Furthering the Discussion about Atheism

Since the blogger “whyevolutionistrue” has urged me to chose between posting my response as either a comment, or a blog, and not both, I have decided to make my response in a blog; but only because I like that blog so much.

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    Emburii
    Posted October 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    You keep saying things like ‘false sense of absolute certainty’, even when people have mentioned that it is not absolute in the sense that they would be willing to change their minds if good evidence were proposed. As for the Renaissance, I’m sure there were some angry people involved in, say, bucking the Church? For the Information Age, the people who use its tactics and technology are often applying it to vocalize their anger over legitimate issues and then boost the signal on those same issues and their solutions. So while the Information Age itself didn’t need tension, its boom and spread might have been aided by many (not necessarily ‘quiet and peaceful’) social justice groups.

    You keep saying ‘surely there’s some rational way’ to the ‘Gnu’ Atheists, pretty clearly implying we’re not rational. You invoke our passion for truth and rational discourse and denigrate it as worthless emotion. Yet, like Phil Plait, you’re curiously light on footnotes and specifics. Practice what you preach and give us some substance, rather than playing the usual tone troll crap.

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Here is my response.

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“. . . it is not absolute in the sense that they would be willing to change their minds if good evidence were proposed.”

I agree with you, totally, in that sense, but that wasn’t the sense I was referring to, when I said;

“The fact that your atheism would be lost if in light of certain circumstance, does not mean that you cannot have an arrogantly false sense of absolute certainty.”

I agree that belief, or lack of belief, about the existence of God, is not absolutely certain if it is actually depended on evidence, but there are other beliefs to take into account, which may or may not be absolutely certain.
Just because one applies a skeptical outlook to some claims, that does not mean that one applies the same level of skepticism to all claims.

You might meet a stranger and believe, without skepticism, that the name they give you is actually their legal name.
You might be absolutely certain that you are justified in being angry.

You stated:
“As for the Renaissance, I’m sure there were some angry people involved. . .”

I never asserted that there was no angry people involved in the Renaissance. I said that the Renaissance required no anger for its movement, which basically disproved the statement that Greta Christina made in her blog;

“You’re telling us to lay down a tool (anger) that no social change movement has ever been able to do without.”

I also could use the Humanist Movement, which is a great contemporary example of social change that requires no anger; and, in fact, it is one that promotes altruism, and an exuberance for the beauty of life.

You’re next point was;

“You keep saying ‘surely there’s some rational way’ to the ‘Gnu’ Atheists, pretty clearly implying we’re not rational.”

Since when is relying on anger rational?

Also, I was never trying to argue that all “Angry” Atheists were necessarily irrational. I’ve stated that there are good reasons to be angry, and I have been angry myself about things. It is a human response.

Instead, I was merely stating that relying on anger, as a method of dealing with issues, is not only childish, but is much more likely to bring about a false sense of absolute certainty.

I’m not sure what is actually meant by Gnu or New Atheists.
If it is an atheistic skeptic, who indiscriminately tares down illogical arguments, then I might classify myself as one.
If it is an atheist who relies on anger, over reason, in order to foster some kind of equality, or social justice, then I’m not a New Atheist.

“You invoke our passion for truth and rational discourse and denigrate it as worthless emotion.”

I do not associate my passion for truth with anger. Dictionary.com defines Anger as, “a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath,” and is not a passion for truth. Don’t conflate those two terms.

“. . . you’re curiously light on footnotes and specifics. Practice what you preach and give us some substance, rather than playing the usual tone troll crap.”

Where did you differ from me in that aspect?

I’ve given the evidence where it was required, but, if you had actually read what I’ve written, without just glossing over it, you would see that I’ve employed logic in nearly every sentence;

even though most of this is just opinion based, like when I said;

“You can live how you like, but I would prefer that we, as a society, be motivated by altruism, logic, and honesty, rather than our basest negative emotions.”

Or when I declared;

“There are plenty of reasons to be upset, but it is time to start acting like adults, and stop acting like angry preteens.”

What evidence would you have me provide for such opinion-based statements? At what points, specifically, were my statements untrue, or unsupported?

You should tell me specifically where I did not support my arguments, and where you feel I have failed to meet the burden of proof: unless you want to look foolish, running around, asking for evidence, as though that disproves everything I’ve stated.

Evidence of what?

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About adamleon86

I am a writer.
This entry was posted in Atheism, Blog, Discussions, Humanism, Logic, Skepticism. Bookmark the permalink.

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