Are you an X because you believe in X'? Or do you believe in X' because you are an X?
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04-04-2014, 07:43 PM
RE: Are you an X because you believe in X'? Or do you believe in X' because you are an X?
(04-04-2014 11:31 AM)living thing Wrote:  
(03-04-2014 07:06 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Re: Are you an X because you believe in X'? Or do you believe in X' because you are an X?
No.
Ah, but if you had at least read the first paragraph in the opening post,

But I did. I admit I went on rather a tangent, however, which might not have been all that fair in your thread, and in that case I apologize.

Quote: you would have found a question for you: are you an atheist because you don't believe in any god, or do you not believe in any god because you are an atheist? If your answer is still "no", try reading the question again.

My answer is no because I reject labeling on principle. The only thing that puts me in the set of people who are "atheist" is that I don't believe in fairy tales, in particular religious ones. I may be quite outspoken and active here at this athiest forum, but in actuality "atheist" as applies to me is an adjective, rather than a noun. Can you see the distinction? I am many things, as are all the other people here. "Atheist", to me, is ultimately a descriptor, not my person.


Quote:I don't believe in the existence of any god; I don't see how it is possible, nor why would it be necessary. And it certainly seems a lot more likely that stories about magical gods are made up, just like any other fictional story. But I don't describe myself as an atheist.

Well, I do, when it is necessary, but again it's a descriptor, not "the sum total of who I am".


Quote:Why? Because I am no more an atheist than I am an asmurfist, aunicornist, acentaurist and so on, and I never use those words to describe myself. Calling myself an atheist would be giving the notion of a god way too much credit. And, to be honest, after an argument I had with someone who called himself an atheist, and who claimed that he would be an atheist even if God Himself came down to provide the evidence, I don't really like being called an atheist; I don't want to be mistaken for that guy. If a god does come down to provide actual evidence that can I examine thoroughly, I will be very very surprised, but I will have to reconsider my position. I don't take my current view as an objective truth.

In that case, it appears that we actually agree more than we disagree here.


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Quote:
(03-04-2014 07:06 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  I love it when people try to pigeon-hole others by what they don't believe. It always turns into a straw man.
I don't think you do, I think it annoys you. That is probably why you reply so vehemently without even reading what you are replying to.

There's no strawman here, I don't care what you believe or do not believe; if it were up to me to give you any kind of advice, I would warn you against believing anything at all. Question even what you think you know. Don't make any ideology part of your identity, have your own view and your own voice.

Perhaps a second apology is in order here -- and again because I took this on a tangent, and I was unclear about that. You aren't the one I was ranting about.

Quote:The question you didn't seem to understand is: do you think that some people hold on to their dear beliefs because they view them as part of their identity?

I think that *many* do. But I also think that it's a sloppy way to think. I think that's the point you may have been making as well.


Quote:Thanks for your opinion if you have one, and for the link you have "kindly" provided. Enjoy your time.

Sorry we got off on the wrong foot here, and the fault is entirely mine. Thumbsup

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04-04-2014, 07:47 PM
RE: Are you an X because you believe in X'? Or do you believe in X' because you are an X?
(04-04-2014 01:21 PM)KidCharlemagne1962 Wrote:  
(03-04-2014 05:07 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I concur.

Tradition is a powerful mind-bender.

And ... who doesn't hate the French?

Angel

Hey, hang on here, I am of French ancestry but I'm also Merican, does this mean I'm double hated? Weeping

If you're a Cajun, you're alright with me and I'm sure KC too, and hey, Mudbug season is right upon us and we can all "break bread" -- well, shuck some bugs, anyway -- together!....at least virtually....I'm bring the music and the beer, KC's bringing the bugs, and, well, you figure out what you're gonna bring... WOOTWOOT!

