A-believerism or A-deism?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
19-02-2013, 12:12 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(19-02-2013 01:01 AM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  I'm especially interested in exploring some aspects of atheist thought that seem notoriously unexamined.

Bertrand Russell's 1959 BBC interview is a great example of one. After considering "Christian dogmas" and having "discarded the last of them" at 18, he decided that there was no reason to believe in a god. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQJ3sqkdCRE @ 1:53 into the video)

Really Bertrand? You ruled out an existential possibility by discarding irrational human fabrications? That's beneath a great logician like you.

Atheists seem more interested in being a-believerists than a-deists. Am I right?
For me, it makes little difference whether we're discussing theism or deism. It's all completely arbitrary without evidence. And, so far, the only so-called "evidence" either camp has provided amounts to looking around and exclaiming "what other explanation is there?" And that, of course, is just a plug to fill the hole of discomfort that results from the realization that we don't yet have all the answers.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Impulse's post
19-02-2013, 02:24 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(19-02-2013 11:11 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  
(19-02-2013 01:45 AM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  So you're saying that, for example, you have no problem with "faith" per se, just with the irrational extremes some people take it to?
I too will avoid speaking for all atheists (because I am unable to), but many atheists I know share DLJ's sentiments; in that they couldn't care less what a person believes, so long as those beliefs are not negatively effecting society as a whole.
(19-02-2013 11:11 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  To summarize: irrationality (faith, religious belief, superstitious behavior, homeopathic pursuits or any other irrationality you can think of) is a disease, and I believe it must be treated as such. I'm much like Dawkins in that way. (Though, some may not look at that as a good thing. lol)

(rant)

Irrational thought and belief almost always manages to fuck up the world for the rest of us. Be it flying planes into buildings, forcing everyone to drink the kool-aid in a mass suicide or killing endangered species like Tigers for their penis bones, Rhinos for their horns or Manta Rays for their gill rakes (all purported aphrodisiacs).

This is why the religious (and superstitious) think of atheists as being angry...well of course we're fucking angry! For the believers of the irrational planet earth is just a fucking waypoint on the way to Nirvana so what's the point of taking care of it or each other?

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Full Circle's post
19-02-2013, 03:41 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
The term "fundie" seems to have a wide range of meaning. I think most would agree that the YECs and the 9/11 terrorists and their brethren are fundies. In my opinion fundies can also be anyone who takes text from a bronze age book and applies it to today's society: women must be covered, homosexuality is bad, pro-life (based on religion), etc.

Now if you believe in the resurrection of jeebus, aren't you then ignoring all scientific knowledge and placing faith in a 2000 year old book? In my view you are a fundie. You are taking the very old unsubstantiated texts at face value despite all evidence to the contrary. That = fundie to me.

Now some fundies keep it all inside and don't let it impact others wear it on their shirtsleeve and use those fundie beliefs to influence others. This influence can be suicide bombs or prayer in schools. It really doesn't matter. I will resist their influence the best I can.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-02-2013, 07:16 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(19-02-2013 07:00 AM)Chas Wrote:  Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
haha, just noticed your tag lines. Love em!

I keep trying to tell people that science is a method! I've tried distinguishing the scientific method and science as a process, which includes lots of imaginative (and often substance-induced) conversation and thinking long before anything gets to the lab, the actual scientific work, then publishing, grant proposals, site visits, schmoozing, and a whole lot of other highly political and unscientific behavior that has to happen for anything to be considered "scientific fact." What an oxymoron.

Science that doesn't get funded doesn't get done, and funding as about as far from a rational, scientific process as can be. Everyone gets irrational over money.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-02-2013, 07:21 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(19-02-2013 03:00 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(19-02-2013 02:42 AM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  You ...

Who? Not me, I think, I didn't mention 'fundamentalism'

A couple of techie pointers...

1. You can indicate who you are replying to by doing as I have just done, i.e. clicking on the 'reply' button on a specific post to which you want to reply.

2. You can edit an earlier post (yours not other people's) by clicking the 'edit' button under your own post.

Thumbsup
Thanks! Yeah, that was Tartarus, not you. Just getting used to the set-up here. I think I'm getting the hang of it. :-)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes millardjmelnyk's post
19-02-2013, 07:33 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(19-02-2013 07:00 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(19-02-2013 03:14 AM)Tartarus Sauce Wrote:  Well I did, but that was part of my point: most atheists take the most issue with fundamentalists, and most of our criticism is directed at them.


Because fundamentalists cause real-world problems.
Haha, I agree completely!

So thinking atheists and thinking theists ought to join forces! I know a lot of churchgoers who are appalled by the likes of the Tea Party, Glen Beck, Pat Robertson (but who listens to him anymore) and that ilk. Probably just like a lot of Muslims are appalled by jihadists.

Instead of arguing over the existence of God, we should get together and focus on the real problem: the bastardization of faith.

After all, even atheists are believers: they believe in SOMETHING, even if it's just their own thinking. We all (hopefully) have people that care about us who we believe. The psychology of faith is the same regardless what it's applied to.

Faith isn't the problem. People who use it as a tool to influence and control others because they are all SCARED SHITLESS are the problem.

I used to be in the ranks of the religiously insane. I know how the thinking works. Those guys are not confident, powerful people. They are scared to death. They live in a world of devils and demons with death at hell at the end of it. God is pretty much just a means of escape.

They need to be talked down from their hysteria and paranoia, not whipped up into a frenzy, and certainly not feared. They can be handled. Together we could figure it out.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes millardjmelnyk's post
19-02-2013, 07:39 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(19-02-2013 07:33 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  
(19-02-2013 07:00 AM)Chas Wrote:  Because fundamentalists cause real-world problems.
Haha, I agree completely!

So thinking atheists and thinking theists ought to join forces! I know a lot of churchgoers who are appalled by the likes of the Tea Party, Glen Beck, Pat Robertson (but who listens to him anymore) and that ilk. Probably just like a lot of Muslims are appalled by jihadists.

Instead of arguing over the existence of God, we should get together and focus on the real problem: the bastardization of faith.

After all, even atheists are believers: they believe in SOMETHING, even if it's just their own thinking. We all (hopefully) have people that care about us who we believe. The psychology of faith is the same regardless what it's applied to.

Faith isn't the problem. People who use it as a tool to influence and control others because they are all SCARED SHITLESS are the problem.

I used to be in the ranks of the religiously insane. I know how the thinking works. Those guys are not confident, powerful people. They are scared to death. They live in a world of devils and demons with death at hell at the end of it. God is pretty much just a means of escape.

They need to be talked down from their hysteria and paranoia, not whipped up into a frenzy, and certainly not feared. They can be handled. Together we could figure it out.


I can't really agree fully.

I think all belief without evidence is a problem as it is not rational. Moderates are just less of a problem.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Chas's post
19-02-2013, 07:49 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(19-02-2013 07:32 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  This forum has had multiple polls/threads on the subject and many would identify themselves as agnostic to deism. I'm not sure if that is an actual majority but it seems a strong trend in secular/rational atheists communities is "agnostic-atheism." It's a lot of statements on believing there is no God, believing the religions in the world are irrational/unfounded/wrong, but not saying they have an utmost certainty of knowledge to know that no God, such as a deistic one, exists.

If someone told me they were deist and believed God was a prime mover but not effecting life in anyway since... I would tell them they have no reason to believe that concept of God or any other; but I wouldn't be worried that they have such beliefs. The Carl Sagan type of response from The Pale Blue Dot of saying, Why not go just one step further, and see that the universe is what it is as we know of it to this point.. and that there is no evidence for or reason for a being to have existed to create it or other universes if they exist.(This same case goes for pantheists)

As for the Russell tidbit.. I don't see the point. Commenting on something from a renowned philosopher being beneath him from when he was 18? Of course it was, he was just a young adult at that stage. Not all great minds flower at early stages of life, it's a bizarre petty point.

I would say you are right to your whole point though... because I don't see the reason in proclaiming A-deism nor think that it's an actual issue that is in need of addressing at this stage.
Thanks Clyde, good points. I used "a-deism" instead of "atheism", just as a label for "no-godism" but not referring specifically to deism. My point was to frame my question whether the crux of the issue for atheists is actually god or crazy believers. I'm not a deist.

As to Russell, my comments to the poor old defenseless guy were aimed at him at 80-something in that 1959 interview, not when he was a kid. I guess I made the assumption that he left theism in the rear-view at 18 and in 1959 saw no reason to revisit the question.

My point is that having dismissed the ideas of believers (Christian dogmas) has no bearing on the question of the existence of god. I've read quite a bit about what Russell had to say on why he was an atheist. I never read that he asked god or gods to reveal themselves and got no answer.

If there is any merit to the question of god's existence, it's because we allow the possibility of god's existence. Otherwise, we decided the question before we asked it--exactly what atheists accuse believers of--without evidence. Lack of evidence is in no way proof of absence.

I've met very few atheists who approached the god question as a scientist would, i.e., with an open mind. I have, however, met atheists who were willing to talk openly about the question once they realized I have no intention of changing their minds. :-) Then we have some incredibly interesting conversations. The upshot has always been that we realize we have more in common than we do at odds. It's so cool!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-02-2013, 07:51 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(19-02-2013 07:35 AM)Dom Wrote:  I see two kinds of "believing":
The kind that causes issues and holds societal evolution back, and the kind that doesn't really affect anything but the believer.
The former is what people refer to as "fundies", the latter may look crazy to me, but it doesn't really cause any issues and hence I have no problems with it.
What about the kind that every great leader of social change has had? You left that kind out.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-02-2013, 08:04 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(19-02-2013 09:03 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(19-02-2013 01:01 AM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  Atheists seem more interested in being a-believerists than a-deists. Am I right?
No, at least not in my case.

My personal interests don't play much of a role in my choice of non-belief. It all comes down to the amount of supporting evidence and as far as I know, there ain't any for both theistic and deistic deities.
And so far, I find it curiously that most atheists define "evidence" in such a way as to exclude not only evidence for the existence of god, but evidence for the existence of love, potential, honor, or any of the "non-physical" things that actually make living a physical life worth the effort.

Just think about it. Apply your rules of evidence to an experience like love or compassion. Do THEY exist?

Yes, yes, I know that we can focus down on the physical aspects of those experiences to the exclusion of the meaning of those experiences. So tired of that response. The physical aspect of the things we love about life DOES NOT ACCOUNT FOR OUR LOVE FOR THEM. A physicalistic understanding of things leaves a huge motivational rift between what we think exists and why we care about it. The problems we care most about are problems of MEANING. Physicalism (aka materialism) hamstrings itself by ruling the most important problem space out of the discussion!

If atheists want to actually change what's going on with crazy believers instead of just piss and moan, they'd do well to look deeper. Otherwise, the only option left open for dealing with religious crazies is to lock em up, shoot em, or drug em. I'm not OK with any of those "solutions." I love some religious crazies. I'd rather figure out how to help them out of their living hells.

I find that most atheists don't take their thinking nearly far enough. If it's true in a philosophical context, it's also true in real life.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: