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(Time)   Atheists are now creating their own anti-Nativity scenes   (ideas.time.com) divider line 478
    More: Interesting, nativity, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Yale Law School, Santa Monica  
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21978 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Dec 2012 at 2:23 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-04 02:02:19 AM  

untaken_name: Mock26: So, by your reasoning, not believing in UFOs is a religion, right? What about not believing in dragons? That is a religion, too, right?

Do they have international associations and meetings and clubs and message boards and a word people use to describe themselves based around this "lack of belief"? Then it's a religion. Oh, those things don't? Probably not religions, then. Atheism....yep, all those things. Religion. Sorry if you don't like it, but reality isn't influenced by your preferences. It is what it is. If it looks, acts, walks, quacks, and has the genetic profile of a duck, it ain't a liger, dude.


So, the Elks and Masons and Moose Lodge and Boy Scouts and SCA and International Chess Federation and every single group of people that meets and has clubs and message boards is a religion? Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah ahahahaha!

And as for reality, it is not influenced by your preferences, either. So your claims that it is a religion are pretty much null and void!
 
2012-12-04 08:43:33 AM  

aerojockey: OTOH, if a person flatly asserts, "God does not exist," then it's their burden of proof. (I do realize that many if not most atheists don't assert this, often precisely because they know that it's pretty much unprovable.)


Since you acknowledge that the majority of atheists are not making the positive claim then you must agree that the burden of proof remains on the religious.

There is no value in making a case against a small fringe group that nobody takes seriously.
 
2012-12-04 02:26:55 PM  

aerojockey: OTOH, if a person flatly asserts, "God does not exist," then it's their burden of proof. (I do realize that many if not most atheists don't assert this, often precisely because they know that it's pretty much unprovable.)


No. They do not make the claim because that is not what they think. The truth is that they simply do not believe. It really is that simple.
 
2012-12-04 05:14:56 PM  

Mock26: aerojockey: OTOH, if a person flatly asserts, "God does not exist," then it's their burden of proof. (I do realize that many if not most atheists don't assert this, often precisely because they know that it's pretty much unprovable.)

No. They do not make the claim because that is not what they think. The truth is that they simply do not believe. It really is that simple.


Oh, the claim is made, but is not assertion of an unprovable point as framed there.

There is no Easter Bunny.
There is no Tooth Fairy.
Their is no invisiible Cheshire Cat.
There is no Bogeyman(though i suppose we do apply the title to human monsters)

I don't Believe those things, reason points to them as being accurate(so far). We all talk about those beings as if they exist, but in reality most people simply have no belief that they are real. It's a culture reference, or a humoring of people who do believe.

People like to create a polar opposite of Belief, but to attribute the same flaw of argument to make themselves feel better, but that is twisted logic in and of itself. It's a trick of language to imply "a belief in the negative", a trick, not a credible argument.

A statement of "There is no X" is most commonly a simplified paraphrase of "There is no evidence for X", which in turn is a simplification of "There is no evidence for X that is any more reliable than any other fable(a written story)...." the ... standing in for all the other discussion of "evidence" and simple reason as to why the idea is preposterous and debunking of religious claims that are asserted, etc.

It is to imply that if credible evidence were to surface tomorrow, and that people who say "There is no God" are guaranteed to ignore that evidence. That is a prediction that has zero basis in reality. It is a projection of the flaw that the religious zealot holds, that evidence and reason will be denied in some imaginary scenario, therefore both parties have at least equal flaw.

It's a bunk tactic. If evidence were to surface, it would not require belief, but acknowledgement of established and demonstrable fact.

Variants of the argument are:
You Believe in science.......... Placing trust in proven methodology is not Belief, but in reality the safest wager. Note here, when the prediction science makes fails, it's met with a restructuring of that methodology that led us astray, and an examining of the data to see what was missed.
You Believe in politic X...........A concern for societal future is not Belief, it's a form of survival drive. We desire a world that's good for us, and for our offspring.
You Believe in your children.......Confidence in our family is merely a positive outlook, because negative outlooks can be self fulfilling prophecies.

