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Frank E Gibbard

A theistic argument

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Frank E Gibbard

I said to this neighbour who is a theist

Sorry I cannot believe in your one God

But we can share a bond if not a faith

And a grip on our own cherished reality

Blessed is the work of life’s peacemakers

Who broker bonhomie not harsh discord

And preach friendship rather than enmity

Breach dividing walls and lower boundaries

Fervent apostles who push ploughshares

Sowing seeds of harmony in fields of hate

I believe he and I an atheist may be friends

 

After revision the edit:

 

I said to this neighbour an espoused theist

Sorry I cannot subscribe in your certainty

But can share a certain bond if not a faith

And a firm grip on our cherished realities

Blessed is the work of life’s peacemakers

Who broker bonhomie not harsh discord

And preach friendship rather than enmity

Breach dividing walls and lower boundaries

Fervent apostles who push ploughshares

Sowing seeds of harmony in fields of hate

I hope he and a certain atheist may be friends

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Lake

Well said, Frank. icon_smile.gif

 

Regards,

 

Lake

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dr_con

I believe he and I an atheist may be friends

 

Frank this line tripped me up, ever so slightly- maybe the an maybe my mood- who knows- otherwise: You're beautiful and ineffable expression of the whole, as always...

 

Much grace;-)

 

DC


Join the Voodoo rEvolution. Classes forming now: http://www.integralvoodoo.org/

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JoelJosol

Frank, Bertrand Russel would have said 'Amen' to this poem.


"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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waxwings

As for DC being tripped up, the fix seems to be the lack of commas marking what looks like an appositive (or an aside, as in "stage whisper") in the line below.

 

"I believe he and I, an atheist, may be friends."

 

English not being my first, I agonize over the proper use of "may" vs "perhaps", as connoting, to me, a "future" vs. an "uncertain" situation.

 

Someone out there, please, straighten me out. icon_redface.gif

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rhymeguy

I too got a little tripped up on casual reading with the last line. I have noted some back and forth. Personally I would take out the "an atheist" completely. You have established that you do not believe in god and that your neighbor does as the basis for this discussion in the first 2 lines. So it may be that those words add nothing to the overall presentation.

 

Great poem, well expressed thoughts and the clear desire to concentrate on our commonalities rather than our differences.

 

rg

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Frank E Gibbard

Thanks for the opinions - ivo DC's nit I will go back to the old drawing board & be back to try and improve the last line. Taking wax's point I thought to omit punctuation originally probably wrongly, a comma or two might help comprehension. On your "may" meaning etc. sorry I for one can't sort you out, it's an English grammatical Gordian Knot. If I may clarify as I employed the "may" in this case it suited the conditional nature of the friendship I implied because that is a two-way street. One can offer or allow such a relationship but it could still (conditionally) be spurned by the would-be friend but I for part may allow it. Frank

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waxwings
Thanks for the opinions - ivo DC's nit I will go back to the old drawing board & be back to try and improve the last line. Taking wax's point I thought to omit punctuation originally probably wrongly, a comma or two might help comprehension. On your "may" meaning etc. sorry I for one can't sort you out, it's an English grammatical Gordian Knot. If I may clarify as I employed the "may" in this case it suited the conditional nature of the friendship I implied because that is a two-way street. One can offer or allow such a relationship but it could still (conditionally) be spurned by the would-be friend but I for part may allow it. Frank

 

Nice of you, Frank, to raise the specter of a linguistic Gordian Knot. But Alexander used a sword, why not us. Inow do see why you chose "may".

 

I did not want to question punctuation any further, and you have already sensed that it can indeed clarify a complex thought. I wonder why you, a younger fellow, prefer starting a line w/ an u.c. letter. I have read that they are a subversive but highly visible means of punctuation, being mostly found after a period ending a sentence.

 

I tend to disagree re omitting "an atheist" because the poem does not explictly say anywhere else that you are one. Saying you do not "believe in your one God" could mean you are a polytheist or a believer in a God other than your neighbor's. Besides, you use the cap G, something I though atheists do not do.

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Frank E Gibbard

New Version

 

I said to this neighbour an espoused theist

Sorry I cannot subscribe in your certainty

But can share a certain bond if not a faith

And a firm grip on our cherished realities

Blessed is the work of life’s peacemakers

Who broker bonhomie not harsh discord

And preach friendship rather than enmity

Breach dividing walls and lower boundaries

Fervent apostles who push ploughshares

Sowing seeds of harmony in fields of hate

I hope he and a certain atheist may be friends

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

hi frank,

 

i agree with the poems theology wholeheartedly/ it is a honest poem speaking from your heart. i don't hate you or disprove your beliefs. i am maybe to vocal about my faith but i have had 21 brushes with death.

 

i believe we cam put my past ignorant comments (made by me) behind me and us. i know quite a few atheists and i have to admit i don't understand their logic and rationalizing or reasoning that they deduce in nihilism.

 

as for me i made a huge mistake in generalising using your name. the remarks io made were not only in bad taste and judgment but were not needed by me. b also they go against site policy.

 

i have no problems with you posting your theology in ypour poems. i uusually look at if it is a good poem.

 

frank i believe you and dee from the defunct artplop) are very good writers and very witty.

 

i feel bad about my remarks i didnt mean to be so negative or attacking your belief system. i believe we can live in peace my friend.

 

even with all my supernatueal experiences i couldnt tell you if a god exists for sure even if i believe in one because my experiences were after i had brain damage and also i am on quite a bit of pain meds and anti-depressants so i don't even know what i mean i couldn't prove if my experiences were real or drug induced.

 

i want your friendship. what i said was unneeded. i don;t pretend to understand your viewpoints. even though i believe in a god i don't really think religion is neccassary in today's world. it causes hatered. i didnt mean for remarks to come 0out that way but i read what tony saiod to me about what i wrote and i realised i even though it was not meant to attack your views that it was.

 

as far as your poems go. please do not stop posting your ideaologies because of me. your poems are written with much character. if i write about spiritual concepts you should also write about them and post them.

 

i actually might put to much theology into my poems. the dogma really isnt needed by me and i have taken out comments before because i am a sophian believer. i believe god is a female lol. so i actually tone doone my bekliefs because their are muslims and christians on the site. other hen my faith in jesus christ i don't believe in most of the bible. it cotradicts itself because ythir was at least 30 diffeent writers of its books and they qall didn't believe the same way.

 

if i can say their is a god vocally you should be allo0wed to vocalise and talk about their being no god. to tell you the truth even though i have faith inj a god and believe in heaven i will not know till i get their.

 

i hope we can stay friends. i enjoy your poetry. you are very clever and your poems are very well written and expressed.

 

maybe i have said to much.

 

in the name of peace i not only apoligize but would like to remain poetry friends.

 

larse aka victor


Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

sorry about the typos my eyes are bothering me because my blood sugar was high this morning. i see the typos but the print is to small for me to correct right now. if you dont understand a word i will try to edit my post after dinner if my sugar lowers by then.

 

larse


Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Frank E Gibbard
sorry about the typos my eyes are bothering me because my blood sugar was high this morning. i see the typos but the print is to small for me to correct right now. if you dont understand a word i will try to edit my post after dinner if my sugar lowers by then.

 

larse

 

 

Larsen I can understand you perfectly and you need say no more on the subject. We will stay poetry friends as you say I hope and I see no reason why not to Larsen. I appreciate the nice comments you made and reciprocate. Keep writing in your own style Larse, it is cathartic. Frank

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pawn shop

Revision is WAY better......

what a word...revision....

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pawn shop

this poem seems like a hug to me right now

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dedalus

I think you were more on the button the first time around, Frank. I would leave out the "espoused" and settle for the more direct language. You realise, of course, that atheism is also very much a matter of faith? You can neither prove nor disprove your choice of (dis)belief. It's merely a choice based on predeliction but no certain knowledge. And no, I am not speaking as a particularly religious person. You cannot know whether there is a God or not, or at least some universal guiding principle, until you're dead. If you go out like a light-bulb, you're OK. Extinction. You are placing your bets that there isn't a God. Good luck. I wouldn't worry too much, mind you. I doubt any possible (but equally non-possible) He She or It will come after you!

 

All the best (long time no speak!),

Brendan


Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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tonyv

dedalus wrote:

 

You realise, of course, that atheism is also very much a matter of faith? You can neither prove nor disprove your choice of (dis)belief. It's merely a choice based on predeliction but no certain knowledge.

It does seem rather unscientific ... Absent any proof one way or the other, agnosticism seems more intellectually honest: one simply "does not know."

 

Tony


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Frank E Gibbard

Brendan - I am only coming back to talk about this one because this subject I have bashed on about for so long always divides opinion. It is about opinion,this poem in subject or faith if you will Brendan. I am by the way perfectly aware of the distinctions on agnosticism and atheism. This is now not about poetry but the belief (theism) or lack of it. I am entitled to say there is no god or that I do not expect life in the hereafter if that is my wont and it is. This is no worry to me, I am content in my atheism thanks whatever the arguments. If a god exists he/she/it can strike me dead. Don't worry there is no god, this is to me a plain actuality, you believe otherwise it's not a concern to me that others cannot see it my way. I do not have to prove the case. I know there is no chance of convincing believers so I will from this day forward not bother evangelising for my non-belief. I wrote this after a bit of bother really in the hopes of appeasing Larsen. By the way Brendan I heard an audio of you speaking. I had not really believed in you before. I now do actually believe you tangibly exist - a Doubting Thomas moi. At school ironically I was thought the most likely to pursue a vocation, regularly top in RE an altar boy and all. Funny isn't it? Frank

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dedalus

By the way Brendan I heard an audio of you speaking. I had not really believed in you before. I now do actually believe you tangibly exist - a Doubting Thomas moi.

 

Well, if you can finally believe in me, Francisco, what's the problem with God?

 

icon_wink.gif Brendan


Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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tonyv

Frank E Gibbard wrote:

 

I am entitled to say there is no god or that I do not expect life in the hereafter if that is my wont and it is ... I do not have to prove the case. I know there is no chance of convincing believers so I will from this day forward not bother evangelising for my non-belief.

Of course you are entitled to say and believe these things, Frank. Perhaps I have misunderstood you, but to me, it has always seemed that atheists' position (whether explicitly stated or not) is that their belief that God does not exist is somehow "the gospel truth" icon_smile.gif (assumedly because the existence of God has not been scientifically proven to everyone's satisfaction). If we are to agree that the existence of God has not been expressly proven, then that means that it has also not been dis-proven. Absent any proof one way or the other, an atheist's belief and/or insistence that God does not exist carries no more weight than a believer's belief and insistence that He does. Can we at least agree on that? Methinks to do otherwise would not be rational (by rational, I mean scientific). Perhaps agnostics are rational, but believers in God and atheists are not. I admit I'm not being rational in my belief in God.

Perhaps the discussion of this subject (not necessarily the poem) boils down to our understanding and the use of the word atheism. I'll refer to my dictionary:

 

atheism n. 1.a. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods. b. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.

 

Now, therefore, based upon my reading of these relevant definitions for the use of the word and by employing some logic, I conclude as follows: atheists are certainly within their rights to "disbelieve," but, in insisting that God does not exist, or subscribing to such a doctrine, they are no more rational than believers in God. (Btw, nowhere have I said that this is a bad thing.)

 

I can't speak for anyone else, but I can only say that I haven't attempted to sway your belief one way or the other here or in any other topic. I haven't even said you're right or wrong; it would not be reasonable for me to do that, because I can't prove my case. I have merely touched upon my own beliefs and respected those which I understood to be yours.

 

Tony


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Frank E Gibbard

Brendan - I know I went off on one, I shall get ticked off by Tony if I don't watch it. God is off my agenda, this correspondence I would prefer concluded. Please don't call me Francisco. Frank

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dedalus

Francois?

Pronsias? ... this is the Gaelic. Honest.

 

Ladies and Gents, if you please, I'll thank

you all to remember I am Frank.

Over foreign appellations do not tarry

for I am no common Dick or Harry.

Also, Marjorie and Miriam I am not

since happy days in my childhood cot.

Although you might think I'm somewhat odd

when I say I do not believe in God

you must understand my depth of feeling:

this Jesus bloke wasn't born in Ealing!


Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Frank E Gibbard

Brendan the name thing is a cross (atheist pun) I bear or is it cross-eyed bear and may seem petty or worth joshing me for but I was mortified always hating the use by the nuns then priests at schools (who insisted on it) of the saints name Francis on any reports & documents. It didn't matter to those RC zealots that my registered name was Frank, the bastards. It probably traumitised me as I am still precious about it. I am a Frank by name you see so other versions of Francis are not meet. I am amused by your whimsical verse and the use of such fusty English ladies' names and my home town. And not your keeping on subject (just) with JC and God included. I've been doing a lot of flash comps lately so wont respond just now. I wouldn't want to seem touchy either as if unable to take a gibe. Regards FRANK.

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dedalus

Ah, you're grand, FRANK. Settle into the easy approximation of splendour, an armchair between the kebabbery and the gay bar in bustling barbarous Ealing. Haven't you deserved it, man? Look on the bright side. All them horrid nuns and priests ... the ones that called you Francis ... aren't they long since dead and gone? There's a good chance Jesus was NOT their saviour. Skellingtons and bones is what they are now. Serves them right an' all. Unless, of course .... no, no, perish the thought. Ghosts, on the other hand, are a different kettle of fish but I understand the English take a rather stiff line with this sort of carry-on. Proper order. I believe half the ghosts in Ireland are English deportees. ---- Ded icon_wink.gif


Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Frank E Gibbard

Don't get me started on ghosts Ded, I don't believe in ... oh never mind. BTW I knew I should never have mentioned that gay bar. Good night, you're grand yourself Bren.

sleep.gif

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