Banned from Atheist A Go-Go!

Well, I was attempting to be respectful to the individual of whom I was speaking about in Atheistic Destiny.  In fact, our discussion on his blog, Atheist A Go-Go, was all but over.  But, now, I don’t feel the need to be secretive any longer.  Gregory, who writes the Atheist A Go-Go blog, wrote a post called “Homo Sapiens Idaltu“.  I responded to some misconceptions I percieved in his post and asked him some questions.  Gregory responded and I responded back (the exchange can be seen here). 

However, just after I posted my response on “Homo Sapiens Idaltu”, I read a new post of his called “My Meaning is Mine“.  After reading this, I realized arguing with Gregory was pointless, not because he’s stupid or mean, but only because his atheism is rooted in an emotional response, not a rational one.  I also regretted the time I spent on the response in “Homo Sapiens Idaltu” because Gregory’s blog is not meant for discussion, but just for his opinion.  I told Gregory as much in a response on “My Meaning is Mine”, admitted the amount of sarcasm I used in the response, and took my leave from his blog.  Instead of leaving it as is, Gregory BANNED ME FROM HIS BLOG!!  I’ll repost my response on “My Meaning is Mine” and you let me know if you think it’s worthy of a banning.  Please read his short post first (here), otherwise my response won’t make any sense.

“Gregory

“You know what I say in this hypothetical situation? F***. Him.” (Censor added).

As you’ve just shown, your atheism is not rooted in a honestly believing God doesn’t exist, or that you have an honest disgust for religion (a disgust we share btw). The basis for your atheism is that the possibility of a Creator God telling you to do something GREATLY offends you. This might just be your most basic reason for being an atheist.

I will admit that this has some sarcasm, but what follows is an honest apology. I apologize attempting to force you to think through your beliefs. This is not something you want to do. This is evidenced by your assertion that “slavery is wrong” is obvious to everyone and therefore you won’t discuss it. Nothing in thought, philosophy, or discussion is “obvious”, you must defend every statement and belief. Your goal here is to merely display your beliefs as an atheist, not to be self-reflective or rational about them.

Feel free to not respond to my post on homo sapiens idaltu. I would not have posted it if I had read this first.”

Gregory responded with:

“That word hypothetical just went flying right past your head, didn’t it? And I can’t help but notice that you defend nothing. You certainly don’t bother to address a single point that I bring up. You didn’t even have the decency to actually address substantive content in the original post. No, you had to grind your ax, like a good little Christian trying to gain extra points for evangelizing.

And that, my friend, is it. You’re done. Feel free to not stop by again.”

Banned after 3 posts and alittle sarcasm!! 

To Gregory

The “hypothetical” situation you created (although I disagree that the point of Christianity is “happiness”) is the correct Christian situation.  Feigning innocence for saying in essence “F*** God” in your “hypothetical” that you know exactly mirrors the Christian position, is humorous.  To claim that I didn’t address a “single” point and that I “defend nothing” is curious since my responses to you were quite lengthy and took some time to write.  I’m sure I did not defend or address “everything” but to use the word “nothing” is being disingenuous.  

Evangelizing would entail attempting to convert you, or dissuade you from your atheistic position.  I did neither.  You said yourself that I am being banned for offering a differing opinion.  More specifically, our differing definition of the word “worldview”.  I’ll quote you from “Things that confuse me“:

“People also never understand this simple, simple fact — some of us just don’t believe. It’s just that simple . . . More importantly, though, is just the feeling — I don’t *Feel* the need for God in the situations that people claim to feel a god in.”

Just as I said in “My Meaning is Mine”, your atheism is not based on rationality.  You’ve stated here that your atheism is based on feeling.  To say “I don’t believe, why?  Because I just don’t”, is the most un-philosophical statement I’ve ever heard.  This statement, in essence, outlaws all query and disagreement. You don’t need me to tell you this, you said it yourself:

“The type of people that most need to understand that are the type of people that will just utterly refuse to believe it, and will insist on their little beliefs about me. Which is fine, but it does mean that they will probably find themselves banned in pretty quick order.”

So, for questioning and, attempting to understand, your position I was banned.  Got it.

Atheism IS a worldview

Allow me to defend my claim that atheism is a worldview just as Christianity is.  I will specifically take exception to this statement by Gregory:

“Christianity, now there’s a world view — because it’s not just theism — it’s a whole moral, ethical, and spiritual construction . . . Atheism doesn’t do that.”

What is the most basic tenet of Christianity, without which it’s system of morals, ethics and spiritual truths are meaningless?  That a knowable all-powerful, all-knowing Righteous Creator God exists and revealed Himself to us.  So when atheism denies this most basic tenet of Christianity, they are creating for themselves a whole new system.

  1.  A lack of belief in God is still a belief.
  2. The atheistic position of “there are no moral absolutes” is absolute, moral position.
  3. The atheistic position of “ethics come from society” is an ethical belief
  4. The atheistic position of “the spiritual is a mere human construction” is a metaphysical belief

The extremely brief description above is an atheistic moral, ethical and spiritual belief system.  Is Gregory attempting to say that atheists have no morality or ethics?  I don’t think so because Gregory himself considers slavery to be wrong, so he must be subscribing to some system of morality.  Wether or not that system is rooted in his own construction or in Christianity from which he is stealing, it’s still a system and a worldview.

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13 Comments on “Banned from Atheist A Go-Go!”

  1. Mike Says:

    I posted this on his blog – don’t know if it will show up or not:

    Gregory, God gives us freedom to do whatever we want, and to reap both the temporal and eternal consequences which result from our free choices.

    As an atheist you may say that there are no eternal consequences. So why don’t you just get on with your soon-to-be non-existence and forget about placing meaningless value judgements on temporal concepts that don’t actually exist outside of the randomly-evolved chemical reactions in your brain?

    Because all your thoughts, feelings, perceptions of reality, are nothing more than some juices that came about by pure random chance, dancing around inside a piece of meat inside your cranium.

    Now All Bow Down and Hail the ALL-MIGHTY BRAIN JUICES that control our lives and dictate our reality. And curse those darned brain juices, always imposing their sovereign will on us… There is NO FREEDOM under their dominion!!!!

    And you think Christians are fools for living according to a great NOTHING?? Ha!!

  2. Eric Kemp Says:

    Mike

    Yea, he’s probably going to delete your post. Did you read his comment policy? He’s outlawing all discussion and disagreement. Which is fine, it’s a free internet and he can do what he will with his blog. But personally, I find not desiring to defend your positions to be irrational and disingenuous. But I guess that’s just me.

  3. Samuel Skinner Says:

    ? I just had to offer corrections…

    1 A lack of belief in God is still a belief.

    A lack of belief in the choas gods is still a belief. A lack of belief in Zargon is still a belief. In fact, you have an infinite number of beliefs. This is obviously absurd- you only have an infinite amount of room in your skull. Obviously, lacking a belief is not a belief.

    2 The atheistic position of “there are no moral absolutes” is absolute, moral position.

    I don’t hold that view and I am an atheist. Have you considered adressing your questions to… actual atheists? All of them in fact an not some fringe lunatic?

    3 The atheistic position of “ethics come from society” is an ethical belief.

    Same thing with morality- I don’t hold this belief. Address your attacks to actual atheism.

    4 The atheistic position of “the spiritual is a mere human construction” is a metaphysical belief.

    I hold that. Of course, buddhists don’t and there are atheistic buddhists. Sam Harris is an excellent example. Yes, he is nuts.

    Note that what this refers to isn’t atheism- it is materialism.

    Any other questions?

  4. cubiksrube Says:

    Afternoon all,

    Hope I’m not interrupting, but I found this post while browsing through the WordPress tags pages, and thought it looked like a more easy-going place than some to drop in and read (or express) some differing viewpoints.

