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Atheism...

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:44 pm
by sebastian
IS IT AGGRESSIVE TO OPENLY SAY THERE IS NO GOD?

More often than not, some of the most annoying and deluded arguments against open atheism (as opposed to mere open secularism) come, not from religious individuals, but from people who either are or claim to be non-believers and kick off their discourse with the clichéd ‘I’m an atheist, but…’ Before moving on, remember this: life’s not black and white, and it’s not a greyscale either; there are millions of colours, and not being able to see infra-red or ultra-violet doesn’t mean they don’t exist; there is, however, yet another layer to it: there are infinite colours which do not exist and which, unlike IR and UV, cannot be measured (since they don’t exist), and just because one person, or twenty, or a billion, believe they do, doesn’t make them real.

Now, to revert to the previous point regarding the feeble ‘I’m an atheist, but…’ opener, I shall try it out in order to see how it feels and get it out of the way. I’m an atheist, but I’ve got absolutely no problem with people believing whatever they want, I’ve sung religious pieces many times – couldn’t care less about the fact those lyrics refer to imaginary creatures, as that wouldn’t stop me from singing ‘Seraglio’ or ‘Das Rheingold’ if I ever had the chance – and I can sympathise (even if I thoroughly disagree) with the notion of seeking prayer or the idea of the divine justice or the afterlife as some sort of comfort or solace. I do draw the line, however, at double standards.

I genuinely don’t mind people using (stock) phrases such as ‘God bless you’ or ‘Thank God,’ but I’d always wondered whether believers – or, more to the point, ‘I’m an atheist, but…’ apologists – would be equally amenable of the same approach when at the receiving end of it. I began, then, replying to ‘God bless you’ with ‘God doesn’t exist, but thanks for the nice intentions.’ Suddenly, accusations of being rude, impetuous or narrow-minded began pouring, both from believers and atheists alike.

Now, that’s a double-standard if I’ve ever seen one: why is it alright for a believer to say out loud that there is a god (or several) but not for a non-believer to say there isn’t? What would happen if I wore a t-shirt with the message ‘there’s no God’? Would I be respected the same way people with crucifixes or rosaries are in most Western territories? How is that ‘imposing’ my views, but saying ‘God bless you is not’?
Secularism and freedom cut both ways: if it’s acceptable for believers not to shut up about it (and it is), then it’s also fine for atheists not to keep it to ourselves. After all, not being quiet isn’t quite the same as being aggressive. Remember: B/W, greyscale, colours, IR, UV…

To sum up: if you believe in any of the thousands of gods humanity’s worshipped, you’re more than entitled to say so, out loud, and to wear items that represent your faith, and to post whatever you like on social media, and it’d be ridiculous for me to be offended by that. But there’s the flipside: I’m also more than entitled to say there are no gods, say it whenever and wherever I want, and it’d be ridiculous for anyone else to be offended by it.

Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:51 am
by action
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Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:02 pm
by musicalprostitute
sebastian wrote:IS IT AGGRESSIVE TO OPENLY SAY THERE IS NO GOD?

More often than not, some of the most annoying and deluded arguments against open atheism (as opposed to mere open secularism) come, not from religious individuals, but from people who either are or claim to be non-believers and kick off their discourse with the clichéd ‘I’m an atheist, but…’ Before moving on, remember this: life’s not black and white, and it’s not a greyscale either; there are millions of colours, and not being able to see infra-red or ultra-violet doesn’t mean they don’t exist; there is, however, yet another layer to it: there are infinite colours which do not exist and which, unlike IR and UV, cannot be measured (since they don’t exist), and just because one person, or twenty, or a billion, believe they do, doesn’t make them real.

Now, to revert to the previous point regarding the feeble ‘I’m an atheist, but…’ opener, I shall try it out in order to see how it feels and get it out of the way. I’m an atheist, but I’ve got absolutely no problem with people believing whatever they want, I’ve sung religious pieces many times – couldn’t care less about the fact those lyrics refer to imaginary creatures, as that wouldn’t stop me from singing ‘Seraglio’ or ‘Das Rheingold’ if I ever had the chance – and I can sympathise (even if I thoroughly disagree) with the notion of seeking prayer or the idea of the divine justice or the afterlife as some sort of comfort or solace. I do draw the line, however, at double standards.

