Author Topic: Say what?  (Read 10676 times)

Pete at Home

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Say what?
« on: March 07, 2016, 10:06:41 PM »
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35715325

"A man on trial in southern Russia faces a possible one-year prison sentence for having written "there is no God" during an internet exchange.

Viktor Krasnov was reported to police by two young men who objected to his language in the dispute, on the Russian social network VKontakte in 2014.

He was charged in Stavropol for having "insulted the feelings of worshippers".


So we've gone from an atheist state to one that criminalizes the proselytizing of atheism?

Atheists that say that anyone who disagrees with their beliefs are mentally defective, that offends reasonable believers.  But the statement that there is no God, well we're all entitled to our opinions, neh?

AI Wessex

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2016, 04:14:56 AM »
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Atheists that say that anyone who disagrees with their beliefs are mentally defective,...
Are you trying to say that all atheists are tainted by the actions of this one?  Is that because all atheists "believe" the same thing?

TheDrake

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2016, 11:58:24 AM »
Russia isn't really big on the free speech thing, IIRC.

Pete at Home

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 12:20:33 PM »
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Atheists that say that anyone who disagrees with their beliefs are mentally defective,...
Are you trying to say that all atheists are tainted by the actions of this one?  Is that because all atheists "believe" the same thing?

Did Al drop his brain or is he only pretending again that i said the opposite of what i actually said?  Or is he just playing what he calls "lawyer gamesL with words in order to pick a fight where there is none?  Does Al actually disagree with my assumption that all atheists believe that there is no God?   orr that they should have the right to express that belief?

What i am saying, Al, is that ALL Atheists have the right to say what "this one" has said, i.e. that "there is no God."  so long as you arent walking into church services to interrupt us with your opinions, I dont see what the feelings of religiouss people have to do with your right to express what you believe.

"all atheists "believe" the same thing?"

With respect to the question of God''s existence, my understanding was that all atheists believe that God does not exist.  Am I mistaken? do you believe differently?




D.W.

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2016, 01:57:43 PM »
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Atheists that say that anyone who disagrees with their beliefs are mentally defective, that offends reasonable believers.  But the statement that there is no God, well we're all entitled to our opinions, neh?
Pete, what does this statement mean to you?

It is written in such a way that it punches buttons you may or may not want punched.  It either reframes the entire context of your post up until this point, or SEEMS to fly in the face of it.  This could be read as a defense for the actions of the Russian courts.

Or it could be read as a slur on all atheists despite opposition to the Russian courts?

Or it is intended to be read in a third way that neither AI nor I can see.

scifibum

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2016, 02:04:38 PM »
Let me try to rephrase what Pete was trying to say (I think I can see it):

If an atheist claims that all religious believers are mentally defective, it is offensive to [at least some of] those believers.  However, the statement that there is no God is not an attack on believers, it is the expression of an opinion.

scifibum

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 02:07:28 PM »
Since there was more to the accused's statements than "There is no god", and whatever he did say is likely somewhat compromised in the translation to English, it's a bit hard to say whether the charges are off base or whether it's only a (very) bad law.  The latter I'm sure we can all agree on.

D.W.

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 02:12:24 PM »
As to what "all atheists believe", I think my favorite explanation came from a book called Anathem. 

In it, THESE atheists (and they would take exception to the title) state that we cannot think in a productive or useful way about God, so they simply don't.

That said I know people who treat atheism as a side in a fight against religion.  That it's not just about someone choosing to believe or not believe in what they want, but they see religion itself as a harmful influence that should be confronted at every opportunity.

There is no consensus. 

scifibum

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2016, 02:17:07 PM »
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With respect to the question of God''s existence, my understanding was that all atheists believe that God does not exist.  Am I mistaken? do you believe differently?

There's a slight but useful difference between the two following statements:

#1. I do not believe that God exists.
#2. I believe that God does not exist.

It is safer to say that atheists are defined by the first of the two.  Many of them will agree to the latter statement, but not all of them.

Some people think that #1 defines agnostics, but an agnostic rather believes that (#3) we cannot know whether there is a God.  I sort of think most people who adopt this belief are just hedging for some reason.

