Debate between Athieists with random single track minded big mouthed christian needs to have his ignorant say..... enjoy :)
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The Atheist vs. Religion "Debate" Misses the Point
Posted: 03/03/11 03:19 PM ET
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The "debate" about God is hopeless, as unsatisfying as trying to dress a cat. When religious people and/or atheists talk about God and/or pit science against God they are expressing their psychological need for certainty, not indulging in anything that could be described as an intellectual debate.
They aren't talking about God (if any) but rather referring to the "God" of the Bible (or other religious books), as opposed to whatever might really be out there -- or not.
The discussion isn't about God but about what the "Bible says" (or the Koran or whatever else says) about one conception of God. And that may or may not be about God since there is no reason to take anything any religious book "says" seriously, let alone literally -- unless it corresponds to some deeper truth we've experienced ourselves about how to treat others.
I come from an evangelical background. (I describe why I quit that background and the the right wing politics of my youth in my book Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible's Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics -- and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway.) So given my background I'll stick to a look at the Christian attitude to the scriptures here.
The Bible "Says..."
Most Christians who say they "believe in God" really mean they believe in the Bible. As I describe in my book Sex, Mom and God that is how it was in my family. Most believers' starting point (say my religious leader father's starting point) is a book and a belief in something called revelation in that book -- in other words in magic -- not a belief in the person or persons or force or forces that we/they mean when they use the word "God."
The so-called New Atheists do the same thing evangelical Christians, like my parents, did. For the New Atheists it's also all about a book and/or dumb people's dumb actions, not God. They say they are debating about God but really are only attacking religion and religious books -- say the Bible or the Koran -- and/or that actions of people taken in the name of those books, and think they have successfully attacked the idea of the existence of God.
Is There An Alternative to the Circular Atheist vs. Religion "Debate"?
Maybe the best thing a believer in God can do is to declare that a lot of the Bible is hate-filled blasphemy -- against any actual God.
Maybe the best thing an atheist can do is admit that the question of God has nothing to do with religion, let alone with the actions of religious people.
This possibility undermines most "arguments" for atheism made by most "professional atheists." It also renders all theology, let alone doctrine, irrelevant.
The books written by New Atheists like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris attack God by attacking religion. But that's not an argument that even begins to address the question of God or some other outside power's meddling in the formation of the universe, let alone first causes in cosmology pre-Big Bang.
Conversely the "arguments" put forth by evangelicals and others take the Bible as a starting point which makes everything they say as irrelevant as that book is.
The New Atheists' arguments make sense only as attacks on religion while the evangelicals' "defense" of God makes sense only as a defense of the Bible.
When it comes to the atheists' attack on religion, there's plenty to attack. But who says religion as practiced today, let alone as "revealed" in so called holy books, has anything to do with any actual Creator, Force or Final Reality outside of the cosmos?
When it comes to all the little questions like evolution and morals etc -- and I mean "little questions" in the sense that these are fluid details of our existence not THE question of origins and cosmology -- almost everyone is battling over a silly book or silly people's actions, not over God. And/or they are battling over what has been done in the name of religion or the name of secularity, not over any actual God.
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