Theism vs. Atheism

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by SolusCado, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. birch Valued Senior Member

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    yes, fundamental religions view all other religions or philosophies as faulty or the wrong path. i'm not trying to be argumentative but maybe you are simultaneously trying to defend these religions but present them with a new or different value system. it seems you are hesitant of distinguishing what you believe vs what other religionists believe, whatever sect or religion that is. you just mentioned ostrich-christians but obviously it's more than that.

    it seems your values regarding fundamental religions are differ from what you supposedly represent. unless this is a new sect of fundamental religions that i'm unaware of.
     
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  3. SolusCado Registered Senior Member

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    I think the issue here is that I don't consider belief in others to be wrong to be intolerant of others. I believe what I believe, and yes - I believe many other people are wrong. I also recognize their right to have their wrong beliefs, AND I recognize that my beliefs are (like any belief) NOT based on evidence or proof - as are everyone else's - and so I have no right to diminish or discriminate against their beliefs simply because they differ from mine.

    I do recognize that such tolerance is not found in all believers of all religions, and that the percentage of those who do reflect such tolerance probably differs based on the religion, but my entire post has been about the "most educated" in each of the various religions + atheism, not in the majorities.

    Oh, and I'm not hesitant about discussing my own beliefs vs. others - there just hasn't been any specific belief that is relevant to this conversation.
     
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    Just to make it complicated ....

    I don't mean this as a condescending question: How old are you?

    The reason I ask is because I look back on the period of my life and recall the contemptuous manner in which many Christians have long treated other people. Whether it is forced acculturation, paradoxical arguments that one's religious freedom is violated because another's is respected, or even the damnable argument that young people need to be shielded from rock and roll or fiction literature because they are too stupid to know what they are hearing or reading, many people have come to perceive this influential, even dominant strain of Christianity as patronizing, dishonest, petty, and, ultimately, ignorant.

    It's a perception. It might be true or false; perhaps it's a matter of degrees. But the atheists, nihilists, magickers, witches, and even Satanists I knew in my youth all seemed to agree on this image. Most of that dabbling, exploration, and so on came about, in my corner of the Universe, at least, as an anti-identification, an attempt to create, recognize, or reinforce separation between the self and the Christian body politic. Censorship, sexual prudery, science: the resposne of the vocal faithful was always a trite quote from the Bible, or some seemingly insane, faith-based assertion. And, yes, here we see the seeds of at least two of the components of the phenomenon you refer to.

    For some, it was a matter of trying to speak the language. Take the debate about homosexuality, for instance: the Christian voice calls down the Old Testament Jehovah, and appeals to the Pauline evangelism—Christ himself is absent from their rhetoric. Or anti-abortion rhetoric: actually looking up the bits from Jeremiah and the Psalms that assert life at conception is enlightening, as these phrases speak instead to God's timeless knowledge.

    For others, it was part of their university experience, learning more about history than not only their high school textbooks taught, but also their parents and preachers and Bible camp counselors.

    In either case, the journey often leads to academic examinations of doctrine and faith. Why are there only four Gospels? Quite literally, it is because there are four compass points; sure, we might think Bishop Irenaeus of Lyon (d. 202 CE) silly and superstitious by modern standards, but he was influential in the persecution of Gnostics, and such logic was good enough for those who canonized the New Testament. Many people know that genuine literalism is impossible with the Bible; the search for context also leads people to greater understanding of the dimensions and mechanisms of Christian faith. This is part of the reason many infidels seem to know more about Christianity than the faithful.

    But at the same time, people are people. Among the things I disdain about the atheist movement of late are that it is intellectually lazy and resists genuine communication. It is almost a fundamentalist inversion of faith.

    It is certainly easier to simply match the dimwitted voices of Christian faith than to transcend them. And in an habitual context, this leads to a circumstance whereby one group of people lets another set the terms of debate. This can often lead to seemingly paradoxical outcomes, and such is the case here. To wit: these fundamentalist yahoos are moronic hypocrites. Okay, so ... why let them exemplify what Christian faith actually is? If they're idiots, then why do we presume they are good representatives of "religion"?

