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  1. #201
    Junior Member Danikov's Avatar
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    I'm an Atheist. Perhaps a Nontheist. I don't know anymore.

    I imagine it's hardcore Atheism that's drawn the ire of most Americans these days. It's an acceptable thing to be torn between the huge variety of religions these days- they all encourage in their own ways faith and spirituality. Hardcore atheism really targets these basic principles of religion and thus becomes a target of all religions. Most of them would agree that destroying someone's faith is far worse than conversion between religions. Mostly true is close enough.

    I'm on the fence about it. I can see how the Atheists think they're right and I strongly lean towards agreeing with them. On the other hand, being right isn't good enough and certainly no excuse for provoking people who are wrong and making things even more polarised. I have a suspicion that Dawkins and other's vocalness is doing nothing to decrease religiousness, merely polarising the issue and making more fundamentalists and creating a fundamental Atheistic counter-movement. I wouldn't be surprised if, some day in the future, Atheism was practically a religion and they went to war with the theists, while us more sensible people laughed at the irony.

  2. #202
    What is, is. Arthur Schopenhauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danikov View Post
    I'm an Atheist. Perhaps a Nontheist. I don't know anymore.
    Even if you're irreligious, and atheist, you're still an atheist. You're an atheist.

    I'm on the fence about it. I can see how the Atheists think they're right and I strongly lean towards agreeing with them. On the other hand, being right isn't good enough and certainly no excuse for provoking people who are wrong and making things even more polarised. I have a suspicion that Dawkins and other's vocalness is doing nothing to decrease religiousness, merely polarising the issue and making more fundamentalists and creating a fundamental Atheistic counter-movement.
    Dawkins has shaken the faith of many Christians. I watched many debates before I came to a final conclusion about theism and Dawkins did help to change my mind.

    Do you think he would do more good if he were to remain silent? Incorrect. Arguments are inevitible and they must be argued; we are all adults, capable of debate and rational thought, let's use this ability. Shall we simply stop talking just because people are plugging their ears? I think not, good sir.

    I wouldn't be surprised if, some day in the future, Atheism was practically a religion and they went to war with the theists, while us more sensible people laughed at the irony.
    Riiiiiiiiiiight. And our leader will be zombie-Satan-Hitler.
    INTJ | 5w4 - Sp/Sx/So | 5-4-(9/1) | RLoEI | Melancholic-Choleric | Johari & Nohari

    This will not end well...
    But it will at least be poetic, I suppose...

    Hmm... But what if it does end well?
    Then I suppose it will be a different sort of poetry, a preferable sort...
    A sort I could become accustomed to...



  3. #203
    Senior Member Stevo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danikov View Post
    I wouldn't be surprised if, some day in the future, Atheism was practically a religion and they went to war with the theists, while us more sensible people laughed at the irony.
    I would be surprised, because all of the most vocal atheists seem to be disgusted with the violence inherent in religion and their mission is to stop it and all other cruelties and injustices inherent in religious dogma as soon as we can. Merely replacing it with more violence at our hands would be a betrayal of our core principles, aims, and philosophies.

    I have a suspicion that Dawkins and other's vocalness is doing nothing to decrease religiousness, merely polarising the issue and making more fundamentalists and creating a fundamental Atheistic counter-movement.
    It always amuses me when people compare foremost proponents of atheism with religious fundamentalists, going as far as to call them "fundamentalists" in their own right. What do Christian Fundamentalists do? They actively seek to oppress and, sometimes, outright murder, people who consider themselves homosexuals. They kill abortion doctors. They constantly attempt to pass hateful and theocratic legislation that would limit free speech and the rights of all non-christians. What do Islamic Fundamentalists do? They fly planes into buildings. They bomb crowded city squares. They terrorize entire middle eastern countries in order to keep their people in the grip of theology. They repress women and even kill them if they are seen in the company of another man.

    And what do Atheist "Fundamentalists" do? They write books. Those nasty, nasty atheists.

  4. #204
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo View Post
    I would be surprised, because all of the most vocal atheists seem to be disgusted with the violence inherent in religion and their mission is to stop it and all other cruelties and injustices inherent in religious dogma as soon as we can. Merely replacing it with more violence at our hands would be a betrayal of our core principles, aims, and philosophies.



