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Old 07-19-2006, 03:47 AM   #271
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Thanks yolland , you're right. We have spent so much time defending our position that we haven't addressed the original question.
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Old 07-19-2006, 03:49 AM   #272
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But we are more than capable of defending and justifying our position, in the marketplace of ideas it gives us an opportunity to make the plea to reason and to rebuke belief, I want a world where everybodies ideas are scrutinised, criticised and mocked savagely.
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Old 07-19-2006, 03:58 AM   #273
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Well I am really amazed at the ferocity of some peoples arguments against atheism/agonosticism. I think the question needs to be asked is why so hostile? Why do we threaten them so much?

I don't give a flying f*ck if someone is religious or not. Their views don't affect me or offend me So why does it seem to be so bad the other way round for some people? Do they think that because we flat out refuse to accept their beliefs we someone make them question their own faith? Are they worried what will happen if they didn't have God to "rely on" ?

Also, in your local neighbourhoods, amongst your friends and family, is your atheism tolerated, threatened or not even questioned? For me i think i was most surprised abut the savagery attacks on atheism in this thread, because with my friends and family no one is religious. Out of my 100 or so friends and aquantances, not one is completely religious, a few may believe in God, or go to church at Easter but other then that, nothing. So this board definately does not resemble my surroundings. Is this the same for you or is Australia more lax in religion (which i think we are definately when it comes to state and church, not that we will if the stupid abbott has his way but i digress)
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:04 AM   #274
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Regarding a non-believer's place in the world, hmm, I definitely think we are on the fringes of mainstream society. As we have seen in this post, we are continuously challenged by believers as if we need help and there is something wrong with us.
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:08 AM   #275
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And are we supposed to take all this and run for self-pity, yes a lack of belief can be reconciled to those of faith in any number of ways, and some of those ways are rather patronising and self-serving but at it's core it is still built on the same irrationality.

Being bright should not mean baulking at having thoughts challenged, it should mean dishing it up and taking it.

Heres the puzzler, what of the evil paradox? Why should anybody respect a God who is either powerless or malevolent.
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:11 AM   #276
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Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
Well I am really amazed at the ferocity of some peoples arguments against atheism/agonosticism. I think the question needs to be asked is why so hostile? Why do we threaten them so much?

I don't give a flying f*ck if someone is religious or not. Their views don't affect me or offend me So why does it seem to be so bad the other way round for some people? Do they think that because we flat out refuse to accept their beliefs we someone make them question their own faith? Are they worried what will happen if they didn't have God to "rely on" ?

Also, in your local neighbourhoods, amongst your friends and family, is your atheism tolerated, threatened or not even questioned? For me i think i was most surprised abut the savagery attacks on atheism in this thread, because with my friends and family no one is religious. Out of my 100 or so friends and aquantances, not one is completely religious, a few may believe in God, or go to church at Easter but other then that, nothing. So this board definately does not resemble my surroundings. Is this the same for you or is Australia more lax in religion (which i think we are definately when it comes to state and church, not that we will if the stupid abbott has his way but i digress)
Generally, no one challenges me as to why I am a non-theist. As I mentioned before, I have had discussions with people about the topic of God and usually it's fine. They may wonder afterwards what's wrong with me but I have never the encountered such a vehement condemnation of my views like in this thread. And frankly, some people have selective vision as to what they read on this thread.

Canada is less religious then the US too. The US is probably one of the most religious countries in the world. There are pockets of fundamentalists here and there in Western Canada but nothing like the Southern US. Although, our Prime Minister has been mimicing George Bush recently so politically we may be heading in that direction in terms of religion vs the state.
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:15 AM   #277
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
And are we supposed to take all this and run for self-pity, yes a lack of belief can be reconciled to those of faith in any number of ways, and some of those ways are rather patronising and self-serving but at it's core it is still built on the same irrationality.

Being bright should not mean baulking at having thoughts challenged, it should mean dishing it up and taking it.

