Posted: Feb 12, 2012 6:36 pm
by stalidon
Jeffersonian-marxist wrote:Neoplatonic ruminations fused with the metaphysical tales of a first century carpenter is where we get this idea, and obsession, of a fixed and unalterable truth. A good way to view these "problems," indeed all of philosophy, is like Rorty: pontifications on the intuitions of the Greeks.

andrewk wrote:Personally, I criticise religion when I see it used as a means to oppress or otherwise harm others. I particularly dislike when it is used to justify prejudice, violence or brainwashing and terrifying children. I don't think that justifies indiscriminate criticism of religion though. If an individual gets comfort from a particular religious belief, and it harms nobody else, I think it would be mean and arrogant to do anything solely aimed at undermining that belief. That does not however mean that one should refrain from publicly criticising religion because some such people may be listening. In that case, undermining the person's belief is not the sole aim of engaging in public debate, in fact it is not even an aim at all but just an unfortunate side-effect.

andrewk wrote:Unfortunately your search for a 'rock' that cannot be doubted, upon which to rest your worldview, cannot be successful unless you intend to be a solipsist, as any other worldview, religious or not, involves adopting axioms that are open to doubt.

Fenrir wrote:Bad ideas exist to be destroyed. By questioning things which appear counter-intuitive or wrong to me and weighing the evidence for and against I inform myself and by informing myself I grow as a person. Other people are welcome to believe as they wish, but they should not expect or demand silence in return for irrational rubbish.

Public policy is still built on the edicts of bronze age herders. This seems downright dangerous to me and by adding my voice to those pointing out that irrational rubbish is just that and has no place in public policy I hope to influence governance towards rationality and towards supplying public services according to the needs of society and not according to the dictates of an imaginary and immoral dictator.

John P. M. wrote:All of the above for me. But it personally started as a process where I gradually understood that what I had been told my entire life were exactly the kind of 'rock' Truths you speak of, were in fact lies and distortions and withholding vital information to the contrary view.
Are all ideas equal? The way I see it, if someone promises you a fantastic life after death, where any doubts you may have now will be settled, and everything will be great and happy and shiny, but it demands of you that you make detrimental sacrifices in this life, which is the only one you know with 100% certainty that you'll ever have, then they better come up with 100% evidence of that fantastic afterlife.

Are they all true? All impossible to differentiate in any real sense from better ideas because we'd have to start off with an axiom or two about reality in order to do so?

I don't think I necessarily have a need to convince everyone of atheism. But over time, and as a society, I think we at least would be better off without unevidenced superstition. Superstitions that rob people of time, resources, trust in others, equality, rights, health, and a general quality of life, the only life they can be 100% certain of ever having.


I think I agree with all of the above.