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Tue May 1, 2012, 12:37 PM

Let's get down to brass tacks, shall we?

As a non-believer, I make no claims or assertions about the world or the universe, other than to ask for believers to present evidence that their beliefs actually exist in reality and not just in their imaginations.

As religious believers, of whatever flavor or stripe, it is assumed that you actually believe in something "supernatural", meaning it exists outside of the natural world we inhabit.

If this is the case, then how is is that you can convince us non-believers that your beliefs merit any more consideration or respect than say Fred Phelps, or Pat Robertson, or ANY other believer, if you are unable to convince us that your beliefs have any basis in reality at all?

I'm the end, from our perspective, your beliefs, whatever they may be, if not supported by reality and evidence, are just as nonsensical as any other, including the beliefs that YOU find nonsensical.


This, IMO, is where the first discussion MUST take place, for this is about where the line is drawn between reality and imagination. Until we have THIS discussion, how can you expect is to give anything else you have to say that is based on your beliefs, any consideration?


Thoughts?

17 replies, 3184 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Let's get down to brass tacks, shall we? (Original post)
cleanhippie May 2012 OP
rug May 2012 #1
1StrongBlackMan May 2012 #3
cleanhippie May 2012 #6
rug May 2012 #7
Starboard Tack May 2012 #10
cleanhippie May 2012 #13
rug May 2012 #14
saras May 2012 #2
Taverner May 2012 #4
Thats my opinion May 2012 #8
eqfan592 May 2012 #17
E_Pluribus_Unitarian May 2012 #5
mr blur May 2012 #9
Starboard Tack May 2012 #11
cleanhippie May 2012 #12
edhopper May 2012 #15
Leontius May 2012 #16

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 12:46 PM

1. Why do believers have to convince you of anything?

 

Why should anyone assume the position of arbiter of any thought to be worthy of consideration and worthy of ridicule unless it meets his own determination of what is worthy?

Why on earth would anyone allow that to happen?

Why should anyone give your beliefs and opinions any consideration?

You are not encouraging discussion. This approach guarantees, at best, a shut down of discussion, at worst, a rapid devolution into nonsense.

Those are my thoughts.



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Response to rug (Reply #1)

Tue May 1, 2012, 01:07 PM

3. I completely agree ...

 

and will reiterate ... Why should anyone attempt to convince you of anything regarding THEIR faith or belief system?

I subscribe to a "live and let live" approach ... I won't try to convince you of my faith/belief system and I expect/trust that you won't try to convince me of your's. That way, we all get along, happy in our beliefs.

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Response to rug (Reply #1)

Tue May 1, 2012, 01:37 PM

6. They do only when those beliefs are held up as some standard or reason for an occourance.

I doubt you will find many, including me, who really care what an individual believes personally, but only when those beliefs are held out there by the believer as a standard for public policy or reason for doing (or not doing) something that affects people OTHER than the believer.

Saying that religion is the reason or motivation behind the civil rights movement, or a force for bringing unity to Occupy, or is the basis for women's health decisions, demands that those beliefs be put under the strongest scrutiny. No?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #6)

Tue May 1, 2012, 01:51 PM

7. That's less than what you originally said.

 

"As religious believers, of whatever flavor or stripe, it is assumed that you actually believe in something "supernatural", meaning it exists outside of the natural world we inhabit.

"If this is the case, then how is is that you can convince us non-believers that your beliefs merit any more consideration or respect than say Fred Phelps, or Pat Robertson, or ANY other believer, if you are unable to convince us that your beliefs have any basis in reality at all?

"I'm the end, from our perspective, your beliefs, whatever they may be, if not supported by reality and evidence, are just as nonsensical as any other, including the beliefs that YOU find nonsensical."

I'll go you one further: public policy should not be based on sectarian beliefs period, whether there is any merit to these beliefs or not.

Any justification for public policy that is based on a sectarian belief should, and can easily, be disregarded. Civil rights, equality and social justice can stand on their own merits quite well.

However, to attack the beliefs of those who do support these movements, even if motivated by a religious belief, is as extraneous to the political movement as are the beliefs themselves. Allies are welcome regardless of the motivation.

When it comes to those who attack these movements, also for religious reasons, it is just as extraneous. The substance of these policies, if good, can overcome religious objections, especially since they're irrelevant. To spend time attacking the religious beliefs of rightwing social activists does not, imo, either validate the policies themselves or advance popular support for those policies.

The proper response for "It's against the Bible" or "It's against the Quran" is, "So?"

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Response to rug (Reply #7)

Tue May 1, 2012, 02:26 PM

10. +1

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Response to rug (Reply #7)

Tue May 1, 2012, 03:16 PM

13. Ok, rug, just where IS the crux of the conversation then?

If I have failed to get to te heart of the matter, just what is it then?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #13)

Tue May 1, 2012, 03:21 PM

14. Smartie pants?

 

For me, #7 is a good place to start. Ultimately DU is a partisan political board, not a dorm room.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 12:53 PM

2. You made a whole bunch of claims, many unprovable

 

You claim that there is a single, objective universe, and that someone else's experience and description must match yours, or one of you is WRONG.

You claim that there is a universal, acceptable, cross-cultural standard of "evidence".

You claim that YOUR chosen relationship between "belief" and "reality" MUST be shared by others, or they are WRONG.

You claim that the "natural world" is limited to that portion of the world that your interest group agrees is "real".

For this argument to hold up, it should work exactly as well if I use the traditional Dené (or Hindu) definition of "universe", "evidence", "beliefs", "supernatural", and "reality", instead of yours. Is that okay with you?

Now it happens that I hold as religious truth, accessed through traditional and experimental religious methods of accessing truth, that the first four propositions are, in fact, true. But I'm aware that that's my religion, and that I came to those beliefs through my own experience in the world.

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Response to saras (Reply #2)

Tue May 1, 2012, 01:26 PM

4. Um, cleanhippie never said that "..there is a single, objective universe"

 

Have you never heard of Multiverses in String Theory

That's just it, we don't know

But cleanhippie and I both know that there is no evidence to suggest a god or gods. We know how the universe we live in came about: big bang, stars, fast forward a few billion and here we are watching American Idol.

There is no evidence to suggest a god.

Let me put it this way: every single "miracle" that happens today can be perfectly explained by science. The weeping statues? Vegetable oil. Potato chip shaped like Jesus? Chance. I had a potato chip that was shaped like my dead dog Snooky, but I highly doubt she was trying to contact me from beyond the grave.

But you Christians, you KNOOOOOOW there's a god, and he has a PERFECT plan FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!

Bullshit! I counter you hope there's a god (there isn't) and you hope he has a perfect plan for your life (you're alive - that should be good enough.)

You hope, because it scares you to your core that nobody is in charge. But guess what? Either live with the fact that the universe is indifferent, or keep your mythological hopes to yourself.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #4)

Tue May 1, 2012, 02:07 PM

8. A couple of reactions.

Since you "know there is no evidence to suggest a god of gods" there cannot be any real conversation. No one can deal with an air-tight absolutist conclusion.

The statement that "Christians KNOOOOOOOW there is a god and he has a PERFECT plan FOR YOUR LIFE!!!" which you label as bullshit has so little relationship to what we believe that it too excludes the possibility of any conversation.

Given these two matters--and there are others in your postings-- it is futile to go down the path you suggest. You all are not the grand inquisitors before whose majesty we need to justify anything.

So we will continue to talk with others who are open to conversation.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #8)

Tue May 1, 2012, 04:35 PM

17. Two points.

First, stating that "there is no evidence to suggest a god or gods" is not an "air-tight absolutist conclusion." In fact, it's not a conclusion at all. A conclusion would be "There is no god or gods" which is something very different from what you quoted.

Second, while your particular brand of christianity may not believe that it "knows there is a god" (tho I have to be honest that I have yet to meet somebody who declared themselves a christian who didn't claim some knowledge to the existence of their god) or that said god "has a perfect plan for your life," there are most certainly many christians who do in fact believe such things. They are very vocal about this. Thus, while these attributes may not apply to you and yours specifically, they do apply to many christians (and theists in general).

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 01:28 PM

5. Whatever flavor or stripe? Really?

...As religious believers, of whatever flavor or stripe, it is assumed that you actually believe in something "supernatural", meaning it exists outside of the natural world we inhabit....


Why is this to be assumed? If it is supernaturalism, or authoritarianism, or hierarchical or patriarchal thinking, then why can't we just say that, and not broad-brush all religion with the same strokes? We in the radically-liberal (stubbornly protestant, free-thinking) religious tradition are on the same side as secular non-believers in this attempt to bring truth to light, and to expose error for what it is. Some of us are constantly going out of our way to defend you against false and unwarranted charges. For most of my life I have followed a mode of faith which is completely science-friendly, free-thinking and democracy-based. My faith (or motivating confidence, if you will) is completely toward the natural, super though it is.

There is much that we can agree on -- about dogma-driven religion -- but please can we take the pains (the freedom-embodied responsibility) to call the evils what they are, instead of all this "religion is this" and "religion does that" stuff? Is it fair to say that stereotyping all religion in this way is not only disrespectful but also lazy, a little dishonest and adds very little additional quality to the conversation? Can we at least work together, even when it takes a little extra effort to do?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Unitarian-Universalism-Faith-of-the-Free/83274552762

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 02:15 PM

9. 8 replies and already you can see you're wasting your energy.

 

Unless you want to read yet more evasions, deliberate misunderstandings and waffle.

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Response to mr blur (Reply #9)

Tue May 1, 2012, 02:32 PM

11. What deliberate misunderstandings are you referring to?

He just got his daily spanking. No more , no less.

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Response to mr blur (Reply #9)

Tue May 1, 2012, 03:09 PM

12. It would seem that way.

Is there room for me on that wall?

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 03:25 PM

15. Stop!

The logic, it burns!!

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 04:18 PM

16. Dave's not here.

 

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