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(AlterNet)   Columnist attempts to debunk 10 myths about atheists, manages to prove 9 of them are true   (alternet.org) divider line 917
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38422 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Sep 2011 at 11:58 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-09-14 02:11:23 PM  

eraser8: Also, what the hell is wrong with Fark? I'm sitting at my desk Farking by phone because for some reason I can't get the site to load on my computer's browser.


I'm having problems connecting here at home. It's only Fark, too. Every other site is fine.
 
2011-09-14 02:12:10 PM  

PsiChi: Look around you - pretty obvious there's intelligence behind the design.


Declaring your position to be "obvious" is not logically equivalent to demonstrating your position to be accurate.
 
2011-09-14 02:12:23 PM  

poisonpill: popesballs: 1.) There are no theists at funerals

/think about it
//it's just as true and false as it's corollary: no atheists in foxholes

That makes no sense. First of all, have you *been* to a religious funeral? They acknowledge the person is elsewhere ("a better place") but mourn because they will be apart from them.

I mean aren't there sad people at airports? You are sad when someone you love departs, no? It doesn't matter if they're in the afterlife or worm food.


Firstly, yes of course I've been to religious funerals. Most recently, someone very close to me passed away unexpectedly. You'll excuse me if I don't give too many details, as I want to keep my personal grief to myself. This person was religious and although I am not, we both understood and respected each others conclusions about the nature of reality - It took nothing away from the love we shared between us.

The throw away phrases "no atheists in foxholes" & "no theists at funerals", in my opinion, are both a little bit true and alot bit false - you'll remember I already said that.

It's true, having your life in immediate danger has a tendency to make some people try to communicate with an incorpeal deity to intervene miraculously - but there are plenty of examples of self identifying atheists who do not do this, as well. Pat Tillman probably being the most famous recent example.

On the other hand I cannot deny the inconsistency in someone proclaiming an absolute certainty of an afterlife in heaven for a loved one and then being miserable and saddened to know that's where they went.

Of course there are theists at funerals, and of course there are atheists in foxholes. Those phrases are just meaningless barbs two factions hurl at one another to score points - but they each may contain a kernel of truth.

I actually think the whole airport analogy is what's way off base. The departing of another person to a far away location, where you know the person actually still exists - in this materialistic world, the only world we actually have any knowlege of - is not to be compared to the finality death.

Oh and another thing. Most religions also profess that people either go to heaven (your "better place") or burn in hell (your sadistic "revenge place") for eternity. And they say that no human will ever be able to differentiate which place the dead person went to. Thats not a very comforting thought, in my opinion.
 
2011-09-14 02:13:25 PM  

G2V: Atheism is illogical. To believe that there is no god requires giving unnecessary credence to the question of whether a god does or does not exist, and then deciding one way or the other without proof.

Being an Atheist is like being an Antileprechaunist.

Far better to just say there's no point in even asking the question without extremely strong reason, and write the whole religious question off as nonsensical, like the tooth fairy, santa claus, and big foot.

To say you disbelieve in God is the same as saying you disbelieve in immaterial invisible intangible magical pink unicorns that shoot fire from their eyes and are the size of galaxies. They might exist, I sure can't prove they don't, but why bother thinking about it?


That is a variation on ignosticism. As you have phrased it, it's a subset of agnostic atheism.

Atheism does not require actively saying, "there is no God!" That's antitheism, which is a subset of atheism (usually a very vocal one).

All atheism requires is that you do not hold (as presented by the prefix a-) belief in a god or gods (theism). It's very minimalist. Everything else that gets added to it by social convention is not necessary to meet the most basic criterion. The version of atheism you refer to, for example (antitheism), requires more than those basic points.
 
2011-09-14 02:14:00 PM  

Some 'Splainin' To Do: We don't, in general, just bash people for espousing political, philosophical, or religious beliefs (although we might bash the specific beliefs and arguments made for them), but there's this weird consensus that atheism is an exception and that it's gauche to make any arguments at all in favor of it when even the sloppiest religious apologist gets a free pass to espouse theism at the expense of atheism.


That's just it, there's no "We" here. There is no general description of atheists behavior I have ever seen be helpful in predicting how the next one you meet will be. There are plenty of clueless people claiming to be non-believers/believers who don't devote much if any time to continuing on the path of learning that lead them to the position they claim to be in support of. Then this position usually leads to the argument of whether or not average intelligence is greater on one side or the other. Which leads to lots of graphs and poll data being thrown about and abused. But I for one have not seen lack of anger, prejudice or stupidity on either side of those positions.

Proselytizing your own beliefs is natural. The main difference between these two camps is, if there happens to be an asshole atheist talking, they don't feel completely unjustified in falling back to the idea that their beliefs are rational and the other idiot is irrational. If there is an asshole theist talking, they don't feel completely unjustified in falling back to the idea that the other person is going to hell if that person does not get their shiat together. Assholes are everywhere.
 
2011-09-14 02:14:43 PM  

G2V: Far better to just say there's no point in even asking the question without extremely strong reason, and write the whole religious question off as nonsensical, like the tooth fairy, santa claus, and big foot.


As it turns out, we have a word for people that do this: atheists.
 
2011-09-14 02:16:31 PM  
Atheism is a Religion. A piss-poor Religion, but a Religion regardless.

The amusing part is where an almost endless supply of Schoolboy Atheists will launch into ever-decreasing circles of denial, and exercises of semantics worthy of any medieval theologian.
 
2011-09-14 02:17:22 PM  

Maus III: eraser8: PsiChi: Look around you - pretty obvious there's intelligence behind the design.

What are you basing that on?

Be specific.

Moon, humans, stars, Earth. Are you stupid? How could a human vagina "just appear out of the nothing"?


read up on traumatic insemination. if I had to formulate a hypothesis on the spot I'd say that it probably formed (well before humans evolved) as a sex organ in response to traumatic insemination being part of the reproductive cycle of a very ancient ancestor. but to answer your question it isn't like one day a woman looking like a barbie just got up one day and POOF! vagina!

but even that is still more likely than an omnipotent being just poofing into existence and deciding to make one
 
2011-09-14 02:20:28 PM  

A challenger appears: ) Most of the responders tried to deflect the observation by saying since Christianity is the dominant religion in the West that it wouldn't make sense to criticize Islam instead of address the point.


I, in fact, responded only by asking why you had lied. You have still not answered that question: for what reason did you lie?
 
2011-09-14 02:21:16 PM  

PsiChi: And, logically, I don't believe that life, animals, people, natural phenomena (e. g., stars, planets, solar systems, universes), could exist without intelligent design.


Natural selection is a very good explanation for the existence of biological diversity without the need to rely on an intelligent agent. In fact, natural selection is a much better explanation when we consider the interrelationship of living things and the adaption of genes, proteins and body structures from one organism to the next.

As for cosmology, the laws of physics are perfectly adequate to explain the structure of the universe -- including stars, planets, solar systems and the rest.

You're basically making an argument from incredulity: since you don't understand how it happened, supernaturalism has to be the answer.

PsiChi: On our planet, for example, there is a delicate balance that is required for life to be maintained. That includes the need for a certain speed of revolution, a certain distance from the sun, a certain mix of breathable air, etc. If any of these goes out of whack, we all die.


I'd like to acquaint you with the anthropic principle.

PsiChi: To believe in this way, IMO, you have to believe in reincarnation, which I do. What goes around, comes around. And this is where things get ugly... The way you treat people in a prior life is how you will be treated in this one.


Interesting idea. But, where's the evidence?
 
2011-09-14 02:22:05 PM  
11. Atheists are usually D&D dorks who work in IT , dry hump their pillows while reading graphic novels and love reminding people they're atheists ALL THE FARKING TIME because they don't realize being an atheist no longer makes them seem edgy or mysterious. They listen to 'experimental' electronic 'music'.



Oh, that one didn't make the list, must be true.
 
2011-09-14 02:24:44 PM  

PsiChi: eraser8: PsiChi: Look around you - pretty obvious there's intelligence behind the design.

What are you basing that on?

Be specific.

