Why should I be an atheist?
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03-05-2017, 05:28 AM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(02-05-2017 09:50 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  No. I was stating that belief without evidence leads to gullibility which leads to negative effects. I'm sorry that you can't grasp this.

And that would be a false hypothesis. You claim that Christianity is based on no evidence. Yet being a Christian doesn't make me any more likely to fall for misleading pitches from telemarketers, car salesmen, politicians, phishing scams, etc... than you.

Either your hypothesis is false, or your claim that Christianity is a belief without evidence is false. You decide.

In fact we can think of another example which disproves your hypothesis. Let's say a man draws a variety of non-evidence based conclusions about reality on his own, and he has deep distrust of people in general. He would be unikely to fall for phishing scams, con-artists etc..... as result of his distrust in people. The fact he draws a multitude of non-evidence-based views of reality has no real effect on this.

Quote:Nope. I read it. I can't make apologetics better. Theists use Pascal, or "What if you're wrong" constantly.

But not Pascal? I'm talking about Pascal's Wager as Pascal used it, and interpreted within the context of his own writing, in contrast to the misinterpretations used by atheists and also some theists.

Quote:I said that Pascal's Wager is considered an apologetic.
I quoted the relevant passages that supported that statement.

And I said Pascal's Wager, as Pascal composed it is not an argument for theism, which you tried to counter by claiming it's a Christian apologetic.

Quote:If they misuse it, it is not my problem.

Some Christians and some atheists misuse the argument, and I correct them both. I was correcting another poster who misused it, before you decided to interject yourself. But if you're not going to argue that it hasn't been misused, then we can drop the argument.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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03-05-2017, 05:31 AM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(03-05-2017 05:01 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(02-05-2017 09:52 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Nope. You've wasted enough of my time and twisted enough of my words.

Ah okay, I didn't twist you words.

Where you twisted the dangers of gullibility into a job interview?
Where you twisted "these subjects" into "Pascal's Wager"?
Where you twisted the flaws of Pascal's Wager onto atheists?

(03-05-2017 05:01 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  You claimed that most desires, are desires for well being. Yet you can't answer whether your desire for truth, is also a desire for well-being.

My desire to know the truth is based on the tenet of holding as many true beliefs as possible and a few false beliefs as possible.

I hold this desire even though I understand that true beliefs do not always lead to well-being.

(03-05-2017 05:01 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  It's always interesting when atheists start to dodge questions, because they dug their own grave.

Generalizations and hypocrisy.

At least you're consistent.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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03-05-2017, 05:33 AM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(03-05-2017 05:01 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(02-05-2017 09:52 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Nope. You've wasted enough of my time and twisted enough of my words.


Ah okay, I didn't twist you words. You claimed that most desires, are desires for well being. Yet you can't answer whether your desire for truth, is also a desire for well-being.

It's always interesting when atheists start to dodge questions, because they dug their own grave.

I'll answer that.
Yes, a desire for truth is also a desire for well being.

I've just made some lasagna and i open the oven to take out the pan. Will that hot pan burn my hands if I remove from the oven ? That is a desire for truth.

The answer is ...Yes, it will. I need to protect myself from being burned by the hot pan. I should use some oven mitts. That is a desire for well being.

In every instance in which I'm assessing danger, I have a desire for the truth. When I have the truth about a potential hazard that can hurt me, that kicks in my desire for well being. I don't want to be hurt.

Religion preys upon our desire for well being.
It invents an imaginary danger after you have died and then offers you an imaginary way out.

Atheists have assessed the truth of this religious danger after we die and find it to have no merit because there is no harm to our well being.

There is no harm to our well being because we are dead. We understand what it means to be alive and what it means to be dead. We accept that reality.
We observe the truth of that reality and that desire for truth directly impacts our desire for well being.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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03-05-2017, 05:45 AM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(03-05-2017 05:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(02-05-2017 09:50 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  No. I was stating that belief without evidence leads to gullibility which leads to negative effects. I'm sorry that you can't grasp this.

And that would be a false hypothesis.

Facepalm

You know what, I'm done arguing with your strawman.

(03-05-2017 05:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  But not Pascal? I'm talking about Pascal's Wager as Pascal used it, and interpreted within the context of his own writing, in contrast to the misinterpretations used by atheists and also some theists.

The rest of us were discussing Pascal's Wager as an apologetic, as it is used by apologists. As it was used by the OP.

People have been pointing out the flaws in the Wager, including the author, since it was written.

(03-05-2017 05:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  And I said Pascal's Wager, as Pascal composed it is not an argument for theism, which you tried to counter by claiming it's a Christian apologetic.

CHRISTIANS USE IT CONSTANTLY AS A CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC.

The Wikipedia article, which both of us quoted, stated that it was used as a Christian apologetic.

Let me just bold this here:
Quote:If they misuse it, it is not my problem.

