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Featured The new Athiest Humanities downfall?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by TransmutingSoul, Dec 30, 2021.

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  1. Yes it is!

    4 vote(s)
    11.4%
  2. No it isn't!

    18 vote(s)
    51.4%
  3. Yes but I will explain more.

    0 vote(s)
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  4. No but I will explain more.

    6 vote(s)
    17.1%
  5. I offer a different view.

    0 vote(s)
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  6. The subject is more complex.

    7 vote(s)
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  1. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    Absolutely wasn't. He was often intensely serious and passionate about the message he was trying to get across.

    Gotta love a religionist trying to claim Hitchens wasn't really anti-religious. Think I've seen it all now.

    In reality, the US had as much impact on Hitchens' work as England did.
    Also, way to generalise the work of all English writers.
    BTW, "England" is just a part of the UK, not all of it.
     
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  2. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    This probably explains why you “didn’t receive the communique”. You weren’t listening for it.
     
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  3. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    I understand. You fundamentalists don’t like it when someone questions your appointed prophet. Which illustrates perfectly, my point about deafness to nuance. This is a characteristic of the intransigent mindset, common among extremists everywhere.
     
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  4. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Sounds like the system is designed for bias confirmation.
    Those desiring the message listen for the it, & imagine hearing it.
    Those who don't hear it are the ones with a problem.
    Such beliefs are non-disprovable...like claiming that 27 angels
    can dance on the head of a pin.
     
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  5. lukethethird

    lukethethird Well-Known Member

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    Why are you so obsessed with atheists?
     
  6. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    The post was directed at me, and I responded. How is that an "obsession"?
     
  7. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    Nobody said you had a problem. Though you do seem to have difficulty accepting that some people hold beliefs you don't share. Your libertarian instincts seem to desert you when anyone mentions God. Or is that unfair?
     
  8. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Not hearing messages from gods is
    often considered a problem by some.
    I don't mind people having other beliefs.

    BTW, I'm a poor example of a libertarian.
     
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  9. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    I’m almost certainly a poorer example of a religious person
     
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  10. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    I've already explained this to you. If you can benefit from religion, it is because you have need not met without it. You're in the same category as the guy with poor vision who benefited from glasses, and now thinks everybody ought to wear a pair, unaware that there are those who see well without them, and whose vision would actually be degraded by putting a pair on.

    I wasn't the one who called atheists liars. What respect do you think that you or the beliefs that informed you to think and write like that are owed?

    And I noticed that you evaded answering the rest of that post, as I predicted. You have no
    I've already explained this to you. If you can benefit from religion, it is because you have need not met without it. You're in the same category as the guy with poor vision who benefited from glasses, and now thinks everybody ought to wear a pair, unaware that there are those who see well without them, and whose vision would actually be degraded by putting a pair on.

    I wasn't the one who called atheists liars. What respect do you think that you or the beliefs that informed you to think and write like that are owed?

    And I noticed that you evaded answering the rest of that post, as I predicted. Why? You have no answer. Look at how much of the above post you simply dodged like it wasn't there. Many good points were made, but you just bellied up.

    You like to call others liars. How about I call you a coward? If you want respect, you have to give respect.
     
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  11. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    He is not obsessed with atheists as such. He is obsessed with those people who claim that not just for some, but for all versions of God, all those versions are meaningless with evidence, rationality, objectivity, logic and what not in similar senses . That is not true, because that they are meaningless are without evidence, rationality, logic and what not in similar senses. They are always meaningless 1st person due to a subjective evolution of worth.

