Should atheism be recognised?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by S.A.M., Mar 9, 2009.

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Should atheism be recognised?

  1. Yes, I want to be recognised for the stuff I don't believe in

    4 vote(s)
    44.4%
  2. No, its stupid to have a category for NOT believing in something

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Got better things to think about

    5 vote(s)
    55.6%
  4. My opinion, which is better than yours, is given in a post below

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    29,164
    It is man, and man alone, who says anything that is said. Unless, as has been noted, you do have a talking frog in your pocket.

    And I don't see where you would get an implication like that - man's moral nature might placed at any number of places in a hierarchy, depending on who's inventing the thing.

    If bees made a hierarchy of moral natures, I could easily see them putting a being that allowed dozens of queens per town to breed and forced drones to work pretty low on the hierarchy.
    Hierarchal description is a human invention, yes.
    Nope. I am observing that only humans make statements around here so far as we know.

    Whether that makes humans "above" anything else, I don't say - it strikes me as a goofy question. What hierarchy are you assuming? Whether there are other beings making statements somewhere or somehow, I don't know - my guess would be "yes".
     
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Religion should not be a punishment

    Few would reject the state's right to compel addiction treatment. Indeed, many—myself included—advocate it as a preferable alternative to prison. The proposition that that the state should—or even can—force someone to convert from, abandon, or otherwise betray their own religious outlook is a considerably more contentious issue.

    Consider the abandonment of certain rituals. While I personally oppose this, I haven't yet built a viable legal counterpoint against preventing inmates from using marijuana, peyote, or other drugs with long-standing traditional ritualistic attributes. To me, this becomes a live issue again if I ever happen across or devise a viable argument. I don't have enough to go forward on.

    But while that policy says a convict cannot practice certain aspects of his or her religion in prison, the AA question we've encountered is considerably different: The court instructed a convict to undertake a process that demands participation in a certain religious outlook. The federal court established that this crosses certain philosophical and legalistic lines that the state cannot cross.

    I don't care if someone is a serial pedophile murderer; the state still cannot oblige him to participate in a religion that is not his. Of course, perhaps that's too extreme an example. I'm not sure there's any real rehabilitation for such a person; these people should stay behind bars forever, so the question of participation in order to obtain relief from the correctional system doesn't apply. Still, even in such a case, the state cannot force the convict to participate in religious rituals.

    Some prison administrators still try, though.
     
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  5. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    I think labelling someone as an atheist is like labelling them a non schizophrenic or non dissociative.
     
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I prefer to think of it as labelling someone as mindless.

    They lack the ability to believe.
     
  8. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,492
    Wait. Isn't atheism the lack of a belief in something? How do you recognize that? Why would you? Besides as a handy label, of course.
     
  9. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    15,058
    How do you know that it wouldn't make a difference if a monkey would say it?


    You know, if you would get off of your superiority trip, you might actually understand what I am saying.

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    Yes ...


    I want you to read it, and see there are two levels of meaning when something is asserted.

    I repeat: A doctrine or statement is self-refuting if its truth implies its falsehood!

    The statement "If morality is subjective, then there is no highest moral instance" is not true under all circumstances.

    It is true if we ignore that the statement has been made by someone, and assume that the statement exists 'per se' as it is usually done in logic.

    But it is not true if we acknowledge that the statement has been made by someone, a person - and a person is a moral instance. When a moral instance makes an absolute statement (such as 'all people have the right to a fair trial' or 'there is no highest moral instance'), but does not refer to any higher instance than itself, it thereby implies it itself is the highest moral instance.

    Also, the statement "If morality is subjective, then there is no highest moral instance" would not be true, for example, if God (ie. a moral instance that is necessarily higher than man) declared that human morality was subjective. In that case, God would be the highest moral instance, and as such the if-then clause would be contradicted, and thus not true.
     
  10. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    Let's look at a part of the food chain, for example:
    Plankton is eaten by small fish; the small fish is eaten by a bigger fish; the bigger fish is eaten by a bear.
    This is a hierarchical description. But is it entirely 'invented by man', or does it have some basis in reality?


    Okay.
     
  11. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    11,888
    No, because the statement 'there is no highest moral instance' is a statement about morality, not a "moral statement", i.e. it is not itself an instance OF morality and therefore cannot be implying that it is itself the highest moral instance.

