Investigating Atheism

Aug 23, 2013 Full story: News24 20

After posting similar questions on the comment section, I decided to take it a bit further.

Full Story

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Nottingham, UK

#1 Aug 23, 2013
Oh this is going to be good...
user name: BornAgain_Believer. It's getting better.
"After posting similar questions on the comment section, I decided to take it a bit further. I just need to understand the atheist stand point more. I am looking for honest answers on the below questions. Also take time to really think of the answers before you start answering." My cynicism it's firing up on the point of "trying" to understand. Regardless I will answer these questions but I will not take any time to think through the answers I know the cliches.
1. Where do you come from? What you mean country, birth canal, evolutionary pathway, star...
2. What is your purpose on earth? To find what the purpose of life ought to be and actualise it, after all if there is a infallible god, it would have actualised what the purpose of life ought to be already. Unfortunately there are so many God given purposes that can only be believed if you already believe, it is high time we just ignore the religious and try and find what our purpose ought to be without their help.
3. Does life have a meaning? Same as above just with a different word you really ought to have made 3 and 2 one question.
4. What is just and fair for you? You're asking a pretty big question that requires a description of one's entire ethical theory, this is going to need another post.
5. God forbids, if your child is murdered and the person is never caught and brought to justice, how would you handle it, seeing that life has no meaning and we are just here on earht to live and die. Where would you get justice from? You just have to deal with it and do your utmost to prevent it happening again. Also my cynicism is getting very "I told you so" the "seeing that life has no meaning" comment, this seems to show you're expecting particular answers to these questions and not waiting to see what answers you get.
6. An intelligent, thinking child brought up by atheist parents becomes a Christian how do you respond? Oh and becomes preacher and starts a new church, would you say your child has a problem? How did he/she become a Christian? By rational argument which convinced them, or by just looking at all the religious ceremonies and singing and thinking "that looks cool". And now I am definitely convince them that you are expecting particular answers to these questions, all reason tells me you are not here to intellectual curiosity.
7. What about all the injustice in the world that goes by unreported, where must everyone else get justice from? I refer to my answer to 5. We must simply deal with it work harder to get justice.
8. How do you answer your own child that is searching for meaning and purpose in life? I refer to my answer to 2.
9. Why does research, discovery, diplomacy, art, music, sacrifice, compassion, feelings of love, or affectionate and caring relationships mean anything if it all ultimately comes to naught anyway? because A one should seek good for good sake, and B precisely because it will (or act lest can) end humans value things that are finite, having an infinite amount of anything would devalue it in our hearts, even love and justice make of that what you will about human nature.
10. Is death the end of life? No in the words of Christopher Hitchens "we do not have bodies, we are bodies". Our personality and our self is directly linked to your brain patterns, you suffer a severe head injury there is a chance that your personality will be altered. This is not something we would expect if our personality was because of the soul.
On a related note I foresee a cliche follow-up "doesn't that remove the value of life?" Why would living forever affect the value of life in a positive way (I have already mentioned how infinite's affect value in a negative way) either life is worth living or it is not time doesn't really matter.
LCNlin

