Atheism

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posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
reply to post by kerazeesicko
 



It wouldn't hurt if religion were only bringing peace, but it isn't, in fact quite the opposite.


Nothing only brings peace in this world. That's a fact of life.

People often talk about all the people killed in the name of religion. Well, all the people killed in WWII were done for secular reasons from fascism to communism to even freedom.

Religion doesn't kill people. People kill people.

In earlier wars, it was usually people that were hungry for power that utilizied religion as a means to gain that power. It's generally considered that Constantine (the emperor most responsible for the early spread of Christianity) never had a vision of Christ at the Minervan bridge, and he just made it up because supporting Christianity at that time was the most politically expedient thing he could do at that time to help him consolidate and expand power. So it goes with other emperors and leaders of so-called "religous wars".

Even noble efforts such as the spread of freedom bring harm to some. Plenty of innocent people were killed in the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan, amongts others.

Life is a messy business.





edit on 8-6-2011 by EthanT because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by Leahn
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Sure, fundamentalist atheists,

* will use every single opportunity to mock the belief of theists, no matter how small or off-topic, and regardless of consequences.


That's because you guys believe in some pretty funny stuff. Dude was eaten by a whale, huh? A boat, with two of every critter in the world, from aardvark to zebu, huh? if I'm nice, I come back to life after I die as someone wealthier than I am now, is that so? That rock over there is who I'm descended from, what you say?


* will use every single opportunity to state that God doesn't exist.


Well, when someone is trying to tell everyone that the sky is lime green and full of angry wasps, one should be a good citizen and try to allay their fears.


* will call God "sky daddy" "sky fairy" or equally derrogative names.


Well, that IS exactly what the god of many religions is - invisible daddy who lives in the sky and does magic. There's no reason to take such beliefs seriously, or to elevate them above myths of leprechauns and werewolves.


* argue that religion is a source of evil and harm.


Evil is hard to quantify. But as a source of harm, yes. Religion induces its believers to act in demonstrably harmful ways, both to themselves and each other. You don't think the oppression of women is healthy, do you? Do you think bathing in the Ganges does anyone any good? How about the belief that if the chief's shadow falls on you, you have to die for violating tabu?


* argue that religion is a major source of wars.


Europe and the Middle East are on the line; they'd like to have a word.


* argue that there is some kind of rivalry between science and religion.


No, actually this is the claim of the theists, and it's sort of like the skinny chess nerd who's claiming he can take on the entire wrestling team.


* believe that science and the scientific method are the only valid sources of truth.


Well, they are actually hte best we have. They certainly generate far better results than previous systems. Maybe in the future we'll come up with an even better way of examining hte world around us, but so far "collect data, run tests, draw conclusions, collect more data, run more tests, revise conclusions" seems to work really, really well.

Never heard of prayer preventing polio. Vaccination, however?


* will hold to the ideas that it is not possible to prove a negative therefore they don't have to prove their position that God doesn't exist.


Well, that's how logic works. Sorry if that's inconveniant for you.


* will claim to be anti-religion, but will be effectively anti-Christianity only, under the excuse that the other religions do not influence their life enough.


Well, it makes sense. Personally I think the Spanish did the world a favor by obliterating the old Aztec religion; hundreds of human sacrifices were performed for fear that the sun wouldn't rise. In every way, that's more abhorrent than anything Christianity's ever come up with. But it's not the priests of Huitzolipotchli who are today trying to start nuclear wars in the middle east while striving to control the uteruses of my countrywomen, is it?


* will preach their atheism aggressively even when it is completely off-topic, like in a political discussion.


Only when religion is already involved in the discussion.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by Leahn
reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Everything you believe or disbelieve affects your perception of reality, due to human inherent confirmation and selection biases. Yes, it is a worldview. Specially regarding the most vocal proponents of it, it is a very easily reconizable one.


If you believe you look best in blue shoes, this belief does not constitute a worldview. If you disbelieve in Santa Claus, this disbelief is not a worldview.

There is a difference between having a belief and having a worldview. They are not the same.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 01:44 PM
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reply to post by Leahn
 


You must have met the Westboro Church equivalent of Atheist.

Atheist - - not really an organized group think like religion. Other then lack of belief in a Deity - - we're all on our own individual thought pattern.

Sorry - - you just can't lump Atheists into the one big black kettle.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 01:48 PM
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reply to post by Leahn
 


As iterationzero said, those are behaviors. And I assure you all atheists do not share those behaviors.

You're saying "fundamental atheist". What is that? An atheist is an atheist and they have ONE belief in common. That there is no God. (Or they all share one absence of a belief in a deity - however you want to say it.) Any other beliefs or word views come NOT from being atheist, but from some belief structure or personality trait.

reply to post by TheWalkingFox
 


Technically, you are correct. But I'm allowing the use of loosey goosey language here in order to understand the point that is being explained.



Originally posted by Leahn
You're discussing semantics. I could describe Christianity equally as a set of behaviors, and not of tenets.


But I asked for tenets. I'm looking for this easily-recognizable world view that is common to atheists. Christianity has a set of common behaviors (and tenets), but that's because it's a religion. They don't only share only ONE belief or position as atheism does. They share many and they could be listed. I'm asking for this comprehensive list of positions that atheists share.



... there is a subset of the atheist community that is not only very vocal about their "atheism" to the point of being considered "religious" by some,


Well, that's true. But these people, if they were religious, would be on the preachy side, too.
Most atheists are quiet about their position. It's not a tenet of atheism to preach about it.




I did not fail to notice that you did not disagree that any of those behaviors are typical of atheists.


I will disagree. These are NOT typical of atheists. It's typical of atheists who act that way, but certainly not of all atheists. And their acting that way is NOT because they're atheists, but because of who they are. Their personalities.
edit on 6/8/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 01:50 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


My post is not an over-generalization. If you go back to the first post I made, you will see that I admited that it did not apply to all atheists. If what I said is an "stereotypical generalization" that's because you're the one generalizing. Atheists are as different from each other as different Christian denominations are.

Yet, while Christians admit that they indeed exists a fundamentalist portion of them that often crosses the line, atheists ignore reality and like to pretend that their equally fundamentalist counterpart doesn't exist. It is not "one or two jerks" that act like that. I can tell you from personal experience that nearly all atheists that I have met, online and offline, act like that. Your most prominent members, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and company, they're like that. When people say "atheism is also a religion", they're talking about those people, and unfortunately for you, they make a lot more noise than the most "moderate" atheists. They're the ones that theists have to deal with every day. And you can't just pretend they don't exist, and demand that it be considered "accurate information."



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 01:58 PM
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Originally posted by Leahn
reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


My post is not an over-generalization.

I can tell you from personal experience that nearly all atheists that I have met, online and offline, act like that. Your most prominent members, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and company, they're like that.


Okay, so you're admitting that you're classifying atheists by your anecdotal experience with some of them.

And I do recognize that zealous, fundamental atheists exist, though I don't find people like Dawkins or Harris meeting the laundry list of stereotypes you've laid out. I believe you are over-generalizing.

And look, I am just as turned off by atheist zealots as you are. However, you can find yourself on shaky ground making a list of definitions like you have. It almost appears as if you're redefining the undesirable qualities of some zealots as tenets of atheism.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:04 PM
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reply to post by Leahn
 


You're discussing semantics. I could describe Christianity equally as a set of behaviors, and not of tenets.

It's hardly a matter of semantics. Here's the definition of fundamentalism:


(religion) The tendency to reduce a religion to its most fundamental tenets, based on strict interpretation of core texts.

Pushing aside for the moment the fact that atheism isn't a religion, what are the core texts or tenets of atheism that allow for there to be fundamentalist atheists? Sure you can describe fundamentalist Christians by their behaviors, but those behaviors are still rooted in a very specific interpretation of the Bible - there's a core text, from which stems core tenets, from which stems a set of behaviors.


Call it "zealots", "extremists" or "fanatical", it doesn't hurt my point that there is a subset of the atheist community that is not only very vocal about their "atheism" to the point of being considered "religious" by some, but also have a very recognizable worldview. The list is by no means extensive, those are only the few things that came to my mind without thinking too much.

I agree that those are behaviors typical of a subset of atheists. It still doesn't make it a religion, in spite of what "some" would consider. And here's where we come back around to your claim of fundamentalism - you provided a list of behaviors. Behaviors are not a worldview, behaviors stem from a worldview. If you can describe the core tenets that would correspond to fundamental atheism, feel free.


I did not fail to notice that you did not disagree that any of those behaviors are typical of atheists.

I didn't really feel the need to since you yourself said it was behavior typical of a subset of atheists. Or are you now going to change your stance and claim that it's behavior typical of all atheists?



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:04 PM
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Originally posted by Leahn
reply to post by Terrormaster
 



But there has been conjecture that the universe is constantly expanding and contracting over time so immense we can't even fathom it. Much like a star that collapses after expending all of it's the fuel whats to say the universe doesn't do the same then collapse into another big bang?


Because it has been scientifically demonstrated that part of entropy survives the crunch, therefore, even a cyclical universe can't be past infinite. We may not be iteration zero, but there was an iteration zero.

Moreso, it is, as you said yourself, a conjecture. Didn't you want to make the discussion a little more scientific?


I said conjecture merely because I can't for the life of me remember where I read or heard that tidbit of knowledge and whether or not there was any reputable sources for that information. I will say that I've heard or read it in scientific media but I don't remember where. So until I can produce sources and links I'm happy to leave it at conjecture until someone proves it wrong.

However, back on topic... You're presuming that there has to be an iteration zero which is a very theistic notion. If you believe there was an iteration zero it leaves the door open for a creator. But why must there be an iteration zero? Why, much like mister magic invisible man, can't it just have always been? Infinitely? Perhaps that's where we should start... Prove the universe had a beginning and maybe the theist can get their foot in the door with the notion of a creator.
edit on 6/8/2011 by Terrormaster because: typo



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Most atheists are quiet about their position. It's not a tenet of atheism to preach about it.




No kidding - - I've never even met another Atheist in person.

I mean - - what would I do? Go down to the corner to the Atheist church?

I suppose if I looked really hard I might be able to find an Atheist group. But really - - what is the point? To hang out and discuss a non-belief?



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:17 PM
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reply to post by TheWalkingFox
 


Atheism is not a position of skepticism. Agnosticism is a position of skeptcism. The skeptic position is to wait until evidence is conclusive for either position. Atheism is a negative position, which incurs burden of proof in the same way that a positive one does, and tried to defend itself by using an argumen from ignorance.

reply to post by TheWalkingFox
 



That's because you guys believe in some pretty funny stuff.


And that translates in you being justified to be a jerk exactly how?


Well, when someone is trying to tell everyone that the sky is lime green and full of angry wasps, one should be a good citizen and try to allay their fears.


You bring me the evidence that you possess that God doesn't exist, and I will accept your rationalization. Until then, comparing the belief in God to the belief that the sky is lime green is both offensive and ridiculous, which only serves to prove my point that many atheists share a very easily recognizable worldview, despite their claims that "there is no similarity between two atheists except their lack of believe in God".


Well, that IS exactly what the god of many religions is - invisible daddy who lives in the sky and does magic. There's no reason to take such beliefs seriously, or to elevate them above myths of leprechauns and werewolves.


QED. You're not really helping your cause, don't you know that? There is absolutely no justification for a human being to be derrogative towards another human being, specially when doing so consciously and intentionally.


Evil is hard to quantify. But as a source of harm, yes. Religion induces its believers to act in demonstrably harmful ways, both to themselves and each other.


No, tribalism does. I do not expect people to have studied the dynamics of tribalism and intra and inter hostilities, but there is very little that can be said about religion that can't be also said about any other variation of tribalism. On the other hand, there is a very important thing to be said about religion that cannot be said about other variations of tribalism. Religion reduces intra-hostilities to near zero.


Europe and the Middle East are on the line; they'd like to have a word.


None of those wars were religious in nature. The wars on Europe were political in nature, and the wars on Middle East are nationalistic in nature.


No, actually this is the claim of the theists, and it's sort of like the skinny chess nerd who's claiming he can take on the entire wrestling team.


No, it isn't. It is a fact of history that science owes far too much to religion for religious people to believe in some sort of schism. Up to the beginning of the 20th century, science was basically a religious endeavor.


Well, they are actually the best we have. They certainly generate far better results than previous systems. Maybe in the future we'll come up with an even better way of examining hte world around us, but so far "collect data, run tests, draw conclusions, collect more data, run more tests, revise conclusions" seems to work really, really well.


No, it isn't. Science is good for explaining the physical world when hard data is attainable and verifiable. It is woefully incapable of dealing with other kinds of truth.


Never heard of prayer preventing polio. Vaccination, however?


It may surprise you, but there are no studies proving the efficacy of vaccination. There has never been any form of double-blind tests proving that it can prevent anything. It is simply assumed to work since when the idea of vaccination appeared, there was no habit of making double-blind studies to verify efficacy of things like that, and scientists have far too much on their hands to worry about "backlog".


Well, that's how logic works. Sorry if that's inconveniant for you.


No, that's not how logic works. That's how some people who are not trained in logic like to pretend that it works.


But it's not the priests of Huitzolipotchli who are today trying to start nuclear wars in the middle east while striving to control the uteruses of my countrywomen, is it?


Actually, there is no one trying to start nuclear wars in the middle east, as far as I know. And as per the uteruses of your countrywomen, you should worry less about Christians and worry more about MGTOW and MRA.


Only when religion is already involved in the discussion.


No, not really. Not on my experience, at least. I've seen people engage in a whole diatribe about how God doesn't exist because someone said "God bless you" when another person sneezed.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by Annee
 


Their present is very obvious even here on ATS. User TheWalkingFox is a good example.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:27 PM
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Originally posted by Leahn
Agnosticism is a position of skeptcism.


