The R.R.S. Reformation -- a worthwhile read for atheist and theist alike.

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The R.R.S. Reformation -- a worthwhile read for atheist and theist alike.

Good evening R.R.S. I've recently been contemplating the impact the R.R.S. will have on the future. I know what the R.R.S.'s ultimate goals are, but I began thinking about other possible outcomes that may come about in the future as a result of the efforts by the R.R.S. (and other groups with similar conviction) One of the outcomes I found most hopeful and profound, being a believer in God, would be a religious reformation.

Now before too many banners of protest are raised, may I make an effort to clarify myself.

  My idea of a R.R.S. Reformation is that of a metaphorical notice posted on the front door of every church throughout the world. A big, "HEY! What do you think of this?!" for all the world to see. Perhaps allow the finger pointers to realize the other three. 

I feel that with the onslaught of evidence in favor of evolution and other scientific advances shows a necessity for times to change within the religious mind set of the world. Furthermore, difficult arguments concerning God and other metaphysical beliefs held by believers would cause some well needed reflection, and perhaps, reform. Reform to what? I cannot pretend to speculate. But, I'm sure that we all have some special place in our heart for the thing we hate most about religion. Maybe the reform could start there. 

So what do you think R.R.S.? Atheist and theist alike, what are your prospects for possible reform outcomes if the R.R.S.'s ultimate end cannot be achieved? Would you be pleased or just as uneasy/disdainful toward religious dogma as you are now?

 

 

 

 

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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The primary difficulty is

The primary difficulty is that people don't WANT to give up theism. I was at a funeral yesterday for a 17 year old boy killed in a road rage related car accident. His family is Bhuddist. The afterlife came up multiple times during the proceedings. I can't see how the majority of people will abandon theism when it is so fundamental to the way the deal with reality. The ratioanl arguments for atheism are completely lost on most theists. So unless theism is outlawed, I can't see it ever being marginalized.

Another example is that Bush 1, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were at the ceremony commerating the Billy Graham Library. What does this say about the importance of theism in politics?

 Theism meets a need that atheism can't. It is irrelevant that it is irrational. Until atheism can meet these needs, people will never embrace it.


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jread wrote: Good evening

jread wrote:

Good evening R.R.S. I've recently been contemplating the impact the R.R.S. will have on the future. I know what the R.R.S.'s ultimate goals are, but I began thinking about other possible outcomes that may come about in the future as a result of the efforts by the R.R.S. (and other groups with similar conviction) One of the outcomes I found most hopeful and profound, being a believer in God, would be a religious reformation.

Now before too many banners of protest are raised, may I make an effort to clarify myself.

My idea of a R.R.S. Reformation is that of a metaphorical notice posted on the front door of every church throughout the world. A big, "HEY! What do you think of this?!" for all the world to see. Perhaps allow the finger pointers to realize the other three.

I feel that with the onslaught of evidence in favor of evolution and other scientific advances shows a necessity for times to change within the religious mind set of the world. Furthermore, difficult arguments concerning God and other metaphysical beliefs held by believers would cause some well needed reflection, and perhaps, reform. Reform to what? I cannot pretend to speculate. But, I'm sure that we all have some special place in our heart for the thing we hate most about religion. Maybe the reform could start there.

So what do you think R.R.S.? Atheist and theist alike, what are your prospects for possible reform outcomes if the R.R.S.'s ultimate end cannot be achieved? Would you be pleased or just as uneasy/disdainful toward religious dogma as you are now?

 I will never be comfortable with, or accepting of, dogmatic thinking, especially if it's religious dogma.  The only kind of religious reform that I would be open to is the complete and total removal of all religious texts from the equation(I'm not referring to a book burning, but rather a worldwide agreement that none of these books are the word of any god).  I can understand the "need" to believe in an afterlife, or the "need" to think that someone out there is watching over you, and if you want tio believe that, then fine.  However, when your religious beliefs compel you to, for example, drag a helpless 17 year-old girl into the street and stone and beat her to death simply because she was in the company of a male of a different sect, then those beliefs need to be tossed into history's trashcan as quickly as possible.  

"The powerful have always created false images of the weak."


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wavefreak wrote: The

wavefreak wrote:

The primary difficulty is that people don't WANT to give up theism. I was at a funeral yesterday for a 17 year old boy killed in a road rage related car accident. His family is Bhuddist. The afterlife came up multiple times during the proceedings. I can't see how the majority of people will abandon theism when it is so fundamental to the way the deal with reality. The ratioanl arguments for atheism are completely lost on most theists. So unless theism is outlawed, I can't see it ever being marginalized.

Another example is that Bush 1, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were at the ceremony commerating the Billy Graham Library. What does this say about the importance of theism in politics?

Theism meets a need that atheism can't. It is irrelevant that it is irrational. Until atheism can meet these needs, people will never embrace it.

 I'm thinking more along lines of: what if theism and religious dogma remain? What would the impact of groups like the R.R.S. have on the state of religious ideals? 

I realize that ridding the Earth of religious beliefs is quite improbable. But, that's definitely not reason to stop trying to remove religion and irrationality. 

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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Roisin Dubh wrote: I will

Roisin Dubh wrote:

I will never be comfortable with, or accepting of, dogmatic thinking, especially if it's religious dogma. The only kind of religious reform that I would be open to is the complete and total removal of all religious texts from the equation(I'm not referring to a book burning, but rather a worldwide agreement that none of these books are the word of any god). I can understand the "need" to believe in an afterlife, or the "need" to think that someone out there is watching over you, and if you want tio believe that, then fine. However, when your religious beliefs compel you to, for example, drag a helpless 17 year-old girl into the street and stone and beat her to death simply because she was in the company of a male of a different sect, then those beliefs need to be tossed into history's trashcan as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your reply Roisin. I have a feeling many others will feel the same way.

If, hypothetically, you could change one thing about religion, what would it be? It sounds like from your post it might be the complete rejection of violence within religious context under all circumstances. I would have to agree that that would be a great change on a global level.  

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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jread wrote: I'm thinking

jread wrote:

I'm thinking more along lines of: what if theism and religious dogma remain? What would the impact of groups like the R.R.S. have on the state of religious ideals?

I realize that ridding the Earth of religious beliefs is quite improbable. But, that's definitely not reason to stop trying to remove religion and irrationality.

 

I think the best outcome is an uneasy truce. Theists will never abdicate power because those in power are addicted to it, theist or otherwise.

The worst outcome will involve violence.  


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wavefreak wrote: jread

wavefreak wrote:
jread wrote:

I'm thinking more along lines of: what if theism and religious dogma remain? What would the impact of groups like the R.R.S. have on the state of religious ideals?

I realize that ridding the Earth of religious beliefs is quite improbable. But, that's definitely not reason to stop trying to remove religion and irrationality.

 

I think the best outcome is an uneasy truce. Theists will never abdicate power because those in power are addicted to it, theist or otherwise.

The worst outcome will involve violence.

I think humanity does not have a good dose of education on animal behaivor. We ARE part of the animal kingdom. We exibit the same alpha male social structure as other species.

Richard Dawkins gives a good example of bird behaivor in "The God Delusion". A dominate bird will tollerate others if it feels that the subordinates are not challinging it. But if a subordinate trys to help the alpha male, the alpha male will violently reject the help.

Why humans think that politics and religion and war is any different is because we still have yet to accept ourselves as part of life insted of being above life.

There are always going to be dissagreements even within the same labels. It is how humans learn to deal with those dissagreements that is the key. 


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We call it "The Perpetual

We call it "The Perpetual Enlightenment."  It's already underway.  The Blasphemy Challenge was officially the opening salvo.  Prepare for more.

 

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Brian37 wrote: I think

Brian37 wrote:

I think humanity does not have a good dose of education on animal behaivor. We ARE part of the animal kingdom. We exibit the same alpha male social structure as other species.

