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Dangers of atheism -Sam Harris

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posted on Jan, 25 2016 @ 07:19 PM
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edit on 25/1/2016 by chr0naut because: double post




posted on Jan, 25 2016 @ 07:23 PM
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a reply to: luthier

i believe it was renee descartes who said we can only prove we ourselves exist, but only to ourselves.
edit on 25-1-2016 by TzarChasm because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2016 @ 07:24 PM
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originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: Devino

originally posted by: chr0naut
I just found that several of the assumptions he made were actually insulting to his 'opponents', despite the measured tone.
I think it could only be considered an insult for those that have little faith. How much of an insult would it be if someone told you that you were wrong when in your heart you knew you were right?


The insult is in the intention, not the reception.

If I were to state that an ATS member is 'devoid of grey matter and derives perverse pleasure in consuming human feces', it would not likely be true. It would, however, still be an insult.



posted on Jan, 25 2016 @ 08:54 PM
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originally posted by: TzarChasm
a reply to: luthier

i believe it was renee descartes who said we can only prove we ourselves exist, but only to ourselves.


Yes Decartes was the rationalist skeptic as Hume was the epericist skeptic. He said something similar.

Kant however to me was the master (though he came later not exactly fair)

"We do not have access to the world as it exists in-itself (what Kant refers to as Noumenon), since all human experience is mediated by the active application of concepts (categorizing) of mind.

We can and do have precise knowledge of the world as organized and interpreted by human cognition (what Kant refers to as Phenomena).

According to Kant, the noumenal world may exist, but it is completely unknowable to humans."


To me Kant is still one of the highest thinkers to ever grace philosophy. It took me hours and hours of thought to get through his work.

So off topic though sorry to the op. Harris is also a brilliant mind and much less overly angry than the other New Atheists. He is a brilliant thinker as well. Don't think he comes close to Kant but Kant had a lot more time on his hands to think.

If you like Cosmology Dr. Barnes is also a brilliant mind.

It's too bad this stuff isn't talked about more. I enjoy theist atheist debates a lot more when they already have the fundamentals of past arguements in their pocket and have solid logical debates. People often hate Christian apologetics but to me they are the rational scholars debating rather than superstitious. There are some solid arguements for the existence of God that are very hard to dismiss that use reason. Like Fine Tuning. (Teleological) it does have a good rebuttle but not good enough to dismiss the arguement by any means.



posted on Jan, 25 2016 @ 09:10 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: luthier




Without an observer nothing exists or can be proven to exist. Both matter and thoughts need an observer to exist.


Without "matter" (not a fan of the term), an observer wouldn't exist. Matter is primary to observer, not the other way around.


Your statement is false based on the fact we have no idea if matter is necessary for an observer. We do know without an observer matter is unknown.



posted on Jan, 25 2016 @ 11:56 PM
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To say you guys went off topic is an understatement. But i guess that is almost unaboidable on ats.



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 12:25 AM
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originally posted by: MarioOnTheFly
To say you guys went off topic is an understatement. But i guess that is almost unaboidable on ats.


Some non-atheists on ATS keep trying to define atheists and tell atheists what they think. It just makes the non-atheist look ignorant. Not just in this thread.

I listened to part of the video before I got interrupted (real life).

I'm not sure I completely agree about labeling. I think it's perfectly fine for me to label myself. It helps define me.

Judging other people, from your perception, of their chosen label is when it starts going all wrong.



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 12:56 AM
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What Is Atheism?

No one asks this question enough.

The reason no one asks this question a lot is because most people have preconceived ideas and notions about what an Atheist is and is not. Where these preconceived ideas come from varies, but they tend to evolve from theistic influences or other sources.

Atheism is usually defined incorrectly as a belief system. Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods. Older dictionaries define atheism as "a belief that there is no God." Some dictionaries even go so far as to define Atheism as "wickedness," "sinfulness," and other derogatory adjectives. Clearly, theistic influence taints dictionaries. People cannot trust these dictionaries to define atheism. The fact that dictionaries define Atheism as "there is no God" betrays the (mono)theistic influence. Without the (mono)theistic influence, the definition would at least read "there are no gods."

Why should atheists allow theists to define who atheists are? Do other minorities allow the majority to define their a, views, and opinions? No, they do not. So why does everyone expect atheists to lie down and accept the definition placed upon them by the world’s theists? Atheists will define themselves.

Atheism is not a belief system nor is it a religion. While there are some religions that are atheistic (certain sects of Buddhism, for example), that does not mean that atheism is a religion. Two commonly used retorts to the nonsense that atheism is a religion are: 1) If atheism is a religion then bald is a hair color, and 2) If atheism is a religion then health is a disease. A new one introduced in 2012 by Bill Maher is, "If atheism is a religion, then abstinence is a sexual position."

The only common thread that ties all atheists together is a lack of belief in gods and supernatural beings. Some of the best debates we have ever had have been with fellow atheists. This is because atheists do not have a common belief system, sacred scripture or atheist Pope. This means atheists often disagree on many issues and ideas. Atheists come in a variety of shapes, colors, beliefs, convictions, and backgrounds. We are as unique as our fingerprints.

atheists.org...



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 01:07 AM
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a reply to: luthier

I'm a fan of Kant as well.

I'm sure you're familiar with What Is Enlightenment?



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 01:29 AM
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a reply to: Annee

But it's much easier to attack a label. Especially when you get to pre-define that label as well. Otherwise you have to engage each person as an individual with their own independent ideas. That is why labels are attacked rather than individuals. Takes far too much time otherwise.

But you already know that of course.

Good post BTW, you think anyone will pay attention to it this time??



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 01:31 AM
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originally posted by: luthier
Your statement is false based on the fact we have no idea if matter is necessary for an observer. We do know without an observer matter is unknown.


We know we can't separate the two however. Observer and the Observed. As of yet we cannot separate the two. It's either both or neither.



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 02:17 AM
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originally posted by: mOjOm
Good post BTW, you think anyone will pay attention to it this time??


Maybe.

Probably only until the next atheist thread, where "they'" will try again.

Then I'll have to post it --- again.
edit on 26-1-2016 by Annee because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 02:23 AM
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posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 03:36 AM
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a reply to: Annee




I'm not sure I completely agree about labeling. I think it's perfectly fine for me to label myself. It helps define me.


He talks about the reasoning behind it...and I get his view. While it's ok to label yourself atheist, for yourself...it appears that while engaged in a debate with a theist...you are likely to be equaled to Hitler or Stalin at one point...and that is where the debate falls on deaf ears.



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 07:33 AM
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originally posted by: Annee


What Is Atheism?

No one asks this question enough.

The reason no one asks this question a lot is because most people have preconceived ideas and notions about what an Atheist is and is not. Where these preconceived ideas come from varies, but they tend to evolve from theistic influences or other sources.

Atheism is usually defined incorrectly as a belief system. Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods. Older dictionaries define atheism as "a belief that there is no God." Some dictionaries even go so far as to define Atheism as "wickedness," "sinfulness," and other derogatory adjectives. Clearly, theistic influence taints dictionaries. People cannot trust these dictionaries to define atheism. The fact that dictionaries define Atheism as "there is no God" betrays the (mono)theistic influence. Without the (mono)theistic influence, the definition would at least read "there are no gods."

Why should atheists allow theists to define who atheists are? Do other minorities allow the majority to define their a, views, and opinions? No, they do not. So why does everyone expect atheists to lie down and accept the definition placed upon them by the world’s theists? Atheists will define themselves.

Atheism is not a belief system nor is it a religion. While there are some religions that are atheistic (certain sects of Buddhism, for example), that does not mean that atheism is a religion. Two commonly used retorts to the nonsense that atheism is a religion are: 1) If atheism is a religion then bald is a hair color, and 2) If atheism is a religion then health is a disease. A new one introduced in 2012 by Bill Maher is, "If atheism is a religion, then abstinence is a sexual position."

The only common thread that ties all atheists together is a lack of belief in gods and supernatural beings. Some of the best debates we have ever had have been with fellow atheists. This is because atheists do not have a common belief system, sacred scripture or atheist Pope. This means atheists often disagree on many issues and ideas. Atheists come in a variety of shapes, colors, beliefs, convictions, and backgrounds. We are as unique as our fingerprints.

atheists.org...




I am not sure you are understanding the history of debates between theists and Atheists. Many Atheists have labelled themselves. Many famous Atheists have defined what atheism is in historic debates. It's hardly just theists labelling. For instance the New Atheists have certainly defined themselves by saying Gods do not exist. I mean this by Dawkins,Hitchins, Harris etc.

It is true and in my posts I have said there are many sub branches of atheism and not all Atheists labell themselves as saying the believe no gods exist. But rather a lack of belief. Which to me is agnostic in my own labelling /classical philosophy labelling.

Like I said is Spinoza a theist or atheist? What about a Deist is a Deist a theist?

It's not so simple to label people. However if you are willing to debate the subject this is when the truth about beliefs can be clearly defined.

Atheists are not only labelled by theists. There is a long history of debate about the exist of God that also define the two sides.

Bill Mahr is not a philosopher. He is a pop culture figure. I don't think he has a great grasp of the subject.
edit on 26-1-2016 by luthier because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 07:42 AM
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originally posted by: MarioOnTheFly
a reply to: Annee




I'm not sure I completely agree about labeling. I think it's perfectly fine for me to label myself. It helps define me.


He talks about the reasoning behind it...and I get his view. While it's ok to label yourself atheist, for yourself...it appears that while engaged in a debate with a theist...you are likely to be equaled to Hitler or Stalin at one point...and that is where the debate falls on deaf ears.


That's completely ignorant to the actual debates between scholars.

Part of the problem is often the most popular debates are when an atheist who has experience with debate and philosophy debate an ignorant (usually) Christian creationist. There are thousands of debates between theologian scholars who are not creationists and Atheists that are really interesting from a philosophical perspective. This is why I end up constantly defending theists on this site even though I am not one.

People often mislabel theist as creationists.

The fact is when you label yourself as anything you carry the weight of that titles history. So maybe it's best to no label yourself at all but rather explain your position of belief.



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 07:49 AM
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originally posted by: mOjOm

originally posted by: luthier
Your statement is false based on the fact we have no idea if matter is necessary for an observer. We do know without an observer matter is unknown.


We know we can't separate the two however. Observer and the Observed. As of yet we cannot separate the two. It's either both or neither.


We don't know we can't separate the two. Thats what the whole does God exist debate is in Cosmology. The thing that came before everything else and always was.
To my knowledge even though there are good rebuttles and alternative answers to the question like those in Aquinas's Ways there has been no complete voiding that it's a possibility there is entity called God. Then you have to ask does God have mass?

There is no way to know. That is why I said we do know without an observer mass is unknown meaning it doesn't exist in consciousness. A priori.

Vs
We do not know if mass exists without an observer which would be A posteriori
edit on 26-1-2016 by luthier because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 08:14 AM
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a reply to: luthier

matter doesnt have to be observed in order to exist.



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 08:20 AM
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originally posted by: TzarChasm
a reply to: luthier

matter doesnt have to be observed in order to exist.


Think about that. Think about the scientific method. How can you say with certainty something with no evidence exists.

If that's true everything exists including Gods.



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 08:36 AM
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originally posted by: luthier

originally posted by: TzarChasm
a reply to: luthier

matter doesnt have to be observed in order to exist.


Think about that. Think about the scientific method. How can you say with certainty something with no evidence exists.

If that's true everything exists including Gods.


common sense. if it exists, my lack of observing it doesnt make it not exist. or else i could make you not exist by closing this browser.




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