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Atheists v. Theists

kp98
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8/14/2015 8:34:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Rhetoric apart, atheists are not evil monsters and theists are not credulous simpletons.

None the less, it often seems they see each other that way. I am an atheist who has never been religious so I confess I am baffled by the mind-set of theists (as perhaps they are baffled by mine).

I tend to the view that we are not nearly as rational as we pretend to be. By that I mean that while I can give any number of good logical seeming reasons why I am an atheist rather than a theist, those reasons aren't the real reason for me being an atheist. The real reason is that I find the idea of a deity intuitively nonsensical. Gods seem to go against 'common sense'.

I think it may well be the same - only in reverse - for a theist. Theists - I am suggesting - find the idea of a godless universe intuitively nonsensical and against common sense. They can't understand how anyone can deny anything as obviously true as the existence of god other than, perhaps, atheists are being deliberately perverse. It is as if we atheists are denying triangles have three sides. If so, our motives - if not our sanity - must be questionable from a theist's perspective!

The reason atheist v. theist debates are so often fruitless is that we trade logical arguments and apply to reason, but our opinions are not the result of sober and carefully reasoned weighing of the facts - they are expressions of our gut-feelings and intuitions, far more than we may care to admit!

My intuition that there is no god is so strong I automatically reject any argument to the contrary because I 'know' such an argument must be wrong even if I can't see how it;s wrong! And I am almost sure the same applies to many theists.... they can reject any arguments for atheism because - no matter how good the argument seems - the conclusion is (to a theist) 'non-sensical'.

So I don't want to start yet another an atheist v. theist thread (there are enough of those!) but a meta-thread about such threads. I have no doubt I will fail.
Alpha3141
Posts: 154
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8/14/2015 11:05:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/14/2015 8:34:35 PM, kp98 wrote:
Rhetoric apart, atheists are not evil monsters and theists are not credulous simpletons.

None the less, it often seems they see each other that way. I am an atheist who has never been religious so I confess I am baffled by the mind-set of theists (as perhaps they are baffled by mine).

I tend to the view that we are not nearly as rational as we pretend to be. By that I mean that while I can give any number of good logical seeming reasons why I am an atheist rather than a theist, those reasons aren't the real reason for me being an atheist. The real reason is that I find the idea of a deity intuitively nonsensical. Gods seem to go against 'common sense'.

I think it may well be the same - only in reverse - for a theist. Theists - I am suggesting - find the idea of a godless universe intuitively nonsensical and against common sense. They can't understand how anyone can deny anything as obviously true as the existence of god other than, perhaps, atheists are being deliberately perverse. It is as if we atheists are denying triangles have three sides. If so, our motives - if not our sanity - must be questionable from a theist's perspective!

The reason atheist v. theist debates are so often fruitless is that we trade logical arguments and apply to reason, but our opinions are not the result of sober and carefully reasoned weighing of the facts - they are expressions of our gut-feelings and intuitions, far more than we may care to admit!

My intuition that there is no god is so strong I automatically reject any argument to the contrary because I 'know' such an argument must be wrong even if I can't see how it;s wrong! And I am almost sure the same applies to many theists.... they can reject any arguments for atheism because - no matter how good the argument seems - the conclusion is (to a theist) 'non-sensical'.

So I don't want to start yet another an atheist v. theist thread (there are enough of those!) but a meta-thread about such threads. I have no doubt I will fail.

I agree, the arguments never get anywhere. How do you think the threads could be improved?
Hoppi
Posts: 1,655
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8/15/2015 10:35:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
It's an experience truth, and so the only way to understand it is to live in it, like living in another country. So if you're an atheist you need to live for a few weeks as if you have faith. So pray, go to church,read the bible, put your religion on your profile, follow the teachings, assume God exists etc. , do whatever you'd do if you had faith. And if you're a religious person, you go for a few weeks as if you didn't believe in god. NOT pray or go to church. Make decisions based on other criteria than religious ones, say no when people ask if you believe in god etc. See what happens.

I've tried it out with a few different faiths now and it's always an amazing, incredible, life-altering experience. You have to really mean it though.
Hoppi
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8/15/2015 11:08:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 11:02:51 AM, kp98 wrote:
Precisely the sort of rote posting I was expecting - totally unrelated to my OP.

