Atheism Is Not A Belief System

Please feel free to discuss Dan's shows.

Moderators: Loki, exposno1, Parrot, Quasigriz, NickDupree, nmoore63, robroydude, Spinny Spamkiller

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby Kath » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:25 pm

DrYouth wrote:the numbers of those who identify themselves with a religion.

This is the part that annoys me. There's the people who self-identify as religious and the people that are actually religious. These two numbers are not even close to each other. The actual number is far, far lower.

If you look at those who claim to follow Catholicism, for example and compare it to the number of people who actually follow doctrine, you are talking about tens of millions of people. The difference is somewhere around 95%.

Such a racket. :roll:
If you believe you can't do something, you are absolutely right.
User avatar
Kath
Archon
 
Posts: 12653
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 7:42 am

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby DrYouth » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:31 pm

So what are you saying Kath... that those who identify with Catholicism but don't follow doctrine strictly aren't really Catholic. What about freethought then? Why can't someone be religious but practice the faith as they interpret it? As their conscience instructs them.... What percentage of doctrine must one follow to be a "true" Catholic in your opinion? Isn't the interpretation of doctrine changing even among the devout. Doesn't it vary from parish to parish and among the conservative vs liberal "branches" of Catholicism.

This is where all of this just gets silly...
"Trek requires no sunshine to be happy. He feeds off the despair of others like a dementor." e_room_matt

"Thank you so much for your assessment of my wickedness and the depth of my depravity and immersion in sin." drtrech

"You pansy-ass hippy utopian naive fool" coyo7e
User avatar
DrYouth
Hetairoi
 
Posts: 5416
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:42 am
Location: Canadastan

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby Kath » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:40 pm

DrYouth wrote:This is where all of this just gets silly...

Exactly my point. I've no issues whatsoever with personal religious beliefs. That's all god is; a very personal interpretation. Every person follows god's laws according to their belief about what god wants. They don't listen to what their doctrine says or what their priest says. Birth control sales would fall dramatically if that were true.

It's the pretending to belong to a group, just so you can claim you belong to a group, that is bothersome to me. Perhaps if they kept to themselves and didn't try to claim "well, MY group will vote this way" or "MY group will shut you down because we are so powerful," that is disturbing. I just loathe herd mentality, no matter what form it takes.

I guess I see myself as a free thinking individual more than most. *shrugs*
If you believe you can't do something, you are absolutely right.
User avatar
Kath
Archon
 
Posts: 12653
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 7:42 am

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby DrYouth » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:30 am

All religion involves a community.
That's impossible to get away from.

It is actually one of the things that makes religion powerful, and can be a powerful positive part of the benefits individuals reap from religion.

In a world where community has been disintegrating over time, due to various factors, religion offers a united community where community members look after one another and even look after the disenfranchised.

ANy suprise that people are reluctant to give this up.

Of course there are disadvantages that can occur in certain communites. Their are negative phenomena like "group-think", among others... I don't disagree with you on that one. We just don't want to overlook the other side of the coin, in what stong communities have to offer. What we should strive for is overcoming the negative aspects that can come with strong communities without giving up the communities themselves.

No easy task.
"Trek requires no sunshine to be happy. He feeds off the despair of others like a dementor." e_room_matt

"Thank you so much for your assessment of my wickedness and the depth of my depravity and immersion in sin." drtrech

"You pansy-ass hippy utopian naive fool" coyo7e
User avatar
DrYouth
Hetairoi
 
Posts: 5416
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:42 am
Location: Canadastan

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby RAnthony » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:22 am

DrYouth wrote:I'm not playing peacekeeper RAnt.
You do play peacekeeper (I'm sure others can back me up on this observation. It seems compulsive with you, I've seen it on many threads) which is completely different than 'fencesitting' (a label I would apply to others on the boards, not to you) you attempt to find common ground between arguing parties; that is the essence of a peacekeeper. Sometimes there is no common ground. It's a reality we all have to face, eventually.

I've been ill for weeks, I'm not up to a full court response today. I'll get to the other points when I can. I will say that on this point;

DrYouth wrote:
RAnthony wrote: Religion is receding on all fronts.
Religion has never been static and we can't expect it to remain static. But it shows no sign of disappearing.
This is the same type of exaggeration I see in other's posts, but I never expected to see in yours. The word was "receding", and any poll you care to reference will show that religious participation and adherence has lessened; another word for 'recede'. Don't recall saying it was 'disappearing' (at least not in this thread) but I won't deny that John Lennon and I think that would be a good thing.

Leave the awfulizing to the people who need religion. They do it so much better. :roll:
"I unsettle all things. No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker with no past at my back." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"So who the fuck are you RAnthony? Are you anything like the people you don't respond to say you are?"
User avatar
RAnthony
Hetairoi
 
Posts: 5459
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:27 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby DrYouth » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:55 pm

Yes I do look for common ground... but not to keep the peace (peace is way overrated)... I do it because most of the time that is where the truth or the best solutions lie.

The truth lies between the positions of Atheism and Theism and the positions of left wing and right wing politics... Most ideologies have part of the story... but not all of it, and usually include a fair amount of nonsense for that matter...

Call it compulsive if you want... I compulsively look past ideologies... I can live with that.

:proud:
"Trek requires no sunshine to be happy. He feeds off the despair of others like a dementor." e_room_matt

"Thank you so much for your assessment of my wickedness and the depth of my depravity and immersion in sin." drtrech

"You pansy-ass hippy utopian naive fool" coyo7e
User avatar
DrYouth
Hetairoi
 
Posts: 5416
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:42 am
Location: Canadastan

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby DBTrek » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:07 pm

DrYouth wrote:Yes I do look for common ground... but not to keep the peace (peace is way overrated)... I do it because most of the time that is where the truth or the best solutions lie.

The truth lies between the positions of Atheism and Theism and the positions of left wing and right wing politics... Most ideologies have part of the story... but not all of it, and usually include a fair amount of nonsense for that matter...

:proud:


Revelation 3:16
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
King James Version

:ohsnapsign:
Excuses sound best to the person that's making them up. -Tyrese Gibson
User avatar
DBTrek
Archon
 
Posts: 27243
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 5:37 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby RAnthony » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:51 pm

...Atheism is not an ideology, either. :lol:
"I unsettle all things. No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker with no past at my back." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"So who the fuck are you RAnthony? Are you anything like the people you don't respond to say you are?"
User avatar
RAnthony
Hetairoi
 
Posts: 5459
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:27 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby DBTrek » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:56 pm

"I don't believe in Leprachauns"

"Oh yeah . . . well . . . you're disbelief in Leprachauns is no different than a religion!!!"
:facepalm:

Yes . . . you've squeezed a couple hundred pages of commentary out of making a simple and true statement.

I tip my hat.
Excuses sound best to the person that's making them up. -Tyrese Gibson
User avatar
DBTrek
Archon
 
Posts: 27243
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 5:37 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby RAnthony » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:00 pm

DBTrek wrote:Yes . . . you've squeezed a couple hundred pages of commentary out of making a simple and true statement.
I never understood, not from the first time the accusation was made to me, how anyone could take my dismissal of their mythology as no different from any other mythology, as some form of equally unfalsifiable belief. On the subject of gods, I have no belief, I see no compelling proof of god's existence. It really is just that simple, and it meets the definition of atheism.

Can people deny god and call themselves atheists? (I throw that in because I don't want to start another fight with Kath) Sure, but they've gone beyond the logical conclusion "no proof of god = no need to believe in god" (which can be applied to any number of mythical objects and creatures with equal force) to some other point in belief, and created the basis for an ideology (ideology being a system of right-thinking to the thinker; more firmly believed than a philosophy) that is equally indefensible from a logical perspective.

I don't understand why "I don't know"; and not only that I don't know, but that most likely we never will know, isn't an acceptable answer. Yes, the need to know is what drove earlier generations to create philosophy and science, and our need to understand the natural world around us still drives us to find answers. But the reason that the sciences were created in the first place is because belief cannot answer those kinds of questions; and in answering those questions we have systematically dismantled religious belief until all that is left is the personal need for god that some people feel more strongly than others. Does the prayer-answering skyman of Judaism, Christianity and Islam exist? No tests of his prayer-answering power, and no genuine miracles have ever been documented (outside of anecdotal evidence, which is not proof to anyone other than the observer) so it looks pretty conclusive that he does not. Aristotle's unmoved mover might still exist, and Spinoza's (Einstein's as well) natural god could exist, but our ability to prove or disprove this will probably be forever beyond our grasp.

You want to believe? Great, believe whatever you like. Your right to believe though ends where it begins to affect other people. So keep it to yourself if you don't want to be subject to inquiry and correction.
"I unsettle all things. No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker with no past at my back." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"So who the fuck are you RAnthony? Are you anything like the people you don't respond to say you are?"
User avatar
RAnthony
Hetairoi
 
Posts: 5459
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:27 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby de officiis » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:33 pm

Just curious, did anyone go to the "Reason Rally" in Washington, DC last weekend? I heard that about 20,000 people showed up in the rain and that Steve Dawkins gave a speech.

http://reasonrally.org/
Image
User avatar
de officiis
Satrap
 
Posts: 4296
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:45 pm

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby RAnthony » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:42 pm

de officiis wrote:Just curious, did anyone go to the "Reason Rally" in Washington, DC last weekend? I heard that about 20,000 people showed up in the rain and that Richard Dawkins gave a speech.

http://reasonrally.org/

Chris Hayes did three hours on it last Sunday
http://upwithchrishayes.msnbc.msn.com/_ ... e=20120325
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp ... 4#46848244
"I unsettle all things. No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker with no past at my back." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"So who the fuck are you RAnthony? Are you anything like the people you don't respond to say you are?"
User avatar
RAnthony
Hetairoi
 
Posts: 5459
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:27 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby DrYouth » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:57 am

RAnthony wrote:
DBTrek wrote:Yes . . . you've squeezed a couple hundred pages of commentary out of making a simple and true statement.
I never understood, not from the first time the accusation was made to me, how anyone could take my dismissal of their mythology as no different from any other mythology, as some form of equally unfalsifiable belief. On the subject of gods, I have no belief, I see no compelling proof of god's existence. It really is just that simple, and it meets the definition of atheism.

Can people deny god and call themselves atheists? (I throw that in because I don't want to start another fight with Kath) Sure, but they've gone beyond the logical conclusion "no proof of god = no need to believe in god" (which can be applied to any number of mythical objects and creatures with equal force) to some other point in belief, and created the basis for an ideology (ideology being a system of right-thinking to the thinker; more firmly believed than a philosophy) that is equally indefensible from a logical perspective.

I don't understand why "I don't know"; and not only that I don't know, but that most likely we never will know, isn't an acceptable answer. Yes, the need to know is what drove earlier generations to create philosophy and science, and our need to understand the natural world around us still drives us to find answers. But the reason that the sciences were created in the first place is because belief cannot answer those kinds of questions; and in answering those questions we have systematically dismantled religious belief until all that is left is the personal need for god that some people feel more strongly than others. Does the prayer-answering skyman of Judaism, Christianity and Islam exist? No tests of his prayer-answering power, and no genuine miracles have ever been documented (outside of anecdotal evidence, which is not proof to anyone other than the observer) so it looks pretty conclusive that he does not. Aristotle's unmoved mover might still exist, and Spinoza's (Einstein's as well) natural god could exist, but our ability to prove or disprove this will probably be forever beyond our grasp.

You want to believe? Great, believe whatever you like. Your right to believe though ends where it begins to affect other people. So keep it to yourself if you don't want to be subject to inquiry and correction.

So really you and I are essentially on the same page...
Which left me puzzled as to why you are getting so worked up about my post a few pages ago.
I've thought it over and I'm guessing that you don't like my score-keeping.
I'm guessing you feel the score should show a few points scored for Atheism.

You have defended your rationale as an Atheist... I, as an Atheist, can understand your rationale perfectly.

The difference between you and I, (I think...) is that you are frustrated that Theists' don't see your rationale as sensible (and perhaps as "right")... whereas I see many (but not all) versions of Theistic belief as mature and as equally valid viewpoints to my own.
"Trek requires no sunshine to be happy. He feeds off the despair of others like a dementor." e_room_matt

"Thank you so much for your assessment of my wickedness and the depth of my depravity and immersion in sin." drtrech

"You pansy-ass hippy utopian naive fool" coyo7e
User avatar
DrYouth
Hetairoi
 
Posts: 5416
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:42 am
Location: Canadastan

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby RAnthony » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:57 pm

DrYouth wrote:Which left me puzzled as to why you are getting so worked up about my post a few pages ago.
I've thought it over and I'm guessing that you don't like my score-keeping.
I'm guessing you feel the score should show a few points scored for Atheism.

You have defended your rationale as an Atheist... I, as an Atheist, can understand your rationale perfectly.

The difference between you and I, (I think...) is that you are frustrated that Theists' don't see your rationale as sensible (and perhaps as "right")... whereas I see many (but not all) versions of Theistic belief as mature and as equally valid viewpoints to my own.
I have the same problem with you, as I do with anyone else that claims to know what someone else is thinking. You can suggest motives, you can point out errors in argument, etc, but there's no way you can know what I (or anyone else) is thinking when we type what we do.

My issue with religionists is that they have completely skewed opinions on the importance of their delusions, and they consequently discount anyone who doesn't share their delusions. This is more starkly visible in poor countries where the violence level amongst different religious sects is very high; but it also is shown in poll after poll that ranks atheists as less trustworthy than rapists in this country. It's absolutely ridiculous, that their adherence to belief in some imaginary being makes them somehow more trustworthy; that the guy wearing special Mormon underwear is more trustworthy than any atheist. I don't really give a damn if they see my arguments as rational; if they did, that might actually cause me to re-assess my arguments, because I don't think the delusional really can judge what is rational or not; doc has born out this theory beautifully, misconstruing all arguments concerning religion and reducing them into terms he's comfortable discussing.

And no, most religious people do not have mature or valid viewpoints equal to mine. Most of them cannot even bear to contemplate that their delusions might just be delusions; whereas I question everything, including some of my most firmly held beliefs. Have done it all my life. That is how you define mature; well seasoned, tested and reliable. I have met people (people on this thread even) who have shown that their views and opinions are mature, and still believe; I used to play cards with priest at a Catholic relatives house. He was quite comfortable questioning the existence of god, and could argue for his existence quite well without relying on smoke and mirrors. Those are the exceptions, not the rule.

There is no score to keep. There is no way that blind faith can be equal to the achievements of science. We'd like to pretend that faith is powerful, but it's power is either on the personal level, inspiring hope; or it's on the political level, used as a crude manipulation device. Science is superior to faith in every way, when it comes to improving societies, feeding people, curing the sick, etc, etc, etc. I'm not going to soft-pedal my opinion of religion so as not to offend the religious. They do not hesitate to let me know exactly what they think of atheism.

Now, for the rest of your points;
DrYouth wrote:
RAnthony wrote: The universe has proven to be unflaggingly natural and causal.

what does this even mean. I would suggest that the Universe is far from causal... whatever that even means... Chaos theory and Quantum theory have demonstrated that "causality" is a Newtonian idea that is somewhat past it's prime.
As for natural. How do you determine that something is natural exactly?
Ah, the magic of chaos theory and quantum mechanics; except that those are both theories expressed in math, which describes causal relationships. We wouldn't be having this discussion on a computer if quantum mechanics did not work as the math says it will. Natural is everything that exists. That's what it means to say "the natural known universe".
DrYouth wrote:Many religious people would also argue against a prayer answering skyman... Many religions do not even include this concept. Many of your critiques can be addressed from within a religious framework...
Misdirection. The three religions I listed all ascribe to a prayer-answering skyman. The only complaint I have with Buddhists is karma, so far as I know. Haven't studied it enough to say anything definitively other than to observe that any Buddhists I meet in Texas have at least thought enough about the subject of religion to have decided they had problems with Christianity. Points for that. Wasn't talking about them, or the uncounted others that don't propose prayer-answering skymen. It's why I made a list.
DrYouth wrote:No you don't have to choose between [science and religion, fact and faith]. You can have both. Personally as an atheist I embrace science... however it is not enough. (I don't require religion either though... Although I have learned a lot from exploring various religions and their wisdom traditions.) I find my own path that is greater than science and greater than fact.... Many others will choose their own path. I would suggest that it is important not to deny that we all looking for this path whichever way we choose to proceed. Science has plenty to tell us. But the scientific method alone will never get us to Wisdom.
We are fast reaching a point where the fundamentalists are going to attempt to push the country back onto god's path. It's the basis for all the support behind Rick Santorum. It is the reason we are getting so many social conservative laws showing up in state legislatures. If we go there, it will be decades before we can wrench the country back to sensibility. It will cost untold amounts of blood, and ruin uncounted lives in the process. We must resist these crazy people. Fundamentalists are going to have to choose between the comfort they get from the blind faith in the literal truth of the Bible (if they'd read it, they'd know it can't be literally true) and being relevant in the 21st century. The religionists are going to have to decide if they want their faith or their healthcare. The rest of us are going to have to decide if we're going to allow them to yank us around with their false piety, or hold their feet to the fire until they admit that they don't really want to force their views on the rest of us, and so we don't have to convert the US to a christian nation.

...we are going to have to choose between fact and faith.
"I unsettle all things. No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker with no past at my back." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"So who the fuck are you RAnthony? Are you anything like the people you don't respond to say you are?"
User avatar
RAnthony
Hetairoi
 
Posts: 5459
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:27 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Atheism is not a belief system

Postby RAnthony » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:05 pm

http://www.military.com/news/article/fo ... eists.html
Organizers said the goal was not to disparage religious soldiers, but to celebrate the beliefs of secular members of the military and their families. In the weeks leading up to the event, some bloggers and others expressed concerns. A chaplain currently deployed in Afghanistan posted an open letter on Fort Bragg's Facebook page, saying he feared the event would be devoted to mocking religious soldiers.

"We're never antagonistic toward religious believers, we're antagonistic toward religious belief," said Richard Dawkins, the British biologist and best-selling atheist author who was the event's headline speaker.

Dawkins, who frequently makes pointed criticism of religious adherents, delivered some relatively restrained remarks, asserting that none of the common arguments for religious belief stand up to scrutiny.

"There is no good, honest reason to believe in a god or gods of any kind, or indeed in anything supernatural," he said. "The only reason to believe something is that you have evidence for it."

The event marked a coming-out of sorts for atheist and secularist soldiers at Fort Bragg, who have been trying for over a year to be recognized as a "distinctive faith group," a designation that would allow them to hold their meetings at Bragg facilities. Curious soldiers in uniform mixed with people in civilian clothes as bands played and children began to race around the huge field when the rain let up.
...it only took two years of protesting to the military to get them to allow the event to go forward.
"I unsettle all things. No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker with no past at my back." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"So who the fuck are you RAnthony? Are you anything like the people you don't respond to say you are?"
User avatar
RAnthony
Hetairoi
 
Posts: 5459
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:27 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

PreviousNext

Return to Discuss the Common Sense Show

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests