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View Diary: Rev. Franklin Graham thinks God may have to ruin our economy because Obama was reelected (270 comments)

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  •  Reason & fantasy: that's pretty rich (0+ / 0-)

    Atheism is no more or less "reasonable" than theism. Both belief systems are completely insupportable by logic and, so far, resistant to scientific proof.


    by raincrow on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:53:03 PM PST

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    •  Atheism is not a "belief system"... (5+ / 0-) matter how much people of faith want it to be.

      Everything is not assumed to exist until proven to not exist the way people of faith expect atheists to prove the nonexistence of God.

      I cling to the hope in Stephen Roberts's famous quote: "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." Maybe one day, more will indeed understand.

      •  And of course you don't believe in love (0+ / 0-)

        or beauty, and CERTAINLY not the cuteness of puppies or the fabulousness of rock and roll or any of that delusional stuff that can't be quantified or evaluated for quality with existing technologies and our current understanding of the universe.

        Because Serious, Rational People know the only stuff that exists in the universe, the only stuff that is "real," the only stuff that should be considered and acted upon by Serious, Rational People is the stuff we can measure right now andor precisely frame with language and mathematics.

        Your belief system requires what seem to me some very strange and contra-scientific conclusions about the universe and human experience. You and I are obviously wired VERY differently.

        But if your beliefs give you a sense of meaning and fulfillment, it's not up to me to judge (unless and until you as try to use the political process to impose your belief system on me).


        by raincrow on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 05:59:50 PM PST

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        •  Sigh. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChurchofBruce, terrypinder, BYw, JosephK74

          Love is not proofless. Love is an emotional reaction people have, and as with all emotions it is easily observable in people's behavior. Despite what happens in the Harry Potter series, love is not magic; it's not something that exists disconnected from people. It's just an emotion. It's electrical discharges travelling pathways through chemicals in people's brains.

          Beauty is an opinion; things that one person considers beautiful are not beautiful to others. Same with cuteness. Same with opinions about music; people have been praising and condemning the same type of music forever. Having an opinion, aka making a judgement, is no where near the same thing as recognizing whether or not something exists.

          When you can understand that as an atheist, I don't have "beliefs" then you'll understand me. But as long as you keep assuming that my lack of belief works the same way your belief does, you'll never understand me. Work on understanding why you don't believe Zeus is bowling whenever there's a thunderstorm, and then maybe you'll understand why I don't believe God does anything whatsoever.

          •  I'm saying that what happens inside you (0+ / 0-)

            is different from what happens inside me, and we should accept that pretty much as peaceably as I accept that I can't understand what having an erection feels like because I'm missing the necessary body parts and wiring, and a man has no basis from which to understand what menstrual cramps and PMS feel like.

            You and I can listen to a late Haydn string quartet wearing full biotelemetry gear, making 4D maps of the sound pressure levels in the room, monitoring how our prefrontal cortex, amygdala, etc., etc., respond to changes in key, etc., etc., etc., etc., and never once will all that data reveal WHY I love late Haydn and you, perhaps, hate it, why I am psyched by the quartet's ability to chorale so perfectly in a passage that so carries you away with emotion and unbidden memories that you couldn't care less about the interplay of the musicians at that moment.

            I'm saying that you and I can have different sexual orientations or gender identities, and you can insist from here to eternity that your experience is valid and mine is twaddle, that I merely "believe" in my sexual orientation or gender identity while you are rooted in The One True Reality and thus, of course, are conducting your life free of any need to merely "believe" in your experience of sexual orientation or gender identity.

            And I agree with you about some of the physiological externalities of love. A component of it is indeed emotion (although I in no way find it "just" an emotion), and it shows no sign of being magic (tho I'm not entirely sure what magic would even look like, I must confess). My experience of God feels qualitatively very similar to love, thus I find in it no magic. I assume there are physical inputs that form a basis for my experience, and genetics to go with that particular perceptual ability. However, as with Haydn, all the physical measurements in the universe may do little to add meaning to my experience of and relationship with God. I'm not concerned that they are as yet uncharacterized -- the existence of atoms was hypothesized HOW many thousands of years before we had the tools to directly demonstrate them? We went HOW long in our characterization of the universe without the slightest inkling of dark energy and dark matter?

            Where there is no measurable proof, no symbolic language that allows rigorous characterization and modeling, there is only experience and belief. You cannot prove the absence of God just as, so far, I cannot prove its existence. You do not perceive the existence of God and I do; thus your universe is entirely devoid of God while mine is filled with it to the brim. Just as making no decision is a decision nonetheless, your non-belief operates in every way as a belief.


            by raincrow on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:48:09 AM PST

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