Author Topic: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it  (Read 2041 times)

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Offline gonegolfing

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2011, 09:54:28 AM »
Theist:-- Ummm....well....because I said they are !!!! >:(

Let's not make strawmen here. Their explanation is a little more descriptive than that. They resort to; "You have a belief without evidence, just like I do. That's faith" as their justification. I have a parable for just that situation.

Yes it is a kind of faith. It is that same kind of faith that I have that my shoes do not fly around my round when I am asleep and no recording devices are present. I'm sure you share that same faith, the faith of NoFlyingShoeswhlesleeping, how's that faith working out for you? Does it require a deep conviction of resolute solemnity, or do you have that faith because the proposition that your shoes fly around when you are asleep is in contradiction to everything observable about reality?

Ah yes ! I've seen them resort to that one as well. But the fault in that thinking can be pointed out by stating that I do have evidence for my nonbelief. My evidence is the fact that it's quite "evident", and we know for sure, that there is an utter lack of evidence for their claim that a god/s exists, and that they have nothing whatsoever to back that claim up as true. Where's god ? Actually, what is a god ?

The nonexistence of evidence for a claim, is evidence in and of itself, and is a powerful tool that should be used to eliminate any assumptions with regards to that claim. 

Atheists do not, and should not, have "faith". They should have rational expectations based on experience and things that they "know". They should have rational rejections based on experience and things that they "know".

I have the rational expectation that there is no god/s based on the experience of reality and that I know that there is no evidence for god/s. And I rationally reject the god idea based on the experience of reality and that I know, based on evidence, there's an utter lack of evidence in our reality for its temporal truth.

I don't just believe there are no gods. I know there are no gods because I know there is no evidence whatsoever for the reality of them.

Invisible and nonexistent are very much alike.  ;)

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

Online jaimehlers

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2011, 10:22:32 AM »
I don't think that's a good statement.  "There is no evidence for something, therefore I know that it does not actually exist."  I don't think it's a good idea to make assumptions about what might or might not exist; the idea of old stars producing complex organic molecules is not something that anyone would have legitimately expected to see until someone actually observed it.

A better way to put it is, "There is no evidence for something, therefore don't bother me until you actually have evidence for it."  In other words, they have to be able to actually back up what they're saying instead of just saying it to be taken seriously.  Until then, they shouldn't be.
Worldviews:  Everyone has one, everyone believes them to be an accurate view of the world, and everyone ends up at least partially wrong.  However, some worldviews are stronger and well-supported, while others are so bizarre that they make no sense to anyone else.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2011, 02:42:28 PM »
I don't think that's a good statement.  "There is no evidence for something, therefore I know that it does not actually exist."  I don't think it's a good idea to make assumptions about what might or might not exist; the idea of old stars producing complex organic molecules is not something that anyone would have legitimately expected to see until someone actually observed it.

A better way to put it is, "There is no evidence for something, therefore don't bother me until you actually have evidence for it."  In other words, they have to be able to actually back up what they're saying instead of just saying it to be taken seriously.  Until then, they shouldn't be.

It doesn't matter what we "think" about statements. What matters in this life is what you know and what is true and what is real :--- what we know to be true and real is that there is zero evidence for god/s and the supernatural realm.

Who's making assumptions ? Is there tangible evidence for gods or not ? No ! Then they fucking well don't exist in this reality. Why not call a spade a spade ?

Why must atheists(or whatever you are) feel that they need to always walk around on eggshells when it comes to the utter lack of evidence for something and stating the obvious truth that those things do not exist ?  &)  Putting it your way, is to show way to much respect and is to go way to easy on the claimers. Remember, were not talking about natural phenomena like your stars/complex molecules example above:--- the god claim is an extraordinary supernatural claim, and not only is there zero extraordinary evidence to back up that claim, but there is zero evidence of any kind to do so !! This kind of claim deserves no respect, patience, or time whatsoever. 

The god claimers have been given quite enough time to put up the goods for all to see and they've failed to do so. They've not been able to provide one shred of hard core evidence to back up their claims and that's a minor compared to the major fact that the god of the claim itself has failed to do so as well. This claim deserves one thing and one thing only :-- ridicule. The facts of our reality clearly put it in a position to be mocked and outright dismissed for further use in our species and world.

The god idea is fucked through and through. If evidence for its temporal truth were possible and available it would have been obvious and presented long ago. The only things that keep the god idea alive is the credulity of the masses, and the philosophical ramblings of nonbelieving hypocrites that should know better and thus they end up giving the idea an existential free pass and breathing room for the deluded to remain ignorant.

 ;)

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

Online jaimehlers

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2011, 05:16:24 PM »
gonegolfing:  Why do atheists and whatever seem to walk on eggshells about stuff like this?  Maybe because they feel they can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.

The essence of what you're saying, at least as I understand it, is that religion's had its chance to prove itself and that now it's time for religious people to just suck it up and admit that they're wrong and atheists are right.  Well, the only thing I see that accomplishing is to further convince them that atheists are just religious people in disguise who want them to convert to the atheistic 'religion' (no matter that atheism isn't a religion).  Many of them already think that, and they're not going to change that opinion by atheists taking a hard-line stance to try to force them to change, because that ends up looking like evangelizing to them.

It doesn't matter that this is nonsense to you and to other atheists.  What will matter is you telling them that they're wrong and that they need to change their beliefs.  It doesn't matter that you say the evidence doesn't support their beliefs, because as far as they're concerned, they prove those beliefs are true practically every time they turn around.  People will go to great lengths to defend what they believe in, and they will fight like nothing else against someone who tries to force them to change.

You say that a wrong belief deserves no respect, patience, or time?  You say that they deserve ridicule?  That's basically how they tend to treat atheists.  Let me ask you, would you even be willing to give the time of day to someone who ridiculed you for being wrong (whether or not they had cause), and was disrespectful and impatience?  Believe me, they've been at this for a very long time and they're better at it when it comes to playing by those rules.

You appear to be basing your position on the fact that theists have irrational beliefs and that atheism is far more rational.  So why would you want be irrational towards them?  That's like trying to get people to think calmly by screaming in their face.
Worldviews:  Everyone has one, everyone believes them to be an accurate view of the world, and everyone ends up at least partially wrong.  However, some worldviews are stronger and well-supported, while others are so bizarre that they make no sense to anyone else.

Offline pingnak

Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2011, 05:38:05 PM »
If I assert that a giant space fly is about to lay eggs in the earth and hatch out maggots that will eat us all... would it make sense to take my word for it WITHOUT EVIDENCE?

Too far out?

How about if I assert your money is cursed, and I will take it and 'cleanse' it of demons? 

Because idiots fall for this one all the time.

Under normal circumstances, it is prudent to ask for evidence.  The more fantastic a claim, the more compelling the evidence should be.  'Gods'?  That's about as fantastic a claim as you could invent.

There is no evidence to support theistic claims and demands that I attend church, tithe, etc. for people's alleged gods.

That's all I have to go on.  Your testimony that your 'god' is not only real, but every little thing that you claim it to be, or that money is cursed, or that the world should divert its entire GNP to creating a giant, mobile can of space fly repellent.

Offline pingnak

Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2011, 05:41:27 PM »
Alleged god
Alleged jesus
Alleged allah

I think I'll start using that.

Online jaimehlers

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2011, 05:54:43 PM »
pingnak:  My point is that if you're demanding evidence for something, then you need to be seen as someone who will honestly look at the evidence that they provide.  Ridiculing people doesn't exactly demonstrate that tendency.  Yes, if their evidence is wrong or misguided, tell them that and tell them why it is, but reinforce words with manner too.  And if they keep going and going, then tell them that you've presented your case and it's up to them to listen or not listen, and let it be at that.  Such, at least, is my own opinion.
Worldviews:  Everyone has one, everyone believes them to be an accurate view of the world, and everyone ends up at least partially wrong.  However, some worldviews are stronger and well-supported, while others are so bizarre that they make no sense to anyone else.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2011, 09:51:54 AM »
gonegolfing:  Why do atheists and whatever seem to walk on eggshells about stuff like this?  Maybe because they feel they can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.

The essence of what you're saying, at least as I understand it, is that religion's had its chance to prove itself and that now it's time for religious people to just suck it up and admit that they're wrong and atheists are right.  Well, the only thing I see that accomplishing is to further convince them that atheists are just religious people in disguise who want them to convert to the atheistic 'religion' (no matter that atheism isn't a religion).  Many of them already think that, and they're not going to change that opinion by atheists taking a hard-line stance to try to force them to change, because that ends up looking like evangelizing to them.

It doesn't matter that this is nonsense to you and to other atheists.  What will matter is you telling them that they're wrong and that they need to change their beliefs.  It doesn't matter that you say the evidence doesn't support their beliefs, because as far as they're concerned, they prove those beliefs are true practically every time they turn around.  People will go to great lengths to defend what they believe in, and they will fight like nothing else against someone who tries to force them to change.

You say that a wrong belief deserves no respect, patience, or time?  You say that they deserve ridicule?  That's basically how they tend to treat atheists.  Let me ask you, would you even be willing to give the time of day to someone who ridiculed you for being wrong (whether or not they had cause), and was disrespectful and impatience?  Believe me, they've been at this for a very long time and they're better at it when it comes to playing by those rules.

You appear to be basing your position on the fact that theists have irrational beliefs and that atheism is far more rational.  So why would you want be irrational towards them?  That's like trying to get people to think calmly by screaming in their face.


Look jaimahlers, I've tried to make it clear that when it comes to this matter--the god idea--it's a failed hypothesis. It's over for it.

It's not about what I think or feel or what others think or feel. It's all about pointing out the facts about a primitive idea who's time has come and gone and that it is no longer worthy of a life of devotion or respect.

It's also not about me being right, but about what is true. And the fact of the matter is that the god idea as a temporal truth has been a fallacious idea from the beginning, and now with the vast amount of knowledge that we have and a superior intellect and understanding to our ancient ancestors:--there's no excuse whatsoever for this idea based on primitive reasoning to remain as a basis or answer to any questions with regards to our reality or our existence. I refuse to hypocritically candy coat or spread honey on my approach to theists because of this. To do so is phony and puts my character and integrity in question. Honesty is the ticket, and if you want to call that vinegar and avoid it's usage, then that's your business. It's not my style that's for sure.

I also don't give a shit that I may be called religious as an atheist. Name calling proves nothing and if their minds are unchangeable on that, then fuck em', I'll pour on as much vinegar back at them if that's the vinegar they're going to throw on me. They know damn well that atheists do not practice a religion and so their use of that term for us proves how small and shallow they really are. Calling atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour. It's a retarded statement that only shows how desperate the theists are and how inept they are at trying to defend this nonsensical idea that they love so much.

Theists/believers are wrong. Dead wrong. They need to be told straight up that they're wrong.
And why you would use honey to declare that is beyond me. It's quite evident that 400 years of honey and science haven't worked in the way that you're imagining and so it's vinegar's time.
The god idea/Religion is bankrupt and it's only right that this fact be exposed in it's fullness by people who care about humanity and reality. If it takes ridicule or shame then so be it. I have no time for accommodationists or appeasers, they've had their crack at the can and have failed overall to convince theists of their folly. It's a shameful and harmful idea that needs to be shamed and made impotent.

Quote
Let me ask you, would you even be willing to give the time of day to someone who ridiculed you for being wrong (whether or not they had cause), and was disrespectful and impatience?

I'm giving you the time of day am I not ? ;D ...Seriously though, yes, those are the ones that I like to focus on, those are the ones who need a strong tongue lashing and putting in their proper place, those are the ones who have made themselves the most obvious of fools and need correction and help with their stubbornness and arrogance. Those are the ones who want a fight and they sure as hell are going to get one from me. I'm not wrong. They are. And like children, it needs to be constantly reinforced to them. 


You're damn right I want to see all people in the atheist position. It's the only viable position for the human mind to be in. The mind that is in this position is then free for better use to our current reality and to contribute to society without the limits or restrictions of a false idea and primitive reasoning. Without the god idea/religion/supernaturalism humans can be individuals again and enjoy their life to the fullest without oppression or stultification.

Do we need to talk about the hypocrisy of violence and abuse and fraud at this point ? I didn't think so. These very dark issues within religion cause enough shame in and of themselves to make my point clear.

The village idiot doesn't know he's the village idiot, and will always remain the village idiot until he's told that he's the village idiot. He may choose to remain the village idiot once told, but at least at that point he's fully aware that he is in fact the village idiot  ;)



 
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 10:08:26 AM by gonegolfing »
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Online jaimehlers

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2011, 11:22:33 AM »
gonegolfing:  That kind of straightforward, headlong approach to overcoming emotional certainty is not effective.  You might as well pound on a brick wall with your fists; emotional certainty is at least as impervious to being told that it's wrong as a brick wall is to being punched.

You said you were a theist some time back.  Would you have listened to someone telling you that your beliefs were wrong, even if they said they had proof, before you started questioning it yourself?  Would you have even taken their ridicule seriously when you didn't listen?  I don't mean how you are now, I mean how you were then.  I would bet real money that the person you are right now is not the person you were when you had strong theistic beliefs, no matter how it might feel from the inside.

Don't let your frustration at theists provoke you into rash actions that benefit only them.
Worldviews:  Everyone has one, everyone believes them to be an accurate view of the world, and everyone ends up at least partially wrong.  However, some worldviews are stronger and well-supported, while others are so bizarre that they make no sense to anyone else.

Offline jetson

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #38 on: November 09, 2011, 07:42:07 PM »
Gonegolfing,

You and I think alike in this area.  Having said that, I wanted to add some of my own thoughts.  I don't spend enough time pouring vinegar on the theists, but more importantly, there are simply not enough atheists willing to do this.  For all sorts of reasons, it's hard to blame them.  And when our numbers are lower, especially in the U.S., we tend to be ridiculed for being mean atheists.

The thing is, if the numbers were a lot higher, the swing could potentially happen.  The stupid ideas would lose favor with the majority, or at least start to!  So yeah, I can't pour too much vinegar, but I know it has to happen in order to change the tide.

This particular debate is not new, but I like it when it comes up.  It reminds me that we need strength, and yes, some vinegar, to put an end to the madness.  Perhaps we need a balance?  I'm not sure, but I think it would help immensely if more atheists would ridicule theists a bit more, if not to at least make them less bold with their unsupported claims.

Jaimehler...you're still awesome in my book, but I definitely lean towards the gg side of this argument.  I wish I could find ways to be stronger in person...at times.  I end up feeling defeated by the smugness of the majority, and their delusions.

Offline RaymondKHessel

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2011, 10:43:21 PM »
LOL Ray!  One thing is certain, well, three things are certain now:

death
Taxes
ray will not quote famous atheists, he will always use his own words.


And, now that we all feel a bit less effective because we sometimes do quote the famous guys...well...let's just say we have some catching up to do.

Ha! Joking aside, you make an excellent point, and it is not as effective to simply parrot those who have books.  Using our own words makes us more passionate, and passion oozes from your posts here Ray...like it or not!

Sorry bromeo. I know, I tend to... Umm... Ooze. My doctor wrote me a script for a soothing balm/lotion that's supposed to help, but it's not covered by my insurance. So I'm kinda doomed to be an oozer I guess. I guess I need to buy thicker shirts.  :-[

Nah, thanks for the compliment man. As disgusting as it was.   :P

On the real, I love a good quote. Alls I'm saying is, you know... Most places they can be used without a care, but it's dangerous to make it a cornerstone of an arguement. You can shoot yourself in the foot. There are ways to still throw a quote in though. It's all about how you frame it I think. Like

"There's a quote I really like, that goes like this..." and then drop it.

That has a different flavor than just stating the quote, and continuing on from there. Because the second way kind of implies that the quote itself is why you are arguing whatever it is you're arguing.

Hope that makes sense! What's that dusty old saying... "It's not what you say, but how you say it"? I hate that quote because most times it implies that style trumps substance, but it's applicable in this case, I think.
Born with insight, and a raised fist.

Offline Xero-Kill

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2011, 11:01:09 PM »
I am with Jetson and GG. I find it disturbing that the religious opposition demands and usually receives a certain amount of automatic respect especially since that same respect is rarely ever returned. I could go on about this topic for a while but I wouldn't be saying anything thing they haven't already covered so I will just leave it at that.
"Our fathers were our models for God. If our fathers bailed, what does that tell you about God? You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you. He never wanted you. In all probability, he hates you. This is not the worst thing that can happen."

~Tyler Durden

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2011, 12:27:19 AM »
Name calling proves nothing and if their minds are unchangeable on that, then fuck em', I'll pour on as much vinegar back at them if that's the vinegar they're going to throw on me.

Fire with fire eh? Do you actually think that insulting a Christian is going to be effective? Your style does more harm than good but you don't really care about that do you? Seems to me that you are the poster child for the "angry at God" stereotype which is applied to most atheists who are outspoken and mean spirited. You are no better than those you criticize. In fact, if I didn't know any better I would say that you are really an undercover spiritual warrior for Christ. You pose as an atheist and say the most vile and hurtful things you can think of to insult christians in an effort to make atheists look like assholes. If that be the case, you're doing a fine job

Keep up the good work.

