Atheism? More like yaytheism!
Going to hell you bunch of godless heathens.
Probably my fourth favorite thread from FoH. Carry on!
Balloon jesus has 6 boobs.
Do you think she tied those balloons with her tongue?
All I know is the joke's on her. Gingers have no souls to save.
Really enjoyed the Atheism thread on morenetz, too bad it couldn't be salvaged.
I am one without belief, just posting as a show of support.
Am I allowed to hate organized religion more so than be atheist?
Sure. Organized religion at least to the level of most large Christian denominations is responsible for most of the vile things that get blamed on Christianity as a whole.
Won't be the same without Lumie. Was entertaining watching people argue with him.
I find people who don't recognize the difference between atheists and anti-theists annoying.
Some informative materials. The videos are lengthy, but worth it imo. I've only skimmed the paper, but will be returning to it for a full read soon.
I subscribe to the Amazing Atheist on YouTube. Although I do not agree with his religious views, TJ does have many valid criticisms of organized religion (and religion in general).
And although I appreciate the fact that Atheism provides a rational, scientific approach to life, there are two major tenants Atheists hold that I disagree with:
1.) Religion is no longer necessary. While technically true for the most part (since our understanding of science has exploded), there are still things in the universe we cannot adequately explain, and a divine being is just as valid an explanation as random, scientific occurrence. Also, why does religion have to be a question of necessity at all? A 60" TV or a Ferrari isn't necessary, but it still brings some people comfort and peace -- so why not let them have it?
2.) The burden of proof is solely on those who say God exists. Actually no -- the burden of proof is on anyone who makes a claim to disprove something just as much as it is on someone who claims to prove that same thing. Can I prove God exists beyond a shadow of a doubt? No. Can you prove God does not exist beyond a shadow of a doubt? No. Some things are just currently unknowable.
Last edited by FleshStick; 12-09-2012 at 02:11 AM. Reason: tightening sloppy grammar
2) Atheism is the default position, it does not require a burden of proof because Atheism makes no claims. Atheism is the rejection of a claim, theism.
It's very simple. Assume two religions with different gods are trying to assert their claims. Is it up to one side to "prove" their claim? No. Both sides are making claims. In this case, the default position is to assume both claims are false until evidence can be gathered to prove otherwise.
3) The Amazing Atheist is an incredible cunt and not worth listening to. Why do people pick the worst in our community, like AA and Bill Mahr, to watch instead of pillars of excellence like the Four Horsemen, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Bertrund Russle, Matt Dilahunty, etc?
Quoted >>>>"1) You cannot lump all atheists together on this position. The only common trait among atheists is the lack of belief in a god or gods."
The only issue I see with this is it would essentially make everybody an atheist. Just by not believing in one particular flavor of deity might make you an Atheist, but I don't see how it's becomes a useful word / label as it doesn't provide any new information.
At the end of the day, being labeled atheist or not doesn't change the way people feel on issues and the definition of Atheism you are asserting doesn't help clarify people's positions.
The entire argument feels like people arguing over what it means to be a true christian or a true catholic.
Claiming it doesn't provide new information is a bogus criticism. Atheism isn't asserting anything.
While you might be able to categorize everybody on the planet as an atheist, I find descriptive words more useful when they create distinctions between various ideas.
You can't categorize everyone on the planet as an atheist because the bigger portion of the planet BELIEVES in a supernatural god or gods.
I'm glad you agree with us that religious beliefs aren't important.
That's the thing though, whenever you point that out somebody ends up saying that's just being an anti-theist.
Anti-Theist being active disbelief in all deities.
Atheist being active disbelief in some deities.
Anti-Theist is what most of the New Atheist Movement are. I'm not even sure why they are using the word Atheism to be honest, as I don't find it terribly descriptive when it comes to figuring out people's positions.
This is what I was basing my definition of Atheism on.
"Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities."
As I have mentioned it is poorly defined as Atheists can't agree on a common definition.
Being poorly defined makes it not terribly descriptive.
Looking through that article, this guy's quote seems to explain how I feel on the issue.
Quote from some guy named Sam Harris
"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." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs"
Anti-Theist is a word I can appreciate because there is no disagreement about what it means. They actively disbelieve in all forms of deities and God(s).
Last edited by Flunklesnarkin; 12-09-2012 at 03:53 AM.
Yeah, everyone seems to have their own definition for atheism. If there's one thing I've learned from the millions of religious debates it's that this semantics battle will never end and is largely pointless. The dictionary definitions don't align each other or with the prominent theists/atheists.