Richard Dawkins gives a good example of bird behaivor in "The God Delusion". A dominate bird will tollerate others if it feels that the subordinates are not challinging it. But if a subordinate trys to help the alpha male, the alpha male will violently reject the help.

Why humans think that politics and religion and war is any different is because we still have yet to accept ourselves as part of life insted of being above life.

There are always going to be dissagreements even within the same labels. It is how humans learn to deal with those dissagreements that is the key.


 

Exactly. 


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jread wrote: Roisin Dubh

jread wrote:
Roisin Dubh wrote:

I will never be comfortable with, or accepting of, dogmatic thinking, especially if it's religious dogma. The only kind of religious reform that I would be open to is the complete and total removal of all religious texts from the equation(I'm not referring to a book burning, but rather a worldwide agreement that none of these books are the word of any god). I can understand the "need" to believe in an afterlife, or the "need" to think that someone out there is watching over you, and if you want tio believe that, then fine. However, when your religious beliefs compel you to, for example, drag a helpless 17 year-old girl into the street and stone and beat her to death simply because she was in the company of a male of a different sect, then those beliefs need to be tossed into history's trashcan as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your reply Roisin. I have a feeling many others will feel the same way.

If, hypothetically, you could change one thing about religion, what would it be? It sounds like from your post it might be the complete rejection of violence within religious context under all circumstances. I would have to agree that that would be a great change on a global level.

I'm in agreement with Roisin, but within the context of violence, I would need to include bigotry and proselytizing.  I feel those are "violence with words." 

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wavefreak wrote: Theism

wavefreak wrote:

Theism meets a need that atheism can't. It is irrelevant that it is irrational. Until atheism can meet these needs, people will never embrace it.

I felt the need to quote the above in an attempt to emphasize it, as it rings very true. 


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LosingStreak06

LosingStreak06 wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

Theism meets a need that atheism can't. It is irrelevant that it is irrational. Until atheism can meet these needs, people will never embrace it.

I felt the need to quote the above in an attempt to emphasize it, as it rings very true.

Then again I would say that at least some of that problem is actually created by religion, which is one of the ways that religion is perpetuated.

Ultimately I would say that the goal is more about getting people to think critically rather than to forceably remove religion. Some of that will include things like enforcing separation between church and state, but that's actually the way that it's supposed to be already. I guess I can't speak for everyone, but I think that most would agree that what I/we want to see the most is people thinking rationally, not being afraid to apply that rational and critical thinking to religion, and realizing that there's simply no need.

No, there's no one thing that replaces what religion "provides", but that doesn't mean that the same kind of satisfaction can't be found without religion and theism.

Oh how much better America would be if people went to town hall meetings at the same rate and frequency as they did church, and left devisive personal beliefs at the door! 


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LosingStreak06

LosingStreak06 wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

Theism meets a need that atheism can't. It is irrelevant that it is irrational. Until atheism can meet these needs, people will never embrace it.

I felt the need to quote the above in an attempt to emphasize it, as it rings very true. 

Not really. I'm not sure what need theism fulfills - whatever it is, I obviously do not have it or it is satisfied in other capacities.

I think we've been conditioned to "need" it. We can obviously do without it, the vast majority here do such every day.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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jread wrote: I feel that

jread wrote:

I feel that with the onslaught of evidence in favor of evolution and other scientific advances shows a necessity for times to change within the religious mind set of the world.

As do I, obviously. I think if religion is going to survive (short of something putting us back into the dark ages like a major war or inquisition), that religion MUST reconcile itself with science. That would mean abandoning much of the dogma most religions hold. It would mean, once and for all, admitting that these books are NOT the objective word of any diety and are NOT to be taken literally.

I think if that can be done, we could finally simply agree to disagree.

Odds are, we'll never understand fully how we got to be where we are - and thus there will always be a nice comfy gap for God to live in. I've never had a problem with people believing in God, per se, I have a problem with what people DO with that belief. I don't think religion is inherently bad or evil, but I KNOW that dogma and tradition and ignorance are.

If religion can let go of all of that, we'll be cool for the most part.

 

Quote:
Furthermore, difficult arguments concerning God and other metaphysical beliefs held by believers would cause some well needed reflection, and perhaps, reform. Reform to what? I cannot pretend to speculate. But, I'm sure that we all have some special place in our heart for the thing we hate most about religion. Maybe the reform could start there. 

 Well, you'd need to elaborate on that a bit. I think we all realize the ills religion can manifest when left to its own devices.

Quote:
So what do you think R.R.S.? Atheist and theist alike, what are your prospects for possible reform outcomes if the R.R.S.'s ultimate end cannot be achieved? Would you be pleased or just as uneasy/disdainful toward religious dogma as you are now?

 Tell you what, the day all theists are as open, honest, and willing to consider other points of view as you are, we'll consider it a win and retire.

I'm not going to hold my breath.

 

 

 

 

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Quote:
Furthermore, difficult arguments concerning God and other metaphysical beliefs held by believers would cause some well needed reflection, and perhaps, reform. Reform to what? I cannot pretend to speculate. But, I'm sure that we all have some special place in our heart for the thing we hate most about religion. Maybe the reform could start there.

Well, you'd need to elaborate on that a bit. I think we all realize the ills religion can manifest when left to its own devices.

 What I meant trying to out people's view on the one thing concerning religion that they'd most like to see reformed. Such as violence, hatred, judgmentalness just to name a few.

But I see what you're saying as well, even if we were able to reform religion, how long would it stay reformed? ... A little depressing to think of it that way...Almost a no hope situation.

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
LosingStreak06 wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

Theism meets a need that atheism can't. It is irrelevant that it is irrational. Until atheism can meet these needs, people will never embrace it.

I felt the need to quote the above in an attempt to emphasize it, as it rings very true. 

Not really. I'm not sure what need theism fulfills - whatever it is, I obviously do not have it or it is satisfied in other capacities.

I think we've been conditioned to "need" it. We can obviously do without it, the vast majority here do such every day.

You seem to assume that because you don't have this need that it can be easily replaced. That is amazingly myopic. Even if it is a need created by conditioning, it is one that is thousands of years old - as old as history, going as far back into archeological time as we can see. You don't need to know the nature of the need to recognize that it is there. It is this need that makes theism so powerful. A few rational arguments are not enough to overcome something so deeply imbedded in the "collective conciousness". It actually seems a bit irrational to think that rational arguments will overcome this basic fact about humans.

 

 


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
LosingStreak06 wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

Theism meets a need that atheism can't. It is irrelevant that it is irrational. Until atheism can meet these needs, people will never embrace it.

I felt the need to quote the above in an attempt to emphasize it, as it rings very true. 

Not really. I'm not sure what need theism fulfills - whatever it is, I obviously do not have it or it is satisfied in other capacities.

I think we've been conditioned to "need" it. We can obviously do without it, the vast majority here do such every day.

You seem to assume that because you don't have this need that it can be easily replaced. That is amazingly myopic.

I honestly don't think so. If it were a genuine human need, we'd ALL have it. We don't. I personally don't think anyone NEEDS it or couldn't do without it. You haven't really even defined what the actual NEED is. 

 

Quote:
Even if it is a need created by conditioning, it is one that is thousands of years old - as old as history, going as far back into archeological time as we can see. You don't need to know the nature of the need to recognize that it is there.

I think I do know the nature of it - to explain the unexplained. It used to be "why does it lightening and thunder", and "why did the hunt succeed" - now its "what happens when we die". Some people prefer an answer - any answer - over uncertainty, but it isn't a genuine human need to require such. 

 

Quote:
It is this need that makes theism so powerful. A few rational arguments are not enough to overcome something so deeply imbedded in the "collective conciousness". It actually seems a bit irrational to think that rational arguments will overcome this basic fact about humans.

So explain how we've progressed as far as we have? Why don't we shit our pants and drop to our knees when thunder claps now when we did exactly that only a few hundred years ago?

