On the topix forum, a poster called “humble brother” that I have been engaging off and on for a couple of years, so I know that he never changes his tune posted something a little new that I could see was maybe starting to gel or maybe he was just in thrall to his own ideas – but I decided to see if I could open up a new conversation that wasn’t the theist-atheist circular debate:
You just refuse to comprehend 🙂 that’s so funny.
It is rational to not believe in something if there’s no evidence.
It is irrational to believe in something if there’s no evidence.
Isn’t this the whole basis for atheistic thinking???
Or is it rational to believe in something you don’t even understand if there’s no evidence???
Could you give a yes/no answer to the last question please.
My response was:
Same back to you and it’s not funny, it’s sad
it is rational to not accept claims lacking in evidence (atheism)
it is irrational to accept or beleive a claim lacking evidence (theism)
yes, as I have written it without word games, this is the basis and sum total of what atheism is
so, if you want to find out what we are in our world – naturalists – then we have to change the conversation from what we aren’t – theists – to what we are – naturalists
but you have demonstrated over and over that your theism has prevented you from gaining any capacity to navigate or understand the natural world and that leaves you with one discussion note
and we say “no”
and then the conversation repeats, because you are not capable of having a meaningful discussion or exchange of views and experiences because nothing you are talking about resonates with us and nothing we say can resonates with you
and you just keep wanting to let your love light shine because you don’t understand that everyone feels that love light and there’s simply nothing divine about it
it’s all inside of you waiting to be expressed but the method that you are choosing to express it in is not shiny and loving to us – it’s black hearted cruel and evil
so we are literally not talking about the same religion
because your religion is not the christianity that’s out there in the world
your religion is the nice loving one in your head
and you can’t sell what’s in your head without understanding
how people have experienced Christianity
and when you assert that Christians are moral and loving
you beleive that because that’s your expereince
and you are mistakenly assuming that your experience is everyone else’s experience and that is simply not the case
but you won’t listen to the real harms that your religion has done to society and to individuals
instead you act as if the only true christian is you and why should you be tarred and feathered with the same brush as the lesser christians
but you are acting the same – telling us that you have all the answers
without any understanding of us as people or any understanding of our experiences and no understanding of the shared experience that Christianity has done to non-christians
you are not a messenger with a love message
you are a jack booted thug from a global organization that has a history of genociding inconvenient populations, murdering individuals who would have advanced our understanding of the universe because their ideas didn’t feed or support the religion of the day and holding back social progress and limiting our freedom to take liberties with whatever makes us happy – which is what America was meant to do.
Religion is off message because it’s not about people understanding the world and how to be in it
Religion says this is the way to be, so obey or suffer.
and when we don’t obey, we suffer in spades – as history demonstrates, over and over
so, we don’t need your abusive, authoritarian, control freak, domineering love that doesn’t bother to take into account any part of our person or experience in the world.
If you want religion to positively emotionally resonant with people, then you have to understand how it resonates with people in their experience and not dismiss their experience as not true christianity.
because the only true christianity seems to be in people’s heads and that’s a very different Christianity that the one we’ve all experienced in the world.
Any religion or philosophy can claim to be about whatever it likes – but in the marketplace of ideas – it’s all about the execution – what have you actually done in the world?
When you understand what religion has done in the world, then you’ll understand why there’s no sale, why religious numbers are shrinking, why people are drifting from one religion to another until finally they exhaust the options and just give up on the whole thing.
Those are the people that apologetics are aimed at – getting unchurched back into the fold.
Not people like me who are naturalists, who accept that the universe is natural and that through the study of nature – we will eventually learn more and more wonderous things about the unverse – and who knows what we can discover?
But, religion is a force of status quo, change resistant, and fear – fear driven acquisition while the acquisition is possible and without much thought for those who will come after because hey, god sorts out everything, right?
If anything, religion and politics – as soon as someone thinks they are are a divine mission or are a divinity themselves – how many more genocides of population groups do we need before we put a test of religion as a checkpoint on the road to office?
A test of a person to demonstrate that they are a socially capable person who, if religious, knows that their religion is a personal and private matter – with no place other than the most general of terms – that is, limited to being an inspiration for our best behaviour and consideration of our fellow humans – in public life.
We cannot manage the complexity of the world if we beleive that the earth is only a few thousand years old and that it’s ours to do with what we want because it’s just a dress rehearsal for the afterlife, where god has everything sorted out in a simple reduction of good people vs evil people.
Because life is just not that simple or reducible to black and white. There’s a lot of shades of grey and colours in the rainbow – there’s a lot of different people with different traditions and interactions and the plethora of all these people does demonstrate that as much as we have in common, there’s infinite diversity in infinite combinations – that’s the strength of us as a species – adaptation.
The only thing that conformity across a population benefits is viruses and parasites. Conformity does not serve humanity, because it’s our diversity that is our strength and our way forward, into the future.
I think our lives are a journey to understand the sub-optimal events in the context of the above-optimal goals
we can’t sink to the lowest common denominator, we have to reach together for the highest
but we have to know what we are reaching for and agree to be in relationship to achieve it.
and one of the highest goals is eliminating the sub-optimal conditions and events – because they are predictable and preventable – we have to stop pretending to not know what we know.
We have to bring in all the knowledge we have accumulated and analysized and turn it all into understanding.
So it’s not that we need to act with coddling towards each other sensibilities, but make sure everyone’s sensibilities are robust enough to handle reality.
And people who cling to religion, are not robust enough as individuals, for the naturalist basis of reality.
we need to understand history, about social, political and religious forces and how it impacts history
the story of humanity, what we’ve done, what we’re capable of
naturalism is the assumption that the world and universe are natural with natural causes and rules
and that by observation, testing and experimentation, over generations and thousands of individuals who have been consumed with tedious data capture, data analysis to understand trends and relationships, but building up a body of knowledge that is time testes and always adjusted for new data and new promising ideas
this is the robustness of the natural world
whereas religion, is generally invented by one or a few people, and spread by the word or the sword – competing in the social forces marketplace of ideas
and as an idea, religion’s only purpose is to control the masses through rigid gender roles, limited education and strict behaviour code enforced through threat of punishment or promise of reward.
Basically, the masses are like single celled organisms, – stimuli response
much like the call and respond sing song of church services
it’s not so much existing, as following a script laid out for you – regardless of what your genuine self would like
so this is why christians say with all honesty, if gays want to get married, then live as if you are straight and be married
and they are confused when we point to the law of our secular land and say, equality under the law means we can form relationships based on love, whatever form of love we can get into relationship with
they beleive in obeying and they are obeying their god and not the secular law of the land
but they have confused these things, because they haven’t lived an existence where they weren’t in compliance with the social norms that are legally recognized.
And they do not understand challenging authority and saying, the spirit of the law is bigger than the letter of the law – so let’s change the letter to align with the spirit of the law.