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Thread: An experiment in Atheism

  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carcano View Post
    Questions of existence vs. non-existence are not morality questions.

    And I would suggest that the modern secular humanist approach to life has far more integrity than the barbaric models found in Abrahamic relgious origins...morally speaking.
    Based on moral values obtained from the animal kingdom no doubt.

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeLord View Post
    1) Whos version of right or wrong?

    2) Entirely irrelevant to what 'atheism' is. An atheist can have morals, can lack morals, will piss and poop just like everyone else.. they're utterly inconsequential to the meaning of 'atheist'. A 'theist' can be moral, a theist can be immoral, a theist will piss and poop like everyone else.. it is inconsequential to their beliefs. A religion is a collective, a group that live under certain guidelines, rules and ideals. A club of chess players also live under certain guidelines and rules. 'Atheism' is not a club, an atheist is merely one that is 'without god/s'.

    I am an atheist, I would consider myself relatively moral. My moral attitude or lack thereof is inconsequential to my lack of belief in gods, (or if it cheers you up my positive belief that gods don't exist). Your line of questioning is redundant.
    Morality as a construct is rooted in religious belief. Rationality has no sense of right or wrong, only true or false.

  3. #183
    Morality as a construct is rooted in religious belief
    I am very very pleased for you. What was the point?

  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeLord View Post
    I am very very pleased for you. What was the point?
    Its not allowed as per rules of OP.

  5. #185
    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Morality as a construct is rooted in religious belief. Rationality has no sense of right or wrong, only true or false.
    From wiki:

    Christopher Boehm (1982) has hypothesized that the incremental development of moral complexity throughout hominid evolution was due to the increasing need to avoid disputes and injuries in moving to open savanna and developing stone weapons. Other theories are that increasing complexity was simply a correlate of increasing group size and brain size, and in particular the development of theory of mind abilities. The evolution of abilities for deception and social 'politics' have also been studied, including in chimpanzees. These have been used, in combination with theories of indirect reciprocal altruism and the importance of reputation, to suggest possible evolutionary bases for moral hypocrisy and gossip in humans.

    I'm not saying that any of those views are correct. I'm pointing out that the origin and development of morality are still being discussed and disputed, and that religion isn't necessarily an integral part of it.

  6. #186
    Its not allowed as per rules of OP.
    Why stop now? You were the one that brought all this "right and wrong" into the equation even though you said it was against the OP.

    You asked why atheism is the 'better option'. I've already told you that the question is inherently pointless given that "atheism" doesn't in itself offer anything - be that exciting or not. Your question would only work if 'atheism' was a club with rules and guidelines. It is not.

    Although it's against the OP: you stated it first, I might as well respond:

    Morality as a construct is rooted in religious belief
    Might I ask then if chimpanzees only refrain from killing each other for the pure sake of it because of religion?

  7. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashura View Post
    From wiki:

    Christopher Boehm (1982) has hypothesized that the incremental development of moral complexity throughout hominid evolution was due to the increasing need to avoid disputes and injuries in moving to open savanna and developing stone weapons. Other theories are that increasing complexity was simply a correlate of increasing group size and brain size, and in particular the development of theory of mind abilities. The evolution of abilities for deception and social 'politics' have also been studied, including in chimpanzees. These have been used, in combination with theories of indirect reciprocal altruism and the importance of reputation, to suggest possible evolutionary bases for moral hypocrisy and gossip in humans.

    I'm not saying that any of those views are correct. I'm pointing out that the origin and development of morality are still being discussed and disputed, and that religion isn't necessarily an integral part of it.
    Judgement itself is a moral construct and atheists like to put the spin on science to back up their irrationalities (like ugh, evolutionary behaviour and other nonempirical nontestable, nonfalsifiable and hence nonscientific stuff)

  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeLord View Post
    Why stop now? You were the one that brought all this "right and wrong" into the equation even though you said it was against the OP.

    You asked why atheism is the 'better option'. I've already told you that the question is inherently pointless given that "atheism" doesn't in itself offer anything - be that exciting or not. Your question would only work if 'atheism' was a club with rules and guidelines. It is not.

