Why is it so easy for Americans to believe?

Hambydammit
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Why is it so easy for Americans to believe?

*Fewer than half of all high school seniors read at levels considered adequate to follow even moderately complex directions."

(CDF Reports 12, 1990): 10; Ann Rosewater, "Child and Family Trends: Beyond the Numbers," in Caring for America's Childern.

Translation: There are two elements to this. First, people who don't -- or can't -- read, don't bother to research for themselves. They trust the pastor, or the 10 oclock news, or their mother. Second, basic logic might be simple, but good critical thinking takes practice. The best practice comes from reading relatively complex arguments.

So, in partial response to shelleymtjoy's question about whether religion was as strong as ever, I submit that Americans are as dumb as ever.

 

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

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in a country where blatant

in a country where blatant purveyors of dishonesty thrive (see Fox news, coal industry lobbyists, makers of head-on, etc) it's no suprise that religion has a stranglehold.

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


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Ok, I did live in the

Ok, I did live in the states in the early 90's, I went to school in Manhattan and in L.A. now from my experience, I was a a freaking genius, I never studied, I never did homework (well I did but I normally finished it before class was over) and I had a 99.4 average or a 4.0 the only ones to score higher were the asians (bastards had .2 to .4 higher than me) Now, i knew many of the guys and girls that barely could read and yet passed to the next grade, how I don't know, heck their eassy's were barely readable or understandable. Now coming back to Canada (after being out since '86 and coming back in early '92) I was immediately put in the honour courses (where I was states side) my grades went from 99.4 to 60 percent, I actually had to start to study, do homework and go back to general level instead of honours, and my average even in general was between 77 - 88 percent depending on the course.

There is a huge difference on the education level, yes the U.S had a great level of wealth, and great colleges and universities, but , at the high school, junior high there are huge problems (i never attended a U.S. university so i have no clue how good or bad they are so I won't really comment on them). Students should never pass a grade if they cannot read at that grade level or generally pass if they don't understand the material of the courses. Education is a great tool, but states side, at least in my experience school is just a place to leave your kids during the day.


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I don't know what relation

I don't know what relation academic performance has upon a person's guillability to spiritual beliefs. I'm sure there are Phd holders who attend church but as to what percentage I can only speculate.

  My perception ( anecdotal evidence ) is that most people simply adopt the religion that they are surrounded by...a sort of monkey see, monkey do effect.

I became a Christian because I live in North America and was raised by Christians.  I suppose if I was raised in India I would have probably become a Hindu.  If I was born in Thailand I would probably have adopted Buddhism.  Born in Iran, a Muslim.....

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

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Quote: *Fewer than half of

Quote:

*Fewer than half of all high school seniors read at levels considered adequate to follow even moderately complex directions."

(CDF Reports 12, 1990): 10; Ann Rosewater, "Child and Family Trends: Beyond the Numbers," in Caring for America's Childern.

 

 

 

I don't think that's the problem. Many countries have high education quality and high Theist populations.


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One of the theories about

One of the theories about American religiousity I've heard in Europe is a lack of a welfare state.

People are in constant economic fear and know the state/government/society won't aid them if they fall on hard times so they turn to sky fairies


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To be clear, I have never

To be clear, I have never put forth a single cause of American religiosity.  I merely point out a part of the big picture.

To Pineapple, which country are you thinking of that is highly educated and deeply fundamentalist?

To Mrjonno, there is evidence that economic fear is a major cause of depression and family instability in America.  It's also well known that religion caters well to those who are not in a position to help themselves.  I don't have a problem with the idea that the American welfare system has an effect on our religiosity.  I'd hesitate to guess how much of an effect, though.

 

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

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Quote: I don't know what

Quote:
I don't know what relation academic performance has upon a person's guillability to spiritual beliefs. I'm sure there are Phd holders who attend church but as to what percentage I can only speculate.

