Does atheism or theism have any practical uses for society?
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06-10-2013, 07:28 AM
RE: Does atheism or theism have any practical uses for society?
(06-10-2013 12:16 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(04-10-2013 02:08 PM)I and I Wrote:  Example: right now the capitalist world is experiencing and will continue to experience further declines economically and economic depression on a world wide scale is well already began. How does theism or atheism have any practical uses in helping this situation.

Theists and atheists are welcome to attempt to explain the practical uses of their belief systems.

If there are no practical uses for real world problems then are the positions of atheism and theism a head in the sand personal belief that keeps people distracted from every day life?

The world is moving towards economic decline precisely because all over the world societies are moving further and further away from the principles that underlie capitalism: individualism, property rights, liberty. Those were the principles that brought about the greatest prosperity in Human history. Atheism is not a philosophy. It is a position on a single question. Religions are a form of philosophy. They are a belief system and it is precisely the principles taught by every religion that are undermining individualism and capitalism. Where do you see any capitalism? What we have more and more is a mixture of freedom and fascism or socialism. The two are incompatible. Socialism and fascism are based on the premise that a man's life does not belong to him as are almost all religions. Capitalism is simply people producing goods and trading them with one another freely and voluntarily. It is based on the premises that a man owns his own life and the products of his labor and his mind. It is about producing and keeping values not giving them up in selfless sacrifice to others whether that be the society or a god. A moral code that preaches self sacrifice and that we are our brother's keeper is incompatible with capitalism and life. Until men stop believing that they are nothing more than sacrificial animals here to serve others and never themselves, to serve an incomprehensible god for an unknowable purpose then the world will continue to decline back into another dark age. My greatest fear is not that the world will turn more to socialism after it collapses but to theocracy. The only thing that will help the situation is a moral code of reason, individualism and production.

Atheism is not of use to society but rationality and critical thinking are. The irrationality of religion, in my opinion, is the greatest threat to the world today.

Individualism, property rights and liberty is what brought wealth? Do you have an shred of evidence for this? (in a different thread)

The position of a theist and the position of an atheist so far has had no groups or organizations that have any practical methods to make society better. I would like some examples if you disagree with that claim. What problem are they fixing and how are they fixing it.
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06-10-2013, 10:23 AM
RE: Does atheism or theism have any practical uses for society?
As far as practical uses of theism for society go, does "object lesson" count?
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06-10-2013, 10:41 AM
RE: Does atheism or theism have any practical uses for society?
(06-10-2013 07:28 AM)I and I Wrote:  The position of a theist and the position of an atheist so far has had no groups or organizations that have any practical methods to make society better. I would like some examples if you disagree with that claim. What problem are they fixing and how are they fixing it.

Atheism is a result of rational thought and critical thinking about the world in which we live.

If we think of all the products of rational thought, critical thinking and basing your knowledge on evidence, you have an entire world of medical, biological and all types of scientific feats of engineering that have made this world a better place to live by providing clean sources of drinking water, waste disposal, cures for disease, medication for illnesses, engineering everything that you see and use every day. The list will fill libraries and in fact does.

Theism is the product of irrational, delusional thought processes that base it's foundation of knowledge on faith. It's foundation is not evidence based and thus you couldn't even build the church that they go to every sunday using what they perceive to be true knowledge.

When you list all the things that make society better, like laws, morals, ethics, real accountability for your actions, a respect for individual rights, appliances for home and office, automobiles, planes, etc, you will find rational thought & critical thinking at the core of each one.

When you look at many of the ills of society, you will find delusions, irrationality and people who believe things without any basis in fact.

So yes, I disagree with your claim.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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06-10-2013, 01:17 PM
RE: Does atheism or theism have any practical uses for society?
(05-10-2013 04:25 PM)I and I Wrote:  I see modern atheism and modern theism as dong nothing and being useless to society at this point Are todays atheists doing anything differently about the failing economy vs todays theists? They both seem to be complacent about the situation and seem to be going along with things.

Let's see. My grandma is very religious and believes she should be giving money to the church (and no, that money does not go to the poor), when our family is having some serious financial problems. If she was an atheist, less money would be wasted. Now multiply that by 1.000.000 religious grandmas and imagine the difference in society. I think that pretty much proves that atheism can improve society, thus it kind of has a "practical use" for society.

And this is just the tiniest simplest example I can think of right now, but there are probably millions.

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06-10-2013, 07:39 PM (This post was last modified: 06-10-2013 07:44 PM by Raptor Jesus.)
RE: Does atheism or theism have any practical uses for society?
(05-10-2013 12:28 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(04-10-2013 07:08 PM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  But Atheism has nothing to do with belief either.
Atheism is a direct reference to belief.
Theist is a person with belief in god/s
Atheist is a person without a belief in god/s

I know what atheism is. It's a lack of a particular belief. That is still not a belief. I don't belief in not believing in "God" or "gods".

I don't believe in a whole host of things, more numerous and infinite then can even be begun to be described, or even have time in my limited years of life to contemplate. Infinite because there are an infinite number of possible things that could be imagined, more than all the people of the world will ever be able to imagine because there will always be a finite amount of human minds to think them in to imagination. Of this immeasurably, boundless body of things I do not believe, I do not equally have an infinite muddle of beliefs of not believing in them.

"God" and "gods" just happens to be one of those things I do not believe, made aware to me only in part because of Theist. In no more a way is it true that those unconjured non-beliefs, I mentioned before, constitute a belief that I don't believe in them, than is it true that by the happenstance that some Theist, some years ago, pulled a non-belief out of the ether, crafting it into a belief to be shared by others, does that make me believe in not believing in that.

Atheism is not a belief. It's not the other side of the coin of a belief. Atheism is that the coin does not exist.

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06-10-2013, 08:02 PM
RE: Does atheism or theism have any practical uses for society?
(06-10-2013 01:17 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  
(05-10-2013 04:25 PM)I and I Wrote:  I see modern atheism and modern theism as dong nothing and being useless to society at this point Are todays atheists doing anything differently about the failing economy vs todays theists? They both seem to be complacent about the situation and seem to be going along with things.

Let's see. My grandma is very religious and believes she should be giving money to the church (and no, that money does not go to the poor), when our family is having some serious financial problems. If she was an atheist, less money would be wasted. Now multiply that by 1.000.000 religious grandmas and imagine the difference in society. I think that pretty much proves that atheism can improve society, thus it kind of has a "practical use" for society.

And this is just the tiniest simplest example I can think of right now, but there are probably millions.

People give money to this idealized group of people known as the government, people fight and die for them too. The example that you mentioned is not synonymous with religion, and the absence of religion does not mean the absence of dumb ideas and taking advantage of weak minded people.
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06-10-2013, 08:15 PM
RE: Does atheism or theism have any practical uses for society?
(06-10-2013 07:39 PM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  Atheism is not a belief. It's not the other side of the coin of a belief. Atheism is that the coin does not exist.
Yes, absolutely correct. Atheism is lack of a belief in gods. So the word has a direct correlation to the word "belief"

Where-as Agnostic has no relation what so ever to the word "belief"
A person either has a belief or lacks a belief, there is no in between.
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06-10-2013, 08:26 PM
RE: Does atheism or theism have any practical uses for society?
(06-10-2013 08:15 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(06-10-2013 07:39 PM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  Atheism is not a belief. It's not the other side of the coin of a belief. Atheism is that the coin does not exist.
Yes, absolutely correct. Atheism is lack of a belief in gods. So the word has a direct correlation to the word "belief"

Where-as Agnostic has no relation what so ever to the word "belief"
A person either has a belief or lacks a belief, there is no in between.

Whether or not there is an area that is neither belief or disbelief is a philosophical debate that would be an interesting one. The nature of belief is a beast to deal with philosophically. What is belief? Is it a mental acceptance or a physical showing of a mental acceptance? can one believe but not act like they believe?
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06-10-2013, 09:57 PM
RE: Does atheism or theism have any practical uses for society?
(06-10-2013 08:26 PM)I and I Wrote:  Whether or not there is an area that is neither belief or disbelief is a philosophical debate that would be an interesting one. The nature of belief is a beast to deal with philosophically. What is belief? Is it a mental acceptance or a physical showing of a mental acceptance? can one believe but not act like they believe?
I equate belief to picking one option and closing one's mind to plausible alternatives.
e.g. A and B are both plausible but contradictory explanations, therefore you can't accept both. A person chooses to believe in A thus disguards B.
Another person chooses to keep an open mind saying that it could be A or B but that there is insufficient data to suggest which one is actually correct.

