whywontgodhealamputees.com

Main Discussion Zone => MailBag => Topic started by: DL on July 21, 2009, 07:56:01 AM

Title: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: DL on July 21, 2009, 07:56:01 AM
If you could take a moment, could you please tell me, in your own words, what is the TOP reason you are advocating atheism?

Don't get me wrong, if you prefer to call it something else, I apologize for incorrectly labeling you. However, it is obvious by your videos that you do not believe in a God of any kind. And, to my knowledge, aethism is the most commonly accepted term for that belief (or lack thereof).

I do not wish to start an arguement, a heated debate, or anything of the sort.
I would, however, like to know WHY you do what you do. Whatever the reason, I feel you owe it to me, as I have taken the time to watch your videos, and learned that you are, at least, an educated person. If you would like to prove that standing, to me, I would only accept that on the terms of an appropriate reply by you. I am going to give you that on the benefit of the doubt, and hope that you are at least courtesous enough to reply to this message

Thank you for your time, and I look foreward to reading your response.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Hermes on July 21, 2009, 08:37:58 AM
If you could take a moment, could you please tell me, in your own words, what is the TOP reason you are advocating atheism?

Here's the answer I provide to similar questions from Christians;



I have noticed, as you may have as well, that there are Christians that do things in the name of Christianity that are negative.  Christians that promote bigotry and ignorance.  Christians that advocate actions that lead to harm and even death.  Christians that advocate not caring about this world and who want it to be destroyed in a polluted and fiery apocalypse.

If there were enough Christians that effectively dealt with those problems, I would not have any concerns.  Believe as you want.  As far as I would be concerned, the real world problems would be solved.

Unfortunately, that is not the world we are in.  Most Christians aren't doing nearly enough.   Many unfortunately are actively promoting these negative goals -- from paying money passively to going out and doing these negative actions themselves.  Some of the strongest advocates for those negative actions are the leaders and congregants of the larger Christian churches and organizations; this is not a problem with a few fringe groups or eccentric cult leaders.

Too many Christians not only do not take responsibility, they are leading the charge for these negative actions.  They justify bigotry and ignorance, they justify actions that result in the deaths of others that could be easily avoided.

As a responsible person, someone who cares about the world and the future of humanity, I have to act.  Even if it is not my fault that these Christians are doing harm, it is my responsibility to do something positive.  You can consider it a moral obligation.  If that means that I have to hold up a mirror so that my fellow humans look at what they believe, then I'll take that modest step.  Maybe that will be enough to drain the air out of some of those bad ideas?

My question to you is not what you believe, but what are you doing about the acts your fellow Christians perform in the name of Christianity that spread hate, bigotry, ignorance, pain, and death?
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Codswallop on July 21, 2009, 08:41:28 AM
Atheism is the default position, the null hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Null_hypothesis), the starting point before people begin introducing theistic claims.

Atheism is not a thing.

Atheism is not a belief.

There is no single position known as "atheism." The only characteristic common to all atheists is they do not affirm a belief in any god.

I see nothing in the observed universe requiring a god to explain it. New evidence may one day come to light which contradicts this idea, but so far it has not. When people cite the wonder of the natural world as evidence for the existence of a god, they are making an emotional (and usually cultural) claim, not an objective one. I don't have a god simply because everything seems to work very well without one.

How's that?
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: deconvertedone on July 21, 2009, 08:56:07 AM
I don't advocate atheism, I advocate rational thinking.  I don't believe in the god of Abraham because the bible is so full of errors - it is not the inerrant word of god.  I don't know enough about other religions to comment on them, but from what I've seen so far they are nothing but myth created by man as well.

Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Nam on July 21, 2009, 01:30:11 PM
I do not advocate atheism, nor as deconvertedone states above: rational thinking. Sometimes being and thinking irrational is a good thing; what I'm against is people forcing their beliefs or non-beliefs on others because they believe it's the right thing to do. It's not ever a right thing to do if "forcing" something on someone else is involved, no matter what it is.

-Nam
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Ambassador Pony on July 21, 2009, 01:32:27 PM
bm
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Dragnet on July 21, 2009, 01:36:57 PM
BM
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: MadBunny on July 22, 2009, 12:21:23 AM
I'm an atheist, mainly because I am not a theist.

That's all it means.  Being an atheist does not mean that I'm angry at your god, or any other god.  I simply do not believe in it, for much the same reason I do not believe in Snarglepogs, or Invisible Golden Unicorns.  IF you are a theist, of a particular brand lets say: Christian, then you might believe in your god, but you don't believe in Snarglepogs, or Invisible Golden Unicorns.

If I were to rephrase your original question, and ask you exactly the samething, but substitute Snarglepog and ask you why you don't believe in them what would your answer be?

I look forward to conversing with you, please join up so we can continue.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: William on July 22, 2009, 01:50:50 AM
If you could take a moment, could you please tell me, in your own words, what is the TOP reason you are advocating atheism?

In my opinion the "TOP reason" to advocate atheism is to enable the people of the world to have proper morality.

The problem is religious morality.  To eradicate religion we need to get at the root - irrational belief in deities.
 
Growth in atheism will have positive consequences for morals.  Just a few examples of what I mean:
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Timtheskeptic on July 22, 2009, 02:14:27 AM
If you could take a moment, could you please tell me, in your own words, what is the TOP reason you are advocating atheism?

I don't advocate anything, especially not atheism. We just simply do not believe. Why should we advocate people to be an atheist? Only thing we do is give reasons, doubt, logical arguments on many subjects including the ludicrous claims of fairy tales being "True."

Quote
Don't get me wrong, if you prefer to call it something else, I apologize for incorrectly labeling you. However, it is obvious by your videos that you do not believe in a God of any kind. And, to my knowledge, aethism is the most commonly accepted term for that belief (or lack thereof).
No it wasn't. Atheists and non religious are a minority. Almost every culture has a religious belief. Though i dare say, intelligent people are rising and we'll hopefully see the end of religious bullshit.