Heres the puzzler, what of the evil paradox? Why should anybody respect a God who is either powerless or malevolent.
I don't mind discussing the issue if the questioner is listening. The last 3-4 pages was repetition and no listening to our answers. What is the point? I have no problem defending my views but only if there is an actual respect by the listener. Otherwise, I got better things to do. Plus I don't necessarily think I have to defend anything nor do I feel it necessary to bash theists or their beliefs even though I disagree with them.
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:17 AM   #278
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Respect is never a given in any debate, it should not be assumed and it should not be extended in all cases.
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:19 AM   #279
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I have read all of the threads in response to mine, and they've all basically said the same thing, which the exception of A_Wanderer's, which make sense even if I disagree.

I'm sorry, but the "my life matters because I say it matters" argument is completely illogical.

And for the love of God I'm NOT saying the opinions and feelings of atheists don't matter. I'm asking you how you can LOGICALLY justify your opinion on the subject using reason and a well thought out explanation.

I probably shouldn't even bother, as most of you seem to take everything I say as "You're an atheist therefor nothing you think or do matters and you may as well kill yourself".
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:25 AM   #280
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The argument that our lives matter because we say so is perfectly logical; in a world without higher purpose rational self interest rules, following from this the most important thing to any individual is their life, followed by their freedoms, followed by the personal safety, followed by their property etc. In the sense of outside worth, of saying quantatively that human life has intrinsic value it does not, and unless somebody is hanging onto a vestige of theology then this shouldn't be a problem.

The existential statement of the TV show 'Angel' summed it up rather well "if nothing that we do matters then all that matters is what we do".
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:32 AM   #281
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
The argument that our lives matter because we say so is perfectly logical; in a world without higher purpose rational self interest rules, following from this the most important thing to any individual is their life, followed by their freedoms, followed by the personal safety, followed by their property etc. In the sense of outside worth, of saying quantatively that human life has intrinsic value it does not, and unless somebody is hanging onto a vestige of theology then this shouldn't be a problem.

The existential statement of the TV show 'Angel' summed it up rather well "if nothing that we do matters then all that matters is what we do".
I'm still not seeing yoir point at all. If we're beings that don't matter in a universe with no universal rights or wrongs then how can our actions really matter? Yes, our actions will always have reactions, thus we'll affect things, but I still don't see how they MATTER.

I'm starting to think that we may define the word "matter" differently. If by our actions mattering you mean they have a cause and effect, then yes, of course they matter. When I talk about our actions mattering I'm referring to a meaning that's higher than simply cause and effect. In a univerese with no higher power what is there besides cause and effect?
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:33 AM   #282
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Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy

Also, in your local neighbourhoods, amongst your friends and family, is your atheism tolerated, threatened or not even questioned? For me i think i was most surprised abut the savagery attacks on atheism in this thread, because with my friends and family no one is religious. Out of my 100 or so friends and aquantances, not one is completely religious, a few may believe in God, or go to church at Easter but other then that, nothing. So this board definately does not resemble my surroundings. Is this the same for you or is Australia more lax in religion (which i think we are definately when it comes to state and church, not that we will if the stupid abbott has his way but i digress)
In most respects, my beliefs are not an issue with the people I interact with. My family identifies as Christian, but only in the vaguest sense. My older brother and sister were made to go to Sunday School in their childhoods. By the time I came along, my mother opted to spend her Sunday mornings sleeping in, rather than getting up to get me ready to go, lol. As an adult, my brother became born-again, and although we are close, I see a great deal of hipocrasy in his behaviour when attempting to reconcile his recitation of biblical verses, etc., to his actual behaviour, at times. He is a biblical literalist, and we get into some extremely heated debates, but religion (and politics too, actually) aside, it's all good. My sister did return to church services for a time when her children were younger. Although she's a believer, she's more liberal in her beliefs, and I think that she would agree that probably the main purpose that church served for her was the fellowship aspect - she lives in a rural community. After several years, church politics and pettiness entered the picture, around the time that the United Church was splitting, and she stopped attending, and hasn't gone back. The beliefs of my friends are varied. I have several friends that are deeply religious, and we discuss these aspects of ourselves quite a bit, with tolerance and understanding. Many of my other friends are believers, but they're the type who don't really practice, or put much thought into it. I think it's similar to the sports analogy that was used elsewhere in the thread - they believe without question or thought, just because that's how they were raised. Still other friends share beliefs similar to mine.

