Whoop – Here It Is

UPDATE: This is not an April fool’s Joke

Whoop, Here it is… This view of Christianity is one that I have a hard time disagreeing with. A bunch of people that want to do good things and celebrate the idea that there is a mystery to life? This is something that I’m having trouble recognizing as caustic to society. I don’t think that anyone saw this coming. The whole atheist church thing and this ‘Emergent Church’ deal are really pretty similar and they are both humanism at their core. I will have to see more and think more about it, but this is just people being good. Do I care if they are deistic? Nope, as long as they are good and not caustic to society. I’m not itching to make the drive over to the church linked to in the article, but I might. Stay tuned.

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  1. So basically you are a Theist…

    • Not at all. I simply only have trouble with theists who are caustic.

  2. myatheistlife,

    What are your views on Unitarian Universalism and progressive Christianity?

    • The search for truth based on belief in a deity seems somewhat pointless, perhaps even doomed for failure. I do not see that they have been caustic to society so I have no ill will toward them, as I have none toward polytheists and others who do not intrinsically seek to alter society or convert others or force them to be conformal to their beliefs.

      Deism is, I think, an honest question about origin or rather an answer that made some sense before science. I think progressive Christianity and Unitarian Universalists fail to consider modern science at risk of wasting a life believing untruth.

  3. I see. I think I agree with pretty much everything you wrote.

    What is your opinion of progressive Christians who accept most modern science (including evolutionary biology and cosmology) while retaining some belief in the transcendent, if not necessarily a personal being? I’m thinking of Christians like John Shelby Spong and Paul Tillich, who believe in a nontheistic “God above God” or “God as the ground of Being.” To what extent do you think they are wasting their lives believing untruth?

    It’s interesting that you bring up deism, because as an atheist, I find deism to be pretty interesting. If I understand deism correctly, there’s virtually no difference between atheism and deism in a practical, day-to-day sense. (Case in point are deists who are also nihilists.)

    As Denis Diderot said in his deist days:

    “Superstition is more injurious to God than atheism.”

    “I believe in God, although I live very happily with atheists…. It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsley; but not at all so to believe or not in God.”

    • You’ll find that my ‘issues’ with belief are not that people actually do believe or waste their time with it in my opinion. My ‘issues’ arise from those that are caustic to society. It is not my desire nor is it my position to judge what people think inside their heads unless and until what they believe affects me. In as much as some sects of Christianity or other religious belief do not adversely affect society at large, I have no axe to grind with them. “Judge not..” and all that.

      Whether I personally think they are wasting their time probably doesn’t concern them much, and that is as it should be for what I do in my own home and in the privacy of my life is really of no concern to anyone else. Without respect for freedom of belief we have a theocracy and I do not want one of those. When we are not busy trying to convert one another to our own beliefs about gods the discussion is more or less like arguing about how the Bernoulli principle works or whether or not pre-modern humans spoke love sonnets to one another.

      In practical day to day life, these are not very important for living. It is discussing ideas where either side can change their mind. If discourse on religion were as these, then it would not be a problem. Can you imagine a world where the group that believes pre-modern humans spoke love sonnets around the camp fire all want to only vote for other people that think the same way? That believing in pre-modern human love sonnets is effectively a test for public office? That changing your mind and then not believing in pre-modern human love sonnets would get you killed for apostasy?

      I think that not thinking critically leads, more often than not, to poor choices and these then hurt society. This however is not strictly the purview of believers in gods.

      If I were allowed to politely judge some ways of thinking as stupid and dangerous and further that religious belief be allowed in this category, then I could say that I’m anti-whatevercategorythatwouldbe

      I pretty much have an axe to grind with ‘stupid’ and we swim endlessly in an ocean of the stuff. I find that there are many who for their own reasons want to believe or find it useful to themselves in a drive to be a good human. Where these people are basically humanists with a near 100% equalist ideology then I find it hard to fault them. Should I do so, they might find fault with my OCD tendencies and so on. There is a point where ‘live and let live’ kicks in when striving to teach the world to think critically.

      If you don’t have caustic attitudes and behaviors and beliefs we will probably get along and might even enjoy a beverage or 6.

  4. Yes. I’m not familiar with your blog yet, but I think I figured as much when I read the current post and your comments.

    I, too, support freedom of religion and am no fan of state atheism (or state anything, for that matter). I’m quite content to let people believe what they will; the “problem,” as you are no doubt well aware, is that many religions “insist” on propagating themselves to the ends of the earth.

    As for a preferable basis for society, I think H. L. Mencken was on the right track when he said:

    “I…know of no human right that is one-tenth as valuable as the simple right to utter what seems (at the moment) to be the truth. Take away this right, and none other is worth a hoot; nor, indeed, can any other long exist.”

    I don’t know if I have attitudes, behaviors, or beliefs that would be caustic to you, but we appear to have a fair amount in common. I think we’d get along.

    • It seems rather probable. Thanks, by the way, for commenting. And good comments and questions they are. I hope you enjoy the rest of my blog. I’m working on 4 fairly involved posts right now. I’m trying to wrap up my Free Will series – which leads into other discussions (hopefully).

      The purpose of this blog is to think aloud and record the ways in which I see the world a little bit differently or so it seems to me. How and why we think what we do is of great interest to me. Theistic thought is but one aspect of that. Why yes, I have considered whether pre-modern humans composed love sonnets. As it happens, I believe they did. I will explain why in a new post one day soon.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to write the detailed replies. I think I may well enjoy your blog; I admire the quality of writing and thought I’ve found in it so far.

    I read part of your free will series the other day, having much interest in the subject; it seems to be somewhat over my head at the moment, I’m afraid. I’m going to have to do my homework on neuroscience. (I plan to tackle Patricia Churchland’s /Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind-Brain/ in the near future.)

    • I’d be interested in whether you find her work difficult to read. Thank you for such kind comments.

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