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 02-22-2014, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,194 posts, read 9,080,735 times
Reputation: 6079

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I am certainly seeing some opportunities for bridge -building, olive branches and mutual tolerance. There have been some surprising (and welcome) indications that those former fundies (and perhaps Bible -literalists) may be willing to give up trying to make a case for what has no sound evidence and accept that what they have is Faith and not fact.
Oh yes, and I'm not suggesting that I'd even directly push back against anyone's metaphysics in Real Life 99.9% of the time. Unless someone engages in active debate (for example, by coming to forums like this and the R&S forum, or by critiquing my own metaphysics in RL), it's "live and let live".

As theism's unearned deference forces it to compete on a more level playing field in the marketplace of ideas, I predict that fundamentalists will divide into two camps. One will circle the wagons and never give up the ship. The other will do what you're suggesting and while by definition they will never ACCEPT, say, evolution or a matter-of-fact and guilt-free sexuality or any of the other sucking horrors that they live in terror of, they will at least try to UNDERSTAND where we unbelievers are coming from so that we are more than clichéd caricatures to them, and realize that it is not their place to interfere with the private lives and beliefs of others. In other words, a significant group within fundamentalism will accept their belief-system as an alternate way of being among many others rather than the capital-T truth that they have an imperative to try to enforce on the rest of reality. That still leaves them plenty of room to crow about how they wouldn't have it any other way and they wish everyone embraced it; but the conceit of seeing themselves as the saviors of the world will become more covert and less overt.

As Pope Francis is demonstrating for Roman Catholics, all this can happen without changing dogma; there is a lot of benefit even from a simple shift of emphasis and a reordering of priorities.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-22-2014, 09:43 AM
 
39,043 posts, read 10,831,421 times
Reputation: 5082
So, we first have to establish the better and more logical rationale of atheism. The better evidential and historical case for atheism and the better moral and biological case for atheism.

Because for too long have the churches and other religions pretended that they have the better case. Alvin Plantinga's pretty neat summary of the case against atheism utterly crashed and burned. And all the rest is commentary.

We do have the better case, it has been a done deal for some time, and the case gets stronger all the time. Sooner or later, reason and evidence with be the touchstone, not faith and tradition, and religion will have to consider what place religion, and indeed religious Faith can have in a rational world.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-22-2014, 10:10 PM
 
16 posts, read 21,918 times
Reputation: 20
Both atheism and organized religion are irrational to a certain extent because there is no way to know if there's a god, higher being, or some sort of creator. Agnosticism is the only "faith" that make sense, because there is no way to know, only to speculate. Why are we all here in the first place? What if your existence is the only one that's real with everyone else's being a figment of your imagination? What if you are god? The possibilities are endless and we can only speculate, wonder, and hypothesize; there is no way of knowing for sure.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2014, 04:34 AM
 
39,043 posts, read 10,831,421 times
Reputation: 5082
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeremesNichomachus View Post
Both atheism and organized religion are irrational to a certain extent because there is no way to know if there's a god, higher being, or some sort of creator. Agnosticism is the only "faith" that make sense, because there is no way to know, only to speculate. Why are we all here in the first place? What if your existence is the only one that's real with everyone else's being a figment of your imagination? What if you are god? The possibilities are endless and we can only speculate, wonder, and hypothesize; there is no way of knowing for sure.
Quite true, but the belief -position is irrational because it claims to be Fact what it doesn't know as fact. Life - changing, worship -giving Fact. Without a logically sound position for it. The atheist position on the other hand is to accept that we don't know for sure whether there is a god or not, only that the evidence presented for such a being is not persuasive and so we do not believe until persuasive evidence is presented.

Thus, agnostic -based atheism is perfectly logical and rationally sound, and that is the case even if some atheists (and I suppose that includes myself) seem sure that there is 'No God' (that is perceptible here with us on this earth - a god somewhere else in the universe hardly concerns us) just as we are sure there are no fiery dragons or leprechauns.

However, as to the God of the Bible, there there are claims and checkable evidence and we can say with a considerable degree of confidence that it is not true and that Biblegod does not exist. And since I would say that we goddless satanspawn have made a pretty good case against the best that the Biblebods can put to us, it is not an irrational or illogical position for us to take.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2014, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,194 posts, read 9,080,735 times
Reputation: 6079
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeremesNichomachus View Post
Both atheism and organized religion are irrational to a certain extent because there is no way to know if there's a god, higher being, or some sort of creator. Agnosticism is the only "faith" that make sense, because there is no way to know, only to speculate. Why are we all here in the first place? What if your existence is the only one that's real with everyone else's being a figment of your imagination? What if you are god? The possibilities are endless and we can only speculate, wonder, and hypothesize; there is no way of knowing for sure.
No way of knowing some things for sure, but we can know everything that pragmatically matters to a high degree of certainty. In the same way that Newtonian physics is adequate for day to day purposes that don't need to take in extreme micro or macro scales, and a full understanding of quantum physics or string theory doesn't bring society to a halt -- I would say that we can get along with "I don't know" as the proper response to things that we are ignorant of.

"I don't know" is less sexy than "therefore god", but it is far more accurate and honest and humble.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2014, 07:33 AM
 
39,043 posts, read 10,831,421 times
Reputation: 5082
That is a very good point. Not only is Newtonian Physics still perfectly valid despite Einstein and Quantum, but is valid notwithstanding all the stuff we don't yet know about String theory, dark matter and what really goes on in Black Holes.

Thus appeal to the Unknowns of science as some pretext for dismissing the findings of science (only where they clash with faith -beliefs, mind you ) is irrational and illogical. Taking what we do know about science and the methods of science, as being better as a basis for what we are willing to credit than revelation or Faith is perfectly logical and rational.

Whichever way it gets sliced, Atheism is based on sound logic and reasoning and Religion and God -belief is not.

You'd think this was plain enough, but we get believers trying every trick in the book to try to bamboozle us into conceding this or that point or at least being silenced or 'agreeing to differ', which is pretty much a 'Win' for the theist apologist, or is at least claimed as one.

Which is why we end up endlessly refuting tosh posted by Fundy nutcases who would be better off ignored, were it not that (even temporary) failure to respond will elicit the old '*crickets*...old Arq is stumped' canard.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-29-2015, 01:46 PM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,367 posts, read 8,587,339 times
Reputation: 5919
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeremesNichomachus View Post
Both atheism and organized religion are irrational to a certain extent because there is no way to know if there's a god, higher being, or some sort of creator. Agnosticism is the only "faith" that make sense, because there is no way to know, only to speculate. Why are we all here in the first place? What if your existence is the only one that's real with everyone else's being a figment of your imagination? What if you are god? The possibilities are endless and we can only speculate, wonder, and hypothesize; there is no way of knowing for sure.
Good OP and article, and while I'm not sure that belief in materialism and evolution are "interdependent", still agreed that the "fundamentalist" brand of Atheism has no more 'proof' than its "religious" counterparts (although frankly, they're both just as dogmatic and annoying…lol)! So yeah, just from a 'logical' standpoint, Agnosticism seems to make the most sense (aka, "I just don't know… either way").

Though IMHO, as discoveries in science start to increasingly resemble Philosophy, it would be nice if modern day "rationalism" and "scientific materialism" could still find a bit of room for the Scientific Method's original precursor… "Empiricism".

Rationalism vs. Empiricism
The dispute between rationalism and empiricism concerns the extent to which we are dependent upon sense experience in our effort to gain knowledge. Rationalists claim that there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge are gained independently of sense experience. Empiricists claim that sense experience is the ultimate source of all our concepts and knowledge.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-29-2015, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,577 posts, read 7,274,031 times
Reputation: 37474
I'm not sure for whom I should be more embarrassed - the New York Times or the Unversity of Notre Dame.

Quote:
The interviewee for this installment is Alvin Plantinga, an emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, a former president of both the Society of Christian Philosophers and the American Philosophical Association, and the author, most recently, of “Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism.”
Alvin Plantinga:
Quote:
No one thinks there is good evidence for the proposition that there are an even number of stars; but also, no one thinks the right conclusion to draw is that there are an uneven number of stars. The right conclusion would instead be agnosticism.
It is a mathematical fact that there are either an odd or an even number of stars in the universe. This is a binary choice and a 50-50 proposition. To suggest that such is the same as the question of whether or not there is a deity (to say nothing less of the subject of the article, Mr. Plantinga's favorite deity, God) is so pathetic and an abrogation of basic logic that it should immediately disquilify anyone from being a professor of philosophy.

A much better analogy would be another belief that is, like Mr. Plantinga's God, based on ancient writings and personal revelation - say, Thor or the Minotaur or leprechauns.

But I won't be holding my breath waiting for this 'philosopher'... ... to hold that disbelief in leprechauns is irrational.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-29-2015, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,911 posts, read 18,562,052 times
Reputation: 18665
The word atheist is really a convenience for me, substituting for what otherwise requires some explanation.

I do not know the origin of the cosmos, or if it had an origin. I do not know the purpose of the cosmos, if it has a purpose. One proposed and popular explanation is of it all being done by a singular intelligence which is referenced as god. I see no reason to lean more toward that theory than any alternative, such as perpetual existence devoid of creation, multiple intelligences with compartmentalized responsibilities, rival intelligences with private agendas, or some explanation which is beyond the power of human intelligence to understand.

So, I presently reject all absolute answers, which includes the god theory. I most emphatically reject the theories of existing organized religions which I find preposterous and unsupported. Therefore, I can indeed safely say that I do not believe in a god or gods. That makes me an atheist...unless the listener has decided to define atheism as the absolute rejection of the possibility of a god.

Call me an atheist, that is fine. Call me an agnostic, that is fine. What matters to me is my viewpoint, not the label others would affix to it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-30-2015, 10:32 AM
 
13,493 posts, read 4,990,097 times
Reputation: 1365
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
The word atheist is really a convenience for me, substituting for what otherwise requires some explanation.

I do not know the origin of the cosmos, or if it had an origin. I do not know the purpose of the cosmos, if it has a purpose. One proposed and popular explanation is of it all being done by a singular intelligence which is referenced as god. I see no reason to lean more toward that theory than any alternative, such as perpetual existence devoid of creation, multiple intelligences with compartmentalized responsibilities, rival intelligences with private agendas, or some explanation which is beyond the power of human intelligence to understand.

So, I presently reject all absolute answers, which includes the god theory. I most emphatically reject the theories of existing organized religions which I find preposterous and unsupported. Therefore, I can indeed safely say that I do not believe in a god or gods. That makes me an atheist...unless the listener has decided to define atheism as the absolute rejection of the possibility of a god.

Call me an atheist, that is fine. Call me an agnostic, that is fine. What matters to me is my viewpoint, not the label others would affix to it.

I more than agree with this. I phrase it as "it's not what you belief but rather how you believe". The only thing I don't do is accept philosophies "labels". But then again, its "how" they label, not the label pre say. yours is better.

I am with ya on the " ... reject "absolute claims" of no-nothing or "omni gods" ". If athiests and thiest are defined as these I am neither.

Can I steal this?
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