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16 Common Myths About Atheists

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posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 03:03 AM
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Originally posted by melatonin

Originally posted by roger_pearse

I said that atheists were incapable of discussing their religion and were abusive and kept changing the subject. Your post validated every word.


I think this is the problem roger, for all your intelligence and courtesy you miss the basic point. Atheism is no religion...


You may or may not know that this also is a standard atheist excuse for not discussing their beliefs, and instead just throwing stones at Christians. We may propose that atheism is merely a hate-creed, without positive content, and there is a limited sense in which this is true. But hate isn't the value-idea system by which atheists live; and most atheists would deny that they are merely hate-posting as well.

The truth is that atheists, like everyone else, *do* have a positive position, for which they proselytise in practise, since like everyone else they live by a set of values. They are merely unable to state or defend it.

What they always seem to do, in my experience, is live by the societal values that happen to be in control in the country and period in which they live. This way of life -- their 'religion' if you like -- is one that they are unable to articulate, discuss, defend -- all they can do is throw stones at others. And who cannot throw stones, so long as they can keep their own belief-system off the table? This is why atheists don't fall out with hippies, despite the apparent wild difference; both are conformists to a subset of the societal values of our time; just to different subsets.

I believe that those pushing people to live by *any* system need to be able to put it on the table, and explain, not why they hate others, but why *their* system is rational and logical. Without this, won't any discussion merely become fruitless vituperation, in which one side has no incentive whatever to reach any agreement?

Surely that is a minimum for any discussion? We can only compare ideas, after all, if ideas are put forward. It is troubling that atheists fill their heads instead with excuses to avoid this. Of course part of the reason is that atheists sincerely do NOT know what the religion is for which they proselytise. Going around throwing stones at others does not promote a self-critical spirit, whatever the object of antipathy.

I appreciate your courtesy. Obviously I am in this thread merely responding to the original post, rather than writing a diatribe against atheism.

All the best,

Roger Pearse




posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 03:10 AM
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Originally posted by Xeros
As someone from England, I find it, as many do a little strange that the majority, yes, majority of Americans are Christian. It seems to me as if there is a guide to life within the Bible, whereby you can be an ass against any other culture/religion without worry. Here in old Blighty we are not only tolerant, ("I don't like, but I'll tolerate") but "accepting" in peoples choices.


I also live in the UK. At this very moment three student Christian Unions are being persecuted and denied freedom of association.

Is there really any tolerance in the UK? What I see is a demand for toleration of things that most of us find intolerable, combined with endless legislation against most of us in the interests of favoured groups. If you don't belong to those groups, you are told that you must be "tolerant"!



Democracy is the best way to judge a country, as the majority can show their comforts.....ahem, beliefs.


You know that the three main parties have agreed among themselves that they will all support "Road Pricing", thereby denying us the ability to vote against it. What price democracy, hey?

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 06:42 AM
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Originally posted by roger_pearse
You may or may not know that this also is a standard atheist excuse for not discussing their beliefs, and instead just throwing stones at Christians. We may propose that atheism is merely a hate-creed, without positive content, and there is a limited sense in which this is true. But hate isn't the value-idea system by which atheists live; and most atheists would deny that they are merely hate-posting as well.


Sorry, I can't agree. Atheism is still not a religion. If you want to claim that, then the definition becomes meaningless. It is a position on one thing - the non-existence of deities.

Atheists have no overarching value system, no set of absolute morals derived from their position on this issue. They are a heterogenous group of people. You may think that having no underlying value system for such a position is a bad thing, but people who do not believe in ghosts also have no value system provided by this disbelief.


The truth is that atheists, like everyone else, *do* have a positive position, for which they proselytise in practise, since like everyone else they live by a set of values. They are merely unable to state or defend it.


I really don't see what there is to defend. They see no reliable, objective evidence for a creator god. Therefore, atheists say, 'I hold no belief in deities'.


What they always seem to do, in my experience, is live by the societal values that happen to be in control in the country and period in which they live. This way of life -- their 'religion' if you like -- is one that they are unable to articulate, discuss, defend -- all they can do is throw stones at others. And who cannot throw stones, so long as they can keep their own belief-system off the table? This is why atheists don't fall out with hippies, despite the apparent wild difference; both are conformists to a subset of the societal values of our time; just to different subsets.


But there is no belief system to put on the table, Just an absence of belief in one area.

It seems you are saying that because some may conform to the values of the current society, this means they cannot articulate it. I guess in the case of conformists the articulation would be 'my personal values are mirrored in that of the land'. Also, living by the values need not mean acceptance. I'm sure that you conform to many social values whether you accept them or not, I would hope you don't drink and drive, atheism or theism provides no guidance on such issues (except maybe for LDS and a few others). Whereas forms of theism may provide values that include acceptance of stoning people to death, removal of hands for crimes, eye for an eye, atheism does not. An atheist's values will be formed through a mix of social learning, politics, and personal experience (and biology).

