ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 10:31 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
atheism is about rejecting belief, not asserting belief.


That is just silly. Atheists believe there is no god. Of course you can rephrase this to say "Atheists don't believe there is a god"-- but this is exactly the same thing. The fact remains. Atheists believe there is no god.

The phrase "rejecting belief" means nothing. Everyone, from fundamentalist Christians to atheists, rejects some beliefs and accepts other beliefs. Setanta has plenty of beliefs himself (for example, he obviously believes that religion can lead to murderous behavior).
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 10:39 pm
@ebrown p,
The rejection of a superstition is not the equivalent of embracing said superstition, no matter how you attempt to torture the language. Atheism is not a belief system, it is the rejection of certain types of belief system. I'm not claiming that atheists don't believe in anything, just that they don't believe in the god fairy tales.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 10:42 pm
@ebrown p,
I "believe" that religion leads to murderous behavior for the good and sufficient reasons that the "old testament" calls for it, and the historical record affords examples too numerous to even briefly canvas here. Belief without foundation is superstition--belief with evidence is just good sense.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  8  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 11:17 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
That is my beef with Atheism-- it seems to me that many atheists believe that theistic religions are inferior.

So what? From observing you in several years' worth of discussion, I'm pretty sure you don't believe in the tooth fairy. I'm also pretty sure that if you were to meet any grown-ups who did believe in the tooth fairy, you'd consider your belief system superior to theirs. Your mantra that all belief systems are created equal may serve you well in A2K religion threads. But outside of those threads, you don't really practice such a mantra any more than we do. And why would you? Toothfairyistic belief systems are, in fact, inferior. What's the big difference between atheism and atoothfairyism?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 11:29 pm
Atoothfairyism . . . i enjoyed that.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 11:40 pm
@Thomas,
Bravo, Thomas, re atoothfairyism.
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 12:07 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Quote:
atheism is about rejecting belief, not asserting belief.


That is just silly. Atheists believe there is no god. Of course you can rephrase this to say "Atheists don't believe there is a god"-- but this is exactly the same thing. The fact remains. Atheists believe there is no god.


I find it funny that you are so insistent that atheists believe there is no god. I don't even think that this is what you are trying to argue. It seems to me that really what you are trying to argue is that the suspension of disbelief is necessary for you and you want to drag someone who doesn't believe in god to follow suit. In other words you are trying to convince someone who doesn't believe in gremlins that there is a chance that gremlins are real because you believe that they are real.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 12:19 am
@Krumple,
Krumple wrote:
It seems to me that really what you are trying to argue is that the suspension of disbelief is necessary for you and you want to drag someone who doesn't believe in god to follow suit.
I think there's an asymmetry which might be interesting, for all supernatural realism, not just theism. For me, realism about gods is just silly, so there's nothing interesting in the discussions about gods, the only interest is in the psychology. The same goes for realism about abstract objects, determinism, etc. However, for the believer, there's nothing silly about these things, as a consequence of their belief. Nevertheless, this isn't sufficient to account for denial and self deception. I still cant get my head around what denialists and self deceivers think is in it for them. Perhaps I'll have to settle for an idea on the lines that untestable beliefs are pathologies.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 07:06 am
@Thomas,
Thomas,

A member of my family (of whom I am quite fond) believes in the Tooth Fairy (actually in my family, for cultural reasons, it is a tooth mouse... but that is a topic for another thread). But anyway, for one member of my family the tooth fairy is important and the rituals are meaningful.

Why is the belief in the tooth fairy important? Well, it is part of our culture. It involves a common ritual that ties us together. It is a right of passage-- it represents the independence of money that you control. It is part of a set of experiences and narrative that explain and inform what it means to be a part of our family.

Two of my sons are AToothfairyists (they feel strongly that there is no Tooth Fairy). Yet, they are mature enough to respect the beliefs of their sibling. They understand the benefits of this cultural belief and they can respect the feelings of others. They can even speak of things in the language of Toothfairyism-- because understand that it is part of the culture of our family.

If the Atheists here could act with the maturity of the Atoothfairyists in my family, we wouldn't be having this holy war.




ughaibu
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 07:14 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
Why is the belief in the tooth fairy important? Well, it is part of our culture. It involves a common ritual that ties us together.
Bullshit, and exactly why realism about the imaginary is anti-social violence. Your imaginary animals are NOT part of MY reality. Those who insist that others adopt realism about their imaginary animals distort the commonality of reality and disrupt communication. This is an act of violence, it is anti-social and it is pathological.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 07:34 am
@ughaibu,
LOL. I have never seen anyone assert a connection between the Tooth Fairy and violence before.

We all have our mythology-- and it is a deep part of any culture.

Take this quote which is deeply embedded in the mythology of most Americans (myself included)

Quote:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights...".


This obviously is a theistic statement. But you can look beyond the idea of the Creator to the to the real point of this quote -- there is a basic set of intrinsic human rights. There is no evidence or support for the idea that humans have any intrinsic rights (outside of those given to them by society)-- yet Americans (including Atheists) accept this as fact-- in fact our society is shaped by this idea.




ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 07:39 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
Quote:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights...".
This obviously is a theistic statement.
Is it? In that case I suggest that it either be amended to universally communicate or it be discarded.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 07:45 am
@ughaibu,
So then, do you believe in the mythology of intrinsic, unalienable human rights (assuming we can take out the idea that they are from a creator)?

More important, do you understand that this particular mythology is an important part of American culture and commonly understood as part of what it means to be an American.

ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 07:46 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
So then, do you believe in the mythology of intrinsic, unalienable human rights (assuming we can take out the idea that they are from a creator)?
Do I? Tell me more.
0 Replies
 
Jebediah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 08:29 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

ebrown p wrote:
That is my beef with Atheism-- it seems to me that many atheists believe that theistic religions are inferior.

So what? From observing you in several years' worth of discussion, I'm pretty sure you don't believe in the tooth fairy. I'm also pretty sure that if you were to meet any grown-ups who did believe in the tooth fairy, you'd consider your belief system superior to theirs. Your mantra that all belief systems are created equal may serve you well in A2K religion threads. But outside of those threads, you don't really practice such a mantra any more than we do. And why would you? Toothfairyistic belief systems are, in fact, inferior. What's the big difference between atheism and atoothfairyism?


It would be nice if we could kick people out of the philosophy forum into the political mudpit where they belong.
0 Replies
 
Icon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 02:11 pm
The funny thing about this conversation is that Atheism, by its very definition, is just as invalid and wrong as Orthodox Theisim.

Now, before I shake the pot of vipers too much, let me explain.

Atheism is based on the idea that there is some logical proof against the existence of an all mighty creator or hokey religious constructs. Therefore, in order to be an true Atheist, one must believe that they are correct about the lack of these things.

However, there is no proof either way for or against God. It is one theory against another. To claim that you know the truth about God, Alah, krishna, or whatever, is arrogant as well as insolent.

Atheism is just as much of a detriment to society as Theism in this regard. It requires that you give up questioning what is not apparent and take a stance on a subject that has very little substance to stand on. Atheism is like trying to walk on water with lead shoes. It will never work and yet, Atheists have been trying for centuries.

Now let us reverse the argument. Let us look at Orthodox religions. They claim to know the truth about the existence of a being that is beyond human comprehension. Just as with the Atheists, this is arrogant and insolent. Like the opposite end of the spectrum from Atheism, This is like trying to climb and imaginary mountain. There is nothing to grab hold of but that doesn't stop them from reaching out for a good hand hold.

Both sides of the fence on this issue are wrong because both sides hold absolutes as the basis of their argument. Any scientist, philosopher, mathmatician, biologist, physicist in the world will tell you that there is no such thing as an absolute, especially when dealing with matter of faith and religion. Absolutes leave no room for being wrong. That is why they are so popular with those who cannot prove themselves correct.

I agree that certain faiths can cause conflicts but this is not do to faith, it is due to intolerence of differences. So, as an Atheist you must ask how you are helping by spreading an opposing intolerance and causing further conflict. I am a man of faith. I am a Christian in my own right. I am friends with Agnostics, Atheists, Muslims, Jews, a couple of Rastafarians, quite a few Pastafarians, Taoists, Buddhists, and anyone else who can share a room with people of other faith without judgement or prejudice.

The simple answer here is that Religion, Faith, God are not the root of the issues. These are simply excuses and 'catch phrases' used by the ignorant and intolerent to justify their hate. It's like a pendulum. The weight swings back and forth over and over again. The way to stop a pendulum is not to apply opposite pressure when it reaches one peak. This just pushes the weight even farther in the opposite direction and enforces the motion. The way to stop it is to apply an equal/opposite force as it reaches the center. In other words, if you stop clinging to the idea that you must be correct one way or the other, you find a middle ground in which everyone can be correct in their own respect.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 02:27 pm
@Icon,
That is true with some kinds of atheism.
However, the root of the word is a - theism, that is, without theism and that describes many of us
Icon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 02:44 pm
@ossobuco,
My point still stands that, to be an atheist, you must take a stance on Theism in absolutes. This is something you cannot do while admitting yourself to be a man or woman of logic and intelligence. Without proof one way or another, you can choose one of a few options that I can see. You are either not sure one way or the other which puts you in the middle. You choose to lean more towards the side of Atheism without committing the ultimate "sin" of removing possibilities, and limiting your perspective with absolutes, or you lean more toward theism whilst doing the same.

To state that you are not or cannot be wrong is to immediately admit that you are, simply by the fact that you are not perfect. By making one mistake, you have admitted to the possibility of making others. Are you telling me that you have never made a mistake? Not once in your life have you intended one result but got another?

I am not trying to point my finger at an individual. I am pointing my finger at an idea. Any idea based in absolutes, that has no room for error, cannot be correct. Atheists stating that Theism is wrong and they are right is the nothing more than the exact same thing that they look down on Theists for doing.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 02:47 pm
When a person asserts, out of a clear blue sky, with nothing to back up the claim, that there exists a god, it is not the place of the atheist to produce even one piece of evidence by way of rebuttal. The one making the extraordinary claim alone has need of proof, before there can be a next step in a discussion. The atheist is not obligated to say one word in defense of his position, for the deist has no substantive argument to offer, and has no evidence of any sort.
Icon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 02:49 pm
@edgarblythe,
Nor has the Atheist any proof if he might want to rebuke. That's the whole catch. By claiming Atheism, the Atheist is taking the stance of the opposition. One cannot oppose while not opposing.
 

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