Tuesday, September 07, 2004

a heated conversation (my) last night:
(key: A = fervent atheist, R = me)

[more conversation in front]

A: Road trips are awesome

R: hahah i KNOW goodness i wanna roadtrip up to canada this winter but i don't think my parents'll let me

A: Why not?

R: dangerous, yadda yadda

A: Dangerous?Haha, how?

R: i dunno, and i suppose it'd be nice if pple go with me but it's such a thin idea as of now so i don't know... slippery roads etc

A: That's bullshit. It's just as safe as driving anywhere else. Highways are actually safer than other roads.

R: hahhahhaha you're prob right

A: No, it's true.

R: thinkin of getting a car, then persuading my parents to come into
madison for a coupla days then driving up in time for christmas in vancouver. don't know if we can make it though

A: Why Vancouver?

R: coz we're planning on skiing in whistler, plus visiting my ex-pastor who's currently studying there

A: Cool.
Vancouver's a great area. Anywhere in the Pacific Northwest is awesome.

R: hahah why'd you say that??

A: Forests, mountains, the ocean, good liberal-minded people, it's great.

R: hahahhaa some dude asked me on wed if i would like to be a college republican

A: Yeah? Is that you?

R: ?! no waaay, i have no affliliations, i'm afraid

A: Heh, I see. Are you liberal or conservative, though?

R: i honestly don't know, what are the parameters? i dont' wanna commit myself too quick

A: Hah, liberal or conservative are ways of thinking, not groups.

R: true but in which sectors? economically? socially? i'd say liberal, but i don't advocate gay rights

A: Why not?

R: coz i don't believe homosexuality is something a person is born with

A: Hm. I don't understand how you can be any authority on that.

R: hahah books (i don't just mean the bible), but i'm doing book research on any possible genetic basis of homosexuality and there's no credibility in the claims at all

A: Fine, I don't understand why that makes it *wrong*.

R: ah the wrong bit is then coz i believe in the bible, you're obviously free to disagree :]

A: So you believe that it's a sin to wear clothes of more than one fabric? You believe it's a sin to shave your beard? You obviously don't believe those things, but they are in the bible... obviously you're believing in the parts of the bible you WANT to believe in, and homosexuality is something you WANT to believe is wrong. Why?

R: no, the laws in leviticus are contextual, homosexuality is one that stretches across the board from the Old testament to the New

A: That's absolute bullshit.

R: likewise the laws against adultery; hahah choose what you will, that's my stand

A: That's horrible. No, really. I can't believe that.

R: no it's not, why?

A: It's absolutely horrible.

R: ? i'm not intending to burn anyone, dude

A: It's condemning someone for acting in a way which doesn't affect you at all. Isn't the bible all about NOT PASSING JUDGEMENT? It's not up to you to decide whether it's right or wrong, whether you believe in the bible or not. It's NONE OF YOUR CONCERN OR BUSINESS. It does NOT affect you. I absolutely abhor people not allowing homosexuality based on some ancient, badly translated and absolutely apocryphal BOOK.

R: it's the same concern i have for anyone next to me who's stabbing someone

A: Bullshit. Stabbing someone is hurting them, that's plain as day. The ONLY way homosexuality is 'harming' anyone is in a biblical sense and that's threadbare at best.

R: you can abhor me for something i believe in, and i choose to believe because i think from experience and a reasonable amount of logic is true

A: Reasonable amount of logic?!! ANY logic firmly places the bible in the realm of fantasy. You can NOT argue that.

R: no, it doesn't

A: Yes it does. When presented with a fantastical claim (the bible is 'correct', in this case) the burdon of proof lies in the proof, not in the disproval.

R: i don't know how much logic you feel is reasonable, but it obviously far surpasses mine, which is reinforced by personal experience

A: Fantastical claim: God exists. It's not up to ME to DISprove it, it's up to YOU to PROVE it. Otherwise, I could say, "There is a tribe of gigantic moon-beings living at the center of the earth. Prove me wrong!" You can say an infinite number of things that are impossible to disprove.

R: I can't prove that God exists; look, we're coming from 2 different sides of the equation. i come from the assumption that God is real, creation itself screams that. you come form the assumption that God doesn't exist.

A: The logical thing, then, would be to say any claim you make must be PROVEN before DISproven.

R: none of which are backed by personal experience

A: It's not an assumption!

R: sure it is

A: God does not exist. prove he does! You cannot prove the nonexistence of something that does not exist.

R: i cannot prove to you he exists, it's only my duty to tell you he does, you have to seek him yourself!

A: However, you also cannot prove the existence of something that does not exist. See, you're just closed minded. A robot. that's so sad.

