Do You Promote Atheism?

Is it a moral obligation?

Atheism, secularism & freethought etc.

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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#21  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jul 18, 2016 12:47 am

Keep It Real wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:I think everybody has been told by an authority figure at one time or another "rape is wrong". What's the difference between living by that instruction rather than the words of a preacher? Nobody needs the ten commandments IMO - I'm surprised you disagree!

Difference is, I can tell you why rape is wrong. As I said, I've seen some startling shit on this forum, theists claiming there's no reason for them to not go out and rape and murder unless there was the rules of God hanging over them.


I reckon they just say that shit because they're defending their belief - making out like it's necessary. You call it startling stuff but in the next breath you actually agree with them!

Well I wouldn't find it wouldn't be startling if I didn't believe them, would it? :smile:

I doubt they're complete strangers to moral reasoning and empathy. They wouldn't torture a puppy but there's no commandment against it.

And yet they'll do terrible things in the name of religion. Some folks are just too malleable to think for themselves, I guess.

Something of an aside, but does it actually say in the bible that rape is a sin? Can't quote that one from memory.

That would be an interesting quote considering how much rape there is in the Bible!
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#22  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 18, 2016 12:51 am

SafeAsMilk wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
Something of an aside, but does it actually say in the bible that rape is a sin? Can't quote that one from memory.

That would be an interesting quote considering how much rape there is in the Bible!


So not only do Christians know that rape is wrong, despite the fact it doesn't say that, but they actually deny the passages which demonstrate it!
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#23  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 18, 2016 12:55 am

SafeAsMilk wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
I doubt they're complete strangers to moral reasoning and empathy. They wouldn't torture a puppy but there's no commandment against it.

And yet they'll do terrible things in the name of religion. Some folks are just too malleable to think for themselves, I guess.


I agree that religion leads people astray a lot of the time. I wish they'd think for themselves. We'll never know if a suicide bomber would have been a good moral reasoner without their religion but it's safe to say we'd take the chance of removing their theism.
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#24  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jul 18, 2016 1:00 am

Keep It Real wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
Something of an aside, but does it actually say in the bible that rape is a sin? Can't quote that one from memory.

That would be an interesting quote considering how much rape there is in the Bible!


So not only do Christians know that rape is wrong, despite the fact it doesn't say that, but they actually deny the passages which demonstrate it!

Are you under the impression that the Bible doesn't contradict itself? Are you sure there's no quote that condemns rape, or a quote that you could pretend says you shouldn't rape? You don't seem very familiar with the gymnastics of religious dogma :lol: Also with the fact that most Christians don't really know their Bible very well, they just go along with what their church leaders tell them. It's that community thing you seem to admire.
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#25  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jul 18, 2016 1:01 am

Keep It Real wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
I doubt they're complete strangers to moral reasoning and empathy. They wouldn't torture a puppy but there's no commandment against it.

And yet they'll do terrible things in the name of religion. Some folks are just too malleable to think for themselves, I guess.


I agree that religion leads people astray a lot of the time. I wish they'd think for themselves. We'll never know if a suicide bomber would have been a good moral reasoner without their religion but it's safe to say we'd take the chance of removing their theism.

Sorry, I'm not going to get close enough to argue with a suicide bomber :mrgreen:
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#26  Postby thaesofereode » Jul 18, 2016 1:25 am

laklak wrote:Not really, I think we still need it. Haven't you heard theists argue that without God everybody would be raping and murdering? They're talking about themselves when they say that. Not everyone can keep an even keel without the carrot of Heaven and the stick of Hell. Of course some people take it too far, as we see every day.


Yes. And yet I also can't help thinking of all the unbelievably horrific things that people have done with religion as the excuse or pretext/justification.

I don't promote it because it seems to me that people either get it or they don't. No one ever tried to convince me either way, and yet I arrived at the "there's no evidence" position on my own.

EDIT: I want to add that I strongly feel that humans can behave in perfectly ethical ways WITHOUT having to subscribe to any particular "brand" of organized religion.

Years ago at the age of about 12 I had occasion to meet Madalyn Murray O'Hair backstage at a speaking engagement, and I will never forget it. Asked about my position at that time, I volunteered the information that I was an Agnostic. I will never forget her response. She pinned me with a look and said simply and directly to me "Ah, a closet Atheist, eh?" It was at once a challenge and an indictment. In that single, simple statement she gave me a philosophical "shove" --- "Get honest with yourself" was my takeaway from that. And I was simultaneously slightly offended that an "adult" would be so blunt and almost "mean" and not cut a little slack for a kid (me) --- AND honored that she would treat me with enough respect to truly challenge me despite my young age. She certainly DID promote Atheism, and that was her choice. A courageous one at the time, given the context she was in. But she also paid a high price for it.
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#27  Postby Sciwoman » Jul 18, 2016 5:31 am

Believers generally were not argued into believing, so arguments aren't going to change their minds. At most, it will give the believer something to think about and hopefully that will eventually lead them to thinking themselves out of their belief.

