A Year Without God

This will be good.

Atheism, secularism & freethought etc.

Moderators: Blip, amok, DarthHelmet86, Matt8819

Re: A Year Without God

#61  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Jan 02, 2014 5:14 pm

Sovereign wrote:
So, I'm making it official and embarking on a new journey. I will "try on" atheism for a year. For the next 12 months I will live as if there is no God. I will not pray, read the Bible for inspiration, refer to God as the cause of things or hope that God might intervene and change my own or someone else's circumstances. (I trust that if there really is a God that God will not be too flummoxed by my foolish experiment and allow others to suffer as a result).

I will read atheist "sacred texts" -- from Hobbes and Spinoza to Russell and Nietzsche to the trinity of New Atheists, Hitchens, Dawkins and Dennett. I will explore the various ways of being atheist, from naturalism (Voltaire, Dewey, et al) to the new 'religious atheists' (Alain de Botton and Ronald Dworkin). I will also attempt to speak to as many actual atheists as possible -- scholars, writers and ordinary unbelievers -- to learn how they have come to their non-faith and what it means to them. I will visit atheist gatherings and try it on.

Full article

His new blog


With that pledge, he has already gotten it wrong. You don't be come an atheist by living some imagined atheist lifestyle. You have to stop believing in God, which I'm not so sure he would be willing to do.

And what the fuck are 'atheist "sacred texts'"?
"Infinite loop?! I don't have time for that!" - Bender Bending Rodríguez
User avatar
CdesignProponentsist
 
Posts: 8516
Age: 47
Male

Country: U.S.A
United States (us)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: A Year Without God

#62  Postby Skinny Puppy » Jan 02, 2014 5:22 pm

Aern Rakesh wrote:
Blackadder wrote:
Aern Rakesh wrote:Look, I know a lot of you think a patently obvious intellectual argument is all it takes to get someone to change their beliefs, but it doesn't work that way. At least in most cases. If someone is going to forsake years of belief and practice...and perhaps more importantly in an emotional sense, the beliefs and practices of those closest to them, what they need is empathy and encouragement. Not intellectual snobbery and questioning their motives from the get go.

This guy has already gone through several changes. He's not an entrenched fundamentalist. Back in the RDF days we used to be very supportive of people who were trying to change. What's happened? This part of the forum is open to the public and he could check it out before getting an account. Just saying... :dunno:


You may disagree Nora but I think this forum is still supportive of those who are interested in changing or at least in trying to genuinely understand the opposing viewpoints to their faith based ideas. It's the preachers and wibblers who get most of the flak so far as I can see, and deservedly so.


I'm not just talking about people who come here 'asking for it', so to speak. Yeah, I have no problem with the volleys thrown at them. But I'm talking about some of the posts about 'religious people' in general, the language used and the sweeping generalisations that are made on a regular basis.

In the case of this guy, I think the deck is already stacked against him feeling welcome here if he would happen to read this thread before joining. I'm just saying that if I were invited I would check the forum out before joining.

I suppose he could pretend to be someone else, but then he might get in trouble with his blog, which is open to the public, and where he seems to want to genuinely chronicle his experience.


I agree with your many posts on this.

If he does come here he needs to be treated with kid gloves. A barrage against him will probably put his back against the wall and he may feel that the other side is more rational.

Not in these words, but saying “Theists are dumb fucks!” won’t win him over. Calm, rational arguments might work, peppered with some empathy for his position.

A friend of mine who is in sales told me that you always agree with the potential customer (regardless of the nonsense they say) and then you show them how they are wrong, all the while having just told them they are right. The second, the very second you tell them they’re wrong: you’ve lost them.

That’s sales, this is theology, but the point still holds.
Image
Image
User avatar
Skinny Puppy
 
Name: Sherlock Jeffrey Puppy
Posts: 6663
Age: 31
Male

Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#63  Postby scott1328 » Jan 02, 2014 6:32 pm

Skinny Puppy wrote:

If he does come here he needs to be treated with kid gloves. A barrage against him will probably put his back against the wall and he may feel that the other side is more rational.

There is no reason to give this guy (or anyone else) "kid-gloves" treatment. His postings will stand or fall on their own merit and his treatment by the membership will mostly depend on how he reacts to having his cherished opinions torn apart.


Not in these words, but saying “Theists are dumb fucks!” won’t win him over. Calm, rational arguments might work, peppered with some empathy for his position.