I've really made it my life's work to try and figure out what the hell is going on here. And, logically, I don't believe that life, animals, people, natural phenomena (e. g., stars, planets, solar systems, universes), could exist without intelligent design. On our planet, for example, there is a delicate balance that is required for life to be maintained. That includes the need for a certain speed of revolution, a certain distance from the sun, a certain mix of breathable air, etc. If any of these goes out of whack, we all die. Yet, we've lived here for, to avoid an argument about other topics, a very long time.

There is a certain graceful beauty to how things work out, and they are seen every day. You will argue that many things do not "work out." But we do not see the whole picture. How many times have you heard someone say, "If I had not gone through (some awful circumstance), I would never have learned to (some life-altering positive thing, such as love)"?

To believe in this way, IMO, you have to believe in reincarnation, which I do. What goes around, comes around. And this is where things get ugly... The way you treat people in a prior life is how you will be treated in this one. We must learn to be kind, one way or another. Apparently, we are very stubborn, and insist on doing things our own way, even when it seems to hurt us very deeply. But God will go to whatever lengths are necessary to bring you around. The problem is that some of these teaching methods don't seem to be too kind themselves.


If our conditions are so unlikely as to make the logical conclusion that someone put it all there, why is that someone and their own origin more likely to have happened by chance? That seems more like putting off the question than answering it...
 
2011-09-14 02:24:56 PM  

letrole: Atheism is a Religion. A piss-poor Religion, but a Religion regardless.

The amusing part is where an almost endless supply of Schoolboy Atheists will launch into ever-decreasing circles of denial, and exercises of semantics worthy of any medieval theologian.


You obviously have no idea of the definition of the word religion.
 
2011-09-14 02:25:04 PM  

letrole: Atheism is a Religion. A piss-poor Religion, but a Religion regardless.

The amusing part is where an almost endless supply of Schoolboy Atheists will launch into ever-decreasing circles of denial, and exercises of semantics worthy of any medieval theologian.


Welcome to the thread, Troll. You might get a few bites.
 
2011-09-14 02:25:15 PM  
Hey subby...
Choke on my cock.
Thanks.

trappedspirit: ...if there happens to be an asshole atheist talking, they don't feel completely unjustified in falling back to the idea that their beliefs are rational and the other idiot is irrational. If there is an asshole theist talking, they don't feel completely unjustified in falling back to the idea that the other person is going to hell if that person does not get their shiat together.


I do not find either of those views to be assholish, asshole. Maybe you should stop judging us believers and nonbelievers you wish-washer. You nonbelieving-believers with all your talk of rational discourse piss me off.
 
2011-09-14 02:25:22 PM  

FireBreathingLiberal: Bevets: 6) Atheists don't have a moral code.

1. Do the right thing for fear of eternal suffering and damnation?
2. Do the right thing because it's right?


Which is "moral"?


Define what is right/
 
2011-09-14 02:27:00 PM  

Some 'Splainin' To Do: PsiChi: Some 'Splainin' To Do: PsiChi: I don't see how anyone who has studied Life can be an atheist, someone who does not believe in God. Look around you - pretty obvious there's intelligence behind the design.

I'll only point out that this is an assertion and that I don't agree with the contention.

What I could believe is someone not believing that God is perfect, or all-good. This is called "dystheism." You don't hear too much about that, but that seems much more reasonable than atheism.

Is it intellectually dishonest to say you don't believe in God, when in fact you just can't bring yourself to believe that God would let all that is bad occur?

When I look at the universe and assume, for the sake of argument, that a god created it, I find that the evidence does not point to either a good god or an evil god but, rather, a remote and unconcerned god that doesn't appear to involve itself with its creation.

In other words, I find myself being pointed towards a Deistic god. Since Deism is functionally indistinguishable from atheism, except for an ontological quibble, I don't find much utility in that line of thought.

You find the difference between the belief that there is a God that created all this compared to the belief that this all evolved by itself an "ontological quibble"? That might be like saying that the fact that I'm on a cruise ship with a captain can easily be compared to being on a ship with no captain.

When the god in question has absolutely no interaction with its creation, I would absolutely say that it's a quibble. The difference between a universe that's the product of a Deistic god and a universe that has no creator is functionally nil.

Since there's no way to logically distinguish a Deistic universe from an atheistic universe, I don't see much point in presuming a creator for such a universe except as an ontological curiosity.

In either case, the "ship", itself, does not have a captain steering it.


I'm apparently not the only one having trouble with the browser loading,..

Anyway, on what do you base your belief that God has no interaction with Her creation?
 
2011-09-14 02:28:26 PM  

letrole: Atheism is a Religion. A piss-poor Religion, but a Religion regardless.

The amusing part is where an almost endless supply of Schoolboy Atheists will launch into ever-decreasing circles of denial, and exercises of semantics worthy of any medieval theologian.


As opposed to letrole, who can't even manage that much, and so is forced to limit himself to copypasta ad hominem attacks.

Tell me, what's it like to be even less original and creative than Bevets? It must take work to reach that level of sheer dullardly mediocrity.
 
2011-09-14 02:29:52 PM  

Dimensio: A challenger appears: ) Most of the responders tried to deflect the observation by saying since Christianity is the dominant religion in the West that it wouldn't make sense to criticize Islam instead of address the point.

I, in fact, responded only by asking why you had lied. You have still not answered that question: for what reason did you lie?


I didn't see your post until I looked back after receiving this one. I suppose I should have added the qualifier "almost completely" in front of "ignore" in my original comment. I can't see the video (I'm at work and YouTube is blocked) so I'll watch it later.
 
2011-09-14 02:32:35 PM  

letrole: Atheism is a Religion. A piss-poor Religion, but a Religion regardless.

The amusing part is where an almost endless supply of Schoolboy Atheists will launch into ever-decreasing circles of denial, and exercises of semantics worthy of any medieval theologian.


Brilliant as usual. :-)

+1
 
2011-09-14 02:32:39 PM  
3) Atheists are aggressive and rude. This myth has been around ...............

Three paragraphs later:

...........a flimsy belief in a supernatural being made up by pre-literate people trying to figure out where the rain came from.


Hmmmm?
 
2011-09-14 02:32:50 PM  

Charles Martel: [1.bp.blogspot.com image 640x500]


Yeah, I know you're trolling. Ha, ha. You can imagine me angrily rebutting the notion that atheism == Communism if you'd like the thrill of a bite.

I do think that it's slightly ironic that your handle is from someone who could be reasonably called the father of feudalism.

When contemplating the human costs of feudalism and Communism, i think that it's largely a wash. Wouldn't you agree?
 
2011-09-14 02:32:54 PM  

Hyperbolic Hyperbole: But let's be honest here.



Yes, please let's. You start...
 
2011-09-14 02:34:35 PM  

letrole: Atheism is a Religion. A piss-poor Religion, but a Religion regardless.

The amusing part is where an almost endless supply of Schoolboy Atheists will launch into ever-decreasing circles of denial, and exercises of semantics worthy of any medieval theologian.


0/10. waay too obvious. frenchie.
 
2011-09-14 02:34:48 PM  

Leeds: letrole: Atheism is a Religion. A piss-poor Religion, but a Religion regardless.

The amusing part is where an almost endless supply of Schoolboy Atheists will launch into ever-decreasing circles of denial, and exercises of semantics worthy of any medieval theologian.

Brilliant as usual. :-)

+1



More like, repeated as usual. Someday he'll post an original thought that he didn't copy/paste...
 
2011-09-14 02:34:49 PM  

snuff3r: I got as far as "pleading for tolerance of atheists".

As an atheist i couldn't care less what you religious people believe - personally, i think you're all braindamaged to have not let go of the beliefs I had as a six year old. But in the course of my day, i couldn't give a rats ass about any of you and what you believe in. I don't want to hear it. I don't want to be aware of it. I don't want you to force your beliefs on me or my kids. I want you to keep it to yourselves. Religion shouldn't play a part in politics, the office, the classroom and especially in regards to how the country is run.

If you step over that line, then I will make it clear where I stand. Religious people can call me rude, lacking in morals, etc, but honestly, i can't see past the shiat you're displaying far enough to allow me the ability to care what you think.

I don't need you to tolerate me, i need you to keep your personal beliefs to yourselves.


I agree with this comment, but I stand independantly as a seperate atheist who does not consider your opinion before forming my own. There is no "new wave" atheism. There is no "old school" atheism. Atheism is not an orginized belief. It is a disorginized non belief. People who use "we" when talking about the collective thought process are simply trolling for god fearing outrage.
 
2011-09-14 02:38:25 PM  
I personally believe phrases like "ad hominem" and "straw man" were invented by Atheists to shout at people when they have absolutely run out of halfwit sayings they all seem to agree are clever.
 
2011-09-14 02:38:35 PM  

trappedspirit: Some 'Splainin' To Do: We don't, in general, just bash people for espousing political, philosophical, or religious beliefs (although we might bash the specific beliefs and arguments made for them), but there's this weird consensus that atheism is an exception and that it's gauche to make any arguments at all in favor of it when even the sloppiest religious apologist gets a free pass to espouse theism at the expense of atheism.

That's just it, there's no "We" here. There is no general description of atheists behavior I have ever seen be helpful in predicting how the next one you meet will be. There are plenty of clueless people claiming to be non-believers/believers who don't devote much if any time to continuing on the path of learning that lead them to the position they claim to be in support of. Then this position usually leads to the argument of whether or not average intelligence is greater on one side or the other. Which leads to lots of graphs and poll data being thrown about and abused. But I for one have not seen lack of anger, prejudice or stupidity on either side of those positions.


Of course that's true. For any given set of positions, some subset of people advocating that position will be making bad arguments. That's an unfortuate reality of public discourse.

What I mind, however, is that there seems to be something of a double-standard that suggests that any atheist making any argument in support of atheism is acting inappropriately. That is the attitude that I'm objecting to.

Proselytizing your own beliefs is natural. The main difference between these two camps is, if there happens to be an asshole atheist talking, they don't feel completely unjustified in falling back to the idea that their beliefs are rational and the other idiot is irrational.

I'm not sure that this is peculiar to atheism. I find that no matter what the subject is, if there are people who are passionate about it, there are people who are going to condescend to those on the other side of the argument. Belittling the opposition, while bad form, is hardly a vice specific to atheists.

There's also the fact that, sometimes, your opponents really are being idiots. To take the subject away from atheism, I have no compunction against saying that anti-vaxxers, homeopathists, and ghost hunters are making stupid claims, nor do I think that one should be required to spare the feelings of people making stupid claims on behalf of their religious beliefs.

And just to be perfectly clear, that includes atheists. When I used to be much more active in this debate (back in the days of Usenet), I never hesitated to call other atheists on their shiat when they made bad arguments, if only because the quality of their arguments indirectly reflect on the quality of my own. I think that's a good practice no matter which camp you're in.
 
2011-09-14 02:39:24 PM  

Itstoearly: FireBreathingLiberal: Bevets: 6) Atheists don't have a moral code.

1. Do the right thing for fear of eternal suffering and damnation?
2. Do the right thing because it's right?


Which is "moral"?

Define what is right/


right: behaviors which do not go contrary to the typical behavior for your particular tribe, at that point in time. Also known as morals.
 
Ant
2011-09-14 02:39:43 PM  

roncofooddehydrator: I'm an agnostic. That's the only logically tenable position.

/Militant agnostic - I don't know and you don't either.


I'm not 100% certain of the non-existence of leprechauns, but I wouldn't call myself an agnostic about leprechauns.

Theist = Believes in a god or gods
A = not

Not a theist? You're an atheist, regardless of what you do or do not know.
 
2011-09-14 02:39:58 PM  
29.media.tumblr.com
 
2011-09-14 02:40:05 PM  
don't see how this is geek

don't see how 9 were proved true

don't see why we don't just have a dedicated atheism/evolution/etc/etc tab on Fark.
 
2011-09-14 02:40:13 PM  

PsiChi: Some 'Splainin' To Do: PsiChi: Some 'Splainin' To Do: PsiChi: I don't see how anyone who has studied Life can be an atheist, someone who does not believe in God. Look around you - pretty obvious there's intelligence behind the design.

I'll only point out that this is an assertion and that I don't agree with the contention.

What I could believe is someone not believing that God is perfect, or all-good. This is called "dystheism." You don't hear too much about that, but that seems much more reasonable than atheism.

Is it intellectually dishonest to say you don't believe in God, when in fact you just can't bring yourself to believe that God would let all that is bad occur?

When I look at the universe and assume, for the sake of argument, that a god created it, I find that the evidence does not point to either a good god or an evil god but, rather, a remote and unconcerned god that doesn't appear to involve itself with its creation.

In other words, I find myself being pointed towards a Deistic god. Since Deism is functionally indistinguishable from atheism, except for an ontological quibble, I don't find much utility in that line of thought.

You find the difference between the belief that there is a God that created all this compared to the belief that this all evolved by itself an "ontological quibble"? That might be like saying that the fact that I'm on a cruise ship with a captain can easily be compared to being on a ship with no captain.

When the god in question has absolutely no interaction with its creation, I would absolutely say that it's a quibble. The difference between a universe that's the product of a Deistic god and a universe that has no creator is functionally nil.

Since there's no way to logically distinguish a Deistic universe from an atheistic universe, I don't see much point in presuming a creator for such a universe except as an ontological curiosity.

In either case, the "ship", itself, does not have a captain steering it.

I'm apparently not the only one having trouble with the browser loading,..

Anyway, on what do you base your belief that God has no interaction with Her creation?


I'm describing Deism. That's what Deism means. If you aren't familiar with Deism, Wikipedia has a pretty decent write-up.

As I previously noted, when I look at the universe and assume, for the sake of argument, that there exists a creator, I find myself forced to conclude that the creation has all the hallmarks of a deity who is remote and unconcerned about its creation; ergo, deism.

I understand that you don't agree with that assessment, but given that your arguments for your own case basically boil down to arguments from incredulity, you'll pardon me if I don't think that my own assessment is any less valid.

You see the fingerprint of a creator and assume its involved. I see no such fingerprint and must conclude that the creator is either absent or non-existent. So it goes.
 
2011-09-14 02:42:30 PM  

A challenger appears: Yours is the only response to my comment that has had any merit (so far.) Most of the responders tried to deflect the observation by saying since Christianity is the dominant religion in the West that it wouldn't make sense to criticize Islam instead of address the point.


Wrong.

Saying the reason atheists almost always address Christians is because they only interact with Christians, is a very valid explanation.Why do the mechanics at Jiffy Lube only do oil changes? Same thing. Claiming that the valid explanation is a 'deflection' that 'doesn't address the point,' is ironically a deflection.

Also, I pointed out that that observation is the result of cognitive bias. Atheists often do address Islam.
 
2011-09-14 02:42:39 PM  

Hyperbolic Hyperbole: I personally believe phrases like "ad hominem" and "straw man" were invented by Atheists to shout at people when they have absolutely run out of halfwit sayings they all seem to agree are clever.


Not sure if that counts as a new troll, or just an escalation of the same semantic troll you've been running, but I'll go ahead and give ya +1 for novelty in continuity.
 
2011-09-14 02:43:37 PM  

Hyperbolic Hyperbole: I personally believe phrases like "ad hominem" and "straw man" were invented by Atheists to shout at people when they have absolutely run out of halfwit sayings they all seem to agree are clever.



www.cachebeauty.com
 
2011-09-14 02:43:43 PM  
OhFarkItAllToHell! Don't you people EVER tire of having this same argument once per week? Has anyone ever changed someone else's mind? Arguing about religion is the most utterly stupid thing one can do. You'd be more successful cutting down a Sequoia with a pocket knife. Let others believe what they want.

/from a dyslexic agnostic, who stays up at night pondering the existence of Dog.
 
Ant
2011-09-14 02:43:43 PM  

Shazam999: What's the one where you don't care if He's real or not?



Lazy
 
2011-09-14 02:44:22 PM  

Jim_Callahan: To be fair, there's a school of thought that life is pretty much inevitable within certain parameter sets, and variation in conditions just changes the timing. "Earth-like conditions", by the way, are apparently actually pretty common in the universe.

But yeah, as a person born before humanity started star-hopping, not worrying too much about it is probably the best course of action.



Here is an interesting question that I have seen raised with regards to that issue. If intelligent life is even slightly common, why hasn't every single OTHER earth lke planet, incuding ours, been colonized yet?

The Milky Way is terribly old. It took us less then 100 years to go from basic rocketry to having one of our probes leave the solar system. Barring any self-immolation, our technology a mere one-thousand years from now shoud be sufficient for inter-stellar travel.

So what happened to the intelligent life in some other part of the galaxy that invented rocketry five thousand years ago? Ten thousand? Even a million years earlier would not make much of a difference from the planets' or galaxies perspective. There should be hundreds of solar systems with advanced tool using life. Why havent they taken this planet as their own yet? No FTL? Even at .5c, it would only take a couple of hundred thousand years. The million year old civs would still have been here by now.

One can accept that maybe some advanced civilizations simply didnt care to explore/expand, and that some others killed themselves off somehow, but what about the rest of them?

Either we are improbably going to be the first (barring self-immolation), or there is something weird going on.
 
2011-09-14 02:44:44 PM  

jchic: kronicfeld: Atheists are just jealous of Jesus's ripped abs.

and his swimmer's bod?

/rock me sexy Jesus


this is utterly ridiculous! Everyone knows Jesus never swam, he walked everywhere.
 
2011-09-14 02:45:11 PM  

Hyperbolic Hyperbole: I personally believe phrases like "ad hominem" and "straw man" were invented by Atheists to shout at people when they have absolutely run out of halfwit sayings they all seem to agree are clever.


With all due respect, I think that goes a long way towards explaining the quality of your arguments.
 
2011-09-14 02:45:12 PM  

Mike Chewbacca: mjbok: I just don't know, and I think it is silly that some people think they do.

I also don't know there isn't an invisible stalker in my bedroom, but I'm perfectly comfortable saying there isn't. The only difference is that there isn't a worldwide religion based on the invisible stalker in my bedroom, and yet I'm being small-minded because I'm comfortable saying there is no god.


The "some people think they do" was actually not pointed towards atheists, but rather towards anyone that thinks that they, or their religion, have it figured out. For me (and only for me) the not knowing is probably a carryover from being raised religious. I cannot definitively say that FSM doesn't exist (which is the point that many religious people try to hang me on), but no one can definitively say that a god or any god does exist. 'I just know' is not an acceptable response since I am no longer an infant.

I am in the 99.9 percent sure range that atheists have it right, but there is that nagging doubt that there is something controlling everything. However, I believe wholeheartedly that no one has it right if that .1 percent holds to be true.

One of my good friends is an atheist and calls me chickenshiat because I won't cross off that .1 percent of doubt, so I'm stuck as an agnostic.

I never push my beliefs (or lack thereof) on someone, but I will chuckle at some of them.

//Going to church for the first time in decades it was startling to me how much it resembled a nazi rally. Statement, response, statement, response. No independent thought at all in that building.
 
2011-09-14 02:45:37 PM  

Hyperbolic Hyperbole: I personally believe phrases like "ad hominem" and "straw man" were invented by Atheists to shout at people when they have absolutely run out of halfwit sayings they all seem to agree are clever.


people.virginia.edu
 
2011-09-14 02:45:47 PM  

Rev. Skarekroe: 1) There are no atheists in foxholes.

That's not a myth, it's just an old saying intended to point out the horrors of war.


God hates liars.
 
2011-09-14 02:46:13 PM  

pwhp_67: Hyperbolic Hyperbole: But let's be honest here.


Yes, please let's. You start...


Brilliant - I was addressing the belief in the existence of God - you, on the other hand, suggested that because a lot of people (and to be perfectly honest, not even the majority, but just the most vocal folks) who believe in God also believe that God said man to man ass sex is immoral, that you can do away with everything about God.
 