Knowledge replaces these irrational fears, and I believe that death is more than adequately explained with current science - some people just don't like the answer. Still, it isn't a need to delude ourselves, and it can be overcome.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I honestly don't think so. If it were a genuine human need, we'd ALL have it. We don't. I personally don't think anyone NEEDS it or couldn't do without it. You haven't really even defined what the actual NEED is.

Silly rabbit. Just because you don't have the need doesn't mean it isn't real. Sex is a need. Some people need it alot. Some people don't need it at all.

 

 

Quote:

I think I do know the nature of it - to explain the unexplained. It used to be "why does it lightening and thunder", and "why did the hunt succeed" - now its "what happens when we die". Some people prefer an answer - any answer - over uncertainty, but it isn't a genuine human need to require such.

What is a genuine human need? Are you limiting this to biological needs? What about the need to know? Science is driven by this "need". Should we dismiss science since it really isn't "needed"?

Quote:

So explain how we've progressed as far as we have? Why don't we shit our pants and drop to our knees when thunder claps now when we did exactly that only a few hundred years ago?

I guess no theists participated in the acquisition of this knowledge?

Quote:

Knowledge replaces these irrational fears, and I believe that death is more than adequately explained with current science - some people just don't like the answer. Still, it isn't a need to delude ourselves, and it can be overcome.

People not liking the answer is a key component of curiosity. If people liked the answers, then we would stop asking questions. Currently in cosmology the concept of branes has been developed because some of the classic big bang answers are not satisfying to a group of physicists. I think this is what really bugs me about some atheists. They actually would have people stop asking an entire class of questions. When the questions can be answered to my satisfaction, I will stop asking them.


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wavefreak wrote: Theism

wavefreak wrote:
Theism meets a need that atheism can't...
I'll ask the question also, what is this "need"?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I honestly don't think so. If it were a genuine human need, we'd ALL have it. We don't. I personally don't think anyone NEEDS it or couldn't do without it. You haven't really even defined what the actual NEED is.

Silly rabbit. Just because you don't have the need doesn't mean it isn't real. Sex is a need. Some people need it alot. Some people don't need it at all.

 Yeah, you still haven't clarified what this need is that theism can fulfill and atheism cannot.

Sex is not a NEED, either. It's certainly desirable for a great many of us, but it is not necessary to a happy fulfilling life.

Quote:
Quote:

I think I do know the nature of it - to explain the unexplained. It used to be "why does it lightening and thunder", and "why did the hunt succeed" - now its "what happens when we die". Some people prefer an answer - any answer - over uncertainty, but it isn't a genuine human need to require such.

What is a genuine human need? Are you limiting this to biological needs? What about the need to know? Science is driven by this "need". Should we dismiss science since it really isn't "needed"?

No, in fact I said as much. Religion is a manifestation of our need to know (or at least think we know). Humans in general are uncomfortable with uncertainty, and religion provides that to a degree, however hollow it is. Like I said, some people prefer ANY answer to no answer. Some of us are comfortable with a degree of uncertainty, especially when we see that the "certain" answers provided by others don't have any meat to them. Again, it's a desire to know, not a need.

Quote:
Quote:

So explain how we've progressed as far as we have? Why don't we shit our pants and drop to our knees when thunder claps now when we did exactly that only a few hundred years ago?

I guess no theists participated in the acquisition of this knowledge?

 Did I in anyway imply they didn't? Shit, the originator of Big Bang theory was a Jesuit priest.

Quote:
Quote:

Knowledge replaces these irrational fears, and I believe that death is more than adequately explained with current science - some people just don't like the answer. Still, it isn't a need to delude ourselves, and it can be overcome.

People not liking the answer is a key component of curiosity. If people liked the answers, then we would stop asking questions.

Yes, but not liking an answer doesn't make it any more or less valid. As far as science is concerned, when you die, that's all she wrote. 

 

Quote:
Currently in cosmology the concept of branes has been developed because some of the classic big bang answers are not satisfying to a group of physicists.

You make it sound as if people started rethoerizing, because they didn't like what current science had to say on a personal, emotional level. Not at all. Brane theories and multiverse theories arose from quantum mechanics - unheard of In Lamaitre's time. Such theories really don't discount the Big Bang, rather they refine it with updated knowledge. 

 

Quote:
I think this is what really bugs me about some atheists. They actually would have people stop asking an entire class of questions. When the questions can be answered to my satisfaction, I will stop asking them.

Project much?

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Yeah, you still haven't clarified what this need is that theism can fulfill and atheism cannot.

Sex is not a NEED, either. It's certainly desirable for a great many of us, but it is not necessary to a happy fulfilling life.

I think many psychologists would disagree with you on this. People whose sexual needs are not adequately met are less happy for it. I was pointing out hat there is a wide range in the magnitude of any need. Sex also has health benefits vis-a-vis positive hormonal chnages. A little thing science told us.

As for clarifying the need. Go to a funeral. Tell the people there they don't need theism. I'm sure they will be receptive to it.

Quote:

Did I in anyway imply they didn't? Shit, the originator of Big Bang theory was a Jesuit priest.

Your implication seemed to be that we don't crap our pants any more at the sound of thunder in spite of theism.

 

Quote:

Knowledge replaces these irrational fears, and I believe that death is more than adequately explained with current science - some people just don't like the answer. Still, it isn't a need to delude ourselves, and it can be overcome.

Yes, but not liking an answer doesn't make it any more or less valid. As far as science is concerned, when you die, that's all she wrote.

And by what theory is all curiosity about reality only to be satisfied through the domain of science? This is really the heart of the matter. There are those that believe that the only things that can be known can only be known through science and there are those that believe this is not the case.

 

Quote:

You make it sound as if people started rethoerizing, because they didn't like what current science had to say on a personal, emotional level. Not at all. Brane theories and multiverse theories arose from quantum mechanics - unheard of In Lamaitre's time. Such theories really don't discount the Big Bang, rather they refine it with updated knowledge.

I wasn't discounting the big bang. I was only pointing out that physicists have found things that are unsatisfactory in the current models so this drives them to ask new questions. And saying that the drive for knowledge via science has no emotional component is just flat out wrong.

Quote:

Project much?

Huh? How is this projection? I stated something that bothers me about *some* atheists. Not even necessarily you.


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Yeah, you still haven't clarified what this need is that theism can fulfill and atheism cannot.

Sex is not a NEED, either. It's certainly desirable for a great many of us, but it is not necessary to a happy fulfilling life.

I think many psychologists would disagree with you on this. People whose sexual needs are not adequately met are less happy for it.

I've had dry spells, it wasn't the end of the world. Sex is not a human need. 

 

Quote:
I was pointing out hat there is a wide range in the magnitude of any need. Sex also has health benefits vis-a-vis positive hormonal chnages. A little thing science told us.

So what? I'm failing to see your point, do you have one?

Quote:
As for clarifying the need. Go to a funeral. Tell the people there they don't need theism. I'm sure they will be receptive to it.

If this weren't the "Kindness" forum, I'd say some rather nasty things to you right about now. You have NO idea how insulting and inconsiderate what you just said was, especially considering the fact that I recently buried a family member.

Anyway, you've still yet to define this need or explain to us how theism can provide it but atheism cannot.

Quote:
Quote:

Did I in anyway imply they didn't? Shit, the originator of Big Bang theory was a Jesuit priest.

Your implication seemed to be that we don't crap our pants any more at the sound of thunder in spite of theism.

 That WAS my implication, I simply acknowledged that theists have contributed to science as well.

 

Quote:
And by what theory is all curiosity about reality only to be satisfied through the domain of science?

 In the sense that only science can provide empirical answers.

 

Quote:
This is really the heart of the matter. There are those that believe that the only things that can be known can only be known through science and there are those that believe this is not the case.

Science is the best way we have of understanding our universe, the inductive method is where the VAST majority of human understanding is rooted.

Some claim that personal revelation can be a source of knowledge as well, but I'm aware of NO evidence that suggests this to be the case.

You either function in the empirical world and reality or you do not. When you begin to talk of immaterial things, we lose all semblance of substance and empirical grounding.

