Atheism to Defeat Religion by 2038

Atheism to Defeat Religion by 2038

There are 24178 comments on the Psychology Today story from Apr 25, 2012, titled Atheism to Defeat Religion by 2038. In it, Psychology Today reports that:

My blog posts on religion have attracted a lot of controversy. Religious people are annoyed by my claim that belief in God will go the way of horse transportation, and for much the same reason, specifically an improved standard of living.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Psychology Today.

Lincoln

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#11089 Jan 23, 2013
Adam wrote:
<quoted text>
Not answering for others, but myself. I think that our beliefs should be based on decent evidence.
The best evidence we have at present is that the universe was created 13.7b ya in the big bang and that life evolved over the last 3.8 billion years.
The causes are unknown. But not good reason to assign supernatural entities to their creation.
might apply a bit of humility to our lack of knowledge of the origins of the universe.

Proves neither atheism nor God.

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#11090 Jan 23, 2013
Adam wrote:
<quoted text>
Not answering for others, but myself. I think that our beliefs should be based on decent evidence.
The best evidence we have at present is that the universe was created 13.7b ya in the big bang and that life evolved over the last 3.8 billion years.
The causes are unknown. But not good reason to assign supernatural entities to their creation.
The causes are proposed already.

1. Nothingdidit.
2. Wedontknowwhatdidit.
3. Goddidntdoit.
4. Goddidit.

Which do you adhere to?
Adam

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#11091 Jan 23, 2013
Lincoln wrote:
<quoted text>
might apply a bit of humility to our lack of knowledge of the origins of the universe.
Proves neither atheism nor God.
Thats why I'm a fence sitting agnostic. But am respectful to all beliefs... except the abrahamic ones ;)
Lincoln

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#11092 Jan 23, 2013
mtimber wrote:
<quoted text>
You define an athiest as someone who lacks a belief in gods.
The bible describes an atheist as someone who suppress a knowledge of God, who suppress a belief in God, so that they can be wise in their own eyes. And this activity reduces them to foolishness.
As a biblical christian, I have to accept that basis for identifying atheism.
Coupled to that, the atheists complete inability to account for obvious absolute truth, or even acceptance of that, proves the case...
Read this again and see if it makes any sense.

"As a Biblical Christian, I have to accept that basis for identifying atheism."

Is it the Strawman fallacy?

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#11093 Jan 23, 2013
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
The term is inherently subjective. "Good" in the context of rational ethics refers to what people want - what they say makes them happy. It is a consensus opinion, and may change with time, new information, and circumstances.
<quoted text>
What is the basis of rational ethics?
I used to be surprised whenever a Christian seemed unable to understand this. Apparently if someone has been involved in religion all of his life, where values are simply downloaded and accepted uncritically, he won't understand this, which becomes apparent whenever one ask us what stops us from wilding and berserking in the absence of a god belief.
To those who have had to come to their moral positions over a lifetime of rational thought and compassion, however, it's quite clear how this is done. We combine reason and compassion to set goals and attempt to achieve them. Here's how we do it in more detail:
People decide how they would like to live. Most want to be happy as they understand it, which means that they want what it takes to achieve that state. They want to feel safe, to have enough, to feel loved, to express themselves, and to have the opportunity to pursue those things that make them happy, and to experience self-respect and the respect of others.
That means having leisure time, good health, sufficient means, the wisdom to pursue worthy the goals, and the skills to achieve them. We've learned from our own lives and from reading about the past that most of us want those things.
So how do we get it? By being rational and compassionate. No universal values exist to be plucked out the air, so we need to determine them ourselves. We decide which values embody those goals - kindness, tolerance, freedom, peace, integrity, etc - and we attempt to create rules that embody them. Some of these rules are laws, such as 'don't kill or steal' and some are customs and traditions, such as sharing and cheerfulness.
To the extent that we fail to achieve our goals, whether because of choosing wrong goal or method, we tweak our process and see if we have improved total happiness or not. This is the empirical aspect of the process. It provides the evidence that we are right here or wrong there.
Prohibition of alcohol is a good illustration. The intentions were good, but the goal of criminalizing alcohol turned out to be paradoxically counterproductive, and actually increased the misery in the world. So, using reason and compassion, prohibition was lifted.
If rationalists had access to the American drug policy, which is clearly counterproductive, they would apply the lessons of the past to the War on Drugs and curtail it. Instead, a faith based approach to the War on Drugs prevails.
1. First problem with your argument:

So "Good" is not an absolute, but a subjective term?

That is the basis of your argument?

So what is the absolute standard for "goodness" that you measure "good" against, if "good" is not the absolute standard?

2. Second problem with your argument:

If goodness is merely a social convention, which you ascribe to in your first paragraph, then rape can be "good" as long as it is supported by social convention.

Do you really believe the argument you are making?

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#11094 Jan 23, 2013
It aint necessarily so wrote:
Why would anybody believe that? That flood part describes a sadistic, moronic and incompetent god. He allegedly was unhappy with mankind, which he was wholly responsible for, and whose future he could allegedly see before he built them.

When they turned out to be sinful as he knew they would be, he decided to nearly sterilize the earth with an impossible rainstorm that caused the miserable and terrifying torture of not just almost all men, but almost all life.

Can you picture the puppies and kitten seeking higher ground until there was no escape, and then, while in a state of sheer terror, have the water level cover their little noses and snuff the life out of them? He could have just "poofed" them away in the manner he created them, but he preferred this.

But wait - besides being senselessly cruel, it's a stupid plan doomed to failure.

To repair the problem, that god reseeded the earth using the exact same breeding stock - a drunk and his family.

Sorry, but that's just not plausible. It's all nonsense. There never was a Noah, nor an Eve, nor a Jehovah. And there is no such thing as sin, nor any need for redemption.
mtimber wrote:
Your first premise is based on what?
Which are you calling my first premise? That the flood myth describes a moronic and incompetent god? I gave you the argument that led to that conclusion immediately following. Did you not see it?
mtimber wrote:
The whole point of the bible is that man is in rebellion against God.[?QUOTE]

Not really.

The point of the Christian bible is to control people. It does that by creating a need that only it can fulfill, one which requires a pathological crucifixion of the self and submission.

[QUOTE who="mtimber"]Are you arguing that your rebellion against him is His fault?
Where did you get that I think that your god exists or that I am rebelling against it?
mtimber wrote:
So you argue for a lack of self determination in life?
Au contraire.

I consider autonomy is a cardinal ethical virtue, and an essential element of self-actualization and authentic existence.
mtimber wrote:
You don't believe you can choose anything and you are not responsible for anything because of that?
That's incorrect.

Why do you think otherwise? Because I denied the doctrines of sin and salvation? I'm a secular humanist.

You don't seem to understand us at all, do you?

And I guess that you have no comment then on the sadism or stupidity argument regarding the Great Flood. I understand. What can you say?

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#11095 Jan 23, 2013
It aint necessarily so wrote:
No universal values exist to be plucked out the air, so we need to determine them ourselves.
Is that a universal value you have determined yourself?

Is it one you have plucked out of the air?

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#11096 Jan 23, 2013
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
<quoted text>
Why so pissy? Because I told you that I would exceed your bible in empathy?
And who are you arguing with besides yourself? I never said any such thing. But you did. You seem to be agreeing that it wouldn't be very empathetic if I only matched the level of empathy in your bible. Is that correct?
And what is your obsession with "absolutism"? Life is often more nuanced than that.
And I guess that you had no comment then on those hateful little snippets from your bible? I guess that they don't really require any comment, do they?
You just stated that your absolute standard of morality is social convention.

You have now stated that you have a superior moral standard to those in the bible.

What is the absolute standard?

Social convention, or you?

You need to make up your mind, as your arguments are inconsistent and irrational..

How do you reconcile this obvious logical contradiction?

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#11097 Jan 23, 2013
It aint necessarily so wrote:
And I guess that you have no comment then on the sadism or stupidity argument regarding the Great Flood. I understand. What can you say?
If morality is a social convention, and God and the rest of the universe decided man was immoral to the point of near hopelessness, would it be immoral for God to destroy mankind?

According to your own argument, it would not be immoral, as the greater society took action against the lesser society, so why are you condemning the flood?

You are not being consistent with your own professed worldview.

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#11098 Jan 23, 2013
It aint necessarily so wrote:
Where did you get that I think that your god exists or that I am rebelling against it?
From God, through the Bible.

And as God cannot be wrong, I have to accept His opinion over yours.

I hope you don't mind me being consistent with my worldview?

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#11099 Jan 23, 2013
mtimber wrote:
Rape is wrong because it is contrary to Gods character.
Which god? Certainly you don't mean Jehovah. He sanctions rape, often preceded by genocide.

"As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you." - Deut 20:10-14

And didn't Jehovah impregnate a minor?
mtimber wrote:
You are an evolutionist how can you argue that rape is absolutely right or wrong?
There's your absolutism again.

That may fly in authoritarian ethical systems based in alleged divine revelation, but you need to drop that in a discussion of rational ethics. It's not apart of the philosophy or the process.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#11100 Jan 23, 2013
mtimber wrote:
<quoted text>
Following your reasoning then you must also oppose abortion then?
As the harm to the baby far outweighs the harm to the mother?
A fetus is not a moral agent.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#11101 Jan 23, 2013
mtimber wrote:
<quoted text>
Really, are you now the determiner of absolute moral standards?
Is your character so perfect that you can determine absolute morality for everyone else including God?
If a deity supports rape and murder of humans, then that deity is not moral. if that isn't clear to you, then there is something wrong with your morality.
Henry

Germany

#11102 Jan 23, 2013
mtimber wrote:
<quoted text>
What is your "proof"?
I think you are accussing faith with proof.
Do you have empirical evidence that rocks became life?
No?
Didn't think so.
So why is your atheistic worldview something you want to sell to others?
Atheists don`t have to "sell" anything to people, because any religions are myths or worse. Faith is of course phantasm! I don`t have any empirical evidence about rocks. Science may have an answer!

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#11103 Jan 23, 2013
mtimber wrote:
No, you just have to sacrifice the lies you are hiding behind:
1. nothingexploded
2. arockdidit
Once you get past these false propositions, which are obviously illogical, you might be able to reason your way around morality etc.
Those aren't my claims. Frankly, I've never seen those claims except from Christian apologists, although I've seen that many times:

[1] KJV wrote: "So where did life come from if not from rain falling rocks?"
http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/T9260G2B6...

[2] RiversideRedneck wrote: "Truer than it "poofed" from nothingness.(or is it those rocks that started all life?)"
http://www.topix.com/forum/topstories/TOCO8TE...

[3] lightbeamrider wrote; "A rock produced a frog? No intelligence involved?"
http://www.topix.com/forum/topstories/TU9NRDA...

[4] Colin the Zionist wrote: "So there we have a kind of an answer, the "primordial soup" so it rains on the rocks and out sprang life."
http://www.topix.com/forum/world/TSQMQC5MFMPD...

[5] Jesse wrote: " i have been through many years of college and still believe in intelligent design through irreducible complexity oppossed to the idea that all life came from a rock"
http://www.topix.com/forum/news/evolution/TVP...

[6] George wrote: "No, the burden of proof is on you to prove that man was created from rocks"
http://www.topix.com/forum/city/utica-ny/T828...

This is obviously some meme generated by a Christian source that has been rattling around the echo chamber for years now. And as you can see, it is only Christians making the claim.

Science says that life probably arose from a primordial soup. containing not just minerals, but other elements and molecules, including organic molecules. Rocks have nothing to do with it apart from serving as a source of some mineral elements after their erosion.

========

Regarding the Bag Bang, there is no "nothing" and no "explosion." There is a singularity and it expands. It's origin is unknown,but an eternal multiverse from which it may have budded is a very good hypothesis with some support already.
mtimber wrote:
Because whilst you are hiding behind them, you cannot account for logic, rationality, personal identity and indeed morality amongst others...
I cannot account for logic/rationality. Evolution accounts for the rest, and for the reasoning faculty.

Did you think that the default position for such a state of affairs is a god belief? I can't account for a god, either. Neither can you.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#11104 Jan 23, 2013
mtimber wrote:
How do you account for logic in an atheistic universe?
It aint necessarily so wrote:
I can't. How do you account for a god?
mtimber wrote:
Exactly, you cannot account for the universe, life, mind, morality and individuality.
You went a little further than I did. We have working hypotheses for all of the above. But I have no idea why the world appears rational.
mtimber wrote:
Because the only thing that accounts for them is the one thing you want to avoid above all others.
Special pleading.

You evaded my question: How do you account for a god? How could one possibly exist?
mtimber wrote:
But as you have now admitted you cannot account for much
No, you admitted that for me.
mtimber wrote:
upon what basis do you reject the absolute truth of christianity?
Its bible. It refutes itself and the claim that it was authored by a perfect deity, which it calls perfect, but describes as imperfect, and does so imperfectly.

Also, its creation myth is wrong. That pretty much rules it out right there.
mtimber wrote:
Do you want to present the idea there is something intellectually superior about arguing from a position of ignorance?
When the answers are unknown, there is no more honest position than to admit ignorance, and there is no argument nor any more intellectually superior position possible until more is known.

Do you want to argue that there is something superior about asserting that faith based claims are facts?

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#11105 Jan 23, 2013
mtimber wrote:
At last after several days, an attempt at a rational argument! Someone, hopefully, beginning to understand the implications of this discussion...
Please don't patronize me. You're hardly in a position to be the arbiter of what is rational. Your thought is faith based.
mtimber wrote:
Only one God, revealed to man does indeed answer all the questions.
Disagree. All god hypotheses create a more intractable problem than they solve. They leave a god to be accounted for.

What is the least likely thing to exist uncreated? I'll give you a multiple choice:

[a] A singularity
[b] A multiverse
[c] A biological cell
[d] an sui generis, infinite, immortal, sentient, volitional, omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly moral being

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#11106 Jan 23, 2013
mtimber wrote:
An impersonal distant God does not fulfill the requirements for the source of intelligibility, especially in the field of morality.
Why not?
mtimber wrote:
Only an Absolute God, who prescribes morality, who communicates that personally and introduces Himself fulfills that model.
How did you arrive at that conclusion? Faith?
mtimber wrote:
So your model, the denial of the person of God as revealed in Christ, does not work because it fails to account for ALL preconditions of intelligibility...
Not for me.

And as I said, your "solution" creates more metaphysical problems than it solves.
mtimber wrote:
It cannot account for morality, or the problem of immorality...
Biological evolution accounts for the existence of the conscience, and cultural evolution accounts for specific human moral codes.
mtimber wrote:
So where does your argument go from here?
Disneyland!

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#11107 Jan 23, 2013
mtimber wrote:
A man and a woman alone on an island, the last survivors of humanity. The only chance of extending the species is by procreation. The man wants to, the woman doesn't. The man therefore rapes the woman. Is he wrong, according to your worldview?
No.

He would be wrong to let her end the human race. Assuming that she is not known to be infertile, if he can't convince her or seduce her, he must rape her.

This really isn't hard.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#11108 Jan 23, 2013
It aint necessarily so wrote:
What are you hoping to accomplish here? A little entertainment for yourself? If your purpose is more than that, you are wasting your time. You are not going to flip a mature rational skeptic at this stage of his or her intellectual and moral development. You have nothing to offer.
mtimber wrote:
To share some logical conclusions with people that want to deny the source of logical absolutes... In the hope that someone else can see the foolishness of the atheistic denial of God. Or that indeed one of you, has just imbibed the religion of atheism, without ever actually challenging their religious convictions.
OK. Good luck with that.

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