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(Christian Post .com)   Old and busted: atheist visits Jesus Camp. New Hotness: Christian visits Atheist Church   (blogs.christianpost.com) divider line 67
    More: Interesting, Jesus Camp, Islington, Angels & Demons  
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8403 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Feb 2013 at 4:47 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-02-09 12:31:04 PM
11 votes:
Dead for Tax Reasons:

it seems like he just went there to point and laugh at how wrong the people there were, not to actually think or see the other side.

Yep.

Two people see something that they don't completely understand.  The atheist will usually say "I don't know," and if s/he is motivated to do so, will go on to try to find an explanation.  The theist will usually say "must be God" and cease all further speculation, because s/he has already come to an answer that satisfies him/her.

If just slapping the name "God" on the mysteries of the universe is enough of an answer for you, then religion is probably satisfying.  If not, it's not.  If you want to actually understand things, simply calling them "supernatural" and ceasing any further research just isn't good enough.
2013-02-09 12:27:25 PM
11 votes:
This shiat is getting old. Fundies, please stop trying to force your religion on everyone. Atheists, please quit trolling the fundies
2013-02-09 12:16:59 PM
7 votes:
A (perhaps first-ever) atheistic church band leading the congregation in hits from Queen, Stevie Wonder, and Nina Simone.

It seemed that most people were there for those very reasons - community and singing. Or, what we Christians like to call, fellowship and worship.


singing is worship now?  i guess they were worshipping freddie murcury by singing queen

It doesn't matter how many songs you sing or how many people you hang out with - if it's not centered around Jesus (the true reason for church in the first place) it's never going to be enough.

yes, it could.  not everyone needs god and jesus, just their fellow man

it seems like he just went there to point and laugh at how wrong the people there were, not to actually think or see the other side.
2013-02-09 12:58:01 PM
6 votes:

Lsherm: FloydA: Dead for Tax Reasons:

it seems like he just went there to point and laugh at how wrong the people there were, not to actually think or see the other side.

Yep.

Two people see something that they don't completely understand.  The atheist will usually say "I don't know," and if s/he is motivated to do so, will go on to try to find an explanation.  The theist will usually say "must be God" and cease all further speculation, because s/he has already come to an answer that satisfies him/her.

I find this stereotypical summation, typical of liberal bigotry, amusingly ironic.

Please, you two, tell us more about how "those people" think.  Make sure to fluff yourselves up as the enlightened class at the same time.  Extra bonus points for ridiculous generalizations and/or complete ignorance baout the people you are criticizing.


Well, it's a good thing you know better than to stereotype.
2013-02-09 12:29:38 PM
6 votes:
They are missing the point entirely.

Church isn't about music, it isn't about making people feel happy, and it isn't about instilling wonder. Church isn't even about getting together in community to get your felt needs met.

Church is about Jesus.


Nah. Dude missed the point AND the joke.
2013-02-09 05:19:58 PM
4 votes:
Well, this was the most condescending article I've read in a long time. I feel like theists, atheists, and even deists can agree that the author is a sanctimonious coont.
2013-02-09 02:19:28 PM
4 votes:

thamike: Atheist Church?  What, like Brazzers?


i105.photobucket.com
What an atheist church might look like.
2013-02-09 01:43:00 PM
4 votes:

Peter von Nostrand: Atheists, please quit trolling the fundies


Not until they stop trying to force their religions.
2013-02-09 01:32:45 PM
4 votes:
"Atheist Church" is an oxymoron. Also stupid, but I repeat myself.
2013-02-09 12:56:24 PM
4 votes:
"So," I thought to myself, "at the creation of the universe from nothing there was an inconceivable amount of light followed by the most improbable conditions that allowed for the entire universe to exist."

I couldn't hold back a huge smile.

Why? Because Cliff's talk sounded an awful lot like this:

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

The earth was without form and void...

and God said, 'Let there be light.'"


It also sounds a lot like Ovid's Metamorphoses, and the Stoic conception of everything initially coming from fire. And a bunch of other old stuff, too.

What's your point, God boy?
2013-02-09 02:52:19 PM
3 votes:

Weaver95: Atheists have church?  um...doesn't that kind of defeat the point of being an atheist?


Everything about organized atheism defeats the purpose of being an atheist.  Now I have to go around with some sort of absurd hyphenated clarification because of these bozos.
2013-02-09 02:42:50 PM
3 votes:
Atheists have church?  um...doesn't that kind of defeat the point of being an atheist?
2013-02-09 01:58:07 PM
3 votes:
2013-02-09 01:37:51 PM
3 votes:

muck4doo: Aar1012: Atheists have camps?

