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The most zealous religious extremists in the world: The new atheists

 
PhishPhanPhil
 
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PhishPhanPhil
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07 October 2014 01:52
 

I can’t say that this has gone entirely unnoticed, but in the same sort of distraught and disillusioned state that most of the new atheists faithful members go about it is not surprising that they have also overlooked the cult that they are zealously involved in.  Atheism has become not so much a matter of abandoning religion as a vigorous imposition of an entirely new one. The new atheist movement began, like most fanatical movements, as a reprisal; in the years subsequent to the atrocities of 9/11, and has since found a whole host of distraught and disillusioned young souls with which to expand its sphere of influence.  Since then, the new atheists have become a global phenomenon, and have quite successfully marketed ( and I use that word with emphasis ) as a society for the cerebral milieu, where only those of superior acumen are allowed.  Apparently, the only qualification required to fit this description is a BELIEF in atheism.  It has gone unnoticed by the new atheists themselves, possibly because they are all so caught up in the exhilaration of the mass tirade that they swear adherence to the phantom religion not fully understanding what they have signed up to ( or simply chosen to ignore it for the sake of averting the need to justify their zealous blind faith in entirely irrational, illogical beliefs that are supported by zero data/emperical evidence which they themselves demand with their fits of rage from others).
It has always struck me, well “odd”, when talking with a new atheist how they profess incessantly that what they believe is not a belief, but then react quite suspiciously like religious believers whenever those beliefs are questioned.  They are so vigorously and passionately committed to ultimately rotting into oblivion ( naturalism being their core statement of faith ) it simply defies comprehension. 
It seems to me that if one were going to do away with God, filling the God-shaped void with a “universal spirituality” or some kind of neo-pantheism is a cheap form of escape.  The odd fascination with unicorns, tooth-fairies and Santa Claus is another striking peculiarity which smacked of some kind of childhood bereavement over the ruin of Christmas morning.  But the most amusing thing of all in this rising subculture is the fatuous illusion of intellectual fortitude fabricated by their religious leaders such as Pope Dawkins, or Priest Harris.
Now if there is any doubt in any rational persons mind that this new form of atheism is nothing more than a rising cult fueled with crafty marketing and appealing humour and personalities, targeted at a specific demographic and firmly grounded in thin air with their beliefs, let’s just look at a few of their statements of faith and see if they wouldn’t qualify as being ludicrous enough for any cult from history or present.  “Because the law of gravity and the quantum vacuum exist, therefore, the universe will create itself from nothing.” - the central argument of The Grand Design, by Hawkins and Mlodinow.  If you find yourself believing statements that sound like that, as well as defending them with every opportunity, preaching them to the neighbors, and following around the leading voices that author this nonsense to see them speak at sold out conferences ( exactly like the ones priest Harris will be holding ) then rest assure; you are a religious zealot.
Now what is the difference with this type of radical religion and, say militant muslims?  Militant muslims carry their beliefs to the point of murder and the new atheists ...... oh wait ” Some beliefs are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them.” SAM HARRIS, The End of Faith.  Oh woops, now that’s a scary thought considering the insane amount of hypocrisy in this statement is somehow overlooked.
My concluding statement:  WAKE UP, you’re in a cult!!!!  You carry your radical, illogical, irrational, unethical, beliefs to extremes never seen by the cults of the past.  When the little adrenalin rush wears off and your religious leaders phase out and are no longer the latest flavor you will be left as the ultimate victim of your new religion!  For your own good, take a third party perspective in the religion you have joined and consider the statements of faith you adhere to, evolution is true because it’s necessary ( well necessary if you want to devote insane time and energy into convincing yourself and nobody else that there is no God).  Has nobody ever heard of circular reasoning before?  Nobody has stepped back and realized that this new atheism is an entirely enclosed subculture that preaches back and forth to one another and has absolutely no influence on anyone who doesn’t already adhere to their ridiculous presumptions?  If this is true, and that all those who worship inside the new atheists church are totally blind to the facts then that should be all the proof you need that you have joined a cult!!  However, yes I realize that if you are blind to this then you obviously can not observe your own blindness.  To make a statement of such obvious self-contradiction would require that I be in this cult.

 
Zatara
 
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Zatara
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08 October 2014 09:45
 

Atheists are as diverse as any group within any religion. There are a thousand denominations of Christianity, each having their own similar but different method of worshiping the God of Abraham. Atheism is no different when it comes to opinions on life, science, and the Universe. There are even atheists that do not identify as atheists; they are simply not religious and enjoy living their lives as normal people without having to adhere to rules like church attendance, tithing, blessing food, memorizing Bible quotes, proselytizing, or condemning people to Hell. I assume by “new atheists” you are grouping the more vocal atheists who enjoy actively promoting popular scientists like Dawkins or Krauss, as well as frequenting the comments section of the internet to berate the religious majority. Some take a more hardcore position, criticizing other atheists for not being more active in the ever-growing secular movement. Even atheism has its “fundamentalists” (for lack of a better word) as does Christianity with the Westboro Baptist Church. Try not to assume that every atheist you meet is a die-hard Dawkins fan who reads the Origin of Species before bed every night. Most of us simply enjoy the community found within atheist circles, where like-minded individuals can revel at scientific achievement, discuss the complexities of the Universe, go star gazing, or simply discuss life as you would within any other tight-knit group.


I can certainly say that atheists go through difference phases. There is curiosity, discovery, study, numerous different personal reflections, acceptance, excitement, and several stages later, complacency. This of course doesn’t cover atheists who decide to either remain “in the closet” or “come out” to their family and friends, as the majority of time this experience is a hectic one. Somewhere in there atheists tend to spam their social media with typical atheist memes poking fun at religion, but this is usually short-lived. And of course many atheists go through a hardcore phase, which is completely normal when discovering something so life-changing that you want to tell the world about it. Though the difference between today and mid-evil times is that atheists aren’t tortured to death for their lack of belief, and there is now 400+ years of scientific evidence to backup things like the theory of evolution. And of course, the internet. Atheism isn’t a modern idea, but it’s increasingly a more accepted one.


Your post tries to make the same old argument that atheism is a cult that mirrors religion. Not wanting to delve into the extended resources and responses to this, I’m just going to point you to Google where you will undoubtedly find great arguments for why your argument is a bad one. Of course based on your ranting I doubt anything will convince you that your position on the subject is flawed, hence the age old debate between religion and atheism. Though I would argue, as Sam Harris does, that atheists shouldn’t call themselves atheists (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMa-0Fjn2sU) and position themselves against religion in general (but I digress). It likely doesn’t help that there are organizations that call themselves an “atheist church” or that the Sunday Assembly has expanded to dozens of locations worldwide under the misinterpreted flag of being a “church”. In reality, atheists crave the same thing that the religious do…community. We enjoy being accepted within a group of people with like-minded ideas and values. We enjoy music, singing, listening to inspirational talks, and learning about our wonderful Universe. We also enjoy reading the same books, like those written by scientists (e.g. Dawkins, Harris). These are things that religion has enjoyed for millennium, and it only makes sense that secular groups would find their own community to provide these basic human needs.


In conclusion, I can only give you one response to your post: Atheists do not care about the comparison of Atheism to a religion or cult. You can scream, yell, and rant on every blog or forum you want, but atheists, agnostics, secularists, humanists, naturalists (and so on), will live their lives the way they please, and they will do so without the looming storm of dogma ever-present over their heads. Whether they do this within the safe anonymity of the internet or at the Sunday Assembly is irrelevant. Whether individuals like yourself claim atheists are practicing a religion is also irrelevant. I truly hope you take this answer to heart. No amount of eloquent articulation will convince an atheist that they are religious, but your resistance and stiff-necked approach to atheism will certainly solidify our opinion on religious people. Worldwide the religious are trying to make sense of how secular communities have exploded in growth within such a short amount of time. It is scary to those who do not understand it, and there are those such as yourself who are attempting to explain a group of people that you have no insight to (since you’re not “in this cult”). You’re afraid, and that’s okay. We see that religion is beginning to grasp at straws now that it no longer “holds” the moral authority. Change is hard, something atheists know all too well. But you have nothing to fear from us. I promise.


***Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors, this was written on a mobile device***

 
Vipersdad
 
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Vipersdad
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08 October 2014 12:17
 

PhishPhanPhil:  Your entire argument is fallacious.  I guess from your perspective it makes no difference because you view yourself as “correct,” and I’m making a presumption that in your view, the path taken to get to the “correct” destination is neither here nor there in the greater scheme.

A dismantling of your dissertation would necessarily lead us to the Tu quoque fallacy, but you don’t end there.  Calling someone hypocritical and therefore wrong because they behave as you do doesn’t make them wrong, nor does it demonstrate the correctness of your position.

You don’t end with Tu quoque, though….you artfully embed a logical fallacy “greatest hits” montage in to your prose which I am presuming you sent off in to the world with a great sense of satisfaction. 

Rather than take the time to do that, or to defend the so-called “null” position that Atheists would argue is the core of their operating principles, I would just say this:

None of your argument demonstrates the incorrectness of the positions held by what you call the “new Atheists,” any more than it demonstrates the correctness of any other position…including and especially whichever position you want us to think you are representing.


You might start with a google search of “logical fallacies” or something similar…..it would make life so much better…..

 
PhishPhanPhil
 
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PhishPhanPhil
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10 October 2014 16:37
 

In response first to the first reply,  You are correct in saying that there are many different “types” of atheists, or that basically not all atheists are as “hardcore” in their beliefs, for example I am sure not all atheists would agree with Mr.Harris that it may be ethical to kill certain people based on their beliefs.  However, I would like to know how then does somebody narrow the field down enough to refer to the group of atheists that were originally titled “new atheists” by wired?  It should have been clear from what I posted that I was referring to those who do hold tightly to the beliefs that are written in Mr.Dawkins, and Mr.Harris’ etc. etc., books.  If you would not consider yourself to be in that category then the article does not apply to you.  It just isn’t as simple as saying “Southern Baptists are wrong in their beliefs that ... ” seeing as, like you said, atheists is a very broad term.  I would also like to point out the extremely broad grouping done by “most atheists”, including all of the authors that I mentioned and other pop-atheists when they use terms such as “religious people” and “christians”.  “Religion = Genital mutilation, indoctrination, rape, witch-hunts, torture, murder, war, death, destruction, hell, lies, deception, sexism, sexual repression, terrorism, disease, plague, famine, holocaust, thought crime, fascism, homophobia- conclusion: religion is evil.: Christopher Hitchens Really? Now I’m not going to say that it is wrong for these authors to make such radically broad generalizations, and that is right for me to do the same, it’s entirely necessary for them when you rely on straw-man arguments as they do.  That is rely on straw-man arguments and other tactics like them in order to spread their propaganda.  However, to make my above point clearer, I did narrow the atheist grouping down as much as I could without introducing the Atheist-Skeptic, the Atheist-Agnostic, the anti-Theist, the Naturalist/Materialist, the “Scientist”, or the deist, and obviously the list can go on and on.  What I was referring to is, as you correctly assumed, the “new atheist”, yes, one characteristic would be the rise of internet use, but I’m not going to coin a new term like cyber-new-Atheist, or something.  Lastly, although my posts do read as rants don’t be so quick to assume that I do not watch as many you-tube videos and read as much literature from both sides of the argument as I possibly can.  The reason that my posts will most likely continue to read as rants and be plagued with run-on sentences and typos is due to lack of time.  That is lack of time that I am willing to devote to nicely crafted posts as opposed to reading both view points and see where the data (or complete lack there of ) and arguments lead me.

 
PhishPhanPhil
 
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PhishPhanPhil
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10 October 2014 16:42
 

Now in response to the second post,
“None of your argument demonstrates the incorrectness of the positions held by what you call the “new Atheists,” any more than it demonstrates the correctness of any other position…including and especially whichever position you want us to think you are representing.”
You might want to refer to the title of the thread and see if it says “Arguments to demonstrate the incorrectness of the positions held by New Atheists” or if it reads otherwise.  I am not trying to write a book here, there are an AWFUL lot of incorrect positions held by the new atheists, I certainly don’t have time to write an exhaustive response to all of them.  The point of the thread was exactly what the title reads and nothing in your reply had anything to say about that.  So if I may be so bold to as you to try again, then I may be able to reply to such a post.  Thank You

 
llathander
 
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llathander
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11 October 2014 12:34
 

Its so very tiring. Belief is belief, lack of belief if not also belief, unless you feel like watering the word down so much as to make it useless. Atheism only tell you what someone doesn’t believe, not what they do. This burden of proof shifting nonsense has gone on long enough. When will you guys get sick of if? We don’t believe the claims of theists. Get over it. Theistic claims aren’t special or above defending and disbelieving them requires no more justification than disbelieving that there is the entire cast of street fighter in my ass at this present moment.

 
PhishPhanPhil
 
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11 October 2014 20:53
 

Its so very tiring. Belief is belief, lack of belief if not also belief, unless you feel like watering the word down so much as to make it useless. Atheism only tell you what someone doesn’t believe, not what they do.
Finally a response that was at least related to the post that I made.  At least somebody on this forum is literate enough to read the post before replying to it with some anti-theistic rant (although nothing in my post made the slightest indication that I have any faith in anything nevermind what it is).  The point of my post was exactly what this reply said: Atheism is a BELIEF in something, it is not; as so often claimed to be,  a series of denials towards others beliefs.  It is exactly the same as other people’s religions.  It is a set of beliefs aimed towards creation, purpose of life, morality, etc. etc.  And as we all know, and I doubt anybody will try to oppose, what we believe in determines our behavior.  For example: “Some beliefs are so dangerous that it may be ethical to KILL PEOPLE for believing them.” - Sam Harris Now this coming from somebody who holds very strong beliefs against muslims for their belief in killing somebody for leaving their religion, or for killing somebody for not being muslim.  Now I am certainly not defending these beliefs; not in the slightest, but I find it very hard to not find myself a cold blooded hypocrite for making that statement, and then going on public television saying that Islam is the mother lode of dangerous beliefs.  I know that I did not get that quote exactly correct, from the youtube video that I watched where Ben Affleck went off on Mr. Harris for his beliefs.  After watching the video I agree with Mr.Harris that if in fact his numbers are correct, and 79%, or anywhere close to that, of muslims do in fact hold to those beliefs ( murder is the only proper response to leaving Islam or for not believing it to begin with) then we (the west, Americans, or whatever, in the news) do not represent muslims incorrectly, but instead very accurately.  My point is not that, my point is this: The beliefs that Mr. Harris PREACHES in his literature is a religion in itself, and it promotes murder to those who don’t hold to the same beliefs.  That is exactly the same thing that muslims preach.  So if Mr.Harris truly holds these beliefs, and doesn’t just promote them for others, then he is the exact person that he is describing as “holding to beliefs so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill” them for those beliefs. 
If there is a better example of how a belief system can lead you to dangerous actions then I havent heard it.  Atheism, the form preached by father Harris and father Dawkins, ( for those who are a little touchy on the generalization of Atheism ) is by far the most unethical, inhumane and dangerous religion under the sun.  If you consider last century alone, and only account for the murders executed by self-proclaimed atheists ( yes Hiter was a Neitze worshipping darwinist, not a catholic, the arguments otherwise are beyond groundless)  then you have more than all of history combined.  Please spare me the laughter and hold back on your “none of those darwinistic naturalists performed genocide BECAUSE of their beliefs… , there isn’t a weaker argument under the sun.  If you value human life in the slightest then you are not going to find yourself cooking millions of people based on their disabilities, or sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.  If you believe that everything is a result of atoms courses and them colliding with one another ( including your thoughts, like the one that came up with that very idea ) and that there is no purpose or meaning to life; then who cares anyhow?  Kill the babies, save the trees!!  And please don’t forget to buy your tickets for church when Father Harris comes to New York or LA or wherever else he is driving his propaganda machine.

 
llathander
 
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llathander
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12 October 2014 10:53
 

Wow, lots to respond to here. Unfortunately, the vast majority of this post is hot nonsense.

“The point of my post was exactly what this reply said: Atheism is a BELIEF in something, it is not; as so often claimed to be,  a series of denials towards others beliefs.  It is exactly the same as other people’s religions.  It is a set of beliefs aimed towards creation, purpose of life, morality, etc. etc.”

Wrong. Atheism only tell you what someone doesnt believe. It is not believing theistic claims. It tells you zero about what an atheist does believe, concerning anything…“creation” as you call it, purpose of life, morality, the quality of certain cheeses, it addresses a single issue. Do you believe theistic claims? No, you are an atheist. Yes? you are a theist. Now theism actually does tell you what someone believes as they relate to, at least generally, whichever theistic doctrines their beliefs are sympathetic to, to varying degrees. This isnt hard, theists try so hard to equate belief to non belief, it is NEVER going to work. Get over it, there is no logical pathway which one can say “well the fact that you arent in a cult means you are in a cult” This is stupid, just stop it.

“Some beliefs are so dangerous that it may be ethical to KILL PEOPLE for believing them.” - Sam Harris

Is there a reason to bring this up? Did you read the book?

This has been explained over and over again. I understand its nice to quote mine people, but it isnt going to work.

Sam can defend himself here

“This paragraph appears after a long discussion of the role that belief plays in governing human behavior, and it should be read in that context. Some critics have interpreted the second sentence of this passage to mean that I advocate simply killing religious people for their beliefs. Granted, I made the job of misinterpreting me easier than it might have been, but such a reading remains a frank distortion of my views. To someone reading the passage in context, it should be clear that I am discussing the link between belief and behavior. The fact that belief determines behavior is what makes certain beliefs so dangerous.
When one asks why it would be ethical to drop a bomb on Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al Qaeda, the answer cannot be, “Because he killed so many people in the past.” To my knowledge, the man hasn’t killed anyone personally. However, he is likely to get a lot of innocent people killed because of what he and his followers believe about jihad, martyrdom, the ascendancy of Islam, etc. A willingness to take preventative action against a dangerous enemy is compatible with being against the death penalty (which I am). Whenever we can capture and imprison jihadists, we should. But in many cases this is either impossible or too risky. Would it have been better if we had captured Osama bin Laden? In my view, yes. Do I think the members of Seal Team Six should have assumed any added risk to bring him back alive? Absolutely not.”


” My point is not that, my point is this: The beliefs that Mr. Harris PREACHES in his literature is a religion in itself, and it promotes murder to those who don’t hold to the same beliefs.  That is exactly the same thing that muslims preach.  So if Mr.Harris truly holds these beliefs, and doesn’t just promote them for others, then he is the exact person that he is describing as “holding to beliefs so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill” them for those beliefs.  “

Sam harris doesnt preach anything, Sam Harris is a philosopher and a neuroscience, he gathers facts and comes to conclusions using a foundation of reason and evidence. I think you may be confused. Here are the various definitions of religion.


noun
1.
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Well, that cant be atheism, as atheism doesn’t address this topic.


2.
a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects:
the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

Atheism has no fundamentals, the only requirement is not believing in god(s)


3.
the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices:
a world council of religions.

Atheism holds no beliefs, only lacks them.


4.
the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.:
to enter religion.

Clearly not atheism.

5.
the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.

We have none of those.

6.
something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience:
to make a religion of fighting prejudice.

Atheism is not believing in something. Lots of things are compatible with atheism, but lack of believing is NOT believing.

7.
religions, Archaic. religious rites:
painted priests performing religions deep into the night.

Archaic

8.
Archaic. strict faithfulness; devotion:
a religion to one’s vow.

Nothing to be devoted to.


Now there is one definition of religion that you could actually lump atheism into.

Here it is

“a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.”

Now you could, i suppose, be very interested in not believing, it happens all over youtube, however this definition strips the word of all meaning. Under this definition, gamers, people who work for a living, cigar aficionados, movie buffs, philosophers—actually just everyone is engaged in religion. This is a Pyhrric victory for those that would claim that atheism is a religion, as the word has practically lost all meaning.

“Atheism, the form preached by father Harris and father Dawkins, ( for those who are a little touchy on the generalization of Atheism ) is by far the most unethical, inhumane and dangerous religion under the sun.  If you consider last century alone, and only account for the murders executed by self-proclaimed atheists ( yes Hiter was a Neitze worshipping darwinist, not a catholic, the arguments otherwise are beyond groundless)  then you have more than all of history combined.  Please spare me the laughter and hold back on your “none of those darwinistic naturalists performed genocide BECAUSE of their beliefs… , there isn’t a weaker argument under the sun.”

This has been answered over and over again. You just dont like the arguments. Hitler never renounced his catholicism, the german buckle belts had “Gott mit uns” printed on them, the first concordant was with the catholic church, etc etc ad nauseum. What is this darwinist bullshit that keeps popping up?  The only thing the theory of evolution address is the diversity of life, you people seem to take that and run off on some tangent of exterminating people.


” If you value human life in the slightest then you are not going to find yourself cooking millions of people based on their disabilities, or sexual orientation, or religious belief”

Right, cause you dont find christians bombing abortion clinics, or muslims lining themselves up in front of school building in their own countried so troops wont shoot them. You dont find jehovas witnesses depriving children of medical care based on biblical reasons alone? Or women being killed for the crime of being raped? Or the pope saying “aids may be bad, but condoms are worse” this could go on and on. Give it up, youre terrible.

 
Vipersdad
 
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12 October 2014 21:12
 
PhishPhanPhil - 10 October 2014 04:42 PM

Now in response to the second post,
“None of your argument demonstrates the incorrectness of the positions held by what you call the “new Atheists,” any more than it demonstrates the correctness of any other position…including and especially whichever position you want us to think you are representing.”
You might want to refer to the title of the thread and see if it says “Arguments to demonstrate the incorrectness of the positions held by New Atheists” or if it reads otherwise.  I am not trying to write a book here, there are an AWFUL lot of incorrect positions held by the new atheists, I certainly don’t have time to write an exhaustive response to all of them.  The point of the thread was exactly what the title reads and nothing in your reply had anything to say about that.  So if I may be so bold to as you to try again, then I may be able to reply to such a post.  Thank You

So I’ve re-read your postiings several times now, in an honest attempt to be fair and to not misrepresent your position to further a particular argument. 

You appear to be constructing the following argument:

-Atheists are hypocritical because they are just as zealous and “apostolic” in the way they follow prominent Atheists as are the Religious Zealots that they criticize.

-Some Atheists appear to you to advocate for what you view as potentially a-moral ideas (death to those who embrace certain ideas)

Those two theses appear to me to be the primary support for the title of your initial posting. 

Hypocrites who espouse dangerous ideas.  Got it.  Am I getting warm now? 

So if that’s at least in the correct time-zone of your argument…then make it.  Back it up with actual facts and spare me the fallacious logic.  Thus far all I see are random assertions that are easily relegated to the scrap heap of other failed arguments made by the credulous.

There is no proof for the existence of a God….so I don’t believe in one. 

There is no good argument to be religious….so I’m not.

If good evidence for the existence of God were available, I would be religious. 

No one “converted me” to this viewpoint.  It occurred to me very naturally in a Jr. High School History class (taught by a person who I knew to be a very devout Christian)  while we were studying Greek Mythology.  As hard as I tried to put that Genie back in to the bottle, she won’t go. 


