Is atheism dead?

Wonderment
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Is atheism dead?

In this postmodern world atheists are free to reclaim their spirituality. We can have our cake and eat it too. That is, we atheists can be spiritual actors and performers in the deepest sense of those words.

I began to understand this by reading the text of D. Midbar -- Atheist's Prayer at http://www.atheistprayer.blogspot.com/

Midbar's approach has led me to argue that atheism is dead.

Religious experience is now available universally without having to believe for a moment in the supernatural. In fact, a belief in the supernatural is a constraint at best, and perhaps now impossible (only available to illiterates and the truly delusional.

Atheism is dead both because it has triumphed and because of the prior demise of its necessary antagonist.

We are no longer prey because the predator turned out to be a figment of his own imagination.

Suggested reading for this topic:
Midbar at http://www.atheistprayer.blogspot.com

The ideas of Don Cupitt at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Of_Faith_Network


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How can anyone say that

How can anyone say that atheism has triumphed when you live in a country where 9 out of 10 people believe in a god of some sort? 

10% of the population being atheist is triumph?

By that reasoning theism is WAY overkill dead.

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


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i read Midbar's Prayer, and

i read Midbar's Prayer, and honestly i just couldn't connect with it in any way. i don't love and long for holiness, or lament the absence of god. is it arrogant to say i feel no need whatsoever for spirituality? better yet, do i even care if it is? there's definitely nothing missing from my life without prayer. i've had about 25 years to notice any negative results from it's absence, and i've seen exactly the opposite.

as to the death of atheism, it would seem a prerequisite for this would be the death of theism. and unless i missed something..

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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Call me a grump but it

Call me a grump but it sounds like more woowoo nonesense. The term "spirituality" has annoyed me for as long as I can remember, basically meaningless so it's properties can be redefined on the fly, non commital touchy feely bullshit. Either believe in the supernatural or don't.

 

Yeah I am cranky today.Tongue out


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"Is Atheism

"Is Atheism dead?"

 Answer: No.

Next. 


Max Wilder
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Please define "holiness"

Please define "holiness" without using religion.

I smell crazy...


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D. Midbar wrote: Through

D. Midbar wrote:
Through prayer, the medium of grace, we can experience the God that might as well exist, but doesn’t.

Is this like smelling the flower is not there or am I missing something?

Quote:
Basic Premises: There is no god. All religion is false. Yet we love and long for holiness.

Ok I think Midbar is projecting his want for holiness on everyone or trying to get theist to give up their idea of god without taking away their safety blanket. Why would they want to give this feeling up? It feels good its not something people will want to set aside if they don't have to. I just don't see how holiness can exist for an atheist.

Is this what theist just finished reading when they say atheism is a religion? Because that would make sense...

I don't really see a place for spirituality for an atheist. Even if you want to talk about an afterlife some how it would a natural process which you would have to explain such a thing.

Spirituality may have more then one meanings and maybe thats what is throwing me for such a loop. When I hear the term I think supernatural and religion, faith. If you want to use the term spirituality for say having a sense of purpose you are going to confuse many people as this would be like an atheist saying he is faithful because he is loyal.

I have heard people talk about the idea that people can't give up their religion without having something to replace it with so maybe that is what this guy is trying to create. I just don't think it works very well as it admits its trying to have a cake and eat it too....

If there is nothing to pray to is this too not just going through the motions because it gives you comfort? 


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Wonderment wrote: Religious

Wonderment wrote:
Religious experience is now available universally without having to believe for a moment in the supernatural.

Sure. I'm even considering taking up meditation in an attempt to have some sort of experience.

Wonderment wrote:
Atheism is dead both because it has triumphed and because of the prior demise of its necessary antagonist.

Why call Atheism dead? Heliocentrism has triumphed, but no one is going around saying heliocentrism is dead. No, they say geocentrism is dead.


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Wonderment wrote:

Wonderment wrote:

Atheism is dead both because it has triumphed and because of the prior demise of its necessary antagonist.

Triumphed? Far from it. Just look at who is leading this country. We have a long way to go.

 

I think you're missing the whole point of being and atheist. It's because we don't believe in religious mumbo-jumbo. We don't need to waste our time shoving love comments up our ass with "prayer" and "spiritual feelings".  Leave that stuff to the new-agers.  We have infinitely better things to do than to "try to be spiritual". Like, for example, enjoy life. Laughing out loud

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.


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Hi, Wonderment.  Welcome

Hi, Wonderment.  Welcome to the forums.

When you get a minute, we'd love it if you'd hop over to the General Conversation, Introductions and Humor forum and introduce yourself. 

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Well, I'll be honest.  I

Well, I'll be honest.  I smell an agenda here, but I can't quite put a finger on it.

Like I said in the other thread you started (dealing with pretty much the same topic, by the way...) it's fine to talk about something emotional, hard to define, and somewhat elusive... natural "spiritual health" for lack of a better word, but the words, "spiritual, holy, sacred, etc... DO have religious meaning.  Using those words effectively breaks down many of the barriers between dualism and naturalism, and this is not something I want to see happen.

I find that self reliance works just fine for me.  I don't miss prayer, and meditation... nah.  Not for me.

As to atheism being dead?  Um... huh?

 

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

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Hambydammit wrote: As to

Hambydammit wrote:

As to atheism being dead? Um... huh?

