Says the guy who worships before the image of a man being brutally tortured to death as an act of atavistic blood sacrifice. Funny thing is, you believe that nihilism is true as far as reality is concerned, but if you pull the covers of Christianity over your head, you can hide from the Camus in the closet and the Sartre under your bed. I think nihilism is bunk. You're projecting, once again.
You came into this world empty and you seek to leave it the same way. That's what nihilism is. As far as the suffering Christ went through, it has nothing to do with pain. The cross is about the resurrection. Man brought death into this world and Christ liberated us from it. You don't really understand the gospels so I don't think you should really ever speak about them.
And therefore, all those other people who believe other things (whether due to rational thinking or differing mystical revelations of their own) must not have asked sincerely and with an open heart. Therefore, they deserve to fry forever. Right? The nasty memetic trick here is to substitute morality for accuracy. We should believe in Christianity because if we don't we're "insincere" and have "closed hearts" (and are therefore naughty), not because we have determined that Christianity's claims about reality match the actual behavior of reality. Our motivation is to be guilt rather than a desire to know the truth, whatever it might be.
The world is entirely misleading, as evidenced by the vicious circle of your belief system. I picture the snake, eating itself, personally. Justice will be served. It is not wicked to not believe in God because you never received the message, nor is it wicked to deny God out of ignorance. It is wicked to mislead others from the truth, not knowing it yourself. This is the ultimate arrogance of atheists. If you want to say religious people are insane for their beliefs, atheists must be even more so not even being able to lay claim to any particular revelation from any source other than their own perception, which is not sufficient to make a determination of that magnitude for themselves, let alone anyone else. Atheism, whether God exists or not, is the ultimate delusion. You have made your leap of faith my friend, right off the cliff.
Yes, absolutely. Which is why we must subject all of our conclusions, no matter how "sincere" we are in wanting them to be true, to rigorous reality-testing and critical thinking. If we want the most accurate understanding of reality possible, we need to take our most cherished, sincerely-held beliefs, and do our level best to prove them false (this includes engaging the arguments of others who reject our beliefs). If our beliefs can consistently withstand every assault of reason and reality-testing (observation, experiment) that can be hurled against them, then we can have increasing confidence that they accurately model Reality.
In the face of the profound ignorance and limited faculties that is the human condition (as you correctly state above), what greater folly could there possibly be than to seize upon some subjective human experience as you do, and cling to it with unswerving dogmatism?
God has been thoroughly vetted, you could say. The truth has been standing in front of us for time immemorial, and the testimony of billions is sufficient I think for at least a consideration. It is only in this time of our "great" intellect have we forgotten everything of value. We didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, we drowned him knowingly.
Oh, I quite agree that I ought not "rule out" the existence of your chosen deity, or anyone else's. I should always be willing to accept and test new data as it comes in. The confidence that I have in the non-existence of your deity comes from the fact that there is no evidence for its existence, and the evidence that does exist, contradicts the claims of Christianity and the Bible. Reality is not "in a little box for study and dissection." It is all around us, and utterly inescapable. If the claims of someone's private revelation (whether it be a Biblical author, you, a Hindu yogi, a Sufi master, an Amazonian shaman, whoever) conflict with the public revelation of external reality, reality wins. As Philip K. Dick put it, "reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
There is plenty of evidence, you have just chosen to ignore all of it because it doesn't fit your idea of what God *should* be like, rather than admit you couldn't comprehend it to begin with, so your shoulds really don't matter. You cannot admit the fragility of your understanding, which doesn't amount to anything, and could at any time be washed out like a sandcastle awaiting high tide. The revelation here is that you take a stand on nothing at all, closing your eyes and ears to the truth because it doesn't fit your ideas, rather than be open to any conclusion, regardless if it contradicts your precious understanding or not.
I am absolutely open to the possibility that I might be wrong. Are you? Are you open to the possibility that your internal revelation might be deceptive, or in error? I give you the Litany of Tarski:
If there is a Creator,
I desire to believe there is a Creator.
If there is not a Creator,
I desire to believe there is not a Creator.
Let me not become attached to beliefs I may not want.
And the Litany of Gendlin:
What is true is already so.
Owning up to it doesn't make it worse.
Not being open about it doesn't make it go away.
And because it's true, it is what is there to be interacted with.
Anything untrue isn't there to be lived.
People can stand what is true,
for they are already enduring it.
If you were open to it, you wouldn't be an atheist. You take a stand on faith, which is ironic don't you think. I was agnostic, and wasn't going to change that position without direct evidence, which I received, and still receive, every day of my life.
Yes, but it means that we must have a methodology of testing the truth or falsehood of a belief. "Just knowing it in our hearts" doesn't work, because people "just know" all sorts of contradictory things "in their hearts." Thus far, the only methodologies that have actually, demonstrably worked for rooting out falsehood and converging on truth, are the methodologies of reason and the scientific method.
Scientific method is just a method, and certainly not the most superior one for obtaining truth. The way physical reality works is really the least fruitful thing we could understanding. Reality is spiritual in nature, and physicality is the lowest aspect of it. There are better ways to know the truth, even in secular understanding. What is the purpose of philosophy if not to say that science is inadequate? We know the truth through human understanding, which branches into muc more than what is 2 + 2.
And how did we find out the Earth wasn't flat? Somebody's mystic revelation? Reading the Bible? Nope. By applying the scientific method to develop a set of observational tests whose results would be one thing if Earth was flat, and another if Earth was round, then performing the tests and letting the Earth itself (i.e., external Reality) be the final arbiter.
Has nothing to do with the point. The Creator of reality will be the final arbiter.
So your god would prefer to deceive us by arranging things so that Reality behaves as if he does not exist. Why then, should we trust any subjective revelation that (allegedly) comes from such a deceptive god?
When you deal with God directly, you learn very quickly that He knows exactly what He is doing. The revelation is enough for trust and love, but to try to comprehend what He does, even trying to comprehend a fraction of its enormity, is impossible. The little I do understand is little indeed.
I can, if your truth-claims do not match the public revelation of Reality. If your experience purports to validate a Christianity that requires belief in Biblical inerrancy (you have not stated this yet, so that may not be the case), and the Bible asserts that Satan could show Jesus all of the kingdoms of the Earth from the vantage point of a high mountain, then the existence of a spherical Earth would rule out the claim that your experience is a genuine Divine revelation. It would also rule out the claim that "God," defined as an entity who, incarnate as Jesus, beheld all the kingdoms of the Earth from the vantage point of a high mountain, exists, since no such vantage point exists. It would not rule out definitions of "God" that are compatible with a spherical Earth.
You cannot disprove any of the thousands of other religions, or scientific Naturalism. Nor can you rule out the revelatory experiences behind all of the other religions, or the Reality-experiences that are consistent with scientific Naturalism.
I wouldn't try to disprove the scientific method, since it is accurate for its purposes, but I would dispute many of its conclusions. It is missing the point, but clearly it has applications in physical reality. I also wouldn't try to disprove any religion, I would only say that One God created them All, for His own purposes, and we will all meet Him some day soon. It's funny though that you think you could disprove my experience, and mention Satan in the same breath. It's just a coincidence I am sure.
What about them? BTW, science does not have to "explain everything" before the things that it does explain can make sense. A blank spot on a map doesn't mean that you can draw in a sea serpent and write "Here Be Dragons," then smugly assert that dragons do, in fact, exist because you say so, and what you say is true because it's you saying it. Arrogant git.
Pretty amusing stuff. Im arrogant because I said science cant explain even the most basic, fundamental conceptions of existence, which it can't, and is therefore is unworthy as a cornerstone of belief, which it is. It is just a methodology. You have a lot of faith in your mother science, kcgrady. Science is so full of holes I want to go grab some ham and rye. If you feel that it's enough for you, well, that's your lack of curiosity and intellectual stagnation.
etc etc etc