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  1. #61
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    'Why are atheists thought ill of?'

    Vocal atheists are thought ill of because they are as annoying as their theist counterparts. Often times, they have so much invested in making people "see the truth" that they overlook the significance of belief to the believer. As someone standing outside the debate (as Costrin so astutely pointed out I'm an agnostic apatheist...or maybe it's an apatheistic agnostic...needless to say I couldn't give two shits less about the existence/non-existence of a god/goddess/gods) atheists look as obnoxious to me as any other proselytizer. Why the atheist feels the need to shove his/her truth down the throat of the theist is completely beyond me. Can't they just be happy knowing they have "the truth" (whatever the hell that is)?

  2. #62
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    I guess this idea comes from the fact that atheists believe that God does not exist even though there is no evidence to prove that belief beyond all doubt. This suggests that their belief stems from the passions and not from reason.
    My only passion on this point is that negative proofs are irrational.

  3. #63
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    'Why are atheists thought ill of?'

    Vocal atheists are thought ill of because they are as annoying as their theist counterparts.
    Yet vocal theists are not given anywhere near as much ill-regard, though they are far more common than proselytizing atheists. And non-vocal atheists are also subject to ill-regard for nothing more than refusing to joining the at-least-in-theory-but-not-so-much-in practice pious chorus. Silent disagreement is still provocative.

    edit:

    Wasn't there was a study recently in the US in which people put atheists as the worst possible mates for their children? Even the bigots would prefer a person of the race(s) they dislike than an atheist.

  4. #64
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I don't know anyone that thinks ill of me and my beliefs. (Probably because I take the time to explain my beliefs if questioned to the best of my ability and altho I do not expect people to join my beliefs, it does allow them to respect me for mine. Since I don't just seemingly pull my beliefs out of my arse..)
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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by InaF3157 View Post
    Yet vocal theists are not given anywhere near as much ill-regard, though they are far more common than proselytizing atheists. And non-vocal atheists are also subject to ill-regard for nothing more than refusing to joining the at-least-in-theory-but-not-so-much-in practice pious chorus. Silent disagreement is still provocative.

    edit:

    Wasn't there was a study recently in the US in which people put atheists as the worst possible mates for their children? Even the bigots would prefer a person of the race(s) they dislike than an atheist.
    Interesting, do you happen to have link/title for that study? I find them equally revolting myself.

    That said, I do recognize the value of religion. I also think most people actually conflate their desire/need to belong to a religious community with a belief in god. Religion generally offers a great deal to adherents (support, a moral framework, financial help in times of need, social interaction, etc.). Vocal atheists often do nothing to help their fellow man. They seem hell bent on making others understand that god doesn't exist, offer nothing in place of religion, and then are puzzled why people don't just jump into the arms of reason . They don't contribute much to their communities, and they don't seem to serve any purpose other than to rain on other people's parades. If a person doesn't believe that god exists, good for them. Do they really need to share that belief with the people who don't want to hear it? Now I know the average "good" atheist will respond with some shtick about how religion causes war and famine and blah, blah, blah, but you and I know that 99.9999% of so-called holy wars are nothing more than a struggle over resources (Palestine anyone?). Leaders justify sending the young to die by saying it's god's will, but it's nothing more than a way of getting the unwilling on board in the struggle to secure new territory/resources/power. That struggle will continue as long as there is life on this planet, regardless of ontological status of some weird supernatural being. Atheists often seem to either overlook or forget this when they get on their oh-so-rational high horses.

    Atheism cannot be, rationally, argued for because as the poster above pointed out negative proof is not an option. That is not to say you have to be unreasonable to be an atheist, but there really is no reason for the theist to accept the atheist's position. The theist has tons of, albeit hokey and totally absurd, proof all around him. He's got scripture, miracles, and even the world itself. The atheist, by contrast, thinks he has "reason" on his side. What he really has is bupkiss. He can argue until the cows come home but he can never prove that god does not exist. The smart atheist knows this and simply redirects his focus toward matters he can actually have some effect on. The less intelligent atheist finds himself caught up in a game of metaphysical whack-a-mole.

