Is Atheism a chiefly liberal or conservative philosophy?

I know this may seem like a bit of an odd question but I’ve been wondering about it for the past few days and for some reason I can’t escape the feeling that it (atheism) would be a rather ‘conservative’ point of view (that is, at least in title), and yet I’m constantly being called a liberal because of my social and political leanings. I'm just wondering what your views are on this.

 

PS: I’ll be gone for a few days but I will catch up with this thread when I return.

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Christopher,
You are correct. Liberal v. conservative political distinctions have no bearing on the central concept of Atheism (except an admitted Atheist couldn't elected to shovel shit out of the stable in this country). But this group will get off track with a far degree of regularity, which gives credence to the view that there is no unifying philosophy of Atheism except that we don't buy in to the sky spook(s) mind rotting fable.   Sooo.... we have to piss and moan about a lot of other stuff. :>)
I believe if one is intellectually honest and defines concepts with essential characteristics only and uses reason and logic for the integration of these concepts into a knowledge base, which is what happens in the cortex to learn, and applies this to epistemology, metaphysics and ethics, you can see that objectivism most accurately describes reality as it is and nothing more. Ayn Rand did this for the most part.

It strikes me as unbelievably overconfident to assert that one person has so seamlessly integrated perhaps the three most important branches of philosophy into one “logical worldview”. Anyway, you may think Ayn Rand was the greatest philosopher who ever lived, but my experience has been different. I probably agree more with her metaphysics than anything else, and maybe with her epistemology for the most part, but our ethical systems have great disparities. And I read your essay, and some of your other blog entries as well, and they are heavily centered around Ayn Rand’s thinking and I see little else. To think that ethics can so simply be derived from metaphysics shows, imo, a real lack of understanding of ethics. It’s not nearly so cut and dry as you think it is. But I think this is a completely different topic, so I won’t argue ethics with you here.

"I believe an intellectually honest and sufficiently educated look at metaphysics and epistemology gives one an accurate view of humanity. A part of this understanding is how, by the nature of the mind, consciousness and causal law, morality properly concerns the individual, not the group. You may choose to be a utilitarian of any large number of varying arbitrary types, but the professed top value will always be in contrast to the fact that the professed utilitarian's brain operates in an egoistic fashion. There s no middle ground. Consciousness and moral decision making is always individual in nature. You claim some middle ground, but there is none."

But I thought you said that there is middle ground between egoism and altruism? Or do you still cling to this dichotomy?

"The producers produce, that's why we call them producers. They are not exploiters. Producing, essentially, does not entail exploitation."

Nor did I say it does. But if you are only going to focus on the points Ayn Rand makes we aren’t going to get anywhere fast.

“The great... Ayn Rand is my favorite famous philosopher because I think she is the most intellectually honest and accurate. Why would I use the words of those I have read that I consider confused? And my words are like her words because reality is objective and causal. We mostly both use essentials only to define concepts."

Lol, okay.

"You think logic can include contradiction and I don't know the difference between logic and reason? Unbelievable."

What??? Never did I say that logic can include contradiction. Now you are putting words into my mouth.

Logic is more than adhering to a rigorous system. The introduction of something that itself is a contradiction makes any logical syllogism with it in it invalid in any real test.

By rigorous I of course meant that it does not allow contradictions. What else did you falsely interpret me to mean?

Logic and contradiction are mutually exclusive. Show me one logical statement that is also contradictory.

I can’t, because that isn’t what I said! To be perfectly clear, what I said word for word is “Logic just means adhering to a rigorous system. If the system includes taking things for granted, then as long as it doesn’t take anything contradictory for granted, it complies with being logical.” I would think that someone as intellectually honest as you claim to be would have verified what you took to be a mistake on my part before you accused me of making such a blatant error.

The rest of this argument is just circling around the same points. This conversation seems to have run its course.

My thinking is heavily centered around reality. So is Ayn Rand's. Like I wouldn't use Einstein's words to describe relativity. But then you'd say that I borrow too heavily from his work and cannot be right because I am not full of arbitrary and conflicting ideas of all different kinds put forth by different people. 

 

So, again, it appears you think I am wrong because I think I'm right.

 

People, like yourself, think there is a middle ground. I recognize that. If you do not profess altruism or egoism, then you are likely a utilitarian of some sort. This is the perceived middle ground I acknowledge existing. It's as if you think someone can have a valid ethics as long as they use many different types of theories and aren't sure about them. Any dichotomy between egoism and altruism is false, since altruism cannot actually be practiced consistently. It would result in destruction of the self-sacrificer. And I've already explained why choice is always egoistic. Non-egoistic ethics are not valid. And do not exist, except in people's heads as abstract concepts. Invalid ones.