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Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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03-05-2017, 05:48 AM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(02-05-2017 09:07 AM)Grauwyler Wrote:  I've always felt atheism to be more of a conclusion than a decision. Lots of great feedback on the OP, but I don't know many who can "just decide" to believe whatever.

I was never anything else. Always considered church to be a punishment, getting up early on Sunday when you weren't going fishing. Being raised in a non-religious household by people who never, ever, brought up religion one way or the other showed me what it would be like if nobody was indoctrinated in the cradle.
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03-05-2017, 05:50 AM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(01-05-2017 07:41 PM)Zombocalypse Wrote:  Why should I be an atheist?
Depends on your goals in life. Do you have goals in life? What are they? Do you receive goals in life from an external source, or do you set your own goals in life?

Would "believeing in as many true things as possible and as few false things as possible" be a goal worth following?

(01-05-2017 07:41 PM)Zombocalypse Wrote:  As of this post, I am currently a devoted Christian. But I've been having some thoughts recently...
What is "devoted" in your case? Please clarify. How far would your devotion go? Particularly in relation to the above mentioned, potential goal for life.

(01-05-2017 07:41 PM)Zombocalypse Wrote:  I am a Christian for two reasons.
Reason # 1: I want a glorious afterlife.
Reason # 2: I fear the wrath of God.
1. Do you think wishful thinking is a good way to lead your life?
2. Do you think your god honors fear or love? I think i remembered "love" somehow, but i may be wrong. You can only (rationally) fear things that exist. Does your god exist? How do you find out about that?

(01-05-2017 07:41 PM)Zombocalypse Wrote:  However, if I'm an atheist, then I wouldn't really fear anything because I would be unconvinced of God's existence.
Would you fear pain?
Would you fear the loss of a loved person?
Would you fear losing your job?
Would you fear being punished for a crime?
Is fear of god your only reason not to (commit and) fear being punished for a crime? In other words: Are you a psychopath?

(01-05-2017 07:41 PM)Zombocalypse Wrote:  But the thing is... Why should I be an atheist? How could I be sure that there is no God?
Atheism is not the assurance that no god exists.
What are your goals in life (see above)?

(01-05-2017 07:41 PM)Zombocalypse Wrote:  According to Blaise Pascal, it is a much safer bet to believe in God. And with that said, why be an atheist?
Are you willing to bet your life on Blaise pascals opinion, either way? What do you think? Is it safer? Why?

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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03-05-2017, 06:00 AM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2017 06:04 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
Just a general comment:

Atheism is not a club. There is no membership card or fanfare when you "join". There is no authority that decides that you are now an atheist, other than the definition of the word itself. It's a state of mind.

You do, of course, choose whether or not you call yourself an atheist. But whether you actually are one is not a conscious choice, it's a matter of not being convinced. If you're "choosing" to not be convinced, then you clearly already weren't. You can't drop real beliefs just because you want to. This is an interesting subject we've discussed before, which perhaps needs its own thread. You can choose to re-examine evidence, to analyse your own thinking, to seek new evidence, or even to try and delude yourself. But ultimately, your subconscious is the arbiter of whether your beliefs change as a result.

You can however choose to leave a religion, even if you believe it is "real". I'd have no part in any religion, even if I thought they weren't imaginary nonsense.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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03-05-2017, 06:03 AM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(03-05-2017 05:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(02-05-2017 09:50 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  No. I was stating that belief without evidence leads to gullibility which leads to negative effects. I'm sorry that you can't grasp this.

And that would be a false hypothesis. You claim that Christianity is based on no evidence. Yet being a Christian doesn't make me any more likely to fall for misleading pitches from telemarketers, car salesmen, politicians, phishing scams, etc... than you.

Either your hypothesis is false, or your claim that Christianity is a belief without evidence is false. You decide.

... So you're claiming you have evidence for Christianity, Tommy, or you're claiming that unevidenced beliefs are not detrimental, and in the process admitting that you don't have evidence for your belief in Christianity? You decide. But it'd be fun if you chose to answer the question. Laughat

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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03-05-2017, 06:07 AM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(03-05-2017 06:00 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Just a general comment:

Atheism is not a club. There is no membership card or fanfare when you "join". There is no authority that decides that you are now an atheist, other than the definition of the word itself. It's a state of mind.
For most of my youth I wasn't aware that anybody else could even be atheistic. That only changed with I wrote a book report that inspired a teacher to make that book the required reading for the next year's class. I had recommended the book to several people and their parents tracked it back to me. They were very angry that I had "brought that kind of book to a school!" I had to tell them that I got if from the school library.

Oh, the book was Stranger in a Strange Land, my first encounter with atheistic-ish literature. The Fosterites seemed like just another church to me.
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03-05-2017, 06:27 AM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
Wow, I find it hard to imagine such a dogmatic insulated environment. Good for you for poking a little light into the room!

That's another thing... some religious folk assuming atheism must work like a religion. It doesn't. Not even theism is a religion, unless your religion is simply, "I believe in God".

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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