Atheist who believes in god

Read any good books lately?
User avatar
Lausten
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3450
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:33 pm
Location: Northern Minnesota
Contact:

Atheist who believes in god

Postby Lausten » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:51 pm

I read these because I like the challenge of finding the errors in their logic, and okay, I hope one day a good one will be written. But if anyone says you should read this so you can better understand current theology, they're wrong.

This is my review of Frank Schaeffer’s new book Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God. I gave it two stars. 1 star for his story telling and 1 for his liberal Bible study. He won’t say who his audience is. He wants to claim neutrality. But many atheists are saying he is clearly no atheist. I say this book is best for people willing to question the source of their religious feelings and want to learn more about Biblical scriptures and the traditions they say they are following. It refers to a few philosophers, but it is not a philosophy book.
My review is written in short sentences, so it (hopefully) gets read on Amazon.com. I expand it afterward:

Positive reviews for this book are an indicator of the complete lack of understanding of philosophy in culture today. Frank asks Philosophy 101 questions and comes up with bizarre answers. He goes on a rant about not being able to define the word “significance”, then ends the chapter with “it is if I say it is.” I wouldn’t mind that so much if he didn’t rail on Dawkins and Dennett for things they haven’t said. He quotes the Bible and others, but when he speaks against atheists, he puts thoughts in their heads and tells us they are wrong. The New Atheists never said that there is no meaning, okay Frank?

I find it suspicious that he doesn’t know the basics of how science works. He says all science is circular, showing a lack of knowledge of the last 400 years that have demonstrated the premises of the scientific method to be completely workable and in a very real sense, true. I was starting to believe he was insincere until he said, “my hunch is that things were beautiful before we were around to observe them”. Of course they were, but that says nothing about God or materialism. We evolved to be aware of beauty, to reflect on it, and to create words and art to describe it. That all this happened without a creator does not make it meaningless.

The redeeming quality of the book is his liberal Bible studies. And he admits that he is cherry picking. I admire that. He quotes someone saying Christianity should be reforming itself. I agree. But he comes up with weird stuff, like saying the Enlightenment was an “empathy time bomb” set by Jesus. In other words, after the Kings and Popes had their power taken away, after people were allowed to think for themselves without threat of torture, then he says it was Christianity’s idea to be inclusive and multi-cultural. Wrong.

Now for the details:

Frank starts his book with the story of some unlikely circumstances that resulted in him meeting a good friend. Then he reflects on that and what she and others have meant to him throughout his life. Early on he says, “My brain recognizes but can’t explain how love and beauty intersect with the prime directive of evolution: survive. Nor can I reconcile these ideas: ‘I know that the only thing that exists is this material universe, and I know that my redeemer liveth’.” A few times it seems like he is getting close to making that reconciliation, but then the chapter ends and the next starts with another story of his grandchildren. For an atheist reading this, I think they will find it frustrating. For an open-minded Christian, I think they can find some good places to start a discussion or think about these philosophical issues.

Philosophers, biologists and physicists are referenced throughout, but only in brief introductions. I’ll get to some misrepresentations of them later. First, if you haven’t heard of Frank Schaeffer, he comes from somewhat famous parents. They started something called the L’Abri Institute that created much of the foundation for fundamentalist Evangelical Christianity. Frank admits he was “personally conditioned” by that (his italics, he loves italics). He has since renounced their teachings and regrets how they have been used. He speaks lovingly of his mother, who despite preaching about the sin of homosexuality, would gladly have them for dinner and listen to their concerns.

He also tells of his own guilt over being a terrible father and how he grew into a decent grandfather. He is still married to the woman he got pregnant as a teenager despite their difficult early years when he believed what his father taught about men being the rulers of their house. He also credits his parents for teaching strict rules about being faithful. If not for that, he may have made things worse by cheating on her. He says his religiously based “irrational guilt” kept him from doing that. He doesn’t explain why he calls that “irrational”. He does talk about the philosophy of materialism and theory of evolution leading to a conclusion that multiple sex partners would be a rational choice. But he ignores that the values of good parenting and family are easily traceable via evolution, the very things he says he discovered later in life. This pattern is repeated throughout; acknowledging the value of strict religious rules and passing over the values we all have through the evolution of civil society.

