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Thread: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs?

  1. #1 What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    I find no beneficial feature in atheism, atheistic beliefs, or materialistic beliefs. They all seem to be self-defeating and hopeless.

    These are beliefs that I am talking about:

    - Life is meaningless
    - Everyone's feelings, thoughts, emotions, and memories are nothing more than meaningless electrochemical reactions the product of meaningless evolution and meaningless natural selection
    - Morality is the product of meaningless natural selection, has no other purpose
    - Faith or belief without evidence is irrational and bad
    - After death, there is no consciousness, you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - If you lie, cheat, steal, and kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - If you don't lie, don't cheat, don't kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - You have one meaningless life to live and regardless of what you do, after death you can never ever remember anything that happened, everyone's feelings and memories are just meaningless electrochemical reactions

    - The reason there is no afterlife is because consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions, after death the electrical activity in the brain ceases, so consciousness must also cease, since consciousness IS electrical activity
    - The belief that consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions automatically negates free will as well, since all your decisions would be the results of electrochemical reactions you have zero control over, so no afterlife = no free will

    So why would anyone want to be an atheist or have atheistic beliefs? There's no free will (without invoking faith), life is meaningless, no real motivation to not do evil, etc...


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  3. #2  
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    Maybe it's redeeming feature is that it forces me to get up off of my lazy arse and find my own meaning within life, to nurture my conscience so that i can have a strong sense of morality, and to recognise that whether or not free will exists, the moral choices i make day to day will affect the moral choices i make in years to come, even if only as a product of strengthening neural pathways or whatever slap of scientism fits this placeholder.

    TBH, i suppose i'm just assuming free will does exist, which is cheating, but i circumvent this by not caring. good luck if you're an atheist and you're trying to avoid dogma; i certainly can't do it.


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  4. #3  
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    Atheists are in a reductionist phase e.g. Dawkins' The Selfish Gene. Also most of us are recoiling from religion, so we're terrified of Faith or Purpose, etc. because we feel religion owns these things. I'm sorry.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  5. #4 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    I find no beneficial feature in atheism, atheistic beliefs, or materialistic beliefs. They all seem to be self-defeating and hopeless.
    Allow me to tell you that I am an atheist, and I can give you as much reasons for that as you'd like. But, I'll start with your own.

    These are beliefs that I am talking about:

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - Life is meaningless
    Why? All the different, it's better. I control my own life. It's easy to go trough life and think that every move you make is destiny. Try doing it by thinking it all depends on you.

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - Everyone's feelings, thoughts, emotions, and memories are nothing more than meaningless electrochemical reactions the product of meaningless evolution and meaningless natural selection
    Again, not correct. You think if a person doesn't believe in some higher force, than he/she doesn't have emotions. Well, you're wrong. That only means that we don't see emotions as some gods work. I personally don't believe in god, but I am a sensitive person and I help people whenever possible, I do voluntary work....

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - Morality is the product of meaningless natural selection, has no other purpose
    Moral is not based on believing in god. It's just knowing what's wright and what's wrong. And a persons wright and wrong is based on how do you feel when you do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - Faith or belief without evidence is irrational and bad
    Just if someone doesn't believe in god, that doesn't mean that I can't believe in ghosts for example, or even fairies if I like

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - After death, there is no consciousness, you can never ever remember anything that happened
    So? What's bad about that?

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - If you lie, cheat, steal, and kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    Same thing as moral


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - If you don't lie, don't cheat, don't kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    I don't get this one =)

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - You have one meaningless life to live and regardless of what you do, after death you can never ever remember anything that happened, everyone's feelings and memories are just meaningless electrochemical reactions
    I already said that about emotions, and considering remembering, so what if I won't have anything after death. I have this life to live it. And even if I perish after death, there will always be someone to remember me.

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - The reason there is no afterlife is because consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions, after death the electrical activity in the brain ceases, so consciousness must also cease, since consciousness IS electrical activity
    You can't say that if you're an atheist, you see world black and white. Because you don't. You just see it more realistically. But ok, we don't agree on that matter. By the way, can you disproof that brain work on principals of electromagnetic impulses?

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - The belief that consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions automatically negates free will as well, since all your decisions would be the results of electrochemical reactions you have zero control over, so no afterlife = no free will
    What does afterlife have to do with free will? I personally don't believe that consciousness is just electrical impulses, yes, it does have something else there, but that only means that we are not YET able to explain it scientifically

    So why would anyone want to be an atheist or have atheistic beliefs? There's no free will (without invoking faith), life is meaningless, no real motivation to not do evil, etc...[/quote]

    I said enough....
    "Be the change you want to see in the world"
    Mahatma Gandhi

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace"
    Jimmy Hendrix
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  6. #5 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    I find no beneficial feature in atheism, atheistic beliefs, or materialistic beliefs. They all seem to be self-defeating and hopeless.

    These are beliefs that I am talking about:

    - Life is meaningless
    - Everyone's feelings, thoughts, emotions, and memories are nothing more than meaningless electrochemical reactions the product of meaningless evolution and meaningless natural selection
    - Morality is the product of meaningless natural selection, has no other purpose
    - Faith or belief without evidence is irrational and bad
    - After death, there is no consciousness, you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - If you lie, cheat, steal, and kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - If you don't lie, don't cheat, don't kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - You have one meaningless life to live and regardless of what you do, after death you can never ever remember anything that happened, everyone's feelings and memories are just meaningless electrochemical reactions

    - The reason there is no afterlife is because consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions, after death the electrical activity in the brain ceases, so consciousness must also cease, since consciousness IS electrical activity
    - The belief that consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions automatically negates free will as well, since all your decisions would be the results of electrochemical reactions you have zero control over, so no afterlife = no free will

    So why would anyone want to be an atheist or have atheistic beliefs? There's no free will (without invoking faith), life is meaningless, no real motivation to not do evil, etc...
    I was initially going to move this to the philosophy subforum, but then I read the OP again and realized that since the premises are not actual positions of those who are atheist, rather straw man arguments of what the OP wants atheists to be in order to justify his/her position, then it really is just trash.

    It certainly isn't on topic for the Scientific Study of Religion.

    If anyone would like to make compelling case for a more appropriate subforum, please PM me.
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  7. #6  
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    one of the beauties of being an atheist is that the religious conundrums raised by someone like Greatest I Am, and which could be a serious headache to any christian attempting to approach the bible with a logical mind, simply disappear in a puff of irrelevance
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  8. #7  
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    What is an atheistic belief? Is that like the beliefs I hold for thinking that Thor doesn't exist, or the beliefs which accompany my not finding the existence of unicorns to have a compelling case? Or, do you mean the beliefs which come with not accepting that Zeus is a valid explanation for the natural world around us?

    Tell me again specifically what beliefs you assume come from being atheist.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    What is an atheistic belief? Is that like the beliefs I hold for thinking that Thor doesn't exist...
    This is not a realistic defence. If I "don't eat meat" one may make reasonable assumptions about my diet and even guess about my character and larger values. Packages are real.

    The OP criticizes the common atheist package.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  10. #9  
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    The OP doesn't criticize the common atheist package... The OP creates an idiotic and ignorant view of the "common atheist package" and proceeds from there to bash an idealistic view that isn't based in reality. Because, according to the OP, since there is no free will, you can't choose to be atheist to begin with.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  11. #10 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    The OP criticizes the common atheist package.
    Find me one atheist who agrees with all of those points. The OP has no idea what atheists believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - Life is meaningless
    - Everyone's feelings, thoughts, emotions, and memories are nothing more than meaningless electrochemical reactions the product of meaningless evolution and meaningless natural selection
    - Morality is the product of meaningless natural selection, has no other purpose
    - Faith or belief without evidence is irrational and bad
    - After death, there is no consciousness, you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - If you lie, cheat, steal, and kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - If you don't lie, don't cheat, don't kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - You have one meaningless life to live and regardless of what you do, after death you can never ever remember anything that happened, everyone's feelings and memories are just meaningless electrochemical reactions
    I'm sure we can agree that meaning is not an absolute, in the sense that it must be defined by a mind, be it divine or mortal. To religious people, meaning is defined by God. To atheists, it is defined by people. That terrifies some people, because it means that we bear sole responsibility for morality and meaning. And, it saddens me to say, because some people lack the imagination, confidence or simple will to define themselves fully. I'm sorry if human meaning is not enough for you, that the garden cannot be wonderful without there being fairies at the end of it so to speak, but to atheists, life is not meaningless. It just has no absolute, objective, God-dictated meaning.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    according to the OP, since there is no free will, you can't choose to be atheist to begin with.
    VitalOne passed by opportunities to raise that conclusion. We should too.

    To continue my analogy, atheism is to the religion forum as vegetarianism is to the meat-eating forum. I think it fair to ask vegetarian hecklers defend their own tofu.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  13. #12  
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    I'll say again, this time more bluntly, since you seem to have missed my point.

    Atheism is no more a system of beliefs than is my lack of racism or my non-acceptance of astrology and the magic healing powers of magnetic bracelets.
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  14. #13  
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    I'm familiar with your position. Get real.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I'm familiar with your position. Get real.
    Done.
    Now, are you willing or able to show where my position is flawed or somehow mistaken? I'm guessing no, but willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Atheism is simply not a system of beliefs. You seem to be confused. The fact that often atheists share beliefs on many topics does not mean that those beliefs have their source in atheism. I don't understand why this simple point is so difficult for you (and many others) to grasp.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I'm familiar with your position. Get real.
    You need to stop stereotyping. It simply isn't applicable here. There is no cookie-cutter atheist. Atheism isn't a structure of belief. It has only one tenet; Lack of belief in a deity. That's it. No morals, nor ethics, nor structure. Only one statement. If people who subscribe to that statement often subscribe to others, so be it. But unlike religion, There is no book, no story, no anything to give any kind of information to. No source of anything. Nuff said.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  17. #16 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    So why would anyone want to be an atheist or have atheistic beliefs? .
    Why would I want to find Elizabeth Hurley attractive? I don't want to find her attractive, I just do. I imagine it's much the same with atheism.
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  18. #17  
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    @ inow, Arcane. If the vegetarian analogy failed to nail it I don't know what will for you. In my experience atheism carries consequences. Moreover I've observed that atheists have things in common.

    The issues pressing atheists most I think are mortality and morality. Denial that these need to be resolved, in terms particular to atheism, is either cowardice or ignorance... perhaps the shut-eyed atheist is yet operating with religious inertia taken for granted. I dunno. You two probably know by now I was raised atheist and have built myself consistent to atheism as best I can. It's more than a catty remark of disbelief in God. Indeed swatting believers - I find - is inconsistent with the logical and practical consequences of atheism developed seriously.

    The OP asked what's good about atheism. I could offer much, but that would be preaching, eh? I have to admit that going by the stated positions of most fellow atheists: nothing is good about atheism. Atheism they say, is practically immaterial and ultimately void of meaning. It's obvious where critics get their fuel.

    I believe we can make it work... in time.
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  19. #18  
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    What's "good" about not believing in unicorns?
    What's "good" about not believing stories from people regarding alien anal probes?

    How is it logical to "swat" at people who believe in the tooth fairy?
    I've noticed that people who don't believe in Santa Claus have things in common.
    I've also noticed that antelopes and lions have things in common.

    How do people who don't believe in Apollo find morals?
    How do people who don't believe in Poseidon deal with their mortality?


    Give me a break, Pong. How are you not seeing this?
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    What's "good"...?
    As VitalOne predicted, "good" must be in quotes. Because good also is a tooth-fairy, eh?

    And lest you flipflop, remember that you're just done asserting there are no common "beliefs which come with" atheism, it suggests "no system of beliefs", and judging by your response to vegetarian analogy: the absence of a thing does not demand an alternative... even when we "get real."

    Atheism, as inow represents, is simply an immaterial philosophical vacuum. That's a powerful attacking weapon. But it devours its own position: if nothing is good, how is theism bad?

    So whatcha gonna do inow? Whip an ace out of your pocket and show us you've been arguing deceitfully all along? "Yawn" your way out of the thread?



