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What kind of atheist are you?
Posted: 09 July 2012 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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True.  I’m just crabby and have sand in my vajayjay today.  Hey!  That rhymes!


You’re a poet what don’t know it, but your feet show it! They’re a couple of Longfellows!

 

Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

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Posted: 09 July 2012 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 09 July 2012 08:54 AM

I’m a cynic who just happens to also be an atheist.

DM, I think pretty much everyone here is too, a cynic I mean. And most are an (fill in blank here) humanist/atheist.

 

I hope no one thinks of me as a cynic, because I sure don’t think I am one. I don’t think you are either, Jack.

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“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

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Posted: 09 July 2012 08:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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FreeInKy - 09 July 2012 09:14 AM
Thevillageatheist - 09 July 2012 08:54 AM

I’m a cynic who just happens to also be an atheist.

DM, I think pretty much everyone here is too, a cynic I mean. And most are an (fill in blank here) humanist/atheist.

 

I hope no one thinks of me as a cynic, because I sure don’t think I am one. I don’t think you are either, Jack.

FWIW, neither you or Jack strike me as cynics.

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Posted: 16 July 2012 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Apxeo - 06 July 2012 08:41 AM

I think he is coming at it as a blogger and using what various atheist bloggers (esp. those on FtB) like to talk about and bicker over as his criterion.  I think that is fair enough.  As with most taxonomies, it is a useful exercise, but it is lines drawn through a horrific mess (if it weren’t a horrific mess, you wouldn’t need a taxonomy).  I think of the types as axes or “attractors” rather than boxes.  And he is just focusing on atheists who are “within the pale”, who have legitimate differences of emphasis and opinion.  He could, for example, include Ayn Rand devotees, but who really cares why they might have a difference of opinion.

Me, I probably tend to the Scientific and Humanist ends.

Most people were slamming the idea of having categories until I read your response.  I agree with you that categories are valid as long as you don’t take them to the extreme and expect a perfect fit for anyone.  I don’t think it’s possible to only fit into one category.  For example, you would have to be a sociopath to be strictly scientific about it, not caring about the humanist, philosophical or political aspects but strictly the cold hard facts, or impossibly stupid to be purely political thinking it will gain you favour with a lobby group that can do anything, while not taking the scientific or humanist or philosophical aspects into account. 

The idea of “attractors” describes the concept of what PZ is trying to say simply and accurately.  I very much fit into the Scientific and Humanist categories with a bit of philosophical and even less political influence.  I’ve watched quite a few debates and speeches on this (gotta love Youtube) and find I agree with the Scientific atheists, as well as the Humanist atheists. 

It’s the science that makes me an atheist and the humanism that makes it an important part of my life and not just a stance on an unimportant topic.

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It is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it is not to care how you got your money as long as you have got it.  Edmund Way Teale, Circle of the Seasons

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Posted: 16 July 2012 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I am just a human that recognizes that all gods and all religions are created by humans for their own purposes.  I don’t wish to think I can be limited to any of these catagories.

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Gary the Human

All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 16 July 2012 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Garythehuman, how can categorizing something limit it?  Does saying you’re human limit you?  No, it is just a way of describing you.  If I consider myself (or if others consider me) to be mostly Scientific and Humanist in my atheism, how does that limit me?  It merely describes me, nothing more.

The only way categorizing something should ‘limit’ it is when human biases and prejudices get in the way.  If I’m “liberal” or “conservatrive”, you know something about me, but you shouldn’t judge me based on those labels.  I would hope that of all people, those participating in this forum should be the last group to fall prey to those weaknesses.

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It is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it is not to care how you got your money as long as you have got it.  Edmund Way Teale, Circle of the Seasons

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Posted: 17 July 2012 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 09 July 2012 09:00 AM

True.  I’m just crabby and have sand in my vajayjay today.  Hey!  That rhymes!


You’re a poet what don’t know it, but your feet show it! They’re a couple of Longfellows!

 

Cap’t Jack

UGH !  shut eye

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Gary the Human

All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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3point14rat - 16 July 2012 03:24 PM

Garythehuman, how can categorizing something limit it?  Does saying you’re human limit you?  No, it is just a way of describing you.  If I consider myself (or if others consider me) to be mostly Scientific and Humanist in my atheism, how does that limit me?  It merely describes me, nothing more.

The only way categorizing something should ‘limit’ it is when human biases and prejudices get in the way.  If I’m “liberal” or “conservatrive”, you know something about me, but you shouldn’t judge me based on those labels.  I would hope that of all people, those participating in this forum should be the last group to fall prey to those weaknesses.

Categorizing something is to limit it by definition.  Being human does describe limits I have, i.e. I can’t fly without mechanical help. 
I agree with you that categories are valid as long as you don’t take them to the extreme and expect a perfect fit for anyone (previous post 19).