Just the sort of whinging response I was expecting - totally unrelated to my thoughtful and profound post, above.
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,863
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8/15/2015 1:19:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/14/2015 8:34:35 PM, kp98 wrote:
Rhetoric apart, atheists are not evil monsters and theists are not credulous simpletons.

None the less, it often seems they see each other that way. I am an atheist who has never been religious so I confess I am baffled by the mind-set of theists (as perhaps they are baffled by mine).

I tend to the view that we are not nearly as rational as we pretend to be. By that I mean that while I can give any number of good logical seeming reasons why I am an atheist rather than a theist, those reasons aren't the real reason for me being an atheist. The real reason is that I find the idea of a deity intuitively nonsensical. Gods seem to go against 'common sense'.

I think it may well be the same - only in reverse - for a theist. Theists - I am suggesting - find the idea of a godless universe intuitively nonsensical and against common sense. They can't understand how anyone can deny anything as obviously true as the existence of god other than, perhaps, atheists are being deliberately perverse. It is as if we atheists are denying triangles have three sides. If so, our motives - if not our sanity - must be questionable from a theist's perspective!

The reason atheist v. theist debates are so often fruitless is that we trade logical arguments and apply to reason, but our opinions are not the result of sober and carefully reasoned weighing of the facts - they are expressions of our gut-feelings and intuitions, far more than we may care to admit!

My intuition that there is no god is so strong I automatically reject any argument to the contrary because I 'know' such an argument must be wrong even if I can't see how it;s wrong! And I am almost sure the same applies to many theists.... they can reject any arguments for atheism because - no matter how good the argument seems - the conclusion is (to a theist) 'non-sensical'.

So I don't want to start yet another an atheist v. theist thread (there are enough of those!) but a meta-thread about such threads. I have no doubt I will fail.

I've always wondered why anyone takes the position of a God as a more simplistic approach to existence. I think it's more about the assumed punishment ,judgement, character monitoring that turns atheists off. To me, thinking there is a being of infinite wisdom, power, and is an enormous leap above what humans define themselves as is a much more difficult concept to wrap a brain around. Live, eat, die, interact in a healthy way among other humans sees to be a more simple idea of existence. But we all have opinions, that's why people keep talking about God. Atheists seems to justify their interest in a God as opposed to theists who see the impact of a God in their lives so they are compelled to believe other people would benefit with the same "impact" that they have experienced. Theists are spreading the experience of what has transformed them, atheists are merely claiming those people aren't aware of what truly was the source of the change. Btw, not all theists were transformed just as not all atheists concern themselves with engaging people and their beliefs. Just in general is of course what I meant.
kp98
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8/15/2015 4:20:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I've always wondered why anyone takes the position of a God as a more simplistic approach to existence. I think it's more about the assumed punishment ,judgement, character monitoring that turns atheists off

That is more or less a confirmation of my point. You state very clearly what you think motivates atheism, but I as an atheist I don't recognise myself in it. As I said in my first post, it is seems hard for a theist to accept that an atheist's rejection of theism is simple and genuine - that the concept of god seems incoherent, absurd even.

You - as a theist - cannot accept that anyone (me for instance) can simply and honestly believe there is no god. You think I must be rejecting god out of a fear of punishment or something. But I assure that is not the case. I don't fear punishment or having a god looking over my shouider. But that's not true. To me, gods are nonsensical.

I am sure you are tempted to say you know my mind better than I do myself, but I have been self-examining my thoughts for over 40 years so allow me the courtesy to know what I think and why better than somerone who knows nothing about me.

It might make it easier for you to accept that my reasons for rejecting god are incomprehensible to you if I tell you your reasons for belief are incomprehensible to me. I can theorise why you belive in God, but I without knowing you, that would be presumptious, wouldn't it?
sadolite
Posts: 8,837
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8/15/2015 9:36:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
"None the less, it often seems they see each other that way."

Actually that is what the political ideologues do. Atheists and theists get along fine until a political ideologue walks in the room and starts sht.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
August_Burns_Red
Posts: 1,253
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8/15/2015 9:51:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/14/2015 8:34:35 PM, kp98 wrote:
Rhetoric apart, atheists are not evil monsters and theists are not credulous simpletons.

None the less, it often seems they see each other that way. I am an atheist who has never been religious so I confess I am baffled by the mind-set of theists (as perhaps they are baffled by mine).

I tend to the view that we are not nearly as rational as we pretend to be. By that I mean that while I can give any number of good logical seeming reasons why I am an atheist rather than a theist, those reasons aren't the real reason for me being an atheist. The real reason is that I find the idea of a deity intuitively nonsensical. Gods seem to go against 'common sense'.

I think it may well be the same - only in reverse - for a theist. Theists - I am suggesting - find the idea of a godless universe intuitively nonsensical and against common sense. They can't understand how anyone can deny anything as obviously true as the existence of god other than, perhaps, atheists are being deliberately perverse. It is as if we atheists are denying triangles have three sides. If so, our motives - if not our sanity - must be questionable from a theist's perspective!

The reason atheist v. theist debates are so often fruitless is that we trade logical arguments and apply to reason, but our opinions are not the result of sober and carefully reasoned weighing of the facts - they are expressions of our gut-feelings and intuitions, far more than we may care to admit!

My intuition that there is no god is so strong I automatically reject any argument to the contrary because I 'know' such an argument must be wrong even if I can't see how it;s wrong! And I am almost sure the same applies to many theists.... they can reject any arguments for atheism because - no matter how good the argument seems - the conclusion is (to a theist) 'non-sensical'.

So I don't want to start yet another an atheist v. theist thread (there are enough of those!) but a meta-thread about such threads. I have no doubt I will fail.

Hey KP good to see ya! dont worry bro Im not gonna contribute to a flame war for believers and the non. we get enuff a that round here anyway! you make good points though. its the extreme theists and atheists who argue the most. say like a Sam Harris vs. a Ken Hamm. the agnostics or moderate atheists and the liberal Christians like myself get along a little better. but the reason for the strife is that its almost impossible for a non believer to become a believer unless they have a soul-shaking personal experience from God. Like I did. words alone no matter how good the argument wont do it. thats why I always thought pascal's bet was dumb. useless? like oyu could make yourself a believer just to hedge your bets. dont work that way, does it. we need less flaming and more courtesy and open-mindedness here on DDO between us Believers and the NB's. God Bless.
Tomorrow's forecast: God reigns and the Son shines!
Surrealism
Posts: 265
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8/16/2015 5:57:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 11:08:56 AM, Hoppi wrote:
At 8/15/2015 11:02:51 AM, kp98 wrote:
Precisely the sort of rote posting I was expecting - totally unrelated to my OP.

Just the sort of whinging response I was expecting - totally unrelated to my thoughtful and profound post, above.

Perhaps you patting yourself on the back for a post that received relevant criticism is a bit telling?
Ceci n'est pas une signature.
Hoppi
Posts: 1,655
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8/16/2015 6:16:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/16/2015 5:57:26 AM, Surrealism wrote:
At 8/15/2015 11:08:56 AM, Hoppi wrote:
At 8/15/2015 11:02:51 AM, kp98 wrote:
Precisely the sort of rote posting I was expecting - totally unrelated to my OP.

Just the sort of whinging response I was expecting - totally unrelated to my thoughtful and profound post, above.

Perhaps you patting yourself on the back for a post that received relevant criticism is a bit telling?

Telling of what?
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,863
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8/16/2015 7:18:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 4:20:11 PM, kp98 wrote:
I've always wondered why anyone takes the position of a God as a more simplistic approach to existence. I think it's more about the assumed punishment ,judgement, character monitoring that turns atheists off

That is more or less a confirmation of my point. You state very clearly what you think motivates atheism, but I as an atheist I don't recognise myself in it. As I said in my first post, it is seems hard for a theist to accept that an atheist's rejection of theism is simple and genuine - that the concept of god seems incoherent, absurd even.

You - as a theist - cannot accept that anyone (me for instance) can simply and honestly believe there is no god. You think I must be rejecting god out of a fear of punishment or something. But I assure that is not the case. I don't fear punishment or having a god looking over my shouider. But that's not true. To me, gods are nonsensical.