    The debate you’ve been having with Gregory looks like the kind that makes my fingers twitch with wanting to (metaphorically) bang some heads on both sides. Primarily his, because although I can sort of tell that I agree with him on a lot of things, it doesn’t seem like he’s being all that conducive to a constructive discourse on everything.

    However, I will pick you up on one point, if I may, and offer my own perspective on something that’s come up here. In response to Gregory’s “F*** him” to what he saw as an oppressive and distasteful concept of God, you said:

    As you’ve just shown, your atheism is not rooted in a honestly believing God doesn’t exist, or that you have an honest disgust for religion (a disgust we share btw). The basis for your atheism is that the possibility of a Creator God telling you to do something GREATLY offends you.

    (I hope those italics work in comments here.) I would suggest that this is a false dichotomy. I take similar offense to the idea that we should be helplessly subject to the will of some ruthless omnipotent overlord, or that some tyrannical god has put us here and has the right to treat us however badly he wants and doesn’t owe us a thing. (This isn’t necessarily a fair description of the god you may believe in, of course.) However, my primary motivation for disbelieving in any such god is (I hope) founded in reason and rationality – I don’t see sufficience evidence to support his existence.

    If I were primarily motivated by my emotional response to the idea of god, then I might find myself more drawn to believing in the deity invoked by some of my friends’ descriptions, who is more convincingly loving and kind, who has a truly benevolent plan for us all, who will find a place for all of us in his land of eternal happiness eventually. But I don’t find any argument in favour of that god convincing either.

    I won’t yammer on any more in one comment, but if you’re ever interested in another atheist’s perspective on any more of this, feel free to send something my way.

  5. Eric Kemp Says:

    Samuel Skinner

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I actually do have some questions for you.

    1. “In fact, you have an infinite number of beliefs. This is obviously absurd- you only have an infinite amount of room in your skull. Obviously, lacking a belief is not a belief.”

    I don’t know if we have an “infinite” number of beliefs, but we sure have a lot of them. Are you suggesting that “beliefs” take up room in our brain and there is a limited amount of room in our brain? Therefore, theoretically, at some point we would be unable to add another belief to our brains?

    Also, very simply, if I ask you the question, “Does God exist?” and you answer, “No.” This is a belief. You cannot PROVE that God doesn’t exist anymore than I can prove He does. So a lack of belief in God is still a belief that He doesn’t exist.

    2. I said “The atheistic position of “there are no moral absolutes” is absolute, moral position.”

    You said: “I don’t hold that view and I am an atheist. Have you considered adressing your questions to… actual atheists?”

    I’ve actually never run into an atheist that believes moral absolutes exist. Are you saying there are moral absolutes?

    3. I said: “The atheistic position of “ethics come from society” is an ethical belief.”

    “Same thing with morality- I don’t hold this belief. Address your attacks to actual atheism.”

    Ok, so if morality and ethics don’t come from our society, then where do they come from?

    4. “Note that what this refers to isn’t atheism- it is materialism.”

    I was under the impression that to be a consistent atheist, was to also be a materialist. Sure, there are atheists out there that are monists or pantheists. I don’t consider them consistent atheists. Would you agree? If not, then we can discuss that as well.

  6. Eric Kemp Says:

    cubiksrube

    You’re not interrupting at all. That’s what this place is for, open and honest discussion. I welcome all comments that are at least mostly cordial (I wouldn’t begrudge anyone a little sarcasm since I enjoy employing it from time to time).

    “I take similar offense to the idea that we should be helplessly subject to the will of some ruthless omnipotent overlord, or that some tyrannical god has put us here and has the right to treat us however badly he wants and doesn’t owe us a thing.”

    I agree, that IS a false dichotomy. Of course, I agree that we should not subject ourselves to an omnipotent overlord. However, if that overlord is actually omnipotent than we don’t really have a choice in the matter now do we?! I also agree that we should not be subject to a tyrannical god. However, to suggest that an omnipotent god, no matter his disposition, actually OWES us something, it to have a view of humanity a bit higher than our actual position in this universe.

