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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 points to a simple incapacity.
    They " KNOW" God is real, that everyone has a God shape hole, that atheists all actually do
    believe but are in rebellion etc etc.
    Unable to grasp that some people have a different capacity, and very simply do not believe in unicorns, dragons, talking snakes,
    angles and gods.

    Its plain ridiculous to imagine one needs some "ideology" to think unicorn - belief is nonsensical.
     
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  2. Policy

    Policy Well-Known Member
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    It doesn't , now that your statement has been clarified. I think the problem that everyone had was that the statement was phrased so that the atheists all had a collective ideology. That's English for you. Wonderfully flexible, but the grammar is hellish. I am going to go on the assumption that this is what you meant. Tell me if I am missing something.

    I don't disagree. Though I wouldn't limit the selection to a crutch. Some ideologies are a wrench, some a knife, others a kiln, and still others a casket. Everyone probably has some combination. And I suspect that anyone who has given strong thought to their ideology know that.
     
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  3. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    What do you mean by ideology
     
  4. Policy

    Policy Well-Known Member
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    System of is' and oughts in relation to goals.and knowledge. Worldview, more or less.
     
  5. rational experiences

    rational experiences Well-Known Member

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    The fact is real.

    A human by men agreed as one man each self. About human applied sciences.

    You invented the use of maths science. So how can anyone argue as a human against you. Human to human?

    Then you knowingly say religion is wrong as you caused the attack on life. History what is religion itself.

    Religion word from religare to bind ion.

    Since when did you invent creation in other words as just a human. Your mind infers it did by its intentions.

    So science tells old science that it is wrong.

    Science itself 100 per cent wrong Stephen Haw King machine takeover healthy life sacrificed the scientist.

    You are just ignorant of men's ego as humans. You ignore religious idealism began from science first.

    Men by science the designer great architect of lifes destruction on earth. When life is natural...not designed...not built destroyed.

    So science tries to claim it defends natural life by telling it is an ape. Consciousness human instantly says it is no ape. And being termed an animal beast is no different from Satanists in our past the theists who destroyed life.

    If you said a human in science genesis medical biological can only ever be a human then you would be a correct human speaker.

    But you don't for men's ego reasoning.
     
  6. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    It's ironic you don't see the unevidenced assumption there is something to investigate, as if no other perspective is relevant, and that appears to be a universal theistic absolute as well, even when they arrive at very different deities and versions of deities, and of course is ipso facto impervious to objective investigation.
     
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  7. lukethethird

    lukethethird Well-Known Member

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    Which goes without saying so kind of a desperation tactic aimed at atheists by those that use faith over reason.
     
  8. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    I think most people can read a dictionary, though paradoxically you have argued against other atheists, myself included, claiming they don't know what it means.

    Funny how that works. You see it seems perfectly reasonably to claim your atheism includes a belief no deity exists, but it is not reasonable to insist atheism, and quite specifically other people's atheism, is a belief, or even that it includes any belief until they tell you it does. Since this would exclude many atheists from the definition of atheism, whereas accepting atheism is the lack or absence of belief in any deity or deities, would not exclude any atheists, like yourself for example, who also claim their atheism includes a belief no deity exists.

    It seems you want to both have your cake, and eat it, while telling other people they can't have theirs, or eat it.
     
    #308 Sheldon, Jan 15, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
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  9. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Basically the old thing about a god shaped hole
    in everyone but theists are insightful and know to fill it with god instead of some foolish ideology like evolutionism.
     
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  10. rational experiences

    rational experiences Well-Known Member

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    A sin hole made in o earths body by men satanist scientists is their inventive men of science human conscious memory.

    I invented it myself. Why they believe men by thinking by their using invented reasoning a space hole.

    Man's science memory says it was first hot radiation that did it and knew. Then his man's science memory in AI data his psyche possession says my heavens as my biology owner oxygenated water went in and filled in gods sin hole.

