For the context of the following comments please click on the hyperlinks above them.
(The following conversations are from the Patheos hosted blog – “Rational Doubt” – Guest blogger is an Mary Johnson. She she is a ex-nun who lost her faith and now considers herself an atheist.)
Mary Johnson (Responding to wtfwjtd) – “I’m so glad whenever I hear that someone is basing their worldview in reality. We sometimes cling to tradition because it’s comforting and gives us community, but nothing is more freeing than living in the truth.”
As a non-atheist freethinker, I have been studying, for a year or so, the this phenomena of lost faith leading to atheism.
It confuses me because I came to my particular mix of “faith and reason” from a relatively unconditioned state. My religious indoctrination was to say the least haphazard and uninspired.
So in the 1970’s when I decided to look into this business of God, I was already 21, and fairly independent of authoritative influences already. (Had the likes of Richard Nixon to thank for that.)
There is a question forming on the tip of my tongue, when I read these excellent and intelligent testimonies compiled here by Linda LaScola.
It seems to be along the lines of, “But what about God?” or, “What about the cultivation of authenticity?” or, “What about the discovery of True Self?” or, “Awe, reverence and wonder?”
I know that I was fortunate not to be trapped in anthropomorphic and tradition bound rules about what God “wants”. This is clearly a problem for people when they begin the process of “changing”.
What motivated and continues to motivate 40 years in, is “What is God?” “What is the nature of THAT?” And, IT’s relation to THIS?”
Not and never, “What are the rules?”
Pofarmer – (quoting me) ‘What is God?’ ‘What is the nature of THAT?’ And, IT’s relation to THIS?’
Metaphysical woo then? “
This just seems like you are lazy or uninspired by the question.
Are suggesting that you have solved the riddle, and want your children and grand children to take your word for it.
Either way I will not retract my comment. Having found the inquiry involved, to be the very point of being human.
Pofarmer – “You’ll never find what you are looking for, which is rather the point of your journey. The way it’s formulated, what you are seeking simply doesn’t exist.”
The inquiry exists. Any formulation is simply the shape of the day.
I have avoided pontification, either because I have learned better, or because instinct guides me to choose a softer, more flexible form of open question for the occasion.
What is it that you consider does not exist?
Pofarmer – “Here ya go.”
I’ll go with lazy then. Sorry, but I’m pretty sure that you didn’t assemble this litany of “circular reasoning”. Merely pass it out door to door.
I am tempted to go through it item by item, but really, we should all be past that by now.
Though I can’t resist asking my favorite question, since it pertains to:
“Proof #37 – Think about DNA – No intelligence is required to encode DNA. Instead, the information in DNA is the result of natural selection acting upon random mutations, rather than the actions of a ‘being’ like God. “
Where in the specific DNA molecule that organizes the life experience of a Monarch Butterfly, is the map to a specific tree in Mexico? Or it’s offspring’s, offspring knowing the way back to Michigan?
OK, yes this is a trope that I use way too much. But no-one ever bothers to address it. (so I persist)brmckay • 5 hours agobrmckay • 5 hours ago
What does “random mutations” even mean? Are you expecting God’s cogitation to be digital? Or, like mine, analog and filtered by competing interests, within an astonishingly complex system. (And I’m just talking about the last 5 minutes.)
The whole list of “proofs”, as presented in that handy dandy atheist’s guidebook, is worthless simply because the god/gods it’s talking about is/are IMAGINARY.
Kevin Osborne (Responding to Pofarmer ) – “God is a substance, like water. How you perceive God determines God, for you. Relationship is your perspective of particles within your reality.There is always more God, more reality and larger perspective. All you have to do to see is be willing to see.”
Pofarmer – “Let me help you out here. God isn’t a thing. God is an idea, invented by humans, to explain things they don’t understand. To quote Neil Degrasse Tyson ‘God is an ever dwindling pool of scientific ignorance. ‘. There solved it for you. Now you can get on to more worthwhile pursuits. “
“There solved it for you. Now you can get on to more worthwhile pursuits.”
What you consider “solved” is only your justification for harbouring disdain for those ignorant “fools” in your congregation.
“Neil Degrasse Tyson – “God is an ever dwindling pool of scientific ignorance. “
This is a meaningless statement though I imagine that this fellow Tyson, regards it highly.
We are talking attitudes and personality type here. Why box ourselves in?
(Respondinbg to Pofarmer)
brmckay – “Why would a man’s cultivation of a sense for the undivided whole, in anyway interfere with the quest of science for specific knowledge of it’s parts?”
Pofarmer – “Science can tell us aboitnthe[sic] whole by putting the parts together. “
Your kidding right?
Otherwise we are actually bearing down the crux of our communication problem and should study the underlying assumptions behind the two statements.
– I assume primordial infinitude. Therefore no reassembly is even conceivable.
– I also assume that the scientific method, it’s application and especially it’s discoveries is a subset of the infinite aggregate of phenomena and therefore dependent upon the same foundation.
– I assume that primordial infinitude remains unchanged and ever present no matter what I ate for breakfast.
Pofarmer – “(quoting me) ‘primordial infinitude’.
This is the best that you can do and you want me to re-evaluate *my* shtick?
I’m hoping that a more sincere individual will pick up the slack. I’m putting in quite a bit of effort here and would like to see where it leads.