Does it seem weird you spend time on something you don't believe exists?

Sapient
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Does it seem weird you spend time on something you don't believe exists?

Quote:
From: ejohnson@shurtape.com
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 7:51 AM
Subject: RE: [Rational Responders newsletter] Christmas Day Rational Response Squad Broadcast

You guys sure spend a lot of time talking about something you don't
believe exists.  Does that seem weird to you?


 

No.  What seems weird is people who spend so much time believing in something that they can't prove exists.  What seems weird is people who spend so much time believing in something that doesn't exist. 


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 Which seems stranger:1)

 Which seems stranger:

1) Seeing that lots of people believe in something that doesn't exist and not mentioning it

2) Seeing that lots of people believe in something that doesn't exist and trying to help them.

From where I sit, it's a lot more normal to try to help people when they're screwing up their lives and the lives of others by believing in something that doesn't exist.  It's more... human.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote: Which

Hambydammit wrote:

 Which seems stranger:

1) Seeing that lots of people believe in something that doesn't exist and not mentioning it

2) Seeing that lots of people believe in something that doesn't exist and trying to help them.

From where I sit, it's a lot more normal to try to help people when they're screwing up their lives and the lives of others by believing in something that doesn't exist.  It's more... human.

 

Both may seem strange but the first is cruel.

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ejohnson@shurtape.com

ejohnson@shurtape.com wrote:
From:

ejohnson@shurtape.com

Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 7:51 AM
Subject: RE: [Rational Responders newsletter] Christmas Day Rational Response Squad Broadcast

You guys sure spend a lot of time talking about something you don't believe exists.  Does that seem weird to you?

Is that some backhanded way of saying you wish we wouldn't discuss your fantasies?

If so: Why? What is it about a rational and skeptical look at all that make-believe that makes you quiver with anxiety?

 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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Quote:From:

Quote:
From: ejohnson@shurtape.com
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 7:51 AM
Subject: RE: [Rational Responders newsletter] Christmas Day Rational Response Squad Broadcast

You guys sure spend a lot of time talking about something you don't
believe exists.  Does that seem weird to you?


 


 

No, it doesn't seem at all weird. I don't believe in the non-existence of god. I simply don't believe in the existence of god. If that seems confusing to you, it is because you are not seeing the distinction that I make by that statement.

 

Let me try to explain. If the universe has existed for a finite amount of time, then something has to have been the first thing that happened. It doesn't really matter what that first thing was, it is enough to note that it happened.

 

Now saying that the invisible hand of god pushed that first thing and kicked off the whole chain of events that follows from there doesn't really say anything about what happened. It is simply not a necessary hypothesis to add into any discussion of how the universe began.

 

Given that god is not needed to explain how the universe began, it is within reason to state that any lesser factors inside the universe would not be what we understand to be the necessary being from the cosmological argument and therefore, not god.

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What is weird is making

What is weird is making claims of magic while trying to sell it to others without anything but "POOF" logic to back it up. Just as you find it weird that Muslims claim that Allah exists yet all they have is "POOF" just like you. When you understand why you reject all other deity cliams besides yours, you will understand why questioning these claims is not "weird" but quite normal for the intelectually honest.

Believing in any naked assertion, be it about god(s) or any subject for that matter, may be a comfortable placebo, but it is hardly a way to demonstrate what you claim to others.

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So I presume this person

So I presume this person only watches documentaries and news on TV, never goes to the movies, never reads anything but non-fiction. Or at least never talks about such things.

Seems like an awful lot of people spend alot of time watching and talking about characters who they don't believe actually exist.

Or maybe a lot of people actually believe characters like Batman and Indiana Jones are real. They do seem to talk about them.

Now that is weird...

 

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I have actually spend a very

I have actually spent a very very tiny amount of my life talking about the concept of God. So your original observation is wrong in my case.

When I do, however, it is usually in the context of trying to point out to the few religious people I have met in my life, how I think they are wrong, and how I think it would help them to realize that.

 

If you want to think that posting a few dosen posts on a messageboard over the course of 28 years is "spending alot of time" then I suppose you can, but I think you'd be wrong.

If you'll allow me to point that out to you, understand that I don't have to adobt yoru view that it is "spending a lot of time", in order to adress your view.

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I was spawned from original sin
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There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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He wrote back, and I

He wrote back, and I directed him to this thread...

 

Quote:
Brian,

I appreciate the reply.

Some time back I spent quite a bit of time reading on your site and
posted some comments.  There seems to be quite a bit of cynicism, both
from the deist and atheist sides.  I love talking about this subject,
but find when the tone gets that way then progress pretty much stops and
it turns into a contest that no one wins.  Even the tone of the news
brief you sent me was very antagonistic.  Just curious as to why?  I am
primarily talking about the play on the Christmas word.

Regards,
Eric

 

My brief response was: "In your face tactics tend to get noticed more, that's about it.  Honestly we're very kind people, it just so happens that society tends to perk up more when antagonistic views are on display."

 

Feel free to post what your response would've been, I would imagine he'll visit this thread.

 

 

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My first reply was a bit

My first reply was a bit snide. Sorry... I was on auto pilot.

Anyway, I'm from Denmark, and rarely, if ever, get into heated religious discussions, since pretty much everyone where I live are agnostic atheists.

 

My understanding of why the RRS are what you percieve as antagonistic, is mostly what Brian said: it's just a tactic, and a completely acceptable one, within the realm of free speach.

However, I also often have a trememdous sympathy for the difficulty of being an American atheist. For me it is easy, but when I hear about the lives and experiences of many of the people on these boards, I think that it must be very hard to constantly be under attack for believing something which is perfectly reasonable, indeed, more reasonable than many of the things the attackers usually believe.

When so many people around a person have told that person a thousand times: "Christ will send you to hell!" maybe it's no longer that surprising if the reply comes back: christmyass...

I think you'll find that if you come here as a friendly, open-minded theist, with a sense of humour, you'll be treated very kindly, and in a very non-antagonistic way, but if you come here trying to scare people with fire and brimstone, you will get ridiculed and berated, as is apropriate, considering that people here are decent, kind people, and they don't need to be told for the umpteenth time, how being decent and kind atheists will get them a first class ticket to hell.

 

<edit> Have a look at this thread: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/16166 Notice how an open-minded and friendly theist is treated when he comes to the boards, and notice for example how you get a very nuanced insight into the different views on abortion that atheists hold. That kind of nuanced discussion is something I thouroughly enjoy, and something you only get to see when mature, sociable theists visit the boards.

When someone comes here shouting about how we are all atheists because we are angry at God and just want to sin, they get a united front of a bunch of pissed of people, who tell them to go take their self-rightious, petty, condesenting, not to mention wildly delusional, bullshit to someone who gives a rat's ass.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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@ejohnson: It does not seem

@ejohnson: It does not seem weird to me. I actually talk about a lót of things I don't believe in: the Abrahamic God-with-capital-G of course, but also about aliens, homeopathy, ghosts, reincarnation, the whole 2012 mythos and Niburu and what have you.

Why do I do this? Because they are all irrational concepts on which people base decisions that affect lives: their own, others, and in some cases, like "God told me to invade Iraq", the lives of everybody. And I would so much love it if decisions that affect, among others, me, were based on critical thought instead of on a holy book or the predictions of Nostradamus or, especially, the belief that the world is going to end any moment now.


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BobSpence1 wrote:So I

BobSpence1 wrote:

So I presume this person only watches documentaries and news on TV, never goes to the movies, never reads anything but non-fiction. Or at least never talks about such things.

Seems like an awful lot of people spend alot of time watching and talking about characters who they don't believe actually exist.

Or maybe a lot of people actually believe characters like Batman and Indiana Jones are real. They do seem to talk about them.

Now that is weird...

 

WHAT THE FUCK? INDIANA JONES ISN'T REAL? Are you trying to tell me he is just an actor? Next thing you are going to tell me is that Crocidial Dundee is just an actor. You Austrians are all alike, always poo pooing fantacy!

If you cant see that I can really fart a real Lamborginni out of my ass by virtue of naked assertion backed up by poof logic, THEN YOU ARE A FOOL!

(Note to self: Call Bob when he wakes up, over my flu and can talk. Hopefully I can get my Ouiji Board to contact him, might need battery cables to jump start it).

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 Quote:From:

 

Quote:
From: ejohnson@shurtape.com
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 7:51 AM
Subject: RE: [Rational Responders newsletter] Christmas Day Rational Response Squad Broadcast

You guys sure spend a lot of time talking about something you don't
believe exists.  Does that seem weird to you?

We do not talk about something that does not exist, we talk about the fallacies and falsehood inherent in theism.  Isn't it stranger to worship a god you don't know is there or not?

 

Evolution cannot be debated. 'Tis real.


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  Yes, it does seem kind of

  Yes, it does seem kind of weird for me as an atheist to keep discussing my disbelief in dieties, but I can't help it.....God made me this way.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.


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  I just thought of

  I just thought of something, the author of this e-mail identifies themself as "ejohnson"

What a strange paradox if it was revealed to be Ellen Johnson, formerly of American Atheists ?   ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Johnson )

  edit for clarification: after ms. Johnson departed from AA it was suggested on some forums that she was involuntarily dismissed from her position for possibly abandoning her anti-theist viewpoint, which then begs the question as to why she would even desire to remain at AA in the first place....nevermind.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:edit

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

edit for clarification: after ms. Johnson departed from AA it was suggested on some forums that she was involuntarily dismissed from her position for possibly abandoning her anti-theist viewpoint

It's also been suggested on other forums that I live(d) in my mothers basement, bilked money from girlfriends, got Kelly pregnant, and spend all the RRS money on drugs.  But you know well enough not to listen to any idiot who has managed to acquire a keyboard.  Ellen didn't abandon her views on religion. 

- Brian Sapient


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Sapient

Sapient wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

edit for clarification: after ms. Johnson departed from AA it was suggested on some forums that she was involuntarily dismissed from her position for possibly abandoning her anti-theist viewpoint

It's also been suggested on other forums that I live(d) in my mothers basement, bilked money from girlfriends, got Kelly pregnant, and spend all the RRS money on drugs.  But you know well enough not to listen to any idiot who has managed to acquire a keyboard.  Ellen didn't abandon her views on religion. 

 Yikes Brian, it's not like I stay up at night worrying about the administrative affairs of AA or whether Ms. Johnson has abandoned her former views.  Secrecy frequently invites speculation doesn't it ?  My comment was simply presented as internet hearsay and even if factual Ellen is free to alter her views regarding religion as it pleases her.  I have no personal stake in the former controversy and whether Ms. Johnson has become a rabid theist or remains a die-hard atheist has no effect upon my own views regarding the supernatural.   That's all, m'kay ? 

Cheers.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.