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There is conflict... An unbiased opinion in my opinion

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 3:09 am
by secretnude
strawman wrote:It is apparently not uncommon for some fundamentalists to speak on behalf of Christianity, and for some scientific fundamentalists to speak on behalf of science. It isn't difficult usually to sense the prejudice and sniff them both out as neither Christian nor scientist.

I agree with Descartes. It contradicts the fundamental concept that God is Love for faith to contradict reason. Still I think an individual's responsibility is search for truth free from personal prejudices.
Your viewpoint
may also be as biased
as my viewpoint.

I don't attempt to hide my bias
since it was reached via examination of 'facts'.

I might be more willing to change my viewpoint
and it's probably
a fact
that you probably
concluded that God exist.

I'm open to the possibility
of the existence
of a Deity
and are you open to the possibility
that a Deity
doesn't exist?

Smearing somebody
just because they are Unchristian
is Unchristian.

It's better to live a Christian
life without the Christian
than use the Christian Faith
to promote Faith
based hate.
The basic impetus for the problem of faith and reason comes from the fact that the revelation or set of revelations on which most religions are based is usually described and interpreted in sacred pronouncements, either in an oral tradition or canonical writings, backed by some kind of divine authority. These writings or oral traditions are usually presented in the literary forms of narrative, parable, or discourse. As such, they are in some measure immune from rational critique and evaluation. In fact even the attempt to verify religious beliefs rationally can be seen as a kind of category mistake. Yet most religious traditions allow and even encourage some kind of rational examination of their beliefs.

The key philosophical issue regarding the problem of faith and reason is to work out how the authority of faith and the authority of reason interrelate in the process by which a religious belief is justified or established as true or justified. Four basic models of interaction are possible.

(a) The conflict model. Here the aims, objects, or methods of reason and faith seem to be very much the same. Thus when they seem to be saying different things, there is genuine rivalry. This model is thus assumed both by religious fundamentalists, who resolve the rivalry on the side of faith, and scientific naturalists, who resolve it on the side of reason.

(b) The incompatibilist model. Here the aims, objects, and methods of reason and faith are understood to be distinct. Compartmentalization of each is possible. Reason aims at empirical truth; religion aims at divine truths. Thus no rivalry exists between them. This model subdivides further into three subdivisions. First, one can hold faith is transrational, inasmuch as it is higher than reason. This latter strategy has been employed by some Christian existentialists. Reason can only reconstruct what is already implicit in faith or religious practice. Second, one can hold that religious belief is irrational, thus not subject to rational evaluation at all. This is the position taken ordinarily by those who adopt negative theology, the method that assumes that all speculation about God can only arrive at what God is not. The latter subdivision also includes those theories of belief that claim that religious language is only metaphorical in nature. This and other forms of irrationalism result in what is ordinarily considered fideism: the conviction that faith ought not to be subjected to any rational elucidation or justification.

(c) The weak compatibilist model. Here it is understood that dialogue is possible between reason and faith, though both maintain distinct realms of evaluation and cogency. For example, the substance of faith can be seen to involve miracles; that of reason to involve the scientific method of hypothesis testing. Much of the Reformed model of Christianity adopts this basic model.

(d) The strong compatibilist model. Here it is understood that faith and reason have an organic connection, and perhaps even parity. A typical form of strong compatibilism is termed natural theology. Articles of faith can be demonstrated by reason, either deductively (from widely shared theological premises) or inductively (from common experiences). It can take one of two forms: either it begins with justified scientific claims and supplements them with valid theological claims unavailable to science, or it starts with typical claims within a theological tradition and refines them by using scientific thinking. An example of the former would be the cosmological proof for God’s existence; an example of the latter would be the argument that science would not be possible unless God’s goodness ensured that the world is intelligible. Many, but certainly not all, Roman Catholic philosophers and theologians hold to the possibility of natural theology. Some natural theologians have attempted to unite faith and reason into a comprehensive metaphysical system. The strong compatibilist model, however, must explain why God chose to reveal Himself at all since we have such access to him through reason alone.
Various groups disagree about humanity, other species of life, the earth itself and the rest of the universe. This is because their beliefs are built upon different initial assumptions. Thus, they reach different conclusions:
bullet Very conservative Christians generally believe in the inerrancy of the Bible when its passages are literally interpreted -- except in those cases where a symbolic meaning is obviously intended. Thus, whenever the Bible discusses matters of geology, cosmology, astronomy, medicine, linguistics, etc. they believe it to be free of error. They perceive that the biblical authors were inspired by God to avoid all falsehood. All events described in the Bible, whether miracles or naturally occurring consequences, happened exactly as described. There is no possibility that any of these events did not happen in this way, because that would mean that the Bible itself is not free of error. The Bible can not be falsified -- proven to be false -- because it is by definition true.
bullet Liberal Christians see great spiritual truths in the Bible, but note that the authors of the Bible lived in a pre-scientific age. When the writers described the creation of the world, they borrowed heavily from earlier religious writings of nearby Pagan societies. When they wrote about about animals talking, the sun standing still, mental illnesses being caused by indwelling evil spirits, a worldwide flood, a flat earth under a metallic dome, etc. they were merely reflecting the primitive level of scientific knowledge in their society. Such material is not to be taken as a serious description of reality. The Bible is a spiritual book, not a scientific text book.
bullet Scientists generally work from the assumption that things happen as a result of purely natural processes. They use the "scientific method" to discover new insights in to nature. Many scientists believe in the existence of God. However, most do not see God regularly intruding in the universe and setting aside natural laws. That is, they believe that miracles either do not happen or are extremely rare. Unless they are biblical archaeologists, they rarely refer to the Bible as a guide for their research.

I have no faith and hence no Dogmatic hate at any rate.

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 4:30 am
by secretnude
Christians have the unfortunate
tendency at any rate
to dismiss other Faiths
and other belief systems.

I'm also open to the possibility
that other belief systems
are probably true
probably unlike you
is already blatantly
very 'Christian'.

Maybe Faith
and Reason
each have their season
and the season
for Blind Faith
at any rate
has dissipated to due Reason.

My eyes are open
to all possibilities
and are your eyes open
to other possible
that the Christians
sometimes just simply hate?

I tolerate
all faiths
since I have no faith
and hence no Dogmatic hate
at any rate.
Conservative Christians viewing non-Christian religions:

Their beliefs differ:
bullet Many conservative Christians are exclusionists (i.e. they believe that their own denomination and those who agree with them are the only valid faith, while all other groups are in serious error).
bullet Some are inclusionists (i.e. they believe that their group's beliefs are fully true, while all other groups only have part of the truth).

They see their own faith group, as based upon the Word of God as expressed in the Bible. Generally, they believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. Most believe in the traditional Christian belief that an individual will be sent to Hell when she/he dies if she/he has not first repented of their sins and then been "saved" by trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior, while still alive. This would include essentially all members of non-Christian faith groups and many members of Christian denominations.

They may view other world religions as one of the following:
bullet only partially true, or
bullet mostly worthless, or
bullet influenced by Satan or
bullet actually controlled by Satan, or
bullet a variety of Satanism.

In addition, many conservative Christians do not recognize other Christian denominations as being truly Christian. This is seen in their local ministerial associations which are frequently separate from the mainline/liberal Christian ministerial group in the same city. It is also seen in their attacks on more liberal Christian denominations and on new religious movements which teach beliefs that are different from their own, and at variance from historical Christian beliefs.

One of the most common types of complaint mail that we receive demonstrates this exclusion of other Christian faith groups: Letters from Fundamentalist Christians often complain that we include such groups as the Roman Catholic Church, the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Unificationists, etc. in our lists of Christian denominations. They often regard Catholics as Pagans, Mormons as Gnostics, and Jehovah's Witnesses, Unificationists, etc. as an anti-Christian cults.

Some conservative Christians believe that the Gods and Goddesses of other religions are actually demons. Thus, they see little difference among Hinduism, Buddhism, Satanism, Wicca, other forms of Neopaganism, and all other non-Christian religions. They believe that while members of these religions think that they are worshiping deities, they are really interacting with evil spirits or with Satan himself.

They generally recognize the existence of spiritual power in other faith groups' rituals, services and leaders. But they often attribute that power to demonic spirits, and describe it as a form of counterfeit power which may appear to be of God, but which originates in powers of evil.

They agree with those passages in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) that state that unsaved people view the Gospel message is nonsense and/or undecipherable. It is only when a person is saved -- i.e. becomes part of the "Body of Christ" -- that the Holy Spirit will intervene in their life, and sanctify them. Only after the person is saved will the Gospel message become clear to them. Those who are not saved cannot be trusted to give wise advice or to teach accurate beliefs, because they are not empowered by the Holy Spirit to understand and speak the truth.

No 'fundamental' beliefs for Atheists to hold

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 4:39 am
by secretnude
Labelling someone with no 'Fundamental Beliefs'
as Scientific or Atheist Fundamentalists
is fundamentally
and should belong
the trash bin
of history as a trashy
that's more like libel.

I don't hate
Religious Fundamentalists
too as long as they keep their purview
to the Religious Sphere
rather than broadcast faith
based fear
by spreading their misconstrued views
in Public Schools
that shouldn't be cool
to the mixing of the Church and State
which I freely admit, I do hate.

I had
many good Fundamentalist
and we fundamentally
were very tolerant of each other to the end.
strawman wrote:It is apparently not uncommon for some fundamentalists to speak on behalf of Christianity, and for some scientific fundamentalists to speak on behalf of science. It isn't difficult usually to sense the prejudice and sniff them both out as neither Christian nor scientist.

I agree with Descartes. It contradicts the fundamental concept that God is Love for faith to contradict reason. Still I think an individual's responsibility is search for truth free from personal prejudices.
Fundamentalist atheism cannot exist because there are no 'fundamental' beliefs for atheists to hold. This myth demonstrates why this is true by attempting to create out of thin air a belief for atheists: the idea that they reject religion so firmly that they no longer care about further research on it and are therefore dogmatic in their views. The errors made in this myth are so simple, basic, and obvious that it's difficult to credit anyone who repeats it with understanding atheism at all. ... talist.htm

Anti-intellectualism is latent within Christianity

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 6:08 am
by secretnude
A progressive Christian
Church that accepts Scientific facts
without a double standard may in fact
be impossible unless Christians
do abandon certain tenets of their Faith
that fate
has it is in central to their Faith.

Much of 'Revelation'
is said to be inaccessible to Reason
and is labelled thus as a Divine Mystery.

If Zeus and Hera were still worshiped today
I say
that the Divine Mysteries
would be different.

Why accept Christian Mysteries
and reject other Mysteries?

have different sets of Divine Revelations
that are said to be inaccessible to the action
of plain Human Reason.
strawman wrote: I'm well aware that most academics believe they are more intelligent than the general population. But I think I agree with Buckley that we'd be better governed by the first thousand names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty.
As I grew older I begin to recognize anti-intellectualism manifesting itself in Christianity during my stay in church and after I left church for good. I have had a comment from someone who said “Stop being to technical, just accept things by faith” (this was when I start to doubt the theology of atonement since it made little sense to me). After I left church I begin to see more Christians expressing disdain and fear of reason, and insisting that reason is so severely limited that we can no longer trust it thus we must lean on God rather than our own understanding. Even some Christians who say that we should think for ourselves are hypocritical since they act like most Christians who flatly deny evolution and the big bang.

