Absurd is the Word

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This topic contains 74 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  PopeBeanie 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #41885

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Istvan i can make out a few interpretations of what you have indited here: ironically, this is the same blind spot that many atheists have toward what we call reality. To my way of thinking, if someone can’t deal with metaphor or ambiguity, they’re mistaking the finger for what it’s pointing to.

    Care to elucidate without ambiguity?

    #41886

    Istvan
    Participant

    “To my way of thinking, if someone can’t deal with metaphor or ambiguity, they’re mistaking the finger for what it’s pointing to.”

    Care to elucidate without ambiguity?

    Okay. If we’re going to dog fundies for being literal-minded, we should avoid being similarly literal-minded. That’s all.

    #41887

    Davis
    Moderator

    I don’t see why not. Daniel Dennett observed that from the point of view of the religion, there’s no difference between a Muslim who prays five times a day because he literally believes in a literal Allah and the literal truth of every word of the Koran, and a Muslim who prays five times a day because that’s what Muslims do. It’s the behavior that religion motivates that perpetuates the construct; the beliefs themselves, and people’s belief in their literal validity, are beside the point.

    You are misrepresenting what I said. I am not comparing someone who is a strict textual literalist to someone who only holds a few core claims as literal. I am talking about someone who no longer holds any claim as literal to the point that they are virtually indistinguishable from a non-believer (or at worst someone who says they are Christian because their parents are). That is as meaningful as saying you are a communist because your parents are and because you go to communist hangouts just to see old friends or because you used to sort of believe in some principles that have waxed away to nostalgia. If you do not take any core claims as literal, then you are no longer a meaningful adherant.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by  Davis.
    #41888

    Davis
    Moderator

    Okay. If we’re going to dog fundies for being literal-minded, we should avoid being similarly literal-minded. That’s all.

    You haven’t elucidated anything there.

    #41889

    Davis
    Moderator

    Ironically, this is the same blind spot that many atheists have toward what we call reality. To my way of thinking, if someone can’t deal with metaphor or ambiguity, they’re mistaking the finger for what it’s pointing to.

    This is post-modern rhetoric. If a metaphor cannot be explained, then it is poetry and should be enjoyed as something poetical, not a “way of living”. If your “way of life” is based on metaphors that cannot be explained, unverifiable claims, authority and claims for which you cannot even determine which are literal or not, and for those which are literal…even a reliable guide to determine which can be verified or not…you are locked in confusion, dogma, received wisdom, morality that cannot be analysed through reason and practices which are extremely difficult to question let alone change. In fact, the most reliable kind of change is a slow departure from religion towards secularity (and a diminishing of the influence of that religion).

    #41891

    Istvan
    Participant

    Ironically, this is the same blind spot that many atheists have toward what we call reality. To my way of thinking, if someone can’t deal with metaphor or ambiguity, they’re mistaking the finger for what it’s pointing to.

    This is post-modern rhetoric. If a metaphor cannot be explained, then it is poetry and should be enjoyed as something poetical, not a “way of living”. If your “way of life” is based on metaphors that cannot be explained, unverifiable claims, authority and claims for which you cannot even determine which are literal or not, and for those which are literal…even a reliable guide to determine which can be verified or not…you are locked in confusion, dogma, received wisdom, morality that cannot be analysed through reason and practices which are extremely difficult to question let alone change.

    Hey, if it doesn’t make sense to us, that’s probably why we’re atheists. But our reluctance to meet religion on its own terms isn’t religion’s problem. For plenty of people it works just fine.

    #41892

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Yeah Istvan it is working out well for the pedophiles who find sanctuary for their peculiar practices. And not only is civilization advancing as children find out what the world is really about but politicians, dictators et. al. have ready made citizens to spoon feed and utilize for their nefarious ends. And one can only imagine how many Muslims are leading lives of quiet desperation.

    Hey are you Bob? Or some other apologist incognito?

    #41893

    Istvan
    Participant

    Okay, so you’ve decided to

    Yeah Istvan it is working out well for the pedophiles who find sanctuary for their peculiar practices.