 I'll try to give an example: I saw some American Atheist convention on C-Span today, and it struck me as deliriously irrelevant. I mean, if people want to get together to celebrate the earth not being flat, then go for it. But it seems like a collosal waste of time to oppose the Flat Earth Society. The proponents of Flat Earth (and fundamentalist, literalist relgion) are simply wrong.

Flat Earthers know as well as you do that they won't really fall off the edge of the world, and if they take a trip far enough eastward or westward they'll end up where they started from. Yes, there are theist enclaves outside of the modern world (in Osama bin Laden's cave or Pat Robertson's church), but they have no real future in a globalized, secularized society. They are fossils.

 Atheism is dead in the same way abolitionism is dead. Slavery has been defeated as an idea, as a respectable institution, so "enlightened" people no longer go around calling themselves "abolitionists." There is no need to (even though slavery still exists in certain corners of the globe).  Likewise, the theist/atheist war is over. The atheists won. 


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Wrong.  No-one outside the

Wrong.  No-one outside the lunatic fringe wants to bring slavery back.  Plenty of people want to bring back 'traditional Chrisitan values' such as compulsory prayer in schools, the banning of abortion and the criminalisation of homosexuality.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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This is the president of

This is the president of the United States and here are a few of his quotes.

"I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it."

"God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam [Hussein], which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."

 

Here is a link to the top 50 countries with the highest atheist populations. Notice how the numbers go down quickly. If that wasn't clear enough lets whip out the pie chat.

 

At best you are counting your chickens before the eggs have hatcheted. If atheism was truly dead like abolitionism atheist groups wouldn't exist. What people have seen in the past few years is just the beginning and there is a long way to go. I personally don't seeing theism ending in my life time say by human standards there is a VERY long way to go.


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Voiderest wrote: At best

Voiderest wrote:

At best you are counting your chickens before the eggs have hatcheted. If atheism was truly dead like abolitionism atheist groups wouldn't exist.

 That's  my point. Such groups are intellectually superfluous. They are -- if you'll forgive my saying so -- something like churches or self-help AA groups. That's NOT a bad thing, but it's not an intellectually significant thing either. It allows people to find community, to "come out" and to complain about the Other. But Nietzsche wouldn't have joined. He took his penetrating look at the modern world, said "God is dead," and was done with it. That was what? - 130 years ago? 

There ARE important church/state rights issues remaining, but all aspects of democracy always need to be defended and reiterated. There are free speech issues, due process issues, seach and seizure issues and so on. Again, in the world of ideas secularism has triumphed, just as due process has. We do need Human Rights Watch and the ACLU (in the USA), but we don't need Free Speechists or Due-processists  or a-legalsearch&seizure-ists. Why? Because the rights, though often abused, are fundamentally viewed as core principles of modern democracy. Iran and Saudi Arabia may need Atheist Leagues, but if you give them complete Internet access and freedom of speech, the rest will take care of itself. SHaria, like God, is also dead. They just haven't buried the corpse yet. 


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What about the fact we still

What about the fact we still have the asshat pro-life movement, the 10 commandments posted in courtrooms, "In God We Trust" on our money, "Under God" in the pledge, IDiots trying to put mythology in science classes, etc, etc, etc?

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Well, wonderment, I don't

Well, wonderment, I don't think there's much more I can say about this, but I'll try to be more precise:

Your claim: Atheism is irrelevant in the same way as abolitionism

The Facts: 84%(ish) of the world's population believes in a god/gods/supernatural thing. A significant portion of them want to increase religiosity in government/society.

It is virtually impossible in America for an openly atheist person to win public office.

We are arguing about whether to teach creationism in schools. There are many school districts that make mention of it in biology texts.

The Church and its "outreach ministries" account for a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. alone.

The Christian music industry is an international industry. One of the leaders in the field (for which a family member of mine works) is a multinational conglomerate encompassing markets in over 40 countries and 25 languages.

The President of the United States, for two elections now, has been "elected" largely based on his appeals to the far religious right.

There is, at present, exactly one lobby firm in Washington representing atheist interests. There are hundreds of Christian firms, collecting millions of dollars in donations, earmarked for greasy political fingers.

 

In short, your claim is so ridiculous as to be completely ignored, which I will do henceforth. I can't say that I've ever seen someone make a more ridiculous claim here, and that's saying a lot.

 

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

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Hambydammit wrote: In

Hambydammit wrote:

In short, your claim is so ridiculous as to be completely ignored, which I will do henceforth. I can't say that I've ever seen someone make a more ridiculous claim here, and that's saying a lot.

I understand how threatened you feel that your cause celebre may not be as important as you assume, but it simply isn't, in my view.

Atheism is either a political issue or it is not in the "free" world. (I agree that there are important issues in places like Saudi Arabia and Iran.) My experience is that atheism/theism is of teensy-weensy relevance. 

 

Most of the issues you cite have atheists and theists working on both sides of them. You claim Bush was elected by theists. But plenty of theists voted for Kerry, and plenty voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. Gay rights, abortion, death penalty -- are all supposedly theist/atheist divide issues, but a closer look reveals theists and atheists militantly on both sides of all those issues. Some churches are intensely pro-choice and pro-GLBT rights; others are intensely anti. John Edwards and Rudy Guliani, for example, are praising Jesus at every turn, but both are pro-choice and as pro-gay as the vast majority of secularists.  

 Other issues are largely atheist paranoia. Prayer in public schools is NOT going to happen in the US. Ten Commandments in public buildings is a snoozer of an issue. People will continue to debate abortion and the death penalty independently of their religious views, and neither issue will ever be decided by a Supreme Court or a Congress that will mention Jesus or Allah as the  justification. The argument is about "cruel and unusual punishment" in the death penalty and  viability of the fetus and parental consent (among other points) in abortion. The Western world is secularized and will remain so as long as democracy prevails. In the event of a fascist takeover, all bets are off, but atheistic anti-democrats (Hitler and Stalin) have nothing to brag about either. I'd probably take Pat Robertson over those two.


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why most  atheists,

why most  atheists, evolutionist are ex christians?
why athiests denied something  that they know doesn’t. exsists
 or am I missing something?
Is this like smelling the flower is not there?
am I making any sense? sorry if I´M not

I'm not a athiest/thiest ...sorry

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Hitler wasn't an atheist. He

Hitler wasn't an atheist. He was Catholic.


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Wonderment wrote: Other

Wonderment wrote:

Other issues are largely atheist paranoia. Prayer in public schools is NOT going to happen in the US. Ten Commandments in public buildings is a snoozer of an issue.

Do you even live in the U.S.?  Prayer in public schools happens every day.  The last thing I need is some Muslim praying over my future kids at school.  That would kind of creep me out.  The reason we continue to challenge the ten commandments in public places is because if you give the Christians an inch, they'll take a mile.  The war is far from over.  It almost seems to me that you are a Christian telling us that the war is over so that we will not care anymore and theists (namely Christians) will win.  I've never hear such bullsh*t in my life. 

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this is an extreme example

this is an extreme example of jumping the gun. the overwhelming majority of the planet's population is theist, we're years away from an atheist being able to hold the top post in the white house, we're still struggling just to keep creationism out of school biology classes.

not only is the notion of an atheist victory, and a declaration of atheism as dead, utterly foolish and naive, but Midbar's ultra-gooey views on "atheists longing for religion and prayer" are so pathetic and lame they could practically be considered a thinly veiled surrender to theism.

the entire concept is a joke. 

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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I was thinking Wonderment

I was thinking Wonderment might be a theist, too. Especially with the "Hitler and Stalin" argument.

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Yep, methinks we have a

Yep, methinks we have a theist in sheep's clothing.

Either that, or an atheist who has never lived in the U.S.

Or, possibly, someone who really doesn't comprehend reality.  That does happen from time to time.

In any case, I have to put my moderator's cap on for a second:

Wonderment, feel free to post in the three existing threads as much as you like about this topic, but three posts on the same topic is enough.  Any more posts with the same links, or same topics will be considered spam.  They will be deleted without public comment, and you may receive a temporary ban, depending on what the mods' consensus is.  Of course, you are welcome to discuss any other issues you like, or start new threads for new topics.  I just want you to be aware of our spam rules.

Once I'm done with this post, I'm officially done discussing this, though.  I haven't seen anything coherent enough to respond to.   

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

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Wonderment
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Hambydammit wrote: Yep,

Hambydammit wrote:

Yep, methinks we have a theist in sheep's clothing.

 Wrong. Not only am I not a theist, I am a radical atheist without a drop of agnostic in my bloodstream. 

>>Either that, or an atheist who has never lived in the U.S.>>

 Wrong again. I am born and raised in the US. Born and raised on the East Coast, and have lived in Calif. for 20 years. 

>>Or, possibly, someone who really doesn't comprehend reality. That does happen from time to time.>>

Wrong for third time. I hate to break this to you, but one doesn't have to agree with you about everything to be sane.  

>>In any case, I have to put my moderator's cap on for a second: Wonderment, feel free to post in the three existing threads as much as you like about this topic, but three posts on the same topic is enough. Any more posts with the same links, or same topics will be considered spam. >>

You mean your censor's cap.  

 >> I just want you to be aware of our spam rules.>>

The one you make up when your ideas are challenged?  

>>Once I'm done with this post, I'm officially done discussing this, though. I haven't seen anything coherent enough to respond to.>>

 

Bye-bye. 


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Wonderment

Wonderment wrote:
Hambydammit wrote:

 

>>In any case, I have to put my moderator's cap on for a second: Wonderment, feel free to post in the three existing threads as much as you like about this topic, but three posts on the same topic is enough. Any more posts with the same links, or same topics will be considered spam. >>

You mean your censor's cap.

No, Wonderment.  It is not censorship.  It is Forum Rule 2.4:

Rules wrote:
 

 

2.4. Spam.
The posting of spam to promote products, sites, or services not affiliated with RationalResponders.com, FreethinkingingTeens.com, Atheistnetwork.com, InfidelGuy.com, FreethoughtMedia.com, or any other site in the NoGodNetwork.com roof is strictly prohibited. Interested parties are welcome to take out ad-space at our affordable rates instead. Contact Offenders will be exiled and content deleted on sight.

Cross-postings, hit-and-run proselytism, and other posts that create unreasonable janitor-chores for the moderators may be removed without notice and sanctioned either by exile or temporary ban depending on the nature of the spam at the call of the moderator.

Please take a moment to review the forum rules.  There is a link at the top of each webpage.

 

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  Wonderment

 

Wonderment wrote:
That's  my point. Such groups are intellectually superfluous. They are -- if you'll forgive my saying so -- something like churches or self-help AA groups.

No, we are closer to say a gay activist group. I want to note that both of those orgs you gave up their say something about a higher power and prey on the weak or fearful.

Quote:
It allows people to find community, to "come out" and to complain about the Other. But Nietzsche wouldn't have joined. He took his penetrating look at the modern world, said "God is dead," and was done with it. That was what? - 130 years ago?

Here is the thing. Nietzsche had good ideas and was an atheist, but that doesn't mean atheists have to do what he would do or in this case not do. I honestly don't think you can claim Nietzche wouldn't join a group though. Really all thats a bad attempt at an appeal to authority...

Quote:
Again, in the world of ideas secularism has triumphed, just as due process has.

Faith-based Initiatives.

Quote:
Because the rights, though often abused, are fundamentally viewed as core principles of modern democracy. Iran and Saudi Arabia may need Atheist Leagues, but if you give them complete Internet access and freedom of speech, the rest will take care of itself.

No, things do not just work themself out. Thats dangerous thinking that allows others to achieve goals that could oppose yours. 

Quote:
I understand how threatened you feel that your cause celebre may not be as important as you assume, but it simply isn't, in my view.

Uh, if I didn't think it was an issues I'd be relived... 

Quote:
Atheism is either a political issue or it is not in the "free" world.

Its not that free of a world and the politics of atheists can very widely. The only issues I can think of that would have mostly atheist on its side is separation of church and state. Yes their can be religious groups siding with atheists, but I can't see an atheist wanting to have a religious government.

Quote:
Other issues are largely atheist paranoia. Prayer in public schools is NOT going to happen in the US.

What makes you think it can't? Magic? 

Quote:
Ten Commandments in public buildings is a snoozer of an issue.

Your opinion, I give a damn. 

Quote:
The Western world is secularized and will remain so as long as democracy prevails.

To the first part, tell the religious right. To the second, there is no guarantee it will.

Quote:
I'd probably take Pat Robertson over those two.

In "The New World Order" on page 218 Pat Robertson wrote:
When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. `What do you mean?' the media challenged me. `You're not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, `Yes, they are.'

Good luck with that Wonder...

Quote:
I hate to break this to you, but one doesn't have to agree with you about everything to be sane.

Wonder maybe you should go to mall with a sign that says "God is dead" and ask people's opinions on it.


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Volder, Despite all the

Volder, Despite all the alarmist thinking, I doubt that you can name one democratic nation that has gone backwards from secularization to theocracy. Even Israel has been gradually secularizing and has a Supreme Court that often stops the theists in their tracks (gays and lesbians serve openly in the Israeli military, by the way, as they do throughout Europe).

 

Susan,

I am disappointed that you have joined in on the spam warnings. I was accused of writing three spamish posts. None are spam. Two are on entirely separate subjects, and the third I wouldn't have written at all if YOU hadn't invited me to introduce myself and tell about my interests and background. 

The other moderator who threatened to delete my posts accused me previously of "having an agenda" that he sniffed out, or something to that effect? Now I've been accused by the same person of being a theist. Both those accusations are bizarrely paranoic. What agenda could I possibly have? Is there some secret conspiracy against atheists that you fear, that leads you to believe posters on your site only pose as atheists in order to trick you? What preposterous nonsense! 


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Quote:

Quote:

Volder, Despite all the alarmist thinking, I doubt that you can name one democratic nation that has gone backwards from secularization to theocracy. Even Israel has been gradually secularizing and has a Supreme Court that often stops the theists in their tracks (gays and lesbians serve openly in the Israeli military, by the way, as they do throughout Europe).

Hmmm...maybe America for the moment? At least with Bush in power, taking orders from "the guy in the sky". Israel is far from going atheistic. WTF do gays and lesbians have to do with this? It's beside the point. I think you're getting the spam warnings because you're just...well, not really thinking intelligently. Where do you get all this crap about atheism being dead and atheists needing to be religious? Do you just decide it should be that way or are you brainwashed? I'm trying not to be too ad hominen, but this is just_plain_stupid.

 

Sir Loin wrote:

I'm not a athiest/thiest ...sorry

Then what are you?...are you simply temporarily undecided as of now, or have you created a new state of the mind?

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.


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Wonderment wrote: Volder,

Wonderment wrote:
Volder, Despite all the alarmist thinking, I doubt that you can name one democratic nation that has gone backwards from secularization to theocracy. Even Israel has been gradually secularizing and has a Supreme Court that often stops the theists in their tracks (gays and lesbians serve openly in the Israeli military, by the way, as they do throughout Europe).

Roman

Wonder it is foolish to think things can't turn around on you. The only reason secularization keeps going is because people work at it.

I want to point out here that this site isn't about political movements, there is a section for it though. This site exists because there are people in the world who have irrational ideas. God belief happens to be one and you are claiming the debate is over. Did all the theist miss the memo? (Wants to talk about tps reports for some reason)

Quote:
Is there some secret conspiracy against atheists that you fear, that leads you to believe posters on your site only pose as atheists in order to trick you? What preposterous nonsense!

People in the past have done it and you are suggesting atheist should engage in a religious act for some reason.


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I think you can have case

I think you can have case for atheists relaxing in non-US modern democracies. Here in Australia religion is largely a non-issue, occasionally a religious group will try to push something in politics but the people and media will usually tell them to get back in their box. Recently, when questioned, the archbishop answered that government ministers who were catholic but voted in favor of allowing embryonic stem cell research might be excommunicated. The media immediately attacked the statement and actually overreacted as far as I'm concerned. He was directly questioned on the issue and answered yes, as his faith tels him but the newspapers reported it as though he had actually issued a threat in order to make the vote go the way the church wanted. In most places here the only reaction you'll get to declaring that you're an atheist is "yeah, so?"

Most of europe appears to be even better than us on this issue. It just seems that america refuses to move with the times.

 

I watched Jesus Camp last night and I'm now more certain than ever that as an American you have no reason to be complacent. You have leaders that are convinced that atheists are lesser citizens than christians and aren't afraid to say so.  You have many fundamentalists who genuinely believe that freedom of religion means only the freedom to believe their religion and are pushing to have that enforced by law. You actually have creationism being considered as a possible valid topic in science classes.

And even though we have it much better in Australia I'm still not prepared to give up my vigilance. There's always someone who thinks they can force their god's rules onto everyone else, children are still being denied freedom of thought by fanatical parents and Science is still being impeeded by religious morality.

but most of all I recognise that Australia is not in a protective bubble. We have islamic fundamentalists just north of us in indonesia who would love to inculde us in their theocratic perfect world. America has a massive number of christian funamentalists with pretty much the same idea and if America falls to theocracy it is powerful enough to become everyone's problem.   

 

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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>>I think you're getting

>>I think you're getting the spam warnings because you're just...well, not really thinking intelligently.>>

 

Precisely. Anyone who disagrees with you is both dumb and a spammer, by definition. Not that's a rational response!!! 

 

>>I'm trying not to be too ad hominen, ...>>

 Try a little harder. 


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Wonderment

Wonderment wrote:
Precisely. Anyone who disagrees with you is both dumb and a spammer, by definition. Not that's a rational response!!!

Wonderment, three posts with the same topic having the same links... If we were going to censor you we might start by deleting a few of your threads or maybe taking down those links. Hamby asked you to be careful about posting the same topic over and over and you called it censorship. I'm thinking Susan said something because you thought he made it up.

 

Now Dan shouldn't be insulting, but he is trying to talk about the idea of "atheism being dead and atheists needing to be religious." To me theism needs to be dead first, which just isn't the case, and the whole notion of biological need for religion doesn't seem well supported.

Lets just try to focus on the argument, complaining about forum rules or rudeness isn't going to help your case.

 

The two big problems you have with your idea are the large populations of theists and the idea everyone needs spirituality.

If there are theists there are going to be atheists, if there are a lot of theists atheists probably can't claim victory.

I suggest you explain the need for spirituality as I don't see the first claim turning out so well and this idea baffles me.


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Wonderment

Wonderment wrote:
Precisely. Anyone who disagrees with you is both dumb and a spammer, by definition. Not that's a rational response!!!

It's just that we expect our ponies to be able to do more than one trick. 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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Wonderment wrote: In this

Wonderment wrote:
In this postmodern world atheists are free to reclaim their spirituality. We can have our cake and eat it too. That is, we atheists can be spiritual actors and performers in the deepest sense of those words. I began to understand this by reading the text of D. Midbar -- Atheist's Prayer at http://www.atheistprayer.blogspot.com/ Midbar's approach has led me to argue that atheism is dead. Religious experience is now available universally without having to believe for a moment in the supernatural. In fact, a belief in the supernatural is a constraint at best, and perhaps now impossible (only available to illiterates and the truly delusional. Atheism is dead both because it has triumphed and because of the prior demise of its necessary antagonist. We are no longer prey because the predator turned out to be a figment of his own imagination. Suggested reading for this topic: Midbar at http://www.atheistprayer.blogspot.com The ideas of Don Cupitt at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Of_Faith_Network

Since you seem dead bent on keeping your point, I will ask you this:  what is the point of being a religious atheist?  Are there any benefits? 

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.


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Voiderest wrote: Hamby

Voiderest wrote:

Hamby asked you to be careful about posting the same topic over and over and you called it censorship.

 

Volder, not exactly. Hamby didn't ask me to be careful. S/he threatened to delete any future things I wrote on what s/he construed to be the same topic, and s/he suggested I had some nefarious ulterior motive.

 But as you say, let's move on. 

 >>To me theism needs to be dead first, which just isn't the case, and the whole notion of biological need for religion doesn't seem well supported.>>

Whether theism is dead depends on what you view as a threat to atheism. Some people would say something like the Taliban or the Spanish Inquisition. Most posters here seem to think a threat is when someone says, "Merry Christmas" to you.

 How well it is supported  depends on what you mean by "religion". If by religion you mean genes that make someone fall on their knees and praise Jesus, then no. But check out the work of Andrew Newberg for what I have in mind. http://www.andrewnewberg.com/

>>The two big problems you have with your idea are the large populations of theists and the idea everyone needs spirituality.>>

 I am not saying the theists are physically dead. I am saying their ideas are intellectually dead. Democracy has won as the viable, sustainable political philosophy of a global society, and theism is a very poor fit with democracy. Separation of church and state is basically a done deal, and theists today must couch their arguments in non-theist language and win their debates on non-theist grounds. Example, no one argues before the Supreme Court that gay marriage should be banned because Leviticus says so. They have weak arguments about the history of the institution of marriage, its supposed universality, and so on. No one says at the Supreme Court that Jesus and Jehovah oppose abortion. They  talk about when a fetus has rights (never? at 8 months? when it is viable outside the womb?) etc. 


>>I suggest you explain the need for spirituality as I don't see the first claim turning out so well and this idea baffles me.>>

 I am not claiming spirituality is a universal NEED. I belive Midbar claims that, and scientists like Newberg might, but Cupitt doesn't. Rudolf Otto in the IDea of the Holy talks about this, as have many theologians throughout the 20th century, including William James and anthropologists who note religious practices universally. There's all sorts of evidence that humanity HAS BEEN homo religiosus throughout history. The atheist position, at least as expressed here, seems to be, well, you can just pull yourself up out of your genes (no pun intended) by your bootstraps. 

My contention is that's the equivalent of thinking, people don't really need sex, and it's kind of yucky, so I'll just never have it again. Or, people should never hurt each other, so I'll never feel aggression again.  


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Wonderment wrote: Whether

Wonderment wrote:
Whether theism is dead depends on what you view as a threat to atheism.

The only valid threat to atheism is preventing people from exercising their freedom of religious belief to not to actually have one.

Quote:
Some people would say something like the Taliban or the Spanish Inquisition.

Most actually. In fact you could substitute any totalitarian regime in there. People should have the choice to quietly believe what they want as long as it doesn't harm others.

Quote:
Most posters here seem to think a threat is when someone says, "Merry Christmas" to you.

Two points:

1) This is a baseless assumption.

2) People who actually do take offence at something like that need beaten with a stick. A big stick. With nails in it.

Quote:
How well it is supported depends on what you mean by "religion". If by religion you mean genes that make someone fall on their knees and praise Jesus, then no.

No such gene I'm afraid.

Quote:
But check out the work of Andrew Newberg for what I have in mind. http://www.andrewnewberg.com/

Newberg would be a lot more convincing if he paid attention to the studies that showed faith either had a neutral or detrimental effect rather than just the ones that had a positive effect. As it is his work is just pop psychology.

Quote:
I am not saying the theists are physically dead. I am saying their ideas are intellectually dead.

Not so.

Quote:
Democracy has won as the viable, sustainable political philosophy of a global society, and theism is a very poor fit with democracy.

Again, not so. Religion fits well with democracy if it is relatively homogenous. A large block of people with a common religious creed provide a powerful force for the promulgation of their faith through government in a way that wasn't possible before emancipation.

Quote:
Separation of church and state is basically a done deal, and theists today must couch their arguments in non-theist language and win their debates on non-theist grounds.

Whilst still lobbying and raising funds to promote candidates that are amenable to their views. If you think theism is dead in the US as a political force then perhaps you would care to wager on the odds of a confirmed atheist becoming President?

Quote:
Example, no one argues before the Supreme Court that gay marriage should be banned because Leviticus says so. They have weak arguments about the history of the institution of marriage, its supposed universality, and so on. No one says at the Supreme Court that Jesus and Jehovah oppose abortion. They talk about when a fetus has rights (never? at 8 months? when it is viable outside the womb?) etc.

True, however the funding and lobbying behind the people promoting these agendas is not so constrained. You also fail to explain how democracies with noseparation of church and state - such as the UK - operate. The real reason that a lot of motions suceed or fail is that the people want them to, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Quote:
I am not claiming spirituality is a universal NEED.

Good because it isn't.

Quote:
I belive Midbar claims that, and scientists like Newberg might, but Cupitt doesn't. Rudolf Otto in the IDea of the Holy talks about this, as have many theologians throughout the 20th century, including William James and anthropologists who note religious practices universally. There's all sorts of evidence that humanity HAS BEEN homo religiosus throughout history.

Nope. Religion has been one facet of a common binding of individuals throughout history as has cultural myths, laws and societal convention. Religious practices are universal but so are the other things I mention - you can't isolate one and ignore the others.

Quote:
The atheist position, at least as expressed here, seems to be, well, you can just pull yourself up out of your genes (no pun intended) by your bootstraps.

No, the atheist position is that we can all make an individual choice. Religion is not hardwired, it's software.

Quote:
My contention is that's the equivalent of thinking, people don't really need sex, and it's kind of yucky, so I'll just never have it again.

Except sex is essential to the continuation of the species. Religion is not.

Quote:
Or, people should never hurt each other, so I'll never feel aggression again.

Again, nonsesne.

Your whole argument fails on the principle that you are treating religion as the one uniting factor throughout history and, frankly, it isn't. If you are going to argue that religion is hardwired into our genes then you must also argue that storytelling, communication and group co-operation is as well and they're not. We can survive without any of these elements.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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The Patrician wrote: If

The Patrician wrote:

If you are going to argue that religion is hardwired into our genes then you must also argue that storytelling, communication and group co-operation is as well and they're not. We can survive without any of these elements.

 

Lol.  I rest my case.  


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Quote: Lol.  I rest my

Quote:

Lol.  I rest my case.

Was there ever any doubt?  You still haven't answered my question.  What are the benefits of being a "spiritual" atheist, if any?

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.


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Wonderment wrote: Whether

Wonderment wrote:
Whether theism is dead depends on what you view as a threat to atheism.

No it doesn't. You might be able to stretch the dead idea when theism is at least in the minority, but thats not the case now. I wouldn't call it dead until the idea of god belief is pretty much gone as an accepted social norm. I won't even begin to think about calling it dead till its on the same level of bigfoot or fairy tales.

Quote:
Some people would say something like the Taliban or the Spanish Inquisition. Most posters here seem to think a threat is when someone says, "Merry Christmas" to you.

Dead doesn't mean not a threat, dead means gone. This is kinda like saying bunnies are dead because they can't hurt you.

Quote:
How well it is supported depends on what you mean by "religion". If by religion you mean genes that make someone fall on their knees and praise Jesus, then no. But check out the work of Andrew Newberg for what I have in mind. http://www.andrewnewberg.com/

Quote:
I am not saying the theists are physically dead.

No one here is suggesting a death of theists. (that idea can lead to all kinds of misunderstandings) I just don't think you can claim an idea is dead when its an idea that is accepted as true without question by an over whelming majority of the world.

Quote:
I am saying their ideas are intellectually dead.

I think you should explain what you mean by intellectually dead, this might be where you lost me.

Quote:
Democracy has won as the viable, sustainable political philosophy of a global society, and theism is a very poor fit with democracy.

Democracy might be working right now and the mainstream right now, but it doesn't mean it is impossible for progress to be lost.

I don't know if you can claim theism can't work with democracy. Sure god would be a dictator, but catholics vote on what reality is so its kinda iffy.

Quote:
Separation of church and state is basically a done deal,

FAITH BASED INITIATIVES

Quote:
and theists today must couch their arguments in non-theist language and win their debates on non-theist grounds. Example, no one argues before the Supreme Court that gay marriage should be banned because Leviticus says so. They have weak arguments about the history of the institution of marriage, its supposed universality, and so on. No one says at the Supreme Court that Jesus and Jehovah oppose abortion. They talk about when a fetus has rights (never? at 8 months? when it is viable outside the womb?) etc.

They can't use the bible as evidence, but it may be what pushes them and certainly doesn't stop them from using it as evidence when talking to the public. It also doesn't stop people from trying to use their religion or position in a church to support some idea or create creditability.

Quote:
I am not claiming spirituality is a universal NEED.

Well I read the link you gave to explain the idea so thats probably why everyone here thought you were.

Quote:
I belive Midbar claims that, and scientists like Newberg might, but Cupitt doesn't.

Uh, doesn't that page about Cupitt say he is a priest? I'm not sure a priest is the best guy to explain to me how an atheist should pray...

Quote:
Rudolf Otto in the IDea of the Holy talks about this, as have many theologians throughout the 20th century, including William James and anthropologists who note religious practices universally. There's all sorts of evidence that humanity HAS BEEN homo religiosus throughout history.

Things being done through out history isn't much of a point. The are plenty of things we set aside with advancement.

Quote:
The atheist position, at least as expressed here, seems to be, well, you can just pull yourself up out of your genes (no pun intended) by your bootstraps.

Ok now you are saying there is something in us that would make us have a need for spirituality.

Quote:
My contention is that's the equivalent of thinking, people don't really need sex, and it's kind of yucky, so I'll just never have it again. Or, people should never hurt each other, so I'll never feel aggression again.

Um, wonderment I don't know if you've ever been a teenager, but thats when hormones start kicking in big time. We know which hormones do this and how. Sex and spirituality are no where on the same level. You seem to imply in your arguments that a lack of a reason not to something somehow supports the idea.

 

What you need to give us is a reason to why an atheist needs spirituality.


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Wonderment wrote:

Wonderment wrote:
The Patrician wrote:

If you are going to argue that religion is hardwired into our genes then you must also argue that storytelling, communication and group co-operation is as well and they're not. We can survive without any of these elements.

 

Lol. I rest my case.

You're going to have to explain this one to me since you argue that we need spirituality. No, really, you are.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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Master Jedi Dan wrote:

Master Jedi Dan wrote:

What are the benefits of being a "spiritual" atheist, if any?

 Identical to the benefits of being a spiritual theist, except you get to do it without any gods. Sort of like having your cake and eating it too. 


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Wonderment

Wonderment wrote:

Identical to the benefits of being a spiritual theist, except you get to do it without any gods. Sort of like having your cake and eating it too.

But without a higher being...it's...empty. It's like eating your cake, but your cake is just a frosting shell...there's nothing inside.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.


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Voiderest wrote:  I won't

Voiderest wrote:

 I won't even begin to think about calling it dead till its on the same level of bigfoot or fairy tales.

 

It is like Bigfoot.


Quote:
I think you should explain what you mean by intellectually dead, this might be where you lost me.

Ok, fair enough. By "intellectually dead," I mean that the evidence relegating theistic beliefs to the dump heap of Big Foot and the Easter Bunny has become so overwhelming that it is virtually impossible to hold such beliefs with an intellectually straight face. All theistic arguments (especially the literalist ones) are so convoluted as to be rendered ridiculous. People now understand that, just as we reached a tipping point in which people understood that slavery was immoral or that not allowing women to vote was stupid. It just takes a while for the CONSEQUENCES of these societal realizations to kick in completely. It may take a couple of centuries. But science, democracy, philosophy and even theology are all on the side of the atheists now. It's basically a matter of cultural clean-up, in which you rational responders can play a small role. The problem is (from my perspective) that most of you sound like soldiers fighting a war that Nietzsche declared (correctly) was over 140 years ago (approx). The news is taking a long time to reach you guys.

Quote:

Uh, doesn't that page about Cupitt say he is a priest? I'm not sure a priest is the best guy to explain to me how an atheist should pray...

I suggest you actually read "that guy" before judging him.  



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So are you going to explain

So are you going to explain your post or what?


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Wonderment wrote: It is

Wonderment wrote:
It is like Bigfoot.

The non-religious is less then 16% and some of that percentage thinks religion is somehow good.

Quote:
Ok, fair enough. By "intellectually dead," I mean that the evidence relegating theistic beliefs to the dump heap of Big Foot and the Easter Bunny has become so overwhelming that it is virtually impossible to hold such beliefs with an intellectually straight face. All theistic arguments (especially the literalist ones) are so convoluted as to be rendered ridiculous. People now understand that, just as we reached a tipping point in which people understood that slavery was immoral or that not allowing women to vote was stupid. It just takes a while for the CONSEQUENCES of these societal realizations to kick in completely.

Tell that to the theists... 

Quote:
It may take a couple of centuries.

And you want to declare victory o_O

Take a lesson from Bush, damn.

Quote:
But science, democracy, philosophy and even theology are all on the side of the atheists now. It's basically a matter of cultural clean-up, in which you rational responders can play a small role. The problem is (from my perspective) that most of you sound like soldiers fighting a war that Nietzsche declared (correctly) was over 140 years ago (approx). The news is taking a long time to reach you guys.

Most of the people here had to get out of a religion so that kinda works against you in the argument. If society is still in support of the idea of god there is still something to be done.

Quote:
I suggest you actually read "that guy" before judging him.

I read a bit off of his site. It sounds like he wants to call philosophy religion. Every other definition of religion includes the idea of a god and most involve the supernatural. Honestly I don't see much of a difference between his idea of a "‘organized religion’ to ‘spirituality’" movement no better then paganism or new age.


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Master Jedi Dan wrote: But

Master Jedi Dan wrote:
But without a higher being...it's...empty. It's like eating your cake, but your cake is just a frosting shell...there's nothing inside.

I'd think it might be easier if you just ate the frosting out of the can then.

I guess if we go back to reality we would need to figure out what the can is and make sure this frosting isn't going to give us a cavity or worse diabetes.


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Quote: It's basically a

Quote:
It's basically a matter of cultural clean-up, in which you rational responders can play a small role. The problem is (from my perspective) that most of you sound like soldiers fighting a war that Nietzsche declared (correctly) was over 140 years ago (approx).

This just doesn't make any sense to me. You admit that cleanup is still needed and then in the VERY NEXT SENTENCE tell the cleaners to just pack up and go home. You sound like the Iraqi minister of information declaring victory even while the treads of the theist's tanks roll into town.


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hutch wrote: This just

hutch wrote:


This just doesn't make any sense to me. You admit that cleanup is still needed and then in the VERY NEXT SENTENCE tell the cleaners to just pack up and go home. You sound like the Iraqi minister of information declaring victory even while the treads of the theist's tanks roll into town.

 

Well, rather than keep going in circles,  I can only tell you posters my honest opinion: I think you are a bunch of smart people wasting your time making much ado about nothing. You don't live in Iraq or Saudi Arabia or Spain during the Inquisition. (But speaking of Spain, you do seem a bit like Don Quijote battling the windmills for a noble but irrelevant cause.) 

 You are no more under threat from theists than Chicken Little was of the sky falling.  Your militance suggests that atheism has a political agenda, when the truth is that atheists and theists are all over the political map. There are pro-war atheists (like Karl Rove and Stalin) and pro-peace theists (like Martin Luther King and Gandhi). In fact, I might argue that politics trumps religion. White Southern theists based segregation on the Bible,  for example, while black  theists  based  integration on the same Bible.  The same is true with the war in Iraq today and issues like the death penalty. 

 You have complete freedom from religion. Move on to something -- like the war in Iraq -- that really matters, that people really die over, and that you might have some real influence over.


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Wonderment wrote: You have

Wonderment wrote:
You have complete freedom from religion. Move on to something -- like the war in Iraq -- that really matters, that people really die over, and that you might have some real influence over.

Ok this is interesting not only should atheists pray, but they don't need to do anything reguarding religion. Did you know atheist are the most distrusted group in america? I'd bring up things like under god, but you've already stated those things don't matter to you. I have yet to get a comment on Faith Based Inititives. Do you know much about the laws in some states? Not to mention the number of people who like to think we were founded as a christian nation... Earlier you talked about how secularism will prevail, but some are working against it.

Even if your claim that there is complete freedom from religion was true, it isn't, that wouldn't end site. It would end sites like ffrf, but we kinda have list and my non-magical 8 ball says, "Not done yet."


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Voiderest wrote:   I'd

Voiderest wrote:

 

I'd bring up things like under god, but you've already stated those things don't matter to you.

If you want to devote your life to getting "under God" out of the POA or "in God we trust" off the currency, fine. I, frankly, have bigger problems with the whole Pledge of Allegiance. With or without 'under god' it is a silly, jingoistic, untruthful loyalty oath. 

 

Quote:
I have yet to get a comment on Faith Based Inititives.

 Faith-based initiatives are a step backward in separation of church and state, and I oppose them. But they weren't argued in the name of Jesus. They were argued as a way to get poverty funds in the hands of community groups and eliminate gov. bureacracy. A lot of atheist community organizers are happy with the $$ they're getting by hooking up in joint ventures with churches, mosques, etc.

 If you are concerned with the backward steps of the Bush administration (and the worst is the two Supreme Court justices he appointed), you should a) become a Democrat if you're not already and b) talk to your "libertarian" atheist friends who voted for Bush and his faith-based programs. 

You should also face the fact that there is a huge difference between GW Bush and say Barack Obama ( a religious man). That should get you to the real issues that will affect you the rest of your life, like war and peace, not slogans on coins.