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BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......

GUEST,Zabbar 26 Mar 13 - 09:47 AM
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Subject: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Zabbar
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 09:47 AM

Are they just anti-christian? It seems to me that a significant proportion of atheists (speaking only from personal experience rather than having a statistical source) commonly rail against Christianity in general, and against the perceived hypocrisy/ perceived lack of questioning of Christians in particular whilst ignoring dozens of other faiths and beliefs. Yes there may be the odd foray into Islam or Judaism but it seems pretty much every other religion/faith/belief gets off unscathed?

Is this simply because of familiarity with Christianity in the West? Or have the (some would say) un-christian actions and("you are going to hell because you don't believe what I do") stance of much of the organised church and its ministers etc. over the years, brought an anti-christian sentiment to the fore, and almost by default produced "atheists" who in reality have a larger percentage of anti-christian/anti-abrahamic about them rather than purely atheist philosophy/belief?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Rapparee
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 09:57 AM

I'm pretty sure that you can't be atheist unless you are talking about a religion, such as Islam or Judaism or Christianity, which claims that there IS a "God." If your religion worships a "life force" and celebrates the living things around you it'd be pretty hard to be an atheist, I suspect.

People confuse materialism with atheism as well. If you believe it's all over when your biological shell no longer functions, that's materialism. If you believe that there is no church-defined "God", that's atheism. Yes, they can go hand-in-hand, but they are not the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jeri
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 10:24 AM

One name, eh guest?

Rap, you wrongly assume everyone first has a religion. That there is such a thing as "your religion".

The 'anti' people are, I believe, pissed off at a religion. In effect, saying "I'm mad at God, so I won't believe in him". That's not atheism, because they still have a god, albeit one they're pissed off at.

I don't think a person who is an atheist needs to get any specific religion involved. And there are loads of things in the universe to be amazed at which aren't gods and don't have personalities that one can worship.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 10:42 AM

I suppose the difference between Christianity and a n other cult is, for those of us living in The UK, that bishops have a right to be represented in the upper house, vote on legislation and use their influence to fetter equality whilst ensuring equality legislation allows religious organisations to discriminate on gender and sexual orientation.

That such disgraceful antics are convenient for other cults is of course serendipity.

Im not really an atheist. If it describes me therefore I am but whilst the term denotes a stance on belief, don't presume...


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 10:44 AM

theism is the belief in one or more god(s) and seems to include some form of religious belief system. Deism is the believe that the "proof" of the existence of god(s) is evident in the natural world.

I would venture to say that an atheist rejects theism and an agnostic sees no clear evidence one way or the other.

The reason why so we encounter so many people opposed to Christian religion is because we in western societies are mainly Christian. If a Christian rejects Judism, Islam, Buddism, Confuscism, etc. they are not regarded as heretics or atheists by other Christians, but are approved of for that rejection of what is regarded as false beliefs.

Only when someone who is expected to believe in Christianity admits that they reject that belief are they labeled an atheist by other Christians... even that person actually does not believe in any religion. It's OK to reject the beliefs of others, just not theirs... human nature at work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Newport Boy
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 10:44 AM

There are many definitions of atheism, but I think the most general one is 'a lack of belief that a deity (or deities) exist'. This is more positive than the agnostic uncertainty of the existence of a deity. In this view, there is no 'atheist philosophy/belief', which I suggest would be more correctly called 'antitheism'.

The question as to whether it's all over when you cease to function is more complicated - is it necessary to believe in a deity to believe in ghosts? (I don't know - I don't believe in either.) Does a deity have to be 'church-defined'? If so, what constitutes a church?

One problem with all these discussions is in the definition of terms. I have an understanding of 'faith', 'belief', 'god', 'religion' and 'church' which would not be shared by many believers of various faiths and religions, whatever they believe and whether or not they belong to or attend a church.

Another problem is that people of my persuasion argue from a base of logic, rather than the base of faith or belief used by those who have either. In an argument, you can come to a conclusion on the basis of logic, or on the basis of emotion, but it's not easy to come to a conclusion on a mixture of the two.

And that ends my foray into arguments about religion. I listened to and participated in many arguments over 60 years ago and came to my personal conclusion. I've seen no reason to change that conclusion since, and I have no interest in converting others to my point of view. I'm happy to accept that others have different views, and for them to live their lives in line with their views, provided they don't try and impose their values or lifestyle on me, for that way lies dictatorship and repression.

Phil


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 10:56 AM

All these points have been made before and are discussed in the current other Atheist thread. Let's close this one... especially if it was started by someone using more than one name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 02:11 PM

Well, I must say I'm disappointed. When I saw the thread title I thought we were going to get the post-McGrathian, and very pertinent, question, "Are atheists really atheists or are they all really just agnostic?" Now that might have made a much better thread!

Not keen on this: I would venture to say that an atheist rejects theism and an agnostic sees no clear evidence one way or the other.

I don't think a genuine atheist has rejected anything as such. It's more a matter of weighing up evidence for the existence of God, finding it severely wanting and, as a result, living one's life in spite of all the brouhaha surrounding him. Oh, and having a damn fine argument with believers every now and then! I don't find "agnostic" a very useful term. It covers far too wide a spectrum for a single little word. There are those who can't be bothered, those are are confused by the whole thing, those are don't like to say there's no God out of fear, and the almost-certains, in which category I might include myself and, definitely, Richard Dawkins. "Atheist" is a pithy little word which those of us at our end of the spectrum accept by way of expedience only.

In that regard:

There are many definitions of atheism, but I think the most general one is 'a lack of belief that a deity (or deities) exist'.

The trouble with this is that I'm supposed to lack something (all together now... ;-) ) I certainly take a radically alternative view of the universe to that of believers, that's for sure, but I'm not sure I want to accept that I lack something which they don't. Could be that, by ditching faith, I've gained more than I lost. Who's to say?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 02:20 PM

American atheists tend to rail against christianity because it's what we are forced to be immersed in...


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: akenaton
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 02:25 PM

My stance, is that I do not believe in a supreme being, or heaven and hell as described in the bible.

I call myself atheist, but understand why others may believe, and why that belief may be good for them and good for society.
I also believe in "spirituality" and other natural phenomenon like mental telepathy intuition etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 02:42 PM

More half arsed, half baked pseudo intellectual claptrap.

Why dont you all get to grips with the fact that all this religan is a smoke screen put about by people who want to dominate you, and make you forget about the real issues.

I do have a sort of respect for people who follow one of the mainstream religions, you believe in the magical man/men/woman/women you believe in 'em aint up for question.

What I do find hard to get to grips with is some of you lot hedging your bets in case there is something in it.

How in the name of all reason can you call yourself an atheist and in the same breath believe in the brain washing mumbo jumbo of spirituallity and the oher dangerouse crap of telepathy.Ruses to part gullible cretins like you lot from their money.

The whole world is in a state of turmoil made by very rich people exploiting the majority.We dont make this any better by beleiving in this kind of brain washing.
Let us all combine together and try and make a differance

Marxism the true path.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 02:46 PM

Yes, I think that's right Mrrzy. The USA is unique in that respect. It is the only country in the western world where the Religious Right openly plays a significant part in politics, and where a presidential candidate must publicly avow religious faith (Christian religious faith, that is) in order to be considered electable.

It's extraordinary. It's just not anything like that in Canada or Europe or Australia or...heck...anywhere, except in some of the Muslim countries, where displays of one's faith also seem to be considered obligatory in politics, only Muslim faith in their case.

How did it get that way in the USA? It's a conundrum.

Our present Canadian Prime Minister, Steven Harper, is apparently a fundamentalist Christian. I say "apparently", because he hasn't made a peep about it publicly....if he had, it would have hurt him badly at the polls, you see. ;-) The average Canadian wouldn't vote for a funamentalist Christian. So Mr Harper, like most Canadian politicians, never talks about religion in his speeches. The political attitude here is that your religion (if you have one) is your own private business, nobody else's, and has nothing to do with running a political campaign.

Rather than being "immersed in Christianity" in this country, it's something that quietly happens around you with local church communities, it doesn't enter into politics, and most of those who are not involved in it never hear about it, hardly ever think about it, and certainly don't worry about it.

I can well understand how the bizarre situation in the USA affects American atheists...and this leads to all kinds of confrontational feelings on both sides.

In any case, you'd perhaps be surprised to know that most Christian Canadians are quite politically "liberal" by American standards and are horrified by the philosophy of the Religious Right in the USA. Accordingly, we might agree with you about far more than you would think...and still be religious anyway.

If people would stop stereotyping each other into some imagined awful extreme of the chronic boogeyman they carry around in their heads (whether it be atheism or conservatism or liberalism or Christianity), if they would stop assuming that "those other people" are all stupider and more ignorant than they are, it would certainly help us get along better, wouldn't it?

Why always assume the worst of people who are different from you in some way?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 03:05 PM

Sorry Bill, I don't think that this thread should be combined with my Atheism. This is a debate about definitions, mine is the discussion of an article with "Atheist" in the title.

I do think that if the original poster has broken the rules the entire thread should be deleted and that no member of this forum who respects this forum and the rules will complain.

As for the the debate about the definitions. We who live in the USA have a chance at clarity. A group called American Atheists recently argued before the Supreme Court of the United States and defined themselves. If I were still an Atheist I would be proud of this group and this definition. Maybe we can all read this and start the discussion from there?

>>>>
Atheism
Date: 15-02-2012 /
admin's picture
Author: admin        / Tag: atheism /

Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity, which implies that nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units. This definition means that there are no forces, phenomena, or entities which exist outside of or apart from physical nature, or which transcend nature, or are "super" natural, nor can there be. Humankind is on its own.

The following definition of atheism was given to the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Murray v. Curlett, 374 U.S. 203, 83 S. Ct. 1560, 10 L.Ed.2d (MD, 1963), to remove reverential Bible reading and oral unison recitation of the Lord's Prayer in the public schools:

"Your petitioners are atheists and they define their beliefs as follows. An atheist loves his fellow man instead of god. An atheist believes that heaven is something for which we should work now – here on earth for all men together to enjoy.

An atheist believes that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it, and enjoy it.

An atheist believes that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.

He seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to know a god. An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man.

He wants an ethical way of life. He believes that we cannot rely on a god or channel action into prayer nor hope for an end of troubles in a hereafter.

He believes that we are our brother's keepers and are keepers of our own lives; that we are responsible persons and the job is here and the time is now."<<<


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 03:25 PM

Looking back over my 64 years I realise that I've always felt that religion has nothing to do with me. I received a 'religious education' at school and my mother insisted that the family went to church on a Sunday evening but I never really felt that any of it made any sense.

So, if someone wants to believe in things or have faith in stuff that's none of my business - carry on. On the other hand if you feel that you need to convert me to your religion then you have to convince me of its validity and value first. The best of luck with that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Rapparee
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 03:33 PM

Nope, I never said that I thought everyone had a religion to start with. I was only pointing up examples.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: akenaton
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 03:34 PM

Well GUEST, I believe in quite a lot of Marxism as well....:0)

But what is the point of insulting people with different needs? i ave found that most people need help with some aspects of life.

As far as telepathy goes, I know for certain that it can happen. I dont think its anything "supernatural" just a sense that has been lost to most of us, along with many other senses which we once had but "civilisation" has diminished.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 03:35 PM

That's a very good definition of rational atheism, Jack. Rational atheism is positive, constructive, and good in its intentions.

(Then there is negative emotional atheism, quite different from rational atheism. Emotional atheism is generally a very hostile reaction of some kind against religion...usually due to some sense of being, or having been persecuted or threatened by organized religion...or just a sense of being superior (to say "religious people are stupid"). Many persons brought up in the churches have become emotional atheists due to having been subjected to very unenlightened treatment from the religious organizations they grew up in...this is specially true, I find, of ex-Catholics. Their painful childhood experiences may have set them at war with organized religion for the rest of their lives.)

Some people are a combination of the rational and the negative emotional atheist...just as some religious people are both rational and negatively emotional in their approach to life. If negatively emotional, for instance, they may focus a lot on guilt, hellfire, aggressive conversion of non-believers, and punishment for sin.

The rational atheist essentially believes in all the same positive and constructive things that the rational religious person does, only he leaves out any references to God and to things he can't observe in the material world.

Both the rational atheist and the rational religious person make very good neighbours, since their basic approach is to help other people and do positive, constructive things in the world.

Any sensible religious person believes in prayer AND action, not just prayer. You pray AND you do the deed. The rational atheist believes in positive thought AND action. The primary difference is that the rational atheist thinks he's alone in his thought (and in a spiritual sense), while the rational religous person thinks he's not alone in his thought but is connected at all times to a higher purpose and presence that works with him and helps him.

Given the same good intention, both of them will essentially do the same useful things when they are required, meaning they will help other people who are in need and treat other people in a kind fashion. One feels he's doing it all alone...but in relationship to other people. The other feels he's doing it within a larger spiritual relationship that extends into everything and everyone. They both in any case DO the same things. They render assistance and practice brotherhood.

This puts both of them on positive ground, and, in my opinion, makes them potential friends, not enemies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 03:36 PM

Lapsed Pagans?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 03:42 PM

The trouble with that 'definition' is that it is not actually a definition ~ i.e. one which will cover all uses of the term ~ but is rather a catalogue of what its compilers regarded as desirable humane attributes or opinions which they trusted many atheists could recognise in themselves without having to postulate any sort of deity or supernatural entity who would be pleased at the idea or the fact of their possessing or holding them. They are all good ones, to be sure; but no recitation of a list of be-it-ne'er-so-many examples, however typical or indicative or worthy, can add up, in any meaningful sense, to a definition.

Mr GUESTconcerned: I see no reason for telepathy to be included in your list of unacceptable postulations, when it is clearly a phenomenon for which a physical cause could well exist, even if we don't know yet what it may be. I had at one time some very limited experience of what I took possibly to be an instance of it, and would certainly not agree that it belongs in the same realm of unlikelihood to the ∞∞° as the deity-concepts.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 03:52 PM

This is a definition...

Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity, which implies that nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units. This definition means that there are no forces, phenomena, or entities which exist outside of or apart from physical nature, or which transcend nature, or are "super" natural, nor can there be. Humankind is on its own.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 04:27 PM

Actually, I guess this "Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity." is the definition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 04:38 PM

Yeah, that's exactly what I believed as a child and as a young person, Jack, although there were a couple of incidents that made me think that ghosts might exist....and that did imply that death does not irreversibly terminate conscious life, but only physically embodied conscious life. That made me wonder. So I began to consider the possibility that there was some kind of spiritual existence after life, but I didn't think there was any God involved in it. This was primarily because I grew up with parents whe didn't think there was any God, and I adopted the same views from them.

My father had seen men's spirits leaving their bodies during the war when some men got killed in battle near him...but he didn't think there was an afterlife. To explain that...what he thought was that the spirit left the body...then simply dispersed and ceased to have identity after that.

I began to wonder and ask questions about all my usual assumptions after awhile. This led to considering possibilities such as souls, an afterlife, and a spiritual purpose behind physical life.

The questions I was asking led me to read many different books including: science books, philosophy, Taoist writing, Buddhist writing, various alternative Christian viewpoints as well as conventional Christianity, North American Indian religious ideas, New Age books, really everything I could find that looked interesting.

I gradually began to feel that there was a spiritual dimension to life, and I approached it through all kinds of different traditions. I also began to feel that there was a "God" involved in it, but I wouldn't define that God in terms of a "being" exactly, because a being is too limited to encompass what I saw as "God".

Beings exist. "Exist" means to "stand out"...as apart from other things...to be a visible phenomenon. This could not be the God I was looking for, because the God I was looking for isn't a being. It isn't something that stands out apart from other things. Rather, it is the source of being itself. It is implicit in what exists, not explicit. It is prior cause and governing principle. It is contained implicitly in everything that exists, and everything that exists is contained in it. It is too large to see or measure, too small to see or measure, it has no measurable characteristics at all.

It is not definable in terms of something that exists, because it has no observable characteristics, measurements or dimensions, but it is implicit in everything that does exist. Is it intelligent and purposeful? I think so, but that's simply my most favoured assumption. I can't be 100% sure about it at this point, because it can't be proven. It can perhaps be experienced...but this is not proof to anyone except he who has the experience.

And so, I continue to ask questions...and to keep looking further into the matter.

I find that most people's view of a deity is of a being (similar to other beings, but all-powerful?)....and if they don't believe in that being, they say, "There's no evidence for it."

Well, yeah! You cannot find evidence for the source of existence itself. It doesn't itself exist. It has no defining limitations, therefore it cannot be seen, observed, measured, categorized, etc.

But if it is implicit in you and in everything else, and if it allows you to be what you are (rather like a page allows words to be written and made visible, to use a metaphor) it can probably be experienced in a conscious way, and that is what people try to do through religious contemplation and prayer. They attempt to make conscious contact with the source of their own being, and the source of their best moral sense and their best purposes in life.

Whereas, the rational atheist tries to do that too...only he looks strictly to himself within his own mind, not to a prior or larger spiritual source from which he came. He thinks he's alone. The religious person thinks he's not alone, but in company with a higher purpose that was there before he was and is always present.

People will ridicule this by calling it a "secret friend". Again, though, they're envisioning a little imaginary Deistic being of some kind (like a Divine Parrot sitting on the person's shoulder or an old bearded man on a throne), not the measureless, pre-existing source of everything that now exists.

It can't be seen, touched, described or measured...unless you realize this: it is in everything, yourself included. Everything is its proof, in one sense....but that's not what people call "proof". By "proof", they mean various observed details that are separately seen from the other separate things around them. The source of existence isn't separate from anything, because it underlies, informs, and gives birth TO everything that does exist...and will remain absolutely undetectable to those who must imagine it defined as something that just "exists" the way they do...meaning separately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 04:40 PM

Words have specific meanings.

Theism:

belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically : belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world

Atheism:

a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
b : the doctrine that there is no deity

Agnosticism:

Doctrine that one cannot know the existence of anything beyond the phenomena of experience. It is popularly equated with religious skepticism, and especially with the rejection of traditional Christian beliefs under the impact of modern scientific thought

Gnosticism:

the thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis

Gnosis:

esoteric knowledge of spiritual truth held by the ancient Gnostics to be essential to salvation


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 04:47 PM

Ok, Jack... I see your point about the threads, even with obvious overlap.

Now.. I agree with MtheGM just above about that definition.

I approach it this way: it begins with an assertion (or many such) that there are metaphysical realms and entities.. the major one being a Supernatural Bing with powers to manipulate the 'natural' realm, and who cares about whether we know about it (I avoid the personal pronouns when discussing it this way).
Most of us hear about these claims in early childhood, often presented as facts to be learned and not debated, which is relatively easy for most children to absorb. Eventually, we hear discussions about those assertions NOT being facts, and we then have choices about how to proceed.
That is basically what happened in my case. I was raised as a Methodist, though with little serious indoctrination or daily reminders. Still, I didn't question much until I was in my mid teens.
What happened was: the IDEA of questioning 'facts' that weren't immediately obvious became an issue in itself. ("But Mom.. why would tornadoes all come from one direction?") At the same time, I became aware of the myriad of alternate (and often directly conflicting) versions of religious 'truth'. "Hmmmmm", says I, "something awkward here!" What to do? Ah-ha! Study! At about 17 and preparing to enter college (the first one I know of in my entire family to do so!), I learned that some college areas major concern is to facilitate study about truth, logic and decision making. Off I go!.... and soon switching to the Unitarian church where 'churchiness' was done in a manner similar to my Philosophy classes.

Once I had packed in a number of principles about 'thinking' in general, it sort of became apparent that I could NOT continue in an unswerving belief in a Supreme Being who made everything...etc...etc..

Ok..after that much condensed trip thru my development, the question arises, as it did to me at the time... what am I? Atheist was sort of an obvious answer, but during my college career, Madalyn Murray O'Hair was in the news as a REAL Atheist... a militant, anti-Christian troublemaker. I sure didn't like her attitude, and the word carried heavy baggage. Many of my friends, family and fellow students were still practicing Christians, and they were nice people... so why go out of my way to pick fights with them? (I'll admit, in Kansas in the 1960s, it was often hard to avoid the debate)
As I said in the other thread, I settled on the word 'skeptic', which is merely an overall approach that requires all information to be well supported by evidence. It does not require denial of anything. It is guided by rules of logic which identify bad reasoning, which are often an indication of dubious conclusions. It also recognizes that some assertions can not BE proven one way or another... thus making strident atheism flawed in its own right.


So...for those of you who have waded thru this long exposition...some atheists are clearly 'really atheists' and almost defined by being anti-religion (not merely anti-christian), while others have just not thought thru the process of worrying about names. Some folks just don't worry about it, and if pressed will just say they 'don't bother' and have allowed 'atheist' to be applied if others so wish. Others are like me and want our opinions to be clear and understood, if not agreed with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 04:49 PM

sheesh...one has to think and type faster than is my normal pace to keep up!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 05:26 PM

I think that is a wonderful definition for arguing for atheist values in court. Since it has been used in that manner, it is a good starting point for discussing Atheism in this country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 05:47 PM

Good stuff, Bill. What you are, in my opinion, is a freethinker.

It's not surprising that you begin to question the religious precepts your parents passed on to you when you reached your teens. Most teenagers question their parents' ideas pretty stringently at a certain point...it's part of growing up. I also questioned my parents' values in my teens and 20s...but what they had inculcated in my upbringing was not religion, but conventional science and materialism

So I became a skeptic too, questioning whether they might have possibly missed the boat in a few respects, and I started looking into all kinds of stuff they had not taught me.

And that led me into various forms of spiritual philosophy. I wanted more out of life than what the materialist viewpoint had given me, and I went looking for it with a deep longing, and that brought me to where I am now.

My father died in 2006, still absolutely convinced that the material world is all there is, so I can't help but wonder if he got a surprise in that respect? The interesting thing is, I had frequent dreams for 6 or 8 months after his death which went this way:

I'd go down into the basement where he had his home office....and there he'd be, sitting at his desk, doing his usual workaholic daily routine.

I'd say, "What the heck are you doing here?" He'd look up, a bit annoyed, and say, "What do you mean?"

I'd say, "You died. Back on May 30th. You died at the hospital. What are you still hanging around here for?"

He'd look like at me like I was totally nuts and say, "You're crazy. I never died."

I'd say, "Yes, you did. I can show you the Death Certificate if you don't believe me."

He'd say, "Bullshit! Stop wasting my time. I need to get this work done."

And so we'd argue, and argue...

I had many of these dreams, several a week, and it went on for months, always basically the same general scenario. In my opinion, his soul didn't know his body had died, and he was coming back just by regular habit. He was very attached to his work. And he didn't believe in death anyway, when it came to him. (he'd said a number of times to my mother that he "wasn't planning on dying" when spoken to about possibly drawing up a will at some point.)

Oh, he believed that other people died, sure....but NOT him!

So, this went on and on with the dreams. I went one day, cleared off his desk, and put his Death Certificate on it in plain view. I thought maybe that would do the trick. It didn't. The dreams went on.

Finally I came down there in one dream and there he was, as usual, so I started talking to him about him having died, and he scoffed at the idea.

So then I said, "Look at yourself. You're in a tired, aging body at age 85. You're stiff and you can't bend over. You're weak and worn out. Wouldn't you like to be in a young, strong body again? There's nothing more for you to do here now, your work here is all finished, but if you just leave all this stuff behind and go on to the next thing, you can be YOUNG again! You can be in a young and lively body again! You could even date good looking girls again! Wouldn't you like that? What do you say to that idea?"

He looked surprised. I saw the light of a brand new possibility dawn in his eyes.

And that was the last one of those dreams I had about him. This is the truth.

Draw whatever conclusions suit you, Bill. ;-) I think my father finally let go of what he was hanging onto and I hope whatever he moved on to from there turned out to be a whole lot better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: akenaton
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 05:54 PM

The only problem I sometimes have is not in defining my atheism but in defining the "spirit" which appears mysteriously every so often from somewhere deep within.

It can appear when I read a bit of poetry, hear one of the old rebel songs, think of the injustice of the system we live under, or when I am confronted by the insignificance of humanity and what it has accomplished.

Can you define the "spirit" Jack?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 06:01 PM

The "spirit" you refer to is indeed the most striking thing in life, Akenaton. I've also felt it when reading poetry, hearing music, being in Nature, experiencing a deep form of love, and at various other moments when it mysteriously touched something deep within me, something of great value.

