I post mostly messages and commentary about religion and politics, and the scary occasions when they collide.
I am a: Liberal, Green, Christian, Math teacher
Lover of Math, Philosophy, Animals, Civil Rights, and Arguments of all kinds.

6th April 2012

Link reblogged from Good Reason News with 32 notes

Atheist Activist Becomes Christian After Believers Show Him Compassion →


No, I accept that as a better definition for agnostic, based on my own experiences with the differences between the beliefs of those who call themselves agnostic, and those who call themselves atheist, and how they express those beliefs. But that’s beside the point.

No, it’s not beside the point, that’s the fundamental disagreement between us and your stubbornness against acknowledging what “agnostic” and what “atheist” really means is the reason I keep getting messages from people telling me that you’re just some nut who doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

I’ll explain it again, and again and again. Gnosticism refers to knowledge (about god). Theism refers to belief (about god.) Because of my knowledge of the atmosphere of the moon and of Mick Jagger I know there is no Mick Jagger on the moon. About that I am a Gnostic Atheist. I don’t believe, based on direct knowledge, that there is a Mick Jagger on the moon. About Mick Jagger living on Earth, I am a Gnostic Theist. I believe there is a Mick Jagger on Earth based on direct knowledge. About bigfoot I am an Agnostic Atheist because I have no knowledge of a bigfoot and, therefore, have no belief in it. I don’t assert it’s false, but because I do not believe it to be true, I am an atheist. Anyone who does not have a specific belief in a god is an atheist, whether or not they use that term.

I highly suggest this further reading.

There was an article by an atheist who claimed to lose faith because his brother asked a question about God that his mother didn’t want to answer. The rest of the article was a justification for why that wasn’t a stupid reason to stop believing in God, and I didn’t buy it.

So, you do think it’s stupid to investigate a claim and then to dismiss when your investigation goes unsatisfied?  Say you were a cop and you heard a struggle and then shouting in my house. You rush over and find my door locked from the inside. You kick open the door and find me there, covered in blood with an axe in my hands and my wife hacked to bits on the floor. I’m breathing heavy and look like I’ve just been in a struggle. You say “hey, did you kill your wife?” and I say “uh…no.” You say “ok…wait a minute, what’s that axe about?” and I say “uh, nothing, I was gonna chop down a tree later, I was returning it, I don’t have an axe, what this old thing?” Wouldn’t you say you have good reason to believe I killed my wife? You asked a question and didn’t get a good answer. This boy asked a question about god and didn’t get a good answer. Seems like plenty reason to sway a belief. If there were any truth to the god claim, these questions wouldn’t be hard to answer.

My nephew asked me once if castles were real. That was an easy question to answer. Then he asked me if dragons were real. That was also easy: of course not. Why would god want to be more difficult to determine as real than a castle?

If you don’t believe in God, then you don’t believe in God- but there is nothing in science that says God doesn’t exist,

There is nothing “in science” at all. Science is a method, it’s a formula, it’s a language. It’s not a faith, there are no doctrines, nothing is sacred.

and the belief in God does explain some evidence. I.E., why the universe exists, and why it holds life.

Believing in God as an explanation for the unexplained is about as useful as believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Zeus’ lightening or that thunder is literally angels bowling.

Muslims have been nice to me,

Me too, but I still think Islam is full of baloney.

particularly in Ghana, they fed me and made me clothes and asked me why America hates Muslims so much. I would wager that if I started bowing toward Mecca, there would be more to it than that ‘niceness.’ Same with this guy’s story. But I don’t really care why someone believes in anything, and I’m not sure why you do either, especially since you seem to think that this guy was an atheist joke.

Beliefs inform actions. We all live in this world together. People with irrational beliefs are fucking it up for everyone. That’s why.

There are plenty of more credible atheist conversion stories out there to worry about. I’m only a bit offended that you compare Christianity to neo-Nazism. 

I never compared Christianity to neo-nazism and you know I didn’t, what a childish reading, LC, you should be ashamed. What I obviously said was that an individual’s kindness doesn’t make me think they have a worthwhile belief system. If a Christian is nice to me, I’m happy but I’m not suddenly a Christian, just like if a neo-nazi is nice to me I’m not suddenly a bigot. There’s no comparison between Christianity and Nazism there. The situation is the same, but the characters are different TO HI-LIGHT THE LOGICAL FLAW.

Of course you do, you get messages from people who think exactly like you. My problem with your definition of atheist and agnostic is that I don’t find it a particularly USEFUL one in describing actual people, not that I don’t know what you think it means. To many people, atheist seems to mean New Atheism, where agnosticism typically means, I don’t really care what people believe in. There’s a stark difference between the two, whatever you may claim your actual beliefs are.

Uh… ok. But in your axe-murderer scenario, there is actual evidence that you’re lying to me. In the boy-mother one, the only conclusion I could reach is that my mother doesn’t know what she’s talking about, or doesn’t have a strong belief in anything. It says nothing about actual claims about God, which would be what that atheist would need to investigate- and didn’t.

Let me rephrase then: “There is no scientific evidence of either the existence or the non-existence of God.” 

Believing in God as an explanation for the unexplained is about as useful as believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Zeus’ lightening or that thunder is literally angels bowling.

No… bad comparisons. We know what causes thunder and lightening, and we know that spaghetti does not typically take sentience. What we don’t know is why the universe exists, and how we should live our lives. Those questions are not answered by science, and likely never will be. The question of how the universe came into existence is also not answered, yet, and believing that the cause of it was God makes more sense to me and is more useful than believing in random chance occurring in a pre-time non-state. Neither theory actually answers the question of ‘how.’ When science can, or when there is more evidence for how, I might reevaluate my position.

Atheists have been nice to me too, but I still think they’re full of baloney. Beliefs are not the same as actions, and you cannot form policy based on the idea that they are. That IS criminalizing thought, the same as Hitchens once claimed Christianity does. When action occurs, punish the action.

I’m sure Priebus didn’t really intend to compare women to caterpillars either, but you can’t claim that creating a parallel between them wouldn’t leave that impression. A BETTER comparison is to say ‘Muslims have been nice to me, but I wouldn’t convert to Islam’. The one you said suggested that you did, in fact, believe that being a bigot was the same or at least similar to being a Christian. Given some other things you’ve said about religion(and the GOP’s stance on women), it’s pretty easy to reach that conclusion.

Source: giovannypanginda

  1. proofofexistence said: I meant to post about this… best Christian story I’ve read. WE NEED MORE OF THIS!
  2. giovannypanginda posted this