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  #1  
Old 03-23-2008, 01:05 PM
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Chris Hedges "I Dont Believe in Atheists"

Hedges, the author of 'War is a Force that Gives us Meaning' and "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America" has a new book out, "I don't believe in Atheists". Here's a column of his:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20070523_chris_hedges_i_dont_believe_in_atheists/

For Denver area members interested in his views, he'll be speaking at the downtown Tattered Cover Tuesday night at 7:30pm

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  #2  
Old 03-23-2008, 10:31 PM
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Sounds interesting. Will you be there?

Time: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 7:30 p.m.
Location: Tattered Cover Historic LoDo
Chris Hedges, the New York Times bestselling author of American Fascists and the NBCC finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, will read from and sign his new book I Don't Believe in Atheists ($25.00 Free Press). This timely and compelling work about new atheists critiques the radical mindset that rages against religion and faith. Hedges identifies the pillars of the new atheist belief system, revealing that the stringent rules and rigid traditions in place are as strict as those of any religious practice.

Request a signed copy: books@tatteredcover.com
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2008, 11:33 PM
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I can invent new definitions for words such that my hypotheses look true too.

He denies the overwhelmingly held definition of God, claims his definition is the obvious definition, then claims it's impossible to not believe in his definition. Unfortunately, that's not the God atheists are denying. He's having an argument with himself, not Sam Harris - who, incidentally, he seems to totally misunderstand.
Hedges says:
"God is the name we give to our belief that life has meaning, one that transcends the world’s chaos, randomness and cruelty. To argue about whether God exists or does not exist is futile." Well, duh, if that is what God is. But that's not what God is to most people who believe in God.

I guess he's never been touched by his noodly appendage. Now THAT'S a God we can all get behind!
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2008, 11:47 PM
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Lance, Yes, I'm planning to go. Are you thinking of going?

I thought his books on War and Fascism were quite good. I've of a mixed mind about that column. My initial impression upon reading it was that he'd been influenced by Paul Tillich at some time in his life. He seems to be defending the God of liberal Protestants and liberal Catholics. I'm under the impression that the masses of people are moving towards the supernaturalist God of fundamentalist religion. Harris is speaking out against that movement. On the other hand the god of Tillich ain't so bad. I took a little pilgrimage to Tillich's grave and memorial in New Harmony, Indiana a couple of years ago. He's got to be the only philosopher/theologian with a classy restaurant at his gravesite. Must have something good going for him.

I'm totally unconvinced by Hedges claim that Christian monotheism developed individualism. If Christianity was so individualistic, why was it the underlying ideology of feudalism for 1000 years?
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2008, 06:15 AM
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Kerry,
Those feudal times were called "the dark ages" by some. The church ruled thru superstition and intimidation. The church was at its low ebb and run by unscupulous characters. The church was most unchristian.
To see the true effect of Christianinty, you must look just beyond the feudal age to the time when chrisitianity was in its Reformation. There, in the aftermath of Luther's work you see the rise of the individual. The Reformation emphasised several doctrines that had been obscurred--"The individual priesthood of all believers" was one such teaching.
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2008, 06:52 AM
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Lance, Yes, I'm planning to go. Are you thinking of going?
I'll try to be there.

Our last encounter (Almost 5 years ago at that gas station on Broadway and Alameda?) didn't quite turn out very well. It would be nice to chat again.
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2008, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ForcedInduction View Post
I'll try to be there.

Our last encounter (Almost 5 years ago at that gas station on Broadway and Alameda?) didn't quite turn out very well. It would be nice to chat again.
Interesting book - I'll have to check it out.


