You do know there are atheistic religions right? Bhuddism and Scientology to name a few. They have attached dogmas which make them religions. There is no group to your common atheist, it is a counter stance to a asserted claim by theists and nothing more.
Buddhism is strictly speaking nontheistic - it avoids the discussion of God. One could be a christian (or any faith that did not conflict with the eightfold path) and a buddhist, or an atheist and a buddhist, and still follow its principles, but Buddhism specifically avoids the question of divinity. To Siddhartha, the question of God was a distraction.
Scientology is not atheistic so much as it promotes the idea of personal ascension - rather common in cults.
This argument seems to rise time and time again, always in the same circle. I do wish people would remember the conclusions reached and not rehash the same argument to try and make it correct later on. For starters, there is no proof for atheism.
There does not need to be. The responsibility of proof lays with the affirmative claimant. Specifically speaking, a claim needs to be testable. If it cannot be tested, it has no bearing on physics, which is to say, it has no bearing on reality.The One True God
The humor around the Space Teapot, Invisible Pink Unicorn, and Flying Spaghetti Monster - the entire point of all of those absurdities is to demonstrate where the burden of proof is.
People can lob science about all they want but science once again does not support either claim. Science does not support anything.
The scientific method is a tool ask a maybe or no question of Nature. With enough 'no' answers, quite a lot can be supported. Relativity and the shape of the Earth are two fairly profound examples.
Science is a tool and the sooner people accept that the sooner we can progress to other discussions. There is no experiment that has proven or disproven God that meets any criteria for an experiment. People have made claims and been knocked down, on both sides of the fence. So donít act as if atheism has suddenly gained some amazing proof that the rest of the world just ignores. Atheism hasnít gained anything but conjectureÖthey still operate under the faith there is nothing there.
The Bible makes many specific claims about God, some of which are ludicrously easy to disprove (the lack of capacity for basic math, for example). Bad math aside, this leaves many to either retreat to "God of the gaps" or "God as the First Mover" arguments, which while they can't currently be disproven, they are unnecessary
, that is to say, it's useless as a rational explanation for anything.
Atheists love to skip around with this idea of no organization being a wonderful thing.
I don't. Most of my atheist and nontheist friends do not discount the value of organizations, but your over-broad and inaccurate generalization is noted.
I even appreciate the support networks that the Catholic church possesses, especially in comparison to the televangilists and evangelicals that so often demonize them. That does not free the Catholic hierarchy from criticism over its pedophilia coverups.
They are not organized and so do not cause harm. Of course by that thought atheists also donít contribute. When Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans there were no atheist groups down here giving food to the hungry, medical attention to the wounded or shelter to the homeless.
Atheism is a single thought on the nature of God. It has none of the associated dogma or surrounding philosophy that a full-blown religious sect like Mahayana Buddhism or Catholicism is. You're comparing a building block with the completed building.
That also reflects on how tiny atheism as a belief is. There are some very, very rich people who tithe to the Church, who believe religion is, in their own words, bullshit. But they are not in a position where they can state that openly, so it's a private matter.
Course to say atheists arenít organized is a lie as well.
To say that they have anything as remotely established as the Catholic church is a blatant lie. The very comparison is nonsensical.
They do have organizations but they just donít pray together. Since they donít believe in prayer this seems to be understandable. What I have seen of atheist organizations though is pretty bad.
Here you go with generalizations again.
One in England is attempting to cause an international incident by arresting the Pope
What, particularly, is wrong with drawing attention to Ratzinger's abuses of power? His returning the Catholic Church to authoritarianism after John Paul II and his predecessors worked so hard against that is not only highly disturbing but also disgraceful of their legacy.
and Stalin killed several million people in the span of a single lifetime. Way to better humanity there.
Name one Christian who has done more for the betterment of humanity than Alan Turing.
I can think of two. Regardless, you owe nearly your entire standard of living to Turing.
Or you could look at it more logically, and look at the relationship between authoritarian ideologies and atrocities, but that would be the honest way of looking at things.
Certainly the argument that the relationship between Stalin and atheism is casual would arise, because that example is not very pleasant at all. That Stalin had religious figures killed in droves makes this all the more casual right?
Regardless, this is a guilt by association fallacy
. In order to prove that the association is the inherent flaw, it needs to be shown as the cause. Stalin's atheism was not the cause behind his treatment of others.
Perhaps, utilizing the original posterís point for this thread, that in the absence of religion the population must be controlled in some other fashion. While religion does use fear in the afterlife, they also use that fear to promote hope for a better life and help of fellow man. Without that though, Stalin had to use fear of what would happen if disobedience ensued. Worked well didnít it?
That's a rather glossy view of Stalin's purges. They were based far more on Stalin's own fear and paranoia than that of his subjects. Russian leadership after his death was not hamstrung by the fact that they stopped his insane purges, even though they continued pushing Communism as an ideology.
They broke themselves trying to match American heavy industry without the light industry to back it, but that's another fault altogether.
A better example would be the Chinese throughout history. Their practices as a water empire are brutal, but I'm not going to buy the idea of 'rice Christian' for example being inherently superior.
I really do enjoy the argument about the Inquisition and homosexuals. These always get thrown up, like white guilt.
Yet you just as happily throw up Stalin, while ignoring e.g. the Vinegar Tasters.
Anytime someone says something nice about religion, Christianity in particular, this is what happens. Like someone talking about Muslims and someone says suicide bomber. Letís ignore everything beautiful and wonderful about the thing in question, but instead focus immediately on the negative.
Again, Stalin versus Turing.
This is extraordinarily topical. Why did the Church fall to such evil?
If you read about the Inquisition - and many related texts - you know that it was not some all-pervasive hate that came out of nowhere that every Catholic priest went along and agreed with. Clearly, atheism itself is no defense against those same evils.
Considering we are talking about control mechanisms for society, this is immensely important. Of course it leads to a different question, and, if you look at it logically, you will note that atheism versus theism is not the problem.
This thread didnít even have anything to do with the Inquisition, but someone threw that up regardless. Oh, was the original poster. Nice way to keep the thread focused. Donít give a chance for redemption but instead beat them over the head with the past. Notice that not one of the people arguing for Christianity denied the Inquisition, where as Stalin suddenly becomes casual and irrelevant. People want to lay alteration of history at the feet of Christians but yet they still address one of the more embarrassing moments in their history.
To make it equivalent, it would be more appropriate to associate the position of Christians with that of all theists. That gets absurd, fast.
As for inhumane, you are kidding right? The Human Rights and the Bill of Rights are written with Christian ideals in mind.
The Bill of Rights most certainly was not. Many of the Founding Fathers were either proclaimed (Franklin) or suspected (Washington) deists. To say nothing of Thomas Jefferson's writings ("Question with boldness even the existence of God,") or the Treaty of Tripoli.
There is a very good reason for this - many colonials had vivid memories of the Church being a puppet of the State (England) or the State being a puppet of the Church (the Holy Roman Empire) - and decided the best thing to do was to make sure that the two of them had as little as possible to do with each other.
Thus the Treaty of Tripoli, article 11 "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion..."
This was passed unanimously by the Senate (a rare event even in that era), and signed into law by John Adams.
The Hippocratic Oath is made by a culture of polytheists and modern nursing has principles instilled from the Catholic Church. The Red Cross leads how many humane missions across this planet? I understand the Church does not approve of certain lifestyles and people within the religion are trying to change that. These are founded on ancient principles and ideas which require effort to change.
And none of that absolves the need for the discussion of from whence evil creeps into any organization. People who abuse their more authoritarian followers misplace the innate trust that those people give them, and those sorts of actions will damage any society or organization, no matter the good deeds of its past or present.
Yet I do wonder if those that commit such atrocities against the homosexual community are thinking of God when they do them. I wonder if they are thinking of how righteous they are being and how God will open those pearly gates. Then look at the reaction of the Church leaders when this occurs. Certainly some are happy with them, but the leaders of these Churches condemn those actions. They publically denounce those members and plead for tolerance and forgiveness. They go to council the families and assist them as they are able. Religion is made into an excuse by those that commit these acts, a way to excuse the behavior. Without religion they would just find another reason to hate something different than themselves.
The easiest route to power in an authoritarian crowd is to foment a fear of the other. I respect most of the catholic priests from my childhood a great deal. Ask me about the evangelicals and you will get a very different answer.