Atheist world

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by arauca, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. ericksong Registered Member

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    Atheism yes, with some heathen antidotes.

    The length of this thread belies the fact we are a spiritual species despite ourselves. The problem statement of "what would life be like with atheism?" seems an unlikely premise, even as religion gives us many conflicts and complaints as witnessed above.
    Could we design an antivirus, better than atheism, for this human contradiction?
    I offer an often used older version of a belief system, polytheism, obviously more inclusive and less exclusive, with the improvement that it not be taken so seriously.
    Modern heathenists are sometimes concerned that their belief's are taken too lightly, almost as comic book characters, such as "Thor".
    The Vikings series on history channel has unearthed some popularity, granted temporary, but still relevant, for an antidote to the monotheists angst about the jealous gods and their wars. I don’t dare write their holy names.
    The healing element of this lighter approach is contrasted, in the Vikings series, with the severity of the new christian monotheistic cult, threatening an ancient human polytheistic practice of poetry, beauty, savagery and private emotional depth.
    What is the opportunity of Norse Heathenism, in this pre-Abrahamic approach of gods and goddesses, set in a contemporary world of the enlightenment's scientific mind?
    Could we satisfy our need for a spirit world, without damaging institutions of war: the old wars of the One Gods?

    Without a lighter story, atheism would likely leave an empty spot, begging the return of the old bad habits.

    Story alert: I was on a patio drinking with a french canadian couple recently in Kensington market. Turns out they had been in love for a long while. They didn't want to marry, due to the repressive catholic church they were indoctrinated into, and rebelled against. But still they wanted to celebrate their love with their friends and family. They wanted to proclaim their love to everyone in some gentle way, out of the way of the damning eyes of religious institutions.
    I proposed a Viking wedding, with myth and fairy tale. Everyone has read the "Lord Of the Rings" more than the bible today anyway. Tolkien's book has roots in the Icelandic Poetic Edda, a surviving heathen legacy.
    Some meadow ceremony, possibly with the man arriving on a boat, presided over by a beloved relative, not a "priest", was an idea they took to. Maybe there is a Viking wedding in the making.
     
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  3. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    One consideration that is not talked about, is how atheism could have played a role in historical atrocities attributed to religion.

    As an analogy to make the point, if we assume homosexuality occurs at a given ratio of the population due to genetic probabilities, homosexuals always existed at this ratio, even when taboo by the church in the middle ages. If this was taboo under threat of punishment or death, this does not change the probabilities. All it would do is require one be extra careful not to flaunt this in the taboo environment. But in the privacy of the mind, this part of the person can still exist, since nobody can read your mind and heart.

    The same would be true of atheism. One could maintain a Godless position, in a one company religion town, just as long as one was careful not to let it be known. If one had social ambitions, and wished to be a leader in the community, one's sexual or philosophical orientation would not matter, if nobody was aware of it. If there is only one company in town, and you need a job, you conform to the company and hold your secrets.

    The analogy is a green peace activist getting a job with an oil company. As long as he is not outspoken, but appears to be a company man, he will be accepted and allowed to move up the ladder. This does not change who he is in his private thoughts. But he will need to remain silent of many things until he can achieve the goal of enough power to shift the direction of the company into it being more green. This shift will then make it better for him. However, if he shows his hand to soon, the taboo of the company will filter him out. Atheist selection in the church goes to the ambitious and stealthy.

    Atheist morality is relative, and not by the book of the bible. The atrocities of the church were not by the book, but relative.

    The modern Muslim religion appears to have this underground atheist effect, due to taboos at the threat of death. Any atheist living there, who does not wish to leave his homeland, would need to stay quiet and appear to work within the program. It is better than being harassed or worse. The Muslims that come to America, don't have the same tough taboos, so Muslim atheist can leave, making the remainder more peaceful but the nature of the new average.
     
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    To be fair, it must be noted that not all Muslim-majority countries are medieval theocracies like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. Azerbaijan, for example, is quite tolerant, with Turkey only a bit less so. Albania is an extreme example, highly secular but within the model of Islamic institutions.

