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Thread: Atheism is a belief.

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyperium View Post
    Supernatural is just a word. Hysteria.
    There is the natural world that we can touch, see, smell, and hear. It's the world all around us. Anything else falls to the supernatural or paranormal. Things like spirits, goblins, and any gods. Words have meanings.

  2. #62
    You only believe atheism a belief
    Last edited by Enmos; 11-04-07 at 01:26 PM. Reason: :o typo

  3. #63
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    humans are conscience however they have no clue on hows that possible so in a way their unconscience conscience.
    Theist have it relative simple they yust simple did (devine creature of their choise did it). With is sort of funny because they put words in the mouths of their gods what technicly makes any act of a theist blasphame. Atheist never quistion if their is a god or not they simply try to explain some of the things (And their rarely can be traced back to some higher deity).
    So where atheist seem to seek the thruth, theist claim to their old stories and dresses...

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by snake river rufus View Post
    There is the natural world that we can touch, see, smell, and hear. It's the world all around us. Anything else falls to the supernatural or paranormal. Things like spirits, goblins, and any gods. Words have meanings.
    Yes, but in the frame of this discussion supernatural is only a generalisation. You say that because Goblins aren't there as you cannot see them, God cannot exist as you cannot see Him.

    That something is supernatural should not be a cause for disbelief on a specific matter.

    Supernatural is a objective view, as such something can be natural subjectively that is supernatural objectively, if the matter in it's nature is supernatural in the objective view, then why would the notion that it is supernatural be a argument of disbelief subjectively?

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q) View Post
    Theists have been around from the beginning of what?
    Probably since when we were able to understand the concept at all.

  6. #66
    tending tangentially glaucon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    I don't think so.

    I think both theists and atheists are acting on faith, but their faith has different bases:

    Atheist faith is based on (a particular approach to and interpretation of) evidence.

    Theist faith is based on (a particular kind of) morality.

    Agreed. Which is what I said.


    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    Except that theists themselves often describe it as being based on evidence, which is a mistake, but it seems they don't see it.
    ...

    Exactly. It is the attempt to justify, based upon logic and evidenciary support, which is their downfall.


    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    Without those attempts, theism would be just another dogmatic moral system;
    ...

    Which is why it is exactly that.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    ...
    perhaps morally offensive to some, but cognitively harmelss.
    I disagree. While harmless in its pure cognitive aspect, unfortunately this cognitive position leads to behaviour. That behaviour is more often than not, quite harmful.

  7. #67
    until the end of the world greenberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glaucon View Post
    Agreed. Which is what I said.
    It didn't appear that way to me. Would you say that faith based on morality is blind faith?

    Atheist faith is based on a particular approach to and interpretation of evidence - this, too, implies a morality. But typically, when we speak of evidentiary support, we tend to overlook the implied moral factors, or assume absolute morality. Namely, the approach to and interpretation of evidence are guided by moral factors - preferences and values.


    I disagree. While harmless in its pure cognitive aspect, unfortunately this cognitive position leads to behaviour. That behaviour is more often than not, quite harmful.
    Of course, but that's not what I meant.
    I meant that while a dogmatic moral system is perhaps morally offensive to some readers of it, it is cognitively harmelss to readers of it who do not already believe it, such as us. I take that unless one believes it pure dogma reads like nonsensical syllables.

  8. #68
    tending tangentially glaucon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    It didn't appear that way to me. Would you say that faith based on morality is blind faith?
    I would. But I would not agree that Theistic faith is in fact based upon morality. If that were the case, Theists would place morality as the primary locus of their faith, whereas, on the most, it is the particular canonical texts that occupy that place.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    Atheist faith is based on a particular approach to and interpretation of evidence - this, too, implies a morality.
    A particular approach and interpretation? Yes, undoubtedly. But more importantly, it is one that works.

