Friday, February 18, 2011

Atheist or Religious???

See that title? Another false dilemma! This all comes out of an article I read in the Herald Atheist Draws Crowd. I can understand why atheists feel the need to be defensive and attack religion. Religion has attacked atheism for a loooooong time. Here's a quote from the article that shows his posturing:

People often ask him, he said, why he lacks belief in God, but he thinks that is bad phrasing.
“One wouldn’t say that one lacks a belief in fairies and leprechauns,” he said.

God or leprechauns! Not a false dilemma though, but a false analogy.

Anyhoo, does it really need to be a battle? Later on he says,

he makes a distinction between “putting down illogical beliefs and putting down individuals.”
But this refers back to another post I made (Faith Is a Fallacy). Religion is NOT logical. It's not supposed to be! The power of religion, especially Christianity, is in the faith.

A friend recently told me he was agnostic (as well as a day trader--I wonder if those two correlate: Daytradin foo). My response was "We all should be agnostic!" There's no proof of any of our faith. And that's what gives it power.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lift Every Voice and Sing

I teach this song to all my kids every February. I don't get into the misnomer of a "black national anthem," but I think it's a beautiful song and an important one for them to learn.

But better yet is singing this song in church. The Johnson brothers did a great job of writing a song that appeals to a specific time without alienating everyone else. Obviously, the song refers to slavery, but if one were not aware of that beforehand, the song would still be beautiful. They are able to generalize the specific in a great way.

There are a couple hymns that I find very moving. One is the third verse of How Great Thou Art. The last verse of this one is another. Hopefully quoting just one verse won't tick of the Johnson estate. :)

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

There Are No Such Things as Dilemmas

More on fallacies. One of my favorites -- false dilemma. This is the argument where two choices are given as being the only two choices, but there are in fact other choices. I heard this back in 2009 when someone at church said "You can't be Christian and vote for Obama." The argument that there are only two choices, you can chose to be Christian or you can chose to vote for Obama, is a fallacy of false dilemma. I also heard it in 2010 after the ELCA churchwide assembly -- "you can't believe the Bible and think homosexuality is OK." False dilemma.

But the more I think about it, ALL dilemmas are false dilemmas. Are we really so uncreative as to imagine a situation where there are only two choices?

Cake or death!?