Joined: Sep. 2006
Unlike Lou I never was a preacher but I was the best student in my Sunday school/Bible classes, even when I wasn’t buying it anymore. (And why were the bored, disinterested students the ones who have hung on to the faith?)
I was talking to a co-worker who has a similar background about how it drives us nuts when believers violate the spirit of their religion in following the letter of scripture (i.e., charlatans). I think that atheists who had a religious upbringing never quite discard that concern for the spirit of what we’ve been taught; I wish the UD folks would consider motivation for our “materialism.” If the church really wants only mediocre minds and lukewarm conformists, that is definitely the message I received. And if it wants people to lie, then who occupies the moral high ground?
Re: Myths. Dembski said in his sermon that moral pain was more important than the physical pain. Whatever you think of that opinion, I haven’t been able to forget it and it did raise a few questions in my mind. Therefore, for the good of his soul, I would ask Dembski, if I could, what sacrifice he would be willing to make in the name of something else he spoke of, love of one’s neighbor. Specifically, I would like him to state yea or nay whether he subscribes to some of the loopier beliefs espoused by his colleagues (denial of the HIV-AIDS link, global warming denial, etc.) and if he would be willing to sacrifice these, at least, in the face of their possible detrimental effect upon other peoples’ lives—and speak out against them.
Also he should speak out against those arguments for intelligent design that he knows are mere creationist restatements. Why would he not do this, if there is scientific evidence instead?
I understand how difficult and frightening it is to sacrifice one’s deeply-held notions and endure the subsequent moral pain of uncertainty, but it seems to me that Dembski is talking about a choice that a lot of us have already made—but he doesn’t see that, since our choices took us away from Jesus. Well, I’m not asking Dembski to give up Jesus; I’m willing to step away from that position, though I retain all the objections to religion that I’ve stated previously.
I’d be willing to draw the line behind the ones that I’ve previously drawn; would he be willing to draw the line somewhere? Pseudoscience has real consequences in people’s lives. So does valid science. Isn’t the pursuit of science an expression of love of one’s neighbor?
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?
AtBC Poet Laureate
"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive
"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr