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Is it possible Atheism could turn into an Inquisition?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Following on from the highly disturbing 'manifesto' thread I have been thinking again about Harris's views that it is ok to kill people for certain beliefs and also the idea expressed earlier in that thread that atheists in Public Office cannot express their beliefs and adherence to atheism because of the religious-fundie hold on US life. As it is slightly a spin-off from the thread eulogizing Harris's manifesto I think a new one is necessary as this is not about Harris per se but rather the possibilities of violence and murder that his views seem to engender and, in some sense, glorify.

Harris's beliefs that murder is ok and the close correlation between his position and the Neocon one - in fact he has expressed support for the extreme-right won Dutch racist Gert Wilders so possibly he is more correctly place alongside traditional European racist movements than the US Neocon ideology - gives cause for concern about his 'manifesto' and the atheist agenda in general. I believe these factors add up to a chilling possibility that -given the right circumstances - should the current atheist fad gain sufficient traction and build up a power-base there may well be some sort of pogrom and 'Star Chamber' instituted that may well legitimize torture at the very least and judicial deaths at worst.

I do believe this is a real possibility. In fact, one may even see it as inevitable given the right conditions - hopefully they will not occur but let's look at the facts:

1) It is well known that when a Fundamentalist movement gains power it WILL seek to neutralize and eradicate the 'sinners' and, given the extreme nature of the view under consideration, this will involve murder. Though they will never call it that.

It happened with the Spanish Inquisition. It happened with the Nazis. It is happening now with Wahabi-sponsored Islamism.

There is no reason to believe - no 'evidence' hahahahah - that atheist Fundies will be any different should they gain power.

There are chilling indications they will be the same.

2) Exhibit A: Sam Harris. Atheist poster-boy and archetypal atheist role-model (hence this thread)

Harris believes it is ok to torture:

Quote:
I am one of the few people I know of who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror.

Note two things there: first the acceptance of torture but second - and this is the key: acceptance of torture in the light of the WAR ON TERROR


Ie: Harris accepts the ideology of the 'War on Terror" - accepts there is and can be such a things as the WOT and accepts its necessity. He also argues it is ETHICAL. Not even all right-wingers go that far. So we can position him nicely on the political spectrum. Hold that while we look at his other key positions...

Quote:
"some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them,"

Quote:
"We can no more tolerate a diversity of religious beliefs than a diversity of beliefs about epidemiology and basic hygiene"

Quote:
the reasons for our inability to understand that torture is necessary are, I trust, every bit as neurological as those that give rise to the moon illusion … Clearly, these intuitions are fallible....

....fearing that the above reflection on torture may offer a potent argument for pacifism, I would like to briefly state why I believe we must accept the fact that violence (or its threat) is often an ethical necessity.

Quote:
We are at war with Islam. It may not serve our immediate foreign policy objectives for our political leaders to openly acknowledge this fact, but it is unambiguously so.

Armed conflict "in the defence of Islam" is a religious obligation for every Muslim man (p111) Islam, more than any religion humans have ever devised, has the makings of a thoroughgoing cult of death

Is Islam compatible with a civil society? Is it possible to believe what you must believe to be a good Muslim and not to pose an unconscionable threat to the civil societies of others? I believe that the answer to this question is no.

So this is the position. It is a Neocon one for sure but that is not my point…my point is more about what atheists will do if they gain power and also the hypocrisy of their oft-stated position "religion is the cause of violence". Clearly that is a lie. Or else Harris is religious.

Also the opinions re Islam above by Harris are as noxious as those of most racists and Islamophobes, but they are also a lie and widely known to be untrue..they are therefore, irrational….it is not a 'religious obligation' to fight for Islam for example and of course he offers no proof of this because there is none. And also 'proof' is of course, something only religious-believers need to provide. But on….

3) A contention was made in the original Harris thread that "Atheists in political power cannot admit they are atheists in the US". Let's assume this is true.

When a religious Fundie behaves irrational, shows racism, expresses violent or murderous tendencies etc….then it will be obvious that this is being done by a religious fundie. Because of the above circumstance.

Now unless there are no atheists in government, when an ATHEIST does the equivalent (forget for a moment the idea that atheists could not or would not do 'bad things' or contemplate the Harris quotes again) it will not be obvious. In fact, no-one will know an atheist did anything at all.

Put another way: it is highly likely there are atheists in Government. given Harris's views above, it is highly likely they are devising schemes - perhaps even DID devise such things as Abu Ghraib etc - to kill Muslims and torture those they believe to be in need of it.

