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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
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38427 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Sep 2011 at 11:58 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-09-14 02:47:51 PM  

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.

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?

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 300x300]

static.black-frames.net
 
2011-09-14 02:49:18 PM  

whatshisname: The vast majority of atheists just don't give a crap about religion. They don't argue about it on the Internet, they don't try to convert anyone to their way of thinking and they say "Thank you" when someone wishes them a Merry Christmas or Happy Diwali.


This. Personally I go out of my way to wish people a Merry Christmas because the stupid "war on Christmas" mentality pisses me off. Christmas is a really nice tradition. Much like chocolate at Easter. The concept has become divorced from the religious aspects.

So Merry Christmas, Farkers!
 
2011-09-14 02:49:19 PM  

Ant: 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.


BLLLEAAAARRRRGGG! WITH US OR AGAINST US!!!

And you wonder why people feel the need to put out articles debunking the "myth" that atheists are aggressive and rude?

See, for the vast majority of agnostics, the whole god/no god question is irrelevant. They just don't give a shiat. Then you come along, and you say, "Well, you don't believe in god, that means you're on my team, and you have to wear this shirt, and read these books, and have all these other beliefs that I have."

And when the poor agnostic says, "Hey, I don't think I believe this stuff..." you tell him he's wrong.

Nice.
 
2011-09-14 02:49:52 PM  

Cubicle Jockey: 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.


Ah, the good, old Fermi Paradox. It's one of my favorite Big Questions (and I mean that without sarcasm).

My own guess is a combination of intelligent life being relatively uncommon (I find the argument that you need a big moon stabilize axial tilt and, therefore, to have complex life to be somewhat compelling) and that interstellar travel is and will remain prohibitively expensive (i.e., that there's no FTL drive, or cheap antimatter in our future).

But that's just my guess. At this point, I don't think we really have enough evidence, one way or the other, to really tackle the question. As it is, we're only beginning to get a solid estimate for the second term of the Drake Equation. That leaves a lot of room for speculation, still.
 
2011-09-14 02:51:50 PM  

mjbok: 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.


1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2011-09-14 02:52:37 PM  

7wolf: 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...


I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Would you mind rephrasing it?
 
2011-09-14 02:53:24 PM  

drmda: justtray: Quit telling us god doesn't like gays and that the Founding Fathers were Christians

So, why did all the atheists go along with all this "deity" language in the founding documents?


They were neither atheists nor Christians. Largely, they were deists, though some, like Washington, put on a show of being Christian for the benefit of their friends and neighbors. Some of them (Jefferson in particular) had rather nasty things to say about Christianity and organized religion as a whole.
 
2011-09-14 02:53:41 PM  

Mike Chewbacca: But targeting people in moments of weakness to sell them religion is regarded as a normal and even virtuous strategy for proselytizing.

My father died from cancer last year on May 28. My dad's service was a celebration of his life. He was a good man, though not really a nice man. My family was stunned by the 400+ people who showed up for his service, including people he'd worked with in Scouts 30 years earlier. It was truly amazing to visualize how many lives my dad had touched in his grumpy 72 years. I knew that even though my dad was gone, a little bit of him lived on in these people. This mostly-secular service was planned by my mom, who is a devout Christian, and despite the fact that my dad was also a devout Christian and an active member in their church. My family wanted a celebration of Dad's life, and that's what we got.

Two months later, my father-in-law died, also from cancer. His service was much smaller, although my father-in-law was just as good a man, but actually nice. His service was 45 minutes long, just like my dad's, but the pastor only talked about how if we accepted Christ into our lives, we'd get to see Ted again. He didn't talk about Ted's accomplishments or his skills or anything like that, just that Jesus would be our path to seeing Ted again. Instead of the celebration Ted deserved (even more so than my dad), we all got a sermon on how to visit Ghost Ted in the afterlife, if only we'd accept Christ's love. It was disappointing and did nothing to comfort those of us who weren't already Christian.

A funeral isn't the time to proselytize, it's the time to comfort.

/last year was really awful, as you can imagine.


This is why I told the wife I want a viking pyre and not a priest in sight.
 
