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  •  true, although there are strong atheists who (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marsanges, Glen The Plumber

    believe that there is no god, in addition to not having the belief that there is a god. That's my belief, which is different from knowledge or certainty. That being said, I don't intend to proselytize, although some people might think I do.

    "I have more than two prablems" - The Coach Z

    by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:45:29 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  There are irrational atheists, for sure. (6+ / 0-)

      But so far they've burned very few people at the stake for not believing the wrong things.

      •  are you saying that (2+ / 0-)

        my belief is irrational?

        "I have more than two prablems" - The Coach Z

        by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:16:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Depends what you believe. (0+ / 0-)
        •  Oh, okay-- (0+ / 0-)

          Re-reading your post above.  See, I would substitute the word "opinion" for "belief."  It's my opinion that most human conception of the supernatural is probably completely wrong. To the extent that what we think of as the supernatural may or may not exist, it's probably the result of natural phenomena that we still don't understand.  Unlike beliefs, opinions are readily changed, given new and compelling evidence.  Beliefs are somewhat less changeable--they're matters of faith, not evidence.  They're generally the product of emotion--we believe because we feel an emotional connection to a higher being, or the universe, or whatever.  That's how I think of it, anyway.    

          •  if supernatural were proven to exist--wouldn't it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            worldlotus

            become natural by definition?

            •  Good question. (0+ / 0-)

              Historically, though, it seems to happen the other way around.  What we thought were supernatural phenomena--inexplicable by any other means--turn out to have readily understood natural causes.  That said, I think if Jesus came sliding down a bolt of lightning on a horse made out of fire and cast all the sinners into hell, or whatever, that would pretty much render the discussion moot--at that point our conception of "natural" versus "supernatural" would pretty much all be out the window.  At least it would for me.

              •  no...then we'd just modify the textbooks to say: (0+ / 0-)

                'Under certain circumstances, Jesus can come sliding down a bolt of lightning on a horse made out of fire and cast all the sinners into hell'.

                But only if you carry the '2'.

          •  I think maybe opinion, belief, and faith (0+ / 0-)

            can be seen as having different levels of confidence or certitude, in this context. I base my belief based on my examination of evidence and a certain level of confidence, and while I am resistant to changing it, I an not certain it is true. I would use the word faith if I had that certainty, and opinion if it were purely provisional and easily subject to change.

            "I have more than two prablems" - The Coach Z

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 12:34:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  True. The Soviets used ice not fire (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bevenro, The Marti, worldlotus

        Off to the Gulag komrade!

        The notion that atheists are inherently more moral than religious people or that no one has murdered in the name of atheism is a tragic conceit.

        •  You misread my post. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund, corvo, worldlotus

          Here's what I said: "...so far they've burned very few people at the stake for not believing the wrong things."  Meaning that atheists haven't burned other atheists at the stake for failing to disbelieve according to dogma.  I'm pretty sure that's a historically accurate statement.  Christians have, of course, on many occasions burned other Christians at the stake for failing to believe according to current dogma.  That's also a historically accurate statement, I'm pretty sure.  As for the Soviets: oh, hell yes--they suppressed the Orthodox Church and its believers with great brutality--taking a page from Reformation history, in fact, and following in the footsteps of Henry VIII under Cromwell.  Like Henry, they saw in the Church both a source of great wealth, and a problematic political rival.  China's done similar things in Tibet, and to the followers of Falun Gong, among others.  So yes, it's true that professed atheists are, as a group, probably no more or less moral than professed believers.  But that's not at all what I was saying--I was being ironic, not judgmental.

          •  Well still (0+ / 0-)
            Meaning that atheists haven't burned other atheists at the stake for failing to disbelieve according to dogma. I'm pretty sure that's a historically accurate statement
            Well, I'd still say the Soviet example stands. There were ample millions who died for not performing up to snuff per the prevailing dogma. With tens of millions liquidated in various purges I would say more than a few were killed for little more than refusing to give up their religion for atheistic stateism.

            I'd say the claim is historically inaccurate. And as we agree on the larger point, there is no evidence to suggest non-believers are any more or less ethical than other groups, I'd say the claim is best left unused.

      •  Tell that to the Tibetan Buddhists in Mongolia (0+ / 0-)

        who had all of their monasteries destroyed...

    •  It is your "belief". (0+ / 0-)

      At least you're honest about that.  Most of the angry atheists are confused about that.

      I prefer my Catholic belief over your atheist belief, and all the evidence is on my side.

      You'll never be converted by words, especially by words over the anonymous Internet.

      But eventually you'll be converted by experience.

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