Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

Atheism, secularism & freethought etc.

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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#61  Postby trubble76 » Oct 14, 2010 7:10 pm

Andrew4Handel wrote:
trubble76 wrote:
Yes, the "you're as bad as us" defence. But then atheists don't claim a cast-iron set of morals handed down directly from gawd.


It wasn't a defence I was just pointing out that it was wrong to try and blame 9/11 on anyone who believed in or speculated about god/s.

I think that the case of 20th century atrocities does prove that we don't need religious belief to behave horrendously and that societies that scrap religion don't neccessarily improve and that it can result in a loss of moral compass.

Life is suggesting that by believing in god your on the road to commiting 9/11 style atrocities. 9/11 was plotted and carried out by a few dozen people. Genocide in the last century involved big swathes of society participating in or ignoring brutality and failing to make decent moral decisions..

I don't see why someone should not be allowed to make up their own mind about god/s without being harangued or abused. that in no way has anything to do with accepting barbaric religious practises.

It's totalitarian to try and ridicule or demean all religious or deist standpoints and not accept peoples ability as individuals to come to a coherent decision on these matters.


Because it doesn't often stay in the mind they made. If people kept their religion to theirselves it wouldn't be a problem, would it? But no, religions seek to grow like a cancerous tumour. They try to grab people at their most vulnerable, they insist that their beliefs should dictate how others live, they codemn, they abuse, the rob and they lie, and then they look down on those others for being immoral heathens/infidel/gentiles.

I don't agree that ridicule is totalitarian, I think it's a reasonable response to the childish rubbish spouted by people that should know better. There's no santa, no storks to bring babies, no tooth fairies, no goblins, and no half-man half-gods that turn water into wine and take their constitutional on a lake instead of around it. To believe such a thing is one matter, to criticise others for not believing it is worthy of all the ridicule I can muster.
If you don't agree that religion makes people do/say/believe some truly ridicule-worthy things, get thee to youtube, or a church/synagogue/mosque/temple, or read the bible/koran/torah. It's laugh-a-minute stuff.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#62  Postby Nebogipfel » Oct 14, 2010 10:19 pm

Andrew4Handel wrote:
LIFE wrote:If it wouldn't matter events like the one in the picture wouldn't have happened.


Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and others killed hundreds of millions of people and they didn't believe in god. You could argue that not believing in God caused these atrocities because people couldn't be held accountable for their actions and made up their own new warped moral virtues.


No, you could argue that not being accountable for their actions and making up their own new warped moral virtues caused those atrocities. If the not believing in God bit had anything to do with it, then why aren't atheist forums full of people approving of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot?



You seriously want to blame 9/11 on anyone who believes in or speculates about God.


I doubt if LIFE wants to do that.


Wouldn't you be better blaming Islamic fandamentalism ?


Yep. I think "God" is quite a fundamental part of Islamic fundamentalism.


Believing in a creator deity doesn't mean you agree with corrosive religious ideas.


Quite right. It's the corrosive religious ideas that are the problem. Unfortunately, belief in God is what helps corrosive religious ideas to spread.


But I do like the way you try and use 9/11 as a detterent against peiople speculating about god.


I think he's using 9/11 as a deterrent against people flying airliners into skyscrapers because they think that this is what God wants them to do.


In the same way I'll use Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Jeffrey Dahmer the Columbine and Finland school shootings et al as a warning against not believing in god.... :coffee:


Since you've just tried to point out how much of a fallacy this is, why would you want to do that? :dunno:


Actually though.. atrocities prove to some people how doomed society would be if we had to just really on the human spirit and values to function.


Well, more fool them.
Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#63  Postby sanja » Oct 15, 2010 10:14 am

Nebogipfel wrote:

I doubt if LIFE wants to do that.

He might not wanted that, but he did that.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#64  Postby LIFE » Oct 15, 2010 10:20 am

sanja wrote:
Nebogipfel wrote:

I doubt if LIFE wants to do that.

He might not wanted that, but he did that.


No I did not, stop putting words in my mouth and misrepresenting my viewpoint please. Thank you.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#65  Postby sanja » Oct 15, 2010 11:20 am

LIFE wrote:
sanja wrote:
Nebogipfel wrote:

I doubt if LIFE wants to do that.

He might not wanted that, but he did that.


No I did not, stop putting words in my mouth and misrepresenting my viewpoint please. Thank you.

But you didn't answer my question. And so you left some space for presumtions :mrgreen:

sanja wrote:Life, than what does this sentence mean:

If it wouldn't matter events like the one in the picture wouldn't have happened.


?
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#66  Postby LarianLeQuella » Oct 15, 2010 1:32 pm

Ubjon wrote:When you look at God from the perspective of the null hypothesis the atheist position becomes clearer and accusations that it required faith are shown to be misplaced. The null hypothesis being that there is no supernatural agent and in the absence of evidence to support the hypothesis that there is a supernatural agent out there the null hypothesis stands the God hypothesis is discarded.

It does not require faith to recognise that a hypothesis lacks the evidence to supplant the null hypothesis. It takes faith to supplant the null hypothesis with an unsupported hypothesis, the God hypothesis.


Excellent quote!
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#67  Postby LIFE » Oct 15, 2010 3:07 pm

sanja wrote:Life, than what does this sentence mean:

If it wouldn't matter events like the one in the picture wouldn't have happened.


?


Some terror in this world is rooted in religion and religious fundamentalism.
Such convictions are dangerous and is all I was pointing out. Unfortunately there's a lot of people who hurt others because of their religious beliefs, especially muslims. If that weren't the case I wouldn't object.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#68  Postby tuco » Oct 15, 2010 4:45 pm

LIFE wrote:
sanja wrote:Life, than what does this sentence mean:

If it wouldn't matter events like the one in the picture wouldn't have happened.


?


Some terror in this world is rooted in religion and religious fundamentalism.
Such convictions are dangerous and is all I was pointing out. Unfortunately there's a lot of people who hurt others because of their religious beliefs, especially muslims. If that weren't the case I wouldn't object.


Not sure if to jump in or not, however, if there is "a lot" I would hope you could name at least 10 such cases where religion is, objectively, the primary cause, because if you list 9/11 (or Israeli-Palestinian conflict?) then I will have to disagree with the notion that their causes are rooted in religion, religious fundamentalism in particular.

Then again, such debate will quickly derail to personal understanding of ... cause.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#69  Postby sanja » Oct 15, 2010 5:52 pm

LIFE wrote:
Some terror in this world is rooted in religion and religious fundamentalism.
Such convictions are dangerous and is all I was pointing out. Unfortunately there's a lot of people who hurt others because of their religious beliefs, especially muslims. If that weren't the case I wouldn't object.

Why is the reason of their violant behavior important?
I mean, people hurt others for many reasons - money, oil resources, land, etc.
reigion is just one of reasons.

Is money evil?
I mean, I bet a lot of people has been killed because of money.

And I would not agree with "especially muslims".
Christians also kill people, jews kill people, etc.

Ok, budists don't. But I do not see why "especially muslims".
I grew up with people who are muslims. They're fine.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#70  Postby LarianLeQuella » Oct 15, 2010 5:58 pm

sanja wrote:
Why is the reason of their violant behavior important?
I mean, people hurt others for many reasons - money, oil resources, land, etc.
reigion is just one of reasons.

Is money evil?
I mean, I bet a lot of people has been killed because of money.


Well, one distinction here is the thought processes. Religion is a bunch of wibble that has no basis in reality.

Money, oil, land, etc. are resources that (arguably) aid in survival and are a requirement for the functioning of society.

Religion is just faulty reasoning, and bad logic attempting to intrude on not only the practitojner's reality, but the reality of those around them, even though nothing in religion itself is real.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#71  Postby sanja » Oct 15, 2010 7:55 pm

LarianLeQuella wrote:
sanja wrote:
Why is the reason of their violant behavior important?
I mean, people hurt others for many reasons - money, oil resources, land, etc.
reigion is just one of reasons.

Is money evil?
I mean, I bet a lot of people has been killed because of money.


Well, one distinction here is the thought processes. Religion is a bunch of wibble that has no basis in reality.

Money, oil, land, etc. are resources that (arguably) aid in survival and are a requirement for the functioning of society.

Religion is just faulty reasoning, and bad logic attempting to intrude on not only the practitojner's reality, but the reality of those around them, even though nothing in religion itself is real.


ah ... the military man.
Ok, from your position, position of the man who's job is to kill (if "needed"), yes, it is so. To kill someone for money, land, oil is far mor "reasonable" than kill him because some "divinity said so".

I'm talking from the position of someone who might be killed.
frankly, I would rather be killed by deluded muslim fundamentalist, than by american soldier who would reasonably kill me for money.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#72  Postby sanja » Oct 15, 2010 8:02 pm

How many countries muslims invaded in last 20 years?
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#73  Postby LarianLeQuella » Oct 15, 2010 8:21 pm

You are letting your predjudice show a bit too much. And I have since retired from the military since the last time I had to put up with your innane predjudices, and I still feel the same way.

