Author Topic: Oprah is an anti-atheist  (Read 2525 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12525
  • Darwins +324/-84
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2013, 10:54:24 PM »
Quote
Our species, not race.  We are assholes because we are just dumb animals.  We don't expect chimps or tigers to not be assholes, so let's not be so hard on ourselves.  We would need some form of selection to weed out the assholes - prevent them from breeding -  then in a few thousand years we'd be a kinder species.

Not my type of asshole. People tend to not only like my type but also need my type from time to time. My services were required with certain family members just last week. If my type of asshole wasn't around to take care of these little problems then the world would be one giant pussy.

Frankly, I don't know if that's bad, or good.

;)

-Nam

So in some respects bad is not only needed, but it is in fact good? I'll buy that.


edit - fixed quote

I have found girls love bad boys, and apparently I am a bad boy. But it's more for the sex than anything, I feel. And, I am totally okay with that.

So, in that respect, i'm always needed.

;)

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Dr H

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Darwins +14/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Irritant
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2013, 03:28:26 PM »
Is Oprah actually "anti-atheist," or is she just one of the many believers that don't really understand what "atheism" is?

I have been told so many times that "atheism is a religion", that half the time I don't even bother correcting people anymore.  It's as if some people, having a belief in God, literally can't imagine anyone not having that belief, or, if not a belief in God, some kind of substitute for it.  They imagine the lack of such a belief to leave a void that must be filled, and seem to have extreme difficulty even conceiving of how someone could be a complete person without either a theistic belief or some substitute for it.

For a few people, the "not collecting stamps" approach seems to help them understand:  if I do not collect stamps, that doesn't necessarily mean that there is a void in my life which others fill with stamps.  It's just something that I don't do; end of story.

But some people can't seem to make that leap.

Oprah certainly has enough native intelligence to understand atheism intellectually.  But I seriously wonder whether intellectual effort alone is sufficient to change certain deeply held beliefs.  It really seems like these things are intertwined with certain hard-wired portions of our brain, and that it takes something more than mere information to change them.

Dr H

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."
                                                           -- John Cage

Offline Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12525
  • Darwins +324/-84
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2013, 04:19:02 PM »
Is Oprah actually "anti-atheist," or is she just one of the many believers that don't really understand what "atheism" is?

I have been told so many times that "atheism is a religion", that half the time I don't even bother correcting people anymore.  It's as if some people, having a belief in God, literally can't imagine anyone not having that belief, or, if not a belief in God, some kind of substitute for it.  They imagine the lack of such a belief to leave a void that must be filled, and seem to have extreme difficulty even conceiving of how someone could be a complete person without either a theistic belief or some substitute for it.

For a few people, the "not collecting stamps" approach seems to help them understand:  if I do not collect stamps, that doesn't necessarily mean that there is a void in my life which others fill with stamps.  It's just something that I don't do; end of story.

But some people can't seem to make that leap.

Oprah certainly has enough native intelligence to understand atheism intellectually.  But I seriously wonder whether intellectual effort alone is sufficient to change certain deeply held beliefs.  It really seems like these things are intertwined with certain hard-wired portions of our brain, and that it takes something more than mere information to change them.



Christians are accepting to religions, polls have shown, even if they are not their own religion, statistically they are accepting to them. Statistically speaking, at least in the US atheists are below Muslims and Homosexuals, and those who get abortions.

So, I'd say they may say it's a religion but they don't believe it is.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Jag

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1793
  • Darwins +191/-7
  • Gender: Female
  • Official WWGHA Harpy, Ex-rosary squad
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2013, 05:13:39 PM »
Christians are accepting to religions, polls have shown, even if they are not their own religion, statistically they are accepting to them. Statistically speaking, at least in the US atheists are below Muslims and Homosexuals, and those who get abortions.

So, I'd say they may say it's a religion but they don't believe it is.

-Nam
I would actually agree (based only on my subjective experience) that by and large, christians are accepting of other religions, provided the other religions in question are simply other sects of christianity. I'd like to see how exactly the question was phrased - if Islam or Hinduism were specifically called out for instance, that would be far more useful that the generic term "other religions".

