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Is your religion mythology?

 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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01 July 2019 05:07
 

Not sure “atheist mythologies” is a thing. To me, it’s like asking, “what are some A-bigfootist mythologies”, or “what are some A-leprechaunist mythologies.” Doesn’t make sense, since atheism is not a worldview, but rather the non-acceptance of one single claim.

Ron

 
proximacentauri
 
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proximacentauri
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01 July 2019 07:34
 
MrRon - 01 July 2019 05:07 AM

Not sure “atheist mythologies” is a thing. To me, it’s like asking, “what are some A-bigfootist mythologies”, or “what are some A-leprechaunist mythologies.” Doesn’t make sense, since atheism is not a worldview, but rather the non-acceptance of one single claim.

Ron

Well said, fellow A-Teapotist cool smile

 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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01 July 2019 08:47
 
proximacentauri - 01 July 2019 07:34 AM
MrRon - 01 July 2019 05:07 AM

Not sure “atheist mythologies” is a thing. To me, it’s like asking, “what are some A-bigfootist mythologies”, or “what are some A-leprechaunist mythologies.” Doesn’t make sense, since atheism is not a worldview, but rather the non-acceptance of one single claim.

Ron

Well said, fellow A-Teapotist cool smile

Thanks, fellow A-Toothfairyist!  grin

Ron

 
EN
 
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EN
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01 July 2019 09:29
 
Skipshot - 30 June 2019 06:47 PM
nonverbal - 29 June 2019 09:38 PM
EN - 29 June 2019 09:17 PM

What are some prevalent atheist mythologies?

Atheism mostly subtracts, but maybe I’m missing something.

Good question, EN.  I think you are in a better position to identify atheist mythologies, since we atheists have our infidel blinders to our own mythologies.  I am certainly open to questioning my beliefs on occasion.

I can’t really think of any, other than the mythology that any of us knows 100% what reality is or that a supreme creative intelligence does or does not exist.  I only asked the question because of Poldano’s post.

 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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01 July 2019 10:03
 

Atheism doesn’t hinge on what we believe when it comes to anything.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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01 July 2019 11:40
 
EN - 01 July 2019 09:29 AM
Skipshot - 30 June 2019 06:47 PM
nonverbal - 29 June 2019 09:38 PM
EN - 29 June 2019 09:17 PM

What are some prevalent atheist mythologies?

Atheism mostly subtracts, but maybe I’m missing something.

Good question, EN.  I think you are in a better position to identify atheist mythologies, since we atheists have our infidel blinders to our own mythologies.  I am certainly open to questioning my beliefs on occasion.

I can’t really think of any, other than the mythology that any of us knows 100% what reality is or that a supreme creative intelligence does or does not exist.  I only asked the question because of Poldano’s post.

But is that different from a devout religionist’s faith? (I don’t mean yours, Bruce.) Could it be that it’s a reaction to the world of absolute confidence in the supernatural?

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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01 July 2019 11:54
 
nonverbal - 01 July 2019 11:40 AM
EN - 01 July 2019 09:29 AM
Skipshot - 30 June 2019 06:47 PM
nonverbal - 29 June 2019 09:38 PM
EN - 29 June 2019 09:17 PM

What are some prevalent atheist mythologies?

Atheism mostly subtracts, but maybe I’m missing something.

Good question, EN.  I think you are in a better position to identify atheist mythologies, since we atheists have our infidel blinders to our own mythologies.  I am certainly open to questioning my beliefs on occasion.

I can’t really think of any, other than the mythology that any of us knows 100% what reality is or that a supreme creative intelligence does or does not exist.  I only asked the question because of Poldano’s post.

But is that different from a devout religionist’s faith? (I don’t mean yours, Bruce.) Could it be that it’s a reaction to the world of absolute confidence in the supernatural?

Perhaps you are correct.  There is certainly plenty of unfounded absolute confidence in the religious realm.

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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01 July 2019 12:05
 
EN - 01 July 2019 09:29 AM
Skipshot - 30 June 2019 06:47 PM
nonverbal - 29 June 2019 09:38 PM
EN - 29 June 2019 09:17 PM

What are some prevalent atheist mythologies?

Atheism mostly subtracts, but maybe I’m missing something.

Good question, EN.  I think you are in a better position to identify atheist mythologies, since we atheists have our infidel blinders to our own mythologies.  I am certainly open to questioning my beliefs on occasion.

I can’t really think of any, other than the mythology that any of us knows 100% what reality is or that a supreme creative intelligence does or does not exist.  I only asked the question because of Poldano’s post.

