Who is an atheist?

Who is an atheist?

There are 9494 comments on the The Sydney Morning Herald story from May 30, 2010, titled Who is an atheist?. In it, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that:

In my last blog there was a moderately spectacular blue between various parties .

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald.

“There are other issues.”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#8752 Nov 25, 2012
Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>Do the consequences of religious belief matter? Yes or no?

Many religious beliefs include, as part of the belief, a duty to act upon the belief.

Do the consequences of those actions matter? Yes or no?
If you talk about 911 and current issues that occurred it does matter. If you talk about the religious people in the US who do nothing and don't have the intention to hurt others but help and their consequence is being helpful, I agree. If you are talking about missionaries that risk their lives helping poor people and the consequence is death and it was for for a good purpose and shouldn't have gotten hurt. I agree. If you talk about Stalin who murdered many people and was not religious or believed in religion I day yes. Murder is no an excuse for either atheists or religion. That is why we have laws here in the US to protect all of us and have consequences just in case. That is why you have a military with atheist and religious folks to protect our freedom. C

“There are other issues.”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#8753 Nov 25, 2012
Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>Really? People never go from having religious belief to not having it?

Have you followed the trends in the more educated countries?

I didn't say anything about an "educational barrier".

And we live in the same world with others, regardless of their country. Their actions have an impact *here*.

Now, could you address my two questions?

People never go from having religious belief to not having it?

Have you followed the trends in the more educated countries?
People never go from having religious belief to not having it?

People change like they change sports teams. People who didn't have religious beliefs also change to religious beliefs. It works both ways.

Since: Feb 08

Tampa, FL

#8754 Nov 25, 2012
Educated What wrote:
If you talk about 911 and current issues that occurred it does matter. If you talk about the religious people in the US who do nothing and don't have the intention to hurt others but help and their consequence is being helpful, I agree. If you are talking about missionaries that risk their lives helping poor people and the consequence is death and it was for for a good purpose and shouldn't have gotten hurt. I agree. If you talk about Stalin who murdered many people and was not religious or believed in religion I day yes. Murder is no an excuse for either atheists or religion. That is why we have laws here in the US to protect all of us and have consequences just in case. That is why you have a military with atheist and religious folks to protect our freedom. C
If the consequences of belief matter, then belief matters.

Since: Feb 08

Tampa, FL

#8755 Nov 25, 2012
Educated What wrote:
People never go from having religious belief to not having it? People change like they change sports teams. People who didn't have religious beliefs also change to religious beliefs. It works both ways.
I thought you claimed that things don't change. You wrote: "Basically both can be criticized. But why? Why does it have to be that way? Why does it matter. Nothing is going to change."

Now, the second question that you did not address:

Have you followed the trends in the more educated countries?(And if you have, which way is the trend going: toward more religion, or toward less?)

“There are other issues.”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#8756 Nov 25, 2012
Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>If the consequences of belief matter, then belief matters.
But I still argue for the freedom of choice. It's our right.

“There are other issues.”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#8757 Nov 25, 2012
Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>I thought you claimed that things don't change. You wrote: "Basically both can be criticized. But why? Why does it have to be that way? Why does it matter. Nothing is going to change."

Now, the second question that you did not address:

Have you followed the trends in the more educated countries?(And if you have, which way is the trend going: toward more religion, or toward less?)
Me Smith,

Trends can change from year to year. Atheism as you call it is not growing how you might be claiming it to or take credit for. It's a mixture of Buddhist, agnostic, people not claiming religion and atheists. Oh but let me guess, those other groups you will claim as atheists correct?

“There are other issues.”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#8758 Nov 25, 2012
Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>I thought you claimed that things don't change. You wrote: "Basically both can be criticized. But why? Why does it have to be that way? Why does it matter. Nothing is going to change."

Now, the second question that you did not address:

Have you followed the trends in the more educated countries?(And if you have, which way is the trend going: toward more religion, or toward less?)
But again, I am arguing on the freedom of choice. We have the right to believe in whatever we believe in. You can't change that.

“There are other issues.”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#8759 Nov 25, 2012
Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>I thought you claimed that things don't change. You wrote: "Basically both can be criticized. But why? Why does it have to be that way? Why does it matter. Nothing is going to change."

Now, the second question that you did not address:

Have you followed the trends in the more educated countries?(And if you have, which way is the trend going: toward more religion, or toward less?)
Criticism doesn't change, that is correct . It should though, we still have our rights.

Since: Feb 08

Tampa, FL

#8760 Nov 25, 2012
If the consequences of belief matter, then belief matters.
Educated What wrote:
But I still argue for the freedom of choice. It's our right.
So is the right to criticize the beliefs of others.

Since: Feb 08

Tampa, FL

#8761 Nov 25, 2012
Have you followed the trends in the more educated countries?(And if you have, which way is the trend going: toward more religion, or toward less?)
Educated What wrote:
Trends can change from year to year.
What is their trend over decades?
Educated What wrote:
Atheism as you call it is not growing how you might be claiming it to or take credit for.
Really? What do the trends show in relatively educated populations, such as in Europe?

“There are other issues.”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#8762 Nov 25, 2012
Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>If the consequences of belief matter, then belief matters.

So is the right to criticize the beliefs of others.
But people criticize both and I don't see a point in it. I don't push my beliefs at you and you shouldn't have to push what you believe on me. You just choose to do so.

“There are other issues.”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#8763 Nov 25, 2012

Since: Feb 08

Tampa, FL

#8764 Nov 25, 2012
So is the right to criticize the beliefs of others.
Educated What wrote:
But people criticize both and I don't see a point in it.
The point is (1) that people are reminded why we have separation of church and state, and (2) that people who haven't yet made up their minds can be exposed to the irrationality of religious belief.
Educated What wrote:
I don't push my beliefs at you and you shouldn't have to push what you believe on me. You just choose to do so.
I'm not "pushing" anything. I'm stating my position. You've always been entirely free not to frequent this thread, yes? Nothing obligates you to be here, correct? You chose, entirely of your own free will, to enter this thread, correct?
Bob

Needham, MA

#8765 Nov 25, 2012
If you continue to believe in a supreme being into adulthood than you are a nut.Children are told these fairytales and they should leave fairytales behind when they grow up. Time to grow up folks this child tales were never mente for you. BOB

Richardfs

“Formerly "Richard"”

Since: Mar 12

In the beginning e=mc^2

#8766 Nov 25, 2012
Educated What wrote:
<quoted text>
Polymath257 is an atheist that is respectful and easy to speak with. He does not put anyone down and respects others. I respect this person. Richard, learn from him and stop using the educational barrier.
What a cry baby.

“There are other issues.”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#8767 Nov 25, 2012
Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>So is the right to criticize the beliefs of others.

The point is (1) that people are reminded why we have separation of church and state, and (2) that people who haven't yet made up their minds can be exposed to the irrationality of religious belief.

Educated What wrote, "I don't push my beliefs at you and you shouldn't have to push what you believe on me. You just choose to do so."

I'm not "pushing" anything. I'm stating my position. You've always been entirely free not to frequent this thread, yes? Nothing obligates you to be here, correct? You chose, entirely of your own free will, to enter this thread, correct?
Did you read the article I posted? If so what do you think about it?

“There are other issues.”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#8768 Nov 25, 2012
Richardfs wrote:
<quoted text>What a cry baby.
Lol! You got stomped and you just don't know how to react do you. You made false claims with nothing to back you up. Hey your friends do better, learn from them. They make it interesting.

“There are other issues.”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#8769 Nov 25, 2012
Bob wrote:
If you continue to believe in a supreme being into adulthood than you are a nut.Children are told these fairytales and they should leave fairytales behind when they grow up. Time to grow up folks this child tales were never mente for you. BOB
I guess our intelligence in the military who are religious are nuts, I guess Givemeliberty's wife is a nut cause she's catholic, I guess the President of the US is a nut also, I guess business owners that are religious are nuts, I guess our senate reps who are religious are nuts. I guess you are perfectly fine right?

“H-o-o-o-o-o-o-ld on thar!”

Since: Sep 08

The Borderland of Sol

#8770 Nov 25, 2012
Educated What wrote:
<quoted text>
It won't be. Too many of them.
I'll settle for "fractured into utter irrelevance".

Which is, to my unabashed glee, the direction in which it's merrily galloping.

When every True Believer® finally recognizes that he's just another cult-of-one, there will be a wonderful party

Since: Feb 08

Tampa, FL

#8771 Nov 25, 2012
Educated What wrote:
Did you read the article I posted?
Yes.
Educated What wrote:
If so what do you think about it?
Not much. Atheism isn't a "replacement" for religion. One might just as well claim that "not believing in the Tooth Fairy" is a "replacement" for "believing in the Tooth Fairy".(The author to which Austin is replying, Barber, isn't using the term "replacement" in the way that Austin is.) So the author is engaged in a straw man argument.

And his statement "...at its best religious faith calls for sacrifice, unselfishness, love, and a willingness to remove oneself from the center of the universe, so to speak." But simply living in a social species (with circles of close family, distant family, neighbors, friends, etc.) calls for that, without the need for religion. The author is implying that atheists never sacrifice (does he realize how many atheists have served in the military?), and that atheists are selfish (I have no doubt that atheists are just as likely as anyone else to give to their spouses, their children, the parents, and to charity in an unselfish manner, and not to feel that they must do so just because an imagined deity requires it).

And I don't think that the author makes a convincing case for the long-term future of religious belief when he says "...human beings long for transcendence of some sort, as shown by the presence and prevalence of religious belief throughout cultures across time." Humans have, for just as long, found many different ways to practice "transcendence", such as art.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Top Stories Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Plurality of Americans think Trump is failing 1 min Just Saying 24,633
News Gov. Abbott suggests 'bathroom bill' is likely ... 2 hr e williams 3
Prove there's a god. (Mar '08) 3 hr nanoanomaly 985,583
Sarah George 3 hr Rememberboys 1
News GOP not interested in health care for us 3 hr discocrisco 1
News Roman Catholic church only true church, says Va... (Jul '07) 4 hr PadMark 685,462
OVERWHELMED...by God's blessings 5 hr Doctor REALITY 12
David Duke: "We're going to take our country ba... 6 hr Doctor REALITY 32
More from around the web