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  1. #131
    Senior Member Robopop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    in an interview with Bill Maher (or however it's spelled) he came off as very conceited, disdainful, and unaccepting of facts because he said something like Francis Collins isn't a scientist and is stupid for being a theist. He's often very insulting.
    In that video, Richard Dawkins critized Mr. Collins for literally believing in a talking snake, he called him stupid for believing in that(along with Bill Maher). But at the beginning of the video Dawkins had nothing against Collins for being just a theist.

    I will admit that is still very disdainful for him to say that, Dawkins problem to me is that he comes off as thinking religion is the root of all evil and that if we get rid of it, the world will be one big pro reason, scientific utopia, let's face it, people would be assholes with or without religion. Dawkins is a brilliant thinker and all but sometimes he goes waaaaay over board with his anti-theism.
    Last edited by Robopop; 07-31-2010 at 03:33 AM.
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  2. #132
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    One term I really think is ridiculous is "Free thinker". As if, by rejecting religion, someone is free from the bondage of external criteria and one's own distortion of information. I suppose this comes from the misconception that religious people are hampered by their belief in God to learn about the universe. Or maybe it comes from the sort of psychological coercion one finds in religious institutions. The fact is that, where a Christian might say "God has the answer", a 'rational atheist' might just as easily say that "Science has the answer". And, in those phrases, they both diminish any sort of curiosity they would otherwise find. So, in conclusion, curiosity and the ability to "think" come from the desire of the person; while religion or lack there of are peripherals.

  3. #133
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robopop View Post
    let's face it, people would be assholes with or without religion
    Well Dawkins is good evidence of that for sure.

    AC Grayling? Anyone heard of him? Guys seriously prolific author and also opposed to theism, describes himself as a naturalist, believing in natural laws, not an atheist because he doesnt want to acknowledge theism through contradisctinction.

    Now I dont believe he is correct but I think he's a better theorist than Dawkins and he has criticised Dawkins for in some ways mirroring the very things he opposes, interestingly Grayling had an answer for whether or not there is an afterlife without a theistic dimension, he said no, its the same as before we are born, no one remembers or experiences that and yes, energy does not disipate but that whatever happens to it doesnt involve a recognisable after life.

    Interesting, I dont feel or think he's correct but I'm willing to entertain him more than Dawkins, he acknowledged that Darwin was an agnostic but suggested that he didnt like agnosticism himself because he felt being agnostic about a god or afterlife was comparable to being agnostic about faeries which no one would claim to now but which a couple of generations ago people could have.

    See I believe in Faeries, I'd not really want to piss the blighters off.

  4. #134
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    true, definitely. I was more talking about the different modes of expression, though. I guess I tend to see even the most vocal atheists as more peaceful about the medium they use to express themselves, regardless of the method. They'll give talks, publish articles, give interviews that may reveal a very hate-filled attitude - but they won't start yelling at someone on the street for being gay, or go door-to-door to sell their religion (I think).

    I'm not sure if you mean atheists have this shared identity as an atheist, or that others often perceive them so. If the former, I have to disagree strenuously. If the latter, well I guess that's what the htread is about.

    edit: my typo was supposed to mean thread, but when I went back to correct it I read it as hatred, which is an ironically relevant anagram so I'll leave the typo, lol

    In the United States, generally true. But I keep reminding people of the examples of the Soviet Union and China. They most certainly WERE attacking people (even jailing and killing them) for religiosity. It really depends on the culture.
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  5. #135
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    One term I really think is ridiculous is "Free thinker". As if, by rejecting religion, someone is free from the bondage of external criteria and one's own distortion of information. I suppose this comes from the misconception that religious people are hampered by their belief in God to learn about the universe. Or maybe it comes from the sort of psychological coercion one finds in religious institutions. The fact is that, where a Christian might say "God has the answer", a 'rational atheist' might just as easily say that "Science has the answer". And, in those phrases, they both diminish any sort of curiosity they would otherwise find. So, in conclusion, curiosity and the ability to "think" come from the desire of the person; while religion or lack there of are peripherals.
    Or when I answer:-

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  6. #136
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robopop View Post
    I will admit that is still very disdainful for him to say that, Dawkins problem to me is that he comes off as thinking religion is the root of all evil and that if we get rid of it, the world will be one big pro reason, scientific utopia, let's face it, people would be assholes with or without religion. Dawkins is a brillant thinker and all but sometimes he goes waaaaay over board with his anti-theism.
    The anti-theism appears to be the key. Atheism itself doesn't mandate any particular attitude towards religion, other than simple disbelief. Dawkins is correctly defined as an Anti-theist because he is actively opposed to others believing what they believe, and invests what appears to be a great deal of energy into trying to convince them of what he sees as being the error of their ways. My suspicion is that he either had some bad experiences with religion or religious believers when young, or is addicted to the attention that his vocal grandstanding against religious belief brings him. Perhaps a mixture. Either way, I find his shrillness on the subject tiresome. :rolli:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    One term I really think is ridiculous is "Free thinker". As if, by rejecting religion, someone is free from the bondage of external criteria and one's own distortion of information. I suppose this comes from the misconception that religious people are hampered by their belief in God to learn about the universe. Or maybe it comes from the sort of psychological coercion one finds in religious institutions. The fact is that, where a Christian might say "God has the answer", a 'rational atheist' might just as easily say that "Science has the answer". And, in those phrases, they both diminish any sort of curiosity they would otherwise find. So, in conclusion, curiosity and the ability to "think" come from the desire of the person; while religion or lack there of are peripherals.
    Much of this is to do with self-righteousness defensiveness over one's own beliefs; and an assumption that anyone who does not share them falls into the opposite camp. Anti-theists self-identifying en masse as "Free Thinkers" is something I've always found vastly amusing; it seems they're simply unaware of the irony of the position they're putting themselves into when they do this. (It is usually Anti-theists that label themselves in this manner. true agnostics and tolerant athiests seldom seem to feel the necessity). It implies that all faith represents constrained thought by contrast; yet the only factor which truly unifies the many streams of faith that exist in the world is belief in something outside of the self, something beyond everyday conception, something that must be struggled to be understood.

    Even within most individual faiths, it's a commonly accepted principle that a person must arrive at their own understanding of and relationship with their god/the universal consciousness, etc, according to their own conscience. This holds true for many faiths even when the outward forms of worship are proscribed by tradition and the religious authorities. This contrasts sharply with the beliefs of those anti-theists who define themselves as "Free Thinkers", who appear to consider themselves the only ones capable of independent thought or conscience due to their specific antipathy to religion and rejection of its tenets (which is already one respect in which their thought is constrained); and are unified by their stereotyping of those who do not think as they do as ignorant fools. It is precisely this which highlights their own innate black and white thinking, their inability to percieve nuances correctly, their splitting into false dichotomies and over-simplification of opposing positions and possibilites in order to justify the certitude which which they hold their own beliefs, and ultimately demonstrates how constrained their own thinking truly is.

    Perhaps if they themselves were religious believers, their thought would be anything but free due to their craving for certainty hindering their ability to develop further understanding; but they do others a disservice when they project this weakness on them, and underline their own in the process.
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  7. #137
    respect the brick C.J.Woolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Around here, Athiests seem to have similar moral codes to the Christians around them, and unless they're assholes, they'll even give you gifts for Christmas! They look like Christians, they act like Christians, they taste like Christians. I'm just using the duck test. The only difference is that they don't believe in God.
    (Emphasis mine.) I've heard that there are practicing Jews who don't believe in God. To them, the practice matters, not the belief.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    Not surprising. Notice how spiritual/religious ascetics relinquish their belongings and wealth. This is to redirect energy from the material to the immaterial or spiritual. There are also those who think that faith is a balm for the impoverished; and, in some cases, materialism smothers faith.
    I prefer to think that good fortune (in all respects, not just material) makes faith less necessary.

    I think that atheists are generally thought of as anarchists of the spirit.
    You could say that atheism is but one step beyond Protestantism.

  8. #138
    What is, is. Arthur Schopenhauer's Avatar
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    Dawkins most certainly holds the belief that religion is a very wicked thing.
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  9. #139
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    So I'm an atheist and an European. Now I'm on a holiday trip in the USA (awesome! national parks!!) and i'm just beginning to understand what's the big deal with religion there. In Europe, nobody talks about it. Not because it could cause problems, just because it's not interesting. Why talking about religion/lack of, when there is... well, say, a swimming pool to swim in? Literature or science to discuss? But if everybody just assumes and talks about it, I can understand why you've got to be a bit more vocal about it.
    I'm beginning to get interested in religions. The history, the way they grow,... Next peak interest?
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  10. #140
    Senior Member Chunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNUGGLETRON View Post
    but the whole point of being atheist is being faithless...
    Nope, that's agnosticism.
    "If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see."
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