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Thread: Is atheism as crazy as fervid belief?

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Is atheism as crazy as fervid belief?

    It seems irrefutable that no one can say they know there is a god, let alone what he (if it's a "he"!) is like, etc.

    The above is based, for one, on the equally irrefutable fact that we are both mortal and far from all-knowing. Our senses are limited, as is our intelligence.

    So, when a person claims there is no god with the same militant certainty that some religious people claim they "know Jesus," it seems equally presumptuous, equally ridiculous.

    Granted, atheism has the appearance of being more reasonable since it's not up to the atheist to disprove the mere assertion that there is a god (and here are his attributes, etc.)

    But the atheist's argument carries less force when the question is qualified; i.e., there may be a god (or rather, there may be some power/force guiding nature and its laws).

    To deny the possibility of the above is as silly and arrogant, it seems to me, as saying "Jesus is Lord."

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Eric; 08-07-2009 at 07:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    It seems irrefutable that no one can say they know there is a god, let alone what he (if it's a "he"!) is like, etc.

    The above is based, for one, on the equally irrefutable fact that we are both mortal and far from all-knowing. Our senses are limited, as is our intelligence.

    So, when a person claims there is no god with the same militant certainty that some religious people claim they "know Jesus," it seems equally presumptuous, equally ridiculous.

    Granted, atheism has the appearance of being more reasonable since it' not up to the atheist to disprove the mere assertion that there is a god (and here are his attributes, etc.)

    But the atheist's argument carries less force when the question is qualified; i.e., there may be a god (or rather, there may be some power/force guiding nature and its laws).

    To deny the possibility of the above is as silly and arrogant, it seems to me, as saying "Jesus is Lord."

    Thoughts?
    Yeah, we agree on this. IMAO, there could be a billion gods or none until there's some evidence. This is why:

    "I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of."
    --Clarence Darrow


    As for our intelligence having limits, I think it would be better if only human stupidly had its limits!:

    "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
    --Albert Einstein


    BTW, whatever happened to Pete (The Catholic guy that used to post in this forum a lot?)

    -Don Quoteman


  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    Yeah, we agree on this. IMAO, there could be a billion gods or none until there's some evidence. This is why:

    "I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of."
    --Clarence Darrow


    As for our intelligence having limits, I think it would be better if only human stupidly had its limits!:

    "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
    --Albert Einstein


    BTW, whatever happened to Pete (The Catholic guy that used to post in this forum a lot?)

    -Don Quoteman

    Great quotes!

    I am adding both to my list; I keep a file with quotes I really like... .

    Pete still visits here occasionally but I haven't heard from him in some time. He may just be busy.

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    I was born an atheist. I never really cared about debating the possibility of the existance of god.

    Sometime in the early 80's, we had a older neighbor who said he always wanted to go to the "'atheist's meeting" in Minneapolis. So we went together.

    What I found was mostly a group of ex-Catholics that were mad as hell for being duped by their religion. People who crossed "in god we trust" off of dollar bills, people who were pissed off about christmas lights, people who objected to school teachers wearing a small cross.

    From my limited experience, I think the freverent, angry atheists are mostly ex-believers.

    I have too many other things to do in my life that care whether or not there's a god, or we are spending public dollars for a christmas tree (while we spend 100's of billions for the war in Iraq).

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong in part View Post
    I was born an atheist. I never really cared about debating the possibility of the existance of god.

    ........... <snipped> ..............

    From my limited experience, I think the freverent, angry atheists are mostly ex-believers.

    I have too many other things to do in my life that care whether or not there's a god, or we are spending public dollars for a christmas tree (while we spend 100's of billions for the war in Iraq).
    I'm generally in agreement there. I did read a lot, attended Sunday School/church and had discussions with clerics of several faiths before making up my mind. I, too, see no reason to be a fervent or angry atheist, it is what I am and requires no protestation, proselytizing nor even explanation - doing any or all of these would make me no better than the bible bashers.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken;
    I, too, see no reason to be a fervent or angry atheist, it is what I am and requires no protestation, proselytizing nor even explanation - doing any or all of these would make me no better than the bible bashers. Ken.
    Honestly I think this is the reason atheism doesn't catch on - it requires nothing, no ceremony, no magic books, no overhead. What could be more simple?

    The funniest moment at the atheist's group was when this 'old guy' showed us his scrapbook. It was about 100 pages long, and it was filled with newspaper clippings of churches that burned down, exploded, gun fire, thieves, hit by tornados while people were in church. To him it was proof of no god.

    After that meeting, my neighbor (80+ yrs old) suggested a bar, and we had a couple of stiff ones. He proved to be quite a card when he called the barkeep 'sonny'. Vowed never to go back to another atheist's meeting.

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    Honestly I think this is the reason atheism doesn't catch on - it requires nothing, no ceremony, no magic books, no overhead. What could be more simple?

    The funniest moment at the atheist's group was when this 'old guy' showed us his scrapbook. It was about 100 pages long, and it was filled with newspaper clippings of churches that burned down, exploded, gun fire, thieves, hit by tornados while people were in church. To him it was proof of no god.

    After that meeting, my neighbor (80+ yrs old) suggested a bar, and we had a couple of stiff ones. He proved to be quite a card when he called the barkeep 'sonny'. Vowed never to go back to another atheist's meeting.
    I think it is very, very hard to be a freethinker in today's society. First, you have to escape the nearly inescapable clutches of religion as a youth - when most children are spoon fed Jesus (or whatever) at an age when they don't understand the difference between reality and fantasy - and taught what I call "magical thinking." (This is also why people capable of reasoning are also fairly rare.)

    Few people are lucky enough to have parents who don't subject them to early childhood religious brainwashing, who tell them honestly that they don't know - and here are the various things that people think.... Instead, they're told by the main authority figures in their lives that they "know the truth" - and here it is.

    There is a saying attributed to the Jesuits: "Give me a child for the first ten years and I care not what you do with him afterward."

    And of course, few people are either rebellious enough or intelligent enough or introspective enough to really examine- and question - the "received wisdom" they're taught as kids - or able to break free of the social and psychological pressures to "believe."

    Mix in some existential angst and - badabing! - you've got a new believer!

    Telling people you don't "believe" is as hard as telling them you're gay, I think. It marks you as an oddball, an outrider. People suspect your morality (because of the widespread belief that only the religious can be moral).

    Hell, it's easier, in terms of social/work questions, to be gay than an open non-believer. There are, for example, several openly gay members of Congress but not one who openly dares to say, " I don't buy it" (Christianity, organized religion, etc.).

    Even pols you know are too smart to buy it (such as Slick Willie) make an ostentatious show of their "faith." Remember Slick Willie carting around his super-sized Bible every Sunday?
    Last edited by Eric; 08-08-2009 at 06:44 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    I was born an atheist. I never really cared about debating the possibility of the existance of god.
    Don't you mean agnostic? It requires faith to be an atheist and it's faith that I don't believe in. At least not by the definition of:" Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence." (1994 AHD3).

    IMAO, "faith" (as in the above definition) is a way to not accept the truth. With faith, one can ignore truth and believe in superstitious nonsense such as religious nonsense.

    I consider myself agnostic, but with an emotional feeling that a god exists. But human emotions are all missed up, so what I feel is meaningless when it comes to logic.

    But when it comes to religious nonsense of any type, I am 100% pure atheist.

    IMAO, nobody alive knows any god better than I do, yet I know of no gods at all. I don't even know how many gods exist, if any.

    But there sure are a lot of people who think that they do know!

    "Man is the only animal with true religion--many of them!
    -Mark Twain

    -Don Quoteman

  9. #9
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    I hope the day comes where a politician can say "I don't believe in Christianity or any other type of religious nonsense" and still get elected.

    -Don-

  10. #10
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    "But there sure are a lot of people who think that they do know!"

    90-plus percent, according to surveys!

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