You're speaking with such authority, yet the things you've said turn out not to be true.

Agnostic means without knowledge. I am agnostic and it simply means we have no way of knowing.

I am also atheist. Theism has to do with belief. Atheism means without a belief.

Edit to add video:








edit on 6/8/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:28 PM
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reply to post by Annee
 


Believe it or not, there are atheist churches. Crazy, but true. I have never met a self-proclaimed atheist either. I have probably met atheists, but they didn't preach to me.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by Leahn
They're the ones that theists have to deal with every day.


Theists have to deal with Atheists everyday? Really?

How is that? Do they have an Evangelist Atheist TV show? Do they picket your church? Do they come knocking on your door?

I'm really not understanding how they invade your life?



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:42 PM
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Originally posted by Annee

Originally posted by Leahn
They're the ones that theists have to deal with every day.


Theists have to deal with Atheists everyday? Really?

How is that? Do they have an Evangelist Atheist TV show? Do they picket your church? Do they come knocking on your door?

I'm really not understanding how they invade your life?


Indeed, Leahn has made another bizarre claim. I think more accurately, an atheist has to deal with theists every day, though theists tend never to encounter atheists... except maybe in a religious thread on ATS.

I believe what actually happens is that theists engage in discussion with atheists and often are unable to defend their position. When this happens they tend to denigrate the atheist rather than accept their intellectual defeat.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:44 PM
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I believe we were genetically engineered by aliens, mistaken to be gods thousands of years ago. What I see in evolution is not a change brought about by random mutations and natural selection, but rather an evolution in scientific creation mixed in with art to create living art. I certainly haven't observed god either, but I'm confident that we'll begin to create life soon. Look at the work of Dr. Craig Venter who is creating DNA and using it to create synthetic life. Because of that, I have to question whether or not we may have been created in a similar way.
edit on 8-6-2011 by ThreeNF because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by Terrormaster

Originally posted by Leahn
reply to post by Terrormaster
 


I said conjecture merely because I can't for the life of me remember where I read or heard that tidbit of knowledge and whether or not there was any reputable sources for that information. I will say that I've heard or read it in scientific media but I don't remember where. So until I can produce sources and links I'm happy to leave it at conjecture until someone proves it wrong.

However, back on topic... You're presuming that there has to be an iteration zero which is a very theistic notion. If you believe there was an iteration zero it leaves the door open for a creator. But why must there be an iteration zero? Why, much like mister magic invisible man, can't it just have always been? Infinitely? Perhaps that's where we should start... Prove the universe had a beginning and maybe the theist can get their foot in the door with the notion of a creator.
edit on 6/8/2011 by Terrormaster because: typo


There has been scientific studies (yes, reputable ones) demonstrating that a cyclical Universe is possible, that is, that there is nothing in Universal laws preventing such thing from being true. There has been no scientific studies that I know of demonstrating it to be the case. So there is no need for you to produce links showing the idea of a cyclical Universe as I am already aware of possibility of the idea. If you have any link demonstrating that our Universe is actually cyclical, I'd like to see it.

And as per your question to why there must be an iteration zero, I have already told you. A small portion of entropy survives the cycle. In other words, if Universe 0 has 100% energy at the start, Universe 1 has 99.99999% of energy. Universe 2 has a bit less than 1. Universe 3 has a bit less than 2, and so on. Entropy accumulates slowly between cycles and therefore we cannot be past infinite, as at some point during the iterations, entropy would be maxed, or at least high enough to prevent a big bang from happening.
edit on 8/6/2011 by Leahn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:48 PM
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reply to post by brilab45
 


I know exactly what you mean about being in the "knowing". Both sides are asleep, only the spiritualists seems to be the ones awake.

I was once very religious as a child, as I grew up I was one of those people who figured out that there wasn't a God. Now that I have done some more "growing" and lived through many hardships and came into some knowledge through spiritual experiences that are very real...I can tell you there is another side and no one has it right 100%. We will all find out when we die anyway. From what I know, I would say yes there is a God, 4 years ago I would be one of those people making fun of someone who actually thought there was one. I am definately not religious so do not be mistaken.

People are very rigid in their beliefs so to try to show someone they are wrong is like a slap in the face, no one wants to be wrong about this subject. It is obvious when you look at all of the wars in the history of Man.

It really doesn't matter what you believe as long as you do no harm to others and believe in love.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by kerazeesicko
 



Live and Let Live - Religion is one of those things I think should be treated like toilet paper or something, everyone uses it (or at least has an opinion on the matter). and weather you choose to use sigle ply, double ply or QUAD ply....at the end of the day, it really doesnt matter what other people are using! Granted, people dont build their lives around the toilet paper they use...but you get the idea! hahaha





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