as abstract metaphors which do not need to actually exist in order to be of importance -- I will not produce any examples of this (such as "Uncle Sam"), but the existence of such seems entirely reasonable).

For example (ie, eg {grin -- review the links directly above for "id est, exempli gratia"}), if I'm asked whether I "believe in Trump", my response (cleaned up immensely) is "oh hell no!". Does that mean that I believe that Trump does not exist? Unfortunately for the world, no, it does not mean that. Not believing in Trump just means that I do not trust him nor follow him, not whether he exists or not (to which sadly and unfortunately he does exist).

So here again, the two sides end up talking past each other because we disagree on the meaning of a couple words. We see it as whether we can put our faith in one particular religion in which we see so many faults and problems as well as it being no better than any of the others, while they see it as nothing but a binary existence question which completely ignores the coyote ugly religion that the poor sap will wake up in the morning being married to.

Edited by dwise1, : Added By Edit (not Scotland's favorite team: "Anybody But England") ABE: { }


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Raphael, posted 05-23-2021 6:35 PM Raphael has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by Percy, posted 06-01-2021 10:39 AM dwise1 has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20101
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


(1)
Message 78 of 104 (886713)
06-01-2021 10:31 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by Raphael
05-23-2021 6:35 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
Raphael writes:

Not at all! As I said, I do not think atheism is a religion or club or anything. I have learned a lot from the responses of others in this thread, and I feel myself shifting on this point. It seems to me that since atheism is not a religion/creed/club/group, it is so deeply personal, different people hold their atheism differently. It would be arrogant of me to assume (as PaulK pointed out) I understand how each person holds their atheism.

I thought I'd give you another data point. I'm not an atheist or agnostic, I believe in God, but my beliefs are so far outside the norm that from your perspective I may as well be an atheist. I was raised Unitarian and still consider myself a Unitarian (the Unitarians might not consider me a Unitarian, but they're very accepting) but there are almost no Unitarian churches left. If Unitarian/Universalist labeling were accurate (they merged in 1961) it would say Unitatrian/Universalist. One advantage Unitarian churches have here in New England is that they were the dominant religion in this region during a big era in church building, and so many Unitarian churches are on town greens or on prime real estate downtown. But I digress.

Except when in religious discussions at this forum, I never, ever think about atheism or religion or my own personal spiritual beliefs. In my priority order of life, spiritual stuff is probably down around sorting my sock drawer.

I don't disagree, Christians (I am one) can be the most arrogant of all. However I will only add an addition: arrogance can grow anywhere, especially in echo chambers where you surround yourself with people who believe and think like yourself. There is a sort of grace that happens when you meet someone who has totally different values and beliefs and realize wow, I'm not right about everything, this person has a gift to give me! This is why I intentionally seek out others who believe differently and attempt to understand them. It's why I'm here, too

This site was begun to host the creation/evolution debate, and I think creationism's nearly century long war on science is the height and epitomization of Christian arrogance. If Christians believe it then it is true and should be believed by everyone starting in the public schools. If you're a typical conservative Christian then you believe that where your religion disagrees with science that science is wrong and the views of your religion should instead be taught in public schools, or at least given equal time. No thought is given to giving equal time to Christian religions that disagree with you or to the views of non-Christian religions.

You explain this Christian arrogance yourself:

Arrogance can grow anywhere, especially in echo chambers where you surround yourself with people who believe and think like yourself.

Then there's this:

There is a sort of grace that happens when you meet someone who has totally different values and beliefs and realize wow, I'm not right about everything, this person has a gift to give me! This is why I intentionally seek out others who believe differently and attempt to understand them. It's why I'm here, too

I see little grace in Christian writings here, mostly arrogance, and certainly little specificity or knowledge outside the Bible or their own church. Those on the science side could never count the number of times they've been warned they're on the path to hell, that they'd better get right with God and prepare for eternal damnation. Many Christians arguing creationism here have quickly run out of ammunition and descended into preaching.

