Us vs Them
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27-05-2012, 04:40 AM
RE: Us vs Them
(27-05-2012 03:34 AM)Egor Wrote:  If you don't believe in God, you have no reason to be good. You may be good, but your goodness won't matter--you might as well be bad.

Of course that doesn't prove God exists; it just brings into focus the truth of atheism.

...That´s just stupid.
Being a part of several groups (family and friends, local community, a state) you still have obligations, ethical expectation, personal moral codes and laws governing a good chunk of your life. These are not set and carried out by god(s) but by humans.
You do not "might as well be bad" since your ass would be socially shunned and/or thrown in jail... Which is usually not a good thing.
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27-05-2012, 05:26 AM
RE: Us vs Them
(27-05-2012 04:27 AM)Egor Wrote:  Think outside your box. If atheism is true, there is no good or bad; there is no morality; there is no validity to the word "should." There is your opinion of virtue and mine, and that's it. That doesn't mean atheists are bad people. It simply means that their goodness doesn't count for anything.

If theism of any kind is true then when one is good, they are A) following God's command, or B) if they are monists, then the good they do for others is the good they do for themselves. Their good matters.

And I'm surprised: If you're an atheist why would you even care about being "morally" good? Why can't you just admit you were raised to be a decent person, so you behave decently? Who do you think is out there watching you be "moral"?

Huh
Why wouldn't atheists have a concept of good and bad? What about the golden rule. How society works?

Being a part of society means that if you act like a jerk you get excluded from the society and treated with contempt.

Also if you have a family and children wouldn't you want them to be treated well? That the golden rule at work. This is such a simple thing to understand I don't know how this isn't sinking in.

You have been told this before so you should pay attention and listen. People don't like repeating themselves.

Isn't it more fun to just get along with people and aim for mutually beneficial relationships or do you prefer conflict and sabotage?

How is it having a green rep by the way? is it good? Wink

“Forget Jesus, the stars died so you could be born.” - Lawrence M. Krauss
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27-05-2012, 05:32 AM
RE: Us vs Them
(27-05-2012 03:34 AM)Egor Wrote:  If you don't believe in God, you have no reason to be good. You may be good, but your goodness won't matter--you might as well be bad.

Of course that doesn't prove God exists; it just brings into focus the truth of atheism.
there we go again...
So you spread hate (which you call truth) while the rest of the evil atheist have a normal conversation. Sounds reasonable... yes I aggree, "we" the atheist are evil and bad and nothing good can result from lack of belief.
Really do aggree. I myself kill one kitten everyday just to underline how evil I am, I also constantly "sin" (whatever a sin is in you opinion) and my lack of fear of an imaginary place of torture makes me do the worst things you could imagine.
Wow I am the worst person of the planet...
(just to make that clear for you, dear Egor, this was sarcasm >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm )

We done now? Can we go on with the original disussion about labelling "us" and "them" and the whole purpose of that? thanks.

cheers,
evil Leela

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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27-05-2012, 05:38 AM
RE: Us vs Them
Yes,

Egor - as Leela pointed out what does the stuff you said have to do with us/them mentality? It did seem like a complete thread derail to me.

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27-05-2012, 05:54 AM
RE: Us vs Them
(27-05-2012 03:34 AM)Egor Wrote:  If you don't believe in God, you have no reason to be good. You may be good, but your goodness won't matter--you might as well be bad.

Of course that doesn't prove God exists; it just brings into focus the truth of atheism.
One does not need the existence of God to be a good person.

It isn't about morals, or about getting into heaven etc... It is about action and consequence.
ie: Action: I kill someone. Consequence: I go to prison. Hence, bad consequence outweigh the good consequence (person dieing) so I don't do the action.

An understanding of consequences is all you need.

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27-05-2012, 06:20 AM
RE: Us vs Them
Egor's one of them. Get 'im!

Stereotypes are assumptions, you need them to function. The brain, however, gets lazy. Puts shit in boxes and forgets about it. Then one morning, you're having a convo with somebody and you're like, wait a minute! I hate Canadians. The thing to do then is to exercise the brain by questioning one's moral compass whenever it starts pointing in directions.

Atheism doesn't point to the right, it points to the future. "Lack of belief in god" clearly implies I'm not going to believe in your god. Theism points to the past. It's the brain being lazy. Saying we've been here before, so we know what's what. Brain don't like being someplace new, but the future keeps happening, so you gotta find a balance between searching the horizon and watching where you put your feet.

Or you'll put 'em in your mouth, like Egor. Tongue

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27-05-2012, 07:47 AM
RE: Us vs Them
Quote:...if we judge each other by the worst of the other's behavior and by the best of our own, where are we going?
-Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Word.

DeepThought Wrote:It's almost seems natural to think in terms of Us vs Them. It's
ingrained in our psyche. Look at our sport. Each game is an Us vs Them.

Most kids have that mindset almost exclusively. If you don't agree you are the enemy!

So yeah, its very human to think like that.

We have to be very careful when we say things like, "It's very human." There is a simple litmus test. If there are any exceptions then it is not universal and therefore not very human at all. It's not about our genetics, it's about our memetics. It's a cultural phenomenon.

But some ideas have so much traction or have been around for so long, that we no longer think it can be any other way. But that doesn't make it fact. That's simply the result of naturalised ideology; the common sense view. What Woof calls settling into a cozy dogmatism.

George Lakoff and Mark Johnson speak about how metaphor (something IS something else) is the core of how we see the world.

Quote:Our concepts structure what we perceive, how we get around in the world, and how we relate to other people...
-Lakoff and Johnson, Metaphors We Live By

They discuss a simple example. Argument IS war. Because we've adopted that metaphor, it has become the lens through which we understand.

Quote:Your claims are indefensible.
He attacked every weak point in my argument.
His criticisms were right on target.
I demolished his argument.
I've never won and argument with him.
You disagree? Okay, shoot!
If you use that strategy, he'll wipe you out.
He shot down all of my arguments.
-Lakoff and Johnson, Metaphors We Live By

But the metaphor that suggests that argument is war, is a construction. A cultural one. Argument, they argue, could just as easily be compared to dance. Argument is dance. But Our culture certainly doesn't see it that way.

Our culture's use of the argument is war metaphor underlies a particularly nasty trait of Our culture; the notion of the zero sum conflict. Someone MUST win and someone MUST lose.

That, looked at purely logically, is cockamamie. It rules out compromise, cooperation and a host of other outcomes.

There's a good, well, legend anyway, who knows if it's true but it's very illustrative, that hacky sack came from South America. The game, as you know, isn't about points or wining, it's about people in a circle working together. When the Europeans arrived they introduced some zero sum sports and the South Americans were flummoxed. They couldn't grasp the concept.

All of this is to say that while conflict is unavoidable, resolution strategies are cultural. The notion that conflicts MUST result in a winner and a loser is a very particular cultural notion and while widespread today, certainly not the only way of looking at it.

So it is entirely possible to consider yourself US and to look at THEM and to live in harmony.

Leela Wrote:I think a lot of the "us vs them" issue could be gone if more
people would be able to simply accept some basic things. One of the most
important: You don't have to aggree with "them"

Preach.

As Cantor notes, we all Stereotype. That's just a fact. But we often forget that they are stereotypes and believe that they're fact. Stereotypes too can become naturalised. This is the lever propagandists use on us.

"You don't get it, maaaaaan, they're brave enough to speak the truth that everyone's too chicken shit to say."

BS.

The use of stereotype removes the possibility of individuality which removes the possibility of empathy. That's why it's such an effective device to get people to hate entire groups of people because they've all been stripped of their humanity and reduced to ideas. In Martin Buber terms, they have been reduced to I and It. When we punch through our stereotypes, we can perceive the Other in terms of I and Thou.

Kineo was wise to post this. It's a good thing to remind all of us that if we want to call ourselves thinking and reasonable and logical, we cannot allow ourselves to be seduced by this simplistic way of viewing the Other; a way that leaves us open to manipulation. Life is complicated, not simple. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.

Quote:...wait a minute! I hate Canadians.

THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS!

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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27-05-2012, 10:25 AM
RE: Us vs Them
(27-05-2012 04:27 AM)Egor Wrote:  
(27-05-2012 03:46 AM)DeepThought Wrote:  I would think you've been exposed to enough atheists to know better. Atheists have lots of reasons to be good. They just aren't centered around a supernatural punishment/reward system. Do you think that without some divine karma system nothing would matter? Atheists I know don't think like that.

Think outside your box.


Think outside your box. If atheism is true, there is no good or bad; there is no morality; there is no validity to the word "should." There is your opinion of virtue and mine, and that's it. That doesn't mean atheists are bad people. It simply means that their goodness doesn't count for anything.

If theism of any kind is true then when one is good, they are A) following God's command, or B) if they are monists, then the good they do for others is the good they do for themselves. Their good matters.

And I'm surprised: If you're an atheist why would you even care about being "morally" good? Why can't you just admit you were raised to be a decent person, so you behave decently? Who do you think is out there watching you be "moral"?

Huh

I see what you're saying Egor and somewhat agree. In the context of the universe- yes, the universe does not care whether I am a moral person or not. At least the universe outside of other living humans that my actions impact in any way (we are all a part of the universe). But the same is true for you, whether you believe in a god or not, your morality has the same end result as mine.

But if there are any gods who care about how we humans behave, then morality maybe matters to them. However, true or not, this does not change how an atheist or a humanist sees morality.

We look at it in fundamentally different ways. You see morality as a guide to ensure that your God is pleased- or at least not pissed. I look at morality as a guide to ensure that the people that I have any impact on are impacted in a positive way if at all possible. It is all about the people, whereas for you its focus is on your God first, people second.

In any case, this is a digression from the forum topic. Smile

(27-05-2012 07:47 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:...if we judge each other by the worst of the other's behavior and by the best of our own, where are we going?
-Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Word.

