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Christopher Hitchens: Godlessness Is Not Great How Atheism Poisons Everything
The New American ^ | Monday, 19 December 2011 | Selwyn Duke

Posted on 12/20/2011 9:15:48 AM PST by Paladins Prayer

In writing this piece, I’m reminded of a little exchange between the late William F. Buckley and friend and fellow National Review writer Florence King. Buckley had just penned some less-than-flattering words about a recently deceased person of prominence whose name escapes me, and King chided him, saying something to the effect that he had broken ground in journalism: the “attack-obit.” Buckley’s response was, “Wait till you see the obituary I have planned for you!”

And in writing this critical article about bon vivant Christopher Hitchens in the wake of his death this past Thursday, I expect some ridicule as well. Yet I don’t think Hitchens would demand to be spared the acidic ink he used to eviscerate others — or that he would have any credibility doing so. Remember that this was the man who, before the gentle Jerry Falwell’s body was even cold, said things such as “If he [Falwell] had been given an enema, he could have been buried in a matchbox” and “I wish there was a Hell for Falwell.”

For my part, I wouldn’t wish eternal damnation on Hitchens; I truly hope he rests in peace. But I can’t say the same for his legacy. And when I see the obligatory exaltation of his life’s work — with secular icons, the deader they get, the better they were — I think that legacy needs a little damnation.

(Excerpt) Read more at thenewamerican.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: atheism; death; gagdadbob; hitchens; onecosmosblog; religion
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It's nice to see a writer who isn't fawning over Hitchens. The author makes the point that Hitchens wasn't really an intellectual. He just played one on TV.
1 posted on 12/20/2011 9:15:59 AM PST by Paladins Prayer
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To: Paladins Prayer
The main point I make with atheists

Infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer recognized this as a teen, as he asked his parents rhetorically, “If there’s no God, why can’t I just make up my own rules?” The fact is that just as we wouldn’t consider vanilla ice cream “wrong” or “evil” simply because we learned that 90 percent of the world didn’t like it, it makes no sense to thus label murder if the only reason we do so is that most of us prefer that people not kill others in a way we fancy is unjust. If there is no God, “morality” is just values and values are just taste. And when Hitchens axiomatically accepted his morality as something more, it implied God’s existence. Only, while Dahmer figured this out, Hitchens never did.

2 posted on 12/20/2011 9:29:05 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: Paladins Prayer

The comments to the full article in the New American are interesting. Those who describe themselves as atheists really do seem to believe that atheism grows out of one’s own superior intellectuality.


3 posted on 12/20/2011 9:33:03 AM PST by elcid1970 ("Deport all Muslims. Nuke Mecca now. Death to Islam means freedom for all mankind.")
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To: Paladins Prayer

Knew his days were numbered in 2007 when he published a taunt. Not just a baby-killer but also a dumbass.


4 posted on 12/20/2011 9:39:57 AM PST by Justa
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To: 2banana
Have never understood the atheist, I look around, I see Gods hand everywhere.
5 posted on 12/20/2011 9:51:05 AM PST by reefdiver ("Let His day's be few And another takes His office")
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To: elcid1970

Exactly. Atheism always carries the stench of smugness.

Although in Hitchen’s case, it was entertaining. My pastor, an Irish Catholic from Chicago, had occasion to debate Hitchens on TV around the time of his book. Sensing he was losing the argument, Hitchens resorted to calling the priest an “Hibernian snob”. We both had a good laugh over that.

This past weekend, I told my pastor that I’d pray for his old nemisis’ mortal soul, just to piss him off.

We had a good laugh over that one, too.


6 posted on 12/20/2011 10:03:17 AM PST by Senator Goldwater
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To: Paladins Prayer

My favorite quote on the subject:

Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.

Blaise Pascal


7 posted on 12/20/2011 10:04:25 AM PST by killermosquito (Buffalo, Detroit (and eventually France) is what you get when liberalism runs its course.)
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To: reefdiver

We too!!

All you have to do is look at the insects, birds, flowers,
and the continuation of faith in a Savior that died for their sins - a belief that has survived 2000 years.

Any Christian can see why they believe. An atheist does not have that ability because God does not react with them as he does with His believers. They do not see God’s hand at work - we do. They do not see the works of the Holy Spirit - we do.

Higher intelligence?? I think not!!!


8 posted on 12/20/2011 10:08:00 AM PST by oneaglewings
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To: 2banana

Actually, God is used to justify making up your own rules (e.g. “God says Kill The Infidels!”) far more often than atheism is.


9 posted on 12/20/2011 10:18:33 AM PST by Burkean Buckleyite
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To: elcid1970
Ultimately, one must fall back on human intellect.

One believer says, "God says 'Love One Another'". Another believer says, "God says 'Kill The Infidel'". God doesn't speak for himself to declare one right and the other wrong -- you have to figure that out yourself.

10 posted on 12/20/2011 10:19:40 AM PST by Burkean Buckleyite
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To: reefdiver

No. DNA, physics, chemistry, etc. are mere accidents.

/sarc


11 posted on 12/20/2011 10:24:53 AM PST by relictele (Green energy is neither)
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To: elcid1970

And to quote many other Atheists, “If God didn’t exist, somebody would have to invent him”. So if you know deep down inside that God(s) don’t exist and you know that if enough people figured out god didn’t exist and would commit so many atrocities if they knew god didn’t exist, why continue to push the concept of god not existing?

What philosophy can you use to replace the morals cobbled up by eons of theism that would replace theist-based morality that can’t be abused by the morally insane? Humanism has tried to make a “new morality” but they’ve failed because the “new morality” either takes away rights of the individual to please the many or it quickly becomes a paradise for sociopaths.

If you’re an Atheist, it would be irresponsible and immoral to destroy the concept of God(s) when you know that’s the only thing keeping many psychopaths from abusing people.

And that’s why God himself doesn’t make himself provable via scientific experiments. He doesn’t want psychopaths worshiping him out of fear.


12 posted on 12/20/2011 10:25:52 AM PST by NorthStarStateConservative
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To: killermosquito
Pascal's wager falls down in two respects.

First, which God? Read a little further in the Pensees and you will find that he suggests reinforcing a tentative belief by "having masses said, taking the holy water" which makes it clear that his wager is not a bet on God, but a bet on Roman Catholic doctrine. Let me ask you, would I be wagering correctly if I chose to be a Unitarian, a Jehovah's Witness, or a Jew?

Second, if there is anything an omniscient God should know, it's the contents of the human heart. Do you not think God could tell the difference between true belief and a belief concocted for the purposes of winning the "wager"??

13 posted on 12/20/2011 10:27:31 AM PST by Notary Sojac (Liberalism: Ideas so good, they have to be mandatory!!)
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To: NorthStarStateConservative
I'm not sure that true psychopaths are particularly deterred from crime by religious doctrine. However, I do agree with you that theism is generally a characteristic of stable and long-lasting civilizations.

But the fact that there have been and are so many theisms, most of which have had the same stabilizing effect, provides no argument whatever that any one theism is any more "true" than the others.

14 posted on 12/20/2011 10:35:36 AM PST by Notary Sojac (Liberalism: Ideas so good, they have to be mandatory!!)
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To: 2banana
As an atheist, I am nonetheless convinced that a belief in God is a good thing for society in general, provided that differing concepts of God (or of no God) are not proscribed.

But I am not convinced that if a belief is useful, it must therefore be true.

15 posted on 12/20/2011 10:41:17 AM PST by Notary Sojac (Liberalism: Ideas so good, they have to be mandatory!!)
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To: Burkean Buckleyite

No, human intellect has proven to be an extremely unreliable moral guide in the absence of belief in a Higher Power.

Yes, the true G-d commands us to love one another. He who is the G-d of Creation does so ordain.

The god that says “kill the infidels” is not the G-d of Creation but a different and dark being not of a divine nature and a false deity the belief in which only leads astray.