I am a first year teacher and I was fairly surprised that my school has everyone recite the pledge of allegiance every morning. These kids are seniors in high school and they are forced (usually through peer-pressure) into doing the pledge every day. I was under the assumption that the 'under god' line had been taken out, but they still say it every day.
I would have created a stink about it, but I find holding a steady job more important than bitching about 'under god' in the pledge.
So my question is it legal to force kids to do the pledge along with 'under god'? I know the superintendent told us we have to do it every morning, not sure if it district policy or state wide mandate. To me it is pretty much white washing. If you take a pre-k kid and make them recite it once a day until they are seniors that is 14 years x 185 days of school = 2590 times they recite that shit before they graduate.
Last edited by Fyro; 12-09-2012 at 04:19 AM.
I'm sure they have some sort of policy at your school. You'd think they would have something written down just to cover their asses.
I know the way they did it at my high school was recite the pledge and then people who wanted to say "under God" could when that part came up.
I never noticed any big push one direction or another but I didn't live in right wing culture war country either.
Well, at least you restrained yourself from going full on caps lock for the entire post.
This is how a lot of self proclaimed atheists come across to me, they come up with a definition of what it means to be atheist then they go on a posting tirade to try and force others to agree with their definition.
I'm an atheist, I don't believe in any God or gods, but I certainly respect religion as a whole and would be happy to defend aspects from all of the world's major religions. I'm an American and I believe in the First Amendment of our constitution in that we should all have religious freedom.
I didn't participate in the FoH atheism thread so I don't know if you guys debate issues but I would be happy to participate in both sides of the debate if so, likely on the theistic side since I'm sure that it's going to be pretty barren.
Do you not agree your freedom ends where mine begins?
How can one respect anyone having or teaching bronze age beliefs and immoral behavior against better judgment?
>Religion is like a penis. It's fine to have one and it's fine to be proud of it, but please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around... and PLEASE don't try to shove it down my child's throat.
And I believe in the invisible pink unicorn. Everyone hails to our goddess.
As has been stated by others before: Atheism is just as much an active philosophy as it is a passive one. Thus I still stand by my original claim that there exists a burden of disproof just as much as a burden of proof. Simply stating that there is no God because He cannot be experienced by the senses is not proof beyond a shadow of a doubt if His non-existence.
Also, not all theists subscribe to popular, suppressive dogma.
Last edited by FleshStick; 12-09-2012 at 06:01 PM.
You don't know much about logic do you?
Can't prove a negative. Logic101. Film at 11.
Which goes back to one of my original points: attempting to prove or disprove a non-falsifiable hypothesis (or to know something that is unknowable) is ultimately pointless, yet people on both sides still attempt to do so regardless.
Last edited by FleshStick; 12-09-2012 at 07:12 PM.
Null hypothesis. Look it up.
Off the Left: You make a valid point in that religion by its nature is faith-based. Oddly enough, my belief in God stemmed from scientific understanding.
I wonder how many atheists here were brought up heavily religious but turned atheist later, and what persuaded you?
The reason I'm curious is that whenever I see atheists debate(bash is probably a better word) religion, it's almost always on the logical and factual fallacies of religion. But I've never actually met anyone who gave up their faith after some rational examination of their faith. I'm not sure how someone who's never been religious sees it, but if you're interested in converting religious people to atheism and helping them see religion for what it is, rational arguments aren't a very effective tactic at all.
For my part, I grew up among a super-conservative Christian sect, whose core belief is probably best summed as "if it's fun, it'll make you like this life too much and distract you from your faith, therefore it's evil". That means no watching TV, no music aside from classical, no alcohol etc. If you're part of the group, they're genuinely some of the most honest and caring people you can hope to meet, but if you're an outsider you're dead to them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laestadianism if someone is curious.
I became atheist because of porn. To elaborate, as a teen I had non-religious buddies, and learned from them that the finer things in life included shit like porn, alcohol and violent video games, all of which were very much a no-no in my family. In exchange, I had to commit social suicide, but it was a choice between family or friends and I went with friends. Some of my friends in a similar situation, and most of my brothers, made the other choice and did the whole prodigal son thing, turned back to religion and are now happily married and pumping out kids every couple years. On my part, most of the people I grew up with refuse to talk to me.
