Respect for Religion
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04-12-2012, 08:41 AM
RE: Respect for Religion
(03-12-2012 07:03 PM)ideasonscribe Wrote:  I don't think so. Atheists rationalize to the same degree that any other normal person does - just to a different objective.
a.) How is that supposed to be possible, considering that all of us, including you, were born as atheists? Being an atheists requires no rationalization whatsoever, because it's the way we are naturally born. It is you and other theists that, at one point in their life, either decided to start believing in god or were indoctrinated into doing so.
b.) I think you should look up what rationalizing actually means. Your usage of the term is inappropriate in this context.

(03-12-2012 07:03 PM)ideasonscribe Wrote:  As an Atheist, you have concluded to your viewpoint using the knowledge and rationalization you had and currently have.
See above.

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04-12-2012, 08:56 AM
RE: Respect for Religion
Ideaonscribe, you seem to perceive atheism as something with some sort of structure. I can assure you that there are irrational atheists that believe in things like Wicca, Satanism, Buddhism, and New Age. The only difference between atheism and theism is that atheism's ultimate and only conclusion, its only shared belief, is that there is no god. It is the only logical and rational conclusion based on current evidence.

As a theist, ideaonscribe, it is impossible to be rational concerning the theological argument. You are basing everything on faith.

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04-12-2012, 08:59 AM (This post was last modified: 04-12-2012 09:07 AM by Logica Humano.)
RE: Respect for Religion
I don't think that religion deserves any sort of respect. I do not demonstrate any towards it, and I simply tolerate its followers. Its leaders, the institution itself, demands respect from everyone. Yet, in light of this all, religion shows nothing but contempt for everything outside of its niche. That, my friends, does not deserve any form of respect.

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04-12-2012, 12:25 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
(04-12-2012 07:19 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Marcus.

The question of respecting a religious organisation is vastly different than respecting her membership. There are very serious issues with many if not all of the religious institutions. There's a very serious question as to whether or not the cultural wisdom of a religion can be extricated from the institution, but all of that is for another thread.

In terms of respecting people, I offer this.

As a preface, I find it necessary to caution you to avoid the hate mongering present in many of the responses so far. Reasonable people don't allow themselves to be swayed by demagoguery. Go down that path at your peril, for you will forfeit your claim to reason.

There is a popular notion that evolution is heading somewhere. That there's a destination. This is not at all true. There is no destination, there is no ultimate pinnacle. So it is with culture. You may not agree with another culture, you may not find it sensical, but it is what all cultures are; an expression of humanity's attempt at understanding of and relationship with the world.

Look at the fictional Vulcans. Pure logic. Pure reason. Yet they are so cut off from the world of emotion and intuition. It's far from perfection. Look at the world with purely rational eyes is fine, it has all kinds of benefits, but it is not THE WAY that humans were meant to interact with the world. As Wade Davis says, the six or seven thousand languages and associated cultures of the world are all unique attempts to answer the question, what does it mean to be human and alive.

You see faith, superstition, mythology and you think, "That's incorrect." And within the context of your culture, an Atheist culture that gives primacy to science, you're correct. But that is a culturally biased view. It assumes that just because it doesn't jive with your cultural view that it is somehow invalidated.

You can't respect people you invalidate. Begin there.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Hi Matt thanks for your opinion and don't think I am inclined to be a jackass for religious people Big Grin. Well I tried to make it clear, but maybe I did not get it right, that I don't want to lock down on religious people. I actually want to find a way to respect them as intelligent people.

But here is my problem, I have to disagree with you about the way a culture handles various businesses. A culture can have other eating habits, or fashion or any other thing. That is fine and in no way a problem. But scientific truth is not a matter of culture. There is no way one can say the earth is 6000 Years old and be right. As soon as you make a testable claim it is possible for me to demonstrate the falsehood of your claim or his correctness. And when someone clings to an evidential false believe I have no other possibility but to say he is wrong. And if he then organizes his life around this believe I can online stand shocked and call him an Idiot.

