14 comments posted · 38 followers · following 0
Much like the fight for gay rights, atheists have had to fight for every step toward acceptance in society. Due to the snail's pace of these changes, I try to focus on the process, while occasionally reminding myself of what a world could be like with a greater explicit emphasis on the use of reason and logic.
I don't combat religion per se...I promote reason. That necessarily means that religious belief finds its way into the line of fire.
Keep up the good work, vjack :)
Those that believe the "Rapture" will occur today or tomorrow act EXACTLY the way those liberal, "sane" Christians would act if they were simply convinced to alter their timeline.
Great point, vjack!
I shall spend my weekend reminding the Christians I meet that their world is just as loopy as Camping's...the only difference being it hasn't hit its expiration date yet.
The real problem with the bridge you have built between embracing a crazy belief and being crazy oneself is that it doesn't allow for honest mistakes. I have met (and continue to meet) theists who have built somewhat sophisticated metaphysical notions. Some of these ideas appear clearly mistaken to someone well-versed in informal logic and/or modern science but are often accepted as plausible by individuals who, simply put...don't know any better.
My point is merely that we should be careful about characterizing a person with a mistaken belief or conclusion as simply "insane". I have been wrong on a number of occasions concerning factual matters. When such mistakes are pointed out to me and I investigate further and then acknowledge my mistaken belief I don't consider myself some sort of recovering crazy person...I just made a mistake.
......with that said, some characterizations are appropriate. If someone said: "I think that everyone who seriously believes they have an invisible dung beetle hovering above their head is delusional." you would not argue. You would, I suspect, heartily agree that such people were expressing a delusional belief.
So, too do I feel quite comfortable characterizing Christian beliefs as delusional. This is not a bigoted viewpoint because the group known as "Christians" are defined by a set of beliefs which are almost completely demonstrably false; yet they continue to cling to such beliefs....the very definition of "delusional".
While clarifying differences between various examples of Normative reasons can prove fruitful to some extent, I am unconvinced of the need for a seperation of terms.
In any case, my view is that if an individual adopts a given belief while lacking compelling Normative justification for it, they have made an error in reasoning and are responsible for that error. I do not agree that such an individual is "immoral" because I am a moral non-cognitivist. I do, however, recognize the rather serious ethical implications for those unwilling to question their own conclusions.
If the only thing it took to be considered "rational" was for an argument to proceed logically from any given "assumption", almost any belief could be deemed "rational".
Assuming what you are attempting (or need to) prove is the very definition of "circular reasoning" also known as the fallacy, "begging the question".
just_scott : LaVeyan Satanism does not (as vjack already established) believe in "Satan" as an actual anthropomorphic entity :
"All religions of a spiritual nature are inventions of man. He has created an entire system of gods with nothing more than his carnal brain." - The Satanic Bible (pg. 44)
"No creed must be accepted upon authority of a "divine" nature. Religions must be put to the question." - The Satanic Bible (pg. 31)
Of course there are numerous other philosophical traditions also known as "Satanism".
France has a rich history of writers and authors who have produced work along such lines.
(see various works by Jules Michelet)