Re: atheism vs theism

From: Moorad Alexanian (
Date: Thu Sep 14 2000 - 13:59:43 EDT

  • Next message: Adrian Teo: "RE: atheism vs theism"

    I agree that belief or disbelief in God is a matter of faith. Of course, we
    can view that as basic presuppositions that people make to be able to make
    sense of the whole of reality. I have learned a lot from watching political
    debates :) and hope that I can handle most things. Thanks. Moorad

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Steve Petermann <>
    To: Joel Cannon <>; Moorad Alexanian
    Cc: <>
    Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2000 11:48 AM
    Subject: Re: atheism vs theism

    >I've had a lot of discussions with atheists and the one thing that is both
    >hallmark of religion and a non-refutable aspect is religious experience.
    >religious experience I don't mean just some rare dramatic event. What I am
    >referring to is the underlying sense of the sacred that is universal to all
    >peoples and is talked about all through scripture and characterized in
    >ritual and piety. Atheists must always deny any objective validity to
    >types of experiences because they point beyond the material world. Also,
    >even though religious experience is not empirical evidence, per se, as a
    >universal phenomenon it also cannot be dismissed out of hand. Atheists
    >often try to explain it away as a strictly psychological aberration or
    >phenomenon with no objective truth, but if so, they should be obliged to
    >provide convincing arguments to support that position. They cannot,
    >however, do that because just as God cannot be the object of empirical
    >proof, God can also not be disproved by that means or even by reason. Even
    >parsimony is not a valid final argument against theism because of its
    >universality. In the final analysis the belief or disbelief in God is a
    >matter of faith. For those who are open to the sacred in life, they may
    >without hard proof choose to believe in God or not.
    >As an aside, I view many atheists as having a similar psychological makeup
    >as fundamentalists. They require a high degree of certainty for belief(
    >must have empirical evidence ) and they view their revelatory resource(
    >typically science ) as absolute and sufficient. Both those features
    >can sometimes make for a rigid, dogmatic, militancy with a strong aversion
    >to anything contrary to their view.
    >All the Best,
    >Steve Petermann
    >> I was asked by the Philosophy and Religion student organization on campus
    >> I wanted to "debate" a professor of their department who is an
    >> am supposed to represent the theistic point of view. I have accepted.
    >> comments or suggestions would be appreciated. Moorad

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