Author Topic: The Persecuted Atheist, or How I Learned To Love God And Protect The Children  (Read 23220 times)

ivan

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,102
  • Karma: +72/-6
  • Icepick made my ears burn.
It is my opinion that the reason why many of these type discussions go absolutely nowhere is because the multiple different sides are using different languages to have the discussion.

I've only skimmed the last two days' worth, and will only respond after I've read everything very carefully -- because of this. C'est tres vrais.

But for now I just want to repeat that I feel agnosticism is an unstable philosophical state, being a state of uncertainty, and if faith is a natural human inclination, then we are naturally inclined to eventually resolve the issue in our minds and pick a side. Maybe the adage "no one dies an atheist" should be changed to "no one dies an agnostic". That argument, of course, is predicated on the assumption that "no one dies an atheist" is, indeed, an adage, and not something I just made up. I will consider that assumption a matter of faith. Oh, and I also want to repeat the phrase "sooner or later you have to open the damn box and kill the cat", because I thought it was clever.

Talix

  • AKA Dollbutt
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,284
  • Karma: +136/-27
  • Needs a chaperone
    • Tumbling the Tree
That's not how Fark taught me to kill cats!
"If you need Grover to explain "under", you're not ready for Playboy."
"Maybe you should learn to use commas, first, and then toy with pregnancy as a rhetorical act."
"Magical invisible high-pressure lightning fluid in your walls?  No problem."
"I am a light to the world." - Random Axe

"These are strange and mysterious times, and we must move in strange and mysterious ways." - mrcookieface

"I grow less interesting every year." - Hmof

ivan

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,102
  • Karma: +72/-6
  • Icepick made my ears burn.
There is no wrong way.

Back during the Raj, a traveling Englishman saw a yogi sitting in a field, and dismounted to speak with the sage. Approaching him, the Englishman was horrified to see that the yogi had placed a large stone between his legs, upon which he had splayed his nads, and was methodically pounding his junk with a brick. Cringing at the sight, the gentleman yelled, "What on Earth are you doing?" The yogi replied placidly, "Killing kittens". Recoiling, the Englisman sputtered, "Why, that's absurd. You are doing it wrong. It's supposed to feel good!" The yogi replied, "Oh, but kind sir, it does feel good. It feels good when I stop."

Like faith in nothingness, I suppose.

flipper

  • Ultimate Pick Up Line
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,013
  • Karma: +128/-54
  • Criticism Completes Me
    • Myspace
Ivan that sounds like a very dualistic argument.  Referring to the picking sides.  Maybe it's my being and ENTP, but a linear continuum doesn't really apply to many things.  Sure the powers that be try to frame any argument as linear.  Conservative v liberal, theist v atheist, right v wrong, pro-Animaniacs v anti-Animaniacs, etc.  but I would assert that life, meaning, and everything is not that simple, that it is multivariate, multidimensional.  For this reason, I find myself in the agnostic camp, and I seriously doubt on my deathbead, I'll be chosing one extreme of a linear paradigm, I'll probably just be asking for more drugs, some sexual release, and a nice meal.
"It all trickles down from the hot sex. I'm not saying you don't need cheese, just that if you concentrate on the hot sex, the cheese will follow. Naturally."--PsiDefect 03-19-2002 11:28 AM

First Post

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,275
  • Karma: +87/-3

That unknowableness that I found in between the limits of what I could know and (what I think of as) the (metaphorically) solid fact of my existence as the result of a billion different factors combining just so...that's the mysterium tremens et fascinans (tremendous and fascinating mystery) of my life.  It's no ultimate Grandfather personally invested in my best interests, but it works for me.

Yeah. I know you're involved in the Work in some capacity so I didn't see how you could subscribe to the dead world most of these folks are positing.

Any real talk I do about this would be in the back and there are some things I've seen and done and experienced that I doubt I will ever share publicly, other than to say if anybody thinks this is it? they are severely limiting their thinking. And I don't care for this whole attack on agnosticism, either.

Also, it's obvious that many of you have never spent any time talking to real evangelicals. The whole "atheism is just another belief system" gambit you ascribe to Axe is one of the very first lines of defense for most thoughtful Christians. I'm certainly far from Christian but I recognize that they are the majority in the US, and as I strive to understand the world around me, I do not think it wise to dismiss them entirely.

ivan

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,102
  • Karma: +72/-6
  • Icepick made my ears burn.
Ivan that sounds like a very dualistic argument.  Referring to the picking sides.  Maybe it's my being and ENTP, but a linear continuum doesn't really apply to many things.  Sure the powers that be try to frame any argument as linear.  Conservative v liberal, theist v atheist, right v wrong, pro-Animaniacs v anti-Animaniacs, etc.  but I would assert that life, meaning, and everything is not that simple, that it is multivariate, multidimensional.  For this reason, I find myself in the agnostic camp, and I seriously doubt on my deathbead, I'll be chosing one extreme of a linear paradigm, I'll probably just be asking for more drugs, some sexual release, and a nice meal.

Sure, YMMV. It just seems to me there would be a natural tendency to eventually resolve large issues in one's head. I used to argue that agnostics are uncommitted atheists, but now I suppose an agnostic can go either way or stand pat. It is all too fraught with social pressure to test objectively, but I'd like to see a study of 1000 agnostics and 1000 atheists tracked from their 30s to their 80s and see what kind of shifting around takes place.

In any case, if there ever is such a thing as an anti-Animaniacs camp, it should be persecuted to extinction.

ivan

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,102
  • Karma: +72/-6
  • Icepick made my ears burn.

