1 of 4
1
The Future of Atheism: Beyond the Question of God
Posted: 03 December 2010 07:33 PM   [ Ignore ]
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  170
Joined  2009-06-02

Recently at Pomona College in California, three atheists—one of them a Point of Inquiry host—got together to debate the future of the movement.

And some sparks flew.

Topics raised included the rise of the so-called “nones” (those professing “no religion” in surveys), the lack of representation for atheists in the U.S. Congress, and the debate between moderate or “live-and-let-live” atheism as opposed to a louder and more aggressive version.

Despite their disagreement, it was clear that it’s an exciting time for the movement, as atheism becomes more visible in American life. Where do we go from here?

The students in the packed audience have that in their hands.

Panel participants were:

David Silverman, president of American Atheists. Mr. Silverman attended Brandeis University and specialized in computer science; he worked as an inventor at Bell Labs for 8 years. He then served at American Atheists as national spokesperson, vice president, and finally president, a post he assumed this year.

Hemant Mehta writes the “Friendly Atheist” blog and serves on the board of directors of the Foundation Beyond Belief and the Secular Student Alliance. He has also appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and is author of the book I Sold My Soul on eBay, released in 2007.

Chris Mooney is a host of Point of Inquiry.

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/the_future_of_atheism_beyond_the_question_of_god/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 07:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2010-12-05

When will the podcast be available as a podcast?  Currently it’s not available for download through Libsyn: http://pointofinquiry.libsyn.com/rss

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  56
Joined  2010-02-11

This is something I’m very frustrated about and we are working on it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  170
Joined  2009-06-02
mtnmann - 05 December 2010 07:05 AM

When will the podcast be available as a podcast?  Currently it’s not available for download through Libsyn: http://pointofinquiry.libsyn.com/rss

We were having a problem pushing the show to our RSS feed, but everything should be good now!

Sorry about that.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  85
Joined  2009-05-28

Accomodationist? How about tolerant?
  Silverman is a piece of work, over the top even by strictly secular standards of manners and balance. Everyone is talking about his childhood. Silverman sounds, as do many aggressive atheists, like he had issues there. Hey, grow up. We’re adults now, rational, remember? Everything isn’t about you.
  Christianity and some other religions teach (even nag), and to a considerable extent practice charity, benevolence, honesty, good character, honorability, fidelity, kindness, self restraint, generosity and similar virtues. I find it suspicious this is almost never admitted by the militant atheists. Oh, they do talk about every atrocity committed in the name of Christianity since the 2nd century.
  Christianity and some other religions also exert peer pressure in responsible directions. Religions do an imperfect to poor job in all these efforts. Atheism does far worse. Religions also, and atheists usually do admit but trivialize this, provide people with community, structure, and meaning in their lives, and they do a far better job of it than agents of the All Mighty State which galls liberal atheists no end.
  Atheism is like some of these insect larvae that are eaten from the inside by parasites. In this case the parasite is political liberalism which is high jacking atheism . Example, the homosexual agenda. Nobody and no society needs a religion to tell it homosexuality or any other sexual perversion is disgusting in the extreme and immoral. Even most atheists don’t have trouble agreeing that other perversions (whose practitioners aren’t so beneficial to the Democratic Party) are worthy of social and legal disapproval. We don’t need religion to tell us slavery and convenience murder (excepting abortion, of course) are morally wrong. Deception, bullying, vandalism, cruelty to man or beast. You have to be drunk with liberal conceit, or have personal issues that compromise your objectivity, to think atheists have done a better job of identifying and opposing evil than Christians. And yes, I am an absolute atheist with no belief in the supernatural realm whatsoever.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  9
Joined  2007-11-20
rg21 - 05 December 2010 09:45 AM

Accomodationist? How about tolerant?
  Silverman is a piece of work, over the top even by strictly secular standards of manners and balance. Everyone is talking about his childhood. Silverman sounds, as do many aggressive atheists, like he had issues there. Hey, grow up. We’re adults now, rational, remember? Everything isn’t about you.

Nothing like a little amateur internet psychologizing to inform a discussion.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6042
Joined  2009-02-26
RBH_III - 05 December 2010 02:20 PM
rg21 - 05 December 2010 09:45 AM

Accomodationist? How about tolerant?
  Silverman is a piece of work, over the top even by strictly secular standards of manners and balance. Everyone is talking about his childhood. Silverman sounds, as do many aggressive atheists, like he had issues there. Hey, grow up. We’re adults now, rational, remember? Everything isn’t about you.

Nothing like a little amateur internet psychologizing to inform a discussion.

I think rg21 made some good points and certainly tried to contribute to the discussion. Instead of starting with an ad hominem attack, why not show where his analysis is wrong? It would be more productive, IMO.

 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  9
Joined  2007-11-20
Write4U - 05 December 2010 03:03 PM

I think rg21 made some good points and certainly tried to contribute to the discussion. Instead of starting with an ad hominem attack, why not show where his analysis is wrong? It would be more productive, IMO.

Ad hominem defined.  Nope, I don’t see one in my post.  However, conjectures about “issues in his childhood”?  Now there’s an ad hom.

Now, what are these “good points”?

1.  Christianity and some other religions teach (even nag), and to a considerable extent practice charity, benevolence, honesty, good character, honorability, fidelity, kindness, self restraint, generosity and similar virtues. I find it suspicious this is almost never admitted by the militant atheists.

In fact, IIRC Hitchens has acknowledged this.  I don’t know about Dawkins.

2.  Christianity and some other religions also exert peer pressure in responsible directions. Religions do an imperfect to poor job in all these efforts. Atheism does far worse. Religions also, and atheists usually do admit but trivialize this, provide people with community, structure, and meaning in their lives, and they do a far better job of it than agents of the All Mighty State which galls liberal atheists no end.

False dichotomy.

3.  Atheism is like some of these insect larvae that are eaten from the inside by parasites. In this case the parasite is political liberalism which is high jacking atheism . Example, the homosexual agenda. Nobody and no society needs a religion to tell it homosexuality or any other sexual perversion is disgusting in the extreme and immoral.

Personal feelings about homosexuality as the arbiter of morality?  Ludicrous.

4.  We don’t need religion to tell us slavery and convenience murder (excepting abortion, of course) are morally wrong

Read Deuteronomy or Leviticus.

5.  You have to be drunk with liberal conceit, or have personal issues that compromise your objectivity, to think atheists have done a better job of identifying and opposing evil than Christians.

That’s a historical claim that’s at best disputable.  Damned few atheists have killed another person in the name of atheism.  In the name of suppressing alternative power centers, yes.  In the name of a cult of personality, yes.  But in the name of atheism as such?  Nope.  Can one say the same about religions, even Christianity?  (Hint: Mass crimes against humanity & genocides.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1397
Joined  2010-04-22
rg21 - 05 December 2010 09:45 AM

Nobody and no society needs a religion to tell it homosexuality or any other sexual perversion is disgusting in the extreme and immoral.

Apparently, the ancient Romans and Greeks missed this memo.

 Signature 

“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

- Thelonious Monk

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6042
Joined  2009-02-26

rg21
As you can see there are many weaknesses in your argument…...does this help?

 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 05:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7684
Joined  2008-04-11
rg21 - 05 December 2010 09:45 AM

. Nobody and no society needs a religion to tell it homosexuality or any other sexual perversion is disgusting in the extreme and immoral. Even most atheists don’t have trouble agreeing that other perversions (whose practitioners aren’t so beneficial to the Democratic Party) are worthy of social and legal disapproval. We don’t need religion to tell us slavery and convenience murder (excepting abortion, of course) are morally wrong. Deception, bullying, vandalism, cruelty to man or beast. You have to be drunk with liberal conceit, or have personal issues that compromise your objectivity, to think atheists have done a better job of identifying and opposing evil than Christians. And yes, I am an absolute atheist with no belief in the supernatural realm whatsoever.

I forgot that you were a rabid and irrational homophobe.. hmmm

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  636
Joined  2010-07-01

I forgot that you were a rabid and irrational homophobe.. hmmm

Don’t worry. I’m sure he’ll better clarify his point in his next book “Mein Kampf Book 2”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 08:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  28
Joined  2010-11-21

ExMachina,  I believe the saying is “the best trick that the devil ever pulled was to make people believe he does not exist”. 

I regards to homosexuality; everyone has their free will.  Unfortunately society has dampened the line as to what is morally sound when it comes to homosexuality.  If your kids are surrounded by the acceptance of the same, then they now have the decision to choose the gender i which they fall in love with.  I find that people have a hole in their soul that needs to be filled.  In some it maybe belonging to this forum.  In others its being homosexual, in all the same we are missing a piece of the puzzle .  Like every puzzle you find a piece that fits but does not belong.  Sometime you realize it before you finish the puzzle; in other times, at the end.  Just like what happened with Darwin.

 Signature 

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was to make philosophers convincing enough to make you believe there is no such thing as a soul.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 08:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7684
Joined  2008-04-11
ltothexo - 05 December 2010 08:04 PM

Unfortunately society has dampened the line as to what is morally sound when it comes to homosexuality.

Explain please.

  If your kids are surrounded by the acceptance of the same, then they now have the decision to choose the gender i which they fall in love with.

Whether you fall in love with the someone of the same sex or the opposite sex is mostly genetically predetermined. It has nothing to do with free will. Take Uganda or Nigeria, two places where it is life threatening to be gay. It has not decreased the incidence of homosexuality. Look at our own military where coming out as gay or lesbian can get you booted out of a career you have invested a significant amount of time and energy. There is nothing to show that the incidence of gay or lesbian soldiers have fallen, only that they remain hidden from the rest of their troops. You are born with your sexual preferences, and it is a sliding scale, few people are totally homo or heterosexual.

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 08:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5551
Joined  2010-06-16

I’m fascinated by people who take everything literally and who appear to have essentially no sense of humor.  I thought ExMachina’s purposful twist of the common saying was quite clever, Itothexo.

No, no one has free-will.  [See the close to 200 page thread in the philosophy section.]  I find that people have no souls in which to have a hole.  However, I do believe humans are social animals who enjoy relationships with others.  Most of us happen to be attracted to and prefer sexual contacts with the opposite sex, but a significant minority are attracted to and prefer same sex contacts.  I don’t know what you are implying by “missing a piect of the puzzle” or that “fits but doesn’t belong”.  You may be hinting that those who are homosexual have found pieces that fit but that don’t belong.  If that’s what you are saying, I diasgree.  I feel that only narrow and controlling people try to force others into their own mold.  If two straight or gay people find and are happy with each other, there are no missing or not belonging pieces.

And if you are also hinting that Darwin became a believer at the end, I seem to have seen that it’s apocryphal.

Occam

 Signature 

Succinctness, clarity’s core.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2010 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15368
Joined  2006-02-14
Occam. - 05 December 2010 08:29 PM

And if you are also hinting that Darwin became a believer at the end, I seem to have seen that it’s apocryphal.

Absolutely apocryphal.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 4
1