Author Topic: Why Atheists Hate "God"  (Read 1433 times)

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Online kcrady

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Re: Why Atheists Hate "God"
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2011, 01:05:37 AM »
Ony!  Great to see you again!  IMO, mythmaking is one of the atheist/rationalist movement's major deficits, so I think there's a lot that a weaver of tales could do to help raise the sanity waterline.  For inspiration/example, check out this marvelous Harry Potter fanfic which shows us what might have happened if Harry Potter had been raised by scientists...
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline screwtape

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Re: Why Atheists Hate "God"
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2011, 12:12:59 PM »
^ I'm 14 chapters in.  It's really great.  It is like a fun, Harry Potter spoof that introduces all sorts of cool science ideas. One of my favorite quotes so far:
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To worship a sacred mystery was just to worship your own ignorance.

cripes, kcrady, how'd you find this?
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What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Online kcrady

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Re: Why Atheists Hate "God"
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2011, 02:13:57 AM »
David Brin mentioned it on his blog some time ago.  I don't think I've ever seen anyone do such a great job of promoting ideas through fiction (especially a complicated set of ideas like critical thinking, Bayes' Theorem, the scientific method, cognitive biases, etc.) without the ideas ever getting in the way of the story/characters, etc..  More often than not the exposition of ideas is delightfully entertaining in its own right.  Harry's reaction to seeing Professor McGonagall turn into a cat is definitely one of my favorites.  Then there's the Sorting Hat and the whole Comed-tea sequence and...well, I'll stop now, since it's a bit off-topic. ;)
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Why Atheists Hate "God"
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2011, 04:53:46 PM »
kcrady:
Quote
But: dissensus is good.  There may be some who are repelled by the Gnu Atheist approach, but would give arguments against theism more consideration if they think they'll still get to keep their Christian Values after leaving the supernatural and anti-rational aspects of faith behind. 
I admit I was a little confused when I read that, as my personal brand of atheism doesn't seem particularly relevant to the topic under discussion.

Perhaps I'm being egocentric, and kcrady was actually referring to my species. Unlikely though, as wildebeest atheists are few and far between. As far as I know, I'm the only one in my herd. (The others are mostly Catholic, and revere Cardinal Gnuman. Idiots).

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Why Atheists Hate "God"
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2011, 06:19:27 PM »
I think this was well-put.  I, personally, detest fictional villains, but that doesn't mean I think they're lurking out there somewhere.  And while I might seek to emulate fictional heroes in some respects, that doesn't mean I think I'm going to fly around on a broomstick to catch a Snitch, have a telepathic horse-Companion, or be a dragonrider of Pern.

But thinking about that led me to a realization, of sorts.  You see, my own experience growing up as a Christian was probably much different than many of yours, or most Christians out there.  I never bought into the whole thing the way most people do or did.  I never considered that the Bible was intended to be taken literally.  I read the Bible on my own (usually because it was less boring than listening to a minister give a sermon) and I thought of it like I thought of the fiction books that I practically devoured on my own - something that you can learn something from, but not the Literal Truth and Word of God.  Part of that is because I mostly focused on Genesis, Exodus, and the New Testament, which are based around mythic doings.

So while I might have absorbed a good bit of the morality of Christianity, I never really accepted the doctrine in the literal sense that apparently is expected of Christians.  I tended to look for explanations that made sense, rather than handwaves that treated them as miracles, and my parents (especially my mother) tended towards that approach as well.  For example, the feeding of thousands with only a few fishes and loaves makes much more sense as inspiring people to share what they actually had with each other so nobody went hungry rather than magic multiplication, even though magic multiplication is what most Christians believe in.  The only difference now is that I don't think I'm likely to be able to figure out rational explanations that will be accepted by Christians in general; most of them are far too beholden to the 'magic' explanation (and the belief that the 'magic' still exists out there, even if they themselves never see it).

Offline jetson

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Re: Why Atheists Hate "God"
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2011, 06:26:24 PM »
Jaim, nice post...

Do you think that the scientific method is the best way we currently have to learn about how our world works?  Or do you believe there are other ways that should also be used, and what would those be?

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Why Atheists Hate "God"
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2011, 06:47:00 PM »
If a better method than the scientific one exists, it's not one I've heard of.  And I think we'd have come up with it even if magic and miracles were real, because the real beauty of the scientific method is that it's a way to understand how things work, rather than to interpret them through some dogma.

Offline IAmFirst

Re: Why Atheists Hate "God"
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2011, 08:02:31 PM »
Be MAD at god? No. I love fiction. Read it all the time! If I hated the antagonists, like god, how would I even finish the book? :D
2nd of all, if all you believe in is peer-reviewed papers, you won't go very far in life...

-- Shin :D