Almost every time Frank refers to a philosopher or theologian, he gets it wrong. Most of his quotes are in support of his argument, and they are terrible. Most of his comments on “New Atheists” are merely characterizations and misrepresentations with no quotes to back up what he is claiming they said. He quotes from Howard Wettstein; http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... blogs&_r=0 and summarizes by saying “I believe that psychology explains away altruism and debunks love and that brain chemistry undermines my illusion of free will. I also believe that the spiritual reality hovering over, in and through me calls me to love, trust and hear the voice of my Creator”. If we were to find the people who said those things about psychology and chemistry, we would see that they or other psychologists and chemists also said that these sciences are in their infancy and we don’t fully understand consciousness.

Frank and Howard want to claim sole proprietorship of mystery and wonder. They want to say spirituality is real and not have to explain what it is, let alone how they can claim it is real. Wonder does not belong to anyone. It is not taken away when you discover truth. Answering one question does not end all questioning. It almost always leads to more questions.
You might be wondering where the “atheist” part of this book comes in, given my quotes from Frank so far. He does say things like “religion is a neurological disorder for which faith is the only cure” and “we act as if our pet paradigm can be stretched to fit every case” and “don’t go to church if it is not helping you be a better person” and “Belief is never the point – actions are.” These are usually said in a context that denigrates metaphysical naturalism a few sentences later. He talks about actions being more important than words, but never discusses how no matter how much good someone does, if they speak against inclusiveness, tolerance and acceptance, those words are still bad and cause others to make poor choices and take bad actions.

In the middle of the book he quotes chapter and verse extensively. He sticks to the good stuff about Jesus bringing women into the conversation and speaking out against the literalist interpretations of the Old Testament. He quotes Jacques Ellul who discussed how Nietzsche and Marx questioned ideology and the power of the Christian churches. Ellul said it would be better if Christians today did that work themselves, questioning the elites of their own churches. This is the redeeming value of the book. I will simply agree with it and leave Christians to decide to do that work or not.

After quoting a large section of the Sermon on the Mount he says, “if only the rest of the gospels were consistent with this passage.” He says this with no irony. Yes, “if only”. If only any prophet or philosopher got it all right and handed us a book that gave us rules that worked perfectly in every situation in all times. What a wonderful world we would have. But that isn’t reality. It is simply wishful thinking. Choosing one of those prophets and believing that he meant to be consistent, but somehow the message got messed up and it’s our job to fix it, that’s not thinking at all.

Statements like that are where his Bible study goes south. At another point he compares a section from Luke 10 on going to hell to Luke 6 on mercy and forgiveness, asking which is Jesus. But I ask, why ask? We have had 2,000 years to figure out that one of those passages is good for society and one is not. Whether or not a particular historical figure agreed with either one does not affect my life choices. It only changes you if you are first trying to figure who in history is special then deciding to follow everything that person said. I don’t think that is a good strategy. Today, we can know who said what, who changed those words later, who translated them, who misused them and we know the effect of doing all that on world history. We can learn from all of the wisdom of the ages.

It gets worse when he gets away from the Bible and tries to discuss the meaning of life. In Chapter 14 he types “Earth’s place in the universe” into google and finds “our place within the universe is very small and insignificant”. This puts him a riff about the word significant. He asks, “less significant than what? Where’s the standard?”, “it’s subjective”, “it’s as nonsensical as Pope Paul V threatening Galileo.” He says “today’s secular science… assigns us a contradictory groveling insignificant, significance.” He then brings in environmentalism and claims this a new form of original sin, calling us culpable for destroying other life forms despite our insignificance. Then he jumps to a rant about the poor quality of modern art.
It gets weirder when he quotes Sagan’s entire Pale Blue Dot http://youtu.be/XH7ZRF6zNoc saying Sagan “takes great pains to obliterate any sense of cosmic significance” and calling it part of the “secular theology of nothingness”. He says this theology is in conflict with itself since it sees us as “nature at her worst” yet seeks to find signs of life elsewhere. He then names Dennett, Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens claiming “Religion’s chief sin, they argue, lies in elevating humankind above the pond scum from whence we came.” No reference for any of them saying anything like that is provided. He winds down this free association with the question that led him to write this book, “if we’re nothing, why bother to convince us of our nothingness?”

The answer Frank, is found in all the places you just referred to but failed to understand. Words have meaning. We use them to communicate. Breaking them down and understanding that they are “just words” is something fun for college freshman to do in a dorm room, but you’re writing a book about meaning. You should be clarifying, not deliberately obfuscating. Sagan asked them to turn the camera back toward Earth so we could see our real place in the solar system. He’s not saying we’re nothing, he’s saying we’re something, and there is a lot more. There is much for us to know and learn and explore and it matters that we are aware of it.

