Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Duplicity of Religious Moderation

There is the widespread view among religious moderates that there could be nothing objectionable about their participating in religious activities, ceremonies, and services as long as they don’t take some of the more outrageous, harmful, or erroneous claims seriously. In fact, this may be the most common position out there. “I enjoy going to church. I find the community edifying. The ceremonies are beautiful and inspiring. The art and music are wonderful,” etc. Even among famous religious skeptics, we find a soft spot for the cultural, emotive, and dramatic aspects of participating in religion. Richard Dawkins, perhaps to the dismay of believers, raves about the beauty of church hymns and music. Paul Kurtz describes this confined but rosy set of roles for religion, “The domain of the religious, I submit, is evocative, expressive, emotive. It presents moral poetry, aesthetic inspiration, performative ceremonial rituals, which act out and dramatize the human condition and human interests, and seek to slake the thirst for meaning and purpose. . . Religious language in this sense is eschatological. Its primary function is to express hope.” (Are Science and Religion Compatible?)

Kurtz, like a great many religious believers, endorses a kind of compatibilism regarding science and religion. There is no tension, no conflict, and no disagreement between the two because religion, as they describe it, has been scrubbed clean of the factual claims, all pretense to knowledge, and all of the assertions. The cognitive dissonance of compartmentalizing their religious activities from their scientific, empirical, and factual views is diminished because the religious moderate is just in it for the culture—the bells and smells, if you will. The religious moderate can’t really take the claim seriously that all life on earth was created in its present for 10,000 years ago, or that the juice and crackers actually turn into flesh and blood in your mouth, or that Adam and Eve were the first humans, or that snakes and burning bushes can talk. “We don’t actually, literally believe that stuff. But participating is edifying and wonderful, and at the very least, utterly harmless.”

The problem here is with the suggestion that one can participate so fully and enthusiastically, while “not really believing.” Do we really think that we can prostrate ourselves before God, utter the claims over and over, and generally mimic the more extreme religious believers without any ill effect? Can we read the Adam and Eve story again and again in a social context where it is taken seriously and literally, or fill our minds repeatedly with images of Jesus performing feats of magic, and still comfortably and readily acknowledge that they are “just stories,” not to be taken too literally? Here’s the Apostle’s Creed, regularly avowed to by millions of Christians:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of sins, the Resurrection of the Body, and the Life everlasting. Amen

Can you repeat this thousands or tens of thousands of times while surrounding yourself with people who all claim to genuinely believe it, and have it be evocative and aesthetic, but not contribute to any sort of attitude in your mind about what is real and what is true?

Keep in mind that my objection here only concerns the religious moderate who does not claim to take all these religious pronouncements so literally and seriously. Ironically, the evangelicals or the less moderate believers will agree with me: The things you say in church are serious, and should not be taken lightly. There is cognitive dissonance, and a degree of intellectual dishonesty in going through the motions without addressing the grounds and authenticity of the things you are saying and doing. Saying it and not meaning it is duplicitous.

The more extreme believers and I agree that we should all either believe and have good grounds for belief, or we should not pretend. The disagreement we will then have will be about whether or not there are rationally justifying grounds available to us to support these claims. But that’s all a different fight.

The religious moderate, in conceding that they don’t take lots of those things so literally or seriously, isn’t guilty of such outright irrationality. They want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to go through the motions and participate without epistemic responsibility for the words coming out of their mouths or the significance of their kneeling, hand waving, and prostrations.

What I’m arguing is first that we can’t really fully compartmentalize that way. We can’t really dissolve the cognitive dissonance because it isn’t really possible to strip out all of the metaphysical or assertion content from those actions. And second, trying to do so involves the religious moderate in an intellectual dishonesty and duplicity that none of us should be so willing to dismiss. Words matter and actions count. We all know that. A couple of examples makes it painfully clear.

Suppose that a boy is raised in the deep south as a member of the Klan. All his life, on a regular basis, his family, friends, and other from the community put on their white robes and hoods, and hold highly ritualized Klan meetings. They sing songs, burn crosses, hear devotionals about the evils of the inferior mogrel races, and so on.

Now he’s grown up. He’s become enlightened in his life and come to realize that contrary to what he was taught all of his life, black people are not genetically inferior, and the same for lots of the other things that he had always heard in those Klan ceremonies. Suppose he’s gotten so far past his upbringing that he’s fallen in love with and married a black woman.