    The problem is that some people don't understand when they are subjective and that is not limited to religious people. Yes, some religious people are harmful due to being religious, but that is not limited to being religious. I can find real life examples where some rational people are harmful.
    That is the end and that has been the end game since for me, I learned to be a skeptic, use critical thinking and do science like this:
    "Towards the end of his talk to the science teachers Feynman attempted a definition of science, but
    then hesitated, noting from his own experience that science is neither its form nor its content. He did not
    characterize science as a particular method, though while that is one of the many ways science develops,
    it is itself not what science is. He finally answered the question, ‘what Is science’ this way, that it is,
    “...the result of the discovery that it is worthwhile rechecking by new direct experience, and not
    necessarily trusting the [human] race[‘s] experience from the past. I see it that way. That is my best
    definition.” (2005, p. 185) And then he went on to tell them, “…learn from science that you must doubt
    the experts…When someone says science teaches such and such, he is using the word incorrectly. Science
    doesn’t teach it; experience teaches it.” (Feynman, 2005, p. 187)"

    https://www.researchgate.net/public...at_Is_Science_and_Today's_Mistrust_of_Science

    So here it is for what is always at play in these kinds of debates. If you however indirect claim a we for in effect all humans, I hold you responsible if you claim to have the correct answer for that we. And it doesn't matter if you use science, religion and/or philosophy. And I accept you do the same when I do so.
    So talk all about what is meaningful and meaningless to you as you or relevant/irrelevant, matters/doesn't matter, makes sense/doesn't make sense, is useful/useless, is good/bad, is right/wrong or good/bab. But if you use a we for all humans, then the game is on.
     
  12. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    From about 22.20 for 3 or so minutes Sam Harris is certainly terribly wrong about history.

    Christianity lead to the downfall of the Roman Empire and ushered in the Dark Ages.

    Classical knowledge was only preserved in the Islamic world

    The church, which was opposed to science, refused to look through Galileo's telescope to confirm he was right

    etc.



    Feel free to quote me saying that, you can't of course as you imagined it due to your poor reading comprehension. I said there was frequent conflict with outgroups, and cooperation and limited conflict within groups same as with other primates.

    On the other hand, you did say that it was wrong to say a species of primate who live in in tens of thousands of small kin based groups and who regularly fought each other were "divided".

    You insisted they were in fact already "united" because you didn't want to accept that religion played a role in uniting these disparate groups into ever larger societies.

    In fact, you even said religion actually made these small kin based primate groups more divided than they would have been otherwise
     
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  13. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    Well, in a sense it is correct, because physical things are category concepts for which the experiences making up physical things can be explained without the terms physical things.
    So yes, physical things are a cultural construct for which others are possible. They, the terms, are sometimes treated as being there in the literal sense, but they are not. If you check they are defined by how they works as experiences to a human.
    If you really want to play philosophy I am in part doing a version of phenomenology and describing the world as always including humans, because describing the world requires a human to do the describing.

    And, yes, some of your experiences are objective, but not all. And some of your behaviours are objective, but not all.
     
  14. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Religious extremists mostly, or so I find.
     
  15. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Oh dear .......
    So you DO say that @Revoltingest has a problem!

    It's 'make-yer-mind-up' time. :p
     
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  16. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    Yeah, we agree.
    But your example is not all of religion.
     
  17. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    I actually have not commented on each point yet, I have not said I agree or disagree with each point.

    I posted it, as when I read the article I saw it needed to be discussed as aspects of it are obviously found in many conversations on RF and throughout the world. So if the list does become a mindset of a movement, would that be the destruction of humanity?

    I note in your reply you offered a comment about people needing thicker skins.

    I do see aspects of some of the points reflected on RF, I do see other aspects reflected in the news I watch on TV.

    As for a movement that implements these as a whole, I very much doubt it, but given the right conditions, not impossible.

    RegardsTony
     
  18. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    The poster was already put up, I took it off the wall and brought it to a group for a discussion.

    That is where it is at.

    Regards Tony
     
  19. Yazata

    Yazata Active Member

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    It is interesting. It's probably the best summary of what I think of as evangelical atheism that I've seen, (There's really nothing 'new' about it.)

    Dennett is a very good philosopher. I'm unfamiliar with what he says about religion or why. Harris has more subtle views about religion (he'd probably call it "spirituality") than he gets credit for. (Probably his own fault.) I'm unfamiliar with Hitchens except as a polemicist. And Dawkins is kind of a tragic figure, a once prominent evolutionary biologist who has become a rather sophomoric opponent of "religion", which in his mind seems to equate to fundamentalist Christian protestantism. It's tragic to see a once brilliant and productive scientist self-destruct like that.

    I think that agnosticism is by far the most intellectually defensible position to hold on these matters.

    That's just it, there's no way that they could possibly know that. Many atheists are aware of that problem and it seems to be part of what has motivated the recent redefinition of 'atheism' from belief in the non-existence of God to lack of belief in the existence of God. Which unfortunately threatens to make atheism synomymous with agnosticism.

    Which is a false premise in my opinion. Ignoring the good that religion does in people's lives turns it into a caricature. It's easy to point to historical evils attributable to "religion". But almost all of those are attributable even more to politics. But have atheists rejected politics as pathological in nature and in toto? It's often hard to find people more political than atheists.

    These sort of atheists remind me of fundamentalist evangelical theists with a bloody hole where their own faith was ripped out of their chests. But the same old missionary impulse remains, the desire to convert the planet and an intolerance for those who believe differently than they do.

    Yes. That's why I don't particularly like this kind of atheist (just as I dislike their religious opposite numbers). I'm much more comfortable as an agnostic among the more philosophically astute kind of religious people. The open-minded seeker types.

    Yes, there's a tendency to replace their lost religious faith with faith in scientism.

    I see faith and reason as complementary. My definition of faith might be something like 'Trust and confidence in beliefs and ideas that aren't conclusively justified'. The thing is that every belief lacks conclusive justification when we inquire deeply enough. Scientific induction, the principles of logical inference, even the existence of the physical world are matters of faith too. We can't escape from the necessity of faith. That doesn't mean that some things aren't more plausible than others, but that's another discussion.

    I think that it's foolish to conceive of history as a one-dimensional line from the past (bad) to a single preordained future (good), with our only choice how quickly we move leftwards along that line. That seems to me to be another atheist vestige of Christianity, this time its eschatology of the coming Kingdom.

    I perceive of time more like a tree, with any number of possible futures, some paradisical, others hellish (and most in between). The actions we take now will determine what branch we take.

    Yes. It seems to be to be another expression of the fundamentalism at the heart of the 'new atheism'. There's no end of fascinating subtleties in religious thought from all traditions that these fundamentalist atheists typically seem largely unaware of. They have decided that religion is bullsh*t, there's no need for them to study bullsh*t, so they are almost proud of their ignorance.

    As an agnostic, I'm inclined to think that humans do come from the factory so to speak with social instincts already installed. But countless inconsistent moral codes are consistent with those instincts, all "socially constructed". And I don't think that there is any objective fact of the matter that would allow us to choose between them.

    Yes, I'm totally unwilling to dismiss the struggles and victories of my parents, their parents, and all that came before me. We stand today on the shoulders of giants. And none of them was perfect. They just did their best (most of the time) in the exceedingly imperfect circumstances in which they found themselves, and maybe left the world a little better place. We aren't perfect either and our children are likely to reject us too.

    It's just foolish to imagine ourselves as somehow standing outside the flow of history, the only people who have ever lived who have a clear grasp on right and wrong, truth and falsity.

    And these are indications of the fundamental authoritarianism and totalitarianism that lies at the heart of their worldview. To be fair, some of their religious opposite numbers suffer from the same defects, but that's no excuse for them turning themselves into the same thing in reverse.

    I think that last is over-stating it. The 'new atheists' are no more a threat than the religious fundamentalists they resemble so much and battle so vigorously. I don't foresee either side converting all of humanity. The cat of free-thought is already out of the bag.

    Good thread, Tony. It raises lots of issues for discussion.
     
    #899 Yazata, Jan 3, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2022
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  20. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    Who is that we and why the ""? @Sheldon wouldn't agree. There is objective evidence that science is the best and that is not a view. One of you are wrong and all the other negatives, including the possibilities of hallucinating and/or being delusional. ;) :D
    So which of you are that?

    So what are your answers, dear scientist? Remember you are not the only who understands science and you could be wrong. ;) :D
     
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