Grace allows for diversity in both the natural and supernatural realms.
It's nice to know atheists and believers of different stripes have so much in common.
3M,I fail to see the slightest connection to what you just posted and the video in question. Don't you Christians ever respond to the point at hand? How is not believing in God a religion?And by the way, the seeds of every calamity that has ever befallen man, including those attributable to his fallen state, are contained in this so-called grace you prattle on about. It makes God the equivalent of a cosmic Typhoid Mary.
A love (grace) that contains genocide, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, syphilis, meningitis, AIDS,cancer, schizophrenia, starvation, etc., etc., etc., would have done all of us a favor by keeping itself in quarantine. None of us would have been the wiser.
I've yet to see someone write a book on the virtues of not collecting stamps
Calling atheism a "not-something" seems wrong-headed to me. Otherwise we'd find only blank books in the bookstore's "Atheism" section. Instead the atheism books have a content and say things critical of theism. Atheism in practice therefore means something to the effect of "the criticism of theism" or "skepticism about theistic claims."
Matt K: What about all the books about the virtues of not eating meat? A vegan doesn't just mean "not a carnivore." Many vegans can produce well articulated criticisms of the practice of rearing and slaughtering animals for food. Veganism therefore provide a good analogy to the real meaning of atheism: Both vegans and atheists don't just "not believe in something," but they go further in criticizing that something as a false or harmful idea or practice.
Mark wrote: Atheism in practice therefore means something to the effect of "the criticism of theism" or "skepticism about theistic claims."Calling someone an atheist doesn't necessarily identify any specific positive beliefs they might have.I think you're referring to strong atheists, which are active skeptics about Gods or God. However, most Buddhists are also atheists.They are non-theists, which is a negative belief, while being Buddhists, which is a positive belief.
Scott:Calling someone an atheist doesn't necessarily identify any specific positive beliefs they might have.Nonetheless the sociologist Phil Zuckerman has pointed to the literature showing that atheists, and nonbelievers in general, tend to have a well defined set of ethical beliefs which distinguish them from theists. Scroll down to page 10:http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/atheism_secularity.pdfI go with the empirical evidence about what atheists do, not with what philosophical arguments assert we ought to do.I think you're referring to strong atheists, which are active skeptics about Gods or God.I find the distinction between "strong" and "weak" atheism spurious. First of all, why would you want to call yourself a "weak" anything? George Lakoff could tell you that you've made a strategic mistake in "framing" your position.Secondly, refer to my analogy between atheism and veganism. All vegans avoid the use of animal products, but a vocal and radical minority goes farther to attack the values and world views of people who exploit animals. Most of these people, regardless of their public visibility, would probably consider themselves "strong" vegans because they believe that meat eating causes the world a lot of unnecessary harm. Only the militant vegans, whom other vegans accept or at least tolerate as advocates of their life stance, go out of their way to publish books, give speeches and have public debates with meat eaters about how carnivory poisons everything. The activist vegans defend the legitimacy of, and create the elbow room for, the vegans who want to live quietly.I think you can figure out on your own how this analogy applies to atheists.
Hi Bronxboy - sorry I'm a little late in responding here - wasn't aware of your comments.you wrote:"And by the way, the seeds of every calamity that has ever befallen man, including those attributable to his fallen state, are contained in this so-called grace"Actually, grace does allow for enmity to exist while your stance seems to deny the existence of such. Enmity is fully acknowledged and there is love for enemies by God's standards. Apparently, that is what offends ppl because their desire to condemn enemies is not actualized.Thx!3M
"Actually, grace does allow for enmity to exist while your stance seems to deny the existence of such. Enmity is fully acknowledged and there is love for enemies by God's standards. Apparently, that is what offends ppl because their desire to condemn enemies is not actualized."Hi MMM!I believe God doesn't condemn some of His enemies but the bible is also clear that at the end of time God is going to execute His holy Justice and condemn some of His enemies. I don't condemn my enemies because the Bible teaches this. I believe in loving my enemies. The Bible says:Vengeance is mine I will repay. Rather if your enemy is hungry feed him.The way I see it is that God is holy and perfect and therefore He has the right to judge. I'm not perfect therefore I don't. Jesus said whoever doesn't have any sin can cast the first stone.
The most important and pertinent issue here is: WHAT IS THE GOD? I will seriously bet that nearly all theists start out holding that God is a man in the sky. Hundreds of depictions of this God confirm this: we were created in his image; he walks and talks in the garden; he comes "down" soo "see" what's happening, he has a finger. There are dozens and dozens of anthropomorphic allusions in the Bible. Hinduism the same. Buddha was a man (yes, people pray To the Buddha as a god or demi-god all the time; I seen it over and over. Allah may not be physically pictures as a man but he DOES humanoid things; stokes the fires of hell, condemns, saves and a dozen other things that are not the behavior of, say a roach or an alligator.So God is a sky-man. But the sophisticated believer avoids that. He's now a "spirit to them. What is a spirit? I don't know and neither do they. It's invisible and no 2 religions hold to exactly the same characterization. It is my view that theists simply do not know AT ALL what the "God" is supposed to BE.How did he create anything? In a lab? With his hands? By magic? (Yes -- that's what nearly all theists hold. It's childish magic.)This "God" cannot be a human, a person, or "personal." Humans evolved and came into being a couple of million years ago. It's simply impossible that any humanoid created the universe 13.7 billion years ago.I could carry on, but the conclusion is inescapable: God belief and all theism is INCOHERENT. It's pure nonsense.
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