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Do atheists ever post on religious forums?
Posted: 19 September 2013 05:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Even better was the video ad that came up, with the elegantly beautiful woman graphically referencing her bowel movements in order to sell Poo-Pouri.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVzrpMzfBj0

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 19 September 2013 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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PLaClair - 15 September 2013 07:56 PM

You can be a member of Ethical Culture.

You can be a Tibetan Buddhist.

You can be a Confucian.

You can be a New-Ager, though mostly I don’t recommend it.

You can be a Stoic.

You can be a Taoist.

You can be a Unitarian-Universalist who doesn’t believe in a god.

You can be a secular Jew.

Or you can be a Humanist like me who sees all of life’s central concerns as part of his religion.

Quite so, as it is not essential that belief in a deity is necessary to be religious in the broadest sense.

But most religious people would associate being religious as believing and practicing a theist religion with its deity, sermons, dogmas, rituals etc. as unquestionable and to be accepted with faith.

OTOH, how about being irreligious instead?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreligion

Irreligion (adjective form: nonreligious or irreligious) is the absence of religion, an indifference towards religion, a rejection of religion, or hostility towards religion. When characterized as the rejection of religious belief, it includes atheism, religious dissidence and secular humanism. When characterized as hostility towards religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. When characterized as indifference to religion, it includes apatheism. When characterized as the absence of religious belief, it may also include agnosticism, ignosticism, nontheism, religious skepticism and freethought. Irreligion may even include forms of theism depending on the religious context it is defined against, as in 18th-century Europe where the epitome of irreligion was deism.

Bold added by me.

Or apatheism?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apatheism

Apatheism (/ˌæpəˈθiːɪzəm/ a portmanteau of apathy and theism/atheism), also known as pragmatic atheism or (critically) as practical atheism, is acting with apathy, disregard, or lack of interest towards belief or disbelief in a deity. Apatheism describes the manner of acting towards a belief or lack of a belief in a deity, so it applies to both theism and atheism. An apatheist is also someone who is not interested in accepting or denying any claims that gods exist or do not exist. In other words, an apatheist is someone who considers the question of the existence of gods as neither meaningful nor relevant to his or her life.

Again, bold added by me.

BTW, thank you for the link to Richard Dworkin’s final work on “Religion without God” of which I am in the process of reading, understanding and digesting the implications of his concept of religion as such. Consider this quote from his writing:

Albert Einstein said that though an atheist he was a deeply religious man:

  To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong in the ranks of devoutly religious men.

As a free thinker with a philosophical taoist perspective, I can appreciate Einstein’s concept of being religious in this sense.

Compare his insight of ultimate reality to this from the Tao Te Ching:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao_Te_Ching

Ineffability or Genesis:

  The Way that can be told of is not an unvarying way;
  The names that can be named are not unvarying names.
  It was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang;
  The named is but the mother that rears the ten thousand creatures, each after its kind. (chap. 1, tr. Waley)

These famous first lines of the Tao Te Ching state that the Tao is ineffable, i.e., the Tao is nameless, goes beyond distinctions, and transcends language.

Finally, bold added by me.

Was Einstein a taoist?  smile

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Posted: 20 September 2013 01:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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kkwan - 19 September 2013 08:17 PM

...Was Einstein a taoist?  smile

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe … We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty… ”  Albert Einstein

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 20 September 2013 03:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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If you’re open and honest about things, you’re going to say something along these lines.

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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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Posted: 20 September 2013 03:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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TimB - 20 September 2013 01:02 AM
kkwan - 19 September 2013 08:17 PM

...Was Einstein a taoist?  smile

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe … We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty… ”  Albert Einstein

“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine.” [Abraham Lincoln]

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Posted: 20 September 2013 04:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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PLaClair - 20 September 2013 03:30 AM
TimB - 20 September 2013 01:02 AM
kkwan - 19 September 2013 08:17 PM

...Was Einstein a taoist?  smile

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe … We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty… ”  Albert Einstein

“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine.” [Abraham Lincoln]

LOL

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Posted: 20 September 2013 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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TimB - 20 September 2013 01:02 AM

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe … We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty… ”  Albert Einstein

Consciousness is definitely not a “kind of optical delusion”.  cheese

“..to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty…” can be interpreted as his vision of “the cosmic religion” that offers a union with science.

From http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0904/0904.1280.pdf

The third step represents a religion which is reached by exceptionally high minded people and communities: “the cosmic religion”.

Einstein was characterized by Karl Popper as Parmenides.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parmenides

In “the way of truth” (a part of the poem), he explains how reality (coined as “what-is”) is one, change is impossible, and existence is timeless, uniform, necessary, and unchanging. In “the way of opinion,” he explains the world of appearances, in which one’s sensory faculties lead to conceptions which are false and deceitful. These ideas strongly influenced the whole of Western philosophy, perhaps most notably through their effect on Plato.

So, change is impossible and time is also a delusion. Is reality static which implies eternalism and the Block Universe?

And how does that reconcile with an expanding universe?

It appears that is untenable unless one is a deity observing the universe as a whole from a nexus outside the universe (wherever it may be) as the one and only one.  LOL

OTOH, in taoist philosophy, change is fundamental in the universe expressed as the interplay of yin (matter?) and yang (energy?) which are the manifestations of the tao.

Q.E.D.?  wink

[ Edited: 20 September 2013 10:01 AM by kkwan ]
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Posted: 20 September 2013 09:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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PLaClair - 20 September 2013 03:30 AM

“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine.” [Abraham Lincoln]

Apparently, it is genuine.

http://weblog.liberatormagazine.com/2010/10/einstein-on-being-human-sayings.html

However, your fake quote is obviously not genuine.

http://www.everythinglincoln.com/articles/Abraham-Lincoln-quotes.html

Obviously, the quote above is in jest, because everyone knows that the Internet did not exist until over 100 years after Lincoln’s death when Al Gore invented it.

LOL

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Posted: 20 September 2013 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Occam. - 15 September 2013 06:52 PM

Well said, Lois.  Unfortunately few have even heard the word, semantics.

Occam

Hi Occam, long time.
Most people, of any stripe, are not cut out to be professional philosophers. They work in a ‘world’ - more like a neighborhood - where they can be understood without being precise for a larger audience. Even scientists. I have an excellent paper (Zhuo et al.) that chirpily talks of ‘observing a dz-squared orbital’ which got lambasted (Scerri) for talking this way - because chemists don’t really use ‘observe’ like physicists do, or even ‘exists’ (Scerri was angry they’d even claim atomic orbitals exist - but the electron-density plot was quite striking).

Chris Kirk

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Posted: 20 September 2013 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Michelle,

Michelle D. - 13 September 2013 05:25 PM

Just a question here… do atheists ever bother to add their comments on religious forums?

I noticed that religious folks post here at times, which I actually find engaging (sometimes only), but do atheists ever bother to post on religious forums? I would guess not, unless you like arguing and getting nowhere, but maybe there are people who do? No idea.

Chesterton notes somewhere that he *might* convert an atheist, if they were friends and hammered at it for forty years. I wonder if that’s really the purpose of such discussions, and when I discuss religion or philosophy with people I try to avoid turning it into a debate - often unsuccessfully.

I contribute regularly to a Catholic forum that is well-regulated and aggressively (!) polite. I’ll give you the name if you’re interested.

On debate, I’ve latched onto a nice blog, if rather conservative politically, The Maverick Philosopher. Some good articles on debate here: http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/.services/blog/6a010535ce1cf6970c010535c82845970b/search?filter.q=debate

Like him or not, he’s always quite clear.

Interesting comments on religion without God.

Chris Kirk

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Posted: 20 September 2013 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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kkwan - 20 September 2013 09:31 AM
PLaClair - 20 September 2013 03:30 AM

“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine.” [Abraham Lincoln]

Apparently, it is genuine.

http://weblog.liberatormagazine.com/2010/10/einstein-on-being-human-sayings.html

LOL

LOL yourself, did you bother to read the link you provided? If the reproduced written letter on your link is accurate, then the quotation we were commenting on is not. Your link even points this out. Scroll down, friend!

It’s a great quotation, though, even if someone did take liberties with it. I liked it enough that I put it - instead of what Einstein appears to have written - on my website to illustrate connectedness as a part of spirituality.

[ Edited: 20 September 2013 01:42 PM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 20 September 2013 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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PLaClair - 20 September 2013 03:30 AM
TimB - 20 September 2013 01:02 AM
kkwan - 19 September 2013 08:17 PM

...Was Einstein a taoist?  smile

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe … We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty… ”  Albert Einstein

“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine.” [Abraham Lincoln]

Abraham (I should call him Dick for short) is quite correct here. Dick should have added that you never know if quotes printed in newspapers/magazines such as The New York Times (29 March 1972) and The New York Post (28 November 1972) are genuine either.

In fact, there exists a letter from Einstein consoling a friend, in which the first part of the quote is the same, as that above, but the latter part is quite different.

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2011/11/delusion.html

[ Edited: 20 September 2013 06:05 PM by TimB ]
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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 20 September 2013 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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kkwan - 20 September 2013 09:14 AM
TimB - 20 September 2013 01:02 AM

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe … We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty… ”  Albert Einstein

Consciousness is definitely not a “kind of optical delusion”.  cheese...

 

“Optical delusion” is an odd combination of terms. If “optical delusion” is defined as “seeing things as you want them to be, rather than as they are”, then with a bit of poetic license, I think we could give Einstein some slack, here, as he only asserted that it is a “kind of optical delusion of consciousness”. (italics mine)

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 20 September 2013 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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PLaClair - 20 September 2013 01:35 PM

LOL yourself, did you bother to read the link you provided? If the reproduced written letter on your link is accurate, then the quotation we were commenting on is not. Your link even points this out. Scroll down, friend!

Yes, I did (LOL at myself and scroll down as well) before I wrote: Apparently it is genuine.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/apparently

It’s a great quotation, though, even if someone did take liberties with it. I liked it enough that I put it - instead of what Einstein appears to have written - on my website to illustrate connectedness as a part of spirituality.

Apparently, this is what he wrote from the website (selected judiciously from the numerous in google) I linked to:

Actual version from handwritten note:

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is in the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.

Bold added by me.

However, the meaning and intention of what he wrote:

The striving to free oneself from this delusion is in the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.

is definitely not synonymous to:

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Whoever took liberties with what he wrote is devious as it gives us a misleading interpretation of who Einstein actually was.

Caveat emptor?  smile

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Posted: 20 September 2013 07:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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kkwan, when your pants are down at your ankles, there’s no point trying to explain yourself. Someone changed the quotation. Admit you made a mistake and move on.

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