Keep The Reason wrote:Moonwood the Hare wrote:I think her argument depends on questionable assumptions as I indicated above:
1. Religion is defined as belief in the supernatural - this is questionable because not all religions do involve supernatural beliefs. It is also ambivalent because a belief in the supernatural can mean a belief that nature is not all there is or a belief that there are events which the scientific method cannot explain or a belief that there are discreet gaps in the sequence of natural causality. There is also the problem that some atheists believe in the supernatural and hence on Greta Christina's own definition atheism and religion are not mutually exclusive.
2. Beliefs about the supernatural, unlike scientific beliefs, are unverifiable. - this seems to presupose both that scientific hypotheses are types of belief and that the scientific method is a verification process for these beliefs. Both these are questionable and several key atheist thinkers have questioned them.
3. Beliefs about the supernatural, unlike non-supernatural ideologies, are not open to correction by experience. This ignores just about the entire history of Christian spirituality which is all about reality checking and just about the entire history of atheist thought where there have been fashions and fads as well as arguments. So rather than advocating anti-superaturalism why not just advocate the ideal of an open society and piecemeal social engineering, Self knowledge through reflection, and openess to others especially those with whom we differ in our fundamental beliefs?
So the problem for me is that while she has listed a lot of social issues she has naively seen the cause of all these problems (the ones listed not all social problems whatsoever) as belief in the supernatural on the grounds that all the people responsible for these problems did believe in the supernatural and so were unquestioning in their social and political philosophy; she ends by giving examples of two supernaturalists who did question the social and political philosophies of their day and so undercuts her own argument that supernaturalists do not do this. Yet she places all her hopes for justice in belief in some form of naturalism. That is she thinks it would increase the possibility of justice if more people believed what she believes. But that raises the question can purely naturalistic beliefs give any basis for a belief in justice which after all cannot be objectively demonstrated to exist. This is not to deny that naturalists can aspire to justice but to ask where on a purely naturalistic worldview can we find a basis for a belief in justice.
Make a case why I should be civil in my reply to you. Look what you did -- you took the one section I suggested be tackled separately ignored everything else I argued, and focused on this one piece.
Which isn't even anything more than "Well, your naturalist position is every bit as weak as my religionist position".
When people do what you've done here, my response to them is this: Fuck you. You can't even take a few minutes to hear my position, you're so wrapped up in listening to the sound of your own voice and you're far too busy patting yourself on the back.
And then you link me to some high-minded talk about "civility" -- something you cannot aspire to long enough to hear what the other person is saying. Don't read this in an "angry voice" -- forget that for a moment, and listen to what's actually being said. If you can. I don't know if you can do it.
Just to say this was a response to your first post before I had read your second so my apologies. Let me read your second post and then respond to that in what I hope will be a civil manner!