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Author Topic: Elliquian Atheists  (Read 35643 times)

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Offline Braioch

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #500 on: March 06, 2013, 08:17:30 PM »
A negative belief doesn't logically "begin" anything, so I don't see how reacting to something can be the first move - it just seems like a sloppy way of thinking about human nature.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Apologies for intruding on the thread, definitely not my scene - nothing is more unattractive than people raving from a soapbox.

That last parting shot was unnecessary. If you have an issue with how someone is communicating and idea or how they are behaving, either take it up on here as a civil member of a debate, or privately as an adult via PM.

That and one man's soapbox ranting is another's justified complaint.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 08:19:18 PM by Braioch »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #501 on: March 06, 2013, 08:19:33 PM »
Well... which claim are we talking about? If it's that any "faith" is at some level "fundamentally irrational," that is trivially true (belief in a deity, or the Tao, or Samsara, is ultimately non-disprovable), but then it's also trivially true, strictly speaking, of atheism (which also is not logically bulletproof). The only kind of belief system not open to the charge of "irrationality" at the "fundamental" level would be agnosticism... but it's questionable how meaningful that really is.

This is what I was saying, yes. And I humbly submit that this is not trivially true of atheism: There is no evidence of (insert theistic claim here), ergo I do not believe. This is the cornerstone of my atheism, from which all else flows.

If we're talking about the claim that "rationality cannot be found in faith," that's a quite different and very straightforwardly false claim. The bulk of the history of philosophy, including rationalist philosophy, is not separate from religious philosophy and thought; almost any list of philosophers and early scientists from any tradition you can name -- Catholic, Islamic, Indian, Greek, Chinese, Japanese -- is also a who's who of religious thought. (Just for example, from Catholicism.) So you should never, ever listen to someone who tells you "rationality cannot be found in faith." They are selling you both a fallacy and a very easily-debunked falsehood.

That looks to me like an argument that rationality and faith can be found in the same person, not that rationality can flow from faith. One cannot build a castle on quicksand.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #502 on: March 06, 2013, 08:20:37 PM »
And no, Atheism cannot be linked to genocide in any way.

If we reject the "No True Scotsman" fallacy from the religious, we ought not to use it ourselves.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #503 on: March 06, 2013, 08:22:27 PM »
Scientology is an nominally-atheist ideology known for dressing up child abuse, indentured labour, exploitation and mind control as legitimate practice. Objectivism fraudulently passed off mental abuse as "therapy" (cf. Jeff Walker's survey of the ideology's cultic aspects). Communism was and is specifically atheistic -- famous in fact for giving us "religion is the opiate of the masses" -- and there is no shortage of people on the Net to tell you how many millions of people were murdered in the name of Communism during the Twentieth Century, but the bloody history of that particular ideology is an unavoidable fact (Matt White is at least entertaining about it).

There is really no shortage of examples that should warn us that atheism is perfectly capable of replicating all of the evils of religion.

Scientologists are an Atheist group; they don't believe in God. However, Scientology is not Atheism. Objectivism is also not Atheism. Communism is not Atheism. Atheism isn't an ideology which is lumped in with everything else. You can be a Communist and still be a Christian. The Amish lead a life very similar to the ideal of Communism, where each person works for the good of the whole - and if I recall, arn't Amish generally very Christian?

Remember, the two major Communist regimes which commited these atrocities both encouraged a near-religious adoration of their cult leaders. Which even then, wouldn't matter; being Atheist did not cause these problems. Can you link 'I want to murder all these people' to 'I don't believe in a supernatural diety who created the world' in the same way that 'I want to murder all these people for using magic' with 'because the Bible says 'suffer not the witch to live'?

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #504 on: March 06, 2013, 08:22:28 PM »
That looks to me like an argument that rationality and faith can be found in the same person, not that rationality can flow from faith.

Given that most of the individuals on the list I linked were specifically prompted to rational inquiry by considerations of faith, I'd say it is not very hard to argue that rationality can flow from faith. History provides innumerable examples of its doing so.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #505 on: March 06, 2013, 08:25:13 PM »
If we reject the "No True Scotsman" fallacy from the religious, we ought not to use it ourselves.

I direct you my most recent post; if someone commits a murder and is Atheist, that does not mean Atheism caused him to kill. Can you give me any logical reason that the one basic idea, and only basic idea of Atheism, 'there is no proof for X supernatural being, therefore, I don't believe in him' is the cause of someone to commit murder?

Offline Hades

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #506 on: March 06, 2013, 08:26:57 PM »
......
If we're talking about the claim that "rationality cannot be found in faith," that's a quite different and very straightforwardly false claim. The bulk of the history of philosophy, including rationalist philosophy, is not separate from religious philosophy and thought; almost any list of philosophers and early scientists from any tradition you can name -- Catholic, Islamic, Indian, Greek, Chinese, Japanese -- is also a who's who of religious thought. (Just for example, from Catholicism.) So you should never, ever listen to someone who tells you "rationality cannot be found in faith." They are selling you both a fallacy and a very easily-debunked falsehood.

Is it possible to be religious and rational at the same time?  Of course it is.  Consider a relatively recent example, in the case of the Dover School Board being sued in federal court for teaching intelligent design.  One of the key witnesses for the prosecutors in that case was renowned biologist Ken Miller.   Dr Miller is considered such an expert in his field that he has written many of the biology text books used in high school and introductory college level biology.   At the same time, he is a practicing Roman Catholic who believe in a supernatural deity, a guy being dead and coming back to life, and presumably other articles of faith that seem rediculous to those of us who are atheists.   Does it diminish his contributions to science because of those beliefs?  I don't think so.

I would also like to know which genocides you think atheism is responsible for, as you've mentioned it several times now without giving precise examples.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #507 on: March 06, 2013, 08:28:04 PM »
Scientologists are an Atheist group; they don't believe in God. However, Scientology is not Atheism. Objectivism is also not Atheism. Communism is not Atheism. Atheism isn't an ideology which is lumped in with everything else.

All true, obviously. However, there's a limit to the number of times you can dismiss any specific example of atheism as being relevant to the overall likelihood that the larger abstract Atheism is likely to be less atrocity-prone or bullshit-prone that the larger abstract Religion.

Quote
You can be a Communist and still be a Christian.

Actually, you can't. At least not by the Marxist or Marxism-derived definition of Communist. Other religions also run into problems: the CCP's suppression of Falun Gong is in fact specifically linked to this element of Marxism and Maoism and to the belief that it (qigong) "preaches idealism, theism and feudal superstition."

Of course, the CCP is not Atheism. But again, it will not do to pretend that things like that are not relevant to the overall consideration of Atheism.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #508 on: March 06, 2013, 08:30:13 PM »
(I'll have to leave the thread for the evening as actual work must intrude. If I don't respond further, I am not ignoring you; I will try to get back tomorrow. G'night everyone! Fun discussion.)

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #509 on: March 06, 2013, 08:31:53 PM »
There are times when the lack of a belief in the existence of a higher power can lead a person to devalue human life.  If nothing is sacred human life cannot be sacred so the taking of a life is no big deal.  They don't have to be an avowed atheist.  They only need to think like they've been told an atheist thinks.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #510 on: March 06, 2013, 08:35:02 PM »
One more:

I would also like to know which genocides you think atheism is responsible for, as you've mentioned it several times now without giving precise examples.

I thought it was obvious that when I referred to Communist massacres in the Twentieth Century, I was referring to Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and other Communist dictators. Accounts of the various mass deaths they were responsible for are incredibly widely available and can be found with any search engine; this is essentially like asking me for "citations" for the Holocaust.

(Please do not try repeating at me that Communism and Atheism are not interchangeable, I already know that. The fact remains that Communism is a relevant example of the susceptibility of atheistic ideologies to the same kinds of bloody-mindedness that have periodically affected religion.)

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #511 on: March 06, 2013, 08:38:28 PM »
Given that most of the individuals on the list I linked were specifically prompted to rational inquiry by considerations of faith, I'd say it is not very hard to argue that rationality can flow from faith. History provides innumerable examples of its doing so.

You have a valid point to which I have no counterargument. I concede. Thanks for correcting me.

Offline Saria

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #512 on: March 06, 2013, 08:41:59 PM »
There are times when the lack of a belief in the existence of a higher power can lead a person to devalue human life.
People can devalue human life for no reason at all, whether they're theist or atheist, but if they want a reason to devalue human life, the most readily available reasons are all religious - throw a rock at an interfaith conference and you'll hit a religion that says humans are disgusting/sinful/unworthy/whatever by nature. Even those very few religions that don't outright devalue human life by saying how worthless/sinful/whatever we are still devalue the lives we have by positing the existence of afterlives - how valuable can our earthly lives be when they're just a tiny part of our spiritual lives, and if we die or if our lives suck now it's not big deal because we'll be reincarnated/go to heaven?

If you want a reason to devalue human life as an atheist, there are none. In fact, the fact that there is no afterlife means that this life is all we ever get, which means that this life is very, very precious. That is atheist reasoning. Saying "well there's no god to tell me to value human life, therefore I don't" is not only not atheist reasoning, it isn't really reasoning at all.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #513 on: March 06, 2013, 08:46:05 PM »
There are times when the lack of a belief in the existence of a higher power can lead a person to devalue human life.  If nothing is sacred human life cannot be sacred so the taking of a life is no big deal.  They don't have to be an avowed atheist.  They only need to think like they've been told an atheist thinks.

Please do not take my words out of context as it changes the meaning of my remarks in effect putting words in my mouth. 

Thank you.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #514 on: March 06, 2013, 08:52:06 PM »
One more:

I thought it was obvious that when I referred to Communist massacres in the Twentieth Century, I was referring to Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and other Communist dictators. Accounts of the various mass deaths they were responsible for are incredibly widely available and can be found with any search engine; this is essentially like asking me for "citations" for the Holocaust.

(Please do not try repeating at me that Communism and Atheism are not interchangeable, I already know that. The fact remains that Communism is a relevant example of the susceptibility of atheistic ideologies to the same kinds of bloody-mindedness that have periodically affected religion.)

I will repeat it, because you're wrong; Atheism is not the same as Communism. Nothing about being an Atheist tells me I should believe in the ideals of Communism or Objectivism or being a Relian. Just because the Relians are Atheist does not mean that I, as an Atheist, believe in advanced space reptiles. Just like being an Atheist does not mean I share my Atheist friend's opinion on abortion. The only trait I share with other Atheists, the only trait that Atheism proports, is that we do not believe in a god, be it Thor, Vishna or Yahweh.

As I've pointed out, Stalin and Mao both cultivated huge cults about themselves as semi-divine figures. If you want to claim someone was motivated by their Atheism to kill someone, you must give a reason why. If you can find any source of proof which shows that Mao or Stalin's lack of belief in God was their reason to kill, I will be glad to agree with you. But currently, your arguement is 'Mao was a Trekkie; this was obviously the reason he killed thousands' without giving a source where Mao is quoted saying that "I will murder all people who thought Shatner was better; Piccard is the obvious choice".

Edit: If you want citations for Hitler's motivations, there are plenty available. Go listen to his speeches, or read Mein Kampf.

Edit #2: On re-reading, just realized I completely misread your first line; apologies, it's pretty late here. However, the case in point is still that Communism does not say anything about someone's Atheism. Stalin and Mao were Atheists. However, unless you can give me a source where Mao or Stalin argued their deeds or showed evidence that their deeds were done because they believed 'there is no Thor', then their Atheism is irrelevant; it has as much impact on their motivation to kill as their preference in book genre or favourite cheese has.

There are times when the lack of a belief in the existence of a higher power can lead a person to devalue human life.  If nothing is sacred human life cannot be sacred so the taking of a life is no big deal.  They don't have to be an avowed atheist.  They only need to think like they've been told an atheist thinks.

This is based on the assumption that Atheists do not value human life, which is not something inherant to Atheism. Theists and Atheists alike do this; some religions devalue the the life of homosexuals and women as lower than those of straights or other men. Some Atheists devalue the life of people based on race. These things can be inherant to religion (Remember, Christianity does -not- promote that human life is sacred; it promotes that humans are sinful, imperfect beings who deserve to suffer and our only worth in life is to enter the glory of God's grace through subserviance and blind faith), but are not inherant to Atheism (which does not make any comment on how 'sacred' human life is; the only thing Atheism comments on is whether a person does or does not have a belief in a divine being).
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 09:07:39 PM by Vanity Evolved »

Offline Hades

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #515 on: March 06, 2013, 09:14:55 PM »

One more:

I thought it was obvious that when I referred to Communist massacres in the Twentieth Century, I was referring to Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and other Communist dictators. Accounts of the various mass deaths they were responsible for are incredibly widely available and can be found with any search engine; this is essentially like asking me for "citations" for the Holocaust.

(Please do not try repeating at me that Communism and Atheism are not interchangeable, I already know that. The fact remains that Communism is a relevant example of the susceptibility of atheistic ideologies to the same kinds of bloody-mindedness that have periodically affected religion.)

Well, too bad because I'm going to repeat it again for you.   Communism is not atheism.  You admit that you know that, and yet continue to try and conflate the two in this thread.    Stalin, Mao, and the Kim family in North Korea persecuted religion during their reign not because they may have been atheists (I know Stalin was training to be an Russian Orthodox priest before he joined Lenin's group, but not sure about the religious beliefs of Mao or the Kims), but because they desired to build a cult of personality centered on themselves.

Communism is not automatically anti-religious.  It can be constructed as such, but it is an economical and political theory that looks good on paper but has never been implimented properly.  Lenin, Stalin, Mao and others have all added their own unique touches on the ideas laid out by Marx.  It doesn't change the fact that they are responsible for the deaths of millions, but their atheism is not what caused them to decide to butcher large portions of their populations.  But saying that communism demands atheism would be like saying that to be a Republician you have to believe in Christianity and hate homosexuals.  And I know several Republicians that are neither.

If atheism was inherently tied to violence, we would see much higher rates of crime in coutries of the world that are predominately atheistic.   Japan, Sweden, Great Britan, Australia and France are all countries with a much higher rate of atheism than the United States (a very religious country) should also have a higher rate of murder.  Yet those countries I listed have murder rates much lower than that of the US.

So I don't accept the premise of your arguement that atheism should bare the weight of blame for actions committed by communistic despots. And I leave you with one of my favorite pictures I discovered online one day that relates to this topic I think.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 09:23:16 PM by Hades »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #516 on: March 06, 2013, 09:25:55 PM »
Just... one more.

I will repeat it, because you're wrong

Well, gutsy move, I have to hand it to you. But repeating at me what I already know will, as I already warned you, not impress me in the least.

The distinction you seem to be having a problem with is this: saying that an example of atheism is relevant to atheism is not a claim that all atheism is interchangeable with that example. You want to read them as being the same thing, but the distinction is a very real one.

It may be easier to see how this works if we apply it to a religious example: It's obvious that all Christians are not medieval Inquisitors, but that does not mean that the relevance of the Inquisition as an instance of Christian intolerance and atrocity can be dismissed as part of the legacy of Christianity. If someone says "Christianity has never oppressed someone" and you (rightly) bring up the Inquisition as an example of it's having done so, they can't tell you "well, all Christians are not the Inquisition" and that therefore that example can have no relevance for them. Obviously the example illustrates, at a minimum, one thing that a particular variant of Christianity was capable of, and that other variants may therefore be equally capable of.

Same thing works for atheism. It's a case of "worry about the no-true-Scotsman in your own eye, and not the no-true-Scotsman in your neighbour's eye," so to speak.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 09:27:59 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #517 on: March 06, 2013, 09:27:20 PM »
Christianity does believe human life is sacred.  Though a sinner everyone might be, they are able to find redemption and forgiveness in God and through the teachings of Jesus Christ.  That means that all life, because of the possibility of redemption, is sacred.  By ending a life a person is in effect ending their chance at finding redemption and so that taints the soul of the person who killed another.  Hence things such as confession, baptism, last rites and such are considered so important.

I do not quite understand this argument of atheism being a default setting for the human mind.  Ignorance of something is not lack of belief or a rejection of belief.  More than likely the argument would be more that agnosticism is the default setting.  A lack of knowing and/or lack or caring toward a higher power.  Also, our knowledge of what a baby thinks about or comprehends is very limited so making a statement about their beliefs or understanding of the world is inaccurate.

Cyrano is not making the argument that violence is inherently tied to atheism.  He is making the argument that the simple extinction of religion will not remove violence and suffering from the world.  Examples of atheist thought and rulers committing atrocities and performing acts similar were called for and supplied.  There is now a process of splitting hairs.  He is, appropriately, stating there is no direct link between the religiosity of a people and their tendency toward violence.  In essence he is proving the very point illustrated by your graphic, except he is also saying the same sentiment extends to atheism.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #518 on: March 06, 2013, 09:28:38 PM »
Again Pumpkin has it right. Thank you.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #519 on: March 06, 2013, 09:31:05 PM »
It took me a bit and a few phone calls to atheist friends to find this quote:

The questions as asked:  Do atheists have morals?

Quote
Aldous Huxley, himself an atheist had this to say."I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently (I) assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves....For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political."

Thus wanting to have a philosophical basis for avoiding moral sanctions and/or accountability to a higher being indeed motivates some although they may not be as frank as Huxley was. This is why so many seem particularly keen to cast moral doubt upon certain actions of the God they don't believe in. If He exists and if He is a moral being then they may have to answer to Him. Thus behind much atheism is rebellion, although certainly not all. But as Rocket Scientist Joe Sabeney put it, they "look in the mirror and see their god," thus they will not be accountable to a higher power and can essentially do as they please.

The broadest possible answer to this question is that it is not OK to do whatever you want as long as you don't get caught, whether there is a God, many gods, or no God. 

Because of things like this spoke about and believed by atheists this is one of the perceptions of atheism.  Now, if some of those who use religion as the excuse for their crimes can be held up as representative of all religious people so too can those like Aldus Huxley be held up as the figurehead of atheism.  If you don't want this to be true then you must speak of religion in the same way as you wish atheism to be spoken of.  You must also remember that faith is not religion.  Religion is an interpretation of faith by human beings

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #520 on: March 06, 2013, 09:47:37 PM »
Because of things like this spoke about and believed by atheists this is one of the perceptions of atheism.  Now, if some of those who use religion as the excuse for their crimes can be held up as representative of all religious people so too can those like Aldus Huxley be held up as the figurehead of atheism.  If you don't want this to be true then you must speak of religion in the same way as you wish atheism to be spoken of.  You must also remember that faith is not religion.  Religion is an interpretation of faith by human beings

Really? Because of this? Fun experiment: Next time you see a theist claiming that atheists have no morals, ask them why they think that. I will bet you CAD$100 that Aldous Huxley will not be mentioned. I can virtually guarantee that the reasoning will follow the basic pattern of "Morality flows from God, therefore no god = no morals", without any quotes or citations of any atheists.

Further: It's not really about "Some X do this, therefore all X is bad". It's about "X exhibits an overarching pattern of destructive influence, and any time you see X you are guaranteed to find at least one damaging thing going on as a direct result." This checks out for religion, not so for atheism.

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #521 on: March 06, 2013, 09:48:04 PM »
One more:

I thought it was obvious that when I referred to Communist massacres in the Twentieth Century, I was referring to Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and other Communist dictators. Accounts of the various mass deaths they were responsible for are incredibly widely available and can be found with any search engine; this is essentially like asking me for "citations" for the Holocaust.

(Please do not try repeating at me that Communism and Atheism are not interchangeable, I already know that. The fact remains that Communism is a relevant example of the susceptibility of atheistic ideologies to the same kinds of bloody-mindedness that have periodically affected religion.)

No, I still think it bears repeating: Communism =/= atheism. Stalin was an atheist and anti-religion within Russia. His policies beyond his national borders were far different, going so far as to support those who founded a nation where Islam was the state religion. You can have that one. And I'll give you Pol Pot as well, since my interest in "Google it yourself" waned before I thought about typing it in. But you can't have Chairman Mao. While you argue he was a dangerous dictator, he also did a lot of good for China, raising life expectancy, increasing the population, improving the status of women, health care and education and promoting housing.

Besides, you're completely missing the point that it wasn't atheism that created these dictators. These dictators happened to be atheists. See, the thing you apparently don't understand is that atheism doesn't have a centralized ideology. There is no holy book, there are no priests and Popes of atheism. We have no pastors or rules of law or Ten Commandments. We don't have myth cycles telling us why stoning people is good, and how you too can sacrifice your son to appease Sky Daddy's wrath, or why that person who seems to enjoy consensual buttsex is going to go straight to hell and, by the way, maybe you could help him there. We don't have a central government dictating throughout the centuries why marching into someone else's country and killing a lot of people in the name of God is a good idea. We don't get excommunicated if we help a nine-year-old rape victim that had an abortion (and by the way, her rapist was allowed to remain in the Church). 

PS: Don't Godwin the argument. If you want to blather on about atheism being responsible for massacres, you need to cite the sources, not expect us to Google it for you.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 09:49:14 PM by Rhapsody »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #522 on: March 06, 2013, 10:00:43 PM »
No, I still think it bears repeating: Communism =/= atheism. Stalin was an atheist and anti-religion within Russia. His policies beyond his national borders were far different, going so far as to support those who founded a nation where Islam was the state religion.

I may agree with your broader point (not sure but leaning toward it), but you lose me hard by opening with reasoning this poor. Marxist-Leninist Communism, the system we're discussing here in both Russia and China, does include atheism as a core principle. So yes, this branch of Communism is a subset of Atheism.

As for the second part here: Are you sure you want to base your argument on the idea that no atheist has ever done anything that aided or abetted a religion? Really sure? Because... it's not a smart road to go down.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #523 on: March 06, 2013, 10:01:06 PM »
No, I still think it bears repeating: Communism =/= atheism.

Actually, given that I just very extremely explained that I'm not saying this, in the post you're replying to, that is now straying into the realm of the dishonest.

I don't care whether atheism or Christianity or anything else "created" dictators, or other evil persons. It's irrelevant to whether atheism is capable of playing host to the same kinds of evils as religion is. It plainly is.

Quote
See, the thing you apparently don't understand is that atheism doesn't have a centralized ideology.

I am an atheist, and one who's well aware of this, thank you, do not attempt to patronize me. I'm also aware that a "centralized ideology" isn't necessary for one example of "atheism" to be relevant to "atheism" as a general category. If you want to talk about how "atheism" will do good or eliminate evil, you are admitting to the discussion examples of atheism which have not done so, whether or not you share a "centralized ideology" with them. (Of course all one can say, and all I have said, is that such examples would simply mean atheism cannot rule out the kinds of evils that religion has also been unable to rule out. This is different from cherry-picking atrocities and saying all atheism is responsible for them. Eliding that difference would be dishonest, which is why I'm not doing so. You shouldn't either.)

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PS: Don't Godwin the argument.

Behave better before trying to lecture me about propriety. I had examples asked of me, and provided them. Do not try to turn around and accuse me of "Godwinning the argument" because you don't like the examples. It's not impressive.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #524 on: March 06, 2013, 10:05:39 PM »
Having said all that... I get why people are sensitive about having Communism brought up. I do. There are theists who try to paint all of atheism with that brush, we've all seen it happen, I don't entirely blame people who default to assuming I must be doing so and have trouble making themselves believe otherwise even when it's clearly explained to them. I get it. It's an emotional red button.

But you know, if there's one take-away I could hope for from all this, it's: don't huffily demand from people that they "provide you with examples of atheism ever having committed the same evils as religion." Just don't. Because that example is right there in the recent historical record, it is super-obvious, it is unavoidably relevant (shitty as that is), and they will bring it up, with a lot less restraint and circumspection than I've done here. You don't need to just go walking smack into that. It just doesn't help you, or us, as atheists.