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  1. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    The Problem with Atheism

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by AVCortez, Jul 1, 2014.

  2. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Some of us don't have an hour to spend, do you mind giving us a summary on what the video says?
     
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  3. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I think the description pretty much sums up the video. It appears to be just another in a long line of screeds by religious people insisting that atheism (and, indeed, science itself) is a form of religion. It's just a way of denigrating atheists by pretending they're hypocrites. It's nonsense.
     
  4. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Sorry but I do mind. It's too complicated to summarise. I've already tried in a number of different threads.

    After following the link there is a brief explanation of what the docco is about. You can use that to decide whether or not it's worth watching.
     
  5. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Will you call attention to any specific holes in the evidence? Or are you just going to deny its validity?
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Based on the description, it sounds like a propaganda video made by religious people.
     
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  7. A.M.P.
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    Yeap, certainly don't have time to watch that nevermind my need to hold on to my faith in humanity (the little I got left)

    Just from the description, it's nothing I've not seen or heard before.

    Science = Data
    Religion = Ignores Data

    Science = Fall off a cliff means death
    Religion = Fall off a cliff, die and go to heaven unless you're a witch which then you'll fly away to safety

    Science = The World Is Round in the 1640s by Galileo
    Religion = Apologizes for imprisoning Galileo in 1992...

    A funny thing, Darwin's theory is a theory and even then not fully accepted by most scientists.
    It's a popular one because it's a strong one but there's still no certainty how, when, why it all went down.
    So, I doubt it's treated as sacred text except by those who work to prove it.

    And atheism is only like religion if it's organized and relentlessly hunts down religion and tries to destroy it.
    I mean, Liddle compares it based on arrogance and intolerance which means: Arrogance + Intolerance = Religion

    "And then they eat the poo poo!"
    Propaganda at its finest :3
     
  8. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Only" doesn't go with "an hour" on the internet.
     
  9. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    I didn't see Liddle as religious at all - I saw him to be a lot like me, an objective observer. I would definitely agree that fundamentalist religion is equal to arrogance + intolerance. So if he makes that comparison and it rings true, I am more than inclined to agree with him. If atheism breeds arrogance and intolerance, how can it be a good thing. If it's not a good thing, why is it practiced?

    I would also say that your first statement is a dangerous one. I would argue that Dawkins and many more are actively trying to eliminate religion, so by your definition it is, once again religion.
     
  10. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, the thing is, it doesn't.
     
  11. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Watch the documentary; if you don't consider two of the fundamentalists interviewed as arrogant - we have very different views on what constitutes arrogance. I was actually really impressed by Richard Dawkins. It was his appearance on an Australian TV show that initially turned me away from atheism. Albeit his appearances were brief (probably because he didn't provide enough fodder) he was definitely the most compelling. The others were completely bat-shit-fundamentalist crazy.
     
  12. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I can agree that some atheists are crazy (i.e., militant atheists), but atheism certainly doesn't breed arrogance and intolerance. Atheists are very much against intolerance, especially given the fact that atheists are some of the most distrusted people in the US.
     
  13. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    And religion doesn't? I know there are a lot of good, kind-hearted religious folks in the world, but there are those who use religion to justify persecuting minorities, and have done so for centuries. There are plenty of bad people in the Atheism department as well, but last I checked, none of the atheists are telling gay people they're going to hell for their sexuality.

    Don't paint an entire group of people as arrogant assholes just because of the few who are arrogant assholes. You wouldn't like it if I did the same for religious people, would you?
     
  14. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I will if I have time. But my point is that there are arrogant asshole atheists just like there are arrogant asshole religious people. But it's not the religion or lack thereof that makes them that way - - that's the way they were originally.
     
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  15. Vandor76
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    @AVCortez : I think you know from another thread what I think about the point so I don't repeat myself, just add my two cents to the "summarize or not summarize" topic. If you ask others to spend one hour of their time, -that they could also spend with their family-, watching a video about something that is already discussed in detail all around the internet you need to throw in a very attractive bait for them to grab their attention. Just linking to a video and asking them to watch it is far from enough (no offense).
    Most of us (including you and me) have read/heard/watched a lot about the "atheism vs religion" thing and therefore we are a bit skeptical that a single video can add too much to this.
     
  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I was actually willing to watch the video, and I even took notes, but here's the thing: He loses me from the get-go for being very inflammatory himself in his manner of speech.

    00:11 "...Britain is one of the least god-fearing countries..."

    Not secular, not even atheist, but the much more impassioned and righteous "god-fearing". That's not skewed at all.

    00:40 "...at it's worst, Atheism can be every bit as intolerant as religious belief..."

    So we immediately jump to looking only at the worst of anything because that's so much juicier than the boring GIGANTIC middle part of the bell-curve, the moderates.

    00:44 "...I wonder if it really is the answer to our prayers..."

    Atheism doesn't answer prayers because it indicates prayer as part of an epistemology that is separate from it. Atheism also doesn't paint or rock-climb, but the idea in the word-play is a self negation and thus a presumption of falsehood either is the side taken or as shock to the opponent.

    02:48 "...all of which is perfectly understandable, I suppose, but is it religion, per se, that is to blame, or that very stupid human craving for certainty and justification? Many atheist reckon it is religion or belief in the supernatural...."

    No need to explain how skewed that is.

    And then we are presented Richard Dawkins, because as we all know, HE represents the "many atheists".

    04:00 - He accuses the person whom he is interviewing of calling religious people stupid, when what he said was that they are trapped by their beliefs...

    * * *
    I'm only 4 minutes into the film and I feel absolutely molested at how this guy's language is trying to grab me by my junk, very tightly, and lead me through his suppositions and assumed answers that he will then go look for facts to uphold or denounce.

    If he actually has something insightful to say, he's hashed it by being such a boar in his leading manner of speech. Whether his conclusion is that Atheism is sensible or ridiculous, as an American who must suffer through the constant and ever increasing roar of everything becoming politicized, his aggressively American (though he is clearly not) way of presenting this discussion is just more noise.
     
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  17. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    @chicagoliz @Link the Writer @thirdwind - The same can definitely be said about every organised religion but atheists are quick to point out the fundamentalists within their ranks.
     
  18. Link the Writer
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    It's the same thing in reverse. Both sides are more than willing to point fingers at the worst the other side has to offer rather than look at the gigantic canyon of grey.
     
  19. GingerCoffee
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    :confused:

    Are you referring to the abiogenesis part of the theory? Because I'm pretty sure most scientists fully accept evolution theory.
     
  20. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    I would be interested in seeing how Dawkins' book sales stack up because I estimate that he's moved a copy or tw0. I think that Dawkins speaks for a lot more atheists than you'd think - and what is worrying is that he was one of the more logical chaps presented.

    As an atheist I find the way in which the atheists I rub shoulders with at uni behave troubling. I have friends who are islamic, catholic and christian, I do not discriminate against them because they do not discriminate against me. I, as an atheist, find myself being the only one vocal enoug to stand up for them as they're accosted for their beliefs in and out of the classroom. It is the atheists who spark the debate - except when a muslim in present, in which case it takes place in hushed voices. It's excruciatingly racist.

    Whether it's a survival mechanism or not, atheists are lowering themselves to the same level as fundamentalists Christians and it's doing the movement no favours.

    I am surprised you disagree that atheists crave certainty - the big bang is still a theory. What came before is anyone's guess. Certainty is what gave the church its strength and its a different opinion of the same unprovable truth that has brought rise to atheism - how are you any different? Keeping in mind that evils committed in the name of god do not actually prove your position one way or another.

    @Link the Writer you're dead right, but I live in the canyon and want to shine a light on the black and dim the white.
     
  21. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Do you know most scientists do you?
     
  22. Wreybies
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    I agree. If I missed saying it before, please know that I'm a stout atheist. And I'm gay. I wouldn't really care at all as to what religious people do or believe, but right now, in the country where I live, their beliefs - and the belief of some, not all, religious people that their religious views should be the meter by which to measure secular law - is blocking my ability to marry my husband and protect our interests.

    I didn't disagree. I objected to his inflammatory choice of words. I genuinely have no idea what his conclusion is. I couldn't get past the obstacle course of word choices he made. He and I could, for all I know, have the exact same take on things, but I definitely would not want him, in particular, to speak for me, even be that the case.
     
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  23. Bryan Romer
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    There is nothing to compare. An atheist is simply someone who does not accept that any deity as set out by the formal religions has been proven to exist. Other than that, nothing ties one atheist to another. Plus it is perfectly possible for an Atheist to hold other completely nonsensical beliefs. There is no formal uniting body that forms "Atheism".
     
  24. chicagoliz
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    I don't understand what you mean. None of the atheists I know point to anyone as representing atheists as a group. There isn't even a common united mindset that brings atheists together. There are some atheists who are trying to establish things like "Sunday schools" and weekly get-togethers to discuss philosophy and world issues and to bring people together as a united group. Other atheists don't like this at all and in fact, find it dangerous, believing that the group think of most religions is the most dangerous thing of all, and atheists getting together as a group just gives into this worst part about religion.

    Some atheists consider agnostics to be a part of their group, and others think agnostics are not at all atheists and lack the conviction to really embrace a belief. There are really very few atheist "leaders," and the most well known are usually those who are willing to really take a stance, be provocative and do things to draw attention to themselves.
     
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  25. GingerCoffee
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    There's a summary of the film in Wiki:
    The Trouble with Atheism
    The problem some Christians have with evolution theory is it undermines the major tenet of the Christian religion, original sin. In order to preserve belief in the face of overwhelming evidence against those beliefs one demonizes the messengers (for example claiming scientists reject all evidence of God, as opposed to, don't find any evidence of gods), one discounts the evidence (for example trying to discredit radio isotope dating methods), one attempts to usurp the methodology (Intelligent Design hypothesis), and one attempts to bring science down to the same level as religion (claiming science is just a different religion).

    Scientists would be ecstatic to discover actual evidence of gods. Think of the find!

    Radio isotope dating is corroborated by geological evidence, ice core drilling, and tree ring studies.

    Intelligent design hypothesis was dependent upon irreducible complexity evidence. So far the main evidence put forth of irreducible complexity was Dr Behe's study of the bacterial flagellum. The flagellum has been reduced, meaning the genetic precursor was discovered. Genetic science confirms evolution theory.

    And as has been pointed out many times, the difference between science and religion is science is a process, it's not just the body of knowledge that results from that process. The knowledge that results from the scientific process is always subject to modification based on the evidence.

    Yes, the scientific process is amoral (meaning without morals, not immoral). However, morality is a part of the human condition and despite what some theists believe, morality is for the most part inherent, it isn't given to us with a sprinkling of pixie dust from the magic sky daddy.

    Eugenics is not the natural outcome of evolution theory. Rather discovery of the mechanisms of moral thought is an outcome of evolution theory research. We observe how morality evolved by studying non-human animal behaviors. We see what effect damage to specific brain structures has on moral thought and behavior.

    Are there atheist extremists? Sure, people react when they feel their beliefs and lifestyle threatened and atheists are no exception. The idea five rich white catholic men sitting on the SCOTUS are changing laws that affect those of us who don't hold their religious or political beliefs is very disconcerting. People react on different levels to such impositions of other's beliefs upon the rest of us just as theists react when their beliefs are threatened.

    It's important to point out here that not all atheists are scientific evidence based believers, just as not all scientific evidence based believers are atheist. I know more than a few atheists that believe in all sorts of things there is no evidence supporting and even evidence against. Humans have a keen ability for cognitive dissonance. I describe theist-scientists as having a blind spot. None of us is completely free of blind spots. Being an atheist-scientist is no guarantee one won't have other blind spots.
     
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