[ExI] atheists de-baptize unbelievers:
darren shawn greer
dgreer_68 at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 20 15:39:47 UTC 2010
>They're not all bad but they're still wrong. Truth is not a matter of
>utility: if the belief in a flat Earth could be shown to have a
>calming, positive influence on the life of the believer it is no less
>a false belief for that. The flat-earthers are generally harmless folk
>and perhaps we should leave them alone, but if they had vast amounts
>of money and influence and went about successfully turning people to
>their view they should be vigorously opposed.
If it were a matter of something as concrete as a flat earth, then you simply show a picture of a round earth and there ends your argument. Any further discussion of flat earth is simply delusion. But it's unfortunately not a matter of the physical universe. There is neither anything in the universe that points to the necessity of a creator, nor anything that absolutely precludes one. As Huston Smith says, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Einstein was a believer in a God, because the laws he uncovered were so immutable and precise he could not imagine a process of physical creation without one. Was Einstein deluded? Perhaps. He still contributed greatly to modern science, as I doubt anyone here will argue. I wonder how much of our "opposition" is based on cultural bias; much time is spent on Christians and Moslems and hardly anyone targets Judaism. Yet some Zionist groups accept money and support from evangelical Christians who believe the Jews need to re-take the Temple Mount in order for Armageddon to get underway. The Likud party uses religion to promote its re-settlement agenda. Extreme Zionists followed Mandela around during his travels after being released from prison to naysay him at public talks and even threatened his life. Buddhists often force their children to follow the faith against their will in Asian countries. The Aum Shinrikyo, who poisoned the Tokyo subway with serin gas--killing hundreds and sickening thousands--were a Buddhist cult. Hindus assassinated Gandhi. I wouldn’t mind the anti-religious sentiment so much if it were a little less focused on specific religions; a lot of it seems to be emotive and cultural in nature and simply hides behind the guise of logic and reason. Religionists are fighting a losing battle anyway. Dawkins stopped debating them in public because it gave the fanatics an air of respectability he felt they didn't deserve. When we stop questioning the beliefs, and start simply dealing with the behavior, we have a better claim to open-mindedness ourselves. I expect that some will say that the way to change behaviour is to change beliefs. Almost any psychologist, addictions counselor or parent will tell you it's the other way around.
> From: stathisp at gmail.com
> Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2010 20:21:38 +1000
> To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> Subject: Re: [ExI] atheists de-baptize unbelievers:
> 2010/7/19 darren shawn greer <dgreer_68 at hotmail.com>
> > Well said. I've been wanting to say something similar myself, and have been a bit troubled by the amount of space spent on-line by fellow atheists ridiculing and making fun of the beliefs of others. I'm not a believer, but my parents are. They are devout Christians, with a quiet, simple faith. It has been a great stabilizer in their lives and has made them, as far as I'm concerned, happier, more balanced and productive people than they were before they believed. Because they respect my meta-physical/philosophical position as an atheist, I have been forced to respect theirs. I have learned over the years that to paint all Christians (Moslems, Parsis, Jains, Hindu's, Buddhists, whatever) with the same brush--judging them by the worst or most fanatic followers --is as misleading as saying all men are murderers because some do occasionally take lives.
> They're not all bad but they're still wrong. Truth is not a matter of
> utility: if the belief in a flat Earth could be shown to have a
> calming, positive influence on the life of the believer it is no less
> a false belief for that. The flat-earthers are generally harmless folk
> and perhaps we should leave them alone, but if they had vast amounts
> of money and influence and went about successfully turning people to
> their view they should be vigorously opposed.
> Stathis Papaioannou
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
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