DeepThought Wrote:It's almost seems natural to think in terms of Us vs Them. It's
ingrained in our psyche. Look at our sport. Each game is an Us vs Them.

Most kids have that mindset almost exclusively. If you don't agree you are the enemy!

So yeah, its very human to think like that.

We have to be very careful when we say things like, "It's very human." There is a simple litmus test. If there are any exceptions then it is not universal and therefore not very human at all. It's not about our genetics, it's about our memetics. It's a cultural phenomenon.

But some ideas have so much traction or have been around for so long, that we no longer think it can be any other way. But that doesn't make it fact. That's simply the result of naturalised ideology; the common sense view. What Woof calls settling into a cozy dogmatism.

George Lakoff and Mark Johnson speak about how metaphor (something IS something else) is the core of how we see the world.

Quote:Our concepts structure what we perceive, how we get around in the world, and how we relate to other people...
-Lakoff and Johnson, Metaphors We Live By

They discuss a simple example. Argument IS war. Because we've adopted that metaphor, it has become the lens through which we understand.

Quote:Your claims are indefensible.
He attacked every weak point in my argument.
His criticisms were right on target.
I demolished his argument.
I've never won and argument with him.
You disagree? Okay, shoot!
If you use that strategy, he'll wipe you out.
He shot down all of my arguments.
-Lakoff and Johnson, Metaphors We Live By

But the metaphor that suggests that argument is war, is a construction. A cultural one. Argument, they argue, could just as easily be compared to dance. Argument is dance. But Our culture certainly doesn't see it that way.

Our culture's use of the argument is war metaphor underlies a particularly nasty trait of Our culture; the notion of the zero sum conflict. Someone MUST win and someone MUST lose.

That, looked at purely logically, is cockamamie. It rules out compromise, cooperation and a host of other outcomes.

There's a good, well, legend anyway, who knows if it's true but it's very illustrative, that hacky sack came from South America. The game, as you know, isn't about points or wining, it's about people in a circle working together. When the Europeans arrived they introduced some zero sum sports and the South Americans were flummoxed. They couldn't grasp the concept.

All of this is to say that while conflict is unavoidable, resolution strategies are cultural. The notion that conflicts MUST result in a winner and a loser is a very particular cultural notion and while widespread today, certainly not the only way of looking at it.

So it is entirely possible to consider yourself US and to look at THEM and to live in harmony.

Leela Wrote:I think a lot of the "us vs them" issue could be gone if more
people would be able to simply accept some basic things. One of the most
important: You don't have to aggree with "them"

Preach.

As Cantor notes, we all Stereotype. That's just a fact. But we often forget that they are stereotypes and believe that they're fact. Stereotypes too can become naturalised. This is the lever propagandists use on us.

"You don't get it, maaaaaan, they're brave enough to speak the truth that everyone's too chicken shit to say."

BS.

The use of stereotype removes the possibility of individuality which removes the possibility of empathy. That's why it's such an effective device to get people to hate entire groups of people because they've all been stripped of their humanity and reduced to ideas. In Martin Buber terms, they have been reduced to I and It. When we punch through our stereotypes, we can perceive the Other in terms of I and Thou.

Kineo was wise to post this. It's a good thing to remind all of us that if we want to call ourselves thinking and reasonable and logical, we cannot allow ourselves to be seduced by this simplistic way of viewing the Other; a way that leaves us open to manipulation. Life is complicated, not simple. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.

Quote:...wait a minute! I hate Canadians.

THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS!

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Great post Matt- but I can't take any kind credit like that... I just reposted from reddit, where the atmosphere of the atheism subreddit is much more divisive. But I in think this place we find that there are more people willing to think a discussion through than not.
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27-05-2012, 10:29 AM
RE: Us vs Them
(27-05-2012 01:37 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  I assume by us v them you mean atheist v theist.
I think that the atheist v theist argument is not one of ethics and honor but rather simply one of does God exist or doesn't he, in which case there is either a yes or a no hence us v them.

Unless I am missing something.
Read beyond the title, my friend. It's about stereotyping and showing prejudice towards your opponents. And yes, theists are our opponents (there is an implicit "vs") but that doesn't mean that they're always wrong.

Kineo, this is just more evidence that you are a rational thinker -- not that I ever doubted that. I applaud your ability to step outside of your shoes when looking at an issue. It's not easy.

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27-05-2012, 10:32 AM
RE: Us vs Them
(27-05-2012 10:25 AM)kineo Wrote:  We look at it in fundamentally different ways. You [Egor] see morality as a guide to ensure that your God is pleased- or at least not pissed. I look at morality as a guide to ensure that the people that I have any impact on are impacted in a positive way if at all possible. It is all about the people, whereas for you its focus is on your God first, people second.

In any case, this is a digression from the forum topic. Smile
Egor, this is worse than a digression -- it seems to miss the point of the topic completely. Please stop showing prejudice against atheists. Be as fair and open-minded with us as you want us to be with you.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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