That's the crux of life as far as I'm concerned. Some people see it in religious terms, some don't. I think it is the sudden awareness or apprehension of a state of perfection that one is feeling at those times. Religions also seek that state of perfection. And completion. And an end to fear. And opening to love. And forgiveness. That's why many people are drawn TO religions, provided they are drawn to them by their own free choice, and not just by the pressure of various cultural and family traditions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 06:30 PM

"Can you define the "spirit" Jack? "

Meant for LH?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: akenaton
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 06:50 PM

Well no Jack, I'm interested in your view as an atheist.

I more or less agree with what Little Hawk has written.....I've seen old men inspired to dance with joy.....the tears of a grandmother when holding her first grandchild.
Folks singing to an audiance when they have never performed before and being so possesed of the "spirit" that they seemed to float in the air.
When playing football as a young man, being lifted by the "spirit" to do great things.

How do we explain these feelings, they are certainly not of the intellect. Surely there is also a spiritual dimension to our lives?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: akenaton
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 07:04 PM

Poems by Henry Lawson After All

The brooding ghosts of Australian night have gone from the bush and town;
My spirit revives in the morning breeze,
though it died when the sun went down;
The river is high and the stream is strong,
and the grass is green and tall,
And I fain would think that this world of ours is a good world after all.

The light of passion in dreamy eyes, and a page of truth well read,
The glorious thrill in a heart grown cold of the spirit I thought was dead,
A song that goes to a comrade's heart, and a tear of pride let fall --
And my soul is strong! and the world to me is a grand world after all!

Let our enemies go by their old dull tracks,
and theirs be the fault or shame
(The man is bitter against the world who has only himself to blame);
Let the darkest side of the past be dark, and only the good recall;
For I must believe that the world, my dear, is a kind world after all.

It well may be that I saw too plain, and it may be I was blind;
But I'll keep my face to the dawning light,
though the devil may stand behind!
Though the devil may stand behind my back, I'll not see his shadow fall,
But read the signs in the morning stars of a good world after all.

Rest, for your eyes are weary, girl -- you have driven the worst away --
The ghost of the man that I might have been is gone from my heart to-day;
We'll live for life and the best it brings till our twilight shadows fall;
My heart grows brave, and the world, my girl, is a good world after all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 07:04 PM


The following definition of atheism was given to the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Murray v. Curlett, 374 U.S. 203, 83 S. Ct. 1560, 10 L.Ed.2d (MD, 1963), to remove reverential Bible reading and oral unison recitation of the Lord's Prayer in the public schools:

"Your petitioners are atheists and they define their beliefs as follows. An atheist loves his fellow man instead of god. An atheist believes that heaven is something for which we should work now – here on earth for all men together to enjoy.

An atheist believes that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it, and enjoy it.

An atheist believes that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.

He seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to know a god. An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man.

He wants an ethical way of life. He believes that we cannot rely on a god or channel action into prayer nor hope for an end of troubles in a hereafter.

He believes that we are our brother's keepers and are keepers of our own lives; that we are responsible persons and the job is here and the time is now.

Well what a load of soft-centred, airy-fairy, cloudy twaddle. If "atheists" rewally drew this lot up they are not atheists. This reads suspiciously like the construction of the sort of belief system that we atheists simply have not got. The first sentence is poppycock, and it's downhill all the way from there. Atheism is not the lack of anything. How would you like it, believers, if I defined your belief as the lack of a rational approach to what is self-evident? Not much, I'd wager, though it's pretty solid nonetheless! The rest of it is not really worth commenting on, thought I notice that the persistent use of "he" and "man" seems to allow for a pretty exclusive brotherhood of atheists! Do yourself a favour, Jack, and make your references jump through at least one or two little hoops labelled Common Sense before you post 'em.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 07:05 PM

Oops, it's really really, really.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 07:11 PM

Dearie me, I have got things slighlty arse about face here. That first sentence I referred to missed out on my copy 'n' paste. Yertis, as we say in Cornwall, along with the missing follow-up bits.

Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity, which implies that nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units. This definition means that there are no forces, phenomena, or entities which exist outside of or apart from physical nature, or which transcend nature, or are "super" natural, nor can there be. Humankind is on its own.


So the piece of poppycock I referred to was this bit: Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity, which implies that nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 07:13 PM

I'm not an atheist. Ask Mr. Shaw he apparently is not only an atheist but and expert on the qualifications.


As far as the definition of "spirit" goes, I don't really think about it but I don't think that dancing with joy etc has much to do with theism or the lack of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 08:06 PM

Steve Shaw--that definition of Atheism, whether you like it or not, was submitted to the US Supreme Court in the arguements that led to the elimination of prayer in our public schools, so it's got legal and historical value...your opinions are only your own, but the US Supreme Court opinions are law...and so it goes...


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 08:21 PM

some atheists are clearly 'really atheists' and almost defined by being anti-religion (not merely anti-christian)

You see, this is the kind of thing that wells up from the veritable swamps of whimsy expressed in some of the lengthier contributions to this thread. I have no dealings at all with your God. I've decided from all the honestly-gleaned evidence I have that he probably doesn't exist and I can therefore continue with life in spite of what anyone else happens to think of him.

Know summat? I don't collect beer bottle labels. I have no dealings with beer bottle labels or beer bottle label collectors, at least not in their capacity as beer bottle label collectors. But I have nothing against either the labels or their collectors. That's their private affair, and jolly good luck to them! But suppose one of said collectors decided that it wasn't right that I should take no interest in his pastime, and sought to gain my attention by supergluing beer bottle labels all over my car windscreen, and got all his like-minded mates to do the same to my other non-beer bottle label collecting mates. Not only that, they go out and stick beer bottle labels all over the lamp-posts and walls down the high street. They then go down to the local school and try to insist that they get half an hour a day to tell children about the joys of beer bottle label collecting (and, while they're at it, tell them of the evils of wine bottle label collecting and demonise those who indulge in that degenerate habit...)

Now, as with beer bottle label collecting, so with religion. There is nothing intrinsic about religion that I need to be "anti" (unless I'm neurotic, of course). Live and let live. But work out the point at which I might begin to get "anti" beer bottle collecting in the above narrative. It won't be at the beginning of my yarn, will it? It will occur at some point during the progress of the tale - and when I do start to get annoyed, or "anti", that feeling will have been engendered not from inside me because I hate beer bottle label collectors as a genre (which I don't), but as a consequence of the actions of the beer bottle label collectors. Actions such as interfering with my life, intruding on my enjoyment of the planet and trying to indoctrinate the kids, for example...

I have privately told Joe that I think the Catholics of this world, especially but not exclusively the ones who live in Africa and Latin America, and more especially the women, deserve a better deal than they get from their church. They won't get a better deal by atheists or anyone else attempting to demolish the Catholic church. They will get a better deal by Catholics taking more of a hold and making their church better. Islamic people who are forced to abide by laws that many of us regard as illiberal and misogynistic will not get a better deal by western powers constantly waging wars on them. You can be as anti-religion as you like, inside your head, but a good atheist's actions (or stated opinions even) are not best informed by overt anti-religionism. You will nearly always find that honest, thinking atheists (and I'm the first to admit that there are other kinds), though they invariably disapprove of organised religions and the propagation of myth as truth, are absolutely fine with people's private beliefs ("tolerant" is far too conditional a word here). Of course, if debate is invited, even private beliefs can be challenged (I certainly expect my convictions to be tested and I welcome that). Challenged but not disrespected, as long as they are honestly wrought and not predicated on bigotry. There is room for argument as to when private beliefs cease to be private and start to be a bit more like the labels stuck on my windscreen. The latter is clear enough, but I worry a bit when I hear calls for Christians to be left alone to enjoy their private beliefs (as has recently been expressed here). Well, if you don't bring it up I won't, but if it does come up I have one or two awkward questions. My main one always is, do you want to be left alone with your private beliefs so you can pass them on to your kids, or will you show your kids how to demand evidence and fearlessly challenge the very existence of the God you'd like them to worship with you, and accept their answer even if it isn't your answer? Now that I could really respect!

So don't call me anti-religion. It's lazy, it trips off the tongue way too easily and it's cloudy thinking. It's more complicated than that and it requires more thought than you're putting into it. Like what I've just done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 08:26 PM

Steve Shaw--that definition of Atheism, whether you like it or not, was submitted to the US Supreme Court in the arguements that led to the elimination of prayer in our public schools, so it's got legal and historical value...your opinions are only your own, but the US Supreme Court opinions are law...and so it goes...

Well I'm very pleased to hear about the elimination of prayer, but I might also remind you that the same US Supreme Court accepts that it's a good thing for the state to put people to death. And let everyone carry guns. And...and...


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 08:28 PM

Ask Mr. Shaw he apparently is not only an atheist but and expert on the qualifications.

THere are no q


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 08:31 PM

Something silly happened there (and I'm as sober as a US Supreme Court judge...) Here we go again:

Ask Mr. Shaw he apparently is not only an atheist but and expert on the qualifications.

There are no qualifications. You hit the ground running and learn on the job. It's dead easy, because there is actually nothing to learn! No big funny lists of stuff! No brotherhood stuff! Just leave your bags at the door!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 08:40 PM

I need to point out that my big post above was not intended to be an attack on Bill's beliefs or opinions, except for the specific "anti-religion" statement I disagreed with. I have a bad habit of typing "you" and "your" which are not directed at individuals, then forgetting to edit 'em out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 08:57 PM

Sigh...

Ask Mr. Shaw he apparently is not only an atheist but and expert on the qualifications.

"There are no qualifications. You hit the ground running and learn on the job. It's dead easy, because there is actually nothing to learn! No big funny lists of stuff! No brotherhood stuff! Just leave your bags at the door! "

"Well what a load of soft-centred, airy-fairy, cloudy twaddle. If "atheists" rewally drew this lot up they are not atheists. This reads suspiciously like the construction of the sort of belief system that we atheists simply have not got. "

Hard to believe the same person wrote those two paragraphs isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 09:43 PM

You're pleased to know about the elimination of prayer? That was about half a century ago Steve...if you're going to be an atheist, fine and dandy, just keep up with the reading;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 09:51 PM

Well I do have trouble keeping up with all those fiercely-interesting thangs that go on in the US of A, Stim, which, as we all know, is the hub of the world. Er, but you haven't abolished killing people or gun-carrying yet, have you? Can I rely on you to keep me up to date on those ones?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 10:04 PM

If we did that, Steve, how would they fill up "The Telegraph"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 10:36 PM

"You (Americans) haven't abolished killing people or gun-carrying yet"

No, we haven't. I sure wish I knew how that could be accomplished. Until that happens, I'm not sure the U.S. deserves to call itself "civilized."

But many Americans have almost a religious faith in execution and gun-totin' - or perhaps these practices could be considered part of the religion of many Americans.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 10:36 PM

I thought my two statements were perfectly compatible, actually, Jack, even though they were not composed within the same stream of consciousness. If you could enlarge on what you see as inconsistencies between two it would be helpful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 10:47 PM

I know better than to tar religion with those brushes, Joe. I think that anyone wanting to diss religion by referring to negative endeavours as having been carried out with "religious fervour", etc., ought to be made to write out the prefix "quasi-" a hundred times, then explain what they really think they mean. Gotta be consistent here. You know I don't like it when atheism is disparaged as "a religion". So I'm similarly not keen on those nefarious activities being characterised in similar vein. Another expression that has me extremely suspicious every time it's used is "in the name of religion", a term which, to me, almost never has a legitimate use. There are times when we all owe it to the argument to be very precise about what we are really thinking and what we really mean.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 11:55 PM

"If you could enlarge on what you see as inconsistencies between two it would be helpful. "

I'm not qualified to treat you and a durned sure ain't doing it for free.



















i


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 01:22 AM

Steve ~~ agree with your demolition of the supposed definition. I had already had a say about that from slightly diff pov, esp as to its not being in fact a 'definition' at all but just a list of desiderata. See my post of 0342PM 26 Mar.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 01:30 AM

26 Mar 13 - 04:40 PM

Anyone not liking the definitions there given should take it up with the editors of Merriam-Webster.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 01:41 AM

Well, Steve, there is a small but vocal minority in the U.S. who think that carrying guns and executing criminals are the Will of God - it definitely does seem tied to their religious beliefs. I live in a county where that kind of thinking is very common.

Mind you, that's not the thinking of all religious people - I certainly don't think that, and I'm religious. Almost all the Catholic priests and nuns I know, oppose guns and capital punishment. But if you go to the Baptist or Mormon churches down the road, you will find very few people who oppose guns or capital punishment. We do have atheists who are gun-totin' execution advocates, but that sort of thinking is far more prevalent in the born-again religions.


-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 01:43 AM

Well, you're clearly no atheist, GUEST, whoever the hell you are. You clearly think Merriam-Webster = Holy Writ!

Following your own precept, try looking up 'non sequitor' and 'irrelevance' there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 06:38 AM

Sorry, Michael, it was rude of me not to acknowledge that I'd agreed with your post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 06:53 AM

Joe, attaching one's more despicable convictions to one's religion is a time-honoured way of "legitimising" them. As you imply, it's what religious fundamentalists commonly do. In fact, the practice almost defines them. We should be more alert to that. It's a pity, for example, that the Church failed to distance itself from Mussolini, Franco and Hitler, who were all more than happy to have the Church's convenient acquiescence. Franco was happy to be seen receiving Communion every day, for example, at the height of his nastiness, and I don't recall reading of much discomfiture at this within the Church.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 06:57 AM

"If you could enlarge on what you see as inconsistencies between two it would be helpful. "

I'm not qualified to treat you and a durned sure ain't doing it for free.


You ridiculed two of my statements for reasons I couldn't see. I'm not quite sure what it says about you if, when I ask politely for an explanation of the inconsistencies you detected, this is the best you can come up with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 07:13 AM

Jack The Sailor "There are no qualifications. You hit the ground running and learn on the job. It's dead easy, because there is actually nothing to learn! No big funny lists of stuff! No brotherhood stuff! Just leave your bags at the door! "

"Well what a load of soft-centred, airy-fairy, cloudy twaddle. If "atheists" rewally drew this lot up they are not atheists. This reads suspiciously like the construction of the sort of belief system that we atheists simply have not got. "

Hard to believe the same person wrote those two paragraphs isn't it?


Er, no, not at all. Looking in context the two paragraphs seem consistent. I guess to someone who sees atheism as a belief system rather than simply a lack of belief they could seem contradictory....but that was pretty much what I understood Steve Shaw to have been complaining about in the 2nd paragraph above anyway!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Zabbar
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 07:52 AM

BillD.

Can you please let me know what rule/s I have broken here, and perhaps more importantly where those rules are? If I posted under two names on the same thread I could understand the concern, but as I haven't what is the issue? As a guest from the UK I am not permitted to have membership as you know. I have not posted under more than one name to cause trouble or post "against" myself to rile things up, so what is the issue and (in my opinion) overreaction in calling for the thread to be closed.

For me personally that would have been a shame, as I feel I have learned something from some of the posts here. Which was my only intention in the first place.

Apologies if I have transgressed some Mudcat rule that resulted in an attack of "the vapors".
    I've guess that most of our members are from the UK, although Mudcat is physically located in Pennsylvania. I'll be glad to register your membership - just e-mail me, joe@mudcat.org.
    Posting under various names, makes Mudcatters nervous. There's no rule against it, but common sense should tell you that switching your name is going to cause consternation for other people.
    -Joe Offer, Mudcat Archivist (and registrar)-


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 09:03 AM

As one who grew up in an atheistic household, I think I can safely say that an atheist is simply a pretty conventionally-minded modern person who already takes for granted that his rational knowledge about the physical, observable world and the scientific viewpoint IS the complete, absolute answer to everything, and that there's nothing more he needs to ever enquire about, because he already HAS the "keys to the kingdom", he is one hell of a smart character, way smarter than those poor simple-minded people who go to church, and he can snicker down his sleeve at people who believe in anything else at all besides material things and science for the rest of his gloriously entitled and brilliant life. ;-D

Yup. That was me as an adolescent. The young atheist. The brain of the class. I knew everything worth knowing, yessiree. (extreme sarcasm)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 09:14 AM

Well I think that anyone who even remotely thinks they have more answers for things than anyone else is deluded. I like not having answers. If you have certainty, you're severely missing out on the joys of living.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 09:38 AM

Exactly, Steve. Now, the thing that will surprise you is this: Most of the people I have known who are most willing to keep asking new questions and most willing to admit that they don't already know everything are the people who are most involved in spiritual studies and spiritual search. They are the people least afraid to face uncertainty.

(Obviously I'm NOT talking about the George W. Bush type of religious fundamentalist here....but another type of person entirely. The most notable ingredient of religious fundamentalism is its deep fear of uncertainty.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,redhorse at work
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 09:44 AM

@ Guest,Zabbar
" As a guest from the UK I am not permitted to have membership as you know."

I'm a member (at least when posting from my home computer) and the last time I checked, Crewe was in UK, though to be honest at the moment I wish it was somewhere a lot warmer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 11:35 AM

Rob Naylor, He said that there were no qualifications to be an atheist right after he himself, Bishop Shaw of the ungodly church of misinformation, disqualified the largest and most important Atheist organization in the USA from being atheist. Add that to the fact that he has several times disqualified HIMself from being atheist because he says that he cannot prove that there is no God. It points to a very confused person and an inconsistent conversationalist. Though no doubt his childish and ill-tempered rants are amusing to those who disagree with the targets of those rants.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 11:37 AM

'Are Atheists really Atheists or.....'
Well God Damn....or would it be God forbid???

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 11:42 AM

GUEST,Zabbar

There are many many members from the UK. One more won't hurt anything. Please feel free to register.

I think the rule is that people logged in as guest may not start threads in the BS section.

I have not seen this rule, if it is written standard of Mudcat management, a link might be nice, and obviously, good news for your thread, this thread, it is not strictly enforced.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 11:45 AM

Forgive him, Jack, he knows not what he does...


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Amos
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 12:22 PM

It depends on where you put the hyphen. A-theism is a nullification of theism, a resistance to theistic doctrines. Athe-ism is a a conviction about the lack of evidence for the existence of a Supreme Being.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 12:57 PM

I don't think that the word we are discussing has a hyphen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 01:19 PM

""a pretty conventionally-minded modern person who already takes for granted that his rational knowledge about the physical, observable world and the scientific viewpoint IS the complete, absolute answer to everything, and that there's nothing more he needs to ever enquire about, because he already HAS the "keys to the kingdom", he is one hell of a smart character, way smarter than those poor simple-minded people who go to church, and he can snicker down his sleeve at people who believe in anything else at all besides material things and science for the rest of his gloriously entitled and brilliant life.""

You obviously as unlucky in your atheist upbringing as I was in my religious one.

A real atheist has no such pretentious belief in his own total knowledge, and questions everything, but he does so from a standpoint of logic and evidence, which he finds singularly lacking in the belief system, doctrine and dogma of religion,

When he does question those, he is met with a barrage of often hostile and vituperative responses, in which he is treated as though he were somehow attempting to destroy their faith.

To say that the spiritual and religious are more inclined to question and an atheist is certain in his doctrinaire attitudes is IMHO a total reversal of the truth.

At least I have never heard Steve Shaw repeatedly use the circular arguments which regularly ar advanced by the other side.

And I am not an atheist, but a Theist, even more likely to question in both directions, but only the atheists of this world have ever supplied an answer which I can accept based on any evidence at all.

The religious response has always been some variation on either "You've got to have faith", or simply "Get out of this classroom".

As a result, I am my own religious guide and my church is wherever I happen to be.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 01:37 PM

"..So don't call me anti-religion."
?? I didn't.. I carefully used the word 'some' to clarify that not all who adopt atheist as a label agree on their attitude. I have personally met various types.

My awakening to relevant distinctions was in 1959, when I attended a lecture by Walter Kaufmann, of Princeton, and subsquently bought his books. One included 3 essays of imaginary dialogues between Satan and a Christian, a theologian, and an atheist. After arguing with the 'plain' Christian and the theologian, Satan tries to discuss things with the atheist (who, in this essay, is a hard-line anti-religion type). At the end, Satan takes the atheist to task, telling him that although he disagrees with the other two, he at least enjoys the dialogue with them, but finds the strident atheism unpleasant, and ends by telling the atheist.."You...I wish you'd go to Heaven!"

So... I do wish Kaufmann had written a couple more dialogues to show other attitudes...like the skeptic's which I prefer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 01:40 PM

"At least I have never heard Steve Shaw repeatedly use the circular arguments which regularly ar advanced by the other side."

You are not reading his writings (rantings) as a whole. He constantly contradicts himself. But you have to take into account that he is not trying to put forth a rational argument. He only attempts to provoke and to ridicule others.

He said he calls me "Jacko" to taunt me and squeals like a stuck pig when I don't address him in friendly and familiar manner as "Steve."


On the other hand.
This thread is about definitions isn't it? Definitions go back to word origins. Don't they?


Pretending that there is a single type "real" atheist is nonsense. Isn't it? The terms "atheist", "agnostic" and may others of that ilk were made up and defined by Christian theologians more or less as diagnostic categories of conditions to be cured.

American Atheists, mentioned in this thread, are trying claim the term and re-purpose it in a positive light. But the prevailing use of the word atheist is as someone with a recognizable flaw in their Christianity. So Don, the best you can say is "my idea of a "real Atheist" and that would preclude you from implying that someone else's view of a "real atheist" is wrong. Wouldn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 03:15 PM

"There are many definitions of atheism, but I think the most general one is 'a lack of belief that a deity (or deities) exist'. This is more positive than the agnostic uncertainty of the existence of a deity"

I can't see that there is differentiatin between 'a lack of belief that a deity exists' and 'uncertainty of the existence of a deity'. Two ways of saying the same thing, both being expressions of an agnostic position, both to be distinguished from the atheist position, which is a confident opinion that no deity exists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 03:53 PM

He constantly contradicts himself.

I keep asking but you refuse to tell me how.

He said he calls me "Jacko" to taunt me

Those words have never passed my lips!

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 03:56 PM

sigh.... more taunting form "Mr. Logic."


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 04:04 PM

Don - Yes, exactly! I was as unlucky in my atheist upbringing as you were in your religious one.

We were both, I think, oppressed by rigid-minded, dictatorial, arrogant people...people with a grandiose sense of their own "rightness"...who tried to shove their particular self-absorbed mindset down our young throats, while putting an example of hypocrisy and callous egotism in front of us that ended up driving us as far away from their damned mindset as we could possibly get. And we were driven in the complete opposite directions as a result.

People move away from what has hurt them!

Kind of sad, isn't it?

I wonder how many people in this world end up fighting the battles of their childhood and youth for the whole rest of their lives?

It's a little hard to determine what a "real atheist" is, because everyone seems to have their own definition for that. To one person a "real atheist" would be someone they approve of, while to another it would be someone they do not approve of, while to another it would be more sort of a neutral thing.

What's a "real Jew"? Ask 7 different people, and you may get 7 different answers. Ask Hitler, and he'd tell you a whole bunch of really bad stuff! Ask Ariel Sharon, and he'd tell you a whole bunch of really good stuff. Ask someone else, they'd tell you something else again. And just going to the dictionary will not end the debate.

My own opinion is...there are many types of atheists, just like there are many types of religious people.

To find out who a person is, you pretty much have to figure out what they like...and why.....what they dislike...and why....what they love...what they hate...what they fear...who they think their friends and enemies are....what they desire...what they wish to avoid...all that stuff....and most important: Why? How did those seeds get planted in their mind in the first place to make them think that way?

Figure all that out and you may begin to understand why they follow they path they have chosen. Hitler didn't become who he was in a single day. It took time. He had many experiences that he reacted to, some of them quite traumatic (during and after WWI), and he slowly became the dangerous, angry, unstable man who led Germany into WWII. He set out to battle what HE identified as the "evil" in the world, according to his own past and his unique interpretation of that past. The same is true of the rest of us. We react according to what we have suffered and/or enjoyed over the years of our lives.

We fight the old battles, seek out the old joys, replay the old tragedies time and again. And the other people around us wonder why...


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 04:38 PM

Good points, Little Hawk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 04:56 PM

"I don't think a person who is an atheist needs to get any specific religion involved. And there are loads of things in the universe to be amazed at which aren't gods and don't have personalities that one can worship."

Well put, Jeri. In fact, the amazement of the universe is put especially well by Neil deGrasse Tyson who states that the universe is chemically in all of us and we that derive our chemical components from the time of the Big Bang when meteors hit the earth.

This beats a description of any god.

We don't have to worship the universe to be awed by its amazing construction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 10:57 AM

I am skeptical of agnosticism.

I think that either you believe there is something other than the natural world, a "higher" "power" or a god or God or gods or something, in which case you are what the French would call "croyant" - believing; or, you don't, in which case you're an atheist.

I don't think that you have to either believe, or profess, that there actually are no gods, to be an atheist. All you have to do is not believe in anything supernatural.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 11:40 AM

I think I have really said all that in necessary to clarify my position....but on re-reading, I was struck by this comment by Little Hawk:

"Good stuff, Bill. What you are, in my opinion, is a freethinker."

It comes across as a sort of compliment from one whose views differ quite a bit from my own, and I wonder what it actually means? Care to elaborate, L.H.?

I called myself a 'skeptic', and am not sure what the difference is between that and 'freethinker'. I actually feel that some of my thinking is not totally free, as I feel obligated to follow various rules of logic, science and linguistic coherence when chewing on an issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: theleveller
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 12:02 PM

....are they Humanists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 12:04 PM

Well, Bill, my feeling is that a freethinker is someone who draws his own conclusions rather than letting his parents, his teachers, his government, his church, his society or his peer group do his thinking for him.

All freethinkers won't necessarily come to the same conclusions, but at least they'll honestly come to their own conclusions rather than just adopting someone else's.


Mrrzy - The interesting thing about the "supernatural" is this: it isn't really supernatural, in my opinion. It's just quite unusual in terms of our common experience. That doesn't make it supernatural, because it's surely just as natural as other things are....just very rarely seen, that's all.

Example: electric lights and firearms and radio transmissions all seemed supernatural to natives who'd never experienced them before. Why? Unfamiliarity. The very unusual is often interpreted as "supernatural" by awestruck people, but after some familiarity builds up with it, then they decide it's not supernatural after all, and they just take it for granted after awhile.

I know you already think you can divide things up into the "real" and the "unreal"....so you wouldn't for example countenance the idea of Angels being real, would you? Not for a moment. But that's for just one simple reason: You haven't seen any Angels yet. So you assume they can't possibly be real. If you did see an Angel, you'd have a very hard time maintaining that assumption.

But in the meantime, you can easily discount any story from someone else who says they saw an Angel. You can just dismiss it, saying that they must have had a hallucination or made some kind of mistake.

This is how the country farmer in 1810 dismissed the guy who told him about seeing a giraffe at the zoo in New York. He'd never seen one himself, and none of his friends had either, so he knew it must be a lie! Or a delusion. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 12:36 PM

My own opinion is...there are many types of atheists, just like there are many types of religious people.

Here we go again with the tired old equivalence thing. Well if you mean that there are many religions, therefore many shades of believer, OK, I'm up for that. But atheism is not equivalent. You invented us by having religion. We are not actually here. If religion miraculously disappeared tomorrow there would be no word "atheist" yet not one of us would have done a single thing to change anything. There are not different kinds of us. There are not any kinds of us. You invented us and now you want to patronise us with some kind of faux-taxonomy. Bring us into your fold by embracing us with a classification of your making. No way!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 12:55 PM

Example: electric lights and firearms and radio transmissions all seemed supernatural to natives who'd never experienced them before. Why? Unfamiliarity. The very unusual is often interpreted as "supernatural" by awestruck people, but after some familiarity builds up with it, then they decide it's not supernatural after all, and they just take it for granted after awhile.

I know you already think you can divide things up into the "real" and the "unreal"....so you wouldn't for example countenance the idea of Angels being real, would you? Not for a moment. But that's for just one simple reason: You haven't seen any Angels yet. So you assume they can't possibly be real. If you did see an Angel, you'd have a very hard time maintaining that assumption.


Electric lights, firearms and radio transmissions all obey the laws of nature. Given time and decent teachers, your natives [sic] could be taught to understand the laws that make those things happen. All very commonplace, all very ordinary. A thing does not have to be familiar to be ordinary. The "supernatural" does not fall in at all here. Supernatural phenomena do not obey the laws of nature. They go against them at every turn. But here's the clincher, just to disappoint those whose flights of imagination carry them away a little too much: not one single supernatural phenomenon, angels included, in spite of millennia of claims and striving by advocates, has ever amassed anything like sufficient evidence that it exists to convince anyone except the completely gullible. I should like to suggest that there is more than enough delight, amazement and wonder in the commonplace things of this universe to satisfy the hungriest imagination. It's just that religion would like to sidetrack you into believing there's something even better. Religion is the thief of wonder and imagination. It makes you see things through an obscuring veil instead of in their bright, clear, ordinary glory. You don't see the beauty of a lily when it's gilded. You can't see the beauty of the universe through a supernatural veil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 01:40 PM

Steve, your very defensive reaction to my statement that "there are many types of atheists, just like there are many types of religious people" indicates that you don't get the drift of my statement.

I wasn't necessarily applying it to you. I'm not saying anything about you. I'm saying that there are many different types of atheists in the world, period. That doesn't necessarily say anything about you.

Here are several types of atheist, for example:

1. Someone who casually thinks there is probably no God, but he doesn't worry about it much.

2. Someone who only believes in material things, not in spiritual things.

3. Someone who is actively hostile to the very idea of religion, and attacks it at every opportunity.

4. Someone who doesn't believe in a God but has no particular hostility toward religion.

5. Someone who doesn't believe there's a God because his Daddy and Mommy and science teacher told him there isn't a God.

6. Someone who doesn't believe in God because the idea conflicts with his understanding of science.

7. Someone who wants to convert everyone else to atheism.

8. Someone who doesn't care one way or the other.

Etc...ad infinitum. There are probably enough different kinds of atheists that I could type all day and never get to the end of it, just like I could about different types of religious people.

So instead of taking it as a personal attack of some kind on YOU, which it was not, just look at it in a reasonable and rational fashion. I was being tolerant and positive, not attacking, when I said there are many different kinds of atheists. I was not indicating an EQUIVALENCY between them all. I'm sure some of them are quite reasonable and lovely people, while others are bloody unreasonable fanatics. The former are good people to know, the latter are a pain in the neck, because all they want to do is fight about it and convert the rest of the world to their own opinion. (Just like the bloody religious fanatics do.)

I try to avoid the bloody fanatics of either persusasion if I can. I don't mind a bit if people have a different belief from me. I only mind if they try to dominate and convert the rest of the world to accepting their belief.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 04:01 PM

Don't you all find Argument that there would be no atheists if there were no believers, a little circular?

I see a cartoon group of cave men having marvelous conversations about cosmology and of course their own evolution, "Aunt Gertrude, yeah you can't mind her, she was more from the Chimp side of the family." "Cousin Clara, she is a wild one! Oh my! the bonobo doesn't fall far from the family tree! Does it?" When another cave men wearing purple buffalo robes and a pointy hat made of turtle shells stomps up to the fire and imposes religion on him.

Though Steve is right about one thing, the atheists who define themselves by their attacks on religion, those like himself, would have to find something else to do. Hopefully something more useful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 10:09 PM

My response was neither defensive (a poor tactic there from you to try to put me on the back foot!), neither did I see it, in the remotest sense, as an attack on me. Your list of alleged atheistic types is condescending, hopeful and downright wacky in a suspiciously Aunt Sally way. I mean, just look at this:

Someone who doesn't believe there's a God because his Daddy and Mommy and science teacher told him there isn't a God.

Blimey, bet you wish you hadn't typed that particular piece of stupidity.

As for the e


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 10:34 PM

Blimey, my post got chopped. Second time today. Here's a rehash of what was supposed to be the whole thing.

My response was neither defensive (a poor tactic there from you to try to put me on the back foot!), neither did I see it, in the remotest sense, as an attack on me. Your list of alleged atheistic types is condescending, hopeful and downright wacky in a suspiciously Aunt Sally way. I mean, just look at this:

Someone who doesn't believe there's a God because his Daddy and Mommy and science teacher told him there isn't a God.

Blimey, bet you wish you hadn't typed that particular piece of stupidity.

As for the equivalence issue, now I don't know whether you were being deliberately obtuse or what, but no-one except you is talking about the equivalence between atheist type and atheist type. We are talking about the false equivalence often made between atheists and believers. Do make the effort to properly get your head round the issues you're so eager to engage with. It avoids making you look less than sensible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 10:38 PM

Though Steve is right about one thing, the atheists who define themselves by their attacks on religion, those like himself, would have to find something else to do.

I haven't said anything remotely like that, and that is not the first time today you have ascribed words to me that I haven't said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 10:59 PM

When someone says this comes before that when in fact that comes before this, we have a main bus B undervolt.

That there Houston, IS a problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 06:04 AM

I am with Steve here..but I am never suprised at the extent of poples stupidity


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 06:10 AM

..but it does concern methat some of the so called clever people on this site have the vote.
Self indulgent claptrap an half forned argumentsput forward by semi educated buffoons..dear me..were you all asleep for the last few years..get a life you lot


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 11:33 AM

The ones who don't care are the apatheists...


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 11:37 AM

You first, concerened (or however you spell your name today).


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 11:38 AM

And those who have a bee in their bonnet about their lack of belief are called apiathists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 11:57 AM

So what do we call the ones (of whatever persuasion)that have nothing to say, and say it anyway?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 12:12 PM

I don't much care what a person thinks about the Infinite, as long as he is kind to his dog.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 12:23 PM

And the people who wait tables in restaurants.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 10:04 AM

What many religious people do is define any criticism of their religion as an attack.
This is their reactionary stance against non-believers.

Richard Dawkins has been accused of this despite his reasoned calm approach to the subject. He is open-minded and interviews many fanatical religious people with the true purpose of inquiry, not censuring.

To find something completely negative about anything is fanatical. Most atheists I know don't do this. They acknowledge that there is something socially useful about many religions but this isn't the point. The point is that this premise of religion is based on a false idea, a mythology that interferes with the intellectual clarity of important issues.

Religion in itself is used to foster destructive behavior and this can't be separated from the belief system of these individuals. ie: bible verses on gun stocks. Child abuse in churches.

To say that this is not "true religion" of ____________________ is specious. Who defines this "true religion"?

Atheists don't stop at criticizing Christianity. All religion is suspect because it is based on mythology not science.

A critical point of view doesn't constitute the establishment of a religion in all cases.
That's because those who level that charge are imbued with the need for religion and assume others need it as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 11:51 AM

What many religious people do is define any criticism of their religion as an attack.
This is their reactionary stance against non-believers.


That's right. atheists are bullies, poor listeners, have a new belief system, are militant, are quasi-religious, act just like fundamentalists... and that's why poor old besieged religion has had to resort to excommunication, ostracism, fatwas and heresy laws in order to defend itself.

Richard Dawkins has been accused of this despite his reasoned calm approach to the subject. He is open-minded and interviews many fanatical religious people with the true purpose of inquiry, not censuring.

And he's a very good listener who responds to his opponents by addressing what they say with calm, reasoned and measured words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Mrrzy
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 01:14 PM

Steve Shaw! PIMPL!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 01:27 PM

Stringsinger, Dr. Dawkins is calm and reasoned? He wrote a book called "the God Delusion" which he has been aggressively flitting around the world promoting in a media blitz for years.

Diagnosing two thirds of the world as having a mental disorder is neither calm nor reasoned. Especially when it is done by a person without a background in mental health.

Dr. Dawkins in his Atheistic Evangelism is as confrontational and unscientific as any climate change denier.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 01:56 PM

I'm sorry, Mrrzy (assuming that I've taken your remark in the right way - apologies if I've got it wrong) and Jack, but you have homework to do. Now it could be that you think you hate Dawkins so much that you can't bring yourself to even look at him. Well, dozens of YouTubes of him debating with all manner of people, from archbishops to unreconstructed manic religious zealots have been posted. To select one or two in order to show you what a nice bloke he is would be invidious, but you'd better at least have a look at a few before rushing to judgement. You will find him to be an unfailing good listener who takes on board what his opponent says and who then addresses their points closely. Naturally, cool logic can come across as irritating to someone whose points have not been properly hatched in their minds. That happens to Jack on these threads all the time, for example. The God Delusion, which sits on my shelf right here, is a very carefully argued work. Of course it is an attack on religion, but perhaps religion might be all the healthier if it were attacked a little more and treated with undue reverence a little less. Easy enough to aim your hate-blunderbuss at Dawkins and his book as soon as you see them coming. A bit harder to select passages you disagree with and give your careful counter-argument. There's your challenge. It's only fair to the man, eh? Demonisation is easy. Demolition by logic and argument is ten times harder but it's the right way to go.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 02:03 PM

aggressively flitting around the world promoting in a media blitz for years

How do you aggressively flit around the world? Punch the check-in girl on the nose and threaten the baggage-handler with a machete, perhaps? Spend the flight throwing pies at the other passengers while swearing loudly at them? When you get there, do you menace prospective purchasers of your book at the point of a knife?

Jack, religion aggressively promotes itself around here everywhere you go. Big buildings with huge great crosses, bells chiming out every half-hour, wayside pulpits everywhere, masses of telly time devoted to popes and archbishops - and you wanna see it at Christmas and Easter!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 07:57 PM

I personally suspect that strangers are just friends we haven't talked to yet, and atheists are spiritualists who haven't had their epiphany yet. Religionists, however, are altogether something else, especially when they get didactic, dogmatic, and condescending from their perch of perceived truth. That's when the whole thing gets boring as hell and I'd rather sing sea chanties.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 08:07 PM

"Jack, religion aggressively promotes itself around here everywhere you go."

Yes. that is true of many religious groups and people. That is one of the ways that Dawkins' belief system, the pseudo scientific church of anti-religious screeds is like a one of those groups.

Dawkins is dogmatic. One of his dogmas is "The God Delusion."
Dawkins' dogma must be taken on faith. He has no psychological credentials and has not had the means or opportunity to diagnose 4 billion or more people.

Most importantly, Dawkins' world view is like a religion in that those who believe it are those who really really want to and who throw critical thinking about it aside because they want to believe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 09:57 PM

Dawkins' belief system...the pseudo scientific church...Dawkins is dogmatic...Dawkins' dogma must be taken on faith....Dawkins' world view is like a religion...

Sure, Jack. Time for a lie-down, old son. Say goodnight to the folks, Gracie...



***Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!***


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 01:24 AM

I consider myself agnostic although I agree with many of Christ's socialist teachings. I have no use for a diety that wants me to bow down, pray, and worship, but the message to "share with my fellow man" I see as a goal to self fulfillment. However, if my motivation in doing so is to save my soul or to gain entrance to Heaven through the back door, that seems a selfish reason without merit! I resolutely reject stupid dogma from any religion that demands that I adhere to their template without some evidence of a physical nature that it is correct. I regard the Bible and Koran as simply books written by man and reject both in parts but see wisdom in other sections. I do believe that there are many forces in this Universe far beyond our ability to comprehend, but I reject dogma from others who claim understanding because they accept what is written in some book on faith alone.
I suppose some would consider me an athiest but I have a spiritual nature that rejects that as well, so I call myself agnostic.
Christianity,Islam and other religions could do well by rejecting bonds of dogmatic crap and look to improving the lives of fellow humans, rather than wasting time and prayer on a diety that doesn't exist!
However if it is your wish or desire to do so please don't judge me for having an alternate view!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 03:33 AM

Hello Sailor!
So far up your own arse that you judge others by your own standard again?

The God Delusion questions whether a belief system is needed and scrutinises the existing fantasies. Either your copy has extra chapters I haven't seen or it doesn't really advocate an alternative belief system does it?

Come on, be honest. You are spouting off what you want rather than what you observe. Don't fret, that alone makes you good at blind faith.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 07:18 AM

Dawkin's deliberately uses an incorrect definition of the word delusion. He uses it in a derogatory way to empower the ignorant, childish, taunting buffoons of his movement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Frug
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 08:05 AM

Atheists are just beyond belief!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 08:17 AM

A delusion is a strongly-held belief or conviction which ignores all the powerful evidence against it. If you believe in God you have chosen to believe something for which there is no evidence for and a massive amount of evidence against. The word "delusion" for believers in God is, therefore, perfectly valid, though, admittedly, provocative. But you can't really address the matter of believers getting it wrong without being provocative. I think there is nothing wrong with his use of the word. Of course, if you mistakenly hold to the view that "delusion" can have only a medical meaning, you would disagree. But you'd be deluded in sticking to that, as the use of the word in its non-medical sense is widespread and accepted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 08:17 AM

A delusion is a strongly-held belief or conviction which ignores all the powerful evidence against it. If you believe in God you have chosen to believe something for which there is no evidence for and a massive amount of evidence against. The word "delusion" for believers in God is, therefore, perfectly valid, though, admittedly, provocative. But you can't really address the matter of believers getting it wrong without being provocative. I think there is nothing wrong with his use of the word. Of course, if you mistakenly hold to the view that "delusion" can have only a medical meaning, you would disagree. But you'd be deluded in sticking to that, as the use of the word in its non-medical sense is widespread and accepted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 08:18 AM

I can think of no earthly or heavenly reason why that popped up twice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Skeptic
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 08:33 AM

Big Science is just as big a fraud as Big Religion ever was--it's just taken over the rackets-all universities that used to be bastions of religion and philosophy are now the bastions of "science"--making the same promises--"The Miracle of Science" promises to cure all disease, solve social problems, eliminate hunger, but look around--there's just as much suffering as ever. The only problems "Big Science" really cares about are budget cuts.

"Science" claims to be logical and rational, but God help the logical, rational scientist, who points out that the research of the other 99% is full of holes, and that the current theories are hogwash.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 08:41 AM

He is sympathetic to Robert Pirsig's statement in Lila that "when one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion".[4]

He is calling 2/3rds of the world insane.

Who is deluded?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 09:29 AM

Well, Jack, in this particular [assuming your statistic to be valid], ⅔ of the world are, extremely strongly arguably, 'deluded'; Pirsig's axiom, and Dawson's perhaps somewhat tongue-in-cheek citation of it, constituted just a bit of wit and irony and satire, you know, not the postulation of an incontrovertible truth. We [if I may so put it pronominally] do not go in for incontrovertible truths.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 09:31 AM

"Are Atheists really Atheists"
If they don't believe in a god - yes they are.
There's plenty of evidence to suggest that all Christians aren't Christians (certainly as far as Christian teaching and ethics are concerned)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 10:12 AM

The title was a provocation. It was deliberately insulting. Dawkins is a jerk. Shaw is a jerk. When it comes to this subject at least, Musket too. Militant Atheists are jerks.

It follows a logic similar to, Christians are mean so lets be mean, Christians are bigoted so lets give them some of their own medicine! Christians are dogmatic, so lets be unwavering in our accusations of that.

It is cruel, small minded and divisive, and the media battles it generates are entertaining and sell books.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 10:36 AM

Jack according to your calculations, Christians must be jerks too. They think that anyone who doesn't believe as they are deluded. Dawkins uses the term delusion in a scientific way. In a sense we are all deluded in some regard. We all have are pet delusions, one is that we think we know everything and are qualified in some way to make all kinds of judgements.

Christians are plenty mean and are cruel, small minded and divisive as much as anyone else.

Here is an article that shed light on the problem.


Has dogmatism become the new religion?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 10:49 AM

***Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity, which implies that nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units. This definition means that there are no forces, phenomena, or entities which exist outside of or apart from physical nature, or which transcend nature, or are "super" natural, nor can there be. Humankind is on its own.***

Prove it.

**Atheists don't stop at criticizing Christianity. All religion is suspect because it is based on mythology not science.**

This SHOULD be true but, of course, it isn't. I've had atheists get really pissed at me for saying that I'd rather live in a Christian society than a Muslim one (I've lived in both). THEY'RE BOTH JUST AS BAD!!! they yelled. No. They're not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 11:01 AM

"Jack according to your calculations, Christians must be jerks too."

Not Christians in general, some Christians. Joe Offer is a leading Christin voice on this forum. He is not a jerk.

Not Atheists. All atheists are not jerks. Most are not jerks.

I am only talking about three. I'll leave Hitchens out as he is not around to defend or explain himself. Dawkins, Shaw and Musket are jerks when it comes to this topic. I am saying that they are no better than the Christians they complain about. I am NOT saying they are as bad as the worst of those who calling themselves Christian. I AM saying that they are stooping to that same smug, dogmatic, superior, and condescending mode of interaction exhibited by the most irritating of "Christians".

I put "Christians" in quotes because I find it difficult to reconcile engaging in such behavior in the name of Christ, according to the Gospels taught the opposite.

I think, Stringsinger, I hope, we understand each other on this topic now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 11:13 AM

Dawkins is a jerk. Shaw is a jerk. When it comes to this subject at least, Musket too.

Oi, that's not fair! Why isn't Michael a jerk too! Not fair! Boo hoo!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 11:14 AM

Futwick,

I get your point, though it seems that you are saying that All Muslim societies are less pleasant places to live than all Christian ones.

That is something that would be nearly impossible for anyone to know.

I believe that from your point of view the Christian societies you have experienced are better places for you to live than Muslim ones.

Do you think it is a matter of bigotry on their part. Lumping all religious people in together? Is it like some people in Britain who think everyone in the USA drives a pickup truck with a gun rack?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 11:16 AM

"Dawkins is a jerk. Shaw is a jerk. When it comes to this subject at least, Musket too.

Oi, that's not fair! Why isn't Michael a jerk too! Not fair! Boo hoo! "

You work a lot harder to alienate people than he does. Enjoy the fruits of your labour! Revel in them!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 11:16 AM

I am only talking about three. I'll leave Hitchens out as he is not around to defend or explain himself. Dawkins, Shaw and Musket are jerks

Gosh, I think I might be feeling honoured. What illustrious company! Hope you can live up to it, Musket. And I bet you're bloody jealous now, Michael!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,guestlex
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 11:39 AM

You have three threads going all mixed in together.What's the protocol to dodge the drama, as impossible to debate unless you can address points relevant from all threads.Do you realy want another thread on this.Anyway going to stick spellchecker on this fresh install and try have at some of Steve's debate..not argument.People should breathe the tension if any out before a response, or clarity goes bye bye imo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 11:57 AM

**I get your point, though it seems that you are saying that All Muslim societies are less pleasant places to live than all Christian ones.

That is something that would be nearly impossible for anyone to know.**

You could hold up Joseph Kony as an example of Christianity at its worst but you would also be hard pressed to find many examples that extreme. Unfortunately, the same is not true of Islam. And, for the record, I am not religious nor belong to any religion nor have any use for religion except as an example of how not to get through life.

**I believe that from your point of view the Christian societies you have experienced are better places for you to live than Muslim ones.**

From my experience, yes. Others could disagree. Qatar's supposed to be pretty nice. I've never lived there.

**Do you think it is a matter of bigotry on their part. Lumping all religious people in together? Is it like some people in Britain who think everyone in the USA drives a pickup truck with a gun rack?**

They need to realize that they hold unprovable beliefs no differently than religious people and that their championing of science is often just as selective. Saying consciousness is a product of matter does not seem to be in agreement with Quantum Mechanics which holds that consciousness holds a fundamental sway over matter. In fact, Eastern religions seem correct to conclude that matter is an appearance, an illusion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 12:00 PM

Oh well: jerk on, jerk off...

Ah , hrrrmmmm, that is, er, I meantersay...

blushblushblusahblushblus........


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 12:19 PM

They need to realize that they hold unprovable beliefs no differently than religious people

Well, any atheist worth his or her salt will admit that our conviction is unprovable. Not "beliefs" by the way. Beliefs don't enter into this for atheists. Unfortunately, that completely nullifies your final point about being no different from religious people. There is no equal and opposite equivalence between what I think and what a believer believes in. That has been said so many times that it's getting hard to know what to think about people who fail to take it on board.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Musket
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 12:27 PM

Yep I'd better live up to it..

Here we go.

And for my next impersonation, Jesus on a Rubber Cross.

Whooooaaaa!!!!!!   HHHeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!   Whoooooaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 12:36 PM

Are Atheists really Atheists or...----Athenians-- spelled really badly?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 01:06 PM

You may find this rather interesting...


GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 01:22 PM

**Well, any atheist worth his or her salt will admit that our conviction is unprovable. Not "beliefs" by the way. Beliefs don't enter into this for atheists. Unfortunately, that completely nullifies your final point about being no different from religious people.**

If an atheist tells me that the fundamental constituent of the universe is matter, he first has to tell me what matter is. He can't because science can't. Objects are just clouds of molecules. Molecules are clouds of certain atoms. Atoms are clouds of what? Physicists say an atom is is made up of particles that are really waves. Waves of what? "Waves of chance." What is that? So ultimately, we don't know what matter is but you would have us believe it is the fundamental constituent of the universe. Isn't that not terribly different than saying the universe was made by a mysterious spook in the sky whose ways and means we don't really know anything about? Same dogma, slightly different rhetoric.

**There is no equal and opposite equivalence between what I think and what a believer believes in.**

But couldn't a believer could say the same about another believer?

**That has been said so many times that it's getting hard to know what to think about people who fail to take it on board.**

Not really. I agree with atheists when they say that non-belief in a god is not in itself a belief. That's a common believer tactic. It's not your non-belief I wish to address simply because I agree with it. It's what you posted earlier--that matter is the fundamental constituent of the universe and that everything else, including consciousness, arises from it epiphenomenally. You posted that as a (false) corollary to atheism, i.e. to be an atheist, I must believe that because it follows from having no belief in a god. THAT is a belief for which there is not a shred of evidence which a subscriber must buy on faith alone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 01:30 PM

***Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity, which implies that nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units. This definition means that there are no forces, phenomena, or entities which exist outside of or apart from physical nature, or which transcend nature, or are "super" natural, nor can there be. Humankind is on its own.***

Going back to this definition of atheism as given to us by Steve Shaw, I have this to ask:

How does atheism differ from Marxism?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Musket
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 02:22 PM

Marxism is a prescribed system for society. Atheism is just about everything according to this and other threads.... For me, it is evolving from the need for superstition, but to someone else it is the theory of fish gill wave propagation, or the art of opening a tin of tuna.

Futwick, just before some of the more learned posters explain things, perhaps an idiot like me can help you here. Molecules to atoms to quarks to waves of probability to Heisenberg getting pissed off at Schrodinger.. You seem to be mistaking this for a belief system, whereas it is no more than making sense of theory and test. Religion would defend the fundamental aspects against any future testing, whereas science allows you to dismiss the ether, dismiss Greek four elements, dismiss many things Einstein held to be fact for many years in fact.

Religion has a habit of sustaining myth, hence it is dismissed at any intellectual level and has no place in discussions over how the universe works.

Oh, and I suppose it is the bloody Godbotherers who ensured B&Q was shut when I drove 8 miles to get some light fittings today. Hawking doesn't interfere with church services, clappy happy types shouldn't interfere with the rest of us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 02:32 PM

Let me put this another way:

Atheism has NOTHING to do with whether or not matter is the fundamental constituent of the universe--a Marxist position, look it up. Atheism has NOTHING to do with whether consciousness arises from matter.

When we get passed borrowing cheap, erroneous assumptions from what should be a dead, defunct political philosophy to any thinking person could we then get back to actual atheist refutations of pro-god arguments which is not only the bread and butter of atheism--it is the ENTIRETY of atheism. Everything else is Marxist bullshit that can't be proven one way or another--certainly not by Marxists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 02:53 PM

"certainly not by Marxists."
Nor by anti-Marxists evidently
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 03:04 PM

Futwick, I'm not sure, from your post what you are saying, nor to whom you are addressing. could you make that a bit more clear.
Thank you.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 05:57 PM

Matter is a very poor choice of words. Energy is not matter and it is visible in in daily life. Space exists but it is not matter. It is basically the absence of matter. Scientists believe several particles which are not technically "matter" in neutrinos, tachyons, gravitons. Is Dark Matter, matter? Certainly "Dark energy" is not.

That is the American Atheist definition used to argue the position of that organization to the Supreme Court of the United States. IMHO the word "matter" is confusing and should be deleted.

It is probable that that definition was written by a layperson, not a scientist, Possibly a lawyer.


http://atheists.org/atheism


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 06:07 PM

Well, Jack, our founding fathers, wanted to be free of Europe's tyranny of both religion and their banking system and taxation...so, in drafting the Constitution, they rejected the Divine Right of Kings as being sovereign....and put forth that the PEOPLE are sovereign!!!!
..and they based their premise on the Christian/Judea idea that one's will, should NOT intrude over another person's rights...in other words, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'..... so your statement, "It is probable that that definition was written by a layperson, not a scientist, Possibly a lawyer." is somewhat interesting, because lawyers have used slick language and fraud, to remove us away from the premise of our founding fathers....but they sure get paid well for it!
How about the rest of us?

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 06:22 PM

Marxism is a political belief based on economic theory. Not all atheists subscribe to it.
It doesn't define atheism any more than Bugs Bunny defines rabbits. (Happy Easter):)

Remember also that Ayn Rand followers, it they are devout, purport to be atheists as well.

Jack, some scientists are claiming that "nothing" or empty space is matter that is of a quantum nature and that we can't see it. Energy may be a form of matter.

One could argue that dogmatism is of a generalized "religious" nature and therefore
Bolshevik Communism might be loosely defined as "religious" since its adherents
have a dogmatic devotion to it.

The logical fallacy prevails. You can't prove a negative. You can argue in favor of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny but if you can't prove it, it becomes an irrational belief.

Does it serve a social purpose? Maybe sometimes it does. Some more enlightened religious groups like the Quakers or Unitarians (many who are atheists) do important social work as do other offshoots of established religions. I, for one, am sympathetic to Liberation Theology, anathema to the Pope and Catholic hierarchy.

Atheists are atheists because there are so many different kinds. They are generally opposed to dogmatism with proof wherever it rears its ugly head. BTW, there are
different "gods" that Christians and other faiths believe in as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 06:34 PM

Yes GfS, lawyers write briefs to SCOTUS. For that purpose they are generally preferable to scientists.

"Energy may be a form of matter." has someone changed the definition of matter and not told me?

nope.

>>>
mat·ter
[mat-er] Show IPA
noun
1.
the substance or substances of which any physical object consists or is composed: the matter of which the earth is made.
2.
physical or corporeal substance in general, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, especially as distinguished from incorporeal substance, as spirit or mind, or from qualities, actions, and the like.
3.
something that occupies space.
4.
a particular kind of substance: coloring matter.
5.
a situation, state, affair, or business: a trivial matter. <<<


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 07:23 PM

Futwick, there are two recent posts of yours down this thread that ascribe things to me that someone else must have said. It definitely wasn't me. On my timeline the posts in question are at 1.22pm and 1.30pm. Please would you check more carefully who said what before you post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 07:28 PM

Oh, and I suppose it is the bloody Godbotherers who ensured B&Q was shut when I drove 8 miles to get some light fittings today.

Yeah well I've got no sympathy cos you coulda gone yesterday instead of arseing around at Hillsborough, innit. Tsk!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 07:38 PM

I think there is a high probability that futwick, got that definition here.

Whose fault is it that he said her got it from you?

>>>Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw - PM
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 07:11 PM

Dearie me, I have got things slighlty arse about face here. That first sentence I referred to missed out on my copy 'n' paste. Yertis, as we say in Cornwall, along with the missing follow-up bits.

Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity, which implies that nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units. This definition means that there are no forces, phenomena, or entities which exist outside of or apart from physical nature, or which transcend nature, or are "super" natural, nor can there be. Humankind is on its own.


So the piece of poppycock I referred to was this bit: Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity, which implies that nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units.<<<


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Amos
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 07:44 PM

It is one thing to be an atheist, and another thing altogether to be a complete materialist. In between there is, for example, the position that spiritual existence is the source of individual views and thought itself and that one is wholly and personally responsible for his/her own condition. No theism involved, but not a hard materialist position, either. And this is one example out of scores of possible positions that are neither theist nor purely mechanistic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 07:49 PM

>>>Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw - PM
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 07:23 PM

Futwick, there are two recent posts of yours down this thread that ascribe things to me that someone else must have said. It definitely wasn't me. On my timeline the posts in question are at 1.22pm and 1.30pm. Please would you check more carefully who said what before you post. <<<

I could not find mention of your name at 1:22.

I am developing a couple of scientific hypotheses.

1. Mr Steve Shaw, does not pay adequate attention to what he himself posts let alone anyone else.

2. Mr. Shaw, does not read posts with due care before he criticizes people.

I predict that he will continue to exhibit these behaviours. The lab is this forum. The hypotheses will be tested by observation. Anyone is free to collect data through observation. You can post it here. please include links to his posts and the header. "Shaw hypotheses observation." Thank you for participating in the scientific process.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 08:42 PM

At 1.22 pm on my timeline, futwick quoted a couple of things I said, then, addressing me, he said: It's what you posted earlier--that matter is the fundamental constituent of the universe and that everything else, including consciousness, arises from it epiphenomenally. You posted that as a (false) corollary to atheism, i.e. to be an atheist, I must believe that because it follows from having no belief in a god. THAT is a belief for which there is not a shred of evidence which a subscriber must buy on faith alone.

I did not post that stuff. In fact, I haven't a bloody clue what he's on about. It wasn't me. Simple as that.

At 1.30pm on my timeline, futwick posted this:

***Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity, which implies that nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units. This definition means that there are no forces, phenomena, or entities which exist outside of or apart from physical nature, or which transcend nature, or are "super" natural, nor can there be. Humankind is on its own.***

Going back to this definition of atheism as given to us by Steve Shaw...


That definition was not given by me. Not only did I not give it, I strongly refuted it. That was something I had quoted from someone else's post in order to comment on it - yours, I believe?

Jack, futwick and I can sort this out. Your snide and inaccurate intervention is as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit and serves to make you look an even bigger twat than we all know you already are. Why not contemplate a period of silence. You could profitably spend some of that time trying to extricate your foot from your mouth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 08:53 PM

"That was something I had quoted from someone else's post in order to comment on it - yours, I believe?"

But you didn't bother to give attribution and he got it from you. He was truthful and acting in good faith.

And he did not address you at 1:22. How do you know he was talking to you? How would anyone else?



Take some responsibility for you own BS please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 08:54 PM

Steve,

If you refuted that definition of atheism rather than ascribed to it then I have misunderstood you and I stand corrected.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 09:08 PM

Thank you, Futwick. It's the sort of thing I have managed to do meself on a number of occasions. Things did get a bit complicated when a lump of one of my posts got chopped off. I did correct that as soon as I could. It isn't a big deal. At least, it wasn't. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 09:18 PM

But you didn't bother to give attribution and he got it from you. He was truthful and acting in good faith.

There was no lack of clarity and he was indeed acting in good faith, as indeed was I, and we have cleared it up.

And he did not address you at 1:22. How do you know he was talking to you? How would anyone else?

You really do need to look back carefully and absorb contexts. The post at 1.22 did not specifically mention me, but it didn't really need to, as all the three points within asterisks in that post are direct quotes from me. My issue was with the last two lines of that post, which the post implies came from me, which they did not.

You really are being a bit of an arse, aren't you, Jack?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 11:31 PM

Actually Futwick expresses more or less some of where i going to come from.Been busy all day so going to just get this up as it is now late here,so might be sloppy.
               
         Most are arguing about peoples interpretations of a phenomena that mankind has been experiencing forever.Unfortunately not all human beings get to exp this.Millions have and do though..fact.It's obvious that it happens at death for us all...same process, go research it.What is it ?,it's real we all feel it but don't understand this need/pull.Those of us that haven't had it should not fear/ridicule those that have.
          To understand this better you have to think about the energy system of our bodies and how it interacts with the universe.The Eastern traditions have tried to label it as have most traditions.I like to use the kundalini system as a frame as it makes most sense.Something to use to show a structure and a pattern that is impossible to miss when seen without personal baggage,usually religion or fear/disgust of a judging God/Hell,insanity etc gets in the way.Could of used masonic or other traditions frame/tree ..same thing.
          When people use the term Enlightened in the spiritual sense it means the energy system of your body has fired up,strung itself together.The building blocks we all have had hints of, fire in unison.Symptoms are, electrical sensation at base of spine which uncurls runs up your spine to a ring of prickles/pins and needles but pleasurable round your head in a thin band,continuous electric-ish charge.This is why you hear a lot talking about angels in their hair,electrical/magnetic phenomena.All the time it is happening your skin and flesh burns then relieved by flushing rippling cool pleasurable goose/needles.Sort of agony and Ecstasy to it (run with that one)Then the third eye kicks in if it already hasn't, you exp universal lesson/teaching nobody else usually hears views unless in same state of being/consciousness.Lessons/teaching always culturally or personally based,as its you that the truth is for.Your experiences and what you need to understand this universal energetic truth.Some "YMMV" but thats it dumbed down.
             Then after a certain realisation the energy in the heart opens up and floods your bubble (energetic presence).Most instinctively are dropped to the knees in reverence,respect as you instinctively know what it is, and a pleasurable thick column of syncopated/snake like energy runs up the trunk of your body from the ground out of the top of your head cleaning and flushing is the only way to describe it.Then your consciousness jumps up into a higher state,the stark difference between the two states is as startling as two ball pein hammers being smashed together in front of your face.Then Bliss,oneness with everything all human desire gone.All fear gone.Clarity of a beautiful dawn morning,fresh,clean heaven on Earth,your also bathed in an unnatural white radiance that looks almost digital as it almost fizzes/radiates with energy/life..Some say this Enlightened/Natural state is man "pre fall" I find this hard to argue with.
          The state can last from moments to weeks depending on how each person deals with it.Give it or live it, most that try give it lose it due to resistance from their environment.Some apparently manage this but I have doubts.Again those that know YMMV
Enlightenment doesn't mean you know everything,Buddha couldn't strip an engine down,but would if studied sail to the top of the mechanics class,doubt cars would interest him like. (bad analogy) Discernment to dismiss chaff and zero in on relevant due to universal perspective.Doesn't always go right either Manson is Enlightened-ish look at the mess he got himself involved in and the tragedy his energy/influence caused,through self/ego and no discipline.Most of the great military conquerers in history were firing off chakras/energy center's without the crown chakra/capstone/gatekeeper/heavens gate/stairway etc open/negotiated.
             OBE's,third eye spiritual exp,flow etc are not Enlightenment but part of the journey.Study the kundalini dont even practice any of it,just study it then look at all other religions/traditions then you see it intellectually.Had to cover this again as most of the angst comes from fear based on misunderstanding others interpretations of this process, and part process misunderstandings.Passion to "right" things forgetting the cause and effect universal law.Do good cause bad,do bad cause good in response,best do nothing just pass through, witness, leave no holes, replace what you take sort of deal,and we need very little for happiness/survival in reality... a huge part of universal message they ALL get/give.
                What were the greats of the past saying.Here is a few strung together who were all talking about the same thing.Non personal energetic God that has wisdom.Accessing it through selfless love, not human desire, deep love for lover, or family protective deep love, but something higher and universally selfless and eternal.St Francis,Aquinas ,Christ,Buddha,Krishna,Tesla,Reich and too many Artists and Scientists,Thinkers,Philosophers to list.All of our Greats, Giants were tuned to this for periods.Most of these have had the kundalini exp (or part kundalini) to gain this perspective of the non human personal, energy God and how to tune to it.They can only express this gnosis in the confines of their tradition,society,peers and their own worldly human way.This universal energetic truth that reverberates through everything has no human concern in the petty way we view it.We cannot be given this message any better than the multitude of ways it's been delivered.
               Another obstacle the sexual human being has to get past:As a hetro, spiritually affected ppl always made me queasy,once I understood that in a true spiritual state all human desire is gone. Many say its redirected life/force desire channeled differently that is a huge part of the kundalini deal,this too is hard to argue against and explains a lot..When these People exp this unselfish desire-less state of that kind it is not weakness, they are prob the most energetically,constitutionally powerful wisest beings that walk.Hence the religions/traditions who practice celibacy.No discipline sends some mad and depraved, through not zone-ing/praying/meditating right or often enough, just stopping having sex on will power alone without understanding why, and how to let their body use the energy.
                  If what I suggest others have understood is true and becomes a given how do we give this to our kids in the future.Look at the mess Religion has made,my thinking is we don't give them any baggage or interpretations at all.We let Science and "this" come together and study it, don't tinker, just see what stops this energetic process from happening to all of us.Children will grow and like a second puberty it should just happen,you don't need to tell a flower how to flower nature does it.Lets figure out why millions do and millions don't and I think social conditioning represses us energetically.Bad food and water might, wrong frequencies might,if everything reverberates/vibrates thoughts and deeds of negative intent might be a block.I don't know, but to understand God more the Electric uni theory has to be researched more starting with our bodies imo and millions of others opinion, past and present.
             We have to understand that what we have been told about never understanding it whilst in this form, is frankly obvious considering how little we see and know.Even the most Enlightened with gnosis only know to a point.There is still the loving energy just ahead to tune to.So if God is a non personal Energetic God that all negative vibrations (sin) gets burned away the nearer you get.As all say no matter how much of a good life you have lead when this light wash comes in, you run from it's purity, all traditions say shame floods/burns your body and it is a give and take of letting go and letting it in to flush/flesh you out.Truly humbling as you see yourself and every human and our "fall" and how things should be.Again dumbed down but thats the gist, you see and feel your soul and the energetic jail you have imprisoned it in.
             So Atheists and all religions, traditions are going to get this either at death (or in life),as even the bible says you wont get to heaven preaching and from your good works,it's the purity/energy awareness thats in us all that survives physical death and it witnesses all this earthly madness,until connected to, and everything then makes sense they say.
             One final thought on the kundalini, a person with no religious baggage has a choice depending on their slant.During the third eye exp part they can go Christian.Buddhist,Mormon,Space aliens,Fairies etc once past this bit,and it has been negotiated the universal truth is given and it is always the same.Eternal,love,karmic type deal.I buy it, too much evidence.
    Sorry its long but could've been longer, if I second guessed the lazy thinkers and religiously conditioned and qualified everything.

This off the top off my head in a "yeh but have you ever thought about it this way deal".I know, I know nothing but also know neither does anyone else,really.So gave up giving this real thought space a while ago as not many believe anything without personal exp. Just like I was but I witnessed it and have heard too many unconnected witness testimonies with no axes or bibles or dogma's to grind.Thousands and thousands describe the kundalini symptoms all from different traditions from all corners, so it's real and it's where our real wisdom comes from,and always has.If you haven't had this then getting angsty doesn't help us, lets try understand.God kundalini are just words name them something else if it helps.
            What is of no use is banding this process some have as deluded,or mentally ill, although it does send some mad,so kids trying to open their third eyes on youtube is a worry.Secret societies hiding this and using the gnosis to control is a worry.Leaders going off energetically half cocked is a worry.We get to grips with this, as we are going to do to some degree over the coming decades,most of our troubles will start falling away.So I'm in and a belieber just not of a old nasty jealous lunatic father that needs his offspring to die in agony.Although do believe that Christ beat death and the message he gave us is physically real,just impossible to imagine understand fully from our state of being.

We could know more when science sees the wall it is going to hit and has to look at what we have instinctively known from year dot.We are mind body and spirit then we birth into something else.Cool or what.Not trying to change anyones mind just pointing out the madness of arguing over other peoples personal interpretations of something that cannot be fully understood without experiencing it.If it is a two way give and take process is this why faith is important,if no faith and your energetically closed are you the full vessel the bible talks about,how do we become energetically empty vessel's.By clearing the mind first then the rest kicks in,just very hard to do.Buddha nearly died trying to figure it out,and others it just invites itself in so to try understand is madness so I gave up.Plus too many tunes to learn.So if we split mankind into deluded and non deluded depending on thinking something is prob there,I'm with the deluded of all faiths.
             Last thought I used to despair at Billy Graham listen to him now,universal God ...dogma gone, Russel Brand from celeb world is latest. Unlike the much maligned David icke Mr Brand has had full deal and joking about being the new Jesus,shook him up for a while but now processed it,not my taste but same process..scary isn't it, or not, liberating I think. Peace n that


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,guestlex
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 11:33 PM

That wall of text is me unfortunately lol.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: akenaton
Date: 01 Apr 13 - 02:05 PM

A lot of atheists on this form believe the myth that "liberalism" shall make the world a better place.

They hold strictly to that belief in the face of all facts and reason.

I would suggest that belief in this religion is dafter and more dangerous than a belief in the goodness of Jesus Christ.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 01 Apr 13 - 02:22 PM

guestlex, they have also done studies (if you want the link, I can get it, but it's long), where scientists and doctors ran people through an MRI cat-scan...people who were 'meditating' and/or 'spiritually mined', lit up portions of activity in larger portion the brain's frontal lobe. Music, by the way, also lights up more neuron activity, as well,...the other group they ran through were proclaimed 'atheists'. Those who were in a meditative state lit up similar to people who had taken psychedelics(Psilocybin mushrooms to be precise, and LSD). There seemed to be a 'difference' in the two types of people, because there was an element that the body had that triggered it. Because of the studies, they came up with name 'God Gene'. The atheists, therefore are said to 'just not get it', while the other group doesn't seem to figure out 'Why not?" The question has since arisen, as a result from the studies, are the people actually 'plugging into' a greater, 'power', collective consciousness, or is it all internal.
...as for me, I'm more interested in listening to those who are utilizing MORE of their brains, than less.
Feedback??

I'm sure the above paragraph has plenty of 'keywords' in which to right click, and check the web...if interested, there is a video link, I believe, from either the 'History Channel' or the Documentary Channel'.....I found it fascinating.....and it explains why the two just argue. Not sure if the 'lit' group, can 'unplug', or if the 'atheists' group could 'light up', if they exerted their wills.
Feedback??

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 01 Apr 13 - 02:34 PM

Akenaton, from another thread:

From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 01 Apr 13 - 01:28 PM

I thought that rather amusing....but I don't recall seeing monkeys or chimp, (Chongo may be exempt), carrying wallets..and the article said it was don't sometimes for 'boom-boom'....my original statement said, ".....AND the only species on the planet who uses money to eat and stay alive!"

Now, if there were 'pimp-chimps' who controlled the money, or bananas for a fee, maybe they would have a series of high tech clubs to beat down the competition, to enforce the law of banana distribution...then, the competition would need their own set to not be bullied unnecessarily ...then the 'pimp-chimps' would want to take them all away from the peasant chimps....hmmm, sounds familiar, doesn't it???

GfS

*********************************************************************

AND FROM EARLIER ON THIS THREAD:

Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 06:07 PM

Well, Jack, our founding fathers, wanted to be free of Europe's tyranny of both religion and their banking system and taxation...so, in drafting the Constitution, they rejected the Divine Right of Kings as being sovereign....and put forth that the PEOPLE are sovereign!!!!
..and they based their premise on the Christian/Judea idea that one's will, should NOT intrude over another person's rights...in other words, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'..... so your statement, "It is probable that that definition was written by a layperson, not a scientist, Possibly a lawyer." is somewhat interesting, because lawyers have used slick language and fraud, to remove us away from the premise of our founding fathers....but they sure get paid well for it!
How about the rest of us?

GFS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 01 Apr 13 - 03:06 PM

GfS, I don't understand what you are saying here.

>>>Well, Jack, our founding fathers, wanted to be free of Europe's tyranny of both religion and their banking system and taxation...so, in drafting the Constitution, they rejected the Divine Right of Kings as being sovereign....and put forth that the PEOPLE are sovereign!!!!
..and they based their premise on the Christian/Judea idea that one's will, should NOT intrude over another person's rights...in other words, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'..... so your statement, "It is probable that that definition was written by a layperson, not a scientist, Possibly a lawyer." is somewhat interesting, because lawyers have used slick language and fraud, to remove us away from the premise of our founding fathers....but they sure get paid well for it!
How about the rest of us? <<<

Since you quote this "It is probable that that definition was written by a layperson, not a scientist, Possibly a lawyer." and have posted the whole thing twice. I will say that lawyers have too much power in our western democracies. For the most part lawyers write the laws and they do it in a way that benefits lawyers. I suspect they are not evil. I suspect that like most professions, they overvalue their own contributions, but they are in a unique position of being able to reward themselves.

The definition of the American Atheists is fine as far as it goes. It was composed for Non-scientific lay people SCOTUS, by lawyers, and while the sciences may not be quite right and pointed out by Mr. Shaw and others on this thread. The science does not matter because the argument on a religious matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 01 Apr 13 - 03:48 PM

""We lose our hostile sense of ''them'' by getting to know people different from ourselves. They are no longer ''them'', but ''us''. Beyond our different (religious) beliefs and nationalities...imagine a common human identity sacred to us all. Accepting that, we would hold each other's values as sacred as our own. If that sounds familiar, the founders of the world's great religions said much the same"".


