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Author Topic: 10 Myths about atheism  (Read 12431 times)

Balbinus

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« Reply #570 on: February 22, 2007, 07:19:54 am »
As an aside, a friend of mine applied to become a CofE priest and was turned down on his explanation for being too religious.  He's an evangelical.

That always strikes me as quite funny, though a bit sad given I think he'd make a great priest (although references from an atheist are probably of only limited value).

Kyle Aaron

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« Reply #571 on: February 22, 2007, 07:26:39 am »
Quote from: Balbinus
I've seen Jim-Bob make that kind of argument, that religion should be encouraged as it benefits society.  I don't think that's right, I think one should encourage religion if one believes it to be correct by all means, but when one doesn't believe it oneself?  That seems a form of dishonesty.
I've never said that.

I've said that the current way of thinking, of a messianic worship of science, and rampant consumerism, is a damaging faith for people to have; it damages the environment, it leaves people feeling empty and miserable. They need something better than that to believe in, a better way of understanding the world.

This may or may not be a theistic or religious way.
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J Arcane

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« Reply #572 on: February 22, 2007, 07:26:45 am »
Quote
Anglicans don't believe anything as best I can tell, and the Sea of Faith Anglicans rather bizarrely don't even believe in god, though personally if I were an Anglican I'd expect my bloody priest to believe in god at minimum. Not to do so seems a bit of a trades description infringement to me...


It remains a moment of great strangeness to me to realize that someone like myself is probably darn near orthodox compared to most of the people who attend my Episcopal congregation.  

My priest seemed to basically not really believe in God either, rather, he seemed to treat the concept of God as an abstract notion of some moral utility.  He was probably more skeptical about the concetp of a true supernatural than some atheists I have known.

Some of the classes and groups at my church seemed to have more in common with neo-paganisms than what one might identify as Christianity.

Mind you, there were still a number of folks, mostly older (relatively speaking, most everyone in that church would be old by my standards), who held a much more traditional outlook on matters.  There was actually an underbelly of conflict between these two factions, well, I say "conflict", but that's far too strong a word for it I think, and if you go looking for it you'd probably never find it.  The nature of such a mellow group of people I suppose.  

All in all I always felt a bit strange there in some ways.  I actually spent very little time actually talking about religion, because for being in a church, it seemed the one thing that one was least likely to find a common ground on.  

I gravitated to the place because of this phenomenon however, because it's sort of endemic of what seems to be a very exploratory, self-examinative approach to theology and personal religion than what one finds in the vast majority of American churches in particular.  That and, partly as a result of this tendency, there's is absolutely a leftward lean to the more politicized issues in the Episcopal Church, and a good majority of it's parishioners are card carrying liberals.  My views on homosexuality in particular basically make me unwelcome anywhere else in American Christianity, whereas at my church there were posters for GLAAD.

Sadly, it is also that very issue that is threatening to tear apart the Episcopal Church, both in America, with a number of more conservative congregations threatening or already deciding to sever themselves from the body as a result, and with the Anglican community abroad, most especially due to pressures from the much more conservative African dioceses.
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Balbinus

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« Reply #573 on: February 22, 2007, 07:32:29 am »
Quote from: JimBobOz
I've never said that.

I've said that the current way of thinking, of a messianic worship of science, and rampant consumerism, is a damaging faith for people to have; it damages the environment, it leaves people feeling empty and miserable. They need something better than that to believe in, a better way of understanding the world.

This may or may not be a theistic or religious way.


My mistake clearly, I have no particular disagreement with the comments above.

Hastur T. Fannon

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« Reply #574 on: February 22, 2007, 08:00:17 am »
Quote from: J Arcane
Sadly, it is also that very issue that is threatening to tear apart the Episcopal Church, both in America, with a number of more conservative congregations threatening or already deciding to sever themselves from the body as a result, and with the Anglican community abroad, most especially due to pressures from the much more conservative African dioceses.


Given the amount that ++Akinola was "consulting" with "+"Minns in Dar es Salaam last week, I'd say the pressure (or at least the support) was in the other direction
 

Hastur T. Fannon

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« Reply #575 on: February 22, 2007, 08:04:23 am »
Quote from: Balbinus
In that they're a form of evidence that the faith in question is correct?  Not sure I'm following.


I have a conviction that God exists and the truth claims of Christianity describe what He's like

However, the reason that I follow Him, the reason that I try to act as if these claims are true is because I can see that doing so makes my life better and life better for those around me
 

Balbinus

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« Reply #576 on: February 22, 2007, 09:38:03 am »
Quote from: Hastur T. Fannon
I have a conviction that God exists and the truth claims of Christianity describe what He's like

However, the reason that I follow Him, the reason that I try to act as if these claims are true is because I can see that doing so makes my life better and life better for those around me


Gotcha, that makes sense, thanks.

GRIM

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« Reply #577 on: February 22, 2007, 11:01:25 am »
Quote from: Hastur T. Fannon
Really? Doesn't make me squirm.  Evolution is a settled issue for Catholics and most Orthodoxen and would be a settled issue for Anglicans if we could figure out a way of throwing out the Creationists


Darth Popius ordered a re-examination of the catholic position on evolution, so we'll have to wait and see on that one. But since it completely contradicts the biblical vision of creation - or requires an abandonment to metaphore of perhaps the most important part of the bible - it seems to be problematic for believers.
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Balbinus

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« Reply #578 on: February 22, 2007, 11:22:50 am »
Quote from: GRIM
Darth Popius ordered a re-examination of the catholic position on evolution, so we'll have to wait and see on that one. But since it completely contradicts the biblical vision of creation - or requires an abandonment to metaphore of perhaps the most important part of the bible - it seems to be problematic for believers.


Grim, it really isn't, most believers really don't struggle with this one.

Possibly one could argue that to be consistent they should struggle with it, but by and large they really don't.

Hastur T. Fannon

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« Reply #579 on: February 22, 2007, 11:40:02 am »
Quote from: GRIM
But since it completely contradicts the biblical vision of creation - or requires an abandonment to metaphore of perhaps the most important part of the bible - it seems to be problematic for believers.


I'll think let St. Augustine of Hippo respond to this one (from "The Literal Interpretation of Genesis" written around AD 408)

Quote
It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation."

"With the scriptures it is a matter of treating about the faith. For that reason, as I have noted repeatedly, if anyone, not understanding the mode of divine eloquence, should find something about these matters [about the physical universe] in our books, or hear of the same from those books, of such a kind that it seems to be at variance with the perceptions of his own rational faculties, let him believe that these other things are in no way necessary to the admonitions or accounts or predictions of the scriptures. In short, it must be said that our authors knew the truth about the nature of the skies, but it was not the intention of the Spirit of God, who spoke through them, to teach men anything that would not be of use to them for their salvation."
 

Hastur T. Fannon

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« Reply #580 on: February 22, 2007, 11:51:17 am »
Quote from: Balbinus
As an aside, a friend of mine applied to become a CofE priest and was turned down on his explanation for being too religious.  He's an evangelical.


I'd take a wild guess that he wasn't too comfortable with the idea of baptising infants (especially if their parents weren't regularly attending the church) or marrying people who aren't regularly attend the church.  In which case the committee would have suggested that perhaps his vocation might be better pursued outside of the Church of England (which is Anglican for "sod off and join the Baptists then")

On the other hand there is such a thing as being too religous for the priesthood - I've seen it and it ain't a pretty sight in someone in charge of a church.  One of the most important qualities a priest should have is humility
 

Balbinus

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« Reply #581 on: February 22, 2007, 12:00:07 pm »
Quote from: Hastur T. Fannon
I'd take a wild guess that he wasn't too comfortable with the idea of baptising infants (especially if their parents weren't regularly attending the church) or marrying people who aren't regularly attend the church.  In which case the committee would have suggested that perhaps his vocation might be better pursued outside of the Church of England (which is Anglican for "sod off and join the Baptists then")

On the other hand there is such a thing as being too religous for the priesthood - I've seen it and it ain't a pretty sight in someone in charge of a church.  One of the most important qualities a priest should have is humility


He's humble as best I can tell, though I haven't seen him in church of course, but your first para could easily apply.

He's a lay reader now anyway, so he still has an active involvement.

Sigmund

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« Reply #582 on: February 23, 2007, 11:26:34 am »
Sorry for not responding to ya'all who I was conversing with. I have been busy irl, and now have a new machine to learn to work with, so I haven't had time. If I get time soon I might come back and re-engage but for now, thanks for the great, mostly flame-free discussion. Agree or not, I appreciate the exposure to different views and I learned quite a bit so far. I'll try to stay up-to-date on the thread at least.
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« Reply #583 on: February 23, 2007, 02:43:23 pm »
Quote from: Balbinus

He's a lay reader now anyway, so he still has an active involvement.


  That's not a priest though is it?  Aren't the lay readers the religion geeks who always get up to read the quotes out of the bible? (which by the by is something I've never understood... are people supposed to go "Oh yeah... I remember that one... that's great... PURE Jesus that one.  Almost as good as the bit with the car chase"?)

Akrasia

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« Reply #584 on: February 23, 2007, 04:01:44 pm »
Quote from: Sigmund
Sorry for not responding to ya'all who I was conversing with. I have been busy irl, and now have a new machine to learn to work with, so I haven't had time. If I get time soon I might come back and re-engage but for now, thanks for the great, mostly flame-free discussion. Agree or not, I appreciate the exposure to different views and I learned quite a bit so far. I'll try to stay up-to-date on the thread at least.


It's been good to have your participation, Sigmund.  :cheers:

I suspect that this thread has started finally to run out of gas ...
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