Viewing 40 posts - 121 through 160 (of 1,323 total)
  • Why are you atheists so angry?
  • mcboo
    Free Member

    aracer – Member

    I do object to myself and other non-believers being labled as somehow dogmatic.

    It makes you angry?

    Not angry no. That wouldn’t be rational.

    peterfile
    Free Member

    I am agnostic (I think even Dawkins himself says that it’s presently impossible to be a de facto atheist since that would involve actually disproving the existence of God, which unsurprisingly no one can do).

    My other half if a devout Catholic. She attends Mass every week and her faith is extremely important to her.

    I used to look down on anyone with faith in a deity, since it all just seemed so stupid to me.

    Since being with her, I’ve become far more tolerant. Her faith is extremely personal to her, she’s never even suggested to me that i’m wrong in my beliefs, because she knows that her beliefs are only true to her.

    We watched a program the other day on Sky which had an awesome section in HD on how snowflakes are formed (e.g. moisture droplets hitting dust particles and exploding into their beautiful and unique shape). It’s pretty impressive to watch just one, never mind the thought that they are doing this in an almost infinite number.

    To her, the is a beautiful representation of a world that was created by her God. To me it’s a beautiful representation of a bit of moisture hitting a spec of dust.

    Who am I to tell the beautiful girl sat next to me, watching the screen in awe, that it’s nothing more than a random bit of moisture hitting a random bit of dust, caused by nothing more than the environment around us? It doesn’t change anything. I can’t prove it wasn’t a product of God, and even if I could I wouldn’t want to, her life is better for having her faith.

    Mine is fine without it.

    The problem is the “militant” religious types. But in my experience, there are militant types in every walk of life, if it wasn’t their faith, it would be something else.

    Despite agreeing which most of what he says, Dawkins annoys me as much as the man who stands down the street on a Saturday afternoon shouting that we’re all doomed when judgment day arrives.

    I’ll believe what i want thanks, I don’t really need persuaded either way.

    chutney13
    Free Member

    Indeed, without religion, most of our laws woon’t exist, y’know, the moral and ethically derived ones.

    this is literally nonsense.

    ditch_jockey
    Full Member

    Speaking as one of the “faithful”, I find one of the main problems with debates like these is that the loudest voices are usually not the most coherent. Unfortunately for us, “thoughtful and measured” don’t tend to find their way into the media very often – it’s much easier to stick some swivel-eyed loon on the TV and then ridicule them.

    I know plenty of Christians who would share some of the concerns listed here about the way their belief system is presented by those who would claim to speak on their behalf. They are all aware of some the contradictions and tensions between what they claim to believe and how they conduct themselves in the world. Most of them are as wary of people at 1 on Dawkin’s scale as they are of those at 7.

    For my own part, I make it a rule to walk away from folks at either end of the spectrum – I’ve found a helpful cue is their treatment of beliefs they don’t hold, although interestingly, a dismissive attitude towards other points of view often seems to mask a fragility about their own convictions. That’s certainly been true of the Christians I’ve spoken to – I probably haven’t had enough chat with ‘grade 7’ atheists to make the same observation about them. I do see enough of the same reductionist tendencies within people who express their view of the world in terms of scientific determinism to suspect it is true of them as well.

    Elfinsafety
    Free Member

    Religion is responsible for continued human suffering.

    No, people using Religion as an excuse to try to gain power and control over others is. Let’s have it right, eh?

    And Capitalism and Greed seem to be doing a bloody good job of ensuring continued Human suffering…

    You want us to ignore this because someone might be offended if we question their nonsensical, idiotic belief in the supernatural?

    See, if you’re going to insult people because of the fact they’ve chosen to believe in something you don’t, you just end up looking like an angry shouty man. 😐

    Frodo
    Full Member

    Ro5ey its great that your enjoying church and loving the new friends and community. Thats not to say that this is for everyone and you don’t exactly come across as a comitted believer!

    You can however get this from many other organisations such as clubs or even Humanist associations. You realy should read the book, its well reasoned and articulated.

    My only problem with religeon is the disproprtionate influence it has on everday life from politics to the economy and war. It would be easier to be a gay US president than an aetheist US president. Yet I suspect that there is a significant proportion of the US population that are of no faith.

    Here our head of state is also head of the CofE and a I actually suspect that the agnostic and aetheist population outnumber any group of active faith – weird, damm right it is?

    SurroundedByZulus
    Free Member

    Had someone who was to religious for their own good try to tell me that I had to believe in something the other night. Told them that I believed in morality. That confused them.

    surfer
    Free Member

    I think one of the main beefs some atheists have, proven by some of the comments on here, is that they too want a slice of the power. Religion isn’t without it’s faults, far from it, but most of it is quite benign and a force for Good. Indeed, without religion, most of our laws woon’t exist, y’know, the moral and ethically derived ones.

    But we dont need religion to tell us what is good and bad. As Sam Harris comments “who decides what is good in the good book” a book that tells us to beat, mutilate and rape. We do it based on 20th C values not on anything that can be gleaned from the bible. In fact we ignore it.

    There’s space for Religion, Atheism, Agnosticism the lot within our society. Variety is the spice of life. It’s too closed minded and jingoistic to suggest one form should exist at the expense of the others.

    But when they are each making opposing and mutually exclusive claims about our universe then they both cant co exist, can they.

    See, if you’re going to insult people because of the fact they’ve chosen to believe in something you don’t, you just end up looking like an angry shouty man.

    Your not averse to a bit of insulting yourself though are you Fred, when it suits like.

    teamhurtmore
    Free Member

    “Science tells us what we can know, but what we can know is little, and if we forget how much we cannot know we become insensitive to many things of great importance. Theology, on the other had, induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have ignorance, and by doing so generates a kind of impertinent insolence towards the universe.”

    Bertrand Russell’ “History of Western Philosophy

    mcboo
    Free Member

    I probably haven’t had enough chat with ‘grade 7’ atheists to make the same observation about them.

    I can honestly say I have never met one.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    I’ve been going to Church for about a year.

    Have been genuinely enjoying it. I find it a lovely tonic to modern life, everyone’s friendly and there’s a great sense of community.

    That’s great, and a lovely example of some of the positive aspects of the church.

    The question I’d have is, why can’t you do that anyway, and have a “community centre,” without having to have a belief in the supernatural? If the religious element was removed, would you still attend?

    ditch_jockey
    Full Member

    I can honestly say I have never met one.

    That doesn’t mean they don’t exist… 😀

    chutney13
    Free Member

    yes, it is nonsense, people invented religion, they invented the rules for religion. people can come up with stuff by themselves you know. the fact that they have fitted religion round a certain moral code does not mean that the moral code would not exist without religion.
    you do your home work 😆

    Elfinsafety
    Free Member

    So, how would you propose that such moral codes were propagated and spread without the framework of organised religion?

    I’ve done my homework sunshine. Teacher’s given me a gold star. You’re looking at detention.

    And not with the pretty RE teacher, but with the ‘orrible smelly grumpy Science teacher. Y’know, the one with the really hairy mole on his face what you can’t stop staring at which infuriates him even more….

    mcboo
    Free Member

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SumnIqY_tUM[/video]

    Don’t know if this is the very begining (youtube not working here), worth watching the whole thing.

    chutney13
    Free Member

    religion is not the only available framework. people can communicate ideas cross faith. where do you say you live??? 😉

    that’s come out wrong, all i’m saying is that ideas can flourish and spread without religion. we live in a somewhat cross cultural country but many moral ideals are shared despite different a lack of religion.

    ditch_jockey
    Full Member

    Theology, on the other had, induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have ignorance, and by doing so generates a kind of impertinent insolence towards the universe.”

    Good illustration of a man who demonstrates he knows sod all about theology. I find that’s one of the main problems with these discussions – people are invited to argue in defence of a mangled cliche of orthodox Christian belief, a process that would first require considerable investment of time explaining what we do believe, then continuing with the debate. Given the hostile environment in which that would be taking place, it’s not really surprising that most folks who could, don’t bother.

    MrWoppit
    Free Member

    I’d just like to point out (again) that “insulting” a belief, is just that. “Insulting” the belief, not the person who holds it.

    No doubt such a person might be “offended” by that. Well – O.K. Be offended. Nothing’s going to happen, though…

    Maybe a few books might get burned. That’s about it.

    Frodo
    Full Member

    So, how would you propose that such moral codes were propagated and spread without the framework of organised religion?

    Its called evolution my dear.

    And the main problem with organised religeon is that it cannot evolve with progress and the current zeitgeist of humanity. For example the ridiculus rules implemented by the catholic church (i.e. condoms).

    Elfinsafety
    Free Member

    religion is not the only available framework

    It pretty much has bin for much of Human history.

    You’d better get on with that homework you know; Mr Barker is an extremely unpleasant man…

    RustySpanner
    Full Member

    Elf,

    I have no issue at all with people believing what they want.

    I do have an issue with people using those beliefs, whether they be religious, political or philosophical to cause suffering to other human beings.

    Religion is responsible for continued human suffering.

    No, people using Religion as an excuse to try to gain power and control over others is. Let’s have it right, eh?

    Sadly, you’re wrong. Many religions actively enshrine continued human suffering within their basic doctrines.

    I don’t believe in the supernatural.
    If people are of the opinion that the supernatural exists, despite all the evidence we currently have pointing to the opposite conclusion, then I feel I am perfectly justified in labelling their opinions as nonsensical.

    As to ‘idiotic’, people call each other idiots every day without major wars breaking out.

    You’ve called me an idiot on several occasions, I really couldn’t care less. Mockery is part of human interaction and always has been. It’s how you choose to react to it that defines you.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    Question: can you be an atheist, but still believe in extraterrestial life that may be millions of years more evolved and intelligent than our own? (i.e. beings that are more “supreme” than humans?)

    “Believe” or merely accept the possibility?

    I don’t believe in extraterrestrial life. However, given the unimaginable vastness of universe, I think it’s highly likely that life exists somewhere else other than just our planet. This may be the form of single-cell protozoa or something far more advanced than us, or anything inbetween. Perhaps there’s many, many planets out there just like ours, albeit an unfeasibly long way away. I’d be surprised if there wasn’t, but that doesn’t make it a belief.

    surfer
    Free Member

    So, how would you propose that such moral codes were propagated and spread without the framework of organised religion?

    Give me an aexample of a moral code that could only be spread through religion? and dont use the “golden rule” as that pre dates Christanity but I’m not giving you any more help.

    MrKmkII
    Free Member

    seeing as i can’t see a summing-up of the video (not even by the OP, who saw fit to quote a critic of the video, who also hadn’t seen it), i’m going to listen/watch myself 😮 wish me luck! 😆

    chutney13
    Free Member

    no, it hasn’t. What about nationality, self preservation, profit, gender, the list really does go on, but you’re late for remedial.

    AdamW
    Free Member

    Good illustration of a man who demonstrates he knows sod all about theology. I find that’s one of the main problems with these discussions – people are invited to argue in defence of a mangled cliche of orthodox Christian belief, a process that would first require considerable investment of time explaining what we do believe, then continuing with the debate. Given the hostile environment in which that would be taking place, it’s not really surprising that most folks who could, don’t bother.

    I don’t have to go to the best tailors in Italy and France to learn all about the cut of cloth, the use of needle and the properties of all dress types to be able to say : “The emperor wears no clothes.”

    Usually though, people of religion don’t ever say what they believe as if you define something then you can be questioned upon it.

    Saying that, I say: let everyone believe whatever they like, but keep religion a personal matter and have a hulking great wall between religion and state.

    Ro5ey
    Free Member

    Hey sorry I’m not bashing anyone, just posting to try to find some answers to my own questions I have with the whole thing.

    “So why should Dawkins/anyone else (and he’s not ‘my’ Dawkins – that is usually used as a way to group people you don’t like together in order to bash them) believe in your god and not one of the thousands of others? “

    Well that’s kind of my point.

    My understanding of it or how I’m interpreting it is… that God, any God, IS personal… so unless you find your own one you can’t have proof ???

    I might add that I haven’t find God…. not sure I will … I’m just enjoying the experience at the moment and would say that my life is richer for it.

    MrWoppit
    Free Member

    As an atheist, it’s true that I don’t have any “theology”.

    However, I also don’t have any “Unicornology”, Leprechaunology” or “Fairies-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden ology”.

    I’m quite comfortable with saying that, in my opinion, none of those things exist either.

    … and now I realise I’m repeating myself in response to repeated arguments posted many times before and have just spotted a giant snickers bar.

    Exit stage left, pursued by a (imaginary) bear…

    surfer
    Free Member

    ditch_jockey
    Full Member

    And the main problem with organised religeon is that it cannot evolve with progress and the current zeitgeist of humanity.

    This is laugh out loud funny! The shelves of library of your local university’s theology section will be loaded with books on this very subject. You could make a case for saying it’s the primary catalyst in the development of theological thought – certainly has been since the Enlightenment.

    aracer
    Free Member

    seeing as i can’t see a summing-up of the video (not even by the OP

    There’s a reason for that – it’s a 48 minute video, doesn’t repeat itself lots and I don’t have the time. As I keep pointing out, you don’t miss much by just listening to the audio.

    who saw fit to quote a critic of the video, who also hadn’t seen it

    Critic is a bit harsh about somebody with a very moderate and non-judgemental outlook, which I thought those from either end of the spectrum might do well to read.

    Elfinsafety
    Free Member

    You’ve called me an idiot on several occasions

    Care to point out some examples please, because I have no recollection of such a thing.

    Sadly, you’re wrong. Many religions actively enshrine continued human suffering within their basic doctrines.

    Again, examples please.

    One problem with many organised religions, speshly the Big Hitters, is that they are far too rigid and inflexible, also haven’t aged well as global societies have evolved. Yet they’ve done quite a good job helping Humanity to get to this point, in’t they? In fact, many universities where lots of Science stuff gets done were founded by religious organisations, in all parts of the Globe.

    I’m in no way going to defend all that has occurred in the name of religion, but I can be objective enough to see the good that it has done, and how in it’s many forms, it has helped shape the development of Humanity to the point we’re at now.

    no, it hasn’t. What about nationality, self preservation, profit, gender,

    Hmm. Nationality. Why do nations exist? Along what lines were their borders drawn up?

    Self-preservation; many faiths believe in an afterlife of some kind, so the motivation that being good in this life to help you in the next is quite strong.

    Profit; which were the wealthiest institutions, historically? And how did such institutions use the concept of profit to further their own ends and perpetuate their own existence?

    Gender; for good or bad, Religion has also ensured that definite gender roles were recognised and utilised in terms of social organisation.

    You can’t simple discount the role Religion has had to play in Human History, simply cos you don’t share the views of others. That’s just folly.

    surfer
    Free Member

    development of theological thought

    Am oxymoron if ever I have heard one. No place for this in any university.

    surfer
    Free Member

    Again, examples please.

    Oh come off it Fred, if you want to be taken at all seriously dont talk such rubbish or someone is gonna “cut and paste” all over yer.

    ditch_jockey
    Full Member

    I don’t have to go to the best tailors in Italy and France to learn all about the cut of cloth, the use of needle and the properties of all dress types to be able to say : “The emperor wears no clothes.”

    True, but that’s not what you’re doing here – your wrapping a sack round your waist and tying it on with a bit of twine, then claiming you understand “the cut of cloth, the use of needle and the properties of all dress types”.

    This is not particular to theology by the way – your argument wouldn’t doesn’t stand discipline in any form of rational inquiry. If you don’t believe me, go and have a look at the Credit and Qualifications Framework for any discipline in Higher Education.

    AdamW
    Free Member

    Again, examples please.

    Elf, as a gay bloke I have had a lifetime of religious nutters (including my own family) telling me I was going to boil in hell etc. A quick google about ex-gay ministries and all that sort of stuff will give you loads of examples.

    it stopped when I shouted extremely loudly at my mother to eff right off and to keep her beliefs to herself. She still constantly tells me (a 45-year old!) that one day I’ll find Jesus and god. Its like banging your head against a brick wall, trying to stop her telling me what I do/will believe! 🙄

    GrahamS
    Full Member

    Cougar: not sure I get your distinction: You “think it’s highly likely that life exists somewhere else other than just our planet” but “don’t believe in extraterrestrial life”.

    Are you just saying that it is a balance of probabilities rather than a “faith”?

    If so, fair enough. But the point stands: if you accept that, on the balance of probabilities, humans are not likely to be the most advanced lifeform in the universe then can you still truly call yourself atheist?

    ditch_jockey
    Full Member

    Am oxymoron if ever I have heard one. No place for this in any university.

    Fortunately for us, several of the best universities tend to disagree.

    AdamW
    Free Member

    This is not particular to theology by the way – your argument wouldn’t doesn’t stand discipline in any form of rational inquiry. If you don’t believe me, go and have a look at the Credit and Qualifications Framework for any discipline in Higher Education.

    Good try. The basic premise is the existence of god/s, not their properties. Unless the first can be agreed then all else that comes after it is pure conjecture and flummery.

    Or are you also a believer in the Flying Spaghetti Monster*? By your argument you couldn’t possibly say anything unless you have studied him and wear the pirate outfit?

    PS Attempting an insult based on uni is, arm, interesting. Again, good try. Nil point.

    * May you be touched by his noodle appendage.

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