More about Theists and Atheists

December 15, 2010

I have continued to follow, and occasionally participate in, the discussions on Rev. Christopher Page’s blog, In a Spacious Place, specifically under the posts labeled “Talking With Atheists” and “Religious Decline #1”  “#2.”

Now, it has long seemed to me that the farther a topic of discussion is from everyday tangible reality, the more – inevitably – the language we use acquires a life of its own, heavily dependent on the details of individuals’ cultural background and formal education and the totality of their experience, so that people can easily use the same words for very different things and, just as easily, use apparently contradictory words to describe positions that are not in fact so very different. This is why I tend to avoid committing myself to “belief” statements regarding what I call metaphysical propositions: the existence vel non of God, the ultimate nature of reality, and the like. Which in turn makes me very comfortable in the UU church. I lean a bit more towards atheism/materialism than theism, especially Christian theism, but I could never be as dogmatic about it as the so-called “Four Horsemen.” Hindu and Buddhist “religious” philosophies have always had a certain attraction for me…

Anyway, what I saw happen in Christopher’s “spacious place” is that a few people, in both the theist and atheist camps, who started off pushing one another’s buttons, and reacting with umbrage, gradually learned to see  behind the verbiage and discover quite a bit of common ground. I find this quite encouraging.

No time to write more this evening; sorry. I’ll be back!


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