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Featured New Atheists?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Policy, Jan 12, 2022.

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  1. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    It sure doesnt indicate atheists are in rebellion
    and deny god coz they wanna sin.
     
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  2. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    Since everyone can only see it the way you do? I don't think the myopia is his to be honest. I just think you have a very different idea of what represents scientism than I do.
     
  3. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Coz they dont want to go over it again?
    Ha Never had any, never will
     
  4. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    You mention the "extent of what religion is" and "what religious faith is about" but give no hint as to what you mean. I had rather thought that those things were totally individual, unique to each believer, but perhaps you see it otherwise -- could you provide some clarification?
     
  5. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Its sure a dead end to keep talking until
    "Seems to me" is replaced by even one example.

    ( note though its being set up by talk of
    different meanings to " scientism")
     
  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Yeah, more or less. Or one does some heavy sieving, removing fluff.
     
  7. Policy

    Policy Well-Known Member
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    Can't argue with that. :)
     
  8. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    You were claiming that atheists get annoyed when people don't qualify which kind of atheist they are talking about. This is nonsense. In all my years of doing this I have never seen such a thing.
    Also, there are no "types of atheist" (other than by degrees of certainty).

    You then make two generalisations, neither of which made any sense.
    So what, exactly, have you demonstrated?
     
  9. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    I've read multiple posts expressing my opinion, so I'll just add that I agree that what is new about atheism is that atheists have had a voice for a few decades now after millennia of being completely marginalized. Once, atheists would be executed. When I was born in the mid-20th century, atheists were still unable to teach, coach, adopt, or serve on juries, since as the Bible teaches, unbelievers are fools, corrupt, abominations, and none do good. I don't think I'd like such morally bereft people near my kids or in my jury box, either. The first president Bush thought that atheists shouldn't be considered citizens. Even now, it is nearly impossible for an avowed atheist to run successfully for public office in the United States.

    At long last, the demonized and marginalized skeptic has a chance to answer his demeaners and slanderers, and they don't like it. They describe it as militant, never thinking of how oppressive they have been to atheists for as long as they could be, and implying that the atheist is irrationally and inappropriately angry (see ad iram fallacy), a zealot, religious, a fundamentalist - kind of amusing when you consider the source.

    I am an antitheist, by which I mean that I oppose the incursion of organized, politicized religions into the lives of the unwilling, and am willing to give arguments here on RF and elsewhere for why secular humanism is a better worldview than the Christian one, the one that has been the chief source of atheophobic bigotry in this American's world. I am not the enemy of the individual theist - just his religion and the institutions that promulgate that bigotry, and only until it is diminished in its cultural hegemony such that it has no more influence in the lives of unbelievers than any other religion. The antitheist will lose interest in religion altogether at that point.

    Probably not. I find that the theists tend to have emotional reactions to being disagreed with, and see that disagreement as anger and militance, failing to recognize that it is merely dissention, just like the theist, who is as much in disagreement with the atheist as vice versa. But it is anger to the theist. You'll rarely see a secular humanist get angry at any theist for disagreeing with his worldview and values.

    But even when there is anger, the theist will attempt to invalidate the argument because of it, the ad iram fallacy linked to above. Here's a few thoughts on that tactic:
    • "But I also have to quarrel with the very notion that a person's arguments can be dismissed because of anger. Smugly accusing someone of anger doesn't do anything to discount the content of the argument. I'd argue that people who see vile behavior in the name of religion and don't get angry are the ones who have something wrong with them." - Amanda Marcotte
    • "Atheists aren't angry because we're selfish, or bitter, or joyless. Atheists are angry because we have compassion. Atheists are angry because we have a sense of justice. Atheists are angry because we see millions of people being terribly harmed by religion, and our hearts go out to them, and we feel motivated to do something about it. Atheists aren't angry because there's something wrong with us. Atheists are angry because there's something right with us."- Greta Christina
    • "I've wondered, for awhile, why Christians think that accusing me of being angry at their religion is actually an argument against my objections. I mean, even if I were abnormally angry ... I have absolutely no rational reason I can come up with that makes that a good enough reason to think I'm wrong ... the reasoning often seems to be that, because I'm angry, my argument is flawed and I can be dismissed." - Peter Mosley
    • "Religious apologists complain bitterly that atheists and secularists are aggressive and hostile in their criticism of them. I always say: look, when you guys were in charge, you didn't argue with us, you just burnt us at the stake. Now what we're doing is, we're presenting you with some arguments and some challenging questions, and you complain." - A.C. Grayling
    Isn't that the theist? Don't you play the role of Islamic scholar here? Aren't you doing it now? I find that what theists know is what I call theology, or the study of what scripture means from the perspective of the believer. The know what Jacob or Elijah said about strangers or what the signs of the end of times are. I don't consider that scholarship at all. It's not an academic pursuit. What the secular humanist can discuss is what is of value to an unbeliever - the influence of the Bible and Christianity on history and literature, and the like. These are academic pursuits. The theists mainly give us theology, and want to be considered scholars. The believer is the one spreading lies. His agenda is to protect and promote his religion, not to be correct.

    And isn't this another example of you trying to disqualify the opinions of those who disagree with you with bare claims, the Courtier's Reply fallacy? What are your credentials for your arrogant posturing? I've seen two non-Muslims relatively new on RF that are running circles around the Muslims debating them on Islam. I have learned a tremendous amount about Islam from them, but not from you or the other Muslims actively posting. What they post is scholarship. What the Muslims post is faith-based claims in defense of the faith.

    And that's to be expected. It's always the outsider who has the clearest perspective of a religion. If you want an objective critique of Christianity, go to a secular humanist familiar with the religion, like most of the ones here on RF. The believers will tell you that Genesis got it right, that there are no errors in the Bible, that biblical prophecy is prescient and indicative of trans-human knowledge, etc.. He has a stake in defending his scriptures from charges of error or banality.

    No, it does not. It would be irrational to believe otherwise.

    The disagreement is the inference that irrational methods can transcend those limits. The conversation is generally something like this (soft thinker in this context means somebody willing to believe ideas that cannot be demonstrated to be correct):

    Strict empiricist (SE): Reason applied to evidence is the only path to reliable knowledge about the world.
    Soft thinker (ST): You're thinking is too narrow, too myopic. Your materialist paradigm prevents you from seeing deeper truths.
    SE: Really? Can you share some of these truths with me?
    ST: You are naive to think that if its not detectable, it's not real. Can you detect love?
    SE: Actually, yes, I can. Can you share some of these truths that this special way of knowing reveals to you but not the "scientism" guy as you call him?
    ST: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy"
    SE: Yes, I heard you the first time. What are a few of them?
    ST: You need to relax your criteria for believing.
    SE: Why? And where are those examples of the truths available to the soft thinker but not to the strict empiricist?
    ST. Because you are not allowing yourself to experience spiritual truths.
    SE: You keep saying that, but never deliver, so I don't have any reason to believe that you see anything with this special way of knowing that you recommend.
    ST: Your materialist paradigm is limited

    This is how the discussion proceeds: I see more. Show me what you see. You see less. Show me. I see more. No you don't. You just want your soft thinking validated, and so you attempt to validate it by claiming that empiricism is limited, which is not a defense of soft thinking. The strict empiricist is NOT saying that his epistemology can answer all questions, just that the alternative, soft thinking, adds nothing notwithstanding the continual posturing of having a better way of knowing that reveals significant truths. That claim is rejected.

    **********

    And this is the new atheism - atheists dissenting against the claims of theists. This is what is called angry and militant - rebuttals to the inferences of theists that atheists are too angry, not qualified to participate, or too short-sighted.
     
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  10. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    This is a good basic approach. But we humans can certain of some things.

    So we wonder why some theists make assertions about a supernatural existing yet not only have no evidence for it, but the claims are inconsistent with what we DO know of how things are. I suggest theists are very wrong in their religious beliefs and should be very skeptical in the claims they hear other theists make. Let's note that theists are made by society. This is why believers typically adopt the religion they are exposed to in life. If not specific details of a religion, at least the behavior of being religious is typically adopted and mimicked. So yeah, theists could be wrong and should approach their belief, their ritual, and devotions with an understanding it is likely just a social behavior and not worshipping some real God somewhere.

