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Thread: Antitheism

  1. #11
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sassafrassquatch View Post
    Me worship you long time?

    I think a lot of people who are against belief, rather than being blowhards (though there are certainly plenty of those on all fronts of the theism/atheism/antitheism spectrum), are just people who have been affected negatively by dogma. I know from experience that it can leave a pretty awful taste in your mouth.
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    Senior Member TheLastMohican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I think a lot of people who are against belief, rather than being blowhards (though there are certainly plenty of those on all fronts of the theism/atheism/antitheism spectrum), are just people who have been affected negatively by dogma. I know from experience that it can leave a pretty awful taste in your mouth.
    Meaning they do not believe because of an emotional distaste for religious affiliation rather than an observed lack of evidence compelling them in either direction?
    I don't think much of that basis. If you believe or disbelieve because you think there is sufficient or insufficient evidence for the belief in question, so be it. Please do not choose a "belief" (which in such cases is really just a feeling of like or dislike) based on your emotional connections to either side. It's not a valid method for deciding where you stand.

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    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    Hmm...I don't believe god exists, and I don't think he/she/it would be a positive force if it did exist. However, I don't care what others think as long as it doesn't cause them to try to limit my rights based on their religous beliefs. Would I qualify as an anti-theist or no?
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    Senior Member TheLastMohican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
    Hmm...I don't believe god exists, and I don't think he/she/it would be a positive force if it did exist. However, I don't care what others think as long as it doesn't cause them to try to limit my rights based on their religous beliefs. Would I qualify as an anti-theist or no?
    Sassafrassquatch provided a link in post #7 that clears up some of the definitions. Apparently antitheist is often misused, and the appropriate term for someone like yourself is maltheist.

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    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of York View Post


    The harshest definition of antitheism is no more radical than certain varieties of theism.

    I was refering on the unbelieving side of the spectrum.

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    From what I can tell many people who have trouble with religion reject it without ever even understanding it on an more advanced, adult level...they are trapped in second grade thinking. I can totally see where they are coming from, given the situation.

    Otherwise, I believe the pendulum has swung these days towards a highly cynical outlook which, despite big philosophical terms and requests for scientific "proof", is still at the second grade level and looks pretty rediculous.

    Of course, a lot of the mass-consumption religion out there looks pretty rediculous, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of York View Post
    Meaning they do not believe because of an emotional distaste for religious affiliation rather than an observed lack of evidence compelling them in either direction?
    I don't think much of that basis. If you believe or disbelieve because you think there is sufficient or insufficient evidence for the belief in question, so be it. Please do not choose a "belief" (which in such cases is really just a feeling of like or dislike) based on your emotional connections to either side. It's not a valid method for deciding where you stand.
    I don't think your response is very nuanced.

    While evidence is not completely arbitrary, religious belief in general is more about how one prioritizes data and thus has a large subjective component.

    And frankly, if a person values relational matters rather than abstracted philosophy or empirical science, and a religion claims to speak on relational matters but does lots of relational/emotional damage to people when the beliefs are practiced, then that's going to be very effective evidence to that person that the religion in question has serious flaws... if it's even 'true' at all.

    Because its relational value (or "truth") is defunct.

    You can't just claim an emotional response to past treatment has no value in determining what might be true in an ambiguous matter like religion, it's operating as a valid data stream for the person in question, correct?
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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I don't think your response is very nuanced.

    While evidence is not completely arbitrary, religious belief in general is more about how one prioritizes data and thus has a large subjective component.

    And frankly, if a person values relational matters rather than abstracted philosophy or empirical science, and a religion claims to speak on relational matters but does lots of relational/emotional damage to people when the beliefs are practiced, then that's going to be very effective evidence to that person that the religion in question has serious flaws... if it's even 'true' at all.

    Because its relational value (or "truth") is defunct.

    You can't just claim an emotional response to past treatment has no value in determining what might be true in an ambiguous matter like religion, it's operating as a valid data stream for the person in question, correct?
    I was considering responding to that post, as well. You expressed my thoughts far better than I could have.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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    Senior Member TheLastMohican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    And frankly, if a person values relational matters rather than abstracted philosophy or empirical science, and a religion claims to speak on relational matters but does lots of relational/emotional damage to people when the beliefs are practiced, then that's going to be very effective evidence to that person that the religion in question has serious flaws... if it's even 'true' at all.

    Because its relational value (or "truth") is defunct.
    In that case the evidence and the emotional reaction could be combined. That seems just a side note, however, considering that such religious beliefs would not have supportive evidence to begin with. It's just an extra reason to avoid it, while you already have the reason not to believe in it. If a religion presents no evidence for its validity, there needn't be any further consideration of it.

    You can't just claim an emotional response to past treatment has no value in determining what might be true in an ambiguous matter like religion, it's operating as a valid data stream for the person in question, correct?
    It could seem valid to an individual, and, as you mentioned above, it could be its own form of evidence when the religion itself is only dealing in emotional terms. It is in most cases unnecessary, however, and it is not valid on its own. Would it make sense to reject the Cyclic Model of the universe solely because you feel it is less optimistic, while ignoring the math involved? Most religious hypotheses are either true or false, and their emotional appeal has nothing to do with their truth or falsehood. Logic and evidence are crucial.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of York View Post
    In that case the evidence and the emotional reaction could be combined. That seems just a side note, however, considering that such religious beliefs would not have supportive evidence to begin with. It's just an extra reason to avoid it, while you already have the reason not to believe in it. If a religion presents no evidence for its validity, there needn't be any further consideration of it.
    Again, absence of evidence is not evidence against. You can't make an argument from silence here.

    At best, the truth remains ambiguous and has to be left "open," not closed.


    It could seem valid to an individual, and, as you mentioned above, it could be its own form of evidence when the religion itself is only dealing in emotional terms. It is in most cases unnecessary, however, and it is not valid on its own. Would it make sense to reject the Cyclic Model of the universe solely because you feel it is less optimistic, while ignoring the math involved? Most religious hypotheses are either true or false, and their emotional appeal has nothing to do with their truth or falsehood. Logic and evidence are crucial.
    I'm not totally in disagreement with you (and the fact is also that I tend to be "hard" when it comes to evaluating things as you do). I also drew a much harder line when younger, and thought emotional appeals were stupid and pointless. Over the years I've learned to make some allowance for them, now that I'm aware of the ambiguities in life, my own limited prescience, and how different people interpret the world.

    As far as your specific question about the Cyclic Model, no, of course I wouldn't reject it based solely on an emotional appeal. But neither could I accept it on one either, without evidence. I mentally "tag" theories and beliefs with a "probability" percentage, rather than just accepting one or denying one wholesale. As I learn more, the percentage changes. I probably will never tag anything as 0% or 100% in my life.

    So I think our disagreement here is probably more on the closure/openness end of things; I think you're shutting the door too quickly on pathways that you don't personally value. The truth is that there's a lot of gray and prudence is needed no matter what one believes.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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