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Is God dead? Atheism finds a market in U.S
Reuters ^ | 10/18/06 | Michael Conlon

Posted on 10/18/2006 5:25:05 PM PDT by wagglebee

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A fresh wave of atheistic books has hit the market this autumn, some climbing onto best-seller lists in what proponents see as a backlash against the way religion is entwined in politics.

"Religion is fragmenting the human community," said Sam Harris, author of "Letter to a Christian Nation," No. 11 on the New York Times nonfiction list on October 15.

There is a "huge visibility and political empowerment of religion. President George W. Bush uses his first veto to deny funding for stem cell research and scientists everywhere are horrified," he said in an interview.

Religious polarization is part of many world conflicts, he said, including those involving Israel and Iran, "but it's never discussed. I consider it the story of our time, what religion is doing to us. But there are very few people calling a spade a spade."

His "Letter," a blunt 96-page pocket-sized book condensing arguments against belief in quick-fire volleys, appeared on the Times list just ahead of "The God Delusion," by Richard Dawkins, a scientist at Oxford University and long-time atheist.

In addition, Harris' "The End of Faith," a 2004 work which prompted his "Letter" as a response to critics, is holding the No. 13 Times spot among nonfiction paperbacks.

Publishers Weekly said the business has seen "a striking number of impassioned critiques of religion -- any religion, but Christianity in particular," a probably inevitable development given "the super-soaking of American politics and culture with religion in recent years."

Paul Kurtz, founder of the Council for Secular Humanism and publisher of Free Inquiry magazine, said, "The American public is really disturbed about the role of religion in U.S. government policy, particularly with the Bush administration and the breakdown of church-state separation, and secondly with the conflict in the Mideast."

They are turning to free thought and secular humanism and publishers have recognized a taste for that, he added.

"I've published 45 books, many critical of religion," Kurtz said. "I think in America we have this notion of tolerance ... it was considered bad taste to criticize religion. But I think now there are profound questions about age-old hatreds."

The Rev. James Halstead, chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at Chicago's DePaul University, says the phenomenon is really "a ripple caused by the book publishing industry."

"These books cause no new thought or moral commitment. The arguments are centuries old," he told Reuters. Some believers, he added, "are no better. Their conception of God, the Divine-Human-World relationship are much too simplistic and materialistic."

Too often, he said, the concept "God" is misused "to legitimate the self and to beat up other people ... to rehash that same old theistic and atheistic arguments is a waste of time, energy and paper."

Dr. Timothy Larsen, professor of theology at Wheaton College in Illinois, says any growth in interest in atheism is a reflection of the strength of religion -- the former being a parasite that feeds off the latter.

That happened late in the 19th century America when an era of intense religious conviction gave rise to voices like famed agnostic Robert Ingersoll, he said.

For Christianity, he said, "It's very important for people of faith to realize how unsettling and threatening their posture and rhetoric and practice can feel to others. So it's an opportunity for the church to look at itself and say 'we have done things ... that make other people uncomfortable.' It is an opportunity for dialogue."

Larsen, author of the soon-to-be-published "Crisis of Doubt," added that in some sense atheism is "a disappointment with God and with the church. Some of these are people we wounded that we should be handling pastorally rather than with aggressive knockdown debate."

These are also probably some of the same people Harris says he's hearing from after his two books.

"Many, many readers feel utterly isolated in their communities," he said. "They are surrounded by cult members, from their point of view, and are unable to disclose their feelings."

"I get a lot of e-mail just expressing incredible relief that they are not alone ... relieved that I'm writing something that couldn't be said," Harris added.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: anncoulter; anncoulterisright; antichristian; atheism; atheismandstate; christianbashing; christianity; churchofliberalism; existentialism; god; godless; intolerantatheists; islaminamerica; modernfools; moralabsolutes; nihilism; religionisobsolete; religiousintolerance; secularjihad; socialclubs
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To: tacticalogic

Perhaps I've tarred too many with my broad brush.


451 posted on 10/22/2006 5:10:41 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: antiRepublicrat
But Christians are still stuck with the problem of not being able to follow the path to enlightenment.

You are SO right!

We want to be on the NARROW 'path', NOW that big, wide one!

452 posted on 10/22/2006 5:11:44 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Elsie
NOW NOT
453 posted on 10/22/2006 5:12:48 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Elsie

[Speel check is about useless!]


454 posted on 10/22/2006 5:13:16 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Elsie

The Constitution is the founding document of this nation. The Declaration of Independence simply broke the colonies away from England. Please point out where, in the Constitution it says we are a Christian nation. For that matter, please point out in the DoI where it says we are a Christian nation.


455 posted on 10/22/2006 6:20:35 AM PDT by Junior (Losing faith in humanity one person at a time.)
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To: Elsie

Perhaps. I'm seeing a little more enthusiasm for mixing theology and politics than I think is wise. Hyperbole is the stuff of political debates. When the language and tactics of politics find it's way into theology it is corrosive. I think the original idea of "separation of church and state" was more for the protection of religion from government and politics. That line is not absolute by any means, but I think in needs to be crossed with some trepidation.


456 posted on 10/22/2006 7:10:00 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Junior

Do I have too?


457 posted on 10/22/2006 7:09:10 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Junior
 

To: JHBowden
I think that you are missing the depth of Christian beliefs that were present/needed at our founding.

There is some quote by (one of the Adams?) stating that our form of government is only meant for a Christian, moral people. (I probably mangled this, but its close).

We are living on a reservoir of Christian faith that founded this great nation. Sadly, that reservoir is declining, hopefully it can be turned around.

398 posted on 10/20/2006 11:37:45 PM CDT by hripka (There are a lot of smart people out there in FReeperLand)

 
 
Shouldn't you be having this conversation  with hripka?
 
 
It was this that got you started posting a doocument from the US Government, that you think makes us NOT a 'Christian' nation.
 
 
BTW, #398 never CLAIMED that we are a 'Christian' Nation, merely that Christian BELIEFS and a Christian MAJORITY. and Christian FAITH were a driving
 (but now declining) force with which to be reckoned.

458 posted on 10/22/2006 7:16:55 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Junior
Why on earth would there even be a question about this government way back in 1796 being 'Christian'? There had to be a concern for it to be required writing in a treaty that the 'government' was not a Christian government.

So obviously since a diplomat wrote the language and he was the one who was dealing with the 'Mussulmen' knew they would not sign a treaty without the explicit words that the US government was not pushing Christianity on the Mussulmen.

England on the other hand was a monarchy and the monarch's duty was and is protector of the Faith. US was/is NOT a monarchy. That is NOT disputing that fact that the Constitution is very Biblical, especially that part where rights endowed by the Creator no man/government can take.

Those words set this nation apart from all other nations, which is what liberalism seeks to replace themselves as giver and taker of 'rights'.
459 posted on 10/23/2006 12:13:28 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts
So you're saying, just like Elsie, that no matter what the official word was, and not matter the lack of evidence to the contrary, the treaty was actually a lie to appease the Moslems.

Dream on, little man.

460 posted on 10/23/2006 6:34:29 AM PDT by Junior (Losing faith in humanity one person at a time.)
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To: Elsie
BTW, #398 never CLAIMED that we are a 'Christian' Nation, merely that Christian BELIEFS and a Christian MAJORITY. and Christian FAITH were a driving (but now declining) force with which to be reckoned.

But the very core of conservatism is that the Constitution was created to protect us from the tryanny of the majority.

461 posted on 10/23/2006 6:38:18 AM PDT by js1138 (The absolute seriousness of someone who is terminally deluded.)
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To: Junior
NO the treaty differentiated the type of government the US was as opposed to a monarchy.

The US government was NOT by design to require any it made treaties with to be or become Christian. Remember alllll rights endowed by the Creator allows the individual to believe whatever they so choose, hardly a function of government. Yet even this day government claims there is no room in the school for "GOD".

Think maybe they made a mistake and should have demanded the "Moslems" to convert? (sarcasm)
462 posted on 10/23/2006 6:41:40 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts

Which version of God do you think the government should teach in school? Yours, or someone else's?


463 posted on 10/23/2006 8:10:15 AM PDT by js1138 (The absolute seriousness of someone who is terminally deluded.)
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To: js1138

And your point is what?