2011-09-14 02:54:01 PM  

Some 'Splainin' To Do: trappedspirit: 2) Atheists are just angry with God.

Well, I've seen a lot that sure do protest too much, and strangely only about the one particular branch of one particular religion they were raised in and haven't been able to shake the guilt of. So yeah, there's some "rebellious teenagers" out there in the quest for defining a personal cosmology. They are usually the loudest and therefore get the most attention.

I'll admit that there's some truth to this. Coming out as an atheist can be a hard thing in a culture that puts a premium on religious beliefs, and I've spoken to more than a few atheists who have been effectively disowned because of it.

When that happens, a certain amount of anger is natural and normal, and it makes sense that it'd be focused on the religion that the person is leaving behind, and you're correct that this does make up a certain fraction of atheist rhetoric and that's it's a fairly vocal segment.

However, I hate the implication that the only good atheist is a quiet atheist. In almost any other area of thought, it's considered perfectly normal to advocate for positions that you believe to be true. 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.

On principle, I don't like closets, and I think that this attitude is geared towards trying to keep atheists in the closet. Having come from an era where being an open atheist could cost you your job, your family connections, and make you a social pariah, I think that I owe a debt of thanks to people like Dawkins and Hitchens for getting atheism out in the public sphere and for making it easier for people to openly declare their atheism.

Yes, their rhetoric was often obnoxious, but when the polite thing is to be silent and invisible, it may well be the case that you need a bit of confrontationism to break through the social status quo.

To borrow an example from the gay rights movement, chanting "We're here, we're queer, get used to it!" wasn't a very nice thing to say. But it was effective.


This.

Theism (The Abrahamic ones anyway) is the privilaged position, and has always been. You can put a theistic sign, in front of a building, dedicated to theism (a Church) and no one gets angry. You can dedicate whole television channels to theism, and no one (atheist or theist) will call you a vocal, militant, douche.
 
2011-09-14 02:54:28 PM  

KiltedBastich: 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.


I will mark down your "serious debunking" of an obvious joke as the first actual victory for internet atheists.
 
2011-09-14 02:54:59 PM  

ReverendJasen: 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.


Link (new window)
 
2011-09-14 02:55:11 PM  

mjbok: 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.


My own feeling is that that .1% doesn't mandate agnosticism.

I'm perfectly comfortable saying that I believe that there are no gods, but that doesn't mean that I'm absolutely certainly that I'm correct. For any ontological position short of mathematical propositions, there's always going to be some small amount of epistemic uncertainty.

Will the sun rise in the east, tomorrow. Will I be able to drive my car all the way to work without it sublimating into vapor. Will gravity continue to prevent me from flying off into space, today.

For all of these things, I think so, but there's no way to be absolutely certain. But I would never let such mild uncertainties from expressing the belief that the sun will rise in the east, that my car won't evaporate, and that gravity will continue to function as normal, pending evidence to the contrary.

If a .1% uncertainty qualifies as agnosticism, then I'd say that almost everyone is agnostic about almost everything and that, therefore, it would be a term with little to no real meaning.
 
2011-09-14 02:55:36 PM  

Hyperbolic Hyperbole: I was addressing the belief in the existence of God


No you weren't. Since you seem to not be able to read, or at least comprehend, what you yourself typed - allow me to help:


Hyperbolic Hyperbole: Also, "of course we're angry, we've been lied to" guy - "we've been lied to" implies that you have discovered the absolute truth



pwhp_67:
The Catholic Church says homosexuality is wrong.

Homosexuality has been observed as naturally occurring in nature.

Therefore, stating as fact that homosexuality is a sin and an offense to some god who allegedly created nature, is a lie.



You brilliantly follwed this with:

Hyperbolic Hyperbole: I was talking about God, and you are trying to make this conversation about getting buttdicked


You are as dishonest as your church...
 
2011-09-14 02:55:38 PM  

PsiChi: 7wolf: 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...

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Would you mind rephrasing it?


I'll rephrase it for him: if God created existence, then who created God?
 
2011-09-14 02:56:38 PM  

Oldiron_79: Many people who call themselves Atheists are actually Anti-theists.

Pretty much if you get a kick out of annoying theists and actually give 2 shiats what theists do you are an anti-theist, not an Atheist.

Anti-theists are to Atheists what Westboro Baptist type fundies are to Theists.


Being an anti-theist does not prohibit one from being an atheist. The two are not mutually exclusive, just as Westboro Baptist-type fundies are also theists.
 
2011-09-14 02:56:42 PM  

Some 'Splainin' To Do: drmda: justtray: Quit telling us god doesn't like gays and that the Founding Fathers were Christians

So, why did all the atheists go along with all this "deity" language in the founding documents?

No one said that the founders were atheists. It's pretty clear that a majority of them (particularly the influential ones) were Deists.

It's also interesting that you mention "founding documents" without specifying which ones you're referring to.

The Declaration does, indeed, reference a Creator. However, given the deistic sentiments of the authors, it's a far stretch to suppose that they're specifically referencing a certain Judean carpenter.

And, of course, the Constitution, which is the document that defines the legal framework of the country, not only lacks any mentions of creators (deistic or otherwise), it specifically states that the government has no place in that discussion.


What about Thor's Day or Thursday? Are you suggesting that those that use this day of the week a an adherent of Norse mythology?
 
2011-09-14 02:57:14 PM  

Marley'sGirl: TsarTom: 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.

Interesting. My take on it was always: "When the chips are down, the important things become apparent." or some such.

/atheist

I interpret it as: "When things get bad enough, even an atheist will ask God for help as a last resort" I believe it to be true - what have you got to lose at that point?


Why would I ask something I don't beleive exists for help? And isn't it an insult to your faith that you think it's nothing but a last resort for the frightened? Do you people think about what you are saying?
 
2011-09-14 02:58:04 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.


You're asking (actually, demanding) that people keep their beliefs to themselves while simultaneously ramming your beliefs down others' throats. And knock it off with the whole "religious people are tards" thing. We want religious people to respect our beliefs, so we need to publicly respect their right to believe what they wish. You are not helping our cause at all.
 
2011-09-14 02:58:26 PM  

Satanicpuppy: And you wonder why people feel the need to put out articles debunking the "myth" that atheists are aggressive and rude?

See, for the vast majority of agnostics, the whole god/no god question is irrelevant. They just don't give a shiat. Then you come along, and you say, "Well, you don't believe in god, that means you're on my team, and you have to wear this shirt, and read these books, and have all these other beliefs that I have."

And when the poor agnostic says, "Hey, I don't think I believe this stuff..." you tell him he's wrong.


Uh?

Person1: "2+2 = 7!"
Person2: "No. 2 (1,2) plus 2 (3, 4) equals 4. 2+2=4"

Is person2 really being aggressive and rude?

Pointing out the meaning of words isn't someone trying to convert you to "their team." It isn't aggression, it isn't rudeness, and it certainly isn't a demand that you have to wear t-shirts or read books.
 
2011-09-14 02:58:45 PM  

pwhp_67: Homosexuality has been observed as naturally occurring in nature.


Hamsters eat their own young and monkeys fling poo.
 
2011-09-14 03:00:30 PM  

Satanicpuppy: See, for the vast majority of agnostics atheists, the whole god/no god question is irrelevant.


FTFY.

In any case: Internet agnostics are more annoying than atheists and the religious combined, as they attempt to build a philosophical high ground on a foundation of utter ignorance. I get a kick out of pointing out that they're atheists because it tweaks their noses and they deserve it for being jackasses.
 
Ant
2011-09-14 03:00:59 PM  

Satanicpuppy: See, for the vast majority of agnostics, the whole god/no god question is irrelevant. They just don't give a shiat. Then you come along, and you say, "Well, you don't believe in god, that means you're on my team, and you have to wear this shirt, and read these books, and have all these other beliefs that I have."


I don't give a shiat which books you read, who's team you're on, or what shirt you wear. I just hate this self-righteous attitude of "I'm an agnostic. I don't know and neither do you", as if each side had the same amount of evidence to back them up.
 
