Hi, I'm New!

dinahqueen
atheist
dinahqueen's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: 2011-05-04
User is offlineOffline
Hi, I'm New!

 Hi, nice to meet you all. Thought I'd post a brief introduction: 

 

My name is Bonnie, I'm 25! I like comics and video games. I'm engaged to a wonderful man! And, I joined four weeks ago but I didn't post except for once just about fifteen minutes ago. :D 


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Hi, and welcome!Just out of

Hi, and welcome!

Just out of curiosity, where are you located?

For most of the US, it is in the early hours of the morning, you will not get much response from a lot of our members for some hours.

I am on the east coast of Australia, it is a pleasant late Saturday afternoon here, just after sundown.

My name, as you may have guessed, really is Bob... I long ago lost interest in coming up with handles for each forum I visited, I know that makes me a little boring

Care to tell us where your own viewpoint lies on the Theist/Atheist, Confident/Agnostic, Passionate/Apathetic dimensions?

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


dinahqueen
atheist
dinahqueen's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: 2011-05-04
User is offlineOffline
 Hi! And thank you! I'm in

 Hi! And thank you!

 

I'm in the United States, Michigan specifically, and yeah- hah, I guess my introduction kind of sucked. :D 

 

I used the same handle for almost everything, so it wasn't quite so difficult to make it here. Smiling 

 

I'm an Atheist. I'm not a very hard line Atheist because I don't really like to debate so much. But I do tend to think of my atheism as activism to get rid of religion. (So, I guess maybe I am a bit hardline Eye-wink

 

It's three in the morning here and I'm probably going to get to bed soon, because yeah, super late! But I wanted to say hi to everyone. :D 

 

 


EKAthans
EKAthans's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: 2011-06-01
User is offlineOffline
You may get responses from

You may get responses from me. I normally work 10 PM to 6 Am so on my days off I am up weird hours. I don't think we have much in common since you want to get rid of religion, but I am here to talk anyways Smiling

Want to know about me? Here is my intro...
http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/29603

My kid laughs at you


dinahqueen
atheist
dinahqueen's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: 2011-05-04
User is offlineOffline
 Differing views on whether

 Differing views on whether or not religion should be eradicated or not is not entirely a basis for you to say we have nothing in common. Smiling Though perhaps in this realm we do not. But I feel like religion has done more harm than good, and I feel it is stopping us from reaching our potential. But to each their own.


EKAthans
EKAthans's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: 2011-06-01
User is offlineOffline
Fair enough. Did you read my

Fair enough. Did you read my intro? I guess I am more along the lines of "we will not get rid of religion." It's complicated though...I think humans are nasty by nature. Religion has produced some horrible things but many religious people have made great advances. You probably refer to fundamentalists...they can harm society...

Want to know about me? Here is my intro...
http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/29603

My kid laughs at you


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5087
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Keep religion

 

Athans, by all means. But the hate and division should be purged from it. The elevation of the acceptance of arbitrary religious doctrine to the pinnacle of human ethical achievement is what I dislike most from morally inconsistent god people.

Something else I'd like to hear from the godly is the admission that a lack of knowledge is a good reason not to accept dogma for which threats and not testable explanation form the underpinnings.

Oh - and how's it going Dinah. Pleased to meet you, hope you have fun here. We have gamers...

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
But what 'advances' have

But what 'advances' have been made made because of their religious beliefs or despite those inevitably erroneous beliefs, that is the question.

Doing the 'right' thing for the wrong reason is problematic, it can have the effect of giving those wrong reasons some undeserved credit, and so have the effect of perpetuating some ultimately bad ideas.

Religion is based on error and is an invalid basis for morality, it should not be encouraged. It is an enemy of Truth.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


EKAthans
EKAthans's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: 2011-06-01
User is offlineOffline
We still have the ancient

We still have the ancient Greek works because of Islam. The Islamic Empire valued knowledge greatly and encouraged it. Because of this they made in advances in astronomy, mathematics, medicine, and more. Need some examples? They were the first ones to correctly measure the motion of the Apogee, they knew the effects of win on tall structures, inclination of the Ecliptic, new rate of precession, new solar eccentricity, linear motion as a result of circular motion, study of germs, vaccines, law of refraction, calculated the hight of the atmosphere, they further developed the astrolabe, and more. The Muslims were hundreds of years ahead of the West in almost every aspect and it was not until the renaissance that Westerners aquired these Islamic works through the Muslims in Spain. Ibn al-Shatir did Copernicus' work before he did because Copernicus took his ideas from Islamic texts. Islam made these advances because they encourged knowledge. If they were so far ahead why are they still riding camels around in the sand? Well that is because fundamentalist leaders took charge and held them back. On a more minor note at the Islamic school we visited ALL of their students spent their last 2 years of high school attending universities so by the time of graduation they have 60 college credits.