My personal experience has lead me to the conclusion that anti-intellectualism is latent within conventional Christianity. I think there is an obvious reason why this is the case: anything that resembles philosophy or is philosophy often promotes the values of free-thinking, which is to ask questions and examine beliefs to find out if they are true. This is potentially dangerous to Christianity since religious beliefs can be gradually abandoned once people realize that those beliefs have become untenable. It is often the norm in Christianity that those beliefs cannot be abandoned but rather we must have a unconditional commitment to those beliefs. This unconditional commitment runs very deep in Christianity including the sense of identity among many Christians. This is what most of us would call “Dogmatism” or “Narrow thinking”. Dogmatism is reinforced by our sense of solidarity with the authority and tradition of the churches.
Of course many Christian set up a double standard in which Christianity does not require evidence while scientific theories do, but even from the perspective of critical thinking this is an unwarranted double standard. Precisely because there is an inevitable lack of evidence and a destitution of reasons to accept Christianity and that the norm of reasons (which is pervasive in philosophy and science) demands that in such circumstances the belief should be abandoned, many Christians would reject the norms of reason (or would reject that it applies to them) in order to preserve their beliefs. The norm of reason is a threat to Christianity. (by norms of reason, I simply mean the general rule of rationality that any reasonable person would accept in order to improve their understanding of reality). ... sm-in.html
It is ironic, but also very predictable, that the Christian churches of today have become as calcified in doctrine and dogma as the Jewish religion was 2,000 years ago. Back then, I was rejected by the orthodox religious people of the day. Today, many orthodox Christians reject me once again by rejecting the need for change and renewal in the Christian movement. ... -and-dogma

Uncertainty is certainly totally acceptable

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 7:49 am
by secretnude
Some Atheists maybe
but in an Intellectual
a sense
of deep wonder
at Natures Laws
that Humanity discovered
despite our flaws.

May people feel the need for a comforting
Divine Agent
that is capable of soliciting
a Teleological 'final cause'
a purposeless Universe
feels adverse.

The Cloak of Religion is comforting
but isn't needed for that moment
of awe and wonder.

The moment
of wonder
does excite
and incite
less need for the fine
of the Divine
for those of us that understand
that uncertainty
is certainly
totally acceptable
unlike those who seek

When Nyad announced, “I'm an atheist,” Oprah responded quizzically: “But you're in the awe.” Puzzled, Nyad responded: “I don't understand why anybody would find a contradiction in that. I can stand at the beach's edge with the most devout Christian, Jew, Buddhist—go on down the line—and weep with the beauty of this universe and be moved by all of humanity. All the billions of people who have lived before us, who have loved and hurt and suffered. So to me, my definition of God is humanity and is the love of humanity.” What Oprah said next inflamed atheists: “Well, I don't call you an atheist then. I think if you believe in the awe and the wonder and the mystery, then that is what God is.”

This is the soft bigotry of those who cannot conceive of how someone can be in awe without believing in supernatural sources of wonder. Why would anyone think that?

A partial answer may be found in a 2013 study by psychologists Piercarlo Valdesolo of Claremont McKenna College and Jesse Graham of the University of Southern California, published in the journal Psychological Science. Research had shown that “awe” is associated with “perceived vastness” (like the night sky or an open ocean) and that “awe-prone” individuals tend to be more comfortable with uncertainty and are less likely to need cognitive closure in some kind of explanation. They “are more comfortable revising existing mental schemas to assimilate novel information,” the authors said in their paper. For those who are not awe-prone, Valdesolo wrote in an e-mail, “we hypothesized that the uncertainty experienced by the immediate feeling of the emotion would be aversive (since they are probably not the kinds of people who feel it all the time). This was rooted in theoretical work which argued that awe is elicited when we have trouble making sense of the event we are witnessing, and this failure to assimilate information into existing mental structures should lead to negative states like confusion and disorientation.” To reduce the anxiety of awe-inspiring experiences, people who are not prone to awe engage in a process I call “agenticity,” or the tendency to believe that the world is controlled by invisible intentional agents.

To test this hypothesis, Valdesolo and Graham divided subjects into three groups. One group saw a video clip of an awe-inspiring scene from the BBC's Planet Earth, another watched an emotionally neutral news interview by the late 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace, and the last group viewed a comedy clip from the BBC's Walk on the Wild Side. Subjects then took a survey that measured their belief in God, belief “that the universe is controlled by God or supernatural forces, such as karma,” and their feeling of “awe” while watching the video clip. Subjects who saw the Planet Earth video experienced the most awe and, while in this state, greater belief in both God and supernatural control. The researchers concluded: “The present results suggest that in the moment of awe, some of the fear and trembling can be mitigated by perceiving an author's hand in the experience.”

What are the larger implications of these findings? “We showed that feeling the emotion (which even low awe-prone people are capable of) elicits uncertainty and a subsequent desire to resolve that feeling by explaining events in terms of purpose-driven causal agents,” Valdesolo explained. “One interesting hypothesis might be that the dispositionally awe-prone are less likely to show our effect since the uncertainty that they feel is not aversive.”

This brings me back to Diana Nyad and those of us who find our spirituality in the awe of the natural world without a need for supernatural agenticity. Instead of fear and trembling, we feel wonder and gratitude in discovering that the author's hand is nature's laws and nothing more, but also nothing less. ... -universe/
"Dogmatism" is the logical fallacy of "[p]roposing that there simply cannot be any other possible way of making sense of and engaging with an issue but the one you represent." Dogmatism is "[t]he unwillingness to even consider the opponent’s argument. . . the assertion that one’s position is so correct that one should not even examine the evidence to the contrary."

