Why are you Atheist? page 140

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Instead of editing I’m going to double post:

Haha, we keep talking past eachother in edits. I think your edit shows you understand my point far more than I thought you did. We don’t disagree, even on the point of humans probably not having much practical will power at all. The concept of agency for me is a lot more like what Karma pointed out. That people’s agency doesn’t mean they’re active, it just means that the information is available to them to make alternative decisions. They know what they’re doing, they can’t play dumb to their own actions.

I think the issue is that I expect definitions and statements to mean what they technically mean, and not their colloquial interpretation. Yeah, religion causes lots of wars. My issue with that is that this statement doesn’t address the actual origin of the war, it cuts out the middle man. I think this very problem with our language affords people the excuses they tell themselves to avoid taking responsibility for their agency.

 
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Originally posted by Ungeziefer:

Aah, weird circle posting. Look back last post, I added a bunch more since you posted.

LOL
And it isn’t at all helped when the needed posts are on the preceding page.
KKK:

Can I bring up the Holy Wars of the Crusades? That was a whole lot of really intense war “in the name of religion”.

Well religion certainly had it’s role to play, but I am not sure I’d say religion caused the crusades. At least not the first, at least not Christianity. I think Religion was the banner flown to organize a central army out of disparate nation states, the means of the war, but not the impetus.

Okay, I’m fairly sure I’m in agreement w/ that. And, it is my understanding that the impetus was given by the Pope in reaction to the (likely unintended “impetus”) shown in bold in the following: “The Crusades were great military expeditions undertaken by the Christian nations of Europe for the purpose of rescuing the holy places of Palestine from the hands of the Mohammedans.

 
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Mohammedans.

Mo. Hom. mae. dens.

If I’ve ever seen that word before I don’t remember it, and I love it.

 
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I don’t see what is problematic perhaps? Would a fair description be… I am applying causality to concepts, which should be reserved for agents?

but it still clarifies the difference between a program and an idea. Ideas do not program our brains without our brains having first allowed the idea in. The fault is always with the individual, not their chosen ideologies.

I disagree. As I do not believe the individual is accountable to himself. The individual did not choose to be who he is, although he may think so. He is a product of his environment, a function of it. In controlling the environment, we control individuals, we control agency. I would say the causal impact of concepts and the environment is of far more bearing then the personal actions of an individual, in so far as they are determinate of the individuals actions. Ideologies do infect, control, and program. We just haven’t fully determined the intricacies of the causality at work.

 
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Double posting is the cool new thing.

I think the issue is that I expect definitions and statements to mean what they technically mean, and not their colloquial interpretation. Yeah, religion causes lots of wars. My issue with that is that this statement doesn’t address the actual origin of the war, it cuts out the middle man. I think this very problem with our language affords people the excuses they tell themselves to avoid taking responsibility for their agency.

Hehe, I’m on two minds in regards to that. I think our language does afford that excuse, and I think the excuse is legitimate – except in instances where people use it? I find the idea of Predeterminism a super dangerous one that should be resisted, even though I ultimately believe it is correct. It provides a fatal excuse, it throws a wrench in the machine – so long as people no longer feel accountable, they will behave in a far different manner and exaggerate their understanding of cause and effect to an oversimplified, convenient justification. It could be said that whether it is true or false has little practical value, but the perception of it is overwhelming.

Karma,

“The Crusades were great military expeditions undertaken by the Christian nations of Europe for the purpose of rescuing the holy places of Palestine from the hands of the Mohammedans.”

I feel that is also a little bit apologetic. The Mohammedans, so called, had seized the holy places of Palestine – and that was used as the popular appeal. But I think far more pressing, more urgent, to the powers that be was the raw land, raw territory they had covered. They had already all but wiped out the Byzantines and were expanding daily. They were a practical threat, the ‘protection of sanctity’ I feel was the only concept with enough international leverage to force a unified body to action. Jerusalem hadn’t been in Europe’s hands for five hundred years. But the losses in Spain, The African Coast, the (near) Middle East, and other immediate borders were far more pressing.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/Age_of_Caliphs.png
Picture says it all to my mind. Just bear in mind expansions through Constantinople and Italy. It was the first empire to ever really stand toe to toe with that conception of Europe. Anywho.