Quote
I do not wish to start an arguement, a heated debate, or anything of the sort.
I would, however, like to know WHY you do what you do. Whatever the reason, I feel you owe it to me, as I have taken the time to watch your videos, and learned that you are, at least, an educated person.

I'm not doing anything but passing my knowledge of what i learned, and learning what i can learn about. I don't think i owe you anything. You chose to watch videos made by atheists and you agree that atheists are quite educated. Yes, we basically tell what we know, explain our reasoning behind all the religious beliefs, showing it as it is; false, harmful, and claims that are not supported.

Quote
If you would like to prove that standing, to me, I would only accept that on the terms of an appropriate reply by you. I am going to give you that on the benefit of the doubt, and hope that you are at least courtesous enough to reply to this message

Thank you for your time, and I look foreward to reading your response.

Prove what exactly? It is you and your religion that needs to prove its claims.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 05:32:00 PM
In case you're wondering, I am the one who sent the message which was posted here.

Before I start, I would like to apologize to everyone.
I didn't know that the question I sent to the YouTube video posted was posted here, therefore, parts of the post, especially the longest paragraph, do not apply, and I didn't mean to cause any confusion.

If you could take a moment, could you please tell me, in your own words, what is the TOP reason you are advocating atheism?

Here's the answer I provide to similar questions from Christians;
First, I'd like to state that I never said I'm a Christian.



I have noticed, as you may have as well, that there are Christians that do things in the name of Christianity that are negative.  Christians that promote bigotry and ignorance.  Christians that advocate actions that lead to harm and even death.  Christians that advocate not caring about this world and who want it to be destroyed in a polluted and fiery apocalypse.

If there were enough Christians that effectively dealt with those problems, I would not have any concerns.  Believe as you want.  As far as I would be concerned, the real world problems would be solved.

Unfortunately, that is not the world we are in.  Most Christians aren't doing nearly enough.   Many unfortunately are actively promoting these negative goals -- from paying money passively to going out and doing these negative actions themselves.  Some of the strongest advocates for those negative actions are the leaders and congregants of the larger Christian churches and organizations; this is not a problem with a few fringe groups or eccentric cult leaders.

Too many Christians not only do not take responsibility, they are leading the charge for these negative actions.  They justify bigotry and ignorance, they justify actions that result in the deaths of others that could be easily avoided.
That isn't actually an answer to my question.
I'll say this, though.  Looking into it myself, I have realized that many Christians have done things "in the name of Christianity" that were inherently "bad".  However, I have also noticed that most, if not all, other religions have had radicals that did things "in the name of [insert religeon here]", but that doesn't mean that everyone of the religion believe that.

My question to you is not what you believe, but what are you doing about the acts your fellow Christians perform in the name of Christianity that spread hate, bigotry, ignorance, pain, and death?
Again, I never said I am a Christian, so saying my "fellow Christians" does not apply.

EDIT:  I apologize for the quote-mess, I am not used to this forum's style.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Emily on July 22, 2009, 05:34:15 PM
If you are not a christian what are you? Do you follow any religion?
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 05:37:29 PM
Atheism is the default position, the null hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Null_hypothesis), the starting point before people begin introducing theistic claims.

Atheism is not a thing.

Atheism is not a belief.

There is no single position known as "atheism." The only characteristic common to all atheists is they do not affirm a belief in any god.
Bringing this to your attention:
Don't get me wrong, if you prefer to call it something else, I apologize for incorrectly labeling you. However, it is obvious by your videos that you do not believe in a God of any kind. And, to my knowledge, aethism is the most commonly accepted term for that belief (or lack thereof).


I see nothing in the observed universe requiring a god to explain it. New evidence may one day come to light which contradicts this idea, but so far it has not. When people cite the wonder of the natural world as evidence for the existence of a god, they are making an emotional (and usually cultural) claim, not an objective one. I don't have a god simply because everything seems to work very well without one.

How's that?
Thank you for actually answering the question.
I would like to point out that all in science swore the earth was flat, and it turned out to be round.  It swore the center of the universe was earth, then the sun, and both were wrong.  It swore an atom was the smallest particle, then it disproved that.  Now that the big thing is the "Big Bang", but who's to say it isn't true?  I'm not saying how it was created, I'm just saying it's still just a theory, and therefore not proven true.
No, I am not saying all scientests believed these things, but it was the generally accepted theories at their respective times, and that is what I am baseing this post off of.
Just as few disagreed with those theories, there are few scientists today that believe in "creation-evolution" (the term varies) and many who fight strongly on both sides.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 05:40:00 PM
I do not advocate atheism, nor as deconvertedone states above: rational thinking. Sometimes being and thinking irrational is a good thing; what I'm against is people forcing their beliefs or non-beliefs on others because they believe it's the right thing to do. It's not ever a right thing to do if "forcing" something on someone else is involved, no matter what it is.

-Nam


I completely agree.  However, I also see that many of those who try to "force their religion" are not only Christians, but every religion, and although they do it "for their religion" those who follow those practices are not generally supported by the followers of "their religion".
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: HAL on July 22, 2009, 05:44:23 PM
I would like to point out that all in science swore the earth was flat, and it turned out to be round.  It swore the center of the universe was earth, then the sun, and both were wrong.  It swore an atom was the smallest particle, then it disproved that.  Now that the big thing is the "Big Bang", but who's to say it isn't true?  I'm not saying how it was created, I'm just saying it's still just a theory, and therefore not proven true.