16 posted on 12/20/2011 10:44:12 AM PST by elcid1970 ("Deport all Muslims. Nuke Mecca now. Death to Islam means freedom for all mankind.")
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To: Notary Sojac
First, which God?

I ask the same question of atheist. Which God do you know does not exist?

The creative principle of the universe; there is none? The source of your absolute truths; there are none?...

Often, in my experience when an atheist describes the God they don't believe in, my response is "I don't believe in that God either."

17 posted on 12/20/2011 11:02:20 AM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: Paladins Prayer

Much of the praise of Christopher Hitchens in the last week has seemed to me to translate to, “Look at me being sophisticated!!!” It’s rather interesting, really, because there’s nothing sophisticated about aiming scatological and sexual abuse toward those you’ve identified as your ideological enemies, as Mr. Hitchen liked to do ... any 7-year-old who’s been in a barnyard can do the same, although hopefully his parents would beat the tar out of him.

I have prayed for Mr. Hitchens’ soul, as I hope someone who thought I was totally awful would do for me, and I’m sincerely sympathetic to those for whom his death is a real personal bereavement.


18 posted on 12/20/2011 11:06:15 AM PST by Tax-chick (Two women in one house ... and one of 'em a redhead!)
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To: D-fendr
I just have no more ability to conceive of a universe where supernatural beings exist than I do to conceive of a universe where 2+3 does not equal 3+2.

And in my last fifty-plus years on this planet, I have managed to educate myself both formally and informally; serve my country in uniform; steadily advance in my chosen career; marry a lovely woman and stay happily married to her for thirty years; and raise a family.

All without ever being particularly perturbed about "the creative principle of the universe" or "the source of absolute truths", which apparently are a lot more important to you than they are to me.

19 posted on 12/20/2011 11:10:52 AM PST by Notary Sojac (Liberalism: Ideas so good, they have to be mandatory!!)
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To: elcid1970
The comments to the full article in the New American are interesting. Those who describe themselves as atheists really do seem to believe that atheism grows out of one’s own superior intellectuality.


They also refuse to admit that more innocent people have been murdered by atheist governments in modern times than Christian, Jewish and Muslim in history - all combined. Atheists have murdered hundreds of million in the name of their superiority.

Mass murder can be quite rationale. Ethics are often irrational.

20 posted on 12/20/2011 11:15:20 AM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: Burkean Buckleyite
Actually, God is used to justify making up your own rules (e.g. “God says Kill The Infidels!”) far more often than atheism is.

40 million dead in communist China says you are wrong
30 million dead in communist Russia says you are wrong
5 million dead in communist North Korea says you are wrong
3 million dead in communist Cambodia says you are wrong
etc.

And PS - don't equate the God of Christianity to the god of islam.

21 posted on 12/20/2011 11:20:13 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: Notary Sojac
But I am not convinced that if a belief is useful, it must therefore be true.

We have a saying in the army - "If it seems stupid but works it is not stupid."

22 posted on 12/20/2011 11:22:51 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: Notary Sojac
conceive of a universe where supernatural beings exist

I would wager that if we could discuss your conception of supernatural beings, I wouldn't conceive of them either.

All without ever being particularly perturbed about… which apparently are a lot more important to you than they are to me.

I think of it more in terms of meaning, value, what is this incredible cosmos we swim in, what's our relationship to it and what's important about our and my existence. And I see this as what humans who are fortunate enough to survive past middle age tend to think about then, if not sooner.

All of these questions lie in the realm of philosophy and religion. But, I completely accept the validity of your position as well. Just because I can't imagine living an unexamined life, doesn't mean anyone else has to do squat.

I also think that there are many who are transparent to it. They live a deeply connected (religious) life without thinking about it.

The first step is for both views to acknowledge and respect the alternate position; and, if discussion is desired, do so on that basis.

thanks for your reply.

23 posted on 12/20/2011 11:33:21 AM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: SaraJohnson

“One death is a tragedy. One million deaths is a statistic.”