I believe the last time I had bacon was more than a week ago.(sadface)

That statement, as worded, is obviously a simple guess. I know it wasn't in the last few days, and it hasn't been a month...so...

Ad nauseum.

It's all an ignorant(or intellectually dishonest) equivocation on language to project that same flaw. Common parlance "belief" has a different meaning, indeed several, than the more technical and singular religious meaning of "reliance on something as fact with zero evidence"
 
2012-12-04 05:38:37 PM  

Farking Canuck: aerojockey: OTOH, if a person flatly asserts, "God does not exist," then it's their burden of proof. (I do realize that many if not most atheists don't assert this, often precisely because they know that it's pretty much unprovable.)

Since you acknowledge that the majority of atheists are not making the positive claim then you must agree that the burden of proof remains on the religious.


No, I don't agree that burden of proof ever "remains" with anyone. It changes depending on the question. It's absolutely not true that every question about the existence of God has burden of proof with the theist.

If the question is "Is there a God?" then burden of proof is on those who claim there is a God.

If the question is, "Is it a fact that there is no God?", then burden of proof is on those who claim there is no God.
 
2012-12-04 05:51:50 PM  

Mock26: aerojockey: OTOH, if a person flatly asserts, "God does not exist," then it's their burden of proof. (I do realize that many if not most atheists don't assert this, often precisely because they know that it's pretty much unprovable.)

No. They do not make the claim because that is not what they think. The truth is that they simply do not believe. It really is that simple.


I'm sure what you write is true, and really that simple, for some people calling themselves atheists, but I GUARANTEE you that a significant percentage of them privately believe in the non-existence of God. I'm not saying that to criticize; in fact, I respect those people because they recognize the impossibility of proof and so don't try to make claims they can't substantiate. And I'm certainly not trying to make some sort of argument that their belief in something they can't prove is a matter of faith. It might be for some, but every human being believes things they have no proof for. Lots of things. It's a human weakness.
 
2012-12-04 05:56:19 PM  

Farking Canuck: There is no value in making a case against a small fringe group that nobody takes seriously.


BTW, there are philosophies (Materialism is one that comes to mind) that do assert non-existence of God, and adherents of those philosophies are far from "fringe groups that nobody takes seriously".
 
2012-12-04 06:25:40 PM  

aerojockey: If the question is, "Is it a fact that there is no God?", then burden of proof is on those who claim there is no God.


Wrong, or rather, a dishonest question.

That question still originates with the original question, which originates from "There is a God".

Changing the form and twisting the words does not change that.

Without the claim, "There is a god" any supposed disbelief is irrelevant. That statement is the origin of the whole debate. If no one had ever made that out to be "fact", there would be nothing to debate about. Once that positive claim is made, all burden is on the claimant. Re-wording and pretending that claim doesn't exist simply does not work.

-----------------

Now, with credibility issues and rational reasons for a story as such to come into existance coming into play(gain status/leadership manage the "flock" etc). Occam's razor kicks in heavily. The reliability of the testimony is irrevocably tarnished. Call it establishing character, there is no shortage of lying and fabricating "fact" to gain status among the creature that is man. Why is one story as such more believable than others? It is not, they're all equally dubious.

Because so many people believe it? No, reality is not a democracy. The earth is not flat, and NEVER was. Discarded rags to not magically transform into mice or rats. Masturbation does not cause cancer. etc etc etc.

Those were all things that an ignorance populace once largely "believed" because it's what they were taught.

For any explanation of an alleged "god", there are simpler and more rational explanations that make actual sense.
Emotion, love? biochemists, hormones, medical study, that's all explaining it, down to why a parent bonds with it's child over children that are not it's own. Oxytocin down to survival / evolutionary advantages.

Rain, lightning, planets, stars, etc, it's all been touched on science to a degree that's built upon observable fact. What some call an educated guess carries with it a large amount of certainty a lot of the time. If I let go of this laptop, it will fall until it hits an obstruction. A simple prediction based on valid reasoning.

Religion has no such valid reasoning, despite it's claims and attempts. Still just the word of man, much of the literal parts having been demonstrated as tall tales, if not outright proven wrong, with science. Creationism, Noah's ark, etc. A fictional story based on real events is still a fictional story.