Four interesting perspectives on religion in the attached:
does-religion-unite-or-divide?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 01 Apr 13 - 04:01 PM

You've got to walk away from this, JtS--and don't look back, or you'll turn to a pillar of salt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 01 Apr 13 - 04:27 PM

Jack, this new idea of something being "nothing" is not found in conventional science text books today. The definition is changing. They are finding that the BIg Bang may have started from something rather than nothing. There are quantum elements that are being discovered.
There is no universal acceptance of this theory however research is being done on it.

Regarding the division found in religions, the character of Christ in the King James Version is ambiguous at best. The only model worthwhile in the entire book in my opinion is the Beatitudes which are hardly consistent with other attributions to Jesus. Still, this is mythology and not verifiable by any empirical means. Jesus' character is divided.

Do Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, or (fill in the blanks) hold other's values as sacred as their own? I don't think so. There are plenty of wars for evidence.

I would doubt any religious person would hold atheist views as sacred.

When we discuss religion, we are talking about different ideas even within the same religion which is not monolithic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 01 Apr 13 - 04:32 PM

"You've got to walk away from this, JtS--and don't look back, or you'll turn to a pillar of salt. "

I'm thinking about it. Does turning into salt cure a headache?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 01 Apr 13 - 04:49 PM

>>>Jack, this new idea of something being "nothing" is not found in conventional science text books today. The definition is changing.<<<

The definitions of space and matter I refer to are found in science books and have not changed. If you want to talk pseudo-physics you may get more traction and interest by starting a thread.

>>> They are finding that the BIg Bang may have started from something rather than nothing. There are quantum elements that are being discovered.<<<

No expert in science says that the Big Bang started from "nothing." They say it started from a singularity. No information escapes from a singularity so it cannot be known.

There is a big difference between "We cannot know" and "In the beginning, there was nothing.



>>>There is no universal acceptance of this theory however research is being done on it.<<<

See above.

>>>Regarding the division found in religions, the character of Christ in the King James Version is ambiguous at best. The only model worthwhile in the entire book in my opinion is the Beatitudes which are hardly consistent with other attributions to Jesus. Still, this is mythology and not verifiable by any empirical means. Jesus' character is divided.<<<

The "Jesus character" is very consistent given that the descriptions are linear through time. First part of his ministry he was more aggressive and threw tables. Then he mellowed and became more forgiving and self-sacrificing.

>>>Do Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, or (fill in the blanks) hold other's values as sacred as their own? I don't think so. There are plenty of wars for evidence.

I would doubt any religious person would hold atheist views as sacred.<<<

You just said that they don't even respect the views of different sects in their own religion, didn't you? Why would atheists get special treatment?

>>>When we discuss religion, we are talking about different ideas even within the same religion which is not monolithic. <<<

Yeah. and there are different ideas in every other field as well. No human belief system is monolithic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Amos
Date: 01 Apr 13 - 05:46 PM

There is such a thing as "nothing" but it is not found in the inventory of space, time, energy and matter. According to the mystics, anyway, the true "zeroeth state" is reached when one has let go of the attachments to form, energy, etc., and is contemplating the origin of thought itself.

This is much less common an occurence than one might imagine, given the popularity of Eastern theories and the practice of yoga, meditation, etc. Living in a culture that continuously returns the attention to forms and times makes it tricky.

But that doesn't mean it ain't there, as the spinster told the Bishop.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,guestlex
Date: 01 Apr 13 - 06:50 PM

Not sure if the 'lit' group, can 'unplug', or if the 'atheists' group could 'light up', if they exerted their wills.
Feedback??

GfS

Do have vague memory of seeing the study.I got more interested in the intelligence of the heart and agree with a lot of the Eastern take that the brain is just a processor and should be governed by the primary intelligence of the heart in a energetically healthy human.
          The kundalini experience-rs will tell you the heart energy wipes the brain clean.Like a fresh install,the heart in charge the body and mind still...bliss.It's denying our natural energetic balance that is the cause of all our woes imo.Think about it you deny your heart and rationalise it out of the equation..pain.Your heart can flush your brain clean in a second and you feel better.The brain cant do that to the heart.For heart forget human sentimentality think energy, what thought you attach to the energy your body creates is up to you.Your in control to watch it breathe it through.This intelligent energy the heart processes is a huge part of the inner guide thing all religions talk about.Bit OT but trying to explain why the brain third eye and all that are just filters/processors imho.A lot of the input is out of our control not many can watch it come and go without feeling tension.Imo the brain is the devil.. thats a lol btw.
            To your quoted txt above if your looking for difference here is an interesting one.When people of different religions go to a guru as initiates and after the course if they get a spiritual exp there are subtle differences.The Muslim's have the spiritual experience in their head.The Christian has the heart chakra spiritual exp.Some from all faiths do get full enlightenment mind, in fact lots do.I truly believe all men women can do this.Bigger than any gene or lack of (blind faith at mo though).To be fair i cant give this too much energy as this off the top of my head again.Can get too heavy obsessive for some and not healthy so prob my last post on this,as obsessed with my real pash at mo 8) Won't be online much as busy too.Hectic in fact meh.
         On a fun note check out "Kirlian photography.That fascinated me for a while.Guy taking pictures tesla coil involved and his third eye taking pics of weirdness the eye couldn't see.Truly weird.Also hints of people in a certain physical state catching the same weirdness no tesla coil.Their brain third eye via camera created/witnessed who knows but takes some explaining,Can't go anywhere with it just magnetic/electric fun weird.
      
          cheers


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 12:46 AM

Guestlex, Cool....while reading your post, something else I posted came to mind(which was actually argued against by one of Mudcat's illustrious 'atheists')....
"Intelligence is the ability to process information....information comes to us in several ways..various dimensions...therefore, to process more information one must try to keep one's filters clean."....AND... "Speed is a bi-product of accuracy"...(this applies to various things, as per aforementioned, but is absolutely obvious while practicing chops in music)...Couple processing information, clean filters, and accuracy, and to the not-so-aware observer, things you may be involved with may be termed as 'miraculous'....I find that greater awareness, by processing information, accurately, with clean filters also gives one greater access...if one receives it with respectful and humble fascination....which brings him to gratitude of grace(undeserved mercy)!

Zoooom....just flew over the heads of 'atheists'....and that is really sad.

...and 'cheers' to you as well!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Amos
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 12:48 AM

Oh., G'wan witchoo, GFS, you haven't flown over anyone's heads. Don't be so stingy with your credit.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 02:42 AM

Not a matter of 'flying over anyone's head': just that one is naturally suspicious of any defence of the symbolic (which is what we take your deities to be), expressed entirely figuratively, in terms of metaphor {'tesla coil', 'keeping filters clean', 'flush your brain'}.

"Illustrious 'atheists'" ~~ why the quotes round 'atheists', except as some sort of vaguely implied belittling device? We are not 'atheists', we are atheists. Are you a 'Christian' rather than a Christian, I wonder — with the implied insincere wilfulness, the suggestion of "He only does it to annoy because he knows it teases" — which the quote marks would seem to imply?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 10:25 AM

MtheGM: ""Illustrious 'atheists'" ~~ why the quotes round 'atheists', except as some sort of vaguely implied belittling device? We are not 'atheists', we are atheists."

Probably for the same, or similar reason that the thread topic reads: "RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......"

...or something like that.

I've also heard of people 'playing music' who also thought they were musicians!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 10:36 AM

Jack you obviously are no scientist. There are studies being conducted today that would question your obstinacy on this subject. The study of quantum mechanics for one.

Religion tends to be more monolithic than not. Adherence is one of the factors that define religious belief. Unquestioning is also part of the religious belief system. Obstinacy is also another since religious people tend not to consider alternative points of view or criticism
to be valid.

Apparently by the nature of this thread, you have made up your mind that atheists are "jerks" and religious folk need to be defended. Also there is a hint that Christians are being somehow persecuted, today, which is truly laughable since they are in the majority in the U.S. but fortunately that is changing.

Atheists are atheists regardless of how much they are dissed by Christians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 01:02 PM

Frank, it surprises me that don't know enough about Judaism to understand that the Talmud, which is pretty much the center of the religion, is basically a collection of debates and disagreements about the meaning of the Torah, and that that process of debate and disagreement is at the core of Jewish religious practice So when you say, "Unquestioning is also part of the religious belief system. Obstinacy is also another since religious people tend not to consider alternative points of view or criticism" you are wrong about Judaism, and, last time I checked, that was considered to be one of the World's Great Religions...sooo....


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 01:14 PM

A propos of nothing very much, a dear friend of forty years sent me an Easter Card. She's been a confirmed atheist all her long life and I was surprised at the card. She wrote inside that she is becoming 'increasingly agnostic'. What am I to make of that, I wonder?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 01:24 PM

"She wrote inside that she is becoming 'increasingly agnostic'. What am I to make of that, I wonder? "

I think the most important thing to take from that is that she loved you enough as a friend to send you a card and that she trusted you enough to share that confidence. Other than that, too little information to even speculate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 01:25 PM

It also strikes me to be a bit of a double standard that it is ok to say that Christians are deluded and such things, and then get upset when someone puts quotation marks around "atheists"(sorry, that wasn't meant to offend)...


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 02:23 PM

>>>Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger - PM
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 10:36 AM

Jack you obviously are no scientist. There are studies being conducted today that would question your obstinacy on this subject. The study of quantum mechanics for one.<<<

No I am not a scientist. But I don't have to be to be familiar with the basic concepts of The Big Bang Theory. You have a problem, I know what quantum mechanics is all the major work in that field was done decades ago. Nobel prizes were awarded, people were there, did that and got their tee shirts. You can't confuse me by vaguely referring to a "study" you can't or won't describe. If you want to try this tactic on someone else say "String Theory" or "Quantum String Theory" at least that will send all but the most informed to Google or Wiki.

>>>Religion tends to be more monolithic than not. Adherence is one of the factors that define religious belief. Unquestioning is also part of the religious belief system. Obstinacy is also another since religious people tend not to consider alternative points of view or criticism
to be valid.<<<

There are doubters and heretics throughout the history of religion. The history of the Protestant Church is defined by Schism. The history of the Catholic Church defined by dealing with heresy. In India there are different gods and variations of religion in every village. Islam has Sunni, Shiite, and dozens of other sects. Religion my friend is the least monolithic thing is the history of man.

>>>Apparently by the nature of this thread, you have made up your mind that atheists are "jerks" and religious folk need to be defended. Also there is a hint that Christians are being somehow persecuted, today, which is truly laughable since they are in the majority in the U.S. but fortunately that is changing.<<<

I accused a total of three people on the whole Earth in all the history of Atheism of being jerks. You really need to read more carefully before you attack me.

"Atheists are atheists regardless of how much they are dissed by Christians. "

Do you realized that the initial question posed on this thread, the one above this post and all of yours was about what defines and atheist. Do you realize that it has been pointed out by two of the three "atheists" that I referred to as jerks (Dawkins is one of them) that they do not consider themselves to be atheists for technical reasons inherent in the definition of "atheist."

I am not dissing Atheists as a group. Never have, never will. Not real atheists especially, I respect their thought processes, I understand their beliefs because I once held them. Professional confrontational atheists, who won't even cop to being atheists are another matter.

Stringsinger, It is obvious to me that you do not trouble yourself to read all that I have said in a relatively short thread. You have admitted lying to me when you said that you read my posts and the article in another thread. Thank you for apologizing for that. I am tired of defending points that I have made nowhere but in your imagination. Please do not address any more negative comments to me unless you can thoroughly back them up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 02:29 PM

Thank you, Stim...you took the words right out of my fingers....it's just another example of the hypocrisy, wrought by the adherence to party talking points, rather than common sense.
It's running rampant these days!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 02:49 PM

The only points I was trying to make was that some pushy "Atheists" are no better than the "Christians" they condemn and that Dawkins, Musket an Steve Shaw were crossing the line from civilized debate to jerkdom, keeping in mind that I have since forgiven the latter two and more importantly apologized for my role in their behavior one these threads, I think I can take a little satisfaction in saying that my work on these threads is done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 05:25 PM

Actually Jack, you may have opened a can of worms. The usage of the term "jerk" is unfortunate because it closes the door to honest dialogue.

Jack, I never admitted to lying to you. That is really incendiary. All I did was apologize for not reading your first post. I finally read it and disagree with your interpretation of what it said.

I'll try to find the article I read on the new revelations regarding the theory of "nothingness" but why do I get the feeling you really wouldn't be interested and instead just want to score verbal points?

As for the monolithic role of religion, all you have to do is question it with a critical eye and you get the kind of reaction you have. It is monolithic in that it doesn't allow deviation from it premise that it is infallible. Now different people have different ideas about how it is infallible but the idea that it might not exist is anathema to those who are assured as to its infallibility. Religion has never allowed itself to be questioned as to its authenticity or reality by religious people. Belief is the basis for its infallibility.

Science, on the other hand is always changing and never couched in absolutes. It doesn't refer to itself as infallible, quite the opposite and theories that have been established are continually being challenged. Empirical evidence always guides it unlike religion.

Stim, I understand the old joke about when two Jewish men are in the room, there are ten different opinions. Judaism and its interpretation can be argued about but it is still a hypothetical religion that has no scientific basis for actualizing its premises. The Torah is a set of laws, some of which are useful today and others antiquated. The Talmud may be about arguing over the value of those laws as you say but if you question the validity of the Talmud or the Torah outside the realm of Judaism, you'll see the reaction you get.

I question the validity of all of it. I see religious people doing helpful and constructive things in their life in spite but not necessarily because of their belief systems.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 05:35 PM

>>>"Actually Jack, you may have opened a can of worms. The usage of the term "jerk" is unfortunate because it closes the door to honest dialogue."<<<

YOU are lecturing ME on "honest dialog?"


>>>"All I did was apologize for not reading your first post. "<<<

After you said a couple of times, rather indignantly, that you had read it.

I see that you are not ready to back up your accusations with anything remotely resembling fact. Please have the last word on what I have just said and do not address me again on this forum. You have no credibility in my eyes and I will not read it.


BTW,

I forgive you for lying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 05:35 PM

'strikes me to be a bit of a double standard that it is ok to say that Christians are deluded and such things, and then get upset when someone puts quotation marks around "atheists"'
.,,.,.
It was me that queried the motivation for 'atheist' instead of atheist, so take it this was addressed to me. I have therefore read it over & over, & cannot follow the train of thought here at all, Stim; can see no logical or causal link between the two halves of the formulation whatever. Can't see why disagreeing with the tenets propounded by Christianity should cast doubt on the genuineness or sincerity of one's views as a self-avowed atheist, which is all I can interpret the quote-marks as implying. What, exactly, is the point you are trying to make?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 05:45 PM

Are you a "self avowed atheist" MtheGM? If I remember correctly you would be the first to admit it in these conversations if you are.

More importantly, do you think it is OK to say that Christians are deluded?

I have said several times why I don't think that is OK, that people who say so are "jerks." I'm not going to call you a jerk at this point even if you actually go so far as to call a person or group "deluded" for having their religious beliefs. But I would like to know if you empathize enough to understand why a person might think that you were trying to give offense if you did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 06:22 PM

Yes.

Not sure. I am sure their beliefs are sincerely held, even if one cannot accept them for oneself. Whether one thinks this constitutes 'delusion', or what other word would be preferable, is something I shall give some thought to. But, taking it that the word is used simply in the sense of 'believing in postulates which appear to us untenable', I can't really see why it should be found offensive. If you nevertheless do find it offensive, what word would you prefer to express our opinion of your [as we see it] beliefs with whose embracing we can find no empathy?

If this makes me a 'jerk' in your view ~~ well, I have been called worse in my time and shall endeavour to live with it. But I can't feel that the word 'jerk' actually contributes much to the discussion; it seems to me far less definable in terms of rational disputation than is 'delusion'.

Regards

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 06:24 PM

... and, I would add, far more wantonly and intentionally offensive!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: bobad
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 06:30 PM

Delusion

An idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality,...


By this definition most definitely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 06:42 PM

MtheGM, I need to say that you have not been a jerk in any of these conversations.


If I start a conversation with "you are deluded" or "you have a delusion." I am putting you on the defensive and bringing all of the mental illness connotations of the word into the conversations. Do you honestly believe that Mr. Dawkins and his publishers were not aware or this? I think not. I think they were drawing a line in the sand trying to provoke as many "God botherers" as the could to denounce the book and "debate" him.

As per the choice of words, I think you and Mr. Dawkins are quite capable of thinking of respectful ways of saying the you disagree with Christians without the strong and fairly clear implication that you are saying that they are crazy.

As per my choice of words... Please keep in mind that I saw Mr. Dawkins "defend" his title in a discussion with an Anglican cleric. Please pardon my weak vocabulary but I cannot think of a word for someone who uses a word that implies that I am crazy in an effort to pick a fight with me and everyone who shares my beliefs but who

a. Does not have the integrity to say that he does not mean to say that he thinks that I am crazy. and

b. Does not have the courage to come right out and say that he thinks I am crazy.   

Scaredy-cat fight-picking word-weasel, is as close as I can think of. But "jerk" gets the point across, I hope.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 06:47 PM

"Delusion

An idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality,"

Unless you have "idiosyncratic", personal definitions of "idiosyncratic" and "generally accepted" Mr. Dawkins' title is a lie. I maintain that it is a lie designed to provoke. Making him a lying jerk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 09:53 PM

Actually, MtheGM, my comment was not addressed to you--I thought that was a fair comment, but to Stringsinger, who seemed to feel that he had been "dissed" by the quotation marks, but whose language has been more unpleasant that that.

From my point of view, I am always curious about the lives that people have led and the sense they've made of it. I lose interest when they start calling other people names...


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 01:21 AM

It's the emotional connotation of the word we disagree about, Jack. I can see that 'suffering from delusions' might be interpreted in some contexts as a sort of euphemism for 'crazy'; but I don't think it follows that simply 'deluded' means more than 'persisting in believing in something which one finds attractive but which the observer believes not to be the truth', without a necessary overtone of 'craziness': & likewise 'delusion' as used by Dawkins. I don't think he meant even to imply insanity on their parts, or to insult in any way, but to express his view of the beliefs they persisted in, contrary, as he saw it, to all reasonable evidences.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 02:04 AM

What if it's all one big day, the 'big bang' is still in progress, and everything that is, comprises God?? what if the only thing that isn't God, is just darkness, nothingness and death...What if the 'Light' illuminated a path that leads out of darkness and death....What if man only looks at events through 'time', because part of him is made of matter....what if, from a different perspective there really is no time...What if the only things that really exist is God and he lives in eternity, no calculated time....what if, when we came into this life and entered matter, the journey gave us amnesia, and it's all a little foggy now....but somehow, we can identify truth when we here is, but can't remember where we know it from....
What if the only thing we remember is that it is all held together by Love...what if, no matter how much one wants to be separated, you really can't be.....what if you could succeed in isolating yourself from the whole.....would that be called being an atheist?
Jeez, who'd want to be separated from law of Love anyway????

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 02:46 AM

"What if ... What if God is this? What if God is that?"

But what you are doing here GfS, it appears, is striving to find yet another definition for 'God', because you can't relate to the idea that the term actually has no referent. It's this protean ability to adopt any form that might just suit the present stage of the disputation that us-lot find so peculiarly unconvincing.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 03:19 AM

If a kid reads the book and looks up the word Delusion, what will he find?

Is there anything in the book to say that he does not mean mental illness? When asked about it in a debate, he talked about "fairies at the end of the garden."

Delusion
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.[1] As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, confabulation, dogma, illusion, or other effects of perception.

Delusions typically occur in the context of neurological or mental illness, although they are not tied to any particular disease and have been found to occur in the context of many pathological states (both physical and mental). However, they are of particular diagnostic importance in psychotic disorders including schizophrenia, paraphrenia, manic episodes of bipolar disorder, and psychotic depression.

Websters

de·lu·sion
noun \di-ˈlü-zhən, dē-\
Definition of DELUSION
1
: the act of deluding : the state of being deluded
2
a : something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated
b : a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also : the abnormal state marked by such beliefs


This is the description of the book on his website.

>>>The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins, in The God Delusion, tells of his exasperation with colleagues who try to play both sides of the street: looking to science for justification of their religious convictions while evading the most difficult implications—the existence of a prime mover sophisticated enough to create and run the universe, "to say nothing of mind reading millions of humans simultaneously." Such an entity, he argues, would have to be extremely complex, raising the question of how it came into existence, how it communicates —through spiritons!—and where it resides. Dawkins is frequently dismissed as a bully, but he is only putting theological doctrines to the same kind of scrutiny that any scientific theory must withstand. No one who has witnessed the merciless dissection of a new paper in physics would describe the atmosphere as overly polite.<<<

Dawkins is frequently dismissed as a bully, but he is only putting theological doctrines to the same kind of scrutiny that any scientific theory must withstand.

a bully
a bully
a bully His word.

He is called that because he is unkind and impolite (my opinion)

"he is only putting theological doctrines to the same kind of scrutiny that any scientific theory must withstand." (His approved words.)


How would his statement about Islam being evil after confessing his ignorance stand up to that?

How should we take a person speaking as a "scientist" making public pronouncements about "evil" a concept with zero scientific meaning? Its a bit like Stephen Baldwin, the Actor and Creationist activist lecturing us on zoology don't you think?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 03:56 AM

I wonder whether this is another example of "the barrier of a common language"? In the UK, in everyday speech, to say someone is deluded does not automatically carry overtones of mental illness, merely that they hold beliefs which cannot be support by evidence, or which fly in the face of evidence. Delusions may be symptoms of mental illness, but being deluded is not the same as being mentally ill. Perhaps the word carries different connotations in the US?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 04:29 AM

Quite, Howard. & two out of the three Webster's definitions cited above by Jack [& that is a US Dictionary] carry no overtone of mental disturbance: 1 & 2a are purely objective in their definitions and carry no adverse connotations; only 2b refers to a disturbed mental state.

I genuinely do think that Jack is overdefining the term 'delusion' as used by Dawkins. It is assertive, to be sure; but I do not think it carries any intentionally insulting tendency.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 04:47 AM

I work in mental health. There are plenty of people who are deluded in all sorts of ways - either by objective standards or in the opinion of others - who do not have a mental illness. Equally there are plenty of people with mental illnesses who do not experience delusions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 05:22 AM

I think there may be a blind spot over the term in the UK, but I suspect only among atheists. I've been racking my brain trying to see where using the word is not either a put down or a diagnosis.

He is deluded if he thinks she is going to go out with him.

She is deluded if she thinks french fries don't go to right to the hips.

Please explain to me how Mr. Dawkins title is not a put down. I think that if you are defending or excusing that title, you have a lot of balls to tell me, a thoughtful human being, that I have any kind of delusion whether it be a medical one or not.

Why don't you test it. Why don't you walk into a pub and yell out "Who here believes in God?" Go up to the biggest guy who says "yes", ideally one in a rugby shirt, and say. "I am sorry to inform you, but that have a delusion." Be as polite as you can but be firm about the fact of the delusion. Be careful to explain that you are not offering a medical diagnosis, just tell him that his beliefs are "something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated." Or use any innocuous version of definition you want. See what happens.

Or what if I said...

Dawkins' followers were deluded. He has no scientific basis for his claim that has not been argued to death for 500 years and that from his actions he is clearly in it for the money. That he got famous because of his rampant Islamophobia and he is a hypocrite for not applying the same rigor to his own public statements as he does to statements from the pulpit.

All of those statements are debatable except possibly the first. But the first is not there to be debated. It is there to provoke. Dawkin's will get their ire up when they read it and it will color every other statement. Try it if you are inclined to scientific experiment. Send it in a private message to Mr. Shaw. His head will explode.

Send this to Musket, you will likely get a reasoned argument.

I believe that Dawkins' followers may be mistaken . He has no scientific basis for his claim that has not been argued to death for 500 years and that from his actions he is clearly in it for the money. That he got famous because of his rampant Islamophobia and he is a hypocrite for not applying the same rigor to his own public statements as he does to statements from the pulpit.

