fatpie42 (fatpie42) wrote in secularspirit,

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About me

I recently finished a Masters in Philosophical Theology, and my main focus was non-realist theologians. Books like Thomas Altizer's "The Gospel of Christian Atheism", Don Cupitt's "Taking Leave Of God", and perhaps most importantly D.Z. Phillips' "Religion Without Explanation" all caused me to see the truth of religious beliefs as quite significantly secondary to the effects of religious ritual. As I was writing my dissertation Grace Jantzen's book 'Becoming Divine' became a huge influence on me with her claims that a view of the divine ought to be a 'conscious projection' and that 'atheism or theism' was a false dichotomy.

You can find a lot of information about my discoveries in my blog in the essay on 'Radical Theology and Atheism', but here I'll just give you a couple of quotations from Phillips and Jantzen to give you the basic gist. Then if you want to read more, you can do so.

“Suppose one witnesses a child falling overboard. One is unsure of one’s chances of saving him or of surviving the effort to do so. Suddenly, one may say to oneself, ‘Jump! Trust in God!’ This expression need not be connected with a belief that some supernatural agency is going to guarantee the safe return of either the child or oneself. No, it is a matter of not putting oneself first, weighing up the pros and cons. One gives oneself to what has to be done. It is this giving of oneself without reserve – trusting it – which gives force to the expression ‘Trust in God’ in this context.”

Someone may say that if the philosophical analysis of the notion of immortality I have attempted to give is anywhere near the truth, the whole notion is an illusion. He may say that there is no difference between the man who does and the man who does not believe in the life eternal: death is the end of both of them."

“So long as these are the characteristics associated with divinity, even if metaphorically, then whether or not one concludes that such a being exists, these are characteristics which are associated with the concept of supreme value.”

There was a thread on the Internet Infidels forum recently about the possibility of atheistic prayer. Personally I'm not sure that what I find beneficial is actually atheistic prayer. I don't find it helpful to talk to imagine a super-perfect entity or a super-perfect version of myself. The nearest I come to atheistic prayer is closing my eyes and putting some distance between myself and my ordinary situation in order to contemplate it better. Some woruld not consider that to be properly 'prayer', but I think one of the benefits of an atheistic stance is that there is no 'one true way' and there is no divine entity we are hoping to get into contact with. There is just a practice which is beneficial and a practice which is not, with no strings attached.

I notice that no one has commented on this blog since April. If anyone happens to check this out please leave a comment, if only to say 'hi'.

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