2011-09-14 03:01:09 PM  

impaler: Satanicpuppy: And you wonder why people feel the need to put out articles debunking the "myth" that atheists are aggressive and rude?

See, for the vast majority of agnostics, the whole god/no god question is irrelevant. They just don't give a shiat. Then you come along, and you say, "Well, you don't believe in god, that means you're on my team, and you have to wear this shirt, and read these books, and have all these other beliefs that I have."

And when the poor agnostic says, "Hey, I don't think I believe this stuff..." you tell him he's wrong.

Uh?

Person1: "2+2 = 7!"
Person2: "No. 2 (1,2) plus 2 (3, 4) equals 4. 2+2=4"

Is person2 really being aggressive and rude?

Pointing out the meaning of words isn't someone trying to convert you to "their team." It isn't aggression, it isn't rudeness, and it certainly isn't a demand that you have to wear t-shirts or read books.


Agnostics hate it when you point out to them that they are technically atheists.
 
2011-09-14 03:02:14 PM  

Marley'sGirl: TsarTom: 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.

Interesting. My take on it was always: "When the chips are down, the important things become apparent." or some such.

/atheist

I interpret it as: "When things get bad enough, even an atheist will ask God for help as a last resort" I believe it to be true - what have you got to lose at that point?


That's exactly the myth.

I'd no more ask God for help than I would Vishnu, Odin, Zeus, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Paladine, or Santa Claus. It's equally likely that they'd answer.
 
2011-09-14 03:02:14 PM  

Cubicle Jockey: 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.


Why? The theoretical limits of rocketry won't get us much further than where we are. The closest star is 4 light-years away. We have no empirical evidence that faster than light-travel can be achieved, and it may be physically impossible. Just because technology seems boundless (mostly because ONE area of technology has been growing exponentially - integrated circuitry (which does shat-all to get us off this rock), that doesn't mean it is boundless.
 
2011-09-14 03:02:23 PM  

PsiChi: You could study reincarnation - that's really the only way to find out.


Honestly, that's not a very good answer to my question. I doubt studying the writings of people who believe in reincarnation will help provide actual evidence of the alleged phenomenon. I've read accounts in Hindu societies, particularly, that claimed preternatural or supernatural knowledge in children of past lives lived by those in distant villages. But, when the claims are put to challenge, they tend to break down.

PsiChi: Do you know what "parsimony" is?


Yes. That's one of the reasons I reject supernaturalism. What's the point of invoking a god when purely natural causes are completely adequate to explain life and the universe? Adding a god or gods needlessly complicates matters. No gods are necessary for any explanation of the natural world, so parsimony demands that gods be cut out of the picture.

PsiChi: And I can't see a deity wasting perfectly good people, when S/He can recycle them and have them around for companionship forever.


You seem to be saying that you believe in the supernaturalisms because you want to believe; you want reality to conform to your preferences. Desperately wanting something to be true doesn't make it real.
 
Ant
2011-09-14 03:02:32 PM  

Satanicpuppy: And when the poor agnostic says, "Hey, I don't think I believe this stuff..." you tell him he's wrong.


What beliefs? Atheism is not a belief system.
 
2011-09-14 03:02:42 PM  

letrole: pwhp_67: Homosexuality has been observed as naturally occurring in nature.

Hamsters eat their own young and monkeys fling poo.



Just like Southern Conservatives and trolls. Coincidence?
 
2011-09-14 03:02:49 PM  

StoPPeRmobile: Some 'Splainin' To Do: drmda: justtray: Quit telling us god doesn't like gays and that the Founding Fathers were Christians

So, why did all the atheists go along with all this "deity" language in the founding documents?

No one said that the founders were atheists. It's pretty clear that a majority of them (particularly the influential ones) were Deists.

It's also interesting that you mention "founding documents" without specifying which ones you're referring to.

The Declaration does, indeed, reference a Creator. However, given the deistic sentiments of the authors, it's a far stretch to suppose that they're specifically referencing a certain Judean carpenter.

And, of course, the Constitution, which is the document that defines the legal framework of the country, not only lacks any mentions of creators (deistic or otherwise), it specifically states that the government has no place in that discussion.

What about Thor's Day or Thursday? Are you suggesting that those that use this day of the week a an adherent of Norse mythology?


Short answer: no.

Considering that I'm arguing that the mention of a creator in the Declaration of Independence does NOT indicate that we're a Christian nation, I'm not sure why you're using that line of argument on me.

Perhaps I'm missing the point of your statement?
 
2011-09-14 03:03:13 PM  
1. Thou shalt always be honest and faithful, especially to the provider of they nookie.
2. Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless, of course, they pray to a different invisible avenger than the one you pray to.
3. Thou shalt keep they religion to thyself!

/gc
 
2011-09-14 03:03:27 PM  

daxxenos: 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.

You're quite right. Let's junk all this religious dogma that keeps interfering with what we want to do. I personally feel we should get rid of all these religious laws that slop over from this whole God thing. I mean, really, "Thou shalt not kill?" That's the first one I'd get rid of. Democrats should be used as targets. Along with their wives, children and pets. Morality is a phoney, religious construct. I should be able to rape, torture and steal to my own satisfaction. Atheists would be the first to agree. Right?


Nice strawman you've got there - be a shame if something were to happen to it:

Atheists will not be the first to agree, as they understand that society exists for the mutual benefit of the individuals from which it is formed, and that society could not exist if not for the general adherence to the code of laws which protects each individual. Ultimately, this is what keeps us "moral" - the enjoyment of benefits of society, not the fear of punishment by an invisible sky wizard.
 
2011-09-14 03:04:02 PM  

impaler: The theoretical limits of rocketry won't get us much further than where we are.


Um... sure they will. You just have to be very, very patient. We have no trouble escaping the Sun's gravity, and we already have objects cruising away from it at speeds well exceeding its escape velocity. Traveling to another star simply becomes a matter of patience.
 
2011-09-14 03:04:19 PM  
www.gamereplays.org
 
2011-09-14 03:04:30 PM  

Hyperbolic Hyperbole: KiltedBastich: 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.

I will mark down your "serious debunking" of an obvious joke as the first actual victory for internet atheists.


Because I so easily shot down your attempt to disparage atheists for using arguments you don't understand, I already assumed you know very little about logic and debate. It appears you also have extremely poor observational skills and / or memory as well. Such a pity for you.
 
2011-09-14 03:05:15 PM  

Cubicle Jockey: 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.


I love this argument: How many baseless assertions about the nature of life in the universe can we cram into one argument?

Just to take us for an example: do you ever *really* think we're going to spread throughout the stars barring the invention of free energy and FTL travel? I want you to look at our government, and I want you to imagine them spending trillions of dollars on an arkship which will benefit effectively none of the population, and cause the rest significant suffering, in order to send a handful of people on a one way trip to a nearby star.

It. Will. Never. Happen.

But aliens, right? Aliens are crazy stupid, and they'll totally do it! Just because!

Or, alternately, as population dynamics seem to bear out, the more advanced a civilization becomes, the more population stablizes at a low level, and the less pressure there is for interplanetary expansion. AND the less energy you squander on wasteful wideband broadcasting. But no, that's based on actual observable facts, and thus far less compelling than a bunch of ridiculous fermi-wanking.
 
2011-09-14 03:05:38 PM  
As an adult, you don't believe in Santa because you look at the evidence and come to the conclusion that it's not real based on the evidence. Just like the write said, religious people do it all the time with other religions. It's time for people to stand back and ask the same honest questions of their own religion.

Do you want to believe in an invisible being that knew us before we were in the womb, decided one day to teleport us to earth, leave it up to man to explain us the mystery, allow its arch nemesis to rule the earth after spitting in its face in heaven to tempt the people it loves so much, to send its only son (that it created...) to "die" (knowing he would come back anyway) to get rid of our "sins", etc...?

And many other religions have similarly silly stories, if you take the time to step back and view them objectively. Instead, I choose to live in reality and not believe in good versus evil, but that we're all human and there are things people do that we consider bad or good, but it's all relative.

I was a strict Southern Baptist for over 20 years before I finally did this. Best thing I ever did.
 
