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Old 02-28-2013, 02:15 AM
 
39,039 posts, read 10,831,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
But atheism doesn't mean you are rational, or humanist, or skeptical, or physicalist...
It simply means you focus away from rationality, away from humanism, away from skepticism, and away from physicalism/empiricism in detriment to all of them as you focus on the theist question. I feel pretty secure in my believe that atheism as a title of self and faction is as worthy as, let's say, akarmist. ...actually, now I'm seeing that theism and atheism do have some implications. I suppose a good society might have the adequate "trappings" to keep people right, but I don't see the growing strength of rationalist, humanist, skeptical, or physicalist factions. I only see a lot of focus on the media on theist sects and atheism/agnosticism.
That is a concern. It's the old problem of a space age gadget or weapon getting into the hands of a people who still have bronze -age minds, pretty much.

I do see a need for a surge to atheism to be part of a general move to humanism, rationality, scientific skepticism (which means cautious inquiry rather than denial) and all the things you feel are being neglected in favour of just pulling down the Dark Lord and putting Nothing in his place.

You are absolutely right,O Luminous One,there are implications inherent in losing a God - Belief. The believers make alarmist noises about us running amok looting, raping, killing raping, smoking in pubic,raping, walking on the grass contrary to bye -laws, raping, peeing on the pavement, raping and raping. In fact, we get an acceptance of personal moral responsibility, an understanding of the other person's wants and needs (instead of just feeling that he deserves nothing but death in this life and Hell in the next unless he Believes) and a real concern for the future instead of just a bit of free rice and soup to make some more converts to fight on the Right side when the World goes into a prophecied meltdown and Jesus comes to marshal his grunts for the Final Battle.

I advise a bit of positive skepticism about the media. They are not there to impart information,but to make money, and they seem to have a lowest common denominator mindset combining total cynical amorality with a knee jerk 'church-going and family values under threat from the increase of social godlessness' P. 2 article with poisonous quotes from Lane Graig ready to hand.

I much prefer that we goddless bastards use internet and suchlike to make our case the way we want without being interrupted by idiot chat show hosts 'I mean...you all want to kill babies and fornicate in the streets, don't you?'

Their greatest mistake as with the OP (1) is that they either cannot or will not understand what atheism really is by hearing it from us, but prefer (for some ingrained personal - mindset reasons) their boneheaded slanders. I actually do think, Loominous, that you can get to understand us and see that we are no real threat even to religious belief - only to Organized religion, which has to come down and its political stranglehold on all of us broken.

(1) nope, I was wrong, that wasn't in the OP (yours) but it made some valid warnings which we ought to hear. It is a mistake - or rather, it is a bit risky - to rush to atheism without anything better than what we have now to put in its place. Again I get the Dejavu feeling that I have said this before - It is a slander to say that atheism can have no morality or social conscience, compassion or concern for others now and those to come, but it is true - as you suggest - that we could neglect all that for concentrating on Religion -bashing. I do begin to see that atheism must be more than just an ajitprop movement for bringing down the Old Order, but it needs to lead a reform of political thought. There is too much cover -up, dishonesty and self -serving of party, self, and ....

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The Arq has been temporarily removed by the On topic police
.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 02-28-2013 at 02:40 AM..
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:09 PM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
7,945 posts, read 4,739,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
Now this is truly funny.
Believing in a sky daddy is rational?
The rest of your post slides downhill (if that's at all possible).
I don't know why or when I implied that. But its rational only if it can be rationed up into internally consistent small parts. specifically for "sky daddy" ideas, a lot of contradicting information must be ignored or worked around (working from a conclusion backwards).
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:16 PM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
7,945 posts, read 4,739,597 times
Reputation: 1328
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
That is a concern. It's the old problem of a space age gadget or weapon getting into the hands of a people who still have bronze -age minds, pretty much.

I do see a need for a surge to atheism to be part of a general move to humanism, rationality, scientific skepticism (which means cautious inquiry rather than denial) and all the things you feel are being neglected in favour of just pulling down the Dark Lord and putting Nothing in his place.

You are absolutely right,O Luminous One,there are implications inherent in losing a God - Belief. The believers make alarmist noises about us running amok looting, raping, killing raping, smoking in pubic,raping, walking on the grass contrary to bye -laws, raping, peeing on the pavement, raping and raping. In fact, we get an acceptance of personal moral responsibility, an understanding of the other person's wants and needs (instead of just feeling that he deserves nothing but death in this life and Hell in the next unless he Believes) and a real concern for the future instead of just a bit of free rice and soup to make some more converts to fight on the Right side when the World goes into a prophecied meltdown and Jesus comes to marshal his grunts for the Final Battle.

I advise a bit of positive skepticism about the media. They are not there to impart information,but to make money, and they seem to have a lowest common denominator mindset combining total cynical amorality with a knee jerk 'church-going and family values under threat from the increase of social godlessness' P. 2 article with poisonous quotes from Lane Graig ready to hand.

I much prefer that we goddless bastards use internet and suchlike to make our case the way we want without being interrupted by idiot chat show hosts 'I mean...you all want to kill babies and fornicate in the streets, don't you?'

Their greatest mistake as with the OP (1) is that they either cannot or will not understand what atheism really is by hearing it from us, but prefer (for some ingrained personal - mindset reasons) their boneheaded slanders. I actually do think, Loominous, that you can get to understand us and see that we are no real threat even to religious belief - only to Organized religion, which has to come down and its political stranglehold on all of us broken.

(1) nope, I was wrong, that wasn't in the OP (yours) but it made some valid warnings which we ought to hear. It is a mistake - or rather, it is a bit risky - to rush to atheism without anything better than what we have now to put in its place. Again I get the Dejavu feeling that I have said this before - It is a slander to say that atheism can have no morality or social conscience, compassion or concern for others now and those to come, but it is true - as you suggest - that we could neglect all that for concentrating on Religion -bashing. I do begin to see that atheism must be more than just an ajitprop movement for bringing down the Old Order, but it needs to lead a reform of political thought. There is too much cover -up, dishonesty and self -serving of party, self, and ....

------------------------------------------------------

The Arq has been temporarily removed by the On topic police
.
Now this, I completely meant to say through my posts...
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:41 AM
 
Location: Ostend,Belgium....
8,820 posts, read 6,363,322 times
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yep! I agree we are not trying to eradicate or torture anyone into submission..that would be repeating what organized religion has done for centuries. The old stuff(order) has to go, there is no room for it in our evolving world.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:34 AM
 
Location: The land where cats rule
10,946 posts, read 8,254,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
Now this, I completely meant to say through my posts...
Then perhaps you should give more thought to your posts before you press the submit button.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:48 AM
 
39,039 posts, read 10,831,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
Now this, I completely meant to say through my posts...
I always prefer it if we can come to a better understanding and appreciation of others' arguments.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Ohio
19,895 posts, read 14,228,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
But atheism doesn't mean you are rational, or humanist, or skeptical, or physicalist...
It simply means you focus away from rationality, away from humanism, away from skepticism, and away from physicalism/empiricism in detriment to all of them as you focus on the theist question.
That makes no sense at all.

According to Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus went to Jerusalem only once in his life.

But according to John, Jesus went to Jerusalem twice....the first time he over-turned the tables of the money-changers in the Temple in violent rage, then he left and returned a second time, at which time he was allegedly crucified.

A rational person has no choice but to conclude that there is a conflict between the testimonies.

Given that Matthew, Mark and Luke also claim that Jesus was tempted in the desert for 30 days after being baptized by John the Baptist, and that John claims no such thing happened --- Jesus proceeded immediately to Cana where he performed his first "miracle" changing water into wine at a wedding -- a rational person is forced to conclude that we have another conflict with testimony.

If the Testaments are the word of a god, then clearly they conflict, and that is the only rational, logical conclusion.

Yahweh says that descendants of Moabites are banned from every entering the "Assembly of God."

Later, Yahweh says that descendants of Moabites are only banned for the first 10 generations.

Thus we have another contradiction.

King David was a Moabite.

Therefore, according to the infallible word of Yahweh-god, King David can never be in Heaven, and yet, many books in the Old Testament fawn over King David and how special he was in the eyes of Yahweh.

David's father was the son of Ruth....a Moabite. That's 3rd Generation.....doesn't matter which verse you accept as the correct Yahweh verse.

Worse than that, the philosophies of Yahweh and Jesus are incongruous; exact opposites. What rational person would be believe in a god that changes his mind on a whim?

And then you have the Jesus-is-the-son-of-Yahweh-and-the-father-of-himself-and-Casper-the-Friendly-Ghost, except when Yahweh has custody of the ghosty-thing every other weekend.

And if you reject the Trinity, then you have two gods.....actually more than two, since Yahweh's father was Ba'al, and his brothers are El Shaddai, El Elyon, El Berith, Mot, Yam and his sister is Ashterah.

Well, the rational person is the one who doesn't buy into that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
I suppose a good society might have the adequate "trappings" to keep people right,...
Morality stems from common sense, not gods.

Before gods existed, humanoids roamed the Earth. They couldn't speak yet, but they could grunt and gesture. It was a purely gatherer society before it was an hunter-gatherer society.

Such societies are very labor intensive. And these societies were small, just clusters of 4-11 families totaling about 12-60 people. It takes every able-bodied person to go out and gather enough food. Death....whether by accident, injury, illness, disease, natural causes or murder....was traumatic and negatively impacted the group. The loss of even one person meant that the rest would have to work that much harder, and their chances of survival declined.

So....then....you can see where murder would become taboo.

Taking things that don't belong to you....weapons, clothing, food and such....would create animosity and fracture the unity and cohesiveness of the group, rendering it ineffective and subject to disaster.

Accordingly....you can see where theft would become taboo.

And people fail. That's what they do, and they often fail in most splendidly spectacular way. And they will fail, whether gods exist or not, and whether religion exists or not. They will fail whether morals and ethics exist or not.

Here's where theism is destructive to society, because it gives those who fail a scape-goat to blame, instead of accepting responsibility for their own actions. An Atheist or Agnostic cannot claim that "the devil made them do it," or that it was "god's plan," or that god made them that way or any other nonsense.

How rational is it to blame one's short-comings on a non-existent being?

Questioning...

Mircea
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Montreal, Quebec
15,087 posts, read 12,010,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
So as you all might have realized, I like atheists (the ones on here are usually smart) as much as I like theists. But I was thinking about the growth in atheism... and about how meaningless it is. What is atheism going to accomplish? Nothing. It is simply piggy backing on increased intelligence, etc, which are the actual good things. So the more the atheists deconvert the bad people in religion, the more bad people there will be in Atheism.

I think this is the atheist's grand mistake. I think some people have some natural inclinations, and that as atheists convert bad people with their arguments and growing power, they will invite more degradation of Enlightenment and Ethical values into their fold. Instead of focusing on the growth in criticism of the God question, atheists should be focusing on intelligence and critical thinking, etc, especially for their children (which they seem to often do, not wanted to "push" atheism into their children).

This is the problem I have with the atheist label, and why I prefer people to label themselves by things that matter a little bit more than whether or not deities exist, which is what the whole atheist/theist argument ultimately boils down to. The label of "Brights" denotes a certain "inquiry, visibility, and intelligence" and the label "Humanist" denotes a certain "goal, respect, and focus." The word "Agnostic" denotes a certain "understanding, limitation, and broader inquiry."

The first people to be labeled "atheist" were the ancient Christians, often called the Nazarenes. They (after they took over Rome), along with the Islamists in the Arab lands, destroyed Enlightenment/progressive values and plunged their civilizations into dark ages. The Atheists in Russia were no better, after shredding their constitution and focusing only on economic equality and national security, they denied Enlightenment values and freedom, plunging their societies into dark eras. All of these people accepted a form of authoritarian conservatism which wanted nothing to do with inquiry and counter-arguments. But these possible consequences of such a theist-centered focus are only one possible outcome of the mistake.

Another outcome of atheists' spreading of unmonitored atheism and their acceptance of inferior deconverts would likely be that the pious religious would point to the atheists and say "look at their degradation, we are better" and so have an incentive for the good people to turn to religion where it is organized and clean.

There could be no inferior converts in a strongly monitored Humanist or Bright movement. However, any organization might succumb to corruption, so there would still be work and inquiry that would need to be done. Still why would anyone want to spread disbelief in gods? Spread how you got there, not the short cut to it (accepting atheism).

Do any of you disagree that calling yourself an atheist is a mistake? Do any of you disagree that spreading atheism (without spreading actual good things) is meaningless EVEN if ending (current) theism is not?
Wow. So many issues to address. First of all, I don't consider calling myself an atheist a mistake. If I have no belief in a deity or the supernatural, it's what I am. It just IS. What else would I call myself?
Secondly, how does one "spread" atheism? I've never seen a religious person convert because of something an atheist said. Atheism isn't contagious.
Thirdly, atheists ARE focused on critical thinking. It's what made me an atheist in the first place. I used to be a Christian; Russian Orthodox, to be precise. I was having a crisis of faith, and delved very deeply into religion, mine and others. I came away believing that none of it made any sense due to critical thinking. It wasn't an easy thing to admit, because at first I felt like a trapeze artist performing without a net. I finally came to realize I didn't NEED the net, and it was liberating. I'm now a Secular Humanist and it's the perfect fit for me. The tenets are those of kindness, compassion and making the world a better place. There's nothing wrong with that and it's all I need.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Montreal, Quebec
15,087 posts, read 12,010,983 times
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I don't know if anyone posted this, but here it is.

The Affirmations of Humanism:
A Statement of Principles
  • We are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.
  • We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature for salvation.
  • We believe that scientific discovery and technology can contribute to the betterment of human life.
  • We believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian elites and repressive majorities.
  • We are committed to the principle of the separation of church and state.
  • We cultivate the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.
  • We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.
  • We believe in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped so that they will be able to help themselves.
  • We attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and strive to work together for the common good of humanity.
  • We want to protect and enhance the earth, to preserve it for future generations, and to avoid inflicting needless suffering on other species.
  • We believe in enjoying life here and now and in developing our creative talents to their fullest.
  • We believe in the cultivation of moral excellence.
  • We respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and informed health-care, and to die with dignity.
  • We believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, responsibility. Humanist ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance. There are normative standards that we discover together. Moral principles are tested by their consequences.
  • We are deeply concerned with the moral education of our children. We want to nourish reason and compassion.
  • We are engaged by the arts no less than by the sciences.
  • We are citizens of the universe and are excited by discoveries still to be made in the cosmos.
  • We are skeptical of untested claims to knowledge, and we are open to novel ideas and seek new departures in our thinking.
  • We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal significance and genuine satisfaction in the service to others.
  • We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.
  • We believe in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that we are capable of as human beings.

Council for Secular Humanism
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:54 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
7,945 posts, read 4,739,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjay51 View Post
Then perhaps you should give more thought to your posts before you press the submit button.
No, perhaps some people who read things which aren't there into other people's posts should develop better reading comprehension and remove their defensive bias when they read critical posts.
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