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The tolerant atheist

 
 
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 08:57 am
If anybody's interested in the Myers speech I mentioned, it's this:

layman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 09:00 am
@Tuna,
Quote:
To an innocent bystander, it looks like there's some anger and aggression to it as if someone is under attack somewhere.


I disagree. I think it "looks that way" to just about anyone with perception. Atheism, as a position, certainly need not be advocated in an aggressive manner. I agree with that too. But people can tell the difference.

The names you mentioned are openly quite hostile towards non-atheists. I think that even people who agree with their substantive points (as opposed to their belligerent rhetoric) can see it.

PS: I just listened to a little of Myers' talk you posted. He's says, "I'm not always consistent. Sometimes my militancy knob is turned to 10. Some days it's turned to 11." Read his blog sometime. That's were he really gets almost hysterically extreme in his attacks on non-atheists.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 09:20 am
@Tuna,
What a stinking pile of clichés... Such people still exist? Auguste Comte would be proud.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 09:47 am
@Olivier5,
I listened to Myers. How does he end his self-serving rant? By saying all non-atheists are "sheep," all atheists are "fierce hunters," and that now is the time to destroy them.

Quite uplifting, ya know?
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 10:10 am
@Olivier5,
In the Dawkins thread, I excerpted some quote from the philosopher, Michael Ruse, who is himself a steadfast atheist, which strongly disapprove of the tactics of the "new atheists," such as Myers. He insightfully notes how similar their devout adherence to the creed of "secular humanism," sometimes called "ontological naturalism" (aka "scientism"), is to organized religions. Their "faith" is absolute, and their dogmatic ideology is inflexible and all-encompassing.

Like Dawkins, Myers says you cannot be a "scientist" and also be non-atheistic. Dawkins says the same thing about Darwinism in particular. Ruse notes that such a belief system puts them in the position of advocating the establishment of a religion in public schools, since the claim that there is no god is teaching religion.

And it is this very stance, I think, that leads many to insist that the concept of "intelligent design" at least be mentioned in conjunction with indoctrination of school children with the dogma of Darwinism. The Darwinists go wild at this suggestion, calling it the "teaching of creationism."
layman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 10:31 am
@layman,
Another prominent philosopher, Thomas Nagel, himself an atheist, has also made some articulate criticisms of the position that "intelligent design theory" is "unscientific." Nagel even wrote a book called "Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False."

That book is reviewed here: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/110189/why-darwinist-materialism-wrong

A couple of excerpts from the review:

Quote:
Call this constellation of views scientific naturalism—or don’t call it that, since there is nothing particularly scientific about it, except that those who champion it tend to wrap themselves in science like a politician in the flag...Thomas Nagel would call it something else: an idol of the academic tribe, perhaps, or a sacred cow: “I find this view antecedently unbelievable—a heroic triumph of ideological theory over common sense. ... I would be willing to bet that the present right-thinking consensus will come to seem laughable in a generation or two.”

His important new book is a brief but powerful assault on materialist naturalism....except for atheism, Nagel rejects nearly every contention of materialist naturalism....Nagel has endorsed the negative conclusions of the much-maligned Intelligent Design movement, and he has defended it from the charge that it is inherently unscientific.

For that piece of blasphemy Nagel paid the predictable price; he was said to be arrogant, dangerous to children, a disgrace, hypocritical, ignorant, mind-polluting, reprehensible, stupid, unscientific, and in general a less than wholly upstanding citizen of the republic of letters.


0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 12:26 pm
@layman,
Quote:
In the Dawkins thread, I excerpted some quote from the philosopher, Michael Ruse, who is himself a steadfast atheist, which strongly disapprove of the tactics of the "new atheists," such as Myers. He insightfully notes how similar their devout adherence to the creed of "secular humanism," sometimes called "ontological naturalism" (aka "scientism"), is to organized religions. Their "faith" is absolute, and their dogmatic ideology is inflexible and all-encompassing.

I don't quite see how it differs from Comte's positivism, quite dated therefore, pre-quantic and before communism which defined itself as based on positive science and was, like Comte, fiercely anti-religious.
layman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 12:44 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
I don't quite see how it differs from Comte's positivism, quite dated therefore, pre-quantic and before communism which defined itself as based on positive science and was, like Comte, fiercely anti-religious.


Yeah, Ollie, it's basically the same kind of "logical positivism" (aka logical empiricism) that dominated the philosophy of science for 30-40 years in the early/middle parts on the 20th century, which actually goes beyond Comte:
Quote:

Comtean positivism had viewed science as description, whereas the logical positivists posed science as explanation,



That view self-destructed has been almost unanimously rejected for at least half a century now:

Quote:
In the late 1970s, A J Ayer [one of it's founders] supposed that "the most important" defect "was that nearly all of it was false." ...John Passmore found logical positivism to be "dead, or as dead as a philosophical movement ever becomes".


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_positivism#Philosophy_of_science

layman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 12:54 pm
@Olivier5,
These "scientific fundies" praise healthy skepticism, a demand for evidence, and an open mind. But they seem to think it applies ONLY to positions other than their own. Often they don't seem to even be aware of, let alone critically analyze, their own metaphysical assumptions. They think those are just "known, indisputable facts."

As I said in an earlier post:
Quote:
Yeah, bigotry in it's general and literal sense (many seem to think "bigotry" only applies to those whose belief's oppose theirs):

Quote:
"stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own."
layman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 01:11 pm
@layman,
From the same wiki entry:

Quote:
By the late 1960s, logical positivism had clearly run its course...Even philosophers disagreeing among themselves on which direction general epistemology ought to take, as well as on philosophy of science, agreed that the logical empiricist program was untenable, and it became viewed as self-contradictory.


Yet, for several decades prior to that, it had become THE (one, authoritative) philosophy of science that had to be adhered to. When Nagel (above) says that the current dogma amongst academics may be "laughed at" in a couple of generatations, he may well have this precedent in mind.



0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 01:13 pm
@layman,
Yes, positivism was reported dead. But there's clearly two traditions here. The continental and the anglo-american. On the continent, my 12th grade philosophy teacher considered that modern sociology was built by Weber and others against Comte's naïve "proto-sociology". We're talking 20's here, post WW1 which saw the triumph of chemistry, balistics and political science over well... human life? 10 ml deads makes you think. The whole surrealist movement van ne seen as post-positivist. The cultural memes if the mad scientistand the robot date from the same era. Karl Popper nails the coffin by stating That science NEVER provides positive certainty aka truth...
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 01:31 pm
@Tuna,
Quote:
But what disturbed me most about his presentations is the haughty way he suggested that religious people might be afraid of atheists.


The basis for taking an unqualified dive into atheism is generally not "reason," either. That's just a post hoc rationalization in most cases.

Nagel (the atheist who opposes "material naturalism" as cited above) gives his honest reasons for embracing atheism as follows:

Quote:
I am talking about something much deeper—namely, the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers.... It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 01:43 pm
@layman,
You report that Nagel says:

Quote:
It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief.


Very, very interesting sentence.

He is saying he does not "believe" in God...and then saying that he hopes his "belief" is right.

So he is equating "I do not 'believe' in God"...with "I believe there is no God."

We've got a bunch of atheists here who make a big deal out of the distinction between "I do not believe in God" and "I believe there is no God."

Interesting to see that Nagel is one of those kinds of atheists.
djjd62
 
  3  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 01:54 pm
@Tuna,
Tuna wrote:
I recently came across the atheistic views of PZ Myers, a biologist whose views regarding religion don't appear to be particularly tolerant. He categorizes believers as stupid


theism or lack thereof is no indication of stupidity, if one is honest over 95% 0f the people you meet on a daily basis are stupid regardless of their beliefs

full disclosure, i'm definitely one of the majority
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 02:00 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
Interesting to see that Nagel is one of those kinds of atheists.


I think it's even more interesting that he goes on to say that his "belief" is actually a hope, and an expression of desire, eh, Frank?

Quote:
It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 02:22 pm
@layman,
As Hume put it:

Quote:
“Reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.” (David Hume)


I especially like the "and only ought to be" part there. At least he aint shittin his own damn self, there, eh?
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 02:49 pm
@Tuna,
By the time I was through listening to this speech, I couldn't help being reminded of a preacher giving a sermon to his "flock." Myers is definitely proselytizing here, and urging all his listeners to do the same. But it really doesn't stop there; he is calling for a full-blown CRUSADE.

He his flattering himself and his audience by saying that atheists are like "superman," favoring "truth, justice, and the American way" (he's "joking," but then again he isn''t). He not only tells them how "moral" atheists are, but is virtually promising them "bliss" if they join his crusade. How "happy" those who are atheists are, and all that.

But, lest there be doubt, this isn't about "persuading" others. It about "killing" their ideas and ransacking their city. It's about predatory "fierce hunters" slaughtering the "sheep."
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 03:59 pm
@layman,
layman wrote:

By the time I was through listening to this speech, I couldn't help being reminded of a preacher giving a sermon to his "flock." Myers is definitely proselytizing here, and urging all his listeners to do the same. But it really doesn't stop there; he is calling for a full-blown CRUSADE.

He his flattering himself and his audience by saying that atheists are like "superman," favoring "truth, justice, and the American way" (he's "joking," but then again he isn''t). He not only tells them how "moral" atheists are, but is virtually promising them "bliss" if they join his crusade. How "happy" those who are atheists are, and all that.

But, lest there be doubt, this isn't about "persuading" others. It about "killing" their ideas and ransacking their city. It's about predatory "fierce hunters" slaughtering the "sheep."


It often is among the logical, scientific, reasonable, moral atheistic community.

They have as much an obligation to contain their radicals as they so often ask of theists.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 04:05 pm
@Tuna,
Well, that doesn't appear to have been an answer to my question. I infer that you're saying that no issue exists. That i could agree with. It just doesn't come up in real life. The holy rollers love to rage at and about Dawkins, but it's not as though that makes the evening news.
layman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 04:39 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
I infer that you're saying that no issue exists. That i could agree with. It just doesn't come up in real life.


It depends on what you want to call "real life," I suppose. Myers says the internet has given atheists, who, he claims, often thought they were the only ones in town, a medium for expressing their disbelief and forming social networks, devoted to defending and promulgating their religious views. He talks about a recent gathering of 20,000 in D.C. and is addressing a crowd of 4,000 in this speech. Is that "real life?"

Dawkins was the keynote speaker at the DC rally. He used that platform to urge the (cheering) crowd to "Mock them, with contempt, in public." A video tape of this exhortation, and many more similar to it, is being disseminated on youtube, among other outlets. Is that "real life?"

Most of us have seen you viciously attack religious believers with vigorous invective, and plentiful personal insults all smugly delivered from the pose of an enlightened intellectuals, putting "fools" in their proper place. Is that part of your "real life?'

Probably not, at least not in the sense that you would try that **** on people to their face. In that event, you might not have any "real life" at all.
0 Replies
 
 

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