Dogmatism in Christianity, I think, comes primarily from fear. If we believe we are saved by faith, and we define faith primarily in terms of having the right set of beliefs, then anything that challenges those beliefs must be resisted as evil. Our thinking becomes defensive rather than inquiring, didactic rather than exploratory, closed rather than open. We see our role as the instructors and correctors of others, rather than as listeners and learners.

We all want in our heart of hearts to be listened to and understood. But dogmatism strips us of our ability to listen and understand. We become fundamentally unable to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

In the end, all we have is spiritual pride. ... y-and.html

I already tried your Faith....

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 9:51 am
by secretnude
I have been already exposed
to the Faith
you propose
and suppose
is the 'correct faith'
and fate
has it that
I already disposed
of that

The garment
of Dogmatic Christianity
does constrict
with strictly
defined Dogmatic Beliefs
like briefs
that the Organic Skin
of Science does chafe and hence I'm naked in
terms of Religion
as a garment.

Maybe some Dogmatic Religions
as garments
does prevent
organic growth in spirituality
and mental acuity
by constricting circulation
of vital information
considered heretical
or antithetical
to the core Dogma such that
Religious Dogmatic Insularity
occurs with such regularity.
I never tire of emphasising how much we don't know. The God Delusion ends in just such a theme. Where do the laws of physics come from? How did the universe begin? Scientists are working on these deep problems, honestly and patiently. Eventually they may be solved. Or they may be insoluble. We don't know.

But whereas I and other scientists are humble enough to say we don't know, what of theologians like McGrath? He knows. He's signed up to the Nicene Creed. The universe was created by a very particular supernatural intelligence who is actually three in one. Not four, not two, but three. Christian doctrine is remarkably specific: not only with cut-and-dried answers to the deep problems of the universe and life, but about the divinity of Jesus, about sin and redemption, heaven and hell, prayer and absolute morality. And yet McGrath has the almighty gall to accuse me of a "glossy", "quick fix", naive faith that science has all the answers.

Other theologies contradict the Christian creed while matching it for brash overconfidence based on zero evidence. McGrath presumably rejects the polytheism of the Hindus, Olympians and Vikings. He does not subscribe to voodoo, or to any of thousands of mutually contradictory tribal beliefs. Is McGrath an "ideological fanatic" because he doesn't believe in Thor's hammer? Of course not. Why, then, does he suggest I am exactly that because I see no reason to believe in the particular God whose existence he, lacking both evidence and humility, positively asserts? ... e-dogmatic
If there’s one characteristic of denialists of all stripes, it’s that they have a strong tendency to personalize their dislike of their particular bete noir science.


The reason, of course, is that cranks can’t attack the science using good science and, of course, it’s far easier to attack a person than well-supported science. After all, all people have flaws that can be ridiculed or used as the basis of ad hominem attacks.

One can always find fault in any person by default.

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 12:24 pm
by secretnude
strawman wrote:It is apparently not uncommon for some fundamentalists to speak on behalf of Christianity, and for some scientific fundamentalists to speak on behalf of science. It isn't difficult usually to sense the prejudice and sniff them both out as neither Christian nor scientist.

I agree with Descartes. It contradicts the fundamental concept that God is Love for faith to contradict reason. Still I think an individual's responsibility is search for truth free from personal prejudices.
If Richard Dawkins
gets under your skin
as 'propaganda' it hasn't damaged his reputation
since that's probably an ad hominem accusation.

I can defend Dawkins
if he is the worst of the bunch of new Atheist
he is still a respected Atheist,
Scientist and Intellectual.

I respect Dawkins
as an Atheist,
Scientist and Intellectual
and apparently I'm not alone.

can always find fault
in any person by default.

I don't endorse all his actions
but his Books
were well researched with citations.

I have
read the Bible so have
you taken a look
at any of his books.
Dawkins was awarded a Doctor of Science by the University of Oxford in 1989. He holds honorary doctorates in science from the University of Huddersfield, University of Westminster, Durham University,[128] the University of Hull, the University of Antwerp, and the University of Oslo,[129] and honorary doctorates from the University of Aberdeen,[130] Open University, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel,[10] and the University of Valencia.[131] He also holds honorary doctorates of letters from the University of St Andrews and the Australian National University (HonLittD, 1996), and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1997 and the Royal Society in 2001.[10] He is one of the patrons of the Oxford University Scientific Society.

In 1987, Dawkins received a Royal Society of Literature award and a Los Angeles Times Literary Prize for his book The Blind Watchmaker. In the same year, he received a Sci. Tech Prize for Best Television Documentary Science Programme of the Year for his work on the BBC's Horizon episode The Blind Watchmaker.[10]

His other awards include the Zoological Society of London's Silver Medal (1989), the Finlay Innovation Award (1990), the Michael Faraday Award (1990), the Nakayama Prize (1994), the American Humanist Association's Humanist of the Year Award (1996), the fifth International Cosmos Prize (1997), the Kistler Prize (2001), the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic (2001), the 2001 and 2012 Emperor Has No Clothes Award from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Bicentennial Kelvin Medal of The Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow (2002),[10] and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest(2009).[132]

Dawkins topped Prospect magazine's 2004 list of the top 100 public British intellectuals, as decided by the readers, receiving twice as many votes as the runner-up.[133][134] He was short-listed as a candidate in their 2008 follow-up poll.[135] In 2005, the Hamburg-based Alfred Toepfer Foundation awarded him its Shakespeare Prize in recognition of his "concise and accessible presentation of scientific knowledge". He won the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science for 2006, as well as the Galaxy British Book Awards's Author of the Year Award for 2007.[136] In the same year, he was listed by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2007,[137] and he was ranked 20th in The Daily Telegraph's 2007 list of 100 greatest living geniuses.[138] He was awarded the Deschner Award, named after German anti-clerical author Karlheinz Deschner.[139]

