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Religion and me

I'm not going to write about religion often because frankly I don't find it a particularly interesting subject, but I thought I should put something down here that clarifies my religious position a little. I consider myself an atheist, and by this I mean that I have no religious beliefs. I do not believe there is a god, nor do I believe there is not a god - I simply do not know. It seems very unlikely to me, but I can't prove there is no god, just as I cannot prove that the tooth fairy does not exist. Some people like to use the terms "strong atheism" and "weak atheism" to divide atheists into those who are convinced that there is no god and those who merely do not believe there is a god - by their definition I am in the latter group. People have tried to tell me that if I do not know whether there is a god or not I must be an agnostic, but I am not - the distinction is that an agnostic believes it is not possible to know whether or not there is a god, whereas as a sceptic and critical thinker I could be persuaded that there was a god if I were to see conclusive proof of His existence. Until I see such evidence I will remain an atheist. I once spent half an hour arguing with some Born Again Christian evangelists who came to my door (they even tried the "evolution is only a theory" argument on me), eventually telling them to go away and come back when they could demonstrate to me a scientific proof that their beliefs were correct. I never saw them again.

Having explained my own position, I would like to make it clear that I have no problem with other people having religious beliefs (and I include strong atheism in that) as long as they don't try to force their beliefs onto others or carry out evil in the name of their religion.

Comments

(Anonymous)

Jesus died on the cross for you. May the Lord have mercy upon you in this holy season.
Thanks for sharing that, Mr Anonymous.
I remember arguing with a pair of Jehovah's witness once for about half an hour when one of them protested to me that I was taking the bible far too literally.

I'd describe your position as weak-agnostic and weak-atheist -- "I don't know, and (for the moment, therefore) I don't believe" -- and the position you describe as agnostic, I'd describe as strong-agnostic -- "I believe it is unknowable/unprovable".

Me, I'm a strong agnostic and a Christian -- I do not know, I believe it is unprovable, and I believe. I also believe in evolution, I feel that the case there has been proved. Finally, I believe that it's posible to hold this combination of beliefs consistently, and that I'm equipped to make a case for that consistency.

It seems to me that your position is consistent too, and I could repeat your final paragraph as my own without hesitation.
Yes, I think that sums it up pretty well. Out of interest, why do you believe the existence of god is unprovable?
As a mathematician and scientist, I believe that the world runs according to physical laws which are consistent. As a Christian, I believe that God created the world. So He must have created it in such a way that there will be no evidence forthcoming that isn't consistent with those physical laws, and therefore no observations we could make which would be helpful in demonstrating his existence. Any alleged "proof" won't, therefore, be grounded in assumptions that I'm prepared to concede -- such a "proof" will either be inconsistent or circular.

In Oolon Colluphid's book "That about wraps it up for God", it's assumed that such a proof exists, and it generates a contradiction. "Oh dear, I hadn't thought of that," says God, and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.

I think it's probably quite appropriate to say that a lot of people believe in God/god, but don't believe in religion. I mean, I believe in Jesus Christ, but I wouldn't call myself a Christian.

As for proving the existance of god ~ well I've been there and tried proving god's existance through logic alone (as in umm the philospher Descarte or Berkely arguments ~ and which you'll find is nigh on impossible as you have to take some things for truth to start with!) I don't think you'll ever prove god's existance through scientific means ~ god's existance is seen through his manisfestation (i.e you can't prove wind exists until you see it e.g rustling tree leaves.) And I think if you were to prove god existances through hard factual/material/scientific means then you'll only prove that god is an alien *Ahem*
I think if you were to prove god existances through hard factual/material/scientific means then you'll only prove that god is an alien

I won't disagree with that: if there is a god then I've no doubt he/she/it is non-human and therefore alien to us.
God exists ~ not existances *duh*. There's alot of stuff in the bible that points towards god being an alien ~ chariots of fire, immaculate conception (hell, don't we do that? What's IVF huh?)And so on and so on. I usually get given a funny look when I explain to people that god is probably an alien ~ lots of people have a problem when you try explaining that it's very unlikely that Jesus was a red-headed white bloke. Possible. But not likely lol.
lots of people have a problem when you try explaining that it's very unlikely that Jesus was a red-headed white bloke

What? But I've seen pictures of him. He even has a beard like mine! ;)
Lol ~ did you see his photograph?

Dark Star

I wanted to talk about this when I wrote yesterdays comment, but I couldn't think what the film was called. It was called Dark Star. In the film one of the ships intelligent bombs is about to detonate and in an effort to stop the bomb, Sergeant Pinback trys teaching it phenomenology. How does this relate to the previous comment? Like this ...

Pinback: All right, bomb. Prepare to receive new orders.
Bomb#20: You are false data.
Pinback: Hmmm?
Bomb #20: Therefore I shall ignore you.
Pinback: Hello...bomb?
Bomb #20: False data can act only as a distraction. Therefore, I shall refuse to perceive.
Pinback: Hey, bomb?!
Bomb #20: The only thing that exists is myself.
Pinback: Snap out of it, bomb.
Bomb #20: In the beginning there was darkness. And the darkness was without form and void.
Pinback: Umm. What the hell is he talking about? Bomb?
Bomb #20: And in addition to the darkness there was also me. And I moved upon the face of the darkness and I saw that I was alone.
Pinback: Hey.....bomb?
Bomb #20: Let There Be Light. [He detonates]

(To read the rest of Bomb 20's phenomenology lesson see this philospohy lesson ~ not quite the one I ahd, but still...)

Who then, is to say that god ain't anything but artificially created intelligence? (God made the world in seven days; first he created the earth and the heavens, night and day blah-de-blah.)

Re: Dark Star

That is a weird film... brilliant ending though. Coincidentally Dan O'Bannon, the guy who co-wrote and edited Dark Star and played the part of Pinback, will be one of the guests of honour at Redemption '07.

(Anonymous)

Religion and me

I was raised in the Christian faith but as I grew older I had to confront many queries about my faith I had to take a hard look. I have comfortably decided that many bring our own prejudices to the question both Atheists and Christians and as is the case with most things you will find evidence to support what you really want to believe. If you want to believe in God you will find evidence and if you prefer being in a world where there is none then you will find the evidence you seek. I believe that if you are an atheist then there are some tough questions to face to challenge that view and if you are a believer in God then there are some tough challenging questions to field. With centuries of discussion lets realise NO ONE has PROOF of either. I however have decided to believe that the evidence to support Intelligent Creator is stronger both my mind, my body and my spirit comes to that conclusion.

(Anonymous)

Religion and me

I wanted to add to my last comment and forgot but I think its important. Wouldn't you say that as neither the Believer or the Atheist has proof then it requires FAITH on the part of both. We mock the believer for his faith but fails to realise that you the atheist are equally dependent on the very same ....... FAITH.