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The Future of Atheism: Beyond the Question of God
Posted: 10 December 2010 10:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Write4U - 06 December 2010 03:24 PM

Atheism does not provide for such “guidance”, other than secular law and a humanist approach to one’s environment. Unfortunately, there is no Book to which all can refer for “guidance”. How do we replace Scripture as a basic teaching tool? A comprehensive Book of Humanist Values seems necessary to replace the good ole Bible.

I agree.  One of the powers that the Bible had thousands of years ago is that is took advantage of written communication which was new at the time.  This allowed knowledge to be better communicated over time and over generations without distortion of what the original author said.  Today, it’s not that we don’t have a record of knowledge by brilliant authors who have come up with better philosophies than the Bible had, it’s that we have so much of it.  It’s not all in one place like the Bible provided.  Atheists say that atheism had nothing to do with the atrocities of communist and fascist regimes and I guess I agree with them, but if you remove a source of guidance and support for people’s lives it’s going to leave a vacuum.  Those dictators knew this and they hoped people would turn to them for guidance after they made religion illegal.  If organized religion is going to be eliminated then all the functions it was serving need to be replaced with something else.

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Posted: 10 December 2010 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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And even though many atheists want to define “atheism” to mean mere “lack of belief in gods” (as opposed to “disbelief in gods”)

What’s the difference?

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Posted: 11 December 2010 12:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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kennykjc - 10 December 2010 05:38 PM

And even though many atheists want to define “atheism” to mean mere “lack of belief in gods” (as opposed to “disbelief in gods”)

What’s the difference?

I can see a subtle difference. A “lack of belief” may suggest being uninformed on a subject. “Disbelief” to me, suggests knowledge but rejection of the subject.

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Posted: 11 December 2010 01:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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brightfut - 10 December 2010 10:46 AM
Write4U - 06 December 2010 03:24 PM

Atheism does not provide for such “guidance”, other than secular law and a humanist approach to one’s environment. Unfortunately, there is no Book to which all can refer for “guidance”. How do we replace Scripture as a basic teaching tool? A comprehensive Book of Humanist Values seems necessary to replace the good ole Bible.

I agree.  One of the powers that the Bible had thousands of years ago is that is took advantage of written communication which was new at the time.  This allowed knowledge to be better communicated over time and over generations without distortion of what the original author said.  Today, it’s not that we don’t have a record of knowledge by brilliant authors who have come up with better philosophies than the Bible had, it’s that we have so much of it.  It’s not all in one place like the Bible provided.  Atheists say that atheism had nothing to do with the atrocities of communist and fascist regimes and I guess I agree with them, but if you remove a source of guidance and support for people’s lives it’s going to leave a vacuum.  Those dictators knew this and they hoped people would turn to them for guidance after they made religion illegal.  If organized religion is going to be eliminated then all the functions it was serving need to be replaced with something else.

I think where action was taken against churches and temples the reasoning by post-revolutionary European governments wasn’t to “replace” religion as a guide, but instead seize religious assets.

If you consider the French revolution for example, the church at the time was one of the major land-owners due to centuries of cozying up to nobles who were dying without heirs. Combine that with the fact that religion has historically had a favourable tax treatment and I think a big chunk of the repression you see in European revolutionary governments could be laid at the feet of people wanting the money.

Particularly if you consider the debts incurred by those revolutions, and compare the whole thing to the American revolution where land was relatively plentiful - meaning the land held by the church didn’t have the same relevance.

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Posted: 11 December 2010 08:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Write4U - 11 December 2010 12:10 AM
kennykjc - 10 December 2010 05:38 PM

And even though many atheists want to define “atheism” to mean mere “lack of belief in gods” (as opposed to “disbelief in gods”)

What’s the difference?

I can see a subtle difference. A “lack of belief” may suggest being uninformed on a subject. “Disbelief” to me, suggests knowledge but rejection of the subject.

The difference isn’t subtle.  The atheists are just a mirror image of the theists making a big deal over something that is barely worth paying attention to.  European pseudo-intellectualism.  Hardly any different from arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Argue about whether or not there is intelligent life in the Andromeda galaxy.  What difference does it make what answer you choose to come up with.  Flip a coin and move on.  LOL

The problem is religion affects politics.  It is a mind game just like politics.  It is really about people controlling other people on the basis of psychological bullshit.

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Posted: 12 December 2010 04:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Deleted for flash of temper.

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Posted: 12 December 2010 05:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Atheism does not provide for such “guidance”, other than secular law and a humanist approach to one’s environment. Unfortunately, there is no Book to which all can refer for “guidance”.

Is this true? There’s a whole world of books out there. Do atheists need a, single, handbook? If so, why?

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Posted: 14 December 2010 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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cheglabratjoe - 09 December 2010 03:44 PM

Do CFI people listen to these podcasts?  If so, do they ever comment on these boards, or should I consider contacting them directly?

I produce the show at CFI headquarters in Amherst, NY, so we’re definitely listening to it. I can only speak for myself, but I read the forums often, so this is a fine way to contact me. You can also email me directly at aisaak[at]centerforinquiry.net.

Feedback is always appreciated.