    Although it's against the OP: you stated it first, I might as well respond:



    Might I ask then if chimpanzees only refrain from killing each other for the pure sake of it because of religion?
    Nope it was in response to this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carcano View Post
    So this all comes back to Sam's original question, which revealed how theists approach truth.

    They are not interested in true vs. false, but rather better vs. worse...relative to their desires.
    Now back to atheism. And what makes you think chimapanzees refrain from killing each other? Have they shared their moral views with you?

  9. #189
    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Judgement itself is a moral construct and atheists like to put the spin on science to back up their irrationalities (like ugh, evolutionary behaviour and other nonempirical nontestable, nonfalsifiable and hence nonscientific stuff)
    Haha, I love that! Such a disdain for nonscientific things when atheism is as scientific as you can get in regards to the topic of today's major religions.

  10. #190
    Nope it was in response to this
    Wait.. So you quoted something I said, then said it wasn't allowed.... in response to someone elses post? Cool shit, if I hadn't been drinking I'd be confused.

    And what makes you think chimapanzees refrain from killing each other?
    Chimps are a communal species. They live together, play together yada yada. Sure, like humans, they can kill each other but they do not go around killing each other for no good reason whatsoever. Likewise even ants do not go around smacking each other over the head with chopped leaves just for the thrill of it. Do they have religion? You'd be hard pressed to argue the case. In saying, why would you assert that 'morality' stems from religion when it seems more apparent to state that we just act in a manner that ensures our own survival and the survival of our collective?

    --

    As for the OP, it's fair to say we have a conclusion: Atheism doesn't claim to be better, nor can it. Glad we got that settled.

  11. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashura View Post
    Haha, I love that! Such a disdain for nonscientific things when atheism is as scientific as you can get in regards to the topic of today's major religions.
    Not when they blur the lines between science and faith.

    Now for example, chimps.
    Researchers observing wild chimpanzees in Uganda have discovered repeated instances of a mysterious and poorly understood behavior: female-led infanticide. The findings, reported by Simon Townsend, Katie Slocombe and colleagues of the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and the Budongo Forest Project, Uganda, appear in the journal Current Biology.


    Infanticide is known to occur in many primate species, but is generally thought of as a male trait. An exception in the realm of chimpanzee behavior was famously noted in the 1970s by Jane Goodall in her observations of Passion and Pom, a mother-daughter duo who cooperated in the killing and cannibalization of at least two infant offspring of other females.
    And you'll still hear bugaboo about evolutionary altruism, blah blah.

    Or other crap like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeLord View Post
    Wait.. So you quoted something I said, then said it wasn't allowed.... in response to someone elses post? Cool shit, if I hadn't been drinking I'd be confused.



    Chimps are a communal species. They live together, play together yada yada. Sure, like humans, they can kill each other but they do not go around killing each other for no good reason whatsoever. Likewise even ants do not go around smacking each other over the head with chopped leaves just for the thrill of it. Do they have religion? You'd be hard pressed to argue the case. In saying, why would you assert that 'morality' stems from religion when it seems more apparent to state that we just act in a manner that ensures our own survival and the survival of our collective?

    --

    As for the OP, it's fair to say we have a conclusion: Atheism doesn't claim to be better, nor can it. Glad we got that settled.

  12. #192
    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Not when they blur the lines between science and faith.

    Now for example, chimps.


    And you'll still hear bugaboo about evolutionary altruism, blah blah.

    Or other crap like this:
    Like I said, I'm not advocating any one view about morality. I'm just pointing out that your statement of it being rooted in religion isn't necessarily true.

    And who is the "they" you're referring to in the first line? And what do you mean by "not"? No matter what certain scientists, theists or atheists, choose to say, atheism is the most scientific view. The correct view? Who knows, I might not find out in my lifetime. But the most scientific? Definitely.

  13. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashura View Post
    Like I said, I'm not advocating any one view about morality. I'm just pointing out that your statement of it being rooted in religion isn't necessarily true.

