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View Diary: Atheist Digest '10: Debunking Dogmas, Part I: Creationism (211 comments)

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  •  What RandomActs said. (1+ / 0-)
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    You've lost the thread of what we are talking about here. What I was responding to was your line--which you have repeated in different permutations two or three times now--that you find it surprising "that something which does not exist can push so many buttons." This is a notably pushy shot at atheists; it diagnoses us with some kind of bizarre problem, in that we hear of this thing that we think is imaginary and yet become furious at it.

    In my response here, I pointed out that you are directly misrepresenting what it is that makes atheists (or at least the ones that we know) angry.  It is not, as you put it "something which does not exist"; it is a certain broad category of religious belief, which very much does exist. This amounts to a fundamental problem with your "something which does not exist can push so many buttons" shot.

    Confronted with this, you... change the subject. Come on, now. I have explained to you why the line you have run out, more than once, is mistaken at best and insulting at worst. "You are certainly right that religious beliefs exist" is not, in fact, a relevant response to that explanation.

    Let me clarify a bit: I'm convinced that it is human nature to want to find explanations for humankind's existence.

    I don't think that's terribly controversial. However, I note that some explanations for why the universe is the way it is are more dangerous than others. Science, unlike religion, will never order you to do anything. Gods do, and they nearly always have.

    Some religious people use the metaphysical aspect of religion for good. Many do not.

    It is not at all clear that "the metaphysical aspect of religion" is not itself responsible for many of the evils that have been perpetrated in religion's name. You cannot simply presuppose that the effects of religion are uniformly "people us[ing]" religion, with no blame accruing to the religious beliefs themselves. That premise is a "fact" not in evidence.

    I would posit, however, that if all religion could be wiped away from the face of the earth with one stroke, people would find--and quickly--something else to hate about one another.

    RandomActs has responded to that assertion extremely well, but I wanted to add that the question remains why you "would posit" that, particularly. There is considerable evidence that the secular parts of the world (nations, states) are considerably less "hate"ful, and indeed are in far better shape by nearly any objective measure of social health, than the religious parts of the world.

    I suggest you try to figure out what it is that leads you to posit that a secular world would be no better than our heavily religious one. In the absence of evidence, it's hard to avoid noticing that that conclusion fits very nicely with your own religious outlook. Sigmund Freud famously wrote that

    We shall tell ourselves that it would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent providence, and if there were a moral order to the universe and an afterlife; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it be.

    - Future of an Illusion (1927)

    It's hard not to wonder if what you're "posit"ing (and of course you are not alone in accepting that notion) is the same kind of wishful thinking.

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