    Hey, so you decide the most appropriate way to typify religious believers throughout history is the pedophile priest. Congratulations on having no qualms whatsoever about arranging the premises to lead to the conclusion you prefer.

    #41894

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Istvan i was responding to your conclusion: But our reluctance to meet religion on its own terms isn’t religion’s problem. For plenty of people it works just fine.

    It is a distortion to give religion a pass because it works out for plenty of people. Why would one meet an institution that has retarded civilization in every meaningful way imaginable? Do we wish to meet dictators on their own terms? It is not a stretch to refer to religion as a dictatorship. Whenever and wherever it has the power it is a dictatorship.

    #41895

    Davis
    Moderator

    Hey, if it doesn’t make sense to us, that’s probably why we’re atheists.

    It doesn’t make sense to us because we live in a secular environment where we are allowed to question religion and openly state it doesn’t make sense and not pay serious or dire consequences. Most religions ruthlessly persecute those who question believing in either that religion, or for the soft ones, not believing in any religion at all.

    But our reluctance to meet religion on its own terms isn’t religion’s problem.

    No…you are giving some definition of religion that few would recognise and few practice. A “way of life” is just “culture”. Religion is more than just “a way of life” but an ideology usually inherited from parents with supernatural qualities, difficult to shake off and tough to question.

    For plenty of people it works just fine.

    It didn’t work very well for those who enjoyed slavery, sanctioned by that religion. It didn’t work very well (and currently doesn’t in some of the world’s quarters) for 50% of the population (women) who had/have negligible say/control, suppression/inequality and a fairly large dose of the misery that came with it. It didn’t work well for those who chose not to believe the religious nonsense. It worked fairly badly for those who had other ideas, were born with different sexual identities. It was fairly ghastly for those who had various birth anomalies or mental illnesses who were identified as cursed or witches (something that has only been remedied by secularism and rationalist approaches) nor the millions of serfs who lived miserable lives supported by serfdom/nobility encouraged by many religions while religious organisations engorged themselves with money and power. Yeah…you sound a lot like Dr. Bob. All these religions helped inspire all the things we enjoy now even though they fought most of it kicking and screaming.

    #41896

    jakelafort
    Participant

    That was a good rant, Davis.

    I held back. Ya know i get it when theists rationalize about the impact of religion. They’re ignorant or they buy the propaganda. But for an educated atheist it is weird.

    #41897

    Istvan
    Participant

    It didn’t work very well for those who enjoyed slavery, sanctioned by that religion. It didn’t work very well (and currently doesn’t in some of the world’s quarters) for 50% of the population (women) who had/have negligible say/control, suppression/inequality and a fairly large dose of the misery that came with it. It didn’t work well for those who chose not to believe the religious nonsense. It worked fairly badly for those who had other ideas, were born with different sexual identities. It was fairly ghastly for those who had various birth anomalies or mental illnesses who were identified as cursed or witches (something that has only been remedied by secularism and rationalist approaches) nor the millions of serfs who lived miserable lives supported by serfdom/nobility encouraged by many religions while religious organisations engorged themselves with money and power. Yeah…you sound a lot like Dr. Bob. All these religions helped inspire all the things we enjoy now even though they fought most of it kicking and screaming.

    Once again, you’ve dealt yourself a winning hand by equating religion with oppression. Am I allowed to point out that the advent of the secular, rationalized, managed society hasn’t produced the freethinking utopia we’d expect if religion were the sole source of all our woes?

    You seem to be blaming all the bad things in history solely on people’s beliefs in The Big G. You may as well blame the murder rate on people’s mistaken beliefs about where knife points and bullets belong; you’re ignoring so much historical, cultural and socioeconomic context that it’s absurd.

    #41898

    Hi Istvan and welcome to AZ.  You seem to have landed in the deep end very quickly 😊 Please bear in mind that we are not engaging in a “pile on” here. It is just that we don’t hold back on attacking ideas (sometimes even ones we agree to see if we are still justified in holding on to them).

    You wrote “Hey, so you decide the most appropriate way to typify religious believers throughout history is the pedophile priest”.

    What I took from Jakelafort’s post was that he was referring specifically to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church of which pedophilia is typical behavior and not that of their “religious believers” as you replied.

    But this is true of Catholic priests and many of Catholic laity who work with children on behalf of Catholic organizations. They have been covering up their abuse for centuries. It is only in the last 30 years or so that it has  become known to the wider world. And yet this pedophile organization still has 1 billion adherents. They are all now guilty by association of the sexual abuse of children if they remain members of this Church and continue to give it financial support. I suspect many will remain part of the flock because sheep don’t know they are sheep. Italy, the home of this Roman cult is a disgrace and it has been recently estimated that up to one million Italian children have been abused over the last 70 years in that country alone.

    It is now clear that millions of children have been the victims of abuse by liars for Jesus for centuries. Pointing this out is always important and will always negate the “works of charity” they do, like handing the starving a plate of food while holding a bible in the other.

    Religion isn’t about generating reliable knowledge

    I think the majority of atheists will agree with you there. But for the religious (especially the devout) it certainly is about generating knowledge. At least it is for them.  Have you ever debated a theist about the difference between “argument and evidence” or heard them explain that their subjective experience is evidence for them?

    We each define religion in the way that is useful to us.

    I have heard this from theists when they are on their way out of the “faith cave of shadows”. They talk of being able to take the best parts from it. I, as an atheist (and an admitted militant anti-theist), define religion from a scientific viewpoint. What it is in anthropological terms and the psychological reasons people believe what they believe and why they continue to believe it despite and in spite of better “knowledge”. It is the fact (yes, fact) that we can define religion and fully explain religious belief in such a way that is scary to theists so they are forced to constantly deride scientific endeavors or they will eventually have to face up to what religion and religious belief actually is.

    For people who insist we have a soul and are stuck with the dualism of a “mind and body” outlook on life it is too overwhelming to contemplate.

    People seem to gravitate toward the type of belief or nonbelief system that fits their personality.

    Yes, this is often the case. Some change religion just to get married and others will change religion when they find one whose version of god happens to disapprove of the things they just happen to hate.

    #41899

    Davis
    Moderator

     Am I allowed to point out that the advent of the secular, rationalized, managed society hasn’t produced the freethinking utopia we’d expect if religion were the sole source of all our woes?

    Could you please not misrepresent what I have said. At no point have I said “freethinking utopia”. However yes, a secular society with a minimal sets of rights and the freedom to follow even a limited form of rationalism has worked out a shit ton more “well” than anything that has come before it for a shit-ton larger portion of society. Human civilisation has seen nothing like it before. Does that mean atheism ensures working out well? No…just look at China. Does it mean a religious society is bound to be a nightmare hell-scape? No…not if it is accompanied by other humanist principles like secularism and a healthy political landscape (though you will note the more religious in Europe, usually (though not always) the more social ills, hate towards marginalised people and disfunction think Poland and Hungary). Human nature is the source of all our woes. Religion intensifies it and is a perpetual barrier to escaping the worst of human nature. Misrepresenting other people’s views is a very bad habit best avoided.

    You seem to be blaming all the bad things in history solely on people’s beliefs in The Big G.

    No. Again…you are misrepresenting my views. Please stop doing that. I said “it didn’t work out well”…not that I can blame bad things in history solely on people’s beliefs. Your claim that religion works out well for others is EXTREMELY presumptuous to put it mildly. It doesn’t/hadn’t work out well for a lot of people (included billions of people who had no voice or option). Departing from it, under the right circumstances has worked out extremely well for those fortunate to enjoy it. Learn to identify success. It is not just happiness for the privileged few but a reasonable amount of meaningful contentment and options for a reasonably large and equal portion of society. Success is also removing stumbling blocks to future success (i.e. religion).

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by  Davis.
    #41901

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Istvan, you are utilizing dishonest debating techniques or so it appears to me.

    In my fantasy scholars produce an encyclopedia of the harms caused by religion. One of the underappreciated is the early access to unformed impressionable minds. In my estimation the early indoctrination of children is a crime and not a petty one. I won’t expand cuz i am better served handicapping tomorrow’s card at Sam Houston.

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