As a Christian, On Atheism

This post of mine isn’t actually going to be one I’ve written. It’s simply going to end with a link to someone else’s blog that I would encourage you all to read. So often we (and I am definitely included in this) get lost in the sniping and nit-picking of little details that we often miss the point of why we’re even having this discussion. I’ll admit I’m not entirely sure why atheists continue to come on WordPress and other forums and try to derail Christianity, Islam and any other religions they can get their hands on. I’m not an atheist, so I can’t speak to that. But as a Christian, I can speak to the underlying cause behind even being here with this blog. Much of it is meant to be encouragement to other believers, but given that it has an apologetic tilt to it, the link below describes excellently the motivation for reaching out. I’m glad this gentleman posted it, and I hope I can remember to read it myself from time to time to remind myself that this is a war that is far greater than you or me. Maybe that will give me a little more compassion and a little less condescension for those who don’t agree with me. Thanks for stopping by, and if you have five minutes, check out the link below.

Re: Atheism

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16 responses to this post.

  1. If you don’t like militant atheism, maybe you shouldn’t call this a war. 🙂

    Reply

    • Sorry, I guess I wasn’t very clear on what the term “war” was referring to. The war I was referencing was not between atheists and theists, but between God and Satan, or the overarching good vs. evil. We’re all rather insignificant on a grand cosmic scale, so these little discussions are trivial in light of some of the greater battles that don’t even really involve us. I’m just glad that I can be confident there is a God who finds me more significant than I actually am. It gives me a little more intrinsic value to myself than I might otherwise have.

      Sorry for the confusion. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

  2. “I’ll admit I’m not entirely sure why atheists continue to come on WordPress and other forums and try to derail Christianity, Islam and any other religions they can get their hands on.”

    Great question. I’ll try to explain it as best I can.

    In the same way you believe you’ve got the truth, so do we. And we want to spread the truth, and let everybody know it’s true.

    If you have that right, then so should we.

    Now, when you say “derail” religion, I personally do that because it encourages superstitious thinking, which isn’t great. It also causes lots of violence and hatred. As a former Christian I am very glad to have overcome it.

    Thanks for your interest 🙂 nice blog.

    Reply

    • Thanks Larry. I can understand your perspective, I was just merely saying I couldn’t speak to it because I’m not coming from that viewpoint. You certainly have a right to your views.

      I do think, however, we can both agree that false beliefs are the single greatest detriment to truth in our world today. We just have a different opinion about which beliefs are false.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your candor. 🙂

      Reply

  3. Posted by Doctor Bad Sign on April 27, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    I thought I’d just try to shed some light on this comment:

    “I’ll admit I’m not entirely sure why atheists continue to come on WordPress and other forums and try to derail Christianity, Islam and any other religions they can get their hands on.”

    I can’t speak for everyone, but I will shed some light on what motivates me personally. Firstly I don’t know exactly what you mean when you say ‘derail’, so you might need to clarify that, because depending on what you mean when you say that my answer as to whether or not I am trying to do so might differ.

    I’d like to hope that the other main reason for my outspoken atheism is something which we can both agree on. Religion is used all over the world to justify violence, aggression, totalitarianism, conflict, oppression and restriction of liberty. As someone who believes that freedom and equality are precious to society, I feel it important to raise my voice against the theocrats who wish to do away with it.

    I do not wish to see a world where no one believed in God, or practices any kind of religion (and I do not believe that such a world is possible). I just wish to live in one where I scarcely know what goes on inside, or what kind of nonsense is taught inside the churches, the synagogues, and the mosques, and in which I am not frequently threatened with eternal torment simply for disagreeing. If we lived in such a world I can guarantee that I would have no motivation to speak out on the issue at all.

    Reply

    • I appreciate your perspective. It does seem a little odd that the way to try and limit the outspokenness of religious people is to be even more outspoken. That’s like instead of telling someone to “shush” in a conversation, you decide the best way to quiet them is to talk over them. Really it just creates more confusion. But I guess I don’t really see a viable alternative, so I can at least understand it.

      I’m also intrigued by the idea that equality is so precious to society, yet many atheists I’ve discussed with have no issues with stamping out the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in schools. It certainly is a hot and controversial topic, no doubt, but it seems to me dishonest to talk about how important freedom and equality are while attempting to squash a theory that is begging for only that at this point. I’m not saying you are in that camp, necessarily, but as a generalization it’s something that baffles me from a rational perspective.

      I would finally say that we can both agree that religion can be used to justify violence and oppression. But as we’ve discussed before, so can atheism. And yet I don’t see consistent posts discussing the vitriol you have for Stalin or Pol Pot. If the purpose is to stamp out violence and oppression, then express your distaste for all of those who are violent and oppressive equally. Otherwise, it appears to just be a specific agenda against religion, not against violence and oppression. And that makes it lose a lot of its luster and nobility, I think.

      Regardless, I do appreciate you expressing your position. I think it’s important for me to be able to at least hear why you do what you do, even though I don’t necessarily understand or agree. It keeps me a bit more level-headed. So thanks!

      Reply

  4. Posted by Doctor Bad Sign on April 28, 2012 at 5:05 AM

    “I appreciate your perspective. It does seem a little odd that the way to try and limit the outspokenness of religious people is to be even more outspoken. That’s like instead of telling someone to “shush” in a conversation, you decide the best way to quiet them is to talk over them. Really it just creates more confusion. But I guess I don’t really see a viable alternative, so I can at least understand it.”

    I don’t think talking over them is a correct analysis, I’d say that attempting to give them the rebuttal I feel that they deserve at an equal volume to which their views are expressed would be a more correct statement. There are many people whom I disagree with in society. To pick a random example, say those who believe in alien abduction, I disagree with their views, and if challenged I will voice my opinions. However believers in alien abduction generally do not make much noise in society, they do not appear in newspapers making broad statements about those who deny their claims etc. If they did then I’d feel more of a need to voice my disagreement. So in short, I feel the need to voice my disagreement with religion (not a need to silence them) because of the degree to which religious spokespeople voice their opinions. If religious people kept their views and opinions as quiet as believers in alien abduction I’d scarcely feel the need to talk about it, but they don’t, hence I feel their claims and opinions are in need of challenging. So its not a case of any desire to silence anyone, its more about proportional response.

    “I’m also intrigued by the idea that equality is so precious to society, yet many atheists I’ve discussed with have no issues with stamping out the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in schools. It certainly is a hot and controversial topic, no doubt, but it seems to me dishonest to talk about how important freedom and equality are while attempting to squash a theory that is begging for only that at this point. I’m not saying you are in that camp, necessarily, but as a generalization it’s something that baffles me from a rational perspective.”

    Well equality doesn’t come into the issue of teaching creationism in school. It would be absurd to state that equality demands equal time for astrology in astronomy classes, or that it demands equal time for alchemy in chemistry classes. And yes the teaching of creationism in biology classes is exactly equivalent to those above examples. Equality doesn’t demand that we give equal credence to all ideas and concepts. Equality would demand that everyone has a right to a decent education, free from nonsense if it comes to that. Regardless of that, one could advocate for equality in terms of human rights, and not in terms of other fields (I for example do not value equality when it comes to taxes, I think they should be proportioned to income).

    “I would finally say that we can both agree that religion can be used to justify violence and oppression. But as we’ve discussed before, so can atheism. And yet I don’t see consistent posts discussing the vitriol you have for Stalin or Pol Pot. If the purpose is to stamp out violence and oppression, then express your distaste for all of those who are violent and oppressive equally. Otherwise, it appears to just be a specific agenda against religion, not against violence and oppression. And that makes it lose a lot of its luster and nobility, I think.”

    I am very much against all forms of totalitarianism – which are, to paraphrase Orwell, all essentially theocratic in nature. That is not to say that Stalin was not an atheist, but rather that in order to inflict his totalitarianism on the people he played upon their innate superstitions that had been used for centuries by the Tzars and the Russian Orthodox church – the people were crying out for a supreme leader, and Stalin knew all too well how to take that role and how to exploit it. The same is true of Kim Il-Sung who played upon superstitions in order to establish himself as a supreme leader, capable of miracles. A population of free-thinkers, trained in critical thinking (which is perhaps the main thing I advocate for) would be largely immune to this kind of oppression. Yes perhaps my posts are somewhat tilted toward opposing religious views, however I think that religion is possibly the largest obstacle to critical and rational thinking in society – which might explain somewhat why I talk about it a lot. I use religion, as it were, to express critical thinking in the hope that some of my readers might learn something about one of the most important aspects in the fight against oppression and totalitarianism.

    Reply

    • So its not a case of any desire to silence anyone, its more about proportional response.

      I don’t see how that jibes with this statement you made: “I just wish to live in one where I scarcely know what goes on inside, or what kind of nonsense is taught inside the churches, the synagogues, and the mosques, and in which I am not frequently threatened with eternal torment simply for disagreeing.” The only way to “scarcely know what is going on” is if no one talks about it. So I would disagree with such a notion that you don’t care about silencing it. I can understand why though.

      Well equality doesn’t come into the issue of teaching creationism in school.

      Seems a rather biased position to me. I believe they said this about evolution a century or so ago. My how the tables have turned. Do you realize that most of evolution and creationism actually jibe with each other? Natural selection, speciating, potentially the age of the earth–these are all consistent with a supernatural creation of the world. What creationism centers around is how it got started; interesting that evolutionary theory doesn’t have a comparable answer. I can see why one might say equality doesn’t come into the issue, but not tilted in the direction you might think.

      Yes perhaps my posts are somewhat tilted toward opposing religious views, however I think that religion is possibly the largest obstacle to critical and rational thinking in society – which might explain somewhat why I talk about it a lot.

      Surprising then that it seems you choose to take issue with those that are trying to use critical thinking and rational arguments to defend religion, isn’t it? I mean, shouldn’t you be more on the attack with those who just claim that the experience is all they need? Those are the types that aren’t “thinking critically.” And yet you’re here attacking a rather rational defense of Christianity. Why is that the case? My guess is that you want religion stamped out more than you want people to think critically. And unfortunately, those two aren’t the same thing.

      Again, thanks for your perspective.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Doctor Bad Sign on May 1, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    “I don’t see how that jibes with this statement you made: “I just wish to live in one where I scarcely know what goes on inside, or what kind of nonsense is taught inside the churches, the synagogues, and the mosques, and in which I am not frequently threatened with eternal torment simply for disagreeing.” The only way to “scarcely know what is going on” is if no one talks about it. So I would disagree with such a notion that you don’t care about silencing it. I can understand why though.”

    I don’t think there is any contradiction in my statements. ‘I wish’ is the key term to bear in mind, what I meant was in my ideal world religious people wouldn’t be so in-your-face in society – this doesn’t mean that I desire to silence them forcibly. There are lots of things I wish for in the world, I wish the BBC would stop showing so many antiques shows during the day, I wish that kids wouldn’t listen to annoying music on their phones when I’m trying to read on the bus… I don’t wish to forcibly remove these things via any means, but that doesn’t stop me from wishing to live in a world without them, and it doesn’t stop me from using my freedom of expression to criticize these things.

    “Well equality doesn’t come into the issue of teaching creationism in school.

    Seems a rather biased position to me. I believe they said this about evolution a century or so ago. My how the tables have turned. Do you realize that most of evolution and creationism actually jibe with each other? Natural selection, speciating, potentially the age of the earth–these are all consistent with a supernatural creation of the world. What creationism centers around is how it got started; interesting that evolutionary theory doesn’t have a comparable answer. I can see why one might say equality doesn’t come into the issue, but not tilted in the direction you might think.”

    Well we’re obviously talking about two different things; the God made man in 6 days less than 10,000 years ago is not scientific by any means and should therefore not be taught in the science class. The view that God may have seeded life on Earth doesn’t jibe with evolution, however its still not a view that deserves equal time as evolution… I mean what more can you say about that other than: we don’t know how life got started, some people think it may have been a creator, others attribute it to natural mechanisms. Its not something you could drag out into a whole lesson or into ‘equal time’ by any means. My biology teacher did pretty much say that exact sentence when he taught evolution, I don’t see much of a problem with that – he then went on to teach evolution as you normally would.

    Schools certainly should not teach that evolution does not occur, or that geology can be explained by the biblical flood, and that the book of Genesis is literally true – why should this not be given time in science class? Because it is proven to be false. That view should no more be taught than the view that the holocaust did not occur.

    “Surprising then that it seems you choose to take issue with those that are trying to use critical thinking and rational arguments to defend religion isn’t it? I mean, shouldn’t you be more on the attack with those who just claim that the experience is all they need? Those are the types that aren’t “thinking critically.” And yet you’re here attacking a rather rational defense of Christianity. Why is that the case? My guess is that you want religion stamped out more than you want people to think critically. And unfortunately, those two aren’t the same thing.”

    Not really, critical thinking is based largely on debate, and encouraging readers to think about different arguments and consider which would be more rational. You can’t really have a reasoned debate with someone who says ‘experience is all you need’ because I can refute that just by saying ‘experience doesn’t prove anything’ or by asking ‘what of those who claimed personal experience of other gods?’. Again its not about ‘stamping out’, its about developing a response, and you can’t respond to people who don’t have an argument.

    Reply

    • I don’t wish to forcibly remove these things via any means, but that doesn’t stop me from wishing to live in a world without them, and it doesn’t stop me from using my freedom of expression to criticize these things.

      If you merely “wish” to live in a world without these things, then what is the point of taking any action unless you want to direct or take part in some change? That would be herding the discussion in a general favorable direction, which in its simplest form would be “forcing.” Use semantics if you want, but when you break it down that appears to be the ultimate goal of your position. And I’m saying I can understand that position. I’m not telling you that your position is wrong by any means, please understand.

      we don’t know how life got started, some people think it may have been a creator, others attribute it to natural mechanisms…My biology teacher did pretty much say that exact sentence when he taught evolution, I don’t see much of a problem with that – he then went on to teach evolution as you normally would.

      Do you even see the hypocrisy in that statement? “Here are two theories for how things got started. Either one is possible. Let me explain everything about only one of these theories and then ask you to choose.”

      Schools certainly should not teach that evolution does not occur, or that geology can be explained by the biblical flood, and that the book of Genesis is literally true – why should this not be given time in science class? Because it is proven to be false.

      Hmmmm….which of these has been proven 100% false? And what is the incontrovertible proof? Not evidence, proof. I can see a strong opinion, but proof? That requires a lot, friend.

      You can’t really have a reasoned debate with someone who says ‘experience is all you need’ because I can refute that just by saying ‘experience doesn’t prove anything’ or by asking ‘what of those who claimed personal experience of other gods?’.

      And what I’m saying is that you’re choosing to engage in debate with those who present the idea that you DO need more than experience, but that there is a rational defense for belief in God. And as a result, these people (like me) DO use critical thinking to develop their worldview. If it really is to encourage critical thinking, then shouldn’t you be attempting to persuade the “experience only” people, instead of coming onto blogs like mine where critical thinking is already taking place? That is why I believe your position isn’t the innocent “I only want to encourage readers to think” and is the more dangerous “I want to stamp out any worldview that I don’t agree with.” It’s your actions that betray you in this sense. Again, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with your position inherently, but am just trying to point it out for what it is.

      Reply

  6. Posted by Doctor Bad Sign on May 1, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    “If you merely “wish” to live in a world without these things, then what is the point of taking any action unless you want to direct or take part in some change? That would be herding the discussion in a general favorable direction, which in its simplest form would be “forcing.” Use semantics if you want, but when you break it down that appears to be the ultimate goal of your position. And I’m saying I can understand that position. I’m not telling you that your position is wrong by any means, please understand.”

    Well you appear to have missed this part of what I said: “and it doesn’t stop me from using my freedom of expression to criticize these things.” – wanting to actively stamp out something is quite a separate thing to openly criticizing something. I advocate for criticism, in the hope that it might change peoples views. I’m merely trying to make the distinction between doing something in the sense of trying to destroy religion via terrorism (which is something I would strongly oppose and would like to think I would fight against physically if I had the strength and courage) and doing something in the sense of open criticism – which should be welcomed by all sides on any issue (and which can sometimes make real differences).

    “Do you even see the hypocrisy in that statement? “Here are two theories for how things got started. Either one is possible. Let me explain everything about only one of these theories and then ask you to choose.””

    I elucidated to you previously that the study of the origin of life is separate from the study of evolution (the development of life over time since its origin).

    “Hmmmm….which of these has been proven 100% false? And what is the incontrovertible proof? Not evidence, proof. I can see a strong opinion, but proof? That requires a lot, friend.”

    Yes. In science things cannot be proven true, but they can be proven false, and many of the claims made by Genesis and young earth creationists have been falsified. They are 100% false and I can say that with confidence.

    “And what I’m saying is that you’re choosing to engage in debate with those who present the idea that you DO need more than experience, but that there is a rational defense for belief in God. And as a result, these people (like me) DO use critical thinking to develop their worldview. If it really is to encourage critical thinking, then shouldn’t you be attempting to persuade the “experience only” people, instead of coming onto blogs like mine where critical thinking is already taking place? That is why I believe your position isn’t the innocent “I only want to encourage readers to think” and is the more dangerous “I want to stamp out any worldview that I don’t agree with.” It’s your actions that betray you in this sense. Again, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with your position inherently, but am just trying to point it out for what it is.”

    I will not allow you to portray my position in that way. I do not wish to ‘stamp out’ any worldview and I would fight against any people who espoused such views with regards to any worldview. I am expressing criticism, that is not the same as trying to ‘stamp out’ religion, if I wanted to stamp out religion I’d be advocating for the destruction of religious monuments and the slaughter of worshipers… Don’t let your persecution complex allow you to portray critics of your worldview as advocates of annihilation of your worldview, there is a huge difference between being a critic and an opponent and being a staunch and violent opponent and I won’t let you portray me in such a light.

    Reply

    • Well you appear to have missed this part of what I said: “and it doesn’t stop me from using my freedom of expression to criticize these things.” – wanting to actively stamp out something is quite a separate thing to openly criticizing something. I advocate for criticism, in the hope that it might change peoples views.

      What exactly do you advocate criticism of? All thoughts, or just the ones you don’t agree with? I’m just curious how far you’re willing to take this position. Are you OK with me critiquing your own position in the hopes that it might change people’s views away from yours? Do you hope that it changes their views away from yours? Or are you OK with criticism as long as it furthers your agenda? That sounds more like the “forcing” idea you claim to have no part of.

      I elucidated to you previously that the study of the origin of life is separate from the study of evolution (the development of life over time since its origin).

      I’ve posted on this elsewhere, but to me this is one of the biggest dis-services to the theory of evolution. I can accept your position that the theory of evolution doesn’t account for the origin of life. If it doesn’t, why not? Wouldn’t this be akin to cosmologists stopping at “The Big Bang” as an explanation for the origin of the universe, when the Big Bang only explains the expansion of the universe since that point? The theory of evolution in this sense begs the question of origin, because it’s initial launching point is pre-supposed (“there was life, and then…”).

      The second piece of it, and I can’t believe I’m even having to say this, but why is the teaching of biogenesis theory not important in science classes? Why is worthy to devote a whole course to biology without talking about why we even have biology to study? That is the position one must take to say creationism is unworthy to teach as a theory in science class. And do you really want to be taking the position that how we got here doesn’t matter in a study of science? I don’t.

      …many of the claims made by Genesis and young earth creationists have been falsified. They are 100% false and I can say that with confidence.

      Sources for your 100% proof, please.

      I will not allow you to portray my position in that way. I do not wish to ‘stamp out’ any worldview and I would fight against any people who espoused such views with regards to any worldview.

      Then let me ask again, why are you here? If it is only to see that critical thinking is happening, why not accept that it’s happening here and move on? Why come on here incessantly and espouse your views if the only goal is to see that critical thinking is done? There are only two reasons I can think of logically for why you would come here upon seeing arguments grounded in logic and science: 1) you’re afraid of what this critical thought might do to your position if others accept it; or 2) you actually want to see this blog and others like it silenced completely. And I don’t think either one of those positions is particularly enviable.

      There is, of course, a third option, but it’s not a lot more desirable. You can make the claim that you believe critical thinking isn’t being done here. But then you would have to define “critical thinking” and demonstrate that this definition is 1) completely credible and 2) completely unfound on this blog. For instance, if you were to say that “critical thinking” is the use of logic and reason to analyze something, you would have to show that I use no logic, no reason and no analysis to say no critical thinking is done. Otherwise, you’re spinning your wheels.

      Like I said before, there’s nothing inherently wrong with your motivations. It would be dishonest for me to say that my goal wasn’t to have those on the fence see my side so that there might be more Christians and fewer atheists. That’s a large part of my motivation and an actual tenet of my faith. So there’s nothing wrong with a similar motivation on your end. I’m just asking you to call it for what it is instead of suggesting that you have a supervening reason like “critical thinking” or “freedom of expression” for your actions. I apologize if I’m way off base here, but based on our discussions that’s the conclusion I’ve been able to draw.

      Reply

  7. Posted by Doctor Bad Sign on May 2, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    “What exactly do you advocate criticism of? All thoughts, or just the ones you don’t agree with? I’m just curious how far you’re willing to take this position. Are you OK with me critiquing your own position in the hopes that it might change people’s views away from yours? Do you hope that it changes their views away from yours? Or are you OK with criticism as long as it furthers your agenda? That sounds more like the “forcing” idea you claim to have no part of.”

    I advocate for the open criticism of all thoughts – I don’t think any view should be censored, and I would encourage discussion on any of my blog posts. I would strongly stand up for your right to criticise whoever you wish, no matter how much I disagree. I have no power to, nor wish to prevent you from criticising my views, I would responded them however I felt it was appropriate to however, and I would reserve my right to do so.

    “I’ve posted on this elsewhere, but to me this is one of the biggest dis-services to the theory of evolution. I can accept your position that the theory of evolution doesn’t account for the origin of life. If it doesn’t, why not? Wouldn’t this be akin to cosmologists stopping at “The Big Bang” as an explanation for the origin of the universe, when the Big Bang only explains the expansion of the universe since that point? The theory of evolution in this sense begs the question of origin, because it’s initial launching point is pre-supposed (“there was life, and then…”).”

    It does account for the origin of life because the theory of evolution is a model for the development of diversity. It makes the reasonable assumption that life began (I mean we wouldn’t be here if it didn’t) and starts from there. It does beg the question of origin, but that doesn’t mean the theory is obliged to answer it. Chemistry assumes the existence of atoms, it doesn’t seek to explain their origin – that is handed over to particle physicists. The same applies to evolution. Evolution assumes the existence of initial life, it doesn’t seek to explain its origin – that is handed over to research in ‘abiogenesis’ (the study of the origins of life). Abiogenesis research is progressing rapidly, but whatever short comings it may have do not apply to evolution, just as the short comings of particle physics do not apply to chemistry.

    “The second piece of it, and I can’t believe I’m even having to say this, but why is the teaching of biogenesis theory not important in science classes? Why is worthy to devote a whole course to biology without talking about why we even have biology to study? That is the position one must take to say creationism is unworthy to teach as a theory in science class. And do you really want to be taking the position that how we got here doesn’t matter in a study of science? I don’t.”

    Well, certain stuff is set in the syllabus by the powers that be, and they declare how much teaching time is devoted to each area. Clearly abiogenesis is thought to be too complex a topic to include in a biology semester of this level. I’m sure university level courses might devote more time to such things (a lot of the chemistry is quite complex etc.).

    “Sources for your 100% proof, please.”

    You really don’t have to go far in Genesis to see where its falsified. Verse 2 is a good example of things to come. Liquid ‘waters’ cannot exist in absence of a heat source… Genesis seems to state that day and night existed before the sun which makes no sense… Genesis states that plants existed before the sun – this cannot be so. Do I need to go on? These are example of thinks that CAN’T happen (sorry for the caps but I can’t seem to italicise anything…)

    “Then let me ask again, why are you here? If it is only to see that critical thinking is happening, why not accept that it’s happening here and move on? Why come on here incessantly and espouse your views if the only goal is to see that critical thinking is done? There are only two reasons I can think of logically for why you would come here upon seeing arguments grounded in logic and science: 1) you’re afraid of what this critical thought might do to your position if others accept it; or 2) you actually want to see this blog and others like it silenced completely. And I don’t think either one of those positions is particularly enviable.”

    I’m here for lots of reasons, some more pertinent than others. Generally I like to discuss things, I find it intellectually stimulating. I am also of the opinion that I would quite like to be part of the voice that is responding to certain views held in society. My views are not the be-all and end-all of everything, the critical thinking comes from the debate – my being part of one side of that debate, you being part of the other. Critical thinking comes in when someone reads both views and decides for themselves which is more rational. I wish you would stop trying to characterize my intentions, I am here to provide the other side of the debate, I am not freightened of people seeing your views and deciding they are more rational than mine (I couldn’t care less if that happened to be frank) I’m just putting my views out there, and hoping that some of the readers might think that they are more rational that the arguments put forth against my views. Do you really think I behave like someone who whats to silence the opposition completely? Do I filter, or block your comments from my blog? I don’t wish to hide or silence your criticisms they’re there in the comments section of quite a few of my posts. What would make you think I’m trying to silence you?