 

Quote:
Quote:

You make it sound as if people started rethoerizing, because they didn't like what current science had to say on a personal, emotional level. Not at all. Brane theories and multiverse theories arose from quantum mechanics - unheard of In Lamaitre's time. Such theories really don't discount the Big Bang, rather they refine it with updated knowledge.

I wasn't discounting the big bang. I was only pointing out that physicists have found things that are unsatisfactory in the current models so this drives them to ask new questions. And saying that the drive for knowledge via science has no emotional component is just flat out wrong.

I never denied that it was an emotionally void field. I'm a scientist myself, and I'm passionate about my areas of reasearch, but my research is NOT guided by my emotions - I'm driven to do more by my own proclivities.

Quote:
Quote:

Project much?

Huh? How is this projection? I stated something that bothers me about *some* atheists. Not even necessarily you.

 Fair enough.

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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
 

I've had dry spells, it wasn't the end of the world. Sex is not a human need.

Then what qualifies as a need?  I can't frame an answer without knowing what you are looking for.

 

Quote:

If this weren't the "Kindness" forum, I'd say some rather nasty things to you right about now. You have NO idea how insulting and inconsiderate what you just said was, especially considering the fact that I recently buried a family member.

 

 Projecting a little? Your emotional response is not my problem.

 You asked for an example of what people need theism for. I provided one.

 I attended a funeral this weekend for a 17 year old killed in a car accident. It is insulting to those people to say they don't need theism.

 

Quote:

Anyway, you've still yet to define this need or explain to us how theism can provide it but atheism cannot.

Again, what is a need, to you? 

 

Quote:
 

In the sense that only science can provide empirical answers.

You either function in the empirical world and reality or you do not. When you begin to talk of immaterial things, we lose all semblance of substance and empirical grounding.

Go to an art competition. What emperical evidence exists for the first place winner. At some point technical considerations are left behind and a non-emperical judgment is made. This is just as real as protons and neutrons. 

 

Quote:
I never denied that it was an emotionally void field. I'm a scientist myself, and I'm passionate about my areas of reasearch, but my research is NOT guided by my emotions - I'm driven to do more by my own proclivities.

 

Noun1.proclivity - a natural inclination; "he has a proclivity for exaggeration"leaning, propensityinclination, tendency, disposition - an attitude of mind especially one that favors one alternative over others; "he had an inclination to give up too easily"; "a tendency to be too strict"

 

 

Hmmm. Doesn't sound that empirical to me. 


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jread wrote: One of the

jread wrote:
One of the outcomes I found most hopeful and profound, being a believer in God, would be a religious reformation..

Interesting idea. It would be great if something that's ultimately uniting rather than divisive could come from it.

jread wrote:
Perhaps allow the finger pointers to realize the other three.

"Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished" I have seen on display here all of the things that the RRS claims to be against in religion. They are on display in my own life as well. It's a human thing, not the fault of theism or atheism but the fault of each one of us. We would do well to have as a result that theists and atheists alike would take care of the log in their own eye first.

jread wrote:
I feel that with the onslaught of evidence in favor of evolution and other scientific advances shows a necessity for times to change within the religious mind set of the world.

I agree and feel we live in a time similar to when Galileo found that the earth revolved around the sun. Many at the time thought this to be a threat to belief and fought against it. Now we look back and wonder what the big deal was. I believe people's belief about evolution will ultimately go through the same sort of process.

Brian37 wrote:
It is how humans learn to deal with those dissagreements that is the key.

I couldn't agree more.

Sapient wrote:
We call it "The Perpetual Enlightenment." It's already underway. The Blasphemy Challenge was officially the opening salvo. Prepare for more.

How should one prepare oneself? And such apocalyptic language, you sound like a televangelist.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
I think we all realize the ills religion can manifest when left to its own devices.

You speak as though religion had a personality. It's people who carry out atrocities, not religion. The atrocities are done NOT because of what's in religion, but because of what’s in ourselves. If people can take the teachings of a man who said to turn the other cheek, love your enemies and give the shirt off your back and use them to make war….then folks, we can turn any words or teaching to justify whatever action we want to take.


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:


Yellow_Number_Five wrote:


I've had dry spells, it wasn't the end of the world. Sex is not a human need.



Then what qualifies as a need?
I'd like to know what "need" theism satisfies. You haven't met my need for an answer. Now I'm curious as to why you didn't answer. You either do not know or you do not want to talk about it.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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AiiA wrote: wavefreak

AiiA wrote:
wavefreak wrote:


Yellow_Number_Five wrote:


I've had dry spells, it wasn't the end of the world. Sex is not a human need.



Then what qualifies as a need?
I'd like to know what "need" theism satisfies. You haven't met my need for an answer. Now I'm curious as to why you didn't answer. You either do not know or you do not want to talk about it.

 

Apparantly sex is not considered a need. This seems wrong to me. So until we agree on what a need is it is fruitless to continue. You may have a concept of need that will not allow me to answer the question. I don't want to get into a "this is a need - no it's not" conversation.  


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wavefreak wrote:

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
 

I've had dry spells, it wasn't the end of the world. Sex is not a human need.

Then what qualifies as a need?  I can't frame an answer without knowing what you are looking for.

You're the one that claimed we had such a need - a need you've still yet to define. The onus is entirely upon you.

You're the one who claimed we had such a need and that atheism could not fulfill it - yet you've yet to even tell us exactly what that need is. The onus is entirely upon you - you've yet to make a damend point. 

Quote:
If this weren't the "Kindness" forum, I'd say some rather nasty things to you right about now. You have NO idea how insulting and inconsiderate what you just said was, especially considering the fact that I recently buried a family member.

 

 Projecting a little? Your emotional response is not my problem.

No. What you essentially said there in not so many words is that I, as an atheist, was not capable of dealing with death or grieving. That is what I found insulting. You'd get pissed too if I suggested something like that about you.

 

Quote:
You asked for an example of what people need theism for. I provided one.

No, you didn't. I didn't need a belief in God to get over my grandmother's death, and niether did several members of my family. I fail to see this universal need here or how theism somehow provides something unavailable to atheists. You're the one that claimed that, and you've been dancing around the point ever since.

 

Quote:
I attended a funeral this weekend for a 17 year old killed in a car accident. It is insulting to those people to say they don't need theism.

They may, or at least think they may, not all of us do - and if I don't have an innate need for it, it stands to reason any human could probably get over it, I'm nothing special. Ergo your original point, the one I first responded to you over remains at large. 

 

Quote:
Quote:

Anyway, you've still yet to define this need or explain to us how theism can provide it but atheism cannot.

Again, what is a need, to you? 

Again, it's your point. Make your own arguments and define your own terms, as I've repeatedly asked you to do - that's not my job.

 

Quote:
 
Quote:

In the sense that only science can provide empirical answers.

You either function in the empirical world and reality or you do not. When you begin to talk of immaterial things, we lose all semblance of substance and empirical grounding.

Go to an art competition. What emperical evidence exists for the first place winner. At some point technical considerations are left behind and a non-emperical judgment is made. This is just as real as protons and neutrons. 

You've completely dodged my point.

 

Quote:
Quote:
I never denied that it was an emotionally void field. I'm a scientist myself, and I'm passionate about my areas of reasearch, but my research is NOT guided by my emotions - I'm driven to do more by my own proclivities.

 

Noun1.proclivity - a natural inclination; "he has a proclivity for exaggeration" leaning, propensityinclination, tendency, disposition - an attitude of mind especially one that favors one alternative over others; "he had an inclination to give up too easily"; "a tendency to be too strict"

 

 

Hmmm. Doesn't sound that empirical to me. 

I fail to see whatever point you think you just made. I said that I am naturally drawn to science and have a talent for it in not so many words, but that my own personal desire don't influence the scientific process. They influence the areas I like to study and those I'm not quite as interested in.

 

So, one more time, can you describe this human need and how theism can fulfill it where other beliefs like atheims cannot?