    It always amuses me when people compare foremost proponents of atheism with religious fundamentalists, going as far as to call them "fundamentalists" in their own right. What do Christian Fundamentalists do? They actively seek to oppress and, sometimes, outright murder, people who consider themselves homosexuals. They kill abortion doctors. They constantly attempt to pass hateful and theocratic legislation that would limit free speech and the rights of all non-christians. What do Islamic Fundamentalists do? They fly planes into buildings. They bomb crowded city squares. They terrorize entire middle eastern countries in order to keep their people in the grip of theology. They repress women and even kill them if they are seen in the company of another man.

    And what do Atheist "Fundamentalists" do? They write books. Those nasty, nasty atheists.
    Are all the fundamentalists terrorists? I don't know if its fair to say that. Atheist "Fundamentalists," meaning hardcore, militant atheism as part of a social ideology, has already done a great deal of damage too. Perhaps more than Christian and Islamic fundamentalists combined. What spurs terrorism, even suicidal terrorism, is not always religious grievance. Suicide terrorism does not need religious motivation to occur, there have been non-religiously motivated suicide attackers.

    And while with a perfunctory glance at history and ideology it is easy to assert religion has generated more harm than atheism, we must remember that atheism doesn't have as much experience at being put to the test.

    But I don't think there will be an atheist vs theist war. There's not enough politico-military faultline between the two. Unless you consider the Cold War such a war.
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

  5. #205
    Senior Member Stevo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    Are all the fundamentalists terrorists? I don't know if its fair to say that.
    No. And I did not suggest that in my post in any way whatsoever. Many of the examples I gave of the terrible things fundamentalists do had to do with establishing theocracies that limit human rights.

    Atheist "Fundamentalists," meaning hardcore, militant atheism as part of a social ideology, has already done a great deal of damage too. Perhaps more than Christian and Islamic fundamentalists combined.
    Give me examples, please. People always claim this but never back it up.

    And while with a perfunctory glance at history and ideology it is easy to assert religion has generated more harm than atheism, we must remember that atheism doesn't have as much experience at being put to the test.
    This is true. However, atheism's non-dogmatic and inherent fragmentary nature suggest to me that our capacity as a movement for wholesale atrocities on the scale of what has been done by religion is very very low. I follow many of the so-called "fundamentalists" in their blogs, people like PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, Adam Lee, and Christopher Hitchens, and, funny thing this, the main thrust of their writing is for human equality, world peace, freedom of speech, of belief, of religion, and against wholesale human atrocities, genocide, blind dogmatic acceptance of authority, and you know, all those things that tend to make people go crazy and kill somebody.

    But I don't think there will be an atheist vs theist war. There's not enough politico-military faultline between the two. Unless you consider the Cold War such a war.
    I do not. The USSR was not defined by its atheism, and in fact drew a lot of support from the Russian Orthodox Church in many of its practices, including the genocidal ones.

  6. #206
    Junior Member Danikov's Avatar
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    Religion started with books. One of the biggest one is the Bible. It's subject to "interpretation" and has been used as an excuse for plenty of wars. I can see an militant atheist organisation existing that believes that 'all we must do is eliminate religion, and everything will be ok'; I can't speak for all atheist writers, but I do recall Dawkins being vocal about the elimination of religion as a danger to humanity. Are all atheists happy with this man as their spokesperson? I doubt it. Do Christians use his views to judge atheists in general (much like many atheists might judge religious people for having faith)? Probably more often than not.

    I don't think the hardcore atheists would start the war, but given how sharp a reaction they garner from the religious community in general, I wouldn't be surprised to see violence targeted against atheists by religious extremists. Is it as much of a stretch to imagine atheists banding together to protect themselves? Some extreme atheists feeling they have to defend their peers? Not every atheist in the world is going to be Ghandi.

    If you think that atheism is immune to extremist views, I think you're fooling yourself. Religion isn't the only source of human atrocities, genocide, blind dogmatic acceptance of authority. The Nazi's did that, and they were a political party.

    The militant atheists dance around like religion is the root of all evil, and I understand the problem they have with faith. The point they're missing, most humans operate on some level of faith. A lot of people read the Bible and take it as truth, as much as some people will read Dawkins and take it as truth. I don't think religion is the root cause, just a very big symptom. The root cause is human culture and humans themselves.

  7. #207
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo View Post
    This is true. However, atheism's non-dogmatic and inherent fragmentary nature suggest to me that our capacity as a movement for wholesale atrocities on the scale of what has been done by religion is very very low. I follow many of the so-called "fundamentalists" in their blogs, people like PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, Adam Lee, and Christopher Hitchens, and, funny thing this, the main thrust of their writing is for human equality, world peace, freedom of speech, of belief, of religion, and against wholesale human atrocities, genocide, blind dogmatic acceptance of authority, and you know, all those things that tend to make people go crazy and kill somebody.

