Lewisians and Lovecraftians: Another Way to Look at Religious Beliefs?

This post is in part an olive leaf to AndrewS as an attempt to satisify his concerns with loosely defining atheism. I firmly believe that arguing over definitions is pointless in a rational conversation (though probably valuable in a political one). So I see no reason to not give it to him. Thoughts on that topic lead to this post.

In my past posts, I defined an Ideal Rational Atheist like this: Continue reading

Declining Sunstone and Bloggernacle “Safe Zones”

I was recently invited to be part of a panel at Sunstone on Mormon Blog boundaries. CHanson sent me an invitation (and gave me permission to print it) that described the panel like this:
LDS-interest blogspace is divided into a bunch of different communities.  The completely out-of-the-church end has its secular (atheist/agnostic) wing and its Christian wing, then there’s the Borderland/NOM crowd, then there’s the Feminists and the mommies (who are sometimes the same people, and sometimes not), then there’s the core of the Bloggernacle, and on the super-conservative end there’s “Nothing Wavering”. Continue reading

Constructed Morality – Plus the Meaning of Life

In my last post, I pointed out that ‘subjective morality’ is a meaningless statement – to everyone. Those that usually invoke it are generally people trying to argue that some other group of people is making a moral issues out of something that is really a preference. (I used the example of sex outside of marriage.) Therefore, the argument that morality is subjective is primarily used as an objective moral argument.  

And, as was pointed out in this post, people that claim morality is subjective are ultimately going to undermine their own arguments with their actions. They will still treat certain moral issues – the ones that they believe really are moral issues – as if they are objective moral issues.  

I think more needs to be said now about just how deeply rooted the idea of objective morality is to all of us. Morality and Meaning seem to be deeply tied in our minds in some way. 

We freely speak of out ‘better angels’ and ‘wanting to be a better person’ without flinching. And even die hard atheists speak of ‘the sanctity of life’ or ‘the evils of slavery’ and do so without having to explain it first. 

And more to the point, we fight for what we believe without a second thought.  Continue reading

Do Non-Literal Believers Believe Falsehood is Better Than Truth?

Case for GodHaving considered in my past posts all my concerns with Armstrong’s book, The Case for God, I wish to now address the most important subject of them all: Where do Armstrong and other non-literal believers stand on the issue of whether or not falsehoods are (or at least can be) better than truth?

This may seem like a strange question. To help explain why this question is so important, I need to point you to an excellent post done by AndrewS a while back entitled “Why New Atheists are the Dullest People in the World“. [1] (See here for original post from Leah.)

Non-Literal Theists vs. Miliant Atheists

In this post, AndrewS tells the story of Leah and her realization that despite being a non-literal believer she was still a “Raging Religion-oholic.” Another poster named brillientk89 — a new atheist (i.e. militant atheist) — took issue with her non-literal theists views. AndrewS, who is also an atheist, defended her views. His key point is that brillientk89’s stance is so militantly in favor of ‘truth’ that he makes no room for even fiction. (Thus the reference to being ‘dull.’) [2]

Here is a key part of the ‘exchange’ between Leah (the non-literal theist) and brillentk89 (the militant atheist): Continue reading

Life Without Morality?

I have been having an ‘offline’ conversation with a self-proclaimed ‘apostate’ friend. It’s a philosophical conversation about morals and morality. We haven’t really drawn any conclusions as of yet.

He sent me this interesting article where the author (Joel Marks) claims that he has abandoned belief in the existence of morality and that it didn’t effect him at all because we don’t need morality.

So the two of us wanted to put up that article plus a proposition for discussion. Consider this statement that both of us believed was basically true:

I believe it’s basically impossible for human beings to really treat morality as if it’s non-objective.

So, for the sake of argument (as the author of the article suggests)  let’s assume at the outset that morality really is non-objective. If human beings can’t treat morality as non-objective (even though that is what it is), what are the implications, if any. Continue reading