In article <1395@cbnews.ATT.COM>, pmd@cbnews.ATT.COM (Paul Dubuc) writes: > ... The belief
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.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank