The debate "Too many atheists today are turning atheism into a religion the very thing they claim to detest" was started by
February 2, 2018, 5:30 pm.
70 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 55 people are on the disagree side.
That might be enough to see the common perception.
It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.
Slymcfly posted 9 arguments, Ematio posted 4 arguments, InfinityMachine posted 15 arguments, Nemiroff posted 3 arguments to the agreers part.
Nemiroff posted 23 arguments, DestinySub posted 1 argument, historybuff posted 2 arguments, chrissurvivor posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.
Slymcfly, seavos, Ematio, Post_it_note, sabrina, emotions_suck, chasediedrich1, InfinityMachine, samantha, akahazel, OUTSMARTED, Consitution101, Napoleon_of_Politics, Aryan, rainingdown, troythegreat, AlissiaMathew, benshapirofan, Mj_Bossdude and 51 visitors agree.
Nemiroff, TreyO, DrMrDaniel, Against_eu, DestinySub, District9, district10, historybuff, cringyuh, segev, chrissurvivor, SMNR, Harshrai29, JDAWG9693 and 41 visitors disagree.
prayer is not banned in school, its banned in public school. because if we put it in *public* school, we must use the public's prayers. in a big city that could be alot of prayers. heck you muslims have enough prayers throughout the day to match all the other religions.
the biggest problems and contradictions in religions all come from how many of you there are!
and I guess free speech is down the toilet too. if someone asks me what religion I am are you going to mandate I commit a carnal sin? wouldnt be very righteous of you. or should we ban asking ones religion in a society that is open to many religions?
why not instead abolish religion and mandate people to follow good principles (laws), and routinely thank "who ever or whatever" created us? that will create alot less confusion + we could eat more types of foods and have more productive time in our day.
keep the real rules, and the idea. ditch the names and the silly nonsensical regulations.
many find exploring your scripture quite beneficial. many also find exploring the scriptures of other beliefs beneficial. and they often proclaim their scriptures to be the supreme authority. there are also many secular documents on morality including contractualism, utilitarianism, deonotology. one can learn great morals from simple fiction from aesop's fables to random sitcoms.
you may claim that yours is special, but so do many others, with equal fervor and conviction. often with contradictory claims. they do tend to agree on the big things, but the flood of (imo) nonsense about diet, stories, and specific daily/monthly regulations. I'm sorry, I would not make a good Muslim, I think I'm better as an atheist. I ask too many questions.
it is great your belief is God judges on action, but so do the Jews, and the hindu, and I'm assuming most besides christianity. unfortunately I believe Islam is currently facing the same human corruption christianity experienced during the middle ages. it isnt personal, it's your dictators mixed with the obsession for greed and power (middle ages Europe), and many of Islams good teachings are being twisted. I hope your faith retains itself from your golden days of science and prosperity.
I completely, whole heartedly, disagree with you that people need a carrot and stick. it is the exception that needs it. religion may have played this role in the distant past, it may be the reason it was created. but we have laws and police. immediate consequences that fit the crime, as opposed to hell fire for all. but most people are good. the ones that go to work and provide every day. you hear about the bad ones, they make alot of noise. but they are the exception, not the other way around. that's why you notice them! cause they are the wierd ones!
I understand and agree with your concerns about freedom of religion. Since atheism is not a religion or a belief, it does not have any guaranteed freedom under the constitution and can therefore lawfully be banned, without harming our constitutional values. Since we are "One Nation Under God" it makes perfect sense with American values to ban atheism from public discourse. It is important to distinguish between atheism and secularism. To ban Atheism is not to make religion mandatory or to make any law about religion. People can practice as much or little religion as they please. You don't have to be atheist to be non-religious. Furthermore, it is not a threat to freedom of thought since it is not the belief that there is no God, but the public expression of that belief, which would be banned. Plus, most atheists now days will deny that they believe there is no God, rather they simply "do not believe" there is a God. A tongue twister that essentially means they have no position. So what harm could come from banning people from taking a position on something for which they have no position or belief? Most importantly, atheism is a real threat to freedom of religion, since the power of atheists would eventually get laws passed banning religious practices in public. Oh wait---they already are doing that (school prayer, etc.). Banning atheism is a most logical thing to do in preserving everything America stands for.
What world do you come from that you think region has been a force for good? Do you want me to find you a list of religious leaders who were monsters? A list of atrocities done in the name of this god or that? Religion doesn't make people behave. Bad people will be bad no matter what.
Any suggestion that religion should be mandatory is incredibly dangerous. That is how 3rd world despots rule. No free society can mandate what their people believe. People have literally fought and died to free of that kind of tyranny.
I couldn't agree with you more, except that I find there is a lot of benefit personally to studying the scriptures. However that might not work for everyone and there's nothing intrinsically immoral about not being a bookworm. Yes, there are atheists who are good without the expectation of a reward, and this is the height of moral virtues, but this is exceptional when it comes to humanity at large. Many, many people definitely need the crutch of a carrot-stick system. On this basis alone I consider it immoral for atheism to be publicly voiced and should be illegal. Most theists including me fall into this category and project their inner weakness on to the "evil" atheists, or the "evil"________ (fill in the blank with whatever category of religion or ethnicity that is most different from your own)'s. As for Islam, God's primary concern on judgement day is what did you do, good or bad, and the intention behind it? You would make a good Muslim my friend. I do believe in God and I cannot conceive of living without this belief.
Not all atheists detest religion they simply are not members of it, some do detest it but they are in a minority.
what does it believe in?
Aitheism is a religion.
I believe it should be the most important element, but it often is not. christianity is the biggest offender. according to the majority of denominations, works and deeds are secondary for if you do not accept christ as your lord you have no place in his heaven while even the gravest of sinners will find access if they accept christ. on the opposite extreme is Judaism where the afterlife is not even mentioned in official texts with the religion focusing primarily on works in this life with no promise of reward.
however neither of those faith's, or any other, state that this discipline is for our own benefit, instead claiming them to be absolute demands from above. perhaps the original message of these Faith's was good, but after centuries/millenia in human hands, through our most corrupt times, and under the influence of our most power hungry, discipline has turned into obedience, and my gut tells me to stay away. I'm sure if I seek God, and he is personal, I will find his true self in my heart, not in a book guarded by human priests.
I do hope you see that atheists arent all hedonists, and some people can be good for the sake of goodness, and not for some eternal reward or the escape of torture. you claimed that you wished atheists would stop attacking religious people, but it is usually religious people that make claims of atheist being incapable of morality and go on the offense. it is very hypocritical and most dont even realize they are doing it.
if anything, being good with no expectation of reward is the height of virtue.
Exactly; what you describe is the most essential element of religion. Everything added on to that are, shall we say, enhancements. God doesn't need anyone's prayers. He commands prayer for our own benefit, not His. As for set words & times, this is a baseline practice to cultivate self-discipline, patience, and other virtues, and to ingrain in the mind the most essential components of pure faith (again, for the benefit of the believers, not that God needs any of this in the least bit). Without having read any books, you have distilled all the scriptures down to their purest essence, simply by listening to your intuition. Congratulations! All you need now is faith that what you think God ought to be is in fact the nature of the real and living God, and that He is even way better than your most perfect idealization. Simple belief is the key that opens the floodgates of His mercy and beneficence.
"Lo! Those who believe (in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad), and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans - whoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right - surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve." Qur'an 2:62
things like do not kill, steal, love thy parents are universal, on that we can agree. however there are many religious laws and requirements that are not natural in any sense.
wouldnt simply doing good works and bettering his creation if ever so slightly be all a good God would desire? an occasional silent thank you in your own words in a special place of the moment may be appreciated, but not required. Highly enforced times/places with other's words seems illogical for a perfectly good/just god.
Funnily enough the books say that God wrote his laws into our hearts. Your distrust of something that mirrors your own intuition is perplexing.
If your statement "I would love to know what evidence you think there is and how it is possible to test it and produce positive results"--is sincere and not rhetorical, then I would love to share my evidence with you. You seem to confuse evidence and proof. There is a far cry. I can prove God's existence to myself, but proving to someone else is not a sure thing. What would your standard of proof be? What would it take to prove God's existence?
That said the subject of this debate is not whether God exists but whether atheism is a religion and how to get it not to be a religion. What I suggest is that in order not to be religion Atheists must neither affirm nor deny the existence of God. Once you deny, then you have taken a position based on faith since, as you admit, it cannot be proven that God does not exist. Plus, all of us believers would be a lot happier if you kept your unbelief to yourself. Viola! Everyone gets along!
we are not a "not group", we are "not a group". only you theists identify us as a group in order to scapegoat some perceived threat.
I am not sure what my philosophy is, I figured my gut and conscience know the truth without me needing to name it. and I would assume if an all powerful God did exist, he would first and foremost put his rules into the hearts of his children (also giving them the will to disobey). the books are suspicious.
I do not believe the idea of a creator God is completely illogical, however the personal God of religion with laws, miracles and demands of worship (or else) is senseless. also every religion has equal claim to validity which invalidates all of them in my book. even if God is real, the religions we have built around his idea are entirely our imagination. If he does exist it is almost certain he is far beyond out little world and any interest in it is in the super long term beyond our imagination. we may not even be the final product of evolution he is waiting for.
however I do not find atheism to be illogical. in fact I find them to be equally logical with atheism winning due to its simplicity ala occams razor. I know this sounds preposterous to you, but please hear me out.
the complexity of the universe today is great, but it was not so at its birth. the universe, after it cooled enough for some energy to turn to matter, was just helium, space, and gravity (a few other elements but very little, and even those were mostly just hydrogen). all the complexity of the modern universe was formed in the pressure of the hearts of 1st gen stars that fused the heavy elements and exploded into supernovae forming the star birthing factory nebulae. all of this came from the interaction of those 3 things, with 2 of them being or caused by matter (the matter and gravity).
sure, it's easy and sounds simple to say God did it, but now we have a new subject to ask even more questions about. it doesn't quiet answer the final question, it just brings up new final final questions. But if I had to guess as to what the first or default existence was, between innate rocks, or a supreme consciousness, I would think the simpler rocks would come first. life didnt start with birds and devolve into insects and bacteria, things tend to start small and grow in complexity.
You don't seem to be making any sense. religion is is absolutely blind faith. There is no evidence supporting it. there is also no evidence that can conclusively disprove it. I would love to know what evidence you think there is and how it is possible to test it and produce positive results.
Because there is no evidence to conclusively prove one way or the other whether there is any god, or if there is, which one is the correct one, I would agree that Atheism is a belief. But given that every religion I am aware of is filled with ridiculous non sense (God made the earth in seven days, a flood that covered the earth, all humans are descended from 2 people etc) it is more logical to to come to the conclusion that these religions are false.
Atheists, by definition, cannot be a religion. They aren't even a group. They are just a bunch of people who don't believe in something. Other than that one lack of belief, they are incredibly different. And most of the groups you listed are made up of many very different groups. For example "never trumpers" could be far right wing or far left wing. They agree on one thing and are otherwise completely different. Describing them as a single ideology is ridiculous and only highlights how shallow your argument is that having one belief in common makes you the same group.
It is not "simply ignorant," it's just that atheists don't want to be a religion, but they are. They don't want to be what they are, which is humans created by God. This is what is ignorant and this is the core problem. Not wanting something doesn't make it so. There are many "Not-" groups that identify with not-believing in something and have a core set of principles & dogma. To name a few: Never-Trumpers, Anti-Immigrant groups, Anti-LGBT, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Anti-Federalists, Jacobins (Anti-Capitalism). Yes it only took me 15 minutes to Google those. The argument is not based on logic, but mere passion.
It appears that you understand belief in God, which suggests you do not consider it an illogical belief. However you contradict yourself within the same statement by claiming that religions believe in God as a matter of blind faith or guessing. This is false. Belief in God is logical, both pragmatically and empirically; it is based on evidence and when tested produces positive results. I contend however that Atheism, which by your own definition does consist of blind belief (the belief that there is no God), is illogical and dogmatic--more dogmatic than any traditional religion.
When discussing this, I often put it in four boxes: gnostic theism, agnostic theism, agnostic atheism, and gnostic atheism. The word "gnostic" simply meaning "knowledge of." Gnostic theists and atheists are arrogant to say that they know that God does or does not exist. But, agnostic atheists and theists, which I feel are most people, admit that they cannot prove or disprove a God, but they believe that there most likely is or is not a God.
In order to be sects of the same religion they would need significant things in common. Various christian sects are all Christian because they all believe in god, Christ, the virgin birth etc. They just vary on the details of those beliefs.
The only thing Atheists have in common is that they don't believe in something. It's like saying that everyone who doesn't believe dogs are the best pet are a single group. The people in that "group" will be vastly different from each other. It is simply ignorant to try to group all those people together like they are the same.
I believe my bank wont steal my money. I believe my loved ones love me back. I believe the people in my life are who they say they are. I believe in many things, and I feel it is dishonest or ignorant to claim to know truth. thus I say "I believe". I hope you won't mistake that for a weak argument or some sort of freudian slip.
yes, that word was not accidental, your previous "catch" didnt go unnoticed either. there are many things that I believe in, few of them blindly tho.
your belief in a diety is understandable, however religion is not just God, it is a specific god who bestowed specific rules and did specific actions. being a Muslim vs being a Christian or any other religions is a matter of blindly guessing. usually by birth.
There's that word "believe" again. Gotta love atheists, they can't stop contradicting themselves and can't escape God. "God exists, if only in the form of a meme with high survival value, or infective power, in the environment provided by human culture." -- Richard Dawkins
I believe you are wrong. agnostics make no claim to the existence of God, while most atheists say they dont believe in the existence of God. very few people say definitively there is no god.
me for example share that view. I do not *know* that there is no God, but I currently do not believe in his existence.
also I do not believe agnosticism is a valid position. if you are unsure if you love someone, then at the moment you dont actively love them. thus if you are unsure about the existence of God, then you currently do not actively believe in him.
Well I see your point except what you describe is not atheism but non-theism. It's the difference between not--believing-in-a-God and believing-that-there-is-no-God. Atheism is the assertion that there is no God while non-theism is merely the absence of an assertion that there is a God. Perhaps you are a non-theist. But the bulk of atheists positively deny the existence of God rather than merely not asserting His existence.
"Do you think adding or subtracting a letter changes what you are?"
do you think theism and atheism mean the same thing? that letter changes the entire meaning of the word.
once again, what do all of these "sects" of atheism believe in?
if you are hunting a mysterious animal and the description says: it's not a lizard, it doesnt have wings, it doesnt swim, it doesnt have teeth, etc. you know a ton of what it is not, but you still have no idea what it actually is. a lack of belief in God says nothing about what they actually believe in. do you agree?
Did I hear you say "believe?" Freudian slip perhaps? What you describe is more aptly termed "scientism."
You want Atheism to stop being a religion here's your way forward Atheists: you must discard the assertion that there is no God. When asked about God state "I don't know" or "I have no position on this.". As long as you assert something then you possess a belief, and if held strongly enough that belief becomes your religion. No assertions=no religion. Poof, problem solved.
I don't criticise anyone who accepts the findings of science. Ideally science and religion are compatible.
In your example I consider it merely different sects if Atheism much like there are different sects of Christianity who share certain core beliefs and differ on others. Secondly my dispute is not about semantics but the essential nature of the thing. Do you think adding or subtracting a letter changes what you are?
I'm guessing what you intend to criticize is people who believe in the findings of science, that is a group that shares many core beliefs, although I wouldn't group them with religion
do you know what the prefix "A" stands for?
the ism is part of theISM. the a stands for not theISM.
capitalism is an ism. acapitalism means "not that ism"
I think you confusion is entirely over the meaning of the prefix "A". your treating the entire atheism as if it was a single root word. it is not.
do you really think that an atheist who believes in hedonism and an atheist who believes in contractualism have any core beliefs in common? the only thing they share is a LACK OF BELIEF in God. they dont actually share much the do believe in. atheism represents many groups that are not in the God group.
Given that there are plenty of people who go around identifying themselves as "Atheists", while on the other hand there are exactly zero professionals who identify themselves as "Not-Doctors", your analogy fails. Atheism is dogmatic while non-doctorism is not. That "-ism" at the end signifies a dogmatic belief system. Case closed.
how far did you have to scroll to find that definition?
a doctor is a profession, but not a doctor is not a profession. as you just said, the only thing atheists share in common is *not a belief* in God.
saying what they dont believe in doesn't say anything about what they DO believe in. my point stands.
A doctor is a profession, something you do. It's not defined by beliefs. You should know better than to compare apples and oranges. A theism is defined by belief, a dogmatic and quite irrational belief that God does not exist. Once you even allow for the possibility that there might be a God you cannot be an atheist. you get kicked out of the atheist club. That's a pretty well defined belief system.
Congratulations you can quote Google definitions. If you had bothered to look down a bit you would see another definition for religion:
"a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance."
definitions are set by consensus, often of scholars seeking the most technically accurate definition. you can Google a definition with specific results. however you are wrong, atheism doesnt have a core set of beliefs.
theism is the belief in god.
the prefix a means not.
atheists dont have a belief set becausea theists are not a group. atheists are the people that are not in the religious group. like not poker players, or not doctors.
what do you think "not doctors" believe in?
I can't believe there are people like you who share false information.
Religion is not a "way of life" it's a worship of a superhuman controling power and/or god/gods
And atheism is not a religion, don't be ignorant.
Who gets to decide whose definition is correct? Religion is any way of life determined by a set of core beliefs. Atheism and the other religions I mentioned most assuredly fit this definition. For instance, some people follow the religion of hedonism which says the only rule is "If it makes you feel good, then do it". This is a rule generated by a belief that pleasure is the ultimate good and the only goal in life. Although you could call this a religion without rules, or with almost no rules, it is still a religion. Atheism is a religion based on the belief that no God exists. The only rule is that you must always be logical, you must never be illogical. That's quite structured, in the extreme. The unquestionable authority in atheism is human logic. Even a religion like agnosticism in which you studiously avoid committing to any beliefs, and studiously avoid making any rules--that itself is a structured way of life built around the belief that nothing can be known with certainty and therefore no rules should be created. If you deviate, by forming beliefs or rules, then you get kicked out of the agnostic club.
Definitions aside though, the heart of this debate is that atheists are under the delusion that they could simply "escape" religion and live without rules. But this is impossible. It is intrinsic to human nature to possess beliefs and to function by rules. You cannot escape your own nature. This is the conundrum atheists are constantly battling; by seeking liberation from religion, they have accomplished nothing but a more despotic enslavement to the worst of all tyrants: the self.
your definition of religion is not what is commonly accepted. your essentially saying religion is any lifestyle. and that is wrong. religion is a very specific lifestyle involving highly structured rules and traditions that come from an authority that you cannot question.
the rest of your list does not fit that more specific, and accurate, definition.
Atheism was always a religion. Religion simply means a way of life. Science is a religion; materialism is a religion; hedonism, narcissism and nationalism are all religions.
I think we've already discussed this. Also, I had originally thought that the first response, which read something like, "uhh, maybe because they ARE morally superior?" was you, when it wasn't. Which completely skewed the way I read what you were saying. I thought that if you had made a comment that stupid, you deserved everything I was saying. However, that individual did not end up returning.
who don't you pull up my quote?
who am I kidding, your allergic to quotes. so here it is.
"not the party, but the leadership yes.
both parties have corrupt individuals. some who are evil, some who do good but could do better but get greedy. and some who honestly want to do best. heck, everything in between.
*but I feel one party, in it's leadership specifically, has been organized corrupted to possibly the level of treason.*
when it comes to the influence of money on our politics. foreign or domestic. I feel one party has been corrupted beyond acceptability. because of that issue alone I believe one party can be considered morally superior. this should be an outrage.'
learn to ready buddy
Really Nemiroff. Why don't we post this conversation and see if that's the argument you were actually making. Because the discussion was ABOUT the constituents, not the politicians. The PEOPLE are what make this country work. And to believe that you are morally superior to your counter-part is a POISONOUS ideology, and again, an ideology that has ALREADY led to the deaths of MILLIONS of people.
leadership of the Republican party*
your representation of my morality comparison is out of context, not surprisingly. I am debating with 3 hardcore liberitarians but I have only called you biased.... hmmm
I cited a specific issue on which it appears the Republican party is undermining the power of all of we the people by promoting money in politics. i feel that this issue is so vital that it does tip the scales of morality, but I did not make that claim about the constituents or any other policy issues.
as for the damning:
that depends on the situation.
the ones that call all republicans bigots are hateful.
the ones that call bigots bigots, are just stating a fact.
is it wrong to call a killer a killer?
So "damning" someone to being hateful, is itself hateful? So then all these Democrats who baselessly go around calling people sexists and homophobes and racists, are all hateful? I think that's something I can actually get on board with!
Correct me if I'm wrong, Nemiroff, but you were just debating with me the other day, stating that Democrats are morally superior to Republicans. So I'm not sure how you get off on acting as if you're above making hateful generalizations... I must say that it is pretty rich coming from you, sir.
first 2 are opinion pieces.
the 3rd is a legitamete ethical dilemma within the medical community. very news worthy. nothing to do with partisanship.
the 4th one is a squabble between Christians internationally. sounds like big news to me. should we silence information? taking either side could be considered anti religion lol. they are just reporting.
I'll stop here. let me know which of there or the other ones you want to discuss cause we can't do all of them simultaneously. but I don't think these 4 are valid.
thought you did*
Would you like it if everybody thought did something bad with no evidence to think that way? Wouldn't you be annoyed by that?
heck, find me these media generalizations about christians!
I think this whole "left wing mainstream media" is fake news. he's under scrutiny because he is suspicious, because he tries to stop scrutiny, and because he's interesting as hell.
I would love watching all this play out if i wasn't gonna live in it. this is better and worse than any tv show.
quote my generalizations.
I usually add some, many, or most to my statements, and when I use all. I stand by it.
shortened and sensationalized thread names aside. :p
"how is it hateful to say that Atheists hate Christians?"
it is hateful. you are, in 3 words, damning all atheists to being hateful. that is hateful.
and it's can't possibly be factual.
"By that same logic, it is hateful when all your fellow Democrats call people racist, or sexist, or bigoted"
that depends on the situation.
the ones that call all republicans bigots are hateful.
the ones that call bigots bigots, are just stating a fact.
is it wrong to call a killer a killer?
Think you misunderstood what I was saying, or misread part of it. But I also left a word out that changed the entire first part of that paragraph. That's my bad.
Sorry, I meant that you have made generalizations, and mainstream media makes them about Christians CONSTANTLY.
Also, how is it hateful to say that Atheists hate Christians? By that same logic, it is hateful when all your fellow Democrats call people racist, or sexist, or bigoted, etc... And it's something I've noticed. I've never once spoken to an atheist who didn't make DAMN SURE to let me know, while letting me know how dumb I am for believing in something that is more powerful than me.
quote my generalizations about Christians and mainstream media please.
Ematio thank you! Didn't even read your comment before I went to defend myself. You need to come on here more often. I could use at least ONE person who is logical and can back me up.
Nemiroff, you want to talk about generalizations? You have already done that with Christians, as well as the rest of the mainstream media. Which is fine. Generalizations are totally fine, and they're absolutely necessary to save time on discussions. What ISN'T fine, is using generalizations yourself, and calling someone else out on using generalizations. Generalizations are a necessity when discussing politics. You're going to have to get over that.
which generalization did I make? are you referring to the republicans supporting nepotism? that wasn't an argument but a thread title. I know most republicans don't actually support nepotism but they seem to not even care that it is happening. also I argued that doing nothing, in this case, is equal to support and that all of your representatives seemed to be openly ok with it.
compare that with the claim that all atheists are "in lockstep when it comes to putting down christians," which is pretty ridiculous and hateful.
Nemiroff, why is it that when you generalize, it's okay. But when we generalize, it's not?
your big on generalizing aren't you?
some atheists do think Christians are stupid and put them down.
some Christians think atheists are stupid and put them down.
the proportion is about the same in both, it's a subset of people known as ******s. they are everywhere, in every group, nation, and culture. also, finding a few doesn't make an entire group guilty.
I was talking more about the organized nature in which they seek to all be in lockstep when it comes to putting down Christians and considering them to be stupid. They often point out how much they hate having views shoved down their throats, all while doing that themselves.
atheism isn't a religion because it doesn't have a core tenant. it is literally a lack of a belief in something. it doesn't describe anything about what the person actually believes in....
there is no religion that just says "not islam" you have to actually believe in something for it to be religion.
the only thing you know about an atheist is that he is not a theist.