464 posted on 10/23/2006 12:09:30 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Elsie

Should public schools allot time for prayers for the Messiah and Returning Lord, the Rev. Moon? What exactly would you want taught in schools?


465 posted on 10/23/2006 12:13:25 PM PDT by js1138 (The absolute seriousness of someone who is terminally deluded.)
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To: js1138

History would be nice.


466 posted on 10/23/2006 1:00:01 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Elsie

I had history in high school. Among other documents, we were required to read The Age of Reason.


467 posted on 10/23/2006 1:10:15 PM PDT by js1138 (The absolute seriousness of someone who is terminally deluded.)
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To: js1138

That one that endows US with the rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, after all He did create every soul. Seems the least we as the most blessed nation in all of history could do is to acknowledge His existence.


468 posted on 10/23/2006 7:46:38 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Mrs. Don-o
The Second Person of the Trinity, eternally existent Word of the Father omniscient, assumed a human nature etc. etc.

So yes: the Omniscient had to learn to say "Ma-ma."

Restating your self-contradictory thesis doesn't make it rational. Were you hoping to paraphrase nonsense until you came across some formulation which resonated with me?

Once again: "X and not X" is contradictory. Your claim that there has existed a being which is both omniscient and not omniscient is absurd on its face, and you have made no attempt to deal with this other than offering gems to the effect of "Dude, life is a paradox."

Since you seem to be a real postmodernist, I suppose that doesn't bother you, and there's no point in discussion. Don't be surprised, however, when you meet people who won't listen to your "thinking is overrated" and be impressed.
469 posted on 10/23/2006 8:12:08 PM PDT by aNYCguy
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To: aNYCguy; Aquinasfan; Frank Sheed
The doctrine of the Incarnation does not ignore or violate the law of contradiction (x cannot equal non-x.) That law says that a proposition and its contrary cannot both the true at the same time, to the same degree and in the same manner.

This logical law is not violated in Jesus Christ, because he has two natures, Divine and human.

A reasonable analogy would be, say, that a virus can be alive and not-alive: not-alive because it has no cytoplasm, cell menbrane, mitochondia or organelles, it has no power of respiration, no way to absorb nutrition, and it does not grow; yet it is in another sense alive because it can use the DNA of another cell to replicate itself.

In the Incarnation of Christ, you have two different natures in one person: natures which are not confused and do not mix. So in one sense He is divine, omniscient, without beginning or end, and outside of time and space; and in another sense He is human, a learner like we are, came into being at conception, and subject to the plodding and confining limitations of time and space.

This is unprecendented; this is astonishing; but this does not violate the laws of reason.

As for "postmodernism" --- ha. Far from it. You are apparently unfamiliar with the way that wrestling with the concept of Christ's person and natures, played a seminal role in the development of Western Civilizations's concept of personhood.

Your verbal scorn makes it difficult to engage in an exchange of information. If you would be so reasonable as to look into the actual doctrine, you would not be so contemptuous.

470 posted on 10/24/2006 7:03:18 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Fides et Ratio)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
In the Incarnation of Christ, you have two different natures in one person: natures which are not confused and do not mix. So in one sense He is divine, omniscient, without beginning or end, and outside of time and space; and in another sense He is human.

True. I think that a lot of people make the mistake of believing that there must be a one-to-one correspondence between personhood and nature. "Nature" simply means what a thing is. So billions of different people can share the same (human) nature.

It does not necessarily follow though that one person cannot have two natures. We may not see any examples in nature, aside from Christ, but we cannot conclude that this is necessarily impossible.

God is pure spirit (purely non-material) and pure actuality. He sustains all creatures in existence. It is certainly within his power to take on the nature of an infinitely inferior creature in addition to his own nature. Whether this has happened in history would only be knowable to us through divine revelation, as is in fact the case with Christ.

471 posted on 10/24/2006 8:39:25 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: Aquinasfan; aNYCguy

I was reading that Western Civilization's concept of personhood developed directly from the debates on Christ's person and nature. It's hard to wrap one's head around this, for instance that Taoist and Vedic thought, though they produced great civilizations, never produced the concept of the person which includes bodily integrity, psychological continuity and moral imputability.

