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The Growth of Atheism and What it Means for Our Future

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posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by korathin
Your really need to look up all the horrible actions committed by atheist's in the 20th century. Most of the problems we face to day are BECAUSE of atheist's of the 20th Century.


Oh certainly.

That Einstein was a real jackass.




posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:01 PM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


But then the question is, what do you call the people who fit what he described?

Like people who say I believe that there is a god but I don't follow any established religion. They are thiest but admit that they are unsure about the details.

On the other hand there are people like me that don't believe in god but are open to changing that belief upon proof.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by The Old American
I have a philosophical, and admittedly nit-picky, problem with the term "atheist". In Greek, as well as Latin, "a-" as a prefix is an absolute. It's not a belief, and there is no wiggle room. The usage of "atheist" or "atheism" in regards to the rules of grammar set by the language, is (interpreting) "there absolutely is no God or gods". My problem arises in that a mortal being absolutely cannot know that there is absolutely no omnipotent being. They can only "absolutely have no knowledge", thus can only be agnostic.


Well technically, even if you're right about the prefix "a-" being absolute, the term "theist" does not mean "God or gods." It means somebody who holds a belief in a God or gods. So "atheist" would still mean, "absolutely NOT somebody who holds a belief in a God or gods." So I think the word is still properly defined.

You are right that it is impossible to "know" for certain that a vague and unknowable concept like an omnipotent being does not exist. But then again that depends on where you draw the line for "knowing" something. If you really get down to brass tacks, the only thing anybody really "knows" is "I think, therefore I am." But we have to be realistic and allow ourselves to trust in a "knowledge" of other things, based on reliable evidence, so we can go through life without curling up in a dark corner, holding ourselves.

So if you are willing to agree to "know" something if there is a sufficient amount of evidence, it could, hypothetically, be possible to "know" that a God does not exist; you just would need the right kind of evidence. How do we "know" an invisible 50-ft unicorn does not exist? By looking around at the evidence of life on this planet, and seeing that there is absolutely NO reason to believe in an invisible 50-ft unicorn. You technically cannot prove a negative in science, but you CAN look in places where you'd expect the evidence WOULD be if it DID exist, and if it's not there, you can say you "know" the thing does not exist.

For example, if we found a scientific way to look back through time and accurately see everything that has happened in the past, it -could- be that we would see that nothing the Bible or the Koran or any other religious text says happened, actually happened, and no "miracles" took place, or any other sign to indicate a God's presence. IF (keyword there) that were true, it would damage or destroy the credibility of those religions and their theories of a God.

You could still say, "Oh, well maybe the omnipotent God is simply completely hidden and never interacts with anything in any way that we can comprehend." And you could say the same thing about the 50-ft invisible unicorn, but at that point I think there would be pretty good evidence to say you "know" that God does not exist. Purely hypothetical of course... currently I don't believe we have any real way of testing the theory of a God's existence.
edit on 14-6-2011 by Magnus47 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:10 PM
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Originally posted by daskakik
Like people who say I believe that there is a god but I don't follow any established religion. They are thiest but admit that they are unsure about the details.


That situation is closer to deism than theism.
...



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
That situation is closer to deism than theism.
...


Isn't deism just another flavor of theism.

There's a creator in deism but he is hands off.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by korathin
Your really need to look up all the horrible actions committed by atheist's in the 20th century. Most of the problems we face to day are BECAUSE of atheist's of the 20th Century.


Oh certainly.

That Einstein was a real jackass.


Einstein wasn't exactly an Atheist....

Not exactly a religious fanatic either... but not exactly an Atheist



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by HunkaHunka
Einstein wasn't exactly an Atheist....

Not exactly a religious fanatic either... but not exactly an Atheist


He did use god as an analogy often and claimed to believe in "Spinoza's god" (which wasn't a god at all) - how else can you avoid alienating yourself to a nation of 90% religious believers. He had no delusions about the popular man-made gods.

