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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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38415 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Sep 2011 at 11:58 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-09-14 05:54:19 PM

mccallcl: Am I unaware of evangelizing to the unwilling just by having made good choices and living in a relatively cosmopolitan area (in the American South, even!)?


Apparently, yes. Either you are really lucky or just not paying attention.

Personally, I get evangelized to all the time, both in LA and in my more suburban hometown.
 
2011-09-14 05:55:32 PM

thefatbasturd: The First Four Black Sabbath Albums: I don't see why atheists are supposed to sit quietly while religion takes over our government, which is not supposed to promote any religions. Also, irrespective of government, what is wrong with chiming in with your opinion (regarding religion) when the conversation warrants it? If there is a national discussion on religion, why can't the atheists have their say? I find it ridiculous when atheists get angry at other atheists for speaking their mind.

They don't. They get angry at atheists that can't discuss the issue without phrases like "invisible sky wizard" and "imaginary friend in the sky" etc. Those people are most often the most vocal on their side of the debate, just as the "no moral compass" and "atheism IS a belief" are for the opposing side. And all BOTH types do is make it harder for anyone with a rational well thought out position.


What rationale, well thought out position is there in support of the existence of God?

Just curious how this imaginary scenario plays out in your head.
 
rpm
2011-09-14 05:56:04 PM

roncofooddehydrator: 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.

Try looking up atheist in the dictionary. Atheists specifically deny the existence of a god or gods.


OK, I'll look it up in a dictionary
noun
a person who does not believe in the existence of God or gods:
he is a committed atheist
 
2011-09-14 05:58:05 PM
t3.gstatic.com

This is Horus. Click me.
 
2011-09-14 05:58:07 PM

thefatbasturd: And all BOTH types do is make it harder for anyone with a rational well thought out position.



This
 
2011-09-14 06:03:16 PM

mccallcl: Some 'Splainin' To Do: You're standing in the middle of a huge debate about the very subject, and you wonder where this is happening?

This is theists "coming" in your mind? TFA that I read (OK, skimmed) was written by an atheist. I haven't read a single post making a positive assertion as to the existence of God (skimmed the thread, too, maybe there's one buried somewhere).


I'm referring to the thread. It shouldn't require more than a bit of skimming to see there there are people who are asking atheists to defend their atheism. I don't think that you looked very hard if you haven't seen any of that.


Some 'Splainin' To Do: However, it's equally true that quite a few people seem to get upset by the mere fact that someone is an atheist because they take the simple fact of their atheism as an implied rebuke.

In what context? Again: where the F is this actually happening to people? Am I unaware of evangelizing to the unwilling just by having made good choices and living in a relatively cosmopolitan area (in the American South, even!)?


Perhaps. All I have is my own experiences in the relatively liberal and secular SF Bay Area. I'm not saying that people challenge me on my atheism each and every day, but it certainly does happen, and it's not always polite.

I've said this before: if you find yourself bothered by believers because of your unexpressed religious thoughts- farkING MOVE. Get a new job, stop dating that chick, tell your mom and dad to fark off. How is this any different from racists or anime fans that bother you?

I'm responding to your contention that never happens. The fact that it's not happening to you is great, but since (I gather) you aren't an atheist, I'm not sure that your experiences are that relevant, in much the same way that I wouldn't conclude, from the fact that I don't attract a lot of racial epithets would have anything to do with someone else's claim that they have.

As I stated, I'm not confrontational about my atheism. But I have encountered some people who get really upset by the simple fact that I am an atheist (and, yes, I try to avoid them once that happens), and, as I noted, the default reaction to my atheism actually is kind of insulting since the typical reaction that people have is to ask me to defend it.

Some 'Splainin' To Do: If you think about that, it's kind of remarkably rude. No polite person would ever respond to someone who said they were Jewish by immediately asking them why they don't believe in Christ, but it's considered perfectly normal and acceptable to interrogate someone when they say that they don't believe in God.

As opposed to a Jew, who you could ask hundreds of questions, the only thing you can ask an atheist is "how come [one thing I know about you]?" maybe they're just trying to understand you, maybe they are just stumped for conversation! In any event, they are not aware they are being rude, cut them some slack.


I assume that they aren't trying to be rude, but that doesn't mean that the question isn't rude. They could just as easily say, "Can you tell me something about your atheism?" or, even better, just nod and say, "That's interesting" and move on with it.

Asking me to explain why I don't believe in a god requires me to make an argument for me position. It's impossible to do that without inadvertently challenging their own beliefs since, when you boil it right down to it, the core of my atheism is that I think that theism is wrong.

This is exactly the scenario where you claimed we were doing the equivalent of insulting someone's mom. So, by simply asking that question, I'm put in a catch-22. I ca either refuse to answer, which is rude, or I can give an answer that will be interpreted as being rude.

Some 'Splainin' To Do: If you want to be serious, the reason that atheism gets talked about is simply because theism is simultaneously ubiquitous and it has a discernible impact on the lives of those who aren't part of it.

Ubiquitous? Then why does it have no effect on me at the office right now? When I go home? No effect. Tomorrow? No effect.


So, slay me for a small bit of hyperbole, why don't you? Fine, it's not LITERALLY ubiquitous, but it's crazy to suggest that it doesn't permeate our culture.

The branch of theism that has an effect on me (liquor laws, cabaret laws, Chik-Fil-A being closed) is decidedly Protestant. It is as much outside of my belief system as it is yours. Yet somehow I manage to get through life without defining myself as not-Protestant and railing against Protestantism whenever I detect it brushing against my arm.

And now I'm railing? Since we're going to be touchy about hyperbole, perhaps you should scale back your rhetoric a bit, too.

I think it interesting that you list trivialities like liquor laws when there are much more significant impacts that religion has. In California, a significant amount of opposition to gay rights came from a campaign mounted by a coalition of Mormons and Catholics. In Texas, HPV vaccinations have been significantly opposed by protestant fundamentalists. Science education, in our country, has been under attack by both protestants as well as hard-line Catholics (and, yes, I recognize the irony of that given the Church's official stance on the subject).

Beyond that, there is an undercurrent of hostility towards atheists. In poll after poll, we're told that a vast majority of people would never vote an atheist into office, even if they were qualified. In the media, atheists are often treated as either acceptable targets, or as straw characters whose only purpose is to be redeemed. We constantly get blamed for both Communism and Nazism (again, ironically enough, given the official Nazi stance on religion). And, while I take your point that you can just tell your parents to fark off if the don't like your atheism, the truth is that it's not uncommon for new atheists to be disowned by their families and, being human, there's a lot of hurt involved when that happens.

And, of course, there are plenty of places in this world where isn't actively dangerous to be an atheist.

Now.... I think that I've been pretty clear that, outside of the internet (where everything is Serious Business), I'm not very active about my atheism. I subscribe to a few RSS feeds and kick some money, now and again, to organizations dedicated to promoting secularism in government, but I'm not out picketing churches (nor have I ever seen any other atheists doing that) or grabbing strangers on the street to tell them the good news about oblivion.

By and large, I *am* perfectly polite about being an atheist, even to most of the people who don't, I think, really deserve it, which is why it bothers me when you come along and say things like "This is why people think atheists are aspy jerks: because they manage to pretend not to understand human nature for huge stretches of time while they are discussing religious thought."

The irony is that you're insulting us, and then telling us that we aren't allowed to feel insulted, much less respond to the insult. Once again, I feel like someone is telling us that the only good atheist is a silent atheist, and I'm not willing to allow that to go unchallenged.

Frankly, I don't appreciate the fact that you're stereotyping us, and I don't appreciate the fact that you are lecturing us on how we should behave when you, clearly, have not walked a mile in our shoes.
 
2011-09-14 06:03:36 PM
insert : [notthisshiatagain.jpg]

Having just lost 20 mins of my life reading this thread, I'm going back to the "fark all the farking smokers" thread.

It's less derpy over there.


/mildly agnostic

and as others have said, I don't know and neither do you. it's a nice book of stories they pass around in a church
 
2011-09-14 06:04:09 PM

Satanicpuppy: Yep, that's me, a complete idiot because I entertain the idea that I might not know all there is to know. I wish I could be like you, where I knew everything, and I never for a moment doubted that I could be anything less than 100% right! I wonder how much a lobotomy costs?


I don't know what you're talking about, but it's becoming very apparent that you're not very good at reading nor are you capable of recognizing your own hypocrisy.
 
2011-09-14 06:08:24 PM

MrEricSir: Satanicpuppy: Yep, that's me, a complete idiot because I entertain the idea that I might not know all there is to know. I wish I could be like you, where I knew everything, and I never for a moment doubted that I could be anything less than 100% right! I wonder how much a lobotomy costs?