Or, if you prefer, just read again Harris's beliefs and imagine he was not a celebrity atheist but rather someone with the same beliefs he holds but in a military or other Governmental policy-making position.

Then imagine a legion of Harris's disciples moving on from the eradication of Muslims (by whatever means) and turning their attention to members of other faiths………

The possibilities are disturbing.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #2 of 33
This is not likely to happen in the near future or in the next 50 years.
Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by talksense101 View Post

This is not likely to happen in the near future or in the next 50 years.

I didn't put a time limit on it. I'm just asking: is the propensity there?

Besides, it could happen quicker than you think. A few more ultra-high-profile terrorist attacks would accelerate the atheist hate for Islam for example and enable draconian legislation...
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #4 of 33
It most certainly happened in China during the Cultural Revolution.
post #5 of 33
Is it possible Atheism could turn into an Inquisition?



Wow, this question is the non plus ultra in ignorance ever demonstrated on this forum.

Please try a search engine to find out the definition of "inquisition".

My personal answer: I really hope so!
yes I want oil genocide.
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yes I want oil genocide.
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post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Wow, this question is the non plus ultra in ignorance ever demonstrated on this forum.

Please try a search engine to find out the definition of "inquisition".

My personal answer: I really hope so!

You do know about something called the Spanish Inquisition right? And you do know that the capitalization of the initial 'I' refers to it right?

We can assume that deep as the ignorance is in certain quarters on these forums the mis-education deos not perhaps stretch so far.

Which leaves us with a chilling:

My personal answer: I really hope so!

I expected deflection of Harris's comments from people who possibly agree with them but do not have the cajones to actually say so but I never thought an atheist would come out in agreement....

Bravo! Possibly the first time ever here someone in the anti-Islam/torture/hate group has actually admitted it instead of obfuscating to hide what everyone really knows. SOME sort of respect is due for that.

Just to check though..... please confirm you'd be happy to agree with Harris's Statements:

Quote:
"some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them,"

"the reasons for our inability to understand that torture is necessary are, I trust, every bit as neurological as those that give rise to the moon illusion Clearly, these intuitions are fallible...."

"....fearing that the above reflection on torture may offer a potent argument for pacifism, I would like to briefly state why I believe we must accept the fact that violence (or its threat) is often an ethical necessity."

A simple yes or no will do.

Do you support the statements?

You'll be given time to expand on each of them later - perhaps even the anti-Islam ones if you can be coherent on that - but for now just a yes or no....
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #7 of 33
Sego, you do know that just because we're Atheists doesn't mean we support everything other Atheists say, right? You make it seem that you believe that because Harris is a nutball, that makes Atheism a nutball belief.

Kind of what Americans do with Islam.
post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Sego, you do know that just because we're Atheists doesn't mean we support everything other Atheists say, right? You make it seem that you believe that because Harris is a nutball, that makes Atheism a nutball belief.

Kind of what Americans do with Islam.

Yeah I get that...I was just kind of running it up the flagpole to see who salutes kind of thing...

I actually don't think atheism is a nutball belief - imo it is a legitimate path to enlightenment. But then I feel the same about religion.

It just seems that if you say that though then both sides will turn on you in tandem - bit like how if you see a woman being hit by her boyfriend and you step into help they'll BOTH start beating YOU up.

It's my theory that just as most Christians and Muslims aren't really Christians or Muslims at all (when judged by the teaching of the founder they claim to follow) then also most atheists aren't really atheist at all too.

I'm just checking and researching
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #9 of 33
Seg, you've got some good thoughts in there but they get so lost in all the labels and caricatures. I guess it is sort of like finding a beautiful melody in a Britney Spears song.

In college I had a class called "From Christianity to Marxism" and it covered while wandering through several philosophers the move from a god centered worldview to a man centered worldview. It was quite the fun class.

As you note, classic religious forms have a sort of story structure. The story doesn't have to be true and in fact when playing to biases, it is almost better that it not be true because if it were the "useful idiots" and their limited thinking might not buy into it so well.

The story structure of course starts with paradise, eden, utopia, or whatever you care to call it. There is an event, an action or something that causes a fall. The consequence of the fall is that we no longer have our utopia/Eden/paradise and the remedy is to eradicate the cause of the fall so we can all return to paradise.

Where you will lose most people is the belief that this power structure and story structure can be moved outside of religion. Not to knock you because I really am in agreement with you here, a lot of the thinking gets limited, almost on purpose to preserve what one side believes is a moral high ground over the other rather than bringing about understanding. With you it becomes right wing is ring wing, even if left wing is doing it and thus it becomes some sort of left abandoning and becoming right wing temporarily sort of thing.

