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Marxist Hacker 42's Journal: Why I seem to be both conservative and liberal 21

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42

I believe in a rational God. That is, a God who, at the creation of the universe, set up certain rules and mathematical constants, and who doesn't change those rules or mathematical constants merely to work miracles or confuse us.

Without this belief, I'd be either an atheist (who believes in what he can prove, a small subset of the previously mentioned rules and mathematical constants), or a fundamentalist (who, be they Moslem, Christian, Jew, Polytheistic, or whatever, all seem to agree on one thing- God's unlimited ability to confuse the wise and mess with things, up to and including His own promises and teachings to mankind- even as they make an idol out of scripture, their very theology places God outside of that scripture with the ability to change his mind on a whim).

To me, a non-rational God isn't worth worshiping, much as to many atheists a violent God isn't worth worshiping. And yet, to 10,000 Muwahiddun Islamics, that's exactly the God they seek. To most fundamentalist Christians, it's the mysterious, magical God they imagine smiting their enemies. And so on.

I expect to get lambasted by both sides for this journal.....which is fine. Because, you see, I've got a guy who backs me up on this. One with a lot of influence, who has dedicated his position to fighting the moral relativism of the atheist as well as the non-rational God of the Fundamentalists while defending the concept of a rational God.

A belief in a rational God makes one a realist. Faith is not in opposition to science- science is the way we discover the mind of God.

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Why I seem to be both conservative and liberal

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  • Look, there are a hojillion changes made by every "conservative" moralities. Even though the most common depictions of Jesus are him with long hair, the Bible specifically condemns males wearing long hair.

    You yourself have changed your moral views over time, WITHOUT DOUBT.

    This is the "relativism" that atheists tout... it's not like we're suggesting that there are cultures that accept and believe that murder is ok... every culture has a hojillion "loopholes" on what "murder" means. For instance, in the US,

    • Uh, there are cultures that accept and believe murder is not only OK, but moral- one of the early problems of Christian missionaries in the South Seas was getting the natives to believe that Jesus was the hero of the gospels rather than Judas- for in their eyes, betrayal ending in murder (and in some cases cannibalism) was the highest form of flattery and THE way to solve any given political problem.

      I'd point out though, that Roman Catholicism in particular takes several centuries to change- and most recent

      • Is that for real on self defense? How about defense of others in an emergency situation? Your typical noticing the sweet old lady taking a beating and rape etc out on the street for example, where time and fast intervention is critical, you can't wait for some posse of cops to show up?

        • Evil, but sometimes we humans have to choose between the lesser of two evils.

          Basically the same moral situation as a doctor faced with an ectopic pregnancy. The abortion is a moral evil that must be repented for- but so is letting the mother die.

          Same with defense of others in an emergency- killing in that situation is evil, but so is doing nothing. I'd say doing nothing is the greater evil in that case (though, I'd see if there was something I could do non-lethal first....and thanks to the coming totalita

          • Say you lied to some bad guy to save the life of another. It's evil to lie and you have committed evil, EVEN THOUGH what you did was right and justified.

            I really don't have a problem with that kind of thinking. It provides the kind of concrete foundation upon which Catholic morality is built and makes it very clear what right and wrong are.

          • BTW, /. refers to you as a FriendFanFoe of a Friend. That's awesome. :-)

            • I've always said that if you're in the middle of the road, you'll get run over by cars going in both directions :-).

              I'm in good company in that though. I long ago noticed that Pope John Paul II couldn't make a decision without either the traditionalists or the "Spirit of Vatican II" folks getting upset (and sometimes, both).

      • by snowgirl (978879)

        My point here is that regardless, the Christian basis of morality has changed.

        The Catholic Church has even apologized for earlier actions taken by the Church, which at the time it held were correct, but now have changed and decided that it were wrong.

        Atheism seeks to find a justifiable reason-based morality, rather than an arbitrary, "because my religious leader told me so" argument.

        In this way, atheists tend to believe that there are moralities that are better than others, but that fundamentally, we need t

        • My point here is that regardless, the Christian basis of morality has changed.

          Or our understanding of it has, rather. Doctrine develops, dogma doesn't.

          The Catholic Church has even apologized for earlier actions taken by the Church, which at the time it held were correct, but now have changed and decided that it were wrong.

          True enough- though, I'd point out, that most of those decisions, *even given the understanding of the time* were not correct, but rather, a pragmatic at

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by snowgirl (978879)

            I've yet to see any evidence that atheism is particularly reason-based; it too has it's assumptions and axioms. Having said that- it's more reason based than fundamentalism, alright. Probably because it's a direct reaction to fundamentalism.

            Atheism does have assumptions and axioms. I assume that this world actually exists as I perceive it. It's true that metaphysically, I could be a brain in a jar. However, I can neither test, nor disprove such an assumption. Therefore, the best assumption that I can make is that my sense of reality isn't fundamentally flawed.

            Nearly every atheist with whom I have spoken has pointed out that there are criteria and evidence that would make them believe in a god. The key here is evidence. We don't believe i

            • Thought experiment: the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the actual creator of the universe (this is a given in the experiment), he says that it is wrong to eat spaghetti without meatballs. Sure he created the universe... but why should his opinion on the proper way to eat spaghetti matter at all? He may have created the world, and he may hold each of us accountable after death to his arbitrary opinions of spaghetti eating, but does this really make his opinions CORRECT?

              Is it not possible that the only reason

              • A world created by the FSM can have no views about right and wrong apart from whatever capacity to reason at a moral level the FSM gave it.
                 
                And that too, is a part of the universal morality.

            • by gmhowell (26755)

              You spend too much time and intellect rebutting someone who uses a former Grand Inquisitor to justify his morality.

              Hopefully, if nothing else, it helped you to codify and think out your own thoughts. That's what I get out of MH42. He's crazy as a shithouse rat, but he makes me think. He is also very sincere.

            • Atheism does have assumptions and axioms. I assume that this world actually exists as I perceive it. It's true that metaphysically, I could be a brain in a jar. However, I can neither test, nor disprove such an assumption. Therefore, the best assumption that I can make is that my sense of reality isn't fundamentally flawed.

              I can't make that assumption. In fact, my assumption is exactly the opposite: My sense of reality is fundamentally flawed. There are many things that exist that I will never e

              • by loucura! (247834)

                heck, eye witness evidence (which most of the various theologies are based on, from the Vedas to the Olympians and beyond) is even accepted in court- but it's not acceptable to an atheist.

                Actually, theological texts are hearsay which would not be acceptable in court.

                • Theological texts are indeed hearsay- but most scriptures are not theological texts, or at least, weren't intended to be in the first place. It was usually long after the author's death that such a determination took place.

                  Luke's Gospel and Acts of the Apostles is no more hearsay than the evidence given by any investigator into a crime. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a direct investigation into near death experiences, even the Bhagavad Gita is a written record of an interview, at least in the translation

                  • by loucura! (247834)

                    The gospels were written between 30 and 100 years after the supposed death of Jesus Christ. I can't think of anything modern that would be considered more hearsay than that. Worse still, the entire liturgical document was created by a political organization 300 years later. Nothing in that document would be permitted as evidence in court. Never mind the seventeen hundred years of rewrites and revisions. I can't speak toward the Tibetan Books of the Dead, but the Bhagavad Gita has similar issues, especially

                    • The gospels were written between 30 and 100 years after the supposed death of Jesus Christ. I can't think of anything modern that would be considered more hearsay than that.

                      Except, maybe, cold case files? Or how about the recent sex scandals against Catholic priests, where most of the cases were 30-60 years away from the actual incident of abuse, and many of those accused were actually dead?

                      Worse still, the entire liturgical document was created by a political organization 300 yea

  • The definition you offer for an atheist =

    Without this belief, I'd be either an atheist (who believes in what he can prove, a small subset of the previously mentioned rules and mathematical constants)

    Sounds to me to be more correctly called an agnostic. An atheist is generally one who believes that there is no god, whereas an agnostic does not have specific beliefs in a god either existing or not existing. Hence the agnostic would be more likely to be seeking proof of god either existing or not existing, while the atheist already has convinced themselves of there not beinga god.

    From my agnostic standpoint I see the difference as being nontrivial.

    • by gmhowell (26755)

      An atheist is generally one who believes

      Hence the reason why atheists annoy the hell out of me.

    • And I'd agree. You're right, the difference is non-trival; but I see it being how one *interprets* the evidence as given.

      The atheist believes that a lack of evidence, implies a lack of existence. The agnostic believes a lack of evidence implies a lack of certainty.

      In my own case, I can't fall back on the lack of evidence at all. EVERYTHING I've seen points to a carefully created universe in which the physical laws exist and continue to exist even if we were not around to believe in them. However, I have

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley

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