Do you see what happens? Science is self-correcting. The truth will always come out in the end. This is not the case with religion, because it despises critical thinking.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 05:48:07 PM
Growth in atheism will have positive consequences for morals.  Just a few examples of what I mean:
  • Religious wars will cease.
  • "Ethnic" cleansing will diminish.
  • Women will be given the respect they deserve.
  • Animal rights and conservation will improve.
  • Human population will be managed for sustainability.
  • Anti-science propaganda will diminish.
  • Persecution of homosexuals will be relegated to history.
  • Suicide bombings will fall off a cliff.
  • Charities will focus on real good works instead of proselytizing and maintaining that there is a purpose for suffering.

As far as I know, not all religions are inherently responsible for any of that stuff, but rather have fallen into it like so much of the world today.  However, there are still religions out there which still try to better the world out there.  Again, as far as I know.  However, I doubt there is anyone out there who can disprove this, as it would be virtually impossible to become such an expert on EVERY religion....
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Azdgari on July 22, 2009, 05:48:19 PM
First, I'd like to state that I never said I'm a Christian.

The video specifically addresses Christians.  If you are not a Christian, then the video does not directly address you.  Since you responded to the video, Hermes supposed - reasonably - that you were a Christian.  Most of those who respond to the videos are Christian.

By the way, I may have missed it, but as far as I can tell you have not yet specifically said you aren't a Christian.  Are you?

EDIT again:  You responded during my edit.  And addressed the text I inserted, no less.   :)
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 05:53:41 PM
@Timtheskeptic:

1: I never said all atheists are educated.  Just like any selection of people, there can be smart and stupid all accepted.
2: "intelligent people are rising and we'll hopefully see the end of religious bulls**t."  Two points:  Your hostility shows your lack of maturity, and don't you know that almost every critically acclaimed scientist for the last thousand years or so has had some kind of religious background?
3: Perhaps prove wasn't the right word, I simply wanted a definite answer as to why you (or, as I have since learned, the many people on the forum where it was posted) do not believe in God.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 05:55:49 PM
If you are not a christian what are you? Do you follow any religion?
First, I'd like to state that I never said I'm a Christian.

The video specifically addresses Christians.  If you are not a Christian, then the video does not directly address you.

If you must know, I was raised a Christian, but I have since started to question....
I was simply trying to broaden my understanding of religion in general.

Although the videos (not video, plural) says "Christian" they could all be applied to any religion that believes in God.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: MadBunny on July 22, 2009, 05:59:08 PM
In case you're wondering, I am the one who sent the message which was posted here.

Welcome to the forum.

You appear to be surprised at the replies to your letter.  Many are, who don't see the disclaimer that the letter will be reposted for response.  On the plus side of things, you can get an actual response to your letter instead of a generic auto-reply.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 05:59:54 PM
I would like to point out that all in science swore the earth was flat, and it turned out to be round.  It swore the center of the universe was earth, then the sun, and both were wrong.  It swore an atom was the smallest particle, then it disproved that.  Now that the big thing is the "Big Bang", but who's to say it isn't true?  I'm not saying how it was created, I'm just saying it's still just a theory, and therefore not proven true.

Do you see what happens? Science is self-correcting. The truth will always come out in the end. This is not the case with religion, because it despises critical thinking.

Science is "self-correcting", as you put it, because it is always being changed.
Religion is does not react to criticism at all, it is set in stone (err... religious books) and it is the people who represent it that despise criticsm.  However, I'm sure if the ideas of religion and science could talk to eachother, they would find that they have more in common than those who represent them try to believe... and instead of fighting, no matter if one was "right" or not, they would work together for the better good....
Well, that's how I see it anyway... xD
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Azdgari on July 22, 2009, 06:02:04 PM
What are these things that you believe they have in common?
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 06:02:51 PM
By the way, I may have missed it, but as far as I can tell you have not yet specifically said you aren't a Christian.  Are you?

EDIT again:  You responded during my edit.  And addressed the text I inserted, no less.   :)

Sorry, there were a lot of posts, and I tried getting to them one at a time.

In case you're wondering, I am the one who sent the message which was posted here.

Welcome to the forum.


Thanks for the welcome!  :)
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: HAL on July 22, 2009, 06:06:29 PM
Science is "self-correcting", as you put it, because it is always being changed.

No it isn't. What on Earth are you talking about? Science is a process. The scientific process doesn't change. The results of scientific investigation will improve due due advancements in technology that enable us to investigate finer and finer details of matter, but science does not change sir.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 06:07:50 PM
What are these things that you believe they have in common?

As far as I see it, most religions (not the people who "represent them" but the actual ideals of the religions themselves) aspire for the "greater good" of humankind, albeit usually through some kind of ordeal.  Science does this also, though in different ways.
IE: Christianity: God flooded the earth, killing many, but in order to make the best people survive and make the world a better place... (also, saving the animals, @william: "Animal rights and conservation will improve.")
IE: Science:  We nuked Japan to end the war.  They killed plenty of people, but were intended to end wars and save lives (in the example of the end of WWII) even if that isn't the case with nukes now....
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 06:10:59 PM
Science is "self-correcting", as you put it, because it is always being changed.

No it isn't. What on Earth are you talking about? Science is a process. The scientific process doesn't change. The results of scientific investigation will improve due due advancements in technology that enable us to investigate finer and finer details of matter, but science does not change sir.

I mean we thought the earth was flat, then that CHANGED to a belief that it is round.  We thought that the Earth was the center of the universe, then that CHANGED to the sun, then that CHANGED to, what, we still don't know.  We thought the atom was the smallest, then that CHANGED to the electron, then that CHANGED to antimatter and everything we found inside an atom.

Sorry if I put it in terms you don't agree with, but what I meant you have already agreed with me upon.  Different terminology does not mean either of us are wrong.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: HAL on July 22, 2009, 06:14:59 PM

Sorry if I put it in terms you don't agree with, but what I meant you have already agreed with me upon.  Different terminology does not mean either of us are wrong.


Yes it does. It means you are wrong. Terminology is very important, becasue if you don't adhere to accurate terminology, then we won't have a very productive conversation.

