For starters, I’m an agnostic (pretty close to atheist), I don’t really have any thoughts on whether a God exists or not. I do however, have some thoughts on how this…”battle” between Atheism and Religion seems to be shaping out. I have many friends who are both atheist and religious, but almost all of them believe what they believe because they have researched their beliefs (to one degree or another) and have a decently solid basis for it. Now, it’s a well-known fact that most people are religious because their parents were, and they grew up with religion. With atheists, it’s quite a different story. Let me get to the point…
It saddens me to say this, but it seems like more and more atheists, especially internet atheists, are simply “converting” to atheism either because they hate religion (most notably Christianity) or are attracted by a lifestyle where the only rules of morality are the ones they themselves create. Whether they actually believe what they say they do, (or rather, disbelieve), is an issue that is put on the backburner. I feel that many of modern atheists simply accept disbelief of God on the basis of simple arguments, all too willingly, motivated mostly by their desire to be “free” of religion and its “restraints”. This growing propensity seems to be bolstered by the fact that many atheists (especially those on the internet (i.e. r/atheism) will openly support religions like Satanism, if only to piss of Christians. As I wandered from one atheist internet forum to another, I didn’t see any intellectual threads talking about something of value, such as “Why I choose to believe/disbelieve.” Instead, I saw scores and scores of threads discussing such topics as “The War on Christmas” and “The ignorance of Christians” and of course, the textbook “THINK OF THE HOMOSEXUALS” (Boo fucking hoo).
This trend has grown to such a degree that, to many people, atheism doesn’t mean “disbelief in God” or “disbelief in religion” anymore, as it should, but more markedly, “anti-religion”. People have literally come to equate atheism with liberalism, where the only form of morality is the Golden Rule and anything that is related to religion in anyway is evil. People have come to believe that being an atheist is simply giving yourself a license to do whatever you want (similar to the video below)
Nothing could be farther from the truth. As I said before, I am an agnostic with atheistic tendencies. However, I do not condone drinking, drugs, fornication, cursing, or (and I don’t care if this offends anyone) the practice of homosexuality. I condemn these things on a scientific basis. Jared Taylor, one of the foremost advocates of the far-right community, and a staunch atheist himself, holds the same set of moral (or as I call them, efficient) values.
I sincerely believe that this growing delusion that atheism = liberalism, that atheism = license, or that atheism = freedom (from more than just religion) flies in the face of the facts. Again, more and more people seem to be becoming atheists simply because they downright despise religion or are attracted by the idea of a life without any rules, where they can be “chill” and “nice” to everyone. This growing fad has left the atheist community with a shortage of real intellectuals who seek truth rather than license, and leaves us instead with the rabid, seething masses of ignorance, such as the kind that breeds at r/atheism. “I WANT TO DO WHAT I WANT WITH MY BODY, BREAK THE CHAINS OF STUPID RELIGION, FREE THE SEXUALLY AND THE PHYSICALLY REPRESSED, DOWN WITH THE OLIGARCHY” This is not atheism, this is barbarism and primitive, devolved man, seeking to gratify base desires and drag down society with him and using atheism/relativism as a shield to deflect all criticism and attack opponents with impunity.
That being said, I feel that atheism is being abused in modern society, our community has become starved for real intellectuals and filled to the brim with neck-bearded anti-religious whack jobs seeking to gain a vantage point so that they can unload their vengeance upon society for “holding them back”. And frankly, I’m tired of it.
Science belonged to the Aristotelian family for centuries. With quantum mechanics, we are learning that down on that level it's more like Plato's Cave. Things on the life of day-to-day perception are not exactly what they seem and reflect a more real reality we don't directly perceive.
Atomic theory was formulated first in the West by Democritus, a philosopher much closer to the time of Jesus than any of the 20th Century physicists. Atomic theory also appeared in Indian philosophy long before it was taken seriously in the West.
Actually you understate Democritus. Jesus is closer to us than Democtritus is (in time) and can't help being so, because Democritus preceded him.
His speculation on atoms can't really be considered scientific, however, as it was untestable, there was no way even in principle to show whether or not he was right or wrong. (A solid theory implies things that if true, will show the theory to be wrong. Rabbits in the Precambrian!) It was, rather, quite speculative as just about anything the Greek "natural philosophers" said. Their main contribution was something different, and very, very important, more so than would be showing atoms existed: positing that the world could be apprehended via reason and that it could be explained naturalistically.
We're being a little technical aren't we? There is another sense of "closer to" in which Democritus is closer to Jesus than us, by which I mean (without checking to be precise) Democritus is within a few hundred years of Jesus but more than two thousand years from us.
Of course Democritus was being speculative, much as scientists today speculate about things as yet untestable such as multiple dimensions or the possibility of traveling through (or even the existence of) wormholes.
What discovery even means is ambiguous. If the Vikings landed on the Americas before Columbus, did they discover the Americas or not? Yes or no. Yes, by simply landing here; no because they had no idea what they had discovered, whereas Columbus and the following European explorers did. (They did in the sense that they realized shortly enough that they hadn't reached India. The Vikings understood they had found a new place. That's all.)
I think ambiguity is underrated.
should we all commit suicide today and if not, why not?
"Should" is a matter of perspective.
Too many unsupportable positions.
The view that morality comes from the bible is unsupportable, as is the idea that the bible's morals are objective in the first place...and somehow different from the subjective morality actually practiced in real life.
There is ZERO scientific evidence against homosexuality for example.
A simpleton might scratch his head and conclude that two of the same sex would not reproduce, and the species would go extinct.
A smarter person would do some research, and see that it occurs across the animal kingdom....and is 100% natural....AND advantageous for the species. (Which is WHY we inherit the trait, to help the species survive. Strictly heterosexual species went extinct when it proved their undoing)
There are even OTHER examples in nature where reproduction is limited, for the good of the species.
Why are there grand parents and great grandparents? They don't breed either...but, they do help raise the young, gather food, defend the nest, etc.
Why does only one male, or for some species, female, mate, and the others don't? Same reason...the entire troop/clan/pack helps ensure survival of the ONE breeding pair's offspring.
When resources are limited, the birth rates are lower, and the homosexuality rate increases...we and the other animals evolved to not overpopulate the area in that way.
Its mostly a genetic predisposition...with some environmental influences. Some inherited the genes that switch it on in the womb for example...and if switched on, the critter likes the same sex more.
So, if you see those who essentially are simply the religion that they were raised with "As having intellectually evaluated the evidence" equivalent to those raised one way, but evaluating the evidence and NOT simply being what they were raised as...you are probably not very good at evaluating evidence.
If you think that a person who is incredulous that there are supernatural beings, as meaning anything except that they are a person who is incredulous that there are supernatural beings, you are on unsupported ground.
That's all atheism means.
Whether a person has neck hair or not has nothing to do with anything...as I know Jesus freaks with neck hair too, etc.
People believe what they believe, and feel what they feel, and, are who they are.
You, artificially assuming that anyone who doesn't believe in supernatural beings is ALSO pretending to do so, because they need an excuse...is ludicrous.
An excuse to who?
It sounds more like the christians who say to atheists, you just don't want to be moral, so you pretend there's no god!
Morality is subjective...even in the bible. That DOESN'T mean "Anything goes". It means that there are no objective morals in the bible, they are all subjective.
How do you know for example, when reading the bible, if its ok to stone a woman for losing her virginity, or to have the village murder a child for being disrespectful to his parents?
God says, thou shalt not kill...but, cops, soldiers, etc, well, it can be part of their job, and a soldier protecting his country, or a cop shooting a terrorist as he tries to kill people at the Mall, is EXPECTED to kill the bad guys, and not immoral.
When you read it, you, yourself, know right from wrong...and, that "it depends".
You then interpret the bible, in that light, knowing when to ignore it, and when to say, yeah, that sounds right, etc.
You don't NEED THE BIBLE for that, as YOU already know what's moral, and what's not...or at least feel that you do, and act accordingly anyway.
So, YOU feel that something that IS natural is not, and, because YOU chose that interpretation, to YOU, that's part of what YOU feel is right and wrong.
Icky is not the same as morally wrong.
Dolphins sometimes use their blowholes to pleasure their homosexual partners for example, and, frankly, I think its gross...but not morally an issue at all.
Its not WRONG, just icky. (If dolphins were fish, I would have said ichy...)
You, you seem to think its wrong, and, as YOUR subjective interpretation of the bible is that it IS wrong...that's simply your opinion.
Its not in anyway shape or fashion supported by science, as you incorrectly claim though.
I like the way you think TJ........Well said, thanks for explaining all of that so well....It actually makes sense.......I will look forward to your future postings...
Dolphins sometimes use their blowholes to pleasure their homosexual partners for example[...]
No way?! I always wondered about the etymology of "blow" in that term. (I almost said entymology, but that would be taking the visualization too far.)
Gotta get me back to Sea World again...
I agree that atheism and liberalism are becoming very intertwined. I am an atheist but I am not a liberal. I have to say though, some of your arguments sound pretty Christian to me.
People "converting" to atheism? Nothing to convert to. When you stopped believing in Santa Clause, you didn't convert to anything did you?
Or the "you just want to sin" argument. I mean seriously, you are using all the tired old Christian arguments.
As far as all of those behaviors that you condemn, say you condemn them on moral grounds but don't say you have scientific reasons for doing so.
You don't seem to understand what atheism is or the fact that the scientific method is used to gain knowledge, not judge other people's life styles.
Atheism and liberalism don't intertwine. Liberalism is an answer to questions on how society should function. Atheism is the rejection of the religious peoples answer to whether a supernatural dictator is in charge. They are two very different classes of questions (not to mention one is a collection of statements while the latter is the rejection of one statement).
Atheists in communist Vietnam aren't comparable with Scandinavian atheist who aren't comparable with Alabama atheists etc...and even within these groups nindividuals have widely differing viewsnon political and social questions. Often when Americans talk about atheism what they mean is religious people who now don't believe in God and who live in an intolerant environment towards atheists. That represents a fraction of the worlds atheists. When they speak of liberalism they mean American style progressivists and a lite amount of social security and a few more civil rights than non-liberals would care for.
What makes this theory of intertwining all the more difficult to defend is...liberalism in Alabama would seem utterly conservative to liberals in Denmark...while in China liberalism has nothing to do with social engineering.
Perhaps a large group of AngloSaxon people who are artists tend to be more to the left to the right (though I haven't seen any statistics that claim so) and that they tend to support a larger amount of social assistance in their respective countries (Icelandic social support being far more generous than what Kansas liberals would say is fair). Some american liberals would seriously disagree with the Belgian concept of minimum salary, radical affirmative action, religious schooling, minimal jail sentences, under-armed-laid-back police etc. which are equally defended by atheists and the religious.
Its hard to argue that being a liberal makes you an atheist or that not believing in god makes you a liberal. There are millions of liberals in the US who are religious and there are tons of Danish atheists who vote for the radical right wing parties.