And to kill (or subjigate) for resources actually nets the agressor something (i.e. those resources). Being deluded and carrying out actions only expends resources, and is counter to survival and well being (for anyone involved in the equation). Of course, the right and the wrong of it is a different sotry.

And basically the muslims have really not had too much capability to invade other countries as of late because of their primitive way of approaching things. It's hard to project a dominant power if you are stuck in an 8th century mindset. Arguably, the Iran/Iraq debackle was a good example of that innanity, or Iraq and Kuwait. Don't forget what's going on in Somalia either. But the ability for global projection is again, hard because their scope is so narrow and focused.

But I don't expect you to be too savvy on geo-political impliactions judging by the coherence of many of your other posts. ;)
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#74  Postby tuco » Oct 15, 2010 8:38 pm

Indeed, ability is crucial, or according to abilities perhaps, hence the cause.

But seriously, how can one claim .. if there was no X then Y would not happen? One could only if there was a (known to us)* law of nature governing the event in question.

Export of democracy is as real as religion in certain sense. And no, I do not want to justify anyone and anything, nor to find the cause, merely to exploit simple questions with simple answers.

It was the Islamic radicals, that is for a fact. Was it because of radical Islam? What-if there was no Islam, but other doctrine conflicting with export of democracy? What-if there was no Islam, another doctrine and no export of democracy? What-if aliens landed on Earth? Welcome to the what-if world.

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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#75  Postby sanja » Oct 16, 2010 6:49 am

LarianLeQuella wrote:You are letting your predjudice show a bit too much. And I have since retired from the military since the last time I had to put up with your innane predjudices, and I still feel the same way.

And to kill (or subjigate) for resources actually nets the agressor something (i.e. those resources). Being deluded and carrying out actions only expends resources, and is counter to survival and well being (for anyone involved in the equation). Of course, the right and the wrong of it is a different sotry.

And basically the muslims have really not had too much capability to invade other countries as of late because of their primitive way of approaching things. It's hard to project a dominant power if you are stuck in an 8th century mindset. Arguably, the Iran/Iraq debackle was a good example of that innanity, or Iraq and Kuwait. Don't forget what's going on in Somalia either. But the ability for global projection is again, hard because their scope is so narrow and focused.

So, it is irational to fear of muslims, because>
1) they do not have too much capability to succesfuly invade other countries
2) they cannot project serious dominant power


Why fear of them?
LarianLeQuella wrote:
But I don't expect you to be too savvy on geo-political impliactions judging by the coherence of many of your other posts. ;)

You don't read my posts :mrgreen:
And, beside that, that above was ad hominem :popcorn:
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#76  Postby sanja » Oct 16, 2010 6:54 am


now, that's disgusting. :yuk:
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#77  Postby TheHouseholdCat » May 11, 2014 3:19 pm

Paul Almond wrote:
Sityl wrote:It's similar to saying "I'm not going to win the lottery 100,000 times in a row."

Sure, there's a chance, but come on.

But saying it because it's easier to say or because it very most likely, is different than claiming to have definitive proof that no possible god could exist.

Should there ever arrive a way to prove that there is no god, I'm sure the believers would just shift the goalposts again, as they've been doing for thousands of years.

But saying "There is no god" or "I know there is no god" does not necessarily imply a claim of proof: When we are very, very confident about something, normal language means we don't bother to qualify statements with the "residual" uncertainty. If we had to do that, we would have to qualify everything we said.

This totally depends on the context. Of course, having to prove that there is no God in every possible discussion might not be very useful, but if it's in the context of a discussion on atheism, then you definitely have to deal with these things.

The "residual uncertainty" is something we have to accept, I absolutely agree. But if we are talking about this discussion here... Then we have to go deeper.

I'd argue that it does imply a claim. That is why Carl Sagan (yes, this is my assumption) did not like the term "atheism". Just because it is easier to abandon an idea completely doesn't mean the idea is wrong. This happens in all kinds of contexts and sometimes it's ok. But usually it just means we go for the easiest way, which is not necessarily the best. Then we will tend to see our assumptions and preconceptions as the only possible solution or the "truest" solution.

I know this is widely accepted and having studied Philosophy for four years I know how much convention overrules ideas. This is why even in disciplines where truth is the "main goal", the truth gets lost a little. Just look at neurosexism, which is probably the best example... It makes a lot of assumptions and basically all the conclusions there are mere assumptions as well, drawn from preconceptions and convention. And it is trying to appeal to a particular demographic.