    To anyone who sees more to this debate than baseless attacks, I suggest reading The Brothers Karamazov. The novel honestly addresses VitalOne's questions, and gave us the phrase "everything is permissible."
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  21. #20  
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    I'm still awaiting an actual counter argument, or for you to show the flaw in my position. Thus far, your analogies and personal comments about me and my character have failed pretty miserably.
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  22. #21  
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    Okay, how about "your position as offered is no good in any way"?

    Besides I will comment, as one atheist to another, on your lousy representation of the movement... "the package". VitalOne is asking if we offer a better alternative; you're just some guy on the internet telling him to feel ashamed of religious belief. Where's the carrot?
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Besides I will comment, as one atheist to another, on your lousy representation of the movement... "the package".
    Can you please clarify for me what beliefs come with being atheist? Can you please define for me "the package" that adequately defines me as part of this "movement" toward rational thinking and dismissal of assertions plainly lacking in empirical support?

    Seriously. I'm not trying to be disagreeable here. I truly have zero idea of what you're talking about.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    you're just some guy on the internet telling him to feel ashamed of religious belief.
    Can you please use the quote feature to show where I told him to feel ashamed of religious belief? In short, can you please support your assertion with evidence?
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Can you please clarify for me what beliefs come with being atheist?
    Big can 'o worms... yeah: Without God, one naturally believes there is no afterlife, and no souls, or spirits. Neither an absolute authority, objective or subjective. I can't cookie-cut all atheists so, but - really - most of us should encounter the same problems begging for alternative solutions. How do we come to terms with our mortality? How do we determine "good"? We're going to make atheism work within the cultures we know. A lot of us therefore lean full-tilt to hedonism & science.

    Here you are offering features suggested by or complimentary to atheism:
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    this "movement" toward rational thinking and dismissal of assertions plainly lacking in empirical support
    See, I didn't mention rational thinking or empirical support - you did. You (rightly) associate these with atheism. Is that not a package?

    According to my sorry polling of atheists, most of us half-assedly take whatever positions are most expedient, borrowed even unconsciously from the inertia of (religious) tradition. Most of us prefer to define ourselves by our rejection of religion... not our commitment to atheistic beliefs... though positively we're vaguely humanistic. I think the shallowness is painfully obvious when pressed to define "good" and downright comical when atheists electrocute ourselves on loaded concepts like "faith", "virtue", etc. So IMHO the common package needs work. I feel it the duty - and honour - of early generation atheists to set our movement right.

    I understand, inow, that in your world atheism's just a few free-spirit atheists operating in a society knitted by believers. In my world though society has tangible voids atheism may fill... if we atheists illuminate the ways clearly as religion once did. No one's in a better position to offer positive alternatives to the fading religious belief systems. And those who feel "belief system" should be thrown out by association with religion, I suggest still labour under rebel mentality.

    We can develop atheists through the public schools. But first we must iron out the curriculum... "the package". Call that "secular education" if you like.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Most of us prefer to define ourselves by our rejection of religion... not our commitment to atheistic beliefs...
    I'm still, now after at least three posts expressly requesting you do so, waiting for you to specify what those are.
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  26. #25  
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    I was asked by two people to consider a move to philosophy. I reviewed the thread and agree it could do well there given the interest.

    Keep it clean, guys.
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  27. #26 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    So why would anyone ...
    Because some of us will always want to know the TRUTHnomatter how much it hurts, and not drown ourselves in LIES only to comfort ourselves.

    Thats why believing isnt an option for many of us. Our hunger for knowledge and truth surpasses everything.

    Sorry if this sound harsh but i see no greater weakness than in people who dont care about wanting to know the truth. For example religious people basing their entire life on some book written by other humans worshipping something that cant even be proven. It isnt logical. Why are people so obsessed with throwing themselves into an authority or group with no critical thinking present?

    The truth isnt a choise you make. Whatever you want to believe personally - doesent manipulate the truth into anything else than what it is.

    Edit: Im a Nihilist myself and i dont find it destructive or negative at all. In fact i consider it the purest form of reaching ataraxia.
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    I was asked by two people to consider a move to philosophy. I reviewed the thread and agree it could do well there given the interest.

    Keep it clean, guys.
    No worries mate. I have my beady eye on it!
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Most of us prefer to define ourselves by our rejection of religion... not our commitment to atheistic beliefs...
    I'm still, now after at least three posts expressly requesting you do so, waiting for you to specify what those are.
    I agree. Pong: You haven't defined what an "atheistic belief" is. Without that definition, there is nothing for us to talk about. The only definitive statute of atheism is rejection of the baseless assertions of religions. By definition, atheism is only absence of theism. What more is there to it Pong?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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  30. #29 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Raziell at least doesn't guard his beliefs. And plainly his above statements he believes go hand-in-hand with atheism:

    (correct me if I'm wrong, Raziell)

    -Knowing even painful truths is worthwhile.
    -Even comfortable lies must be exposed.
    -Knowledge and truth surpasses everything.
    -Wilful ignorance is weakness.
    -Trust in other humans is weakness.
    -Trust, or faith, is illogical.
    -Authority and group values less than individual integrity.
    -Truth is objective & independent of belief.

    Those are expressions of belief, or at least strong values. Let's not squirm *cough* inow *cough* and contest if we "believe" anything. Our statements express our beliefs. I could extract a larger catalogue out of this short thread alone.

    I agree a good formal definition of atheism is "absence of theism". In practice though to think and live as an atheist this simple definition commands a never-ending chain of consequences. Because real life is more complicated than an abstract definition. Remember the vegetarian analogy.

    Now, as for the menu - the catalogue of beliefs. I can't claim one must hold a particular belief consistent with atheist thought. So besides the numerous examples I could point to atheists holding or suggest the vast majority of atheists share, I won't hazard, "You Arcane_Mathematician hold belief X." Maybe you're a Korean atheist who believes in spirits or blind trust in the majority (atheistic) beliefs? Maybe you believe in living your short life to the fullest or maybe you believe nothing trumps "whatever". Surely though you've encountered moral and philosophical questions particular to atheists, and resolved those consistent with atheism if you're serious. I wish I had a clearer picture of those questions and their sequence. I'd know "the way" better, so I might illuminate it.

    Atheists aren't helping the movement by denying any ways exist. I really think it a defensive position, and dishonest. For that we net a lot of anti-theists who rather wallow in their partisanship than gain what atheism unlocks. Isn't it sad & embarrassing at times? We could be more internally consistent, explicitly and appealingly so. We could offer more articulate & positive answers to VitalOne's questions. But fairly representing of the group requires a willingness to cooperate.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  31. #30  
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    Atheism is no more a "group" than are people who don't believe in Thor.

    Again, nobody dismisses the fact that there are many beliefs which are often common among atheists. The challenge being made to your position, Pong, is that those beliefs are not atheistic, and that atheism is not a belief set, nor a source or belief.
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  32. #31 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Now, as for the menu - the catalogue of beliefs. I can't claim one must hold a particular belief consistent with atheist thought. So besides the numerous examples I could point to atheists holding or suggest the vast majority of atheists share, I won't hazard, "You Arcane_Mathematician hold belief X." Maybe you're a Korean atheist who believes in spirits or blind trust in the majority (atheistic) beliefs? Maybe you believe in living your short life to the fullest or maybe you believe nothing trumps "whatever". Surely though you've encountered moral and philosophical questions particular to atheists, and resolved those consistent with atheism if you're serious. I wish I had a clearer picture of those questions and their sequence. I'd know "the way" better, so I might illuminate it.
    Alright. There's the thing. There are no moral issues specific to atheism. That's the core of our misunderstanding. There are no moral issues that deal with it, at all. The closest thing that can be said to be a moral issue that deals directly with atheism is with regards to treatment of theists, but that in and of itself is moot as it's taken care of by other moral standings in people in general.

    A better way of thinking, is that Atheism is the resultant of a situation that is often the cause of these moral standings that, for whatever reason, you associate to be caused by atheism. For that matter, there is no such thing as a Theistic moral either. All theism does is give you a belief in a deity, nothing else. It's when you specify what theism you follow that you find a source of moral code, and not until then. Atheism is non-specific. So it is not a source.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Atheism is no more a "group" than are people who don't believe in Thor.
    I disagree. If you can point out a group of people ("atheists") then they have at least one thing in common; in practice they will have much more in common, though perhaps along different paths. People who opt not to drive a car to work are a group whether they organize or not. Don't replace the ubiquity of religion with the obscure specific "Thor". We're not talking about people who specifically opt not to drive to work in model "T" Fords.

    This debate is growing silly.

    I suggest the reason is that atheism attracts a lot of rebellious free-spirits. Thus the schism between those raised in atheistic cultures (Pong) and those rejecting a religious upbringing and environment (inow). The rebels see atheism as a personal freedom thing perhaps? I see atheism pointing to a set of blanks with several obvious answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    There are no moral issues specific to atheism.
    However there are moral issues specific to all thinking people. Atheism constrains (or enables ) the ways we resolve these. Analogy of vegetarians at the supermarket still holds. I mean come on, when you die you're going to the worms, right? - who else deals with that like atheists must?
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I disagree.
    Good for you. You're still the outlier.
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    I don't live in Austin Texas. With the position you take, how can you develop atheists in the schools?
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  36. #35 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Raziell at least doesn't guard his beliefs. And plainly his above statements he believes go hand-in-hand with atheism:

    (correct me if I'm wrong, Raziell)

    -Knowing even painful truths is worthwhile.
    -Even comfortable lies must be exposed.
    -Knowledge and truth surpasses everything.
    -Wilful ignorance is weakness.
    -Trust in other humans is weakness.
    -Trust, or faith, is illogical.
    -Authority and group values less than individual integrity.
    -Truth is objective & independent of belief.


    Atheists aren't helping the movement by denying any ways exist.
    Most of those points all hold true to me, yes. And on the last sentance ive quoted: I dont say god doesent exist or fight with religious people about it much (Because i cant prove god doesent exist) Mostly i just pity people who base their life on something meaningless like that. I believe in objective truth and that subjective opinions are based on a deteministic universe ( No true free will) and therefore even subjective opinions can all be traced back trough cause and effect. For this reason i cant blame people for being religious either because i dont think they really have a choise, which is why i think the most important goal for humankind is to eradicate religion. To bad religion is power and money, and so the greed of humans at the top of the food chain wants to hold on to these lies for their own benefit.


    When it comes to "Trust in other humans is weakness." i have to slightly disagree. Trusting people can strengthen your social network so trusting isnt directly a weakness, only a risk since you can never read a person 100% so it can backfire. Unless i misunderstood you here pong? You write trust and faith as if they are deeply connected?

    I actually find the the existance of the word "Atheist" insulting and emberassing on behalf of the entire human race because there shouldnt even be the NEED for a word that expresses disbelief in something that doesent have a shred of evidence to favor its existance to begin with. But yes, if someone called me an Atheist i would wear that title with more pride than most other titles in life.

    Freethinkers philosophy and Atheism is closeley related aswell i guess.

    Quoted from wiki:

    Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or any other dogma.
    Since again, i dont believe in free will i consider it imperative to get rid of religion as soon as possible to stop the domino effect of lies and ignorance to spread and poison the world as it has done for milennia.
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  37. #36  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    There are no moral issues specific to atheism.
    However there are moral issues specific to all thinking people. Atheism constrains (or enables ) the ways we resolve these. Analogy of vegetarians at the supermarket still holds. I mean come on, when you die you're going to the worms, right? - who else deals with that like atheists must?
    okay. there you go. A disregard of supernatural. What else is there? Do you believe that atheism gives you a source of morals on say the death penalty? What about hunger issues? The genocide in Sudan? Your political views? Views on abortion? Views on adoption? Views on Homelessness? War? Health care? Welfare? Credit card companies? Fast food? Chinese as a language? Chinese as a People? The second world war? Are any of these views that you have influenced by the fact that you do not believe in the supernatural? Better yet, would a Christian, Buddhist, Zionist, Deist, or any other religious person inherently disagree with you on any of these beliefs?

    Pong: There are no inherently Atheist morals. The only thing atheists inherently have in common is a disbelief in the supernatural, most specifically God. I'm sure there are a few atheists that even believe there is an afterlife. I'm sorry, but you are grasping at straws trying to make a cookie-cutter for atheist morals and values. It simply isn't there, because of what this is. Atheism simply is a non-theism. I am an atheist, a non-theist. That could very well be the only thing that me, you, and inow have in common. what other value is inherent to not believing in any gods?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I don't live in Austin Texas. With the position you take, how can you develop atheists in the schools?
    Zuh? It's not my place, nor anyone else's for that matter, to "develop atheism in schools." What are you on about?

    In schools, we teach our young to think critically, to learn how to solve problems, to explore the world using consistent tool kits which require evidence and logic. That is... we educate kids to be intelligent and productive members of our global society. That's the goal.

    Sending a kid to school is not intended to make them atheist. It's not like sending a kid to a religious schools... we're not sending them there to drill bible or qur'an verses into their heads. The suggestion is ridiculous.

    As far as I'm concerned, we are not trying to make the worlds children atheists (although, we may be laying the ground work so they arrive on that position on their own), and schools should NEVER be used for such a purpose. I'm against indoctrination in all its forms. I'm still not entirely sure how your question relates to any of my points, but we send kids to school to learn to think critically, require evidence and logic, and to be productive members of society. If they choose to be religious believers, then so be it. That's fine. I just disagree with their position, and will ask them to defend it when it comes up in discussion.


    Now, we are still waiting for you to describe "atheist beliefs" or to even name a small handful of what you think those are.
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    we are still waiting for you to describe "atheist beliefs" or to even name a small handful of what you think those are.
    Isnt atheism just lack of theism?

    So if you dont have any religion or believe in god you are an atheist?

    Edit: Havent read all of what you 2 have been discussing but the only universal belief added naturally to atheism in its most basic form would be common sense in my opinion.
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  40. #39  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Isnt atheism just lack of theism?
    That's certainly how I (and many others) see it, yes. I agree fully. However, the OP suggested that there were "atheist beliefs" and Pong (a self-proclaimed atheist) has been going on in many posts about those "atheist beliefs."

    These last several posts have been a struggle to align with him and get him to provide examples of "atheist beliefs." Nobody here discounts the fact that there are many beliefs among atheists which overlap and are common in individuals. The point being made, though, is that those beliefs are not themselves rooted in atheism... which is... as you rightly suggest, just a lack of theism.

    In sum, his suggestion is akin to saying that people have belief systems which stem directly from not finding a compelling case for leprechauns, and I am (and others are) challenging him on his position.
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    That's certainly how I (and many others) see it, yes. I agree fully. However, the OP suggested that there were "atheist beliefs" and Pong (a self-proclaimed atheist) has been going on in many posts about those "atheist beliefs."

    These last several posts have been a struggle to align with him and get him to provide examples of "atheist beliefs." Nobody here discounts the fact that there are many beliefs among atheists which overlap and are common in individuals. The point being made, though, is that those beliefs are not themselves rooted in atheism... which is... as you rightly suggest, just a lack of theism.

    In sum, his suggestion is akin to saying that people have belief systems which stem directly from not finding a compelling case for leprechauns, and I am (and others are) challenging him on his position.
    Both you and pong know atheism is just lack of theism, but you mean Pong is putting more into atheism than it really is?

    You could say that some beliefs are automatically added by denying the existance of a deity. Like...

    -common sense
    -Logical and critical thinking
    -Seeking truth (not basing opinions on something that COMPLETELY lacks any evidence)

    Maybe you just go way to much into detail, i dont know Try relaxing abit and dont take things to literally? (sorry if that sounded condecending i just mean maybe you know what he means but dont want to understand? ill read it over in detail when i wake up right now im dying from sleep deprivation)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    You could say that some beliefs are automatically added by denying the existance of a deity. Like...

    -common sense
    -Logical and critical thinking
    -Seeking truth (not basing opinions on something that COMPLETELY lacks any evidence)
    See... except, that's not true at all. I know plenty of atheists who believe in all kinds of ridiculous stupid shit. Being atheist does not mean you "believe in common sense, logic, and critical thinking." It just means you are not theist.

    Any commonality in core beliefs among those who are not theist is peripheral only. Those core beliefs do not and cannot stem from their lack of theism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    You could say that some beliefs are automatically added by denying the existance of a deity. Like...

    -common sense
    -Logical and critical thinking
    -Seeking truth (not basing opinions on something that COMPLETELY lacks any evidence)
    those are just the idealistic values we would hope that everyone have. The only consequential value of atheism is a non-belief in theism. That's it. Nothing else.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  44. #43  
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    So we could say there are "no libertarian beliefs" since all we can say about libertarians is they support the libertarian party, period. Likewise there are "no childish arguments" since by definition childish refers to age.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  45. #44  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    So we could say there are "no libertarian beliefs" since all we can say about libertarians is they support the libertarian party, period. Likewise there are "no childish arguments" since by definition childish refers to age.
    First, I'll note that you have yet to actually answer the question and list any atheist beliefs.

    Second, your comparison above is a false one, as libertarianism is, by definition, a belief system and ideology.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism

    In case you haven't picked up on this by now, I'll say it again. Atheism is not.


    Third, a "childish belief" pertains to a value judgment from a third party. It is not a belief which results merely from being a child... so this is another false comparison.


    Wanna go ahead and address the request which has been put you like ten or twelve times now and list a few "atheist beliefs," or are you going to continue evading that particular part of the conversation?
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  46. #45 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by JennLonhon
    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    I find no beneficial feature in atheism, atheistic beliefs, or materialistic beliefs. They all seem to be self-defeating and hopeless.
    Allow me to tell you that I am an atheist, and I can give you as much reasons for that as you'd like. But, I'll start with your own.

    These are beliefs that I am talking about:

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - Life is meaningless
    Why? All the different, it's better. I control my own life. It's easy to go trough life and think that every move you make is destiny. Try doing it by thinking it all depends on you.
    The belief that you control your life is faith-based, it also takes MORE Faith to believe in free will than to believe in God, since free will is not simply unproven, but unproven with massive amounts of evidence against it, where as God is simply unproven, like multiple universes

    Thereby ruining all atheistic arguments connected to faith and evidence.

    If you believe life is not meaningless, then what is the meaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - Everyone's feelings, thoughts, emotions, and memories are nothing more than meaningless electrochemical reactions the product of meaningless evolution and meaningless natural selection
    Again, not correct. You think if a person doesn't believe in some higher force, than he/she doesn't have emotions. Well, you're wrong. That only means that we don't see emotions as some gods work. I personally don't believe in god, but I am a sensitive person and I help people whenever possible, I do voluntary work....
    I didn't say that, I said that one of the basic beliefs of materialists is that emotions, thoughts, memories, and feelings are made up of electrochemical reactions

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - Morality is the product of meaningless natural selection, has no other purpose
    Moral is not based on believing in god. It's just knowing what's wright and what's wrong. And a persons wright and wrong is based on how do you feel when you do it.
    Well this doesn't refute any statement I made...

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - Faith or belief without evidence is irrational and bad
    Just if someone doesn't believe in god, that doesn't mean that I can't believe in ghosts for example, or even fairies if I like
    What? If you agree that faith is irrational and bad, then believing in free will and that you can control your life should be bad and irrational, right?

    Therefore the beliefs are self-defeating and hopeless like I said

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - After death, there is no consciousness, you can never ever remember anything that happened
    So? What's bad about that?
    Well it means that regardless of how much you do waste or do not waste your life, it doesn't matter and has no meaning

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - If you lie, cheat, steal, and kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    Same thing as moral


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - If you don't lie, don't cheat, don't kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    I don't get this one =)
    See above statement


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - You have one meaningless life to live and regardless of what you do, after death you can never ever remember anything that happened, everyone's feelings and memories are just meaningless electrochemical reactions
    I already said that about emotions, and considering remembering, so what if I won't have anything after death. I have this life to live it. And even if I perish after death, there will always be someone to remember me.
    That's not true, so what you're saying is even though after death it's all the same, it still doesn't matter to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - The reason there is no afterlife is because consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions, after death the electrical activity in the brain ceases, so consciousness must also cease, since consciousness IS electrical activity
    You can't say that if you're an atheist, you see world black and white. Because you don't. You just see it more realistically. But ok, we don't agree on that matter. By the way, can you disproof that brain work on principals of electromagnetic impulses?
    What? I don't get if you agree or disagree with the statement. If you agree that there is no afterlife because consciousness IS electrochemical reactions, then you cannot believe in free will, the two things are in contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    - The belief that consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions automatically negates free will as well, since all your decisions would be the results of electrochemical reactions you have zero control over, so no afterlife = no free will
    What does afterlife have to do with free will? I personally don't believe that consciousness is just electrical impulses, yes, it does have something else there, but that only means that we are not YET able to explain it scientifically
    I already explained what an afterlife has to do with free will.

    If consciousness is electrochemical reactions, this means everything you say, do, and think is the result of electrical reactions you have no control over. If you believe that you can control these electrical reactions, then that's equivalent to believing in superhuman power, that you can break, control, change, and manipulate the laws of physics with your mind. Otherwise if you can't do that with your mind, then you can control any of your decisions, meaning there is no free will. Claiming you have free will would be like saying bacteria has free will.

    And the scientific reason given for no afterlife is that consciousness is made up of electrical reactions, and after death the electrical reactions in the brain ceases.

    No afterlife and no free will are both based off the same belief - that consciousness is made up of electrical reactions

    How can you believe in free will and no afterlife? It doesn't make sense.

    If you don't believe that consciousness is electrical impulses, then do you believe that after death consciousness can continue (meaning an afterlife exists)?

    So why would anyone want to be an atheist or have atheistic beliefs? There's no free will (without invoking faith), life is meaningless, no real motivation to not do evil, etc...
    I said enough....
    You didn't give any reason to have atheistic or materialistic beliefs.
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  47. #46 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    I find no beneficial feature in atheism, atheistic beliefs, or materialistic beliefs. They all seem to be self-defeating and hopeless.

    These are beliefs that I am talking about:

    - Life is meaningless
    - Everyone's feelings, thoughts, emotions, and memories are nothing more than meaningless electrochemical reactions the product of meaningless evolution and meaningless natural selection
    - Morality is the product of meaningless natural selection, has no other purpose
    - Faith or belief without evidence is irrational and bad
    - After death, there is no consciousness, you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - If you lie, cheat, steal, and kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - If you don't lie, don't cheat, don't kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - You have one meaningless life to live and regardless of what you do, after death you can never ever remember anything that happened, everyone's feelings and memories are just meaningless electrochemical reactions

    - The reason there is no afterlife is because consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions, after death the electrical activity in the brain ceases, so consciousness must also cease, since consciousness IS electrical activity
    - The belief that consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions automatically negates free will as well, since all your decisions would be the results of electrochemical reactions you have zero control over, so no afterlife = no free will

    So why would anyone want to be an atheist or have atheistic beliefs? There's no free will (without invoking faith), life is meaningless, no real motivation to not do evil, etc...
    I was initially going to move this to the philosophy subforum, but then I read the OP again and realized that since the premises are not actual positions of those who are atheist, rather straw man arguments of what the OP wants atheists to be in order to justify his/her position, then it really is just trash.

    It certainly isn't on topic for the Scientific Study of Religion.

    If anyone would like to make compelling case for a more appropriate subforum, please PM me.
    Which belief posted is a straw man? I said these are atheistic and materialistic beliefs. You don't believe that life is meaningless, faith is irrational and bad, there is no afterlife, emotions are electrochemical reactions, etc...?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    one of the beauties of being an atheist is that the religious conundrums raised by someone like Greatest I Am, and which could be a serious headache to any christian attempting to approach the bible with a logical mind, simply disappear in a puff of irrelevance
    Hmm...so you're saying escaping contradictions in religious scriptures is a benefit of atheistic beliefs?

    But this is not really a benefit of atheistic beliefs, since it is very possible to not follow scriptures and be a Theist, Deist, agnostic, etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    What is an atheistic belief? Is that like the beliefs I hold for thinking that Thor doesn't exist, or the beliefs which accompany my not finding the existence of unicorns to have a compelling case? Or, do you mean the beliefs which come with not accepting that Zeus is a valid explanation for the natural world around us?

