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View Diary: A Challenge for the Daily Kos Atheist Community: Who Will Write a Diary Mocking Passover? (409 comments)

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  •  I don't know how to answer because the universe (0+ / 0-)

    where classical physics and mathematical logic are complete and consistent does not exist.

    I was raised as a Christian, so you are right my faith is a preexisting condition.  

    I began to study math and physics in order to determine if I could sustain my faith.  I was afraid at first of what I would find but if hard science and logic could succeed in disproving my beliefs I was willing to convert.  

    What I found instead was not proof or disproof of God.

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.  On this I can agree with agnostics, but not atheists.

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:16:32 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  whether absence of evidence (4+ / 0-)

      is evidence of absence is contextual and conditional, in my opinion. Even when absence of evidence is evidence of absence, which I think is the case at least for many traditional Abrahamic concepts of God, it is not absolute proof. When I say I am an atheist, I do not mean I have absolute certainty that there is no intelligence behind the creation of the universe. Many believers don't require absolute certainty for their faith, so why is it required for my lack thereof?

      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:43:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not. You know what I really believe? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronInSanDiego, River Rover

        The "Big Bang" WAS God. The universe is God.

        I remain in awe of our expanding Universe. It's Grand Architect is physics.

        I choose to both understand, AND worship that.

        Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

        by commonmass on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:45:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  sounds almost pantheistic. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, dov12348

          Not really that far off from my own views, in a way.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:48:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It really is. It's also totally cool with (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AaronInSanDiego

            my church and my lodge to believe that way.

            Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

            by commonmass on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:54:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was brought up to believe that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              commonmass

              how we treat each other is more important than what we believe, in any case. There is a stereotype, that is reinforced by the behavior of many, particularly among the religious right, that Christians hold the opposite view. I think you and many other Christians are closer to that belief I was brought up with than the values of the religious right.

              Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

              by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:05:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My father, who I suppose is technically a Jew (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AaronInSanDiego

                because his mother was technically one though her mother converted to Russian Orthodoxy before her birth in order to marry her husband, taught his kids this:

                "If you leave them alone, they are likely to leave you alone".

                He also taught us to be kind and gentle to every creature, and every person.

                Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

                by commonmass on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:11:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Do unto others as you'd have them (0+ / 0-)

                  do unto you, said the Nazarene. It's common sense.

                  I never liked you and I always will.

                  by Ray Blake on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:52:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Actually his father taught (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AaronInSanDiego

                    What Rabbi Hillel, who preceded the Nazarene (110 BCE-7CE), taught: That which is hateful to you, do not do unto others. That is the whole of the Torah. All the rest is commentary. Go forth and study.

                    If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? When I am only for myself, then what am "I"? And if not now, when?

                    by betorah on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 09:36:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There's a significant difference between (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BMScott

                      the two, however. Yeshu's command contains a positive, pro-active implication: to treat others well, with compassion and kindness, just as you'd have them do unto you. It goes far beyond just not doing what is hateful.

                      I never liked you and I always will.

                      by Ray Blake on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:43:49 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  That has never worked for Jews (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AaronInSanDiego

                  Nor for anybody else that I can remember. Most cultures seem to have operated on the other set of Golden Rules.

                  Whoever has the Gold makes the Rules.

                  Do unto others before they can do unto you.

                  It's certainly true of Republicans.

                  Buddhists traditionally say to leave other people alone, but don't expect anything.

                  Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                  by Mokurai on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:34:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Do you see God as = all of existence? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              commonmass, Ray Blake

              Just trying to be clear because this big bang and this universe can be seen as just one corner of all of existence.

              Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

              by dov12348 on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:14:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I see God as all of existence. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dov12348, Ray Blake

                God is like matter: it cannot be either created or destroyed.

                My idea of eternal life is that all of my corporeal matter will continue to exist, as atoms and molecules, after my death.

                I choose, culturally, to associate myself with Christianity, but what really calms me is physics.

                Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

                by commonmass on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:18:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  This is the pivotal question: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                phoebesdatter

                What do we consider God to be? If we reject the limited, self-interested notion of an anthropomorphic SuperBeing who helps out people like us vs. them, if we do his will, we're free to acknowledge the essential mystery of existence and embrace its totality. God, Allah, etc. become terms to describe that mystery.