He spends next the few chapters expanding on these themes, including a perfectly useless history of art criticism in the mid 20th century. He plays with definitions of other words like “natural”, saying murder is “natural” therefore a naturalist perspective says it is not wrong. He never defines spirituality but says those who believe it is an illusion “tend to demote notions of beauty along with demoting us (humans).” I realized at this point that he honestly doesn’t understand the philosophy of materialistic naturalism. He rarely uses the word “materialism” without including “meaningless” in the same sentence.

He never mentions the premises of science. He never talks about the wonder of science or how it constantly questions itself, the very essence of the title of his book, that you live with the contradiction of knowing and not knowing. He promotes the idea that Christianity should examine itself, but never acknowledges that is almost the definition of what science is. He doesn’t seem to know that the idea that everything is natural, is a premise, and if it were shown to be faulty, we would look for a different premise. The important thing to note is that in 400 years, it has repeatedly been shown to be a premise that helps us understand the stars, to build bridges and to cure cancer.

Frank’s message is no different than any sermon I’ve heard, liberal or fundamentalist. He quotes a story of a hanging in a concentration camp then says, “Either God is evil and should be punched in the mouth, or there is no God. Which is it? Perhaps there is another possibility: Jesus’ co-suffering love is the best lens through which to reconsider God, or at least to reconsider ourselves.” The only difference is Frank goes on to say the God of the Old Testament is “apparently a vindictive monster” and sometimes Jesus is “trapped in pre-Enlightenment ignorance” and that “we need to forthrightly pick and choose what we follow in the Bible.”

At this late stage in the book, he finally asks a philosophical question, what does “good” mean?
As an answer he tells the story of Mother Maria http://www.acrod.org/readingroom/saints/stmaria , a chain smoking, bar hopping nun who helped Jews escape Nazi’s and paid for it with her life. He says, “To me, Mother Maria’s death is an example of love embraced as a stark life-changing and essential fact as real as the carbon compounds that form the basis of life.” He follows that up with more of his questions that he can’t answer and for a second, I have hope that he has turned it all around when he says, “Our best hope is not found in correct theology, the Bible or any other book, but in the love we express through action rather than words.”

If he ended there, or if that came earlier and he expanded on that theme, this could have been a great book. But he continues, “Our best hope is that love predates creation and thus that the Creator sees us as ever young. Our hope is that when we look at God through the eyes of the loving Christ we will see who God really is. Our ultimate hope is that God will be looking back at us as we’d like to be seen.”

That’s not atheism.
A sermon helper that doesn't tell you what to believe: http://www.milepost100.com

User avatar
Gawdzilla Sama
Has No Life
Posts: 19460
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:11 am
Custom Title: Deadly but evil.

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:51 am

No True Atheist believes in any god or gods.
Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
The greatest place to work in the entire United States.

User avatar
Austin Harper
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4817
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:22 pm
Custom Title: Rock Chalk Astrohawk
Location: Detroit
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Austin Harper » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:16 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:No True Atheist believes in any god or gods.

That's not even a No true Scotsman fallacy, that's just the definition.
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

User avatar
TJrandom
Has More Than 7K Posts
Posts: 7369
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am
Location: Pacific coast outside of Tokyo bay.
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby TJrandom » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:29 pm

I recon that he just forgot the space... and meant to write Why I Am A Theist Who Believes In God...

User avatar
Gawdzilla Sama
Has No Life
Posts: 19460
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:11 am
Custom Title: Deadly but evil.

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:51 am

TJrandom wrote:I recon that he just forgot the space... and meant to write Why I Am A Theist Who Believes In God...

Theists do tend to space out.
Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
The greatest place to work in the entire United States.

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 29100
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Silent Ork
Location: Transcona

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Gord » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:42 pm

I'm not a train enthusiast, but I am enthusiastic about trains.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

User avatar
Lausten
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3450
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:33 pm
Location: Northern Minnesota
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Lausten » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:06 pm

I'm not really concerned so much with defining atheism any more, since I've figured it our for myself. What interests me is that there are people out there who have other ideas about it. Dale McGowan did a very interesting survey recently, that went deeper than the usual believe/not believe questions. No surprise he found people who want to be called Catholic even though they follow almost nothing the Pope says. Interesting too are his types of atheism

He also found 6% of atheists that say they believe in some sort of god. Sure, they're wrong about definitions, but the fact is, they exist. Sociology says they do. We can't make them not exist by claiming they are wrong.
A sermon helper that doesn't tell you what to believe: http://www.milepost100.com

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 29100
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Silent Ork
Location: Transcona

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Gord » Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:45 pm

Lausten wrote:We can't make them not exist by claiming they are wrong.

