A Request Directed to Sciforums' "Atheists"

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Tiassa, Mar 21, 2014.

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  1. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    True, not all atheists are atheists due to a process of rational thought. Still the assertion that there is no God is still rational no matter what other irrational things one might believe.
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  3. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    Why are you even doing this Tiassa? You're not the normal religious nutcase exemplified by, say, jan. So why? Forget your Wheaties this morning? (Technically, several mornings ago, but the point stands)
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  5. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    I've been asking Tiassa wussup but mum's the word. Like you I see a new tack that smacks of a personality change.

    He admitted to being atheist but then distanced himself from it and then said atheists are distancing themselves from it the way non-denominational Christians distance themselves from Christian churches. If not WDS[sup]1[/sup] then what else could possibly cause those kinds of synaptic junctions to form?

    Maybe the ICR[sup]2[/sup] swung a deal with the cereal factory, for testing a new Vitamin R[sup]3[/sup] supplement to the other junk that goes in. Could this not be a case of accidental overdose[sup]4[/sup]?

    1. Wheaties Deficiency Syndrome
    2. don't bother
    3. religiosity
    4. Warning: May cause random interpretations of physical phenomena.
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  7. Balerion Banned Banned

    You guys don't pay much attention to the Politics forum, do ya?
  8. Balerion Banned Banned

    Does it take emotion to see the hypocrisy in the follow two statements coming from the same person:

    "It is only because I am a pacifist that I would not endorse a wholesale slaughter of those who wear the badge."

    "Do something about your pathetic bigotry that hurts everyone and gains nothing but your own satisfaction"


    What is irrational about wanting to see these two statements reconciled? What's irrational about taking a dim view of people who make the former statement before claiming the moral highground with the latter? And it's not as if these points came out of thin air; I was responding directly to your handwringing that your only "sin" was not being hateful enough. I thought the truth of the matter needed to be put on display.

    And you'll dismiss this as emotional? How do you figure? Where is the "hissy-cow" in my post? And you want to talk irrational:

    So, after not having the balls to do so earlier, here you officially endorse the wholesale slaughter of the Seattle PD. Odd, how you get more bold despite lacking the constitution to respond to me directly.

    So you're saying that because there is corruption and improper conduct in the Seattle PD--and, in every police department, if your earlier claim is to be believed--then that warrants the murder of all police?

    But I'm irrational? But we atheists are somehow wrong for making arguments?

    I'd love to hear the "logic" behind the endorsement of the murder of everyone wearing a badge. In case you haven't noticed, police misconduct ain't it.

    I also find it telling that you'd never accept the same rationale from atheists if they sought the slaughter of all religious people--not that anyone is advocating such an action, of course.

    And who is "the rest of ours?" Do you have some sociopathic mice in your pocket?

    I'm aware of the "established context." What I'm curious about is how you think it justifies the actions you endorse, and why the same standard does not apply to the enemies of reason. You're okay with murdering innocents to get to the bad guys, but you call potentially insulting benign religionists in the effort to retard the advances of religious extremism "a scourge." I think something about rationality goes here...

    What does one have to do with the other? Why does some perceived misrepresentation in a different thread give you cause to dismiss the entirety of his post to you in this one? Again, we talk of irrationality. You're bailing. You can't refute his points, so you won't. You'll simply hide from them.

    Try again, Tiassa.

    Well aware of the record, Tiassa. My point, as you know, is that it's an irrational generalization to call the whole of middle America a wasteland based on the actions of a few of its residents. It's precisely this kind of sweeping condemnation that you would call bigotry in another context.

    Not true. Atheists don't seek to eradicate religion. They seek to remove it from places it does not belong.

    Ah, but I'm getting off-track. This isn't about the discussion! This is about you having a go at atheists. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.
  9. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    Wow, déjà vu. Fraggle said the same thing about gun owners. Pacifists are angry creatures, eh?

