Best Argument Against Biblical Fundamentalism

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Rocky
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28 Jun 2012, 4:02 pm

From the "Atheist Experience" TV show. Even just the first video is enough.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hiw-ogmzeIM[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpkJT1p59To[/youtube]

Matt Dillahunty was a Christian for more than 20 years. He was studying to enter the Clergy. His studies led him to this conclusion. I think he is the most eloquent spokesman available to fill the shoes of Christopher Hitchens. What do you think?


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ArrantPariah
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28 Jun 2012, 5:15 pm

He's pretty good. I would love to see him debate some televangelist some Sunday morning.



Rocky
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28 Jun 2012, 6:25 pm

ArrantPariah wrote:
He's pretty good. I would love to see him debate some televangelist some Sunday morning.


I haven't seen them yet, but he has had some formal debates to be found on YouTube. I think that the only reason he is not as well known as Mr. Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett is that he hasn't written any books. He has a regular job and (like everyone else on the show) does this in his spare time to encourage people to use reason and evidence to form their beliefs.


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ArrantPariah
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28 Jun 2012, 7:23 pm

Well, it must be hard to be taken seriously if you haven't written any books and have a regular job.

Even if the books are complete jokes, like Glen Beck or Bill O'Reilly.



Rocky
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28 Jun 2012, 11:59 pm

ArrantPariah wrote:
Well, it must be hard to be taken seriously if you haven't written any books and have a regular job.

Even if the books are complete jokes, like Glen Beck or Bill O'Reilly.


Often publishers will be more willing to publish a book if the "author" (not the ghost writer) is already well known. I don't know how many people have watched "The Atheist Experience" but it has a devoted cult following after hundreds of episodes over many years. The archived episodes (on YouTube etc.) and podcasts have also helped. If Dillahunty wrote a book, I suspect he could get it published. After that, the publishing company would help publicize it (via interviews, etc.) and fame would then snowball.

I would be interested to read of any other candidates to fill the shoes of Hitch.


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Declension
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29 Jun 2012, 12:19 am

Rocky wrote:
I think he is the most eloquent spokesman available to fill the shoes of Christopher Hitchens. What do you think?


Hmm. That's quite a claim.

I guess we'll see how good he is at cheerleading the upcoming war with Iran.



Rocky
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29 Jun 2012, 2:45 am

Declension wrote:
Rocky wrote:
I think he is the most eloquent spokesman available to fill the shoes of Christopher Hitchens. What do you think?


Hmm. That's quite a claim.

I guess we'll see how good he is at cheerleading the upcoming war with Iran.


I was referring to his role as one of the "Four Horsemen" of Atheism.

Image


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Declension
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29 Jun 2012, 3:20 am

Rocky wrote:
I was referring to his role as one of the "Four Horsemen" of Atheism.


Two of those people are deep thinkers whose atheism forms part of a more nuanced worldview. Two of them are demagogues who unquestioningly support US foreign policy while using a shallow version of atheism as a selling point.



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29 Jun 2012, 6:30 am

Declension wrote:
Rocky wrote:
I was referring to his role as one of the "Four Horsemen" of Atheism.


Two of those people are deep thinkers whose atheism forms part of a more nuanced worldview. Two of them are demagogues who unquestioningly support US foreign policy while using a shallow version of atheism as a selling point.


I don't think that atheism could justify going to war, either in general, or a specific one. It only involves a lack of belief in a god.

The fact that Hitchens and from what you are saying another of them (Harris?) have a particular political view is a separate issue. I know Harris has spoken out against extremist Muslims who justify their terrorism with their particular religion. I am sure you agree with him about that. You apparently differ about going to war. Can you give me a link or a search phrase for more information about Harris' use of atheism to justify this political opinion?

Personally, I agreed with using the military in Afghanistan, but not Iraq.


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29 Jun 2012, 7:49 am

Biblical fundamentalism (or rather Sola Scriptura as such, but especially fundamentalism) commits the same error as hard empiricism. The fundie says (theological) knowledge is to come from Scripture alone, but this isn't said in Scripture. Hence, he/she has already assumed a non-Scriptural idea as true.

Hard empiricism says (any) knowledge is to come from empiric research alone, but there's no way to prove that empirically. Hence, the hard empiricist has already assumed a non-empirically proved idea as true. Same error, different result. Interestingly, the hard empiricist also tends to be just as fanatic and hostile to other mindsets as the fundie. I find people in both groups difficult to befriend. The ones I know and actually became friends with, tend to be "soft fundies" and "soft hard empiricists"...



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29 Jun 2012, 8:00 am

Rocky wrote:
Can you give me a link or a search phrase for more information about Harris' use of atheism to justify this political opinion?


