9
   

Atheists, smarter than religious people

 
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 01:47 pm
Chumly,

In the matter of bathrooms I yield to duality !
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 01:51 pm
fresco wrote:
Intrepid,

No their are numerous studies supporting the general findings. See for example Wikipedia on "Intelligence and Religiosity".

Frank,

Item 3 outlined above opens the door to the definition of an "atheist" as one who has no (social) need for "gods". This is consistent with core views expressed by many who call themselves "atheists" even if they do not subscribe directly to "reality as a social construct". Your single issue about "guesswork" completely fails to ackowledge this irrespective of the fact that "guesswork" is predicated by "naive realism". In all honesty you cannot expect to be taken seriously at this level of discourse if you ignore the overwhelming evidence that "perception" is active not passive (as implied by naive realism) irrespective of whether you can see "nonduality" as a possible conclusion.


Before we get into this, Fresco...I refer you to something above that still needs handling...

...specifically: Well…I think you haven't…and if you can point to the responses to your thesis that indicate that you are indeed moving the discussion along…I will certainly re-read them. I could have sworn I heard you moaning that nobody was paying any attention…and that apparently nobody is intelligent enough to understand the problem.

But if I am wrong…I am sure you will show me that I am.
0 Replies
 
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 02:01 pm
fresco wrote:
Intrepid,

No their are numerous studies supporting the general findings. See for example Wikipedia on "Intelligence and Religiosity".



Anyone of intelligence would not rely on Wikipedia as an accuract reference source.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 02:02 pm
And since I suspect you will weasel out of actually dealing with that other thing...

...here is a bit of a reply.

Fresco wrote:

Quote:
Item 3 outlined above opens the door to the definition of an "atheist" as one who has no (social) need for "gods". This is consistent with core views expressed by many who call themselves "atheists" even if they do not subscribe directly to "reality as a social construct". Your single issue about "guesswork" completely fails to ackowledge this irrespective of the fact that "guesswork" is predicated by "naive realism". In all honesty you cannot expect to be taken seriously at this level of discourse if you ignore the overwhelming evidence that "perception" is active not passive (as implied by naive realism) irrespective of whether you can see "nonduality" as a possible conclusion.


Atheism has a meaning. An atheist can "define" him/herself as a flying pig is he/she chooses…but that does not alter the fact that the word has a meaning.

One of the many problems I have with atheists is that they are constantly redefining the word…FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN to rationalize various positions they have taken that need rationalizing.

As the word came into our language, atheism means the denial of the existence of gods.

I'd just as soon use it that way…since that is the way it was used classically…and throughout history. In fact, it was used that way until very, very recently when atheists realized the deficiencies of the atheistic position and adopted what is essentially the agnostic take…and then pretended that it is an appropriate atheistic position.

The position, "There are no gods involved in the REALITY of existence" is a guess…every bit as much as the theistic guess that there is a God is a guess…or the non-dualists insistence on non-dualism is a guess.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 02:31 pm
No Frank the etymological argument is false because "words" like "religion" are embedded in their zeitgeisst (even if Islamicists would argue to the contrary). It is entirely correct to cite usage within its contemporary context....dictionaries would not be ubder constant revision otherwise. In short, your "guesswork mission" is flogging a dead horse.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 02:46 pm
Translation--Frank is only willing to recognize a definition of atheist and atheism which supports his silly claim of a morally superior point of view.

Answers-dot-com wrote:
a·the·ism n.

1. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
2. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.

(French athéisme, from athée, atheist, from Greek atheos, godless : a-, without; see a-1 + theos, god.) emphases added


The Oxford English Dictionary wrote:
atheism: Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of a god. (emphasis added)


Encarta-dot-MSN-dot-com wrote:
a·the·ism


noun
Definition:

unbelief in God or deities: disbelief in the existence of God or deities

[Late 16th century. < French athéisme < Greek atheos "godless" < theos "god"]


Frank has traditionally asserted (usually accompanied by vile characterizations of those who disagree with him) that he holds a morally superior position--therefore, to sustain that contention, it is necessary for him to ignore or even, as in this case, to deny the valid distinction between not believing in a god, and denying that any god exists. He also stumbles here in saying that he deals in the "historical" definition. The Greek "atheos" means godless, not god-denying.

