Debate and Discussion

The term atheist should not exist. Discuss.
Genejoke at 3:10AM, Jan. 13, 2012
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A little trollish and has been done many times before but there is nothing like religious debate to get people talking on forums.
“In fact ‘atheism’ is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a ‘non-astrologer’ or a 'non-alchemist.”
“Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.”
bravo1102 at 3:13AM, Jan. 13, 2012
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Won't get any debate out of me.  I whole heartedly agree with both statements.  Maybe we should discuss the Virgin Mary like Hawk was expecting the “mother of God” thread to be about.
Genejoke at 3:32AM, Jan. 13, 2012
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could make it the quickest derilment ever.
ayesinback at 5:22AM, Jan. 13, 2012
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Okay. I'll bite. While I don't disagree with the first statement, this one:
“Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.”
 

is far too clever for me to understand straight off. I have some questions

It appears that religious beliefs can be unjustified - but it does not state that all religious beliefs are unjustified, so some may be justified. So, reasonably then, there are no noises in the presence of justified beliefs? Or at that point only unreasonable people then make noises - are these people atheists, too?

And is it only atheists (those reasonable noise-makers) who make noises when confronted with unjustified beliefs, or there others too? And are only atheists reasonable?

Actually, there's several holes in this witticism, and I just don't fell like typing that much.
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ozoneocean at 6:43AM, Jan. 13, 2012
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Unfortunately the argument is based on misunderstanding.
It's like arguing “zero” as a word should not exist because you can never have zero things, so zero as a number makes no sense, and nor do negative numbers for that matter…
But, mathematics, which is an abstract representation of aspects of the real world, would collapse without the use of zero.
 
Religion is not about belief, unjustified or otherwise. Belief is about belief.
Religions are cultural, traditional, and social institutions. They incorporate belief pretty much as much as any institution does, but they're a lot more than that.
 
Atheism, historically, was NOT a rejection of belief, atheism was a rejection of the prevailing cultural religious institution and all it represented. It was the “zero” to the positive numbers.
-Think of it this way: in the societies that atheism evolved in EVERYONE was part of the church.
This wasn't about something as childish and simplistic as “belief”, you didn't have to believe to be part of the church, it was just something you were born to, like being an American for example: it was part of the customs of your country. You went to the church, sang the hymns, followed the practices, just the same way as American children might sing the US Anthem, or swear allegiance to the flag or whatever.
 
This is why a term like “Atheism” mattered. If you were against all that then you were the odd one out, by a very long measure.
 
But that's history, what about now when state religions don't really exist so much in the West anymore? The term “Atheist” now has at least two meanings: for some it's simple “non-belief” and for others it is the active rejection of religious cultural institutions.
So in the case of the former, you have a point and those people are silly to identify themselves as atheists? (I doubt they'd agree with you there).
And in the case of the latter, what else are they to call themselves?
 
El Cid at 6:52AM, Jan. 13, 2012
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Yay! Trolltastic religious thread!
 
Um, I do LIKE the statement, and in a perfect world I guess it should be true. But unfortunately we live in a world where the vast majority of people are theists of some kind, so being an atheist does make you by definition aberrant. So in the crummy real world, it probably is a distinction worthy of being made
ozoneocean at 8:43AM, Jan. 13, 2012
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El Cid wrote:
in a perfect world I guess it should be true.
In a “perfect world” an atheist would probably be an insane person because for a “perfect world” to exist, there'd have to be gods or magic or some dues ex machina of some kind. :)
 
Sorry, El Cid, I couldn't resist. :)
You're speaking socially of course and not philosophically- i.e, if everyone was scientific and logical etc.
 
I'd say the majority of the world are probably agnostic- culturally many may be religious, but have no strong belief either way. It's not that they hedge their bets or are too afraid to jump in any camp, they simply don't deny any of them.
 
There is this idea that we're born atheist and then inducted into our cultural religious systems and so atheism is the natural state. 
I disagree; agnosticism is the natural state- you don't subscribe to a religion, but you also don't deny any either, or their principals. You have to have an active understanding or experience of them for that.
So the proposal in the original post is doubly flawed. (there are more though)
  
The root of it is that atheism is a justified reaction to a religion or religions. That is how it came about. It was never a thing in itself.
 
ayesinback at 9:35AM, Jan. 13, 2012
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ozoneocean wrote:
. . .
Atheism, historically, was NOT a rejection of belief, atheism was a rejection of the prevailing cultural religious institution and all it represented. It was the “zero” to the positive numbers.
. . .
 

I'm not sure that's accurate.  A-theism is a response to theism, and therefore it is not a reaction to religion or cultural institution, unless one perceives a belief in God as institutional.  Atheism is an avowal of no belief in God or Gods.
 
Since many of the world's religions premise a God (Buddhism, for example, does not), atheism has been interchanged with a-religious, probably because rejecting the existence of any God has, does, and most likely will put one at odds with a majority of the prevalent culture.  
 
Additionally, I don't think atheism is merely an absence of - it is a belief (or determination?) to not believe in a god existence.  Using the math metaphor (and Not a value system), it more closely resembles a negative number than a nothing.  It is a something.  Agnostics are more the zero mark, neither positive or negative.
 
imo - That first statement is probably more an observation of the arbitrariness of language, certainly English, than a coherent definition of atheism.  Is non-event in the dictionary yet?
 
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ozoneocean at 12:46PM, Jan. 13, 2012
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Ayes, that would be true if words really did define history and reality in a nice pat linear way, but that's not how things happened.
Religion was part of the state, that's how it has always been. But at various times you've had intelectuals who've rejected the prevailing cultural institutions- because simply denying gods or belief could not be done WITHOUT also bringing into question the entire attached system since they were one and the same thing. These were the first athiests, the term was developed for them.

Belief without structured religion is a new thing. And there is no such thing as general thiesim, this athiesm vs thiesm is a false, modern construction.

You're right when you say It's a problem with language.
As in the first post we assume language and culture has a simple mathmatical logic, so things like athiesim can have a simple definition and that word can also have a equal a oposite antonym. But the language and definitions came much later- when the first Greek philosophers theorised the idea of atheism that was a major position to take and not only put them in oposition to a few silly preists, but to the mechanics of the state itself.
We take these concepts lightly now, but only because the world has changed, which is easy to forget with simple language.
 
bravo1102 at 2:28PM, Jan. 13, 2012
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Math would collapse without zero?  Funny math was around a long time and doing quite well before anyone dreamed up the concept of nothing as a number.  It added to the understanding of numbers and the expression of them, but you can still do most things with mathematics without having zero.  Pythagoras didn't have zero.
 
So it's a bad analogy.  I forget the term but atheism is more the “null set” or “not” theism.  Where theism is the belief in god(s) atheism is the lack of said belief.  It's not the lack of any belief just the lack of belief in god.  Agnosticism is the admission of the lack of knowledge about the existence one way or the other of god.  Agnosictism is A- gnosis which is “Don't know” 
 
Once upon a time there was a big difference in those who knew and those who didn't.  The so-called mysteries.  If you knew you had gnosis, if not you were just another believer but agnostic, ignorant of knowledge.  Then came a belief system that there was no special knowledge so the definition of agnostic changed to one who doubted belief in god but didn't know for sure and in fact often said it was impossible to know and rejected blind faith.  Billions of words have been written about that throughout the past 2000 years.  Aquineas said it was useless to debate an agnostic because they didn't have the faith to believe in what was unknowable. 
 
Atheists say that the question of god's existence is knowable and by extension that there is no faith because there's nothing to have faith in.  Agnostics say it isn't knowable and can't say one way or the other and many theists agree that it cannot be known.  But faith is enough, it is enough to believe that god exists without certain knowledge according to the theists. 
“Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.”
That was said by Sam Harris in Letter to a Christian Nation who also wrote “the End of Faith”  If you have the end of faith then since god is by definition unknowable one cannot know him and everyone then becomes an agnostic.  Evetually agnosticism leads to atheism or the denial that there is any deity and nor is there any need for one.  That hypothesis goes back to the Greeks and even then many suspected that state serivce to the gods was just lip service.  Wonder if good old Cicero came up with that phrase too?
ayesinback at 3:38PM, Jan. 13, 2012
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I agree with most of bravo's post, but I would interpret:

Where theism is the belief in god(s) atheism is the lack of said belief.  It's not the lack of any belief just the lack of belief in god."
  
 
a bit differently.  Atheists are putting it out there:  not a “I have a lack,” but a “I so hereby declare - no god”.  It's a definitive stance, versus the agnostic stance, which reminds me so much of Jon Voight's character in Deliverance at the end:  “I don't know.”
which is brilliant.  Who's going to argue with that?  (maybe the amazing Krespin?)  Who can get into someone else's head and find that kernel of bias?  It's the perfect defense; the perfect stall.
 