R: me? hahaha, no, i have experienced God in ways that are undeniable

A: HAHAHAHA. Oh yeah? Prove it. Until then, I'll deny your undeniable claims.

R: seriously, i don't care that you think of me as a close-minded fogey. haah how would you like me to prove it to you? you won't listen to me. if i could take you into my mind for a while i'd love to. likewise vice versa. i mean, i'd love to peer into your head a bit

A: Psh. You Christians are all the same.

R: hahah i don't think we're all the same, really

A: You are dangerous.

R: ?

A: you are the carrier of a deadly social virus

R: oh piffle. pray tell, how?

A: It's an idealogy based in brain-washing and self-preservatory censoring of both common sense and logical thought. It is destructive of those 'outside of the faith', it is bigoted, and it is unchangeable.

R: no one can force you to believe in what you don't want to

A: If you're programmed from birth they can. And you have been.

R: it's not devoid of common sense

A: There is no escape for you. Because you don't know HOW to escape. You don't posess the brain pathways that would allow you to escape.

R: dude, i can't say with confidence that i'd be a christian had i not been brought up in a christian home, coz there's just NO WAY of knowing! maybe.

A: Of course there isn't, you've been MADE a Christian. You cannot be unmade at the level that you've been programmed.

R: hahah you can't MAKE me a christian

A: It's hardwired into your brain.

R: rubbish

A: The basic structure of your brain makes you a Christian whether you want to be or not, the brainwashing makes it impossible to understand the kinds of arguments which would turn any non-indoctrinated person away from religious belief.

R: i easily step out of the faith if i wanted to, it's a hard life to live to follow PERFECTLY

A: No way. You can't leave. Your brain can't. That's the danger of it. Those who follow it follow it COMPLETELY. If not in action, at least in belief.

R: so you wanna condemn me to my eternal err, mind slavery. now that's what i call being too quick to judge. faith without actions is dead.

A: Normally I wouldn't argue with someone like you, but you said something that makes it worthwhile: when you start to decide that YOU know how OTHERS 'should' live their lives, then you lose absolutely all moral rights. There is NO WAY you can decide that.
Faith is a farce.
Faith with actions is puppetry.

R: no, faith with actions shows you actually believe in it enough to practice what you believe

A: Hah, not in the least. The problem there is that faith is flawed.
Faith requires you to do what you're told. It's following someone else's idea of what is right and wrong, without ANY personal justification other than a vague feeling that it's 'right'.

R: i do not make the decision for people, i only want to inform! if i knew that jumping into an actual bed of roses would hurt you, and you wanted to jump in coz you've heard the proverb 'life is a bed of roses', i'd advise you not to do it coz you'd get hurt!

A: That's a bad analogy.

R: goes back to where you base your faith on

A: No, it's a bad analogy: a bed of roses would PHYSICALLY HARM YOU. Homosexuality harms you where, in the afterlife? It's heresay AT BEST.

R: so MY premise is that God is real, and that the bible is God-inspired. hence, i follow. the reason i believe is because of personal experience

A: That's not a premise!!!!

R: i've never jumped into a bed of roses, i still know it's gonna hurt. i base it on what i believe in; sure it is a premise

A: No! Any basic premise must rest on something solid. And faith in god is more full of holes than an empty room!

R: i believe my personal account is solid enough for me

A: It IS a hole!

R: what do you need, A?

A: I need for Christianity to be shown for the absolute disgrace to the human condition that it is. I need it to be removed from my life. removed from EVERYone's lives, for their own sake. This goes for Islam, Hinduism, what-have-you.

R: now you're enforcing it upon everyone else what you think to be right, a lil contradictory, and if i might say so, hypocritical

A: At least I've formulated my opinions MYSELF, without some magical incantation-filled DOCUMENT written by some MYSTERIOUS INVISIBLE MAN IN THE SKY. It makes me ill.

R: hahah what self, what pride! just because i didn't come up with it myself means it's false! dude, i don't think that's the case

A: Okay, let me ask you this: how do you know your beliefs came from god? Just tell me that.

R: my. personal. experience. with. God. how i've seen him change lives, the some kind of unspeakable joy that i've NEVER felt before except for when i came before him, peace, healing (saw a wheelchair bound man walk, my grandma healed of cancer), so much, so much more.

A: WHAT?!! ALL of those things can be MUCH MORE RATIONALLY explained through science... why attribute them to god?! Why attribute your OWN PERSONAL JOY to something outside of you? You're saying you're not even capable of JOY without help! It's degrading and submissive. But then, that's the nature of Christianity: Submit yourself to God.

