So as a follow-up to my post yesterday regarding, open, honest and clear communication, I wanted to share this response from Barry today about a question on another post (Well that’s a shame…) I made back in May. I don’t think the timing could have been more perfect. I’m not sure what took so long for him to answer and why I had to moderate his comment and allow it on my site even though I have already approved his commenting on here, but that doesn’t matter. All that matter is that I have an answer.
NOTE: It’s been edited for space considerations. This is the complete answer to my question, but the part of the complete reply that has been removed, deals with another debate regarding quakerism and is not relevant to this question. If you wish to see the response in its entirety, go to the Well that’s a Shame… post on this blog and you’ll see this comment at the end of the reply chain.
Anyways, if you want you have a fantastic idea of what it is like to converse with a person who can’t say what he means and mean what he says, who has to talk in endless, meaningless, useless, pointless caveats, then here it is, in all its glory.
QUESTION: So I guess I will ask the question then Barry. Do you believe in God(s) (of any kind)? Yes or No?
Ashley, that’s like demanding a Yes or No answer to the question “Have you stopped beating your wife?“. Sometimes it’s not possible to give a simple yes or no.
So if you don’t mind, I’ll answer the question as if you’d asked “Do you believe in the existence of god(s) in a literal sense?“. No. If I was asked “Which is more likely: We find evidence that proves the existence of god(s) or we find evidence that proves giant moa still roam the Fiordland rainforests“, then I would choose the latter. I see as much evidence for god(s) as I do for flying pigs. Where am I giving myself wriggle room that you repeatedly claim I give myself? How many more times do I have to repeat this?
To summarise: (a) I do not believe in the existence of deities (or gods). (b) I live life based on the belief that there is that of God in everyone. I don’t believe either statement is in conflict with atheism or Quakerism. If the two statements cause you a problem, ponder what I might mean by “of God” (Hint: it’s not literal).
I love the comment about asking me where he is giving himself the wiggle room that I claim he gives himself after a) inserting the useless “literal sense” caveat into my original question and b)answers another question I didn’t even ask.
But seriously though, is there a point in me critiquing this nonsensical gibberish?
It gets even better!
Why is it so hard to answer the question “Do you believe in god(s) – Yes or No? Because this!: Barry’s answer: No doubt that’s true for you, but for me to answer it, I need to make assumptions about what you mean by “believe in” and “god(s)”.