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06/11/2007

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Success comes easily to those who redefine their goals as whatever the current state of affairs happens to be.
For instance, if I convince myself that what I really wanted to be when I grew up was a clerk in a small grocery store then I have succeeded on a par with Bill Gates.

"And as for Condoleeza she's an intellectual tart/
so f*** you all so very much."

--Eric Idle

http://www.pythonline.com/plugs/idle/

Condi has the intellectual depth of a Bazooka Joe comic. On the other hand, W has the intellectual depth of a Bazooka bubblegum wrapper.

Squidley,
Thank you for that cheery tune. I think my feelings for you are changing. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Wally,

I like you because although we disagree on virtually everything, you're not a prick about it. Plus you admit your ignorance and have a desire to learn, which is both admirable and humble. On top of all that, you have a sense of humor.

BTW, did you read my comment to you in God Hates Me?

Squidley,
Just read your comment. I know you are aware the lower case "g" was intentional.
I beleive that rational people can reason out a set of rules to live by. I know that ours came out of the Judeo-Christian tradition but you and I sitting at a table, writing a contract we both could abide by, would use our intellect to do it, not Scripture or any other Mythology. Christians accept the New Testament as the one divine revelation of God's plan for Man. Islam has the Koran, Scientology has Dianetics. You seem to equate the current political and economic ascendancy of Western culture, based on Greco-Roman political philosophies as confirmation of Christianity's validity. Christians deny the validity of all other religious systems, my beliefs are only different in that I include the Resurrection myth (the ultimate human sacrifice) and the bizarre cannibalistic symbolism of the Eucharyst along with the Book of Mormon and Bullfinch's Mythology in the catalogue of bizarre shit people have made up to assuage their fear of ceasing to exist. We are all like Andre in War and Peace when faced with Death. "How can this be happening to me, whom my Mother loved so much?" Well get over it, Y'all, we all die. We all STOP. The Amoeba, the Raccoon hit by the SUV of Civilizaton, Mother Teresa, Gary Gilmore. We die, we end. Belive otherwise if you will but please don't attempt to pretend that arguments for the contrary are in any way rational. Early Christians at least embraced the ecstatic, mysterious nature of their faith, the current fad of claiming logical underpinning for belief is ridiculous.

Wally,

Religious faith, in one form or another, has been a constant in every human society. As it so happens, the West has developed in the Christian tradition. In fact, it's fair to say that our society and culture would have been impossible without it.

Yes, of course Christians believe Christianity is "correct"--how could it be elsewise? The notion that we have to acknowledge other religions as equally valid is a modern, liberal, secular view that is both nonsensical and incompatible with our civilization.

I do not deny your freedom to believe--or not believe--what you want. However, I--and, I imagine, most Christians--find the denigration of Christianity to be highly offensive. The position of the atheist can be tolerated, even by the highly religious, if the atheist shows basic respect for religion. If you say, "I've never had a 'religious' experience, I don't see a reason or need to believe, it makes no sense to me," then that's a tolerable position. However, many atheists--including you--cross the line. Instead of just saying these things, you actively denigrate Christianity. You do it mildly; others are more forceful. In either case, it's unacceptable. Disparaging the faith of other members of your civilization--a faith that is central to our civilization--is utterly out of line.

One example of that is your lumping of Islam and Dianetics with Christianity. Christianity turned the barbarians of Europe into a people who have achieved the highest levels of civilization, technology, art, and compassion the world has ever seen. (Please spare us the WWII "counterexamples"; humans are fallible, cursed as we are with Original Sin. Besides, war is a natural state for humans; it has been suppressed best in--you guessed it--Europe and other countries with white majorities.) In contrast, Islam sanctified the tribal barbarism of the Arabs. What's more, last I checked, Moslems were involved in 28 of the 30 armed conflicts going on right now. As for Dianetics, it was made up by a man who once said that the best way to become wealthy was to create a religion. Apples and oranges, my friend.

I agree with you that logic and faith are separate spheres. That's part of what makes faith so powerful--it transcends logic and reason and rationality. I agree that attempts to "prove" Christianity are weak at best, empty at worst. Faith does not require proof. However, I believe that the attempts to "prove" Christianity are a product of the rationalism of our modern age. I don't believe the "proofs" are worthless, but they are unnecessary--once you believe. If they help some people come to Christ, then they're a good thing, however weak they may be.

As for your Andre reference, that kind of thinking is upside-down. Bad things--really bad things--happen to all kinds of people for no apparent reason. It is the way of the world; it is not evidence against the existence of God. However, the religious find the miracles in these horrific events--the baby that survived, the sole survivor of an accident, and the like--as a sign of God's work.

As I've tried to tell you before, Western civilization has three sources: the classical world of the ancients (Greece and Rome); the Germanic barbarians, and Christianity. Leaving out any one of these shows either ignorance or contempt.

Anyway, once again I find that someone else has expressed what I want to say far better than I. I realize it's the same guy's blog that I've pointed you to before, but this is something written by a guest commentator.

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/007280.html

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