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View Poll Results: Do you think the world would be better if everyone were an atheist?

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  • Yes

    25 25.25%
  • No

    60 60.61%
  • Other - please explain

    14 14.14%
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Thread: Atheists:

  1. #211
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    It's people that ruin religion and spirituality (or the lack thereof), not the other way around.
    What's "spirituality" anyway? The affinity for smelling incense?
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  2. #212
    Senior Member Simi's Avatar
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    Honestly, I think as long as people all were in tact with their common sense, the world would be perfectly fine if everyone were Atheist.
    Your epidermis is showing. <3

  3. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    How can your type of open-mindedness lead to progress when all views are equal?
    I never stated all views were equal. Nor am I aware of different types of open-mindedness. Did I not just criticize two religions?

    I only said there is an increased possibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Ftr, I'm all for open-mindedness and tolerance. But, REAL tolerance not this ignorant and incoherent postmodern view of tolerance. I believe in respecting all individuals and judging all ideas. Not this absurd view of respecting all views as equal... which necessarily calls for the disrespect of all individuals that do not respect all views as equal. Which makes this view far more oppressive.
    I don't remember ever disputing the definition of tolerance, and nor will I do so here as your definition coincides with mine. Tolerance is the ability to agree to disagree, of course.

    I will reiterate that I never insisted that all views were equal. My point was to focus on the mentality of agnosticism as not merely a cop out when faced with spiritual indecision, but a gateway to the very tolerance you describe. I'm looking at its practice from a subjective perspective, in much the same way as the Golden Rule is applied, which theoretically leads to an objective "greater good".

    In shorter terms, I'm using agnosticism as a term for open-mindedness. An indecisive viewpoint that is open to the question "what if?". Make no mistake, having this viewpoint does not conflict with following a specific spiritual doctrine of one's own. But it serves as a helpful tap on the shoulder to at least willfully respect another viewpoint as if it was hypothetically true. The mental process is the key to all of this. Come at other people's viewpoints as if you were an anthropologist.

    Many other religions tend to share this tolerance.

    Example: Hinduism may have a different viewpoint than Christianity, but it does not dismiss Christianity as a nonviable path to God. Yet Christians as a whole would more than likely dismiss Hinduism as such. Hindus are not "agnostic" in the sense of the word, obviously. But they do have a more tolerant viewpoint which clearly differs from the viewpoint of a religion that claims to be the sole path to God. It doesn't mean that Hindu is completely correct nor does it mean that Christianity is completely incorrect.

    My main point is this: if the majority of the religions of the world as a whole would accept their similarities rather than focus on their differences, they would see all as viable paths to God. They would see that they are all doctrines for how humans are treat each other in this world.

    I will admit that I am perhaps expanding agnosticism beyond its original intended use. But from my own experience following this rule, it has helped me to open my mind to the greater truth that all religions pretty much preach the same message.

  4. #214
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    I vote no, definitely not.
    - it's true, one can be moral without being religious, but let's face it, if everyone was an atheist, do you REALLY think the number of evil crimes wouldn't go up substantially?
    If nobody is forced to be an atheist, no. Why would it go up? Because humans are unable to be moral without a surveillance camera in the sky?
    If people are forced to be atheist, yes, because forcing anybody to a lack of belief is as heinous a crime as forcing anybody to a belief.
    - religion binds people together and gives a sense of community. granted, community is not something that is important to me personally, but from an economic perspective, it facilitates trade, growth and prosperity
    There are numerous other ways to give a sense of community without asking people to believe something without evidence (and lots of times even in spite of evidence to the contrary - why would you want anybody to believe the earth is younger and the universe is LESS awesome than evidence suggests it is?)
    - religion has saved many people too. many Christians have restrained themselves from killing another because of their faith
    And lots of killings have been done because of faith. Good Christians have killed Indians - God will sort the good ones out after death. Moreover, some of the nowadays Christians consider it a high moral duty to kill doctors to save little, unloved clusters of cells.
    - religion is not needed to start wars of religious magnitude. just look at any non Middle Eastern dictatorship of the 20th century
    True, but it doesn't prevent them either.
    - religion when practiced properly encourages kindness and love. about half of the atheists I know lack both of these things completely
    Please add me to the other half. Except if you think that, by being an atheist, I surely MUST lack love and kindness.
    - religion inspires people to a higher calling, atheists have no default mechanism to provide them with such a higher calling, so many never attain one
    And a lot of religious people have no higher calling either. Do your statistics. Also, what do you mean by "higher calling?" Is it by definition a call from god? Because then, yes, by definition, atheists don't have one. But if it's a call to excel in something... lots of atheists are excellent scientists. And I bet there are some artists and poets to. And at least one wannabe novelist (moi).
    - I remember reading somewhere that the suicide rates of atheists is astronomically higher than religious individuals
    Where did you read that? And what about the crime rates, by the way?
    I just don't get why an atheist would commit suicide. After all, we believe we only get one time-limited chance to live!
    - let's face it, people need the miraculous. science just does not inspire people the way the super natural does
    Why would something awesome that we don't understand be more awesome than something awesome we do understand? Okay, I confess, I've been devastated when I first heard of monism (= the notion that there isn't anything beyond matter/energy. No spirits or souls.) Because I thought that just might be true. Because questions like "if thoughts aren't made of matter, then what are they made of?" kept creeping into my head. And I experiented a quite inspiring (yes) moment when I finally discovered one simple truth.
    I've been devastated to hear I'm made of matter because I believed that matter somehow is crude. A rock is made of matter only, so if I'm made of matter only, I can't be more than a rock. And if you see it spelled out like this, you'll see the fallacy in this reasoning.
    Matter is awesome stuff. It can form rocks, neutron stars, self-replicating stuff AND brains. You aren't worth anything less for being made out of matter. Matter is capable of much more than we usually give it credit to, and that's why people "need" souls to believe in.
    Can you be inspired by science? I bet you can. After all, I'm inspired by it. And so can you.
    - people would invent new religions, it's societal nature
    True.
    And if you really think they are invented, that gods are imaginary... then you aren't a deist at all. We are capable of living without the illusion of dragons and fairies. I love fantasy literature, and I don't need to believe in dragons to enjoy it. We can do the same with gods.

    Now.

    I'll repeat what I've said earlier in this thread, for fear of getting misunderstood. In spite of all this, I DON'T WANT to force atheism into anyone's throat. Forcing a human being to be an atheist is a crime. It's as wrong as forcing anybody to be religious. However, I do want to convince you. I'm no worse than a religious missionary.
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  5. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simi View Post
    Honestly, I think as long as people all were in tact with their common sense, the world would be perfectly fine if everyone were Atheist.
    Found this one after posting my previous post. Well said! And as long as people are in tact with their common sense, the world would be perfecly fine regardless religions or lack of them. They would be unimportant.
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  6. #216
    Senior Member uncommonentity's Avatar
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    Religions don't make a man. Men make religions. So in my opinion, no.
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  7. #217
    Glycerine
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    I am not religious but religion is a source of hope for some so I would not want it taken away.

  8. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    If nobody is forced to be an atheist, no. Why would it go up? Because humans are unable to be moral without a surveillance camera in the sky?
    religion is not required to be moral, but religion increases the number of people with strong morals

    If people are forced to be atheist, yes, because forcing anybody to a lack of belief is as heinous a crime as forcing anybody to a belief.
    agreed

    There are numerous other ways to give a sense of community without asking people to believe something without evidence (and lots of times even in spite of evidence to the contrary - why would you want anybody to believe the earth is younger and the universe is LESS awesome than evidence suggests it is?)
    yes, but none as powerful as religion

    And lots of killings have been done because of faith. Good Christians have killed Indians - God will sort the good ones out after death. Moreover, some of the nowadays Christians consider it a high moral duty to kill doctors to save little, unloved clusters of cells.
    I know this, I was pointing out a different point

    True, but it doesn't prevent them either.
    it can, but that's inconsequential to our argument. lack of a positive does not equal a negative

    Please add me to the other half. Except if you think that, by being an atheist, I surely MUST lack love and kindness.
    I don't, that's why I said half and not all. I'll include you in the good half

    And a lot of religious people have no higher calling either. Do your statistics. Also, what do you mean by "higher calling?" Is it by definition a call from god? Because then, yes, by definition, atheists don't have one. But if it's a call to excel in something... lots of atheists are excellent scientists. And I bet there are some artists and poets to. And at least one wannabe novelist (moi).
    you win this one. I'm Christian and don't have a higher calling

    Where did you read that? And what about the crime rates, by the way?
    I just don't get why an atheist would commit suicide. After all, we believe we only get one time-limited chance to live!
    I don't remember

    Why would something awesome that we don't understand be more awesome than something awesome we do understand? Okay, I confess, I've been devastated when I first heard of monism (= the notion that there isn't anything beyond matter/energy. No spirits or souls.) Because I thought that just might be true. Because questions like "if thoughts aren't made of matter, then what are they made of?" kept creeping into my head. And I experiented a quite inspiring (yes) moment when I finally discovered one simple truth.
    I've been devastated to hear I'm made of matter because I believed that matter somehow is crude. A rock is made of matter only, so if I'm made of matter only, I can't be more than a rock. And if you see it spelled out like this, you'll see the fallacy in this reasoning.
    Matter is awesome stuff. It can form rocks, neutron stars, self-replicating stuff AND brains. You aren't worth anything less for being made out of matter. Matter is capable of much more than we usually give it credit to, and that's why people "need" souls to believe in.
    Can you be inspired by science? I bet you can. After all, I'm inspired by it. And so can you.
    you see my point?

    True.
    And if you really think they are invented, that gods are imaginary... then you aren't a deist at all. We are capable of living without the illusion of dragons and fairies. I love fantasy literature, and I don't need to believe in dragons to enjoy it. We can do the same with gods.
    I am a Christian, so I believe all the other gods were made up

    Now.
    I'll repeat what I've said earlier in this thread, for fear of getting misunderstood. In spite of all this, I DON'T WANT to force atheism into anyone's throat. Forcing a human being to be an atheist is a crime. It's as wrong as forcing anybody to be religious. However, I do want to convince you. I'm no worse than a religious missionary.
    fair enough
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  9. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    religion is not required to be moral, but religion increases the number of people with strong morals
    Which ones? The people advocating "strong morals" often are quite intolerant...
    I agree with the rest of your post. Thanks for putting me at the good side :-) I'll return the favour. I like people who are willing to put up a decent(*) argument, even if you're defending something I don't believe in.
    (*) As opposed to arguments such as "I don't understand how a smart girl like you can be a Catholic" (I was catholic at the time and no, that one didn't make me change my mind.) I intentionally used an undecent argument in favour (?) of atheism here. Atheists are notoriously "I'm smarter than you are"...

    Now another thing: you do realize, do you, that none of these arguments bear anything to the question of the existence of gods? We're merely discussing their desirability, and whether religion is good or not.
    And actually, even if religion is really really good for humans (which I severely doubt), isn't it worth to abandon it if it's false? Or, alternatively, even if religion is really really bad for humans (which I severely doubt, too - see my previous posts in this thread), isn't it worth to keep it if it's true? It's a question of existence - and to me, the burden of the proof lies with god. That's what makes me an atheist.
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  10. #220
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    Which ones? The people advocating "strong morals" often are quite intolerant...
    I agree with the rest of your post. Thanks for putting me at the good side :-) I'll return the favour. I like people who are willing to put up a decent(*) argument, even if you're defending something I don't believe in.
    (*) As opposed to arguments such as "I don't understand how a smart girl like you can be a Catholic" (I was catholic at the time and no, that one didn't make me change my mind.) I intentionally used an undecent argument in favour (?) of atheism here. Atheists are notoriously "I'm smarter than you are"...

    Now another thing: you do realize, do you, that none of these arguments bear anything to the question of the existence of gods? We're merely discussing their desirability, and whether religion is good or not.
    And actually, even if religion is really really good for humans (which I severely doubt), isn't it worth to abandon it if it's false? Or, alternatively, even if religion is really really bad for humans (which I severely doubt, too - see my previous posts in this thread), isn't it worth to keep it if it's true? It's a question of existence - and to me, the burden of the proof lies with god. That's what makes me an atheist.
    my reasons for believing in God are mostly because I'm afraid of the consequences of not believing and being wrong
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