I am sure you are tempted to say you know my mind better than I do myself, but I have been self-examining my thoughts for over 40 years so allow me the courtesy to know what I think and why better than somerone who knows nothing about me.

It might make it easier for you to accept that my reasons for rejecting god are incomprehensible to you if I tell you your reasons for belief are incomprehensible to me. I can theorise why you belive in God, but I without knowing you, that would be presumptious, wouldn't it?

Saying something like "you as a theist cannot accept simply honestly believe there is not God", umm yes I can accept it with no problem ,but thanks for telling me that you think you know what's in my mind.
I said nothing about you FEARING punishment, you offered that not me. I merely said "assumed punishment", please explain how that entails me claiming you "fear" said punishment Oh yeh, it says nothing about what I think you fear, yet you seemed to be thinking that.
And repeating absurd with synonyms like nonsensical isn't necessary. Although constantly repeating yourself might be a clue to something.lol
I completely agree with you thinking the concept of God is incoherent to you. A lot of people are confused by a lot of concepts. Understandable.
kp98
Posts: 729
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8/16/2015 11:11:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Saying something like "you as a theist cannot accept (I) simply honestly believe there is not God", umm yes I can accept it with no problem ,but thanks for telling me that you think you know what's in my mind.

Well actually you told me what is on your mind. You said

I think it's more about the assumed punishment ,judgement, character monitoring that turns atheists off.

So may I question if you really do 'accept it with no problem' as you think atheism is really about punishment, judgement and charcter monoring, and if I was really so out of line to assume you meant what you wrote?
junkyard
Posts: 21
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8/16/2015 2:03:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/14/2015 8:34:35 PM, kp98 wrote:
Rhetoric apart, atheists are not evil monsters and theists are not credulous simpletons.

None the less, it often seems they see each other that way. I am an atheist who has never been religious so I confess I am baffled by the mind-set of theists (as perhaps they are baffled by mine).

I tend to the view that we are not nearly as rational as we pretend to be. By that I mean that while I can give any number of good logical seeming reasons why I am an atheist rather than a theist, those reasons aren't the real reason for me being an atheist. The real reason is that I find the idea of a deity intuitively nonsensical. Gods seem to go against 'common sense'.

I think it may well be the same - only in reverse - for a theist. Theists - I am suggesting - find the idea of a godless universe intuitively nonsensical and against common sense. They can't understand how anyone can deny anything as obviously true as the existence of god other than, perhaps, atheists are being deliberately perverse. It is as if we atheists are denying triangles have three sides. If so, our motives - if not our sanity - must be questionable from a theist's perspective!

The reason atheist v. theist debates are so often fruitless is that we trade logical arguments and apply to reason, but our opinions are not the result of sober and carefully reasoned weighing of the facts - they are expressions of our gut-feelings and intuitions, far more than we may care to admit!

My intuition that there is no god is so strong I automatically reject any argument to the contrary because I 'know' such an argument must be wrong even if I can't see how it;s wrong! And I am almost sure the same applies to many theists.... they can reject any arguments for atheism because - no matter how good the argument seems - the conclusion is (to a theist) 'non-sensical'.

So I don't want to start yet another an atheist v. theist thread (there are enough of those!) but a meta-thread about such threads. I have no doubt I will fail. : :

Most atheists and theists do not understand this;

Deuteronomy 28
15: "But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments which I command you this day, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.
16: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field.
17: Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading-trough.
18: cursed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your cattle, and the young of your flock.
19: Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
20: "the Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and frustration, in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly, on account of the evil of your doings, because you have forsaken me.
21: The Lord will make the pestilence cleave to you until he has consumed you off the land which you are entering to take possession of it.
22: The Lord will smite you with consumption, and with fever, inflammation, and fiery heat, and with drought, and with blasting, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until your perish.
23: And the heavens over your head shall be brass, and the earth under you shall be iron.
24: The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down upon you until you are destroyed.

Religious people only listen to the voice of other religious people. They have no idea who God is or what his plans are. So if you listen to these theists, you will be greatly deceived of the Truth who cannot be seen by anyone. The Truth can only be heard.
Romanii
Posts: 4,851
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8/16/2015 4:49:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/14/2015 8:34:35 PM, kp98 wrote:
Rhetoric apart, atheists are not evil monsters and theists are not credulous simpletons.