    My life filled it in. My spirit. Not my flesh or gods flesh.

    My life's condition holy water was removed by sin.

    Possession. Always was self possessed as men as theists as scientists named human Satanists. Known by holy spiritual psychic brothers.

    They knew him.
     
  11. rational experiences

    rational experiences Well-Known Member

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    Science as men human theists theories God earths presence first. Mass as scientists.

    First man's science memory recorded.

    Then he caused no God himself. So his mind as a scientist inventor of his thesis as science itself says no deity. As they knew a sin hole formed instead.

    Scientist now missing his origins.

    It was a scientist that invented science by God terms. It is historic his memories even if he uses modern terms.

    Subliminal advice AI constant scientific possession. Without enabling the conscious truth mind expression.
     
  12. rational experiences

    rational experiences Well-Known Member

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    As a spiritual human who infers eternal term my story is not sciences infinite space eternal thesis.

    My story says no human owns it.

    It is science who argues by thesis that science will own it if it knows it.

    If a spiritual human tells a spiritual truth why isn't science accepting the advice?

    Instead it says a humans spirituality explains it.

    No it doesn't. It says it is unknowable.
     
  13. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Nope, you are making stuff up again. I've corrected you on this multiple times so can't pretend you simply misunderstand. It's not rocket science after all, just simple English...

    Once again:

    I've always accepted you believe exactly as you say.

    (giant font, bold, red, is that obvious enough yet?)


    If you quoted the whole post you can see your obvious misrepresentation:

    Common usage did change to add the newer 'lack of belief' type definition 30 or so years ago.

    I'm pretty sure most atheists couldn't give 2 ****s to differentiate between the 2 positions though.

    Those that are insistent that atheism is not a belief are the small subset of atheists who bother to consume the kind of atheist literature that considers such trivialities important.


    The post had nothing to do with the "correct' definition of atheism, it clearly states the newer definition that became part of common usage 30 years ago.

    The point was that most atheists don't actually care about semantic quibbles, they just don't believe in god and give it little thought beyond that. Discussing atheism is not something that interests them much.

    The kind of atheists who posts online and cares to differentiate between disbelief and "lack of belief" is a minority.

    Do you seriously doubt that? You are British, you can't honestly think the average atheist is emotionally invested in whether atheism is a belief or a lack of belief....

    Be honest now ;)
     
  14. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    The poster you are replying to misunderstood/misrepresented a post by an atheist who said all atheists have ideologies. This is obviously rather different from saying atheism is an ideology.

    It does point to an incapacity to actually read what one is replying to rather than some preconceived assumption, although his/her fault rather than yours.
     
  15. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Um ok...
     
  16. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    I appreciate that you accept a clarification. Forum communication is by nature full of ambiguities and the potential for honest misunderstandings through no fault of either party. Good faith communication requires people to accept their communication can be misunderstood and that others may misunderstand it.

    It is remarkable how many people here, despite understanding the potential ambiguities of forum communication, will relentlessly insist that their initial misunderstanding was the correct one and will keep it up for weeks on end across multiple threads.

    How would you differentiate between these?

    For me they all support the way you want to see things, they prop up what you want to be true.

    For some people this is beneficial, for others destructive, but they make the world into what you want it to be.

    As I see it, a crutch.
     
  17. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    As an interesting factoid I learned recently in reading this article: Reza Aslan: Sam Harris and "New Atheists" aren't new, aren't even atheists

    "How far back one traces the concept of atheism depends on how one defines the word. The term “atheist” is derived from the Greek a-theos, meaning “without gods,” and was originally a pejorative for those whose actions were deemed impious or immoral. To the Greeks, an atheist didn’t necessarily reject the existence of the gods. He merely acted as though the gods did not exist or were unaware of his actions. Unfortunately, this historical connection between lack of belief and lack of morals is one that still plagues atheism today, despite studies showing atheists to be, as a whole, less prejudiced, less willing to condone violence, and more tolerant of sexual, ethnic and cultural differences than many faith communities."​

    I found that to be quite enlightening. While it's easy to target the Christian church, the use of atheism to denote those who "live as if there were no gods", seems a cultural thing handed down throughout the ages. If you look at religion as a social structure and convention, where God or the gods were the invisible arm of the law, watching you when others couldn't be, "atheism" would be the equivalent as saying today in that context, "lawlessness", living as if there were no consequences for their own behaviors.

    The unfortunate problem is, which the article and I both agree with, is that when someone says "I am an atheist", that becomes heard as "I don't believe in the rules". That's why you hear so often, "Well, if you don't believe there is a God, then what keeps you from just killing somebody?" I was always shocked to hear that myself, because my first response would be to ask, 'Are you saying that your believing in God is the only thing that keeps you from murdering people?!?!?! Should I be afraid of you??". In other words, fear of punishment is not actually moral behavior. If that's the only thing preventing you from doing it, then you would be lacking an actual internal moral compass.

    When I began identifying myself as an atheist, I found myself able to love more genuinely because the whole fear of a punitive deity was removed. I used to joke ironically that, "I feel I'm more a Christian now that I'm not one, then I ever did when I was one". And that's reason why. Because removing that threat of the angry god of fundamentalist theology, allows genuine love, which loves for no other reason than for love itself to simply be. Constantly looking over your shoulder to check if you measure up or not, trying to please some deity to save your own skin from him, really puts a hamper on love. How can you love when you're constantly be told to fear that god? It puts the focus on the self and self-preservation.

    So I applaud atheism for rejecting a god like that. Atheism is a step forward morally, from the god of fundamentalism, that god of fear. That's why I embraced it for myself. To free me from that god.

    These are of course Christian values, which of course Christianity in America, particularly the White Evangelical crown, miserably fail in living up to. You've seen all the memes about Biblical Jesus vs. Republican Jesus? Considering the rank hypocrisies, gay hating, immigrant hating, poor hating, otherism permating their leadership and ranks, I call them Jesucans, Right Wing Republicans with Jesus flags. That's not the Jesus of the Beatitudes, and certainly not the Jesus of the Golden Rule.

    For instance, from January 6:
    trump supporters at cross.jpg

    If we look historically at the early Church, they were about creating social programs to help the poor and needy, the social rejects, those whom the State marginalized. They became enormously popular in Roman society because of that, and with that it attracted a lot of attention by the State, ultimately leading it to become the State religion. At which point of course, then it became about power, rather than humanistic concerns about the needs of people here in this life.

    Modern humanism is really just an attempt to get back to these core spiritual principles of "Love your neighbor as yourself", which was central to Jesus' teachings. Love of others, even your enemies, is the basis of Christian faith. Not this, rank right wing, anti-otherism you find in modern Evangelical/Fundamentalist religion. Early Christianity was very humanistic in its thrusts. "Faith without works is dead".

    The difference between that and "secular" humanism, is that it doesn't draw the source of that love for others from one's own relationship with a "higher power", which is what Jesus taught, "Love God and love your others", as the latter draws the energy from the former. However, that term, God, or such, can be too distracting for many due to its abuse at the hands of power-driven religious interests in modern times. But ultimately it shares the same spiritual goal, which is love of others, as opposed to shunning them because they aren't them.

    I agree, except with the caveat that the source of that love of others, needs to come from a spiritual heart, as opposed to being driven by self-interests. "I love you, because I will get something from it". If it's selfless, it is coming from a source beyond the ego, and that is "love for love's sake". And that, is what I consider God. Unconditional Love, as opposed to conditional love. "Fill your heart with unconditional Love, and then from that source of love in yourself, love others as yourself with that same unconditional love," is really what I understand the injunction of Jesus in his application of the golden rule.

    But if God as a symbol has a lot of baggage, then whatever that 'higher power' beyond the ego is for you that enacts that within us, is all that really matters. Anything that shrinks the ego and gets it out of the way is accomplishing 'the will of God' so to speak. I am a firm rejector of the doctrine of the religionist that teaches we are saved by our correct doctrinal beliefs. It's the end result that matters, not the means to that end.

    That's exactly what Jesus was doing in decrying the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of his day as well. "Do as they say, not as they do". It's not that this is new. I think what my concern is that in the desire to jettison the detris, the Baby in the bathwater gets jettisoned as well. But it's not an easy fix of course. Does it require reform from within, or a wrecking ball from without?

    I know that from within atheism itself, and I would count myself among these at that time, there are those who see the value of a spirituality, without the dogma of religiosity. Atheism 2.0, is how many see it. The whole 'anti-theist' beginning of "new atheism", is really just an overdue deconstruction of Fowler's Stage 3 mythic-literalist faith. Deconstruction is a good thing - but only if you are going to actually build something to replace it with. Otherwise, it's simply iconoclasm, smashing idols, toppling statues and urinating on them for the sake of asserting power over them. That essentially just vandalism, not a replacement with something better.

    That is what I dislike about the anti-theism of Dawkins and company. I'll grant it has power to deconstruct mythic-literal belief, and that is indeed helpful to many. So I'll give you that there. It benefitted me as well on my casting off the god of fear of fundamentalist thought. But it was laced with the same "I've got the real truth now", attitudes that the fundamentalists it attacks has about their own beliefs. "Religion is stupid" is not constructive criticism. It's not a valid insight. It's just bashing, no better than the cults blanket labeling everyone in the world as "deceived and lost in sin".
     
  18. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    part 2:

    Why would you think that of me? I identified as an atheist for 10 years as I was deconstructing my religion, trying to sort out what I really feel on a spiritual level. The issue I have with it, is that of the trap of it becoming a replacement religion for fundamentalists, which I have personally seen countless times. I was a moderator on a site dedicated to Ex-Christians for over 10 years. And it got frankly unmanageable.

    Any former believer who ventured into exploring other avenues for reclaiming spirituality for themselves, of which we see plenty of that here on RF with its membership, the atheists of the site, which were the majority, would dogpile them. "Woo! Woo!" they would attack, branding it as irrational, or still having one foot in the church, and such. Ridicule and scorn and derision was commonplace.

    Members who wanted to just be able to talk about spirituality needed a safe place where the "pitchforks and woo crowd" as I called them were not allowed to dogpile others with their self-aggrandizing anti-theism, anti-faith rhetoric at members at will. We had to create a subforum, a "DIR" as it were, to keep them at bay. Much like here, I suppose.They just couldn't see to keep it in their pants, so to speak.

    I became a bit of a champion for the maligned, as a "spiritual atheist". I tried to define myself in such a way that honored atheism, yet was able to honor and respect faith as well. My "holy grail" quest back then was to find a way to bridge that divide between faith and reason. It took a long while, but where I am now has comfortably done that for myself. I try my best to try to explain that here, but like over there, we have our pitchforks and woo crowd as well, and no matter what intelligent thing I may share I cite, it too gets maligned as "woo" or "deepity" or some other such anti-intellectual drivel.

    So if I have issues, it's not with atheism. It's will that transitional stage of neo-atheism, where like you can take the boy out of the country, but not the country out of the boy, the 'believerism', "I've got the real truth now", follows right along. That's where "Scientism" comes in here. And it has nothing to do with empiricism, which I espouse fully myself. Like I say all the time, it's not what one believes, but how one believes it that is at issue.

    I more than understand what antitheism is about. As I said, I do get the idea of standing up to aggressive religion, especial the prerational, anti-intellectual kind like Creationism in school and such. This is a pluralistic society, and these right wing premodern crusaders need someone to put them in their place. And furthermore, I understand how it can be empowering to those leaving that dysfunctional system to have some ammo, to be armed with some knowledge in order to do so.