Yet a person seeking understanding can give up the labels and seek to just understand the mechanism. They can say, if churches were precursors to nation/states, then wouldn't the tools of religions likely be applied in the same way by their successors in the nation/states? That would be a good understanding. However if one were to get hung up on labels, they would say, well it is a secular state being overrun by fundies or even that term, secular fundamentalists, it just sort of doesn't work well.

What does work well is understanding the structure of power and who is trying to exert it on others. I think you do best when utilizing those sorts of tools instead of labels.

You note that Harris and perhaps others who are issuing atheistic manifestos are indeed calling for action against non-atheists. They frame the world as one that at some point was perfect before religion took hold and will return to perfection again once religion has been eradicated. Like many folks attempting to secure power, they will speak in the broad narrative and note the desired good intention. The actions that will bring about said results are part of those messy backroom deals and those wonderful particulars that aren't carried out until the good intentions have put one in power.

The people using this took don't need to be caricatured and aren't right or wrong based off who they got the tool from or who they are claim to fix with it. Rather we can see the tool for what it is, a means of claiming to bring about change while actually causing harm and grabbing power. There was no nirvana in the past nor will there be one in the future if only we consent to a particular group or ideology being eradicated.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Where you will lose most people is the belief that this power structure and story structure can be moved outside of religion. Not to knock you because I really am in agreement with you here, a lot of the thinking gets limited, almost on purpose to preserve what one side believes is a moral high ground over the other rather than bringing about understanding. With you it becomes right wing is ring wing, even if left wing is doing it and thus it becomes some sort of left abandoning and becoming right wing temporarily sort of thing.

Hi Trump, thanks for understanding what I was getting at. Actually you have hit the nail on the head and said it much better than I did.

I shouldn't have gone into the right-wing stuff you're right...I just could not resist it as it was such an open goal but it was probably a bit lame. It does detract I think because it is not the point.

I snipped a bit of your comments for space there but want to pick up from your general gist.

The reason I think one can take the structure away from atheism is exactly what you say: the stories don't have to be true (except that atheists and religious literalists claim they are MEANT to be understood literally) and it really doesn't matter.

I was thinking about this the other night watching the world cup. Argentina was playing and the commentator was saying how good Messi is and what an inspiration he is to kids wanting to play.

I live in Barcelona as you know and he is a God here - all kids want to be him and they are always playing football in the streets shouting "Messi!!!!!!!" when they score.

I was thinking how useful it is to have such a role-model if you aspire to some sort of greatness in sport (or anything). Some of those kids MAY grow up and be great players. They MAY play for Barca. It's possible and if they do then it will be because of their inspiration by Messi (or whoever).

I was thinking then that if Messi did not exist, if all the Barca players were crap, then it would be harder for those kids. They might still do it but it might be more of a struggle. maybe they'd do something else.

So in short, if Messi did not exist it might be necessary for this purpose to invent an equivalent. Or project the qualities you want on to someone. In this case, arguments about whether it was 'true' or 'proof' that 'Messi' does not exist would be missing the point.

That's how I see religion.... it's a method of making oneself better. Where it gets into 'absolutes' it tends to fail. I personally think change can only come on an individual level and that no 'changing the world' is possible or desirable. We each have our own goals and it's up to us to develop ourselves and achieve them if we want.

Conceptions of God can do this. So can Atheism....it really does not matter if it's true (though it may or may not be but that's a completely different area and dos not overlap imo) it's like using apples in learning to count.....you get told "2 apples plus 2 apples is four" and when you've grasped the concept you can move on.

Luckily, in education no-one storms in shouting "prove to me these apples exist!! Where are these apples - you do not have any".

So, to me, if atheism makes you develop and reach deeper understanding of the human condition and puts you in harmony with your fellow beings then fine..is 100% the correct path and no need for another. Same with religion or sex or anything at all.

If any of those things make you want to hate and kill or proclaim "the absolute truth" or 'convert' people to your view rather than allowing them to follow their own, then this is a sign there's a problem imo.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

.... , that makes Atheism a nutball belief.




Yes, I want god killed.
yes I want oil genocide.
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yes I want oil genocide.
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post #12 of 33
There is no institution of atheism. There cannot be an inquisition. How about we focus on the very, very real threats and very, very real deaths tallied every day by organized religion?

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

There is no institution of atheism. There cannot be an inquisition. How about we focus on the very, very real threats and very, very real deaths tallied every day by organized religion?

If there's no institution there cannot be a manifesto...but oh look...there is. And if there's a manifesto there'll be sheep to follow it.

