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The Atheist Syndrome

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posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 09:17 PM
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Originally posted by philosopherrose
I have no opinion other than to state that maybe people shouldn't cast stones (the person in the video of course, not the OP)..


I wouldn't be so quick, the OP is either a troll (almost certainly), or a very, very...errrm... 'uneducated' atheist. The "atheism attacked more openly than any other religion' sort of gives it away.

I think it might be an attempt at Poe's law in reverse. It appears to only work one way, though. This attempt at parody is pretty naff. Could be due to the lack of subtlety and technique by the troll, or just a consequence of the natural order of creationist wackaloonery.

Even the quality of trollery has declined here.

[edit on 14-8-2008 by melatonin]




posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 09:32 PM
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reply to post by melatonin
 



Originally posted by melatonin
You have little insight into an atheistic viewpoint, you are just projecting how you think you don't have internalised moral mechanisms. You just follow a bunch of written rules like a drone, and without the rules you think you would be a sociopath.

Indeed, I do accept that an ABC guide for not acting like a social moron might be useful for some.

However, I use my inherent ability for empathy, altruism, moral sentiment, and reason to guide my behaviour.

[edit on 14-8-2008 by melatonin]


This reinforces my previous points. Thank you for agreeing. Inherent ability for “empathy” and “altruism”? That means you are mindlessly following instinctual influences and not using your capacity for independent thought. Altruism and empathy are illusory concepts - much like God. They are memes designed to protect the mindless evolution and nothing more. If one accepts the precepts of Atheism then one must accept the premise that nothing means anything. If you only have some seventy odd years of existence and even the universe itself id ultimately finite and therefore meaningless, there is NO reason to behave other than avoiding direct punishment. Altruism? Empathy? Again, I ask you: For what end?

Morality without reason is counter productive to ones own satisfaction of life. For example: If I can commit a crime, without fear of getting caught, why should I care what the other person thinks or feels? We will both be dead in a short while and eventually so will everyone else. So who cares? Why should you? If you can answer those questions I would seriously consider your viewpoint.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 09:36 PM
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Originally posted by passenger
This reinforces my previous points. Thank you for agreeing. Inherent ability for “empathy” and “altruism”? That means you are mindlessly following instinctual influences and not using your capacity for independent thought.


Did you purposefully cherrypick those two approaches I noted that guide my behaviour and ignore the rest?

Go back and try again. Read it carefully, I'll go and watch Perseus for a while. Later.

[edit on 14-8-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 10:07 PM
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Originally posted by cautiouslypessimistic
First off, I have to say it's great to have a debate on here without being called a troll or it turning personal. props for that.


I find that people that like to cast the aspersion of “troll” usually are themselves of that ilk: people that want to blast others with heated and unreasoned argument. Trolls are those that think loudly repeating the same statement without responding to inquiries is valid debate. I haven’t seen you do that at all so why would I call you a troll?



Originally posted by cautiouslypessimistic

I dont think Atheism is necessarily beneficial in terms of moral high ground. Most the atheists I know, though, are very compassionate people. Most have a sense of doing good, because of the feeling they get by doing so. So, I guess maybe it comes down to each individual, when speaking of what makes them do good or bad things.
[edit on 8/14/2008 by cautiouslypessimistic]


That’s what I am trying to get an answer to: Where does the sense of doing “good” make any sense at all? Why bother to behave when you only have to be able to hide an action for the amount of time you live? Why bother to care what anyone else thinks or feels? I’d like to hear a devoted Atheist tell me why these things make any difference at all.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 10:26 PM
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Originally posted by melatonin
[Did you purposefully cherrypick those two approaches I noted that guide my behaviour and ignore the rest?
[edit on 14-8-2008 by melatonin]


Yes. Let’s take it that I did. So please explain to me why it makes sense for you, as an Atheist, to act in a manner defined as “good” if it goes your own personal inclination.

You have a very limited amount of existence. Why should you deny yourself anything that you can achieve because of any considerations other than direct punishment? What does it gain you? Who cares, ultimately, if you are good or bad? Everything will cease to exist - including the stars you admire - without any ultimate difference at all.

Let’s look at it this way: By your reasoning, Hitler and Jesus met the same fate. Mother Teresa and Elizabeth Bathory are in the same place. Charles Manson gets the same non-reward as Buddah. So why even bother to try and do good? A pat on the back? A gold star?

See, you can’t have it both ways. Either there are standards of morals and judgment which are real and relevant or there are just impressed illusions of proper behavior. I’m saying that if you are an Atheist then you cannot stand on precepts of good or bad, right or wrong because they are completely artificial. It’s all meaningless. Therefore, your concepts of morality are meaningless. Ergo, to follow such meaningless concepts is irrational. Furthermore, if you are obeying such imaginary concepts then you are in fact deceiving yourself as much as the person that believes that a bearded guy in a white robe really cares.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 10:29 PM
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Originally posted by DickieDee
The Atheist is attacked more openly than any other religion.

:


Atheists are not another religion



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by passenger
Yes. Let’s take it that I did. So please explain to me why it makes sense for you, as an Atheist, to act in a manner defined as “good” if it goes your own personal inclination.


So, in sum, you cherrypicked half a sentence, ignoring the rest. Then make a post in some vain attempt to criticise my position for something that was covered by the part you ignored?

Okie dokie, this should be fun.


You have a very limited amount of existence. Why should you deny yourself anything that you can achieve because of any considerations other than direct punishment? What does it gain you? Who cares, ultimately, if you are good or bad? Everything will cease to exist - including the stars you admire - without any ultimate difference at all.


Because it would be in my interests? Short-term or longer term.

I care. Other people care.

When it all ceases to exist, I won't care.


Let’s look at it this way: By your reasoning, Hitler and Jesus met the same fate. Mother Teresa and Elizabeth Bathory are in the same place. Charles Manson gets the same non-reward as Buddah. So why even bother to try and do good? A pat on the back? A gold star?


So you want to imagine something that allows you the illusion that there is some ultimate divine punishment for naughty people? And I suppose this makes it all have more salient meaning for you, as it certainly has no evidential basis.

For the second part, I bother to try because I care, and know it is in my best interests. I even get a nice fuzzy feeling when I make someone happy, when I help someone, even if this means I lose out in some way.

I'll leave $$$$$ for some random hotel cleaner. Why do I do that? Makes me happy you see. To show someone that I do appreciate their work, that I know they are poorly paid.


See, you can’t have it both ways. Either there are standards of morals and judgment which are real and relevant or there are just impressed illusions of proper behavior. I’m saying that if you are an Atheist then you cannot stand on precepts of good or bad, right or wrong because they are completely artificial. It’s all meaningless. Therefore, your concepts of morality are meaningless. Ergo, to follow such meaningless concepts is irrational. Furthermore, if you are obeying such imaginary concepts then you are in fact deceiving yourself as much as the person that believes that a bearded guy in a white robe really cares.


You are the one making the illusions.

It is not meaningless. I make my own meaning, and other people make theirs. As a group we hopefully come to some sort of arrangement of what we think might work best. My moral sentiments having meaning for me, I have my standards of what is good and bad behaviour. I try to live up to them, but they are not drone-like. For example, I don't think it is right to be an a-hole, but I am also offended by stupidity. Often if the level of stupidity is so great, I will justify my being a bit of an a-hole.

Me: I don't kill people because I think I would feel their pain, I'm also not a violent person. Moreover, if I did so, I might spend a lot of time away from the people I love. And additionally, I think it would be wrong unless I had no other choice, it would probably make me feel real bad.

You: you don't kill people because some imaginary god said it was bad (probably in some old mouldy book), and he wouldn't be happy. However, if he said it was good, then it would be fine - that is, totally externalised morals. I just hope this thing doesn't have a hotline to your mind.

[edit on 14-8-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 11:20 PM
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This guy is a joke. I'm not an atheist, but I do not have really anything against them. All jokes aside, I think atheists are a lot closer to the truth than the cults who worship the biggest asshole in existence A.K.A "God". Personally, I am a Taoist and nothing will ever change that. I do not believe in God, I believe in the power of creation, or simply put, something akin to the Force in Starwars. (That's a really nerdy analogy, I know.) But to say someone is mentally ill for what they believe....ok, I know. If you believe in a place of eternal suffering for someone who had pre-marital sex and never "repented" for it, then you're a goddamn loon. Turn the tables, eh?



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 11:39 PM
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all i can say is im an atheist, well actually i don't even like that word, it shouldn't exist, it's a made up label, it only exists for religious people who want to attack sum1 who just really doesn't believe in what any religions teach

i see myself more as "Born Free" type of person, that doesn't made me crazy, it can for some though, i just try to stick to, what you see is what you get, Reality is more helpfull than any other changable/contradictive story of fiction

recently i found out that Albert Einstein was an Atheist, and he was the smartest recorded person alive, so there you go...............


[edit on 14/8/08 by angryjessman]



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 12:22 AM
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Originally posted by melatonin
I care. Other people care...When it all ceases to exist, I won't care.…For the second part, I bother to try because I care, and know it is in my best interests. I even get a nice fuzzy feeling when I make someone happy, when I help someone, even if this means I lose out in some way.


So why bother to care now? This shows irrational thought. Ultimately, according to your creed, there is nothing to care about. In the final sum, you - or anyone else - is worth no more than a dog turd. You can’t have it both ways. Either things really mean something or they don’t. If they don’t then it doesn’t make any difference if we are talking about 15 minutes or 15 billion years from now - anything and everything is ultimately meaningless. So why show any pity or compassion at all? Because it gives you a “nice fuzzy feeling”? Why is your “nice fuzzy feeling” any different or somehow superior to the belief that good behavior provides eternal rewards? You are merely transposing a belief in temporal good for eternal good. You are deluding yourself as much as any believer in the afterlife.

.

Originally posted by melatonin

It is not meaningless.


Ahhhh. Here we see the crux of the problem of the Atheist: the Ego. It always intrudes. The Atheist wants to smugly believe that, somehow, they are above it all. That like to tell themselves that they have a true, rational and stoic view of reality. But ask them if they would like to watch a loved one be butchered in front of their eyes and the stoicism fades. Ask them if you can have all their possessions and the illusory sense of all things being equal dissolves. Ask them to participate in something repugnant and the mask falls. Why? Somehow, they still feel that they are something special. Why is that? Why the sense of “meaning”? Again, and again, FOR WHAT END?


Originally posted by melatonin
Me: I don't kill people because… I think it would be wrong unless I had no other choice, it would probably make me feel real bad.


Bad? What is bad? There is no good or bad. There is only now. There are only occurrences. There are only causes and results. Good and bad are illusions. They are as much illusions as an afterlife. They have no basis in reality as they are only individual beliefs. As an Atheist you must surely accept that. For example, you may think that murdering someone is bad but I may think it is good. Where do you come to the conclusion that it is wrong? What are your standards for judgment?



Originally posted by melatonin

You: you don't kill people because some imaginary god said it was bad (probably in some old mouldy book), and he wouldn't be happy. However, if he said it was good, then it would be fine - that is, totally externalised morals. I just hope this thing doesn't have a hotline to your mind.


Here it is: the Big Mistake. A jump to conclusions based on assumptions based on preconditioned thought patterns with automatic defense systems built in. Classic. Can you provide me with some evidence where I said I believed in some imaginary God? Go ahead, you made the accusation - back it up! You can't use any religion to throw into my face. Nice try at extricatng yourself with a holy hand-grenade but I don't have any religious beliefs to attack. Try again. And as for “externalised”(sic) morals….ummmm...how are they in any way different than internalized morals?



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 09:29 AM
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Originally posted by passenger
So why bother to care now? This shows irrational thought. Ultimately, according to your creed, there is nothing to care about. In the final sum, you - or anyone else - is worth no more than a dog turd. You can’t have it both ways. Either things really mean something or they don’t.


Because I care? I care now, I did care in the past, and hopefully will do so in the future. Because I think other people tend to be worth more than a dog turd? That I am able to see that other people have minds and feelings.

You are still just making inane strawman views of atheism. Atheism speaks to one thing, it says nothing about 'nothing to care about'.

We give things meaning. To us, they really mean something. This is getting pretty tedious.


Because it gives you a “nice fuzzy feeling”? Why is your “nice fuzzy feeling” any different or somehow superior to the belief that good behavior provides eternal rewards? You are merely transposing a belief in temporal good for eternal good. You are deluding yourself as much as any believer in the afterlife.


Yeah, sometimes. Other times it might not, I might feel regret. For example, I might give some homeless dude 50p, and then need the 50p myself later and feel not so good. Or I might realise that something I did that I thought was good, eventually produced a negative outcome, and so I'll take that into account next time.

It is superior because it does have some real-world basis. It is much less arbitrary and is based on the real-world consequences rather than some dogmatic inflexible, and often inconsequential or not so moral, morality. It is the sort of morality that leads people to be motivated for some imaginary greater good, even when such behaviour readily has real widespread negative consequences in the real-world (e.g., catholics and contraception).


Ahhhh. Here we see the crux of the problem of the Atheist: the Ego. It always intrudes. The Atheist wants to smugly believe that, somehow, they are above it all. That like to tell themselves that they have a true, rational and stoic view of reality. But ask them if they would like to watch a loved one be butchered in front of their eyes and the stoicism fades. Ask them if you can have all their possessions and the illusory sense of all things being equal dissolves. Ask them to participate in something repugnant and the mask falls. Why? Somehow, they still feel that they are something special. Why is that? Why the sense of “meaning”? Again, and again, FOR WHAT END?


You do talk some tripe.


Bad? What is bad? There is no good or bad. There is only now. There are only occurrences. There are only causes and results. Good and bad are illusions. They are as much illusions as an afterlife. They have no basis in reality as they are only individual beliefs. As an Atheist you must surely accept that. For example, you may think that murdering someone is bad but I may think it is good. Where do you come to the conclusion that it is wrong? What are your standards for judgment?


We determine what is good and bad. The psychopath might enjoy ripping someone's throat out and thinks it's great and worthy of a medal, I might think they are worthy of a lifetime of seclusion to keep others safe, what I think is murder could be justified killing to another. Whilst one person might think desecrating a cracker is a hate crime, I think it just a frackin' cracker.

As a society, we come together and determine what we think is right and wrong, using our intuitive sentiments and reason. Thus, whilst a psychopath might think it's fun to rip someone's throat out, luckily most of society can see that allowing such behaviour is not conducive to a well-run generally safe society.

My standards of judgement come from what I consider most effective for society. What keeps my family, myself, and other people under the best conditions, enables as much personal freedom without really harming others, and provides the highest lulz ratio for people.

Heh, are you some sort of anarchistic agnostic sociopathic libertarian or something? Or should we keep it all ambiguous, like some mystery warrior character? The ATS ninja, perhaps.

That would a juicy mix though. Someone who believes in no rules, has no empathy, doesn't know stuff, and hates people, government and reailty messing with his whims.


Here it is: the Big Mistake. A jump to conclusions based on assumptions based on preconditioned thought patterns with automatic defense systems built in. Classic. Can you provide me with some evidence where I said I believed in some imaginary God? Go ahead, you made the accusation - back it up! You can't use any religion to throw into my face. Nice try at extricatng yourself with a holy hand-grenade but I don't have any religious beliefs to attack. Try again. And as for “externalised”(sic) morals….ummmm...how are they in any way different than internalized morals?


Lulz. You're funny. Big mistake? Oh noes!

No [sic] needed, the z is one of the american bastardisations of english. Suppose it was too difficult to spell with the 's' for some. Why did you think it was wrong? Do you have some standards of what is right and wrong?

I don't need to back it up. It was either applied to you, or to the pretty naff positions you have been outlining. I guess you like to show sort of concern for the 'irrationality' of everyone but yourself, attempting to be some sort of unbiased ninja (rofl), whilst making tripe arguments.

Once I see people capitalising the word 'god' on't internets, the crappy atheist strawmen, and pretty vacuous arguments, I tend to think they have some form of belief in a sky-fairy - yeah, I stereotype, so shoot me. Perhaps it's all a preconditioned thought pattern with automatic defence systems from your probable childhood of religious indoctrination (oh noes, another hypothesis).

