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Not All Atheists Are Rational

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posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 11:46 AM
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It is often claimed on this very board that atheism is the result of rational thinking: applying due skepticism to religious claims. In many cases this is correct but we must dispel the myth that all atheists should be deemed "rational".

Many modern atheists, particularly in the so-called "new atheist" movement (Dawkins, Hitchens, etc.) make largely rational cases for their lack of belief. Many other atheists who claim a rational viewpoint fall victim to irrational stances or behaviors (strong [gnostic] atheism, zealotry, etc.). And there are huge groups of people belonging to atheistic religions who maintain all kinds of irrational beliefs:

Raelians: no gods, but a strong belief in intelligent design by a group of aliens who genetically engineered modern humans 50K years ago. They place emphasis on free sex and have even had women march topless against the "myth of god".

Jainism: no gods, but strong belief in a soul, karma, the harming of nothing living, including microbes. Jain monks will starve themselves to death ritualistically in an effort to harm no other living thing.

Buddhism: no gods, but strong belief in reincarnation, afterlife, karma, and their "Four Noble Truths" which focus on suffering and "nirvana". Also includes peculiarities such as not eating at the "wrong time" and abstaining from music, dancing and singing.

These are but a brief number of atheistic groups and I've only touched on a few of their irrational beliefs.

The individual atheist may also hold a number of irrational beliefs, including but not limited to; aliens, ancient aliens, non-human origin of crop circles, believers in tarot, ouija, ESP, psychics or prophesy, superhuman powers, afterlife along with any number of irrational political or social beliefs.

I am an atheist and I often discover that I still hold beliefs which are irrational. Though many claim to be rational atheists - and some are - I believe such a blanket statement to be not only inaccurate but also perhaps a bit conceited depending on the context. Some theists are sure to proclaim that all atheists are irrational, though a fair number of them most certainly aren't. This post is just a reminder that even an atheist can see that not all atheists are free from magical thinking, fallacy and other pitfalls and are certainly not the heavily rational bunch they are often proclaimed to be. Feel free to point out other atheistic groups that suffer from irrational beliefs and behaviors.




posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 12:28 PM
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Feel free to point out other atheistic groups that suffer from irrational beliefs and behaviors


...only groups?... gosh, how very militantly anti-singular...


...and whats up with the suffering criteria?... are ya saying that if i get pleasure from my irrational beliefs and behaviors, they dont count?...


...for the clueless - i'm teasing the drummer...


...good op... it is a common error to presume we're all alike... one of the most offensive (and i think its intentional) is that we all chose atheism after becoming dissatisfied with or disappointed in religion or that we were victims of child abuse and blame god or some stupid crap like that...

...another big lie is that science is our religion... the only science based class i enjoyed was microbiology and that was only because the professor was from austria and he kinda looked like dracula and totally sounded like him (the hoolyweird version)...

...i dont like dawkins and hitchens... they remind me of bratty little boys holding a balloon, dancing around and taunting with "neener, neener, neener!", daring me to pop them, errrr, uh, their balloon...



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by Wyn Hawks

...good op... it is a common error to presume we're all alike... one of the most offensive (and i think its intentional) is that we all chose atheism after becoming dissatisfied with or disappointed in religion or that we were victims of child abuse and blame god or some stupid crap like that...

...another big lie is that science is our religion... the only science based class i enjoyed was microbiology and that was only because the professor was from austria and he kinda looked like dracula and totally sounded like him (the hoolyweird version)...



Indeed, the misconceptions about atheism and atheists are so numerous and ubiquitous that I am often hesitant to self identify as one. More often than not I claim to be "not religious" and find that most people are okay with that designation, rather than "atheist" which tends to result in some sort of negativity.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 02:18 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
Indeed, the misconceptions about atheism and atheists are so numerous and ubiquitous that I am often hesitant to self identify as one. More often than not I claim to be "not religious" and find that most people are okay with that designation, rather than "atheist" which tends to result in some sort of negativity.


...yeah, funny how that goes... i remember when employment apps asked you to designate which cult, errr, uh, denomination you belonged to or you could check "other"... i ignored that on purpose cuz if they questioned me about it, i didnt wanna work there... most didnt question but some did... sometimes i'd take the app back and, next to "other", write heathen or n/a or noyb then hand it back to them... heathen got less heat than n/a or noyb, lol...



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by Wyn Hawks
...yeah, funny how that goes... i remember when employment apps asked you to designate which cult, errr, uh, denomination you belonged to


I rarely see that I'd be in trouble if I had to fill out something like that for employment. Since I'm in the Bible Belt I suppose it just assumed that all applicants are a christian.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 02:37 PM
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Everyone holds some type of irrational belief.

Because even those that claim all their beliefs are rational...are right there making an irrational statement.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


None of those groups you mention are atheist groups. Its just that, they have conceptions of gods that are very different from the narrow sort of conception that atheists are used to dealing with. So myopic Western atheists don't recognize their gods, but they have them.

Being a god isn't just about being a creator god or an almighty supreme being. Or about being from some "supernatural realm". Or about giving out commandments and hurling lightning bolts from mountain tops.

Buddhists accept the notion of beings in higher realms called devas.

II. The Buddha Teaches Deities

The Buddha teaches deities when they visit the human plane where he normally resides,[5] and sometimes too by visiting them on the higher planes. On some occasions devas and brahmas come to the Buddha for clarification of Dhamma problems. On other occasions the Buddha becomes aware, through his supernormal knowledge, that a god needs some instruction to correct a wrong view or to goad him further on the path to awakening. Then the Buddha travels to the higher plane and gives the deity a personal discourse.

Once a brahman admirer of the Buddha recounted as best as he could evidence of the greatness of the Buddha. He was trying to convince other brahmans to meet the Buddha. His proof included the fact that "many thousands of deities have gone for refuge for life to the recluse Gotama" (MN 95.9). Devas, like humans, develop faith in the Buddha by practicing his teachings. In Chapter III we will see how grateful devas express this confidence. When devas come to visit the Buddha late at night, their luminous bodies light up the monastery as they pay respects to the Exalted One and ask their questions.

We will start with a god who was agitated by fear arisen from his sensual desire, and conclude with one who becomes a stream-enterer during his conversation with the Buddha.


[...]

Jains too have gods. Their gods are human beings who undergo a process of apotheosis. Like the Buddha did. Sort of.

Gods in Jainism

The Jain understanding of an uncreated and eternal universe leaves little room for an Almighty Creator God. Jains do, however, believe in a "perfect universal presence," as well as multiple deities who dwell in the heavens. As mentioned above, the realm of the gods consists of higher and lower gods. The lower act very human, and often rule as despots. Humans may call on these deities for assistance. One of the most important deities is Ambika, the Mother Goddess of Jainism. She is the patron deity of material prosperity, childbirth and protection of women.

Being eternal themselves, humans can also attain "perfect beingness," or divinity.

[...]

And Raelians have gods too. Space-gods that walk like a duck and quack like a duck. A rose by any other name would smell as etc.

And as for the other "irrational" beliefs you mention...a belief in psychic ability is not irrational. Such a belief can be based on personal psychic experiences and an initimate familiarity with parapsychological literature...which critics often lack.

". . . members of the scientific community often judge the parapsychological claims without firsthand knowledge of the experimental evidence. Very few of the scientific critics have examined even one of the many experimental reports on psychic phenomena. Even fewer, if any, have examined the bulk of the parapsychological literature.... Consequently, parapsychologists have justification for their complaint that the scientific community is dismissing their claims without a fair hearing. . . ." Ray Hyman


edit on 7-2-2011 by Student X because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 03:19 PM
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I never heard a richard dawkins rational discussion. All he talks about is pink elephants and this and that and ridiculing, nice rationale.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 03:26 PM
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Atheism is an evolutionary trauma resulting from the lack of education and understanding to what God is all about.
God is Love we are all part of this Love.

Atheists rationalize this concept, but we are meant to be spiritual beings.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by _SilentAssassin_
Atheism is an evolutionary trauma resulting from the lack of education and understanding to what God is all about.


...that was arrogant supremacist bs the first time i heard it... 50yrs later, it still is...



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 





...that was arrogant supremacist bs the first time i heard it... 50yrs later, it still is...


Understanding God is essential. This awareness must spread out quickly if we want to grow up has a species. You were wrong, but it's not your fault.



posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by _SilentAssassin_
reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 

Understanding God is essential.

...agreed... its an essential part of retarding the masses so that they're more easily controlled...




Originally posted by _SilentAssassin_
You were wrong, but it's not your fault.

..."were" indicates past tense, meaning i used to be wrong - which indicates that now i'm right...



...however, "right" might indicate a political position that i find distasteful...



...so, perhaps, "correct" would be preferable in this particular discussion cuz i sure dont wanna confuse ya anymore than you already are...






posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 12:14 PM
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reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 


Tell me something.
Who is going to control you? God?
Don't be an idiot.

Having God in our awareness is essential specially in this time of age. If we want to survive any sort of scientific dictatorship that anyone wants to impose upon us. Understand God.
People such as yourself are the brainwashed mindless sheep, and spiritual ill morons that will be begging for an RFID chip.
edit on 9-2-2011 by _SilentAssassin_ because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 12:59 PM
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Originally posted by _SilentAssassin_
Atheism is an evolutionary trauma resulting from the lack of education and understanding to what God is all about.
God is Love we are all part of this Love.

Atheists rationalize this concept, but we are meant to be spiritual beings.


So god is love. Okay. The rest of us know it as love. No need to conflate it.

Atheists love. They just understand that love is not a god.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 01:08 PM
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Originally posted by Student X
And Raelians have gods too. Space-gods that walk like a duck and quack like a duck.


No, actually they don't have gods.

Buddhist devas are the equivalent of spirits, not gods.

And sure, Jains have some concepts of supernatural gods, though no creator or destroyer gods - and humans who achieve the state of godliness are considered gods.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 01:11 PM
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Originally posted by _SilentAssassin_
Understand God.
People such as yourself are the brainwashed mindless sheep, and spiritual ill morons that will be begging for an RFID chip.


If understanding god turns someone into an arrogant and conceited bigot then what use is this understanding or this god? You claimed god was love. This is the manner in which you employ love (god) for others?



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 01:28 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 




If understanding god turns someone into an arrogant and conceited bigot then what use is this understanding or this god? You claimed god was love. This is the manner in which you employ love (god) for others?


Then don't. Be screwed if you like.
edit on 9-2-2011 by _SilentAssassin_ because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by _SilentAssassin_
Then don't. Be screwed if you like.


Thank you so much.
You're such a wonderful ambassador to your cause.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 01:34 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 





Thank you so much. You're such a wonderful ambassador to your cause.


I'm no ambassador. My cause is my cause. You think I care about the choices you make. I don't . I'm just telling you the truth.
edit on 9-2-2011 by _SilentAssassin_ because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by _SilentAssassin_

I'm no ambassador. My cause is my cause. You think I care about the choices you make. I don't . I'm just telling you the truth


I don't see where you've told anything that could be deemed truth so far. At best you've conveyed an unusual and often contradictory set of opinions



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