Is my only possibility to see religious people as victims of childhood indoctrination? But then this would not work for people who conferted later to religion Undecided
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04-12-2012, 02:10 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
(04-12-2012 08:41 AM)Vosur Wrote:  a.) How is that supposed to be possible, considering that all of us, including you, were born as atheists? Being an atheists requires no rationalization whatsoever, because it's the way we are naturally born. It is you and other theists that, at one point in their life, either decided to start believing in god or were indoctrinated into doing so.

I understand what you're saying here, but I believe it is necessary to be specific to terms in this situation.
I know there is already a Thread discussing the topic of being born as an atheist. I'll just try and explain what I'm observing and what I think seems to be correct.

Were we born as pragmatic atheists or theoretical atheists?
If it is true that we are all born atheists, then it seems we have two major splits of atheism to use to determine this.

So right now I'm looking at wikipedia to see what it says about Atheism.


Practical atheism

In practical or pragmatic atheism, also known as apatheism, individuals live as if there are no gods and explain natural phenomena without resorting to the divine. The existence of gods is not rejected, but may be designated unnecessary or useless; gods neither provide purpose to life, nor influence everyday life, according to this view. A form of practical atheism with implications for the scientific community is methodological naturalism—the "tacit adoption or assumption of philosophical naturalism within scientific method with or without fully accepting or believing it."

Practical atheism can take various forms:

1. Absence of religious motivation—belief in gods does not motivate moral action, religious action, or any other form of action;
2. Active exclusion of the problem of gods and religion from intellectual pursuit and practical action;
3. Indifference—the absence of any interest in the problems of gods and religion; or
4. Unawareness of the concept of a deity.

When we are born, we are certainly unaware of the concept of a deity.
That seems to line up with Wikipedias definition of a "Pragmatic" or "Practical" Atheist.
I see a Practical Atheist as a 'non-stance' or a position not taken.
I see a newborn child to be unable to make a decision regarding this issue based on the childs level of knowledge.
It requires the knowledge of the concept of the Deity in order to take a position.

Vosur, I think maybe we disagree about one thing in particular.
That being that I believe that the fact that Theism is something accepted or learned later in life does not disprove nor prove it's validity.

Here's an example of why I say that:

Say we have two opposite Theories -

1. The Universe had a beginning and is expanding (The Big Bang Theory)

2. The Universe is static (Einsteins Static Universe Theory)

Not one person was born into believing either of said Theories above.
Anyone who takes a stance on either Theory had to examine one or both Theories for themselves in order to make an inference.

Being born without the knowledge of something does not take away from it's validity.
What I'm trying to point out is that when you say it is "impossible" for Atheists to rationalize their own position - you should be specific to which kind of Atheist you are talking about.
Based on conversations with you, I am convinced that you are a Theoretical Atheist -
"Theoretical (or theoric) atheism explicitly posits arguments against the existence of gods, responding to common theistic arguments such as the argument from design or Pascal's Wager."

If you're no such Atheist, then I'm sorry for the miscategorization.
My point, however, is that as your definition states:

Rationalize
"attempt to explain or justify (one’s own or another’s behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate:"

You must attempt to explain or justify your own postition as a Theoretical Atheist in order to be a Theoretical Atheist.
If this is not so, then what is the other alternative. I am open to being corrected here.

So here's what you've said so far -

That it's impossible for Atheists to rationalize their own postition and that "considering that all of us, including you, were born as atheists, being an atheist requires no rationalization whatsoever, because it's the way we are naturally born."

So maybe my understanding of the term "rationalize" is incorrect, but I am looking at your definition and still coming to the same understanding.
But I am concluding that if you are to be specific, then you're right; Pragmatic Atheists need no rationalizations for their position. They have a practical neutral postion towards the concept of a deity and neither reject nor embrace the idea.
Theorectical Atheists, however, need some sort of rationalization in order to argue against the concept itself.

“What you believe to be true will control you, whether it’s true or not.”

