Atheism requires as much faith as rel...

Atheism requires as much faith as religion?

There are 258515 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.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#207403 Jan 25, 2014
wilderide wrote:
LOL! No, I had not seen that before. I love The Onion. I especially like the cartoon about evangelicals insisting that water freezes according to when God says so, and and that is what should be taught in school, and he Indian and Chinese science students hoping that the evangelicals in the US win so they can get their jobs. It's funny, yet it makes a good point too
Glad you liked it.
wilderide wrote:
It's funny, yet it makes a good point too: if the science-phobic religious extremists in this country had their way with our children, they'd end up harming not only our kids but the future of this country.
I think that ship has sailed (can you see the wake, RR?). From "Gathering Storm Threatens U.S. Competitiveness" at http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/gathering_...

"The report attributes declining U.S. competitiveness to major underinvestment in scientific research and education as other nations make progress on key competitiveness indicators, affecting America's relative ability to compete for new factories, research facilities, and jobs."

America doesn't value science like it once did, and this is reflected in the falling numbers of competitive American students vying successfully for positions in the graduate departments of American universities, and in reduced funding of science. American entrepreneurs may continue to profit handsomely from technology, but they'll do it by hiring foreign scientists, and probably in foreign countries. Christian antiscientism is only one factor here, however. Globalism and capitalism play there as well.

Regarding funding of science in America, the head of the NIH, Francis Collins, is a zealous born again Christian. Here's San Harris (again) on that in a superb essay at http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/the-s... .

"[A]s director of the institutes, Collins will have more responsibility for biomedical and health-related research than any person on earth, controlling an annual budget of more than $30 billion. He will also be one of the foremost representatives of science in the United States. For this reason, it is important to understand Collins’ religious beliefs as they relate to scientific inquiry"

Christian antiscientism, which is mostly aimed at evolution, is also undermining confidence in climate scientists, the fallout from which may be even more devastating than the loss of American scientific competitiveness.

“Turning coffee into theorems”

Since: Dec 06

Trapped inside a Klein Bottle

#207404 Jan 25, 2014
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
LOL. Are you human or software?
Christians seem to think they have a monopoly on moral principles. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing Jesus said about morality was original. All of it can be found in older, non-Jewish sources. Buddhism comes to mind.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#207405 Jan 25, 2014
Reason Personified wrote:
<quoted text>IDK, it may be true. I haven't met anyone who claimed it as truth.
Hi there! Welcome to the thread.

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#207407 Jan 25, 2014
It aint necessarily so wrote:
I believe that the notion is part biological (psychological), and part cultural.
What we experience directly - the psychological aspect - is the experience of being able to express our desires and intentions unimpeded by an outside force, and the experience of being thwarted or frustrated by external objects such as a high mountain range that we wish to pass by, and sometimes by living agents things such as grizzly bears and people exerting their wills .
Poor health can thwart us, and in a sense, we see our bodies as external entities as well - external to our minds just like the mountain and the bear.
We never seem to notice how our own unseen mind controls our conscience experience. But if we add our unconscious neuropsychological apparatus to the mix, recognize that it is the immediate source of our conscience experience, and recognize that it exists outside of it just like the mountain and the body, then free will vanishes. Our will is given to us, not chosen. As Harris says, the self is just the witness to some of these processes - the ones projected into consciousness - and the author of none of them.
It's cultural to be aware of an unconscious, and cultural to have a notion of will being free or not. It is also cultural that people like us are changing our understanding of all of this.
Does this sound correct to you?
That makes sense.

The idea of determinism is fairly common in science fiction. I think that's why it wasn't hard for me to accept it when I gave it more thoughtful consideration.

The last sci-fi TV series I watched was Fringe. Determinism becomes an important element of the story in the last season. There are characters called Observers who can predict the future in limited corridors.

The main character Olivia describes the Observers: "It's all just numbers. And the invaders, as you call them, they're just better at math than we are."

We predict the future to some degree. We may see when something is likely to happen. If we don't want that to happen, we use what we know about deterministic mechanisms to alter the course of events to hopefully achieve the future we want. Being better at this makes you more powerful.

“Turning coffee into theorems”

Since: Dec 06

Trapped inside a Klein Bottle

#207408 Jan 25, 2014
River Tam wrote:
<quoted text>
What amazes me is when a court in a given state finds the law that says marriage can only be one man and one woman unconstitutional, the "state" appeals to a higher court. That decision is coming from the Governor of that state. The only reason that politician cares, once the court has decided, is because of his political career. It has nothing to do with religion or convictions. It's about votes.
I'm not a big fan of Chris Christie but I applaud him and the newly elected AG of Virginia. Opposing same sex marriage is not a battle you can win. Cut your losses and get on with your business. Tell the fundies, "Hey, you lost this one. Let's refocus on those Indian Casinos !!!!! We'll show those heathen redskins"
The ideas of people are changing on this subject, and for this type of position, changing at an incredible rate. 20 years ago, you would have found very few supporting the idea of same sex marriage. Today, you have over half accepting of the idea.

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#207409 Jan 25, 2014
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>You're the kind of Christian than makes my jaw drop. You're like a dog that believes that it was born deserving the rolled up newspaper.
Do you have.an argument you would like to make?

Not interested in foolish ad hominem.

“It's Time. . .”

Since: Jun 13

New Holland

#207410 Jan 25, 2014
UidiotRacemakeWorldpeace wrote:
<quoted text>And early founding days before inception of and US Empire... that motto and saying is?
Wink Wink WINK!
Bahhahaaaaa
Nudge nudge wink wink.

“Rainbow: God's covenant ”

Since: May 07

Safety Harbor, FL

#207412 Jan 25, 2014
Rosa_Winkel wrote:
<quoted text>
That's the kind of love we all DON'T need.
Love like this?

The Vile Voice of Wendy Davis’ Supporters Ridiculing a Paraplegic

http://www.redstate.com/2014/01/23/the-vile-v...

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#207413 Jan 25, 2014
Tide with Beach wrote:
<quoted text>
While you're wearing them?
Maybe you're misinterpreting their intentions.
"I have a cat. It may try to drink from your nipples"

~ Misfits - Season 5 Episode 4

“Turning coffee into theorems”

Since: Dec 06

Trapped inside a Klein Bottle

#207414 Jan 25, 2014
mtimber wrote:
<quoted text>
So where do you get absolute moral standards from, you will need a transcendent source.
Your own opinion does not count as a transcendent source by the way...
You seem confident you have an answer, so I look forward to hearing it...
Why does there have to be a transcendent source of morality? You have declared it to be so, but you have not explained WHY it has to be so.

As for me, we humans are the source of morality. We know how we want to be treated, and we have empathy that makes us want to treat others in the same way.

Or, in a similar vein, you might read up on Robert Heinlein's "Enlightened Self-interest".

“Rainbow: God's covenant ”

Since: May 07

Safety Harbor, FL

#207415 Jan 25, 2014
River Tam wrote:
<quoted text>
What amazes me is when a court in a given state finds the law that says marriage can only be one man and one woman unconstitutional, the "state" appeals to a higher court. That decision is coming from the Governor of that state. The only reason that politician cares, once the court has decided, is because of his political career. It has nothing to do with religion or convictions. It's about votes.
I'm not a big fan of Chris Christie but I applaud him and the newly elected AG of Virginia. Opposing same sex marriage is not a battle you can win. Cut your losses and get on with your business. Tell the fundies, "Hey, you lost this one. Let's refocus on those Indian Casinos !!!!! We'll show those heathen redskins"
Talk about bigotry.

“Rainbow: God's covenant ”

Since: May 07

Safety Harbor, FL

#207416 Jan 25, 2014
River Tam wrote:
<quoted text>
He said you quoted it. He linked to the post.
He didn't say you wrote the quoted passage.
Are you saying you didn't post that?
Is your wife still a heterosexual? How often does that change?
Like I said I didn't post that. It does say Chris Clearwater wrote, that's not me.

“It's Time. . .”

Since: Jun 13

New Holland

#207417 Jan 25, 2014
Darwins Stepchild wrote:
<quoted text>
You should try Azathoth, the blind mad god.
I would rather worship the Goddess of Reason.

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#207418 Jan 25, 2014
Darwins Stepchild wrote:
<quoted text>Why does there have to be a transcendent source of morality? You have declared it to be so, but you have not explained WHY it has to be so.

As for me, we humans are the source of morality. We know how we want to be treated, and we have empathy that makes us want to treat others in the same way.

Or, in a similar vein, you might read up on Robert Heinlein's "Enlightened Self-interest".
If you are to have a an absolute moral standard, then it has to come from a transcendent moral source.

If you reject that, then you are arguing for subjectivism which has no basis for absolute morality, which in effect means morality does not exist.

So in your worldview, you have no basis for absolute morality as you cannot account for its existence, which forces you into an absurd contradiction, where you have to deny its existence whilst appealing to it to make your argument.

So your own argument becomes self refuting.

You have defeated yourself, I am just trying to help you understand that...

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#207419 Jan 25, 2014
Darwins Stepchild wrote:
<quoted text>Why does there have to be a transcendent source of morality? You have declared it to be so, but you have not explained WHY it has to be so.

As for me, we humans are the source of morality. We know how we want to be treated, and we have empathy that makes us want to treat others in the same way.

Or, in a similar vein, you might read up on Robert Heinlein's "Enlightened Self-interest".
Lets deal with your argument a little bit in more depth.

You say humanity is the source of morality, its whims and desires defining it.

So is slavery wrong?

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#207420 Jan 25, 2014
Happy Lesbo wrote:
.. this post reminds me of why I continue to read this forum ..
.. prayer is a form of meditation; it pulls the mind in, allows the imagination to run wild and helps an individual solve the riddle of life. Religion and dogma prevents a person from experiencing the wonder of life, it's someone else's BS ..
.. science accomplishes the exact thing but depends on evidence instead of imagination...
.. thanks for being here ..
I think, in general, people aren't using their imaginations nearly enough.

If I may tie this in with the free will discussion....

We are limited in our choices by what occurs to us. If something does not occur to us, like a solution to a problem, we cannot choose it. This is why I think it is imperative to maintain brain plasticity and exercise our imaginations.

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#207421 Jan 25, 2014
Darwins Stepchild wrote:
<quoted text>
The ideas of people are changing on this subject, and for this type of position, changing at an incredible rate. 20 years ago, you would have found very few supporting the idea of same sex marriage. Today, you have over half accepting of the idea.
It's not a matter of acceptance. It's a matter of equal rights.

Crowds will part when I walk through as they always have. I'm not sure if that's my gayness or just my attitude and countenance. They'll just have to make a wider path.

“It's Time. . .”

Since: Jun 13

New Holland

#207422 Jan 25, 2014
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
That would have been good advice for Clearwater's character reference for David Barton, pastor Scott Lively, who Clearwater quoted and I critiqued < http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/atheism/T... >
It seems that the good pastor was actively campaigning for Uganda's failed kill-the-queers legislation, and will now be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
"Conservative American Pastor to Be Charged With Crimes Against Humanity"
http://thegaychristian.com/scott-lively-crime...
========
In any event, it's little insincere to be pretending that it is the critics of the church that are the ones "focusing so much on homosexuals." or that Christian homophobia doesn't exist. Pastor Lively went half way around the world to help execute gays.
Lively's a monster. Looks like he's getting what he deserves.

Did you know that back in the bad old days, the gays used to be burned @ the stake, along with witches and heretics? That is the origin of the expression f****t.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#207423 Jan 25, 2014
Darwins Stepchild wrote:
Damon Linker writes an article...
http://theweek.com/article/index/254941/memo-...
in which he admonishes atheists for not taking on the strongest arguments for God.
So what is his strongest argument? That God is not the god presented in the Bible. Instead, he is a "ground of being". What is a "ground of being" you ask? Well, I am not entirely sure. It seems to be in some way associated with a "first cause". But I think he didn't want to use that term because the first cause argument is pretty lame and has been thoroughly countered. So he sort of talks around it. His argument seems to be that if you define God in really vague terms (kind of a really weak Deist god) then even atheists have to admit that God is possible. To read a good counter to Linker, read Jerry Coyne's article at Why Evolution Is True.
http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/...
Thanks for that. From your first link:

"Atheism may well be true; a society of secularists might get along just fine without any form of piety. But until those unbelievers confront the strongest cases for God, they will have failed truly and honestly to rout their infamous enemy."

I don't think he understands the issue. It's not about routing gods. We simply reject and ignore those.

The problem is the church, which has declared war on everything outside of itself. It need not be routed either - just defanged, a process that is proceeding quite nicely, as pastor Scott Lively will soon be learning.

Did you see this from Linker, which was linked to in your Coyne piece: " How growing support for gay rights restricts religious freedom - Politics in a free society shouldn't be used to stamp out the views of those who dissent from prevailing opinion "
http://theweek.com/article/index/240775/how-g...

Imagine that - politics, which is apparently a perfectly appropriate venue for the church to impose its values on the rest of society, shouldn't be used to push back.

"Hardly a week passes without a major story documenting the march of homosexuality into the American mainstream ... We are living through an astonishing cultural and political sea change ... A significant number of ... traditionalists have begun to worry — and not for frivolous reasons — that the widespread recognition of same-sex marriage will be followed by a public campaign to stamp out their dissent from the emerging pro-gay consensus. Those who care about the fate of freedom in the United States must not allow this to happen."

Here's this argument again, where freedom is defined in terms of the right of the church to promulgate its doctrine without blowback. Its critics are expected to remain mute as the church lectures us on right and wrong using terms like "sin" and "abomination."

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#207424 Jan 25, 2014
Chris Clearwater wrote:
<quoted text>
Talk about bigotry.
Would you like to? Would you like to talk about bigotry, Chris?

I'm up for it.

I've dealt with it for as long as I can remember.

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