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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton

"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon

Thursday, July 03, 2003

beliefs, I 've had a few...

Before I put this horse out of its misery I take the opportunity to make this further comment:

I am not in the least concerned with anyone's "beliefs" or "lack of beliefs". Such matters are personal and subjective to the individual concerned and therefore are of secondary importance to any discussions on a public forum about the nature and reality of God.

Beliefs may be either rational or irrational, and may or may not accord with external reality. But beliefs, in and of themselves, whether rational or irrational, evidenced or unevidenced, are subjective. There are part of our make-up as human beings and necessary for us in order to make sense of our place in the world. They give us comfort, solace, encouragement or hope, but ultimately, if they don’t accord with objective reality, they will fail us.

Beliefs do not produce external reality - unless one is a solipsist - and well on the way to an ultimate destination in a mental hospital. Beliefs are true only if they reflect reality; likewise the lack of beliefs does not proscribe any objective reality.

The fact is that constant harping about "beliefs" and about one's “lack” of particular beliefs is an irrelevance to the question of the existence of God. To say one "lacks" any beliefs is to say precisely nothing about objective reality or about the inherent validity of an object of belief. It has no bearing upon the actuality of external reality. It is merely a descriptor of personal, subjective feeling or opinion.

So if “weak atheists” wish to boast that they lack beliefs about God that tells us precisely nothing about the reality of God whatsoever. It does reveal a lot about their personal feelings, emotions, opinions, prejudices, ignorances and hang-ups. But when it comes down to it: What is your disbelief that I should be mindful of it?

Secondly, if such “weak” atheists wish to believe that atheism is merely a commentary on the status of subjective beliefs and not about objective knowledge of reality, by all means let them do so. The only reason real or true (i.e. “strong”) atheists do not distance themselves from this irrationality of their weaker brethren is that weak atheists serve as “useful idiots” in the war against God. Bona fide atheists attempt to make an objective statement about reality, not merely play semantic games about the range and variety of subjective beliefs inside people’s heads.

In the meantime burden of proof ALWAYS falls upon anyone who makes an objective claim, whether that claim is positive or negative, pro or con. Burden of proof does not fall upon subjective beliefs, a point that most “lackers” actually recognise - which is why they are so keen to adopt such a piece of nonsensical sophistry as “weak” atheism in order to avoid doing any hard intellectual work on the God issue.

In this regard all childish nonsense about invisible pink unicorns etc. is a further embarrassment for them. If the beloved invisible pink unicorn is claimed to have an objective existence, one that impacts upon reality, the burden of proof to substantiate this claim falls, as it must, upon them. If it is just a belief (or merely a piece of sophistry employed as a debating ploy) it is an irrelevance, one to which no one else has any burden to pay any attention to.

If it remains only a personal belief with no connection to objective reality it is forever outside of my concern. I have no need to make any comment about it. For this very reason there is no need for anyone to be drawn into inane debates about Zorg from the planet Zymon or the aforementioned invisible pink unicorn.

Of course Internet infidels are free to “lack” beliefs about God to their hearts’ content. Just don’t parade your personal “lacks” and “absences” as a supposed virtue under the guise of an intelligent and considered position. For it is nothing more than sophistry.

But back to objective reality.

Does God - the unique, personal, spiritual, eternally self-existent, transcendent, immanent, omniscient, immutable, holy Being who is creator and ruler of the entire universe and judge of all mankind – the God of Israel, and the Church and of the Bible – exist?

… And there is no shame in the agnostic answer, “I don’t know”.

Put up - that is come out of the closet as authentic atheists and stop playing sophist games, or admit you are agnostics - or shut up...

9:39:00 pm