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Dangers of atheism -Sam Harris

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posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 09:43 PM
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a reply to: luthier

Strong Atheism or Radical Atheism etc. are terms that come up quite often. They all have their own set of characteristics that come with them too. It's yet another way to describe sub categories of Atheists. In some ways that can be helpful but how accurate it is isn't exactly reliable.

That's why I stick to only using the general term and working my way from there until a clear description can be had.

The same happens by labeling someone a Christian, or Creationist or whatever. All labels come with certain implied details depending upon who it is you're talking to. In some cases it's just best to stay away from labels.




posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 09:53 PM
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originally posted by: Gryphon66
a reply to: mOjOm

It's not necessarily in the video ... but Harris certainly touches on it.

Why would we use a word to describe our "lack of belief" that carries so many unintended implications? Why would we point to the "absence" of the quality of belief in God?

That seems to be the real sticking point here for some ... along with trivial side notes about definitions, levels, etc.


I just don't see it that way.

I see that I was on a human journey and arrived at a place that makes sense to me.

Am I the outcast because most people believe in a god, or did I evolve, move away from, human made nonsense?

I did not create the word atheist, but it does define a position of how I think about life.

How would a Christian act if you told them they should not label themselves Christian?


edit on 26-1-2016 by Annee because: Spelling



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 09:57 PM
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originally posted by: mOjOm
a reply to: luthier

Strong Atheism or Radical Atheism etc. are terms that come up quite often. They all have their own set of characteristics that come with them too. It's yet another way to describe sub categories of Atheists. In some ways that can be helpful but how accurate it is isn't exactly reliable.

That's why I stick to only using the general term and working my way from there until a clear description can be had.

The same happens by labeling someone a Christian, or Creationist or whatever. All labels come with certain implied details depending upon who it is you're talking to. In some cases it's just best to stay away from labels.


I agree. Which was part of my arguement. My arguement was there are many definitions and subcategories not all Atheists are the same.

From a philosophical standpoint I was saying strong atheism makes a claim. Which ends up needing to be backed up. Weak atheism does not. You can ignore religion all together. No claim is made. Kind of like what Harris is saying.

But yes I agree. I don't like to cal myself anything. I usually say I lean towards ideas. They change though as I think through the arguements and beliefs. The debate is what makes the actual beliefs come to the surface.



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 10:02 PM
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a reply to: Annee

Yes. But the matter seems extremely PERSONAL to you and I ... and for other folks it seems to be more of a philosophical matter.

When I say I am atheist that word represents almost a half century of intensive and often painful psychological change for me. Also, it alludes to a freedom of mind that I had no idea of before it happened. Also, as I realized above ... I really like that the word pisses (certain) folks off.

That amazing day when the internal struggles stop and you realize "hey, I just don't believe any of that BS anymore."

I think the problem is that some folks didn't go through that process, and as such, just don't understand what we're talking about.

It is exactly a "reversed religious experience" ... an "areligous experience" ... a "Nietzschean epiphinal ecstatic explosion" ... LOL
edit on 26-1-2016 by Gryphon66 because: Noted



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 10:10 PM
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a reply to: Gryphon66

You should call yourself a "Born Again Atheist". Or "Proud Non-Believer and Reformed Christian".


Something like that. It has more of a feel like what you describe.

Atheist just by itself to me doesn't mean much at all. Hell, I honestly think most people are actually Atheists that are simply not being honest about it to themselves or anyone else. After all, if you weren't an Atheist and really thought there was a God that would send you to hell for such stupid things as people do, would they really be doing them??? No way. They'd be too scared to do anything most likely other than just sit somewhere and wait to die because the consequences are so bad if you did anything else.



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 10:22 PM
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originally posted by: Gryphon66
a reply to: Annee

Yes. But the matter seems extremely PERSONAL to you and I ... and for other folks it seems to be more of a philosophical matter.

When I say I am atheist that word represents almost a half century of intensive and often painful psychological change for me. Also, it alludes to a freedom of mind that I had no idea of before it happened. Also, as I realized above ... I really like that the word pisses (certain) folks off.

That amazing day when the internal struggles stop and you realize "hey, I just don't believe any of that BS anymore."



No, I agree with you. It's philosophical.

I went through the same as you, and also Mojom apparently. That was kinda what I was trying to describe.

I do get annoyed when non-atheist try to tell me what atheism is.



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 10:23 PM
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originally posted by: mOjOm
a reply to: Gryphon66

You should call yourself a "Born Again Atheist". Or "Proud Non-Believer and Reformed Christian".


Something like that. It has more of a feel like what you describe.