“Reality basically has no explanation.” - Zen

Is one of the functions of religion to explain reality?  This calls for a myth.


myth

1.  a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.

synonyms: folk tale, story, folk story, legend, tale, fable, saga, allegory, parable, tradition, lore, folklore; More

2.  a widely held but false belief or idea.

synonyms: misconception, fallacy, mistaken belief, false notion, misbelief, old wives’ tale, fairy story, fairy tale, fiction, fantasy, delusion, figment of the imagination

Q:  Can you be an atheist if you think reality has an explanation?  (see GAD’s signature)

Q:  How much of history is a myth?  https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/myths-of-the-american-revolution-10941835/

At this Smithsonian site, scroll down to topic - VI. General Washington Was A Brilliant Tactician And Strategist

 

 

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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08 July 2019 08:46
 

 


We have had threads about this before. This is my standard digression. Pardon any redundant points.

I most certainly have no use for religion but I also need to say that atheists let themselves off the hook a little too easily sometimes.

It’s possible to distill atheism into a simple negation but this isn’t how it expresses itself in culture. Especially a culture that is largely derived from religious principles. I suggest it is better to own the enfolded propositions that are at least inferred by adopting atheism as ones view. Just as it’s good to claim ownership of the logical conclusions of any broad proposition. That’s just being epistemically and socially responsible. A good interlocutor. 

I would rather embrace atheism not necessarily as a positive assertion but at least an active and self conscious position that takes responsibility for both the positive and negative conclusions and consequences. Not because I owe anyone an explanation but because it empowers me as a citizen.

 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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08 July 2019 13:26
 
Brick Bungalow - 08 July 2019 08:46 AM


I would rather embrace atheism not necessarily as a positive assertion but at least an active and self conscious position that takes responsibility for both the positive and negative conclusions and consequences. Not because I owe anyone an explanation but because it empowers me as a citizen.

Brick,

Can you please elaborate on the “positive and negative conclusions and consequences” of atheism?

Thanks.
Ron

 
Garret
 
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Garret
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08 July 2019 14:41
 
Brick Bungalow - 08 July 2019 08:46 AM

It’s possible to distill atheism into a simple negation but this isn’t how it expresses itself in culture.

I would challenge this claim.  The vocal atheist community is relatively small, especially amongst popular culture figures who attach the atheist label to themselves.  At the same time, the actual number of atheists, especially those who are unaware of any broader “atheist culture”, is actually quite significant.  There’s an old cable public access show that’s now evolved into a youtube channel, The Atheist Experience, that revolves around both atheist and theist callers.  Many of the atheist callers portray themselves as the only atheist in their community.  While this assessment may sometimes be accurate, there is also a good chance that many of them are incorrect.  Many atheists are completely unaware of who else in their physical community is also an atheist.

If many atheists are completely unaware of other atheists in their community, I don’t think it’s possible for their to truly be an “atheist culture”.  The Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins crowd is a particular subset of the atheist community, but I hardly think they’re truly representative of all atheists.  In addition, some of the most prolific “expressions” of atheism in popular culture is actually done by the Christian community, which again, is hardly representative of actual atheists.  Then of course there is the popular ad hominem of assigning Stalin and Mao as atheists, and assigning the atrocities of their regimes to atheism.  Therefore, I don’t think it’s a good idea to try and lump anything else in with atheism.  There are other good terms for other things, such as secularism and humanism. 

Atheism as a term is most useful with it’s more narrow definition.

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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08 July 2019 22:12
 
MrRon - 08 July 2019 01:26 PM
Brick Bungalow - 08 July 2019 08:46 AM


I would rather embrace atheism not necessarily as a positive assertion but at least an active and self conscious position that takes responsibility for both the positive and negative conclusions and consequences. Not because I owe anyone an explanation but because it empowers me as a citizen.

Brick,

Can you please elaborate on the “positive and negative conclusions and consequences” of atheism?

Thanks.
Ron

This will vary per person but I think every considered world view has consequences. I will list a few from my own perch. I will leave it to the readers preference as to whether they are good or bad.

1. Mortality is real. Decrepitude is real. There is no special poetic significance or lesson contained in most of the suffering we experience.

2. Moral responsibility transcends mere codes behavior and requires one to form personal standards absent any final authority. We must not simply do good but are in fact charged with naming the good. Anti realism if you like such terms.

3. Lack of persistent, reliable companionship. If we want friends we have to put in the work.

4. Lack of absolution or redemption. If you did it, you did it. That responsibility is yours for life.

5. The void. It’s hard to explain this with precision but essentially the idea that the universe is mostly dark and empty as far as the specific needs of humans are concerned. This physical reality is, I think conjoined to a set of internal human conditions. Our idealistic goals both personal and social are unlikely to be satisfied. We have no parachute.

6. Scope of options. I can find my significance and poetry anywhere I like. I am not forbidden from any literary tradition or mythology nor am I forbidden from creating my own. Not only can I read and enjoy anything I like I can interpret it however I like. I can decide whether it’s true or valid or coherent or relevant according to my own intuition and my own needs. I can determine my own lifestyle and diet and fashion and cultural tastes. At the end of the day I am only beholden to consequence, natural law and the internal witness.

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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08 July 2019 22:24
 
Garret - 08 July 2019 02:41 PM
Brick Bungalow - 08 July 2019 08:46 AM

It’s possible to distill atheism into a simple negation but this isn’t how it expresses itself in culture.

I would challenge this claim.  The vocal atheist community is relatively small, especially amongst popular culture figures who attach the atheist label to themselves.  At the same time, the actual number of atheists, especially those who are unaware of any broader “atheist culture”, is actually quite significant.  There’s an old cable public access show that’s now evolved into a youtube channel, The Atheist Experience, that revolves around both atheist and theist callers.  Many of the atheist callers portray themselves as the only atheist in their community.  While this assessment may sometimes be accurate, there is also a good chance that many of them are incorrect.  Many atheists are completely unaware of who else in their physical community is also an atheist.

If many atheists are completely unaware of other atheists in their community, I don’t think it’s possible for their to truly be an “atheist culture”.  The Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins crowd is a particular subset of the atheist community, but I hardly think they’re truly representative of all atheists.  In addition, some of the most prolific “expressions” of atheism in popular culture is actually done by the Christian community, which again, is hardly representative of actual atheists.  Then of course there is the popular ad hominem of assigning Stalin and Mao as atheists, and assigning the atrocities of their regimes to atheism.  Therefore, I don’t think it’s a good idea to try and lump anything else in with atheism.  There are other good terms for other things, such as secularism and humanism. 

Atheism as a term is most useful with it’s more narrow definition.

I suspect we don’t actually disagree. Or don’t disagree about anything of consequence. When I say ‘culture’ I guess I should clarify that I mean to include historical context and literature. As far as prominent celebrity atheists today I’m not especially enamored but they do have proportionally more volume when it comes to establishing common usage.

Maybe the better approach on my part is to actively endorse positive atheism. Or, more generally to suggest that taking the risk of making the positive claim and positive commitment is better than standing mute or simply remaining a persistent skeptic. Life is short. We should seize the day and get something done.

 
EN
 
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EN
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09 July 2019 03:27
 
MrRon - 08 July 2019 01:26 PM
Brick Bungalow - 08 July 2019 08:46 AM


I would rather embrace atheism not necessarily as a positive assertion but at least an active and self conscious position that takes responsibility for both the positive and negative conclusions and consequences. Not because I owe anyone an explanation but because it empowers me as a citizen.

Brick,

Can you please elaborate on the “positive and negative conclusions and consequences” of atheism?

Thanks.
Ron

One negative is the blind hubris that some (not all, by any means) atheists exhibit in asserting that they have the only way of discerning truth and reality or the best way in all circumstances.  It leads to the weakness of complete self-assurance.  An example is their rejection of personal revelation or private experience as even a possible method of discerning some realities.

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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09 July 2019 06:49
 

Another negative—among the New Atheists, particularly—is that conceptions and critiques of “religion as such” (the quotes are there because critique of religion “as such” is like critiquing culture, science, or business as such) are too often neither fair nor adequate, and in some cases even lack basic intellectual integrity (Harris comes to mind here).  Of the New Atheists I’d say their stance is not fit for a cartoon on a cereal box, and others have offered more nuanced appraisals.  For sensible atheism reflecting on religion, Philip Kitcher comes to mind (Life After Faith: The Case for Secular Humanism—his Terry Lectures), as does Martin Hagglund (This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom).  Both are atheists who do a nice job of tailoring down their target, and they give that target a fair shake.  There are several others in this camp.  If one wants a fair, honest and nuanced appraisal of religious themes from atheists, I recommend them (and since I am currently writing a book on this topic, I’d like any recommendations others have).

In any case, calling religion “myth” is as uninformative as pointing out that science transacts in propositions.  It opens questions, not answers them.

 
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