3 questions for atheists
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28-12-2013, 01:23 PM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 12:36 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  1. Why do you have an active lack of belief? The position comes across as one who wants to be recognised as one who negates any form of god but not have to prove anything.
lack of active belief? what is that?

(28-12-2013 12:36 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  2. What is the purpose of atheism?
atheism has no purpose.

(28-12-2013 12:36 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  3. Why believe evidence is (or will be) available to confirm or negate a god?
I don't know. Actually I don't understand your question.Consider

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28-12-2013, 01:28 PM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
Quote:
Quote:2. What is the purpose of atheism?


2. There is no purpose. A lack of belief in a God, has no inherent purpose. It might be deduced that the purpose could be seeking knowledge, curiosity for how the universe works or just plain lack of interest in supernatural claims.

I disagree - There are many purposes to life as an atheist.
Atheists can purposefully raise wonderful children, have purposeful jobs contributing to society, seek knowledge and improve the human condition by helping people think rationally and clearly etc etc. Technically these are not "atheist purposes" but just purposes that atheist can have. Obviously some atheists might find purposes that are not about contributing but damaging society just as religious people can do.

What an atheist doesn't have is a purpose for an afterlife - but why should someone only look after their kids, have a family or contribute to society if there is an afterlife ? Atheists can have purposes for their own sake regardless if they are "eternal". As it happens making a purpose eternal takes away all meaning and just makes it go on & on add infinitum eventually being totally purposeless.

True meaning & purpose can be temporary whether its a moment of discovery or awe or a lifetime. Eg a baby born is very meaningful - but its temporary, eventually the child grows up and becomes an adult. Just because the child grew up and became an adult doesn't suddenly make the memory of the birth meaningless & purposeless.

The promises of "ultimate meaning & purpose" is what actually drives many religious fundamentalists to be very unhappy and fail to see the purpose in every day situations when always looking for an afterlife, especially in Islam & Christianity. This is what Nietzsche despised as an inauthentic life and rightly so.

We don't have to have a purpose handed down from the sky but create purposes in our lives as atheists be it educating children, having a loving family, pursuit of reason and having meaningful work.
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28-12-2013, 01:52 PM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
Quote:
(28-12-2013 08:30 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(28-12-2013 06:17 AM)Dom Wrote:  We are all born atheist.

Firstly, that's a stupid argument.

Secondly...

Quote:A three-year international research project, directed by two academics at the University of Oxford, finds that humans have natural tendencies to believe in gods and an afterlife.

The £1.9 million project involved 57 researchers who conducted over 40 separate studies in 20 countries representing a diverse range of cultures. The studies (both analytical and empirical) conclude that humans are predisposed to believe in gods and an afterlife, and that both theology and atheism are reasoned responses to what is a basic impulse of the human mind.

~from http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2011/110513.html

The above response it true - we are probably more psychologically disposed to believe in theism as children. However most children may also believe the Earth is flat and do not have the skill set for rational critical reasoning. It often requires some counterintuitive rational critical reasoning skills to epistemologically become an atheist. See much of the work on cognitive biases we have which are counterintuitive & require rational critical reasoning to point out which is a learned skill.

It may be that some people are atheists without the critical reasoning skills as atheism does not require that - its just lack of belief in God.

Scepticism or rationalism are philosophical attitudes or outlooks that can lead to atheism on the other hand someone might be an atheist just because they are angry at the church priest who abused them without any other critical reasoning abilities about the existence of God.
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28-12-2013, 01:52 PM (This post was last modified: 28-12-2013 02:31 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 03:09 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  The inability to disprove a negative assumes its conclusion.

It has not been disproven that P ≠ NP therefore P ≠ NP. Or did you mean "It has not been disproven that P ≠ NP therefore P = NP." In either case I'm gonna be rich and famous now! Oh yeah! Banana_zorro

argumentum ad ignorantiam for the fail. Tongue

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28-12-2013, 02:07 PM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
Quote:[quote][quote]
(28-12-2013 12:36 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  1. Why do you have an active lack of belief? The position comes across as one who wants to be recognised as one who negates any form of god but not have to prove anything.

Like many other's who posted a response atheism is a consequence of an attitude to life such as adopting critical reasoning skills, scepticism and rationalism. You may rephrase your question and ask "why do you use rational critical reasoning" - the answer is this is the most reliable epistemology for running ones life as opposed to faith or blindly believing myths & legends about deities.

Quote:2. What is the purpose of atheism?

