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Good resources for understanding atheism
Posted: 29 December 2013 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Theflyingsorcerer - 29 December 2013 03:42 PM
Fuzzy Logic - 29 December 2013 03:14 PM

I’m probably going to answer a lot of my questions on my own, which I think is what some have been pointing out here.

I’m 100% with you there, Fuzzy. If you pursue your questing honestly and intelligently, answers will come to you. Only problem is, more often than not each answer brings in its train only more questions….. But ultimately you’ll have to trust your own judgement, your own observations, and, dare I say it, quite often your own intuition.

In your questing you’re likely to meet a great many people, from all over the belief/non-belief spectrum, who’ll tell you, no, no, human judgement is fallible so you can’t trust your own judgement (always, it seems, with the subtext “trust mine instead!”) - all I can say is, listen to what they have to say, thank them - then decide for yourself. When you’re down to the wire, your own judgement is really all you have.

TFS

That’s what I’ve found, we’re all in this journey together, alone. Another one of those paradoxes that nature seems to be made of.

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Posted: 29 December 2013 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Fuzzy Logic - 29 December 2013 03:14 PM

I think Tom Harpur is struggling to find a way to be a Christian without a Christ which seems like a serious challenge to me.

I’ll give Atheist Universe a go.

I’m probably going to answer a lot of my questions on my own, which I think is what some have been pointing out here. Science is a very powerful tool to understanding the universe, and I find that things like Quantum Theory and thermodynamics provide me with a sense of place and understanding that religion never did. Which would probably have been obvious to me if I wasn’t brought up in the situation I was.

Mr. Logic; I find your own responses better than the ones from some of the older posters here. I’m surprised at that, I’m usually pretty impressed by them. You’ve done a lot of good work on your own, but if you’re like me, and I’m sure others, you still feel the need to build on your world view.

I picked up “Sense and Goodness Without God” by Richard Carrier and was very surprised by it. He covers the physics, which is nice, but also explains how reducing the world to these laws doesn’t lead to “we’re all just chemical reactions”. Carrier also has a strong web presence. For an overview of philosophy, I’d recommend Bertrand Russell’s. “A History of Western Philosophy”. I guess it has some bad reviews, but I found it an engaging read. Russell’s ability to take on the various cultures of thought and express them is outstanding. Among other things, I found the connection from philosophers through history to our modern philosophy of democratic governments that we live under.

If you’re looking for something with a little more story, Wittgenstein’s Poker is a good one. It covers the history of the 20th century debate that led to how we think about what truth is.

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Posted: 29 December 2013 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Lausten - 29 December 2013 04:03 PM

Mr. Logic; I find your own responses better than the ones from some of the older posters here. I’m surprised at that, I’m usually pretty impressed by them. You’ve done a lot of good work on your own, but if you’re like me, and I’m sure others, you still feel the need to build on your world view.

I picked up “Sense and Goodness Without God” by Richard Carrier and was very surprised by it. He covers the physics, which is nice, but also explains how reducing the world to these laws doesn’t lead to “we’re all just chemical reactions”. Carrier also has a strong web presence. For an overview of philosophy, I’d recommend Bertrand Russell’s. “A History of Western Philosophy”. I guess it has some bad reviews, but I found it an engaging read. Russell’s ability to take on the various cultures of thought and express them is outstanding. Among other things, I found the connection from philosophers through history to our modern philosophy of democratic governments that we live under.

If you’re looking for something with a little more story, Wittgenstein’s Poker is a good one. It covers the history of the 20th century debate that led to how we think about what truth is.

Thank you.

I’ve spent a lot of time in my own head and I like to think I’ve answered a few of my own questions, now I’m at a place in my life when I’m comparing that to sources I wouldn’t have considered or even been able to understand when I was younger.

Science does offer a lot of value, but I’d like to approach it from an aspect that doesn’t reduce life to mere mechanics, so the Richard Carrier book sounds good.

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Posted: 30 December 2013 02:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Fuzzy Logic - 29 December 2013 02:46 PM

There are profound implications in going from approaching the world from the standpoint that there are external intelligent agencies that control every aspect of lives to one that understands that there really is no objective evidence for that.

You’re right. You are you and I am me. I personally can’t envision any transitional issues. I can’t conceptualize it literally.
But that’s me. If you are becoming an atheist than you are freeing yourself from unnecessary myths and rituals. You’re freeing yourself
from mental slavery.  What’s the downside? Having to explain it to your loved ones or something? Ok, I guess that could be tricky.

And while a person may not consciously choose to become an atheist, there are life choices to make that can lead to that point that a person can make. That what’s happened in my case.

I’ll take your word for it. I’m a hard determinist, but I do recognize the human conceptualization of choosing and consequences.
Basically I’m saying that I don’t think you made any choices that led you to atheism. Not the choice part, the atheism part.
You must have somewhere along the way realized religion/god was just ridiculous.  What choices could have possibly led to that realization?
None that I can think of.

As I’ve already mentioned, the implications of living under the two different modes are profound, in the first(religious) mode, something else is responsible for your actions, in the second(atheist) you are. The implications for how people treat each other and the world around them are profound, especially when you consider some of the challenges we currently face as a species such as climate change and geopolitical instability that often has a religious component.

So you are becoming an atheist and are dealing with the transition. I see now. I became an atheist between the age of 12 and 14. I don’t remeber any transitional issues. But then an adolescent has no responsibilities. I became into atheism. You are having to switch to atheism.
I can’t relate to that. But I see your issues now. I wouldn’t worry. Just live your life well. And quit trying to find the connections between atheism and global warming. There’s nothing there. You aren’t going to find any answers in books either.

Angle? This is life, not a game, I’d like to understand it to the best of my ability, and that requires inquiry. I’m not trying to win anything, from my standpoint there’s nothing to win except greater understanding of myself and the natural world.

I shouldn’t have used the word “angle”. I just meant in what direction are you looking to seek information about atheism. What direction do you see yourself going in?  Once your atheism has completely solidified you will begin to realize that life is in fact a game.

I’m not shopping for anything, I’m trying to understand the implications of the profound changes in my life and what that means in the highly chaotic circumstances of the world around me. I don’t live in isolation and I understand that although I no longer follow any organized belief system that includes a supreme being, I also understand that my life is still going to be affected by those that do, possibly to the point of catastrophe. I live in Canada where our born again Christian PM doesn’t allow for the possibility of catastrophic climate change for instance. And from my background in the evangelical movement I understand that even if he did understand the implications he may not care due to the belief of many Christians of a looming end time, which many also look forward to. Not a good thing in my opinion.

I don’t know if you’re cut out for atheism. I’m half joking here. What’s with all this “profound changes” and “implications”.
There’s no implications. There is no profundity. Everything is BS. Just be well and treat others the way jesus would have treated people the best way you can. Obviously we can’t be as selfless as jesus was. But we can try. More jokes. But seriously, if everyone tried to live up to the “teachings” of jesus the World would be a better place. Much better probably.

If the personal implications of being an atheist weren’t to my liking’s then I wouldn’t be an atheist. I don’t see atheism as a lack of something but an admission of the true nature of the universe which is one of uncertainty at a fundamental level. Which opens up the possibility of inquiry to gain a better understanding of that nature. To me the true lack is in accepting comfort over responsibility.

Are you saying that being an atheist is accepting comfort over responsibility? I don’t think you are, but I just want to be sure.

Also atheism can easily be understanding the fundamentals with perfect clarity. That includes factoring in “uncertainty”.
The true nature of humans will always be seeking out the answers to uncertainty. That’s where the clarity comes in. On a fundamental level. The clarity is knowing we will never be satisfied. So what does “uncertainty” mean in that context? Not much.

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Posted: 30 December 2013 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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VYAZMA - 30 December 2013 02:22 AM

[
You’re right. You are you and I am me. I personally can’t envision any transitional issues. I can’t conceptualize it literally.
But that’s me. If you are becoming an atheist than you are freeing yourself from unnecessary myths and rituals. You’re freeing yourself
from mental slavery.  What’s the downside? Having to explain it to your loved ones or something? Ok, I guess that could be tricky.

I’ve lived through it, and from my perspective it is a profound change, and as you say a very liberating one. I think people do get a lot of comfort and sense of place from religion, but ultimately the price is too high to pay if it does in fact enslave our minds.

