(H/T John Loftus)
We all know that any emotional bias -- irrespective of truth or falsity -- can be implanted by suggestion in the emotions of the young, hence the inherited traditions of an orthodox community are absolutely without evidential value... If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. With such an honest and inflexible openness to evidence, they could not fail to receive any real truth which might be manifesting itself around them. The fact that religionists do not follow this honourable course, but cheat at their game by invoking juvenile quasi-hypnosis, is enough to destroy their pretensions in my eyes even if their absurdity were not manifest in every other direction.
- H P Lovecraft, letter to Maurice W Moe, 3 August 1931, in August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, ed, Selected Letters 1929-1931 (1971), pp. 390-91, quoted from S T Joshi, ed, "Introduction," Atheism: A Reader, p. 17 [via PostiveAtheism.org]
I came across a recent entry on CADRE Comments, the official blog of the "Christian Cadre," titled: New Atheists Say the Silliest Things, written by Cadre contributor BK. I'd say something about BK's insistence on referring to outspoken atheists as "new atheists," but that's the least of his transgressions. BK shares this video featuring an interview with Richard Dawkins - a video BK says "isn't worth the time" to watch:
Here is yet another quote from Apologetics315:
“It is one thing to recognize bias and aim off for it: it is quite another to suppose that because men passionately believe something to be true it must therefore be false.”
– Michael Green
This quote stuck out to me not because I think it's an astonishing tapestry of words, but because the message evokes such a strong feeling of, "yeah, but..." in me. In other words, I agree with it - I agree with it passionately, interestingly enough - but I can't just leave it at that. More needs to be said. Much more...
I think I know why I enjoy critiquing the "Sunday Quote" at Apologetics315: I love quotes. One might say I have an obsession with them. Quotes are like snapshots, and just as a photo captures an interesting, moving, or even silly moment in time that both captures and conveys the essence of its larger context and is best understood in relation to its context, so a good quote captures the heart of the body of work from which it is extracted, and is best understood when examined in light of its larger literary context.
I just found out this morning that Bruce Gerencser is online and blogging once again. He can be found here: Fallen From Grace. As his FAQ page indicates, this is the blog that was once Bruce Droppings, then Restless Wanderings, and then NW Ohio Skeptic. If you aren't familiar with Bruce, you need to be. I have added his link to my list of "Blogs Followed" found on the right-hand side of this blog.
Let's assume for the sake of discussion that Jesus is in fact the Son of God, the "second person" of the Trinity, the logos through which all things were made, the unblemished lamb that was slain, the long-expected Messiah of Israel and the Lord of all. What would this Jesus want from us? Considering who he is and what he did for the human race, what kind of expectations would Jesus have?
I'm lying on the couch wrapped up in my Snuggie, sick with a sinus infection. Drugged up with nowhere to go, I'm spending my time watching
stupid awesome YouTube videos. I thought I'd share this one, just for fun (Warning: this preacher swears... a lot.)
Some of my closest friends are Christians, and even though they may differ on certain theological issues or approach the issue of spirituality differently, the common denominator among them is a conservative Christian faith. By "conservative" I don't mean that they necessarily reject evolution (although at least one of my Christian friends does), and I don't mean that they all vote Republican (although a few of them do). By "conservative" I mean that they view the Bible as "God's Word," and see the stories therein as literal. By "literal" I mean they believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world, the second person of the Trinity, the logos, the Son of God who became a human and actually died on a cross to pay for the sins of mankind, who rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father.
These are my Christian friends... and I've been trying to get several of them to write. Here's why:
For all the berating of Bill O'Reilly for being a juggalo, let's not forget to also mention that the ad campaign brought to us by the American Atheists is almost as stupid as anything O'Reilly has ever said.
I won't apologize for expressing my views on this blog. That's the entire purpose of having a blog. Is that proselytizing? No, because I'm not trying to convert people to a belief or a doctrinal position. I'm also not forcing myself on anyone. People who read my blog do so by choice. I share my thoughts and ideas in the hopes that others will read them, and some of these readers will offer thoughts and ideas of their own.
A small milestone for my blog: I just passed 10,000 visitors. My thanks to everyone who reads this blog, and everyone who has participated in discussion here. And for the record, I have no hard feelings toward Mike D for reaching 10,000 before me.
I saw this video in a recent blog entry at Berto: Philosophy Monkey and had to share it here. Stephen Colbert and Neil deGrasse Tyson discuss Bill O'Reilly's recent comments:
The following is a fictional conversation between a recently deceased Christian, a recently deceased atheist, and a being called "god." God in this story looks a lot like Billy Connolly in Boondock Saints. This conversation is entirely fictional, and does not necessarily represent my own views of god or the afterlife. I wrote this for fun, to get readers to think. Enjoy...
Here's yet another quote from the Apologetics315 blog:
The only way to doubt Christianity rightly and fairly is to discern the alternate belief under each of your doubts and then ask yourself what reasons you have for believing it. How do you know your belief is true? It would be inconsistent to require more justification for Christian belief than you do for your own, but that is frequently what happens. In fairness you must doubt your doubts. My thesis is that if you come to recognize the beliefs on which your doubts about Christianity are based, and if you seek as much proof for those beliefs as you seek from Christians for theirs – you will discover that your doubts are not as solid as they first appeared.
- Tim Keller
Critiquing the "Sunday Quote" has indeed become a recreational activity for me. I hope Brian Auten (founder of Apologetics315) doesn't take this personally; after all, I'm a blogger, which means I'm always looking for something to write about. I have nothing against the guy. I don't even know him. That said, after reading this week's quote, all I could say was, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!"
"If I ever find proof that my beliefs are false, I will change my beliefs."
I've heard several Christians say this - a few of them good friends of mine. At first glance, it sounds quite reasonable. "Show me proof," they say, "and I will change my mind." I'd like to explain why this isn't reasonable at all.