Why should I be an atheist?
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05-05-2017, 06:00 PM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(05-05-2017 04:18 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  I think it's a foundational myth of atheism that skepticism leads to atheism as a natural course.

It's an observation from many of our own personal experiences that skepticism of religious claims led us to atheism.
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05-05-2017, 06:33 PM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
You can write it off on your taxes.

#sigh
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05-05-2017, 07:52 PM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(05-05-2017 04:18 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  While the way he phrased it, that there is no skeptical mindset, may be superficially wrong, we're all victim of our biases. That doesn't mean that theism is right and atheism wrong, or vice versa. It simply means that there is no position which skepticism favors, and if you think that skepticism is the mode by which you arrived at atheism, you're likely fooling yourself. We can be more or less skeptical. It's not clear that there is any natural end result of that process.

You really have no idea how or why I arrived at my atheism, and I find this passage rather patronizing.

I'm not arguing that skepticism naturally leads to atheism. I'm saying that it's entirely possible for a person to question their basic premises; and I'm saying that it has indeed happened with plenty of folks. That it didn't happen with him does not mean that his generalization is justified.

(05-05-2017 04:18 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  I think it's a foundational myth of atheism that skepticism leads to atheism as a natural course. I think all his point was is that this is not necessarily so, that it can just as easily lead to theism. At least that would be my point. I'll let him speak for himself.

It seems to me that he's already spoken quite a ways beyond this. And for the record, I don't adhere to the outlook you're arguing against here. You and I can ask the same questions and arrive at different answers, and justify them to ourselves -- and perhaps others.

The point I'm making is that skepticism does exist, and has been used to walk away from previously-held beliefs. This has happened in millions of people, and that is a fact.
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05-05-2017, 07:53 PM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(05-05-2017 04:24 PM)morondog Wrote:  ... What line of skeptical reasoning could lead to being a theist?

I think the skepticism he's referencing is being skeptical about one's own beliefs, rather than being skeptical about every premise.
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05-05-2017, 08:18 PM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(05-05-2017 04:24 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(05-05-2017 04:18 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  I think it's a foundational myth of atheism that skepticism leads to atheism as a natural course. I think all his point was is that this is not necessarily so, that it can just as easily lead to theism. At least that would be my point. I'll let him speak for himself.

... What line of skeptical reasoning could lead to being a theist? Being a theist by definition means you believe in some kind of "God".

Others can call me a theist, I'm not going to believe it though.

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05-05-2017, 08:30 PM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(05-05-2017 07:52 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  The point I'm making is that skepticism does exist, and has been used to walk away from previously-held beliefs. This has happened in millions of people, and that is a fact.

And the question I'm asking is whether any amount of skepticism can influence the endpoint we end up at to any greater degree than our biases do? If the answer to that question is no, then it's our biases which are the true proximal cause of our conclusions, not our skepticism. Our skepticism then becomes just a prop in the play of our biases.
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05-05-2017, 08:36 PM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(05-05-2017 08:30 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  
(05-05-2017 07:52 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  The point I'm making is that skepticism does exist, and has been used to walk away from previously-held beliefs. This has happened in millions of people, and that is a fact.

And the question I'm asking is whether any amount of skepticism can influence the endpoint we end up at to any greater degree than our biases do? If the answer to that question is no, then it's our biases which are the true proximal cause of our conclusions, not our skepticism. Our skepticism then becomes just a prop in the play of our biases.

Nope.
Fallacy of the excluded middle, false dichotomy, or whatever they want to call it.
Skepticism had NOTHING to do with my jettisoning any belief system. It was the study of History that did it. And it had nothing to do with anyone's "biases".

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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05-05-2017, 08:37 PM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(05-05-2017 08:30 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  
(05-05-2017 07:52 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  The point I'm making is that skepticism does exist, and has been used to walk away from previously-held beliefs. This has happened in millions of people, and that is a fact.

And the question I'm asking is whether any amount of skepticism can influence the endpoint we end up at to any greater degree than our biases do? If the answer to that question is no, then it's our biases which are the true proximal cause of our conclusions, not our skepticism. Our skepticism then becomes just a prop in the play of our biases.

It very much depends on the person, doesn't it? Some people lose out to their biases, some are led away from them by their skepticism, some can be skeptical about certain ideas but not others, and so on.
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05-05-2017, 09:23 PM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
(05-05-2017 04:18 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  I think it's a foundational myth of atheism that skepticism leads to atheism as a natural course.

Foundational? What foundation?

Quote:I think all his point was is that this is not necessarily so, that it can just as easily lead to theism. At least that would be my point. I'll let him speak for himself.

You (or he) appear to give equal weight to the possible outcomes. That seems extremely unlikely as skepticism denies believing in that for which there is no credible evidence.

And, no, evidence is not a matter of opinion. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-05-2017, 09:30 PM
RE: Why should I be an atheist?
Well said!

(05-05-2017 08:30 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  And the question I'm asking is whether any amount of skepticism can influence the endpoint we end up at to any greater degree than our biases do?

I would clarify that skepticism should be tempered with critical thinking. We should attempt to eliminate our biases, as much as possible. Our goal should be to find the correct answer, not the answer we want.

(05-05-2017 08:30 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  If the answer to that question is no, then it's our biases which are the true proximal cause of our conclusions, not our skepticism. Our skepticism then becomes just a prop in the play of our biases.

I would say at that point you are no longer being skeptical.

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