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Thread: Are atheists delusional?

  1. #1 Are atheists delusional? 
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    To be delusional means to have false belief

    It is an undeniable objective fact that modern science is not the actual truth, rather it's a highly inaccurate incomplete image of what the truth is. Science is a very useful tool, but not the actual truth. This is because modern science can only determine what's within empirical testability, which is why there are many unknowns.

    If an atheist believes only modern science is the truth, they are therefore entirely delusional. Instead of holding the correct non-deluded view that modern science is a useful tool, and not the truth, they take the delusional belief that modern science really is the truth.

    Otherwise, if an atheist did not believe that modern science was the truth, they wouldn't be an atheist, they would be at least agnostic.

    Therefore we can correctly conclude that every atheist who believes that modern science really is the truth is nothing more than a delusional.


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  3. #2 Re: Are atheists delusional? 
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    "The medium is the message."


    Would it illustrate your point to say that I am text on an internet forum, part of the textual totality of existence, and I invite texts to prove me wrong through forum debate?


    I think you're conflating atheists with scientists a bit. Fast & loose, we may lump the two though, sure, since theists certainly have their own distraction to trump science. But this doesn't strictly follow:
    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Otherwise, if an atheist did not believe that modern science was the truth, they wouldn't be an atheist, they would be at least agnostic.
    See, you're saying that an atheist must fall for science ultrareality, when this is only a weakness of atheists.

    Anyway it's just one part of their minds expressing its own and maybe unhinged perspective, not the whole balance of a person you can never know through this medium.


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  4. #3  
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    To answer the thread title, Yes.... Some are, just not about the god-concept. Your question is like asking "Do theists like cheese?" Well, some do, some don't. Same with delusion impacting the mind of people, whether theist or atheist. Sure, some of them will experience delusion. The point, however, is that theist belief in the god concept is delusional by definition. Your trying to spin and generalize about people who lack belief does not change that fact.


    To address the OP, you continue to strawman the position of non-belief. Who the frak says that science is ultimate truth? If you believe that's what people think, then you are pathetically misinformed.

    Science is a method, an approach to learning about the universe, and that method is extremely successful at helping us in getting ever closer to the truth. We check what we think against reality and reject ideas which are mistaken. We use what we learn to come up with models which as closely as possible resemble the nature around us. Now, yes... There are some things we have learnt using the method of science which have been confirmed over and over again for hundreds of years, and those things are as close to truth as you can get. However, people are not looking to science as the "absolute truth," but as the best possible method to ensure their truths are accurate. People accept the results of the scientific method as valid and incorporate the knowledge gained into their lives.

    Your premise that atheists see science as absolute truth is flawed, and as a result so too is your conclusion.
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  5. #4 Re: Are atheists delusional? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    To be delusional means to have false belief
    Incorrect. This is not a reasonable definition of delusional. To be delusional is to believe something that is directly contrary to the evidence that is abundant and obvious in regards something that is a matter of fact and not a matter of theory, explanation or preference.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    It is an undeniable objective fact that modern science is not the actual truth, rather it's a highly inaccurate incomplete image of what the truth is.
    Since I deny this, it is obviously not undeniable. We can give you the benefit of the doubt to assume that you were not aware that people could deny what you say here (as difficult as this is to believe), but now that you must know this then since this is a matter of fact then your refusal to retract this statement could be construed as delusional.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Science is a very useful tool, but not the actual truth. This is because modern science can only determine what's within empirical testability, which is why there are many unknowns.
    Yes science is a very useful tool. And what kind of tool would that be? Well what it has proven itself to be beyond any shadow of a doubt is a very effective means to discover new and unexpected things about the world around us. I put to you that a means to the truth is far better and more valuable than any alleged "truth". But in your last statement here you are essentially correct. Science is a very effective means to the truth for a limited area of applicability and outside that area of applicability it simply will not make any claims. In fact its exceptional ability to discover and recognize its own limitations easily makes it the most reliable means to the truth on this planet.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    If an atheist believes only modern science is the truth, they are therefore entirely delusional. Instead of holding the correct non-deluded view that modern science is a useful tool, and not the truth, they take the delusional belief that modern science really is the truth.
    "Entirely delusional"? Even though I think that you are probably delusional in this one particular area, if you were truly "entirely delusional" then you would probably be living in a mental health facility because if you have no effective perception of reality at all then you would be unable to function on your own.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Otherwise, if an atheist did not believe that modern science was the truth, they wouldn't be an atheist, they would be at least agnostic.
    Oh I see. You are conflating science being the truth with science being identical with the truth about everything. What a preposterous straw man. Science in a method of inquiry for finding out the truth about things which are objectively observable. It is discovering new things everday so obviously it is not identical with the truth about everything.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Therefore we can correctly conclude that every atheist who believes that modern science really is the truth is nothing than a delusional.
    If you really think that you can correctly conclude such a thing then it is my conclusion that either, you have no great functional grasp of the skills of logic by which correct conclusions should be drawn, OR, since it is a matter of fact that the argument you have presented is logically unsound, we would conclude that we have another area in which suspect that you are willfully delusional.


    P.S. I am a theist, but I am not a delusional theist -- not at least in respect to science and atheists. I can say that I have encountered delusional atheists who support the most preposterous things, but then I have also encountered delusional theists who support what is arguably even more preposterous things -- or possibly they are only more imaginative or more creative in their delusions.

    P.P.S. The whole direction of your argument suggest that you should be addressing naturalism rather than atheism.
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  6. #5 Re: Are atheists delusional? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    If an atheist believes only modern science is the truth, they are therefore entirely delusional.
    Not only delusional, they are also a bit stilted. But, I know of no atheists that believe this.

    Do theists believe only the bible is the truth?
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  7. #6  
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    Atheists do not believe in deities. Any other assumption you make about atheists is a presumptuous arrogance on your part.
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  8. #7 Re: Are atheists delusional? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Otherwise, if an atheist did not believe that modern science was the truth, they wouldn't be an atheist, they would be at least agnostic.
    Unfortunately the terms "atheist" and "agnostic" can often be confusing. An atheist is someone who is not a theist. Not believing that something exists and believing that something does not exist are two very different things. I don't believe in God, but I can't say for certain that God does not exist (I would bet that the majority of atheists think the same). So "atheist" and "agnostic" can mean essentially the same thing. I think Dawkin's spectrum of theistic beliefs is much less confusing. Using that scale I'd be a 6.
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  9. #8 Re: Are atheists delusional? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Incorrect. This is not a reasonable definition of delusional. To be delusional is to believe something that is directly contrary to the evidence that is abundant and obvious in regards something that is a matter of fact and not a matter of theory, explanation or preference.
    Nope, you're wrong, this is a sufficient definition of delusional, and it's in the dictionary as well

    Once again atheists attempt to re-define things to gain converts

    But even if we use your definition, it's still the same result, atheists are still delusionals, since their beliefs are directly contrary to the evidence

    Since I deny this, it is obviously not undeniable. We can give you the benefit of the doubt to assume that you were not aware that people could deny what you say here (as difficult as this is to believe), but now that you must know this then since this is a matter of fact then your refusal to retract this statement could be construed as delusional.
    Well if you deny this then you are either misinformed or a fool

    There are many unknowns in science, and two of the biggest unknowns are directly connected to an afterlife and God, which are:
    - how is consciousness generated
    - the origin of the universe

    Therefore your statement has been refuted

    Otherwise, if modern science is the truth, then there shouldn't be any unknowns, contradictions, or any unexplained phenomenon right?

    We can't even answer simple questions like "what is light?" or "what causes gravity?" right now in modern science

    Yes science is a very useful tool. And what kind of tool would that be? Well what it has proven itself to be beyond any shadow of a doubt is a very effective means to discover new and unexpected things about the world around us. I put to you that a means to the truth is far better and more valuable than any alleged "truth". But in your last statement here you are essentially correct. Science is a very effective means to the truth for a limited area of applicability and outside that area of applicability it simply will not make any claims. In fact its exceptional ability to discover and recognize its own limitations easily makes it the most reliable means to the truth on this planet.
    So you agree with everything I said

    "Entirely delusional"? Even though I think that you are probably delusional in this one particular area, if you were truly "entirely delusional" then you would probably be living in a mental health facility because if you have no effective perception of reality at all then you would be unable to function on your own.
    Delusion means "false belief" or according to the other definition belief contrary to the evidence

    The evidence shows us that modern science is not the truth, and just a useful tool

    Therefore believing modern science is the truth would be delusional

    Oh I see. You are conflating science being the truth with science being identical with the truth about everything. What a preposterous straw man. Science in a method of inquiry for finding out the truth about things which are objectively observable. It is discovering new things everday so obviously it is not identical with the truth about everything.
    So you agree that science is a useful tool and not the truth

    What is your reason not believing in God or an afterlife then? Even though things are empirically untestable and cannot be determined??

    If you really think that you can correctly conclude such a thing then it is my conclusion that either you have no great functional grasp of the skills of logic by which correct conclusions should be drawn OR since it is a matter of fact that the argument you have presented is logically unsound we would have another area in which suspect that you delusional.
    You've done nothing this entire time to refute any statement I made, instead you only agreed, but then throw ad hominems and claim I'm wrong

    P.S. I am a theist, but I am not a delusional theist -- not at least in respect to science and atheists. I can say that I have encountered delusional atheists who support the most preposterous things, but then I have also encountered delusional theists who support what is arguably even more preposterous things -- or possibly they are only more imaginative or creatively delusional.

    P.P.S. The whole direction of your argument suggest that you should be addressing naturalism rather than atheism.
    You're just an atheist suck up

    And this entire time you've only agreed but then said I'm wrong
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Atheists do not believe in deities. Any other assumption you make about atheists is a presumptuous arrogance on your part.
    I never claimed atheists believe in deities, sorry for your delusion

    Quote Originally Posted by gc
    Unfortunately the terms "atheist" and "agnostic" can often be confusing. An atheist is someone who is not a theist. Not believing that something exists and believing that something does not exist are two very different things. I don't believe in God, but I can't say for certain that God does not exist (I would bet that the majority of atheists think the same). So "atheist" and "agnostic" can mean essentially the same thing. I think Dawkin's spectrum of theistic beliefs is much less confusing. Using that scale I'd be a 6.
    Well going by the actual traditional definitions it's not confusing, atheist meaning believing there is no God or believing the existence of God is very unlikely, and agnostic meaning believing it cannot be determined whether or not God exists

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    To address the OP, you continue to strawman the position of non-belief. Who the frak says that science is ultimate truth? If you believe that's what people think, then you are pathetically misinformed.

    Science is a method, an approach to learning about the universe, and that method is extremely successful at helping us in getting ever closer to the truth. We check what we think against reality and reject ideas which are mistaken. We use what we learn to come up with models which as closely as possible resemble the nature around us. Now, yes... There are some things we have learnt using the method of science which have been confirmed over and over again for hundreds of years, and those things are as close to truth as you can get. However, people are not looking to science as the "absolute truth," but as the best possible method to ensure their truths are accurate. People accept the results of the scientific method as valid and incorporate the knowledge gained into their lives.

    Your premise that atheists see science as absolute truth is flawed, and as a result so too is your conclusion.
    So then you're agnostic?
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  11. #10 Re: Are atheists delusional? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    And this entire time you've only agreed but then said I'm wrong

    You're just an atheist suck up
    One of the most significant signposts of delusional people everywhere is this sort of black and white "us and them" mentality. This is direct and clear evidence of a person who has altered and ignored data in order to force the world to fit a simplistic understanding of the world to such a degree that he has squashed all of reality and all of its dimensions down into one dimensional measure. Agreeing with one thing you say does not change the fact that I disagree with everything else you say and agreeing with one thing that an atheist says does not change the fact that I disagree with him on other things.

    The truth is that I don't suck up to anybody whether it is atheist that threaten me with accusations of delusional or irrational or theists who threaten me with damnation. In fact I love to point out my response is the same to this very typical gunman image of God that many theists employ as a means of intellectual blackmail. I point to Albert Camus' essay "The Myth of Sisyphus" where he explains that the true seeker after what is true and right is perfectly satisfied to suffer for an eternity in the knowledge that he opposes the lies and injustices of an evil tyrant.

    It is the gunman, whether he thinks he is a god or otherwise, who is delusional. And this image of a god whom we must obey because of some threat of hell or something is no different. Just because the gunman believes this nonsense that his big gun means that everyone must obey him does not mean that anyone else does. People may humor his delusion for a while but they are certainly not going believe such an obviously unreliable source of information, but find a way to take away his gun and dispose of this animated garbage. I believe in God but I certainly do not believe in one that is that delusional.

    I am not on your side. Yuk. And I am not on their side. I will call out either one when they spout a lot of ridiculous nonsense like you are doing now. Sometimes it is the athests spouting nonsense and sometimes it is the theists.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Incorrect. This is not a reasonable definition of delusional. To be delusional is to believe something that is directly contrary to the evidence that is abundant and obvious in regards something that is a matter of fact and not a matter of theory, explanation or preference.
    Nope, you're wrong, this is a sufficient definition of delusional, and it's in the dictionary as well
    Oh I see you want to pick this one definition of many and ignore all the others. In which case you are saying that we should just substitute the word "wrong" whenever you use the word "delusional". Ok, but by the way, when I have used this word for you, I do not just mean wrong. I definitely mean to include all of the word's definitions including that of mental illness.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    But even if we use your definition, it's still the same result, atheists are still delusionals, since their beliefs are directly contrary to the evidence
    Contrary to what evidence? Contrary to what you accept as evidence but not to what they accept as evidence. Considering your generally irrational demeanor, I probably do not accept your evidence either, but have my own evidence which causes me to conclude that there is a God. What difference does it make? Well, it is likely to make a very great difference regarding my understanding of God's nature and values and thus upon the things I value in myself and others.

    For example, the God I know greatly values diversity. If you believe that he created the species then you must consider the fact that He created over 350,000 species of beetle alone. Further I think He observed that a singularity of thought was worst sort of evil that could befall mankind and so he destroyed such an world with a flood and scattered man over the earth confusing their languages in order to prevent this from happening again. Thus the diversity of human thought is just as much a creation of God as the species, and so this is something we should learn to value and appreciate.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    It is an undeniable objective fact that modern science is not the actual truth, rather it's a highly inaccurate incomplete image of what the truth is.
    Since I deny this, it is obviously not undeniable. We can give you the benefit of the doubt to assume that you were not aware that people could deny what you say here (as difficult as this is to believe), but now that you must know this then since this is a matter of fact then your refusal to retract this statement could be construed as delusional.
    Well if you deny this then you are either misinformed or a fool

    Therefore your statement has been refuted
    There is no evidence in the world that can refute my statement that I deny your claim. It is my choice and mine alone. Your name calling is irrelevant. The fact the remains that I deny it and therefore it is not undeniable.

    I already examined your talk about science not being identical with the truth. The declaration that science is incomplete is just plain meaningless, and so I simply ignored it. That only leaves your claim that science is highly inaccurate to be examined.

    Science is NOT highly inaccurate. That is the opposite of the truth. Science employs a methodology that looks at details and strives for extreme precision in its description of nature. No other way of looking at the world can compare in accuracy because no other way of looking at the world even defines a means of measuring accuracy in any way.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    There are many unknowns in science, and two of the biggest unknowns are directly connected to an afterlife and God, which are:
    - how is consciousness generated
    - the origin of the universe
    These are topics in which I have a great deal of interest, and we should discuss them sometime. They are areas of active scientific investigation and science has much to say about them that only a fool would ignore. But I personally do believe that both of these topics go beyond the limits of scientific inquiry. But that does NOT make science incomplete in any way. If you define the set of toasters, would you say that the set of toasters is incomplete because it does not include refrigerators? That is nonsensical.

    So I take that what you mean to say is that you are taking issue with the premise of metaphysical naturalism what science can discover is a complete description of reality. I most certainly reject that premise. But the acceptance or rejection of this premise is not something that can be supported by objective evidence. It is a matter of what one chooses to see as significant. There are things that I see as significant that the metaphysical naturalist does not see as significant, but I do not delude myself with absurd claims that significance is something that objective evidence can establish.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Otherwise, if modern science is the truth, then there shouldn't be any unknowns, contradictions, or any unexplained phenomenon right?
    My name is Mitchell McKain. That is the truth. The fact that this statement doesn't answer any number of questions or even that I have not given my middle name does not mean that it is not the truth. The statement is correct and thus it is the truth. Your confusion of modern science with metaphysical naturalism does not make your claim about science true, it only makes you confused.

    But even if we suppose that we are talking about metaphysical naturalism rather than science, I don't think it makes you all that less confused. Lets go back to the statement "My name is Mitchell McKain", and indulge in a bit sophistry and say that a name is what people call me and thus since this name does not include the fact that you have called me a fool means that it is not complete. Such absurd arguments simply make a mockery out of the word "truth". What you have personally called me does not change the truth of my statement. Likewise the fact that you, like I do, have personal experiences and perceptions of the world that do not agree with the premise of metaphysical naturalism does not make the those who accept this premise delusional for their experiences and perception are not ours.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    We can't even answer simple questions like "what is light?" or "what causes gravity?" right now in modern science
    What century are you from? Science does answer such questions with scientific explanations. Either you are poorly educated and uninformed or you are simply not interested in scientific explanations. Science has its own objective standards by which to judge that things are explained, and what you think makes something explained is of no significance in scientific inquiry.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    So you agree with everything I said
    Incorrect, I agree with very little of what you said.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    The evidence shows us that modern science is not the truth, and just a useful tool

    So you agree that science is a useful tool and not the truth
    I agree that science is a useful tool, but that it is a tool for discovering the truth about a great many things. What is it discovers is the truth. Your equivocation is just offensively ignorant.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    What is your reason not believing in God or an afterlife then? Even though things are empirically untestable and cannot be determined??
    How peculiar. I have reasons for believing in God and an existence after death. But this reasoning of yours should be called unreasoning. I can barely imagine someone thinking as you say here that the lack of being able to test or determine something should be considered a reason for believing it. Please stop before you cause serious damage to the sanity of the people around you.


    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    If you really think that you can correctly conclude such a thing then it is my conclusion that either you have no great functional grasp of the skills of logic by which correct conclusions should be drawn OR since it is a matter of fact that the argument you have presented is logically unsound we would have another area in which suspect that you delusional.
    You've done nothing this entire time to refute any statement I made, instead you only agreed, but then throw ad hominems and claim I'm wrong
    No I have merely shown that an application of logic to your statements would lead us to a conclusion that you are delusional. This is in fact exactly what you yourself are claiming to do with other people and failing to accomplish.
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  12. #11 Re: Are atheists delusional? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    It is an undeniable objective fact that modern science is not the actual truth, rather it's a highly inaccurate incomplete image of what the truth is. Science is a very useful tool, but not the actual truth. This is because modern science can only determine what's within empirical testability, which is why there are many unknowns.
    By what means has it been objectively established that "modern science is not the actual truth"? By what means has it been objectively established that empirical testability is categorically incapable of determining what we colloquially label as "the truth"? How can you show these things to be true if empiricism has no value? By what method do you derive knowledge, specifically what you call "objective facts" without recourse to empiricism?

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Incorrect. This is not a reasonable definition of delusional. To be delusional is to believe something that is directly contrary to the evidence that is abundant and obvious in regards something that is a matter of fact and not a matter of theory, explanation or preference.
    Nope, you're wrong, this is a sufficient definition of delusional, and it's in the dictionary as well
    Sufficient for your purposes, which is to distort the meaning of the term such that it can be applied to a group of people you don't like. Psychologists hold that delusions are marked by refusal to move from a belief despite evidence. Perhaps they're part of the atheist conspiracy too?

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Once again atheists attempt to re-define things to gain converts
    Once again you ascribe a behaviour to a large and disparate group based on what could generously be called weak evidence. Or more realistically be called wilful misunderstanding on your part.

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Atheists do not believe in deities. Any other assumption you make about atheists is a presumptuous arrogance on your part.
    I never claimed atheists believe in deities, sorry for your delusion
    You've misunderstood Bunbury. He stating that the only trait which unifies atheists is a lack of theistic belief. He is not claiming you suggested otherwise, he's pointing out that your tendency to ascribe other broad traits to atheists is unjustified. It is a prejudice, though one better tolerated by society than the likes of homophobia or racism.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Well going by the actual traditional definitions it's not confusing, atheist meaning believing there is no God or believing the existence of God is very unlikely, and agnostic meaning believing it cannot be determined whether or not God exists
    Well, according to your definitions I am both an atheist and an agnostic (the existence of God is unlikely, but we can't know for sure), so yeah I'd say those definitions can lead to confusion.
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  14. #13 Re: Are atheists delusional? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    To be delusional means to have false belief

    It is an undeniable objective fact that modern science is not the actual truth, rather it's a highly inaccurate incomplete image of what the truth is. Science is a very useful tool, but not the actual truth. This is because modern science can only determine what's within empirical testability, which is why there are many unknowns.

    If an atheist believes only modern science is the truth, they are therefore entirely delusional. Instead of holding the correct non-deluded view that modern science is a useful tool, and not the truth, they take the delusional belief that modern science really is the truth.

    Otherwise, if an atheist did not believe that modern science was the truth, they wouldn't be an atheist, they would be at least agnostic.

    Therefore we can correctly conclude that every atheist who believes that modern science really is the truth is nothing more than a delusional.
    Dude, if you believe this, than you're the one that's seriously delusional....

    1. What do you mean when you say that scientific discoveries aren't truthful? can you disproof that we breath oxygen? Can you disproof that we are built from small cells? Can you prove that our genetic code isn't just one out of 8.388.608 random combination and prove that we are "just the way god made us"?

    2. Again, you are saying that all atheists are unbelievably passionate about the modern science. Even if they are, who are you to say that I am delusional if I believe in things that are logical, instead in god.

    3. Therefore we can correctly conclude that every christian that believes atheists are huts, is delusional himself....
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    I'm glad I skipped this thread, lol. I wonder if VitalOne has trouble accepting the reality of putting his pants on in the morning.
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    The dig was malicious and unjust, but we could've taken it as spur. Instead of wasting effort lashing back at the OP. Like that was necessary, or did any good.

    "To one with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    The dig was malicious and unjust, but we could've taken it as spur. Instead of wasting effort lashing back at the OP. Like that was necessary, or did any good.

    "To one with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
    I am not predisposed to be sympathetic or understanding of anyone constructing a philosophical justification for declaring that some group of people are delusional just because they do not share your opinion about something.

    This is just a general principle of mine, and this response of showing how I can construct a similar justification for calling that person delusional is typical of me.

    When I encounter someone doing the same to declare that all theists or religious people are delusional well then they are going get both barells from me just as VitalOne did. In his case, the attacks upon science as a kind of justifiable collateral damage, only made it that much easier.

    I frankly admit that I am not very tolerant of either anti-science or anti-religious attitudes.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    The dig was malicious and unjust, but we could've taken it as spur. Instead of wasting effort lashing back at the OP. Like that was necessary, or did any good.

    "To one with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

    Yes, it probably was uncalled for on my part. I wouldn't consider myself to be hitting everything with a hammer though.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I am not predisposed to be sympathetic or understanding of anyone constructing a philosophical justification for declaring that some group of people are delusional just because they do not share your opinion about something.
    The declaration coming from non-theists (directed toward theists) is not related to a difference of opinion. The declaration is due to how fervently believers hold to their beliefs as being the absolute truth at the expense of all others despite the profound lack of any evidence or support beyond their personal faith.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    When I encounter someone doing the same to declare that all theists or religious people are delusional well then they are going get both barells from me just as VitalOne did.
    Except, nobody claims that ALL theists or religious people are delusional (or, if they do, they are an outlier non-representative of the mean).

    I stipulate that most of these believers are rather fine folks, and often quite intelligent, and delusion is not accurate term to describe how they approach over 90% of their life... so let's be clear about that. The claims of delusion are aimed specifically at the religious belief itself. The delusion is specific to the faith held by the believer, not the believer as a whole individual.

    You may find this distinction subtle, but it is quintessential.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I frankly admit that I am not very tolerant of either anti-science or anti-religious attitudes.
    And I frankly admit that I'm not very tolerant of people who believe in things in the absence of any objective evidence whatsoever and expect to have their beliefs taken seriously.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    You may find this distinction subtle, but it is quintessential.
    No I totally understand and definitely agree. There is absolutely nothing personal when I say that I frankly think that your beliefs are seriously delusional.


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    And I frankly admit that I'm not very tolerant of people who believe in things in the absence of any objective evidence whatsoever and expect to have their beliefs taken seriously.
    That is an intolerance which I have no tolerance for. To tolerate such intolerance would not be consistent with the principle of tolerance itself.
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  21. #20  
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    Aaahhhh..... Sigh.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    The claims of delusion are aimed specifically at the religious belief itself. The delusion is specific to the faith held by the believer, not the believer as a whole individual.
    And yet we do ban whole individuals. You said yourself the source of morals is in the DNA. So you'll appreciate why the ant that fails to vibrate its antenna just so, will have its head chewed off.

    Matters of faith among humans determine our ultimate fates most empirically: The atheist groom refuses to wear a ceremonial turban. Well, the rejector-type atheist must.
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  23. #22  
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    VitalOne (VO) is no longer with us. I terminated his account. From the day he signed up, I was waiting for his eventual rants on atheism, which he has a track record elsewhere for escalating to the point of creating and instigating nasty, tasteless flame-wars. I was surprised it took him 100 posts to get there and was hopeful it wouldn't, but here it is and there he goes.

    I think, overall, we've done a good job in the last few months about making this particular subforum one that isn't about promoting atheism and arguing the atheist-theist debates to the point of being distasteful. We have a few theistic posters who are good at providing some very thought-provoking discussion, albeit there are some obvious tensions that sometimes arise in these discussions. Still, I'd like to think that these tensions are useful and, at times, instructive. I ask, however, that we caution ourselves about delving too far into the ad hominem world. Its very easy to do so when faced with those with whom you so diametrically oppose. I'd go so far as to say the degree of ad hominem responses is inversely correlated to the amount of agreement you have with another discussant. And I freely admit to falling into this temptation myself.

    I was tempted to move this thread to the trash, since it really isn't a discussion of the scientific study of religion, rather a response by a religionist seeking to troll non-religionists. Instead I'm moving it to Philosophy since this really is a philosophical discussion.

    And, although VO's account has been terminated and the intent of the thread was to troll, there are still some intelligent and reasoned discussion that has resulted. I think this is a testament to the kind of membership (both theist and atheist) that we have on The Science Forum. We need not be in agreement to maintain civility.

    Before I add my own contribution to the points, fallacious they may be, brought up in the OP, I want to add a word of caution to my fellow non-theists: don't assume that my atheism will afford shelter from being moderated if you directly insult, flame, or troll.

    Quote Originally Posted by VO
    To be delusional means to have false belief
    I think this is a broad and general, if not colloquial, definition of delusion. But I think it doesn't fit the nature of the argument it's intended to make. That is, what we're discussing is largely a psychological issue, therefore the definition that we agree upon should be one that is more clinical or specific to avoid equivocation. A more apt definition of "delusional" would be an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary.

    Its because of this, I don't think I could characterize someone who holds themselves to be, in general, a theist to be delusional. There is some bit of intuition that can lead the human mind to conceive of a "greater power" or "god figure" that exists in the universe. To assert that one knows what this god-figure is, say the god of the Judeo-Christian texts for instance, would be delusional since there is substantial evidence that such a being is both mythical and invented by the cultures that wrote the texts.

    In spite of this, however, I wouldn't generally characterize someone who believes in this Judeo-Christian mythology as "delusional." I would only characterize their specific beliefs about this god as delusional. Much in the same manner that I might characterize the beliefs of homeopaths as delusional or that of alien abductees. These people are all fully functional in their mental capacities and are often members of populations that are both professional and responsible: pilots, engineers, policeman, firemen, politicians (well... maybe not politicians).

    And I could only consider their specific positions as delusional if I knew that they'd been aware of evidence to the contrary. If, for instance, I was able to demonstrate to a homeopath that the dilution of water into the "active ingredient" made it mathematically and chemically impossible for the solution to be anything other than water, and yet the homeopath continued to believe in the power of homeopathy, then I would have to conclude he/she was delusional.

    It is an undeniable objective fact that modern science is not the actual truth, rather it's a highly inaccurate incomplete image of what the truth is.
    On the contrary, this passage would most certainly be denied by anyone sufficiently educated in the sciences. VO is concluding, quite fallaciously, that since scientific knowledge is provisional and subject to revision, that it is therefore "highly inaccurate." This simply isn't true. Just because scientific proposition A is revised to proposition B, it doesn't necessarily follow that proposition A was wrong or even "highly inaccurate." The example that comes to mind is the number of planets in the Solar System. As a child, I was taught there were 9, which included Pluto. There are now 8, not including Pluto. Pluto is still there. We have merely refined, for the better, what constitutes a planet. Indeed, that Pluto is among the largest of the dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt is significant since we now know of more Pluto-class objects. There are examples of this in archaeology, biology, chemistry, etc. Science is about finding the best approximation of the truth. If these truths were as "highly inaccurate" as VO characterized them, I doubt he'd be able to transmit his doubts from his thoughts to our screens in such an accurate fashion, made possible by the science of physics as applied to computer technology.

    If an atheist believes only modern science is the truth, they are therefore entirely delusional.
    If this were what it meant to be an atheist, perhaps VO would be correct. Instead, what he's done is create a straw man of what it means to be atheist. Being "atheist" means, quite simply and broadly, not having a god-belief. It doesn't imply that you have an understanding of science or a belief in science. Indeed, there are many atheists who hold many paranormal, supernatural, and pseudoscientific beliefs that range from homeopathy and space aliens to magic and ESP. Continuing his mischaracterization (the straw man), VO said:

    Instead of holding the correct non-deluded view that modern science is a useful tool, and not the truth, they take the delusional belief that modern science really is the truth.
    Atheists who also happen to have an interest in science (either passing or professional) see it as a tool. It so happens that its the only useful tool for discovering information about the universe that can be said to have meaning. True, the human individual can "meditate" and ruminate on philosophical "truths," but ultimately when it comes to finding information about the universe that has any empirical value, one must turn to some form of scientific method. The hunter-gather that learns to catch his food or apply a salve is applying learned observations of nature and years of testing; if not, he runs the risk of going hungry or getting an infection. The composer who creates a new score that appeals to a broad audience has observed both previous composers and previous audiences and has tested their preferences; if not, he runs the risk of his composition being rejected.

    But science and scientific methods are tools. They only help us discover what already exists in nature or what already exists in the human minds.

    Otherwise, if an atheist did not believe that modern science was the truth, they wouldn't be an atheist, they would be at least agnostic.
    A statement of false dichotomy that demonstrates a serious misunderstanding of what it means to be either atheist or agnostic. One can be both. Indeed, I -along with many- consider myself to be an agnostic atheist. I recognize the futility in making an absolute claim to the existence of a god in the universe -I can hardly test every square kilometer and overturn every bolder, asteroid and blackhole looking for one. I also see no evidence to arrive at any good reason to conclude such a being exists, therefore I do not posit the claim. I'm an atheist. An agnostic-atheist.

    Therefore we can correctly conclude that every atheist who believes that modern science really is the truth is nothing more than a delusional.
    Aside from using an adjective as an object in place of a noun, the conclusion is one from false premises and, therefore, unsound.

    Modern science provides us with the best methods of arriving at the closest approximations of truth. This is a basic understanding that all scientists understand. There simply are no good reasons to include supernatural, superstitious, or mythical propositions into truth claims.
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  24. #23  
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    Are atheists delusional?
    No.

    I would be an atheist if I didn't have some profound spiritual experiences.

    Don't bother asking me to elaborate. I will not share such things on the internet. I'll just say it has nothing to do with a particular religion.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by korben
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    "To one with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
    I wouldn't consider myself to be hitting everything with a hammer though.
    Just to clarify: I meant the hammer is the scientific approach, and the nail is testable hypothesis. Scientifically-minded people might get carried away. I wouldn't call that delusion but it is a form of madness when taken to extreme.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by korben
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    "To one with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
    I wouldn't consider myself to be hitting everything with a hammer though.
    Just to clarify: I meant the hammer is the scientific approach, and the nail is testable hypothesis. Scientifically-minded people might get carried away. I wouldn't call that delusion but it is a form of madness when taken to extreme.
    However, the one with the hammer cares only about nails. allow the one with the screwdriver to worry about screws.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    Division of labour, eh? Then scientists should never attempt comedy.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by korben
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    "To one with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
    I wouldn't consider myself to be hitting everything with a hammer though.
    Just to clarify: I meant the hammer is the scientific approach, and the nail is testable hypothesis. Scientifically-minded people might get carried away. I wouldn't call that delusion but it is a form of madness when taken to extreme.
    I've got to give you credit, that's a fairly funny idea and I did laugh just thinking about it. Again, I wouldn't consider myself to be walking around hitting everything with a hammer.
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  29. #28 Re: Are atheists delusional? 
    Forum Freshman AlphaMuDelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    To be delusional means to have false belief

    It is an undeniable objective fact that modern science is not the actual truth, rather it's a highly inaccurate incomplete image of what the truth is. Science is a very useful tool, but not the actual truth. This is because modern science can only determine what's within empirical testability, which is why there are many unknowns.

    If an atheist believes only modern science is the truth, they are therefore entirely delusional. Instead of holding the correct non-deluded view that modern science is a useful tool, and not the truth, they take the delusional belief that modern science really is the truth.

    Otherwise, if an atheist did not believe that modern science was the truth, they wouldn't be an atheist, they would be at least agnostic.

    Therefore we can correctly conclude that every atheist who believes that modern science really is the truth is nothing more than a delusional.
    -facepalm-
    Technically an atheist is as much of a metaphysician as any theist; the difference is a practical one, for atheists choose not to believe in a transcendent being because they can consequently live out their lives in a more efficient manner and without irrational behaviour. Most atheists are fully aware of the fact that science is only a model of the world we live in, and that our abstractions need refining before we can propose that they are true. However, they would rather actually understand the way in which the world works than claim an almighty god did it and then pray to themselves, because the world is inexorably logical. It is only a question of how precise our scientific models are.

    But people like Richard Dawkins are very dogmatic and, whilst not suffering from any DSM-IV psychotic disorders, he can seem a little zealous - and religious zealots tend to kill, so he might end up shooting some people. 50 says he recants his atheism when he is diagnosed with bowel cancer in ten years though.
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  30. #29 Re: Are atheists delusional? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaMuDelta
    50 says he recants his atheism when he is diagnosed with bowel cancer in ten years though.
    I'll take that bet. These deathbed conversions people like to talk about are almost entirely made up and little more than dismissible tripe.

    How will we arrange your payment to me when Mr.Dawkins dies or "is diagnosed with bowel cancer?"
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  31. #30  
    Forum Freshman AlphaMuDelta's Avatar
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    Heh heh, well I wouldn't actually bet that. I should have bet that there would be reports of him recanting his atheism. He appears to be getting more atheistic as he ages, so I am sure he won't actually convert
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