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So many of these are totally spot on, so good to get some actual positive things in atheism. But you've got to see that you can't criticise the beliefs of religion to religious people. It is a moral act. They can't accept what you say and keep their belief. If atheists just concentrated on what relgious people did, not what they believe, the world might be a better place. You can't believe in religious freedom and also believe you are free to try and get the religious believer to say things which would destroy their faith if they did. That's a conversion attempt, a conversion into nothing admittedly, but a conversion all the same.
Toggle Commented Nov 17, 2009 on Atheist Memes of the Day at Greta Christina's Blog
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"To say the universe was created by God is an assertion of fact about the external, non-subjective world." That's the heart of it. Why do atheists keep on saying stuff that only religious people have to say? We know these things are stories that people amalgamate into their world by having faith in them, we know they're stories, so why carry on treating them as crap factual claims? We know they're not and we know they can't say it. I'm also not sure the subtelty of our communal reality is captured by the terms subjective and objective. What are ideas, for example? They don't seem to naturally fall into either camp.
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There is still a massive grey area between full blown myth and the narratives everyone lives by. It's no more true to say the universe is awe inspiring as to say it is created by god - they're both human-created narratives about essentially valueless facts. There is no beauty in reality unless we take that attitude towards it, the same mechanism that religious faith works on. I totally agree that atheists need to get a positive narrative going on, but fail to see how you can do this coherently without accepting that the scientific devide between truth and fiction just isn't what reality is like for us humans.
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Hi there, I've been trying to figure out where my thoughts about free will comes in the spectrum of isms, can you help? It seems obvious to me that there is no neutral argument position from which to mount an attack on freedom. Whether we like it or not, we have to tell some story or other about our being free, and the effect of that story on our lives trumps all other arguments. After all, whatever we think about free will, we still have to make decisions. And if free will and choice aren't connected, then what the hell are we talking about? I'd also say that free will is not a question for science at all, but rather one about how we use language (which isn't something I think science can investigate successfully). It seems to me that the prerequisites for free will are 1) being able to imagine different courses of action 2) being able to decide between them and 3) trying. Its essentially an question about our ability to do certain things with language, and whether we have the courage to act as we aim to. But as that argument has to be seen in light of the first, I suppose its kind of ignorable. Anyhow, I'm a bit of a newbie to the current debate, so any guidance on where I might fit would be appreciated.