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Posted: 22 July 2012 10:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Cjgager - 22 July 2012 06:12 PM

you are fooling yourself if you don’t think atheism is not a “belief” - even if it’s a non-belief.

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Uh, no.

To understand how atheism isn’t a belief, consider the basic scenario:  Person A asserting/claiming that a god exists, with Person B listening/evaluating that claim.  Given that, the ‘courtroom’ analogy might help illuminate things…..

If a prosecutor doesn’t offer a convincing argument/case, then the jury will be forced to vote ‘not guilty’......

That ‘not guilty’ verdict doesn’t necessarily mean that the jury is convinced/believes that the defendent is innocent, it just means that they haven’t been convinced by the prosecution’s argument.

An atheist’s ‘lacking belief’ doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re convinced that a god doesn’t exist, it just means that they haven’t been convinced by theists’ arguments and, therefore, lack belief.

`

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Posted: 22 July 2012 10:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 22 July 2012 09:02 PM

and yes - atheism DOES accept all things - otherwise it is just as exclusive as others.

No it doesn’t.

Atheism deals with one matter and one matter ONLY, and that is a lack of belief in deity.

`
Where could anyone get the idea that atheism relates/speaks to anything other than (non)belief-in-a-deity??

What is this “it accepts ALL things” nonsense?

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Posted: 22 July 2012 10:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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advocatus - 21 July 2012 07:06 AM

I don’t find anything offensive when a President, during an address on a shocking national tragedy, choses to end with a quick non-denominational prayer.  I react as I do when attending a friend’s funeral, just stand quietly and listen.  It’s not as if he’s trying to take a sledgehammer to the wall of separation with a simple prayer in that context.  Ignoring the context and raking the President over the coals as Flynn did is not appropriate.

At the same time, I certainly do NOT agree with the statement that atheists have to fake a Christian belief that we don’t really feel.  That is exactly what we’re trying to encourage atheists NOT to do!

`
Beautifully said, advocatus :)  I completely agree with your entire comment here.

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Posted: 22 July 2012 11:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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what i want to say is - just because one denies a presence of a god - one should not deny a presence of a human spirit - and to respect that - no matter what form that spirit is shown.  and yes - atheism DOES accept all things - otherwise it is just as exclusive as others.  and yes - it is a “Belief” - Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.  you are fooling yourself if you don’t think atheism is not a “belief” - even if it’s a non-belief.
i would like that religion be dead - because much, much heartache has been because of religious beliefs - but that is NOT going to happen.

  By human spirit, are you referring to the emotional nature of humans?  If so, then I agree that it’s a good idea to respect others feelings - especially in a time of crisis.

Still, you’re wrong about atheists accepting all things;  it’s easy to show compassion without any supernatural dogma, but total acceptance of every feeling and concept, for the sake of being nice rates a huge hell no.

It sounds like you’re basically confusing humanism with atheism in this case.

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Posted: 23 July 2012 07:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Where could anyone get the idea that atheism relates/speaks to anything other than (non)belief-in-a-deity??

A lot of religious people say things like and more that to bolster their assertion that “You’re the same as us!”

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Posted: 23 July 2012 08:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Oh, atheists believe in a lot of things, except god. But that is not a belief, it is the absence of belief, pending proof to the contrary. 
Personally I do believe that such proof will never be forthcoming. But that is a different matter and not my responsibility.

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Posted: 23 July 2012 11:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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1st - thank you for all your comments.  i’m not trying to cause disruption or anything - i was just saying what i feel.  2nd - before the other day i really never commented on websites like this - in fact i hardly ever read stuff on websites like this.  i figure everyone’s opinion is their own and so be it.  the ONLY reason i ever came here is because i thought Mr. Flynn’s comments were just so non-compassionate.  3rd - i was raised catholic and for 16yrs i went to catholic schools.  i learned in catholic schools all you learn (i mean, along w/ the regular subjects that they teach quite well by the way) - is if you’re gonna sin - sin well!  {ha - tho, that might be an inside joke}.  4th - maybe i wasn’t all that good in “religion” - cause i tested it once.  when i was 16, i drove my mom to mass one sunday - but i didn’t go in but stayed in the car - and OMG!!! - god did not strike me down - even when i lied to my mom when she came out and asked what i thought of the sermon.  since then (well, even before) - and i’m 58 now - i wondered about god and religion and stuff.  and i’m sure it’s a cliche’ w/you guys - but John Lennon’s song “Imagine” is to me what i want the world to be.
  To tell the truth - i don’t know if i’m an atheist.  you know - all of you seem to spout things about atheism - a “monotheist viewpoint” - an atheist doesn’t do this or that or doesn’t care about world views - it’s ONLY statement, supposedly - is that there is no god - which is OK to me.  what i guess i’m missing is - just being an atheist doesn’t preclude you from the rest of the world.  some state that because i say atheism must include all statements i am mistaken and that all that an atheist’s states is that there is no god.  to me that is not right.  If there is no god - then all an atheist has is him/her self and humankind.  One then must be aware of all of humankinds beliefs and accept them.  I don’t mean believe them - but be aware - and accept them - not frown on them or condemn them as stupid or illogical or meaningless.  I guess i want to make atheism more human.
  Some state atheism is not a philosophy - but 1.The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, esp. when considered as an academic discipline. 2.A set of views and theories of a particular philosopher concerning such study or an aspect of it.  So - to me - to say atheisim is not a philosophy is rubbish.
Mr. Flynn (whoever this person is, since i still haven’t looked him up, since i still have a life, etc.) stated something to the effect that Obama was being exclusionary when he mentioned prayer.  Therefore Mr. Flynn was stating that atheists has a stance.  I want atheism to have a positive stance.
  Suppose there was no religion.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRhq-yO1KN8
instead of snarky comments that mean nothing - get it together.  don’t try to educate me.  educate yourselves.
  Atheism could be a world movement - but you sit around sniping at little things in a negative fashion - when most people already agree w/ you just by living and experiencing that there is no god.  Mohammed was a pedaphile, but no one knows it.  People are killed EACH DAY because of religious intolerance.  We all ought to be organizing ourselves to help humankind overcome the religious delusion of a god.  There is no CENTRAL atheism site - there is no central anything - we have no power in elections - we have no power in any governance - because everyone takes the negative stance of denouncing religious affiliations - when there are many other ways to go about bringing the atheist viewpoint to the people other than NEGATIVITY.
  You read the other websites - “oh god has been lost to the people and that is why this aurora killer happened”.  Oh Please!  But we have NO spokesperson (if it’s mr. flynn, get rid of him) who can calmly state to the people that , unfortunately , scientifically (and i’m a proponent of science) this fellow, james holmes is like schizo and that people will do that and - in reality - wrong place/wrong time - it’s gonna happen now and again.  NOTHING to do with a GOD.  I need from the atheist community a LEADER who presents atheism in a positive light.  - - - IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE???  really - all of you should be asking this.
  Well - whatever.  Take care.

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Posted: 23 July 2012 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Religion, like anything else, it not exempt from criticism.

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Posted: 24 July 2012 02:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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`
Cjgager, I share your concern about atheism being ‘too negative’ ~ but the simple fact is that atheism isn’t a ‘system’ of beliefs/values, it really is one thing and one thing only:  a description of where a person stands on the issue of ‘God’ belief.  Many people don’t choose the atheist label as the ‘one’ label that describes everything they value, believe in, etc, it’s far too limited a word for that.  As others here have already pointed out, there are bigger ‘labels’ like ‘Humanist’ that speak to all of the things that people do value/believe in.

But on the issue of atheism/negativity, I offer you this:

Letting Go of God - Julia Sweeney

She would be my personal choice as an ‘atheist representative’ :)  She’s not dismissive or hateful or smug…...just honest about her experience and how she’s arrived at the place she is now.

Check it out and let me know what you think :)

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Posted: 24 July 2012 02:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Cjgager - 23 July 2012 11:16 PM

One then must be aware of all of humankinds beliefs and accept them.  I don’t mean believe them - but be aware - and accept them - not frown on them or condemn them as stupid or illogical or meaningless

`
I’m sorry Cjgager, but imo, when such beliefs are stupid/illogical and have a negative impact on other people (specifically, those of us who don’t subscribe to them), we’re NOT under any kind of obligation to “not condemn” them.  On the contrary, we have a responsibility to speak out against such beliefs and/or their ‘usage’.

I never condemn the beliefs of others as “meaningless”, because they’re obviously meaningful to those people who believe them.

I’m never an ass just-to-be-an-ass ~ the ONLY times I will criticize someone else’s beliefs are when people try to use those beliefs as some kind of justification to negatively affect the lives of others.  Other than that, I don’t care what anyone else believes, values or finds comfort in.

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Posted: 24 July 2012 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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If there is no god - then all an atheist has is him/her self and humankind.  One then must be aware of all of humankinds beliefs and accept them.  I don’t mean believe them - but be aware - and accept them - not frown on them or condemn them as stupid or illogical or meaningless.  I guess i want to make atheism more human.

If it’s stupid, it’s stupid. Nothing makes it intelligent. My willingness to accept a proposition depends on whatever evidence there is to justify doing so.

No evidence?

No acceptance, and no valid reason to do so.

The problem here is that you’re reading more into a lack of belief then is actually there, and you’re persisting in conflating and confusing it with any number of worldviews and beliefs. What you need to learn to do is seperate it from everything else.

instead of snarky comments that mean nothing - get it together.  don’t try to educate me.  educate yourselves.

We’re always trying to educate ourselves.

There is no CENTRAL atheism site - there is no central anything

Why would there be? Atheism has no creed, no dogma, no ideaology, no organization, no corporate identity or stand. The ONLY thing atheists have in common is a LACK of belief in any diety.

I need from the atheist community a LEADER who presents atheism in a positive light.  - - - IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE???  really - all of you should be asking this.

I don’t need a leader to define where I stand on a dirt simple concept. That said, those of us who are freethinkers DO have some people who could be considered leading lights. Not spokesmen per se, but individuals who are out there in the public spotlight who advocate replacing superstition with rationality and reason. James Randi, Micheal Shermer, Richard Dawkins, etc.

We don’t always agree on some issues, but we do have people out there who can be said to represent us on some matters.

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Posted: 24 July 2012 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I don’t need a leader to define where I stand on a dirt simple concept. That said, those of us who are freethinkers DO have some people who could be considered leading lights. Not spokesmen per se, but individuals who are out there in the public spotlight who advocate replacing superstition with rationality and reason. James Randi, Micheal Shermer, Richard Dawkins, etc.

We don’t always agree on some issues, but we do have people out there who can be said to represent us on some matters.


I’ll give a big hear hear to that EOC. They are educated professors and professional writers whose main interest is to get the word out to skeptics that now is the time to become more vocal such as Dawkins; and those who advocate a reasonable approach to debating belief v. Non belief like Dennet. If you haven’t read their books yet it will explain in more detail what we have been trying to relate to you. The above mentioned authors are a good start but there are many more now who challenge traditional thinking. Some use a scientific approach, some philisophical, some historical, and some political. You mentioned a leader; as EOC mentioned we don’t need one. There is no pastor to advise me as that’s what free thought is all about. I am free to accept or reject anyone’s contentions if not backed by facts and compelling evidence. I still don’t consider that ideal as being negative nor do I demean my neighbors for being believers. That’s their right under law and they don’t leave religious tracts on my porch because I have freedom from religion. Thomas Paine said it best when he write that “my church is my mind”.


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Posted: 24 July 2012 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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A few things…

First of all, welcome, Cjgager smile

I’m a little confused about your stance. You say that atheists should accept all statements and shouldn’t be negative, yet you condemn religion in the next breath.

It also might help to clarify what you mean by “accept”? Generally, accept means to regard as true, i.e. to believe. Do you mean “respect” or “tolerate” or something like that?

Atheism is negative by nature, since it is the negation of a belief in God. That doesn’t mean our demeanors have to be negative, but we may come off that way due to the nature of atheism.

It doesn’t make much sense for there to be an atheist leader or things like that since atheists are so different from one another - the only thing uniting them is their non-belief in God - there are plenty of other things they don’t agree on, including whether or not religion is a bad thing. That would be anti-theism, for example. Many of the New Atheists are anti-theists as well, such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. Daniel Dennett, on the other hand, seems to think religion may not be a bad thing, so you could say he presents atheism in a positive light without much negativity.

But again, atheism being what it is, how could you promote it without denouncing God and religion and therefore being perceived as negative?

There is also the National Atheist Party. You may be interested in that.

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Posted: 24 July 2012 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Cjgager - 23 July 2012 11:16 PM

1st - thank you for all your comments.  i’m not trying to cause disruption or anything - i was just saying what i feel.  2nd - before the other day i really never commented on websites like this - in fact i hardly ever read stuff on websites like this.  i figure everyone’s opinion is their own and so be it.  the ONLY reason i ever came here is because i thought Mr. Flynn’s comments were just so non-compassionate.  3rd - i was raised catholic and for 16yrs i went to catholic schools.  i learned in catholic schools all you learn (i mean, along w/ the regular subjects that they teach quite well by the way) - is if you’re gonna sin - sin well!  {ha - tho, that might be an inside joke}.  4th - maybe i wasn’t all that good in “religion” - cause i tested it once.  when i was 16, i drove my mom to mass one sunday - but i didn’t go in but stayed in the car - and OMG!!! - god did not strike me down - even when i lied to my mom when she came out and asked what i thought of the sermon.  since then (well, even before) - and i’m 58 now - i wondered about god and religion and stuff.  and i’m sure it’s a cliche’ w/you guys - but John Lennon’s song “Imagine” is to me what i want the world to be.
  To tell the truth - i don’t know if i’m an atheist.  you know - all of you seem to spout things about atheism - a “monotheist viewpoint” - an atheist doesn’t do this or that or doesn’t care about world views - it’s ONLY statement, supposedly - is that there is no god - which is OK to me.  what i guess i’m missing is - just being an atheist doesn’t preclude you from the rest of the world.  some state that because i say atheism must include all statements i am mistaken and that all that an atheist’s states is that there is no god.  to me that is not right.  If there is no god - then all an atheist has is him/her self and humankind.  One then must be aware of all of humankinds beliefs and accept them.  I don’t mean believe them - but be aware - and accept them - not frown on them or condemn them as stupid or illogical or meaningless.  I guess i want to make atheism more human.
  Some state atheism is not a philosophy - but 1.The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, esp. when considered as an academic discipline. 2.A set of views and theories of a particular philosopher concerning such study or an aspect of it.  So - to me - to say atheisim is not a philosophy is rubbish.
Mr. Flynn (whoever this person is, since i still haven’t looked him up, since i still have a life, etc.) stated something to the effect that Obama was being exclusionary when he mentioned prayer.  Therefore Mr. Flynn was stating that atheists has a stance.  I want atheism to have a positive stance.
  Suppose there was no religion.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRhq-yO1KN8
instead of snarky comments that mean nothing - get it together.  don’t try to educate me.  educate yourselves.
  Atheism could be a world movement - but you sit around sniping at little things in a negative fashion - when most people already agree w/ you just by living and experiencing that there is no god.  Mohammed was a pedaphile, but no one knows it.  People are killed EACH DAY because of religious intolerance.  We all ought to be organizing ourselves to help humankind overcome the religious delusion of a god.  There is no CENTRAL atheism site - there is no central anything - we have no power in elections - we have no power in any governance - because everyone takes the negative stance of denouncing religious affiliations - when there are many other ways to go about bringing the atheist viewpoint to the people other than NEGATIVITY.
  You read the other websites - “oh god has been lost to the people and that is why this aurora killer happened”.  Oh Please!  But we have NO spokesperson (if it’s mr. flynn, get rid of him) who can calmly state to the people that , unfortunately , scientifically (and i’m a proponent of science) this fellow, james holmes is like schizo and that people will do that and - in reality - wrong place/wrong time - it’s gonna happen now and again.  NOTHING to do with a GOD.  I need from the atheist community a LEADER who presents atheism in a positive light.  - - - IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE???  really - all of you should be asking this.
  Well - whatever.  Take care.

You seem confused; Atheism that is more human is essentially Humanism, look into it. 

BTW, there will never be a world movement of atheism or rationalism, simply because most humans are believers in some supernatural phenomena.

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Posted: 28 July 2012 08:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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atheism is “purely” the “belief” , “supposition” , “idea” that there is no god - nothing more , nothing less.
and because of that “belief”, “supposition”, “idea” there is no leader?
hmmm.
you know - one thing i dislike about this site is i can’t review what anyone has said by like going up a page and seeing what they said.  i’m suppose to remember what everyone has stated and give a response.
any-way.
None of you have given me a sufficient argument to state that atheism does not accept all things / ideas / concepts.
You all state that atheism is a NEGATIVE - i.e. - a lack in the belief of a god.
Fine - i have no qualms with that.  What i want is a POSITIVE of what atheists stand for.  Plus, i want a leader.
Many responses stated that atheism is “merely” a lack in the belief of a god.  But is that your entire essence?  Do you not all live in the world with other humans?  Do you all lack compassion and humanistic feelings?  Are you all saying that to live in world without god one is immune to feelings?
So what i don’t believe there is a god - does that make me inhuman?
And this is where i guess i am in a conundrum. 
What WOULD an atheist say to a parent who has lost their child to a deranged killer?
“oh, gee whiz, it just happens sometimes ya know.”  “Humans are mean like that.”  “There is no god to look up to, live with that.”
To state you are an atheist does not provide comfort.  To state - “well, i’m only saying i don’t believe there is a god” - - - well - what do you do with the rest of your life and your social interactions?
Atheists DO need a leader.  They do need to present a stance that is not INHUMANE.  They DO need to accept ALL beliefs.
Let’s pretend.  Let’s say 40% of adults are actually atheists.  Why?  - Because life experiences say this is so.  Yet - they say and do stuff to continue their religious committment because of “their children”.  Even tho, in actuality - they know there is no god.
Yet - there cannot be a church for atheists (obviously).
Yet - every atheist {oh, don’t even pretend you don’t want this} would love a place to congregate and be one with a non-belief and have that non-belief recognized - and have that non-belief made into a political power which could change the world’s views into non-religious viewpoints.
A thousand wars have been made in the name of religion - has ONE ever been made in the name of non-religion?
you have this site.  until atheists desire to admit they care about their beliefs - and stand up for them, the world will continue fighting.

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