- J. Stalin


24 posted on 12/20/2011 11:38:27 AM PST by elcid1970 ("Deport all Muslims. Nuke Mecca now. Death to Islam means freedom for all mankind.")
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To: Notary Sojac
"I just have no more ability to conceive of a universe where supernatural beings exist than I do to conceive of a universe where 2+3 does not equal 3+2."

What does that have to do with anything? It frequently often happens that some people conceive of things that others do not, not even very smart people. Maybe you should broaden your thinking. "And in my last fifty-plus years on this planet, I have managed to educate myself both formally and informally; serve my country in uniform; steadily advance in my chosen career; marry a lovely woman and stay happily married to her for thirty years; and raise a family."

Well, that will get you at least as far as your grave.

25 posted on 12/20/2011 11:41:10 AM PST by cookcounty (2012 choice: It's the Tea Party or the Slumber Party.)
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To: Paladins Prayer
Well, a long time ago I discovered something about people hostile toward Christianity. Sure, the more cerebral among them may offer philosophical justifications for their opposition, but at the end of the day their antagonism finds its origin in the emotional realm. To be precise, they hate Christianity not so much because they think it’s wrong. They hate it because it tells them they’re wrong: It condemns their sins as sins.

"It" doesn't do anything. Christianity isn't a collective entity that goes around doing things.

Christians do things.

And many, many many people have found that many, many, many Christians like to enact their Christianity - and their Christian judgements - in a very un-Christlike way (while praising Jesus for his tender mercy towards THEM).

And as a result, there are a great many people who have been deeply hurt by these savage and cruel judgements, and have learned to hate Christians and Christianity with a passion that has empowered the Left for amny, many decades, and perhaps to the destruction of this country.

To which these brutal Christians deny their personal behavior, and hide behind the strictest teachings of Christianity, and blame their victims.

But towards whom I sincerely believe Jesus will one day reply: "I know you not."

26 posted on 12/20/2011 12:14:12 PM PST by Talisker (History will show the Illuminati won the ultimate Darwin Award.)
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To: killermosquito
Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false?

Pascal's Wager fails because there is more than one option for belief in God -- and, for all we know, following the wrong religion offends God more than declining to follow any of them (which means that you may indeed have something to lose).

27 posted on 12/20/2011 12:28:45 PM PST by Burkean Buckleyite
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To: Talisker

Or just maybe all the ‘offended’ non-christians like to have their cake and eat it too.

1st I will not deny that the wheat is also sown with tares - God said let them grow together so as not to harm the wheat.
-Only you and God know the condition of your heart[spirit];
-the wheat = true believers;
-tares = pretenders.

2nd Judge not lest you be judged. Any true judgement will come with some form of punishment for evil-doers. But who does the punishing? More often than not it should be left to God and more often than not those decrying their treatment by the ‘christians’ are just playing a whiny wimp-a_s victim poor poor pitiful me card.

3rd The judgement in #2 above often flows in the opposite direction. Why do they hate us? Because they 1st hated Jesus! As we are told in the new testament.

4th Romans 3:23 All have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God. The human heart is wicked and filled with deceit.

5th Romans 10:10 or John 3:16 - all of us were born spiritually dead and need a supernatural act from God in order to be reborn spiritually.

6th If you sincerely seek to know God you will find God. And hopefully in that accept your salvation for therr is no name in Heaven and Earth that can be substituted for Jesus.

I’m praying for you Talisker and all who read this post.


28 posted on 12/20/2011 1:03:07 PM PST by BrandtMichaels
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To: Burkean Buckleyite; Notary Sojac

Hitchens already answered most of the arguments raised here:

This is a concluding statement by him, watch the entire debate in the related links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-k1Jr0fp0dE


29 posted on 12/20/2011 1:15:40 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: Talisker

Often, almost always, the “I will pray for you” types are merely stroking their ego by establishing themselves on a pedestal they paint to pretend to be higher than yours. It simply makes them feel good, self-righteous and validated.

When you realise this, it’s easy to separate the true believers from the charlatans.


