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Some thoughts on atheism and religion

tejretics
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8/18/2016 3:31:03 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
Most people who've interacted with me on this site probably know that I'm an atheist. I've done over 40 debates on God's existence, and I've read a bunch of philosophical works on both sides of the debate, along with tons of research papers.

On the theistic side, I've read "The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology," William Lane Craig's "Reasonable Faith," "On Guard," and "The Kalam Cosmological Argument," Swinburne's "Is There A God?" and a lot more. On the atheistic side, I've read Michael Martin's "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification," Dr. Victor Stenger's "God: The Failed Hypothesis," Theodore Drange's "Nonbelief and Evil," and a lot of essays/articles by notable philosophers such as Quentin Smith, and earlier ones such as Russell. And I've also read the conventional "The God Delusion," "God Is Not Great," "The End of Faith," etc. So I know most of the arguments on both sides.

I'm not here to argue for or against God's existence. If that were what this post were about, I'd place it in the Philosophy forum. I dislike this forum generally. Both atheists and theists tend to give passive aggressive, or directly aggressive, responses full of sh!t. And if I get that on here, I'm just going to ignore responses. This isn't really "philosophy" or I would've posted this in the Philosophy forum. Anyway, I'm looking forward to some rebuttal by both "strong atheists" and very religious people -- that is, good rebuttal, not some terrible arguments filled with insults.

My argument is that arguing about God is pointless, especially when one does it with the conviction of the "new atheist" movement -- which often has stupid arguments too, despite the presence of incredibly smart people such as Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss, Stephen Hawking, the late Christopher Hitchens, etc. -- or that of religious fundamentalists and hardcore conservative apologists. God is by definition a "transcendent entity." To humans, that's just incoherent. There's no point in analyzing the hypothesis.

The notion of "God" was probably to justify authority. When tribal chiefs started creating makeshift governments of their age, they needed some means to make the people accept their authority. Without creating religion like that, we wouldn't have any state or any welfare whatsoever. So to that extent, religion has helped society. Religious philosophy probably led to the ideological leftist movement as we know it, and to the liberal values that shape so many developed nations today. But religion has had some negatives. Terrorist attacks, terrible states, far-right extremists, religious fundamentalists. And that's the point the "new atheist" movement keeps raising... Religion is terrible, so we should get rid of it. Forget the fallacious reasoning in that argument since we can't possibly know the net effect of religion. Let's assume that's a fair argument.

Even then, the "new atheist" movement fails in accomplishing its goals because it lends itself to hypocrisy. It's intellectually dishonest. It has essentially become a religion of its own, trying to press with immense conviction and fundamentalism certain ideas in the fields of philosophy and social science. They have their meetings, their "badges," and they're even calling themselves "brights" so as to create a positive connotation. The way they organize themselves is identical to that of a religion. Remember that a religion isn't just some group of people that believe in God. It refers to an organized movement of people with a precise ideology/theology and immense conviction thereof, combined with certain ritualistic behaviors, etc. The new atheist movement displays all of that.

That's not necessarily the fault of the people in the movement. It just proves one argument: that movements against religion inevitably grow into religions themselves. People have natural biological urges to organize themselves into communities and to categorize themselves. They'll keep forming new religions. There are smart people who call for reforming certain kinds of religion. And then there's the intellectually dishonest, hypocritical "new atheist" movement that also makes dumb arguments against God (read, generally, any metaphysical work by a new atheist who doesn't have some background in philosophy). That's not to say the people in the movement are dumb. Dawkins, Harris, Ali, the late Hitchens, etc. are incredibly smart. But they're trying to bring about a certain change that won't happen and are falling into the same abyss they fight. In the words of Nietzsche, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."

I might or might not respond to posts on this thread. I created this OP just to let you guys know my position. Feel free to respond.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Skepticalone
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8/18/2016 3:54:26 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 3:31:03 AM, tejretics wrote:
Most people who've interacted with me on this site probably know that I'm an atheist. I've done over 40 debates on God's existence, and I've read a bunch of philosophical works on both sides of the debate, along with tons of research papers.

On the theistic side, I've read "The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology," William Lane Craig's "Reasonable Faith," "On Guard," and "The Kalam Cosmological Argument," Swinburne's "Is There A God?" and a lot more. On the atheistic side, I've read Michael Martin's "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification," Dr. Victor Stenger's "God: The Failed Hypothesis," Theodore Drange's "Nonbelief and Evil," and a lot of essays/articles by notable philosophers such as Quentin Smith, and earlier ones such as Russell. And I've also read the conventional "The God Delusion," "God Is Not Great," "The End of Faith," etc. So I know most of the arguments on both sides.

I'm not here to argue for or against God's existence. If that were what this post were about, I'd place it in the Philosophy forum. I dislike this forum generally. Both atheists and theists tend to give passive aggressive, or directly aggressive, responses full of sh!t. And if I get that on here, I'm just going to ignore responses. This isn't really "philosophy" or I would've posted this in the Philosophy forum. Anyway, I'm looking forward to some rebuttal by both "strong atheists" and very religious people -- that is, good rebuttal, not some terrible arguments filled with insults.

My argument is that arguing about God is pointless, especially when one does it with the conviction of the "new atheist" movement -- which often has stupid arguments too, despite the presence of incredibly smart people such as Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss, Stephen Hawking, the late Christopher Hitchens, etc. -- or that of religious fundamentalists and hardcore conservative apologists. God is by definition a "transcendent entity." To humans, that's just incoherent. There's no point in analyzing the hypothesis.

The notion of "God" was probably to justify authority. When tribal chiefs started creating makeshift governments of their age, they needed some means to make the people accept their authority. Without creating religion like that, we wouldn't have any state or any welfare whatsoever. So to that extent, religion has helped society. Religious philosophy probably led to the ideological leftist movement as we know it, and to the liberal values that shape so many developed nations today. But religion has had some negatives. Terrorist attacks, terrible states, far-right extremists, religious fundamentalists. And that's the point the "new atheist" movement keeps raising... Religion is terrible, so we should get rid of it. Forget the fallacious reasoning in that argument since we can't possibly know the net effect of religion. Let's assume that's a fair argument.

Even then, the "new atheist" movement fails in accomplishing its goals because it lends itself to hypocrisy. It's intellectually dishonest. It has essentially become a religion of its own, trying to press with immense conviction and fundamentalism certain ideas in the fields of philosophy and social science. They have their meetings, their "badges," and they're even calling themselves "brights" so as to create a positive connotation. The way they organize themselves is identical to that of a religion. Remember that a religion isn't just some group of people that believe in God. It refers to an organized movement of people with a precise ideology/theology and immense conviction thereof, combined with certain ritualistic behaviors, etc. The new atheist movement displays all of that.

That's not necessarily the fault of the people in the movement. It just proves one argument: that movements against religion inevitably grow into religions themselves. People have natural biological urges to organize themselves into communities and to categorize themselves. They'll keep forming new religions. There are smart people who call for reforming certain kinds of religion. And then there's the intellectually dishonest, hypocritical "new atheist" movement that also makes dumb arguments against God (read, generally, any metaphysical work by a new atheist who doesn't have some background in philosophy). That's not to say the people in the movement are dumb. Dawkins, Harris, Ali, the late Hitchens, etc. are incredibly smart. But they're trying to bring about a certain change that won't happen and are falling into the same abyss they fight. In the words of Nietzsche, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."

I might or might not respond to posts on this thread. I created this OP just to let you guys know my position. Feel free to respond.

I am leaning towards the same conclusion: arguing about God is pointless. Puting the god argument aside, there are many religious doctrines that are harmful, deserve no respect, and should be criticized. Enter the new atheists...

As far as the 'new atheist' movement, I agree it looks a lot like religion. I personally think the "bright" moniker is pretentious and completely arrogant. That's not to say I completely disagree with every point they are making.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
SpiritandTruth
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8/18/2016 3:59:55 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
Atheism as a position is nonsensical. It is the lack of belief in Ultimate Reality.

If you don't believe in Ultimate Reality, why are you trying to tell me what reality is? It's stupid. Atheism is not an intellectually defensible position, no matter how clever the arguments are. All atheist arguments are contingent on redefining "God" into "god" or "gods".

The position of atheism either stems from ignorance or petulance. It doesn't deserve to even be taken seriously as a valid position. Prove to me that God exists! It's like saying, "Prove to me that it is true that there is truth!". It's patently absurd. It's like demanding a miracle. Really, is that what convinces you that there is Truth? Flashing lights and mirror tricks? Holy hell, you must be really stupid.

So if you've been chumped into accepting the position of atheism, realize that you've fallen for one of the oldest academic practical jokes in existence. You should probably consider getting a real dictionary and giving it a good read.

And in case I haven't made it completely clear, accepting the existence of God means that you believe that there is Ultimate Reality. It has nothing to do with accepting scriptures, traditions, and men who call themselves teachers that you don't have sincere belief in.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God. The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth,
tejretics
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8/18/2016 4:00:44 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 3:54:26 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
I am leaning towards the same conclusion: arguing about God is pointless. Puting the god argument aside, there are many religious doctrines that are harmful, deserve no respect, and should be criticized. Enter the new atheists...

As far as the 'new atheist' movement, I agree it looks a lot like religion. I personally think the "bright" moniker is pretentious and completely arrogant. That's not to say I completely disagree with every point they are making.

I agree with most of this.

It is painful to see my fellow atheists engage in such nonsense.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
SpiritandTruth
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8/18/2016 4:01:15 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
Arguing about the existence of God is indeed pointless, and if you were to actually disprove God(which is impossible), it would undermine your entire argument.

It is reality that there is no ultimate reality!

deeeeeeerp
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God. The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth,
tejretics
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8/18/2016 4:04:20 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 3:59:55 AM, SpiritandTruth wrote:
Atheism as a position is nonsensical. It is the lack of belief in Ultimate Reality.

That is completely irrelevant to what I posted. I don't give a sh!t whether you believe that God exists or not. Re-read my post.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
tejretics
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8/18/2016 4:09:25 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 4:01:15 AM, SpiritandTruth wrote:
Arguing about the existence of God is indeed pointless, and if you were to actually disprove God(which is impossible), it would undermine your entire argument.

It is reality that there is no ultimate reality!


deeeeeeerp

This is the level of discourse I expect from the Religion forum. Meaningless trash.

My decision to be an atheist is a personal one, not one based on arguments. And I frankly do not care what you think of that. I'm completely apathetic as to whether God exists or not.

I am so frustrated at this forum.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
matt8800
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8/18/2016 4:13:40 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 3:31:03 AM, tejretics wrote:
Most people who've interacted with me on this site probably know that I'm an atheist. I've done over 40 debates on God's existence, and I've read a bunch of philosophical works on both sides of the debate, along with tons of research papers.

On the theistic side, I've read "The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology," William Lane Craig's "Reasonable Faith," "On Guard," and "The Kalam Cosmological Argument," Swinburne's "Is There A God?" and a lot more. On the atheistic side, I've read Michael Martin's "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification," Dr. Victor Stenger's "God: The Failed Hypothesis," Theodore Drange's "Nonbelief and Evil," and a lot of essays/articles by notable philosophers such as Quentin Smith, and earlier ones such as Russell. And I've also read the conventional "The God Delusion," "God Is Not Great," "The End of Faith," etc. So I know most of the arguments on both sides.

I'm not here to argue for or against God's existence. If that were what this post were about, I'd place it in the Philosophy forum. I dislike this forum generally. Both atheists and theists tend to give passive aggressive, or directly aggressive, responses full of sh!t. And if I get that on here, I'm just going to ignore responses. This isn't really "philosophy" or I would've posted this in the Philosophy forum. Anyway, I'm looking forward to some rebuttal by both "strong atheists" and very religious people -- that is, good rebuttal, not some terrible arguments filled with insults.

My argument is that arguing about God is pointless, especially when one does it with the conviction of the "new atheist" movement -- which often has stupid arguments too, despite the presence of incredibly smart people such as Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss, Stephen Hawking, the late Christopher Hitchens, etc. -- or that of religious fundamentalists and hardcore conservative apologists. God is by definition a "transcendent entity." To humans, that's just incoherent. There's no point in analyzing the hypothesis.

The hypothesis is relevant because it is so prevalent. If one mentally ill person is taking direction from an imaginary friend, that is not a far-reaching problem. If billions of people think in ways that would otherwise be considered mentally ill, that is somewhat of a problem. It would be a better world if the average person had a firm grasp of critical thought. Religion and critical thought are incompatible.



Even then, the "new atheist" movement fails in accomplishing its goals because it lends itself to hypocrisy. It's intellectually dishonest.

How so? (assuming you aren't referring solely to the meetings referenced below)

It has essentially become a religion of its own, trying to press with immense conviction and fundamentalism certain ideas in the fields of philosophy and social science. They have their meetings, their "badges," and they're even calling themselves "brights" so as to create a positive connotation. The way they organize themselves is identical to that of a religion. Remember that a religion isn't just some group of people that believe in God. It refers to an organized movement of people with a precise ideology/theology and immense conviction thereof, combined with certain ritualistic behaviors, etc. The new atheist movement displays all of that.

Humans like to socialize and identify with herds. If they were theists, they would go to church. If they own a classic car, they like to belong to car clubs. They like to root for a sports team simply because they live in the same region. Worldview is just another way for them to identify with each other but has no relation to the worldview itself.

That's not necessarily the fault of the people in the movement. It just proves one argument: that movements against religion inevitably grow into religions themselves. People have natural biological urges to organize themselves into communities and to categorize themselves. They'll keep forming new religions. There are smart people who call for reforming certain kinds of religion. And then there's the intellectually dishonest, hypocritical "new atheist" movement that also makes dumb arguments against God (read, generally, any metaphysical work by a new atheist who doesn't have some background in philosophy). That's not to say the people in the movement are dumb. Dawkins, Harris, Ali, the late Hitchens, etc. are incredibly smart. But they're trying to bring about a certain change that won't happen and are falling into the same abyss they fight. In the words of Nietzsche, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that discussion is futile so don't bother? If so, I would disagree. Those books you mentioned earlier by people like Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris were read by many millions of people. I assume you would not say that none of those readers learned anything. I also assume you would agree that some of those people have also passed on what they learned.

The spread of good ideas is important and always has been. With the advent of the information age, people with good ideas are likely to put a much bigger dent on bad ideas than any other time in human history. I have heard some respected thinkers say they believe religion will eventually be endangered because of this and I agree.
Skepticalone
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8/18/2016 4:13:59 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 4:00:44 AM, tejretics wrote:
At 8/18/2016 3:54:26 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
I am leaning towards the same conclusion: arguing about God is pointless. Puting the god argument aside, there are many religious doctrines that are harmful, deserve no respect, and should be criticized. Enter the new atheists...

As far as the 'new atheist' movement, I agree it looks a lot like religion. I personally think the "bright" moniker is pretentious and completely arrogant. That's not to say I completely disagree with every point they are making.

I agree with most of this.

A point of clarification: Believers should be treated with respect. Insulting individuals for holding beliefs different than our own is completely counterproductive. It only contributes to everlasting animosity. I really would like to see those representing my views hold themselves to a higher standard.

It is painful to see my fellow atheists engage in such nonsense.

Depending on what you mean by nonsense, I may agree.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
tejretics
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8/18/2016 4:17:09 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 4:13:40 AM, matt8800 wrote:
The hypothesis is relevant because it is so prevalent. If one mentally ill person is taking direction from an imaginary friend, that is not a far-reaching problem. If billions of people think in ways that would otherwise be considered mentally ill, that is somewhat of a problem. It would be a better world if the average person had a firm grasp of critical thought. Religion and critical thought are incompatible.

Many "critical thinkers" and important scientists are religious.

Religion is irrelevant to critical thought, regardless of whether belief in God is correct or not.

How so? (assuming you aren't referring solely to the meetings referenced below)

It has become its own religion. It's purely arrogant and fundamentalist - like any other religion that it criticizes.

Humans like to socialize and identify with herds. If they were theists, they would go to church. If they own a classic car, they like to belong to car clubs. They like to root for a sports team simply because they live in the same region. Worldview is just another way for them to identify with each other but has no relation to the worldview itself.

That isn't incompatible with what I said.

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that discussion is futile so don't bother?

That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying it is impossible to get rid of religion.

I'm criticizing antitheism, rather than belief in God or lack thereof.

The spread of good ideas is important and always has been. With the advent of the information age, people with good ideas are likely to put a much bigger dent on bad ideas than any other time in human history. I have heard some respected thinkers say they believe religion will eventually be endangered because of this and I agree.

You've misunderstood my post. I said the way new atheism organizes itself is overly puritan and fundamentalist, and used that as an example to justify my main point: it's not possible to get rid of religion; it's only possible to reform it.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
tejretics
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8/18/2016 4:17:40 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 4:13:59 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
Depending on what you mean by nonsense, I may agree.

My position is very similar to what you described in your earlier post.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Willows
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8/18/2016 4:19:01 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 3:31:03 AM, tejretics wrote:
Most people who've interacted with me on this site probably know that I'm an atheist. I've done over 40 debates on God's existence, and I've read a bunch of philosophical works on both sides of the debate, along with tons of research papers.

On the theistic side, I've read "The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology," William Lane Craig's "Reasonable Faith," "On Guard," and "The Kalam Cosmological Argument," Swinburne's "Is There A God?" and a lot more. On the atheistic side, I've read Michael Martin's "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification," Dr. Victor Stenger's "God: The Failed Hypothesis," Theodore Drange's "Nonbelief and Evil," and a lot of essays/articles by notable philosophers such as Quentin Smith, and earlier ones such as Russell. And I've also read the conventional "The God Delusion," "God Is Not Great," "The End of Faith," etc. So I know most of the arguments on both sides.