I genuinely don’t mind people using (stock) phrases such as ‘God bless you’ or ‘Thank God,’ but I’d always wondered whether believers – or, more to the point, ‘I’m an atheist, but…’ apologists – would be equally amenable of the same approach when at the receiving end of it. I began, then, replying to ‘God bless you’ with ‘God doesn’t exist, but thanks for the nice intentions.’ Suddenly, accusations of being rude, impetuous or narrow-minded began pouring, both from believers and atheists alike.

Now, that’s a double-standard if I’ve ever seen one: why is it alright for a believer to say out loud that there is a god (or several) but not for a non-believer to say there isn’t? What would happen if I wore a t-shirt with the message ‘there’s no God’? Would I be respected the same way people with crucifixes or rosaries are in most Western territories? How is that ‘imposing’ my views, but saying ‘God bless you is not’?
Secularism and freedom cut both ways: if it’s acceptable for believers not to shut up about it (and it is), then it’s also fine for atheists not to keep it to ourselves. After all, not being quiet isn’t quite the same as being aggressive. Remember: B/W, greyscale, colours, IR, UV…

To sum up: if you believe in any of the thousands of gods humanity’s worshipped, you’re more than entitled to say so, out loud, and to wear items that represent your faith, and to post whatever you like on social media, and it’d be ridiculous for me to be offended by that. But there’s the flipside: I’m also more than entitled to say there are no gods, say it whenever and wherever I want, and it’d be ridiculous for anyone else to be offended by it.


As far as I am concerned, if people want to believe in fairy tales then that is their free right - if it genuinely makes them happy to hold faith in something that is not confirmed in any shape or form to exist then good luck to them.

My issue is with those who get all defensive and angry when folks like me tell them how it is: that what they believe in does not exist (otherwise we could all say anything exists just because someone said it was so). Fair enough, believe in something if it gets you through life and brings you some sense of strength and comfort - just stop lying and stating that gods exist (whatever god you believe in) or try to convince the rest of us who prefer to believe in the real world that we are going to hell (which obviously does not exist either) because we think for ourselves.

Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:40 pm
by fairydandy
People say such things as, 'I respect your view, but....'. Personally, I have no respect at all for anyone who believes in something without any sort of proof or logic. I understand that they do 'believe' and good for them, but I don't respect it. The minute anyone talks to me about their 'faith', that's it, I switch off or walk away. It's not 'faith, it's merely 'hope' and it's based on absolutely nothing, but a self centred belief that they will get more life in the future. The trouble is, we have developed brains large enough to think, yet too small to (as yet) understand.

I don't know if there is a god and nor do I care. I don't want an afterlife, I'm not interested, it is what it is. Tomorrow and for the billions and billions of years that follow, the sun will rise over the horizon. It's baffling, but it serves no purpose to believe in something just to get more of it.

I don't know....'more lager over here please'. ;)

Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:33 am
by sebastian
fairydandy wrote:Tomorrow and for the billions and billions of years that follow, the sun will rise over the horizon.


Technically, in some (a few?) billion years the sun will explode, which shall make it pretty hard for it to keep rising :p

Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:55 am
by action
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Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:23 pm
by The__KingOfRhye
The problem with the statement "there is no god" is that it can mean different things. Is the person saying it saying "there is no God", meaning the god described by some religion or another does not exist, or is it "there is no god", meaning no god whatsoever exists? I'm an agnostic atheist, I think it's something that cannot be known, so I might make the first statement (but maybe I wouldn't put it that way), but I would never make the second one myself.

Maybe it's just an indication of the kinds of conversations I get into online, but I find myself starting off with "I'm an atheist, but" or something similar quite a bit, because some religious types (i.e. fundamentalists) have strange notions of what atheism actually is and/or what being one means.

Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:40 pm
by action
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Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:00 pm
by Sir Didymus
To be an atheist is, at a fundamental level no different to being religious. It's still a determination that what you believe is absolutely right.

I'm a near militant agnostic myself. I don't know if there's a God. I don't know if there isn't. And neither does any bugger else.

Where a lot of people on both sides fall down is believing they're right to the point of being horrible to the other.

Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:37 pm
by sebastian
Sir Didymus wrote:To be an atheist is, at a fundamental level no different to being religious. It's still a determination that what you believe is absolutely right.


Not really. First of all, I don't believe in anything - so there's no 'what [I] believe' being absolutely right or wrong or anything.

I'm an atheist in the same way I'm an a-fairyist, a-unicornist, a-Hobbitist, etc. Should one day a unicorn be discovered, and on top of it, a fairy, a Hobbit, a deity (or many), etc., I'd glady accept (rather than 'believe') their existence. Until then, I assume they don't exist, since there's no evidence whatsoever for them - and plenty of evidence supporting the theory that they're all imaginary.

Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:53 pm
by fairydandy
sebastian wrote:
Sir Didymus wrote:To be an atheist is, at a fundamental level no different to being religious. It's still a determination that what you believe is absolutely right.


Not really. First of all, I don't believe in anything - so there's no 'what [I] believe' being absolutely right or wrong or anything.

I'm an atheist in the same way I'm an a-fairyist, a-unicornist, a-Hobbitist, etc. Should one day a unicorn be discovered, and on top of it, a fairy, a Hobbit, a deity (or many), etc., I'd glady accept (rather than 'believe') their existence. Until then, I assume they don't exist, since there's no evidence whatsoever for them - and plenty of evidence supporting the theory that they're all imaginary.


Agree!

Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:24 pm
by YAFF
LOL> Atheists love to think they are under no obligations to defend their opinions. There is a difference between saying "There is no god or gods" and "I don't believe in a god or gods". The former is a claim of knowledge. How do you know "there is no god or gods"? If a god-believer says "there is a god" you will ask for proof. Fair enough. If you say "there is no god" you should have the 'nads to show your work. Otherwise you're just an arrogant twat. You really don't know whether there is or isn't. Agnosticism really is the most reasonable position. I'm an agnostic that believes God is more probable than not.

Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:30 pm
by action
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Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:11 am
by sebastian
YAFF wrote:LOL> Atheists love to think they are under no obligations to defend their opinions.


Because we're not. Neither are agnostics, pantheists, deists or theists, by the way. If we want to keep on living (for a while at least), we're only under obligation of breathing, eating and eliminating waste. Everything else is optional.

YAFF wrote:There is a difference between saying "There is no god or gods" and "I don't believe in a god or gods".


For practical purporses it's the same thing. There's also a difference between saying 'There is no Zeus' and 'I don't believe in Zeus.' Or Yoda, Harry Potter, Spiderman, unicorns, etc. If people can be sure Pennywise the Clown is fictional (since there's a lot of evidence supporting the hypothesis that she was a character created by Stephen King to earn some money) then the same can be applied to Jehovah, Allah, Yahweh, Christ, Vishnu, etc.

YAFF wrote:If a god-believer says "there is a god" you will ask for proof.


No, I won't. They're entitled to say that. Just like I'm entitled to say there isn't.

YAFF wrote:Otherwise you're just an arrogant twat.


No. An arrogant twat is one who believes his/her religion is the right one just because; one who believes the vast and enormous universe was made with them/us in mind; one who believes the universe can't go on without him/her so there must be an afterlife; one who believes a skydaddy will bend the rules of physics at will but won't do it to prevent a kid from being raped by a priest, but instead will focus on answering pleas to find the carkeys or for a traffic light to change from amber to green sooner or for someone's favourite football team to score.

YAFF wrote:You really don't know whether there is or isn't.


So, if someone says Harry Potter doesn't exist (as opposed to 'I don't believe Harry Potter exists'), are they an arrogant twat?

Re: Atheism...

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:17 pm
by action
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