    My issues again, is when that's where it stops. What's next? Where is Atheism 2.0? Are we stuck at iconoclasm? What's that, but just another form of religious zealotry?

    Here's a big problem with it you may not have considered. While it can be useful to those leaving, and frankly as ammunition for those who are bitter about the abuse they received from fundamentalists to strike back (I'll acknowledge that pleasure for myself), it also creates a certain negative problem for those who doubt fundamentalism, but still have faith. It says to them, "If you embrace reason, you have to reject faith".

    Even you appear to say that, as in our discussions you always come back to equating faith with bad beliefs, something I do not accept as a valid understanding. What this does for those wanting to grow beyond literalism in religion, is that it says, that's all that faith is: prerational, mythic-literalism, and God is a fiction. So those who feel in their hearts that there is a 'higher power' end up with this choice. Accept Noah's boat wasn't actually real, and reject God. Or embrace God, and lobotomize themselves for the sake of faith! That is tragic!

    So you see, Antitheism from the likes of Dawkins and Harris, honestly is not all that terribly helpful to the cause of getting people to grown beyond mythic-literalism. It's saying you have to abandon faith to embrace reason. And that is hogwash! I can attest to that, as well as many, many others who manage to have faith without self-lobotomies, or adopting anti-theistic views and attitudes.

    The fact that many of the anti-theists don't seem to be able to allow for that, seems to speak volumes about this. Like I say, seemingly to no avail with many, if not most of those, "The god you don't believe in I don't believe in either". But that's not good enough. :)

    I'm going to leave it here for the time being, as this is a lot of typing.

    One thing I do want to add that I didn't get to, I would consider myself as the easiest label, as a SBNR (spiritual but not religious). I was trained with Christian symbolism, and serves as a useful, and often quite meaningful spiritual language, metaphors to point to the deeper truths of the human spirit and existential questions (redeeming the Baby from the bathwater, that is). But as an SBNR, I do NOT consider Deepak Chopra as the spokesperson for SBNR! I know you said that, but NO. Don't put that on us. :)

    Footnote: I found that saying from him to be as trite and dismissive of atheism, as it was of religion, and as it was of spirituality as well. In that respect, he sort of mirrors Dawkins. :)
     
    #318 Windwalker, Jan 15, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
  19. Policy

    Policy Well-Known Member
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    I don't know that I agree, but maybe I don't understand what you mean by "want to be true" when I stopped believing, I didn't want it to be true. Initially, I was somewhat disturbed by the possibility that it was not true. Not as deeply as some people who come out of theism are disturbed, but it was a change to the way that I saw the world and what I'd always assumed to be the case. But over the 5-year span of my migration out of belief, I moved from wanting there to be a god to just wanting to know whether there was any justification for it.
    I remember the day pretty well. I was 16 barely and standing outside my dorm. It was a bright sunny day blue sky and my classes were over. I was standing there thinking about a conversation I overheard where two students were talking about monism. And I thought to myself, oh. Oh. I guess I'm an atheist.

    My next thought was, I wonder if I'm missing something? And from there started to branch out to other traditions. Some through participation, and some through merely conversation and study. After 9 years of suspending disbelief and become deeply involved in several alien cultures, I stopped in the middle of casting a circle and thought, nope. I'm still an atheist. And went on from there. Not thinking about it until my friend's kids started getting hit by creationist crap in the classroom. Kitzmiller v Dover. That annoyed me.

    So what did I want to see? I think I would have been content with any results.
     
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  20. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    Oh well now that you've used large bold red font, well that's different, ;) Except my atheism is not a belief of course, as I believe I've explained. Rather it is the lack or absence of theistic belief.

    Of course that post of yours wasn't in bold enlarged red font, which is why I must have misunderstood it. So you never thought that atheism must necessarily involve a belief no deity exists then?
     
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