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 In God We Doubt

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Jamie Clubb
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PostSubject: In God We Doubt   Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:31 pm

"In God We Doubt: Confessions of an Angry Agnostic" by John Humphrys is a book that really speaks to my heart. Humphrys unashamedly takes the centre ground in the argument over the existance of god. He went from devout believer to atheist and now fights at what he says - and agree - is the hardest station of them all. Agnostics are often put down as being wishy washy in their thinking or cowardly in not making a stance. Who wants the moniker "Weak" Agnostic for example? Even the word Agnostic is a complete admission of having no knowledge. However, I believe the agnostics are perhaps the closest people to the sceptical cause and Humphrys also seems to take this view, making reference to the ancient tradition of "Doubters" that was first established by Greek philosophers.

The book is full of experiences from the famous journalist's exciting and extraordinary life, the main inspiration for the book being his series "Humphrys in Search of God", where he interviewed high ranking representatives from the three Abrahamic religions. You can feel real empathy for him as he sees winning arguments take him one way and then other just before something else makes them fall short.

There is also a lot of sympathy for the people that Dawkins dismisses as simply being "stupid" for believing in their faith when the evidence actually supports the view that they are not.

In the end the book presents the argument that being an agnostic is far from being easy. Being a total atheist is easy, as is being a complete fundamentalist, so long as you buy the whole package. Being an agnostic means that you constantly question and you constantly search for answers.

I have the audiobook version of this book and highly recommend it.
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PostSubject: Re: In God We Doubt   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:14 pm

I would'nt mind having a listen to that. Im a Big fan of Dawkins although I do have a few Gould books on the shelves and currently need to read Hitchens 'God is not great'.

I used to be agnostic then I got sick to death of believers telling me to be open minded about everything!

As the weight of science shows there is no shred of evidence for a supernatural God being I became atheist and as most of you know I signed up to the brights movement, which suits my needs even more.

If I ever get proof of a supernatural God fair enough, but as a scientific sceptic, I shall remain a bright.

Regards,

Den

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Jamie Clubb
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PostSubject: Re: In God We Doubt   Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:41 pm

I did the Bright test for their research. I am naturally very dubious about fitting myself into any category, however, and despite moving myself closer to atheism all the time I fear any absolute. It is just too easy! Sometimes the atheist movement does come across as almost as militant as the very people they oppose and arguments against religion can fall into the SLIPPERRY SLOPE logical fallacy argument. There are Christians and other religious people who appreciate the context of the era the scriptures were written in and even see the majority of the writing as fables, metaphors and analogies. Furthermore, so long as religion does not influence law, who are we to deny anyone their private belief system. These are valid points inferred and put across by Humphrys book, balanced by his general heavy scepticism of such ideas as creationsim and the concept of a merciful god.
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PostSubject: Re: In God We Doubt   Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:22 pm

The Brights do not particularly care for religion, God or anything else.

They do not attempt to debunk or change minds, they simple live from a naturalistic viewpoint and discount from their world vision supernatural and superstitious belief systems.

The Brights simply live in a world where everything has a natural, rather than supernatural explanation.

They certainly do not ram it down people's throats and they certainly do not kill people in the name of their God!

As mentioned in another thread, If I allow possibility of a supernatural creator, where does the line get drawn?

Anyway shall put it on my wish list and get round to reading it.

regards,

Den.

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