None the less, it often seems they see each other that way. I am an atheist who has never been religious so I confess I am baffled by the mind-set of theists (as perhaps they are baffled by mine).

I tend to the view that we are not nearly as rational as we pretend to be. By that I mean that while I can give any number of good logical seeming reasons why I am an atheist rather than a theist, those reasons aren't the real reason for me being an atheist. The real reason is that I find the idea of a deity intuitively nonsensical. Gods seem to go against 'common sense'.

I think it may well be the same - only in reverse - for a theist. Theists - I am suggesting - find the idea of a godless universe intuitively nonsensical and against common sense. They can't understand how anyone can deny anything as obviously true as the existence of god other than, perhaps, atheists are being deliberately perverse. It is as if we atheists are denying triangles have three sides. If so, our motives - if not our sanity - must be questionable from a theist's perspective!

The reason atheist v. theist debates are so often fruitless is that we trade logical arguments and apply to reason, but our opinions are not the result of sober and carefully reasoned weighing of the facts - they are expressions of our gut-feelings and intuitions, far more than we may care to admit!

My intuition that there is no god is so strong I automatically reject any argument to the contrary because I 'know' such an argument must be wrong even if I can't see how it;s wrong! And I am almost sure the same applies to many theists.... they can reject any arguments for atheism because - no matter how good the argument seems - the conclusion is (to a theist) 'non-sensical'.

So I don't want to start yet another an atheist v. theist thread (there are enough of those!) but a meta-thread about such threads. I have no doubt I will fail.

I fully agree. We tend to believe what we want to believe and then rationalize it afterwards with 'logical' arguments -- this applies not only to the question of God's existence, but to pretty much all issues. When confronted with an argument against a closely-held belief, our first instinct is to automatically assume that our position is correct and just figure out a sufficient rebuttal (which is almost always possible to come up with thanks to how often unwarranted assumptions are built into our logic). We rarely question *why* we believe what we believe. It's probably for the best, though; I personally think that if we approached everything perfectly logically, we would be unable to believe anything -- rational deliberation is actually quite limited in its capacity to achieve objective answers. Pretty much any intellectual position can be 'rationally' justified & defended (which is why discussion on this website can exist, and why the world's smart people haven't come to a consensus on everything yet).
kp98
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8/16/2015 8:01:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Thanks R... it's good to know I'm not alone! And you are quite right in saying it applies more generally than the 'theist/atheism' debate. Indeed, we use our rational faculties very little compared to our instincts in all sorts of ways!

Essentially we all guilty of 'confirmation bias' - the only thing to do is recognise it and try as hard as possible to minimise it. Of course that does not apply to you (whoever you are) reading this - everything you believe is completely true, obviously. Only people who disagree with you are ever wrong.
Surrealism
Posts: 265
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8/16/2015 9:58:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/16/2015 6:16:06 AM, Hoppi wrote:
At 8/16/2015 5:57:26 AM, Surrealism wrote:
At 8/15/2015 11:08:56 AM, Hoppi wrote:
At 8/15/2015 11:02:51 AM, kp98 wrote:
Precisely the sort of rote posting I was expecting - totally unrelated to my OP.

Just the sort of whinging response I was expecting - totally unrelated to my thoughtful and profound post, above.

Perhaps you patting yourself on the back for a post that received relevant criticism is a bit telling?

Telling of what?

Of your opinion of yourself.
Ceci n'est pas une signature.
riveroaks
Posts: 265
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8/16/2015 11:37:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/14/2015 8:34:35 PM, kp98 wrote:
Rhetoric apart, atheists are not evil monsters and theists are not credulous simpletons.

None the less, it often seems they see each other that way. I am an atheist who has never been religious so I confess I am baffled by the mind-set of theists (as perhaps they are baffled by mine).

I tend to the view that we are not nearly as rational as we pretend to be. By that I mean that while I can give any number of good logical seeming reasons why I am an atheist rather than a theist, those reasons aren't the real reason for me being an atheist. The real reason is that I find the idea of a deity intuitively nonsensical. Gods seem to go against 'common sense'.

I think it may well be the same - only in reverse - for a theist. Theists - I am suggesting - find the idea of a godless universe intuitively nonsensical and against common sense. They can't understand how anyone can deny anything as obviously true as the existence of god other than, perhaps, atheists are being deliberately perverse. It is as if we atheists are denying triangles have three sides. If so, our motives - if not our sanity - must be questionable from a theist's perspective!

The reason atheist v. theist debates are so often fruitless is that we trade logical arguments and apply to reason, but our opinions are not the result of sober and carefully reasoned weighing of the facts - they are expressions of our gut-feelings and intuitions, far more than we may care to admit!

My intuition that there is no god is so strong I automatically reject any argument to the contrary because I 'know' such an argument must be wrong even if I can't see how it;s wrong! And I am almost sure the same applies to many theists.... they can reject any arguments for atheism because - no matter how good the argument seems - the conclusion is (to a theist) 'non-sensical'.

So I don't want to start yet another an atheist v. theist thread (there are enough of those!) but a meta-thread about such threads. I have no doubt I will fail.

KP98, this post seems to ramble. Not that there is anything wrong with rambling, but as a form of communication it tends to be confusing to all, to the speaker as well as to the listeners. The speaker has imbedded some kind of thesis statement somewhere, and listeners are forced to try and isolate it out of a sea of words.

As such I am not sure what you are trying to say now how you are trying to justify it.

Whether my views of atheism and theism fit yours is also hard to say. If you are trying to say that the members of the two groups are always opposed to each other, then that like any other hasty generalization would be an obvious fallacy.

I get along just fine with both atheists and theists, although I am wary of both groups.

Classically the danger of atheists is that they have no moral compass other than being self centered. And the danger of theists is that they are unthinking fanatics. Both of these kinds of people are dangerous and could hurt you or me.

A good philosopher can be atheist or theist, and at the same time have a strong sense of ethics, be unselfish, and be credible in their logic process.

Not sure whether you yourself agree with all of that or not.

Whether atheist or theist, anyone should be moderately skeptical about either position, because until some God(s) walk up and introduce themselves to you, as in the case alleged by Zarathustra, or Moses, or St. Peter, or St. Paul, or Muhammad, there is no proof either way whether atheism or theism is valid.

In the meantime just keep an open mind and go about your business of learning and worship as you yourself see fit. This is what Jesus probably had in mind when he said to do unto others as you would have them likewise do unto you.

Thus I am still not sure what your original rant has accomplished.

Maybe you should try to state it all over again? This time being more organized and concise.
arnold_torsen
Posts: 25
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8/17/2015 3:21:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/14/2015 8:34:35 PM, kp98 wrote:
Rhetoric apart, atheists are not evil monsters and theists are not credulous simpletons.

None the less, it often seems they see each other that way. I am an atheist who has never been religious so I confess I am baffled by the mind-set of theists (as perhaps they are baffled by mine).

I tend to the view that we are not nearly as rational as we pretend to be. By that I mean that while I can give any number of good logical seeming reasons why I am an atheist rather than a theist, those reasons aren't the real reason for me being an atheist. The real reason is that I find the idea of a deity intuitively nonsensical. Gods seem to go against 'common sense'.

I think it may well be the same - only in reverse - for a theist. Theists - I am suggesting - find the idea of a godless universe intuitively nonsensical and against common sense. They can't understand how anyone can deny anything as obviously true as the existence of god other than, perhaps, atheists are being deliberately perverse. It is as if we atheists are denying triangles have three sides. If so, our motives - if not our sanity - must be questionable from a theist's perspective!

The reason atheist v. theist debates are so often fruitless is that we trade logical arguments and apply to reason, but our opinions are not the result of sober and carefully reasoned weighing of the facts - they are expressions of our gut-feelings and intuitions, far more than we may care to admit!

My intuition that there is no god is so strong I automatically reject any argument to the contrary because I 'know' such an argument must be wrong even if I can't see how it;s wrong! And I am almost sure the same applies to many theists.... they can reject any arguments for atheism because - no matter how good the argument seems - the conclusion is (to a theist) 'non-sensical'.