United States

#2 Aug 23, 2013
Benjamin Frankly wrote:
Oh this is going to be good...
user name: BornAgain_Believer. It's getting better.
"After posting similar questions on the comment section, I decided to take it a bit further. I just need to understand the atheist stand point more. I am looking for honest answers on the below questions. Also take time to really think of the answers before you start answering." My cynicism it's firing up on the point of "trying" to understand. Regardless I will answer these questions but I will not take any time to think through the answers I know the cliches.
1. Where do you come from? What you mean country, birth canal, evolutionary pathway, star...
2. What is your purpose on earth? To find what the purpose of life ought to be and actualise it, after all if there is a infallible god, it would have actualised what the purpose of life ought to be already. Unfortunately there are so many God given purposes that can only be believed if you already believe, it is high time we just ignore the religious and try and find what our purpose ought to be without their help.
3. Does life have a meaning? Same as above just with a different word you really ought to have made 3 and 2 one question.
4. What is just and fair for you? You're asking a pretty big question that requires a description of one's entire ethical theory, this is going to need another post.
5. God forbids, if your child is murdered and the person is never caught and brought to justice, how would you handle it, seeing that life has no meaning and we are just here on earht to live and die. Where would you get justice from? You just have to deal with it and do your utmost to prevent it happening again. Also my cynicism is getting very "I told you so" the "seeing that life has no meaning" comment, this seems to show you're expecting particular answers to these questions and not waiting to see what answers you get.
6. An intelligent, thinking child brought up by atheist parents becomes a Christian how do you respond? Oh and becomes preacher and starts a new church, would you say your child has a problem? How did he/she become a Christian? By rational argument which convinced them, or by just looking at all the religious ceremonies and singing and thinking "that looks cool". And now I am definitely convince them that you are expecting particular answers to these questions, all reason tells me you are not here to intellectual curiosity.
7. What about all the injustice in the world that goes by unreported, where must everyone else get justice from? I refer to my answer to 5. We must simply deal with it work harder to get justice.
8. How do you answer your own child that is searching for meaning and purpose in life? I refer to my answer to 2.
9. Why does research, discovery, diplomacy, art, music, sacrifice, compassion, feelings of love, or affectionate and caring relationships mean anything if it all ultimately comes to naught anyway? because A one should seek good for good sake, and B precisely because it will (or act lest can) end humans value things that are finite, having an infinite amount of anything would devalue it in our hearts, even love and justice make of that what you will about human nature.
10. Is death the end of life? No in the words of Christopher Hitchens "we do not have bodies, we are bodies". Our personality and our self is directly linked to your brain patterns, you suffer a severe head injury there is a chance that your personality will be altered. This is not something we would expect if our personality was because of the soul.
On a related note I foresee a cliche follow-up "doesn't that remove the value of life?" Why would living forever affect the value of life in a positive way (I have already mentioned how infinite's affect value in a negative way) either life is worth living or it is not time doesn't really matter.
Interesting Opinions, if rambling a bit

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Nottingham, UK

#3 Aug 24, 2013
LCNlin wrote:
<quoted text>
Interesting Opinions, if rambling a bit
Where's the rambling?

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Nottingham, UK

#4 Aug 24, 2013
I now at last turned to 4. properly to give an account of my ethical theory.

To start I must take what would at first seem to be an unrelated detour but I assure you it will become obvious why it is not. The Euthyphro dilemma is a question first proposed by Plato, is something good because God commands it or does God command it because it is good? Many Christians and religious people in general answer the question “it is good because it is commanded” leading to the formation of divine command theory. When those opposed this answer retort doesn't that make morality is arbitrary, based on the whims and desires of God? The supporters reply no, as God can command only that which is good because God's nature is innately good. I must give my own retort that this is bombastic circular nonsense, if what is good is decided by God then that means when you say God's nature is innately good what you are really saying is “God's nature is innately good by the standards of good set by God, and God's nature is the cause of such standards, which is the means you judge God's nature, and God’s nature is the cause of such standards...” I think we now know where this going, round and round forever and ever ad infinitum.

And so we must answer instead “God commands it because it is good” many of the religious don't like this answer as now God isn't the supreme of everything. To which I say tough luck and it's a good thing anyway. In order to know why I say this we have to note that morals and ethics are a statement of what ought to be, this means that ethics is the pursuit of what should be. Not only does this mean that we shouldn't care about what is our God given purpose, but this also gives is the final nail in the coffin of divine command theory, God can't decide what is good as what ought to be cannot be changed like what is can be changed for oughts are a statement of the ideal world, unless God can defy logic no one can change the oughts of the universe. How does this relate to my ethical theory? Simple if you criticise it by saying it contradicts X in the Bible and say I should care about this simply because X is in the Bible I will laugh at you, religion is not a valid factor in the formation of ethical theories either we find the right ethical theory and we find that a particular God came up with the same, or we find the right ethical theory and find no God came up with the same. We should not judge the validity of an ethical theory by a holy book rather we should judge the validity of a holy book by ethical theories.

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Nottingham, UK

#5 Aug 24, 2013
So how are we to get these oughts? Is it through to teleological methods of asking what is useful and expedient or is it through deontological non-situationist logic that has no regard for the former factors? I believe it must be through deontological methods, as asking what is useful does not address the oughts. Yes we need food so that is why we farm and kill animals but is it how it ought to be? And hence why vegetarians are not impressed by the argument of necessity. As a result of this the only way to get these oughts is through deontological logic, what would be ideal world look like? can only be answered in this way. This also affects the question why we should be good, we should do good because it is good. If one appeals to usefulness or reward and punishment you would be following the teleological method we have just dismissed.

The last piece of foundation I have left to lay it is who should we care about? Or in other words what is a moral agent? Is it everything? No because inanimate objects have no need for help and cannot be mistreated, the atoms that make a vase when broken are simply moved to different locations. Is it that which can feel pain? No as that would be going back to the teleological logical method which we have already dismissed, that being said it is still bad form to pointlessly torture animals as it is indulging savage instincts without a good reason (you may notice that this sounds teleological in nature but please wait I shall return to this point later). Is it that which is sentient? Yes people are the concern of ethics not just humans and hence why is that the word sentient their maybe nonhuman sentient creatures on earth, it is after all popular knowledge that dolphins are highly intelligent and quite close to being sentient. We must also consider extraterrestrials this may seem at first laughably absurd but if we are to form an ethical system that will stand the test of time we must, as we get closer and closer to being a spacefaring species at an interstellar level the chances of meeting aliens get higher and higher, and they have to have the same rights as humans.

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Nottingham, UK

#6 Aug 24, 2013
So it is now time finally time to answer the question what does the ideal world look like?

For a start everyone would be treated the same, I don't mean you have to love everyone equally but rather you have to give everyone the same rights and ignore your emotions when ethical questions arise.

No one will allow an intentional evil to befall upon someone else, that is a crime against another person.

No one would kill or imprison another person, as that would rob someone of the same rights you have.

Finally one would not do something because it is necessary instead of because it is good.

This is just a general outline but you should be able to see how this can make sense so far, now let me tell you a sad truth these are impossible. You may have already seen a contradiction between the second and third characteristics of our utopia, you cannot prevent a psychotic murderers killing people unless you either kill them or imprison them. This then has a chain reaction; the first characteristic is impossible as you can't give people equal rights as you will need to imprison or kill at least one person to protect others, thus the fourth characteristic is impossible as we have just agreed that it is necessary sometimes to imprison or kill someone.

Does this make the pursuit of ethics futile? Yes absolutely. Does it make it pointless? No, I have already stated that we should do good for the sake of good would giving up on an admittedly futile fight follow this principle. Instead we should do the best we can to strive to our ideals. For example the second characteristic would be altered to the much more achievable one should never allow an intentional evil to befall upon an innocent person, and as for a guilty people one should not allowed intentional evil to befall upon them without a good reason.

This is what is just and fair to me, the striving to the futile goal of the ideal world and doing the best we can with what we got and what we can do.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#7 Aug 28, 2013
1. Earth

2. To breathe.

3. For me it does.

4. The price of corn dogs.

5. Damn you are rambling, but since god forbids, and the law does not always get it right, and since I would consider the murder of my child a personal affront, I'd would do all in my power to set things right, without the involvement of officialdom.

Now should I not have the perp to vent my agression on, I'd just keep looking.

Believe it or not, it wouldn't happen again. A dead child is not going to be murdered again.

6. My children are not mine to rule, but to guide.

They may choose whatever paths they wish at adulthood, but if one became a preacher ... I am certain it would be because he had tamped down that old "do no harm" mantra which I raised them to act on, and the lazy shit would have decided that you will be funding his island vacay's from here on out.

7. What, you want me to set up every other places 911 systems?

8. Does this child not have family, work, pets, friends, a brain?

9. Why would you think it comes to naught? Obviously you do not know how to live.

Have you ever considered an infinite heaven or hell, as something to be devalued? Maybe a gram of irradium, is worth more than a million lives to you, but not to me.

10. Duh, yes. Death is the end of life, unless you are an organ donor. Even Zombie Jesus is still dead, he is just walking dead.
LCNlin

United States

#8 Aug 28, 2013
Reason Personified wrote:
1. Earth
2. To breathe.
3. For me it does.
4. The price of corn dogs.
5. Damn you are rambling, but since god forbids, and the law does not always get it right, and since I would consider the murder of my child a personal affront, I'd would do all in my power to set things right, without the involvement of officialdom.
Now should I not have the perp to vent my agression on, I'd just keep looking.
Believe it or not, it wouldn't happen again. A dead child is not going to be murdered again.
6. My children are not mine to rule, but to guide.
They may choose whatever paths they wish at adulthood, but if one became a preacher ... I am certain it would be because he had tamped down that old "do no harm" mantra which I raised them to act on, and the lazy shit would have decided that you will be funding his island vacay's from here on out.
7. What, you want me to set up every other places 911 systems?
8. Does this child not have family, work, pets, friends, a brain?
9. Why would you think it comes to naught? Obviously you do not know how to live.
Have you ever considered an infinite heaven or hell, as something to be devalued? Maybe a gram of irradium, is worth more than a million lives to you, but not to me.
10. Duh, yes. Death is the end of life, unless you are an organ donor. Even Zombie Jesus is still dead, he is just walking dead.
Rambling again with unsupported statements.
LCNlin

United States

#9 Aug 28, 2013
Atheism Is Not A Religion, And We Don’t Want Your Tax Breaks: FFRF To Feds

God save the atheists from your followers.

