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Friday, November 4, 2011

Dear Anonymous: Part 3 - The Real Meaning of Love

This is the third part of a three part series of posts in response to a commenter at the blog post below:
A Critique of Richard Dawkins and WL Craig

Dear Anonymous,

You asked me if I knew what love is--and I believe I do. Love is honor, respect, caring, teaching, and nurturing. I have all of these in my life, and I am grateful for that. There is no reason to love anyone if you know you will not be loved in return. "Loving your enemies" as Christians claim to do, will most likely end in tragedy.   Christians may claim to love their enemies, but for most Christians, this aphorism is quite meaningless, as they have tortured and burned literally millions of their so-called "enemies"--including the innocent medicine women, vilified by the church as "witches." What would America be like if the President "loved his enemies"??--most likely it would not be the America we know today. Loving ones enemies is a trick the power mongers use in order to manipulate the masses into conforming to their will. Love the master=love the enemy. No--loving ones enemy will do nothing to make the world a better place to be.

It is the Capitalist/Christian matrix which promotes such ridiculous paradigms--this needs to change in order for humanity to survive. My goal is not to increase the hate--it is to make those who deserve to be hated take responsibility for their actions. My goal is, as you say to "rid the world of the Christian menace," as I have already explained that the Christian doctrine of salvation leads to moral laxity, and a corrupt society. People such as Harris, Dawkins, myself and others are not espousing despair and hatred, nor are we promoting it. As Shirley Phelps might say, "To what end?" To what end would someone like myself want to promote hatred and despair? Your conclusion on this point makes no logical sense. I promote living, as Jesus said, a "perfect" life. He himself said to "be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect."--meaning do what is right the FIRST time, and do not choose to lie, steal, commit adultery etc, because, well, you believe you were "born bad" and can't help but be that way. This is total nonsense, and is a philosophy that yes, I want eliminated. If society was taught they are born perfect, and can choose right--the world would be a much better place for us all. There is a great deal of meaning in living a life in which you can make it better for those that follow you. This is what I do. In the near future I will be publishing a post dealing with the subject of perfection, and the Christian misconception of it.

I have no interest in humility.  As I have already mentioned, humility, like loving ones' enemies, makes one vulnerable to someone else's manipulations. I have pride in myself, and in my words and actions. Pride, after all, is not a vice--but is, according to Aristotle, the means between humble and arrogant. Pride is having the proper amount of self-respect, and if you have self -respect, you will be less likely to be led to do things that are improper and/or dangerous. There is no such thing as having too much pride if pride is having the proper amount of self-respect. Yes, I have pride, and I am proud of that...;) For more information on why pride is not a vice, but a virtue, see the following blog posts:


You go on to say:

" At the moment, you are the enemy and someone like Craig is only going to debate someone with enough listeners that it would matter for eternity. You don’t have enough of an audience to matter right now. That’s not taking a shot, it’s just that only a handful of people have big enough names to warrant attention in this realm right now. "


I would philosophize with anyone, even a homeless hobo who had no connections with anybody, as I am only concerned with the arguments. If however, WL Craig is only looking for the fame and fortune of debating well known atheists, well--that says a great deal about his character. I would debate him anonymously, as I do not care for "fame and fortune." All I care about is the arguments, and getting people to see how absurd Christian dogma truly is in order to reduce moral laxity and avoid more suffering.

Oh, and if I am your "enemy" as you say--how much do you love me?--lol. I had to laugh..... All the more reason, according to your Christian beliefs, to spend time arguing/debating with me. In philosophy, an argument is a set of premises from which a conclusion can be deduced logically. I am more than willing to spend time arguing/debating with theists--whom I do not even claim to love!


You claim I do not admit when I am wrong--and you are wrong. I put forth arguments and it is up to anyone who disagrees to offer their counter arguments and rebuttals. If they are not successful, that is not my fault. Like in this case, you have not refuted any of my arguments, but have merely tried to dissuade me via a personal attack--which is irrelevant to the arguments. I have no problem admitting when I was wrong, or if I do not know something. I have no idea how the universe was created for instance, but if all we have are theories, I will hold to the "best explanation" until proven otherwise, and the supernatural is always going to be the LEAST likely explanation for any type of phenomena. What I do know are via my experiences, and I know that I get great joy in helping people view the world in a different light. By viewing this life and the earth as being precious, and by promoting an altruistic lifestyle, the only life we may ever know becomes that much better.

And I will never "knock it off" as you so desperately want me to. I will continue to inform as many people as I can of the arguments, contradictions and inconsistencies in the bible, and how Christian dogma leads to moral laxity, and how it promotes suffering in the world.

Again, my thanks for the great fodder. Please feel free to comment anytime, and I will respond in kind.

7 comments:

pianodemon88 said...

I only had to read the first couple sentences of this and it got me thinking about a radio program I heard recently. Like I said, I haven't read the rest of this post so I don't particularly know if you made the distinction. But take a listen to this radio show and tell me what you think: http://snapjudgment.org/rabbi-and-kkk It is such a powerful story. It really is. You might be able to play it better from this site: http://runningahospital.blogspot.com/2011/10/rabbi-and-kkk.html It's only ten minutes long and worth every minute!

Anonymous said...

Cathy,
I am the anonymous blogger you responded to here. Awaiting the final response you alluded to before I respond in kind. Did want to make a comment of clarification. With regard to who debates who, etc. For the furthering of your "mission", where do you think your time and effort would yield the greatest result? Here on this blog engaging me or, given the opportunity, perhaps doing the work to earn a debate with and defeat Craig? In the end, Craig isn't looking to defeat famous people for his own glory. Besides, debates only benefit that part of the audience that is genuinely seeking truth for truth's sake. In concert with what he believes his mission is, Craig is likely going to look to debate those with the greatest and most visible influence for the opposition because he feels that will yield the greatest eternal reward if he were to "win" (which is highly subjective in such a polarizing topic). This is not about anyone's personal pride, not from the Christian side anyway. You think pride is a virtue, but I don't know if that is shared by every atheist. I know from our perspective, pride is not widely considered positive (though there are a couple different kinds of course), but I will read the blogs you suggested I check out in order to understand your perspective.

I'd appreciate it if you would post the entirety of what I had written to you. After all, this was one of your primary complaints about Christian bloggers who refused to post your comments. You only took excerpts from mine and commented on them when I think the cumulative case is probably the most fair to present. Can't take the text out of its content, lest you be left with a con. If it needs to be separate because of the size of the comments I left, that's fine too, but in order to be fair and consistent with your beliefs about how others treat you, I would request this of you. Thank you,

J

A is for Atheist said...

Dear J

Actually, I did post your comments in their entirety, and then I wrote 3 blog posts in reference to what you had written. I gave a link to the original posting with your comments. There were 5 comments, and I published them all at the same time. If you have anything else you would like to add, please feel free to submit your thoughts.

As for WL Craig, as I said before, I am not looking for fame and fortune--all I care about is the arguments, and I have already refuted Craig quite handily on this blog. Many people have already read my refutations, and I hope many more will in the future. I have shown that Craig's arguments are weak, and hold no water. I am not looking for a debate for debate's sake--I am looking to change the way people think, and the advancement of truth and knowledge for the advancement of the overall good. To paraphrase Willhelm von Humbolt:

"The grand, leading principle, towards which every argument unfolded on this blog, directly converges, is the absolute and essential importance of human development in its riches diversity." (Spheres and Duties of Government)

The art of debate is usually, but not always housed in the Communications department, and not the Philosophy Department. Let me explain why. Debate is concerned with winning people over to one side or another, and not whether what they are arguing is true or not. Why, a person, if they can get away with it, can use fallacious arguments, or whatever other means (such as avoiding to answer a question that they know the answer to because it would defeat their position) A philosopher--and by philosopher, I mean a REAL philosopher--ought to be concerned with getting at the truth. The definition of philosophy is the study of knowledge, and as a philosopher, I seek truth and knowledge--not just for the sake of knowledge but to increase the overall good. As a philosopher, and as a philosopher, I use logic and the dialectical process towards that goal.

