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Author Topic: Elliquian Atheists  (Read 35624 times)

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Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #650 on: March 10, 2013, 08:10:48 PM »
Well I think it's worth keeping in mind why we believe most of the things we think and it wasn't because we're great philosophers or anything. That doesn't make religion true, it just means it might not be something to take that much pride in by default.

I definitely think it's worth asking what good the question is. Because as soon as you insist on God being a Sciencey thing, demonstrably existing in an objective way or not, like a rainbow or Jay Z, you make a lot of people who are not willing to turn down the argument come riding with pistols drawn for your science textbooks.

I'll give an example of this:



I'm currently taking a writing course at my college (yay, engineers being forced to take humanities courses) and the woman teaching it someone I've dubbed "Batshit."

Batshit is a new age mystic that picked up a PhD in education using nonsense words like soul work and spiritual intelligence. Besides earning an obscene amount of money from the college, she publishes books of poetry and is availible to advise you by reading viking runes, tarot cards and the I-Ching.

Sad as this person is, she would be mostly harmless if not for her being required to pretend she's a serious academic.

So in the middle of comments about past lives and heart chakras she define her field as "creativity science." She has turned the curriculum of a practical writing course into a fringe review of psychoanalysis, pop culture (left brain right brain thinking) and a literal belief in the... Supraconcious? Superconcious? Basically a shared unconcious where everything good and true comes from that you get by your intuition and talking candidly about your mother.

Ask old Batshit and she'll tell you that science is "just a way of knowing."

What's my point? Well I don't mind that Batshit wants to be crazy. But it doesn't belong in a class about an extremely practical thing: writing. But she's gotten in there because she's gone through all the academic hoops and come out with enough jargon to pretend she has a scientific, objective basis for teaching her own "religious" views as a class.

Insisiting on a sciencey basis for people's crazy ideas doesn't eliminated the crazy ideas, it just makes them harder to pick apart and scourge from polite society.



Yes, religion is generally not a good thing to lob at children (or in this case, a room mostly full of soft headed types finishing up their teens,) but if you crack down on it you're going to be left with the craziest, most militant varieties breeding in the niche where the reasonable kind used to be.

A reasonable, objective standard of reality sounds nice until you realize exactly what people are, which is anything but reasonable and objective.

Because there is a distinct difference here. This woman is teaching what she wants to teach, which apparently the college approves of. College is completely voluntary and if after a few lessons you realize that no, this isn't what I signed up for/I'm not learning what I wanted to learn, you can ask for another tutor or ask for your money back. Also, by this point, you are a free-thinking adult who can make decisions for themselves. You mentioned this was a writing course? So, not exactly something you base your life ideas on life on.

Church, however, takes young children who don't know any better, tells them that old men on boats saved all the animals, that a magical man in the sky is watching them and if they do anything wrong, they're going to burn in Hell. I've spoke to countless people in my life who've had their adult lives made awful by the religions their parents forced them to into children, the most often being a guilt complex based around their sexual activities (thinking that if they have sex, they're dirty, dirty people who deserve to be punished and therefore, have trouble having meaningful relationships with partners), regardless of if they still believe or not. It's not uncommon for Atheists who came from a religious background to still have a lingering sense of guilt and worry for their 'souls' due to the conditioning they've recieved as a child.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #651 on: March 10, 2013, 08:20:31 PM »
What's my point? Well I don't mind that Batshit wants to be crazy. But it doesn't belong in a class about an extremely practical thing: writing. But she's gotten in there because she's gone through all the academic hoops and come out with enough jargon to pretend she has a scientific, objective basis for teaching her own "religious" views as a class.

At least she is teaching writing instead of psychology.  (My 'Civics' teacher was a theater major.  Not sure how that qualified her, but it meant that I could learn government by writing short stories instead of essays.)

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #652 on: March 10, 2013, 08:21:06 PM »
There are a good few phrases in the bible about truth and its value. Ie. "Seek the truth, and the truth will set you free."  Its held up by Christians ( well, some Christians ... I guess) as a virtue. Discovering truth is what science is all about.  The scientific method is a sound, well thought out method for discovering truth. Christians should love this right? They could apply it to their religion and and refine the hell out of it.

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #653 on: March 10, 2013, 09:25:54 PM »
At least she is teaching writing instead of psychology.  (My 'Civics' teacher was a theater major.  Not sure how that qualified her, but it meant that I could learn government by writing short stories instead of essays.)