But this is true for *everyone* who posts here. This admonishment should apply for everyone.
User avatar
scott1328
 
Name: Some call me... Tim
Posts: 3539
Male

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#64  Postby Agrippina » Jan 02, 2014 6:48 pm

Maybe he should start his holiday from mythology by reading the Bible critically.
Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature.
Michael Faraday
User avatar
Agrippina
 
Posts: 33190
Age: 103
Female

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#65  Postby Aern Rakesh » Jan 02, 2014 6:58 pm

Agrippina wrote:Maybe he should start his holiday from mythology by reading the Bible critically.


Maybe he should read Joseph Campbell and discover that myth isn't the same thing as religion, but a metaphoric genre which still has its uses today when not taken literally. :sigh:
Image
User avatar
Aern Rakesh
RS Donator
 
Posts: 13582
Age: 65
Female

Country: UK (London)
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#66  Postby Agrippina » Jan 02, 2014 7:03 pm

Aern Rakesh wrote:
Agrippina wrote:Maybe he should start his holiday from mythology by reading the Bible critically.


Maybe he should read Joseph Campbell and discover that myth isn't the same thing as religion, but a metaphoric genre which still has its uses today when not taken literally. :sigh:


Yes. :thumbup:
Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature.
Michael Faraday
User avatar
Agrippina
 
Posts: 33190
Age: 103
Female

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#67  Postby HomerJay » Jan 02, 2014 10:07 pm

Skinny Puppy wrote:
Aern Rakesh wrote:I'm not just talking about people who come here 'asking for it', so to speak. Yeah, I have no problem with the volleys thrown at them. But I'm talking about some of the posts about 'religious people' in general, the language used and the sweeping generalisations that are made on a regular basis.

In the case of this guy, I think the deck is already stacked against him feeling welcome here if he would happen to read this thread before joining. I'm just saying that if I were invited I would check the forum out before joining.

I suppose he could pretend to be someone else, but then he might get in trouble with his blog, which is open to the public, and where he seems to want to genuinely chronicle his experience.


I agree with your many posts on this.

If he does come here he needs to be treated with kid gloves. A barrage against him will probably put his back against the wall and he may feel that the other side is more rational.

Yes, the Empathy for Amish parents killing their child post was a classic of the genre. Unsurpassed.
For me, the value of a climb is the sum of three inseparable elements, all equally important: aesthetics, history, and ethics

Walter Bonatti 1930-2011

"All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand" - Steven Wright
User avatar
HomerJay
 
Posts: 5868
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: A Year Without God

#68  Postby HomerJay » Jan 02, 2014 10:10 pm

So, I'm making it official and embarking on a new journey. I will "try on" atheism for a year. For the next 12 months I will live as if there is no God. I will not pray, read the Bible for inspiration, refer to God as the cause of things or hope that God might intervene and change my own or someone else's circumstances.

Or Anglicanism as it's also called.
For me, the value of a climb is the sum of three inseparable elements, all equally important: aesthetics, history, and ethics

Walter Bonatti 1930-2011

"All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand" - Steven Wright
User avatar
HomerJay
 
Posts: 5868
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#69  Postby Skinny Puppy » Jan 02, 2014 10:45 pm

HomerJay wrote:
Skinny Puppy wrote:
Aern Rakesh wrote:I'm not just talking about people who come here 'asking for it', so to speak. Yeah, I have no problem with the volleys thrown at them. But I'm talking about some of the posts about 'religious people' in general, the language used and the sweeping generalisations that are made on a regular basis.

In the case of this guy, I think the deck is already stacked against him feeling welcome here if he would happen to read this thread before joining. I'm just saying that if I were invited I would check the forum out before joining.

I suppose he could pretend to be someone else, but then he might get in trouble with his blog, which is open to the public, and where he seems to want to genuinely chronicle his experience.


I agree with your many posts on this.

If he does come here he needs to be treated with kid gloves. A barrage against him will probably put his back against the wall and he may feel that the other side is more rational.

Yes, the Empathy for Amish parents killing their child post was a classic of the genre. Unsurpassed.


And that has what to do with the price of tea in China? :scratch:
Image
Image
User avatar
Skinny Puppy
 
Name: Sherlock Jeffrey Puppy
Posts: 6663
Age: 31
Male

Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#70  Postby HomerJay » Jan 02, 2014 10:51 pm

You said you agreed?
For me, the value of a climb is the sum of three inseparable elements, all equally important: aesthetics, history, and ethics

Walter Bonatti 1930-2011

"All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand" - Steven Wright
User avatar
HomerJay
 
Posts: 5868
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#71  Postby Skinny Puppy » Jan 02, 2014 10:56 pm

HomerJay wrote:You said you agreed?


Could you clarify that a wee bit?
Image
Image
User avatar
Skinny Puppy
 
Name: Sherlock Jeffrey Puppy
Posts: 6663
Age: 31
Male

Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#72  Postby Aern Rakesh » Jan 02, 2014 11:00 pm

Skinny Puppy wrote:
HomerJay wrote:You said you agreed?


Could you clarify that a wee bit?


He's just starting the year as he probably intends to continue, having a good old go at me. He misread your post to mean that you agree with ALL my posts on the forum. :roll:
Image
User avatar
Aern Rakesh
RS Donator
 
Posts: 13582
Age: 65
Female

Country: UK (London)
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#73  Postby surreptitious57 » Jan 03, 2014 1:30 am

He thinks he is giving up God but the only way to do that is to actually become an atheist which he is not. So what he is actually giving up is the ritual rather than the belief. He could therefore do all he is doing and still practice his faith. It is
not actually incumbent on him to forgo the ritual at all. The time limit is also problematic because matters of this kind are
not ones one can set their watch to. It tends to be a gradual process that comes of its own volition. One cannot force it

If he came here - and I hope he does - I would just tell him how I see it from my own perspective. I would not proselytise or preach at him as long as he was not in denial of objective truth. I would tell him that religion exists because of fear of death but as one was dead before they were born then that fear is entirely without reason. I would tell him that spending the rest of eternity in a state of non consciousness is nothing to be afraid of and indeed should be welcomed. I would tell him that from both a mathematical and scientific perspective we are incredibly fortunate to exist at all and so should be grateful for that and not expect more just because we have developed the ability to philosophise about the nature of our own existence
I would tell him that the root of morality lies in psychology not religion. And that ones own moral code determines whether they are a good human being and not their faith which is incidental to that

I would also tell him that I could not care less what anyone believes or thinks as long as they do not impose their views
on others. I would also tell him that although I am no longer Christian that the Sermon On the Mount is a truly beautiful statement on how one should behave towards their fellow human beings. That and the Golden Rule which Jesus took even further and which was also referenced by Confucius and Buddha before him. And speaking of Buddha I would also tell him that we should heed his advice on accepting nothing and questioning everything. Which would neatly segue into respect for objective truth vis a vis the Scientific Method. I would tell him that it is also important to retain an open mind as much as possible and that there is nothing wrong in just not knowing as no one has a monopoly on wisdom anyway

I would finish by telling him that ultimately none of this matters in the grand scheme of things because all life eventually dies. But what is important is what we do while we are here. Which for me is to be a good human being [ a work in progress that one ] and have a raison d etre in ones life [ mine being the pursuit of knowledge ] I would then finish by wishing him all the best in his life whatever he discovered at the end of his year and shake his hand and see him on his way [ assuming he did not want to stay ] And hopefully I would have learnt from it too. All that is what I would tell him if he came here. And so for that reason if no other I hope he does [ so thanks to hack for inviting him ]
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
surreptitious57
 
Posts: 4847

Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#74  Postby DougC » Jan 03, 2014 1:56 am

:this:
Well said.
To do, is to be (Socrate)
To be, is to do (Sartre)
Do be do be do (Sinatra)
SUBWAY(1985)
DougC
 
Posts: 7139
Age: 41
Male

Country: Cassiterides
Falkland Islands (fk)
Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#75  Postby Agrippina » Jan 03, 2014 7:45 am

I agree.
Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature.
Michael Faraday
User avatar
Agrippina
 
Posts: 33190
Age: 103
Female

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: A Year Without God

#76  Postby quas » Jan 03, 2014 10:25 am

surreptitious57 wrote:The time limit is also problematic because matters of this kind are
not ones one can set their watch to. It tends to be a gradual process that comes of its own volition. One cannot force it.

Why would time limit be a factor anyway? Arguments for atheism is concise enough. You can even express it in two words: No Evidence. It doesn't take 10,000 hours of rational thinking to come to that conclusion.
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem
those who think alike than those who think differently. -Nietzsche
User avatar
quas
 
Posts: 962

Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#77  Postby surreptitious57 » Jan 03, 2014 10:54 am

quas wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
The time limit is also problematic because matters of this kind are not ones one can set their
watch to. It tends to be a gradual process that comes of its own volition. One cannot force it

Why would time limit be a factor anyway? Arguments for atheism is concise enough. You can even express
it in two words: No Evidence. It doesn't take 10,000 hours of rational thinking to come to that conclusion

If it were that easy then the entire planet would be atheist. As it is that figure is no more than twenty per cent. Whatever one may think of religion it is not something one leaves effortlessly. There are powerful psychological and philosophical restraints in place. You are talking about the complete abolition of a way of thinking in exchange for absolutely nothing
when you go from theism to atheism. It is all very well referencing it from this side but that is not the side that those who are experiencing doubt happen to be on unfortunately. If only it was
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
surreptitious57
 
Posts: 4847

Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#78  Postby Aern Rakesh » Jan 03, 2014 11:08 am

surreptitious57 wrote:If it were that easy then the entire planet would be atheist. As it is that figure is no more than twenty per cent. Whatever one may think of religion it is not something one leaves effortlessly. There are powerful psychological and philosophical restraints in place. You are talking about the complete abolition of a way of thinking in exchange for absolutely nothing when you go from theism to atheism. It is all very well referencing it from this side but that is not the side that those who are experiencing doubt happen to be on unfortunately. If only it was


It isn't just 'restraints' that keep people religious. There are certain common experiences for which religions often give context. Of course I don't believe these are 'supernatural', but to the individuals who experience them they are very powerful. I actually believe they are natural, in that they are part of human experience—and for all I know, other animals have them as well. A person can choose to just dismiss them or they can focus on them, that's an individual's choice.

I do agree with you, surrep, that it isn't just a question of seeing the error in one's thinking. No amount of logic is going to trump something that makes you feel good, that makes you feel connected to the cosmos and to other people. And of course atheists can experience those feelings, I'm just saying that a lot of religious people experience them in the context of their religion. As long as someone isn't demanding that all of life and human experience must be understood in terms of their world view, why should we demand the same?
Image
User avatar
Aern Rakesh
RS Donator
 
Posts: 13582
Age: 65
Female

Country: UK (London)
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#79  Postby HomerJay » Jan 03, 2014 11:42 am

Aern Rakesh wrote:
Skinny Puppy wrote:
HomerJay wrote:You said you agreed?


Could you clarify that a wee bit?


He's just starting the year as he probably intends to continue, having a good old go at me. He misread your post to mean that you agree with ALL my posts on the forum. :roll:

It's an interesting pereption Nora.

Do you remember a couple of years ago when you accused me of constantly attacking you and I had to point that there was a whole calendar year between our 2 clashes? You blamed it on your memory but really it was just a big fucking lie.

Which you followed up with a nice range of personal abuse.

The sheer two faced hypocrisy is incredible you regularly attack individuals, the membership, the board yet if your shit is challenged you make up more shit about how it's you that is being attacked.

Aern Rakesh wrote:
Scar wrote:
I don't care what their reasons are, frankly. There's a child's life at stake.


And I said that I was glad the child was getting the treatment she needed.

But...never mind. I'll just let you all be superior in your smug superiority.


You've been hitting us with this emotional stick schtick since RDF days, same old same old. :roll: Quite why you were surprised that a forum that was started off the back of the success of The God Delusion was unwelcoming to your critique of religion as a delusion is anybody's guess.

It's nosedive karma Nora, why you make your most outlandish comments on the most stupid things, we can only wonder. (The Amish killing kids, the psychic projections on burka wearers, which were just totally fraudulent claims about seeing emotions, to be treated with the same sneering, mocking disdain that spirit mediums get for claiming to be speaking to the Other Side)

How many threads have you managed to get this into recently? Pulsar pulled you up on the 2 you started, then you even managed to get it into the 'Catholic school security guard kills disrespectful student' thread, just for the sake of it.

So you post a sudden rash of dumb and then if challenged, some psychic distress beacon goes off and you claim you're under attack.

It's The Nora Delusion.
For me, the value of a climb is the sum of three inseparable elements, all equally important: aesthetics, history, and ethics

Walter Bonatti 1930-2011

"All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand" - Steven Wright
User avatar
HomerJay
 
Posts: 5868
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: A Year Without God

#80  Postby Andrew4Handel » Jan 03, 2014 4:43 pm

I think what this man is doing is incoherent.

I think he is mistaking common atheist opinions for being an atheist.

You can be an atheist without committing yourself to the implausibility of gods.

You can be a nihilistic atheist who doesn't think life without gods is a positive scenario and that things like morality become incoherent.
Andrew4Handel
 
Posts: 1460

Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Nontheism

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 2 guests