Since 2003, the Atheist Alliance International has awarded a prize during its annual conference, honouring an outstanding atheist whose work has done the most to raise public awareness of atheism during that year; it is known as the Richard Dawkins Award, in honour of Dawkins's own efforts.[140]

In February 2010, Dawkins was named to the Freedom From Religion Foundation's Honorary Board of distinguished achievers.[141]

In 2012, ichthyologists in Sri Lanka honored Dawkins by creating Dawkinsia as a new genus name (members of this genus were formerly members of the genus Puntius). Explaining the reasoning behind the genus name, lead researcher Rohan Pethiyagoda was quoted as stating that "Richard Dawkins has, through his writings, helped us understand that the universe is far more beautiful and awe-inspiring than any religion has imagined [...] We hope that Dawkinsia will serve as a reminder of the elegance and simplicity of evolution, the only rational explanation there is for the unimaginable diversity of life on Earth.".[142]

In a poll held by Prospect magazine in 2013, Dawkins was voted the world's top thinker based on 65 names chosen by a largely US- and UK-based expert panel.[143]

Re: Secretnude's Drabble Poetry Corner

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 2:01 pm
by strawman
I don't want to spend time arguing or rejecting anyone or anything. I didn't mention Dawkins, don't hate anyone. Experiences produce different outlooks. If Darwin had always argued and talked, he would never have made any of his observations.

One of my observations is that faith without works produces arguments without understanding. It is much easier to talk about loving your enemy than to do it. Easier to say they love their neighbor than to do it. Words without action are like dreams. They create opinions that have not been tested. We have not met, but you make assumptions about how I view you because your experience of Christians as a group is that they disagree with you. So I find myself being assumed to be hateful and dogmatic. Sorry.

That is observably false. But only by doing the observing. Christianity is living like Christ. When I fail, and defend my failure, I am not a Christian. Atheism does not threaten my faith. My capacity for self deception due to my egocentric nature threatens it.

My theory is that people tell others they should change because they have found it too difficult to change themselves. People are generally like that. And in every culture they produce " religion. "

But the reactive rejection of that experiences the difficulty of personal transformation and gives up the idea, accepting self-centeredness as a virtue, and those who disagree are guilty of hate.

The waves roll in and the waves roll out. People will call what they are by different names. We take satisfaction that we are superior to those who believed the earth was the center of everything, even as we live lives as if we ourselves are the center.

But these are just words. Don't take offense.

Christians do act as if they are 'morally superior'

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 8:16 pm
by secretnude
strawman wrote: faith without works produces arguments without understanding. It is much easier to talk about loving your enemy than to do it. Easier to say they love their neighbor than to do it. Words without action are like dreams. They create opinions that have not been tested. We have not met, but you make assumptions about how I view you because your experience of Christians as a group is that they disagree with you. So I find myself being assumed to be hateful and dogmatic. Sorry.

That is observably false. But only by doing the observing. Christianity is living like Christ. When I fail, and defend my failure, I am not a Christian. Atheism does not threaten my faith. My capacity for self deception due to my egocentric nature threatens it.
So 'Christian'
of you to apologize
but it's also Christian
for many Christians
to attempt
to save 'everyone' from hell
that an Atheist very well
already did reject and this attempt
while well meaning
is actually demeaning.

It's more demeaning
if the said Atheist
was a former Christian
and Christians
do demean
us Atheists
a lot even if they don't mean
to demean
us Atheists.

If I made assumptions that are demeaning
to many Christians,
I apologize
too but in my eyes
too many Christians
do act as if they are 'morally superior'
to others
that they consider
'morally inferior'.
Christians believe all people have a kind of spiritual cancer. We call it sin. We believe it's a killer ... c2050.html
For Christians, proselytizing is a part of their religion. Why do atheists object so much when Christians proselytize to them? If they simply don't believe in God, why care that Christians choose to share their beliefs?

Proselytization is central to the religious faith of many evangelical Christians — they will "share" their beliefs with anyone they come across if they are given half a chance. They believe they are doing a good deed, but from the other side it often doesn't appear very positive. This can be difficult for many Christians to understand because they accept without question the truth of their religion and are thus convinced that there is nothing wrong with sharing this truth with others.

The primary problem doesn't lie simply in disagreeing with the Christian message, as most targets of evangelism do, but rather in the general attitude that lies behind the evangelism itself. Although Christians may profess to be doing a good deed by sharing their religion with others, in reality it's very often the case that they are simply not treating non-believers with the respect and consideration they deserve. In Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America, Amy Johnson Frykholm writes:

[F]or many of the people I interviewed, witnessing is an essential part of their Christian faith. In order to understand that faith, I had to be willing persist in listening even when my salvation, beliefs, and life became the uncomfortable object of the conversation.

I am using the word object here deliberately because, in many ways, I found witnessing to be an objectifying experience. No matter in what way I articulated or failed to articulate a reasonable position for myself, my lack of belief turned me into an object. In Martin Buber’s language, I often felt at these moments that I turned from a “Thou” in the conversation into an “It.”

Few evangelicals understand how they come off to those they are attempting to evangelize; fewer still appear to care. This would seem to be a contradictory attitude: they act like they evangelize because they care, but if they really cared then they would not want to even appear to be treating others like objects. Even if we assume that evangelism isn't necessarily objectifying, it still becomes objectifying far too often. This is something which should disturb Christians as much as it does those who are targeted for proselytization — after all, it's their attempt at a good deed which is undermining their own goals.

The apparent contradiction seems to be resolved because evangelical Christians imagine themselves to be superior to others in the sense of having access to privileged information. They adopt a paternalistic attitude: their actions may be perceived in a negative fashion, but because they know so much better than others, this is a price wroth paying in order to rescue people from their own sinfulness. How often do parents do things perceived by their children as unfair, mean, or arbitrary but which parents know to be in their children's best interests?

