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The Growth of Atheism and What it Means for Our Future

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posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:04 PM
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Originally posted by Annee

Originally posted by Ryanp5555
Instead, we have told you that one exists. It is up to you to see God.


Shouldn't that be - we have told you what we believers believe.

It is up to you to believe or not believe - - and to see God if that is your choice.
edit on 13-6-2011 by Annee because: fix quote


Yes. I was merely trying to convey that we (thiests) have no need, or burden, to prove that there is a God to some third party. Instead, it is our belief and you (athiests) can either accept or reject it. Thanks for the help, I realize I poorly worded what I was trying to say. Quite circular logic as gentledissedent pointed out.
edit on 13-6-2011 by Ryanp5555 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:05 PM
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I think something needs to be set straight, here. The following are my beliefs that I will add to the discussion. Feel free to prove me wrong... it's not like I have a doctorate in this stuff anyway.

Theism being a belief in a theology, atheism does NOT by any definition lead to cruelty. Cruelty is caused by fear and hatred, survivalist emotions that you can learn to control or not control, regardless of your theistic beliefs or lack thereof.

Thinking of humans as animals does NOT lead to cruelty. In fact, I would caution AGAINST making too much of a distinction between humans and animals, as this often leads to animal cruelty. Thinking of animals as lifeless playthings DOES lead to cruelty, as does thinking of humans as lifeless playthings. This happens when people stop using their sense of empathy. Science and atheism do NOT encourage us to abandon empathy. On the contrary, anyone who appreciates life's beauty and has enough sense to imagine the world from others' point of view can experience empathy, and science generally SUPPORTS this. Fear and hatred, on the other hand, DO encourage us to abandon empathy.

Are atheists slightly more likely to commit violent acts? I don't know. It's possible. They don't have the constant belief that their actions are being watched, and will have consequences. Therefore they may be more likely to subscribe to the notion that the Ends Justify the Means - a school of thought that does tend to create suffering. But then again they also are not plagued by the conviction that any action they do in the name of some perceived deity must automatically be an infallible good deed. So who knows? The bottom line is that it doesn't matter, because true morals and ethics do NOT come from a fear of consequences in the first place (although consequences are important for reducing crime). They come from PRINCIPLES. Well thought-out, freely discussed, rational, logical principles.

Human rights. Animal rights. Basic freedoms. Love thy neighbor. These are PRINCIPLES. Do you need to believe in God in order to love thy neighbor? NO!

Might humans be "nothing more" than biological machines? Yes, they might be! So what? Does that sentence magically de-legitimize everything we have come to respect and hold dear? Of course not! You can choose to say, "Look at all those biological robots. Disgusting." Or, you can say, "Look at all those biological robots. Beautiful!" This doesn't constitute "putting a smiley face" on a dark and dreary philosophy. This is merely a scientific hypothesis, and how you choose to interpret it falls upon nobody's shoulders but YOU.

The notion that people are biological robots does not inherently determine your reaction to itself. There is no rule that says biological robots are inferior to spiritual beings. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we might stop slaughtering intelligent mammals of other species for the sake of our own enjoyment, or to make some quick cash in the latest fur fashion craze.

People don't get violent or suicidal because they believe humans are animals. They get violent or suicidal, and then USE the notion that humans are animals in a negative context, as an outlet for their emotions of FEAR and / or HATRED. There are a lot of things that can cause these emotions and put people into a deep depression. They should seek PROFESSIONAL HELP and try to find the source of their distress.

Rest assured, if somebody is killing themselves or their neighbors, the blame does not fall upon Atheism!



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:06 PM
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reply to post by ztruthseeker
 


How can you honestly embrace something which is based on being opposed to something else?

Shouldn't there be a term that has nothing to do with theism which describes this for others who, though not believing in god re not against the belief in god?



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:15 PM
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Originally posted by Ryanp5555
Yes. I was merely trying to convey that we (thiests) have no need, or burden, to prove that there is a God to some third party. Instead, it is our belief and you (athiests) can either accept or reject it. Thanks for the help, I realize I poorly worded what I was trying to say. Quite circular logic as gentledissedent pointed out.


Well - - now you know I've been on both sides of this.

All I can say is - - this is a discussion forum. Ya can't really dictate how another person thinks or presents their argument.

Would I approach someone to prove their point in a neutral setting? No. Absolutely Not!



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:27 PM
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reply to post by pplrnuts
 


My thoughts exactly! Religion is a man made establishment. Its been used for thousands of years to control the weak, empower the elite and basically divide all of humanity. I completely agree with the op, the world would be a better place without religion. Man made god, god did not make man. Period.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:34 PM
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Originally posted by HunkaHunka How can you honestly embrace something which is based on being opposed to something else?

Shouldn't there be a term that has nothing to do with theism which describes this for others who, though not believing in god re not against the belief in god?
I understand what you are saying. It's a term that means we're not buying what the religious are selling. The term wouldn't exist if the God concept hadn't caught on as a preferable alternative to reality. We would have then just been normal people without a label. At this point, you can call us "sane" if that works better for you.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:37 PM
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reply to post by nicolee123nd
 


Christianity in particular?

Weren't the Muslim nations of old responsible for some of the best mathematical and scientific breakthroughs until they turned into radical Islamic populaces?

So it's just not "Christianity in particular".



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:56 PM
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reply to post by nicolee123nd
 


I agree with you in the fact that we could get so much further scientifically and there could be less wars from religion and what not.

BUT

At the same time, religion gives alot of people a sense of purpose in life. If religion did not exist at all would everyone just start behaving badly due to the fact that "Heaven" and "Hell" no longer exist ?
I admit religion has been a bad thing in the amount of fights and arguments it has caused between different parties. But once again, at the same time, it has caused some people to be nice to eachother thinking they will be going to heaven for their good deeds.

By the way, im not Christian i have my own weird.........weird beliefs which im still contemplating. But i don't go anywhere near a church and i do dislike religion, but i like to clear my mind and think rationally, disregarding my true feelings.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:56 PM
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Originally posted by gentledissident

Originally posted by HunkaHunka How can you honestly embrace something which is based on being opposed to something else?

Shouldn't there be a term that has nothing to do with theism which describes this for others who, though not believing in god re not against the belief in god?
I understand what you are saying. It's a term that means we're not buying what the religious are selling. The term wouldn't exist if the God concept hadn't caught on as a preferable alternative to reality. We would have then just been normal people without a label. At this point, you can call us "sane" if that works better for you.


I know plenty of sane folks on both sides of the aisle...

For example... What would you say is the highest authority for you over what you feel is consciable and not? My religious friends would say God... But what would you say as an atheist? I always tell them its simply me... Tat there is no higher authority than myself when it comes to what brings me happiness or not.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:56 PM
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It is easy to point out mans failings as well as mans use of religion for political gain, always was and still is the easiest way to divide and conquer, this method of gain and or control is as old as religion itself.

Blaming religion for war is akin to blaming a gun for murder!

What we are currently experiencing is the beginning of the "falling away" as foretold in the book of revelation, in these last days more and more christians will lose their faith.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 08:16 PM
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I agree. They didn't call them the dark ages for nothing. If the Catholic church hadn't fought science tooth and nail then the human race would most likely be much more advanced then we are at the moment. In that case the church has really done us a great disservice and kept us from reaching our true potential.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 08:17 PM
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Originally posted by HunkaHunka
I know plenty of sane folks on both sides of the aisle...
If you look at the symptoms of schizophrenia, you will find similarities to religious belief.

Originally posted by HunkaHunkaFor example... What would you say is the highest authority for you over what you feel is consciable and not? My religious friends would say God... But what would you say as an atheist? I always tell them its simply me... Tat there is no higher authority than myself when it comes to what brings me happiness or not.
I am my my highest authority as well. Feels good, doesn't it?



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 08:23 PM
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Originally posted by lestweforget"falling away" as foretold in the book of revelation
It should have been called the "wising up". What intelligent person, some one with an ability to write creatively in a time of almost cavemen, wouldn't have seen that coming?



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 08:24 PM
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Originally posted by Crackavelli
I agree. They didn't call them the dark ages for nothing. If the Catholic church hadn't fought science tooth and nail then the human race would most likely be much more advanced then we are at the moment. In that case the church has really done us a great disservice and kept us from reaching our true potential.


But we could have also faced wars to an epic proportion. Imagine if each nuclear weapon was redeveloped to be 5X a more potent and more damaging. Or what if we became over populated and people decided to release new diseases?

The future hold uncertainty whether theistic or non-theistic. Trading one extreme point of view for another isn't really bringing a change to the world. No matter how advanced science gets we humans are developing alongside of it. If we develop too fast there is a chance that we will wipe ourselves out.

I think the development of science and ourselves must work in harmony. You can't have one outpacing the other. If science outpaces our development than there is a chance we will be wiped out. If we out develop science than there is a chance of starvation and wars due to fierce competition.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 08:24 PM
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Originally posted by nicolee123nd
Without religion (Christianity in particular), we could have a better society overall. No longer would gays, women, blacks, and anyone else looked down on in some religions be considered lesser citizens. Kids wouldn't be bullied for their beliefs. It's a fact that, if there was no religion, most wars wouldn't have been fought. Some say 90% of wars are started because of religion, some say only 15%, but there is no way to tell really.

Even though I am going to play Angel's Advocate, I do want to thank you for opening up this thread. Its a very interesting conversation, which has the potential to explore the psychology of primitive man. When I use the term 'primitive man', I am referring to those who lived 6 million years ago. If it was not for the existence of philosophy, many technological and social revolutions would not exist. Religion is a philosophy that came into existence due to mankind's curiosity and fears. While under the influence of certain curiosities, primitive man philosophically examined themselves and the environment. People asked, "Is this all there is to life?, What happens when I die?, Why do so many people die?, What is love?, and.... What if...?"

