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Atheist Community of Austin
Common Ground

Unlike many of the people on this forum and on the Atheist Experience I have never been religious. When I was growing up my only experience of gods were on TV shows and books on Greek mythology. But as I grew older it became clear to me that the anthropomorphized gods I had always read about were not the "being/s" some people were referring to, for example theologians. It seems to me the more that I look into this social phenomenon, that is the theism versus atheism debate that the real problem atheists have is with religious theists and not so much with philosophical theists. So, is there common ground between philosophically-minded atheists and theists. Both try to use logical reasoning, although sometimes passion gets in the way leading to uncritical and fallacious statements on both sides and both seem to want to get to the truth. Remember, I am speaking of philosophical theists not to be confused with religious theists who thinks god is on there side and speaks to them. I do not want to take a side in this fight, but wisdom is more valuable than folly, so I have to give each side their due. I think-- and I say this as an outsider of sorts-- that both sides theist and atheist need counseling because-- as one can read on this forum-- that people are really passionate about their acceptance of what they believe the evidence shows them. My question is this, does belief or disbelief matter when the thing in question exists whether you want it to or not. Whether a god exists or not is not my point. The point is that certain theists and atheists really do not have a problem with each other, but they both have a problem with dogmatic people who regardless of the evidence do not care. Just remember, many of the people here use to be religious, so I think some slack should be given and not insult. Also, many staunch atheists become deists or theist, for example Antony Flew (deist, if I am not mistaken). And as I have heard on the show, there are some definitions or concepts of god that the hosts would not have a problem with. So, where is the agree to disagree or respect? Hopefully, I made my point clearly, that is that religion is the problem and not philosophical disagreements of rational minds. As I type this I know there is going to be an influx of angrily typed words coming my way. <! --- That is my point. C'est la vie.

Alison said, "It seems to me the more that I look into this social phenomenon, that is the theism versus atheism debate that the real problem atheists have is with religious theists and not so much with philosophical theists."

Yes, and the theists believe in freedom of speech too; since nobody hears the atheists on every station every Sunday. You gave yourself away as an unbiased party when you said, "the real problem atheists have" theist have a much bigger problem accepting non-belief.

The theological philosophy you are referring to tried to answer questions (they thought) could never be answered. "Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned."

Stephen Hawking: "Scientists actually are answering the most important questions that at one time could only be philosophically discussed - since there were no answers. When science provides the answer with evidence you don't need philosophy, but some philosophers just don't want to move on."

When scientific facts contradict a philosophical position science should win over philosophy but today we all know that isn't true. Otherwise why would anyone think that there is a true scientific controversy concerning evolution or the origin of the Universe? There is a consensus that a 'first cause' is not necessary and evolution is now a theory and a fact?

A philosophy with the illusion of knowledge where none in reality exists - is not something to waste any time on.

Alison said, "So, is there common ground between philosophically-minded atheists and theists. Both try to use logical reasoning, although sometimes passion gets in the way leading to uncritical and fallacious statements on both sides and both seem to want to get to the truth."

Religion makes no effort to explain a thing it's all a mystery. It does not explain where life came from you just live it. Religion promotes the idea that we should all be in awe of everything; we shouldn't treat it as a problem that can be solved by the human mind. Where's the logic?

The truth is theists believe the purpose of religion (philosophically-minded or not) is to discourage immorality, when it has been proven that religion has little impact on society problems, it has little to do with morality.

Most of us have an innate moral sense which is genetically coded into us as a direct result of over one hundred thousand years of physical and social evolution. With the exception of some psychopaths who are running a muck killing.

Alison said, "Remember, I am speaking of philosophical theists not to be confused with religious theists who thinks god is on there side and speaks to them. I do not want to take a side in this fight, but wisdom is more valuable than folly, so I have to give each side their due.

Well, if you were full of wisdom you would know that all theists think god is on their side, even if god doesn't speak to them and atheists don't have a philosophy or a belief. Atheists are not on Christian message boards trying to convert anyone. Why don't you ask theists why they are always on atheist message boards trying to convert people? Why do we all have to believe what they do? Why do they throw hissy fits when they lose an argument? (BTW) How many time does someone have to kick their ass before they get the point.

Alison said, "I think-- and I say this as an outsider of sorts-- that both sides theist and atheist need counseling because-- as one can read on this forum-- that people are really passionate about their acceptance of what they believe the evidence shows them. My question is this, does belief or disbelief matter when the thing in question exists whether you want it to or not.

I think it is very obvious who needs counseling - people that go into rages when they can't force their beliefs on others need counseling. So, what you are saying would make sense if any of us were on theists message boards trying to sell atheism - but we're not.

If something exists it's obvious (like it or not) but they don't exist simply because you want them to.

Alison said, "Whether a god exists or not is not my point. The point is that certain theists and atheists really do not have a problem with each other, but they both have a problem with dogmatic people who regardless of the evidence do not care.

What evidence is there for the existence of any god (there is no evidence) all you have is dogma. Atheists are not trying to prove anything about something for which there is no evidence.

Alison said, "Just remember, many of the people here use to be religious, so I think some slack should be given and not insult. Also, many staunch atheists become deists or theist, for example Antony Flew (deist, if I am not mistaken). And as I have heard on the show, there are some definitions or concepts of god that the hosts would not have a problem with.

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" it's very difficult to know what happened with someone who was elderly and their health was failing when some evangelical Christians found an atheist that they wanted to persuade to join their club. So, where is the agree to disagree or respect?

Alison said, "Hopefully, I made my point clearly, that is that religion is the problem and not philosophical disagreements of rational minds."

Theology has never been about finding the truth or telling the truth.

Bertrand Arthur William Russell in his book 'The Problem of Philosophy'. One of his famous critiques was that reliance upon evidence, rather than upon superstition, would have enormous social consequences. He said, "I wish to propose for the reader's favorable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true."

Alison said, "As I type this I know there is going to be an influx of angrily typed words coming my way." That is my point. C'est la vie.

"Such is life"! Nobody seems to be interested! Nevertheless, (you should know by now) what happens when domineering types try to force their philosophy on atheists who aren't interested. You can't dictate to people what their response can be on an atheist message board; anyone that doesn't like it shouldn't post their kookie thoughts on a message board.

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