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  1. #541
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  2. #542
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Not all beliefs are religious. Belief that there is no god is equivalent to belief that there is one, since neither position can be proven. Absence of either form of belief is likewise equivalent, and more akin to agnosticism in not concerning oneself with the question at all. It thus comes down to one's working definition of atheism.

    In relation to the OP, though, I suspect this is all just so much hair splitting. Atheists by any definition are often disliked simply because they are not Christian, just like the faithful of other religions are not Christian. In fact, some Christians dislike Christians of other denominations because they aren't "Christian enough", or Christian in the right way: e.g. Catholics, who certainly believe in Christ but are not even considered Christians by some denominations.

    Sadly, there is plenty of hate to go around.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
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  3. #543
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    You seem to be operating under the assumption that religion is something that needs to be proven using only one measure, and that measure, 'your religion', (If the term bothers you I will use 'construct', as I believe the terms to be interchangeable; but the original meaning of 'religion' is still implied-in all honesty), and that what does not fit into your construct, using all the tools you have to measure, is just dismissible. There are things that you cannot grasp, that no one is capable of grasping, and while some turn to atheism and some turn to traditional religion, in the end both attempt to take, in their own specific way, what they can relate to in the world, and build an understanding around it. Yes you are not 100% certain that there is no god, gods, or supernatural forces, in the same way a Buddhist is not 100% certain that maybe what they are understanding as proof of reincarnation/past lives, isn't just media hype or caused by subconscious psychological misidentification. It is called doubt, and it permeates every individual construct, but no, that does not mean that the construct is not there. This is just me still stating the view I have held SINCE the BEGINNING.
    Just FYI, there are words for what I think you're trying to express: 'Worldview' and 'philosophy' come to mind. While 'construct' also lacks the supernatural connotations of 'religion,' you'll have to spend less time explaining to people what 'worldview' or 'philosophy' mean. Unless of course you don't mean what I think you mean, in which case carry on.

    My worldview includes the standard that, to quote Carl Sagan, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." For me to believe a thing. Others can believe what they like, so long as they don't attempt to force their beliefs or the idealogical byproducts of their beliefs on me.

    Btw, those CAPITALIZED WORDS of yours are part of what makes you come off as condescending and aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    It is super easy to look up a definition on Google, accept it, and roll over. Yes atheism is OBVIOUSLY a belief that there is no God. I mean seriously, this definition proves nothing, it only serves to add onto what was already there. Outside explanation requires an outside force to shape an external belief into an internal one. Explanations are one sided and generally automatically assume the superior knowledge of one party to the inferior or lack of another. They are non-participatory, or at least the ones that you assume. A belief that there is no God requires there to be belief, which requires construct (this time I am only semi associating this word with religion).
    Talking about learning about a worldview -- from the holders of said worldview, no less! -- as 'rolling over' is the kind of thing that made me suspect that you're bringing a lot of baggage to this thread. If you see new understanding as any sort of defeat, what's the point of even having this discussion? Keep in mind, it's entirely possible to understand a worldview without accepting it.

    I find your perception of our conversation as non-interactive very discouraging, because I specifically tried to take a more interactive tack than Nicodemus did, in the hopes that doing so would give you a more intuitive understanding of atheism. I could have told you "Atheism is a lack of belief in the supernatural, END OF STORY," like a lecturer, but I tried to lead you to a better understanding via the whole Matrix conversation. Oh well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    This seems to me to be an either: drop your argument all together, any point or any understanding you are trying to draw, and let us inform you of our irrefutable unquestionable interpretation of fact (aka drink the kool-aid unquestionably) or continue to try to bounce off ideas but be prepared to get attacked if you do not bounce where or how we say you should. It is a bit difficult to discuss something when you are not allowed to reference your viewpoint.
    Welcome to the atheist's world! To avoid arguments with friends, family, coworkers, and well, virtually everyone else, we respectfully call others' belief in supernatural entities 'religion' even when we think that much less charitable words are more appropriate. I can see how the first two sentences came off as aggressive:

    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia
    This is why you've never understood atheism. Atheism is not about answers, and it is not a religion. FYI protip: calling atheism a religion or referring to atheism as a belief is one of the fastest ways to get an atheist into the argument mindset, and to ruin any chance you might have at an amiable discussion with him or her.
    But the rest really was just a friendly tip. If your goal is to piss off whatever atheist you're talking to, then by all means call atheism a religion! If you want anything other than an argument, find a more civil word for their worldview.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    And then this. I am going to give my honest opinion on this type of thing- forewarning it might be offensive. These sort of statements are an easy way out of trying to justify reasoning. Instead of adding to your own case, these are attempts to undermine and discredit. These are one of my absolute biggest pet peeves, because while some might be sincere in their desire to understand where a particular stance is coming from, these can be innocent looking fronts for slippery motivations. I answered this in the way that I did because I did not know your motivations for sure, but the insistence later on has me on definitely has me questioning. I have no issue admitting if I have particular emotional biases, if they affect me in any way I will say so, if they do not then I do not appreciate everything I say being cast into doubt because of them. I am done for now, and no, offense was not my intention, though I could see where it could be derived. My 'feelings' are not hurt, but yes I am annoyed that they had to be assumed to exist and brought in as a distraction in the first place
    The reason that my arguments against your overall worldview are weak is because they're not arguments. I'm not debating your worldview, and I never was. I don't have a problem with agnostics or agnosticism. This...