AI Wessex

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2016, 02:49:10 PM »
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With respect to the question of God''s existence, my understanding was that all atheists believe that God does not exist.
Atheists believe that God does not exist in the way that scientists believe that phlogiston does not exist.  Scientists believe in gravity and the laws of thermodynamics, but that doesn't make them believers.  So, atheists do not believe that God does not exist in the way that you believe that God does exist.

[Edit: I think we're all saying pretty much the same thing at this point :).  Oh, happy day!]
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 03:01:55 PM by AI Wessex »

Pete at Home

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2016, 08:44:43 AM »
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Atheists that say that anyone who disagrees with their beliefs are mentally defective, that offends reasonable believers.  But the statement that there is no God, well we're all entitled to our opinions, neh?
Pete, what does this statement mean to you?

It is written in such a way that it punches buttons you may or may not want punched.  It either reframes the entire context of your post up until this point, or SEEMS to fly in the face of it.  This could be read as a defense for the actions of the Russian courts.

Or it could be read as a slur on all atheists despite opposition to the Russian courts?

Or it is intended to be read in a third way that neither AI nor I can see.

 al just caalled me a nazi on another thread, thwarting your generous but futile attempt at trying to reconcile his mangling and inverting every kind word I say.

Dw, you really think any lucid and nonpsychotic  atheist could feel slammed by my saying that it hurts my feelings when someone says all believers are insane, but that simply stating their opinion that there is no God should not hurt the feelings of any reasonable believer?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 08:51:18 AM by Pete at Home »

Pete at Home

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2016, 08:50:09 AM »
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Atheists believe that God does not exist in the way that scientists believe that phlogiston does not exist. 

Ah.  So I inadvertently pissed you off when I spoke of atheism as an opinion that God does not exist, rather than describing it as God's eternal and unquestionable truth?

If you get pissed off at the statement that atheists believe that God does not exist, then you are even more thinskinned and nasty than the Russian court.  You accuse me of coming here to quarrel.  Look in the mirror man.  You are going through g3 withdrawal . get help.

Pete at Home

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2016, 08:54:24 AM »
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.  So, atheists do not believe that God does not exist in the way that you believe that God does exist

I didnt say that they believe "in the same way."  the only thing i said is similar about our beliefs is that we have a RIGHT to hold and express them.  I had no *censored*ing idea that statement would piss you off.

D.W.

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2016, 09:38:56 AM »
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Dw, you really think any lucid and nonpsychotic  atheist could feel slammed by my saying that it hurts my feelings when someone says all believers are insane, but that simply stating their opinion that there is no God should not hurt the feelings of any reasonable believer?
No, not at all.  I think they would feel slammed by you putting them all into the same box.  This reframing of the question / statement is what I was trying to point out.  The "tone" of the first post was too open to interpretation.  This one, even with the inclusion of the nonpsychotic barb, is easier to address.

Pete at Home

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2016, 10:04:04 AM »
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  I think they would feel slammed by you putting them all into the same box

Who in what box? 

"atheists who do x is a restrictive modifier, neh?  It's like saying "left handed Atheists who have red hair do y".  In no way does the statement imply that all redheaded atheists are left handed. 

I am btw dating a lefthanded rehaired atheist, and she has never denigrated me for my religious beliefs. 

AI Wessex

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2016, 10:04:57 AM »
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al just caalled me a nazi on another thread, thwarting your generous but futile attempt at trying to reconcile his mangling and inverting every kind word I say.
Bull*censored*.  Cut out this incendiary mispresentation crap.

D.W.

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2016, 10:24:09 AM »
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I am btw dating a lefthanded rehaired atheist, and she has never denigrated me for my religious beliefs.
Most of them won't from my experience.  Atheists I mean... and red heads... Not sure about lefties.

The story puts atheists, and those sympathetic to atheists on the defensive.  They are ready to be outraged at those who have atheism under siege through accusations of being offensive.  Then, in the same post, you highlight a subset of atheists who ARE deliberately offensive to the group making the accusation.

Your comparison of instigation vs. opinion is diluted or obscured entirely by the context you put it in.

So you are correct, the statement, when removed of it's context is fine.  That's the button I was suggesting you pushed.

Pete at Home

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2016, 10:43:04 AM »
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al just caalled me a nazi on another thread, thwarting your generous but futile attempt at trying to reconcile his mangling and inverting every kind word I say.
Bull*censored*.  Cut out this incendiary mispresentation crap.

