Here is my argument against atheism if you're interested at all
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26-12-2014, 04:15 PM
RE: Here is my argument against atheism if you're interested at all
(26-12-2014 04:04 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(26-12-2014 03:09 PM)Cthulhu Wrote:  In my own opinion (which you may well disagree with that's fine with me) I see atheism as more a reaction against religion

Well, you got that part right. Without theism there would be no atheism.

No, there'd be nothing but atheism. We just wouldn't have a name for it.

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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26-12-2014, 04:21 PM
RE: Here is my argument against atheism if you're interested at all
Okay. First off, I suggest you invest a little bit of time into formatting, presentation, and maybe a bit of punctuation. Your stream-of-consciousness approach is hard to follow. This isn't me being a grammar nazi nitpicker, this is me pointing out that your ideas aren't coming through clearly and you can improve that with better presentation.

Overall, if I'm reading you correctly, you appear to be subscribing to a particularly narrow definition of the word atheist, amounting to: "A person who believes, definitively absolutely and without doubt, that no god exists."

While there are some people who qualify as an atheist under this definition, there are a great many people (myself included) who identify as atheist but do NOT meet this criteria. There are several other definitions of the word "atheist" in common usage, and while this is A definition of "atheist", it is not THE definition.

Oddly enough, this definition sees much more use by the opponents of atheism than atheists themselves. This is because its narrowness and extremism allows for the most delightfully savage strawman arguments, misrepresentations, and general slander. As it is typically used as a weapon against us, many of us react with hostility to its use, and tend to lump people who use it all in the same hateful category. You actually don't come across as belonging there, so I'll give you a pass, but don't be surprised if others here won't be so kind.

A far better definition for the word atheist, if one actually cares what a person means when they say that they are an atheist, is "someone who does not believe that any god exists". This includes the fervent disbelievers, but also the undecided, unconvinced, pretty-much-convinced-there's-none-but-allowing-some-possibility, and so on.

I'll go through later and address some additional points you made, but wanted to get this response up now.
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26-12-2014, 04:25 PM
RE: Here is my argument against atheism if you're interested at all
(26-12-2014 03:40 PM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  
(26-12-2014 03:09 PM)Cthulhu Wrote:  In my own opinion (which you may well disagree with that's fine with me) I see atheism as more a reaction against religion and religious people while maintaining a collective in group mentality, you can post on forums like this for instance, read atheist books, join an atheist convention or "church and feel like you belong to something greater than yourself with "people like yourself" which is perhaps part of the human religious drive. There even seems to be some kind of schism within atheism with this atheism plus business in much the same way a religious movement would form splinter groups and off-shots with adherents to different of a creed so again that's very much comparable to what would happen within a religion.

I don't doubt that there might be people that become atheist out of pure rebellion (maybe against the parents), however generalizing that and making it the only nature of being an atheist is wrong. The users on this site are sufficient proof that you're wrong on that one.

I'm not an atheist because I'm a "rebel", my atheism is the conclusion of a path paved with skepticism and with the help of other people talking about it.

About your second point, we don't have a group mentality. Aside from atheism and possibly the lack of belief in other supernatural events, anything can be different. You can find two atheists where the only thing in common is the atheism itself. The way we reach atheism can be different, and the way we live is different.

(26-12-2014 03:09 PM)Cthulhu Wrote:  Instead of being an atheist why not open your mind to the limitless possibilities of what could be possible? I'm not saying the specific doctrines of a Mormon, Sikh, Muslim, Wiccan or whatever are going to be very likely individually as religions but they can still be respected and not called wrong or deluded, brain washed as children or whatever else (though people can be corrected if they're wrong about known certain facts of course). Also when it comes to the deeper and more ultimate questions of our existence why argue against something that you don't personally know is true or untrue as though you know what is true when you don't? Confused You see what I'm saying here? Anyway feel free to facepalm Facepalm and correct any flaws you see in my reasoning or understanding of what atheism actually is this is just my ten pence/overall philosophy concerning the big questions.

We are open to any possibility. I'm open to the idea of there being a God, however, until we find evidence for one, or we even understand "what" is a God, I see no reason to think that there is one.

The same way of thinking that I apply to unicorns, goblins, Godzilla, leprechauns, dwarves, and so on.

Noooo! Not Godzilla!
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26-12-2014, 04:30 PM
RE: Here is my argument against atheism if you're interested at all
(26-12-2014 03:09 PM)Cthulhu Wrote:  I'm certainly not an atheist myself even though I don't belong to a religion or specific faith as they are generally a little bit silly (pork is forbidden, no foreskins, bread/wine literally turns into the flesh/blood of a god-man in your mouth, magic underwear, homosexuality is an abomination to God etc), contradictory, divisive and apparently what you believe is based on where you were born so they're ultimately very likely going to be man made cultural products of a human collective imagination. It can be an impressive work of imagination though and I see no reason why some of these ideas and concepts may not be true in reality so our universe may have designed by a greater intelligence (or intelligences) of some kind for the purpose of creating life/humanity and/or perhaps there is some kind of continued concious existence after the death of body as there is nothing I know personally (and I'm fairly confident that no-one else alive knows Neil Degrasse Tyson included) that would prevent any of this from being true in actual reality, if it is true you don't get top argue that it isn't in your opinion it would just be true. Even if you want to bring up certain known scientific facts such as the Big Bang or evolution those could just be part of the intentional design or purpose of the universe if it was intentionally created this way for all we actually know so there isn't really point taking a "side" on this question unless you want a personal faith or belief which is fine if you're into that sort of thing. I'm also happy with children being brought up within religious traditions as well, if a Jew, Christian' Hindu or Muslim parent wants to bring their children up believing what they believe is true then all the best to them, no-one is harmed and it doesn't ruin mine or Richard Dawkin's day particularly. It may even be generally be a good thing for some or even most people in a society to have a well defined spiritual faith even if it's not necessarily for me, it seems like all civilizations throughout history were united under some kind of religion so it may be a fundamental human need (for most if not all humans we're the exceptions not the rule). If I had a child with a partner who was particularly religious and they wanted to bring them up in a faith they could do that even though they would inevitably have some exposure to my general lack of religiousness and I would explain to them what my opinion, it's the opinion of having an open mind.

While I'm not religious and I wouldn't join a faith myself I'm fine with people believing in religions, God, angels, Atlantis, ghosts, faeries, alien abductions, the Lochness Monster, homoeopathy or whatever they enjoy believing in as long as they're not harming anyone or believing anything we know for a fact isn't true. You may bring up Santa and say we don't know for a fact that he doesn't exist but if he did exist as legend describes him as being then he would be much too obvious for anyone not to notice so you can take his apparent non-existence as factual in his particular case. If Jesus for instance was one third of a Trinity of God that isn't really something you would notice happening if real in the same way as a jolly fat fan dressed in red ridding a sleigh pulled by magical reindeer, you can see how the two things aren't quite comparable in the exact same way as they are two very different propositions with a different observable or lack of an observable outcome if true.

In my own opinion (which you may well disagree with that's fine with me) I see atheism as more a reaction against religion and religious people while maintaining a collective in group mentality, you can post on forums like this for instance, read atheist books, join an atheist convention or "church and feel like you belong to something greater than yourself with "people like yourself" which is perhaps part of the human religious drive. There even seems to be some kind of schism within atheism with this atheism plus business in much the same way a religious movement would form splinter groups and off-shots with adherents to different of a creed so again that's very much comparable to what would happen within a religion.

Instead of being an atheist why not open your mind to the limitless possibilities of what could be possible? I'm not saying the specific doctrines of a Mormon, Sikh, Muslim, Wiccan or whatever are going to be very likely individually as religions but they can still be respected and not called wrong or deluded, brain washed as children or whatever else (though people can be corrected if they're wrong about known certain facts of course). Also when it comes to the deeper and more ultimate questions of our existence why argue against something that you don't personally know is true or untrue as though you know what is true when you don't? Confused You see what I'm saying here? Anyway feel free to facepalm Facepalm and correct any flaws you see in my reasoning or understanding of what atheism actually is this is just my ten pence/overall philosophy concerning the big questions.

The concept of "God" does not stand to reason. Period. End of story.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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26-12-2014, 04:33 PM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2014 04:38 PM by Free.)
RE: Here is my argument against atheism if you're interested at all
(26-12-2014 03:09 PM)Cthulhu Wrote:  In my own opinion (which you may well disagree with that's fine with me) I see atheism as more a reaction against religion and religious people while maintaining a collective in group mentality, you can post on forums like this for instance, read atheist books, join an atheist convention or "church and feel like you belong to something greater than yourself with "people like yourself" which is perhaps part of the human religious drive. There even seems to be some kind of schism within atheism with this atheism plus business in much the same way a religious movement would form splinter groups and off-shots with adherents to different of a creed so again that's very much comparable to what would happen within a religion.

Instead of being an atheist why not open your mind to the limitless possibilities of what could be possible? I'm not saying the specific doctrines of a Mormon, Sikh, Muslim, Wiccan or whatever are going to be very likely individually as religions but they can still be respected and not called wrong or deluded, brain washed as children or whatever else (though people can be corrected if they're wrong about known certain facts of course). Also when it comes to the deeper and more ultimate questions of our existence why argue against something that you don't personally know is true or untrue as though you know what is true when you don't? Confused You see what I'm saying here? Anyway feel free to facepalm Facepalm and correct any flaws you see in my reasoning or understanding of what atheism actually is this is just my ten pence/overall philosophy concerning the big questions.

Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

The absence of belief in deities is actually the default state of being of all human beings on the day they were born. Some people regard atheism as a position held, but I regard it a a state of being, since we all have an absence of belief in deities at the moment of birth.

We were all in a state of atheism the day we were born.

Atheists prefer to employ reason and rationale in our approach to questions of existence such as you suggest. We prefer to follow the tangible evidence to see where it leads us, rather than consider the possibility of a deity since not a single deity in history has ever had a shred of evidence of its existence to lead us.

Why should we follow any kind of supposed deity? For example, would you folow Thor? Zeus? Venus? Why not? Sounds rather silly, doesn't it? But yet you seem to suggest that we follow some kind of "possibility" when you cannot provide any evidence to demonstrate it as even being a possibility.

You see, something only becomes possible when there is some evidence to support the possibility. If there is no evidence to support the possibility, then there is no reason whatsoever to consider it a possibility.

Many people will say such things as "Anything is possible," but the reality is that is not true. For example, in whole numbers is it possible that 1 + 1 will ever equal 3? This alone disproves the "anything is possible" position.

Atheism teaches us to be intellectually honest and intellectually responsible. It does not make us impervious to error mind you, but it conditions our minds to seek out the most probable answers to questions that cannot yet be definitively answered. This directly contrasts to most theists who, when questions of existence are pondered, will stop searching for answers because they have determined that "Only God knows."

I am an atheist because I was born that way. And everyone else on earth was also born that way, but so many have been indoctrinated into various belief systems insomuch as the concept of atheism is now alien to them. Now, because of belief systems, we undoubtedly have lost some of the possibly greatest minds to have ever existed all because they have adopted the position of "Only God knows."

And that is a human travesty.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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26-12-2014, 04:38 PM
RE: Here is my argument against atheism if you're interested at all
(26-12-2014 03:09 PM)Cthulhu Wrote:  I'm certainly not an atheist myself even though I don't belong to a religion or specific faith as they are generally a little bit silly (pork is forbidden, no foreskins, bread/wine literally turns into the flesh/blood of a god-man in your mouth, magic underwear, homosexuality is an abomination to God etc), contradictory, divisive and apparently what you believe is based on where you were born so they're ultimately very likely going to be man made cultural products of a human collective imagination. It can be an impressive work of imagination though and I see no reason why some of these ideas and concepts may not be true in reality so our universe may have designed by a greater intelligence (or intelligences) of some kind for the purpose of creating life/humanity and/or perhaps there is some kind of continued concious existence after the death of body as there is nothing I know personally (and I'm fairly confident that no-one else alive knows Neil Degrasse Tyson included) that would prevent any of this from being true in actual reality, if it is true you don't get top argue that it isn't in your opinion it would just be true. Even if you want to bring up certain known scientific facts such as the Big Bang or evolution those could just be part of the intentional design or purpose of the universe if it was intentionally created this way for all we actually know so there isn't really point taking a "side" on this question unless you want a personal faith or belief which is fine if you're into that sort of thing. I'm also happy with children being brought up within religious traditions as well, if a Jew, Christian' Hindu or Muslim parent wants to bring their children up believing what they believe is true then all the best to them, no-one is harmed and it doesn't ruin mine or Richard Dawkin's day particularly. It may even be generally be a good thing for some or even most people in a society to have a well defined spiritual faith even if it's not necessarily for me, it seems like all civilizations throughout history were united under some kind of religion so it may be a fundamental human need (for most if not all humans we're the exceptions not the rule). If I had a child with a partner who was particularly religious and they wanted to bring them up in a faith they could do that even though they would inevitably have some exposure to my general lack of religiousness and I would explain to them what my opinion, it's the opinion of having an open mind.

While I'm not religious and I wouldn't join a faith myself I'm fine with people believing in religions, God, angels, Atlantis, ghosts, faeries, alien abductions, the Lochness Monster, homoeopathy or whatever they enjoy believing in as long as they're not harming anyone or believing anything we know for a fact isn't true. You may bring up Santa and say we don't know for a fact that he doesn't exist but if he did exist as legend describes him as being then he would be much too obvious for anyone not to notice so you can take his apparent non-existence as factual in his particular case. If Jesus for instance was one third of a Trinity of God that isn't really something you would notice happening if real in the same way as a jolly fat fan dressed in red ridding a sleigh pulled by magical reindeer, you can see how the two things aren't quite comparable in the exact same way as they are two very different propositions with a different observable or lack of an observable outcome if true.

In my own opinion (which you may well disagree with that's fine with me) I see atheism as more a reaction against religion and religious people while maintaining a collective in group mentality, you can post on forums like this for instance, read atheist books, join an atheist convention or "church and feel like you belong to something greater than yourself with "people like yourself" which is perhaps part of the human religious drive. There even seems to be some kind of schism within atheism with this atheism plus business in much the same way a religious movement would form splinter groups and off-shots with adherents to different of a creed so again that's very much comparable to what would happen within a religion.

Instead of being an atheist why not open your mind to the limitless possibilities of what could be possible? I'm not saying the specific doctrines of a Mormon, Sikh, Muslim, Wiccan or whatever are going to be very likely individually as religions but they can still be respected and not called wrong or deluded, brain washed as children or whatever else (though people can be corrected if they're wrong about known certain facts of course). Also when it comes to the deeper and more ultimate questions of our existence why argue against something that you don't personally know is true or untrue as though you know what is true when you don't? Confused You see what I'm saying here? Anyway feel free to facepalm Facepalm and correct any flaws you see in my reasoning or understanding of what atheism actually is this is just my ten pence/overall philosophy concerning the big questions.

Is your mind open to the possibility there may be a Chevy orbiting Pluto ?
If not, you have an answer to your question.
If yes, you are to be pitied.
Don't open your mind so much your brain falls out.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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26-12-2014, 04:55 PM
RE: Here is my argument against atheism if you're interested at all
(26-12-2014 03:40 PM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  We are open to any possibility.

Ok, let's find out if that is true.

Quote:I'm open to the idea of there being a God, however, until we find evidence for one, or we even understand "what" is a God, I see no reason to think that there is one.

Are you open to the possibility that your human reasoning, human reasoning in general, may be unqualified to deliver any meaningful conclusion on the god question?

Are you open to the possibility that should that prove to be true, your position along with most of the content on this forum will come tumbling down to the ground with a big thud, and you'll be left with nothing?

Are you open to the possibility that until you prove the qualifications of your chosen authority you are a faith based believer no different than theists who operate from faith in their chosen authorities?
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26-12-2014, 05:04 PM
RE: Here is my argument against atheism if you're interested at all
(26-12-2014 04:33 PM)Free Wrote:  Atheism teaches us to be intellectually honest and intellectually responsible.

Then stop endlessly dodging and weaving, and actually be intellectually honest, and challenge your own chosen authority with the very same rigor and vigor you reasonably apply to challenging the chosen authorities of theists.
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26-12-2014, 05:10 PM
RE: Here is my argument against atheism if you're interested at all
(26-12-2014 05:04 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
(26-12-2014 04:33 PM)Free Wrote:  Atheism teaches us to be intellectually honest and intellectually responsible.

Then stop endlessly dodging and weaving, and actually be intellectually honest, and challenge your own chosen authority with the very same rigor and vigor you reasonably apply to challenging the chosen authorities of theists.

Challenge it with what?

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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26-12-2014, 05:24 PM
RE: Here is my argument against atheism if you're interested at all
I have to choose an authority? Unsure

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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