While visiting a Jewish school we looked at their ciriculum and how they were taught. Not only were boys able to read Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic by 8th grade but they also highly encouraged critical thinking and were encouraged to question their teachers. Granted there are some answer that were simply "because God says so" but their critical thinking makes Jews some of the best scholars. The Ashkenazi Jews for example have won large number of Noble Awards. They account for 27% of the US Noble Prizes and 25% of the ACM Turing Awards dispite only make up 3% of the population. This is because of the critical thinking that is taught to them in their religious education.

Dispite their dogmatic beliefs it appears religious people do manage to make "advances" and contribute to this world. Also are we talking about the moral of monotheism or the morals of Buddhism? I can't recall the Buddhists being excessivly violent or "immoral."

I would also like to point out that many primitive religions were based on logic and inductive and deductive reasoning. The difference is they didn't know many of the things we know today and didn't have modern science. You seem to make the mistake that some of the early Religious Theorists made and that is using Christianity as your prime example. That is probably the single biggest reason Karl Marx's theory of religion was dismissed. It did not fit ALL religions.

Religion is bad if brought into the science class room or brought into government policy making but religious people are not inherently stupid.

Edit:

And by the way Church groups are the biggest contributors to things like the Red Cross. Church groups provided the most money and aid for Hurricane Katrina relief.

Another thing I guess I could metion. The Baha'i faith also encourages knowledge and learning and it is required. They believe in things such as the Big Bang and evolution. Also in the Baha'i faith a person has to make the decision to join. One cannot simply become a member because their parents were. They are required to do their own research and then make the decision to become a member.

Want to know about me? Here is my intro...
http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/29603

My kid laughs at you


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
In many cultures, the major

EKAthans,

in many cultures, the major organizing institutions involved in gathering knowledge in early times inevitably were religious, it was the central organizing force of society, and regarded as the pinnacle of knowledge itself. There were no real alternatives. Religion contributed to our early understanding as an institution to gather together people seeking knowledge and truth in the context of the times. You beg the question a bit as whether the cultural attitudes to learning were a result of religious attitudes, or whether those religious attitudes to knowledge were a result of the ethos of the culture of the particular peoples. I think you stretch things more than a bit in giving credit to specifically religious ideas.

Many religious leaders were initially enthusiastic about what we might regard as early scientific investigations, as they saw them as revealing the glory of God's works. Unfortunately for science, when they started to come up with ideas which didn't quite fit the religious teachings about the nature of the universe, conflict began to emerge in Islam as well as Christianity.

Is the story of the Prophet 'splitting the moon' an example of logical and scientific thinking...?

It is certainly true that Judaism or Jewish culture seems to have been very conducive to scientific thinking, altho some of their most prominent examples, such as Einstein, specifically rejected the doctrinal aspects, such as the idea of a personal God.

Buddhists still didn't quite understand why 'bad things happen to good people', and their attempt to explain it involved positing wrongs committed in a previous life, whereas the Abrahamic faiths attributed it to 'original sin', both representing failures of understanding, IMHO.

I find Buddhism just a bit too self-centered and obsessed with "suffering" for my taste. I cannot avoid seeing the approach of Buddhism of helping people cope with the evils of the wider world by concentrating on their search for inner peace, as making it just a bit easier for people like Pol Pot in the highly Buddhist society of Cambodia to get away with his evil - this bothered me much when I visited that country.

Of course the fact that the core of Buddhism is often regarded as 'atheistic' works against some of your ideas.

Then there is China, which made many early advances in knowledge, with little that would correspond to more 'Western' religious ideas.

India was the original source of many mathematical ideas that Islamic society adopted, including the important concept of 'zero', as I understand it, which is why 'Arabic' notation does not fit the conventions of their written script.

The core concepts of modern science of giving primacy to empirical investigations, and rejecting argument from authority, were definitely not religiously inspired. The Abrahamic religions are very much about obedience to an Authority figure, and such a figure being the ultimate source of all knowledge, which is not remotely scientific.

I think the only 'inductive' reasoning done by those early religious cultures was the fallacious kind rightly condemned by philosophers. It did not become a proper tool until the mathematics of probability was developed. I will concede that an English Presbyterian minister, Thomas Bayes, made a major contribution to this, but I doubt it was inspired by scripture...

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


BenfromCanada
atheist
BenfromCanada's picture
Posts: 811
Joined: 2006-08-31
User is offlineOffline
Did I click DinahQueen's

Did I click DinahQueen's intro thread, or a debate thread about religion's effects on science?

 

If it was the former, hi Dinah! Welcome. What comics and video games are you into?

 

If it's the latter, I agree with both of you. Though, Spence, I'm pretty sure the Persians originated the concept of zero. As we saw with George W. Bush, Americans perfected it. *rimshot* Thank you, I'll be here all week!


pauljohntheskeptic
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2482
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
Welcome to the forums Dina.

Welcome to the forums Dina.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


Ktulu
atheist
Posts: 1830
Joined: 2010-12-21
User is offlineOffline
 Welcome new poster.Bob

 Welcome new poster.

Bob makes an excellent point, it's a category error fallacy to assume that because historically, religious people were conductive to primitive scientific discoveries, to assume that religion itself is conductive or beneficial to the same scientific process.  It is more likely that the only system that could act as a segue for Aristotelian principles were that of the early Islamic religion.  Religion was in fact the major system any sort of education for the majority of human history.  There was simply no alternative.  That gives no credit to religion itself.  In fact the darkages are a clear example of what religion has done to human knowledge.   

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
 Welcome.  I like role

 Welcome.  I like role playing games and manga.  


EKAthans
EKAthans's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: 2011-06-01
User is offlineOffline
Quote:You beg the question a

Quote:
You beg the question a bit as whether the cultural attitudes to learning were a result of religious attitudes, or whether those religious attitudes to knowledge were a result of the ethos of the culture of the particular peoples. I think you stretch things more than a bit in giving credit to specifically religious ideas.


The thing is that we do not know exactly where or how religion came about. In many cultures there is no difference between culture and religion. The Islamic Empire is an example of this. Their civilization was based on their religion and their laws were based on the Quran. So if something came out of that society how can we say that it is not at least partly religious? And I am aware of the issues that came about with science and philosophy when they did not go along with the religious teaching but the point I am trying to make is the people that came up with this science and these philosophies were religious people. They were not atheists living in the Islamic Empire or whatever empire. They were those with dogmatic beliefs that were still able to make advances to human kind.

Quote:
Of course the fact that the core of Buddhism is often regarded as 'atheistic' works against some of your ideas.


Buddhism is considered a religion or a world view. That does not work against some of my ideas but proves my point that we do not have a universal definition of religion. Many of the criticisms given to “religion” do not apply to Buddhism or other “religions.” One cannot make the claim that religion is this or that until you establish a definition of religion. We run into the same problems with morals. We cannot make claims on morality because we do not know exactly where morality comes from.

Quote:
India was the original source of many mathematical ideas that Islamic society adopted, including the important concept of 'zero', as I understand it, which is why 'Arabic' notation does not fit the conventions of their written script.


One of the reasons the Islamic Empire was able to get so much knowledge is because they ranged from Spain to India and they did incorporate knowledge from many different people. The question is why? Why did the European barbarians not care about the knowledge of the Greeks and Romans? Why were they letting texts fade away and cities crumble? In the Ancient Near East why were their periods of writing and then no writing but then writing again? Obviously it was something they did not care about or was not important to them, but why? Did religion play any role it?
 

Quote:
The core concepts of modern science of giving primacy to empirical investigations, and rejecting argument from authority, were definitely not religiously inspired. The Abrahamic religions are very much about obedience to an Authority figure, and such a figure being the ultimate source of all knowledge, which is not remotely scientific.

See now you are speaking of the Abrahamic religions and not “religion” in general. I’m not going to try and argue that most scientists are not atheists or agnostic, because they are. But you act as if even though someone believes in a dogmatic religion they are incapable of doing science or thinking logically. Most believe what they do because they were taught it (or brainwashed) from an early age. It does not mean their entire lives are based illogical and flawed ideas. Some are…we call them young earth creationists or fundamentalists and they are dangerous to society but most are not like that. That would be like saying that all Muslims are terrorists which is one of the most incorrect statements I have ever heard.


Quote:
Is the story of the Prophet 'splitting the moon' an example of logical and scientific thinking...?


Of course it not logical or scientific. A point I have made before is that does not matter to them. Some people do not need logic or empiricism but abductive reasoning alone. That is how their brain works and I think there could be an evolutionary/biological explanation for this. Let me ask you this…Have you ever sat down with a Christian or any other religious person and showed them the empirical, logical evidence and have them say “holy crap you are right! Thank you for showing me! I no longer believe in God!” I am willing to be that has happened very many times which is why I do no argue about religion. Yes a few people do this but how deeply religious were they in the first place? If they did change like that I would conclude they are the type of person that likes logic and empiricism. But why is it that the vast majority don’t change their mind? Because they don’t care…they don’t need logic. Abductive reasoning is enough for them. Yes, I think religion, for the most part, is illogical and worthless. But it does bring happiness to many people and it’s not going away. If it’s not going away what should we do? Should we understand them and accept them, or hang them all?
 

Want to know about me? Here is my intro...
http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/29603

My kid laughs at you


EKAthans
EKAthans's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: 2011-06-01
User is offlineOffline
Ktulu wrote: Welcome new

Ktulu wrote:

 Welcome new poster.

Bob makes an excellent point, it's a category error fallacy to assume that because historically, religious people were conductive to primitive scientific discoveries, to assume that religion itself is conductive or beneficial to the same scientific process.  It is more likely that the only system that could act as a segue for Aristotelian principles were that of the early Islamic religion.  Religion was in fact the major system any sort of education for the majority of human history.  There was simply no alternative.  That gives no credit to religion itself.  In fact the darkages are a clear example of what religion has done to human knowledge.   

The Dark Ages are a clear example of what fundamentalist Christianity (not religion) has done to human knowledge.

Want to know about me? Here is my intro...
http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/29603

My kid laughs at you


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Hi Dinah, welcome! Sorry to

Hi Dinah, welcome! Sorry to sorry to derail your intro thread. I'll try to keep it short.