If there is only one plausible option such as evolution, then people can accept evolution and not call it a belief because they don't need to disguard an alternative.

Of course evolution could in future prove to be wrong if a better explanation comes up, this is the case with all theories.
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07-10-2013, 12:46 AM (This post was last modified: 07-10-2013 01:07 AM by Raptor Jesus.)
RE: Does atheism or theism have any practical uses for society?
(06-10-2013 09:57 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I equate belief to picking one option and closing one's mind to plausible alternatives.
e.g. A and B are both plausible but contradictory explanations, therefore you can't accept both. A person chooses to believe in A thus disguards B.
Another person chooses to keep an open mind saying that it could be A or B but that there is insufficient data to suggest which one is actually correct.

If there is only one plausible option such as evolution, then people can accept evolution and not call it a belief because they don't need to disguard an alternative.

Of course evolution could in future prove to be wrong if a better explanation comes up, this is the case with all theories.

This actually gets at the heart of my point of disconnecting Atheism from the idea of a belief. It may simply be a semantical point, but I think it's an important distinction. But of course it's just my two cents, as it were.

The problem have with your analogy of "A and B" in reference to Theism and Atheism is that it's not an apt comparison. In your example "A" is something and "B" is a contradictory thing. It is true that Theism is contradictory to Atheism, and vice versa. But the flaw is that Atheism is not an alternative to Theism. It's the absence of Theism.

A more apt analogy may be that there is option "A", or not "A". In other words, either there is "A" or there is not. There is no reason to name "not A" because it's just the lack of "A". Either there is "A" or there isn't. There's not turn that is needed to denote the lack of it.

Or put it this way. Let continue to use your analogy using letters. But in this case a different letter than "A" or "B". Chose any letter that is not actually in the alphabet. For simplicity let's stick to the Roman Alphabet (A-Z). Now that you have this letter in mind there is either "(imaginary Roman letter not in the Roman Alphabet)" or not that.

As it is this "Roman letter" you imagined "outside of the Roman Alphabet" does not exist, so the alternative to that imagined letter being real is not a letter. It's simply the lack of the imagined letter. There is no letter for "not a letter".

There are aspects for religion for which your analogy works fine. "A" is creation if the universe by "God" as told in Genesis, "B" is the origin for the universe in the big bang. There you do have an "A" and a "B". But notice that "B" still is not Atheism. "B" is an aspect of science.

When we are talking about a belief: "A"="God" or "gods", then the alternative is actually a lack of belief: " "=" ". Unfortunately we live in a world so inundated with religious belief that we've been forced to come up with a term for the lack of belief in "God". So we call " "="Atheism". But it has nothing to do with belief. Again it is the lack of this one particular belief. To be sure "Atheism" is still " ", regardless of whether we have to call it something or not. When fools like 'I and I' demanding "Atheism" explain itself, even though "Atheism" is the lack of a particular thing, not a thing in it's self, it's because they really don't understand that Atheism is not a belief, or a thing. It's a lack of a belief, or a lack of a thing. It's not a thing that can have answers. It simply takes one wrong answer off the table, there by making the person who could be labled as an Atheist just that particular amount less wrong about the world. It's not a new thought, or world view, or idea, or philosophy, that can or needs to explain anything at all. It's taking "A" and removing it. Considering "A" is extremely invasive in virtually every aspect of life, society, thought, and beliefs of the nature of reality and the natural world, removing "A" is of extreme value, but only due to the nature of the "A" itself that it is removing. By removing it, those who can be labled as Atheist don't simply become less wrong by that one particular amount ("God" and "gods"), but become less wrong about a great number of things in the world, and of reality. How you fill those gaps, whether you fill them back up with something wrong, or something true, or with nothing at all, is up to the individual.

The only practical use Atheism has is as a hole for Theism, turning Theism into " ". Turning Theism into " " has the great benefit of freeing up any rational thought and progress that is inherently blocked by those particular false beliefs that Theism blocks. What you do with that freedom of rational thought is up to you. You may chose to use it, or you may not. All Atheism does "practically" is to allow for this freedom of rational thought. But again, just my two cents.

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