I don't know what you're talking about, but it's becoming very apparent that you're not very good at reading nor are you capable of recognizing your own hypocrisy.


Maybe you'd like to enlighten me? Maybe a reference? If you're going to keep up with the cryptic shiat, I don't see any need to continue.
 
2011-09-14 06:11:04 PM

ThrobblefootSpectre: Some 'Splainin' To Do: And, once again, we're right back to stereotyping an entire group on the basis of a limited set of interactions with a small sub-set of that group.

I didn't say all atheists are like this. I suspect that many of the silent majority are non-religious of some flavor.


Some 'Splainin' To Do: I'm also kind of curious where you work. A 20% population of self-described atheists is well out of the norm. That sort of concentration is very much an outlier and makes me think that your situation is atypical in more ways that one.

If the sample is a corporate division dealing mainly with the hard sciences, I suspect that many trends seen in the general population would be contraindicated. Such as IQ, level of education, etc. It's not only not surprising, but seems rather expected.


I work in a technical field and have worked in my share of R&D groups and have never found a population of workers with so many overt atheists (even though I'm perfectly open about my own atheism and tend to be more observant about the presence of other atheists).

I want to be clear that I'm not being skeptical about your report. I just think that it's a pretty unusual environment you're working in.

But that's just another way of saying that your environment appears to be somewhat atypical.

It could just as easily be the case that these engineers are jerks first and only incidentally atheists.

It could be that whomever did your hiring specifically chose people likely to have confrontational personalities.

If could be that the random sorting of the people who ended up there just concentrated jerky atheists by happenstance.

And so forth and so on.

My point is that I don't think that you can draw any conclusion except to say that the specific people you're working with are a bunch of assholes. On behalf of the atheists of the world... I'm not actually sure what I should do with that information.

Would you like me to apologize for them?
 
2011-09-14 06:12:15 PM

Satanicpuppy: impaler: Ant: Satanicpuppy: fark, I don't believe in god.

So, you're not a theist?

They should make a word for that.

Boy, wouldn't it make you happy if you could hang your little word on me, and thereby codify a lifetime of thought and skepticism down into the sort of simpleminded 1/0 dichotomy that never applies in the real world.


Atheist. Not theist. Does not believe in god.

That's all the word means. Sorry if you built up some huge complex meaning around the word. That doesn't make your understanding of the word right, it makes you obtuse.
 
2011-09-14 06:15:08 PM

Satanicpuppy: Maybe you'd like to enlighten me? Maybe a reference? If you're going to keep up with the cryptic shiat, I don't see any need to continue.


There's nothing cryptic about it, you're just not willing to look critically at your own beliefs.
 
2011-09-14 06:16:19 PM

impaler: Satanicpuppy: impaler: Ant: Satanicpuppy: fark, I don't believe in god.

So, you're not a theist?

They should make a word for that.

Boy, wouldn't it make you happy if you could hang your little word on me, and thereby codify a lifetime of thought and skepticism down into the sort of simpleminded 1/0 dichotomy that never applies in the real world.

Atheist. Not theist. Does not believe in god.

That's all the word means. Sorry if you built up some huge complex meaning around the word. That doesn't make your understanding of the word right, it makes you obtuse.


This.

Atheist doesn't mean you go around challenging Christians to debates, it doesn't mean you worship Richard Dawkins, it doesn't me you spit on passing street preachers. It means you don't believe in God. Period. End of story.
 
Ant
2011-09-14 06:19:46 PM

roncofooddehydrator: Try looking up atheist in the dictionary. Atheists specifically deny the existence of a god or gods.


Dictionary writers are all-knowing, and don't have biases?
 
2011-09-14 06:22:28 PM

Bevets: 2) Atheists are just angry with God. Atheists often point out the logical inconsistencies of many religious beliefs---such as the belief both that God is all-good and all-powerful, but he somehow also allows evil to exist---and believers use that to conclude that atheists are angry with God.

The ancient man approached God (or even the gods) as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modem man the roles are reversed. He is the judge: God is in the dock. He is quite a kindly judge: if God should have a reasonable defense for being the god who permits war, poverty, and disease, he is ready to listen to it. The trial may even end in God's acquittal. But the important thing is that man is on the bench and God in the dock. ~ C.S. Lewis

5) Atheism is just a faith like any other.

We all believe, as an article of faith, that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did. ~ Harold Urey

6) Atheists don't have a moral code.