Athans: Every culture that ever produced any scientific knowledge has also been host to the flu virus. That doesn't make the flu virus responsible for their scientific acheivements.

It's ironic that you chose the survival of the ancient texts in Islamic culture as an example of religion 'preserving' them, because a big part of the reason why they were in danger in the first place was ... religion!

It's like saying: Thank goodness the rest of the world was infected with the typical flu when the Spanish Flu started wiping people out. It's not viruses that are dangerous, but fundamentalist Spanish Flu that's dangerous.

While this is literally true, it completely misses the point that viral transmission itself is the cause of outbreaks of dangerous viruses in the first place.

It's also ironic that you bequeath the scientific acheivements of some Muslims to the religion of Islam, which merely happened to be dominant in that region at that time, and merely happened to be in a less virulent phase of its evolution.

But embedded in the religion of Islam is an enormous fallacy of Argument from Authority, which these days gets called 'faith'. That is the difference between culture and religion, and that is the problem with religion in general.

Bob was right when he pointed out that using bad religious reasons for doing good things is ultimately far worse than using good non-religious reasons for doing the same good things. When a dogma is founded on faith, it doesn't matter how benign it happens to be currently, because faith itself is a bad idea, and will ultimately give rise to dangerous religious authoritarianism and the kind of enforced ignorance that led to the dark ages.

How much better off would we be today if a culture had existed back then which valued knowledge for knowledge's sake, and not simply because it was currently in vogue with the dominant faith in the region. The reason Islam is fucked today is precisely its basis in faith.

I'll paraphrase Hitchens' challenge: Name one thing that can be done in the name of religion that could not be done equally or better for non-religious reasons. (But actually if you want to reply to this, let's start another thread.)

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


EKAthans
EKAthans's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: 2011-06-01
User is offlineOffline
I am starting to get annoyed

I am starting to get annoyed with this site already...I thought I had found a new home but maybe not...

"How much better off would we be today if a culture had existed back then which valued knowledge for knowledge's sake, and not simply because it was currently in vogue with the dominant faith in the region. The reason Islam is fucked today is precisely its basis in faith."

Maybe much better, maybe not but guess what? There wasn't a culture back then that valued knowledge so what is your point? What if people were super nice and everyone was equal? You think knowledge today isn't being used for personal gain? Do you think the American government which poses all of this knowledge is worried about the best interests of the people? Like I said in my last post...WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST? WE HANG RELIGIOUS PEOPLE?

 

Want to know about me? Here is my intro...
http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/29603

My kid laughs at you


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
EKAthans wrote:I am starting

EKAthans wrote:

I am starting to get annoyed with this site already...I thought I had found a new home but maybe not...

"How much better off would we be today if a culture had existed back then which valued knowledge for knowledge's sake, and not simply because it was currently in vogue with the dominant faith in the region. The reason Islam is fucked today is precisely its basis in faith."

Maybe much better, maybe not but guess what? There wasn't a culture back then that valued knowledge so what is your point? What if people were super nice and everyone was equal? You think knowledge today isn't being used for personal gain? Do you think the American government which poses all of this knowledge is worried about the best interests of the people? Like I said in my last post...WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST? WE HANG RELIGIOUS PEOPLE?

 

 

LOL I don't think anybody here wants to hang people.

 

On the other hand while the RRS claims to cheer for science and knowledge, they reject the actual empirical evidence of why humans fight and hate each other and just pin it on religion. In a way it's worse thinking than religion, because it's claiming a solution, but it's not a solution and takes away from the actual cause. You'll get used to it over time and will learn when to pick your battles.

 

While I don't think they want to hang people, their ideas are just as bad if not worse.

 

 

 


EKAthans
EKAthans's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: 2011-06-01
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:EKAthans

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

EKAthans wrote:

I am starting to get annoyed with this site already...I thought I had found a new home but maybe not...

"How much better off would we be today if a culture had existed back then which valued knowledge for knowledge's sake, and not simply because it was currently in vogue with the dominant faith in the region. The reason Islam is fucked today is precisely its basis in faith."

Maybe much better, maybe not but guess what? There wasn't a culture back then that valued knowledge so what is your point? What if people were super nice and everyone was equal? You think knowledge today isn't being used for personal gain? Do you think the American government which poses all of this knowledge is worried about the best interests of the people? Like I said in my last post...WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST? WE HANG RELIGIOUS PEOPLE?

 

 

LOL I don't think anybody here wants to hang people.

 

On the other hand while the RRS claims to cheer for science and knowledge, they reject the actual empirical evidence of why humans fight and hate each other and just pin it on religion. In a way it's worse thinking than religion, because it's claiming a solution, but it's not a solution and takes away from the actual cause. You'll get used to it over time and will learn when to pick your battles.

 

While I don't think they want to hang people, their ideas are just as bad if not worse.

 

 

 

Thanks, I needed that. I was starting to feel like we needed to scream at black people and tell them they shouldn't be black because that is what they are. Everyone complains about a situation but no one gives a solution...I mean other than an implausable one such as convincing religious people they are wrong...

Want to know about me? Here is my intro...
http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/29603

My kid laughs at you


EKAthans
EKAthans's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: 2011-06-01
User is offlineOffline
And if I haven't made it

And if I haven't made it clear I don't agree with religious people and I am an agnostic atheist but they are not to blame for all of the worlds problems.

And if I did't already say so, Sup dinahqueen??

Want to know about me? Here is my intro...
http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/29603

My kid laughs at you


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13416
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
dinahqueen wrote: Differing

dinahqueen wrote:

 Differing views on whether or not religion should be eradicated or not is not entirely a basis for you to say we have nothing in common. Smiling Though perhaps in this realm we do not. But I feel like religion has done more harm than good, and I feel it is stopping us from reaching our potential. But to each their own.

"Eradicate" sounds harsh to the theist, just like some Muslims want to "eradicate" infidels from the planet.

Do many atheists want to see the end of religion, yes, including me.

HOWEVER, tactic is an important issue to stress. By "eradicate" we, and I am sure you do too, mean by challenge in debate, and blasphemy, not force of law.

Believers do not have to fear atheists, they, in reality should fear the positions they hold. Human empathy and desire for pluralism in government and society would grant, and should grant anyone the right to make any claim they wish. That does not mean, nor should not mean, that because you respect a person's right to claim something, that the claim itself deserves respect.

In a free society it is as equally important to be able to kick the tires, anything less is censorship.

I doubt as big as the word's population is that you will see the end of religion, BUT, the most important goal right now is to keep religion from gaining a monopoly on any society and make sure NO RELIGION gets an automatic pedestal, "just because".

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
EKAthans wrote:Thanks, I

EKAthans wrote:

Thanks, I needed that. I was starting to feel like we needed to scream at black people and tell them they shouldn't be black because that is what they are. Everyone complains about a situation but no one gives a solution...I mean other than an implausable one such as convincing religious people they are wrong...

 

I disagree, I do think we can get people off of religion. It just takes scientific and critical thinking and we need to set the example of that. It also requires something to replace it rather than just *poof* it disappears.

 

 


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3689
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Welcome to the forum,

Welcome to the forum, dinahqueen.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3689
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:EKAthans

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

EKAthans wrote:

Thanks, I needed that. I was starting to feel like we needed to scream at black people and tell them they shouldn't be black because that is what they are. Everyone complains about a situation but no one gives a solution...I mean other than an implausable one such as convincing religious people they are wrong...

I disagree, I do think we can get people off of religion. It just takes scientific and critical thinking and we need to set the example of that. It also requires something to replace it rather than just *poof* it disappears.

I agree with Pineapple. 

Using skin colors as an analog for religious beliefs is quite strange. I interpret it as implying that religious peoples' beliefs are so set in stone that it is essentially impossible to change them. Of course, in the case of skin color, one could not change it even if they wanted to.

Anyways, many of the people on this forum used to be Christians, and that, by itself, demonstrates that it is clearly possible to change a religious person's thinking. It's not a simple matter; it's not like a Muslim will immediately admit the fallacies in their arguments once I point them out. Perhaps I need to make feel comfortable, remove their need for their crutch, conformity, etc., and then, in some complex way, they will slowly deconvert. What you're asserting here is too absolute.

EKAthens wrote:
Maybe much better, maybe not but guess what? There wasn't a culture back then that valued knowledge so what is your point? What if people were super nice and everyone was equal? You think knowledge today isn't being used for personal gain? Do you think the American government which poses all of this knowledge is worried about the best interests of the people? Like I said in my last post...WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST? WE HANG RELIGIOUS PEOPLE?

I'm not sure what your problem with natural's post is either. The point is that if there was a culture back then that valued knowledge, then the world today would be better off. That there wasn't a culture like this is implied in the point being made. And, the suggestion is precisely to convince people to value reason and knowledge rather than faith.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3689
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:On the

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
On the other hand while the RRS claims to cheer for science and knowledge, they reject the actual empirical evidence of why humans fight and hate each other and just pin it on religion. In a way it's worse thinking than religion, because it's claiming a solution, but it's not a solution and takes away from the actual cause. You'll get used to it over time and will learn when to pick your battles.

O.o 

I know there are posters that don't really understand the subject and just blame everything religion, but nobody represents the RRS by themselves.

I see religion as a primary manifestation of why humans fight and hate each other. I mean, I assume you're talking about differences between in-groups/out-groups, competition for members and resources, and stuff like that, and the broadest possible definition of religion is essentially just a closed-minded in-group.  

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


dinahqueen
atheist
dinahqueen's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: 2011-05-04
User is offlineOffline
 O_o! My poor thread!  XD

 O_o! My poor thread! 

 

XD Debate away! 


Thanks for all of the warm welcomes though. Smiling [And I wanted to make the aside that I know that religion isn't the only thing that is wrong with people's ways of thinking, it just seems to be the root cause of their racism/sexism/homophobia etc.] 

