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Theism and Atheism

Posted Jan 21, '14 at 12:00am

EmperorPalpatine

EmperorPalpatine

9,475 posts

[I'm bringing over a relevant discussion topic from the Evaluate The Supernatural thread. The following quote is from MattEmAngel]

It only takes one ignorant person to start a fire war, regardless of whose side they are on. I'm a Christian (aka, a deist, which means I believe in the supernatural), and deists often end up with a bad rap as being illogical and arrogant thanks to a few people that do a terrible job of representing us. I once saw a very interesting article called "Seven things Christians and Atheists have to agree on." To my surprise, it was correct.
It's on Cracked and, although the text is way too small, it's worth a read. I suggest reading through this before debating too heavily. It'll keep everyone a lot more mature.


My main point of disagreement is that the author thinks that atheism is a belief system. ("1. You Can Do Terrible Things in the Name of Either One") There is no "In the name of atheism" in the same way that there is no "In the name of aleprechaunism/afairyism/aSteveism". There could be an antireligious policy under a secular government, but that has nothing to do with one's acceptance of a god claim, considering that some religions contain no god and would strongly disagree with such a policy.
 

Posted Jan 21, '14 at 12:27am

Kasic

Kasic

5,746 posts

There is no "In the name of atheism"


There is and isn't. Someone can do something and say they did it in the name of atheism, but it wasn't atheism that they it for. They did it for the values they associate with atheism. Atheism itself is just the "no" answer to the question, "Do you have a belief in a supernatural entity?" Anyone who tries to attribute anything more to it than that doesn't understand what they're talking about.

I pretty much agree with EmperorPalpatine here though. The guy's bolded points were true, but his descriptions and examples of them were poor. His bit about morality for example, where he just assumes there's a universal morality and that atheists believe in this because they don't like getting scammed $80, thus they somehow are being hypocritical because there's no "morality particle" when all that shows is he doesn't have a good grasp of what morality actually is.
 

Posted Jan 21, '14 at 12:49am

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

9,957 posts

aSteveism


*a-Steve-ism
 

Posted Jan 21, '14 at 3:52pm

FishPreferred

FishPreferred

1,943 posts

The guy's bolded points were true, but his descriptions and examples of them were poor.


I would argue that even the bolded statements are, in many cases, incorrect. Sure "Both Sides Really Do Believe What They're Saying" and yes, by the conventional definition of the word good, "There Are Good People on Both Sides". The rest is vague and overly generalized, however.
 

Posted Jan 21, '14 at 6:39pm

Kasic

Kasic

5,746 posts

I would argue that even the bolded statements are, in many cases, incorrect.


Not really. They just have so little importance that they can be applied to any two diverging viewpoints.

Going over them individually.

1. You Can Do Terrible Things in the Name of Either One.


Mostly true. Anyone can do anything "in the name of something." It's entirely possible for a person to go out and kill a theist "in the name of atheism" because they want only atheists to exist. Likewise, I don't have to explain what's done in the name of religion by radicals.

2. Both Sides Really Do Believe What They're Saying


True, unarguably and axiomatically. People believe what they believe and what they believe puts them under that label.

3. In Everyday Life, You're Not That Different


Pretty much true, though the more religious one gets the more this differs. In your job, at the supermarket, driving to work, taking a vacation, talking with friends...well, there's going to be far more variation between individuals than an aggregate group of atheists vs theists.

4. There Are Good People on Both Sides


True. There are plenty of religious people (the majority) who do not use it to harm other people and do good things. There are plenty of atheists (the majority) who do not rage about religion all day long and do good things.

Though this one seems more for the theists, who commonly argue that atheists have no morals.

5. Your Point of View is Legitimately Offensive to Them


Okay, this one might be untrue. I don't find the idea of theism offensive. I don't know how many atheists do. I do know that a lot of religious people find it offensive to have it said that what they believe is not true, so I lean more towards this being true, because I know many atheists find religion offensive and I do as well.

6. We Tend to Exaggerate About the Other Guy


Change exaggerate to generalize off extremists and this is 100% true. The idea itself is true.

7. We Tend to Exaggerate About Ourselves, Too


Do I need to talk about how unrealistically people can view themselves and those in their group?

8. Focusing on Negative Examples Makes You Stupid


While I would argue that it makes you stupid, it certainly is intellectually dishonest to not look at the whole picture. Only talking about the good or bad of anything presents an unrealistic view.

9. Both Sides Have Brought Good to the Table


Again, true. Atheists and theists are perfectly capable of doing good and contributing to knowledge and peace.

10. You'll Never Harass the Other Side Out of Existence


This is an observation of human nature. The more you try to repress something, the harder it holds on. "Harass" I take to mean not commit genocide but bother incessantly, so true.
 

Posted Jan 22, '14 at 4:09am

Imasgrohn

Imasgrohn

24 posts

Religions are yet another thing that divides our world (and I'm saying this as a christian)

 

Posted Jan 24, '14 at 11:33pm

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,802 posts

Knight

Been trying to get a straight answer on this one for a while.
If a religion is true, why do we not see people independently coming to the conclusions the religion espouses without first being exposed to that religion?

 

Posted Jan 25, '14 at 12:47am

TheMostManlyMan

TheMostManlyMan

5,468 posts

Been trying to get a straight answer on this one for a while.
If a religion is true, why do we not see people independently coming to the conclusions the religion espouses without first being exposed to that religion?

I actually know someone who studied their way out of a denominational church and into the one that I attend.

[/rare appearance here]
 

Posted Jan 25, '14 at 1:06am

TheMostManlyMan

TheMostManlyMan

5,468 posts

Please ignore that last post. I'm not sure how I managed to completely misunderstand that question.

 

Posted Jan 25, '14 at 2:33am

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,802 posts

Knight

Please ignore that last post. I'm not sure how I managed to completely misunderstand that question.


No problem, least you caught it. Elsewhere where I've asked this pretty much exact same question I was accuse of engaging in an argument from ignorance. But yes someone researching the religion before joining it would be discounted.

I will share with you the most reasonable answer I've gotten so far. basically it was stated that God (from a Christian perspective) only revealed himself to a select few. A reasonable answer, though would one would wonder why it would be just people in around the same area who could hear the stories of this particular God.

Also if we are to take the Bible as 100% true and literal we run into a huge problem once we reach the tower of Babel story. This point in the Bible would have the worlds population having direct exposure to God within living memory and yet once God himself scatters all the people all over the world, they just seem to forget and come up with their own religions.

Of course not taking the story literally we can bypass that issue altogether. Also the question is open ended for any religion, not just Christianity and other Abrahamic beliefs.
 
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