Delusion Etymology

delusion (n.) Look up delusion at Dictionary.com
    "act of misleading someone," early 15c.; as a form of mental derangement, 1550s, from Latin delusionem (nominative delusio) "a deceiving," noun of action from past participle stem of deludere (see delude).

So it started out meaning a form of mental derangement. When and how was it every used as either a diagnosis or a mocking put down. I invite you and the entire Mudcat to comb all of literature except of course for Mr. Dawkins book, to find an example where the word is used to describe a person or a group where it is not used in mocking or in pity or as a diagnosis.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 05:24 AM

Sorry

When and how was it ever NOT used as either a diagnosis or a mocking put down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 05:58 AM

Send it in a private message to Mr. Shaw. His head will explode.

Truly, the mark of the evangelical non-atheist is that he valiantly tries to a goad a fellow who hasn't posted to the thread for three days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 06:24 AM

I didn't think he would do it. I thought your head was safe. But I do think it would upset you if pretty much anyone on this forum but me called you "deluded"

Am I wrong? Would you consider it as a neutral word? A compliment maybe?

Please don't answer if it will upset you.

I am sorry for the exaggeration (explode) I am also sorry for including you name in the discussion. It was purely a rhetorical flourish. I thought MtheGM would empathize with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 07:18 AM

It may well be a put-down - so what? The essence of a debate is that you challenge your opponent's arguments and assumptions. That's a long way from accusing them of being mentally ill.

If religious people (of any faith) wish to persuade others that their views should carry weight then they must be prepared to engage in robust debate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 07:54 AM

I still think you are making much too much of an essentially neutral, factual word, Jack. There is no intention to insult; simply, as Howard says, to debate with reasonable emphasis. You still haven't come up with a substitute word to express the fact that we consider your views mistaken and non-tenable & based on unacceptable premises; so I am afraid that 'delusion' will have to do until you can suggest some other locution which will serve instead in terms of this debate. If otoh you absolutely decline to debate, then other conclusions could obviously be drawn.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 09:31 AM

Atheism is a celebration of human inventiveness which recognises that God & religion only exist on account of 1) those human beings who made them up in the first place and 2) those who've seen fit (for whatever reason) to propagate it thereafter. There's a lot of fine things about religion - the music, the architecture, the fixtures & fittings, the scriptures &c. - which the Atheist appreciates in terms of aforementioned human inventiveness. Even I may stand before the Papyrus P52 exhibit in Manchester's Ryland's Library in a state of reverential awe, but that has nothing to do with belief in anything other than the immediate human reality & cultural history as manifest in the thing.

Atheism is an inclusive philosophy that allows for a more objective view of such matters entirely divorced from the superstition of belief, which is a quaintly folkloric delusion on the one hand, yet more than a tad provincial on the other given the diversity of human cultural / spiritual experience from which we may deduce the wellsprings & motives of organised religion, whatever the stripe. In many ways The God Concept is as much an achievement as Stonehenge, the Pyramids and the Large Hadron Collider; God is born from a dynamic Myth Process which then becomes ossified by absolutism by those for whom stasis equates with Tradition and are prepared to kill or otherwise oppress for its preservation.      

We are all of us spiritual beings; our spirituality is as unique to us as our sexuality. That Religion seeks to exploit the former in the same way as Pornography seeks to exploit the latter is but one of the misfortunes of Human Culture (along with War, The Tory Party, UKIP, EDL, the Daily Mail, etc.) which, on the evidence hitherto, must always have a Dark Side. The nature of our subjective spirituality is experienced in terms of wonder, beauty, joy, awe, our capacity for music, art, poetry, howling at the moon, weeping with joy over the birth of our children and weeping in sorrow over the death of loved ones - and pondering the Fortean in terms of what might often elude simple explanation. This much is common to all, yet unique to each of us.

Atheism presupposes that we've outgrown the need for the comfort blanket of Religion, just as Anarchy presupposes we've outgrown the need for Government. Both are optimistic glimpses of future possibility that take a very happy view indeed of human potential, however so naive that seem to the reactionary detractors for whom such enlightenment is anathema to an arrogant self-centred world view born from both pig ignorance and the fear that death might just be the end of it after all. Who knows? Who cares? Life is all that matters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 11:57 AM

Jack, I didn't lie intentionally if you can call it that. I apologized to you for reacting to the post that I didn't read. I admit that I reacted without thinking carefully but I don't call that lying.

I reacted because of the finger pointing that you did to Dawkins who is an intelligent, moral human being, with an investigative mind, a true scientist and to throw all those epithets at him without some kind of reaction from those who admire him is unreasonable.

You can close the door to dialogue, that is your prerogative.

If you want to criticize Dawkin's ideas, that's one thing, assuming you have read any of his works but to personalize everything as an attack on you is silly.

I won't get into a bar fight with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 12:30 PM

and the pig got up and slowly walked away...


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 01:58 PM

MtheGM: "But what you are doing here GfS, it appears, is striving to find yet another definition for 'God', because you can't relate to the idea that the term actually has no referent. .."

Wrong!
Just think about it.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 03:41 AM

"If religious people (of any faith) wish to persuade others that their views should carry weight then they must be prepared to engage in robust debate. "

Now that is a serious delusion! Do you honestly think that debate persuades people of anything? Where is your evidence sir? Show me one study please. Religious people persuade tens of thousands of people every day without debate. Do you ever find salesmen debating with you over the merits of a home or car? Would you buy from such a person?


MtheGM, Mr. Dawkins started the conversation with a put down. You don't think that is "picking a fight." Very well. Go to a pub and try it. Obviously you think you can do the same. Call people delusional to their faces and publicly pretend that the word does not mean what it says, that it does not carry the baggage that it carries, that it does have the origin that it has.

So you admit that it is a put down, but you think that is justified to try to get me to change my mind.

No sirs. That is not debate that is bulling.

Mr. Dawkins stretched the meaning of the word from referring to individuals and groups not accepting generally accepted evidence to at least 3 or 4 billion not accepting HIS version of the evidence.

That sirs is call lying. So you want to lie to me and bully me and expect me to change my mind. Yeah, I'm the one who is suffering from a delusion. :-)

You are wasting your time tossing Mr. Dawkins "pearls" before this swine. In fact you might want to smell those pearls before you pick them up.

Take care boys.


God Bless you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 04:34 AM

What an absolute waste of time and effort this thread has been!!It has been as pointless as explaining to a woman the workings of the internal combustion engine engine.

We have a world reccession here and all you lot can do is go on and on and and on about this crap.What have you achieved , escept some self important posturing.

Why dont you put your time and efforts into trying to alter society.Or better still just keep your psuodo intellectual thoughts to your selves.Or is that to much to ask


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 04:53 AM

"It has been as pointless as explaining to a woman the workings of the internal combustion engine engine."
And as pointless as trying to explain to a sexist moron that we are living in the 21st century methinks.
Jim Carrll


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 05:31 AM

""I wonder whether this is another example of "the barrier of a common language"? In the UK, in everyday speech, to say someone is deluded does not automatically carry overtones of mental illness, merely that they hold beliefs which cannot be support by evidence, or which fly in the face of evidence.""

I've been called "deluded" for voting differently than other UK members, for supporting the "wrong" Formula One driver and a multitude of other things as well as for believing in a Deity.

I've also been called deluded (much more frequently) by members of evangelising churches, when I explain that neither God nor I need their help to communicate.

What it boils down to is somebody else's opinion, which he is entitled to express, and I am entitled to ignore.

It doesn't offend because it isn't important enough to affect me.

Dawkins too is entitled to his opinion and to the expression of same.

Even as a believer, I have a much greater problem with the aggressively religious.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 05:51 AM

""Why dont you put your time and efforts into trying to alter society.Or better still just keep your psuodo intellectual thoughts to your selves.Or is that to much to ask""

Why don't you, Guest who can't spell "concerned", "pseudo" or "yourselves"?

Or, since you aren't making any sensible input, Why don't you mind your own business?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 11:55 PM

What's an engine engine?

GfS GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Amos
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 12:27 AM

THe thread is not pointless; if it does anything to unmuddy the waters for those who participate in it, it is worthwhile. In matters of the spiritual, there is a huge amount of dirty bathwater; but somewhere lurking in it, there is still a baby.

Worth wading through a lot just to get a glimpse of.

Someday, we might even find out who it is, and likewise who conceived it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 12:52 AM

Amos: "Someday, we might even find out who it is, and likewise who conceived it."

..and when you do, it's like waking up from a bad dream!!!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 12:56 AM

It was all Bobby's dream.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 01:02 AM

Huh?

gfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 01:19 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Ewing


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 01:28 AM

Oh.....well I don't think I've ever watch an episode of 'Dallas' all the way through....well certainly not more than 5-6 minutes running.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 01:40 AM

This was 30 years ago I guess and mocked on SNL a who season was Bobby's dream because of a contract dispute.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 01:47 AM

What's an "internal combustion engine engine," and why don't women understand redundundancy?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 02:03 AM

Joe Offer: "What's an "internal combustion engine engine," and why don't women understand redundancy?"

...or even re-redunduncy??

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 02:22 AM

GfS - Use [CTRL-F] to find previous mentions of women and internal combustion engine engines, which I find redundundundant....

Although I have to admit that I've spent much of the day wondering how my wife the doctor (chiropractor) locked her keys in the car with the engine running today. I tried to duplicate what she did, and there were all sorts of devices to stop me. I have a brother-in-law who's a PhD doctor who's the same way.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 03:48 AM

He has the keys locked in him with the engine engine running?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 04:18 AM

rearange this sentance.....sense find lot need you to humour a..then we aremabe gettin somewere..by the by you judgemental losers...I am a woman and dont have clue about mechanical tjhings...not much good at spelling eitjer..but there agai. I dont need them thi gs to see right through your mumbo jumbo semi digested parochial crap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 10:35 AM

Dawkins says that religion is delusional. So what? There are always those Christian Captain Ahabs that will go after the atheist white whale. That is delusional because in so doing, they bring down their ship.

Instead of being personally victims or feeling persecuted, it would be more instructive for them to analyze why statements like this are being made but it is easier for them to take offense and proclaim how right they are.

As it turns out, non-belief is on the rise, precisely because of the adamant pounding on the table by preachers as they castigate those who disagree with them.

I don't agree with a lot of ideas floating around out there but I don't feel personally attacked or insulted. At times I will evaluate those ideas, accept or reject them based on research, and if I disagree, I don't dislike the person I disagree with on the basis of what they purport to believe.

Regardless of what their stated beliefs are, if I see them being a productive member of society, compassionate, caring and helping those in need, my respect for them goes up.

I disagree with what Martin Luther King has said about religion but I hold him in high esteem for his good works. After all, this is really what counts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 10:37 AM

Yeah Joe, I dug it..I was just spinning off your post..and speaking of re-redundundundundancyies....maybe you might get some 're-redundundundundancyies' in the KEY department!!!

...either that or in the wife the doctor doctor department!

...but a word in caution....the nurses are usually too young...and then you'd have to do the whole thing over and over again!!


(grinning)
GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 01:05 PM

dear me this thread has gone from the purile to the patronising.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 01:18 PM

No it hasn't..we're just shittin' each other, for fun. Have a sense of humor.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerend
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 10:30 AM

A sense of hunour is right dear..you need to issue some of the clowns on this site some building blocks and crayons by the state of whatpassesfor therir inteligence


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 10:50 AM

Concerned

Copy and paste the above please. Would you like directions to grammar websites and on-line dictionaries?

You are not related to pete by any chance?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 11:19 AM

Don T. I want to echo your sentiments about the right of people to have an opinion without ad hominem brickbats thrown at them.

The question is are atheists really atheist, in other words, are they sincere?
There are some who are and some who are not, just like any other group of people
who purport to have similar views. They are not monolithic.

The question asks another implied question, do atheists really exist or are they some form of aberration? This is a disguised brickbat aimed at non-religious people. Yes, they are real. One might ask the question of any religious order, are Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists really what they purport to be? Are they real?

This is of course ridiculous. Of course they are real as are atheists, non-theists, or the new category, apathists (don't give a damn one way or another) attributed to Frans de Waal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 11:38 AM

"The question is are atheists really atheist, in other words, are they sincere?"

You know you would probably have a lot less to say if you showed a little basic respect and read the thread.

Below is the original post. I don't see "are they sincere?" posed as a question. The questions that were asked were addressed in the first few posts.

READ THE THREAD!!!
READ THE THREAD!!!
You keep whining about things nobody has said.
READ THE THREAD!!!
READ THE THREAD!!!
You keep whining about things nobody has said.
Show some respect. Read the thread.

>>>Are they just anti-christian? It seems to me that a significant proportion of atheists (speaking only from personal experience rather than having a statistical source) commonly rail against Christianity in general, and against the perceived hypocrisy/ perceived lack of questioning of Christians in particular whilst ignoring dozens of other faiths and beliefs. Yes there may be the odd foray into Islam or Judaism but it seems pretty much every other religion/faith/belief gets off unscathed?

Is this simply because of familiarity with Christianity in the West? Or have the (some would say) un-christian actions and("you are going to hell because you don't believe what I do") stance of much of the organised church and its ministers etc. over the years, brought an anti-christian sentiment to the fore, and almost by default produced "atheists" who in reality have a larger percentage of anti-christian/anti-abrahamic about them rather than purely atheist philosophy/belief? <<<<


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 12:18 PM

Jack the sailor...is that the best you can do?
Like leveller and the rest of so called free thinkers sneering at us simple folk is unnaceptable as it is unthinking and nasty..You lot want to go on a web site for a dose of simple humanity..abd whike you are about it learn some decent msnners


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 12:25 PM

They appear to have you weighed up Jack.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerend
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 12:44 PM

Thank you...yes we have..no one likes a smart ass.you see it is not enough to spout a lot of self opiniated stuff.What is clearly missing from the jts and his smug mates is a little humanty to his fellow citizens.Untill we start doing this all the rest is propanda


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 01:05 PM

Well "concerned", what appears to be lacking in you is the basic respect for others that even the feeblest attempt at spelling and grammar would display.

IMHO Even "simple folk" can use dictionary.com and try to put a space after their sentences. It is rude folk who don't. It is confusing and leads to misunderstanding.

such as

Who isn't propanda?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 01:11 PM

"They appear to have you weighed up Jack. "

"A sense of hunour is right dear..you need to issue some of the clowns on this site some building blocks and crayons by the state of whatpassesfor therir inteligence."

You do realize that "concerned" was mocking the whole Mudcat, which presumably would include you??

Not too strong on the comprehension skills are you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 01:25 PM

Well, Dawkins, of course, says he's not an atheist because he can't be 100% sure that there isn't a God.
But then he says that he can't be 100% sure there isn't a fridge orbiting Jupiter!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 08:10 AM

Thank you Mr.Sailor.Have you ever been to sea by the way?.Your post is up to your usual standard of crassnes and bullshit by the way...but hey! I'm good, i'm big, I can forgive that.

To err is human to forgive sublime.

But you have got it wrong.. I am not mocking the whole Mudcat as you suggest; just people like you and people like you, who pretend to be sooooooooooo liberal and open minded, but in reallity have got their heads so far up their asses they cannott see the woods for trees.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 08:56 AM

"heads so far up their asses they cannott see the woods for trees."
.,,.

Great image, Mr Concerened. Who are these people with woods full of trees up their posterior orifices, I wonder?

☺〠☺~M~☺〠☺


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 09:37 AM

Of course concerned was taking the piss out of all who post on the BS threads. You are the one who hasn't worked it out yet my nautical fifth mate.

Even Goofus is in on the joke. ..

Dozy bugger.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 12:15 PM

Concerned: "To err is human to forgive sublime."

Musket, Sans Brain: "Even Goofus is in on the joke. .."

Concerned: "To err is human to forgive sublime."


To err is human...to blame it on someone else is even more human!

Oh, by the way 'concerned' did you learn about 'forgiveness' from...let me see....umm.....a spontaneous big bang from nowhere??

Think about it...

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 12:37 PM

I got it from the big bang Goofus. Didn't you?

The evidence to date is with the big bang, unless and until something else explains the evidence. Hence forgiveness cane from the big bang.

Where do you think it came from Goofus? For Clapton's sake, it wasn't the little baby Jesus by any chance?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 01:03 PM

Bring it on!!! This has started to get really good..all we need forittoget rallyintresting for leveller to find another brain cell


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 04:23 PM

No Guest from sanitry..you do not learn forgivenes from anywere/ one/ or magical big bangs it comes from you.Is that to simple for you? or do we have to get the crayons and the flip charts out?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 04:27 PM

Yeah GfS have the person who writes like a 5 year old get out the crayons for you. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 04:57 PM

Again sailor you have not failed us with your rapier like wit and cutting edge dialogue.... but listen barnacle brain..try and be a little more original eh? You are getting a tad tediouse.Or here is a good idea, try and be a little amusing?It aint cool to carry on like the way what you do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 05:10 PM

........and you aint answered the question..are you a real sailor?..I dont think you are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 05:24 PM

An interesting read on this site:

""In order to carry on a discussion about the relationship between science and religion, there needs to be a grasp on how the fields differ.....


Conflicts Between Science and Religion


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 06:18 PM

"Again sailor you have not failed us with your rapier like wit and cutting edge dialogue.... but listen barnacle brain..try and be a little more original eh? You are getting a tad tediouse.Or here is a good idea, try and be a little amusing?It aint cool to carry on like the way what you do. "

Make that writes like four year old.

"..and you aint answered the question..are you a real sailor?..I dont think you are. "

Make that three. :-D

How is that for amusing sunshine?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 09:17 PM

"Well, Dawkins, of course, says he's not an atheist because he can't be 100% sure that there isn't a God. But then he says that he can't be 100% sure there isn't a fridge orbiting Jupiter!"

It's usually referred to as a teapot. There is no one alive who can be sure that there's no Santa Claus. But, the logical fallacy is that you can't prove a negative.

The term "atheist" has to continually be redefined. Maybe the term "Freethinker" or "Non-believer" should be used in its stead.

Having read this thread, I have my own opinion and conclusions about what it means.
I see this as an attack upon atheists in an attempt to discredit them. Dawkins is a target because he provokes thought and rubs some religious people the wrong way.

I have great respect for sensible ideas and useful discussion. The title of the thread is ambiguous at best but if it opens the conversation for dialogue, then I can respect that.

I don't respect fist pounding on the table laced with anger and shutting down the conversation with self-righteous proclamations and accusations.

Personally, I see no reason to attack religious views as long as they don't infringe on the right for me to hold mine. Again, no bar fights for me. I'll stick to the facts and dialogue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 09:37 PM

" The title of the thread is ambiguous at best but if it opens the conversation for dialogue"

It is explained well enough in the opening post. Please keep in mind that there are a limited number of characters available in an opening post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 12:54 AM

Jack, Popeye's buddy: "Please keep in mind that there are a limited number of characters available in an opening post."

....but it appears that there is unlimited number of characters, yelling at me random, in my head, all making their case!
You guys don't make sense....according to you, everything is just random...random beginnings, random end, random in between.....but then you bitch, scream and moan about injustices!!!!????
What??? Did you forget that you just argued in favor of 'random'...what so unjust about that????????? How can anyone be guilty of an injustice??? How can anyone complain about an injustice done to them??? Isn't it all 'random'?
Dog eat dog more your style???....as long as in is politically correct?????...or do they just have to drool that way??

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 06:28 AM

Ho! Ho! Ho! fantastic.. I just set the trap and Hurricane jack the windy sailorman walks right into it..Again!!!. Bloody priceless!! Was you bullied at school salty sam?

Do try and come up with something original or I am going.

Btw we still havent found out if you have any claim to be a sailor


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 07:16 AM

"Btw we still havent found out if you have any claim to be a sailor "

I'm pretty sure that everyone know but you and I can't think of any reason to repeat it for someone who has been as rude as you.

I see your spelling is getting better. What was the trap. Write like a three year old so that I would say you write like a three year old?

Some trap! Your mother must be proud.

Here is another trick you can try. Go on off to school se we can say you gave gone to school.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 07:19 AM

Please keep in mind that there are a limited number of characters available in an >>opening post.<<

Sorry. should have been >>thread title.<<


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 02:12 PM

"everyone know but you?"pretty careless for someone as preciseabout other people use of grammer wouldnt you say? I am not that much intrested in your claims to be a sailor


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 04:45 PM

So you are a troll, concerened. I'm glad, in a way, because I'd thought you were a crackhead, and that turns out so badly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 04:56 PM

Does there remain a point to this thread?

Just wondering?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 06:21 AM

Of course there is a point Edt.

Dont think Barnacle Bill the pseudo sailorman gets it though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 08:32 AM

I would like to be a Christian for a minute so I can believe in heaven and hell.

Basically because I hope St Peter told the old bitch to bugger off and Hell has s pit waiting for her. And she won't be able to shut this one.

Ok. I've stopped being a Christian now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerend
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 08:47 AM

bit o'thread creep musket old bean..think you are talkng about the demise of that splendid statesperson Baroness Thatcher lol!.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 09:51 AM

""You have not converted a man because you have silenced him"". John Morle



""Silence is sometimes the severest criticism"'. Charles Buxton

""In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood"". Henry David Thoreau


""Silence is the safest response for all the contradiction that arises from impertinence, vulgarity, or envy"'. Johann Georg von Zimmermann


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 10:22 AM

In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.


Pastor Martin Niemoller


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 10:25 AM

last post was me


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 10:36 AM

The Tremeloes - Silence is Golden

Hey concerned!

If you think that you are preempting another Holocaust by badgering me about my nickname, far be it from me to stand in the way of such a noble cause.

On the other hand, if you actually want to know for some other reason than increasing your repertoire of insults.

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 10:54 AM

"Materialism" is another buzz word thrown around by religious people to make non-believers somehow "unholy" because they reject "spiritual values". It's propaganda.

"Materialism" and atheism are ambiguous because you can't be one without the other in the religious playbook. But they basically are the same in that if there is no god (which I think is mostly true although again you can't prove a negative), then believing that death is final and the decomposing of bodies is inevitable, that's not "materialism", that's science.

"Materialism" is one of those words that is associated by religious people as being a component of financial greed or money or thing worship.

People who have no tolerance for atheism don't get this.

Yes, this thread is ambiguous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 12:16 PM

Knock it off Frank. No one is persecuting you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 05:34 PM

I don't feel persecuted. As for knocking anything off, I have as much right to my opinion as jack does and to express it here on Mudcat. I really am not trying to win any argument here but when I see a hero of mine such as Dawkins attacked and misinterpreted, I really have to speak up in his behalf.

Atheism is another example of misunderstood positions. There are atheists who are dogmatic and foolish because they are human. That doesn't mean that someone with a differing opinion shouldn't express it. When this discussion becomes about personalities and ad hominem, it should be corrected. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism have set themselves up as the only religion and way to think, thereby it is necessary to criticize them without taking the criticism personally.

If the discussion is about the religion and not the person who either believes or disbelieves, then some value is offered.

Christianity has gone through many cycles of historical change even before Constantine.
It has been reinterpreted and misinterpreted starting with ignorant (unread) scribes through agenda-driven clerics. Most of the disciples who reputedly wrote in the bible wrote their pieces when the historical mythical Jesus was dead according to latest historical records. Jesus isn't mentioned, for example, in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The King James edition was written to keep the various warring factions of religion from being at each other's throats. So what is Christianity? It appears to be a historical hodge-podge.
The same can be said for other supposedly holy books. Their value is only predicated on whether you believe them to be true accounts.

All this said, I think the Beatitudes have something of value to say. Their implication in the parables are decidedly anti-war. The quotes attributed to Jesus in the King James are contradictory in other parts of the bible.   Some of the rules about selling daughters into slavery are ridiculous and dangerous when you consider that slavery in the US in the 1800's was predicated on religious beliefs.

It is significant that Thomas Jefferson, a slave-holder, excised many nutty parts of the King James and it published it as the Jefferson bible.

I am making no personal attacks, here and attempting to keep away from ad-hominem.

The reason that this thread is ambiguous is that the definitions of atheism vary depending on the nature of the criticism.   I maintain that all it really means is non-belief and whenever that is expressed, it engenders hostility by the "faithful".


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 05:57 PM

Stringsinger. I've made my points about Dawkins clearly and consistently. You choose to ignore them and attack me anyway. You are wasting my time. You have been defending him? He is a hero of yours? Why after so many posts and threads are you just getting around to this instead of pretending to protect all atheists?

You have not been honest. You have not been sincere.

Just go read your Dawkins and enjoy it. Your calling me Capt. Ahab won't change anything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 07:40 AM

Ahhhhhhhhhhh Diddums den..did the naughty man call you nasty names den? You dont like it when boots on 'tother foot do yer?

looks like stringsinger has found your measure Cap'n Fraud!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 07:49 AM

You sound a lot like Lizzie Cornish now, concerened.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 08:10 AM

I saw a Scottish TV show on Netflix about prostitutes. They were calling each other "hen." Is that common throughout the UK? Even in places like York or Cornwall?

What exactly is a Cornish game hen?

If it is what I think it is, what are those little birds I have been stuffing?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 08:49 AM

"Hen" is a Glasgow, or perhaps Scottish in general, familiar term of address to a woman, equivalent to "mate" for a man {which I don't think has an English female equivalent, except perhaps the rather patronising "dear"}. I learnt this from Robin Hall way back in the 1950s.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 09:15 AM

Yes Jack. We are all heathen buggers and shag chickens. Mainly because unlike sex with other humans it isn't seen by God botherers as adultery so we can still go to heaven.

Its clucking good whichever way you look at it. Brings a new meaning to henpecked.

Out of interest, what was most important to your understanding. Scottish or prostitute?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 10:30 AM

I think that I am sincere in what I express. I don't know everything of course. I can only act upon what I have learned in these seventy odd years on the planet. Defending all atheists is too big a job for anyone since many of them disagree with each other. As far as independent thinkers go, it would be like herding cats.

When ideas are criticized, some people react as if it were a personal attack. I try to avoid ad hominem as best I can, not always successfully, but for the sake of dialogue and informational exchange, I try to dodge the brickbats and keep the focus of the discussion in view.

Atheists (the term needs a better definition) is a relatively new idea since it has been suppressed for so long historically. It comes into focus since more people today are leaving organized religion in this country than are joining it. Church attendance is low and there are very good reasons for that. One is dogmatism and another intolerance for any idea outside the box of religion. Also, homophobia, and the rise of women's equality is important. The King James bible enslaves women.

I admire Dawkins because he retains an investigative and scientifically open mind. The "delusion" part is really asking a question, how much of religion is predicated on reality.
It has nothing to do with demonizing anyone although it is taken that way by many religious people. For years the term atheist has been used to demonize and brand anyone critical of religion and it has been turned around by a form of psychological projection toward atheists particularly by the branding canard of "new atheism". There is nothing new about non-belief except that today people are not necessarily burnt at the stake for this view and able to express it which I think is a good thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerend
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 02:32 AM

looks lie barnacle balls has finally lost it.What in hades name had his last drivel had to do with this post?.lLke most of his iarrogant llk h has bo idea of the regional accebts in the uk..For w so called nautical cove he has no idea of the distance between cornwall sotland and york..Get a grip you nautical imposter afore some real sailor shows you the golden rivit!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 04:44 AM

It was set in Glasgow M~ there were 6 or 7 women characters but only the two prostitutes were called "hen" and only by one another.

I wondered if it was a "professional" thing. Have you seen "the book group?"

Musket, Adultery is immoral. It should be avoided. I am glad you agree! But I am concerned well, not the "concerned" on this thread! mind you. I am concerned for you. You seem to be saying that your manhood is not even sufficient for a full sized chicken?? So sad, so sad. Lucky for the chicken though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 07:50 AM

Oh dear! now the ancient mariner is into chickens as well as checking out the size of mens units.Is there no end to this mans sexual buffoonery.

I do strongly object to his moral stance on adutery though.There are circumstances when adultery is the only option.But there again I am not known for a moralist. Unlike self opiniated, salt stained Sailor Jerk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 08:06 AM

Now concerned, Musky said he was stuffing them. He is on the other side of the Atlantic any and all of my information on his "unit" is from seeing the object of its affection in a grocery freezer.

"There are circumstances when adultery is the only option."

Do you mean the only option other than fidelity, celibacy, masturbation and divorce?

Or in the case single people cheating with married people FINDING ANOTHER SINGLE PERSON!!!

Now that I've helped you with that dilemma, maybe we can help you with your verbal buffoonery of making fun of my made up nickname.

Are you game my little hen?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 08:36 AM

Guest, I am curious as to why you are so "concerned" as to whether Jack is "every inch a sailor", or not, and why that would be important to the thread topic?

If it consoles, I can assure you that it is "not true" that ""only sailors get blown offshore"" :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 08:43 AM

A little techy aint we? There is no need to shout. You really need to lighten up.

I told you I was no moralist,only a lonely old biddy whose husband had his unit blown of in Afghanistan.

I realy dont need any help with gently teasing you. You rise to the bait with unfailling, some would say predictable, regularity.

Ease the wheel Barnacle Balls, as we used to say in the WRENS.

You being an old salt wont need an explanation fo the last bit, unless you are the fraud we all suspect you to be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 08:57 AM

No Problem Edt.I dont like pretentiouse people like Sailor Jerk.

I did ask him if he was a ral sailor as I was genuinely intrested.He has never answered me.This leads me to believe he is a nauitical fraud.

Dont forget he started this by smugly picking on me:

Concerned

Copy and paste the above please. Would you like directions to grammar websites and on-line dictionaries?

You are not related to pete by any chance?

This is only the start of a whole raft of insulting patronisng remarks about me.

And like many of his ilk he has no sense of humour


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 09:14 AM

OK, concerned. I was just wondering, as the "source of discourse" as it frequently stimulates my curiosity.

Anyway, the original thread questions seems to have been "blown offshore", as many similar topics "often will".


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 09:33 AM

I had to say it in a toon song


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 10:19 AM

Back to the subject. It's really hard for religious people to believe that atheists are sincere in their views because being religious it's hard for them to think outside the "religious" box. If you believe something so passionately, it's hard to accept that everyone doesn't believe the same way.

The "atheist" position is that religion historically has had too much influence in the behavior of mankind and has caused wars, witch-burning (both professed by John Wesley and Martin Luther), auto-de-fes, slavery, and authoritarian obedience at the expense of thinking for yourself. Atheists that I know respect the good deeds rather than the proclamations of religious folks. They also see inconsistencies in the holy books, The King James bible for example that is filled with contradictions and outdated laws.

You would have to turn the question around to see the futility of trying to answer it.
Are Christians really Christians or.........Are Muslims really Muslims or.......Are Catholics really Catholics or.................Are Jews really Jews or....................

The notion that people who are non-believers have some traumatic reason for leaving religion can't be generalized. Sometimes it's an intellectual "awakening" that has nothing to do with pain or suffering. That "awakening" might be questioned by those who can't grasp it because of their own prejudices but there are religious people who can accept this idea and still remain true to their "faith".

When someone writes a book that others find controversial, it doesn't mean that they are bullying others who may hold a different opinion. It's just their point of view and they have a right to express it as do the countless writers of books on theology have done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 12:01 PM

Well concerned, You didn't make a great first impression on me either. Vague but insulting comments, more or less calling people on the thread stupid and "brain washed" When you ask me a question I figured you were looking for material for your insults. and like I said Most people knew already, You were a stranger and All I had ever seen you do it put people down and insult their views.

If that is all you want to do, make argumentative posts on religious threads, that is cool. But I don't want to spend time getting to know you. If you want to introduce yourself and be friendly, I will be friendly to you.

This sort of thing is not friendly.

>>>More half arsed, half baked pseudo intellectual claptrap.

Why dont you all get to grips with the fact that all this religan is a smoke screen put about by people who want to dominate you, and make you forget about the real issues.

I do have a sort of respect for people who follow one of the mainstream religions, you believe in the magical man/men/woman/women you believe in 'em aint up for question.

What I do find hard to get to grips with is some of you lot hedging your bets in case there is something in it.

How in the name of all reason can you call yourself an atheist and in the same breath believe in the brain washing mumbo jumbo of spirituallity and the oher dangerouse crap of telepathy.Ruses to part gullible cretins like you lot from their money.

The whole world is in a state of turmoil made by very rich people exploiting the majority.We dont make this any better by beleiving in this kind of brain washing.
Let us all combine together and try and make a differance

Marxism the true path. <<<


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 12:38 PM

""It's really hard for religious people to believe that atheists are "sincere in their views because being religious it's hard for them to think outside the "religious" box. If you believe something so passionately, it's hard to accept that everyone doesn't believe the same way.""


(I am kinda confused about where to post what, as there are a number of related threads and I posted something related on another one)

OK, What is puzzling is you seem to accept that there is a wide-spectrum of Athiests, but, at the same time find it difficult to believe there is also a wide spectrum of people who believe, to a varying degree, in a god.

I am not sure what you refer to as "religious people". Does it mean those who strongly adhere to a particular organized religion or religrous practice? If so, those are on the decline in Christianity (maybe, globally less so in other religions). Maybe there is a better way of characterizing those who believe in a god?

IMO, to get a more enlightened and insult-free discussion, people should show a bit more caution for "the feelings" of those they wish to carry on a respectful conversation. That is a fairly basic element of communication. Trying to stimulate people by talking down to them, demonizing them or acting as if they are stupid is a poor starting point.(that is a general observation, not pointed at you Stringsinger, or any other poster).


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 12:49 PM

"Marxism the true path"
Marxism is a Socio/political theory that doesn't demand faith - just analyis - nobody ever suggested that Moses brought down Marx's 'Theory of Surplus Value' from the top of Mount Sinai on tablets of stone. We are invited to analyse, not believe and accept without question.
Wonder where "the true path" came from; don't remember that from my dips into political economy.   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 01:02 PM

My comments were not meant to be friendly.I do not know you and by the sound of you I dont want to.You have already legged yourself up by expecting me - a stranger - to guess at your claims to be a mariner.

You do not expect me to be friendly to some one who constantly, smugly insults my grammer and spelling and constantly insults me.
.
The same person who cannot answer a civil question

and the person who constantly poses as a maritime expert

"Friendly" is a word used by the exploiters, cake eaters, poodle fakers,primping posuers,crooked politicians,goons, yeggs and nautical knob heads when they find theirselves backed in a corner.

It is a hard world out there.

Being "friendly" is half arsed, ginger, woosy crap what you say to about your pussy cat or budgie.I stand by my comments, you may not like what I say but you cannot disagree with them.

I defy you or anyone to find anything in what I have said to be untrue and not based on fact.... can you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 01:32 PM

I defy you or anyone to find anything in what I have said to be untrue and not based on fact.... can you?

Yes I can Here you are, same post.

"the person who constantly poses as a maritime expert"

A sailor does not have to have any expertise to be called a sailor. He merely has to sail in a sailboat or be crew on a ship. I did not in any way pose as a maritime expert. Not once not even a little bit. Not ever. Not even in jest.

I have not been backed into a corner. I gave you a choice, Be friendly or not. If you hand merely been polite or just stopped being rabidly insulting, that would have worked as well. But you chose to be even more rude and more insulting. I have no reason to communicate with you.

from now on I won't be reading your posts.

Good bye.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 01:37 PM

""I defy you or anyone to find anything in what I have said to be untrue and not based on fact.... can you?""


OK, since you issued the challenge:

I suspect one would not have to be a sailor to be a maritime expert?

How about that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 02:08 PM

Marxist/Communist governments were responsible for the murder of more than 100,000,000 people in the 20th Century.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 02:27 PM

Well, that will be no loss , if you insist on being childish.But just a coupla things to blow you out of the water..again

Again you choose to misinterpret what I say: something people like you do when you are backed into a corner..
I did not say that you was a maritime expert, I said you posed as one;a completley differant job.

Again I would argue, being an ex mariner myself, that someone who uses "sailor" as a prefix would be a little more than a sailboat sailor.Even then it is apparent that you are not even that.You have to be something of a maritime expert to work a sailing boat.You would have to have a working knowlege of wind, time and tide. when to tack and reef; ergo an expert.

I consider myself and my navy collegues immensly insulted by your unguarded crass remark:"
"A sailor does not have to have any expertise to be called a sailor. He merely has to sail in a sailboat or be crew on a ship"

That is an insult of the highest order to anyone who has sailed in the forces or the mercantile marine as a crew member.

That remark has just cost you any credibillity you ever had in this post.Never mind you not reading my posts I want nothing more to do with you.You have been exposed as an imposter, live with it..if you can.
Edt.... that is true, however, they do not usually go around calling themselves "sailor" therefore what I have said still stands.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 02:40 PM

Working in in the marine field most of my life, I came across a few "maritime experts" (check the broad definition) who couldn't sail a toothpick across a peepot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 03:41 PM

"Marxist/Communist governments were responsible for the murder of more than 100,000,000 people in the 20th Century."
The track records of non-Marxist governments - USA, Chile (take your pick with most South American counties), Germany, Greece, the dying echoes of the British Empire, Israel.... (how far do you want to go), equalled that number and more.
Japanese people are still dying as a result of 2 atom bombs being dropped on industrial towns 60 odd years ago, and will be for generations to come.
Those countries that have 'shaken off the Marxist yoke' can hardly be said to have mended their ways - former Yugoslavia, Russia.
The record of pre-Castro Cuba, "America's open sewer", is hardly an enviable one.
It is often forgotten that Tolstoy was writing about the "Marxist Gulags!" some time in the middle of the 19th century.
Human rights abuses seem not to be respecters of political boundaries. Not trying to draw a compare, I don't hold a torch for any of them - just pointing out the realities of the situation.
The vast majority of the countries that called themselves "Marxist" wouldn't know what Marxism was if they were belted over the head with a copy of 'Anti-Duhring' anyway - think on't.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 05:30 PM

Actually, you're wrong, Jim--the Marxist/Communists beat everybody else out-check this:
Murder by Communism. Again, and, as you, I don't take pleasure in pointing it out. You are right, however, to point out that they differed from their predecessors only in scale--

Also right with "The vast majority of the countries that called themselves "Marxist" wouldn't know what Marxism was if they were belted over the head with a copy of 'Anti-Duhring'" You could say the same of countries that call themselves "Christian"--and insert just about any serious Christian writings from "The Imitation of Christ", to St. Francis, to St. Thomas Aquinas--in fact, most "Christian Nations" don't even get "Thou Shalt not Kill"--


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 08:25 PM

Ed, when dealing with criticism of ideas, someone is bound to take it personally.
Worrying about whether someone is going to get their feelings hurt for criticizing a religion, political point of view, etc. is just going to stifle free expression and create censorship. Someone is going to holler "ouch" no matter what you say.

I try to depersonalize criticism by separating the respect I have for a person from what they purport to believe. I don't have to respect what they believe if I find it questionable or wanting. I can still admire people with whom I disagree. There are a great many theological scholars who are intelligent on many issues, some are social activists whom I admire without having to buy their ideas, dogmas, beliefs, or what they purport to believe. I also happen to think that the Beatitudes in the bible are a testament toward cessation of hostilities and anti-war and I respect that without the other garbled messages of the King James.

There are Islamic and Judaic scholars who I can admire without having to buy either of their religions.

I actually think that "liberation theology" is a useful social movement whether I agree with the religious aspect of it or not. The same can be said for the Civil Rights movement spearheaded by Dr. King.

The old cliche, "actions speak louder than words" applies redundantly here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 09:05 PM

Stringsinger,

Criticizing a religion, political point of view, IMO is fair game. And, free speech certainly allows anyone to say just about anything they want. But, to get the most out of a two-way discussion,if that is what one is seeking, respecting the other person and their differing viewpoints and perspectives on the same topic helps. One should not forget that there are major differences on what is held "close to the hearts of people" as is tolerance to less than flattering (and even rude) side-comments.

It is clearly the choice of the participant. But, it is much more fruitful (for the participants and those on the sidelines) if people are civil and the discussion is interesting (versus ping pongstyle insults). Is being nice and considerate that difficult and does it really put that significant a limit on freedom of expression on a topic? (keep in muind I speak in generalities, and am not targeting you as posting in a nasty way).


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 09:07 PM

Marxist/Communist governments were responsible for the murder of more than 100,000,000 people in the 20th Century

Point numero uno. Bollocks. Give us yer evidence.

Point numero two. So what. Are you by any chance trying to pin a single one of those deaths on to atheism? Do be careful how you answer, now...


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 09:44 PM

Jim Carroll
Like with others, I am confused as to how your comments relate to the topic? Is there a link you suggest, (if so, please say so). Or, did you post it here in error?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 03:50 AM

Ed T
"I am confused as to how your comments relate to the topic?"
On this particular occasion I was responding to Sailor Jack's posting;
"Marxism the true path", he was echoing Guest's Concerned statement way, way back.
I, like you, am at a loss as to why it should have a place here - unless you put it down to Futwick's question: "How does atheism differ from Marxism?"
The hint that atheists might be closet Marxists does, I believe, lurk behind all these arguments.
I certainly didn't introduce Marxism into these threads - I don't know enough about the subject to have done so.
Stim was an early contender in comparing atheism with Communism by declaring Stalin (the 'failed' priest') to be a devout atheist on the 'Militant atheism has become a religion' thread.
I have no intention of defending the track records of countries which claim to be Marxists; I just thought it worthwhile to point out that Marxism is a socio/political/economic theory and is not a religion. It has never been anything other than a theory anyway; an aim for the time in the case of some countries, but never a practiced system of society (unless you count the Diggers and the early days of the Paris Commune).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 06:24 AM

Thanks, Jim Carrol, I missed that post?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 11:06 AM

I quoted the first "Guest: Concerned" post n this thread to illustrate that she has not made a good first impression on me. The bit about "Marxism" was I thought, incidental to my purpose.

But taken on its own, I think that Marxism or at least Stalinism as it has been practiced belongs in a conversation about definitions of atheism. I think she was quite clever and thoughtful to slip that it.

Seems like she is in accord with you in this statement Jim.

"Why dont you all get to grips with the fact that all this religan is a smoke screen put about by people who want to dominate you, and make you forget about the real issues."

Here debates style comes across as Shaw's attitude with pete's grammar. Entertaining, to say the least.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 12:02 PM

Actually, Steve, it's not bollocks. I posted the link to the democide above. As to the avowed atheism of the USSR and PRC, check this: Wiki on State Atheism Marx, Lenin, and Engel's writings on religion and atheism are online--I didn't post any links because it is a PITA to read that stuff, and I really do like you.

I posted the number of deaths associated with Communism/Marxism etc. as a response to, "Marxism is the true path". I don't blame you, Dawkins, or Christopher Hitchens for any of those deaths;-)

I've been involved in civil rights, labor union, anti-war, and green politics for a long time, and was close to many who were associated with the "Old Left"--for the most part, they were selfless, idealistic social visionaries, who bridled at the the oppression they saw in the world. Krushchev's 1956 speech denouncing Stalin, and exposing his history of murder, brutality, and repression hit them hard, because they had supported the revolution and believed in what it stood for. They felt what we all feel when a dream becomes a nightmare.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 04:10 PM

One would also have to mention the atheism of Ayn Rand, the fascist novelist.

There are many who call themselves atheists but if you think about Stalin or Rand, you come to the conclusion that they are fundamentalist and worshipful toward their ideals. Hence, Stalinism, Randism, fascist or other Communist ideologies can be thought of as being "religious". Not so with some atheists however because they adhere to the skeptical notion of non-belief which is not a religion and eschew dogma regardless of how they are accused otherwise.

Ed, I think one can be respectful in communication without having to respect their ideas.
I disagree that the two are connected. I think that if the dialogue is presented in an even-handed informative and critical way, even then, it will step on someone's toes, particularly in the areas of religion and politics. But to be cowed by self-censorship just because someone doesn't like what's being said is tantamount to ignoring the issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 04:14 PM

"But taken on its own, I think that Marxism or at least Stalinism as it has been practiced belongs in a conversation about definitions of atheism."
Don't suppose you'd care to qualify that - you've qualified nothing else you've said so far.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 04:54 PM

For your consideration, Jim Carroll, from V.I. Lenin, "The Attitude of the Workers' Party to Religion":

"The philosophical basis of Marxism, as Marx and Engels repeatedly declared, is dialectical materialism, which has fully taken over the historical traditions of eighteenth-century materialism in France and of Feuerbach (first half of the nineteenth century) in Germany—a materialism which is absolutely atheistic and positively hostile to all religion."

And the declaration of Engels that he specifically referred to to was "Anti-Dühring".


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 05:25 PM

"Don't suppose you'd care to qualify that - you've qualified nothing else you've said so far."

I concur with the well written and thoughtful comment posted by Stim about 4 hours before you again made an ass of yourself by posting the comment above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Ed T
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 05:34 PM

Stringsinger ""I disagree that the two are connected. I think that if the dialogue is presented in an even-handed informative and critical way, even then, it will step on someone's toes, particularly in the areas of religion and politics. But to be cowed by self-censorship just because someone doesn't like what's being said is tantamount to ignoring the issue.""

""even-handed informative and critical way"" When and where has that happened? (I would add interesting to that mix).

IMO, It is not what is being said, but whether it is said in a respectful manner that counts, IMO. The same athiest-religion mudcat folks have been going around a circle mostly saying the same thing, from thread to thread, for months.The issues and responses are hardly new (in fact, they are stale).

The issue is not censorship and free speech. The issue is whether either side is actually listening to each other, or only engaging in a game of one-up-man-ship. Why so, and For whom, themselves? I suspect few other Mudcatters tune in for very long - as it mostly involves throwing around of insults, in one form or another. Is there a stage when the same participants ask - "what's the point"? Beyond, fluffing up one's own feathers, that is :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 05:34 PM

I was the GUEST who posted the quote from Lenin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 06:04 PM

>>>There are many who call themselves atheists but if you think about Stalin or Rand, you come to the conclusion that they are fundamentalist and worshipful toward their ideals. Hence, Stalinism, Randism, fascist or other Communist ideologies can be thought of as being "religious"<<<

>>>can be thought of as being "religious"<<

I guess you can say that. If you completely ignore the core meanings of the words atheist (non-believer in a God or gods) and Religious (worshiping a God or gods.)

You could say a pig is a goat and you'd be closer to reality.

You know, you can think anything you want. Its funny Steve and Musket argued pretty hard that atheists are non-believers and that it could not be a religion if a God or Gods are involved. You were posting during that conversation and seemed to take their side of the "Militant atheism has become a religion" argument. You have come down of the same argument in a few days. In the first place, when it was aimed at you. You agreed that non-believers in God could not form a religion. Now you are saying that non-believers in God have formed religion. What is really really interesting to me is that this conversation took place on the tread that you said that you have read so many times. The one where you got telling me to read the article you had told me you had read. Very curious. Maybe you ought to back off on this topic. Maybe there is a creature in this rabbit hole you don't want to see.

But you do remember some things I have said. I guess that is because your feelings were hurt?

>>>"Not so with some atheists however because they adhere to the skeptical notion of non-belief which is not a religion and eschew dogma regardless of how they are accused otherwise."<<<


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 06:10 PM

"I was the GUEST who posted the quote from Lenin. "

Nice, that was good.

You know when I first argued about Atheism, It seemed like everybody who cared about the subject knew that Marxism and Atheism were related.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 06:13 PM

ooops

could not be a religion UNLESS a God or Gods are involved


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 06:17 PM

Ooops again. I have an eye operation scheduled for Tuesday. My eye has been affecting my writing and proofreading for days.

"You have come down of the same argument in a few days."

"You have come down ON EACH SIDES OF of the same argument WITHin a few days."


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 08:25 PM



Hello? Not only have I not "argued pretty hard that atheists are non-believers", I've actually argued against that notion pretty vehemently on a number of occasions. And you wonder why I call you Wacko.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 09:35 PM

OK Shaw, but you argued this.

The cry of the scared Christian: those who criticise our faith and take a different world view (especially those who express it, and especially especially those who express it bluntly, as bluntly as faiths express themselves with their "certainties") are fundamentalist, we have an atheist faith, we have an atheist belief system, we are evangelical, we are militant, it's really just a perverted kind of religion. Actually, when you think about it, we are none of the above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 12:43 AM

have you a brain operation scheduled as well?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concereneds
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 04:08 AM

sailor jerks last post has to be the crassest he has ever posted


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 05:51 AM

"Marxism and Atheism were related."
You might have added that Marx (taking his cue from Hegel I think) claimed that "religion is the opiate of the people"
I would guess that there are far more non-Marxist atheists that there are Marxists - linking Marxism (or your limited knowledge of it) with atheism is red-herring politicking - like Ed T, I believe it has no more than a passing connection here - rather an attempt to replace your non-case with smear tactics.
"could not be a religion UNLESS a God or Gods are involved"
In that case there is no grounds for suggesting, as many believers do, that "atheism is a religion" - is that right?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 06:17 AM

I see sailor jerk lives up to his usuall half arsed commitment to the truth.

Said goodbye to me and did not want anything to do with me, but still uses my quotes when it suits him. Did I also see some grudging admiration for something I had said?

When are you gonna fess up barnacle balls and admit that secretly you have the hots for me?.Go on.... you know you have.

I know what sailors are!! even nautical frauds like you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 06:44 AM

Cor, "barnacle balls" sounds hellish painful. No wonder Jack gets all these unfocussed moodies. In your own time, Jack, perhaps you'd care to explain what your most recent post to this thread actually means.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 07:13 AM

I dont think he can explain Steve.

Like most of his petite borguoise, psuedo intellectual comments, the last contribution was like his maritime claims, a large piece of crap


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 03:17 PM

"But, to get the most out of a two-way discussion,if that is what one is seeking, respecting the other person and their differing viewpoints and perspectives on the same topic helps. "

I have studiously avoided ad hominem in my remarks. But I respectfully disagree that
not respecting differing viewpoints always helps. I think even though it may seem as though it brings up more heat than light, a respectful approach is not concerning whether or not you step on someone's ideology or position but rather bringing up criticism to it is just as important as respecting the ideas with which you disagree. Invective and insults do little to further an intelligent conversation but if they occur, sometimes this is a catalyst for being able to present useful information.

I am grateful for the brickbats that have been thrown at me because they enable me to articulate my position on issues such as these.

So in effect I more or less agree with you on the style of discussion rather than on its substance.

Jim, once again, I agree with you. "I would guess that there are far more non-Marxist atheists that there are Marxists". I think that would be easy to establish.

Following up on that idea, Marx was an economist. Lenin a politician who used Marx for his ideas. You could make the case that Soviet Communism under Stalin was just like a religion, in fact Stalin had an ecclesiastical upbringing using some of religious propaganda techniques to further his cause. Stalin appointed himself a god just like Kim Jung Il does today. Lenin's statement about religion was possibly so he could replace it with his own.
it can be called a "religion" because it forced his followers to believe as he did and resembled a religious cult, which many religions do today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 04:18 PM

Wow. I reposted "concerned's" first post to hopefully settle the brewing controversy as to where Marxism was introduced to the thread. I complimented her knowledge in recognizing that Marxism belongs in any serious discussion of the definition of atheists.

If I had been discussing whether or not "militant atheists" were common in the militant atheist thread I would have brought Marxists up. But I was trying to focus on de Waals point that new-atheists are dogmatic.

""Marxism and Atheism were related."
You might have added that Marx (taking his cue from Hegel I think) claimed that "religion is the opiate of the people""

Good point Jim. Marx was an atheist who was rude and insulting to religious people. I agree 100%.

"I would guess that there are far more non-Marxist atheists that there are Marxists"

Today, that is probably a good guess, unless you count China as Marxist. Certainly there are more self proclaimed atheists in China than anywhere. 30 years ago almost all of eastern Europe and Russia claimed to be Marxist atheist.

" rather an attempt to replace your non-case with smear tactics. "

Concerned brought it up. Take it up with her. I haven't exactly bent over backwards to prove the case. You proved that Marxism and atheism are related with your "opium of the people quote." It is not a controversial idea.

Concerned. I do not want to talk to you until you stop being rude. That does not mean I do not remember what you have said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 04:28 PM

It is clear enough Steve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 06:53 PM

Certainly there are more self proclaimed atheists in China than anywhere.

Gosh, Jack. Did you get your degree in the Bleedin' Obvious from the University Of Plain As The Nose On Your Face?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 06:57 PM

It is clear enough Steve.

Well, Jack, I have many weaknesses, but even my worst enemies here might have to admit that facility with English as she is spoken is not one of them. Still, if you don't care to explain, I'm not bothered. I have other matters with which to tussle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 11:37 PM

Well, Jack, I have many weaknesses, but even my worst enemies here might have to admit that facility with English as she is spoken is not one of them.

If you have "facility with English as she is spoken" It is limited to you speaking. You contradict yourself enough so that I wonder if you pay attention to your own words. Read the post before the one you are asking about then read that post again. See if you can cobble it together.

>>Dogmatists have one advantage: they are poor listeners. This ensures sparkling conversations when different kinds of them get together the way male birds gather at "leks" to display splendid plumage for visiting females. It almost makes one believe in the "argumentative theory," according to which human reasoning didn't evolve for the sake of truth, but rather to shine in discussion. <<

Frans de Waal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 05:59 AM

You really do lean on the fellow, don't you, Jack?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 06:14 AM

"Said goodbye to me and did not want anything to do with me"
Join the club - not too fond of having his ideas challenged is our Jolly Jack and certainly doesn't wnat to go to the bother of actually answering those challenges.
"I have other matters with which to tussle"
As pompous as any Jehovah's Witness as I have ever met.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 06:22 AM

"I have other matters with which to tussle"
As pompous as any Jehovah's Witness as I have ever met.


Hey, Jim, that was me! I was only taking the piss out of Jack's inability to explain himself properly and my impatience over trying to process what he's on about. Watch it, mate, I have a stack of Watchtowers here I'm trying to offload and it is Sunday morning... ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 06:33 AM

but even my worst enemies here might have to admit that facility with English as she is spoken is not one of them.

On a point of perfect pedantry, Jack the Sailor, you seem entirely adrift when it comes to the pragmatic realities of linguistic mutability, which is what language is all about. It evolves around organic concepts rather than dictionary definitions, which (like grammatical theory itself) can only ever DEScribe such definitions, and never PREscribe them.

Like any other language, English as She is Spoken is mutable, vague, pragmatic, poetic, passionate, and ambiguous as fuck, syntactically and otherwise, and yet we're still talking to each other after 50,000 years. Correctness is anathema to Language, which evolves as it sees fit, and some terms (like Spirituality) will always be out there in the wilderness happy evading capture by those for whom words are absolute.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 08:09 AM

You see nautical fraudster, no one likes you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 08:17 AM

"but even my worst enemies here might have to admit that facility with English as she is spoken is not one of them. "

That was me quoting Steve Shaw there Blandiver. I don't pretend to be important enough that people would bother to be my enemies.

I also don't judge or expect others to judge my "facility with English as she is spoken."

But thanks for the feedback.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 08:22 AM

I'll tell you what Jim.

Pick out and idea I have put forward. Quote what I have said that you challenge and say what was wrong with it and I will reply as honestly and thoroughly as I can.

If that works you, I'll give you two more challenges.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 08:35 AM

"Pick out and idea I have put forward."
Been there, done that, can't be arsed doing it again in the hope you respond - life really is too short.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 09:12 AM

That was me quoting Steve Shaw there Blandiver. I don't pretend to be important enough that people would bother to be my enemies.

Humble apologies, JtS! - but it chimed in with the pedantic enthusiasms you seemed unable to curb over on the Spiritualism (sic) thread when you were chiding me over my logorrhea and steadfast refusal to define the indefinable.   

I also don't judge or expect others to judge my "facility with English as she is spoken."

I must admit, with such comments as you are using words the way Jackson Pollack used pigments spewing them over the canvas like piss over snow with barely a hint of intelligent design, thought or control and which is a lot easier to take as a poetic spew than as "reasoned" expression it's difficult not to feel judged.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 09:19 AM

"Concerned. I do not want to talk to you until you stop being rude. That does not mean I do not remember what you have said. "

Yes barnacle balls, and I have not got selective amnesia.

I remember very well what you said.

Put lipstick on a pig and it is still a pig.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 09:55 AM

I'm sorry Blandiver for hurting your feelings. My feelings were hurt by your "Religion is to Pornography" statement. Frankly, I though you were picking a fight. Since I know now that you were NOT picking a fight, may I point out that there are many many people who both take their religion seriously and dislike pornography.

As for the Jackson Pollack thing I did mean it as a tongue in cheek compliment.

When I realized that your goal was more art than precise communication,.
I realized that you were looking at thinks from this point of view

"English as She is Spoken is mutable, vague, pragmatic, poetic, passionate, and ambiguous as fuck, syntactically and otherwise, and yet we're still talking to each other after 50,000 years. Correctness is anathema to Language, which evolves as it sees fit, and some terms (like Spirituality) will always be out there in the wilderness happy evading capture by those for whom words are absolute. "

the Pollock metaphor popped into my head
Then you said you like Pollock. I thought we were good.

"I must admit, with such comments as you are using words the way Jackson Pollack used pigments spewing them over the canvas like piss over snow with barely a hint of intelligent design, thought or control and which is a lot easier to take as a poetic spew than as "reasoned" expression it's difficult not to feel judged. "

I also don't judge or expect others to judge my "facility with English as she is spoken." I was simply saying that I would not and do not brag about my facility with the language. I often worry that I have not got my point across. I often apologize for this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 10:58 AM

Remember that at the time Marx wrote about religion being the opium of the people,
opium was not all that unpopular so it was not written as an insult but an observation.

Steve, de Waal is brilliant but his words can be conveniently twisted to say things he didn't mean. It's best to read "The Bonobo and the Atheist" and not let his words be filtered through someone else's agenda. As for your English, it is well constructed and quite articulate.

Blandiver, those who holler loudest about being judged are often the most judgmental.

I like your statement about " pragmatic realities of linguistic mutability," expressed very well. "Spirituality) will always be out there in the wilderness happy evading capture by those for whom words are absolute." Well said.

The notion of "Spirituality" is a smoke screen for religious adherence because it is undefinable. It's a substitution for the disenchanted from organized religion.

It plays like a broken record but must be said again to be understood, atheists are not of one mind and do not subscribe to any tenet. They as a group often disagree and the only glue that holds them together is non-belief which is not a religion.

Sometimes you have to separate the message from the messenger. I don't always agree with Hitchens but here's a pointed an poignant statement. "The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed."

Here's another. "If god really wanted people to be free of [wicked thoughts], he should have taken more care to invent a different species." True, this is a narrow view of a god but none has been offered to take its place that is rational or verifiable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 11:18 AM

"It plays like a broken record but must be said again to be understood, atheists are not of one mind and do not subscribe to any tenet."

I have an oft repeated record myself. No one on this forum is saying that atheists are of one mind and subscribe to any tenet. I myself have been talking about a small handful of Atheists and no others. Those small few are Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris as neo-atheists and Mr Shaw and Mr. Musket and you on this forum.

But that said, by definition, I think that you have to agree that they subscribe to the tenet that "there is no God" and Dawkins and Shaw (not technically atheists)subscribe to the tenet that the chances of their being a God is so small that it deserves to be mocked.

"Steve, de Waal is brilliant but his words can be conveniently twisted to say things he didn't mean. It's best to read "The Bonobo and the Atheist" and not let his words be filtered through someone else's agenda."

I did not "twist" de Waals words at all. I took a paragraph from the Bonobo and the Atheist and I placed it in my post without editing or comment. Please do not accuse me of twisting. If you do not like what it says, take it up with Dr. de Waal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 12:18 PM

It's easy to distort a quote to fit it into your own agenda. There was an implication that de Waal thought that all atheists were "dogmatic" and he never said that. He said simply that he didn't think that whether god exists or not was relevant to him. Some atheists are dogmatic, others not just like Christians. He exempted himself from a debate on this issue. I think his statement here was misinterpreted.

As for the mocking here, some do, some don't. I see no reason to accept that there is a god and I don't personally mock anyone for thinking that there is. However, I reserve the right of free speech to disagree with the notion of religion and this may step on toes but that's how it has to be. de Waal, a non-believer has not taken a position on this issue and refrains from doing so. I think what is being mocked is an arrogant attitude on the part of religionists to claim they are right. This victimization and righteous indignation is a form of bullying.

Dogma is ever present and should be challenged with an open mind and not by invective or accusations. Bar fights never solved anything.

An appeal to a "higher authority" is useless in both as a logical fallacy and a means of communicating ideas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 01:41 PM

My feelings were hurt by your "Religion is to Pornography" statement.

My intention was not to hurt your (and oneone else's) feelings, it was not personal statement irrespective of whoever elected to be offended by it. It is simply pointing out that Religion is to Spirituality what Pornography is to Sexuality - i.e. it is a myth, a construct, an illusion, derived from the common reality with the sole intention of exploiting it. You need to look carefully at the impersonal intention of this statement and weigh it against your very personal attacks you hurled in my direction by way of a response.

may I point out that there are many many people who both take their religion seriously and dislike pornography.

So what? May I point out that there are a many people who take their Pornography seriously and dislike Religion? I don't respect Religion, or Pornography; I despise the perpetrators and apologists and feel very sorry indeed for the victims of both.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 04:35 PM

Dawkins and Shaw (not technically atheists)subscribe to the tenet that the chances of their [sic] being a God is [sic] so small that it deserves to be mocked.

Not quite sure what the "it" is that deserves to be mocked, but what I am sure of is that I've never made an assertion anything like that. The chances of there being a God are so small that I won't let God bother me in the way I live my life. That's all I've said. I'm quite happy to mock people who say stupid things, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 05:04 PM

Dawkins doesn't mock anyone except hard-nosed religious critics who throw mud at people who call themselves atheists.

Blandiver, your statement is rational and if feelings are hurt by it, that says more about the victim then it does about the statement.

" You need to look carefully at the impersonal intention of this statement and weigh it against your very personal attacks you hurled in my direction by way of a response."

That's a good rule of thumb for everyone here.

The issue of "Religion is to Pornography" makes no attempt to celebrate pornography.
It was a metaphor to illustrate a point and not to say that religion is pornography.

The problem with the word "atheist" is that it has become a weapon to be used by those who are believers for those who are non-believers. So we have the attack dogs who go after the canard of "New Atheists" which don't really exist. This is a media bogeyman used to discredit non-believers.

There are those individuals who try to recreate themselves as gods such as Ayn Rand, Joe Stalin, Hitler, Assad etc. They demand religious obedience of their followers.

"could not be a religion UNLESS a God or Gods are involved"
In that case there is no grounds for suggesting, as many believers do, that "atheism is a religion" - is that right?"

Jim, you nailed it. This is the semantic problem with hard-nosed definitions which can't always be relied upon from dictionaries. An open mind would enquire as to how someone would define a term and then agree or disagree. This appeal to Authority is always bad logic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 15 Apr 13 - 08:53 AM

" There was an implication that de Waal thought that all atheists were "dogmatic""

No there was no such implication. It was very very very clear that Dr De Waal was talking about a small minority of atheists. Unfortunately for you that small minority includes 3 or four of your heroes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 15 Apr 13 - 09:02 AM

I don't see how you can say both of these things at the same time in the same post unless you were and are picking a fight. You have had your say. I have had mine. You will not get a fight from me.

" I don't respect Religion, or Pornography; I despise the perpetrators and apologists and feel very sorry indeed for the victims of both. "

"My intention was not to hurt your (and oneone else's) feelings,"

I am sorry you feel that way. I forgive you for giving offense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 15 Apr 13 - 09:15 AM

"Blandiver, your statement is rational and if feelings are hurt by it, that says more about the victim then it does about the statement."

You do not think that "rational" things can "hurt people's feelings?"

Frans de Waal has said a number of very rational things that have hurt your feelings. So much so that you deny what he has said them and blame them on me.

But the fact that you say this.

"Blandiver, your statement is rational and if feelings are hurt by it, that says more about the victim then it does about the statement."

Puts you and Blandiver in the intentionally rude column.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 15 Apr 13 - 10:09 AM

"Unfortunately for you that small minority includes 3 or four of your heroes."

As usual I am being misrepresented here. I only mentioned Dawkins as a hero.
You haven't read my posts on this matterl.

de Waal would not be interested in any comments negative or positive about the issue of the existence of a god. He is by his own calling, an Apathist.

The people that are hurt by rational criticisms of their ideas are usually not strong in their belief system of them. Blandiver has expressed this very well. The rude people are those who shout invectives and claim victimhood because their ideas may carry little logical weight.

In a sense, they are the rude bullies of religion. They intend to carry out little vendettas claiming that they are hurt and this becomes their defense of their ideas.

For example, criticisms of Islam attempt to silence dialogue by the cries of "Islamophobia". Criticisms of Israel's actions are attempted to be silenced by "anti-Semitism". In the same way, the atheist position(s) are attempted to be silenced by ridiculous labels such as "Militant New Athesists". It's a smear tactic used to silence legitimate dialogue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 15 Apr 13 - 11:21 AM

You will not get a fight from me.

Jack - I've had little else from you as you persist brawling over at least two threads that I know of when all I've done is offered the observation that religion arises from people's spiritual needs in order to profit from them in the same way Pornography profits from people's sexuality. Neither Porn nor Religion is real - they both trade in lies, stereotype and the manipulation of the most fundamental and most beautiful aspects of our humanity and reduce them into badly lit, clichéd, laughable, formulaic parodies of the real thing. At their worst of course, they are the cause & justification of human abuse of the worst order - dehumanising the victim by making them complicit in regimes built on inquisition, human trafficking, paedophilia, torture, genital mutilation, bondage and drugs (and that's just religion).

These are the things I find offensive, Jack the Sailor - things that are enshrined in the very institution of a myriad mutually exclusive belief systems perpetuated in the mistaken faith that there is a God out there who gives a fuck. The only evidence for this in is the centuries old ravings of idiots whose ideas were redundant as soon as they hit the page, however so fascinating they might be historically. Again I feel obliged to mention Ryland's Papyrus P52 which I often go to see if I'm passing. This is a construct of human myth - nothing more. If people attach to it any greater significance the they are acting in a way that negates the very notion of our common human right to freedom of thought and the enlightenment that arises therefrom.

Like Folk Music and Model Railways, Religion is just one small part of a vast common human reality encompassed by the barely conceivable vastness of the cosmic scheme which we've been trying to figure out these past 50,000 years and more. Our landscapes are patterned with attempts - from the Thornborough Henges to the Large Hadron Collider - which a testimony to our innate inquisitiveness, itself just as much a part of our humanity as the darker sides that would drag it all into the mire of ignorance as manifest by Religion, Pornography, War, Thatcherism, UKIP, etc etc.

The Atheist looks upon the world as being common to all; the Religious see that God created it only judge a chosen few to inherit his rancid scheme, whatever that scheme may be; there are a fair few of them - all of which are made up, and all of them perpetuated by those who seek comfort in their fear of death by putting such errant nonsense into the heads of the innocent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 15 Apr 13 - 01:24 PM

Blandiver, the papyrus is absolutely fascinating and brings into question the secure historical biblical data presented as "fact".

You are eloquent in your writing. "Religion is just one small part of a vast common human reality" is so true and some would argue that it is delusional at least in the way that it is commonly practiced by many religious sects.

Atheists (whatever their convictions or opinions) are still in the minority subjected to Christian and Islamic bullying. Jews tend not to be evangelical so they don't bully atheists but accept them into their own faith. The term "Jewish atheist" is not unknown.

"The Atheist looks upon the world as being common to all" says it quite well. Also, an other-worldly view is met with skepticism. For this, and for the criticism of religion and spirituality, atheists of different views are met with from one extreme of civility to outright hostility and cries of pain when religion is criticized.

Back to the thread, atheists have differing ideas, (not to sound like a broken record) and those that try to lump them into one box do so in order to discredit the whole idea and shut down the discussion. Dawkins is a convenient scapegoat because he is logical, a scientist and has written a book that is a best seller. The reason that it sells so well as more and more people are becoming disenchanted with religion.

Instead of going after atheists in general, it would be well if those detractors could read the books by individual atheists and comment on their views. If they disagree with those views, state them objectively and logically then it forms the basis for a discussion.

Atheists, as the thread implies, are not always traumatized by religion but as in the case of Frans de Waal, do not think that it or the discussion of it is relevant. I, for one, have not been traumatized by indoctrination and have come to believe that religion serves as a
means of soothing the act of dying. "There are no atheists in foxholes" is the common
myth.

The Deists who wrote the US Constitution agree with Blandiver that some Christians have " exclusive belief systems perpetuated in the mistaken faith that there is a God out there who gives a fuck".
Thomas Paine said as much in his book, "The Age of Reason".

Thomas Paine was not an atheist but a Deist.

Blandiver, I applaud your intelligence and information.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 15 Apr 13 - 02:16 PM

Blandiver, I don't really understand your rant but I have gathered that you are angry.

I was arguing before you made me realize that you meant what you said in the first post and did not care who you offended. Now that I am clear on that. Now that I have put you on my list of people who have no respect for religious people. You will get no fight or argument from me on those points.

It does me no good for me to give you a chance to pour more abuse on me and frankly I don't think it is much good for you either.

Why don't you and Steve Shaw have at it. I'm sure that he has a few swipes to take at your brand of spiritualism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 15 Apr 13 - 04:36 PM

The term "Jewish atheist" is not unknown.

Indeed so - I might even describe myself thus! But here we're talking more of ethnicity than faith per se, which is why I might think of myself as being culturally a Christian & even extend that to Abrahamic in the light of the richness that implies & in which I delight.

atheists have differing ideas (....) and those that try to lump them into one box do so in order to discredit the whole idea and shut down the discussion.

Atheism at least acknowledges the reality of differing perspectives without wanting to see human damned for all eternity just because we don't live up to the expectations of an idiot God. Even though no such God exists, the fact that it is real enough in peoples hearts to justify all manner of atrocity & general stupidity is reason enough to be wary. Humanity is wondrous by dint of its diversity; that wonder is integral to our spirituality.

You are eloquent in your writing

Ordinarily on Mudcat I'm pilloried for my verbosity, which is a fair cop. I'm just glad I checked my last post as I mixed up the 8th & 9th letters of Large Hadron Collider which might have raised a few eyebrows...

*

I don't really understand your rant but I have gathered that you are angry.

I'm angry on the various points I raise, but I don't write anything in a spirit of anger. I'm being a little polemical (mildly), but I'm not spitting bile in empurpled rage.

Now that I have put you on my list of people who have no respect for religious people.

I respect human individuals - what their religion might be is of little consequence to me.

You will get no fight or argument from me on those points.

Neither would I expect one, with you or anyone else for that matter.

It does me no good for me to give you a chance to pour more abuse on me and frankly I don't think it is much good for you either.

Abuse, Jack? There's nothing abusive in anything I've said here - I find it worrying that you have assumed there is. Methinks you're looking for trouble where there is none.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Apr 13 - 07:03 PM

Blandiver, I don't really understand your rant but I have gathered that you are angry...

...Why don't you and Steve Shaw have at it. I'm sure that he has a few swipes to take at your brand of spiritualism.


You don't need other people to abuse you, Jack. You manage the job very well all on your own. Three adjacent posts in this thread sum it up beautifully: you should have known better than to post this tripe when you could easily have predicted how badly it would sit alongside the superb posts of Blandiver and Stringsinger above it. Some of us dip in and out of these threads when we can. You seem to have dedicated most of your recent life to them, and it's crystal clear that your quality and focus nosedives as your quantity goes up. You put these measured thinkers in your rude column. You put yourself into a thus far untitled column (I'm being kind) that contains pete and Guffers From Sanity. Nice move.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Musket sans sailor seaman
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 01:28 PM

I've been known to give that column a title....


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 04:02 PM

Does it perchance start with the same letter of the alphabet that starts the second word of the name of your favourite football team? Does it perchance rhyme with the name of a heavy onboard pointy metal object on a chain that Jack would be familiar with? ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: Stringsinger
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 05:16 PM

Again the statement by Shakespeare, "methinks the lady protests too much" was bowdlerized to say "I think you protest too much" meaning that those who react
with judgmental put downs, insults and invectives to defend their position so vociferously and violently may be insecure as to their own "beliefs". Otherwise why not disagree logically and rationally?

Accusations, preachy admonitions, exhortations and other evangelical devices
are often (not always) the behavior of certain religious groups. I would except Blandiver, here, who has maintained a rational response eloquently expressed.

Steve, you can't argue with certain people who create threads that have a religious axe to grind. They are defensive and closed. All we can do is try to keep the conversation on an elevated plane and eschew ad hominem attacks. Some people are out to pull our chains.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are Atheists really Atheists or......
From: GUEST,Musket sans sailor seaman
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 06:25 PM

That'll be me then.


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Mudcat time: 20 April 8:38 AM EDT

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