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10 things christians and atheists can agree on

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 04:25
by nobile
I've been stuck on reading funny lists for the past couple of days, I came across this article, it's a long read but I think there's plenty of material that could be nicely discussed here.
What's your opinion guys?

Re: 10 things christians and atheists can agree on

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:34
by Enok
What often troubles me in this kind of discussion is that it equates these point of views, tries to give the impression that they stand on equal footing, or rather, makes those views opposing in the first place. That is not the case. Neither of them is just an personal option. They are not rival to each other. There's no cultural relativism here.

That might have been the case more than thousand years ago. If I knew nothing but what I have first hand experience on, if I couldn't read what others have studied, if I couldn't devote all my life studying for myself, indeed, those views would be opposing in my mind. In those circumstances, I think it is unavoidable that the most if not all people think that there is a god, an answer of any kind brings comfort. Let me note that majority of people live under those circumstances still, either unwillingly or willingly.

But we, who are eligible and willing to access and comprehend almost any possible information humankind has ever studied, don't need to rely solely on guessing, rumors or personal feeling anymore. Besides of them, we can now form our world view using all that available information.

And what's the result. We can answer the mind baffling questions in more detail. We know what the sun. We know what affects the weather, the game and the crop. We know how we came to be. We know why we have morals. We know the role of god, a substitute answer, waiting for a better one. And as we still have a need for this substitute now and then, we now know how the story goes, we must not stop learning.

Atheistic world view is no opposing to theistic one anymore, the latter is a part of the former. One can use intuition, personal feeling, the "voice of god", it's an invaluable tool. But in addition to that, he can base this intuition on the factual information we know. He can take the advantage of both. There are no boundaries, no constraints to his thoughts. Instead, there are shoulders he can stand on. Or choose not to, using his best judgment.

Re: 10 things christians and atheists can agree on

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 20:58
by Nickelplate
So theists are just a step behind and/or in denial?

Re: 10 things christians and atheists can agree on

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 14:50
by Enok
Nickelplate wrote:So theists are just a step behind and/or in denial?

"You yourself have said it."

Re: 10 things christians and atheists can agree on

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 17:53
by Nickelplate
The whole thing smacks of pride. "We are the highest order of beings in the universe and where we are now is the best we have ever been at everything, and it's all because of us!"

Re: 10 things christians and atheists can agree on

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 13:49
by Armand
Pride is, naturally, perhaps the worst of the seven deadly sins for Catholics. That reflects the stance many religions take on the matter. We mortals are nothing, and if we ever become something, we should never forget who it really comes from (although we did all the work).

What's wrong with pride, when it is founded on realism and knowledge only possible through generations of hard work?

Stagnant things can be alright, but can they ever hope to compete with something that keeps advancing through work and dedication and effort?

You know I'm not an atheist. I have nothing to fear from the attitude and philosophy Enok here so well described. I believe in truth, and I don't doubt that one can, using aforementioned methods, find Divinity or whatever you wish to call it. It's true, it's real, it's not going away no matter what anyone does, at the worst it can be found and refound by new people in new ways again and again. And I am certain that once one has found the Divine through methods such as these, he will not give it up easily. However I am not so trusting about situations where one simply chooses to believe in something he read from an old book. Where's the effort in that? Are not all real victories the results of patience, effort and goodwill?

Re: 10 things christians and atheists can agree on

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 16:34
by Mortis
“Plenty of religious kids do steal and cheat and whatever,” Smith said, responding to the Josephson survey. “They have in their heads some image of what ‘religious’ really looks like. For many — not all — young people, the meaning of that word is so vague it can mean almost anything or nothing whatsoever. The bar is set low and their take on religion certainly doesn’t include concepts such as self-sacrifice, repentance or self-mortification.”

These young people are religious, he stressed. They are simply practicing a new religion, one that Smith and Denton called “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.” When crunched to its basics, this faith teaches that:

• A God exists who “created and orders the world” and watches over our lives.
• This God wants people to be good, nice and fair to one another, as taught by most major religions.
• The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good.
• God is rarely involved in daily life, except when needed to solve a problem.
• Good people go to heaven.

This is from Terry Mattingly. It's not directly related but might fuel a difficult discussion.