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Atheism is Stupid!
Posted: 26 October 2015 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Atheism is stupid, according to Carl Sagan.  I agree with his view and here is the reason why.  The word atheism started to gain attention in the 15th century when christian era ruled.  The christian leaders at that time gave the word a negative meaning ex. evil, bad, possessed and reinforced the belief and fear by actual torture.  When this word is used by the common christian, their preconditioned brain automatically shuts down their ability to reason.  I use a new positive word to help in a discussion about religion and that word is “catheist”.  This way i get a chance to discuss and explain how my own beliefs in a god have changed without them prejudging me.  It keeps the discussion going.  Definition: Catheist is a person who does not know if there is a god.

[ Edited: 26 October 2015 09:54 AM by grand pa ray ]
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Posted: 26 October 2015 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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grand pa ray - 26 October 2015 09:51 AM

Atheism is stupid, according to Carl Sagan.  I agree with his view and here is the reason why.  The word atheism started to gain attention in the 15th century when christian era ruled.  The christian leaders at that time gave the word a negative meaning ex. evil, bad, possessed and reinforced the belief and fear by actual torture.  When this word is used by the common christian, their preconditioned brain automatically shuts down their ability to reason.  I use a new positive word to help in a discussion about religion and that word is “catheist”.  This way i get a chance to discuss and explain how my own beliefs in a god have changed without them prejudging me.  It keeps the discussion going.  Definition: Catheist is a person who does not know if there is a god.

How does that differ from agnostic?

In fact, no one on earth knows if there is a god, theists and atheists alike.

Lois

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Posted: 27 October 2015 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi LoisL.  We agree.  if a person asks me what a catheist is, I have the opportunity to exchange information with that person.  Every person of any faith will automatically shut down and the chance to to cause doubt is lost, when they hear the word atheist.  with all the different names people have created to identify themselves with it is like a bunch of cats.  I guess I want action now while I am still here.

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Posted: 28 October 2015 07:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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grand pa ray - 27 October 2015 06:56 PM

If a person asks me what a catheist is, I have the opportunity to exchange information with that person.  Every person of any faith will automatically shut down and the chance to to cause doubt is lost, when they hear the word atheist.

Grand Pa, I remember you making this same claim when you first came to this forum.  And I remember asking you at that time how that was working for you.  What I mean is, AFTER you’ve explained what a “catheist” is (in other words, a person who doesn’t believe in God), do they STILL “exchange information” with you, or do they run away, murmuring that you sound like an atheist?  You never did answer that question.

I don’t get why you feel it necessary to insult those of us who don’t mind the term atheist.  Does it make you feel superior or smarter or something?  For the record, even though I embrace the term, I rarely if ever describe myself to other people as an atheist.  If they ask what my religion is, I say “Secular Humanist”.  And then I usually have to explain what it means.

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Posted: 28 October 2015 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Advocatus, Be careful, Carl Sagan was one of the smartest people who ever lived.  He had the ability to inform others in a clear language and he spoke plainly.  The CATS have done a good job over the last 2000 years, that is too slow for me.

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Posted: 28 October 2015 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Advocatus, catheist is a former christian who cannot say there is or is not a god.

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Posted: 28 October 2015 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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When someone quotes a famous person, I usually look for context.

Quotes like these have led some to believe that he was an atheist, but this is not true. He hated the term. Much like Charles Darwin, Sagan recognized that claiming that there is no God is as irrational as claiming there is one. He once said:
“An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no god. By some definitions atheism is very stupid.”
In a March 1996 profile by Jim Dawson in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Sagan talked about his then-new book The Demon Haunted World and was asked about his personal spiritual views:
“My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it . . . An agnostic is somebody who doesn’t believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I’m agnostic.”

The quote is, “by some definitions…”. People should be allowed to identify themselves. We live in a world of changing ideas about labels. If I meet someone who appears to be an American descended from Americans before Columbus got here, I ask them how they want to be identified. Religion is even more complicated. The vast majority of Christians don’t accept most of what they say when they recite the Nicaean Creed.

As quoted above, “agnostic” to him means he doesn’t give spirituality much thought. Some agnostic think about what god might be every day. The word itself is not that helpful when trying to understand the person.

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Posted: 28 October 2015 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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grand pa ray - 28 October 2015 07:44 AM

Advocatus, Be careful, Carl Sagan was one of the smartest people who ever lived.

And what in the name of Gene Roddenberry does THAT have to do with anything?  Read Lausten’s post above for how you misquoted him.  I’m not trying to give you a hard time, Grand Pa; I’m just trying to get a simple answer to a simple question.

He [Carl Sagan] had the ability to inform others in a clear language and he spoke plainly.

Which is evidently more than you are capable of doing.

The CATS have done a good job over the last 2000 years, that is too slow for me.

What are “CATS”?  Am I supposed to know what “CATS” are?
And by the way, you STILL have not answered the question, have you?

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Posted: 28 October 2015 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Advocatus - 28 October 2015 07:12 AM
grand pa ray - 27 October 2015 06:56 PM

If a person asks me what a catheist is, I have the opportunity to exchange information with that person.  Every person of any faith will automatically shut down and the chance to to cause doubt is lost, when they hear the word atheist.

Grand Pa, I remember you making this same claim when you first came to this forum.  And I remember asking you at that time how that was working for you.  What I mean is, AFTER you’ve explained what a “catheist” is (in other words, a person who doesn’t believe in God), do they STILL “exchange information” with you, or do they run away, murmuring that you sound like an atheist?  You never did answer that question.

I don’t get why you feel it necessary to insult those of us who don’t mind the term atheist.  Does it make you feel superior or smarter or something?  For the record, even though I embrace the term, I rarely if ever describe myself to other people as an atheist.  If they ask what my religion is, I say “Secular Humanist”.  And then I usually have to explain what it means.

In fact that’s the right thing to say if you are being asked about your religion. Humanism can be defined as a religion, but not atheism. Atheism is a statement about belief in god(s). It isn’t a statement about the existence of god(s), nor is it a religion.

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Posted: 28 October 2015 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Lausten - 28 October 2015 09:10 AM

When someone quotes a famous person, I usually look for context.

Quotes like these have led some to believe that he was an atheist, but this is not true. He hated the term. Much like Charles Darwin, Sagan recognized that claiming that there is no God is as irrational as claiming there is one. He once said:
“An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no god. By some definitions atheism is very stupid.”
In a March 1996 profile by Jim Dawson in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Sagan talked about his then-new book The Demon Haunted World and was asked about his personal spiritual views:
“My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it . . . An agnostic is somebody who doesn’t believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I’m agnostic.”

The quote is, “by some definitions…”. People should be allowed to identify themselves. We live in a world of changing ideas about labels. If I meet someone who appears to be an American descended from Americans before Columbus got here, I ask them how they want to be identified. Religion is even more complicated. The vast majority of Christians don’t accept most of what they say when they recite the Nicaean Creed.

As quoted above, “agnostic” to him means he doesn’t give spirituality much thought. Some agnostic think about what god might be every day. The word itself is not that helpful when trying to understand the person.

What is this “spirituality” agnostics don’t give much thought to? And how do you know they don’t?

Lois

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Posted: 28 October 2015 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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LoisL - 28 October 2015 12:13 PM
Lausten - 28 October 2015 09:10 AM

When someone quotes a famous person, I usually look for context.

Quotes like these have led some to believe that he was an atheist, but this is not true. He hated the term. Much like Charles Darwin, Sagan recognized that claiming that there is no God is as irrational as claiming there is one. He once said:
“An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no god. By some definitions atheism is very stupid.”
In a March 1996 profile by Jim Dawson in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Sagan talked about his then-new book The Demon Haunted World and was asked about his personal spiritual views:
“My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it . . . An agnostic is somebody who doesn’t believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I’m agnostic.”

The quote is, “by some definitions…”. People should be allowed to identify themselves. We live in a world of changing ideas about labels. If I meet someone who appears to be an American descended from Americans before Columbus got here, I ask them how they want to be identified. Religion is even more complicated. The vast majority of Christians don’t accept most of what they say when they recite the Nicaean Creed.

As quoted above, “agnostic” to him means he doesn’t give spirituality much thought. Some agnostic think about what god might be every day. The word itself is not that helpful when trying to understand the person.

What is this “spirituality” agnostics don’t give much thought to? And how do you know they don’t?

Lois

Why do you ask? Do you think it is a stretch to say that some people think about that and some don’t? I don’t really care what they think it is, I’m merely stating that the term “agnostic” doesn’t tell you how much or even what they think it means.

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Posted: 28 October 2015 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Lausten - 28 October 2015 02:16 PM
LoisL - 28 October 2015 12:13 PM
Lausten - 28 October 2015 09:10 AM

When someone quotes a famous person, I usually look for context.

Quotes like these have led some to believe that he was an atheist, but this is not true. He hated the term. Much like Charles Darwin, Sagan recognized that claiming that there is no God is as irrational as claiming there is one. He once said:
“An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no god. By some definitions atheism is very stupid.”
In a March 1996 profile by Jim Dawson in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Sagan talked about his then-new book The Demon Haunted World and was asked about his personal spiritual views:
“My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it . . . An agnostic is somebody who doesn’t believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I’m agnostic.”

