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The Trombone ForumPractice BreakChit-ChatReligion(Moderator: bhcordova) Atheism: Good or Bad? (non-PP)
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actikid
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« Reply #20 on: Oct 13, 2011, 07:26PM »

When you get one shot at doing something you tend to want to make it count.
And to be accountable.  I don't believe in a god that will forgive my mistakes.  I believe I have to own my mistakes.  I do believe in a Judgment Day.  It is every day.  I try to live my life in such a way that those I care about will judge me positively.  I don't always succeed, but I own it and I don't rationalize it by telling myself that if I say magic words of believe magic things, I don't have to be accountable.
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« Reply #21 on: Oct 13, 2011, 07:31PM »

Now I see the point of this thread wasn't so much as "Lets actually debate an issue" as rather a "Lets destroy whoever disagrees with us".

...

Let's can the false martyrdom, okay?

If you want to believe in God, you have the right.  Note my pair of quotes from Nietzche and God.

If you think you can convince an atheist to believe in your God, you are welcome to try.  Just as you are perfectly entitled to try to teach a pig to sing.

Just don't be surprised if you fail.

Even if we aren't looking at a "Final Reward" there is a lot to live for.  Atheists want to make their mark as much as religionists.  Atheists don't want to leave a legacy of converts, though.  They want to make their mark doing things like winning Nobel Prizes or making a big pile of money in Business.
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actikid
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« Reply #22 on: Oct 13, 2011, 07:35PM »

I'd rather live for something bigger than me and knows everything that has happened, does happen, could happen and will happen.
I would too.  Who wouldn't?

But not so much that I can just make that up out of whole cloth.  Because the idea of intellectual honesty is also one of those things that is bigger than me.

Speaking of symmetry, a thought came upon me this evening as I was raking leaves -- and entirely unrelated to this discussion.  Some believers say that their greatest sorrow is seeing a person not saved because the unsaved will be a lost soul that doesn't live on with them in heaven.

A point of sadness for me is that my religious friends will never know that what they believe -- and spent so much of their life preoccupied with, was simply not true.   I mean you are going to be dead, just like me, and there will be no consciousness of anything at that point.  It is sad to me that you won't even know, let alone have the opportunity to tell others to change their priorities while they still have an opportunity.

Or to put it another way, as a hypothetical, what if you knew for certain that your last heartbeat would be the end of the line?  Is there anything you would be doing differently now if you had certain knowledge that this life was the whole prize?
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« Reply #23 on: Oct 13, 2011, 07:41PM »

Now I see the point of this thread wasn't so much as "Lets actually debate an issue" as rather a "Lets destroy whoever disagrees with us".

Love for what exactly: each other, what we do, ourselves?



Well, as you put it, "Lets destroy whoever disagrees with us" is debating. I'm not really sure what you're trying to say- if you don't disprove or reject the other's opinions (at least partially), then what's the point? We can all just say our opinions until we're blue in the cheeks.

Also- Yes, I have love for everybody. I don't need some guy in the sky telling me to. Why is that necessary?

My purpose, as I see it, on this planet is to play some good music and hopefully make some lives better on the side. I don't need some huge directive to save everybody or convert nations.

Sometimes, I feel like having the guy in the sky watching everything I do, somebody to talk to, would be great. With some things I wouldn't like. But hey, if my dad was around all the time, I'd feel the same way. Why is it so hard for people to accept that they can be alone?
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« Reply #24 on: Oct 13, 2011, 07:43PM »

Now I see the point of this thread wasn't so much as "Lets actually debate an issue" as rather a "Lets destroy whoever disagrees with us".

So you feel that arguments against your points are "destroying" them? That sounds like the common believer reaction to dissenting opinion that shifts the disagreement into somehow disallowing beliefs. Do you think anyone can communicate disagreement with your beliefs without somehow oppressing you or suppressing your beliefs?

The problem here, Rob, is that your view of atheism is obviously all presumption and dogma, and pretty much no actual substance or experience, or reality. It seems pretty clear you have little if any practical experience or knowledge of atheists or atheism. You apparently only have the rhetoric of those who have serious problems with atheists and atheism (and few with fabrication and presumption, quite frankly). That approach indicates you're far more interested in religious doctrine and dogma than you are in what's real and true, at least to this point.
 
Did you read the OP, by the way? If you read that with an open mind you should gain some understanding of what atheism really is--what atheists are really like. Your one-dimensional version just won't hold up to any real experience, or even any genuine consideration.
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« Reply #25 on: Oct 13, 2011, 07:49PM »

I believe that I know less today than I did yesterday.

I believe that I am less belligerent than I have been in the past on this forum.


Those here who know me, will understand how this ties into this thread.  Those who don't are invited to read my posts from the last several years on this forum.  Or not.
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« Reply #26 on: Oct 13, 2011, 07:51PM »

Is this True?
« Last Edit: Oct 14, 2011, 01:20PM by badger » Logged
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« Reply #27 on: Oct 13, 2011, 07:51PM »

Good to "see" you again, GP!
 
Have you been laying low, or just staying clear of Chit-Chat?
 
--
 
Anyway ... playing kinda fast and free with the meaning of "know" there, eh?
 
Does a good job of making a solid point though.
 
Very Socratic.
 
Good stuff!
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« Reply #28 on: Oct 13, 2011, 10:03PM »

Is this True!
This statement is false
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« Reply #29 on: Oct 14, 2011, 05:43AM »

I believe that I know less today than I did yesterday.
That is important knowledge.  So by understanding the unknowns, you actually know more.  :)

As Donald Rumsfeld would say ...
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« Reply #30 on: Oct 14, 2011, 05:53AM »

It seems to me there is a certain politeness that says "we have a difference of opinion." 

Is it a "difference of opinion" if somebody says the world is flat?

Is it a "difference of opinion" if somebody says this is the only planet in the universe?

When a person asserts a belief and there is absolutely no evidence to support that, I don't think that is a "difference of opinion."

How many thousands of years has the human race tried to invent how many different gods with how many different super-powers?  And never any evidence to support any of that.  There are perfectly reasonable non-occult explanations for just about everything that is observable and demonstrable.  We understand how trees grow.  We understand how volcanoes work.  We understand why we have earthquakes.  We understand why people live and die. We understand why thousands of creatures have virtually the same physical make-up as humans (2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 kidneys, a heart, skin with hair, etc.)

In the end, it seems to me there are only two big questions that we don't know the answer to.

 
  • How did the matter in the universe come to be?
  • Are there other universes and dimensions we don't sense?

If a person wants to invent a religion to address those two questions, I'm fine with that, but the rest of it is nonsense, IMHO.
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« Reply #31 on: Oct 14, 2011, 06:01AM »

Actikid, you are missing a major positive influence of religion.

Using religion we can sometimes scare some people into doing what is right.

An atheist believes this is the only goaround so if you do something bad and don't get caught, you got away with it.  Religion proposes that there is some "sky fairy" who will chastise you when you die.

I think we need to instill morals and ethics in everybody.  It seems that religion is the primary dispenser of such teachings.

Note that this still leaves me as an agnostic; while I can see the value of religion, I'm not sure there is really a God behind it.
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« Reply #32 on: Oct 14, 2011, 06:43AM »

How many thousands of years has the human race tried to invent how many different gods with how many different super-powers?  And never any evidence to support any of that.

And all of that's fine, except that at best it compromises the common good (a sap of the collective Gross World Product of time, energy and resources) and it often leads to various problems, from trivial to very, very serious. It creates a constant toxic background radiation of negative judgment and divisiveness that's, in reality, completely arbitrary--you're problematically flawed, unclean, a third class citizen, an untouchable of a sort ... etc, etc, if you don't believe the correct things about the alleged magical Otherworld and its alleged occupants, which none of us can actually perceive, by definition.
 
We can do far better than that for each other, if we can get off the Kool-Aid.
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« Reply #33 on: Oct 14, 2011, 07:43AM »

An atheist believes this is the only goaround so if you do something bad and don't get caught, you got away with it. 
I would say that is what an amoral person believes, and that includes a whole bunch of people who say they believe in gods and spirits.

The atheists I know have a strong moral compass and don't feel they need any hocus pocus, 12-step plan, or weekly preaching in order to conduct their lives in a moral and ethical way.  They most certainly didn't become atheists in order to avoid the discipline imposed by religions.  Quite the opposite.  Atheists recognize that most of what purports to be "discipline" in in fact self-servicing dogma that has nothing to do with morality or ethics and is all about perpetuating the religious cult.

I am sure there must be some atheists who are not moral or ethical.  But most of them would not describe themselves as atheists.  Indeed most of them would claim to be religious, although they do little in the conduct of their lives to evidence that.
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« Reply #34 on: Oct 14, 2011, 07:50AM »

if we can get off the Kool-Aid.
And we can -- and it can move quickly.  You pointed out above that, following a period of 100 years of domination by the Puritans among us (My words, not yours), we now find it becoming acceptable to challenge the Taliban.  That was taboo even as recently as 5 years ago.

Look how quickly the attitudes about subjugating and persecuting gays changed once the Taliban taboo was broken.  Now 60-70% of the people correctly realize that none of us has any business harassing others who are doing no harm just because we have different preferences in the bedroom.

Look at how quickly the "Occupy" movement is taking hold now that the taboo of "class warfare" has been broken.  The 99% should have realized all along that we were getting hosed by the 1%, but discussion was forbidden.

Nothing good ever comes from suppressing discussions through taboos.
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« Reply #35 on: Oct 14, 2011, 08:05AM »

Atheism is neither good nor bad. It is a word that describes what some people believe to be true. What is good or bad, depending on one's perspective, are the actions taken by people in the name of atheism (or any religion, for that matter). Instead of allowing people to believe what they will, too many people too vigorously proselytize their own cause with complete disregard for anyone but them. They can't stand to have anyone believe differently.

Personally, I have made up my mind what I believe. It wasn't a decision lightly or quickly made. It probably took me about 30 years as an adult. I obviously think I'm right. But I may not be. I also don't think it's necessary for me to share my beliefs with everyone else. It's not my place to tell others what to believe. What others believe is not especially relevant to me. That is every individual's decision to make, however they arrive at it.

In my view, there have been way too many instances of individuals claiming that their way is the right (and only) way, and then killing everyone they could who wouldn't accept that. No one can prove or disprove the existence of (any) god (or God). Just let people believe what they want and accept them as they are.
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« Reply #36 on: Oct 14, 2011, 08:17AM »

Just let people believe what they want and accept them as they are.

Well, there's your problem!
 
What to do when things don't work out quite so nice and joyful ... ?
 
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« Reply #37 on: Oct 14, 2011, 09:02AM »

Atheism is neither good nor bad. It is a word that describes what some people believe to be true. What is good or bad, depending on one's perspective, are the actions taken by people in the name of atheism (or any religion, for that matter). Instead of allowing people to believe what they will, too many people too vigorously proselytize their own cause with complete disregard for anyone but them. They can't stand to have anyone believe differently.


truth. 

this isn't a contest between religion and atheism.  i see these discussions as a way to understand each person's perspective and realize that one can be motivated in a variety of ways to do good acts and to love.  however you find the motivation matters not as long as the results are positive.  love is positive. 

dg
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« Reply #38 on: Oct 14, 2011, 09:21AM »

truth. 
 
this isn't a contest between religion and atheism.  i see these discussions as a way to understand each person's perspective and realize that one can be motivated in a variety of ways to do good acts and to love.  however you find the motivation matters not as long as the results are positive.  love is positive.

More or less, that's the idea. I think it's pretty one-sided though, if for no other reason by virtue of shear numbers. We pretty much all personally know many believers, but a far smaller number of us personally know many, or even only a few, non-believers--or at least none of which they're aware. This is beginning to change, though.
 
Part of dealing with differences in a healthy manner is recognizing and accepting your flaws, and ideally trying to overcome them. We do seem to be kinda-sorta getting to where we can do that as a society, but many are still kicking and screaming and crying Foul! when flaws are illuminated ... some just throw tantrums. But many are recognizing the nonsense and rejecting it, which is awesome!
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« Reply #39 on: Oct 14, 2011, 09:57AM »

this isn't a contest between religion and atheism. 
Perhaps "contest" or "competition" are not the best adjectives, but it is not a matter of opinion, either.

If my favorite color is blue and you prefer lime green, that is a matter of opinion and we are both right.

If my favorite trombonist is David Gibson and yours is JJ Johnson, that is a matter of opinion, and we are both correct.

If you believe in a god that makes all life, hears and acts on prayers, and has a hand in all daily activities on earth, and I believe there is no such thing, it is not a matter of opinion.  One of us is wrong.  Perhaps we are both wrong, but there is no chance we are both right.

We cannot know the answer to 100% certainty.  Religion exists to satisfy those who can't find a purpose in life as we know it on earth and wants to believe there is more that cannot be seen.  Atheism is the result of people looking at the fact that nothing of the occult has ever been demonstrated to be true, and drawing the most likely conclusion from that observation.

As I see it, it truly is a contest.  A contest between rational thinking and wishful thinking.

It would be a much more interesting contest if there were even the slightest evidence in favor of the occult.

There was a report on NPR last week of the only known human survivor of rabies.  A young lady was bitten by a bat.  After a month she was hospitalized and the doctors informed the family that nobody had ever recovered from her condition.  They recommended hospice.  The family prevailed on the doctors to try a procedure where they put her into a deep coma in order to minimize the brain damage from the rabies.  After several weeks in a coma, the girl's immune system won the battle.  6 years later she is still recovering.

A miracle?  No, of course not, if that means some sort of godly intervention.  If you did that same procedure to a large set of patients, 1 in 100, 1 in 1000, maybe 1 in 1,000,000 would have the same outcome.  It is just a case of which was stronger, the patient's immune system or the virus.  And I noticed that nobody in that report used the word "miracle".  Very good fortune?  Yes.  Great care from the doctors?  Yes.  Miracle? No.

This was no more a godly miracle than the exceptional touchdown catch we see every week.  Sometimes you catch the ball.  Sometimes you drop the ball.  Large numbers produce a large variety of results.
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