Of course, if you really try hard, people will go like "Ah, but what are we supposed to do with that, this is not useful." But most things are useful, even if they don't look that way. Why would findings be more useful if they prove what we already know? Or prove something that has been around for thousands of years because we just got used to it? Science is all about overthrowing old ideas, even if it feels nicer to keep them. So we can feel more comfortable...
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#78  Postby TheHouseholdCat » May 11, 2014 3:37 pm

Paul Almond wrote:
Sityl wrote:It's similar to saying "I'm not going to win the lottery 100,000 times in a row."

Sure, there's a chance, but come on.

But saying it because it's easier to say or because it very most likely, is different than claiming to have definitive proof that no possible god could exist.

Should there ever arrive a way to prove that there is no god, I'm sure the believers would just shift the goalposts again, as they've been doing for thousands of years.

But saying "There is no god" or "I know there is no god" does not necessarily imply a claim of proof: When we are very, very confident about something, normal language means we don't bother to qualify statements with the "residual" uncertainty. If we had to do that, we would have to qualify everything we said.

But it does imply a claim. And especially in the context of a discussion on atheism we have to pay attention to the "residual uncertainty". We have to go beyond what feels comfortable. Because some assumptions prove to be wrong or contradictory if we examine them in more detail.

A lot of things we are confident about do not necessarily reflect reality. I am confident about many things, but if I really think about them, then they are not really true. They are just what I have come to believe. And that's why people discuss things. Because we can't just think our assumptions are true. And I guess that is probably why Carl Sagan did not identify as "atheist". I can really relate to what he said. It just seems so tempting to choose atheism. Like a lot of people who have been raised as Christians, Muslims, etc are tempted to stick to that belief all their life.

Maybe it also depends on whether you have been raised Christian, etc. It's just something I keep asking myself. If you had to go through the whole process of destroying something that has been obvious to you all your life and reach a point where you are free of all that... It's all different. And then choosing something else... It just seems too easy. It's very black and white. And you create new things to distinguish yourself from others. This does not have anything to do with what you believe in. But it's still weird.

And if you choose to stay in a grey area where you can be attacked from all sides... It's more difficult. But that's the only place where you can challenge beliefs. Of course, if you want none of that, then you can consider yourself an atheist - the way that Carl Sagan understood the term.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#79  Postby Nicko » May 14, 2014 8:04 am

TheHouseholdCat wrote:The "residual uncertainty" is something we have to accept, I absolutely agree. But if we are talking about this discussion here... Then we have to go deeper.


Why? What's so special about a discussion of deities that we have to abandon a perfectly serviceable convention of human communication in this case and in this case only?

TheHouseholdCat wrote:I'd argue that it does imply a claim.


You can if you like. Will you be doing this any time soon? It's just that the rest of your post contains no argument to this effect.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#80  Postby THWOTH » May 14, 2014 8:22 am

TheHouseholdCat wrote:
Paul Almond wrote:
Sityl wrote:It's similar to saying "I'm not going to win the lottery 100,000 times in a row."

Sure, there's a chance, but come on.

But saying it because it's easier to say or because it very most likely, is different than claiming to have definitive proof that no possible god could exist.

Should there ever arrive a way to prove that there is no god, I'm sure the believers would just shift the goalposts again, as they've been doing for thousands of years.

But saying "There is no god" or "I know there is no god" does not necessarily imply a claim of proof: When we are very, very confident about something, normal language means we don't bother to qualify statements with the "residual" uncertainty. If we had to do that, we would have to qualify everything we said.

But it does imply a claim. And especially in the context of a discussion on atheism we have to pay attention to the "residual uncertainty". We have to go beyond what feels comfortable. Because some assumptions prove to be wrong or contradictory if we examine them in more detail.

A lot of things we are confident about do not necessarily reflect reality. I am confident about many things, but if I really think about them, then they are not really true. They are just what I have come to believe. And that's why people discuss things. Because we can't just think our assumptions are true. And I guess that is probably why Carl Sagan did not identify as "atheist". I can really relate to what he said. It just seems so tempting to choose atheism. Like a lot of people who have been raised as Christians, Muslims, etc are tempted to stick to that belief all their life.

Maybe it also depends on whether you have been raised Christian, etc. It's just something I keep asking myself. If you had to go through the whole process of destroying something that has been obvious to you all your life and reach a point where you are free of all that... It's all different. And then choosing something else... It just seems too easy. It's very black and white. And you create new things to distinguish yourself from others. This does not have anything to do with what you believe in. But it's still weird.

And if you choose to stay in a grey area where you can be attacked from all sides... It's more difficult. But that's the only place where you can challenge beliefs. Of course, if you want none of that, then you can consider yourself an atheist - the way that Carl Sagan understood the term.

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