Thought you guys would enjoy this... I have a friend who lives close to me, lovely old guy, who used to be a minister at a local church. We get on well, share gardening tips, small talk, the odd cup of coffee. I have been fascinated for a long time with finding out his story - as the reasons why he left the church seem shrouded in mystery.
Well one day, I was feeling a little mischevious and steered the conversation subtley on to religious belief, we quickly began debating the usual parry and repostes we have come to expect i.e. evolution, lack of evidence, biblical floods, big bang etc etc. Getting tired of going nowhere fast I decided to go in for the kill...asking him how he justified his belief (as he did) in the old testament namely Duter. and Levit. (I quoted chapter and verse from my "ready to hand - in case a christian comes a-callin" worse aspects of these wretched books.
He answered me as plainly as I tell you now...
" I just ignore them"
Thats it, folks.... by far the most honest answer yet provided by a christian defending the bible!
The point of my replies had you been paying attention, Sir.
The point of the replies was to point out the errors in both parties. Not only that, but you are concentrating on a use of a word, that was already explained in full. A doctrine, or dogma is a series of beliefs strung together to formulate a main or theorized ideal, of the belief. In this case, the many hundreds of religions.
Atheism, as you claim, is a statement of unbelief of theism, or any religion there-in. However this being so, makes it also a statement of belief that theist is in the wrong. If someone is an Atheist, do they have the right belief? or does the other few thousand beliefs?
i paid attention. i responded to your ill-formed unevidenced assertions. you haven't responded to anything i've said.
you've not pointed out the errors in both parties. i asked if you disagree that Christians are only rarely intellectually honest about what they believe and how they arrive at that belief, in fact you can call this the third time i'm asking, and you haven't replied. you didn't point to any errors in atheism. you've merely asserted that "atheism" isn't free of errors. i've asked you what those errors might be. you've ignored that question too.
concentrating on the use of what word and where was it explained in full? a doctrine or dogma is dictated by an authority and is accepted unquestioningly. it is unchanging. where does atheism have anything like that? just keep tossing out these tired old canards, like slow pitch softball, we'll hit 'em right back at your chest! lol.
as i claim? you disagree that atheism is simple lack of belief? let's be on the same page then. what is your definition of atheism? i won't hold my breath for an answer. you don't answer direct questions, do you.
i am an atheist because, according to the proper definition, i lack belief in gods. according to your definition, if i were a republican that would necessarily be a statement that the democrats are wrong. does that mean that the republican party constitutes a religion? oh wait, i know, that's another question- it won't get answered either.
do atheists have the right belief? which belief? atheists have many many beliefs. you mean do we have the right belief that belief in god is unevidenced? gee, i don't know "Sir", do you have any evidence to show me to make me think there is a god and therefore belief in god is right?
you're the one making the positive claim Cupcake. show me evidence or admit that it's a matter of faith no more or less substantiated than any other religion's god.
Just as I have, watch you follow the path, unfortunately the wrong one. Would you like help, to remain on the right topic?
Above is a prime example, of what is done below, and all around the world and online. That one, believes with all his or her heart, soul and mind that he or she is right, beyond doubt and therefore questions the beliefs of others, in your case, Christianity.
In fact, in your post you have, placed your belief, or faith whichever you prefer, in the (so called)fact that Christians are very rarely intellectually honest. Which not only proves the point earlier, but also gives to it another example of the belief that is held to in this debate.
Unfortunately for you, Atheism has named (so said) leading authorities, of them one stands out like a sore thumb, Richard Dawkins. But, also, one can name himself the authority of his ro her belief, becoming the dictating force of his or her, personal belief, doctrine, and so on.
And lastly, i need not answer the question for one, because I would fall to the same vary thing you have, the belief.(Of, or like you say "lack of") Thank you for admitting that the choice to belief in Atheism, or the belief that it is true, is a matter of faith no more, or less substantiated than any other religion, including that of Atheism.
Atheism is just the lack of a belief in a god or gods. That's it. It is no more a religion than bald is a hair color or not collecting stamps is a hobby.
Say, for example, that Person A does not believe in UFOs, as there is no credible evidence for their existence. Does that make that person's disbelief a religion?
To lack belief in something until sufficient evidence is presented to justify belief is the default position. You do not believe (I assume) in gas-based intelligent beings that live in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter and communicate with chosen humans via telepathy, and your lack of belief does not constitute a religion, nor would your belief that someone proclaiming that said beings exist, but cannot provide evidence, was making an unsupported claim and thus there was no reason to believe it.
The definition you give for religion, "A body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs or practices.", is only a portion (at best) of the definition listed in any of the dictionaries I referenced.
Wow, this has heated up somewhat....first a thank you for all the CONSTRUCTIVE posts, as to the others, (one person in particular), I fear that we may have digressed somewhat from the point of the original post.
GPP: I could waste half an hour of my day pointing out the various flaws and weaknesses in some of your arguments, however if I am being honest I doubt it would have any effect on your opinion. I thank everybody who has attempted to reason with you however I feel that all your rambling is nothing more than a smoke screen and a way of avoiding the original question. So I will ask you but one question.
How do you justify your (or anybody elses), belief in Duter. and Levit. If you could keep your response to a couple of lines or so I think everybody would appreciate it....
P.S. Try answering the question posed rather than waffling on about interpretation or poor syntax.
Heated up, might be alittle to relaxed for what has happened, and currently happening. Perhaps, perhaps not depending on what one is perceiving in this debate, though it might be lucky to be considered such now.
Mac, be my guest. I'm not going to hold you back and further the point I have previously made. Like, within, your very post, you believe that they, are trying to reason with me. Thus implying, that i do not contain reason? Let me tell you this, the more you try, the harder it becomes for me to believe that Atheism, is as good as it is portrayed. (Do you see that point? Or shall i make it clearer?)
The way, one justifies their belief is the same way you justify your belief, as such, they such their reason and logic to find the hidden meaning, or truth within their ability. (as previously said, I do not have a belief and have come here exploring)
To be or not to be? Whether one chooses the first or the last, he chooses. In the Case of the Easter bunny, you would have choose to not to believe, either way you still believe in something, whether it is for or against the said object or thing.
If a child said believe in the mythological being known as Father Christmas or Santa Claus, and you did not does that mean it is mythological? The figure portrayed in today's world is mythological, however the rumor is not. There a man, a source for this "rumor" that started so long ago. In this case, a Catholic Priest, known as Saint Nicolas.
Atheism is freedom from irrationality of religion? It might very well be, however who are you to judge what rationality and logic is? This are all, preconceived ideals, of what this is, when you have no prove listed showing that it is, indeed, irrational.