30 posted on 12/20/2011 1:29:43 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: James C. Bennett

yeah sure - lots of folks like to stroke their ego with an
annonymous internet posting - whatever!

This means I’m praying for you too James C Bennett.

Saw you are a recent - jan 2010 - FReeper yet I’m sure I debated crevo threads with your from several years ago...

You have not changed a bit.


31 posted on 12/20/2011 1:39:03 PM PST by BrandtMichaels
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To: D-fendr
Thank -you-!

I've been in many a discussion with many a Christian in my lifetime. I'm always open to what they have to say and I've read many of the books of apologetics that have been recommended to me.

But one topic that always runs into a dead end is - "what is the atheist's source for Ultimate Truth??"

I've watched as other atheists try to come up with an answer to this, and frankly I agree with my Christian friends that it's probably not possible.

But few atheists other than me seem to be willing to answer back, "No, I don't have a source of Ultimate Truth, and so what if I don't?"

32 posted on 12/20/2011 1:40:10 PM PST by Notary Sojac (Liberalism: Ideas so good, they have to be mandatory!!)
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To: Paladins Prayer
Yet giving his memoirs a title that is a play on Catch-22 was more fitting than Hitchens ever could have imagined. For his whole world view was a Catch-22: He so desperately wanted to convince the world that a belief in God has led to many bad things, but without a belief in God, it’s impossible to credibly say that things can be “bad.”

Exactly!

33 posted on 12/20/2011 1:42:45 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu.)
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To: BrandtMichaels

An omniscient god has no need for prayers.

Such a god would have known what you yearned for, before you prayed.

But stroke on, as I say, since it pleases you - “good deeds” and “rewards” and all!


34 posted on 12/20/2011 1:44:29 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: elcid1970
The comments to the full article in the New American are interesting. Those who describe themselves as atheists really do seem to believe that atheism grows out of one’s own superior intellectuality.

I was unaware that The New American had atheist readers. At least it has atheists who are registered at the site so they can post responses to articles.

Must be Randians or something.

35 posted on 12/20/2011 1:44:55 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu.)
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To: 2banana
I don't think the body count makes much difference, it's a function of technology. Time travel back to the Thirty Years War with a sufficient load of machine guns, radios, and Zyklon B and I suspect you'd see death tolls that would rank percentagewise with what the Communist regimes have done.

don't equate the God of Christianity to the god of islam

I see them as two of the dozens of gods in which I do not believe. That's not quite the same thing as "equating" them.

36 posted on 12/20/2011 1:50:21 PM PST by Notary Sojac (Liberalism: Ideas so good, they have to be mandatory!!)
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To: Notary Sojac

Excellent reply! You jumped right to the nub.

Yes, absolute or ultimate truth is a difficult question without some source for it; it’s an interesting trip for me even before I get to the source question.

It’s a given for me than everyone acts as if ultimate or absolute/unconditioned truth exists (it’s really impossible not to and avoid an infinite regression of because, because, because..)

However, we can act as if there is an ultimate truth even if there isn’t; usually this discussion ends up at: I choose life over death, choice over no choice.

Of course we would then be taking as our absolute truth or values that life is better than death, choice better than no choice. At first glance this seems a solid place to land.

But, then, most folks I know would say there is a higher value than life that is the basis for their choices, a value they would die for. And off it goes again.

Anyway, I appreciate your reply of: “No, I don’t have a source of Ultimate Truth, and so what if I don’t?”

But...

:)

I would answer that with: No matter what the source or no source, you act as though there is an ultimate truth or value — if only in order to get out the door in the morning. Let’s see what yours is or are and how you arrive at them.

But that’s getting into the examination and philosophical discussion pretty far; and, again in my experience, lots of folks really don’t have an interest in it.

Unlike some others, I don’t think this lack of interest alone signifies a lack of “religion.” I have known those I consider darn near holy who had no interest in examining these questions. One doesn’t preclude the other.

thanks for your interesting reply.


37 posted on 12/20/2011 2:49:14 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: Notary Sojac

Even that Ultimate Truth trick that theists do is merely a line in the sand. It means that beyond that they will not argue. The believer says “X”. The non-believer says “Y”. The believer says, “No, it’s X because God says it’s X!” And for the believer, that’s the end of the argument. If they hold firm to the starting notion that there IS a God and that whatever holy text they reference is correct, they have basically let you know “Beyond this I will not reason with you. Logic means nothing to me.”


38 posted on 12/20/2011 2:56:55 PM PST by A_perfect_lady
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To: James C. Bennett

That whole “praying” thing baffles me too. “Pray for my nephew, he’s very ill.” Why? God’s going to let him die unless he hears enough prayers? God’s not sure and we need to sway him one way or another? God can’t do it on his own? I’m not even being snarky, it really, really, really makes no sense.


39 posted on 12/20/2011 3:02:17 PM PST by A_perfect_lady
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To: A_perfect_lady

Some perhaps, but then you haven’t met Mr. Acquinas.

:)

There are religious folks who haven’t examined their beliefs either. Or at least don’t care much for epistemology.

Logic is a great tool, but it is limited to a subset of reality. We know, or act as though we know, a great deal (some would say the most important things) that cannot be known using reason/logic alone.

We say these thing transcend logic. Not contradict it, not irrational, but go beyond what the tool of logic can be used to know.


40 posted on 12/20/2011 3:05:03 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: 2banana

Non Sequitur.


41 posted on 12/20/2011 3:05:22 PM PST by Burkean Buckleyite
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To: James C. Bennett

We don’t need to invent another religion.
We do need to show God our love, honor and respect
by abiding by His rules.

BTW, in the Bible, He declares that He not only knows our thoughts [even the exact number of hairs on ones head], He knows every thought, action, and mistake we’ll make over the whole course of our lives before living any of it. He, the Creator, knows the beginning from the end and every detail in between. He wrote the DNA codes. He forms the Earth and Universe out of nothing according to His purpose.

Yet, paradoxically, we have free will for our lives in most cases and most of the time [except in infancy, sickness etc]. The prayers are to help us, not God, to build our faith and live our lives from a more blessed, informed, and spiritual perspective.

Good deeds and rewards and all, as described in the Bible, is how we seek and find everything we need to know about God and mankind’s history.

imho & ymmv


42 posted on 12/20/2011 3:44:46 PM PST by BrandtMichaels
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To: BrandtMichaels; A_perfect_lady
As I said earlier, a prayer is meaningless and futile when a believer has to accept his or her god is omniscient - such a god already knows your yearnings, your thoughts, your intentions and your wishes. As a believer, you ought to know this capability of your god. Since "both" parties accept the aforementioned truths, prayer becomes nullified in terms of purpose. If it is sentimental attachment and a habitual action, then prayer is nothing more than mere superstition.

That said, religions, if true, have to be capable of addressing every circumstance of human existence. What I mean by that is as follows: Salvation - are stillborn children automatically "saved"? If a human is cloned, just as we know mammals have been (Dolly the Sheep, for example), will this entity have a "soul"? How does your faith address such anomalies? A lapse in addressing exceptional circumstances will be the evidence for the non-universality of the said faith.

People believe many things:

  "Nay, and of hearts which follow other gods
In simple faith, their prayers arise to me,
O Kunti’s Son! though they pray wrongfully:
For I am the Receiver and the Lord
Of every sacrifice, which these know not."
 
- Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: IX, Lines: 92-96.

 

 The Bhagavad-Gita.
 
Chapter XII
 
 
ARJUNA:

LORD! of the men who serve Thee—true in heart—
As God revealed; and of the men who serve,
Worshipping Thee Unrevealed, Unbodied, far,
Which take the better way of faith and life?
 
