Author Topic: Is atheism the default position?  (Read 28992 times)

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Offline gonegolfing

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #145 on: August 05, 2011, 09:19:00 AM »

Emergence:

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However, jaimehlers OP not only deserved addressing, but needed addressing, as I could see the direction that he was more than likely to take it in. Which of course he did, and that direction needed to be challenged.

I don't disagree with this. Still it could easily have been addressed by stating that "default position" in this case simply means "natural developmental starting point" nothing more nothing less. "Non-belief" in basically everything is just a universally human initial point, while all "belief" is acquired later. But what can anybody possibly learn from that, regarding the validity or invalidity of a certain worldview?

So given the OP question, it should be written as this then: "Is atheism the natural developmental starting point?" ...Is this what you're suggesting ?

If so, then I can agree with that, as it still allows the question to rightly be proved in the affirmative and true and stays somewhat in the context that it was originally intended.

What can  be learned ? The main thing being, that we are not born with predilections for gods. That's huge. 

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To me it is the same thing as arguments about "natural" and "artificial". It boils down to an argument from emotion. "Natural" is by no means in every case superior to "artificial", still many people equate "natural" with "good". So when an atheist brings the argument that "atheism is the default" to the table, it is - consciously or not - in order to point out that it is ok, because - Hey! - babies are in the default state, and there can't possibly be anything wrong with what babies are or represent, can it? The theist who argues against that on the other hand falls for just this emotional argumentation bs and tries to turn the tables somehow or simply deny what in reality is a trivial fact. Again this happens not necessarily conscious. It is possibly just the vague but nagging feeling in the back of ones head that a human default can only be justifiably assumed for newborns or babies, and that it somehow would be "wrong" to attribute a default that one rejects as an adult to a baby. Babies can't be atheists, because that would make baby Jesus cry (and an atheist). ;)

Perhaps for you it would be an emotional bs argument, but it's not for me. For me, as always, it is a logical argument trying to establish which reasoning and points are valid. Whether its trivial or not should have been decided before hand by jaimehlers as he started the thread and took on the newborn aspect of it. I was simply participating and challenging his line of thought.

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So the debate, discussion and exchange of arguments goes round and round in circles while every party basically accepts that - yes - babies do not have beliefs, and that therefore a lack of belief (and knowledge and reasoning) is indeed a universal human default.  :)

Indeed they are without beliefs, knowledge, and reasoning, which is a universal human default. Well put. But, please remember that the word atheism was used originally, and therefore it should not be eliminated from the discussion and relpaced with other words. The original question, and the way it was worded, must be addressed in the context that it was intended to be.

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So why drag this out? One question and one answer does suffice to end all debating, in my opinion:

Q: Is belief a universal default for newborns and thus all humans?
A: No, without any ifs and buts.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Yes! and that was accomplished back 2 pages ago Here:
Question:
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Is atheism the default position?

Answer:
jaimehlers

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fishjie:  Being able to believe in a concept requires being able to understand it (i.e, have an understanding of it, even if not a perfect one).  If you don't have the latter, then the former is meaningless.  Both lack of belief and disbelief in something require at least some understanding of the something in question to be meaningful statements, otherwise it's more properly described as ignorance of belief.

No no no !! Come on man, get thinking straight jaimeh !

Newborns are atheists. Period.

The second that Newborns come into this world they possess an utter lack of information with regards to the supernatural and gods. They have zero information of the concept of gods and therefore are without not only the information of the concept, but also the belief that could go along with it. A-Theist: Without-belief in gods. Newborns then are by default in the atheist position because of the total lack of information and beliefs about gods. All of them. Each and every newborn.

A newborn cannot form a mental image of an abstract idea as complex as a god, so please knock it off with the idea that a newborn's lack of belief would therefore require it to have an understanding of the abstract idea of a supernatural entity. Nonsense. Being able to believe in a concept and to understand it, is preceded by having the cognitive power to do so. Newborns have not yet developed that power at birth and must through the gathering of information and perceptions wait until that power is there to form opinions and make choices.

A newborn doesn't suffer from ignorance of belief, it merely lacks the information required, and has yet to develop the cognitive power, to form opinions and beliefs on abstract ideas or otherwise. Newborns cannot form opinions or make conscious choices on the abstract idea of gods as they have no information on them. It is through this lack that all newborns are atheists  ;)

Thankfully, nature gives all humans a preselected position at birth with regards to the idea of gods. Atheist.

