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Featured Is there a benefit to atheism?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Jeremiahcp, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Jeremiahcp

    Jeremiahcp Well-Known Jerk

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    Does atheism offer any benefits that believers are not privy to? If you think so or don't think so, please explain.
     
  2. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I didn't think so for years, but I've more or less gradually come around to the view that atheism -- or at least non-theism -- is conducive to a better understanding and appreciation for nature, and perhaps even life itself.
     
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  3. bobhikes

    bobhikes infinitologist
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    It doesn't seem so to me but the same can be said for any religion vs the other or atheism. Belief or Non-belief(Non-Knowledge) in/of God is a personal thing and guides your life as you understand it only effecting you and other people if you interact with them concerning that belief.
     
  4. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    Yes: it avoids all the costs of theism.

    What those costs are depends on what sort of theism we're talking about.
     
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  5. PureX

    PureX Well-Known Member

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    It is because of the completely unwarranted denial of divine possibility, that I reject atheism. I see no benefit in rejecting possibilities without any evidence or effect, whatever.

    Perhaps, if one becomes atheist in reaction to a damaging religious experience, I can appreciate it in context, but it's still not the better option when one could have simply dropped the harmful god/religious concept and chosen a new, more positively effective one.
     
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  6. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    There is certainly a benefit to being free from stereotypical "belief". But we should be careful not to confuse simple theism with blind, superstitious "faith".

    Perhaps more accurately, there is very much a benefit in being raised in a secular society, which respects freedom of belief, as opposed to one that insists on theocratic referentials. Freedom of speech and of attitude is a very useful and precious thing.
     
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  7. Jeremiahcp

    Jeremiahcp Well-Known Jerk

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    I have similar views about mortality, but I don't know if it extends to atheism directly. Most theistic shades also hold belief that they are somehow immortal, which I think can dull the appreciation for this life. However, it could be argued that is in relation to a person's belief about death instead of gods.

    I think that a lack of belief in gods allows the individual to see the world and reason without that disillusionment. I have noticed that believers rarely stop at just belief in gods. They have to start making associations which includes their gods and they end up shaping a signification portion of their world view around their gods. As with any reasoning if your premise is wrong it has a good chance of misleading your conclusion.

    And even if gods are real, the vast majority of people are still going to be wrong with what they think about gods. The non-believer, whether they are aware of it or not, is simply practicing Occam's Razor and eliminating an unnecessary entity in their rationalizations. For example (just an example), it is less likely that you'll find an atheist who values faith healing over traditional medicine.
     
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  8. Jeremiahcp

    Jeremiahcp Well-Known Jerk

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    "I see no benefit in rejecting possibilities without any evidence or effect, whatever."

    Arguing over possibilities is like trying to beat each other to death with a wet noodle.
     
  9. Jeremiahcp

    Jeremiahcp Well-Known Jerk

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    I am sorry, but I don't fully understand what you mean by "cost."
     
  10. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Sundays are free.to mow the lawn watch football, lie in, visit grandchildren, walk the dog.......
     
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  11. PureX

    PureX Well-Known Member

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    Reading the comments, I can see that some of us confuse theism with religion, and so also confuse atheism with non/anti-religion.

    There is much to find fault with in many religions. This, however, is irrelevant to the value of atheism, itself, when one recognizes that atheism is not necessarily non/anti-religious. Just as theism is not necessarily religious.

    Atheism is the belief that no gods exist. It is a belief not based on evidence, but on something else. (Just as the belief that gods exist is likewise not based on evidence, but on something else.) Only the individual knows what that something else, is. And so I suppose that ultimately, only they can judge the value gained from their chosen belief. But I can see the positive value of theism in myself and in many others, when I cannot see it in atheists. (Not that atheists have no value, but that their value is not being derived from their atheism.)
     
  12. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    That's Pascal's Wager.
    Pascal's Wager - Wikipedia
    It has been debunked many times, search on YouTube for one of the many videos.

    I don't think many atheists become so because of "a damaging religious experience", most realise that religion makes no sense. They are taught about the wonders of nature from a scientific point of view; they see that churches are just controlling and money grabbing organisations, they start to think for themselves.
     
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  13. PureX

    PureX Well-Known Member

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    Mankind's ability to recognize and explore imagined possibility is at the heart of our human nature, and has been crucial to our survival. Are you really disparaging possibility simply because it's being related to theism? If so, isn't atheism closing you off from that possibility, and from whatever value there may be in exploring it?
     
  14. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    I'm not really an atheist these days ─ not since I realized I had no idea what a god with objective existence could be.

    But the advantage to me of (let's call it) non-theism, is that it's part of the answer to the question, 'What's true in reality?'
     
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  15. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    It is a way of life based on a lack of evidence; it is NOT a belief. I'm an atheist, I'm fairly certain that no god exists but I wouldn't call it a belief.
     
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  16. PureX

    PureX Well-Known Member

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    You're confusing some negative aspects of some religion with all theism. This is the expression of an irrational bias.
     
  17. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Theism is an attachment to an idea, that of the existence of some entity that one decides to call a "god" (and that is an entirely arbitrary decision).

    It costs one the clarity of purpose and of attention that is consumed by the theism proper. It also costs the people who deal with the theist due to the loss of presence and lucidity that might result.

    Those costs as not always worse than the realistic alternatives. All too often, though, they are actually dire.
     
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  18. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Libertarian Gearhead
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    Atheism.....
    Let's you sleep in on Sundays
    Doesn't prohibit bacon
    Doesn't require genital mutilation of children
    Doesn't prohibit dancing
    Doesn't require goofy headgear
    Doesn't prohibit wanton sex
    Doesn't prohibit using light switches, elevators & the like on Saturday
    Doesn't require belief in impossible stories

    Atheism is all about what it isn't & doesn't.
     
    #18 Revoltingest, Aug 10, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  19. PureX

    PureX Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like an uncertain belief, to me. So why the verbal obfuscation?

    When you get in your car to drive to the store you believe that you will get there without having an auto-accident. But of course you can't be certain about this. Yet, you're certain enough to do it. Isn't this the same as with your belief that no gods exist? So why obfuscate?
     
  20. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Pascal's Wager is not a defense of theism (or of anything really), but rather a mishappen argument for some bizarre attempt at both fearing god, pretending to believe in his existence and lying to oneself and to that supposed god all at once.

    It reeks of all sorts of things and has neither respectability nor useful purpose... but it should not be confused with spontaneous inclination towards theism.

    Theism is dangerous, particularly when it becomes an organized institution, but it does occur naturally to some people, and it is not always worse than the alternatives. There are those who, quite simply, know how to deal with it healthily, and there are also those who need to go through it for some time as part of their personal path.

    Religion does (or at least can) make sense, when properly cared for.

    It is however very likely to lose its way in nasty, very damaging ways when it becomes too immersed in theistic belief for theistic belief's sake.

    There are very few things less responsible than "surrendering to God".
     
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