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View Diary: "Witchcraft" video rocks Hawaii GOP gubernatorial campaign~! (198 comments)

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  •  Evidence - this is where philosophy of knowledge (0+ / 0-)

    and science gets very interesting.  This is a complex matrix of our direct experience, our understanding of personal and collective history,  our acceptance of handed on culture with traditions of interpretation which gives names to 'data' items and identifies their processes. Also if we are honest, we must acknowledge the limitations of our own ability to perceive and understand and comprehend. The number of people who truly understand Quantum Mechanics wouldn't fill a plane, but it doesn't stop us from trying to intergrate their knowledge in our culture.  We may not yet understand all that is involved in precipitating religious experience, but we can work hard to express it in ways that lead towards a science of religious experience.

    One of the hardest thing to define is what many feel is most obvious, at first, and that is how to answer "What is data?"  What counts as data depends on the beliefs and theories you have about the world.  What is testable depends on what you believe is confirming, what sort of logic is required to demonstrate it, and what others will agree with you is confirming and logical.  A majority of what anyone believes at any one time is far more sociologically determined that what any one is normally willing to admit.  

    There is such a thing as scientific study of Religious Experience.  There are elements to "numinous experience" which have been documented parts of human experience in the psychological, anthropological and sociological literature over the last 100 plus years.  It is possible that distinguishing what is supernaturalism and what is not is an artificial construct, subject to better understanding in the future.

    Extinguishing the conversation about what people experience and feel and believe may help you to feel more comfortable, but it ends and cuts off the conversation for billions of people who have had some experiences they understand in a religious context.  Polarizing the discussion will cut you off from many who are liberal allies, but who may have some spiritual or religious orientation.  The politically smart thing is to find a 'neutral' middle ground which doesn't preclude discussions with your fellow human beings which may reference things which you may not, or cannot believe.  

    I'm not asking you to surrender your firm belief in atheism, just to avoid strident and alienating expressions of it.  I'm simply asking you find a way to welcome discussions with those who may be your political allies and also have beliefs you would not tolerate for your self which may inform their views on social action, charity, and ethical economic behavior.  Having the ability to engage tolerantly with those of differing views reflects a 'maturity'.

    When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

    by antirove on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 05:23:22 PM PDT

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    •  The only one talking about extinguishing (0+ / 0-)

      cutting off conversation and silencing differing views is you. I have never expressed any opinion remotely like that. On the contrary, I consistently champion a notion that seems so uncomfortable to you, the contortions you make around it are almost painful to watch - that a rational worldview has as much a place in our culture, our society, and our discourse as one based on faith, and that refusing to believe in all gods, rather than just all the ones you don't believe in, is a legitimate position that has as much a place in our public discourse as any other view.

      You consistently argue that I somehow have an obligation to give deference to other viewpoints, while you fail to make the same demand from those other viewpoints.

      You consistently ask that skeptics temper our arguments so as not to "offend" the delicate sensitivities of believers whose faith is apparently so shaky and insecure, that they can't handle an honest intellectual challenge - yet, I don't hear you telling yourself, or other believers, to chill out and stop trying to tell atheists how to express our opinions.

      The irony of your utter lack of self-consciousness, as you wrote that last paragraph of yours, is simply astonishing:

      I'm simply asking you find a way to welcome discussions with those who may be your political allies and also have beliefs you would not tolerate for your self which may inform their views on social action, charity, and ethical economic behavior.

      I'm simply asking you to find a way to welcome discussions with those who may be your political allies and also do not have beliefs you have, which may inform our views on social action, charity and ethical economic behavior. Apparently, what is good for your goose, is not good for my gander.

      I suggest you stop lecturing atheists on how to be good little children so the grown up Christians can carry on with the world, and instead, look to your own self and in your own heart and ask yourself why you are so incapable of tolerating our view of the world, and why you are so unwilling to engage in honest, frank and open inquiry, welcoming challenges to your thinking so as to better hone it and ensure that you are not holding mistaken opinions or false beliefs.

      In my worldview, it is more important not to hold false beliefs, than to have answers to everything. It is more important to tell the truth, and to seek to the truth, than it is to not say something that might offend someone.

      Can you respect and honor and include that worldview in your conversation?

      I suggest you have trouble with that, and that your current response - to seek to discipline freethinkers to bow down to the thought-repressing restrictions of faith-culture - is both remarkably intolerant and condescending of you, and remarkably revealing of your own insecurity about your own beliefs.

      I suggest you worry more about people who kill, torture, maim, imprison, humiliate, repress, censor and inhibit others in the name of religion, than you do about atheists who write a few books and make a few online comments about reason and evidence.

      Your priorities seem a bit skewed.

      If you don't vote, you're just playing with yourself.

      by RandomActsOfReason on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 11:22:19 PM PDT

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