And who knows? Maybe some wolves too?

As to your religious violence examples...love to see them (for the hundredth time) - Start a thread about it... with examples like I did for Harris above. I'll answer everyone one of them un like you when I post Harris's calls for violence.

In return you can give me your answer on these (2nd time you've avoided...go for a hat-trick):

Quote:
"some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them,"

"the reasons for our inability to understand that torture is necessary are, I trust, every bit as neurological as those that give rise to the moon illusion Clearly, these intuitions are fallible...."

"....fearing that the above reflection on torture may offer a potent argument for pacifism, I would like to briefly state why I believe we must accept the fact that violence (or its threat) is often an ethical necessity."

Would like an opinion.

So far from the atheists we have Wormhole agreeing and actually wanting an Inquisition (whether you think there can be one or not if he's typical you'll probably get one anyway) and Tonton as the sole sane rationalist you claim all atheists are by definition.

What's your take on these comments?

Ok because it's Muslims suggested to be killed and tortured? Ok because Harris is an atheist? Or perhaps it does not go far enough?

Or maybe he should just keep quiet and that's the real problem - ok to believe it but don't blow your cover?
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #14 of 33
Religious violence...let's see...well, the Middle East is just FAR too easy...so how about we pick on the Pope a little more.

Every time an African contracts AIDS because the male refuses to wear a condom based on the Pope's prohibition, that eventual death is on the Pope's hands.

Heh, it's actually quite funny how much of a nerve I have appeared to struck with you on this atheism thing, sego.

And I've said again and again and again, atheism doesn't preclude irrationality in other areas. Atheism doesn't ensure rationality in other areas. Atheism is simply the rational approach to the big questions that religions bullshit answers to.

I denounce killing, period. I am against the death penalty, preemptive or otherwise. Self defense or defense of others from immediate harm are the only justifiable reasons. If Sam Harris truly believes what you say he does, I disagree with that point of view. That doesn't suddenly make atheism any less rational. That makes Sam Harris less rational. Capiche?

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #15 of 33
Oh, and for shits and giggles:

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #16 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Religious violence...let's see...well, the Middle East is just FAR too easy....

Land. Politics. Racism.

Quote:
Every time an African contracts AIDS because the male refuses to wear a condom based on the Pope's prohibition, that eventual death is on the Pope's hands.

Absolutely. Pope = utter scumbag wanker.

No argument from me about his nature. He's worse than Harris in my book.

My argument is more about what you call religion.

You say that religion is the cause of war etc. Fine. Then you say Pope is representative of religion..problem.

Religion to me is the teaching of the founder. The Pope is the opposite of this in his religious case.

So that needs addressing. You either need to say there are TWO irrational phenomena - the 'religion' of he Pope and the opposite 'religion' of the founder - but then they may not have much in common as they are opposites.

Or else you focus on one. Saying they are the same thing is not really a very serious way of debating. It's ok if you're Wormhole or NoahJ but if you want to make a point....

Quote:
Heh, it's actually quite funny how much of a nerve I have appeared to struck with you on this atheism thing, sego.

In a way you have. I would respond exactly the same if we had Fundie Xians coming on here with Manifestos or sermons. Strangely (luckily) they don't do it. Which is odd given your contention religion is so rife.

If we did a straw poll - and I've monitored this - atheists have done far more thread starting on their 'theme' than any fundie here. But I don't make a distinction between the two.

So, yes, fundie-ist irrationality hits a nerve.... "I am down on fundys and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled"

Quote:
And I've said again and again and again, atheism doesn't preclude irrationality in other areas. Atheism doesn't ensure rationality in other areas. Atheism is simply the rational approach to the big questions that religions bullshit answers to.

It doesn't ensure rationality at all. In a way, much like religion, it is a product of irrationality.

That's all I'm saying.

Quote:
I denounce killing, period. I am against the death penalty, preemptive or otherwise. Self defense or defense of others from immediate harm are the only justifiable reasons. If Sam Harris truly believes what you say he does, I disagree with that point of view. That doesn't suddenly make atheism any less rational. That makes Sam Harris less rational. Capiche?

Yes....but it's ducks in a row isn't it? I AGREE with you about Popes and fundies and all the rest of them so we can put them in Room 101.

Now we have Harris out of the way he can go in there too - with Wormhole for company.

Let's do Dawkins...or better still Hitchens.....you set 'em up...I'll show you the irrationalists.

Eventually it'll be just me, you and Tonton left standing so we'll have to find something else to talk about.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #17 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Oh, and for shits and giggles:


It's kind of not so funny but I get the point.

