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View Full Version : An inaugural first: Obama acknowledges 'non-believers'



BAMAPHIN 22
01-23-2009, 02:59 PM
On a morning of countless firsts in U.S. history, add this: Barack Obama's inaugural speech is the first time a president has ever explicitly acknowledged not only "Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus" but non-believers as well.

"This inclusiveness is a signature moment in American inaugural history," says David Domke, professor of communications at the University of Washington in Seattle, who has analyzed religious language in seven decades of inaugural and State of the Union addresses.

Obama's speech was "right in the middle" of recent presidents in the number of references to God more than Reagan, fewer than George W. Bush according to Domke's tally.


http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-01-20-obama-non-believers_N.htm

eric1589
01-23-2009, 06:40 PM
how many bible humping bloggers are complaining about it already?

Dolphan7
01-23-2009, 09:54 PM
Well... being that he is the President of all Americans.....I don't see why he shouldn't address all Americans. This really isn't an issue.

Tetragrammaton
01-24-2009, 02:00 PM
Well... being that he is the President of all Americans.....I don't see why he shouldn't address all Americans. This really isn't an issue.

It is an issue because we are finally being given some recognition. Gallup polls have indicated that people are more likely to vote for a well-qualified Muslim or homosexual than they are an atheist.

ih8brady
01-25-2009, 10:44 PM
Considering Bush I said atheists weren't patriots or citizens, this is significant. Just as it wasn't until the 20th century that the WH acknowledged blacks, women and Native Americans. Nobody should be viewed as less of a citizen or part of the country just because of their belief or religious affiliation.

A good vid on the subject:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twoXZE9U0Io



And remember FNC is fair and balanced. Completely unbiased in every way.

PhinPhan1227
01-26-2009, 09:01 AM
Well heck, atheists have been recognized every time anyone said "people of faith". If you make the declaration that no god exists, you have made just as much a faith based statement as saying "god exists". Really, agnostics are the only folks who have a claim to a rational approach to the issue.

Tetragrammaton
01-26-2009, 10:17 AM
Considering Bush I said atheists weren't patriots or citizens, this is significant. Just as it wasn't until the 20th century that the WH acknowledged blacks, women and Native Americans. Nobody should be viewed as less of a citizen or part of the country just because of their belief or religious affiliation.

A good vid on the subject:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twoXZE9U0Io



And remember FNC is fair and balanced. Completely unbiased in every way.

To be fair, Michael Sherman has never actually proven that Bush I said that. I was going to post it, but considering he works for an atheist magazine, I question whether or not he had an agenda in changing what was said.


Well heck, atheists have been recognized every time anyone said "people of faith". If you make the declaration that no god exists, you have made just as much a faith based statement as saying "god exists". Really, agnostics are the only folks who have a claim to a rational approach to the issue.

You guys keep saying it and it still isn't true. It is only true if believing there is no pink elephant in your trunk is a religion as well. Is not believing in Bigfoot equal to believing in Bigfoot? Are people that say that they don't know whether or not Bigfoot exists the only rational ones?

And don't get me started on agnosticism.

PhinPhan1227
01-26-2009, 10:26 AM
To be fair, Michael Sherman has never actually proven that Bush I said that. I was going to post it, but considering he works for an atheist magazine, I question whether or not he had an agenda in changing what was said.



You guys keep saying it and it still isn't true. It is only true if believing there is no pink elephant in your trunk is a religion as well. Is not believing in Bigfoot equal to believing in Bigfoot? Are people that say that they don't know whether or not Bigfoot exists the only rational ones?

And don't get me started on agnosticism.

Sorry sir, but you are incorrect. Atheism states that there is no God. It is a positive affirmation. You are declaring something that you have no way of proving one way or another. That is an act of faith, by definition. And remember, Atheism isn't just stating that the Christian god doesn't exist, it's saying that NO god exists. So you aren't just comparing your faith to that of a devout Christian, you are comparing it to everyone who believes in any sort of god. So yes, agnostics do have the only rational approach to the issue. They just don't know. It is the only logical response to a situation that can't be proven or disproven. That being said, I am a Christian, I don't claim that my faith is rational, I just think it's funny that atheists think theirs is.

ih8brady
01-26-2009, 10:30 AM
To be fair, Michael Sherman has never actually proven that Bush I said that. I was going to post it, but considering he works for an atheist magazine, I question whether or not he had an agenda in changing what was said.



You guys keep saying it and it still isn't true. It is only true if believing there is no pink elephant in your trunk is a religion as well. Is not believing in Bigfoot equal to believing in Bigfoot? Are people that say that they don't know whether or not Bigfoot exists the only rational ones?

And don't get me started on agnosticism.


True about the quote's unknown origin. Sad thing is, even if true, it wouldn't be the most bigoted that came out of a mouth from a Bush.


There's still been proven hate towards non-believers by elected officials in government. Rep. Monique Davis comes to mind as very egregious. Imagine someone in office saying that about Christians or Jews(might get away with insulting Muslims).



Well heck, atheists have been recognized every time anyone said "people of faith". If you make the declaration that no god exists, you have made just as much a faith based statement as saying "god exists". Really, agnostics are the only folks who have a claim to a rational approach to the issue.

Is my lack of thinking Superman or goblins being real, a type of faith? Should I write that down as my religion? A rational approach includes the dismissal of unsubstantiated claims and credulity.

PhinPhan1227
01-26-2009, 10:39 AM
True about the quote's unknown origin. Sad thing is, even if true, it wouldn't be the most bigoted that came out of a mouth from a Bush.


There's still been proven hate towards non-believers by elected officials in government. Rep. Monique Davis comes to mind as very egregious. Imagine someone in office saying that about Christians or Jews(might get away with insulting Muslims).




Is my lack of thinking Superman or goblins being real, a type of faith? Should I write that down as my religion? A rational approach includes the dismissal of unsubstantiated claims and credulity.


As I stated above, atheism is a positive affirmation that there is no god, flat out. You can't prove one way or another that no god exists, therefore it is an act of faith. I can prove Superman isn't real because the people who created him did so as an act of fiction. That is proof. There's no way to prove that no god exists.

Heck, I can give a reasoned argument that some form of god SHOULD exist, based on scientific theory. If time is infininite, and evolution takes place, than at some time in the existence of the universe, given infinite time and infinite size, something that would be viewed by humanity as "omnipotent", should have evolved. Just as we would appear to be godlike to a sentient bacteria, so a creature that far evolved beyond us would for all intents and purposes be a god. So tell me how declaring that such a being cannot exist is not an act of faith?

Tetragrammaton
01-26-2009, 10:52 AM
You are pigeonholing atheism. Practical atheism, or apatheism, is a closer version of what agnosticism claims to be. That is closer to my belief system than anything else. If you want to compare hard atheists to religious people, then sure. But I really dislike my lack of faith being compared to a faith. If someone shows me proof of a God, I will take it. If you could disprove God, then I doubt the same applies to most religious people.

It reminds me of an episode where Homer does the math to disprove God, and gives his only copy to Flanders. Instead of accepting it, he burns it and tells no one.

Tetragrammaton
01-26-2009, 10:55 AM
There's still been proven hate towards non-believers by elected officials in government. Rep. Monique Davis comes to mind as very egregious. Imagine someone in office saying that about Christians or Jews(might get away with insulting Muslims).

It really is incredible how many state Constitutions bar atheists from holding office. This has not been tried in court, though, because the voters have done that themselves.

If atheism was not so easy to hide, I would say that we are one of the more oppressed groups in the country. At the risk of this being the most offensive thing I have ever posted, I think some of the hatred toward us comes from their own inner doubts about religion.

emeraldfin
01-26-2009, 11:09 AM
It really is incredible how many state Constitutions bar atheists from holding office. This has not been tried in court, though, because the voters have done that themselves.

If atheism was not so easy to hide, I would say that we are one of the more oppressed groups in the country. At the risk of this being the most offensive thing I have ever posted, I think some of the hatred toward us comes from their own inner doubts about religion.

Are atheists really un-able to hold office?

If so what is the reasoning behind it?

PhinPhan1227
01-26-2009, 11:20 AM
You are pigeonholing atheism. Practical atheism, or apatheism, is a closer version of what agnosticism claims to be. That is closer to my belief system than anything else. If you want to compare hard atheists to religious people, then sure. But I really dislike my lack of faith being compared to a faith. If someone shows me proof of a God, I will take it. If you could disprove God, then I doubt the same applies to most religious people.

It reminds me of an episode where Homer does the math to disprove God, and gives his only copy to Flanders. Instead of accepting it, he burns it and tells no one.


I'm not pigeonholing, I'm going by the definition of the word. If you identify yourself as something, you are subjecting yourself to the results of that identification. If your beliefs are closer to agnosticism, why wouldn't you identify yourself as agnostic? My personal beliefs are more of an Agnostic/Christianity. I hold personally to the strictures of Christianity, but I don't hold to the absolute exclusivity of Christianity as the only means to salvation. In other words, I don't think that because Christianity works for me, it must work for everyone. My personal beliefs are that God strikes me as being capable of finding a way for everyone to get the message as they need it.

But the bottom line is that when we deal with strict labels like Atheist and Christian, we are talking about the strict definitions of those labels, not what each individual does to modify those beliefs. Because obviously those individuals will run the gamut of everything under the sun, many of whom holding beliefs that don't REMOTELY fall under those self ascribed labels. Heck, I seriously doubt that D7 would describe me as a Christian, but I describe myself that way.

So, when we discuss whether atheism is a faith based belief, then yes, it is. Because we are only discussing the commonly held definition of atheism, not YOUR particular iteration of it.

Tetragrammaton
01-26-2009, 11:35 AM
Are atheists really un-able to hold office?

If so what is the reasoning behind it?

The laws have been on the books since the states were created. Again, no one has actually been kept from office because of it, because before it can happen, the people vote against them.


But the bottom line is that when we deal with strict labels like Atheist and Christian, we are talking about the strict definitions of those labels, not what each individual does to modify those beliefs. Because obviously those individuals will run the gamut of everything under the sun, many of whom holding beliefs that don't REMOTELY fall under those self ascribed labels. Heck, I seriously doubt that D7 would describe me as a Christian, but I describe myself that way.

But if I said all Christians are foolish saps, wouldn't you respond? You may not be the exact definition, but you are still a Christian to me if you believe in Jesus as the son of God. I don't care how you differ, because it falls under the umbrella to someone like me who is outside of it entirely. I might not fit the typical Michael Newdow stereotype, but I subscribe to his cause more than I do yours. So when you say something about the lack of belief in a God, I get touchy. I understand what you are saying now, though.

We are good people, after all. You might not see us at a church on Sunday morning, but that does not necessarily mean we are robbing convenience stores.

PhinPhan1227
01-26-2009, 12:19 PM
The laws have been on the books since the states were created. Again, no one has actually been kept from office because of it, because before it can happen, the people vote against them.



But if I said all Christians are foolish saps, wouldn't you respond? You may not be the exact definition, but you are still a Christian to me if you believe in Jesus as the son of God. I don't care how you differ, because it falls under the umbrella to someone like me who is outside of it entirely. I might not fit the typical Michael Newdow stereotype, but I subscribe to his cause more than I do yours. So when you say something about the lack of belief in a God, I get touchy. I understand what you are saying now, though.

We are good people, after all. You might not see us at a church on Sunday morning, but that does not necessarily mean we are robbing convenience stores.


Now Zest, I never said a single word about the quality of person that ascribed atheism to themselves. Because honestly, atheists, just like any other person can and do run the gamut of good, bad, and ugly. My ONLY comment is that the stated belief of atheism is just as much a faith based belief as any other. And I still hold to that statement. Now, you didn't call all Christians foolish saps, although that very sentiment has certainly been expressed on this site, but by making the declaration that your belief system is based on rationality while mine is not is saying, in essence, that very thing. Honestly, is being called "irrational" any better than being called a "foolish sap"? Not to me it isn't.

Now, the bolded statement above is exactly what this conversation is all about. I labeled myself as Christian. Therefore, I fall under an umbrella of those beliefs to you. When you label yourself as atheist, you do the EXACT same thing. So I get lumped in with Oral roberts, you get lumped in with Newdow. If either of us doesn't like it, we should pick different labels. Because the core of both labels is a faith based system.

Dolphan7
01-26-2009, 05:08 PM
To all my Atheist and Agnostic Brothers.......Jeremiah 29:13 says " You will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart".

To those who say that there is no proof of God, please consider that God isn't something that Science can put its arms around. But.....all the evidence put together, from life experiences, from the living (and dead) earth, from the cosmos, to the written word itself and the person of Jesus Christ.....when you put it all together, there is more than enough logical and intellectual proof of the existance of God. Don't sell God short because you are convinced that He doesn't exist. Remember - not even science can say God doesn't exist.

PhinPhan1227
01-26-2009, 05:15 PM
To all my Atheist and Agnostic Brothers.......Jeremiah 29:13 says " You will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart".

To those who say that there is no proof of God, please consider that God isn't something that Science can put its arms around. But.....all the evidence put together, from life experiences, from the living (and dead) earth, from the cosmos, to the written word itself and the person of Jesus Christ.....when you put it all together, there is more than enough logical and intellectual proof of the existance of God. Don't sell God short because you are convinced that He doesn't exist. Remember - not even science can say God doesn't exist.

And not even science can say that he does. Thus "faith". If God wanted to prove to people he exists, it would be pretty easy for him to write in big letters across the face of the moon, "I exist".

Dolphan7
01-26-2009, 05:52 PM
And not even science can say that he does. Thus "faith". If God wanted to prove to people he exists, it would be pretty easy for him to write in big letters across the face of the moon, "I exist".Actually...God has already written "I exist", only it is written in our hearts. Some just refuse to acknowledge it.

Romans 1 says that God has made himself evident within us since creation, and at the very least evidence of that which has been made, so that we are without excuse. Rom 1:18-20

Please also note that the Christian definition of faith isn't blind faith.

Heb 11:1 says "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen".

PhinPhan1227
01-26-2009, 06:11 PM
Actually...God has already written "I exist", only it is written in our hearts. Some just refuse to acknowledge it.

Romans 1 says that God has made himself evident within us since creation, and at the very least evidence of that which has been made, so that we are without excuse. Rom 1:18-20

Please also note that the Christian definition of faith isn't blind faith.

Heb 11:1 says "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen".


And all of that devolves down to "internal" proof, versus "external" proof. Proof to yourself is internal, proof to others is external. God provides internal proof, if he wanted external proof, he would do so.

Dolphan7
01-26-2009, 08:26 PM
And all of that devolves down to "internal" proof, versus "external" proof. Proof to yourself is internal, proof to others is external. God provides internal proof, if he wanted external proof, he would do so.
Oh .....ok. So Jesus Christ, denying his Deity and becoming fully man, living with us, and dying on the cross for all our sins, in broad daylight for the whole world to see.....is an internal proof. I see.

And the Holy bible, written as a record of these events and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and many other things, is an internal proof. I get it now.

Man I don't know how external you can get with these two tangible things.

Locke
01-27-2009, 04:58 AM
Haha, I have so much to say on this topic, but I think this is one I will stay out of. I do have one question for Zest though. You mentioned not getting start on agnosticism, what is your gripe with it? I'm an agnostic myself, so I'm just curious more than anything. Always interesting to hear different points of view...

PhinPhan1227
01-27-2009, 08:35 AM
Oh .....ok. So Jesus Christ, denying his Deity and becoming fully man, living with us, and dying on the cross for all our sins, in broad daylight for the whole world to see.....is an internal proof. I see.

And the Holy bible, written as a record of these events and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and many other things, is an internal proof. I get it now.

Man I don't know how external you can get with these two tangible things.


Can you show others that the Bible is the word of God and not a creation of man? Or does that require internal faith? Yes D7, it's all requiring of internal faith. Without faith, the Bible is just an act of historical fiction. Without faith, Jesus was a charismatic guy who lived 2000 years ago. Without faith it's all just stories. WITH faith it's a whole different reality.

Dolphan7
01-27-2009, 11:42 AM
Can you show others that the Bible is the word of God and not a creation of man? Or does that require internal faith? Yes D7, it's all requiring of internal faith. Without faith, the Bible is just an act of historical fiction. Without faith, Jesus was a charismatic guy who lived 2000 years ago. Without faith it's all just stories. WITH faith it's a whole different reality.I think you are talking about "belief", not faith. There is a difference.


http://www.conservativeencyclopedia.com/wiki/Belief

Faith is a confidence or trust in the achievement of God (http://www.conservativeencyclopedia.com/wiki/God)'s will, even though unseen and unexpected by non-believers.
Faith embodies more than belief. Faith elevates one's being, while belief is limited to a mental state or emotion. Faith implies a causal role by the believer in an outcome[1] (http://www.conservativeencyclopedia.com/wiki/Belief#cite_note-0) or in overcoming a personal fear. Faith also implies advancement or accomplishment rather than wrongdoing, while belief implies neither.


So yes, I can show others the bible is the word of God and that Jesus was the real deal. They don't have to take that on faith, but they must believe it to be true before they can then put their faith in God. Belief must come before faith.

Ultimately it is an individual decision that everyone must make, either to accept or reject Jesus, it is an internal and personal decision, but it can be influenced by external factors - it isn't blind faith, or belief without any tangible evidence.

PhinPhan1227
01-27-2009, 12:11 PM
I think you are talking about "belief", not faith. There is a difference.



So yes, I can show others the bible is the word of God and that Jesus was the real deal. They don't have to take that on faith, but they must believe it to be true before they can then put their faith in God. Belief must come before faith.

Ultimately it is an individual decision that everyone must make, either to accept or reject Jesus, it is an internal and personal decision, but it can be influenced by external factors - it isn't blind faith, or belief without any tangible evidence.

You used one persons definition of faith. Most of the planet uses a somewhat different version. Most people I think would define faith as something which, by definition, requires no proof. Belief however has a more fluid meaning. In some cases it has a tangible background, in others it doesn't. But when someone says "take it on faith", the word "alone" is implied at the end of the phrase. No positive evidence is required. Now, "blind faith" takes on a negative connotation because people often define the "blind" part as refusing to see negative evidence on the back side, rather than needing positive evidence on the front side. So no, I wouldn't say that Christianity requires blind faith, because I have yet to be presented with any evidence against it. But by the same token, it doesn't require external evidence to support it.

Dolphan7
01-27-2009, 12:49 PM
You used one persons definition of faith. Most of the planet uses a somewhat different version. Most people I think would define faith as something which, by definition, requires no proof. Belief however has a more fluid meaning. In some cases it has a tangible background, in others it doesn't. But when someone says "take it on faith", the word "alone" is implied at the end of the phrase. No positive evidence is required. Now, "blind faith" takes on a negative connotation because people often define the "blind" part as refusing to see negative evidence on the back side, rather than needing positive evidence on the front side. So no, I wouldn't say that Christianity requires blind faith, because I have yet to be presented with any evidence against it. But by the same token, it doesn't require external evidence to support it.No doubt faith does carry with it a certain lack of proof in todays society. And many believe that in order to believe in God and Jesus and the Bible you have to just have faith with no other evidence to support it, and that couldn't be further from the truth, and that is my point.

Let's go back to the biblical definition of faith from Heb 11:1.



Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Sounds more like "trust" doesn't it? We trust God to do the right thing. We trust God with our lives (those who have given their lives to Him). We trust God to do what he says he will do(things hoped for), and we trust that God has it all figured out even though we don't know exactly how (things not seen).

This trust is based on belief first and foremost. Belief is based on both tangible and intangible proof.

When your wife tells you "I love You", you believe her at her word. You trust that she will continue to love you, and you base your belief in her on prior experiences and evidences of that love right? She may have done something for you that is special, she may have bought you something "just because", and many other tangible and intangible reasons.....And you trust her because of your belief in her to love you. You trust her to continue her love for you. You have faith in her...... that she will love you and continue to love you until death do you part right?

Now I ask you - is that faith based on a lack of proof?

eric1589
01-27-2009, 01:04 PM
I think you are talking about "belief", not faith. There is a difference.



So yes, I can show others the bible is the word of God and that Jesus was the real deal.


then do us all a favor and refrain from making any more posts untill you do so.

im looking forward to seeing how you can pass the words of other men off as the word of "god"

think about this one too. if we were to stop PEOPLE from passing on their beliefs, those beliefs would eventually go away.

think about how advanced man kind was in the days they made religions.
think about how advanced man kind was in the days they made the theory of evolution.


realize that back when religion was created that basically everyone believed in the super natural. in all forms. try to dig up ANY hard evidence of ANY of those super natural beliefs being true.

understand how the theory of evolution came about. it was a theory brought about by some of the brightest people of recent time doing research and observation and documenting FACTS. not beliefs.

these facts were findings that they were the first people, ever, to realize. these facts can be found by anyone looking form them. charles darwin isnt going to hand you preserved fish and tell you to look at certain parts and what they mean. you can go out and catch your own fish and study them for yourselves and compare them to others. you can make your own observations and draw your own conclusions.

doesnt that sound like a more credible method of discovering truth then just believing in what some one else told you?

isnt being encouraged to see for yourself more acceptable then being told you will burn in hell for ever if you doubt a story some one else told you?

at the root what sounds more credible and logical to you?

some one encouraging you to do your own research and make your own decision. or some one who promises eternal damnation for doubting a story older then astronomy books that declared the earth was the center of the universe and wrapped in a crystal ball?

PhinPhan1227
01-27-2009, 01:05 PM
No doubt faith does carry with it a certain lack of proof in todays society. And many believe that in order to believe in God and Jesus and the Bible you have to just have faith with no other evidence to support it, and that couldn't be further from the truth, and that is my point.

Let's go back to the biblical definition of faith from Heb 11:1.


Sounds more like "trust" doesn't it? We trust God to do the right thing. We trust God with our lives (those who have given their lives to Him). We trust God to do what he says he will do(things hoped for), and we trust that God has it all figured out even though we don't know exactly how (things not seen).

This trust is based on belief first and foremost. Belief is based on both tangible and intangible proof.

When your wife tells you "I love You", you believe her at her word. You trust that she will continue to love you, and you base your belief in her on prior experiences and evidences of that love right? She may have done something for you that is special, she may have bought you something "just because", and many other tangible and intangible reasons.....And you trust her because of your belief in her to love you. You trust her to continue her love for you. You have faith in her...... that she will love you and continue to love you until death do you part right?

Now I ask you - is that faith based on a lack of proof?


Two points.

Firstly, the highlighted comment above shows the problem. You are putting the cart before the horse. To those who have given themselves to God, they have all the tangible proof they need BECAUSE they have given themselves to God. For those who have not, none of that proof is tanglible because they haven't given themselves to God. It's a circular issue D7. The proof is only tangible once you no longer need the proof.

Secondly, my wife has provided me with tangible proof on which I base my faith in her. If some complete stranger walked up to me and said "I love you", no I wouldn't have any faith in them at all. But my wife, over time, built up my trust and yes, my faith. I no longer need any further proof, but by the same token, she could certainly do things which would shake my faith in her, as I am certain I could to her. My wife and I have a relationship that is based on our experiences together over time. God didn't have to do anything to earn my trust.

ih8brady
01-27-2009, 01:49 PM
Now Zest, I never said a single word about the quality of person that ascribed atheism to themselves. Because honestly, atheists, just like any other person can and do run the gamut of good, bad, and ugly. My ONLY comment is that the stated belief of atheism is just as much a faith based belief as any other. And I still hold to that statement. Now, you didn't call all Christians foolish saps, although that very sentiment has certainly been expressed on this site, but by making the declaration that your belief system is based on rationality while mine is not is saying, in essence, that very thing. Honestly, is being called "irrational" any better than being called a "foolish sap"? Not to me it isn't.

Now, the bolded statement above is exactly what this conversation is all about. I labeled myself as Christian. Therefore, I fall under an umbrella of those beliefs to you. When you label yourself as atheist, you do the EXACT same thing. So I get lumped in with Oral roberts, you get lumped in with Newdow. If either of us doesn't like it, we should pick different labels. Because the core of both labels is a faith based system.


Briefly, I'll readily concur that whatever stance on God/gods/spirituality/religion/supernatural, etc., it doesn't determine one's virtuousness or morality. Just because you believe or disbelieve in the NT or Koran or Hinduism, etc, doesn't say as to how you will treat other people. *******s lurk in all categories.

I'll try responding to earlier posts when my computer is not crashing every ten minutes.


I'm also curious as to the usage, by some, of the word Christian as synonomous with wholesomeness and high morality and unChristian with dirtiness, immorality and corruption. What's your opinion on that?

PhinPhan1227
01-27-2009, 02:07 PM
Briefly, I'll readily concur that whatever stance on God/gods/spirituality/religion/supernatural, etc., it doesn't determine one's virtuousness or morality. Just because you believe or disbelieve in the NT or Koran or Hinduism, etc, doesn't say as to how you will treat other people. *******s lurk in all categories.

I'll try responding to earlier posts when my computer is not crashing every ten minutes.


I'm also curious as to the usage, by some, of the word Christian as synonomous with wholesomeness and high morality and unChristian with dirtiness, immorality and corruption. What's your opinion on that?



On the one hand, I have no problem with people referring to Christians acting in a "Christian" manner. All they are saying is that they are or aren't behaving within a set of behaviors they claim to hold to. For instance, the Dallas coach who let his team run up a 100-0 score against a VASTLY inferior school behaved in an "unchrisitan" manner. Since he was a coach at a Christian school, I expect he is Christian. As such, I have no problem with that label being used.

On the other hand, I DO object to it being used on non-Christians. Non-Christians can lead lives every bit as "Christ-like" as Christians, and in some cases posssibly more so. But they do not ascribe to that particular set of behaviors under that name. If a woman tells a Jew he did something that "wasn't very christian", I would applaud him telling her to piss off since he is not in fact a christian.

Now, all that being said, there is a case for concern when the ONLY thing we have to determine morality is science. Science isn't moral/immoral, ethical/unethical, nice/mean, it just "is". So there's no human factor to it. It has been used to justify genocide, Social Darwinism, and a slew of other really rotten actions, because by itself it holds no moral framework. Strictly speaking, taking all those "quaint" Judeo/Christian values out of the equation, we shouldn't have much of a healthcare crisis in America. When people get too old, develop or are born with, too many defects to be useful...just get rid of them. Charity in the vast majority of cases is counter to the overall good. And for all that religions have been used to perpetrate horrors, religion has also been the element that mitigated much of the damage caused by those who have abandoned religion.

The problem, as with all things is...people. The bad ones will find ways to use religion to their own means. And the bad ones will find ways to use science the same way.

ih8brady
01-27-2009, 02:46 PM
On the one hand, I have no problem with people referring to Christians acting in a "Christian" manner. All they are saying is that they are or aren't behaving within a set of behaviors they claim to hold to. For instance, the Dallas coach who let his team run up a 100-0 score against a VASTLY inferior school behaved in an "unchrisitan" manner. Since he was a coach at a Christian school, I expect he is Christian. As such, I have no problem with that label being used.

On the other hand, I DO object to it being used on non-Christians. Non-Christians can lead lives every bit as "Christ-like" as Christians, and in some cases posssibly more so. But they do not ascribe to that particular set of behaviors under that name. If a woman tells a Jew he did something that "wasn't very christian", I would applaud him telling her to piss off since he is not in fact a christian.

Now, all that being said, there is a case for concern when the ONLY thing we have to determine morality is science. Science isn't moral/immoral, ethical/unethical, nice/mean, it just "is". So there's no human factor to it. It has been used to justify genocide, Social Darwinism, and a slew of other really rotten actions, because by itself it holds no moral framework. Strictly speaking, taking all those "quaint" Judeo/Christian values out of the equation, we shouldn't have much of a healthcare crisis in America. When people get too old, develop or are born with, too many defects to be useful...just get rid of them. Charity in the vast majority of cases is counter to the overall good. And for all that religions have been used to perpetrate horrors, religion has also been the element that mitigated much of the damage caused by those who have abandoned religion.

The problem, as with all things is...people. The bad ones will find ways to use religion to their own means. And the bad ones will find ways to use science the same way.

If by using the word Christian/unchristian, Christians are simply discussing their own behavior in comparison to their religion, fine. I simply hear it often with a great underlying implication that anyone who doesn't subscribe to the Christian mentality/morality or is philosophically inquisitive is somehow a rotten outsider not to be trusted. Sort of Christian jingoism. Nevermind that men from Socrates to Ghandi to Einstein and Jefferson were all not Christian.


Not sure when I or anyone said that science is an act of charity, philosophy or a religion. It is the search for truth in the universe, unfortunately that can include discovering ways to harm people or accelerate suffering or inadvertent harm to the environment, etc. That's why a good scientist must engage in ethical behavior in his/her endeavors.


Keep in mind there are other moral stances out there, including secular ones. And that some of the most cruel societies were faithful Christians. Food for thought.

Blackocrates
01-27-2009, 03:16 PM
Well heck, atheists have been recognized every time anyone said "people of faith". If you make the declaration that no god exists, you have made just as much a faith based statement as saying "god exists". Really, agnostics are the only folks who have a claim to a rational approach to the issue.

I don't think it takes faith to not believe in something. Since God isn't a physical being it isn't rational to believe in God. There's no evidence to show athiests that there is a God.

Your assertion that because God can't be proven therefore it takes faith to not believe in God is false. You use the term positive affirmation but that doesn't mean anything in this discussion. We can only perceive things through our senses. If something cannot be perceived through our senses then it can be inferred to not exist. This isn't faith, it is logic, rational, and practical. As others have said, it doesn't take faith to not believe in the easter bunny, unicorns, vampires, etc. Faith requires the belief that something does exist, not that something doesn't exist.

eric1589
01-27-2009, 03:22 PM
heres a great summation.

without people, there is no religion.

without religion there are still people.

Dolphan7
01-27-2009, 03:40 PM
then do us all a favor and refrain from making any more posts untill you do so.

im looking forward to seeing how you can pass the words of other men off as the word of "god"

think about this one too. if we were to stop PEOPLE from passing on their beliefs, those beliefs would eventually go away.

think about how advanced man kind was in the days they made religions.
think about how advanced man kind was in the days they made the theory of evolution.


realize that back when religion was created that basically everyone believed in the super natural. in all forms. try to dig up ANY hard evidence of ANY of those super natural beliefs being true.

understand how the theory of evolution came about. it was a theory brought about by some of the brightest people of recent time doing research and observation and documenting FACTS. not beliefs.

these facts were findings that they were the first people, ever, to realize. these facts can be found by anyone looking form them. charles darwin isnt going to hand you preserved fish and tell you to look at certain parts and what they mean. you can go out and catch your own fish and study them for yourselves and compare them to others. you can make your own observations and draw your own conclusions.

doesnt that sound like a more credible method of discovering truth then just believing in what some one else told you?

isnt being encouraged to see for yourself more acceptable then being told you will burn in hell for ever if you doubt a story some one else told you?

at the root what sounds more credible and logical to you?

some one encouraging you to do your own research and make your own decision. or some one who promises eternal damnation for doubting a story older then astronomy books that declared the earth was the center of the universe and wrapped in a crystal ball?LOL - No I think I will keep on posting, but thank you for your contribution.

Ah yes the Darwinian Explosion - that racist idealogy that sought to define Afro-Americans as some sort of sub-species of man, therefore not yet as developed, or "evolved" as Caucasions. That wonderful work of prose that Hitler used to exterminate 6 million jews and millions of other less than fully human species. Right. Some advancement. It's correct title, yet hardly ever mentioned.

The Origin of the Species by means of natural selection or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life.

You put your faith in science, and evolution to be precise. Yet, this wonderful fact based belief system hasn't really answered the questions required of it, Namely -

Origin of Life
Origin of Sex
Origin of language
Origin of Phyla
Cause of mass extinctions
Relationship between DNA and Phenotype
How much can Natural Selection explain?

The above info is from 1 Milner, The Encyclopedia of Evolution, 1990, Henry Holt and Company, Inc. pages 159-160 (Ev) (http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/ratings.htm#ev)

Please don't start posting all this "evidence" of evolution. That has been done here many times before, yet it never gets to a point where anyone can say "Ah, there it is, the smoking gun". You are new here. You should check out some of the threads where we have batted this subject around quite extensively.

And for your reading enjoyment, here is a secular, non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to show the science "against" evolution. Enjoy.

http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/index.htm

Blackocrates
01-27-2009, 03:41 PM
I can prove Superman isn't real because the people who created him did so as an act of fiction. That is proof.


Going by your definition you can't prove Superman doesn't exist. You don't know that there isn't a being out there flying around with powers. He may just be hiding. You can't prove he isn't out there. According to you, you have faith that superman isn't real. I disagree.

ih8brady
01-27-2009, 04:01 PM
LOL - No I think I will keep on posting, but thank you for your contribution.

Ah yes the Darwinian Explosion - that racist idealogy that sought to define Afro-Americans as some sort of sub-species of man, therefore not yet as developed, or "evolved" as Caucasions. That wonderful work of prose that Hitler used to exterminate 6 million jews and millions of other less than fully human species. Right. Some advancement. It's correct title, yet hardly ever mentioned.


Darwin never supported racism that was just an excuse by already existing supremacists to continue their practices. Ever hear of Caliban? A contemporaneous literary example of how Europeans viewed blacks two hundred years before Darwin was born. The mark of Ham before that was a biblical justification for the inferiority of blacks. All centuries before Darwin or even the scientific method.

Mein Kampf was a political manifesto, not a science journal. Not once did Hitler, a Catholic btw, mention Charles Darwin in his work.


And science does not have all the answers. Who said otherwise? That only shows how it is an actual venture in intellectual discovery, as opposed to simply saying that a holy book has all the answers. There would be no need for scientists or engineers to work if they did have all the answers. To say that you know everything, that is being intellectually dishonest and invalidates a person's orientation.

Dolphan7
01-27-2009, 04:19 PM
Two points.

Firstly, the highlighted comment above shows the problem. You are putting the cart before the horse. To those who have given themselves to God, they have all the tangible proof they need BECAUSE they have given themselves to God. For those who have not, none of that proof is tanglible because they haven't given themselves to God. It's a circular issue D7. The proof is only tangible once you no longer need the proof. No sir. The proof is tangible regardless. It was tangible to me before I was ever a Christian, and it helped me decide that The God of the Bible is the real deal.

What you are saying makes no sense. You are saying that the tangible proof of God only becomes available to you once you accept God. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is this evidence that made me a Christian, not the other way around. And I am not alone.




Secondly, my wife has provided me with tangible proof on which I base my faith in her. If some complete stranger walked up to me and said "I love you", no I wouldn't have any faith in them at all. But my wife, over time, built up my trust and yes, my faith. I no longer need any further proof, but by the same token, she could certainly do things which would shake my faith in her, as I am certain I could to her. My wife and I have a relationship that is based on our experiences together over time. God didn't have to do anything to earn my trust.Thank you this is exactly what I am saying. God didn't have to do anything to earn your trust, other than what he has already done through Himself and His son Jesus Christ.....but.......you have had to have some experience, or situation, or evidentiary discovery to move you to the current state of your relationship with him....unless you are saying from birth that you have always had the same view of God. God is what he is, and he has always been just that. He simply says " I am". What we need to understand is that we either are or are not in a right relationship with Him. For those who are not, then they need to hopefully get to a point in their life where they can be in the right realtionship with God. Some get to that through simple belief based methods needing no extra evidence....then there are those like me who were at one point the biggest skeptic there is having been an atheist and evolutionist for 30 plus years of my life, who needed a little more evidence to believe. And that evidence is abundant for those who are honestly and sincerely looking for it.

Jesus said -

MT 7:7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

PhinPhan1227
01-27-2009, 04:19 PM
I don't think it takes faith to not believe in something. Since God isn't a physical being it isn't rational to believe in God. There's no evidence to show athiests that there is a God.

Your assertion that because God can't be proven therefore it takes faith to not believe in God is false. You use the term positive affirmation but that doesn't mean anything in this discussion. We can only perceive things through our senses. If something cannot be perceived through our senses then it can be inferred to not exist. This isn't faith, it is logic, rational, and practical. As others have said, it doesn't take faith to not believe in the easter bunny, unicorns, vampires, etc. Faith requires the belief that something does exist, not that something doesn't exist.


You are incorrect. Atheism states, "there is no God". That is a positive affirmation of a state which cannot be proven or disproven. You might as well say that nothing existed before the Big Bang because that is something which will never be proven or disproven because nothing measurable existed prior to the event. It's simple, if you say god probably doesn't exist, you are ok. If you say absolutely that god doesn't exist you are not. And atheism states that God does not exist.

PhinPhan1227
01-27-2009, 04:22 PM
No sir. The proof is tangible regardless. It was tangible to me before I was ever a Christian, and it helped me decide that The God of the Bible is the real deal.

What you are saying makes no sense. You are saying that the tangible proof of God only becomes available to you once you accept God. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is this evidence that made me a Christian, not the other way around. And I am not alone.


Thank you this is exactly what I am saying. God didn't have to do anything to earn your trust, other than what he has already done through Himself and His son Jesus Christ.....but.......you have had to have some experience, or situation, or evidentiary discovery to move you to the current state of your relationship with him....unless you are saying from birth that you have always had the same view of God. God is what he is, and he has always been just that. He simply says " I am". What we need to understand is that we either are or are not in a right relationship with Him. For those who are not, then they need to hopefully get to a point in their life where they can be in the right realtionship with God. Some get to that through simple belief based methods needing no extra evidence....then there are those like me who were at one point the biggest skeptic there is having been an atheist and evolutionist for 30 plus years of my life, who needed a little more evidence to believe. And that evidence is abundant for those who are honestly and sincerely looking for it.

Jesus said -

It's simple D7, you keep pointing out that the evidence occured to the individual. It is only EXTERNAL evidence if it was something you could show to someone else and use it to prove it to them, INDEPENDENT of your experience with it. For me it was an internal realization. Nothing that I could ever use to prove to someone else unless they could use MY experience.

PhinPhan1227
01-27-2009, 04:25 PM
If by using the word Christian/unchristian, Christians are simply discussing their own behavior in comparison to their religion, fine. I simply hear it often with a great underlying implication that anyone who doesn't subscribe to the Christian mentality/morality or is philosophically inquisitive is somehow a rotten outsider not to be trusted. Sort of Christian jingoism. Nevermind that men from Socrates to Ghandi to Einstein and Jefferson were all not Christian.


Not sure when I or anyone said that science is an act of charity, philosophy or a religion. It is the search for truth in the universe, unfortunately that can include discovering ways to harm people or accelerate suffering or inadvertent harm to the environment, etc. That's why a good scientist must engage in ethical behavior in his/her endeavors.

Keep in mind there are other moral stances out there, including secular ones. And that some of the most cruel societies were faithful Christians. Food for thought.

There in lies the issue. Science itself carries no ethical stance. It is by its nature Amoral. Again, there's a stronger scientific argument for killing people at the age of 75 in America than there is for keeping them alive. It's that external source of ethical mores that has often been provided by religion.

And as I have said, religion has been twisted just as often. It's a balancing act.

PhinPhan1227
01-27-2009, 04:27 PM
Darwin never supported racism that was just an excuse by already existing supremacists to continue their practices. Ever hear of Caliban? A contemporaneous literary example of how Europeans viewed blacks two hundred years before Darwin was born. The mark of Ham before that was a biblical justification for the inferiority of blacks. All centuries before Darwin or even the scientific method.

Mein Kampf was a political manifesto, not a science journal. Not once did Hitler, a Catholic btw, mention Charles Darwin in his work.


And science does not have all the answers. Who said otherwise? That only shows how it is an actual venture in intellectual discovery, as opposed to simply saying that a holy book has all the answers. There would be no need for scientists or engineers to work if they did have all the answers. To say that you know everything, that is being intellectually dishonest and invalidates a person's orientation.


A Catholic in his name only. Replacing the Bible with Mein Kampf in the churches pretty much established that the man was not a Christian in any form.

ih8brady
01-27-2009, 04:28 PM
There in lies the issue. Science itself carries no ethical stance. It is by its nature Amoral. Again, there's a stronger scientific argument for killing people at the age of 75 in America than there is for keeping them alive. It's that external source of ethical mores that has often been provided by religion.


That's not a scientific argument. Where's the evidence that nature has us kill old people?



And as I have said, religion has been twisted just as often. It's a balancing act.
But it's only twisting if it's additive to the religion. If the holy books mandate something, how is it twisting anything to uphold a religious duty?

eric1589
01-27-2009, 04:33 PM
do they teach people in church a differnet definition of the word " evidence"

i swear. i keep seeing that word thrown aorund in here and not one shred of anything that can be called "evidence."

if you make a claim, prove it. then move on. dont just make a claim and then move on. that proves nothing, but a lack of proof.

PhinPhan1227
01-27-2009, 04:36 PM
That's not a scientific argument. Where's the evidence that nature has us kill old people?


But it's only twisting if it's additive to the religion. If the holy books mandate something, how is it twisting anything to uphold a religious duty?

I don't recall too many religious texts that actually mandated the tragedies carried out by their followers. Possibly some interpretations of the Koran, but even there, the book as a whole is peaceful.

As to the rest, economics is a science, as is anthropology, mathematics, biology and sociology. All of which say that once humans reach a certain age, they become a burden on their societies resources. Given limited resources, the scientifically smart thing to do is eliminate them as a burden. as to nature telling us to kill old people, it's called survival of the fittest. Other mammals do it all the time.

eric1589
01-27-2009, 04:48 PM
There in lies the issue. Science itself carries no ethical stance. It is by its nature Amoral. Again, there's a stronger scientific argument for killing people at the age of 75 in America than there is for keeping them alive. It's that external source of ethical mores that has often been provided by religion.

And as I have said, religion has been twisted just as often. It's a balancing act.


but you overlook that those morals and ethics are provided by PEOPLE. they are added to religion, by people.

eric1589
01-27-2009, 04:54 PM
I don't recall too many religious texts that actually mandated the tragedies carried out by their followers. Possibly some interpretations of the Koran, but even there, the book as a whole is peaceful.

As to the rest, economics is a science, as is anthropology, mathematics, biology and sociology. All of which say that once humans reach a certain age, they become a burden on their societies resources. Given limited resources, the scientifically smart thing to do is eliminate them as a burden. as to nature telling us to kill old people, it's called survival of the fittest. Other mammals do it all the time.


how about the bible telling people that if you marry a woman and discover her not to be a virgin, that you and your towns people should stone her to death.

yeah. beating a woman to death with rocks because she had premarital sexs sounds really nice a peaceful.

do i need a signature to join this club or just a donation?

and we dont kill elderly people because we are human, not machines. just because something is beneficial does not make it right.

dont sit here and try to pass off some BS that people are thoughtless devils without reading a book written by other people and donating to the collection plate.

ih8brady
01-27-2009, 05:00 PM
I don't recall too many religious texts that actually mandated the tragedies carried out by their followers. Possibly some interpretations of the Koran, but even there, the book as a whole is peaceful.

As to the rest, economics is a science, as is anthropology, mathematics, biology and sociology. All of which say that once humans reach a certain age, they become a burden on their societies resources. Given limited resources, the scientifically smart thing to do is eliminate them as a burden. as to nature telling us to kill old people, it's called survival of the fittest. Other mammals do it all the time.

Possibly the Koran? The Abrahamic books are particularly violent from plucking out one's eye for lustful thoughts, murdering those who don't honor the Sabbath(Exodus 35:2), raping the women and kids of the villages you conquer (Deuteronomy 20:10-14), killing non-believers (Koran cow, 2:191), etc.

(This doesn't cover the human sacrifice of the Aztecs or the Assyro-Babylonians conquering and brutalizing their enemies or the thousands of minor cults or "living gods" who ruled their kingdoms.)

Now, these are supposed to be holy books...infalliable books from whichever gods or God sent them to his prophets. If you are a believer and wish to be observant of tradition and religious laws, then yes you are correctly performing your duties/

C'mon, when I say science obviously I was speaking of hard science, not the social sciences. I can only assume you were too. Science is attempting to discover what nature is, not how we should live our lives.

As for survival of the fittest, there's also extreme cooperation and unselfishness in biology. Chimps for instance can sacrifice themselves to ensure the safety of others.


EDIT:

Also, you (not science) seem to be making an initial stance that natural always = to morally right. Science doesn't make that assumption, neither do I btw.

Dolphan7
01-27-2009, 05:05 PM
Darwin never supported racism that was just an excuse by already existing supremacists to continue their practices. Ever hear of Caliban? A contemporaneous literary example of how Europeans viewed blacks two hundred years before Darwin was born. The mark of Ham before that was a biblical justification for the inferiority of blacks. All centuries before Darwin or even the scientific method.

Mein Kampf was a political manifesto, not a science journal. Not once did Hitler, a Catholic btw, mention Charles Darwin in his work.I never said Darwin himself was a racist, but you can't deny the obvious racial uses and abuses of his theories. And you cannot deny the influence it had on Hitler, and societies all over the world since. Darwin is the father of the survival of the fittest belief, that by it's very nature excludes God and any other alternative to our origins and reduces it to it's basic animalistic devices, lacking any morals or values.

More on Darwins influence on Hitler here:

http://www.wasdarwinright.com/hitler&darwinism.htm

http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v13/i2/nazi.asp

http://www.csustan.edu/History/Faculty/Weikart/FromDarwintoHitler.htm
This is a book review.

http://www.straight-talk.net/evolution/hitler.htm



And science does not have all the answers. Who said otherwise? That only shows how it is an actual venture in intellectual discovery, as opposed to simply saying that a holy book has all the answers. There would be no need for scientists or engineers to work if they did have all the answers. To say that you know everything, that is being intellectually dishonest and invalidates a person's orientation.Who said otherwise? Do you hear some of the quotes of people who have bought the evolution lie hook line and sinker? This Facts based theory that has been proven over and over again? I agree science doesn't have all the answers, and I don't know all the answers, but I know someone who does.

Look, if people who despise God and the Bible would simply take the available evidence, not the theories and speculations, but simply the hard evidence available to us, and lay them down according to the biblical model of creation, you would see they fit like a glove, much better predictability than evolution could ever hope for. It isn't a matter of evidence as much as it is that people just don't want to give up what they "think" they believe in. Jesus was great evidence to the Jews of his generation......and they killed him.

PhinPhan1227
01-27-2009, 05:06 PM
how about the bible telling people that if you marry a woman and discover her not to be a virgin, that you and your towns people should stone her to death.

yeah. beating a woman to death with rocks because she had premarital sexs sounds really nice a peaceful.

do i need a signature to join this club or just a donation?

and we dont kill elderly people because we are human, not machines. just because something is beneficial does not make it right.

dont sit here and try to pass off some BS that people are thoughtless devils without reading a book written by other people and donating to the collection plate.


And what tells you what is and isn't right? It's not just because you are "human". Humans have been perpetrating horrible(by our current definition) acts since day one. Murder and war are actually traits we evolved with, they are endemic to our nature as can be seen by chimps who exhibit such behavior. So tell us Eric, what tells you what is and isn't right? Because whatever it is, it's not something shared by all humanity. Because not all humanity will agree with you. In point of fact, in several cultures in our history, the above scenario WAS considered "right". Because the environmental pressures placed on those cultures mandated those actions. Hard choices had to be made.

So again Eric, tell me which chromosome tells you "what is right".

PhinPhan1227
01-27-2009, 05:20 PM
Possibly the Koran? The Abrahamic books are particularly violent from plucking out one's eye for lustful thoughts, murdering those who don't honor the Sabbath(Exodus 35:2), raping the women and kids of the villages you conquer (Deuteronomy 20:10-14), killing non-believers (Koran cow, 2:191), etc.

(This doesn't cover the human sacrifice of the Aztecs or the Assyro-Babylonians conquering and brutalizing their enemies or the thousands of minor cults or "living gods" who ruled their kingdoms.)

Now, these are supposed to be holy books...infalliable books from whichever gods or God sent them to his prophets. If you are a believer and wish to be observant of tradition and religious laws, then yes you are correctly performing your duties/

C'mon, when I say science obviously I was speaking of hard science, not the social sciences. I can only assume you were too. Science is attempting to discover what nature is, not how we should live our lives.

As for survival of the fittest, there's also extreme cooperation and unselfishness in biology. Chimps for instance can sacrifice themselves to ensure the safety of others.


EDIT:

Also, you (not science) seem to be making an initial stance that natural always = to morally right. Science doesn't make that assumption, neither do I btw.


Yes, the Old Testament can be pretty nasty, but I thought we were talking about BIG tragedies. Inquisitions, Pogroms, the Hollocaust, Stalins purges. Big stuff. If we're just talking about how a few people may have been mistreated that's something else of course.

To the more important point, I am making the exact opposite stance. Natural/Scientific is Amoral. It has no morality. The only morality of biology is survival of the species. And I would consider biology a hard science. And the point is, "morality" is not universal.People will and do make it up as they go depending on the situation. And there have been times when religion kept that situation from turning uglier than it had to.

As to the rest, I don't see why anthropology and sociology, or economics for that matter do not have "hard science" elements. And they, as well as the other "hard sciences", don't just serve as methods of determining what nature is, they also serve to tell us what to do with it. Knowledge without application is useless. And people will always find an application. That application isn't always very nice.

Bottom line, there are people on this board who have expressed the opinion that religion is the source of all that is bad in the world. Wars, despotism, you name it. They fail to realize that without religion those things will still take place because those things are caused by human failings which are endemic to man. And that religion also brings with it a positive aspect that would then be missing, and thus unable to help mollify the situation.

Locke
01-27-2009, 05:34 PM
And what tells you what is and isn't right? It's not just because you are "human". Humans have been perpetrating horrible(by our current definition) acts since day one. Murder and war are actually traits we evolved with, they are endemic to our nature as can be seen by chimps who exhibit such behavior. So tell us Eric, what tells you what is and isn't right? Because whatever it is, it's not something shared by all humanity. Because not all humanity will agree with you. In point of fact, in several cultures in our history, the above scenario WAS considered "right". Because the environmental pressures placed on those cultures mandated those actions. Hard choices had to be made.

So again Eric, tell me which chromosome tells you "what is right".

Just playing devil's advocate here, this doesn't actually reflect my beliefs. What makes something being morally right whats best for the survivability of the species? That is, maybe ensuring people live to be 80-90+ is not really the best way to make sure humans thrive. Whats the benefit to the species of a 90 year old man? The resources he uses would be better used by a 30 year old man who can still add to the resource pool instead of just taking.

Humans are shaping the world and ecosystems to fit their morals, but that may not be entirely possible. Theres a reason animals kill their elderly. Once you're too old to help the community, you become a drain on that same community. Look at it this way. What happens if we do nothing about global warming, and sea levels do rise, sending millions of people from coastal regions to inland areas. There isn't enough food to feed everyone. Who are you going to feed? The men who go out and find that food, the children who ensure the survivability of the species, and the women who raise the children and are reproductive partners. Evolutionarily, there is no benefit to elderly in a community.

Harsh? Absolutely it is. Whether its 50 years, or 500 years, eventually humans are going to have to make that decision. At that point, all the 'morals' we hold now are going to be thrown out the window...

PhinPhan1227
01-27-2009, 05:38 PM
Just playing devil's advocate here, this doesn't actually reflect my beliefs. What makes something being morally right whats best for the survivability of the species? That is, maybe ensuring people live to be 80-90+ is not really the best way to make sure humans thrive. Whats the benefit to the species of a 90 year old man? The resources he uses would be better used by a 30 year old man who can still add to the resource pool instead of just taking.

Humans are shaping the world and ecosystems to fit their morals, but that may not be entirely possible. Theres a reason animals kill their elderly. Once you're too old to help the community, you become a drain on that same community. Look at it this way. What happens if we do nothing about global warming, and sea levels do rise, sending millions of people from coastal regions to inland areas. There isn't enough food to feed everyone. Who are you going to feed? The men who go out and find that food, the children who ensure the survivability of the species, and the women who raise the children and are reproductive partners. Evolutionarily, there is no benefit to elderly in a community.

Harsh? Absolutely it is. Whether its 50 years, or 500 years, eventually humans are going to have to make that decision. At that point, all the 'morals' we hold now are going to be thrown out the window...

My point exactly. "Morality" is entirely subjective. It is not indemic to the human condition. Those who hold science in such high regard that they feel it abrogates the need for religion fail to address the fact that going strictly by science, and the assumption that what is good for the species is "good", the world wouldn't be a very "nice" place to live.

Locke
01-27-2009, 05:56 PM
My point exactly. "Morality" is entirely subjective. It is not indemic to the human condition. Those who hold science in such high regard that they feel it abrogates the need for religion fail to address the fact that going strictly by science, and the assumption that what is good for the species is "good", the world wouldn't be a very "nice" place to live.

Agreed. I think a healthy balance is necessary. Theres no reason to behave like animals, but theres also a necessity to regulate our role in the world. People were horrified when China made a law that moderated how many kids they had, calling it immoral and complaining that humans shouldn't be told whether or not they can have kids. However, it slowed down the exponential population growth they were having, and preemptively helped curve a potentially catastrophic problem. Things like this should absolutely be considered....

Dolphan7
01-27-2009, 06:02 PM
I love how this is turning into a morality discussion.

PhinPhan1227
01-27-2009, 06:08 PM
Agreed. I think a healthy balance is necessary. Theres no reason to behave like animals, but theres also a necessity to regulate our role in the world. People were horrified when China made a law that moderated how many kids they had, calling it immoral and complaining that humans shouldn't be told whether or not they can have kids. However, it slowed down the exponential population growth they were having, and preemptively helped curve a potentially catastrophic problem. Things like this should absolutely be considered....

I agree that population control is needed. But the methodology certainly left a lot to be desired.:unsure:

Locke
01-27-2009, 06:24 PM
I love how this is turning into a morality discussion.

Haha, probably my bad on that....

Blackocrates
01-27-2009, 06:56 PM
You are incorrect. Atheism states, "there is no God". That is a positive affirmation of a state which cannot be proven or disproven. You might as well say that nothing existed before the Big Bang because that is something which will never be proven or disproven because nothing measurable existed prior to the event. It's simple, if you say god probably doesn't exist, you are ok. If you say absolutely that god doesn't exist you are not. And atheism states that God does not exist.

I am correct. It doesn't take faith to not believe in something that cannot be perceived through human senses. To believe otherwise is nonsensical.

Dolphan7
01-27-2009, 07:17 PM
Haha, probably my bad on that....No I think it is good to discuss it.

Dolphan7
01-27-2009, 07:35 PM
Whether Atheism is a religion, or not, is debatable....however....it is definitely a belief system. To be considered an Atheist you have to believe that there is no God.

But I do believe that Secular Humanism, which is what I think most Atheists really are, is slowly becoming a religion in that it seeks to identify and adopt relative morals and values of it's own, which is a clear indication of it being a religion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_humanism

PhinPhan1227
01-28-2009, 08:51 AM
I am correct. It doesn't take faith to not believe in something that cannot be perceived through human senses. To believe otherwise is nonsensical.


Do you believe that something existed prior to the Big Bang? If so, how do you expect that it can be percieved through human senses? The "I can't see it so it doesn't exist" argument is just silly. That argument was responsible for those scientists around the turn of the century declaring that "Everything worth knowing is already known". Afterall, they knew everything that could be percieved by their senses. They couldn't percieve sub atomic particles, therefore they didn't exist. Couldn't see planets around other stars, so they didn't exist. There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Again, stating God probably doesn't exist, you're godd. Stating he CAN'T exist, is an act of faith.

ih8brady
01-28-2009, 03:22 PM
Whether Atheism is a religion, or not, is debatable....however....it is definitely a belief system. To be considered an Atheist you have to believe that there is no God.

But I do believe that Secular Humanism, which is what I think most Atheists really are, is slowly becoming a religion in that it seeks to identify and adopt relative morals and values of it's own, which is a clear indication of it being a religion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_humanism


It is not a belief system at all. It is the lack of theism (the belief in one or more deity(-ies)). An atheist could still subscribe to certain superstitions or have varying beliefs on afterlife or spirituality or rational issues. Morally, you'll find no unifying code or belief. I've met atheists of virtue based beliefs like myself but also utilitarian or relativists or nihilists. There's no agreed political or social ideas either. There may be trends and coincidences especially if there are similar backgrounds, but there's nothing of a system. Just like all the people who lack the belief in astrology (a-astrologist?) will have a wide range of character and personality and ideologies.


Outside not subscribing to theism, atheists don't necessarily have anything in common and certainly not any holy books or pope-like figures.

PhinPhan1227
01-28-2009, 03:41 PM
It is not a belief system at all. It is the lack of theism (the belief in one or more deity(-ies)). An atheist could still subscribe to certain superstitions or have varying beliefs on afterlife or spirituality or rational issues. Morally, you'll find no unifying code or belief. I've met atheists of virtue based beliefs like myself but also utilitarian or relativists or nihilists. There's no agreed political or social ideas either. There may be trends and coincidences especially if there are similar backgrounds, but there's nothing of a system. Just like all the people who lack the belief in astrology (a-astrologist?) will have a wide range of character and personality and ideologies.


Outside not subscribing to theism, atheists don't necessarily have anything in common and certainly not any holy books or pope-like figures.


Again though, the same holds true for people of all beliefs. Christians don't all read the bible the same way. They don't view the Bible the same way. They don't all view God the same way. But when you say "Christian" for the sake of argument, you are going by the accepted definition of Christian. Just as when you say "Atheist", you are going by the accepted definition of Atheist. And the accepted definition is a positive affirmation that there is no God. It is not merely someone who doesn't hold any belief where a deity is involved. Again, that is more agnostic.

ih8brady
01-28-2009, 03:52 PM
Again though, the same holds true for people of all beliefs. Christians don't all read the bible the same way. They don't view the Bible the same way. They don't all view God the same way. But when you say "Christian" for the sake of argument, you are going by the accepted definition of Christian. Just as when you say "Atheist", you are going by the accepted definition of Atheist. And the accepted definition is a positive affirmation that there is no God. It is not merely someone who doesn't hold any belief where a deity is involved. Again, that is more agnostic.

At most, it's one belief. That's not a system. Go back to my astrology comparison. Non-astrologist all lack a belief in astrology for one reason or another, but beyond that subject there's nothing necessarily in common.



It is not merely someone who doesn't hold any belief where a deity is involved. Again, that is more agnostic.
You say atheism is more than the lack of theism. I say explain. What are the other supposed beliefs? What does "atheist doctrine" say about the afterlife, morality, spirits, aliens, metaphysics, nature, etc.?


You do realize also that an agnostic or apatheist can be an atheist as well, if they do not engage in theism.


And Christians do have a few shared common beliefs (Bible as holy book, Jesus' beliefs as philosophy, his miracles true, him as son of God and redemption of man). There are disagreements which form their sects or denominations, but to be a real Christian they have their core beliefs.

Dolphan7
01-28-2009, 04:59 PM
It is not a belief system at all. It is the lack of theism (the belief in one or more deity(-ies)). An atheist could still subscribe to certain superstitions or have varying beliefs on afterlife or spirituality or rational issues. Morally, you'll find no unifying code or belief. I've met atheists of virtue based beliefs like myself but also utilitarian or relativists or nihilists. There's no agreed political or social ideas either. There may be trends and coincidences especially if there are similar backgrounds, but there's nothing of a system. Just like all the people who lack the belief in astrology (a-astrologist?) will have a wide range of character and personality and ideologies.


Outside not subscribing to theism, atheists don't necessarily have anything in common and certainly not any holy books or pope-like figures.

Look I am not one to stamp the religion label on Atheism, it is an interesting debate though. And you can't deny the similarities to religion. Most Atheists I know are staunch evolutionists.

Christianity = Bible
Atheism - Darwin - Origin of the Species

Christianity - Pope, Priests, Pastors, Ministers etc....
Atheism - Men in white coats in laboratories.

:lol:

Blackocrates
01-28-2009, 05:11 PM
Do you believe that something existed prior to the Big Bang? If so, how do you expect that it can be percieved through human senses? The "I can't see it so it doesn't exist" argument is just silly. That argument was responsible for those scientists around the turn of the century declaring that "Everything worth knowing is already known". Afterall, they knew everything that could be percieved by their senses. They couldn't percieve sub atomic particles, therefore they didn't exist. Couldn't see planets around other stars, so they didn't exist. There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Again, stating God probably doesn't exist, you're godd. Stating he CAN'T exist, is an act of faith.

It's not silly at all. It's reasonable and logical to believe something doesn't exist until it is proven. All of those things you mentioned have been proven now, that's the way time and technology work.

I never said anything about can't exist, you're putting words in my mouth to help out your argument. We're just going to have to disagree on what the word faith means.

PhinPhan1227
01-28-2009, 05:15 PM
It's not silly at all. It's reasonable and logical to believe something doesn't exist until it is proven. All of those things you mentioned have been proven now, that's the way time and technology work.

I never said anything about can't exist, you're putting words in my mouth to help out your argument. We're just going to have to disagree on what the word faith means.

No, you put those words in your mouth when you declared yourself an atheist. By definition you made that statement.

As to the rest, I would say that everyone finds out pretty definitavely whether God exists eventually. If you die and nothing happens, there you go. :wink:

Blackocrates
01-28-2009, 05:20 PM
No, you put those words in your mouth when you declared yourself an atheist. By definition you made that statement.

As to the rest, I would say that everyone finds out pretty definitavely whether God exists eventually. If you die and nothing happens, there you go. :wink:

Nice to know I'm an atheist, and here all this time I thought I was a Christian. Who'd a thunk? :unsure:

PhinPhan1227
01-28-2009, 05:28 PM
At most, it's one belief. That's not a system. Go back to my astrology comparison. Non-astrologist all lack a belief in astrology for one reason or another, but beyond that subject there's nothing necessarily in common.



You say atheism is more than the lack of theism. I say explain. What are the other supposed beliefs? What does "atheist doctrine" say about the afterlife, morality, spirits, aliens, metaphysics, nature, etc.?


You do realize also that an agnostic or apatheist can be an atheist as well, if they do not engage in theism.


And Christians do have a few shared common beliefs (Bible as holy book, Jesus' beliefs as philosophy, his miracles true, him as son of God and redemption of man). There are disagreements which form their sects or denominations, but to be a real Christian they have their core beliefs.

Just because you don't have a massive system of dogma doesn't mean that you aren't engaging in a faith based belief system. Heck, Christianity has had thousands of years to develop it's reams of practices. Atheism is an affirmation that God does not exist. The very word declares that since "A-theism" translates as "anti/negative-God". Yes, all Christians hold the bible holy, but to WIDELY different respects. I don't require the bible to have faith in God. D7 however sees the Bible as the first and last arbiter of his faith. Likewise, Atheists have a common thread that "there is no god", but other than that vary widely.

If you want to describe yourself as "non-theistic", I would say that is accurate. But "A-theistic" is a different word, and the etymology of the latin prefix "A" has an actively negative translation. you are arguing a passive disbelief in god, but using an active word to label it. There is a dichotomy in that action.

PhinPhan1227
01-28-2009, 05:30 PM
Nice to know I'm an atheist, and here all this time I thought I was a Christian. Who'd a thunk? :unsure:


I used a metaphorical "you". Sorry for giving the wrong impression.

Marino613
02-03-2009, 12:15 AM
Just because you don't have a massive system of dogma doesn't mean that you aren't engaging in a faith based belief system. Heck, Christianity has had thousands of years to develop it's reams of practices. Atheism is an affirmation that God does not exist. The very word declares that since "A-theism" translates as "anti/negative-God". Yes, all Christians hold the bible holy, but to WIDELY different respects. I don't require the bible to have faith in God. D7 however sees the Bible as the first and last arbiter of his faith. Likewise, Atheists have a common thread that "there is no god", but other than that vary widely.

If you want to describe yourself as "non-theistic", I would say that is accurate. But "A-theistic" is a different word, and the etymology of the latin prefix "A" has an actively negative translation. you are arguing a passive disbelief in god, but using an active word to label it. There is a dichotomy in that action.

I am not an expert on Greek or Latin, but I am pretty sure the "a" prefix means "without, no, or not" and could easily lend itself to a passive definition and does not mean "anti". In essence, an "a-theist" and "non-theist" may mean the same thing (not that the web is always the best way to find things, but if you google prefixes you will find almost every site saying basically what this one (http://www.learnenglish.de/grammar/prefixtext.htm) says. Namely "a(n)- not , without", and, "non- not".)

Moreover, considering the response to your initial comments by at least two self proclaimed atheists was that they are indeed not making a positive claim about anything but rather see no reason to accept the existence of God makes me hesitant in imposing your definition of atheism upon them or on atheists in general. The fact that I have rarely met the atheist (and I live in New York City and therefore by definition know several!) who has said anything other than the basic same refrain of "just because I don't believe in the man-bear-pig doesn't mean I have faith that there is no such thing" leads me to further suspect this type of imposition on atheists as fallacious. That is not to say that there aren't Atheists like Dawkins, Epicirus, or Shantideva amongst others who have proffered the idea based on some type of philosophical argumentation that the general concept of a creator God who is omnipotent and perfect cannot exist, but that is definitively not the only point of view amongst atheists. Since the term is more vague than you suggest leads me to the conclusion that these atheists are in no way mislabeling themselves. I think it is rather unfair to suggest otherwise.

Just to check I did a google search and found the following from an atheist website that basically agreed (in the comments below the dictionary definitions) that it is best to leave the labeling of atheism to atheists and provided a few quotes from books by Atheists to back up this "soft atheism" definition as perfectly legitimate. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/sn-definitions.html

Moreover, Wikipedia (again, I know not the best source, but if you don't trust it, follow their footnotes to the sources they site) on Atheism discusses this differentiation of Strong and Weak atheism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Strong_vs._weak). The footnotes list several dictionaries, particularly dictionaries of philosophy that offer both definitions.

BTW, I would not label myself an atheist.

ih8brady
02-03-2009, 12:36 AM
I am not an expert on Greek or Latin, but I am pretty sure the "a" prefix means "without, no, or not" and could easily lend itself to a passive definition and does not mean "anti". In essence, an "a-theist" and "non-theist" may mean the same thing (not that the web is always the best way to find things, but if you google prefixes you will find almost every site saying basically what this one (http://www.learnenglish.de/grammar/prefixtext.htm) says. Namely "a(n)- not , without", and, "non- not".)

Moreover, considering the response to your initial comments by at least two self proclaimed atheists was that they are indeed not making a positive claim about anything but rather see no reason to accept the existence of God makes me hesitant in imposing your definition of atheism upon them or on atheists in general. The fact that I have rarely met the atheist (and I live in New York City and therefore by definition know several!) who has said anything other than the basic same refrain of "just because I don't believe in the man-bear-pig doesn't mean I have faith that there is no such thing" leads me to further suspect this type of imposition on atheists as fallacious. That is not to say that there aren't Atheists like Dawkins, Epicirus, or Shantideva amongst others who have proffered the idea based on some type of philosophical argumentation that the general concept of a creator God who is omnipotent and perfect cannot exist, but that is definitively not the only point of view amongst atheists. Since the term is more vague than you suggest leads me to the conclusion that these atheists are in no way mislabeling themselves. I think it is rather unfair to suggest otherwise.

Just to check I did a google search and found the following from an atheist website that basically agreed (in the comments below the dictionary definitions) that it is best to leave the labeling of atheism to atheists and provided a few quotes from books by Atheists to back up this "soft atheism" definition as perfectly legitimate. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/sn-definitions.html

Moreover, Wikipedia (again, I know not the best source, but if you don't trust it, follow their footnotes to the sources they site) on Atheism discusses this differentiation of Strong and Weak atheism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Strong_vs._weak). The footnotes list several dictionaries, particularly dictionaries of philosophy that offer both definitions.

BTW, I would not label myself an atheist.

I agree. I'm not an expert, but I do enjoy etymology and always thought a=without or lack of, mis=hatred of and anti=against.

Marino613
02-03-2009, 12:37 AM
As an aside, I am glad that Obama made mention of non-believers (which I took to be broader than just atheists frankly).

Here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-weiner/obamas-interfaith-score-c_b_160128.html)is one point of view to talk about other ways in which Obama has taken at least a somewhat more religiously pluralistic stance. The writer obviously has his own position which some here may agree or disagree with.

PhinPhan1227
02-03-2009, 01:29 PM
I am not an expert on Greek or Latin, but I am pretty sure the "a" prefix means "without, no, or not" and could easily lend itself to a passive definition and does not mean "anti". In essence, an "a-theist" and "non-theist" may mean the same thing (not that the web is always the best way to find things, but if you google prefixes you will find almost every site saying basically what this one (http://www.learnenglish.de/grammar/prefixtext.htm) says. Namely "a(n)- not , without", and, "non- not".)

Moreover, considering the response to your initial comments by at least two self proclaimed atheists was that they are indeed not making a positive claim about anything but rather see no reason to accept the existence of God makes me hesitant in imposing your definition of atheism upon them or on atheists in general. The fact that I have rarely met the atheist (and I live in New York City and therefore by definition know several!) who has said anything other than the basic same refrain of "just because I don't believe in the man-bear-pig doesn't mean I have faith that there is no such thing" leads me to further suspect this type of imposition on atheists as fallacious. That is not to say that there aren't Atheists like Dawkins, Epicirus, or Shantideva amongst others who have proffered the idea based on some type of philosophical argumentation that the general concept of a creator God who is omnipotent and perfect cannot exist, but that is definitively not the only point of view amongst atheists. Since the term is more vague than you suggest leads me to the conclusion that these atheists are in no way mislabeling themselves. I think it is rather unfair to suggest otherwise.

Just to check I did a google search and found the following from an atheist website that basically agreed (in the comments below the dictionary definitions) that it is best to leave the labeling of atheism to atheists and provided a few quotes from books by Atheists to back up this "soft atheism" definition as perfectly legitimate. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/sn-definitions.html

Moreover, Wikipedia (again, I know not the best source, but if you don't trust it, follow their footnotes to the sources they site) on Atheism discusses this differentiation of Strong and Weak atheism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Strong_vs._weak). The footnotes list several dictionaries, particularly dictionaries of philosophy that offer both definitions.

BTW, I would not label myself an atheist.


The definition of the prefix "a" I was taught was "anti". It has a more active than passive meaning. All of which is secondary to the main point however. All people approach their beliefs from their own unique perspective. Even the folks in D7's church, who all claim to take their beliefs straight from the literal word of the Bible, still have variations in their beliefs. And taken as a whole the population of "Christianity" rests on the full spectrum of the curve from no faith to absolute faith. Jesus, even hitler claimed to be Christian, and that claim couldn't be further from the truth. Further, few people live their lives without their beliefs experiencing various amounts of change. Labels are ridiculously restrictive and simple ways of describing an infinitely broad and complex subject. All that being said, we use them, and needfully so. So...when one labels themself an atheist, it carries all the baggage that comes with it, just as one who labels themselves Christian does the same. I have spent whole threads having to disabuse people of their preconcieved notions about me because I placed that label on myself. Likewise, when people place the atheist label on themselves, they do the same thing. And that label in it's most accepted form is that there is no god. To say otherwise is to fall into agnosticism. It's simple really, one is a direct affirmation, the other is a passive question. If you state that you don't believe in god, than you are stating that no god exists. If you state only that you see no evidence for gods existence, that is a different matter all together, because you leave unstated, but understood that you also find no evidence against gods existence. And that is agnosticism, not atheism.

Dolphan7
02-03-2009, 02:05 PM
http://www.carm.org/atheism/atheism_religion.htm

Here is an interesting take.

I love this quote - "Eternity is a long time to be wrong".

Marino613
02-03-2009, 04:59 PM
The definition of the prefix "a" I was taught was "anti". It has a more active than passive meaning. All of which is secondary to the main point however. All people approach their beliefs from their own unique perspective. Even the folks in D7's church, who all claim to take their beliefs straight from the literal word of the Bible, still have variations in their beliefs. And taken as a whole the population of "Christianity" rests on the full spectrum of the curve from no faith to absolute faith. Jesus, even hitler claimed to be Christian, and that claim couldn't be further from the truth. Further, few people live their lives without their beliefs experiencing various amounts of change. Labels are ridiculously restrictive and simple ways of describing an infinitely broad and complex subject. All that being said, we use them, and needfully so. So...when one labels themself an atheist, it carries all the baggage that comes with it, just as one who labels themselves Christian does the same. I have spent whole threads having to disabuse people of their preconcieved notions about me because I placed that label on myself. Likewise, when people place the atheist label on themselves, they do the same thing. And that label in it's most accepted form is that there is no god. To say otherwise is to fall into agnosticism. It's simple really, one is a direct affirmation, the other is a passive question. If you state that you don't believe in god, than you are stating that no god exists. If you state only that you see no evidence for gods existence, that is a different matter all together, because you leave unstated, but understood that you also find no evidence against gods existence. And that is agnosticism, not atheism.

my quick reiteration of why I disagree a) "a" doesn't only mean anti- b) atheism as a label not only linguistically but sociologically isn't limited the way you claim (and indeed often religious people I find like to impose definitions on atheists) and to add c) agnosticism also isn't limited to that common parlance either and often refers to someone who believes one CAN'T know there is a God, a subtle but real enough difference when you get down to the nitty gritty.

Quick example of the difference between a soft Atheist and an Agnostic. The atheist will never go with a friend to church and participate because they think it might may a difference (they may show up to be nice, but pray? They think it is likely as effective as astrology or ouija boards) while the agnostic may very well pray once in a while with their friends because maybe... you never know....

PhinPhan1227
02-03-2009, 05:28 PM
my quick reiteration of why I disagree a) "a" doesn't only mean anti- b) atheism as a label not only linguistically but sociologically isn't limited the way you claim (and indeed often religious people I find like to impose definitions on atheists) and to add c) agnosticism also isn't limited to that common parlance either and often refers to someone who believes one CAN'T know there is a God, a subtle but real enough difference when you get down to the nitty gritty.

Quick example of the difference between a soft Atheist and an Agnostic. The atheist will never go with a friend to church and participate because they think it might may a difference (they may show up to be nice, but pray? They think it is likely as effective as astrology or ouija boards) while the agnostic may very well pray once in a while with their friends because maybe... you never know....

I don't disagree with your practical examples, I never did. But I'm not talking about the individual, I'm talking about the label as it is commonly accepted. Just as atheists paint Christians with a broad brush because of the label they apply to themselves, so does that brush apply to atheists in the reverse. when you apply the label atheist, it is a denial that god exists. When you apply the label agnostic, it implies an equal measure of god might or might not exist. Because consider the very need for people to label themselves "atheist". Do we have a label for those who don't believe in astrology or ouija boards? We are so passive about that sort of thing that there is no need. Those who are truly passive about a belief in god should have no need for a label. It's just not something they are concerned with. By making the declaration "I am an atheist", you are taking a stand in the matter. You are making an affirmation. The only reason a declaration of agnosticism isn't a similar affirmation is because of the nature of agnosticism. In the genral sense of course.

Marino613
02-03-2009, 11:54 PM
I don't disagree with your practical examples, I never did. But I'm not talking about the individual, I'm talking about the label as it is commonly accepted. Just as atheists paint Christians with a broad brush because of the label they apply to themselves, so does that brush apply to atheists in the reverse. when you apply the label atheist, it is a denial that god exists. When you apply the label agnostic, it implies an equal measure of god might or might not exist. Because consider the very need for people to label themselves "atheist". Do we have a label for those who don't believe in astrology or ouija boards? We are so passive about that sort of thing that there is no need. Those who are truly passive about a belief in god should have no need for a label. It's just not something they are concerned with. By making the declaration "I am an atheist", you are taking a stand in the matter. You are making an affirmation. The only reason a declaration of agnosticism isn't a similar affirmation is because of the nature of agnosticism. In the genral sense of course.

I think your last point about the need for a label for atheist as opposed to a non-ouija user is very good one and I agree that there is something more to it.

To be clear, I still try not to paint anyone, including Christians in a broad stroke. Hell, I try not to brush John Beck's (this is Finheaven right?) play with broad strokes. I don't think common parlance is a fair way to address the self-definition of any minority belief because it means that when a majority of religious people decide to use a term one way to describe a minority they disagree with, the minority loses the right to disagree with that definition.

Even still, the need to label one's self atheist may have more to do with the fact that religion is such a vital part of the life of the country. Whether you have an active denial of God or a passive lack of acceptance or concern with God means that you don't fit in even with many overly secular people who occasionally do the religion thing.

[Edit: the whole "I try not to brush John Beck's..." came out reading very funny.]

PhinPhan1227
02-04-2009, 08:35 AM
I think your last point about the need for a label for atheist as opposed to a non-ouija user is very good one and I agree that there is something more to it.

To be clear, I still try not to paint anyone, including Christians in a broad stroke. Hell, I try not to brush John Beck's (this is Finheaven right?) play with broad strokes. I don't think common parlance is a fair way to address the self-definition of any minority belief because it means that when a majority of religious people decide to use a term one way to describe a minority they disagree with, the minority loses the right to disagree with that definition.

Even still, the need to label one's self atheist may have more to do with the fact that religion is such a vital part of the life of the country. Whether you have an active denial of God or a passive lack of acceptance or concern with God means that you don't fit in even with many overly secular people who occasionally do the religion thing.

[Edit: the whole "I try not to brush John Beck's..." came out reading very funny.]


Lol...I fully understand what you are saying. But given the forum of a written debate/discussion of religion, it's almost unavoidable. You can't really discuss almost any issue/subject without some generalization. And while I agree that those who respond to a "religious intrusion" with "I'm atheist" possibly are being passive about the issue, those who chime in on the "superstitions" of those who are religious are making a very declarative statement.

TheDon74
02-09-2009, 03:29 PM
To me being an atheist seems like an empty life. With that said I think God made us all with free will and if that's what someone chooses then that's there right. I also believe strongly in separation of church and state. I don't like the two mixing at all, it seems to muddle the debate and has caused many Many MANY problems in policy making. Along with all most every other major catastaphy the world has ever known.

Marino613
02-11-2009, 03:14 AM
To me being an atheist seems like an empty life. With that said I think God made us all with free will and if that's what someone chooses then that's there right. I also believe strongly in separation of church and state. I don't like the two mixing at all, it seems to muddle the debate and has caused many Many MANY problems in policy making. Along with all most every other major catastaphy the world has ever known.

Self knowledge is very important. Truth claims notwithstanding, it is probably a good thing you are not an atheist if that's how you feel. I think the same thing could be said the other way for atheists who felt hollow and depressed until they gave up religious belief and now feel more fulfilled and authentic in their daily lives.

Leaving your disclaimer about freedom of conscience aside, I wonder if the atheists here feel they lead empty lives? The one's I know personally run the gamut on that in what they profess and what they present, much like the religious folks. In addition to respecting people's freedom of choice I would add that it is important to recognize the subjectivity of experience and never assume about other people's experiences. But that's why I appreciate the first two words "to me" in your statement.

Tetragrammaton
02-11-2009, 08:54 PM
To me being an atheist seems like an empty life.

Just a more honest one.