2011-09-14 03:06:00 PM  

Charles Martel: [www.gamereplays.org image 600x750]


I love how everybody uses a picture of the same smug asshole to claim all atheists are smug.

If all atheists were as smug as you say, you'd have more examples.
 
2011-09-14 03:07:02 PM  

Bevets: Bevets:

Acting morally and having a philosophical justification for your actions are two separate issues.

Ennuipoet:

If atheist don't have a moral code but only a philosophical justification for not murdering doctors, blowing up abortion clinics, flying planes into buildings and stealing candy from babies, why are the prisons not full of atheists? If we are so amoral where are the atheist crimes of passion? Why are we not killing everyone that offends us?

You missed my point.


Is your point that you blather on endlessly on these boards? In that quote tree, you outnumbered everyone else by at last 20 to 1 for posting... It was 'Bevets, Bevets, Bevets, Bevets, Bevets, Bevets, Bevets, Bevets' and then someone would get a word in edgewise, then it was Bevets, Bevets, Bevets, Bevets, Bevets, Bevets', ad infinitum.

God, I hope that was your "point" because that's all anyone is going to get out of it. Ever.
 
2011-09-14 03:07:15 PM  

t3knomanser: Um... sure they will. You just have to be very, very patient. We have no trouble escaping the Sun's gravity, and we already have objects cruising away from it at speeds well exceeding its escape velocity. Traveling to another star simply becomes a matter of patience.


Which is good for probes.

A more valid question, I would think (and this goes with our exponential growth of electronics), is why aren't robots inhabiting every area of our galaxy?
 
2011-09-14 03:07:25 PM  
If God/religion is the source of morality, then let me ask you a few simple questions.

Do you think the 9/11 attacks were a good thing?

If yes, then it's interesting that I'm talking to a terrorist sympathizer, but I'll just assume no one here is going to answer yes.

If no, then do you believe that if your God was commanding you to kill non-believers (as the 9/11 hijackers did), that it would be a morally correct decision to kill non-believers?

If yes, then you agree with the 9/11 hijackers position on morality and you view terrorism as acceptable. In fact, if you're a Christian, your Bible makes it clear that some people should have to be put to death: So why aren't you killing non-believers, adulterers, and women who aren't virgins on their wedding night?

If no, then congratulations! You have made a ethical/moral position independent of your God, and you believe in secularly defined moral and ethical values.
 
2011-09-14 03:08:10 PM  

Ant: Satanicpuppy: And when the poor agnostic says, "Hey, I don't think I believe this stuff..." you tell him he's wrong.

What beliefs? Atheism is not a belief system.


No, but it sure makes for an effective troll, huh?

/for an encore watch them equate agnosticism with atheism
 
2011-09-14 03:08:26 PM  

HeartBurnKid: Charles Martel: [www.gamereplays.org image 600x750]

I love how everybody uses a picture of the same smug asshole to claim all atheists are smug.

If all atheists were as smug as you say, you'd have more examples.


He's just trolling. Let him have his fun.
 
2011-09-14 03:09:51 PM  

Jument: whatshisname: The vast majority of atheists just don't give a crap about religion. They don't argue about it on the Internet, they don't try to convert anyone to their way of thinking and they say "Thank you" when someone wishes them a Merry Christmas or Happy Diwali.

This. Personally I go out of my way to wish people a Merry Christmas because the stupid "war on Christmas" mentality pisses me off. Christmas is a really nice tradition. Much like chocolate at Easter. The concept has become divorced from the religious aspects.

So Merry Christmas, Farkers!


It's a nice tradition to sell Coke. Yeah ,Coke Santa!
www.hillmanweb.com

/coke
 
2011-09-14 03:10:33 PM  

HeartBurnKid: Charles Martel: [www.gamereplays.org image 600x750]

I love how everybody uses a picture of the same smug asshole to claim all atheists are smug.

If all atheists were as smug as you say, you'd have more examples.


Someone should track that guy down and an exposé on him.
 