Atheist just by itself to me doesn't mean much at all. Hell, I honestly think most people are actually Atheists that are simply not being honest about it to themselves or anyone else. After all, if you weren't an Atheist and really thought there was a God that would send you to hell for such stupid things as people do, would they really be doing them??? No way. They'd be too scared to do anything most likely other than just sit somewhere and wait to die because the consequences are so bad if you did anything else.


Some people's God is not biblical. Pagans. A Deist may believe God made a program/universe and left it to be. Panthiest/monoists may believe everything is God like animism.

A gray area of sorts.

Spinoza was conisdered an atheist at the time.

Pantheism can go along with deism or Atheism though I suppose.



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 12:36 AM
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a reply to: mOjOm

Perhaps.


The COS used to have a saying that "Satanists are born, not made." This usually spoke to the feeling that one has always naturally been a certain way with certain beliefs/perceptions/standards, and simply didn't realize it until later in life.

Indoctrination into a particular religion begins at or before birth for some of us. Those lies are woven into our consciousness when we are pre-verbal. To free one's own mind from such semantic viruses is truly a kind of "second birth."



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 12:52 AM
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If we look at history man in general is not very nice and when religion is totally not there we are at our worst even when we can say we been bad with religion.



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 12:54 AM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero
If we look at history man in general is not very nice and when religion is totally not there we are at our worst even when we can say we been bad with religion.


Late night eh?




posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 01:43 AM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero
If we look at history man in general is not very nice and when religion is totally not there we are at our worst even when we can say we been bad with religion.


When in history??? I can't recall a time where Religion wasn't present.



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 06:09 AM
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I've watched the video a couple of times now. Sam Harris is addressing a "strategy meeting" of atheists trying to find ways to actually affect public perception, policy, etc.

I've noticed that, in general, his observation (and the observation of several members here) that by taking on the "atheist" label, not to mention supporting and defending it, trying to educate people on just what atheism really is (and isn't) in terms of socio-political change, all too often, that appellation merely designates us as being "in the other camp" and diminishes the impact of our words and claims.

I'm pretty much a charging wildebeest when it comes to confronting religious-based nonsense and so I often act and speak without taking a more long-term, cohesive approach. Dr. Harris is not only a neuroscientist and philosopher ... he's an activist.

He's trying to make people think about how to bring forth actual change in the world, in my opinion.



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 11:39 PM
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originally posted by: mOjOm

When in history??? I can't recall a time where Religion wasn't present.


Start of communist China, WWII, Stalin, Pol Pot to name a few..One could say the Christian Crusades was bad with 5 million killed over 500 years, but the Chinese did close to 100 million in a few years...Stalin was what 40 million, WWII 30 million.. Ever visit the killing fields in Cambodia?



posted on Jan, 28 2016 @ 11:49 AM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero

originally posted by: mOjOm

When in history??? I can't recall a time where Religion wasn't present.


Start of communist China, WWII, Stalin, Pol Pot to name a few..One could say the Christian Crusades was bad with 5 million killed over 500 years, but the Chinese did close to 100 million in a few years...Stalin was what 40 million, WWII 30 million.. Ever visit the killing fields in Cambodia?


Not going to mention the genocide of the native Americans by the Christian invaders? 7-120 million? the Spanish Christian invasion of the Americas 8 million? or the Jewish holocaust by christian Nazis 6 million?

Gods seem to love a good genocide as much as your average despot......weird no?



posted on Jan, 28 2016 @ 12:06 PM
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originally posted by: Prezbo369

originally posted by: Xtrozero

originally posted by: mOjOm

When in history??? I can't recall a time where Religion wasn't present.


Start of communist China, WWII, Stalin, Pol Pot to name a few..One could say the Christian Crusades was bad with 5 million killed over 500 years, but the Chinese did close to 100 million in a few years...Stalin was what 40 million, WWII 30 million.. Ever visit the killing fields in Cambodia?


Not going to mention the genocide of the native Americans by the Christian invaders? 7-120 million? the Spanish Christian invasion of the Americas 8 million? or the Jewish holocaust by christian Nazis 6 million?

Gods seem to love a good genocide as much as your average despot......weird no?



Anthropologically speaking mankind likes war. As hard as we try some of us are still just animals whose reason is distorted by environmental impacts, trauma, and lust and greed.

It makes no sense to try and tally who did what. Christianity is no more to blame for these wars than Atheists under communism. It can be contemplated that many other factors caused these outcomes other than religion or lack of. Regardless of what these maniacs said was the cause.

The Yanomami are a domestic scale culture who have a form of animism also engaged in warfare.

The one thing in common is human beings. We seem to justify our actions by any means necessary to retain or gain power and control.

There are varying degrees of psychopathy and slaughter but no definite evidence one is worse than the other in a grand historical sense.

I agree with Harris and Newaaz however that Islam poses a threat today when examining the intentions of violence on society.



posted on Jan, 28 2016 @ 12:23 PM
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originally posted by: luthier
Anthropologically speaking mankind likes war. As hard as we try some of us are still just animals whose reason is distorted by environmental impacts, trauma, and lust and greed.

It makes no sense to try and tally who did what. Christianity is no more to blame for these wars than Atheists under communism.


Christians and other theists have carried out some (if not all) of those atrocities for their god, or were at least influenced by their god/their religion. A non- belief in a god doesn't make you do anything. The usual list of dictators that theists wheel out were no more influenced by their lack of belief than they were by their mustaches.



It makes no sense to try and tally who did what. Christianity is no more to blame for these wars than Atheists under communism. It can be contemplated that many other factors caused these outcomes other than religion or lack of. Regardless of what these maniacs said was the cause.

The Yanomami are a domestic scale culture who have a form of animism also engaged in warfare.

The one thing in common is human beings. We seem to justify our actions by any means necessary to retain or gain power and control.



And yet Christians quite often will fallaciously attempt to place blame for such actions on those not in their superstitious cult, and forget/are ignorant of the atrocities carried out by their brethren in the name of their god/religion.




There are varying degrees of psychopathy and slaughter but no definite evidence one is worse than the other in a grand historical sense.

I agree with Harris and Newaaz however that Islam poses a threat today when examining the intentions of violence on society.


....seems like there's evidence to be found...

edit on 28-1-2016 by Prezbo369 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2016 @ 12:31 PM
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originally posted by: Prezbo369

originally posted by: luthier
Anthropologically speaking mankind likes war. As hard as we try some of us are still just animals whose reason is distorted by environmental impacts, trauma, and lust and greed.

It makes no sense to try and tally who did what. Christianity is no more to blame for these wars than Atheists under communism.


Christians and other theists have carried out some (if not all) of those atrocities for their god, or were at least influenced by their god/their religion. A non- belief in a god doesn't make you do anything. The usual list of dictators that theists wheel out were no more influenced by their lack of belief than they were by their mustaches.



It makes no sense to try and tally who did what. Christianity is no more to blame for these wars than Atheists under communism. It can be contemplated that many other factors caused these outcomes other than religion or lack of. Regardless of what these maniacs said was the cause.

The Yanomami are a domestic scale culture who have a form of animism also engaged in warfare.

The one thing in common is human beings. We seem to justify our actions by any means necessary to retain or gain power and control.

There are varying degrees of psychopathy and slaughter but no definite evidence one is worse than the other in a grand historical sense.


And yet Christians quite often will fallaciously attempt to place blame for such actions on those not in their superstitious cult, and forget/are ignorant of the atrocities carried out by their brethren in the name of their god/religion.



Your confused what Christians say the reason is to what their religion says. I am in no way a theist but I know it doesn't say slaughter infidels and genocide races even in the bible.
When studied without bias its easy to see Kings wanted to expand their empires. The reason they use is inconsequential to the actual reason. Unless you can find me where it says slaughter races of people and take their land in the new testament.

Your arguement works in reverse. Did those atheist dictators try to force people to have no relligeon? Did Marx or Engels say burn temples and torture monks? No they took that upon themselves just as Christians took it upon themselves to do the killing.

Christians believe God will do the judging in the ay of reckoning. That is what is actually in the bible. Like the wheat and weeds parable.

Read again. In the grand scheme of history. You even made it bold.

Muslims have time to reform their religion. It's all just stories in a book anyway.

And don't tell me some Atheists don't try and do the same in regards to Christianity.
edit on 28-1-2016 by luthier because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2016 @ 02:27 PM
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originally posted by: luthier

Your confused what Christians say the reason is to what their religion says. I am in no way a theist but I know it doesn't say slaughter infidels and genocide races even in the bible.


The genocides commanded and carried out by the all loving christian god have set a precedence.....this character is apparently the source of morality for for Christians, and yet it has no problem with wiping out entire races at a time...


When studied without bias its easy to see Kings wanted to expand their empires. The reason they use is inconsequential to the actual reason. Unless you can find me where it says slaughter races of people and take their land in the new testament.


You sound like an apologist......only the NT? since when was Christianity based on just the NT?.....was it ever since it became impossible to defend roughly half of the 'holy scriptures' in a secular society?


Your arguement works in reverse. Did those atheist dictators try to force people to have no relligeon? Did Marx or Engels say burn temples and torture monks? No they took that upon themselves just as Christians took it upon themselves to do the killing.


Theists have been doing this for a very very long time, so the dictators you mention could've easily been believers and still carry out their heinous actions. It wasn't their lack of belief in god/s that influenced or drove them, it was their lust for god-like power, whereas we can point directly to religious influence for many genocides, so no, you cannot word that into your argument.