Edit: can't type for diddly today
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline Dr H

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Darwins +14/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Irritant
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #33 on: October 24, 2013, 05:15:47 PM »
Christians are accepting to religions, polls have shown, even if they are not their own religion, statistically they are accepting to them. Statistically speaking, at least in the US atheists are below Muslims and Homosexuals, and those who get abortions.

So, I'd say they may say it's a religion but they don't believe it is.

-Nam

So if you're a Muslim homosexual who's had an abortion, then you're really screwed. :(


But seriously, folks...

I see your point -- and I've seen those PEW polls.  But those polls were phrased in more political terms than religious terms, e.g. "would you vote for a president who was {...}"    I don't really think they tell us as much about how the religious view atheists, as they tell us about how voters view what they perceive to be idological lifestyles.

Most likely, most religious people haven't given much serious though to the question, unless they've debated with an atheist previously, or know one personally that they've discussed such things with.  I was an atheist for years and most of the believers in my life didn't know it, because the subject just never came up. 

When I have brought it up in discussion with various believers that I know well, the most common reactions are "how can you NOT believe in ANYTHING"; "so, what do you believe in INSTEAD of God"; or, from the ones who take a little while to think about it, "well then, ATHEISM is your RELIGION".  <sigh>

Granted this is a small and definitely not randomly-selected sample.  Still... it makes me wonder.
Dr H

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."
                                                           -- John Cage

Offline Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12525
  • Darwins +324/-84
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2013, 05:36:25 PM »
The most common phrase that Christians say, in my opinion, is:

"Atheists believe in nothing." Which equates to, in their minds: "Atheists are immoral." Dictionaries used to have that as a definition of atheist; some probably still do.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12345
  • Darwins +677/-28
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2013, 08:11:21 AM »
Is Oprah actually "anti-atheist," or is she just one of the many believers that don't really understand what "atheism" is?

I think she's anti-atheist because she misunderstands what atheism is.  Those two things are not mutually exclusive. Her definition of atheist is negative to the point of dehumanizing.  So much so, that when someone right in front of her said she's an atheist, Orca had to redefine her as some form of religious to make her human again in her own mind.

Oprah certainly has enough native intelligence to understand atheism intellectually.  But I seriously wonder whether intellectual effort alone is sufficient to change certain deeply held beliefs. 

If one is disciplined enough and truly wishes to believe what is true, then yes.  But I agree, it is difficult and rare.

Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline earthfreak

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +1/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2013, 12:32:13 PM »
did anyone watch the interview?  I thought Oprah did a perfectly good job giving Nyad respect and space to explain, and Nyad did a great job, what's the deal?  sometimes, I think people just want to be offended.

Offline Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12294
  • Darwins +275/-31
  • Gender: Male
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2013, 12:36:36 PM »
To be fair, Nyad led in by saying "...my definition of God is [awe, etc]".  So that kind of invited Oprah to say what she did.
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12345
  • Darwins +677/-28
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2013, 12:55:46 PM »
sometimes, I think people just want to be offended.

What people?  Specifically.  Using such neutral terms to level an accusation is unfair and kind of cowardly.

I freely admit I loathed Oprah before this.  So it is possible this is just another reason to detest her.  But I do not think it is fair to say I want to be offended.  That accusation is offensive.
Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1236
  • Darwins +127/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm Your Nurse, Not Your Waitress...
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2013, 03:12:02 PM »
So am I just some kind of freak?  Because when I was a christian, as I do now, I judged people based on their actions and how they treated others - not based on whatever they named their belief system or lack of belief.  Do most people need to have a label to attach to someone before they determine the character of that person?  I  generally need to see someone's douchbaggery in play before I decide to snub them.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Dr H

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Darwins +14/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Irritant
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2013, 03:15:41 PM »
The most common phrase that Christians say, in my opinion, is:

"Atheists believe in nothing." Which equates to, in their minds: "Atheists are immoral." Dictionaries used to have that as a definition of atheist; some probably still do.