Yes.  This is a very difficult thing to measure.  I've known many PhD's who go to church.  The trick is, most of them who've had a couple of beers with me have started dropping "code words" when I mentioned my atheism.  Bottom line, my anecdotal evidence is that many educated people adhere to religion without believing in it.

People almost always adhere to the religion their parents practice, but it's very difficult to develop surveys that accurately measure whether people literally believe the religion, or believe in adhering to the religion.  It's a big difference.

 

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

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Last thing for now.  I'm

Last thing for now.  I'm not on my computer, so I don't have the source, but I'm sure that the correlation between religiosity and education/intelligence only starts becoming dramatic at very high levels -- both for intelligence and education.  Thus, among workaday scientists, the number of adherents (see my previous post) to religion is nearly as high as non-scientists, but among the elite, atheism is much more pronounced.

 

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

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Hambydammit wrote:   To

Hambydammit wrote:

 

To Pineapple, which country are you thinking of that is highly educated and deeply fundamentalist? 

 

Wait, a minute, are you talking fundamentalism or belief in general?

 

If you're talking about fundamentalism, then I don't think there is. 


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Yeah, I don't want to

Yeah, I don't want to derail the thread with another moderate vs. fundamentalist debate, but remember that my opinion is moderates are people who aren't quite smart or brave enough to give up religion entirely, and fundamentalists are those who are too dumb to live in the same world with the rest of us. So definitely, I would expect the least educated countries to be fundamentalist, the moderately educated to be mostly religious, but predominantly moderate, and the most highly educated countries to be substantially more non-theist.

Curiously enough...

Country

Percent who say religion is very important (Pew survey)

IQ
(from Lynn & Vanhanen)

Angola

80

69

Argentina 39 96
Bangladesh 88 81
Bolivia 66 85
Brazil 77 87
Bulgaria 13 93
Canada 30 97
Czech Republic 11 97
France 11 98
Germany 21 102
Ghana 84 71
Great Britain 33 100
Guatemala 80 79
Honduras 72 84
India 92 81
Indonesia 95 89
Italy 27 102
Ivory Coast 91 71
Japan 12 105
Kenya 85 72
Mali 90 68
Mexico 57 87
Nigeria 92 67
Pakistan 91 81
Peru 69 90
Philipines 88 86
Poland 36 99
Russia 14 96
Senegal 97 64
Slovakia 29 95
South Africa 87 72
South Korea 25 106
Tanzania 83 72
Turkey 65 90
United States 59 98
Uganda 85 73
Ukraine 35 96
Uzbekistan 35 87
Venezuela 61 88
Vietnam 24 96

 

 

This data begs questions, of course.  The IQ rankings don't take into account many aspects of public education.  Also, there is no way to extract the actual percentages of smart vs. dumb people -- averages are just not very useful for that.  This is not meant to be a definitive argument.  It just corroborates my theory, which is that the more educated/intelligent a country is, the less religious they'll tend to be.

Interestingly, those plucky Brits who keep talking about how little influence the church has there -- note that Great Britain is the only country surveyed with an average IQ over 100 and religious fervency over 30%.

 

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

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ProzacDeathWish wrote: I

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

I don't know what relation academic performance has upon a person's guillability to spiritual beliefs.

I think the larger picture was that people who are lazy tend to have lower academic performance.  Sure, someone might grasp a concept without studying but you don't learn to read without opening a book.  Because these people aren't in the habit of reading/researching on their own, they are more likely to believe whatever they hear.  This spoonfeeding is typical within religion.

I don't doubt that some people are highly capable and willing yet education is unavailable to them or that highly educated people choose to believe.  However, an unfortunate consequence of technology and the overall progress of civilization is that it generally assists people in being lazy, if that is the path they choose. 

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Hambydammit wrote:

 

To Pineapple, which country are you thinking of that is highly educated and deeply fundamentalist?

 

Wait, a minute, are you talking fundamentalism or belief in general?

 

If you're talking about fundamentalism, then I don't think there is.

I remember Sam Harris mentioning that poverty and lack of education are not neccessary for one to be a fundamentist, even a radical fundamentalist. He was referring to the 15 Saudi Arabian hijackers who help commit the 911 terror attacks.

These men were from economically secure backgrounds and very educated. Apparently they were highly intelligent individuals as well.

Nevertheless, their critical thinking skills were not applied to their religious beliefs and the rest..unfortunately...is history.

 

 

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

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Quote: I think the larger

Quote:
I think the larger picture was that people who are lazy tend to have lower academic performance.  Sure, someone might grasp a concept without studying but you don't learn to read without opening a book.  Because these people aren't in the habit of reading/researching on their own, they are more likely to believe whatever they hear.  This spoonfeeding is typical within religion.

If I ever get around to writing a book, I'm going to ask you to be one of my proofreaders.  That's exactly what I was trying to say.

I'm not trying to draw an exact correlation.  I'm trying to demonstrate a trend.

 

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

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Hambydammit wrote:Yeah, I

Hambydammit wrote:

Yeah, I don't want to derail the thread with another moderate vs. fundamentalist debate, but remember that my opinion is moderates are people who aren't quite smart or brave enough to give up religion entirely, and fundamentalists are those who are too dumb to live in the same world with the rest of us. So definitely, I would expect the least educated countries to be fundamentalist, the moderately educated to be mostly religious, but predominantly moderate, and the most highly educated countries to be substantially more non-theist.

Curiously enough...

Country

Percent who say religion is very important(Pew survey)

IQ
(from Lynn & Vanhanen)

Angola

80

69

Argentina3996
Bangladesh8881
Bolivia6685
Brazil7787
Bulgaria1393
Canada3097
Czech Republic1197
France1198
Germany21102
Ghana8471
Great Britain33100
Guatemala8079
Honduras7284
India9281
Indonesia9589
Italy27102
Ivory Coast9171
Japan12105
Kenya8572
Mali9068
Mexico5787
Nigeria9267
Pakistan9181
Peru6990
Philipines8886
Poland3699
Russia1496
Senegal9764
Slovakia2995
South Africa8772
South Korea25106
Tanzania8372
Turkey6590
United States5998
Uganda8573
Ukraine3596
Uzbekistan3587
Venezuela6188
Vietnam2496

 

 

This data begs questions, of course.  The IQ rankings don't take into account many aspects of public education.  Also, there is no way to extract the actual percentages of smart vs. dumb people -- averages are just not very useful for that.  This is not meant to be a definitive argument.  It just corroborates my theory, which is that the more educated/intelligent a country is, the less religious they'll tend to be.

Interestingly, those plucky Brits who keep talking about how little influence the church has there -- note that Great Britain is the only country surveyed with an average IQ over 100 and religious fervency over 30%.

 

Urm...according to those IQ averages the average person in Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda are technically retarded according to some reports of retardation level.

I find that rather hard to believe.

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


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Here are my thought about

Here are my thought about why it is so easy for Americans to believe.

1. Default religion. Many have not thought too deeply about religious beliefs. For those people, whatever beliefs they were raised with will remain their beliefs. In America, Christianity is the default religion.

2. Market forces. There is a strong financial incentive for people in the religion business to convert non-believers and support believers in their faith. There is no corresponding financial incentive for disbelief. Atheists have yet to think of a good reason that someone should give us 10% of their earnings for convincing them that there is not a god.

3. Social incentive. Churches are great places to make connections. Fellowship is a powerful incentive for people to maintain religious faith.

4. The Lottery Effect. Have you ever noticed that far more lottery tickets are sold when the value of the prize gets high. People would rather spend a dollar on an infinitesimal chance for a multi-million dollar payoff than a modest chance at a modest award. The reward offered by religious proponents is likewise great, luring people who might otherwise never be interested. Atheists cannot offer eternal life. The best we can do is help people reclaim the rest of this life, the only real life they'll ever have. But even that is not altogether positive. Life without the comforts of religion and the community it brings may appear to be less enjoyable than life with religion. We cannot even offer the satisfaction of being able to say, "I told you so." The lottery effect is not the same as Pascal's wager, but it has some characteristics in common. The Lottery Effect does not provide an incentive to believe. It just explains why some people reap a great psychological reward from belief.

5. Entertainment value. Sometimes we atheists fail to take this into account, but religion can be entertaining. The music is good. Many preachers are very good storytellers. For many, the pomp and dignity of Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox services can be very moving.

6. The God-Shaped Hole. It seems to me that ther is an innate human tendency to seek communion with the divine. The existence of that tendency does not necessarily mean that the target that we seek exists. There is a yearning that seems to be universal among human cultures, although not among individuals. Like numerous other human characteristics, (e.g. height, intelligence, and happiness), this yearning probably occurs in a standard bell curve like distribution among human beings. There have been numerous theories as to why evolution would lead to such a yearning. At this point I think the correct answer is that we don't know why it's there. (See, e.g. The God Gene by Dean Hamer.) But I think there is good evidence that it is. It is easy to observe it in others. Perhaps atheists are simply those who are two deviations from the mean in yearning for the divine.

7. Educational Failures. The American education system does a poor job of teaching critical thinking. We have poor science education.

8. Pascal's wager attracts a few. I think this is a minor one, but it explains it for a few.

9. Cognitive Illusions. People are superstitious about a lot of things. Huge percentages of Americans believe in things like astrology, reincarnation, ghosts, and so on. We are subject to many cognitive illusions that lead to superstition. There is a lot of work on cognitive illusions out there. I'm an eternal beginner in studying the subject, but some good references are:

  • Inevitable Illusions, Piatelli;
  • Don't Believe Everything you Think, Kida;
  • A Mind of its Own, Fine;
  • Why People Believe Weird Things and How we Believe by Shermer;
  • Calculated Risks, Gigerenzer;
  • Mistakes were Made, but Not By Me, Tavris and Aronson;
  • How we Know What Isn't So, Gilovich, and
  • Innumeracy, Paulos.

In a TED lecture (www.ted.com), Daniel Dennett suggested that religion can be analogized to an evolving organism. it changes to fit better in its environment and compete with its competitors. The "environment" for religion is the human mind in which it exists. The religions we see practiced today are honed by competition to be most fit to take advantage of our cognitive illusions, fulfill our desires, and survive in the environment of the fallible human brain.

10. Self-Deception. For some people, probably a pretty small minority of believers, there is such a strong desire to believe that they can actually make themselves believe. I think the capacity for self-delusion over the long term is limited. Otherwise we could self-delude ourselves into ecstasy and all be deliriously happy.

This is really just a beginning. I am certainly wrong about a few of these. Unfortunately, I have no way of determining which of these I'm wrong about. I could be wrong about every one of them.

Thandarr


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Watcher

Watcher wrote:

Urm...according to those IQ averages the average person in Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda are technically retarded according to some reports of retardation level.

I find that rather hard to believe.

It depends a lot on the demographic of the people given the tests.  Most IQ tests are based on things that would be taught in school, what you and I would consider rudimentary education.  There are many places in a lot of these countries where such education quite simply isn't available so the people don't even get the opportunity to learn the things being asked in the IQ tests.  I'm sure if they had this opportunity as we did then their average marks would be much higher.

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shelleymtjoy wrote: I

shelleymtjoy wrote:

I think the larger picture was that people who are lazy tend to have lower academic performance. Sure, someone might grasp a concept without studying but you don't learn to read without opening a book. Because these people aren't in the habit of reading/researching on their own, they are more likely to believe whatever they hear. This spoonfeeding is typical within religion.

I don't doubt that some people are highly capable and willing yet education is unavailable to them or that highly educated people choose to believe. However, an unfortunate consequence of technology and the overall progress of civilization is that it generally assists people in being lazy, if that is the path they choose.

 

I definitely agree.  We (generalization) no longer need to study a subject in order to sound knowledgeable.  We just have to go on the internet and wiki it.  I admit that I am guilty of this from time to time though generally I do this in order to refresh my memory.  However, I also am aware that I cannot believe everything I read and hear. 

 There is a communication theory called the magic bullet effect/ hypodermic needle effect.  This theory was developed in the 20's but the general idea was that people were concerned that mass media could 'shoot the desires of the source directly into the thoughts, attitudes, and subsequent behaviors of the receivers'.  Though this theory is outdated I think there is a small part of it that remains true.  The problem lies not with the media (technology) but with the receivers.  Most 'receivers' of information lack critical thinking skills and motivation - they tend to just simply believe what they want.  

 Shelley's absolutely correct in her assessment that technology has reinforced intellectual laziness.  While I think there are definitely other aspects of American persona that feed the religious zealousness, technology still plays a part.  But it's not technology's fault - it's the people's. 

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thingy wrote:Watcher

thingy wrote:
Watcher wrote:

Urm...according to those IQ averages the average person in Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda are technically retarded according to some reports of retardation level.

I find that rather hard to believe.

It depends a lot on the demographic of the people given the tests.  Most IQ tests are based on things that would be taught in school, what you and I would consider rudimentary education.  There are many places in a lot of these countries where such education quite simply isn't available so the people don't even get the opportunity to learn the things being asked in the IQ tests.  I'm sure if they had this opportunity as we did then their average marks would be much higher.

My mistake.  I thought IQ tests were supposed to test intelligence, not education.

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Watcher wrote: My mistake.

Watcher wrote:

My mistake. I thought IQ tests were supposed to test intelligence, not education.

They are, but MANY that I see are still based on things we'd only learn through education.  It's why I hold little to no sway on IQ scores, I've seen too many biased towards one area of knowledge (ie, maths, geography or english is given too much sway) and very few that don't require education so could be used globally with the state of the world today.

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Did 2 weeks of posts vanish

Did 2 weeks of posts vanish again?!


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stuntgibbon wrote: Did 2

stuntgibbon wrote:
Did 2 weeks of posts vanish again?!

Yeah.  Server crash.


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Is it hosted at the Vatican?

Is it hosted at the Vatican?


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  2 weeks lost,  Server

  2 weeks lost,  Server crash. That hurts. Why no double back up ?

--------------------

OP , I think fixing the TV should be a top agenda, 

The fucking tv doesn't even promote and teach the computer, let alone balance xians with freethinkers etc etc etc etc etc, The tv is hugely important for raising world wide LOGIC ....  

 


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GROW UP so called athesists

Atheism is the new Goth, which was the new punk, just like the kids in school who followed those ways, did it to belong to something because no one would pick them to play on their kick ball team; now have found a way to stand for something because you cant stand for anything else. Wonderful that you have found a way to celebrate the absence of belief. A big group of scared little people, scared to say they stand for something, hope in something, believe in something; afraid they will be laughed at by the other kiddies. I say GROW UP! All of you know of course, because you all already know everything-- that there really is no TRUE atheist. If you're interested and can screw up the courage--Ill explain.

The Devils Greatest Trick was convincing the World he does not exist.


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discipleboy, "Ill

discipleboy, "Ill explain."

-----------

Please do I am waiting .....

Jesus, an ATHEIST,  hangs out with Punk Rockers of course ....


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discipleboy wrote: Atheism

discipleboy wrote:
Atheism is the new Goth, which was the new punk, just like the kids in school who followed those ways, did it to belong to something because no one would pick them to play on their kick ball team; now have found a way to stand for something because you cant stand for anything else.  Wonderful that you have found a way to celebrate the absence of belief.  A big group of scared little people, scared to say they stand for something, hope in something, believe in something; afraid they will be laughed at by the other kiddies.  I say GROW UP!  All of you know of course, because you all already now everything-- that there really is no TRUE athesist.  If your interested and can screw up the courage--Ill explain.

This has nothing to do with the OP.  Stay on topic and keep your useless and baseless insults to your self.  Consider this a warning.

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discipleboy wrote: Atheism

discipleboy wrote:
Atheism is the new Goth, which was the new punk, just like the kids in school who followed those ways, did it to belong to something because no one would pick them to play on their kick ball team; now have found a way to stand for something because you cant stand for anything else. Wonderful that you have found a way to celebrate the absence of belief. A big group of scared little people, scared to say they stand for something, hope in something, believe in something; afraid they will be laughed at by the other kiddies. I say GROW UP! All of you know of course, because you all already now everything-- that there really is no TRUE athesist. If your interested and can screw up the courage--Ill explain.

What's an athesist?  Would I need a topical cream? 


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Quote: If your interested

Quote:
If your interested and can screw up the courage--Ill explain.

For that matter, what is my "interested"?

If my interested (verb??) and can screw up the courage... I had no idea that my interested could screw. I wish I knew what the mystery verb was. Oh, well. Perhaps god doesn't care about grammar. After all, you just need to believe. You don't need to be able to communicate your belief effectively.

Oh, but then there's that whole "Go forth and preach the gospel to all men" bit. I guess grammar is important after all.

Hmmmm..... I think I've typed long enough that if discipleboy actually reads my post, he'll come to the conclusion that he's wasted a good two minutes of his life. This is only fair, since I wasted two minutes of my life reading his.

 

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

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I like how we get accused of

I like how we get accused of being on a fadwagon, then they refer to themselves as sheep. 


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So Called Atheists

It looks as though your babysitter is going to keep this thread from running, by all means let's protect ignorance. By the way my insults were well based, and a measured response to some of the verbal sewage spewed on this site. Have you all been reduced to contriving your victories by criticizing grammer?

Before we begin let's agree on a definition, Atheist = One that asserts the lack of existence of a diety.

The Devils Greatest Trick was convincing the World he does not exist.


wavefreak
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discipleboy wrote:

discipleboy wrote:

Atheist = One that asserts the lack of existance of a diety.

Careful. In making a positive assertion the burden of proof is yours. A better definition is "an atheist is a person the understands that the concept of god is empirically unfalsifiable and as such chooses the non-existence of god as the default position." 


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Quote: Before we begin

Quote:
Before we begin let's agree on a definition, Atheist = One that asserts the lack of existance of a diety.

False.

If you check your critical thinking, you'll see that the one who makes an assertion is the positive claimant.  The person who does not make a positive claim is under no obligation to assert anything.  Since atheists do not claim that anything exists, their position is the default.  Theists claim that a god exist.  They are the ones making an assertion.

So, a better definition is:

Atheist: One who does not believe that a deity exists.

If we were to hold to your reasoning, people who do not believe in six foot tall invisible housecats would be asserting the non-existence of six foot tall invisible housecats.  Have you ever met someone who goes around asserting such a thing?  Clearly not.  In fact, we can come up with a virtually infinite list of things which do not exist.  If we were forced to defend the position that all of these things do not exist, we'd never get around to examining those things which obviously do exist!

What you're doing is shifting the burden of proof.  You're trying to say that we are claiming something.  If you read the essay I linked, you'll see that this is impossible.  

 

 

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

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I agree with you to a point

I agree with you to a point but your definitions are backwards.  An agnostic is the one that chooses the non-existence of god as a default.  By definition an atheist is someone without theism.  These are they that actually assert that fact.  Membes of this forum proove that by refering to themselves as "strong atheists" which in their definition is someone who strongly asserts the aforementioned definition.  Your "better" definition is actually a ploy allowing an ignorant atheist to hideout as an agnostic.

The Devils Greatest Trick was convincing the World he does not exist.


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discipleboy wrote: I agree

discipleboy wrote:
I agree with you to a point but your definitions are backwards.  An agnostic is the one that chooses the non-existence of god as a default.  By definition an atheist is someone without theism.  These are they that actually assert that fact.  Membes of this forum proove that by refering to themselves as "strong atheists" which in their definition is someone who strongly asserts the aforementioned definition.  Your "better" definition is actually a ploy allowing an ignorant atheist to hideout as an agnostic.

Not everyone on this site says they are a strong atheist.  Many, but not all, atheists say they see no proof in god and therefore have no belief.  

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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discipleboy wrote: I agree

discipleboy wrote:
I agree with you to a point but your definitions are backwards. An agnostic is the one that chooses the non-existence of god as a default. By definition an atheist is someone without theism. These are they that actually assert that fact. Membes of this forum proove that by refering to themselves as "strong atheists" which in their definition is someone who strongly asserts the aforementioned definition. Your "better" definition is actually a ploy allowing an ignorant atheist to hideout as an agnostic.

 

Strong athesim as promoted on this site does not consider the concept of god as a valid idea. They need neither to prove nor disprove the existence of a deity. The very idea of a deity has no merit.


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Quote: I agree with you to

Quote:
I agree with you to a point but your definitions are backwards.

Did you even bother to read the link I posted?  Do you understand what a positive claim is?

Quote:
An agnostic is the one that chooses the non-existence of god as a default.

No, an agnostic is a person who has no knowledge of a god.  All atheists have to be agnostic, for if there is no god, it is impossible to have knowledge of it. 

You need to look into the psychology of belief and knowledge before you start claiming that agnostics or atheists choose their beliefs.

 

Quote:
By definition an atheist is someone without theism.

Here we agree.

 

Quote:
These are they that actually assert that fact.

Those are them what gives atheism badness in name.

Dude, how difficult can this be?  Do you go about calling yourself a non-Buddhist?  No, you don't.  Neither do you call yourself a non-Bertrand-Russell's-Teapotist.  Neither do you call yourself a non-Wiccan.  You simply don't believe in Wicca or Buddhism.  You don't have to prove that they are false, do you?

 

Quote:
Membes of this forum proove that by refering to themselves as "strong atheists" which in their definition is someone who strongly asserts the aforementioned definition.

If you insist on judging all of atheism by strong atheists, I will insist on judging all theists by Tomas de Torquemada. 

Wouldn't you get really upset if I took the most ridiculous Christian belief I could find and told you that because someone believes something patently stupid, Christianity is wrong?  If someone claims they can prove conclusively that there is no god, that's their own misunderstanding of critical thinking, and doesn't have any effect on who is actually making a claim.

You can't prove there aren't any unicorns, and I can't prove there isn't a teapot in orbit around Jupiter.

 

Quote:
Your "better" definition is actually a ploy allowing an ignorant atheist to hideout as an agnostic.

Are you done making a strawman by taking a philosophically weak interpretation of atheism and knocking it down?  Would you care to discuss the philosophically sound arguments?

 

 

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

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Hmmmm..... I think I've typed long enough that if discipleboy actually reads my post, he'll come to the conclusion that he's wasted a good two minutes of his life. This is only fair, since I wasted two minutes of my life reading his.

Maybe I'm just particularly depressed and in need of motivation today.  However, this is the second best quote I have come upon today.  We really need to make some posters.  (OT, I know.  Sorry...) 


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shelleymtjoy

shelleymtjoy wrote:
Hambydammit wrote:

Hmmmm..... I think I've typed long enough that if discipleboy actually reads my post, he'll come to the conclusion that he's wasted a good two minutes of his life. This is only fair, since I wasted two minutes of my life reading his.

Maybe I'm just particularly depressed and in need of motivation today. However, this is the second best quote I have come upon today. We really need to make some posters. (OT, I know. Sorry...)

 

So wht's the best one? You can't tease us like that! 


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So wht's the best one? You

So wht's the best one? You can't tease us like that!

Sapient: "A weak atheist might cry for a few days a weak theist may pray for a few, and both of them are wasting the little time they get."


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discipleboy wrote: Atheism

discipleboy wrote:
Atheism is the new Goth, which was the new punk, just like the kids in school who followed those ways,

You've confessed your own vacuity here. Not only is the comparison shallow, but trite and common -- like its bearer. Punk, goth, new romanticism, etc., existed simultaneously, and if atheism is such a trend, someone forgot to tell everybody, because none of the atheists I've met are in uniform. Atheism far predates these trends, spans generations in ways they do not, and is by definition a single position on a single issue. The comparison is dishonest and stupid. If, on the other hand, you wanted to claim that an affinity exists from an actual fashion trend to a philosophical position (i.e. the aforementioned '90s version of goth and the Wiccan 'religion' ), that would be a different story, and probably better expressed by someone with a better than sixth grade vocabulary. It still wouldn't be a basis for criticism, though, since, as you'll find, few people here have beliefs as shallow and unexamined as your own.

discipleboy wrote:
did it to belong to something because no one would pick them to play on their kick ball team; now have found a way to stand for something because you cant stand for anything else. Wonderful that you have found a way to celebrate the absence of belief. A big group of scared little people, scared to say they stand for something, hope in something, believe in something; afraid they will be laughed at by the other kiddies. I say GROW UP!

Thanks for demonstrating what psychological projection looks like, if I ever need an example.

discipleboy wrote:
All of you know of course, because you all already know everything-- that there really is no TRUE atheist. If you're interested and can screw up the courage--Ill explain.

Please do. Start a new thread about it if you want.


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shelleymtjoy

shelleymtjoy wrote:

Sapient: "A weak atheist might cry for a few days a weak theist may pray for a few, and both of them are wasting the little time they get."

Why would a weak atheist, or agnostic atheist in other words, cry for a few days a week?

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


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    I am not suprised by

    I am not suprised by that quote at all. The principal at my school have let students with failing grades pass if their parents come to school and talk to them. I knew a person that graduated even though they never did their senior project. It's crazy how they would just let these people pass. It is making having a high school diploma less of an achievement.

They don't teach you how to think in public schools. From what I can remember, I was always taught to memorize answers for a test and then take the test the next day. You wouldn't learn anything from  that.  


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And not to mention that a

And not to mention that a good amount of federal funding is just linked to the behavior you outlined (prepping for tests, not thinking.)


 


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Watcher, the quote was


Watcher, the quote was pulled from the thread about the data loss.  However, I think it fits for any crisis.

I'm actually going to be on topic for a change now though... The New Yorker (Dec 31, 2007) has an interesting story titled "A Twilight of the Book."  Here's a quote:  "More alarming are indicators that Americans are losing not just the will to read but the ability."  It goes on to site some stats on loss of reading skill. 


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shelleymtjoy wrote: I think

shelleymtjoy wrote:
I think the larger picture was that people who are lazy tend to have lower academic performance. 

 Or those who live in war-shredded, poverty crushed shells of nations where staying alive is the priority of every waking day.  Western academic criteria don't quite cut it in such environments.


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shelleymtjoy wrote:

[mod edit: double post deleted]


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Wyzaard

Wyzaard wrote:

shelleymtjoy wrote:
I think the larger picture was that people who are lazy tend to have lower academic performance. 

 Or those who live in war-shredded, poverty crushed shells of nations where staying alive is the priority of every waking day.  Western academic criteria don't quite cut it in such environments.

I agree.  But I don't think most Americans can use that excuse.

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