    However, the suggestion that the Judea/Christian God I am defending is tyrannical and ruthless is to be selective in your belief. Sure, God is Just and Holy, and He demands righteousness from His creation, these things cannot be separated from who He is, that is why He gave us the Ten Commandments. But He is not ruthless or tyrannical because He knows we could never follow those Ten Commandments (have you ever lied, stolen, hated or lusted?) and gave us a way out through His Son Jesus Christ. As God is Just, He is also Love, Mercy and Grace in the fullest sense of the words that we will never understand. He gave a way that humanity may be saved, not just temporally but infinitely.

    “However, my primary motivation for disbelieving in any such god is (I hope) founded in reason and rationality – I don’t see sufficience evidence to support his existence.”

    Ok, here we go to the meat of the matter. You have set up a false dichotomy here that suits you quite well, and I’m sure you don’t even realize you’re doing it so I will attempt to show you.

    The classic atheistic, “no sufficient evidence” argument is a false dichotomy. Why? Because a belief in God (or not) is a presupposition. It is a BASIC assumption that EVERY SINGLE piece of evidence is filtered through when reasoning through a problem. The “no God” position is a starting point, not an ending point with several evidences leading to that ending point. By putting “no God” as a conclusion, and claiming that evidence has led you to that conclusion, you are not realizing that your “no God” position was used to interpret that same evidence you are claiming led you to a “no God” conclusion. You used your conclusion to interpret the information that led you to your conclusion.

    There are no independent, brute facts. Every piece of evidence is filtered through our presuppositions (basic assumptions). A “no God” position is a presupposition. It is not a conclusion that independent empirical or logical evidence can lead us to, it is a starting point by which we interpret empirical and logical evidence.

    I hope I explained that clearly. I can show you examples of this if you like.

    “If I were primarily motivated by my emotional response to the idea of god, then I might find myself more drawn to believing in the deity invoked by some of my friends’ descriptions, who is more convincingly loving and kind, who has a truly benevolent plan for us all, who will find a place for all of us in his land of eternal happiness eventually.”

    This god is a construction of your friends’. The Bible doesn’t claim God has a “benevolent plan for us all”, but it does tell us that God made a way for us all to be saved from our unrighteousness. However, the choice is ours. And even if we choose to be saved from God’s wrath, that doesn’t mean this life will be any better than before we made that choice. The Bible never says God will find a place for all of us in Heaven. In fact, that would violate God’s Justice. On the day of your death, your choice to realize your own depravity before a Just, and Holy God, and trust in Christ to save you from that depravity, is finalized, or your choice to reject Christ’s sacrifice for you and make it on your own steam, is finalized. There is no middle ground. God either exists or He doesn’t. Christ’s death either covers your sins or it doesn’t.

    Honestly, cubik, I’m a Christian for two reasons, 1: I realized my sinful position before a Holy God and 2 (just as importantly): any other position just doesn’t make any sense. I know that 2 is a bold statement and I would love to discuss it with you further.

    Thanks for your input.

  7. Mike Says:

    Cubiksrube brings up some interesting points:

    “I take similar offense to the idea that we should be helplessly subject to the will of some ruthless omnipotent overlord, or that some tyrannical god has put us here and has the right to treat us however badly he wants and doesn’t owe us a thing.”

    I suspect this is the majority view of God most athesists have.

    “I might find myself more drawn to believing in the deity invoked by some of my friends’ descriptions, who is more convincingly loving and kind, who has a truly benevolent plan for us all, who will find a place for all of us in his land of eternal happiness eventually.”

    I assume these friends are believers in God?
    Do you see the disconnect here? The people who actually believe in God are the ones giving you the description that resonates more. Doesn’t that say something? Your first description, which is similar to other atheists, that of a God being some sort of impotent tyrant, or some old dude sitting out in space somewhere (that the Hubbell scope hasn’t found, so he must not exist!) is not a construct of the bible. I challenge you to find any Christian or Jew who has that view of God. For all I know, a view such as that comes from watching too many Saturday morning cartoons or something.

    So, what I’m saying is to try to put aside pre-conceived notions, and if you feel compelled to, get to the heart of the matter yourself. Only there can you find grounds for belief. To me, as a Christian, it starts with the cross and empty tomb. A serious and unbyassed study of the testimony and historical evidence leads me to belief the God of Jesus Christ is absolutely real. You may reject that testimony a priori as a fairy tale. So be it. But don’t the descriptions of your friends deserve more than an a priori dismissal based on pre-conceived notions?

  8. Cubik's Rube Says:

    Hi Mike,

    I’m planning a more thorough post on my own blog soon, addressing some things that Eric said, but thought I’d reply to you here as it wouldn’t really fit anywhere in the other ramble I’m working on.

    It is important, as you say, that atheists and any religious people are on the same page, before they can even meaningfully disagree. If all I’m saying is that I’ve never seen a big bearded guy sitting in the clouds, then I clearly don’t yet have sufficient grounds for disregarding Christianity, because I’ve obviously not understood what Christianity’s really about.

    But I should make two things clearer than I think I did above:

    1. I do also reject the conceptions of Christianity as described to me by various people who really adhere to it, from personal friends to websites dedicated to explaining it and convincing me of its truth. Even the lovely happy fluffy ideas, which it would be really nice to believe in, if I thought they had any basis in reality – I find equally little reason to suppose that this is the case.

    2. There really are Christians around whose idea of God is one that I would call tyrannical, malevolent, despotic, and unworthy of worship. It’s not just a matter of non-Christians’ misconceptions. Many actual Christians believe that the all-loving creator of the Universe regularly sends people’s immortal souls to suffer eternally for what I would call trivial offences, and base this view on Biblical evidence. Even though he’s not representative of the whole religion, neither is that God wholly a straw-man, and my opinion on him leads us right back to Gregory’s blunt two-word summary.

  9. onscrn Says:

    I had a somewhat more positive experience in my exchanges on an atheist blog recently. Anyone interested can read about it (“Conversations in the Clubhouse of Truly Smart People”) on my blog. Ignore the log in name, as my blog is not on wordpress. It’s called onscreen-scientist.com.

  10. Eric Kemp Says:

    cubik

    I am truly looking forward to your response on your blog, let me know when it’s up.

    “Many actual Christians believe that the all-loving creator of the Universe regularly sends people’s immortal souls to suffer eternally for what I would call trivial offences.”

    I want to address this as a misconception. God doesn’t send anyone anywhere. As I stated before, God is Just, Holy and Righteous. Those things are what God IS; He couldn’t stop being anyone of those things anymore than you could stop being human. So the Ten Commandments are not an arbitrary set of rules that God just decided He would hold humanity accountable for. They are what His very being requires. God then gave humanity free will. Just as God doesn’t send anyone to Hell, God does not force us to obey Him. As we enjoy our free will that God has given us, we must realize that what we choose may not be in line with those Ten Commandents (probably more often that not). Do you see how you can’t have it both ways? You want your free will but also want God to violate his Justice, his very being, by not holding anyone to the Ten Commandments. This is why God is not sending anyone to Hell, because He has no choice but to not dwell with that person who didn’t follow the Ten Commandments, who chose to reject Him. The person sends themselves to Hell with their free will choice to reject God.

    You would be correct in saying that all humans have lied, stolen, lusted or hated countless times, violating the Ten Commandments countless times. So NO human is worthy of dwelling with God in Heaven. That’s where Jesus comes in. His sacrifice covers you so that God no longer sees your violation of His Law, but Christ’s sacrifice for you.

    Also, you’re assertion that the Ten Commandments are “trivial” (or just some of them) is also taking a bit of a higher view of your position in the universe than is reality.


  11. […] was this post, and the beginnings of debate in the comments, that set me going. I made an introductory post […]

  12. cubiksrube Says:

    Eric,

    I’ve posted a response to one of your earlier points, not as comprehensive as it might’ve been but it’ll do for now.

