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  1. #161
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post

    "All children are atheists - they have no idea of God."

    Paul-Henri Thiry, baron díHolbach (1723-1789)
    Yes they do, her name is mom.

    Besides, children also have no concept of mortality, either; its the adults who (generally speaking) need "God" to enable them to enjoy life without existential angst or despair.

  2. #162
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    "All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth." - Nietzsche

  3. #163
    Member + patch's Avatar
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    why are atheists thought ill of?
    In a nutshell, theists act as if atheists were right.
    its an exposed nerve.
    Actually, Im an agnostic.
    That which does not kill me, improves my looks. - Michael Jackson

  4. #164
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Sigh. Wrong wrong wrong.

    It's a leap of faith to accept positive atheism, which is essentially, "I am certain there is no god."

    It's NOT a leap of faith to accept negative atheism, which is essentially, "I lack belief in any particular god because I haven't seen evidence for it."

    Can you either learn to read/think or just go away? Honestly, this is getting silly.

    Oh really, the only things we should believe in are those which can be proven 100%?

    Do you believe you're reading this on a computer right now? Because any philosophy 101 student can explain all the reasons that could technically be untrue and you wouldn't know it.

    Stop looking for absolute certainty. The real world operates in probabilities, not absolute certainties.

    As such, I'm an agnostic atheist because I consider it extremely improbable that any popular theist conceptions of God exist.

    I don't know this for certain, but being that I've seen no evidence for it, I'm forced to consider it as a probability cloud, not as an absolute yes/no proposition. This is true of almost anything--we conceptualize ideas in terms of truth probability, not in terms of absolute truth or falsehood. We simply don't have enough information to describe much of anything in these terms.

    And you need to check your definition of atheist. Faith in the nonexistence of God is NOT a prerequisite.

    +1.

    We do not, I repeat, DO NOT make decisions only on the condition that we have 100% metaphysical certitude that it is the correct one. Instead, we engage in the process of weighing evidence and calculating probabilities. Atheists believe that the probability that God does not exist (or Gods) is high enough to justify their non-belief in him/her/them/it at this time. Asserting that you believe or don't believe in something on the basis of the evidence available at that time does not imply that you are closed to the possibility that your beliefs might change at a later time (should the circumstances or evidence warrant it).

    In this way, I find it a gross oversimplification to say that, "oh, theists are irrational to believe in God because you can't prove he/she/them/it exists, but atheists are just as irrational because you also can't prove that he/she/them/it doesn't exist." Even construed as positive competing beliefs (i.e., God does not exist, God does exist), there is an important distinction to be made on that basis of likelihood that each belief is true given our state of knowledge at a particular time. To maintain belief in something in the face of strong unlikelihood that your belief is true is irrational because it suggests that you are not making your decision on the basis of evidence. To maintain belief in something because evidence points to its being true is rational, because it suggests that you would change your mind as changes in the evidence demand. Atheists would say that there is evidence that makes the likelihood that God does not exist very high, and the likelihood that God does exist very low.

    Some theists like to ignore this and claim that atheists have ulterior motives for their "beliefs" such that they would not change their mind if they were presented with contrary evidence. These claims are faulty, however, because they are usually based on the idea that there is good reason to believe in God, and atheists are just stubbornly closing their ears/emotionally rebelling.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  5. #165
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Why are atheists looked down upon?

    Perhaps it's because they're generally nay sayers. Isn't it always easier to undermine and bring down as opposed to fortify and build up.

    I can certainly see those with faith getting annoyed at it all as most atheists seem to think they have sole ownership over logical thought and that anyone who's religious must be a fruit/ nut job. The bare faced truth is that fruit/ nut job is not related to belief or non belief, they're two separate issues.

    Personally I'm agnostic, personally I dislike religions but also personally I respect and admire those with faith.

    The thing is that if you don't believe in God and such then why do some still regard it as necessary to nay say against those that do? Surely they cannot be thinking that the faithful are actually mindless automatons. I mean I've seen good reason to think this at points but I don't actually think it's true.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #166
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    The thing is that if you don't believe in God and such then why do some still regard it as necessary to nay say against those that do?
    Perhaps because they see belief (of any sort) as being the underlying cause for many social ills...or what they see as social ills, at least. Things like anti-science, anti-intellectualism, homophobia/heterosexism, and others have been tied, to varying degrees, to certain religious beliefs. So by attacking theistic belief itself, you have a blunt force method for battling specific beliefs that arise from different religious sects, denominations, and so forth. The solution to getting rid of, say, abortion clinic terrorists is to attack the mentality that leads to such actions. And that mentality is thought to originate in religious belief- belief in Christian God leads to adherence to particular interpretation of scripture, which leads to belief that abortion is sinful and that sinfulness displeases God to the point that he may forsake us or administer punishment (a la Falwell argument that gays and feminists caused Katrina), which leads to violent action taken to stop the sinning.