 
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I think we’re literally agreeing entirely but disagreeing on our methods of explaining that. I refuse to assign agency to religion even though I do believe that our opinions and values are far more predetermined than our concept of willpower would suggest (Although I think willpower and the concept of choice is poorly defined and these words are so inadequate to describe determinism and “fate” that the whole thing becomes a fairy tale), while you assign the agency to religion for almost the exact same reason. Bizarre.

 
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“Back when the Bible was written, then edited, then rewritten, then rewritten, then re-edited, then translated from dead languages, then re-translated, then edited, then rewritten, then given to kings for them to take their favorite parts, then rewritten, then re-rewritten, then translated again, then given to the pope for him to approve, then rewritten, then edited again, the re-re-re-re-rewritten again…all based on stories that were told orally 30 to 90 years AFTER they happened.. to people who didn’t know how to write… so…” -David Cross

 
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Well it was a pleasure all the same, thank you for the discussion BSG.

As for Slasher’s quote, I question translated from a dead language, or the privilege of kings to edit, or that they were all illiterate. Certainly he can furnish some citations.

 
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Originally posted by Ungeziefer:

Karma,

“The Crusades were great military expeditions undertaken by the Christian nations of Europe for the purpose of rescuing the holy places of Palestine from the hands of the Mohammedans.”

I feel that is also a little bit apologetic. The Mohammedans, so called, had seized the holy places of Palestine – and that was used as the popular appeal. But I think far more pressing, more urgent, to the powers that be was the raw land, raw territory they had covered. They had already all but wiped out the Byzantines and were expanding daily. They were a practical threat, the ‘protection of sanctity’ I feel was the only concept with enough international leverage to force a unified body to action. Jerusalem hadn’t been in Europe’s hands for five hundred years. But the losses in Spain, The African Coast, the (near) Middle East, and other immediate borders were far more pressing.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/Age_of_Caliphs.png
Picture says it all to my mind. Just bear in mind expansions through Constantinople and Italy. It was the first empire to ever really stand toe to toe with that conception of Europe. Anywho.

Oh fershur.
I totally agree about what the “fight” was all about,,,
the same thing it (usually) is always about…POWER.
Power in whatever form has value at the moment and/or in a particular location.
Sure, there are those “innocents” that are duped into fighting for a “holy cause”.
But, if one will pull back the curtain….they will usually find the Great Oz is just some mortal pulling strings in order to obtain the most possible w/ the least input. In other words, a damn good business deal.

I probably should have been more clear about my referencing the Crusades.
It was merely to show that wars are usually fought for many reasons,,,,
and usually there is some religious angle to be found….
sometimes it is right on the top and quite easily found.
This is also usually done so that the common “folks” (lol… couldn’t resist) wouldn’t see the nefarious underpinnings that weren’t anywhere near the pristine “outer-coating” they were being handed. Ya know, the way American politics have operated (almost?) from day 1…whether it be about war or about most anything else of a “political nature”.

 
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Quite agree. Also the involvement of religion as a morale booster is all but obligatory, no matter how superficial, and I’d have to cede that as a point of credit to religion. It’s involvement in wars is not always on it’s own impetus.

 
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Im not Atheist. I almost never do something bad to people.

 
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Originally posted by TravianReports:

Im not Atheist. I almost never do something bad to people.

Huh? The only conclusion I can draw from this is you have absolutely no idea what atheism is.

Atheism: The lack of a belief in any supernatural entities or figures.

It has absolutely nothing to do with what kind of person you are. Or even if you’re religious.

 
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The logic behind atheism is much more sound than the logic behind theism/deism/etc.

