NOTE: This thread does not flame against Atheism, but it does criticise it. It displays my definition of Atheism which seems to be not for the general public. If you can't deal with criticism towards Atheism you are in the wrong discussion.
Additionally the fear of extremism is directly linked to very seemingly possible distant futures NOT THE NEXT 2 YEARS.
First of all I would like to say I am mostly against all sorts of organized religions, but in fact I am agnostic. (meaning I dont admit defeat to any superpower untill there is enough evidence to support it)
In my opnion there is a big issue that does not tend to be adressed with religion in the right way. People always complain about how close minded religion really is and that most of their followers are just blindly pusuing the herd. Though how much "better" is atheism really?
Atheism is by my language's definition a religion itself. The translated definition of religion in German and Dutch state that a belief turns into a religion once the belief itself sets an definition of how the world works.
People think atheism is about the "we dont know" factor, but it is not. Atheism preeches the "We know YOU are wrong" factor.
I absolutely agree with the fact that atheism not being an organized religion (yet) gives it a higher level logical acceptance, but where is it going?
Atheism used to be the outcast lunatics hanged to death. Now there are groups forming all over the world with "logical leaders" behind it. I honestly think atheistm is goign in the same direction as all other religions are going right now. How far do you think you are of having atheism's jehovas whitnesses at your door? I have listened to my lesser educated/informed friends rampage about religion after having seen one biased documentary (Religulous). They were making statements such as, "I am gonna kill all those who believe in religion" etc. This is nothing more than atheist extremism. Even on this webiste it seems that some topics are purely places here ase a response to rage/anger against religious people.
This brings you to the discussion that should be here, maybe even istead of this entire website (not hating at the website, this place is great), "Are we too unintelligent?"
The reason people follow blindly what is set right infront of them is because they are uninformed and scared of complecated explanations that undermine the value of their own existence in this universe.
Religion is part of the problem, but education is in an infinitely worse state.
(Again I am not hating at atheism, as I am far more happy with it that even Buddism, but merely pointing out a more pressing issue. Next year Ill be attending univesity where I hope to find more who have brought themselves up to date with the real issues)
*EDIT: removed the word absolute from the definition of atheism, this is not correct.
I am mostly against all sorts of organized religions... People always complain about how close minded religion really is and that most of their followers are just blindly pusuing the herd. Though how much "better" is atheism really? Atheism is... a religion itself. Atheism preeches the "We know YOU are wrong" factor.
Your entire post wreaks of superiority and lumps atheists and religious fundamentalist theists together just as the comic states. You claim agnosticism but probably do not understand the meaning of the term. It's a common mistake. Most atheists are also agnostic. If you can't name a god you believe in, you are an atheist as well.
Your atheist friends talking about killing theists were just assholes. You will not find atheists like that here. In fact, aside from internet trolls, I've never come across an atheist like that in my 20+ years of open non belief.
Again read the entire post, I press the opinion i have about atheism several times. I prefer atheism over other religions by far. If you are ignorant to the increasing resemblence that atheism strikes with other religions than you are defending your beliefs like a real riligious person looking only at the one line that may be considered a rampage against your beliefs.
In relation to my friends I do not say they are extremist and would ever harm anyone, but the fact that they say this out of irritation suggests that in the not too distant future you might actually find a extremist atheism killing "believers" in the name of science.
I agree that momentarily atheism is by far in most logical ways the best option for people to be part of, but in the long run I merely am trying to show that it seems to be "going to the dark side" in many ways
If you are ignorant to the increasing resemblence that atheism strikes with other religions than you are defending your beliefs like a real riligious person looking only at the one line that may be considered a rampage against your beliefs.
I see no similarities between atheism and religion other than the fact that they both involve people. It's certainly possible some future emotional atheist extremist (someone who believes in God but calls himself atheist because he thinks God's an asshole) could kill anyone in the name of anything, but I don't see how anyone could brainwash an entire nation of freethinking skeptics into committing atrocities in the name of science. Religion and dogma have that market cornered, and you're not going to get a room full of skeptics to agree on anything.
You keep saying "your beliefs" implying atheists all have the same set of beliefs. Have you read ANY of the discussions here? We all have very different perspectives, morals, and lifestyles. Which of those beliefs do you claim I am defending? My lack of belief in unicorns, Santa, and God is not a set of beliefs.
I would like to add that if Jewelz hadn't posted that xkcd comic I was going to.
Kim, you are talking hyperbolic nonsense. Atheism is not a basis for any kind of belief system or world view. It is merely one result of thinking clearly and critically about how much credibility to attach to the assertions of others. It is a rejection of ideology. You will never see 'extremist atheism killing "believers" in the name of science' because the vast majority of people who become atheists do so because they value the freedom and protection of individuals over that of any ideology. There is no scientific or atheist dogma. Everything is questionable. Nothing is sacred. Science does not make decrees - people do. Some people may be better or worse than others at applying the scientific method but ultimately science is all about "keeping it real" by gradually, cumulatively, ruthlessly separating that which appears to be true from that which is demonstrably false.
Religions claim to have revealed truth. Religions discourage or forbid questioning or testing of doctrine. Science (and subsequently atheism) is all about judging degrees of certainty about claims and assertions based on evidence. Religions promote belief without regard for what is actually true. Science is a recognition that everything we think may be wrong, but we can asymptotically approach truth by doubting, testing and asking questions.
Hey, Kim -- you start out by describing yourself as an agnostic -- usually a reference to the individual's sense that we cannot know with absolute certainty whether a god-creature exists or not. Most atheists don't have that issue. They have looked at the Universe, have thought about it, thought about where we (the Universe) started (IF we even started at all), where we are and where we (again,as a Universe) are going -- and concluded that they pretty much DO know -- whatever the mechanism was, is and will be, it dos not involve a god-figure. No Big Daddy In The Sky.
Further, most atheists (can't speak for them all and I'm somewhat loathe to speak for any of them beyond myself -- it's not my right or place to do so) specifically do not see the world as you think we do. We haven't become atheists because we think it's better; we have become (or always were) atheists because we think it represents the Truth about the Universe. Our bottom line is a-theistic: a=no; theistim=god-belief. That's it. Nothing more than that. Everything else -- you have to talk to the individual. And that goes to the heart of your concern that atheists are or are becoming dogmatic. I don't think that's even remotely possible. Herding cats would be more possible and productive -- specifically because there is no core 'belief' other than the certainty/knowledge that whatever makes the Universe tick, it does not involve a god-creature.
I hope this helps a little...