Author Topic: What I learned from this site  (Read 690 times)

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Offline Foxy Freedom

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What I learned from this site
« on: December 14, 2013, 01:38:46 AM »
I thought it might be useful if I mentioned some of the things I have learned from this site.

First, I was already an anti-theist when I signed up. I have always been atheist but my attitude was live and let live until someone I previously knew at school was forced to go to church every week by her obsessive parents. This caused her to have a breakdown and worse and worse followed. I decided from that time that I had to publicise atheism and speak out against religion. Luckily my family had been atheist for generations and they were also all anti-theist by then.

Strangely enough the main house where we lived was haunted by ghosts but it didn't stop us being atheists. Mostly it was my sister who saw them from time to time. Her attitude was usually something like "there's a ghost in the hall, what's for dinner?". I used to hope that when some pompous person visited, a ghost would appear and scare them. Some of the people I didn't like much were actors. They were never like the image they portrayed. I was surprised how often celebrities were boring people. It made me realise that personal development is important both for self and to inspire fans, and that celebrities should be as close to their image as possible. One actor was a real *^%#%^*. He kept saying, Fetch this. Fetch that. Do this. Do that. I told him to do it himself and sat waiting for a ghost to appear. Nothing. What a disappointment. They almost never appeared on the ground floor.

One person I liked was Patrick Moore. I was introduced by a friend. Patrick Moore was exactly as he appeared on television. He had made up some sayings which he called Moore's Law. One of these was "every loony toon thinks every other loon is a loon". I think another was "every loony toon thinks he is not a loon". One I thought up at the time was "every loony toon wants you to be a loony toon too". Some of these are mentioned in his autobiographical books.

What have I learned?

About Atheists. There is a wide range of valid disbelief, and some belief in disbelief without any reason at all (I call people who believe that, religious atheists). What people disbelieve is usually the same as what they previously believed. It is the joke about Protestant atheist or Catholic atheist. I think there is a difference between disbelieving in a god and dismissing a god. To disbelieve in a god I would have to know what the beliefs were about that god. To dismiss a god I would not have to know the beliefs. For example I dismiss Zeus and his companions without knowing much of the beliefs. One way I can tell that I dismiss them rather than disbelieve in them is because of the fact that I find it surprising that anyone took Zeus and co seriously. But people really did build giant temples to those gods and did take them seriously. Sometimes theists say that atheists have a belief and I think they are referring to the people I call religious atheists who believe in things like conspiracy theories and UFOs. The amusing thing is that these religious atheists are probably the people who become theists when they have a personal experience which they cannot explain.

About Theists. A word that theists use a lot is "simple". They think simple explanations are the best. This makes it difficult to explain concepts to them. The best form of debate with them is to show contradictions in their thoughts and to get them to admit they don't know the answer. One problem with this is that if they see something they don't like they ignore it. Their worldview is more important to them than individual facts. They also prefer a fixed worldview to a best fit worldview and are afraid of any kind of indefinite idea. For example theists don't like to say that the process of abiogenesis is unknown or that they don't know the answer to the problem. Morality has to be fixed and absolute for them rather than a social agreement based on culture and evolution. They don't like the idea that science is developing and not fixed, even though the natural laws which operate on earth are now firmly established. Scientists only argue about the details which the average person does not know or worry about. It is only the frontiers of science, understanding the earth in its wider context of the universe, which will change. Abiogenesis and life on other worlds is one of these.

About myself. I have become more atheist in that I now also reject the idea of an unknown deist god outside the universe. My reasons for this are that no entity can think or do anything where time does not exist. It can have no form where space does not exist. It cannot act where energy does not exist. It cannot cause anything where causality does not exist. Our universe itself is fundamentally random and non causal which means that a deist god is acting exactly as it would if it did not exist. Anyone who claims that the universe is the mind of god is actually making the equivalent statement that god acts as though he does not exist. Randomness is a measurable quantity. I have also tried to think about the scientific universe using the simple terms of the theist. It is now known that the full pattern of causality and non causality as we experience it today in our universe, took about three minutes to form. All the evidence points to causality being the product of our self assembling universe. Recent research following the discovery of the Higgs has shown that the mass of the Higgs is consistent with the self assembly of the universe. Any scientist or religious person who now claims that the universe had a cause, has to prove both that the universe needed a cause, and that their particular cause is the correct one. Krauss has already provided a scenario for the beginning of an inevitable random universe from nothing. Claiming that the universe has a cause is now an unnecessary assumption. So far there is zero evidence of any cause for the universe. Recent claims for collision circles in the universe have not been proved yet. The problem is that if you want to find a face on the moon or circles in the sky, you will. After the pattern of causality was stabilised in the universe, the something of the universe began to form. The something formed from nothing three minutes after the Big Bang.

That is where I am at the moment.
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Quesi

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Re: What I learned from this site
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2013, 08:48:28 AM »
Wow.  Thank you for sharing both your insightful analysis and your personal responses and transformations. 

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: What I learned from this site
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2013, 05:55:54 AM »
Is atheism a single issue idea?

For me it is not. Starting from my statement above that theists have a fixed worldview based around their idea of their god(s), the underlying problem is the fixed worldview. It makes no difference to me if the fixed worldview is a religion or political ideology or some other idea which prevents free thought. I don't support any virtual dictator in the form of a god, and I don't support any human dictator either. They both have the same characteristics. I have been to countries ruled by dictators and ideologies, and I have seen people too afraid to speak to me on the street. They wanted to but they just were too fearful.

So atheism for me is a symbol and an aspect of a way of thinking which opposes tyranny of the mind.
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: What I learned from this site
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 05:58:17 AM »
In this article the ideological worldview of the theist is compared to the best fit view of the atheist as applied to morality and law. It was published by professor Frank I Michelman of Harvard Law School in the Boston Law review in 2010 and named "Foxy Freedom?".

The ideological worldview is called the hedgehog and the best-fit view is called the fox.

http://www.bu.edu/law/central/jd/organizations/journals/bulr/documents/MICHELMAN.pdf

A few months before this article was published, I was on the radio in his area as part of Foxy Freedom.

For me Atheism has implications for morality and opposition to tyranny and dictatorship which tries to control people and kill scientists. Hitler (a Catholic) killed scientists and banned research. Stalin (a trained priest) killed scientists, banned research and used pseudoscience. Pol Pot (a Buddhist from a Catholic school) killed scientists and banned research.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 06:40:33 AM by Foxy Freedom »
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Mrjason

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Re: What I learned from this site
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2013, 06:50:50 AM »
I agree.

Atheism is a single aspect of a holistic worldview. I've said this before, I'm not sure atheism is the best description of a rational view point because of the implied negative connotation of lacking something. I'm not lacking cancer, I'm not lacking death (technically I am lacking both but you get what I mean) I am simply alive and well.
My worldview is humanist, a positive view that people can and do get on without and without the need for supernatural intervention.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 06:56:22 AM by Mrjason »

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: What I learned from this site
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2013, 09:51:06 PM »
Dealing with a fixed worldview.

I wanted to add that if someone uses religion to support a static absolute worldview. The fixed nature of the worldview is only apparent to the individual believer, since a different believer will use a different fixed worldview. The most rapidly changing worldviews are those of religion.
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

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Offline Betelnut

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Re: What I learned from this site
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2013, 10:17:03 PM »
Foxy, I find it fascinating that you are an atheist but also believe in ghosts.  You see, if I actually saw or experienced something that somehow convinced me, beyond a doubt that ghosts were real, well, that would rock my foundation/philosophy/belief structure so much, I don't know where I would end up.  It would open up the possibility that gods/demons/unicorns/leprechauns/sprites/or what have you also could exist.

My atheism is very much based on science, materialism, and nature.  Ghosts simply are not part of that equation.  I do not see how ghosts can exist as they would imply some sort of non-corporeal existence of human consciousness.  How is consciousness possible outside of our brain from which we know all awareness and "self-hood" flows?

Thanks for posting your ideas ...

Offline Spit

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Re: What I learned from this site
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2013, 10:22:13 PM »
I learnt a lot too. for example.............................. :blank::blank:

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: What I learned from this site
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2013, 10:26:40 PM »
I really like to read these things. It is useful to anyone who wonders - why me? People can see that they are not the only one.

From being attack by wild dogs, to playing a prank at a mob owned business that got one of the patriarchs to laugh, to stealing a dump truck, to collecting money for a guy named Dino then working for the Department of Corrections one month later, to getting in trouble in high school for 'he's looking at me.' to being falsely accused of being a stalker, to pranks and s&M sessions I did while dressed as a Catholic Preist, To late night races in excess of 100 miles an hour, to playing pranks with a fake uzi or a minigun as a young adult, to being falsely arrested for stealing my own car, to saving the Campus Christian Center from burning down on Halloween...twice; there are several stories from my past people don't quite believe.

It reminds me of a teacher at school telling me not to "attract undue attention", then saying "can I give you a ride home in my car?". One thing I tried to find out when I was about nine or ten was what were ghosts. I borrowed some books and came to the conclusion that some at least were holograms because they walk on past surfaces not present ones. I have a lot of crazy stories but you will have to wait for the book, whenever it will be written. When I think whether I would have preferred a more ordinary life, I always decide that I can't really imagine anything different. Some like it crazy.
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: What I learned from this site
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2013, 10:53:07 PM »
Foxy, I find it fascinating that you are an atheist but also believe in ghosts.  You see, if I actually saw or experienced something that somehow convinced me, beyond a doubt that ghosts were real, well, that would rock my foundation/philosophy/belief structure so much, I don't know where I would end up.  It would open up the possibility that gods/demons/unicorns/leprechauns/sprites/or what have you also could exist.

My atheism is very much based on science, materialism, and nature.  Ghosts simply are not part of that equation.  I do not see how ghosts can exist as they would imply some sort of non-corporeal existence of human consciousness.  How is consciousness possible outside of our brain from which we know all awareness and "self-hood" flows?

Thanks for posting your ideas ...

All my family were atheists. None of us assumed that they were spirits. I thought they were like some kind of recording and after seeing a hologram in a case and reading about ghosts, I thought that was most likely. In one of the bedrooms was an old woman in a rocking chair and I wondered why would a chair have a ghost. I recently saw a video about the holographic universe which explains how information is stored in the surrounding space and uses heat. Ghosts always feel colder than the surrounding air. I never read about any ghost older than the Roman period so I think that eventually the hologram degrades and turns back to heat energy.
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: What I learned from this site
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2014, 12:51:46 PM »
Filed for use with theists who think they can do science better than the experts.

This is about physicist Richard Feynman dealing with bias in science from the biography by Gleich.

"If a Caltech experimenter told Feynman about a result reached after a complex process of correcting data, Feynman was sure to ask how the experimenter had decided when to stop correcting and whether that decision had been made before the experimenter could see what effect it would have on the outcome. It was all too easy to fall into the trap of correcting until the answer look right. To avoid it required and intimate acquaintanceship with the rules of the scientist's game. It also required not just honesty, but a sense that honesty required exertion."
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: What I learned from this site
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2014, 08:01:59 AM »
The nature of knowledge is seen differently for theists and atheists. Theists are more consistent in that they think the bible, morality, logic, mathematics and the laws of physics all exist independently of humans. In other words they think concepts are real. The test for reality is whether something can have an effect independently of its concept so theists are wrong on all these subjects. Surprisingly enough atheists are often wrong too.

Atheists have worked out that the bible was written by people and that idea, more or less, defines them as atheist and their attitude to knowledge. Slightly more difficult is that morality is a socially agreed concept based partly on evolved emotion and partly on cultural learning. The technical subjects are the most difficult. Atheists sometimes copy the theist idea that people discover logic and mathematics. It is not true, logic and mathematics are like games of chess where you make a set of assumptions and follow the consequences. It is possible to make different rules, maybe you can add another piece to the board or change the way a piece moves. No system of logic or mathematics will cover all situations. There is at the moment on YouTube a video by someone complaining that modern mathematics is inconsistent with its roots and not properly derived. What does he expect? Mathematics has to be defined to do a particular job. It is impossible to have a single system of mathematics or logic. Mathematics and logic are just human tools to be used in particular situations and not even all situations. Does anyone use logic to decide who to love? No, logic does not apply to that situation. The most difficult concept is probably the laws of physics. People in general often assume that the laws of physics are themselves reality. Actually people make them up. When a scientist makes up a law, the universe doesn't care. The universe might do something different and the law is wrong. On the other hand the universe might agree with the law. In that case it is a useable description. Is the description actually correct? No, it is just a description that can be used in a particular way. The description is like a painting. You look at a painting of a country scene and there is a village in the background. Maybe you want to know more about the village, so you take out a magnifying glass to look closer. It is blobs of paint. You can't learn more about the village. A philosopher like Berkeley looks at the painting and describes the whole of the countryside based on what he sees. He is wrong because the painting doesn't describe everything in the way he thinks. So does a law of physics describe anything real? Does the universe pass the test of reality that it has an effect independent of the concept? The universe is real, but the effect might not be what you expect. This is Niels Bohr "It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns only what we can say about nature."

« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 08:10:59 AM by Foxy Freedom »
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V