It seems that they tend to shade off personhood into human collectivity on the one hand, and serial reincarnations on the other, concepts which inevitably result in an attenuated sense of individual human dignity and the rational soul.

I's like to look into this more, since I'm at the learning-the-alphabet level, just catching a limpse of it. It seems to impinge on the West's "Dialog of Civilizations" with, for instance, Islam --- too bad if we've shrugged off the truths of our own civilization!


472 posted on 10/24/2006 9:58:32 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Fides et Ratio)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

See Matthew 7:6.

Francis


473 posted on 10/24/2006 4:52:56 PM PDT by Frank Sheed (Tá brón orainn. Níl Spáinnis againn anseo.)
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To: Junior
On the contrary, Junior, you are called upon to submit evidence for how the doctrine of evolution can substitute for the equality of man our founders set in the founding documents of America. Our founders based the very concept of this experiment upon their belief in the truth that God created ALL in His Image, and endowed to ALL free will and freedom of expression, in equal measure, and thus the defense of these had its basis in not only Justice but in Reality.

It falls to you to name any other religious belief system which espouses the doctrines of Liberty and Justice for All which are upheld by the Judeo-Christian ethic. Name for us if you can any other way Individual Egalitarian Freedom (democracy itself a political framework for this) can be defended as sacrosanct other than as given by God the Creator, as revealed by His Word.

Without Christianity there could be no America and no Constitution: In the Bible alone we find the standard of the sacredness of ALL human life - each person made in the very image of God the Creator, and life a gift from Him alone; here also exclusively do we find the logical reasoning for the protection of every citizen's privacy and property, and thus the only rational argument for both self-defense and a system of justice that is actually just.

Without belief in an absolute moral law as given by an Absolute Moral Law Giver, the founders of this nation had no cause to rebel against a tyrant. What is tyranny if there is no good and evil? If we humans are mere accidents of Nature's undirected course what is Justice? Likewise without this Absolute Standard - There is a Creator and He has revealed His Purposes in Creation - there is no rationale for even attempting a system of government the likes of which this world had never seen. It was with "a firm reliance on Divine Providence" that the attempt was made, and guided by the principles found solely in the Scriptures this small band of men sought not another earthly throne upon which they themselves would sit as kings, but sought under The Divine Rulership to ensure that all who followed them would enjoy the equal benefits of His Granted Liberty, by a system of justice based upon His Law. These founders did not seek to establish Liberty, but to 1) remove themselves from the oppressor of this their sacred freedom, and 2) to organize a new system of human government that would uphold it, thus establishing justice on the earth - as seen through Scripture alone as already operating from eternity past into eternity future in the Kingdom of Heaven. Tell me another set of men, or another earthly kingdom that has, apart from Christ Jesus, even wanted to attempt such a noble mission.

Pledging their very lives - counting the foundation of this grand experiment worthy of such sacrifice - and what they themselves referred to as their "sacred honor," (regard due not to kings but to God) these believers in a Higher Law prevailed by faith in what was as yet unseen, in hope not found elsewhere.

I repeat, the onus is upon you to explain how America could have been established any other way but in The Way.

474 posted on 10/25/2006 2:44:11 AM PDT by .30Carbine (PS - When you finally lose faith in that last man you will find the faith that does not fail.)
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To: Dimensio
You have provided no calculations to support your assertion.

>>Then what proof do you have that random events caused the order that we see all about us?

Please reference some of these physical processes,

1. Gravitational coupling constant: If larger, then short stellar lifespans, if smaller, then no heavy element production.
2. Strong nuclear force coupling constant: if larger, nuclei essential for life are unstable, if smaller, no elements other than hydrogen.
. . .
7. Expansion rate of the universe: if larger, no galaxy formation, if smaller, universe collapses prior to star formation.
. . .
25. Parent star color: if redder, photosynthetic response would be insufficient, if bluer, photosynthetic response would be insufficient.
. . .
30. Orbital eccentricity: if too great, seasonal temperatures would be too extreme.
. . .
ETC.

475 posted on 10/27/2006 8:28:45 PM PDT by hripka (There are a lot of smart people out there in FReeperLand)
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To: Junior
From Salon interview of (atheist) Camille Paglia, October 27, 2006:

In the history of mankind, the benefits that religion has brought to society in shaping behavior and moral choice are overwhelming in comparison to the negatives, which anyone can list -- like religious wars and bigotry. Without religion, we'd have anarchy.

476 posted on 10/27/2006 8:31:51 PM PDT by hripka (There are a lot of smart people out there in FReeperLand)
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To: wagglebee; jwalsh07; x

"Secular atheism" only works in very wise, intelligent and humble hands, in the sense of being aware that the interplay of religious faith and the public square has at once great benefits in some contexts, and great negativity in others. There is no grand unified theory readily at hand. If you combine "secular atheism" with hubris, you get negative results. One size does not fit all things. The planet is a complex place. JMO.


477 posted on 10/27/2006 8:34:27 PM PDT by Torie
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To: Junior
I can claim the same rights I would if there were a God.

Really, based on what? You're evolution from random slime?

Rights are simply a product of reason and flow from the universal "Golden Rule."

Be really careful where you are going with this.

With no belief in God, someone can come up with a few reasons to practice genocide. Can't you? Its been done before.

478 posted on 10/27/2006 8:38:36 PM PDT by hripka (There are a lot of smart people out there in FReeperLand)
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To: Dimensio
You are appealing to a logical fallacy.

Explain please. Read my tagline.

479 posted on 10/27/2006 8:40:27 PM PDT by hripka (There are a lot of smart people out there in FReeperLand)
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To: jennyp
Ann is simply wrong-headed. Once man's connection to reality is denied, you can reason yourself to anywhere. Whether that "divine" is part of reality or merely the fantasy result of falling into the trap of reification/anthropomorphism, is a whole separate issue. It is not fundamental to morality.

Read post #478

480 posted on 10/27/2006 8:43:55 PM PDT by hripka (There are a lot of smart people out there in FReeperLand)
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To: Torie
"Secular atheism" only works in very wise, intelligent and humble hands, in the sense of being aware that the interplay of religious faith and the public square has at once great benefits in some contexts, and great negativity in others. There is no grand unified theory readily at hand. If you combine "secular atheism" with hubris, you get negative results. One size does not fit all things. The planet is a complex place.

I'd have to agree there. You might be interested in Brooke Allen's new book about the founders. She's right about a lot of the details, but not always correct or temperate in her interpretations. Her animus against the "religious right" blinds her to some of the complexities and ambiguities in the founders' America and our own.

Faith and doubt, religion and irreligion aren't sufficient in themselves to govern our lives. They're tied together in a knot that one can't simply untie or sever. You can't be all faith or all skepticism but need one to temper the other. A humanistic "faith in Mankind" has the problems of other religions. In the 20th century, it was a lot more dangerous than the older religions.

All we have gained then by our unbelief
Is a life of doubt diversified by faith,
For one of faith diversified by doubt:
We called the chess-board white-we call it black.

Robert Browning

I'm not sure Browning is entirely right -- people lose much when they lose religion -- but he's captures the interdependence of belief and skepticism quite well, and the very questionable benefit of atheism.

481 posted on 10/28/2006 9:25:49 AM PDT by x
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To: x

Thanks for the book idea. I will buy it.


482 posted on 10/28/2006 9:30:59 AM PDT by Torie
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To: hripka

You are asserting that because you believe the formation of the universe is unlikely without intelligent intervention, that intelligent intervention must have been involved. This is known as "appeal to ignorance". You are asserting that your lack of an alternative explanation is evidence for the explanation that you are putting forward. This is not a logical method of reasoning. You must provide positive evidence to support your claim in order for your claims to be credible.


483 posted on 10/28/2006 10:01:54 AM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: hripka
Thanks for the ping. Unfortunately I've given up on dhimmitude, so I don't think I'll be posting here anymore.

You can find me at DarwinCentral.org.

484 posted on 10/28/2006 5:14:44 PM PDT by jennyp (The ennui of the short-timer)
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To: Dimensio; Elsie; Aquinasfan; kittymyrib; Jorge; .30Carbine
You are asserting that because you believe the formation of the universe is unlikely without intelligent intervention, that intelligent intervention must have been involved.

No, I am saying that the formation of the universe is IMPOSSIBLE without intelligent intervention.

This is known as "appeal to ignorance".

Really? Perhaps I wasn't clear enough then. We are talking about the FORMation of the universe. From what?

A is from A, B is from B, A and B make AB.

Intelligent intervention forms life.

You are asserting that your lack of an alternative explanation is evidence for the explanation that you are putting forward. This is not a logical method of reasoning.

What? Because I can't explain that some primordial ooze can self-organize, THAT's why I can't claim intelligent intervention? ? ?

Occam's razor is also coming to mind.

You must provide positive evidence to support your claim in order for your claims to be credible.

DNA has information. Cells replicate. Who/What wrote the information? One of many examples.

Are you telling me that YOU have positive evidence to support your claim that order arises from disorder?

485 posted on 11/06/2006 8:28:31 PM PST by hripka (There are a lot of smart people out there in FReeperLand)
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To: hripka

I'm glad you thought of me in pinging others to your post. Thank you. Keep up the Good Work!


486 posted on 11/07/2006 1:19:59 AM PST by .30Carbine ("To be always relevant, you have to say things which are eternal." ~Simone Weil)
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To: x

I'm not sure Browning is entirely right -- people lose much when they lose religion -- but he's captures the interdependence of belief and skepticism quite well, and the very questionable benefit of atheism.
 
This guy did......

Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

"By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported,—and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become,—that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us,—that the Gospels cannot be proven to have been written simultaneously with the events,—that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eye witnesses;—by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. The fact that many fake religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wildfire had some weight with me. But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels. But I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct."

( Charles Darwin in his Autobiography of Charles Darwin, Dover Publications, 1992, p. 62. )


Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

"I think that generally (& more & more as I grow older), but not always, that an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind."

( Quoted from Adrian Desmond and James Moore, Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991, p. 636. )


 
 
 
 
 

NIV 1 Timothy 1:20-21
 20.  Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge,
 21.  which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.   Grace be with you.

 
NIV Proverbs 4:13
   Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.
 

NIV Hebrews 3:6
   But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
 

NIV Hebrews 3:14
   We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.
 

NIV Hebrews 6:11
   We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure.
 
 
NIV Hebrews 12:3
   Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
 
 
NIV 2 Timothy 2:11-13
 11.  Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;
 12.  if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;
 13.  if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
 

NIV 2 Peter 2:20-21
 20.  If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.
 21.  It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.
 
 
 
NIV 2 John 1:8
  Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.
 

NIV Jude 1:21
   Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
 

NIV Revelation 2:25
   Only hold on to what you have until I come.
 

NIV Revelation 3:11
   I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.


487 posted on 11/07/2006 3:37:30 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: wagglebee
"Religion is fragmenting the human community," said Sam Harris, author of "Letter to a Christian Nation," No. 11 on the New York Times nonfiction list on October 15.

2 Timothy 4
1. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
2. Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.
3. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
4. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

488 posted on 11/07/2006 3:40:52 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: My2Cents
Oh boy...Not another evolution thread. ;-)

Nah...

A re-incarnation one!

"Ye MUST be born again!"

489 posted on 11/07/2006 3:41:59 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: hripka

I thought this thread had whimpered away into the night!


490 posted on 11/07/2006 3:44:15 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: jennyp

But then you won't find out how the rest of us wonderful folks are doing!


491 posted on 11/07/2006 3:46:17 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Elsie
I thought this thread had whimpered away into the night!

While there are always time constraints (I only have time once a week or so to visit FR), we must always fight for what we believe in.

492 posted on 11/14/2006 7:35:36 PM PST by hripka (There are a lot of smart people out there in FReeperLand)
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To: Elsie
I thought this thread had whimpered away into the night!

While there are always time constraints (I only have time once a week or so to visit FR), we must always fight for what we believe in.

493 posted on 11/14/2006 7:35:45 PM PST by hripka (There are a lot of smart people out there in FReeperLand)
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To: Elsie
I thought this thread had whimpered away into the night!

