Many atheists say that atheism just means not believing in god. Nothing more and nothing less. Is this true? When we become atheists, do we automatically accept or reject something? Once this is answered, going beyond this, should we deliberately accept or reject somethings after accepting atheism?

MADHUKAR KULKARNI.

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Dogly

"We do not automatically reject or accept anything after we become atheists."

You have not got my question correctly. My question is 'Should we deliberately accept somethinf after becoming athests. The purpose is to know if atheists like, as atheists, to be associated with something or accept some ather beliefs because they support atheism.

MADHUKAR KULKARNI.

I think what I'm trying to explain to you  is that atheists have nothing in common with each other except freedom from a belief in god.  You keep asking what we all think.  Nothing.  Keep reading all these different forum subjects.  You'll see.  We debate everything.  

Atheism is for me one subaspect of Apistia.   I am born with a brain, that is void of any need of, inclination towards and attraction to any belief or faith as taking anything as true.   Instead my brain processes probabilites.  

The loud ones.

Just because I'm atheist, doesn't mean I believe what other Atheists believe. We just don't believe in a god.

However, the loudest usually get heard. And the religious love to find anything that sounds angry, which in turn they use to define us... they seem to think it will invalidate us... or, they're just really pathetically obsessed with watching us. Maybe just pathetically obsessed.

Yeah you. The one reading this who shouldn't be here. You know who you are.

cool! do we have an interloper in our midst?

I welcome the interloper. Always happy to debate openly.

No need to hide. I can assure you it's very unlikely that we atheists will:

crucify you

submit you to witch trials

enslave your people

rape your family

sacrifice you

outcast you

demand you kill a family member

disfigure your genitals

hang you

tell you that you have demons in you

stone you

torture you

damn you

wipe out a race of people in your name

offer your daughter to rapists.

I think we're more likely to make you a cup of tea. :)

Astute and timely.

This is the sort of message we should be reminding those bible-thumping theists about. 

Dr. Meaden, is it my head you are patting?

David Raphael

This really wonderful, speaks the atheist spirit correctly. Hoever, I feel that we have hated the past for long now and I desire that atheists should now look to future. The question I raise in this post is to see how atheists see the future, without old baggage.

MADHUKAR KULKARNI.

 

I think the point is that atheists all see the future differently because atheists are all different. As explained earlier, they are a 'non-group'. The only thing that unites them is a lack of something.

In this sense, religious groups are stronger because they have a collective focus and belief.

The question 'what should atheists do now?' could be seen as similar to 'what should people who don't like The Beatles now?' or 'what should people do not eat meat do now?' 

These groups are too diverse within themselves - in fact they're not even groups.

Besides, if universally unified social ideas were possible we wouldn't have different political parties.

I worry that as soon as you try to decide what is good for other people, you will fail. As soon as you decide that "ABC is good for the people" you automatically exclude people who do not agree. It's the old revolutionary paradox: a revolution overthrows a dictator then sets up stringent systems to make sure that the dictatorship cannot be repeated. In doing so they create a dictatorship...

To come back to your question; I don't see an immediate future without religion. And I don't want people to stop being religious. That is their right. Right or wrong, it's clearly a human attribute. I only object to religious people imposing their beliefs on my constitutional and personal rights.

Morally and ethically we will not fundamentally change because a god did not give us a moral, ethical or social code. These things are innate to our species (and other group-based species) and will continue to define us and develop with or without religion.

My only real hope for the future would be the eradication of beliefs (of any kind) in the wider public domain that are not supported by verifiable data.

I'm in agreement with the central Buddhist idea: "Reject blind faith and the unverifiable, only use reason and logic to assess the world, and then only act if you do not harm to others" (paraphrasing the Dhammapada)

David Raphael wrote" <"I think the point is that atheists all see the future differently because atheists are all different. As explained earlier, they are a 'non-group'. The only thing that unites them is a lack of something."> 

I say that we atheists do have a common cause because our universal stance is that science can explain everything.

Therefore our shared collective urge should be to get the world's education systems to teach children exactly that---following which some of the children will instinctively move away from the absurdities of religious hogwash. 

I agree, Dr M.

I would include childhood education systems to be part of the public domain I mentioned, which as I said, religion should be kept out of. I would consider religion in schools to be an imposition on rights (of children).

The problem with insisting that people are not allowed to express their religion is that it is a dictatorial position. We have to let people think and do what they want as long as it does not impinge on rights (Though, to reiterate, I would consider religion in schools to be an imposition on the rights of kids).

But it also depends on what 'religion in schools' means. I have no problem with religion being taught as long as it's not presented as 'fact', but as a part of history or sociology or community studies, for example.

My own formal (English) religious education at school did not focus particularly on monotheist traditions as 'facts'; it also addressed other religions, even hippie, new-age kinds of spirituality. Christianity was presented in such a way that made it all about as believable as a story from Greek mythology. I felt like I was an atheist as young as 8 or 9 but I enjoyed reading bible stories - simply because I enjoyed stories of all kinds. Despite this exposure to religion I was not influenced in the brainwashing way that people fear.

But this isn't the kind of religious instruction we're afraid of, I guess. The American right-wing model seems much more oppressive to me. It's a balance of rights that we atheists need to keep a watchful eye on to make sure that religious zeal does not creep in the back door while we're not looking.

Re: the common cause. I would be more inclined to express the statement as "science will or may explain everything."

It certainly can't explain everything right now. And as Dawkins has pointed out, the problem is that people lazily insert god into 'unanswered areas' - the god of the gaps - rather than admit that we simply just don't know yet. And that it's ok not to know.

I also have a feeling that the more scientific questions we answer, the more questions will be raised about new and as yet undiscovered natural phenomena, ie, quantum,  so, in that sense, science may never explain everything simply because new questions are always being posed. It seems to me that science is a progressive ever-moving discipline and that all hypotheses and theories are perpetually open to change and even annulment if enough contrary empirical data is gathered.

Or is this not the case? You will certainly have more professional insight into this than I do.

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