    .
    Dare I say it? Sounds like modern day Jesus. We all know how twisted Jesus' message has been twisted by some, fought over, and abused.

    In general, mainstream religions advocate the same things.
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

  8. #208
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    Atheist "Fundamentalists," meaning hardcore, militant atheism as part of a social ideology, has already done a great deal of damage too. Perhaps more than Christian and Islamic fundamentalists combined.
    Quote Originally Posted by Danikov View Post

    The militant atheists dance around like religion is the root of all evil, and I understand the problem they have with faith.
    I too would love to see examples of these militant, violent atheists killing in the name of "godlessness".

    If they've done more damage than christian and islamic fundamentalists combined, I'm shocked that they're never reported in the news, given the apparent hatred towards atheists in this society.

    -end of thread-

  9. #209
    Member Dyoni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentMind View Post
    Nah, theists have the biggest persecution complex. They are the most persecuted minority evarrrr.
    Well, yes. Jewish people, specifically.

    Quote Originally Posted by stringstheory View Post
    So then why all the fuss about the War on Christmas? And why are people getting so up in arms about the use of Happy Holidays, if it's not such a big deal?
    This confounds me, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentMind View Post
    Dawkins has shaken the faith of many Christians. I watched many debates before I came to a final conclusion about theism and Dawkins did help to change my mind.

    Do you think he would do more good if he were to remain silent? Incorrect. Arguments are inevitible and they must be argued; we are all adults, capable of debate and rational thought, let's use this ability. Shall we simply stop talking just because people are plugging their ears? I think not, good sir.
    He really helped me make my decision to leave my faith and see the world as it really is. I'm really grateful to him to introducing me to a new, realistic perspective on life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danikov View Post
    A lot of people read the Bible and take it as truth, as much as some people will read Dawkins and take it as truth.
    ...but the difference is that Dawkins is truthful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo View Post
    And what do Atheist "Fundamentalists" do? They write books. Those nasty, nasty atheists.
    Yes, thank you.

    I guess I found the study that started the thread to be pretty surprising. I'm a former Mormon who still lives in Utah; now happily Atheist. I've definitely felt a bit unusual in some social situations, but all in all, I don't feel like I endure the discrimination that Muslim-Americans have to face. Of course, I don't have to wear certain clothing that denotes my faith preferences (or lack thereof). I suppose a lot of people would just assume I was like them.

    How Many Atheists in America?

    This site claims that Atheists and Agnostics make up 12% of the adult American population. The answer certainly isn't just being quiet so as to avoid offending theists. I think the only way for us to become more accepted is to start talking about our views and make people aware that Atheism is quite common and normal.

  10. #210
    Junior Member Danikov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyoni View Post
    ...but the difference is that Dawkins is truthful.
    ...which sounds like pretty much every single religious individual. "Ah, but I'm right, you're wrong. My religion is true, yours is not." Regardless of the supposed truth, it's an organisation formed around stubbornly defending their own claimed 'truth'. Buddhism, a religion oft associated with peacefulness and one that specifically, without exception, prohibits killing, isn't without historical examples of being subverted and used for violence.

    "Ah, but my religion/organisation/beliefs are different. That'll never happen." is another thing that people are prone to say. Everyone seems to think they're special, different somehow from all the rest. It's very much in the same vein as the 'Ah, but I'm right" thinking.

    Just because atheism doesn't require faith, doesn't mean that it doesn't suffer from all the foibles and flaws of any organisation centered around core beliefs, because faith isn't the root of humanities troubles. People are. Humans are flawed creatures, capable of great misdeeds with or without religion. Eliminating religion isn't the magic bullet to cure all the worlds ills. Atheism is already showing signs of becoming a pseudo-religion, becoming what it's trying to rid the world of. I don't think it'll ever succeed with the approach it's taking. It'll just become another religion, at least in every way but name.

    No, atheism doesn't yet have people killing in the name of atheism. That doesn't mean it won't happen, but it is just a prediction of mine based on my observations of atheism growing into a new religion and the antagonistic attitudes and actions of the vocal, most visible atheists (stating that the beliefs of a large majority of the world's population are not only wrong, but evil and to be eliminated is VERY antagonistic).

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