                I never liked you and I always will.

                by Ray Blake on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:01:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  In fact, "Grand Architect of the Universe" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AaronInSanDiego

            is how Masons refer to God, because it is the God of your understanding, and not a sectarian God.

            Freemasonry is not a religion, let's make that clear, but it is founded on the idea of deism.

            My father and I are both 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Masons and I attend church, and he does not. He's a self-described "Druid Animist". Daddy and I couldn't be more different when it comes to religion, but we know what's morally important and are both political liberals.

            What the "Christianists" don't realize is that this is NOT a "Christian Nation". If it is anything, it's a Masonic construct.

            You will not find a single Lodge in the US that does not have a portrait of George Washington in it, in full Masonic regalia.

            Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

            by commonmass on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:01:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm also a "traveling man". n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              commonmass

              Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

              by River Rover on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:06:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good to meet you, Brother. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AaronInSanDiego, River Rover

                Fifth generation here. My late husband's great, great, great grandfather, Joseph Brant/Tyendenaga, was raised by King George III himself.

                Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

                by commonmass on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:15:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  My father, who is a a great fan of British crime (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                River Rover

                dramas on television (and in print) told me of a line in some program where a detective was asked if "he was ever asked to raise his left trouser leg". We had a good laugh over that.

                Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

                by commonmass on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:25:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Fourth gen for me, my little lodge is in (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  commonmass

                  North Zulch Texas.

                  Not much connection 'tween Pyramid 593 and royalty.

                  Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

                  by River Rover on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:45:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ah, Texas. My ex (not the Mohawk one) was from (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    River Rover

                    Fort Worth. We were at a reception at the Harvard Club one night (he was doing his surgical residency there) and someone asked him where he was from. "For' wuth" he replied with a particularly broad North Texas accent. "Where's that?" some man in a tux inquired. Being the scamp that I am, I butted in and replied "It's a suburb of Wichita Falls".

                    He didn't speak to me for a week.

                    Triangle lodge, here in Porltand (my blue lodge is in Yarmouth, though I go to Consistory meetings there from time to time) has its charter signed by Paul Revere when he was G.M. of Massachusetts, before Maine became a state.

                    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

                    by commonmass on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:52:21 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Mine is Casco #36. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    River Rover

                    I'm working the chairs. In six years or so, I'll be Worshipful Master.

                    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

                    by commonmass on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:56:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  This is getting periously off topic, but did you (0+ / 0-)

                    know that the first Governor of Maine, William King, was also the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Maine?

                    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

                    by commonmass on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:01:46 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  You and I are not too far apart. n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass

          Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

          by River Rover on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:03:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We really are not. It just is that some of us (0+ / 0-)

            enjoy cultural religion. I have made my career in it. My activity as a lay brother of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament (and Anglican religious order) and as a brother Master Mason and Scottish Rite Mason is very much cultural and very much rooted in my deep and enduring faith in humanity and social justice.

            There are many people like me. There are many people like you. Our job is social justice.

            As for me, I call out religious whack-jobs all the time. I'm just careful not to paint with a broad brush.

            Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

            by commonmass on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:08:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  If you're not sure then you are not an atheist, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass

        you're an agnostic.

        Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

        by River Rover on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:01:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Disagree (8+ / 0-)

          To me it's the same as not believing in any other thing for which there are claims but no evidence. I'm not agnostic on the Loch Ness Monster, I don't believe it exists. But if they find evidence I will change my mind.

        •  Oh yes... (9+ / 0-)

          It's not a Daily Kos anti-atheist callout thread without people trying to explain atheism to atheists for the sake of saying that atheists are not really atheists if they consider any of the philosophy of the century.

          •  The thread has been dominated by those (0+ / 0-)

            telling Christians what they believe, based on what certain bigots profess. However, if you look at Richard Dawkin's atheist foundation, he professes certainty that God doesn't exist, that religion should go away. He can't prove it, anymore than I can prove that something called God exists.

            I never liked you and I always will.

            by Ray Blake on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:08:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW

              Setting aside the problem that Richard Dawkins doesn't represent the diversity of atheist positions, he does not profess certainty that God doesn't exist, which is explained in one of the early chapters of The God Delusion (and multiple speaking engagements since then.)

              So I'll pose the question to you, why am I obligated to do something that's immoral to justify commonmass's anger at unknown and unnamed others?

              •  I don't follow (0+ / 0-)

                What are you obligated to do as a justification for ?

                I never liked you and I always will.

                by Ray Blake on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 07:47:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's right there in this diary. (0+ / 0-)

                  "I want to see ONE atheist diary mocking Jewish people."

                  Why am I obligated to engage in an act that's morally wrong (as applied to any religion) because you or commonmass are pissed off?

                  •  I'm not even remotely pissed off (0+ / 0-)

                    I enjoy these discussions. Clearly, the statement you quoted is the equivalent of a rhetorical question. I don't think we're under any obligation to respond. Judaism isn't mocked like Christianity because fewer people understand or are affected by its teachings, and no one wants to be accused of being an anti-semite. A couple of Jewish posters, however have written pointed criticisms and in the context of the settler movement's claims to Palestinian territory, Judaism sometimes enters the debate. But clearly, Christianity draws much more fire and counter-fire than Judaism.  

                    I never liked you and I always will.

                    by Ray Blake on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:16:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's what I thought at first (0+ / 0-)

                      ... but why double-down on it over a dozen times after being told point-blank it's an immoral request?

                      I think if you want to engage atheists in an interfaith discussion, suggesting that we're dishonest for not mocking Islam or Judaism when many of us don't mock Christianity either is likely the wrong way to go about it.

                      •  I'm sorry but I haven't engaged that issue (0+ / 0-)

                        The poster believes there is a disproportionate level of hostility directed towards Christians and Christianity on this site. I think that's pretty obvious, so I haven't commented on that point. There seem to be a number of older folks here who grew up with harsh forms of Christianity that younger people aren't exposed to anymore. I know many kids who went to Catholic schools, got a great education and never had to deal with the stereotypical mean nuns of yore. What's more common in my experience are the alternative Christian communities that are progressive about social issues, but still very intense about Jesus. I'm not a believer, mind you, but religion intrigues ne, particularly its mystic adherents.

                        I never liked you and I always will.

                        by Ray Blake on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:46:54 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Once again... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TiaRachel, BMScott

              ...one does not have to prove the nonexistence of something. It is incumbent upon the one saying something exists to prove the existence, not the other way around.

              And we haven't being saying that Christian-DailyKos-Poster-X believes Christian-Belief-Y; we've been saying that there are Christians who believe Christian-Belief-Y and just because their doing so is embarrassing or antithetical to what you believe doesn't make them not Christian. And we know that those with Christian-Belief-Y exist because we encounter them daily. Your pretending that they don't count as Christian is as absurd as their saying you don't count as Christian.

              •  Because we can readily compare what Bigot A (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VirginiaJeff

                professes against what Yeshu the Nazarene is quoted as saying. For example, Bigot A says gay people are going to hell. Jesus never said anything about homosexuality and prohibited such judgements against anyone.There are passages in the OT/Pentateuch/Torah that can be construed that way, though they're in dispute and appear alongside other statements that are simply ludicrous in modern terms. The core teaching of Yeshu was compassion, foregiveness and helping the poor and oppressed. So someone who professes beliefs that are contrary to that teaching can be said to be CINOs--Christians in name only.

                I never liked you and I always will.

                by Ray Blake on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 07:58:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Is there anything I'm absolutely, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, River Rover

          unquestionably, certain about? I can't think of anything. Therefore, to claim agnosticism only regarding theism doesn't make much sense to me. I don't believe in God or gods. Call that what you will, but I self identify as an atheist Jew.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:29:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Do you think that Thor might actually exist? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          I doubt but only a remarkable few, and I can't imagine any Christians, would actually say, we'll, maybe Thor might possibly somehow maybe exist, therefore I'm agnostic about Thor.

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