The cost of atheism
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27-08-2014, 07:50 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 07:41 PM)Res Publica Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 11:39 AM)ChristianMan Wrote:  Its such a shame to come here and just be called a fool, an ignoramus, a prat. Guys, your not selling atheism very well. Your just unpleasant not nice people, who seem incapable of reasonable and rational discussion. Do I have to be the enemy just because I am a chrisitan? I have friends who are atheists, we manage not to shoot each other. Yes, I disagree with you, and? Is that life threatening to you, are you insecure in your beliefs? I don't get it. I was hoping to make friends here.

Do you like extreme leftist antisemitism and feminism and SJW bullshit? Because that is what you can expect here.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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27-08-2014, 08:27 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
After reading the 321 posts back-to-back I can say that ChristianMan brings nothing new to the table and that includes his holier-than-thou, I-know-what-God-wants, I'm-better-than-you, everyone-else's-religion-is wrong, I-don't-don't-want-to-argue-but-you're-going-to-hell attitude. Yawn.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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27-08-2014, 08:32 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
The problem with threads like this is too many discussion points in one thread. It's scattered and all over the place, and nothing really gets nailed down and given due attention. People like ChristianMan have difficulty entirely reading and comprehending one post, let alone multitasking different topic posts in a single thread. If we really want to take ChristianMan to task on any or all of the topics discussed here, in this now 33 page thread, we need to start separate threads and stay on topic in each thread. We just might be able to get through to him, on at least a few topics, if we stayed focused on one topic per thread.

Just a thought......
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27-08-2014, 09:26 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 02:32 PM)ChristianMan Wrote:  by inconsistent I meant that atheists have no universal standard of right and wrong. So each does what is right in their own eyes, or that of their peer group.
Us atheists don't tend to act based on some arbitrary belief in "right" vs "wrong". That is not our standard for decision making.

We tend to think about the consequences of our actions.
If I lie to people then people lose trust in me and I then struggle to have friends or business partners or customers...

If I get physically violent on people then they get violent back on me, I get hurt or locked up, I lose my friends etc

This way, we naturally come to a compromise regarding things that we want to do and living or interacting within a society.
Life is not black and white, we don't tend to go around interfering in other people's lives telling them how to live theirs. We tend to mind our own business and make our own decisions, perform our own actions and live with the consequences.
This is all part of growing up and being an adult. We become independent and accountable for ourselves.
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28-08-2014, 12:34 AM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 06:59 AM)ChristianMan Wrote:  Hi all,

Brief disclosure, I am a christian but not here to get into bun fights. Been there, done that, not interested.

I do want to raise a point about the cost of atheism to the western world. In particular I live in the UK, but I'm sure this holds true for the US etc.

I do not think that atheism ever has a chance of winning the day. Thats not because I am a christian its just that human beings have an inherent need to worship and derive meaning from God - however they articulate or formulate that. Thats why in the US Atheists are the most mistrusted people in society. Thats not going to change. Again, not a christian point, just a point.

However, atheists main point of attack has been on christianity. I realise that in the heat of debate silly things are said, christians are demonised, described as violent because of the OT, etc etc. And this has had an effect on society, you have had an impact. I think thats been seen in gay marriage etc.

Here is the rub. People are not turning to atheism, they never will. Instead Islam is filling the void. I predict that within 20 years the UK will be an Islamic state. I don't know about the US. If you want to know what that will look like, take a look at the Calaphate. This is the cost of atheism. You are trading Christianity for Islam.

Of course Christianity will continue and perhaps even thrive. Historically, it is when we are marginalised, and persecuted that the church is refined, becomes what it was meant to be, and grows. But what will society look like? Your attacks on Islam them will not be met with the same non-violent response that you have received from christians. This is the cost of atheism.

Almost everything in your post of any substance is demonstrably wrong. Atheism is spreading like wildfire in almost every area of the world it's not violently suppressed ESPECIALLY in Europe. Christianity is in the decline and as more and more scholarly work is done showing the fraudulent origins of the religion coupled with the increasingly easy access to information not only will it not thrive it's on it's way to being relegated to the mythic dust bin of history.

The age of superstition is, slowly but steadily, dying out.
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28-08-2014, 01:04 AM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 04:14 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I did see the smiley, but it's also a legitimate question. Many atheists would say that it's all bullshit anyway, so who cares who wrote it? But there's a reason why people like GWOG go to some lengths to establish that they are not eyewitness accounts. The Christian apologist's case is strengthened if he can legitimately claim that the gospels are eyewitness accounts written by apostles who actually hung out with Jesus, heard his sermons, witnessed his miracles, etc. And his case is considerably weakened if he cannot make such claims. There is a connection between who wrote it (and when they wrote it) and the likelihood of it being "true" rather than just myth and/or hearsay.

I feel that's engaging with the bible on it's own terms, and that will legitimise it, not contradict it. The axiom for that discussion is the belief that the whole thing might be meaningful, supporting the possibility that we should all be taking it seriously (e.g. converting to Christianity).

