Why I Am An Atheist

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Philosophy Now
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Why I Am An Atheist

Post by Philosophy Now » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:51 pm

Raymond Tallis examines his happy disbelief.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/73/Why_I_Am_An_Atheist

marjoram_blues
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Re: Why I Am An Atheist

Post by marjoram_blues » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:03 am

What, really, no comments ?

FlashDangerpants
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Re: Why I Am An Atheist

Post by FlashDangerpants » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:06 am

No need to read this article, as we are reliably informed he elsewhere, must be a blind denier.

marjoram_blues
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Re: Why I Am An Atheist

Post by marjoram_blues » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:07 am

FlashDangerpants wrote:No need to read this article, as we are reliably informed he elsewhere, must be a blind denier.
:lol:
Would really like to read a sensible response to this article from Nicky. Any chance?

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:28 pm

From the piece...

"The worst reason for not believing in God (though the least obviously bad), is that there is no evidence for His existence."

This is the foundation for my disbelief: no evidence, as I assess things.

Guess I'm a bad atheist.

*shrug*

I can live with that.

Nick_A
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Re: Why I Am An Atheist

Post by Nick_A » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:05 pm

Simone Weil has observed: "There are two atheisms of which one is a purification of the notion of God."
- William Robert Miller (ed.), The New Christianity (New York: Delacorte Press 1967) p 267; in Paul Schilling,
God in an age of atheism (Abingdon: Nashville 1969) p 17
Dr. Tallis seems to be one of the atheists serving as a purification of the notion of God. No raving emotional denial; just calm questioning. As I see it, his atheism is a reaction to idolatry. Einstein, Simone Weil, and others have expressed the same denial of idolatry.
Idolatry comes from the fact that, while thirsting for absolute good, we do not possess the power of supernatural attention and we have not the patience to allow it to develop (Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace 53).
Idolatry is the result of the lack of conscious attention. This lack produces self justifying imagination including idolatry taking the place of what is beyond our comprehension. Since only a few will take the practice of conscious attention seriously, everything will continue as is. It is the norm for life in Plato's cave.

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Re:

Post by Dalek Prime » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:14 pm

henry quirk wrote:From the piece...

"The worst reason for not believing in God (though the least obviously bad), is that there is no evidence for His existence."

This is the foundation for my disbelief: no evidence, as I assess things.

Guess I'm a bad atheist.

*shrug*

I can live with that.
Is there another reason not to? Same with werewolves? I've not seen a werewolf, nor it's tracks, nor it's poop. Perhaps they are just tidy, and leave no evidence? Yes, that must be it... I now believe in werewolves.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:02 pm

"Is there another reason not to?"

Not that I can tell (or that makes sense to me).

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Re:

Post by Dalek Prime » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:58 pm

henry quirk wrote:"Is there another reason not to?"

Not that I can tell (or that makes sense to me).
You and me both, Henry. Let's count ourselves lucky.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:31 pm

Agreed.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Why I Am An Atheist

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:53 pm

Nick_A wrote:[
Dr. Tallis seems to be one of the atheists serving as a purification of the notion of God. No raving emotional denial; just calm questioning. As I see it, his atheism is a reaction to idolatry. Einstein, Simone Weil, and others have expressed the same denial of idolatry.
Just like a religious nut to make proclamations about the intent of a person, never having read what he has written.
Instead of taking the trouble to read what Tallis said, you continue your worn out argument about Simone Weil. You need to learn to read more. Two books is not enough for a good grounding in philosophy.

Tallis said nothing of idolatry at all. After a list of bad reasons to be an atheist - all of them reasonable given the aggregate of their consequences. Tallis then rounds on his single and most convincing argument against God, and one that despite your blindness most atheists here has already stated one way or another:
"intellectually the case does not rest on the lack of evidence for God, or the bad behaviour of believers and religious institutions, but on the idea of God itself, which insofar as it is not entirely empty, is self-contradictory, and makes less sense than that which it purports to explain."

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Re: Why I Am An Atheist

Post by Nick_A » Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:59 am

Hobbes, there are two basic god concepts: the personal god and the transcendent god.
"intellectually the case does not rest on the lack of evidence for God, or the bad behaviour of believers and religious institutions, but on the idea of God itself, which insofar as it is not entirely empty, is self-contradictory, and makes less sense than that which it purports to explain."
I would agree that the idea of a personal god that gets insulted if you do wrong is contradictory. The personal god or putting a face on the ineffable and attributing human motives to it is idolatry which is what I believe Dr.Tallis is referring to.

However, the ineffable transcendent god beyond beyond time and space, incomprehensible for Man, and the source of creation, cannot be contradictory.

Skip
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Re: Why I Am An Atheist

Post by Skip » Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:20 am

marjoram_blues wrote:
Would really like to read a sensible response to this article from Nicky.
You incorrigible little dreamer!
He doesn't do sensible. He does recitation.

"The worst reason for not believing in God (though the least obviously bad), is that there is no evidence for His existence."
Dalek Prime - - Is there another reason not to?
Yes, I think so. Lack of evidence for or against the existence of something is devoid of information. Not so much like werewolves as extraterrestrials. The possibility is not ruled out; the evidence may yet be forthcoming. I'm sure there is a lot of stuff still out there that we don't eff or comprehend, and no amount of Simonoid raving will make any of it relevant unless and until we catch a whiff thereof.

My main reason for not believing in any particular god is that very particularity. Somebody named, described, characterized, attributed powers and preferences to, told stories about and dedicated edifices to a being for whose existence he provided no evidence. And then asked for money. That sounds awfully like every other con in history. I have a positive reason to disbelieve somebody who's trying to cheat me. Not merely that I can't see the guy, but that the guy so badly wants something from me.
Newton posited gravity but never said it would punish anybody who slept with a socially disapproved partner or recruited them to kill Saracens in its name or collected tithes.
Last edited by Skip on Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Lacewing
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Re: Why I Am An Atheist

Post by Lacewing » Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:24 am

Nick_A wrote:However, the ineffable transcendent god beyond beyond time and space, incomprehensible for Man, and the source of creation, cannot be contradictory.
Then how is it that you think you can comprehend it at all... and think you know that it exists?

Also, can you please offer your perspective as to whether a "source of creation" has to be something that has thoughts and agendas? Why couldn't a "source of creation" simply be chemical? How is that less likely than a full-blown being?

Oh, and I'd still like to know what you think about the spirit-killing that goes on for children within religion in SO MANY WAYS... or do you think that the madness within religion doesn't count? Is anyone protecting the children from that... or are they just "protecting" children from non-theists?

I hope you'll answer these questions... as I think it could be interesting and help clarify. Thanks Nick!

Skip
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Re: Why I Am An Atheist

Post by Skip » Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:35 am

Actually, it's a pretty good essay.

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