I really think we can. 8-)
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

KiethHoyt
New Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:43 pm
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby KiethHoyt » Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:52 pm

I've been on both sides of the fence with believing and being an atheist, and I truly believe that is made me agnostic over time. I believe in science more now than I do the theist's explanations of prayer, e.g. Yes, No, or Wait as the answer.

User avatar
digress
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1692
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:11 am
Custom Title: doomer
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby digress » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:55 pm

KiethHoyt wrote:I've been on both sides of the fence with believing and being an atheist, and I truly believe that is made me agnostic over time. I believe in science more now than I do the theist's explanations of prayer, e.g. Yes, No, or Wait as the answer.


Theism is a belief that takes on a study of literature that has documented a revealed set of behaviors an unnatural being commanded in order for those living-in-ritual loyalists to be redeemed; granted a life after death.

Atheism is the critique of these rituals that says no reasonable evidence exists to suggest redemption is possible through the study of this same literature.

Are you saying as a former theist now agnostic you've reason to believe redemption is possible, but that the search for this constitution of redeemable behaviors is a search we must continue to conduct?
  God is an idea.  

"For now, I am going to err on the side of freedom of speech..." -Pyrrho
"Every instance that has always existed is a piece of evidence that God is not needed." -yrreg
"I am not a concept..." -Confidencia

User avatar
Gawdzilla Sama
Has No Life
Posts: 19460
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:11 am
Custom Title: Deadly but evil.

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:42 am

digress wrote:
KiethHoyt wrote:I've been on both sides of the fence with believing and being an atheist, and I truly believe that is made me agnostic over time. I believe in science more now than I do the theist's explanations of prayer, e.g. Yes, No, or Wait as the answer.


Theism is a belief that takes on a study of literature that has documented a revealed set of behaviors an unnatural being commanded in order for those living-in-ritual loyalists to be redeemed; granted a life after death.

Atheism is the critique of these rituals that says no reasonable evidence exists to suggest redemption is possible through the study of this same literature.

Are you saying as a former theist now agnostic you've reason to believe redemption is possible, but that the search for this constitution of redeemable behaviors is a search we must continue to conduct?

Atheism is the lack of belief in any god or gods. Your special definition is idiotic.
Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
The greatest place to work in the entire United States.

User avatar
Scott Mayers
Veteran Poster
Posts: 2331
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:56 pm
Custom Title: Deep

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Scott Mayers » Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:41 am

I'm not sure what I could say about this author but I think that I understand the sentiment behind the guy based on what you've analyzed, Lausten. I'm one of those more nihilistic atheists of which Frank believes atheism entails. I am also certain, for instance, that morality is merely about convention and has no basis in reality apart from our begging it to exist. I've heard (read, witnessed, etc.) the arguments by many of us who attempt to defend an ethic based on evolutionary biology but am not convinced and can always find a counterargument to show such arguments mean nothing. I think they are just meant to defend how we don't require religion to be 'good' to one another in light of being atheistic (natural materialism).

I don't believe that religion has any upper hand on moral truth compared to atheists. But I do see that for the vast majority, no amount of intellectual rationalizing can assure anything better than we have at any time in history or in the future. That is, statistically, I think that the same averages of 'good' or 'evil' will remain regardless unless we were to remove the biological nature of emotions that give us our motivation to continue. But as soon as this could occur, such an evolved being would seize needing to be human at all.

So while Frank might appear irrational, he raises a sincere concern to question why he would personally maintain his state of acceptance of Christianity in light of his atheism. If we are simply atoms of an uncaring reality, what difference does it make whether all of us are deluded into one belief or another OR even none at all. They all have no more significance compared to one another. So what if the vast majority (or all of us) are deluded or not. What matters is who can maintain the power to command their desires in life with success no matter what they have to do to achieve it. Our consciousnesses have not evolved to favor truth...only the appearance of truth for practical reasons of survival alone. The certain fact that we can agree to as atheists is that since our evolution requires the need for our chemistry to impose what is to be defined some things to be naturally pleasant and others to be unpleasant, we are doomed to obey those drives regardless of truth external to ourselves. These emotional commands are all that matters.

For Frank, it is likely his emotional need to justify continuing his compassion for those he loves in light of their incorrect beliefs. If he is confused at why he should still even have such compassion even though he can logically reason they are merely arbitrary, this is only due to how he was impressed upon especially through early childhood experiences that get 'fixed' or environmentally hard-wired to his emotional comforts. Our brains have 'windows' of intervals in which the brain arbitrary allows the environment to select values that 'work' and then make them permanent.
I eat without fear of certain Death from The Tree of Knowledge because with wisdom, we may one day break free from its mortal curse.

User avatar
digress
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1692
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:11 am
Custom Title: doomer
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby digress » Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:43 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
digress wrote:
KiethHoyt wrote:I've been on both sides of the fence with believing and being an atheist, and I truly believe that is made me agnostic over time. I believe in science more now than I do the theist's explanations of prayer, e.g. Yes, No, or Wait as the answer.


Theism is a belief that takes on a study of literature that has documented a revealed set of behaviors an unnatural being commanded in order for those living-in-ritual loyalists to be redeemed; granted a life after death.

Atheism is the critique of these rituals that says no reasonable evidence exists to suggest redemption is possible through the study of this same literature.

Are you saying as a former theist now agnostic you've reason to believe redemption is possible, but that the search for this constitution of redeemable behaviors is a search we must continue to conduct?

Atheism is the lack of belief in any god or gods. Your special definition is idiotic.


How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to? To be an atheist you must first critique theism. Otherwise you become the idiot claiming to not believe in something you know nothing about. How silly.
  God is an idea.  

"For now, I am going to err on the side of freedom of speech..." -Pyrrho
"Every instance that has always existed is a piece of evidence that God is not needed." -yrreg
"I am not a concept..." -Confidencia

User avatar
TJrandom
Has More Than 7K Posts
Posts: 7369
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am
Location: Pacific coast outside of Tokyo bay.
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby TJrandom » Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:40 am

digress wrote: ... How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to? To be an atheist you must first critique theism. Otherwise you become the idiot claiming to not believe in something you know nothing about. How silly.


I don`t believe in fairies either, but I am having a real hard time researching their existence, caracteristics, mating habits, food preferences, and their belief in gods.

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 29100
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Silent Ork
Location: Transcona

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Gord » Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:00 am

digress wrote:How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to?

Well, by definition, if I remain ignorant of something, I don't believe in it. For example, if there's a tree growing on Mars, I've up until now been ignorant of it, and therefore did not believe in it.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

User avatar
Lausten
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3450
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:33 pm
Location: Northern Minnesota
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Lausten » Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:19 pm

How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to? To be an atheist you must first critique theism. Otherwise you become the idiot claiming to not believe in something you know nothing about. How silly.

Lookup PZ Myer's Courtier's reply
A sermon helper that doesn't tell you what to believe: http://www.milepost100.com

User avatar
Gawdzilla Sama
Has No Life
Posts: 19460
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:11 am
Custom Title: Deadly but evil.

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:21 pm

digress wrote:How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to? To be an atheist you must first critique theism. Otherwise you become the idiot claiming to not believe in something you know nothing about. How silly.

{!#%@} that {!#%@}. I've never been anything but an atheist. ALL religions sounded stupid to me. Yours included.
Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
The greatest place to work in the entire United States.

User avatar
Lausten
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3450
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:33 pm
Location: Northern Minnesota
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Lausten » Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:22 pm

Gord wrote:
digress wrote:How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to?

Well, by definition, if I remain ignorant of something, I don't believe in it. For example, if there's a tree growing on Mars, I've up until now been ignorant of it, and therefore did not believe in it.

And I'll add to that, your awareness of it makes no difference in it being true or not. If it's there, it's there. It does not depend on your awareness. Your ignorance of it may or may not have consequences, that's a different story all together. The somewhat more complicated point is, if you have absolutely no evidence for it, not even an authoritative report, but believe it is there, there are consequences for that too.
A sermon helper that doesn't tell you what to believe: http://www.milepost100.com

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 29100
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Silent Ork
Location: Transcona

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Gord » Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:54 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
digress wrote:<stuff>

ALL religions sounded stupid to me. Yours included.

What's digress' religion? I haven't been following along.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

User avatar
Lausten
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3450
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:33 pm
Location: Northern Minnesota
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Lausten » Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:18 pm

Gord wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
digress wrote:<stuff>

ALL religions sounded stupid to me. Yours included.

What's digress' religion? I haven't been following along.

It's one of those personal made-up religions. It changes with every question or challenge.
A sermon helper that doesn't tell you what to believe: http://www.milepost100.com

KiethHoyt
New Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:43 pm
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby KiethHoyt » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:37 pm

digress wrote:
KiethHoyt wrote:I've been on both sides of the fence with believing and being an atheist, and I truly believe that is made me agnostic over time. I believe in science more now than I do the theist's explanations of prayer, e.g. Yes, No, or Wait as the answer.