This, however, is no better than treating a person like an object in the first place. An attitude of self-righteous superiority is no way to show to others that one does know something important and helpful. Evangelical Christians may be sincere in their faith and even sincere in their desire to help others find their god's love, but they are not sincere in their respect for others so long as they continue to objectify people as part of the process of evangelization.

Unfortunately, such objectifying experiences tend to be one of the primary ways in which atheists have to interact with Christians when it comes to the context of religion and theism. Obviously atheists interact with Christians in stores and businesses all the time without being objectified, but in conversations about religion and theism such objectification is far too common. Christians write posts to atheists online with the sole purpose of proselytizing. Atheists are treated not as human beings worthy of equal consideration, but as targets — almost as if they are being hunted. It shouldn't be a surprise when atheists find this annoying and complain. ... ngeliz.htm

Not everyone wants to be saved

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 8:39 pm
by secretnude
One of the 'works' of the Christian faith
maybe as fate
would have it is to try to save

However, not everyone
wants to be saved
and not even a close shave
with death would convince an ardent Atheist
to turn Theist
by turning to Christianity.

one of the most annoying
Religions that we Atheists
do find cloying.

to assume a monopoly
on 'salvation'
does lead to a 'Salvation Army'
or an Army
of proselytizers
that declare total 'war'
on nonbelievers.

had many wars
to colonize
and convert and it wasn't very nice.
When your dad is Carl Sagan, your first lessons on death aren't sugar-coated. But they are nevertheless sweet and compassionate. That's how Sasha Sagan, Carl's daughter, describes them in a recent essay in New York magazine. Throughout his career, Carl worked as a science popularizer and as a professor of astronomy and critical thinking. He stayed true to his understanding of the world even in tough times—like when his little girl asked him if he would ever get to see his dead parents again:

He considered his answer carefully. Finally, he said that there was nothing he would like more in the world than to see his mother and father again, but that he had no reason—and no evidence—to support the idea of an afterlife, so he couldn't give in to the temptation.


Then he told me, very tenderly, that it can be dangerous to believe things just because you want them to be true. You can get tricked if you don't question yourself and others, especially people in a position of authority. He told me that anything that's truly real can stand up to scrutiny.

But it's not all doom and gloom. Later in the essay, Sasha describes how her father tried to impart upon her the wonder of being alive. "We are star stuff, my dad famously said, and he made me feel that way," she writes. It sounds like Sagan was a great teacher at home as well as at work.

Sadly, Sasha would soon have to apply Dad's life/science lessons. Carl died when she was 14 ... g-daughter
Spaniards were committed, by Vatican decree, to convert their New World indigenous subjects to Catholicism. However, often initial efforts were questionably successful, as the indigenous people added Catholicism into their longstanding traditional ceremonies and beliefs. The many native expressions, forms, practices, and items of art could be considered idolatry and prohibited or destroyed by Spanish missionaries, military and civilians. This included religious items, sculptures and jewelry made of gold or silver, which were melted down before shipment to Spain. ... e_Americas

Christianity as a Strange Database

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 10:12 pm
by secretnude
I might dare
to compare
Christianity to a Database
which does face
a paucity
in the ability
to store a variety of
Data types
and hence the need for Data Conversion.

Data Conversion
was a profitable business
for me and Christian Conversion
is the business
of the Church
since it drives up Church
and finances by chance.

Many various Christian Databases
argue over
what can be saved
and some seem to prefer
only their custom Data type.

Unfortunately, we have no access yet
to the Heavenly Cloud to get
Database Statistics to see what gets
(if any) yet.

We are more Bible based!

Posted: Mon May 26, 2014 3:30 am
by secretnude
strawman wrote:We have not met, but you make assumptions about how I view you because your experience of Christians as a group is that they disagree with you.
Not all interactions I had
with Christians
were bad
and I had good Christian
that were tolerant until the end.

It's sad
that some well meaning Christians
sometimes try too hard
to spread the Gospel like a bard
and yet
not get
the reception
they want due to their perception
that everyone else need Salvation
leading to Objectification
of the 'Person'
as a Target for Salvation.

It's funny to see competing Christians
try as hard as they can
to convince other Christians
to join their Christian Denomination
by mentioning that their current Denomination
will not lead to Salvation.

Search for the appropriate Target Market

Posted: Mon May 26, 2014 4:03 am
by secretnude
shouldn't be solely a Theist
'Target' for Salvation
by any Christian Denomination
or any other Religion.

We are 'Persons' like you
and we respect
your views
so respect
our views.

It's better to do Market
to search
for the appropriate Target
before trying to sell your Spiritual Goods
to another 'Person' may not be in an accepting

Not all People
to the Bible
itself would be able
to grow
and nurture the Faith
that you know.

Hence do spread your seeds
of Faith
but do leave some Atheist Weeds
and on their own.
The Parable of the Sower
…4as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. 5"Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. 6"And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.…
Cross References
Matthew 13:5
Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.

Mark 4:4
As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

Mark 4:6
But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.

My position has been laid bare.

Posted: Mon May 26, 2014 5:49 am
by secretnude
strawman wrote:My theory is that people tell others they should change because they have found it too difficult to change themselves. People are generally like that. And in every culture they produce " religion. "

But the reactive rejection of that

But these are just words. Don't take offense.
People have fought and are still fighting
over the "alleged" Holy Writings
that are "Just Words".

are powerful, majestic
and dramatic.

In the hands of a scribe
it can describe
that would unfurl
and let imagination loose.

have cost probably more lives
than all the bullets and guns
and people are gone
due to persecutions
because of eloquent elocutions.

My position
has been laid bare.

I hope no one will dare
to "convert me"
me to "save me".

