Why are atheist politically, socially and culturally obscure?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by aaqucnaona, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. superstring01 Moderator

    What scientist said this?

    There is the standard that when a positive assertion is made (i.e. "There is a God") positive proof must be given. The onus is on the person claiming the existence of God, not the person doing the doubting.

    If a scientist states, "There is no God, it is not possible." Then they are mistaken. But if the scientist says, "I'm an atheist, I don't believe there is a God. It is also unlikely there is a God because of a lack of evidence." Then they would be on sound ground.

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  3. leopold Valued Senior Member

    i see you have no children, for if you did you would know that children have imaginary friends.

    your quote is exactly the same thing except the names have been changed.
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  5. leopold Valued Senior Member

    i never said a scientist said it.
    as a scientist do you deny the validity of the statement?
    i understand that.
    atheists are not doubters, they are outright deniers, which brings us right back to the post you quoted.
    in my opinion there is no such thing as a true "atheist scientist"

    there is a difference between doubting and outright denial.
    i seriously doubt if there is a god, i cannot outright deny its existence.
    the reason i doubt there is a god comes from what i've read in the bible.
    if you understand what the bible is then you can see how a large part is indeed fact.
    the real question is how did the bible come to be a religious artifact.
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Evangelical atheism as a neurotic symptom

    Because atheism is largely an anti-identification. As a result, there is no affirmative unity among atheists.

    Ask evangelical atheists about their basic affirmative beliefs, and you get all sorts of answers. The trend that emerges, though, is a strange refusal and, to some degree, lack of comprehension.

    Part of what that suggests is that the anti-identification does not comprehend what it rejects. The seemingly natural presumption that results is that evangelical atheism as an anti-identification is more a neurotic symptom than anything else.
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Same reason that people who don't have a favorite color are "politically, socially and culturally obscure." They just don't think it's worth mentioning.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Some children have imaginary friends - which are children or animals or fairies, or something else taken either from their real world experience of the stories they hear or the movies they see - all created for them by adults.
    Imaginary friends rarely, if ever, tell children they'll go to hell forever if they touch their genitals or fail to attend confession.
    It may be noted that a child who was raised in India doesn't come up with a Jesus concept on his own; nor does an Irish child imagine the Buddha for herself.
    They accept religious indoctrination - they do not invent it.

    Which same thing?
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  10. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    They tend to believe what you tell them. Until you tell them about God, they are atheists.
  11. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

    He doesn't - he can't and atheists Don't.
    He only needs to NOT ACCEPT the given idea of God, he doesn't have to prove that God does not exist, he only has to show that there isn't sufficient evidence to accept God, whether He exists or not.
    Its the russel's teapot again - weak/strong atheism - there's a difference.
  12. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    I don't think this has anything to do with science or proof.
    Anyone - scientist, itinerant musician, baker or banker - can say: "I don't believe your story." or even "I think that's a bad idea."

    For myself, it's a simple matter of finding it incredible that a real god would behave the way any of the mythological deities behaved. It's not about degree of proof; it's about style: they're just not divine enough.
  13. leopold Valued Senior Member

    one is an agnostic, the other is an atheist.
    you are talking about "feelings" here, which is far from proof.
    i also "feel" there is no god.
    i can not state "there is no god".
  14. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps I'm wrong. If a child believes it's parents are gods, then they aren't atheists.
  15. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

    Weak atheists dont say there is no god, just that we dont have enough evidence to believe in God. Strong atheists say there is no God. Both of them can be gnostic or agnostic - I am a gnostic weak atheist - I think we can know God well enough, I think there is not enough evidence, hence I dont believe. Strong atheists [Like Fraggle] have a very high degree of certainty that no God exists, and they are probably right, but that "probably" is what differs between weak and strong a/theists.

    Note - A strong theist or Atheist has to be Gnostic.

    No, but that is enough to say "There is not enough evidence to believe This God".
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I don't like that characterization of 'weak atheist'. I'm inclined to think that saying 'I don't believe in a god' simultaneously implies 'I don't think that a god exists'. (It would be contradictory to say both 'I don't believe in a god' and 'I think a god exists'.)

    What seem to be happening is that our negative ontological judgement about the existence of gods can take different weights, ranging from a mere guess based on no evidence (something like your 'weak atheist') to a person's stout conviction that they can't possibly be mistaken about the god's nonexistence (the strongest possible 'strong atheist').

    When somebody comes out and says 'I don't believe in a god' while also saying 'It's theoretically possible that a god exists that I don't know about', they really seem to mean something like, 'I don't really think that a god exists, but I might be wrong'. Most strong atheists would probably qualify their ontological disbelief that way if you pressed them hard enough.

    My own use of the phrase 'weak atheist' is rather different than yours. It's somebody (or something) who simply lacks belief in any gods. It's an absence of any grade of belief, the absence of any opinions on the matter at all. It would apply to newborn babies, for example. Babies have no philosophical opinions about the weight of evidence for gods or about whether gods actually exist. They've never heard of gods and have no views at all. Belief in gods is absent in babies.

    It's going to be difficult to extend that kind of total lack of views into adult life, after the issues have become known. Maybe somebody who studiously maintains an absolutely neutral stance, saying that gods may or may not exist and there's no reason to favor one side or the other, might approximate it. Probably not though. That non-committal adult state is something rather different than the baby's cognitively blank state. I'm not sure whether the non-committal adult state should be called 'atheism' at all, since it would assign the existence of a god equal probability with the god's nonexistence. I might be inclined to call such a person a pure epistemic agnostic, without any ontological leanings towards either theism or atheism. (Do those kind of people even exist in real life?)
  17. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

    So weak atheism isn't about the probability you assign to whether a God may exist?

    Do you think that an atheist cannot be a weak atheist if he thinks it through enough? I must say, I went from agnostic to weak atheist about 50 days ago and have become more and more of a strong atheist, probably you are right.

    So the theist's claims that strong atheism is a position of faith is wrong? Or need strong atheism not be 100% sure god does not exist, maybe just 85% and above? A agnostic would say we cannot know, a non-partisan gnostic would put it at 50-50% and the average moderate would be at 10%. Would You agree? If so were would you put yourself? I would be a gnostic and an atheist at 85-95%

    Should weak atheism not be a qualifier of thought out and decided atheism? babies are technically non-theists = they are ignorant, they dont believe in God, but they dont know about it either, so they can't we called atheists.

    Most agnostics are also atheists. They surely are pragmatic atheists, even if they may not be so epistemically. You are either a strong/weak theist or you are an atheist. You can be a non-theist if you dont know about God. Clearly, in this broad sense, most agnostics are atheists.

    I dont understand why an agnostic would be a theist [some are]. Its like saying I dont think we can know if there is a teapot out there [russel's], but I would believe it. Its as if they question their faith, come to the conclusion that it cannot be proven [and disproven] and then abandon that thinking and return to faith again. And rational person who thinks that something is not proven or provable you not believe in that thing right? Like if I said that there is a weightless, odourless, intangible, invisible fairy in my backyard, that is clearly something you absolutely CANNOT disprove or prove. But you wont believe it precisely because it cannot be proven, right?

    Sorry for the twisted words/thinking, I am sleepy.
  18. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member


    He can't, anymore than he can say the Big Bang certainly happened. That is why Atheists can only say(at most)that the possibility a god exists is exceedingly small(but not nothing)and the probability the Big Bang actually occurred is near certainty(but not 100%). Uncertainty applies to more than the Quantum but in between certainty and impossibility is where we operate. Even Dawkins will say only that god probably does not exist. Any Atheist that says that god does not exist has stepped outside the bounds of what we can know, but then so has the theist who says he certainly does exist. These are not tenable or thoughtful positions, they are statements of faith. So integrating that into the spectrum of non-belief to belief we have...

    Strong Atheist-Has Faith(certainty)that no god exists
    Weak Atheist-Considers the possibility a god exists exceedingly small(0.0...01%)
    Agnostic-does not believe knowledge of god is possible
    Gnostic-believes a god exists but nothing can be known about him.
    Weak theist-believes a god exists and reveals himself through religious texts
    Strong theist-has faith(certainty)that god exists and he personally knows what he thinks.


