Stanfords new definition of atheism

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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#741  Postby Hermit » Jan 02, 2020 2:00 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
Hermit wrote:
So, how do we test for atheism? For that we need a real-world definition of atheism first (which disqualifies the SEP's article on atheism). I go by what another encyclopedia starts off with:
Atheism is, in the broadest sense, an absence of belief in the existence of deities.

The only distinction between atheism and theism that can be made is this absence of belief in the existence of deities.

That treats theism and atheism as two clocks which only exist to wind each other up; such atheism can't exist in the absence of somebody else's belief in deities.

Yes, Cito. If there were no theists - or no atheists - there'd be no clocks that would wind each other up. If winding each other up were the only purpose I'd leave well enough alone.

Unfortunately it's not. Theism has been a Trojan horse to gain and maintain power since time immemorial. It's political. Not only that, it also claims a monopoly on being the provider of morality, which also is ultimately about power and policy. Principally, so the theist argument goes, there are no moral standards without God, and among the God-given moral strictures are:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.

And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also." And so on, and so forth.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#742  Postby Hermit » Jan 02, 2020 2:33 pm

Fallible wrote:Also, why the fuck are we yet again providing definitions of atheism?

It matters for as long as theists rule. Your country has an official religion, and it is not without clout.

Not only are 26 seats of the House of Lords occupied ex officio by archbishops and bishops of the Church of England, but a significant number of members of both houses believe that your country's policies must be morally sound, and that there is no morality unless it is ordained by God as revealed in the Bible.

It's kind of difficult - impossible, actually - to expose theism as a bullshit foundation for policy making unless both theism and atheism are defined.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#743  Postby Cito di Pense » Jan 02, 2020 3:25 pm

Hermit wrote:
Fallible wrote:Also, why the fuck are we yet again providing definitions of atheism?

It matters for as long as theists rule. Your country has an official religion, and it is not without clout.

Not only are 26 seats of the House of Lords occupied ex officio by archbishops and bishops of the Church of England, but a significant number of members of both houses believe that your country's policies must be morally sound, and that there is no morality unless it is ordained by God as revealed in the Bible.

It's kind of difficult - impossible, actually - to expose theism as a bullshit foundation for policy making unless both theism and atheism are defined.


It's tempting to regard modern organized religion as a collection of cults based on some mystical metaphysical rubbish, but it's more tempting to regard modern organized religion as a loose affiliation of criminal gangs sanctioned by the government. I'm sure some of the rank and file do believe in the existence of deities, but nobody trying to run the show is going to get very far if his thinking is that foggy. For them, it's important to talk as if they believe, using the most florid language possible.

If you recall my remarks about "fool me once, shame on you" you'll pick up the thread again, here.

Hermit wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
Hermit wrote:
So, how do we test for atheism? For that we need a real-world definition of atheism first (which disqualifies the SEP's article on atheism). I go by what another encyclopedia starts off with:
Atheism is, in the broadest sense, an absence of belief in the existence of deities.

The only distinction between atheism and theism that can be made is this absence of belief in the existence of deities.

That treats theism and atheism as two clocks which only exist to wind each other up; such atheism can't exist in the absence of somebody else's belief in deities.

Yes, Cito. If there were no theists - or no atheists - there'd be no clocks that would wind each other up. If winding each other up were the only purpose I'd leave well enough alone.

Unfortunately it's not. Theism has been a Trojan horse to gain and maintain power since time immemorial. It's political. Not only that, it also claims a monopoly on being the provider of morality, which also is ultimately about power and policy. Principally, so the theist argument goes, there are no moral standards without God, and among the God-given moral strictures are:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.

And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also." And so on, and so forth.


My comment was directed at the encyclopedia entry you quoted; your more recent remarks take atheism quite some ways beyond simply lacking belief in the existence of deities. I applaud those sentiments, which correctly focus on sectarian dogma and culturally-centered bigotry, rather than on some moldy metaphysical boilerplate. The definition of atheism you selected does not sport a spectacular track record in defusing resentment of atheism; its best showing is in winding up anyone who, well, doesn't genuflect to some moldy metaphysical boilerplate.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#744  Postby Spearthrower » Jan 02, 2020 3:48 pm

arrhythmia = the absence of rhythm
acellular = the absence of cells
acephaly = the absence of a head
acentric = the absence of a centre
achromia = the absence of pigmentation
agnathous = the absence of a jaw
adipsia = the absence of thirst
amoral = the absence of a moral code
anoxia = the absence of oxygen
apathetic = the absence of emotion or interest
agonic = the absence of an angle
aphobia = the absence of fear
aphasia = the absence of language
aphyllous = the absence of leaves
atonic = the absence of tone or pitch
atheism = a contempt for religion, a hatred of religious people, the desire to be selfish, the need to own a fat wallet, the worship of the self, the desire to run round murdering and raping without repercussions, the hatred of God, hypocrisy, idolatry, an insult to 6 billion people... etc.

There's clearly something wrong with this picture. I wonder if the self-espoused heavy-weight thinkers need a colour-by-numbers to figure that out?
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#745  Postby GrahamH » Jan 02, 2020 3:55 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
There's clearly something wrong with this picture. I wonder if the self-espoused heavy-weight thinkers need a colour-by-numbers to figure that out?


It is sufficient to point out that it was authored by jamest.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#746  Postby Spearthrower » Jan 02, 2020 3:58 pm

GrahamH wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
There's clearly something wrong with this picture. I wonder if the self-espoused heavy-weight thinkers need a colour-by-numbers to figure that out?


It is sufficient to point out that it was authored by jamest.



Right, but he's just mindlessly bleating (as usual) uncritically swallowed lines he's heard from others. Jamests are two-a-penny.
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#747  Postby Fallible » Jan 02, 2020 4:04 pm

Hermit wrote:
Fallible wrote:Also, why the fuck are we yet again providing definitions of atheism?

It matters for as long as theists rule.


I am asking why, on this forum, we are continuing to provide definitions for atheism. What you have said has been said numerous times previously, to the point that no individual, especially not James, could still be ignorant if it. Why the hell are you bothering yet again? It literally does not matter here, because no one denigrating atheism cares what the definitions are. Surely you get that.

Your country has an official religion, and it is not without clout.

Not only are 26 seats of the House of Lords occupied ex officio by archbishops and bishops of the Church of England, but a significant number of members of both houses believe that your country's policies must be morally sound, and that there is no morality unless it is ordained by God as revealed in the Bible.

It's kind of difficult - impossible, actually - to expose theism as a bullshit foundation for policy making unless both theism and atheism are defined.


All splendidly interesting I’m sure, and all worthy of scrutiny, but all entirely irrelevant to my point, which is that James has no interest going about his day, interacting with individuals, as to whether they are theists or not. It affects him not if the person who serves him at Tesco is an atheist, or if the recipients of the parcels he deals with have a belief in a god. He has literally no need to identify these individuals on the basis of their stance on this issue. So why is he here talking about how to identify atheists? Because he’s fucking trolling, obviously, and because he thinks it makes him some intellectual heavyweight to make grandiose and demonstrably wrong statements about atheism and atheists. If you find it a good use of your time to regurgitate information that is readily available to anyone with a half functioning brain, that’s your prerogative, and it’s also mine to comment on that.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#748  Postby pelfdaddy » Jan 05, 2020 12:32 am

Knowing that their Lord and Master, Jesus Fucking Christ, has bequeathed to believers the authority to, by His Holy Name, lay hands upon children who languish in hospitals due to cancers, leukemia, and third degree burns, and see them arise whole and healthy to leap--joy-filled and beaming--into the arms of their desperate parents immediately upon the exercise of faith...

...one is surely obligated to wonder about the morality, the compassion, and the personal priorities of those who choose to whittle away their time taking atheists to task over the definition of atheism, the second law of thermodynamics, the existence of actual infinities, Hilbert's hotel, and the gravitational constant.

Assuming the existence of God and of his blessed Son Jesus Fucking Christ, they could be accomplishing so much real good in this world. I am, as a result of their actual priorities in this regard, skeptical that they give a shit.
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