That aside, the argument about all the heinous atheists of the 20th century is one of the most intellectually dishonest and weak of all the arguments meant to bolster theism/religion.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:58 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Um. He flat out said he wasn't an atheist. And even then, Stalin was an atheist. And for every "religious" Mother Teresa there was a Inquisitor. To even attempt to pretend that somehow, magically, atheism, or really any -ism negates being human is ludicris at best. It does not make people do or be anything. But alot of people use those things as excuses.

And in the man's own words.

"I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a god who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind."



"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."



"I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."

edit on 14-6-2011 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 01:04 PM
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And incidentally, best of all.


Einstein had previously explored this belief that man could not understand the nature of God in an interview published in 1930 in G. S. Viereck's book Glimpses of the Great explaining:

I am absolutely not and atheist. I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza’s pantheism, but admire even more his contribution to modern thought because he is the first philosopher to deal with the soul and body as one, and not two separate things.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 01:14 PM
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Einstein is really kind of a distraction from the larger point:

Arguments that reference "20th century atheists" are intellectually dishonest and weak tools to bolster theism.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 01:22 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Yet you played the PR game up until I pointed out your assertion was false. Had you been seeking to be truthful you would not have illogically answered the statement with the comment that one person whom you thought to be an atheist was one.

And really, is it really any different with than the constant "Religion is evil and causes people to kill and be nasty." that you, yourself engage in as well?

Don't play the game then pretend to be above it.
edit on 14-6-2011 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer intellectually dishonest

You're not really helping the point here.
Since you seem to be a fellow atheist, you already know where to report for your punishment.
I hope you led a full life.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by gentledissident
 


Those who cannot effectively argue, mock.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
reply to post by gentledissident
 


Those who cannot effectively argue, mock.

Let me offer you an excuse for our friend www.drumjokes.com...

What would you like to argue about today?

I don't really have a lot of time. I told myself I'd get some tracks laid down today.
edit on 14-6-2011 by gentledissident because: 3 min warning



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by gentledissident
 


No thanks. I prefer honest debate. Not mocking the mocking silliness of someone incapable of seeing past the end of his ideological nose.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
reply to post by gentledissident
 


No thanks. I prefer honest debate. Not mocking the mocking silliness of someone incapable of seeing past the end of his ideological nose.

I accept your resignation



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Yet you played the PR game up until I pointed out your assertion was false.


Sez Yoo.

Although Einstein tried to clarify his positions his actual one still remains dubious, and these quote battles on the issue continue to this day. We can be certain that he did not behave in a manner consistent with the religious people of his time and his statements at best would have him aligned more closely to deism than anything else.

And sure, he claimed not to be an atheist, though what did the term mean to him? Most people - including atheists themselves - don't operate under the proper definition and even perpetuate common misinformation and misunderstandings. Einstein denounced the belief in a personal god, which for all practical purposes essentially makes him a de facto atheist.

But again, this is sidestepping the point I was getting at. Perhaps this Einstein topic deserves its own thread, because I'm just about done with the "is too! is not!" discussion about his religiosity.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 01:40 PM
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reply to post by gentledissident
 


Not a resignation. A simple statement that I won't play your game. Now, if you wish to not base your arguments on repetative and not to mention illogical Appeals to Humor I'm game.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 01:50 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Funny thing is "proper" is a subjective term. You no doubt feel yours is. But, so does everyone else. I tend to look at the terms in a spectrum. To put it simplisticly Atheism= No, Agnosticism= Maybe and Theism= Yes. Since that is essentially how at least the root meanings of atheism and theism are laid out. I rather think my opinion stands more to scrutiny as I do not have a horse in this race. I think both sides are fools arguing unsupportable stances.
edit on 14-6-2011 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 02:42 PM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


No.

You've had it explained to you already.

Agnostic is a question of knowledge
Atheist is a question of belief

An atheist is a person who doesn't believe in any deity, this can be subdivided into two groups:

Agnostic atheist: a non-believer without claimed epistemological certainty
Gnostic theist: a non-believer with claimed epistemological certainty

...the same goes with theists. They're divided into gnostic and agnostic individuals.



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