As I said before, my goal is not to debate WL Craig or anyone else. My goal is to inform as many people as I can of the arguments, contradictions and inconsistencies in the bible, and how Christian dogma leads to moral laxity, and how it promotes suffering in the world. But if you do not understand that, let me be more precise and clear. I am doing what I do in order to change peoples' lives for the better. I want people to realize that they are not born bad, and that they can live a decent moral life without any gods or goddesses. I want people to take responsibility for their actions, instead of blaming it on their "human nature" and having Jesus take the fall for them.

JS Mill once said:

"I choose, by preference the cases which are least favourable to me – In which the argument against freedom of opinion, both on truth and that of utility, is considered the strongest. Let the opinions impugned be the belief of God and in a future state, or any of the commonly received doctrines of morality... But I must be permitted to observe that it is not the feeling sure of a doctrine (be it what it may) which I call an assumption of infallibility. It is the undertaking to decide that question for others, without allowing them to hear what can be said on the contrary side. And I denounce and reprobate this pretension not the less if it is put forth on the side of my most solemn convictions. However positive anyone's persuasion may be, not only of the faculty but of the pernicious consequences, but (to adopt expressions which I altogether condemn) the immorality and impiety of opinion. – yet if, in pursuance of that private judgement, though backed by the public judgement of his country or contemporaries, he prevents the opinion from being heard in its defense, he assumes infallibility. And so far from the assumption being less objectionable or less dangerous because the opinion is called immoral or impious, this is the case of all others in which it is most fatal."

continued...

A is for Atheist said...

Dear J,

and,

"But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race, posterity as well as the existing generation--those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth produced by its collision with error."

I allow any and all arguments--even those that are opposed to my own--because in doing so, I become better at defending my position. This helps those that argue against me to see the flaws in their arguments, and it also helps those that agree with me to understand the arguments and make their position stronger. Because when one practices the arguments, they become more proficient at it, and are better able to uphold their position. Everyone should do the same. And if my position is indefensible--I am willing to change it.

For the Christian who says his belief is "by faith" Christianity and its followers however, are in direct opposition to the Millian position as presented above. As faith is belief without evidence--it is in direct opposition to the dialectical process, truth and knowledge because if the arguments and evidence count against their position, and would undermine the foundations of Christianity and its validity, then on the grounds of faith, they will ignore, or disregard those arguments and evidence. For those Christians who are steadfast on the grounds of faith, and will not accept the arguments and evidence when it counts against their views,-are, as Buddha might say, "fools indeed."

My biggest goal is to help others understand the arguments in order to "convert" them away from Christian doctrine that promotes moral laxity. To do this, I engage in the dialectical process, and use logic and reason. This is why the arguments are what is important--and not from who or where they come from. It is the arguments that are most likely to sway those that are questioning their faith, and even some who are staunch believers.

Anonymous said...

How do I find the link to where you posted my comments in their entirety? Can't find the link you mentioned anywhere in your three responses. Thanks for the help.

J

A is for Atheist said...

J,

At the bottom of this post where I critique Dawkins and Craig http://aisforatheist5760.blogspot.com/2011/10/in-defense-of-atheism-critique-of.html, there are 13 comments, of which 5 of them are yours, I made a comment stating I would write a blog post in response to your comments.

Please tell me this is not a Red Herring so that you can avoid addressing the arguments, as you did in the original blog post, by focusing on the debating issue with Craig, as opposed to the arguments I raised against Craig, and the arguments I gave in response to what you had written. I quoted you directly at times in my posts, and I directed readers to the post in which you had responded with your comments.

At any rate, you can offer any arguments in relation to what I have posted.


Again, here is the link:

http://aisforatheist5760.blogspot.com/2011/10/in-defense-of-atheism-critique-of.html

Anonymous said...

No, not avoiding. Just been a little swamped by the rest of life. I will be responding again in the next couple of days. I have a couple of questions for you. Thanks for providing the link for me,

Jim

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