    You don't have to deal with arguing only about specific interpretations of the Bible that are adhered to by only specific denominations, because the logic of religious belief itself (regardless of the specifics of the belief) has the potential to lead to actions that are not good for society. And the aspects of belief that don't lead to such societal aberrations are claimed to be achievable without the link to a doctrine/deity (such as ethical behavior, morality, etc.,). So, if the good of religious beliefs are achievable without adherence to the particular doctrinal dictates of any particular belief, and the effects of religious belief are otherwise neutral or not good for society, then we have no good reason to hold on to the beliefs.

    This is my (much oversimplified) understanding of it, anyway.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  7. #167
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Perhaps because they see belief (of any sort) as being the underlying cause for many social ills...or what they see as social ills, at least. Things like anti-science, anti-intellectualism, homophobia/heterosexism, and others have been tied, to varying degrees, to certain religious beliefs. So by attacking theistic belief itself, you have a blunt force method for battling specific beliefs that arise from different religious sects, denominations, and so forth. The solution to getting rid of, say, abortion clinic terrorists is to attack the mentality that leads to such actions. And that mentality is thought to originate in religious belief- belief in Christian God leads to adherence to particular interpretation of scripture, which leads to belief that abortion is sinful and that sinfulness displeases God to the point that he may forsake us or administer punishment (a la Falwell argument that gays and feminists caused Katrina), which leads to violent action taken to stop the sinning.

    You don't have to deal with arguing only about specific interpretations of the Bible that are adhered to by only specific denominations, because the logic of religious belief itself (regardless of the specifics of the belief) has the potential to lead to actions that are not good for society. And the aspects of belief that don't lead to such societal aberrations are claimed to be achievable without the link to a doctrine/deity (such as ethical behavior, morality, etc.,). So, if the good of religious beliefs are achievable without adherence to the particular doctrinal dictates of any particular belief, and the effects of religious belief are otherwise neutral or not good for society, then we have no good reason to hold on to the beliefs.

    This is my (much oversimplified) understanding of it, anyway.
    So to argue against blind adherence to things which aren't good for people some think it's a good idea to blindly attack a part of their target which in general stands for goodness and morality?

    Reminds me of a statement blurted out by a roleplayer
    "Because I have low intelligence you dumbass!"

    Besides all this theism versus atheism reminds me of a conversation about politics where we got to the point where we had decided that ANY form of goverment works, even a dictatorship, as long as it's headed by a benevolent and intelligent person.
    Pointless.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  8. #168
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkmoon View Post
    I've had some interesting conversations with friends lately about athiests and been surprised to find that many think some weird things about atheists and atheism like:
    Atheists are thought ill of by theists for the same reason that theists are thought ill of by atheists. People naturally don't care for individuals who are different from them. People are naturally prejudiced.

    Most people's unconscious thought process goes something like this. "That guy is different from me. Hey that guy just did something I don't like. He must have done that because of that characteristic that makes him different from me. In fact all people with that characteristic are bad people." This thought process doesn't make sense when stated consciously and yet it happens unconsciouly all the time.

    A few decades ago it was ok to think, "That guy robbed me because he is black." But consciously we know the pigmentation of a person's skin has nothing to do with his moral character. Now it is no longer socially acceptable to have that viewpoint. Now the main antiprejudice message that society is focusing on is, "gay is ok". It is good that people are becoming more accepting of various groups, but the activists are really just fighting the symptoms instead of the underlying problem.

    The underlying problem is that people are naturally prejudiced. Once society makes it taboo to be prejudiced against one group, then people shift their focus onto another group instead. So in theistic groups it's fine to be prejudiced against atheists. In secular groups it's acceptable to be prejudiced against people who are religious.

    So in short, atheists are thought ill of because they are people. Welcome to the human race.
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  9. #169
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    "nice" theory that takes little heed of fact or history.

  10. #170
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkmoon View Post
    -Atheists are without morals
    -Atheists cannot be normal nice people
    -Atheism promotes lawlessness
    -Atheists are arrogant because they don't believe there is something higher than them
    -Atheists don't have a sense of purpose in life
    -Atheists don't deserve the same respect as everyone else
    -Atheists don't respect other people
    -A rise in Atheism is making the planet corrupt
    -If you say you are an Atheist you are trying to convert everyone to your beliefs which is wrong but it's OK to try to convert an Atheist
    -It's OK to question Atheists about why they don't believe in God but not OK for them to question why people do.
    The opposites of all these are the basic justifications for religion. Saying atheists are not these things takes away those justifications.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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