As you know I was brought up by fundies and a lot of it is not so funny. I saw an exorcism once when I was about 8...a woman was getting dragged around by her hair. I knew her well. She escaped the house and slashed her wrists on the window of a telephone box outside which she smashed with her shoe screaming all the time.

And I've seen much worse than that. You don't need to tell me about the dangers of irrational belief but also I know it is not religion either.

Not that this makes 'religion' good per se but there are very few religions that you could argue actually ALLOW violence.

If you wanted to debate it I think you'd be down to Islam, Judaism and perhaps the strand of Buddhism followed by the Dalai Lama.

We could debate those but it would have to be serious... and based in the Scriptural textual statements of the religion and most atheists don't dig this deep or want to.

The fact is though that any tribe or community that becomes 'exclusive' will become violent under certain circumstances when meeting the 'other' not of their tribe. Witness football hooligans.

There's nothing 'belief-based' about it.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #18 of 33
I'd like to see all organized religions go the way of the other extinct myths that came before them. I'd like to see the "spiritual but not religious" crowd look at the universe a bit more objectively and stop pretending that they are somehow privileged to more information than everyone else. I'd like to see pointless depictions of god disappear as well...god is a tree, god is the air we breathe...god is everything...The word "god" carries some pretty heavy baggage. Why attach that to such wonderful things that exist in the cosmos?

And once again, Sego, I must profoundly disagree with your view of atheism. It doesn't stem from irrationality. It's quite literally the opposite. It stems from a refusal to bow down to irrationality when irrationality would be far easier, far more comforting.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

I'd like to see all organized religions go the way of the other extinct myths that came before them. I'd like to see the "spiritual but not religious" crowd look at the universe a bit more objectively and stop pretending that they are somehow privileged to more information than everyone else. I'd like to see pointless depictions of god disappear as well...god is a tree, god is the air we breathe...god is everything...The word "god" carries some pretty heavy baggage. Why attach that to such wonderful things that exist in the cosmos?

And once again, Sego, I must profoundly disagree with your view of atheism. It doesn't stem from irrationality. It's quite literally the opposite. It stems from a refusal to bow down to irrationality when irrationality would be far easier, far more comforting.

Fine.

I'd like to see militant atheists and any other idiotic fundie go the way that these idiots have never gone and which is why the world is so fucked up.

You see the bottom line is that if you or other atheists did not actually push your agenda then you'd never know people like me exist - and that's how it should be.

I've got literally nothing to say unless I hear some bs that needs to be addressed.

Whether that is from atheist nuts or religious nuts is all the same to me. Just another loon telling me they have 'The Truth' and what they want should happen. Like you did above...in your first sentence.

I'm surprised you can't see it. But I guess it is not surprising - there is something in the system underpinning atheism and religiosity that blinds people to other options.

I think you would be freer if you developed yourself and expanded your view but the difference between you and me is that I am not telling you there is any reason why you should or that it would be better or even RIGHT.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #20 of 33
Thread Starter 
meant to say the following but got off on a tangent:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

I'd like to see all organized religions go the way of the other extinct myths that came before them.

Why?

Why is it not enough for you to quietly believe what you believe? Or know what you know if you prefer?

Quote:
I'd like to see the "spiritual but not religious" crowd look at the universe a bit more objectively and stop pretending that they are somehow privileged to more information than everyone else.

Which crowd? Who are they?

Every believer of every religion? Can you be more specific?

Are all religions the same in this regard?

Quote:
I'd like to see pointless depictions of god disappear as well...god is a tree, god is the air we breathe...god is everything...The word "god" carries some pretty heavy baggage. Why attach that to such wonderful things that exist in the cosmos?

Why not?

How do you know what I feel when I see the universe? Or what the Pope does? Or what Dawkins does?

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And once again, Sego, I must profoundly disagree with your view of atheism. It doesn't stem from irrationality. It's quite literally the opposite. It stems from a refusal to bow down to irrationality when irrationality would be far easier, far more comforting.

It may not STEM from that but its proponents make it that.

Just like religion actually - which is the point I have made 1001 times and you have not yet addressed.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #21 of 33
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Originally Posted by segovius View Post

You say that religion is the cause of war etc. Fine. Then you say Pope is representative of religion..problem.

Religion to me is the teaching of the founder. The Pope is the opposite of this in his religious case.

How can you honestly say the Pope, the leader of the largest religious sect in the world, is not representative of religion. He practically defines religion for millions and "represents" religion for millions more.