I’ll take your word for it. I’m a hard determinist, but I do recognize the human conceptualization of choosing and consequences.
Basically I’m saying that I don’t think you made any choices that led you to atheism. Not the choice part, the atheism part.
You must have somewhere along the way realized religion/god was just ridiculous.  What choices could have possibly led to that realization?
None that I can think of.

At it’s most basic level the universe is built on chance, our choices don’t just define us, they help define the universe around us.

I haven’t really gotten to the point of seeing religion as ridiculous, just tragic in far to many cases. In my cases it was choices about facing my personal reality that didn’t always come easily…vast understatement.

So you are becoming an atheist and are dealing with the transition. I see now. I became an atheist between the age of 12 and 14. I don’t remeber any transitional issues. But then an adolescent has no responsibilities. I became into atheism. You are having to switch to atheism.
I can’t relate to that. But I see your issues now. I wouldn’t worry. Just live your life well. And quit trying to find the connections between atheism and global warming. There’s nothing there. You aren’t going to find any answers in books either.

I see it more as awakening into a much fully understanding of reality, I’m not really switching anything, just reinterpreting many incomplete lessons.

The connections that concern me about religion and things like global warming is the lack of critical thinking skills that are far too often a part of religion, especially fundamentalism. If people just have to learn certain dogma to function successfully in a short term limited scene while entering serious progress traps then that’s an issue that effects us all. I don’t live in isolation, and for example if I was in a lifeboat and some of my less rational crew mates were cutting the boat to pieces to build a fire then I think it’s only rational to point out the flaws in that activity. I see a lot of what’s going on in the world around me in that light and not a lot of rational thought going into why and how to change direction.

But if you’re a determinist then that’s a moot point anyway.

I shouldn’t have used the word “angle”. I just meant in what direction are you looking to seek information about atheism. What direction do you see yourself going in?  Once your atheism has completely solidified you will begin to realize that life is in fact a game.

I’m not sure. From my perspective the future is largely open, and every choice I make and action I take creates many new and unanticipated possibilities.

And while I see life as being full of randomness, I don’t really experience it as a game, although I understand many people do.

I don’t know if you’re cut out for atheism. I’m half joking here. What’s with all this “profound changes” and “implications”.
There’s no implications. There is no profundity. Everything is BS. Just be well and treat others the way jesus would have treated people the best way you can. Obviously we can’t be as selfless as jesus was. But we can try. More jokes. But seriously, if everyone tried to live up to the “teachings” of jesus the World would be a better place. Much better probably.

I think we covered that in the beginning of this exchange, living within a religious context is analogous to slavery to some, there’s a profound difference in my mind between being free or being a slave.

I also think there’s some very positive messages from the Christ story that I have consciously tried to include in my life. One of the things that started the process of questioning for me was the dichotomy of what was being preached and what was actually being done within my and other religions. As far as I can tell most religion is about the earthly exercise of power often to the detriment of the spiritual well being of members. Christianity may have started out as a spiritual expression of certain truths, but it soon became corrupted into something much different, something the religion is struggling with today. So in a sense, I don’t see myself as leaving the church, it largely abandoned much of what has value to me long ago.

Are you saying that being an atheist is accepting comfort over responsibility? I don’t think you are, but I just want to be sure.

Also atheism can easily be understanding the fundamentals with perfect clarity. That includes factoring in “uncertainty”.
The true nature of humans will always be seeking out the answers to uncertainty. That’s where the clarity comes in. On a fundamental level. The clarity is knowing we will never be satisfied. So what does “uncertainty” mean in that context? Not much.

No I’m saying that religion provides comfort to many people at the price of turning responsibility for actions over to an agency that there’s no evidence even exists. And the consequences can be terrible.

Perfect clarity seems to me an ideal that can be sought but never reached, I don’t expect to ever reach a place of not asking who I am and what place I have in the universe.

The perfection I think is in the process of always asking why, it’s a never ending journey which if you’re not prepared can seem very risky. I get why many people choose the comfort of religion over the rational approach of saying “I really don’t know, let’s find out,” they just don’t see far enough ahead to see the likely results of saying, “I prefer to live by a user manual that was written in the Bronze Age”, “and Oh, by the way I may kill you if you ask to many questions”.