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Posted: 14 December 2010 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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eplommer - 12 December 2010 05:47 AM

Atheism does not provide for such “guidance”, other than secular law and a humanist approach to one’s environment. Unfortunately, there is no Book to which all can refer for “guidance”.

Is this true? There’s a whole world of books out there. Do atheists need a, single, handbook? If so, why?

Can you recommend one book that offers a comprehensive summation of what science has discovered (the way things work) and practical philosophical moral conclusions that would be suitable as a living guide for all humans (including atheists)?
Even the bible and other theist handbooks are made up from numerous manuscripts, accounts and delusions, but they are practical (portable) moral guides for many in their everyday lives.

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Posted: 14 December 2010 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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psikeyhackr - 11 December 2010 08:11 AM

The problem is religion affects politics.  It is a mind game just like politics.  It is really about people controlling other people on the basis of psychological bullshit.
psik

Is there a difference in “mind control” and “governance”?
The Constitution and BOR are fundamental expressions of a nation’s morality but are too vague for daily application. Moreover, even here in the US (secular law) we see references to a “Maker” and “God” in our governing documents, thus always reinforcing the connection of “right and wrong” with God.
The application of Humanist Values should offer practical functionality, regardless of theist beliefs and practices. A handy portable pocket reference and school curriculum would be a good start.

[ Edited: 14 December 2010 12:24 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 14 December 2010 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Adam Isaak - 14 December 2010 10:04 AM
cheglabratjoe - 09 December 2010 03:44 PM

Do CFI people listen to these podcasts?  If so, do they ever comment on these boards, or should I consider contacting them directly?

I produce the show at CFI headquarters in Amherst, NY, so we’re definitely listening to it. I can only speak for myself, but I read the forums often, so this is a fine way to contact me. You can also email me directly at aisaak[at]centerforinquiry.net.

Feedback is always appreciated.


Thanks for the reply, Adam.

Do you think I’m off base with my comments about Chris Mooney’s attitude towards issues the CFI considers vital?  In particular, I remember an entire podcast (not sure if it was PoI or Center Stage) about how precarious the separation of church and state is in America, since four of the nine Supreme Court justices are liable to overturn precedent regarding the Establishment clause.  Chris seemed completely dismissive of such concerns.

There are other examples, but this seems like the most cut-and-dry.  (Also, I’m kind of hoping you remember what old podcast I’m thinking of.)  I’m not calling for ideological purity or anything, but this runs completely contrary to CFI’s views on the matter, so far as I can tell.  How do people feel about this?  Are people talking to Chris in-house about it?  Should there be a forum for counterpoints to be raised, or should it be pointed out that CFI doesn’t feel this way (beyond the lawyer-ese “views expressed don’t necessarily yadda yadda” outro)?  Not sure if you know the answers to these questions, or if you’re interested in giving your own views, but I figured I’d ask.

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Posted: 14 December 2010 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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cheglabratjoe - 14 December 2010 02:06 PM

Do you think I’m off base with my comments about Chris Mooney’s attitude towards issues the CFI considers vital?  In particular, I remember an entire podcast (not sure if it was PoI or Center Stage) about how precarious the separation of church and state is in America, since four of the nine Supreme Court justices are liable to overturn precedent regarding the Establishment clause.  Chris seemed completely dismissive of such concerns.

I was gobsmacked by Mooney’s dismissal of the legal precariousness of church-state separation. Has he been reading the papers? This Supreme Court is not shy about issuing brash, sweeping rulings that reverse precedents. Citizens United, anyone?

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Posted: 26 December 2010 01:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Gee, such fireworks about what people choose to believe.

The question for myself is when are humans going to socially evolve enough to allow others to believe whatever they want without let or hindrence . Contained within that is the (seemingly) abstruse notion that keeping people (and all that is a part of this planet) physically healthy and safe does not require some input on whether those and that we should protect choose to believe in invisible beings or not . I’ve met people that believe their T.V.‘s or radio’s give them instructions - that shouldn’t alter my concern for their welfare. And I have no idea what other forms of sentience might think or feel and I am loth to make decisions for them in my ignorance.

I believe there will come a time when terms which indicate a person’s subjective personal ideas are not a necessary adjunct to building a healthy society. Just as gay people will only be truly equal when there is no longer a term for their orientation because it simply doesn’t matter, when the time comes that labels of belief are irrelevant will be the dawning of a better age. Should we make it that far which seems very uncertain at this point.

For myself the question is not ‘The future of Atheism’ but the future of this earth and everything that is a part of it. But then I live in a place where most people don’t give a fiddlers about religion or orientation and such so I guess I am naive to hope that day will come.


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Posted: 26 December 2010 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Write4U - 14 December 2010 12:09 PM
psikeyhackr - 11 December 2010 08:11 AM

The problem is religion affects politics.  It is a mind game just like politics.  It is really about people controlling other people on the basis of psychological bullshit.
psik

Is there a difference in “mind control” and “governance”?

There should be but probably isn’t most of the time.  I suppose it depends on the competence of the governed but I get the impression a lot of people who regard themselves as leaders want their followers to be stupid.

Do religious leaders want their followers to be even more stupid than political leaders do?  I sometimes get that impression too.

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