    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia
    I'm going to go out on a limb, and guess that you've known some aggressive/argumentative atheists in your life. Am I off the mark?
    ...was just my best guess for why you insist on referring -- and emphasizing your belief -- that atheism is a religion. Given that actual atheists -- who are in the best position to know, don't you think? -- are telling you otherwise, I honestly don't know why you do. If I were as loose in my definition of religion as you are, I could describe your belief that atheism is a religion as your religion. Thus, I leave your motives up to you to explain if you so choose.
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  4. #544
    Member Tippo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Logically, the position would be agnositicism, for not just the idea of god, but any other supernatural beings/things. Like dragons, unicorns, santa claus, lockness monster, bigfoot, fairies, mermaids, ghosts, goblins, ghouls, etc, etc.

    Practically speaking, which is why I italicized the word 'need', I don't go around saying I'm agnostic about dragons, unicorns, santa claus, lockness monster, bigfoot, fairies, mermaids, ghosts, goblins, ghouls, etc, etc., and, the same with the idea of god. It better reflects my position, the term, atheism, when it comes to all such supernatural beings, than the term, agnosticism, which connotes an idea of, 'maybe, I don't know.' I don't know, but for all intent and purpose, I lead my life with the assumption of an absence of god and other supernatural beings, not with an assumption of 'maybe', so maybe I should try to be x, y, z, in case there is one, maybe I should do x, y, z, in case there is one, is not an accurate reflection of how I lead my everyday life.

    Where are these unicorns? Can I buy one? I'm very interested in this procurement.

  5. #545
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    When you construct your own meaning you necessarily become master of your own universe. It isn't unique to atheism, but you can't be an atheist without doing this.
    Or human.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  6. #546
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tippo View Post
    Where are these unicorns? Can I buy one? I'm very interested in this procurement.

  7. #547
    Senior Member Frosty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    Just FYI, there are words for what I think you're trying to express: 'Worldview' and 'philosophy' come to mind. While 'construct' also lacks the supernatural connotations of 'religion,' you'll have to spend less time explaining to people what 'worldview' or 'philosophy' mean. Unless of course you don't mean what I think you mean, in which case carry on.

    My worldview includes the standard that, to quote Carl Sagan, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." For me to believe a thing. Others can believe what they like, so long as they don't attempt to force their beliefs or the idealogical byproducts of their beliefs on me.
    I don't believe that I attempted to force anything on anyone. I came in with my initial understanding, that I will admit could be seen as hostile, but were not meant to be. I apologize for any offense given off by those original posts, again, and I cannot stress this enough, not my intention. I do not particularly care how people go about living their lives or which... 'philosophies', they choose to employ, I was just offering up my initial thoughts regarding it at that moment, which I will admit, were not as well or holistically developed as they probably could have been. I do not recall exactly what I said, and I do not particularly want to rehash specifics of the past, but by all means, if it works for you and you find basis for it, I have no issue.

    Btw, those CAPITALIZED WORDS of yours are part of what makes you come off as condescending and aggressive.
    I really do not see myself as being overly aggressive in this thread. At certain points I might have responded in a defensive manner towards certain individuals, but no, except for in that last post, which I admitted to you in a rep was written in a bit of a period of anger that could have clouded my judgement, I really do not think I was aggressive or condescending. I certainly did not set out to attack the atheists (which I believe to be your partially your perception of my participation in this thread, forgive me if I am wrong), I just wanted to understand the basis behind the belief and explore what I believed it to imply. It wasn't so much that I wanted to understand what atheism definitively is, but what it meant, and what was behind it. I was not clear, I realize this, I got a bit too excited and it could be interpreted as putting the cart before the horse. The words in caps are meant for emphasis, not aggression or condesention or anything of the sort.

    Talking about learning about a worldview -- from the holders of said worldview, no less! -- as 'rolling over' is the kind of thing that made me suspect that you're bringing a lot of baggage to this thread. If you see new understanding as any sort of defeat, what's the point of even having this discussion? Keep in mind, it's entirely possible to understand a worldview without accepting it.
    Not to sound condescending, really not, but it was not my intention to throw away my entire understanding if cause did not determine it to be entirely inaccurate. If I thought there was no basis at all to my interpretation or understanding, it would have been gone with the wind. This does not mean that I did not attempt to acclimate what you and others said, but no, 'rolling over', if the term is a bit dramatic, is entirely accurate to describe what I did not do. However, it does seem to be the expectation you are placing upon me. Yes, you have your understanding of atheism of which I believe to be something along the lines of, (and I admit I do not know your whole understanding) "being certain enough in the disbelief of the concept of something, to judge it as improbable enough to disregard". I get that, I do not think that it is in any way an invalid ideology, but I do not believe it to be an ideology constructed from nothing. But I have been over this. Anyway, no, again no baggage, except I suppose that of which the general person carries, so no concious baggage. I really do not want to turn around and ask the same of you, (but I will), do you have any baggage? I could go into the possiblity of everyone carrying around 'baggage' that influences every aspect of human behavior to a degree, but that is for another thread. So no, in short, to answer your question, I do not believe my understanding to be tied to emotional baggage. Just no, and what I said before in relation to this still stands.

    I find your perception of our conversation as non-interactive very discouraging, because I specifically tried to take a more interactive tack than Nicodemus did, in the hopes that doing so would give you a more intuitive understanding of atheism. I could have told you "Atheism is a lack of belief in the supernatural, END OF STORY," like a lecturer, but I tried to lead you to a better understanding via the whole Matrix conversation. Oh well.
    Just because I did not explicitly state my acknowledgement of your point does not mean that it wasn't something that I considered. But you seem to view your understanding as definitive fact, which actually is funny to me~hopefully this is not offensive~ because you seem to consider me to be placing too much emphasis on ignoring different interpretations.

    I must have been on a different wavelength than you from the start, because I saw us both as equals trying to have a discussion to expand upon different understandings of a common idea. To see where the conversation led, for reasons of understanding. I was not under the impression that you saw yourself as having the superior understanding, or that you were framing yourself in a position of authority, otherwise I might have gone about this in a different way. (I wouldn't have, but this does add to my understanding of your motivations. I do not think it would serve any purpose to share them with you, beyond escalating this into an accusation pissing contest.)

    Welcome to the atheist's world! To avoid arguments with friends, family, coworkers, and well, virtually everyone else, we respectfully call others' belief in supernatural entities 'religion' even when we think that much less charitable words are more appropriate. I can see how the first two sentences came off as aggressive:


    But the rest really was just a friendly tip. If your goal is to piss off whatever atheist you're talking to, then by all means call atheism a religion! If you want anything other than an argument, find a more civil word for their worldview.
    Maybe there are some hidden connotations to the word 'religion' that are personally offensive to you, and I can see where potentially that word may cause problems if that is the case, but I really just do not know what to say. My thoughts of atheism as having similar roots as a religion, was not meant to be an affront. It was not meant to dismiss atheism as invaild, just to understand it in the terms of a mental construct. To roll it over and around a bit, build upon it, and play with it. I really did not mean to come off as insensitive, and I still do not, in my partial understanding of it in that way. It is just that, my individual understanding of atheism is that of a form of frame of reference. Atheism to me is as complicated, complex, and multifaceted as any other human construct. An attempt at a comprehensive understanding of the potentially incomprehensibe.


    The reason that my arguments against your overall worldview are weak is because they're not arguments. I'm not debating your worldview, and I never was. I don't have a problem with agnostics or agnosticism. This...


    ...was just my best guess for why you insist on referring -- and emphasizing your belief -- that atheism is a religion. Given that actual atheists -- who are in the best position to know, don't you think? -- are telling you otherwise, I honestly don't know why you do. If I were as loose in my definition of religion as you are, I could describe your belief that atheism is a religion as your religion. Thus, I leave your motives up to you to explain if you so choose.
    Of course there are specifics to any and all ideologies that I did not get into, so I do suppose that my understanding could be loose in the way of definition. I was just trying to emphasize for myself the fundemental similarity of the basis of all ideologies. So in that way, yes my understanding of atheism as an ideological concept, is in fact part of my 'religion' as it connects undeniably to how I currently understand.

    Again, I do not wish for any of this to sound condesending. I have no issue having a give and take discussion with you about this topic. Can we just pretend none of this bullshit happened, both of us, as I should probably not be escalating it either, and I will try to listen to your perspective, though I cannot promise not try to split hairs, I will attempt to make an effort. This topic is interesting, maybe we could discuss why you think that atheism is not associated as a structured ideology? Though I totally understand if you don't, I probably took this too far.
    Last edited by Frosty; 05-30-2015 at 07:45 PM. Reason: Yeah... Way too far. It was super disrespectful. I would delete all my posts in this thread, but it probably doesn't matter.

  8. #548
    Member Tippo's Avatar
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    Everyone keeps kicking that dead unicorn......

  9. #549
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    Brendan Eich disagrees with the premise of this thread.

    From the Financial Times: Opposing gay marriage cost Brendan Eich his job at Mozilla

  10. #550
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Brendan Eich disagrees with the premise of this thread.

    From the Financial Times: Opposing gay marriage cost Brendan Eich his job at Mozilla
    Wrong thread.

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