 
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I am not an Atheist, I do believe in God. However, I see religion as completly pointless.

 
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Originally posted by Chris2Fly:

I am not an Atheist, I do believe in God. However, I see religion as completly pointless.

Chris, ya’re a SBNR and are not alone in this
“Americans are divided over the theological meanings bound up in the recent not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin trial… Americans can’t decide if gay marriage is a sacred vow or a heinous sin… Americans are increasingly following the path of SBNR (”spiritual but not religious") in their pursuit of the sacred…. Americans still believe in God but they surely do not agree about how to define and understand God…"

I can’t help but wonder if the strong understanding of materialism by the younger generations is what helps them see that many “religions” aren’t putting their money where their mouths are. These spiritual youths aren’t willing to finance huge, expensive buildings instead of their money going to spiritual things they value.

This is heavily reflected by: “American congregations have grown less healthy in the past decade, with fewer people in the pews and aging memberships, according to a new Hartford Seminary study.”

However, a really scary part is how the evangelical part of religion is still strong and wanting to tear down the “Wall of Separation”: “But there are also “pockets of vitality,” including an increase in minority [due to increasing influx of Latinos?] congregations and a surge in election-related activities at evangelical congregations.”

More support for my point on the “decline-of-religion” in America.

 
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Originally posted by TheAznSensation (undefined):

The logic behind atheism is much more sound than the logic behind theism/deism/etc.

I’m guessing it’s because theistic reasoning isn’t empirical – ‘and that’s what only truly matters.’ ?

 
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I feel like I got to be part of something special, like I was a member of the dig crew on a brand new discovery of a new, unknown ancient culture’s writings. Thank you for that.

Not believing in something because it doesn’t benefit you is as dumb as believing in something simply because you believe it does.

 
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Originally posted by FrostyGhosts:

I’m done with god… He… Pfffffffffff

Minor quibble: That’s not athiesm. You still believe he exists, you just don’t like him any more.

 
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Originally posted by TheBSG (undefined):

Not believing in something because it doesn’t benefit you is as dumb as believing in something simply because you believe it does.

But…but, BSG, isn’t this the downfall of sooooo many “disinformed” people? 0¿~
They will cling to their faith that a belief ultimately DOES benefit them.
They do so even to the extent of making us excuses for the failures of the thing in which they believe: It’s God’s Will.

So, I agree, for a person to conduct their life strongly based on such a belief system does seem to be a tad bit dumb.
.

Originally posted by vikaTae (undefined):
Originally posted by FrostyGhosts (undefined):

I’m done with god… He… Pfffffffffff

Minor quibble: That’s not athiesm. You still believe he exists, you just don’t like him any more.

Nah, I think Frosty just might have such a shallow belief in such things as to be able to easily wade out of anything that begins to make waves that might splash over his toes.

Ya know, like a lot of ppl are when it comes to marriage/relationshipts, jobs, a restaurant, most anything that requires commitment in order for it to survive.
.

Originally posted by FrostyGhosts (undefined):

God does not exist. Let’s have an Pro-Contra argument about God’s existence, shall we?

Well, at least ya stumbled into the right thread.
However, since there is NO proof at all that “God” exists (depending upon what “exists” means), all that any argument we have is going to just be a spewing of the same shit that has been flung about for as long as man began wondering “WHAT?”
 
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Originally posted by TheBSG (undefined):


Not believing in something because it doesn’t benefit you is as dumb as believing in something simply because you believe it does.

Perhaps. But the argument for God goes beyond benefit and mere belief as belief follows after reason. Also, people equate the argument for God as the argument for religion which it isn’t.

Originally posted by FrostyGhosts (undefined):

Let’s have an Pro-Contra argument about God’s existence, shall we?

 
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Originally posted by FrostyGhosts (undefined):


God does not exist.

Alright, but I naturally feel inclined to negate that.
So I’ll assume the counter-proposition that God does Exist.

On rational speculation, God undoubtedly exists. However the empiricists can say nay to that otherwise. The constant negation of each proposition to the other from either side whether God exists or that He does not would allow a skeptic to arrive with an absurd conclusion that neither God nor the nothing in his absence can exist. I obviously find that position boring or rather such a position should be annihilated.

Therefore logically, it is best assume the position of assuming that God exists in a ‘supreme wager’. As follows in further example;

Suppose a theistic person spends his entire life assuming God’s existence and acts accordingly, in the end, turns out there was (a) God – then the theistic person has an infinite gain.
Second, a theistic person spends his life assuming God’s existence an acts accordingly, in the end, turns out there was no God – then the theist has limited loss.
Third, a nontheistic person spends his life assuming the absence of God’s existence and lives so accordingly, in the end, turns out there was no God – then the nontheist has limited gain.
Lastly, a nontheistic person spends his life assuming the absence of God’s existence and lives so accordingly, in the end, turns out there was (a) God – then the nontheist has an infinite loss.

Thus it is best to assume a theistic point such that an infinite gain is possible.
And if you follow, that question raises ‘which religion is true, if i must necessarily wager for God existence?’

This is of course ’Pascal’s Wager’.

 
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Surely you’re not earnestly using pascal’s wager without also knowing its inherent flaws? For instance, it’s predicated on the premise that there is only one choice of Gods, which there is not.

The one God Pascal is wagering with promises everlasting life in exchange for belief in itself, which is where the entire concept of “infinite benefit” comes from. But if we’re playing by the rules of made up Gods, what’s to say that a given God wouldn’t be deeply hurt, offended, put off, or jealous of your relationship with a different God that you worshiped throughout your life? What’s to say that your treatment would be any worse or better than someone who believed in no Gods at all? What’s to say this hypothetical God is dolling out rewards at all?

Okay, let’s say you somehow picked the right God (which is not a 50% gamble), and it does really reward people for adherence, belief, acceptance, what have you. Does this supreme, omniscient creature (another assumption about what the term God means, and another variable that would entirely rebuke this line of argument) have such a fickle and incidental set of rules that your disingenuous gambit is good enough to make the grade? If you only believed because you thought you’d benefit, not because you actually believed (which, astoundingly, I don’t think people realize is possible) how can you be certain that the God will appreciate that?

So the gamble isn’t black or red. It’s either that the universe appears exactly as it is and you can spend your life assuming it is, and if a God is real you can honestly admit you had no clear indication that their theology was any more relevant or logical than anyone else’s and let the God judge you, or you can choose to believe the universe works in a very specific lottery number way and let the God judge you, or if there’s no God at all have wasted, in a very real and ironic way, your entire life.

[Edit: I should clarify, I am not saying belief in a god is a waste of life, I’m saying that belief in a God as a gamble for infinite life is a wasted gamble at best, or a profoundly troubling statement about the predicated value of your life in terms of your beliefs about the universe, especially if you’re right.]

 
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By the way, I always find it interesting that those who propose Pascal’s Wager are Christians that consider the exact same decision by Adam in Genesis when presented with choice to trust a fantastic being, Satan, to be the key flaw and original wrong that earned Mankind’s ire from the creator of everything. If Adam had went “You know what, the sky talks to me and so do snakes, I’m going to stop listening to shit that doesn’t have a voicebox” we’d still be partying in heaven’s garden, but instead he gambles on shit he knows nothing about and gets fucked because he doesn’t actually know the stakes at all.

 
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Your reading comprehension skills are pretty low if you think I actually believe two people lived in a garden and our universal and undefined Father that created everything but specifically likes to talk to us kicked us out of because we ate fruit a talking snake was pushing. I’m deconstructing claims made by people who do believe this and showing how their arguments don’t even stand up to their own given logic, much less my own. I really don’t waste time arguing these obvious parts because we’re actually at the table discussing it already. If I have to explain to someone why I don’t believe in talking snakes, we’re not exactly starting on an even footing where we’re ever going to convince eachother of anything.