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Posted: 20 August 2008 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]
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[ Edited: 05 September 2008 09:10 AM by AnaB ]
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Posted: 20 August 2008 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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All gods are based on wishful thinking. Those who do believe often find contemplating the truth of this uncomfortable.

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Posted: 20 August 2008 04:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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AnaB - 20 August 2008 03:01 PM

The idea that someone would try to convince a religious person that God doesn’t exist or that they shouldn’t believe in God based on arguments of reason seems literally crazy. Religious people have told me time and again that belief in God, at its core, is based on “faith” not scientific facts or reasonable arguments.

I would refer you to the books by the Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong, explaining his argument that modern religion needs to change and leave behind a dependence on believing things which we now know cannot be true.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/john_shelby_spong/2008/03/jesus_for_the_nonreligious.html

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Posted: 20 August 2008 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Posted: 20 August 2008 04:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hello AnaB and welcome.

Could I persuade you to listen to the podcast again and jot down a quote or two that you find objectionable?  I’m sure it would help us to understand your complaints.  You see, many times when I encounter broad complaints like this it turns out there isn’t any factual basis for them.  Now this may well not be the case here.  So if you could help us out with a few examples it would be much appreciated.

Thanks
PC

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Posted: 20 August 2008 04:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Posted: 20 August 2008 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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[ Edited: 05 September 2008 09:10 AM by AnaB ]
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Posted: 20 August 2008 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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AnaB - 20 August 2008 04:23 PM

Exactly what are we doing here other than preaching to the choir…

There are interviews with scientists who also believe in God, for example the interview with Francis Collins regarding his book the Language of God.
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/2914/

Also Chris Hedges (“I don’t believe in atheists”) http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/3985/
with the first commentor saying

Hi, DJ-

Great interview, and I hope you have more contrary subjects on the podcast. We are all contrarians, after all.

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Posted: 20 August 2008 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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AnaB - 20 August 2008 04:28 PM

I’ll have another listen, although you might certainly be correct that out of respect for the religious people in my life, I simply find it objectionable that someone would present what essentially amounts to “50 reasons you shouldn’t believe in God” type of a list.

Thanks.  The expectation of respect for religious views is at the heart of many matters discussed on POI.  I hope you’ll agree that that expectation is open to scrutiny.

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Posted: 20 August 2008 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Posted: 20 August 2008 05:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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AnaB - 20 August 2008 05:28 PM

“Guy P. Harrison - 50 Reasons People Give For Believing In A God “

I just typed up a couple of things. Don’t hold my feet to the fire with the quotes, I tied to type as fast as I could and keep it as accurate as possible:


“...not against God-belief”, “...”I don’t care what goes in your heads…and you really get down to it, there are really no good reasons to be absolutely confident that any particular God is real…”
—-First claims to be not against God-belief, then proceeds to point out that there is no way there is a God, of course, DJ points this out…well done

There’s no point in trying to stop people believing - too many won’t change. However no argument for Yahweh fails for Thor.

AnaB - 20 August 2008 05:28 PM

—-Says that he doesn’t care about what goes on in “their” heads…why bother writing about people if you are not going to bother to understand them? He made it sound like he cataloged people’s believes without attempting to understand where they were coming from

You can’t understand them - they admit it themselves.

AnaB - 20 August 2008 05:28 PM

—-Claims there are no good “reasons” to believe in God…that may be so, but shouldn’t he give his reasons first, then the conclusion? also calling someone stupid is a bad way to establish rapport

You have it backwards. There are no reasons.

AnaB - 20 August 2008 05:28 PM

“...they will walk away from this book with their belief eroded just enough that they will not be confident enough to hate somebody to want to kill somebody, to want to reject science, to want to discriminate against someone”
—-Makes it sound like the goal of his book is to stop those crazy religious people who hate and want to kill people

Good plan. Without religion, the WTC would stand today.

AnaB - 20 August 2008 05:28 PM

“it might not cancel out the belief, but it will chip away at it a bit because I’ve made these arguments so simple and so easy to read and so polite and respectful…”
—-Again, calls religious people stupid…then claims to respect them, confused… Apparently, the debate about God/religion has been going on for centuries because no one made it “simple” enough for the religious people to understand that there “really” is no God…

Too many exploiters have had a soft life convincing others that what is false may be true.

AnaB - 20 August 2008 05:28 PM

Do you really think a religious person would not be offended? And this is in the first 7 minutes of the show!

Why should they be offended any more than the non theist listening to lying politicians telling them how much they love Jesus - then behaving like the devil?

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Posted: 20 August 2008 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Just to clarify: I was assuming from the subject of this post that it wasn’t necessarily anything to do with Guy Harrison’s podcast in particular. If this is an issue about Harrison, I will re-merge this thread with the other one. If AnaB feels that she is responding only to his podcast, please post it here and it can be re-merged.

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Posted: 20 August 2008 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Since this was aresponse to the initial post that got left behind when this thread was created, I’ve moved it here.

AnaB,

Welcome to the forum.

Sorry if the POI episodes you’ve heard weren’t to your taste. There certainly is a lot of differences of opinion on the role of atheism in secular humanism here, and of the extent to which theism is fundamentally at odds with science and reason and should be undermined or not. I’d encourage you to puruse the discussions for a bit before giving up on finding a congenial point of view.

I’d also encourage you, however, to challenge your own point of view where and when you can. If you’re interested in science and reaosn, then presumably you value deep, thoughtful analysis of a problem as a way to improve understanding, and you recognize that we are all powerfully prone to seek only to confirm our own biases. Listening to points of view with which you don’t automatically agree can actually be quite enlightening, if for no other reason than to strnegthen your understanding and argument of why they are wrong.

Anyway, hope you stick around and participate in some of the debate here, since the more perspectives within the humanist/secular community the better

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Posted: 20 August 2008 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Posted: 20 August 2008 06:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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AnaB - 20 August 2008 06:17 PM

...Krista Tippett’s Speaking of Faith program, even though she covers a number of topics including religion, spirituality, poetry, humanism, atheism, and secularism.

http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/index.shtml

Graphical layout of the WWW is excellent—might be an idea for CFI.

[  Example—Jennifer Michael Hecht—A History of Doubt ]

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Posted: 20 August 2008 07:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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AnaB,
Thank you for taking the time to review that podcast again.  I don’t think you listened to it in a generous mood.  I’ll explain…

AnaB - 20 August 2008 05:28 PM

“...not against God-belief”, “...“I don’t care what goes in your heads…and you really get down to it, there are really no good reasons to be absolutely confident that any particular God is real…”

(1:51) DJ Grothe: Guy, I loved this book 50 Reasons People Give For Believing in a God.  It’s different than a lot of these other books out there criticizing god-belief. You’re actually just listening to people about why they say they believe in God.  Tell me why you explored the question of belief in this way rather than just writing a screed against god-belief.

Guy Harrison: Yeah well there’s two reasons really.  One it’s not my personality to just want to beat somebody over the head with my personal perspective on the world or the Universe. So I thought “you know, this is something the world needs.”  I mean that might sound a little arrogant but I really thought there was a need for a book that just bent over backwards to be polite and respectful to believers and say “you know, hey, I don’t really care what you believe.  I don’t care what goes on in your head. But, you know, please let’s just stop, pause and think a little more about this claim that all these different gods are real.”  Okay?  Because if you think about it… and you really get down to it, there are no good reasons to be absolutely confident that any particular god is real.

DJG: Well Guy, that claim that you just made seems like you’re trying to argue people out of their belief.

GH: No I’m not.  I’m really not.  If something about their religious belief is so important to them they need to keep it, that is absolutely cool.  That’s fine.  No problem.  ...

—-First claims to be not against God-belief, then proceeds to point out that there is no way there is a God, of course, DJ points this out…well done

No, he does not point out that there is no way there is a God.  He says “there are no good reasons to be absolutely confident that any particular god is real.” It take a complete lack of generosity to hear it as you did.  It is the confidence being described, not God.  You’ve mischaracterized DJ’s objection as well.

—-Says that he doesn’t care about what goes on in “their” heads…why bother writing about people if you are not going to bother to understand them? He made it sound like he cataloged people’s believes without attempting to understand where they were coming from

I agree he could have been clearer.  But you could have taken this much more generously.  Given the entire context he seems to be saying no matter what is going on in your head, look around more widely and don’t ignore the contradictions out there.  Keep your beliefs but don’t hold them so confidently that you become arrogant - as that leads to problems…

—-Claims there are no good “reasons” to believe in God…that may be so, but shouldn’t he give his reasons first, then the conclusion? also calling someone stupid is a bad way to establish rapport

He’s not “trying to argue people out of their belief” as DJG challenged and GH goes on to explain.  And GH doesn’t call anyone stupid.  Your charge is unfair.

more to come…

[ Edited: 20 August 2008 07:53 PM by the PC apeman ]
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