One of the best ways to understand anything is to write a good story about it. If you have to work it out for youself, convince someone else of the reality of it and do it so well that they're able to "believe" it for the purposes of a story. It's like a good tool or technology, if it's working it's invisible, if not it's obvious, even intrusive.


I'm just going to leave ther links to a bit of the people I was talking about here rather than try to finish arguing some of the earilier points.
Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

Hedges
I Don't Believe in Atheists
http://www.you tube.com/watch?v=VZCWDpTw7aw

Eagleton
Firth Lectures 2012 - Culture and the Death of God Part 1
http://www.you tube.com/watch?v=zmmRsvIfEVI

Eagleton
Firth Lectures 2012 Culture and the Death of God Part 2
http://www.you tube.com/watch?v=964E9fGfRpQ

Jordan Peterson
Redemption and Psychology in Christianity
http://www.you tube.com/watch?v=SzyGRl2iwDg

Peterson
Problem of Evil: Biblical Stories and the 20th Century
http://www.you tube.com/watch?v=pON-9zNXrCE

Offline Kythia

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #654 on: March 10, 2013, 09:33:07 PM »
As a potentially related point, you can stop youtube links showing up as videos by surrounding them with $noembed$  $/noembed$ tags (replacing the dollar signs with square brackets).

Yey me!

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #655 on: March 10, 2013, 09:39:49 PM »

Dropping close to 5 hours worth of videos is kind of lazy.  If you can't make a point in a few sentences, its probably BS.

Offline Braioch

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #656 on: March 10, 2013, 11:31:06 PM »

I think the history of scientific thought is marked by just the opposite. That's probably because people are not "just" scientists, they're also academics and careerists and philosophers and hold other views.

It's a nice ideal but if we pretend we're angels instead of meaty-objects we're living in a fantasy.

I was referring to me being an aspiring scientist, not the world as a whole

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #657 on: March 11, 2013, 02:10:41 AM »
As a potentially related point, you can stop youtube links showing up as videos by surrounding them with $noembed$  $/noembed$ tags (replacing the dollar signs with square brackets).

Yey me!

This is useful. Yey indeed.

Offline vtboy

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #658 on: March 13, 2013, 01:51:41 PM »
What's my point? Well I don't mind that Batshit wants to be crazy. But it doesn't belong in a class about an extremely practical thing: writing. But she's gotten in there because she's gone through all the academic hoops and come out with enough jargon to pretend she has a scientific, objective basis for teaching her own "religious" views as a class.

Insisiting on a sciencey basis for people's crazy ideas doesn't eliminated the crazy ideas, it just makes them harder to pick apart and scourge from polite society.

"Sciency"?

The problem with Batshit is that the college appears to have confused scientific-sounding jargon with science. I suppose one can get away with quite a bit in an English composition course, but I don't see how any secular educational institution can permit any teacher to pass off notions that have not undergone the gauntlet of repeated, controlled and verified observation and peer review as science. To do otherwise is to perpetrate fraud.

While the imposition of rigorous standards for what academia may call "science" will not eliminate crazy ideas, it would help confine their dissemination to courses which do not purport to be science courses or to institutions which are candid about having non-scientific agendas, like some religiously affiliated universities. The idea here is to reduce deceptive labeling of non-scientific ideas and, where it exists, to mitigate its effect.   

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #659 on: March 13, 2013, 02:14:36 PM »
The issue I have is religion get a pass for its views while science and atheism doesn't. For example lets say one is seeking CO status in wartime a Quaker has an easier time getting it than anyone not religious who has a strong aversion to war. The same for charities a faith based charity attached to a major branch gets an off over a secular charity for things like declaring how the money is spent and the faiths finances.

It would be fine if the rules were the same for the religious and non-religious.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #660 on: March 13, 2013, 03:54:17 PM »
The issue I have is religion get a pass for its views while science and atheism doesn't. For example lets say one is seeking CO status in wartime a Quaker has an easier time getting it than anyone not religious who has a strong aversion to war. The same for charities a faith based charity attached to a major branch gets an off over a secular charity for things like declaring how the money is spent and the faiths finances.

It would be fine if the rules were the same for the religious and non-religious.

Same; I had a similar feeling when someone (can't recall who) on this thread said that me comparing the religious fables of current religions to fairytales and stories like Harry Potter is 'offensive to those of the faith'.

