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Why are Atheists Atheists?

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posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 08:50 AM
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Originally posted by GreatTech

You mention that atheists "react" better to certain events. Where is your proof? Who is the action behind the reaction?



But its OK for you to claim that theists are better than atheists at certain things, come on mate you cant have it both ways. See below.



Originally posted by GreatTechI believe that theists are more adept at seeing order (wisdom) where atheists fail to.



Where is your proof that theists are "more adept at seeing order (wisdom)", then i'll answer your question, fair enough.




posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 11:14 PM
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A debate about what makes atheists "different"….. hmmmm interesting! Already a bias as I see it.

My problem with religion, any religion, is that it is something that is a perfect example on the one hand of human arrogance and on the other a universal explanation for anything that is unknown or undiscovered.

As we continue to discover the extent and composition of the universe, including the fact that many other stars have planetary systems, it is becoming increasingly likely that intelligent life exists in other parts of the universe. If that proves to be true and humanity turns out to be just one of a multitude of minority species within the universe, then isn't it simply incredible arrogance for us to claim to be the 'chosen species' of a god who created us in His image, or who gives us some special advantage over the other species of the universe. Have 'believers' simply created God to explain why humanity is the species on earth which dominates all other earthly species? On any plant within the universe which has evolved intelligent life, there must be a dominant species - what are the odds of that species being anything like humans in composition or appearance - very little, I suspect, as that species would have to have evolved to exploit the environment of that planet rather than earth.

Logically, if that alien species was at a similar stage of evolution to ourselves (ie:- having not explored the universe to the extent that they have discovered other intelligent life) then the odds are that a significant part of that species would have developed a 'religion' to explain their dominance of their planet.

Historically, human history has shown that the belief in omnipotent beings has been used to explain anything and everything that 'science' has been unable to explain. In doing so, it has had a number of effects.

Firstly, it has provided 'believers' with 'catch-all' confidence that everything can be explained. Against this 'science' can only honestly say that we don't know, or we don't know yet. Human nature tends always to take the path of a definitive answer and this has lead to 'scientific arrogance' where on innumerable occasions it has been said that 'we know it all' and that there is little left to discover. How arrogant! So, to me, 'religious arrogance' has bred 'scientific arrogance' which has degraded the value of both. Can we not accept, collectively or individually, that humanity does not yet have an answer to everything around us?

The other major effect of 'religion' has been far more important for us as a species and one which has not been addressed as far as I can see.

If I take a look at recent human history (lets say over the last few hundred years), I can see that political leaders have used 'belief' as a way to raise support or following for their endeavours.

If I look back to WWI, I see the populace rallying behind their governments to go off and fight for 'God and country', but as education has became more widespread and 'religion' has waned (to some extent) we can look at succeeding wars and find (at least) a greater questioning of the reasons and aims of the war and greater dissent. So we see that the execution of WWII, Korea, Vietnam…..etc, have become more a political question than a religious one. Let's face it - nearly all wars in human history have had political causes - they were just shrouded in a religious cloak.

Unfortunately we seem to be turning back the clock. Current wars, while being just as politically motivated as any other, are being shrouded in that same religious cloak, by both sides. They are about influence and power - Nothing Else!!!! Stand back - take a good look and see that the religions of humanity are being manipulated to raise unquestioning support for political goals.

It has been said many times by many people - if you want to solve a problem it's often better to 'think outside the box'. In religious terms that's called heresy!

If you believe in a 'god', that's fine with me, I don't, but I do have an issue with you if you use your belief in that 'god' to justify killing other humans!

Think Outside the Box - think for yourself!

The Winged Wombat



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 12:01 AM
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The Winged Wombat, interesting reply. Do to time constraints, I will make only three brief comments:

1) Science cannot exist without God, God can exist without science.

2) One can believe in God completely and not have a religion (one can designate that person a spiritualist).

3) Scientists tend to invent weapons to kill people, not spiritualists or people of religion.



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 12:29 AM
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Originally posted by mojo4sale

Originally posted by GreatTech

You mention that atheists "react" better to certain events. Where is your proof? Who is the action behind the reaction?



But its OK for you to claim that theists are better than atheists at certain things, come on mate you cant have it both ways. See below.



Originally posted by GreatTechI believe that theists are more adept at seeing order (wisdom) where atheists fail to.



Where is your proof that theists are "more adept at seeing order (wisdom)", then i'll answer your question, fair enough.


mojo4sale, I will begin this line of reasoning by stating that theists see Eternity more frequently than atheists. That is, they are more adept at seeing the future. What is more powerful: a life for 75 years or a life for Eternity?

