Atheism requires as much faith as rel...

Atheism requires as much faith as religion?

There are 256538 comments on the Webbunny tumblelog story from Jul 18, 2009, titled Atheism requires as much faith as religion?. In it, Webbunny tumblelog reports that:

Atheism requires as much faith as religion? bearvspuma : The only problem with this rationalization is that ita s assuming all athiests are so because theya re intelligent in the ways of science and reasoning and all people that believe in a form of god are unintelligent.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Webbunny tumblelog.

“Wrath”

Since: Dec 10

Is revenant

#184267 Nov 14, 2013
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
It was a response to your praise of the blanket virtue of scientists, their methods, and their high motives.
The point is clear.
I am a rational skeptic of science.
That's a high fluting way of saying you're religious..lol

Since: Sep 10

Redondo Beach, CA

#184268 Nov 14, 2013
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
It was a response to your praise of the blanket virtue of scientists, their methods, and their high motives.
The point is clear.
I am a rational skeptic of science.
Good for you.

But do read, or reread, NightSerf's masterful statement:

I can't speak for other atheists, but I try to use words as precisely as I can, at least within my own frame of reference. For me, God, gods and goddesses are mythical/fictional characters in books (or Books) that some believe also exist in the physical world. Within the context of those stories, they are just a real as Luke Skywalker is within the context of a Star Wars movie, and when I'm reading a book or watching a movie, TV show, or play, they are real for me, too because I engage in a deliberate suspension of disbelief to enhance my enjoyment. But when I leave the theater or turn off the tube, or even become distracted by something real-world, that suspension ends.

I think that we begin life in a similar condition. In children we call uncritical acceptance of new ideas innocence, in adults gullibility. That's the quality that allows people to have faith in all sorts of ideas, not just religion: we believe because we want to, not because the evidence is compelling, and then search for evidence to support our beliefs.

We all begin life doing that, atheists, too. But some of us discount contradictory evidence when we encounter it and some of us question our beliefs: we become skeptics. Again, this applies to all beliefs, not just religion.

The ultimate skeptics reject all faith and accept only ideas for which the evidence is compelling. That leads to a consideration of the nature of evidence, i.e., what is compelling and what is not, which in turn leads to questions about derivation and methodology.

The further we go on the path of skeptical analysis, the more we separate ourselves from the mainstream culture that operates with a different balance between skepticism and faith. Religion is the place where these differences clash most severely because religious people us their reasoning skills only to defend their beliefs, never to question or reevaluate them.

From an ideological perspective, we atheists and skeptics are an alien culture to the theists. They make feeble attempts to understand us only for the purpose of refuting us, even trying to persuade us to return to their systems of faith. They try to imagine what could cause someone to turn away from their faith, but their imaginations fall so far short of the reality that their suppositions say more about them than about us.

This is not likely to change. Skepticism cannot be taught--trying to do so would only create people who believe in skepticism but don't know how to practice it. So the basic argument between skeptics and believers will go on as long as humanity endures even if the beliefs about which we argue change.

Welcome to skepticism, gang, and fasten your safety belts. It's going to be a bumpy flight.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#184269 Nov 14, 2013
Aura Mytha wrote:
<quoted text> I don't know which one is scarier.
If there is, and indeed many technology driven societies with their own biospheres and predators.
Or there isn't and we are indeed alone.
At least the first way isn't boring as hell?
But then there is the fact that if there isn't....we will be the ones to deposit life elsewhere to evolve, into...
who knows what sort of things?
If we can survive anyway.
Then we can say..
A long long time ago
In a galaxy far far away... heheheh
:)

The only saving grace about all this? Is that the universe is nearly unimaginably huge.

And that creates (as far as we know now) insurmountable barriers between the various islands of life (planets).

It's almost like the "the floor is lava" game we played as kids-- only instead of lava, it's huge, vast distances.