Quote
The mind that is in this position is then free for better use to our current reality and to contribute to society without the limits or restrictions of a false idea and primitive reasoning. Without the god idea/religion/supernaturalism humans can be individuals again and enjoy their life to the fullest without oppression or stultification.

You sound like a hopeless romantic.

*in Homer Simpsons mocking voice* "Oooh if it wasn't for those stupid evil Christians the world would be a better place because atheists are smart and can do no wrong and love everybody"

Pathetic.

You want to brow beat and humiliate all believers into submission so that we can all contribute to society and be free from oppression or being made to feel stupid. Pretty weak argument you got there.
Quote
"People want to get whatever they want to get. Do I care? No, I don't care. People need certain things" - Senator Leland Yee (D) California

Offline jetson

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2011, 07:09:04 AM »
Jayb...that's hardly a fair representation of what gonegolfing is saying.  We are not talking about vitriolic and unnecessary, or unwarranted hatred or anger at all.  It's not like someone who doesn't understand a math problem, and needs some extra tutoring.  This is quite different, in my opinion.

I'm sure you would not at all disagree that atheists are by far the most reviled group n the U.S., as enough studies and polls have made clear.  Given that, and adding the very real fact that the entire religious movement is based on mythology, and nothing more, it is indeed appropriate in many cases to "fight fire with fire".  But that doesn't necessarily mean it in the way you described.  All I hear is strong passion regarding the message, not some form of pure hatred.

The bottom line is that atheists simply cannot stand by and be nice and courteous all of the time.  History clearly shows that some of us will have to fight for our position and view, it's that simple.  And that means doing things that could offend others, and it should offend them.  Because frankly, I am offended almost every time I hear a god related piece of non-sense coming from a fellow human.

Granted, I'm not going to come unglued with strangers, but I am now having conversations where willing participants who hold these delusions are espousing very real hatred, and disgusting bigotry.  And in those cases, I'm done standing idly while this is given carte Blanche in the public eye.  Enough already, I say.

In the end, I don't believe gonegolfing is espousing that all interactions with believers should be nasty fights.  And I would be astounded if you truly believed that this was what he was saying.  I know I have a strong bias, but I want to believe we are humans first, and secondly, we argue our positions at the appropriate level that is warranted.  I don't want to speak for gonegolfing though, so my apologies if I have misrepresented.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2011, 07:34:27 AM »
Name calling proves nothing and if their minds are unchangeable on that, then fuck em', I'll pour on as much vinegar back at them if that's the vinegar they're going to throw on me.

Fire with fire eh? Do you actually think that insulting a Christian is going to be effective? Your style does more harm than good but you don't really care about that do you? Seems to me that you are the poster child for the "angry at God" stereotype which is applied to most atheists who are outspoken and mean spirited. You are no better than those you criticize. In fact, if I didn't know any better I would say that you are really an undercover spiritual warrior for Christ. You pose as an atheist and say the most vile and hurtful things you can think of to insult christians in an effort to make atheists look like assholes. If that be the case, you're doing a fine job

Keep up the good work.

Quote
The mind that is in this position is then free for better use to our current reality and to contribute to society without the limits or restrictions of a false idea and primitive reasoning. Without the god idea/religion/supernaturalism humans can be individuals again and enjoy their life to the fullest without oppression or stultification.

You sound like a hopeless romantic.

*in Homer Simpsons mocking voice* "Oooh if it wasn't for those stupid evil Christians the world would be a better place because atheists are smart and can do no wrong and love everybody"

Pathetic.

You want to brow beat and humiliate all believers into submission so that we can all contribute to society and be free from oppression or being made to feel stupid. Pretty weak argument you got there.

You've willfully missed my point, so you can willfully go fuck yourself ;)
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #44 on: November 10, 2011, 07:57:39 AM »
Gonegolfing,

You and I think alike in this area.  Having said that, I wanted to add some of my own thoughts.  I don't spend enough time pouring vinegar on the theists, but more importantly, there are simply not enough atheists willing to do this.  For all sorts of reasons, it's hard to blame them.  And when our numbers are lower, especially in the U.S., we tend to be ridiculed for being mean atheists.

The thing is, if the numbers were a lot higher, the swing could potentially happen.  The stupid ideas would lose favor with the majority, or at least start to!  So yeah, I can't pour too much vinegar, but I know it has to happen in order to change the tide.

This particular debate is not new, but I like it when it comes up.  It reminds me that we need strength, and yes, some vinegar, to put an end to the madness.  Perhaps we need a balance?  I'm not sure, but I think it would help immensely if more atheists would ridicule theists a bit more, if not to at least make them less bold with their unsupported claims.

Jaimehler...you're still awesome in my book, but I definitely lean towards the gg side of this argument.  I wish I could find ways to be stronger in person...at times.  I end up feeling defeated by the smugness of the majority, and their delusions.

Jetson  ;)

I agree with what you're stating mate. There a fine line between what is necessary and what is overdoing it with ridicule. My whole point has been about administering just enough ridicule so as to bring shame on belief.

If I haven't made it clear enough then I'll make it clear, that It's not the person I'm after, but the beliefs and the doctrines of faith. They're the root of the problem. They're the cause of the vast amount of problems and shortcomings that we see in our world and it's these faulty ideas that deserve mockery.

I also understand that all atheists have there own approaches to this matter and I cannot fault them for that. What I can fault them for however, is if they are not angry about what religion has done, is doing, and will do in the future:-- if one is not pissed about that then they are the pathetic ones.

I get the impression that a few in this thread picture me as a raving cursing lunatic atheist running around with a bat cracking the skulls of the deluded  &)

In fact, I'm actually quite a mild mannered guy when you get to know me, but just don't get all religious on me, or I'll tell you that your wrong and that I would have to now consider you a fool if you're going to continue to believe such foolish things and then proceed with a lovely little balanced vinaigrette to tell you why your wrong.  ;)

Cheers mate   
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 08:01:14 AM by gonegolfing »
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2011, 09:21:25 AM »
gonegolfing:  That kind of straightforward, headlong approach to overcoming emotional certainty is not effective.  You might as well pound on a brick wall with your fists; emotional certainty is at least as impervious to being told that it's wrong as a brick wall is to being punched.

You said you were a theist some time back.  Would you have listened to someone telling you that your beliefs were wrong, even if they said they had proof, before you started questioning it yourself?  Would you have even taken their ridicule seriously when you didn't listen?  I don't mean how you are now, I mean how you were then.  I would bet real money that the person you are right now is not the person you were when you had strong theistic beliefs, no matter how it might feel from the inside.

Don't let your frustration at theists provoke you into rash actions that benefit only them.

I make no apologies. My frustration is justified. As I've pointed out, theists continue to dogmatically and arrogantly believe such nonsense in the light of reality and what it is.

The opportunities that we get as atheists to bring the truth to theists are very limited in the first place and so there's no point in going all soft on them with our approach. It should be hard core enlightenment to them with civility and straightforwardness that makes very clear and direct points. Given that we don't often get the chance then:-- the god idea, religions, and faith in the supernatural are ideas that shouldn't just get a slap on the wrist, but a severe lambasting for being the harmful impediments that they are. Perhaps to your surprise, please know that I find no pleasure at all in watching a theist fidget in their seat and turn red with embarassment when the folly of their ways is made real to them. I point this truth out to them not for my pleasure, but for their benefit and so they'll have good mental health.

Remember, the jig is up for this harmful idea....Civil yes, but we do not have to be "nice" anymore.

I have nothing to say about my deluded past, only that it was an egregious error to think and behave the way I did. The wonderful thing is that it was the information that was available on the internet that saved me from my delusion. The balance that I found there of truth, knowledge and derision about my beliefs was what caused me to stop and think about what I was believing and then based on that and fortunately and wisely I willingly tossed supernatural belief in the trash can where it belongs.

I can honestly say that now that I stand free and on the side of truth, I understand fully the need for "end game" mockery as one of the ingredients to making it clear to supernaturalists that they are deluded. You can make all the statements you want about how you think ridicule is ineffective, but I respectfully disagree as I know for a fact that it was a useful and necessary tool and part of the process that helped snap me out of my foolish behaviours.

If the theist adamantly refuses to change after hearing the facts and truth about their foolish beliefs and behaviours, then there is nothing left to do after that but call them the fools that they truly are and walk away. Why not just walk away without calling them a fool ? Because my job would truly be unfinished at that point if so. It's my responsibility to not only point out the flawed belief, but to also point out the flaw in the character of the believer if they are unwilling to abandon that belief.