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04-04-2014, 07:48 PM
RE: Are you an X because you believe in X'? Or do you believe in X' because you are an X?
Taq can be.... gentle???? what???? I'm in love.
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05-04-2014, 05:08 AM
Are you an X because you believe in X'? Or do you believe in X' because you are an X?
(04-04-2014 07:43 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Sorry we got off on the wrong foot here, and the fault is entirely mine. Thumbsup
Please let me respectfully disagree with you, I'd say we've got off on as good a foot as any other foot might be. It may be an unorthodox way to exchange our views, but I think we've left much straight in only two messages each; we haven't turned it into a discussion as pointless as it is endless. Don't blame yourself, I'm sure I could have explained my position more clearly, and I do understand how once we get in an online discussion mood, it is sometimes difficult to get out of it. Don't worry at all about this start, I wasn't hurt or annoyed. I was a bit frustrated, though. I find it frustrating when other people misunderstand my perspective instead of asking me to clarify it. But I am sure I can also be too quick jumping to conclusions, so it wouldn't be honest of me to complain about other people doing so.

Anyway, so your "no" really meant something like "I do describe myself as an atheist when it is necessary, because I don't believe in any gods and I thus think the adjective can be used to describe me, although I reject labelling on principle because no single word can reflect the complete sum of all my attributes", is that more or less the case? If it is, then I would say that your answer is closer to "I am an atheist because I don't believe in any gods" than it is to "no". And I find that great, because it means that you examine the universe around you from an open perspective; your thoughts are not constrained by a self-imposed ideology. That gives me a little bit of hope in the future of humanity.

(04-04-2014 07:43 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  I think that *many* [people] do [hold on to their dear beliefs because they view them as part of their identity]. But I also think that it's a sloppy way to think. I think that's the point you may have been making as well.
That is one of the points I was trying to make, although I sometimes wonder whether accepting ideas as truths based solely in the perceived authority of their source can be described as "thinking".

But there is a point beyond the simple criticism about other people's mental processes. If some or many people hold on to their beliefs because they think those beliefs are what defines them, and if we are interested in making those people understand the advantages of learning over the disadvantages of taking random ideas as truths (I don't know, maybe we feel that life for humans would be easier if we didn't waste huge amounts of collective effort into thanking nothing for doing nothing), wouldn't it be wise to offer those people an alternative identity that they can hold on to? If the problem is that they're told they're Christians/Muslims/Jews/Buddhists/Atheists/Whatever, why don't we remind them that they are actually human beings? The same, of course, goes for nationalities.

Thanks for your unnecessary apologies. Have a good one!
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05-04-2014, 12:14 PM
RE: Are you an X because you believe in X'? Or do you believe in X' because you are an X?
I would like to add a third method. "I believe in xyz therefore I am a christian. I am a christian therefore I also believe in ABC". To a certain extent I think it is a matter of both. Some doctrines go cause to effect while others go effect to cause.

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
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05-04-2014, 06:44 PM
RE: Are you an X because you believe in X'? Or do you believe in X' because you are an X?
(05-04-2014 05:08 AM)living thing Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 07:43 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Sorry we got off on the wrong foot here, and the fault is entirely mine. Thumbsup
Please let me respectfully disagree with you, I'd say we've got off on as good a foot as any other foot might be. It may be an unorthodox way to exchange our views, but I think we've left much straight in only two messages each; we haven't turned it into a discussion as pointless as it is endless. Don't blame yourself, I'm sure I could have explained my position more clearly, and I do understand how once we get in an online discussion mood, it is sometimes difficult to get out of it. Don't worry at all about this start, I wasn't hurt or annoyed. I was a bit frustrated, though. I find it frustrating when other people misunderstand my perspective instead of asking me to clarify it. But I am sure I can also be too quick jumping to conclusions, so it wouldn't be honest of me to complain about other people doing so.

Anyway, so your "no" really meant something like "I do describe myself as an atheist when it is necessary, because I don't believe in any gods and I thus think the adjective can be used to describe me, although I reject labelling on principle because no single word can reflect the complete sum of all my attributes", is that more or less the case? If it is, then I would say that your answer is closer to "I am an atheist because I don't believe in any gods" than it is to "no". And I find that great, because it means that you examine the universe around you from an open perspective; your thoughts are not constrained by a self-imposed ideology. That gives me a little bit of hope in the future of humanity.

Well, the label is useful in the context of some situations, but yes, that isn't the sum total of my life...LOL...

Quote:
(04-04-2014 07:43 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  I think that *many* [people] do [hold on to their dear beliefs because they view them as part of their identity]. But I also think that it's a sloppy way to think. I think that's the point you may have been making as well.
That is one of the points I was trying to make, although I sometimes wonder whether accepting ideas as truths based solely in the perceived authority of their source can be described as "thinking".

But there is a point beyond the simple criticism about other people's mental processes. If some or many people hold on to their beliefs because they think those beliefs are what defines them, and if we are interested in making those people understand the advantages of learning over the disadvantages of taking random ideas as truths (I don't know, maybe we feel that life for humans would be easier if we didn't waste huge amounts of collective effort into thanking nothing for doing nothing), wouldn't it be wise to offer those people an alternative identity that they can hold on to? If the problem is that they're told they're Christians/Muslims/Jews/Buddhists/Atheists/Whatever, why don't we remind them that they are actually human beings? The same, of course, goes for nationalities.

Thanks for your unnecessary apologies. Have a good one!

Well it really is that simple. But we humans muck it up anyway....Facepalm

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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05-04-2014, 06:47 PM
RE: Are you an X because you believe in X'? Or do you believe in X' because you are an X?
(05-04-2014 12:14 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  I would like to add a third method. "I believe in xyz therefore I am a christian. I am a christian therefore I also believe in ABC". To a certain extent I think it is a matter of both. Some doctrines go cause to effect while others go effect to cause.

Yes, because all xtians believe in exactly the same things, right down the line....Angel

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It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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05-04-2014, 06:51 PM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2014 06:57 PM by Charis.)
RE: Are you an X because you believe in X'? Or do you believe in X' because you are an X?
You don't understand.... Taq... the ultimate S&M-style poster here.. and he's suddenly exhibiting a gentle touch. He's known for his whips and the welts they bring, and now suddenly he pulls out a feather.

Color me breathless.
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06-04-2014, 07:44 AM
Are you an X because you believe in X'? Or do you believe in X' because you are an X?
Hello TarzanSmith, how are you?

(05-04-2014 12:14 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  I would like to add a third method. "I believe in xyz therefore I am a christian. I am a christian therefore I also believe in ABC". To a certain extent I think it is a matter of both. Some doctrines go cause to effect while others go effect to cause.

I think I may understand what you are saying. One may become a Christian/Muslim/Jew/Buddhist/Atheist/Whatever by accepting some of the notions presented by some particular creed (or lack of creed) and then believe or disbelieve the rest of the notions by extension, is that more or less what you're saying?

Let us see it with a fictional example. Christianism promotes being kind to one another and I agree with that notion, therefore I am a Christian, therefore I conclude that Jesus Christ existed.

Well I don't know if there are people out there who follow a similar kind of "logic", but I place it in the second lot. Regardless of why someone may consider themselves a Christian/Muslim/Jew/Buddhist/Atheist/Whatever, if we accept any notion just because we think we belong to a particular group of people, we are making an ideology part of our identity, and I find that silly.

But then again, I like not being able to frame myself in a particular ideology; I like having my own perspective about the universe I can find around me. So I am probably biased in what I consider to be silly.

Thanks for your interesting view.
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06-04-2014, 07:47 AM
Are you an X because you believe in X'? Or do you believe in X' because you are an X?
Hi Taqiyya, welcome back!

(05-04-2014 06:44 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Well it really is that simple. But we humans muck it up anyway
Yeah, it is amazing how we have the potential ability to make our lives much easier, but we've managed to make them so complicated that hunting mammoths seems easy by comparison!

Sure, a cromagnon would have less trouble learning how to press buttons to do pretty much everything, like we do today, than I would learning how to make spears with sticks and stones, hunt a large animal with them, then make a fire and cook it, but I'd like to see a cromagnon dealing with bureaucracy.

Life would be a lot easier for everyone if human parasites understood the value of mutual cooperation.
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