I do hope we are wrong about that, though-- it'd be cool if there was a way to traverse the gulf between planets.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#184270 Nov 14, 2013
Catcher1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Good for you.
But do read, or reread, NightSerf's masterful statement:
I can't speak for other atheists, but I try to use words as precisely as I can, at least within my own frame of reference. For me, God, gods and goddesses are mythical/fictional characters in books (or Books) that some believe also exist in the physical world. Within the context of those stories, they are just a real as Luke Skywalker is within the context of a Star Wars movie, and when I'm reading a book or watching a movie, TV show, or play, they are real for me, too because I engage in a deliberate suspension of disbelief to enhance my enjoyment. But when I leave the theater or turn off the tube, or even become distracted by something real-world, that suspension ends.
I think that we begin life in a similar condition. In children we call uncritical acceptance of new ideas innocence, in adults gullibility. That's the quality that allows people to have faith in all sorts of ideas, not just religion: we believe because we want to, not because the evidence is compelling, and then search for evidence to support our beliefs.
We all begin life doing that, atheists, too. But some of us discount contradictory evidence when we encounter it and some of us question our beliefs: we become skeptics. Again, this applies to all beliefs, not just religion.
The ultimate skeptics reject all faith and accept only ideas for which the evidence is compelling. That leads to a consideration of the nature of evidence, i.e., what is compelling and what is not, which in turn leads to questions about derivation and methodology.
The further we go on the path of skeptical analysis, the more we separate ourselves from the mainstream culture that operates with a different balance between skepticism and faith. Religion is the place where these differences clash most severely because religious people us their reasoning skills only to defend their beliefs, never to question or reevaluate them.
From an ideological perspective, we atheists and skeptics are an alien culture to the theists. They make feeble attempts to understand us only for the purpose of refuting us, even trying to persuade us to return to their systems of faith. They try to imagine what could cause someone to turn away from their faith, but their imaginations fall so far short of the reality that their suppositions say more about them than about us.
This is not likely to change. Skepticism cannot be taught--trying to do so would only create people who believe in skepticism but don't know how to practice it. So the basic argument between skeptics and believers will go on as long as humanity endures even if the beliefs about which we argue change.
Welcome to skepticism, gang, and fasten your safety belts. It's going to be a bumpy flight.
Interesting analysis, there.

A good read, too.

Thanks!

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184271 Nov 15, 2013
Bongo wrote:
<quoted text> This incredulous rebel cant handle the fact that he is created and anything he says or does may be used against him. Its no big brother, its a Father, who has a plan and forgives those who submit to him. The ones who don't, well, that's foreboding.
If I were to worship something freely and sincerely, it wouldn't be something that tortures. The Christian god simply isn't worthy of respect or affection.

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#184272 Nov 15, 2013
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
Hello, old friend! What a coincidence seeing your post seconds after leaving a musical post myself. You play either a Höfner Beatle Bass or a Rickenbacher guitar like John Lennon did if I recall correctly. I seem to recall you playing in a Beatles tribute band of sorts. I almost never play any more. My latest passion is contract bridge.
Actually, I play a Rogue copy of the violin shaped Hofner. I'm playing mostly jazz a les Cats and the Fiddle and other Harlem stylists. I've taken to playing with a fellow burnout who's girlfriend sings like an angel, too. Fun--and he manages to find well-paying gigs from time to time, too.

Dang, I wish I could truck myself down to your piece of Mexican Heaven for a little jamming.

“"None shall pass"”

Since: Jul 11

There

#184273 Nov 15, 2013
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
If I were to worship something freely and sincerely, it wouldn't be something that tortures. The Christian god simply isn't worthy of respect or affection.
Hi, IANS!

I wonder if you are 'awed' nature ? That is to say, appreciate the power and majesty of the world. Can sit and smile during a summer rain or drive in terror through a blizzard. That sort of thing.

Has nothing to do with God or anything. Just something I wondered.

I don't so much "worship" that which I call "God" (for lack of a better word in English) but am in 'awe' of the entire Universe and the laws that govern it.

To me, the mysteries of how two individual cells combine to create every baby in history is more awesome than "God got Mary pregnant".

The again, I never liked magic shows but loved the science behind the illusions.

Anyway, sorry to ramble. I haven't been able to sleep tonight/morning.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184274 Nov 15, 2013
Catcher1 wrote:
NightSerf on skepticism: In children we call uncritical acceptance of new ideas innocence, in adults gullibility ... some of us discount contradictory evidence when we encounter it and some of us question our beliefs: we become skeptics ... The ultimate skeptics reject all faith and accept only ideas for which the evidence is compelling. That leads to a consideration of the nature of evidence, i.e., what is compelling and what is not, which in turn leads to questions about derivation and methodology.
I would say that Night Serf's and my description of skepticism are essentially the same:

IANS: The sine qua non of skepticism is the unwillingness to accept unsupported claims, but to question them and seek for evidence first ...[S]kepticism is ... an intellectual perspective and a method of processing claims that asks you to question what you would have accepted without doubt otherwise.

Notice also the difference between the way that people like he and I use definitions, and the way our faith based disputants do. One is a gentle, pliable effort to distill into a few words the essential features of an object, activity, relationship or quality as people generally understand and intend it, the other an attempt to rigidly restrict how people are permitted to use language.

Those are the essential differences between the descriptive and prescriptive lexicographical temperaments.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#184275 Nov 15, 2013
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
It was a response to your praise of the blanket virtue of scientists, their methods, and their high motives.
The point is clear.
I am a rational skeptic of science.
Just because you reject science doesn't give you the right to benefit from it.