I think some atheists are motivators towards a change in social values, not conformists. You may not like the direction that some humanists and atheists are moving towards, or arguing for, because it conflicts with your values, but I don't see how you can call them all conformist.

I think you will find atheists in the US challenging changes in laws that are restricting human rights. These laws are not being formed by atheists - e.g. removal of habeus corpus etc.

Like what you say above, these people will question how the supposed democratic government is making such laws with no reference to the people. Atheists will be challenging the capitalist economical system that is driving us in search neverending profits/growth and the raping of the earth's resources - some theists may agree. Others may be heads of oil companies and be happy to destroy large tracts of land for short-term gain

There is no set position. You can be a liberterian, socialist, a fascist, a democrat, a conservative, capitalist and be either theist or atheist. Atheists, like theists, are a heterogenous group.


I believe that those pushing people to live by *any* system need to be able to put it on the table, and explain, not why they hate others, but why *their* system is rational and logical. Without this, won't any discussion merely become fruitless vituperation, in which one side has no incentive whatever to reach any agreement?


But again, there is no overarching system. Atheism is a one shot position - disbelief in deities. The reason and logic states, there is no evidence for deities and therefore we do not believe in one (or two or many). Then from this position, they have political and personal values on which they base their life. Like many theists.


Surely that is a minimum for any discussion? We can only compare ideas, after all, if ideas are put forward. It is troubling that atheists fill their heads instead with excuses to avoid this. Of course part of the reason is that atheists sincerely do NOT know what the religion is for which they proselytise. Going around throwing stones at others does not promote a self-critical spirit, whatever the object of antipathy.

I appreciate your courtesy. Obviously I am in this thread merely responding to the original post, rather than writing a diatribe against atheism.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


No problem.

But I don't know Roger. You seem to have something against atheists as a group. I can understand that maybe you have come across atheists that are pretty insulting, I've seen examples of supposed theists exhibiting the same, but to write off the whole group as hate-creed conformists seems a bit remiss.

Maybe you just need to find a better forum than those on which you find yourself.

cheers,

Mel.

[edit on 2-12-2006 by melatonin]



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 11:37 AM
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Originally posted by melatonin

Originally posted by roger_pearse
You may or may not know that this also is a standard atheist excuse for not discussing their beliefs, and instead just throwing stones at Christians. We may propose that atheism is merely a hate-creed, without positive content, and there is a limited sense in which this is true. But hate isn't the value-idea system by which atheists live; and most atheists would deny that they are merely hate-posting as well.


Sorry, I can't agree...


You're welcome to your opinion, of course.



There is no set position. You can be a liberterian, socialist, a fascist, a democrat, a conservative, capitalist and be either theist or atheist. Atheists, like theists, are a heterogenous group.


The mixture, however, is characteristic of the period in which they happen to live. If period values are a menu, each of those is choices made from it. But the menu is the thing in question; and it is quite invisible to most people, it seems. The menu was different 50 years ago; and will be different in 50 years time.



But I don't know Roger. You seem to have something against atheists as a group.


It is hard to question atheism without being accused of this, I find.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 12:19 PM
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Atheism cannot be defined as a religion.

There is no system of belief, no moral prescription, no social structure, no spirituality or belief in supernatural, no rituals, no sacred objects, no accepted leaders, no coherent world-view or explanation of existence, no communication with supernatural beings.

Just a disbelief in deities. This could be part of religion, but alone it is not a religion. Even theism alone need not be a religion. You can just believe in god but not be part of religion.

So it's more than my opinion. You can't just make up your own definitions, well I suppose you can, but it looks a bit daft.



Originally posted by roger_pearse
The mixture, however, is characteristic of the period in which they happen to live. If period values are a menu, each of those is choices made from it. But the menu is the thing in question; and it is quite invisible to most people, it seems. The menu was different 50 years ago; and will be different in 50 years time.


And as long as these changes are moving towards more extensive human rights and social conscience there's no issue I believe. I think it is good that homosexuals no longer have to fear prison and destruction of their lives for a behaviour that does no harm to others. I think it is good that women have the vote and the ability to lead a life away from the home rather than being a baby-machine, reduction of racism and prejudice (still work to do here). Other things in society I may not agree with - e.g. the relentess capitalist drive for money above all else, the dumbing down of education and culture and worship of celebrity, the destruction of the environment.

Societies have always changed, values have changed, circumstances change - it is the nature of the beast.




But I don't know Roger. You seem to have something against atheists as a group.


It is hard to question atheism without being accused of this, I find.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


But you are lumping a very wide-ranging group of people into a homogenous group of insulting hate-creed conformists, seems like negative stereotyping to me.

Like with theists, if you get a random group of atheists together, I'm sure they would disagree on particular values, but will agree on one thing - that which defines them.

Best wishes,

mel.

[edit on 2-12-2006 by melatonin]



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by roger_pearse
"

Atheists are quite able to ignore reality. Only an atheist would presume that 90% of the world's population were "brainwashed".[/quote


lmao, i think we are more in touch with reality than you ever will. you belive in something that does nothing to proof it supose greatness, some thing that controls your live with fear.

i personally think that there is alot of christians who inside are good people and have there belives but quite often find themsels questioning gods actions, and frankly using prayer and saying that it was gods will when something bad happens is just a way of not being brave enough to deal with the problem yourself.

making most christians cowards towards dealing with reality.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 06:41 PM
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Originally posted by jbondo
It would seem the following list somewhat contradicts the above statement. Maybe I am just misunderstanding.

American Atheists
Council for Secular Humanism
Atheist Alliance
American Humanist Association
Freedom From Religion Foundation
Religios Freedom Network
Etc...
Etc...
Etc...


Sorry jbondo, missed this reply


You are just misunderstanding. An atheist need not be a humanist, so these groups are irrelevant. An atheist will not be provided with all the trappings of religion from the atheist groups.

They are a disparate group of individuals who tend to not be led easily. Thus why many atheists will also claim to be freethinkers. It would be better if atheists were more organised, this may be able to fight the rampant prejudice and stereotyping they face in american society. Not so bad here in europe though.

So having a port of call for those in need of guidance is not a bad thing. Still doesn't make atheism a religion.

[edit on 2-12-2006 by melatonin]



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 07:16 PM
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melatonin, about atheists getting organized
it may not be happening in the way of religions, but they are now starting to get organized politically
mainly church and state seperation stuff



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 07:25 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
melatonin, about atheists getting organized
it may not be happening in the way of religions, but they are now starting to get organized politically
mainly church and state seperation stuff


Oh, definitely. You atheists in the states need to fight your corner. It was good to see Dawkins pushing this when he was over there. Although, he seems to also have caused some minor fracturing between what he has called the 'chamberlain school' (e.g. Ed Brayton, Nick Matzke) and the more Dawkins/Harris-like 'no-holds barred' approach (P.Z.Myers, Moran) - Splitters!!! All focused around the evolution debate of course

When I see studies like the recent one that showed atheists as being the most distrusted group in the US, it makes me worry about your position over there, heard so many horror stories about prejudice and maltreatment. It saddens me.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 07:41 PM
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mel, yeah, there are horror stories
i have something that isn't quite as bad
as a student i'm constantly put in positions where being an atheist is a detriment
i lose participation points when i call out a teacher on her belief that religion is the root of morality
then i get reprimanded for insubordination for taking it to the administration
then it gets worse when i appeal


also, i see nobody that's an atheist in political power



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 07:09 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
CW, you've yet to reply to my post about how you don't believe atheists exist

you said you and all others were born with a god-shaped void, and thus we have always believed in god

i asked you what you were talking about and why you make the assumption that there is a void in my life

why have you not answered it?


I missed this one, sorry!

1. The creator of man insist on a relationship with his creation man. He built in that need. It is in the bible and I could find it but you won't believe me anyway.

2. You are trying to fill that void in your life with yourself. This is why you get so defensive and nasty when posters disagree with you. You have conflict in your soul. It shows in your post. Sorry, but you asked.

3. Now that I have proven myself once again beyond a shadow of a doubt won't you please pick up the cross and do your Christian duty? You know what needs to be done.......



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 08:01 AM
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Originally posted by roger_pearse

Originally posted by shihulud

Maybe we just get pissed off with christians trying to shove their religious crap down our necks...


The trouble is that the dirtiest atheists use just that excuse to justify their behaviour, which sort of devalues it, you know. And since you scream abuse at me in this post later on, gratuitously, you devalue it too.

Scream abuse LOL, if thats what you call abuse I'd hate to really give you abuse. But then again why should we atheists give religious people respect when they dont deserve it. Also it doesn't matter whether you are atheist or theist as every one of us is capable of hurling abuse so making it appear that it is atheists that are more abusive is nothing more than propoganda. What is it about religion that it thinks that nothing must disagree with it or that it has all the answers?







What??????? And christians arent ... Most of your religion is based on desperately credulous and highly suspect evidence. Typical hypocrite.


I said that atheists were routinely abusive -- which you denied -- yet here you are hurling irrelevant abuse at me. It doesn't matter if I am Satan's kid brother -- it's irrelevant to a discussion of atheism.
Fair enough, but most abusive atheists are only so because of religious types, mainly christian, who inflict their religious hypocracy as if they have authority to do so. SO why is calling you a hypocrite, abusive when it is a true statement?