While there are always time constraints (I only have time once a week or so to visit FR), we must always fight for what we believe in.

494 posted on 11/14/2006 7:36:00 PM PST by hripka (There are a lot of smart people out there in FReeperLand)
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To: wagglebee
God is not dead.. Friedrich Nietzsche is...
495 posted on 11/14/2006 7:39:29 PM PST by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperboles)
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To: x
I have read about half of Brooke Allen's book, "Moral Minority - Our Skeptical Founding Fathers," and was struck by her take that Washington was probably the least religious of all. Unlike Jefferson and Franklin, it is not clear that Washington believed a supreme being, perferding to use terms like "providence," ala the terminology of a pagan stoic. The word Christ only passed his lips twice, and he assiduously avoided using the word "God." In short, per the author's take, Washington is about as religious as I am.

Do you have an opinion on this?

I think it fair to say that her view is that the founding fathers were the creatures of the enlightenment, and this nation was the product thereof, with religion in the sense used today, takinig a seat way in the back, and Christianity qua Christianity, not even in the vehicle. I find her persuasive on this. How about you?

496 posted on 11/19/2006 4:32:05 PM PST by Torie
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To: Torie

It's a take, for political purpose.


497 posted on 11/19/2006 4:33:39 PM PST by cornelis
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To: cornelis

Yes, she is grating in her slams on the modern religious right as the Great Satan, and the evil Rasputin aka Rove manipulating them for his execrable secular purposes. But one can just skim over that junk. That doesn't interest me.


498 posted on 11/19/2006 4:38:02 PM PST by Torie
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To: antiRepublicrat
As Robert Heinlein said "One man's theology is another man's belly laugh".
499 posted on 11/19/2006 4:41:35 PM PST by RedStateRocker (Nuke Mecca, Deport all illegals, abolish the IRS, ATF and DEA)
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To: Torie
Allen is looking at some of the main figures of the Revolution, behind them, both in time and in the background of there own era, there were certainly more than a few pious and orthodox Christians, and after them there was a widespread reaction to 18th century skepticism and the French Revolution that was assumed to have been its product. She deals with all that, but I don't know if she gives those other trends their due.

I don't have a quarrel with much of what she says about the Founders. She comes closer to Washington and Jefferson than those who argue that such men were orthodox believers, but if you compare her views to those of 20th century thinkers who returned to religion, she looks rather naive about the secular prospects.

I would like to have heard more about the problems of the secular project and the disillusionment with it than Allen provides. In other words, to what extent was skepticism or deism or irreligion or secularism "a god that failed," and a turn back to a more orthodox creed inevitable? Allen does a good job in countering those who want to paint the Founding in wholly religious colors but I wouldn't want to write religion wholly out of early American history.

There's a good review of the Novaks' book about Washington in December's Liberty Magazine. Unfortunately it's not online, though a blog post is. Rowe takes the Novaks to task for arguing that if Washington wasn't a Deist, then he had to have been an Orthodox Protestant Christian.

For Rowe, Washington certainly wasn't a Deist, but Theism ("the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe" or the "belief in the existence of a god or gods") doesn't necessarily imply acceptance of Orthodox Christian dogmas. It was similar with Jefferson, who was neither a Deist, nor an unbeliever, nor a Christian in the doctrinally orthodox sense of the word. Washington, though, was cooler towards Christianity and the figure of Jesus, than Jefferson was.

Rowe argues that Washington's reference to Jehova in his letter to the Hebrew congregation of Savannah, Georgia doesn't imply a belief in the biblical deity any more than his mentioning the "Great Spirit" in letters to the Cherokee is an endorsement of Native American religion.

I don't have any authoritative answer to this, but there is a parallel between Washington and Lincoln: both believed in a "Providence" that ruled the universe, and both maintained a distance from Christianity as a belief in Christ's divinity. For Lincoln, a strongly Calvinist background colored his thinking. Washington's heritage was 18th century Anglican, and thus quite different in its emotional coloring, but both men stood outside Christianity as it's usually understood.

500 posted on 11/20/2006 1:37:57 PM PST by x
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