R: nonsense, i know the levels of joy that i've encountered. i'm a happy person, in general, but there's glee, and there's JOY.

A: All thanks to God! Without God, I'd be nothing! I can't have JOY without GOD!! I am weak! I am utterly helpless! But GOD helps me! THANK GOD.

R: hahahaa, we're not inept. but since i believe in God, we wouldn't be here if he didn't create, so technically, yes, we'd be nothing

A: How is that based in logic? It's not.

R: sure it is, i don't see any other rational explanation for a mind and soul, this crazed frenzy in sociological trends (money-maniacs, slimming pursuits) because of the need for a purpose in life/identity. and seeing how impossible creation was a result of probabilty.

A: So you're not intelligent enough to understand the way the universe works, therefore god exists. Brilliant.I think you've solved it.

R: hahah no, not THEREFORE

A: Ah, so one doesn't naturally follow?

R: ?

A: You're right, there: you can't understand the way the universe works. HOWEVER, this by NO MEANS implies divinity. It implies nothing than the fact that there are more complex things happening than yourself. That's all.

R: BINGO. higher entity.

A: NO. Higher REALITY.

R: hahah dude, suit yourself

A: REALITY has no purpose. ENTITY has a purpose. Purpose is a human definition.

R: current reality didn't come to be JUST because it did

A: Why not?

R: you tell me how it could, and maybe i'll believe you.
entity has a purpose, right, which is why i used the word

A: Exactly, which is why I say it's bull.

R: ok, so we agree to disagree

A: Nope. "you tell me how it could, and maybe i'll believe you" <-- what does that mean? Tell you how things came to be the way they are? R: sure, that'd be cool

A: Things are the way they are because they are the result of physical laws, which are inherent in all matter. They are the way they are because it is impossible for the universe to exist in any other respect. Basically, the universe EXISTS, and being that it EXISTS, it is EXSISTING in the only way that it can, because to EXIST in another state would mean it would BE something ELSE.

R: so how do you propose it came to be?

A: How do you know that at one time it didn't exist? If the universe is all of time and space, then there could not have been a time when it did not exist, because that would preclude the existence of time, a property of our universe. Therefore there WAS NO TIME when the universe did not exist.

R: sure,so how did time originate?

A: Define originate without time.
Originate assumes a progression through time, and like I said, there is no time outside of the universe.
The universe necessarily does not 'originate' anywhere, because it IS all origins, as it is all time.
Likewise, nothing can exist outside of the universe, because that would suggest space outside of the universe, which is a property of the universe, in itself defined as ALL OF SPACE.
Therefore nothing exists but the universe. So nothing could have existed 'before', which nullifies any claim to creation, and likewise nothing can exist 'outside' which nullifies any claim to god.

R: but the 2 'space's are used differently, the first being "space-time", the second being "volume". i believe in more than our physical human realm, and i believe in God. He's in another realm, one devoid of time constraints that we have

A: The definition of the universe inclues every aspect of being.
If you 'are', you are 'inside' the universe.
To 'exist' is to be a part of the universe. That's the whole point.
So if god exists, he must exist inside the universe. And if he is inside of the universe, then he must not be omnipotent.
Unless, and this is where I really like philosophy, he IS the universe.
IN WHICH CASE, we are all a part of him, and therefore have no free will, so it doesn't matter what you believe, because he is deciding what happens to you anyway. If this is the case, he makes all BAD things happen too, and therefore cannot be ALL GOOD.
and if he is not ALL GOOD, then why worship him?
What this all boils down to is an acceptance of the possibility that ANYTHING you see or think is WRONG, then it makes no sense to follow some potentially HIGHLY APOCRYPHAL TEACHINGS, because they are just as likely to be wrong as any other system of beliefs, and even have a BOATLOAD of detractions against them!

[subsequent to which my mom called and i excused myself, when i got back he was offline. i suppose this'll continue for a while yet]


Blogger s said...

seems like A is the one with the close-minded rhetoric committing all the logical fallacies. not to mention pretty rude! there's no need to get personal.
u shld read a case for faith. i think answers alot of this stuff with quite reasonable logic and it's pretty persuasive.
as for the burden of proof, it lies on the party claiming the proposition, whether or not it is a positive or negative one. e.g. like a plaintiff may claim that the defendant didn't perform his obligations under a contract (or that there is no contract, or that there is no God) - it is for the plaintiff to prove that what he says is right.
...relax babe :)

12:44 AM  
Blogger rachel said...

thanks, hon. :]
beaucoup de merci pour l'encouragement.

2:46 PM  

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