The quote is, “by some definitions…”. People should be allowed to identify themselves. We live in a world of changing ideas about labels. If I meet someone who appears to be an American descended from Americans before Columbus got here, I ask them how they want to be identified. Religion is even more complicated. The vast majority of Christians don’t accept most of what they say when they recite the Nicaean Creed.

As quoted above, “agnostic” to him means he doesn’t give spirituality much thought. Some agnostic think about what god might be every day. The word itself is not that helpful when trying to understand the person.

What is this “spirituality” agnostics don’t give much thought to? And how do you know they don’t?

Lois

Why do you ask? Do you think it is a strYetch to say that some people think about that and some don’t? I don’t really care what they think it is, I’m merely stating that the term “agnostic” doesn’t tell you how much or even what they think it means.


That’s true. Most people use it wrong, anyway. They seem to think it’s a third choice betweeen theism and atheism. It is not. Atheism and theism are statements on belief in god(s).  Agnosticism is a statement on knowledge. Never the twain shall meet.

Ask someone who calls himself an agnostic if he believes any god exists. If he says “no”, he’s an atheist. If he says “yes”, he’s a theist. If he says, “I don’t know”,  he’s an idiot.

Lois

[ Edited: 28 October 2015 05:47 PM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 28 October 2015 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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LoisL - 28 October 2015 05:42 PM


That’s true. Most people use it wrong, anyway. They seem to think it’s a third choice betweeen theism and atheism. It is not. Atheism and theism are statements on belief in god(s).  Agnosticism is a statement on knowledge. Never the twain shall meet.

Ask someone who calls himself an agnostic if he believes any god exists. If he says “no”, he’s an atheist. If he says “yes”, he’s a theist. If he says, “I don’t know”,  he’s an idiot.

Lois

Nice. There’s a meme waiting to be created there.

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Posted: 28 October 2015 08:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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grand pa ray - 26 October 2015 09:51 AM

Atheism is stupid, according to Carl Sagan.  I agree with his view and here is the reason why.  The word atheism started to gain attention in the 15th century when christian era ruled.  The christian leaders at that time gave the word a negative meaning ex. evil, bad, possessed and reinforced the belief and fear by actual torture.  When this word is used by the common christian, their preconditioned brain automatically shuts down their ability to reason.  I use a new positive word to help in a discussion about religion and that word is “catheist”.  This way i get a chance to discuss and explain how my own beliefs in a god have changed without them prejudging me.  It keeps the discussion going.  Definition: Catheist is a person who does not know if there is a god.

Did Carl Sagan saynthat? How odd, since he said elsewhere that he, himself, was an atheist. Do you have a source for this statement?

Lois

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Posted: 28 October 2015 08:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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LoisL - 28 October 2015 08:32 PM
grand pa ray - 26 October 2015 09:51 AM

Atheism is stupid, according to Carl Sagan.  I agree with his view and here is the reason why.  The word atheism started to gain attention in the 15th century when christian era ruled.  The christian leaders at that time gave the word a negative meaning ex. evil, bad, possessed and reinforced the belief and fear by actual torture.  When this word is used by the common christian, their preconditioned brain automatically shuts down their ability to reason.  I use a new positive word to help in a discussion about religion and that word is “catheist”.  This way i get a chance to discuss and explain how my own beliefs in a god have changed without them prejudging me.  It keeps the discussion going.  Definition: Catheist is a person who does not know if there is a god.

Did Carl Sagan saynthat? How odd, since he said elsewhere that he, himself, was an atheist. Do you have a source for this statement?

Lois


I see that Sagan did say a few things to that effect, but what he was doing was completely misdefining what an atheist is, which is surprising coming from an otherwise astute person. 

He is quoted as having said to Stephen Jay Gould

“I am not an atheist. An atheist is someone who has compelling evidence that there is no Judeo-Christian-Islamic God.”

That is absolutely wrong. That is not what an atheist is and the vast majority of actual atheists will attest to it. I know of no atheist who says he has evidence that there is no god. Atheists know better than to make such an outrageous statement.

“I am not that wise, but neither do I consider there to be anything approaching adequate evidence for such a god.”

Nor has any rational atheist. 

I am beginning to have serious doubts about Sagan’s ability to think through such an issue. I did not know about this egregious lapse in his judgement.

Lois

[ Edited: 28 October 2015 08:49 PM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 29 October 2015 04:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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We are all products of our time. Sagan was contemporary with Madalyn Murray O’Hair, a very hated atheist. Sagan was trying to get people to be comfortable with science. He didn’t have others around to bounce off his meme ideas. He was trying to create sound bites.

All that, plus, he never flat out said “atheism is stupid” and went on to defend that. He said it in a context that grandpa has ignored.

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