After all those years, however, he’s held onto his robe and hood. And on Sundays he still enjoys putting it on and going to Klan rallies. He finds the songs and rituals evocative and aesthetically inspiring. The ceremonies, he tells his outraged wife, dramatize the human condition and “seek to slake the thirst for meaning and purpose.” And so on. He doesn’t really believe any of that stuff, he tells her. All that talk and ritual shouldn’t be taken so seriously and literally. And as long as the value of the Klan rallies are solely cultural and eschatological, there can’t be anything wrong with his going along.

The objection to the analogy, of course, will be that the ceremonies and words of religious services are not comparable to the malice and error of the Klan rally. The religious moderate will insist that while much of what people do and say in church isn’t literally true, it isn’t evil, or racist, or intolerant, or just so misguided.

There are several responses, however. First, in fact, a great deal of what goes on in churches and mosques and other religious ceremonies is intolerant, disrespectful, erroneous, and even racist or malicious. The rantings against white America from President Obama’s former preacher, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, do not represent a tiny, obscure splinter sect. The mobilization from religious groups in favor of Proposition 8 in California recently to ban gay marriage was massive. When you go along with all of that, you’re culpable. Furthermore, it can be no accident that 51% of Americans still refuse to believe that life on Earth evolved. 55% of Americans subscribe to some form of rapture theology. And 36% maintain that the Book of Revelations with it’s apocalyptic imagery of 7 horned goats and an anti-Christ who lays waste to all the non-believers is “true prophecy.” For a lot of people, they aren’t just going along, evidently. They mean it. Is that you, or are you just one of the ones who sits quietly while they pump up their outrageous ideas?

Furthermore, when considered from some distance the Klan example doesn’t appear disanalogous because of their outrageous ideas. Is the Klan theory about the bastardized, mogrel, non-white races being descended from animals that much more outrageous than the view that an evil super being sends invisible, malicious demons to infect the bodies and minds of unsuspecting believers? Or that virgins can give birth? Or that dead people can come back from the grave?

Second, even if there is a significant difference between going to Klan rallies for nostalgia’s sake and the moderates’ engagement with religion, it is a difference in degree not in kind. We’ve all got to agree that it is highly implausible that a person could sanitize or compartmentalize their participation in such ceremonies enough to eliminate its cognitive and social effects. If the religious moderate is really convinced that their participation can be isolated, and the Klan example is too outrageous, then she should try these experiments:

Stand up in a room full of people you know and loudly announce, “I pledge my eternal soul to Satan, my master.” Those are just words, afterall, that need not be taken literally. Could you say it several times every day for years without its having any effect on you? Wouldn’t you worry at least a little bit that making the pledge might actually give your soul to Satan?

Imagine fully participating and performing all of the prayers, recitations, and physical ceremonies in an Islamic religious service, or some other unfamiliar tradition.

Suppose that President Obama had chosen to say, “So help me Allah.” at the end of his presidential oath.

Suppose that instead of “In God we trust,” U.S. currency said, “In Allah we trust,” or “In Satan we pledge our trust.”

For Catholics, instead of pledging yourself to the Nicene creed, imagine pledging to a religious creed that explicitly denies Catholicism.

And so on.

If you are being honest, you will acknowledge that some of these experiments, or something like them, would at least give you a twinge of hesitation. Perhaps you’d be so uncomfortable you would flat out refuse to do it. That is because words and actions matter. We can’t really detach ourselves from religious behaviors to such an extent that their metaphysical and factual import vanishes. And that means that you cannot be epistemically disengaged from rational responsibility for your words and ceremonial activities.

There are other unintended side effects from faking it. By saying it and acting it out, over and over again, we encourage more sloppiness, magical thinking, confusion, and duplicity in ourselves and those around us. If you know better, but fake it anyway, what are you doing to others who are genuinely trying to understand whether there is a God, or whether he talks to us through burning bushes? What about children who trust and mimic the words and actions of the adults they see? What precedent do you set or fortify by letting false, misleading, intolerant, or harmful ideas and practices slide? If it is negligent or abusive for me to refuse to get medical care for my children when they need it, or to fail to feed them, then how much better is it to fill their heads with patently false ideas about the world that I don’t really believe and that we have good reasons to reject?