    And no, I don't believe there is an implied morality.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    But typically, when we speak of evidentiary support, we tend to overlook the implied moral factors, or assume absolute morality. Namely, the approach to and interpretation of evidence are guided by moral factors - preferences and values.
    Ideally, no, they are not guided by such factors. Obviously, it is impossible to overcome subjective influence, but the entire structure of the Scientific Method [SM] is designed so as to minimize the subjective influence. Regardless, it is not necessarily the case that any given subjectivity carries with it a moral element.


    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    Of course, but that's not what I meant.
    I meant that while a dogmatic moral system is perhaps morally offensive to some readers of it, it is cognitively harmelss to readers of it who do not already believe it, such as us.

    Ah but it is: the behaviour of such an affected theist can have serious effect on the non-theist...

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyperium View Post
    Yes, but in the frame of this discussion supernatural is only a generalisation. You say that because Goblins aren't there as you cannot see them, God cannot exist as you cannot see Him.

    That something is supernatural should not be a cause for disbelief on a specific matter.

    Supernatural is a objective view, as such something can be natural subjectively that is supernatural objectively, if the matter in it's nature is supernatural in the objective view, then why would the notion that it is supernatural be a argument of disbelief subjectively?
    It is never logical to believe in the supernatural so yes it is a cause for disbelief. And it clearly is not an objective view. Either something is in this reality (natural) or it is outside of this reality (supernatural). If it is in this reality, we should be able to find evidence. As I see it I can either be illogical and believe in something supernatural with out evidence, or I can remain logical and rule out the supernatural.

  10. #70
    until the end of the world greenberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glaucon View Post
    But I would not agree that Theistic faith is in fact based upon morality.
    I argued that it is based on a particular kind of morality.


    If that were the case, Theists would place morality as the primary locus of their faith, whereas, on the most, it is the particular canonical texts that occupy that place.
    Placing an abstractly formulated moral system as the primary locus of faith is demanding even for the educated. It is understandable that a more popularly accessible formulation (ie. with stories) is more useful.


    A particular approach and interpretation? Yes, undoubtedly. But more importantly, it is one that works.

    And no, I don't believe there is an implied morality.
    The morality is implied in the choice of subject, in the purpose of studies.
    Science doesn't study just anything; but only things that are deemed important to some people.

    (Although the range of what is "important" has grown very much, from inventing the steam machine to inventing double-sided adhesive tape for pasting additional notes into your fancy Franklin Covey Planner, for example.)


    Ideally, no, they are not guided by such factors. Obviously, it is impossible to overcome subjective influence, but the entire structure of the Scientific Method [SM] is designed so as to minimize the subjective influence. Regardless, it is not necessarily the case that any given subjectivity carries with it a moral element.
    By mentioning morality, I wasn't so much implying subjectivity, as I was pointing out choice of subject and purpose.



    Ah but it is: the behaviour of such an affected theist can have serious effect on the non-theist...
    No, that's not what I mean ...

    If you read something that is pure dogma, do you feel that it messes with your mind? Does it engage you? Do you feel -simply by reading it- called to take a stance on it? Does it perplex you and give you sleepless nights?

  11. #71
    tending tangentially glaucon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    I argued that it is based on a particular kind of morality.
    Right; a morality that has no basis other than that of a revered text.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    Placing an abstractly formulated moral system as the primary locus of faith is demanding even for the educated.
    Exactly, so don't make use of a moral system as a basis...

    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    It is understandable that a more popularly accessible formulation (ie. with stories) is more useful.
    More useful? Not at all.
    More easy to use in coercing minds? Certainly.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    The morality is implied in the choice of subject, in the purpose of studies.
    Science doesn't study just anything; but only things that are deemed important to some people.
    True enough, but there is a distinct difference between election and moral choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    If you read something that is pure dogma, do you feel that it messes with your mind?
    Not at all. I easily see through it.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    Does it engage you? Do you feel -simply by reading it- called to take a stance on it?
    Neither.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    Does it perplex you and give you sleepless nights?

    No and, only insofar as it causes me to worry about the behaviour of those who do fall prey to it.

  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Tht1Gy! View Post
    Atheists, and their "Our Lady of the Scientific Method", refuse to see their position as one of faith!
    Not one dictionary supports "soft atheism" or whatever it called.

