edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 09:48 pm
I have never taken gungasnake seriously enough to reply to him.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 10:29 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

I have never taken gungasnake seriously enough to reply to him.


i had a feeling, and this confirms it. thanks
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  4  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 04:21 am
@daredevil,
daredevil wrote:
Is atheism it's own religion, with it's own dogmas.

No. Nothing about atheism is dogma. Just show us evidence that God actually created the Earth 6000 years ago, that Moses actually turned water into blood, and that Jesus actually walked on water and resurrected the dead. As soon as you do, we'll turn into Christians. But it has to be real evidence. Evidence, say, of a quality that would be admissible in a court of law, and that would convince a judge that the preponderance of the evidence points to the existence of gods.

Until such evidence comes in though, we'll apply Occam's razor and eliminate the god hypothesis. It's not about god, it's about skepticism. We'd eliminate any hypothesis about entities that don't explain anything, but are themselves in great need of explanation. But there's no dogma in that. It's a presumption. And as I outlined, the presumption could easily-enough be rebutted with good-enough evidence. But no such good-enough evidence has come in.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 07:05 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
It's not about god, it's about skepticism. We'd eliminate any hypothesis about entities that don't explain anything, but are themselves in great need of explanation.

And as I outlined, the presumption could easily-enough be rebutted with good-enough evidence


This is the problem, Thomas. This claim you are making is simply not true with most (if not all) of the Atheists I have talked to.

Sure, Atheists are very skeptical of other people's beliefs (for that matter, Baptists and Mormons and Muslims are skeptical of other people's beliefs).

Yet, every Atheist I have met holds to, and lives by, unprovable axioms that they somehow believe (without proof) represents some sort of Universal Truth.

The belief in Universal Truths, in spite of the fact there is no evidence for them, is what makes human religious. The question of whether this truth is expressed in the Christian God, or the Muslim God or the pantheon at Mt. Olympus or no god at all is irrelevant.

The deification of Science is a problem (and I am a scientist). Science is a powerful tool for understanding and predicting how the universe works-- but the idea that Science is a source of meaning, or a guide to moral behavior is completely unsupportable.
edgarblythe
 
  4  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 07:58 am
@ebrown p,
I will not presume to answer for Thomas. I will suggest however that if you really care that much about how atheists live without faith that you go online and search out two books, An Essay on Morals and The Magic Animal, by Phillip Wylie. There are atheists who will deny the books, but there are many who swear by them. I suggest you start with Essay first. I am through trying to reach you, because it is all a circular wrangle that gets us nowhere.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 09:22 am
@daredevil,
You don't know very many atheists, or don't know them well, if you think that atheism is a religion for most atheists. Sure, there's some militant assholes, but there is not good reason to assume that they represent all atheists, any more than there is to assume that suicide bombers are typical of all Muslims.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 09:26 am
@ebrown p,
God, you're so stuffed full of **** it's a wonder you can breathe.

Why don't you give us a laundry list of the beliefs in universal truths you find that atheists commonly hold. Put you money where your big, fat, snide and whining mouth is .
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 10:15 am
@ebrown p,
Universal truth?

Really.
0 Replies
 
Huxley
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 10:45 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Just show us evidence that God actually created the Earth 6000 years ago, that Moses actually turned water into blood, and that Jesus actually walked on water and resurrected the dead. As soon as you do, we'll turn into Christians.


Well, I will say that I wouldn't turn into a Christian if this were proven. I'd feel immoral.
Huxley
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 11:50 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

This is the problem, Thomas. This claim you are making is simply not true with most (if not all) of the Atheists I have talked to.

Sure, Atheists are very skeptical of other people's beliefs (for that matter, Baptists and Mormons and Muslims are skeptical of other people's beliefs).

Yet, every Atheist I have met holds to, and lives by, unprovable axioms that they somehow believe (without proof) represents some sort of Universal Truth.

The belief in Universal Truths, in spite of the fact there is no evidence for them, is what makes human religious. The question of whether this truth is expressed in the Christian God, or the Muslim God or the pantheon at Mt. Olympus or no god at all is irrelevant.


So, I'm guessing from this post what you mean by faith is

"Holding an axiom as Universal Truth without proof"

You seem to indicate that values, in particular, are the sticking point. That there is no "objective" measurement of a value. Yet, people hold onto values as if they apply outside of themselves -- they make the "subjective" "objective", and furthermore they should do this, and the only possible way of doing this is through an act of faith, defined as the willing of belief in axiomatic universal truths, subjectively judged, yet universally applied. Is this a fair characterization of your meaning of faith?
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 12:07 pm
In my experience, the use of the capitalized Universal Truth refers that which is ultimately correct. Those with faith in the dogma and beliefs of a particular religious tradition think their version of truth represents Truth -- the real deal for everyone whether they believe it or not (Universal Truth).

The Unitarians attempt to explain the concept as follows: there are numerous versions of truth (lower case t). What is true to me makes sense to me and could apply to everyone. What is true to someone else makes sense to them and could also apply to everyone. But we are each seeing the world though our own lenses, and the prisms of those lenses bend the light a bit differently to each of us.

There is some Universal Truth -- that which is correct and applies to everyone -- but it has yet to be defined. Or, if it has been defined, it has yet to be accepted.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 12:16 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
This is the problem, Thomas. This claim you are making is simply not true with most (if not all) of the Atheists I have talked to.

Well, I'm an atheist, you've talked to me, so you know it's true of me. Your decision to stick in this paranthesis "if not all" anyway shows me your views aren't going to be changed by facts. Be my guest, but I'm not going to argue with you on this. There's just no point.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 12:44 pm
@ebrown p,
This doesn't seem to be true for a lot of atheists here at a2k, if not most of us (I have no idea about 'most'.) You have talked with a lot of us; perhaps you don't recall.

Hah, some years ago on a2k I swore to myself that I would never again be hornswaggled into posting yet again on an atheism thread: and here I am. I agree with others that this rigamarole is circular.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 01:28 pm
@Huxley,
Huxley wrote:

Thomas wrote:

Just show us evidence that God actually created the Earth 6000 years ago, that Moses actually turned water into blood, and that Jesus actually walked on water and resurrected the dead. As soon as you do, we'll turn into Christians.


Well, I will say that I wouldn't turn into a Christian if this were proven. I'd feel immoral.

Good point, I missed the ethical points we'd need to be persuaded on. So in order to convert us into Christians, we would also need to see evidence that it's just to stone children to death for disobeying their parents, to stone women to death for having sex out of wedlock, and not to punish slaveowners for beating their slaves to death, as long as the slave dies at least one day after the beating. But, we will become Christians (or maybe Jews) once you've persuaded us of that. (And the miracle stuff, of course.)
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 01:31 pm
@JPB,
JPB wrote:
There is some Universal Truth -- that which is correct and applies to everyone -- but it has yet to be defined. Or, if it has been defined, it has yet to be accepted.

What do Unitarians think about the concept of Universal Falsehood—that which is incorrect and applies to everyone? Do they think it's defined? Do they accept it?
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 01:51 pm
@Thomas,
In a manner of speaking, yes, they do. Not in those terms, of course. That's one of the reasons I'm no longer a Unitarian. There's a certain arrogance there that all religions who claim to know the truth are wrong. That mankind has yet to identify Truth. I'm not so sure. Not that I believe anything that has been defined by a particular faith group, but I leave open the possibility that someone at some point in history may have gotten it right.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 02:36 pm
@JPB,
JPB wrote:
In a manner of speaking, yes, they do. Not in those terms, of course. That's one of the reasons I'm no longer a Unitarian.

That's interesting. I didn't know you were no longer a Unitarian. I'm also surprised you would find the concept of "universal falsehood" bothersome. To me that's fairly standard critical rationalism straight out of Karl Popper's book. You can never tell for sure if your theories about the world are true, but you can tell for sure when they are false—when experimental results contradict them, that is.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 10:12 pm
@Huxley,
Quote:


So, I'm guessing from this post what you mean by faith is

"Holding an axiom as Universal Truth without proof"

You seem to indicate that values, in particular, are the sticking point. That there is no "objective" measurement of a value. Yet, people hold onto values as if they apply outside of themselves -- they make the "subjective" "objective", and furthermore they should do this, and the only possible way of doing this is through an act of faith, defined as the willing of belief in axiomatic universal truths, subjectively judged, yet universally applied. Is this a fair characterization of your meaning of faith?


Yes Huxley, I think you you understand what I am saying. But it is more then moral values.

Take for example "meaning". There are very different views that we have on the meaning of being human. This includes questions about what makes life valuable and what it means to live a good life. Different cultures and different religions attack these important questions in different ways. Science has absolutely nothing to say about these questions. They must be addressed by "faith". All human beings have a narrative that describes meaning to their experiences; although these narratives are very different from individual to individual and from culture to culture.

There is tendency of each system of beliefs to be confident that their narrative is superior to all other belief systems (in that they alone represent a truth).

However, all human beings are in the same place when it to finding meaning-- from any objective viewpoint, there is no reason to say that any belief system is superior to another. That is my beef with Atheism-- it seems to me that many atheists believe that theistic religions are inferior.
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 10:18 pm
What lunacy. Any belief system which is founded in superstition and which requires or simply leads to murderous behavior against "infidels" is certainly demonstrably inferior to those which don't.

But, as usual, Brown's remarks are predicated upon the unsubstantiated assumption that atheism is a belief system. The point many people in this thread have been making, and which he resolutely ignores (because it undercuts his rant) is that atheism is about rejecting belief, not asserting belief.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 10:27 pm
As an example: Buddhists often (at least those in the West) take the attitude that their belief system is superior. Personally, i don't accept that in theory--undemonstrated and undemonstrable superstition is still superstition. However, in practice, Buddhists are just slightly superior to, for example, the religious lunatics of the middle east--Christian, Muslim and Jew. Buddhists have been murderous enough in the past, something i never tire of pointing out to the holier-than-thou Buddhists one so often encounters. But there is one saving grace of Buddhism which gives it a slight preferential edge over most other religions. Buddhist will kill, will engage in warfare--but it has nothing to do with whether or not you believe as they do. The Sohei warrior monks of Japan in the Sengoku period in Japan didn't fight for Buddhism, they fought for anyone who could convince them of the practicality of the effor, or they fought to defend their temples or monasteries. So, in fact, Oda Nobunaga was able to use Buddhist Sohei warriors to destroy the Buddhist Ikko Ikki sect Kaga.

The religions of the middle east i consider to be distinctly inferior belief systems because for whatever their original intent, they have all been quickly and easily used to justify murder and warfare. The "god" of the old testament is a nauseatingly blood-thirsty, childish lunatic, and "he" is central to all three religions.
0 Replies
 
 

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