I agree with you often, but on this one we will just have to respectfully disagree.

Cheers
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 09:26:21 AM by gonegolfing »
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2011, 10:27:18 AM »
In the end, I don't believe gonegolfing is espousing that all interactions with believers should be nasty fights.  And I would be astounded if you truly believed that this was what he was saying.

No need to be astounded. In the big picture I would recommend saving his technique for the leaders of religion, like Fred Phelps or Rev. Haggee or the late Rev. Falwell. However, I understand that gonegolfing probably doesn't have a stage for addressing those people. So he does what he can with the people he does come into contact with. I do think it's in poor taste and I tried to illustrate my point, and by extension jaime's point, by using his method against him. Which resulted in him telling me to go fuck myself. Which very clearly demonstrated that once someone's mind is made up, and they stand firm in their convictions, ridicule will not change it.

However, it also resulted in him clarifying his position in calmer language.

You've willfully missed my point,

I don't think I did. I just have a different style than jaimehlers.

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so you can willfully go fuck yourself ;)
Okay *hangs head down*





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Offline gonegolfing

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2011, 04:08:37 PM »

Quote
Quote
You've willfully missed my point
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I don't think I did. I just have a different style than jaimehlers.

Think what you want. Your method was not my method so don't kid yourself.

Go back and read what you said, and you'll see that your method was straight up ad hominem. You go for the throat of the person--whereas I always go for the throat of their position.

If you were trying to make a point or a comparison with that attack on character then you failed miserably.

Indeed my mind is made up. All the ridicule in the world will never move a person who stands firm in a truth.

It's the person who stands firm in an obvious lie that should be the one to feel shame. 
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2011, 05:45:39 PM »
Go back and read what you said, and you'll see that your method was straight up ad hominem. You go for the throat of the person--whereas I always go for the throat of their position.

Right, but in this particular situation I don't disagree with your position per se. It is your approach, your method that I take issue with. Your approach comes directly from you, it is a reflection of the type of person that you are. So, in this particular case what else is there for me to address?

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If you were trying to make a point or a comparison with that attack on character then you failed miserably.


I think you understood my point perfectly well.

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Indeed my mind is made up. All the ridicule in the world will never move a person who stands firm in a truth.

Truth is relative to the information we have.

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It's the person who stands firm in an obvious lie that should be the one to feel shame.

On the surface this statement is true. But you should know how powerful the grand delusion is and how difficult it is to shake that delusion. Ridicule may have helped facilitate your de-conversion and in turn it may also be effective for other people as well. I guess my concern is that you are applying your technique in the right situations.

The reason I have this concern is due to the negative implications of being that hard on a person can convey upon atheists in general. When you engage in dialogue with Christians about their faith you are, in effect, a representative of atheism[1].
Surely you can see how belittling and humiliating someone for their beliefs could potentially do more harm than good?

All I am saying is be careful who you lambast on your mission to deconvert the masses. There are many tools at your disposal and it pays to use the right tool for the right job. You can't just use a hammer to fix everything.

 1. Lets not get into semantics. I know that being an atheist does not equal belonging to a group but you know that is exactly how many Christians view it.
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Offline pingnak

Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2011, 06:03:04 PM »
pingnak:  My point is that if you're demanding evidence for something, then you need to be seen as someone who will honestly look at the evidence that they provide.

What you're asking is impossible.  I'm 'ultimate evil'.  I'm 'Satan'.  They won't see me as anything but an ENEMY, no matter how reasonably I compose myself.

So I'm not looking to prove anything to the fuckwits.  I'm demonstrating that they ARE ranting fuckwits to anyone else who might be on the fence about how 'reasonable' theism is.

Offline fungusdrool

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #50 on: November 10, 2011, 07:26:46 PM »
Truth is relative to the information we have.

Brilliant.

Offline kcrady

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2011, 09:56:12 AM »
I don't think that's a good statement.  "There is no evidence for something, therefore I know that it does not actually exist."  I don't think it's a good idea to make assumptions about what might or might not exist; the idea of old stars producing complex organic molecules is not something that anyone would have legitimately expected to see until someone actually observed it.

I think a better way to express what (I perceive to be) gonegolfing's point is as follows:

Every single thing that we have discovered, tested, and validated about how Universe (Reality) works has turned out to be: Not Magic.

In other words, everything that we have thus far been able to rigorously test and demonstrate to be evidential data indicates that we live in a Cosmos governed solely by natural regularities.  Physicists are able to accurately model the behavior of known Universe, from the tiniest sub-atomic particles to the largest galactic superclusters, without having to include any variables to account for the existence or action of any Invisible Magic Person (IMP).

Another thing to point out in this vein is that very few theists are willing to expect their beliefs to pay freight in terms of anticipated experience.  In other words, they do not expect their deity/-ies' existence to have any effects that differ from the operations of a naturalistic Universe.  Furthermore, theology has entire branches dedicated to the task of providing explanations for why deities "behave" exactly as if they did not exist, e.g. "theodicy" and "the hiddenness of God."  They anticipate, before they encounter any atheist arguments, that Reality will behave as we expect it would, from anticipation of the non-existence of IMP's.
"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 jetson

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #52 on: November 13, 2011, 10:10:37 AM »

Another thing to point out in this vein is that very few theists are willing to expect their beliefs to pay freight in terms of anticipated experience.  In other words, they do not expect their deity/-ies' existence to have any effects that differ from the operations of a naturalistic Universe.  Furthermore, theology has entire branches dedicated to the task of providing explanations for why deities "behave" exactly as if they did not exist, e.g. "theodicy" and "the hiddenness of God."  They anticipate, before they encounter any atheist arguments, that Reality will behave as we expect it would, from anticipation of the non-existence of IMP's.

And I would contend that most, if not all of them, are fully aware that the distinction must be made in order to defend their position, or at least make it seem plausible.  The sheer number of people thinking about this, combined with the extraordinary amount of time they have had to think about it, as well as to come up with reasonable (in their minds) explanations in support of their thoughts is staggering.  And it adds weight to the argument that there is literally nothing there, but they simply will not let go of the delusion.

I believe they want to be correct, as opposed to wanting to find any actual truth.

Offline wright

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #53 on: November 13, 2011, 12:54:50 PM »
And I would contend that most, if not all of them, are fully aware that the distinction must be made in order to defend their position, or at least make it seem plausible.  The sheer number of people thinking about this, combined with the extraordinary amount of time they have had to think about it, as well as to come up with reasonable (in their minds) explanations in support of their thoughts is staggering.  And it adds weight to the argument that there is literally nothing there, but they simply will not let go of the delusion.

I believe they want to be correct, as opposed to wanting to find any actual truth.

Well, who doesn't want to be right? It's hardwired into us...

http://www.cracked.com/article_19468_5-logical-fallacies-that-make-you-wrong-more-than-you-think.html

Thinking and arguing logically is hard. It's a skill that has to be learned and deliberately cultivated. Even then, it's difficult to apply consistently, to our own thinking as well as that of others.
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Offline ungod

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #54 on: November 13, 2011, 04:45:38 PM »
OTOH, that strategy hasn't worked well for them. 

Zackly. There is only a limited pool of people stupid enough to believe in Creationism.
And they get to be Presidents and Governors, and to set the standards for school textbooks....
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Offline jetson

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Re: To theists who think that "proving" that atheism is a religion debunks it
« Reply #55 on: November 13, 2011, 06:01:58 PM »

Well, who doesn't want to be right? It's hardwired into us...

http://www.cracked.com/article_19468_5-logical-fallacies-that-make-you-wrong-more-than-you-think.html

Thinking and arguing logically is hard. It's a skill that has to be learned and deliberately cultivated. Even then, it's difficult to apply consistently, to our own thinking as well as that of others.

I would hope that people who are not highly educated in a specific field would concede that they are not experts, and never claim to be so.  I am not an expert on the theory of evolution, but I immerse myself in it enough to understand the ideas and accept them.  I don't dogmatically proclaim them to be true, because there is a firm bedrock of knowledge upon which I accept the theory.

I believe it is different with this who thnk they are experts in theology, or just gods and religion in general.  We know that the vast majority of them are not at all trained scientifically with regards to religion, or any other science required to truly be called an expert on any aspect of it.  What we have instead, are hordes of self-proclaimed experts.  People who believe that faith and belief alone are required in odprder to understand scripture, for example.  Or even worse, those who claim that a relationship with their god is a requirement.