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kladky
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04 May 2011, 3:06 pm

I invite any and all atheists to comment, even though its only addressed to certain ones of your number.

Why do so many of you feel that the best response to make to the faithful, especially those who believe in the Bible, is ridicule? Even if, in your opinion, I cannot prove the existence of God through science, you cannot disprove God through science either. If you're truly concerned for me being enslaved by religion, and hope to evangelize to me as it were, these tactics hardly make me feel endeared to you.

I don't ask that you don't challenge my faith, as I am prepared to defend it. I don't ask that you share my faith, as I believe God gave you the choice to accept it or not. I simply ask - why? Why can't we have a civilized conversation about religion, faith or God?



psychohist
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04 May 2011, 3:15 pm

It's not "so many of" us atheists. It's just a few vocal extremists, who believe in atheism as their fundamentalist religion. Most of us atheists don't treat it as a religion and don't see any point in arguing about the existence of gods.



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04 May 2011, 3:21 pm

In the days when I was an atheist, I had no interest in ridiculing believers. Tended to envy them, seklf pity because I was too smart to believe. I occasionally discussed issues with believers, politely.

If someone believed, no skin off my nose. If I did NOT believe, it did THEM no injury. Why argue with someone unless he is trespassing on your land or calling you a liar?

In these NON-atheist days, I have no interest in ridiculing atheists. I will point out flawded arguments, but do not try to convince them.

BUT - a lot of people are seriously bothered, even threatened, if you think differently. And some swallow pro[aganda that says theists are child abusing war mongering imperialist demons. Of course some believers have similar nutter views.



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04 May 2011, 3:37 pm

First this from long ago ...

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In 1960, [Madalyn Murray O'Hair] filed a lawsuit against the Baltimore City Public School System, in which she asserted it was unconstitutional for her son William to be required to participate in Bible readings at Baltimore public schools. In this litigation, she stated her son's refusal to partake in the Bible readings had resulted in bullying being directed against him by classmates, and administrators condoned this.

After consolidation with Abington School District v. Schempp, the lawsuit reached the Supreme Court of the United States in 1963. The Court voted 8-1 in Murray's favor, which effectively banned coercive prayer and Bible verse recitation at public schools in the United States. Thereafter, she [inaccurately] declared herself to have been the leader of the movement to remove prayer from public schools [since only coercive prayer had been removed] ...

(emphasis, italic and clarification added)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madalyn_Murray_O%27Hair

I was 10 years old at that time, and I definitely recall all the fighting, arguing and debates going on and as typically instigated (as I recall) by people who believed O'Hair was doing a terribly-horrible thing ...

... and so, I would say at least some of the more vocal "strident atheists" are still simply reacting to how one of their own had once been treated.


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Last edited by leejosepho on 04 May 2011, 3:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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04 May 2011, 3:45 pm

Philologos wrote:
In the days when I was an atheist, I had no interest in ridiculing believers. Tended to envy them, seklf pity because I was too smart to believe. I occasionally discussed issues with believers, politely.



I've got news for you: You were never an atheist.

Wanting to believe is functionally equivalent to believing. Just because you didn't "feel the spirit" or whatever doesn't mean - by your own admission - that you didn't want to.

That feeling that something was missing? That's belief. Religions are started by people just like you.

There are entire books about that sort of personal struggle. Levi Peterson's "A Rascal By Nature, A Christian By Yearning" comes to mind.

To the OP: I think some self-avowed atheists are angry. Maybe they feel like they were cheated or misled, or maybe they resent a difficult struggle they had. Some of them are so angry at religion that they may as well be considered faithful, being so sure there is something out there to be angry at.

Some of them are probably resentful of how hard others worked to program their minds, and how hard they've had to work to deprogram their own minds.

And some of them are just smug.



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04 May 2011, 4:10 pm

No. I did not want to believe.

I saw that people with less incisive minds than mine had a delusion from which they derived comfort and pleasure. In the same way I saw that girls had certain privileges I did not have, that in my school Jews had certain privileges I did not have.

I did not begrudge Christians and girls and Jews their special advantages. But neither did I want to trade. Yes, it would have been nice to be able to feel; Jesus loved me, as they know, for the Bible tells them so. But I was right, I was the smart one, why would I trade with someone who does not know what an ideophone is?

I was on the evidence convinced there was no such thing as a divine entity, that such beliefs may have been okay for primitives, the retared, the uneducated - but that I was totally right.

Yes, on some days I operated agnostic - after all, I could not PROVE conclusively there is no divine entity, nonexistence cannot be proved.

But [unless you are pulling a thing like in my who is / ain't Christian post] as long as "atheist" defines as believing no god exists - the last definition I heard - atheist I was.



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04 May 2011, 4:29 pm

That's an acceptable explanation.

I've just noticed that a lot of self-avowed unbelievers have such intricate relationships with the concepts of diety and faith that their involvement with religion exceeds that of the average faithful person.

Sort of a "lady doth protest too much" situation.



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04 May 2011, 4:33 pm

I may know a few like that. And in fact, as I think about it, once knew a persistent seeker who really WANTED to believe something, and actually believed there was a higher power, it was just she could never settle and be really sure she had the right one.



ryan93
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04 May 2011, 4:49 pm

I invite any and all atheists to comment, even though its only addressed to certain ones of your number.

Quote:
Why do so many of you feel that the best response to make to the faithful, especially those who believe in the Bible, is ridicule? Even if, in your opinion, I cannot prove the existence of God through science, you cannot disprove God through science either. If you're truly concerned for me being enslaved by religion, and hope to evangelize to me as it were, these tactics hardly make me feel endeared to you.


The reason that I sometimes (depending on how literally people take their book) respond with ridicule is that I have found Christian literalists to be unresponsive to evidence or logic; they argue from their Conclusions, intererating data in that light. The most effective argument is 70% fact, 20% questioning, and 10% satire :) My argument often isn't for the debatee's sake, but for the more rational "on the fence".


Quote:
I don't ask that you don't challenge my faith, as I am prepared to defend it. I don't ask that you share my faith, as I believe God gave you the choice to accept it or not. I simply ask - why? Why can't we have a civilized conversation about religion, faith or God?


Civilized conversation is sharp, and precise. Schroedinger was brought to tears during debates over his formation of Wave Mechanics. I often feel "hurt" when a pet theory of mine is stamped on here in PPR. But it's better than people trying to sugar-coat the truth with BS. A dog is a dog, a stupid, illogical argument is a stupid, illogical argument. I try to avoid ad hom, but I will not hesitate labeling a pathetic, fallacious argument such.


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blauSamstag
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04 May 2011, 4:55 pm

Philologos wrote:
I may know a few like that. And in fact, as I think about it, once knew a persistent seeker who really WANTED to believe something, and actually believed there was a higher power, it was just she could never settle and be really sure she had the right one.


Joseph Smith started the same way.



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04 May 2011, 5:19 pm

now i am not excaclty atheist, i dont believe strongly that here is no god
i am open to the possibility i just dont see it as very probable.

the reason i sometimes get very angry at religious people is when they hinder the progress of people around them with their religion.
it is also too easy an excuse for horible acts, acts that because of that actually gain the illusion of legitimacy.

that being said my best study partner (physics oriented gymnasium) was a jehova's witness.
we enjoyed discussing religion excactly because we could do it without getting sore toes.
he was also a very good mathematician(a lot better than i was at least)
when i first learned it i said "seriously? i wouldnt have guessed that in a million years?" his reply, he started chukling, despite my bad tone.

i see no reason to ridicule religious people that actually practice and think about their faith, people that are willing to try loking at it in a new light despite previous held perceptions.
not really others either, but at one point it becomes very frustrating to see people truly blinded by faith, to the point of not even seeing the faith they claim to practice.


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04 May 2011, 5:22 pm

Quote:
now i am not excaclty atheist, i dont believe strongly that here is no god
i am open to the possibility i just dont see it as very probable.


Atheist literally means "without a God", for whatever reason. Even Dawkins admits there is some possibility. I'm a very slightly agnostic atheist too :D.


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Vexcalibur
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04 May 2011, 5:22 pm

kladky wrote:
I invite any and all atheists to comment, even though its only addressed to certain ones of your number.

Why do so many of you feel that the best response to make to the faithful, especially those who believe in the Bible, is ridicule? Even if, in your opinion, I cannot prove the existence of God through science, you cannot disprove God through science either.

Yeah, we can only show it is unnecessary.

There is however, plenty of evidence that if a god exists, it is not the one in the bible.


Quote:
If you're truly concerned for me being enslaved by religion, and hope to evangelize to me as it were, these tactics hardly make me feel endeared to you.

I don't ask that you don't challenge my faith, as I am prepared to defend it. I don't ask that you share my faith, as I believe God gave you the choice to accept it or not. I simply ask - why? Why can't we have a civilized conversation about religion, faith or God?

Why do theists feel entitled to not having their view ridiculed. Not a lot of Christians would give the respect they expect from atheists to ... say multi-theistic Hindi, so...


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04 May 2011, 5:28 pm

Vexcalibur wrote:
kladky wrote:
I invite any and all atheists to comment, even though its only addressed to certain ones of your number.

Why do so many of you feel that the best response to make to the faithful, especially those who believe in the Bible, is ridicule? Even if, in your opinion, I cannot prove the existence of God through science, you cannot disprove God through science either.

Yeah, we can only show it is unnecessary.

There is however, plenty of evidence that if a god exists, it is not the one in the bible.


Quote:
If you're truly concerned for me being enslaved by religion, and hope to evangelize to me as it were, these tactics hardly make me feel endeared to you.

I don't ask that you don't challenge my faith, as I am prepared to defend it. I don't ask that you share my faith, as I believe God gave you the choice to accept it or not. I simply ask - why? Why can't we have a civilized conversation about religion, faith or God?

Why do theists feel entitled to not having their view ridiculed. Not a lot of Christians would give the respect they expect from atheists to ... say multi-theistic Hindi, so...


I agree.
And on the off day that I'm not eating babies and having raucous premarital sex while my girlfriend cries 'oh, science!', I have to have something to do


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04 May 2011, 5:33 pm

Quote:
And on the off day that I'm not eating babies and having raucous premarital sex while my girlfriend cries 'oh, science!', I have to have something to do.


My God, that was mocking Satire! See, that's exactly what we're talking about.... :shameonyou:


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04 May 2011, 5:34 pm

Vexcalibur wrote:
Yeah, we can only show it is unnecessary.

You cannot show it unnecessary for my own permanent recovery from chronic alcoholism! :wink:

Vexcalibur wrote:
There is however, plenty of evidence that if a god exists, it is not the one in the bible.

More accurately, I think, it is not the one of any religion derived from the bible.

Vexcalibur wrote:
Why do [at least some] theists feel entitled to not having their view ridiculed ...

For about the same kind of reason they believed themselves justified in ridiculing Madalyn Murry O'Hair back in the '60s:

They still think Christendom rules (or that it should).


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