-Nam

Well let's see what the very old dictionary sitting in front of me (not the King James version, but all the way back to 1984...) has to say::

     "atheist -- one who denies the existence of God"

Hmm... not sure I'm entirely happy with that one.  Let's see about "atheism":

     "atheism -- 1  a: a disbelief in the existence of deity  b: the doctrine that their is no deity"

Not too bad.  But this one bugs me:

     "2: ungodliness; wickedness"

Yeah, I have a bit of a problem with "wickedness".  Of course that's from almost 30 years ago.  We're living in much more enlightened times now, right?

Right? :-\
Dr H

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."
                                                           -- John Cage

Offline Dr H

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Darwins +14/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Irritant
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2013, 03:57:14 PM »
I think she's anti-atheist because she misunderstands what atheism is.  Those two things are not mutually exclusive. Her definition of atheist is negative to the point of dehumanizing.  So much so, that when someone right in front of her said she's an atheist, Orca had to redefine her as some form of religious to make her human again in her own mind.

I knew a Hindu who once said, "Christians worship a form of Vishnu which they call 'Christ'".

I know a lot of Christians who would disagree with that, and a few who might even be offended by it.  But none, I think, who would feel "dehumanized" by the sentiment.  Rather, they would simply have considered my Hindu friend to be ignorant or misinformed about Christianity.

I watched Oprah's interview with Nyad, and I can't say that I got any sense of her "dehumanizing" Nyad at any time during the interview.  Nyad didn't seem to have a problem with Oprah's comments, either.  Indeed, Nyad herself made what I would consider some very ambiguous statements as regards her religious views.  First she proclaims herself an atheist; then she procedes to give her definition of "God" (as "the love of humanity").  Then she says "we will never know." 

In less than 60 seconds she effectively declared herself an atheist, a pantheist, and an agnostic.


Quote
Oprah certainly has enough native intelligence to understand atheism intellectually.  But I seriously wonder whether intellectual effort alone is sufficient to change certain deeply held beliefs. 

If one is disciplined enough and truly wishes to believe what is true, then yes.  But I agree, it is difficult and rare.

Extremely rare, I'm thinking.  I used to think of myself as someone for whom the acquisition of certain information and the development of certain modes of thinking had changed from a believer to a non-believer.  I am now pretty much certain that isn't so:  I didn't change from belief to non-belief.  I never did believe; I was born a non-believer.  What my intellectual efforts did, was allow me to come to socio-cultural terms with my pre-existing non-belief.

As to "what is true," well, that's a whole other can-o-worms.  ;)

Anyway, "anti-atheist" seems a bit strong, to me.  As far as I'm concerned, an anti-atheist is someone who actively works against the human and social rights of atheists, and not simply someone who has to fit atheists into some odd little compartment in their own mind in order to deal with them.

Dr H

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."
                                                           -- John Cage

Offline earthfreak

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +1/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2013, 04:19:36 PM »
sometimes, I think people just want to be offended.

What people?  Specifically.  Using such neutral terms to level an accusation is unfair and kind of cowardly.

I freely admit I loathed Oprah before this.  So it is possible this is just another reason to detest her.  But I do not think it is fair to say I want to be offended.  That accusation is offensive.

I meant more the person who wrote the article.    But maybe you too. you admit you already hated her.

I haven't paid attention to her in ages.  I think my girlfriend 15 years ago used to watch her show occasionally, so I would catch an episode here and there.  i really liked her in "The Color Purple"  - I am perhaps too oblivious to pop culture to weigh in on this in a valid way. 

Perhaps I'm just oversensitive because I'm coming off a facebook tiff with a conservative who is doing, in my mind, something similar, you can take quotes out of context and run with them.  I get that saying what an atheist is, particularly when someone who identifies as atheist has said something else, is offensive, but given how the whole interview comes off in reality, and the opportunity for an articulate atheist to express herself in a forum where probably a LOT of viewers don't have a clue about us, overall it strikes me as a positive, not a negative.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 05:29:55 PM by earthfreak »

Offline Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12525
  • Darwins +324/-84
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2013, 05:22:36 PM »
The most common phrase that Christians say, in my opinion, is:

"Atheists believe in nothing." Which equates to, in their minds: "Atheists are immoral." Dictionaries used to have that as a definition of atheist; some probably still do.

-Nam

Well let's see what the very old dictionary sitting in front of me (not the King James version, but all the way back to 1984...) has to say::

     "atheist -- one who denies the existence of God"

Hmm... not sure I'm entirely happy with that one.  Let's see about "atheism":

     "atheism -- 1  a: a disbelief in the existence of deity  b: the doctrine that their is no deity"

Not too bad.  But this one bugs me:

     "2: ungodliness; wickedness"

Yeah, I have a bit of a problem with "wickedness".  Of course that's from almost 30 years ago.  We're living in much more enlightened times now, right?

Right? :-\

Actually, I have no problem with dictionaries listing atheist/atheism with those definition; the definition of atheist/atheism has a history, and if dictionaries made a note of that in explanation; perhaps as an archaic standpoint, I really have no problem with it.

-Nam
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 05:24:29 PM by Nam »
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12345
  • Darwins +677/-28
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2013, 07:24:14 PM »
I knew a Hindu who once said, "Christians worship a form of Vishnu which they call 'Christ'".

I don't think that's quite the same thing.  But I don't want to argue similes.  I take your point.

I watched Oprah's interview with Nyad, and I can't say that I got any sense of her "dehumanizing" Nyad at any time during the interview.  Nyad didn't seem to have a problem with Oprah's comments, either.

I've searched literally a dozen sources for this video.  They all come up with errors so it will not display.  I suspect the billionaire shut down the bad press.  At best I found a news item that had part of the exchange - only Nyad was speaking.  I cannot review the entire incident. 

Regardless, I don't really expect anyone to act outraged with Oprah, or any other generally jovial person, when put on the spot like that.  Dispite my...combativeness, I suspect when on stage with an audience and cameras rolling, I would find it difficult to argue.

Indeed, Nyad herself made what I would consider some very ambiguous statements as regards her religious views.

I don't put much store in that. She was put on the spot and is probably a lot nicer than me.  She seemed to be bending over backwards to find common ground and meet Oprah in the middle.  That's fine.  Whether that is her idea of courtesy or nerves, I do not think she was prepared for that kind of question.  Perhaps she is an Accomodationist?   I hope not.  That is not a position I respect.


Extremely rare, I'm thinking. 

yep.  But if you study rationality, then you will associate with more people with those skills. 

Anyway, "anti-atheist" seems a bit strong, to me.  As far as I'm concerned, an anti-atheist is someone who actively works against the human and social rights of atheists, and not simply someone who has to fit atheists into some odd little compartment in their own mind in order to deal with them.

That's fine.  I disagree.

Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline Chronos

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 2405
  • Darwins +130/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Born without religion
    • Marking Time
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #45 on: October 26, 2013, 10:49:55 AM »
sometimes, I think people just want to be offended.

What people?  Specifically.  Using such neutral terms to level an accusation is unfair and kind of cowardly.

I freely admit I loathed Oprah before this.  So it is possible this is just another reason to detest her.  But I do not think it is fair to say I want to be offended.  That accusation is offensive.

I don't loathe or love her. Rarely watched her show and only then when I didn't have control of the clicker. However, she did a mighty fine job in The Color Purple.


I am not offended by what she said. She sells various things that promote her kind of universal woo. The problem is that if a person doesn't share her version of woo, then that person is unfeeling, uncaring, uninteresting ... an atheist. By not accepting her brand of woo, by not thinking like she does, she creates a whole new divide among people and uses the club of atheism to beat off the offenders. I doubt that she meant harm, but, then again, many Christians say and do the same thing.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12345
  • Darwins +677/-28
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #46 on: October 26, 2013, 11:49:43 PM »
However, she did a mighty fine job in The Color Purple.

I agree with that.
Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline churchgoingatheist

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Darwins +2/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #47 on: October 27, 2013, 07:47:05 PM »
I don't think Oprah is much of an anti-atheist, nor do I think she is much of a theist.  So often when I've seen her talk, she resorts to a vague kind of pantheistic new-ageism.  She is a big promoter of Deepak Choprah, one of the most sickeningly opportunistic religion writers who makes millions by spouting new-age nonsense, a man whom I suspect to be a self-conscious fraud.  It's a kind of new-age universal-karmic-truthness that one gets when one watches Oprah.  I like her, but I just think she's pretty ignorant about religious and scientific matters, and she's content with easy and nebulous pseudophilosophy.  Her response to the swimmer wasn't anti-atheist as much as it was typical of people who just don' t know the appropriate terminology. 

Offline Chronos

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 2405
  • Darwins +130/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Born without religion
    • Marking Time
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #48 on: October 28, 2013, 09:40:38 PM »
I don't think Oprah is much of an anti-atheist, nor do I think she is much of a theist.  So often when I've seen her talk, she resorts to a vague kind of pantheistic new-ageism.  She is a big promoter of Deepak Choprah ....

A little humor ... many years ago, The Don and Mike Show (radio) would refer to Deepak Choprah as "Deep Space Oprah". It seemed apt.

A few months ago on Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! Choprah was interviewed and he claimed that he once asked Oprah to marry him, and if she did her name would be Oprah Choprah.  Equally apt.

John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline 12 Monkeys

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 4617
  • Darwins +105/-11
  • Gender: Male
  • Dii hau dang ijii
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #49 on: October 28, 2013, 10:57:40 PM »
Puh... And how many decades has Oprah been shacking up with her man-friend?
And the goal of being a woman African-American billionare is shallow at best.

 BFD she built a couple schools,ya cant take that money with you Oprah,hell doesn't take cash
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline Dr H

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Darwins +14/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Irritant
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #50 on: October 29, 2013, 06:13:24 PM »

Actually, I have no problem with dictionaries listing atheist/atheism with those definition; the definition of atheist/atheism has a history, and if dictionaries made a note of that in explanation; perhaps as an archaic standpoint, I really have no problem with it.

-Nam

Feh, maybe.  Except for etymological dictionaries like the OED, the general run-of-the-mill desktop dictionary is usually held to be a description of common usage more than word history.  None of the definitions in the dictionary I consulted (Webster's 9th New Collegiate) were flagged as "archaic". 

I daresay that a lot of people in 1985 did consider atheists to be "wicked"; there seem to be plenty of people who still do.

Dr H

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."
                                                           -- John Cage

Offline Dr H

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Darwins +14/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Irritant
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #51 on: October 29, 2013, 06:38:38 PM »
I've searched literally a dozen sources for this video.  They all come up with errors so it will not display.  I suspect the billionaire shut down the bad press.  At best I found a news item that had part of the exchange - only Nyad was speaking.  I cannot review the entire incident. 
I watched it at Oprah's own site.  There were some browser issues, but I did get it to play through.

Quote
I don't put much store in that. She was put on the spot and is probably a lot nicer than me.  She seemed to be bending over backwards to find common ground and meet Oprah in the middle.
You've said several times that Nyad was "put on the spot" -- I don't see it.  First of all, she's a figure of international note, being interviewed by Oprah, on TV.  Arguably, that's about as "on the spot" as you can get, and she put herself into that situation voluntarily, as far as I know.  (Or did Oprah have her kidnapped, and held on the set at gunpoint?)

Second, Nyad volunteered the information that she was an atheist.  I think that if someone is going to bring that up at  all -- especially in a public context -- then one had better be prepared to field the expected responses.  Certainly I would expect that of a religious person; why not of an atheist?

Thirdly, to me Nyad looked quite relaxed during the interview.  If anyone looked uncomfortable at any point, it was Oprah.

Quote
yep.  But if you study rationality, then you will associate with more people with those skills. 
Um... if I "study rationality?"
I have advanced degrees in engineering, and the philosophy of science.  Should I go back to school and associate with someone else?


Quote
That's fine.  I disagree.
Your prerogative.  But why?

Would you consider someone who's not gay themselves, but doesn't try to deprive gays of their rights "anti-gay"?

Is someone wouldn't have an abortion themselves, but is OK with other people making that choice for themselves "anti-abortion"?

Dr H

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."
                                                           -- John Cage

Offline Dr H

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Darwins +14/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Irritant
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #52 on: October 29, 2013, 06:47:24 PM »
I am not offended by what she said. She sells various things that promote her kind of universal woo. The problem is that if a person doesn't share her version of woo, then that person is unfeeling, uncaring, uninteresting ... an atheist. By not accepting her brand of woo, by not thinking like she does, she creates a whole new divide among people and uses the club of atheism to beat off the offenders. I doubt that she meant harm, but, then again, many Christians say and do the same thing.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

I'm not a particular fan of Oprah.  Yeah, she made a good movie; so?  Sean Penn has made some good movies, and I think he's a jerk.  Shirley MacClaine has made some good movies, and I think she's nuts.

I dislike Oprah's show not because she's religious and I'm an atheist, but because she's a gullible purveyor of woo, and I'm a scientifically-trained sckeptic.
Dr H

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."
                                                           -- John Cage

Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12345
  • Darwins +677/-28
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #53 on: October 30, 2013, 09:35:39 AM »
You've said several times that Nyad was "put on the spot" -- I don't see it. 

I've not been able to review it. Until I can, I will withhold judgment.

(Or did Oprah have her kidnapped, and held on the set at gunpoint?)

I said she was put on the spot, not kidnapped.  geez.

Second, Nyad volunteered the information that she was an atheist.

she volunteered it, out of the blue, unprompted?  Or was it a response to a question?

Um... if I "study rationality?"
I have advanced degrees in engineering, and the philosophy of science.  Should I go back to school and associate with someone else?

That was not directed at you personally.  It was a general statement. 

I am an engineer also.  I did not receive any sort of rationality training in engineering school.  I would think the philosophy cirriculum handles that a little more explicitly - logic, etc.  But I would not know.  I took an introductory course on philosophy, which mainly dealt with Descartes, and several courses on philosophy of religion, which definitely did not deal with rationality.

As for why I think Oprah is anti-atheist, I would say it does not hinge on a single interview.  She has pushed woo on her show and especially in her stupid magazine for years.  For all the reasons you list for disliking her show.  I could be wrong, though.


Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline Dr H

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Darwins +14/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Irritant
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #54 on: October 30, 2013, 05:01:02 PM »
I've not been able to review it. Until I can, I will withhold judgment.
The relevant segment has been posted on youtube; try this:



Quote
I said she was put on the spot, not kidnapped.  geez.
And to me, she put herself "on the spot" -- if you want to call it that -- voluntarily.

Quote
she volunteered it, out of the blue, unprompted?  Or was it a response to a question?
She apparently told Oprah's producers before the show that she was "not a 'God person'", and Oprah followed up with a question on the show.


Quote
That was not directed at you personally.  It was a general statement.
I didn't take it personally; I was just confused as to what you meant.

Quote
I am an engineer also.  I did not receive any sort of rationality training in engineering school.  I would think the philosophy cirriculum handles that a little more explicitly - logic, etc.  But I would not know.  I took an introductory course on philosophy, which mainly dealt with Descartes, and several courses on philosophy of religion, which definitely did not deal with rationality.
I went through a bunch of that also, but I specialized in the philosophy of science, and technology assessment.  Most of that stuff is the soul of rationality, though you can find woo on the fringes of almost anything if you go looking for it.    I also participated in a number of seminars and colloquia with Ray Hyman -- for many years a close associate of James Randi -- so I think I've had pretty good and consistent contact with people committed to rationality and critical thinking.

Quote
As for why I think Oprah is anti-atheist, I would say it does not hinge on a single interview.  She has pushed woo on her show and especially in her stupid magazine for years.  For all the reasons you list for disliking her show.  I could be wrong, though.
Okay, fine.  You're entitled to your opinion; you may be right.