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



But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. ~ Jesus Christ
 
Ant
2011-09-14 06:22:51 PM

roncofooddehydrator: A- means anti, which would be the opposite. Atheists deny the exist of a god. Try using a dictionary instead of making things up.


No, a means not. Anti means against.

Asocial and anti-social are different things.
 
2011-09-14 06:23:07 PM

roncofooddehydrator: Try looking up atheist in the dictionary. Atheists specifically deny the existence of a god or gods.


If you want to understand a word, a dictionary is a great place to start, but a lousy place to stop.

But since you asked, let's take a look. From Dictionary.com:

a·the·ist [ey-thee-ist] Show IPA
noun
a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.


So far, that looks like your point, except that we also need to look up "disbelieve" to make sure that we understand what that word means, as well:

dis·be·lieve [dis-bi-leev] Show IPA verb, -lieved, -liev·ing.
verb (used with object)
1. to have no belief in; refuse or reject belief in


The crux is the definition of disbelieve. Disbelief can either be active (refuse or reject) or it can be passive (to have no belief), and atheism can take either form.

And atheist can say, "There is no god", but an atheist can also say, "I don't believe in a god".

Both are correct formulations, and both fit the dictionary definitions of the word.

Now, if you'd really like to understand the word, I'd recommend any good encyclopaedia of philosophy, or Wikipedia, in a pinch.
 
2011-09-14 06:24:01 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?


While on the surface that appears true, it could also be argued that "No Religous Preference" might better describe "agnostic" and someone who doesn't feel that describes them might prefer "atheist" on their "record".
 
2011-09-14 06:24:33 PM

HeartBurnKid: impaler: Satanicpuppy: impaler: Ant: Satanicpuppy: fark, I don't believe in god.

So, you're not a theist?

They should make a word for that.

Boy, wouldn't it make you happy if you could hang your little word on me, and thereby codify a lifetime of thought and skepticism down into the sort of simpleminded 1/0 dichotomy that never applies in the real world.

Atheist. Not theist. Does not believe in god.

That's all the word means. Sorry if you built up some huge complex meaning around the word. That doesn't make your understanding of the word right, it makes you obtuse.

This.

Atheist doesn't mean you go around challenging Christians to debates, it doesn't mean you worship Richard Dawkins, it doesn't me you spit on passing street preachers. It means you don't believe in God. Period. End of story.


Not just the god of Abraham.
 
2011-09-14 06:24:35 PM

Sofa King Smart: a high school friend's mother is on facebook and posted just yesterday a complaint about non-religious people: here's her post: You can always tell the nonreligious people by their attitudes on life. They are so unhappy. Always complaining about everything. If you don't like it in this country, go to Mexico, they need people!!!!

her son is still my friend, so it took every fiber of my being to not point out that she was the one 'complaining' about other people on FB. and the total disconnect of relating religion to 'America, love it or leave it'.


And if you did point out that she was complaining, you would be rude.
 
2011-09-14 06:24:49 PM

rpm: roncofooddehydrator: 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.

Try looking up atheist in the dictionary. Atheists specifically deny the existence of a god or gods.

OK, I'll look it up in a dictionary
noun
a person who does not believe in the existence of God or gods:
he is a committed atheist


Right, so I believe that God or gods may exist. Not definitely - may.

I could also say God or gods may not exist. Again, not definitely.

You can't prove existence or lack thereof so I don't understand why you have to choose to be so sure one way or the other.
 
2011-09-14 06:25:31 PM

earthworm2.0: Athiests like clipperships. Clipper ships sail in the ocean. Athiests like the ocean. The ocean has many athiest clipperships. Clipperships have many ropes.


It's spelled "atheist" you dumbass, but I think I'll type my fingers down to the knucles and you morons still won't spell it correctly.

roncofooddehydrator: t3knomanser: roncofooddehydrator: I'm an agnostic. That's the only logically tenable position.

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

Which also means you're an atheist. A-theist- that which is not a theist.
/Take your own advice, retard

//Internet Agnostics are far more annoying that Internet Atheists.

A- means anti, which would be the opposite. Atheists deny the exist of a god. Try using a dictionary instead of making things up.


No, it means "without" you chucklehead.
 
2011-09-14 06:28:28 PM

MrEricSir: Satanicpuppy: Maybe you'd like to enlighten me? Maybe a reference? If you're going to keep up with the cryptic shiat, I don't see any need to continue.

There's nothing cryptic about it, you're just not willing to look critically at your own beliefs.


And you're done.
 
2011-09-14 06:28:28 PM
Phht, more like Horus, God of that pizza-hat he's wearing. Good old beak-face is rocking that pizza-hat!
 
2011-09-14 06:28:51 PM

roncofooddehydrator: A- means anti, which would be the opposite


No. 'Anti' means opposite or opposing. 'A' means "without" or "not."

Link (new window)

anti-theists are against belief in god.
a-theists are without belief in god.
 
2011-09-14 06:29:12 PM

Sofa King Smart: Mike Chewbacca: mccallcl: In what scenario are theists doing this? How often does someone come and say God exists to you?

Ever been on Facebook? It happens. All. The. Time. Usually it's just some ninny posting something about "let's pray for this urban legend child to recover from his traumatic brain injury/illness" but sometimes it's "I got in a minor fender bender yesterday" and someone responds with "Praying for you!" Gee, farking thanks. How about you take me to the car place instead and you know, actually do something helpful?

a high school friend's mother is on facebook and posted just yesterday a complaint about non-religious people: here's her post: You can always tell the nonreligious people by their attitudes on life. They are so unhappy. Always complaining about everything. If you don't like it in this country, go to Mexico, they need people!!!!

her son is still my friend, so it took every fiber of my being to not point out that she was the one 'complaining' about other people on FB. and the total disconnect of relating religion to 'America, love it or leave it'.


The thing that really irritates me is when they say "I'll pray for _______" like it's actually going to do some good. Same with those ridiculous status updates about breast cancer awareness or ending child abuse. Want to end child abuse? Donate some money to an anti-child-abuse organization, at the very least. But praying for dear little Timmy isn't going to keep him safe from his stepfather. Prayer only helps the one doing the praying. It gives them a false sense of accomplishment. THAT is why I don't like it.
 
2011-09-14 06:30:09 PM

impaler: Satanicpuppy: impaler: Ant: Satanicpuppy: fark, I don't believe in god.

So, you're not a theist?

They should make a word for that.

Boy, wouldn't it make you happy if you could hang your little word on me, and thereby codify a lifetime of thought and skepticism down into the sort of simpleminded 1/0 dichotomy that never applies in the real world.

Atheist. Not theist. Does not believe in god.

That's all the word means. Sorry if you built up some huge complex meaning around the word. That doesn't make your understanding of the word right, it makes you obtuse.


I like how you cherry picked around the part of my post where I talked about the baggage the word has picked up in recent years.
 
2011-09-14 06:30:42 PM

StoPPeRmobile: HeartBurnKid: impaler: Satanicpuppy: impaler: Ant: Satanicpuppy: fark, I don't believe in god.

So, you're not a theist?

They should make a word for that.

Boy, wouldn't it make you happy if you could hang your little word on me, and thereby codify a lifetime of thought and skepticism down into the sort of simpleminded 1/0 dichotomy that never applies in the real world.

Atheist. Not theist. Does not believe in god.

That's all the word means. Sorry if you built up some huge complex meaning around the word. That doesn't make your understanding of the word right, it makes you obtuse.

This.

Atheist doesn't mean you go around challenging Christians to debates, it doesn't mean you worship Richard Dawkins, it doesn't me you spit on passing street preachers. It means you don't believe in God. Period. End of story.

Not just the god of Abraham.


Fair enough, it means you don't believe in any gods.
 
2011-09-14 06:32:36 PM
This:

SM (new window)
 
2011-09-14 06:33:28 PM

Satanicpuppy: And you're done.


As long as you've found a way to feel better than everyone else, that's all that matters.
 
rpm
2011-09-14 06:34:43 PM

roncofooddehydrator: Right, so I believe that God or gods may exist. Not definitely - may.

I could also say God or gods may not exist. Again, not definitely.

You can't prove existence or lack thereof so I don't understand why you have to choose to be so sure one way or the other.


There becomes judgement calls here.

Technically? I'm agnostic. I say a god may or may not exist (caveat: that's pretty much down to the deist god or god of the gaps. I am without question atheistic to the god of most, if not all, religions)

When it's 99.99+% confidence on the side of "not", for shorthand I just call myself atheist.
 
2011-09-14 06:35:04 PM

Some 'Splainin' To Do: Would you like me to apologize for them?


You already are. Read your post.

Though there is no need. We have many and frequent fark threads apologizing for them. Though you are free to do so if you wish. It doesn't matter to me. I am agnostic to apologetics. (And no that doesn't mean I lack belief in them.)
 