However, there are those who never have that seed planted, but manage to find their way out of believing. All those those inconsistencies do finally build up for some people and lead them to find their own way out.
Religion is not the answer-it is the problem. Everything considered, we would be better off without it.~Baubles of Blasphemy~Edwin F. Kagin
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#28  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Jul 18, 2016 6:11 am

Nope, not an evangelist.
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#29  Postby Briton » Jul 18, 2016 8:23 am

I argue against woo when ever I get the chance.
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#30  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jul 18, 2016 8:44 am

Keep It Real wrote:I think that belief in gods excuses humanity from caring for each other and the planet, as they rely on gods to take care of things. I think that the doctrine of hell is a terrible blightcondemning millions to lives of servitude and terror. I think that belief in gods is divisive and inherently bad for civilisation.


Shouldn't one evangelise (right word?) atheism? How?

I don't promote atheism, I promote skepticism and critical thinking.
I subscribe to the idea that people should be thaught how to think, not what.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#31  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 18, 2016 8:52 am

Laudable, Thomas. Doesn't arguing for atheism encourage critical thinking though? I mean, it's a great vessel within which to discuss critical thinking and skepticism. Saying simply "Only believe that for which there is robust evidence; robust evidence need meet the following criteria..." is a bit stale IMO. A working example is much more salient.
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#32  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jul 18, 2016 8:56 am

Keep It Real wrote:Laudable, Thomas. Doesn't arguing for atheism encourage critical thinking though?

I don't see how you can argue for atheism, specifically.
The best you can do is point out there's no evidence for theism. Which isn't an actual argument.
The burden of proof, after all, lies with theism.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#33  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 18, 2016 9:07 am

I'm not sure there's adifference between arguing against theism and arguing for atheism. Arguments against theism range beyond pointing out there is no evidence however, eg the suffering of innocent people, evolution etc.
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#34  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jul 18, 2016 9:23 am

Keep It Real wrote:I'm not sure there's adifference between arguing against theism and arguing for atheism. Arguments against theism range beyond pointing out there is no evidence however, eg the suffering of innocent people, evolution etc.

The difference is that the burden of proof lies with theists.
Atheists don't have to argue anything unlesss and until theists actually manage to present some evidence for their assertions.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#35  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 18, 2016 9:46 am

I'm not skilled at your style of discourse Thomas, so please be patient with me, but if everybody in the world was a christian and somebody said "there is no god" wouldn't that be an assertion? If somebody said "evolution is false" wouldn't that be an assertion? I clearly have no idea what I'm talking about so please enlighten me.
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#36  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jul 18, 2016 9:48 am

Keep It Real wrote:I'm not skilled at your style of discourse Thomas, so please be patient with me,

Of course. :thumbup:

Keep It Real wrote: but if everybody in the world was a christian and somebody said "there is no god" wouldn't that be an assertion?

Yes.
However atheism =/= 'there is no god'.

Keep It Real wrote:If somebody said "evolution is false" wouldn't that be an assertion? I clearly have no idea what I'm talking about so please enlighten me.

The innocent mistake you're making is to conflate atheism with the claim that a god or gods don't exist.
That's a form of atheism, often called strong atheism.
However atheism in general, and in it's basic form, is simple the lack of belief that a god exist.
Not the claim that they definitely don't.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#37  Postby Sendraks » Jul 18, 2016 10:07 am

Briton wrote:I argue against woo when ever I get the chance.


Same.
However, this is promoting critical/rational thinking as opposed to atheism. After all, being an atheist doesn't stop people from believing in illogical, un-evidenced crap.
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#38  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 18, 2016 10:12 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:I'm not skilled at your style of discourse Thomas, so please be patient with me,

Of course. :thumbup:

Keep It Real wrote: but if everybody in the world was a christian and somebody said "there is no god" wouldn't that be an assertion?

Yes.
However atheism =/= 'there is no god'.

Keep It Real wrote:If somebody said "evolution is false" wouldn't that be an assertion? I clearly have no idea what I'm talking about so please enlighten me.

The innocent mistake you're making is to conflate atheism with the claim that a god or gods don't exist.
That's a form of atheism, often called strong atheism.
However atheism in general, and in it's basic form, is simple the lack of belief that a god exist.
Not the claim that they definitely don't.


Thanks for elaborating, but I'm still a little confused I'm afraid. What's the difference between lacking a belief in god and thinking there is no god?
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#39  Postby Sendraks » Jul 18, 2016 10:18 am

Keep It Real wrote: What's the difference between lacking a belief in god and thinking there is no god?


To be rational, one should only have beliefs in things which are evidenced to be so. If you go round believing in stuff without evidence or which is contrary to existing evidence, then your beliefs are delusional.

So an atheist is simply someone who lacks delusional beliefs in a particular class of entity, in this case deities. Lacking belief, because you have no evidence, is not a truth claim vis whether a particular thing exists or not, you simply don't have any information on which to base a belief.

An atheist who believes that there is no god (a gnostic atheist), is making a truth claim vis that such an entity does not exist. The usual basis for this is that there is no evidence to support such an entity existing, all the claims of 'acts' by that deity have been demonstrated to be false by science and finally that the actual definition of god is unclear, confused, illogical and contradictory.
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Re: Do You Promote Atheism?

#40  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jul 18, 2016 10:21 am

Sendraks wrote:
Briton wrote:I argue against woo when ever I get the chance.


Same.
However, this is promoting critical/rational thinking as opposed to atheism. After all, being an atheist doesn't stop people from believing in illogical, un-evidenced crap.

:this:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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