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  1. #171
    Ginkgo
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    There are several misconceptions floating around here. I'm inclined to undo them.

    Agnosticism is a concept that takes the stance, "I don't know". It does not have to be of a religious context. There is no way to know something with all positivity. Therefore, we are all agnostics, whether it be of a theistic issue or otherwise. Contrary to popular belief, agnosticism does not lie in the middle of the Atheism-------------Theism spectrum. In fact, it is something else entirely.

    Agnosticism is not (or at least shouldn't) be a stance in which one cannot decide.

    On the other hand, Atheism declares the lack of belief in deities. There is no need to say that "modern atheism" is shallow, because atheism is merely a concept. I believe what the OP was implying was that modern atheists are shallow. However, that would be a bold statement and I can see why he would evade it.

    If a man were to ask me "Is there a god?"
    and I answered, "I believe there is a god", I would not be answering his question.

    Likewise, if a man were to ask me "Do you believe there is a god?"
    and I responded "There is a god!", I still wouldn't be answering his question.

    You must either be an Agnostic Atheist or an Agnostic Theist. This was probably what reason was trying to illustrate.

    Furthermore, it is inherently flawed to say that atheists were, at any time, "God hating" because one would have to believe in a god in order to hate him. I speculate that the OP was implying that past atheists were more passionate about their stance, while modern atheists take a colder, scientific approach.

    Some of what I said has already been covered, but after reading 17 pages, I felt that I should reiterate it.

  2. #172
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    There's a simple and easy explaination:

    Atheism is more acceptable than it once was; yeu aren't likely to be murdered for being an atheist anymore.

    As such, alot of the people who were retards or had no clue about their religion, are still retards, and still have no clue, but now they don't know about whot they don't even know.

    This isn't an issue with "the new atheist". It's an issue with people just being dumb in general and not paying attention to past history, nor to their surroundings.

    There are a few good atheists, just as there are a few good buddhists, a few good christians, a few good jews, a few good agnostics, but the thing is, it's just 'a few'. "The few". Most will have no clue about their own religious beliefs, much less anyone else's. If yeu increase the number of one group, and make the requirements for their survival to be more relaxed, then expect them to attract the stupid and inept, those who know nothing and feel no need to know.

    So really, why is this even a question? Seems kinda obvious to me...

  3. #173
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I do agree that's pretty arrogant to say that God couldn't exist, and then use reason to back it up. Reason can only be applied to observations.

    I'm actually agnostic, because I don't think people can confidently say there is no God. However, I do think that it's ridiculous to assert that your faith is right for everyone. For instance, if I want to worship, say, Athena, a Christian shouldn't be able to tell me, "You're wrong, my God is the only one that exists. Stop that." They don't know that, and it's none of their business.

    Basically, the attitude I have as an agnostic, is that religion should be a matter of choice rather than pressure.

  4. #174
    Junior Member Bachelor Blumfeld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    .Reason can only be applied to observations.
    You're conflating common sense and reason. Common sense entails our understanding of empirical phenomena. Pure reason (which I employ to distinguish it with common sense), as Kant said, entails solely the a priori (i.e. metaphysics). As Kant stated in his Prolegomena the following:

    "I should think that Hume might fairly have laid as much claim to common sense as Beattie, and in addition to a critical reason (such as the latter did not possess), which keeps common sense in check and prevents it from speculating, or, if speculations are under discussion restrains the desire to decide because it cannot satisfy itself concerning its own arguments. By this means alone can common sense remain sound. Chisels and hammers may suffice to work a piece of wood, but for steel-engraving we require an engraver's needle. Thus common sense and speculative understanding are each useful in their own way, the former in judgments which apply immediately to experience, the latter when we judge universally from mere concepts, as in metaphysics, where sound common sense, so called in spite of the inapplicability of the word, has no right to judge at all."

  5. #175
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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.
    Probably because some of them are as dogmatic about it as others are about orthodox religions.

  6. #176
    Senior Member man's Avatar
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  7. #177
    See Right Through Me Bubbles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    There are several misconceptions floating around here. I'm inclined to undo them.

    Agnosticism is a concept that takes the stance, "I don't know". It does not have to be of a religious context. There is no way to know something with all positivity. Therefore, we are all agnostics, whether it be of a theistic issue or otherwise. Contrary to popular belief, agnosticism does not lie in the middle of the Atheism-------------Theism spectrum. In fact, it is something else entirely.