 

 

 
PhishPhanPhil
 
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12 October 2014 21:45
 

Wrong. Atheism only tell you what someone doesnt believe. It is not believing theistic claims.
Wrong. Atheism makes exactly as many POSITIVE claims as any other religion.  It is an absolute joke that atheists try to dupe anybody aside from themselves into believing that atheism is only a denial of facts.  Atheists do not say that the religious writings of various groups are unreliable and then follow it up with silence.  They follow it up with their beliefs on the subject.  Nobody denies the creation account, and says, “I don’t believe that it is false, I simply deny it.”  I can’t waste any more of my time pointing out something as ridiculously obvious as the fact that atheism IS a set of beliefs that governs the way one thinks.  Atheism fits the second definition of a religion in the first post in response to last my reply exactly.  However, I am starting to feel that the people who are responding to my posts are simply living in a state of denial to the obvious.  It is ridiculous to claim that atheists don’t hold to beliefs, have you actually read anything that Mr.Harris wrote??  Yes I did read the quote that I used in context and I used it to show that this is the same rational held by the religious groups that are the subject of the quote.  Yes, I understand that Mr.Harris isn’t handing out tech-9’s to college kids and dosing them with L to get them to go murder churchs filled with “religious people”.  The point in the post, which yes I re-emphasized in each of my REPLIES, because it needed to be stated clearer for those who replied to the post, is a very simple one.  Just like the first person to reply to my post said “there are fundamentalist atheists, as well as a host of other “denomination” ( not his words, but for sake of time, you get the point, not all atheists are the same).  He went on to point out that there is even the Church of Atheism, something that I was unaware of but not in the least surprised about, actually quite impressed that someone out there realizes that they are making positive faith-based beliefs in their atheism.  If you are trying to claim that you have no beliefs, I feel the need to present you with a very well known quote by Alexander Hamilton: “He who stands for nothing, will fall for anything.”  I would like to follow that up with this quote: “The universe is an illogical place!  Logic won’t do to understand it!” - Lawrence Krauss,  If you ponder that long enough you may want to think about this one too: “All propaganda has to be popular, and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.” - The 20th centuries most motivated darwinian evolutionist ( a belief, by the way) Adolf Hitler. 
Finally to the post that asked me to state evidence that atheism is a set of beliefs that forms someone’s worldview, and behavior, not some mere, complete denial, and totally neutral position on all matters of life, just ask me how much more you would like me to present, and maybe I am not being specific enough.  I admit I am prone to leave out the over-obvious, for just that reason, I always feel that it is self-evident, people don’t write book after book stating things that they don’t believe.  Obviously everything written is believed,  beliefs require faith, especially when your belief can be summed up as so: Because the law of gravity and the quantum vacuum exist, therefore, the universe will create itself from nothing. - The central argument in The Grand Design, also a picture perfect example of circular reasoning, and how to use lots of pages to say absolutely nothing.  Aside from the fact that this is an age old re-hashed selling-point of popular scientific literature, it takes no particularly great mind to see that that sentence makes not the slightest bit of logical sense.  And we must not be lulled by all the mystifying charm of scientific grandeur.  This is not because some are lower form of intellect incapable of grasping the inaccessible and sacred pinnacles of understanding that only scientists occupy.  The universe can do some amazing things, but nothing, not it, not even God can do that which is logically absurd.  I would truly dread “evolving” to the point where I believe that because something and something else exists, therefore, some other thing will create itself from nothing.  Especially when that is the sum total of evidence in support of an entirely illogical belief.  Now I have retracted from my original statement, darn it, my post was simply to point out to not all atheists, only those who still somehow think that they are not religious that they are. The end.

 
PhishPhanPhil
 
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PhishPhanPhil
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13 October 2014 01:32
 

Because I am still left with an uncomfortable feeling that there are still people out there who don’t see the painfully obvious fact that atheism is a religion, and that more specifically the form of atheism promoted,preached and evangelized by Mr.Harris, Mr.Dawkins and the like is as dangerous a religion as any I will make yet one more post to try to get this point across.  I want to emphasize that my topic here is a very specific one, it is not dealing with creation, or intelligent design or anything else that is argued and preached on this forum, it is an attempt to make others realize that atheism is not simply a denial of beliefs, void of any actual beliefs itself, but it is, like I have said so many times, a religion itself.
There are dozens of atheist societies scattered all over the globe: ‘Atheist Alliance International’, ‘The International League of non-religious’, ‘The International League of Humanists’, ‘Rationalist International’, ‘The International Humanist and Ethical Union’. ‘The European Humanists Federation’, ‘The American Humanist Association’, ‘American Atheists’, ‘Project Reason’, ‘Foundation for Reason and Science’ and the above mentioned “The First Church of Atheism’, which boasts of how quickly you can become an ordained atheist minister (http://firstchurchofatheism.com/faq/, take note of the fact that their BELIEFS are stated just as they should be).  All of these organizations have their short list of evangelizers, who travel the globe spreading the atheistic faith.  They are all interconnected and some of them obviously differ on certain matters of atheology.  They are all very committed to their cause and find great delight in winning new disciples to their faith.  Now the atheist culture seems to be branching out into the perilous regions of religious fanaticism as well.  The atheist worldview, or faith, is more followed, more organized, and more vocal than just about any other world religion.  Yet, for some inexplicable reason, atheists consider themselves something altogether different from other religious adherents.  However, I wish to argue that this is not done innocently, or unintentionally, that is to try and avoid any sort of religious identity.
Because of this deviously convenient identity crisis, modern atheist apologists have employed a very clever technique of smuggling in all of the groundings of other worldviews and using them as platforms of attack.  This is best understood if first you understand the underlying motive behind this new breed of atheism is purely emotive, not intellectual.  It is not mere coincidence that an entirely naturalist/materialist/capitalist/atheist religion has sprung up and spread like wildfire in the increasingly liberal west.  The very core of this new atheism are deeply rooted in human emotion, not human intellect, that is just another piece of the propaganda thrown on top.  I will take the time now, because it is of crucial importance that everybody sees the different ways that this new rise in atheism is due to emotional roots and not a progression in human intelligence, as popularly promoted.
It begins with the popular notion that there are parts of the brain which threaten to diminish or undermine intelligence, the so called “divided-brain” myth.  One sobering fact that undermines this incredibly perverse myth is that contrary to popular belief, it is actually well-established that we are not getting more intelligent; the exact opposite is true.  This obviously runs totally contradictory to Dawkins and others’ attempt to convince the more impressionable culture that belief in their religion is a result of some sort of intellectual evolution.  I see evidence for a highly evolved ego, but the evidence is certainly not there to support an evolved intelligence.  Now to get back to the role of emotions as the root and driving force of the atheistic propaganda.  Has anybody sat back to consider why has atheism/agnosticism/naturalism/materialism thrived to such a high degree only in the economically privileged countries, particularly the west?  Keep in mind the message that Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, Stenger, Shermer, Krauss and the rest of the new atheist league of extraordinary gentlemen have endorsed: “Faith must die”.  This is a very odd assertion to make when you consider that their far more illustrious scientific predecessors never shared this sentiment.  Certainly not Einstein, nor Max Plank, the patriarch of Quantum Theory who wrote this in 1932: “Anybody who has seriously been engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words:  Ye must have faith.  It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with ... Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature.  That is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of nature and therefore a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”  I am saying all of this to show that there is no (direct) inconsistency between theistic faith and empirical science, despite the myth that dawkins and the new atheist community have tried ever so hard to perpetuate in their snake-oil salesmanship of their own religion.  I know it sounds as if I am drifting far from my core argument, but please stick with me here, to get a thought across that I know is going to be so highly opposed with knee-jerk like resistance like the one I am proposing I need to lay some groundwork.  Scientists throughout history have observed that the highest form of knowledge, and science, is one that admits the yielding of the senses to human reasoning and creativity in a nice harmony.  By isolating and emphasizing one part of the equation and shutting out the other, one renders themselves, quite literally, mentally deficient.  I say this because I want to show how atheism proper, or “intellectual atheism” for those who prefer that term, can be traced back to this mental deficiency.
Premise 1: Human understanding is at once rational, intuitive AND empirical.
Premise 2: Science ( referring to the scientific method) is purely empirical.
Premise 3: Therefore, science all on its own is insufficient for human understanding.
Premise 4: The belief that science is sufficient for human understanding (scientism) is a fallacious episteme.
Premise 5: Atheism implies that science is sufficient for human understanding.
Conclusion: Therefore Scientific Atheism is based on a fallacious episteme.
Now does this prove anything about God, or faith? Of course not, my attempt in that short thesis is simply to show that the recent rise in atheism is due to no progression in human intelligence, as it is popularly promoted, and so instead I would like us to realize that it logically must be the result of some other factor.  The other factor that I am attempting to show is emotions.  The connection with emotions being the core foundation of this ideology/religion is to show the high likelyhood that an ideology with an emotional beginning will be deeply erroneous, irrational or misguided.  Emotions precede reason.  What this means is that once a belief is formed on an emotional and probably irrational basis, it will only go on to propagate itself with a one-track mind.  I know that so far I have limited the scope of this thesis to new atheism, but I want to quickly correct myself there and state that these facts by themselves say no more about atheism than they do about any ideology built on emotions. 
The reason that this truth holds particular weight here is what I had begun to point out earlier.  If this extremely fast selling ideology is striving in our western culture, almost exclusively now, and it is not for the reasons that it tries to promote for itself, i.e. atheists brains have simply evolved past the rest of the worlds, then it goes without saying that there is another reason for this highly contagious new religion.  NEW atheism is a modern revolution which is very much in its post-natal beginnings, no more than a decade or decade and a half old, roughly following September 11th I think would be as accurate as a time we could really state for its inception.  So now let’s ask ourselves why was the west emotionally ripe at this time for a religion that is founded on emotion rather than tradition, or rational thought, logic, reasoning, intellect.  Now again I need to step back and state that this is purely a subjective thesis at this point.  I am NOT trying to say that every atheist has had the same motives for their beliefs by any means.  I am trying to show that emotions have played the role, that had to be played by something, for this modern revolution in ideology, and in doing so expose the propaganda that defines this new atheism by showing the obvious connections between propaganda and human emotion. 
One very quick, and I believe effective way of showing this propaganda in action is by drawing light on one of Dawkins’ most crackpot notions, which seems to have spread throughout the atheistic culture somehow.  This is the attempt made to portray atheism and its worldview as some sort of “oppressed culture”, ousted by the relentless and tyrannical onslaught of religion.  I simply cannot imagine where this completely ridiculous idea came from.  The only job that I can possibly think of, speaking on behalf of America where I live, where a practicing atheist would be immediately denied is as a minister, not counting of course the ministers at the The FIrst Church of Atheism.  Aside from that what actually makes this notion so laughable is that the exact opposite is true, to the best of my knowledge even more so in more liberal europe than where I live.  I know I am not the only one who almost died laughing when reading the Appendix in Dawkins’ book on page 375 containing “A partial list of friendly addresses for individuals needing support in escaping from religion.”  A support group for atheists in the secular west.  At most atheists are a minority.  A minority does not mean that you are oppressed it, it simply means that less people are inclined to believing what atheists believe.  And if you need to seek emotional refuge from that fact than I have another theory for another day on that.
Now to my main question.  Why are the likes of Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens and Dennett pulling this stuff?  If you read the manifestos of any totalitarian or fundamentalist regime in the last 2k years you will figure it out mighty quick.  Rule number one in rallying an enraged mob ( or widespread group of people who are zealous and blindly loyal to ANY cause, no, I don’t think these guys are trying to form some sort of para-military group) is convince them they have an enemy.  Example: Islamic fundamentalists use the core premise of a supposed apocalyptic potential of western oppression in the Middle-East.  But not to open up that can of worms,  so if I believe there are emotional motives behind this new atheism ideology then what are they?
1)  The Western materialist/consumerist/hedonistic revolution.  In no other place at no other time in history has a culture been so ripe for an ideology fueled by anger towards so many groups, and actually have the blind arrogance to consider themselves an “oppressed culture” while living in the least oppressed most prosperous environment in the world. 
2)  Contempt for the religious authority (specifically the Christian Church) in an increasingly rebellious liberal west seeking to liberate itself from sexual/other taboos (sexual orientation, promiscuity, abortion, etc. ) and then on top of that the backlash from clerical child-abuse and other religious scandals.  Keep in mind that for the most part, everybody felt anger over these issues, only a very small population though “drank the kool-aid” so to speak.  So we need to examine that too in time to come.
3) The attacks on September 11th, 2001 and the media’s sensationalization of religious fundamentalism in the course of the

 
PhishPhanPhil
 
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PhishPhanPhil
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13 October 2014 01:46
 

** I know this breaking the forum policy, or should be anyhow so I will just finish my sentence and make one short thesis so whoever has read this far knows that my post is heading in one steady direction **

.. the course of the last decade.
Now what I will show in due time, maybe tomorrow, are how the leading spokesmen of this new atheism have monopolized and capitalized on the emotional groundwork laid out for them and used it in the most obviously deceptive ways possible.  To start, just targeting groups of people through emotions ( like what is done with the “your a victim of oppression as an atheist”, and ” we have a real enemy with religions”) Then adding a little sugar coating with such attractive concepts as people who believe what we believe are smarter than the rest of the world, and most obvious of all is the pathetic cowardly approach of trying to claim no beliefs and therefore making yourself immune to any wrong doing of any kind at any place or time in all of history.  Add to those very obvious and heavily used propaganda techniques the insane amount of conspiracy theories attributed to the Church (in general of course) and the all too common straw-man tactic what you get is literally every known technique used for propaganda performed in broad daylight with the only people who manage to brush it off are those who invest enough time memorizing the illogical and groundless defense tactics preached to them by their faithful ministers.  Now, I seriously need to call it a night, knowing I have already lost probably 9/10th of the audience when the notion of examining the motives for our beliefs were mentioned, and have gone well over the mark for words used. 
However, this should give plenty of opportunity for replies, of course they will be before I even get to my main point, but none the less I look forward to any thought-provoking, belief challenging posts, that may force me to take another step back and rethink the emotional motives for new atheism.

 
llathander
 
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llathander
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14 October 2014 17:01
 

You still have yet to leave the realm of nonsense.

“Because I am still left with an uncomfortable feeling that there are still people out there who don’t see the painfully obvious fact that atheism is a religion”

This simply isnt true, this is a fantasy of the religious. In fact, I gave you something like 6 definitions of religions, one of which could actually include atheism. That definition however has unwelcome consequences for those that would promote this misguided idea. I can only assume youre being dishonest here.

” and that more specifically the form of atheism promoted,preached and evangelized by Mr.Harris, Mr.Dawkins and the like is as dangerous a religion as any I will make yet one more post to try to get this point across.”

Harris and Dawkins do no such thing, this is pure nonsense. If they are doing this then so are the economic musings of Blenn Beck, Neal Boortz, Sean Hannity etc…so long as your definition of evangelizing relates to the moment someone opens their mouth conveying their reasoning about something—you are just peddling prattle.

“There are dozens of atheist societies scattered all over the globe: ‘Atheist Alliance International’, ‘The International League of non-religious’, ‘The International League of Humanists’, ‘Rationalist International’, ‘The International Humanist and Ethical Union’. ‘The European Humanists Federation’, ‘The American Humanist Association’, ‘American Atheists’, ‘Project Reason’, ‘Foundation for Reason and Science’ and the above mentioned “The First Church of Atheism’, which boasts of how quickly you can become an ordained atheist minister (http://firstchurchofatheism.com/faq/, take note of the fact that their BELIEFS are stated just as they should be).  All of these organizations have their short list of evangelizers, who travel the globe spreading the atheistic faith. “

There is nothing incompatible with creating groups to promote ideas (i.e. some philosophy club or a starcraft strategy club) with not engaging in religion. These two can be perfectly harmonized. Now here we may at least find some common ground. I find the idea of atheist churches incredibly stupid. However, no feature of having something to that effect makes atheism any more fitted for the actual definitions of religion. There are definitions of religion, you cannot fit atheism into any of them (except the especially broad one, which would also include people that work for a living), I provided them for you. Stop projecting.

“They are all interconnected and some of them obviously differ on certain matters of atheology.”
Youre conflating two issues here, non-belief and anti-theism, is there a reason for this?

“hey are all very committed to their cause and find great delight in winning new disciples to their faith.”

