Atheism and belief
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05-09-2010, 02:07 AM
RE: Atheism and belief
(04-09-2010 03:01 PM)Soldieringon Wrote:  We as atheists will eventually divide into sub-groups and cultures on our own.

This quote puzzles me since I don't see any atheist group as a group in the sense of a religious group. Atheist groups seem to exist only as a response to the absurdity of religion and religious groups, for the purposes of recovering from the brainwashing and other psycolgical problems religion causes, or to stand up against religious power for the sake of keeping the world sane. If religion were to disappear our group would all wonder our merry ways and join a saner world. I find it hard to see how we could splinter into sects like religions do. Herding cats is nothing like herding sheep.
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05-09-2010, 02:15 AM
 
RE: Atheism and belief
(05-09-2010 02:07 AM)No J. Wrote:  
(04-09-2010 03:01 PM)Soldieringon Wrote:  We as atheists will eventually divide into sub-groups and cultures on our own.

This quote puzzles me since I don't see any atheist group as a group in the sense of a religious group. Atheist groups seem to exist only as a response to the absurdity of religion and religious groups, for the purposes of recovering from the brainwashing and other psycolgical problems religion causes, or to stand up against religious power for the sake of keeping the world sane. If religion were to disappear our group would all wonder our merry ways and join a saner world. I find it hard to see how we could splinter into sects like religions do. Herding cats is nothing like herding sheep.

I see where you are coming form on this, but let me try to explain WHY we would divide ourselves into groups.

It is a natural tendency of people to compare and contrast things. Those that find things similar tend to gravitate towards them. People with similar interests will congregate, much as we have done here. I, as an anti-theist, tend to fall more in line with other anti-theists (or new atheists, or Second atheists, or whatever the current term is).

And to get away from atheism for a moment, I belong to a soldier's forum. We naturally group by rank, then job description then interests. Sub divisions of a herd (whether cats or sheep) are natural.

Though, I see the point you are making on atheism as well. If there were no religion, we would not have a definition for not believing in god, so there would be no atheists to divide. Or, everyone would be atheists and not know it. but we would still divide into smaller groups over another topic.

Religious groups divide over beliefs because beliefs are the common platform for them. If they all believed in the exact same thing, then they would divide over gender or social category instead.
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05-09-2010, 02:58 AM
RE: Atheism and belief
Soldieringon, you're really starting to make sense to me. Thanks for some new insight. You've really got me re-thinking the way I look at this.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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05-09-2010, 03:07 AM
 
RE: Atheism and belief
(05-09-2010 02:58 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Soldieringon, you're really starting to make sense to me. Thanks for some new insight. You've really got me re-thinking the way I look at this.

Thanks for the compliment, though you might change your mind when you see the way I blew up on the Army thread.
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05-09-2010, 03:12 AM
RE: Atheism and belief
LOL. The insight I gain from you here is independant of your opinions on other matters. (Not to mention I read the army thread, and don't fault you one bit. For having such a strong opinion on that matter, I'd say you expressed yourself well)

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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05-09-2010, 07:45 AM
RE: Atheism and belief
(05-09-2010 02:07 AM)No J. Wrote:  This quote puzzles me since I don't see any atheist group as a group in the sense of a religious group. Atheist groups seem to exist only as a response to the absurdity of religion and religious groups, for the purposes of recovering from the brainwashing and other psycolgical problems religion causes, or to stand up against religious power for the sake of keeping the world sane. If religion were to disappear our group would all wonder our merry ways and join a saner world. I find it hard to see how we could splinter into sects like religions do. Herding cats is nothing like herding sheep.

I just want to throw this out. Keeping in mind that atheism is really only a lack of belief in god, we've already seen a splintering. The groups that are being mentioned are a sub-group of atheism, a more anti-theist subgroup. And I've seen plenty of atheist sheep(though they are smaller percent of the atheist population than religious sheep).

Anyway, I think the issue isn't that atheists don't go into splinter groups, but that a splinter group of atheists have largely high jacked the term. I've seen a lot of atheist that refuse to call them selves as such(I'm not an atheist, I'm a secularist/humanist/materialist/whatever), because they don't want to be grouped in with the more stronger atheists that wear the title loud and proud(such as most people here). I disagree with their need to distance themselves from the self-proclaimed atheist groups, I'm damn proud of being an atheist myself, but I've seen them none the less.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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05-09-2010, 04:10 PM
RE: Atheism and belief
(05-09-2010 02:15 AM)Soldieringon Wrote:  
(05-09-2010 02:07 AM)No J. Wrote:  [quote='Soldieringon' pid='6939' dateline='1283634105']

We as atheists will eventually divide into sub-groups and cultures on our own.

Though, I see the point you are making on atheism as well. If there were no religion, we would not have a definition for not believing in god, so there would be no atheists to divide. Or, everyone would be atheists and not know it. but we would still divide into smaller groups over another topic.

But in such a circumstance, we wouldn't be dividing as atheists, we would be joining other groups for other reasons.
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05-09-2010, 04:14 PM
 
RE: Atheism and belief
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06-09-2010, 05:49 AM
 
RE: Atheism and belief
(05-09-2010 02:15 AM)Soldieringon Wrote:  I see where you are coming form on this, but let me try to explain WHY we would divide ourselves into groups.

