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cyberman

Truth and Belief

Quote:
Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday singing "Yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down. down. Amen!" If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it. - Dan Barker


This quote is currently used in Shaker's signature block. Hope you mind me borrowing it, Shaker.

Do those present think that if people go on demos chanting "we think gay people should be treated as equals" or "Don't wage war in my name", or what have you, then they are "pretty insecure" about the beliefs to which they are giving voice?
The Boyg

I'm not sure that the two things are really comparable.

People on demos are usually agitating for change, rather than simply expressing a belief.
Shaker

Beat me to it.

Barker's quote, and specifically the inclusion of the word 'insecure,' is predicated on the idea that people who seem to feel a need to come together - and not just as a one-off but regularly at that - to exercise and be seen to exercise their beliefs are engaging in mutual reinforcement of what could be seen as some pretty shaky beliefs. As Boyg pointed out, people on demos typically aren't doing this.

Bertrand Russell's (and others who've said similar) quote about nobody being killed over the ten times table was making the same point. Barker was once an evangelical preacher, once upon a time, so I'd imagine he knows whereof he speaks.
The Boyg

Yeah the demo thing was probably a bad comparison.

Probably better to ask whether the reciting of the Scouts promise at their meetings indicates that Scouts have a shaky belief in the tenets of the  Scout law.

http://members.scouts.org.uk/supp...t-promise-law-and-motto?cat=7,132
The Boyg

Perhaps this lot get together regularly to reinforce their shaky belief in humanism:

http://www.wyhumanists.org.uk/events/
Shaker

The Boyg wrote:
Yeah the demo thing was probably a bad comparison.

Probably better to ask whether the reciting of the Scouts promise at their meetings indicates that Scouts have a shaky belief in the tenets of the  Scout law.

http://members.scouts.org.uk/supp...t-promise-law-and-motto?cat=7,132

I think you're definitely onto something there, yes. I'd say the same of any form of words which is repeated by rote and assent to which is demanded of people. The way that American schoolchildren are made to recite the Pledge of Allegiance is a good case in point.
Shaker

The Boyg wrote:
Perhaps this lot get together regularly to reinforce their shaky belief in humanism:

http://www.wyhumanists.org.uk/events/

No.
The Boyg

The more I think about it the more absurd this proposition appears to be.

For example, a logical conclusion would be that Christians who only go to church at Christmas and for the odd wedding or funeral actually have a stronger faith than those who go every week (since they don't receive the regular, mutaul reinforcement of their beliefs).
The Boyg

Shaker wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Perhaps this lot get together regularly to reinforce their shaky belief in humanism:

http://www.wyhumanists.org.uk/events/

No.


So why do they have these regular, mutual reinforcement sessions based around their belief in humanism?
Shaker

The Boyg wrote:
The more I think about it the more absurd this proposition appears to be.

For example, a logical conclusion would be that Christians who only go to church at Christmas and for the odd wedding or funeral actually have a stronger faith than those who go every week (since they don't receive the regular, mutaul reinforcement of their beliefs).

It's bound to be absurd if you completely ignore all and any other factors which lead people to go to church now and again and/or for special occasions, such as residual social acceptability/respectability, family custom and the like.
Shaker

The Boyg wrote:
Shaker wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Perhaps this lot get together regularly to reinforce their shaky belief in humanism:

http://www.wyhumanists.org.uk/events/

No.


So why do they have these regular, mutual reinforcement sessions based around their belief in humanism?

I'm not aware that they are "regular mutual reinforcement sessions based around their belief in humanism" rather than a scattering of broadly like-minded people such as you'd find on a golf course or at a swimming pool. As far as I'm aware these people aren't joining hands and repeating a rote formula as to their disbelief in gods and belief in humanism ... which would be very odd and brings us neatly and nicely back to the point of Barker's original quote. The description:

Quote:
Our typical meeting will feature meeting in the cafe for coffee at 7:00pm, with the talk starting at 7:30pm and a visit to a local pub after the meeting.


makes it sounds - to me at least - a jolly social event more than anything else.

If you were sufficiently interested you could always find yourself (a) a humanist who (b) attends such meetings and ask them why they go, of course.
The Boyg

Shaker wrote:
It's bound to be absurd if you completely ignore all and any other factors which lead people to go to church now and again and/or for special occasions, such as residual social acceptability/respectability, family custom and the like.


Which is what Dan Barker's quote does.

Or at least what your interpretation of his quote does, when you say:
Shaker wrote:
Barker's quote, and specifically the inclusion of the word 'insecure,' is predicated on the idea that people who seem to feel a need to come together - and not just as a one-off but regularly at that - to exercise and be seen to exercise their beliefs are engaging in mutual reinforcement of what could be seen as some pretty shaky beliefs.

It presumes that the purpose of regular religious gathering is mutual reinforcement of belief and then, because of this, concludes that those who attend religious services must have a shaky beliefs.

The logical conclusion from this is that those who have religious beliefs but who don't attend religious gatherings have a stronger belief than those that do.

Which is strange, because throughout my life my attendance at religious services has varied from never to every week but I'm not aware of a correlation to the level of my belief at these times, which appears to have been pretty constant.

Perhaps there's something awry with the presumptions that underpin this quote?
Shaker

The Boyg wrote:
It presumes that the purpose of regular religious gathering is mutual reinforcement of belief and then, because of this, concludes that those who attend religious services must have a shaky beliefs.

Yes. As I said before, Barker used to be a Charismatic preacher. On that basis I presume that he has spent significantly more time (a) in churches and (b) around believers than I have.

Quote:
The logical conclusion from this is that those who have religious beliefs but who don't attend religious gatherings have a stronger belief than those that do.

No, not really. That's only one of a multiplicity of conclusions, many of them mutually exclusive. For example, one other, equally logical conclusion is that these people who have religious beliefs but don't attend religious gatherings have beliefs which are incredibly weak and attentuated and thoroughly wishy-washy, so hazy, vague and imprecise that they don't admit of coherent definition. Polls consistently show significant numbers of people making this shit up as they go along manifesting imprecise beliefs such as in a "higher power" or "life force" or other such airy fairy hand waving twaddle vaguenesses.

Quote:
Which is strange, because throughout my life my attendance at religious services has varied from never to every week but I'm not aware of a correlation to the level of my belief at these times, which appears to have been pretty constant.

Perhaps there's something awry with the presumptions that underpin this quote?

Perhaps the singular form of data isn't anecdote?
cyberman

Shaker wrote:
any form of words which is repeated by rote and assent to which is demanded of people.


Well, that doesn't apply to churchgoers
cyberman

Shaker wrote:
people who seem to feel a need to come together


Atheists often sneakily sneak this in, don't they?

You need to justify that people doing x seem to "feel a need" to do x.

One of the atheist fantasies about theism is that it is adhered to because belief fulfills a need.
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
Shaker wrote:
any form of words which is repeated by rote and assent to which is demanded of people.


Well, that doesn't apply to churchgoers

Doesn't it?
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
Shaker wrote:
people who seem to feel a need to come together


Atheists often sneakily sneak this in, don't they?

Do they?

Quote:
You need to justify that people doing x seem to "feel a need" to do x.

I'd have thought it uncontroversial that people act on the basis of need - a need for the ultimate goal which the act produces.  

Quote:
One of the atheist fantasies about theism is that it is adhered to because belief fulfills a need.

What about those theists who have said precisely this?
The Boyg

Shaker wrote:
Perhaps the singular form of data isn't anecdote?


Said the man who offered an argument from authority earlier in the same post:
Shaker wrote:
As I said before, Barker used to be a Charismatic preacher. On that basis I presume that he has spent significantly more time (a) in churches and (b) around believers than I have.

which is really little more than second hand anecdote.
Shaker

The Boyg wrote:
Said the man who offered an argument from authority earlier in the same post:
Shaker wrote:
As I said before, Barker used to be a Charismatic preacher. On that basis I presume that he has spent significantly more time (a) in churches and (b) around believers than I have.

which is really little more than second hand anecdote.

Is that an argument from authority, or is it an argument from expertise, which is to say, first-hand experience? Isn't your own pseudo-counter-argument itself an argumentum ad hominem?

If you wanted an insight into what you might call the psychology of religious believers and the motivation(s) for their behaviour(s), who would you go to - somebody who had seen it at first hand for many years (somebody like, say, Dan Barker), or someone who hadn't?
The Boyg

Shaker wrote:
cyberman wrote:

You need to justify that people doing x seem to "feel a need" to do x.

I'd have thought it uncontroversial that people act on the basis of need - a need for the ultimate goal which the act produces.  


Exactly. The religious "feel a need" to attend religious services in exactly the same way that the aforementioned West Yorkshire Humanists "feel a need" to attend their meetings.
Shaker

The Boyg wrote:
Exactly. The religious "feel a need" to attend religious services in exactly the same way that the aforementioned West Yorkshire Humanists "feel a need" to attend their meetings.

But like Boygie you're ignoring all other factors. I assume that the religious feel a need to attend religious services in order to praise/worship their favoured brand of paranormal entity.

Based on the scant information so far provided by the Boyg, the Humanists of West Yorkshire (and indeed anywhere else, I guess) seem to get together to drink, socialise and to get a (hopefully) interesting talk out of it on a certain subject, so I can't really see where your comparison of the two comes into play.
The Boyg

Shaker wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Said the man who offered an argument from authority earlier in the same post:
Shaker wrote:
As I said before, Barker used to be a Charismatic preacher. On that basis I presume that he has spent significantly more time (a) in churches and (b) around believers than I have.

which is really little more than second hand anecdote.

Is that an argument from authority, or is it an argument from expertise, which is to say, first-hand experience?


So I should accept your second hand claims for his first hand experience (whilst conveniently ignoring the possibility that as an ex-Christian, born again atheist he might have an agenda behind his comments) while you dismiss my first hand experience as anecdote?

The Boyg

Shaker wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Exactly. The religious "feel a need" to attend religious services in exactly the same way that the aforementioned West Yorkshire Humanists "feel a need" to attend their meetings.

But like Boygie you're ignoring all other factors. I assume that the religious feel a need to attend religious services in order to praise/worship their favoured brand of paranormal entity.

Based on the scant information so far provided by the Boyg, the Humanists of West Yorkshire (and indeed anywhere else, I guess) seem to get together to drink, socialise and to get a (hopefully) interesting talk out of it on a certain subject


Special pleading now too.
cyberman

Shaker,

When you look out of the window and perceive a tree, do you believe the tree to be there becauise you feel a need to believe it?

If you sign a petition to allow gay marriage, do you sign it because you feel a need to sign it?

And, more to the point, is that the language you would normally use to describe your actions?

Describing theists' actions as something they "seem to need" to do is clearly trying to build into your argument something which presupposes that Dan Wossname is correct. Barker - is it Barker?

You are saying they seem to be insecure because they seem to feel a need.
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
Shaker,

When you look out of the window and perceive a tree, do you believe the tree to be there becauise you feel a need to believe it?

No - but then, trees can be seen, felt, touched, smelt and even tasted if you wish. In the famous words of Philip K. Dick, reality is that which when you stop believing in it doesn't go away. Your use of the word perceive is spot on. Trees are material objects, have definite properties (composed of cellulose fibres, lignin, chlorophyll, etc.) and are apparent to the senses in ways in which gods as typically defined are not. Once again, no like-for-like comparison obtains.

Quote:
If you sign a petition to allow gay marriage, do you sign it because you feel a need to sign it?

Yes, most definitely, though the ultimate need there is not to sign a petition - that's only the means to an end - but to bring about a particular state of affairs (allowing gay marriage). This ties in exactly with what Boyg said earlier regarding your false comparison with people on demos:
The Boyg wrote:
People on demos are usually agitating for change, rather than simply expressing a belief.


*

Quote:
And, more to the point, is that the language you would normally use to describe your actions?

Depending on context, yes, it could very well be.

Quote:
Describing theists' actions as something they "seem to need" to do is clearly trying to build into your argument something which presupposes that Dan Wossname is correct. Barker - is it Barker?

You are saying they seem to be insecure because they seem to feel a need.

Barker's implication is supported by statements from theists who've said just that.
cyberman

You seem very concerned about like for like comparisons. Do you think Barker has made one?
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
You seem very concerned about like for like comparisons. Do you think Barker has made one?

I'd have thought it absolutely apparent that instead of a like-for-like comparison what Barker is actually doing is pointing up a contrast, as in:

Quote:
Scientists do not ... If they did ...


In other words, he's contrasting what religious people do with what scientists don't do - the implication and the purposes of the comparison surely being obvious but doubtless you'll want that spelt out in eye-watering detail as well.
cyberman

Shaker wrote:
cyberman wrote:
You seem very concerned about like for like comparisons. Do you think Barker has made one?

I'd have thought it absolutely apparent that instead of a like-for-like comparison what Barker is actually doing is pointing up a contrast, as in:

Quote:
Scientists do not ... If they did ...


In other words, he's contrasting what religious people do with what scientists don't do - the implication and the purposes of the comparison surely being obvious but doubtless you'll want that spelt out in eye-watering detail as well.


Perfectly clear. So, the point he is making is that people in situations which are in no way comparable behave in completely different ways. hmmm

What do you think this tells us? Do you share Barker's conclusion that it shows one group to be 'pretty insecure'?
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
Perfectly clear. So, the point he is making is that people in situations which are in no way comparable behave in completely different ways. hmmm

Why aren't they comparable?

Quote:
What do you think this tells us?

Because he has such a consistent gift for turning a polished phrase I'll let Sam Harris do my talking for me on this one:

Sam Harris wrote:
The moderation we see among nonfundamentalists is not some sign that faith itself has evolved; it is, rather, the product of the many hammer blows of modernity that have exposed certain tenets of faith to doubt. Not the least among these developments has been the emergence of our tendency to value evidence and to be convinced by a proposition to the degree that there is evidence for it. Even most fundamentalists live by the lights of reason in this regard; it is just that their minds seem to have been partitioned to accommodate the profligate truth claims of their faith. Tell a devout Christian that his wife is cheating on him, or that frozen yogurt can make a man invisible, and he is likely to require as much evidence as anyone else, and to be persuaded only to the extent that you give it. Tell him that the book he keeps by his bed was written by an invisible deity who will punish him with fire for eternity if he fails to accept its every incredible claim about the universe, and he seems to require no evidence whatsoever.


*

Quote:
Do you share Barker's conclusion that it shows one group to be 'pretty insecure'?

It certainly looks that way to me. And him, obviously.
cyberman

Shaker wrote:
cyberman wrote:
Perfectly clear. So, the point he is making is that people in situations which are in no way comparable behave in completely different ways. hmmm

Why aren't they comparable?


You told me they aren't!
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
Shaker wrote:
cyberman wrote:
Perfectly clear. So, the point he is making is that people in situations which are in no way comparable behave in completely different ways. hmmm

Why aren't they comparable?


You told me they aren't!

Indeed - a statement of fact with regard to Barker's quote.

Now I'm asking you why - according to you - they're not comparable. What is it about apprehending reality that's different for people attending church services compared to scientists doing science?
cyberman

Shaker wrote:
cyberman wrote:
Shaker wrote:
cyberman wrote:
Perfectly clear. So, the point he is making is that people in situations which are in no way comparable behave in completely different ways. hmmm

Why aren't they comparable?


You told me they aren't!

Indeed - a statement of fact with regard to Barker's quote.

Now I'm asking you why - according to you - they're not comparable. What is it about apprehending reality that's different for people attending church services compared to scientists doing science?


