Monday, March 31, 2008

Real Racial Reconciliation

Last Thursday evening, I was sitting in on a lecture about atheism when I nearly exploded out of my chair with excitement. My reasons for this is that, without warning, one of the speakers (a professor at my college, who I will dub Dr. P) demonstrated real racial reconciliation. In speaking about the origins of atheism, Dr. P launched into the logical consequences of atheism, specifically nihilism. While talking of nihilism, Dr. P (who is black) addressed the black people in the audience: "I do not want colored people to think that nihilism is a white problem. I have spoken before on the 'nihilism of the hood'." He then went to demonstrate how urban gang mentality is directly related to nihilistic thinking, and then brought his point home with an example of "nihilism of the hood" by referencing the Lester Street Murders. After he made his point, the whole audience, white and black alike, sat unified in our minds and hearts in regards to nihilism and atheism.
That is real racial reconciliation, and I here defiantly post it as testimony against all previous logic in regards to racial reconciliation. Real racial reconciliation is not the continual awareness of and making others aware of the racism that divides us. Real racial reconciliation is the continual awareness of and making others aware of the commonalities that unite us. Any racial reconciliation effort that does not base itself on that logic will lead its followers hopelessly into side eddies, or into further racism (for how reconciled can we get if we are constantly reminded that we still hate each other?).

3 comments:

Jonathan Vowell said...

I have permanently deleted all previous comments and have ended this discussion for the following reasons:

(1) We are completely off topic. Nay, we never even addressed THE topic. This blog post was about an example of true racial reconciliation that revealed the nature of true racial reconciliation, NOT about the philosophical connection between atheism and nihilism. If you have nothing to say about the actual topic of the post then do NOT leave a comment.

(2) You are ALL being intellectually dishonest in this discussion. Citation of authority(ies) CANNOT be a logical fallacy. Appeals to authority and appeals to logic are two completely separate rhetorical devices and cannot invalidate each other. You can no more say that my citation of authority is invalid because it is "logical fallacious" than I can say your use of logic is invalid because it lacks citation. You have deliberately broken the rules of rhetoric in order to be right; thus, you are being intellectually dishonest.
The PROPER rhetorical response to my citation of an authority is to READ what the authority said and either provide a counter-example from another authority or logically engage their argument in order to determine its validity (even then, you are not dealing with the USE of citation, but only the argument of the authority). Since, however, you have NOT looked at the arguments of the authorities that I have cited, you can neither provide counter-examples nor a logical engagement. Thus, you all have NOTHING to say about those authorities; and yet, you say things about them. Again, that is being intellectually dishonest.
I will NOT demonstrate to you the connection between atheism and nihilism because (per my use of a rhetorical device that debaters utilize) I have cited authorities (Sire, Nietzsche, and Wells) that say my argument for me and better than I could. If you want a demonstration of my argument, then GO and READ the arguments of those authorities, and THEN come back and say something.
You are also all being intellectually dishonest in acting like you have something intelligent to say about Dr. P's comments when NONE of you were there to hear the full contexts of those comments (and part of those contexts was when he too explained how atheism leads to nihilism). Because none of you were there, you have NO grounds to claim that either Dr. P or myself "hate atheists," "think atheists are criminals," "are not agreeing with reality," or that Dr. P is a "liar." That you say these things shows that you are again willing to break the rules in order to win, and again this is intellectual dishonesty.

(3) You are all merely causing stagnation of this discussion. Aside from your intellectual dishonesty, you are stagnating this discussion in another way: You asked me "How is atheism connected to nihilism?" I responded with a standard rhetorical device, i.e., citation of authority. In order for this discussion to progress anywhere, you all MUST go and read the arguments laid down by the authorities that I cited. Until then, you have NOTHING to engage, and therefore nothing to logically respond to, and therefore NO logical response to give to the statement that "atheism leads to nihilism." Because you are not (through your apparent deliberate unwillingness) giving me a response, then consequently I have nothing to engage, nothing to logically respond to, and therefore no logical response either. Thus, your unwillingness to debate me honestly and correctly has stagnated this discussion, and if there is no progress in this discussion towards some sort of consensus or understanding, then this discussion is asinine. I am NOT going to be your intellectual baby-sitter; I am not going to hold your hand through this debate, carrying the whole weight of the argument whilst you all offer NOTHING in return. You all obviously have NO interest in (or understanding of) actual debate; you merely seek to be contentious, and this is counterproductive to any attainment of knowledge. Thus, I am ending this discussion PERMANENTLY.

P.S. I will be ignoring all further comments on this post (although I do plan to share this post with my college buddies so that they can understand what real racial reconciliation means).

Mark P said...

Atheists are not obligated to follow your or anyone else's idea of what atheism is. Not Nietzsche's, not Wells', nobody's.

Atheism is defined thusly: The absence of a belief in a god. Period. End of definition. You can show us any dictionary definition you want that applies some other connotation to it. We don't care. We are the (currently living) atheists and we will decide what the word means.

As far as atheism goes, there is no 'authority', and appeals to authority are one of the standard logical fallacies.

I have tried to find the arguments you mentioned and come up empty. Nowhere can I find an argument (or even a claim) from Nietzsche that atheism leads to nihilism. Nietzsche himself was an atheist and he condemned nihilism. What he DID say was that once you unchain yourself from religious values, you are free to consider any other set of values you wish.

It doesn't matter who says that atheism leads to nihilism, because of the simple fact that it doesn't. I know many atheists and not a single one of them is even close to being a nihilist. Logical arguments are nothing in comparison with real-world evidence. Logical arguments are only as accurate as the information that goes into them.

Please read this page to see exactly why atheism does not lead to nihilism http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismatheistsbeliefs/a/BelieveNothing.htm

Atheism only leads to nihilism for people operating under the ludicrous belief that it is only possible to have meaning in your life if you believe in God.

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