Also
Atheists say that the question of god's existence is knowable and by extension that there is no faith because there's nothing to have faith in.
 
 
That's quite an extension.  My layperson's observation is that many of the atheists I know invest every bit of faith some direct toward religion into science.  Science . . . let's talk about THAT one if we want to tear apart  myths and legends.  leeches?   pro or con?
 
But I do agree that math is an imperfect metaphor for religion/beliefs.  How can one apply precision (math) to a variable that exists within a state, within an educational level, from one individual to the next?
 
@Genejoke:  Are you having fun yet, Mr. “I can't believe they haven't forced me back under the bridge yet”?
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Genejoke at 11:13PM, Jan. 13, 2012
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I did it all for the bravo, the bravo…
enough twisting limp bizkit lyrics for now,  but yes it's been interesting.  
Hawk at 11:44AM, Jan. 15, 2012
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ozoneocean wrote:
El Cid wrote:
in a perfect world I guess it should be true.
 In a “perfect world” an atheist would probably be an insane person because for a “perfect world” to exist, there'd have to be gods or magic or some dues ex machina of some kind. :)
 
 
My favorite reply so far.  :)
bravo1102 at 3:31AM, Jan. 18, 2012
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Ayes: I would just love to open that kettle of fish because leeches was based on a flawed hypothesis about the four humors which became a belief based on faith because not to believe in that hypothesis marked one as a godless heretic, an atheist or an infidel .  Welcome to the western world of the Middle Ages, the Great Age of Faith.
 
So leeches was actually a religious belief not a scientific one.  For scientific medicine one would have to look at the Islamic world where at one time it was believed one could  know the world through evidence and observation as opposed to faith.  Just as that idea caught on in the West, it disappeared in the Arab world when it was decreed that only faith led to knowledge and anything kowable could only be known by blind faith in god.  Meanwhile the Europeans learned to question.
 
Plato's and Galen's “science” upon which the four humors were based was not science.  Science requires evidence from inquiry not faith in the musings of “those so much wiser than we who came before”.  In science once a hypothesis is disproven it is discarded.  It may take a long time but it is discarded.  Faith never discards any of its beliefs except through changing dogma.  In Catholicism that's the Pope issuing a decree that that Limbo and Purgatory they've been telling everyone about for centuries suddenly no longer exists.  Disregard that one.  Oh and burning those innocent people at teh stake so we could take all their possesssions? We're really sorry.
ronin356 at 1:52AM, March 22, 2012
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So waht is Agnosist to you? A more relevant term?
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NickyP at 2:53PM, March 27, 2012
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I remember we had a similiar discussion about this in my Logic class last year.
 
The particular debate wasn't about religion, though. It was.. well, about gender. We were learning about the idea of “converse,” or, what the logical opposite is. We did the usual examples… “The word is day.” Answer? Night. “The word is hot.” Answer? Cold, etc. But then we came to the next word.. Man.
 
I raised my hand. “Woman.” My professor smiled and said, “nope.” We were all confused. “Remember that a proper converse must be an absolute opposite. As there are other possibilites that can be converse to a man, we must consolidate them into the state of not being a man. Therefore, the proper converse for man, is non-man.”
 
To this day my friend and I still think that what BS, but that's not the point. The point I'm driving at is, is an atheist really the opposite of a theist? Is atheism the state of not having a religion, or refusing to have a religion? Isn't the belief that God doesn't exist, a belief in and of itself? Arguably there's just as much evidence that God doesn't exist as there is for God's existance. Thus, if atheists define religion as an unjustified belief, aren't they also practicing a sort of religion of their own?
bravo1102 at 10:19PM, March 27, 2012
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Religion in the secular community is usually defined as a belief system featuring faith in a being featuring supernatural powers.  The lack of that belief is not in itself a belief so it can't be a religion.  It is a belief system as not believing is just as much a choice as believing but without the faith in the supernatural being it is not a religion. The looking for revelation through the numinous is another important part of religion. Atheisim doesn't look beyond the beyond for the Words declaiming what to believe. If someone looked to the spirit of Christopher Hitchens for the revelation of a way to live; that would be a religion.