It is a natural tendency of people to compare and contrast things. Those that find things similar tend to gravitate towards them. People with similar interests will congregate, much as we have done here. I, as an anti-theist, tend to fall more in line with other anti-theists (or new atheists, or Second atheists, or whatever the current term is).
...
Religious groups divide over beliefs because beliefs are the common platform for them. If they all believed in the exact same thing, then they would divide over gender or social category instead.
With any group of more than 2 people, it's virtually impossible to keep that group from splintering into subgroups. And the result is always a "taxonomy" of that group, presumably with "hard" boundaries ... you believe in X or you don't ...

With a large group, such as all atheists, you could develop a list of possible beliefs within the atheists, X0, X1, X2, ..., Xm, where m is some very large integer number.

Some possible beliefs within atheism:

a. The evidence is overwhelming that God doesn't exist
b. Morality is determined by biological constraints
c. The universe is connected by a mysterious "force" that binds us all
d. The Moon is made of bleu cheese
e. Carbon dating is not perfect
f. The earth revolves around the Sun
g. ... and so on ...

If you consider every individual will either believe or not believe in Xj, where j=0,1,2, ..., m, there are many, many possible combinations of beliefs. If belief is given a 1 for a believer and a 0 for a nonbeliever, then each person within the group would have a "signature" of their beliefs (for example, X0=1, X1=0, X2=0, ..., Xm=1). If m is a large enough number, then most every atheist might have a completely unique "signature" of beliefs within atheism. However, if it turns out that many atheists share an identical "signature" of beliefs, they form a subgroup of substantial size, whereas those atheists who have a completely unique signature form a subgroup of with only one member. Unless someone new joins the group who shares a signature with a member whose signature previously had been unique.

OK, assuming we could conduct such a survey regarding every possible belief that every atheist has ... what have we learned?

By the way, this says nothing of the possibility that we might not either fully believe or fully disbelieve each of the possible beliefs we've identified in our list - instead of a set of either 1s or 0s, we might have values ranging anywhere from 0 to 1: 0.00005, 3.14159, 6.1, 8.7777777777777777777777777777777777, 0.991, and so on. In such a case, the chances are quite good that everyone's signature is unique. Now what?
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06-09-2010, 06:08 AM
 
RE: Atheism and belief
(06-09-2010 05:49 AM)2buckchuck Wrote:  
(05-09-2010 02:15 AM)Soldieringon Wrote:  I see where you are coming form on this, but let me try to explain WHY we would divide ourselves into groups.

It is a natural tendency of people to compare and contrast things. Those that find things similar tend to gravitate towards them. People with similar interests will congregate, much as we have done here. I, as an anti-theist, tend to fall more in line with other anti-theists (or new atheists, or Second atheists, or whatever the current term is).
...
Religious groups divide over beliefs because beliefs are the common platform for them. If they all believed in the exact same thing, then they would divide over gender or social category instead.
With any group of more than 2 people, it's virtually impossible to keep that group from splintering into subgroups. And the result is always a "taxonomy" of that group, presumably with "hard" boundaries ... you believe in X or you don't ...

With a large group, such as all atheists, you could develop a list of possible beliefs within the atheists, X0, X1, X2, ..., Xm, where m is some very large integer number.

Some possible beliefs within atheism:

a. The evidence is overwhelming that God doesn't exist
b. Morality is determined by biological constraints
c. The universe is connected by a mysterious "force" that binds us all
d. The Moon is made of bleu cheese
e. Carbon dating is not perfect
f. The earth revolves around the Sun
g. ... and so on ...

If you consider every individual will either believe or not believe in Xj, where j=0,1,2, ..., m, there are many, many possible combinations of beliefs. If belief is given a 1 for a believer and a 0 for a nonbeliever, then each person within the group would have a "signature" of their beliefs (for example, X0=1, X1=0, X2=0, ..., Xm=1). If m is a large enough number, then most every atheist might have a completely unique "signature" of beliefs within atheism. However, if it turns out that many atheists share an identical "signature" of beliefs, they form a subgroup of substantial size, whereas those atheists who have a completely unique signature form a subgroup of with only one member. Unless someone new joins the group who shares a signature with a member whose signature previously had been unique.

OK, assuming we could conduct such a survey regarding every possible belief that every atheist has ... what have we learned?

By the way, this says nothing of the possibility that we might not either fully believe or fully disbelieve each of the possible beliefs we've identified in our list - instead of a set of either 1s or 0s, we might have values ranging anywhere from 0 to 1: 0.00005, 3.14159, 6.1, 8.7777777777777777777777777777777777, 0.991, and so on. In such a case, the chances are quite good that everyone's signature is unique. Now what?

Well, I think you answered the original question. But I know that I definitely don't believe in the Bleu cheese one.

But I contend that the size of the group doesn't matter. My only point was that there are sub groups in atheism because we compare and contrast. I don't know what else you really want me to say on the subject.

Where do you fall on Bleu Cheese and the moon? Smile
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