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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wavefreak wrote: AiiA

wavefreak wrote:

AiiA wrote:
wavefreak wrote:


Yellow_Number_Five wrote:


I've had dry spells, it wasn't the end of the world. Sex is not a human need.



Then what qualifies as a need?
I'd like to know what "need" theism satisfies. You haven't met my need for an answer. Now I'm curious as to why you didn't answer. You either do not know or you do not want to talk about it.

 

Apparantly sex is not considered a need. This seems wrong to me. So until we agree on what a need is it is fruitless to continue. You may have a concept of need that will not allow me to answer the question. I don't want to get into a "this is a need - no it's not" conversation.  

 

Humans NEED food and oxygen. We don't need sex. Sex is great, but it is hardly necessary to a happy or fulfilling life.

Again, YOU are the one who said theism satisfied a need atheism could not. Then you refused to tell us exactly what that need was. Clarify your point, if you actually have one.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

So, one more time, can you describe this human need and how theism can fulfill it where other beliefs like atheims cannot?

When I used the need for sex as an exampleyou basicallly said it isn't a need. This is a trap. If you can basically dismiss what I consider a need (sex) then what will prevent you from doing the same if I invoke something less obvious?

 When we agree on a meaning for the word need, I will continue. 


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Quote: Go to an art

Quote:
Go to an art competition. What emperical evidence exists for the first place winner. At some point technical considerations are left behind and a non-emperical judgment is made. This is just as real as protons and neutrons.
If what you were implying was true, anyone could be an art critic. Art appreciation is a lot more technical than you might think, and a judge that can't put his biases aside wouldn't make a good judge. Just because you don't prefer a piece doesn't make the artist any less good/talented. They need to have seen and critiqued quite a large number of pieces to make valid judgements. With enough emperical knowledge, one can work out whether a particular piece of art took talent, is relevant to today's social climate, and will have wide appeal. The fact that intuition is used doesn't negate that, either, as intuition is a part of any skill.

Music is even a better example, as "good music" can be worked out even more clinicly.  

Personal preferences are indeed subjective as they can get, but that doesn't mean that science can't approach such things objectively. Even though the layman doesn't necessarily employ such things doesn't mean that we don't benefit from them.


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

So, one more time, can you describe this human need and how theism can fulfill it where other beliefs like atheims cannot?

When I used the need for sex as an exampleyou basicallly said it isn't a need. This is a trap. If you can basically dismiss what I consider a need (sex) then what will prevent you from doing the same if I invoke something less obvious?

 When we agree on a meaning for the word need, I will continue. 

If you won't even define the terms YOU used in YOUR OWN agument so that I may understand you better, I see no point in continuing to converse.

Sorry I asked you to clarify and expound upon your own statements *shrug*.

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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

If you won't even define the terms YOU used in YOUR OWN agument so that I may understand you better, I see no point in continuing to converse.

Sorry I asked you to clarify and expound upon your own statements *shrug*.

 

I consider sex a need. You do not. Clearly we have different ideas of what a need is. Since "need" is central to the discussion, without agreeing on what this means, then it is pointless to continue.

 

I'm sorry you can't meet me half way.

 

*shrug* 


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Seems to me that this

Seems to me that this particular line of discussion is a case in point. Part of the process of growing wiser, more mature, and indeed happier and healthier is learning that the things we felt were "needs" were in fact just desires, and that one can indeed be happy and healthy without that thing. Isn't that also how people overcome addictions, by realizing the object of their addiction (eg sex) isn't as necessary to their well-being as they thought and felt?

That's the point here (or at least part of it). We know that theists feel that they "NEED" god and/or religion to satisfy perceived problems that are inherent to life, but part of the process is realizing that you don't really need those external things to be internally content and live a happy and healthy life. Religion does things like convince you that you NEED religion to live a normal life, and that anytime you stray from a narrowly defined kind of thinking that you will be miserable. To back that up they continually tell you how bad it is and make you feel guilty for something that's part of your human nature, eg natural desires, so that they can then give you the solution and show you how you'll never get that anywhere else; which is true, but only because outside that religion such things aren't a problem to begin with.

That is a good part of why people are so reluctant to even think about giving up religion, but they cover up the fear with the warm and fuzzy feeling that they call "god" so they can feel that much more justified ("it's not about fear, it's about love!" ).

 

[Sorry Yellow #5, I hope I'm not intruding on your line of thought here. My intent is to add to it, but one never knows for sure] 


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If i could change one thing

If i could change one thing (well 1 1/2 things) about religion (as an atheist) would be for all religious institutions to not allow anyone under 18 in them (except if dead)

This law could be done 'ethically' in addition  no teaching by parents of religion to anyone under 18 (you couldnt ethically ban this but you could create a social climate where this was consider immoral)

 

Personally i think religion would die/ become a very small % of the population  in such circumstances  but at least it would then be an adult choice


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

So, one more time, can you describe this human need and how theism can fulfill it where other beliefs like atheims cannot?

When I used the need for sex as an exampleyou basicallly said it isn't a need. This is a trap. If you can basically dismiss what I consider a need (sex) then what will prevent you from doing the same if I invoke something less obvious?

When we agree on a meaning for the word need, I will continue.

I can't help but wonder why you will not continue. It is irrevelant whether sex is or is not a need. You said theism meets a need that atheism can't. Surely when you said that you knew what need theism met. Can you tell me what that need is?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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AiiA wrote: I can't help

AiiA wrote:
I can't help but wonder why you will not continue. It is irrevelant whether sex is or is not a need. You said theism meets a need that atheism can't. Surely when you said that you knew what need theism met. Can you tell me what that need is?

I won't continue because the conversation started to spin out of control. My asking for an agreed upon definition is just to bring the heat down a bit.

 And for me, the definition is critical. By elimnating sex as a need it leaves little else. Food? Water? Shelter?  If "need" is so strictly confined then I will conceed that theism does not meet those needs. Of course, neither does atheism


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wavefreak wrote:

wavefreak wrote:

AiiA wrote:
I can't help but wonder why you will not continue. It is irrevelant whether sex is or is not a need. You said theism meets a need that atheism can't. Surely when you said that you knew what need theism met. Can you tell me what that need is?

I won't continue because the conversation started to spin out of control. My asking for an agreed upon definition is just to bring the heat down a bit.

And for me, the definition is critical. By elimnating sex as a need it leaves little else. Food? Water? Shelter? If "need" is so strictly confined then I will conceed that theism does not meet those needs. Of course, neither does atheism

So call it a desire then. Your point seems to be that people are going to be reluctant to give up theism because it does something for them that they couldn't get elsewhere. Without defining what "it" is, we can only speculate at what you're talking about, and refusing to clarify appears as a dodge (no offense intended). My guess is that these desires are something that the religion itself instills, and would dissapate if and when a person gave up theism, or at the very least can be obtained elsewhere. I can't think of anything that doesn't fit that, except perhaps in geographical locations where atheists would be completely secluded from others of like mind.


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Case in point: There was a

Case in point: There was a period of a few years that I was unable to work, and so I had to seriously reasess my priorities. In doing so I realized that there were a lot of things that I thought were "needs" that weren't really necessary. They were things that I wanted, and assigned unrealistic importance to. That realization allowed me to drop a lot of baggage that ultimately improved my life more than any external thing ever could by allowing me to focus on the things that were really important, and also made me more honest with myself. Part of that was even dropping some superstitious beliefs.

I don't see religion as any different here. I do also realize that simply phrasing it "religion" is something of an over-simplification, which is why it would be best to get clarification of what "need" or "needs" you're talking about, symantecs aside.

When it comes down to it, I refer to that period as me simply growing up. That's not to say that leaving religion would be "growing up", but some of that process could indeed be seen as maturing, in a way, and I suspect that at least some that have left religion may consider it as such (anyone?).


[Edited to add a little clarity]


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wavefreak wrote: The

wavefreak wrote:

The primary difficulty is that people don't WANT to give up theism. I was at a funeral yesterday for a 17 year old boy killed in a road rage related car accident. His family is Bhuddist. The afterlife came up multiple times during the proceedings. I can't see how the majority of people will abandon theism when it is so fundamental to the way the deal with reality. The ratioanl arguments for atheism are completely lost on most theists. So unless theism is outlawed, I can't see it ever being marginalized.

Another example is that Bush 1, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were at the ceremony commerating the Billy Graham Library. What does this say about the importance of theism in politics?

Theism meets a need that atheism can't. It is irrelevant that it is irrational. Until atheism can meet these needs, people will never embrace it.

So, what are atheistic societies like Sweden offering that the United States isn't?

(Sweden also has more acceptance for sensitive people like me...wonder if I should learn Swedish and move? Smiling

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Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

The primary difficulty is that people don't WANT to give up theism. I was at a funeral yesterday for a 17 year old boy killed in a road rage related car accident. His family is Bhuddist. The afterlife came up multiple times during the proceedings. I can't see how the majority of people will abandon theism when it is so fundamental to the way the deal with reality. The ratioanl arguments for atheism are completely lost on most theists. So unless theism is outlawed, I can't see it ever being marginalized.

Another example is that Bush 1, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were at the ceremony commerating the Billy Graham Library. What does this say about the importance of theism in politics?

Theism meets a need that atheism can't. It is irrelevant that it is irrational. Until atheism can meet these needs, people will never embrace it.

So, what are atheistic societies like Sweden offering that the United States isn't?

(Sweden also has more acceptance for sensitive people like me...wonder if I should learn Swedish and move? Smiling )

 

I know very little of Swedish culture so I really can't comment.


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ABx wrote:

ABx wrote:

So call it a desire then. Your point seems to be that people are going to be reluctant to give up theism because it does something for them that they couldn't get elsewhere. Without defining what "it" is, we can only speculate at what you're talking about, and refusing to clarify appears as a dodge (no offense intended). My guess is that these desires are something that the religion itself instills, and would dissapate if and when a person gave up theism, or at the very least can be obtained elsewhere. I can't think of anything that doesn't fit that, except perhaps in geographical locations where atheists would be completely secluded from others of like mind.

Not a dodge. I am a theist in an athiest stronghold. For me this is a minefield.

First people are not 'going to be reluctant' to give up theism. People ARE reluctant to give up theism. Apology in advance if this distinction is just a difference in grammer and not intent.

Let me go back to the funeral I recently attended. There was a nearly universal belief that the deceased was with us not just in memory but in some form of afterlife. From a purely psychological perspective, this is a coping mechanism. Atheists also have coping mechanisms, albeit different ones. But the coping mechanisms of a atheist are fundamentally different than a theist. The atheist mechanisms require a high level of rationality. Most people will never attain this level. So the coping mechanisms of atheism are out of reach to them. Theism provides an accessible coping mechanism to those unwilling to be fully rational. People WANT to believe in an afterlife.

Before you cry bull****, don't make the mistake that because you are not this way, other people are not. I know a brilliant programmer that constantly forgets that most of the people that use software are just not nearly as smart as he is. And so he regularly makes decisions based on what works for him, not realizing that the majority of people just don't fit that mold. I see a similar dynamic among atheists. What is crystal clear to them is just not fathomnable to many people. And they get frustrated because people don't understand them. Well duh. They DON'T understand.

 [MOD EDIT - removed cursing.  There is to be no foul language in this forum]


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wavefreak wrote:

wavefreak wrote:
Not a dodge. I am a theist in an athiest stronghold. For me this is a minefield.
I think you'll find that if you don't make it out to be a minefield that things will go better. You go into conversations on the defensive and you can sometimes perceive offense where none was intended, creating the exact scenario you predict. That's just something to keep in mind, and not intended to insinuate anything and it's not in reference to anything.


Quote:
First people are not 'going to be reluctant' to give up theism. People ARE reluctant to give up theism. Apology in advance if this distinction is just a difference in grammer and not intent.
Indeed it is just a difference in grammar, the intent was exactly the same. Will be, would be, are - all the same in the context intended, and all apply.


Quote:
Let me go back to the funeral I recently attended. There was a nearly universal belief that the deceased was with us not just in memory but in some form of afterlife. From a purely psychological perspective, this is a coping mechanism. Atheists also have coping mechanisms, albeit different ones. But the coping mechanisms of a atheist are fundamentally different than a theist. The atheist mechanisms require a high level of rationality. Most people will never attain this level. So the coping mechanisms of atheism are out of reach to them. Theism provides an accessible coping mechanism to those unwilling to be fully rational. People WANT to believe in an afterlife.
...and if you give memory the same significance as the afterlife it can be just the same.

Don't think that atheists use only the rational and logical part of their brain and shut off the rest. The fact that theists seem to have assumptions about how any particular atheist might handle such things is, frankly, insulting; particularly when the theists trivialize atheistic thoughts on such matters when they really have no knowledge of what they're talking about - you're not an atheist, and so you really don't know, even if you do know how it was for some other particular individuals. Atheists have no common dogma.

Death is no easier or harder for any particular group of people, we just don't say that "s/he is with god now". Keeping in mind that I can only speak for myself: I, and likely other atheists, are likely to contemplate the cycles of life and nature and how the death will allow for other life to flourish. I/we will think about how the person will live on through memory and influence, and how the suffering is over, and assign that a great deal of significance. I/we can find condolence in the fact that I was lucky enough to have had the chance to know the person and have been influenced by them, and now they'll be making way and supporting new life. Such times as dealing with death are most certainly emotional, and one does use their imagination to come to grips, but it's ultimately not any kind of articulated thought that resolves the matter, and I don't think it's really any different if the articulated thought has to do with "god". It's quite likely that the emotional closure is the same, regardless of the symantecs used. I would be willing to bet that if you actually looked at it, atheists and theists (all else being equal) both experience the same level of grief and for the same period of time, both go through the same emotions (including the emotions that we settle on for comfort), and both come to appreciate the positive aspects of it to find some form of closure. If you were to strip away the symantecs, I'd bet you'd find many similarities between atheist and theist in such matters. Unless you are a theist that has truely given up religion, I don't think it's quite fair to try to suppose how an atheist might feel on such personal matters and how they might come to terms with it, other than how it may be outwardly expressed. Otherwise I think it's a bit ostenatious to think that anyone of any religion (or lack thereof) are really any different in such matters - we're all human, with or without a god. Our culture has more to do with the expression of such emotion; theist or not, Americans don't outwardly grieve in the same manner as, say, Iraqis. That doesn't mean, however, that we don't all experience the same feelings.

To take the point to a more general level of simply a tool for emotional support, I think it would be pretty safe to think that most of that is based on a foundation of personal experiences of feelings of comfort from what theists call god, coupled with community support. The thing is that giving up religion doesn't automatically mean giving that up - you just work a little harder to understand and explore it, and don't automatically settle for the explanation that it's some external intelligence. That's not necessarily because it's necessary, but because one is more likely to be motivated to do so without convenient explanations. I have had most of the same experiences that theists talk about here, but I took it farther and understand it to be an experience and exploration of my unconscious mind. You might even find that I share some of the same notions if you could strip away the form that they take and without anthropomorphizing in any way. I find quite a bit of fulfillment in the quest for ultimate understanding, which includes deep enough understanding that the feeling can be described as spiritual. I can also look at different religions and philosophies and take the things that are rational and good, and leave the superstition and divisive rhetoric behind. As far as real understanding goes, that comes through science and produces understanding that is directly relevant to the real world. I'm no scientist, not even close, but I do find great enjoyment in learning about science. Remember, too, that learning itself produces the same kind of endorphin rush. There may be a rational basis for such things, but that doesn't mean that's all there is. As for the feeling, you can't discount the liklihood that it's the same stuff, just without the lens of a particular book that claims to hand you all the answers and put all qustions to rest for good. Buddhists (at least some) describe many of the same things, and then strive to go far beyond it and reach a greater understanding, and see notions of external intelligences or the supernatural as illusory and something to look beyond to find truth. You can also still have love and goodwill for others at the same level, and you might find it just as heartfelt, if not more. You might even find the same kind of community.

The bottom line is that when you take away the absolutist answers, your mind will find a way to fill it in with something else - I would venture to say that in many/most cases it would be the persuit itself, particularly if you're not afraid to employ the same level of critical thinking that you do with everything else. Hopefully you are beginning to understand the full extent of the fact that atheism is simply a lack of belief in a deity, and that the rest is personal. The major difference would be that we don't just settle for easy answers; find out what you can about what's known, use your imagination to speculate on the rest, but don't delude yourself into thinking that you have the answer and keep an eye out for what they do find. Search for truth that applies to anyone despite opinions. Far from taking the "magic" out of life, it can unleash more. By not constraining what can and cannot be, according to one book, you're free to consider what's really known and know that the rest is likely beyond your wildest dreams. Just think, some scientists are even considering things like time travel now! All people strive for greater understanding; despite what so many of the religious have been led to believe, atheists are the ones that don't assume they have the answer(s).

I think what most of us want theists to understand (although, again, I can really only speak for myself) is that not having god is not the dismal emotional vacuum that religion makes it out to be. That's propaganda, and the fact that anyone would take the word of someone in no position to know (eg, a preacher) over many people that are (happy and healthy atheists) is just absurd, and leads to an arrogant and insulting brand of ignorant rhetoric (that's generally speaking, so don't take it personally). A lot of this emotional "need" that theists think is so impossible to fulfill outside their chosen religion really isn't as absent or lacking as they've been led to believe. Some of it would likely even dissapate on it's own without continual reinforcement that certain things are such a problem. Religion isn't the answer it claimed to be either, and is obvious from an outside point of view just by the fact that it takes so much repitition and affirmation to maintain. True convictions stand on their own without outside influence and even stand up to objective scrutiny. Take anything and tell yourself that it's the answer to all emotional turmoil a hundred times a day, every day, and it will likely start to seem true, especially after the turmoil calms on it's own.

When it comes down to it, that's what a lot of all this bickering is about. I've been seeing a lot of theists complain lately about atheists making over-generalized assumptions about theists, but what they don't understand is that this is what theists have been doing to atheists forever, and sometimes those are intentional examples meant to counter the theist's over-generalized assumptions and to try to get them to see what they're doing. So many theists come here with pre-conceived notions of what an atheist is like, and are absolutely closed to the truth of the matter. Biblical matters aside, theists need to realize that they've been absolutely lied to about what it's like to not have religion. They then use these false premises to form conclusions about personal matters they are in no position to understand.


Quote:
Before you cry bull****, don't make the mistake that because you are not this way, other people are not. I know a brilliant programmer that constantly forgets that most of the people that use software are just not nearly as smart as he is. And so he regularly makes decisions based on what works for him, not realizing that the majority of people just don't fit that mold. I see a similar dynamic among atheists. What is crystal clear to them is just not fathomnable to many people. And they get frustrated because people don't understand them. Well duh. They DON'T understand.

 [MOD EDIT - removed cursing.  There is to be no foul language in this forum]

Hehe, the first part of my post applies here. I had no intention of crying "bullshit", only to try and clear up any potential misconceptions.

Also, many/most programmers are like that. Bridging the gap between programmer and user is part of what I do for a living Eye-wink


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 Ironically, the eloquence

 Ironically, the eloquence of your reply actually supports my point. Many people wouldn't make it through the entire thing. Theism is easier.

 

ABx wrote:

...and if you give memory the same significance as the afterlife it can be just the same.

 

Here is a major difference. For those that believe in an after life, memory *cannot* have the same significance. Their loved one is not gone forever, just in another place. I don't see anything in atheism that can match the power of this, whether or not it is delusional. For someone that believes in an afterlife, accepting atheism means losing their loved ones forever. That is no small hurdle to overcome.

 

While I understand your points on theists and their assumptions about atheists, I'm not sure how you got to me making those same assumptions. My only assumptions about atheists and how they handle loss is that they do have a coping mechanism that works for them and that it involves a higher level of rationality than most people employ. If these coping mechanisms lacked emotional content they would be fatally flawed.


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1) I believe that one of

1) I believe that one of the needs theism fulfills is to find answers that science simply cannot explain.  Its easy to believe in the non exhistence of God when everything goes your way.  But when you lose a brother, a sister, a father or mother or go through other forms of pain and suffering, one naturally seeks answers.

Believing in God gives the hope of seeing ones loved one again in another life, and having burning questions in life answered when we do see Him eventually in the afterlife.

Questions like ,"I know that there is a reason for your creating everything, but why on earth did you create the mosquito?!?!?!" 

2). It is quite comforting to know that something beyond human is watching over us and helping us become the best that we can be.

3). There is also the hope of a better plain of exhistence after this life, where everyone truly lives in peace and harmony with his/her fellow man/woman under one God for all eternity. 


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curiousjorge050476

curiousjorge050476 wrote:


1) I believe that one of the needs theism fulfills is to find answers that science simply cannot explain.
Everything that exists can be examined by a scientific method. Because you do not want to expend the time and energy and/or perhaps out of fear of exposing your sacred personal beliefs to scrutiny, you take the short cut by fantasizing.

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Its easy to believe in the non exhistence of God when everything goes your way. But when you lose a brother, a sister, a father or mother or go through other forms of pain and suffering, one naturally seeks answers.
It is interesting that you have observed in your self, a link to the reason you cling to irrational beliefs and yet you continue to believe in irrational concepts.

However, how did you come to the conclusion that atheists have not lost a brother, a sister, a father or mother or go through other forms of pain and suffering? Believing in a god is not an answer; it's an anti-answer.

Quote:
Believing in God gives the hope of seeing ones loved one again in another life,
There is something odd about this concept. Where do you think this meeting is going to take place? How will it happen? Will you give each other a hug? Shake hands, kiss? But these actions wouldn't make sense unless you had the sense of touch and to have the sense of touch you'd need a body. Will you be clothed? What will they look like? Will they take on the physical appearance that they had when you last saw them? Will you talk to each other?

If your body is in the casket or urn, where did this "after-death" body come from? Will your vocal cords work? There needs to be air for sound to vibrate in. If there is air will you breath? But you're dead right? Ok maybe you think you're going to read each others minds? But in order to have a mind you'd need a physical container like a brain or a substitute for a brain. Ok let's just say you are a soul; how do souls greet each other?

I really do not think you gave this any thought what so ever.

Quote:
and having burning questions in life answered when we do see Him eventually in the afterlife.

Questions like ,"I know that there is a reason for your creating everything, but why on earth did you create the mosquito?!?!?!"
This is not a question I'd ask. This is not a burning question, in fact this question is devoid of any seriousness. To you, the most burning question about your 'god's little creation' is the horror of a mosquito? This is your reality? When I saw the videos of people falling/jumping off the World Trade Center after the believers-of-god flew the high-jacked planes into them, I've given very little thought to mosquitoes but I've given very little thought about mosquitoes before 9-11 also because of prior disturbing human behavior in the name of a god.

Quote:
2). It is quite comforting to know that something beyond human is watching over us and helping us become the best that we can be.

3). There is also the hope of a better plain of exhistence after this life, where everyone truly lives in peace and harmony with his/her fellow man/woman under one God for all eternity.
Are people so emotionally and physically delicate that an imaginary daddy is needed to explain why mosquitoes exist to make their lives so horrible?

So again, you think there will be man and women in the "after-life"? Do you imagine that there will be reproductive behavior there, whereever 'there' is?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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AiiA wrote: Everything

AiiA wrote:

Everything that exists can be examined by a scientific method.