Theism is a belief that takes on a study of literature that has documented a revealed set of behaviors an unnatural being commanded in order for those living-in-ritual loyalists to be redeemed; granted a life after death.

Atheism is the critique of these rituals that says no reasonable evidence exists to suggest redemption is possible through the study of this same literature.

Are you saying as a former theist now agnostic you've reason to believe redemption is possible, but that the search for this constitution of redeemable behaviors is a search we must continue to conduct?


Really, what I am trying to say is that I no longer believe in a higher power that created, saved, and will condemn us for doing the wrong thing. Maybe now I am more an atheist than an agnostic because I studied religion without a bias, and afterward came to my own conclusion on whether there was or was not a God. So, to answer your question, no I do not think that there is any more reason to believe in redemption.

User avatar
Lausten
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3450
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:33 pm
Location: Northern Minnesota
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Lausten » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:53 pm

Welcome Keith. Good luck with digress.

Your blog link is broken. Is the website something you created and manage, or just something you are a member of?
A sermon helper that doesn't tell you what to believe: http://www.milepost100.com

User avatar
digress
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1692
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:11 am
Custom Title: doomer
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby digress » Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:20 am

TJrandom wrote:
digress wrote: ... How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to? To be an atheist you must first critique theism. Otherwise you become the idiot claiming to not believe in something you know nothing about. How silly.

I don`t believe in fairies either, but I am having a real hard time researching their existence, caracteristics, mating habits, food preferences, and their belief in gods.


(un)Fortunately you may research the existence, characteristics, habits, preferences to any theism. Although I grab your sarcasm there is no word for a belief in fairies either.

Gord wrote:
digress wrote:How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to?

Well, by definition, if I remain ignorant of something, I don't believe in it. For example, if there's a tree growing on Mars, I've up until now been ignorant of it, and therefore did not believe in it.


Not believing is not the same as being unlearned. Although remaining unlearned does deny you the option to believe. If somebody told you a tree were growing on Mars you would by definition still be ignorant to the existence of any tree until learning more.

However, if you are similar to Gawdzilla Sama all it would take is a personal judgement in the sound of a tree growing on Mars to then know its validity. I run into this kind of faith all the time.

Lausten wrote:
How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to? To be an atheist you must first critique theism. Otherwise you become the idiot claiming to not believe in something you know nothing about. How silly.

Lookup PZ Myer's Courtier's reply


I don't understand what you are telling me to do here.

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
digress wrote:How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to? To be an atheist you must first critique theism. Otherwise you become the idiot claiming to not believe in something you know nothing about. How silly.

{!#%@} that {!#%@}. I've never been anything but an atheist. ALL religions sounded stupid to me. Yours included.


You confuse my religion with my humility. I am sorry to hear your atheism is the result of an inept hunch.

Lausten wrote:
Gord wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
digress wrote:<stuff>

ALL religions sounded stupid to me. Yours included.

What's digress' religion? I haven't been following along.

It's one of those personal made-up religions. It changes with every question or challenge.


My religion changes with every question? Did it just change, again?
  God is an idea.  

"For now, I am going to err on the side of freedom of speech..." -Pyrrho
"Every instance that has always existed is a piece of evidence that God is not needed." -yrreg
"I am not a concept..." -Confidencia

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 29100
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Silent Ork
Location: Transcona

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Gord » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:46 am

Lausten wrote:Welcome Keith.

Kieth
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 29100
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Silent Ork
Location: Transcona

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Gord » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:51 am

digress wrote:
Gord wrote:
digress wrote:How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to?

Well, by definition, if I remain ignorant of something, I don't believe in it. For example, if there's a tree growing on Mars, I've up until now been ignorant of it, and therefore did not believe in it.

Not believing is not the same as being unlearned. Although remaining unlearned does deny you the option to believe. If somebody told you a tree were growing on Mars you would by definition still be ignorant to the existence of any tree until learning more.

Not believing and being unlearned have a definite area of overlap. You can't claim to believe in something you remain ignorant of; you can only lack belief in it. Of course, you can't claim to lack belief in something you remain ignorant of, simply because you remain ignorant of it, and are unaware of what you what you would be claiming. For example, you can't claim to be unaware of the tree in my backyard until you are aware of the tree in my backyard, at which point you can't make the claim because it would be false. Now that you are aware of the claim that there is a tree in my back yard, you can claim you don't believe in it, but you cannot claim you are unaware of it, even if it isn't really there.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

KiethHoyt
New Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:43 pm
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby KiethHoyt » Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:07 pm

Lausten wrote:Welcome Keith. Good luck with digress.

