Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
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11-04-2011, 09:21 AM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
That's not even remotely close to what I said and I think you know it. What I said was that telling the other side of the argument that if they just bowed out of it there would be no conflict is not in any way, shape or form a real suggestion to stop anything. The entire idea is just ridiculous, but feel free to go and try it and let us know how that works for you.

And, how about we stay away from terms like "cease fire" and "war" as academic battles really are not worthy of that level of hyperbole. No one is dying over these discussions. Most of it is internet chatter. Why you feel the need to turn it into something grandiose is beyond me.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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11-04-2011, 02:35 PM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
BnW.

It was a comedic fictional re-enactment. Gawd.

I don’t think that he was telling "the other side" anything. He presented a few statements and then invited open dialogue. Unless you want to accuse the guy of framing the discussion, which he did do, he wasn't saying anything to "the other side".

And I think that my little gag quote was a fair, if not facetious, interpretation of what you said. You said that his position suggested that all sides could get along if all sides agreed on boundaries. The reason you claimed it was ridiculous was because people didn't currently respect those (or presumably) any other boundaries: at least the correct ones (in terms of peacemaking). I think it's a reasonable comparison to when two sides at war are trying to sign an armistice. They went to war because they didn't respect boundaries, but part of the peace process and conflict resolution solution is to draw up mutually agreed upon boundaries. That process always involves compromise and letting go of claims that you may not want to otherwise. So I think (and feel free to correct the following if you think I'm misrepresenting you) it's illogical to say that a conflict can't be resolved because there is a conflict.

I think that your "never ever" hypothesis isn't supported by the historical record. Almost every branch of every religion has gone through some sort of reformation in which policies and beliefs change or cause schisms. So never ever seems like hyperbole. And if you're basing the impossibility of negotiated peace on absolute intractability, then I think your impossible argument fails.

And his argument is that theology is like mathematics in that the method used to discover truth is different than science. He states that all three domains are searching for truth but that math and science, far from being incompatible due to method, have created a thriving symbiotic partnership. He says that there are limitations in how both science and theology search for truth and that neither side should claim all paths to truth but recognise those limitations in terms of what areas they cannot and should not comment on. That's a much more complex argument than, keep your beliefs out of our way. He's proposing methods and an impetus to begin a process, which he does not claim will necessarily end the conflict, not an end solution.

Quote:Obviously, atheists are are not going to have a problem with this argument at all.... So, this guys entire contention is that if religious folks just agree that their views of the world have no real bearing on real life and could just sit in the corner and discuss amongst themselves at the kids table while the adults figure everything out for them.

Every conflict, by definition, has two sides. I don't think that "Atheists" will be as willing to lay down their arms as you suggest. As Efrx86 pointed out, Richard Dawkins wrote:
Quote:The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question, even if it is not in practice - or not yet - a decided one.

So I think (and correct me if this is a mischaracterisation) your contention that because Atheists will simply accept the terms you sited that what he's really saying is that it's all on the Theists to change is inaccurate.

I really think you should give this guy another shot.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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11-04-2011, 06:34 PM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
I find war metaphors for trivial issues to be fairly offensive to people who actually volunteer to put on a uniform and are willing to risk their lives. And, this is a trivial matter. No one is dying over this. It's a pure academic debate.

There is a great quote attributed to Henry Kissinger about academia: "Academic politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small." And, the only stakes smaller than academic politics are the politics of arguing with people on the internet over trivial issues. People don't even use their real names in these debates. So, using war metaphors to defend the need for some kind of conflict resolution between theists and atheists is really hyperbole at its best. Even when the people use their real names like Dawkins and Harris do, who really cares? And, most of the people who are putting their actual names out while arguing this stuff are also making an absolute mint off it, so their agenda is largely money. That's fine and I don't begrudge anyone finding a way to make a buck, but let's please not pretend there are actual stakes in these debates. The phrase "negotiated peace" is absurd in this context.

As for his "framing the discussion", yes, that is what he's doing. And, if you read my comments, I state that obviously there are going to be variations within religious groups but for those people who believe that their account of the bible is the scientific truth, they are not going to be willing to just get pushed to the side on these issues. That is why there is a conflict.

As for what atheists will or wont' be willing to do, I also said that I spoke for no one but my self but my sense was that a great many atheists would be perfectly happy if theists agreed to keep their beliefs out of the science classroom and public policy debates over real issues. And, while that may not be true for everyone, a great majority of us really don't have the time or energy to engage in a battle for the sake of it. We also don't have a book to sell.

As for whether or not I should give this guy another shot, he doesn't need my blessing. "Go forth and conquer", I say! Take your idea door to door, church to church, seminary to seminary. What the fuck do I care? Best of luck to him with that and I hope it all works out.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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13-04-2011, 01:59 PM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
I disagree with the notion of leaving god out of science. If a god exists and affects the observable universe in some way, then it can be studied by science and should be.

"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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13-04-2011, 04:43 PM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
Anyone else find it humorous that the only dialogue to be found in the "Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?" thread is a conflict between a theist and an atheist?

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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13-04-2011, 07:15 PM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
Hey, Buddy Christ.

Who is the Theist?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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13-04-2011, 07:57 PM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
I agree with BnW here,
The possibility of a "cease-fire" is really quite absurd from their perspective, because this isn't a war, not even close. It is a terrible comparison really, because of what BnW said and also, war has a pretty definitive start point and a foreseeable and at least somewhat reasonable solution given by both sides.

What would theists see as a solution to this conflict of interests? Everybody converting to their beliefs or just standing out of their way when they want to do something regarding their religion, whether it be in the scientific realm or otherwise. What would a majority of atheists believe to be the solution, what this guy says, do you really think there is a compromise when both sides say "get the hell out of my way!"? Regardless of the reasoning behind it?
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13-04-2011, 09:30 PM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
(13-04-2011 07:15 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Buddy Christ.

Who is the Theist?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I've always seen you as the Theist, or at the least a Theist Apologist.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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13-04-2011, 10:52 PM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
Hey, Buddy Christ.

So that's how it works? If I'm not one of you then I'm one of them? Do you even understand what the implications and the consequences of that kind of thinking are? Do you realise how pedestrian the psychology behind that is? I am an Agnostic. I don't think that it's actually possible for me to demonstrate that more clearly, but hey, what's a little truth when there are opinions involved eh? You can wish me away by calling me a Theist or an apologist, but the truth is, all that I do that is so controversial is call people out when they are vitriolic, hateful, ignorant, or fear monger towards Theists. Some people are comfortable with painting entire groups of people with a very wide and very paint saturated brush, but I prefer to look at things in their complexity. I believe in “I and Thou” rather than “I and It”. I try to get people on this site to look at others as human beings rather than lazily, as well as dangerously, casting them as part of the amorphous blob known as "them". And for that, I'm "one of them". So call me a Theist if you want. Just remember that you did the next time you talk about the importance of facts.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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14-04-2011, 08:06 AM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
No idea what your talking about.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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