IF i misunderstood your statement about Hitler on the other thread then i will apologize there when you make clear what you meant.  As you should have when if beca,e clear even to you that I had said nothing here to den igrate atheists but was defending their right to express their [can anyone suggest a phrase for belief that Al wont throw a sanctimonious bitchfit over]?  I have no interest in debating with you abt god's existence.  I do not see you as morally defective for hot agreeing with me about God's existence.  (or do the terms agree or disagree offend you oh great one?)

Pete at Home

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2016, 10:49:51 AM »
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The story puts atheists, and those sympathetic to atheists on the defensive.  They are ready to be outraged at those who have atheism under siege through accusations of being offensive.  Then, in the same post, you highlight a subset of atheists who ARE deliberately offensive to the group making the accusation.

I did not say deliberately.  And part of my point was that they have the RIGHT to express views that offend me.  The Russian event here takes unreasonable offense at an opinion that should not be offensive, but the law against being offensive is itself wrong.  Dawkins has every right to proclaim that God is a delusion, even if that hurts feelings of reasonable people.

D.W.

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2016, 11:02:18 AM »
I did, just now. 

Pete at Home

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2016, 11:16:40 AM »
I did, just now.

Did what?

"
Your comparison of instigation vs. opinion "

What?  where did i compare instigation vs opinion?  0ne of us is not understanding the other.

Dawkin's argument that spiritual experie4nces are a delusion is not "instigation," it's a valid question that I would be poorer as a religious intellectual if i did not explore.  If i refuse to consider a question just because it hurts my little feelings, i am not much of an intellectual and not much of a Christian . 

The fact that a statement is offensive does not mean it isnt true.  Ventura was probably being intentionally offensive when he said that "religion is for the weak" but his statement is perfectly corroborated by Jesus's teaching "the whole have n o need for a physician."  If you are doing fine with no God in your life, then I say with all sincerity and only a trace of irony, good luck with that. :)

AI Wessex

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2016, 12:52:21 PM »
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al just caalled me a nazi on another thread, thwarting your generous but futile attempt at trying to reconcile his mangling and inverting every kind word I say.
Bull*censored*.  Cut out this incendiary mispresentation crap.

IF i misunderstood your statement about Hitler on the other thread then i will apologize there when you make clear what you meant.  As you should have when if beca,e clear even to you that I had said nothing here to den igrate atheists but was defending their right to express their [can anyone suggest a phrase for belief that Al wont throw a sanctimonious bitchfit over]?  I have no interest in debating with you abt god's existence.  I do not see you as morally defective for hot agreeing with me about God's existence.  (or do the terms agree or disagree offend you oh great one?)

There's nothing to make clear.  I was talking about Trump and his minions raising their hands in what has been described by others online as a nazi salute.  It had nothing to do with you, but I can't seem to dig my way out from under your serial misunderstandings and/or misrepresentations of what I've said.  This goes on way too often.  Instead of continually assuming the worst in what I say leading me to repeatedly challenge for picking fights where none is intended, try assuming the best.  You'll be way closer to the mark if you do.

Pete at Home

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2016, 01:12:56 PM »
Ironic for you to say on this thread, Al. And it's not the first time.

TheDrake

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2016, 01:45:06 PM »
I had to parse this statement several times before I actually understood it.

Quote
Atheists that say that anyone who disagrees with their beliefs are mentally defective

I think it was because of context, its very easy to miss the "that".

It is more legible as "Those atheists who say", but since we're cross post prematurely Godwinned, I guess it doesn't matter.

Pete at Home

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2016, 02:07:45 PM »
Thanks Drake. I thought "those atheists who" say sounded stiff and wordy, but i will use that in the future hoping that the "context" doesnt confuse those atheists who presuppose that I want them silenced or jailed.



TheDrake

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2016, 02:22:18 PM »
I personally dislike proselytizing atheists, just like proselytizing theists. I don't think either should be sanctioned, much less jailed. I'm an atheist who digs the new pope, for instance. Far more unsettling is any government that intervenes when people express an opinion. Which is why I think Trump is dangerous when he advocates litigious remedies against the same.

Pete at Home

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2016, 03:25:42 PM »
I have no problem with proselytizing atheists or theists so long as they are honest and noncoercive about it.