I'm an effective debater
and people better
watch where they step
before on my toes, they do step.

Before casting the first verbal stone.

Posted: Mon May 26, 2014 6:49 am
by secretnude
strawman wrote:Christianity is living like Christ. When I fail, and defend my failure, I am not a Christian. Atheism does not threaten my faith. My capacity for self deception due to my egocentric nature threatens it.
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

― Mahatma Gandhi
Too few people live like Christ
in Christianity
to be of worthy of the title Christian.

I sometimes do wonder why is Christianity
seemingly ineffective
since too many Christians
are defective
according to the Holy Scriptures
for sure.

Yes, Christians
are People
and People
are surely
sometimes but my experience has been that
are more annoying.

However, that
could be due to sampling
which I would acknowledge as my error.

do seek to impose their 'superior morals'
on 'inferior
too often while being

Christians should genuinely atone
before casting the first verbal stone.

The pursuit of a ideal maybe a dangerous thing

Posted: Mon May 26, 2014 7:17 am
by secretnude
strawman wrote:accepting self-centeredness as a virtue
The initial form of morality was set by a warrior aristocracy and other ruling castes of ancient civilizations. Aristocratic values of "good" and "bad" coincided with and reflected their relationship to lower castes such as slaves. Nietzsche presents this "master morality" as the original system of morality—perhaps best associated with Homeric Greece. To be "good" was to be happy and to have the things related to happiness: wealth, strength, health, power, etc. To be "bad" was to be like the slaves over which the aristocracy ruled, poor, weak, sick, pathetic—an object of pity or disgust rather than hatred.

"Slave morality" comes about as a reaction to master-morality. Here, value emerges from the contrast between good and evil: good being associated with other-worldliness, charity, piety, restraint, meekness, and submission; and evil seen as worldly, cruel, selfish, wealthy, and aggressive. Nietzsche sees slave morality as pessimistic and fearful, values for them serving only to ease the existence for those who suffer from the very same thing. He associates slave-morality with the Jewish and Christian traditions, in a way that slave-morality is born out of the ressentiment of slaves
Nietzsche claimed that the Christian faith as practised was not a proper representation of Jesus' teachings, as it forced people merely to believe in the way of Jesus but not to act as Jesus did, in particular his example of refusing to judge people, something that Christians had constantly done the opposite of.[128] He condemned institutionalized Christianity for emphasizing a morality of pity (Mitleid), which assumes an inherent illness in society:[130]

Christianity is called the religion of pity. Pity stands opposed to the tonic emotions which heighten our vitality: it has a depressing effect. We are deprived of strength when we feel pity. That loss of strength which suffering as such inflicts on life is still further increased and multiplied by pity. Pity makes suffering contagious.[131]
A long standing assumption about Nietzsche is that he preferred master over slave morality. However, the Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufmann rejected this interpretation, writing that Nietzsche's analyses of these two types of morality were only used in a descriptive and historic sense, they were not meant for any kind of acceptance or glorifications
Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism).
“Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.”
― Kurt Vonnegut
The Universality
of the applicability
of the Christian Slave Morality
is probably
not that Universal
just as the applicability
of the Master Morality.

I'm not self centered
per se but I do seek balance
between selfishness
and unselfishess
which is the true Human
norm since I'm Human
and a Humanist
unlike the Christian Ideal
that so many people feel
is 'Universal'
but is almost Universally
not followed.

I don't follow
but I maybe more Christian
than some Christians.

Nothing is ideal
in this World
and the pursuit of a Ideal
maybe a dangerous thing
if intolerance, it does bring.
“Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.”
― Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

Be human

Posted: Mon May 26, 2014 8:02 am
by secretnude
strawman wrote:those who disagree are guilty of hate.
“Anger is like flowing water; there's nothing wrong with it as long as you let it flow. Hate is like stagnant water; anger that you denied yourself the freedom to feel, the freedom to flow; water that you gathered in one place and left to forget. Stagnant water becomes dirty, stinky, disease-ridden, poisonous, deadly; that is your hate. On flowing water travels little paper boats; paper boats of forgiveness. Allow yourself to feel anger, allow your waters to flow, along with all the paper boats of forgiveness. Be human.”
― C. JoyBell C.
“Faith in God means believing absolutely in something with no proof whatsoever. Faith in humanity means believing absolutely in something with a huge amount of proof to the contrary. We are the true believers.”
― Joss Whedon
“My spirit is healthy, yes. But I tell you, my flesh is healthy too. I am enlightened and free, but I am also lustful and carnal.”
― C. JoyBell C.
I understand the power
of words
as a writer
and programmer

I'm a man of my words.

I have principles and even
if I don't believe in Heaven
or Hell,
I do behave well.

Morality doesn't have to derive
from the Divine
that we cannot define
only to arrive
at Holy Wars
both near and far.

Much blood have been
to be spilled
as people are killed
due to 'Holy Words'
that maybe made whole
cloth by scribes
during an ancient period that can be described
as unenlightened
with people indeed frightened
and in need
of a 'God' indeed.

Not every problem has a generic prescription

Posted: Mon May 26, 2014 9:36 am
by secretnude
strawman wrote:faith without works produces arguments without understanding
the difficulty of personal transformation and gives up the idea
I do live by my principles
if in principle
that's what you are implying here
and I'm not lying here.

I'm totally intellectually naked here.

Not every problem has a generic prescription
and unless you lived the situation
or had a full description
you will never
get an effective solution.

I'm problem solver
as a programmer
and I choose wisely which problems
to solve.

Some problems
or bugs
in software maybe too expensive to fix
and generally bug
are custom fixes.

maybe the same and my life
is my battle
and on that we shouldn't actually battle.

