Should atheism be recognised?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by S.A.M., Mar 9, 2009.

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Should atheism be recognised?

  1. Yes, I want to be recognised for the stuff I don't believe in

    4 vote(s)
    44.4%
  2. No, its stupid to have a category for NOT believing in something

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Got better things to think about

    5 vote(s)
    55.6%
  4. My opinion, which is better than yours, is given in a post below

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    You mean like Sam likes to bitch and moan about non religion and non religious programs? (this thread is living proof)
     
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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    It all seems very antagonistic. If the aim is to recover from alcoholism the traditional way was to take them to a priest. This simply evolved into a rehab program.

    If atheists want an alternative, just start one!

    Not for me.

    If I blow a dog whistle, is there a sound?

    Not to me.
     
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  5. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    Welcome to the world of humans, SAM. I'm glad you've finally decided to join us in that wonderful world of conflict and antagonism. Please feel free to express your own antagonism and arrogance and self-righteousness.

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    There already are thousands of them, perhaps millions, hell, perhaps even billions of alternatives.

    Baron Max
     
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  7. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    4,888
    Ah, yes! A perfect reply! You can now see the difference between ontology and epistemology.

    In your (personal) ontology there is no "sound of a dog whistle". This is an ontological position.

    But the question "can a dog whistle make a sound?" is undeniably answerable. (It cannot produce a sound that humans can hear, but one that dogs can hear.) This is fully testable, provable and (in a 100% un-fuzzy way) definable! This is epistemology!
     
  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    72,825
    I consider sound as something I can hear. Not what dogs or wasps can hear. Thats ultrasound.
     
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    37,343
    This and that

    I think that's beside the point, m'lady. Can you—or would you—force someone to convert to another religion? The court sentenced the guy to attend a program. He did. He objected to its overt religious content as a device of the state. In retaliation, his probation officer denigrated him instead of addressing the issue.

    This is the United States, S.A.M. You can't do that to people.

    I think it's interesting that this point arises only after atheism gained strength. When atheists were marginalized and represented by whack-jobs like the Murray-O'Hair family, it was easy enough to write them off as loud-mouthed paranoiacs. But now, as the atheism that began its rise with Diderot and others sees that it, also, can have a place in the world, they're asked to what, stop fighting against discrimination?

    Let's take the First Amendment as an example. One group insists on supremacy. The other points to the First and claims equality. Okay, so that doesn't do any good. They should compromise. So the one group, what, gets a little bit of supremacy?

    How about evolution? One group insists that the scientific method either be redefined to validate untestable assertions, or else dumped altogether. The other sees no reason to denigrate the scientific method for the sake of what cannot be tested under any circumstances. Okay, so that doesn't do any good. They should compromise. So that means, what, some untestable assertions can be accepted as valid science?

    Or civil rights? One group insists that allowing another group to have civil rights is a violation of their own rights. The other group makes the point that the civil rights in question would have no documentable or functional detrimental effect on the one. Okay, so that doesn't do any good. They should compromise. Which means, what, the other group doesn't get civil rights?

    Finding alternatives that work depends on the parties being willing to do so. Here's the problem with that: The one group believes that nothing more than eternity is at stake. The other group just wants to get on with their lives. But that doesn't work, does it? So they should compromise, right? Which means the only way to work together is to give the one group what it demands, which, in turn, history already shows quite clearly does not work.

    You wrote earlier that to you, "It's all one God". So let's turn your topic question on that point. It's all the same thing. Why do all these sects need to be recognized? Why have a separate category for Muslims, for instance? After all, they're Jews.

    • • •​

    Not for a while, thankfully. But it started before I was born. I'm not unique in that context, but neither are people in my position common.

    To the other, I've never been sentenced by a court to attend an AA program.

    Even the Jesuits weren't so zealous. And, hell, I was at their damn school.

    Well, let's see ... there's the zealots who wanted to compel the state of Oregon to ostracize homosexuals and rewrite the curricula of all public schools; they didn't bother to put any real limits in the language of their ballot measure, so if it passed, the state would have been forced to rewrite its medical school guidelines to conform to Christian standards. I like to make that point because it's more dramatic. For some reason, many people don't think teaching religious-based hatred to children is a bad thing.

    And there was a scandal a couple years ago when it was revealed that the Air Force was evangelizing conservative Christianity and harassing those who did not fall in line.

    I live in Washington state, so it's been a while, I think, since anyone tried to pass an anti-abortion law.

    Until 1997 at least, courts could force people convicted of drug and alcohol offenses to convert to Christianity (see AA discussion in prior posts).

    Oh, and though it's not force, evangelists in western Washington state are trolling middle schools and, literally, trying to pick up children in their cars. Really. You know. What's your phone number? Can I text you? Don't tell your parents. Hop in my car. Truly priceless. Rather quite desperate. And also more than a bit dangerous.

    As an American, it's easy enough to ask that the First Amendment be respected. Would you join S.A.M. in disagreeing?

    The fundamental question is one of respect. If more religious people were genuinely respectful of their neighbors, S.A.M. would have a point that the anti-identification more broadly known as atheism would be a useless assertion.