Now, you used Evolution as an example of Atheism at work. If you actually did some research into the subject, you would have found out that Darwin's family were Christians. What is that? "Origins of the Species" was created by a man who fought with religious beliefs, for he kept seeing each of his (Christian believing) children die. Even though he did not have faith in a creator, his research into the unknown was influenced by 'religious' curiosities. Darwin philosophically asked himself questions such as, "What is humanity?, Where do we come from?, What is the function and meaning behind our existence?" Even though he came up with a theoretical answer, based upon a scientific analysis, the questions he asked are philosophical in nature.

Before you blame religion for the motivation of wars, how about answering another more important question. Even though the question is related to evolution, it also has grounds in the religious realm. If you can answer the question without engaging in philosophy, I will give you credit for the argument you are creating. In order for mankind to interact physically with the environment, they have to be fully 'aware' of themselves.

What does awareness mean to you?

I do not think you can examine science without god, and I do not think you can examine God without science.

edit on 6/13/2011 by Section31 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 08:25 PM
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reply to post by impaired
 





Seriously - think about that...


Well I've thunked about it.

1.Believe on faith alone, casting out all doubt, over time by following Christs teachings of the kingdom that is to come. Trusting Gods truth to work in their life.

2. Absolutely reject anything that can't be percieved by the five senses. If it can't be hammered on dissected,
penetrated or annihilated ? It dosn't exist. All spirituality, paranormal reports, O.B. E's even the soul have to be thrown out as well and don't think it stops there. No possibility, that there is someone who knows, all there is to know, about the universe and existence, unless it is man. What is knowledge if it isn't known ? Shouldn't everything there is to know be known? What of all the theorys of a multidimensional universe ? Oh but thats without the possibility that any them could be a spirit world or heaven. QUACK!

3. Seeing that niether of the two extremes, can prove or even claim they know anything either way, in a scientific manner? The person living in this perception ( 3 ) of the other two extremes ? While obviously not experiencing any feelings, notions, beckonings causing favor to perception ( 1 ). It's perfectly reasonable to remain in
perception ( 3 ) with at least the wisdom of science ( an open mind ) still intact. No brain fallout here that I can see. Even to the elimination of perception ( 2 ).

Clearly ! While ( 1 ) is the most intelligent choice for those who make up and occupy the ( 1 ) perception. (3) looks far more intelligent to me than ( 2 ) by any stretch. This is without the possible factor of consequences.
Throw that in the mix and perception ( 2 ) has kept their brain from falling out. They just never hit the start button.
( 3 ) defines intelligence while ( 2 ) mocks it. ( 3 ) with wisdom sits in quiet observation. ( 2 ) stands and stomps
and blasphemes.

What do you think impaired ?
edit on 13-6-2011 by randyvs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 08:28 PM
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Originally posted by Equinox99extreme point of view
Really, what is so frightening about reality?



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 08:30 PM
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Originally posted by gentledissident

Originally posted by Equinox99extreme point of view
Really, what is so frightening about reality?

Query: How do you define reality?

What does reality mean to you?

How do you know you can trust 'your philosophical' interpretation of reality?

edit on 6/13/2011 by Section31 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 08:39 PM
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Originally posted by Section31

Originally posted by gentledissident

Originally posted by Equinox99extreme point of view
Really, what is so frightening about reality?

Query: How do you define reality?

What does reality mean to you?
We are simply another species. Our frontal lobe has given us an awareness that contemplates death. As an animal, we must work out our plan for survival. This slow oncoming unavoidable predator has frightened us and caused us to rationalize a life after this one as the only escape. We then look for any coincidence and others who will reaffirm this to strengthen our belief we will survive the attack. We will not. I'm sorry.
edit on 13-6-2011 by gentledissident because: plural



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by Crackavelli
 


It was called the dark ages because the Roman Empire fell to barbarian conquerors and Roman culture and knowledge was lost. The ROMAN Catholic Church was separated from the rest of the Church because of heretical teachings and for sacking Constantinople and deposing Eastern patriarchs in the Crusades. This lead to a bottlekneck in theology (Augustine and Anselm based from then on) and understanding of the roots of the church. On top of that, much of the laity were illiterate or couldn't read latin, so un-Christian behavior such as the burning of heretics and doctrines of "just war" went unopposed. This is little more than a piece of the problem; the dark ages were largely a secular problem and the result of the empire decaying and falling apart. Universities closed, few outside the clergy knew how to read Latin, wars and plagues drained countries, and knowledge of science and technology was lost (things like concrete). The ROMAN Church didn't oppose scientific advancement beyond geocentricism, so to claim that all of the woes of the west rest on the ROMAN Catholic Church is false. I do blame them for corrupting western understanding of Christianity and THAT is a big deal.



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