Right, the faith of not having a faith, you get to have your cake and stuff your face with it too right? No amount of casuistry is going to get anyone on board with your asinine notion that disbelieving faith claims is a form of faith. This cannot work, in any sense. It could only work if you begin to radically change what you mean, mid sentence, without informing anyone. Let me make this EXTREMELY clear. Someone says there is a god. I say “I dont believe you”, there is no faith required for that. Fuck it, I can write 100 books about how I dont believe them, there is still no faith required. I need to start making claims about things, positive ones, and then I begin to shoulder a burden of proof. How does this relate to atheism? It doesnt. Because atheism addresses a single topic. Do you believe in god(s)? Yes? you are a theist. No? You are an atheist. Why is this so hard for dense theists to understand?

“The atheist worldview, or faith, is more followed, more organized, and more vocal than just about any other world religion. “

Atheism is too narrow to be a worldview. The only requirement is that one not believe in god(s). This is going to get you nowhere. Also, it isnt a religion. No amount of you repeating this meme will change that. It simply doesnt qualify. I already provided you with a wealth of definitions, you ignored them.

“Yet, for some inexplicable reason, atheists consider themselves something altogether different from other religious adherents. “

Oh, its explicable, we are different from religious adherents due to not subscribing to religion. Of course, you would argue that not doing that is also subscribing to religion…which of course would dilute the word so strongly as to make it useless…am I seeing a pattern here?

“However, I wish to argue that this is not done innocently, or unintentionally, that is to try and avoid any sort of religious identity.

We dont have to try, the very fact that we dont subscribe to religion disqualifies us from being religious.

“Because of this deviously convenient identity crisis, modern atheist apologists have employed a very clever technique of smuggling in all of the groundings of other worldviews and using them as platforms of attack.  This is best understood if first you understand the underlying motive behind this new breed of atheism is purely emotive, not intellectual.”

We have some intellectual hard-hitters backing us. There is nothing emotional about looking to science and philosophy to combat bronze-age superstition. This is just an empty assertion, one with no merit and one which requires no refuting on my part. One can simply look to the intellectual merit people like hitch, harris, dawkins, carrol, russell, sagan etc….and read/watch them apply their respective fields of study to the debate. The only people satisfied with answers like “magic did it” are the theists, and this is obvious. These are some brilliant people. As much as I cant stand people like william lane craig, I can admit that he at minimum brings philosophical arguments to the table, I would never be tempted to say “its all emotive”, this quote of yours is just embarrassing non-content. You sir, are terrible at this.

“It is not mere coincidence that an entirely naturalist/materialist/capitalist/atheist religion has sprung up and spread like wildfire in the increasingly liberal west.”

Who cares? This is more non-content . “Its not a coincidence that blizzard/starcraft/diablo/worldofwarcraft have all srpung up and spread like wildfire in the increasingly liberal west.” Who gives a shit?


“The very core of this new atheism are deeply rooted in human emotion, not human intellect, that is just another piece of the propaganda thrown on top. “

It is actually rooted in human intellect. The refusal to accept non-answers like “magic did it” as actual explanations.

”  This obviously runs totally contradictory to Dawkins and others’ attempt to convince the more impressionable culture that belief in their religion is a result of some sort of intellectual evolution.  I see evidence for a highly evolved ego, but the evidence is certainly not there to support an evolved intelligence.”

You continue speaking like this should be taken for granted, there is no reason even passingly entertain the idea that it should. Youre just babbling.

“Now to get back to the role of emotions as the root and driving force of the atheistic propaganda.  Has anybody sat back to consider why has atheism/agnosticism/naturalism/materialism thrived to such a high degree only in the economically privileged countries, particularly the west?  Keep in mind the message that Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, Stenger, Shermer, Krauss and the rest of the new atheist league of extraordinary gentlemen have endorsed: “Faith must die””

There is nothing wrong with wanting your peers to discontinue believing in things on insufficient evidence. Bad and unsupportable ideas will always cause more harm than good. Our beliefs must be constrained by our ability to demonstrate the veracity of them, believing in magic, gods, ectoplasm etc….will only lead us to take actions based on illogic.

” Ye must have faith.  It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with ... Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature”

Not true. No faith required. If science cannot, wishful thinking certainly cant.

” I am saying all of this to show that there is no (direct) inconsistency between theistic faith and empirical science, despite the myth that dawkins and the new atheist community have tried ever so hard to perpetuate in their snake-oil salesmanship of their own religion.  “

There actually is a contradiction, to daisy chain off your snake comment, they dont talk.

“I know it sounds as if I am drifting far from my core argument,”

Your core argument is that everything is a religion, including non-religion. You dont have a core argument.

Premise 1: Human understanding is at once rational, intuitive AND empirical.
Premise 2: Science ( referring to the scientific method) is purely empirical.
Premise 3: Therefore, science all on its own is insufficient for human understanding.
Premise 4: The belief that science is sufficient for human understanding (scientism) is a fallacious episteme.
Premise 5: Atheism implies that science is sufficient for human understanding.
Conclusion: Therefore Scientific Atheism is based on a fallacious episteme.


Science uses reason and empiricism, intuition is not necessary or even valid. Intuition has actually been a stumbling block for understanding scientific principles which we rely on today. Much of physics is very counter intuitive, this is a shitty argument. You dont even get past premise 1 before being wrong. Seriously, you failed at premise 1.

Ill finish tomorrow. This is too tedious to continue for now. These are all claims which have been thoroughly debunked thousands of times. This is just machine gunning nonsense. Stop it.


 

 

 
PhishPhanPhil
 
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PhishPhanPhil
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17 October 2014 00:01
 

I apologize for taking so much time to finish my post, and now at this point I will first defend what I began and then see if time permits me to finish the thought.
This was the quote of mine that llathander posted and replied with the following statement: ” and that more specifically the form of atheism promoted,preached and evangelized by Mr.Harris, Mr.Dawkins and the like is as dangerous a religion as any I will make yet one more post to try to get this point across.”
“Harris and Dawkins do no such thing, this is pure nonsense. If they are doing this then so are the economic musings of Blenn Beck, Neal Boortz, Sean Hannity etc…so long as your definition of evangelizing relates to the moment someone opens their mouth conveying their reasoning about something—you are just peddling prattle” 
To begin with, any person who has any experience in critical thinking will imediately raise an eyebrow at a quote used that begins with the word and.  Why?  There can’t be clearer evidence that it was carefully lifted from it’s context then this.  Secondly, in your reply you included the “.... so long as your definition” portion, which followed nicely after your nitpicking over the definition of what a religion is. 
According to the 8 definitions that you provided for us in your previous post atheism fits the first three perfectly well as I am about to demonstrate.  I will not bother to go through all 8 as I have already seen by your insertion of “Atheism holds no beliefs, only lacks them.” that I am not dealing with anybody that has even the slightest ability to reason or apply inherent human logic to an idea.
Definition 1 includes ” especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances”.  Now this part of the definition, which I would certainly not agree to, at least is not a requirement ( indicated by the words especially, and usually and often!).  Therefore when the rest of the definition is considered atheism fits very nicely into it.  You stated that you BELIEVE that atheism doesn’t fit this definition because it doesn’t “address this topic”?  According to your own self-contradictory statements you can’t hold to any beliefs and therefore can’t even deny others.  I suppose I will actually save myself the time of going through each definition since you can simply deny anything that you find inconvenient based on the ridiculous notion that atheists don’t believe in anything.  This makes as much sense as saying anarchists hold no political views, they only deny all other forms of government.  If I were to try and tell you that I do not believe in atheists, the obvious response from most people would be something like ” Why not?”  Now if I wanted to make the entirely illogical claim that I hold no beliefs I would not be able to say anymore.  The possible exception being ” I am so incredibly ignorant that I don’t even know what the word God or theism refers to and therefore due to an absolute lack of knowledge I can’t say that I believe in them.”  I have never met an atheist willing to say this.  The entire concept of trying to label yourself “non-religious” and “having no beliefs” is as cowardice a strategy as there is in the world today.  Yes, it is an appealing idea to try to rid yourself of any possible criticisms by claiming that you have no beliefs to criticize.  That however would be being entirely impartial to everything in the world around you which clearly isn’t the case.  If I really wanted to labor this point, which I see absolutely no reason to, I would compile a list of, say three dozen beliefs that you have stated so far in your posts, follow that up with the fact that you clearly hold them valuable as you are spending your time on a forum defending this set of beliefs, and then just restate the obvious: atheism is a religion.
Now, I’m not entirely sure where you got your definitions from, not saying that I disagree with them ( especially since they support my case) but for the sake of clarity I will post from Merriam-Websters online dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religion.  I am doing this because it is clear now that we need to see what a religion is to realize that we are part of one.  Now as far as llathander is concerned you can pretty much stop reading at any point seeing as you clearly tuned out quite a while ago and confirmed the fact that no amount of evidence and certainly not logical thought is going to convince you of something you downright refuse to believe: “Also, it isnt a religion. No amount of you repeating this meme will change that. It simply doesnt qualify. I already provided you with a wealth of definitions, you ignored them.” 
It is borderline laughable to think that you would also deny atheism as even being a worldview, furthermore I have done the farthest thing from ignoring your little list of definitions, I am dealing with them as it is central to my core argument.  YES, religion, or religious, they are both extremely broad terms, you came close to realizing this, but then pretended as if only one definition of religion is broad, and that’s not the one that you choose for yourself: “There are definitions of religion, you cannot fit atheism into any of them (except the especially broad one, which would also include people that work for a living), I provided them for you”
There are definitions of religion, you cannot fit atheism into any of them (except the especially broad one, which would also include people that work for a living), I provided them for you”
Merriam-websters first three definitions:
1) the belief in a God or group of gods.
JACKPOT, if it only stopped there you would have a valid point, if only you could ignore any other definitions.  This may be a good spot to point out how dictionaries work for those struggling with definition crisis’.  There are a number of definitions often provided for a single noun because one definition alone doesn’t do it justice, i.e. can’t fully cover the noun, as well as the fact that words (as clearly seen here) can vary slightly from one person and/or context to another.  Also, you will see that some words hold multiple unrelated definitions ( i.e. fag being a pile of sticks, or a derogatory term for a homosexual ).  This is why continuing to read the portion entitled FULL DEFINITION, and USAGES, is critical if you care to actually understand the use of a word.  So let us move on,
2) an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or group of gods.
again, you could not apply that to atheism, agreed? Nor could you apply that to an extremely large population of the most religious people in the world today.  My personal opinion is that this definition doesn’t really vary much from the first and a smart reader of this dictionary would probably jump right to the section titled FULL DEFINITION ( caps are just because it is in caps on their site)
3 ) an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group.
I am sure you can see how this fits like a glove to atheism, but could also argue that it does the same for a Boston Red Sox fan, definitely too broad of a term to use isolated from the rest of the definition.
Full Definition of Religion:
1.) a) the state of a religious < a nun in the 20th year of religion >
b (1) :  the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) :  commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2:  a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices = ATHEISM
3 archaic :  scrupulous conformity :  conscientiousness = broad, and as they state archaic so not of much use
4:  a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith = ATHEISM
Examples of RELIGION

Many people turn to religion for comfort in a time of crisis. = or for other emotional reasons = ATHEISM
There are many religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.
Shinto is a religion that is unique to Japan.
Hockey is a religion in Canada.
Politics are a religion to him. = an anarchist still has political beliefs that they clearly carry out in a “religious” manner according to this definition.  Atheism is no different.
Where I live, high school football is religion.
Food is religion in this house. 
Now if we look further down we find what at first appears to be something in support of the notion that atheism is not a religion:
Related to RELIGION

Synonyms
credo, creed, cult, faith, persuasion
Antonyms
atheism, godlessness
WHAT! an antonym? then clearly atheism can’t be religious, let’s look up their definition for atheism and see if this fits.
Definition of ATHEISM

1 archaic :  ungodliness, wickedness
2 a :  a disbelief in the existence of deity = a disbelief that can in no way be rooted in empirical, “scientific” FACTS, as the atheist claims, while out of the other side of his mouth claiming to not hold to any beliefs.  Simply because there are no scientific facts, and obviously no empirical evidence that can prove the non-existence of the supernatural or of a god doesn’t exempt the atheist from still believing that his faith is rooted in science. ( I know that this is entirely out of my scope for the moment with this post, but please if anybody actually does have PROOF, DATA, Empirical EVIDENCE, that would mean NON-THEORY, to prove that a god or gods or anything supernatural can not possibly exist, I am all ears).
b :  the doctrine that there is no deity = what’s another word for doctrine?? something that you have non of right? 
Now hold on, before I run out of words I need to further drive home the case that “your definitions” were not ignored; one simply can’t take them seriously when you try to devoid yourself of all of them on the grounds that you only “don’t believe things” you hold no actual beliefs, no positive statements are ever made.  When somebody has successfully convinced themselves of this ( which requires they contradict it already ) there is no point in trying to reason definitions with them, this is why it may seem to you that I glossed over your extremely weak argument.  Atheists are as much in conformity in their set of beliefs as other religions are, that would be with quite a bit of variation, like denominations in christianity, yet enough in common that they can apply the term to somebody and it holds value as a definition in what they believe.
atheism concise encyclopedia:
Critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or divine beings. Unlike agnosticism, which leaves open the question of whether there is a God, atheism is a positive denial. It is rooted in an array of philosophical systems. Ancient Greek philosophers such as Democritus and Epicurus argued for it in the context of materialism.
You see all through the opening paragraph that atheism is rooted in positive ideas, or beliefs, whether you propose your belief as a denial or an affirmative is simply a matter of choice, each one relies on the other.  A theist could sit there and say I simply don’t believe in scientism, atheists, multiverse theories, or anything proposed by modern “scientists” that are totally void of evidence and attempt to explain anything about the world at all.  I have no beliefs of my own though, I simply deny the beliefs and arguments for a godless existence because they lack any sort of evidence to support them, and because they are an attempt to make an observation while being part of what they are observing.”  I think a ridiculous argument like that would be torn to shreds immediately, since the only logical way to deny a belief is with a counter-belief, or total ignorance, which isn’t even a denial.  Throughout my previous posts I began to show, one by one, the similarities between atheism and every other religion, emphasizing on the beliefs held in most contempt by atheists today. ( side note: how do you defend something you don’t believe in? Out of letter

 
llathander
 
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llathander
Total Posts:  42
Joined  11-12-2013
 
 
 
19 October 2014 04:59
 

This is a deluge of nonsense. If you dont start making sense, im not going to bother responding anymore.
“To begin with, any person who has any experience in critical thinking will imediately raise an eyebrow at a quote used that begins with the word and.  Why?  There can’t be clearer evidence that it was carefully lifted from it’s context then this.  Secondly, in your reply you included the “.... so long as your definition” portion, which followed nicely after your nitpicking over the definition of what a religion is.  “

I didnt nitpick anything, I provided you with a copy-paste from the dictionary. If that is nitpicking, I dont know what isnt.

“According to the 8 definitions that you provided for us in your previous post atheism fits the first three perfectly well as I am about to demonstrate.”

You did no such thing.

” I will not bother to go through all 8 as I have already seen by your insertion of “Atheism holds no beliefs, only lacks them.” that I am not dealing with anybody that has even the slightest ability to reason or apply inherent human logic to an idea.”

You have that backwards. You do not have the slightest ability to reason. When you approach someone and say “god loves you” or whatever similarly useless prattle you can manufacture, that person can respond with “I dont believe you,” and requires no justification to disbelieve you. Atheism is a position on a single topic, that isnt to say that Atheist dont believe anything, that is to say that they dont believe the god claims. Why is this so hard to understand for theists? This is easy. Atheists can disbelieve in god claims and still believe that they may win the lottery next week. This is simply a fact. Deal with it. If someone walks up to me and says “your girlfriend is cheating on you” I can say “i dont believe you” what does that mean? Does it mean that Im claiming that she isnt? No, it means that I have no good reasons to believe that she is. Until I start making positive claims as they relate to this sort of thing, I am under no obligation to defend anything.

“Definition 1 includes ” especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances”.  Now this part of the definition, which I would certainly not agree to, at least is not a requirement ( indicated by the words especially, and usually and often!).”

Yea, who cares? That is one of the definitions. Disagree with the dictionary all you like.

” You stated that you BELIEVE that atheism doesn’t fit this definition because it doesn’t “address this topic”?  According to your own self-contradictory statements you can’t hold to any beliefs and therefore can’t even deny others.  I suppose I will actually save myself the time of going through each definition since you can simply deny anything that you find inconvenient based on the ridiculous notion that atheists don’t believe in anything.

Im not even sure that you read my post, I just did a page search for the word “believe” and found no instances where I said “Atheists dont believe anything”. Atheism only addresses whether or not you believe the god claims. It addresses ONE topic, dude. It doesnt address evolution, the quality of steakumms, which wireless carrier has the best service, the elasticity of underwear etc…. All it addressess is “DO YOU BELIEVE A(some) GOD(s) EXIST/S”. You are desperate to have it address something else.

“This makes as much sense as saying anarchists hold no political views, they only deny all other forms of government.  If I were to try and tell you that I do not believe in atheists, the obvious response from most people would be something like ” Why not?””

Not going to address your continuing strawman

“Now if I wanted to make the entirely illogical claim that I hold no beliefs I would not be able to say anymore.  The possible exception being ” I am so incredibly ignorant that I don’t even know what the word God or theism refers to and therefore due to an absolute lack of knowledge I can’t say that I believe in them.” “

Because youre just making shit up. Now youre just confusing gnosis and belief.

“The entire concept of trying to label yourself “non-religious” and “having no beliefs” is as cowardice a strategy as there is in the world today. “

Nope. It is completely respectable to be an Agnostic Atheist. That is to say, not believing the god claims, but admitting that you cannot know for sure. Russell’s teapot. You may not like it, because theists would like their claims treated as special, or somehow different as say, claiming, hogwarts is real and harry potter really is a sorcerer, but your indignation has no bearing on the respectability of a position.

“Yes, it is an appealing idea to try to rid yourself of any possible criticisms by claiming that you have no beliefs to criticize”

Im sure I have lots of beliefs about lots of things to criticize, atheism isnt one of them. Because atheism is a lack thereof. Now if I were making arguments against the existence of god, you could critique those. At that point I would be taking the strong atheist position. You are incredibly dense.

“f I really wanted to labor this point, which I see absolutely no reason to, I would compile a list of, say three dozen beliefs that you have stated so far in your posts, follow that up with the fact that you clearly hold them valuable as you are spending your time on a forum defending this set of beliefs, and then just restate the obvious: atheism is a religion.”

Get it out of your system. Type it 4k times. Guess what, it still wont be true. If atheism is a religion, then there isnt anything that is not. I gave you a list of definitions and only one of them fits, and it is so broad as to strip the word of any real application. Not being part of a religion or believing religious claims is not a religion. Deal with it. I know you really want it to be a religion, I want a million dollars. At least the million is possible.

“Now, I’m not entirely sure where you got your definitions from, not saying that I disagree with them ( especially since they support my case)”

Thats hilarious, because they dont.

1.) a) the state of a religious < a nun in the 20th year of religion >
b (1) :  the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) :  commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2:  a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices = ATHEISM
3 archaic :  scrupulous conformity :  conscientiousness = broad, and as they state archaic so not of much use
4:  a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith = ATHEISM


1)Doesnt work
b) Obviously doesnt work
2. Nothing about atheism is institutionalized, there are no systems of religious attitudes, atheist have wildly different beliefs, and oh yea, atheism is a LACK OF BELIEF as it pertains to the subject it addresses, and atheisms have no practices that are “official” or expected. This is dumb, you are terrible at this.
3) Not even relevant
4)Atheism isnt a cause, it is a lack of belief in god(s), there is no unified systems of beliefs held by atheists. Atheists may have systems of beliefs, but they have nothing to do with atheism. You can be an atheist masochist, an atheist sadist, an atheist communist, an atheist rapist, an atheist nihilist etc….Fail.

“Many people turn to religion for comfort in a time of crisis. = or for other emotional reasons = ATHEISM” No one can turn to a lack of belief in something in order to obtain comfort. How much comfort does not believing the tooth fairy exists provide me? Oh yea, none.

“Shinto is a religion that is unique to Japan.
Hockey is a religion in Canada.
Politics are a religion to him. = an anarchist still has political beliefs that they clearly carry out in a “religious” manner according to this definition.  Atheism is no different.”

Yea it is, because atheism is a lack of belief in god(s). Hockey is a sport, thats hyperbole.

“Where I live, high school football is religion.

Hyperbole is not the same as “identical to a definition”

“Food is religion in this house.”

“My computer is a beast”

beast
b?st/Submit
noun
an animal, especially a large or dangerous four-footed one.
“a wild beast”
a domestic animal, especially a bovine farm animal.
synonyms: animal, creature; More

Oh snap, it doesnt fit. Well, maybe if I say it enough times it will come true?

“Definition of ATHEISM
1 archaic :  ungodliness, wickedness
2 a :  a disbelief in the existence of deity = a disbelief that can in no way be rooted in empirical, “scientific” FACTS, as the atheist claims, while out of the other side of his mouth claiming to not hold to any beliefs.  Simply because there are no scientific facts, and obviously no empirical evidence that can prove the non-existence of the supernatural or of a god doesn’t exempt the atheist from still believing that his faith is rooted in science. ( I know that this is entirely out of my scope for the moment with this post, but please if anybody actually does have PROOF, DATA, Empirical EVIDENCE, that would mean NON-THEORY, to prove that a god or gods or anything supernatural can not possibly exist, I am all ears).”

Dont have to, “I dont believe you” is enough. I dont have to disprove an invisible dragon in my neighbors garage. I can just say “dont believe that” The onus is on them to prove it does.

“b :  the doctrine that there is no deity = what’s another word for doctrine?? something that you have non of right?  “

Well, atheism has no “doctrine” but strong atheism does exist. There are people who are convinced that there are strong arguments against the existence of god, at least monotheism. Hell, I happen to be one of them. However, I dont have to defend that position if I dont want to. I can posit weak atheism all day and im perfectly justified.

“Now hold on, before I run out of words I need to further drive home the case that “your definitions” were not ignored; one simply can’t take them seriously when you try to devoid yourself of all of them on the grounds that you only “don’t believe things” you hold no actual beliefs, no positive statements are ever made.

No positive statements are being made, as it relates to not believing theistic claims as they relate to existence of diety(ies), which IS atheism. Do you believe there is a god? Yes? you are a theist. No? You are an atheist. The theist is by fiat, making a claim, unless youre one of those very rare agnostic theists, that a god exists. The atheist is saying “i dont believe you”/

“When somebody has successfully convinced themselves of this ( which requires they contradict it already ) there is no point in trying to reason definitions with them, this is why it may seem to you that I glossed over your extremely weak argument.”

Lol. You havent even made an argument, this has been a bunch of rambling and strawmanning. Ive made well reasoned arguments which are available on demand and all your nonsense has been thoroughly debunked thousands of times.

“Atheists are as much in conformity in their set of beliefs as other religions are, that would be with quite a bit of variation, like denominations in christianity, yet enough in common that they can apply the term to somebody and it holds value as a definition in what they believe.”

So do people that work for a living. Gee, self-fulfilling prophecy huh?

“Critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or divine beings. Unlike agnosticism, which leaves open the question of whether there is a God, atheism is a positive denial. It is rooted in an array of philosophical systems. Ancient Greek philosophers such as Democritus and Epicurus argued for it in the context of materialism.”

a/Gnosis = Knowledge claims   a/theism = belief.

You are like, Ray Comfort bad.

 

 

 

 
llathander
 
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llathander
Total Posts:  42
Joined  11-12-2013
 
 
 
19 October 2014 05:21
 

http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Atheism_is_a_religion


This has been done and done to death. Theists will never gain an inch on this point. Try something else. Because this bullshit is never going to work.

 
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