KRISHNA:

Whoever serve Me—as I show Myself—
        5
Constantly true, in full devotion fixed,
These hold I very holy. But who serve—
Worshipping Me The One, The Invisible,
The Unrevealed, Unnamed, Unthinkable,
Uttermost, All-pervading, Highest, Sure—         10
Who thus adore Me, mastering their sense,
Of one set mind to all, glad in all good,
These blessed souls come unto Me.
        Yet, hard
The travail is for whoso bend their minds         15
To reach th’ Unmanifest. That viewless path
Shall scarce be trod by man bearing his flesh!
But whereso any doeth all his deeds,
Renouncing self in Me, full of Me, fixed
To serve only the Highest, night and day         20
Musing on Me—him will I swiftly lift
Forth from life’s ocean of distress and death
Whose soul clings fast to Me. Cling thou to Me!
Clasp Me with heart and mind! so shalt thou dwell
Surely with Me on high. But if thy thought         25
Droops from such height; if thou be’st weak to set
Body and soul upon Me constantly,
Despair not! give Me lower service! seek
To read Me, worshipping with steadfast will;
And, if thou canst not worship steadfastly,         30
Work for Me, toil in works pleasing to Me!
For he that laboreth right for love of Me
Shall finally attain! But, if in this
Thy faint heart fails, bring Me thy failure! find
Refuge in Me! let fruits of labor go,         35
Renouncing all for Me, with lowliest heart,
So shalt thou come; for, though to know is more
Than diligence, yet worship better is
Than knowing, and renouncing better still
Near to renunciation—very near—         40
Dwelleth Eternal Peace!
        Who hateth nought
Of all which lives, living himself benign,
Compassionate, from arrogance exempt,
Exempt from love of self, unchangeable         45
By good or ill; patient, contented, firm
In faith, mastering himself, true to his word,
Seeking Me, heart and soul; vowed unto Me,—
That man I love! Who troubleth not his kind,
And is not troubled by them; clear of wrath,         50
Living too high for gladness, grief, or fear,
That man I love! 

Who, dwelling quiet-eyed,
Stainless, serene, well-balanced, unperplexed,
Working with Me, yet from all works detached,
That man I love! 

Who, fixed in faith on Me,
        55
Dotes upon none, scorns none; rejoices not,
And grieves not, letting good and evil hap
Light when it will, and when it will depart,
That man I love! 

Who, unto friend and foe
Keeping an equal heart, with equal mind         60
Bears shame and glory, with an equal peace
Takes heat and cold, pleasure and pain; abides
Quit of desires, hears praise or calumny
In passionless restraint, unmoved by each,
Linked by no ties to earth, steadfast in Me,
        65
That man I love! 

But most of all I love
Those happy ones to whom ’tis life to live
In single fervid faith and love unseeing,
Eating the blessèd Amrit of my Being!
 
Here endeth Chapter XII. of the Bhagavad-Gîtâ,
        70
entitled “Bhakityôgô,” or “The Book of
the Religion of Faith”.


“Here shall no end be hindered, no hope marred
No loss be feared: faith—yea, a little faith
Shall save thee from the anguish of thy dread.”
 
-          Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: II, Lines 140-142.
 
ARJUNA:

“And what road goeth he who, having faith,
Fails, Krishna! in the striving; falling back
From holiness, missing the perfect rule?
Is he not lost, straying from Brahma’s light,
Like the vain cloud, which floats ’twixt earth and Heaven
When lightning splits it, and it vanisheth?
Fain would I hear thee answer me herein,
Since, Krishna! none save thou can clear the doubt.”
 
KRISHNA:

“He is not lost, thou Son of Prithâ! No!
Nor earth, nor heaven is forfeit, even for him,
Because no heart that holds one right desire
Treadeth the road of loss! He who should fail,
Desiring righteousness, cometh at death
Unto the Region of the Just.”
 
-          Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: VI, Lines 125-138.
 
  “Of many thousand mortals, one, perchance,
Striveth for Truth; and of those few that strive—
Nay, and rise high—one only—here and there—
Knoweth Me, as I am, the very Truth.”
 
-          Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: VII, Lines 8-11.
 
  “There be those, too, whose knowledge, turned aside
By this desire or that, gives them to serve
Some lower gods, with various rites, constrained
By that which mouldeth them. Unto all such—
Worship what shrine they will, what shapes, in faith—
’Tis I who give them faith! I am content!
The heart thus asking favor from its God,
Darkened but ardent, hath the end it craves,
The lesser blessing—but ’tis I who give!
Yet soon is withered what small fruit they reap
Those men of little minds, who worship so,
Go where they worship, passing with their gods.
But Mine come unto me! Blind are the eyes
Which deem th’ Unmanifested manifest,
Not comprehending Me in my true Self!
Imperishable, viewless, undeclared,
Hidden behind my magic veil of shows,
I am not seen by all; I am not known—
Unborn and changeless—to the idle world.
But I, Arjuna! know all things which were,
And all which are, and all which are to be,
Albeit not one among them knoweth Me!”
 
-          Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: VII, Lines 69-90.
 
  “Nay, and of hearts which follow other gods
In simple faith, their prayers arise to me,
O Kunti’s Son! though they pray wrongfully:
For I am the Receiver and the Lord
Of every sacrifice, which these know not
Rightfully; so they fall to earth again!”
 
-          Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: IX, Lines 92-97.
 
 
“Yet not by the Vedas, nor from sacrifice,
Nor penance, nor gift-giving, nor with prayer
Shall any so behold, as thou hast seen!
Only by fullest service, perfect faith,
And uttermost surrender am I known
And seen, and entered into, Indian Prince!
Who doeth all for Me; who findeth Me
In all; adoreth always; loveth all
Which I have made, and Me, for Love’s sole end,
That man, Arjuna! unto Me doth wend.”
 
-          Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: XI, Lines 332-344.
 


43 posted on 12/20/2011 3:55:17 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: D-fendr
"Transcending logic" is a nonsensical phrase. It means "logic doesn't give me the answer I wanted, so..."

And before you even bother engaging with me, be warned: I don't care what Aquinas said. I don't care what Kant said. I don't care what Pascal said. I don't care what C.S. Lewis said. I don't care what any dead philosopher, saint, poet, or jesuit said. What I see and what I think are IT. You can tell me what you see and what you think but it won't matter to me.

44 posted on 12/20/2011 4:36:32 PM PST by A_perfect_lady
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To: elcid1970
The god that says “kill the infidels” is not the G-d of Creation but a different and dark being not of a divine nature and a false deity the belief in which only leads astray.

But How do you know that?

Give one objective reason why "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger" is wrong.

There has to be some independent moral principle.

And cultures across the planet, worshiping many gods, have independently come up with something close to "Do not do to your neighbour what you would find hateful done to you."

45 posted on 12/20/2011 4:44:01 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (New gets old. Steampunk is always cool)
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To: Oztrich Boy

1 Samuel 15:3, for instance. How is this “moral”?


46 posted on 12/20/2011 4:53:43 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: Paladins Prayer
The author makes the point that Hitchens wasn't really an intellectual. He just played one on TV.

Hard to say. I wonder about that myself: was Hitchens much of a thinker or wasn't he?

It's hard to know just how seriously to take the political and book chat he produced.

Maybe Hitchens wasn't an original or real thinker, but he managed to be a little more thoughtful about some things than other opinionizers.

Fortunately, one can call him a "man of letters" and leave it at that.

47 posted on 12/20/2011 4:54:49 PM PST by x
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To: Burkean Buckleyite; Notary Sojac

I believe Pascal’s logic is a legitimate argument against atheism. My hope is that it would make an atheist reconsider his or her beliefs.

I believe God is aware of those who seek Him and those He wants added to His kingdom will find Him.


48 posted on 12/20/2011 5:01:25 PM PST by killermosquito (Buffalo, Detroit (and eventually France) is what you get when liberalism runs its course.)
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To: A_perfect_lady
What I see and what I think are IT. You can tell me what you see and what you think but it won't matter to me.

So why not take your logic ball and go home?

49 posted on 12/20/2011 5:06:08 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: jwalsh07

I’m just being honest.


50 posted on 12/20/2011 5:51:43 PM PST by A_perfect_lady
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