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Old 09-19-2013, 02:05 PM
 
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Go for it Nozz, but Tavric, pardon me for using your analogy. One could have an itch that has bothered humanity for millennia. religion has no palliative but to treat the skin. Science has found out that the cause is internal.

It is not a case of swords or shields; crusades are for the Christians. It is telling people who too often prefer the Good Old treatments that they have been looking at it the wrong way. We have to tell any who will listen, and it is pointless to try to make us shut up by asking why we do it or accusing us of being arrogant or militant. We have to do this because it is right.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:07 PM
 
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Quote:
It is not a case of swords or shields; crusades are for the Christians. It is telling people who too often prefer the Good Old treatments that they have been looking at it the wrong way. We have to tell any who will listen, and it is pointless to try to make us shut up by asking why we do it or accusing us of being arrogant or militant. We have to do this because it is right.
Well I can understand why you're all doing it. I'd be the last to tell you to 'shut up'. Yes, it's a a tough call dealing with slings and arrows of supposed stupid stuff, all that flotsam of religious life. It's a niggling complication, those 'old tyme religions!' But you just might get exhausted. Crusades may be for Christians but I see no laxity in the atheistic art of self-preservation either. You are all well-versed in the art of fighting too...;-)....You go for the lacerations and try for the clipping of the jugular just like any religious who deal in the 'fundamentals'. Same old, same old.

So isn't there a better way than militancy? The helmets off from the head could give an interesting view. hmmm...perhaps a more innovative one? Come to think of it has there been any innovations in atheistic thinking today? Just real curious.
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:47 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,286,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
You seem like you want to 'win' a desperate war here.
If imagining things like this about me makes you feel good then have at it. But do not mistake your imagination for reality at any stage. This is a discussion forum. I am engaged in a discussion. No more. No less. Anything else you attribute to me is of your own imagination and reflects the reality not at all.

Now shall we back to the topic or do you want to keep making about me over and over again?

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Originally Posted by travric View Post
Read my original post.
I have replied to your posts. I see no utility in re-reading them. If there is something you feel I have missed in them then by all means restate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
Heck even Dawkins reads the Bible and likes it for it's 'literary' merit! I like that. He's got that lamp shining!
Not sure what the relevance of this is. What has Dawkins got to do with a single thing I have said or you have said? However since you brought it up I too read the Bible and recommend more people do. I am a founding member of Atheist Ireland and one of our active campaigns in Ireland is to get more and more people reading the Bible.

So as I said I have no idea what your "point" is here... and in fact doubt you do either.... but it is a "point" that is preaching to the choir as I have not only no trouble at all with the Bible but in fact I take good time out of my work to try and get more people reading it.

But at no point do I do so while recommending people actually start believing anything in it to be true or real or substantiated because much of it is anything but.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
But nozzferahhtoo why do so many learned intellectuals throughout history study the problem you and I and many others struggle with?
Again I have no idea what your point is here. Why would they NOT study it? We are in a universe and we have no idea why or how we got here. Therefore any hypothesis is worth considering and exploring. Even "god" ones.

The issue is that people lose sight of which hypotheses are substantiated and which ones are just out of thin air flights of fancy. The god hypothesis is no more, or less, valid than any of it's similarly unsubstantiated brethren. But it is worth reminding oneself constantly that it is an hypothesis that is, at this time, not just slightly but ENTIRELY devoid of any supporting arguments, evidence, data or reasoning that lends it even a modicum of credibility.

And that is a fact that is not going to go away, or even become diluted, by you insisting on painting people are aggressive or militant when they are anything but. It seems that for you people merely expressing well founded doubt is enough for you to go off on a tangent of painting pictures of them with swords and armor and weaponry of war. If mere discussion of a topic sends you into such ructions then one questions the wisdom of your choice to partake in a discussion forum at all. A blog system with the comments turned off would likely be more your style.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:18 AM
 
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That's great that you''re a founding member of Atheist Ireland. So I'd really be interested in what you see as the future of atheism. You seem to be up on the perch. Where is its place in the world? What can it offer? Perosnally, the philosophy comes off to me as the big 'NO!'. Again, any innovative atheistic thinking? What is the atheistic Bible these days?
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:51 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,286,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
That's great that you''re a founding member of Atheist Ireland. So I'd really be interested in what you see as the future of atheism. You seem to be up on the perch.
I am not sure snide personal comments like that are the best thing to do when asking people a question. I think you can pocket the attitude and the conversation can continue.