    As for this, I’ve seen this trotted out many times as a rationalisation to reconcile the loving god concept with eternal punishment, and it’s not getting any more convincing.

    These are God’s rules that I’m expected to live by if I don’t want to suffer forever. He’s in charge, he’s running the show, he’s supposedly deserving of praise and thanks for all the good stuff. The idea that it’s somehow my fault, that I deserve endless suffering, because I misunderstood the rules, because I wasn’t persuaded to believe the truth, because I was born into the wrong culture and brainwashed against his law, or even because I was a stubborn jerk who refused to listen, is unconscionably brutal.

    If I had a child, and gave them a measure of free reign about our house so that they could, if they chose, wander into my basement where I keep my knives, guns, bottles of poison, razor blades, and blowtorches, I would likely be charged with neglect if they got themselves into any trouble.

    I could protest that I’d put up signs, with warnings written on explaining exactly how my young’un should behave – maybe I’d even told them directly, in terms that could not possibly be misunderstood, exactly what I expected from them, and what actions would keep them safe and on the right track – but none of this would absolve me of my responsibility.

    Because I’m the only one who can really be expected to understand the situation, and appreciate the danger. My child is in my care, and I’ve set up the rules (I’ve left all that stuff in my unlocked basement, after all).

    Even if, in this particular situation, it would take a really stupid kid to get himself into trouble, I should’ve taken more care, because there’s only so much you can credit them with. God doesn’t get absolved of his responsibility to us any easier. We as human beings deserve a better opportunity than to have all these rules thrown at us, and be told to make sure we don’t do anything to send ourselves to Hell. Oh, and make sure you do your research to find out which rules are the real deal, because getting that wrong is just one of the many inadequacies that could damn you forever. He’s playing “stop hitting yourself” on an unprecedently childish and aggressive scale.

    Of course, all this is moot if God really doesn’t have a choice about any of this, and is subject to some higher law, if there are rules he hasn’t set and can’t change which limit his power and authority. But that doesn’t seem to be what you’re saying.

  13. Mike Says:

    Cubiksrube,

    God let his own beloved son die on the cross so that he could ressurect him to eternal life. How else could we have assurance that there is indeed eternal life, lest a man rise from the dead? And how else could we have assurance that God knows our pain, and understands the suffering we endure because of the evil in our world (stemming from our own freewill, but that’s a whole theology, so I must leave it there)? God himself would have to incarnate his spirit as a son of man and live among us to do that.

    So, *believe it* that you have eternal life, and be grateful, and live accordingly, with love and thanksgiving in your heart. Because there is no grave. Because every word that you say, and action that you take, and all the pain that you feel is all known to the God who gave you eternal life. That is the gospel of Jesus Christ. How do you live accordingly? By following the way Jesus taught when he lived among us. There are no guarantees of a happy life or “fluff” as you call it. In fact, quite the opposite is usually the case for Christians. But there is the promise of eternal life, and the hope in that. Remember, God didn’t send an angel to take his own son off the cross, saying that he has ‘suffered enough’. No, God did something far better. He allowed Jesus to suffer and die, to be rejected by the world, in order that the ultimate promise of eternal life could be revealed in his resurrection.

    So, everytime you do something wrong (like break one of those commandments, as we all do), it’s ok. God has forgiven you. You have his promise. You will not go to the grave. So, understand your sin is forgiven, and live with that grace in your heart as best you can. And try to do better so as to show appreciation for the wonderful gift God has freely given. Because your deeds do have meaning outside of this temporal existence. So, be unburdened, and share that good news with others. Believe that Jesus was resurrected. Look into it yourself and read the New Testament with an open heart and hungry mind, and put aside your pre-conceived notions based on any Christian evangelizing you have been exposed to (sometimes for worse rather than better, I admit). That’s where faith comes from. Not from reading Christian websites or blogs. Find what the ressurrection means to you, and live out that meaning in your own life.


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