Thinking like an atheist for a moment....

Dream

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I find it quizzical that atheists, instead of working within the religious system (manipulating religion to their advantage) will offer an olive branch to people who can't think their way out for themselves. I'm a compassionate person, but as an atheist I'd assume trying to get other people to be atheists was as counterproductive as helping the chick break out of its egg. If society is the result of selection and random change, then religion is part of the selection process functioning to elevate and separate the intelligent from the weak. That is part of the argument, isn't it?

Lets take Dawkin's Selfish Gene book. Naturally he's making a personal profit so he's excused, but what about all of his crazed enthusiastic followers? They go out onto forums and try to convince people to change their thinking, and they're not the only avowed atheists who do it. From an evolutionist standpoint, doesn't this activity weaken the selection process?
 
A lot of atheists are former believers. Very few believers are former atheists. If you've been something, identified with something, then you have some idea what it's all about. If you haven't then you don't. I've been a believer, and now, for all intents and purposes, I'm an atheist. There was a point in time when I wanted to get even with religionists for their ignorance in thinking they knew what atheism was all about. Dawkins preaches to that choir.

Chris
 
lol I may be a choirboy of sorts, (not a castrato!), but Dawkins has close to zero influence on me and I find him an awful writer too.

Otherwise Chris that post was as close to heaven as I have come across on CR!!
 
You lost me, dream. I don't know where you get this. What you seem to be talking about is social Darwinism, which is not necessarily associated with atheism.
 
A lot of atheists are former believers. Very few believers are former atheists. If you've been something, identified with something, then you have some idea what it's all about. If you haven't then you don't. I've been a believer, and now, for all intents and purposes, I'm an atheist. There was a point in time when I wanted to get even with religionists for their ignorance in thinking they knew what atheism was all about. Dawkins preaches to that choir.

Chris
Not true at all Chris. I know many former atheists who are believers. Most of them are scientists, teachers, philosophers, officers and such. There are two well known "Bakers" that come immediately to mind, who helped change the world, both before and after finding God. One in space, and the other in physics. There is also the geneticist that helped (actually accomplished) sequencing the Human genome...and saw God...
 
Not true at all Chris. I know many former atheists who are believers. Most of them are scientists, teachers, philosophers, officers and such. There are two well known "Bakers" that come immediately to mind, who helped change the world, both before and after finding God. One in space, and the other in physics. There is also the geneticist that helped (actually accomplished) sequencing the Human genome...and saw God...

Are you a former atheist?

Chris
 
Ok, my post seemed like a sweeping statement about all atheists but thats not how it was intended. I personally know more than one atheist who lives an outwardly religious life to obtain advantages, which seems harmonious with a social darwinist ideology. I don't assume that all atheists are social darwinists. Chris and Tao are a little at odds on activism. Tao seems to think he's a choirboy activist, whereas Chris says he's cut down a bit. Starship has posted a few things.

So have you looked at the social darwinist angle? I mean, what long term results could come from activism? Seems to me a social darwinism implies that such activism ultimately erases itself by removing randomness while harmonious integration encourages random selection.

Ok: the French Revolution. What is the long term impact from a social darwinism standpoint?
 
Ok, my post seemed like a sweeping statement about all atheists but thats not how it was intended. I personally know more than one atheist who lives an outwardly religious life to obtain advantages, which seems harmonious with a social darwinist ideology. I don't assume that all atheists are social darwinists. Chris and Tao are a little at odds on activism. Tao seems to think he's a choirboy activist, whereas Chris says he's cut down a bit. Starship has posted a few things.

So have you looked at the social darwinist angle? I mean, what long term results could come from activism? Seems to me a social darwinism implies that such activism ultimately erases itself by removing randomness while harmonious integration encourages random selection.

Ok: the French Revolution. What is the long term impact from a social darwinism standpoint?
lol Darwin asked to be blessed before he died...(little lost bits of information).
 
lol I may be a choirboy of sorts, (not a castrato!), but Dawkins has close to zero influence on me and I find him an awful writer too.
Yeah, he is an awful writer. I struggled through The God Delusion so I could form an honest opinion.

The cool thing about being non-theistic and non religious is the release from the group-think mentality and having to constantly jigger things to coincide with the belief system. What I don't think believers can understand is what it's like not to have to pronounce judgment on every single thing and decide RIGHT NOW, and FOREVER to believe or not, and then never be able to take it back. It seems like they think we BELIEVE in science, or humanism, or atheism like they believe in their religious dogma and practices. It's nothing like that.

Chris
 
Namaste Dream,

thank you for the post.


I find it quizzical that atheists, instead of working within the religious system (manipulating religion to their advantage) will offer an olive branch to people who can't think their way out for themselves.

what value is there in being purposefully deceptive?

I'm a compassionate person, but as an atheist I'd assume trying to get other people to be atheists was as counterproductive as helping the chick break out of its egg.

well... sure... you can speak about what you'd do since, well, you're talking about you. it's hard to speak about what another person would do if you aren't them, wouldn't you agree?

i mostly don't know atheists that are trying to get others to be atheists though they clearly exist.

If society is the result of selection and random change, then religion is part of the selection process functioning to elevate and separate the intelligent from the weak. That is part of the argument, isn't it?

no.

atheist is a term which simply indicates a lack of belief in deity. heck, as there are different flavors of theist (christian, muslim, hindu etc) there are different flavors of atheist, some atheists don't believe in any deity, some believe there are no creator deities and some believe that the deities of other religions don't exist. there are atheists that positively assert the nonexistence of deity (strong atheist) whilst others maintain there is no intersubjective evidence of deity and withold belief until such time (weak atheist) and probably a whole lot more that i don't know.

basically, the only thing that atheists have in common is a lack of belief in deity, they can have widely differing views on every other subject.

Lets take Dawkin's Selfish Gene book. Naturally he's making a personal profit so he's excused, but what about all of his crazed enthusiastic followers?

i find it interesting that Dr. Dawkins is used by theists in much the same manner that radical mullas and crazed televangelists are used by nontheists and atheists as being representative of any ones views other than Dr. Dawkins or the radical mulla or crazed televangelist.

They go out onto forums and try to convince people to change their thinking, and they're not the only avowed atheists who do it.

well.. discussion forums are for people to discuss and debate their ideas and, as we all have experienced, there are beings that are convinced they are correct and feel on a mission to explain it and convince you of it as well. if you fail to be convinced many of these beings take it as a personal affront especially if you hold views which may be diametrically opposite.

From an evolutionist standpoint, doesn't this activity weaken the selection process?

i've a feeling that you've got some misconceptions regarding biological evolution so much so that this question doesn't apply. evolution =/= atheist.

metta,

~v
 
Namaste Q,

thank you for the post.

lol Darwin asked to be blessed before he died...(little lost bits of information).

since Sir Darwin was agnostic when he died why would you think that? of course he was a Christian for the bulk of his life so it wouldn't be all that unusual in and of itself.

metta,

~v
 
Ok, my post seemed like a sweeping statement about all atheists but thats not how it was intended. I personally know more than one atheist who lives an outwardly religious life to obtain advantages, which seems harmonious with a social darwinist ideology. I don't assume that all atheists are social darwinists. Chris and Tao are a little at odds on activism. Tao seems to think he's a choirboy activist, whereas Chris says he's cut down a bit. Starship has posted a few things.

So have you looked at the social darwinist angle? I mean, what long term results could come from activism? Seems to me a social darwinism implies that such activism ultimately erases itself by removing randomness while harmonious integration encourages random selection.

Ok: the French Revolution. What is the long term impact from a social darwinism standpoint?

I'l pose this question to you if you do not mind. Sweden is 80% atheist. What is wrong with Sweden?


tao
 
I have been Atheist, then turned into an Agnostic, back to Atheist then Agnostic again in the past. I respect an Atheists opinion, they play an important part in discussion.
 
I'l pose this question to you if you do not mind. Sweden is 80% atheist. What is wrong with Sweden?


tao

Land of heathens!.... :D

Another interesting thing.. It is starting to decline now (still up there in the charts though) But sweden was once the highest suicide rate in the world... And to this day it is still high... Interesting...
 
Land of heathens!.... :D

Another interesting thing.. It is starting to decline now (still up there in the charts though) But sweden was once the highest suicide rate in the world... And to this day it is still high... Interesting...

It is interesting. There is a 75% imbalance toward males over 35. And the rates have dropped considerably since an understanding and strategy to combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) with lamps and vitamin supplements. It has nothing to do with religion or atheism. Sweden is one of the best places in the world to live....if you can stand the weather.

tao
 
Thanks for the comments Vajradhara.
what value is there in being purposefully deceptive?
You used the term 'Value'. If I'm asking about Social Darwinism then there is a race value to deception which may be positive or negative. Both honesty and deception are present in our populations. If you're talking about the immediate value of lying then that is another thing. Lifelong results are still another matter.
well... sure... you can speak about what you'd do since, well, you're talking about you. it's hard to speak about what another person would do if you aren't them, wouldn't you agree?
I agree. It is easy to assume other people are like us.
i mostly don't know atheists that are trying to get others to be atheists though they clearly exist.
People tend to stay in their groups. That goes for religionists, too.
atheist is a term which simply indicates a lack of belief in deity. heck, as there are different flavors of theist (christian, muslim, hindu etc) there are different flavors of atheist, some atheists don't believe in any deity, some believe there are no creator deities and some believe that the deities of other religions don't exist. there are atheists that positively assert the nonexistence of deity (strong atheist) whilst others maintain there is no intersubjective evidence of deity and withold belief until such time (weak atheist) and probably a whole lot more that i don't know.

basically, the only thing that atheists have in common is a lack of belief in deity, they can have widely differing views on every other subject.
Good that you pointed that out. I did try to acknowledge it in the next post I made, so I think I have done my part to remedy any misunderstanding.
i find it interesting that Dr. Dawkins is used by theists in much the same manner that radical mullas and crazed televangelists are used by nontheists and atheists as being representative of any ones views other than Dr. Dawkins or the radical mulla or crazed televangelist.
Yes it is interesting. I have met Dawkins evangelists in religious chat. I think they are college students who have listened to activist statements Dawkins has made. It reminded me of some experimental evangelism attempts I made when I was younger. Cute.
as we all have experienced, there are beings that are convinced they are correct and feel on a mission to explain it and convince you of it as well.
With respect, not everyone has experienced that yet, but I'm sure they will.
i've a feeling that you've got some misconceptions regarding biological evolution so much so that this question doesn't apply. evolution =/= atheist.
So you'd have to give me an education on evolution in order for me to even ask about this. Atheism isn't just a word in the dictionary but a culture of atheism with its own set of books about why religion exists, many of which imply religion is a cultural evolution. You have pointed out the myriad new varieties of the word atheism, but I was talking about simple culture of atheism which as far as I know is very deterministic and does not include religionists. Also, I've said that atheists are not necessarily social darwinists, and who doesn't have misconceptions about biological evolution?

As always, thanks for your post.
 
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