Yeah, and I find the Bibles morality offensive to my lack of faith. I don't appreciate anyone saying homosexuals don't have the same basic human rights as heterosexuals, regardless of if a fairytale told you or your father told you.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #661 on: March 23, 2013, 09:49:58 AM »
I'd like to add my name to E's roll of non-theists.  Atheist, agnostic...I go back and forth.  While I do not have evidence proving specific supernatural beings described in the ancient myths of our earliest civilizations do not exist, currently existing religions have no problem claiming the vast majority of those old religions are fictional.  Of course, most of them claim this based on their own ascendance and special relationship with their deity of choice.

When I think about all of the crap I've been personally dragged through in my life thanks to religion, and the crap others that I love and care for have suffered through because of religion, I have a strong personal bias against it.  And while there may be no empirical way to disprove through science of the natural world things that supposedly exist in the supernatural...science can disprove claims by religions that are founded in the natural world.  There are more than enough claims in the Bible that are patently false...just take the sun standing still in the sky during Joshua's seige of Jericho.  If we can prove numerous claims in religious texts false, why should we assume that any of the others are true?

Furthermore, there is a blatant assumption going on just with the term supernatural.  There is no evidence that anything supernatural exists.  Again, refer to all of the many colorful examples based on said Flying Spaghetti Monster and his Noodly Appendages.  An appeal to authority for the existence of anything deemed supernatural is no more believable than a two year old child explaining to their parents about their imaginary friend.  If something supernatural really existed, how could it interact with a universe in which nothing inherent to this universe could measure it through our senses or tools?  How did these ancient peoples manage to interact with the supernatural if they are a part of our universe that cannot interact with the supernatural?

We may not have direct proof, but we do have logic, which serves in the absence of our five senses delivering us data.  If it does not pass logical proofs, then I say it has been proved just as nonexistent as if we had physical evidence to prove it.  I mean, if something does not exist, there isn't going to be proof that it doesn't exist, because something that doesn't exist has no proof of anything because it doesn't exist.  In the absence of physical proof, logic shows us that the supernatural cannot exist.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #662 on: March 23, 2013, 10:11:42 AM »
When I think about all of the crap I've been personally dragged through in my life thanks to religion, and the crap others that I love and care for have suffered through because of religion, I have a strong personal bias against it.  And while there may be no empirical way to disprove through science of the natural world things that supposedly exist in the supernatural...science can disprove claims by religions that are founded in the natural world.  There are more than enough claims in the Bible that are patently false...just take the sun standing still in the sky during Joshua's seige of Jericho.  If we can prove numerous claims in religious texts false, why should we assume that any of the others are true?

Actually, religion has already pulled a clever dodge here. The question isn't "Can you disprove this?", it's "Why should we privilege this hypothesis over millions of others with equal evidence pointing to them (ie none) and equal power to explain the observed universe (ie none)?"

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #663 on: March 23, 2013, 01:11:12 PM »
Cameron and Comfort dissing Darwin

The video is from 2009, but I only just now caught it, so thought I'd share. I'd imagine many of you know who these despicable swindlers are, but I was literally fuming with what they did here :/ Can anyone sink this low for their Theology without at least unconsciously realizing it? They're either incredibly deeply indoctrinated, or fully aware of their actions.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #664 on: March 23, 2013, 03:33:43 PM »
A significant third factor, Sabby: A culture in which it is actively evil to question received wisdom, even when it visibly conflicts with reality. Couple this with the human tendency to double down on deep beliefs when presented with disproof, and you have a vicious cycle where stuff like that spreads like mad.

Offline Skynet

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #665 on: March 24, 2013, 01:09:54 AM »
A significant third factor, Sabby: A culture in which it is actively evil to question received wisdom, even when it visibly conflicts with reality. Couple this with the human tendency to double down on deep beliefs when presented with disproof, and you have a vicious cycle where stuff like that spreads like mad.

It's also part of challenging any perceived upheavals to the status quo; except in the case of religion, there's less compromise and concession.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #666 on: March 25, 2013, 07:31:51 AM »
To expand on my earlier post, I found something else by the same speaker which very clearly sums up that kind of person and mind state. The whole series is fascinating and layman friendly, so check out the others if ya can.

14th foundational falsehood of creationism pt 2

Offline LilyS

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #667 on: March 27, 2013, 10:52:10 PM »
I think the main problem is that parents don't let their kids decide, they simply make their children follow what they believe in, not introducing them to other options in a non biased way, and then years later when  the kids have to go thorough some confirming ceremony they happily claim that the kid chose it himself/herself or disappointed that they didn't for some reason. People have a tendency to choose what they grew up in (or the complete opposite) so they didn't choose anything just accepted something or went against it.

I don't think it should be a matter that is decided under 18. After all underage people can't even buy buy a bottle of beer how could they decide about what religion they want if they want any at all?  How is it possible to choose when children don't even know what options they have? When they can't even comprehend the texts fully? There are plenty of religions to choose from and atheism if they please.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #668 on: March 27, 2013, 11:08:50 PM »
I think the main problem is that parents don't let their kids decide, they simply make their children follow what they believe in, not introducing them to other options in a non biased way,

Well, no.  Of course not.  If you have kids then you presumably at least moderately love them and want them to be well.  If you're religious and believe that the irreligious are going to hell or at a minimum not going to heaven then not teaching that to your kids would be, well, borderline irresponsible.

Offline LilyS

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #669 on: March 28, 2013, 12:43:06 AM »
Well, no.  Of course not.  If you have kids then you presumably at least moderately love them and want them to be well.  If you're religious and believe that the irreligious are going to hell or at a minimum not going to heaven then not teaching that to your kids would be, well, borderline irresponsible.

But teaching them their beliefs as facts are irresponsible as well. A child can't take difference between facts and beliefs while parents can because they know the difference between religion and science.
And planting irrational fears into a child about hell is simply cruel. Parents know that rapists/killers exist yet they maintain self control and don't keep saying that to them because they know that kids have to be protected from scary disturbing things. I don't see what's the difference with hell.

I think loving parenting means that they raise a kid who is capable of making wise decisions and able to think in a critical way. Nowadays in the western individualist cultures it's not really adaptive to do otherwise.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #670 on: March 28, 2013, 12:47:09 AM »
But teaching them their beliefs as facts are irresponsible as well. A child can't take difference between facts and beliefs while parents can because they know the difference between religion and science.
Tell that to Ken Ham. Or Michael Behe. Or or or...

Offline Kythia

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #671 on: March 28, 2013, 10:22:03 AM »
But teaching them their beliefs as facts are irresponsible as well. A child can't take difference between facts and beliefs while parents can because they know the difference between religion and science.

Do you wanna know the sum total of reasons why I believe in the big bang?

Someone said it and they sounded convincing.  Now, sure.  I imagine there's a lot of scientific evidence.  Haven't read it, wouldn't understand it if I did.  No plans to do anything to change that situation. 

My belief in the big bang is in no way related to facts, science, all that kinda stuff.  But you claim it would be correct for me to tell kids about that and not heaven + hell despite me personally having exactly the same evidence for either of them (read it in a book once, other people seem to believe it)

EDIT:  The point is, you seem to be suggesting that religious people maintain some sort of internal duality - that they recognise attitude x is a product of religion and y not.  Thats not how it works.  They have a worldview which is broadly internally consistent.  Just as you value whatever you do and pass that to your hypothetical sprogs, they do the same.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 10:26:46 AM by Kythia »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #672 on: March 28, 2013, 10:27:33 AM »
Carl Sagan did an excellent job of distilling the scientific evidence for the layperson.  Just sayin'

(Makes note to look up those Cosmos vids for the little Oni.)

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #673 on: March 28, 2013, 10:35:47 AM »
Do you wanna know the sum total of reasons why I believe in the big bang?

Someone said it and they sounded convincing.

My belief in the big bang is in no way related to facts, science, all that kinda stuff.

This is the beauty of the scientific method and peer review. There is a system in place to trial this information, constantly, so you can trust the validity of it. I don't just believe in the Big Bang because someone made a convincing argument, I believe it because of the theories standing within the system, a system that dismantles that which is unconvincing.

So no, you don't take the big bang on faith like you would an argument for a deity.

For example, when you go to a chemist to get some pills, do you bring a chemistry set with you? Do you break down and test the substance before buying it? Of course you don't. But that doesn't mean you take that pill and just trust that it will relieve your headache because the box says it's what it does. You know there is a system in place that ensures that pill will relieve a headache, and that if it didn't, it wouldn't make it to your hands, or be removed from the shelf.

It is the same with scientific theories such as the big bang. Now, to follow the example, a parent believes flat lemonade will cure a babies cough. They teach this to their children. Flat lemonade dehydrates infants, and is harmful. This parents belief is not in question, but the information is wrong, and they do harm through their ignorance.

The only difference between the flat lemonade and God is the kind of harm they do. The latter is just a whole lot more difficult to calculate and raises a lot of feathers.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #674 on: March 28, 2013, 10:41:00 AM »
Yeah... know why I accept the big bang?