    And who is the "they" you're referring to in the first line? And what do you mean by "not"? No matter what certain scientists, theists or atheists, choose to say, atheism is the most scientific view. The correct view? Who knows, I might not find out in my lifetime. But the most scientific? Definitely.
    Atheism is the scientific view? Really? It is empirical, testable, and falsifiable?

  14. #194
    I'm sorry, what exactly were you in disagreement with?

    Do you disagree that we have reached a conclusion concerning your original question?

    Do you disagree and therefore assert that chimps and ants go around beating each other to death for no reason? (Let it be said in your quoted example there is a pertinent reason for doing so. Many animals, (even humans), do the same.. from lions to hamsters to scorpions etc).

    Of course it is also worth pointing out the case of that German guy that ate his friend, (who wierdly enough wanted to be eaten). Can you use such an example to stand for all mankind?

    Anyway, I'm going to go and stumble up the stairs in true atheistic fashion - and yes, atheistic stumbling is better than theistic stumbling . In the meantime please point out exactly where your disagreement is instead of just quoting my entire post and leaving one pointless remark in return. Cowardice is the one thing that actually annoys me.

  15. #195
    SAM:

    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Lets have some convincing arguments for atheism, that do NOT involve any talk about theism, theists or morality.

    Why is atheism the better option?
    You have the onus of proof around the wrong way. Why should it be up to atheists to disprove all gods? Should it not be up to those who believe in gods to provide some good evidence of their existence?

    Atheism is the default position that would be adopted by any thinking person, in the absense of evidence of gods. Right?

    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    The only thing I get so far is that atheism is about being cool and self-centered; I'd say a lot of theists are already cool and self-centered.
    Atheism is a broad "church". Some atheists are self-centred; others are community minded. Some atheists are cool; others are not. The reason atheists have been so slow to organise over the years is that their views are so divergent. All they necessarily share in common is a non-belief in gods.

    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Was the man who discovered the rainbow workings an atheist?
    Why would that be relevant?

    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Atheism is about discovering the origin of the universe? Interesting. Ok I'll accept that, even if I fail to see the connection. Why are atheists interested in the origin of the universe?
    Everybody is interested in the origins of the universe. Some theists believe that they already have all the answers, though, which prevents them from investigating the matter and expanding knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Is atheism the opposite of theism or not? Because I fail to see any evidence either way.
    Finding evidence for a negative is surely much harder than finding evidence for a positive.

    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Main Entry: 1faith
    Pronunciation: 'fAth
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural faiths /'fAths, sometimes 'fA[th]z/
    Etymology: Middle English feith, from Anglo-French feid, fei, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust -- more at BIDE
    1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
    2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
    3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant faith>
    Faith is basically belief in something in the absence of evidence. It's irrational.

    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    No you said you lack belief because there is no evidence, so what evidence would you need to attain belief? Any god, take your pick.
    Let's make a deal. You tell me which particular God, then I'll tell you what evidence I'd need.

    See, what I generally find with this kind of challenge is that theists immediately move the goal posts after any kind of response, by redefining their notion of god.

    Disproof of the specifics of many religions is a relatively simple matter. Disproving the general concept of a god cannot be done. But you can't disprove a vague concept of Santa Claus, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    How does saying there is no proof translate to lack of belief? Belief does not require proof.
    Right. But justified belief requires evidence. Unjustified belief is a very weak basis on which to make important life decisions, is it not? If it was, I might "believe" and have faith that the random horse Quick Fox was going to win the Melbourne Cup, and put all my life savings on it. Chances are, I'd be quite disappointed.

    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Morality as a construct is rooted in religious belief. Rationality has no sense of right or wrong, only true or false.
    You're completely wrong about this. Morality is not rooted in religious belief. Religious beliefs, to the extent that they make moral pronouncements, simply regurgitate a pre-existing morality.

  16. #196
    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Atheism is the scientific view? Really? It is emprical, testable, and falsifiable?
    No, it is the most scientific view when it comes to religion, in that it has nothing to prove. Compare that to believing a religion, which isn't empirical, testable or falsifiable.

  17. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by James R View Post
    SAM:

    You have the onus of proof around the wrong way. Why should it be up to atheists to disprove all gods? Should it not be up to those who believe in gods to provide some good evidence of their existence?

    Atheism is the default position that would be adopted by any thinking person, in the absense of evidence of gods. Right?
    Well then, isn't that the rational way to do it? If you're suggesting a scientific basis rather than faith?

    Atheism is a broad "church". Some atheists are self-centred; others are community minded. Some atheists are cool; others are not. The reason atheists have been so slow to organise over the years is that their views are so divergent. All they necessarily share in common is a non-belief in gods.
    All of them? Whats a non-belief?



    Why would that be relevant?
    Because it was so implied?

    Everybody is interested in the origins of the universe. Some theists believe that they already have all the answers, though, which prevents them from investigating the matter and expanding knowledge.
    And atheists are all very rational and clear thinking individuals?


    Finding evidence for a negative is surely much harder than finding evidence for a positive.
    Not really, one merely has to provide evidence for an alternate theory.

    Faith is basically belief in something in the absence of evidence. It's irrational.
    And atheism is not faith because it is based on?

    Let's make a deal. You tell me which particular God, then I'll tell you what evidence I'd need.

    See, what I generally find with this kind of challenge is that theists immediately move the goal posts after any kind of response, by redefining their notion of god.

    Disproof of the specifics of many religions is a relatively simple matter. Disproving the general concept of a god cannot be done. But you can't disprove a vague concept of Santa Claus, either.
    Sure you can take the Islamic God f'rinstance, he/she has no name, gender, substance and is merely defined as a universal force.

    Right. But justified belief requires evidence. Unjustified belief is a very weak basis on which to make important life decisions, is it not? If it was, I might "believe" and have faith that the random horse Quick Fox was going to win the Melbourne Cup, and put all my life savings on it. Chances are, I'd be quite disappointed.
    Thats a chance with any belief justified or otherwise, since any evidence would be limited by the conditions under which it was obtained and the knowledge and tools to obtain it. Right?


    You're completely wrong about this. Morality is not rooted in religious belief. Religious beliefs, to the extent that they make moral pronouncements, simply regurgitate a pre-existing morality.
    Ah, and this justified belief is based on the evidence from?

  18. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashura View Post
    No, it is the most scientific view when it comes to religion, in that it has nothing to prove. Compare that to believing a religion, which isn't empirical, testable or falsifiable.
    Hmm? Absence of evidence being evidence of absence in the atheist universe, I suppose.

  19. #199
    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Hmm? Absence of evidence being evidence of absence in the atheist universe, I suppose.
    What is absence of evidence in your universe S.A.M.?

    And, could you clarify for me? I couldn't tell by your reply whether or not you agreed with my statement.

  20. #200
    SAM:

    Well then, isn't that the rational way to do it? If you're suggesting a scientific basis rather than faith?
    Science has historically led to more useful progress than religion, so it seems sensible to base decisions on rationality rather than faith.

    All of them? Whats a non-belief?
    Absence of belief.

    And atheists are all very rational and clear thinking individuals?
    No. Although there does seem to be a correlation between intelligence and atheism.

    Finding evidence for a negative is surely much harder than finding evidence for a positive.
    Not really, one merely has to provide evidence for an alternate theory.
    That's a different matter. Here, we're talking about the existence or non-existence of gods - remember? That covers all the possibilities. There are no "alternate" theories to "God exists" other than "God does not exist". And the second statement is a negative statement. See?

    Faith is basically belief in something in the absence of evidence. It's irrational.
    And atheism is not faith because it is based on?
    It is the default rational position.

    Let's make a deal. You tell me which particular God, then I'll tell you what evidence I'd need.
    Sure you can take the Islamic God f'rinstance, he/she has no name, gender, substance and is merely defined as a universal force.
    Ok. Now, you tell me specifically what this God is supposed to do in the world, and how we can supposedly tell he exists. I will then attempt to disprove that.

    You're completely wrong about this. Morality is not rooted in religious belief. Religious beliefs, to the extent that they make moral pronouncements, simply regurgitate a pre-existing morality.
    Ah, and this justified belief is based on the evidence from?
    Biology, religious studies, cultural studies, anthropology, philosophy, history etc.

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