16
   

Athiests prejudice against theistic beliefs

 
 
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 01:10 am
@FBM,
Quote:
People who fear death and fabricate some sort of emotional security blanket aren't the problem.


According to Harris, they are a problem because they give succour to the "rationality" of fundamentalists who would de-value "this life".

Quote:
I tend to agree that if it weren't religion, it'd just be something else, like nationalism, racism or whatnot. Seems that the roots of the problem are greed, fear and anger, rather than irrational beliefs in a cosmic Santa.


More likely the roots are simply the innate tribalism we share with primates. Couple that with aspects of "self" as being socially constructed within a particular linguistic community and you have the basis for a locally reinforced "rationality" of us vs them. In times of "plenty", the palliative "brotherhood of man" is the intellectual one-liner which is used in an attempt to counteract what appears to be a "natural" tendency to such tribalism.
laughoutlood
 
  4  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 01:30 am
@fresco,
yes quite the dire tribe
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 01:45 am
@fresco,
Yeah, I'm aware of Harris' argument, but I'm not convinced. Religious people have produced a great deal scientific, humanitarian and medical advances, also. Harris seems to be a bit one-sided in selecting a negative and saying it outweighs all the positives.

I agree with the innate tribalism view, but I'm not sure it's sufficient to explain how even in times of plenty, leaders exhort their citizenry to aggression against others. That's not a matter of survival, it's often a matter of greed, sometimes revenge (anger), sometimes fear of the unknown foreign element. When North Korea attacked the South in 1950, the North was economically ahead of the South. They wanted more and found an ad hoc justification for the attack in their communist, revolutionary ideology.

My list (greed, fear, anger) isn't meant to be exhaustive, by the way. Just pointing out that what is so often put down as a religious justification for inhumane acts can usually be more accurately interpreted in terms of more fundamental drives. Not making a blanket statement about it, though. There are almost always exceptions.
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 01:46 am
Quote:
"natural" tendency to such tribalism


But what is your 'tribe' these days? I identify more with a group of A2K people based in continental North America than I do with my next door neighbours. Paris holds fewer fears for me than the back alleys of my state capital.

Our socio/cultural/economic/geo existence isn't as simple as it once was. What is tribalism in a global society?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 03:03 am
@FBM,
I think Harris' point is that we now live in a technological era where the damage that might be done by fanatics could be catastrophic. This does not detract from positive contributions by "believers".

I agree with the "fundamental drives" argument. The "tribalism" issue might be viewed as a later development as homo sapiens became more diverse as it populated the globe. Dawkins' " altruism gene" is evoked by him as operative prior to such dispersion at a time when all encounters were likely to be from the original gene pool.
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 03:08 am
@hingehead,
It is precisely this blurring of boundaries which fundamentalists "over-react" against. Their socially acquired concepts of "self-integrity" are being eroded by modern communications.
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 03:28 am
@fresco,
Yeah, it's easy to forget the ease with which a few nutjobs can wreak havoc using high-tech tools.

I think we agree, anyway, that our species would be a lot better off if more of us were able to cope with reality without resorting to self-delusion, religious or otherwise.
0 Replies
 
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 07:43 pm
There has been a vast misuse of the term "Deist" in this thread. I feel that this misunderstanding should be corrected. Deist's are:

* Very nearly, if not 100% secular in nature.
* Vehemently anti-religionists.
* Believe that the beauty of the natural order of the Universe and things within it could only have been created by a Supreme Being.
* This Supreme Being does not step in or interfer with the lives or existence of humans.
* Deist point to the inaccuracies and fallacies of scripture while not believing in "miracles".
* The Constitution and Declaration of Independence was created by Deists. The founding Fathers had many Deists within its ranks to including Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and Washington. Bill Hicks was a Deist, so that has to be a plus - right?

Quote:
Deism (pronounced /ˈdiːɪzəm/, us dict: dē′·ĭzm) in the philosophy of religion is the standpoint that reason and observation of the natural world, without the need for organized religion, can determine that a supreme being created the universe. Further the term often implies that this supreme being does not intervene in human affairs or suspend the natural laws of the universe. Deists typically reject supernatural events such as prophecy and miracles, tending to assert that God (or "The Supreme Architect") has a plan for the universe that is not to be altered by intervention in the affairs of human life. Deists believe in the existence of God, in a secular sense, without any reliance on revealed religion, religious authority or holy books.

Deism became more prominent in the 17th and 18th centuries during the Age of Enlightenment, especially in what is now the United Kingdom, France, United States and Ireland, mostly among those raised as Christians who found they could not believe in supernatural miracles or the inerrancy of scriptures, but who did believe in one God.

Many ideas of modern secularism were developed by deists.

hingehead
 
  4  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 08:10 pm
@BillW,
I just checked Bill, your's is the first use of 'Deist' in this thread.

Did you mean vast underuse? Wink
Render
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 09:32 pm
Without delving into some of the problems that philosophical inquiry provides, one would only expect to be left with the default, the humanistic religion of atheism.
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 09:35 pm
@hingehead,
Thank you very much hingehead, I have fallen on my sword. I have gotten confused with "theist" that has been used within these posts and whereas a Deist maybe considered a minor element of Theist - they are not synonymous with them. The major difference being a Theist believes God intervenes in the lives of human, a Deist does not.

Thanks again, my agony in prior posts (being a Deist myself) was falsely construed!
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 09:36 pm
@Render,
Wrong again - it is not organized, by definition - a religion is organized.
Render
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 09:39 pm
@BillW,
BillW wrote:

Wrong again - it is not organized, by definition - a religion is organized.

Without delving into some of the problems that philosophical inquiry provides, one would only expect to be left with the default, the humanistic mindset of atheism.
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 09:42 pm
@Render,
Without delving into some of the problems that philosophical inquiry provides, one would only expect to be left with the default, fill jn any action, such as "riding a bike", one can come up with.

IE, this could be a truism to end all truisms! So what?
Render
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 09:48 pm
@BillW,
BillW wrote:

Without delving into some of the problems that philosophical inquiry provides, one would only expect to be left with the default, fill jn any action, such as "riding a bike", one can come up with.

IE, this could be a truism to end all truisms! So what?

I'm not sure what type of jargon you are referring to, but when people are born they are atheists by default.
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 09:51 pm
@Render,
Quote:
but when people are born they are atheists by default.


And, by derivative, they have to be abused and conned into accepting a religion? I can finally agree with you on something.......
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 12:29 am
@BillW,
Do deists believe in "an afterlife" ?
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  2  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 06:24 am
@BillW,
So, BillW, why just the one god?
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 06:26 am
@Eorl,
Just one god does seem closer to atheism than pantheism Mr. Green
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 06:31 am
@FBM,
FBM wrote:

Yeah, I'm aware of Harris' argument, but I'm not convinced. Religious people have produced a great deal scientific, humanitarian and medical advances, also.

And every one of them fought one religious creed or another to manage to do so. I'd say that many religious people have produced a great deal of scientific, humanitarian and medical advances despite their religion, not because of it. I'm willing to give you "art" however. I think the world has better art thanks to religion, but you lose those points as soon as I say "music". Christian Rock anyone?
 

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