If you deny evolution, stand by your principles and reject science in its entirety??

or are you chicken?
truth

Noranda, Australia

#184276 Nov 15, 2013
if i need i will remove all of you

who say thatyt

this planet as well others re less them marble

love your evil posessors yee
for your posession you nweed be killer

YOUR CREATOR NOT CREATED EVIL KILLERS

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184277 Nov 15, 2013
Buck Crick wrote:
Wrong. "Disbelief" is a belief. Everyone who lacks belief in deities is not an atheist. In fact, someone who simply "lacks belief" is not an atheist. He could be an agnostic, a verificationist, or in a coma. An atheist believes there are no deities. None.
Keep trying, amigo. This is a critical issue. If you ever prevail, you will no doubt make it a better world.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184278 Nov 15, 2013
LCNLin wrote:
"There is no Big Brother in the sky...." LOL
Always amused by UK atheists, agnostics if they think about it?, lecturing Americans while the House of Lords has Bishops of the Church of England. Amusing
I tried and tried, but couldn't find the amusing part of this. Are you implying that if his country makes a mistake, he should make it, too, or ridiculing his opinion because it contradicts his nation's policy?

Do you disagree with him? If so, what makes your opinion less amusing. How do you suppose UK atheists view US theists? How do you suppose the world views you?

If you'd like to know how Hollywood and the entertainment media view you, check out how religious people are depicted in movies and television shows. They are generally depicted either as predators, money lusting charlatans, ineffectual counselors for people with life problems they could no nothing about, or as ridiculous and comical characters angrily or hypocritically judging others - never as people to admire or respect.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184279 Nov 15, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
Disbelief is not belief, its disbelief - that's why there's a separate word in the dictionary for it. If it was called belief, we would say Atheists believe there is no god. But atheists don't believe there is no god, we simply disbelieve the claims made by religious liars with no evidence of god.
A pithy way to saying that is that not believing is distinct from believing not.

What do you suppose the motive is behind trying to pressure atheists into abandoning the word "atheist" in self-reference if they are not willing to take the untenable position that the existence of gods is impossible or that the possibility has been definitively ruled out?

I don't think most of the people serving as vectors for this meme have any clear idea why they are arguing the point. But I'm pretty sure that the people that created it and released it into the apologetics echo chamber do, although I'm not clear on what it is.

The motive for trying to make people see evolution as a faith based religion is probably to help give creationism an equal footing in the classroom. But what would be the analogous motive for trying to get us to cease describing ourselves as atheists, or convincing others that we are not? I can't see how that serves the church.
truth

Noranda, Australia

#184280 Nov 15, 2013
Why you think God need be Englishman or Englishwoman?

must be fun funny smart but very deadly sneaky way let down someone..

evil can be nice in suits too
wrote very nice but promice nothing

Zasto crv bjezi u vlagu.
How much crv as stonoga have lags..as chu chu chu chu chu chu..is your language c.uk.a.n.j.e
o really
stone age
is c.uk as m.uk
jeste li malo kuku cuk c.uk.nut.i
a tako stretni doboitnik je kikiriki from argetina..o well kikiriki is roots in vlaga aha
mojsture=vlaga
What a abot wog as fog?

In fog can grow up what..as para-mashroom.

Please tell me which pra-historic kingdom is?!

Is mashroom as gigant can be ijuju or hi hi haygrant..
Please tell me ,,for high grant..you need highwarant..hydrogen..bummmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
no thanks net.ros.imo dr.ogu..nechu nechu drogerashe chu chu chu a yes
chukanje c.uk a n j.e is to much talk..
you can find most evil set up blame as blamerige as po.me.r.id.ge..eh..

see
Why crv=warm go into mojshcer.

Poems is good yee

Neboj se majko
crva sto u vlagu bjezi
ni spodobe sto se nochu sulja
ni onog sto se krivo naglas kune
ni onog sto krivo sude
neokreci se
na njihove mutne vode
neokrechi se
na njihove mutne snove
jer dobrota
je ko sunce
sto na nebu visoko sije.

nkh
in tisini

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#184282 Nov 15, 2013
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
I would say that Night Serf's and my description of skepticism are essentially the same:
IANS: The sine qua non of skepticism is the unwillingness to accept unsupported claims, but to question them and seek for evidence first ...[S]kepticism is ... an intellectual perspective and a method of processing claims that asks you to question what you would have accepted without doubt otherwise.
Notice also the difference between the way that people like he and I use definitions, and the way our faith based disputants do. One is a gentle, pliable effort to distill into a few words the essential features of an object, activity, relationship or quality as people generally understand and intend it, the other an attempt to rigidly restrict how people are permitted to use language.
Those are the essential differences between the descriptive and prescriptive lexicographical temperaments.
The way you and Nightserf use definitions is to take words with positive, intellectually respectable connotations and twist them to support your bias so as to appropriate a legitimacy to your ideas which otherwise would not apply.

