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!
And yet Guardian you assume to know better than us, even though by your own reasoning you cannot know anything at all. Furthurmore you are not so different from us at all. You live life the same way as us, yet call our ways of life a religion.
Do you live life as if there were no god, as if there were no supreme being? Then you are an atheist. Just like us.
We can only know what we can touch. (observe) this includes all of us. This was my reasoning Adam. That by answering what we do not know the answer to, regardless of the way we answer it, become what many here claim to be intellectually dishonest, which is what we are being to our very selves when, we answer the question, by taking a path.
I have choose, to follow what is known, and observable, not what is theoretically said to be true, due to examples. No matter how logical they sound, there fore, I wait, in time for the answer to be revealed. Like Buddhism "waiting requires patience, knowledge requires knowing"
Dave, well none of us know the answer to the unknowable, although we may try and theoretically find an answer, there is no way of proving that answer. Therefore, none of us are being intellectually honest, being the none of us, including myself know. Therefore the reason, I wait before the paths, waiting.
Ah, I understand your stance much better now, Guardian. I think that terminology and word definitions are causing confusion. Would you agree with the classical agnostic position that whether or not a god exists is unknowable?
There is no physical evidence for God, just as there is no evidence against, him. Considering this is a hypothetical argument, stating that you know one to be true over the other would, be making a belief out of the unknown.
I can see, how one sees me as an Agnostic, however I have not chosen a path(of religion) to walk, however i have made a choice to wait(Like Buddhism).
Most aggressive current religion, yes. Other religions in the past have been as or even more aggressive than fundamental Islam.
To use your attacking nation example, when presented with the statement 'There is reason to attack Nation B', Nation A's initial stance will be 'There is not reason to believe there is a reason to attack without supporting evidence'. Nation A will then look at what evidence there is on the subject. It will then either decide 'We believe there is a reason to attack', 'We believe there is not a reason to attack', or stay with disbelief until more evidence is presented. This is harder to discern, as disbelief and belief that there is no reason to attack both result in the same action, not attacking.
However, what did they have to do? Choose not to, they choose to take a path, in this case of the example, a path of non aggression. However, even then, one does not have to take either road.
When faced with two gunmen, and you are found to be holding a ballistic shield and a firearm. You seemingly have only two choices to fire, or hide behind the shield, however there is a third or even a fourth, where he could flee, mindlessly or run back to the squad car, requesting back up.
Making the choice to not be convinced by religion does not therefore mean you are following a religion. Thoughts on the subject of god(s) do not immediate make them a religion. Atheism does not meet any of the necessary specifications to be considered a religion. To use your analogy, Nation X deciding it feels Nation Q is right and Nation Y is wrong does not make Nation X an aggressor.
Atheism deals with religion. It is not a religion.