[ Edited: 30 December 2013 03:18 PM by Fuzzy Logic ]
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Posted: 31 December 2013 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Fuzzy Logic - 30 December 2013 03:05 PM

I’ve lived through it, and from my perspective it is a profound change, and as you say a very liberating one. I think people do get a lot of comfort and sense of place from religion, but ultimately the price is too high to pay if it does in fact enslave our minds.

 

Well for those who truly believe and are mentally enslaved so to speak maybe the price isn’t that high. Maybe they’re lucky?
Kind of the ultimate drugged state for their existence. Oblivious to the contradiction and suffering…
But ultimately no. They suffer more. They doubt their fate and their religions’s truth all the time. I always say, the vast majority of people
are agnostic. Even the ones who profess to be strongly religious and associated with a specific religion.  How could doubt not fill anyone’s
mind when considering a god?

At it’s most basic level the universe is built on chance, our choices don’t just define us, they help define the universe around us.

I haven’t really gotten to the point of seeing religion as ridiculous, just tragic in far to many cases. In my cases it was choices about facing my personal reality that didn’t always come easily…vast understatement.

Well if there was light trauma or stress, or emotional issues behind those choices or personal realities then you just need to let everything settle.
Slow down on your search for “answers” or understandings(because there are none.)
I’m assuming this transition happened over a period of time, and has just recently began it’s conclusion? If so..slow down.
Let things settle in. Settle in easy. Adjust to your new way of thinking and don’t be so eager to find meaning in it. I can’t stress this enough.
I want you to stay an atheist. So take it easy and don’t expect much from atheism.
Expect much from life like you said.  Find answers in science, politics, the environment or your hobbies or work etc. Don’t look to atheism to start providing you answers.
You might not like the answers it has to give….either none, or depending on your mindset and expectations-harsh answers.

I see it more as awakening into a much fully understanding of reality, I’m not really switching anything, just reinterpreting many incomplete lessons.

The connections that concern me about religion and things like global warming is the lack of critical thinking skills that are far too often a part of religion, especially fundamentalism. If people just have to learn certain dogma to function successfully in a short term limited scene while entering serious progress traps then that’s an issue that effects us all. I don’t live in isolation, and for example if I was in a lifeboat and some of my less rational crew mates were cutting the boat to pieces to build a fire then I think it’s only rational to point out the flaws in that activity. I see a lot of what’s going on in the world around me in that light and not a lot of rational thought going into why and how to change direction.

But if you’re a determinist then that’s a moot point anyway.

Yes it is a moot point for the most part. I see the same things. So do the other determinists around here.
I think it depends on how much nihilism you throw in with your determinism. I tend to throw in a good dash.

 


I think we covered that in the beginning of this exchange, living within a religious context is analogous to slavery to some, there’s a profound difference in my mind between being free or being a slave.

I also think there’s some very positive messages from the Christ story that I have consciously tried to include in my life. One of the things that started the process of questioning for me was the dichotomy of what was being preached and what was actually being done within my and other religions. As far as I can tell most religion is about the earthly exercise of power often to the detriment of the spiritual well being of members. Christianity may have started out as a spiritual expression of certain truths, but it soon became corrupted into something much different, something the religion is struggling with today. So in a sense, I don’t see myself as leaving the church, it largely abandoned much of what has value to me long ago.

 

Yeah.  I think there’s some church left in you somewhere.  That’s why I said you might not be cut out for atheism. There’s more revealing items in this paragraph of your’s. I’m not being judgmental.  But with other things you said, plus your original post in which you stated you searched around for a fitting religion…
That’s why my continuing theme has been for you to take it easy. Settle down into it slowly. Adjust.

 

No I’m saying that religion provides comfort to many people at the price of turning responsibility for actions over to an agency that there’s no evidence even exists. And the consequences can be terrible.

Yes, but it obviously has/had purpose on a social evolutionary scale. It’s largely crap and awful..but don’t forget “religion” has guided humans for millennium.  Especially prior to say 150-200 years ago.

Will it continue to do so? I have mixed feelings about this. Personally I think humans have an innate “need”(?) to look to the “heavens” so to speak.  They have to think there is something beyond Earth.
Will this slowly evolve away into universal atheism? I don’t know.  I know it ain’t happening anytime soon.
But also…the capacity in which religion is guiding humans has greatly diminished.