2011-09-14 02:46:15 PM  

eraser8: PsiChi: And, logically, I don't believe that life, animals, people, natural phenomena (e. g., stars, planets, solar systems, universes), could exist without intelligent design.

Natural selection is a very good explanation for the existence of biological diversity without the need to rely on an intelligent agent. In fact, natural selection is a much better explanation when we consider the interrelationship of living things and the adaption of genes, proteins and body structures from one organism to the next.

As for cosmology, the laws of physics are perfectly adequate to explain the structure of the universe -- including stars, planets, solar systems and the rest.

You're basically making an argument from incredulity: since you don't understand how it happened, supernaturalism has to be the answer.

PsiChi: On our planet, for example, there is a delicate balance that is required for life to be maintained. That includes the need for a certain speed of revolution, a certain distance from the sun, a certain mix of breathable air, etc. If any of these goes out of whack, we all die.

I'd like to acquaint you with the anthropic principle.

PsiChi: To believe in this way, IMO, you have to believe in reincarnation, which I do. What goes around, comes around. And this is where things get ugly... The way you treat people in a prior life is how you will be treated in this one.

Interesting idea. But, where's the evidence?


You could study reincarnation - that's really the only way to find out. What really picqued my interest were studies by Dr. Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia. He discovered that some children claim to remember previous lives. He would go to their homes and get the details of their beliefs, then try and track down the families these children said they were supposedly with previously.

In some cases, the families were quite a ways away from the children reporting these "previous lives," but it would turn out that they would be right on the particulars they had stated. A little girl would remember the name of her husband, or where she had lived, or the manner in which she died, the names of relatives, etc. So this is what got me started on a lifetime of study.

Do you know what "parsimony" is? It is when a theory explains things easily, without having to twist yourself or the facts into a pretzel to make the theory work. That is how reincarnation is, for me. And I can't see a deity wasting perfectly good people, when S/He can recycle them and have them around for companionship forever. Although sometimes I think, because of life circumstances, that God is like that kid in the Toy Story movie (don't know which one) that was just a horrendous monster. Gotta be honest!
 
2011-09-14 02:46:20 PM  

Hyperbolic Hyperbole: I personally believe phrases like "ad hominem" and "straw man" were invented by Atheists to shout at people when they have absolutely run out of halfwit sayings they all seem to agree are clever.


Well, I think Cicero would disagree with you about the former term. There's a reason it's name is quoted in latin, after all. As for the full etymology, see for yourself.

As for the latter term, it is somewhat more recent, but it also has an etymology.

Don't you just love it when someone responds to a disparaging snark with the facts of why the snark is wrong? I sure do.
 
2011-09-14 02:47:16 PM  
The amusing thing about Atheists is the way that they demand respect and expect acceptance of their beliefs. That's the real problem. Atheists feel dirty inside. All the anger, the forced arrogance, the belligerence -- it's simply shame turned inside out.
 
2011-09-14 02:47:35 PM  
Re: "No atheists in foxholes".

There is a grain of truth to this. People in life-or-death (or similarly desperate) situations will tend to grasp at straws. It's a part of the human condition usually described as the "bargaining phase" by psychologists, and frequently preyed upon by religious ghouls with pamphlets in the palliative care wards of hospitals.

/ Everything else was pretty spot on.
 
2011-09-14 02:47:49 PM  

Rev. Skarekroe: 1) There are no atheists in foxholes.

That's not a myth, it's just an old saying intended to point out the horrors of war.


Just got here, and well, fark reading 300 and some odd posts.

Anyhow.

I stub my toe, or get surprised, on occasion, I'll say "Jesus Christ".
I see someone taking a risk and I'll say, "God, I hope this doesn't end badly." Or I'll take a risk myself and say "God help me".

It's a phrase. It's not indicative of what I Believe. It's habit. It's not literal. Even in an atheist those words can bolster confidence, they're a shedding of all thought. You could say "Elephants doing it lying down" if that's what you've heard in movies and society since you were old enough to remember phrases, and it would have the same effect.

It's a ritual, of sorts. It triggers a mental response which focuses concentration on the task at hand.

/that is all
 
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