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Old 03-11-2007, 06:46 PM   #1
SykoRevan
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Your view on Atheists

Now, in case you don't know, Atheists such as myself are pretty much discriminated against more than anyone these days. Surveys have stated that less than 3% of parents would want their child marrying an Atheist, George H.W. Bush (our current president's father) once stated that he didn't know whether Atheists should be considered American citizens, we are stereotyped as being immoral and evil and I've even heard some complete idiots (my own parents included) who have compared my people to terrorists. There are even those who believe that Atheists DO believe in God, but are simply in denial (that's where the "There are no Atheists in foxholes" saying comes from.) I am curious as to what all my fellow forumites think of Atheists. More so, I am curious to hear the opinions of those of you who do believe in God, or even dislike Atheists. However, even though I condone anything basically because I simply wish to hear the truth and don't care how harsh it is, nothing will stop a moderator from stopping things from going out of control. So for those of you who might dislike or look down on my people, I hope you can clearly state your opinion and still stay in the boundaries of the Forum's rules.

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Old 03-11-2007, 07:00 PM   #2
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I treat atheists like I treat anyone else.

If you're a jerk about it, I'll be annoyed with you.
If you're not, I won't.

That simple. It's the same way for Christians. In fact, I get even MORE annoyed with fellow Christians who are just jerks about it than with atheists.

On the topic of marrying an atheist, probably won't happen. It wouldn't work, given that I'd like to raise my kids Catholic and your typical atheist would have a problem with that. But the best looking girls hereabouts are Catholic anyways


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Old 03-11-2007, 07:50 PM   #3
TK-8252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SykoRevan
compared my people to terrorists.
I'm an atheist, but I find this particular part of what you said to be odd. Atheists aren't really linked in any way... they are not bound by any belief. So it's kind of weird to refer to them as "my people" as a religious person would refer to other members of their faith. Atheism isn't a belief... it is a lack thereof.
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Old 03-11-2007, 08:07 PM   #4
SykoRevan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
I'm an atheist, but I find this particular part of what you said to be odd. Atheists aren't really linked in any way... they are not bound by any belief. So it's kind of weird to refer to them as "my people" as a religious person would refer to other members of their faith. Atheism isn't a belief... it is a lack thereof.
Like I said, it was stupid people who said it. To them, Atheists and terrorists are alike in that they do not worship the God that people like my parents worship (my parents are Christian.) It does not matter what the Atheist or terrorist believes in, all that matters to people who compare them is what they DON'T believe in, which is their God.

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Old 03-11-2007, 08:28 PM   #5
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I think the problem with the world today is that people are not satisfied unless every single person is catagorized into groups. So if we don't follow god or any other religion, we are athiests. This leads to some picture of a stereotypical group of "Lost souls" or "Satan worshippers" or whatever. I don't believe in god and follow no religion because quite simply, i don't need to. This is'nt to say that i think followers of any religion are stupid. Faith in a religion is a beautiful thing. I have seen people praying, looking for answers and finding them and it is beautiful. But who do i turn to in times of need and when i need to look for answers? I have people on this plain of existence, right here in the now. Friends and family. You always have someone even if it is someone you just met. My gods are my parents, my bible is the family album, my church is my house. I could'nt ask for anything more.


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Old 03-11-2007, 09:04 PM   #6
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Pretty much what Ambrose said. Some believe they have the right and duty to persecute religion and that gives Atheism a bad name. But Atheism itself and people not believing in religion themselves, go to it, one of my best friends is an Atheist, their belief or lack of same is not something I begrudge.
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Old 03-11-2007, 09:46 PM   #7
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I have two close friends who happen to be atheist. I have a couple pagan friends, lots of Baptist friends, a number of Catholic friends, some Jewish friends, a Mormon, a New-Ager, and someone who kind of claims Buddhism, though her religion changes from time to time and I haven't kept up with her recently to find out what's new in her life. As you can imagine we have some very interesting discussions.

I see no reason to dislike someone for their religious persuasion or lack thereof, even if we have some differences of opinions on some issues where religion may come into play.


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Old 03-11-2007, 10:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Pretty much what Ambrose said. Some believe they have the right and duty to persecute religion and that gives Atheism a bad name. But Atheism itself and people not believing in religion themselves, go to it, one of my best friends is an Atheist, their belief or lack of same is not something I begrudge.
I don't know how close I am to encapsulating the sentiment of your post, but I think the following might be applicable:

Quote:
6) Atheists are arrogant.

When scientists donít know something ó like why the universe came into being or how the first self-replicating molecules formed ó they admit it. Pretending to know things one doesnít know is a profound liability in science. And yet it is the life-blood of faith-based religion. One of the monumental ironies of religious discourse can be found in the frequency with which people of faith praise themselves for their humility, while claiming to know facts about cosmology, chemistry and biology that no scientist knows. When considering questions about the nature of the cosmos and our place within it, atheists tend to draw their opinions from science. This isnít arrogance; it is intellectual honesty.
http://www.samharris.org/site/full_t...bout-atheism1/
If I missed the point, let me know and I'll try again.
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Old 03-11-2007, 10:45 PM   #9
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Arrogance comes from the person, not the nonbelief as Atheists like to deem it. I double checked that site before writing that up, thanks, and as I said it is those who give it a bad name, those who are arrogant, bullying, condescending, double standered, ect and it shows outside of their nonbelief, that is the problem with Atheism, with Christianity, with Judism, Islam, Buddism, Hinduism, uh, Jedism (is there a specific name for the Jedi beliefs?), all of that. When you do it right, if I may draw a corrilation, you get people like Kavar, Zez Kai El, Lonna Vash. Do it wrong and you get the types of Vrook, Atris, Bastila argurably.
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Old 03-11-2007, 11:09 PM   #10
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Er...atheists?

I treat them as I wold treat any "religious" group, except subdividing them into seperate 'religions', to fit the different "sects" of Atheism (communism, capitalism, scientific materialism, anarchism, liberal democrats, etc., basically people who believe there is no God, and then coming up with different doctrines based on the nonexistence of God). They may be right. They may be wrong. We don't know. Give them tolerance, let them express their views.

Why I consider them a religion? Well, they believe in something [either: 1) God does not exist....or 2) You need proof to believe in God.] Belief is, to me, what makes a religion what it is.

But, I think it is likely that Atheism will soon take over the world. There is no need for God, and we will finally be waking up to that realization. Soon, the shackles of religion will be broken, and all religions will die. This is my view, and it is based on the fact that they approach the issue in a logical manner, and they got the aid of Science.

Why I don't believe in Atheism then, if I acknowledge it is dry, logical, and soon take over the world? Because it's a belief. Religion relies on belief and so does Atheism, the belief that proof is needed to establish the existence of God, and since there is no proof, there must be no God. What sort of "revolution" has actually occured? You changed one belief for another, but you still have a belief. And I, for some reason, dislike beliefs...But this is just me. You want to know what I feel about it, here it is.

Slightly OT: I disagree with Atheists claiming that their religion is the 'absence of belief', since you do have to believe in certain stuff in order to accept it. To me, the only philosophy out there that does not believe in anything at all is Pyrrhonian Skepticism, of which I am wondering of self-identifying with them or not. These people, include Sextus Empricius, argue that it is impossible to prove anything, and that therefore, one should suspend judgement about the world, rather than go on a limb and make a belief without any proof or basis whatsoever, and be likely wrong. I am not even able to prove that I am typing right now and that this is real, and that, in the end, it all relies on "faith" that I am typing, which isn't really persuasive. The skeptic allows for one to act upon the "apperances", what apperas to be true, but that does not mean that the "apperances" are true, we may never know. Because of this "apperances" thing, I can easily be a skeptic and then also manitan my religion as well, due to the fact that it appears to me (not to others, of course) that my religion is right.

The problem is that the Skeptic is usually seen with disregard, stupid, lacking common sense, and utterly crazy. I really do worry about this discrimination very much so.


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Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 03-11-2007, 11:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Arrogance comes from the person, not the nonbelief as Atheists like to deem it. I double checked that site before writing that up, thanks, and as I said it is those who give it a bad name, those who are arrogant, bullying, condescending, double standered, ect and it shows outside of their nonbelief, that is the problem with Atheism, with Christianity, with Judism, Islam, Buddism, Hinduism, uh, Jedism (is there a specific name for the Jedi beliefs?), all of that. When you do it right, if I may draw a corrilation, you get people like Kavar, Zez Kai El, Lonna Vash. Do it wrong and you get the types of Vrook, Atris, Bastila argurably.
Since you yourself pointed out that this is dependent upon the individual and that it's present in other groups, is it fair to assign that character flaw to Atheists?

Seems that if everyone is guilty of it, being an Atheist would simply mean that we're human too. Is there a reason why this would give Atheism a bad name, but not Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc?
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Old 03-12-2007, 01:19 AM   #12
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Hmm, no, no reason why it wouldn't apply to religion. What I'm saying is those who believe they have the right and duty to persecute religion that bring the nonbelief of Atheism down. The same would apply for Christians persecuting other religions and Atheism, if you swap Christianity with Judism, Islam, ect.
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Old 03-12-2007, 01:29 AM   #13
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Ok, so then it's not so much that "Atheists give themselves a bad name" as it is "people who persecute others for their beliefs or non-beliefs give themselves a bad name"? If so, then we're still talking about people and not necessarily atheists.

Also, I'm still having a difficult time distinguishing between the "persecution of religion" that you keep referencing and the intellectual honesty that Sam Harris mentions in my earlier quote. To me "persecution of religion" conjures up images of theists being herded into internment camps or burned at the stake, etc. I think I repeat myself when I say it seems that atheists just want to have a rational discussion with theists. Why is that so threatening?
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:08 AM   #14
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To me, it's not threatening any more than the local Mormons knocking at my door wanting to have a discussion (that they consider rational). Truth is, I didn't really want them knocking at my door, even though they feel they are doing me and society at large a service by trying to win me over.

I first really started thinking about atheism when I read "The New Atheism" in Wired magazine. The slant there was that there are certain proponents of atheism that phrase their points of view confrontationally and endorse ridicule of religion. Richard Dawkins was featured prominently here. With titles under his belt such as "Viruses of the Mind", "The Root of All Evil?", and "The God Delusion", it seems pretty clear he thinks theists need some form of mental healing. But maybe they'd rather not answer the door to his uninvited knocking.
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:31 AM   #15
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Well, I can't speak for Richard Dawkins, but based on my readings and his lectures, I guess his point would be:

If you're saying that theists aren't harming anyone by being theists and should be left alone, you're wrong. American theism is influencing our ability to prepare our children for the future by introducing pseudo-science such as Intelligent Design and working to vilify legitimate science such as evolutionary theory. By far the largest voting group is Evangelical, therefore they are determining which elected officials make it into public office and which agenda items are put on the front burner. The list goes on and on.

You might say, "well these are the extremists. I'm much more moderate". Sam Harris would argue that moderate theists are a bigger danger than the extremists because their support of relativism shields the extremists and vilifies non-theists when they try to have a rational dialog.

And that's just the U.S. and Christians. Islam is arguably the fastest growing religion in the world and they are the ones churning out terrorists by the dozen. Muslims with college educations go to their deaths "knowing" that their actions will a) kill Allah's enemies and b) ensure their place in paradise. We might say, "well that's ridiculous", but then again we're Muslim-atheists.

Many Americans might think of Islamic terrorism as a Middle East problem, but then again many of us don't take the time to learn more about the growing Islamist threat in Europe and Africa. And true to Gore Vidal's statement that USA should stand for "United States of Amnesia", we often forget that the terrorists have shown they can strike us here as well (which should concern people considering that Bush's 2008 budget proposal only calls for $61 billion for homeland security).

I'm sure that American's would love to point out to the Muslim extremist that their religion is illogical, but who's going to do that for us?

Last edited by Achilles; 03-12-2007 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 03-12-2007, 09:04 AM   #16
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To be honest though religion is a major thing in America. When i was in school and college, no one was considered athiest, we just did not pray to anyone or worship anything. Religion was never part of the discussion because no one was interested in it. That carried through to my life and everyone elses and nearly everyone i know does not follow any religion. Maybe in their homes yes maybe they do pray, it's just not such a hot topic as it is in other places. Roddenberry was athiest. If anyone wants to compare me to anyone, pick him. He shared the exact same views i do today.


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Old 03-12-2007, 10:41 AM   #17
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Hmm, I find SykoRevan's experience very interesting. I classify myself as an atheist, although I would not say I live by any "doctrine" as SilentScope indicated besides the basic values of following the law of the country I live in and pretty much trying to treat others as I would like to be treated.

I don't feel I've ever been discriminated against for declaring myself an atheist, although I am from New York City which is usually a far more tolerant place to live then other places in America.

The only time I've ever encountered downright hatred vented in my general direction is in Atheist chatrooms or message boards. Which I have to say I rarely frequent these days as I find that people who dominate these places often want to tell you how to be an atheist or dictate why you are atheist which to me defeats the whole purpose of being one and I find it a much more personal and individual choice.

I do not believe in God or life after death or heaven and hell. It has nothing to do with "proof" in either direction it is simply what I believe to be true and makes the most sense to me.

I was raised by Protestants, Catholics and Jews so perhaps having had this wide range of religious ideology around me in my formative years helped me to question everything and hence arrive at what I find a totally natural conclusion for my life and circumstances.

It does disturb me, the growing power of religion in America to influence the government and invade personal choice. Although we have seperation of church and state there has always been a quiet influence (indicated by exactly how many presidents site a religious leader as a close personal friend or advisor) but it really has been under Bush that there has been a growing force to re-take the state as it were as shown by re-introduction of prayer in school, courses on evolutionism (however they would like to label it) and a myriad of other small but significant instances over the past 5-6 years.

I do not wish to tell anyone that they cannot practice their religion or have a voice in government for their followers, however, the Constitution was put in place to protect us all not give one group power over others and I see its power diminish daily because of the increasing return to religion. This scares me more then anything, and at the moment I am very glad to live in the UK.

Now how is that for irony? the country we fled because of religious persecution is now far more tolerant then we are.


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Old 03-12-2007, 10:50 AM   #18
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Im an athiest too, I respect all peoples believes, but I draw the line when they try to convert me, just let me be. I too was discriminated for being an atheist, my other friends would not talk to me, people were telling me that I will go to hell for not believing in God. I told them that I believe in what I want, and that because I respect their beliefs they too should respect mine.


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Old 03-12-2007, 12:30 PM   #19
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People. What other answer is there?



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Old 03-12-2007, 12:54 PM   #20
SilentScope001
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Quote:
I do not believe in God or life after death or heaven and hell. It has nothing to do with "proof" in either direction it is simply what I believe to be true and makes the most sense to me.
This is what I meant by belief, and doctrine, PazzakPrincess. Belief. It is simply what you believe to be true. Just wanted to clarify that.

Quote:
Well, I can't speak for Richard Dawkins, but based on my readings and his lectures, I guess his point would be:

If you're saying that theists aren't harming anyone by being theists and should be left alone, you're wrong. American theism is influencing our ability to prepare our children for the future by introducing pseudo-science such as Intelligent Design and working to vilify legitimate science such as evolutionary theory. By far the largest voting group is Evangelical, therefore they are determining which elected officials make it into public office and which agenda items are put on the front burner. The list goes on and on.
You are saying that people who believe in religion is wrong because they promote some different belief THAN what you believe in. So? Isn't that the same cry as all other groups: The world would be a better place if everyone believed in what I believe?

Does this mean that we must give up our belief to sastify yours? Well, you might say, "Well, my religion is correct/sensible/will help out society!" ...But so do they.

You might say, "Well, they might make mistakes...", well, that's where the moderates come in. They are the ones who maintain dual religions...the belief of Science and their religion of their choice.

[quote[]You might say, "well these are the extremists. I'm much more moderate". Sam Harris would argue that moderate theists are a bigger danger than the extremists because their support of relativism shields the extremists and vilifies non-theists when they try to have a rational dialog.[/quote]

Well, that's because, rationality has no place in a discussion about religion. You say that religion is not rational, and I agree. It's all about faith here. You can't prove that God exist or not exist. It's all based on belief.

You can't have a rational dialog on religion because it's all based on belief and feeling. Attempts to do it will become an utter failure. And when I mean rational dialog, I also mean the question of "Does God Exists?" You can't prove God exists, nor can you prove God does not exist. So, why give preference to one idea or another? Wouldn't the truly rational person say "You know what? I don't know about if God exists or not, so I should suspend judgement on everything."

And...are extremists wrong? They're extreme, so you go away from them, but you have no proof that they are in fact wrong. Other than, of course, you feel them to be wrong.

Quote:
And that's just the U.S. and Christians. Islam is arguably the fastest growing religion in the world and they are the ones churning out terrorists by the dozen. Muslims with college educations go to their deaths "knowing" that their actions will a) kill Allah's enemies and b) ensure their place in paradise. We might say, "well that's ridiculous", but then again we're Muslim-atheists.
1) Prove they are ridiclious. Can you? No. You just feel they are ridiclous, which is quite absurd.

2) Well, um...I'm a Muslim.

Islam is the fastest growing religion, so the larger the religion is, the more sects will form that will basically be extermists. These radical sects are to be condemend, and I, as well as possibly most Muslims condemen them. We believe they are not really Muslims (they would kill innocents, they would not want to talk, they are just being crazy).

But note, we believe. Just like you believe.

You're saying WE moderates give cover to them? How come? We say that Osama bin Laden going to Hell. That's cover? Some of us say that the terrorists are crazy loons who will be smashed to itty-bits pieces? That's cover? Some of us even join the US Military, killing off the terrorist elements? That's cover? We hate them just as much as you do, even more so...since they are a sect within Islam, and a sect that is giving us a bad name, and a sect we would like to have wiped off the face of the Earth because we see them as hypocrites (those who say that they believe in one thing, and then do something else) and heatens.

Quote:
Many Americans might think of Islamic terrorism as a Middle East problem, but then again many of us don't take the time to learn more about the growing Islamist threat in Europe and Africa. And true to Gore Vidal's statement that USA should stand for "United States of Amnesia", we often forget that the terrorists have shown they can strike us here as well (which should concern people considering that Bush's 2008 budget proposal only calls for $61 billion for homeland security).
...

What about the growing threat of China? Or the growing threat of Russia? Or the growing threat of left-wing terrorism (ELF, ALF)? Or the growing threat of right-wing terrorists (Milita Movement)? Or the growing threat of...nationalism, this love for America that is going to get people to go and die, and in some cases KILL for their country?

Hey, we're ALWAYS going to have growing threats that threaten to destroy America. But you beg the question: Why do we want to protect America? Because you feel that America needs to be protected. A belief, no? The same crazy belief that motivates moderates, extermists, everyone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 03-12-2007, 01:39 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
People. What other answer is there?
What question are you referencing? Without some context, I'm having difficulty making heads or tails of this.
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:21 PM   #22
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I gave up on calling myself an atheist about a year ago. As far as my precious scientific method is concerned: there is not proof either way. I cannot prove my belief and thus by parading around that I am correct I become just as bad as the religious fundamentalists I would like to disprove. It is not so much that I donít believe in a god more thatÖ I donít see the necessity for one. Maybe Iím wrong, maybe Iíll burn in Hell for this Ė I donít know. Plus, there are so many sects, so many different beliefs that to pick one and say ďoh yeah, this one is rightÖ umm because I believe itĒ makes no sense to me.

Apologies for my wishy-washy ďagnostic atheistĒ views.
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:56 PM   #23
SilentScope001
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Quote:
It is not so much that I donít believe in a god more thatÖ I donít see the necessity for one. Maybe Iím wrong, maybe Iíll burn in Hell for this Ė I donít know.
Alternativly, since God is a rational being, he may send all Atheists to Heaven, since they refuse to acknowledge his existence without proof, and God loves logic.

You don't know.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 03-12-2007, 03:16 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Achilles
What question are you referencing? Without some context, I'm having difficulty making heads or tails of this.
My mis-reading on the topic title - if you add in the implied 'What are your', it should make more sense



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Old 03-12-2007, 03:54 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Pavlos
there is not proof either way.
There is no proof that there isn't a flying spaghetti monster either. Doesn't mean it might exist.

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Originally Posted by Pavlos
I cannot prove my belief and thus by parading around that I am correct I become just as bad as the religious fundamentalists I would like to disprove.
Atheism isn't a belief. By definition, it is a lack of belief. And the burden of proof is on the one with the belief.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:10 PM   #26
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Atheism isn't a belief. By definition, it is a lack of belief. And the burden of proof is on the one with the belief.
Well if you ask for proof...

Prove to me therefore that the burden of proof is on me. If you come up with a reason why I must have such a burden of proof, well, let me question it over and over and over. I want to evaulate that proof, and make sure it's valid, valid, and valid. Any flaw, and I'll tear it to pieces.

The bruden of proof is on you to prove to me that the burden of proof is on me. If you cannot supply such a proof...


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:37 PM   #27
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It's a waste of time to believe in something with no detectable benefits. If he's content right now, then you have to show him it's in his interests to be informed - after all, you're the one concerned about his belief/nonbelief. To be worth bothering about, there must be benefits, so: "You've got the burden of proof" = "Show me what the additional benefit of believing this is, because what I've got right now seems to work pretty swell already."


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Old 03-12-2007, 04:42 PM   #28
SilentScope001
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It's a waste of time to believe in something with no detectable benefits. If he's content right now, then you have to show him it's in his interests to be informed - after all, you're the one concerned about his belief/nonbelief. To be worth bothering about, there must be benefits, so: "You've got the burden of proof" = "Show me what the additional benefit of believing this is, because what I've got right now seems to work pretty swell already."
True, I concur, but that wasn't the main point of my previous post. It was actually concering "proof".

If you ask me to supply proof, well, can't I just ask you to supply proof as well, causing an endless cycle? I'm pointing out that proof is not as important as people claim it to be. A person say: You got no proof, but then I can reply back: I got proof, but you have no proof that I have no proof. Treating the "burden of proof" as an objection to religion to prove it wrong, I can ask the atheist to prove that he needs to provide a burden of proof.

It's all about the irrational feelings and emotions a person have that decides if one have a belief/non-belief. Not about proof.

Strange...I think you gave me a good reason to believe in religion:
Quote:
"Show me what the additional benefit of believing this is, because what I've got right now seems to work pretty swell already."


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:46 PM   #29
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Hm, what evidence is there of there being a cure for cancer, or that it's somehow to be found by blasting rockets into space? It's the same thing, I'm sure there's scientific reasoning for such exercises but billions are spent on something that requires a good deal of faith and we know little about as well.
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:01 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Hm, what evidence is there of there being a cure for cancer, or that it's somehow to be found by blasting rockets into space? It's the same thing, I'm sure there's scientific reasoning for such exercises but billions are spent on something that requires a good deal of faith and we know little about as well.
I don't think it's a matter of faith. I think it's a matter of "hey, what happens when we try this experiment in zero-g's and outside of Earth's atmosphere?". It's not blind faith that going there will yield a cure, but rather another series of hypothesis to run through the wringer.

If it helps to provide context, think of silly putty. It started out as a scientific experiment to find a super-plastic for military applications. They happened upon that formula while trying for something else and accidentally invented a pretty cool toy for kids. The horrific scientific experiments conducted on Jews during the Holocaust resulted in some beneficial advances for modern medicine (I'm not advocating that the Holocaust was a good thing). Penicillin was accidentally discovered when someone failed to follow the procedure of an experiment. Some of the most important discoveries in science came about as the result of accidents and "what if" experiments.

Experience tells us that trying new things will sometimes yield beneficial results. Therefore, science in space is completely in alignment with scientific doctrine, not faith as you propose.
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:05 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by TK-8252
Atheism isn't a belief. By definition, it is a lack of belief. And the burden of proof is on the one with the belief.
I believe there to be no God. That doesn't necessarily make me right so I can't tell others they are wrong. That's what I was driving at, I just happen to have a round-about way of getting there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dictionary.com
1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
Edit: Nor am I suggesting that Christian (or any other faith's) doctrine therefore must be correct.

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Old 03-12-2007, 05:15 PM   #32
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Experience tells us that trying new things will sometimes yield beneficial results. Therefore, science in space is completely in alignment with scientific doctrine, not faith as you propose.
But you have faith in scientific doctrine. And you have faith that observations and experiments are accurate. You have fait that you are interperting your experience correctly and that the results are benefical.

What if people don't have such faith?


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:17 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
True, I concur, but that wasn't the main point of my previous post. It was actually concering "proof".

If you ask me to supply proof, well, can't I just ask you to supply proof as well, causing an endless cycle? I'm pointing out that proof is not as important as people claim it to be. A person say: You got no proof, but then I can reply back: I got proof, but you have no proof that I have no proof. Treating the "burden of proof" as an objection to religion to prove it wrong, I can ask the atheist to prove that he needs to provide a burden of proof.
I'm sorry if I'm not getting it, but unless I can see that there's a benefit on my end, then there's very little reason for me to believe it. If you can't provide a reason then you're unlikely to make me change my view. I can give you a reason: you don't have to worship/pray/etc much if you're atheist. Saves a lot of time, and time is pretty valuable.

Quote:
Strange...I think you gave me a good reason to believe in religion:
I suspect that will only be true until you determine the benefit, or lack thereof, of those religious beliefs.


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Old 03-12-2007, 05:33 PM   #34
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I'm sorry if I'm not getting it, but unless I can see that there's a benefit on my end, then there's very little reason for me to believe it. If you can't provide a reason then you're unlikely to make me change my view. I can give you a reason: you don't have to worship/pray/etc much if you're atheist. Saves a lot of time, and time is pretty valuable.
Er...maybe I'm not communicating my Idea correctly.

Okay, here's an attempt: A person says, "I believe there is no God." "I believe there is God." "The burden of proof is on you to prove that there is God."

It is this emphasis on proof that the Atheist wants to aruge with. In this example, you see the person says: "You got no proof, so it looks to me that you are irrational."

So, all I want to do is to go and counter his proof about "burden of God", by asking him "Well...I want to ask for proof".

Obivosuly, it sounds strange for the Atheist to offer proof for his belief that I must give proof that God exist. But he makes an assumption, that is, that I must prove that God exists. Assumption is, in some sense, a belief, and we should question everything, right?

I am not refuting what you say, all I'm trying to refute is the guy saying, "Give me proof". Well, of course, I can't give you proof, it's my belief. BUT, give me proof that I should give you proof. I shouldn't accept anything without proof, no? So, why should I give proof of God unless you prove to me that I should give you proof of God? Proof becomes meanginless when we ask each other for 'proof'. You can't prove ideas.

...Or you know, maybe I should just give up trying to explain it.

Quote:
I suspect that will only be true until you determine the benefit, or lack thereof, of those religious beliefs.
...Remember the placebo effect we talked about before? It is surely God/"placebo effect" that helps to let me pass tests and get good grades, and overall help me gain materialist success in this world, which means there is benieft right here. It also gives me an ethical framework, which I am okay with. It works for me, so why change?


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:36 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Er...maybe I'm not communicating my Idea correctly.

Okay, here's an attempt: A person says, "I believe there is no God." "I believe there is God." "The burden of proof is on you to prove that there is God."

It is this emphasis on proof that the Atheist wants to aruge with. In this example, you see the person says: "You got no proof, so it looks to me that you are irrational."

So, all I want to do is to go and counter his proof about "burden of God", by asking him "Well...I want to ask for proof".
I'd think that both are out on a limb. They're both presenting arguments for which there is no way to verify. I'd personally reject both of them as they're stated.

Quote:
...Remember the placebo effect we talked about before? It is surely God/"placebo effect" that helps to let me pass tests and get good grades, and overall help me gain materialist success in this world, which means there is benieft right here. It also gives me an ethical framework, which I am okay with. It works for me, so why change?
I didn't think the placebo effect really works that well if you know you're doing it to yourself...

Why change? Think of your reasons for believing it, and think of the benefits that religion gives you. Are these benefits exclusive to religion? An example that you've brought up a lot is the fear of death. Does the explanation religion gives even make sense in the physical universe as we know it? I submit that there is no reason to suppose these benefits true, as I have never seen any reason to suppose anyone has ever gone to a heaven, hell, purgatory, or any other plane of existence. The most I've seen is that people die, and they don't get up again. That's it.

So what, exactly, is the benefit of believing in something for which there is no reason to believe? You say, believe because if you do then you'll get these benefits (placebo effect). Well, I can already feel good about myself. I can already do well on tests. I can already make ethical judgements. I can already succeed in what I want to do. So, to me, there's precious little benefit to religion, and the few benefits there are are not exclusive. If I can already get all these things without religion's requirements, then why would I believe it?


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Old 03-12-2007, 06:43 PM   #36
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Why change? Think of your reasons for believing it, and think of the benefits that religion gives you. Are these benefits exclusive to religion? An example that you've brought up a lot is the fear of death. Does the explanation religion gives even make sense in the physical universe as we know it? I submit that there is no reason to suppose these benefits true, as I have never seen any reason to suppose anyone has ever gone to a heaven, hell, purgatory, or any other plane of existence. The most I've seen is that people die, and they don't get up again. That's it.
It's more of the meaning of life that religion provides, that is, serve God. Yes, you don't need this sort of meaning, you can find it other ways. I just prefer this way better, because it seems that the other ways seem a bit vain. Supporting myself, supporting my country...I see no reason to actually do such a thing. Others can, but to me, I cannot embrace anything really.

It's about values in the end. You do not need religion, but I do.

Quote:
If I can already get all these things without religion's requirements, then why would I believe it?
Ah, but each human is unique.

Just because you can handle life without religion does not mean I can handle life without religion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:39 PM   #37
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Let's remember that this topic is on whether or not you treat atheists differently from everyone else. I think we already have several "prove it one way or the other" threads already, and if not, it's high time we created one


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Old 03-12-2007, 11:14 PM   #38
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Just to clarify, this thread isn't only about whether you treat Atheists differently, but mainly your opinions, past experiences, and thoughts on Atheism. Just thought I'd make that clear. Also, let's try to remain on topic, please. I see less about people's views on Atheists and I see more people going off-topic and debating whether it is right or not. So please try to stay on-topic.

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Old 03-12-2007, 11:46 PM   #39
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Past experiance ay? Well past experiance has given me my views on how some, not all I stress, some Atheists are, so to some extent that puts them in a negative light and especially when they go on about having no tolerance for religion I think 'oh here we go.'

To be fair those I've seen go on like this have shown it in discussion outside of religion as well and make me think they just enjoy hurting people, especially when they say it's their moral right and duty to be like that, but it does put a negative spin on what they, supposedly, support.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:58 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Past experiance ay? Well past experiance has given me my views on how some, not all I stress, some Atheists are, so to some extent that puts them in a negative light and especially when they go on about having no tolerance for religion I think 'oh here we go.'

To be fair those I've seen go on like this have shown it in discussion outside of religion as well and make me think they just enjoy hurting people, especially when they say it's their moral right and duty to be like that, but it does put a negative spin on what they, supposedly, support.
Indeed.

In my experiences, the people I've known who call themselves "atheists" do it just so they can argue with theists. It's annoying really. Almost (but not quite) as annoying as people who call themselves "Christians" just so they can try to convert people and act morally superior.

The difference is, I know plenty of awesome Christians who don't wear their religion like a badge. Most of them are my friends.

On the flip side, probably 75% of atheists I know take their belief and bring it up at every opportunity. Furthermore, this same 75% act as if the fact that they don't believe in a god somehow makes them on a higher plane on the rest of us, and seem to work on the assumption that their understanding of science exceeds mine.

That's not to say I don't know atheists who are great people. That's the other 25%. But from what I've seen, they're the small few. It may be an unfair generalization, but I'm sticking to it because that's the impression I've gotten.

Other observations... the vast majority of atheists I know are (to use labels) emo, nerds, or computer/mmorpg addicts. Not that all of them are (the ones I call my friends aren't), that's just an interesting factoid I've noticed. No offense to any emos, nerds, or computer/mmorpg addicts out there. Just seems to me that most religious people live an all-in-all healthier lifestyle. Again, that's not always the case.


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