Emery wrote:The only way for everyone to pass the pre-req thread is if everyone agreed, which means we all would have become atheists, or all Christians. In which case there would be no more show!
If there’s anything we can all agree on, surely it’s that the likelihood of 100% of the people who follow this podcast and forum being fully persuaded in one direction or the other is zero.
Emery wrote:So perhaps the real pre-req is that we agree to disagree, but entertain the other's premise for sake of discussion. What do you think?
FWIW, from my corner:
Agreeing to disagree is at a basic level the prerequisite to beginning
communication between believers and non-believers regarding that distinction, isn’t it? (And that’s not to mention communication between believers and other believers who cherish a different set of supernatural notions and bronze age writings. Otherwise, well, simply observe the Middle East.)
The two points I’ve tried to make in this thread – not very well, I guess - are:1)
I think that the proposition that Scott put forward at least twice recently goes way beyond the simple idea that we must agree to disagree to begin
our conversations, or that we entertain the other person's understanding for the sake of discussion. Instead, I think his words were unintentional, Freudian slip-ish acknowledgment that he is in fact utterly dismissive of the value of a non-believer's take on his holy text. In other words, if you don’t BELIEVE
, your views on the Bible and its veracity are, to him, irrelevant and without value. What that amounts to in essence is a permanent
stance of "agreeing to disagree." Like all true believers, Scott may hear and respond, but he's not really listening, if listening is defined by truly honest and sincere consideration. And again, I don't intend to accuse Scott of intentional dishonesty. Instead, I think his life-long religious immersion and indoctrination makes him literally unaware that he's not fully present in the conversation.
I think Scott's post in this thread well illustrates what I mean by the above.
A stance by one party or the other of permanently agreeing to disagree on the topic at hand forces the question, "Why talk at all?"
And that, I guess, is the crux of the matter - the source of atheist complaints about nailing jello to walls and the eventual departure of many from these precincts, as mentioned in the threads asking, "What ever happened to So-and-So?" It’s that we’re not really getting through
to each other here at all. Instead we’re like ships passing each other at a distance, separated by a dense fog (we differ as to what comprises the fog, of course), but tooting horns of recognition - which I’ll again acknowledge is less scary than no toots at all – or recognition by torpedoes and bombs.
Despite my irritation with Scott's mindset, I think there is value here at "A Christian & An Atheist," and for this reason, I say let the show go on!
Specifically, as alluded to above, I think the value of this podcast and forum is that at least some members of both sides of THE QUESTION, through even our attempt
at substantive communication, are made more likely to recognize the humanity of the other. That shouldn't be underestimated. Again, see world events for illustrative examples of the failure to talk.2)
I wish the most basic question – whether there is sufficient reason to believe in a supernatural deity – would be kept more at the forefront because it’s simply the root
difference between “A Christian and an Atheist.” I suppose that’s too much to ask from Santa Claus or anybody else.
I’m not sure exactly how greater emphasis on the root issue might be accomplished, unless Emery were to specifically raise THE QUESTION at least once in each podcast, which would be something of a game changer, maybe even a game ender. It might be a game ender because it appears Scott really doesn’t want to talk much about the basic question. I don’t mean that as a criticism of Scott, particularly, it’s just that he’d clearly rather focus on his being a “follower of Jesus” in terms of philosophical stance and attitude rather than on the supernatural aspects, which are harder/impossible to justify.
Finally, atheists, might the podcast and forum of our pleasant dreams be called, “An Intelligent Person Uncertain About One Deity or Another and an Atheist?” Now there we could really discuss THE QUESTION.
Those who know the most of nature believe the least about theology. - Robert Ingersoll