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584Re: Digest Number 129

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  • Randy M. Zeitman
    Jan 12, 2000
      >Message: 2
      > Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 09:47:17 -0000
      > From: "Charles Vermont" <Funchoice@...>
      >Subject: The Nature of Belief
      >Picking up on what you wrote, Thom, why is it that we have to choose to be
      >theist, atheist or agnostic? What about a fourth way?
      >If I rely on my personal experience as a guide, I could conclude that:
      > a.. I have no personal experience of God and therefore I am not a theist
      > b.. Just because I have no experience of God it does not mean that
      >S/He does not exist, therefore I am not an atheist
      > c.. I'm pretty sure of the above so I am not an agnostic
      >Perhaps someone else can add to this to find a fifth and sixth way

      Yes, I'd like to comment.

      You cannot know whether you had/had not had a personal experience of god.
      How would you know any more than I can listen to the radio without a
      receiver. (same logic you used in #b).

      This also speaks to what an 'experience' is because I assert that an
      'experience' is a reaction without any thought. How I immediately react to
      the cat jumping on my shoulders from behind is the experience, from then on
      it's a reaction. It's the reaction, the judgement of the event, is the
      experience you speak of. Though you may react our of habit, it's also a
      choice how you choose to evaluate the event.

      Therefore you can freely choose to be whatever you like. I choose to be an
      athiest because it obligates me toward self-responsibility more than the
      others. That is, since I'm 'on my own' I must choose more thoughtfully and
      rigorously than otherwise. (Which is also just a game because there's no
      reason a theist can't make exactly the same choices as I might, or I as
      they, and they will simply claim is was direction from god...)

      We lost the battle when our folks got us Social Security numbers.