Belief in ghosts in and of themselves is not a religion.  However defining them as spirit guides and helpful angels is well along the path towards religion.  Looking to them for guidance and even praying to them takes it even closer.  However the unbelief in ghosts and looking for scientific evidence is not a religion.  One doesn't pray to science and look for answers to be revealed.  Science is a method of investigation not a religion the same as prayer and communion are methods of worship not the actual religion itself.

That brings us to the existence of an atheistic religion.  That is a belief system that still has the belief in numinous revelation and the perception of supernatural powers around something that is quite normal.  Communism is one example.  It has no diety, but it has a defined belief system based on revelation of Marx, Lenin, Mao et. al. and the faith in the dialyctic and class struggle.  So it is a religion but it's not a traditional deity but one supposedly proven by the writings of the masters that one must have absolute faith in.  There is never any questioning in a religion.  Everything is taken on faith.  There is dogma and there is heresy.  Science and atheisim don't have dogma or heresies. 
NickyP at 12:08AM, March 28, 2012
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I get what you're saying, but I have to ask; isn't “God doesn't exist” a certain dogma amongst atheists? Consequently, wouldn't “God does exist” be considered a heresy of sorts? Because if you have no real objections as to God's existance, you aren't really an atheist anymore.
bravo1102 at 8:51AM, March 29, 2012
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Outside of some outspoken and very loud individuals many atheists would disagree.  Many would happily accept the existence of god if there were irrefutable proof that was in final anaylsis not based on faith. But absent that proof they hold that there is no diety and therefore remain atheists.

A simple statement based on evidence is not really dogma.  Dogma implies unquestioning obedience and that doesn't exist for the skeptic or humanist who revel in the human ability to question.  The percieved stifling of that questioning by various religions throughout history is often what makes the outspoken atheists so against religion.  After all how many times has the Catholic Church told thinkers “YOU CANNOT ASK THAT QUESTION, STOP THINKING!” under pain of excommunication and later the Inquisition.  Of course governments have too but in the Western World before the 20th Century they usually did so at the behest of the church as god's represnetative on earth.
NickyP at 8:59PM, March 29, 2012
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I see, gotcha. I've had a lot of run-ins with atheists, but just about all of them were angry, outspoken, and arguably intolerent. So naturally, that was the foundation for most of my thoughts on the issue.
ozoneocean at 10:43PM, March 29, 2012
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Bravo- the rhetoric from the Dawkins camp IS dogma. And they are not a small group, they're really quite influential. ;)
Their idea is that religion is bad, end of story… Which I would think would have nothing to do with atheism or belief or anything else. Functionally atheism as they practise it is a social crusade against an older class of social conventions and institutions, commonly grouped under the umbrella of “religions”.
 
All this guff about belief systems and evidence etc is so much sophism and hogwash when it comes to that particular context. All we have is one social movement verses another.
 
It's interesting to try and look at the “objective reality” of things rather than how they chose to try and define themselves or whatever mystical or intellectual palaver they're cloaked in.
 
bravo1102 at 12:45AM, April 2, 2012
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ozoneocean wrote:
Bravo- the rhetoric from the Dawkins camp IS dogma. And they are not a small group, they're really quite influential. ;)

It's not based on faith or the experience of the “wholly other” and it's main proof is not because “god told me so”  therefore it is not dogma in the classical sense of the study of religion versus belief.  
I keep finding myself going back to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the approach to the world that teaches.  That's where I get the evidence and belief systems thing.  It's practical, real and study proven to accurately describe how a person thinks and why they think that way. 

Now the thing I can't stand is that from a strict study of human history Dawkins is right about Western Religions and that maybe, just maybe it might be the time to have a loud and obknoxious movement to finally shut up all the theologians once and for all.  

If it is a choice between the loud obnoxious atheist and the fundmentalist, I'll take the atheist everytime.  They appreaciate evidence as opposed to the fundamental correctness of a point of view espoused in a several millenia old collection of stories that has been mistranslated and misinterpreted for most of that time.
El Cid at 7:52AM, April 2, 2012
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I'm definitely down with giving the religious establishment its due criticism, and it's always important to remember just how badly the Catholic Church behaved when it had real power (and how badly some Islamic sects behave today, because their power is unchallenged).
 
