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Old 07-18-2014, 10:29 AM
39,162 posts, read 10,865,034 times
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Hombre, I have long since said that as an atheist, I could share a flat with a deist, and I remain of that view. Really, anyone who does not wish to force the tenets of their religion on society is someone I can live with and I am militant only in my ongoing efforts against the claims of the Bible, the claims of religions about the truth of the Bible and the ongoing campaign to impose Bible -based behaviour on society.

While it is frustrating to me that the Biblical types assume that I can have no emotional response to beauty (supposing me to be some cold -blooded pointy -eared robot) it must be even more frustrating for someone who does believe in a god, but not in the Bible as an accurate document. There is no longer any bad logic in such a view.

And Oprah, since she believes that anyone having an emotional response thereby is somehow acknowledging God and is, therefore, not an atheist, having decided to vote for someone, would not change her mind if they then said that although they got emotional at the beauties of nature, they could not swear on the Bible because it was bunk?
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Old 07-19-2014, 07:27 AM
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,089,205 times
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Originally Posted by RPF View Post
...atheists have unbridled faith in the ability of humans, as I understand it.
To be either an atheist or a humanist is not to have unbridled, uncritical faith in humanity. There is a non-trivial chance that humanity could render itself extinct or, more likely, send itself back to, or at least in the direction of, the stone age. That does not change the fact that humanity has only itself to work with and rely on, or to take either credit or blame for whatever transpires.
Originally Posted by RPF View Post
Because our intelligence is limited to current human abilities, (similar to a spider being unable to comprehend algebra as we understand it); how can atheists believe they know for absolute certain what does and does not exist in the universe, including a creator, (or DNA programmer)?
That problem is easily disposed of; we claim no such absolute knowledge. We claim only an absence of evidence to substantiate the existence of a creator. As you suggest, that could be due to our limited intellect and sensory apparatus, but then it becomes a question of scope creep if you want to hold open possibilities simply because it COULD be so. If something is outside our scope then it is irrelevant to us by definition. Even Christianity posits a god that reaches out to us and is merciful in our inability to see deeply and far enough to know him any other way. Even with this supposed compensatory mechanism, there is no good and sufficient reason to believe in god. So you are, to use a Biblical metaphor, straining at gnats and swallowing camels here.
Originally Posted by RPF View Post
For me, however, I am convinced of only one thing: My primitive intelligence and severely limited senses are not sophisticated enough to absorb or understand the evidence needed to dismiss any belief system, not limited to theism and/or atheism.
With all due respect, that is a cop-out. You are essentially saying that you have neither the ability nor the responsibility to make sound judgments about anything, ultimately. I could propose a belief system that says that I am god, and you along with the rest of humanity must propitiate me with cash sacrifices. If you do not give me 25% of your income I will squash you like an insect. If you did not have the sophistication to declare that hogwash simply because you are not omniscient, then you would not only be less than all knowing, you would be a fool.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that large numbers of people tending to subscribe to something over thousands of years makes it any different from what I just stated. The Abrahamic religions are durable memes precisely because they have found ways to tap dance around people's incredulousness and skepticism and to repress and punish people for demanding substantiation. It is easier to sell an invisible sky god than an otherwise normal-appearing human, as your deity. It helps to tap into people's survival instincts and fear of punishment and of their mortality. It helps further to disparage free inquiry and to elevate belief without evidence as a virtue rather than the vice that it is. Other than being a particular belief system that has stood the test of time relative to others, there is no more reason to subscribe to organized god beliefs than to my contrived example.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:54 AM
626 posts, read 612,835 times
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Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
For most Christians, it is a rather fine line going from "awe and wonder about the universe" directly to "Jesus died for our sins so that we may all have eternal life."
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:58 PM
7,112 posts, read 9,352,884 times
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Originally Posted by PoppySead View Post
They also think we are a bit scary, I've noticed them backing away slightly like without God I might go totally bizzerk at any second. No moral fence around my property. lol
There's a major myth of atheism right there! That without religion you have no morals, cannot have a reliable sense of right and wrong, must be a danger to society somehow. Some people don't see that holding yourself responsible for your own actions instead of blaming them on something else, including invisible beings, is the most moral thing you can do.
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