Atheism requires as much faith as rel...

Atheism requires as much faith as religion?

There are 258452 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

#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.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184288 Nov 15, 2013
RiversideRedneck wrote:
Lol
Dear Freethinkers:
You should freethink this way.
What do you freethink?
More of your prejudicial thought.

Would you like to see my reply to him and my group? It's nice illustration of how we teach one another. nobody is trying to coerce anybody yo believe anything. All ideas are explained and supported, and offered on their merits, not with threats of hellfire or claims of divine authorship.

Here it is in two parts:

Hey Ken and gang. It's been a while since I've chimed in.

Spirituality is a subject of interest to me and one that I've discussed at length in my Internet message board pursuits, so rather than reinvent the wheel, please indulge me by allowing me to recopy a few words a little out of context here.

But first, I'd like to address Ken's comment, "To my knowledge, "spirituality" is a supernatural phenomenon, as "spirit" surely is."

I would remind us all that there is a difference between spiritualism, which invokes the supernatural, and spirituality, which describes a delicious psychological phenomenon that can be pursued, nurtured and enjoyed for its own sake without injecting magic.

Here are some of those posts on that subject:

==========

[1] "What does a rationalist and empiricist do with such spiritual notions? If he's wise, he enjoys them for what they are. He doesn't call them beliefs or make decisions based on them. Chasing them away, or despising them for being unfounded if he can't chase them away, is both unnecessary and undesirable. Reason helps us understand the world. But it is an irrational aspect of mind that lets us take pleasure from it. Reason is only useful in the service of the pursuit of satisfaction.

"These are the some of the kinds of thoughts that I am referring to when I talk about spirituality from an atheistic perspective. Spirituality comprises intuitions of the mysterious combined with awe, gratitude, and a sense of connectivity, the latter having been violently extirpated from the Christian experience by the insistence that he separate himself psychologically from "the world" and "the flesh" - his own body and the human race.

"It is unknowable if these intuitions have correlates outside of the head, or are merely psychological phenomena. But it is not necessary to know to benefit from their sublime experience. They add to my life in a very positive way whatever they are, and I nurtured and embraced them for that reason rather than despise or dismiss them.

==========

[2] "I think that your religion strips the universe of the admiration it deserves, and exports it to some object that may not exist in some space that may not exist. It diverts your attention from how magnificent things are - including man - and cheapens them by demeaning them with a deep pessimism for our physical world and by demeaning the life on it, both human and animal."

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184289 Nov 15, 2013
Here's a little more on the subject of spirituality without superstition, its relationship to our physical world and a sense of connectivity to it, and how Christianity poisons the authentic spiritual experience, although that is not the principal message, nor are those words used explicitly. It's a wonderful YouTube at
called "Science Saved My Soul" by a fellow that punningly calls himself Phil Hellene.

He's describing an authentic spiritual experience that he was deprived of in his church years, but which an understanding of science later afforded him. Being deprived of this understanding, and of this degree of communion with nature, is damage just as surely as voting from ignorance is.[If you like what you read here, I recommend the whole video]:

[3] "When I looked at the galaxy that night, I knew the faintest twinkle of starlight was a real connection between my comprehending eye along a narrow beam of light to the surface of another sun. The photons my eyes detect (the light I see, the energy with which my nerves interact) came from that star. I thought I could never touch it, yet something from it crosses the void and touches me. I might never have known. My eyes saw only a tiny point of light, but my mind saw so much more.

"If God exists, God made this [photo of a galaxy]. Look at it. Face it. Accept it. Adjust to it, because this is ... how God works. God would probably want you to look at it. To learn about it. To try to understand it. But if you can’t look — if you won’t even try to understand — what does that say about your religion?"

"To even partially comprehend the scale of a single galaxy is to almost disappear. And when you remember all the other galaxies, you shrink 100 billion times smaller still. But then you remember what you are. The same facts that made you feel so insignificant also tell you how you got here. It’s like you become more real, or maybe the universe becomes more real. You suddenly fit. You suddenly belong. You do not have to bow down. You do not have to look away. In such moments, all you have to do is remember to keep breathing."

"The body of a newborn baby is as old as the cosmos. The form is new and unique, but the materials are 13.7 billion years old, processed by nuclear fusion in stars, fashioned by electromagnetism. Cold words for amazing processes. And that baby was you. Is you. You’re amazing. Not only alive, but with a mind ... When I compare what scientific knowledge has done for me and what religion tried to do to me, I sometimes literally shiver."

"Religions tell children they might go to hell and they must believe, while science tells children they came from the stars and presents reasoning they can believe. I’ve told plenty of young kids about stars and atoms and galaxies and the Big Bang and I have never seen fear in their eyes, only amazement and curiosity. They want more."

"Why do kids swim in it and adults drown in it? What happens to reality between our youngest years and adulthood? Could it be that someone promised us something so beautiful that our universe seems dull, empty, even frightening by comparison? It might still be made by a Creator of some kind but religion has made it look ugly."

=========

To my way of reckoning,*THAT* is the authentic spiritual experience, not the fear and worship of ghosts from the kneeling posture.

I'll close with a little scripture that nicely illustrates the death of spirituality and connectivity that Christian philosophy imposes:

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple.”- Luke 14:26

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#184290 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...

I should have taken you and Nightserf to my AA meeting.

I could have avoided admitting I was an alcoholic.

"Hi, I'm Buck, and I am skeptical of sobriety".

“MEET KIKI -She Seeks Home”

Since: Oct 10

With Established Harem

#184291 Nov 15, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
:)
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.
.. within the next 15-25 years, I think science will solve the mystery of time and humans will be capable of traversing the planes ..

.. do you think time is linear ??..

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184292 Nov 15, 2013
RiversideRedneck wrote:
<quoted text>
Lol
Dear Freethinkers:
You should freethink this way.
What do you freethink?
I hope you liked that.

Perhaps you can imagine the feedback I got from emailing that material to about 200 people, people that haven't really examined spirituality properly. What do you think that ideas like mine and philhellene's (the video) mean to people that have allowed Christians to convince them that they are not spiritual because they reject the notion of a spirit world, and therefore have no claim the word?

My argument is that authentic spirituality belongs to us, not you. I say that we take it back, along with the moral high ground and the Christian claim to a superior understanding of what love is.

This is the kind of debate and discussion I like, not meetings.

Incidentally, I've just shared your reaction with them. I think it's good for all of us to know about one another. Many of them have little or no experience with Christians in informal conversation like this, and see only the output of the published apologists. They generally don't know how you misunderstand things like atheism, skepticism, and freethought, or how you mock them in your prejudice and ignorance.

Incidentally, that was all freethought - Ken's material, my response to it, and philhellene's ideas. Freethought need not be original to be freethought. It merely needs to be a departure from unexamined and generally accepted dogma.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184293 Nov 15, 2013
RiversideRedneck wrote:
<quoted text>
Huh...
NightSerf:
The ultimate skeptics reject all faith and accept only ideas for which the evidence is compelling.
--
So NightSerf must not believe in dreams, emotions or intuition...
If he does, he's full of shit.
How is it that you've misunderstood even those simple and self-evident ideas?

“MEET KIKI -She Seeks Home”

Since: Oct 10

With Established Harem

#184294 Nov 15, 2013
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
"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.
.. yes, words are important ..

.. if you say someone is dead, it can have a myriad of meanings. They may be physically, spiritually or intellectually dead ..

.. in America, an atheist may be described as someone who rejects the Abrahamic God ..

.. why is your interpretation of any word the correct one? I do not understand the logic. What does it accomplish ??..

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184295 Nov 15, 2013
RiversideRedneck wrote:
Would you believe me if I told you I had a dream last night? Yes, you would. Without evidence to support it. Imagine that.
You don't seem to know what evidence is, or that your words are evidence of your intellect, character and disposition. There is ample evidence that you are honest except when cornered and trying to save face. You post many things that I know to be true, and others that I have read about because of your posting that confirmed that you were honest about those matters. I remember a post of yours on another thread about door hinges that caused me to read more about them:

Riverside Redneck: "Don't use self-closing hinges, they make the door slam. Instead, use a commercial door closer, it makes the door shut and latch without having to hear it slam."

So why wouldn't I believe you if you said you had a dream? As a skeptic, I have intellectual doubt: I realize that you may be lying. But I experience no psychological doubt about a mundane claim from a guy who is largely honest and has no apparent motive to be lying. That's all reason applied to evidence. It's how skeptics form opinions.

As I said, I think it's good for all of us to understand one another and how we think, both evidence based thinkers and faith based thinkers. Your opinions about me as an atheist, a skeptic, and a freethinker, and the way you come by them - your faith in the opinions of people that despise all of those things - is just as instructive.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184296 Nov 15, 2013
RiversideRedneck wrote:
<quoted text>
Your kind seek to replace organized religion with organized unreligion.
Why is that better?
Why is secular government better than theocracy?

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184297 Nov 15, 2013
Buck Crick wrote:
That's because only one member of Dave's present audience is as smart as Dave. Dave's post to which I referred displays more insight into the nature of humanity than everything you learned in medical school, or even if you throw in all your humanist propaganda literature. His ability to experience and express it is the most impressive thing I've seen on Topix,...other than myself.
Do you really want to go there? I want to limit my insults of Dave to the occasions in which he chooses to insult me. This isn't one of them, so I probably won't argue with you about him except to say that if you take this position, you're not making either of you look any better.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184298 Nov 15, 2013
Dave Nelson wrote:
Explain how the molecules get arranged to do their chemical thing. The triggers and alignments that cause the "knowing" of when and how to process. Nuts and bolts. That would be a great start. Remember, we are dealing with material reality, not esoteric terms and words. You need material proof of concept.
What I know about the subject is limited. This is off the top of my head:

Smaller molecules move by Brownian motion (impacts by neighboring molecules), diffusion, osmosis, capillary action, and electrostatic attractions and repulsions. These might not be mutually exclusive categories, and there may be more mechanisms.

Biological (macromolecules) also pleat, coil and uncoil, denature, conform around metal ions, and capture then modify substrates according to affinities and repulsions in response to electrostatic and hydrophobic/hydrophilic influences in their milieus.

Molecules of various sizes are also actively transported through cytoplasm by carrier molecules, and both actively and passively transported across membranes

Why do you ask?
spudgun

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#184299 Nov 15, 2013
Interesting article
"A U.S. ecologist says conditions such as bad backs and sunburn suggest humans did not evolve alongside other life on Earth"

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/articl...

Sounds a bit crazy, or could it be possible?

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#184300 Nov 15, 2013
LCNLin wrote:
You may wait a while for his proof of atheism.
Atheism isn't a claim. It's an opinion about theists' claim and their evidence and arguments for gods, which I have rejected after careful consideration.

Furthermore, my rejection of your god - my atheism - is self evident. The proof of my atheism is that rejection

If you're waiting for a disproof of all gods, I can't give you one. I can disprove the claim that the Christian god exists, but not to somebody that has a stake in remaining a believer. I'd need your cooperation.

A disproof of gods were it possible would be superfluous anyway. I don't need one to reject unsupported, extraordinary claims, and faith is immune to evidence. So which of us would benefit from such a proof? Neither.

Notice that I don't ask you for a proof for your theism. I already know you don't have one.
spudgun

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#184301 Nov 15, 2013
Quote "A U.S. ecologist has claimed that humans are not from Earth but were put on the planet by aliens tens of thousands of years ago.


Dr Ellis Silver points to a number of physiological features to make his case for why humans did not evolve alongside other life on Earth, in his new book.


They range from humans suffering from bad backs - which he suggests is because we evolved in a world with lower gravity – to getting too easily sunburned and having difficulty giving birth.


Dr Ellis says that while the planet meets humans’ needs for the most part, it does not perhaps serve the species’ interests as well as the aliens who dropped us off imagined.


In his book, HUMANS ARE NOT FROM EARTH: A SCIENTIFIC EVALUATION OF THE EVIDENCE, the ecologist writes the human race has defects that mark it of being ‘not of this world’.


‘Mankind is supposedly the most highly developed species on the planet, yet is surprisingly unsuited and ill-equipped for Earth's environment: harmed by sunlight, a strong dislike for naturally occurring foods, ridiculously high rates of chronic disease, and more,’ he told Yahoo.


Dr Ellis says that humans might suffer from bad backs because they evolved on a world with lower gravity.


He also says that it is strange that babies’ heads are so large and make it difficult for women to give birth, which can result in fatalities of the mother and infant. No other native species on this planet has this problem, he says.


He also believes humans are not designed to be as exposed to the sun as they are on Earth, as they cannot sunbathe for more than a week or two – unlike a lizard – and cannot be exposed to the sun every day without problems.


Dr Ellis also claims humans are always ill and this might be because our body clocks have evolved to expects a 25 hour day, as proven by sleep researchers."
Bongo

Patchogue, NY

#184302 Nov 15, 2013
Dave Nelson wrote:
<quoted text>
I have never heard that one.
I don't use WD-40, anyhow. It's junk.
Best stuff was something they sold a few decades ago with teflon in it. Great for guns and fishing tackle. But they took it off the market because you couldn't leave fingerprints on it.
Incredibly I still have a can of it from 1979. It still sprays. Used it on a sluggish pocket door a few months ago. At that time I worked as a contractor for dupont building machinery to manufacture Teflon. In order to grind it you must first irradiate it.
Bongo

Patchogue, NY

#184303 Nov 15, 2013
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
Do you really want to go there? I want to limit my insults of Dave to the occasions in which he chooses to insult me. This isn't one of them, so I probably won't argue with you about him except to say that if you take this position, you're not making either of you look any better.
Bucks not my hero anymore, Dave is.

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