    Tell me again specifically what beliefs you assume come from being atheist.
    Well I meant beliefs associated with atheists and materialists

    The beliefs that life is meaningless, there is no afterlife, consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions, natural selection and evolution

    Nearly all atheists have these beliefs, do you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    The OP doesn't criticize the common atheist package... The OP creates an idiotic and ignorant view of the "common atheist package" and proceeds from there to bash an idealistic view that isn't based in reality. Because, according to the OP, since there is no free will, you can't choose to be atheist to begin with.
    Well if the view is "idiotic and ignorant" then tell me what is the actual view?

    Do you believe in afterlife?
    Do you believe in natural selection and evolution?
    Do you believe that life is meaningless?
    Do you believe that consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions?
    Do you believe that faith is rational?

    Please correct my supposed inaccurate and idiotic views of what atheists believe.

    Also I didn't claim there is no free will, that's just a straw man, I claimed that the belief that consciousness is electrical reactions negates free will

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    The OP criticizes the common atheist package.
    Find me one atheist who agrees with all of those points. The OP has no idea what atheists believe.
    Which one of my points is inaccurate for you? You believe in an afterlife? You think faith is rational? Which point was off?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    I'm sure we can agree that meaning is not an absolute, in the sense that it must be defined by a mind, be it divine or mortal. To religious people, meaning is defined by God. To atheists, it is defined by people. That terrifies some people, because it means that we bear sole responsibility for morality and meaning. And, it saddens me to say, because some people lack the imagination, confidence or simple will to define themselves fully. I'm sorry if human meaning is not enough for you, that the garden cannot be wonderful without there being fairies at the end of it so to speak, but to atheists, life is not meaningless. It just has no absolute, objective, God-dictated meaning.
    Ok then, what is the meaning of life? If you give a meaning, would this meaning be a faith-based belief and would that not be self-defeating?
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  49. #48 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    So why would anyone ...
    Because some of us will always want to know the TRUTHnomatter how much it hurts, and not drown ourselves in LIES only to comfort ourselves.

    Thats why believing isnt an option for many of us. Our hunger for knowledge and truth surpasses everything.

    Sorry if this sound harsh but i see no greater weakness than in people who dont care about wanting to know the truth. For example religious people basing their entire life on some book written by other humans worshipping something that cant even be proven. It isnt logical. Why are people so obsessed with throwing themselves into an authority or group with no critical thinking present?

    The truth isnt a choise you make. Whatever you want to believe personally - doesent manipulate the truth into anything else than what it is.

    Edit: Im a Nihilist myself and i dont find it destructive or negative at all. In fact i consider it the purest form of reaching ataraxia.
    If you are interested in the truth, then why aren't you instead agnostic? The only scientific conclusion regarding anything empirically untestable, like God, multiple universes, the string theory, etc...is that it cannot be determined whether these things are true or false

    If you are interested in the truth, then you shouldn't believe modern science is the truth, since we already know because of the many unknowns modern science is not the truth

    Also, nearly all major religions encourage people to seek the truth, so I don't see how this is an atheistic belief, this is RELIGIOUS belief, as science and the scientific method started from highly religious Theists seeking the truth
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  50. #49  
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    The stupid... It burns.
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  51. #50  
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    The OP contained good (though rather classic) questions. Answer those to earn your right to jeer.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    I'll note that you have yet to actually answer the question and list any atheist beliefs.
    I listed beliefs Raziell offered as essential to or at least remarkably relevant to atheism. I also quoted a few of your own statements of belief you apparently - unconsciously I suppose - associate with atheism. I mentioned an atheist's encounter with the worms, and the subjectivity of good & evil several times.

    I guess you'd like me to say, "You atheist, must believe X." Then you say, "No I don't believe that", and then we have an argument about what really is a belief, why must inow really "believe" anything. Or we could play the Monty Python cheese shop, where I try and guess which of your beliefs resulted from atheism, assuming you'll admit to any beliefs. I won't go there, because I suspect you'd rollick in it.

    Rather I've stuck to more empirical examples of atheist thought. What self-proclaimed atheists are actually saying, besides our bald motto "I simply don't believe in gods." If it is so simple in practice, why does Google show "Results 1 - 10 of about 30,000,000 for atheism", why does Wikipedia elaborate a whole series upon this simple non-belief? Plainly people have a lot to say about atheism! I think that has something to do with real life - fitting any thing or absence of thing to real life - a condition which you try to hold atheism aloof from, like a skydaddy. I'm appealing to the scientist in you now: Stop mystifying. Get real.

    Otherwise, may I quote you in future as agreeing that atheism neither suggests nor contributes anything to people's spiritual, material, intellectual, or social lives?
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  52. #51  
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    We're still waiting for you to actually list what you deem to be beliefs which stem from atheism.
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  53. #52  
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    Nice goal shift. Remember where this started?
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    What is an atheistic belief? Is that like the beliefs I hold for thinking that Thor doesn't exist...
    This is not a realistic defence. If I "don't eat meat" one may make reasonable assumptions about my diet and even guess about my character and larger values. Packages are real.

    The OP criticizes the common atheist package.
    I'm done defending the validity of VitalOne's questions from you.
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    I'll just note... again... your incapability of addressing the question.
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    Before this gets too heated and forces me to plunge into a phonebooth to don my moderator costume, let me make one point:

    While atheists do not deal in articles of faith, they must have beliefs, and some in common. More pertinently to this discussion, for instance, if an atheist does not believe in an afterlife, s/he is forced to conclude, morally, that any justice must be created in this life itself. An atheist cannot take the blithe position 'Kill them, the Lord will will know his own', as was done to the Cathars.

    This is therefore a moral consequence of being an atheist and must be pretty much common to all atheists.
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  56. #55 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    [quote="VitalOne"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell

    If you are interested in the truth, then why aren't you instead agnostic? The only scientific conclusion regarding anything empirically untestable, like God, multiple universes, the string theory, etc...is that it cannot be determined whether these things are true or false

    If you are interested in the truth, then you shouldn't believe modern science is the truth, since we already know because of the many unknowns modern science is not the truth

    Also, nearly all major religions encourage people to seek the truth, so I don't see how this is an atheistic belief, this is RELIGIOUS belief, as science and the scientific method started from highly religious Theists seeking the truth
    1) I guess im an Agnostic then. As i said i cant DISPROVE a "divine" force exist. However cant you be both? Even as an agnostic i dont follow a religion - therefore that also makes me an atheist?

    2) I think either you are misunderstanding me or i am misunderstanding you. Could you elaborate what you mean?

    3) If i say "Treat others as you yourself want to be treated" thats a wise and logic saying, both for the preservation of yourself and others. See what i did there? There is great irony in people following religion trying to seek truth. Trying to seek truth should be a goal nomatter what, religion isnt needed.

    Keep words of wisdom, logic and sayings in the religious code but leave the belief in god and what do you have?

    If you need to believe in a "God" only to follow these rules then you are having an excuse to comfort yourself with lies for no reason, nothing else. I think most people are religious for the practical reasons and the actual learnings in their books. Because there IS actual things to be learned i dont say that. But when you base the foundation on something that 100% cannot be proven then it just gets silly :P
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Before this gets too heated and forces me to plunge into a phonebooth to don my moderator costume, let me make one point:

    While atheists do not deal in articles of faith, they must have beliefs, and some in common. More pertinently to this discussion, for instance, if an atheist does not believe in an afterlife, s/he is forced to conclude, morally, that any justice must be created in this life itself. An atheist cannot take the blithe position 'Kill them, the Lord will will know his own', as was done to the Cathars.

    This is therefore a moral consequence of being an atheist and must be pretty much common to all atheists.
    True, however, even though this is common amongst many atheist, it is not causally specific to Atheism. Not all Atheists disregard the possibility of an afterlife as illogical and irrational, and likewise not all of those who disregard the possibility of an afterlife as illogical and irrational are atheists. This is where the problem lies. Despite the fact that many rational atheists hold the many of the same values, (I'm sure both inow and I have many values in common, as Pong may as well.) those values are not consequential of atheism. If there are any values directly consequential of atheism, both inow and I would love to see them. As far as we have surmised, the only universal belief of atheists is a lack of belief in any gods.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    I can't defeat that position. I can say it's a fallacy erected more for sake of argument than doing justice to the OP.

    I tried to show with vegetarian analogy how it's a kind of "no true Scotsman" position. In this example Scotsmen as a group are initially stripped of character by assigning them the strictest possible definition i.e. "persons in Scotland". To restore the character of Scotsmen, the position demands I demonstrate causally specific positive beliefs held exclusively by all Scotsmen. A merely plausible exception to generalizations I make, proves I'm wrong to speak of Scotsmen as a group - their speech, their habits, their world outlook, etc. So there are "persons in Scotland" about whom nothing can be generalized - big deal. End of discussion.

    I suggested atheists might adopt such vagabond positions where we're a minority, and chided this behaviour stunts development of our movement. Well, obviously, for atheists who define themselves as rejectors of things. There might be personal or cultural differences hidden under there.
























    On a lighter note:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Despite the fact that many rational atheists hold the many of the same values, (I'm sure both inow and I have many values in common, as Pong may as well.) those values are not consequential of atheism. If there are any values directly consequential of atheism, both inow and I would love to see them. As far as we have surmised, the only universal belief of atheists is a lack of belief in any gods.
    QFT
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  60. #59 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    So why would anyone want to be an atheist or have atheistic beliefs?
    I haven't read through this entire thread so forgive me if someone else has already brought this up...but I'm pretty sure most atheists (at least myself) don't base their beliefs on what is good/bad, but what is true. Just because a belief gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside doesn't make it true. I could close my eyes and pretend that the world is full of rainbows and unicorns, that no one in the world ever has to suffer and that Santa Claus delivers presents to all the children in the world...but that doesn't make it true. So assuming you don't believe in the picture of the world I have painted above, my question is why not?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I can't defeat that position. I can say it's a fallacy erected more for sake of argument than doing justice to the OP.

    I tried to show with vegetarian analogy how it's a kind of "no true Scotsman" position. In this example Scotsmen as a group are initially stripped of character by assigning them the strictest possible definition i.e. "persons in Scotland". To restore the character of Scotsmen, the position demands I demonstrate causally specific positive beliefs held exclusively by all Scotsmen. A merely plausible exception to generalizations I make, proves I'm wrong to speak of Scotsmen as a group - their speech, their habits, their world outlook, etc. So there are "persons in Scotland" about whom nothing can be generalized - big deal. End of discussion.

    I suggested atheists might adopt such vagabond positions where we're a minority, and chided this behaviour stunts development of our movement. Well, obviously, for atheists who define themselves as rejectors of things. There might be personal or cultural differences hidden under there.
    I'm sorry, but no. It's not a fallacious argument. I'm not arguing that there are no "true atheists". I issued a challenge, or rather reinforced a challenge, brought about by inow. Neither of us were satisfied with the generalization of the OP. To be very blunt, though, the OP also never actually quoted an atheistic value. Not one of those is a value or belief. If any were, please explain how.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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  62. #61  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    To be very blunt, though, the OP also never actually quoted an atheistic value. Not one of those is a value or belief.
    Well that rather damns your challenge don't it? As I indicated before, requiring a list of beliefs universally and exclusively applicable to atheists, just to defend my vague statements "atheism carries consequences. atheists have things in common." is a tall order! I did remark the argument is growing silly, you guys keep moving the goalposts. How many times must I decline to hazard an "atheist belief"? Inow likely thinks I've lost an argument because I repeatedly "failed" to go along with this fallacy.

    Anyway thanks for pointing out that we've come no closer to the OP.

    So what do you think? Do you think atheism carries consequences? Do you think atheists have things in common? Is this a dreadful line of questioning?
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    Atheism carries consequences, though I doubt to the extent you believe it does. Rather, I think that atheism is more of a consequence than a cause. I think that atheism is one of the end results that are likely to occur from logical and rational thinking, along with a critical appraisal of faith through a rational eye.

    Atheists do often have things in common, yes, but again, I don't think that atheism is necessarily a cause for these things they will have in common. You can see this by looking at a group of atheists and noting how much variety exists in their values. Since there is only 1 tenet of atheism, everything else can vary and still allow one to be an atheist. Compare this to Christianity. Christianity uses a book to teach the beliefs of the religion, and so there is a set of values that are, decidedly, christian. The ideology has a mass amount of tenets, and not just a single value of negation of faith in any god. (Fun fact, most Buddhists are atheist.)

    The line of questioning isn't dreadful, however it does forsake simple things. If both I and a devout Christian agree on moral issues, then the source for our values on those issues must be similar. Opposite sources wouldn't yield identical consequences. So, Atheism, the exact opposite of Christianity, cannot be the source of any shared values that I have with a devout Christian.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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  64. #63  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I mean come on, when you die you're going to the worms, right? - who else deals with that like atheists must?
    You are conflating belief in a God with belief in an afterlife and non-belief in God as being equivalent to not believing in an after life. The two beliefs are independent.
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  65. #64 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc
    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    So why would anyone want to be an atheist or have atheistic beliefs?
    I haven't read through this entire thread so forgive me if someone else has already brought this up...but I'm pretty sure most atheists (at least myself) don't base their beliefs on what is good/bad, but what is true. Just because a belief gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside doesn't make it true.
    Seeking the truth is a religious belief, found in all major religions, also the only scientific conclusion regarding anything empirically untestable is that it cannot be determined, so it cannot be determined whether or not God, multiple universes, the string theory, gravitons, or anything else outside of empirical testability actually exist or not

    Founder of the scientific method - Ibn al-Haytham, highly religious

    "I constantly sought knowledge and truth, and it became my belief that for gaining access to the effulgence and closeness to God, there is no better way than that of searching for truth and knowledge" - Ibn al-Haytham

    Founder of classical physics and calculus - Newton, highly religious

    "I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily. Opposition to godliness is atheism in profession and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors" - Isaac Newton

    Founder of quantum theory - Planck, highly religious

    "All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter" - Max Planck

    So the scientific method, classical physics, and quantum theory all arose from highly religious Theists

    So why do you think that you cannot seek the truth and not be an atheist?

    I could close my eyes and pretend that the world is full of rainbows and unicorns, that no one in the world ever has to suffer and that Santa Claus delivers presents to all the children in the world...but that doesn't make it true. So assuming you don't believe in the picture of the world I have painted above, my question is why not?
    Direct observation contradicts these beliefs and they are within testability, where as for God or multiple universes, it's outside of empirical testability regardless of whether they really exist or not, you cannot observe them, even if they really exist
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  66. #65 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    1) I guess im an Agnostic then. As i said i cant DISPROVE a "divine" force exist. However cant you be both? Even as an agnostic i dont follow a religion - therefore that also makes me an atheist?
    Depends which definition of atheist you're going by, the actual real definition or the new re-defined one

    2) I think either you are misunderstanding me or i am misunderstanding you. Could you elaborate what you mean?
    We know modern science is not the truth because of the many innumerable unknowns in modern science, therefore knowing modern science not to be the truth, how can you believe modern science to be true?

    3) If i say "Treat others as you yourself want to be treated" thats a wise and logic saying, both for the preservation of yourself and others. See what i did there? There is great irony in people following religion trying to seek truth. Trying to seek truth should be a goal nomatter what, religion isnt needed.
    But seeking the truth is not an atheistic belief, or a belief that comes from atheism, therefore it is not a benefit of atheistic beliefs, it's a belief found in all major religions

    "the truth will set you free" - The Christ
    "In this world, there is nothing so sublime and pure as true knowledge"- Krishna
    "Adhere to truth, for truth leads to good deeds and good deeds leads him who does them to paradise" - Mohommad
    "The Truth indeed excels all other tastes" - The Buddha

    Keep words of wisdom, logic and sayings in the religious code but leave the belief in god and what do you have?

    If you need to believe in a "God" only to follow these rules then you are having an excuse to comfort yourself with lies for no reason, nothing else. I think most people are religious for the practical reasons and the actual learnings in their books. Because there IS actual things to be learned i dont say that. But when you base the foundation on something that 100% cannot be proven then it just gets silly :P
    Right, but seeking the truth is not an atheistic belief, as all major religions encourage seeking the truth
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Before this gets too heated and forces me to plunge into a phonebooth to don my moderator costume, let me make one point:

    While atheists do not deal in articles of faith, they must have beliefs, and some in common. More pertinently to this discussion, for instance, if an atheist does not believe in an afterlife, s/he is forced to conclude, morally, that any justice must be created in this life itself. An atheist cannot take the blithe position 'Kill them, the Lord will will know his own', as was done to the Cathars.

    This is therefore a moral consequence of being an atheist and must be pretty much common to all atheists.
    If you don't believe in an afterlife, then you also cannot believe in free will, the two things are in contradiction.

    It also takes a greater amount of faith to believe in something like free will in comparison with God
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  68. #67  
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    If you don't believe in an afterlife, then you also cannot believe in free will, the two things are in contradiction.

    It also takes a greater amount of faith to believe in something like free will in comparison with God
    Zuh? WTF...

    The different flavors of ignorance which exist in our world never cease to boggle my mind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    (Fun fact, most Buddhists are atheist.)
    That's not really true, The Buddha said materialistic beliefs were wrong view and in opposition to the Noble Eightfold Path, the Aryan path

    Especially in regards to an afterlife:
    "Because there actually is the next world [life after death], the view of one who thinks, 'There is no next world' is his wrong view. Because there actually is the next world, when he is resolved that 'There is no next world,' that is his wrong resolve. Because there actually is the next world, when he speaks the statement, 'There is no next world,' that is his wrong speech" - The Buddha, Apannaka Sutta

    "Wrong view 51: "Here a certain ascetic or Brahmin declares and holds the view: ‘Since this self is material, composed of the four great elements, the product of mother and father, at the breaking up of the body is annihilated and perishes, and does not exist after death. This is the way in which this self is annihilated.’ That is how some proclaim the annihilation, destruction and non-existence of beings" - The Buddha, Brahmajala Sutta

    "And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the views he holds? There is the case where a person of no integrity is one who holds a view like this: 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is how a person of no integrity is a person of no integrity in the views he holds" - The Buddha, Cula Punnama Sutta

    "Now there are two destinations for one with wrong view, I say: hell or the animal womb" - Kukkuravatika Sutta
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  70. #69 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    So why do you think that you cannot seek the truth and not be an atheist?
    Where did I say that?
    Direct observation contradicts these beliefs and they are within testability, where as for God or multiple universes, it's outside of empirical testability regardless of whether they really exist or not, you cannot observe them, even if they really exist
    Ok, prove to me that unicorns do not exist. It's impossible. So why don't you believe in unicorns? Honestly, that is the best way I can explain why I am an atheist. I don't believe in God for the same reasons that most people don't believe in unicorns.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    If you don't believe in an afterlife, then you also cannot believe in free will, the two things are in contradiction.

    It also takes a greater amount of faith to believe in something like free will in comparison with God
    Zuh? WTF...

    The different flavors of ignorance which exist in our world never cease to boggle my mind.
    What? Well it's just another lame argument ad hominem. I already explained how an no afterlife and no free will are based off the same belief (consciousness being made up of electrochemical reactions) and how it requires a much greater amount of faith to believe in free will vs God.

    I guess no atheist can refute any of my statements

    In conclusion I can't even find one positive or beneficial feature in atheism, atheistic beliefs, or materialistic beliefs. It's no wonder Newton said atheism is so senseless and odious.

    The only thing atheistic and materialistic beliefs are beneficial for is those who want to commit suicide or do evil.
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  72. #71  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Atheism carries consequences, though I doubt to the extent you believe it does.
    There, that wasn't so painful was it? And thanks but I'll decline the offer, no I'm not going to inflate a position so you can define your own against it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    I think that atheism is more of a consequence than a cause. I think that atheism is one of the end results that are likely to occur from logical and rational thinking, along with a critical appraisal of faith through a rational eye.
    Let me guess: You didn't develop in atheistic environment did you? So you became atheist after developing various beliefs and attitudes? You believe this the proper order, and inject your experience into the concept of atheism. I try to relate. As does VitalOne I wonder why you became atheist & what followed from it. I must seem off-base. But to me it seems you must be taking for granted more than you're willing to admit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Atheists do often have things in common, yes, but again, I don't think that atheism is necessarily a cause for these things they will have in common. You can see this by looking at a group of atheists and noting how much variety exists in their values. Since there is only 1 tenet of atheism, everything else can vary and still allow one to be an atheist. Compare this to Christianity. Christianity uses a book to teach the beliefs of the religion, and so there is a set of values that are, decidedly, christian. The ideology has a mass amount of tenets, and not just a single value of negation of faith in any god. (Fun fact, most Buddhists are atheist.).
    Yeah I found Buddhism supportive of atheism. It engages the void.

    You stress the variations among atheists, in contrast to Christians. Could this reflect a particular sample of individuals who rejected Christianity? Could you generalize about the group? Well one fair generalization I think is they must be free-spirits, huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    The line of questioning isn't dreadful, however it does forsake simple things. If both I and a devout Christian agree on moral issues, then the source for our values on those issues must be similar. Opposite sources wouldn't yield identical consequences. So, Atheism, the exact opposite of Christianity, cannot be the source of any shared values that I have with a devout Christian.
    Wow, that's a different insight. I see (or think I see) people often agree morally for completely different reasons. We may be "right for the wrong reasons". Well suppose a priest says "a man shalt not go in unto the beast because it says right here..." must you arrive at a different position?


    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    You are conflating belief in a God with belief in an afterlife and non-belief in God as being equivalent to not believing in an after life. The two beliefs are independent.
    I'm not conflating; I'm correlating. There is a correlation between belief in one's own mortality, and atheism. IMO. Will you challenge that?

    I'd like to understand why there's resistance to the idea that atheists tend to develop a worldview (a "package") in keeping with atheism. It's like this sets off a defence mechanism. Note the seizures it induces in inow. I wonder if this reflex is only present only in those who became atheists. It's beyond crabbiness.

    I just remembered Ophiolite, glad to see you've taken me off "ignore". I do like you.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    ...is not an atheistic belief

    ...is not an atheistic belief
    Now look what we've done.
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  73. #72 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc
    Where did I say that?
    Well you implied that seeking the truth was a benefit of atheistic beliefs

    Ok, prove to me that unicorns do not exist. It's impossible. So why don't you believe in unicorns? Honestly, that is the best way I can explain why I am an atheist. I don't believe in God for the same reasons that most people don't believe in unicorns.
    Well it's pretty simple to prove the non-existence of unicorns, all you do is observe that there are no fossil records of unicorns, thereby making the existence of unicorns highly unlikely

    Well then if evidence and proof is the real reason that you do not believe, then you shouldn't believe in free will, abiogenesis, the string theory, multiple universes, or anything else unproven, right?
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  74. #73 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Well you implied that seeking the truth was a benefit of atheistic beliefs
    No, I said that atheists* believe what they believe based on what they think is true, not on what makes them feel good about themselves or makes them feel like they have a purpose.
    Well it's pretty simple to prove the non-existence of unicorns, all you do is observe that there are no fossil records of unicorns, thereby making the existence of unicorns highly unlikely
    I see no fossil record of God, therefore His existence is highly unlikely as well.
    Well then if evidence and proof is the real reason that you do not believe, then you shouldn't believe in free will, abiogenesis, the string theory, multiple universes, or anything else unproven, right?
    Out of all of those the only one I believe in is abiogenesis. I won't go into detail about why, but I do have very good reasons to do so.

    *at least many atheists, I hate to stereotype
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    The only thing atheistic and materialistic beliefs are beneficial for is those who want to commit suicide or do evil.
    List for us all examples of atheistic beliefs. Everyone asked has thus far failed to do so. Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Well it's pretty simple to prove the non-existence of unicorns, all you do is observe that there are no fossil records of unicorns, thereby making the existence of unicorns highly unlikely
    Following your own logic, there is no fossil evidence of god or jesus, either. Golly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Atheists do often have things in common, yes, but again, I don't think that atheism is necessarily a cause for these things they will have in common. You can see this by looking at a group of atheists and noting how much variety exists in their values. Since there is only 1 tenet of atheism, everything else can vary and still allow one to be an atheist. Compare this to Christianity. Christianity uses a book to teach the beliefs of the religion, and so there is a set of values that are, decidedly, christian. The ideology has a mass amount of tenets, and not just a single value of negation of faith in any god. (Fun fact, most Buddhists are atheist.).
    Yeah I found Buddhism supportive of atheism. It engages the void.

    You stress the variations among atheists, in contrast to Christians. Could this reflect a particular sample of individuals who rejected Christianity? Could you generalize about the group? Well one fair generalization I think is they must be free-spirits, huh?
    I stressed the variation of atheists to Christians as an example. Would you prefer I gave the example in contrast to Hinduism? Islam? Shintoism? Tribal beliefs of the Inca? It's up to you, I just picked the most common belief system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    The line of questioning isn't dreadful, however it does forsake simple things. If both I and a devout Christian agree on moral issues, then the source for our values on those issues must be similar. Opposite sources wouldn't yield identical consequences. So, Atheism, the exact opposite of Christianity, cannot be the source of any shared values that I have with a devout Christian.
    Wow, that's a different insight. I see (or think I see) people often agree morally for completely different reasons. We may be "right for the wrong reasons". Well suppose a priest says "a man shalt not go in unto the beast because it says right here..." must you arrive at a different position?
    There may be a different rationale, but the primary sources of the moral code must be similar. And yes, if I derived my morals from atheism, I must arrive at a different position.



    VitalOne; I will reiterate for emphasis, Not all atheist disregard the possibility of an afterlife as irrational and illogical. It is not necessary for atheists to not believe in an afterlife.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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  77. #76  
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Before this gets too heated and forces me to plunge into a phonebooth to don my moderator costume, let me make one point:

    While atheists do not deal in articles of faith, they must have beliefs, and some in common. More pertinently to this discussion, for instance, if an atheist does not believe in an afterlife, s/he is forced to conclude, morally, that any justice must be created in this life itself. An atheist cannot take the blithe position 'Kill them, the Lord will will know his own', as was done to the Cathars.

    This is therefore a moral consequence of being an atheist and must be pretty much common to all atheists.
    If you don't believe in an afterlife, then you also cannot believe in free will, the two things are in contradiction.
    I think this statement is a logical nonsense, but please explain, if you will, how my judgement on this might be wrong...
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  78. #77  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    You stress the variations among atheists, in contrast to Christians. Could this reflect a particular sample of individuals who rejected Christianity? Could you generalize about the group? Well one fair generalization I think is they must be free-spirits, huh?
    I stressed the variation of atheists to Christians as an example. Would you prefer I gave the example in contrast to Hinduism? Islam? Shintoism? Tribal beliefs of the Inca? It's up to you, I just picked the most common belief system.
    It shouldn't matter which belief system is rejected, no. Just that this type of atheism is rooted in the rejection of some religion. You stated rejection is part of the intellectual process in becoming atheist, that defines what atheism means to you. If you'll allow my (terribly unreasonable :wink: ) generalization: this type of atheist must be free-spirited to reject indoctrinated or mainstream belief systems. Now we have an explanation for variety in this group. They're a group of individualists!

    I apologize for the poisoned well. I mean if you are a free-spirit you will want to say, "No, don't define me as a free-spirit." But I'll appreciate what response you may give. You should have better insights than mine.

    We could further speculate about what values and beliefs a free-spirit might take. Earlier another atheist (I believe of the rejector type) did say individual integrity outweighs group integrity; that value's been echoed around this forum without challenge. Hostility to group association is consistent with that. The OP claims atheists favour materialism. How would materialism fit freedom? Or perhaps materialism suits another type of atheist? What else can we say about free-spirit atheists? If you please.

    A warning to us:
    Quote Originally Posted by [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freethought
    Wikipedia[/url]]Freethought in the United States began to decline in the late nineteenth century. Its anti-religious views alienated would-be sympathizers. The movement also lacked cohesive goals or beliefs. By the early twentieth century, most Freethought congregations had disbanded or joined other mainstream churches.
    In the short term a good start would be admitting the OP reasonable to pose questions for atheists as a group.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    the primary sources of the moral code must be similar
    Is that a truism or a command? If truism, what do you make of Nazi moral code? On the issue of citizenship for example. Or simply tackle my previous question regarding God's laws. Do we all have to tip waiters for the same reason?

    ***

    Okay, I can't read another line describing unicorns as fantasy and remain silent. The fact is unicorns roamed the Earth in ancient times just as dragons did, and the extreme age of our traditions does not discredit them. In the Chinese dragon "fantasy" we have ancient knowledge of fossil finds, including relics of the great lizards handed down since before writing was invented. We know dragon bones when we see them. In the unicorns we have a horse-like species with unforgettable single horn surviving the last ice age in Eurasia. That is well into the range of pictograph and oral tradition before we hunted unicorn, mammoth, etc. to extinction. Mock fantasy not reality!

    "Fossil evidence of God" did make me LOL.
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  79. #78 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    I find no beneficial feature in atheism, atheistic beliefs, or materialistic beliefs. They all seem to be self-defeating and hopeless.

    These are beliefs that I am talking about:

    - Life is meaningless
    - Everyone's feelings, thoughts, emotions, and memories are nothing more than meaningless electrochemical reactions the product of meaningless evolution and meaningless natural selection
    - Morality is the product of meaningless natural selection, has no other purpose
    - Faith or belief without evidence is irrational and bad
    - After death, there is no consciousness, you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - If you lie, cheat, steal, and kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - If you don't lie, don't cheat, don't kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    - You have one meaningless life to live and regardless of what you do, after death you can never ever remember anything that happened, everyone's feelings and memories are just meaningless electrochemical reactions

    - The reason there is no afterlife is because consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions, after death the electrical activity in the brain ceases, so consciousness must also cease, since consciousness IS electrical activity
    - The belief that consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions automatically negates free will as well, since all your decisions would be the results of electrochemical reactions you have zero control over, so no afterlife = no free will

    So why would anyone want to be an atheist or have atheistic beliefs? There's no free will (without invoking faith), life is meaningless, no real motivation to not do evil, etc...
    It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
    (Carl Sagan)
    "Democracy is a problem because it treats everyone as equals." - Betty Fischer

    "back in the 50's or 60's Nicky Criuz was a gang leader who met David Wilkerson in New York City. After much discussion over months or years, i forget how long, Wilkerson's wife became pregnant. one day Cruz decides to test God, he basically prayed--God if you are real let the baby be born a boy-- it was a boy. "
    - Logic of a creationist

    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur
    ""What can be asserted without reason, can be dismissed without reason. ""
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  80. #79  
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    Pong, All atheists are "rejecters" in that they ALL reject the tenets of some form of religion. I'm sorry, but these qualities that have been mentioned are usually prevalent before atheist thought, which would lead one to speculate that these qualities cause atheism, and not the otherway around.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    the primary sources of the moral code must be similar
    Is that a truism or a command? If truism, what do you make of Nazi moral code? On the issue of citizenship for example. Or simply tackle my previous question regarding God's laws. Do we all have to tip waiters for the same reason?
    The Nazi morals were derived, likely, from the bible. Leviticus, most likely, and an extremist view that Hitler had on the appropriation of a single race.

    We all either tip our waiter for the same core reason, arriving to our conclusion through potentially different logical processes, or we don't tip the waiter because we have arrived at a different conclusion.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  81. #80  
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    - Life is meaningless
    False, we dont know and any derived meaning may be in the eye of the beholder.

    - Everyone's feelings, thoughts, emotions, and memories are nothing more than meaningless electrochemical reactions the product of meaningless evolution and meaningless natural selection
    same, because you cant make a meaning doenst mean there isnt any or that none will ever be hypothesized thousands of years from now, and a nice sunset may not have a metaphysical meaning but can still be appreaciated.

    - Morality is the product of meaningless natural selection, has no other purpose
    its not meaningless, it is productive overall it does make sense

    Code:
    - Faith or belief without evidence is irrational and bad
    The more it diverges form what can be observed the more irrational, but fiction can be valuable even if not true as long as you keep it in perspective

    - After death, there is no consciousness, you can never ever remember anything that happened
    most likely but we dont know

    - If you lie, cheat, steal, and kill, after death there's no consciousness and you can never ever remember anything that happened
    are you saying stealing and killing are not engaged in by theists not because its indecent but because they fear a consequence in the afterlife? Wow, maybe religion has a place among people devoid of morality as a mean to control their neanderthal impulses.

    - You have one meaningless life to live and regardless of what you do, after death you can never ever remember anything that happened, everyone's feelings and memories are just meaningless electrochemical reactions
    False in a sense we give meaning to our ancestors, our struggle helps our descenants ive and understand more about the universe that we have.

    - The reason there is no afterlife is because consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions, after death the electrical activity in the brain ceases, so consciousness must also cease, since consciousness IS electrical activity
    - The belief that consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions automatically negates free will as well, since all your decisions would be the results of electrochemical reactions you have zero control over, so no afterlife = no free will
    Faith of not doesnt change the fabric or reality, beleiving in the tooth fairy may give meaning and comfort for the loss of you tooth,
    So why would anyone want to be an atheist or have atheistic beliefs? There's no free will (without invoking faith), life is meaningless, no real motivation to not do evil, etc...
    "no real motivation to not do evil"
    thats the part that's most amazing, religious people dont do evil stuff not because they have developped the moral fabric andundertanding to do the right thing but because they have a reptilian fear of concequences in a mysterious afterlife, wow. You quality of life depends on the behavior of others, if everyone behaves like an asshole life will be more miserable and if eveyone behaves in a cooperative manner things will be more pleasant. Life and children are more precious to me because life is all we have and the children are all that remains.

    And againt, no one "wants" to be an atheist anymore than you choose not to beleive in the tooth fairy, you jst reach a point where you figure its just a fairy tale made up by humans whether you like it or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Pong, All atheists are "rejecters" in that they ALL reject the tenets of some form of religion. I'm sorry, but these qualities that have been mentioned are usually prevalent before atheist thought, which would lead one to speculate that these qualities cause atheism, and not the otherway around.
    I suggest again this is your valid personal experience. Others develop as atheists from childhood & ignorant of religious thought habits. Religion is a foreign curiosity, or a quirk of some playmate's family culture. We develop our belief systems, consistent with atheism, on the de facto non-belief in gods.

    If we were vegetarians, you could imagine a traditional Indian village where meat simply isn't available. We don't become vegetarians through rational criticism and rejection of pork chops. Rather we develop a worldview appropriate to our condition. Our conservative position is quite different from the British kid protesting "Meat is Murder". Just the same, both kinds of vegetarian likely know how to cook lentils. Both are true vegetarians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    The Nazi morals were derived, likely, from the bible.

    We all either tip our waiter for the same core reason... or we don't tip
    So you're re-asserting that each moral behaviour shared by people stems from universal source? I must be reading you wrong, 'cause this is fantastic to me. I think you suggest the Bible as a core source of morals e.g. German citizenship derived from the Bible. So German citizenship today (the same result) derives from the Bible? Anything I do the Bible commands, must stem from that book? Yet you said atheism is "the exact opposite of Christianity" and "if I derived my morals from atheism, I must arrive at a different position. " Sorry, one last time rephrase this so I'll understand.
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  83. #82  
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    No, Pong. The source of morals is our evolution as a social species... as a pack animal which exists in troops. Morality is truly a part of our DNA, as those who went against the group did not reproduce as successfully as those who chose to act in accordance with group expectation. Morality was selected for during the millions of years leading to our current state. Morality has little to do with local tribalistic teachings from some anthology or spiritual figurehead.

    Unless I'm profoundly mistaken, that is the core of Arcane's point.
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  84. #83  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    No, Pong. The source of morals is our evolution as a social species... as a pack animal which exists in troops. Morality is truly a part of our DNA, as those who went against the group did not reproduce as successfully as those who chose to act in accordance with group expectation. Morality was selected for during the millions of years leading to our current state. Morality has little to do with local tribalistic teachings from some anthology or spiritual figurehead.

    Unless I'm profoundly mistaken, that is the core of Arcane's point.
    Okay, lemme try that from the beginning...
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Christianity uses a book to teach the beliefs of the religion, and so there is a set of values that are, decidedly, christian. The ideology has a mass amount of tenets, and not just a single value of negation of faith in any god...