2011-09-14 03:11:53 PM  

Latinwolf: Grenwulf: Some 'Splainin' To Do 2011-09-14 11:09:58 AM
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.
I don't much care about this saying, one way or the other, but I've talked to atheist veterans who absolutely farking hate it when people say that.
Count me in that group.
Hardest thing ever was to convince S1 to actually put "Atheist" on my dog tags instead of "No Religious Preference"
And it had never occured to you that using the term "no religious preference" means you belong to no group nor belief system while insisting on having it replaced with the term "atheist" implies you strongly beleive that you are the member of a particualr belief system?


The problem was "athiest" was a choice in the regs for what to put. Caught hell from 1SG, et al for wanting to put it on there when I filled out the forms, then S1 still made them with "No Religious Preference" (which in the military, means a chaplain is still going to come see you if you are dying, etc.) I told them to either put "Atheist" or "Prefers no Religion". I did have a religious preference: I wanted nothing to do with it. Had to pull out the regs and show them it was an official choice. (Number 76, I believe)
 
2011-09-14 03:12:42 PM  
pwhp_67: Homosexuality has been observed as naturally occurring in nature.
letrole: Hamsters eat their own young and monkeys fling poo.
pwhp_67: Just like Southern Conservatives and trolls. Coincidence?


Nothing like Southern Conservatives and trolls.

More like someone trying to justify homosexuality by stating that it occurs in nature, and the counterpoint being raised that indeed all manner of disgusting practises are observed in nature.

Do keep up.
 
2011-09-14 03:13:02 PM  

impaler: Satanicpuppy: And you wonder why people feel the need to put out articles debunking the "myth" that atheists are aggressive and rude?

See, for the vast majority of agnostics, the whole god/no god question is irrelevant. They just don't give a shiat. Then you come along, and you say, "Well, you don't believe in god, that means you're on my team, and you have to wear this shirt, and read these books, and have all these other beliefs that I have."

And when the poor agnostic says, "Hey, I don't think I believe this stuff..." you tell him he's wrong.

Uh?

Person1: "2+2 = 7!"
Person2: "No. 2 (1,2) plus 2 (3, 4) equals 4. 2+2=4"

Is person2 really being aggressive and rude?

Pointing out the meaning of words isn't someone trying to convert you to "their team." It isn't aggression, it isn't rudeness, and it certainly isn't a demand that you have to wear t-shirts or read books.


I'm sorry, I didn't realize you had factual evidence about the existence of God, thereby making that question equivalent to basic math!

Oh wait, you don't.

No, see, arguing about the existence of god is like arguing about Jersey Shore. On one side, we have the snookiests, and on the other, the antisnookiests. And because the whole rest of the world can be assumed to be antisnooky, by the fact that they don't even WATCH the farking show, the antisnookiests claim them, and claim that all those people support the antisnookiests beliefs'.

Yea. It just doesn't work that way. You go do your little...thing...and stop pretending like you can speak for me, hmmm?
 
Ant
2011-09-14 03:14:34 PM  

mjbok: I am in the 99.9 percent sure range that atheists have it right


What a coincidence. That's about how confident most atheists are about their position.
 
2011-09-14 03:15:10 PM  

Pincy: Agnostics hate it when you point out to them that they are technically atheists.


For the most part, I don't really care is people use agnosticism to mean some sort of mid-point between atheism and theism. While it's true that it's not, the definition is, as you say, technical.

It also doesn't help that the technical definition of agnostic is orthogonal to the axis of atheism and theism, but that most agnostics don't really know what Huxley was trying to get at when he coined the term.

I'm willing to accept the lay-definition of someone who isn't willing to commit to either side. Even though it's a sloppy definition, I understand why some people find it a useful self-description and I'm willing to respect the utility of it (not least because language is a sloppy thing, most of the time).

That said, the moment that an agnostic starts to pretend that theirs is the only intellectually tenable position, I won't hesitate to call them on it.
 
2011-09-14 03:16:08 PM  

letrole: More like someone trying to justify homosexuality by stating that it occurs in nature, and the counterpoint being raised that indeed all manner of disgusting practises are observed in nature.



So your counterpoint is that my statement was factually correct?

Are you new at this?
 
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