Thursday, October 12, 2006

We do not either have a title box

Bonus points to anyone who gets that joke. Believe me, it's hilarious.

Steve: first, every so often you post about separation-of-church-and-state, or some other thing those dastardly minority atheists (mwa ha ha) are imposing on you poor majority Christians. I usually wonder if you've read something somewhere that set you off, or if it just has to do with the lunar cycle. If the former, it's time to start naming names. We're all big kids here.
Second, the First Amendment has, in fact, "erected a wall between church and state." That seems to be your real issue, and I'll address it in another post.
Third, I'm sure you're sincere about not intending to lump me in with the 'militant atheists,' as you put it, but you really can't avoid doing so. 'Hundreds of atheists' is a pretty feeble disclaimer.
Finally, saying that a statement is 'unproven' (or 'unprovable') does not mean that the opposite is true. I've argued this repeatedly; see my post about whatshername, Coulter. Stating that evolution is not 'proven fact' does not leave the field to creationism/intelligent design. And if the assertion 'there is no God' isn't provable through formal logic [it isn't] it does not follow that 'there is a god' must be true. I am astonished that you can't see that. And if you can, you don't act like it.

Lance: 'how do atheists know there isn’t a God?' How do believers know there is one?

What you're doing here is trying to shift the burden of proof to me, and you're doing it in a not-entirely-honest way. When I say that atheists 'don't need to make a statement,' I mean that the believers already have. They've stated that 'this is true: this exists, and it has the following properties...' If you weren't saying that, there wouldn't be any atheists, would there?
Now, instead of criticizing, you could be discussing how you came to your beliefs, why you believe in your particular god, but you aren't. Why not?
It gets back to the concept of 'god.' Or 'gods,' which probably came first. At some point, somewhere, somebody started talking about that. Somebody brought up the idea of a deity. You say we're just having a conversation; well, that's when the conversation started. "But why is atheism the default position? One side has to explain their belief, while the other side gets a pass. That doesn’t make sense." It makes sense. One side has a belief. the other doesn't.
"The assertion ‘God doesn’t exist.’ is just as much a positive statement as 'God exists.' It implies a logical conclusion. A logical conclusion implies that facts have been ascertained. Facts can be verified. You must have followed some logical path to reach that conclusion." Beautiful. Lay your facts and logical path on me. Can you?


Al said...

Why am I getting into this?

I don't know. I don't even know if I'm a Christian, an atheist or an agnostic. [Plays Hobb with my "recovery," let me tell you!]

I'm just a guy trying to love my wife and kids, get rich, run farther and faster and raise pretty flowers. [Immorality destroys all these things, btw. Indeed, I'd be inclined define immorality as those actions which impede these things. I'd even back legislation against some such immoral acts.]

And anything else that keeps my mind off my favorite brew.

All I want is a peripatetic AA group. I hate sitting in a musty room on a beautiful evening.

Steve said...

Hey, Al,
How you been doin'?

Grandpa John and Todd are getting involved again, so it should be a lot of fun.

Keep hanging tough against the demon.

Steve said...


The Title Box Joke: I don't see it. There is no evidence of it. The hilarity of which you speak does not exist. Conversely... 'Hundreds of atheists...' Now, that's funny!

My motivation? Ultimately it is inspired by the poor rhubarb harvest in Croatia. Does that automatically negate the validity of any of my actual assertions?

When you write your assessment of the First Amendment, I would ask you address a few things; The Constitution's Article III, section 2; the meaning of the phrase, "Congress shall make no law"; and the history, from as many primary source documents as possible, of the formation and implementation of this amendment for the first 100 years or so after its enactment.

For all intents and purposes, you have been arguing in favor of big government enforcing libertarian views via the courts.

Al said...

Thanks Steve. I managed to face Absurdity without chemical assistance for another day. See BPoMN for a recap.

On your comments to Todd, I was going to mention that I don't get the reference either.

And, actually, I believe America's courts are sworn to enforce libertarian views, though they pay no attention to them. Atheism is not synonymous with libertarianism.

People who hold the Founder's views these days are derided as anarchists.