    Except that if god existed and made that statement then we'd amend ours to "If human morality is subjective, then there is no highest human moral instance", or alternatively if god existed without our absolute knowledge of him then we could carry on as previously. Because what you're ignoring is the unspoken corollary (as with all statements made by humans) "to the best of our present knowledge".

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  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    It is also a practical issue. Apparently, there aren't all that many programs for recovery from alcoholism readily available to the state.

    In the US, there ideally is freedom of religion. But it appears that the individual religions have not all put in the effort yet to develop recovery programs for the various addictions, diseases etc., and to make these programs readily available to the state.

    Also, science and medicine have not yet developed a good recovery program for the non-religious either.

    It's a practical issue. If anything, the individual religions, atheist groups, etc. should develop recovery programs for the various addictions, diseases etc., and make these programs readily available to the state. Without that, the state is left to what it has readily available - which is mostly just the standard AA program.
     
  13. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    I contend that a statement about morality is still a moral statement.


    That is not true. Many people who make statements do not imply this unspoken corollary; instead, they are sure that their statements are absolutely true, regardless of time and context.

    People who identify themselves as 'strong atheists', for example, do not operate with the modification "to the best of our present knowledge". To them, there is no God, and man is the highest moral instance, full stop.
     
  14. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    11,888
    So a statement about, say, monkeys, is a monkey statement?
    A statement about mathematics, (I don't like doing sums), is a mathematical statement?

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    I didn't say imply anywhere.
    They can be as sure as they like but it doesn't alter the fact that new evidence or data could come along at time and upset the apple cart.
    Sure, they don't imply it, but nevertheless that simple qualifier holds.

    They don't "operate"? Everyone spends their life operating with the (conscious or unconscious) contingency that things may not turn out as planned: every single one of us is painfully aware that life can suddenly turn nasty (or nice) when you least expect.
    Our entire lives are conditional.
     
  15. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    :bugeye:
    No.
    The fact is that it makes a difference to us what sort of person makes a particular moral statement. It makes a difference to us, if nothing else, at least intuitively.
    If, for example, a previously unpublished speech from Hitler would surface, where Hitler would claim that 'all nations are equal' and that 'democracy is the best way to organize a society' - then that would sound at least awkward.
    Just as it is at least awkward when your doctor, whom you know is a smoker, tells you to quit smoking.

    When it comes to issues of morality and to some practical issues, it becomes relevant who makes a particular statement. The validity of a statement about morality can easily be made suspicious if the person who is making that statement is known to act against it.


    It all depends on what the statements are about.
    If they are about issues pertaining to material issues (such as health, aging, poverty, change in general) - then I agree with you.


    I said -
    This was specifically about God and morality. Strong atheists are convinced that no data could ever come in that would change what they believe.
     
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    29,164
    It is a description entirely invented by man (in the hope of its corresponding with the aspect of reality under analysis at the moment), and it is not necessarily a hierarchical one (chains of action are not necessarily hierarchical).

    If, for example, you threw in that the bear is eventually eaten by plankton, or small fish, you might have a circle all on one level of the hierarchy: "Levels of Energy Flow in the Sol/Terra System".
     
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,891
    You might need God when you're done, but ....

    Largely because it pertains to the topic question: Should the "atheist" programs really need to identify themselves as such?

    See, up here we have Schick Shadel, which I understand has nothing to do with God. As far as I'm concerned, it's enough that aversion therapy exists. Does it really need to actively identify itself as atheistic or atheist-friendly?
     
  18. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    11,888
    So? It's still a statement about morality, not a moral statement.

    You did, and my reply was:
     
  19. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    721
    In Indian context, secularism is defined as equal respect and protection of all religions. It means that hurting the religious sentiments of any group is NO NO. Laws are not subservient to religious diktats.

    The laws relating to marriage, divorce, succession etc are called Personal Laws, and are thus accommodative of religious laws. Period.

    All other laws, including Penal Code, etc. are purely secular. So, as witness, you are free to take an oath in anyway you feel like, provided you bind yourself to telling the truth.

    USA is not a secular country. Their ligislatures open with a RELIGIOUS prayer, in India NOT.

    Their courts frequently display xian commandments, Indian courts display : Truth only prevails.

    A Hindu temples can be and have been blocked BECAUSE of the objection of the local church officials.
     
  20. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    721
    Let me correct you a little. There is a body of laws : X Marriage Act; X can be Hindu [includes Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains with all their sects too], Muslim, Indian [relating to xians], Jew, Parsi.

    Special Marriage Act provides for secular marriage before a Registerar. Tailor made for atheists.
     

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