It was an out on a limb statement, but it did contain an element of uncertainty. I like to try to make sense from the apparently non-sensical. However, it still readily applies to the vacuous position you are attempting to construct.

There is a difference between external and internal motivation. It is a similar difference to those who feel racism is bad because social norms say so, and those who feel it is bad because they personally believe it to be so.

[edit on 15-8-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by melatonin
We give things meaning. To us, they really mean something. This is getting pretty tedious. ?


Ok. So how is your contrived “meaning” any different than the fantasy constructs of religious types? They are both based on artificial standards. Both entail inductive reasoning. The Atheistic viewpoint must admit that ultimately there is going to be nothing. Therefore everything is eventually worth nothing. It is a zero sum game. No winners or losers, no right or wrong. The results of any given action are utterly meaningless. So why try and pretend to give it any meaning at all? That’s deluding oneself. Delusion is a sign of mental illness. If you can explain why anything should have "meaning" I would gladly listen.


Originally posted by melatonin
As a society, we come together and determine what we think is right and wrong, using our intuitive sentiments and reason...My standards of judgement come from what I consider most effective for society.


That’s fine and it is logical from the perspective of willing engagement in an established social construct that ensures the welfare of the greatest portion. But if the psychopath refuses to participate and follows their own personal judgment, what difference does it really make? If a psychopath cuts someone’s throat, so what? Soon the killer will be dust. Soon the victim will be dust. Soon society will be dust. Soon the whole Universe will be dust. In the great scheme of things it really makes no difference. So why even concern oneself with such actions at all?



Originally posted by melatonin
Heh, are you some sort of anarchistic agnostic sociopathic libertarian or something?


Ouch. You may have touched something there, I admit. I couldn’t honestly answer that one without consulting a therapist. I’m going to let that one lie for a while.


Originally posted by melatonin
No [sic] needed, the z is one of the american bastardisations of english. Suppose it was too difficult to spell with the 's' for some.


Ok. You got that one. I apologize for my cultural bias. USA! USA! But I refuse to say “shed-yule”. No way. We fought wars to keep that kind of thing out of our country.


Originally posted by melatonin
I don't need to back it up.


Well, that certainly settles that. I’m rubber you are glue… Nah..Nah
At this point, I was expecting a bit more than that from you. That was disappointing to read.


Originally posted by melatonin
Perhaps it's all a preconditioned thought pattern with automatic defence systems... I like to try to make sense from the apparently non-sensical.


So why is that any different or superior than those that like to construct a religious system in order to make sense of a nonsensical world? Without an ultimate standard there can be no logical sense to anything. It’s all just stuff that happens and none of it really matters.



Originally posted by melatonin

There is a difference between external and internal motivation. It is a similar difference to those who feel racism is bad because social norms say so, and those who feel it is bad because they personally believe it to be so.


Rubbish. Every internal motivation is created by an external motivation. Some societies promote certain behaviors and some don’t. Those who believe that they have an isolated belief that is entirely independent are wrong. We like to tell ourselves that we have truly unique and original thoughts but they are simply reconstructions of paradigms that we have been exposed to. We all do it. You may choose within a certain group of possibilities but none of the choices you make are in any way truly “yours”. They have all been pre-programmed or thrust upon you at some point.


Again, I find it interesting that you use terms of morality and emotion repeatedly. I stand by the assertion that they are artificial. They are simply memes created in order to ensure a measure of cooperation amongst beasts that could have other selfish inclinations. Religion is a beneficial meme in that it promotes long-term control based on the premise that actions have a lasting effect. Atheism makes no sense in that, by definition, everything is ephemeral. Yet you are saying that you believe in making sense and order out of an inconsequential existence and are experiencing emotional and moral motivations for doing so. Furthermore, if you are doing so then you are deluding yourself. An Atheist making moral judgments is the equivalent of arguing about the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. You are believing in illusions and fantasy, i.e. emotions and morals, just as much as the person that believes in a warm fuzzy god in the sky.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by passenger
Ok. So how is your contrived “meaning” any different than the fantasy constructs of religious types? They are both based on artificial standards. Both entail inductive reasoning. The Atheistic viewpoint must admit that ultimately there is going to be nothing. Therefore everything is eventually worth nothing. It is a zero sum game. No winners or losers, no right or wrong. The results of any given action are utterly meaningless. So why try and pretend to give it any meaning at all? That’s deluding oneself. Delusion is a sign of mental illness. If you can explain why anything should have "meaning" I would gladly listen.