 

I like Marvel comics, specifically the Avengers! And I like the Justice League too. But I prefer back issues as opposed to the current comic canons. For video games, I enjoy ARPGs, RPGs, fighting games, shooter games, puzzle games, platformers- well, basically everything, really. Laughing out loud Right now I'm playing Sacred 2 with my fiance and eagerly awaiting Dungeon Siege III to come out. :D 


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
By the way, I posted my

Smiling By the way, I posted my response to EKAthans here: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/29614


Ktulu
atheist
Posts: 1830
Joined: 2010-12-21
User is offlineOffline
 I want to start by

 I want to start by apologizing to the OP again, Smiling Sorry for posting off topic.

Very good and detailed response Natural, as always.  I just want to throw in my two cents.

It's not religion specifically that I am against, but irrationality.  When I hear something that doesn't jive, I get that itch in the back of my mind... like something doesn't fit, and I need to say/do something about it.  Likewise, if I'm being irrational and later corrected, I usually feel a bit foolish, but I'm always grateful for having been corrected.  I would hope it's like that for most people.  

I understand where you're coming from with your 'live and let live' attitude, but bottom line is, I can't tolerate something that promotes intolerance.  I can't tolerate someone that's being irrational, and then has the audacity to call my point of view wrong; has the self righteousness to call me immoral; has the innate drive to demonize me.  It's insulting to my standards to just stand by and let such intellectual vomit go unchallenged.  

I try to challenge all irrational claims, such as homeopathy, porn stars against vaccinations, and the majority of paranormal garbage.  Religion has such devout apologists that it requires more energy than most.  It is also by far the most prevailing, and most damaging both intellectually and morally, of all irrationalities.  

I guess I'm just built to point out the shit that doesn't fit.  You can say it's in my nature.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
butterbattle wrote:O.o I

butterbattle wrote:

O.o 

I know there are posters that don't really understand the subject and just blame everything religion, but nobody represents the RRS by themselves.

 

Yes I know one person, or even a few people don't represent the RRS, I'm just noticing a trend

 

natural wrote:

 

Smiling By the way, I posted my response to EKAthans here: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/29614

 

I was going to respond but the topic seems to be locked for some reason.

 

 


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
dinahqueen wrote: Hi! And

dinahqueen wrote:

 Hi! And thank you!

 

I'm in the United States, Michigan specifically, and yeah- hah, I guess my introduction kind of sucked. :D 

 

I used the same handle for almost everything, so it wasn't quite so difficult to make it here. Smiling 

 

I'm an Atheist. I'm not a very hard line Atheist because I don't really like to debate so much. But I do tend to think of my atheism as activism to get rid of religion. (So, I guess maybe I am a bit hardline Eye-wink

 

It's three in the morning here and I'm probably going to get to bed soon, because yeah, super late! But I wanted to say hi to everyone. :D 

 

Hi, Dinah.  I had an aunt named Dinah.  And my grandmother was born in Michigan.  So we have a few things in common.  Welcome from Portland, OR.  Unfortunately, like my avatar, I really am an old woman - well, I could be older, I hope I will get older.  After all, what is the alternative?  Older is my first choice.

I like to game, but I prefer flash games on my laptop.  I'm not into online or game station games.  Maybe it is because my hand-eye coordination has always sucked and so I get killed early and often.  So I play the slower paced games.  Penny Dreadfuls - Sweeney Todd is great fun and the Mystery Case Files series has some wicked and fun puzzles. 

And having read some of the discussion here - just skimming because I am taking classes and finals are next week and I really should be studying - I have to agree with your simple statement.  No, I don't believe religion is the cause of all evil in the world.  People are perfectly capable of being the source of all evil without any assistance from either religion or the devil.  My issue is ignorance - deliberate ignorance.  I have had many people say to me - on forums and to my face - that my facts may be correct, but they don't care.  They are going to believe.  And I think that leads us to "put your troubles in the lap of Jesus" who apparently can't be bothered to help you solve those troubles.  And it also gets us "god did it".  Neither attitude furthers knowledge or healthy lifestyles.

And I also agree that just eradicating religion will not stop people from being irrational or delusional.  But i wish we could figure out how to reduce deliberate ignorance, irrationalities and delusions.  Maybe some changes in our educational system - though I am not a teacher and do not believe I have any authority on that subject.

Anyway, post early and often.  Love to have you around.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:natural

Cpt_pineapple wrote:


natural wrote:

Smiling By the way, I posted my response to EKAthans here: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/29614

I was going to respond but the topic seems to be locked for some reason.

Sorry, should be working now.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13416
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
EKAthans wrote:Ktulu

EKAthans wrote:

Ktulu wrote:

 Welcome new poster.

Bob makes an excellent point, it's a category error fallacy to assume that because historically, religious people were conductive to primitive scientific discoveries, to assume that religion itself is conductive or beneficial to the same scientific process.  It is more likely that the only system that could act as a segue for Aristotelian principles were that of the early Islamic religion.  Religion was in fact the major system any sort of education for the majority of human history.  There was simply no alternative.  That gives no credit to religion itself.  In fact the darkages are a clear example of what religion has done to human knowledge.   

The Dark Ages are a clear example of what fundamentalist Christianity (not religion) has done to human knowledge.

Why do you insist on defending superstition OF ANY KIND?

First off, the good done by any label is done, not because of a label. but because of human evolution and empathy. If you are willing to give credit to religion for doing some things good, then you should be equally willing to place blame squarely where it belongs. The Dark Ages are a direct result of the idea of a dead man on a stick being bought and sold. If the bible had never been written, there would have been no one to read it and use it as a weapon against others.

You keep confusing issues here with us. No one here is disputing human rights or the right to claim something we disagree with. But that does not mean ANY CLAIM ON ANY SUBJECT, deserves taboo status.

Sam Harris is an atheist with a hint of Buddhist woo he likes to peddle. I think he is an extremely smart man, and most certainly against religious tyranny and oppression. But that does not mean, just because he shares the same label as I that his claims should get a pass. Other atheists like Victor Stinger criticize some of his positions as much as you see us criticizing religion.

Social clubs are part of our human evolution, grouping is what our species do because we are social animals. But just because a group does good(and normally only good for it's own group and ideology and politics), that does not make the gods they flock around real just because it provides a societal structure.

The ancient Egyptians were successful for a 3,000 years, and their survival for that time was due to their social club in believing that the sun was a god. That did not make the sun an acutally god. BUT that belief, for whatever "good" it provided in continuing the club, was harmed by the willful ignorance in swallowing the sun being a god.

You confuse issues here. Human rights are not the issue. The harm done by ANY naked assertion is sacrificing the opportunity to observe and test and verify reality in favor of a placebo. Imagine how much further humans would have been if some Egyptian back then refused to accept that social norm of the sun being a god.Comfort can come through wishful thinking. The problem with religion is that it goes way beyond merely a social club, like stamp collecting and sports clubs, and seeks political power and dominance over others. As long as people seek power, religion should never be free from scrutiny.

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5087
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Well folks

 

I think a thread with disagreement in it is a good thread. We're not going to learn anything new or be challenged through endless agreement with each other. I do think you are more defensive of religion, Athans, than many agnostic atheists. That's fine but there are going to be times when people here will rail against the god concept they were beaten with. In most cases it won't be your god of cultural scholarship but a monstrous being deserving of hatred and you will have to deal with that in real time.

In any case, sure, there are some good things that accrue from religious organisations. Sure, some scholars in the islamic world who may or may not have been technically atheists, saved some ancient documents, without realising they were doing so, from the knowledge pograms of the catholic church. I'm glad they did but I don't credit their religion with this moral rightness. They acted as they did because they loved knowledge and because by my definition, they were good men.   

I don't really get the use of the word 'barbarian' to describe the loss of knowledge in the dark and middle ages in Europe but it's little different to what we see in some places in the middle east now. Consider there was a time in Europe when the only written word was latin. There was no education outside monasteries and private tutors. Religion fed the dark ages in my view, by controlling what people thought. Men were burned alive for printing bibles in English in the middle 1600s. It was the printing press that broke this religious mind control, not great religious scholars.

Perhaps the greatest contribution of the christian church in my opinion, was formentation of the European enlightment, the establishment of the concept of the rights of man, of toleration, of government for the people. This enlightment, which came at the end of centuries of sectarian violence and religious oppression, and which took place at a time of great scientific blossoming, would have taken place regardless of the preservation of old ideas by the muslims.

It was the rejection of the cloying and utterly wrong ideas of the ancient greeks that saw the birth of modern science through the genius of the Oxford Circle includng men like Thomas Willis, John Locke, Robert Boyle, Christopher Wren, Richard Lower, Henry Stubbe - and a little later Issac Newton and the Royal Society.

I'd feel ashamed not to give the credit for modern science where it's actually due. The greeks don't deserve as much credit for empiricism as they are often afforded. The Oxford Circle deserves this credit. It's also fair to say that there was a period in the 17-18 hundreds when churchmen in Britain had plenty of money and not much to do. And they sought knowledge and made great advances. Whether religion drove their curiosity is debatable. They were humans and they were curious.

As for Jewish scholarship - no one will question the strength of it, nor yet could they fail to question its true connection to actual judaism. And this business of snakily asking where the atheist scientists were in past long days is a bit unsavoury. Who knows without depending on baseless assertion? Who knows what Galileo believed, who knows what Da Vinci would have said he believed, or Decartes, or Willis himself, if the Church's knife were not held at their throats? Even today our leaders fear the brand of atheist.

In any case, this is a web site for atheists, many of whom are damaged by contact with fundamentalist christian beliefs. This truth tempers the nature of many on this site and frames a confirmation bias that is short on temper but not on personal commitment to learning to know. The fact remains, there are things we can know about the impact of fundamentalist religions like islam and christianity on human life and on the pursuit of knowable truth. Many of these impacts have not been positive, Athans, as our blood-bought separation of church and state bears solemn witness.

