A Request Directed to Sciforums' "Atheists"

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Tiassa, Mar 21, 2014.

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  1. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry was a bit late and I wanted to think about it a bit - as to what's missing, I think we're missing a lot of the circumstance regarding things... as well as the "why". For example, it is my understanding that the New Testament overrides the Old, and thus things such as "when to stone your wife" and such are no longer pertinent topics as it should be about forgiveness, not retribution.

    As far as how I determine what is accurate and what is not... that's a tough one. Again, it's something I go by feel - trust my gut so to speak. I try to look at things from the aspect of "what actually matters"... such as, if someone wrongs me in some small way, is it actually WORTH getting upset and hostile about, or is it better to just let it go. Things like that. I know I'm not always the best at putting my money where my mouth is in that respect (I have my fathers temper and at times it's very difficult to keep that in check, as much as it infuriates me to admit that) but, yeah...

    I think at this point I'm rambling... I guess my point is, I had to find a church that practiced what they preached, instead of just talking the talk.
     
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  3. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    why?
     
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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Um....what?
     
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  7. Balerion Banned Banned

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    It damands submission while condemning doubt. And indoctirnating children to that kind of thoughtless obedience is self-evidently wrong, I would think.
     
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I agree with Balerion.

    It's usually better to address deep and serious matters, not with simple childlike credulity, but in a thoughtful and well-informed way. Oftentimes a little skepticism and critical thinking is a good thing.
     
  9. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    To me it's more directly an infringement on the rights of the child -- to introduce programming without the person's consent. That is, before the person who would consent or not has even had a chance to emerge from the infantile persona.
     
  10. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    a parent/ child relationship consists of this very thing.
     
  11. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    RID2,

    The forum is about discussing religion, all aspects. It was never intended as solely a PRO-religion forum. There are plenty of pro-religion sites around if that is what you want, who specifically prevent atheists from participating. The value here is that if your belief is anything on the weak side then it will be very significantly tested - how courageous are you?

    Atheism is very much about religion and is entirely dependent upon the existence of theism. If theism were to go away then atheism would have nothing to say. Religious debates can have many variations, those about specific aspects of a religion where both sides remain pro-religious, and the dominant debates here that are anti-belief vs pro-belief. All are valid in this forum.
     
  12. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    So not being delusional is in no way superior? :bugeye:
     
  13. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    So to the topic,

    I think the comments refer to the overall tone I see now in the forum, the mindless militancy, the shouting, the abuse, the absence of civility. But it is only from a few, unfortunately the shouting of a few can be heard easily above the normal voices of the majority. It simply generates a threatening and unwelcome environment.

    The case for atheism around the world is growing in strength and the case can be made stronger if believers are not felt threatened or offended by thoughtless and unproductive atheist insults. And it isn’t necessary to offend believers to make your case. But it is also counter-intuitive to stay calm when faced with some of the more idiotic religious doctrines. Human nature tends to favor an increasing defensive stance when threatened. Or IOW if you shout they will shout louder and so will you in response. Neither side wins.

    To convince a fellow debater of your point of view requires subtlety, intelligence, and convincing reasoning, with civility and respect.

    The issues we face from the evangelistic and dangerous doctrines of religions around the world is the need for effective opposition, and our primary weapons have to be reason, respect, and patience. War, insults, and militancy, are not reasoned approaches to anything and will almost certainly be counterproductive. But that is what the tone of the religion forum currently appears to communicate - atheism as a brainless cult.
     
  14. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, I think this thread is a big steaming dump in my subforum. I would like nothing better than to delete it (although I may move it), but I have enough trouble with the other staff, so I have to pick my fights. You (of all people) do not really have any grounds to criticize someone (generalizing from their "experience").
     
  15. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I notice that Tiassa has suddenly dissappeared, after challenging the rest of us to fight.

    Maybe the lesson to be drawn from that is 'Don't drink and post'.

    There is a great deal of that on Sciforums.

    But the religion forum isn't the worst place for that kind of stuff. Not by any means. The absolute shit-hole here on Sciforums is the politics forum. It appears to be a clubhouse for a well-established and highly-intolerant clique. Participants must conform or else they will be flamed a new asshole.

    It's high-school all over again. (And I hated high-school.)

    One of the things that I really like about the religion forum is that it attracts a wide range of opinion. There are/were theists like Jan, the sadly-lamented LG, our new Arne and Syne. There are atheists, a few of them very ascerbic lightweights (I won't insult them by naming them) and others not. And there are even unpredictable wildcards like Wynn.

    There's no end of battling back-and-forth, sure. The controversy is what makes it interesting and what motivates people to post. I like that a lot better than I'd like some enforced orthodoxy where everyone just agrees on how superior they are to their absent and highly-caricaturized opponents.

    It seems to me that the best way to reply to bullshit is to just follow up with a better post that highlights some of the difficulties in what the other person said. But say it without put-downs and insults.

    Well said, and I strongly agree.

    We should always try to be friendly, compassionate and humane.

    And as you suggest, it's in our interest, rhetorically speaking, to behave that way. If we want to have any hope of convincing an opponent in an argument to accept our views, we have to make that opponent want to agree with us. That means that we have to listen to what they have to say and sympathetically address their concerns. And it most definitely means that we shouldn't turn the argument into an ego-battle in which agreeing with us is perceived by our opponent as a humiliating defeat. That will just guarantee that they will never agree with us, no matter how good our argument might be.

    As I suggested up above, I think that's probably too strong. I like the religion forum.

    One of the problems that Sciforums encounters on all of its forums is the fact that it's populated by laypeople with little formal education in the subjects that they are discussing. We see that every day in the science fora. Here on the religion forum, most of the people participating in threads are people off the street so to speak, people who might already have strong religious (or anti-religious) views of their own, but who have little formal knowledge of religious history and doctrine, and little experience in forming and critiquing philosophical arguments.

    That's not a bad thing. I think that it's very cool that Sciforums gives regular people the opportunity to discuss interesting stuff.

    But it does mean that we shouldn't expect people to be things that they aren't. This is never going to be a postgraduate university seminar. What it can be in a very lively and intellectually stimulating place.

    Those of us who believe that we might be better prepared should perhaps behave as very subtle peer-counselors, leading by example in how to make points thoughtfully, persuasively and well. If somebody is intellectually shallow and abusive towards others, just put a visibly better post alongside theirs. The contrast should be obvious. They will find themselves in the position of having to raise their own game in order to compete, while the one who was being abused will have received emotional support.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
  16. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    on delusions:
    stating god exists is as delusional as stating god doesn't exist.
    no scientist in his right mind would make ANY such statement.
    the best science can do in this regard is speak in terms of probabilities
     
  17. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

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    I made the point earlier in this thread that the increased stridency may be due to the way that the religionists try to interfere in public policy. There are still some US States which criminalise gay behaviour, and teach creationism in schools, and refuse to teach evolution, etc etc. In England there are areas of the inner cities which are governed by sharia law, with Islamic coucils running the place. Maybe the people here who beileve in subtle arguments would like to discuss the issues with the Iranians who hang gay men from the lamp-posts, or the Saudi religious police who burn girls to death because their school is on fire and their fathers aren't there to chaperone them.

    It's true that when people are attacked they get defensive, which is why we are getting upset about life.
     
  18. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Certainly not good parent-child relationships.

    And there's a big differenece in using "because I said so" between "clean your room," and "live your life precisely this way."
     
  19. Balerion Banned Banned

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    So you admit to being selective in your enforcement of the rules. Thanks for proving my point.
     
  20. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    the human mind cannot learn unless it submits to something.
    live your life precisely in what way?
    be sure to pick out the most extreme fundamentalist examples.

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  21. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Looks like he's admitted to the grounds for recusing himself.
     
  22. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

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    Syne


    Not intrinsically. I would point to a religious source, Martin Luther King Jr. and say it depends on the content of one's character. I have no beef with believers who try to do the right thing(as long as they don't try to force those "right things" on others). I have no reason to try to disabuse them of something I have decided is delusional. In those people their delusions may lead them to better behavior and I'm all for that, from whatever motivation. It's when they start thinking that they are superior that the problem starts, and the same thing would happen if those without those delusion were seen as superior in some way. There are few people that don't have a delusion or two, even if they themselves do not recognize them as such. As scientists we try to rid ourselves of delusion, but not everyone has a scientific mind, it's not easy to face the Universe face on, it's frikin' terrifying, sometimes. And belief is a mental crutch for those who can't or won't face the facts. It does leave them open to manipulation, though.

    Grumpy

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  23. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    It's appalling. For a country that has long established itself as a leader in technology, and for all of the social and academic progress that would necessarily grow out of that, we have still bred one of the stupidest populations, as was discussed in the recent thread on that subject. Were that stupidity limited to harmless behavior, then we would be limited to discussing the need for educational reforms. But instead we are under the perennial attack of Creationists, and a group which fuses religion with laissez-faire economics (Capitalists for God? I'm not sure what to call them). They are attacking us not only in the arenas of social conservatism you mentioned - anti-evolution, anti-gay marriage, etc., but also they are attacking Science at large. If I'm not mistaken, there is still litigation pending against the teaching of evolution, and there is still a case against the US climate scientist (Michael Mann) whose hacked emails instigated the manufactured controversy they dubbed "Climate Gate". That's a pretty good indication that they are still alive and kicking.

    How does that work? Is it protected under British law, or is it being done by mob rule?

    If there is one syndrome I've noticed about religious fallacy, as it crops up in the attacks on science and on social policy, it's the very thing you said: people . . . believe in subtle arguments. That really hits the nail on the head. The fallacy is that subtle argument can become such a distraction that the faithful forget to ask for the evidence. And of course those grim stories of atrocities against gays just get buried in the noise of subtle argument. This gets back to why religious ideation can be so dangerous. It can blind entire segments of society from such atrocities. Without a doubt the American news and information media that are dedicating bandwidth to the proposition that marriage is between a man and a woman are taking from the time that could be spent investigating and reporting the reprisals against gays. Effectively, then, the social conservative wing of the US fundamentalist movement becomes one of suppressing the evidence, which is why so often you hear people referring to Faux News. They are very candid about their endorsement of fundamentalist religious doctrines. And the same characterization applies to the wing which invests so much into depriving their children of the knowledge that their DNA evolved from ape-like protohumans. Obviously they do not give a rat's ass if amphibians developed from mud guppies or how the Darwin's Finches came to inhabit Galapagos. All they want to know is whether a textbook teaches that Johnny's 27th grandpa did not come from the magical breathing of life into a lump of clay.


    And of course regardless of one's own gender or preference, the repression of any one group is an assault on the whole. It undermines the fundamental principles of human dignity enshrined in our laws and treaties, it damages the harmony that would otherwise hold people in allegiance to their laws, and it glorifies the victimization of innocent people unable to defend themselves from huge adversaries.

    All of this, just to cling to superstition, myth, legend and fable. What a wasteful enterprise.
     
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