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The Atheist Response to Sandy Hook

Stephen288 Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 10:35 AM
It is clearly more comforting to believe in an eternal afterlife bathed in the glow of a loving deity than in cessation and extinction. But there is no correlation between belief and wisdom. Religious belief always ultimately becomes a matter of faith, and the billions of often very clever words that have been written and argued over the centuries to try to prove or disprove God's existence demonstrate that profound intelligence and wisdom can come down on both sides of the question. Dogmatic atheism is as much a religion as Prager's dogmatic Christianity in that it relies ultimately on faith that its conclusions are the only correct ones despite the complete lack of objective evidence.
Matthew492 Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 10:59 AM
Dennis Prager is Jewish. I think he would be surprised to discover that he is a dogmatic Christian.
Stephen288 Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 12:22 PM
I stand corrected, but that doesn't change my overall point. Apologies to Mr. Prager for placing him in the wrong pigeonhole, though in the right category.
Stephen288 Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 10:45 AM
... Agnosticism, the acknowledgment that we do not and cannot really know what's out there or what comes next, isn't terribly comforting, and makes both the religious zealot and the pugnacious atheist angry, but is the only logical position for anyone who agrees with Clint Eastwood that a man's got to know his limitations. To posit a God who having created this vast universe is endlessly concerned with this one pesky species on this one little planet is more than a little presumptuous. To insist that no God exists anywhere in that universe is preposterously so. To contemplate Alexander, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Obama is more than enough reason to doubt God's existence or benign intent. Hence: agnosticism.
mturn115 Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 10:56 AM
In your view, Agnosticism seems to say, "I don't know what is or isn't out there, so I give up trying to figure it out." But, there is a truth out there - there is either a God or no God. The truth will not allow you to fence sit (agnosticism). Your way is the easy way out - you don't have to search for truth, you don't have to argue a position, you sit back smugly and say, you both are wrong. But someone is right. Prager is on the right track.
TheCalvinistPastor Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 11:09 AM
Agnosticism is a self-defeating, intelectually lazy position. To even make the claim that you cannot have absolute knowledge, assumes you HAD such knowledge to draw that conclusion in the first place!
The agnostic feigns neutrality, but in reality, are just as intelectually bias as the theist or the atheist who both make positive truth claims.
Stephen288 Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 12:30 PM
>>To even make the claim that you cannot have absolute knowledge, assumes you HAD such knowledge to draw that conclusion in the first place!<<

Quite the opposite. The universe is vast, at least many billions of light years, perhaps infinite. Our view is tiny. Lacking the boost of "faith," I see no objective evidence that proves God's existence to me. Proving the NON-existence of anything, let alone God, is well-nigh impossible. So I confess I just don't know. And I don't know what I don't know. I'm open to any argument or evidence. But in 65 years I've yet to be convinced that either side is right, however sure they are of their positions.
Stephen288 Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 12:35 PM
No, I don't give up trying to figure it out, and I certainly don't say both sides are wrong in their fundamental beliefs. I just know too many on both sides, devoutly religious or aggressively, defiantly atheist, who are positive that they are right, and everyone else is both wrong, delusional and irrational. I see no evidence that convinces me that either side's position is supported by logic. Both boil down to belief. So I say I don't know.
Last week the New York Times published an opinion piece that offered atheism's response to the evil/tragedy in which 20 children and six adults were murdered at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut.

What prompted Susan Jacoby to write her piece was a colleague telling her that atheism "has nothing to offer when people are suffering."

She wrote the piece, "The Blessings of Atheism" ("It is Here and It is Now!" screams the subhead) to prove her colleague wrong by offering a consoling atheist alternative to religion's consoling belief in an afterlife. Atheists cannot believe that there is any...

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