That is the problem one of the major use of “categories” is to fit others (who are different from us i.e. not as good as us) into them.  I recently gave up my activity at a local VFW Post because of a discussion of “white niggers” and how those lazy bums are destroying the country,

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Maybe I have a different way of thinking of categories.  To me, they’re a way of seeing the world and using commonalities to organize what I see according to what I know.  If I categorize something and later learn that it really should be shifted closer to another category, I’ll mentally shift it.  Because my concept of categories is that they are “attractors” rather than discrete containers, they don’t define or limit but assist in explaining and describing. 

If I were to tell you my cousin was a philosophical athiest you’d know that she wasn’t all sciency and worried about proving the Bible a scientific disaster zone.  You would know something about her and it wouldn’t be ‘bad’ or ‘good’, it would simply be a piece of data that you can use. 

I have a feeling that the fact I indicated she is a female gave some information too, and it’s a category.  We’re all equal but we still use gender titles.  If you honestly view both genders as equal and categorize your fellow humans accordingly, you see why I have no problem having my atheism described in a way that separates it into categories.

I’m not always great at explaining what I think, so I hope this makes sense.

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It is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it is not to care how you got your money as long as you have got it.  Edmund Way Teale, Circle of the Seasons

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Posted: 18 July 2012 07:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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I’m cynical about some things, especially those issues that you beat your head against the wall for, mostly politics. But overall I’m not a cynic about life. It’s been pretty good so far. I like some H.L. Menckin but in extremely small doses!  grin

Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

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Posted: 18 August 2012 08:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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FreeInKy - 05 July 2012 09:14 AM

PZ Meyers is at it again, trying to herd the cats into one of 4 stalls.  LOL

So what do y’all think?...

Thanks for the question and the opportunity to think of theism in all its forms, including the atheistic ones, FIK.

Because of the personal tragedies of my childhood, I first flirted with atheism when I began to study high school science. For a time, I even made it quite clear that I had stopped believing in the ‘god’ of the Bible and the one mentioned in the hymns and the prayers used in the school and the church.

As I recall, though I attended a church-operated school, I don’t remember ever being rebuked for my questioning spirit and for my expressing my scepticism—to teachers and to clergy—at that time. If anything, I was encouraged to keep on seeking honest answers to my sincere questions.

Looking back, I know realize that the way that my honest doubt was treated by the minister and the teachers of my school—and later at university—was what led me to eventually develop a new way of understanding the god hypothesis—one that is based not on blindly accepting creeds and having to believe in human-like gods, but on practising golden-rule based good deeds, with social justice for all, including sceptics.

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Posted: 19 August 2012 04:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Well, your teachers at church school and university failed you.

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Raise your glass if you’re wrong…. in all the right ways.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Personally, I believe in reason. And in order to reason with one another requires logic. The first rule of logic is to define the terms. I am not familiar with PZ Meyer’s classification. But if he used it to try to make better sense, why is anyone bothered by it? I classify myself as a Gnostic Atheist. I have an absence of belief in religious entities and I believe I can argue for positive reasons against it as well (Gnostic = positive knowledge that a ‘god’ does not exist.) If you are atheist but do not have confidence to argue against religion, you have an absence of argument or knowledge to do so (Agnostic Atheist).

If you don’t like classification and definition then you mire in obscurity. Perhaps you just feel that you want to appear agreeable to everyone by allowing others to interpret you in a way that won’t hold you down to a certain claim. That’s the function of poetry and politicians.

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Posted: 22 August 2012 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Scott Mayers - 21 August 2012 08:32 AM

If you don’t like classification and definition then you mire in obscurity. Perhaps you just feel that you want to appear agreeable to everyone by allowing others to interpret you in a way that won’t hold you down to a certain claim. That’s the function of poetry and politicians.

I don’t think that anyone here has an issue with definitions or classification in the vast majority of instances.  It’s when people feel they are being pigeon-holed or labeled that they balk at ideas they normally accept. There are many reasons people are uncomfortable having others categorize them. 

Suggesting that those who don’t like to be categorized are attempting to appear agreeable is kinda ironic, because those you’re talking about won’t like being categorized in that way… thus proving their point.

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It is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it is not to care how you got your money as long as you have got it.  Edmund Way Teale, Circle of the Seasons

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Posted: 23 August 2012 07:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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This isn’t a herding-cats problem. It’s a problem of over-categorizing, if you take Myers’ comments too literally. But then I’m not convinced that he means to say that the categories are mutually exclusive. He has identified strains of atheism. It has a value but it’s not likely to re-order anyone’s thinking. P.Z. might well agree.

Or maybe not. He can speak for himself.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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