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5087
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Meh

 

EKAthans wrote:

I am starting to get annoyed with this site already...I thought I had found a new home but maybe not...

"How much better off would we be today if a culture had existed back then which valued knowledge for knowledge's sake, and not simply because it was currently in vogue with the dominant faith in the region. The reason Islam is fucked today is precisely its basis in faith."

Maybe much better, maybe not but guess what? There wasn't a culture back then that valued knowledge so what is your point? What if people were super nice and everyone was equal? You think knowledge today isn't being used for personal gain? Do you think the American government which poses all of this knowledge is worried about the best interests of the people? Like I said in my last post...WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST? WE HANG RELIGIOUS PEOPLE?

 

Places that are worth being aren't always comfortable all the time. In any case, informed, broadminded and morally consistent opinions are always welcome...

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


robj101
atheist
robj101's picture
Posts: 2481
Joined: 2010-02-20
User is offlineOffline
EKAthans wrote:Fair enough.

EKAthans wrote:

Fair enough. Did you read my intro? I guess I am more along the lines of "we will not get rid of religion." It's complicated though...I think humans are nasty by nature. Religion has produced some horrible things but many religious people have made great advances. You probably refer to fundamentalists...they can harm society...

I agree with the whole "we will not get rid of religion" thing, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. A lot of people are intelligent enough to get it, some are not and some don't want to be. Spirituality is already infused and you can't just cut it off you can only redirect it towards reality. I believe we can get religion out of politics and out of the lives of people who do not wish it to a much greater degree than what we currently run on. This is worth working towards imo.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Atheistextremist wrote:And

Atheistextremist wrote:
And this business of snakily asking where the atheist scientists were in past long days is a bit unsavoury. Who knows without depending on baseless assertion? Who knows what Galileo believed, who knows what Da Vinci would have said he believed, or Decartes, or Willis himself, if the Church's knife were not held at their throats? Even today our leaders fear the brand of atheist.

In any case, this is a web site for atheists, many of whom are damaged by contact with fundamentalist christian beliefs. This truth tempers the nature of many on this site and frames a confirmation bias that is short on temper but not on personal commitment to learning to know. The fact remains, there are things we can know about the impact of fundamentalist religions like islam and christianity on human life and on the pursuit of knowable truth. Many of these impacts have not been positive, Athans, as our blood-bought separation of church and state bears solemn witness.

Great points, AE, IMO.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
WE may never get rid of

WE may never get rid of religion, but we can take it down from its 'sacred' pedestal, and free many people to adopt more open free-thinking approach, rather than be driven by social pressure to "shut up and pass the hymn-book".

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


BenfromCanada
atheist
BenfromCanada's picture
Posts: 811
Joined: 2006-08-31
User is offlineOffline
You totally should read

You totally should read Irredeemable and Incorruptible, Dinah. Fairly new (started in 2009) and is brilliant all throughout.


EKAthans
EKAthans's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: 2011-06-01
User is offlineOffline
*sigh* I missed a lot. I

*sigh* I missed a lot. I will respond in the other thread that was created.


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3132
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:EKAthans,in

BobSpence1 wrote:

EKAthans,

in many cultures, the major organizing institutions involved in gathering knowledge in early times inevitably were religious, it was the central organizing force of society, and regarded as the pinnacle of knowledge itself. There were no real alternatives.

I am curious, what do you think could or should replace religion as "the central organizing force of society"?

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:BobSpence1

EXC wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

EKAthans,

in many cultures, the major organizing institutions involved in gathering knowledge in early times inevitably were religious, it was the central organizing force of society, and regarded as the pinnacle of knowledge itself. There were no real alternatives.

I am curious, what do you think could or should replace religion as "the central organizing force of society"?

In many contemporary societies, there may well be no single 'central' organizing 'force' or shared world-view. 

It would seem to me that strongly-held political philosophies have served and still do serve such a purpose, such as communism in various forms.

Bertrand Russell long ago drew attention to parallels between Marxism and Christianity...

Various sets of beliefs can have some of the necessary attributes to bind people together, without necessarily involving specifically religious beliefs, as in the supernatural.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3132
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote: In many

BobSpence1 wrote:

 

In many contemporary societies, there may well be no single 'central' organizing 'force' or shared world-view. 

It would seem to me that strongly-held political philosophies have served and still do serve such a purpose, such as communism in various forms.

Bertrand Russell long ago drew attention to parallels between Marxism and Christianity...

Various sets of beliefs can have some of the necessary attributes to bind people together, without necessarily involving specifically religious beliefs, as in the supernatural.

 

In the USA, we've had the myth that liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the organizing force and shared world-view, with either religion or the pursuit of wealth as the organizing force in many subcultures. But we've pretty much reached the breaking point because one person's liberty becomes another person's burden. So I think the current system will collapse.

The problem with Marxism and the American capitalist systems is that they are 'myths' in that they not backed with scientific evidence, but with fanatical adherents. It would be nice if we could get to a point were the organizing force is something demonstrated to work with good science, but that would take a miracle.

 

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca