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[Note: This is a continuation of the comment streams that began in The Winding Path – 137. I’m isolating individual conversations for the sake of legibility,]
Silverdart60 – “*sigh* [quoting me ] ‘The new and growing religion of “atheism” ‘.
Oh, how often I hear this tiresome refrain conflating atheism with religion.
Read this carefully: Atheism. Is. Not. A. Religion.
Atheism has no supernatural entity. No holy book. No authority figure, either incarnate or otherwise. No promise of eternal bliss or threat of eternal punishment.
Atheism recognizes that feelings of spirituality and so forth are entirely organic; they begin and end inside the human brain. That doesn’t make them any less powerful, but it does make them rational.”
Sorry, to bore you. But you have not said anything to indicate that you heard my point.
It’s a religion. The god is reason. (and a half-baked version at that.)
The common fixation on the “supernatural” as a characteristic of God is exactly complementary to half-baked dualistic images of the creator outside of creation. Or god at war with a devil.
Such primitive speculation only represents a fragment of theological thought. The whole spectrum must be represented.
The god that you describe is a cartoon. It reflects your attitude. Your beliefs.
One aught to “rationally’ acknowledge that our ideas do not equal the reality. They are abstractions. Helpful or harmful.
“Atheism recognizes that feelings of spirituality and so forth are
entirely organic; they begin and end inside the human brain. That
doesn’t make them any less powerful, but it does make them rational.”
I will have to point out that this act of “recognizing” is actually an act of “assuming” and sometimes even “dictating that it must be so”.
As for “entirely organic”, I’ll ask again: What does that even MEAN?
In the context of the entire expression of Existence. Undivided by category or purpose, what is this “entirely organic” business? What are “chemicals”? What is “reason”?
The simple point is that you cannot realistically subdivide REALITY. That is God. And that theology must also be included in an honest atheism. One that does not equate to a religion.
Silverdart60 – “A Christian, Muslim, Greek etc etc God is immutable, unchangeable. Reason is not. Reason is based on observation, hypotheses and theories, all of which are open to interpretation and change based on new information.”
The phenomena that is known as reasoning is immutable. What you are describing is it’s application. Much like the dance of Shiva or rāsa-līlā of Krishna.
“And I have to go back to my original statement about there being no holybook, no set of holy rules, etc etc. with which ‘good’ atheists prescribe. Your metaphor just doesn’t hold up.”
Have you reviewed the sacred 400+ studies about our omnipresent Fear of Death. [Note: that was a reference to another thread going on at the same time.] Or worried that your “empirical evidence” was not up to snuff?
“And yes, you can subdivide reality. We do this every day in how we perceive the world. When we look at, for instance, a flower, we see its colours in the visible spectrum. A bee, thanks to natural selection, sees the flower in ultraviolet. Our very sense of reality is subdivided differently than the bee’s sense.”
You are talking about pieces of reality not REALITY.
Don’t feel bad though, the same tendency appears regularly among the more dualistically expressed religions.
“So when I say ‘organic’ I mean to say that the entire experience is completely independent of an outside supernatural force.”
The term “supernatural” is also a commonly shared failure of conception. It is basically a fuzzy reference to the “Bigger Picture”. Resulting from the problem referenced above. (i.e. pieces of reality trying to conceive of REALITY)
I’m pretty sure that atheists must have at least a vague notion of the “Bigger Picture” but their dogma won’t let them call it “supernatural”. Dumb word really.
“If you have proof of an outside supernatural force – and let’s face it, that’s primarily what any God is – by all means let’s see the data. If it’s compelling, I truly will be the first to change my mind.”
Like I said, a “dumb word really”. Let’s think “Big Picture” as in Infinite, Entire, All, Existence and the potential to Exist.