2011-09-14 06:35:47 PM

Mike Chewbacca: The thing that really irritates me is when they say "I'll pray for _______" like it's actually going to do some good. Same with those ridiculous status updates about breast cancer awareness or ending child abuse. Want to end child abuse? Donate some money to an anti-child-abuse organization, at the very least. But praying for dear little Timmy isn't going to keep him safe from his stepfather. Prayer only helps the one doing the praying. It gives them a false sense of accomplishment. THAT is why I don't like it.


Often, it's just a signifier of concern, so I try to take it in that spirit (unless someone is explicitly praying as a substitute for meaningful action).

I will admit that one of the few things I don't like about being an atheist is that we don't really have a good equivalent phrase to express that same sentiment.

Somehow, saying, "My thoughts will be with you" or "I hope that all will be well" seems to lack the same sort of emotional emphasis.

There's a part of me that would like the see the phrase become secularized, so that everyone could use it, in much the same way that saying "God bless you!", when someone sneezes, is no longer construed as a declaration of faith.
 
2011-09-14 06:36:43 PM
It was a rough thread for satanicpuppy. He had to put people on ignore as to not let the logic and reason slip in.
 
Ant
2011-09-14 06:37:15 PM

Satanicpuppy: I like how you cherry picked around the part of my post where I talked about the baggage the word has picked up in recent years.


Baggage, shmaggage. That'd be like quiet gay people dropping the word gay because they don't want to be associated with the flamboyancy demonstrated during a gay pride parade.
 
2011-09-14 06:39:16 PM

Satanicpuppy: Boy, wouldn't it make you happy if you could hang your little word on me, and thereby codify a lifetime of thought and skepticism down into the sort of simpleminded 1/0 dichotomy that never applies in the real world.

Atheist. Not theist. Does not believe in god.

That's all the word means. Sorry if you built up some huge complex meaning around the word. That doesn't make your understanding of the word right, it makes you obtuse.

I like how you cherry picked around the part of my post where I talked about the baggage the word has picked up in recent years.


I didn't "cherry pick" around it (by the way, the word you're looking for there is 'ignore' - do you have known problems with word meaning?)

Whatever baggage you imagine has been "picked up in recent years" doesn't change the meaning of the word.
 
Ant
2011-09-14 06:39:48 PM

Satanicpuppy: I like how you cherry picked around the part of my post where I talked about the baggage the word has picked up in recent years.


Basically what you're saying is that you're technically an atheist, but you think the word is yucky.
 
2011-09-14 06:40:58 PM

ThrobblefootSpectre: Some 'Splainin' To Do: Would you like me to apologize for them?

You already are. Read your post.

Though there is no need. We have many and frequent fark threads apologizing for them. Though you are free to do so if you wish. It doesn't matter to me. I am agnostic to apologetics. (And no that doesn't mean I lack belief in them.)


I guess that I'm a little confused as to why you brought them up in the first place. It seems that we agree that your coworkers behavior doesn't reflect on anyone but themselves, so i guess that I'm missing the point of mentioning them at all.

To me, it's like having a conversation about Judaism and having someone mention that, by the way, they work with a whole bunch of really obnoxious Jews who are constantly talking about the Torah at work and that it's really annoying how they do that.

To be sure, there's a kind of tangential relevance, but it just seems kind of odd to point it out.

Like I said, I think that I must be missing the point.

/shrug
 
2011-09-14 06:41:51 PM
@Ant

Would that quiet gay couple also happen to be athiests? It seems like a perfect fit, both of them being attention hookers.
 
2011-09-14 06:45:34 PM

Some 'Splainin' To Do: Mike Chewbacca: The thing that really irritates me is when they say "I'll pray for _______" like it's actually going to do some good. Same with those ridiculous status updates about breast cancer awareness or ending child abuse. Want to end child abuse? Donate some money to an anti-child-abuse organization, at the very least. But praying for dear little Timmy isn't going to keep him safe from his stepfather. Prayer only helps the one doing the praying. It gives them a false sense of accomplishment. THAT is why I don't like it.

Often, it's just a signifier of concern, so I try to take it in that spirit (unless someone is explicitly praying as a substitute for meaningful action).

I will admit that one of the few things I don't like about being an atheist is that we don't really have a good equivalent phrase to express that same sentiment.

Somehow, saying, "My thoughts will be with you" or "I hope that all will be well" seems to lack the same sort of emotional emphasis.

There's a part of me that would like the see the phrase become secularized, so that everyone could use it, in much the same way that saying "God bless you!", when someone sneezes, is no longer construed as a declaration of faith.


live long and prosper (with an appropriate hand gesture)? (that seems 'logical' to me.)
 
2011-09-14 06:49:04 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"?


I've always found it quite questionable that one would think you can only be moral in the face of judgement. It's like admitting "Geez, how can you not rape and murder people when the cops aren't watching?" Yeah, Okay. I'll just stand as far from you as possible.
 
2011-09-14 06:52:27 PM

Some 'Splainin' To Do: I guess that I'm a little confused as to why you brought them up in the first place. It seems that we agree that your coworkers behavior doesn't reflect on anyone but themselves, so i guess that I'm missing the point of mentioning them at all.



If you'll notice, I was responding to a specific post. My anecdotal support was relevant within the context of the post I was responding to. If you see no point in it, it seems weird you have responded to it so many times.

There are many posts here about IQ graphs, hair color, stamp collecting, etc, which would seem to have no point whatsoever by your strict personal definition. This entire thread must be utterly baffling to you.
 
2011-09-14 06:56:52 PM

MrEricSir: Satanicpuppy: And you're done.

As long as you've found a way to feel better than everyone else, that's all that matters.


Not everyone, just you. Best you can come up as a rebuttal with is someone elses idea? Nice.
 
2011-09-14 06:57:12 PM

Some 'Splainin' To Do: roncofooddehydrator: Try looking up atheist in the dictionary. Atheists specifically deny the existence of a god or gods.

If you want to understand a word, a dictionary is a great place to start, but a lousy place to stop.

But since you asked, let's take a look. From Dictionary.com:

a·the·ist [ey-thee-ist] Show IPA
noun
a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

So far, that looks like your point, except that we also need to look up "disbelieve" to make sure that we understand what that word means, as well:

dis·be·lieve [dis-bi-leev] Show IPA verb, -lieved, -liev·ing.
verb (used with object)
1. to have no belief in; refuse or reject belief in

The crux is the definition of disbelieve. Disbelief can either be active (refuse or reject) or it can be passive (to have no belief), and atheism can take either form.

And atheist can say, "There is no god", but an atheist can also say, "I don't believe in a god".

Both are correct formulations, and both fit the dictionary definitions of the word.

Now, if you'd really like to understand the word, I'd recommend any good encyclopaedia of philosophy, or Wikipedia, in a pinch.


In a pinch, I like that. Wiki gets a bad wrap, and for some things it's wholly in adequate, but much of the time, it's quite well done. *shrugs*
A good rule of thumb, is to use multiple sources, and really study the concept, not just the literal words.

Disbelief can also equate to skepticism.

"There is no god"
Taken literally it can be taken as a statement of Belief.

Now, within the discussion at hand, it can also be short for "There is no reason to think about god, or assume that he exists, therefore, I don't include it in my theory on life or the universe, as there is no evidence other than fables, which I suspect are actually fiction in the first place."

Same way "He" is short for an overly descriptive long winded description of the male of any given species. It's only two letters, but in the scope of a specific conversation, it conveys a LOT of information(or can at any rate).

People who get overly literal can quickly work themselves into a pickle. Sure, at times it's needed, for instance - "The sun is a giant elephant"
Who ever says something like that is obviously just a tad farked in the head.

When I say, "there is no god" it's not necessarily statement of Belief, it's an quick statement of an outlook. Maybe at times it's unfitting because it's vague, but people who press that vagueness into Belief all of the time, are simply guilty of equivocation. Any semi-rational person know's that such a simple statement could mean many things, but they chose to force it to mean what they want it to, full employment of what some call a "poetic licence"

It's funny that most of the people that employ that licence are the same type that should have it revoked for plowing over farmers markets or similar destruction of a given idea, they often do so not on accident, but knowingly twist and rend that farmers market into something unidentifiable.

These are the people that populate the politics tabs, militant lesbian(and similar threads, a new brigade I recently learned about is the Fark Tranny Brigade) threads, anti-vaccination threads, and of course, collections of the deeply religious(typically creationist/evolution/atheist threads). All threads where some supposedly oppressed party has to actively vilify vilify vilify. VVV instead of KKK, in a nutshell.

Disgusting really, that these people don't see their own bigotry and prejudice(of course it's not surprising if they see it and ignore it). Having a cause is one thing, fabricating outrage just to further that cause is another, entirely loathsome and hideous act.

/rant
 
2011-09-14 06:59:00 PM

Ant: Satanicpuppy: I like how you cherry picked around the part of my post where I talked about the baggage the word has picked up in recent years.

Basically what you're saying is that you're technically an atheist, but you think the word is yucky.


Effectively, yes. Agnosticism is a subset of atheism.
 
2011-09-14 07:03:42 PM

justtray: thefatbasturd: The First Four Black Sabbath Albums: I don't see why atheists are supposed to sit quietly while religion takes over our government, which is not supposed to promote any religions. Also, irrespective of government, what is wrong with chiming in with your opinion (regarding religion) when the conversation warrants it? If there is a national discussion on religion, why can't the atheists have their say? I find it ridiculous when atheists get angry at other atheists for speaking their mind.

They don't. They get angry at atheists that can't discuss the issue without phrases like "invisible sky wizard" and "imaginary friend in the sky" etc. Those people are most often the most vocal on their side of the debate, just as the "no moral compass" and "atheism IS a belief" are for the opposing side. And all BOTH types do is make it harder for anyone with a rational well thought out position.

What rationale, well thought out position is there in support of the existence of God?

Just curious how this imaginary scenario plays out in your head.


I'm not making a case for either side, just pointing out piss poor attempts to make your point. If you are trying to get someone with an opposite opinion to agree with you or even to persuade others you are right and they are wrong, doing so by JUST ridiculing their beliefs or lack there of is NOT going to help your cause. Atheists like to think they are smarter than believers. Believers like to think they are smarter than atheists. Whatever side you are on, if you can't make your point without stooping to condescension, chances are you aren't nearly as smart as you want to believe.
 
2011-09-14 07:04:42 PM

Satanicpuppy: Ant: Satanicpuppy: I like how you cherry picked around the part of my post where I talked about the baggage the word has picked up in recent years.

Basically what you're saying is that you're technically an atheist, but you think the word is yucky.

Effectively, yes. Agnosticism is a subset of atheism.


Then what the fark are you complaining about?
 
2011-09-14 07:05:13 PM

Satanicpuppy: Effectively, yes. Agnosticism is a subset of atheism.


gnostic means knowledge
a-gnostic means without knowledge.

If you believe a god exists (say a deist), but think it's that truth is unknowable, you're still agnostic.
 
2011-09-14 07:08:24 PM

HeartBurnKid: Satanicpuppy: Ant: Satanicpuppy: I like how you cherry picked around the part of my post where I talked about the baggage the word has picked up in recent years.

Basically what you're saying is that you're technically an atheist, but you think the word is yucky.

Effectively, yes. Agnosticism is a subset of atheism.

Then what the fark are you complaining about?


upload.wikimedia.org
 
2011-09-14 07:08:29 PM

thefatbasturd: justtray: thefatbasturd: The First Four Black Sabbath Albums: I don't see why atheists are supposed to sit quietly while religion takes over our government, which is not supposed to promote any religions. Also, irrespective of government, what is wrong with chiming in with your opinion (regarding religion) when the conversation warrants it? If there is a national discussion on religion, why can't the atheists have their say? I find it ridiculous when atheists get angry at other atheists for speaking their mind.

They don't. They get angry at atheists that can't discuss the issue without phrases like "invisible sky wizard" and "imaginary friend in the sky" etc. Those people are most often the most vocal on their side of the debate, just as the "no moral compass" and "atheism IS a belief" are for the opposing side. And all BOTH types do is make it harder for anyone with a rational well thought out position.

What rationale, well thought out position is there in support of the existence of God?

Just curious how this imaginary scenario plays out in your head.

I'm not making a case for either side, just pointing out piss poor attempts to make your point. If you are trying to get someone with an opposite opinion to agree with you or even to persuade others you are right and they are wrong, doing so by JUST ridiculing their beliefs or lack there of is NOT going to help your cause. Atheists like to think they are smarter than believers. Believers like to think they are smarter than atheists. Whatever side you are on, if you can't make your point without stooping to condescension, chances are you aren't nearly as smart as you want to believe.


That's a cool story, but doesn't answer my question. How is there any other inevidible outcome when one side simply has no rational, well thought out belief and the other no way to prove a negative?

Your point is essentially, give crediance to any idea, regardless of the lack of factual support. Going back to another analogy. Would you consider the ranting thoughts of a crazy person to be valid? Why not?
 
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