 Oh really? Let's scientifically examine justice. We'll start by hooking me up to a PET scanner and figure out what parts of my brain are active when thinking about the concept 'justice'. Let's get really agressive and biopsy that brain region and do some chemical analysis of some of the brain cells involved. Oh, wait. All that is going to tell us is what biochemical and physical  processes are active when justice is considered. But it won't tell us what justice *is*. So justice must not  exist.


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wavefreak wrote: AiiA

wavefreak wrote:
AiiA wrote:

Everything that exists can be examined by a scientific method.

Oh really? Let's scientifically examine justice. We'll start by hooking me up to a PET scanner and figure out what parts of my brain are active when thinking about the concept 'justice'. Let's get really agressive and biopsy that brain region and do some chemical analysis of some of the brain cells involved. Oh, wait. All that is going to tell us is what biochemical and physical processes are active when justice is considered. But it won't tell us what justice *is*. So justice must not exist.

You've actually shown that 'justice' can be analyzed and that it exists. A dictionary and a law library will define what it is.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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AiiA wrote: wavefreak

AiiA wrote:
wavefreak wrote:
AiiA wrote:

Everything that exists can be examined by a scientific method.

Oh really? Let's scientifically examine justice. We'll start by hooking me up to a PET scanner and figure out what parts of my brain are active when thinking about the concept 'justice'. Let's get really agressive and biopsy that brain region and do some chemical analysis of some of the brain cells involved. Oh, wait. All that is going to tell us is what biochemical and physical processes are active when justice is considered. But it won't tell us what justice *is*. So justice must not exist.

You've actually shown that 'justice' can be analyzed and that it exists. A dictionary and a law library will define what it is.

But I didn't use the scientific method. 


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Quote:

Quote:
Ironically, the eloquence of your reply actually supports my point. Many people wouldn't make it through the entire thing. Theism is easier.
Then I would argue that those people are more interested in arguing their point than actually discussing things as many of them complain so much about.

My "eloquence" doesn't factor into my beliefs, it's something that my life would require with or without religion. Without religion, however, I/we just approach the subject the same way that we all approach anything else in life. The only difference is that we don't have pre-made answers.

Note my previous responses where I mentioned that nobody is trying to forcably remove religion, just get people to actually think about it. If people were to start actually thinking critically about things, it is likely that they would just fall out of religion. Many times people don't because they've been conditioned to think that doing so is somehow bad or wrong. Use the same faculties that apply to every other subject in life, which everyone has and everyone uses, and a lot of the supposed "problems" would simply cease to be problems. One doesn't need to be a scientist or mathematician to be an atheist, just get proper perspective on such things. We all approach politics with some level of rationality, and people generally don't find it that difficult. We may think that opposing viewpoints are stupid at times, but we're generally not afraid to learn more about them and settle on what makes sense. That is, of course, excepting political issues that are religiously polarized.

I also wouldn't say that religion is necessarily much easier. Atheism requires nothing like the constant maintenance (eg affirmation) of beliefs to sustain them. I would say it's actually a lot easier to be atheist as you just read the same things, and give them consideration on their own rather than how they affect your belief. We don't have to pray, we don't feel tortured with guilt because the chick at the corner store turned us on, we don't need constant reminders, we don't have holy books to be studied, interpreted, reiterated, filtered, and applied to every thought we have.

Theists and atheists read all the same things, the same news and such. The difference is that instead of following it up by reading the bible and spending all sorts of time and energy in reconciling it with supernatural beliefs, we decide if we want to know more and spend a little time reading on the subject if we're interested. Some people might find that they're VERY interested and do a LOT of reading, but that's not mandantory to atheism.

Quote:
Here is a major difference. For those that believe in an after life, memory *cannot* have the same significance. Their loved one is not gone forever, just in another place. I don't see anything in atheism that can match the power of this, whether or not it is delusional. For someone that believes in an afterlife, accepting atheism means losing their loved ones forever. That is no small hurdle to overcome.
And my point was that this is a false perception instilled by religion; specific religious concepts lose importance when one realizes they're irrational. The feelings you find consolence in are no different, just different names with different pictures in mind.

Since atheism in itself is just a lack in one of many beliefs, each person is different. Some put more energy into such things than others. There's nothing saying that atheists can't find relatively "easy" answers, there's just one that doesn't enter into it. That one just happens to be completely pre-made and prevalant.

Atheists are just going to use concepts (which they have considered prior to the death) that have some rational basis. That's different from specifically using rationality or logic as a tool to get through it.

Perhaps the thing that you're missing is that most atheists have indeed been there. When I was young I used to console myself with notions of things like an afterlife (albeit without a god). When I realized there was no real sense to that, I found consolence in other things. One is no easier or harder than the other, and will very likely evolve with every death of a loved one. So at any rate, I can speak from experience, you cannot.

If you want to swap antecdotes, and many/most atheists I know, have an easier time dealing with death than any theist I've known. I've watched these theists repeat the notion of an afterlife incessantly, as if trying to make themselves believe it. Granted, that's purely antecdotal and so I don't hold it as objective truth. Perhaps you can see, however, how that might be insulting to some, as it implies that they're "doing it wrong" and "my way is better".

What it does say to me, however, is that it honestly doesn't seem any easier, no matter how I look at it. I don't honestly think that either way is really any harder, though, either. Death is hard, and the only thing that makes it any easier is life experience (and sometimes not even that), with or without religion.

Quote:
While I understand your points on theists and their assumptions about atheists, I'm not sure how you got to me making those same assumptions. My only assumptions about atheists and how they handle loss is that they do have a coping mechanism that works for them and that it involves a higher level of rationality than most people employ.
And that's a pretty big assumption about something you have no way of knowing.

You simply fall into the same patterns and same methods of discourse as most of the other theists on this site. To me, you don't stand out from them in any particular way. That's not meant to be derogatory in any way, simply that your assumptions fall into the same type of assumptions as many of the others seen around here. That is to say that you don't seem to have a very realistic perspective on what it actually means to be without religion. I've been saying that a lot of these issues simply fall away when one loses interest in religion, your rebuttal has been that these things are important to religious people - it's just going around in circles, so unless you want to discuss the fact that a lot of those things simply lose importance, I'm done here.


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curiousjorge050476

curiousjorge050476 wrote:

1) I believe that one of the needs theism fulfills is to find answers that science simply cannot explain. Its easy to believe in the non exhistence of God when everything goes your way. But when you lose a brother, a sister, a father or mother or go through other forms of pain and suffering, one naturally seeks answers.

Believing in God gives the hope of seeing ones loved one again in another life, and having burning questions in life answered when we do see Him eventually in the afterlife.

Questions like ,"I know that there is a reason for your creating everything, but why on earth did you create the mosquito?!?!?!"

2). It is quite comforting to know that something beyond human is watching over us and helping us become the best that we can be.

3). There is also the hope of a better plain of exhistence after this life, where everyone truly lives in peace and harmony with his/her fellow man/woman under one God for all eternity.

Many of these things become less important when religion is dropped. A lot of these things are only important because someone has convinced you of it. Science can, however, probably answer more than theists will give it credit for, and for the rest you can use your imagination.

As for #2, I would say that theists find comfort in the warm fuzzy feeling that religion has told them is god, and went on to explain that the warm fuzzy feeling is god watching over them and wanting them to be the best they can be. You can find warm fuzzy spiritual feelings without god and without supersition, and don't need to try to explain it with things that can never hold up to the slightest bit of logic.

I think AiiA covered a lot of the finer points better than I could, so I'll leave it at that Smiling 


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wavefreak wrote: But I

wavefreak wrote:
But I didn't use the scientific method.
Science is about a whole lot more than looking at things with microscopes and other such measuring tools. Things like "justice" would be better covered by social and political sciences, not medicine.

Your statement would be about equal to saying that we couldn't know anything about our sun because we couldn't fit it under a microscope - totally different fields of study with totally different tools. 

Perhaps if theists would better understand what science actually is, and stop thinking of it as a competing worldview, they'd stop using this argument from ignorance.