I have before asked Frank how he responds to anyone who asserts that he or she has seen god, or spoken to god. He hasn't ever answered me, that i recall. If he were to attempt to maintain that the existence of god is unknowable (something to which i don't object) in the face of such an assertion, then he would be in the position of asserting that any person who said he or she has seen or spoken to god is mistaken, deluded, or otherwise just plain wrong. In short, he'd have to take a stand, something which he is constitutionally opposed to doing, on this question, at least.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 03:14 pm
Ahhh…Setanta has shown up to give a lecture on how to post graciously!

What a laugh!

In any case, he sprewed:

Quote:

Frank has traditionally asserted (usually accompanied by vile characterizations of those who disagree with him) that he holds a morally superior position--therefore, to sustain that contention, it is necessary for him to ignore or even, as in this case, to deny the valid distinction between not believing in a god, and denying that any god exists. He also stumbles here in saying that he deals in the "historical" definition. The Greek "atheos" means godless, not god-denying.


I have never denied the valid distinction between "not believing in a god" and "denying that gods exist." You are completely full of shyt about that.

In fact, I stress the difference. I, for instance, do not believe in a god…and I do not deny that gods exist. No ignoring anything there.

I also understand that some phony, pretend atheists assert that their atheism stop with merely acknowledging a lack of belief in any gods.

No problem there either. If a hypocritical, phony wants to pretend he/she is an atheist…but does not believe there are no gods…hey, I can use a good laugh.

In any case, the Greek through the French meaning of atheist is, as you pointed out…but I ask you…how does one assert that he/she is godless without first asserting that there are no gods.

Quote:
I have before asked Frank how he responds to anyone who asserts that he or she has seen god, or spoken to god. He hasn't ever answered me, that i recall.


I don't ever recall you ever asking me that…and I cannot for the life of me think why you suppose I would not answer it.

My standard reply…(and it has been asserted to me)…is a question…one I have asked dozens of times in dozens of threads: How do you know you are not deluding yourself?

So don't give me any shyt about not responding to anything you would propose, Set.


Quote:
If he were to attempt to maintain that the existence of god is unknowable …


I have never maintained that the existence of a god is unknowable! How would I know if it is unknowable? I suspect it is unknowable…but I leave stupid assertion up to theists and atheists.


Quote:
…
(something to which i don't object) in the face of such an assertion, then he would be in the position of asserting that any person who said he or she has seen or spoken to god is mistaken, deluded, or otherwise just plain wrong.


I would certainly question it…but I would leave the stupid position of denying that it could happen to you ever so intelligent atheists.

Once a theists insists he/she has had direct communion with some god…and has refused to acknowledge that he/she might be deluding him/herself…I do what any rational person would do…I abandon the discussion.

Quote:

In short, he'd have to take a stand, something which he is constitutionally opposed to doing, on this question, at least.


Horseshyt. Wake the hell up…or go back to sleep. Whichever.

Nice talking with you again, Set.

By the way...I did mention earlier that the cowardly, pretend atheists have managed to redefine atheism to suit their cowardice...although I may not have used those exact words.

They have.

Debating atheists almost always use the "I lack belief..." bullshyt.

But as I said...that is a recent invention.

Prior to...I'd say 1960...the word was defined in every dictionary I can find as "A denial of the existence of gods."

Perhaps you can find a citation in a dictionary prior to 1960 that has that phony bullshyt in it, Set??????
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 03:28 pm
Frank.

I'm an agolfist !