The future of atheism? I have no idea. There seems to be a steady decline in religion in my country and in many other countries in the world. Many studies and news paper articles predicting the end of religion and so forth.

I am optimistic that this is true but I am not as optimistic about the time frame it is going to occur in. I expect you can take the biggest prediction those papers and media outlets have made and increase them by a factor of 10 or more _at least_.

However I do not know the future. At all. Being a founding member of Atheist Ireland does not qualify me to comment on what the future will be. I can however comment on what future we STRIVE towards. The goal statement of Atheist Ireland is "Building a rational, ethical and secular society, free from superstition and supernaturalism."

Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
Where is its place in the world?
The same place as racism and sexism and slavery and nazism and so forth. The best place for it in our world is something we look back on with a mix of shame, horror and embarrassment, wondering how our species ever ended up in such dark places.

I strive towards a world where people (at least at the level of our halls of power, education and science) do not subscribe to unsubstantiated notions and/or attempt to implement them socially. Religion and the idea there is a god are examples of what I mean but my list is by no means limited to that.

A world where faith is not a virtue and respect is not automatically afforded to those willing to subscribe to notions on little or no evidence. Where credulity is not a way of life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
What can it offer?
Not much that I am aware of. Certainly nothing that does not have safer or better secular equivalents. By all means make your own suggestions of what it might have to offer. I am agog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
Again, any innovative atheistic thinking?
Such as what? Atheism is merely the position of not being convinced by the claim there is a god. What other thinking are you expecting exactly? There are atheists who have engaged in innovative thinking. But I am not sure what you even mean by "atheistic thinking". I am not even entirely convinced you know what you mean by it.

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Originally Posted by travric View Post
What is the atheistic Bible these days?
And again I have no idea what you are talking about here. Do you? Same reasons as above.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:47 AM
 
4,456 posts, read 3,709,950 times
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I am not sure snide personal comments like that are the best thing to do when asking people a question. I think you can pocket the attitude and the conversation can continue
I think the Internet doesn't work too well when not say face to face. Perhaps we'd come off as quite different under that circumstance. Frustrating for sure. Believe me my questions did not come from being 'snide'. Like you, just trying to make a way.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:02 PM
 
Location: USA
7,478 posts, read 5,798,259 times
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I consider myself more of a "disappointed Agnostic" than an atheist. I can't prove that there is not a god, and it wouldn't surprise me if there was some sort of vast, powerful being out there that had some hand in creation. But I can no longer belief in a caring, loving god who actually knows each of us and has any remote interest in what happens to us.

Why? Because all my life I have seen good people suffer for their troubles while the wicked are rewarded. The final tipping point came when my career was destroyed in a large layoff back in the middle of 2010. Keep in mind that I was a well-above average employee, with the raises and promotions to support that fact. I had a good track record, years of solid experience, and so on. And none of that mattered. The people they kept instead of me included: liars, frauds, bums who barely showed up to work, sociopaths, and even outright criminals. ALL of those people are "more valuable" than a decent person who just does his job.

I was broken by this event, for the magnitude of the injustice was simply unacceptable. It got worse, of course, with a soul-crushing 2 year search for a new job that ended in a position where I now make less money than I did fresh out of college 13 years ago, and I get to work in a filthy, noisy, high-stress environment surrounded by hateful, bigoted, and ignorant people who would be more at home in the Confederacy than any modern version of America. I am less now than I was when employed as just an intern in college. My dreams are gone, my financial situation will never now be more than "able to pay the bills," and every work day I get to go to a place I hate and wonder how it ended like this.

So, where was "God" in all this? I followed his rules. He didn't protect me - though he did seem to have time to protect all the scum and idiots from layoffs. I begged, pleaded, and cried out to him for mercy. He showed me none. I asked for justice. He refused to deliver it.

If he cannot keep his promises, what use is he? Why worship him? Maybe, somewhere, out there, a god-like being exists who does care about us, but if he can't act upon those desires, that's of no use to me and certainly not a good basis for a religion.

In the end, he abandoned me in my time of need. I simply walked away alone long after he left.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Ohio
19,959 posts, read 14,260,675 times
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Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
My assumption is how difficult or easy it was to shrug off religion had a lot to do with how much one was indoctrinated as a child.
That's true. Brainwashing is brainwashing no matter how you slice it.

Look at how many people believe Castro is evil.

Those people grew up being brainwashed and indoctrinated in the public school system that Castro is an evil commie.

They don't understand it was the US that put Castro in power; it was the US that pressured Batista to grant clemency to the participants in the army barracks bombing (which freed Castro from prison); it was the US that invited Castro to US Embassy Mission Mexico City; it was the US who spent American tax-dollars buying weapons, ammunition, food and medicine for Castro's rebel army; it was the US who air-dropped those supplies into Cuba; it was the US who assigned CIA Agent Frank Sturgis as Castro's advisor (and body-guard...the US wanted to protect its investment in regime change); it was the US brought Castro to the US, hailed him as an hero, and then gave him the grand 14-city tour before thousands of Americans on-lookers giddy with excitement; and on and on and on.

In spite of the fact that the ugly truth assaults them from the Pike Committee Reports, the Church Committee Reports, the House Select Committee on Assassinations Reports, numerous other US government reports; plus declassified US government documents....

....they refuse to believe the truth.

I suppose their psyche plays some role, too. People who are not emotionally healthy will always use religion as a crutch, or a shield to hide behind, and then some will wear it like a badge, and then others will drag it around like a cross.

Anyway, brainwashing is extremely effective, and it doesn't matter who is behind it. Well, maybe it does. I don't think I'd worry about the 3 Stooges so much.

Concurring...

Mircea
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,769 posts, read 3,870,002 times
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Rambler123,
I am sorry you are discouraged and going through a hard time right now.
Your dreams are not gone, your financial situation will improve, but you
must make it happen.
It's hard to make it happen sometimes when you feel brow beaten from life
but I do know that there is only one way to pull yourself up and get back on the horse,
and that is for you to do it.
You can do it.
What do you really want to do for a living? What is your passion?
Have you ever thought to yourself, I wish I could do that....
You can. You are the only one who can.
Take baby steps towards what you really want to do, and don't think
"it'll take too long or it'll cost too much money" don't let anything stand
in your way.
It's hard, life is hard, but you can make it better.
Count on yourself, be kind to yourself, make your life happier and you
know what? It will happen.
You went to college, get another job, don't say you can't, because you can.
Sorry you have terrible thoughts about your religion right now, I am an
atheist, so, I understand that only you can make you happy and change your
life.
You know you can do it, one step at a time, like we all do.
Good Luck to you, and start enjoying your life.
It's short.
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Old 09-21-2013, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,097,133 times
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Originally Posted by Rambler123 View Post
I consider myself more of a "disappointed Agnostic" than an atheist.
Rambler,

I had a huge amount of disappointment in life, but it came in other ways for me. The thing I realized was that theism did a horrible job of setting my expectations. It (and, bless them, my parents -- they meant well) told me, basically, that if you are good and do your best, all will work out, god is in control, etc. These messages accumulate until you view the world as a comprehensible, rational, logical, orderly place where there's a reason for everything.

The reality is that life is just stuff happening. There is no Orchestrator, no one at the controls, and no one to make sure it's all fair in the long run.

It then follows that living well is a matter of us just responding effectively to stuff just happening.

Life is so random that my professional life has gone well and I don't even know why, whereas yours is in the toilet through no fault of your own. Meanwhile, I would be unsurprised to find out that my personal life has been filled with tragedy and disappointment whereas yours has gone reasonably well.

You are a good hearted person and good hearted people can't get their arms around the BS in the world. They constantly expect everyone else to think like them. As you have learned, they don't. Many workplaces are cesspools filled with other people's dysfunction. I don't know what your professional training is or even whether it's something you still embrace, and I don't know how old you are, or what part of the country you live in. But you may need to find the courage to mix it up a bit, change communities or retrain for something more rewarding, or maybe just shift your focus to other things more. My late wife used to say "there are always options" and it used to annoy me because so often the options all stink. But ... there's a grain of truth to what she said. Don't give up. Wish I could buy you a beer and just tell you that. Better days are possible -- you do have to make it happen because no one natural or supernatural is going to do it for you, but it is possible. But you have to quit investing energy in trying to get the rest of the world to be something that it's not. You only have the power to change yourself. That's really unfortunate and ironic because there's nothing really wrong with you. But you're not thriving and you have to find a way to thrive. The world is not a nice place for idealists.
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