    “There is, of course, a third option, but it’s not a lot more desirable. You can make the claim that you believe critical thinking isn’t being done here. But then you would have to define “critical thinking” and demonstrate that this definition is 1) completely credible and 2) completely unfound on this blog. For instance, if you were to say that “critical thinking” is the use of logic and reason to analyze something, you would have to show that I use no logic, no reason and no analysis to say no critical thinking is done. Otherwise, you’re spinning your wheels.”

    There is no right or wrong critical thinking. Critical thinkers often differ in opinion. Critical thinking is all about developing and expressing your own views. It’s being done here, I have no problem admitting that. I just disagree with your reasoning.

    “Like I said before, there’s nothing inherently wrong with your motivations. It would be dishonest for me to say that my goal wasn’t to have those on the fence see my side so that there might be more Christians and fewer atheists. That’s a large part of my motivation and an actual tenet of my faith. So there’s nothing wrong with a similar motivation on your end. I’m just asking you to call it for what it is instead of suggesting that you have a supervening reason like “critical thinking” or “freedom of expression” for your actions. I apologize if I’m way off base here, but based on our discussions that’s the conclusion I’ve been able to draw.”

    You don’t appear to have a grasp of what my motivations are let alone whether there is anything wrong with them.

    Reply

    • Ok even if I grant everything you say above, it still makes no sense for you to come on my blog to present the alternative viewpoint. That’s what your own blog is for. People can find your blog just as easily as they find mine. The only reason for you to come here is to attempt to talk over my opinion with your own, which sure makes it seem like you’re trying to silence me and not promote free thought. And that’s really the only thing I have issue with here.

      I don’t care what you say or how you say it. I just really care why and am trying to get you to be honest with yourself about your intentions for coming on my blog. I think it’s fair, if we’re all about presenting both sides of the debate, to question your motives if you’re presenting yourself as in it purely for the discussion and encouragement of thought. A presentation of the alternative side can easily be done on your own blog, as I’ve said before.

      So if you’re in it purely for discussion and presenting both sides, then let that be manifest in your actions and use your own blog for that. If it’s more than that, and you want to keep coming here, then please just be genuine with your motivations so we can all be perfectly clear and let that guide the debate. Thanks.

      Reply

  8. Posted by Doctor Bad Sign on May 5, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    You’re the one who is being disingenious here, because you are acting as though you know what my real intentions are, and you are claiming that I am being decietful about my them.

    Why does my coming and posting comments here negate me from being pro-discussion? Do you realise how nonsensical that sounds? I admit that I probably wouldn’t visit your blog if you hadn’t visited mine first, but the reason I come here and discuss things is because I see posts that I think would be interesting to discuss. For example, I came across this post in which you appeared not to understand why atheists would wish to express their views openly, so I thought, being an atheist I could clarify that, for myself at least. It might not have been seen by you had I posted something about it on my blog (and I already have given several answers to that in posts there), so I made a comment saying what I wanted to say.

    Its not very charitible of you to assume, based on no evidence that I am being decietful here, when someone is talking to you, its standard practice to assume that they are being honest, or at least simply mistaken before you go out and claim that they are lying. This comes across as extremely condescending.

    I’ve made my motivations clear, I can’t help the fact that you don’t trust me. What I can say is that my coming here to post comments doesn’t mean I’m not pro-discussion. So I shall end with a question; what do you think my motivations are? Clearly you can’t take my word for anything, and you assume based upon no evidence that I am being dishonest here…

    Reply

    • I’m not saying you coming on here doesn’t mean you’re pro-discussion. I’m just saying that coming onto others blogs to post has a deeper motivation than that surface-level. And that’s all I have issue with. It just seems like you’re trying to come off as a relatively innocent, “I’m just here to promote thought,” when that is something you could do on your own blog. Going on to others blogs has a different and specific intent. How do I know? Because I do it.

      And that’s just what I’m getting at. The post wasn’t aimed at getting a response as to the atheist position. I said that merely to show that I’m not an atheist, so I can’t possibly claim to understand why an atheist would write a blog with so much opposition to religion. I never claimed to not understand the motivation for commenting on others’ blogs. I think personal experience is evidence enough on that front.

      Besides, if it wasn’t about talking over me or making sure you were right and I was wrong, I suspect you would have ended this conversation a long time ago. Instead, we’ve gotten to the point where you’re starting to name-call, clearly because you’re upset. And that really adds nothing to the conversation. It’s not “pro-discussion” anymore, and yet you’re still here. I think that tells me everything I need to know, friend.

      Reply

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