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BS: New things about atheism

Mrrzy 28 Mar 07 - 09:49 PM
Midchuck 28 Mar 07 - 09:57 PM
Rapparee 28 Mar 07 - 10:04 PM
Mrrzy 28 Mar 07 - 10:04 PM
Mrrzy 28 Mar 07 - 10:07 PM
Rapparee 28 Mar 07 - 10:14 PM
Amos 28 Mar 07 - 10:18 PM
Mrrzy 28 Mar 07 - 10:35 PM
Rapparee 28 Mar 07 - 11:08 PM
Amos 28 Mar 07 - 11:17 PM
GUEST,282RA 28 Mar 07 - 11:45 PM
Donuel 29 Mar 07 - 12:04 AM
Donuel 29 Mar 07 - 12:32 AM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 07 - 01:36 AM
Joe Offer 29 Mar 07 - 02:47 AM
GUEST 29 Mar 07 - 03:42 AM
Amos 29 Mar 07 - 09:21 AM
Scoville 29 Mar 07 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,meself 29 Mar 07 - 10:00 AM
Amos 29 Mar 07 - 10:00 AM
Amos 29 Mar 07 - 10:17 AM
Amos 29 Mar 07 - 10:58 AM
Riginslinger 29 Mar 07 - 11:19 AM
mack/misophist 29 Mar 07 - 11:21 AM
Bee 29 Mar 07 - 11:25 AM
Wolfgang 29 Mar 07 - 11:42 AM
Scoville 29 Mar 07 - 11:47 AM
Amos 29 Mar 07 - 11:55 AM
Wesley S 29 Mar 07 - 12:10 PM
Mrrzy 29 Mar 07 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,meself 29 Mar 07 - 01:06 PM
Mrrzy 29 Mar 07 - 01:09 PM
Amos 29 Mar 07 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,meself 29 Mar 07 - 04:24 PM
Stringsinger 29 Mar 07 - 04:45 PM
Peace 29 Mar 07 - 04:49 PM
Peace 29 Mar 07 - 04:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Mar 07 - 08:24 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 07 - 08:57 PM
Mrrzy 29 Mar 07 - 09:45 PM
Mrrzy 29 Mar 07 - 09:48 PM
Peace 29 Mar 07 - 09:52 PM
bobad 29 Mar 07 - 09:56 PM
Amos 29 Mar 07 - 10:20 PM
Mrrzy 29 Mar 07 - 10:30 PM
Peace 29 Mar 07 - 10:32 PM
Mrrzy 29 Mar 07 - 10:34 PM
Amos 29 Mar 07 - 10:38 PM
mack/misophist 29 Mar 07 - 10:38 PM
Amos 29 Mar 07 - 10:40 PM

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Subject: BS: Lefties to Gays to Atheists...
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 09:49 PM

Has anyone else heard atheists being described as "the new gays?" On the one hand, many of us *are* closeted, and I, who am not, have lost at least one job I'd have kept else; on the other hand, homosexuality is, in my experience, way more acceptable these days than atheism is; on the gripping hand, wouldn't it be interesting if it were the growth of atheism that finally puts the kibbosh on homophobia? I mean, nothing unites humans like a common enemy; perhaps the religious revivalism in the US will end up being what makes being gay acceptable (how ironic, when they {the churches} are spearheading the fight against it {being gay} now!) because, after all, as long as you're a Christian you'll be OK! Being as against homophobia as I am (reminds me of the old superstitions against left-handedness, now seen as a normal rare variant which is, after all, what homosexuality is) I'm all for *something* finally getting it as acceptable as being left-handed is today (mom went through 2 grades with her left hand tied behind her back so she'd stop trying to use it)...
But accepting the possibility of being without religion seems a much greater leap.
Any thoughts or am I rambling?


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Midchuck
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 09:57 PM

An atheist is not "without religion."

Confirmed atheists and devout fundamentalist religious believers are pretty much the same, from an agnostic's viewpoint - they both Know the Truth.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 10:04 PM

If they fire you for atheism, sue them for religious discrimination. They can no more legally discriminate against you for a lack of religious belief than they can discriminate against you because of them. Tell them you celebrate Ralph Ingersoll's birthday as one of the High Holy Days of atheism and can't work that day and see what happens.


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Subject: Lefties to Gays to Atheists...
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 10:04 PM

That is a separate quibble. Atheism means no god beliefs, and some of us grew up without religion. Most left whatever religion they were born into, but I got lucky there.

(OK, I'll quibble a little: Atheism contains no element of *faith* in its beliefs. In contrast, religion does. Atheism is thus the complement of religion - you can either believe in something supernatural, beyond the natural world (be religious) or believe only in the natural world (be atheistic). For instance, I believe in Australia, though I've never been there, and nobody would say that was faith. Thus those who claim atheism is a religion are misusing both terms. Shall we start a different thread for this?) (joe clone maybe change this thread title to "Lefties to Gays to Atheists..." which is what I've been putting as a better title for the discussion I meant to start...
But I really enjoy the one Peter sparked!)


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 10:07 PM

I *love* Ralph Ingersoll! And they didn't SAY that was what it was, although it was what it was, if you follow, plus this is a Right to Work state which is newspeak for We Can Get Rid Of You Whenever For No Reason. I wanted to, though...


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 10:14 PM

"Right To Work" states, such as the four I've worked in and the one I currently work in, in NO WAY means that you can be fired for any reason at all. It means that you can't be forced to join a Union to work for an employer.

You're confusing it with "Employment At Will." Which means that if the employer does discriminate and you can prove it you can still sue the shit out of him.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 10:18 PM

I liked it better when it was Commies. At least they had a capitol.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 10:35 PM

We have both, I think, and I could easily be confusing them.

But has anybody heard atheism being compared to homosexuality in terms of the way it is considered?


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 11:08 PM

No.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 11:17 PM

I have heard the two evils being condemned in one breath by those who stand firmly against godless, commie pinko faggot atheist bastards. Associates in evil, as it were, but not with any rational discourse.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 11:45 PM

>>Tell them you celebrate Ralph Ingersoll's birthday as one of the High Holy Days of atheism and can't work that day and see what happens.<<

Do you mean Robert Green Ingersoll?


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 12:04 AM

As an athiest I entitle myself to use "God" at my metaphorical pleasure. So don't tell me that I as an athiest can not belive in my interpretation of the word god. That being said...

My God smiles on diversity and frowns on conformity.
The Evangelical god hates diversity and insists upon conformity.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 12:32 AM

We chose a pastor for our wedding carefully. His mother, a famous athiest, was murdered for her beliefs.

The Fundamentalist Evangelical Jews* across the street are not shy about their intolerence. The father told me the only enemy is tolerence and that I would know this if my children were bludgeoned to death because I would no longer be tolerent.

The guy says that his family is being attacked by homosexuals so I said where are they? is your family OK? Hoo boy was he peeved.

*I swear that is what they call themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 01:36 AM

It depends where you are living I guess, Mrrzy. Being an atheist in Canada would not present much problems.

By the way, I do think that atheists have faith in various things. Just not in things like "God" or reincarnation or life after death or angels. Like most people, they take their more bizarre leaps of faith so much for granted that they aren't even aware they have them. Only someone who believes differently from them will notice.

Some people have a lot of faith in eternal things, with others it's more in temporary things...like youth, good looks, money, popularity, possessions, you know...the worldly stuff.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 02:47 AM

I suppose if you're aggressive or combative in your atheism, if you're out to prove religious people wrong, you could find yourself unwelcome. Same could be with aggressive or strident homosexual-rights people, or with aggressive fundamentalist religious people.

I'm a religious person, a left-of-center Catholic. I think I'm a person of faith, but there's a certain foggy uncertainty to my faith that doesn't fit the stereotype of religion. I feel very comfortable with agnostics - but I have to say that I sometimes encounter atheists and fundamentalist Christians who seem to be out to prove that I'm an awful person because of my beliefs (or because of my fogginess). They seem to have no ability to question themselves or their beliefs (or lack of beliefs). Yeah, people like that make me uncomfortable. They want to pick a fight, and I don't like being drawn into fights. And I certainly don't want to fight about things that are sacred to me.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 03:42 AM

There were no beliefs until theism developed (in all the various forms, based on whatever was made up over tens of thousands of years by the various factions). The theists tried to spread their message. Those who rejected theist doctrine became known as "atheist" - having the Greek "a" added to "theist" to make a new word to mark the fact of being "not at all theist in any way, shape or form".

Unfortunately, the popular view among theists is that atheists are as Joe describes i.e. agressive in their non-belief, desperate to prove that the theists are wrong etc etc blah blah. The fact of the matter is that true atheists simply have no interest in theist issues. "Aggressive atheists" - I would guess a tiny minority - have some other agenda altogether, and may well be known as "anti-theist", rather than "a-theist".

I think the reason atheists (or antitheists) get a bit short with theists is because it seems that all the world's problems seem to be based on religious differences. My view is if I'm going to be made to suffer in some way, I don't want it to be because the imaginary friend of the society I live in is different from - therefore deemed invalid to - the imaginary friend of some other people in a different society.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 09:21 AM

The atheist is certain the proposition of God is false. The agnostic is smart enough to realize there is a lot he doesn't know.

It could be said the atheist is extrapolating from his experience and taking a leap of faith that it extrapolates consistentyl to the very ends of existence.

I think this is a sort of hubris; but it is understandable, given some of the silly notions about God, that the atheist should firmly reject some of the more cartoonish versions -- the white bearded "man-on-a-cloud who is terribly interested in what you do with your peepee" parody of Godhood which is sometimes taught by the ignorant to the young is a kind of blasphemy, IMHO.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Scoville
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 09:51 AM

I don't see why it's hubris any more than believing in God. You know there's a God? Based on what? Four thousand years of mythology?

It seems there are "degrees" of believers, from people who believe in an amorphous "higher power" to people who believe in a literal, humanoid God. Why can't there be degrees of atheism? I don't believe in God in any form but I don't want to be pushy about it. I don't want to debate believers for the sake of picking apart their beliefs. I just want to be left alone to disbelieve in peace and not be attacked as unAmerican or have my everyday life run into the ground by other peoples' religious agendas.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 10:00 AM

(Re: Amos's post). But I think that is exactly what most atheists DO reject. I don't think that the term atheism necessarily implies the rejection of ANY notion of spirituality, divine force, the supernatural. To my mind, it implies the rejection of the concept of "God". Beyond that, an atheist can anything from an extreme rationalist to someone who has foggy apprehensions of spiritual existence but who, again, rejects the notion of a "God". To my mind.

An agnostic, on the other hand, I've always understood to be someone who merely rejects organized religion, not necessarily someone who rejects the idea of the white-bearded Man on a cloud ...


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 10:00 AM

Sco:

It's not hubris to not believe in God. It is the absolute assertion of not-God that strikes me a little bit whiff. I salute you as an American, and hope you prosper and flourish.   I think religious agendas should be firmly left out of the commons.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 10:17 AM

From a Dick Cavett column:

"I'm not an atheist exactly, but remain what you might call "suggestible." (Is there a category of almost-atheist? A person who does not have the courage of his nonconvictions? I guess Woody Allen has, as so often, had the ultimate comic word on the subject. "You cannot prove the nonexistence of God; you just have to take it on faith.")
"


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 10:58 AM

RELIGION

Religion is a way of walking, not a way of talking.

            Dean William R. Inge


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Riginslinger
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 11:19 AM

The buzz word I've heard for Atheists is "Brights." Maybe they've figured out we're smarter than everybody else.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: mack/misophist
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 11:21 AM

To answer Mrrzy's question, the phrase "atheists are the new homosexuals" appeared in an op-ed piece a while back; I can't remember exactly where. The point was that there seems to be a '10% of the population' point at which popular movements start picking up momentum. Gays were used as the main example. The occasion for the article was a survey that said 10% of the US population is decidedly secular. The hope, of course was that it becomes politically acceptable.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Bee
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 11:25 AM

Ah, but Amos, to admit to agnosticism is to be called wishy-washy by all comers. Nevertheless, it seems the most correct stance for me, seeing no hard evidence one way or the other. I lean hard on the atheism side, though, and that includes all forms of spirituality ( a word as fuzzy as the word god).


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Wolfgang
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 11:42 AM

That must be a particular US problem. In Germany, atheists are a large proportion of the population and unless it is a job paid for by the church noone would have any disadvantages by admitting to lack of faith. I'm sure, a German would easier tell about being atheist than being homosexual. I'd like to hear from other Europeans about their countries.

Amos, an atheist is not necessarily certain that the proposition of a God or gods is wrong, (s)he just doesn't live with such a belief. The refusal to belief is not identical with a certainty that there is no god(s).


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Scoville
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 11:47 AM

It is the absolute assertion of not-God that strikes me a little bit whiff.

What I was asking is: Is this any more hubris than the absolute assertion of God?

Really, I don't see the difference, but it's a lot more acceptable these days to cram one's belief down other's throats than it is to mention one's unbelief even non-confrontationally.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 11:55 AM

Sco:

No, I agree absolutely that asserting knowledge of God and asserting knowledge of Not-God are both extreme, and probably light on evidentiary support. I recommend you have the courage of your convictions and let the chips fallw here they may. There is a whole slew of new books out supporting the non-theist principle of public conduct, such as "Letter to a Christian Nation" and these:

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason by Sam Harris
Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel C. Dennett
God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist by Victor J Stenger
Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism by David Mills


Enjoy.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Wesley S
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 12:10 PM

In my opinion – gays made a great leap forward when they decided to stop thinking that they were victims. The mind is a powerful tool after all. What I perceive is the problem that many atheists { esp here at the Mudcat } suffer from is that they think they are victims. They think – therefore they are. Or on the other hand they feel they are vastly superior to the rest of the population. And sometimes they hold BOTH points of view. "Woe is me – I'm being persecuted because I'm so wise".

Things will only get better once we decide that being an atheist or a believer holds an equal weight to a preference to blue cars over red cars. Paper or plastic. Booth or table. YMMV.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 12:53 PM

Interesting.
Yes, this is largely an American issue.
Atheists don't believe any gods are real.
Agnostics neither believe nor disbelieve - they just aren't sure.
But atheists do not have faith in there being no gods - they have usually concluded it, like Dawkins in The God Delusion.

Some of us are becoming fundamentalist atheists - insisting that the atheist point of view be given as much respect as any theistic point of view. That is what is getting harder and harder in the US - the Bush agenda includes making this into a Christian nation that puts up with other monotheists. That would be a great tragedy and a huge step backwards for humanity, IMHO.

Some of us are becoming evangelical atheists - who try to convince believers not to believe any more. Now, that can be FUN, if done right.

Europe and Canada are pretty much post-religious - now if we can drag the US into the post-modern world!


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 01:06 PM

"asserting knowledge of God and asserting knowledge of Not-God are both extreme" -

It is no more extreme to assert that God does not exist than to assert (apologies to believers) that leprechauns and goblins do not exist. Really. And you don't hear people in mainstream America getting snarky when someone says there are no such things as leprechauns.

I'm not trying to mock anyone's faith here. I'm just trying to make the point that for non-believers, there is no particular reason to recognize a possibility that there is a God, anymore than to recognize the possibility that there are other types of supernatural beings, or space aliens. Some people feel certain that there are no such things, and there's no reason other than tact for them not to say so.

And yes, this seems to be an issue unique to the USA and several Islamic theocracies.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 01:09 PM

Well put, Guest-meself.
Atheists and monotheists have a lot in common. Both think all other gods are mere mythology - the atheist just goes one god further.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 03:02 PM

Atheists can only induce a limited amount of evidence to support the notion that there certainly is not any infinite spiritual force. Typically the scope of such evidence is limited to space-time and things of energy and matter, and further constrained by those matters and energies he has found data on first- or second-hand. However, he must take (a) the rest of all the physical universe and (b) any other universe or continuum and extend the concept of no-God on faith that these principles will scale appropriately.

This is very different than asserting little leprechauns on Earth do not exist because (a) their realm of attribution is purely Earthian and (b) they are postulated entities within corporeal existence and therefore MORE LIKELY to not exist by the known patterns of material existence and probability.

However the various forms of "godness" include, among others, having NO material form, and being "not of space or energy". It is therefore much more a matter of faith to assume that the evidential trends of local space and time will extend into those realms. (If indeed such realms exist, which cannot be estimated based on local knowledge of the physical nature of this continuum for obvious reasons).

The possibility of a third dimension cannot be excluded on the basis of two-dimensional experience (see "Flatland").

However, a good survey of two dimensional space-time can lead one to assessing with a good probability that while many dots exist, small green ones do not.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 04:24 PM

Interesting. However:

1) I don't think an atheist necessarily denies the existence of ANY kind of "infinite spiritual force", although obviously some do. To my mind, an atheist specifically denies the existence of a "Supreme Being", which is a different matter.

2)You've taken my example of leprechauns too literally. I might as easily have used a less earth-bound example such as, "invisible elephants that live in a third dimension". Certainly their non-existence cannot be proven, but it generally would not be considered extreme in any way to deny their existence. By the same token, an emphatic denial of the existence of God does not seem extreme to me. HOWEVER: if by "God", you mean any sort of spiritual force whatsoever, then I - well, I'm still not sure I would call the denial of it "extreme", but it does strike me as somewhat narrow-minded.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Stringsinger
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 04:45 PM

There seems to be an erroneous idea that atheists and fundamentalist religious people are the same. It's not true. Atheism will always mean the lack of interest or investment in religion. I don't think that atheists claim to know any absolute truths because they base their judgements on science which is always changing and as a result the atheist must change their "truths" with new information. A devout fundamentalist doesn't really change their "Truth" regardless of what new developments occur in science.

There are those who feel that organized religion has done more harm than good.
There is some evidence for this. Personally I think it comes down to the people. There are religious people who have done both and atheists as well. The institution of religion can be a problem for those who use it to defend destructive behavior as in wars or violence against others.

But there is no institution of atheism. Atheists can disagree on many levels but in my experience (Joe Stalin and Pol Pot aside) atheists tend to be moral people particularly if they are secular humanists who care about the human condition and want to alleviate injustice and suffering in this lifetime. This is not a religion, this is just common sense.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Peace
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 04:49 PM

Atheists are the new outcasts" Article


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Peace
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 04:55 PM

"I don't think that atheists claim to know any absolute truths because they base their judgements on science which is always changing and as a result the atheist must change their "truths" with new information."

I think you give atheists too much credit, Frank. I doubt they are any smarter on average than the general population from which they come.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 08:24 PM

"Atheism will always mean the lack of interest or investment in religion."

Not so. Richard Dawkins, notably, has built a flourishing second career as a best-selling author (The God Delusion) on the basis of an extremely strong interest in religion, as a proselytising atheist.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 08:57 PM

Ha! Right on. Dawkins is deeply interested in religion. He's obsessed with it. It is the windmill in his Don Quixote obsessive style of existence. If religion wasn't around, he'd have to find something else to prosyletize against instead.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 09:45 PM

Why wouldn't someone who heard all the same things as a believer, but came to the rational conclusion that god stories are just like other fairy, not be smarter on average than those who can't see past doctrine to data, Peace?
If religion weren't around there wouldn't be a need to proselytize [the third spelling I tried made it past Word's editor] against it! Then people like Dawkins could go on to the next greatest enemy of knowledge and self-determination.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 09:48 PM

I direct you to this site where intelligence seems listed as the second greatest force against religion historically.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Peace
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 09:52 PM

Oh, so YOUR suggestion is that atheists are smarter than people who aren't atheists? I would like to see something other than anecdotal stuff on that. For instance is not proof.

You may be right. But there is no way to tell. I don't care about either religions or atheism to be quite frank. So it's a non-issue to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: bobad
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 09:56 PM

From Peace's link:

"Countries regarded as secular or whose populations have by choice abandoned religion have been compared with those who are considered religious. Studies have demonstrated that when one measures life expectancy, literacy, income and education, nations whose populations are religious do poorly as compared to the more nonreligious ones. In addition, studies of non-African countries reveal that nations with the highest rate of homicide are religious."


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 10:20 PM

There is a world of difference between the individual's sense of spiritual being and the faith he has in it, and religiosity as a cultural headlock.

Being forced to agree with arbitrary or authoritarian data makes people stupid and chills expolration, promotes mindless adhesion to the group and dimnishes individual thought as a value.

Havfing a personal sense of one's own spiritual existence, which is a very different thing, tends to make individuals more alert and confident and better at the game. But that has nothing to do with the kind of religiosity that Dawkins and Sam Harris are protesting against, which is more on the lines of rote surrender of cogntive self-determination .

Just MHO.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 10:30 PM

The fundies are only out of control in the Middle East - and in the USA.

Peace - I directed you to that particular site because it's fairly funny - it's an off-the-wall British antireligious site that really pulls no punches and goes out on all kinds of limbs. I thought it was funny, sorry!

Atheists have a spiritual life, they just don't include any imaginary friends. Spirit, after all, means Breath. Does anybody know the root of the word Soul?


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Peace
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 10:32 PM

Sorry, Mrrzy. I'm a little slow on the uptake.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 10:34 PM

Glad you came back to the thread, Peace!

Slight digression - apparently soul is "from O.E. sawol "spiritual and emotional part of a person, animate existence," from P.Gmc. *saiwalo (cf. O.S. seola, O.N. sala, O.Fris. sele, M.Du. siele, Du. ziel, O.H.G. seula, Ger. Seele, Goth. saiwala), of uncertain origin."   Ferry interestink!


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheismsoul (1)
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 10:38 PM

soul (1)
O.E. sawol "spiritual and emotional part of a person, animate existence," from P.Gmc. *saiwalo (cf. O.S. seola, O.N. sala, O.Fris. sele, M.Du. siele, Du. ziel, O.H.G. seula, Ger. Seele, Goth. saiwala), of uncertain origin. Sometimes said to mean originally "coming from or belonging to the sea," because that was supposed to be the stopping place of the soul before birth or after death. Hence, from P.Gmc. *saiwaz (see sea). Meaning "spirit of a deceased person" is attested in O.E. from 971. As a synonym for "person, individual" (e.g. every living soul) it dates from c.1320.




Some complicated philosophical books insist there is a soul separate from the spirit and the body, but I think that just muddies the water.

"The spiritual component of the human being. According to Plato, the soul is a spiritual principle of thought that should govern human choice and action. According to Aristotle, each living thing is composed of "matter and form," the soul is the human "form," the organizing principle that shapes the chaos of matter into a human creature rather than some other kind. ..."

alpha.fdu.edu/~jbecker/nature/natureglossary.html


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: mack/misophist
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 10:38 PM

That last post contained a phrase that means nothing to me. What in the world is "the individual's sense of spiritual being"? I'm curious.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 10:40 PM

Mack:

Some people have a strong sense of being more than the body-mind complex, a sense of themselves as spiritual. Some have no sense of themselves as anything beyond the bag of skin. YMMV.


A


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