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  #11  
Old 30th May 2016, 02:46 PM
Post-Theist Post-Theist is offline
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Default Re: The burden of reason, I suppose ...

@ Goldenmane: The whole paragraph? Oh my ... anything specific so I can either explain or start back-pedaling?
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  #12  
Old 30th May 2016, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: The burden of reason, I suppose ...

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As a post-theist, I now accept that theism is dead as in "God is dead" and in the same token it nullifies atheism because the matter is settled. All that is left is to move on and try and solve the issues is a rational, scientific manner.

P-T
I agree with some slight modifications:

As a post-theist, I now accept that the arguments in favour of theism are dead, that there is no evidence to support the theist position (in this sense "God is dead") and in the same token it nullifies atheism because the matter is settled. All that is left is to move on and try and solve the issues is a rational, scientific manner.

You haven't been reading James A. Lindsay. have you?
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Last edited by workmx; 30th May 2016 at 03:22 PM.
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  #13  
Old 30th May 2016, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: The burden of reason, I suppose ...

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No, there's no winning argument when reason is viewed with suspicion. But as an atheist I always felt compelled to give it another go. What do they call a person who repeats the same action expecting a different result? Anyway, that burden has been lifted now that I call myself a post-theist (yeah, very awkward label phonetically). As a PT - as arrogant as it sounds - the god debate is over, which includes any notion of pixies, dragons, unicorns and the boogie man. Now the serious work can commence employing our great skills of reason to combat mental health.
As an atheist I always felt compelled to counter superstition and woo with reason. But I found it impossible to convince those who view reason with suspicion. Continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result is one definition of insanity. Now that I identify as a post-theist I no longer bear the burden of feeling compelled to engage in these pointless discussions. As a post-theist I can direct my efforts towards helping others to think more rationally.
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  #14  
Old 30th May 2016, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: The burden of reason, I suppose ...

^PT, I had a go at fixing it for you (and for Goldenmane), hope you don't mind.

Personally I've had people try to tell me I'm an agnostic and should identify as such, or that I'm an agnostic atheist and should identify as such. But I choose to identify as an atheist because it is (a) valid, and (b) I find that identifying as anything that includes the word "agnostic" invites all sorts of unwanted attempts to convert me to a belief system, and all sorts of misconceptions about what it means.

You should identify as whatever you feel is appropriate for you. As long as it makes logical and rational sense, of course.
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  #15  
Old 30th May 2016, 04:59 PM
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Xeno Xeno is offline
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Default Re: The burden of reason, I suppose ...

Hello P-T, welcome to the forum.

A suggestion if I may? Abandon arguing with people in your intro about definitions of lettuce. Wander out into the forum and tell us what you think. That way we can all get to know each other better.

Incidentally, I disagree that theism is dead or of no further interest, when I expect it (or some related belief of religious style) will continue to be held by enough people to sustain quite a few democratic representatives, such that we must deal with their basis for views and actions. I won't be around for a while to argue that so if you want it discussed in general, make it a new thread, something like "theism has no further relevance".

cheers
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  #16  
Old 30th May 2016, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: The burden of reason, I suppose ...

Hi P-T, nice intro, your personal story has a lot of resonance. In my Catholic upbringing, the religious brainwashers had more success maintinaing the hypnotic power of the religious buildings and statues, but ultimately they still failed in my case. I can remember after I began questioning religion, entering the school chapel and learning to see it in a new light, as merely bricks and plaster and paint and pictures. When I left school and made friends with people who had had NO religious upbringing it was also revealing. A uni friend told me he'd never actually been in a church, and I thought he'd had an ideal childhood!

As for the debate about post-theism, you seem to be distancing yourself from the person who would describe themselves as an anti-theist, although post- and anti- could also fit under the wide umbrella of a-theist.
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  #17  
Old 31st May 2016, 11:01 AM
tmorg tmorg is offline
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Default Re: The burden of reason, I suppose ...

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Now the serious work can commence employing our great skills of reason to combat mental health.
Off topic but (in my opinion) reason will never combat mental health because it is an emotional condition. I am all for rationality but my ongoing emotional awakening is beyond the scope of reason. I had to stop thinking and feel my pain to love myself and overcome suicidal depression.

If you spend a lot of time thinking you are probably not consciously accessing (and therefore processing) your emotions which I am convinced is mental health even if few seem to agree with me.

The emotional "dimension" is as important as the intellect but does not make you a good physicist!
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  #18  
Old 5th June 2016, 02:51 PM
Post-Theist Post-Theist is offline
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Default Re: The burden of reason, I suppose ...

Sorry about my absence. Work. Grrr. At least the bills a paid!

I'm certainly aware that as a new member I should be very cautious of impertinent behaviour. However, as this is my own little space to try and share my 'coming out' there seems to be a bit too much confusion as to where I see myself on this path. So, with due respect to the current conversation, please allow me to qualify my position.

