Theist writes of Atheists in 'The Irish Times'

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munsterdevil
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Theist writes of Atheists in 'The Irish Times'

Post by munsterdevil » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:38 am

DR NICHOLAS LASH (Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge) wrote in the Irish Times yesterday

You can check out what he says at

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/opinio ... 00528.html

I think he is off the mark in a lot of things here, he believes that faith is solely to do with 'God'

I mean did he ever hear of the term of having faith in humanity.

He's just trying to force his own opinions on us that there is a God and thats how humanity is surviving.

Did he ever even consider that the human conscience might be part of Evolution? No probably not...

Incidentally he is lecturing on "The God Delusion: Where Did it Come From?" in Dublin at 8pm on Thursday evening next at St Mary's Church, Haddington Road. For anyone that is interested...(maybe for a laugh).
bipedalhumanoid
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Post by bipedalhumanoid » Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:02 am

I decided to stop giving money to the Irish times to read the drivel they publish. So can't read the whole article.

What I will say though is that the word faith has many meanings and is easily equivocated. That's how the theists manage to form slipery (and fallacious) arguments any time an atheist dares to choose any given definition for the word.

Dawkins will tell you it means belief without evidence but I'd say it is more accurate to describe the faith of the fathies as trust with flimsy evidence bound by wishfull thinking.

When theists talk about having faith in god what they basically mean is they trust god. They will tell you that they trust god in the same way a person might trust a reliable colleague or trust a chair to not fall apart when they sit on it.

Of course trusting god implies the existence of god but that doesn't mean the word faith directly relates to that belief... the belief is however, implied.

Of course this trust that people have for their imaginary friend is not very well founded. The trust I have in my chair comes from inductive reasoning with a basis in evidence. Firstly the chair appears to be stable and appears to be a structure that will hold my weight. Secondly, my experience of sitting on the chair every day for 2 years further reinforces my theory that the chair will hold my weight when I sit on it next. It certainly isn't guaranteed but a reasonable inductive argument can be formed to suggest it will.

Where people trust that god will make everything alright... watch over us... heal us when sick or prevent us from becoming sick etc. it is baseless and completely lacking any real foundation. Rather than the inductive reasoning being reinforced by evidence, it comes from wishfull thinking and group mentality. my belief that the chair will hold my weight is reinforced by sitting on the chair and experiencing it succeed in that task. If the chair fell appart (showing evidence to the contrary to my theory) that trust would be damaged. Religious faith is reinforced by ignoring evidence to the contrary, accepting evidence that is not to the contrary and gaining encouragement from religious peers and religious authority figures.

I on the other hand don't need encouragement from other chair users at sunday group meetings to 'keep the faith'... and if religious faith had such solid grounding as chair faith, the religious also would not need to meet every sunday for encouragement.
andrew
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Post by andrew » Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:27 pm

I read that too. Nonsensical drivel. He bangs on about the origins of the words truth and belief and tries to construct some kind of hilarious argument that all atheism is is a denial of the truth of humanity or some such rubbish. there seems to be a lot of this floating around in the Irish Times these days. Breda O Brien wrote something similar having a go at Dawkins a few weeks ago. It's like reading school children's essays on why they like their favouirte football team. Anti-intellectual rants dressed up as thoughtful comment. It might be funny to attend yer man's meeting, I'd say there'll be about 6 people there.

Andrew
Emm....would anyone like to see my monkey impression?
lostexpectation
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Post by lostexpectation » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:13 pm

there's been alot of letters in the times recently about religion in schools and atheism and secularism, some good letters, that priest that always writes in doesn't understand the concept of secularism and then got a hammering about it,anybody read the bit re chauvinism? also some protestant school chaplin wrote in saying segregated religious teaching didn't work in my school.

and there then there was the dreadful two pages they gave to john gray that didn't get much discussion here.