That unknowableness that I found in between the limits of what I could know and (what I think of as) the (metaphorically) solid fact of my existence as the result of a billion different factors combining just so...that's the mysterium tremens et fascinans (tremendous and fascinating mystery) of my life.  It's no ultimate Grandfather personally invested in my best interests, but it works for me.

Yeah. I know you're involved in the Work in some capacity so I didn't see how you could subscribe to the dead world most of these folks are positing.

Any real talk I do about this would be in the back and there are some things I've seen and done and experienced that I doubt I will ever share publicly, other than to say if anybody thinks this is it? they are severely limiting their thinking. And I don't care for this whole attack on agnosticism, either.

Also, it's obvious that many of you have never spent any time talking to real evangelicals. The whole "atheism is just another belief system" gambit you ascribe to Axe is one of the very first lines of defense for most thoughtful Christians. I'm certainly far from Christian but I recognize that they are the majority in the US, and as I strive to understand the world around me, I do not think it wise to dismiss them entirely.

It was hardly an attack.

First Post

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,275
  • Karma: +87/-3
It was hardly an attack.


Don't get aggy chief, it's not about you. It's in this whole thread.

Talix

  • AKA Dollbutt
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,284
  • Karma: +136/-27
  • Needs a chaperone
    • Tumbling the Tree
I hope no one reads anything I've written as attacking any particular belief system.  I think I'm wandering off on What We Can/Do Know Vs. What We Can/Do Believe Path, which I usually find branches off of Semantics Lane.

As far as the Work...I'm quite sure many of my personal beliefs are contradictory.  Can one be an agnostic occultist?     :lol:    People that I trust have told me things that I want to believe and that I hope to experience, but there is a hardcore skeptic in me also taking it all in.  T. Thorn Coyle wrote something about skepticism not being incompatible with the Work, so I tuck my doubt into my pack and keep walking the path.


ETA:  2000!  :banana:  :moon:

« Last Edit: April 16, 2008, 01:54:30 PM by Talix »
"If you need Grover to explain "under", you're not ready for Playboy."
"Maybe you should learn to use commas, first, and then toy with pregnancy as a rhetorical act."
"Magical invisible high-pressure lightning fluid in your walls?  No problem."
"I am a light to the world." - Random Axe

"These are strange and mysterious times, and we must move in strange and mysterious ways." - mrcookieface

"I grow less interesting every year." - Hmof

ivan

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,102
  • Karma: +72/-6
  • Icepick made my ears burn.
And an atheist's world is hardly dead (quite the opposite, in fact), and the gambit was not ascribed to Axe, and that gambit is also the first line of defense of UNthinking Christians, which is why I was taken aback by it here, and I have had world-view-shattering things happen to me, too, which I also will not discuss.

Arguing is not attacking.

ivan

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,102
  • Karma: +72/-6
  • Icepick made my ears burn.
It was hardly an attack.


Don't get aggy chief, it's not about you. It's in this whole thread.

Oh.

For once, I thought the world revolved around me.

flipper

  • Ultimate Pick Up Line
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,013
  • Karma: +128/-54
  • Criticism Completes Me
    • Myspace
Ivan, that study would be interesting.  Perhaps I'll change as I get older.  When I was younger I thought I was an atheist.  But then philosophy classes took over.  I still don't even like the terms theist, atheist, agnostic.  Sure In N Out is tasty and simple with it's three options.  But at The Cheesecake Factory, there is just so much more choice.
"It all trickles down from the hot sex. I'm not saying you don't need cheese, just that if you concentrate on the hot sex, the cheese will follow. Naturally."--PsiDefect 03-19-2002 11:28 AM

ivan

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,102
  • Karma: +72/-6
  • Icepick made my ears burn.
Perhaps. But on closer inspection, the simple may turn out to be more complex than it appears.

First Post

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,275
  • Karma: +87/-3
If that's all you're getting from anything I said ivan, then I was foolish to enter this conversation in the first place. I hereby withdraw the word "attack" if it means less eternal wrangling over semantics. OK? We good then, yes?

To anyone involved in metaphysics and spirituality, there are big parts of life and existence that are largely closed to those who actively practice atheism, yes. And that is like a part that might as well be dead to them in terms of usefulness in their lives, yes. So yeah, that one I'm not upset that it pushed your button. I'm not hating on anybody though, so if ya wanna throw then whatever, but it's not my intent and I don't have any problem with you or what you're saying like you seem to think I do.

As far as the Work...I'm quite sure many of my personal beliefs are contradictory.  Can one be an agnostic occultist?   

I hope so! That would probably be a good definition for where I'm at. I am loath to talk about it here in the public threads, is the personal problem. Maybe I might like to run for president or something! Or not have to in turn have more serious debates about this with less congenial folks in other places, if you get my drift.

I'm not under any pretense that any of this talk is mean-spirited or anything more than fun debate. I just find that some things cause trouble no matter how pure the intent of the conversation. Jeez, this thread and its meta-threads are more proof of that than any of my bullshit. So I have a hard time finding the words out here, and if it's being misinterpreted then that might have something to do with it.

flipper

  • Ultimate Pick Up Line
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,013
  • Karma: +128/-54
  • Criticism Completes Me
    • Myspace
Perhaps. But on closer inspection, the simple may turn out to be more complex than it appears.

Oh I'm familiar with the secret menu.  Someday I want to order a 10X10
"It all trickles down from the hot sex. I'm not saying you don't need cheese, just that if you concentrate on the hot sex, the cheese will follow. Naturally."--PsiDefect 03-19-2002 11:28 AM