    Well, because it's easier. The modern voice of atheism is still an anti-identification; it identifies itself against something instead of according to its own dimensions. And, accordingly, it is easier to create, recognize, or reinforce separation by simply matching the ignorant than it is to advance any affirmative understanding. Certainly, there are still lessons that Christian faith can teach us, but so—to use a fairly sharp example—are there things that Steven Brust's fictional Hungarian assassin living in a world of sorcerous elves can teach us, too. True, the Taltos cycle isn't high literature, while the Bible can be viewed in that context, but the point still holds.

    If the faithful are all ignorant hatemongers, there is no point in understanding any "real" Christianity. It's just easier.

    And this is no conspiracy of hate; rather, it's just a sad human outcome.

    A question that I sometimes put before atheists: If you were to witness the conversion of a Christian away from faith, what moral structures could you advise him toward in order to fill the void where God once existed? After all, to turn one's back on God is to forsake the linchpin of a moral configuration. How does one replace that structure? How does one define moral priorities, or arrange moral components? What is the foundation for understanding the difference between right and wrong, once God's say-so is no longer valid?

    One would think the question would be easy enough to recognize. True, it's a tough one to answer. But I've encountered surprising resistance from my atheistic neighbors to even acknowledging the question. It's almost as if their response to, "Because God says so," is, "Because I say so."

    Well, yeah, but why?

    I could spell out a canon of my own: Albert Camus, Clive Barker, Jack Cady, Steven Brust, Shel Silverstein, G. B. Trudeau, Captain Avatar, Yoda, Roger Waters ... musicians, actors, authors, painters, characters, philosophers .... There are certain things that work for me, that I can find in other people's expression that somehow reflects true in the reality of my experience. But explaining how all of these components fit together is a bit tougher than saying simply, "Because God says so," or, "Because I say so."

    There's a disaster movie, for instance, called Deep Impact. It's terrible. An abomination. One of the biggest wastes of money this side of Jim Carrey or Kevin Costner. But I remember coming out of that film dazzled by the fact that the writers, knowing exactly what kind of shit-heap they were building, played an amazing trick: the characters behaved altruistically, and with integrity, something that is too often sacrificed in favor of eye candy and pop appeal. Like the scene when the boy hero decides to go back for his girlfriend and her family. The parents at first protest, and he stands his ground. Then the father, recognizing that this is exactly what he taught his child about right and wrong, takes off his watch and says something like, "You'll need something to trade along the way." And then the kid goes off with his father's blessing. It's a small thing, but when you don't have some pabulum scheme like so many fundamentalists reduce Christianity to, you take what you can get; you find symbols and reminders along the way.

    And, yes, over time I've encountered striking resistance from atheists to the idea that they might identify the components of their belief in right and wrong.

    But why is it important? Because right and wrong is at the heart of human neurosis. It is the central conflict of our reason for living. And when someone abandons the absolute centerpiece of their moral structure, it leaves a huge gap. And it's not so much that for those who might come away from the "wrong" way of looking at things the atheists have nothing to offer; it's more that the atheists seem to want to refuse to offer anything useful.

    Or else many of them grab hold of some non-theistic icon—Nietzsche, for instance—and canonize and deify it with much the same simplicity as those they might criticize.

    It's a human characteristic, a frailty, this intellectual sloth. Atheists are not immune to it. At its heart, though, Christian faith seeks to transcend the frailties of the human condition. But atheists, in a neurotic outcome verging on the sardonic, come to rely on it much as they see the fundamentalist morons they so despise yet trust to represent the true nature of faith leaning on God as a crutch.

    I think what you're seeing is the sloth of those who feel comfortable believing they're right, who can't or won't be troubled to understand why they're right.

    And, yes, it's partially a product of the dimensions of the debate, but it's also a surrender to those constraints.
     
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  7. birch Valued Senior Member

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    you made it clear where you stand now and where you are coming from but that's quite different from the appearance of representing a religion in a broad context or everyone under it. you also can't fault atheists when they argue points with those that they disagree with or are religious bigots themselves. sure, everyone can believe what they want but in reality, people's assertions have to have some type of argument to back it up unless it's revealed to those that agree with them. it can't be just 'okay, believe what you want', then their is no point to discourse.
     
  8. birch Valued Senior Member

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    i'm sure there are atheists that are empty or have no moral compass but so exist theists which are empty or have no moral compass or a corrupt one as anyone can have. but it's a common fallacy, especially assumed by theists, that one has to adhere to religion to have conceptual meaning regarding life or to learn morals.

    religion is one source but not all. one can have their own personal identity and still share many values in common with others without religion or belief in god.

    love, pain, personal values, and life itself is so multi-faceted that mostly you get it from just living and interacting. thinking, pondering and questioning even if they are never answered and that's okay. you choose based on your unique self as well as from your experiences. many pick up and absorb many ideas or values throughout life and even come up with their own. you discard the ones you disagree with and accept the ones you do.

    i would argue that indoctrinating yourself in one cult or belief avoiding all others is just as empty for some. religion has it's place as a source of knowledge but it's only one aspect. it's when it thinks it's everything, that it becomes limiting. similarly, atheists that don't understand the inherent human or life revelations in religious teachings (despite all the possible harm, erroneous and trash among it) are also blind. for me, religion made me feel empty and disingenous as well as unfulfilling whereas for another it might be what they find solace in.

    we consider it and discern what is real to us or what we can learn from it as with any book or any human relevation or knowledge passed down, hopefully wise enough to keep thinking and progressing and not just accepting everything because someone said so. no one is perfect.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  9. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

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    i think some, not all, atheists react this way because they are offended by religion and are acting defensively. offended by their own fear or insecurities, or perhaps the ostrich behavior and worse from religious people.

    imo, they're not seeing the forrest through the trees, and demonstrating that with their behavior just like the religious people who can't see. religion is like anything else in the world...it's good, and it's bad. why? because people are good and they're bad. they should recognize that from living in their own skin.

    but they're not looking for the good. they've already decided it's nothing but an argument. i think some atheists are ostriches too.
     
  10. birch Valued Senior Member

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    5,077
    the major problem with theism is it doesn't know it's place as it's always pushing to legitimize it's views as facts rather than a faith. it really doesn't need to do that anyways and just remain in the religion or philosophical sphere of possibilities. there is no shame in that.

    that's why religion has to constantly be put in check as well as those who push it.
     
  11. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    It's more than just "seem:" the Pew Research Institute has statistically quantified the fact the atheists, agnostics and - it turns out - Jews and Mormons are much more knowledgeable about religion than most believers:

    http://pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-and-Practices/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx

    Note that the atheists really stand out on knowledge of world religions (and Christians tend to really suck at that part).

    I'm actually nearing the point where I'm going to consider anyone who self-identifies as "atheist" to be a fundamentalist.

    It's still authority, by necessity. One of the main draws of organized religion (and main drivers of free-thinkers away from it) is exactly that members aren't required, or even expected, to actually work anything like this out. You just trust that the organization has experts who've rapped with God and ironed out all of the important stuff, whom you can consult if needed. Which neatly explains why Christians know less about religion in general - and even, Christianity in particular - than non-believers. We're talking about people whose relationship to morality leans heavily on authority, and there's never going to be a non-authoritarian answer that satisfies them, quite simply because there are no real answers to these questions (let alone, easy ones). The entire function of organized religion is the manufacture of easy answers to cater to this need.

    See above. If a person is even in a position where they require some kind of ultimate "answer" to ground their morality on to begin with, then religion is the place for them. The response has to be an attack on the premise that moral systems must rest on some absolute, knowable foundation. If a person can't deal with the brutal facts that morality is a castle in the air, and human life ultimately meaningless in the larger scheme of the universe, then there's little hope of "converting" them. The whole point of organized religion is to cater to such people's requirements.

    Well of course. Anything "useful" as an "absolute centerpiece" of morality would necessarily be a religious belief. The only response is that the need in question is an artifact of religious upbringing or disposition, and that the only way to fulfill it is necessarily religious belief. So all you can really tell people is that the need is an illusion, and that they should reject it. And, no, that does not generally get you anywhere. Organized religion would not be the default state of humanity through all of recorded history if it did.

    Although I can't really fault atheists for being bad at proselytizing. Presumably they'd be religious if that was their bag, no?

    Exactly. You try to plug a religion-shaped hole, you end up with a religion-shaped plug. See also: Ayn Rand.
     
  12. birch Valued Senior Member

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    i don't think that morality is imaginary. i think it's organic and understood and practiced by not only humans but animals to some extent. simply, morality is borne from valuing our lives and survival as well as other lifeforms with the same needs. all other rules, subtle or overt, are naturally evolved from interacting with our environment and those in it.

    this is where i disagree with religious pretense and that morality is some edict handed down by some "god" when it's something that is understood by people in general in their lives and dealings with others. it was organized into a religious construct but i think it's just a revelation of awareness.
     
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    This and That

    To the one, I don't dispute that. To the other, though, I wouldn't know it according to Sciforums. Which, of course, leads to your next point:

    I don't really have any direct comment to that, although one thing that strikes me is the concept of "the marketplace of ideas": in a market, merchants compete to sell their goods. Perhaps the phenomenon Solus Cado refers to is a reflection of how the "salesmen" (atheists) view the "consumers" (people in general).

    Yet in my experience, by comparison, many atheists resent being asked to "show their work" in the sense of explaining how they worked it out. It's one of the reasons I prefer fiction literature in these case; buried in the stories are the patterns and formulae the artists live according to. For instance, no, I don't think Steven Brust is an assassin, but knowing he's a Trotskyist sympathizer tells me much about how his characters approach moral conflicts. Some who aren't aware of that aspect of his life might find the terminology and dimensions of these conflicts confusing. But it is no surprise that the superficial expression comes in the form of a war story in which his character has reason to travel and fight with an army at the same time that he's reading Civil War journals and letters; the themes of morality and propriety don't change, but the setting does. Nor is it surprising that, at the time he moved to Las Vegas, he finally decided to bring gambling strategy into the dialogue; it told us some about how his character looks at people, but was also the most direct discussion he'd engaged at the time about that aspect of the life of his fictional organized crime boss whose businesses included brothels and game rooms. It's not just that we get the assertions of principle, but some explanation of how they come about.

    I wouldn't contest this perspective, but one thing I find curious is that, given the original inquiry of this thread, the discussion degraded, somewhat quickly, into a reiteration of the standard "atheist talking points" about what's wrong with religion. In a way, the general discussion proves a certain point. For all the knowledge and enlightenment the atheists have, there is still a very basic hostility not only toward religion, but toward the very ideas of explanation and objectivity that atheists often celebrate.

    I would counter that there is, possibly, an objective purpose or meaning of life that would render morality according to identifiable terms—e.g., we don't just say murder is wrong because God says so, but because there is an benefit defined in our evolution that proscribes the arbitrary killing of one another. That we are unable to perceive or calculate that outcome does not necessarily mean it does not exist; the Universe did not suddenly fall into order the day Einstein figured out relativity.

    I disagree with the "has to be" of the statement. Where religionists go wrong is when they take myth as reality. It's kind of like the idea that we don't stop learning until we're dead. Even today, the Bible can still offer us philosophical insight we might find valuable; the question is whether we view it in a fixed or dynamic context. Sure, Jesus appears to have cheaped out in Mark 3, but that's hardly the end of the consideration. A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand? In what ways is it a true or false assertion? And do we assign any given resolution of truth or falsehood to be a fixed boundary? Just because the faithful don't make such considerations doesn't mean there isn't value in anyone else thinking about the proposition.

    The problem in such a context is that people allow those they disagree with to be a convenient authority. Allow me to exclude any number of good people I know who happen to believe in God and focus on the televangelists and other morons for a moment: They're fucking morons. Period. For what reason would I possibly accept that these morons represent the religion or its foundation? Of course their particular brand of faith is bullshit, but is that bullshit the exclusive definition of what the faith is or brings?

    No, it's not. So why would these rational, objective atheists allow the morons to define the argument? If they're fucking morons, it seems to me we can reasonably presuppose they're going to calculate the boundaries of the argument incorrectly.

    In the context of Solus Cado's inquiry, this is part of the reason the atheists he refers to seem so haughty. For all the rational, objective potential a perspective without God can achieve, there is no guarantee that it will actually attain such heights.

    Statistically, sure, atheists have a higher concentration of education, and that certainly speaks to their intelligence. But I've known PhDs who were idiots, and brilliant alpha geeks who can calculate and comprehend incredibly intricate electronic matrices but have no social skills whatsoever. In other words, yes, atheists are statistically more educated and often seem more intelligent, but that doesn't preclude them from being stupid at the same time.

    The attack against the premise of absolute morality is reasonable, but it isn't absolute in itself. If you or I are smarter than the next guy, does that mean we know everything in the Universe?

    It depends on how you define the conversion. For Darwin, the final nail was the death of his daughter. Psychologically, one might suggest that's not the time to be radically revising one's outlook on the Universe.

    And anything "useful" as a "Twinkie" would be junk food; that doesn't mean there aren't apples and carrots to eat.

    The absolute centerpiece does not need to be replaced with another absolute centerpiece any more than a cheese puff needs to be replaced with a cheese curl. Indeed, I've concluded that cheese-flavored Frito-Lay "Puffcorn" is nothing more than someone's brilliant recognition that, since the puffy Chee-Tos eventually go stale, and people still eat them, why not sell something that tastes and feels like a stale cheese puff in the first place?

    Doing so does not fill the void. In rejecting the need for an absolute centerpiece, one does not need to reject what that centerpiece represents. It is an expression of an organizational system. If we view a bullet as just a bullet, that's what it is. But we view bullets as something more; their symbolic value lies in their purpose, which is why it's so uncomfortable to have a loaded gun pointed at us. If God is just God, that's all God is. But God is also a symbol of the organizational system by which some people classify right and wrong. Weaning them from an absolutist view is one thing, but that does not satisfy the human need to classify right and wrong. So the question becomes what one builds in the empty space.

    Depends on how you define religious. See, I honestly do believe that part of it is that these vocal atheists aim after soft targets. Part of the reason for having the fight is to fulfill a psychological need, to satisfy a demand for identity. Undertaking the dialectic of neurosis is its own challenge; people don't like to do that, anyway, about anything. But in the case of religion? Religion is, to be certain, many or even most of the things atheists denounce it to be. But it is also among the largest artistic expressions of human nature ever devised. And it is also among the most confounding neurotic dysfunctions ever encountered. Suffice to say, religion has more than one face. It operates on more than one valence. It has different values according to circumstance and perspective.

    One of the reasons atheists are poor evangelists is that they are imitating the patterns of the soft targets they obsess on. If they undertook harder targets, their arguments would be likewise more complex.

    Surely you're not suggesting that morality is the sole province of religion. If the hole is purely religion-shaped, that is only because we require it to be. In terms of basic human function, religion is shaped according to the need that creates it. Thus, a religion-shaped hole is also shaped like the fundamental need religion attends.

    What I have described to Solus Cado is simply a strange insistence of some atheists to stop at the shape of religion, without looking beyond that to understand the need it attends.

    But perhaps that comes back to a matter of identification and the question of fundamentalism.

    • • •​

    Indeed.

    If the question was, "How do you calculate right and wrong?" the faithful would point to God. But it's really, really hard to get an atheist to explain how he or she calculates right and wrong. I, too, disdain the presumption that there is no morality without God, but there is a reason we shouldn't have sex with our children. There is a reason we shouldn't murder one another. There is a reason we shouldn't lie to one another. And those resons go beyond being simply about ourselves as individuals. Without some anchor, one risks nihilism. I mean, sure, one might knock up his daughter, or wreck her psyche and ability to function in the world, but who cares? What, really, does it matter? Still, though, most atheists guard against that sort of nihilism. And therein lies the question: How? What are the components of that shield?

    And for some reason, at least among the atheists I've known in life and the virtual world, it's a question they seem to resent.

    It's not that I expect it to be a simple answer; that's what God is for. And it certainly hasn't been a simple answer in my own life. Nor is it easy to identify the answer or its components, but I don't resent the question. Rather, I'm quite fascinated by it. Many people claim to want to know "what makes people tick", but after a while, it's just too much of an effort for them to care. God is not a prerequisite of cookie-cutter principles or presupposed answers. The presence or lack of a supernatural element remains a superficial consideration. What, then, makes an atheistic moral scheme any different than its theistic counterpart?
     
  14. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    But I do, and I think many people are like that.

    Considering someone's beliefs to be wrong (esp. if you tell them that directly) is intolerant.
     
  15. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    "Theism doesn't know its place"?

    According to whom? Atheists?
     
  16. birch Valued Senior Member

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    no, in real life and not in discussions like this on a board. especially those who would plug bible based theories as facts of life.

    this is not condenscension as perceived by theists. atheism is a nonissue really. atheism just deals with what can be perceived and nuts and bolt facts. just like a car manual describes everything you need to know about your car and how it works. god is irrevelant in that context. religious interpretation as well as any known philosophical tangents that exist as well as personal and original ones have their own place. to not realize that only confuses the issue. what is so wrong or humiliating about being recognized as a philosophy or religion but not as a fact? it adds another dimension to our lives and allows us to dream and ponder what we can't answer or know yet as well as acknowledges the emotional or spiritual aspects of our existence. is that not enough? is it okay to be fraudulent and pretend to be something it isn't? and people just lay down and pretend it is a fact just to appease the theism?

    i'm sorry but the truth is force or belief of will is not enough to demand legitimacy on certain levels. that's why life is multi-faceted and has many different areas.

    what's most often absurd is the walking on eggshells with theists that believe they are being condescended or insulted when people are just trying to get them to understand that life works based on some reality. belief and prayer is not what feeds you, clothes you, provides medicine, builds your home etc. many theists persistent irresponsibility in ignoring basic reality is not something atheists should feel guilty for just to appease them. you work your way up and you use integrity, that's why god gave you a brain if it exists! not from the top down!

    that said, i and many other people are not all against the idea of the unknown. there is much we don't know and that's an understatement but facts vs conjecture or possibilities still have to be distinguished otherwise we remain as blind and ignorant as those who are not open to the possibility of anything existing that is not perceived by our five senses.

    still, as has been repeated many times, most people have their own interpretation of what god is which is a projection of themselves and thier own whims or ideas. some aspect may have some truth and some of it may be faulty. who knows? but we are not just dealing with if there is a god or gods but the concept itself and what that is even. no one knows but people have a right to not limit their mind and experiences. creative thought and conjecture can lead to many discoveries but still it can only be done and acknowledged with some honesty and perception besides just belief. belief has no basis in reality even though what you believe may or may not be true or could be true and still does not indicate what aspect may be true or it's just a total misinterpretation but still be true to something else entirely.

    we just don't know. what is wrong with acknowledging that? what someone else feels or believes is their own personal experience but what i feel and experience, i don't demand others to believe because i know they can't. there is a limit because i recognize those limitations. i can only relate my point of view of personal points of view minus hard facts and it may be understood by some and it may not by others. this goes for everyone and anyone.

    the problem with theism related to fundamental religion is it's so narcissistic that it demands center stage when not everyone can understand it. would they prefer that people just lie and deceive themselves or would they want people to honestly understand or believe? it seems that many theists don't see this discrepancy and just push and push. what good does that do if it's not honestly understood or someone has to compromise themselves to fit another's perception of reality?

    hardcore atheists which state that there is no god as fact are just as wrong but the greater danger is theism for which not much explanation needs to be said as it's so obvious. belief and fervent wishful thinking does not make it true. only revelation of truth does.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  17. M00se1989 Banned Banned

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    Mans mind can deify anything. Is that to say man has created god or god has created man?

    It is to possibly speculate both instances are true and the real question is who is more exact metaphysically to working on Gods goals. If God was light, which he probably is, how firm a grasp would he have on your values? We have the freedom to learn him in our conscious values of any expression. And yet it is still claiming to do Gods work that leaves people in ignorance on both sides of the fence. We have "made up" our minds, we either are God ourselves or he speaks to us with the morals he leaves behind.
     
  18. birch Valued Senior Member

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    the truth is everyone forms or has a concept of reality. it may correspond to a religion or philosophy in existence or it may not entirely or not at all. some may share that and see who understands or who find inspiration or some truths that strike a chord with them.

    it's not just atheists vs theists. there are many different ideas floating around and some not even known by the general public. there are people who identify as spiritual but not religious or even theists and even they can differ in their perception on certain points. again, it's not just a matter of evolutionists vs creationism or religion vs nonreligion anymore is racism just an issue between whites vs blacks. that's not the reality. it's just a fragment of it.

    is it not enough that religion has their organizations and churches? does it have to be recognized by everyone? any number of people could potentially start their own movement and their own vision and interpretation of life or the meaning of life or concept of god/gods and even more. there are those who think god is an alien etc.
     
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    That is just you pushing your own ignorance on others.
     
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Everyone is doing this kind of thing - some theists wanting to take over the state, and some atheists wanting to take over the state too.

    Neutrality is impossible. There can be no mental void.

    Every position that anyone has is a position. Even if they claim to be neutral.

    It is not possible to not have a position.
     
  21. birch Valued Senior Member

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    besides just randomly stating quips, why don't you explain yourself?

    is it because you can't? so you are saying that there is proof of god or gods, outside of people's perceptions or an extension of their own nature?

    please show where that is and how i'm pushing my own ignorance? and while you're at it, please explain which "version" of god is the true one or is it even an entity or energy, male or female etc.

    how about the religions that claim that their version of god is the only true god and only god. please explain how i'm pushing my ignorance but yet those who push their reality of their personal religion onto others somehow are not ignorant?

    please don't be evasive as you have been.


    you are obfuscating the issue. 1+1=2 is not a personal position. not everything in the world or this universe revolves around religion or concept of god. atheism is the absence and it doesn't even deal in the same category of theism. it's obvious you don't realize that. i already explained that the real truth is not just an issue between theists vs atheists. this stems from the mistaken notion that somehow atheists have no moral compass or don't share similar values with anyone else including morals. i would argue that theism can be more dangerous when the reasons for their morals are never analyzed as well as self-reflection.

    you are also narrowly viewing religion or theism as the only source or their is an inevitable void. that is ridiculous as their are many different philosophies, points of view and sources of inspiration and there is no problem of them coexisting among others and available to any. this is because, unlike fundamental religions, they don't tout themselves like a supremacist trying to override all others. they just exist for those who partake of it or not.

    i also disagree with your claim that one can't be neutral on certain points or certain areas. it's not also just about being neutral but recognizing what you are dealing with. some things you will be neutral about and others you won't. not everything requires neutrality for it's own sake. you have too many holes in your logic and it's unrealistic.

    it'a amazing how inherently the most intolerant of all philosophies are given the most room and apologies simply because people don't realize that it's because it's demanding it more than others as well as the attention!

    i also find it nonsensical that you accuse me of pushing my ignorance. i admitted that everyone has their own personal beliefs (which i respect if they respect mine but that doesn't mean it can't be criticized or analyzed by others and vice versa) but how is it that i'm ignorant when i can distinguish what i believe and that it may not be what another believes and if i don't have proof (beyond personal interpretation and beliefs), i cannot demand legitimacy beyond those who are interested or feel/view likewise whereas religionists expect everyone to like narcissists. there are a lot of different philosophies and points of view that i respect or find interesting or enlightening but it's not the aspects that demand they are the only one or all others is wrong.

    how even dare you accuse nontheists or nonreligionists as pushing ignorance on others when those who adhere to religion is notorious for trying to convert others to their personal beliefs. make sure you comprehend the difference between facts vs personal beliefs as you seem to have skipped it making erroneous judgements. you can't categorize "everything" as a personal belief as you have insinuated, so therefore ignorant to assert or even state some truths or facts that apply to everyone and is known.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058

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    Issues concerning proof of God are not the topic of this thread.


    Because you keep saying how "we don't know":

    Who is this "we"? Do you think you can speak for all humans?? Do you know everyone and what they know and don't know??

    Bring on the evidence that you know that nobody knows the truth about God!


    You are doing the same thing as the theists you criticize above.
    Those theists want everyone to believe what they do; and you want that everyone believe what you do.


    How do you know nobody has the revelation of truth?


    This is not the point here.
    The point is that you are presenting yourself as a superior entity who has full knowledge of other people's knowledge of God.


    What is happening is that you are pushing your views, and they are pushing their views.
    This is how it has always been ...
    As soon as someone has a position, there is competition, and some feeling that views are being pushed.


    How, where, when, why you use it personal - up to a person.


    That is a misinterpretation of my view.


    You do realize that discussions like these are a mixture of politics and actual discussion of a topic, and that because of this mixing, little can be hoped for?


    That opens the question of why do people do that? Why do people give their attention to something that demands (" ") it?


    You said, in more than one way, that nobody knows the truth about God.
    That is you presuming to know better than everyone else.


    That says a lot about you. You wait for others to respect you first before you respect them.
    This suggests that you are inherently passive and merely reactive. Which is consistent with your whole "we ("proper people") are victims of theism".


    Because they say

    as if that should silence the theists.

    If you don't know, then nobody knows?


    So do you, and like all politicians, you are denying to do so ...

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  23. birch Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,077
    "knowing" something that can't be proven is just belief or personal knowledge. it's already been covered and restated on this thread which you keep missing. if i witnessed someone murder another but it can't be proven, i cannot expect others to believe me. it would be absurd to not understand that.

    i don't need to prove a god or gods because everyone has their own beliefs about life or the universe. we are talking about what can be known by all.

    your reasonings and logic are absolutely absurd.


    You are making erroneous assumptions. I have my own take on life and personal beliefs which can't be proven but is speculative and can change. You are assuming, like most simpletons, that unless it coincides to a known religious meme, that others don't.

    The difference you are incapable of distinguishing is i don't push them on others but only share them and even admit it may be wrong upon further evidence. some will agree or disagree or criticize why they disagree or don't like it. you think "respect" means never questioning someone's belief. i don't see it that way. I don't "wait" for others to respect mine. The discrepancy is that it's made clear that it is "my" take and not something that is used to override everyone else's beliefs. for instance, i "believe" there are other universes or am inclined to the mulitiverse theory but i know that can't be proven or disproven as yet. this is just one aspect of my beliefs. i don't take this further and claim that because i believe it, it must be true or a fact that must be legitimate. i don't start off with statements such as: "there are other universes." i state that i think or believe which leaves room and respect for other's reality as well as the truth that i don't have proof. this is a category. you are using the same deception that many theists use to confuse categories and context. it's a lack of respect actually. furthermore, i've almost never, ever heard theists state they 'think or believe' but just state it as fact that everyone should recognize. if they do later concede another's view, it's only after arguments. fundamental religion has an advantage (but only for those who fall for the deception) because their precepts are inherently intolerant so it's expected that this intolerance is tolerated because it is part of the beliefs. it's an obvious deception but evidently many don't see it.

    it's assinine of you to equate that to mean it's playing victim.


    you are twisting arguments. i've detailed what personal beliefs are vs facts that can be known by others. i also dilineated that one's beliefs could be true or aspects of it or it could be true in a way that's different than what they originally thought but there is a limit at this time to what can be "proven." you are also confusing a "personal reality" which is valid in that context to meaning that is the same as proof beyond it. if one's god is personal, then there would be no need for proof. if one's god is claimed as the god of everyone, it would require proof to those who require or ask it to accept it.

    you still don't understand the difference between beliefs and facts. assuming that everyone that claims they know what god is because they say so, does not mean they do.

    they can believe what they choose but as far as legitimizing it as a fact is going beyond what it can prove.


    very clever deception but your accusations are "fraudulent." this is because i don't "believe" in atheism. you have been assuming that i'm arguing for atheism against theism.

    i actually believe a totally different concept or interpretation of reality (minus known scientific facts) that neither fits into atheism or theism.

    i have not been pushing my personal beliefs at all. you are insinuating that any position that is taken is a "personal belief" citing that all reality is merely a personal one. that would be a faulty but cowardly stratagem of those who ignore reality when it suits them. i suggest you go back to your post about false strategems and point the finger back at yourself. i've been arguing the difference between beliefs vs facts as well as criticizing "some" aspects of religious interpretation just as there are aspects of religion that i agree with. also, religion does not necessarily have to coincide with concepts of god.

    your obfuscating beliefs and facts to make an argument. if you do not agree that there are common grounds or aspects for reality that apply to all, then you might as well be speaking a different language.

    there is no point for discussion because the rules are not even the same between two parties. it's like trying to fit a square in a circle. interesting though, that everyone is still on the same planet under the same rules of physics with similar physical needs though not all exactly the same. this means, that there is some common basis for reality. denying this is the modus operandi of those who try to legitimize their beliefs as facts or make false accusations such as yourself.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010

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