Christians believe God will do the judging in the ay of reckoning. That is what is actually in the bible. Like the wheat and weeds parable.


And since when have Christians or any other group of theists left it to their god figures to enact justice?


Read again. In the grand scheme of history. You even made it bold.

Muslims have time to reform their religion. It's all just stories in a book anyway.


I was pointing out your contradiction, on one hand you say there's no evidence that theism is worse than atheism, and in the following sentence you say that one particular set of theist 'poses a threat'......

Atheist's aren't flying planes into buildings, beheading people or blowing themselves up in town centers are they?...



posted on Jan, 28 2016 @ 02:39 PM
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originally posted by: Prezbo369

originally posted by: luthier

Your confused what Christians say the reason is to what their religion says. I am in no way a theist but I know it doesn't say slaughter infidels and genocide races even in the bible.


The genocides commanded and carried out by the all loving christian god have set a precedence.....this character is apparently the source of morality for for Christians, and yet it has no problem with wiping out entire races at a time...


When studied without bias its easy to see Kings wanted to expand their empires. The reason they use is inconsequential to the actual reason. Unless you can find me where it says slaughter races of people and take their land in the new testament.


You sound like an apologist......only the NT? since when was Christianity based on just the NT?.....was it ever since it became impossible to defend roughly half of the 'holy scriptures' in a secular society?


Your arguement works in reverse. Did those atheist dictators try to force people to have no relligeon? Did Marx or Engels say burn temples and torture monks? No they took that upon themselves just as Christians took it upon themselves to do the killing.


Theists have been doing this for a very very long time, so the dictators you mention could've easily been believers and still carry out their heinous actions. It wasn't their lack of belief in god/s that influenced or drove them, it was their lust for god-like power, whereas we can point directly to religious influence for many genocides, so no, you cannot word that into your argument.


Christians believe God will do the judging in the ay of reckoning. That is what is actually in the bible. Like the wheat and weeds parable.


And since when have Christians or any other group of theists left it to their god figures to enact justice?


Read again. In the grand scheme of history. You even made it bold.

Muslims have time to reform their religion. It's all just stories in a book anyway.


I was pointing out your contradiction, on one hand you say there's no evidence that theism is worse than atheism, and in the following sentence you say that one particular set of theist 'poses a threat'......

Atheist's aren't flying planes into buildings, beheading people or blowing themselves up in town centers are they?...


I sound like an apologist? I have never been religious in my life. I do respect apologists. They actually attempt to use reason in arguements. But no am not an apologist.

Sam Harris is my favorite philosopher but I am an apologist?

My point is I have studied theology. The new testament was supposedly a new covenant.
Your arguement does not make sense. It's simply out of anger and you haven't looked at the reasons for conquest. The genocide in the Americas was a race between three kingdoms to devour land for their empires. It was finished off by a secular state. A secular state whose forefathers wrote scathing reviews of religion.

There is no contradiction. In the grand scheme of killing throughout history Muslims are one that you can reference in their scripture justification for killing.

Do tribal animists slaughter each other?

What about pantheist budhists?

Sorry but I think it's something human being do regardless of what they believe.

And yes Atheists have killed people too. Not under the banner of atheism but it really doesn't matter to the dead.

There are plenty of social problems I find when believing in scriptures now a days but I m not argueing evil or death and killing belongs to one form of belief or a lack of belief. Killing and murder happen regardless of some one is a theist or non theist.
edit on 28-1-2016 by luthier because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 12:46 AM
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originally posted by: Prezbo369

Not going to mention the genocide of the native Americans by the Christian invaders? 7-120 million? the Spanish Christian invasion of the Americas 8 million? or the Jewish holocaust by christian Nazis 6 million?

Gods seem to love a good genocide as much as your average despot......weird no?



The Spanish brought diseases not seen in the Americas that wiped out about 80% of them before the big influx of Europeans. Are you suggesting this was planned for religious purposes? I'm not religious but I do understand that Man is one evil SOB, religion or no religion. The differences is that religion does have some basic good fundamentals and as we go off the moral compass path there is something there to draw us back. In the cases I posted about there was no moral compass to come back to and so Man went totally bonkers.

I'm not defending religion, but I do think that religion is not the problem, WE are are problem with or without religion.

As to my original post, I just wanted to point out a cool 200 million deaths that were not religious based to a person who said they do not know of a single situation where religion was not the driver... you my friend added another 100 million to it... I say this at the lost of 10,000 Mayan disks due to religious extremism... such a lost... I think we should wipe out the Spanish for their religious evils but it seems I'm the only one on ATS that actually blame the Spanish for all this and not Americans...lol
edit on 29-1-2016 by Xtrozero because: (no reason given)




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