The future that atheists see is so bleak and uninspiring that I do not see how any true leader can be an atheist.



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 02:16 AM
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GreatTech,

I must take you to task over your reply.

Your first point is pure rhetoric, without meaning or evidence - quite the contrary in fact. If God did not exist then human inquisitiveness would have been less hampered by the persecution suffered by the likes of Copernicus and Galileo (and continues with 'church' interference in any line of research that disagrees with it's own dogma). If God were proved not to exist (an impossible task of course, since He is a matter of belief) humanity's desire to abolish disease and to explore the universe would still exist - it is the part of our evolution that has enabled us not to become extinct like so many other species. Ergo, science would still exist.

Second point. I was referring to religion collectively as a 'belief in the existence of a creator figure' rather than as a particular sect of belief. If you wish, I was separating the 'belief' aspect from the rites and rituals of any particular religion. From an atheistic point of view, then, there is no difference between Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hindu or any other 'religion' with regard to the basic belief in a supreme being. Of course, what each of these 'sects' preach regarding human behaviour does differ considerably, and in my humble opinion, has absolutely nothing to do with a belief in a supreme being. If you understand my reasoning then you will see that the dogma of the various human religions is more a matter of politics than of 'faith'.

Finally, to be quite cynical, I could say that the inventors of weapons could more accurately be described as industrialists than scientists, as they do it for profit (or indeed 'God and Country'). A scientist sets out to answer the question 'Why is it so?', an inventor or industrialist asks 'How can I make money from something?' The pious state unquestioningly 'It is so because (insert relevant Holy document) says so'. The scientific motivation that lead to the splitting of the atom was not for the purpose of creating a bomb. That you must lay at the feet of politicians. If I follow your logic then the USA should not have been able to invent better weapons than the USSR - clearly not the case - or are you saying that the people of the former Soviet Union were more pious than those of America? Clearly a totally unsustainable argument.
As an aside, it is noticeable in recent years that there are researchers for a cure to every imaginable disease, but unless the drug companies can make massive profits from them, they will never see the light of day.

That there are scientists who believe in God, is merely the fact that they have never seriously asked themselves the question.

Here is a question for you. Why is it that the history of every human religion is bathed in the blood of those who do not share that particular faith? (and in some cases, even those who do)

Perhaps the original question should have been 'Why do those who believe in God have so much blood on their hands?'

Could it be that when you first posed the question, that you were selfrightously thinking of your own personal God whose followers have no blood on their hands. I'm sorry to have to disallusion you, but there is no such god.

With regard to war, remember one basic fact. People do not make war - only politicians make war!

The Winged Wombat


[edit on 14/3/07 by The Winged Wombat]



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by GreatTech
mojo4sale, I will begin this line of reasoning by stating that theists see Eternity more frequently than atheists. That is, they are more adept at seeing the future. What is more powerful: a life for 75 years or a life for Eternity?


what's more powerful: believing you're just an average suburban joe, or thinking you're the reincarnation of napoleon?

just because something is "more powerful" doesn't mean it's more mature, more realistic, more true.



The future that atheists see is so bleak and uninspiring


not true. the future i see has less war
less death from disease and violence
less crime
more education
etc.
i realize that the future goes on without me, once my body and mind fail. death without an afterlife doesn't seem bleak to me.



that I do not see how any true leader can be an atheist.


abe lincoln would take issue to that statement



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 04:28 PM
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originally posted by GreatTech 3) Scientists tend to invent weapons to kill people, not spiritualists or people of religion.


Just a quick point here, Wars are not a human invention, animals as well as Humans have been fighting over territory and resources for millenia, it was Humans though who found another reason to start wars, Religion.
And who was it who invented such excrutiatingly painful ways to torture and murder heretics, not scientists.




Originally posted by GreatTech

The future that atheists see is so bleak and uninspiring that I do not see how any true leader can be an atheist.


Surely you dont believe that, or why would any of us bother to carry on, more generalisations.

The future that i envision for my children is neither bleak nor uninspiring, it is the focus of what i do each day, to ensure their futures are all that they can be.



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 06:39 PM
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Originally posted by The Winged Wombat

Here is a question for you. Why is it that the history of every human religion is bathed in the blood of those who do not share that particular faith? (and in some cases, even those who do)

[edit on 14/3/07 by The Winged Wombat]


The Winged Wombat, the history of any human created subject, including science, politics, and religion, is partly bathed in blood. Why? God created us to firstly love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to secondly love our neighbor. When we put humans before God we sin because we fail to follow the order of the two most important Commandments. Science, politics, and religion fail to be perfect because they were human created and thus cannot exceed or equate with the perfection of God.

"Murdering" God through disbelief is the greatest imaginable sin.



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 09:24 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

Originally posted by GreatTech
that I do not see how any true leader can be an atheist.


abe lincoln would take issue to that statement


Abraham Lincoln assisted in abolishing slavery. Slavery is an abomination. But if Abraham Lincoln believed in God, how many lives would have been saved in the Civil War, 3/4 or 1/2?



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 10:16 PM
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Originally posted by GreatTech
Abraham Lincoln assisted in abolishing slavery. Slavery is an abomination. But if Abraham Lincoln believed in God, how many lives would have been saved in the Civil War, 3/4 or 1/2?


are you actually saying that less people would have died in the civil war if abe lincoln had believed in god?

what does someone's religious disposition have to do with casualties?



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 10:49 PM
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GreatTech,

Firstly let's separate science from other human endeavours. Science is merely curiosity, the urge to find the answer to the question 'Why is it so?' It is only humans on this planet that exploit that curiosity to change our own existence (for better or worse). It is this factor, and this alone, that has made our species the dominant one on the planet. You may say that this factor was given us by a God, while I would say 'Why is it so?' and seek an answer for it. If you are content with not seeking rational answers, then that's fine with me.

Let me paraphrase what you've said in an atheist way. You have said that humans fall short of a human perception of human utopia. I would say that humans have created 'God' in an effort to define utopia and perfection for our species. Unfortunately aggression is one of the qualities of our species which has enabled us to dominate the planet, so while it might be advantageous to eliminate that in one way, it may not be wise to eliminate it. Historically, any species that has failed to continue it's evolution has been overtaken by other species and either been relegated to obscurity or become extinct.

You say that human endeavours will fall short of perfection and always will. Ok, I could agree with that. That's a healthy attitude - it means that while we might be doing pretty well, we will always aspire to do better - continued evolution.

Where my problem lies is this. The creation of organisations to represent that perfection. That is the existence of organised religion. This puts power and influence into the hands of humans. As you state, humans are far from perfection, so why would any human put that much power and influence into the hands of another human? What gives religious leaders any more wisdom than any other human? Is it a case of abrogating individual responsibility for collective actions. There is a similarity here to politics.

Let's take two examples. The early Popes were little more than warlords, but it is the Popes who take the blame rather than the people or 'God' - Human failing. Much more recently, the Vietnam debacle was laid at the feet of the US Presidents of the time, not 'God' or the people of the USA. See where I'm going here?

Humans are increasingly wary of governments and those who aspire to lead them, yet the 'faithful' have no such suspicion of those who run religious organisations - is that not naïve? Do you imagine that they are in direct contact with 'God' ?

In my terms, these people are merely running organisations who claim to represent utopia. Hmmm, I'll buy some of that.

I also find the strict adherence to dogma laid down centuries ago (albeit re-written a number of times in the case of the Bible - less so other texts) somewhat disturbing, especially when the rites and rituals of various religions are so strictly adhered to - like is 'God' going to condemn humanity if we don't swing that incense? Will Allah destroy us all if the Islamic faithful prostrate themselves facing other than towards Mecca? Will we be destroyed if a Hindu goes to McDonalds?

While governments are no better, the one thing that 'unites' all religions is the fact that they are totally intolerant of all other religions and non-believers - the total belief that they, and only they, could be right, and that as a consequence they must change everyone else's view, by force if necessary.

Aspire to whatever version of perfection or utopia you want, but don't shove it down everyone else's throat. You don’t have that right any more that some in the Middle East who wish to interpret the Koran in the way they currently do. At least they have a motivation for doing so (political gain), whereas it would appear that your motivation is mere blind illogical faith - 'I believe, therefore so should you'. Such intolerant arrogance.

I do not go through life wondering why people believe in the things that they do, or to change their thinking to agree with my own, I have far more important things to do with my finite life.

The Winged Wombat



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

Originally posted by GreatTech
Abraham Lincoln assisted in abolishing slavery. Slavery is an abomination. But if Abraham Lincoln believed in God, how many lives would have been saved in the Civil War, 3/4 or 1/2?


are you actually saying that less people would have died in the civil war if abe lincoln had believed in god?

what does someone's religious disposition have to do with casualties?


I believe that Lincoln would have been more godlike in his actions if he had a Spiritual foundation. I believe that slavery (something that should have never existed) could have been abolished without a Civil War or casualties. I praise Lincoln for opposing slavery but I criticize the way he tried to eliminate it: war is even more abhorrent than slavery.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." Matthew 5:9



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 05:16 PM
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Originally posted by GreatTech
I believe that Lincoln would have been more godlike in his actions if he had a Spiritual foundation. I believe that slavery (something that should have never existed) could have been abolished without a Civil War or casualties.


... so you're saying that slavery could have been a abolished without the civil war?

you really think the south wouldn't have suceeded?




I praise Lincoln for opposing slavery but I criticize the way he tried to eliminate it: war is even more abhorrent than slavery.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." Matthew 5:9


LINCOLN DIDN'T START THE WAR TO ABOLISH SLAVERY
the war was fought because the south suceeded from the union and attacked a military base. he didn't even start it...

your view on this is clearly a product of being misinformed. as you somehow believe that theists will always make better decisions than non-theists, yet you provide skewed historical data to back it up.



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

LINCOLN DIDN'T START THE WAR TO ABOLISH SLAVERY
the war was fought because the south suceeded from the union and attacked a military base. he didn't even start it...

your view on this is clearly a product of being misinformed. as you somehow believe that theists will always make better decisions than non-theists, yet you provide skewed historical data to back it up.


Why did the south secede? Wasn't slavery a major if not the most major issue?



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 07:37 PM
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I'm pretty ignorant, but wasn't the bible, torah and God's word OK with slavery?



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 07:40 PM
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Originally posted by BASSPLYR
I'm pretty ignorant, but wasn't the bible, torah and God's word OK with slavery?


That's a problem that I think people don't break out of. They forget the Bible is God's word through man. Incorporating reasoning, rules and moralities of man in accordance with the context of time.



edit: And don't forget I would pressume the higher being has to communicate within the context of man's current mindset in the time frame.

[edit on 15-3-2007 by Selmer2]



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by GreatTech
Why did the south secede? Wasn't slavery a major if not the most major issue?


well, it was AN issue
the main issue was actually federalism, whether states or the federal government had the biggest say.

slavery was more of an economic issue.
and it was also a religious issue. many people pointed to the bible as proof that slavery was moral.

i'll just list some passages, won't quote them all

Exodus 21:2
Exodus 21:7
Exodus 21:20-21
Exodus 22:3
Leviticus 22:11
Leviticus 25:39
Leviticus 25:44-46
Ephesians 6:5
Colossians 3:22
1 Timothy 6:1
Titus 2:9-10
1 Peter 2:18


on the other hand, leading abolishionist and former slave frederick douglass was a staunch atheist. sure, there were plenty of theists that were saying slavery was reprehensible but it wasn't an issue of religion, it was general secular and philosophical morality that drove them



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 08:10 PM
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stupid double posts!

[edit on 15-3-2007 by BASSPLYR]



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 08:11 PM
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I agree that a diety would have to communicate in a way that the population could comprehend and understand. But to advocate slavery is something that humans probably made up on their own. for their own benifit. They then go and say it's gods word. But I ask you why would they purger gods word. These were the people writing the bible. Holy of holiest men. THey showed no fear or reservation of doing that, and lieing. That tells me that they thought they knew that there was nothing to be afraid of, almost as if they were in on the secret that dieties were an invention of the power hungry to make their own ideas and wants come to fruition.

I say that God like any grade school teacher can speak to us in our own language, at our level of comprehension and teach us something that was previously beyond our awareness or understanding. If a school teacher can do than I argue gods could too. Why didn't they though. Jesus tried, but I think most people lost the meaning of his messages, which were incredably simple, by twisting his words or obsfucating them over the centuries for their own benifit. Just look at the King james versrion of the bible.



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 08:22 PM
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Originally posted by BASSPLYR
I'm pretty ignorant, but wasn't the bible, torah and God's word OK with slavery?


BASSPLYR, we are all ignorant in certain areas, and I am certainly no exception. If you are serious about the Bible, I recommend buying and reading a " Biblical concordance" that lists subjects and their corresponding verse.

Even the Hebrews were slaves for a time, but this terrible condition went away with time.

"For remember that you too were once slaves in the land of Egypt, and the Lord, your God, ransomed you." Deuteronomy 15:15

There are many other references to slavery in the Bible regarding slavery, especially regarding former Hebrew slavery to the Egyptians.



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