But Lance - don't tease, please shed some divine light upon the aforementioned meeting with Kerry. Surely fisticuffs were not involved?
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2008, 07:46 AM
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But Lance - don't tease, please shed some divine light upon the aforementioned meeting with Kerry. Surely fisticuffs were not involved?
No, it wasn't anything bad, just a misunderstanding on my part. I had been talking with Tom Judd a few days prior and he talked about Hari Edwards (grimgaunt) a few times. I was at a gas station looking through the phone book, Kerry spotted my 300TD and stopped to talk. I confused Kerry with Hari, the conversation got awkward once I realized my mistake and we both went on our ways and haven't met in person since.
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2008, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
Kerry,
Those feudal times were called "the dark ages" by some. The church ruled thru superstition and intimidation. The church was at its low ebb and run by unscupulous characters. The church was most unchristian.
To see the true effect of Christianinty, you must look just beyond the feudal age to the time when chrisitianity was in its Reformation. There, in the aftermath of Luther's work you see the rise of the individual. The Reformation emphasised several doctrines that had been obscurred--"The individual priesthood of all believers" was one such teaching.
I agree Protestants are individualists but I don't see Protestantism as a Reformation of a corrupted version of Christianity and a return to an earlier more true Christian individualism.
Since Christianity was quite happily connected with feudalism, it seems to me far more likely that the cause of Protestantism lies outside of Christianity itself and that Christianity was changing in response to other social forces. I think it's more likely that the development of the printing press should get more credit for modern individualism than Christianity. Once books can be mass produced, learning does not depend on a small set of books available in Latin to elites but can be spread out in the vernacular to masses of people. This undermines elite hierarchical control of knowledge and opens opportunities for masses of people. Protestantism develops in this context, and creates an individualistic religion but even so, still has lots of feudalism left in it. The widespread use of 'Lord' is a good example. Nobody would begin to accept the view that "The CEO is my Shepherd' but we don't think twice about the Lord being our Shepherd.
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  #10  
Old 03-25-2008, 05:46 AM
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I agree with you on the printing press. Without it, the Reformation could not have occured.
We do have different views on causes and effects.
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  #11  
Old 03-25-2008, 11:35 PM
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Lance and I hooked up at Hedge's presentation tonight. I thought Hedges was very good. He adds a dimension to the debate about religion that is missing. He is quite strongly opposed to the Hitchens/Dawkins/Harris contingent, mainly focusing on their misplaced worship of science and inability to see the problems inherent within their own culture particularly in the use of US power abroad. In my view, Hedges did a better job of defending religion than Alister McGrath did in his debate with Hitchens that was linked here a few months ago.
My wife bought his book so once I read it, I might be able to articulate some disagreements I have with Hedges. He was raised in a liberal Christian home and attended Harvard Divinity School himself. He knows US christian fundamentalism inside and out. But he sees the masses of fundamentalists as victims of a few hypocritical manipulative demagogues like Roberstson and Dobson who control the hopeless. I think he doesn't appreciate the extent to which fundamentalist religion can gain a foothold in the human brain getting power as an independent cultural variable that can't be accounted for strictly in terms of social alienation. On this point, I think Hitchens is more insightful.

He's debated Hitchens. I'm going to start googling and see if I can find a link.

Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re3d0hiM4EQ

Looks like the whole debate is no longer available on YouTube because of some copyright issues with the radio station that sponsored it.

I think I found a link to an audio version of the complete debate. I'm downloading it at the moment so I'm not certain it will work, but I think so.

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:TpdESFwYi3oJ:richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php%3Ff%3D1%26t%3D34298+hedges+hitchens+debate&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=17&gl=us&client=firefox-a
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1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13

Last edited by kerry; 03-25-2008 at 11:57 PM.
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2008, 12:14 AM
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He was raised in a liberal Christian home and attended Harvard Divinity School himself. He knows US christian fundamentalism inside and out.
Liberal Christian??...What does that mean????????? sounds like an oxymoron.............

Havard...Wow.............................

What happend too the Holy Spirit??............

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.................
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:23 AM
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Liberal Christian??...What does that mean????????? .
It means:
Someone who doesn't see a conflict between science and religion.
Someone who doesn't see a conflict between intellectual life and religion.
Someone who doesn't think that religious answers can be found just by quoting scripture.
Someone who doesn't think that religious truth lies in one specific religious tradition.
Someone who doesn't believe in supernatural miracles.
Someone who doesn't accept an anthropomorphic God.
Someone who doesn't think atheists are immoral.
Someone who doesn't think morality is found within religion alone.
Someone who is opposed to fundamentalism.
Someone who believes in the equality of the sexes.
Someone who thinks religion is a human construction.
Someone who thinks the religious impulse can be expressed constructively.
Someone who is full of the Holy Spirit.
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1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
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1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
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Last edited by kerry; 03-26-2008 at 12:34 AM.
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  #14  
Old 03-26-2008, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by kerry View Post
It means:
Someone who doesn't see a conflict between science and religion.
Someone who doesn't see a conflict between intellectual life and religion.
Someone who doesn't think that religious answers can be found just by quoting scripture.
Someone who doesn't think that religious truth lies in one specific religious tradition.
Someone who doesn't believe in supernatural miracles.
Someone who doesn't accept an anthropomorphic God.
Someone who doesn't think atheists are immoral.
Someone who doesn't think morality is found within religion alone.
Someone who is opposed to fundamentalism.
Someone who is full of the Holy Spirit.
# 10 sounds like a Christian....

Whats the name of his cult??.................
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1984 300SD.. White/Chrome Bunts..Green

1997 2500 Dodge Ram 5.9 Cummins 12 Valve 36 PSI of Boost = 400+hp & 800+tQ .. ..Greenspeed

2004 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 Quad Cab Cummins 5.9 H.O "596hp/1225tq" 6 spd. Man. Leather Heated seats/Loaded..Flame Red....GREENSPEED

Global warming...Doing my part, Smokin da hippies..

Fight the good fight!......

Last edited by Matt SD300; 03-26-2008 at 12:53 AM.
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  #15  
Old 03-26-2008, 06:20 AM
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"Liberal Chrisitan" ia an oxymoron, much in the same way as " Self Righteous Christian" might be an oxy moron.
While understanding the role of the Holy Spirit to teach, I would not depreciate education. Having said that, Harvard Divinity school would not be my choice for a sound theological education. ( Says the not-so-humbe graduate of Covenant Theol. Seminary in St. Louis, MO).

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