Monday, December 22, 2008

The new atheism

I think that the so-called 'new' atheism is simply a 'not believing that there are any gods'.

Christian philosophers can try to drag that into their 'arena' and 'hammer' it with the old, "How can we know anything?"

That's an uphill climb. If a person lives on this here ball of mud long enough to form an opinion about supernatural beings and that opinion is 'thumbs down' all the word-magic in the World is not going to change their minds.

Think about it. Anyone who is an atheist today has overcome all the church people who belong to all the churches on all the street corners. They've overcome all the teachers, perhaps their own parents and surely some of their sisters and/or brothers.

These people are determined. There is no way that you could be an atheist because daddy was. If you grew up in 'the West' you had to PERSONALLY overcome the notion that there is an all-powerful authority in the face of KNOWING that there IS authority (of course there is), in the face of the propaganda that Christianity IS freedom, in the face of all the propaganda that goodness is exactly the same thing as Godliness, in the face of their DEMAND for respect.

But they KNOW that to 'respect' their demands, is to be them. There is no escape. If you ridicule them, you are in league with Satan.

How do we few, as little as 10% continue on, challenging the D'Souza's of this World that we are not monstrous Stalins, Maos etc. ?

There's NO convincing them that if we're not with them we're not against them.

It is a stand-off.

We can only hope that since the internet is the ONLY means by which we can stand them off, the only means by which we spread our 'reason', that they will not find some way to cut off our solidarity(for want of a better word).

... and they say that we have no 'hope'. HAH!

11 comments:

oneblood said...

Well said,

Aside from your normal generalizations about Christians which can apply to any adherent of any culture.

Instead of intellectualizing one aspect of religion why not intellectualize them all? Hmmmm. Religion might actually come across as something more complex and rich than mind control for the masses and Pat Robertson.

Yet we still agree on one thing...D'Souza (his name should be a cue for catcalls).

Asylum Seeker said...

"If you grew up in 'the West' you had to PERSONALLY overcome the notion that there is an all-powerful authority in the face of KNOWING that there IS authority (of course there is), in the face of the propaganda that Christianity IS freedom, in the face of all the propaganda that goodness is exactly the same thing as Godliness, in the face of their DEMAND for respect."

It didn't really seem that hard for me. Guess I just don't pay enough attention to social conventions and any medium for propaganda to be influenced by such things.

Oh, and did somebody say "D'Souza"? Boo! Hiss!

mac said...

Today, at work, a friend said she was having a rough week.

We almost shared a good moment until she said " Oh well, the Lord will only give me what I can handle."

I said yes, suffering for no reason but to test you speaks very much to your god's compassion...she got mad and walked off.

Was it something I said ?
Who would have thought? Years of crude sexual innuendo and not so much as a hint of anger, but one mention of god's supposed compassion and I'm an asshole !

oneblood said...

Mac said,

"Was it something I said ?
Who would have thought? Years of crude sexual innuendo and not so much as a hint of anger, but one mention of god's supposed compassion and I'm an asshole !"

-----------------------------------

I don't know if that was so much of a metaphysical issue as much as it was male/female.

It helps me to realize that some people would rather you use them than tell them your opinion.

And a vague voice from some movie I saw long ago says, "Ain't that the sad truth."

oneblood said...

pboy,

you used to be the negation of pboy but now you've refused your first denial. Are you or are you not pboy?

pboyfloyd said...

Yea mac,

I can't remember where I heard the story of an biology outing in South America when some weird animal, a beautifully bizarre colored slug was sighted.

The commenter and all were excited until the guide said that it was a beautiful creation.

Maybe we're a little over-sensitive to these figures-of-speech.

Maybe it is an indication of how programmed some of these people are.

oneblood...

Ahh, the to pboyfloyd or to not-pboyfloyd,

That is the question.

Whether it is nobler in the mind,

to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

or to rail against a sea of troubles,

and by opposing, defeat them.

GearHedEd said...

This is something I posted in Brian's blog this morning, thought it may be appropriate to paste it in here:

"A little clarification, if I may, and at the risk of saying something y’all might consider uninformed or foolish:

I consider myself a “functional atheist” (my terminology). What that means is that I, too, have been contemplating the answer (if there is or even can be one) to the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” This is where the “functional” part comes in. While I may be forced to agree that there is some ultimate “cause” underlying our perceived reality, I reject the speculative assumption (C.S. Lewis, Thomas Aquinas, et al notwithstanding) that some ‘creator god’ as described in the bible is the CORRECT assumption. I come to this personal conclusion because the stories, legends, etc. in the bible have proved on several (physical) fundamental levels to have been mistaken and incorrect in their assumptions. This is not to say that science trumps religion; on the contrary, I think (and have said so in other blogs) that science and religion need not be at odds, for the simple observation that if god created all, then science is an integral part of that creation. The opposite does not follow logically from that statement, just like ‘absence of proof is NOT proof of absence’; i.e., IF science eventually pierces into the Ultimate Truth, there is no (yet known) logical reason that god must therefore be included within it.

On the other hand, when statements such as “…Now, this analogy is far from perfect, but it does give you an idea of how god could 'act' upon our world and not be 'in' our time…”, I have to ask, isn’t the key word there “COULD”? That means speculation, without even addressing the assumptions being made in the analogy, which itself was admitted to being “far from perfect”.

Also, I don’t believe in an “immortal soul”. I consider the concept to be more speculative assumption, based on the observation that we humans are in denial about the finality of death, and say to ourselves inane things like, “B-But there HAS to be something more…” No, there doesn’t.

Therefore, I say to myself, “Self, whereas you say that religion is based on speculation and assumptions, many of which have been proven false; and whereas you don’t believe in an immortal soul, what then is left to you?” And I answer, “What you have is the life you are living, and it is bootless to argue endlessly about who has the correct speculative assumptions (witness the thousands upon tens of thousands of blog entries devoted to this ONE question!), so I will not waste the life I have searching for answers.” Functional atheism: behave as if there is NO god, because there is no reliable evidence that there IS one.

One more item: most “true” atheists are not uninformed. Indeed, as many have pointed out, as a group, atheists are generally more intelligent and better educated (possible indication of a liberal bias there, but I digress…) than the average citizen. The usual accusations that Christians level at atheists, that we are bitter due to some perceived injustice God has done to us, or that we’re hedonists, unwilling to subordinate ourselves to “the Christian morality that can only come from God”, or even that we haven’t read the bible “correctly” (whatever THAT bullshit means!) are all disingenuous, and oversimplify the internal struggles all of us contend with.

Don’t misunderstand me, though. I’m not abandoning the discussion, just pointing out my reasoning.

P.S. Fellahs, and ladies, please call me “Gear”. GearHedEd sounds so…

…formal."

Saint Brian the Godless said...

Who would have thought? Years of crude sexual innuendo and not so much as a hint of anger, but one mention of god's supposed compassion and I'm an asshole !
--------------
There's your mistake.

You should have got her into bed BEFORE you discussed religion.

For me, whenever I speak of the religion thing before I have sex with them, they just aren't willing to listen. But afterwards, they always seem so much more, uh, I don't know, for the lack of a better word, "attentive?"

Saint Brian the Godless said...

Oh, and I liked this post a lot, pboy.

oneblood said...

Pboy, do you think a meta-conscience (not a meta-consciousness) could've developed as man became more advanced?

We go from tribal deities, to a pantheon, to one god, to one etc.?

Please let me know what you think.

mac said...

Of course you're right Brian.

BUT, I've been known to call on JESUS on occaision during ...well, you know....that moment when you think there may, indeed, be a god. A very good god ;-)