I said that atheists behave like robots, and always change the subject when their beliefs are questioned -- and your response in each case is to change the subject to whether *Christians* are good people, just as every atheist does.
Again I could charge religous posters with the same, except they are more like sheep. And many religious posters either refuse to answer the questions posed or attack and refute a minor point to change the subject. Question away friend, If I can answer any serious question I will without changing the subject.






Some are brainwashed but most dont really care ...So yes 'Brainwashed' would be quite an accurate word.


Note that you contradicted yourself in your eagerness.
Why is that a contradiction? When I say that 'most dont really care about religion' they really dont care to the point of being religious just for the sake of it, but they have still been 'brainwashed' by parents/schools etc into believing that a deity exists.



I said that atheists were incapable of discussing their religion and were abusive and kept changing the subject. Your post validated every word.

The truth hurts, it seems. Aren't you ashamed of a religious position which you can only 'defend' by changing the subject and hurling insults?

All the best,

Roger Pearse
Ask away, whatever you like. I normally like a good debate just not all this $hit flinging that goes on


G



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 04:23 PM
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Originally posted by ConstantlyWondering
I missed this one, sorry!

1. The creator of man insist on a relationship with his creation man. He built in that need. It is in the bible and I could find it but you won't believe me anyway.

2. You are trying to fill that void in your life with yourself. This is why you get so defensive and nasty when posters disagree with you. You have conflict in your soul. It shows in your post. Sorry, but you asked.

3. Now that I have proven myself once again beyond a shadow of a doubt won't you please pick up the cross and do your Christian duty? You know what needs to be done.......


1: Give me the reference

2: i've never been told by anyone but you that i am defensive and nasty

3: that isn't proof, you've merely shown a philosophical concept, the bible cannot be used to prove the presence of a void unless i accept the bible as 100% irrefutable, which i don't as it hasn't been proven



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by ConstantlyWondering
3. Now that I have proven myself once again beyond a shadow of a doubt won't you please pick up the cross and do your Christian duty? You know what needs to be done.......


i think constantlywondering hasn't worked out that he's losing yet.

I don't mind atheism, I just don't like it when they try to enforce it upon anyone else.



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by apex
I don't mind atheism, I just don't like it when they try to enforce it upon anyone else.


when have atheists tried to enforce atheism upon others?
if anything, they're the ones that have to put up with general theism being enforced upon them

[edit on 12/4/06 by madnessinmysoul]



posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 08:09 PM
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i'm going to add another myth to this list
myth 17: atheists attempt to force atheism on others

in the united states, people view atheists trying to keep religions out of the governmental realm through removal of religious monuments on public land as trying to force atheism onto the public
in fact, they are merely upholding the secularism inherent in the 1st ammendment of the united states constitution



posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 02:21 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

Originally posted by apex
I don't mind atheism, I just don't like it when they try to enforce it upon anyone else.


when have atheists tried to enforce atheism upon others?
if anything, they're the ones that have to put up with general theism being enforced upon them


I'm not saying all atheists do it, thats like saying all muslims are terrorists, which they aren't. But people like Richard Dawkins are what annoys me.

Also when they say "how can you believe that utter rubbish" or similar.



posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 04:42 AM
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Originally posted by apex

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

Originally posted by apex
I don't mind atheism, I just don't like it when they try to enforce it upon anyone else.


when have atheists tried to enforce atheism upon others?
if anything, they're the ones that have to put up with general theism being enforced upon them


I'm not saying all atheists do it, thats like saying all muslims are terrorists, which they aren't. But people like Richard Dawkins are what annoys me.

Also when they say "how can you believe that utter rubbish" or similar.


They are just as entitled to their own opinions as you are, like when YOU TELL people that their beliefs are wrong and that jesus is the only way. Dont get mad when it happens the other way round.


G



posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 08:25 AM
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The idea that atheists will be tolerated as long as they shut their mouths is quite common. Suppose, like women, atheists should be silent.

When we start to see dozens of atheist TV channels for the sole purpose of questioning belief, then you may have an issue.

[edit on 6-12-2006 by melatonin]



posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 08:38 AM
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Originally posted by melatonin
The idea that atheists will be tolerated as long as they shut their mouths is quite common. Suppose, like women, atheists should be silent.

When we start to see dozens of atheist TV channels for the sole purpose of questioning belief, then you may have an issue.

[edit on 6-12-2006 by melatonin]

Chance would be a fine thing. Just imagine what atheists could do if they grouped together like a religion or church and fought for what we believe in.

There wouldnt be much tolerating going on if that happened as all the positions of power have been taken by religious believers so we really would have a fight on our hands.

I would be interesting to see what happens though.


G



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