brendannewlon

brendannewlon

6p

4 comments posted · 1 followers · following 0

666 weeks ago @ State of Protest - How to Disprove the Ex... · 2 replies · +1 points

Procrustes, Noumenon, and other readers:

After reading State of Protest for awhile, I've written up a post about the atheism-religion debate on my own blog. The direct link to the article is here:

http://brendannewlon1fiction.wordpress.com/2009/0...

P & N, since I've had discussions with you both in the past, I would particularly appreciate your thoughtful responses!

Thanks

666 weeks ago @ State of Protest - How to Disprove the Ex... · 0 replies · +1 points

Noumenon:

There have also been several influential theologians (often more commonly known as philosophers) who maintained that God must necessarily be accessible to reason and logic. For example, I've seen one "proof of God" that was based on Descartes.

[God] is defined as "infinitude of being//an infinite object"

"I think therefore I am," says Descartes. He observes himself thinking, which he takes to be proof that there is a thinker. He doesn't know anything about specifically what he is, just that the fact of his existing is self-evident.

If [I think] then [I] exist.

The next step in the proof was to point out that in identifying the concept [I], a distinction is made between [I] and [Not I]. If there was no such thing as a [Not I], then your previously demonstrated concept [I] would have no meaning. But having accepted [I] as something that exists, we also have to accept the existence of this "other" concept [Not I].

If [I] exist then [Not I] exists.

This next part really deserves some criticism, but it was still very interesting.

[I] + [Not I] = [Infinitude].

[Infinitude] = [God].

Therefore, [God] exists.

_________________

And of course someone who had been exposed to the Indian philosophy in the Upanishads took it a step further.

[God] was defined as "infinitude of being", and infinitude does not permit the existence of boundaries, or limitations. In other words we can't define the concept [God] as distinct from any other concept, because that distinction would constitute a limitation.

Then:

If [I] exist, and If [God] exists,
Then [I] = [God].

[I] (in this case the Hindu philosophical concept "Atman" -- the soul) = [God] (Brahman -- the philosophical God-yness, not a distinct god named "Brahman" which is also featured in Hindusim.)

This was the basis for the Hindu philosophical proof for Atman=Brahman. (Soul = God).

666 weeks ago @ State of Protest - How to Disprove the Ex... · 0 replies · +1 points

Procrustes, as for your point about God as prayer-answering.

I don't think you'll find any "believers" out there who claim that the God they believe in is defined by the characteristic of immediately answering every prayer made in the way hoped for by the praying individual.

I don't know of anyone who has made such a claim, so I don't see any point in offering your (quite correct) demonstration that the existence of such a God is easily disproven.

The more common understanding of God as "prayer-answering" is that God is able to answer prayers. With this understanding in mind, it would be easy enough to find a number of believers who will provide empirical (although anecdotal) data of prayers that they observed to have been "answered". I'll leave it for someone else to discuss what constitutes the "answering" of a prayer.

669 weeks ago @ State of Protest - Being Religious is Lik... · 0 replies · +1 points

noumenon,

Obviously neither you nor i feel that doing a good deed could erase the harm done by a terrible deed. Rather than get lost in strange ideas, lets try to get to understand each other's points.

Originally, you suggested that you wished religious people would help people (the homeless). I only replied that they do.

Now you've mentioned about the Catholic idea forbidding birth control, and the problems that's causing in the world. But that Catholic idea isn't their only rule... They also forbid sex before (and outside) of marriage. If those Catholic rules were both followed, AIDS wouldn't be spreading as an epidemic, it would be restricted and possibly be in decline. One unfortunate girl/guy might give the disease to their unfortunate spouse, and one or both might die, but the disease wouldn't be propagated.

AIDS is a huge problem, but it isn't ONLY propagated because of a religious tenet. Better medical infrastructure is needed in many parts of the world. If medical testing was available, it would be more possible to choose a safe partner -- whether your partnership is a religiously sanctioned marriage or not.

As for your other point, that a person doesn't have to be religious to be charitable, I've already written above that I also encourage people to understand that people are all equally capable of being good or bad people, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof.

So for all those good people out there, what difference could it possibly make to you if they mumble privately to a sky-daddy or not? Maybe it gives them motivation to do good deeds, or just acts as a comfort for themselves.

The challenge to you is (these things tend to get a lot of replies, so lets make them good!): Name one religious belief or practice (etc) that is inherently bad or harmful. Or more simply: What specifically is the Atheist complaint against religion?