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  1. #161
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
    No, I can tell the difference. Mainly it has to do with calling me stupid, which I bounce between being amused by and finding incredibly frustrating.
    If it's any consolation, I consider you ignorant, not stupid.

    You'll be in my prayers.

  2. #162
    Senior Member NoahFence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    the issue is not whether people take things on faith. of course they do. the issue is not whether scientists are infallible. of course they can be wrong. the issue that the alternative = religious immaterialism, is to talk of nothings.
    My issue with this is my own personal experience, which sadly cannot be documented or measured satisfactorally. Science has fallen well short of explaining why my hip isn't a grinding mass of gristle right now, and how an auditory hallucination could impart accurate information outside of the physical limits of my knowledge.

    It's impossible to talk about this stuff with most athiests, though. Anyone who has had an experience with something unexplainable is automatically discounted. The basis of this is generally "Well I had X number of folks try to tell me, and I honestly listened, but they were an asshole and were ignorant...therefore you are as well". I used to, before my own encounters. It was only afterwards that I started looking around for others who'd had similar experiences. Most included extreme leaps to conclusions, granted. Some were undoubtedly pathetic attempts to garner attention. But some of them couldn't be explained away so easily. It always feels like "Tell me how much I weigh to a tenth of a gram, but don't use anything that measures mass".

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    If it's any consolation, I consider you ignorant, not stupid.
    Here's my issue with this: Can you point to evidence of this, outside of this topic? Or is this all it takes to be relegated to the status of "sheeple", without ever hearing anything else but which side of the issue I'm on? Or am I just a part-time lunatic, going bat-shit bonkers whenever the topic of religion/spirituality/metaphysics is raised, then returning to normal citizen status when we move on to electronics or astronomy?
    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo

  3. #163
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    Default Atheists are not a group

    Originally Posted by Peguy
    And the general tendency to dismiss rather than actually attempt to understand religion or religious sentiment is a big weakness of modern atheist polemics. At least the older atheists showed more appreciation for the many aspects of religious belief.

    I read all the comments in thsi thread... well almost all.... and I just don't understand how 'atheists' are described as if they are a group. Who are these people? Where and when do they meet? How do you recognise them?

    The fact is that there are no atheist churches or meeting rooms. There is no atheist bible and certainly there are no "atheist polemics". In fact why would they even call themselves atheists? This is rather like defining ones self as a non-bedwetter or not-a-beatles-fan. People who don't believe in a god have nothing in common. You may argue that disbelief is a shared property but then you'd also have to say that they all don't have three legs and all don't stab themslves regularly and an infinite set of other none events.

    Attributing any bad behaviour, like Stalin's genocide, to atheism is ridiculous. Many bad things have been done in the name of religion but I am not aware of any atrocities done in the name of disbelief in gods.

    I am a disbeliever but do not call myself an atheist. It gives too much credence to theism and certainly does not define me in any way.

    Powderpuff

  4. #164
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powderpuff View Post
    Originally Posted by Peguy
    And the general tendency to dismiss rather than actually attempt to understand religion or religious sentiment is a big weakness of modern atheist polemics. At least the older atheists showed more appreciation for the many aspects of religious belief.

    I read all the comments in thsi thread... well almost all.... and I just don't understand how 'atheists' are described as if they are a group. Who are these people? Where and when do they meet? How do you recognise them?

    The fact is that there are no atheist churches or meeting rooms. There is no atheist bible and certainly there are no "atheist polemics". In fact why would they even call themselves atheists? This is rather like defining ones self as a non-bedwetter or not-a-beatles-fan. People who don't believe in a god have nothing in common. You may argue that disbelief is a shared property but then you'd also have to say that they all don't have three legs and all don't stab themslves regularly and an infinite set of other none events.

    Attributing any bad behaviour, like Stalin's genocide, to atheism is ridiculous. Many bad things have been done in the name of religion but I am not aware of any atrocities done in the name of disbelief in gods.

    I am a disbeliever but do not call myself an atheist. It gives too much credence to theism and certainly does not define me in any way.

    Powderpuff
    i think all the fuss comes from people making the mistaken belief that athiesm is a world view. Atheism can be part of a world view, however, it is not in and of itself a worldview.

    Im currently reading an awesome book about a particular persons world view that includes atheism: "Sense and Goodness Without a God: a defense of metaphysical naturalism" Its a far cry from the nihilistic atheism that many automatically attribute to atheism. it discusses everything from epistomology, morality, paranormal claims, non religious morality, the meaning of life etc...

    its far less offensive than the ilk of dawkins, and on top of that, its also far more uplifting and accurate. the book is amazingly thorough
    (he is obviously far more well read than the average 'pop' athiest biologist...):


    Amazon.com: Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism: Richard Carrier: Books

  5. #165
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    There are two things that you said that caught my attention:

    Quote Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
    Most people's mentalities are fundamentally unaltered from the days when these functions were performed by religion. Some smart guy out there, whom they will never talk to directly, knows how the universe works, and is seeing to such details so they don't have to...meanwhile they read the Cliff's Notes once in a great while and go back to their beer.
    It seems to me that you are looking for equivalence. However, they are simply not equivalent. I'm a strong believer in 'people are people', but that's like saying all believers are the same, all societies and all systems are the same. They aren't.

    You say that we can not prove that pills do not come from trees. I ask you - what proof would you accept that they came from somewhere else? I'm pretty sure I could be present at every step of the process that you wish, even trace the ingredients through the whole process, so feel free to scale it to your comfort.

