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You can even do it and take an interest in collecting match boxes.

God: An Honest Conversation for the Undecided (Dialogue of Faith) (Paperback)

But if the religious belief happens to be that someone, somewhere, has authority to speak in the name of a transcendent being for which there is no evidence, that this transcendent being speaks to and communes with, human beings, that it has made an appearance in various guises in the world, that it causes miracles to happen and bodies to rise, or brings luck and good fortune to the favoured, punishes the wicked for any given religious definition of what that word mean ins its various religious iterations and authorises outrageous immoralities and injustices in its name, then it is not compatible, and it fatuous to suggest otherwise.

Nor is there room for dialogue with this sort of thing. Until people start to recognise that when they speak about religion they are not speaking only about the nice people in the church across the street, who seem so culturally warm and fuzzy, and probably pretty fuzzy minded too about what their beliefs imply, they are also speaking of pretty distressing forms of belief and the injustices and inhumanities that flow from then.

And just repeating some slogan about the compatibility of religion and science does a great disservice, not only to science, but to the victims of so much religion. For, religion, despite all the warm and fuzzy notions that it seems to connote for so many people, is not warm and fuzzy. It misleads and misdirects. It abuses children, not only by deforming their lives with physical and emotional and sexual abuse, but by much of the religion that is taught, which is of an incredibly destructive sort, very often indelibly so.

It ruins lives and imaginations, it binds them to forms of thinking that are the product of ancient cultures, when people banded together on the side of their god against others on the side of theirs, and while it may have given them protection, it also required their submission and all the hatreds that are born of it. This is still being demanded. There is no other way to teach religion. It is a form of authoritarianism, and even those who attempt to convey a more humane, even secular form of religious thought, will be constantly undermined by people who, in faithfulness to tradition, return people to the faith once delivered to the saints, or whatever group happened to be first and therefore the model of faithfulness.

An Honest Conversation With God - Being Honest with Yourself

And it is really tiresome that someone like Chris Mooney, who obviously knows nothing whatsoever about religion and its claims, continues to blight the world with his assinine slurs that he vainly makes about an imagined group of people whom he calls the New Atheists, without any understanding of them either. He seems a remarkably uninformed person. But I suspect that, even if he was, he would not be able to understand. Russell Blackford has also highlighted this post at Metamagician. I grew up in a rather typical Irish catholic family situation and can remember the two specific arguments that were enough to convince me, as a teenager, to become an atheist.

First the point that contingency of birthplace plays such an enormous role in the specific religion most people believe. I was in third grade Sunday school class. I suspect that our resident UU adherent will be along shortly to provide us all the wonderful benefits of a church without god. Quit it.

Consider all. Test All. Hold on to the good.

That would just be cruel and arrogant! I am all for not criticizing heroin users not because of the comfort they derive from their habit, but because it is counterproductive and helps foster stigmas that contribute to making treatment of addiction very difficult.

Mooney is arguing that no-one should be allowed to point out that heroin use has dangers. Mooney gives them that permission. I remember when I got past the age where my folks told me that Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, easter bunny etc were just stories for little children, I then assumed that god and all that were just the same kind of thing.

I still find it just as amazing that grown up intelligent adults actually believe the things they do where religion is concerned. Chris Mooney continues to reveal himself as substandard in his chosen profession. His idea of framing , as actually practiced by him, amounts to no more than sucking up to his targets. He uses lies, misdirection and misinformation to ingratiate himself to his target. He patronizes them. This is the same MO used by con artists, carnies and used car salesmen. He does this supposedly so that they will then be willing to accept a bit of reality as revealed by science.

Except, when has he ever gotten around to trying to teach them some of that science revealed reality? As far as I can tell he never has. I never did understand his success as a writer either.

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His writing is pedestrian at best, pretty much sucks at worst. His ideas, despite his efforts to frame them as insightful, paradigm shifting and novel, are boring and stale. In general, most scientific accommodationists are putting the ends before the means, wrong tactics to achieve the right strategic goal, etc. But he is claiming that those who do promote such a view should be catered to and never criticized. I agree and understand this point in isolation, but in the context of my little rant, I do not understand what you mean by this.

Yes I know. The reasons a person become popular are varied and seemingly infinite. But, Anderson added, that will not be the case if the scientists show up wanting to convert, or deconvert, or debunk, or whatever. I firmly believe that morality is something that we can discover through reason but not through science , which means that atheists and theists not only both CAN discover it, but MUST discover it.

I also believe that I can justify this with reference to a figurative interpretation of Genesis actually, I claim that ANY interpretation of Genesis would have to include that fact. So, taking all of that into account, how should all of the atheists deal with someone like me? Way to spew out a straw man argument that is claiming to be humble but oozes arrogance, verbosestoic.

So, you would rather that I consider you morally inferior, then? Why, after insisting how rational they are, do theists even creationists always think this an interesting question? Likewise, members of each side frequently adopt an attitude of moral superiority. And again, I can reverse the accusation, since quite a few believers do indeed insist that the religious are morally superior to atheists.

Saying this is true of all theists is also neither true nor fair. Re-read your original quote. At most, taking it in the full context, it might have implied that the New Atheists did that, but it seems to me that it would do that by defining part of what it means to be a New Atheist as having that sort of attitude. I feel that you are perfectly justified in treating theists who are jerks — ie those who take that morally superior angle — in the precise same way. And if you want to leave theists who insist that if you are an atheist you must be morally inferior out of that dialogue, I find that perfectly acceptable as well.

Dennett, while sometimes a bit of a gas bag, is certainly not strident or militant and c Dawkins is no more vitriolic than, say, Samuel Clemens or Robert Ingersoll or Bertrand Russell. Taking in the full context, as you say, should resolve some of the difficulties here. The problem here is that you are going on about things that a were not actually relevant to your initial statement and b are not true. The original quote was not from Mooney, but was Mooney quoting someone else Anderson.

There is nothing to suggest that Anderson was referring to the New Atheists, and Anderson clearly is not that all atheists should be pushed out of the conversation. He limited it to a very specific set: those who come in with the aim to convert and debunk, or t hose who claim superiority. Mooney might go further and link it to New Atheists, but in both cases they think that there are productive discussions that can be had with some atheists. So your claim that they want to push all atheists out of the conversation would only be true if all atheists had to act that way, as a condition of being an atheist and getting into the conversation.

Now, you can argue that. You can claim that it follows that attempts to criticize religion will always fall into the category of trying to deconvert or debunk religion. Instead, you argued about the moral superiority line, which is completely different. Basically, you started essentially by claiming that it was reasonable for atheists to act as if they are intellectually superior because of theists who act morally superior.

So, again, if you are going to adopt that intellectually superior attitude towards all theists, how do you ensure that you treat those who do not exhibit the bad behaviours fairly? I do not presume that everyone that has beliefs different than my own is therefore wrong and irrational. I do, however, acknowledge that someone is wrong and irrational when the beliefs in question are demonstrably wrong and inherently irrational. Here are the possibilities:.

Once you point that out to them, they will then accept that they were wrong and you were right. In this case, they might actually be right, and the two of you need to sit down and hash out who is right and how to prove who is right. That they are not as convinced in you are is no indication — necessarily — that they are irrational or even wrong. This, again, would fit irrational. The category that I think people should care about is 2 , and maybe 1. Your comments here seem to only work for 3 and 4.

It is quite likely nonfactual that anyone ever will be able to discover a system for morality, given that it is hardwired into us by evolution — we now know that atheists and theists alike react the same in moral situations. Though the rationale trying to fit a story on the reaction certainly varies. But the above mean that it would be impossible to find a relevant system in that ad hoc selection.


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The claim is that the ad hoc algorithm will surely look like the irrational ad hoc it is. Which pretty much describes religious texts in the perception of rational readers. So now we know why. It is up to the theists to realize or not that they are making a mistake. Not everyone responds in the same way to moral situations, and the responses to some moral problems almost certainly differ to a statistically significant degree between atheists and theists — e. When it comes to classic moral dilemmas involving danger, such as the trolley cases that moral philosophers and moral psychologists love so much, there is no real difference between atheists and theists.

This holds cross-culturally though some moral psychology experiments do get different proportions of answers between different cultures; this certainly applies to certain fairness games. In all, there seems to be little difference between atheists and theists on issues that atheists would see as central to morality, such as helping out in situations of danger, being honest and fair, etc.

If there are differences, they are likely to be in areas that many atheists see as peripheral but many theists see as central, such as sexual morality. We are simply a bunch of people united in our un-belief and thus we cannot be motivated by that ideology since un-belief is in fact a lack of ideology. Some point to Stalin as being motivated by rationalism if that is indeed the source of atheism, the argument would go.

I maintain, however, that rationalism as a motivator and religion as a motivar are two different things. On the other hand, this is exactly how religion works. A religious authrotiy or perhaps even an equal in your faith tell you that you must do someting as a good member of your faith.

God: An Honest Conversation for the Undecided - E. Glenn Wagner - Google книги

Many people with stop and think despite the tendency of religion to hope to avoid this , but nonetheless, being told to do something as part of your religion is a valid form of motivation for doing something, on its own. And thus this is the different between the rationalistic non-ideological foundations of atheism and the ideological basis of theism. Exactly what does this mean? But it is not clearly wrong. That should give anyone pause, no? Can anyone still think that V is anything other than a troll bent on threadjacking and causing aggravation?

God: An Honest Conversation for the Undecided

Just look at this one sub-thread if you have any doubts. Sorry, that should be John Kwok the just what does he do besides patting himself on the back and talk about where he went to school, anyway. John Kovic is a cartoonist who has absolutely nothing to do with anything here, as far as I know.

And why should any scientist care what superstitious people believe, anyhow? Why should your magical beliefs be any more respected than a Scientologists? If you want to engage or eliminate them, you care about them, and also you do seem to care about whether or not your beliefs that relate to my beliefs are right. Thus, you care, and then that should drive how you relate to me and to the issues. Some will even get the courage to question their beliefs.

Eventually most believers will die out and the new generations will live in a world where fewer people are susceptible to such delusions. Coddling the faithful slows the process to the detriment of all. If there are no invisible beings and despite eons of belief in such things there is no evidence that any such beings exist , then all such belief is delusional. If there are no such thing as souls, then there is no need for any religion and all the mental manipulation that goes with it. BTW, I trust that if any such beings are real, the evidence will accumulate as it has for evolution and scientists will, naturally, be all over such evidence to refine and hone it so we could know more.

Whereas, all religious people claim to know things they cannot know that god exists, for example. Moreover, religious people know that many other religious people are delusional— fooling themselves— as off base as the believers in Greek Myths. And yet they conclude they are above such human folly. In my opinion this is more arrogant than anything an atheist believes. I have the opinion that atheists ARE intellectually superior. The average I. When I went to college despite my joining the CCC I was drifting more towards my own personal liberal version of Christianity that probably would fit in well with the Episcopal church.

By the time I hit gradschool, I drifted into unconsciously agnostic. Upon discussing religion with a few classmates, I more or less settled on ignostic and have been there ever since. Simply reading the arguments of so many religions was the first major chink in the faith armor. Though I was a bio major with a dual emphasis in evolution and biochem , it was the humanities that tested my faith more than biology. Hearing such willful attempts at brainwashing really caricatured the faith argument for me. Having the good fortune of growing up in a place, in a country, where religion and the religious were considered somewhat retarded, life has been much more fulfilling with the awe of being alive, and being able to learn about and explore this glorious planet.

Unfortunately it is in places polluted by daft buggers, aka believers, of different persuasions.

God: An Honest Conversation for the Undecided (Dialogue of Faith)

But I guess we need something to point and laugh at. I do get really tired of NOMA. Oh sure, they say that they can accept the scientific world view, but pretty much every religion has an origin story that is different from the actual one. Another point, I really am tired of people expecting their pastors to be therapists. These people are taught scripture, but that in itself is no substitute for hands on experience with these problems, over an over again. Its like trying to get a tooth pulled by a friend that pulled out a tooth once, rather than a trained professional who does it every day.

I was a biology and religion double major in college. You know, this brings up one of my other big pet peeves with religion: claiming credit when they pray for a cure. Seriously, how arrogant is that? I escaped from the angst and tedium of teenage life by reading science books.

Would it stretch the imagination too far to picture this woman escaping from her troubles for three and a half minutes to watch a Carl Sagan remix on YouTube? Ethan Frome borrowed a pop-science book on biochemistry. And for a little while, she sees children who are still bright-eyed and curious, living in a well-kept world which makes sense. The insistence that her son will burn in eternal Hellfire because he felt up a girl and got a cheap pentagram tattoo? If we are honest — and scientists have to be — we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.

The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented.

Widely held religious beliefs about the way the world is and how it came to be are, in fact, divergent from the truth. But from whence did this religious conviction spring? They were taught it. Sure, maybe a woman inculcated with lies from birth has, in adulthood, grown to depend on those lies. But would she be in that position if she had grown up having all the fact available to her from the start?

Pastor David Anderson completely fails to mention his role in shaping and maintaining the religious delusions of the members of his congregation. Why not one-and-done? Surely, there are better ways to spend Sunday morning…me, I do the crossword puzzle and read the funnies. Or go hiking. Only through constant brainwashing does it persist. I was just writing a little note to myself on that very subject about half an hour ago. Religion is where it is pervasive, and clerics work hard to keep it that way, then they tell us over and over and over that religion is naturally, human nature-ly, pervasive and inescapable.

Shell game. I was raised as an orthodox Jew, and fully believed in the tenets of the Jewish faith that were drilled into me as a child. Then at around 14 I started to read science and history books and began to realize that many of those tenets were probably false such as a year old universe, and the historicity of the bible and that I had no reason to think that some rabbis were privileged to secret communications from another realm. Never christened, never baptised, no religion in the house at all when I was a kid.

Wanted to go to Sunday School when I was about 8 because it sounded fun to my 8-year-old mind. That was the end of it. Even if a well reasoned, reality based discussion does not convince a theist to completely abandon his delusions, I suspect that there is a great deal of good that comes from simply undermining unquestioned certainty. Thank you for mentioning children, Jerry. It makes me truly angry that the Mooneys of the world care so little about the damage inflicted on vulnerable people not just children , and so much about propping up the social infrastructure that keeps it going.

The accommodationists characterize religion as ennobling and emotionally vital to believers. Why can they not see how positively liberating it can be to have some help throwing off the shackles? I had to work all this out myself as a child. Being aware from a very young age that I was gay, I was tormented by the certainty that I was going to burn in hell. One day when I was about 10, it suddenly dawned on me: the religious adults around me, including my family, were crazy. The whole edifice came crumbling down. God was a made up story that kept blinkered adults in its thrall, and allowed them to do very evil things while believing they were helping.

I was extremely angry at the adults in my world for a long, long time. They — the victims — have the superior ethical claim. Their suffering takes moral priority over the desires of the publicly pious to remain in their comfortable, never-confronted, never-challenged faith. Oh, dear. This is the aspect of religion that seems most horrible to me.

Putting a child, or anyone for that matter, in a position to feel and think such things about themselves for reasons which are complete bullshit is one of the worst things I can think of that people can do to other people short of physical torture. And religion does this casually on a regular basis. Just another product of authoritarianism. The elders, the fathers anyway, will always be wiser and better than their children.


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What a poisonous mindset. Not to mention trivial to falsify. Any decent human being would raise their children to understand that they are capable of exceeding their parents, and actively help them to do so. Another source of profound misery for children brought up religious is fear of hell, not just for themselves but for loved others. I know people who had that and it is no trivial thing. Oh, it certainly is. And that was part of my misery as a child. Stark staring raving terror of where I was going to end up.

So this dialogue is all God, no box. Are you ready? Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Better let the books in the Dialogue of Faith series rearrange what you take with you. Already this series has shown me my desperate need to unpack some baggage and repack for the challenges of tomorrow. Into the Mystery "I imagine it was odd for people at the coffee shop to see me, a former nfl player, weeping as I read this manuscript.

In this book, Glenn Wagner pierces the hearts and enlightens the minds of honest seekers as he warmly invites them into a conversation about God. Gray, NFL veteran and founder of One Heart at a Time Ministries "In the current transition from a modern to a postmodern world, many of us are struggling to find a new way to talk about God.

Glenn Wagner cuts a clear path for us to followaffirmative relationships, understanding people in their contexts, putting ourselves into their shoes. In today's world people will respond to this kind of God-conversation. Show More Show Less. Any Condition Any Condition. Gl - NEW! See all 5. No ratings or reviews yet. Be the first to write a review. Best Selling in Nonfiction See all. Burn after Writing by Sharon Jones , Paperback 2. Save on Nonfiction Trending price is based on prices over last 90 days. Conceptual Physics,12th Ed. You may also like.

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