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    "The most abused word in the language of man is the word 'God'." –Joseph Lewis

    "Who would not sympathize with the victims of fraud? And who would not approve of battling the perpetrators?" –Michel Onfray

    Don't get me wrong, atheism isn't something that we would die or kill for, though.

    A Year Without God

    I've been following this guy. I’m curious as to what the outcome will be.

    Viktor Frankl said that he understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.

    How many people have no love to contemplate? The potential is there but it is squandered on false forms of love.

    "Man's inhumanity to man will continue as long as man loves God more than he loves his fellow man. The love of God means wasted love. In the name of God means in the name of nothing—it has caused man to be a wastrel with the precious elixir of life, because there is no God."—Joseph Lewis

    Do you ever wonder, Tiassa, what the world would be like if all the time, energy, love, and money were not wasted on religion?
  10. Bells Staff Member

    Much less war, probably, and the world would not be what it is today. Nor would the populations be like what it is like today. Then again, the human species is not overly bright, so I am sure we'd find something to fight about regardless.

    Neither would science be what it is today. Or mathematics, psychology, medicine, philosophy..

    Some may have been better off and others worse off..

    I assume what Tiassa is talking about in this thread is a certain level of militant atheism, where anyone who is a theist is instantly dismissed as being unworthy or stupid or simply someone who can be ridiculed and ignored and disregarded. The central basis of this may not be their argument, but their simple belief in their deity of choice.

    By that standard, someone like Isaac Newton would be shouted down on this site (if he existed today), because he was a theist. In fact, a lot of what he wrote was about God.. Yet where would we be today without him? Or Johannes Kepler for example? Imagine the reaction some atheists who post on this forum would have to him when he declared a belief in God? Imagine the reaction from militant atheists to someone like Gregor Mendel, who was a priest and a scientist and basically is known as the father of genetics to this day?

    The fight against religion has become personal. It is no longer a fight against certain religious ideologies but a fight against the person. Where someone is a theist is automatically deemed stupid or an enemy.

    I find the response from many atheists in this thread to be ironic. We are all more than happy to dish out criticisms against theists, but we can't accept any criticisms for our actions based on our lack of beliefs? I include myself in this because I have also behaved in this way.

    I think it was in this thread where I discussed how my youngest is a theist. He believes there is a God. And I think it was Balerion who said it would be disappointing if he still believed in God when he grew up. I didn't respond because to me, as a parent, I would be disappointed if my son did something bad or harmed or hurt someone else. That would be a central basis for disappointment. I would not be disappointed if he still believed in God. Quite simply because I don't care if he believes in a God or not. I'd want him to be true to himself and make his mind up and decide for himself, not have me or anyone else make that determination for him. If he decides to be a theist and believe in God as an adult, I won't be disappointed in him. I won't adore and love him any less. I found that response from Balerion to be sad, that one could be disappointed in a child if they believed in God.. How is that any different to a theist parent being disappointed if their child stopped believing in God? The very thing many of us theists have commented about in the past? How is that imposing less pressure than a theist might impose on their children to believe in a God?

    Just my 2 cents..
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Notes Around

    Then much like I would tell Lindy West of women's humanity, those atheists need to stop making things worse.

    • • •​

    See above. It's the difference between "atheism" being a useful idea or a mere license to dunderheaded bigotry.

    To reiterate a point:

    Look, in the question of whether or not God exists, I'm functionally on the side of atheists. In the question of religious influence in civil law, social attitudes and prejudices, and effects on human communities, I side with the atheists. But I'm not atheistic enough for the atheists because ... why? Because I think atheistic argument can play a constructive role in settling these issues?

    Thank you for demonstrating my point so clearly.

    • • •​

    Some of your vaunted logic? Let's try it this way: What respect do I owe idiocy?

    The reason I didn't answer AI's stupid barb back then is that I see no genuine need to answer such dishonesty.

    On the other hand, you are a perfect example of the problem. Atheism is rational? Great. Too bad I can't say the same of atheists.

    In the end, it's a matter of integrity. The insistence on individualism is just fine, too. There's just zero value in that alleged rationalism. It's as if you're upset at religious people because you want to corner the market on what is acceptable harmful irrationality. The problem doesn't seem to be irrationality, but the fact of a religious label for that irrationality. Get rid of the religious label, and irrationality suddenly seems acceptable.

    And, well, sorry, I have no respect whatsoever for that kind of behavior.

    • • •​

    I don't know, have a rational criticism, or just half-witted appeals to emotion?

    No, really, are you able to address the argument, or is fallacy the best you can manage?

    (1) Not much different if we're just trading one set of irrational justifications for another.

    (2) At any rate, stop making things harder.

    • • •​

    Well, nobody really need assume. You'll notice that despite directing this specifically toward a situation I perceive in our community, many of our neighbors are doing everything they can to make this about some theoretic idea "out there".

    It's one thing to say I share goals with my atheistic neighbors. But it's more accurate to say I share goals with some of them. Trooper makes a fine appeal to emotion, but the species isn't ditching this creative faculty it has evolved anytime soon, so the reality is that we're not replacing religion with anything. Sure, if we live a couple centuries we might see the end of Abramism, but "religion" isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

    So it would seem to me that Trooper's appeal to emotion is just a feelgood fuzzy.

    I just don't see the difference between theistic and atheistic brands of tinfoil; it's a distinction without any functional meaning. Tinfoil is tinfoil, and, yes, one's conduct does count toward others' assessments of their labels. If we see an atheist like, say, Balerion, running around peddling irresponsible, irrational, ignorant excrement, what does it really matter if he's an atheist or not? What difference does it make? Does excrement smell any better simply because one is an atheist?

    Practically speaking, tinfoil is tinfoil. As an example, here's a political cartoon.

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    Jen Sorenson, Daily Kos, April 15, 2014

    Now, I would suggest that this religious-looking, albeit technically atheistic mythology rooted in capitalism is really, really dangeorus.

    But here's the thing: It's not theistic, so ...?

    It's a myth. I'll take Quakers over Capitalists, any day. Logically speaking, some things are a no-brainer.

    The atheistic proposition is functionally meaningless. What gives the proposition that the rational answer says there is no God any useful meaning is in that rational device. But if that rational device stops operating at the boundary of the proposition, with no further consideration of what is rational, it makes no difference whatsoever whether one is theistic or atheistic.

    Rational is rational. Irrational is irrational.

    When we can't tell the difference between the atheist and the theist but for the presence or lack of God in the tinfoil, there's a problem.

    This community is not an affirmative representation of atheism; it is an embarrassment. And that's all on the atheists; they can't blame the theists for this one.

    It's almost like they're feeding themselves. I mean, think of it this way: If they ever accomplished anything, they would have to put some effort into revising and refocusing the complaint. It is more gratifying to accomplish nothing.

    It's a common human behavior, and nothing to inherently be ashamed of. To the other, celebrating that sloth? Yeah, that's kind of silly.

    But it's like I say of Lindy West and feminism; I get her point, but I really do think she's making it harder for women to claim their full humanity in our society.

    And I have this discussion, of sorts, with our atheists every couple years. The present is about on schedule. I guess the point is that it would be nice if all that potential we hear about was something more than mere potential.

    Or we could try to be funny about it. Like my bit about voting for Democrats being my concession to conservatives. Folks like Balerion, Trooper, Aqueous Id, Yazata, and others might as well accuse me of betraying Democrats by joining the Republican Party.

    And so it goes, and they continue to demonstrate the point for me.

    It's one thing to say don't bring a sausage to a knife fight, but sausage dueling is inherently more fun, and am I really so wrong if I don't believe the guy who tells me he's a pacifist while trying to drive through my throat?

    To me, people are people, so a certain degree of irrationality is expected. But when one makes a certain point of self-identifying according to rationality? Okay, that's fine, but those people are setting a higher bar for themselves.

