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HolyGround >> Atheists have faith?


2/23/12 2:14 PM
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samcarr6
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You may have heard this drivel spewing from the mouths of the 'faithful', usually as a last ditch, drunken counter when they are backed into a logical corner.

Their failure to see the irony in a defence which relies solely upon ascribing defining characteristics of their own belief onto their opponent would be an amusing show of unintelligence if it weren't so widely practised. This sort of response rarely comes from people who aren't staggeringly ignorant so there are many religious people to which this post is not addressed.

Atheism isn't an ideology, belief or claim and therefore it cannot, by definition, be tarnished by attributes of beliefs that claim to know. The prefix 'A-' means that it lacks. For example the word Asphyxia means death due to 'lack of oxygen' not due to 'presence of carbon dioxide'. Theism is the belief in a personal god so atheism is simply the lack of this belief, no faith needed. Phone Post
2/23/12 2:24 PM
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JitsuGuy
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You're going to burn in hell, sorry but God only saved those who have faith in Him. He tells people to love their enemies but he tortures his.

-Fundamental Christian
2/23/12 2:29 PM
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samcarr6
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JitsuGuy - You're going to burn in hell, sorry but God only saved those who have faith in Him. He tells people to love their enemies but he tortures his.

-Fundamental Christian
Your god sounds more like a sadistic torturer than an all-loving father.

I also like how you have the arrogance to claim to know that I'm going to hell yet humility was one of the central teachings of Jesus.

P.S. Your threats of hell are white noise to me. Phone Post
2/23/12 2:38 PM
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inlikeflynn
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Apparently, being an atheist causes you to lose your ability to detect sarcasm.
2/23/12 2:42 PM
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JitsuGuy
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inlikeflynn - Apparently, being an atheist causes you to lose your ability to detect sarcasm.



I LOL'd.
2/23/12 2:44 PM
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JitsuGuy
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samcarr6, let me clearly state that I do not believe what I wrote above.

Now there are people that do believe that and I used to be one of them. But I am no longer.
2/23/12 3:21 PM
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samcarr6
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JitsuGuy - samcarr6, let me clearly state that I do not believe what I wrote above.

Now there are people that do believe that and I used to be one of them. But I am no longer.
Look up 'moore's law'.

I've had far more extreme comments from sincere Christians so it's difficult to tell. Phone Post
2/23/12 3:28 PM
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samcarr6
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JitsuGuy - samcarr6, let me clearly state that I do not believe what I wrote above.

Now there are people that do believe that and I used to be one of them. But I am no longer.
*Poe's law Phone Post
2/23/12 3:45 PM
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JitsuGuy
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I try to adhere to logic and reason with biblical matters. There is still much faith involved but I think the popular beliefs perpetuated by the Christian community are illogical, without compassion and outright incorrect (at least from my perspective on what the bible has to say about these matters).

2/23/12 5:23 PM
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samcarr6
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JitsuGuy - I try to adhere to logic and reason with biblical matters. There is still much faith involved but I think the popular beliefs perpetuated by the Christian community are illogical, without compassion and outright incorrect (at least from my perspective on what the bible has to say about these matters).

My opinion is similar.

"We do not rely solely upon science and reason as these are necessary rather than sufficient factors" Christopher Hitchens Phone Post
2/23/12 9:17 PM
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Ridgeback
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 As Sam Harris has pointed out, the word atheism is a word without significant content.  It is largely worthless to describe the reality on the ground.  Words do change in meaning though and a lot of anti-religion atheists are actually working on changing that meaning by leading people to associate the word with things like militant anti-religious views, scientism, and a sense of smugness based on working for and earning exactly nothing.  So it is a bit disengenuous to point out the abuse of the word if you aren't going to call atheists to the mat for using it the wrong way as well.

But yes it is true that the simple lack of belief in a deity has no positive content that could rise to the level of a religious or metaphysical belief.  That is of course very far beside the point.  All humans live according to theories of reality (consciously or unconsciously) and all theories of reality rely on what philosopher Roy Clouser defines as "divinity beliefs."  Divinity belief is the belief that at least one thing is self-existent and non-dependent.  So a Materialistic theory of reality might assume that matter (or matter and energy) is self-existent and that upon which all else depends.  By their very nature, no divinity belief can be proven.  They are self-evident because they are the ontological root from which everything else springs.  In that respect, all humans are on exactly the same footing.  Now a particular theory of reality should find verification in human experience in order to attain to something like rational warrant, but no theory of reality can be proven in a way that makes it compelling.  

Many humans claim to be non-religious and expect to be left off the hook when they then attempt to smuggle their theories of reality into politics or public discourse or how they live out their lives.  This is pretty sneaky to say the least and unfortunately many a religious fundamentalist lets it slip past while wrongly insisting that atheism is a religion.  I don't give a rat's ass about what a man doesn't believe in.  I want to know the theory of reality that he subscribes to either actively or passively (by listening to authorities who espouse a particular theory but not understanding it themselves) because this is the exact same ground that all religions find their foundations on.  

The vast majority of Western atheists have some pretty standard beliefs.  They tend to hold to some variation of Materialism, but they also tend to believe in secular humanist Progress as espoused by Enlightenment and Positivist thinkers.  This is simply a poaching of Christian eschatology and, inconsistently, tries to apply teleology to what should be a completely blind set of processes.  Many atheists believe that science will eventually solve all human conflicts, end all human pain, grant humans eternal life and a whole slew of other fanciful dreams that have nothing to do with what science can actually achieve.  They can also be painfully naive about morality, often poaching parts of Christian morality and believing that just because they know something is right they (and the rest of the culture) will do the right thing.  Of course a much older idea about morality states that humans almost always know what is right and more often than not fail to do it anyway.  

