The Atheism Thread - Part 5

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I don't want everyone to be atheist. I'd be very happy if every theist became a deist.

When was the last time deists went out and killed someone in the name of their vague concept of some sort of higher power?
 
As for contradictions in the Bible, those have been gone over a thousand times by Biblical scholars who know a lot more about the original language and context than your average Joe.

You realize, of course, those scholars acknowledge many of those contradictions as legitimately being what they are? No matter how you try to rationalize it, something like Judas killing himself by hanging and Judas killing himself by stabbing are completely at odds. The four gospels, in the first place, were canonized by Irenaeus to assuage the tension between different Christian groups at odds with one another rather than for any reason of consistency; if the earth possessing four corners and four winds is proof of the legitimacy of the four gospels then any Christian arguing in favor of a consistent theology is in trouble, indeed. And this isn't to mention the archaelogical escavations by Israel Finkelstein that completely discredit all suggestions that the Israelites wandered the Sinai Peninsula for 40 years.

To put it succintly, yes, Biblical Scholars have gone over those contradictions, some atheist/agnostic, some Christian, but the majority of them will attest that those contradictions aren't something that don't pose a problem. At the very least, "the average Joe", upon learning them, will be forced to reevaluate his beliefs.
 
Ghost Stories 2012 - The Thinking Atheist Podcast #77

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Every October, we switch gears in the festive spirit of Halloween to share stories about hauntings, ghosts, spirits and spooks.

Yeah, we don't really believe in spirits. We just want to enjoy the Halloween holiday with some lighthearted (and perhaps eerie) fun.
 
something i find strange that peoples of all beliefs or lack of beliefs are usually uneasy with is staying in a house or hotel room or the like where someone was murdered. i recognize that there is no logical reason for me to feel uncomfortable with it, yet it would be eerie
 
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I don't want everyone to be atheist. I'd be very happy if every theist became a deist.

When was the last time deists went out and killed someone in the name of their vague concept of some sort of higher power?

Agreed. Atheism, to me, is what I call myself but I prefer the term Deist or Pearlist because its not about the non existence of God but rather not believing things for which there is no evidence, and having a high threshold for what's considered evidence.

Same reason I don't believe in Fairies.
 
something i find strange that peoples of all beliefs or lack of beliefs are usually uneasy with is staying in a house or hotel room or the like where someone was murdered. i recognize that there is no logical reason for me to feel uncomfortable with it, yet it would be eerie
I really don't give a sh** unless the murderer is still there.
 
something i find strange that peoples of all beliefs or lack of beliefs are usually uneasy with is staying in a house or hotel room or the like where someone was murdered. i recognize that there is no logical reason for me to feel uncomfortable with it, yet it would be eerie


I find it a little awkward.
 
Don't Get Me Started - Stewart Lee - What's So Wrong About Blasphemy?

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Stewart Lee talks about blasphemy and how religions deal with criticism. Talking to various commentators, including Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti, journalist Polly Toynbee and writer Alan Moore.
 
This guy explained it best on why people, particularly the famous ones, choose to have self-destructive lives.

Squire Rushnell said:
Too many of us are never at peace. We maintain our marathon struggles to be bigger, better and have more. A bigger house. Better car. More stuff. This is accompanied by a prevailing fear that if we don't maintain enough control over the people around us, the bubble will burst and we'll be left with nothing. There's a well within and that we're always trying to fill with stuff. We fill it with something to give us contentment and until we fill it with the love of God, we won't be able to. I always tell the story of Darryl Strawberry, who was a guy who had a 22 million dollar contract, and he fell the longest distance of anybody I know to be flat on his back and to have nothing. And until he filled that well with God's love, he was not content.
 
Many people, but particularly very famous ones are not actually well integrated into society, they lack the influence of social controls. It is a type of normlessness. This is especially the case when people become very wealthy fairly quickly (as opposed to being born wealthy) as it very much alienates them from basically everything they've known previously. It is easy for them to become surrounded by yes-men, or to not be held accountable for their actions.

This happens with less successful people as well of course but often the root is the same, the lack of integration into strong communities. In comparison to past times, even our families are less strongly connected.

Research in this regard has been taking place for a long time but ultimately stems from the work of Emile Durkheim, one the foundational theorists and researchers of sociology.

In the 19th century he set about researching suicide rates in the different cantons of Switzerland. Despite being in one country and being similar economically the different cantons of Switzerland were divided by language but also by religion. Some cantons were almost strictly Catholic whereas others strictly Protestant.

Durkheim's analysis revealed that the the Protestant cantons consistently had higher suicide rates than the Catholic canton's. Upon further analysis of church practices and culture of the different denominations of Christianity Durkheim describes how quite often Protestant denominations, while having quite strong communities, still feature more individualized approach to the connection between people and God (not to mention the churches them selves being more likely to be independent churches) than he found in Catholic communities. The catholic church puts far more focus in membership within the community and the organization, not just the connection to God. It is through participation and union with the community that one comes to know God. Furthermore, the Catholic church took (and still takes) a far harsher view of those who commit suicide, as in Catholic countries having laws about putting the corpses of suicide victims on trial, public humiliation of their families, that kind of thing.

Needless to say with a very strong focus on community rather than the individual and harsh social controls and norms against suicide, it isn't surprising that the Catholic communities had lower suicide rates.

But were Protestants somehow less devout in their belief of "God's love" than Catholics? Were they not filling that particular imaginary well in their hearts? Or were they simply less constrained by culture and a greater variety and strength of interpersonal relationships from giving into the personal problems in negative, individualized ways?
 
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Remember, if you don't believe in God, you can't really "believe" in science. I certainly don't believe in God in the traditional sense, but I do accept that there may be something out there that created all this. Just as I believe that the theories that scientists have come up with may be true. Of course, I'm more convinced on the science. However, no one can prove anything.
 
Meaning, and this is in a nutshell, when it comes down to it, you can prove religion just as much as you can prove science. (And I'm an atheist).
 
No idea. But one is observable, the other isn't.
Well, we might get to that, but I'd prefer that she clarify her position before I begin making explicit counter-points. It would help to know what she's talking about first, but she's being incredibly vague.
 
Well, how can one prove that a table is a table? You can only prove your own existence.
I'm not very good at this whole explaining thing, and I'm really sorry for it :woot: what I'm trying to get across is that no person can definitely and truly prove anything. That's why scientists call their ideas "theories". Science is pretty much faith, as is religion. We "believe" there are such things as electrons, just as Christians "believe" God made the Universe. Who can prove that the latter is more valid than the other?
 
Here we go with the "theory" thing again.

A scientific theory is not a guess. A theory in science is (to quote Wikipedia, which is quoting the National Academy of Sciences) a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.

Science is the very antithesis of faith.
 
Well, how can one prove that a table is a table? You can only prove your own existence.
I'm not very good at this whole explaining thing, and I'm really sorry for it :woot: what I'm trying to get across is that no person can definitely and truly prove anything. That's why scientists call their ideas "theories". Science is pretty much faith, as is religion. We "believe" there are such things as electrons, just as Christians "believe" God made the Universe. Who can prove that the latter is more valid than the other?
Except for the fact that one makes predictions which are testable while the other does not. We can perform experiments which allow us to reasonably infer the existence of electrons, and we can even put them to use (electricity and electrical engineering, etc.).

And you're really misinterpreting the term "theory" here. Thundercrack has that covered.
 
I don't believe in science, I trust it. Big difference.

I don't have faith that a calculator works, I trust that it does because I have good reason to. Faith and trust are not the same thing.
 
Here we go with the "theory" thing again.

A scientific theory is not a guess. A theory in science is (to quote Wikipedia, which is quoting the National Academy of Sciences) a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.

Science is the very antithesis of faith.

Can this become a stickied post in this forum, please?

For FSM's sake this "misunderstanding" of the term theory as it relates to science is driving me insane.
 
I do accept that science has allot more evidence, and is much more plausible than religion. But I still stand by that it is possible that a God could exist, and you cannot prove science.
 
If a 'god' exists then logic dictates it would be a natural phenomenon. If there is a 'creator' then there will be science to back its existence.
 
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