Your blog link is broken. Is the website something you created and manage, or just something you are a member of?


Thanks for telling me about my blog. It's actually both. I created it and manage it. Something must be up with my pathing. Also, thanks for welcoming me! :)

User avatar
OlegTheBatty
True Skeptic
Posts: 10407
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:35 pm
Custom Title: Uppity Atheist

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby OlegTheBatty » Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:24 pm

Gord wrote:
digress wrote:
Gord wrote:
digress wrote:How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to?

Well, by definition, if I remain ignorant of something, I don't believe in it. For example, if there's a tree growing on Mars, I've up until now been ignorant of it, and therefore did not believe in it.

Not believing is not the same as being unlearned. Although remaining unlearned does deny you the option to believe. If somebody told you a tree were growing on Mars you would by definition still be ignorant to the existence of any tree until learning more.

Not believing and being unlearned have a definite area of overlap. You can't claim to believe in something you remain ignorant of; you can only lack belief in it. Of course, you can't claim to lack belief in something you remain ignorant of, simply because you remain ignorant of it, and are unaware of what you what you would be claiming. For example, you can't claim to be unaware of the tree in my backyard until you are aware of the tree in my backyard, at which point you can't make the claim because it would be false. Now that you are aware of the claim that there is a tree in my back yard, you can claim you don't believe in it, but you cannot claim you are unaware of it, even if it isn't really there.

I am unaware of any tree in your backyard. You might be making that up, you might be hallucinating; you might have alzheimers, and are remembering a tree which was cut down 30 years ago.
I am aware that you make the claim that you have a tree in your back yard. By inference, you also claim to have a backyard. I am unaware of your backyard. You might be living in an apartment. You might be living in a hotel of such poor quality that coprolites on the floor would be a step up. I am aware of your implied claim that you have a backyard.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

User avatar
Lausten
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3450
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:33 pm
Location: Northern Minnesota
Contact:

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Lausten » Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:05 pm

Gord wrote:Now that you are aware of the claim that there is a tree in my back yard, you can claim you don't believe in it, but you cannot claim you are unaware of it, even if it isn't really there.

Now that I am aware of the Tree of Gord of course I believe it. Gord's word has always been good. I see no reason why anyone would doubt the word of Gord. If they do, may a plague of frogs rain down on them. Thanks for expanding my awareness oh great Tree of Gord.
A sermon helper that doesn't tell you what to believe: http://www.milepost100.com

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 29100
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Silent Ork
Location: Transcona

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Gord » Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:46 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Gord wrote:
digress wrote:
Gord wrote:
digress wrote:How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to?

Well, by definition, if I remain ignorant of something, I don't believe in it. For example, if there's a tree growing on Mars, I've up until now been ignorant of it, and therefore did not believe in it.

Not believing is not the same as being unlearned. Although remaining unlearned does deny you the option to believe. If somebody told you a tree were growing on Mars you would by definition still be ignorant to the existence of any tree until learning more.

Not believing and being unlearned have a definite area of overlap. You can't claim to believe in something you remain ignorant of; you can only lack belief in it. Of course, you can't claim to lack belief in something you remain ignorant of, simply because you remain ignorant of it, and are unaware of what you what you would be claiming. For example, you can't claim to be unaware of the tree in my backyard until you are aware of the tree in my backyard, at which point you can't make the claim because it would be false. Now that you are aware of the claim that there is a tree in my back yard, you can claim you don't believe in it, but you cannot claim you are unaware of it, even if it isn't really there.

I am unaware of any tree in your backyard. You might be making that up, you might be hallucinating; you might have alzheimers, and are remembering a tree which was cut down 30 years ago.
I am aware that you make the claim that you have a tree in your back yard. By inference, you also claim to have a backyard. I am unaware of your backyard. You might be living in an apartment. You might be living in a hotel of such poor quality that coprolites on the floor would be a step up. I am aware of your implied claim that you have a backyard.

You're not unaware of the concept of a tree in my backyard (which is really all you can have about a tree in my backyard), nor in the claim that there is a tree in my backyard, and therefore by extension that I have a backyard. Now that you aware of them, you can claim to believe in them or to not believe in them. But before you'd heard of them, you hadn't thought of them, and could make no claims one way or the other.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 29100
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Silent Ork
Location: Transcona

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby Gord » Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:53 pm

Lausten wrote:
Gord wrote:Now that you are aware of the claim that there is a tree in my back yard, you can claim you don't believe in it, but you cannot claim you are unaware of it, even if it isn't really there.