Atheism is a negation of theism - so in itself questioning its purpose is somewhat meaningless. It could be that active atheists want to correct the misguided errors of theism. You may rephrase the question and ask what Is the purpose of rational thinking, scepticism or logic & reasoning - plenty answers for that.

Quote:3. Why believe evidence is (or will be) available to confirm or negate a god?

Currently most evidence suggest there is no God. What evidence suggests to you there is a God ?
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28-12-2013, 06:19 PM (This post was last modified: 28-12-2013 07:31 PM by Brownshirt.)
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 05:53 AM)saki Wrote:  I am not sure what you are asking.. I can see in this thread that definitions are important to you. So we are on the same page, could you answer this-

1. Why do you have an active belief in a particular god? This position comes across as one who wants to be recognised as one who negates all other forms of gods (or no gods) but not have to prove anything.

2. What is the purpose of believing in your god?

3. Why do you believe evidence do you have available to confirm any (but preferably your) god?

By answering this, I hope to understand what it is that you are asking.

No I don't believe in a defined god, I just haven't dismissed the possibility of a form of creator. I personally believe we will never know either way. The question of existence itself appears unanswerable to me.

I can understand those atheists who denounce theism as a response to the control of religion. However once it becomes this paradigm shift towards we can rationalise everything I become very weary.
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28-12-2013, 07:30 PM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 05:54 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(28-12-2013 03:17 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  Yes but why? People don't join groups to show what they lack belief in, or don't do.

I've made the same point. It would have been more sensible that this were a skeptic forum because abandonding one of the major religions only to adopt some New Age nonsense is a bad outcome. Atheism/agnosticism will come from skepticism but skeptcism will not necessarily come from atheism/agnosticism. Skepticism is also something that can form part of a personal and group identity because it is positive. Skepticism--unlike atheism/agnosticism--promotes a certain attitude (of doubt and rational justification)--that can lay the groundwork for a worldview. The epistemic route to atheism is just as important as the atheism itself. If you reject religion for the right reasons you will not dive into some other superstition to replace it.

That's kinda why I asked the questions. To me atheism doesn't stand by itself, but many seem to use it in isolation. Whatever conclusion you reach you need to believe in a correct approach to take. There's no proof that any epistemology is correct.
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28-12-2013, 07:36 PM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 12:12 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(28-12-2013 03:09 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  That is an atheist argument to me. I am agnostic and don't use examples of being unable to disprove defined historical gods, fairies, leprechauns et al to prove a point.
The inability to disprove a negative assumes its conclusion.

Does this mean that George Washington can shoot lasers from his eyes and that all of the gods simultaneously exist? Also, are you, and every person on the planet a terrorist?

I'm glad you didn't create the framework of our criminal justice system.

I'm glad you assume so much.Rolleyes
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28-12-2013, 07:42 PM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 06:19 PM)Brownshirt Wrote:  No I don't believe in a defined god, I just haven't dismissed the possibility of a form of creator. I personally believe we will never know either way. The question of existence itself appears unanswerable to me.

I can understand those atheists who denounce theism as a response to the control of religion. However once it becomes this paradigm shift towards we can rationalise everything I become very weary.

You sound like an agnostic atheist to me, like most of the atheists I know (myself included). You're over-defining the term, and using "atheist" in place of "gnostic atheist".

Atheism is simply the other side of the on-off switch of theism. Either you believe in one or more gods or you don't. You can not believe in gods by strictly believing there are zero gods or by simply lacking a belief in any of them. It sounds like you are the latter type.
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28-12-2013, 07:51 PM (This post was last modified: 28-12-2013 07:59 PM by Brownshirt.)
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 01:23 PM)Alla Wrote:  
(28-12-2013 12:36 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  1. Why do you have an active lack of belief? The position comes across as one who wants to be recognised as one who negates any form of god but not have to prove anything.
lack of active belief? what is that?

Identifying as a something based on lacking belief in another group's claims is a very odd one to take, unless you're anti-religion.

Quote:
(28-12-2013 12:36 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  2. What is the purpose of atheism?
atheism has no purpose.

So why identify as an atheist and come here?

Quote:
(28-12-2013 12:36 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  3. Why believe evidence is (or will be) available to confirm or negate a god?
I don't know. Actually I don't understand your question.Consider
[/quote]

The lack of evidence is commonly used by atheists to denounce a god. I also think there's no evidence, but why depend on evidence at all unless you consider it can at prove a cause for existence?
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