Cheers


It should have been over right there, but of course The Black Knight still wanted to do battle !  &)


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A point i do think warrants further discussion is the following though:

My very next post acknowledged that this position was flawed ("A newborn is neither atheist nor theist, as those terms both imply a conscious decision;

[snip...]
My atheism doesn't involve a conscious decision and my young age theism didn't either. Both were and are simply the result of experience and perception. I do not have any ability to decide on or choose my beliefs or non-beliefs. Decision and choice only work in the realm of "action" not in the realm of "belief". To use a modified version of a Schopenhauer quote[1]: "Man can choose according to his beliefs but he can not choose his belief."
 1. Original:"Der Mensch kann tun was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will." translated:  "Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants."

As I pointed out, jaimehlers reasoning is flawed if we're sticking to context.

But respectfully, Schopenhauer, brilliant as he may have been, and you if you agree, which appears you do, are out to lunch with that one.

We do indeed have the ability to choose whether to accept or reject beliefs formed by our perceptions or proposed by others. Belief is about acceptance and making a decision and choice that something is true. Beliefs are created by and based on perceptions and personal experience and then possibly accepted as true by conscious choice. When it comes to beliefs or non-beliefs it's all about choice, and making the decision of whether to believe then to be true or false.

We cannot be force fed beliefs. We have a very strict faculty that guards against that and sifts our beliefs for us. Reason. And a choice is then made out of that faculty.

However, as we've seen here at WWGHA, faulty reasoning produces choices to hold faulty beliefs as true.

To believe or not believe is itself an action.

Name me one potential belief that presents itself to us by perception, that cannot have the choice to perform the action of acceptance or rejection applied to it ?

Cheers mate  ;)

 


"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline Omen

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #146 on: August 05, 2011, 09:31:59 AM »
Maybe it's your tradition here. (scratching each others @ss)
Your hands are not long enough?

Now feel better?

Your comments were meant to marginalize individuals talking to you sincerely and ignore the criticisms leveled against you.

Why do you think that would make anyone feel better?

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My feelings are COOOOL.

So you're ok with making statements that dehumanize and dismiss others?
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #147 on: August 05, 2011, 09:56:09 AM »
Cognitive behavioral therapy; address the emotional underpinnings of the destructive or negative behavior, but any therapy is going to be limited to the goals and desires of the patient.  I often like to go after the emotional dysfunction, such as john's reliance upon hateful dehumanizing characterizations, it at least forces him to have to deal with the real impact of his own behavior upon others in order to judge what little empathy he might possess if at all.

I appreciate that. I'd say he's too self-concerned to register any such appeal at this stage. Life has dealt him shit, why should he give any credence to what you say when it characterizes his sole crutch as dishonest and immoral? I'd say there is a deep emotional need to maintain that crutch at all costs.

Do we agree that it is a psychological, socio-economic, cultural issue and has little to do with theology? 
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Omen

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #148 on: August 05, 2011, 09:58:31 AM »
Do we agree that it is a psychological, socio-economic, cultural issue and has little to do with theology?

I'm not aware of his socio-economic status, but certainly emotionally derived psychological issue.  I don't consider 'theology' to be an informed 'subject' on anything.
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #149 on: August 05, 2011, 09:58:56 AM »
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I didn't know you guys worry about me that much.
Send me some money so I can go help myself.

I am actually very interested in this! How would you describe your socio-economic status in relation to the community you live in?

 
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #150 on: August 05, 2011, 10:06:31 AM »
So you're ok with making statements that dehumanize and dismiss others?

I would say that obviously, yes, he is okay. People go to extreme measures to protect their ego. We call upon the tools we know best. In John's case[1] he antagonizes anyone who disagrees with his schema. When someone questions his faith and religion it is not, to him, a means to gain understanding...it is a vicious full frontal attack against him personally. Because his ego is delicate and fragile he lashes out aggressively[2]. However he is very comfortable with the way things are. He has compartmentalized everything into two very neat little boxes. Good vs. Evil. He is "good" and anyone who agrees with him is good because they help shore up his schema. Anyone who questions him is "evil" but they also help shore up his schema. John's comfort zone is extremely narrow. People like that don't want to be helped. They don't think they NEED help. To admit that he might be doing something "wrong" would be soul crushing and must be avoided at ALL costs.

He is very actively engaged in a battle for his soul. And it is more real to him than anything else in the universe. Nobody wants to loose their self identity.
 1. which is not unique
 2. It's like an allergic reaction
I show affection for my pets by holding them against me and whispering, "I love you" repeatedly as they struggle to break free.

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #151 on: August 05, 2011, 10:10:50 AM »
Do we agree that it is a psychological, socio-economic, cultural issue and has little to do with theology?

I'm not aware of his socio-economic status, but certainly emotionally derived psychological issue.  I don't consider 'theology' to be an informed 'subject' on anything.

I want to know what the deal is re: socio-economics. I think it is a more salient issue.

re: theology: agree. But, I mean as an approach to helping in some way. You could show logical inconcsistency after logical inconcsistency and it would be water on the ground, because that is not the issue. It is not tied to that at all.
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #152 on: August 05, 2011, 01:57:44 PM »
(snipped gonegolfing's initial post directed at me)

It should have been over right there, but of course The Black Knight still wanted to do battle !  &)
Two things.  First, it's obvious from this that you went into this discussion convinced that you had the right of it.  While everyone goes into an argument believing that they're right, don't you think you should have listened to what I was actually saying, instead of assuming you knew and lacing your posts with repeated personal insults because of that assumption?  Odd that you didn't deign to respond to the post where I detailed a number of examples of stuff that was clearly intended to be personally insulting (your "Black Knight" comment makes another one on top of the others); you certainly had no problems telling me that I was 'wrong' elsewhere in the discussion, even though this invariably consisted of telling me I was wrong, that you were right, and that I needed to stop arguing.

Second, I'm guessing you didn't read the last part of my most recent post.  I'll quote it here for convenience:
I can see why you might have thought I was trying to argue that newborns were theists ("However, that suggests that theism may be the default position for humans, albeit not any specific kind of theism") based on the original post, but I was using this to make a rhetorical point.  My very next post acknowledged that this position was flawed ("A newborn is neither atheist nor theist, as those terms both imply a conscious decision; they are instead credulous, because all they can go on is the evidence of their senses." and "That's why I don't think one can say that the default position of humans is atheism based on the fact that newborns don't have a religious belief (note that this also means that it isn't theism of any stripe).").
I'm interested in seeing if you're willing to recant your statement about the direction I took this discussion in or if you're going to continue insisting on it despite clear evidence to the contrary.

Offline Astreja

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #153 on: August 05, 2011, 09:30:52 PM »
Astreja.

Sorry if my comments were scaring you. (It wasn't even mine it's in the bible.)

They did not scare Me, John.  They offended Me.  They were thoughtless, rude and bullying.  Via that one sentence, I learned that you are not what I would consider a moral person and that you are not someone whom I would trust with responsibility or care to befriend.  You are immature, incapable of dealing with criticism, and verbally and psychologically abusive.  Is that really the face that you want to present to the world?

It also doesn't matter if it came from the Bible, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, or the Tucson, Arizona phone book.  You chose to say it; therefore, you bear full responsibility.

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Like you said it's already done so I cannot undo it.

Neither did your imaginary friend counsel you not to do it.  Your faith doesn't appear to have made you into a better person.

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But at the same time I am wondering, if someone here tells me "You are going to hell if you believe God"
I wouldn't be scared, I would be scoffing.

A person who would say such a thing to you would also be abusive.

Furthermore, consider that many people -- Particularly very young, impressionable people, and people  who are already emotionally fragile from negative experiences -- Would not be laughing off threats of eternal punishment.  They would be terrified, and that terror would have an immediate and direct fight-or-flight effect on the endocrine systems of their physical bodies.  By threatening people with hell, you are deliberately causing an adrenaline/cortisol cascade -- In effect, punching them in the adrenal glands and increasing the likelihood of chronic damage to their physical health.

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"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."(Romans 1:20).

Those are not facts.  Those are the words of some guy who fell off a horse, not evidence for a god.

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Take your palm up, try to cover the sky with it.

(Springy G steps outside, takes off Her glasses, closes one eye, raises Her right hand to the other eye, and blots the entire Prairie sky from view) Done.  What's your point?
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 09:32:23 PM by Astreja »
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Offline Emergence

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #154 on: August 06, 2011, 08:00:31 AM »
GG, actually i don't even see why of all participants here you are feeling the need to discuss with me. We seem not far apart. Similarly baffled am i by jaimehler's endorsement of my earlier post. My argument goes as much against his OP as it does against everyone thinking it warrants large discussions. I refuse to participate in this pinnacle of futility, and grant all your points except the very last one.

But respectfully, Schopenhauer, brilliant as he may have been, and you if you agree, which appears you do, are out to lunch with that one.

Somehow i find myself asking why i even took the pains to include Schopenhauer's original quote, when no one notices that he and i say different things. I do not only agree with Schopenhauer, i take his idea to something new. He's talking about will, i am about beliefs. There's a difference.

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We do indeed have the ability to choose whether to accept or reject beliefs formed by our perceptions or proposed by others.

Probably. But there's a lot more to our mind than perceptions and propositions of others. And that "more" - closed to explicit conscious examinations - is where beliefs originate.

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Belief is about acceptance and making a decision and choice that something is true.

And how - pray tell - do you decide that something is true? To me it is like this:  If any type of information (whatever form it takes) appears to be logically sound to me and i can't feel any immediate doubt about it (note the strong emotional aspect of doubt), i accept it as provisional truth. Any such truth is only accepted under reserve by me. It is always possible that either my logic was flawed, a piece of vital information is missing or the weighting of evidence was skewed by hidden biases buried deeply in the non-conscious parts of my mind (e.g. emotional memory, false memory, developmentally wrongly "tuned" associative systems. Regardles: If nothing in my mind causes me to doubt an info at similar strength as it appears logic to me, i have no choice but "believe" it. If the actual and immediate doubt is stronger than the logic and evidence (and unconscious biases) behind it, i do not believe in its truth.

The only choice is whether i accept the evidence and information i perceive to have to be sufficient and sufficiently reliable (again according to my inner processing) or wether i keep searching. But wether i believe or don't believe something is out of my conscious control. E.g.: I believe that you are a human being typing at me in an internet-forum. That believe is formed by many factors including past experience with human conversations. At the moment i have no choice but believing this. I could act as if i don't believe it to test the internal hypothesis that gonegolfing is an actual human, but internally i can not - by pure power of my conscious will - stop believing that you are a human. Not with all the information, perception, memory, experience and ingrained biased guiding my brain's processing. I, am sorry, but i am simply unable to not believe in you being a person on the "other side" of my internet connection. 

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Beliefs are created by and based on perceptions and personal experience and then possibly accepted as true by conscious choice. When it comes to beliefs or non-beliefs it's all about choice, and making the decision of whether to believe then to be true or false.

What you say in the sentence i underlined does sound OK on first appearance, but then there's something very odd about it: You say that beliefs are formed prior to their acceptance. Isn't that just what i say? You can't help but form beliefs. Beliefs are one form of our internal models of reality. We ususally only test them against reality once we find (perceived) discrepancies between our beliefs and reality. That is the point where we can either accept or reject them. But this always has to do with a reprocessing due to new information. You need a "reason" to evaluate a belief and you need a very "strong" reason to reject it. Without any type of reason triggering you to focus on a certain belief, you are not even likely to identify it as such. It is just part of your model of reality, silently lingering in the background of your existence.

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We cannot be force fed beliefs. We have a very strict faculty that guards against that and sifts our beliefs for us. Reason. And a choice is then made out of that faculty.

(Mostly) Correct. But the workings of that very faculty is what leads to beliefs in the first place and those are not negotiable without further triggers for (re)evaluation. See above.

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However, as we've seen here at WWGHA, faulty reasoning produces choices to hold faulty beliefs as true.

The more often i read "holding (own) beliefs as true" the more the redundancy of that formulation jumps out at me. By the very nature of belief, i hold each and any my own beliefs as true - whether consciously perceived or subconsciously underlying my model of reality.

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To believe or not believe is itself an action.

To me it is a fluctuating state of our mental system. Not a conscious action at all.

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Name me one potential belief that presents itself to us by perception, that cannot have the choice to perform the action of acceptance or rejection applied to it ?

Please spontaneously form a deep non-belief of yourself being a human. ;)

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Cheers mate  ;)

Back at you.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 08:03:53 AM by Emergence »
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Offline John 3 16

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #155 on: August 06, 2011, 01:06:11 PM »
Astreja.
Sorry If my comments were offending you.
But I still don't understand why you are soooo offended.
Haven't you heard that one before? in your half century life?
Like I said, if someone here in this forum says "Santa Claus will not give you any present this Christmas, and his reindeer will bite your head off", I would not be offended at all.
Because I know Santa doesn't exist, and you think God doesn't exist.
So why are you offended what is bothering you?
To me someone calling me "stupid, ignorant, mental illness with poor education, ........" those do better job offending me than just a fairy tale. (you think god is a fairy tale don't you?)
My point is,  the term "Atheist"-- not believing god, lack of belief of supernatural being, believing in something that has been proven only, therefore no afterlife, no judgement, no heaven, no hell(sorry I said it again)?
I am not being sarcastic , I am asking you a question. I honestly don't know much about atheism.
So what is the asnwer?
Are you a hatheist?  (hey-thee-ist)

A person who vocally hates on religious individuals, often criticizing such persons for being uneducated hillbillies.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #156 on: August 06, 2011, 01:07:27 PM »
Similarly baffled am i by jaimehler's endorsement of my earlier post. My argument goes as much against his OP as it does against everyone thinking it warrants large discussions.
I have to ask if you looked at any of my subsequent posts, or if you made the same error he did of assuming that my original post must naturally reflect all of my subsequent posts.  I will quote a statement I made a couple of days ago (this is the second time I've done so, I hope that I will not have to do so a third) which should illuminate things for you as well as for gonegolfing.

I can see why you might have thought I was trying to argue that newborns were theists ("However, that suggests that theism may be the default position for humans, albeit not any specific kind of theism") based on the original post, but I was using this to make a rhetorical point.  My very next post acknowledged that this position was flawed ("A newborn is neither atheist nor theist, as those terms both imply a conscious decision; they are instead credulous, because all they can go on is the evidence of their senses." and "That's why I don't think one can say that the default position of humans is atheism based on the fact that newborns don't have a religious belief (note that this also means that it isn't theism of any stripe).").

Offline Astreja

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #157 on: August 07, 2011, 12:38:09 AM »
But I still don't understand why you are soooo offended.

John, do you have so little empathy and so little insight into human nature that I actually have to explain this to you? 

There are two reasons, John.  The first is that you deliberately chose those words for their fear-inducing value.  The subtext is "Accept Jesus, or my god is gonna get you and make you suffer forever."  It's terrorism, pure and simple.

The second reason is that if you said it to us you have probably have said it to other people.  Perhaps you've said it to a child and the child believed you and is now terrified of hell.  This is completely unforgivable, because it damages the endocrine system of the body and causes lasting psychological damage.  If you haven't yet preached hell to a child, please don't start... Not now; not ever.
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Online JeffPT

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #158 on: August 07, 2011, 10:49:50 AM »
If you haven't yet preached hell to a child, please don't start... Not now; not ever.

My wife takes my children to church every Sunday (partly because she works there, but also partly because she wants them to be "raised with the traditions of the church").  I let it slide.  And when I'm home with them, I blast them with critical thinking and make them use their brains to solve problems.  I feel that even if the church has it's time to indoctrinate them, I can un-indoctrinate them by making them think.  So far so good. 

All that being said (and I've told my wife the this), the second they start talking about hell, THAT'S when I will pull the plug on the whole thing.  It's a vicious, awful, terrible, fear inducing lie, and the minute they hear that their dear old dad is going to burn in hell for all eternity, I will never let them set foot in a church again.  Period. 

For now, I just treat it as silliness.  But it's all fun and games 'till somebody loses an eye. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #159 on: August 07, 2011, 11:43:22 AM »
If you haven't yet preached hell to a child, please don't start... Not now; not ever.

My wife takes my children to church every Sunday (partly because she works there, but also partly because she wants them to be "raised with the traditions of the church").  I let it slide.  And when I'm home with them, I blast them with critical thinking and make them use their brains to solve problems.  I feel that even if the church has it's time to indoctrinate them, I can un-indoctrinate them by making them think.  So far so good. 

All that being said (and I've told my wife the this), the second they start talking about hell, THAT'S when I will pull the plug on the whole thing.  It's a vicious, awful, terrible, fear inducing lie, and the minute they hear that their dear old dad is going to burn in hell for all eternity, I will never let them set foot in a church again.  Period. 

For now, I just treat it as silliness.  But it's all fun and games 'till somebody loses an eye.
Are you sure that has never been mentioned? This would be the first thing I would tell the kids  if I were a preacher.....I am sure the subject of hell has come up by now
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Offline John 3 16

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #160 on: August 07, 2011, 11:54:29 PM »
Astreja.
I will try to understand your concerns about children (eventhough I don't agree)
But I wasn't talking to a 12 year-old. I was talking to you.
How much value is there in your belief (atheism)
Basically, you were saying that "you were offended by something that you are denying, something that you do not even believe." (remember my Santa analogy?)
That goes to Omen, you, and Jeff.
What the hell are you thinking, what is in your mind?
Are you denying hell or accepting it? or do you believe it but just don't want to talk about it? or you don't believe it but offended by it?
Or maybe you don't believe god but believe hell?
WHY ARE YOU OFFENDED?
I believe your concern about children is just an excuse.
I will do my best for children in this world, and my children and my children's children.
You are not in a position to tell me what is best for them.
Are you a hatheist?  (hey-thee-ist)

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Offline John 3 16

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #161 on: August 08, 2011, 12:12:54 AM »
Jeff.
You 2 inch pencil dick!!!!
Are you proud dad, proud husband.
I am not even going to tell you what is right or wrong (atheism vs theism)
Because to you, it doesn't matter anymore.
Like I asked Astreja "What value is there in your belief?"
Are you not man enough to stand straight for you belief?
You send your wife and kids to CHUCH?
Because of money, and some tradition?
It will be like me, sending my wife to satan worshiper for couple of hundred dollars a month.
It will be like me, sending my children to islam temple for tradition.
You are going to pull the plug when?
I can guarantee you, your kids already know heaven and hell story, they are just hiding from you.
Because they already know that you will stop them from going to church every week.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 12:15:04 AM by John 3 16 »
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #162 on: August 08, 2011, 12:14:30 AM »
I know you weren't talking to me but I would like to point out a couple of things

But I wasn't talking to a 12 year-old. I was talking to you.
You have no way of knowing for certain that she is not 12.
Quote
How much value is there in your belief (atheism)
atheism is not a belief system.
Quote
Basically, you were saying that "you were offended by something that you are denying, something that you do not even believe." (remember my Santa analogy?)
It's not what you say, it's the spirit in which you said it.
Quote
That goes to Omen, you, and Jeff.
So these three are worthy of damnation? Who are you to judge?
Quote
What the hell are you thinking, what is in your mind?
Are you denying hell or accepting it? or do you believe it but just don't want to talk about it? or you don't believe it but offended by it?
It does not matter what she believes or not. What matters is what you said. What matters is how you said it.
Quote
WHY ARE YOU OFFENDED?
Maybe because you put a bunch of smiley faces after your statement that she would wake up to a nice surprise(in HELL). I don't know, that just sounds like something a Disney Villain would say.
Quote
I believe your concern about children is just an excuse.
An excuse for what?
Quote
I will do my best for children in this world, and my children and my children's children.
You are not in a position to tell me what is best for them.

I'll let somebody else address this.
I show affection for my pets by holding them against me and whispering, "I love you" repeatedly as they struggle to break free.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #163 on: August 08, 2011, 12:16:56 AM »
Jeff.
You 2 inch pencil dick!!!!

Nice. Let me ask you a question...what would Jesus do?
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Offline John 3 16

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #164 on: August 08, 2011, 12:19:41 AM »
strange question from atheist.

I thought you don't belive Jesus.

what if I say "what would your atheist god do?"
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #165 on: August 08, 2011, 12:24:58 AM »
strange question from atheist.

I thought you don't belive Jesus.

what if I say "what would your atheist god do?"

I am not an atheist
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #166 on: August 08, 2011, 12:28:07 AM »
But I wasn't talking to a 12 year-old. I was talking to you.

Irrelevant.  Your words were deliberately chosen in an attempt to hurt and frighten Me and other unbelievers.

(I turned 54 yesterday, BTW.)   ;D

Quote
How much value is there in your belief (atheism)

Compared to your sick beliefs, I think that atheism is considerably more valuable a worldview because it does not rely on ancient myths of a vicious-minded god.  Essentially, atheism is the glass of water that does not contain the deadly poison.

Quote
Are you denying hell or accepting it? or do you believe it but just don't want to talk about it? or you don't believe it but offended by it?
Or maybe you don't believe god but believe hell?

I deny hell and I deny your god, but I affirm the emotional harm that those beliefs cause.  The existence or nonexistence of your god and hell are not the issue.  Damage to the mental wellness of real people is the issue.

Quote
I believe your concern about children is just an excuse.

You're wrong, John.  Completely wrong.  For that slander against My character, may you lose your faith and never regain it.

Quote
I will do my best for children in this world, and my children and my children's children.
You are not in a position to tell me what is best for them.

I will tell you anyway, John.  It is My desire that if you do choose to frighten your own children and your children's children with tales of hell, they will eventually see through the myth and abandon Christianity.  Depending on how badly you abuse them with the hell myth, one or two of them might even join the secular community to work against people like you.

Ultimately, loss of belief *is* their fate, and yours as well.  All belief ends automatically at the moment of death, at the moment that the human brain stops functioning, and there is no credible evidence of life after death.
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #167 on: August 08, 2011, 12:33:36 AM »
Like I said, if someone here in this forum says "Santa Claus will not give you any present this Christmas, and his reindeer will bite your head off", I would not be offended at all.
Because I know Santa doesn't exist, and you think God doesn't exist.
So why are you offended what is bothering you?

It's because it's such a disgusting and infinite threat. Having a reindeer bite your head off is trivia, if you do in fact just go into oblivion. There is literally zero comparison.

Hell is "backed up" with 2300 years of Jewish/Christian superstition, lies and forgeries obscured by time; 1400 years of government and kingly decree, and perhaps 3000 years of Hindu superstition, 1400 years of Islam. People have believed it for thousands of years, so it's a difficult and nasty piece of crud to remove from the abused human psyche. Humans have no information about what happens after death, so, in come the exploiters of that.

How do you weigh an infinite threat of torture, against zero evidence of what really happens after death? All whilst being assured by thousands of Christian manipulators in positions of power and intellectual authority, telling you that it's true, and written in an infallible book ordained from God, who is of course real, and they have proof. Whenever you argue with them, they won't budge a millimeter. Any time you do score a point, they don't admit it; the same circular lies and arrogance perpetuates with no evidence. It wears you down, even if you do think it's 100% solid moron poop.

And when you do finally win the argument, and they become atheists, you do the same battle all over again, with the next cult member.

There are plenty of examples of beliefs which are perfectly fucking stupid, and yet they still make way into people's minds, via peer pressure; largely without infinite threats of torture, coming from people you are told deserve respect.



Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #168 on: August 08, 2011, 12:35:37 AM »
Jeff.
You 2 inch pencil dick!!!!
Are you proud dad, proud husband.
I am not even going to tell you what is right or wrong (atheism vs theism)
Because to you, it doesn't matter anymore.
Like I asked Astreja "What value is there in your belief?"
Are you not man enough to stand straight for you belief?
You send your wife and kids to CHUCH?
Because of money, and some tradition?
It will be like me, sending my wife to satan worshiper for couple of hundred dollars a month.
It will be like me, sending my children to islam temple for tradition.
You are going to pull the plug when?
I can guarantee you, your kids already know heaven and hell story, they are just hiding from you.
Because they already know that you will stop them from going to church every week.

Oh, I see. I didn't realise that you wouldn't have the intellect to understand anything I said. It was a waste of time even replying to you.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Astreja

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #169 on: August 08, 2011, 12:58:30 AM »
Maybe because you put a bunch of smiley faces after your statement that she would wake up to a nice surprise (in HELL).

(Springy G wonders if She should've added 3 or 4 smiley faces to Her seiðr for John 3 16 and his descendants to lose their faith)

(Shakes Her head) Nah... That would make Me as much a jerk as him.

Jay, you hit the proverbial nail on the head:  It was indeed the way John said it that set Me off.  If he had put a single crying-eyes  :'( face after his post, it would have had a completely different emotional effect.
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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #170 on: August 08, 2011, 04:25:06 AM »
Quote from: John 3 16
I will do my best for children in this world, and my children and my children's children.
You are not in a position to tell me what is best for them.

Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't you say that your son is essentially a failure who lives in your basement?

Is it that you take no responsibility for the outcome of your parenting, opting to blame your child, or do you define that as "mission accomplished"?

Very curious. I am also waiting for your response to my question about your socio-economics. Where are you in relation to others socio-economically?   
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline jetson

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #171 on: August 08, 2011, 06:27:50 AM »
Happy Fucking Birthday Astreja!  :D

Carry on...

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #172 on: August 08, 2011, 08:10:54 AM »
Jeff.
You 2 inch pencil dick!!!!

Certainly proof that god is cruel! 

BTW, your insults aren't useful.  I sift through them and move on as if you never said them.  It does nothing to your argument.

Are you proud dad, proud husband.

Damn right. 

I am not even going to tell you what is right or wrong (atheism vs theism)
Because to you, it doesn't matter anymore.

Why would you try to tell me what's right or wrong as if you had some sort of knowledge that I don't?  Do you really think I'm confused as to what's right and wrong?  I know it's wrong to tell children that they might possibly end up burning in hell for eternity.  That is as wrong as it gets. 

Like I asked Astreja "What value is there in your belief?"

If I wanted to hold a belief strictly for the value of it, I wouldn't go with Christianity.  I'd make up one of my own.

Unfortunately for you, a belief shouldn't be held because of what I can get out of it.  A belief should be held because it's the closest to the truth.  It takes a real man to admit that.  Obviously you don't agree.

Are you not man enough to stand straight for you belief?

My wife has her beliefs, I have mine.  I treat her as an equal to me.  It has nothing to do with being man enough to stand up to her, lol.  She wants them to go, I don't, someone has to give in, so I give in most of the time.  They don't go every Sunday, but probably 4 weeks out of every 6. 

As far as with you... I'll go toe to toe with you.  You're easy pickings.  All day baby.

You send your wife and kids to CHUCH?

Actually, she works there.  I don't send them anywhere.  Nor do I forbid them from going anywhere they wish... yet.  I'll be drawing the line where I said I would.   

Because of money, and some tradition?

Yes.  Tradition is why the vast majority of people go to church. 

It will be like me, sending my wife to satan worshiper for couple of hundred dollars a month.
It will be like me, sending my children to islam temple for tradition.
You are going to pull the plug when?

You should stop trying to use analogies.  You're terrible with them.

I don't think of the church as harmful to them, as long as I counter balance the fairy tales they learn there with reality at home.  The people who go to church are generally good people... despite the shitty, dumb, fucked up religion they practice.  They somehow manage to be good people in spite of it (definitely NOT because of it). 

I'm going to pull the plug when they mention the asinine notion that anyone who doesn't believe in God is going to burn in hell forever.  It's a vile, horrible, mean, disgusting and wretched belief.  Are you not listening? 

I can guarantee you, your kids already know heaven and hell story, they are just hiding from you.
Because they already know that you will stop them from going to church every week.

Every Saturday night, my children ask if they can "take a day off tomorrow".  Every single one.  Do you know what they mean when they say that?  It means they would rather (by leaps and bounds) stay home with daddy on Sundays.  Why?  Because I play with them.  We play Lego's. We read.  We ride bikes.  Go to the pool.  All that.  My wife has to work quite hard (with my help) to make sure they get themselves up and going to church on Sundays.  It's always a battle.  I help because it matters to her.  If I finally put my foot down and said no more church, at this point my children would celebrate it. 

After they reach a certain age, they will get to decide for themselves whether or not to go to church.  I won't have to stop them then.  If their current take on the whole thing is any judge, then they will choose for themselves never to set foot there again.  I'm pretty certain of that.  But if they decide to keep going that will also be their choice.  I believe they can be good people and still believe in God.  I think they'd be better without, but lots of people seem to be good and still believe.  You obviously can't, but I bet they can.  As long as I help teach them how to be good.   

Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline John 3 16

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #173 on: August 08, 2011, 08:56:27 AM »
okay.
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