The Atheism of Deities
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08-10-2014, 02:52 PM
RE: The Atheism of Deities
(08-10-2014 02:44 PM)Cetaceaphile Wrote:  
(08-10-2014 02:42 PM)natachan Wrote:  This has been dissected fairly well before, but I'll take a stab.

Group B has a set of beliefs which are required, and a set of beliefs that are forbidden. They have required actions and practices which stem from their core teaching.

Group A has none of that. It is simply one position on one subject. There are no required beliefs or thoughts, no forbidden thoughts or beliefs, and no required or even advised actions.

That's true, which is why I said it is strictly correct, but if you want to keep someone engaged in an argument it's a very good idea not to make any moves which seem like a special case, otherwise they will see you as handing them a win and cut it off.

If they choose not to look at facts of this nature then the fault is theirs, not mine. I am not responsible for making them think critically.

Quote:I'm not sure if you really read what I said. My argument is that these 'atheists' actually installed themselves as the gods of their own religions, even to the point of building temples for people to worship them in. That leaves the question "are gods atheists?"

Are they Gods though? What is a God? And even if we acknowledge these people as Gods then the word can't be applied to the theistic God that we usually talk about. I think the question is whether absolute dictators and rulers are generally atheistic, but I'm not sure. If this is the case I would say that it's impossible to generalize since the Egyptian monarchs of old called themselves Gods and were probably not atheistic.
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08-10-2014, 02:54 PM
RE: The Atheism of Deities
If it leads to the whole 'what is a god?' thing then that's fine, but I think it is a very important thing to point out that the 'atheist' dictators were not actual atheists, and avoid going on the defensive about them.

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08-10-2014, 02:56 PM
RE: The Atheism of Deities
(08-10-2014 02:38 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(08-10-2014 02:30 PM)Cetaceaphile Wrote:  Just a short post, but I think it's important because it addresses something which the atheist community has a major difficulty dealing with.

An atheist will explain how religions drive people to do bad things, but will immediately go on the defensive about how Stalin, Mao and Kim didn't do what they did because of atheism, but they were just bad and happened to be atheist. This argument is strictly the correct format because 'atheist' is a much broader term than any label of a specific theistic religion, however it isn't fair, and it will always just lose the argument in the eyes of everyone who hears it.

You wer doing pretty well here...

Quote:The real answer to this is; are Gods atheists?

.. but then you went off the rails.

Quote:Stalin was a god, Mao was a god, and Kim was a god and his descendants remain gods. This is very obvious to see. "State enforced atheism" - bullshit, it was obviously a state enforced religion centered around the head of state complete with shrines, holy books, holy artifacts, prayers and churches. Maybe Stalin was an atheist, if a God is an atheist, but he didn't run an atheistic country, not even slightly.

The argument that all religious people did bad things for religious reasons is utterly flawed, that's true.

However, there are no atrocities committed because 'atheism' while there are many examples of atrocities inarguably committed because of and in the name of religion. Witch burnings, the Inquisition, the Crusades, abortion clinic bombings, murder of doctors, beheading of apostates, ...

I think, and could be certainly wrong, but I think the OP was saying, with many of them, they became a replacement for god and became the center of worship. Like that whackadoo but in north korea. The people there are even (allegedly of course) encouraged to pray to him.

But did the Russian people actually pray to Stalin...

I don't think so. Erecting statues or renaming cities doesn't qualify.


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08-10-2014, 03:01 PM
RE: The Atheism of Deities
(08-10-2014 02:54 PM)Cetaceaphile Wrote:  If it leads to the whole 'what is a god?' thing then that's fine, but I think it is a very important thing to point out that the 'atheist' dictators were not actual atheists, and avoid going on the defensive about them.

I don't see why we should say they weren't atheists. If they were then they were. They didn't believe in a theistic God in the traditional sense. They also had mustaches (Stalin and Hitler). So what? The issue at hand isn't were they atheists, but were they motivated by atheism.

Let's also not forget that by excluding them for the group of atheists we commit the no true Scotsman fallacy we tear apart theists for. And as I tend to frown upon hypocrisy I will at least admit that they might well have been atheists.
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08-10-2014, 03:05 PM
RE: The Atheism of Deities
(08-10-2014 02:42 PM)Cetaceaphile Wrote:  
(08-10-2014 02:38 PM)Chas Wrote:  You wer doing pretty well here...


.. but then you went off the rails.


The argument that all religious people did bad things for religious reasons is utterly flawed, that's true.

However, there are no atrocities committed because 'atheism' while there are many examples of atrocities inarguably committed because of and in the name of religion. Witch burnings, the Inquisition, the Crusades, ...


Nope.


I'm not sure if you really read what I said. My argument is that these 'atheists' actually installed themselves as the gods of their own religions, even to the point of building temples for people to worship them in. That leaves the question "are gods atheists?"

No, I understood. I just don't think that's an coherent question and it doesn't relate the the theist objection to the argument.

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08-10-2014, 03:06 PM
RE: The Atheism of Deities
(08-10-2014 03:01 PM)natachan Wrote:  
(08-10-2014 02:54 PM)Cetaceaphile Wrote:  If it leads to the whole 'what is a god?' thing then that's fine, but I think it is a very important thing to point out that the 'atheist' dictators were not actual atheists, and avoid going on the defensive about them.

I don't see why we should say they weren't atheists. If they were then they were. They didn't believe in a theistic God in the traditional sense. They also had mustaches (Stalin and Hitler). So what? The issue at hand isn't were they atheists, but were they motivated by atheism.

Let's also not forget that by excluding them for the group of atheists we commit the no true Scotsman fallacy we tear apart theists for. And as I tend to frown upon hypocrisy I will at least admit that they might well have been atheists.

But why should we have to defend the behavior of communist dictators at all if they were not part of the group? You never have to be on the defensive about those cult leaders who announce they are god and then lead 300 people into a suicide pact because they were very obviously leading a religion and almost nobody considers them to be atheist.

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08-10-2014, 03:08 PM
RE: The Atheism of Deities
(08-10-2014 03:06 PM)Cetaceaphile Wrote:  
(08-10-2014 03:01 PM)natachan Wrote:  I don't see why we should say they weren't atheists. If they were then they were. They didn't believe in a theistic God in the traditional sense. They also had mustaches (Stalin and Hitler). So what? The issue at hand isn't were they atheists, but were they motivated by atheism.

Let's also not forget that by excluding them for the group of atheists we commit the no true Scotsman fallacy we tear apart theists for. And as I tend to frown upon hypocrisy I will at least admit that they might well have been atheists.

But why should we have to defend the behavior of communist dictators at all if they were not part of the group? You never have to be on the defensive about those cult leaders who announce they are god and then lead 300 people into a suicide pact because they were very obviously leading a religion and almost nobody considers them to be atheist.

We don't have to defend them. Bad people do bad things, theists and atheists alike.

Only theists also do some bad things for religious reasons.

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08-10-2014, 03:10 PM
RE: The Atheism of Deities
(08-10-2014 03:08 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(08-10-2014 03:06 PM)Cetaceaphile Wrote:  But why should we have to defend the behavior of communist dictators at all if they were not part of the group? You never have to be on the defensive about those cult leaders who announce they are god and then lead 300 people into a suicide pact because they were very obviously leading a religion and almost nobody considers them to be atheist.

We don't have to defend them. Bad people do bad things, theists and atheists alike.

Only theists also do some bad things for religious reasons.

Although of course if I was a theist now would be the time I repeat "And Stalin did bad things because he was an atheist. Look, he had state imposed atheism! Atheism is another religion!"

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08-10-2014, 03:10 PM
RE: The Atheism of Deities
(08-10-2014 03:06 PM)Cetaceaphile Wrote:  
(08-10-2014 03:01 PM)natachan Wrote:  I don't see why we should say they weren't atheists. If they were then they were. They didn't believe in a theistic God in the traditional sense. They also had mustaches (Stalin and Hitler). So what? The issue at hand isn't were they atheists, but were they motivated by atheism.

Let's also not forget that by excluding them for the group of atheists we commit the no true Scotsman fallacy we tear apart theists for. And as I tend to frown upon hypocrisy I will at least admit that they might well have been atheists.

But why should we have to defend the behavior of communist dictators at all if they were not part of the group? You never have to be on the defensive about those cult leaders who announce they are god and then lead 300 people into a suicide pact because they were very obviously leading a religion and almost nobody considers them to be atheist.

If they are atheists then they are atheists. I won't commit the no true Scotsman fallacy and lump them out simply for convenience. I don't defend their actions either, I simply say that their being part of the group didn't affect their actions.

Whether it is pleasant or convenient they are part of the group. My desires on the subject are irrelevant to reality.
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08-10-2014, 03:17 PM
RE: The Atheism of Deities
(08-10-2014 03:10 PM)natachan Wrote:  
(08-10-2014 03:06 PM)Cetaceaphile Wrote:  But why should we have to defend the behavior of communist dictators at all if they were not part of the group? You never have to be on the defensive about those cult leaders who announce they are god and then lead 300 people into a suicide pact because they were very obviously leading a religion and almost nobody considers them to be atheist.

If they are atheists then they are atheists. I won't commit the no true Scotsman fallacy and lump them out simply for convenience. I don't defend their actions either, I simply say that their being part of the group didn't affect their actions.

Whether it is pleasant or convenient they are part of the group. My desires on the subject are irrelevant to reality.

It doesn't lead to the No True Scotsman thing though. If someone believes in a god they are not an atheist, the question is what if they are a nutter who believes they are the god? Do they believe in themselves?

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