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The Trombone ForumPractice BreakChit-ChatReligion(Moderator: bhcordova) Atheism: Good or Bad? (non-PP)
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Bruce the budgie

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« Reply #180 on: Aug 05, 2017, 10:27AM »

Gods were used as a way to explain things we couldn't control or understand.  Why does the Nile flood?  Must be the Water God.  Why does rain fall?  Must be the Rain God.  Early religions used a panoply of Gods to explain things.  Monotheism is only about 3,000 years old, dating to an Egyptian King (but his beliefs died when he did).
...and why does there seem to be so much wrathful smiting going on? Oh, right, He Whose Name We Do Not Speak is a volcano/storm god. It might be interesting to explore how Akhnaten's beliefs influenced those of Levantine nomads or Canaanites, but that is a topc for another thread, perhaps.

My suspicion is that, when time was ripe, monotheism came out of henotheism or monolatry, loosely paraphrased as "You all's gods are cool and all, but Ours is the best." which, over time,  became "Ours is the only one; all others are abominable and fake." Bad behavior associated with territorial competition then had a set of chants, and beliefs about which kind of barbecue made the most pleasing aroma, to define the in-group.

Of course, the in-group doesn't need to be defined by the particulars of a belief in supernatural forces or beings. It can go along with something as simple as those folks across the river liking porridge that tastes funny, or something as tenuous as their habits seeming rude by "our" standards.

It has been said before in this thread, and IMO deserves repetition, that cooperation, empathy, and compassionate action have benefits which are evident even to unbelievers.
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« Reply #181 on: Aug 05, 2017, 10:54AM »

I bolded the text. However, it's a shame that liberal leftist progressives weren't around back then to protect these helpless victims from bullies. LOL!
 

Channeling Nietzsche, are we?
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« Reply #182 on: Aug 05, 2017, 10:59AM »

Religion didn't exist for our primitive ancestors (say, 1,000,000 years ago).  We can't call them "atheistic" since that establishes a position against a God (or Gods).  They are non-theistic.  It's hard to be religious when you are running away from a lion.
The prefix "a" simply means "without". The word atheist already means what you are are attempting to change it to. To be against god would be anti-theist.
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« Reply #183 on: Aug 05, 2017, 12:58PM »

Religion didn't exist for our primitive ancestors (say, 1,000,000 years ago).  We can't call them "atheistic" since that establishes a position against a God (or Gods).  They are non-theistic.  It's hard to be religious when you are running away from a lion.

Gods were used as a way to explain things we couldn't control or understand.  Why does the Nile flood?  Must be the Water God.  Why does rain fall?  Must be the Rain God.  Early religions used a panoply of Gods to explain things.  Monotheism is only about 3,000 years old, dating to an Egyptian King (but his beliefs died when he did).

I think the oldest current monotheistic religion is Judaism, from which both Christianity and Islam sprang.

Once we have organized religion, we can have Atheists, who may accept all the social teachings of a religion but not the theology.
Religion exists since we first could call man, humans. 200,000 years ago
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« Reply #184 on: Aug 05, 2017, 02:07PM »

Religion exists since we first could call man, humans. 200,000 years ago
I don't think so, but you're not alone in taking that view.

The first humans with the wherewithal to even develop animism were only 60K - 70K years ago.  Sure, there were homo sapiens as long ago as 150-200 million years ago, but they were not equipped for anything as sophisticated as religion. In fact they were thought to have played 2nd fiddle to homo neanderthal in the intelligence department once they emerged from Africa circa 100K years ago into the Levant.  They managed to eke out a poor living against H. N. for about 30K years before the 2nd wave of H.S. came.

It was that 2nd wave of sapiens that had the ability to engage in abstract thought, and it was an overwhelmingly enormous advantage.  The earliest commonly accepted timeline for paleoreligion is at about ~50K years ago.  Real evidence does not show up until about 34K years ago, but it had to have a start before that.  Sure, there is some evidence the H. N. buried their dead, but that in and of itself does not provide convincing evidence of any sort of religion.

The first theistic (poly- or mono- )religions did not come about, like Bruce said, until about 3500-4000 years ago.  That would put it around Abraham's time.  One thing the Bible got right.
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« Reply #185 on: Aug 05, 2017, 02:46PM »

I think the oldest current monotheistic religion is Judaism, from which both Christianity and Islam sprang.

It's important not to forget Zoroaster's input on this. Is it a coincidence that Judaism returned from its exile with the idea of monotheism newly fixed in its collective consciousness, when it was freed by a Zoroastrian regime?

It would certainly be neat to conclude that Ahura Mazda inspired the effort to conceive of Yahweh as the only god in existence - though of course life is not usually as neat as one might like! While pre-exilic writers praise Yahweh as supreme, they acknowledge the existence of other gods.
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« Reply #186 on: Aug 05, 2017, 03:02PM »

It's important not to forget Zoroaster's input on this. Is it a coincidence that Judaism returned from its exile with the idea of monotheism newly fixed in its collective consciousness, when it was freed by a Zoroastrian regime?

It would certainly be neat to conclude that Ahura Mazda inspired the effort to conceive of Yahweh as the only god in existence - though of course life is not usually as neat as one might like! While pre-exilic writers praise Yahweh as supreme, they acknowledge the existence of other gods.
Yup.  This is what I was referring to at the end of my last post.
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« Reply #187 on: Aug 11, 2017, 01:11AM »

Atheists believe all we have around us happened by chance.  A random molecule here meets a random molecule there.  Over a few millenia we get single cells.  Then multiple cells.  Then small orgaisms.  Then larger organisms.  Some organisms are more suited to the environment and they reproduce.  Others can't cope and die out.  Organisms evolve through random mutations.

This absolutely chuffed Albert Einstein, who said "God does not play at dice".  But the quantum mechanical model does explain some phenomena.  So we accept it.  If it fails to predict something, we will find a different model.

I should mention that the Einstein quote had nothing to do with what you're talking about here.
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« Reply #188 on: Aug 11, 2017, 09:43AM »

I should mention that the Einstein quote had nothing to do with what you're talking about here.

Einstein was talking about Quantum Mechanics.  It's a model where macro effects are a statistical sum of micro interactions of a random nature.

The idea that evolution occurs by chance is on the same model.

Yes, Einstein was not talking about Evolution or Biology.
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« Reply #189 on: Aug 11, 2017, 10:38AM »

Einstein was talking about Quantum Mechanics.  It's a model where macro effects are a statistical sum of micro interactions of a random nature.

The idea that evolution occurs by chance is on the same model.

Yes, Einstein was not talking about Evolution or Biology.

And evolution wouldn't have drawn the same response with him, because it it doesn't require randomness at the level of physics. For instance, a 'random' mutation is caused by some physical occurrence and follows physical laws. I think it might have been Schrodinger's cat that got Einstein's goat.
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« Reply #190 on: Aug 11, 2017, 01:32PM »

I still don't understand why Schrodinger wasn't turned in to the SPCA for treating his poor cat that way!
 Evil Evil Evil
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« Reply #191 on: Aug 11, 2017, 02:42PM »

I still don't understand why Schrodinger wasn't turned in to the SPCA for treating his poor cat that way!
 Evil Evil Evil

Or did he?
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« Reply #192 on: Aug 11, 2017, 03:21PM »

Has anyone looked?
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« Reply #193 on: Aug 11, 2017, 06:51PM »

I still don't understand why Schrodinger wasn't turned in to the SPCA for treating his poor cat that way!
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« Reply #194 on: Aug 11, 2017, 08:48PM »

Einstein was talking about Quantum Mechanics.  It's a model where macro effects are a statistical sum of micro interactions of a random nature.
This is not quite right, but close enough for this thread.  Kudos for getting this so close.
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« Reply #195 on: Aug 11, 2017, 08:56PM »

I think it might have been Schrodinger's cat that got Einstein's goat.
It was Einstein's reaction to the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM that riled his goat.  However, I doubt anyone here wants an explanation of this, so I'll just stop now... :/
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« Reply #196 on: Aug 11, 2017, 08:56PM »

Has anyone looked?
Well, that just ruins the whole thing!!
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« Reply #197 on: Aug 11, 2017, 09:16PM »

I have been enjoying "Unbeleivable" Podcasts.  Respectful dialogue, usually including a skeptic, agnostic, or atheist and a Christian.  The moderator is fair and the guests are intelligent and articulate. The skeptics/agnostics are not used as simple foils, although it is on a Christian broadcast network.  Civilized discussion and respectful debate.
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« Reply #198 on: Aug 11, 2017, 09:30PM »

I'm an atheist, and I caught myself practicing religious discrimination.

I was interviewing an employee who was clean and presentable but very thin and a little nervous and she and her boyfriend seemed to have moved across the country on a bit of a whim. I worried that she might be a druggie of some sort. When I routinely asked her about her availability, she said she couldn't work Sundays because she went to church. I reasoned that if she had a drug problem she had probably dealt with it by becoming religious so I hired her.

In the end, she turned out to be a great employee and definitely not a substance abuser, and had had some chronic health issues that led to her slender appearance.

It's sort of funny that as an atheist I illegally discriminated in favor of a prospective employee because she goes to church.
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« Reply #199 on: Aug 12, 2017, 02:29PM »

I'm an atheist, and I caught myself practicing religious discrimination.
 
I was interviewing an employee who was clean and presentable but very thin and a little nervous and she and her boyfriend seemed to have moved across the country on a bit of a whim. I worried that she might be a druggie of some sort. When I routinely asked her about her availability, she said she couldn't work Sundays because she went to church. I reasoned that if she had a drug problem she had probably dealt with it by becoming religious so I hired her.
 
In the end, she turned out to be a great employee and definitely not a substance abuser, and had had some chronic health issues that led to her slender appearance.
 
It's sort of funny that as an atheist I illegally discriminated in favor of a prospective employee because she goes to church.

You fatherless son of a professional!
 
You clearly violated the law because as an atheist you have no moral core.
 
That's also obviously why you hate God, Trump, and the powerfully oppressed Pure and True Christians™ trying to merely survive their End Times Tribulation holed up in the Deep Red.
 
Heh.
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