Let me get back to you on this Eck. I'm heading to get a cold, wet, sparkley diet rockstar. I think some of what I've said has been taken out of context. Responce coming =)The green bit: I absolutly agree. I believe most actually smart atheists do it more in reaction to\to create a counterweight to the positive claims of religion. In terms of PR if someone claims A and the other doesn't claim anything people will have a tendency to believe A by default.
the brown bit: while I agree that all data has to be considered I think you probably select the bits you want to believe in. So far noone of these studies have any kind of results they were able to reproduce and contain so much procedural misteps biasing the data that it isn't even funny. There's one interesting experiment about esp done recently but it hasn't been reproduced yet though. here's a link, enjoy
Also if you claim that studies are made looking into the 'paranormal' (i disagree with this terminology as all that is observed is part of the natural world, otherwise we wouldnt be able to observe it) and use it to point at the narrow mindedness of other people, how can you then claim that relying on logic and empirical data is suddently not the method to go by
You're not a judge and atheism isn't illegal
That's no more correlated with atheism than being an idiot is correlated with being human. Significant but not particularily so once you normalize the data with the witness sample. (I.E. People in general)
I think that vision of the 'reedeeming atheist' is probably more of an urban legend than anything else by the way. I always hear religious types talk about it but I have yet to see it happen or see any data backing it up. If anyone has any study on the topic it'd be cool.
Yes, that's how I meant by double standards. Check the methodology of the studies you refer to before saying things like this please.
So, basically based on this I could claim anything as being true with no evidence. Unicorns and the Sauron and rings of power. Empirical evidence is something we use because it's testable and reliable. You don't believe in fairy tales BECAUSE of empirical evidence (i hope) so why does religion makes exception to that rule?
And what is your alternative by the way?
You need a kind of frame to think. Also People aren't absolutly rational, there's nothing rational about empathy for example, it's just a fact of human nature. But as a fact it can be assessed logically. It's not perfect but it works better than unreliable methods based exclusively on internalized states that translate badly in language. And if you can't communicate something you can't reliably test it. That's all well and good if you're talking about someone feeling happy, not if its about something with clear consequences for the 'outside' universe, such as the existence or not of unicorns, gods or ghosts.
Yes, I don't know the guy, but generally the 'void' etc people talk about when talking about the absence of the belief in a god is something that only seem to bother atheist in the imagination of theists. I'm sure there are exception but anecdotal evidence is no proof.
Yes, again, there is absolutly no more data to back that up than there is to back up fairies, and I'll remind you that you seemed to welcome empirical evidence when it fits your views, that's not reason but selective delusion.
While this doesn't make your claim untrue it makes them into one possibility among at least 10 to the power of a hundred (far more than there is atoms in the universe) and then some with absolutly no reason to prefer your theory than there is to believe in any other fancy of the imagination. And that sort of claim to me take such utter disregard for other people or even bothering to back up one's view that it dwarves the narrow mindedness of hardcore atheists.