Religion is not the teaching of the "founder", religion is the organization of resources around maintaining a cleric class. Even the less gilded religions require some resources to maintain their temples, books, and whatever. They have constructed elaborate donation rituals to ensure their clergy are always well looked after.

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Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Why?

Why is it not enough for you to quietly believe what you believe? Or know what you know if you prefer?

I'm not speaking for BR here, but personally every time I see a huge church I see a waste of time, space, money, and energy, and it makes me sad. To think of 1,000 deluded people sitting in an expensive hall wishing for eternal life or whatever.

There is no god, and any resources spent maintaining the religious machinery is simply wasted. I don't begrudge people to do what they want with their own resources but in my eyes building temples, churches etc. is the same as throwing away perfectly good food in front of starving people.
post #22 of 33
Thread Starter 
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Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

How can you honestly say the Pope, the leader of the largest religious sect in the world, is not representative of religion. He practically defines religion for millions and "represents" religion for millions more.

How can I honestly say it?

It's quite easy...all you need is a passing acquaintance with Christian theology.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #23 of 33
I'm afraid I'm not following your logic...

The pope is the leader of the largest religous sect in the world, over a billion members.

Furthermore, the catholic church is a denomination of the christian religion to which you claim a passing acquaintance.

So, you think the leader of the largest denomination of the largest religion in the world is not representative of religion in general?

What exactly do you mean when you say "representative"?
post #24 of 33
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Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Hi Trump, thanks for understanding what I was getting at. Actually you have hit the nail on the head and said it much better than I did.

I shouldn't have gone into the right-wing stuff you're right...I just could not resist it as it was such an open goal but it was probably a bit lame. It does detract I think because it is not the point.

I snipped a bit of your comments for space there but want to pick up from your general gist.

The reason I think one can take the structure away from atheism is exactly what you say: the stories don't have to be true (except that atheists and religious literalists claim they are MEANT to be understood literally) and it really doesn't matter.

I was thinking about this the other night watching the world cup. Argentina was playing and the commentator was saying how good Messi is and what an inspiration he is to kids wanting to play.

I live in Barcelona as you know and he is a God here - all kids want to be him and they are always playing football in the streets shouting "Messi!!!!!!!" when they score.

I was thinking how useful it is to have such a role-model if you aspire to some sort of greatness in sport (or anything). Some of those kids MAY grow up and be great players. They MAY play for Barca. It's possible and if they do then it will be because of their inspiration by Messi (or whoever).

I was thinking then that if Messi did not exist, if all the Barca players were crap, then it would be harder for those kids. They might still do it but it might be more of a struggle. maybe they'd do something else.

So in short, if Messi did not exist it might be necessary for this purpose to invent an equivalent. Or project the qualities you want on to someone. In this case, arguments about whether it was 'true' or 'proof' that 'Messi' does not exist would be missing the point.

That's how I see religion.... it's a method of making oneself better. Where it gets into 'absolutes' it tends to fail. I personally think change can only come on an individual level and that no 'changing the world' is possible or desirable. We each have our own goals and it's up to us to develop ourselves and achieve them if we want.

Conceptions of God can do this. So can Atheism....it really does not matter if it's true (though it may or may not be but that's a completely different area and dos not overlap imo) it's like using apples in learning to count.....you get told "2 apples plus 2 apples is four" and when you've grasped the concept you can move on.

Luckily, in education no-one storms in shouting "prove to me these apples exist!! Where are these apples - you do not have any".

So, to me, if atheism makes you develop and reach deeper understanding of the human condition and puts you in harmony with your fellow beings then fine..is 100% the correct path and no need for another. Same with religion or sex or anything at all.

If any of those things make you want to hate and kill or proclaim "the absolute truth" or 'convert' people to your view rather than allowing them to follow their own, then this is a sign there's a problem imo.

Well basically it sounds like you are talking about scaffolding. Sure we can all stand alone later but when we are being made, or building ourselves up, or perhaps just because we are young and inexperienced or innocent, we need something to help hold us up and build us up.

I can relate to that and it is a pretty good teaching tool that I use often. I still often play a game with the kids where I will pick a trait and show someone who has that trait who is famous and is still successful. Stuttering, James Earl Jones, Thick Accent, Arnold Swarchenegger, Single Mom, Barack Obama, etc.

Now as you note when needing this scaffolding, it often cannot be subjected to everything real life has to endure. Scaffolding is not a building. It does not stand alone. When I was younger (note how I'm implying I'm still young) I read several books on Louie Armstrong because I was an aspiring trumpet play at that time. The young adult versions of his life were of course pretty sanitized and full of tails of him overcoming all sorts of adversity via his playing. They didn't mention daily weed use or outlasting five wives. I wouldn't have needed such things as a kid.

I can also share that as a teacher, I gladly and easily hold up Barack Obama as a role model. My policy disagreements with him aren't the concern of a nine year old from their current perspective. He is a educated, family man who conducts himself well from all appearances. I'm not going to be telling them he dabble with harder drugs. They can figure that out for themselves when they are older. For now they need scaffolding and I'm more than willing to use him to help them believe they can improve themselves.

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Originally Posted by BR View Post

There is no institution of atheism. There cannot be an inquisition. How about we focus on the very, very real threats and very, very real deaths tallied every day by organized religion?

There are institutions of atheism because there are nation/state models where atheism is required. These models have been almost exclusively communist and when those governments have been in effect, religion has largely been banned and dissenters from have been punished.

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Originally Posted by BR View Post

I'd like to see all organized religions go the way of the other extinct myths that came before them. I'd like to see the "spiritual but not religious" crowd look at the universe a bit more objectively and stop pretending that they are somehow privileged to more information than everyone else. I'd like to see pointless depictions of god disappear as well...god is a tree, god is the air we breathe...god is everything...The word "god" carries some pretty heavy baggage. Why attach that to such wonderful things that exist in the cosmos?

You can like to see it all you want but the people you are pointing to don't "like to see it" but rather are issuing manifestos declaring their intolerance of it and the need to force atheism onto others to help humankind arrive at the nirvana that will only arrive once god and religion are gone.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #25 of 33
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Originally Posted by BR View Post

There is no institution of atheism. There cannot be an inquisition. How about we focus on the very, very real threats and very, very real deaths tallied every day by organized religion?

Thank you!

Religion is imprisonment of the mind.
There were many religions before the ones we have now and the current ones are changing mildly to attempt to fit our current lives and get some of those tax free donations. This alone is a huge argument against the existence of a supreme being of any kind. If the word of god is so adaptable than god is more of a pundit than a real force.

Murdering abortion docs is religious violence.

Domestic violence happens almost exclusively in religious homes.

Women's rights as well as human rights are supressed by religious people.

Mass suicides are committed by religious sects.

Mass murders are committed by religious sects.
yes I want oil genocide.
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yes I want oil genocide.
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post #26 of 33
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Originally Posted by segovius View Post

How can I honestly say it?

It's quite easy...all you need is a passing acquaintance with Christian theology.

Firstly, the Pope is absolutely more "representative" of religion than the "message" of Jesus Christ. How could he possibly not be?

A message is not a religion. When you get people organising on the basis of the message: that's a religion. We had a Jesus for 33 years. We've had a Pope for 1977 years.

Do you think Isa ben Yosef of Nazareth meant "When I die I want the holiest person on earth to be a succession of vastly wealthy men who live in a palace in Italy, some of whom will be murderers, and syphilitics, others of whom will commit incest"? Do you think he wanted missionaries to be burning down Celtic and Romano-Celtic temples in England and France a dozen generations after his death and converting Scandinavians and Scots by massacre? And taking possession of Brazil and Cuba in his name, and committing genocide there and in Southern Africa?

Jesus brought a philosophy. He had nothing to do with the religion that was founded in his name, in which his teachings were discarded.

Secondly, the entire premise of this thread is so absurdly reductive as to be useless. It does not even pretend to account for the political and cultural contexts in which majority atheism is produced.

Nigeria is the most religious (Christian) country I've ever visited, with a church on every block, and even the news on TV finished with a prayer. It is also the biggest, most violent shit hole I've ever had to endure.

Japan and Norway are the most civilised, safest places I've ever been to, as well as the most godless. I wouldn't pretend to be able to discuss why, but I absolutely wouldn't simply put it down to the relative lack of religion.

Finally, "religion" and "Christianity" are not the same thing. There are many religions, and in the absolute, total lack of definitive evidence that a God even exists, all of them have an equally secure claim to the truth.
post #27 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumbo Jumbo View Post

Firstly, the Pope is absolutely more "representative" of religion than the "message" of Jesus Christ. How could he possibly not be?

<-- SNIP -->

Finally, "religion" and "Christianity" are not the same thing. There are many religions, and in the absolute, total lack of definitive evidence that a God even exists, all of them have an equally secure claim to the truth.

This is exactly what I have been saying and I am glad someone has finally cottoned on to it.

When an atheist says 'religion' I am assuming they are are referring to BOTH these things:

a) The Teaching of the Founder - JC or whoever
b) The Teaching of the Churches and other institutions.

As you have said - and I agree and have been saying for post after post - these two things are not the same.

So if atheists when they say 'religion' mean B - I agree...I am totally with you.

If atheists mean A - then I disagree, would ask for evidence not related at all to B and would also ask "what about the excess of B?"

If atheists mean both - then I'd have to say that is irrational if one puts both as being subjected to the same criticism as - as you have conceded - they are two different and opposite things.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #28 of 33
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Originally Posted by segovius View Post

This is exactly what I have been saying and I am glad someone has finally cottoned on to it.

What?

Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

When an atheist says 'religion' I am assuming they are are referring to BOTH these things:

a) The Teaching of the Founder - JC or whoever
b) The Teaching of the Churches and other institutions.

If atheists mean both - then I'd have to say that is irrational if one puts both as being subjected to the same criticism as - as you have conceded - they are two different and opposite things.

.



I haven't "conceded" anything by stating the obvious.

JHW and his son Isa ben-Joseph and Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah and Olodumare and Baal and Xo and Mat and Ra and Jupiter are all equally as divine.

And the Pope is far more "representative" of religion than Jesus.

Because Jesus never ordered anyone to be killed, or lived in a palace, or slept with his sister, or ordered a continent to war, or pardoned massacres, or sold salvation for land, and so on.
post #29 of 33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumbo Jumbo View Post

What?





I haven't "conceded" anything by stating the obvious.

JHW and his son Isa ben-Joseph and Muhammad ibn Abdullah and Olodumare and Baal and Xo and Mat and Ra and Jupiter are all equally as divine.

And the Pope is far more "representative" of religion than Jesus.

Because Jesus never ordered anyone to be killed, or lived in a palace, or slept with his sister, or ordered a continent to war, or pardoned massacres, or sold salvation for land, and so on.

Ok..it's worse than I thought.

Note to self: even if an atheist seems to be making a rational point....DON'T RECOGNIZE IT....
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #30 of 33
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Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Ok..it's worse than I thought.

Note to self: even if an atheist seems to be making a rational point....DON'T RECOGNIZE IT....

In the vein of your own humor, perhaps they aren't atheists but religious zealots so extreme they even killed God on their way to killing everyone else who disagrees with them.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #31 of 33
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Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Ok..it's worse than I thought.

Note to self: even if an atheist seems to be making a rational point....DON'T RECOGNIZE IT....

Sorry if I've misunderstood something. Seriously. Don't quite get what just happened.
post #32 of 33
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Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Land. Politics. Racism.



Absolutely. Pope = utter scumbag wanker.

No argument from me about his nature. He's worse than Harris in my book.

My argument is more about what you call religion.

You say that religion is the cause of war etc. Fine. Then you say Pope is representative of religion..problem.

Religion to me is the teaching of the founder. The Pope is the opposite of this in his religious case.

So that needs addressing. You either need to say there are TWO irrational phenomena - the 'religion' of he Pope and the opposite 'religion' of the founder - but then they may not have much in common as they are opposites.

Or else you focus on one. Saying they are the same thing is not really a very serious way of debating. It's ok if you're Wormhole or NoahJ but if you want to make a point....

I am really feeling the love around here, my name keeps popping up as a reference point. Please try not to speak for me or my beliefs.

The two things you are speaking of are not the same thing and they have not been for a long long time... As for the rest, enjoy your pointless argument from your ridiculous premise. Are people involved with the beliefs? If so then some idiot can and will screw it up and we can all point and try to say that because of that the whole thing is crap. Does it make it crap? No, but we will all feel better when we say it... Athiests do not hold any special moral high ground, nor do Christians, Xians, Muslims, or Buddhists (or insert your religion here). People are responsible to do what they are here to do. You have to figure that out and do it. Life is the journey, and some people try to use religion as a map. Others try to tell those who follow their map what it is that their map says and how they are reading it wrong, even if they have not seen the actual map they are following. Or the particular light they are reading it under. Or the point they are following it from.

Have a wonderful day otherwise.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #33 of 33
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Originally Posted by Mumbo Jumbo View Post

Sorry if I've misunderstood something. Seriously. Don't quite get what just happened.

Get used to it. The only one here who knows anything about all the worlds religions is Sego, and if you don't follow that, you are obviously lost... However, he cannot seem to have a conversation with people that would actually draw them to his POV, they have to be dragged, kicking and screaming for their best interest. And if they can be put down and patronized along the way, mores the better. That is what leads me to believe that his is quite hypocritical in much of what he states. Keep it up, you too can be a poster child for something you don't actually believe.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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