    Agnosticism is not (or at least shouldn't) be a stance in which one cannot decide.

    On the other hand, Atheism declares the lack of belief in deities. There is no need to say that "modern atheism" is shallow, because atheism is merely a concept. I believe what the OP was implying was that modern atheists are shallow. However, that would be a bold statement and I can see why he would evade it.

    If a man were to ask me "Is there a god?"
    and I answered, "I believe there is a god", I would not be answering his question.

    Likewise, if a man were to ask me "Do you believe there is a god?"
    and I responded "There is a god!", I still wouldn't be answering his question.

    You must either be an Agnostic Atheist or an Agnostic Theist. This was probably what reason was trying to illustrate.

    Furthermore, it is inherently flawed to say that atheists were, at any time, "God hating" because one would have to believe in a god in order to hate him. I speculate that the OP was implying that past atheists were more passionate about their stance, while modern atheists take a colder, scientific approach.

    Some of what I said has already been covered, but after reading 17 pages, I felt that I should reiterate it.
    Something I feel should be repeated.
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  8. #178
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Overall there seems to be a gross ignorance of not only religious teachings, but religious history, and whatnot. At best, most atheist arguments seem to apply only to one form of religious expression(fundamentalism), and completely ignores the vast variety of religious forms that do exist, not to mention the numerous religious-based critiques of fundamentalism.
    So they pick out a few people who argue poorly and just debunk these straw men instead of your real arguments?

    Gosh, that sounds familiar.


    Anyway, the argument here seems to boil down basically to:

    1) Modern popular atheist writers are obnoxiously anti-religious and lack the emotional punch of older ones,

    Agreed. I find Hitchens and the others entertaining sometimes, but they don't have anything on Nietzsche. Also agreed that young dogmatic atheists are pretty obnoxious themselves--any atheist who claims absolute certainty in his position is a moron.


    2) Many modern atheists seem to forget the historical importance of religion and/or don't know anything about it in the first place,

    Also agreed. There are definitely lots of stupid atheists.


    3) Many modern atheists seem to think they can completely debunk faith simply by debunking funamentalism.

    That's not necessarily true--there are some people who believe this, but I don't think most atheists believe they are debunking non-fundamentalist forms of faith when they debunk fundamentalism; they just see no reason to even address such forms of faith. In fact, Dawkins himself points out in chapter one of The God Delusion that his book is only concerned with literal fundamentalist religion!

    Non-fundamentalist faith never makes any empirically measurable claims, so trying to prove or disprove it doesn't really make sense. It's a decision that's made pre-rationally, as I understand it, so truth/falsehood is irrelevant because it makes no falsifiable claims.

    Fundamentalism does make lots of falsifiable claims--I guess your point here is that fundamentalists do not represent nearly as great a majority of religious people as atheists like to pretend they do.

    And on that point, you're probably right. I'm an atheist (though not a gnostic one) and I do appreciate and respect God's historical and social importance, even if I think he doesn't literally exist. I fully agree with the statement that:

    "If God didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

    I think the modern atheist authors you speak of here have gained prominence largely as a backlash toward the recent rise in popularity of ridiculous fundamentalist Christian and Islam sects in a post-9/11 environment.

    Hitches excepted (who describes himself as anti-theist), I don't think most modern atheists are targeting you, Peguy, or intelligent faith in general. They are writing these angry works as a reactionary stance to the scarier forms of fundamentalism that have had a recent resurgence in popularity--I simply don't think they think they've debunked your brand of faith.

    The problem is that so many religious people grossly misunderstand the nature of faith, and they give you a bad name. You're right that we shouldn't assume that all religious people are stupid fundamentalists, but surely you see where this perception comes from in today's media environment.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  9. #179
    The Memes Justify the End EcK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Also agreed. There are definitely lots of stupid atheists.
    Indeed, and even more stupid theists.
    Expression of the post modern paradox : "For the love of god, religions are so full of shit"

    Theory is always superseded by Fact...
    ... In theory.

    “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”
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    "Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart."
    Mencius (Meng-Tse), 4th century BCE

  10. #180
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Also:

    The problem is that most people are not philosophers, and in practice we need the assistance of revelation and religious experience to make ethics a living reality.

    RRRRRRRRRRRRRReeeeealllly now?


    Well, maybe you do, but I'd really love to see some genuine evidence as to why you've decided this is universally true for everyone.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

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