So I don't want to start yet another an atheist v. theist thread (there are enough of those!) but a meta-thread about such threads. I have no doubt I will fail. : :'

I've been involved in many forums and seen hundreds of debates between atheists and theists that can never be won. That's because God is missing in all those debates.
kp98
Posts: 729
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8/17/2015 4:03:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I am sorry my intended meaning was not clear to you. Essentially the idea is that we all have innate unconscious biases which tends to make us misjudge the motivations of people who disagree with us, and we tend to hide our biases behind a facade of rationalisations, often as much from ourselves as from others.

It is obvious that people should be open minded and all be 'good philosophers' - but it equally obvious that people are not open minded nor good philosophers. My post wasn't about how things should in an ideal world - it was an attempt at identifying a specific reason why debates are so often acrimonious and futile in the real world.

You are close to falling into the trap yourself when you say "they [atheists] have no moral compass other than being self centered." - I have no idea where you get that idea from. I doubt that is your actual experience of atheists, so is it a bit of theorising about atheists' mental state and their motivation? Must atheists really have a faulty moral compass? Why stress the supposed amorality of atheists rather than an honest and sincere belef that the notion of God is logically incoherent?
riveroaks
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8/17/2015 10:13:12 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/17/2015 4:03:36 AM, kp98 wrote:
I am sorry my intended meaning was not clear to you. Essentially the idea is that we all have innate unconscious biases which tends to make us misjudge the motivations of people who disagree with us, and we tend to hide our biases behind a facade of rationalisations, often as much from ourselves as from others.

It is obvious that people should be open minded and all be 'good philosophers' - but it equally obvious that people are not open minded nor good philosophers. My post wasn't about how things should in an ideal world - it was an attempt at identifying a specific reason why debates are so often acrimonious and futile in the real world.

You are close to falling into the trap yourself when you say "they [atheists] have no moral compass other than being self centered." - I have no idea where you get that idea from. I doubt that is your actual experience of atheists, so is it a bit of theorising about atheists' mental state and their motivation? Must atheists really have a faulty moral compass? Why stress the supposed amorality of atheists rather than an honest and sincere belef that the notion of God is logically incoherent?

If the foundation of your particular atheism is because the notion of God is (to you) logically incoherent, then it seems like your logic is premature and hasty. What could possibly bring you to the point of dismissing even the possibility of God(s)?

It is a similar question for the religious -- Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, etc. -- what could possibly bring them to the point of dismissing even the possibility that all religion is simply a myth?

A good philosopher will steer a middle course. As I recall, Plato believed in his own form of monotheism, whereas Aristotle was atheist. With these two men being such brilliant philosophers, it leaves little doubt that any philosopher could on the basis of philosophy alone swing either way. Plato philosophized his way to monotheism in a place and time where monotheism did not even exist -- ancient Greece. At that time the only monotheists were living in Persia and Jerusalem. Aristotle came up with atheism when it was a crime to defy the gods.

For a good philosopher, steering the middle course between them would seem to be the measure of all things.

Anyone emphatic about atheism or theism from a philosophical perspective would therefore appear to more judicious philosophical ears to be a quack.
missmedic
Posts: 387
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8/17/2015 2:40:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 10:35:22 AM, Hoppi wrote:
It's an experience truth, and so the only way to understand it is to live in it, like living in another country. So if you're an atheist you need to live for a few weeks as if you have faith. So pray, go to church,read the bible, put your religion on your profile, follow the teachings, assume God exists etc. , do whatever you'd do if you had faith. And if you're a religious person, you go for a few weeks as if you didn't believe in god. NOT pray or go to church. Make decisions based on other criteria than religious ones, say no when people ask if you believe in god etc. See what happens.

I do not in fact choose atheism. Instead, atheism is the only possible position I can have given my present state of knowledge. I can no more choose to just believe in the existence of a god than I can choose to just believe that the computer on my desk doesn't exist.

I've tried it out with a few different faiths now and it's always an amazing, incredible, life-altering experience. You have to really mean it though.
missmedic
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8/17/2015 3:30:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/14/2015 8:34:35 PM, kp98 wrote:
Rhetoric apart, atheists are not evil monsters and theists are not credulous simpletons.
So I don't want to start yet another an atheist v. theist thread (there are enough of those!) but a meta-thread about such threads. I have no doubt I will fail.