At the same time though, I'm not entirely sure I'd like to see religion completely done away with. It does seem to fulfill some vital need for a lot of people, which might explain why it's so ubiquitous throughout cultures. And if you could take that away from people, I don't see that there's anything to replace it with. Wasn't it Christianity that finally got the Vikings to stop chopping people's heads off?
bravo1102 at 9:35AM, April 2, 2012
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El Cid wrote:
 Wasn't it Christianity that finally got the Vikings to stop chopping people's heads off?
Not really.  It was actually Christianity that convinced the Vikings that Europe was easy pickings.  After all those Irish monks were such easy fodder and they had lots of food and gold too even as far afield as Iceland.  What stopped the Vikings was the end of any need to go a Viking because they had installed themselves semi-permanently in Normandy and Sicily and Ireland and among the Kievan Rus and parts of England.  As the Anglo-Saxon chronicle puts it, “This year they brought their families and did not leave over the winter.”  The Vikings had come to settle, stay and in many cases rule and why chop people's heads off?  They were in charge now and began to enforce the laws rather than break them.  And that cross around Ragnar's neck was really just a Thor's hammer turned upside down.

The Scandinavia did not actually become truly Christian until the 13th Century two centuries after the end of the Viking Era.  But the Christians wrote the history and so they claimed they tamed the Vikings.

Read Gibbon's Fall of the Roman Empire.  It is a stirring inditement of Christianity destroying the world of late antiquity.  Christianity destroyed Rome and the Alexandria Library.  Christian mobs slaughtered scientists and librarians and destroyed texts because outside of the gospels no other work was worthy of study.  Christianity created and perpetuated the Dark Ages and it took the rediscovery of pagan learning by those Christians to get Europe thinking again centuries later.

It is so easy to blame Christianity for destroying all kinds of stuff because they really did.  
El Cid at 9:56AM, April 2, 2012
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Heh! Those crafty Christians, taking all the credit for stuff! I wouldn't put it past 'em!
 
bravo1102 wrote:
Read Gibbon's Fall of the Roman Empire.  It is a stirring inditement of Christianity destroying the world of late antiquity…
 
 
Yeesh! I'm already reading Kolakowski's Main Currents of Marxism, which is like 1200 pages. Why couldn't this Gibbon guy put out an audiotape, or a DVD! :P
 
*sigh It's in my shopping cart.
Tabasco at 8:59PM, April 2, 2012
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I like this quote “Do you think God is athesist?”
bravo1102 at 11:34PM, April 2, 2012
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Tabasco wrote:
I like this quote “Do you think God is athesist?”
God isn't an atheist, but he certainly doesn't seem to have a lot of faith in humans.

If you look at certain interpretations of the Bible, humans are horrible, sinful monsters led down the path to perdition with only a paltry 10% destined to be saved because we're all predestined to burn.  It was only through god's grace that humans can have anything but even then humans have denied and spurned all of god's love even the sacrifice of his son for humanity's sins.  
ozoneocean at 10:05AM, April 3, 2012
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ozoneocean wrote:
Bravo- the rhetoric from the Dawkins camp IS dogma. And they are not a small group, they're really quite influential. ;)
  
 
Bravo wrote:
It's not based on faith or the experience of the “wholly other” and it's main proof is not because “god told me so” therefore it is not dogma in the classical sense of the study of religion versus belief.
I keep finding myself going back to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the approach to the world that teaches. That's where I get the evidence and belief systems thing. It's practical, real and study proven to accurately describe how a person thinks and why they think that way.
 
 
No, you misunderstand me-
I don't care a fig for what either group say they “believe” in or what their stated goals are or are not. What they actually both ARE is social groups that influnce numbers of people within broader society and they are in direct conflict. Looked at from a distance, or a macro perspective, the only difference is time: one is old, one is new.
 
Now, will getting rid of older social values (in this case under the banner of “religion”) actually reduce war, help us “advance” faster, increase peace and social cohesion across different boundaries, remove prejudice, increase equality?
 
I've thought a lot about that over the years and using my best logic the answer is simply; no.
There is no long term benefit for getting rid of religion or crazy fundamentalists or anything else.
Well, it might mean I no longer get Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons knocking at my door, but what really is the difference between them and political canvassers, the charity collectors, “students” selling paintings, survey collectors and all the rest? All of them are useless nuisances that I'd rather do without, none better than any other.
 
What about religious wars though? Well if you actually look into any conflict “religion” is nothing more than varnish for the same old motivations: My cultural group wants control over this area with its resources and we want to do things in this place our way when we do. For this reason there's no difference weather someone says their war is ethnic, religious, over water, oil, politics, slaves, revenge…
It's always just a breakdown in the normal structure of doing things and dealing with people ending with someone trying to grab advantage through the brutal shortcut of conflict.
 
What about equality? Well, Black people were repressed for reasons other than religion. Sure, some tried to add a religious justification to it, but that's putting the cart before the horse: the prejudice was there first.
We have natural antipathies to anyone outside of our group and natural loyalties to those within and we can define those groups any way we choose from our family, to people with the same hair colour, men, women, Apple, Windows, Android,  your town, taste in music, sate, country, religion, ethnicity, skin colour…
Anything that puts you above he other guy or girl is great and you naturally want to retain that and defend it because of the perceived superiority and privilege it grants.
 
What about “advancing” socially, scientifically etc?
I LOVE increases in knowledge and knowing how things work! Religions aren't against social orscientific “advances”, but they ARE slow and traditional so can act as anchors in some ways.
But objectively it's actually irrelevant.
Shock horror.
We're not “advancing” to anywhere really. That entire notion comes STRAIGHT from religion and it's a myth.
We still live and die, reality remains unchanged. Human beings don't even live longer now than they did 3000 years ago; better healthcare and nutrition means more of us are likely to get to the max of our possible lifespans but that maximum is still the same.
Increases in knowledge ultimately help us populate more, have more gadgets, use more energy and basically create more culture for us to entertain ourselves with… which we would be doing at a greater or lessor rate regardless.
There's the idea that at least now a greater percentage of us are ABLE to enjoy leisure and the fruits of energy wasting culture that technology has provided for us… but is that really true?
 
I can't help but think  that all we do is fool ourselves into thinking we have it great because that's how we cope with reality. Because reading stuff by people in previous centuries tells me that people ALWAYS thought exactly the same way.
 
My point is, that given these conclusions, the existence of religion or the lack of it is neither a detrimental nor positive force in civilisation, it simply is.
And therefore Dawkins' movement is pointless, but if one were so inclined they may as well follow his Ideas as oppose them, it doesn't really matter, people just like to choose sides ^_^
 
bravo1102 at 11:14PM, April 3, 2012
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ozoneocean wrote:

Life is pointless.  ^_^

 You could have saved the rant and just written that. :D  

 Sometimes the view gets so big that one stops seeing a forest or trees and one is just left with a mass of green and that doesn't tell one much about anything and in fact ends up obscuring a lot of stuff so one loses the point. Been there.  In other words you're completely right.  I prefer to no longer accept those conclusions because there have been a few easily obscured points of light in that massive expanse of green and Dawkins and his gang are trying to get the rest of humankind to see them.  Maybe this time it'll stick because our species is someplace it has never been before.  I like to have that hope.
 

Just because it's never been done before, doesn't mean it can't be done now.  But then that is the definition of insanity isn't it?  Doing the same thing and expecting a different result.  I'll be the first to say I'm crazy and willingly embrace the lunacy and overcome the Us/NOT-us mentality of my species in my own little corner of the universe.  I've spent a lifetime being a NOT-us and it is hard to think of myself as belonging to any group. 
last edited on April 3, 2012 11:22PM
ozoneocean at 7:49AM, April 4, 2012
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posts: 24,801
joined: 1-2-2006
That's NOT the point though, hahaha!
It's just ONE of the points. I was specifically refuting the idea of “advancement” and exposing the fallacy and the myth behind it.
Of course life has a point for the person living it, or we'd all just kill ourselves. And really, I'd rather not ^_^
 
What I was getting at in that long, detailed post was that these two apparently opposing viewpoints are both simply societal constructs, they have no larger objective relevance or reality beyond the context of the societies and civilisations they're part of, even though they pretend at it.
 
So in the end: Of course “Atheism” should be a word, just as there should be a word for every thing else us humans choose to define things and amuse ourselves with. Our collective civilisation stretches back beyond recorded history and there's room enough in it for all sorts of ideas and concepts.
 
—Dawkins' ideas are precisely NOT new or untried. The ideas put forward are as old as time.
 
last edited on April 4, 2012 7:50AM

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