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2005-12-14 19:39:26.475597+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

crasch had a link to Volokh thread on hostility to atheism in the United States:

This strikes me as quite troubling — 50% of Americans have an unfavorable view of people whose great sin, as best I can tell, is that they refuse to take on faith what others are willing to take on faith. I'm pleased that hostility to Jews and Catholics seems to be much less than what it used to be in the past. I hope the same will soon happen as to Muslim Americans and Evangelical Christians; that one may disagree with some Evangelical Christians' political agenda, for instance, is surely no reason to view them unfavorably as people (just as one's disagreement with most American Jews' liberalism is no reason for viewing them unfavorably). Yet the high level of disapproval of atheists should make us worry about American religious harmony and tolerance more broadly.

I don't necessarily want to re-stir the "religion is good/bad" discussion of my Belief vs Theory musings, but I do find it telling that a difficulty to accept statements without proof or disprovability arouses that much ire in the general populace and makes, for instance, one ineligible for public office in the eyes of most.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-12-15 01:04:08.841671+00 by: ziffle

I am using version 6.029 of IE - it cuts off the right side of the comments - is it just my machine?

And the whole issue is epistemology. How do we know what we know?

Until we can agree on that we can not communicate. And since the 'god' types will never give up the need[Wiki] to an extra dimension of knowledge beyond the senses, it will never be possible to fully communicate with them. Thats why I will never go out with a Christian again - what the heck do we talk about?

When they say 'Belief systems' always substitute 'knowledge systems' and the whole issue becomes clear. Go to a college book store and ask for the 'knowledge system' area. They will send you to the 'belief systems' area.

Everyone assumes all methods of knowledge must require a 'belief' when belief is the problem not the solution. It takes years to get clear of all the belief stuff but then, and only then, can we determine whether there is a god or not. And of sourse there are no gods.

So its 'how you get to your answer', not the answer you currently hold that is the issue and what is important.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-12-15 08:38:46.221197+00 by: topspin [edit history]

I'd submit EVERYONE has the "feeling" or "belief" factor in their life. While it might be possible, it's not necessary to strip our lives completely of the occasional "I've got a feeling" or even the odd outright belief which is not fully grounded in proof.

As individuals, however, we do a disservice to logic and common sense to give too much weight to the unproveable ideas we hold. Certainly an individual who is using such a belief as bedrock for structuring a pattern of living could border on madness or could be His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, who is far from mad but nonetheless has totally immersed himself in an unproveable vision of who he is. Or perhaps that is madness? Most who claim to be the Messiah or some other Holiness are judged to be mad, but some get lucky?????

Of course, not all visions of God and His creations seem crazy... some I can relate to rather well.

Yes, Yes

when God created love he didn't help most
when God created dogs He didn't help dogs
when God created plants that was average
when God created hate we had a standard utility
when God created me He created me
when God created the monkey He was asleep
when He created the giraffe He was drunk
when He created narcotics He was high
and when He created suicide He was low

when He created you lying in bed
He knew what He was doing
He was drunk and He was high
and He created the mountians and the sea and fire at the same time

He made some mistakes
but when He created you lying in bed
He came all over His Blessed Universe.

--- Charles Bukowski