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Dear Positive Atheist Mag,

I read some of your website and enjoyed the intellectual and emotional exposé’ on theism and atheism. My intention is to outline how I see two of your points differently.

I think the strong position (There is no God) on atheism is more aligned with a religious fundamentalist than the weak atheistic position (I don’t know or believe there is a God). I read someone on your site’s comments on why the strong position is distinct from a fundamentalist’s mentality , but that didn’t seem valid to me. Whether there is a “supreme” intelligence or not is really only a belief system on a personal level. Regardless of validating evidence you can not emphatically deny a spiritual being on lack of evidence. It’s ok to state a disbelief based on your understanding and logic but not to report it as an absolute truth. It’s like denying the electromagnetic spectrum in the first century A.D. without evidence or complete understanding. The strong position on atheism loudly and emphatically denies something because it doesn’t seem logical to your senses and there is no substantiated proof. You can say I “believe” there is no god. But, you can not say “God is a Fraud” and not be lined up directly with a fundamentalist who states God is exactly as he says.

You definitely can say that religion can be fraudulent and deceptive. But, again, the religious experience is a personal one that sometimes may be an attempt to elucidate a not yet understood phenomenon of a physical consciousness experiencing a spiritual event. To deny there is such an event is circular logic by using it to deny a deity and again is fundamentalist-like thinking.

Secondly, I like your quotes about “Insisting on Truth”. I just dispute that we always know what that truth ultimately is. I am not saying nothing can be considered truth. Here is an example of what I may be expressing poorly. Scientists a hundred years ago thought that the world was pretty much understood except for a few minor details. They were speaking from positions of authority about scientific truth. Then came relativity, quantum physics, quarks, dark matter and dark energy. Oh, and quantum non locality is a clear example that we are constantly continuing our progression of knowledge. So, to insist on a purely mechanistic world view without room for a paradigm shift is….well, foolish.

Religion itself can be Fraudulent , but, a term like God, intended to identify a type of higher consciousness can not be categorized as fraudulent unless you know. And, apparently, no one can know that for sure; it is a belief system.

That’s my thought. I would very much like to hear you response.

Tony from Delaware.

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Did you ever wonder about our true nature? Are we solely of a physical nature? Are we just a product of an evolutionary mechanistic process; primordial sea, some electromagnetic interaction resulting in basic amino acids, formation of single cell organisms, and the tree of life from there. Is life just an emergent product of complex chemical reactions? Or was life and consciousness imparted with some kind of creative nature by a yet unknown source. An entity or process very real but not yet understandable in current science? Is there a Consciousness above what we speculate about in our own species? Well, I think whether you are a pure deterministic, contemporary, scientific, rational being and only accepts what our senses detect or whether you are more mystical and spiritual in your thoughts and opinions, then both of these mind sets require a little “faith”. (Oops, there I go using profanity in today’s scientific circles). So, please relax a minute and hear me out, I’m just stating my own personal thoughts and opinions and in no way am I declaring them ultimate truth or my understanding absolute in nature. It’s just the thoughts of a non-scientist & non religious person. (To be honest, I do consider myself spiritual). Let me start by telling you about a conversation I had with a very intelligent, Astro-Archeologist friend of mine. As we were discussing our thoughts on life and our place in it, she mentioned that she was an atheist. Earlier in our conversation we were both railing against “religious fundamentalists” who claimed their understanding of the world absolute and infallible. So, I must say that she became quite upset when I called her a FUNDAMENTALIST after hearing her belief structure as absolute and final in that there is nothing other than what our senses (science) can tell us and that there was definitely no God or afterlife. How could use such a concept that she & I both found so repugnant? Well, I felt that even though her ideas were opposite of a religious fundamentalist they both had a all knowing, definite nature of things about life and the universe. Remember, I am not trying to convince anyone of anything, I have my beliefs and understanding and so I’m open for discussion. The real question is why do I say even science involves faith? Whether, it’s Lawrence Krause (“A Universe from Nothing…”), or Alan Guth’s concept of the Inflationary Theory, as I understand them, they both take it back to a point where they say that “something happened” but they can not explain it. I understand that both of these men are highly respected and their theories are backed up by current data in the field of cosmology and astrophysics. I respect both of these men and their work. But, if virtual particles did “pop into existence” and some kind of quantum fluctuation occurred bringing about our Big Bang and our universe which burst into an excelerated expansion by yet again an unknown process. What does it mean to say, “I have the explanation for something but I’m just not sure how it started.” That sounds like an act of faith. I am not discounting quantum fluctuations or Inflation, I just don’t see a problem with some kind of conscious intervention. Of course, that’s not a scientific fact or even necessarily the truth, but it is not anti-science to believe it. Why isn’t that anti science? Well, here’s my rationale. Our understanding of the universe and science, in general, is unparalleled in knowledge, at this point in time. But, if history is any example, we always have room for more innovated ideas and paradigm changing concepts. I believe it arrogant to even suggest we have a full understanding of our universe. Science is an evolving process; it can not, nor should it be stated as having reached final conclusions. That does not mean that I insist there must be a universal consciousness. It is just my belief that we are spiritual being living in a physical world. I believe nature to be a sort of dualism. Like light is both a particle and a wave, we are both an individual spirit (particle) and a part of the Universal Consciousness (a wave). Those are just a brief insight into some of my thoughts.

Please offer your thoughts and opinions on both my ideas and any personal thoughts of a similar nature. Please remember, I am not here to convince you of anything. Personally, I believe your thoughts and ideas and just as valid as mine. I have read David Bohm’s treatise, “On Dialogue” that I find interesting, thoughtful and paradigm shifting. It basically states that out minds are constructed in such a way to identify truth in the world as we experience it. Then, we spend a tremendous amount of our effort and intellect defending our own personal assumptions of truth as we have learned or experienced them. He states that this process of the mind is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem arises when we believe our truth is the ultimate truth and we do not open ourselves to creative ways of including new data and information. Thanks for reading and I look forward to future dialoging.