The atheists' dilemma

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by voiceofwood, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. Dan0813

    Dan0813 Member

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    Is that responding to my use of the term "anti-theist"?

    If so, there's a difference between promoting one's own viewpoint and suppressing other people's viewpoints.
     
  2. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Yeah Dan. When I was typing my post yours was the last one in the thread. By the time I got to posting it these other busy bodies had gotten their posts in first!

    I agree with your comment to a point. There is also the issue of the power in a name. Calling anything anti-X is automatically putting a negative comment on that opinion. Pro-secularist puts a positive comment on the same position. My primary point though was that an anti-theist & a pro-secularist are the same thing. Which term one uses is usually made by the opinions of the user.

    On a similar note, atheist actually does mean anti-theist. If memory serves me correctly (always a dicey situation!) the 'a' before a word means 'away from' in the original Latin. Or in modern lingo, against.
     
  3. Jane-Q

    Jane-Q ...pain...

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    There was belief before there was doubt, but only after there was a culture of doubt could there be a kind of active believing that is at the center of modern faiths. Until the Greeks filled libraries with skepticism and secularism, no one ever thought of having a religion where the central active gesture was to believe.
    --Jennifer Michael Hecht, Doubt: a history, page xxi.
    Hecht treats doubt as an active, independent tradition. Not merely linked reactively to faith. Because doubters are seekers, too. They want answers which hidebound traditions do not give.
    In the cultural disputation around "belief," the believers and the doubters need each other. If one side triumphs in this dialogue, the larger cultural tradition suffers - the culture stagnates (Greece in the Middle Ages, the Arab/Islamic world after the Renaissance).

    Belief and doubt often walk in the same shoes (Protestant Christianity in the 1700s-1800s, Chan Buddhism in the late first millennium), seeking in novel ways (simultaneously) via both spiritual and material pathways.

    I don't, personally, think much of atheism. Nor of dogma.
    But the duelism of belief and doubt, to me, is enlivening. (Perhaps the very dance of life?)

    Jane.

     
  4. Jane-Q

    Jane-Q ...pain...

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    Howard Bloom is another author who provides an interesting spin upon the "Atheist's Dilemma."
    For 350 years, science has dodged one of the biggest mysteries in the universe - the God Problem . . .
    the problem that the creationists and the intelligent design advocates are trying to rub our noses in. It's the problem that scientific atheists like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris have all too often dodged.
    How does a cosmos of elementary particles and gravity turn the impossible into the real, the real into the ordinary, and the ordinary into the raw material of new inventions, new breakthroughs, new astonishments, and new impossibilities? How does the cosmos pull off the act of genesis over and over again? Without a creator?
    --The God Problem, p10-11.
    His answer?
    (This is over simplistic, or maybe just wrong) . . .
    Creativity is not front-loaded. (The universe is not "designed" from the "beginning.")
    Design is ex post facto. ("It looks too perfect to not be designed." But this is 20/20 hindsight.)
    Everything in the evolution of either physical or biological systems moves toward complexity and higher levels of operant relationships.
    A cosmos that is profoundly "relational," profoundly social . . . and profoundly conversational.
    --Howard Bloom, The God Problem, p561.
    God is a tinkerer. God is results-oriented.

    God is not a designer. In Genesis 1, for six straight days He worked. All day. Fidgeting with this solution or that solution till finally (by the end of each day) one solution proved to be okay, to be useable. "And God saw that it was good."
    Good. Not perfect.

    Bloom frequently calls the digital utilitarianism of this tinkerer God:
    Quarking in the social cosmos.
    This is not the God of the Fundamentalists, or of any of the old-schoolers.
    This God . . . is how God actually works.
    (Building up more and more complicated relational networks, each on top of the best portion of the relational network which came before.)
    God the pragmatist/instrumentalist. Seeking higher-levels of cooperation.

