Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
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10-11-2010, 06:31 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
(10-11-2010 06:24 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  No I've never met such a Christian Unbeliever. Knowledge would make faith pointless and therefore contradict Christianity, which places faith at its core. You can't have faith if you 'know'.

I agree, but this doesn't stop many religious institutions from claiming that they do, in fact, know.

Quote:I don't deny that there are people saying illogical things. It's extremely simple to refute and therefore dismiss such logic. Christianity isn't affected by such misinterpretation, in the same way that atheism isn't affected by people making illogical claims of it.

I would agree, except that Christianity very much is affected by such things, because Christianity is not a monolithic entity. Perhaps your specific brand of Christianity is not affected by such things, but you cannot make the claim that religion as a whole does not claim that it doesn't care if God exists or not.

In fact, I think this entire thing started with a misunderstanding between us. I said that religion cared whether or not God existed; you came on with a post about faith rather than proof. Neither of our posts really contradicts the others', so, looking back, I'm not sure what it is that we're arguing about, except that there are actually a good number of Christians whose faith does rest on "knowing" that God exists.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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10-11-2010, 07:16 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
Like there are a good number of atheists who 'know' that God doesn't exist? Both are logically corrupt.

Religious institutions making illogical assertions exist.

Mainstream Christianity resembles such a monolithic entity which to adherents worldwide represent the logical point of view. I think you will find that all expressions of religious endeavour do indeed never claim that God exists: that being a claim of knowledge. Existence and non existence are questions of natural laws where God is supernatural and always beyond such questions. Religions concern themselves with the supernatural: unless you can tell me one which doesn't.
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10-11-2010, 09:53 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
(10-11-2010 07:16 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  Like there are a good number of atheists who 'know' that God doesn't exist? Both are logically corrupt.

No argument here.

Quote:Religious institutions making illogical assertions exist.

Yep.

Quote:Mainstream Christianity resembles such a monolithic entity which to adherents worldwide represent the logical point of view.

To you, maybe, but "mainstream" Christianity differs from region to region. Biblical literalism is considered "mainstream" in many areas. Where I am, Catholicism is considered practically synonymous with Christianity. There is no universal "mainstream".

Quote:I think you will find that all expressions of religious endeavour do indeed never claim that God exists: that being a claim of knowledge. Existence and non existence are questions of natural laws where God is supernatural and always beyond such questions. Religions concern themselves with the supernatural: unless you can tell me one which doesn't.

Bolding mine.

Again, this is demonstrably false. You, specifically, might not claim this, and I applaud you for it. Maybe your entire branch of Christianity does not claim it. But there are many, many believers - and entire branches of Christianity and other religions - who do claim this. In fact, I would be very, very surprised if they were not the vast majority.

The sad truth is that most people don't understand basic logic. When they do, they often don't apply it to their faith. The fact that God's existence is, in truth, unproven doesn't matter to them. They say that they know, and nothing will convince them otherwise.

A perfect illustration of a "mainstream" religious belief which claims to know that God exists is Biblical literalism, otherwise known as young-Earth creationism. They claim that the existence of God is proven through material, physical, empirical evidence, that they know that he exists. Again, CARM.org is a perfect illustration.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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11-11-2010, 02:33 AM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
Catholicism is Christianity - I include that in mainstream, as well as ALL regional variations. YEC is a logically bankrupt interpretation of Christianity - whilst I would still consider them mainstream this insistence of theirs is unsupportable given the basic logic underpinning their beliefs. As well as logic, they have to throw out the bible to reach those conclusions. Christians saying that they 'know' God exists are clinging onto an illogical conclusion, for the bible proves them wrong.

Perhaps you could point me to any proof of material, physical, empirical evidence ever in the history of mankind.
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11-11-2010, 08:21 AM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
(11-11-2010 02:33 AM)fr0d0 Wrote:  Catholicism is Christianity - I include that in mainstream, as well as ALL regional variations. YEC is a logically bankrupt interpretation of Christianity - whilst I would still consider them mainstream this insistence of theirs is unsupportable given the basic logic underpinning their beliefs. As well as logic, they have to throw out the bible to reach those conclusions. Christians saying that they 'know' God exists are clinging onto an illogical conclusion, for the bible proves them wrong.

Perhaps you could point me to any proof of material, physical, empirical evidence ever in the history of mankind.

What are you saying now?

You came into this thread claiming that religion never said that you can know that God exists. I showed you that this is demonstrably false. What are you talking about with "proof of material, physical, empirical evidence ever"? What's the subject? Is this supposed to be related to the topic? If it is, you've lost me. If not, why the sudden change, and what are we talking about now?

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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11-11-2010, 12:26 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
I was addressing your post Unbeliever. I too wonder what relevance some of your posts are to the OP, but I'm just going with it anyway.

You say that it's demonstrably false.. by showing how people that mistakenly make such claims who have no rationale in doing so is somehow representative of religion, where you acknowledge that the same accusation of atheism shouldn't hold water.
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11-11-2010, 12:41 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
(11-11-2010 12:26 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  I was addressing your post Unbeliever.

What part of it?

Quote:I too wonder what relevance some of your posts are to the OP, but I'm just going with it anyway.

The conversation stopped dealing with the OP several pages back. Thread drift tends to happen a lot on these forums.

