In regards to atheism.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by garbonzo, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. garbonzo Registered Senior Member

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    I think Sir Isaac Newton said it best…and his credentials to say so are beyond question….he said:
    “Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors”
     
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    You have a point to make? Or is this appeal to authority perhaps merely the first of your efforts to troll?
     
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  5. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    I'm still out on whether Newton's piety was all a facade.

    Not wanting to get the ban hammer they got Galileo with.
     
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  7. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Just a thought:

    Those who choose atheism must necessarily choose from ignorance.
    Whereas, one need not be actively choosing by accepting a personal ignorance of knowledge(of god).
     
  8. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Really?
    Exactly what credentials did Newton have with regard to this statement?
     
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  9. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    What would he think now that you can find few professors that aren't atheists?
     
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  10. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Did you know he believed that worship of Christ was a form of idolatry? And that all mainstream branches of Christianity would have considered his beliefs to be heretical?
     
  11. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

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    He also spent about a decade pursuing alchemy. You know, attempting to transmute base metals into gold.

    No one is perfect.
     
  12. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    What's the knowledge of god of which you speak? Give it to me so I won't be ignorant.
     
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Back in Newton's time, the word "atheist" didn't even necessarily mean somebody who didn't believe in God. To not believe in God at all was practically unthinkable. Atheism was more about not following the "right" religion.

    Newton probably never met anybody who called himself an atheist.
     
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  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Irrelevant, especially given the age. It would be a professorship of the wooden stake; as in, being tied to one and invited to a personal barbecue.

    And can't you spell barbecue with a 'q'? Is that just too posh? I've never actually written the word before that I can recall. This spellchecker is some kind of lowbrow.
     
  15. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Did you want that put in a box, wrapped with pretty paper and tied with a big shiny ribbon and bow?
     
  16. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    You can just use regular old human language, if that's not too much to ask.
     
  17. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    الملحد in arabic
    агностыку in belarusian
    अज्ञेयवाद का in hindi
    불가지론 자 in korean

    human languages old 'nuff for you?

     
  18. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    OK, thanks. Now I have the same knowledge as you. Hmmm.... no, I haven't changed my opinion of whether God exists... because having a word for a concept doesn't mean that concept is real. You do get that, right?
     
  19. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    I forgot:
    Did you choose to define yourself as an atheist?
     
  20. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    No, belief is not a choice.
     
  21. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think "ignorance" is the right word. If there is a complete lack of evidence, there's nothing to ignore.

    I don't think "choose" is the right word either. Atheism is the default position when there is no evidence for theism. We don't "choose" to "ignore" something that isn't there.
     
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  22. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    What makes you think that Isaac Newton was qualified to pontificate on the subject of religion? Creative intelligence in the area of mathematics and physics doesn't qualify him to do so. In my opinion, Newton was just another layman regarding the subject of religion, very poorly educated in the subject by today's standards. Along with virtually all Europeans of his time, he knew next to nothing about the age-old religious traditions of India and China, and probably would have sneeringly dismissed them as 'heathenism'. To Newton, religion meant the Christian Bible along with perhaps a grudging acknowledgement of the odious existence of Judaism and Islam.

    Making bold statements is not a sign of intelligence. Producing good justifications for one's statements is. Newton's opinions have no special credibility just because they were Newton's opinions. Their plausibility stands or falls with whatever reasons he might have had for saying what he did.

    In Newton's time, atheism wasn't widely espoused in public. It may have been more common among intellectuals in private. (Something stimulated Newton to denounce it.) It was an age when people being put to death for failure to conform to state religions was still a living memory, so people watched what they said.

    Atheism probably wasn't widespread in the late 17th century even in secret. The prevalent form of intellectual disbelief, which was spreading in Newton's time, was a loosely defined species of free-thinking that we call 'deism'. Deism is characterized by skepticism about revealed theology (things like the Bible and church traditions) but continued acceptance of natural theology (things like first-cause arguments and most notably, the design argument). In Newton's time, the design argument seemed to be obvious and undeniable.

    Newton personally wasn't a deist. In keeping with his puritan roots, he took Biblical revelation very seriously, even though he tended to interpret the bible in unorthodox ways. He privately denied the Christian trinity, for instance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
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  23. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Newton spent most of his time studying alchemy, his math genius was secondary. Not many professors of alchemy around I see. Using his own logic (few professors) we can see that Newton must have been senseless (re Alchemy). Hardly great credentials beyond question.

    The label of atheism is problematic in that even today it is interpreted differently by many groups and has certainly changed in meaning over the centuries. Even on these forums the term is still frequently misunderstood and often results in yet again a refresh of what it perhaps should/does mean.

    I like the more recent emerging attitude towards religion, especially by millennials - when asked their religious beliefs the increasingly frequent answer is - NONE. Some 30% of Americans are now classed as NONEs, and the number is rising. The label of atheism is now more often seen as an activist position opposing religion, whereas NONE implies indifference to religion or simply that religion has no importance. And the label of agnosticism is also seen as more like a position of indecision, a sitting on the fence having considered the issues but cannot decide - a position that NONEs do not adhere.

    This week a church group in the US, including the parents, beat a boy to death as part of a process for him to admit his sins. And many terrorists around the world profoundly profess religion as their guide as they kill innocent people - these actions are clearly so senseless and odious to mankind, AND such actions have many professors. Atheism in contrast appears more like the innocent victim.
     

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