    Even Iran reserves its greatest hatred for Sunni Muslims, and does not persecute Christians, Jews or atheists, so long as they don't evangelize. The country even makes sure there are always a couple of Jewish members in the legislature.

    What is a Muslim atheist? Are there also Christian atheists?

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    There actually are Jewish atheists, since Judaism is a religion of laws rather than doctrines. You don't have to believe in God in order to be accepted as a member of the Jewish community, so long as you obey the more important laws and rituals such as observing Passover and Yom Kippur and bringing honor to your family and your "tribe." Well this might not work in the Chassidic community.

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  7. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    This thread started with what could have been an interesting question then degenerated with the 2nd post & went downhill from there. Someone started a thread intended for posting crazy things christians say & a couple theists imagining they are being offended claim the thread should not be & try to derail it yet here is a thread of hardly anything more than theists saying crazy things & atheists responding in vain, like talking to a brick wall. I hope I am not risking breaking the rules here but I have to say : Responding to "How would the world function if every body would be an atheist ?" with "Then they would have to line up religious Americans in the street and shoot them in the head." is just plain utterly frigging unbelievably stupid & there is no damn excuse for it. To be absolutely clear, there would not be any religious Americans to line up & shoot if everyone is atheist. Someone(s) desperately needs to go to kindergarten & learn that you cannot jump black checkers over any red checkers if all the checkers are black.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2014
  8. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    A lot of folks here are making the same errors when attempting to characterize atheism. E.g. atheists love money, atheists never talk about loving, etc, etc. Atheism isn't a belief system with a consistent set of doctrines that all atheists are meant to obey. Atheism isn't a different type of religion with a different set of rules. All attempts to generalize atheism, as if that generalization fits all atheists, will always fail. Atheists are among the worst and best mankind has to offer, from the kindest to the most cruel - you cannot lump them altogether for any particular trait other than - a disbelief in theistic claims - and that is all you can meaningfully say about the group. So most of the above posts that state a rejection of atheism because of a particular trait they have seen is like saying something like "I reject all apples because I found one that was rotten". Any individual atheist is not going to be typical of all atheists.

    I would take the opening question to not mean that suddenly everyone becomes atheist and that a purge of theists must entail, but rather that there is simply a total absence of belief in gods. Given that then lets see what the world would be like.

    The only common theme in every religion is a promise that life in some mysterious form continues after death. How that is achieved and the quality of that afterlife is determined by the various different rules and doctrines that each religion has created for itself. The human survival instinct gives us this powerful hope/expectation that this life cannot end - there must be something more - enter religions with their extremely tempting promises.

    For everyone to be atheist then this ultimate end of existence has to have become universally accepted and that death is not some magical gateway to a Utopian paradise.

    So how would the certainty of our mortality affect the way we live and treat each other?

    And here I will follow my own rule and not generalize about all atheists, so from my personal perspective -

    1. With only a mortal outlook, life becomes extremely precious and priceless, not to be wasted and where health and fitness are paramount.
    2. To survive as long as possible I need to be surrounded by a like minded supportive community who also see life as precious and to be savored, since a violent community risks loss of life and everyone should be able to see that is in no-ones interest.
    3. Wars would be highly unlikely - self preservation would become a paramount concern, few would volunteer or be tempted to participate.
    4. Religious suicide bombers would not exist.

    On morality - this is a set of rules generally accepted by a community as recommended conduct for the safety and benefit of everyone. There is nothing about such rules that require a religious tone. At their heart is a basic rationality which is why we see similar rules across thousands of religions and cultures. If the references to gods and spirituality are removed then the principles remain intact - religion is always a redundant component in moral issues.
     
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    because they
    I agree completely. As an atheist I am offended by the vitriolic diatribe spouted by pretend "good religious people" who have been responsible for more killings in history than all the plagues combined. Speak about the "pot calling the kettle black".

    Shame, shame, shame on those who resort to such arguments from ignorance or worse. How dare you, accusing atheists of not possessing morals, while ISIL, today, is slaughtering tens of thousands of people, not because they are Immoral, but just because they have a different religion or belief. Before you speak of morality, clean up your own back yard, hypocrites!!!!!!!
     
  10. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    From Post #3 by Arauca
    If you knew just a few atheists, you would know that they tend to have a good sense of ethical behavior & do not adhere to the notion that might makes right.
     
  11. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Science is an ideal, atheism isn't. We would not live by that. It's infinitely negative and nihilistic.
     
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Rubbish, predominantly atheist countries have the LOWEST crime rates.

    https://intcoex.wordpress.com/2011/...es-have-lowest-crime-rate-according-to-study/

    The reason is that atheists cannot pray for absolution. "Say 10 Holy Marys and you are absolved of any crime" (go forth and sin some more).
    Oh, of course there is always that very convenient excuse that God commanded the atrocities and as His word is the truth I am not to blame. I followed His commands.
    How long have religious wars been going on now? 6000 years? Did it not start with "and Cain slew his brother Abel"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cain_and_Abel
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm. I don't recall any atheists flying jetliners into buildings yelling "Allahu Akbar!", starting a Crusade to exterminate the heathens, using their lack of faith to justify an Inquisition, or selling indulgences that allow people to rape and steal as long as they pay the bishop his fee.
     
  14. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    .
    That is an ignorant & obviously biased lie.

    .
     
  15. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Atheism is the nil of faith in God.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  16. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Nil is not negative.
     
  17. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Then theism is the nil of reality.

    .
     
  18. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Dude, arauca isn't around anymore.
     
  19. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    But I know about several cases of atheists yelling "Allahu Akbar!" in armed attacks. These things have happened in the Ukrainian civil war, for the simple reasons that it is known that the ukrainian fascists are very afraid of Chechen/Osetin fighters on the novorussian side. And these Chechen/Osetin fighters attack, of course, yelling "Allahu Akbar!". But not only they - some christian/atheist Novorussian fighters have used this too - and openly admitted this in the Novorussian media, making fun of the Ukr-Nazis afraid of this.
     
  20. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Have you ever seen intelligent thoughtful discussion taking place in a Sciforums thread? Sciforums is all about choosing one's "side" on any issue, then insulting those who are perceived as opponents, reducing them to caricatures. Sciforums is a profoundly unfriendly and anti-intellectual place.

    I think that the question of how the world gets from here (religious diversity) to there (atheist homogeneity) is entirely relevant to what that brave new atheist world would look like. And it isn't unreasonable for theists to raise that question (which the thread-starter probably never even thought of) since the thread's premise is imagining their elimination.
     
  21. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I think that the idea there is that for most theists 'God' symbolizes their highest and most exalted values. 'Good' in its ultimate fullness. So from the point of view of these theists, eliminating belief in God eliminates that which human beings should ideally strive for, leaving only inferior earthly values like money and personal advantage.

    I've never really agreed with the idea that atheism is simply absence of belief in 'God' (whatever that means).

    In real life, atheists often seem to share a whole set of beliefs and attitudes associated with this 'God' figure:

    'God' doesn't literally exist. There is no plausible evidence for its existence. Atheists assume that an atheist stance is more intelligent, logical or 'scientific' than any sort of belief in 'God'. Annoyingly, they often imagine that they are personally superior to perceived 'religionists', despite few atheists having any education in philosophy or religious studies. They take a very dim view of 'religion', imagine it as a dark and atavistic force in human history, and think that humanity would be better off if it was somehow eliminated. They often seem to equate 'religion' with monotheistic belief in 'God', monotheism in turn with Christianity, and Christianity with its most extreme Protestant fundamentalist voices.

    Precisely. Which is why I don't think that an entirely atheist world would be any more peaceful or humane than our existing one. Human beings would still be human beings, with all of their flaws.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Then they're not atheists.
     
  23. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    The utility of an idea has little bearing on it's truthfulness. I want people to reject the false, even if the resulting world is worse than before.
     

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