A more honest approach, and one which I advocate, is choosing words based on their actual meaning in order to communicate a message, and abstaining from using words based on what we wish them to mean.

The use of "skepticism" is a sufficient example.

Neither of you employs a proper usage of the term, but you seek to borrow its implied intellectual legitimacy in service of an agenda.

This technique cannot be described as "descriptive lexicography".

A more simple and quaint description is available - "bull shit".

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184283 Nov 15, 2013
It aint necessarily so wrote:
The sine qua non of skepticism is the unwillingness to accept unsupported claims, but to question them and seek for evidence first. I could be easily convinced by evidence and still be skeptical.
RiversideRedneck wrote:
Got any secularist examples of that?
Of which? Any time anybody questions a claim and asks for supporting evidence, they are being skeptical. If a teenager tells me she's at her friend's house and I want to verify it, I might call a land line to that home to verify it, which evidence would easily convince me, and after which I would remain a skeptic, albeit a convinced one.
RiversideRedneck wrote:
Honestly, I don't know the distinction between intellectual and psychological doubt, can you elaborate (in redneckese)?
As I said, one is felt, the other understood. I don't doubt that my car is parked right now where I left it, but I understand that it is possible that it has been stolen since I last saw it. Do I doubt that my car is there for me right now? Not psychologically. I feel pretty certain that it is. But as a skeptic, I understand that my knowledge is incomplete, and my assumption possibly in error. I do not feel doubt in the psychological sense, but I have doubt anyway because of my understanding of things.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184284 Nov 15, 2013
RiversideRedneck wrote:
I've always seen supposed skeptics as pseudo intellectual 'freethinkers' who hide behind the rouse of critical thinking to support their lack of belief in anything they haven't read in Scientific American.
Where do you suppose that idea came from?

I think I know. It's one of dozens of ideas that I see coming only from faith based thinkers. Others would be calling abortion the murder of a baby, calling unbelief belief, calling trust based on experience faith, being offended at being called a descendant of an ape, the rejection of evolution, calling secular humanism a religion, saying that reality is evidence for a god. People that say such things are almost exclusively theists, which in my world is, so I assume that their thoughts come from religious training that has never been critically examined.

If you ever embrace skepticism, you will ask yourself why you believe what you do. If you can't find a better reason that that it is because you were told so and never questioned the idea, you will have reason to look for supporting evidence through unbiased eyes, and modify your beliefs as appropriate. That is how evidence based belief differs from faith based belief, and is the essence of (rational) skepticism.
RiversideRedneck wrote:
Don't ever take a skeptic to a magic show, they'll ruin the fun & mystery for everyone else.
This is more of your prejudice for skeptics. A Christian is no less likely to behave that way than a rational skeptic.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#184285 Nov 15, 2013
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
A pithy way to saying that is that not believing is distinct from believing not.
What do you suppose the motive is behind trying to pressure atheists into abandoning the word "atheist" in self-reference if they are not willing to take the untenable position that the existence of gods is impossible or that the possibility has been definitively ruled out?
I don't think most of the people serving as vectors for this meme have any clear idea why they are arguing the point. But I'm pretty sure that the people that created it and released it into the apologetics echo chamber do, although I'm not clear on what it is.
The motive for trying to make people see evolution as a faith based religion is probably to help give creationism an equal footing in the classroom. But what would be the analogous motive for trying to get us to cease describing ourselves as atheists, or convincing others that we are not? I can't see how that serves the church.
"Disbelief" is not "not believing", nor is it "believing not".

It is not that one does not believe.

It is a refusal or inability to believe.

Disbelief is not skepticism.

"Atheism" is not a position that the existence of gods is impossible.

Words mean things.
LCNLin

United States

#184286 Nov 15, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
Just because you reject science doesn't give you the right to benefit from it.
If you deny evolution, stand by your principles and reject science in its entirety??
or are you chicken?
Just prove your atheistic philosophy!
Scatology seems proven in your posts!
LOL

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184287 Nov 15, 2013
"People that say such things are almost exclusively theists, which in my world is"

should read

"People that say such things are almost exclusively theists"

That fragment should have been deleted along with the rest of the clause that used to follow it, but I'm not a good editor.

I was about to say that such people were mostly Christians to distinguish them from Muslims that say the same thing, but not to me. Then I remembered the people that are not fully Christian any more like Dave Nelson and Buck Crick, who are both church trained, and whom I have already said function as Christians, but chose not to go there rather than devote this many words to what was not an essential part of my argument.

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