i thought he was saying it the faith, faith that helps you be good, have good values,help people that's what important, not the god, and that its mistake to think it all about whether a supernatural being exist. (but when you ask religious christian people they say they do believe in that god)

well that what i hoped he was saying until he started going on about the creator...?



so basicaly he is saying atheist are wrong, anti-society and self destructive?

like we hadn't heard that before.
Last edited by lostexpectation on Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
test
munsterdevil
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Post by munsterdevil » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:23 am

ANDREW SAID
Breda O Brien wrote something similar having a go at Dawkins a few weeks ago. It's like reading school children's essays on why they like their favouirte football team.
I must say that is one of the most artistic ways to describe a particular extract

lol well done!
micfur
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Post by micfur » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:14 am

Leaving aside the content of the article for a moment, why cant he write in plain english? For example:
In our society the worship of gods, "idolatry", is rife - we worship people and ideas, money, power, and self - but, fundamental to what it is to be a Jew, a Christian, or a Muslim, is the conviction that human beings may worship the mystery on which the world depends while yet not worshipping the world or any feature of it, and that thus to worship is, in the last analysis, what it is to be a human being.
That is one sentence believe it or not. It's frustrating reading articles riddled with commas, like trying to make multiple points, or saying the same thing in different ways, instead of just saying something once, in plain English and making the next point in the next sentence, instead of this sentence!!! If you get my point....

Michael Shermer has the same habit and it puts me off reading him.

Lash is an Emeritus Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. A Professor of Divinity no less! He should go back to school and learn how to write.

Here is the full article for those who cant access it:
RITE AND REASON: MOST OF the atheism that is around assumes that to "believe in God" is to suppose there to be, beyond the worlds we know, one more strange thing, for the existence of which there is no evidence, writes DR NICHOLAS LASH.

Before long, educated people agreed that the class of "gods" was empty, and modern atheism was born. However, the fact that a culture ceases to have good uses for the word "god" says nothing whatsoever about what it is the culture worships/has its heart set on. In our society the worship of gods, "idolatry", is rife - we worship people and ideas, money, power, and self - but, fundamental to what it is to be a Jew, a Christian, or a Muslim, is the conviction that human beings may worship the mystery on which the world depends while yet not worshipping the world or any feature of it, and that thus to worship is, in the last analysis, what it is to be a human being.

Learning to use the word "God" well is a matter of learning that all things are created, and created out of nothing. Learning to use the word "God" well is a matter of discovering that all we have and are is given; that our existence is the finite form of God's self-gift.

Many basic English words which now sound like abstract nouns originally expressed relationship/activity. "Truth", for example, comes from "troth", a pledge or promise.

God's fidelity, perhaps His central attribute in the Hebrew Scriptures, finds final expression in John's Gospel: "full of grace and truth", both words expressing God's generous fidelity, his "troth", the promise that God is.

As the 17th century poet, Angelus Silesius, put it: "Gott spricht nur immer Ja": "God always says only 'Yes' ".

The expression "I believe in God" has, unfortunately, become systematically ambiguous. It may express the opinion that God exists (and quite what 'exists' is doing in this sentence is a much trickier matter than most atheists and many theists suppose). On the other hand, as used in the Creed and in worship, it promises that everything we are and do is set steadfastly on the mystery of God, and hence that we are pledged to work towards that healing of the world by which all things are brought into harmony in God.

The meaning of "believe" thus underwent a shift similar to that which saw "truth" emerge from "troth": a shift from pledge or promise to expression of opinion.

If, then, a "theist" is someone who believes in God, and an "atheist" someone who does not, there would seem to be two kinds of atheism, corresponding to the two senses of "belief". The atheism which is the contradictory of the opinion that God exists is widespread. Many atheists of this kind mistakenly suppose themselves to stand in contradiction to Jewish, Christian and Islamic faith in God.

All creatures are dependent on God's creative utterance, but only human beings can be aware of this; can learn to make themselves a sharing in the "Yes" of God. This sharing we call faith.

The opposite of faith would be the refusal of such sharing, the effective refusal to have anything to do with God. Having nothing to do with God would, perhaps, be possible if we had some identity, some basis of existence, other than that of being created, and created out of nothing. But we do not. Therefore, effective refusal to have anything to do with God can only mean self-destruction, annihilation, return to the "nihil" from which all things came. Christian tradition maintains the possibility of such refusal, the possibility of enacting an effective "No" to God. But my reading of what this entails explains why you don't find atheists of the second sort around.
bipedalhumanoid
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Post by bipedalhumanoid » Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:10 pm

Richard Dawkins wrote an interesting article which sums up this kind of writing very well...
Suppose you are an intellectual impostor with nothing to say, but with strong ambitions to succeed in academic life, collect a coterie of reverent disciples and have students around the world anoint your pages with respectful yellow highlighter. What kind of literary style would you cultivate? Not a lucid one, surely, for clarity would expose your lack of content. The chances are that you would produce something like the following:
We can clearly see that there is no bi-univocal correspondence between linear signifying links or archi-writing, depending on the author, and this multireferential, multi-dimensional machinic catalysis. The symmetry of scale, the transversality, the pathic non-discursive character of their expansion: all these dimensions remove us from the logic of the excluded middle and reinforce us in our dismissal of the ontological binarism we criticised previously.
Full article here...
http://richarddawkins.net/article,824,P ... ins-Nature


As for this assertion...
Therefore, effective refusal to have anything to do with God can only mean self-destruction, annihilation, return to the "nihil" from which all things came.
Therefore is a wonderfull word and very important if you wish to structure a non-sequitur. Otherwise how would anyone know what you're attempting to put forward as a conclusion?
Ygern
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Post by Ygern » Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:45 pm

"Gott spricht nur immer Ja"

Yeah. That's why so many amputees have had their limbs re-grow after praying sincerely and humbly and in their hour of need to God.

Oh, wait a minute ...
FXR
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Post by FXR » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:14 pm

Ygern wrote:"Gott spricht nur immer Ja"

Yeah. That's why so many amputees have had their limbs re-grow after praying sincerely and humbly and in their hour of need to God.

Oh, wait a minute ...
Dear Sir
I had both my legs amputated during the Vietnam War after jumping out of the top floor of a brothel in Saigon. I was a sinner. I spent my nights in lustful pleasure helping poor Vietnamese prostitutes instead of killing communists. I thought I was happy but I know now the Devil was misleading me. So good is Satan that I was convinced to the point of always being deliriously full of joy. God really wanted me to be in the bush killing Gods enemies the Commies.

I prayed to God and now I am restored.

God (appearing exactly like our local priest, only God could do that) told me that because I repented he would make me a hole.

I said “But God I don’t want to be a hole, I work for the Corpo now, we make loads of them every day, the lads can get me one”. He said I meant “whole” w-h-o-l-e…

God explained he had fully restored my soul and now I was complete. God said that to enter his kingdom we must leave our bodies so legs are not so important anyway. Then God said he had to go since his Godly bacon and Godly cabbage was ready. He only charged me €30 which he said was voluntary and I did not have to contribute (God can make scary faces, I bet you didn’t know that) though it was hardly much money now that I was hole again. It was better than a threesome…..Oh fuck, now I have to go to confession…
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
FXR
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Post by FXR » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:25 pm

andrew wrote: It might be funny to attend yer man's meeting, I'd say there'll be about 6 people there.
Andrew
Make that 7, I think I'll go for the craic. I'm going to ask him how much he gets paid. I can do vague waffel when I want to. Ask anybody.....

The paucity of the atheists position is proven legibly by the anorexity of their number in ratio to overwhelming affirmation of the masses as confirmation of the undenyable immutable omniesence of the transendent nature of the one who is so uncontestably present he is nonapparent having become the very fabric in which we individualy intermesh and he is therfore the seamless conjunction of samness making him all at once present but beyond the conciousness of the nihilistic atheistic.


See it's bleedi' easy......
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
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