The religious moderate wants to paint religion in the glowing light of cultural and metaphorical edification. He insists that he can bracket off the false, offending, extreme, or misleading assertions and implications of the words and actions. But we all know that you can’t talk the talk, or walk the walk over and over again with complete detachment. The ideas sink in. The influences are there, whether we acknowledge them or not. And the duplicity is bad for the moderate and for those around him.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dr. McCormick,

This post is spot-on and mirrors my feelings exactly. I, too, have used the example of Klan rallies in showing the pernicious, confused nature of moderate theism.

Religious moderates face a dilemma: Either assent to (1) belief but inaction ("God is a trinity; but I don't let that influence how I do scientific work in the lab") or (2) unbelief with action ("I go to church, pray, sing hymns, but I don't actually think that God causes earthquakes (Jer. 10:10)".

In both cases, besides being incredibly disingenuous, there is a part of them that is focused on matters nonexistent and false; and, as a result, their actions or beliefs are not predicated on what is. Since this obtains, then how could their actions or beliefs, if focused on derivative matters, fail to correspond with some moral failing, in some degree? Either as a complete waste of time, being liars to themselves and others, or (as you note) encouraging superstition, ritual, and enthusiasm? If ethics is based on metaphysics, then one is less likely to see or act on the good if they are wholly confused on the content of the latter.

In light of this, it is difficult to see even the most moderate and liberal of supernaturalists as morally suspect and conspicuous.

steve martin said...

I am a Christian who cannot stand modern religion.

Religion (that which man does to ascend to the divine), is a joke.

Faith in Christ Jesus, now that is something all together different!

That is taken care of by the Living god, Himself.

"It is finished." That's what He said, and I believe He meant it!

Thanks!!

Luke said...

I named your blog as one of the Top 10 Atheist Blogs. Thanks for all the hard work; keep it up!

http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=480

Armageddon Thru To You said...

Armageddon Thru To You

If you've been wondering why it seems like the world around us is unraveling, it's because the last days as foretold in the bible are now upon us. Just as it was 2000 years ago, many were unable to discern the signs of Jesus Christ's first coming (Mat 16:3), as will many concerning his second coming, which will occur very soon. Yes many have proclaimed a similar sentiment many times in the past, but their errors have no bearing on today other than to lull you into spiritual apathy, and that too was prophesied to occur in the last days.


If you're not a believer in Jesus Christ because you're an atheist, consider that the underlying impetus for your disbelief is most likely borne of pride and here's why:

When we die, if you as an atheist were right, then there is no upside or downside for anyone regarding the afterlife. We will all simply cease to exist

However if we Christians were right about our belief in the afterlife, then we will be given eternal life and you as an atheist will receive eternal damnation

Given the choices, the position held by an atheist is a fools bet any way you look at it because the atheist has everything to lose and nothing to gain. It is tantamount to accepting a “heads I win, tails you lose” coin toss proposition from someone. And that someone by the way is Satan (see Ephesians 6:12).

The only way to explain the attitude held by an atheist is pride, pure and simple. The intellectually dishonest and/or tortured reasoning used by atheists to try and disprove the existence of God is nothing more than attempts to posture themselves as superior (a symptom of pride). And as anyone who has read their bible knows, this is precisely the character flaw that befell Lucifer, God's formerly most high angel. (Isaiah 14:12-15). Is it any wonder then why the bible is so replete with references to pride as the cause of mankind's downfall?

Pride permeates our lives and burdens us in ways that most of us seldom recognize. Ironically, pride is the one thing that can blind someone to things even the unsighted can see. And sadly pride will blind many with an otherwise good heart, to accepting the offer of eternal salvation that Christ bought and paid for with his life.


In any event, if you're an atheist, I wish you only the best for every day of the rest of your life because for you, this life is as close to heaven as you'll ever get, but for believers in Christ, this life is as close to hell as we'll ever get.





If you're not a believer and follower of Jesus Christ because you are of another faith, please take the time to very carefully compare your faith to Christianity and ask yourself, why is the bible the only religious book with both hundreds of proven prophecies already fulfilled as well as those being fulfilled today? No other religion can claim anything remotely close to this fact. Many Christians who are serious students of bible prophecy are already aware of the role and significance of bible prophecy in foretelling end time events. God gave us prophecy as evidence of his divine holiness to know the begining from the end (Isa 46:10). God also believed prophecy to be so important that to those willing to read the most prophetic book in the bible, the Book of Revelation, he promised a special blessing (see Rev 1:3), and this is the only book in the bible that God gives its reader a special blessing for reading. Something to think about.


Don't risk losing Christ's offer of eternal life by not accepting him as your savior and by thinking that the bible is nothing more than a compilation of unrelated and scattered stories about people who lived 2,000 plus years ago. If you take the time to study (not just read) the bible, you will literally be shocked to learn things you would have never imagined would be revealed in it. Did you know that like parables, God also uses particular months and days in the Jewish calendar, Jewish Feasts and customs, solar and lunar phases, celestial alignments, gematria (Hebrew numerology) early bible events and more as patterns and models to foretell future events?


Consider the following interesting facts about the bible that testify to its God-inspired authorship:

Did you know that in Gen 12:2, God said he would bless Israel?. How else can you explain the grossly disproportionate level of success achieved by Jewish people as a tiny minority in the world, especially after all they have gone through? And how can you explain the success achieved by the tiny nation of Israel, surrounded by enemies outnumbering them 100 to 1 and yet still they remain victorious in all their wars?


Did you know that as evidence to indicate that Israel is the epicenter of the world from God's point of view is the fact that languages to the west of Israel are written and read from left to right as if pointing to Israel, and languages from countries to the east of Israel are written and read from right to left, again as though pointing to Israel. Just a coincidence, you say? I think not.


Did you know that the six days of creation and seventh day of rest in Genesis is a model for the six thousand years of this age (ending very soon), that is to be followed by a 1,000 year millennial reign by Christ (see 2 Peter 3:8)? Adam was born sometime prior to 4000 B.C., therefore our 6000 years are almost up.


Did you kow that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is hidden in the meaning of the Hebrew names listed in the genealogy of the book of Genesis (Research it online)? To deny this was God-inspired, one has to instead believe that a group of Jewish rabbis conspired to hide the Christian Gospel right inside a genealogy of their venerated Torah, which is not a very plausible explanation.


Did you know that solar eclipses, which the bible describes as the sun being black as sackcloth, and lunar eclipses, which the bible refers to as blood red moons, have prophetic meaning? Research it online. God showed Adam (and us) his plan for man's redemption through the use of celestial alignments. (research Mazzaroth online)

Did you know that much of the symbolism in the book of revelation refers to planetary alignments that will occur when certain events occur as prophesied? These planetary alignments also explained the birth of Christ, just search out The Bethlehem Star movie on the Internet.

Did you know that the references in Eze 39:4-17 and Rev 19:17-21 in the battle of Gog/Magog and Armageddon respectively, in which birds of prey will eat the flesh of the dead in battle from two enormous wars is based on fact? The largest bird migration in the world consisting of bilions of birds (34 species of raptors and various carrion birds) from several continents converge and fly over Israel every spring and fall. Coincidence? I think not.

Did you know that Hebrew numerology, also known as Gematria, and the numbers with biblical and prophetic significance are hidden in the Star of David? Google the video called "Seal of Jesus Christ"

Did you know that the seven Churches mentioned at the beginning of the Book of Revelation describe the seven stages the Church will go through?

There are literally hundreds of hidden messages in the bible like these that testify to the fact that the bible was God inspired, and statistically speaking, are all exponentially beyond the likelihood of any coincidence. You can find them yourselves if you only take the time to look into it. Remember Proverbs 25:2 "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings".


And finally, if you are Catholic, or one who subscribes to the emergent Church or seeker-friendly Church movement, please compare the doctrine taught, advocated or accepted by your Church, with the actual bible, notwithstanding some new-age version of the bible. And remember that although the bible is often referred to as the living bible, the word "living" was never intended to imply in any way that the bible "evolves" over time to meet, or be consistent with, the standards of man. It's just the opposite.


Well, am I getting through to you? If not, the answer might be explained in the response given by Jesus Christ in his Olivet discourse when he was asked by his disciples why he spoke the way he did (in parables, etc.) in the book of Matthew 13:10-16. What Jesus said could have easily been paraphrased more clearly as "so that the damned won't get it". Why did Christ respond the way he did when asked why he spoke this way? Is there something about pride (the bible says there is) that closes one's heart to seeing or hearing the messages supernaturally hidden in bible parables, models, typologies, and similes, etc.? That should give you something to think about, but don't take too long. Time is now very short.


If it sometimes seems like there are powers at work behind the powers we know, remember what it says in Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." If you study the bible, it will become clearer.


And by the way, if you are a scoffer, this too was prophesied to occur in the last days. See 2 Peter 3:3.


Thank you and God Bless you!
Armageddon.thru.to.you (at) gmail.com

Reginald Selkirk said...

If you're not a believer in Jesus Christ because you're an atheist

That's an odd take on causality.

Reginald Selkirk said...

However if we Christians were right about our belief in the afterlife, then we will be given eternal life and you as an atheist will receive eternal damnation

1) Not if you're wrong about which God runs that afterlife. For example (just one of many possible objections), what if there's an afterlife, and the Christian God who runs it rewards good works rather than mindless faith?


Given the choices, the position held by an atheist is a fools bet any way you look at it because the atheist has everything to lose and nothing to gain. It is tantamount to accepting a “heads I win, tails you lose” coin toss proposition from someone. And that someone by the way is Satan (see Ephesians 6:12).

2) Very odd. Unmistakably you are the one who is offering this "heads I win, tails you lose" proposition to me. Are you saying that you are Satan?

3) Did you stop taking your medication?

M. Tully said...

I thought about going through all of Armageddon's post point by point, but I think Reginald pretty well dismantled Pascal's wager (yet again) and the medication comment pretty well summed up the rest.

But, with that said, I must reply to two of the comments.

First, the age of the planet is 4.5 billion years, not 6000 years. That is the same magnitude of error as believing that each hair upon your head is 244 ft in diameter. If someone can be that far off on such a well established fact, why should I believe anything else they might put forward about the state of the universe?

Second, as for the proposition that, "And by the way, if you are a scoffer, this too was prophesied to occur in the last days," Well, there have been scoffers for 2000 years. In fact, in the pre-Constantinian world, the percentage of scoffers on the planet was significantly higher than what it is today. So why didn't the "end" come ca. 300 CE?

I'll let someone else address Newton, Einstein and the predictability of eclipses. But I'll give you hint, tensor calculus doesn't show up in any ancient books of prophecy.

Matt McCormick said...

The Armageddon post is really quite amazing for a lot of reasons. I am not optimistic that any sort of direct response would be of use. And it's clear that no amount of reasoning would make any difference to such a person. The vast barricade of an apocalyptic ideology has been circled up and the only sort information that is even considered is the Bible. And even there, the only interpretation that he's allowing of the Bible is some sort of end-times prophesy filter. What he's going to find, and you can do this with any book that is sufficiently vague, are indicators that fulfill his apocalyptic expectations. And any events that don't seem to fit are either part of the prophecy and just haven't been distorted in to match yet, or they are deceptions, scoffing, distractions, temptations, and so on.

What's important here is that the view that is being presented is not an obscure, crackpot view. There are 10s of millions of Americans who are utterly convinced that we are in the End Times and that the rapture is coming in their life times. Never mind that every generation since Jesus has also been convinced of that.

One of the dangers of our not being more intolerant at least in conversation of all of this religious delusion is that by letting it go, we foster environments where this kind of hijacking of people's consciousness is quite common. This guy appears to be completely beyond help. That makes him really dangerous, and unapproachable with evidence or reasoning.

MM

M. Tully said...

Now on to Matt's main point.

I'm conflicted. I think magical thinking certainly has the potential for dangerous consequences (denying people rights based on sexual orientation, condemning condom use in an age of AIDS, moral justification for genocide, etc.)

On the other hand, I know fully compartmentalized theists that wouldn't advocate the above and if asked would condemn them. They gain comfort from their beliefs and I'm not sure I should disabuse them away from those beliefs.

For the time being, I'm leaning on the stop magical thinking side. The biggest reason for that is the liberal theists apparent inability to police their own.

When I see anti-Atheist bigotry, religious gay bashing, religious encroachment on First Amendment liberties, I never see liberal theists being in the forefront of condemning those practices.

Consequently, I'm left with the working assumption that protecting the magic premise is more important than protecting their fellow human.

Magical thinking is dangerous and deserves ridicule (why has no liberal theist pointed out that Brahmi, Cyrillic, Khmer, et. al. are written left to right and what about north and south and up and down writing?)

To conclude, liberal theists, I and many like me are pragmatists. If you police your own, I really have better things to do. If not I am more than willing to continue to show that the god hypothesis is untenable and to accept it shows a lack of critical thinking ability that can lead to really negative results for my fellow humans.

P.S. For those who would say, "what about those godless communists?" I actually put my life where my mouth was to stop the spread of that. So, I find the argument unimpressive.

M. Tully said...

Matt,

I think you hit the real point when you wrote, "One of the dangers of our not being more intolerant at least in conversation of all of this religious delusion is that by letting it go, we foster environments where this kind of hijacking of people's consciousness is quite common."

By not speaking up, it is a normal human reaction that we are ceding the point. In fact, when I really look at it, my previous post makes an argument from laziness.

This is probably the third time I've said this but darn, for a philosopher, you're one heck of an empiricist.

Matt McCormick said...

Dude, philosophers *invented* empiricism.

MM

Anonymous said...

"First, in fact, a great deal of what goes on in churches and mosques and other religious ceremonies is intolerant, disrespectful, erroneous, and even racist or malicious"

Can you refer to a study to back up your claim sir?

Anonymous said...

"Dude, philosophers *invented* empiricism."

And those philosophers werent atheist...

Dude, a muslim (Alhazen) invented the scientific method...

Dude, a pagan invented logic

Dude, pagans invented math

What has an atheist invented?

EGOISM?

M. Tully said...

Anon,

You asked, "What has an atheist invented?"

Well, here's a very short list:

Albert Einstein: The photoelectric effect, special and general relativity.

Richard Feynman: Quantum Electrodynamics

Thomas Edison: The light bulb

Charles Darwin: The theory of evolution

Francis Crick: The structure of the DNA molecule

Steven Weinberg: The electroweak force unification

Would you like me to go on? Or are you good with that was a pretty ridiculous question to ask?

M. Tully said...

"Dude, philosophers *invented* empiricism."

OK Matt, two things.

1. I can't believe you "duded" me.

And 2. The statement would be EMPIRICALLY unarguable.

Anonymous said...

um sorry but you're wrong dude

einstien was no atheis he believed in spinozas god...

darwin was never an atheist and at best was agnostic towards the end of his life it was his faith that inspired him to study the world...

Thomas edison was a deist...

Teleprompter said...

anonymous:

Yes, but his point still stands. You don't have to be Christian or even religious to be logical.

(by the way, I am Player Piano - I just switched my title)

M. Tully said...

OK Anon,

I do love semantics...

Fully describe the differences between Atheism, Agnosticism and Deism. Include your discussion the significant ways in which world views could be differentiated?

Define Spinoza's god and give an example.

I'll wait.

As for Darwin when you wrote, "the end of his life it was his faith"

Could you expand on this, I would be interested in any death-bead conversion story that hasn't been thoroughly repudiated by the people that were actually there at the end of his life. And yes, the Lady Hope story has been fully discredited. Even Answers in flippin' Genesis repudiate it.

M. Tully said...

Hey Teleprompter,

You realize that by changing the name you have killed the entire Player Piano vs. Piano Player debate?

Teleprompter said...

@ M. Tully

Frikkin' Vonnegut, I have. :P

Oh the humanities.

I loved how theists *routinely* transposed my name.

It's almost if...they weren't reading my words seriously?

What a shocker. That never happens. Still though, I changed my title to be consistent with other places where I post.

M. Tully said...

"It's almost if...they weren't reading my words seriously?"

Well, hard to flip Teleprompter and seem cute. Maybe they'll have to address your points.

OK, probably not. But, I don't even think they could believe "Promptertele" is even remotely humorous.

Anonymous said...

listing einstien, darwin, and edison as atheist is false as you did...

hey tully try wikipedia...i dont need to post links, do I?

Teleprompter said...

Anonymous,

Those three may or may not have been technically atheist, but they sure didn't believe in a personal god such as the one proclaimed by Christianity.

Darwin was a theist, but quit believing after the death of his daughter. Einstein did not believe in a personal god, though he did use religious terminology at different terms.

Still though, ultimately it doesn't matter. There were lots of brilliant people who were Christians -- like Newton. Of course, this doesn't verify the belief system.

Newton was also a Biblical literalist - but does that verify Biblical literalism? Decide for yourself.

If you want to say, X believed Y, and Z believed Y, it's still just anecdotal evidence.