I'm not here to argue for or against God's existence. If that were what this post were about, I'd place it in the Philosophy forum. I dislike this forum generally. Both atheists and theists tend to give passive aggressive, or directly aggressive, responses full of sh!t. And if I get that on here, I'm just going to ignore responses. This isn't really "philosophy" or I would've posted this in the Philosophy forum. Anyway, I'm looking forward to some rebuttal by both "strong atheists" and very religious people -- that is, good rebuttal, not some terrible arguments filled with insults.

My argument is that arguing about God is pointless, especially when one does it with the conviction of the "new atheist" movement -- which often has stupid arguments too, despite the presence of incredibly smart people such as Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss, Stephen Hawking, the late Christopher Hitchens, etc. -- or that of religious fundamentalists and hardcore conservative apologists. God is by definition a "transcendent entity." To humans, that's just incoherent. There's no point in analyzing the hypothesis.

The notion of "God" was probably to justify authority. When tribal chiefs started creating makeshift governments of their age, they needed some means to make the people accept their authority. Without creating religion like that, we wouldn't have any state or any welfare whatsoever. So to that extent, religion has helped society. Religious philosophy probably led to the ideological leftist movement as we know it, and to the liberal values that shape so many developed nations today. But religion has had some negatives. Terrorist attacks, terrible states, far-right extremists, religious fundamentalists. And that's the point the "new atheist" movement keeps raising... Religion is terrible, so we should get rid of it. Forget the fallacious reasoning in that argument since we can't possibly know the net effect of religion. Let's assume that's a fair argument.

Even then, the "new atheist" movement fails in accomplishing its goals because it lends itself to hypocrisy. It's intellectually dishonest. It has essentially become a religion of its own, trying to press with immense conviction and fundamentalism certain ideas in the fields of philosophy and social science. They have their meetings, their "badges," and they're even calling themselves "brights" so as to create a positive connotation. The way they organize themselves is identical to that of a religion. Remember that a religion isn't just some group of people that believe in God. It refers to an organized movement of people with a precise ideology/theology and immense conviction thereof, combined with certain ritualistic behaviors, etc. The new atheist movement displays all of that.

That's not necessarily the fault of the people in the movement. It just proves one argument: that movements against religion inevitably grow into religions themselves. People have natural biological urges to organize themselves into communities and to categorize themselves. They'll keep forming new religions. There are smart people who call for reforming certain kinds of religion. And then there's the intellectually dishonest, hypocritical "new atheist" movement that also makes dumb arguments against God (read, generally, any metaphysical work by a new atheist who doesn't have some background in philosophy). That's not to say the people in the movement are dumb. Dawkins, Harris, Ali, the late Hitchens, etc. are incredibly smart. But they're trying to bring about a certain change that won't happen and are falling into the same abyss they fight. In the words of Nietzsche, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."

I might or might not respond to posts on this thread. I created this OP just to let you guys know my position. Feel free to respond.

I don't think there is an atheist movement as such and I would consider "new atheist" to be no more than a Journalistic tag. Indeed, there is no inherent motivation for atheists to form some sort of organisation to foster their views or to actively persecute religion.
Religion, on the other hand requires the strength of institutionalisation in order to fiercely defend its livelihood, which is becoming more and more challenging for them.

There is no doubt that religion was devised to enforce authority however I don't think it fair to say that we would not have a state or welfare without religion. I would say that we could have progressed much further in terms of morality and civilisation without the outdated constraints of religion.
Atheism will never be a belief or a movement that sets out to discredit religion.
Thinking, critically aware atheists however, will continue to expose religion for what it is and those who preach religion for who they are. Society moves on.
SpiritandTruth
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8/18/2016 4:19:44 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 4:09:25 AM, tejretics wrote:
At 8/18/2016 4:01:15 AM, SpiritandTruth wrote:
Arguing about the existence of God is indeed pointless, and if you were to actually disprove God(which is impossible), it would undermine your entire argument.

It is reality that there is no ultimate reality!


deeeeeeerp

This is the level of discourse I expect from the Religion forum. Meaningless trash.

My decision to be an atheist is a personal one, not one based on arguments. And I frankly do not care what you think of that. I'm completely apathetic as to whether God exists or not.

I am so frustrated at this forum.

It's only meaningless because you don't understand English. Seriously, that's the only way a sane person could ever adopt the position of atheism. I speak lucidly, and am met with constant stupification. I say something, and it's almost as if it goes through some type of filter where you imagine the words coming out of the mouth of a pro-wrestler or comic book villain. I know what words mean, and if you know what words mean, what I'm saying is VERY clear.

I don't give a crap what you pretentious and superstitious twats think. You don't even believe in truth. You deserve to be mocked for placing your faith in vain imaginings.

Do you understand what "Supreme Being" means? Do you understand what "Ultimate Reality" means? It isn't hard to accept. It's easy. Don't kid yourself.

And don't be offended at me because I tell the truth.

You are frustrated? Dude, I actually post here. The only reason I'm not frustrated is because I knew what I was getting into. When you get to the point to where you don't even believe in reality, only God can help you. I'm not deluded enough to think I can help any of these fools.

So you sure are right about one thing. You've got to be a complete wacko to even be on this forum.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God. The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth,
DanneJeRusse
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8/18/2016 4:59:39 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 4:19:44 AM, SpiritandTruth wrote:

I don't give a crap what you pretentious and superstitious twats think.
And don't be offended at me because I tell the truth.

I actually post here. You've got to be a complete wacko to even be on this forum.

Priceless.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Omniverse
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8/18/2016 8:57:29 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 3:31:03 AM, tejretics wrote:

My argument is that arguing about God is pointless, especially when one does it with the conviction of the "new atheist" movement -- which often has stupid arguments too, despite the presence of incredibly smart people such as Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss, Stephen Hawking, the late Christopher Hitchens, etc. --
(...)

New atheism is not a movement. It bears none of the characteristics associated with a movement.

