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Why are you referring to yourself as an "Atheist"
Posted: 09 July 2007 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]I am not arguing here that it proves theism.  As you mentioned this question cannot be answered at the present time.  So why would one leap to claim that all things can and are made through materialism alone?  The origin of the universe, if there is such a thing, is totally up in the air for how it started, if in fact it did start.  Most people don’t believe in unicorns because there is no rational basis for its belief.  Yet to say materialism alone can account for why there is something rather than nothing is more a philsophy rather than a proven factual statement.  This is why it seems atheism is more like a philsophy rather than a pure and simple fact.

No. All we’re saying is that materialism explains stuff that theism doesn’t. Furthermore, theism explains nothing. More is better. Unless you’re a mystic. In which case nothing is better, because nothing helps.

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Posted: 09 July 2007 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]So why would one leap to claim that all things can and are made through materialism alone?

fletch,
No one is making any such claims. As Harris points out, there is no need for the word atheism. To the extent to which theism claims to account for the non-evident, then we fail to account for theism, that’s all.

Notice how I intentionally fail to use the word belief.

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Posted: 10 July 2007 04:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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[quote author=“SkepticX”][quote author=“sidewalkjester”]In his Letter to a Christian Nation he makes his argument (somewhat flawed) that the word “atheism” should not exist. So, why do so many continue to refer to themselves as such?


Can you explain the flaw you see in the argument? 
Byron

The flaw I believe is that the word does exist. And, I think Harris is entering a world of make-believe himself in this regard.

Although I would agree that referring one’s self as an atheist is incorrect, because it refer to the person in terms of the assumption of theism. I refer to myself as a Cynic (humanist). Cynic is my religion and humanism is the ontological assumption.

There are three ontological assumptions: humanism; agnostic; theism (atheism). Just as theism is divided into many religions and subdived into sects, humanism is to do as well. The problem being, humanists are so dispersed in demographics and discontent about the idea of organizing into communities pursuing a common moral philosophy as the better evolution of Mankind, that humanist subsist in their own chaos of democratic anarchy.

What I am saying is that the concept, “we’re all different, we only have the disbelief in gods in common,” is not exactly true, and it is a detrimental misconception that is frustrating the progression of humanism.

Agnostics have only the religion of Science. You see, secular science makes no assumption as to the existence of a supernatural. In effect science seeks to define a supernatural. Thus far, none can be determined, however, science has not concluded its investigation.

Basically, I think the word ‘atheist’ should be considered a slurr.

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Posted: 10 July 2007 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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[quote author=“sidewalkjester”]

There are three ontological assumptions: humanism; agnostic; theism (atheism).

....pursuing a common moral philosophy as the better evolution of Mankind…..

I find these classifications to be rather speciesist.

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Posted: 10 July 2007 05:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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.

[ Edited: 10 July 2007 06:42 AM by ]
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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 10 July 2007 05:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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[quote author=“sidewalkjester”] The flaw I believe is that the word does exist.

It does as much as any other word. Good luck with cynic. I like to use Alan Keyes’ term “pernicious relativist”.

it refer to the person in terms of the assumption of theism.

Look around. The assumption is theism.

The problem being, humanists are so dispersed in demographics and discontent about the idea of organizing into communities pursuing a common moral philosophy as the better evolution of Mankind, that humanist subsist in their own chaos of democratic anarchy.

Wow. I think I agree with that. We bear the trauma of religion. No more messiahs. Organizing cynics is like herding cats.

Agnostics have only the religion of Science.

? Did you mean atheist? Agnostics have lunch and talk about American Idol. Pesky fence-straddlers!

secular science makes no assumption as to the existence of a supernatural.

The assumption stands at “no”. (I guess it depends on who you ask)

In effect science seeks to define a supernatural.

That’s the only way science would know it was there. But then it wouldn’t be super anymore.

Basically, I think the word ‘atheist’ should be considered a slurr.

When coming from the right people. And worn with pride.

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Posted: 10 July 2007 05:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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[quote author=“eucaryote”]We cannot even know that the concept of origin even makes up an appropriate question.

Well said. Excellent point.

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Posted: 10 July 2007 06:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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[quote author=“sidewalkjester”]So, why do so many continue to refer to themselves as such?

I think maybe the answer to your question is easier than we are making it. People who refer to themselves as atheist are people who deliberately want to take a diametric position to theism. Usually this is In simplest terms,

Theist- There is a god to consider.
Atheist- There is no god to consider.
Agnostic- We consider that there may be a god to consider.
Me- There is no evidence for god. Only evidence deserves consideration.

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Posted: 10 July 2007 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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[quote author=“Nhoj Morley”]I like to use Alan Keyes’ term “pernicious relativist”.

I met Keyes when he was running for a U.S. Senate seat in Maryland. When he ranted about Congress, he had a holy-warrior fervor that was unsettling.

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Posted: 10 July 2007 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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[quote author=“Nhoj Morley”][quote author=“sidewalkjester”]  Agnostics have only the religion of Science.

? Did you mean atheist? Agnostics have lunch and talk about American Idol. Pesky fence-straddlers!

No, I have it correct:
Theists assume there is a supernatural, humanists and the one-step behind, bastard sibling, atheists assume there is no supernatural.

Agnostics make no assumption; just as science makes no assumption.

[quote author=“Sidewalk Jester”] secular science makes no assumption as to the existence of a supernatural.

The assumption stands at “no”. (I guess it depends on who you ask)

That is correct. I assume you are referring to Intelligent Design. There is debate among scientist regaurding the defining of nature. Consider the debates concerning the existence of global warming, or the staus of the Pluto entity ? ? ?

Chances are individuals will side with one perspective or the other. Either believing global warming is occurring, or not. What does Dr. Sammy Harris say in regards to that? And are people going to side with him because they trust his opinion, based on his tremendous best selling books that failed to produce the desired effect on the World?...Or, are they going to take the time to do all the necessary experiements and review all the necessary observations to draw their own conclusion?

When people side with an extraneous opinion based on emotional commitment, is that not the element non-theist are trying to dispel amongst the theists?

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Posted: 10 July 2007 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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[quote author=“Nhoj Morley”] Good luck with cynic….  Organizing cynics is like herding cats.

Exactly :!:  :!:  :!:

You see, I am of my own religion, because humanists and atheists basically fail to organize into cohesive communities.

And, as the good Doctor Sammy opined in his tremendous best selling book that failed to change the World, as he dreamed,  ” ...some social scientists believe prehistoric humans invented religion to form cohesive communities.”

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Posted: 10 July 2007 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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[quote author=“sidewalkjester”]When people side with an extraneous opinion based on emotional commitment, is that not the element non-theist are trying to dispel amongst the theists?

Well of course! It’s just that you are the one deciding what is extraneous and what is not. It is not necessary to do the research yourself, especially since one is not usually equipped to “draw one’s own conclusions” or “believe” what one wants to.

That of course is the beauty of science. Scientific consensus (not opinion) are not formed “extraneously” (whatever that means), but by a rigorous methodology that obviates the need for belief systems and renders opinion irrelevant. One can tap the information made available and make responsible an successful decisions as regards the most useful course of action with high levels of confidence.

This is called engineering. The computer that you are sitting in front of is NOT the product of a belief system. Neither is the bridge you cross or the airplane you fly in.

There is no global warming debate among the scientific community. Adaptation will be a very strong function of rational, intellectual reasoning. A talent in which human(ists) are supposed to excel. We shall see.

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Posted: 11 July 2007 12:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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[quote author=“sidewalkjester”] bastard sibling, atheists assume there is no supernatural.

It doesn’t come up often. Maybe once a month or so.

Agnostics make no assumption; just as science makes no assumption.

Great. Now I’ve honked off the agnostics. Most self-described agnostics I know are seriously not interested in science or religion.
Assumptions are for politics and cooking.

Dr. Sammy Harris say in regards to (whether global warming is intelligently designed)? And are people going to side with him because they trust his opinion, based on his tremendous best selling books that failed to produce the desired effect on the World?.. his tremendous best selling book that failed to change the World, as he dreamed…

They weren’t that tremendous. Probably changed his world a bit. Envious? Learn to type!

some social scientists believe prehistoric humans invented religion to form cohesive communities.”

I’m with them. As for the status of the Pluto Entity, I guess I missed that episode.

You see, I am of my own religion

Are you agnostic about yourself?
Auto-cynicism?

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Posted: 11 July 2007 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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[quote author=“Nhoj Morley”]

Are you agnostic about yourself?
Auto-cynicism?

Go Nhoj Go! Brought me a grin! smile

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Posted: 16 July 2007 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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[quote author=“sidewalkjester”] atheists assume there is no supernatural.

“Supernatural” means outside of nature.

“Nature” is everything that exists.

Nothing exists outside of everything, except imagination. So, yeah, you’re right about that, ‘jester.

I used to call myself an animist. Got tired of explaining what it means (anthropology term describing a cultural stage in which a people become intimately aware and reverent of the natural, but have not yet deified or personified it.) Also got tired of seeing it misrepresented as “nature worshipper.” So now I just say I’m an atheist. That’s a person absent of theology.

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