Sam Harris wrote:
We are now mired in a religious war in Iraq and elsewhere. Our enemies--as witnessed by their astonishing willingness to slaughter themselves--are not principally motivated by political or economic grievances. How many more architects and electrical engineers must fly planes into buildings before we realize that the problem of Muslim extremism is not merely a matter of education? How many more middle-class British citizens must blow themselves up along with scores of noncombatants before we acknowledge that Muslim terrorism is not matter of poverty or political oppression?


Sam Harris wrote:
The war in Iraq, while it may be exacerbating the conflict between Islam and the West, is a red herring. However mixed or misguided American intentions were in launching this war, civilized human beings are now attempting, at considerable cost to themselves, to improve life for the Iraqi people. The terrible truth about our predicament in Iraq is that even if we had invaded with no other purpose than to remove Saddam Hussein from power and make Iraq a paradise on earth, we could still expect tomorrow’s paper to reveal that another jihadi has blown himself up for the sake of killing scores of innocent men, women, and children. The outrage that Muslims feel over U.S. and British foreign policy is primarily the product of theological concerns.



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29 Jun 2012, 4:04 pm

Declension wrote:
Rocky wrote:
Can you give me a link or a search phrase for more information about Harris' use of atheism to justify this political opinion?


Sam Harris wrote:
We are now mired in a religious war in Iraq and elsewhere. Our enemies--as witnessed by their astonishing willingness to slaughter themselves--are not principally motivated by political or economic grievances. How many more architects and electrical engineers must fly planes into buildings before we realize that the problem of Muslim extremism is not merely a matter of education? How many more middle-class British citizens must blow themselves up along with scores of noncombatants before we acknowledge that Muslim terrorism is not matter of poverty or political oppression?


Sam Harris wrote:
The war in Iraq, while it may be exacerbating the conflict between Islam and the West, is a red herring. However mixed or misguided American intentions were in launching this war, civilized human beings are now attempting, at considerable cost to themselves, to improve life for the Iraqi people. The terrible truth about our predicament in Iraq is that even if we had invaded with no other purpose than to remove Saddam Hussein from power and make Iraq a paradise on earth, we could still expect tomorrow’s paper to reveal that another jihadi has blown himself up for the sake of killing scores of innocent men, women, and children. The outrage that Muslims feel over U.S. and British foreign policy is primarily the product of theological concerns.


I removed your bolding of sections and bolded a section to highlight my point. There is no doubt that Sam Harris is an anti-theist. In other words, he is critical of religions. Showing deference to one religion by not criticizing it would serve no purpose except to appear to be politically correct. His point is that some religions are more objectionable than others. He has said so directly. I tried a Google search to find any direct quotes by him saying directly that he favors any war, and found no examples. Hitchens, on the other hand, did so.


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Declension
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29 Jun 2012, 11:18 pm

Rocky wrote:
I tried a Google search to find any direct quotes by him saying directly that he favors any war, and found no examples.


Read between the lines. When something terrible is happening, all you need to do to support it is to constantly claim that people who oppose it are naive. Anyone who could describe the toppling of Saddam Hussein's secular Ba'ath party as a "religious war" has lost his mind. Anyone who would blame the victims of an illegal and bloody invasion for being religious, instead of blaming the invaders for the invasion, is just a useful idiot.



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30 Jun 2012, 3:09 am

Declension wrote:
Rocky wrote:
I tried a Google search to find any direct quotes by him saying directly that he favors any war, and found no examples.


Read between the lines. When something terrible is happening, all you need to do to support it is to constantly claim that people who oppose it are naive. Anyone who could describe the toppling of Saddam Hussein's secular Ba'ath party as a "religious war" has lost his mind. Anyone who would blame the victims of an illegal and bloody invasion for being religious, instead of blaming the invaders for the invasion, is just a useful idiot.


I am sure that you will acknowledge that in Iraq, a certain percentage of the perpetrators of I.E.D.'s are motivated by the desire to kill, or impose sharia law on the "infidels." If we hadn't invaded Iraq, we would be fighting those particular Jihadists in Afghanistan. Not all of the combatants are motivated by their religion, but some are.


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Declension
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01 Jul 2012, 10:53 pm

Rocky wrote:
I am sure that you will acknowledge that in Iraq, a certain percentage of the perpetrators of I.E.D.'s are motivated by the desire to kill, or impose sharia law on the "infidels." If we hadn't invaded Iraq, we would be fighting those particular Jihadists in Afghanistan. Not all of the combatants are motivated by their religion, but some are.


Fascinating. You mean the jihadis who were hated and repressed by Saddam Hussein? Yes, I can see why you would want to topple the Hussein regime to kill those guys.