The notion of "God" was probably to justify authority. When tribal chiefs started creating makeshift governments of their age, they needed some means to make the people accept their authority. Without creating religion like that, we wouldn't have any state or any welfare whatsoever. So to that extent, religion has helped society.

I don't think anyone claims every single religion that has ever existed has been 100% nefarious. This is the religion forum, so I won't go into your claims about religion and welfare.

Religious philosophy probably led to the ideological leftist movement as we know it,

Those are not the main roots of, for example, Marxism.

and to the liberal values that shape so many developed nations today.

That is not true.
The Lights is the bedrock of secular liberalism of today.

But religion has had some negatives. Terrorist attacks, terrible states, far-right extremists, religious fundamentalists. And that's the point the "new atheist" movement keeps raising..

I think those are mostly anecdotal and do not address the core problems raised by Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris et al.

Again, there's no such thing as a "New Atheist" movement. Prominent atheists, such as the Four horsemen, have attacked religion from different angles. Amongst themselves, they disagree on certain aspects of a critique of religion and other atheists are entirely free to disagree with them on anything and everything.

Religion is terrible, so we should get rid of it.

That's a misrepresentation of what the Four Horsemen have said. But even if they had indeed spelled it out like that, atheism is not a centrally organized movement. It lacks anything resembling authorities, official doctrine, a canon, etc. Therefore, I would be entirely within reason to say, as I do say, that the statement "Religion is terrible, so we should get rid of." is neither representative of my views nor of anyone's I know.

Forget the fallacious reasoning in that argument since we can't possibly know the net effect of religion. Let's assume that's a fair argument.

Even then, the "new atheist" movement fails in accomplishing its goals because it lends itself to hypocrisy. It's intellectually dishonest.

As I've said before, you have presented a strawman argument. But for the sake of discussion, let me ask you why is - in your opinion - New Atheism intellectually dishonest?

It has essentially become a religion of its own,

Blatantly false.
It bears none of the characteristics associated with religion.

trying to press with immense conviction and fundamentalism certain ideas in the fields of philosophy and social science.

So you think having conviction is a flaw?
What does fundamentalism in this context mean?

They have their meetings,

Terrible, terrible.
To hold meetings.
How dare they?

their "badges," and they're even calling themselves "brights" so as to create a positive connotation.

Quote and context, please.

The way they organize themselves is identical to that of a religion.

Blatantly false.

Remember that a religion isn't just some group of people that believe in God. It refers to an organized movement of people with a precise ideology/theology and immense conviction thereof, combined with certain ritualistic behaviors, etc.

That's a very imprecise and incomplete definition but a hat, nonetheless, that doesn't fit New Atheism.

The new atheist movement displays all of that.
None of that.
Please provide quotes and examples.

That's not necessarily the fault of the people in the movement. It just proves one argument: that movements against religion inevitably grow into religions themselves.

Inevitably, you say?
Why would that be?

People have natural biological urges to organize themselves into communities and to categorize themselves. They'll keep forming new religions. There are smart people who call for reforming certain kinds of religion. And then there's the intellectually dishonest, hypocritical "new atheist" movement that also makes dumb arguments against God (read, generally, any metaphysical work by a new atheist who doesn't have some background in philosophy).

Feel free to elaborate on the "dishonest hypocritical" arguments.

That's not to say the people in the movement are dumb. Dawkins, Harris, Ali, the late Hitchens, etc. are incredibly smart. But they're trying to bring about a certain change that won't happen

I beg to differ. I know for a fact their work has inspired people to change their minds and become atheists.
Mission accomplished.

and are falling into the same abyss they fight.

Blatantly false.

In the words of Nietzsche, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."

A lovely note of erudition. You still do have to make a case by presenting evidence though.

I might or might not respond to posts on this thread.

That's very charitable and open minded of you.

I created this OP just to let you guys know my position. Feel free to respond.

Thanks for letting me know.
It's hard to respond, given how little - as in close to nothing - you've included by way of supporting evidence. You have asserted a lot, that's for sure.
tejretics
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8/18/2016 10:59:25 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 4:19:44 AM, SpiritandTruth wrote:
It's only meaningless because you don't understand English. Seriously, that's the only way a sane person could ever adopt the position of atheism. I speak lucidly, and am met with constant stupification. I say something, and it's almost as if it goes through some type of filter where you imagine the words coming out of the mouth of a pro-wrestler or comic book villain. I know what words mean, and if you know what words mean, what I'm saying is VERY clear.

I don't give a crap what you pretentious and superstitious twats think. You don't even believe in truth. You deserve to be mocked for placing your faith in vain imaginings.

Do you understand what "Supreme Being" means? Do you understand what "Ultimate Reality" means? It isn't hard to accept. It's easy. Don't kid yourself.

And don't be offended at me because I tell the truth.

You are frustrated? Dude, I actually post here. The only reason I'm not frustrated is because I knew what I was getting into. When you get to the point to where you don't even believe in reality, only God can help you. I'm not deluded enough to think I can help any of these fools.

So you sure are right about one thing. You've got to be a complete wacko to even be on this forum.

lol
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
tejretics
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8/18/2016 11:00:04 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 8:57:29 AM, Omniverse wrote:

I'll respond to you soon - I'm a bit short on time. But, really, thanks for engaging in the substance of my post, unlike certain other posters.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Axonly
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8/18/2016 11:14:23 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 4:19:44 AM, SpiritandTruth wrote:
At 8/18/2016 4:09:25 AM, tejretics wrote:
At 8/18/2016 4:01:15 AM, SpiritandTruth wrote:
Arguing about the existence of God is indeed pointless, and if you were to actually disprove God(which is impossible), it would undermine your entire argument.

It is reality that there is no ultimate reality!


deeeeeeerp

This is the level of discourse I expect from the Religion forum. Meaningless trash.

My decision to be an atheist is a personal one, not one based on arguments. And I frankly do not care what you think of that. I'm completely apathetic as to whether God exists or not.

I am so frustrated at this forum.

It's only meaningless because you don't understand English. Seriously, that's the only way a sane person could ever adopt the position of atheism. I speak lucidly, and am met with constant stupification. I say something, and it's almost as if it goes through some type of filter where you imagine the words coming out of the mouth of a pro-wrestler or comic book villain. I know what words mean, and if you know what words mean, what I'm saying is VERY clear.

I don't give a crap what you pretentious and superstitious twats think. You don't even believe in truth. You deserve to be mocked for placing your faith in vain imaginings.

Do you understand what "Supreme Being" means? Do you understand what "Ultimate Reality" means? It isn't hard to accept. It's easy. Don't kid yourself.

And don't be offended at me because I tell the truth.

You are frustrated? Dude, I actually post here. The only reason I'm not frustrated is because I knew what I was getting into. When you get to the point to where you don't even believe in reality, only God can help you. I'm not deluded enough to think I can help any of these fools.

So you sure are right about one thing. You've got to be a complete wacko to even be on this forum.

You need help.
Meh!
Fatihah
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8/18/2016 11:39:19 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 3:31:03 AM, tejretics wrote:

Response: The position of atheism is understandable and reasonable to an extent. It is unreasonable to say that there is no God and that the repeating patterns in the universe and life itself originated without choice. This is simply illogical. Every human being lives their lives making choices and from those choices they create order. You cannot lay in bed and do not move or say anything, and still be able to clothe, feed, and wash yourself and go to work and work at your job repeatedly. No. You have to make a choice to do so first. If you left your house and your bed was unmade and came back home to see it was made, you know full well you would not believe it happened by chance. No. A choice was made.

Yet when it comes to the sophisticated order and repeating systems in the universe such as sunrise and sunset and the water cycle, you say it originated by chance?? This is why atheism is so illogical. You live a life where you would not be able to survive and have order unless you made choices first, yet claim the universe and life itself did originate from choice. Simply illogical. This is unreasonable. Clearly, it originates from choice.

So the problem with atheism Is not the concept of order originating from choice. The problem is that if they accept the logical position that the universe and life itself originated from choice, then "WHY" was it chosen to exist. That is the problem with atheists. "Why"? Why would a creator create things that can hurt us? Why is there evil? Why is there suffering? So because they cannot see how a loving God would create a world where these things occur, they say that God does not exist. This part is reasonable only in deny the attributes of God, but not the existence of a creator. Just because you do not like the reason "why" something was created does not mean that is was not created. That is like someone saying "I don't like the way this spaghetti was made by my mom, therefore my mom does not exist". That is unsound because whether you like it or not does not change the fact that she exist. Similar, just because you do not like or understand the reasons why a God would allow suffering and evil does not change the fact that God exist because it does not change the fact that order or repeating patterns can only originate from choice.

So the atheist position is reasonable to an extent. If you deny that the universe and life itself did not originate from choice, then that is being simply delusional and unreasonable. Yet if you deny a being or God exist because God is depicted as merciful and loving, yet there is evil and suffering, then it is reasonable to say that this specific type of God does not exist, but not that there is no God at all. The evidence is clear that God exist. The issue is the attributes of God.

So what an atheist needs to hear and be open to is the reasons why there is evil and suffering. This is the honest reason why all atheists are atheists. My only contention is that if it is explained to you why these things exist, you should humble yourself and accept it if it makes sense. Rather than hold an egotistical position and deny whatever the explanation because in the end, you want to say you are right. Similarly, since there are many religions, a religious person needs to listen to the view of other religions regarding God's attributes and be opened to change their view based on reason, rather then say "I am right" because their ego does not want them to be wrong.

Once we put egos aside, we can easily come to learn the truth that God does exist and there is one true religion that explains His attributes and why there is evil and suffering.
tejretics
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8/18/2016 11:47:12 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 11:39:19 AM, Fatihah wrote:
Response: The position of atheism is understandable and reasonable to an extent. It is unreasonable to say that there is no God and that the repeating patterns in the universe and life itself originated without choice. This is simply illogical. Every human being lives their lives making choices and from those choices they create order. You cannot lay in bed and do not move or say anything, and still be able to clothe, feed, and wash yourself and go to work and work at your job repeatedly. No. You have to make a choice to do so first. If you left your house and your bed was unmade and came back home to see it was made, you know full well you would not believe it happened by chance. No. A choice was made.

Yet when it comes to the sophisticated order and repeating systems in the universe such as sunrise and sunset and the water cycle, you say it originated by chance?? This is why atheism is so illogical. You live a life where you would not be able to survive and have order unless you made choices first, yet claim the universe and life itself did originate from choice. Simply illogical. This is unreasonable. Clearly, it originates from choice.

So the problem with atheism Is not the concept of order originating from choice. The problem is that if they accept the logical position that the universe and life itself originated from choice, then "WHY" was it chosen to exist. That is the problem with atheists. "Why"? Why would a creator create things that can hurt us? Why is there evil? Why is there suffering? So because they cannot see how a loving God would create a world where these things occur, they say that God does not exist. This part is reasonable only in deny the attributes of God, but not the existence of a creator. Just because you do not like the reason "why" something was created does not mean that is was not created. That is like someone saying "I don't like the way this spaghetti was made by my mom, therefore my mom does not exist". That is unsound because whether you like it or not does not change the fact that she exist. Similar, just because you do not like or understand the reasons why a God would allow suffering and evil does not change the fact that God exist because it does not change the fact that order or repeating patterns can only originate from choice.

So the atheist position is reasonable to an extent. If you deny that the universe and life itself did not originate from choice, then that is being simply delusional and unreasonable. Yet if you deny a being or God exist because God is depicted as merciful and loving, yet there is evil and suffering, then it is reasonable to say that this specific type of God does not exist, but not that there is no God at all. The evidence is clear that God exist. The issue is the attributes of God.

So what an atheist needs to hear and be open to is the reasons why there is evil and suffering. This is the honest reason why all atheists are atheists. My only contention is that if it is explained to you why these things exist, you should humble yourself and accept it if it makes sense. Rather than hold an egotistical position and deny whatever the explanation because in the end, you want to say you are right. Similarly, since there are many religions, a religious person needs to listen to the view of other religions regarding God's attributes and be opened to change their view based on reason, rather then say "I am right" because their ego does not want them to be wrong.

