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Thomas J.J. Altizer - The Death of God
Posted: 16 May 2010 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 121 ]
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Well, this episode got me to register, but that’s pretty much the only good thing about it.

Dr. Price,

I actually have studied theology, and even I found this episode very hard to listen to. You got so caught up in engaging with Altizer that you ended up not challenging his views with secular ideas. Sure, his theology is super interesting—what does that have to do with critical inquiry???

You need to start making your interviews more relevant to this audience.

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The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being—- Socrates.

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Posted: 16 May 2010 09:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 122 ]
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Bill Goodwin - 16 May 2010 06:32 PM
Stanley Dorst - 16 May 2010 05:38 PM

Thank you for this very clear and non-inflammatory summary. I understand this much better now.

Stan

I think what you meant to say is “Thank you for this very clear and non-inflammatory summary. I DON’T understand this much better now.”

Good point. grin

Actually, what I think I REALLY meant to say was that now I have a much clearer understanding of why there’s no point in attempting to understand what Altizer said.

Stan

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Posted: 17 May 2010 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 123 ]
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Actually I would say that, while the degree to which I don’t understand what the hell Altizer was/is talking about has probably not actually changed (though I may have exchanged some lack of understanding for another), the quality with which I don’t understand it has improved as a direct result of this forum post, and more importantly the degree to which I am content to continue to not understand has been elevated to what I believe is at least a tenuous level of equilibrium with my capacity to give a shit.

Thanks everyone.


-edit- @stanley. I was posting this follow on while you were posting, which basically says the same thing except I said it like this (*makes a chopping action with his right hand)

[ Edited: 17 May 2010 05:39 AM by Bill Goodwin ]
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It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear to be a fool than to post a reply and remove all doubt. I guess it’s too late for that though.

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Posted: 22 May 2010 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 124 ]
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vinny - 03 April 2010 05:28 AM

Jackson, Theologians don’t strike me as spokespeople for a reason-based world view.  Am I looking at this wrong in some way?

Not at all. Theologians start with the assumption that “faith” RATHER THAN “reason” are all that’s necessary to understand ANY religious perspective. That’s been the case for thousands of years.

God to a Hindu is not the same as God to a Jew or the same as God to a Christian and so on.

The existence of a supernatural entity is intrinsically unprovable. Yet at least half the world is convinced otherwise. They are the breathing definition of “True Believers” also known as “zealots”.

The so-called “atheist” is convinced that there isn’t now, nor ever has been, a God. A supernatural entity that is omniscient, all-powerful, eternally existent. And to be followed - in whatever formal religion - or face eternal damnation or at least return after death as ... whatever!

Self-appointed religious authorities are utterly lacking in credibility - as are those who see rationality in simply NOT believing.

Thus, the Pope (for believers) and someone like Dawkins (for atheists) have no credibility.

Further, consider this: every ‘fact’ we’ve discovered about the “known universe” has been of reasonably-predictable, natural phenomena. Absolutely NOTHING supernatural!

Reason dictates that the supernatural - if anything other than a silly word - is unknowable!! Therefore of zero value.

Thus, both true believers and unbelievers are similarly lacking of an evidentiary base.

And, to me, that makes them equally boring in their speeches and writings.

[ Edited: 22 May 2010 09:02 AM by Analytic ]
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Posted: 22 May 2010 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 125 ]
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Analytic - 22 May 2010 08:59 AM

Thus, the Pope (for believers) and someone like Dawkins (for atheists) have no credibility.

They only have no credibility when speculating on the existence or non-existence of God (in whatever form that God may or may not exist).

Analytic - 22 May 2010 08:59 AM

Thus, both true believers and unbelievers are similarly lacking of an evidentiary base.

I personally prefer to be referred to as a “disbeliever” because I think “unbeliever”, for my purposes, is too passive. And again, they (the Pope, Dawkins and such) are only lacking in evidence when speaking of the existence or non-existence of God. Dawkins and others like him are quite grounded in evidence when speaking to archaeological, geological, physical, cosmological, evolutionary, genetic, etc etc evidences that contradict and/or compromise the dogma of revealed religions et al. And I would like to reiterate that I believe that “studying God” can/could be like studying a black hole, which is unseen but can be studied indirectly by the effects it has on its surroundings. Hence, the studies of God (ie through prayer, healing, etc) have revealed “no effect” so that even if God exists, he appears to have no effect on his surroundings (or at least not on our surroundings) which means he may as well not exists.

Analytic - 22 May 2010 08:59 AM

And, to me, that makes them equally boring in their speeches and writings.

I would agree that the argument over the existence/non-existence of God is a tedious and annoyingly old subject. However, to the extent that religious leaders and people of faith are affecting public policy regarding such areas as education (especially science education), civil rights, medicine and social justice I think it is important for the voices of reason to be heard and check any and all religious groups capacity to skew society toward their own personal brand of mythology.

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It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear to be a fool than to post a reply and remove all doubt. I guess it’s too late for that though.

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Posted: 22 May 2010 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 126 ]
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You wrote: “However, to the extent that religious leaders and people of faith are affecting public policy regarding such areas as education (especially science education), civil rights, medicine and social justice I think it is important for the voices of reason to be heard and check any and all religious groups capacity to skew society toward their own personal brand of mythology”.

Sir, with politics, I believe in a “no holds barred” approach. At best, a few national politicians - “public servants for LIFE” - give a hoot about anything other than re-election and continuance of a lavish lifestyle on my taxes.

So I trust none of them and have as much regard for them as I do for a skunk - although being an actual skunk comes naturally to the actual skunk!

They are the worst hypocrites - most recently NATIONALLY apparent in the behavior of Arlan Specter (R, I, D; PA) who has spent 30 years extolling himself.

The Founders could not have dreamed of a Senator lasting 30 years!

Politicians consider their own future success and to a far lesser extent the views - and success - of their constituents.

But I have no opposition to their spouting religious balderdash and/or promoting religious balderdash to suit the biases of their constituents.

However, if I am most lacking in compassion - aka, “political correctness” - for other human types, it is ten-fold for the hypocrites on the national stage.

Most of whom never served in the defense of our country, especially not in dangerous components of the military, yet delight in bad-mouthing the United States, its Constitution, and its long-time traditions.

What’s with treating such people in a civil manner?

[ Edited: 22 May 2010 02:25 PM by Analytic ]
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Posted: 22 May 2010 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 127 ]
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Analytic - 22 May 2010 08:59 AM

...
Thus, both true believers and unbelievers are similarly lacking of an evidentiary base.
...

This sounds a little post-modernist.  This sentence makes it sound like you equate the positions.  I don’t think the “lack of evidence” is similar for believers (who believe in something in spite of lack of evidence) and unbelievers (who don’t believe in something for lack of evidence).

[ Edited: 22 May 2010 02:28 PM by Jackson ]
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Posted: 22 May 2010 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 128 ]
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HUH!!!

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Posted: 04 June 2011 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 129 ]
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NewEnglandBob - 02 April 2010 04:14 PM

What a crock of manure. I had to turn it off after a while. I wanted to vomit.

It did sound a bit crazy to me, but once again, I must warn folks against vomiting inappropriately.  It could give you throat cancer.  smile

It sounded like Altizer (All Mighty Teaser?  Is that for what his surname is a contraction?) was saying that there was a god but he committed suicide by turning into Jesus and letting himself be crucified?  Nietzsche had a few interesting things to say, but most of Altizer’s comments went “whoosh” over my head.  The above executive summary is what I took away from his discussion… along with an impression that Altizer had a general disdain for people who failed to appreciate his pseudo-intellectual claptrap…  It sounded like a continuation of the medieval discussions about the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin which occupied the thoughts of monks who had way too much time on their hands and too few young boys around to keep busy buggering.

I have faith (based on statistical reasoning, which as we all know, can be wrong no matter how convincing it appears) that there is not now nor was there ever a god.

Maybe we are a simulation in some other dimension’s teenager’s PS/100000000 gaming computer with Planck length scale bits, but there is not nor was there ever a humanoid, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, omnicruel, omni {insert your favorite omnis here} creator of the universe.  Maybe a teenager whose “image” on earth might be the kind of kid who enjoys frying ants with a magnifying glass.  That would fit more closely with what we’ve discovered about our universe so far.

This episode gave me a new appreciation for how truly weird Robert Price is.  I did come away from this episode feeling that it was a bit of a waste of time, but I’ve enjoyed all of Robert’s other episodes that I’ve listened to so far, so I won’t think less of him for this.  Every one is, IMHO, entitled to be weird in their own way.  They can’t help it for starters, and more importantly, it is our diverse ways of being weird that has made the human race so successful.  If one person runs into something they can’t figure out, maybe someone who is weird in a hugely different way can.

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Posted: 04 June 2011 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 130 ]
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Bill Goodwin - 22 May 2010 09:42 AM
Analytic - 22 May 2010 08:59 AM

Thus, the Pope (for believers) and someone like Dawkins (for atheists) have no credibility.

They only have no credibility when speculating on the existence or non-existence of God (in whatever form that God may or may not exist).

Analytic - 22 May 2010 08:59 AM

Thus, both true believers and unbelievers are similarly lacking of an evidentiary base.

Atheist doesn’t mean you “know” there is no God.  It means you have no belief in the existence of God.  “Knowing” either that there is or is not a God is a leap of faith.  I choose to believe there is no God (based on what I know of the world, not on what I read in a 2000 year old compilation of contradictory remarks by people who were innocent of any clues as to how 90% of their observable world worked).  In this, I’m not just speculating.  I’m making a reasonable hypothesis which has so far passed any tests that have been thrown at it.  I have all sorts of other, more fanciful origin hypotheses, none of which are likely to be testable any time soon, which I don’t believe as firmly, but which I hold in my mind as possibilities.  Some of them appear in the works of Douglas Adams smile  I don’t think I’m lacking in an evidenciary base in either case.  There is evidence for all sorts of origin hypotheses, just none that is even close to conclusive.  There is, IMHO, no credible evidence for the christian God.

If God appears to me in person, I’m prepared to change my belief.  One of the strongest evidence for God’s non-existence is His reluctance to reveal Himself to anyone who is not certifiably nuts.  smile

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Homeopaths don’t have brains, just skull water with the memory of brains - Robin Ince of The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The phrase “False Prophet” is redundant.  Cleanliness is next to… nothing.
I don’t have a God-shaped hole in my soul.  You have a Reason-shaped hole in your head!

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Posted: 04 June 2011 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 131 ]
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I stopped listening to POI specifically because of these kinds of noncritical unskeptical episodes.  zipper

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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