IMO to say "i9f you disagree with me you are (a) going to hell or (b) mentally ill, is some combo of dishonest and coercive.  The clqassic emperor's new clothes fallacy.

AI Wessex

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2016, 05:47:10 AM »
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I'm an atheist who digs the new pope, for instance.
Religious leaders can be judged by their impact on people the same way that government leaders are.  The Pope advocates a number of positions that would address societal ills, many of which I agree with and some I don't.  Other religious leaders take positions that are offensive or advocate unfair or immoral actions, and they also claim to do it as an expression of their faith.  They taint the whole of the religion that they presume to speak for, because people are influenced by them to act on their words.  An atheist can be as admirable or despicable as any religious believer, but it can't be blamed on their faith or religious beliefs because they have none.

Fenring

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2016, 09:42:56 AM »
An atheist can be as admirable or despicable as any religious believer, but it can't be blamed on their faith or religious beliefs because they have none.

Oh an atheist can have faith, it just might be scrambled or subconscious. Most people don't clearly know what they believe or what fuels their deep worldview.

AI Wessex

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2016, 10:26:45 AM »
An atheist can be as admirable or despicable as any religious believer, but it can't be blamed on their faith or religious beliefs because they have none.

Oh an atheist can have faith, it just might be scrambled or subconscious. Most people don't clearly know what they believe or what fuels their deep worldview.
I assume that if you mean that that you also recognize that people who say they believe in God or Jesus may similarly be confused, right?  How can you tell?

Fenring

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2016, 10:50:59 AM »
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Oh an atheist can have faith, it just might be scrambled or subconscious. Most people don't clearly know what they believe or what fuels their deep worldview.
I assume that if you mean that that you also recognize that people who say they believe in God or Jesus may similarly be confused, right?  How can you tell?

Quite right, they can be ignorant of their own deep beliefs as well. This much is common among most people, but in the case of 'believers' they may at least be aware of this fact and accept it as not only inevitable but as good in some cases. Other people like Buddhists might make it a point to try to pinpoint all of their faith/delusions and try to see past them. This could be an interesting topic, but in any case I think it's false that atheists have 'faith in nothing'. What they don't have, to be sure, is an organized metaphysics.

AI Wessex

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2016, 11:18:15 AM »
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What they don't have, to be sure, is an organized metaphysics.
Not really sure what that means, but I'm sure it's not true.  Are you saying that the only way to have such a thing is to base it on the existence of God?

Fenring

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2016, 12:00:28 PM »
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What they don't have, to be sure, is an organized metaphysics.
Not really sure what that means, but I'm sure it's not true.  Are you saying that the only way to have such a thing is to base it on the existence of God?

Here is what you said:

Quote
An atheist can be as admirable or despicable as any religious believer, but it can't be blamed on their faith or religious beliefs because they have none.

Of course divine revelation isn't the only way to develop a system of metaphysics. But you said that atheists had neither faith nor religious beliefs. Metaphysics cannot be scientifically observed or demonstrated and thus can only exist either axiomatically or by an act of faith. At best common sense logic might be employed to create a reasonable-sounding metaphysics, in which case the faith being expressed is in human logic corresponding to real structure in existence; i.e. the way we must think in order to live happens to also be a sufficient tool to abstractly deduce deep structure in the universe that we cannot observe. And this is still an example of organized thinking, which isn't even really what I was talking about.

AI Wessex

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2016, 12:09:37 PM »
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Of course divine revelation isn't the only way to develop a system of metaphysics. But you said that atheists had neither faith nor religious beliefs. Metaphysics cannot be scientifically observed or demonstrated and thus can only exist either axiomatically or by an act of faith.

I'm not making the connection between this comment and what you highlighted from what I said.  It seems like you are agreeing with me that an atheist who has no faith or religious beliefs can still have a system of metaphysics (a philosophical endeavor), which is of course true.  But you're making it sound like you're saying the opposite.  And you're the one who introduced metaphysics into the discussion.  The comment you were responding to only said:

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An atheist can be as admirable or despicable as any religious believer, but it can't be blamed on their faith or religious beliefs because they have none.

That was a comment to say that you don't have to be a believer (in God) to be either a good or bad person, but you can't blame the atheist's goodness or badness on faith in God.  I'm just repeating myself now...

