First of all may I apologise for not initially providing a real name and email address, I didn t actually look at your correspondence section before I posted the comment and decided it might be unwise to publish a name and email address on such a… perhaps ‘aggressive’ looking website which seemed to offer no comfort where my comments might go…
A lot of the correspondence material you have is Gold! I really found it interesting and pretty much (almost) everyone had one or two valid points (to think about at least).
So I will respond to your posting!
Let me correct a few misconceptions you seem to have about me.
Sorry about that, I didn t really think to read everything about you on the website before I posted, I only actually ‘stumbled’ across it. I just assumed you were what I had in mind of a typical hard-atheist which I got just from social opinion.
1) I’m not against religion per se. I am against certain religious practices that lead to intolerance or bad thinking habits, but I’m against such things when they’re not related to religion, too.
Same here! If you just like to exercise and meet lots of people, religion could be for you! Lol.
2) I don’t glorify science. Science can make mistakes. It’s just the best means we have of discovering (or getting close to) truth.
I believe you but I think some atheists and believers (however misguided) tend to glorify science a lot. They talk about it as if it is definitive fact something constant and that just because you can see or hear something it must be real. I think this might be one of the worst forms of arrogance around, righteousness. Interesting thing is that science can be misinterpreted just like a religious text can (ala-scientology)
3) I agree that we don’t know everything.
Exactly. This is why I disprove of strong-atheists apparently they know stuff for a FACT. (I saw a few videos of Dawkins and he loves mud-slinging words like preposterous to describe the concept of god without admitting that we CAN never actually know for sure; forgive my ignorance)
4) I don’t say that god doesn’t exist. I say that I see no compelling reason to believe that god exists. If significant evidence appears that there is a god, I’ll change my mind.
This is an interesting argument and it might just be what atheism comes down to? Being ircked by something that may seem irrational. Wave-Particle duality seems irrational to some people, but maybe they just don t understand it. My stance is to choose neither; I just believe that god just hasn t yet been defined properly. Maybe we should use a new word Creator? Chooser of destinies? Setter-offer of the big bang? Other than xenu.
5) I agree that people must have a certain amount of faith. I just try and have as little of it as possible.
Yeah I think that s what we all need. We need to assign our faith more rationally. Instead of having faith that you will always have a meal every night, I think it s more constructive to have faith that you can do anything you set your mind to.
6) I don’t consider myself to be cynical at all.
Again, after reading a lot of the correspondence I got a better feeling for what atheism is and your stance on it. Perhaps instead of being cynical it s rather the art of being a tight arse (forgive the pun, focus on the idea) which might earn you an extra penny at the end of the day but as of yet turns you into a bit of an outcast if only in relevance to the evangelists.
You’re right that much of religion probably arose out of a quest for knowledge. The problem is that the quest for knowledge kept going while religion, by and large, got wrapped up with other issues. That astrology came from astronomy doesn’t mean that we should necessarily respect astrology.
So true. But maybe this will happen to science too, one day? Perhaps not science science but science as we know it today. Maybe scientists will choose to believe in a certain model of sub-atomics (form their own scientific-factions) and each will start their own sciency wars, demonstrating the power of their amazing knowledge, converting millions all in the quest of enlightening people with THE TRUTH .And yes I do watch South Park.
If you find belief in god comforting, then I have nothing against your belief. Enjoy your life. But next time you want to have a discussion about atheism, leave a real, working e-mail address, okay?
Done, my bad. If I may bitch ever so slightly, perhaps you could somehow, somewhere try to give people a little courage rather than force them to pretend to convert by clicking the ol submit button. But where s the fun in that aye?
The only reason I find belief in some kind of god concept comforting is that its what we humans tend to do. I don t know something so I assign it X. X is my unknown answer. I don t define it as 0 just because something seems far-fetched.
I look forward to your thoughts! As a suggestion maybe you could have another page which summarizes some of your best correspondence?
Thanks for writing back! I almost never hear back from people who don’t leave an e-mail address, so this is a treat.
Science is interesting in that it is a refining process as opposed to a means of revealing absolute truth. You’re right that science can be misinterpreted or misused or turned into arrogance, but I would say that these are usually examples of not of science, but of bad science. On the other hand, there are some thing so well established by science that we can go ahead and speak of them as facts without much trouble.
You suggest that perhaps God hasn’t been defined properly. Oddly, I’ve been getting a lot of e-mail on that subject of late, and it’s a subject I truly enjoy. The problem with some of your suggestions (creator, setter-offer of the big bang) is that those positions could, at least in theory, be filled by something that is not supernatural, so most religious people wouldn’t accept such a definition. If someone can come up with a definition of “god” that is a) logical, b) consistent, c) complete, and d) acceptable to most theists, I will be very excited.
Now, about me being a “tight arse.” I can see that. I agree that it can make me an outcast (since I annoy some people in both theist and atheist camps), but that’s okay. It’s a job hazard.
It’s possible that there will be a big revolution in science some day that will make current scientific thought seem as outdated as astrology, but I doubt it. With each new discovery, we get closer to the truth, and although we still have a long way to go, I’d be surprised if we were horribly wrong.
Regarding your bitching about my comments page. I hadn’t really thought about it, but you’re right. I’ve changed to page to, hopefully, make it more inviting. By the way, I do have a page with some of my best correspondence — http://www.iamanatheist.com/correspondence/notable/index.html
Finally, regarding whether to assign “x” or “0” to unknowns. There are so many unknowns that I go ahead and assign “0” to the farfetched ones. It keeps life simple and stops me from having to consider every extreme possibility all the time. But I’m willing to be shown I’m wrong.
In: Defining god, Discussion, Suggestion