Ask Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao about those.


how clever
2013-02-09 01:17:33 PM
3 votes:
Bzzzt.  Appeal to ignorance fallacy.  "We don't know, therefore God".

Please try again.
2013-02-09 05:15:27 PM
2 votes:

maxheck: [i47.tinypic.com image 640x1188]

just sayin'


Max: your list is farked up nine ways to Sunday.  Christ, oddly enough was never recognized as the leader of christianity,; all the other items are easily refutable or easy enough to find examples of how being atheist is no different other than the one about live now for a future utpian society.  I'll agree there- not a lick of sense when it comes to you kids planning for your future be it financial or spiritual.
2013-02-09 05:03:26 PM
2 votes:
i47.tinypic.com

just sayin'
2013-02-09 04:56:38 PM
2 votes:
Fundies, meet the Internets: the downfall of your silliness. People in Podunk who otherwise would have no contact with anyone outside their insulated community are able to receive the entirety of human knowledge at their fingertips - granted, most of that knowledge centers around porn and cats, but that's a different tale for a different time. The Webs will chip away at your base. The end is nigh.
2013-02-09 03:09:13 PM
2 votes:
Somacandra:

Wow. If only your incredibly stupid

Well that was helpful. Thank you for advancing the conversation in a useful and effective way.
2013-02-09 03:03:06 PM
2 votes:

thamike: Everything about organized atheism defeats the purpose of being an atheist.


I think you have atheism confused with anarchism. People can get together and talk about science while still being atheists.
2013-02-09 02:24:42 PM
2 votes:

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: Allow people their own relationship with God as they perceive him without insisting they profess belief in the supernatural. Otherwise your Special Magic Club is doomed.


No, it can't be done.

We are tribal monkeys. Only one tribe can be right.
2013-02-09 01:42:04 PM
2 votes:
The press was there catching interviews. (They also recorded the entire service along with the attendees to a point that it made it uncomfortable).

Aww, the poor widdle baby didn't want people to mistake him for being a big bad atheist.

/and atheists don't have churches, silly christians
2013-02-09 12:39:57 PM
2 votes:
Atheists have camps?
2013-02-10 03:01:43 PM
1 votes:
Why do Christians have to shiat on everything Atheist have.

If an Atheist went into a church and came out talking about herd mentality and how Christians are just herd animals, and now that Atheist church is doing the same thing, that it is all about the fellowship and not about the worship.

But you know, they aren't.

Christians feel the need to go around and make sure to tell everyone else how they are doing thing wrong and how they are just looking out for you for being to dumb to know that God will handle it all for you if you are willing to just give over to his glory and admit you are nothing but a broken shell of a piece of shiat that must pray constantly or you will perish in a lake of fire for all eternity amen.
2013-02-09 08:52:43 PM
1 votes:

StrangeQ: Popular Opinion: while i am not religious, i have a growing dislike for the anti-religious.
i am battered daily by protestations from the FSM worshippers proclaiming the absolute disconnection between church and charity, and yet for 17 years now, I have yet to meet an atheist group at the local community center feeding the poor.
i could understand if i only worked at a few, or only at faith based centers...

atheist is another word for selfish and don't give a f*ck about anyone else. jmo.

and i don't even believe in "god".

http://www.squidoo.com/Atheist-Charities

Man, that google search sure was hard.

Go on with your superiority complex holding self, though.


He believes if he doesn't see it, it's not happening. So because there are no atheist organizations there when he is (which must be ALL DAY EVERY DAY), there are none.

/No Chinese people in my house, must mean there are no Chinese people.
2013-02-09 08:19:20 PM
1 votes:

clowncar on fire: gimmegimme: clowncar on fire: gimmegimme: BumpInTheNight: ciberido: ajgeek: "Atheist Church" is an oxymoron. Also stupid, but I repeat myself.

So your objection is to the word "church"?  If it was called "an atheist weekly social club" it would be fine?

Or do you think it's stupid for a group of like-minded atheists to get together on a regular basis to listen to music and lectures?

I gotta admit I find it more then a little strange that this group of people who are actively trying to reject the notion of religion are using a name universally recognized as reserved for houses of christian worship and applying it to their weekly club house.  This sort of radical anti-religion is mildly funny to me, like I'm sure I'd feel differently if I had to deal with the zealously religious on a more regular basis but to me the idea of identifying myself as 'not that' in reference to something I reject as opposed to identifying something I actually am is just strange.  Its counter productive and at the end of  the day your self identification is reliant on the thing you reject existing...this guaranteeing it can never be fully erased lest you become void of purpose yourself.

TL;DR?  Militant atheists are just as bad as militant fundamentalists, they're just bad in different ways.