    If both I and a devout Christian agree on moral issues, then the source for our values on those issues must be similar. Opposite sources wouldn't yield identical consequences. So, Atheism, the exact opposite of Christianity, cannot be the source of any shared values that I have with a devout Christian.
    Since all morals (and by extension, values and beliefs?) are reducible to DNA, there are no "atheist beliefs". Neither are there really "Christian beliefs", besides their (fantasy, false) beliefs invented in addition to our (real, valid) DNA. This does illuminate why you two insisted I cannot develop beliefs as an atheist. Reduction shows that nothing but DNA is real or relevant.

    I disagree. Clays also reproduce. Clays predate our gratuitous DNA, which is merely emergent from the more basic moral source, just as cells are DNA-vessels emergent from DNA, or the Bible is emergent from human instinct. Therefore by reduction the only valid source of a moral is the clay-sourced atom carried by the vessel of DNA. What you need to focus on, inow, is reducing yourself to rich, muddy clay.

    Is this where it leads, Arcane_Mathematician, or do you wanna back up and set us right?
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  85. #84  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Christianity uses a book to teach the beliefs of the religion, and so there is a set of values that are, decidedly, christian. The ideology has a mass amount of tenets, and not just a single value of negation of faith in any god...

    If both I and a devout Christian agree on moral issues, then the source for our values on those issues must be similar. Opposite sources wouldn't yield identical consequences. So, Atheism, the exact opposite of Christianity, cannot be the source of any shared values that I have with a devout Christian.
    Since all morals (and by extension, values and beliefs?) are reducible to DNA, there are no "atheist beliefs". Neither are there really "Christian beliefs", besides their (fantasy, false) beliefs invented in addition to our (real, valid) DNA. This does illuminate why you two insisted I cannot develop beliefs as an atheist. Reduction shows that nothing but DNA is real or relevant.
    essentially.

    I disagree. Clays also reproduce. Clays predate our gratuitous DNA, which is merely emergent from the more basic moral source, just as cells are DNA-vessels emergent from DNA, or the Bible is emergent from human instinct. Therefore by reduction the only valid source of a moral is the clay-sourced atom carried by the vessel of DNA. What you need to focus on, inow, is reducing yourself to rich, muddy clay.
    false.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Pong - I'm still waiting for you to list a single solitary belief which is rooted in being a non-theist. You haven't answered this request because you can't. There are no such things as "atheist beliefs."

    Further, as I said above, morality doesn't come from local tribal culture or holy anthologies. The predilection to moral behavior has been selected for since we exist in troops, and survive as pack animals. How those morals ultimately shape and manifest may be impacted by regional teachings and spiritual figureheads, but the core which prevents us from murdering and stealing and other shunned behavior is consistent across humans, across geographical regions, and across worldview and ideology... It is better explained by game theory than by dogma.

    Religion is no more of a source of morals than is atheism a source of beliefs.
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  87. #86  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Pong - I'm still waiting for you to list a single solitary belief which is rooted in being a non-theist. You haven't answered this request because you can't. There are no such things as "atheist beliefs."
    The error arises, probably, in the same way that some atheists attribute the character and belief of Christian fundamentalists to all religious groupings.
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  88. #87 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc
    No, I said that atheists* believe what they believe based on what they think is true, not on what makes them feel good about themselves or makes them feel like they have a purpose.
    If that's true then atheists shouldn't believe in free will or abiogenesis, right?

    I see no fossil record of God, therefore His existence is highly unlikely as well.
    I don't think you understand logic or science, like most atheists

    God is not an animal so there shouldn't be any fossil record for God, in comparison with unicorns.

    If unicorns really existed in the past then you would expect there to be fossils, just like how we have fossils of dinosaurs and other animals

    If God really existed, then you wouldn't expect fossils, since God is not an animal that died out

    God is unproven like multiple universes or the string theory or anything else empirically untestable, meaning regardless of if God really does exist or does not exist there cannot be proof, because there's no way to observe

    Out of all of those the only one I believe in is abiogenesis. I won't go into detail about why, but I do have very good reasons to do so.

    *at least many atheists, I hate to stereotype
    Well what's the reason that you believe in abiogenesis without requiring any proof? I thought proof was the reason for belief and disbelief?

    So by believing in abiogenesis you've proven yourself to be a pathological liar

    Abiogenesis is so weak that biologists can't even agree on a model
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    The only thing atheistic and materialistic beliefs are beneficial for is those who want to commit suicide or do evil.
    List for us all examples of atheistic beliefs. Everyone asked has thus far failed to do so. Thanks.
    I thought I already did in this post, I guess I'll say it again, why do atheists keep asking to repeatedly say the same thing?

    If you commit suicide now, after death there's no consciousness, no more problems, no more worries, no more misery, it's just like sleeping in, and you never ever remember anything that happened

    If you don't commit suicide now, eventually you'll die anyway, and after death there's no consciousness, no more problems, no more worries, no more misery, it's just like sleeping in, and you never ever remember anything that happened

    Everyone's feelings, thoughts, memories, and emotions are nothing more than meaningless electrochemical reactions

    If you go out and murder and rape millions of people, after death there's no consciousness, no more problems, no more worries, no more misery, it's just like sleeping in, and you never ever remember anything that happened

    If you don't go out and murder and rape millions, eventually you'll die anyway, and after death there's no consciousness, no more problems, no more worries, no more misery, it's just like sleeping in, and you never ever remember anything that happened

    Everyone's feelings, emotions, thoughts, and memories are just meaningless electrochemical reactions

    Therefore we can correctly see that evil and suicide are supported by atheistic and materialistic beliefs, they're beneficial for someone who wants to do evil or commit suicide

    Following your own logic, there is no fossil evidence of god or jesus, either. Golly.
    I already explained this away in the other post, God is not an animal like a unicorn, so it's a false analogy

    Using your reasoning you can say multiple universes don't exist because there's no fossil record
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    If you don't believe in an afterlife, then you also cannot believe in free will, the two things are in contradiction.
    I think this statement is a logical nonsense, but please explain, if you will, how my judgement on this might be wrong...
    Well I already explained this about a million times, even in the OP and throughout this thread, I guess some people are fond of ignoring things and selectively reading only what they desire

    The scientific reason as to why there is no afterlife is because consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions in the brain, after death the electrochemical reactions cease, therefore consciousness must also cease, since consciousness IS electrochemical reactions, therefore there is no consciousness after death because consciousness IS electrochemical reactions

    The scientific reason as to why free will cannot exist is because since consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions, everything you say, do , and think is the result of electrochemical reactions in your brain that you have absolutely zero control over. If you believe we can control these electrical reactions, then that's equivalent to believing in superhuman power, that you can break the laws of physics with your consciousness.

    Both the non-existence of free will and an afterlife rests upon the same belief - consciousness being made up of electrochemical reactions

    So questioning whether or not consciousness is electrochemical reactions also questions whether or not an afterlife exists
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  91. #90 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
    (Carl Sagan)
    I agree, that's why highly religious Theists invented the scientific method, classical physics, and quantum theory, to seek the truth
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    - Life is meaningless
    False, we dont know and any derived meaning may be in the eye of the beholder.
    So you're saying life has a meaning? What meaning is there and is this meaning a faith-based belief?

    same, because you cant make a meaning doenst mean there isnt any or that none will ever be hypothesized thousands of years from now, and a nice sunset may not have a metaphysical meaning but can still be appreaciated.
    But you can say the same about God

    So what's the meaning of these electrochemical reactions in our brain?

    its not meaningless, it is productive overall it does make sense
    Are you trying to say that life has a meaning now? If life is meaningless, then how does morality have a meaning?

    The more it diverges form what can be observed the more irrational, but fiction can be valuable even if not true as long as you keep it in perspective
    Are you trying to say faith is not irrational and bad?

    most likely but we dont know
    So are you agnostic to God and an afterlife?

    are you saying stealing and killing are not engaged in by theists not because its indecent but because they fear a consequence in the afterlife? Wow, maybe religion has a place among people devoid of morality as a mean to control their neanderthal impulses.
    Nope

    I'm saying that's what would happen even if you did those things according if there's no afterlife

    So atheistic and materialistic naturally encourage evil and suicide

    False in a sense we give meaning to our ancestors, our struggle helps our descenants ive and understand more about the universe that we have.
    Ancestors? But after death you can never remember anything, and your ancestor's memories are just meaningless electrochemical reactions (unless you assign a faith-based meaning to life, thereby being self-defeating)

    Faith of not doesnt change the fabric or reality, beleiving in the tooth fairy may give meaning and comfort for the loss of you tooth,
    I never claimed faith changes anything

    "no real motivation to not do evil"
    thats the part that's most amazing, religious people dont do evil stuff not because they have developped the moral fabric andundertanding to do the right thing but because they have a reptilian fear of concequences in a mysterious afterlife, wow. You quality of life depends on the behavior of others, if everyone behaves like an asshole life will be more miserable and if eveyone behaves in a cooperative manner things will be more pleasant. Life and children are more precious to me because life is all we have and the children are all that remains.

    And againt, no one "wants" to be an atheist anymore than you choose not to beleive in the tooth fairy, you jst reach a point where you figure its just a fairy tale made up by humans whether you like it or not.
    No religious people have multiple reasons not to do evil, and can refrain from evil because of their beliefs

    Where as atheists have to refrain evil DESPITE their beliefs, not because of their atheistic beliefs

    It is possible to do good despite being an atheist, but not because of being an atheist
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  93. #92 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    If that's true then atheists shouldn't believe in free will or abiogenesis, right?
    Atheists can believe whatever they want to believe about free will or abiogenesis...but I imagine most of them will come to their conclusions based on what they truly believe is the correct answer, not what makes them feel better about themselves.
    If God really existed, then you wouldn't expect fossils, since God is not an animal that died out[/quote]
    How do you know that unicorns MUST have fossils, and that those fossils MUST be discovered? How do you know so much about unicorns when there is no evidence for them? For all we know, unicorns are magical and don't make fossils. Or maybe they haven't been discovered yet (remember there was a time in the past where we didn't think dinosaurs had ever existed). Or maybe, just maybe, the leader of the unicorns secretly goes around and digs up any unicorn fossils to ensure that there is no evidence of them in order to test our faith. The truth is we can never say for certain that unicorns don't exist, just as we can never say for certain that God doesn't exist. Of course, there is not a single shred of evidence for either, so why believe in either?
    Well what's the reason that you believe in abiogenesis without requiring any proof? I thought proof was the reason for belief and disbelief?
    My reasons are based on logic. I don't want to get too off topic, but if you want you can read more about it on my thread about infinity . Essentially the argument is that the universe is finite, and since we know that life exists now and must not have existed at some point in the past, life must have arisen at some point.
    I don't think you understand logic or science, like most atheists
    So by believing in abiogenesis you've proven yourself to be a pathological liar
    There is no need for personal attacks. If you are interested in having a respectful debate about this subject, that's great. If you are just going to hurl insults then forget it.
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  94. #93 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc
    Atheists can believe whatever they want to believe about free will or abiogenesis...but I imagine most of them will come to their conclusions based on what they truly believe is the correct answer, not what makes them feel better about themselves.
    Right, but if atheists believe in free will they would've ruined all arguments connected to faith and evidence, and they would've proven that their disbelief in God has nothing to do with faith and evidence, since it requires MORE faith to say that free will exists vs. saying God exists

    How do you know that unicorns MUST have fossils, and that those fossils MUST be discovered? How do you know so much about unicorns when there is no evidence for them? For all we know, unicorns are magical and don't make fossils. Or maybe they haven't been discovered yet (remember there was a time in the past where we didn't think dinosaurs had ever existed). Or maybe, just maybe, the leader of the unicorns secretly goes around and digs up any unicorn fossils to ensure that there is no evidence of them in order to test our faith. The truth is we can never say for certain that unicorns don't exist, just as we can never say for certain that God doesn't exist. Of course, there is not a single shred of evidence for either, so why believe in either?
    Well then you would have to concretely define what you mean unicorns

    Atheists have that habit of constantly re-defining things to gain converts

    My reasons are based on logic. I don't want to get too off topic, but if you want you can read more about it on my thread about infinity . Essentially the argument is that the universe is finite, and since we know that life exists now and must not have existed at some point in the past, life must have arisen at some point.
    I don't think you understand logic or science, like most atheists
    So by believing in abiogenesis you've proven yourself to be a pathological liar
    There is no need for personal attacks. If you are interested in having a respectful debate about this subject, that's great. If you are just going to hurl insults then forget it.
    So then you've proven yourself to be a liar

    You've claimed the reason that you don't believe in God is because of evidence

    But then for abiogenesis you claim that evidence doesn't matter

    If it's true that you don't believe in things because they lack proof, you wouldn't believe in abiogenesis or free will or anything unproven, by believing in abiogenesis you've proven that "proof" and "evidence" is not your reason for disbelief

    So you've ruined your own argument about supposed evidence mattering
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  95. #94 Re: What's good about atheistic or materialistic beliefs? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Well then you would have to concretely define what you mean unicorns
    Ok, a unicorn can be anything that you don't believe in. Now, can you concretely define God?
    But then for abiogenesis you claim that evidence doesn't matter
    The evidence is all around us. The fact that I am alive proves that life exists. In another thread which I linked to I showed why life (and the entire universe) must not have existed forever. Therefore we have gone from non-living to living - abiogenesis. Of course, if someone can give me a convincing argument why life does not exist, or why life has always existed, I am open to changing my mind.

    Let's say you come home and there is no snow on the ground. You go inside, pull down the shades (so you can't see outside) and wait a few hours. You then go outside and there is snow on the ground, but it's not currently snowing. Even without any more information than that, you'd be pretty certain that it must have snowed while you were inside, right? You didn't actually see it snow, so where's the evidence? The evidence is the fact that there was no snow and now there is snow.
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  96. #95  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Since all morals (and by extension, values and beliefs?) are reducible to DNA, there are no "atheist beliefs". Neither are there really "Christian beliefs", besides their (fantasy, false) beliefs invented in addition to our (real, valid) DNA. This does illuminate why you two insisted I cannot develop beliefs as an atheist. Reduction shows that nothing but DNA is real or relevant.
    essentially.
    This is called greedy reductionism, when something is rendered meaningless by reducing it to indifferent components. We employ reductionism wisely when we fail to understand something. We employ it foolishly (greedily) when we wish something evident doesn't exist, to make it disappear. This lens has the power to make anything disappear! You can't reasonably predict or acknowledge a hurricane if you simply consider individual molecules of air randomly bouncing around as a gas.



    If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, then we should call it a duck.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I disagree (with DNA as root of meaning). Clays also reproduce. Clays predate our gratuitous DNA, which is merely emergent from the more basic moral source, just as cells are DNA-vessels emergent from DNA, or the Bible is emergent from human instinct. Therefore by reduction the only valid source of a moral is the clay-sourced atom carried by the vessel of DNA. What you need to focus on, inow, is reducing yourself to rich, muddy clay.
    false.
    Why stop there? Sorry, but it was your insistence to drop the floor out of evident reality. Why say DNA imposes as something real in itself when DNA is nothing but atoms obeying even more reducible mechanics? There is nothing you can say about DNA that more fundamental sciences can't explain.

    I hope you realize this kind of reasoning a perverse distortion of empiricism. Shouldn't we better frankly tackle things as they appear? And if we fail to understand something, let's not abuse reduction to wish the thing out of existence.

    We're supposed to be looking at atheists, and atheist philosophy.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Pong - I'm still waiting for you to list a single solitary belief which is rooted in being a non-theist. You haven't answered this request because you can't. There are no such things as "atheist beliefs."
    As I said, you've moved the goalposts. The dishonest intent is obvious. I say ducks float in water, and you counter that wood also floats in water. I say ducks have wings and you counter that the so-called wings are really just individual feathers. You "win" by sabotaging debate. You've taken no opportunities to forward honest discussion. Your arguments are designed to reserve atheism from criticism, and I think I understand why.

    What I've asserted, is that atheists have things in common, and face particular philosophical problems. I've asserted that atheists are a group we can fairly talk about in a general sense, as we talk about anything in a general sense.

    You've contradicted this directly i.e. "atheists are not a group" so obviously at that level of fallacy I'm not getting anywhere suggesting characteristics of the group. I would like to frankly progress the discussion, but short of your banning from the thread I predict my attempts will get persistent monkey-wrench from you. And, practically, what's the point if atheists (includes inow) refuse to consider or participate in our own criticism?

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Further, as I said above, morality doesn't come from local tribal culture or holy anthologies. The predilection to moral behavior has been selected for since we exist in troops, and survive as pack animals. How those morals ultimately shape and manifest may be impacted by regional teachings and spiritual figureheads, but the core which prevents us from murdering and stealing and other shunned behavior is consistent across humans, across geographical regions, and across worldview and ideology... It is better explained by game theory than by dogma.
    Well that's something. Morality is all about selfish utility of the alpha male huh? Theist and atheist alike share this genetic survival directed morality. Atheists may perceive the ultimate truth that we are competing pack animals, and all morals simply derive from this; while theists wrongly believe their morals also emerge from a higher level. Still one can't generalize about atheist thought?
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  97. #96  
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    @VitalOne

    I don't think you understand logic or science, like most atheists
    So by believing in abiogenesis you've proven yourself to be a pathological liar
    This is trolling and flaming.

    Continued such behavior will result in suspension or termination of your account.
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  98. #97  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    What I've asserted, is that atheists have things in common
    Yes, and I've stipulated this numerous times already. The point, however, is so frakkin what? Those commonalities are not rooted in atheism, and the position you are here now espousing requires that they be.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    and [those atheists] face particular philosophical problems.
    Those problems are not specific to lack of theism. Those problems are not specific to a non-belief in Zeus... oops... I meant non-belief in Apollo... oops, I did it again... I meant non-belief in Poseidon... oh crap... what are you talking about, again?

    Oh yeah... You're trying to posit problems specific to non-belief in Jesus, right? Or, am I mistaken? Did you mean problems specific to non-belief in Allah? Or, perhaps you mean problems specific to non-belief in unicorns... oops, there I go again... I meant problems specific to non-belief in Yahweh?


    You are generalizing based on your own PERSONAL preconception of what it means to be an atheist, and you are wrong. Really, atheist is a term without utility. We don't have a special term for people who don't find the case of leprechauns compelling... we don't have a term for people who don't accept astrology as valid... we don't have a term for people who are not racist, or not marxist, or not willing to accept that reiki is a valid form of healing.

    In much the same way, we don't need a term for people who don't find the case for one particular brand of belief to be compelling, and on top of that, the fact that these people don't find the concept of god compelling does not mean they a) have beliefs rooted in their lack of belief, b) have philosophical problems as a result of their dismissal of the god concept, or c) have some commonality in values which stem from their lack of belief.


    You can disagree until you're blue in the face, Pong. You're still dreadfully mistaken and arguing based on little more than a personal bias and misconception.



    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Still one can't generalize about atheist thought?
    Sure, you can do whatever you want, but that doesn't mean it's reality based. You may as well be generalizing about the thoughts of people who find the color yellow revolting.
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  99. #98  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    What I've asserted, is that atheists have things in common
    Yes, and I've stipulated this numerous times already.
    Okay, so I think you acknowledge atheists exist as a group one may generalize about?


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    and [those atheists] face particular philosophical problems.
    Those problems are not specific to lack of theism.
    Then try this. (If you take issue with "particular" substitute "characteristic".)



    1) Would you agree that we may roughly class all people as either theists or atheists? yes / no


    2) Would you agree theists face particular philosophical problems atheists do not? yes / no


    3a) Would you agree those particular problems, or the process of resolving them, correlates with some sets of belief systems, values, etc. not shared by atheists. yes /no


    3b) In short, theists naturally develop many beliefs particular to theism. yes / no


    4a) Does this mean atheists face different philosophical problems, and develop different sets of belief systems, values, etc. not shared by theists? yes / no


    4b) In short, atheists naturally develop many beliefs particular to atheism. yes / no



    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    You are generalizing based on your own PERSONAL preconception of what it means to be an atheist, and you are wrong.
    No, I've made a point of showing how there are different equally valid types of atheist, whose experience informs different concepts of atheism. You just haven't acknowledged that. An important distinction I've delved into is between raised (de facto) atheists and become (rebel) atheists. I've even explored how your own experience inow (pardon me for peering in), might colour your personal concept of atheism. I'll take this opportunity to mention you may find strange the idea "atheists naturally develop beliefs" if you became atheist after developing your beliefs. Most atheists however are born and raised atheists, and develop beliefs consistent with our established atheism. I'm quite aware of my personal preconceptions regarding atheism. Are you?


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    You may as well be generalizing about the thoughts of people who find the color yellow revolting.
    The vegetarian analogy nails it best in my opinion. Would you like to show how that analogy doesn't fit?
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  100. #99  
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    If you don't believe in an afterlife, then you also cannot believe in free will, the two things are in contradiction.
    I think this statement is a logical nonsense, but please explain, if you will, how my judgement on this might be wrong...
    Well I already explained this about a million times, even in the OP and throughout this thread, I guess some people are fond of ignoring things and selectively reading only what they desire

    The scientific reason as to why there is no afterlife is because consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions in the brain, after death the electrochemical reactions cease, therefore consciousness must also cease, since consciousness IS electrochemical reactions, therefore there is no consciousness after death because consciousness IS electrochemical reactions

    The scientific reason as to why free will cannot exist is because since consciousness is made up of electrochemical reactions, everything you say, do , and think is the result of electrochemical reactions in your brain that you have absolutely zero control over. If you believe we can control these electrical reactions, then that's equivalent to believing in superhuman power, that you can break the laws of physics with your consciousness.

    Both the non-existence of free will and an afterlife rests upon the same belief - consciousness being made up of electrochemical reactions

    So questioning whether or not consciousness is electrochemical reactions also questions whether or not an afterlife exists
    Not correct.

    Both afterlife and free will are philosophical issues, and science can only provide supporting evidence or otherwise. There is nothing logically that provides an entailment between the two and therefore I repeat myself - your statement is a logical nonsense.

    If you have a logical position that you wish to claim on this one, I am all ears.
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  101. #100  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    What is an atheistic belief? Is that like the beliefs I hold for thinking that Thor doesn't exist...
    This is not a realistic defence. If I "don't eat meat" one may make reasonable assumptions about my diet and even guess about my character and larger values. Packages are real.

    The OP criticizes the common atheist package.
    Your original analogy, which extended to:
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    according to the OP, since there is no free will, you can't choose to be atheist to begin with.
    VitalOne passed by opportunities to raise that conclusion. We should too.

    To continue my analogy, atheism is to the religion forum as vegetarianism is to the meat-eating forum. I think it fair to ask vegetarian hecklers defend their own tofu.
    And now you say:
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    You may as well be generalizing about the thoughts of people who find the color yellow revolting.
    The vegetarian analogy nails it best in my opinion. Would you like to show how that analogy doesn't fit?
    The vegetarian analogy fails because it is not a lack of belief in eating meat. It is an active disbelief in the value of eating meat, furthered by tailoring one's diet around eating vegetables. This is a value that is usually followed with a deeper "respect" for animals and animal rights to life. However, many vegetarians have no problem eating cheese, eggs, or drinking milk, which is forbidden in being vegan, a deeper level of vegetarianism, and some vegetarians even go as far as eating fish. Vegetarian is a very loose term, apparently, and as such doesn't always indicate someone who will exclusively not eat meat.

    Now, I can think of a few values that are rooted in vegetarianism, and I'm sure you can too. There are only a couple, but, there are discreet consequences to becoming a vegetarian, and even more so to becoming a Vegan(the term I'm sure you were really looking for).

    What are the consequences of not believing in gods? Remember, this isn't a belief that faith in gods is bad, its a choice that an individual makes to not believe. Vegans believe eating meat is wrong, and as such that's there is a value they place on carnivorous people, inherently, because of their diet. That's why it fails. We asked you, time and time and time and time and time again to provide any discreet consequences of atheism. You haven't. You made an analogy to nothing, because the two things aren't comparable for the reason I've just stated.

    What are the consequences of Atheism?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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