  6. #66
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    Interesting, do you happen to have link/title for that study. I find them equally revolting myself? That said, I do recognize the value of religion and I think most people actually conflate their desire/need to belong to a religious community with a belief in god. Religion generally offers a great deal to adherents (support, a moral framework, financial help in times of need, social interaction, etc.). Vocal atheists often do nothing to help their fellow man. They seem hell bent on making others understand that god doesn't exist, offer nothing in place of religion, and then are puzzled why people don't just jump into the arms of reason . They don't contribute much to their communities, and they don't seem to serve any purpose other than to rain on other people's parades. If a person doesn't believe that god exists, good for them. Do they really need to share that believe with the people who don't want to hear it? Now I know the average "good" atheist will respond with some shtick about how religion causes war and famine and blah, blah, blah, but you and I know that 99.9999% of so-called holy wars are nothing more than a struggle over resources (Palestine anyone?). Leaders justify sending the young to die by saying it's god's will, but it's nothing more than a way of getting the unwilling on board in the struggle to secure new territory/resources/power. That struggle will continue as long as their is life on this planet, regardless of ontological status of some weird supernatural being. Atheists often seem to either overlook or forget this when they get on their oh-so-rational high horses.
    Here's a link to an excerpt of the study. Americans down on atheists
    Unfortunately you have to subscribe to get the full article from this site, but I'm sure if you poke around the net you can find it in full for free.
    Excerpt:
    Muslims, gays and lesbians don't win many popularity contests in America. But a recent study has discovered a group even more despised: atheists.
    I don't hold out much hope for rational discussion with theists, so I don't find myself in vocal disagreements with them. Plus, I do respect the place of religion in society. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing - though it often has ill effects. I find much of it is beautiful or produces things of beauty that I appreciate. In my experience, though, it is usually the theists who start down the road of "but how did we come about and how do you have morals, blah blah blah" as soon as someone's lack of faith is made known. It makes sense: much of western religion (read: Christianity, not Judaism) mandates proselytizing, so I understand it but find it distasteful.

    edit: here's another LINK to an article discussing the study.

  7. #67
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    That said, I do recognize the value of religion. I also think most people actually conflate their desire/need to belong to a religious community with a belief in god. Religion generally offers a great deal to adherents (support, a moral framework, financial help in times of need, social interaction, etc.). Vocal atheists often do nothing to help their fellow man. They seem hell bent on making others understand that god doesn't exist, offer nothing in place of religion, and then are puzzled why people don't just jump into the arms of reason . They don't contribute much to their communities, and they don't seem to serve any purpose other than to rain on other people's parades.
    I think you've hit a good point here in that people are willing to rationalize a great deal in order to maintain the communal perks that religion offers to a group. People are social creatures and benefit greatly from interaction.

    Though the grouping here may be unfair. Atheists do not band together under an umbrella because they are not a religion or even an organization. They won't do things "in the name of atheism" like a religious group may. Certainly there are a number of active communal and charitable efforts that exist outside the scope of religion.

    Atheism cannot be, rationally, argued for because as the poster above pointed out negative proof is not an option. That is not to say you have to be unreasonable to be an atheist, but there really is no reason for the theist to accept the atheist's position. The theist has tons of, albeit hokey and totally absurd, proof all around him. He's got scripture, miracles, and even the world itself. The atheist, by contrast, thinks he has "reason" on his side. What he really has is bupkiss. He can argue until the cows come home but he can never prove that god does not exist. The smart atheist knows this and simply redirects his focus toward matters he can actually have some effect on. The less intelligent atheist finds himself caught up in a game of metaphysical whack-a-mole.
    No. A negative proof is false claim to truth on something because it cannot be disproven. For example, say I claim moon men within the core of the moon control our actions via telepathy and only by sacrificing 10 tons of cheese to the lunar spirits every 28 days can we avoid eternal damnation. Can you disprove this? If not, then it's reasonable to believe it, according to the theist.

    The problem with offering this concept to a theist is that they usually start of the position of god vs. no god. It's a black and white question. An atheist will see an infinite number of equally reasonable possibilities and conclude that throwing weight into anything outside direct observation only stands a (1/infinity) chance of being correct.

  8. #68
    Phoenix Incarnate Sentura's Avatar
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    i treat atheism as a religion. while it may not be a proper label, it certainly makes things much more manageable in reference.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sentura View Post
    i treat atheism as a religion. while it may not be a proper label, it certainly makes things much more manageable in reference.
    It's as much a leap of faith to believe in no God. They just can't see that.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  10. #70
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    It's as much a leap of faith to believe in no God. They just can't see that.
    Read and learn:

    Quote Originally Posted by Costrin View Post
    And also the misunderstanding that atheism is the belief that god(s) does not exist. Rather, it is the nonbelief in god(s). There's a subtle difference. The first is a positive assertion, "I believe gods don't exist". The second is simply a denial of the position that gods exist.

    Which for practical purposes, nulls the no evidence for no gods point. It isn't the atheist's job to prove that there is no god, but rather the theists job to provide evidence that there is a god.

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