Do you know the difference between an agreed upon fact and the process that determined that fact (It doesn't sound like you do)?
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Seank on July 22, 2009, 06:19:14 PM
Science and religion have little in common. We do need to separate methodology from the output. The basic methodology of science remains constant, and it applies to all the sciences. Theories may change or be discarded, but the methodology remains the same.

The basic methodology of religion is faith without the need for evidence. The output of religion can alter over time, but as with science, the methodology remains constant.

There is a vague kind of similarity there, but it's a purely structural thing that ignores the actual workings of the components. Scientific methodology has obviously changed over time, but as it stands right now any alteration would likely mean that it's no-longer science.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Hermes on July 22, 2009, 06:20:22 PM
SentnotPosted, welcome to the forums.  Thanks for dropping by.

If you could take a moment, could you please tell me, in your own words, what is the TOP reason you are advocating atheism?

Here's the answer I provide to similar questions from Christians;
First, I'd like to state that I never said I'm a Christian.

Got it.  That's part of the reason for my comment that only referenced other people, not you specifically, as Christians.  Till you let me know, I did not assume anything about your religious point of view.



I have noticed, as you may have as well, that there are Christians that do things in the name of Christianity that are negative.  Christians that promote bigotry and ignorance.  Christians that advocate actions that lead to harm and even death.  Christians that advocate not caring about this world and who want it to be destroyed in a polluted and fiery apocalypse.

If there were enough Christians that effectively dealt with those problems, I would not have any concerns.  Believe as you want.  As far as I would be concerned, the real world problems would be solved.

Unfortunately, that is not the world we are in.  Most Christians aren't doing nearly enough.   Many unfortunately are actively promoting these negative goals -- from paying money passively to going out and doing these negative actions themselves.  Some of the strongest advocates for those negative actions are the leaders and congregants of the larger Christian churches and organizations; this is not a problem with a few fringe groups or eccentric cult leaders.

Too many Christians not only do not take responsibility, they are leading the charge for these negative actions.  They justify bigotry and ignorance, they justify actions that result in the deaths of others that could be easily avoided.

That isn't actually an answer to my question.

You asked for my top reason.  This is actually the reason, and it's not explicitly for advocating atheism as it is to deal with problems caused by Christians by multiple levels.

I'll say this, though.  Looking into it myself, I have realized that many Christians have done things "in the name of Christianity" that were inherently "bad".  However, I have also noticed that most, if not all, other religions have had radicals that did things "in the name of [insert religeon here]", but that doesn't mean that everyone of the religion believe that.

Of course.  The letter I wrote isn't to a Muslim or a Hindu or some other group.  I'm also not asking the Christians to do something about the group of all theists either, or the acts of people who happen to be Christians not performed in the name of their religious group.

EDIT:  I apologize for the quote-mess, I am not used to this forum's style.

Looks good to me.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 06:32:40 PM
Because, as I stated in my original message, I do not want to argue, I'll change what I said, to say "the RESULTS of scientific investigation change.  Therefore, people who believe ANYTHING science tells them will change their mind also."

The results of scientific investigation will improve....

You agree with me, at least it looks that way.  I changed what I said, you win, congratulations.
I changed my terms to match yours, and I am ending this because you seem to want to do nothing except argue with me.

... The basic methodology of science remains constant ... the methodology remains the same.
... with science, the methodology remains constant.
... Scientific methodology has obviously changed over time....
You just contradicted yourself.
However, I understand where you are coming from.
True, the output of religion changes, but, with the religions I've studies (only includes those which come from history) what is in the "bibles" of such religions is always the same (although altered through translations etc.) and it is those who interpret it who actually change it, but whatever the original meaning was, it is still the same, if we could find an original copy of any religion's "bible".  Even with specific and exact versus, there are many different interpretations of them today, to provide a modern-day example.
I guess what I am trying to say is today, religion is distorted, but is the idea of religion actually all that bad?
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Hermes on July 22, 2009, 06:35:52 PM
I would like to point out that all in science swore the earth was flat, and it turned out to be round.  It swore the center of the universe was earth, then the sun, and both were wrong.  It swore an atom was the smallest particle, then it disproved that.

That's what's great about looking as opposed to guessing.  For a long time we did not know, and did not look carefully.  Then some did.  They showed others, who looked, and then eventually everyone who was humble and curious could learn from the investigation.

Now that the big thing is the "Big Bang", but who's to say it isn't true?  I'm not saying how it was created, I'm just saying it's still just a theory, and therefore not proven true.

First off, like the round Earth and a solar system, we know facts that are consistent with BB cosmology because we gained them through investigation (looking).  A scientific theory explains facts in a consistent manner.  If it turns out that a fact is found that does not fit in BB cosmology, the theory (like any theory) has to be ammended or discarded depending on the nature of the fact that was discovered in the act of investigating (looking).

Just as few disagreed with those theories, there are few scientists today that believe in "creation-evolution" (the term varies) and many who fight strongly on both sides.

If the creationists have looked and found that there are gaps in modern Biology, they can present those facts.  If they have a better description of biological reality than the one in modern Biology, they can present that theory in a coherent manner.  When they do not, and ignore Biologists that could benefit from the facts or coherent theory that they may claim to have, that's not the fault of non-Creationists.

In short; if they do the work, and show the results like everyone else, they will win by force of their facts and theory.  If they decide to go with reprogramming society with none of the facts or coherent theory to base that on, I can only assert that they are not doing science they are doing politics and promoting ignorance.  While ignorance may be bliss, it is not a strength except by chance circumstance, or if it is the basis for an authoritarian and closed society.  Personally, prefer reality no matter what it happens to be, not conclusions by blunt instruments.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: HAL on July 22, 2009, 06:36:43 PM
I changed my terms to match yours, and I am ending this because you seem to want to do nothing except argue with me.

What did you expect? If you don't use terms precisely and accurately, then you'll be challenged. It sounds like you just changed terms to stop me from responding, rather than for a specific reason you held important. That is a very silly and childish way to converse with members here.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Hermes on July 22, 2009, 06:39:03 PM
I would like to point out that all in science swore the earth was flat, and it turned out to be round.  It swore the center of the universe was earth, then the sun, and both were wrong.  It swore an atom was the smallest particle, then it disproved that.  Now that the big thing is the "Big Bang", but who's to say it isn't true?  I'm not saying how it was created, I'm just saying it's still just a theory, and therefore not proven true.

Do you see what happens? Science is self-correcting. The truth will always come out in the end. This is not the case with religion, because it despises critical thinking.

Isn't that grand?    ;D

Plug: A thread on the issue of theology being stagnant and bound to sectarian dogmas;

Theology: Innovative, Knowledgeable, or Dead?
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=2750 (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=2750)
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 06:40:10 PM
@Hermes:

Thanks for the welcome.
I understand, it's a generic response.   :D

Maybe you see it that way, but to me it seems more an explaination NOT to advocate Christianity, not necessarilly why to advocate atheism.  ie, that could also be a speech to convert people to hindism.

I'll say that most religions, besides select few, aren't actually that bad to the world, are they?

Lol, I only got that quote-mess fixed after like six edits, :P
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 06:45:58 PM
I changed my terms to match yours, and I am ending this because you seem to want to do nothing except argue with me.

What did you expect? If you don't use terms precisely and accurately, then you'll be challenged. It sounds like you just changed terms to stop me from responding, rather than for a specific reason you held important. That is a very silly and childish way to converse with members here.

On the contrary, I DID want a response.
I am not a scientist.  Clearly you are.  Also evident is your unwillingness to accept a conversation with someone who isn't a scientist.  Because I do not use your terminology, instead of trying to further inform me, you criticized me on my misunderstanding.  That is NOT why I posted the question, my original intention was to learn.  If people here are going to accuse me of things like this (you are the only one) then I might as well leave...
However, it IS only you, and everyone else has been quite sensible and understanding in my willingness to learn instead of becoming hostile towards me. 
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 06:53:11 PM
Quote from: Hermes
That's what's great about looking as opposed to guessing.  For a long time we did not know, and did not look carefully.  Then some did.  They showed others, who looked, and then eventually everyone who was humble and curious could learn from the investigation.

First off, like the round Earth and a solar system, we know facts that are consistent with BB cosmology because we gained them through investigation (looking).  A scientific theory explains facts in a consistent manner.  If it turns out that a fact is found that does not fit in BB cosmology, the theory (like any theory) has to be ammended or discarded depending on the nature of the fact that was discovered in the act of investigating (looking).

That is exactly what I don't understand.  Why do people fight so vehemently for these things if they know they could be disproven?
ie someone carbon dates a video to four billion years old, and it shows god farting and creating the universe... then wouldn't that change everything?  Yes, I know that is impossible, but it is just a wild example.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: HAL on July 22, 2009, 06:54:25 PM

On the contrary, I DID want a response.
I am not a scientist.  Clearly you are. 

No, incorrect.

Quote
Also evident is your unwillingness to accept a conversation with someone who isn't a scientist...


Oh for crying out loud. OK, I'll leave you alone and let's see how you fare with the other responders.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Dragnet on July 22, 2009, 06:54:38 PM
I would like to point out that all in science swore the earth was flat, and it turned out to be round.  It swore the center of the universe was earth, then the sun, and both were wrong.  It swore an atom was the smallest particle, then it disproved that.  Now that the big thing is the "Big Bang", but who's to say it isn't true?  I'm not saying how it was created, I'm just saying it's still just a theory, and therefore not proven true.
No, I am not saying all scientests believed these things, but it was the generally accepted theories at their respective times, and that is what I am baseing this post off of.
Just as few disagreed with those theories, there are few scientists today that believe in "creation-evolution" (the term varies) and many who fight strongly on both sides.

<Nit Pick>

Actually the ancient science prior to the worlds mst popular religions (Judaism, Christianity ad Islam) had figured out that the earth was a sphere.
It was the Religious fundamentals reading the "holy" texts that squashed science and made heretics of them.

It took science over 1000 years to begin to recover.

</Nit Pick>

Welcome to the asylum, glad to have you here.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: jazzman on July 22, 2009, 07:06:24 PM
Hello SentnotPosted:

You asked: "If you could take a moment, could you please tell me, in your own words, what is the TOP reason you are advocating atheism?"

I'm not a theist, but I don't advocate atheism.  That is to say, I don't try to get people to become atheists.  Neither do I try to draw people away from theism.

I'm not a theist because I'm not compelled to think that we humans know anything about gods.  I'm happy to accept that one god, or many, exists, but I see no reason to accept one theology over others.  They all have serious flaws, and, regarding the attributes of deities, all religions engage in speculation.  The plethora of gods that have "existed" in human history is stunningly large.  Surely, with literally thousands of gods on the books, we all should understand that humans are hopelessly divided on what gods exist, if any, and what they do, if anything.  I prefer to not live my life according to the speculative nature of theology.

It makes much more sense to me to accept that we don't know whether there's a god and to live our lives as if there isn't.  If we don't base our values, morals and actions on what we think this god or that wants us to, we're forced to live our lives according to what's best for the communities and countries in which we live.  That's where it counts.

Jazzman
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Hermes on July 22, 2009, 07:07:25 PM
Maybe you see it that way, but to me it seems more an explaination NOT to advocate Christianity, not necessarilly why to advocate atheism.  

Yet, it is, even if the subtlety of the letter does not carry a rude force to it.

I suggest reading it again carefully as if you were a Christian, and see how it would challenge a Christian and in what way.

ie, that could also be a speech to convert people to hindism.