Yes, Workmx, my definition of post-theism is directly in line with Lindsay's from his work, Everybody is wrong about god. I know there's been some disagreement about this definition and, to be fair, I'll use Lindsay's words where my own fail (this might also include the words of others as they relate to post-theism).

Identifying as an atheist has not always suited my personality, chiefly because I can't let bullshit pass without challenging it. My own experience of this has rarely been anything other than sheer frustration and a complete waste of time, even with those who don't hold strong religious views. Although I've always been comfortable identifying as an atheist because of my own views, it is made so much sweeter when in the virtual company of great minds like Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins, et al.

So, atheism has been a tremendous burden for me. The release came when I read James A Lindsay's, Everybody is wrong about god. And he does mean everyone. One of the big ideas he puts forward - which I've mentioned on an earlier post - is that theism if not dead is irrelevant.

But how can something be irrelevant if it's still prevalent?

"That atheism has won, when construed rightly, still needs some defending. How could atheism have won the war of ideas if so many people still believe in God, including some who are very intelligent and highly educated? Put simply, wars of ideas are protracted affairs that are decisively won often long before everyone gets on board, sometimes decades sooner. Racism, to draw one notable example, is obviously still present in the United States, but few of us would deny that the idea of racism was defeated decades ago.

Over the idea of God, like with racism, there are two battles being fought at the same time, and they tend to get conflated. On one front, there is a war of ideas, which I claim has ended with the notion of God as the clear loser. On the other is a cultural fight, and that will endure for some time, maybe indefinitely. We saw the idea of racism collapse long before the culture started really catching on, a process lamentably still continuing today. The cultural fight is mostly distinct from the arguments over the idea, and it must be fought in a different way." (Linday's, Everybody is wrong about god, page 18).

That quote sets post-theism up very well, in my opinion. One, it tells me to stop fighting ridiculous ideas with reason to an audience either unable or unwilling to fight back. Two, it promises a reasonable and scientific method for addressing the issues.

The second part is the most exciting because of the simple shift Lindsay makes in coming to terms with the idea of God. The mechanical shift is quite elegant because he just added what he calls "scare quotes" to the word as in "God". So who or what is Lindsay's "God"?

"The claim then is that "God" exists, and God doesn't exist. "God" is an idea, an abstraction, that people use to attempt to make sense of the world. The primary application of this abstract idea is to meet various psychological and social needs, to fulfill them by imaginary proxy, or to pretend that those needs do not need to be met.

In broad summary, the psychosocial needs that people use "God" to satisfy or ignore fall into three categories: attribution (making sense of the world and what happens in it), control (overcoming a sense of powerlessness), and sociality (community building and finding context for self and others within that community)." (Lindsay's, Everybody is wrong about god, page 97).

I want to go on, but I think that'll do. Anyway, I have to get ready to play tonight.

PT
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  #19  
Old 5th June 2016, 03:10 PM
Post-Theist Post-Theist is offline
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Default Re: The burden of reason, I suppose ...

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tmorg said View Post
Off topic but (in my opinion) reason will never combat mental health because it is an emotional condition. I am all for rationality but my ongoing emotional awakening is beyond the scope of reason. I had to stop thinking and feel my pain to love myself and overcome suicidal depression.

If you spend a lot of time thinking you are probably not consciously accessing (and therefore processing) your emotions which I am convinced is mental health even if few seem to agree with me.

The emotional "dimension" is as important as the intellect but does not make you a good physicist!
I can't argue your personal testimony. I do, however, suspect that mental health is a huge area of study and that there are many cases of mental health that don't rely solely on emotional compromise and/or breakdown. Also, in the context of a normally healthy person becoming involved in theism it could simply be a case of suspending reason (or filling up lack of intelligence or experience for fantasy) for inclusion in a community.

Having said all that, I have little understanding of psychology outside of Jung, Eriksson and Johnson. And. yes, of course the emotional dimension is as important as the intellectual - just ask any artist!
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  #20  
Old 5th June 2016, 03:48 PM
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DanDare DanDare is offline
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Default Re: The burden of reason, I suppose ...

Thanks for the interesting and helpful elaboration, PT.

Yes, god is gone and a cultural battle remains. To fight that battle, and prevent it from going back to theocracy, one has a duty to engage those that are propagating the theocratic view.

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One, it tells me to stop fighting ridiculous ideas with reason to an audience either unable or unwilling to fight back.
This comes up often. On the internet if someone puts forward theocratic arguments then combat them directly. It is not for the benefit of the person who's mind is immutable, but for present and future audiences that will happen by. The alternative is to leave their wibble stand to influence others without opposition.
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Burden of proof is the obligation on somebody presenting a claim to provide evidence to support its truth (a warrant). Once evidence has been presented, it is up to any opposing "side" to show the evidence presented is not adequate. If claims were accepted without warrants, then every claim could simultaneously be claimed to be true.

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