As a former activist for causes other than atheism, I have learned to be a little leary of dragging out the big guns against noisy, but essentially harmless opposition -- and in the process missing the real targets. 
To me, "anti-atheist" describes people like George H. W. Bush, who once said on the campaign trail, ""No, I don't know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God."<1>
Or Pat Robertson, who has compared athesits to Nazis, and accused them of, among other things, "stealing Christmas".   
Also anti-athesit are the constitutions of Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North & South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, five of which explicitly ban atheists from holding public office, and two of which do so implicitly.

Oprah's just another wealthy TV personality who's a little confused.


<1>http://www.robsherman.com/information/liberalnews/2002/0303.htm[/size]]http://www.robsherman.com/information/liberalnews/2002/0303.htm
Dr H

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."
                                                           -- John Cage

Offline Ambassador Pony

  • You keep what you kill.
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 6858
  • Darwins +71/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • illuminatus
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #55 on: October 30, 2013, 05:18:17 PM »
I like radical (in the radux sense) feminism's philosophy of the identity here. You do not get to truly define a group if you are not part of it. I think it would have been way out of line for Nyad to tell Oprah that she wasnt a black woman as she thinks of it, rather her own definition of a black woman.

Nyad will tell you what she is. You listen. The end.

There's no "well you're not what I would call...."
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 churchgoingatheist

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Darwins +2/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #56 on: October 30, 2013, 07:09:10 PM »
I like radical (in the radux sense) feminism's philosophy of the identity here. You do not get to truly define a group if you are not part of it. I think it would have been way out of line for Nyad to tell Oprah that she wasnt a black woman as she thinks of it, rather her own definition of a black woman.

Nyad will tell you what she is. You listen. The end.

There's no "well you're not what I would call...."

I like this comment.  And you'll notice that this happens all the time when believers don't agree with what other believers do.  That guy who murdered people in the Norway shooting wasn't a "real" Christian.  The 9/11 bombers weren't "real" Muslims.  I think particularly when it comes to religious belief, we must take people at their word, as it is only themselves who can define their own beliefs.  I have a friend who often tells me I'm not a real atheist because he just doesn't believe that I'm capable of really not believing.  And I'm always like, yeah man, trust me, I'm an atheist.  I wish Oprah got this. 

Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12345
  • Darwins +677/-28
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: Oprah is an anti-atheist
« Reply #57 on: October 30, 2013, 09:32:02 PM »
The relevant segment has been posted on youtube; try this:

thank you for that.  Okay.  I'm revising my position.  Oprah's not an anti-atheist.  She's just the stupid woo-pusher I thought she was before all this.  Though I do find her a little more presumptuous and condescending with her "well I don't consider you an atheist" bullshit than I did prior.  Pony absolutely nailed it.

And while I think it's great that Nyad would come out and say she's an atheist, I find her to be a little flaky in the interview.  She was definitely speaking the language of woo if not buying into it, which I find disappointing.  I think a lot of people do that for social reasons.  They don't want to be completely hated by ignorant apes, so they say things to camouflage themselves.


And to me, she put herself "on the spot" -- if you want to call it that -- voluntarily.

That's what it looks like to me.


Most of that stuff is the soul of rationality, though you can find woo on the fringes of almost anything if you go looking for it. 

It not that there was woo.  It is that rationality was not spelled out, exactly.  "We have inherent biases in our brains.  They are x, y, z.  In order to combat these biases, we must follow these principles..."  That was lacking.  We got formulae and theories, but not how to be critical thinkers, exactly.  I think some of it transferred by osmosis, but not enough.  The Less Wrong site has helped a lot, as has my time here. 
 

As a former activist for causes other than atheism, I have learned to be a little leary of dragging out the big guns against noisy, but essentially harmless opposition -- and in the process missing the real targets. 

Two of my personal pitfalls are I tend to jump to conclusions too quickly and I tend to initially see things in very black and white terms.  I see these as flaws.  But, one of my strengths is I also reconsider my position and am able to change it after more thought.

Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.