I don't worry about Hindus, though they have their own thugs and purveyors of ignorance.

I'll say that most religions, besides select few, aren't actually that bad to the world, are they?

All promote dogmas on some level, or they would not be religions.  Some are seeped in dogma to the point of solipsism (Christian Presuppositionalists for example).  Some are more destructive, some are less.  All have positive aspects.  Yet, as the Theology: Innovative, Knowledgeable, or Dead? thread I mentioned draws out, none seem to provide actual knowledge.  They seem to be more like the superstitious pigeons well documented in psychology who happen to get food and then attribute it to some specific set of actions.

An excellent talk that discusses part of this aspect of religion that I was just introduced to can be found here;

Prof. Robert Sapolsky on religion
http://blip.tv/file/2204956 (http://blip.tv/file/2204956)

(Thanks once again to Graybeard.)

Lol, I only got that quote-mess fixed after like six edits, :P

I think I can help some.  Check your forum mail box ("My Messages" link at top) in a few minutes.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Hermes on July 22, 2009, 07:16:52 PM
Quote from: Hermes
That's what's great about looking as opposed to guessing.  For a long time we did not know, and did not look carefully.  Then some did.  They showed others, who looked, and then eventually everyone who was humble and curious could learn from the investigation.

First off, like the round Earth and a solar system, we know facts that are consistent with BB cosmology because we gained them through investigation (looking).  A scientific theory explains facts in a consistent manner.  If it turns out that a fact is found that does not fit in BB cosmology, the theory (like any theory) has to be ammended or discarded depending on the nature of the fact that was discovered in the act of investigating (looking).

That is exactly what I don't understand.  Why do people fight so vehemently for these things if they know they could be disproven?

Because the alternatives often proposed often are proposed based on biases, not hard work based in observation of reality.  It is a grand thing to learn that you were wrong, because in the next instant you not only know more but are corrected.  Learning can't be done by mere assertion, though.

Holding something as tentatively true is a sane and honest way of dealing with the world.  It does not mean that being gullible is even better.  Far from it.

ie someone carbon dates a video to four billion years old, and it shows god farting and creating the universe... then wouldn't that change everything?  Yes, I know that is impossible, but it is just a wild example.

Details matter.  Context matters.  For example, nobody would carbon date a video, and if they did carbon date it they would not find it or anything else to be 4 billion years old.  That might seem to be a humorless response if you already knew those details, yet if you browse some of the more insane parts of the web -- some with many advocates -- it is not hard to see why a dry and clear response is often what separates the dogmatic from those who while not credulous are actually interested in reality as it is.

To get a flavor of what I'm saying, look up any discussion on this board on Noah's Ark or Noah's flood, or just read the first page from this link;

http://www.fstdt.net/Top100.aspx (http://www.fstdt.net/Top100.aspx)
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Hermes on July 22, 2009, 08:15:20 PM
Lol, I only got that quote-mess fixed after like six edits, :P

I think I can help some.  Check your forum mail box ("My Messages" link at top) in a few minutes.

Bah!  I got distracted and forgot.  Check your mail box now.  Mea culpa.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: 3D on July 22, 2009, 09:20:01 PM
Thank you for actually answering the question.
I would like to point out that all in science swore the earth was flat, and it turned out to be round.  It swore the center of the universe was earth, then the sun, and both were wrong.  It swore an atom was the smallest particle, then it disproved that.  Now that the big thing is the "Big Bang", but who's to say it isn't true?  I'm not saying how it was created, I'm just saying it's still just a theory, and therefore not proven true.
No, I am not saying all scientests believed these things, but it was the generally accepted theories at their respective times, and that is what I am baseing this post off of.
Just as few disagreed with those theories, there are few scientists today that believe in "creation-evolution" (the term varies) and many who fight strongly on both sides.

Let me address one point here: Science did not "swear the earth was flat."  The idea that the earth was flat actually came about because it says so in the bible.

Greek and Egyptian scientists knew the earth was a spheroid object, many years before the bible.  Pretty much every scientist who studied the subject in human history could figure out with simple experiments that the world was round.  The only reason it has ever been thought to be flat was because of religious suppression of science.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: William on July 22, 2009, 09:44:11 PM
Growth in atheism will have positive consequences for morals.  Just a few examples of what I mean:
  • Religious wars will cease.
  • "Ethnic" cleansing will diminish.
  • Women will be given the respect they deserve.
  • Animal rights and conservation will improve.
  • Human population will be managed for sustainability.
  • Anti-science propaganda will diminish.
  • Persecution of homosexuals will be relegated to history.
  • Suicide bombings will fall off a cliff.
  • Charities will focus on real good works instead of proselytizing and maintaining that there is a purpose for suffering.

As far as I know, not all religions are inherently responsible for any of that stuff, but rather have fallen into it like so much of the world today.  However, there are still religions out there which still try to better the world out there.  Again, as far as I know.  However, I doubt there is anyone out there who can disprove this, as it would be virtually impossible to become such an expert on EVERY religion....

Hi SentnotPosted, I think you missed the point of my reply to you.  Here it is again:

In my opinion the "TOP reason" to advocate atheism is to enable the people of the world to have proper morality.

The problem is religious morality.  To eradicate religion we need to get at the root - irrational belief in deities.


The examples I gave are merely examples to illustrate the main point.  They are all problems that are directly attributable to one or more religion through either the attitudes/morality they promote, or by their religiously justified inaction.  Most atheists I've met hold strong positions on these issues, drawing on secular ethics, humanism, science and rational thought for their morality.  But the problems I listed persist around the world because of various religions.  Religions are poor sources of morality.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 09:46:55 PM
Let me address one point here: Science did not "swear the earth was flat."  The idea that the earth was flat actually came about because it says so in the bible.