I prefer nonbeliever and believer, so many arguments are over labels and not the contents. Most arguments revolve around evidence and faith, when they should be about the necessity of god and not the existence of god. I think believers and nonbelievers alike should embrace intellectual honesty and admit that no one can know what god is, however the combined knowledge of humankind has given us the ability to know what god is not. And that is why I disagree with organized religion, it's dogma and it's arrogant definition of what god is.
kp98
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8/17/2015 3:32:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
For a good philosopher, steering the middle course between them would seem to be the measure of all things.


I don't agree. Philosophy is about what is true, not what is a happy compromise.
Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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8/17/2015 3:48:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/14/2015 8:34:35 PM, kp98 wrote:
Rhetoric apart, atheists are not evil monsters and theists are not credulous simpletons.

None the less, it often seems they see each other that way. I am an atheist who has never been religious so I confess I am baffled by the mind-set of theists (as perhaps they are baffled by mine).

I tend to the view that we are not nearly as rational as we pretend to be. By that I mean that while I can give any number of good logical seeming reasons why I am an atheist rather than a theist, those reasons aren't the real reason for me being an atheist. The real reason is that I find the idea of a deity intuitively nonsensical. Gods seem to go against 'common sense'.

I think it may well be the same - only in reverse - for a theist. Theists - I am suggesting - find the idea of a godless universe intuitively nonsensical and against common sense. They can't understand how anyone can deny anything as obviously true as the existence of god other than, perhaps, atheists are being deliberately perverse. It is as if we atheists are denying triangles have three sides. If so, our motives - if not our sanity - must be questionable from a theist's perspective!

The reason atheist v. theist debates are so often fruitless is that we trade logical arguments and apply to reason, but our opinions are not the result of sober and carefully reasoned weighing of the facts - they are expressions of our gut-feelings and intuitions, far more than we may care to admit!

My intuition that there is no god is so strong I automatically reject any argument to the contrary because I 'know' such an argument must be wrong even if I can't see how it;s wrong! And I am almost sure the same applies to many theists.... they can reject any arguments for atheism because - no matter how good the argument seems - the conclusion is (to a theist) 'non-sensical'.

So I don't want to start yet another an atheist v. theist thread (there are enough of those!) but a meta-thread about such threads. I have no doubt I will fail.

I believe your reasoning would make more sense if somehow intuition was independent of experience, but it is not. Those "fruitless logical arguments" you mention, are no more than the result of the experiences we atheists have and make sense to us, so we try to make theists understand those experiences in order to realize they are wrong. You know, ironicly, most theists in the world share the same view as atheists regarding experiences: no evidence of God at all, no miracles, half the Bible is wrong or needs to be interpreted the way we want, etc. Those are things most theists share. But there are other kind of theists, that do not care/do not understand experiences of other people. I mean we see this everyday in the forum, there's people that even reject evolution in here, because they simply do not care or do not understand the logical arguments we are presenting. It is literary impossible to reject evolution if you truly understand what it is, but you can only understand if you put effort into it, which is something most theists around the world do, even the pope himself is an evilutionist.
kp98
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8/17/2015 4:29:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
there's people that even reject evolution in here, because they simply do not care or do not understand the logical arguments we are presenting.

That is so. My post was about why theists reject/have no interest in atheistic arguments - and vice versa. I believe it largely because we make less use of logic in making up our minds that we might care to admit and because our opinons are 'instinctual' rather than logical, logical argument rarely changes them.
riveroaks
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8/17/2015 5:14:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/17/2015 3:32:24 PM, kp98 wrote:
For a good philosopher, steering the middle course between them would seem to be the measure of all things.


I don't agree. Philosophy is about what is true, not what is a happy compromise.

Not about what is true.

Philosophy is about what is knowable, unknowable, certain, uncertain, ethical, logical, or aesthetic.

I said nothing about compromise. What I said is that with two imminent philosophers (Plato and Aristotle) disagreeing about a topic makes that topic unknowable and therefore skepticism of either conclusion should be warranted.