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    Thread: Athiest vs religion? sorta

    1. #26
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kiza View Post
      Believe it or not, there are some religious believers out there who both believe in God and the scientific method.
      Wow... you win the prize for saying Believe the most times in one sentence!!

      Speaking only for myself, I have no problem whatsoever with the kind of christians (or any religion) that you mentioned. If they do accept the scientific method, that means they apply critical thinking to their beliefs, and that means they can't be fundamentalists. In other words, they must believe that god works through what science calls natural laws... evolution, big bang etc. It also means they take the stories in the bible as METAPHOR. I truly believe that, when taken as metaphor, the bible is filled with great wisdom and some of the most profound of human thought. Mixed in with some pretty contradictory and messed-up stories. Written by PEOPLE... in fact by primitive people with little understanding about the world around them. As long as these facts are accepted for what they are, then I think the bible and religious meditation/ contemplation are excellent things.

      I've been guilty of tearing apart the most glaringly obvious flaws of the bible, which is really just too easy and proves nothing, except that it might get through to some poor misguided soul who has been taught that every word of the bible must be taken absolutely literally. I consider THAT a dangerous situation... because a person who's capable of literally believing every word of the bible is a person who is ignorant and obedient to a fault and is willing to ignore their own critical thinking facilities. Mmmm... pretty much exactly the kind of person who would have made a perfect nazi. Ignore that little voice inside that says "Wait a minute... this isn't right....", and just do your duty!
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-03-2010 at 09:16 AM.

    2. #27
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      Message to all people criticizing atheists: If you saw a child, say, spelling a word wrong, would you correct it? Probably yes. That's what the atheist mindset is. Correct the mistake so many people still make. I can't say for everyone, but most atheists I know find religion extremely detrimental. I won't even get started on the list of bad things promoted by religion - let's save that for another thread.

      Also, "atheism" means "not theist", which means lacking the belief in a god. It's become a synonym to irreligious.

      Also, yes, we do need a name for it. We need a name because it's a very distinctive and cohesive group. Just like there are colors of hair and baldness, there are religions and atheism.

      Saying atheism is a religion is like saying bald is a hair color.

      Before you criticize, you should take some time to learn the opposing perspective better. Aka, what atheists think of religion.

      Finally, just so you know, atheists tend to gang up, and tend to be inflammatory towards believers, because they are a minority. Just like gays or jews or blacks. You with me?
      Last edited by Kromoh; 02-03-2010 at 09:55 AM.
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      kro is right...but I do have one question for you, when you say religion do you really just mean the judeo-christian islamic tradition as far as detrimental? because I see very little detrimental coming out of say buddism or hinduism.
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      Quote Originally Posted by tkdyo View Post
      kro is right...but I do have one question for you, when you say religion do you really just mean the judeo-christian islamic tradition as far as detrimental? because I see very little detrimental coming out of say buddism or hinduism.
      Hmm. Well then we come to the grey area. It varies from atheist to atheist. I myself see buddhism and hinduism more like cultures/life philosophies than religions. And thus I do not find them detrimental (well, not from a religious point at least, I see many problems with hindu-based societies). I mean, in a strict sense, buddhism is even an atheist belief/religion, because it doesn't involve a god. Just perfectly fine;

      But that is just me.

      Believe me when I say, though, the vast majority of atheists find the judaic/christian/islamic religion as extremely detrimental.
      Last edited by Kromoh; 02-03-2010 at 09:57 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by tkdyo View Post
      kro is right...but I do have one question for you, when you say religion do you really just mean the judeo-christian islamic tradition as far as detrimental? because I see very little detrimental coming out of say buddism or hinduism.
      Yeah, I have no gripe with buddhism or hinduism in a modern sense, as these faiths tend to be sort of more tolerant, I think. You don't see any Buddhist Militias, for sure. Seeing as how they mostly teach inner power, self-righteousness, peace and harmony, etc. I see nothing wrong. Fundies, though, are nuts beyond all hell, often to the point where they would like very much to force their baseless beliefs on everyone, which I think is fundamentally sick (pun).

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      Just to elaborate on what I think was left unclear.

      I see 3 main problems with religion:

      religion promoting fundamentalism, blind belief and superstitiousness (in place of reason and science);
      religion being used to control masses,
      religion promoting disagreement, war, exploitation, imperialism, etc.

      If a specific religion doesn't have the above traits, I would be perfectly fine with it.
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    7. #32
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kromoh View Post
      Message to all people criticizing atheists: If you saw a child, say, spelling a word wrong, would you correct it? Probably yes. That's what the atheist mindset is. Correct the mistake so many people still make. I can say for everyone, but most atheists I know find religion extremely detrimental. I won't even get started on the list of bad things promoted by religion - let's save that for another thread.
      That's fine, you're absolutely free to do that, but any atheist who does do that cannot criticise a Christian for trying to convert people. Well, they could, but they'd be being a hypocrite.

      Also, "atheism" means "not theist", which means lacking the belief in a god. It's become a synonym to irreligious.

      Also, yes, we do need a name for it. We need a name because it's a very distinctive and cohesive group. Just like there are colors of hair and baldness, there are religions and atheism.

      Saying atheism is a religion is like saying bald is a hair color.
      I agree with all of this. Atheism by definition cannot be a religion. I'd just like it recognised that those atheists who seek to convert others are just as bad as any Christian (or for that matter, any member of any religion) who tries to convert others.

      Before you criticize, you should take some time to learn the opposing perspective better. Aka, what atheists think of religion.
      Do you do this yourself?

      Finally, just so you know, atheists tend to gang up, and tend to be inflammatory towards believers, because they are a minority. Just like gays or jews or blacks. You with me?
      Again, you are completely free to be inflammatory and gang up, but you can't later criticise Christians for those same tactics without being a hypocrite. Wouldn't it be better to not be inflammatory or gang up in the first place so you actually hold some basis to criticise others on? Call me idealistic, but would it not be better if we were all not inflammatory and push our beliefs on to others? If behaviour like that wasn't around, it'd sure solve a lot of problems. I can't see any rational reason why any one person would support being inflammatory or ganging up, so if we can agree that the world would be a better place without such behaviour, why not start with yourself? There's no way you can make others be like that, but you hold complete control over your own actions and you are completely capable of not being inflammatory; of not ganging up; of being tolerant of other's beliefs. It is very, very possible to debate without pushing your belief's on others, or being inflammatory.

      I realise this may be futile to say this in the most inflammatory, awe-inspiringly insane part of this forum . . . but can't we all just along?
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    8. #33
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      lol k, I know most of the time athesists are particularly on the case of fundies, as they should be, was just making sure because religion in itself can be a wide umbrella term with many many shades of gray.

      edit: to clear up, Im not quite an atheist per say...but not a part of any religion. Id say more of a wishful thinker that there is something, whatever it is, after death.
      Last edited by tkdyo; 02-03-2010 at 10:23 AM.
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      @ Kiza:


      You know why it isn't hypocritical? Because all an atheist does is basically make the religious person question their beliefs. Make them try to offer some proof of the veracity of what they believe it. I always say, if God was real and showed himself to me, I'd believe it. But he never did, to anyone. Funny thing about faith: if it were true, it wouldn't be faith.

      If the religious person can present no proof of the veracity of what they believe in, then let's face it, their belief doesn't stand. Don't forget the onus of proof is up to the person making the claim.

      You do understand that, if the religious person had proof, the "attacks" by the atheists would have no effect, right? But here we are, 5000 years or more after the beginning of religion, thousands of internet discussions later. And yet there is no proof. You still with me? Atheists simply do not believe in something that's not confirmed - it's a thing called skepticism.

      -------------------------------------------

      Also, you're basically trying to convey that, say, a gay person that attacks prejudicial people has to accept attacks from prejudicial people too. See the problem here?
      Last edited by Kromoh; 02-03-2010 at 10:29 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kromoh View Post
      @ Kiza:


      You know why it isn't hypocritical? Because all an atheist does is basically make the religious person question their beliefs. Make them try to offer some proof of the veracity of what they believe it. I always say, if God was real and showed himself to me, I'd believe it. But he never did, to anyone. Funny thing about faith: if it were true, it wouldn't be faith.
      I think I've said this too much in this thread: I'm not talking about all atheists, or atheists who debate with Christians, or atheists who try to make Christians question their belief. I am fully for the questioning of your own beliefs, whatever you believe or disbelieve in. I am talking about the militant atheists who seek to convert. There is a significant difference between making a person question their beliefs and actively trying to make them change their beliefs. Atheists like that are out there.

      If the religious person can present no proof of the veracity of what they believe in, then let's face it, their belief doesn't stand. Don't forget the onus of proof is up to the person making the claim.
      Yes, that's right. But if an atheist asserts that God does not exist without reference to any prior argument, ie. he says out of the blue to a Christian that God does not exist (I've seen this happen), then the burden of proof lies with the atheist making that claim. And that's the kind of atheist I am talking about: the atheist who wishes to convert believers, the atheist who wishes to destroy faith. Every group has its extremists and its fanatics, and that's the only thing I oppose, regardless of belief.

      You do understand that, if the religious person had proof, the "attacks" by the atheists would have no effect, right? But here we are, 5000 years or more after the beginning of religion, thousands of internet discussions later. And yet there is no proof. You still with me? Atheists simply do not believe in something that's not confirmed - it's a thing called skepticism.
      I'm not disagreeing with you here. I don't believe in God, and this is a major reason why I don't.

      -------------------------------------------

      Also, you're basically trying to convey that, say, a gay person that attacks prejudicial people has to accept attacks from prejudicial people too. See the problem here?
      No, I'm not.

      Let's say this prejudicial person is named Jim, and let's say this gay person is named Bruno. So Jim attacks Bruno on the matter of his sexual orientation. If Bruno responds in turn attacking Jim on the matter of Jim's sexual orientation, then Bruno is without basis to criticise Jim for his original attack. That is all I'm trying to get across here.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kiza View Post
      But if an atheist asserts that God does not exist without reference to any prior argument, ie. he says out of the blue to a Christian that God does not exist (I've seen this happen), then the burden of proof lies with the atheist making that claim.

      Not really. By "claim" I mean claiming that something exists or is true. I can go and say "unicorns don't exist" and I don't need to prove anything - I mean, you can't even prove something doesn't exist, only that they exist - that's why science is skeptical. Or do you see your doctor saying "oh, I'm going to use this drug, it was never used before, but I believe it will work, so it will work"?

      But, if I said "unicorns exist", I would have to prove it.

      And that's the kind of atheist I am talking about: the atheist who wishes to convert believers, the atheist who wishes to destroy faith. Every group has its extremists and its fanatics, and that's the only thing I oppose, regardless of belief.
      Faith is seen as detrimental by many atheists. I don't really see how it is "converting", if it is only showing the mistakes in the person's beliefs. It's not like you're teaching a new belief - atheism is a disbelief after all.

      That said, I don't disagree that there are disrespectful atheists out there. However, I see many more disrespectful theists, especially towards other religions.

      Let's say this prejudicial person is named Jim, and let's say this gay person is named Bruno. So Jim attacks Bruno on the matter of his sexual orientation. If Bruno responds in turn attacking Jim on the matter of Jim's sexual orientation, then Bruno is without basis to criticise Jim for his original attack. That is all I'm trying to get across here.
      Say Jim attacks Bruno on the matter of his sexual orientation, and Bruno attacks Jim on the matter of his prejudice. Bruno's attack wouldn't be unjustified at all - much to the contrary, not condemning Jim's prejudice is a form of accepting it.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kromoh View Post
      Not really. By "claim" I mean claiming that something exists or is true. I can go and say "unicorns don't exist" and I don't need to prove anything - I mean, you can't even prove something doesn't exist, only that they exist - that's why science is skeptical. Or do you see your doctor saying "oh, I'm going to use this drug, it was never used before, but I believe it will work, so it will work"?

      But, if I said "unicorns exist", I would have to prove it.
      But you can prove that something doesn't exist: you can search every inch of every country and at the end if you find no unicorns, then you can say confidently, "Unicorns do not exist." But the unicorn and the drug analogy doesn't work, as the matter of gods is a metaphysical matter, and any matter that extends beyond the physical cannot be tested physically, which is the only way humans can test things.

      Faith is seen as detrimental by many atheists. I don't really see how it is "converting", if it is only showing the mistakes in the person's beliefs. It's not like you're teaching a new belief - atheism is a disbelief after all.

      That said, I don't disagree that there are disrespectful atheists out there. However, I see many more disrespectful theists, especially towards other religions.
      Just because faith is seen as detrimental by many doesn't make that stance right. The act of trying to destroy another person's faith I personally find just as bad as Christians trying to convert atheists. I bet those Christians who attempt to convert others think they're showing the mistakes in other people's beliefs.

      The last point, that there are more disrespectful theists, I think is beyond debate, since we can't count every theist and every atheist and determine the ratio of disrespect, so I think we can agree to disagree there.

      Say Jim attacks Bruno on the matter of his sexual orientation, and Bruno attacks Jim on the matter of his prejudice. Bruno's attack wouldn't be unjustified at all - much to the contrary, not condemning Jim's prejudice is a form of accepting it.
      Yes, I agree here. That's like an atheist attacking a Christian on the matter of their belief, and then the Christian attacking that atheist on the matter of the atheist's intolerance. The inverse of that, too. Once again, all I'm advocating here is respect for other's beliefs, regardless of your own. You can point out flaws in people's ideologies while still respecting them, yo.
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      But you can prove that something doesn't exist: you can search every inch of every country and at the end if you find no unicorns, then you can say confidently, "Unicorns do not exist." But the unicorn and the drug analogy doesn't work, as the matter of gods is a metaphysical matter, and any matter that extends beyond the physical cannot be tested physically, which is the only way humans can test things.
      That doesn't prove anything except you were unable to find evidence of unicorns existing.

      Philosophically, no one can assert "Unicorns don't exist", it would be more accurate to say "There's no reason to believe Unicorns exist". Pragmatically however, the former is often used, even if the person technically believes the latter.

      all I'm advocating here is respect for other's beliefs
      But there are beliefs out there that do not deserve respect. Why do the superstitions, prejucides and ramblings of ignorant bronze age men deserve respect? Why does the sad fact that many people also believe these ignorant men had knowledge and insight in to the workings of the universe that our best minds lack deserve respect?

      Why do the inane and insane beliefs many religious people have - ones that would be considered a sign of mental illness if you replace "God" with any entity we know to be fictional, such as "Santa Claus" - deserve respect?

      he says out of the blue to a Christian that God does not exist (I've seen this happen), then the burden of proof lies with the atheist making that claim.
      That's not true because "there is no Christian god" is not a positive claim, nor is the premise "The Christian god exists" backed up with solid reasoning and evidence.

      Compare that to the negative claim "Evolution is wrong"; the burden of proof is effectively reversed here because Evolution itself has stood up to the burden of proof in the first place.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Kiza View Post
      But you can prove that something doesn't exist: you can search every inch of every country and at the end if you find no unicorns, then you can say confidently, "Unicorns do not exist." But the unicorn and the drug analogy doesn't work, as the matter of gods is a metaphysical matter, and any matter that extends beyond the physical cannot be tested physically, which is the only way humans can test things.

      Ah, but see, that's how the world works. The person who is claiming existence must have proof, not the person denying it.

      That said, the people DENYING existence have loads of proof. Those claiming it have little to none. See what i'm saying? It's not a debate in the scientific world, it's a blowout.

      That said, science is really what we believe in. If science is wrong, we change it. Sure, there are things science can't explain. Things beyond us, like the beginning of existence, the afterlife if there is one, but we don't know. We don't say we do know and put a "truth" out there. We simply don't know, we don't say "Well it's obvious that you go to heaven/hell"

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      The thing is, both sides think they're right and are going to argue until their dying breathes because somehow I doubt we're going to have a Star Trek-like scenario where all humans are atheists.
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      Quote Originally Posted by youssarian View Post
      The thing is, both sides think they're right and are going to argue until their dying breathes because somehow I doubt we're going to have a Star Trek-like scenario where all humans are atheists.
      I need to go watch Star Trek.

      The key to it is to just leave them alone and not give yourself opportunities for them to preach it to you. One of my friends (15 years) is a pastor and it never bothers me, cause I don't give him opportunities.

      Never get into an unorganized religion vs atheism debate. Never ends well.

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      Quote Originally Posted by jarrhead View Post
      Never get into an unorganized religion vs atheism debate. Never ends well.
      Sincerely, I am atheist, and have a lot of respect for non-organized religions. Of course they are not perfect, but neither is life.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kromoh View Post
      Sincerely, I am atheist, and have a lot of respect for non-organized religions. Of course they are not perfect, but neither is life.
      Not what I meant.

      I was talking about having a debate that is unorganized with a religious person, like you and somebody you know.

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      Quote Originally Posted by jarrhead View Post
      Not what I meant.

      I was talking about having a debate that is unorganized with a religious person, like you and somebody you know.
      Oh lol, now I get it. Yeah. I always avoid those.
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      Quote Originally Posted by youssarian View Post
      The thing is, both sides think they're right and are going to argue until their dying breathes because somehow I doubt we're going to have a Star Trek-like scenario where all humans are atheists.
      'The thing is', on certain subjects we are right (such as evolution of the diversity of life, and cosmology). I'm not going to make any special claim to knowledge that no one can possibly have (like what happens when you die). I can give an opinion based on the evidence I have at hand, but I'll never say that I KNOW. This is the hard line that I will fight to my dying breath to make clear.

      Everyone can have an opinion. Just don't state your opinion is fact unless you can back it up.
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      Atheists attack religion on principle. Blind faith is a silly thing and it should be made aware the dangers of it. Also, religious extremism is the bloodiest historically...

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      Quote Originally Posted by Kiza View Post
      Yes, that's right. But if an atheist asserts that God does not exist without reference to any prior argument, ie. he says out of the blue to a Christian that God does not exist (I've seen this happen), then the burden of proof lies with the atheist making that claim. And that's the kind of atheist I am talking about: the atheist who wishes to convert believers, the atheist who wishes to destroy faith. Every group has its extremists and its fanatics, and that's the only thing I oppose, regardless of belief.

      And this is true. Many atheists only see the extremists. I have no problem with religion as long as it is not shoved down my throat. I have a policy of don't force it on me and I won't force it on you. I try not to convert, but when they force it on me I retaliate. I have led to the conversion of 24 people.

      I have a catholic girlfriend and I am an atheist. What's the worst that will come out of her religion? Oh, she'll live by morals? That's horrible!

      I see no problem with religion as long as it stays as your belief.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Alextanium View Post
      'The thing is', on certain subjects we are right (such as evolution of the diversity of life, and cosmology). I'm not going to make any special claim to knowledge that no one can possibly have (like what happens when you die). I can give an opinion based on the evidence I have at hand, but I'll never say that I KNOW. This is the hard line that I will fight to my dying breath to make clear.

      Everyone can have an opinion. Just don't state your opinion is fact unless you can back it up.

      Also true. Many people ask "where did it all come from then? The big bang?"

      "So where did the big bang or god come from? You know what? We don't know. But that doesn't bother me."

      The thing is that you can always question where something came from. The origin of existence cannot be explained with our level of intelligence, or not at all.

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