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Does the way some atheists

rnjs
Posts: 378
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5/26/2016 12:49:48 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
There are some rather belligerent, high profile atheists in the media these days, are the words and actions of these people (Dawkins,Hitchens etc.)evidence or proof that atheism is bogus?
Chaosism
Posts: 2,649
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5/26/2016 1:07:20 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 12:49:48 PM, rnjs wrote:
There are some rather belligerent, high profile atheists in the media these days, are the words and actions of these people (Dawkins,Hitchens etc.)evidence or proof that atheism is bogus?

Typically those that make the most noise draw the most attention. The same statement you have could be said about similar individuals from any group. To point to such behavior and whatnot in order to deem them wrong would be an Ad Hominem, though (https://www.logicallyfallacious.com...).

And I don't understand what "...evidence or proof that atheism is bogus" means, exactly. Could you please elaborate?
desmac
Posts: 5,078
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5/26/2016 1:10:24 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 12:49:48 PM, rnjs wrote:
There are some rather belligerent, high profile atheists in the media these days, are the words and actions of these people (Dawkins,Hitchens etc.)evidence or proof that atheism is bogus?

There have been some rather belligerent theists in the news over the last few thousand years. Are the words and actions of these people (popes, bishops, high priests etc.) evidence of proof theism is bogus?
rnjs
Posts: 378
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5/26/2016 3:23:52 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:10:24 PM, desmac wrote:
At 5/26/2016 12:49:48 PM, rnjs wrote:
There are some rather belligerent, high profile atheists in the media these days, are the words and actions of these people (Dawkins,Hitchens etc.)evidence or proof that atheism is bogus?

There have been some rather belligerent theists in the news over the last few thousand years. Are the words and actions of these people (popes, bishops, high priests etc.) evidence of proof theism is bogus?

So..........,is that a yes?
PureX
Posts: 1,522
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5/26/2016 3:53:59 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 12:49:48 PM, rnjs wrote:
There are some rather belligerent, high profile atheists in the media these days, are the words and actions of these people (Dawkins,Hitchens etc.)evidence or proof that atheism is bogus?

No. The character of a philosophical proponent is not intrinsically reflective of the proposal, itself. And likewise.

But even if it were, there are plenty of belligerent folks on the religious side, too. Zealots tend to be both passionate and myopic, often to the degree of bordering on the obnoxious, whatever their particular 'cause'.
rnjs
Posts: 378
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5/26/2016 4:06:43 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:07:20 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 5/26/2016 12:49:48 PM, rnjs wrote:
There are some rather belligerent, high profile atheists in the media these days, are the words and actions of these people (Dawkins,Hitchens etc.)evidence or proof that atheism is bogus?

Typically those that make the most noise draw the most attention. The same statement you have could be said about similar individuals from any group. To point to such behavior and whatnot in order to deem them wrong would be an Ad Hominem, though

Actually i asked a question

(https://www.logicallyfallacious.com...).

And I don't understand what "...evidence or proof that atheism is bogus" means, exactly. Could you please elaborate?

Evidence The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
Verb- Be or show evidence of

Proof- noun- evidence or argument establishing or helping to establish a fact or truth of a statement.
Adjective-able to withstand something damaging ;resistant
Bogus-not genuine or true;fake
Chaosism
Posts: 2,649
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5/26/2016 4:24:21 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 4:06:43 PM, rnjs wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:07:20 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 5/26/2016 12:49:48 PM, rnjs wrote:
There are some rather belligerent, high profile atheists in the media these days, are the words and actions of these people (Dawkins,Hitchens etc.)evidence or proof that atheism is bogus?

Typically those that make the most noise draw the most attention. The same statement you have could be said about similar individuals from any group. To point to such behavior and whatnot in order to deem them wrong would be an Ad Hominem, though

Actually i asked a question

(https://www.logicallyfallacious.com...).

Sorry, I though it would be clear: the answer is "no".

P1) Richard Dawkins is a high-profile proponent of atheism.
P2) Richard Dawkins is rather belligerent.
C) Therefore, atheism is false.

Your OP suggests the conclusion that "atheism is bogus" by citing the *way* in which these people advocate their position rather that *what* they say. This is to commit the Ad Hominem fallacy, as previously linked.

And I don't understand what "...evidence or proof that atheism is bogus" means, exactly. Could you please elaborate?

Evidence The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
Verb- Be or show evidence of

Proof- noun- evidence or argument establishing or helping to establish a fact or truth of a statement.
Adjective-able to withstand something damaging ;resistant
Bogus-not genuine or true;fake


Right, and atheism is the rejection of a proposition rather than a proposition in of and itself, so I don't find these terms to be applicable. Some atheists may forward the proposition that a particular notion of God does not exist, but this is not an intrinsic aspect of atheism.
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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5/26/2016 5:24:37 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 12:49:48 PM, rnjs wrote:
There are some rather belligerent, high profile atheists in the media these days, are the words and actions of these people (Dawkins,Hitchens etc.)evidence or proof that atheism is bogus?

No matter how some high profile atheists act, that has no relevance on its validity. Atheism makes no claim as to how someone should act. There is not an atheist lifestyle - it is simply someone that believes there is no evidence of an interventionist God. An atheist may not believe in God and may have strong opinions about what morality is but those are two separate issues.

Christianity not only makes a claim about God's existence but also makes claims how someone should act yet claims things like rape by the Israelites is acceptable because they are God's people. They claim they operate with a superior morality yet studies show they are more likely to abuse their wives and commit violence.

Many Christians act in immoral ways (and some are moral). Instances of immorality does not prove that Christianity's beliefs aren't valid; it simply means it doesn't create morality. The Bible is what proves Christianity isn't valid.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/26/2016 6:56:36 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 12:49:48 PM, rnjs wrote:
There are some rather belligerent, high profile atheists in the media these days, are the words and actions of these people (Dawkins,Hitchens etc.)evidence or proof that atheism is bogus?
I think RNJS may be seeking to link this argument to that of another thread: [http://www.debate.org...]

There could be an attempt to make these equivalent, so let me draw them out:
If Christian behaviour is evidence that Christianity is false, is atheist behaviour evidence that atheism is also false?

The implication being, if we can determine truth from behaviour in one case, why not in all? Or presumably if we can't determine truth from one behaviour, then how can we determine truth from any?

Here's my response to that.

Christian behaviour is one of several overwhelming evidences that Christian claims of knowledge are false. But it's not the tone of Christian communication which proves that; it's the incoherence associated with Christian theological interpretation, the inefficacy of Christian thought, and the evasion and dishonesty associated with Christian apologetics.

The paternalistic Christian tone suggests something else: that Christian clergy have built a profession where patriarchs without knowledge can dictate to people without respect for accountability.

In mentioning what you described as 'belligerent atheists' in the media, RNJS, you've cited what's commonly called 'New Atheists', which I think is a publishing category that appeared in the early 21st century. These are intellectuals and authors of irreligious belief criticising the moral and intellectual foundations of world religions that have dominated societies for millennia.

Their behaviour is to challenge, criticise and admonish, while their tone ranges from polite scorn through to furious outrage. You've asked what we can learn from this behaviour.

Firstly, I think we learn that something has happened in the early 21st century to create a market for this literature. I suspect that the decline of religious influence through the 20th century has contributed, but think globalisation and growing multiculturalism have too. New Atheist publications speak to not just the irreligious who have been marginalised and vilified for generations, but also to disaffected people of faith, who are tired of being lied to and talked down to by religious leaders. All New Atheist authors report being thanked by readers grateful to have been helped deconvert. So New Atheist publications are helping people disaffected by the views they inherited, but whose community and background may not offer alternative views.

I think the tone captures something of the tone of the target readership (disclosure: I'm not a reader of New Atheist publications.) It's a combination of baffled scorn that anyone can still believe the things religion asks them to believe, coupled with outrage at the corruption of such motives, the dishonesty of such behaviour, and the flagrant harm such beliefs can do to adherents, their families and the community.

What else do we learn from New Atheist behaviour? I think it can really only continue while there's new conversation to be had. At some point everyone who wants to hear the conversation will have heard it, and there'll be no more market for New Atheist books, TV shows and debates.

But in the developed world, religion is collapsing more from its own social and intellectual failure than from external criticism. In the UK for example, for every one parishioner a church gains, they lose ten to twelve existing parishioners. That's a tectonic social shift, and if UK churches were a retail outlet, they'd be in liquidation. But parishioners aren't all leaving with a copy of 'God is not Great' under their arm. They're leaving in disgust at clergy they've known for decades failing to meet their social and intellectual needs.

Scandavian countries, which had national faiths in the early 20th century, are now post-Christian in the early 21st. Western Europe is heading the same way. Australia has shrugged off religious faith to the point where nobody cares what you and doesn't want to hear about it. From what I've seen, Canada is similar. Among English-speaking countries, the US is an outlier, largely because of church influence over US legislature and media. But the rate of irreligion is growing in the US too, and generation after generation, the religious mainstream are becoming either fundamentalists or agnostics (both of which groups are growing, while the mainstream contracts.) Meanwhile, in Ireland the people have rolled the clergy, and told the Catholic Irish Church what its doctrine on homosexuality ought to be. So any pretense the Irish churches may have had of being intellectual and moral leaders is punctured.

I think that over-all we can see societies wanting clergy to stop free-loading off tradition. Societies may or may not be growing more secular, but they're growing a lot less accepting of paternalism, dishonesty, intolerance and corruption, and I can't see how that's a bad thing.

Is there more insight to be gained from this? That's all I get from it.
Chloe8
Posts: 2,580
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5/27/2016 7:45:51 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 12:49:48 PM, rnjs wrote:
There are some rather belligerent, high profile atheists in the media these days, are the words and actions of these people (Dawkins,Hitchens etc.)evidence or proof that atheism is bogus?

What nonsense. How does militant atheism conducted by certain individuals prove the existence of god/s?

I could make an equally silly counter claim that high profile religious figures such as the pope and the archbishop of Canterbury are proof Christianity is bogus.

Obviously that's a terrible argument for disproving Christianity. Atheism has no beliefs or doctrine to disprove so you resorted to such a nonsensical approach to find flaws in people who don't think there is any evidence supporting the existence of god/s.
Bennett91
Posts: 4,205
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5/27/2016 7:52:58 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 12:49:48 PM, rnjs wrote:
There are some rather belligerent, high profile atheists in the media these days, are the words and actions of these people (Dawkins,Hitchens etc.)evidence or proof that atheism is bogus?

How is belligerence related to atheism in a way that proves it's bogus?

Do the belligerent actions of theists prove theism is bogus?
rnjs
Posts: 378
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5/27/2016 11:49:20 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
It's funny how defensive people get over a simple question, even suggesting that I have made a claim where there is none. I don't believe that some atheists actions should invalidate atheism, I do however find it inconsistent to base one opinion of anything on how the individuals act or what they say. There are clearly many, in all worldviews, who think with their mouths open thereby bypassing the thinking process.