    And as we've seen, some of those really, really don't like being so obliged.
  12. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

    I'm really struggling to understand why atheists should satisfy other people's criteria. We have one thing in common, which is unbelief in any gods, which is based on rational thought. That's it. It's like the groups of people who get together to unseat a dictator: there is one goal and that's it. Look at the aftermath of what's happened in Libya, for example, to see that the groups disagree about many things.

    Balerion and I would probably disagree about some things for example, like who's going to win the Superbowl, but we're still atheists because of that one thing. To suggest that atheists owe anything except trying to achieve the points which I've brought up before, and which many agreed with, is risible.

    Out of all your ramblings, this is about the silliest:

    "If they ever accomplished anything, they would have to put some effort into revising and refocusing the complaint. It is more gratifying to accomplish nothing." Why would it be gratifying to accomplish nothing?!?

    It's very clear what we're trying to achieve, and we're getting somewhere.
  13. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Hatemongering hypocrisy? Wrongdoing? :roflmao:

    Seems you completely ignore the fact that hate speech is to be combated with more speech. Of course, you seem to be under the delusion that speech from atheists is the same hate speech we hear from believers who would tell us what to believe, how to behave and how to live our lives, who tell us we are worthless evil sinners, that we'll roast for an eternity if we don't comply, who constantly state as any dictator or despot would agree, that we are either for them or against them, according to their holy books.

    In other words, let's not stand up to the bullying of believers and let's just let them have their way, perhaps turn our secular societies back into theocracies, reinvent the dark ages, wind up the torture chambers and have another Inquisition. I'm sure Tiassa would be first in line to turn the thumbscrews or brandish a hot iron to poke out our eyes. Or, maybe it will be Tiassa squirming inside an iron maiden recanting his philosophies.

    Really? How many atheists have been banging on your door trying to convert you, T?

    Show me this alleged bigotry, Tiassa? Point it out to us atheists, Tiassa?

    Even though you read here many times atheists admitting they would uphold freedom of religion if religions were kept behind closed doors where they belong, is that the bigotry you refer?

    Thank you for not actually offering a valid response.

    Logic? Is that what you call it?
  14. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    I'm not sure how it could get worse.
  15. Bells Staff Member

    For some yes. For others no.

    But who is the dictator in this instance?

    Why does your neighbour's religious beliefs have to be 'unseated' for example? Is it a political issue where religious beliefs are the basis for infringing on a woman's right to choose for example? Then you take it to the political sphere.

    What I am trying to say is that you cannot beat atheism into someone. It won't work.

    Mass murders and criminal acts? It is not even remotely the same.

    But your journey or decision to be an atheist can be vastly different. Your values and moral center may be vastly different, so what is acceptable to you may not be to him.. Superbowl? Pfft.. How about the death penalty? How about the humanitarian crisis in Sudan or the plight of the Palestinians? See how your atheism works there.. What about the gun debate? Health care? The Rwandan genocide and secular countries who sat on their arses and did nothing? How does your 'we're still atheists because of that one thing' apply here?

    This list?

    An end to the persecution and demonisation of women and minorities.
    An agreement that religion will stay out of public policy making.
    Religionists should not stop the teaching of truth nor encourage the teaching of lies.
    An end to the indoctrination of children.
    Equal treatment for everyone regardless of sex, colour, religion or sexuality.

    Your first point - while great in theory - you have failed to recognise that both occur in theist and secular nations and communities and families. Sexism and racism and mistreating or persecuting minorities is a humanitarian issue, which applies to all human beings, regardless of their religious belief. Because it happens in all spheres and all areas of life. Unless of course you believe that only religious people are pro-life, as one example of issues women face?

    Second point - yep great.. I don't disagree with you. So how do you go about it? Ban anyone who is a theist and who may feel or be influenced by their religious beliefs if they enter the world of politics? That would kind of contradict your last point of equal treatment, wouldn't it?

    Third point.. Ermm okay.. While I agree that evolution, as one example, should be taught in all schools and I am not a supporter in teaching intelligent design or other creationism based science in schools, you cannot dictate what parents teach their children in the private sphere - such as their church's or in their own homes. You'd also have to ban Santa and the Easter Bunny, for example.. Same with the tooth fairy and ban scary stories or story books or fantasy books and stories even being read out in schools or sold as children's books - after all, it is the teaching of lies..

    Fourth point - So you wish to deny parents the right to baptise or bring their children up within their religious communities? Is indoctrinating them into atheism acceptable? What if the child wants to believe in God or any other deity of their choice? How do you force a child to stop believing? Tell them it's stupid to? Because that's healthy parenting, right? So much for equal treatment, huh?

    Last point.. - What a shame so many of the previous points contradict this final point.

    No offense Sorcerer, but these points just look so cliche.. They are just talking points.

    Through abuse and persecution?

    Has it solved anything?

    I'll put it bluntly..

    Stop turning atheism into a religion.

    Because your whole "what we're trying to achieve, and we're getting somewhere" lines are overtly religious.. We're not a movement. Atheists are just atheists, we don't believe in God while others do. Your list? Great.. However not all atheists would support or believe in what you have listed. What then?

    You want to have a great goal? From your own list... "Equal treatment for everyone regardless of sex, colour, religion or sexuality.". Start with yourself first. See how you go.

    Because the way some atheists act here is no different to the pushy Mormons or other so called missionaries who come to my door on weekends.
  16. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Not me. I would accuse you of being a Republican. In the mean time I'm just confused over what appears to be a nod to the Religious Right, which is the main target of atheist feedback, or feedback of any kind originating from opposition to social conservatism. That's the point that you and the other anti-atheists seem to be blurring. I'm just not sure why.
  17. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member


    Religious interference.

    I never said anyone's belief should be unseated. I've said all along that I don't care what people do as long as they don't interfere in public policy.

    I don't want to. I want them to keep out of public policy.

    It was an example of how a group of people can come together for a single purpose but have nothing else in common.

    Those issues have nothing to do with atheism. That's just the point I've been making: everyone has opinions about those issues, but atheists have one thing in common - DISBELIEF IN GOD.

    Of course they're talking points: this is a forum, in case you hadn't noticed. I'm happy to debate those and other points if you wish.

    I haven't abused or persecuted anyone, as far as I know. I haven't been warned by the mods, anyway.

    My bold: what on earth is religious about trying to achieve something?!? Did I mention god or a deity? That's pretty silly, Bells.

    Well, I don't behave that way. To reiterate what I've said before, many times and at length, I don't care what people believe but keep your religious beliefs out of public policy.

    I have to say that the tone of your post is very emotive and not very logical, Bells. Maybe you should calm down a little - and I say that as someone who respects your views normally.
  18. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member


    Marvelous. What proposition would that be and what exactly are atheists turning into something more?

    When, you jump from that non-sequitur to a conclusion of hatemongering bigotry, you should at the very least provide some substance?
  19. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    My mom believed in God an didnt believe in human evolution... an it certanly wasnt anythang to brag about but i didnt love her any less... i jus thout of her as a bit ignorant for such a smart woman.!!!

    Lets see... as far as kids is concerned... what if a child continues into adulthood sharin his beliefs in Santa Clause (incert other mythical bs)... thats nuthin to be disapointed about... no sir... nuthin at all :scratchin:

    Well anyhow... sinse ignorance is bliss... dont be an influence that coud affect you'r childs beliefs in nonsinse... or mods in a discuss forum might thank of you as a militant atheist :wave:
  20. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    I believe you have just made his point. :shrug:
  21. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Of course, it would be selective. Believers share the exact same reality as everyone else, and while their reality has included a variety of invisible demons and gods swirling round their heads in constant battle over good and evil, this does not preclude the fact they too must deal with the reality we all share, hence they do indeed already use reason in their daily lives, lest natural selection has them go the way of the dodo long ago if instead, they prayed to their gods for guidance with every single decision they made.

    What it actually boils down to is the "selective" reasoning spidergoat maybe referring, the one in which the reason they use in their daily lives is conveniently discarded when their religion is forefront.

    And yet, the thought and decision making processes that stirred the creation of this thread is an affront to rational thinking. The Pot calleth the Kettle, me thinks.
  22. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Tiassa appears to be demanding indirectly to know what else atheism 'provides' since, as he perceives it, the militant brand of atheism is attempting to expunge religion or belief from the public sphere. It sounds like an elaborate setup on a variant of the "no morals without God" pseudo-argument: "Okay, no god, so what should replace it?" The atheist counter - which is not nihilism - is that nothing should replace it, that religion is a useless/detrimental/unnecessarily sentimental aspect of society. I believe the atheists on SF are positing that, much like an appendix, once removed there is no great body that should take up the explicit functions of religion in personal life or society. Much as the minor goods of the appendix are taken up in the physical body, the minor goods of religion then are taken up by other aspects of society. Maybe we all start bowling, or something. Whatever. I disagree, but at the same time, even if the atheists on SF are bluntly and directly asserting the absence of God, it cannot be called bigotry as such, any more than a statement of salvation in Islam or Christianity can be called bigotry either. Whether or not atheism is a movement - and it is my belief that, since it shares a common philosophy which is a subject of interest among atheists, it is a movement - it does not follow that it has more or less value, or more or less right for its members to express their views.

    Nor, moreover, does it particularly matter whether they share or do not share views on Superbowl, the death penalty or numerous other subjects; I am regularly assured on SF ot of the plurality of secular and humanitarian belief in major religious systems, so I know full well that such things are trivial matters. In seriousness, however, it is enough that they share that philosophy on the subject of God. Atheism is a philosophy, not a cult.

    I also object to this line from Bells:
    Why are Western nations Christian when failing the test of domestic human rights and secular when failing the test of international human rights?
  23. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I'm not really sure what Tiassa's target is. But I certainly don't have a whole lot of fondness for that style of atheism.

    There's this vision of history popular among a certain kind of atheist that imagines science and reason and all the good stuff in endless conflict with evil obscurantist "religion" throughout the centuries.

    But real life intellectual history oftentimes doesn't look very much like that. Often the people making philosophical and scientific advances were religious people themselves and sometimes they were even religious clerics. The actual interaction between religious, philosophical and scientific thinking was highly complex and is still being unraveled by intellectual historians.

    Just the fact that some people are imagining it as a fight tells us something.

    'Atheism' is defined simply as disbelief in religious deities. But disbelief doesn't start to imply active hostility towards belief in religious deities until a set of additional premises has been introduced. Pretty clearly our atheist fighters aren't just atheists in the minimal disbelief sense, they are atheists plus something more. There's an additional ideological component present in the fighters' belief that not every atheist shares.

    Yes, that's happening too.

    It's kind of ironic how some (certainly not all) atheists imagine themselves as more rational and more intelligent than those they've chosen as their enemies, simply because they repeat slogans that they believe are smarter or more rational. They forget that intelligence and reason are things that people have to actually do. They are cognitive processes that must be performed, they aren't just qualities that people can claim merely because they believe the right things.

    It's a group-solidarity thing, I think. People everywhere seem to love attacking and denouncing 'others', but they don't like it one bit when the groups they identify with come under criticism. We see that very human psychological dynamic repeating itself all over, from racial solidarity to nationalism to partisan politics. Everyone always imagines that they are the 'good guys', on the side of the angels, and that the targets of their wrath totally deserve it.

    I suppose that sometimes it's true and they do, but it's awfully tempting to think that way even when they don't. It can easily give rise to simplistic and stereotypical thinking.
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