Forget the specifics of the debate for a minute, but the premise of the discussion itself is going to leave the religious person secure in his beliefs! You are taking him seriously!

It's counter-intuative. The most appropriate phrase I can think of is this one: "We become what we fight".

As a second point which I think should be considered by rational thinkers - does it matter who wrote the theory of relativity? No - the work stands or falls on it's own merits. Well, perhaps that's a better premise for a rational discussion of the bible - does it contain any useful insights?

Quote:People are rarely debated out of their religious beliefs, but it can happen. I've been to several talks by J.T. Eberhard (famous internet atheists), where he counters the exact argument you're making by asking how many people in the audience are atheists (every hand goes up), and then how many used to be theists (about half the hands stay up). This is direct evidence that "de-conversion" can and does happen, and I think it's more often for rational/intellectual reasons than emotional ones. I personally was deconverted largely by the arguments of Nietzsche and Bertrand Russell. Now, your average "Joe Atheist" is not going to have the debating skills of those two, but still...

Agreed this offers evidence that they themselves stepped back from their beliefs, but not that they were debated out of their beliefs. I certainly acknowledge people do abandon their beliefs (this forum is full of interesting personal accounts of people who have done exactly that) but from my understanding of developmental psychology I would say that this occurs when actually a person jumps up a level in thinking or cognitive complexity.

So it's a big deal, a big mental transformation, and it occurs only when they as a person are ready for it. From this developmental perspective, you are literally arguing with the wall to debate religion with anyone who isn't ready to make that jump. And regarding someone who is ready to make that jump, you might be the catalyst by asking some good questions, but actually - the transformation was probably just about to happen anyway.

In terms of the developmental stages of Jean Piaget, religious fundamentalism is a Concrete Operational perspective, and rational worldview is Formal Operational. It can take years to move from one stage to the next, if it ever happens - most humans on this planet never fully reach Formal Operational.

Question: If it's a developmental jump, not just a matter of debating ideas - how then can the jump be best supported?

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28-08-2014, 01:15 AM (This post was last modified: 28-08-2014 01:27 AM by phil.a.)
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 04:30 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 12:37 PM)phil.a Wrote:  Thanks - good luck with the ongoing extinction of religion in the UK ;-)

If nothing else, I have been impressed with your polite behaviour in a challenging situation, and your attempts to engage sincerely with people.


Really? I find him rather smug and pretentious and disingenuous.

OK, notice those are all qualities that are conveyed in the tone of someone's words, not in the "words as conceptual objects".

And there is no tone in written words, that's something we read into them. So it's very dangerous reacting to tone on the internet when the writing is by someone we have never actually met face to face (e.g. heard speak in person).

I find him lacking in awareness, but I feel it's not rationally coherent to beat someone up for what they don't have.

Hence why (despite the fact I myself am a gay man) I am trying to mindfully challenge his homophobia but not attack him for his homophobia.

* The former might make my world a better place

* The latter will confirm any beliefs he has about homosexuals as nasty people, I'm not here to step into his storyline, I'm here to create a radical new narrative

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28-08-2014, 01:21 AM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 06:58 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  I have deconverted more than you might think, but usually, they were already on the fence, I just picked away at the faith and planted some solid seeds of doubt in my opinion. If they are clutching it fiercely and drinking the kool aid so to speak, then no, you are correct, the odds of getting through to them is nil....but if i can plant a smidge of doubt by deluging them with facts, perhaps with time...

Yup, I think the above supports my above point about developmental psycology (they do it when they are ready to do it).

Here's my suggestion - save a huge amount of time and maximally leverage your effort by learning to spot people who are ready to make the jump!

Give those ones a helping push. Spot the ones not ready to go yet and treat them differently.

How should those ones be best treated, those not ready yet to make the jump?

In terms of:

* Happy co-existence, what's the best way to actually share the planet with these people?

* Supporting long-term transformation - if we assume they may be slowly moving towards a time when they are ready to make the jump, what would best support them in that process?

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28-08-2014, 01:24 AM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 06:54 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  That is always my opening strike, disproving that all who wrote of jesus, didn't even know him, and that their precious gospels were not written by whom they think.....take away those two chunks of the bible based faith not much is left.

OK that might be fun to do, but does it effect change in their perspective?

I'd suggest that "proof" is only a meaningful concept to someone already capable of rational thinking.

Such a person is already not trapped inside religious fundamentalism because they've already let themselves out of the cage.

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28-08-2014, 01:34 AM
RE: The cost of atheism
Incidentally - I do think that a point I made above is highly relevant to the atheists here.

We've noted and discussed on this thread that ChristianMan has a storyline - he believes that atheists are morally adrift.

If you attack and abuse him, you are stepping in to his storyline, you are confirming it.

Please consider not stepping into his storyline, please consider creating a radical new narrative here by manifesting polite and respectful behaviour that cannot but challenge his belief that you are morally adrift.

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