Fenring

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2016, 12:21:15 PM »
Why do you assume the only faith a person can have is in a god? That's awfully Judeo-Christian of you. You didn't say faith in God, you said "faith or religious beliefs." Since I assume you weren't using an or gate here (inclusive or) it means the two terms mean different things. I also assume that belief in God should probably count as being among religious beliefs, which therefore leaves the category of faith (presumably in various other things non-religious) which, as I'm saying, of course atheists have. 

TheDrake

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2016, 12:38:06 PM »
The best fitting definition of faith is: "a firm belief in something for which there is no proof"

From this perspective, its hard to cast most atheists as having "faith" in atheism, and understandably why religious belief must be faith. An atheist would be best characterized as having "a firm disbelief in something for which there is no proof"

Can an atheist have faith in other things? Sure. Often I hear atheists quoted as thinking that religion is a net loss for humanity and that it would be better if everyone were atheist. There's poor proof for such an idea, IMO.

Good article discussing different types of atheists.

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Anti-theists: This group tends to get conflated with all atheists by believers, but they only constitute 15 percent of non-believers. Like the Intellectual Atheists, they like to argue about religion, but they are much more aggressive about it and actively seek out religious people in an effort to disabuse them of their beliefs. While most atheists limit themselves to supporting a more secular society, anti-theists tend to view ending religion as the real goal.

Pete at Home

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2016, 02:07:39 PM »
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I'm an atheist who digs the new pope, for instance.
Religious leaders can be judged by their impact on people the same way that government leaders are.  The Pope advocates a number of positions that would address societal ills, many of which I agree with and some I don't.  Other religious leaders take positions that are offensive or advocate unfair or immoral actions, and they also claim to do it as an expression of their faith.  They taint the whole of the religion that they presume to speak for, because people are influenced by them to act on their words.  An atheist can be as admirable or despicable as any religious believer, but it can't be blamed on their faith or religious beliefs because they have none.

Here you overgeneralize, committing the same error which you erroneously projected on me.  (you do a lot of this projectile opinionation ...) There are atheist Buddhists who certainly. Have faith and/or religion.  Atheism being a simple opinion about the existence or nonexistence of god(s), atheists cannot be said to have or not have anything else universally in common.  also, certain aspects of "love" culture can be described as a sort of faith. 

Fenring

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2016, 02:28:06 PM »
From this perspective, its hard to cast most atheists as having "faith" in atheism, and understandably why religious belief must be faith. An atheist would be best characterized as having "a firm disbelief in something for which there is no proof"

I didn't mean to imply they have faith in atheism, although in fact I think a great many of them do; i.e. their reasons for disbelief in god are not themselves grounded in facts but rather in belief that what other say makes sense. But in any case there are many other types of belief that can be taken on faith (and some which have to be) that are unrelated to whether or not there's a god.

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Can an atheist have faith in other things? Sure. Often I hear atheists quoted as thinking that religion is a net loss for humanity and that it would be better if everyone were atheist. There's poor proof for such an idea, IMO.

This is a decent example in terms of militant atheists, but I was going for the even less extreme case where even a casual atheist operates tacitly on faith in many facets of life. This can include unexamined areas of their beliefs, as well as examined areas where on some level the person knows they must believe what they believe to get by whether or not it's actually true.

AI Wessex

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #38 on: March 11, 2016, 04:44:43 PM »
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This is a decent example in terms of militant atheists, but I was going for the even less extreme case where even a casual atheist operates tacitly on faith in many facets of life.
Now who's flinging words around carelessly?  What does a militant atheist do, exactly. When a "casual atheist" operates, what is s/he operating on?

The words faith and belief are hopelessly overloaded with both theistic and pragmatic meanings.  I generally use the word "faith" to imply trust, except when tying it to a clearly religious subject, as I did above.  In that case I am implying that it refers to a deity.  I am faithful to certain causes, but not to the object of any religious faith. 

Fenring

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2016, 05:05:28 PM »
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This is a decent example in terms of militant atheists, but I was going for the even less extreme case where even a casual atheist operates tacitly on faith in many facets of life.
Now who's flinging words around carelessly?  What does a militant atheist do, exactly. When a "casual atheist" operates, what is s/he operating on?