Greek and Egyptian scientists knew the earth was a spheroid object, many years before the bible.  Pretty much every scientist who studied the subject in human history could figure out with simple experiments that the world was round.  The only reason it has ever been thought to be flat was because of religious suppression of science.

Could you please tell me, where in the bible, does it say the earth was flat?
Yes, I know, but the time in history when science "believed" (better word?) the earth was flat is what I am refering to.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: SentnotPosted on July 22, 2009, 09:51:10 PM
Hi SentnotPosted, I think you missed the point of my reply to you.  Here it is again:

In my opinion the "TOP reason" to advocate atheism is to enable the people of the world to have proper morality.

The problem is religious morality.  To eradicate religion we need to get at the root - irrational belief in deities.


The examples I gave are merely examples to illustrate the main point.  They are all problems that are directly attributable to one or more religion through either the attitudes/morality they promote, or by their religiously justified inaction.  Most atheists I've met hold strong positions on these issues, drawing on secular ethics, humanism, science and rational thought for their morality.  But the problems I listed persist around the world because of various religions.  Religions are poor sources of morality.

Okay, but what about Budhism?  (sp?)  What about budhism is immoral?


@Hermes:  Thank you for your help and patience...

@jazzman:  What you posted is similar to what I am feeling right now....
My only problem is this:  What if that is wrong?  We all go to "hell".  If it is right, we can live our lives on the EDGE of [insert religion here], still getting into "heaven" but still being an all around good person.
Right?
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: William on July 22, 2009, 10:10:09 PM
Okay, but what about Budhism?  (sp?)  What about budhism is immoral?

I don't have any moral objections to Buddhism.  But I won't be investing any of my time contemplating souls and reincarnation.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Azdgari on July 22, 2009, 10:16:35 PM
Buddhism does not employ the faulty Divine Command Theory in its moral structure.  In fact, it doesn't state what is objectively "good" or "bad" - it makes assertions about what is "good" or "bad" only with respect to the goal of reducing suffering.  Its morality is not, in fact, all that religious.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Hermes on July 22, 2009, 10:41:39 PM
@Hermes:  Thank you for your help and patience...

[ tips hat ]
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: 3D on July 23, 2009, 03:35:36 AM
Let me address one point here: Science did not "swear the earth was flat."  The idea that the earth was flat actually came about because it says so in the bible.

Greek and Egyptian scientists knew the earth was a spheroid object, many years before the bible.  Pretty much every scientist who studied the subject in human history could figure out with simple experiments that the world was round.  The only reason it has ever been thought to be flat was because of religious suppression of science.

Could you please tell me, where in the bible, does it say the earth was flat?


Sure.  Here's a good rundown of a lot of the biblical references to the earth being flat: http://www.goatstar.org/the-bibles-flat-earthsolid-sky-dome-universe/#flat%20earth

My favorite is "(Mat 4:8 NRSV) Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor".

Every reference to the shape of the earth in the bible assumes it to be a two-dimensional, round disk.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Codswallop on July 23, 2009, 09:23:21 AM
I would like to point out that all in science swore the earth was flat, and it turned out to be round.  It swore the center of the universe was earth, then the sun, and both were wrong.  It swore an atom was the smallest particle, then it disproved that.  Now that the big thing is the "Big Bang", but who's to say it isn't true?  I'm not saying how it was created, I'm just saying it's still just a theory, and therefore not proven true.
No, I am not saying all scientests believed these things, but it was the generally accepted theories at their respective times, and that is what I am baseing this post off of.
Just as few disagreed with those theories, there are few scientists today that believe in "creation-evolution" (the term varies) and many who fight strongly on both sides.

This is a thoughtful response.

However, it is not a well-informed response. I think that a very slight adjustment will bring you to a much better understanding of science, non-theism and reality-based world views.

You use the time-worn phrase "just a theory," as though theory were synonymous with "guess." Scientifically speaking, a theory is a general explanation for a range of observed facts. A good theory has a huge mass of quality data behind it, from as wide as possible a range of disciplines. Evolution, being supported by data from biology, physics, chemistry, cosmology, geology, embryology, epidemiology and a host of other disciplines, is a very strong theory, so strong that it is regarded as fact. Science is about what you can demonstrate. Guesswork is expressly excluded.

This brings me to the scientific idea of knowledge. All knowledge is provisional and subject to revision as we develop better methodology, understanding and data. Scientists do not "swear" to anything. They do not "believe in" anything--at least not in their scientific discipline. Our knowledge is tentative, not absolute. Old ideas are reexamined in light of new data and methods. New ideas are routinely savaged by the larger scientific community to see if they stand up. That's how science actually works. It is not faith-based. That is why old ideas get revised or discarded. And in science, the absolute coolest thing you can do, that will guarantee you a shining place in the history of scientific inquiry, is to disprove a cherished old idea. There is no orthodoxy in science.

A few factual points:

No scientist ever said the Earth was flat. Observers (I won't call them scientists, since the label did not exist then) have known for thousands of years that the Earth was a sphere.

It was the Church who claimed the Earth was the center of the Universe. That was a faith claim, supported by incomplete and inaccurate observation. (No one has ever claimed the Sun was the center of the Universe. I have no idea where this notion came from.)

The Big Bang is already being revised. So much has changed since I learned about this model (not theory) that I can't speak accurately about the current state of scientific thought on the subject, except to say that scientists continue to debate and the model continues to change.

Scientists do not "believe" their ideas, the way you believe in your religion. If a scientist were to express "perfect faith" in some scientific idea, he would be laughed at by the scientific community.

No serious scientist is a creationist--at least, no scientist working in any field related to biology or evolutionary science. That would be like a chemist advocating alchemy, or an astronomer doing basic research in astrology.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: velkyn on July 23, 2009, 11:40:43 AM
Let me address one point here: Science did not "swear the earth was flat."  The idea that the earth was flat actually came about because it says so in the bible.