 

I did not mean to suggest that you said literally that contradiction and logic can coincide, but I think you are implying it when you say that a theist can have a logical worldview. This is impossible because the concepts of omniscience and omnipotence are necesasrily anti-logical and contradictory.

 

But do not tell me that you have not directly stated that the rich necessarily exploit vis a vis the way they get rich. 

 

And there's little else on my blogs, but AR? About half of my entries are about determined choice and vitrification, both of which Ayn Rand thought were bogus. I doubt you have honestly considered egoism. You keep crying Ayn Rand, instead of bringing up any points as to why it is moral to use institutionalized corruption to take from producers and give to the needy.

1) Atheism is not a "philosophy". "A-" + "theism", or "without theism". All the term entails is lack of belief in any theistic religion.

 

2) The "atheist community" is actually pretty diverse. You have liberal, conservative, libertarian, socialist, etc etc all over the map. Me myself? I lean closer to libertarian in that I a) have somewhat of a distaste for the whole left-right paradigm and snooty PC liberals, b) think both left and right extremes tend to use government to moralize to the rest of us and I'm for limited government. That's without even speaking of economics and only on social issues alone


Actually Brad I’d like to challenge the validity of that statement.

When I postulated this question back in March I was hoping I could see something of the political slant of non-secularism. I did manage to get some idea of it but eventually lost interest when the discussion became endlessly nitpicky after awhile (which was about a week later), so I stopped checking up on it. Mostly because I pretty much concluded what you did and considered the issue dropped.

Then to my surprise I came back to the site two months later and saw that it was still going on.

Anyway, back to what I wanted to point out. Personally Brad I would agree with your assessment except I recently got a e-mail from my Far Right Wing Christian Fundamentalist sister once again illustrating how I was going straight to hell for my beliefs as well as telling me about how Sarah Palin would be putting this country back on track again. So, suddenly I realized ‘I bet there are no atheist tea baggers’.

I’m also beginning to realize that the entire Tea Party is everything Atheism is not, which does not make me very comfortable. Because if (IF) the Tea Party does manage to get into office, it could definitely cause a lot of problems not just for this country but for atheism as well. After all, atheism does pose a ‘clear and present danger’ to the Tea Party.

I'm pretty sure there are 87 tea-baggers in office right now, and thats just congress~ who knows how many in local offices.
I'm not sure I'm mean you have fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. I highly doubt that atheist are social conservatives with the whole gay marriage and other issues that social conservatives try and push, however fiscal conservatives can be atheists as this is strictly an economic issue. I would like to think of myself as fiscally conservative, but socially liberal, or libertarian like someone else recently posted. All I know is I value my civil liberties and will part from a party that I feel is violating those rights. Although I did see an article that tried to explain that educated liberals are more likely to become atheists, as education level is closely tied to religiosity.

Here is the link:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100224132655.htm

Good day to all!

In my opinion, the essence of this question is asking, "As an atheist, have you replaced god and religion with your version of State?" Old question. Authority, rules, regulation, promises, lofty ideologies, theories about social structure, how to address social "problems", etc. The Right will want to say The Left has replaced their god with the State. The Left will say The Right has lost it's humanity in their cold and loveless Randian version of civilization.

 

Technology is doing what for us? Where are we going? What does "progress" mean? What is all of this leading to?

 

The answers to these questions would serve us better.

Park Bierbower,

 

Something is worth what it is paid for. It is not unfair to use 10 dollars in production cost plus effort and time and will to sell something for 20. This is trade, not exploitation. Profit comes from work, the value of which, in dollars, is what the seller and buyer AGREE, without deception or force. Work and trade is not exploitation, unless it involved fraud or force. 

That seems to be putting the cart before the horse, Michael.  If the value of a product can only be assessed after it has been paid for, then its value can be anything.  It would seem to me that value is typically determined by the resources that are expended in the production of a product.  The only exception I would see to that would be in things such as Art, where the value of the product is arbitrary to the cost of its production.
Park,

The value of a product is determined at the moment of purchase. This is trade. And it is fair. It is up to the producer and purchaser to decide what all that went into the product is worth. Otherwise, someone is unfairly manipulating someone else, whether purchaser, buyer or mob rule empowered government.
Mike,

I agree with you on this issue. The value of product is determined by the buyer and seller when the negotiate a price. If the seller thinks the product is worth more than what he will do is tell the buyer either to raise the price or the negotiations will end. The seller is not being coerced into selling to the buyer at a certain price. If the seller agrees to sell the product at a certain price, and the buyer figures out that he can sell this same product to someone else for a higher price, the buyer was not exploiting the previous seller. If there is a demand for a product and someone is willing and able to pay a premium for the product than that is not the fault of the buyer that he made a profit off of the product.

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