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Re: [ontolog-forum] Model or Reality

To: Kathryn Blackmond Laskey <klaskey@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 14:18:27 -0500
Message-id: <p06230913c2e509b60a76@[]>
>  >[PH] (As a lifelong atheist, it seems to
>>me that most sincerely religious people are not entirely on their
>>nut, but Ive learnt to deal with it.)
>[KL] This is way off topic, but I can't let this go unchallenged.
>We've had this discussion before, Pat. You have a very narrow
>conception of what it means to be sincerely religious.    (01)

Well, I take the words in their ordinary senses. 
But as I say, Ive learned to deal with it; and 
part of that dealing-with is to not engage 
sincerely religious people in debates like this, 
as it doesn't get either of us anywhere. I will 
only say that I cannot completely trust the 
rationality of anyone who is all three of 
intelligent, educated and religious. Something 
has to be wrong with their head, IMO. But that's 
just my opinion, and Im not out to get anyone 
else to agree with me.    (02)

>  To be sure,
>there are plenty of people who fit your definition, and they make a
>lot of noise, and I agree that they are not entirely on their nut.
>But there are many sincerely religious people who don't fit your
>narrow conception.    (03)

I think my conception is wider than you realize. 
I have the utmost respect, for example, for the 
writings of Anthony de Mello, S.J.. and indeed 
think of him as a spiritual guide; but I'd still 
include him in my blanket judgement. He'd have 
been a somewhat better guide if he hadn't been a 
Christian.    (04)

>I once read a recollection by a rabbi of his experience in rabbinical
>school of looking up from his book to see the senior rabbi watching
>him. "I see you are reading Russell," said the senior rabbi.  "You
>don't disapprove?" asked the rabbinical student, surprised at the
>smile on the senior rabbi's face.  "I'd rather you grew out of
>Russell than into him," replied the senior rabbi.
>When I told the director of the religious school at our synagogue
>that my son, then age twelve, was an atheist, she replied, "Every
>twelve-year-old should be an atheist."    (05)

Well, I won't argue with that, of course. :-) 
Every 62-year old should be as well.    (06)

>Far be it from me to attempt to turn an atheist into a theist.    (07)

You would have a very hard road to hoe. God might 
be able to do it, but He seems very reluctant to 
try.    (08)

>  But
>many sincerely religious people who are quite on their nuts    (09)

Im afraid I disagree with the implied premiss here that such people exist.    (010)

>  regard
>atheism as a stage that open-minded people go through on their way to
>a mature understanding of spirituality.  If you are open-minded, then
>you must acknowledge the possibility that they might be right.    (011)

Of course, they MIGHT be. But my current best 
bet, on which I would stake my life, is that they 
aren't, as a matter of fact.    (012)

But let us not squabble over such a completely unimportant matter as religion.    (013)

Pat    (014)

PS. We perhaps ought to tell others who are 
reading this that you and I have had many, many 
discussions and debates along these lines in the 
past, and are probably now both well past the 
point were anything either of us can say will be 
much of a surprise to the other.    (015)

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