—Jeremy LaBorde
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04-12-2012, 02:18 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
I hate Christianity. I hate Islam. I hate Judaism. I hate all those religions that promote vile beliefs, and that accounts for every one I know of to varying degrees. I do not have respect for any religion, or their holy books, or their holy prophets. Religion is not respectable, but you give respect to religious people because they are people, and everybody deserves respect until proven otherwise by their actions.

People can believe what they want to believe. I may think those beliefs are stupid, but I keep it to myself. Tolerance is the word. However, when those beliefs interfere with me, I have a right to challenge them. That applies whether they bother me directly by saying I am going to hell, or indirectly by attempting to push laws that conflict with my values.

Respect the man, not the church he goes to. That is, as long as the man doesn't bring the church with him, because then demolition is in order.

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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04-12-2012, 03:06 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
(04-12-2012 02:10 PM)ideasonscribe Wrote:  I understand what you're saying here, but I believe it is necessary to be specific to terms in this situation.
I know there is already a Thread discussing the topic of being born as an atheist. I'll just try and explain what I'm observing and what I think seems to be correct.

Were we born as pragmatic atheists or theoretical atheists?
If it is true that we are all born atheists, then it seems we have two major splits of atheism to use to determine this.

So right now I'm looking at wikipedia to see what it says about Atheism.


Practical atheism

In practical or pragmatic atheism, also known as apatheism, individuals live as if there are no gods and explain natural phenomena without resorting to the divine. The existence of gods is not rejected, but may be designated unnecessary or useless; gods neither provide purpose to life, nor influence everyday life, according to this view. A form of practical atheism with implications for the scientific community is methodological naturalism—the "tacit adoption or assumption of philosophical naturalism within scientific method with or without fully accepting or believing it."

Practical atheism can take various forms:

1. Absence of religious motivation—belief in gods does not motivate moral action, religious action, or any other form of action;
2. Active exclusion of the problem of gods and religion from intellectual pursuit and practical action;
3. Indifference—the absence of any interest in the problems of gods and religion; or
4. Unawareness of the concept of a deity.

When we are born, we are certainly unaware of the concept of a deity.
That seems to line up with Wikipedias definition of a "Pragmatic" or "Practical" Atheist.
I see a Practical Atheist as a 'non-stance' or a position not taken.
I see a newborn child to be unable to make a decision regarding this issue based on the childs level of knowledge.
It requires the knowledge of the concept of the Deity in order to take a position.
When I use the term "atheist", I'm using the common definition "a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods". I generally don't use the Wikipedia definition of "practical atheism" because it excludes those who don't have a belief in gods despite being familiar with the topic. With that said, using it in this context seems to be all right, considering that a baby's lack of belief in gods is a consequence of being unaware of the concept.

(04-12-2012 02:10 PM)ideasonscribe Wrote:  Vosur, I think maybe we disagree about one thing in particular.
That being that I believe that the fact that Theism is something accepted or learned later in life does not disprove nor prove it's validity.

Here's an example of why I say that:

Say we have two opposite Theories -

1. The Universe had a beginning and is expanding (The Big Bang Theory)

2. The Universe is static (Einsteins Static Universe Theory)

Not one person was born into believing either of said Theories above.
Anyone who takes a stance on either Theory had to examine one or both Theories for themselves in order to make an inference.

Being born without the knowledge of something does not take away from it's validity.
I actually agree with you on this point. You are correct, not knowing about a concept at birth has no impact on it's validity.

(04-12-2012 02:10 PM)ideasonscribe Wrote:  What I'm trying to point out is that when you say it is "impossible" for Atheists to rationalize their own position - you should be specific to which kind of Atheist you are talking about.
Based on conversations with you, I am convinced that you are a Theoretical Atheist -
"Theoretical (or theoric) atheism explicitly posits arguments against the existence of gods, responding to common theistic arguments such as the argument from design or Pascal's Wager."

If you're no such Atheist, then I'm sorry for the miscategorization.
If I had to choose a label, I'd either describe myself as "agnostic atheist" or as "atheist" in the sense I described earlier in this post. While I do respond to theistic arguments on a regular basis, I do not and have not posited any arguments against the existence of gods for the simple reason that I haven't come across any sound ones in my entire life.

(04-12-2012 02:10 PM)ideasonscribe Wrote:  My point, however, is that as your definition states:

Rationalize
"attempt to explain or justify (one’s own or another’s behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate:"

You must attempt to explain or justify your own postition as a Theoretical Atheist in order to be a Theoretical Atheist.
If this is not so, then what is the other alternative. I am open to being corrected here.
According to the definition you cited, a theoretical atheist is someone who claims that there are arguments against the existence of god(s). Both them and gnostic atheists do indeed have to justify their position by either giving such an argument or by providing evidence for their claim. Anyway, I think the term "justify" is more fitting in this context.

(04-12-2012 02:10 PM)ideasonscribe Wrote:  So here's what you've said so far -

That it's impossible for Atheists to rationalize their own postition and that "considering that all of us, including you, were born as atheists, being an atheist requires no rationalization whatsoever, because it's the way we are naturally born."

So maybe my understanding of the term "rationalize" is incorrect, but I am looking at your definition and still coming to the same understanding.
But I am concluding that if you are to be specific, then you're right; Pragmatic Atheists need no rationalizations for their position. They have a practical neutral postion towards the concept of a deity and neither reject nor embrace the idea.
Theorectical Atheists, however, need some sort of rationalization in order to argue against the concept itself.
I think the problem is that these two definitions create a false dichotomy. While I agree that theoretical atheists have to provide a justification for their stance, agnostic atheism is a "third way", so to speak. One can lack a belief in god despite being aware of the concept, an option that is not included in the term "pragmatic atheist".

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04-12-2012, 03:48 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
As many said before I don't respect religion but I respect religious people but it sort of reminds me of the religious saying they love homosexuals but hate homosexuality. I know plenty of people who Ares basically only defined by their faith. A good friend of mine is an evangelical christian and although she is liberal she becomes ridiculously blind when it comes to faith. She tells me she believes the world is six thousand years old and when I question her she acts as if I'm questioning her family since her father is a preacher and obviously indoctrinated her. I feel saddened since it seems she is stuck between the world that exists and the one her father created for her.

I don't respect religion when it takes away choice, intelligence and respect for other people like women or those of other religions (or lack thereof)

"Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind." -John F Kennedy

The way to see by Faith is to shut the eye of Reason.” -Benjamin Franklin

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04-12-2012, 04:24 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
Why not respect religion?

Look at all it has done, good and bad, but always in its own best interest. All the good, all the evil, always to serve itself. And it started from nothing (literally). Look around at people. Anyone. Any time in history. Name one person who has accomplished so much from such humble, non-existent roots. Name one country, ideology, corporation, anything, anything at all, that has accomplished so much from so little.

Nobody. Nothing. Zip.

For that, religion deserves at least a measure of respect.

Think of what we can learn from religion. How to create something from nothing. How to rise up from our own ashes. How to manipulate the masses. How to convince people of anything, even preposterous things, and get them to fight to the death to defend their belief in these preposterous things. How to rape, kill, torture, lie, steal, and, well, commit practically any unethical or criminal behavior known to man AND get away with it - even better, be PRAISED for doing all of it.

And religion does all of this better than anyone or anything else.

Religion has earned my respect for that, yessir indeed.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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04-12-2012, 05:31 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
Hey, Marcus.

Go back and read what I wrote. It already addresses that exact concern. The question isn't whether or not they're wrong when viewed through your cultural lens, the question is whether or not your cultural lens is THE cultural lens; the only right one (which assumes there is such a thing as right). If you think that yours is the only right one (that science and empiricism is the only possible relationship we can have with the world; remember the Vulcans) then you will invalidate their world view, dismiss them, call them idiots as you say, simply because they see things differently. That, it must be said, is shallow. If you're looking for ways to respect them, which you seem to be, begin by addressing your need to be correct. If you can't do that, you never will respect them.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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