People of faith have never claimed that their beliefs are proven in the same way that scientific knowledge is. What I am contesting is that that amounts to insecurity. He makes an untested and unreasoned assertion that singing about something you believe indicates insecurity in that belief.
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
People of faith have never claimed that their beliefs are proven in the same way that scientific knowledge is

Which is interesting given the fact, historically, how many believers how often have acted somewhat inconsistently in this regard, appearing to be possessed of so much absolute and steadfast certainty of the manifest truth and rightness of their beliefs that other people can be persecuted, tortured and murdered in the most baroque ways in their furtherance.

Quote:
What I am contesting is that that amounts to insecurity. He makes an untested and unreasoned assertion that singing about something you believe indicates insecurity in that belief.

I don't see what's unreasoned about it - nor, for that matter, that it's untested given his experience and expertise in such matters. I admit that I haven't read his autobiography - I would very much like to and wish I had - but I know enough of him and his background to be able to state this with a certainty.
The Boyg

Shaker wrote:
I don't see what's unreasoned about it - nor, for that matter, that it's untested given his experience and expertise in such matters.


The funny thing is that I don't normally see you championing people's expertise in matters of faith as a consequence of their experience as a Christian pastor.

Perhaps it's only the ex-Christian ones, who's opinions happen to coincide with your own, who are "experts"?
Shaker

The Boyg wrote:
The funny thing is that I don't normally see you championing people's expertise in matters of faith as a consequence of their experience as a Christian pastor.

I haven't the faintest idea of what expertise in "faith" is or would look like - I was referring to the fact that he was a pious Charismatic preacher for nineteen years and so I feel it's not, on balance, an unreasonable supposition to presume that in those almost two decades he would have met and mingled with a large group of people and in so doing would have discussed their beliefs with them.

This is knowledge of people, not so-called expertise in the bizarre will-o'-the-wisps and ignes fatui they allege that they believe in.

Quote:
Perhaps it's only the ex-Christian ones, who's opinions happen to coincide with your own, who are "experts"?


You know, it's frankly quite amazing just how often that seems to happen.
The Boyg

Shaker wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
The funny thing is that I don't normally see you championing people's expertise in matters of faith as a consequence of their experience as a Christian pastor.

I was referring to the fact that he was a pious Charismatic preacher for nineteen years and so I feel it's not, on balance, an unreasonable supposition to presume that in those almost two decades he would have met and mingled with a large group of people and in so doing would have discussed their beliefs with them.


So, since this is about direct experience, then presumably you'd be just as willing to accept the expertise of a practising Christian pastor with regard to the strength, or otherwise, of the faith of believers.

Strange then that you would casually dismiss my testimony of my direct, personal  experience of over 40 years of Christian faith as "anecdote" when it's no more anecdotal than the experience that you claim validates Barker's opinion.


Quote:
Quote:
Perhaps it's only the ex-Christian ones, who's opinions happen to coincide with your own, who are "experts"?

You know, it's frankly quite amazing just how often that seems to happen.


Hardly. I don't find it remarkable at all that you unsceptically accept the "expertise" of people simply because their opinions happen to coincide with your own.
Shaker

The Boyg wrote:
So, since this is about direct experience, then presumably you'd be just as willing to accept the expertise of a practising Christian pastor with regard to the strength, or otherwise, of the faith of believers.

I'd be flabbergasted if you could find such an individual.

As I've noted in other threads here before, when you start to apply a modicum of critical pressure to these things and ask people what they actually purport to believe, they fold faster than a cheap deckchair.

Quote:
Strange then that you would casually dismiss my testimony of my direct, personal  experience of over 40 years of Christian faith as "anecdote" when it's no more anecdotal than the experience that you claim validates Barker's opinion.

Not strange at all; see my previous reply - the second paragraph especially - for the reason why.

Quote:
Hardly. I don't find it remarkable at all that you unsceptically accept the "expertise" of people simply because their opinions happen to coincide with your own.

Oh dear me no no no, there's nothing I accept unsceptically, I sincerely hope - if I did that I would be ... well, I'd be you, wouldn't I?

The thing that really matters is whether it comports with reason, logic and experience.

You're welcome  
The Boyg

Shaker wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
So, since this is about direct experience, then presumably you'd be just as willing to accept the expertise of a practising Christian pastor with regard to the strength, or otherwise, of the faith of believers.

I'd be flabbergasted if you could find such an individual.


You'd be flabbergasted if I could find a practising Christian pastor of 20+ years experience willing to offer an opinion on the strength of faith of those who attend religious services?




Quote:
Not strange at all; see my previous reply - the second paragraph especially - for the reason why.


Yes, you accept Barker's experience as "expertise" but dismiss my experience as "anecdote" because of your prejudices.


Quote:
Oh dear me no no no, there's nothing I accept unsceptically


You have in this case. You say that Barker's expertise to make assertions about the strength of faith of those who attend religious services should be accepted because of his years of experience as a Christian pastor when any sceptic worthy of the name would recognise this as simply a fallacious argument from authority.
Powwow

I believe Shakey is writing about the atheist church and the crimes against humanity that atheists are known for. Famous atheists such as Pol Pot, Mao, Lenin, Ceausescu, and the famous Castro brothers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eJ6q1a6aDbA
Shaker

Not for the first time and certainly not for the last, your belief is false.

This particular canard is so wincingly easily skinned, gutted, boned, wrapped up in yesterday's newspapers and put in the dustbin, but let's just see if you get there first before I come in to whoop yo ass spank your bottom on this one.
Powwow

BALDERDASH! Too funny you!
Shaker

Ah, obviously not, then.
Powwow

Yes, those atheists are so insecure about their belief that there is no God, they have to form churches in former Christian churches. Listen to atheists sermons about feeling good about their belief in no God and clap and sing and laugh. Oh and they even take money offerings at each service. Shaker's pointing a finger and ignoring his three fingers pointing right back at him. Too funny.

Here's their guru/preacher/old testament prophet look a like.(smiley)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3ZjVzra9vQ8
Shaker

pow wow wrote:
Yes, those atheists are so insecure about their belief that there is no God, they have to form churches in former Christian churches. Listen to atheists sermons about feeling good about their belief in no God and clap and sing and laugh. Oh and they even take money offerings at each service.

Silly as far as I'm concerned, but probably fills a gap for some former believers (a great many, possibly most atheists have been religious at one stage or another, until they got better), in the sense that it offers a welcoming community for those people who feel a need for such things.

Can't see the attraction myself, but for the tiny minority who attend such things, it does no harm and if the money goes to charity, some good.

Most former churches over here (there are a lot) are either derelict or, if my area is anything to go by, are carpet warehouses.

Quote:
Shaker's pointing a finger and ignoring his three fingers pointing right back at him.


That would indicate some sort of advanced arthritis or similar I'd imagine?
Shaker

pow wow wrote:
Yes, those atheists are so insecure about their belief that there is no God, they have to form churches in former Christian churches. Listen to atheists sermons about feeling good about their belief in no God and clap and sing and laugh. Oh and they even take money offerings at each service.

Silly as far as I'm concerned, but probably fills a gap for some former believers (a great many, possibly most atheists have been religious at one stage or another, until they got better), in the sense that it offers a welcoming community for those people who feel a need for such things.

Can't see the attraction myself, but for the tiny minority who attend such things, it does no harm and if the money goes to charity, some good.

Most former churches over here (there are a lot) are either derelict or, if my area is anything to go by, are carpet warehouses and pound shops.

Quote:
Shaker's pointing a finger and ignoring his three fingers pointing right back at him.


That would indicate some sort of advanced arthritis or similar, I'd imagine?  
Powwow

Oh dear, say it isn't so. You can be an ordained atheist minister now. The atheist church fell way short of donations for their plan to make their sanctuary something grand and for spreading their religion. Note to myself--don't try and get an atheist to part with their money. (smiley). There is a rift in the atheist church/ religion already. A new denomination one could say. Too funny. Sucks to be them, godless and trying to copy everything one might find in a Christian service and church minus the most important feature, Almighty God. Great day in the morning, these atheists are insecure in their belief that there is no God.

http://firstchurchofatheism.com/
Shaker

Quote:
Can atheism really have a church?

A church is defined as an association of people who share a particular belief system. So yes, a church of atheism can really exist.


That's a new one on me - their idea of a church would seem to include trade unions, political parties and whatnot. Possibly even fan clubs.

Still, what can you do - Americans, eh?  
Powwow

Of course they can, I agree. They can just do what the original Sunday atheist's old testament prophet look alike did, buy or rent a real one and call all the atheists and wham, ya have yourself an atheist church with ALL the trimmings except for the only real important presence. (smilies)
Shaker

pow wow wrote:
Of course they can, I agree.

With which bit - that political parties, trade unions and fan clubs are "churches"?

I'd ease up on the medication old fella
Powwow

No Shaker, you see your new church pays homage to themselves, to humanity.
A trade union doesn't meet in a former church to pay homage to humanity, nor does my Conservative party gather together to pay homage to themselves and humanity. You cannot become and ordained trade union minister able to perform weddings in the 1st church of Local 666. (smilies)
You cannot become an ordained minister in the 1st church of the Conservative Party of Canada.
You can become an ordained atheist minister and marry couples in the atheist Sunday Assembly churches. What joy, oh what fun. YIKES

Now go back to the first link on the Sunday assembly and review what that church promotes in their religious gatherings. There's a good fella. And you will note that they are copying everything possible from a Christian service except for the important One. They are very, very, insecure people, those godless atheists.

Now you mention fan clubs, well I would not doubt there are those that gather somewhere on the planet and pay homage and worship not God and not you, but Elvis. Can they become ordained Elvis ministers in the 1st church of the King of Rock and Roll? Some day I would not doubt.
Thank you, thank you very much.

Medication? Oh please keep up old timer. Pain free today praise God. No need for pain relief, so bite me!

Will you admit the atheist Sunday assembly is mimicking Christian services?
Shaker

pow wow wrote:
No Shaker, you see your new church pays homage to themselves, to humanity.

It's not my church - I don't have a church. I don't want or need one. I've seen what they're capable of doing to humanity so I think they're far better dispensed with.

If you mean that there are a very few people, who I should imagine tend to be ex-believers (which I never have been), who for their own reasons (primarily that of community) feel a need to ape churches, well, that's up to them. The trouble with that, of course, is that the Church of Atheism is on record as having defined a church as an assembly of people gathered together who broadly share the same beliefs.

Which sounds great until you remember that when you define words so broadly they lose any real meaning.

I'm not a humanist and so feel no need to pay homage to humanity. Anybody who does so, however, has this one thing in their favour: there is actually such a thing as humanity; humanity actually exists, so on that level at least they're not silly.

Which puts them rather ahead of people who pay homage to things that don't exist, as far as I can see.

Quote:
They are very, very, insecure people, those godless atheists.


No - some of them may very well be, though that'll be because they're human beings and not because they're atheist human beings.

By the way: you still don't need to say godless atheists. It's a pleonasm, a redundancy. Godless is contained within and understood by the term atheist and vice versa, so only one - either one - of those terms will do. One or the other is fine, but using both just makes you look silly and as though you don't know what you're talking about.

Quote:
Now you mention fan clubs, well I would not doubt there are those that gather somewhere on the planet and pay homage and worship not God and not you, but Elvis. Can they become ordained Elvis ministers in the 1st church of the King of Rock and Roll? Some day I would not doubt.


Where else?

Quote:
Will you admit the atheist Sunday assembly is mimicking Christian services?

No. I've never been to one, have no need or desire to go to one, so it looks as though you're following the Church of Atheism in defining any group of people who share broadly the same set of beliefs as a church.

You and the Church of Atheism on the same page - who'd a thunk it?
Powwow

Like Shaker is never one to generalize about the Christians and their faith. Too funny you.
trentvoyager

Quote:
They are very, very, insecure people, those godless atheists.



No I'm not. So you are wrong.

There.

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