1) What is a "militant atheist"? A person who not only believes but must make sure anyone who believes otherwise better change their ways

2) How is the above "just as bad"?  Re-read all posts in this thread. Take the time to keep count of those who defend the fundies and the nature of their responses versus those who oppose the fundies.  Come to your own conclusions.

How, exactly, does a "militant atheist" "make sure anyone who believes otherwise better change their ways" and why/how is this method unacceptable?

The  "method " is the usual: browbeat, troll, bully, etc.  In the framework of the cyber community, I would say the bravery of being out of range would be considered acceptable.

I, for example, am an atheist in regards to the existance of the Easter Bunny.  My disbelief in The Bunny is the end game.  In your venacular- whatever.  Why would I even bother to even debate about its existance as I know it not to exist?  As a true theist, with no doubt in my heart, I w ould not even see the oint of trying to expend my efforts to debunk that which is not debunkable.

A true theist would not see the need to engage in such discourse as to whether God exists or not, but rather be comfortable in the belief in non-existance.

Militant theists are an entirely different bird.  There appears to be an internal need, not unlike that of a bully, to defend a core belief to which the holder may himself have doubts.  In the case of theism, a need to express the non-existance of a diety and receive confirmation thereof.


If, as a theist, the worst thing that can happen to you for your religious position is to get trolled on Fark, you're getting off light. As an atheist in Arkansas, I can be disqualified from serving on a jury or to hold state public office. Once you start getting discriminated against for being a Christian and having your actual civil rights revoked, you call me up.
2013-02-09 08:05:01 PM
1 votes:
Oh, FOR FARK SAKE, YOU ASSHOLE! You are at SOMEONE ELSE'S SERVICE! SHUT THE FARK UP ABOUT YOUR BELIEFS AND STOP ASSUMING THEY 'NEED' YOURS!

Goddamn, is there just something about being the dominant religion in a country that makes you completely farking forget basic good manners?
2013-02-09 07:02:25 PM
1 votes:

ciberido: "If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."

― Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality



Heh.  So when science conclusively demonstrates that people don't reincarnate into spirits and bugs, then they will abandon those claims.  Seems like a pretty safe dodge.
2013-02-09 07:00:15 PM
1 votes:

ennuie: thamike: Weaver95: Atheists have church?  um...doesn't that kind of defeat the point of being an atheist?

Everything about organized atheism defeats the purpose of being an atheist.  Now I have to go around with some sort of absurd hyphenated clarification because of these bozos.

I recommend "nontheist" or "anti organized religion" -- "heathen" if you're feeling playful.


Again, I point to the Unitarian Universalists. The minister before Victoria Safford took over at the Unitarian Society in Northampton was very much an atheist; so much so, that there was some push back from the congregation when she began services for being too theist in her approach. The language of faith, from many faith traditions, helps us to understand how those disparate faith traditions all approach things from slightly different perspectives, but to common goals, and with lessons that we can all learn from. Kindness. Charity. Forgiveness. Be you Buddhist, pagan, Jewish, Lutheran, Baptist, Hindu, Jain, Catholic, Muslim or Methodist, we can all learn from one another. Common values, common drives, desires, common needs, they transcend faith traditions, and even atheists can find important lessons in the disparate teachings, or even in the teachings of one tradition alone. Deeds over creeds tends to drive the UUs. Where you find the inspiration, that tends to come from one's own personal experiences. Ultimately, those experiences drive us, but we can find common ground in our actions. The language of faith, the lessons, those don't have to drive you to exclusivity that YOU are the only one who knows the back door to the Great and Secret Show.

The language of faith, the lessons contained, they can be gleaned without damning all those around you. Even Buddhists differ wildly in their interpretations of the Eightfold Path. Atheists are welcome in a UU community, because they bring their own experiences to the table, and they are just as valid as those of folks with theistic bends. Openness isn't a trait for only believers or unbelievers. Openness and willingness to listen, those are traits to be inculcated and nurtured. UUs are fantastic in their arguments amongst one another, and still within the bounds of looking to help each other define their own thoughts and processes. In an environment that is safe, and nurturing, where the questions are supposed to be asked of one another.
2013-02-09 06:54:23 PM
1 votes:

BumpInTheNight: Jesus you're a sensitive lot ;)  Yes I think its weird that a particular group of atheists decided to call their club house a church, yes I think its counter productive to decide you need to write down 'atheist' in the slot for 'religion' on your life score card rather then just leave it blank.  I think seeking out echo chambers of 'anti-religion' is just a silly notion, its a sign of insecurity to need to cluster over something you claim doesn't need to exist.  Now, these are my opinions and this is a discussion about the topic, beyond this discussion I really don't bring this topic up and that's why I'm not a militant or let's called it 'recruiting' atheist, I'm just someone who at the moment is bored but in general has no time to waste on bullshiat like religions or agonize that some people actually take them seriously.