Yes, at one point the world didn't exist, does not necessitate Creation by an intelligent entity. Chemistry and physics explain it much more accurately.

Yes, there was once a large flood, several in fact, but a global one and a boat large enough to carry two of every sort of animal(and food and drinkable water, etc)? Preposterous.
 
2012-12-04 08:40:10 PM  

aerojockey: If the question is, "Is it a fact that there is no God?", then burden of proof is on those who claim there is no God.


Show me one person in this thread making this claim. If you cannot find anyone making this claim and, unless I missed something, you won't, why would you employ this argument??

If an argument doesn't apply to the people you are arguing against then it is intellectually dishonest to employ it.
 
2012-12-04 08:43:43 PM  

aerojockey: I'm sure what you write is true, and really that simple, for some people calling themselves atheists, but I GUARANTEE you that a significant percentage of them privately believe in the non-existence of God


That is completely true ... I do not believe in the existence of god.

This is a completely different thing from making the claim that no gods exist.

One is a position taken based on the weight of available evidence and the other is a statement of certainty (which is subject to the burden of proof).

If you ask religious people, the majority of them will state that it is a fact that god exists. The opposite is not true of atheists. Therefore we do not bear the same burden of proof. Full stop.
 
2012-12-04 09:12:57 PM  

aerojockey: Farking Canuck: There is no value in making a case against a small fringe group that nobody takes seriously.

BTW, there are philosophies (Materialism is one that comes to mind) that do assert non-existence of God, and adherents of those philosophies are far from "fringe groups that nobody takes seriously".


Philosophy isn't necessarily a way of life that is adhered to and therefore resembling religion, but many times simply an effort to describe, in that case, a conclusion that is reached naturally.

You are letting the -ism make it feel like a religion in that sense(an organized and structured group of people).

Equivocation of the various meanings of "philosophy" is the fallacy there.
 
2012-12-04 11:26:03 PM  

Farking Canuck: aerojockey: If the question is, "Is it a fact that there is no God?", then burden of proof is on those who claim there is no God.

Show me one person in this thread making this claim.

Why? Whether anyone's making the claim doesn't have any bearing on the truth or falsity of this statement.

 
2012-12-04 11:26:43 PM  

Farking Canuck: aerojockey: If the question is, "Is it a fact that there is no God?", then burden of proof is on those who claim there is no God.

Show me one person in this thread making this claim.


Why? Whether anyone's making the claim doesn't have any bearing on the truth or falsity of this statement.
 
2012-12-04 11:32:12 PM  

omeganuepsilon: Philosophy isn't necessarily a way of life that is adhered to and therefore resembling religion, but many times simply an effort to describe, in that case, a conclusion that is reached naturally.


Jesus. For people who claim to believe only what you have evidence for, you people are awfully good at reading into things things that aren't there.

I brought Materialism as an example of mainstream philosophy that asserts the non-existence of God. This was to counter to your opinion that people who assert non-existence of God that are a meaningless fringe group, and nothing more.
 
2012-12-05 01:10:18 AM  

aerojockey: Farking Canuck: aerojockey: If the question is, "Is it a fact that there is no God?", then burden of proof is on those who claim there is no God.

Show me one person in this thread making this claim.

Why? Whether anyone's making the claim doesn't have any bearing on the truth or falsity of this statement.


Fine ... let's derail this thread into a discussion of how christians like to murder doctors.
 
2012-12-05 01:30:37 AM  

aerojockey: omeganuepsilon: Philosophy isn't necessarily a way of life that is adhered to and therefore resembling religion, but many times simply an effort to describe, in that case, a conclusion that is reached naturally.

Jesus. For people who claim to believe only what you have evidence for, you people are awfully good at reading into things things that aren't there.

I brought Materialism as an example of mainstream philosophy that asserts the non-existence of God. This was to counter to your opinion that people who assert non-existence of God that are a meaningless fringe group, and nothing more.


aerojockey: (Materialism is one that comes to mind) that do assert non-existence of God, and adherents of those philosophies


Yeah, I'm the one with the reading issue.

Also, because you're confused, I'm not saying anything about some "fringe group", that is another poster.

If you'd actually, you know, read my posts, you'd see that I already covered "There is no god" people in a much different light.
 
2012-12-05 01:37:23 AM  
Bolded the wrong parts. It was the "adhering to" point that you had said and that I replied to.

One does not go down a list and pick a philosophy that they agree with and live by it's tenets. That is what you implied, and what I called you out on. There is no organization known as Materialism as you imply. There is no church, no worship. There is no large population of materialists, no clubs, no support groups, no community. All of which is what you imply by saying they're not a fringe group. You imply massive numbers.

A little bit of reading comprehension goes a long ways if you want to debate in a text based forum.
 
2012-12-05 03:43:00 PM  

Farking Canuck: aerojockey: Why? Whether anyone's making the claim doesn't have any bearing on the truth or falsity of this statement.

Fine ... let's derail this thread into a discussion of how christians like to murder doctors.


How is this sidetracking? Burden of proof is a part of this discussion, and I was commenting on that part of it. I'm not aware of any etiquette that says facts you introduce to the discussion have to always wholly pertain to everything that's been talked about so far.

omeganuepsilon: One does not go down a list and pick a philosophy that they agree with and live by it's tenets. That is what you implied,


No it isn't, and anyway I'm not sure what relevance you think it has to the point I was making. I admit "adherents" might not have been the best word. But regardless: someone claimed that those who assert the non-existence of God are a tiny group of people not worth even thinking about because they're so irrelevant. I say that's not true, and the fact that Materialism exists as a mainstream philosophy, taught in schools and everything, is evidence of that. That's it. That's all I said.

Do you deny that? Are you going to tell me that people who assert non-existence of God are as a whole tiny, irrelevant, and not worth thinking about, despite the fact that their philosophies are considered mainstream? If so, you're being ridiculous. If not, I don't see what you're objecting to, because that's ALL I was saying.
 
2012-12-05 03:55:05 PM  

omeganuepsilon: aerojockey: If the question is, "Is it a fact that there is no God?", then burden of proof is on those who claim there is no God.

Wrong, or rather, a dishonest question.


No it's not. Whenever someone makes an assertion, the approrpiate question is, "Is the assertion true?" If a man walks into a room and says, "There is no God", then the example above is the correct question.
 
2012-12-05 04:03:38 PM  

aerojockey: How is this sidetracking?


You are arguing against a tiny minority that are not even here. Pretty much admitting that you have no legitimate argument for the vast majority of atheists.

I guess this is better than most religious people on Fark who insist the 'you cannot prove god doesn't exist' argument applies to all atheists.
 
2012-12-05 05:12:36 PM  

Farking Canuck: aerojockey: How is this sidetracking?

You are arguing against a tiny minority that are not even here.


Let me tell you what I think is hilarious.

There are apparently a group (tiny according to you) of atheists you evidently don't want to exist, because you are unfathomably butthurt over the fact that I even bothered to mention them.

When I did mention them, I said that they are subject to burden of proof when they make their assertion, which (I assume) is one of the main reason you don't want them to exist, i.e., they're doing the same thing that religious nutcases do (assert things they have no hope of proof for), and worse, they are doing it while calling themselves the same thing you call yourself.

And yet when I pointed out what was "wrong" with them, you cried bloody murder, as if I was attacking the whole institution of atheism from top to bottom.

Persecution complex much? Seriously, you and your buddies on this thread have to have one to interpret what I said as "arguing against" anyone, as opposed to what I was really doing, just having a minor quibble with someone's oversimplified ideas on the burden of proof.

As for the other point of contention in this threa, namely my belief that the people you say are a tiny and insignificant group are not really tiny and insignificant, well tough. Everyone has people they don't approve of throwing in with them. Deal.
 
2012-12-05 05:20:33 PM  

aerojockey: As for the other point of contention in this threa, namely my belief that the people you say are a tiny and insignificant group are not really tiny and insignificant, well tough. Everyone has people they don't approve of throwing in with them. Deal.



So, do you have any citations that this is a mainstream group? Or is it just to be accepted as a fact that every athiest is an anti-thiest until proven otherwise?
 
2012-12-05 05:33:56 PM  

the ha ha guy: aerojockey: As for the other point of contention in this threa, namely my belief that the people you say are a tiny and insignificant group are not really tiny and insignificant, well tough. Everyone has people they don't approve of throwing in with them. Deal.

So, do you have any citations that this is a mainstream group? Or is it just to be accepted as a fact that every athiest is an anti-thiest until proven otherwise?


Persecution complex again. You're accusing me of saying all atheists are antitheists. I said nothing of the sort; in fact in my very Boobies in this thread I credited "many or most" atheists of not being antitheists. Lots of good that did.

As for citations, I don't have one handy, but if you go back in the thread that I gave the mainstrreamness of Materialist philosophy as evidence that antitheists are not a tiny and insignificant group. Since all I was saying was that people who assert non-existence of God are not so tiny as to be worth ignoring completely (which, you'll note, is not the same thing as saying that all atheists are antitheists--hard to believe, I know), then that bit of evidence will suffice to make my point. (Which, again, is NOT that all atheists are antitheists, which is totally not the point.)

BTW, I'm not saying that all antitheists are atheists. I just want you to know that. Or most atheists for that matter. Or even a healthy minor. Nope, not saying that either. Not completely insignificant number? Yeah I'll say that.

Which you'll note does not imply that all atheists are antitheist.
 
2012-12-05 06:05:42 PM  

aerojockey: As for citations, I don't have one handy, but if you go back in the thread that I gave the mainstrreamness of Materialist philosophy as evidence that antitheists are not a tiny and insignificant group.


So you cite your own comment as evidence of your assertion that they are anythng but a fringe group? If they were mainstream, shouldn't there be some evidence of that? The WBC is nearly universally acknowledged as a fringe group bordering on cult status, but even they have a larger visible following than the anti-theist movement.

Also, you're the only one looking for persecution here. I'm an ordained Christian minister, so I have nothing at all to gain by defending the athiests, but I don't feel that any valid point can be made for or against either side when it's based on erronious or nonexistent evidence.

/Yes, I do see the hypocrisy of that last statement, but I think my point still stands.
 
2012-12-05 06:23:36 PM  

the ha ha guy: So you cite your own comment as evidence of your assertion that they are anythng but a fringe group? If they were mainstream, shouldn't there be some evidence of that?


Since my point was that they are not a tiny enough group to ignore--which is what that Farking Canuck wants me to do--I feel the example of Materialism as a mainstream is sufficient evidence to make that rather small point. That Materialism is a mainstream philosophy is a commonly accepted fact, and I think you might be unfair to compare it to WBC, which is "mainstream" only in the sense that they get a lot of media attention.
 
2012-12-05 06:38:25 PM  

aerojockey: That Materialism is a mainstream philosophy is a commonly accepted fact


imgs.xkcd.com
 
2012-12-05 09:52:27 PM  

aerojockey: I feel the example of Materialism as a mainstream

What

example? You have yet to provide one.

You're making an unsubstatiated claim that there's some mainstream movement, when there is no evidence of them being anything other than a fringe type of personality, for surely there are some.

In my posts I also let on, at length, that saying "There is no god." is more figurative than literal, so you can't just say "Well a LOT of people say that". The way our language works is that some statements can mean multiple things. It's an argument of equivocation if you go that route.
 
2012-12-05 11:40:01 PM  

aerojockey: There are apparently a group (tiny according to you) of atheists you evidently don't want to exist, because you are unfathomably butthurt over the fact that I even bothered to mention them.


I am not remotely butt hurt.

I am simply pointing out that you are arguing with people who are not here ... apparently because you have no argument against actual atheism.

It is sad and pathetic that you cannot support anything you say. I asked you to produce one atheists from this thread that actually believes what you say we believe ... you produced nothing.

omeganuepsiilon has asked you several times to produce some support for your 'Materialism' claims ... you produced nothing.

You are a typical religious person ... attacking strawmen of your own creation because you cannot accept that your belief in magic is illogical and unsupported by evidence.

Go back to your mommy and daddy ... they'll tell you over and over that jesus loves you and that will make your weak mind feel better. It really is magic.
 
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