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Old 04-19-2014, 02:18 PM
 
181 posts, read 177,136 times
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I think all religious subforums should have an "Ask-an-__________" Thread. The main point is to ask a very, simple question regarding Atheism, Agnosticism, Rationalism, Deism, Humanism, Freethought, Ignosticism, or any other topic related to Irreligion. Since I don't see one, I am going to make one. This is for people who are interested in earnestly learning more about those subjects and for people who would like to answer questions about those topics. I realize that the irreligious community is a broad group of people, so please identify your viewpoint (i.e. "I am an _____. I do not speak for all _____, but I can answer questions regarding my _____ lifestyle and philosophy").



Very Popular Questions:
  1. How are you moral without religion?
  2. How does your life have purpose without God?
  3. Which came first - the chicken or the egg?
  4. But isn't atheism just another religion?
  5. Where did life come from, if God did not create it?
  6. What do non-theists think of religion? Should it be extinguished?
  7. Is there an afterlife?
  8. Where did the universe come from?
  9. How can non-theists love since all love comes from God?
    Questions copied and pasted from The Secular Student Alliance website.

Last edited by McDweller; 04-19-2014 at 02:46 PM..
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,117,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDweller View Post
Which came first - the chicken or the egg?website.
Hey, I can answer that one!

First we have to state the exact question: Which came first - a chicken or a chicken egg?

We all know what happened. An animal that was not a chicken laid an egg. When the egg hatched, a chicken popped out.

Do you consider that egg to be a chicken egg?

If you say Yes, then the chicken egg came first.

If you say No, then the chicken came first.

It all depends how you define the term "chicken egg".
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:10 PM
 
181 posts, read 177,136 times
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Oh, I have a question!!!

From a secular humanist standpoint, how do you explain "respect for your elders" or the mutual obligation for parents to take care of their children when they are young and for children to care of their aging parents?

Also from a secular humanist standpoint, do you think family concerns are more important than individual concerns, or do you think that individual concerns are more important than family concerns, generally speaking?

Last edited by McDweller; 04-19-2014 at 03:27 PM..
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,113 posts, read 18,599,788 times
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Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post

It all depends how you define the term "chicken egg".
You can get around that by simply calling it "egg." Something not quite a modern chicken laid an egg which contained the ingredients of the first modern chicken.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,113 posts, read 18,599,788 times
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Originally Posted by McDweller View Post
Oh, I have a question!!!

From a secular humanist standpoint, how do you explain "respect for your elders" or the mutual obligation for parents to take care of their children when they are young and for children to care of their aging parents?

Also from a secular humanist standpoint, do you think family concerns are more important than individual concerns, or do you think that individual concerns are more important than family concerns, generally speaking?
Why would religion be needed to sustain what was the basic survival scheme for humans? You take care of your elders out of love, respect, or even if you are cold hearted, you do it because of the realization that one day you will probably be in a position of needing care from your children.


As for the second question, I think everyone needs to find his or her proper level of balance between those concerns. By proper I mean what suits their personalities best. Some people are well suited for family life, others tend to be more drawn toward their professions or friends or both. Others are loners by nature. And as before, religion is not necessary to the dynamic.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:11 PM
 
181 posts, read 177,136 times
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Why would religion be needed to sustain what was the basic survival scheme for humans? You take care of your elders out of love, respect, or even if you are cold hearted, you do it because of the realization that one day you will probably be in a position of needing care from your children.
I never mentioned or implied that religion must be needed. You placed that assumption there. I'm an atheist myself. :P

However, I do believe that everybody must live by some sort of ethical philosophy, be it secular humanism or Confucianism. People often mention "atheists/agnostics/skeptics/humanists/deists/ignostics," but they always forget that Confucianism is a non-theistic ethical philosophy. My point is that secular humanism can be very compatible with Confucianism, and I believe many secular humanists should consider Confucianism, incorporating filial piety into their ethical behavior. Secular humanists may also want to consider religious ethics. In other words, you don't have to believe in God or the gods just to learn from religious philosophy and ethics.

Quote:
I think everyone needs to find his or her proper level of balance between those concerns. By proper I mean what suits their personalities best. Some people are well suited for family life, others tend to be more drawn toward their professions or friends or both. Others are loners by nature.
It seems to me that your ethical philosophy is that a person's values should be based on personalities. Okay...
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by McDweller View Post
I never mentioned or implied that religion must be needed. You placed that assumption there. I'm an atheist myself. :P
I did not. I stated that it was not needed, I wrote nothing at all about who might be suggesting otherwise, I was anticipating that someone might.

Quote:
It seems to me that your ethical philosophy is moral relativism. Suit yourself.
All morality is contractual, it does not exist as any sort of absolute, thus it is and always will be subject to the relativity of the situation on hand. We are all moral relativists to one degree or another, it is unavoidable given the nature of morality. We all go through life behaving nobly at times and employing rationalizations for self interest at others. Have you ever known an exception to that?
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:34 PM
 
181 posts, read 177,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
All morality is contractual, it does not exist as any sort of absolute, thus it is and always will be subject to the relativity of the situation on hand. We are all moral relativists to one degree or another, it is unavoidable given the nature of morality. We all go through life behaving nobly at times and employing rationalizations for self interest at others. Have you ever known an exception to that?
Moral relativism is a philosophical position. So are moral absolutism, moral universalism, moral nihilism, etc. They are all philosophical positions. But I am not going to go through them here, because it would take paragraphs explaining them all. Plus, I suck at philosophy. Never really taken a course in it either. So, I am not going to argue with you. That said, moral relativism is a philosophical position on the nature of morality. I explicitly asked for a secular humanist perspective. Since secular humanism is an ethical philosophy, I would expect that you would philosophize why instead of going on a tangent and retreating to a moral relativist position. Somehow, that doesn't compute.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,113 posts, read 18,599,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDweller View Post
That said, moral relativism is a philosophical position on the nature of morality. I explicitly asked for a secular humanist perspective. .
You got one, you failed to understand that, possibly because as you stated:
Quote:
Plus, I suck at philosophy
Secular humanism is a philosophy, you are referencing some distinction which does not actually exist. All secular humanism means is that you are constructing your philosophy from reasoning and rationality rather than from dogma and superstition. See any dogma or superstition in my previous post? It was the viewpoint of a secular humanist.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:32 PM
 
181 posts, read 177,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Secular humanism is a philosophy, you are referencing some distinction which does not actually exist. All secular humanism means is that you are constructing your philosophy from reasoning and rationality rather than from dogma and superstition. See any dogma or superstition in my previous post? It was the viewpoint of a secular humanist.
Thanks. At least that can shape my identity better. I conclude that I am not a secular humanist. Although I usually assume a secular humanist perspective when I read academic peer-reviewed science and humanities journals (in the sense that all work must be based on evidence and reason), I do not really assume a secular humanist perspective in everyday life (in the sense that ethics and values should be based on personality). Secular humanism doesn't seem very intellectually stimulating for me. I go by Confucian ethics, because that's how I've been raised.
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