    How often do we hear theists refer to this pamphlet? Never. Do Baptists really believe in the Mormon religion, or Hindu gods? Not from what I have observed.
     
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  11. Policy

    Policy Well-Known Member
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    This bears repeating.
     
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  12. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    They both use well-established arguments.

    Never heard that one (and I've been doing this a while). Could you explain what it is? Thanks.

    Again, I suspect that you are either making this up or have misunderstood someone's argument.

    There is certainly an argument that an atheist's "good deeds" are more meaningful/"good" than a religionist's because they have nothing to gain from it. The only benefit is to the recipient. The religionist, on the other hand, has the threat of punishment and the promise of reward as motivation.
    That doesn't mean that atheists are "more good", only that if an atheist does a good deed the motivation is probably less selfish that the religionist's.
     
  13. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    You can say that again.
     
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  14. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    IOW... "Science" vs "Not Science". ;)
    (That is just me speaking as a scientist. I'm sure some non-scientists may disagree)
     
  15. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    This can apply. It certainly has happened with me at times.

    But we can still distill out if claims have any rational basis or not. Flawed personalities can still make sound arguments. Stable personalities can make bogus claims. The process of debate helps the sorting out of what is true, or likely true, or implausible, or false.

    In these debates the advantage is on atheists, as we have no burden of proof typically. Theists have to defend their belief and claims. The smartest thing a theist can do is be vague. But of course that is bad faith and bad manners. It also concedes their belief is not rational and not defendable, which is a loss in debate.

    Not all claims are plausible and defendable. Theists seem to underestimate how high a hurdle they face in debate over religious ideas. Not only are they facing an evidence challenge, but they are facing the challenge that the supernatural basis of their claims are not consistent with what we observe. If thesist could show just some examples of verifiable supernatural goings on then that will be one step closer to making a valid claim and coherent argument.
     
    #215 F1fan, Jan 14, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
  16. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    Their choice, however, clearly indicates that science and religion need not be mutually exclusive. Indeed, Indian physicists must sometimes wonder how it is that science took several millennia to arrive at certain revelations already known to the writers of the Upanishads and the Gita; that everything is connected, that the material world is elusive and insubstantial, that time and space are not what they seem to us.

    If you read quantum physicist Carlo Rovelli’s Helgoland, in which he expounds for the layman, the relational interpretation of QM, you’ll find a chapter on 1st century Indian monk Nagarjuna. Erwin Schrodinger had a lifetime interest in Vedic scripture. So it does not surprise me to learn that many Indian scientists are theistic.

    If I were to quote a line like “who picks a flower on earth, moves the farthest star”, you might think that was written by a Hindu, Buddhist or Sufi poet. In fact, it was physicist Paul Dirac. And so it goes on; the mysterious improbability of our very existence borders on the miraculous, which is one reason why, though they may not be religious at all, scientists like Niels Bohr, Einstein, Dirac, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking etc, cannot avoid talking about God. Like atheists, they bring His name into conversations all the time.
     
  17. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    I do.
     
  18. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Of course there are types of atheist, hence I can use the term New Atheist and most people here know what I am talking about.

    Types of atheist are defined by the other beliefs they hold, and, whether you like it or not, that's just the way language works.

    "New Atheists" are generally completely ignorant of religious history. Not my fault you aren't aware of it.

    You asked for evidence re Sam Harris which I provided.

    Just read threads here for further examples.

    Can lead a horse to water...
     
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  19. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. Critical thinking gave us the iPhone (and the H-bomb). Magical thinking gave us Milton, Blake, Keats and Shelley. It’s not a matter or either/or, unless we choose to impose such limited horizons on ourselves.

    Similarly, science can tell us much about how the universe works; but it cannot tell us why, in the words of Stephen Hawking, “it went to all the bother of existing in the first place”.
     
  20. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    Well, religion can certainly provide support in times of difficulty. Most religionists do not deny this. In fact, many cite it as a benefit. So, kinda is a "fact".
    Were they angry?
     
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