I'm not sure the application of meaning per se is different. I sort of made that pretty transparent when I said 'we make our own meaning'. I wouldn't say it was artificial, rather natural really.

You are argiung from the universe itself having some grander purpose. If you are essentially suggesting that an atheist would likely see no grand meaning to the universe, yeah, probably. But I think some non-theistic (essentially atheist) religious/philosophical types might place meaning on the universe and all that jazz.

It has meaning because we give it meaning. We are biological cognitive machines looking for purpose and meaning in the world. Some go as far as promiscious teleology, some only as far as personal and socio-cultural meaning. If you want to view stuff from the universe's or nature's view, then, yeah, there is no meaning. But from mine there is.


That’s fine and it is logical from the perspective of willing engagement in an established social construct that ensures the welfare of the greatest portion. But if the psychopath refuses to participate and follows their own personal judgment, what difference does it really make? If a psychopath cuts someone’s throat, so what? Soon the killer will be dust. Soon the victim will be dust. Soon society will be dust. Soon the whole Universe will be dust. In the great scheme of things it really makes no difference. So why even concern oneself with such actions at all?


In the grand meaning of the universe, not much. But from a social and individual point of view, it is important. I concern myself because of all the things I've outlined already.


Ouch. You may have touched something there, I admit. I couldn’t honestly answer that one without consulting a therapist. I’m going to let that one lie for a while.


Yeah, I can't help it you see. Always trying to finding meaning, to make sense of what's around me. Pretty natural to me. Perhaps some logotherapy would help you.

I'm getting bored of dancing to your tune. I'm a grudger, you see.


Ok. You got that one. I apologize for my cultural bias. USA! USA! But I refuse to say “shed-yule”. No way. We fought wars to keep that kind of thing out of our country.


That's cool. Must have meant something to those people to keep it out by killing and being killed.


Well, that certainly settles that. I’m rubber you are glue… Nah..Nah
At this point, I was expecting a bit more than that from you. That was disappointing to read.


I did sort of explain why. You give nothing but ramblings about the irrationality of others, so I try to make sense of the non-sensical. Often I will be wrong, again, so shoot me, or should I say cut off my johnson. The statement still applied for how you are outlining the two positions.


So why is that any different or superior than those that like to construct a religious system in order to make sense of a nonsensical world? Without an ultimate standard there can be no logical sense to anything. It’s all just stuff that happens and none of it really matters.


In method. An atheist will tend to use an evidence-based reasoning approach. T'other relies on faith and revelation. It might have been a late edit, but I did outline this in the way in which the two different approaches to morality work. One is based on real-world outcomes, another is based on some imaginary greater outcome even in the face of widespread negative real-world outcomes.


Rubbish. Every internal motivation is created by an external motivation. Some societies promote certain behaviors and some don’t. Those who believe that they have an isolated belief that is entirely independent are wrong. We like to tell ourselves that we have truly unique and original thoughts but they are simply reconstructions of paradigms that we have been exposed to. We all do it. You may choose within a certain group of possibilities but none of the choices you make are in any way truly “yours”. They have all been pre-programmed or thrust upon you at some point.


Heh, if you think so. I think you are mixing this up a bit. A person's internal motivation might be a consequence of the observation of external situations, but it could still be internally generated. However, this is about motivations, not original creation of the drive.

I'll try to outline where this is coming from. There are many social rules and laws that I think are naff. Some I might follow because the punishments might outweigh the benefit (external). Others I might just ignore completely (none). Other rules I hold myself (internal). For example, I agree with social rules that killing people is bad and not conducive to a settled society. Therefore, I have internal motivations to not kill people, it's not just me regulating my behaviour because of potential punishment. It is an internal value.

One way to create internal motivations is to aim to get children to be empathic and understand why their behaviour is wrong, rather than just use punishment and conditioning to shape behaviour.

