Monday, November 18, 2013

open letter to my atheist friend

To say religious claims have not met their burden of proof is too general a statement. It's better to say religious claims have not met their burden of proof with you. Proof is individualistic because other people have had some burden of proof met. In addition, to define something as a burden of proof it's necessary to have a standard...and your standard being are saying that others are more easily deceived or deluded than you are..

Understandable, but in other matters, your standard of proof have probably not been yourself because in all things, there is some moment when one decides to accept external proof outside of self. Of course one can "study" one's way out of the book but from what is evident in church circles, most Chritians don't understand enough of the book to study their way in it much less out of it. The many people who lost their faith because of higher criticism, for instance, would probably not have lost it if they had read the right books to help them understand the book. Or if they were living in a time after some of the linguistic, archeological challenges of higher criticism were solved. So the basic admission is..God did not prove himself to you specifically, since he has apparently proven himself to other people. And much of accepting one's own view is to consciously decide everytime one is given proof (by someone else's testimony) to declare within one's own mind: "This person giving this testimony is deluded." Whether it's about angels, healing, inner deliverance, there has to be a committment to the believer's supposed delusion. There is a consistent unkindness and lack of esteem in others' opinion that the unbeliever must uphold.

Now what follows is questioning of the notion of validating "proof" and whether A can not see proof, or whether God didn't care to prove himself on A's terms or whether A lacks no insight into a certain kind of "sense." Your definition of an argument from ignorance is how you have subtly described yourself. Ignorance and Agnostic both have the same meaning...there is a not knowing. Which is honest. Except we should also be honest in how we frme the debate.

As for "atheism is not a religion":
A religion is a system of thought that has tenets, professors, teachers, "sainted" believers, books and doctrines. Whether the believer is aware of all the tenets of a particular religion doesn't matter. The tenets are there and one must accept them in order to be an atheist. If you don't think atheism has certain tenets, then you are as woefully uneducated about atheism as you are about Christianity. For the most part, most Christians hold to the same basic tenet. In the same way, most atheists hold much of the similar tenets...all culled together from the writings of their great teachers. Just as most Christians often say the same thing, so do most atheists.

1) the lack of a belief in spirit 2) the belief that life can only be viewed through the rational 3) the belief that people who believe in God are deluded. 4) The belief that people who believe in God are weak and need God for strength. 5The belief in evolution and progressivism, that humans are getting better as science advances 6) The belief that religion has caused most war while incidents of non-religious cruelty such as Stalin's, Mao's and the French Revolution were just flukes because atheism is peaceful 7) The belief that humanity creates God  The belief that the noble savage is an ideal and religion judges unfairly. 9) The belief that religious books are not timeless but are rooted in the superstition of the past whereas the secular philosophies of the past (Greek philosophy etc) are the beginning of wisdom. 10) That the belief in atheism precludes believing in anything else but atheism. There are a few subsets for the most part. 11) That a religion should be evangelical thus the world should be saved from the wrong religion (in this case, the belief in God.) 12) that there is such a thing as an atheist culture just as there is a religious culture 13) that one should meet frequently with others in one's religion to reinforce one's belief so one doesn't fall from the true path.

I could go on but the upshot is that all these tenets were slowly built up by different "saints" of atheism and are believed. So yes, atheism is a religion.

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