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Posted: 17 July 2017 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I know this is an old one, but I just started Franz De Waal’s “Bonobo and the Atheist”. At the end of chapter 1 he asks a rhetorical questions.

Understanding the need for religion is the far superior goal to bashing it. The central issue of atheism, which is the non-existence of god, strikes me as monumentally uninteresting. What do we gain by getting in a tizzy about something no one can prove or disprove?

—Frans De Waal
Then he quotes Botton

In 2012, Alain de Botton raised hackels by opening his book, Religion for Atheists, with the line, “The most boring and unproductive question one can ask of any religion is whether or not it is true – in terms of being handed down from heaven to the sound of trumpets and supernaturally governed by prophets and celestial beings.” Yet for some, this remains the only issue they can talk about.

Botton seems to be going right for Dawkins jugular, as he often brings up truth in debates. I think both of these guys miss the point. It’s not important to debate the reality of the supernatural, but it’s very important to understanding the meaning of the word and to teach that it can’t be proven and why it can’t. It is not “the only issue they can talk about”, the point of bringing it up is to talk about the real issue of what science is and how we determine truth.

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Posted: 17 July 2017 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Lausten - 17 July 2017 10:08 AM

I know this is an old one, but I just started Franz De Waal’s “Bonobo and the Atheist”. At the end of chapter 1 he asks a rhetorical questions.

Understanding the need for religion is the far superior goal to bashing it. The central issue of atheism, which is the non-existence of god, strikes me as monumentally uninteresting. What do we gain by getting in a tizzy about something no one can prove or disprove?

—Frans De Waal
Then he quotes Botton

In 2012, Alain de Botton raised hackels by opening his book, Religion for Atheists, with the line, “The most boring and unproductive question one can ask of any religion is whether or not it is true – in terms of being handed down from heaven to the sound of trumpets and supernaturally governed by prophets and celestial beings.” Yet for some, this remains the only issue they can talk about.

Botton seems to be going right for Dawkins jugular, as he often brings up truth in debates. I think both of these guys miss the point. It’s not important to debate the reality of the supernatural, but it’s very important to understanding the meaning of the word and to teach that it can’t be proven and why it can’t. It is not “the only issue they can talk about”, the point of bringing it up is to talk about the real issue of what science is and how we determine truth.

Too many people don’t know what science is and what truth is and don’t want to know, especially if it comtradicts their belief system.

Lois

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Posted: 19 July 2017 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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LoisL - 17 July 2017 03:59 PM
Lausten - 17 July 2017 10:08 AM

I know this is an old one, but I just started Franz De Waal’s “Bonobo and the Atheist”. At the end of chapter 1 he asks a rhetorical questions.

Understanding the need for religion is the far superior goal to bashing it. The central issue of atheism, which is the non-existence of god, strikes me as monumentally uninteresting. What do we gain by getting in a tizzy about something no one can prove or disprove?

—Frans De Waal
Then he quotes Botton

In 2012, Alain de Botton raised hackels by opening his book, Religion for Atheists, with the line, “The most boring and unproductive question one can ask of any religion is whether or not it is true – in terms of being handed down from heaven to the sound of trumpets and supernaturally governed by prophets and celestial beings.” Yet for some, this remains the only issue they can talk about.

Botton seems to be going right for Dawkins jugular, as he often brings up truth in debates. I think both of these guys miss the point. It’s not important to debate the reality of the supernatural, but it’s very important to understanding the meaning of the word and to teach that it can’t be proven and why it can’t. It is not “the only issue they can talk about”, the point of bringing it up is to talk about the real issue of what science is and how we determine truth.

Too many people don’t know what science is and what truth is and don’t want to know, especially if it comtradicts their belief system.

Lois

His point is off the mark. Yes understanding the need for it is important. Bashing it only comes in when religionists try to push it on others. I do agree though that the existence question is boring. The answer is No. The more important and interesting questions are about the sociology and psychology of religion. That’s where the harm is done.

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Posted: 19 July 2017 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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CuthbertJ - 19 July 2017 10:24 AM

His point is off the mark. Yes understanding the need for it is important. Bashing it only comes in when religionists try to push it on others. I do agree though that the existence question is boring. The answer is No. The more important and interesting questions are about the sociology and psychology of religion. That’s where the harm is done.

Glad we agree. I’m a couple chapters in and he is just going deeper into this hole. He has some great insight into the origins of morality from our Bonobo ancestors, but he skips over the centuries and just starts blasting Dawkins for focusing on FGM. He rightly points out the bad science that people like Dinesh D’Souza promote, but he doesn’t get the connections Dawkins and others are making. I’m half way through, we’ll see.

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Posted: 19 July 2017 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The two quotes you opened the thread with are great Lausten, thanks for sharing those.  Those authors seem on the right trail to me, will be interested in learning more about what they have to say.

You go on to say…

Lausten - 17 July 2017 10:08 AM

I think both of these guys miss the point. It’s not important to debate the reality of the supernatural, but it’s very important to understanding the meaning of the word and to teach that it can’t be proven and why it can’t. It is not “the only issue they can talk about”, the point of bringing it up is to talk about the real issue of what science is and how we determine truth.

First, we should be wary of trying to turn science in to yet another “one true way” type of religion.  I think that’s what’s happening in much of atheist commentary.  The very human urge for a “one true way” is still there, but religion no longer works for some, so they try to have that “one true way” experience with another vehicle. 

As example, it seems to be often true that the most ardent of atheists often turn out to have once been the most ardent of religious fundamentalists.  They were able to give up the religion, but not the passionate extremist mindset.

Second, we might focus not just on which version of the truth is the most accurate, but what truth actually is.  We shouldn’t take it for granted that the attempt to create symbolic entities which accurately reflect reality to be a “one true way” for every inquiry. 

As example, theists and atheists seem to share wide agreement that the point of the god inquiry should be to find “the answer”.  But after thousands of years nobody on any side can provide a credible answer.  That should be a clue that the answer seeking itself may be the problem.

As example, some claim a god exists in the real world.  But where are theists and atheists typically looking for a god?  Not in the real world, but in the symbolic world of thought and ideas.

What does it mean to observe the real world instead of our thoughts about the real world?  Questions like this might open the door to more productive inquiry.

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Posted: 19 July 2017 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Lausten - 17 July 2017 10:08 AM

I know this is an old one, but I just started Franz De Waal’s “Bonobo and the Atheist”. At the end of chapter 1 he asks a rhetorical questions.

Understanding the need for religion is the far superior goal to bashing it. The central issue of atheism, which is the non-existence of god, strikes me as monumentally uninteresting. What do we gain by getting in a tizzy about something no one can prove or disprove?

—Frans De Waal
Then he quotes Botton

In 2012, Alain de Botton raised hackels by opening his book, Religion for Atheists, with the line, “The most boring and unproductive question one can ask of any religion is whether or not it is true – in terms of being handed down from heaven to the sound of trumpets and supernaturally governed by prophets and celestial beings.” Yet for some, this remains the only issue they can talk about.

Botton seems to be going right for Dawkins jugular, as he often brings up truth in debates. I think both of these guys miss the point. It’s not important to debate the reality of the supernatural, but it’s very important to understanding the meaning of the word and to teach that it can’t be proven and why it can’t. It is not “the only issue they can talk about”, the point of bringing it up is to talk about the real issue of what science is and how we determine truth.

De Waal doesn’t know what atheism is if he thinks its central issue is the nonexistence of god. The central issue is whether anyone claiming a god or gods exist can show evidence of it. Rational atheists do not claim there is no god. They say, rightly, that no one has ever been able to show evidence of it and the burden of proof is on the person(s) making the claim. THAT Is the central issue of atheism.

[ Edited: 24 July 2017 01:05 PM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 20 July 2017 03:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Tanny - 19 July 2017 02:19 PM

The two quotes you opened the thread with are great Lausten, thanks for sharing those.  Those authors seem on the right trail to me, will be interested in learning more about what they have to say.

You go on to say…

Lausten - 17 July 2017 10:08 AM

I think both of these guys miss the point. It’s not important to debate the reality of the supernatural, but it’s very important to understanding the meaning of the word and to teach that it can’t be proven and why it can’t. It is not “the only issue they can talk about”, the point of bringing it up is to talk about the real issue of what science is and how we determine truth.

First, we should be wary of trying to turn science in to yet another “one true way” type of religion.  I think that’s what’s happening in much of atheist commentary.  The very human urge for a “one true way” is still there, but religion no longer works for some, so they try to have that “one true way” experience with another vehicle. 

And there you go, trying to turn a thread into the same discussion you have on every thread

Tanny - 19 July 2017 02:19 PM

Second, we might focus not just on which version of the truth is the most accurate, but what truth actually is.

Yeah, we should do that. But you never do. You say “often” and “most” as if you have some data to back that up, but you don’t.

Tanny - 19 July 2017 02:19 PM

What does it mean to observe the real world instead of our thoughts about the real world?  Questions like this might open the door to more productive inquiry.

They might, but not with you. You just keep repeating the same stuff. If you have some new thoughts, let’s hear them. If you don’t. Go away.

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Posted: 20 July 2017 04:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Tanny - 19 July 2017 02:19 PM

The two quotes you opened the thread with are great Lausten, thanks for sharing those.  Those authors seem on the right trail to me, will be interested in learning more about what they have to say.

You go on to say…

Lausten - 17 July 2017 10:08 AM

I think both of these guys miss the point. It’s not important to debate the reality of the supernatural, but it’s very important to understanding the meaning of the word and to teach that it can’t be proven and why it can’t. It is not “the only issue they can talk about”, the point of bringing it up is to talk about the real issue of what science is and how we determine truth.

First, we should be wary of trying to turn science in to yet another “one true way” type of religion.  I think that’s what’s happening in much of atheist commentary.  The very human urge for a “one true way” is still there, but religion no longer works for some, so they try to have that “one true way” experience with another vehicle. 

As example, it seems to be often true that the most ardent of atheists often turn out to have once been the most ardent of religious fundamentalists.  They were able to give up the religion, but not the passionate extremist mindset.

Second, we might focus not just on which version of the truth is the most accurate, but what truth actually is.  We shouldn’t take it for granted that the attempt to create symbolic entities which accurately reflect reality to be a “one true way” for every inquiry. 

As example, theists and atheists seem to share wide agreement that the point of the god inquiry should be to find “the answer”.  But after thousands of years nobody on any side can provide a credible answer.  That should be a clue that the answer seeking itself may be the problem.

As example, some claim a god exists in the real world.  But where are theists and atheists typically looking for a god?  Not in the real world, but in the symbolic world of thought and ideas.

What does it mean to observe the real world instead of our thoughts about the real world?  Questions like this might open the door to more productive inquiry.

Thiests claim that their gid intervenes in natural world. Thats their problem to orove it. Not the atheists

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Posted: 20 July 2017 04:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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LoisL - 19 July 2017 08:03 PM

The central issue is whether anyone claiming a god or gods exist can show evidence of it. Rational atheists do not claim there is no god. They say, rightly, that no one has ever been able to show evidence of it and the burden of proof is on the person(s) making the claim. THAT Is the central issue of atheism.

There is no such thing as a “rational atheist”.  That’s a contradiction in terms. 

A truly rational atheist, a real person of reason, would challenge their own chosen authority with the same enthusiasm and rigor that they challenge other people’s chosen authorities, because reason does not care who wins.

And once that challenge has been presented to the chosen authorities of all parties to the debate in an even handed manner, it is quickly discovered that neither atheists or theists can prove that their chosen authority is qualified for uncovering credible answers to the very largest of questions.

Thus, if a person is still labeling themselves as an atheist, they have not yet completed this rational process.  They may be intelligent, they may sincerely think that they believe in reason, but they haven’t yet employed reason fully on this particular topic.

When the chosen authorities of all parties are challenged and shown to be without qualification, the true rationalist is then left with nothing, an excellent starting point for a real inquiry.

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Posted: 20 July 2017 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Tanny - 20 July 2017 04:54 AM
LoisL - 19 July 2017 08:03 PM

The central issue is whether anyone claiming a god or gods exist can show evidence of it. Rational atheists do not claim there is no god. They say, rightly, that no one has ever been able to show evidence of it and the burden of proof is on the person(s) making the claim. THAT Is the central issue of atheism.

There is no such thing as a “rational atheist”.  That’s a contradiction in terms. 

A truly rational atheist, a real person of reason, would challenge their own chosen authority with the same enthusiasm and rigor that they challenge other people’s chosen authorities, because reason does not care who wins.

And once that challenge has been presented to the chosen authorities of all parties to the debate in an even handed manner, it is quickly discovered that neither atheists or theists can prove that their chosen authority is qualified for uncovering credible answers to the very largest of questions.

Thus, if a person is still labeling themselves as an atheist, they have not yet completed this rational process.  They may be intelligent, they may sincerely think that they believe in reason, but they haven’t yet employed reason fully on this particular topic.

When the chosen authorities of all parties are challenged and shown to be without qualification, the true rationalist is then left with nothing, an excellent starting point for a real inquiry.

To accept reason and logic over faith is a bad thing?

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Posted: 20 July 2017 05:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Adamski - 20 July 2017 04:58 AM

To accept reason and logic over faith is a bad thing?

You’re accepting the qualifications of reason and logic for the very largest of questions as a matter of faith

You think you’re doing reason and logic. 

You’re mistaken.

You’re doing faith.

Just like the theists.

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Posted: 20 July 2017 06:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Tanny - 20 July 2017 05:33 AM
Adamski - 20 July 2017 04:58 AM

To accept reason and logic over faith is a bad thing?

You’re accepting the qualifications of reason and logic for the very largest of questions as a matter of faith

You think you’re doing reason and logic. 

You’re mistaken.

You’re doing faith.

Just like the theists.

Yeah, we heard you already. Here’s how can build your way out of the trilemma that you keep describing, but barely understand.

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Posted: 20 July 2017 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Lausten - 20 July 2017 06:00 AM

Yeah, we heard you already. Here’s how can build your way out of the trilemma that you keep describing, but barely understand.

 

Assuming that is your blog, I can see you are capable of intelligent, articulate, thoughtful writing which transcends lazy juvenile quipsterism.  So why not share such writing here on the forum as well?  Why not start an intelligent thoughtful thread using quoted sections from that article to launch a real discussion?  That would be welcome.

Your blog is not boring.

Your forum quipping is boring.

Please raise your game here on the forum, and give us the good stuff.  It’s now clear you have it, so please stop being stingy with it.  Thanks.

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Posted: 20 July 2017 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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So perhaps you could explain how your article addresses the point I’ve been making about atheism being built upon a faith foundation. 

When I said this….

You’re accepting the qualifications of reason and logic for the very largest of questions as a matter of faith. 

Why did you then link us to your article, apparently as a form of rebuttal?

I’m glad you linked to your blog, for now I have proof you are capable of what I was hoping you are capable of.  Thus I feel vindicated in demanding more from you than you’ve typically been sharing. 

And, I’m happy to have you attempt to debunk my points, because we all know and accept that this process is an entirely valid part of critical thinking.

So far, so good, but…

Could you please explain in some detail why you feel that your article addresses the point I’ve been making.  And if you feel your article debunks my point, please explain in some detail why you believe that to be so.

Thank you.

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Posted: 20 July 2017 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Tanny - 20 July 2017 07:32 AM

So perhaps you could explain how your article addresses the point I’ve been making about atheism being built upon a faith foundation. 

When I said this….

You’re accepting the qualifications of reason and logic for the very largest of questions as a matter of faith. 

Why did you then link us to your article, apparently as a form of rebuttal?

I’m glad you linked to your blog, for now I have proof you are capable of what I was hoping you are capable of.  Thus I feel vindicated in demanding more from you than you’ve typically been sharing. 

And, I’m happy to have you attempt to debunk my points, because we all know and accept that this process is an entirely valid part of critical thinking.

So far, so good, but…

Could you please explain in some detail why you feel that your article addresses the point I’ve been making.  And if you feel your article debunks my point, please explain in some detail why you believe that to be so.

Thank you.

I’ve answered on the other threads where you keep making the same point over and over. There a way to reasonably discover what is real or not, even if you accept that we don’t know everything and could be wrong. That’s pretty much my point.

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Posted: 20 July 2017 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Lausten - 20 July 2017 08:06 AM

I’ve answered on the other threads where you keep making the same point over and over.

Yes, but I’ve had you on ignore for some time because of your passion for the one liner quip thingys.  So if you already have a well thought out rebuttal to my points, could you please summarize it again for us?

There a way to reasonably discover what is real or not, even if you accept that we don’t know everything and could be wrong. That’s pretty much my point.

Ok, what is that way?  Could you please name it, and then explain why you feel that methodology is capable of credibly addressing this set of questions?

Here’s an idea that may help.  I’m asking you to work harder than you seem to be used to doing on forums, I get that.  However, I see you have invested a lot of time in to your blog.  Perhaps you could use my challenges and demands as fuel for new articles on your blog?  You wouldn’t have to type it all twice.  Answer my challenges here, and then copy and paste our exchange, and voila, you have a new article on your blog.  Just a thought.  Looking for what will motivate you to do here what you already do on your blog.

Finally, would you like to reveal your age?  I’m 65.  If it turns out that I’m three times older than you, then perhaps it’s not appropriate that I relentlessly challenge you to keep up.  If this is the situation, just say so, and I’ll back off a bit.  Nobody is born knowing any of this, me included.

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