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Joseph Hebert
10/21/12 16:05
Read: 720 times
Okemah, Ok
United States

#188732 - finding meaning and religion
Responding to: Jez Smith's previous message
Jez wrote:
You can take Godel's theorem to mean all kinds of things from the failure of all formal self consistent systems of maths all the way to meaning that you can never really find the true answer to anything.

Sorry, you might be able to rationalize and pervert what Kurt Gödel wrote, but what he proved was very precisely defined mathematically. Moreover, you CAN find the true answers to many questions. That's called science, and, rhetorical games notwithstanding, the scientific method is the means by which we do precisely that. The trick is knowing what questions you can't answer, which answers you can't know empirically. Or as one of my undergraduate professors said, "Science is the study of that which we can measure. Beyond that is theology." Truer words were never spoken.

Moreover, if you define "religion" narrowly, making it exclusively about ritual and belief in God, then you preclude many "religions." For example, a fundamental tenet of Budhism is that there is no creator God; Budhism is explicitly an atheistic religion and would thus be (by definition) excluded by any definition which precludes atheism. But any reasonable definition of "religion," one which makes it a matter of what you believe by faith (i.e. beyond the empirical), would most certainly include both Buddhism and your atheism. After all, your atheism is NOT a lack of belief; it is a very specific belief, based not on empiricism (thereby on faith instead), that there is no Creator, no Sovereign of creation to whom all will someday answer. Even if you don't consider it "religion," how could that belief NOT be religious?

You see, Jez, it is quite impossible for anyone to have no religious belief. Even if you try to adopt a position that you have no opinion one way or the other, you are consciously choosing to believe that it doesn't matter, which is a belief you adopt by faith, not by empiricism, and which is therefore your religious belief.

So the question becomes, why do you believe what you believe? I understand your point about most peoples' religious belief being a matter of the chance of the location (actually in space and time) of their birth. For most people it is indeed just that. In general, and in recent times at least, someone born in India is likely Hindu, or Muslim if in Saudi Arabia. If you had been born some number of years earlier you'd likely have been Christian. Even today, I'd wager your atheism is more a function of peer pressure than your own deliberations.

But how is it that I, born two thousand years and half a planet removed from that Jewish carpenter's son, am so devoutly Christian? It certainly isn't because of peer pressure. Modern America is no less atheistic than Modern Britain. I suppose you could presume that I'm just a superstitious simpleton, but I would point out that it's Dr. superstitious simpleton. It's not a trivial question, why I or anyone would choose Christianity?

You see, I've asked those very same questions. "Why 'Christianity'?" "How can we be so convinced that we're right if that means that everyone else is wrong?" I've deliberated those hard questions and found answers that I could accept, answers that stand up to reason. And I suggest that you ask them too, but not about me. I suggest you ask them of yourself? Why did you choose to believe in atheism? What evidence, what reasoning convinced you that there is no God? What convinced you that, quite literally, everything was created by nothing? Deliberate your own beliefs, and honestly find out how confident, as opposed to how convinced, you really are.

Bon Chance!

List of 50 messages in thread
oooh you should come and peer at my new blog      Jez Smith      10/20/12 05:13      
   Mine too!      Joseph Hebert      10/20/12 15:12      
      so here is an interesting question for you Joseph      Jez Smith      10/21/12 01:39      
         As a christian       Andy Neil      10/21/12 03:59      
         As a Christian ...      Joseph Hebert      10/21/12 04:38      
            this reminds me ..      Erik Malund      10/21/12 06:45      
               3rd Rewrite      Joseph Hebert      10/21/12 11:25      
            ah yes but      Jez Smith      10/21/12 10:08      
               I only ask because      Jez Smith      10/21/12 10:46      
               My point exactly.      Joseph Hebert      10/21/12 11:42      
                  i have read that and it is a classic      Jez Smith      10/21/12 14:14      
                     anyway you could join this church      Jez Smith      10/21/12 14:39      
                     finding meaning and religion      Joseph Hebert      10/21/12 16:05      
                        I have no idea      Jez Smith      11/01/12 00:57      
                     contradicted in the bible      Erik Malund      10/29/12 11:09      
         You are out of reach of Plato      KONSTANTINOS L. ANGELIS      10/21/12 17:04      
      Hi      Christine Johnson      10/22/12 23:31      
         Likewise      Joseph Hebert      10/23/12 10:25      
            hey Joe      Jez Smith      11/01/12 01:40      
               Belief      Andy Neil      11/01/12 02:47      
                  Ultimately, it comes down to a personal choice      Richard Erlacher      11/01/12 08:58      
                  yes but      Jez Smith      11/01/12 10:33      
                     Roll your own religin      Mahmood Elnasser      11/01/12 15:03      
                  here is my proof      Jez Smith      11/01/12 10:47      
                     just a minute ...       Richard Erlacher      11/01/12 15:41      
               I see.      Joseph Hebert      11/01/12 15:41      
                  Isn't it enough that he's comfortable with his beliefs?      Richard Erlacher      11/01/12 15:55      
                     The whole point Richard      Jez Smith      11/02/12 01:03      
                  No joe      Jez Smith      11/02/12 07:46      
                     logically inconsistent - Jez      Erik Malund      11/02/12 08:14      
                     No, Jez...      Joseph Hebert      11/02/12 09:22      
                        I don't believe because...      Jez Smith      11/02/12 13:36      
                           I see...      Joseph Hebert      11/02/12 15:24      
                           Occams Razor      Joseph Hebert      11/02/12 15:31      
                              elegant, never heard that one before      Erik Malund      11/02/12 15:49      
                                 Not original      Joseph Hebert      11/02/12 16:07      
                              Scientifically simple and Occams razor        Oliver Sedlacek      11/06/12 09:38      
                     No Jez, some more ...      Joseph Hebert      11/02/12 09:57      
                     Why not just let 'em believe what makes 'em comfortable?      Richard Erlacher      11/02/12 12:04      
                        Well normally I would agree with you richard      Jez Smith      11/03/12 02:05      
                           Beware of theories      Josť A. Ruiz      11/03/12 08:16      
                           The danger lies in "US vs THEM"       Richard Erlacher      11/03/12 08:41      
                           Yes, yes, we know. We're all a bunch of nutters, ...      Joseph Hebert      11/03/12 08:49      
                              Careful, now      Richard Erlacher      11/03/12 22:25      
                                 Case in point?      Joseph Hebert      11/04/12 13:49      
                                    Here's a thought ...        Richard Erlacher      11/05/12 15:06      
                                       That's what I thought.      Joseph Hebert      11/05/12 16:35      
                                 I (dis)agree      Erik Malund      11/05/12 07:18      
                                    and it's because of that, that I attend none      Richard Erlacher      11/05/12 15:07      
                                    It'm not painting them all with the same brush      Richard Erlacher      11/11/12 10:13      

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