An enlightened philosophy- can an atheist believe anything?
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05-06-2011, 10:31 AM
 
An enlightened philosophy- can an atheist believe anything?
This is the title of a book by Geoff Crocker which I purchased at my local bookshop. I was going to put this thread in the literature section, but the book itself raises interesting ideas which are probably more suited to this section.

First of all, has anyone read it, what do you think?
Is the idea of taking Judeo-Christian scripture as a myth, and cherry picking the " best " stuff a reasonable idea?
And also, what do you think of the title?
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05-06-2011, 03:18 PM
RE: An enlightened philosophy- can an atheist believe anything?
Anything within the judeo-christian scripture exists outside of it. Cherry picking a book as large as that one for a few choice morsels is not a good idea. Especially since it is easy enough to follow something not so good by accident. I haven't read the book in question, but I'll tell you that there are better ways to live than dissecting a gigantic book for specific keys to follow. Of course atheists can believe in things, in many ways. There's nothing that stops someone from another activity if they don't do one. Morality does not exist due to a book. Society grafts morality with everything around it. Most people fit into things well whether indoctrinated or not because society has roles people should adopt. There will always be those people who do not follow the rules. It's not the fact that they read the wrong book though.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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05-06-2011, 04:02 PM
RE: An enlightened philosophy- can an atheist believe anything?
"Anything within the judeo-christian scripture exists outside of it." Indeed, much of it was imported from the likes of the Greeks.

"Is the idea of taking Judeo-Christian scripture as a myth, and cherry picking the " best " stuff a reasonable idea?" Hell Yeah it is. Here's Matt Dillahunty's Secular Morality Lecture where he explains it better than I could, about how secular morality is better than religiously derived morality precisely because it can change.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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06-06-2011, 07:09 AM
 
RE: An enlightened philosophy- can an atheist believe anything?
One of the ideas in the book is that if we imagine "god" being the idea of justice, and the kingdom of heaven being the idea "just" state then quite a lot of the bible becomes relevant.
Now, obviously we have Leviticus which isn't particularly just, which is why most of the Christians I talk to talk about the New Testament "freeing" us from the Old Testament.
Looking at the New Testament, and in particular what Jesus says, a lot of what he says does make sense provided you ignore the son of god stuff. I personally think that Jesus was onto something here, and while the rest of the bible isn't believable, for me taking it as a myth does give some of it meaning.
Where the problem is, is how churches twist what the bible says in order to have power over people.
That point about change is hugely important, and I think there would be a lot less suffering if religion was able to adapt to the times, instead of forcing the times to adapt to it.
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06-06-2011, 10:38 AM
 
RE: An enlightened philosophy- can an atheist believe anything?
I work as an RN and have had many of my elderly patients confide in me about their atheistic views; which I was somewhat suprised by at the time because I had a sterotypical view of what belief systems the elderly subscibe to, especially as they are closer to the age when dying occurs. Anyway, I digress. One lady expressed to me that she didn't believe in any of the rubbish in the bible, but she thought that Jesus sounded like a good guy so she was happy to believe in him. I practice in a catholic hospital too, go figure!
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