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Rational Atheism

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posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 12:59 AM
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Although I hold strong opinions regarding most faiths I would like you to know something. Overall, I believe religions such as Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism are help many more people than they harm. The interpretations of each in many ways make people gravitate to compassion and love rather than psychopathy and hate.

So please when I and maybe other Atheist voice our opinions please do not consider it a straight attack on you or that I think everything about your religion is awful. that couldn't be farther from the truth, my only crime is that I may be just as passionate about my stance as you are about yours.




posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:32 AM
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reply to post by IamBoon
 


I don't usually get into discussion with athiests on the internet because our worldviews are too different, but your comment interests me. I have thought before that it was odd for people who believed in non-religious cosmology to oppose religion in general even if they didn't happen to agree. The reasoning is that since it seems to be something that occurs in literally every time and place in human history, it must have some useful role in helping humanity on either/both a society-wide or personal level. Wouldn't it be logical for an evolutionist or a strict "rationalist" to suppose that religion's universiality was a sign that it had developed that way because it served survival in some way? Interesting post, thanks.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:43 AM
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reply to post by IamBoon
 


I believe its good to put that out there. We all have our own thoughts and we can civilally agree to disagree on certain subjects. I am personally what I would call an openminded Christian because I value other perspecitves on life in general, and also believe there is a God. Kudos and good to meet you.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:44 AM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


I totally agree it aided in the survival of our species. Religion, although flawed was and still is a great system for people to develop compassion and love for others. There are better systems for ruling and governing people of course , but as a personal lifestyle it has and does help many.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:50 AM
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reply to post by IamBoon
 


atheism is just another faith system, as rationalism is a very subjective system of thinking (there aren't any absolute logic even mathematics because of its first hypothesis -everything is either true of false-cannot be defined as absolute) based on altered, conditionned perceptions and the inability to think out of the box.

Both, just like most religions, exist and have flourished because we fear death, because we cannot explain the phenomenon of life and consciousness. From PTB perspective that's a no-go, the sheeple must be given answers to be driven as and where they wish to drive it (war, insane use of sciences).

in this regard i don't see much difference between atheism and most of religions; Christianity, given its history of slaughters and intolerance, providing the best examples of what blind faith can be, can do.

Hinduism, on another hand, cannot be put in the same bag with those, if we refer to Vivekananda or many Hindu saints, philosophers or thinkers, it allows multiple paths, focus on individual spiritual development, knowledge and experimentation rather than faith, beliefs and blind acceptance of a unique thought system. Also Buddhism (whatever it has become in most of buddhist countries and although is not as flexible as Hinduism can be), is more of a philosophy of living that find its roots in hinduism (Buddha was a bramin).

However I agree with you that depending the interpretation you make of the Bible or the Koran, you can end up with very similar philosophies of living that Buddhism proposed; but it has been so blurred by blind faith and that dreadful History that those interpretations represent nowadays a very very small island in the ocean of ignorance that Christianity is.
edit on 5-6-2011 by XmikaX because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:57 AM
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reply to post by XmikaX
 


I do not agree that Atheism can be even remotely linked to such thought systems as religion. Atheism represents the opposite side of "Faith Based " religions in every way imaginable.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 02:01 AM
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Originally posted by IamBoon
reply to post by XmikaX
 


Atheism represents the opposite side of "Faith Based "


the opposite side of the same coin... same biased perspectives

atheism is based on beliefs and faith : it gives final answers it will never question again although it can never prove them True. fear of death my friend it all comes from there.

look for agnosticism, maybe you're confused with definitions of words ?
edit on 5-6-2011 by XmikaX because: rephrased



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 02:10 AM
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reply to post by XmikaX
 


Do you believe pink aliens live under the USA and mind control our government? IF you don't, is that faith and belief based in the same way as a belief in a personal or non-personal deity? Not even close. Athiesm treats religion, unless validated and practical rituals(meditation) like the pink aliens as Obama's puppet master for the most part.

You see, we are not making outrageous and whimsical assumptions and bear no burden of proof because our proof is everywhere around us. We believe it is what it is for the most part, it is just confusion or a pathetic attempt to equalize atheism with the faith based religions it counters.
edit on 5-6-2011 by IamBoon because: (no reason given)
Atheism also does not make or take a final stance on unexplained phenomenon, just on the very improbable and mostly impossible beings most religions believe in.
edit on 5-6-2011 by IamBoon because: Add part about final stance



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 02:20 AM
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reply to post by XmikaX
 


Good post, sir.

Many Christians, for example, seem to forget a lot of the things in the Bible (or conveniently toss them aside). When it comes to all the intolerance and everything, it's important to remember Matthew 7:21-23:

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

"Will of the Father" is to love... everyone. Your friend, your brother, your neighbour, your enemies. Everyone. There's no room for hate, intolerance, bigotry, etc.
It doesn't matter if you love Jesus: if you spit on people, condemn them, judge them, belittle them, etc., you're gonna have a hard time when your body dies.
This is why fundamentalists are in for a shock, 'cause they typically believe everyone else is going to "hell" while they will be up in the clouds with Jesus.


The practitioners of eastern faiths are usually more mature and tolerant than the average believer of a western faith. You don't see them going around telling everyone they are going to hell, or slashing throats "in the name of God."


Being someone who believes in God, and Jesus, and most other religions for that matter - the atheist that is tolerant and loving has more of my respect than the fundamental, blind believer.

Sorry for going a bit off topic here.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 02:23 AM
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The athiests I know have a tendancy to cite the scientific method as the vehicle to prove/disprove what is in the world. The method itself is equivilent to a religion's holy book. It almost seems like they have a faith in it, or faith in humanity. Despite how detailed we have become at measuring science as a species - the measurements only really apply to our senses. Time itself may be wildly different from a human's perspective than from the function of the universe. The laws of physics seem to mostly work, but they also change over time a great deal in how we represent them. These laws really only apply to what we can measure. I don't have faith in a human's ability to ultimately understand the world. I think we are designed in a way that the universe is incomprehensible at some levels. I cannot take on faith that science is a constant, or that humans can understand all of it eventually.
The historical evidence of our world, and personal exploration into spirituality has lead me to a feeling that is as ambigous-at the same time it's obvious as love is (but difficult to express using limited human language skills.) This is my Christianity. That feeling, and self sense of indisputable knowledge does not drive me to force it upon others, but it does cause me to attempt to help my fellow man. Science is capable of great advances too. Even if it is for the limited purpose of human consumption. Despite science and religion getting it wrong from time to time (the world is flat, God being on the side of two warring armies) both are beneficial to humans. I believe that Atheism should be catagorized as a religion, despite it having widely accepted scientific rituals. The anticipation of discovery, the hope, the history, the considerations elevate it to that level. Atheists are emotional about their beliefs.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 02:38 AM
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Originally posted by IamBoon
reply to post by XmikaX
 


Do you believe pink aliens live under the USA and mind control our government?


while you don't believe it (as the good atheist that you seem to be)

myself just don't know, i've never been under the usa or any close of your government to check it out; when it happens i'll let you know what i have found out, but in the mean time i am not going to bother too much about it... because does it really matter ? i know your gov is evil anyway...

i know i am going to die one day anyway.

to not believe and to believe are entirely the same things, the day you will have understood this, your consciousness will have expand and you will be ready for more spiritual development
edit on 5-6-2011 by XmikaX because: (no reason given)


i had to edit to try to put it before your eyes in a purely mathematical logic :
to not believe (in one assumption) = to believe (that this assumption is false) = to believe (in the opposite assumption) = to believe (in one assumption)
you mind if i shorten it and remove the brackets ?
to not believe = to believe
edit on 5-6-2011 by XmikaX because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 03:57 AM
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I am an atheist and also believe religion is in general a force for good. especially on a local level, where many charities are run by religions. I cant help the fact I demand more evidence before I put faith into something, Having a religion would be great, it would provide much comfort for me, but I cant just believe in something without any evidence



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 04:50 AM
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I see religion as a direct threat to civilisation.

People forget that when religions were strong, they were using their power. The preists were claiming that un-baptised babies will go to purgotory (and they still are in some countries) They were passing off their own prejudice as "the will of God" (and again, still do in many areas)

Stating that religion offers charity and peace is not an argument for it's morality, nor an argument for it's greater goodness in regards to human soladarity.


"Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it."
— Christopher Hitchens

People argue that it makes people feel good, makes them "happier":-


“The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one”
— George Bernard Shaw

I guess my motive is the same as the OP, although i disagree; I don't see religion as our greatest creation (quite the opposite) But i also care for many fellow species, and life in general; i wish for it's contiunation.

I'm not going to become nonchalant in regards to our inevitable demise (enthropic heat death or gallaxy collision) And i'm certainly not going to ask people to convert in light of this, in the hope of some magical afterlife where all the believers immerse themselves in eternal ecstasy.

My point is; most atheists care. Atheism ≠ Nihilism.
edit on 5/6/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 07:50 AM
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reply to post by IamBoon
 


I pretty much agree with you. I think religion can be a force for good in some people's lives. It provides a structure by which people can gather and support each other. And many look to their religion to get them through rough times in life. I have no problem whatsoever with the fact of religion.

I only have a few issues around religion (or more precisely, religious followers):
1. Many think that it should be used as s basis for laws and I'd rather keep religion out of governance.
2. Proselytizing.
3. Telling me MY beliefs and positions.


All of those have religion and religious doctrines being foisted on the non-religious. I don't mind religion, itself at all. But it's followers seem to have a mission to push their ideas onto everyone else. I totally support freedom of religion, and that includes my freedom NOT to have it in my life. Please leave me out of it.



Originally posted by XmikaX
to not believe and to believe are entirely the same things


That's just silly.
According to your logic here, to not do something is to do that same thing...
To not eat = to eat.
To not cry = to cry.
Or in algebraic terms: A=A not

The word "not" is in that sentence for a reason. You can't just negate it on one side of the = sign and pretend it's not there. You either have a belief in something or you don't. The absence of a belief does not require that there be the presence of the opposite belief.

I don't hold a belief in chupacabras. That doesn't mean that I hold a belief that they don't exist. I just don't hold a belief about their existence at all. It's not part of my thinking or my life. YOU can tell me that I believe something about chupacabras all day long but YOU would be wrong.

As soon as you understand this, grasshopper, you shall reach blessed enlightenment...



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 08:39 AM
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Hi IamBoon, irenic OP. :-) But allow me to address a few points:


Originally posted by IamBoon
Do you believe pink aliens live under the USA and mind control our government? IF you don't, is that faith and belief based in the same way as a belief in a personal or non-personal deity? Not even close. Athiesm treats religion, unless validated and practical rituals(meditation) like the pink aliens as Obama's puppet master for the most part.

This is the "flying spaghetti monster" argument, aka "pink unicorns", etc. It presumes that faith in God is no different from faith in the tooth fairy, lumping all unprovable hypotheses into one box. But as I just posted in another thread (the one on top 7 machines), there are rational reasons to believe that there must be an intelligent and powerful First Cause outside of the laws of physics. Because I observe that the physical universe exists and scientists tell me it is running down toward eventual "heat death", and because I hold it to be philosophically absurd to think anything can cause its own existence, the rational conclusion is that this First Cause must exist and have certain minimal properties or characteristics. So my faith in God is completely unlike anyone's faith in entities which have nothing at all to be based upon but imagination. This faith is not related at all to fear of death as many allege, but simple observation and logic.


You see, we are not making outrageous and whimsical assumptions

Says who? I don't view my faith in God as outrageous or whimsical, but I do consider such terms to apply to a view that either refuses to say how things came into being or imagines the philosophically absurd such as things creating themselves.


and bear no burden of proof because our proof is everywhere around us.

The theist can make the exact same claim. If even the "simplest" living cell is not considered proof of intelligent design, then we cannot ever agree on how to identify ID. So if you have no burden of proof, no one does.


Atheism also does not make or take a final stance on unexplained phenomenon, just on the very improbable and mostly impossible beings most religions believe in.

Atheism, if it says "There is no god", is making an absolute statement. Logically, such absolutes must be provable (i.e. you have the burden of proof), even if they pose a negative ("there is no..."). And since those who make this assertion also know it is unprovable, then they cannot demand proof for anyone else's axioms or "givens" that are unprovable.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 08:49 AM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 




This faith is not related at all to fear of death as many allege, but simple observation and logic.


But most believe God won't just simply end them when there body's deplete, they hope for something more, not all, but most, especially followers of religion, of which the dogma insists upon it's own afterlife theory. And again, many preists have used these unfalsifiable claims to gain power and money for centuries.


. So my faith in God is completely unlike anyone's faith in entities which have nothing at all to be based upon but imagination.


It is imagination. If you can show me the logic. And how an original creator avoids infinite regress, then i will accept your conclusion as to how reality is managed, created and governed. It's not MY claim, i can't find any reason to jump to such a conclusion.


Atheism, if it says "There is no god", is making an absolute statement


IF being the key word.

Rational Atheism isn't about making such profound unfalsifiable claims, Atheists leave that to religion or Deism, and hence why Atheists disbelieve their positive claims, There is nothing to warrant the claims other than faulty logic and spinkling of blind faith. The burden of proof is on the Theist. If God was so obvious, the atheist would not have such an easy time.

Most atheists declare "There is insufficient evidence (logical or empirical) to warrant a belief in such an extraordinary claim".

The fact of the matter is, we're all naive, we don't know the answers, But the person making the claim better had show his or her "working out".

Certainly the intelligent designer/creationist God has been falsified. We can safely say, that version of God doesn't exist. Certainly an intervening omnipotent God does not exist.

It depends on the definition of God being claimed as to whether an Atheist can rationally say "there is no such God".
edit on 5/6/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 08:55 AM
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Originally posted by SaberTruth
... I hold it to be philosophically absurd to think anything can cause its own existence,


That is just a belief. And you MIGHT be right in that belief. We simply don't know what caused our existence, if anything. Our knowledge is limited. Atheism doesn't have any one belief about our beginnings. Some don't even bother to speculate, because as of now, we cannot KNOW.


So my faith in God is completely unlike anyone's faith in entities which have nothing at all to be based upon but imagination.


I'm sure everyone who believes in things not proven thinks that way. Talk to a child about their belief in Santa Claus. Their belief, too, is based on solid 'evidence'.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 09:21 AM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
But most believe God won't just simply end them when there body's deplete, they hope for something more, not all, but most, especially followers of religion, of which the dogma insists upon it's own afterlife theory. And again, many preists have used these unfalsifiable claims to gain power and money for centuries.

I'm sorry but I don't see how this comment is in any way related to what I said.


.It is imagination. If you can show me the logic. And how an original creator avoids infinite regress, then i will accept your conclusion as to how reality is managed, created and governed. It's not MY claim, i can't find any reason to jump to such a conclusion.

Your opinion, and I did show you the logic. All I'm saying is that theistic belief is no worse than atheistic belief; everyone starts at an assumption.


Rational Atheism isn't about making such profound unfalsifiable claims, Atheists leave that to religion or Deism, and hence why Atheists disbelieve their positive claims, There is nothing to warrant the claims other than faulty logic and spinkling of blind faith. The burden of proof is on the Theist. If God was so obvious, the atheist would not have such an easy time.

You said it yourself: not all Atheism makes such unfalsifiable claims. But then you contradict that statement with a blanket one about all atheists. I'll give you the benefit of a doubt here and presume you meant "Rational Atheists". But you still make unfounded and subjective accusations against theists that can equally apply to atheists. The burden of proof lies with whoever makes absolutes, and as I said, my proof is the design and complexity of nature, and that if someone cannot see design in the simplest living cell, then we can never agree on anything because our epistemologies are incompatible. The proof burden these "rational atheists" bear is to explain how anything at all ever came into existence, as I said.



Certainly the intelligent designer/creationist God has been falsified.

Now here you are making an absolute, so you have the burden of proof.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 09:27 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
That is just a belief. And you MIGHT be right in that belief. We simply don't know what caused our existence, if anything. Our knowledge is limited. Atheism doesn't have any one belief about our beginnings. Some don't even bother to speculate, because as of now, we cannot KNOW.

Exactly. So when some say emphatically that the existence of God has been falsified, they have the burden of proof. And until they produce such proof in a framework that both sides agree to as valid epistemology, theism and atheism will forever remain at loggerheads and neither will prove the other wrong.


I'm sure everyone who believes in things not proven thinks that way. Talk to a child about their belief in Santa Claus. Their belief, too, is based on solid 'evidence'.

Atheists are no different; they believe in plenty of things without proof, and believe in theories that cannot be falsified.
edit on 5-6-2011 by SaberTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 



. The burden of proof lies with whoever makes absolutes, and as I said, my proof is the design and complexity of nature, and that if someone cannot see design in the simplest living cell, then we can never agree on anything because our epistemologies are incompatible. The proof burden these "rational atheists" bear is to explain how anything at all ever came into existence, as I said.


A lack of belief is not a positive claim.

Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity.

Some are skeptical of the positive notion that God exists (agnostics)

Gnostic Atheists claim there is no God, which i would consider irrational (often known as strong-positive Atheism)

As i've already stated, it's easy to be gnostic atheist to SOME definitions of God but NOT ALL:-

Neptune? God of the Sea? I'm a gnostic Atheist, i'm quite POSITIVE that this GOd does not exist.

An intervening God? Does God intervene in Wars? In Geological events? Haiti? The great flood? I'm a gnostic Atheist.

A creator/source/artist/designer - Agnostic atheist - we don't have the knowledge to form any particular theory, so i'm skeptical in advance.

Atheism isn't a positive claim, Atheism is a lack of belief in a deity. The sooner you learn that, the better.


edit on 5/6/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



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