Monday, August 27, 2007

Agreeing to Disagree

Tobe over at A Load of Bright has put up an interesting post: Let's Just Agree to Disagree. I highly recommend that you read the post and its comment thread.

One person with whom I've agreed to disagree, although we haven't actually used that phrase, is Chuck Blanchard, whose blog is A Guy in the Pew. He's a Christian, a position which I find untenable, but I know from what he's written that there's absolutely no point in trying to persuade him to forsake his faith. So I don't. He knows I'm an atheist, a position which I'm sure he finds untenable, but he absolutely never, ever tries to sell his belief system to me. We have, however, had some religio-political discussions, and, since we both come from essentially the same liberal tradition, the results have been enlightening.

Recently, Chuck posted about Religion and the Presidential Vote. His implied conclusion, never actually expressed in so many words, was that it's OK for candidates to express their faith. In fact, he seemed to feel that Democrats are doing well by discussing such matters. We exchanged a few comments on that.

Now, in response to that give-and-take, he has posted again about Faith and Politics. Once more, I've tried to articulate my position, and explain how creepy all the faith talk sounds to atheist ears.

You may want to join in on this one. Remember, though: any attempt to deconvert the guy will fail.

10 comments:

tobe38 said...

I remember your previous post linking to your debates with Chuck, and I commented on his post then.

Whithin the framework of a belief system that is, as you say, untenable, he has some very valuable things to say.

It is nice when theists and atheists can hold intelligent, amicable discussions.

John - Evolutionary Middleman said...

"Remember, though: any attempt to deconvert the guy will fail."

Let's try taking him to our secret atheistic dungeon and using some of our Satanic techniques on him. Like what we did with Judge Jones shortly before the Dover trial.

MUHAHAHAHA!! (slithery tongue flickers, twists corners of handle-bar mustache and rubs sweaty palms)

John P said...

Let's try taking him to our secret atheistic dungeon and using some of our Satanic techniques on him. Like what we did with Judge Jones shortly before the Dover trial.

So that's the explanation. And I had so much faith in our judicial system.

I'm so disillusioned.

The Exterminator said...

Well, shit, John-Evo, I thought we took the devil's oath to keep that dungeon thing a secret. And here you go blabbing it all over? Next thing we know, you'll be giving out the recipe for Stem-cell and Fetus soup. If you reveal our conspiracy to take over the world and set up a Darwinocracy, you're gonna have to say at least a hundred hail Dawkinses before we let you back at the nightly orgies.

Catherwood said...

Now that it's come out that Mother Teresa was, at best an agnostic, if not an atheist, how much, "Let's agree to disagree" do you suppose the church and its henchmen will accord her ? This revelation arrived on the front pages of some newspapers and other media and was about as welcome as the discovery of a turd in the punch bowl at your sister's wedding. I have yet to see any letters to the editor calling for her excommunication. I suppose it could be that U.S. Catholics are too preoccupied trying to decide what to auction off to pay for all of those law suits.
No doubt, if we could drag MT's mouldering old corpse from the grave (I don't think she was cremated) to ask her, she'd say it was her faith that started her on the road of selfless service she chose. But as the power of reason gradually took hold of her mind and she rejected the idea of some omnipotent, white bearded, father figure tallying the foilbles of each and every one of the billions of folks on the planet, she continued to be the paragon of altruism that served as an inspiration to so many people. She didn't opt for partaking of the Stem cell & fetus soup or participation in the nightly orgies. And now that I think about it, that's probably a good thing.

Catherwood

The Exterminator said...

Catherwood, you said: [Mother Teresa] didn't opt for partaking of the Stem cell & fetus soup or participation in the nightly orgies. And now that I think about it, that's probably a good thing.

So does that mean we should take your name off the guest list for the next Bacchanalia? Who's going to bring the giant phalluses?

John - Evolutionary Middleman said...

"Who's going to bring the giant phalluses?"

I'll cover that, if I'm allowed back in. Listen, I honestly thought that no Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc. visited here. I had no idea I was giving up secrets. If it makes everyone feel better, I did two human sacrifices last night to atone.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Who's going to bring the giant phalluses?

I'll bring mine. Can't speak for the rest of you.

PhillyChief said...

Sorry I'm late, I went on vacation.

Agree to disagree is bullshit if the topic is important like creationism in schools. If the topic is working on Sundays, who cares?

Trying to convert anyone is pretty much a waste of time and something I don't bother with unless they start first. For instance some numbnuts came around about a month ago knocking on doors for Jesus or something. When I was shooshing them away one turned and asked, "do you have a question for god today?". There's no agreeing to disagree when you knock on my door, resist my shooshing and say shit like that. Then it's "on", you know what I mean, biAtch?" The little pricks are still in the dungeon as I type. It was agreed we could speak of that right?

Btw, secret to Stemcell and fetus soup - nutmeg.

The Exterminator said...

Philly:
Yes, there's no agreeing to disagree when ignorance is foisted upon us, or on our schoolchildren, by the government. And thanks for the tip about nutmeg. I've been using sauerkraut all these years; now I know why my SC&F soup tastes funny.