There are fairly well documented psychological and health benefits associated with religious participation. A popular theory holds that the benefits derive from the sense of belonging to a special community. There is no good reason atheists shouldn't seek to enjoy these benefits in a non-religious way. And if they want to call their special community a "church" because it fills the same role in their lives that other peoples' religion fulfills in theirs, that's fine too. At least to sensible people.
2013-02-09 06:36:31 PM
1 votes:
Many atheists not only do not accept the existence of a theistic god (I know that is all atheist means) but actually have negative views towards organized religion.

Using the word church implies a religious structure which many of us would like to see go away.

While some people see a church as an example of unity, those of us who are not fans of religion see it as a source of division. While an atheist temple may be one we are welcome in and agree with, we would like to be free of temples. At least I would.

On a more practical level establishing an "atheist church" implies we need a church and unified moral code and defined unified structure that we are somehow lacking. Atheists don't need to send that message. It diminishes us all.
2013-02-09 06:35:30 PM
1 votes:

Somacandra: Modern Western Atheism has no content--its a concept entirely founded on negating a complete strawman of a Protestant concept of religion.


1) You scolded someone else in this thread for a blindingly stupid generalization... then you say this.

2) "Atheism" as I experience it has nothing to do with negating any concept of religion whatsoever. Rather, it is the lack of belief in any god, gods, or the supernatural. Though the last isn't necessary to the concept of atheism. It just overlaps with it quite a lot.

3) What may have confused you, professor, is that atheists like myself frequently find ourselves arguing with obnoxious evangelists, usually Protestant, presenting us with a very real concept of Christian religion that 1) corresponds strongly with what common English translations of the Bible say in plain words, and 2) you probably don't care for because you feel, rightly or wrongly, that the many who practice it reflect poorly on you and what you regard as your more nuanced beliefs.

I do not speak to the question of whether reading common English translations of the Bible, and taking them literally is a sound epistemological approach to discovering religious truth, even within a Christian framework. I do say that it is a very real approach, and much as you'd like to pretend otherwise, the main approach among laypersons out here in red America. Neither do I speak to the question of whether adherents to this strain of Christianity in fact reflect poorly on sophisticates like yourself, other than to say that you yourself seem influenced by some stereotype of atheism arising from your interactions with some few of them.
2013-02-09 06:26:13 PM
1 votes:

Somacandra: FloydA: Two people see something that they don't completely understand. The atheist will usually say "I don't know," and if s/he is motivated to do so, will go on to try to find an explanation. The theist will usually say "must be God" and cease all further speculation
==

"As in the other sciences, astronomers in the Muslim lands built upon and greatly expanded earlier traditions. At the House of Knowledge founded in Baghdad by the Abbasid caliph Mamun, scientists translated many texts from Sanskrit, Pahlavi or Old Persian, Greek and Syriac into Arabic, notably the great Sanskrit astronomical tables and Ptolemy's astronomical treatise, the Almagest. Muslim astronomers accepted the geometrical structure of the universe expounded by Ptolemy, in which the earth rests motionless near the center of a series of eight spheres, which encompass it, but then faced the problem of reconciling the theoretical model with Aristotelian physics and physical realities derived from observation. Some of the most impressive efforts to modify Ptolemaic theory were made at the observatory founded by Nasir al-Din Tusi in 1257 at Maragha in northwestern Iran and continued by his successors at Tabriz and Damascus. With the assistance of Chinese colleagues, Muslim astronomers worked out planetary models that depended solely on combinations of uniform circular motions. The astronomical tables compiled at Maragha served as a model for later Muslim astronomical efforts. The most famous imitator was the observatory founded in 1420 by the Timurid prince Ulughbeg at Samarkand in Central Asia, where the astronomer Ghiyath al-Din Jamshid al-Kashi worked out his own set of astronomical tables, with sections on diverse computations and eras, the knowledge of time, the course of the stars, and the position of the fixed stars. Essentially Ptolemaic, these tables have improved parameters and structure as well as additional material on the Chinese Uighur-calendar. They were widely admired and translated e ...



Were these advances made because of religion, or in spite of religion? Was every researcher and/or scientist that made an advance in human knowledge devout in their faith, or were they Muslim/Christian/Jewish/Whatever in name only?

Is there a single faith that embraces the scientific method? Is there any sacred writing that instructs the faithful to alter their beliefs in light of new and better evidence that contradicts the sacred writing?
2013-02-09 06:13:48 PM
1 votes:

noitsnot: Smgth: I think ...

As a secular Jew, I understand ...

/Article writer was a self righteous prig.
//So ALL people were CREATED to worship Jesus. Must've been confusing for all those people who lived before him..

Being a jew must be complicated - there are political, religious, ethnic, and cultural facets.  It's hard for a gentile to keep it all straight.


Too right! The majority of Jews at least have God to fall back on when the whole thing makes no sense. Seculars are left adrift.

And most Jews don't know how to feel about Israel. I mean I'M not from there. BUT it's full of Jews. Now. BUT it wasn't always. And everything they do is hardly 'Jew-centric', as it were, so it's not like there's an obligation to agree with everything they do. BUT some feel that way.

/It's a quagmire to be sure.
//Most people don't really think about it. Good for you!
2013-02-09 06:01:17 PM
1 votes:
Let edit TFA down a bit:

The Sunday Assembly, as the group is called, meets once a month at The Nave in North London for
"anybody searching for a sense of community, to meet and 'turn good intentions into action.'"
It is, all things considered, an atheistic church.
Yes. A church for atheists.


[..]

They are missing the point entirely.
Church isn't about music, it isn't about making people feel happy, and it isn't about instilling wonder.
Church isn't even about getting together in community to get your felt needs met.
Church is about Jesus.


Maybe there's a reason that the thing you attended wasn't called church?
Like, "all things considered", it not being a church after all?

Or to put it differently:
"Hah! My assumption was wrong. That means they failed!"
2013-02-09 05:59:19 PM
1 votes:
I think the point that the whole 'atheists don't church' argues are missing is that these people, who happen to be atheists, miss the sort of community and fellowship they had as children before they learned to think for themselves and leave the church. It's sad our culture is so divorced from its roots of small tight knit communities that people have become so disaffected they can't find that anywhere but at a place designated for something they don't believe in.

As a secular Jew, I understand these people. I'm an atheist, but I enjoy being with people I share a commonality with. I just don't want to do any pointless worshipping.

/Article writer was a self righteous prig.
//So ALL people were CREATED to worship Jesus. Must've been confusing for all those people who lived before him..
2013-02-09 05:57:44 PM
1 votes:

thamike: IlGreven: Peter von Nostrand: This shiat is getting old. Fundies, please stop trying to force your religion on everyone. Atheists, please quit trolling the fundies

Yeah!

Ahmadinejad, quit gassing your own people and developing nukes to lob at Israel.

UN, quit writing strongly-worded letters to Ahmadinejad.

What?


Okay, how about...

Southern whites, please quit lynching blacks and allow them to live as free men.

Martin Luther King, please stop assembling large masses to sue for your right to live.

My point is, taking a "centrist" role in any issue where one side has a distinct advantage is as bad as taking the side with the distinct advantage.
2013-02-09 05:54:53 PM
1 votes:

Somacandra: Wow. If only your incredibly stupid generalization had any relevance to the actual history of science,


You mean the history of science that was suppressed by the centers of religion when they went against the sacred Word of GodTM? Galileo ring a bell? Library of Alexandria? Charles Darwin? Any time science went against religious status quo, religion has always responded swiftly and brutally to suppress it.
2013-02-09 05:43:33 PM
1 votes:

Farking Canuck: If some atheists keep organizing like this I am going to have to get some identifier to make it clear that I am not affiliated.

Maybe "Chaos Atheist" - I like that.


I don't know. There's nothing wrong with organizing around a shared characteristic or a shared goal. That's what sci-fi conventions, churches, political rallies, alcoholics anonymous meetings, sporting events, and even web-forums are for (among other things, I know). We are inherently social animals, even if some of us are more introverted than others. We like to congregate in some fashion, for whatever reason. This is just as arbitrary a reason as any other, and many people admit that they go to secular or atheist meetings because they enjoy the atmosphere of community, just as many people who go to church enjoy the community that they foster (again, among the myriad of other reasons for attending).
2013-02-09 05:25:21 PM
1 votes:
clowncar on fire:

maxheck: [i47.tinypic.com image 640x1188]

just sayin'

Max: your list is farked up nine ways to Sunday. Christ, oddly enough was never recognized as the leader of christianity,; all the other items are easily refutable or easy enough to find examples of how being atheist is no different other than the one about live now for a future utpian society. I'll agree there- not a lick of sense when it comes to you kids planning for your future be it financial or spiritual.


Well, ok. We will await your easy refutation. Have at it.

I will take exception to your idea that the Christ isn't the center of worship... I'm pretty sure there are a few people who hang on his words and put his picture up everywhere. As an outsider, I am pretty sure that the Christ was considered a leader of his flock.
2013-02-09 05:25:04 PM
1 votes:
I found it interesting that he was made uncomfortable by the press taking pictures and recording

The press was there catching interviews. (They also recorded the entire service along with the attendees to a point that it made it uncomfortable).

Yet he had no issue taking his own pictures covertly

I surreptitiously wandered around taking photos of the event. I was, after all, running a clandestine intel-gathering mission behind enemy lines.

At least the press was aboveboard and didn't sneak around like he did.

Also his use of the term enemy should put to rest any thought or even hint that he was there with even a slightly open mind.

The guy's an asswipe no matter which side he's on of any debate.
2013-02-09 05:23:21 PM
1 votes:

nerftaig: Well, this was the most condescending article I've read in a long time. I feel like theists, atheists, and even deists can agree that the author is a sanctimonious coont.


The fact that he saw everything through a brutal religious filter was pretty pathetic.
2013-02-09 05:22:43 PM
1 votes:
Sheeit! Religion again? Sooooo boring. Been there. Total waste of 30 years. And then I got crucified. And now I have to hang up here in this fuggin' white room listening to d-bag angels sing elevator music 24-7. Which is why I've got wifi because at least I can surf some porn.

Sure, believe in "God" all you want, insects. But take it from me, my dad's a total a-hole who's never followed through on a promise in his life - unless it's to torture you like some kid with an ant farm. You wanna worship that? What-e-ver.
2013-02-09 05:21:57 PM
1 votes:
If some atheists keep organizing like this I am going to have to get some identifier to make it clear that I am not affiliated.

Maybe "Chaos Atheist" - I like that.
2013-02-09 05:17:34 PM
1 votes:
Peter von Nostrand:  Atheists, please quit trolling the fundies

Just as soon as they quit voting and trying to force their moral code onto the rest of us.
2013-02-09 05:11:35 PM
1 votes:

Spanky_McFarksalot: for a not religion they sure do act like one


In what way?
2013-02-09 05:07:19 PM
1 votes:
"So," I thought to myself, "at the creation of the universe from nothing there was an inconceivable amount of light followed by the most improbable conditions that allowed for the entire universe to exist."
I couldn't hold back a huge smile.
Why? Because Cliff's talk sounded an awful lot like this:
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
The earth was without form and void...
and God said, 'Let there be light.'"


And you would be wrong in thinking that it sounds an awful lot like the Genesis myth of creation. What Dr. Cliff is describing is not a direct process caused by an agent, but an emergent process caused by independent events acting simultaneously and randomly.You are making a categorical mistake by inferring from that description the presence of any causal agency, i.e. God, in any of it. Nature simply happens, with neither proximal nor distal causation necessarily coming from any intentional agent or agents.

My only complaint about Cliff's talk was that he never discussed the obvious question of how the most improbable condition was probable in the first place. What made the asymmetry, well, asymmetrical? He essentially sidestepped the chicken-or-the-egg issue with the Big Bang.

You only see a chicken-or-the-egg issue (which is not even the appropriate paradoxical allusion to make here) because you have already loaded your interpretation of what he said with an unwarranted assumption, i.e. the existence of a casual and intentional agency that set things in motion. As a parallel, that is akin to asking how much does velocity weigh, because it is assuming the referent being described belongs to a different ontological category that has different features and properties. You are assuming that things only happen if causation originates from intentionality. That is, you have already assumed a priori, with no justifiable reason to do so, that physical processes must have psychological properties in order to exist (in this case, the psychological property of intentionality as a casual factor to kick off physical events), when the reality is the overlap between physical ontologies and psychological ontologies only exists in animals... and even then only in a minority of them that happen to have a minimally sophisticated central nervous system.

It is for precisely this reason that religious dogmas either fail to be supported by scientific inquiry or are directly refuted by scientific inquiry, because the quantity and quality of a priori assumptions about reality are both greatly reduced and more logically justifiable. Whereas you, and all religious people for that matter, believe there is some psychologically-endowed entity causing things - whether it's proximally, as in intercessory prayer, or distally, as in the creation of the universe - in order to make sense of the reality you encounter, scientific inquiry has succeeded in maintaining the fewest number of relevant assumptions in order to draw any meaningful conclusion that helps us to understand the reality we encounter (for example, science assumes that all effects have causes, but doesn't assume that all causes originate from an intentional agent), making necessary additions and subtractions as more and more evidence piles in.
2013-02-09 05:04:08 PM
1 votes:
They sing Queen songs at atheist churches? Damn, I wanna go now!
2013-02-09 05:03:02 PM
1 votes:

Princess Ryans Knickers: Dear God,

What created you and what are you made out of? Also, who created whoever created you?


img194.imageshack.us

It's all in your head.
2013-02-09 05:01:54 PM
1 votes:
...and athiest....church?

You people are crazy, fark'yall I'm being whatever it is that doesn't believe in sky wizards or noodly flying monsters but doesn't waste his time in some church either.
2013-02-09 03:54:39 PM
1 votes:

hubiestubert: . In this, I think that Somacandra is right to make the distinction. It isn't what you believe, but rather what you do with what you believe.


In his Boobies in this thread, he called me "incredibly stupid."  I've seen what he does with what he believes.  I'm not impressed.
2013-02-09 03:42:06 PM
1 votes:

heap: muck4doo:
Organized non-stamp collectors?

if philatelist groups were advocating mandatory and tax payer funded stamp activities, why wouldn't it make sense for those who weren't into stamps to have a voice in the conversation?


Uh, yeah, if people were trying to cram philately into courtrooms and science classes, I'd oppose that, too.  I might even join or support an organization devoted to stopping that.
2013-02-09 03:14:38 PM
1 votes:
did i miss somacondra getting the wand passed to him by bevets, or something?


muck4doo: Because anti-absurdville tends to go in their own absurdville directions as well. Remember when that cross got stolen off the cemetery on some obscure California mountain?


people do goofy shiat, that's kinda what we're good at. it doesn't take an ethos to be a goofy bastard, and having an ethos doesn't negate being a goofy bastard.

that really doesn't have anything to do with what i was talking about, tho.
2013-02-09 03:12:09 PM
1 votes:

thamike: Everything about organized atheism defeats the purpose of being an atheist.


Being an "atheist" has no purpose by definition. Modern Western Atheism has no content--its a concept entirely founded on negating a complete strawman of a Protestant concept of religion. If instead you're going to talk about Humanism or an actual ethos of some kind, then social and ethical organizations have long been part of this tradition in Europe and the United States. Atheism does not mean non-religious: many Buddhists and Jains are 'atheists' but are nonetheless quite religious people.
2013-02-09 03:06:03 PM
1 votes:
muck4doo:
Organized non-stamp collectors?

if philatelist groups were advocating mandatory and tax payer funded stamp activities, why wouldn't it make sense for those who weren't into stamps to have a voice in the conversation?

again, i fully recognize that organization based on something people don't think is well into absurdville. but being a resident of absurdville doesn't stop any other group from having a voice or collective will, why should this be different?
2013-02-09 03:04:18 PM
1 votes:

FloydA: Two people see something that they don't completely understand. The atheist will usually say "I don't know," and if s/he is motivated to do so, will go on to try to find an explanation. The theist will usually say "must be God" and cease all further speculation

==

"As in the other sciences, astronomers in the Muslim lands built upon and greatly expanded earlier traditions. At the House of Knowledge founded in Baghdad by the Abbasid caliph Mamun, scientists translated many texts from Sanskrit, Pahlavi or Old Persian, Greek and Syriac into Arabic, notably the great Sanskrit astronomical tables and Ptolemy's astronomical treatise, the Almagest. Muslim astronomers accepted the geometrical structure of the universe expounded by Ptolemy, in which the earth rests motionless near the center of a series of eight spheres, which encompass it, but then faced the problem of reconciling the theoretical model with Aristotelian physics and physical realities derived from observation. Some of the most impressive efforts to modify Ptolemaic theory were made at the observatory founded by Nasir al-Din Tusi in 1257 at Maragha in northwestern Iran and continued by his successors at Tabriz and Damascus. With the assistance of Chinese colleagues, Muslim astronomers worked out planetary models that depended solely on combinations of uniform circular motions. The astronomical tables compiled at Maragha served as a model for later Muslim astronomical efforts. The most famous imitator was the observatory founded in 1420 by the Timurid prince Ulughbeg at Samarkand in Central Asia, where the astronomer Ghiyath al-Din Jamshid al-Kashi worked out his own set of astronomical tables, with sections on diverse computations and eras, the knowledge of time, the course of the stars, and the position of the fixed stars. Essentially Ptolemaic, these tables have improved parameters and structure as well as additional material on the Chinese Uighur-calendar. They were widely admired and translated even as far away as England, where John Greaves, professor at Oxford, called attention to them in 1665."

===
Wow. If only your incredibly stupid generalization had any relevance to the actual history of science, and wasn't thus easily shown to be bullshiat, then it might be meaningful. People of varying religious commitments have made (and continue to make) remarkable contributions to science, medicine, engineering, economics and many forms of related knowledge. But I'm sure you'll apologize right away, right?
2013-02-09 03:03:56 PM
1 votes:
I guess they'd get a kick out of Unitarians' Atheist vs Theists softball games then...
2013-02-09 02:57:44 PM
1 votes:

thamike: Everything about organized atheism defeats the purpose of being an atheist.


it does, but at the same time, organized group representation is how things work.

it's not like any other group has issue with 'hey, we think alike, let's group together in our own specific civic and political interests.'

that the commonality is in something they don't think is what turns things down an absurd cul-de-sac, but at the same time....i can't say we wouldn't be better off if that 20% slice of the country had as much political clout as other similarly large groupings.
2013-02-09 02:49:34 PM
1 votes:

Aar1012: Atheists have camps?


There's one spot out in the forest on the Olympic Peninsula where there are some natural volcanic hot springs.  I've sometimes hiked out with a tent and backpack and stayed a few days.  Does that count?


Weaver95: Atheists have church?  um...doesn't that kind of defeat the point of being an atheist?


Yeah, calling it a "church" is kind of silly.  Gathering with like-minded individuals can be informative, entertaining, and enjoyable, and it's just as useful for non-believers as for believers.  I was under the impression that "church"  was supposed to be something more than just a casual get together.
2013-02-09 02:40:08 PM
1 votes:

xanadian: thamike: Atheist Church?  What, like Brazzers?

I once went to a UU church that had a smattering of everything:  "recovering" Catholics, agnostics, atheists, etc...I think a Buddhist even showed up once.  It seems to be mostly about fellowship than worshiping a cloudy sky wizard.

YMMV.  That place may have been an anomaly.  *shrug*  I know the *local* UU church where I live has a freakin' Pride flag out front.  Yes.  In The County (tm).  I'm surprised the place hasn't been burned down.  For extra fun goodness, they're right across the street from some screaming fundies.  These fundies are moving, though.  They're building a megachurch up the street on top of the hill.

:/

/csb


Ah yes, so they can have their little private enclave, and let the money changers in the house.

Good for them!
2013-02-09 02:36:10 PM
1 votes:

thamike: Atheist Church?  What, like Brazzers?


I once went to a UU church that had a smattering of everything:  "recovering" Catholics, agnostics, atheists, etc...I think a Buddhist even showed up once.  It seems to be mostly about fellowship than worshiping a cloudy sky wizard.

YMMV.  That place may have been an anomaly.  *shrug*  I know the *local* UU church where I live has a freakin' Pride flag out front.  Yes.  In The County (tm).  I'm surprised the place hasn't been burned down.  For extra fun goodness, they're right across the street from some screaming fundies.  These fundies are moving, though.  They're building a megachurch up the street on top of the hill.

:/

/csb
2013-02-09 02:00:51 PM
1 votes:

FloydA: Lionel Mandrake:


[i105.photobucket.com image 327x154]


Oh, I have no intention of going any further into the mud than that single, derisively sarcastic remark.  I know better than that.
2013-02-09 01:58:24 PM
1 votes:

alwaysjaded: That article was total farking bullshiat. Where were the baby bbq's? The gay orgies? The ritualistic virgin sacrifices to Hitchens? And he wasn't even forced to shoot heroin in his eyeballs once? That must have been some weenie junior camp.The atheist camp I went to, we were raping bald eagles and smoking the mary-juana before the hell wagon left the slaughterhouse! Kids these days....tsk, tsk.....


All churches are just like Jesus camp too
2013-02-09 01:56:15 PM
1 votes:
That article was total farking bullshiat. Where were the baby bbq's? The gay orgies? The ritualistic virgin sacrifices to Hitchens? And he wasn't even forced to shoot heroin in his eyeballs once? That must have been some weenie junior camp.The atheist camp I went to, we were raping bald eagles and smoking the mary-juana before the hell wagon left the slaughterhouse! Kids these days....tsk, tsk.....
2013-02-09 01:29:18 PM
1 votes:
Allow people their own relationship with God as they perceive him without insisting they profess belief in the supernatural. Otherwise your Special Magic Club is doomed.
2013-02-09 01:16:09 PM
1 votes:

Aar1012: Atheists have camps?


Only ones we put Christians in.  Uhh...I mean, they're re-education camps.  No, wait, I'm not supposed to say that either.  Uhh...knowledge camps!  That's it.
2013-02-09 12:52:05 PM
1 votes:

FloydA: Dead for Tax Reasons:

it seems like he just went there to point and laugh at how wrong the people there were, not to actually think or see the other side.

Yep.

Two people see something that they don't completely understand.  The atheist will usually say "I don't know," and if s/he is motivated to do so, will go on to try to find an explanation.  The theist will usually say "must be God" and cease all further speculation, because s/he has already come to an answer that satisfies him/her.


I find this stereotypical summation, typical of liberal bigotry, amusingly ironic.

Please, you two, tell us more about how "those people" think.  Make sure to fluff yourselves up as the enlightened class at the same time.  Extra bonus points for ridiculous generalizations and/or complete ignorance baout the people you are criticizing.
 
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