In short, in my experience it's a social thing - there's a lot of very smart people who are religious because their families, their friends, everyone they know and love are religious. There's a lot of positive in their faith as well - as said, I'll happily admit that at least in the case of the group I grew up with, they're more caring and honest towards one another than most non-religious people I know, and that appeals to people. Rational inquiry into the foundation of their faith doesn't really enter it, and isn't likely to persuade anyone.
Last edited by aarkh; 12-09-2012 at 11:14 PM.
I'm just curious about what the most effective way of converting religious people is. There's cultural differences too - I've no idea what fundie communities vs. non-religious ones are like in the US, but Finnish culture is uh, not very social. :P Religious communities otoh are very social, and for someone who thinks they just want to build a family and live a decent life without too many uncertainties, those communities offer a lot that, at least here, you don't readily find elsewhere.
Last edited by aarkh; 12-10-2012 at 06:50 PM.
I've had some 'interesting' reactions when trying to talk rationally about faith with my family and friends. A common reaction is that they feel very offended that you'd try to talk them out of their ticket to heaven. One very smart guy "saw the light" again one year into his biochem degree and switched to pure maths, started attending church again etc. When I tried to talk to him he just refused to discuss it, said that it's his faith, and just seemed really guilty about the whole thing. Like he knows it's bullshit, but he got married to a religious girl and that's that.
Last time I visited home years ago one of my sisters actually started crying and screaming I was corrupted by the devil just for asking her if she realized that had she been born in Turkey instead of Finland she'd believe just as fervently in Islam as she does in Christianity now. Was pretty freaked to see someone react that way at the time but it's somehow so hilarious in retrospect.
Last edited by aarkh; 12-10-2012 at 12:45 AM.
The most effective way of converting religious people? As in how to get them to question their faith, etc? As an avowed atheist I often enter into discussions of this nature, from those just curious to the orthodox trying to determine what my goals as a demon on earth are. ( Living on 'Church Street' in a small town till recently, no doubt ).
Simply, fairly, and truthfully is how I treat these things. They ask what church I or my wife/kids go to, I say "We don't". "What, why not?" "No reason really, just don't feel the need so we don't". Whether they choose to go in a moral direction, one of the afterlife, one of community/socialization, or of charity, I can respond in kind; I lead a good life, work for my family, support what charity I can, try to comport myself in a reasonable fashion, I will deal with the afterlife when and if I get there, and feel no need to worship.
If the response is a reasonable one, we go from there and talk about whatever. If they hint that I am somehow inferior or making poor choices for my family's future, the best way to get those folk to question their OWN ideology is to keep them talking. Again the premise is that I have been told essentially I am a bad person for not conforming to a given type of worship, so I then ask, "Well, why?"
I've been told "you're going to hell and I'm not--UNLESS you believe in [____]!" every way you can possibly imagine. One of my favorite retorts in that situation is to point out that until I volunteered information about myself they would have believed me either way. A close second is asking how can they be so certain of my fate, does such knowledge extend to subjects other than my immortal soul?
At times I meet fair minded people that follow their faith because they draw strength from it, those that do not need to satisfy themselves belittling non-believers and we merely agree to disagree on the smallest of points. Theist and atheist alike can co-exist and in fact be indistinguishable other than their private thoughts or practice. We agree it is the behaviour of a man that reveals his character, which I would guess is a conversation similar to theists of different faiths respecting one another, only that in this case one party is devoid of divine faith completely. These more reasonable religious people, in my experiences, are often the only ones that can soundly defend their beliefs, hence the agreement--to disagree =D
Storytime: a guy I work with is devoutly religious, a leader in his church, all that shit. But he has only been into it for probably 15 or so years. Prior to that he was in the Army, and prior to that he was a banger on the streets of North Philly. We're talking about religion one day and he mentions that he believes the word of the bible, verbatim. It is the word of god. I ask him the obvious question, which is "Which version?" And he says King James, but it doesn't really matter because the word of god can't be changed by man, and so all version are equally correct. So we get into some other stuff, Council of Trent, Catholic church or whoever editing and changing the bible, and he says that doesn't matter. And that again man cannot change the word of god. And so even if it has been edited, it is still the word of god.
This is a smart guy, he sees the cognitive dissonance. He just doesn't care. He has decided that this is who he is and this is what he believes, he is not interested in questioning that.
thread needs more mockery of religion
did someone say mockery?
nobody does it better
Just believing in a general "higher power"? Maybe not. But the mental gymnastics required to believe that the bible is literal truth, or the verbatim word of god, it is just crazy.