Do my terms sound strange to you? I would have assumed most readers would find them clear enough. A militant atheist would obviously be someone who is to an extent dogmatic about this position; either by attacking religion or else by proselytizing atheism or anti-theism. Instead of it merely being a personal belief it becomes a kind of cause, if you will. As for 'casual atheist' maybe this one is a bit less clear but basically I mean someone who would check of "atheist" if they had to fill a questionnaire but to whom it isn't a central part of their intellectual life. Maybe it could also mean someone who just hasn't taken the time to give it almost any thought even though they believe in theory that it should be important.

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The words faith and belief are hopelessly overloaded with both theistic and pragmatic meanings.  I generally use the word "faith" to imply trust, except when tying it to a clearly religious subject, as I did above.  In that case I am implying that it refers to a deity.  I am faithful to certain causes, but not to the object of any religious faith.

I understand in context that by "faith" you might have specifically meant "faith in God", but I guess I had to jump on a blanket open-ended claim that atheists are bereft of any kind of 'faith', which sounded to me like a back-door claim that atheists as a whole are somehow beyond that silly 'faith' stuff. You may not have meant this, but without further specification it sounded like a bit of a high-horse statement regarding a lack of faith being a good thing.

Recall that your initial statement was that while an atheist can be as crappy as anyone else this crappiness cannot be written off as being a result of their 'faith or religious beliefs.' Just to show you that I'm not being a semantic pr**k I would say that many atheists do, in fact, embrace parts of their worldview entirely on faith and as a result of what Bacon called the idols of the marketplace. Whether these idols come from religion or some other exchanged beliefs seems to me not really relevant, and in fact the only difference in the context you meant it (with faith implying faith in God) is that some faiths are of supernatural phenomena while others are not.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 05:07:55 PM by Fenring »

AI Wessex

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2016, 05:16:20 PM »
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Do my terms sound strange to you? I would have assumed most readers would find them clear enough. A militant atheist would obviously be someone who is to an extent dogmatic about this position; either by attacking religion or else by proselytizing atheism or anti-theism. Instead of it merely being a personal belief it becomes a kind of cause, if you will. As for 'casual atheist' maybe this one is a bit less clear but basically I mean someone who would check of "atheist" if they had to fill a questionnaire but to whom it isn't a central part of their intellectual life. Maybe it could also mean someone who just hasn't taken the time to give it almost any thought even though they believe in theory that it should be important.

Your terms aren't strange, but seem arbitrary and detached from the referent, atheism.  What you would call a "militant atheist" would be described as a "proselytizing Christian" if attached to a person of that sort of faith, but in the atheist's case it would be more an advocate given that atheism is not a religious persuasion but a characteristic of individuals who agree on a certain concept.  Casual atheists would be like casual Christians, perhaps, but still that kind of loose terminology doesn't attach to anyone in particular and not really to any real group or community of any kind.  I think a big mistake that people "of faith" make is that because they share a common religious framework through which to exercise and express their faith that atheists must somehow be an adversarial "group".  I imagine that atheists are far more diverse individually than members of any Christian denomination or Jewish sect.

Fenring

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2016, 05:22:59 PM »
I imagine that atheists are far more diverse individually than members of any Christian denomination or Jewish sect.

An interesting proposition which I also find questionable. A better proposition might be if you could make the case that a community of atheists might be more diverse than a similarly sized community of theists. In my view it's likely the communal integration that might make deists more 'like each other', by virtue of socialization rather than sameness of core philosophy. Since theists still largely believe in community - and certainly we see this in church or synagogue congregations - they have a socialization process that would otherwise be largely absent in a non-theist who lives in a big city and just hangs out with friends.

That possibly interesting conversation aside, I'm not sure what your gripe is with my terms, really. My main point is not particularly contingent on rigorous definition of them.

AI Wessex

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Re: Say what?
« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2016, 06:58:03 PM »
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A better proposition might be if you could make the case that a community of atheists might be more diverse than a similarly sized community of theists.
You don't seem to get it.  Would a blues guitarist, women's professional basketball player, Minnesota kindergartner and Maine lobsterman be a community if none of them eat street curry in Apshingi in Maharashtra?  Are they more of a community if they all happen to be atheists?  A community of atheists would be a sub-division where oddly all of the people who live there happen to be atheists.  Such a community would likely have far less in common with each other than a similar sized sub-division two towns over where every family belongs to the same Church.  But if everyone in both sub-divisions wears shoes, then I guess you could call them collectively a community of shoe wearers.