But I digress.  The important thing to note here is that no human achieves religious neutrality no matter how much he claims to do so.  And this would make sense considering the fact that humans are religious animals.  Why should we believe a person who claims to have no religion anymore than we should believe a human who claims to use no signs and symbols?  Of course his religion may not look like a conventional Western divinity belief, but get to the ontological roots of what informs how he defines his existence and how he lives out his life, and you will see that no atheist has stepped unto  some island of separation from the rest of humanity.  And this is the ground that all religious people should be holding discussions on.
2/28/12 8:07 AM
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Cueball B
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Ridgeback -  As Sam Harris has pointed out, the word atheism is a word without significant content.  It is largely worthless to describe the reality on the ground.  Words do change in meaning though and a lot of anti-religion atheists are actually working on changing that meaning by leading people to associate the word with things like militant anti-religious views, scientism, and a sense of smugness based on working for and earning exactly nothing.  So it is a bit disengenuous to point out the abuse of the word if you aren't going to call atheists to the mat for using it the wrong way as well.

But yes it is true that the simple lack of belief in a deity has no positive content that could rise to the level of a religious or metaphysical belief.  That is of course very far beside the point.  All humans live according to theories of reality (consciously or unconsciously) and all theories of reality rely on what philosopher Roy Clouser defines as "divinity beliefs."  Divinity belief is the belief that at least one thing is self-existent and non-dependent.  So a Materialistic theory of reality might assume that matter (or matter and energy) is self-existent and that upon which all else depends.  By their very nature, no divinity belief can be proven.  They are self-evident because they are the ontological root from which everything else springs.  In that respect, all humans are on exactly the same footing.  Now a particular theory of reality should find verification in human experience in order to attain to something like rational warrant, but no theory of reality can be proven in a way that makes it compelling.  

Many humans claim to be non-religious and expect to be left off the hook when they then attempt to smuggle their theories of reality into politics or public discourse or how they live out their lives.  This is pretty sneaky to say the least and unfortunately many a religious fundamentalist lets it slip past while wrongly insisting that atheism is a religion.  I don't give a rat's ass about what a man doesn't believe in.  I want to know the theory of reality that he subscribes to either actively or passively (by listening to authorities who espouse a particular theory but not understanding it themselves) because this is the exact same ground that all religions find their foundations on.  

The vast majority of Western atheists have some pretty standard beliefs.  They tend to hold to some variation of Materialism, but they also tend to believe in secular humanist Progress as espoused by Enlightenment and Positivist thinkers.  This is simply a poaching of Christian eschatology and, inconsistently, tries to apply teleology to what should be a completely blind set of processes.  Many atheists believe that science will eventually solve all human conflicts, end all human pain, grant humans eternal life and a whole slew of other fanciful dreams that have nothing to do with what science can actually achieve.  They can also be painfully naive about morality, often poaching parts of Christian morality and believing that just because they know something is right they (and the rest of the culture) will do the right thing.  Of course a much older idea about morality states that humans almost always know what is right and more often than not fail to do it anyway.  

But I digress.  The important thing to note here is that no human achieves religious neutrality no matter how much he claims to do so.  And this would make sense considering the fact that humans are religious animals.  Why should we believe a person who claims to have no religion anymore than we should believe a human who claims to use no signs and symbols?  Of course his religion may not look like a conventional Western divinity belief, but get to the ontological roots of what informs how he defines his existence and how he lives out his life, and you will see that no atheist has stepped unto  some island of separation from the rest of humanity.  And this is the ground that all religious people should be holding discussions on.<br type="_moz" />


To simply state: a poaching of christian eschatology, is proof of a less than objective point of view and quite incorrect in my opinion. Many philosophers predate christian eschatology and it is from these that many an atheist learns. One can not possibly call a philosophy "faith". It may be a belief that one can live a fulfilling life while adhering to these philosophies, yet that is not the same thing as faith or religion, because there is no need for ceremony within philosophy, no need for worship, no need for the supernatural, and no need for rituals, and so on. For some beliefs one can have a considerable amount of evidence. Very simple example: it is not good for me to kill someone, and it is not good for the victim. It can be a belief, supported by evidence (you would go to jail, obviously) so it is not faith.

You also state that many atheists believe "x" or "y". You might be correct, yet it has nothing to do with the premises, and the original topic.

Does an atheist have faith? That is the question. Let see if we can come to an agreement of what faith is. I would say: "a belief that is not based on proof".

When theists use this phrase, they are usually talking about science and/or evolution. They say: evolution is just a theory, so you need faith. Well, they are or misinformed or lying. Evolution is a scientific fact. The theory is the evolution of species through natural selection, by Darwin. It is a belief based on proof, hence not faith. It is demontrably true, so it is a fact. It is not even a belief. It is knowledge.

Now on the ontological subject. You make a gross misrepresentation when claiming that all are religious in such a sense. (Or it is a interpretation of the word religious that may differ) It is not a matter of religion, it is a matter of phylosophy. It is true that religion deals with ontological arguments and philosophies, but that does not make it a religious aspect.

If you take all the aspects out of religion, that makes religion a religion (as you tend to do) you can not refer to it anymore as religion or religious (wich you still do), in my opinion.
3/3/12 4:22 PM
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mmanthebay
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inlikeflynn - Apparently, being an atheist causes you to lose your ability to detect sarcasm.
Lol Phone Post
3/11/12 12:14 AM
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figure four
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http://incmedia.org/wpmedia/videos/why-should-we-believe-that-god-exists
7/16/12 5:10 AM
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MightMakesRight
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inlikeflynn - Apparently, being an atheist causes you to lose your ability to detect sarcasm.


lol

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