Yup and I think many Christians would even agree with that.
Even the apostles needed proof, and were given it.
When Jesus was born. Angels LITERALLY came down and sung, according to the book.
So if that was true, then there was a time, when god did show proof. Its just silly to now say, you need to believe on just words now. But yeah... reason..
Last edited by Caliane; 12-10-2012 at 02:54 PM.
I got lucky. I grew up in the south but my parents were only weakly religious. The worst I had to endure was Episcopal sunday school. No religion forcefed into my psyche to unwire. I knew by the age of 10 that I didn't believe. The whole thing is so ludicrous. Even as a child it was easy to see that none of it made any sense. I remember telling my mother in the car that I didn't believe in god. She was shocked but just sort of dismissed it with a 'one day you'll get it.' Sorry mom, never got it.
Last edited by Orcus; 12-10-2012 at 05:27 PM.
Both sides of my family are very religious, but my parents aren't as much. As I got older and it became more obvious that I just wasn't buying the whole church thing, my mom started feeling like she had failed to raise me right because I didn't believe. She took it as a personal fault that she didn't make me go more often. I've had to explain to her several times that the choice was mine and not hers, and that even had she insisted on sending me to church more often it had altered the outcome then it would have been tantamount to brainwashing. That's not very comforting for her, but I have to take a hard line on it or else she just falls back on the "why not believe just in case?" argument.
Basically, it's just guilt from her own upbringing.
I assume none of you atheist 'truth finders' has a Christmas Tree.
I do find it interesting that I see a reoccurring theme that religion is no longer necessary in our 'enlightened' technological society. I believe the complete opposite, especially with people becoming less interpersonal and less responsible for their own actions.
If anyone really wants a good theological discussion, I'd suggest a Jesuit over an ex banger or working man.
What the fuck has a Christmas tree got to do with it?
Christmas tree is kinda ridiculous as christmas itself is, to the best of my knowledge, a stolen pagan holiday, that happens to share many similarities with what people do at christmas time.
Realistically christmas has more to do with family, then jesus. My entire family besides myself are religous, but i still make the time to see them that time of year, because it's one of the few times we can actually all get together. And there more then fine with me not partaking in any of there religous nonsense. It's a small sacrafice for me to tolerate it for 1 day if i can see everyone and enjoy time with people who are a major part of my life, and always will be, religous inclinations aside.
Actually the 'Christmas Tree' history is from the story of St Boniface who cut down the Pagans tree back in the eighth century. The 'tree' actually represents a win over the Pagans who were a tad different, and sacrificed people under the tree for the winter solstice. Not exactly the same thing, ya know.
Anyways, the Christmas Tree is about the birth of Christ. I have friends who supposedly hate 'Christianity' but have a Christmas Tree. I just find it amusing that those who rail against a religion follow traditions from it.
That's because it really means nothing more to people than seasonal decoration and presents. Now if you find people that rail against religion with a manger I'd agree with you.
According to the Encyclopędia Britannica, "The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime.
Anyways, militant Atheists are an odd bunch, but give me 100 of them over a Seventh Day Adventist any day, plz.
Your trying to back up your argument with documentation from a site that activly tries to make everything fit with it's defenition of "truth", and you think this makes your argument superior to anyone who uses actual facts?
Did you actually read the article? It gives good background information on the 'Christmas Tree'. It also rightly points out regional customs that have nothing to do with Christianity. Cutting the tree down was going against the Pagans, as noted.
I'll take EWTN for matters of Advent personally. It's pretty well respected even academically. I'm not where there are any 'superior argument' accusations being made. Just a whole lot of anger about something from Mike and you there.
Got any other traditions from by-gone eras that no longer apply to the modern day, American practice of "Christmas"?
Or in other words, troll some more.
Atheists and skeptics threatened around the world. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8B900520121210
The study, from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), showed that "unbelievers" in Islamic countries face the most severe - sometimes brutal - treatment at the hands of the state and adherents of the official religion.
But it also points to policies in some European countries and the United States which favor the religious and their organizations and treat atheists and humanists as outsiders.
The report, "Freedom of Thought 2012", said "there are laws that deny atheists' right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry."
Other laws "obstruct their access to public education, prohibit them from holding public office, prevent them from working for the state, criminalize their criticism of religion, and execute them for leaving the religion of their parents."
I know I have a christmas tree because, well, sparkly.... Soooo sparkly....
And where else are you going to put the presents? Not under the Hanukkah bush, I can tell you.
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