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  •  Thanks for perspective as a believer... (1+ / 0-)
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    I believe that the collaboration of believers in god and those that don't is a powerful theological and ethical framework for the evolution of human consciousness.

    Cooper Zale Los Angeles

    by leftyparent on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:21:40 PM PDT

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    •  With great and sincere respect, (0+ / 0-)

      you are a believer. You have more in common with those whose religion happens to include a god than with those of us who reject supernaturalism and irrational beliefs as a poor basis for understanding reality and acting morally within it.

      There seems to be a gap between the terminology you use - atheist, secular humanist, nonbeliever - and the worldview you espouse - supernatural, reincarnation, the necessity of completing the scientific with the paranormal.

      you even talk about a collaboration between believers in god and nonbelievers leading to a "powerful theological and ethical framework (emphasis mine), learning to an "evolution" of "human consciousness.

      A collaboration that results in theology is not a collaboration between rational thinkers and religious thinkers. It is wholly religious in nature. And terms such as "evolution of human consciousness" come from a profound anti-scientific tradition that substitutes "new age" mysticism for traditional religious doctrine - but maintains the same basis approach to knowledge - irrational and rejecting critical thinking.

      Science has great explanatory power, and everyone from creationists to UFOlogists to climate change denialists to new age "spiritual" seekers seek to appropriate its language and cloak their beliefs in the guise of "reason" in order to gain respectability.

      But, ultimately, the only reliable tool we have to gain increasing understanding of the world around us is the scientific method, and its critical thinking tools, skepticism, empiricism, logic, peer review, and above all humility and a willingness to live with uncertainty, not to have the hubris to try to know and understand everything - and not to try to fill in the gaps of everything we don't know with simplistic, emotionally satisfying supernatural explanations.

      It takes courage to live with uncertainty; it is always easier to say, "magic" than to say, "we just don't know - yet". But, it is ultimately liberating - particularly because the realm of what we know continues to grow exponentially.

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 11:25:17 PM PDT

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      •  Thanks for pointing some things out... (0+ / 0-)

        I should not use the term "believer", which some use as shorthand for a believer in god.

        But yes, I guess I am a believer in the beauty, power and persistence of human consciousness, the evolutionary purpose of human culture, the interdependent web of all existence, the efficacy of democracy and the inherent worth and dignity of every person.  I believe in secular humanism.

        Cooper Zale Los Angeles

        by leftyparent on Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 09:54:15 AM PDT

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