Thread: Why Atheism?
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:29 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
"And as I said before, would it be such a bad thing if because of atheist logic, some religious person lost their delusion?"

Here not only is he supporting Atheists forcing others to give up religion he's saying people who believe in religion are deluded.
I think you've gone too far in your characterization of Spider here. There is not even the slightest hint of "forcing" someone to abandon their delusions. Unless, of course, you admit that by revealing logical and empirical truth -providing rational discourse over irrational- is "forcing" someone to change their beliefs. Finally, Spider is saying religion is a delusion because... it is. Unless it can be empirically demonstrated that "religious knowledge" has some evidenciary basis in reality, there is only delusion left. The problem is, you're taking delusion to be a derogatory term when it is but a logical and parsimonious one that most succinctly defines the effect religion has upon the human psyche.

Delusion is, very succinctly, a misguided belief. I can give countless examples of how this is true in various world religions. To draw upon an example from Christianity, I'll point out the myth of Exodus. Not only is there no evidence to support this biblical myth, there is actually archaeological evidence that says it was completely made up during the Iron Age. The myth is about figures and events that are alleged to have occurred in the Late Bronze Age. That this event really took place is a delusion. Another Christian delusion is transubstantiation: that a little cracker and grape juice becomes actual flesh and blood of Jesus after consumed. This is actually believed by many people. The delusion of prayer is another, and one that has been discussed at length in this very forum, with the only result being that there was no empirical evidence to support prayer and only a few anecdotes that could not be tested.

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
"A rational life is a moral life"

So people who follow religion cannot be moral?
This is what's known as a non sequitur, a statement made that doesn't follow the original statement. Very clearly, Spider did not say that the religious cannot be moral. To make such a statement is fallacious and deserves no further discussion.

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
"it's a life with rational goals and purposes and the search for truth and right."

About five billion people follow religion of one form or another. I highly doubt all of them don't seek these things.
This is yet another fallacy known as an appeal to popularity. Its actually a form of the non sequitur since, again, it doesn't follow that because there are a lot of adherents that a given cult's doctrine is fact. Lot's of people believe space aliens are abducting them (no offense to Windu), this doesn't mean they are correct. Lot's of people believe the Earth is only 10,000 years old, but in spite of their delusion, the evidence is overwhelmingly to the contrary.

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
"And best of all, it's not a delusional life."

Again he says that a religious life is a deluded life, inferring that people who follow religion are deluded.
By now, if you read my post, it is readily apparent. Delusion is a misguided belief. There is no logical or empirical support for religious beliefs of the supernatural. I grant logical support for common sense tenants of religion: do unto others; give to charity; be good to your fellow human; don't kill each other; etc. But these aren't the tenants that are delusional. We're talking about transubstantiation, various claims of afterlife/reincarnation/karma, the necessity of human sacrifice, 21 virgins for martyrs, demon possession, and various supernatural agents called 'gods.' These things have no empirical evidence nor are they verifiable. To live one's life under the assumption that such superstitions are facts of reality is delusional because one allows one self to believe they are true in spite of the lack of evidence.

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
"What gives me the moral right to speak rational truths? Why, that would be... the inviolable moral right (and responsibility) to speak rational truths."

And here he once again supports Atheists forcing people who follow religion out of their beliefs.
And, again, there is no hint of 'forcing' anyone. Free speech is being exercised. If you don't want to hear it, don't listen. Change the channel. Log onto a different site. At the very least, don't read posts from that particular poster. Spider may feel as I that when in public forum (in the broad sense of the term, not Lucas forum), irrational claims need a rational voice that offers a sound and reasoned perspective. If this is offensive to those that are deluded into beliefs of Tarot cards, astrology, ESP, alien abductions, channeling, religion, Atlantis, an exaggerated antiquity of man, ancient astronauts, etc., then so be it. There are those for whom it is one's duty to offend. I'll not permit anyone to issue personal insults to other members in this or other forums I moderate, regardless of my general agreement with them, but I'll also not censor their right to free speech and to respond to irrational thought with rational.

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
That's five points where he's either said Atheists should persecute those who follow religion or otherwise say they're deluded.
Now, I looked back over them and even ran a word search on each page. I failed to see where Spider said "persecute." I think you've confused rational discourse and debate with persecute.

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
And by the way he's of the opinion that he isn't arrogant, condescending and trollish. Well with the mods permission would he be willing to have a poll where people can say whether or not he is these things?
Permission denied.

My final word on the topic is this: if you're going to participate in debates on sensitive topics, be prepared to have your sensibilities challenged and even offended. I've participated in atheist vs. theist debates in many different forums (both internet and not). I've never seen the atheist position lose in a single one. And in nearly every single debate, the theists supporters appeared offended that their beliefs are challenged and questioned. Somehow it's appropriate to challenge the political beliefs of others; their academic beliefs; their economic beliefs; etc., but religion is expected to get a pass? I'm sorry, I don't subscribe to that.

If you don't like to debate theism vs. atheism, please don't participate in such threads. Certainly, don't start such threads. And if you do chose to participate, check your sensibilities at the door and do not -do not- allow being offended cause you to engage in a flame war.

That is all.

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