    If I propose a position based on the definition of a word, and every dictionary in which I look the word up gives a definition other than mine, and they are ALL consistent with each other, tell me, is it sane or rational to continue to assert that the dictionaries are wrong?

    I looked in five major dictionaries and two encyclopedias, and they all said basically the same thing: Atheism is the belief that there is no god.
    You are atheist for many many Gods and Goddesses and Buddhas etc....

    You and I are probably atheist for all of the millions of millions of Gods, probably all but one last little silly God. As easy as it is for you to lack a belief in all these Gods is as easy as it is for me to lack a belief in any you believe in .


    In general it really doesn't matter, but if you are going to have a debate about the Gods and/or beleif in them it's better to understand atheism is a lack of belief. I'm agnostic atheist for all Gods and Goddesses - as an example.


    Michael

    Note: I said I'm agnostic atheist not an agnostic atheist.

  13. #73
    Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N wesmorris's Avatar
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    The word supernatural for instance, IMO... has no basis for being a word. It's stupid outside a narrow context, and implies something that cannot really be true. Nothing can be apart from nature, yet there's a damned word for it. Oi!

    Why?

    "apparently quite unusual" is really what it means, but it implies that it's possible for something in nature to somehow surpass nature, which it has to be part of to exist in the first place. Bah I'll stop.
    Last edited by wesmorris; 11-05-07 at 03:51 AM.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by snake river rufus View Post
    It is never logical to believe in the supernatural so yes it is a cause for disbelief. And it clearly is not an objective view. Either something is in this reality (natural) or it is outside of this reality (supernatural). If it is in this reality, we should be able to find evidence. As I see it I can either be illogical and believe in something supernatural with out evidence, or I can remain logical and rule out the supernatural.
    One can certainly be rational and logical and believe in things that modern science neither confirms nor rules out. The word supernatural is a poor one because it implies that whatever the phenomenon is it is breaking the rules or somehow beyond all rules. This is not the case.

  15. #75
    until the end of the world greenberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glaucon View Post
    Right; a morality that has no basis other than that of a revered text.
    I don't think so. People can be manipulative, want to subdue the out-group, seek to have strong internal cohesion etc. also without reference to a revered text.
    A revered text can, however, codify those attitudes and people swearing by that text can feel relieved of the responsibility for the creation of their particular morality.


    Placing an abstractly formulated moral system as the primary locus of faith is demanding even for the educated.
    Exactly, so don't make use of a moral system as a basis...
    Not for the so called populum. Personally, though, I think an abstractly formulated moral system is a necessity if one is to make progress toward a chosen goal. Otherwise, there is too much side-tracking.


    It is understandable that a more popularly accessible formulation (ie. with stories) is more useful.
    More useful? Not at all.
    More easy to use in coercing minds? Certainly.
    I have to say that I am enough of an idealist to refuse to think that all religions are apriori negative, oppressive institutions. Many are, of course, but not all.


    True enough, but there is a distinct difference between election and moral choice.
    One can't elect if one doesn't have preferences and values.


    Not at all. I easily see through it.
    ...
    Neither.
    That's what I meant by "a dogmatic system is cognitively harmless, unless one already holds is".
    Pure dogma strikes me as inert; it is statements of justification and explanation that engage the mind, in good and in evil.


    No and, only insofar as it causes me to worry about the behaviour of those who do fall prey to it.
    Agreed.

  16. #76
    Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N wesmorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    I don't think so. People can be manipulative, want to subdue the out-group, seek to have strong internal cohesion etc. also without reference to a revered text.
    A revered text can, however, codify those attitudes and people swearing by that text can feel relieved of the responsibility for the creation of their particular morality.
    I think it's not quite relief of that particular responsibility, but an emotional attachment to the ritual, the vibe, whatever... just whatever "place in the heart" it finds in believers. Certainly for many relief of the responsibilty of creating morals is nice and all, but I'd guess many people just don't have the idea of morals as something they could be responsible for like that. It's just not like that to them, regardless of how logically valid it might be. Why bother when those offered by religion seem to work?

    And if you wanted to pick out one thing that might motivate people to adopt a popular religion, the relief of authoring morals is directly related to the authority they gain for having adopted something that can't be questioned. That's pretty powerful right there.

    I was speaking to a guy the other day who was a christian who basically admitted a very skeptical world-view and noted that "god" was some cool acronym about direction or motivation or something. I really liked whatever he said but the damned thing wouldn't stick in my head.

    He basically said it's just an idea that people can use to guide themselves towards some "good" and they see the stuff in the religion as resulting in good overall. I think many of them just don't bother to question the details because it's unimportant to them. They just care about the result as they see it "I was good". Kind of noble I think, from one angle, and weak on another. Seems like every damned thing has that sort of balanced deal, like that tsun tsu guy was talking about.

    There's really no responsibility to create a morality if you find one already created that makes sense to you. *shrug* I guess I could have just said that without all the clutter. Oi!

    Not for the so called populum. Personally, though, I think an abstractly formulated moral system is a necessity if one is to make progress toward a chosen goal. Otherwise, there is too much side-tracking.
    How could a moral system not be abstractly formulated?

    I have to say that I am enough of an idealist to refuse to think that all religions are apriori negative, oppressive institutions. Many are, of course, but not all.

    I think they all have a dash of it, dependent upon the personalities, etc. Some people just suck (everyone.... sucks, to someone {sing}... and boy do they do all that sucking in different ways!), religion is somewhat incidental (luck of the draw most of the time, cultural and all). What else would our power seeking sub-population do than seek power? The church is a great place to exploit! Captured audiences RULE!


    Pardon for the unnecesary expansions on your responses to G, I just felt like throwing in the two cents.

  17. #77
    until the end of the world greenberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesmorris View Post
    Certainly for many relief of the responsibilty of creating morals is nice and all, but I'd guess many people just don't have the idea of morals as something they could be responsible for like that. It's just not like that to them, regardless of how logically valid it might be. Why bother when those offered by religion seem to work?
    In psychology, there is the theory of stages of moral development. That can help explain a lot about how people go about thinking about their morality.

    Also, related to it is the theory of the stages of faith development.

    (Wikipedia has nice short summaries of that, so it's worth looking at the links.)


    And if you wanted to pick out one thing that might motivate people to adopt a popular religion, the relief of authoring morals is directly related to the authority they gain for having adopted something that can't be questioned. That's pretty powerful right there.
    Absolutely.


    How could a moral system not be abstractly formulated?
    When a moral system is formulated by using stories, like Aesop's fabels.
    The line that is usually at the end of a fable gives a more abstract formulation of the same morality that the main part of the story seeks to convey. But people tend to remember a moral principle far better if there's a story to it that illustrates it.

    But of course it's possible to formulate a moral system abstractly - it's just rather demanding and not easy to remember.

  18. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q) View Post
    Let's remember that it is the CLAIMS OF THEISTS for gods existence which gave rise to atheism, and not just the existence or non-existence of gods.

    Atheism, as a concept unto itself is meaningless without those theists beating their breasts from the sermon mount.
    Exactly, theists seem to forget that they are a subset of humanity who believe in God. Then there's the rest of us. They make the exclusion, but oddly, then aim accusations at us, as having a faith or religion.

    The ring fence themselves with straw men, saying atheists claim there is no God, while denying they themselves are atheists too, and don't believe in the rest of the pantheon.

  19. #79
    Let us not launch the boat ... Tiassa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tht1Gy!

    Atheists, and their "Our Lady of the Scientific Method", refuse to see their position as one of faith!
    Would you call it a point of faith to claim that you exist?

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiassa View Post
    Would you call it a point of faith to claim that you exist?
    Many neurophysiologists, Buddhists and certain philosophers see this as as much an assumption as the belief in a God.

    I don't. But I do notice how athiests tend to believe in certain entities based on faith, but not in others.

    What is this self that continues through time?
    What is it made of?
    Where is the boundary? (is it those dermal layers rising to the surface and flaking off to gather under our mattresses?)

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