In a story that sounds like something out of Bizarro World, two leading nonbelievers are refusing a tax break from the IRS on the grounds that they are not entitled to it. Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, the husband-and-wife team who run the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), are telling the federal government they do not want a parsonage exemption

According to Bob Smietana of the Religion News Service, the standoff is the latest ideological impasse in a legal fight over the constitutionality of tax benefits offered to “ministers of the gospel.” Under current tax laws, ministers may claim their mortgage interest and property tax payments as deductions. The foundation, however, believes that such preferential treatment violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Related

In 2009, the foundation filed a federal lawsuit in California to challenge the tax benefits. The lawsuit was eventually dropped and refilled in Wisconsin, the foundation’s home state. In the complaint, FFRF says that Gaylor and Barker currently receive a housing allowance designated by FFRF's governing body. They assert that they do not want or qualify for the allowance as they are promoting non-belief.

However, in a government brief on June 28, federal attorneys argued to the contrary, stating that non-theistic beliefs, including atheism, may qualify as “religious” beliefs in certain contexts because they fulfill a similar role in a person’s life. The lawyers went on to cite Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture and Secular Humanism as belief systems that do not require the belief in a deity and yet could still appoint a qualifying “minister” as defined by the IRS.

In response, Gaylor and Barker wrote declarations, once again affirming their assertion that they are not entitled to the tax break.

“FFRF is not a church, and I am not a minister,” Gaylor wrote in her declaration, filed on July 26.“The Government ignores that a substantial part of the work of FFRF is to promote the constitutional principal of separation of church and state, including by advocacy, education and litigation.”

Barker’s declaration, nearly identical, was equally fervent:

“Atheism is not a belief at all. It is the absence of belief … Atheism has no denominational or even congregational organization or structure. It is not like Christianity, which have an organizational existence and substantive dogma.”

Both Gaylor and Barker say the tax benefits offered to ministers are preferential and discriminatory. Both said they would not claim the exclusion despite federal attorneys’ suggestion that they might be entitled to it.

The lawsuit, meanwhile, will proceed either way. In 2012, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, of the Western District of Wisconsin, issued an opinion letter permitting the FFRF to pursue their challenge. The parsonage exemption has been part of federal tax law since 1954.

http://www.ibtimes.com/atheism-not-religion-w...
LCNlin

United States

#10 Aug 28, 2013
Reason Personified wrote:
1. Earth
2. To breathe.
3. For me it does.
4. The price of corn dogs.
5. Damn you are rambling, but since god forbids, and the law does not always get it right, and since I would consider the murder of my child a personal affront, I'd would do all in my power to set things right, without the involvement of officialdom.
Now should I not have the perp to vent my agression on, I'd just keep looking.
Believe it or not, it wouldn't happen again. A dead child is not going to be murdered again.
6. My children are not mine to rule, but to guide.
They may choose whatever paths they wish at adulthood, but if one became a preacher ... I am certain it would be because he had tamped down that old "do no harm" mantra which I raised them to act on, and the lazy shit would have decided that you will be funding his island vacay's from here on out.
7. What, you want me to set up every other places 911 systems?
8. Does this child not have family, work, pets, friends, a brain?
9. Why would you think it comes to naught? Obviously you do not know how to live.
Have you ever considered an infinite heaven or hell, as something to be devalued? Maybe a gram of irradium, is worth more than a million lives to you, but not to me.
10. Duh, yes. Death is the end of life, unless you are an organ donor. Even Zombie Jesus is still dead, he is just walking dead.
You seem to be rambling in your arguments?

“My hand is over my crotch.”

Since: Jan 10

It's time to put it to use

#11 Aug 28, 2013
2-What is your purpose on earth?

To procreate and continue our species

3-Does life have a meaning?

Let the individual decide

4-What is just and fair for you?

To do unto others what I want them to do to me.

5.God forbids, if your child is murdered and the person is never caught and brought to justice, how would you handle it, seeing that life has no meaning and we are just here on earth to live and die. Where would you get justice from?

Certainly not from your child killing God.

6.An intelligent, thinking child brought up by atheist parents becomes a Christian how do you respond? Oh and becomes preacher and starts a new church, would you say your child has a problem?

I would tell him or her that it is sill;y to believe in superstitions.

7.What about all the injustice in the world that goes by unreported, where must everyone else get justice from?

People should try to reform the world, not put their faith into false things.

8. How do you answer your own child that is searching for meaning and purpose in life?

By not lying to them and pretending I know what I don't

9. Why does research, discovery, diplomacy, art, music, sacrifice, compassion, feelings of love, or affectionate and caring relationships mean anything if it all ultimately comes to naught anyway?

Well we have one life to live, so we might as well enjoy all of the above.

10.Is death the end of life?

Can you prove otherwise?

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Nottingham, UK

#12 Aug 29, 2013
LCNlin wrote:
<quoted text>
Rambling again with unsupported statements.
On behalf of Reason Personified, where? Where, where, Where!?
The only one making unsupported statements is you saying that Reason Personified is making unsupported statements.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#13 Aug 29, 2013
LCNlin wrote:
<quoted text>
Rambling again with unsupported statements.
My personal answers to hypotheticals need support?

No they don't, and rambling would be somewhat less than concise, along with failure to actually address a specific query. Sorry, "rambling" does not apply in this instance. Drag out your dictionary, surely you can find some other derogatory word which you can more aptly use to describe your opinion of my opinion.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#14 Aug 29, 2013
LCNlin wrote:
<quoted text>
You seem to be rambling in your arguments?
In case you didn't recognize it for what it is, my last post # 13 was an insult directed at you. After all you have failed to understand that both "argument" and "rambling" are not applicable critique of my responses to the above questions.

BTW: Should we expect (from you)even more responses to that single post?

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#15 Aug 29, 2013
Benjamin Frankly wrote:
<quoted text>
On behalf of Reason Personified, where? Where, where, Where!?
The only one making unsupported statements is you saying that Reason Personified is making unsupported statements.
I have dared post my honest replies to the questions, and by doing so, have totally flustered the idiot. He has no valid response to my post, so he labels it as if he were the admin here and must instruct me in more appropriate posting procedures. Like we are the ones who need the teacher.*

*Not that I would push one away, for I am always willing to learn something new.
LCNlin

United States

#16 Aug 29, 2013
Benjamin Frankly wrote:
<quoted text>
On behalf of Reason Personified, where? Where, where, Where!?
The only one making unsupported statements is you saying that Reason Personified is making unsupported statements.
An evangelical atheist is one who not only believes there is no god or other supreme being, but is obsessed with convincing everyone around them to become an atheist.

When cornered they usually try to put down their opponent's religion and bash them for 'blind faith', not realizing that their belief that there is no god is no more or less valid or provable than the other guy's belief that there is one.

Unsupported generalizations regarding faith seem the typical mixed with insecurity?

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Nottingham, UK

#17 Aug 29, 2013
LCNlin wrote:
<quoted text>
An evangelical atheist is one who not only believes there is no god or other supreme being, but is obsessed with convincing everyone around them to become an atheist.
When cornered they usually try to put down their opponent's religion and bash them for 'blind faith', not realizing that their belief that there is no god is no more or less valid or provable than the other guy's belief that there is one.
Unsupported generalizations regarding faith seem the typical mixed with insecurity?
I asked you twice to examples of rambling on both my and RP's posts, and you haven't.
If you really want to know what a evangelical of anything is here it is, an evangelical is one who speaks about his/her beliefs in order to get people to follow. However as a derogative it is one who wishes to make people follow by just shouting, this is different to simply not explaining ones self on a point as not explaining don't have to be a constant. When a person who hasn't explained themselves is confronted with a ambiguity they haven't noticed they clear it up. The evangelical flatly refuses for example when asked "where is the rambling" ignores the request for a example and when pressed starts throwing insults. Oh wait!! the evangelical is you... When I first asked for a example of my rambling you ignored me and then when I ask for a example of RP's rambling you start throwing insults. What a unforeseen turn of events.
LCNlin

United States

#18 Aug 29, 2013
Look at your own posts, we can not do your work for you ;-)
Some atheists seem to have problems with living in a world where people have varied opinions on the atheist philosophy. Have a Nice Day

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#19 Aug 29, 2013
LCNlin wrote:
Look at your own posts, we can not do your work for you ;-)
Some atheists seem to have problems with living in a world where people have varied opinions on the atheist philosophy. Have a Nice Day
Creationism : A very sad mental illness

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Nottingham, UK

#20 Aug 29, 2013
LCNlin wrote:
Look at your own posts, we can not do your work for you ;-)
Some atheists seem to have problems with living in a world where people have varied opinions on the atheist philosophy. Have a Nice Day
No you have to do the work for someone else because they can't see the problem that's why they posted it!

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