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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. #81
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post

    I've seen many say god has made it eternally good, and thus can no longer change it, or even that god could never change it in the first place (meaning it is indeed more powerful than god). I've seen people say it is arbitrary from god's perspective, but not for humans because god has made it objectively good (so rejecting your premise that nothing changes about the situation other than god's whim). You can also say god is beyond logic so can do whatever it wants, meaning the very tool we are using in this debate has been rendered useless, which most don't lean on because it also means god can force everyone into paradise without violating free-will and similar problems for non-Abrahamic theistic gods. It's essentially impossible to think about a being of that power.
    If God cannot change it, then it is no God, because it is not all powerful. It's just a powerful, but not Godly, being. If there is a precedent above God, then, again, God is not the all powerful being. Either there is another being above God (which makes the same questions as before come into play) or God is not a God (which would have all power and set all principles and rules), but just a more influential thing that tries to teach us, like we might teach a dog.

    Now, one can say "it doesn't make sense but I believe it", which is fine, but you also have to say the argument is invalid from a strictly logical perspective (which maybe God can transcend, but we cannot use that evidence in a human argument so it doesn't matter in the terms we must engage in as human beings). And the argument I mean is "atheists cannot appreciate beauty or morality like theists."
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

  2. #82
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Reminder: Heated debate is fine here, insults and namecalling are most definitely not. Consider this a warning.
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  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    Not going to debate about Buddhism. The concept remains the same. If depictions of some dude being tortured are beautiful due to the symbolic nature of their martyrdom then it would be logical and rational to believe the same of another martyr who's set himself on fire for his cause and beliefs.
    Yeah I'm just nitpicking for my first point in the thread. Buddhism is the largest atheistic religion around, and it's big. Though the atheistic branches of Hinduism might come close.

    Anyway, here's hoping the sparks of hostility don't start a fire (not aimed at you).

    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    If God cannot change it, then it is no God, because it is not all powerful. It's just a powerful, but not Godly, being. If there is a precedent above God, then, again, God is not the all powerful being. Either there is another being above God (which makes the same questions as before come into play) or God is not a God (which would have all power and set all principles and rules), but just a more influential thing that tries to teach us, like we might teach a dog.
    That's a semantic point. It's quite possible to be the most powerful being possible without being able to change everything. Omnipotence (all-powerful) is a very vague word. Most reject that it means beyond logic, so why not reject further aspects of it? "Most powerful being possible" is the archetypal meaning behind it, and is not rejected in this case, as these people say it is not possible to be any more powerful.

    More importantly, believing in a slightly less powerful being doesn't change much about the nature of the whole thing. What does it matter if it's not omnipotent as you define it?

    I'm just saying this is all internally consistent. I don't think it is externally consistent.

  4. #84
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    True, but there is always the question of what defines God vs what defines merely a higher being.

    It is, of course, not my intention to prove or disprove God. I can't. But I do find the argument non-believers cannot see beauty or morality, that they live a sad, shell life, that they can never be actually good people, to be abhorrent and arrogant and rude. Like I (technically an atheistic agnostic) am some sub-being that does not see the world right theoretically because I am less capable of it than someone who is a believer.
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    True, but there is always the question of what defines God vs what defines merely a higher being.

    It is, of course, not my intention to prove or disprove God. I can't. But I do find the argument non-believers cannot see beauty or morality, that they live a sad, shell life, that they can never be actually good people, to be abhorrent and arrogant and rude. Like I (technically an atheistic agnostic) am some sub-being that does not see the world right.
    There is a fallacy in religion to assume they have the monopoly on morality.
    Morality is born of spirituality, and emotional intelligence. Not organization and doctrine.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Yeah I'm just nitpicking for my first point in the thread. Buddhism is the largest atheistic religion around, and it's big. Though the atheistic branches of Hinduism might come close.
    I find atheism within the Hindu religion fascinating. I lack words to describe the paradoxical nature of it.

    Anyway, here's hoping the sparks of hostility don't start a fire (not aimed at you).
    For sure not me. Not emotionally vested in this thread. More debating what I perceive to be irrational and hypocritical, which if you grind down into it, has nothing to do with religion and all to do with tunnel vision.

  7. #87
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    A world full of agnostics would be more interesting to see, the quest for our origins without a bias that it needs to support and therefore poor widdle hurt feelings and pride if a discovery falls short.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    It's not that atheists can't love truth and beauty. It's that they have no reason to love truth and beauty.
    Life, in and of itself, is reason enough to love truth and beauty. People do not need a deity to tell them to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate Mystic View Post
    Those works of art are sometimes symbolic of a particular belief or cause. What I object to is when they produce works that are openly hostile to Christianity. Why attack an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, for example? It's an image revered by so many people, and prayer to the Virgin has resulted in healings and great comfort to many Catholics. Why attack that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate Mystic View Post
    I also object to the atheist art faculty, gallery owners, and artists who are openly hostile to expressions of faith by artists and art students. What kind of artistic freedom is that? They have taken control of the contemporary art scene and do not want to allow artists with any kind of religious beliefs a place there. They are just as prejudiced and narrow-minded as they accuse theists of being.
    Those two statements, particularly back to back as you wrote them are highly hypocritical. Artistic freedom, if that is what you seek, should not only apply to those who would not offend your sensibilities, else it's not really any kind of freedom now is it? Either you object to art that offends you, or you seek freedom for artistic expression, which is it?

  8. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Do you think it would be better if everyone were an atheist?

    (please explain)
    Gromit, I'm agnostic and didn't know whether to vote in your poll or not. Are you addressing all of those not committed to belief in a deity, or strictly atheists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate Mystic View Post
    The world would be a terrible place if everyone was an atheist. The contemporary art world (both art departments at universities and art galleries) have been taken over by atheists resulting in work being produced that celebrates ugliness, hopelessness, denies our humanity, and denies the mystery that is present in the universe.
    Wow, really? I've seen some incredibly beautiful art lately, just last week in fact. Maybe the MFAH was merely a diamond in the rough? Let us hope these 'bleak promoters of ugly art' you speak of will not have them in their clutches soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate Mystic View Post
    Their hostility to formal religion is actually painful to me,
    Can we safely wager that their hostility to your beliefs is as unpleasant to them as your hostility towards theirs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate Mystic View Post
    ...because I believe that talented artists should use their gifts to bring beauty and truth into the world, to teach us, inspire us, uplift us, and to express our humanity. I can only assume that a world devoid of adherents of the major religions would be like the current art world except it would be present in every aspect of modern life. It would be a bleak, hopeless world full of despair and longing for that "something" that people would know is missing in their lives. They would try to find the answer to this longing without success.
    Also, were/are you a thespian?

    Quote Originally Posted by GZA View Post
    I think there are some Atheists who would be heart broken if everyone became Atheist. They would have no one to look down on and feel superior too! It would be tragic.
    Heartbroken... "tragic" (" " = melodramatic sarcasm noted)... really? You think people that insecure and narrow can't find other avenues to inflate their senses of superiority? Surely you give their delicate, yet resourceful egos too little credit.

    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    The sweeping judgments and dismissals are fast and furious in this thread.
    ^My initial response still stands, but I thought I'd clarify on account of -->

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    There probably are some atheists who enjoy looking down on theists and feel superior to them, much like vice versa. It would be a sweeping judgement to say that isn't so.
    Undoubtedly there are and it would; the good news for both of us is I didn't claim otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kasper View Post
    A world full of agnostics would be more interesting to see, the quest for our origins without a bias...
    Fascinating idea! That's a beautiful thought to mull and it hadn't occurred to me before.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kasper View Post
    Life, in and of itself, is reason enough to love truth and beauty along with good works and generosity towards your fellow man. People do not need a deity to tell them to do so.
    It's stunning to me that this even needs to be said, and yet apparently it does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kasper View Post
    Artistic freedom, if that is what you seek, should not only apply to those who would not offend your sensibilities, else it's not really any kind of freedom now is it? Either you object to art that offends you, or you seek freedom for artistic expression, which is it?
    Well, I know what I would pick.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    ^My initial response still stands, but I thought I'd clarify on account of -->

    Undoubtedly there are and it would; the good news for both of us is I didn't claim otherwise.
    Neither did GZA. S/he only said some, so it's not a generalisation. I was merely rephrasing what was said.

  10. #90
    The Duchess of Oddity Queen Kat's Avatar
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    As an atheist I'd be hypocrite if I sayd no, so yes, I think the world would be better off if everyone would be an atheist like me.
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