U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-04-2013, 11:10 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,250 posts, read 19,550,442 times
Reputation: 13018

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
Even as an Agnostic, I don't view anyones deity as a fictional being just because I'm not certain of their existence.
Again, to me there is a big difference between fairies and unicorns and a possible creator of all that is.
Let me put it this way: the evidence in favor of the existence of God has been a gradually losing proposition over the course of time. God was supposed to have created the heavens and earth, all life on earth and humans. But we know that he did none of these things.

God was supposed to have incarnated his only "son" on earth as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity so that we may all have eternal life. But we know that all of this is just a made-up fairy tale.

So, all we're left with is that God is supposedly the creator of our universe. The only issue is that there is zero evidence that such a God exists or ever existed.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-04-2013, 11:15 PM
 
Location: The Big O
590 posts, read 664,125 times
Reputation: 435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
To me, being Agnostic means that I am aware of what a small, insignificant creature that I am in the scope of space and time and that it would be incredibly presumptuous and arrogant of me to have an attitude that there is absolutely no higher power than myself in all the cosmos.
On the other hand, every religion of the world thinks that their view is the only right one and that everyone else on the planet is doomed, dammed or whatever.

So both of the extreme views on either side are just as arrogant and ignorant as the other....
I simply look up at the night sky without any beliefs that Gods, especially one that monitors our lives, exists. I also think that religious beliefs and other superstitions have generally slowed down scientific advancement during the past 2,000 years. That's all. Does that make me as bad as those in the Westboro Baptist church?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2013, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,276,993 times
Reputation: 4279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
This is the way I see it, there is a big difference between denying the existence of Casper and denying the existence of any higher power in the universe.
Just because I don't subscribe to the notion of a Christian God does not mean I don't have respect for those that do.
Like it or not, (and I'm guessing you don't based on your examples of the bad parts of the history of Christianity in this country) this is largely still a Christian nation with customs and traditions that have become so intertwined with our culture as to become woven into the fabric of America.
The only difference between Casper and the Christian God, in my opinion, are the numbers of people that believe in the Christian God. I don't deny that we have a great many Christian traditions and cultures - and I don't necessarily mind that. Those are traditions and cultures - not laws I am forced to abide by.

However, that means squat when it comes to the need for a secular government and secular laws. And I'm not just throwing the word "secular" out there because I happen to be a secularist but because that's the way U.S. laws are supposed to be.

Furthermore, you bring up this idea that this somehow boils down to respect when it really doesn't. Let's put the shoe on the other foot. Imagine if we had "In God We Don't Trust" stamped on our currency. Would asking to remove that be a matter of disrespecting my personal beliefs or would it be more about presenting a semblance of unilateral fairness from a governing entity? But, I also venture to bet that the religious in America would find it downright gruesome if we had "In God We Don't Trust" stamped on our currency. They WOULD BE offended. But, somehow we Atheists are the sensitive ones for asking for a more neutral position (just taking it off).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
But your post and others brings out another point that often gets left out of these debates, the fact that Atheists always seem to have a bigger beef with Christianity than any other religion.

Interesting....Why is that?
Because Christianity tends to have the largest influence in this country. But, religion in general tends to all revolve around the central influence of absurdity. The Western Religions (The Big Three) tend to have the most barbaric and antiquated followers and beliefs. The Eastern religions have their own brands of craziness. One would be hard pressed to find the same number of crazies in all Eastern religions combined as one might find in a Western religion such as Christianity or Islam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
Also interesting is that some who are posting here don't seem to define Atheism as the complete denial of any deity or higher power but more as a lack of proof to that existence.
That seems more like an Agnostic position to me, anyone can acknowledge a lack of proof but that does not make them an Atheist in my book.
Not really. I mean... You're an "A-Casperist" right? If there were a bunch of people babbling on and on about their belief in Casper, you'd probably define yourself as an A-Casperist all the same. If inquired about why you don't believe in Casper the Friendly Ghost, your logic would probably be along the same lines - that there is no proof.

Philosophically speaking, proving a negative is impossible. We cannot prove Casper doesn't exist. Even if we had some sort of device that could examine every single particle interaction in the universe for evidence of Casper and none was found, one could just jump up and say "Well, Casper is supernatural so you can't find him that way." That's what religious people do all the time anyway. But you see the futility of what trying to prove a negative would be like. No matter how thorough the test for the entity, someone else could just make up an even more far-fetched scenario for its existence and then you'd have to go testing every single iota of that claim. And why should it be up to us to test for all these spurious and inconsistent claims anyway? Shouldn't the person making the claim of existence present the proof?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2013, 03:44 AM
 
39,107 posts, read 10,849,315 times
Reputation: 5088
This sort of emotional attachment to the national ethos of the 'God' idea is very powerful and I can see why so many shudder away from the vilified term 'atheist' and prefer the cosier - sounding 'agnostic'.

While there seem to be signs that the case for atheism seems to be getting heard there is a lot of work to be done on the prejudice against atheists as such. I suppose the idea of pointing up the 'hardline' atheists in such a hostile manner was to suggest that should eschew such westboro behaviour and be more 'agnostic', believing what we want and letting others believe what they want.

I suppose I can understand a social horror at those who apparently want to turn everything upside down, but in fact we don't want to change anything. We already have secular societies run on humanist lines and with relative moralities that can get revised when needed.

There is ongoing work to stop the churches and the militant theists trying to increase rather than decrease the amount of influence churchmen, preachers and evangelists have in this society that we already have and I suppose the hard part is to get those who are sympathetic to the predominating church in their area to see that it is really in their interests to make sure that it can do what it does and believe and teach what it like, but has no actual power to force its ideas on anyone else.

Freedom of religion does rather imply freedom from religion - if desired - or it really isn't freedom at all.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2013, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
8,964 posts, read 6,500,939 times
Reputation: 44349
Quote:
Why does the statement being on money bother you so much that you feel a lawsuit is necessary to remove it?
If you think I said that then it's best I bow out of this thread. Seriously, you have a reading comprehension problem as I said no such thing.

Quote:
Personally I'd like to see it removed but I think it's a waste of time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2013, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
8,108 posts, read 2,781,105 times
Reputation: 4366
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I subscribe to HL Mencken here ... one must respect the other fellow's religion in the same way that one must respect his belief that his wife is beautiful and his children clever. I arrived yesterday in Istanbul, and the fact that I "respect" the guy who walked past me in the airport holding a fistful of passports, followed by several women in black burkas, doesn't mean I wasn't seriously creeped out.

I would be creeped out by this as well, however I am equally creeped out when an extremist type Atheist gets all offended over someone saying Merry Christmas to them (or what's printed on money, or pick your offended situation)
To me it's like a little kid who for some reason doesn't like to play with toys so he has to break all the other kids toys too in some twisted idea of fairness.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2013, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
8,108 posts, read 2,781,105 times
Reputation: 4366
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Let me put it this way: the evidence in favor of the existence of God has been a gradually losing proposition over the course of time. God was supposed to have created the heavens and earth, all life on earth and humans. But we know that he did none of these things.

God was supposed to have incarnated his only "son" on earth as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity so that we may all have eternal life. But we know that all of this is just a made-up fairy tale.

So, all we're left with is that God is supposedly the creator of our universe. The only issue is that there is zero evidence that such a God exists or ever existed.

If you were an Omnipotent being would you leave evidence and proof of your existence lying around just to satisfy those who are in doubt of you when proof denies faith?

I know I probably wouldn't.

Or, what I think is more likely is the scenario of an imperfect deity or higher power that is flawed in some ways or perhaps that we are so small and insignificant to it that we just don't make much of a blip on his radar, so to speak, and that he really could not care less if we believe in him any more than we care if ants believe in us.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2013, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
8,108 posts, read 2,781,105 times
Reputation: 4366
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
This sort of emotional attachment to the national ethos of the 'God' idea is very powerful and I can see why so many shudder away from the vilified term 'atheist' and prefer the cosier - sounding 'agnostic'.

While there seem to be signs that the case for atheism seems to be getting heard there is a lot of work to be done on the prejudice against atheists as such. I suppose the idea of pointing up the 'hardline' atheists in such a hostile manner was to suggest that should eschew such westboro behaviour and be more 'agnostic', believing what we want and letting others believe what they want.

I suppose I can understand a social horror at those who apparently want to turn everything upside down, but in fact we don't want to change anything. We already have secular societies run on humanist lines and with relative moralities that can get revised when needed.

There is ongoing work to stop the churches and the militant theists trying to increase rather than decrease the amount of influence churchmen, preachers and evangelists have in this society that we already have and I suppose the hard part is to get those who are sympathetic to the predominating church in their area to see that it is really in their interests to make sure that it can do what it does and believe and teach what it like, but has no actual power to force its ideas on anyone else.

Freedom of religion does rather imply freedom from religion - if desired - or it really isn't freedom at all.

Good post, however I would take issue with the details of the notion of freedom from religion and exactly what that means.
I understand and agree with freedom from religion in the scenario that the government can not force me to subscribe to any specific religion or any at all for that matter.
However I don't subscribe to the notion that some hold that it means you should be free from any public exposure to the religious symbols and traditions of others.
Others freedom of religion must trump my freedom from religion, at least in this manner..... or they are not truly free either.

I also find it troubling and hypocritical how some Atheists/Secular types will condemn history and horrible things done by one religion (Christianity for example) while going out of their way to make accommodations and excuses for the equally bad things done by other religions (radical Muslims for example) out of some sense of political correctness.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2013, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Dallas
242 posts, read 197,118 times
Reputation: 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jews for Jesus View Post
In God We Trust will never be removed from the currency and official motto. Congress and presidents have declared it as constitutional.
This quote alone (if it's even serious ...it's honestly hard to tell sometimes) should tell you all you need to know about why we make anything out of these issues at all.

BTW, few atheists could care less about "Merry Christmas" ...most of the fuss has been driven by stores trying to be inclusive than by any "militant atheist" complaints.

I'm off to read more literature provided by the local Baptist church about what atheists' REALLY believe, since they obviously know more about it that we do.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2013, 08:17 AM
 
39,107 posts, read 10,849,315 times
Reputation: 5088
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
If you were an Omnipotent being would you leave evidence and proof of your existence lying around just to satisfy those who are in doubt of you when proof denies faith?
'proof denies faith' Well, well .

Quote:
I know I probably wouldn't.
I would if I had designed a creation that had gone seriously off the rails and only faith in my existence - and through a particular set of beliefs and observances out of several choices - would save it, I would certainly, if I thought I deserved to be respected as a just and merciful god, make bloody sure that nobody was in the slightest doubt.
And you can save the 'Why should you decide what god does or doesn't think..?' because that is just what you were doing above - using your personal views as a template for God's.

Quote:
Or, what I think is more likely is the scenario of an imperfect deity or higher power that is flawed in some ways or perhaps that we are so small and insignificant to it that we just don't make much of a blip on his radar, so to speak, and that he really could not care less if we believe in him any more than we care if ants believe in us.
Now I can relate to that, not because it happens to suit my atheism, but because it explains why, if there is a god, it is so flaming undetectable. I know 'evidence' is claimed but it all seems very anecdotal and, where one actually gets to the facts, the miracles seem to fall apart, rather.

If there is anything we could call 'God' it would be a rather deist one, not a personal one and with no more interest in religion and its authority than I have, except to regard it as rather impudent.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top