Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]


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

GUEST,Zabbar 26 Mar 13 - 09:47 AM
Rapparee 26 Mar 13 - 09:57 AM
Jeri 26 Mar 13 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 26 Mar 13 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,sciencegeek 26 Mar 13 - 10:44 AM
Newport Boy 26 Mar 13 - 10:44 AM
Bill D 26 Mar 13 - 10:56 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 13 - 02:11 PM
Mrrzy 26 Mar 13 - 02:20 PM
akenaton 26 Mar 13 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,concerened 26 Mar 13 - 02:42 PM
Little Hawk 26 Mar 13 - 02:46 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Mar 13 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 26 Mar 13 - 03:25 PM
Rapparee 26 Mar 13 - 03:33 PM
akenaton 26 Mar 13 - 03:34 PM
Little Hawk 26 Mar 13 - 03:35 PM
John MacKenzie 26 Mar 13 - 03:36 PM
MGM·Lion 26 Mar 13 - 03:42 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Mar 13 - 03:52 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Mar 13 - 04:27 PM
Little Hawk 26 Mar 13 - 04:38 PM
GUEST 26 Mar 13 - 04:40 PM
Bill D 26 Mar 13 - 04:47 PM
Bill D 26 Mar 13 - 04:49 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Mar 13 - 05:26 PM
Little Hawk 26 Mar 13 - 05:47 PM
akenaton 26 Mar 13 - 05:54 PM
Little Hawk 26 Mar 13 - 06:01 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Mar 13 - 06:30 PM
akenaton 26 Mar 13 - 06:50 PM
akenaton 26 Mar 13 - 07:04 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 13 - 07:04 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 13 - 07:05 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 13 - 07:11 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Mar 13 - 07:13 PM
GUEST,Stim 26 Mar 13 - 08:06 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 13 - 08:21 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 13 - 08:26 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 13 - 08:28 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 13 - 08:31 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 13 - 08:40 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Mar 13 - 08:57 PM
GUEST,Stim 26 Mar 13 - 09:43 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 13 - 09:51 PM
GUEST,Stim 26 Mar 13 - 10:04 PM
Joe Offer 26 Mar 13 - 10:36 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 13 - 10:36 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 13 - 10:47 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Mar 13 - 11:55 PM

Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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."<<<


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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

Lapsed Pagans?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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

Oops, it's really really, really.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate


Next Page

 


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.



Mudcat time: 20 April 8:54 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.