Quote:You say that it's demonstrably false.. by showing how people that mistakenly make such claims who have no rationale in doing so is somehow representative of religion

You claimed that religion, as a whole, does not claim to know that God exists:

fr0d0 Wrote:Religious people claim by faith that their personal beliefs are true to them... they claim to believe in God and not that God exists.

This is demonstrably false. That it has no logical basis for saying that it knows doesn't change the fact it says it just the same. In fact, I might go so far as to say that the majority of believers make this claim. While your position is more logical than theirs (it appears to be, anyway; I haven't had the opportunity to really discuss your beliefs with you), it is much less popular, and it is not endorsed by many religious institutions.

May I ask what particular branch or church of Christianity you subscribe to?

Quote:where you acknowledge that the same accusation of atheism shouldn't hold water.

Where did I say that? There are atheists who claim to know that God does not exist. I don't make the attempt to defend them, because their position is illogical, and I see no reason to defend a position that I do not hold. Please don't put words in my mouth.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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11-11-2010, 01:03 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
Just an interesting point I thought might be realevant:
Since the debate about christians believing whether god EXISTS or whether they have FAITH he exists, I conducted a very informal, non-scientific poll. I have, over the last two days, asked 44 christians the following question:

"Which statement best describes your belief in god. 1) I know god exists, 2) I believe in god, or 3) Both statements accurately describe my belief."

43 of the 44 people I asked chose #3. The one who did not chose #1.
I tried to ask as diverse a group as possible (ie. diferent sects of christianity, different ages and genders, etc.) Like I said, it was not a scientifically accurate poll, and it was obviously all people I know (ranging from family, though none immediate, friends, and even a few of my customers) but I do think it bears some thought.

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11-11-2010, 06:48 PM (This post was last modified: 11-11-2010 06:52 PM by fr0d0.)
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
Hi Unbeliever

You keep saying that religion being non religious is demonstrably false (please excuse the paraphrase). Apologies for attributing to you the statement about acknowledging illogical atheism (as we might see it). I'm still at this, sorry! ...would you say that both atheism and religion encompass illogicality then? And would you likewise label atheism as demonstrably illogical given the illogical component?

You see I'm taking both atheism and theism as what logically flies for both, and not what seems clearly contradictory about what some of each's proponents claim. If we allowed the introduction of everything contrary about both, then discussion would be rendered impotent.

Religion wholly does not claim that God exists. Period. The religious might... but then that's introducing non religion again.

Unbeliever Wrote:May I ask what particular branch or church of Christianity you subscribe to?
Sure. At age 26 I became a Christian in the Salvation Army. I was a Christian for about 6 years, and became a Christian again at age 47 - 4 years ago. For most of my life I've been an unbeliever.

Hi Stark Raving

Interesting poll. Thanks for that.

I interpret "sects" as non mainstream - when discussing with atheists they commonly conflate mormonism, jehovas witness, christadelphian etc with Christianity.

I think your question was misinterpreted in my understanding of the thrust of this discussion. Christians have faith that God exists... they are encouraged to embrace the certainty of their convictions. We're getting here something very different to what you might think of as reason to believe, as an atheist, that God exists.

Can I add: I think the YEC and ID movements have less credibility than atheism in my mind (as a Christian). Sorry if that's an insult to atheists.
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11-11-2010, 07:38 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
(11-11-2010 06:48 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  You keep saying that religion being non religious is demonstrably false (please excuse the paraphrase).

Um, no. I don't. You claimed that religion does not claim to know that God exists. This is demonstrably false. I really don't know what you're trying to say here.

Quote:Apologies for attributing to you the statement about acknowledging illogical atheism (as we might see it). I'm still at this, sorry!

No problem.

Quote:would you say that both atheism and religion encompass illogicality then?

Well, yes. There are people with illogical beliefs everywhere. It is entirely possible to be an illogical atheist.

However, atheism in and of itself is nothing more than a lack of belief in gods. There are atheists who take this a step further and claim that gods do not exist. They are called "strong" atheists, and they hold an illogical position. But this further illogical position doesn't make atheism any less logical.

Quote:And would you likewise label atheism as demonstrably illogical given the illogical component?

No. Atheism is a defined item: lack of belief in gods. Its logical status is unaffected by the other beliefs that atheists hold - they don't have anything to do with atheism. That belief is illogical. Atheism itself is not.

But this is a red herring. You said that theists flat-out do not claim that God exists:

(10-11-2010 12:41 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  Religious people claim by faith that their personal beliefs are true to them... they claim to believe [b]in God and not that God exists[/b].

Bolding mine.

I never tried to attack theism as a whole, just demonstrate to you that theists can and do claim that God exists on a regular basis, which is entirely true. I never claimed that theism as a whole was illogical (I think it is, but that's beside the point, as I'm not arguing it here; thus the red herring fallacy).

Quote:Religion wholly does not claim that God exists. Period.

Wrong, as I have shown you. Religion is the beliefs that religious people hold. That aside, even Christianity demonstrably does claim that it is possible to know that God exists. There are several Bible passages to this effect, with much damning of the nonbelievers to a lake of fire involved.

Quote:The religious might...

Which means that religion claims that God exists.

Quote:but then that's introducing non religion again.

What?

Quote:
Unbeliever Wrote:May I ask what particular branch or church of Christianity you subscribe to?
Sure. At age 26 I became a Christian in the Salvation Army. I was a Christian for about 6 years, and became a Christian again at age 47 - 4 years ago.

Which branch of Christianity, though? That's what I'm curious about. What church shares your beliefs?

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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