In article <1395@cbnews.ATT.COM>, pmd@cbnews.ATT.COM (Paul Dubuc) writes: > ... The belief

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In article <1395@cbnews.ATT.COM>, pmd@cbnews.ATT.COM (Paul Dubuc) writes: > ... The belief that God > does not exist should affect one's active role in life. And what about a simple lack of belief? There is a difference between believing that some particular god does not exist -- and how could such active disbelief be about other than some particular god(s)? -- and simply not having any religious belief. > However you define atheism, the main point I wish to make is that this > "view of reality" (that expression implies some positive content, not > a void) is a relative relitious position; relative to all other religious > positions. It doesn't have any unique intellectual status with respect > to theistic beliefs. The expression may imply some positive content, but only because it does not accurately describe all atheists. Atheism is not some particular "view of reality", rather, it describes all those whose view of reality, though they may differ in many ways, do not contain certain features, namely, the religious or supernatural. (In this sense, it is unfortunate that the word atheist has been stretched into an "ism", since there is no set of beliefs that all atheists share.) Atheism has a "unique intellectual status with respect to theistic beliefs" in exactly the same way that those who do not practice martial arts have a unique status vis-a-vis the many martial arts schools and the philosophic disagreements between them. All martial artists share some common or related beliefs that the outsider has not adopted. As > ... There is not > an intellectual void where the issue and implications of God's existence > are concerned. Something fills that void and actuates a person as > a result of her "view of reality". I don't understand this at all. Is there an intellectual void where the issue and implications of martial arts practice is concerned? While there are some martial artists whose manner of living and whose world view would suffer large gaps without their practice, that does not mean that those who do not practice martial arts have these holes or that they have artificially filled them with something else. It is only because these intense practitioners have ordered their life and their beliefs around their practice and that the lack of it would leave gaps. I believe the analogy with religious belief is accurate. Most of us who do not believe have not filled the alleged void of nonbelief with something else. We simply do not have the void to fill because we have not organized our other beliefs around religion. You may argue that religious belief is in some way more fundamental and necessary to human life than is martial arts practice, but you will do so unsuccessfully unless you begin from religious assumptions, thus begging the question. Russell

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