What is meaning?

Hambydammit
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What is meaning?

I'm ready for the argument from meaning to go away. That is, the argument, "Atheists don't have any/have less meaning in their lives than theists." It comes in many forms:

*Without god, there is no meaning

*Without god, how do you get up in the morning?

*Without god, why don't you just kill yourself, since there's no meaning?

*Without god, there's no standard by which we can measure our lives.

etc...

Of course, you can substitute "spirituality" for "god" in any of them and it's still the same thing. This question has often been asked by theists, and I've been relatively happy with most of the replies, but I feel that there are still some aspects of this argument that need to be addressed.

First, and probably most important, is that there's an inherent fallacy in any of those questions. The very word meaning has not been defined! (How ironic!) Like any other question, we must be certain that we know what we're talking about before we start trying to answer.

Second, there's a presupposition behind the question, and we atheists often fail to recognize it. After all, this is a question we ask ourselves from time to time, and the words we use are exactly the same as those theists use. However, the question is fundamentally different. When most theists ask this question, they are asking, "What purpose or meaning does your life have in relation to the divine meaning or purpose?" When atheists ask it, they are asking, "What purpose or meaning does your life have with relation to X?" where X could be anything that the particular person finds meaningful.

Let's take me as an example. There are several things that give my life meaning. Obviously, I spend a lot of time volunteering as a mod for RRS. I am successful in the food and booze industry. I read a lot. I love to cook. I play music. I entertain my friends and cook for them. Within my businesses, I make every effort to pay my employees more than they could make elsewhere. I don't live extravagantly because I want them to be able to live better working for me than for anyone else. I like to take photographs. Crossword puzzles make me giddy. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Now, each of these examples of things that give me "meaning" are actually examples of things that give me meaning, or more precisely, purpose, with regard to a particular goal. Why am I in the food and alcohol industry? Because I have a purpose of changing the way people feel about what they eat and how they drink. I'm trying to improve other people's night out while I make money. So, it serves two purposes. I try to pay my employees more because I have a purpose of having happy, loyal employees. I live simply because I have a purpose of helping to change people's attitudes about consumption -- and I know that I cannot be a hypocrite if I am to do so. Again, I could go on, but you get the picture.

What is it that gave me my sense of purpose in each of these examples? It was my experience, of course. I've developed a sense of what I believe people, the environment, and society ought to be moving towards, and I form goals. Simply put, my purpose develops naturally as a result of living.

It might be argued that I'm skirting around a core question. Why don't I just kill myself, or let myself die? There's no "ultimate" purpose, after all. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I don't want to die because then I'd be fucking dead, wouldn't I! No more music. No more cooking. No more friends. No more blow jobs. Frankly, being alive is a lot more attractive to me at this moment than being dead.

So that nobody accuses me of making my point obtuse, here it is in bold. Each purpose that I have is related to a goal. Likewise, any meaning that my life has must be in relation to something else. Meaning and purpose cannot exist in a vaccuum. Yet, that is what theists would have us believe when they ask us about the meaning in our lives. Consider the theist position:

*There is something unquantifiable outside of human experience.

*We gain meaning by searching for this thing, bonding with this thing, professing love for this thing, believing in this or that fairy tale.

*Without this meaning, our lives are somehow lessened.

Look at this carefully. If we don't derive meaning relative to this thing that is beyond our capacity to comprehend, we don't have as much meaning. If this doesn't strike you as complete gibberish, consider it this way: There is a meaning to our lives that we can't explain. It is a goal which we cannot conceive. Though atheists and theists appear to live the same kinds of lives, eating, sleeping, working, fucking, and making more people -- theists, because they have this other meaning, which can't be described, and is not comprehensible in rational terms, have more meaning than atheists.

Does this sound strikingly familiar? We're encouraged to believe in God, even though he can't even be defined, and we're told that without him, nothing can be explained completely. Then, we're encouraged to get in touch with our spirituality (undefined!) because if we don't we won't have meaning (undefined!).

In short, next time a theist gets on about meaning in your life, stop him immediately and ask him to please explain exactly what meaning he's talking about. Odds are, you'll soon uncover the truth. He doesn't mean meaning with regard to anything in particular. It's just this nebulous thing that he's been told all his life. If he says that meaning is related to god, you've got him in a circle. God and meaning are both presuppositions. If he talks about meaning with regard to other people, it's quite clear that you have the brain power to reason out a goal without god's help.

The reason that I feel this question is particularly insidious is that it creeps into everyone's lives, not just theists. Have you ever known someone who seemed to have everything, but was unhappy? They would say, "I know I should be happy. I have a good spouse, a good family, enough money, a nice house, and yet, there's this emptiness. For some reason, I'm not happy." This is where theists love to jump in and proclaim that there's a spiritual hole in this person's life. In fact, I'd venture to guess that this is exactly the way most adults convert to religion. Here's the really horrible part. They're not unhappy because of a lack of spirituality. They're unhappy because they haven't discovered their own passion or purpose. They're living the life that they have been told is the path to happiness. Unfortunately, it's not always so.