Greek and Egyptian scientists knew the earth was a spheroid object, many years before the bible.  Pretty much every scientist who studied the subject in human history could figure out with simple experiments that the world was round.  The only reason it has ever been thought to be flat was because of religious suppression of science.

Could you please tell me, where in the bible, does it say the earth was flat?


Sure.  Here's a good rundown of a lot of the biblical references to the earth being flat: http://www.goatstar.org/the-bibles-flat-earthsolid-sky-dome-universe/#flat%20earth

My favorite is "(Mat 4:8 NRSV) Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor".

Every reference to the shape of the earth in the bible assumes it to be a two-dimensional, round disk.
indeed, I even had to draw this out for one believer who wouldn't understand (a pdf image).  He never returned.

http://tinyurl.com/moutainearth
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: screwtape on July 23, 2009, 12:01:34 PM
I don't worry about Hindus, though they have their own thugs and purveyors of ignorance.

Awseome.  The cult of Thugee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuggee#Religion_and_Thuggee)
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: screwtape on July 23, 2009, 12:08:23 PM
This is a thoughtful response.

However, it is not a well-informed response. I think that a very slight adjustment will bring you to a much better understanding of science, non-theism and reality-based world views.
...

great post Cod.  So nice to have you back.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Hermes on July 23, 2009, 12:48:28 PM
I don't worry about Hindus, though they have their own thugs and purveyors of ignorance.

Awseome.  The cult of Thugee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuggee#Religion_and_Thuggee)

Wow.  I'll have to remember that.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: screwtape on July 23, 2009, 01:06:55 PM
I don't worry about Hindus, though they have their own thugs and purveyors of ignorance.

Awseome.  The cult of Thugee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuggee#Religion_and_Thuggee)

Wow.  I'll have to remember that.

It's easy.  The bad guys in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom were Thugees.
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: jazzman on July 23, 2009, 01:46:15 PM
@jazzman:  What you posted is similar to what I am feeling right now....
My only problem is this:  What if that is wrong?  We all go to "hell".  If it is right, we can live our lives on the EDGE of [insert religion here], still getting into "heaven" but still being an all around good person.
Right?
We could all be wrong about every theological point ever advanced. 
Think about this:
How many different religions are there?  Possibly thousands throughout human history.
Do they all agree on the nature of God?  No.
Can any one person from any one religion present any facts to confirm for us what god or gods exist?  No.
Can we know even one specific thing about any particular god?  No.
Can we know that any particular god cares about us and truly wants us to live in some sort of paradise with this god?  No.

We can believe all manner of things about gods, but we can know nothing about gods, as gods -- if they exist -- appear to exist in realms to which we have no access.  We can't study deities.  We can only study what people believe about deities.

Because we don't know anything about deities, I must assume we're all wrong in what we might believe the nature of deities to be, if deities exist.  What we think we know is speculation. 

If I'm wrong, and if the Christian view of God is correct, then I'm headed for hell after I die, as are all people who aren't true Christians.  If I'm wrong, and the Muslim view of God is correct, then I'm headed for hell after I die, and so is everyone else who isn't a true Muslim, and that includes Christians.  If I'm wrong, and the ancient Egyptian view of death is correct, then anyone who hasn't been provided what we call the Egyptian Book of the Dead is doomed, and that includes Christians and Muslims whose tombs don't include a copy of the Book of the Dead to allow them to negotiate the underworld.

Do you see where I'm going?  I can't live my life as if one or another religious tradition is the one to follow on pain of eternal torture.  There's no way to know which religious tradition is the right one to follow.  If there is a god who knows what's in my heart, then that god knows I accept that god's existence as long as I don't have to do it on speculation. 

If a god needs my praise, then that god has it, if that god created our universe.  What a magnificent and mysterious place, our universe.  And what a magnificent act of creation it is to have made it possible for planets to form and life to emerge and diversify, all by seemingly natural forces.  I can do nothing but praise a god with that kind of power and apparent foresight.  But does that mean that god has prepared a place of eternal paradise for me and anyone else who simply believes in that god, or a place of torture for those who don't -- based on the theological precepts generated by a small group of very culture-conscious people who lived on our atom-sized planet a few thousand years before I was born?  It seems to me a vanishingly trivial thing that such a Creator would need our praise and belief in him/her and would punish us for not believing he/she exists based on the ideas of what can only be described as an obscure group of humans on an obscure planet in an obscure galaxy in a universe so vast as to defy imagination.

The question "what if we're wrong" has no answer, because no matter how we address the question, we can't know the answer.  The question plays on our fears because we've been exposed to the idea of heaven and hell, and eternal torture scares us.  We'd rather be in heaven, if descriptions of hell are accurate.  But why should the ancient Jewish and Christian ideas of eternal paradise or torture mean anything to us?  They're just some of many ideas about what awaits us humans after we die.  But no one knows what awaits us, if anything at all.  It's unreasonable to live our lives trying to answer the question "what if we're wrong?", because we're probably all wrong no matter what we think.

Jazzman





Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: Codswallop on July 23, 2009, 04:02:13 PM
I don't worry about Hindus, though they have their own thugs and purveyors of ignorance.

Awseome.  The cult of Thugee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuggee#Religion_and_Thuggee)

Wow.  I'll have to remember that.

Gunga Din (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunga_Din_(film)) is a great movie!
Title: Re: If you could take a moment... [#1616]
Post by: MadBunny on July 23, 2009, 05:09:01 PM
My only problem is this:  What if that is wrong?  We all go to "hell".  If it is right, we can live our lives on the EDGE of [insert religion here], still getting into "heaven" but still being an all around good person.
Right?

Paging Pascal..
Pascal you have a call, I'd wager.

For some religions 'being a good person' might be enough, but that idea is considered heresy by the Christian church.
The Catholics tried to get around it by inventing the 'age of accountability', but that concept isn't supported by their own bible.