Force us to question general moral standards

Posted: Mon May 26, 2014 10:11 am
by secretnude
strawman wrote: My capacity for self deception due to my egocentric nature threatens it.
We take satisfaction that we are superior to those who believed the earth was the center of everything, even as we live lives as if we ourselves are the center.
All of us are egocentric
and some are more egocentric
than others especially those with Asperger's.

is neutral
and neither moral
or immoral
since it's a Medical
that's part of the Human Condition.

I may have Asperger's
yet undiagnosed
but who knows?

Point being
there are modes of being
will force us to question general

Are you going to impose
a moral
on a high functioning
maybe patently
more egocentric
but not pathologic
to the point of committing crimes.

Is egocentricity
a crime
for those people that
have impaired capacity
for empathy?
Individuals with AS are of average to above average intelligence, some with unusual gifts and creativity. As a diagnosis, it has been known in Europe since the 1940's, but has only been included in our medical diagnostic manuals since 1994. Thus many adults and children remain undiagnosed. Consequently AS is relatively unknown and not clearly understood, even among professionals.

AS is indeed a puzzle, and researchers are working to identify the pieces and form them into a meaningful picture. My experiences as an adult recently diagnosed with Asperger's, together with my studies in child development, suggest that individuals with AS are like young children—stuck in time, so to speak, never able to advance beyond early stages in social, cognitive, and language development. For example, most AS difficulties center around social competencies. A salient characteristic of young children is egocentrism—the inability to recognize that other people think and feel differently than oneself. Persons with Asperger's Syndrome remain in this egocentric state, unable to interpret the thoughts and emotions of others, or to experience empathy. Another name given to this condition is "mind blindness"—the incapacity to visualize the mind states of others. Thus it is hard for AS individuals to develop normal friendships, either as children or as adults. Without empathy, they become emotionally stunted. A related problem is the inability to carry out social referencing through understanding nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions or body language. Such cues are "invisible" to those with AS.

A piece of the AS puzzle related to cognitive skills is attentiveness. "Attention span" is the number of mental elements that one can remember at any given time. During preschool years children exhibit "centration," focusing on one piece of information at a time, and briefly at that. The ability to process several elements simultaneously, or to remain focused on a task, comes with greater cognitive sophistication. Unfortunately, the tendency towards centration seems to remain with the AS individual into adulthood. One diagnosis commonly given prior to accurate diagnosis with Asperger's Syndrome is "attention deficit disorder."

A third part of the Asperger's puzzle relates to language. An early stage of language development includes "telegraphic speech"—abbreviated speech in which words not essential to the meaning of a sentence are omitted. People with AS seem not to develop beyond this stage, further stunting their communication skills. The easy flow of spontaneous social conversation is usually beyond their capacities. They must learn social "scripts" through special training and repetition. Even then, AS speech tends to be stilted and formal. Also, children in early stages of language development are quite literal. Figurative use of language, symbolic representation, nuances and double meanings are a later development. Once again, the individual with Asperger's remains in a childhood realm—that of literalism. Linguistic sophistications such as jokes, puns and idioms are hard for AS individuals to grasp. Even the most basic of social interactions become a confusing and humiliating experience.

Understandably, AS individuals encounter enormous difficulties during the transition into adolescence, and later into adult life, since they have not completed the requisite developmental tasks or moved beyond early stages in language, cognitive, and social skills. They frequently remain emotionally dependent upon parents or family members, and suffer from separation anxiety and insecurity when trying to live on their own. Friendships with peers, romantic relationships, marriage and parenting, and entry into the work world are usually beyond their capacity. They remain, in many debilitating ways, stuck in time, trapped in the AS puzzle. They are, in essence, childlike beings attempting to live in an adult world, but without the support and understanding that children are afforded.

Christianity at the Edges (do fray, do pray)

Posted: Mon May 26, 2014 10:42 am
by secretnude
has a general tendency
to work in terms of generalities
and it aspires to Universality.

The Universality
of laws
always has flaws
like an edge case.

Edge cases
can be found in all spheres
of life, I do fear.

is one edge case
that Christianity
handles generally

has to embrace
all the edge cases
but that will dilute
or some say pollute
its Doctrinal Purity
based on Sacred Ancient Texts.

maybe hexed
since the Foundational Sacred Texts
is already too complex
and contradictory
and we have to add contradictory
interpretations to the Biblical Stories.
Maintaining Doctrinal Purity
Code: DN602
"[Love] rejoices with the truth" (1 Cor. 13:6).

Paul has just given us a list of things that love does not do: become jealous, brag, act arrogantly or unbecomingly, seek its own, become provoked, keep track of wrongs suffered, or rejoice in unrighteousness. Now he comes to the first of five things love does: "[Love] rejoices with the truth" (v. 6).

The contrast in verse 6 is between love's inability to rejoice in unrighteousness and its joy when truth prevails. "Truth" refers to God's Word, which is the standard of righteousness. Paul could have said, "Love doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with righteousness," but he went beyond the mere deeds of righteousness and addressed its standard and motive.

Love won't tolerate false doctrine or sinful behavior, but it rejoices when God's Word is taught and obeyed. The psalmist said, "O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies. . . . I have more insight than all my teachers . . . . I understand more than the aged. . . . I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Thy word. I have not turned aside from Thine ordinances, for Thou Thyself hast taught me. How sweet are Thy words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Thy precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way" (Ps. 119:97-104). That's the testimony of one who rejoices in the truth.

Often Christians are willing to compromise sound doctrine for the sake of loving others. They believe that doctrinal precision is somehow divisive and unloving. But Scripture says, "This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. . . . For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward" (2 John 6-8).

Biblical love always operates within the parameters of God's Word and spiritual discernment (Phil. 1:9-10). The most loving thing you can do is live according to biblical truth. Doctrinal compromise simply diminishes the quality of love and plays into the hands of the evil one.