    Book bannings, music censorship, the slow progress of what you can say and do on television. These issues all, in American society, find their root in aggressive Christianity. It's not enough to turn off the TV, not buy an album, or read something else. No. These people want to prevent everyone from seeing the program, hearing the music, or reading the story.
     
  10. Tyler Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,888
    Sorry, I assumed we were just going by the same definition of 'sound' as in the tree example.

    If we maintain the same definition of the word, then we can see how you're wrong about the tree falling in the forest.

    1) If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it produce sound waves which fall within the common limits of human hearing?

    Consistent with:

    2) If a dog whistle blows, does it produce sound waves which fall within the common limits of human beings?

    Obviously the first one is answered "yes", whereas the second one is "no".
     
  11. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    72,825
    Are sound waves = sound?

    Does a sound wave on planet Pluto translate to sound?

    Can we hear the sun singing? Apparently it does.

    Sound waves are to me separate from the phenomena of perception that I categorise as "I heard"

    So trees many be falling around me in the world. But I did not hear them. So there is no sound.

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  12. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    4,888
    No, there is no sound that "Sam heard." You said so yourself. That is the Set Of All Things Sam Heard.

    Which is not equal to The Set Of All Sounds.

    Notice, also, that the language of your first statement also reflects my position.

    I consider sound as something I can hear.

    You - naturally - chose the modal verb "can" to express the meaning of "hear". Sound is something you (modal verb) can hear. Not something you did hear.
     
  13. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    72,825
    Let me give you another example.

    Two people see a car, one hears the sound and thinks its a Buick and the other thinks its a Chevy Corvette.

    Who is right?
     
  14. Tyler Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,888
    I can't answer that question (espitemology), but there is an answer (ontology).

    That I believe there is an answer (that is, that if your statement is true, there is some correct answer to that question) is due to a somewhat realist ontology I have. That is to say, I would (in a very general sense) agree with the realists.

    Though, in all honesty, I am a total skeptic deep down. I've never seen a convincing argument that I can trust my senses in any way whatsoever. There is no good answer to "how do I know this isn't all a dream?" I just think that it's necessary to investigate the realist side of matters. The skeptic argument line stops there, goes nowhere else and presents no other insights. In that sense, seeing as I have decades more worth of thinking to do, it's at least worth it to give the realists their one benefit of the doubt and see what it leads to.
     
  15. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    72,825
    Thats a very good response. But I hope you can understand my POV when I responded with "there is no sound". Its because what other people consider as sound may not be what I consider as sound. While not a total subjectivist and having less than 100% confidence in my own perceptual limitations [ I am sure the keys were here!!??], there is really no better alternative. Other than having three other people with you to confirm that indeed a tree did fall down and yes there was a sound and hoping that those three people are not a hallucination.

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  16. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    4,888
    That would be a partial skeptic, and also a position that has been put forward before. But it still helps to highlight the difference between your epistemology and ontology. Epistemology would be the collection of things you consider answerable (again, note the modal verb; this means all questions which can be answered yes or no): Ontology would be the collection of all those things posited to exist, deemed 'answerable' and answered as 'yes'.

    I disagree with this position and think that admitting senses work leads unavoidably to the conclusion that the material world does, in some sense, exist.

    If you're just defining sound as "things that Sam, or some trustable person, has heard" then you're right that both are answered as "no", but then the questions become quite boring. It's also not the way we use the word "sound" in day-to-day life.
     
  17. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    72,825
    Isn't it? Do you consider anything heard by someone else as equal to that which is heard by you?
     
  18. Tyler Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,888
    Yes, I would still call them both sounds in daily speech.

    Example:
    Tyler: Hello John.
    John: Oh man, I just heard the scariest sound.
    Tyler: What kind of sound was it?

    Another:
    Sarah: I just heard an alien speak!
    Tyler: No way! What did it sound like?
     
  19. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,624
    Who cares. They both heard the sound, didn't they?

    We can't see light waves either. Does that mean we're in the freakin dark?

    Sam, why must you continue to play stupid?
     
  20. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    72,825
    I was thinking more along the lines of:

    Sarah: I asked you to get milk and eggs

    Tyler: I'm sure you said milk and bread.
     
  21. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    4,888
    Right, Tyler says he remembers something different. Not that the sound Sarah made never existed because he didn't hear it.
     
  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    72,825
    Yeah, but its not the same sound, or rather its perceived differently.

    Which is why someone elses hearsay is not my sound.
     
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    Native speakers of English do not mean "what I hear, and nothing else" by the word "sound".
    No. Or for Muslims. Relevance?

    The question of why there are problems between atheists and theists in the US in the first place might be worth looking into, eh?

    Meanwhile, we are dealing with your mystification at why atheists are a category of person in the US and other countries - such as Islamic theocracies.

    And if Tiassa's completely straightforward explication somehow puzzles you, your own example of astrology disbelievers is available - in a culture that attaches societal privilege (including coercion of others) to belief in astrological theism (there have been several such), and punishes disbelief in various ways, the category of such disbelievers has a name. It would translate to something like "atheist". So you can easily see how - and when - such category names come about.

    Or as the proverb puts it: "If you ever forget you are a Jew, some goy will remind you".
    Whether they believed or not?

    The traditional ways did not work, btw. That's why AA became famous - it worked for some alchoholics.
     

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