Why atheists are angry.......debate time???

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annie
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Postby annie » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:04 pm

Brilliant.

Makes you glad not to live in the US though, as if we needed another reason.

pauld
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Postby pauld » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:43 am

Far too much for my short attention span.

Critique
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Postby Critique » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:35 pm

annie wrote:Makes you glad not to live in the US though, as if we needed another reason.


Due to the author the piece is US-centric, but many of the arguments are not changed by the country.

As an example, when I was in the Scouts I always objected to part of the "Scout oath" which is (or at least, was at the time):

On my honour, I promise that I will do my best,
To do my duty to God and to the Queen,
To help other people,
And to keep the Scout Law.


I always skipped the "to God and to the Queen" part on the second line.

As another example do people still have to swear to tell "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth" with their hand on a Bible?

Many religious types, much like many atheists, think they've got it all figured out and cannot be wrong. I find that part of humanity worrying regardless of the domain of the discussion.

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annie
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Postby annie » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:22 pm

Completely agree..., but you have to admit that the situation is a WHOLE lot worse in the US than in the UK.

We still have a damnable connection of church and state that MUST be severed soon, for the sake of mankind.

When I gave evidence last (10 yeasr ago), I refused the bible and "affirmed", which threw them a bit. Ha!

Critique
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Postby Critique » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:34 pm

annie wrote:Completely agree..., but you have to admit that the situation is a WHOLE lot worse in the US than in the UK.


I agree that it seems to be.

Russ
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Postby Russ » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:00 am

As an atheist I can't say I've ever felt too angry about the way I’m treated. I had to do RE at school, no big deal, it was a tad boring but so was French, If anything it just made it even more obvious that religion was a crock of s**t.

I mostly feel sorry and a bit mistrustful of religious types, I think it’s weird how someone who shows themselves to be a normal intelligent person in all other respects can have faith with no evidence.

Having said that each to their own and all that, can't say that I have any friends who practice any type of religion but I'm sure most of them are harmless enough.

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annie
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Postby annie » Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:33 pm

You've been luckier then Russ.

People can believe any fairy stories they want to. It's their life. Ignorance can be bliss.

It's when they start to impose those beliefs upon others that it becomes a problem. This is usually because they believe they are right about the world and they are, in some twisted way, helping us to the "right path". This misguided behaviour is what leads to the conflict.

If the stupid sods just kept themselves to themselves and stopped trying to convert others to their cults, we'd have less problems in the world.

I actually think that R.E. should be banned, as it almost always comes from the C of E perspective and as such can be heavily biased.

Let people find religion by themselves rather then be led to it by the nose, or beaten to it by the fist.

(Better still, let them find reality and start taking responsibility for their actions)

Critique
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Postby Critique » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:18 pm

Russ wrote:As an atheist I can't say I've ever felt too angry about the way I’m treated. I had to do RE at school, no big deal, it was a tad boring but so was French, If anything it just made it even more obvious that religion was a crock of s**t.

I mostly feel sorry and a bit mistrustful of religious types, I think it’s weird how someone who shows themselves to be a normal intelligent person in all other respects can have faith with no evidence.


Actually, as an atheist, you are just as guilty of this, the only difference being that your belief is that there is no god rather than that there is one. If I were to act like an atheist and demand proof that there is no god you couldn't supply it any more concretely than various religious individuals can prove there is a god. Part of me wonders if your religion is actually the currently popular religion of science.

In my experience the atheists who want to ram down everyone's throat that god does not exist are at least as bad as (and mostly worse than) the religious individuals that want to ram down everyone's throat that god does.

For what it's worth I'm agnostic. I have some particular beliefs, but none that I'm aware of that conflict with any other given religion (though I confess to not having looked into many), excepting only, possibly, atheism.

Russ wrote:Having said that each to their own and all that, can't say that I have any friends who practice any type of religion but I'm sure most of them are harmless enough.


I don't have friends who try to convert me, I do have some that attend church etc. The type of person that thinks converting people that show no interest in being converted first are generally not the sort of people I gel with.

Critique
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Postby Critique » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:24 pm

annie wrote:It's when they start to impose those beliefs upon others that it becomes a problem. This is usually because they believe they are right about the world and they are, in some twisted way, helping us to the "right path". This misguided behaviour is what leads to the conflict.


This misguided behaviour doesn't just apply to religion though, it applies to any set of beliefs, be they religious, political or any other form of social conditioning (including, of course, economics). Man creates conflict based on their beliefs, but that doesn't mean those beliefs are necessarily religious.

To put it slightly differently "I know better than you do, you should do as I say" has never gone down well, be it children with their parents, people with their neighbours, or countries with lands beyond their borders.

Russ
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Postby Russ » Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:27 pm

Critique wrote:
Russ wrote:As an atheist I can't say I've ever felt too angry about the way I’m treated. I had to do RE at school, no big deal, it was a tad boring but so was French, If anything it just made it even more obvious that religion was a crock of s**t.

I mostly feel sorry and a bit mistrustful of religious types, I think it’s weird how someone who shows themselves to be a normal intelligent person in all other respects can have faith with no evidence.


Actually, as an atheist, you are just as guilty of this, the only difference being that your belief is that there is no god rather than that there is one. If I were to act like an atheist and demand proof that there is no god you couldn't supply it any more concretely than various religious individuals can prove there is a god. Part of me wonders if your religion is actually the currently popular religion of science.

Interesting point although I'm not sure it applies equally both ways, if you say god exists the burden of proof should be on you to prove that god does exist, if you say that god does not exist, the very fact that you are saying it does not exist kind of rules out you proving this.

If I decided to invent my own religion right now and place all my faith in an omnipotent being called Zog no one could prove that Zog does not exist, how can you provide empirical evidence that a work of my imagination does not exist? Does that mean that my new found religion should be accepted as something that a rational human being should believe in, I think not.

The crux of the argument is whether a lack of proof of something can in itself constitute proof that the negative of that thing applies. After thousands of years of all religions failing to provide any evidence that their deity actually exists, I'd say it does.

In my experience the atheists who want to ram down everyone's throat that god does not exist are at least as bad as (and mostly worse than) the religious individuals that want to ram down everyone's throat that god does.

Never really come across atheists who try and convert the religious, it's there call, personally I think religion offers support to those who cannot accept that this is life, you live it, you die, end of, for people who need this comfort I feel sympathy and leave them to it.


For what it's worth I'm agnostic. I have some particular beliefs, but none that I'm aware of that conflict with any other given religion (though I confess to not having looked into many), excepting only, possibly, atheism.

Russ wrote:Having said that each to their own and all that, can't say that I have any friends who practice any type of religion but I'm sure most of them are harmless enough.


I don't have friends who try to convert me, I do have some that attend church etc. The type of person that thinks converting people that show no interest in being converted first are generally not the sort of people I gel with.


Agreed

TossPot
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Postby TossPot » Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:58 pm

My conclusion from all that is that fundamentalist atheists are just as annoying as fundamentalist Christians / Muslims / [Insert denomination here]. Have a sit down and a nice glass of port. You'll feel less angry in a while.

yoss
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Postby yoss » Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:41 pm

Actually, as an atheist, you are just as guilty of this, the only difference being that your belief is that there is no god rather than that there is one. If I were to act like an atheist and demand proof that there is no god you couldn't supply it any more concretely than various religious individuals can prove there is a god. Part of me wonders if your religion is actually the currently popular religion of science.


Firstly, it's logically impossible to prove a negative, so the burden of proof is on those who believe.

Secondly, science is not a 'religion', nor does it in some way act as an alternative to religion. Science is simply a systematic and logical way of arriving at a set of laws which are at any given time, our best way of explaining how the universe works. Science is not a faith, it's the exact opposite.

Those who claim that the belief in the scientific method is somehow just another blind faith need to demonstrate how the methods and techniques employed by those 'doing science' are wrong.

Critique
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Postby Critique » Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:23 am

yoss wrote:Firstly, it's logically impossible to prove a negative, so the burden of proof is on those who believe.


How very convenient. Is that a scientific "fact" by any chance?

yoss wrote:Secondly, science is not a 'religion', nor does it in some way act as an alternative to religion. Science is simply a systematic and logical way of arriving at a set of laws which are at any given time, our best way of explaining how the universe works. Science is not a faith, it's the exact opposite.


The second sentence belies the first, as does the third. Look at what you've said there. It's the best way of explaining how the universe works (in, of course, the scientist's opinion). In various cultures for example the sun was a powerful being that for their own reasons gave us light. This was the best way of explaining it. Now it's explained as being a giant ball of burning gas because that's, at this given moment in time, the best way of explaining how the universe works. The faith you are here demonstrating in science is much the same as the faith of many religious people in various gods.

And much like many other faiths those believers in science to the exclusion of other faiths rest their laurels on the way that people from other faiths can't prove their religion is correct within the strictures of the scientific religion, er, method.

yoss wrote:Those who claim that the belief in the scientific method is somehow just another blind faith need to demonstrate how the methods and techniques employed by those 'doing science' are wrong.


So I need to prove a negative? I thought it's logically impossible to prove a negative. I congratulate you on your dogma, you clearly saw that one coming from miles off.

I can only demonstrate to someone that they are wrong if they are willing to believe they are wrong. If they aren't willing to believe that then they'll deduce (incorrectly) that what's been demonstrated was as a result of something else - there's always a mitigating factor if you look hard enough and need to find and believe in it enough. Have you never known someone who wouldn't believe they were wrong about something, even when you demonstrated this?

As an aside, like most faiths science isn't mutually exclusive with the majority of the tenets of other faiths. Members of other faiths may for example believe the scientific "laws" simply reflect what we have so far learned of god's grand design, or that their gods have allowed us the stability of these rules so that we may be productive in their name. It's conceivable that someone, somewhere, believes that until we have improved in some way god doesn't allow us to work out the next law and that science is simply a tool in god's toolbox that is being used for a divine purpose.

yoss
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Postby yoss » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:12 am

How very convenient. Is that a scientific "fact" by any chance?


You seem like a clever guy, don't demean yourself.

In your second paragraph I think you're conflating current explanations for how the universe might work with my point which is about the scientific method itself. Regardless of whatever the current theories of the laws of nature are, it's the way in which we learn them which is the crucial thing.

Through science we arrive at a theory of those laws through a systematic and open method of trial and error, this is not a matter of 'faith' as is underpinned by a need to demonstrate it's conclusions in a verifiable way. Science is unsentimental about discarding any theories that do not stand up to this process. It most certainly does not 'rest on it's laurels'.


...within the strictures of the scientific religion, er, method.


Seriously. Behave.


In your final section you confuse 'proving something is wrong' with 'proving a negative'. It's only the latter that I assert.

Critique
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Postby Critique » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:45 am

yoss wrote:I think you're conflating current explanations for how the universe might work with my point which is about the scientific method itself.


Quite possibly. My assertion is that many people, and I apologise if I have tarred you with the wrong brush by associating you with them, have faith in Science to the point at which it is their religion. The association came about because your comments resembled the dogma I would associate with such a person.

I'm told by someone else that my assertion was less than clear (though they did not read the context), and for this again I apologise. My intent is not to claim the scientific method useless (I have quite a lot of respect for it).

yoss wrote:Through science we arrive at a theory of those laws through a systematic and open method of trial and error, this is not a matter of 'faith' as is underpinned by a need to demonstrate it's conclusions in a verifiable way. Science is unsentimental about discarding any theories that do not stand up to this process. It most certainly does not 'rest on it's laurels'.


The problem is that the very thing that makes science useful - that it requires measurement and repeatable results - is fine only up to the point it reaches. There are unknown, and presumably vast, areas of knowledge that we, well, don't know about. Atheists and other such people who use a scientist's "you lack proof" argument to "conclusively prove" that there is no such thing as god annoy me for their close-mindedness, especially when they normally sit there saying how open-minded they are.

Someone who's strictly following the scientific method as I understand it never says "that's wrong" but only "that doesn't seem to fit with any evidence" and/or "that conflicts with this model which is backed by this other stuff". That doesn't match what a lot of atheists (particularly on BBSs) say when they're mocking religion.

yoss wrote:In your final section you confuse 'proving something is wrong' with 'proving a negative'. It's only the latter that I assert.


At the risk of digressing, wrong is "not correct" according to a couple of handy dictionaries. Proving something is not correct is surely proving a negative?


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