Posts Tagged ‘Atheism’
“Communication Is a Two-Way Street” is a trite metaphor that, although useful at times, is an incomplete description of the reality of the process of communications. Yes, there are senders and receivers in communications. The senders can only control how they present messages. They can’t control how messages are received. Only receivers can control their reception.
Through these experiences, I found out how religious people “know” what they know. There could be no doubt, because the words came directly to me while I was experiencing the ecstasy. There was no induction needed, because through those experiences I had the Truth.
I consider the writer to be a friend but I think he is wrong in this post. There is good reason that many of us would like to see religion gone, and it is religion itself, not the people who are religious, that we want to see wither and die.
To all Christians: I apologize for being so uppity. I promise to be good. My hat is in my hand, and excuse me while I go to the back of the bus and get off at my stop and hope that none of you are dishonored again by having to look at me.
I am aware that people have negative impressions of atheists, that it is a choice of word that can lead people to dislike me or claim that I am being fundamentalist or arrogant. I hold that the atheist position is just as honorable as any other position that anyone else has in regard to religion and theology and that it can’t be made more palatable by atheists shying from the word. So I tell people when they ask me, “I am an atheist.”
Loftus said that they are not wrong nor stupid for being religious and even discussed the skeptical nature of the most intelligent of the apologists. Loftus made the case that, in fact, people such as William Lane Craig are probably more intelligent than he is. I can name some religious thinkers far more intelligent than I am. The issue with religion is not intelligence. The issue is that of core values, and presupposition.
I see a hazard and a way that this can backfire. If you have a friend or acquaintance that you have targeted for conversion, consider that your friend has a conflicting goal. Their beliefs compel them to share their experience and their salvation with you in hopes of saving your soul for Jesus. Consider that you may have just engaged in a game of strategy and competition.
I turned back to the conversation between PZ and the very earnest young man sitting across from me. He had come to atheism relatively recently and with great relief, and he wanted to give something back. He was shy, though, and diffident, and didn’t know what he could do to help.
I was taught that at birth I carried the sin of Adam and Eve and that I needed to practice certain rituals or pray certain prayers to be cleansed of the sin that I never committed. I needed baptism, confession and contrition to access the creator. In another version of Christianity I needed to be “born again.” I could never be good enough for the creator on my own, being human. And being human, I was condemned to be separate from the creator unless I chose the right way to accept redemption.