I've never felt judged or put down because of my beliefs. It's not really something I discuss with people, though, except for those who are closest to me. I've certainly never experienced in real life the complete lack of understanding and tolerance of some that I've come across in this thread.
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:35 AM   #283
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^ I agree. My argument of what I do matters to me, is logical because *I* see it as logical and therefore thats all that matters.

But side note: Can you LOGICALLY explain that you feel emotions because God makes them real for you? I don't see any logic in that. Your faith is just that YOUR faith. There is nothing in this world suggesting to you there is a God, only what you have been taught and read. You can't say you feel him at thats why you know hes there because I don't feel him and enither does everyone else in the world so therefore that is a subjective answer and can't be used as a reason.

I just don't see why I have to justify myself to you, like you are in the right somehow, and that your thoughts and actions are already justifiable.

*shrugs*
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:38 AM   #284
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Originally posted by shart1780


I'm still not seeing yoir point at all. If we're beings that don't matter in a universe with no universal rights or wrongs then how can our actions really matter? Yes, our actions will always have reactions, thus we'll affect things, but I still don't see how they MATTER.

I'm starting to think that we may define the word "matter" differently. If by our actions mattering you mean they have a cause and effect, then yes, of course they matter. When I talk about our actions mattering I'm referring to a meaning that's higher than simply cause and effect. In a univerese with no higher power what is there besides cause and effect?
There doesn't have to be any higher meaning. Atheism is logically flawed if you take the theological concepts of higher purpose (of which there is no evidence of) to the discussion.

We can logically explain emotions through application of reductionary investigation, scientific explanation of the working of the mind grounded in reality relegates the idea of any divine influence to the same bin of ideas such as humours and Freud.
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:49 AM   #285
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Originally posted by dazzlingamy
^ I agree. My argument of what I do matters to me, is logical because *I* see it as logical and therefore thats all that matters.

But side note: Can you LOGICALLY explain that you feel emotions because God makes them real for you? I don't see any logic in that. Your faith is just that YOUR faith. There is nothing in this world suggesting to you there is a God, only what you have been taught and read. You can't say you feel him at thats why you know hes there because I don't feel him and enither does everyone else in the world so therefore that is a subjective answer and can't be used as a reason.

I just don't see why I have to justify myself to you, like you are in the right somehow, and that your thoughts and actions are already justifiable.

*shrugs*
I know this will sound like a cop-out, but the fact that I believe in God grants me certain liberties as to skipping out on logic (I'm gonna get bashed for that), but only when it directly applies to God's miraculous work in this world, which I could never claim to explain.

But I can tell you that I HAVE seen evidence in my life that God is certainly working with it. Of course I can't give you anything more than examples which you probably wouldn't attribute to anything higher anyways, but I personally feel that without God I'd be nowhere near as happy as I am now. The whole "what you have been brainwashed into thinking" argument doesn't apply. I've had plenty of struggles with my faith that lasted for years at a time but I persisted with my faith and, as the Bible promises, it led to me grow much stronger.

Now, I may not be able to logically explain the state of God's being or how He manages to do these miraculous things, but I am capable of inserting that into a logical argument to back up my opinion. The bass of my belief is that God created us, He loves us, wants us to be happy, wants us to follow Him etc. etc..

I feel that VERY few of you are willing to go to the very base of your beliefs and logically argue WHY you're right. As atheists your arguments all need to be held to logic to test validity (unlike religion which doesn't even claim to rely on logic). The farthest down to the base your argument seems to go is "I have life and feelings, therefor they matter. They matter because they're there".

I want to know WHY anything matters in a universe with no black and white, no higher meaning or influence, no nothing except miniscule beings on this tiny speck of a planet. I AM NOT saying that your life doesn't matter, I'm saying that your train of thought seems completely and utterly flawed.
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