I don't deny "the existence of golf"....I consider to be an arbitrary form of "social occupation" which many people (other than me) need to give meaning to their mundane existence. Does "agolfism" constitute a "belief system" ?
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 03:48 pm
fresco wrote:
Frank.

I'm an agolfist !


I consider atheism to be a joke. From the sounds of things, you are coming around to agreeing with me.

Quote:
I don't deny "the existence of golf"....I consider to be an arbitrary form of "social occupation" which many people (other than me) need to give meaning to their mundane existence.


Interesting!

Quote:
Does "agolfism" constitute a "belief system" ?


No. In order to find out what agolfism "constitutes"...you might want to get a close up view of the north end of a south bound horse!
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 03:59 pm
timberlandko wrote:
DrewDad wrote:
timberlandko wrote:
Science - is not about absolutes, it is about questions and probabilities; both theism and atheism entail unquestioned absolutes.
(Emphasis added)

Sure about that?

Within an approximation of probability vanishingly close to certainty - supporting no other conclusion - yes.


Theism and religion are not interchangeable words.
0 Replies
 
Terry
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 04:00 pm
Phoenix wrote:
Frank- Although I have repudiated atheism, I think that the concept is situated on a higher intellectual level than theism. Theists, after all, accept a system of belief, some, more than others, "hook, line, and sinker". There needs to be no thought. In fact, theists apprently disdain thought, embracing "faith" as the higher moral stance.

For some, I would suppose, atheism would simply be the mirror opposite of theism. But, you must realize, that it does take a certain amount of individual introspection and resolve to remove oneself from the mainstream of society, denying what is believed as absolute truth by the masses, and finding oneself in the position of being "odd man out".

Several studies have shown an inverse correlation between education and belief, and education is correlated with intelligence. I wonder how many doubters profess belief in God to be accepted in an overwhelmingly theistic society such as the US, and how many intelligent people have simply never had any reason to question what they were taught about God?
0 Replies
 
Terry
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 04:02 pm
Pauligirl wrote:
Ok, how about this. I'm an atheist in that I don't think that any of the gods that have even been worshiped on this earth exists. No Jupiter, Thor, Jehovah, Krishna, Jesus, Allah and so on - the gods we've been spoon-fed since childhood but still find thoroughly unconvincing . When I say no gods exists, I mean of those so far offered as religion's deities. The word "agnostic" means literally "without knowledge" or, more simply, "I don't know," and I don't know what's out there. Maybe we need a new word for folks that have no belief in the gods of organized religion.

So do you think that there might be a god who has not made its presence known to the world but created and/or cares about human beings?
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 04:07 pm
Terry wrote:
Phoenix wrote:
Frank- Although I have repudiated atheism, I think that the concept is situated on a higher intellectual level than theism. Theists, after all, accept a system of belief, some, more than others, "hook, line, and sinker". There needs to be no thought. In fact, theists apprently disdain thought, embracing "faith" as the higher moral stance.

For some, I would suppose, atheism would simply be the mirror opposite of theism. But, you must realize, that it does take a certain amount of individual introspection and resolve to remove oneself from the mainstream of society, denying what is believed as absolute truth by the masses, and finding oneself in the position of being "odd man out".

Several studies have shown an inverse correlation between education and belief, and education is correlated with intelligence. I wonder how many doubters profess belief in God to be accepted in an overwhelmingly theistic society such as the US, and how many intelligent people have simply never had any reason to question what they were taught about God?


Question, if I may, Terry.

You used the expression: "Several studies have shown an inverse correlation between education and belief..."

Do you know if those studies differentiate between people who "believe" there is a god and people who "believe" there are no gods?

My point is, if "belief" is the criterion...both atheists and theists are involved in the equation.
0 Replies
 
Terry
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 04:08 pm
Frank Apisa wrote:
But there is the charge of hypocrisy. And that charge I level at the many Internet atheists who want to pretend that their atheism stop with "I lack a belief in gods." Those phonies want to avoid the "I believe there are no gods" or "I assert there are no gods" rap, because they realize two things. One, they cannot substantiate the "I assert there are no gods"…and two, they do not want to acknowledge the fact that atheism is nothing but a belief system that would be highlighted by the "I believe there are no gods."

…

I submit it takes absolutely no thought to make a blind guess in either direction on the question of whether or not there are gods involved in the REALITY of existence. I know atheists like to think they have thought out the issue…but all they are doing is making a blind guess. I defy any of them to produce the evidence they have that leads to the conclusion that there are no gods…and hold it up to evaluation. Fact is, other than variations on "The theists cannot produce a god" or "There is no need for a God" (neither of which is evidence that there are no gods) …I have never seen atheists produce any evidence that there are no gods.

Gotta disagree with you on this one, Frank. There are shades of atheism all the way from "I refuse to believe that a God exists as described in the Bible" to "I find no evidence for the existence of any of the gods proposed by the various religions and religious belief can be explained psychologically and its evolution tracked historically, therefore I do not believe that any gods actually exist" to "Imperfectly engineered bodies, the existence of viruses, bacteria, and noxious parasites, and the failure of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent deity to alleviate the suffering on earth prove that such a being does not exist" to "All concepts of god are incompatible with logic and/or the laws of the universe (as we currently understand them), therefore no gods can or do exist." They aren't belief systems in my book any more than "ghosts do not exist" could be considered a "belief system."

The Judeo-Christian concepts of God and immortal souls can be refuted logically and disbelief in them requires no guesswork, but it certainly takes more intelligence to study and reject centuries of apologetics than it does to simply accept the tenets of a religion that has been indoctrinating you since birth. Of course there are concepts of god that are not so easy to dismiss, which is why I'm still only a 9 on Thomas' scale.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 04:09 pm
The Religious Affiliation of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg
http://www.adherents.com/people/pk/John_Harvey_Kellogg.html

The Religious Affiliation of Filmmaker Walt Disney
http://www.adherents.com/people/pd/Walt_Disney.html
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 04:19 pm
Oddly, Frank is one of the most closed-minded individuals I've encountered here.
0 Replies
 
Terry
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 04:25 pm
Frank, I don't think any of the studies I read about differentiated between hard and soft atheism, although I'd have to look them up to be sure.

But to be fair, the statement "I believe in God" is just as ambiguous as the statement "I am an athiest." An article about a Baylor survey which differentiates belief in four distinct versions of God:

Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY wrote:
•The Authoritarian God (31.4% of Americans overall, 43.5% in the South) is angry at humanity's sins and engaged in every creature's life and world affairs. He is ready to throw the thunderbolt of judgment down on "the unfaithful or ungodly," says Bader.

Those who envision God this way "are religiously and politically conservative people, more often black Protestants and white evangelicals," says Bader. "(They) want an active, Christian-values-based government with federal funding for faith-based social services and prayer in the schools."

They're also the most inclined to say God favors the USA in world affairs (32% vs. 19% overall).

•The Benevolent God (23% overall, 28.8% in the Midwest) still sets absolute standards for mankind in the Bible. More than half (54.8%) want the government to advocate Christian values. But this group, which draws more from mainline Protestants, Catholics and Jews, sees primarily a forgiving God, more like the father who embraces his repentant prodigal son in the Bible, says sociologist Froese.

They're inclined (68.1%) to say caring for the sick and needy ranks highest on the list of what it means to be a good person.

•The Critical God (16% overall, 21.2% in the East) has his judgmental eye on the world but he's not going to intervene, either to punish or to comfort.

"This group is more paradoxical," says Bader. "They have very traditional beliefs, picturing God as the classic bearded old man on high. Yet they're less inclined to go to church or affiliate seriously with religious groups. They are less inclined to see God as active in the world."

Those who picture a critical God are significantly less likely to draw absolute moral lines on hot-button issues such as abortion, gay marriage or embryonic stem cell research. For example, 54.8% overall say gay marriage is always wrong compared with 80.6% for those who see an authoritarian God, and 65.8% for those who see God as benevolent. For those who believe in a critical God, it was 54.7%.

•The Distant God (24.4% overall, 30.3% in the West) is "no bearded old man in the sky raining down his opinions on us," says Bader. Followers of this God see a cosmic force that launched the world, then left it spinning on its own.

This has strongest appeal for Catholics, mainline Protestants and Jews. It's also strong among "moral relativists," those least likely to say any moral choice is always wrong, and among those who don't attend church, says Bader.

Only 3.8% of this group says embryonic stem cell research is always wrong, compared with 38.5% of those who see an authoritarian God, 22.7% for those who see God as benevolent and 13.2% who see God as critical but disengaged.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 04:28 pm
If he was not so polarized what would be left of his posts? Not that I overly mind, there are a number of posters that adhere to "my way or the highway".
0 Replies
 
Terry
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 04:28 pm
Raul-7 wrote:
Knowledge is like salt - too much of it and it makes a person bitter.

Any religion based on belief rather than logic must discourage knowledge if it is to survive. Evangelical religions do seem to rely on ecstatic experiences and the carrot/stick of going to paradise or hell after death (since God obviously fails to administer deserved rewards or punishments in this life) rather than convincing arguments for the existence of God.
Alexander Pope wrote:
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 04:29 pm
Terry wrote:
Frank Apisa wrote:
But there is the charge of hypocrisy. And that charge I level at the many Internet atheists who want to pretend that their atheism stop with "I lack a belief in gods." Those phonies want to avoid the "I believe there are no gods" or "I assert there are no gods" rap, because they realize two things. One, they cannot substantiate the "I assert there are no gods"…and two, they do not want to acknowledge the fact that atheism is nothing but a belief system that would be highlighted by the "I believe there are no gods."

…

I submit it takes absolutely no thought to make a blind guess in either direction on the question of whether or not there are gods involved in the REALITY of existence. I know atheists like to think they have thought out the issue…but all they are doing is making a blind guess. I defy any of them to produce the evidence they have that leads to the conclusion that there are no gods…and hold it up to evaluation. Fact is, other than variations on "The theists cannot produce a god" or "There is no need for a God" (neither of which is evidence that there are no gods) …I have never seen atheists produce any evidence that there are no gods.

Gotta disagree with you on this one, Frank. There are shades of atheism all the way from "I refuse to believe that a God exists as described in the Bible" to "I find no evidence for the existence of any of the gods proposed by the various religions and religious belief can be explained psychologically and its evolution tracked historically, therefore I do not believe that any gods actually exist" to "Imperfectly engineered bodies, the existence of viruses, bacteria, and noxious parasites, and the failure of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent deity to alleviate the suffering on earth prove that such a being does not exist" to "All concepts of god are incompatible with logic and/or the laws of the universe (as we currently understand them), therefore no gods can or do exist." They aren't belief systems in my book any more than "ghosts do not exist" could be considered a "belief system."

The Judeo-Christian concepts of God and immortal souls can be refuted logically and disbelief in them requires no guesswork, but it certainly takes more intelligence to study and reject centuries of apologetics than it does to simply accept the tenets of a religion that has been indoctrinating you since birth. Of course there are concepts of god that are not so easy to dismiss, which is why I'm still only a 9 on Thomas' scale.



Terry, I restate my question above:

"You used the expression: "Several studies have shown an inverse correlation between education and belief..."

Do you know if those studies differentiate between people who "believe" there is a god and people who "believe" there are no gods?

My point is, if "belief" is the criterion...both atheists and theists are involved in the equation."

And I add another question…the one I asked Set: Can you cite any dictionary publish prior to 1960 that defines atheist as anything but a denial of the existence of gods?
0 Replies
 
 

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