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  19. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

    As to the OP, Atheism is not a belief system, it is simply the non-acceptance of all supernatural concepts of gods. Therefore Atheism has no common beliefs or dogmas, it would be like herding cats to organize them. Theists, on the other hand, do have common beliefs and goals and even widely disperate groups of theists will join together against common enemies like Atheists or homosexuals. Since politics is all about gathering groups of people together for a common cause, Atheists don't stand a chance.

    By the way, it is not true that there has never been an Atheist in the Presidential office, Thomas Jefferson was an Atheist long before Atheism was cool. Although he, like me, admired the philosophy Jesus taught he rejected the supernatural aspects contained in the Bible and did not believe in gods.


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  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Jefferson is one of the most-studied people in American history. Scholars are by no means in agreement on this issue. He was certainly not a traditional religionist, but it's not at all clear that he was a flat-out atheist.

    You could read everything he wrote and everything his contemporaries wrote about him, and still not be certain. He was a complicated man.
  21. river


    we are just going to let the religious proponents fall , as they will

    and then let the truth come through

    that god , any god , is about slaving Humanity
  22. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

    Unfortunately...disunion is a characteristic of an atheist, unlike religions which are organized and survive as a single collective cancerous organism, atheist in ways similar to this biology metaphor are free radical cells. Regrettably for us, the cancer that is religion spreads and grows larger and larger with each new “cell” that they consume.

    Minorities or a group of people who are persecuted and rejected by society have to reject society itself...Atheist are the minority...And if we did try to organize that would take away a crucial part of what it means to be one in the first place INDIVIDUALS, not sheeple that blindly follow into a crowd. However it is time for us to fight the religious tyrants, battle superstition, and break the cycle of ignorance!
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    There's nothing wrong with forming an atheists' club, where we could chat about what's wrong with the world over a snifter of brandy on Wednesday evenings; or an atheist's association, which would publish books and pamphlets, hire lobbyists and provide legal counsel for atheists who have suffered discrimination; or even a benevolent society of atheists, which would provide scholarships for atheists and perhaps even found a university.

    Individuality versus membership in a society is a continuum, not a binary variable. Homo sapiens, like most of the Great Apes, is a pack-social species. (The two orangutan species are the exceptions.) We need each other, if only to propagate the species: It's been estimated that in aggregate it takes an average of 1.2 adults to raise one human child. This explains why we live so long after our breeding cycle is complete: We cannot thrive without elders. (You guys can all thank Mrs. Fraggle and me later.

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    But we also need each other for a plethora of other reasons. The twin technologies of farming and animal husbandry launched the Agricultural Revolution, created the first food surplus the planet had ever seen, and made it unnecessary for us to compete with other packs for survival during a bad year. But agriculture is only productive enough to accomplish these things on a larger scale than the extended-family clan that characterized the Paleolithic Era. We need to live together and work together in village-sized populations in order to have the comforts and other benefits of the Neolithic Era.

    The principles of Economies of Scale and Division of Labor continued to urge us to form larger packs. Those villages had to grow into cities to enjoy the luxuries made possible by bronze and iron metallurgy. Those cities had to join into nations in order to profit from the Industrial Revolution, which still took two centuries before most of the inequities were leveled out and life was consistently better for the majority of the population--leaving a still-large minority who have yet to be integrated.

    Now, the Electronic Revolution is too young to predict what civilization will be like when it's completed, but it seems like we'll no longer have to crowd into cities if we don't want to. Physical labor is being replaced by automation so we don't need to live where we work, and most of us seem to be adapting very well to electronic socialization as a substitute for face-to-face.

    Yet we still need that socialization, whatever form it takes. We may have spent the last 12,000 years adapting from a pack-social species (in which everyone has depended on and cared for his pack-mates since birth) to a herd-social species (in which we live in harmony and cooperation with anonymous strangers, avoid knocking each other down while grazing, pick a new mate every season, and come together in force only for a few key tasks such as defending our calves against predators). But we are still a social species.
    Unfortunately that's quite a challenge:
    • 1. Jung tells us (translated into 21st century terminology) that supernaturalism is an instinct programmed into our synapses by our DNA; in other words that we're born with beliefs that feel more true than any beliefs we acquire later through learning and reasoning.
    • 2. Supernaturalism by its very nature is illogical, so people who believe in the supernatural are predisposed not to be easily swayed by our rational arguments.

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