Think about all the people you know. Is there anyone who would tell you this story? "Yeah, I was married, two dogs, the white picket fence, the two car garage, the six figure job, and it just wasn't for me. Now that I'm out on the road, doing seminars on water conservation, I don't have two pennies to rub together, and if my car craps out, I'm really screwed, but I'm happy. I'm doing what I love, and fighting for what I believe in."  There are some people who discover that the myth of conformity is just that.  What is supposed to make us happy doesn't always do.  In those cases, the odds are pretty good that there's something that will make us happy, if only we are brave enough to search for it, and break with custom.  Theism, on the other hand, will encourage us not to break with what is normal.  It will declare that despite our circumstances or attitude, there is a super-duper cure if we say the right incantation or believe the right story.  Everything will be ok if we simply believe in something that can't even be defined!

Theism is a substitute for real meaning. Some people do find meaning in theism, but it's false. They truly believe that theism helps people, and by participating, they feel as if they are doing something good for their fellow man. Unfortunately, this is not true. How many gay men are living in unhappy marriages, going to church every sunday, convinced that they've found happiness by denying who they are? How many people who faithfully give 10% of their income to church feel satisfied, when in reality, the combined income of all the churches in the country could easily fund the entire school system in America, with money left over to run all the soup kitchens, too!?  How many people have been consulting gurus for years, spending months in meditation, when months of work could build a house, or clean up a polluted stream? The point is, theism is a good way of doing nothing and feeling like you're doing something. It is a false meaning. Theists get to feel superior about their happy life while those of us who are actually spending our time and money doing tangible things to improve the world... well, we get accused of having no meaning.  

I'm tired of it.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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A very excellent post

A very excellent post Hambydammit.

 

I've always felt that the time and energy that theists put into to support their belief in their God(s) is far better spent elsewhere. What I mean with supporting their belief is such things as praying, going to church, tithing, spreading God's word and restricting people's rights.

 

I would just like for theist's to contribute something better to our society, this does not mean you have to become a person who goes to the remote areas of Africa to help out a struggling Village. It isn't for everyone and not everyone can do it, that is fair enough. Any contribution to our society that does better it in the long run no matter how big or small is a contribution. It does help, and it flows down the chain. The more that people contribute, the better it gets for everyone.

 

So instead of praying for a better world, get out there and actually make it happen! Instead of spending several hours a week at church, get out and do something else that actually does contribute. Of course Atheist's aren't immune to doing the same thing, but I have generally found that Atheist's have a tendency to contribute moreso than Theist's.

 

The meaning I find in my life is to contribute what I can and where I can to my family, my friend's, my neighbours, the workers at my local supermarket, and to society as a whole. When I finally do die, I would like know that I'm leaving behind a world where nobody is persecuted and everybody has the same opportunity as everybody else to be more than they can ever imagine being.

 

We do not need a God to find meaning in our lives, to me it is the things that we contribute to our society that gives meaning.

 

Regards,

UltraMonk

'Freedom - The Opportunity to have Responsibility'

 

 

: Freedom - The opportunity to have responsibility.

: Liberty is about protecting the right of others to disagree with you.

 


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Very nice post Hamby. 

Very nice post Hamby.  I'll be printing this out for a close theist friend of mine to read, since she refuses to come to the site!


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hamby, Great post, i wanted

hamby,

Great post, i wanted to say that i never thought about needing "meaning" in my life to live. Life in itself was good enough meaning for me.

Also, when theists typically actually have a meaning that they can reply to when asked about what that meaning is, it seems to me that it's typically to worship God. I do not see worshiping God as a meaningful existence; in fact if that was the meaning to my life and the only meaning of my life aka I didn't see things the way I do now, that might be cause for suicide. I wouldn't want sucking a sky daddy's dick as the meaning of my life.

The other reply I think I typically get is that you have to find the purpose that God gave you. If this is true then atheists and theists are doing basically the same thing, the only difference is that the theist thinks his purpose was determined at birth.   


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Hambydammit wrote: It

Hambydammit wrote:

It might be argued that I'm skirting around a core question. Why don't I just kill myself, or let myself die? There's no "ultimate" purpose, after all. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I don't want to die because then I'd be fucking dead, wouldn't I! No more music. No more cooking. No more friends. No more blow jobs. Frankly, being alive is a lot more attractive to me at this moment than being dead.

Biased thinking.  None of us will give a shit about no more music/cooking/friends/blow jobs when we are dead.  Even the abilitiy to find anything attractive is only a trait that we can have while we are alive.  Will anything seem unattractive to us after we are no longer alive?

Come on Hamby, lets build a big ol' fire, hold hands, and skip off right into the center of it.  Self-immolate our asses.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Hambydammit wrote: I'm

Hambydammit wrote:

I'm ready for the argument from meaning to go away. That is, the argument, "Atheists don't have any/have less meaning in their lives than theists." It comes in many forms:

*Without god, there is no meaning

*Without god, how do you get up in the morning?

*Without god, why don't you just kill yourself, since there's no meaning?

*Without god, there's no standard by which we can measure our lives.

etc...

Of course, you can substitute "spirituality" for "god" in any of them and it's still the same thing. This question has often been asked by theists, and I've been relatively happy with most of the replies, but I feel that there are still some aspects of this argument that need to be addressed.

First, and probably most important, is that there's an inherent fallacy in any of those questions. The very word meaning has not been defined! (How ironic!) Like any other question, we must be certain that we know what we're talking about before we start trying to answer.

Second, there's a presupposition behind the question, and we atheists often fail to recognize it. After all, this is a question we ask ourselves from time to time, and the words we use are exactly the same as those theists use. However, the question is fundamentally different. When most theists ask this question, they are asking, "What purpose or meaning does your life have in relation to the divine meaning or purpose?" When atheists ask it, they are asking, "What purpose or meaning does your life have with relation to X?" where X could be anything that the particular person finds meaningful.

Let's take me as an example. There are several things that give my life meaning. Obviously, I spend a lot of time volunteering as a mod for RRS. I am successful in the food and booze industry. I read a lot. I love to cook. I play music. I entertain my friends and cook for them. Within my businesses, I make every effort to pay my employees more than they could make elsewhere. I don't live extravagantly because I want them to be able to live better working for me than for anyone else. I like to take photographs. Crossword puzzles make me giddy. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Now, each of these examples of things that give me "meaning" are actually examples of things that give me meaning, or more precisely, purpose, with regard to a particular goal. Why am I in the food and alcohol industry? Because I have a purpose of changing the way people feel about what they eat and how they drink. I'm trying to improve other people's night out while I make money. So, it serves two purposes. I try to pay my employees more because I have a purpose of having happy, loyal employees. I live simply because I have a purpose of helping to change people's attitudes about consumption -- and I know that I cannot be a hypocrite if I am to do so. Again, I could go on, but you get the picture.

What is it that gave me my sense of purpose in each of these examples? It was my experience, of course. I've developed a sense of what I believe people, the environment, and society ought to be moving towards, and I form goals. Simply put, my purpose develops naturally as a result of living.

It might be argued that I'm skirting around a core question. Why don't I just kill myself, or let myself die? There's no "ultimate" purpose, after all. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I don't want to die because then I'd be fucking dead, wouldn't I! No more music. No more cooking. No more friends. No more blow jobs. Frankly, being alive is a lot more attractive to me at this moment than being dead.

So that nobody accuses me of making my point obtuse, here it is in bold. Each purpose that I have is related to a goal. Likewise, any meaning that my life has must be in relation to something else. Meaning and purpose cannot exist in a vaccuum. Yet, that is what theists would have us believe when they ask us about the meaning in our lives. Consider the theist position:

*There is something unquantifiable outside of human experience.

*We gain meaning by searching for this thing, bonding with this thing, professing love for this thing, believing in this or that fairy tale.

*Without this meaning, our lives are somehow lessened.

Look at this carefully. If we don't derive meaning relative to this thing that is beyond our capacity to comprehend, we don't have as much meaning. If this doesn't strike you as complete gibberish, consider it this way: There is a meaning to our lives that we can't explain. It is a goal which we cannot conceive. Though atheists and theists appear to live the same kinds of lives, eating, sleeping, working, fucking, and making more people -- theists, because they have this other meaning, which can't be described, and is not comprehensible in rational terms, have more meaning than atheists.

Does this sound strikingly familiar? We're encouraged to believe in God, even though he can't even be defined, and we're told that without him, nothing can be explained completely. Then, we're encouraged to get in touch with our spirituality (undefined!) because if we don't we won't have meaning (undefined!).

In short, next time a theist gets on about meaning in your life, stop him immediately and ask him to please explain exactly what meaning he's talking about. Odds are, you'll soon uncover the truth. He doesn't mean meaning with regard to anything in particular. It's just this nebulous thing that he's been told all his life. If he says that meaning is related to god, you've got him in a circle. God and meaning are both presuppositions. If he talks about meaning with regard to other people, it's quite clear that you have the brain power to reason out a goal without god's help.

The reason that I feel this question is particularly insidious is that it creeps into everyone's lives, not just theists. Have you ever known someone who seemed to have everything, but was unhappy? They would say, "I know I should be happy. I have a good spouse, a good family, enough money, a nice house, and yet, there's this emptiness. For some reason, I'm not happy." This is where theists love to jump in and proclaim that there's a spiritual hole in this person's life. In fact, I'd venture to guess that this is exactly the way most adults convert to religion. Here's the really horrible part. They're not unhappy because of a lack of spirituality. They're unhappy because they haven't discovered their own passion or purpose. They're living the life that they have been told is the path to happiness. Unfortunately, it's not always so.

Think about all the people you know. Is there anyone who would tell you this story? "Yeah, I was married, two dogs, the white picket fence, the two car garage, the six figure job, and it just wasn't for me. Now that I'm out on the road, doing seminars on water conservation, I don't have two pennies to rub together, and if my car craps out, I'm really screwed, but I'm happy. I'm doing what I love, and fighting for what I believe in."  There are some people who discover that the myth of conformity is just that.  What is supposed to make us happy doesn't always do.  In those cases, the odds are pretty good that there's something that will make us happy, if only we are brave enough to search for it, and break with custom.  Theism, on the other hand, will encourage us not to break with what is normal.  It will declare that despite our circumstances or attitude, there is a super-duper cure if we say the right incantation or believe the right story.  Everything will be ok if we simply believe in something that can't even be defined!

Theism is a substitute for real meaning. Some people do find meaning in theism, but it's false. They truly believe that theism helps people, and by participating, they feel as if they are doing something good for their fellow man. Unfortunately, this is not true. How many gay men are living in unhappy marriages, going to church every sunday, convinced that they've found happiness by denying who they are? How many people who faithfully give 10% of their income to church feel satisfied, when in reality, the combined income of all the churches in the country could easily fund the entire school system in America, with money left over to run all the soup kitchens, too!?  How many people have been consulting gurus for years, spending months in meditation, when months of work could build a house, or clean up a polluted stream? The point is, theism is a good way of doing nothing and feeling like you're doing something. It is a false meaning. Theists get to feel superior about their happy life while those of us who are actually spending our time and money doing tangible things to improve the world... well, we get accused of having no meaning.  

I'm tired of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nice post. While Atheists seem to be able to adjust and find "meaning" they seem to lack "purpose". You can finding meaning all day long in things that will keep you busy, but if thee is no ultimate purpose, there is very little meaning one can derive from life. This is why more atheists suffer from mental health issues, like deppression, suicide, and bi-polar disorder. It's really misleading to say that atheists have no trouble finding meaning in life, without purpose, what you you left with? There are several studies that were done that illustrate this point.

 

 

http://www.atypon-link.com/AAP/doi/abs/10.1375/twin.2.2.126

 

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-9602(199201)97%3A4%3C1052%3ARDDATT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-X

"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning..." -CS Lewis


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Lux wrote:     nice

Lux wrote:

 

 

nice post. While Atheists seem to be able to adjust and find "meaning" they seem to lack "purpose". You can finding meaning all day long in things that will keep you busy, but if thee is no ultimate purpose, there is very little meaning one can derive from life. This is why more atheists suffer from mental health issues, like deppression, suicide, and bi-polar disorder. It's really misleading to say that atheists have no trouble finding meaning in life, without purpose, what you you left with? There are several studies that were done that illustrate this point.

 

 

http://www.atypon-link.com/AAP/doi/abs/10.1375/twin.2.2.126

 

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-9602(199201)97%3A4%3C1052%3ARDDATT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-X

 

yes because atheists suffer from BIOLOGICAL disorders because they have no purpose in life, that makes a ton of sense. 


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read this too with regards

read this too with regards to suicide                                                http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/161/12/2303

"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning..." -CS Lewis


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Lux wrote:

Lux wrote:
nice post. While Atheists seem to be able to adjust and find "meaning" they seem to lack "purpose".

Is there actually a significant difference between the two or is this just another dumb Lux post?

(Trick question! All Lux posts are dumb!) 

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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JeremiahSmith wrote: Lux

JeremiahSmith wrote:

Lux wrote:
nice post. While Atheists seem to be able to adjust and find "meaning" they seem to lack "purpose".

Is there actually a significant difference between the two or is this just another dumb Lux post?

(Trick question! All Lux posts are dumb!) 

 

there is a difference between the two in the context of the post. If you weren't "dumb" you could figure it out 

"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning..." -CS Lewis


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Lux - That picture you have

Lux - That picture you have as your avatar is rather interesting.  How christian of you.  Love and peace and all that jazz?

 

Religious people like yourself are the reason people despise religion so much.  You hide behind all of this "the bible teaches love and peace", while not actually living it.  Your a hypocrite in the worst sense.

 

If I could spit on you, I would.


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Steven wrote:Lux - That

Steven wrote:

Lux - That picture you have as your avatar is rather interesting.  How christian of you.  Love and peace and all that jazz?

Religious people like yourself are the reason people despise religion so much.  You hide behind all of this "the bible teaches love and peace", while not actually living it.  Your a hypocrite in the worst sense.

If I could spit on you, I would.

well, my avatar is pretty tamed compared to some of the ones I've seen in here, including t-shirts with Fuck Jesus on it. I suppose athiests should be trying to prove that they can be just as civil and moral as christians. My avatar is just a reminder that there are people in the world who would exterminate christians if they could. the avatar means dawkins needs a little Jesus in his life, whats so bad about that?

"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning..." -CS Lewis


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Studies that show a

Studies that show a corellation between mental health and religious affiliation support the conclusion that religion has a positive emotional impact. If this emotional impact also causes differential reproduction (not examined in these studies), then there's an adaptive function too.

These studies do not support the conclusion that religion is the only (or best) source for this emotional satisfaction--only that religion is the most common source among those studied.

The fact that it is associated with a positive emotional state does not address possible harmful side effects.  Heroin and nicotine also are associated with positive emotional states, possibly using the same neurological reward mechanism that religion does.  Where's the study that corellates heroin use with suicide? 

These studies also do not in any way support the existence of a god or gods. The effect described is purely natural.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Textom wrote: Studies that

Textom wrote:

Studies that show a corellation between mental health and religious affiliation support the conclusion that religion has a positive emotional impact. If this emotional impact also causes differential reproduction (not examined in these studies), then there's an adaptive function too.

These studies do not support the conclusion that religion is the only (or best) source for this emotional satisfaction--only that religion is the most common source among those studied.

The fact that it is associated with a positive emotional state does not address possible harmful side effects.  Heroin and nicotine also are associated with positive emotional states, possibly using the same neurological reward mechanism that religion does.  Where's the study that corellates heroin use with suicide? 

These studies also do not in any way support the existence of a god or gods. The effect described is purely natural.

 

you're right it doesn't prove God. But it IS symptomatic of a godless life.

"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning..." -CS Lewis


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OOOOH... awesome...

OOOOH... awesome... something to respond to...

Textom wrote:
Studies that show a corellation between mental health and religious affiliation support the conclusion that religion has a positive emotional impact. If this emotional impact also causes differential reproduction (not examined in these studies), then there's an adaptive function too.

True and true, but somewhat irrelevant.   As I tried to say, I don't discount that some people feel better after they find religion.  My point is twofold.  First, religion is kind of like a placebo.  You feel better about yourself without accomplishing very much (compared to investing all the time and resources into a tangible activity).  Second, religion gives the religious a false sense of superiority.  They feel they can say things like, "Yeah, So-and-So does great works on earth, but they're meaningless if he doesn't know Jesus."  Even the more subtle jabs are still insulting:  "It's great that you find meaning, but you don't know what real meaning is because you don't have religion."

 

Quote:
These studies do not support the conclusion that religion is the only (or best) source for this emotional satisfaction--only that religion is the most common source among those studied.

Which is completely in line with what I'm saying.

 

Quote:
The fact that it is associated with a positive emotional state does not address possible harmful side effects.  Heroin and nicotine also are associated with positive emotional states, possibly using the same neurological reward mechanism that religion does.  Where's the study that corellates heroin use with suicide?

Understandably, the journals are basically bereft of studies linking theism with negative side effects.  It's not that there are no side effects, but that few studies, if any, have actively looked for them.  Curiously, it's hard to fund any kind of large scale study of this kind.

 

Quote:
These studies also do not in any way support the existence of a god or gods. The effect described is purely natural.

Again, correct.  This point, to me, is almost beside the point, but I understand that it seems relevant to the religious.  Once again, we can measure happiness, and many things, including harmful things, can increase it.  Shots of tequila, for instance, make me happy.  It's well documented and tested that human happiness is not a reliable measure of the inherent value of anything external.

 

 

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

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Lux wrote: Steven

Lux wrote:
Steven wrote:

Lux - That picture you have as your avatar is rather interesting.  How christian of you.  Love and peace and all that jazz?

Religious people like yourself are the reason people despise religion so much.  You hide behind all of this "the bible teaches love and peace", while not actually living it.  Your a hypocrite in the worst sense.

If I could spit on you, I would.

well, my avatar is pretty tamed compared to some of the ones I've seen in here, including t-shirts with Fuck Jesus on it. I suppose athiests should be trying to prove that they can be just as civil and moral as christians. My avatar is just a reminder that there are people in the world who would exterminate christians if they could. the avatar means dawkins needs a little Jesus in his life, whats so bad about that?

 

How do you compare putting an actual living person with a target on his head to someone saying "fuck <insert mythological object/being>" ?  So your saying that someone insulting some imaginary being you have chosen to believe provides you the right to advocate someones death?  How again are you any different than an islamic extremeist?

 

Why again does an atheist need to prove they can be just as civil and moral as a christian?  You have proven by your avatar just how "moral and civil" christians are in general.  Atheism, is simply a lack of belief.  I will put it in caps and bold it for you so maybe, just MAYBE it will stick. 

ATHEISM IS SIMPLY A LACK OF BELIEF.  A-THEISM.  YOU ARE AN A-LEPRECHAUNIST AND SO AM I.  DO WE SHARE THE SAME MORAL AND CIVIL IDEAS?  SO WHY DO RELIGIOUS PEOPLE THINK THAT ALL ATHEISTS DO?

 

PLEASE provide some proof that Richard Dawkins has advocated the extermination of "CHRISTIANS".  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.

 

Quote:
the avatar means dawkins needs a little Jesus in his life, whats so bad about that?

Am I the only person NOT getting the above from his avatar?


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Lux, I'm going to tell you

Lux, I'm going to tell you this once.  It is your only warning.

RRS does not tolerate depictions of violence or hate.  Your avatar was clearly designed to depict violence to a friend of RRS, and a man who has received legitimate death threats.  I don't think you meant it literally, but you must realize that Dawkins and the other famous atheist writers DO get hate mail and death threats that are legitimate.

Your avatar has been changed to something less inflamatory.  Should your avatar ever depict violence towards a living person again, you will be immediately banned, and your account information will possibly be forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security as a protective measure for RRS.

We do not tolerate terrorism in any form.

 

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Hambydammit wrote: Lux,

Hambydammit wrote:

Lux, I'm going to tell you this once.  It is your only warning.

RRS does not tolerate depictions of violence or hate.  Your avatar was clearly designed to depict violence to a friend of RRS, and a man who has received legitimate death threats.  I don't think you meant it literally, but you must realize that Dawkins and the other famous atheist writers DO get hate mail and death threats that are legitimate.

Your avatar has been changed to something less inflamatory.  Should your avatar ever depict violence towards a living person again, you will be immediately banned, and your account information will possibly be forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security as a protective measure for RRS.

We do not tolerate terrorism in any form.

 

 

 

you have got to be kidding me. I had an avatar of Dawkins in the "cross heirs" of a cross, and that depicts violence? I think this is about you just not liking it. Home land security? Thats a bunch of crap, and you know it. I wouldn't threaten Richard Dawkins, I don't see how that could be taken as a threat. But by any chance you do bother the DHS, I could have a case for slander. What a bogus accusation. Apparently you don't like it when the shoe is on the other foot. My little avatar is offensive but "fuck Jesus" and things of that nature aren't offensive? You're a freaking joke. Hell, I got that pic off of Flicker. Go torment them with sily threats. If it was a Picture of the pope in the "cross heirs" we wouldn't even be having this disscusion.

"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning..." -CS Lewis


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Lux wrote: you have got to

Lux wrote:

you have got to be kidding me. I had an avatar of Dawkins in the "cross heirs" of a cross, and that depicts violence? I think this is about you just not liking it. Home land security? Thats a bunch of crap, and you know it. I wouldn't threaten Richard Dawkins, I don't see how that could be taken as a threat. But by any chance you do bother the DHS, I could have a case for slander. What a bogus accusation. Apparently you don't like it when the shoe is on the other foot. My little avatar is offensive but "fuck Jesus" and things of that nature aren't offensive? You're a freaking joke. Hell, I got that pic off of Flicker. Go torment them with sily threats. If it was a Picture of the pope in the "cross heirs" we wouldn't even be having this disscusion.

Lux, lux, lux.  Are you saying that no one would construe showing Dawkins in a rifle site is a form of threat to a specific individual?

Do the same thing with Jesus and it's completely different.  It's not like someone can kill jesus, now is it?  When you place a real, live human in that context it's completely different.

Threats of violence and "offensive" are two different things.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Quote: you have got to be

Quote:
you have got to be kidding me.

I'm quite serious.

Quote:
I had an avatar of Dawkins in the "cross heirs" of a cross, and that depicts violence?

You stupid, stupid shit of a person.  Yes.

 

Quote:
I think this is about you just not liking it. Home land security? Thats a bunch of crap, and you know it.

We've done it before.  I think I'm going to do it again, just because you're being a complete asswipe.  I've got a screenshot of your avatar.

Quote:
I wouldn't threaten Richard Dawkins, I don't see how that could be taken as a threat. But by any chance you do bother the DHS, I could have a case for slander.

You really are completely naive.  DHS has arrested people for less.

 

Quote:
What a bogus accusation. Apparently you don't like it when the shoe is on the other foot. My little avatar is offensive but "fuck Jesus" and things of that nature aren't offensive?

Fuck is a curse word.   Cross-hairs are about guns.  Jesus isn't a live person.  Dawkins is.  

Fuck you.

 

Quote:
You're a freaking joke. Hell, I got that pic off of Flicker. Go torment them with sily threats. If it was a Picture of the pope in the "cross heirs" we wouldn't even be having this disscusion.

And you're fucking banned you fucking fucktard.

Fuck you.

Oh, and I am giving your account info to DHS.  They need to know about potential terrorists.

 

 

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Watcher wrote: Lux

Watcher wrote:
Lux wrote:

you have got to be kidding me. I had an avatar of Dawkins in the "cross heirs" of a cross, and that depicts violence? I think this is about you just not liking it. Home land security? Thats a bunch of crap, and you know it. I wouldn't threaten Richard Dawkins, I don't see how that could be taken as a threat. But by any chance you do bother the DHS, I could have a case for slander. What a bogus accusation. Apparently you don't like it when the shoe is on the other foot. My little avatar is offensive but "fuck Jesus" and things of that nature aren't offensive? You're a freaking joke. Hell, I got that pic off of Flicker. Go torment them with sily threats. If it was a Picture of the pope in the "cross heirs" we wouldn't even be having this disscusion.

Lux, lux, lux.  Are you saying that no one would construe showing Dawkins in a rifle site is a form of threat to a specific individual?

Do the same thing with Jesus and it's completely different.  It's not like someone can kill jesus, now is it?  When you place a real, live human in that context it's completely different.

Threats of violence and "offensive" are two different things.

 

you people aren't stupid, the power hungry mod wants to make something out of nothing.. anyone can see that it isn't a typical shot gun "cross Heir" its  a Christian cross. How anyone "in thier right mind" could take that as something else, is just trying to start something. plain and simple

"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning..." -CS Lewis


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
you have got to be kidding me.

I'm quite serious.

Quote:
I had an avatar of Dawkins in the "cross heirs" of a cross, and that depicts violence?

You stupid, stupid shit of a person.  Yes.

 

Quote:
I think this is about you just not liking it. Home land security? Thats a bunch of crap, and you know it.

We've done it before.  I think I'm going to do it again, just because you're being a complete asswipe.  I've got a screenshot of your avatar.

Quote:
I wouldn't threaten Richard Dawkins, I don't see how that could be taken as a threat. But by any chance you do bother the DHS, I could have a case for slander.

You really are completely naive.  DHS has arrested people for less.

 

Quote:
What a bogus accusation. Apparently you don't like it when the shoe is on the other foot. My little avatar is offensive but "fuck Jesus" and things of that nature aren't offensive?

Fuck is a curse word.   Cross-hairs are about guns.  Jesus isn't a live person.  Dawkins is.  

Fuck you.

 

Quote:
You're a freaking joke. Hell, I got that pic off of Flicker. Go torment them with sily threats. If it was a Picture of the pope in the "cross heirs" we wouldn't even be having this disscusion.

And you're fucking banned you fucking fucktard.

Fuck you.

Oh, and I am giving your account info to DHS.  They need to know about potential terrorists.

 

 

 

fine, send it to whoever you want, I'll send this little post to my attorney and I'll sue you for this BS threat. its called liable and slander you dick

"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning..." -CS Lewis


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Lux wrote: you have got to

Lux wrote:
you have got to be kidding me. I had an avatar of Dawkins in the "cross heirs" of a cross, and that depicts violence?

You're right, man. Guys, maybe it was really the cross hairs on a rifle that shoots hugs. Or maybe it was just an unusual shadow, did you guys think of that? Maybe Lux is innocent here. 

Actually I don't even know what the avatar in question looked like. I guess it was gone before I saw this thread.

Quote:
But by any chance you do bother the DHS, I could have a case for slander.

No you wouldn't you idiot. The RSS would just look dumb.

Quote:
What a bogus accusation. Apparently you don't like it when the shoe is on the other foot. My little avatar is offensive but "fuck Jesus" and things of that nature aren't offensive?

Jesus is already dead. The Romans got to him first. It was an inside job from the grassy knoll. Even someone who really really wanted to couldn't actually threaten Jesus.

Quote:
If it was a Picture of the pope in the "cross heirs" we wouldn't even be having this disscusion.

One way to find out! 

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Lux wrote: Hambydammit

Lux wrote:
Hambydammit wrote:

Lux, I'm going to tell you this once.  It is your only warning.

RRS does not tolerate depictions of violence or hate.  Your avatar was clearly designed to depict violence to a friend of RRS, and a man who has received legitimate death threats.  I don't think you meant it literally, but you must realize that Dawkins and the other famous atheist writers DO get hate mail and death threats that are legitimate.

Your avatar has been changed to something less inflamatory.  Should your avatar ever depict violence towards a living person again, you will be immediately banned, and your account information will possibly be forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security as a protective measure for RRS.

We do not tolerate terrorism in any form.

you have got to be kidding me. I had an avatar of Dawkins in the "cross heirs" of a cross, and that depicts violence? I think this is about you just not liking it. Home land security? Thats a bunch of crap, and you know it. I wouldn't threaten Richard Dawkins, I don't see how that could be taken as a threat. But by any chance you do bother the DHS, I could have a case for slander. What a bogus accusation. Apparently you don't like it when the shoe is on the other foot. My little avatar is offensive but "fuck Jesus" and things of that nature aren't offensive? You're a freaking joke. Hell, I got that pic off of Flicker. Go torment them with sily threats. If it was a Picture of the pope in the "cross heirs" we wouldn't even be having this disscusion.

Alright, I have been kind until now because I have found you to be entertaining, Lux.  Now, you have erred to such a degree that no one can laugh about it. 

First, "a suggestion of violence against a person who is readily accessible due to religious belief" is the definition of terrorism provided by Homeland Security.  To suggest that you intend harm on the level of a terrorist towards Dawkins is not a difficult inference based on your old avatar. 

So long as a report is made in good faith, the action cannot be considered under the civil action of defamation of character.  That's to say "slander" as you so crudely put it.  How am I aware of all of this?  I'm an attorney.

Now, Hamby is a really nice guy, and he gives folks a lot of leeway.  So, the fact that he has warned you should speak to you loudly.  I would not advise testing the boundries in that fashion again. 

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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Lux wrote: you people

Lux wrote:

you people aren't stupid, the power hungry mod wants to make something out of nothing.. anyone can see that it isn't a typical shot gun "cross Heir" its  a Christian cross. How anyone "in thier right mind" could take that as something else, is just trying to start something. plain and simple

Because it has a cross then violence cannot be concieved.  *ahem*

Have you read the bible?  Haven't you heard some christian rant that homosexuals should be killed?  Ever heard of the christian church burning heretics?  The cross is dripping with blood.  And I'm not talking about Jesus' blood here.

It's dripping with millions of souls.

Want me to prove it?  Ok.

Anti-semitism.

Where the heck does it come from?

The 11th and 12th ecumenical councils held by the Christian church were predomanently concerned with condemning the jews for their insistence for jesus' death.  Holy crusaders would take time out of killing muslims to reclaim the holy land to slaughter any jew they could find.  Anti-semitism was the main founding reason for the holocaust.

Where did it come from?  CHRISTIANITY.

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Too late. Fucktards will

Too late. Fucktards will be fucktards, and Lux is a fucktard.

For the record, Lux has been permanently banned, and I was so pissed off, I went back and IP banned his account from his last home. (Yes, we know shit like that.)

For anyone, atheist or theist alike, reading this. Suggested violence against living people gets me very mad. No such depictions will ever be tolerated, whether against an atheist, theist, or cute little bunny rabbit.

 [edit:  For the record, Rambo-Kitty is shooting a water AK-47, and no actual entities, living or dead, were harmed in the making of my avatar.  Peace.]

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Hamby, Your interesting

Hamby,

Your interesting thread was derailed.  Is there anyway we can pull all of the Lux stuff out into its own trollville thread?

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Lux wrote: fine, send it to

Lux wrote:
fine, send it to whoever you want, I'll send this little post to my attorney and I'll sue you for this BS threat. its called liable and slander you dick

It's called libel. Slander is stuff said in speech. Printed word is libel. You would also need to show that what they had said was a lie and that it actually injured your reputation. Since, honestly, the DHS probably isn't going to care about some dude's dumb avatar, you can't really say it was injurious.

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Quote:

Quote:

Hamby,

Your interesting thread was derailed. Is there anyway we can pull all of the Lux stuff out into its own trollville thread?

All you have to do is go to each of his posts, go to the edit tab, and delete the text, replacing it with something like [mod edit: Text removed for violation of Terms of Service.]

Or, You could prune each of them, but you'd have to start a new thread in trollville, and then graft each one of them individually. Seems like far too much of a pain in the ass. I've wasted exactly as much time on that assholes as I'm going to.

As is my custom, I'm perfectly content to leave everything as it is. I enjoy letting the world see examples of how wonderful Christianity is.

 

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

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Nero wrote: Hamby, Your

Nero wrote:

Hamby,

Your interesting thread was derailed.  Is there anyway we can pull all of the Lux stuff out into its own trollville thread?

 

I apologize for derailing your thread Hamby, its the first thread I saw with his avatar.  Lux's posts have been irritating me for some time now and that avatar totally pissed me off, so I had to say something. 


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It's ok, Steven.  I've

It's ok, Steven.  I've been waiting for him to do something boneheaded, too.  I think everyone has.

I'll trade a derail for being rid of him.

 

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Ok, as much as I do not like

Ok, as much as I do not like Lux for most of his idiotic postings (see I said most not all) I have to say that his picture of the cross hairs or heirs as he says, was not offensive (at least not to me) as i did not see it as a measure of violence but that more or so to me as I interpreted that dawkins is in christians sights (as dawkins himself goes after them in his books and other religions) Now had it been actual cross hairs and not the cross itself, then yes I would say he is advocating violence against someone but in this case no. But this is my personal opinion. I mean anything can be interpreted as violent or offensive, hambydammit, yours with the gun could be seen as a form of violence (cats hatred towards dogs maybe Sticking out tongue), or taking violence as a first measure (again not saying that it does, just it could be interpreted that way), there was someone else for a long time, I cannot recall their name, that held a gun towards the camera. But to target Lux for his relatively minor avatar, as much as I don't like him at all, i think is pushing it, i mean do we target everyone's avatar we don't like? Was it really that offensive?


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    As for your post

    As for your post Ham, I must say it was well put. The meaning of life truely is up to each individual, some find meaning in religion others in helping society, others in more self centred forms (i think many of us theists and atheists alike fall under this one), i personally found meaning and purpose in my life a long time ago, without god or religion (life long atheists here) I work hard, surround myself with good friends and family, enjoy my time on this planet, and try to better myself through knowledge, experience and hopefully gaining some wisdom on the way. I run my own business, and do what i can to help society (I do high end security) and try to help those convicted of a crime to get back into society (I do volunter work with both a municiple level counselling progam as well as a community church backed program)

    I also try to help my family and as much as some say my goals of making large sums of money is selfish and meaningless, however it helps my family here and in the old country as I do support them when ever I can. Now this is my meaning and purpose in life, I do not ask nor do I expect anyone else to accept it or require to do it.  I pay my employees better than anyone else in the industry (by about 8 bucks an hour better) and they usually tend to get other benefits other companies would never do or cover (I recently paid for one of my employees drive ways to be repaved and and paid anothers roof to get fixed as well) Why, my guys work hard and honest for me, therefore I do my best to keep them happy, the rule is simple don't fuck me and i won't fuck you.

      In all of this, no god required, no religion required, and no spirituality required, I am happy and content for the most part (i am human and do have bad days) and generally outgoing, and as many know me, i am at peace with myself and with what I do.


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I'll also attempt to bring

I'll also attempt to bring this thread back on track.

 I don't understand why theists fail to see that the idea of 'meaning' and 'purpose' is subjective.  A value is applied to life, which gives it meaning.  The purpose of that life is guided by biological and sociological 'rules' for lack of a better word.  I fail to see where a supernaturla diety even comes into play here.

My life has meaning to me because I wish to survive, to live.  I have a strong desire to continue living. My life also has meaning to me because I've been taught by my society to value myself, as well as others (if anyone starts in with the morality argument I'm going to vomit).  I imagine if I lived in another culture my life would have a different 'meaning'. 

I'm always appalled when religious folks try to insist that my life somehow has no meaning because I don't believe the same silliness they do.

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

OOOOH... awesome... something to respond to...


 

Hamby, I was replying to Lux; I agree with your OP.  Did I click the wrong "reply" link?  My bad. 

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Quote: Ok, as much as I do

Quote:
Ok, as much as I do not like Lux for most of his idiotic postings (see I said most not all) I have to say that his picture of the cross hairs or heirs as he says, was not offensive (at least not to me) as i did not see it as a measure of violence but that more or so to me as I interpreted that dawkins is in christians sights (as dawkins himself goes after them in his books and other religions) Now had it been actual cross hairs and not the cross itself, then yes I would say he is advocating violence against someone but in this case no. But this is my personal opinion. I mean anything can be interpreted as violent or offensive, hambydammit, yours with the gun could be seen as a form of violence (cats hatred towards dogs maybe Sticking out tongue), or taking violence as a first measure (again not saying that it does, just it could be interpreted that way), there was someone else for a long time, I cannot recall their name, that held a gun towards the camera. But to target Lux for his relatively minor avatar, as much as I don't like him at all, i think is pushing it, i mean do we target everyone's avatar we don't like? Was it really that offensive?

Latin, I understand what you're saying.  Yes, my avatar depicts a cat with a gun, and that can potentially be seen as offensive, but the avatar that Lux had was not an issue because it was offensive.  It was because it targetted a specific, living person, and could be construed as incitement to crime.  We put a certain responsibility on ourselves to disavow any and all statements or depictions that could be reasonably interpretted as incitements to specific violent or illegal acts.

If someone had an avatar with crosshairs focused on Pat Robertson, they would receive exactly the same warning.  I don't know if you remember our Jihadist, but he was banned because he wrote things that specifically called for violence.

Had Lux simply changed his avatar, he could have stayed.  I probably did have a fast trigger finger when he decided to mouth off, but I stand by the decision.  There are only a few things that we have a zero tolerance policy on, but targetted physical violence is one of them.

I hope that clears things up.  It wasn't about offensiveness.  It was about specific targetting of a living individual with implied violence.

 

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Quote: Hamby, I was

Quote:
Hamby, I was replying to Lux; I agree with your OP.  Did I click the wrong "reply" link?  My bad.

Ah.  In any case, I was just expanding on what you said, and pretty much agreeing.  Sorry if it wasn't clear. 

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