Sunday, June 09, 2013

Maybe we should thank God for Gnus

They may be driving some people back to God. 

Of course, not doubt this is because they were never real atheists in the first place. 

19 comments:

B. Prokop said...

The second-to-last paragraph is extremely interesting! Maybe it's time for an Outsider Test (trademark) for Atheists?

BeingItself said...

Butterflies and Wheels as a thread claiming this person as a fraud. I'm not saying she, just that the claim is out there.

B. Prokop said...

So what do you mean, BI? Are you saying you don't believe Megan Hodder exists, that she's a liar, or is it that you just don't like the fact that she converted?

I just looked at the website you referenced, and it says nothing about her being a fraud. The poster over there (Ophelia Benson) simply disapproves of Megan's rejection of atheism and conversion to Catholicism.

BeingItself said...

The accusation and 'evidence' can be found in the comment thread.

B. Prokop said...

Well, I just slogged through all the comments on that site. Whoa! It makes one appreciate Dangerous Idea all the more, when you see what a cesspool the rest of the internet is like.

BI, those doubters over on Butterflies sound no different than the Birthers, still demanding that President Obama produce his "real" birth certificate, or the lunatics who can't bring themselves to believe that the Newtown shootings actually took place.

Ilíon said...

VR: "Of course, not doubt this is because they were never real atheists in the first place."

Now that Nietzsche is dead, is *anyone* a real atheist?

B. Prokop said...

You might have something there, Ilion. At least Nietzsche faced up to the implications of his beliefs. Very few of today's crowd have his courage to admit to the utter nihilism that is the logical conclusion to atheism.

Martin said...

Bob,

But atheism is just a lACK of belief!!1!! It makes absolutely no claims whatsoever!!!

B. Prokop said...

Martin,

I have no idea whether you're being ironic or serious. But assuming you were serious, then you're merely confirming my last comment. By saying "[Atheism] makes absolutely no claims whatsoever," you are running from its logical conclusions, which include complete meaninglessness, no purpose to life whatsoever, no objective truth, no good and evil, absolute nihilism, and utter despair.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying atheists accept these things. Quite the opposite, I'm saying they don't acknowledge them, despite the fact that (were they totally consistent) they ought to.

ingx24 said...

I'm 99.9% sure Martin was being ironic.

That said: I've never really understood how the nonexistence of God could entail that there's no such thing as good or evil. While I do think that, in the end, materialism entails the incoherence of the idea of morality (since, when taken to its logical conclusions, it ends up denying the existence of consciousness in anything but a functional sense), I don't think atheism alone has the same consequences. All that is needed for morality to make sense, in my view, is that there are conscious beings capable of feeling pleasure and pain - I think the idea of a "moral lawgiver" being required for morality comes a bit too close to divine command theory for my tastes.

I may be misunderstanding something here, so correct me if I am.

Martin said...

The "1" in my exclamation points should have been the tip off.

:)

Martin said...

>conscious beings capable of feeling pleasure and pain

Why? Why ought we not cause pain, or whatever? I'm not sure how pleasure and pain crosses the is/ought barrier better than anything else.

B. Prokop said...

ingx24,

Naw, I don't think you're misunderstanding anything. I was posting from my own point of view that atheism equals materialism. I know many on this site have a very different view of their relationship, but I cannot for the life of me understand how a person can not be one without the other. (Unless, like Spinoza (if I understand him correctly*), you believe that the universe and God are interchangeable terms.)

* Actually, I wonder seriously whether anyone understands Spinoza correctly.

B. Prokop said...

Martin,

Thanks. I'm not familiar with where you stand on issues (your profile reveals nothing), so it's sometimes hard to tell when it comes to tongue in cheek postings.

B. Prokop said...

Aaarrrgh! A typo made my comment say the reverse of what I had intended. It should have read:

I cannot for the life of me understand how a person can be one without the other.

The "not" in the first version was extraneous.

ingx24 said...

I was posting from my own point of view that atheism equals materialism. I know many on this site have a very different view of their relationship, but I cannot for the life of me understand how a person can be one without the other.

I'm kind of the opposite - I can't understand why people think the one entails the other. Moreover, I find that most theists around here - especially Catholics - tend to be Aristotelian-Thomistic hylomorphic dualists (which I actually count as an eccentric form of materialism because of its views on consciousness) rather than genuine substance dualists, which actually seems to make Christianity (or at least Catholicism) seem almost incompatible with dualism rather than a natural accompanyment to it.

BenYachov said...

@Bob

>Thanks. I'm not familiar with where you stand on issues.

His Rocket Philosophy blog should be a tip off to you with all the awesome Thomism.

B. Prokop said...

ingx24,

I'm not a philosopher, so I don't tend to put my beliefs into labels like "Aristotelian-Thomistic hylomorphic dualism" (I have no idea what that even means). I guess you'd be safe calling me a Catholic Christian who believes that the physical, material universe is the creation of a supernatural (meaning: above, or outside of, nature) being (i.e., God). I believe Man to have a foot in both worlds, possessing body (material) and soul (non-material).

I know, terribly unprofessional terminology, but it does the job.

Martin said...

...which is really not awesome Thomism but just me thinking out loud, as I work through issues.

:)