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jared81
04-06-2009, 10:26 AM
http://www.newsweek.com/id/192583

Tetragrammaton
04-06-2009, 12:52 PM
Good article.

The coalition of the silent majority is aging and dying off, and if speak to a number of young people, the number of atheists and "agnostics" continues to increase.

X-Pacolypse
04-06-2009, 02:19 PM
An interesting read. I was born and raised a Catholic, and I haven't set foot in a church in three years. It's not that I'm anti-religion, I'm just anti-church. Going to church is something I always HATED while growing up. I could think of better things to do with the hour that was usually wasted in church.

Dolphin39
04-06-2009, 02:49 PM
Good article.

The coalition of the silent majority is aging and dying off, and if speak to a number of young people, the number of atheists and "agnostics" continues to increase.

I believe a decrease in church attendance is truly a bad thing, which will only make our nation's social problems increase.

Young and old people need to have a strong spiritual faith and foundation in God. One of the direct causes for the moral decay we see is from people turning away from God.

PhinPhan1227
04-06-2009, 06:22 PM
http://www.newsweek.com/id/192583


As I picked on others for this, so I must pick on you. When you post a link, could you please either copy a section of text, or a synopsis of the text, so as to give an idea of the story behind the link....beyond just the title? Thanks.

Tetragrammaton
04-06-2009, 06:51 PM
An interesting read. I was born and raised a Catholic, and I haven't set foot in a church in three years. It's not that I'm anti-religion, I'm just anti-church. Going to church is something I always HATED while growing up. I could think of better things to do with the hour that was usually wasted in church.

I think that is the trend. America is unique among Western countries in how public we are about our religious convictions. The majority of Europeans and Canadians are Christian, albeit at lower totals than we are, but it is much more of a private matter to them.

Tetragrammaton
04-06-2009, 07:03 PM
I believe a decrease in church attendance is truly a bad thing, which will only make our nation's social problems increase.

Young and old people need to have a strong spiritual faith and foundation in God. One of the direct causes for the moral decay we see is from people turning away from God.

Why are you so friendly to authoritarianism?

Why can't you live a life where homosexuality is discouraged, abortion is shunned, and alcohol use and gambling is outside the realm of your family? Why isn't that enough for you? Why do you have to control the lives of other people?

I think this little minute and a half video explains it all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1ye4wkAiG0

X-Pacolypse
04-06-2009, 07:34 PM
Why are you so friendly to authoritarianism?

Why can't you live a life where homosexuality is discouraged, abortion is shunned, and alcohol use and gambling is outside the realm of your family? Why isn't that enough for you? Why do you have to control the lives of other people?

I think this little minute and a half video explains it all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1ye4wkAiG0

That clip was awesome, and yet so true. Society's problems come from an ever increasing lack of common sense. Not because less and less people are going to church.

Marino613
04-06-2009, 08:34 PM
Good article.

The coalition of the silent majority is aging and dying off, and if speak to a number of young people, the number of atheists and "agnostics" continues to increase.

This is the second time I have seen you express some level of criticism, qualification or otherwise question agnosticism. I am curious about your thoughts on the subject.

I don't know what to call myself other then a spiritual seeker, but I find agnosticism to be very compelling. just so you know where I cam coming from.

Tetragrammaton
04-06-2009, 08:46 PM
This is the second time I have seen you express some level of criticism, qualification or otherwise question agnosticism. I am curious about your thoughts on the subject.

I don't know what to call myself other then a spiritual seeker, but I find agnosticism to be very compelling. just so you know where I cam coming from.

Here is my problem with agnosticism, and if I am misrepresenting you or the idea, please correct me. The entire philosophy of agnosticism is that we do not know and there is no way to know, correct?

While some of our more religious members would disagree, there is no way to show empirical evidence one way or another. To me, agnosticism is really a form of atheism. Again, religious people would disagree with this, but atheism covers essentially the same thing. For the most part, we don't go out into the streets and scream that we know the answers. We don't know the answers, so we do not believe. Some have tried to say that not believing is a form of belief, but that does not simply work. Not believing in your child's imaginary friend is not a belief system, but a lack of a belief system. An atheist is not trying to claim a universal truth, but instead admit that they do not know and are unconvinced by the arguments of religious organizations. If agnostics are also unconvinced, I see them fitting more correctly in the realm of atheism.

Dawkins explained it a lot better in The God Delusion.

I see the term thrown around as a way to try and be non-controversial, and for some, a certain trendiness among the young. This does not apply to everyone, obviously, but it seems similar to Ron Paul-ism today and Buddhism a few years ago.

Marino613
04-06-2009, 10:04 PM
Here is my problem with agnosticism, and if I am misrepresenting you or the idea, please correct me. The entire philosophy of agnosticism is that we do not know and there is no way to know, correct?

While some of our more religious members would disagree, there is no way to show empirical evidence one way or another. To me, agnosticism is really a form of atheism. Again, religious people would disagree with this, but atheism covers essentially the same thing. For the most part, we don't go out into the streets and scream that we know the answers. We don't know the answers, so we do not believe. Some have tried to say that not believing is a form of belief, but that does not simply work. Not believing in your child's imaginary friend is not a belief system, but a lack of a belief system. An atheist is not trying to claim a universal truth, but instead admit that they do not know and are unconvinced by the arguments of religious organizations. If agnostics are also unconvinced, I see them fitting more correctly in the realm of atheism.

Dawkins explained it a lot better in The God Delusion.

I see the term thrown around as a way to try and be non-controversial, and for some, a certain trendiness among the young. This does not apply to everyone, obviously, but it seems similar to Ron Paul-ism today and Buddhism a few years ago.

I think that applies to some agnostics but not all. Indeed, just as I argued with those religious people here about allowing atheists to define themselves, I could (although you were very careful in your response; thank you) argue the same here.

It depends on how the agnostic stacks his deck. If the "agnostic" doesn't see a difference between an imaginary friend and God than I completely agree that agnosticism is an irrelevant construct and you may as well be an atheist. If on the other hand you think that God in some version of the concept is actually a reasonable possibility although for one reason or another not convincingly provable than agnosticism may actually be relevant.

One limited example, while some common versions of the argument from design I find unconvincing, there are some I find plausible. If one accepts that laws of nature are real (to oversimplify and say as opposed to Nagarjuna or Hume), than I don't think the idea that there may be a plausible foundation for such a law outside of the natural order we observe to be at all similar to a the concept of a spaghetti monster, an imaginary friend, or "man-bear-pig". It is not provable, but that is where the agnosticism come in. The alternatives are not provable either. These are a priori concepts of how the world works and not really subject to proof (without revelation).

Most agnostics I know don't just say, "I dunno, maybe there is a God, oh well", but rather have very active spiritual lives in which they sometimes lean heavily towards the possibility of God existing while at other times are in serious doubt. Most of them are also agnostics hoping to find clarity although it eludes them. But that may just be the folks I know.

[Note: I put "in some version of the concept" because too often both fundamentalists and atheists ignore the long history of diversity in the idea of God]

Locke
04-06-2009, 10:47 PM
I believe a decrease in church attendance is truly a bad thing, which will only make our nation's social problems increase.

Young and old people need to have a strong spiritual faith and foundation in God. One of the direct causes for the moral decay we see is from people turning away from God.

I disagree completely. Socioeconomic concerns can be traced to most crime, not a lack of faith. I think you could argue that Capitalism is the root of moral decay more than atheism....

jared81
04-06-2009, 11:39 PM
As I picked on others for this, so I must pick on you. When you post a link, could you please either copy a section of text, or a synopsis of the text, so as to give an idea of the story behind the link....beyond just the title? Thanks.

i usallly do, but to be honest.......i really didnt give a f*** if someone read this or not, i was at work and was bored for a moment and thought it might be something people would want to read........i really didnt take into thought to spell out what was in the article.

Dolphan7
04-07-2009, 02:15 AM
It is sad but true that this country is losing it's Christianhood so to speak. It was only a matter of time. When you take God out of the picture and replace Him with man made theories of how we got here and our origins.....the writing is on the wall.

But...to be fair....churches have just as much of the blame for our children not learning the ways of their parents. We as parents also didn't take an active role in our kids lives. WE let the schools and the TV and their peers educate our kids, the churches don't respond with a new and cool way to present God's word, and of curse Satan is right there getting fat off the table scraps...and winning the hearts and minds of entire generations across the globe. Europe is dead spiritually....and it is spreading.

The problem though, as I see it....is that there will be some spirituality in the world...and it looks like Islam is moving into territory being vacated by Christianity.

So for those enlightened ones....pick your poison.

PhinPhan1227
04-07-2009, 02:44 AM
Here is my problem with agnosticism, and if I am misrepresenting you or the idea, please correct me. The entire philosophy of agnosticism is that we do not know and there is no way to know, correct?

While some of our more religious members would disagree, there is no way to show empirical evidence one way or another. To me, agnosticism is really a form of atheism. Again, religious people would disagree with this, but atheism covers essentially the same thing. For the most part, we don't go out into the streets and scream that we know the answers. We don't know the answers, so we do not believe. Some have tried to say that not believing is a form of belief, but that does not simply work. Not believing in your child's imaginary friend is not a belief system, but a lack of a belief system. An atheist is not trying to claim a universal truth, but instead admit that they do not know and are unconvinced by the arguments of religious organizations. If agnostics are also unconvinced, I see them fitting more correctly in the realm of atheism.

Dawkins explained it a lot better in The God Delusion.

I see the term thrown around as a way to try and be non-controversial, and for some, a certain trendiness among the young. This does not apply to everyone, obviously, but it seems similar to Ron Paul-ism today and Buddhism a few years ago.

Actually, I believe that you are flipping the two around. Agnosticism as spelled out has always been a state of question, not determination. If you declare that because you cannot know something, you must therefore declare it false, that is not agnosticism, but atheism. Agnosticism takes the stand that because something is not knowable does NOT preclude that something from being true, but it also prevents it from being proven true, and therefore must remain in question. You use an imaginary friend as an example. I would use those realms of science that are still beyind us. There are things which are unknown to man, and currently unknowable. We just don't have the means to understand them yet. Does that mean that they can or should be declared to not exist? A very short time ago we couldn't, detect most forms of radiation. Did they not exist? Before man posited quarks and muons, did they therefore not exist? Heck, for that matter, how do we know that our childrens imaginary friends don't exist in some form? Atheism at its core is saying that everything knowable is known. I find that silly personally.

PhinPhan1227
04-07-2009, 02:53 AM
i usallly do, but to be honest.......i really didnt give a f*** if someone read this or not, i was at work and was bored for a moment and thought it might be something people would want to read........i really didnt take into thought to spell out what was in the article.

Then really...why bother?

Dolphan7
04-07-2009, 12:33 PM
And then there is this:
God Is Back (http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/04/06/god_faith_religion/)


http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/04/06/god_faith_religion/

jared81
04-07-2009, 12:53 PM
i guess there really is two sides

Tetragrammaton
04-07-2009, 04:49 PM
Actually, I believe that you are flipping the two around. Agnosticism as spelled out has always been a state of question, not determination. If you declare that because you cannot know something, you must therefore declare it false, that is not agnosticism, but atheism. Agnosticism takes the stand that because something is not knowable does NOT preclude that something from being true, but it also prevents it from being proven true, and therefore must remain in question. You use an imaginary friend as an example. I would use those realms of science that are still beyind us. There are things which are unknown to man, and currently unknowable. We just don't have the means to understand them yet. Does that mean that they can or should be declared to not exist? A very short time ago we couldn't, detect most forms of radiation. Did they not exist? Before man posited quarks and muons, did they therefore not exist? Heck, for that matter, how do we know that our childrens imaginary friends don't exist in some form? Atheism at its core is saying that everything knowable is known. I find that silly personally.

I really have no idea where you are coming up with this.

If atheism was really trying to close the door as you describe it, why are so many scientists nonbelievers? Atheism is absolutely not saying that everything is known. It is the opposite of that. It is that we should not pretend to know that which we do not, and seek to find the answers. That is why the evolutionary synthesis changes every day, that is why the scientific understanding of the universe adapts as new information is discovered, etc.

You are trying to paint a false premise of atheism as having the same trappings of religion. The broadest definition of atheism is the absence of belief in dieties. They certainly could exist, and Santa could have been the one putting those presents out, but we are not going to believe it until we see proof, just like scientists do not accept new theories until they can test them in their lab.

I would find it very curious if an adult expressed a lack of opinion on the existence of Bigfoot. People that don't believe in Bigfoot would accept it if one was ever caught, while people that do believe in Bigfoot will never accept the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And there is the difference. If I prayed for something and it happened without reasonable explanation, I would have to believe in God. If any supernatural event happened without sufficient evidence, I would have to. But if science proves that starlight is coming from a lot farther than 6000 light years away, or that the planet is billions of years old, or that we evolved from a lower form of animal, the religious mind can deny it. While it has been more or less proven that there is no monster at the bottom of Lake Loch Ness, people continue to believe otherwise.

Dolphan7
04-07-2009, 05:01 PM
I really have no idea where you are coming up with this.

If atheism was really trying to close the door as you describe it, why are so many scientists nonbelievers? Atheism is absolutely not saying that everything is known. It is the opposite of that. It is that we should not pretend to know that which we do not, and seek to find the answers. That is why the evolutionary synthesis changes every day, that is why the scientific understanding of the universe adapts as new information is discovered, etc.

You are trying to paint a false premise of atheism as having the same trappings of religion. The broadest definition of atheism is the absence of belief in dieties. They certainly could exist, and Santa could have been the one putting those presents out, but we are not going to believe it until we see proof, just like scientists do not accept new theories until they can test them in their lab.

I would find it very curious if an adult expressed a lack of opinion on the existence of Bigfoot. People that don't believe in Bigfoot would accept it if one was ever caught, while people that do believe in Bigfoot will never accept the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And there is the difference. If I prayed for something and it happened without reasonable explanation, I would have to believe in God. If any supernatural event happened without sufficient evidence, I would have to. But if science proves that starlight is coming from a lot farther than 6000 light years away, or that the planet is billions of years old, or that we evolved from a lower form of animal, the religious mind can deny it. While it has been more or less proven that there is no monster at the bottom of Lake Loch Ness, people continue to believe otherwise.I don't think that Atheism is a religion, but....I do believe that belief in an evolutionary process that can't be proven using sciences very own techniques, is a type of belief system.

Face it Wayward - We all gotta believe in something.

Tetragrammaton
04-07-2009, 05:06 PM
I don't think that Atheism is a religion, but....I do believe that belief in an evolutionary process that can't be proven using sciences very own techniques, is a type of belief system.

Face it Wayward - We all gotta believe in something.

I just believe in me. Robyn and me, and that's reality.

Dolphan7
04-07-2009, 05:15 PM
I just believe in me. Robyn and me, and that's reality.Ain't nothin wrong with that. Together you two can conquer the world.:up:

PhinPhan1227
04-08-2009, 12:59 AM
I really have no idea where you are coming up with this.

If atheism was really trying to close the door as you describe it, why are so many scientists nonbelievers? Atheism is absolutely not saying that everything is known. It is the opposite of that. It is that we should not pretend to know that which we do not, and seek to find the answers. That is why the evolutionary synthesis changes every day, that is why the scientific understanding of the universe adapts as new information is discovered, etc.

You are trying to paint a false premise of atheism as having the same trappings of religion. The broadest definition of atheism is the absence of belief in dieties. They certainly could exist, and Santa could have been the one putting those presents out, but we are not going to believe it until we see proof, just like scientists do not accept new theories until they can test them in their lab.

I would find it very curious if an adult expressed a lack of opinion on the existence of Bigfoot. People that don't believe in Bigfoot would accept it if one was ever caught, while people that do believe in Bigfoot will never accept the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And there is the difference. If I prayed for something and it happened without reasonable explanation, I would have to believe in God. If any supernatural event happened without sufficient evidence, I would have to. But if science proves that starlight is coming from a lot farther than 6000 light years away, or that the planet is billions of years old, or that we evolved from a lower form of animal, the religious mind can deny it. While it has been more or less proven that there is no monster at the bottom of Lake Loch Ness, people continue to believe otherwise.


You have confused atheism with agnosticism. The simple statement "It is that we should not pretend to know that which we do not," is an agnostic statement, not an atheist one. The atheist mantra is and has always been, "there is no god". The agnostic mantra is and has always been, "there might be a god, but we have no evidence to prove it, or disprove it". The first is a statement of faith, the second is a statement of reason. I have no problem with agnosticism, and never have. It is a perfectly reasonable, rational viewpoint. Atheism however is a statement of faith.

Now, as to the rest, you are making a sweeping generalization. Once again, it is always easier to lump those we disagree with into a single easy mass. Unfortunately, the truth, as in most things, is more complex than that. SOME religious minds will deny evidence which contadicts with their beliefs. Some supposedly scientific minds have done the same thing. It's human nature to an extent. Other "religious minds", such as my own, believe that if evidence contradicts my understanding of my religion, than my understanding of that religion was flawed. I am only human afterall, I can't expect to have a perfect understanding of that which is beyond human comprehension. And since god gave me senses to observe and a mind to analyse, I should be expected to use those senses and that mind. The certitudes of my faith are pretty simple, and nothing which science is likely to contradict. God exists. He created man and the universe we live in. He loves us and wants us to thrive. He wants us to live a life as close to the ideal set forth by his son as possible. But he expects us to fail, as failure is the only way to grow as a spirit. And through the example set forward by his son, he will forgive us our failures, if we seek that forgiveness, and seek to become closer to him. Now, if you think that there's anything in that faith which is likely to be challenged by science in the near future, I welcome that discussion. But I'm pretty sure that well before science is ready to take God n directly, I will be long gone, and all my questions will have been answered.