    God does not create from the beginning.
    He creates from the end - from good results, from where things are headed.
    (It's really that simple!)
    The arrow into the future.

    Jane.

    {I've cheated a little in my description here. If you've read his book, you know that Bloom is not arguing for the existence of God. He just makes a damn good case for it . . . if, and only if, you adjust your thinking about how God does things!}

     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    of course there is...

    think pro choice vs pro abortion
    think pro life vs anti abortion or anti choice

    the words we use are intended to make 'our side' look better than the 'other' side.
     
  6. Shibolet

    Shibolet Member

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    I can prove the existence of the Primal Cause by means of two concepts: Logic and Causality although both concepts under the same theme of Logic.

    1 - Logic: The universe is composed of matter and, since matter cannot cause itself to exist, it is only obvious that by necessity, the Primal Cause exists.

    2 - Causality: The universe cannot be composed of only caused elements which also by necessity, the Primal Cause becomes obvious.

    IMHO, the above two concepts constitute the ultimate evidence for the Primal Cause but, atheists prefer to deny them if used to prove what they detest. That's the climax of the atheist dilemma.
     
  7. Thepasserby

    Thepasserby Thepasserby

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    Right on!:)
     
  8. Shibolet

    Shibolet Member

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    Originally Posted by Gordian Knot [​IMG]
    The atheist's dilemma as proposed by the OP was not a logical argument; nothing further to be said on that score. The basic question is sound though. At least as a starting point to jump off from. The dilemma is, in truth, one that everyone must face. Not just one subgroup.

    The burden of proof, in the end, is really on yourself. To demand these proofs of others, either for or against God(s) is a dodge. It is an attempt to justify one's own beliefs either by accepting or discounting someone else's beliefs.

    Or, worse, to demand an external proof is a reason to ignore the genuine question. I.E. to avoid doing the 'work' yourself. Whether it is religion, spirituality, or atheist, the only journey that can have any real meaning is the journey within yourself. It is easy to get bogged down in all the trappings, arguments, counter arguments, and so on, and so on. I fall into this trap myself too often, since I really do know better.

    My suggestion. Stop demanding answers from someone else. Find the answers for you from within you. I'm not saying we can't learn from others, be it people, writings, mythologies. Absolutely dive into all of it as much as you can. Just remember the answer is not in all of those external things. The answer is in you. [/quote]


    I am aware that ALL answers are within ourselves and I do agree with you. But then it becomes according to preconceived notions. Any one talking about his or her answers generate oppositions which throw us all back into the square one of our discussions until another like you will tell us the very same thing: All the answers are within each one of us. Are you implying that we should keep the answers to ourselves and never share them with others? There would be no worldwide learning. Therefore, your suggestion would not be a good one.
     
  9. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Are you implying that we should keep the answers to ourselves and never share them with others? There would be no worldwide learning. Therefore, your suggestion would not be a good one.

    No I was not suggesting that. And I agree that suggestion would not be a good one. I never said someone should keep their opinions to themselves. As noted in this part of my previous post:

    I'm not saying we can't learn from others, be it people, writings, mythologies. Absolutely dive into all of it as much as you can.
     
  10. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    G-Knot, when you say:
    Are you really saying that we SHOULDN'T share our thoughts?
     
  11. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Tea, now you are just pulling my chain. Bad Tea!
     
  12. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Awww, I'll be good, promise.
     
  13. Shibolet

    Shibolet Member

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    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am aware that ALL answers are within ourselves and I do agree with you. But then it becomes according to preconceived notions. Any one talking about his or her answers generate oppositions which throw us all back into the square one of our discussions until another like you will tell us the very same thing: All the answers are within each one of us. Are you implying that we should keep the answers to ourselves and never share them with others? There would be no worldwide learning. Therefore, your suggestion would not be a good one.[/QUOTE]
     
  14. Shibolet

    Shibolet Member

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    Don't discard the power of religion. Only money has more power than religion.
     

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