Now that I am aware of the Tree of Gord of course I believe it. Gord's word has always been good. I see no reason why anyone would doubt the word of Gord. If they do, may a plague of frogs rain down on them. Thanks for expanding my awareness oh great Tree of Gord.

You're welcome.

It's a Jello Tree, by the way. I have to keep the kids out of it.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

User avatar
scrmbldggs
Has No Life
Posts: 19636
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 7:55 am
Custom Title: something
Location: sees Maria Frigoris from its house!

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby scrmbldggs » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:11 pm

Oled the Batty wrote:...coprolites on the floor would be a step up.


I'd use a step stool for a step up. To put my coprolites in a prominent place on my shelf!
Hi, Io the lurker.

User avatar
SweetPea
Has No Life
Posts: 12885
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:11 am
Custom Title: Too Cute

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby SweetPea » Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:46 pm

Gord wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Gord wrote:
digress wrote:
Gord wrote:
digress wrote:How do you claim to lack a belief in something you remain ignorant to?

Well, by definition, if I remain ignorant of something, I don't believe in it. For example, if there's a tree growing on Mars, I've up until now been ignorant of it, and therefore did not believe in it.

Not believing is not the same as being unlearned. Although remaining unlearned does deny you the option to believe. If somebody told you a tree were growing on Mars you would by definition still be ignorant to the existence of any tree until learning more.

Not believing and being unlearned have a definite area of overlap. You can't claim to believe in something you remain ignorant of; you can only lack belief in it. Of course, you can't claim to lack belief in something you remain ignorant of, simply because you remain ignorant of it, and are unaware of what you what you would be claiming. For example, you can't claim to be unaware of the tree in my backyard until you are aware of the tree in my backyard, at which point you can't make the claim because it would be false. Now that you are aware of the claim that there is a tree in my back yard, you can claim you don't believe in it, but you cannot claim you are unaware of it, even if it isn't really there.

I am unaware of any tree in your backyard. You might be making that up, you might be hallucinating; you might have alzheimers, and are remembering a tree which was cut down 30 years ago.
I am aware that you make the claim that you have a tree in your back yard. By inference, you also claim to have a backyard. I am unaware of your backyard. You might be living in an apartment. You might be living in a hotel of such poor quality that coprolites on the floor would be a step up. I am aware of your implied claim that you have a backyard.

You're not unaware of the concept of a tree in my backyard (which is really all you can have about a tree in my backyard), nor in the claim that there is a tree in my backyard, and therefore by extension that I have a backyard. Now that you aware of them
"Them" being only those things you mentioned; the concepts and claims.

you can claim to believe in them or to not believe in them.
Again, the pronoun stands for the concepts and claims. So according to your logic, he can claim to believe or not believe in the concepts and claims made.

But before you'd heard of them, you hadn't thought of them, and could make no claims one way or the other.
He didn't make such claims about "them".
Your bad logic only confuses you, Gordie.
How do the Deniers get so lucky?
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=24129

toroid
Poster
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:42 am

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby toroid » Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:26 am

I believe in god (or the Great Hamsandwich as it's sometimes called) but god is (almost?) precisely what atheists believe exists; the operating systems of all levels of reality descibed collectively; the local one being evolution. Ironically I found god (aka tGH) through Lawrence Krauss's A Universe from Nothing.

I call tGH god because (1) I can and (2) because atheism is counterproductive when used to combat conventional wisdom (about as effective as The Skeptic Society Forum is in that regard.) I prefer to co-opt the use of god and tell it like it really is.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pejsl59PRqQ

No more Sheldon Cooperish dog-and-pony shows between religious nutz an' atheists; don't haveta' fug around no more; the only thing everything except reality's gotta do is die!

Of course, if reality is nothing but the observable cosmos (which will die), instead of a limitless (but not infinite) reality extending like swiss cheese (or foam) without limits thus having no beginning or end, we're back to the dog and pony extravaganza. But god isn't silly (except occasionally.)

Of course, YMMV!

User avatar
scrmbldggs
Has No Life
Posts: 19636
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 7:55 am
Custom Title: something
Location: sees Maria Frigoris from its house!

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby scrmbldggs » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:07 am

And that's why you're a donut.
Hi, Io the lurker.

toroid
Poster
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:42 am

Re: Atheist who believes in god

Postby toroid » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:50 pm

Among other things god only knows. (Actually god doesn't know, it only works.)


Return to “The Bookshelf”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest