Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nice Summary

Writing on a far distant thread, Massimo Pigliucci neatly summarizes my last two posts about god stuff and much else that passes into this precious, precious blog: God believers complain

... that atheists just don't understand. No, we don't. We cannot understand because we live by the apparently misguided idea that belief ought to be proportional to evidence, that one of the best attributes of humanity is its ability to reason, and that blind faith is not worthy of praise, but rather is the sort of evil that brings people to slam airplanes into skyscrapers, killing thousands whose only “sin” was to be born in a different culture. As Blaise Pascal (a highly religious philosopher) put it, “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”
Yep.

No, I don't understand statements that convert "eternity" into some kind of pleasure-induced inattention to the clock. What if a person's transfixing, time-negating joy is inherently anchored in and dependent on time itself -- for example, what if it has to do with completing a marathon in a personal best time? Is this possibility excluded from "eternity"?

And I don't understand assertions that god has a great plan that counterbalances all the suffering of the world, which, when its obvious shortcomings are noticed, is quickly traded out for assertions that god has an irreducibly mysterious plan.

7 comments:

Zombie said...

I am not about arguments especially with people I don't know because I have no idea whether they are listening or just waiting to hear buzz words they can try to spin around. I am sincere in my posts. I do care about people. I will say one last thing about what you posted here. atheists deceive themselves when they presume they have evidence for the contrary of God, or the existence of another theory of how we have come to this big rock. Give evidence for macro evolution. You can't in fact it breaks scientific law. To believe in evolution, it takes as much faith as believing in God, or more.

Dale said...

Your roundhouse swings at evolutionary science are, frankly, embarrassing. I get it: you have a hard time imagining how it happened. It strikes you as counterintuitive.

Suffice to say these failures of imagination fall well short of evidence. Science doesn't rise or fall on the basis of its intuitive appeal to people who evidently have no interest in it and have done little or no background research on it.

The "macro" and "micro" distinction you're trying to cite is a phony one culled from long-debunked creationist talking points. If you actually want evidence for evolution, here are resources:

http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-evolution.html

If books are more your speed, how about, oh, say, The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins.

Zombie said...

Ask why all the way until you can't answer anymore, then you need faith. I am a science major by the way, so your assumptions about me having no interest are false. I don't need to read random biased snippets form internet websites that are ridden with errors. In the end, evolution breaks scientific law negating itself. Hey look I can post a website too http://www.changinglivesonline.org/evolution.html

And the same can be said of your "roundhouse" swings at Creation. In the end, neither can be proved. Something living had to begin the evolutionary process. Who made that something living.

Dale said...

The world of biological science eagerly awaits your demonstration of the errors in evolutionary theory. I am not emotionally invested in evolution; if the evidence shows it to be false, I'll follow the evidence with great interest, as I try to do with all the really big scientific matters. So please, thrall us all with your acumen. Please! Be the scientist that points the new way in biology. I'll be gratified that you ever slummed here on my blog.

I don't doubt you've had a profound personal experience. I wouldn't know how to count the number of similar testimonials I've encountered. It's interesting how these personal testimonials nearly always feature people being driven into the arms of the local god, but I leave that factoid for you to ponder.

How convincing do you find claims such as "Allah changed my life" or "the great Hindu god of [whatever] changed me forever"? Probably about as convincing as I do. You are surely aware that there are droves of people willing to die for the truth of their beliefs -- beliefs that you easily dismiss, beliefs that utterly fail to keep you in a state of suspense as you go to sleep at night. The pages of history are littered with the bodies of willing martyrs to all kinds of faith systems.

All that eager death and demonstrable sincerity proves nothing.

We are both raving, dismissive atheists -- I just go one god further than you do.

Zombie said...

beliefs that you easily dismiss

I didn't say anything about these people. The holes in evolution speak for themselves, I need not go into detail, plus like I said before I was not here to argue which I have done already and I apologize for that. There is one thing though. I came to your site disagreeing with you, but left you a compliment. You came to my site and tried to pick me apart. Which of us looks to have more hope for life? You can't judge something until you have given it a fair go, and I have done the atheist thing. Feel free to visit me anytime, I'll probably keep reading your blogs because I like to read. I do think you are intelligent, I am not pretentious as some make me out to be, I will not argue any further because I see no wisdom in it. Peace be to you as you go about your way, God Bless, Zombie

Dale said...

Zombie, my comment on your blog post did 'pick apart' your claims but there was nothing personal intended or conveyed. I agree it doesn't come across as complimentary of those views, but such is the give and take on the internets, and so it goes for controversial thoughts tossed into public view.

In general, I am reluctant to heap praise on people I know only through their public presentation on blogger. The fact is, I know little about you as a person -- surely not enough to offer much in the way of praise or condemnation. This is all pretty impersonal in the end, and I think we are too easily seduced to believe otherwise about it. To date, you and I are pixels to each other and not a whole lot more.

That said, for what it's worth, you seem like a decent fellow and I do thank you for stopping by and engaging these topics.

mikesdak said...

I must say that after reading all this I conclude that I'm looking at two very different philosophies that ideally arrive at the same result.
(1) There is no God. Therefore it is up to us to do what is right and make the best of our time on earth. We may get screwed over, but that's life.
(2)God has a plan, but we are unable to comprehend it and so cannot hope to abide by it. Therefore it is up to us to do what is right and make the best of our time on earth.We may get screwed over,but that's life.

Of course the application of either of these has always been problematic due to a variety of human failings, a prime one being the belief that God has justified the actions therefore they cannot be wrong.