Morality is complex, for some behaviours I can still hold the basic moral motivations, but use reason to overcome the drive - for example, I see anal sex negatively, it's a bit yucky you know, but I weigh the rights of the person above my negative emotionally driven thoughts. Because after all, between two consenting adults, not really harmful.


Again, I find it interesting that you use terms of morality and emotion repeatedly. I stand by the assertion that they are artificial. They are simply memes created in order to ensure a measure of cooperation amongst beasts that could have other selfish inclinations. Religion is a beneficial meme in that it promotes long-term control based on the premise that actions have a lasting effect. Atheism makes no sense in that, by definition, everything is ephemeral. Yet you are saying that you believe in making sense and order out of an inconsequential existence and are experiencing emotional and moral motivations for doing so.


I know, shocking, eh? The mechanisms underpinning morality are natural, religion is just a parasite.

Perhaps it is because we evolved in small groups, and we go beyond our own selfish motivations to allow us to consider what is optimal for group and closely related genes.


Furthermore, if you are doing so then you are deluding yourself. An Atheist making moral judgments is the equivalent of arguing about the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. You are believing in illusions and fantasy, i.e. emotions and morals, just as much as the person that believes in a warm fuzzy god in the sky.


No, it's not. Arguing about angels on pinheads is about some imaginary real-world agents. Arguing about morals and ethics is determing the best mechanisms for our society. One is about magic stuff, one is about behaviours and process which aid a well-functioning environment. I don't reify morals, and I don't view them as objective truths - although it is possible that some are objective in the sense that they are innate. But atheism doesn't necessarily view morals as non-objective.

Emotions are much less than imaginary. To large extent emotions are the basis of morals. We use reason to overcome and reflect on the intuitive. Indeed, I think some people need to use reason more in determining morals. Thus, many of the morals sourced from relgions tend to be disgust-based, this can lead to dehumanisation and prejudice and rather inhumane restrictions on personal freedom for little need.

..................

So, in sum, you suggest that theists and atheists are both irrational in this regard. Do tell, oh ATS ninja, how can we be rational? Or shouldn't I ask?

Anarchy? true nihilism?

[edit on 15-8-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 12:54 PM
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reply to post by DickieDee
 


This coming from someone who believes in talking snakes and seeks guidance from his imaginary friend.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by passenger


I find that people that like to cast the aspersion of “troll” usually are themselves of that ilk: people that want to blast others with heated and unreasoned argument. Trolls are those that think loudly repeating the same statement without responding to inquiries is valid debate. I haven’t seen you do that at all so why would I call you a troll?



That’s what I am trying to get an answer to: Where does the sense of doing “good” make any sense at all? Why bother to behave when you only have to be able to hide an action for the amount of time you live? Why bother to care what anyone else thinks or feels? I’d like to hear a devoted Atheist tell me why these things make any difference at all.


Seems to be the way of debate on this site of late. "You don't agree with me? You're a troll. or a moron". It's just nice to see someone doesn't have to go that route(although it seems there are still those that will).

as for what you are lookingfor an answer on, consider this:
The underlying theme in atheism is to live for right now, not some mythical reward/punishment later. Now consider that, undeniably, there is a certain "feeling" (for lack of a better term) that comes with giving love, and compassion and doing good things.

As someone living for the right now, doesn't it make sense that the "good feeling" that one gets from doing "good" would be all the motivation one needs?

There is not the same punishment or deterant from doing "bad" things, but there is also very little self reward in doing so.

Now, as an agnostic, I consider energies and auras in this equation, which, in my mind, does add incentive for doing "light" as opposed to "dark", but, bottom line, it doesn't come down to consquence or reward. It comes down to individuals.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 02:48 PM
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Heh, dudes, the OP is a troll. Sorry you can't see that. I would stake $250 on it, I'm a bit stingy like whammy. It's not even a case of me not agreeing with the dude, he's meant to be an atheist, lol.

I didn't call anyone else a troll, because they aren't. We have a user who is using a nickname of Richard Dawkins, a figure of hatred to some creationists, a comment in the mood part which says 'smarter' which comes from the recent 'beware the believers' video (and so is the nickname), an avatar from the south park video which took the piss out of Dawkins, and a pretty ridiculous opening post from a supposed atheist with some inane video which has been used numerous times by a group of fundies on this site, along with pretty silly comments. A posting history that shouts 'troll', and a recent ATS (and elsewhere) history that you obviously don't know about.

Indeed, if I was a member of a particular group of users who have a penchant for anti-atheism posts, but have been scolded by PTB, this would be a fairly obvious approach to continue the baiting. However, I do know of other people who are trolling the site, but I don't think it's them, it's too naff.

Perhaps people haven't spent enough time on forums to pick up an obvious troll. I actually don't mind trolls, but they do need to be good ones to get my appreciation. Indeed, they can be a good way to get discussion going, and this sort of OP seems to be most effective on ATS.

[edit on 15-8-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 02:53 PM
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There are a wide variety of personalities within atheism. Some will be "rabid," most won't, but what makes them "rabid" is their personality, not their beleifs. The spread of personalities occures in every other religion, as well.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 04:18 PM
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I am considered an Atheist. I call myself a rationalist. A fair amount of discussion about this thread is whether or not an atheist who still believes in not reacting to their base wants and desires is a coward or confused.

Unfortunately these people who think this way are getting atheism mixed up with anarchy. We do not act the way you think we should due to our beliefs because we desire order. In my opinion this is why belef in a supreme being has flourshed over the years. Order is always more benficial than chaos.

This is how we as a civilization has survived. It has nothing to do with "god" and nothing to do with our actions.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 11:55 AM
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To Melatonin: In Re Your last response.

Your last post was very welcome. That’s the kind of stuff I was hoping for! A lot to chew on though and unfortunately I have to catch a flight. Therefore, I can’t make a detailed response to the explanations given. But it will give me time to ponder. Hopefully, this post will still be going in a week or so.

To cautiouslypessimistic:
Cc: Melatonin

OK. So how about an answer to this hypothetical, from an Atheists standpoint:

Daddy is rich - very. Junior is a ner’do well: lots of gambling debts and a bad drug habit. Daddy has serious health complications and takes numerous medications. Daddy has accidentally overdosed, on said meds, on prior occasions and has been close to death as a result. He is also suffering from mild, onset dementia and is known to be absentminded. Otherwise, he’s known to be a good and kind man. He’s a big supporter of local charities, philanthropist, etc. He also has a son, Junior.

Junior is an utter waste of flesh. Junior has several unsavory sorts threatening to break off parts of his body if he doesn’t pay his debts. He has committed several heinous crimes which he escaped with the help of a high priced lawyer - provided by Daddy. Daddy won’t give Junior any more money but retains him in his will as he is the last surviving family member. He is guaranteed a big payoff if Daddy expires and he will probably preserve his own bodily integrity as well. A big motivation.

Junior gets the idea to adjust the quantity of Daddy’s pills on his nightstand cause another ‘accidental’ overdose. He does. Daddy OD’s and Junior waits an hour or so by the pool before tearfully calling 911. The inquest concludes that an accidental OD occurred based on prior history. A perfect crime. Junior gets rich and parties his worthless life away continuing to commit more crimes on less fortunates and getting away with it.

Now, from an Atheists viewpoint: What’s so wrong here? Junior had needs and a method to fulfill them. He did so. He got his reward. His motivations and internal drives were met. Does that make it right? What’s the ultimate result? Is there anything like an ultimate winner or a loser? Why shouldn’t Junior have done it? He gets to live the life he wants with no fear of repercussions. He has no guilt and no punishment awaits. So why not? What’s the ultimate difference? How could you convince him to act differently than he did?

P.S. In case your worried about voicing an opinion - I am NOT Junior, looking for advice. I based this hypothetical on various movies, novels and the Kennedy family history.

I would greatly appreciate you both responding with answers. I believe it may give me some insight as to where you are coming from. As of the present, I’m not quite understanding the whole philosophy of Atheism.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:21 PM
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reply to post by passenger
 


Unfortunately I have to respond with a very simple question: What makes an atheist more likely to do something like this than a christian or anyone else?


As I said before, it ultimately comes down to the individual. Someone who commits acts such as these can come from any denomination and to try and pigeonhole the entire atheist ideal into one extreme hypothetical is not only pointless, but it is stupid.







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