One of Us
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05-03-2011, 02:13 PM
RE: One of Us
(05-03-2011 11:48 AM)Cetaceaphile Wrote:  I don't think "atheist" is specific enough to even be used as an "everyone should think as we do" thing.

I totally hear you. That's where this recent struggle with the term stems from for me. I've always said the same thing, but I am also the type to follow the evidence. I see more and more evidence that many atheists (note: many, not all) do follow a specific way of thinking. That is, in large part due to the tendency to think more skeptically of course, but I also see evidence that many atheists do, in fact, have the, "everyone should think as we do" mentality. I know alot of you may be thinking, "ok, show us the evidence". Fair enough. My only response to that can be, "read through these forums, and see if you notice a common theme. Listen to the atheists you know, and look for the same."

I'm not getting down on anybody here. I'm staying as open minded as I can, taking the information I have, and challenging my own thinking. I find it easy to challenge other peoples thinking. To challenge my own is a little tougher.

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05-03-2011, 03:59 PM
RE: One of Us
(05-03-2011 10:22 AM)Ghost Wrote:  So is the meme in question or the meme you carry the more widely represented among Atheists? I feel ya when you say you don't know and I dig your honesty.

As for your final post, the 2-parter, I didn't quite pick up what you were putting down.
Honesty is the best policy. When I don't know, I just don't know.

As for the 2-parter, I was trying to say that I don't think everyone should think like me, there are people that think in certain ways that I wish they wouldn't. So while I don't want conformity to my values/thought style, I sometimes wish there were people who would change theres to a method I feel more...reasonable. Did I word that well enough?

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05-03-2011, 04:00 PM
RE: One of Us
(05-03-2011 10:22 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:Fairer to me means to treat others better than they would treat you. Plain and simple.

Say you and I are both rapists (which of course we are not). When I rape you, I tie you up and beat the shit out of you. When you rape me, we have a candle light dinner first and when you're done, you caress my hair and listen to my feelings. That's much better treatment, but ultimately, it's not different. We're both still rapists.

Let's see. You can't tell the difference between seduction and rape? No, you are too intellegent for that, so, do love to over-complicate everything, or do you love to engage in long-winded debates, or both?

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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05-03-2011, 04:23 PM
RE: One of Us
(05-03-2011 03:59 PM)cfhmagnet Wrote:  As for the 2-parter, I was trying to say that I don't think everyone should think like me, there are people that think in certain ways that I wish they wouldn't. So while I don't want conformity to my values/thought style, I sometimes wish there were people who would change theres to a method I feel more...reasonable. Did I word that well enough?

Not only well worded, but I admire the honesty as well as the intent behind what you said here. That reflects something similar to how I feel (or perhaps aspire to feel) about the topic. Thanks for that.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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05-03-2011, 05:13 PM
 
RE: One of Us
Quote:Let's see. You can't tell the difference between seduction and rape? No, you are too intellegent for that, so, do love to over-complicate everything, or do you love to engage in long-winded debates, or both?

Good question, my head is spinning after reading this thread.

My quick 2 cents worth: I believe this meme is indeed widespread amongst atheists, just as it is amongst theists. I see it all the time from both sides. I myself am happy to try to explain my views to theists if they ask, but I will explain beforehand that if we want to keep it civil, we will both need to agree not to try to convert, only to present the reasons for our thinking. On the other hand, if I am attacked, I will launch a counter-attack, witch always gets ugly, but I usually feel that I have gotten the better of them in the end, as they are left steaming and speechless.
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07-03-2011, 10:26 AM
RE: One of Us
Hey, Stark.

Quote:I suppose my struggle is that I have always been very insistent that being an atheist isn't really being anything at all, but simply NOT being something. That idea I have carried for so long is something I am now questioning. That's because (like you said above) being an atheist DOES affect how I do/act/cope/deal/approach things in life.

My struggle since getting here is trying to integrate the idea that Atheism isn't something, it's not-something. I've found it very difficult to integrate that idea, but I've certainly made progress. But the question that I always found has been answered unsatisfactorally is, if being not something makes you different, then how does it make you different?

Hey, Cetaceaphile.

Quote:I don't think "atheist" is specific enough to even be used as an "everyone should think as we do" thing.

Interesting. I feel that "not-Theist" is a very specific position.

Hey, Seasbury.

Thanks for the clarification.

Just a question of terminology. What you describe sounds more like vigilant Atheism than militant Atheism. Militantance is a term that is widely associated with armed resistance. I'm just curious about the choice of terminology.

Hey, Cfhmagnet.

Well said.

I'm a cat lover. I have two very sweet old ladies. In some cultures they eat cat meat (in ares of Southern China, Peru, Switzerland, Spain, Australia). I can't even contemplate eating cat, I think it's wrong, but I'd never charge into one of those places telling them that they can't do it.

Hey, No. J.

Ok. I'll try this again.

Say you and I are both rapists (which of course we are not). When I rape you, I tie you up and beat the shit out of you. When you rape me, you tie me up, but you use cream to minimize how much the rope chafes me and you take care not to use violence unless I'm really struggling. That's much better treatment, but ultimately, it's not different. We're both still rapists.

I was simply trying to illustrate the difference between fairer and different.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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07-03-2011, 10:53 AM
RE: One of Us
(07-03-2011 10:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Seasbury.

Thanks for the clarification.

Just a question of terminology. What you describe sounds more like vigilant Atheism than militant Atheism. Militantance is a term that is widely associated with armed resistance. I'm just curious about the choice of terminology.

Matt - 10 years in the Army, another 15 years as a Dept of Defense civilian - the lingo takes hold after a bit... Smile

Cheers - Sean

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08-03-2011, 02:19 AM
RE: One of Us
Hey Ghost

The only reason that I have a problem with theism is that I don't like:
1. Child indoctrination. ie. brainwashing.
2. Indoctrination of those that are vulnerable. ie brainwashing.
3. Destruction of education by pushing unprovable beliefs into the classroom.
4. Using government to push their beliefs on us.
5. Spewing provable lies.

If they would stop doing that stuff I would not have a problem with their beliefs and I wouldn't bother to dispute them. I don't care what they believe or how they live their lives, but I do care about the effect they have on others.

If somebody said they want to believe in god but didn't care what others believed. If they told their children that they believed in god because they wanted to even though there was no evidence to prove god's existance. If they told the children that they were free to make up their own minds. If they stopped using Hell to scare people to death. If they believed what they wanted, but cut out all the rediculous BULLSHIT. I wouldn't have a problem.

Bottom line is, I still don't think your statement matches what I was saying.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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09-03-2011, 03:02 AM
RE: One of Us
Sorry to be gone a while everyone. I got a computer virus and then a job. I will miss complaining about not finding work Q_Q
For these paragraphs the term "theism" includes atheists due to it still being on the same scale. hope that clears any confusion up.

The question of how not being something can be something is kind of simple to answer. When is not being something a big deal? When most are something. I'm not male or female, some people don't have sex. These are things that in general "are". While we don't go through any particular practices in our meetings with the unknown, we generally develop our own way to anticipate it. Prayer and other belief based things are a common thread among people who believe there is an unknown force impacting their lives at all times. The fact that all people of a religious sect react in the same way is that they are conditioned rather than learning their own way to handle it. Our lack of something is noticeable as many do not lack it.

The societies that are not as forceful about their own beliefs are able to be calmer because "we" are in this village and "they" are in that village. If they invade the village they will be attacked, and killed or converted. It is a simple human instinct to seek familiarity and shun the unknown. Yes those societies that don't have villages react in aggression less often, but they still actively avoid those who are different. Most of us on here like talking to people with similar views because in general we can skip a lot of the back and forth arguments over which view is important to the discussion. Whether there is the belief that "one view is the right view" or not everyone wants those with their view nearest.

There are two primary branches in atheism at this point. Having the free thinkers and the anti-theists. Free thinker in this split means someone who believes that theism in all forms is an internal conflict which each individual handles as they see fit. Anti-theists are the ones who believe that while they have no deistic leanings their study in theism should be shared and cultivated, anti-theists being those who have a religious fervor of desiring to change others. Anti-theism exists primarily because there is so much theism and oppression of atheism. For the free thinkers, theism is not a point of contention so there is no reason to demand others do anything in the field. For the anti-theists, theism is an important part of life (despite there being no god) which requires understanding and praise (all important parts of life demand praise). More atheists gravitate towards anti-theism as it is more of a collective ideal than an individual one. Most of the voices in atheism are anti-theists.

On the desire to promote individual expression and criticism of your own beliefs. I share the desire to teach people to think about why they do things and if they feel they should. In places like where I live, most people think Christianity is just how everybody does things. I like to make sure they understand how different others act, and at least gain knowledge of why they act the way they do. As far as I'm concerned as long as your actions are your own I don't mind what your beliefs are. I push my personal views in as much as I think all people should be aware of what they do and why. Which indeed is the statement Ghost is trying to bring up, but in trying to show people to do things your way this is always the case. In human interaction if two radically different humans meet they will either part or become less radically different. Many people on this forum have theist friends while being atheist, this is because both of them share the same view that theism is less important. As long as it isn't a mandatory thing it's not an issue.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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