You're preaching, too, running a sort of experiment on how well SDA apologetics plays out in the real world. No progress is being made on either side, and won't be if past is any guide.

How many years have you invested in SDA? More than just a few, I would gather, and you won't give up such an investment just because of conversations with a few doubters. But in those years how many theological revelations has your religion discovered? Is it approximately zero? I think it is, right?

But in the same number of years how many new developments have come from science? It's probably uncountable. To name some major ones, there's the discovery of gravitational waves, proving the existence of dark matter, discovering water on Mars, discovery of the Higgs Boson, and reprogramming stem cells. On the engineering side there's proving space missions can be far cheaper than typical Nasa/Boeing/Lockheed/etc. missions, commercially viable electric cars, economical fuel cells that might one day become a factor, cheap solar cells, wnd power, and the Large Hadron Collider that made discovery of the Higgs Boson possible.

What has your religion accomplished that might support any claim of equality with science? Nothing. Religion has no recent scientific accomplishments, nor any no matter how far you look back. And you can't claim your advances are equivalent but on the theological side of the ledger because you have none there, either.

We all impose meaning onto things, whether they have meaning or not.

I would instead say that seeking meaning is very human, but realizing there is usually no meaning is not rocket science.

Though personally I do believe these things reflect actual spiritual reality, one does not need to to see what these beliefs add to humanity and human flourishing.

On a personal level, my father was told at the first social gathering he attended after moving to a new town that his kind weren't wanted around there, a friend's mother-in-law hated her because she wasn't Jewish, and a friend's son left the Catholic church because he's gay. On an international level the Arabs hate the Jews, the Muslims hate the Hindus, and the Sunnis hate the Shi'ites. It is obvious what religion adds.

Also, your scenario begs of question of what you would call "atheism." To us atheists, it means "not theism.

Unpack this more, if you would. What does "not theism" mean to you? You reject theism? You do not believe in theism? If it is not a stance, why take a stance? If it is a stance, what stance is it? Is it an intellectual category under which, say, agnosticism and anti-thism might fall as types of atheism? How do you understand this?

This has been answered before. What part of "This is not in any way a part of my life and I spend no time thinking about it" don't you understand? "Not theism" is as much a part of my life as "not unicornism." We non-theists (which, again, I'm not, but from your perspective let's just say I am) are not endlessly dodging the smitings of angry gods. There is not a single consequence arising from non-belief in God, so there is nothing to make it appear on our radar screens.

...nobody knows anything about the supernatural...

Yet in the complete absence of knowledge you made a decision anyway.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Raphael, posted 05-23-2021 6:35 PM Raphael has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20101
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 79 of 104 (886716)
06-01-2021 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by dwise1
05-31-2021 3:56 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
dwise1 writes:

Sorry for the delay. So many things happening (eg, IRS suddenly wants immediately 25 years of our parents' family trust's tax returns which don't exist), including taking a few check-out breaks.

This is off-topic, but I'm responsible for filing the family trust tax returns, so I'm curious. What did you do to get on the IRS's radar screen?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by dwise1, posted 05-31-2021 3:56 PM dwise1 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by dwise1, posted 06-01-2021 11:20 AM Percy has responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4606
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 80 of 104 (886719)
06-01-2021 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 79 by Percy
06-01-2021 10:39 AM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
Sell the final property. The escrow company insisted on an employer tax number for the family trust. That was the very first that we ever heard of such a requirement. And it didn't help that we had to do everything remotely by phone and email. Just trying to work with the IRS to get the number was horrifically difficult since they won't let you talk with a person until the online forms generate an error. It took weeks just to get the tax number (they are seriously understaffed due to the pandemic in order to maintain social distancing inside the office) and the letter dated 25 May demanded one form to be filed by 20 May (five days before the requirement was even created by the letter and a full week before I even received the letter in snail-mail) and that entire non-existent be filed within two weeks of the letter, so my frustration levels combined with everything else currently in my life are very high (there's not enough tequila in the world to deal with it (GAME: describe that Mary Tyler Moore Show scene!) ).

Basically, when our mother died at the end of 1995 the trust passed to us. All it held were three properties: the family home and two undeveloped properties. Now we've sold the last property at a loss just like both the other properties. No employees, no revenues outside of the property sales (previous two split between the three of us and duly declared on our personal taxes; third one pending), paid property taxes out of our personal pockets, so I cannot see how this could be anything more than a paper chase so that all their accounting is satisfied.

I'm hiring a now-retired CPA friend whom I've used years before to help us through this. He sounded like he's seen this before and that it's no biggie. It's just one more hassle for me to have to deal with.

Edited by dwise1, : IRS due date Schlamassel


This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by Percy, posted 06-01-2021 10:39 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by Percy, posted 06-01-2021 1:34 PM dwise1 has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20101
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 81 of 104 (886724)
06-01-2021 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by dwise1
06-01-2021 11:20 AM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
I think your CPA friend is right, I'm sure he's seen it all before. I have similar issues to yours, though no pandemic when I started. I handle all the parts I understand, but I also had a CPA and a lawyer right from the beginning, paid for out of the trust. They had a lot of experience in recognizing which things that didn't feel right were real problems. We think we're out of the woods but won't know for sure for a couple more years - I'm told it can sometimes take the IRS a year or three before they decide there's a problem.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by dwise1, posted 06-01-2021 11:20 AM dwise1 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by dwise1, posted 06-05-2021 1:14 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 729
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 82 of 104 (886752)
06-05-2021 9:27 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Tangle
05-21-2021 3:06 AM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
The nearest structure for the worship of atheism? Probably in Jerusalem. Everybody claims Jerusalem. Even the moslems, who didn't give a shit about the place until 1948, and only care about it now as an excuse to kill people.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Tangle, posted 05-21-2021 3:06 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4606
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 83 of 104 (886758)
06-05-2021 1:14 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Percy
06-01-2021 1:34 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
Well, basically since 1996 literally nothing happened with the family trust except to sell the family home at a loss in 1996, selling one of the undeveloped properties in 2004 at a loss, and finally selling the final property (also undeveloped) this year at a slight profit. All those other years of absolutely no revenue will result in almost literally completely blank forms -- nothing happened so nothing to declare (when we were paying property taxes, it was out of our own pockets and we declared that in our personal taxes).

I keep going back to my having read "Catch 22" and its central theme: if it's not documented then it never happened and if something is documented then that is what is true and conflicting reality must be false. McWatt loved flying and flew all the time, so Doc Daneeka always had him log in Doc as a passenger so that Doc could get flight pay. Doc wanted to receive the flight pay, but he wasn't crazy enough to actually get into an airplane. So when McWatt kills himself by crashing his plane, Doc Daneeka was "on the plane with him" (in the 1970 film, everybody is cheering for Doc to bail out even though Doc Daneeka is literally standing there right next to them telling them that he's standing right there next to them). Doc died in that crash; here's the documentation to prove it. In the book, the orderlies kept having to chase him out of the medical tent. "You can't come in here, Doc. You're dead. We can't have any dead people in here!" Being a thoughtful husband, Doc had bought into a number life insurance policies and funeral plans. His wife stateside received official notification of his death. Then she started receiving desperate letters from him trying to tell her that he's not dead, but rather he's alive so don't believe what they're telling her. She didn't know what to think. But then the money started pouring in from those life insurance policies and burial plans. So she moved away and didn't leave a forwarding address.

If you have ever watched either "movie" -- ie, the 1970 movie with Alan Arkin or George Clooney's recent miniseries on Hulu -- you have still not had the full experience until you have read Joseph Heller's novel. The word play is genius. Not only do we get the full story of Major Major Major Major (which hides the entire Santa Ana Army Air Base experience (local history for me and I had never even heard of it before the book) in which all recruits were assessed to be either an officer (ie, pilot or otherwise to destined to die within a few missions) or an enlisted technician (I was active duty USAF, so I heard the cultural reference that we don't get killed but rather we send the officers out to be killed). Documentaries about the US Army Air Forces in WWII emphasize the extremely high rate of turnover of air crews such that one survivor's testimony was that you never learned anybody's name because within a few missions they'd be gone and replaced by yet another young face. That also explains why in Catch-22 the ever raising number of missions before being rotated out was literally a death sentence.

All the other services like to make fun of the Air Force. I affiliated with the Navy Reserve after my Air Force active duty (I was just getting married when I initially enlisted and the choice was either Navy (family history) or Air Force so I chose the branch that was more marriage/family friendly). When we first transitioned to CAC card IDs (the British Army as well as we saw in Sherlock when Dr. Watson presented his ID card), we had to go to a certified DEERS office, the nearest of which was at the Los Angeles Air Force Base. I almost wanted to turn my car around when I saw that the Consolidated Base Personnel Office (CBPO) was now called the "People Center".

But if you look at the WWII casualty lists, you will find find that the US Army Air Forces had immensely more casualties than the US Navy and US Marine Corps combined (and by far most of the USAAF casualites were deaths). Should the Air Force be at the table? Why not? We have paid our dues in blood (the common and only real currency in the military).

BTW, as a technician in both the Air Force and Navy, I have seen two different cultures there too. In the Air Force, you are still attached tightly to your supply chains so a tricky problem would just be kicked up the chain to the depot level. In the Navy, you could be stuck out in the middle of the ocean so you had to be able to handle those tricky problems yourself. Also, the entire Air Force culture is centered around procedure and checklists. In every modern war, we have far more casualties due to accidents (either equipment failure or pilot error) than to actual combat (when my son and I toured the USS Midway in San Diego, each ready room had a list of casualties and extremely few of them were due to combat). In WWII we discovered the checklist (a common feature in Smithsonian Channel's "Air Disasters" which is the Canadian TV series "Mayday") which tried to eliminate the accidents. The checklist is now fundamental to everything the Air Force does; technicians are tested on how closely they can follow the maintenance procedure and its checklists -- if you can bore your evaluator to death, you passed inspection. For Navy technicians, you were stuck out in the middle of nowhere and had to be ready and able to improvise as needed. Completely different games.

For Air Force pilots, all their bombing targets were fixed, you knew where your targets were so every mission was basically scripted for you. For Navy aviators, it was all about the hunt.

There's a YouTube channel, "WW 2 In Real Time", which takes WWII week by week. Very informative. This week is Midway. Two great carrier forces face off against each other. The problem is that you don't know where the other task force is nor even what it consists of (the Japanese miscalculation about Yorktown being decisive).

Hence the Air Force mentality of by-the-book "business as usual" air operations versus the Navy's "hunt them down".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Percy, posted 06-01-2021 1:34 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 84 of 104 (886764)
06-06-2021 10:09 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Phat
05-21-2021 11:10 AM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
Phat writes:

...humanists are in love with the idea that we determine our destiny...

Still stuck on this idea?

Again, a humanist isn't "in love" with such an idea.
A humanist is "stuck" with this idea. Even searching to get rid of it, dump it, improve on it... but, until something other than humans comes along that can control our destiny... there's not really another choice, is there?

I feel like we've had this conversation before, and before, and before, and before...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Phat, posted 05-21-2021 11:10 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Phat, posted 06-06-2021 2:37 PM Stile has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15361
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 85 of 104 (886774)
06-06-2021 2:37 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by Stile
06-06-2021 10:09 AM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
We have.

And we see it differently. I perceive or feel that I DO have another choice.

I can pray and talk with God and not feel the slightest bit weird or fantasy-driven about it. I can agree with you that there is no way to objectively prove it to you. I can readily identify with other believers, who can all do it and can all agree that it works. We can describe what God "says" or imparts into us with no dissonance whatsoever.


"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami, Killo

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by Stile, posted 06-06-2021 10:09 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by ringo, posted 06-06-2021 9:39 PM Phat has responded
 Message 98 by Stile, posted 06-09-2021 12:02 PM Phat has responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4606
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.5


(1)
Message 86 of 104 (886776)
06-06-2021 8:28 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by Raphael
05-23-2021 6:35 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
I'm sure that you are very busy again with school, since I seem to recall you mentioning that summer session was about to begin.

I just viewed a video posted yesterday which ties in with a lot of what I said in my first reply, Message 77. It's by Genetically Modified Skeptic (GMS) with the help of Paulogia. Both are ex-Christians turned atheists and both have produced many very thoughtful well balanced videos. GMS also frequently examines the problems of establishing dialogue between believers and non-believers.

Christian Apologist Impersonates an Atheist, Atheists Respond, 48 minutes:

GMS and Paulogia analyze and discuss portions of an hour-long presentation by apologist (and apologetics professor at a Christian college), Sean McDowell at a Christian high school in the South. McDowell has a standard presentation for Christian audiences in which he plays the role of an atheist. While he usually starts his presentation by identifying himself as a Christian just playing the role of an atheist, in this case the teacher sponsoring this presentation wanted him to let the student audience think that he really is an atheist (a philosophy professor) and not reveal his true identity until at the end. McDowell's video which GMS and Paulogia respond to includes his hour-long presentation and a post-presentation debrief in which he discusses and responds to his own "atheist" arguments. And most of his presentation consists of a Q&A session in which he responds to students' questions.

While McDowell says that he takes care to avoid turning his "atheist" into a strawman, GMS finds that he falls short of that mark even if unintentionally. Besides the basic problem mentioned only briefly that McDowell's portrayal of an atheist is based on his Christian understanding of atheists (though he does largely avoid most of the typical pitfalls ... and even finishes with something that GMS had never before heard from an apologist), McDowell suffers from the inherent problem that he cannot afford to present any atheist arguments that are too compelling and which he could not counter in his debrief. Again, that would be very difficult to avoid despite his best intentions.

A few criticisms of McDowell (some from me too):

  1. Several times he would use rhetorical tricks instead of giving the audience a straight answer. For example:
    1. A student brings up Josephus as evidence for Jesus and McDowell asked whether the student had read the entire work (basically a small encyclopedia consisting of several volumes), thus not only intimidating the student with his "academic superiority" but then he messes up his own citations from Josephus (Paulogia cuts him some slack on those citations, knowing how hard it is to produce citations at the spur of the moment).
    2. When the questions turned to things like "fine tuning" and "the multiverse", he would resort to flies-over-their-heads word salad in order to confuse and intimidate the audience.

    Basically, GMS' complaint is that he portrayed his "atheist" as being dishonest and arrogant and possessing other unpleasant and negative qualities. IOW, he was reinforcing the audience's negative stereotypes about atheists. Which was most likely not his conscious intention given his final words.

  2. Most of the "atheist's" arguments were centered on existence questions as I discussed in my other reply. After hitting briefly on the existence of God, he then went more heavily in questions of whether the historical Jesus ever existed. In so doing, he avoided discussion of doctrine, dogma, and the religion of Christianity.

  3. He attributed beliefs to the "atheist" which aren't really a part of atheism. Like their newfound obsession with "atheists believe in the Multiverse". He even refers to "The Flash" on The CW to explain the multiverse.

Addressing McDowell's mischaracterization of atheists, GMS recommends that in the future he team up with an actual atheist and have the atheist do that part of the presentation and respond to the audience's questions. That way, the audience will not only hear what the atheist actually thinks and what his answers are, but they will see how an atheist actually behaves. If nothing else, the audience will be able to see that atheists are real people.

One commenter suggested that the two of them do some reverse role-playing with the apologist posing as the atheist and the atheist posing as the apologist. They would learn very quickly how they appear to the other side.

 
Which brings us to the conclusion of McDowell's presentation. After telling them of the defensiveness and hostility that he saw from them while they thought he was actually an atheist, he tells them about having given his presentation at a Christian youth camp. Afterwards the campers gathered around him with questions and comments, but one of them, a 17-year-old girl, held back until all the others were gone. Then she told him that she's an atheist. Puzzled, he asked why she was here? She's a camp counselor. Again, huh? She grew up in the faith, but started to have questions which everybody avoided even trying to answer. Finally she realized that she just did not believe any of it anymore. Who else had she told she was an atheist? "You're the first person I've told." "Why didn't you tell anybody else?" "Because I'm afraid that they would treat me just like they treated you." The lesson for his Christian audience is for them to be mindful of how they treat others and of how they make Christians look to unbelievers.

GMS said that this was the first time he had ever heard any apologist say such a thing ... and he has talked with a lot of apologists. That camp was in the South, which is also where GMS grew up and still lives. He knows first hand the hostility and hatred that atheists are confronted with all the time. And every other apologist had blamed him for that hatred and accused him of trying to play the victim. Sean McDowell is the first apologist whom GMS has ever heard make such a plea for understanding and opening communication between Christians and atheists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Raphael, posted 05-23-2021 6:35 PM Raphael has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 19061
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 87 of 104 (886777)
06-06-2021 9:39 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Phat
06-06-2021 2:37 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
Phat writes:

I can pray and talk with God and not feel the slightest bit weird or fantasy-driven about it. I can agree with you that there is no way to objectively prove it to you. I can readily identify with other believers, who can all do it and can all agree that it works. We can describe what God "says" or imparts into us with no dissonance whatsoever.


That's dishonest. Mormons, Pastafarians, etc. can pray and talk with their gods and you consider them weird and fantasy-driven. You do not identify with them and you do not agree that their version works. You certainly do have dissonance with them.

"I've been to Moose Jaw, now I can die." -- John Wing

This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Phat, posted 06-06-2021 2:37 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by Phat, posted 06-07-2021 6:36 AM ringo has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15361
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 88 of 104 (886778)
06-07-2021 6:36 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by ringo
06-06-2021 9:39 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
Mormons, Pastafarians, etc. can pray and talk with their gods and you consider them weird and fantasy-driven.
I am a Monotheist. I have a dissonance with their gods. Not them.

"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami, Killo

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by ringo, posted 06-06-2021 9:39 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by ringo, posted 06-07-2021 12:10 PM Phat has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 19061
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 89 of 104 (886783)
06-07-2021 12:10 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by Phat
06-07-2021 6:36 AM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
Phat writes:

ringo writes:

Mormons, Pastafarians, etc. can pray and talk with their gods and you consider them weird and fantasy-driven.


I am a Monotheist. I have a dissonance with their gods. Not them.

That's exactly the point. You do consider "other" gods weird and fantasy-driven. You only identify with "other believers" who agree with you.

"I've been to Moose Jaw, now I can die." -- John Wing

This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by Phat, posted 06-07-2021 6:36 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by Phat, posted 06-07-2021 3:23 PM ringo has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15361
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 90 of 104 (886789)
06-07-2021 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by ringo
06-07-2021 12:10 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
ringo writes:

That's exactly the point. You do consider "other" gods weird and fantasy-driven...

Of course I do. You act as if relativism is the norm. It isn't.

"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami, Killo

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by ringo, posted 06-07-2021 12:10 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by kjsimons, posted 06-07-2021 7:59 PM Phat has responded
 Message 93 by ringo, posted 06-08-2021 12:18 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
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