    In a similar way, you say that we turn on the TV and it just works. Now, I understand that I don't have full knowledge of how a TV works. So lets start with the premise - the TV turns on and I get a show. I want to know why this is... so how can I do it? Pull out the manufacturer handbook? Break down each component? All the way down to basic physics, the experiments that the theories are built on. I could do all of them, as far as I know. I mean, it would be tedious proving all the semiconductor technology in scale, but it could be done.

    Even if there are tons of atheists... hell, more atheists than all others that are prone to full fledged scientism, it doesn't change the system itself, or the principles it is built on.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
    Science has fallen well short of explaining why my hip isn't a grinding mass of gristle right now, and how an auditory hallucination could impart accurate information outside of the physical limits of my knowledge.
    And good for science. That's what makes the whole "atheists are shallow" thing a joke to us. You fill in your blanks, pretty much a god of the gaps, while we say we don't know. You wave your hand and explain it away, while science says... nope! No claims until they can be verified.

    There is a conflict between science and religion, because religion has forever been doing "faithism" - that is, explaining tangible things that science should of. Your example is exactly that. More often than not, calls of scientism ring out when faith gets pushed back to where it should be, not when scientists delve into areas they shouldn't.

    Yet, somehow the minority parts of atheists and such that actually are prone to scientism get blown into a huge proportion, while faith continues to be used at every level to do exactly the same thing by the vast majority of believers.

  6. #166
    Senior Member dga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    How can atheism be considered deep? By its very nature it's less than shallow, because it describes a lack of belief. If an ocean is deep, and a puddle is shallow then what is a desert?
    its deeper because while you are worrying about the volume of water, atheists are wondering about everything else.

  7. #167

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    I grew up with Christianity, and actually explored it quite a bit. I'm not really one to dismiss a system I don't understand and I'm not one to ignore the spiritual. These days i am atheist for much the same reasons Jack said he was. To understand the system in churches is to wish to leave it. Maybe Ps go further outside the box with their thinking or maybe Js see something we don't, but the sort of religious approach taken in the first article is very J appealing.

    My first problem was many preachers I heard stated a list of facts which were correct, then drew completely obscure and illogical conclusions from them. People checked the facts and said, all this is true therefore God is a purple elephant, and believed them.

    Second problem. As an Fi I see things on a personal level. Many people in the church were not comfortable being themselves if they were not the same because of the mentality of the group. Many children were also quite sheltered by parents in the church; something I consider to be a form of child abuse because you are basically setting them up for psychological underdevelopment, and the only way it can be positive in that sense is that it inspires rebellion.

    My biggest problem though was the realisation that perfection is destructive. Christianity is flawed in the same sense utopia is flawed and communism is flawed. The teachings have some merit, but to put them into practise as a rule system is essentially to suppress individuality and free thought. And the cruelest part is that it lets the individual do this to themself. How far does a free philosophical rather than theological thinker get in the church? How far can one make statements based on real world logic if it disagrees with scripture? If real world logic disagrees with scripture is scripture then questioned? If scripture is questioned when real world logic disagrees with it, is real world logic a better system and actually the system you are using?

    I also know the power of music and groups on the individual. And the power of written verse. These things conjure up spiritual euphoria without the need for a God. It is a normal human reaction to them. If you stand in a building with 1000 people impassioned and singing at the top of their lungs it is spiritually uplifting and driving. You can't ignore it and you feel out of place to not be part of it. Many dictators have known this and used it well to their advantage.

    So yeh, I wouldn't call myself a strict Atheist because believing in just concrete reality is decently narrow minded, but I am definitely not religion's biggest fan. And I don't see the need for a group mentality and pressure to conform on something which is such a personal issue. I'd say believe, act well toward fellow humans (including respecting their right to difference), and scrap the time wasting evangelism and singing. I don't think God will mind how much you respect his awesomeness. More what was in your heart. As they say, all are equal in God's eyes, if they can't buy me, I'm guessing they can't buy him.


    If you want an answer to the Atheist shallow question, I think the church has brought it on themselves. They have moved more to trendy and manipulative forms of teaching and recruiting, and many people have reacted negatively and thrown out the baby with the bathwater. I had a good experience in a church recently where the preacher talked about what people could do for humanity. He then followed it with a clear description of what the plan was, no bias or convincing people either way. Where he disagreed with views of others he took them into account and stated his opinion on them, again making it clear it was his opinion and letting the people decide for themselves. He had 100% disclosure on where he wanted to go, what the options were, and accepted any feedback and took it on board. He didn't once say this is what we need to do because it is God's will or mission. And he didn't give the feeling you were obliged to do it. He just said here's an idea. If you want to do it come join us, if you don't that's all good. It was like power preaching turned backwards, a breathe of fresh air really. And it meant no one in the building felt pressured to be anything they won't, or jump on board the crusade. They just got to attend and see the facts, chat to people, and make their own decisions and conclusions. Imagine trusting people to do that...
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  8. #168
    Member Chukamok's Avatar
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    How is that something as simple as "not believing in god" produce so much verbage. The only other nothingness that could produce this much philosophizing is Zen Buddhism.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr Seuss

  9. #169

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chukamok View Post
    How is that something as simple as "not believing in god" produce so much verbage. The only other nothingness that could produce this much philosophizing is Zen Buddhism.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  10. #170
    Senior Member Anonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    I don't believe because I have no reason to, in all my observations, active or passive. I won't debate it though, I've personalized my conviction.
    Exactly. And if the religion in question demands converts, having no rational reason for them to convert is kind of a bad thing.

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