Once we put egos aside, we can easily come to learn the truth that God does exist and there is one true religion that explains His attributes and why there is evil and suffering.

This has nothing to do with what I wrote.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
tejretics
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8/18/2016 11:47:54 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 3:31:03 AM, tejretics wrote:
I'm not here to argue for or against God's existence.

People need to understand this, and need to actually read the OP.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
tejretics
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8/18/2016 11:49:59 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
Frankly, I do not care what anyone's views on my atheism are. It's a personal decision, and I'm completely uninterested in arguing about it. From a philosophical perspective, I'm probably classified as "agnostic" anyway. Stop derailing this thread.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Fatihah
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8/18/2016 11:50:21 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 11:47:12 AM, tejretics wrote:

This has nothing to do with what I wrote.

Response: This has nothing to do with what I wrote.
tejretics
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8/18/2016 11:55:38 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 11:50:21 AM, Fatihah wrote:
At 8/18/2016 11:47:12 AM, tejretics wrote:

This has nothing to do with what I wrote.

Response: This has nothing to do with what I wrote.

Look, I understood your post. But my thread isn't about God's existence. My thread is about the way atheists organize themselves.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Fatihah
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8/18/2016 12:03:55 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 11:55:38 AM, tejretics wrote:

Look, I understood your post. But my thread isn't about God's existence. My thread is about the way atheists organize themselves.

Response: Neither is mine about God's existence. It's about the same reason and further expounded upon.
skipsaweirdo
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8/18/2016 12:11:43 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 3:31:03 AM, tejretics wrote:
Most people who've interacted with me on this site probably know that I'm an atheist. I've done over 40 debates on God's existence, and I've read a bunch of philosophical works on both sides of the debate, along with tons of research papers.

On the theistic side, I've read "The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology," William Lane Craig's "Reasonable Faith," "On Guard," and "The Kalam Cosmological Argument," Swinburne's "Is There A God?" and a lot more. On the atheistic side, I've read Michael Martin's "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification," Dr. Victor Stenger's "God: The Failed Hypothesis," Theodore Drange's "Nonbelief and Evil," and a lot of essays/articles by notable philosophers such as Quentin Smith, and earlier ones such as Russell. And I've also read the conventional "The God Delusion," "God Is Not Great," "The End of Faith," etc. So I know most of the arguments on both sides.

I'm not here to argue for or against God's existence. If that were what this post were about, I'd place it in the Philosophy forum. I dislike this forum generally. Both atheists and theists tend to give passive aggressive, or directly aggressive, responses full of sh!t. And if I get that on here, I'm just going to ignore responses. This isn't really "philosophy" or I would've posted this in the Philosophy forum. Anyway, I'm looking forward to some rebuttal by both "strong atheists" and very religious people -- that is, good rebuttal, not some terrible arguments filled with insults.

"My argument is that arguing about God is pointless",
Therefore this,by your own words, is a pointless position
"There's no point in analyzing the hypothesis."
You simply circled back to the opening sentence of the paragraph. I would say circular reasoning, but you didn't actually start the paragraph with a reasonable assertion so this is merely circular typing....lol. I kid

The notion of "God" was probably to justify authority.
Arguments about God are pointless, thus you say yourself, you are being pointless so I'll take this as a non~point...lol I kid
When tribal chiefs started creating makeshift governments of their age, they needed some means to make the people accept their authority. Without creating religion like that, we wouldn't have any state or any welfare whatsoever. So to that extent, religion has helped society.
also actually benefiting humanity were the anti tribal chief religions. You know, the ones who say love thy neighbor as thyself which of course means no tribe should have an absolute leader.
Religious philosophy probably led to the ideological leftist movement as we know it, and to the liberal values that shape so many developed nations today. But religion has had some negatives. Terrorist attacks, terrible states, far-right extremists, religious fundamentalists. And that's the point the "new atheist" movement keeps raising... Religion is terrible, so we should get rid of it. Forget the fallacious reasoning in that argument since we can't possibly know the net effect of religion. Let's assume that's a fair argument.

Even then, the "new atheist" movement fails in accomplishing its goals because it lends itself to hypocrisy. It's intellectually dishonest. It has essentially become a religion of its own, trying to press with immense conviction and fundamentalism certain ideas in the fields of philosophy and social science. They have their meetings, their "badges," and they're even calling themselves "brights" so as to create a positive connotation. The way they organize themselves is identical to that of a religion. Remember that a religion isn't just some group of people that believe in God. It refers to an organized movement of people with a precise ideology/theology and immense conviction thereof, combined with certain ritualistic behaviors, etc. The new atheist movement displays all of that.

That's not necessarily the fault of the people in the movement. It just proves one argument: that movements against religion inevitably grow into religions themselves. People have natural biological urges to organize themselves into communities and to categorize themselves. They'll keep forming new religions. There are smart people who call for reforming certain kinds of religion. And then there's the intellectually dishonest, hypocritical "new atheist" movement that also makes dumb arguments against God (read, generally, any metaphysical work by a new atheist who doesn't have some background in philosophy). That's not to say the people in the movement are dumb. Dawkins, Harris, Ali, the late Hitchens, etc. are incredibly smart. But they're trying to bring about a certain change that won't happen and are falling into the same abyss they fight. In the words of Nietzsche, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."

"Even as most intellectuals and students and "educators" among us imagine they are learning to criticize and sever those prejudices and presuppositions, those biases and preconceptions are mutating like Hydra and putting forth new buds and nodes with new faces on them to go on functioning sub rosa within this "new regime" of clarified and purified self-determination. This unctuous and protean power of biasing principles to vary their manifestation or expression is one of the premier reasons that humans overwhelmingly need living and in-your-face dialogue, need conversational confrontation and polemics, in order to grasp philosophical, spiritual and moral truths, i.e. values and axioms: without another intensive and acute individual to catch their blindsidedness and call their hand on this permutational untruth, humans only succeed in "rearranging their prejudices," not truly emancipating themselves from their enslaving abysmalisms.
Kenneth Smih
SpiritandTruth
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8/18/2016 12:14:49 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
Atheists organizing themselves..

Communists?
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God. The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth,
Looncall
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8/18/2016 12:19:02 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 12:14:49 PM, SpiritandTruth wrote:
Atheists organizing themselves..

Commu2nists?

How is an opinion about the existence of gods related to one about an economic theory?
The metaphysicist has no laboratory.
Omniverse
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8/18/2016 12:25:56 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 4:09:25 AM, tejretics wrote:

My decision to be an atheist is a personal one, not one based on arguments.

And in claiming so - oh the irony! - you actually help establish a pivotal point in this entire discussion. That unlike in the case of theists at large and, say, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Scientologists, Satanic Order of the Nine Angels members in particular, there is little to no ideological glue amassing atheists together.

You, for example, decided to become an atheist apparently over entirely arbitrary reasons. This trajectory of yours has absolutely nothing in common with, for example, that of Matt Dillahunty, someone who used to be a devout Christian, used to want to be a minister, and yet at some point in his life a close examination of the case for Christianity and God persuaded him to make a U turn and become an atheist.

Atheism is the rejection of current theistic claims. The reasons for such rejection can be arbitrary - as it seems to be your case - or of personal convenience, or they arise from the failure of theism to meet its burden of proof. Moreover, from the atheistic stance a wide range of conflicting political, moral and scientific viewpoints can be adopted.

As such, atheism has nothing in common with organized religion.
ken1122
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8/18/2016 1:00:04 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 3:31:03 AM, tejretics wrote:
Most people who've interacted with me on this site probably know that I'm an atheist. I've done over 40 debates on God's existence, and I've read a bunch of philosophical works on both sides of the debate, along with tons of research papers.

On the theistic side, I've read "The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology," William Lane Craig's "Reasonable Faith," "On Guard," and "The Kalam Cosmological Argument," Swinburne's "Is There A God?" and a lot more. On the atheistic side, I've read Michael Martin's "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification," Dr. Victor Stenger's "God: The Failed Hypothesis," Theodore Drange's "Nonbelief and Evil," and a lot of essays/articles by notable philosophers such as Quentin Smith, and earlier ones such as Russell. And I've also read the conventional "The God Delusion," "God Is Not Great," "The End of Faith," etc. So I know most of the arguments on both sides.

I'm not here to argue for or against God's existence. If that were what this post were about, I'd place it in the Philosophy forum. I dislike this forum generally. Both atheists and theists tend to give passive aggressive, or directly aggressive, responses full of sh!t. And if I get that on here, I'm just going to ignore responses. This isn't really "philosophy" or I would've posted this in the Philosophy forum. Anyway, I'm looking forward to some rebuttal by both "strong atheists" and very religious people -- that is, good rebuttal, not some terrible arguments filled with insults.

My argument is that arguing about God is pointless, especially when one does it with the conviction of the "new atheist" movement -- which often has stupid arguments too, despite the presence of incredibly smart people such as Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss, Stephen Hawking, the late Christopher Hitchens, etc. -- or that of religious fundamentalists and hardcore conservative apologists. God is by definition a "transcendent entity." To humans, that's just incoherent. There's no point in analyzing the hypothesis.

The notion of "God" was probably to justify authority. When tribal chiefs started creating makeshift governments of their age, they needed some means to make the people accept their authority. Without creating religion like that, we wouldn't have any state or any welfare whatsoever. So to that extent, religion has helped society. Religious philosophy probably led to the ideological leftist movement as we know it, and to the liberal values that shape so many developed nations today. But religion has had some negatives. Terrorist attacks, terrible states, far-right extremists, religious fundamentalists. And that's the point the "new atheist" movement keeps raising... Religion is terrible, so we should get rid of it. Forget the fallacious reasoning in that argument since we can't possibly know the net effect of religion. Let's assume that's a fair argument.

Even then, the "new atheist" movement fails in accomplishing its goals because it lends itself to hypocrisy. It's intellectually dishonest. It has essentially become a religion of its own, trying to press with immense conviction and fundamentalism certain ideas in the fields of philosophy and social science. They have their meetings, their "badges," and they're even calling themselves "brights" so as to create a positive connotation. The way they organize themselves is identical to that of a religion. Remember that a religion isn't just some group of people that believe in God. It refers to an organized movement of people with a precise ideology/theology and immense conviction thereof, combined with certain ritualistic behaviors, etc. The new atheist movement displays all of that.

That's not necessarily the fault of the people in the movement. It just proves one argument: that movements against religion inevitably grow into religions themselves. People have natural biological urges to organize themselves into communities and to categorize themselves. They'll keep forming new religions. There are smart people who call for reforming certain kinds of religion. And then there's the intellectually dishonest, hypocritical "new atheist" movement that also makes dumb arguments against God (read, generally, any metaphysical work by a new atheist who doesn't have some background in philosophy). That's not to say the people in the movement are dumb. Dawkins, Harris, Ali, the late Hitchens, etc. are incredibly smart. But they're trying to bring about a certain change that won't happen and are falling into the same abyss they fight. In the words of Nietzsche, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."

I might or might not respond to posts on this thread. I created this OP just to let you guys know my position. Feel free to respond.

I think for an atheist to proclaim "God doesn"t exist" is foolish unless the particular version of God is described. There are people who worship things that are real. Some worship nature, some worship the Sun, obviously those things are real. There are some people who worship people who are real. Kumari is a Goddess worshipped in some sects of Hinduism. Hallie Selassie was seen as the incarnation of Jesus and worshipped as God, in Rastafarianism. Obviously there are plenty who worship Jesus. (Jesus and Hallie are Dead, but Kumari is still alive today) These people are as real as you and I so to look at these people or things and proclaim they don"t exist would be foolish. As an Atheist, I recognize what someone might call God may be real, but because I don"t recognize it as God, (I may see him as a regular human like you or I, perhaps I may see it as a being from another planet, but I don "t see him as God) I am atheist.

Ken