Science Re: [FoRK] reas. conv. 11/27: Religious War (excerpts)

Jeff Bone < jbone at > on > Mon Dec 4 08:58:54 PST 2006

On Dec 3, 2006, at 5:43 PM, Jeff Bone wrote:

>> I admire your "faith" in the face of futility. :-)  Seriously.
> I appreciate but don't require any admiration of my position, from  
> you or anyone else --- though I myself admire your dogged  
> insistence that what underlies my point-of-view is faith, despite  
> by best attempts to persuade you otherwise.  I'll acknowledge that  
> failure on my part, with perhaps one last, hopefully concise, tilt  
> at that particular windmill.  Short of success in this attempt, I  
> will be forced to concede that it is impossible to pursue this line  
> of argument much further, without a tedious and less-than-exciting  
> attempt to plumb the depths of some epistemological minutia:

Okay, so perhaps I can't resist tilting at the windmill some more...

One of the most amusing and yet vexing things about arguing non-faith  
with believers is their apparent inability to grasp, much less  
concede, the difference between "lack of belief" and "belief of  
lack."  Apparently their minds are so warped by, and dependent on,  
"belief" that they can't grasp the idea that a conscious being could  
simply choose *not to fill some "void" in their minds with some form  
of belief.*

Consider:  atheism can mean (at least) two things.  It can mean a  
lack of belief in the existence of god.  Or it can mean a belief in  
the non-existence of god.  Now, those are --- clearly, I hope, for  
any reasonable person --- two entirely different things.  Yet they  
are frequently confused by believers.  Even the most antagonistic  
atheists (i.e. Dawkins) --- at least those of a scientific bent ---  
are generally of the former opinion, though with suspicions about the  
latter.  As Dawkins puts it (paraphrasing) --- his lack of belief in  
the existence of god is not faith in god's non-existence, since he  
knows exactly what it would take to change his mind.

What would it take to change YOUR mind about the existence of God,  
Dr. Ernie?  I suspect there's nothing that will do that.  And that,  
in a nutshell, is the difference between faith and reason, and the  
why all your attempts to tar non-believers (or, perhaps more  
accurately, faith-rejectors) with the "faith" brush are nothing but BS.



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