Perfect clarity seems to me an ideal that can be sought but never reached, I don’t expect to ever reach a place of not asking who I am and what place I have in the universe.

Yes, I didn’t mean to sound like a guru or something with the whole perfect clarity thing…
Again your statement here is revealing. You can ask who you are. But I find it very difficult to understand an atheist asking what place they have
in the universe. At least in the context in which I am reading your words.
Those are the words of someone still seeking metaphysical “answers”. Looking for “higher” meanings.
Your place is in your neighborhood. With your friends and family and your vocation etc…Or whatever you do.
That’s our place. Of course if you travel alot your “place” becomes bigger, but you get the idea.

The only other thing is that the particles you are made of will eventually go back to the “universe”. But that is fairly mundane.
It’s not magic or surprising.  Basically on a particle sense we are part the universe. But that’s strictly science. Not metaphysics or anything.
Once we check out…die, those particles are none the wiser. In fact as you probably know, you are not even made up of the same particles you were a few years ago, for the most part. Particles radically arranged to form us at conception, and they will radically rearrange when we die.

 

The perfection I think is in the process of always asking why, it’s a never ending journey which if you’re not prepared can seem very risky. I get why many people choose the comfort of religion over the rational approach of saying “I really don’t know, let’s find out,” they just don’t see far enough ahead to see the likely results of saying, “I prefer to live by a user manual that was written in the Bronze Age”, “and Oh, by the way I may kill you if you ask to many questions”.

Like I said that perfection of the never ending journey and always asking why is what gave us religion/gods when we were not even Homo Sapiens yet. That’s what got us to this point so far. I’d like to say-“For better or worse”, but I don’t see things that way.
It just “is”. One doesn’t have to, but you can easily say life is all bullshit without cheating yourself out of anything.

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Posted: 31 December 2013 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I did a long reply to your above post VYAZMA, then lost it somehow.

I agree with a lot of what you say, and I think taking the time and going slow is good advice.

I’m learning to take things in stride, and with people like Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and Lewis Black around there’s always something to laugh along with. It’s too bad George Carlin is gone now.

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Posted: 01 January 2014 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Fuzzy Logic - 31 December 2013 04:03 PM

I did a long reply to your above post VYAZMA, then lost it somehow.

I agree with a lot of what you say, and I think taking the time and going slow is good advice.

I’m learning to take things in stride, and with people like Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and Lewis Black around there’s always something to laugh along with. It’s too bad George Carlin is gone now.

George Carlin!  Nice!
I hate it when that deletion thing happens. It seems to only happen after you type 10.000 words.
Peace out!

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Posted: 02 January 2014 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Thanks for the responses here, it finally dawned on me that I’m not trying to define atheism, I’m trying to define myself.

This is the first time I’ve every really discussed the issue and I still do have some holdover ideas from my church days.

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Posted: 13 January 2014 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Atheism is not simply a lack of belief as some here suggest.  It is the belief that there is no such thing as God.  The belief that there is no such thing as God is as much a truth claim as the belief that there is a God and, therefore, requires evidence to back it up just as the theist claim does. 

Being an atheist is not a default position, but a choice.  Look at it this way:  A baby doesn’t believe in God, but we can’t call that baby an atheist because that baby doesn’t have the intellect or the information to make that decision. 

And given that Dr Justin Barrett of the University of Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind says that children have “a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose,” it seems that a person must choose atheism at some point in life.  See here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/3512686/Children-are-born-believers-in-God-academic-claims.html

The very fact that you are looking for books on atheism and what it is to be an atheist shows that it is not merely a lack of belief.  Whether you call it a philosophy or a worldview or a metaphysical stance, it involves a set of beliefs which influences how one thinks and how one lives.

Given that the atheist would have to know everything that there is to know about the world in order to state with certainty that God does not exist, the atheist would be better off calling himself an agnostic, saying that he doesn’t think God exists, but he can’t be sure.

As for books on atheism, I recommend Ravi Zacharias’ The Face of Atheism

[ Edited: 13 January 2014 09:03 AM by Overcomer ]
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Posted: 13 January 2014 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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The belief that there is no such thing as God is as much a truth claim as the belief that there is a God and, therefore, requires evidence to back it up just as the theist claim does. 

8th grade logic:  Positive statements require proof.  Negative statements require no proof.  Where is your proof of god?

Don’t use (insult) the Bible as proof of God’s existence, as research has shown this extremely valuable library of ancient writings by many authors is one of best resources for knowledge of the politics in those societies that contributed to it, and at the time.  The people who originated these stories and those recorded who the various versions them were using the convenient fiction of gods prevalent in their age to organize their societies and compete with others who were doing much the same.

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Posted: 17 January 2014 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Personally, I prefer going about the bible over here at
http://www.bartdehrman.com/multimedia.htm

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Posted: 18 January 2014 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Re: Losing posts after you write them and while you are trying to put them up.  This seems to be a glitch in the program.  You have to get in the habit of blocking off your entire post, hitting control-c to copy it into your computer, then hitting submit.  If it works, fine. If it doesn’t, the program shows you a blank box to enter a post in.  Go to the upper left corner then type control-v.  Your computer will pull your writing out of its memory and put it up.  Then you hit submit again.  That almost always works, although one time I had to do it three times before the program got it right.
LOL

Occam

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Posted: 18 January 2014 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Fuzzy Logic - 27 December 2013 03:07 PM

I was wondering if there are any good resources out there for getting a better understanding of atheism?

I used to be a practicing Christian, but I find I don’t really believe the story anymore and don’t find any other religion appealing. I got about halfway through Richard Dawkins The God Delusion a few years ago but found it a little overwhelming at that point. I also enjoy some of the books of Tom Harpur, who while he approaches the subject from a religious background, has done a lot to demystify Christianity I think, The Pagan Christ being a good example.

Elaine Pagels has written a lot of books that help with the understanding of religion.

But first you have to figure out what were/are your thoughts on religion.
Most Americans are Faith Based, or put another way, it’s all in your mind and the bible and god really have little to do with your belief.

The best advice I can give you is to ask a question. Then using the internet, answer that question.
In answering that question you will come up with five more questions.
Pick one and search for the answer on the internet. Answer a lot of questions and you will find understanding.

To me the best resource is the internet.

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Posted: 18 January 2014 11:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Overcomer - 13 January 2014 08:56 AM

Atheism is not simply a lack of belief as some here suggest.  It is the belief that there is no such thing as God.  The belief that there is no such thing as God is as much a truth claim as the belief that there is a God and, therefore, requires evidence to back it up just as the theist claim does. 

Being an atheist is not a default position, but a choice.  Look at it this way:  A baby doesn’t believe in God, but we can’t call that baby an atheist because that baby doesn’t have the intellect or the information to make that decision. 

And given that Dr Justin Barrett of the University of Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind says that children have “a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose,” it seems that a person must choose atheism at some point in life.  See here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/3512686/Children-are-born-believers-in-God-academic-claims.html

The very fact that you are looking for books on atheism and what it is to be an atheist shows that it is not merely a lack of belief.  Whether you call it a philosophy or a worldview or a metaphysical stance, it involves a set of beliefs which influences how one thinks and how one lives.

Given that the atheist would have to know everything that there is to know about the world in order to state with certainty that God does not exist, the atheist would be better off calling himself an agnostic, saying that he doesn’t think God exists, but he can’t be sure.

As for books on atheism, I recommend Ravi Zacharias’ The Face of Atheism

Overcomer - 13 January 2014 08:56 AM

Atheism is not simply a lack of belief as some here suggest.  It is the belief that there is no such thing as God.  The belief that there is no such thing as God is as much a truth claim as the belief that there is a God and, therefore, requires evidence to back it up just as the theist claim does. 

Not true. That’s not what atheism is. Atheism is a rejection of a claim. It is not a claim itself. If a doctor tells you he sees nothing that would lead him to believe you have cancer he is not claiming you can’t possibly have it.  He is going on the evidence or lack of evidence he has at hand.  That is what atheism is like.  A lack of evidence that a god exists,  i don’t know of many atheists who would claim to know or believe that a god does not exist.  It simply doesn’t work that way. Atheism is not a belief.  It is a position on evidence.

Lois

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