Americas Culture Wars: The Rationalists Finally Fight Back!

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by AndyPipkin, Jan 4, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    I can't get a link for some reason. Post?
  2. and then there are various discussion points, comments etc afterwards...

    wouldnt be before time that an 'age of enlightenment' penetrated the US interior... But I will believe when I see it, the *bile belt is still pulled way too tight to let the trousers of outdated religious superstition fall down.

    EDIT:- *upon reading my post I was going to correct the spelling to 'bible belt', which is what I wished to write/type - but think I will leave it as is, equates to much the same after all.
  3. Because of course atheism has done wonders for the world. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung...

    It's been done a few times on ARRSE I know.

    How Dawkins etc can argue against organised religion is interesting because ATHEISM IS ITSELF A BELIEF SYSTEM. It is based on certain UNPROVABLE BELIEFS about humanity, the world and the nature and meaning of being, life etc. that the believer holds to be true and structures the rest of his beliefs around.
  4. I think you'll find Hitler had a very strong believe in god. 'Gott Mit Uns' on the belt buckles etc.

    Also Aethism is a lack of believe in gods (any gods) and not a believe system at all. Please show me the equivalent of the Bible for aetheists (and not a New York time best seller book please).

    One of the most worrying pieces of TV I have sen recently was the episode of 28 days (from Morgan Sherlock, the Supersize me guy), where a US aetheist went to live with a Christian family.

    On the whole the family were what I expected (God fearing, focussed on love thy neighbour etc), but the bit that really worried me was that they (or at least the husband) could not conceive how a person could be good, and not believe in God.

    Personnally I don't need a God to do right by my neighbour, and the Bible (to me) is just an instruction book telling people how to live a good, social life, backed up by the threat of an imaginary being how'll punish you if you don't. I believe I dont need parent figure, threatening me, to make me do the right things in life, I grew up a long time ago!
  5. I disagree. Crazy_FOO is correct in that atheism is an active belief in the non-exsitence of a deity or deities. It is based on abscence of proof, which is not in itself proof of abscence, and one would think that scientists in particular would spot that logical inconsistency.

    The lack of belief in gods is agnosticism, which is ipso facto also a lack of belief in the non-existence of gods. That's my point of view because I neither know the answer nor care to speculate on it. Atheists have as much faith in thier unprovable world view as religious people do.
  6. I think you will find that most people who call themselves "atheist" are actually agnostic, since the vast majority would change their view in an instant were this to appear in the sky:


    However, since this is incredibly unlikely, we "atheists" don't really need to worry about it.
  7. No it's not. Athiesm is not a belief system. It is a system aimed at allowing everyone to think for themselves critically about life the universe and everything, and in doing so give them the analytical tools to come to their own conclusion.

    Compare and contrast to the major religions, where followers are not encouraged to think critically about what they are being told, instead they are asked to believe in miracles.

    And if that scares the pants off anyone, then they should be ashamed of themselves.

    It's based upon the assertion that without empirical evidence, then a theory is just that, a theory.
  8. I had this argument with someone late last year. Most atheists and scientists, follow a system where by they require empirical evidence before they actually believe in something. They may suspect something but this is only a theory (known as a hypothesis), and is not given scientific validity until proven by the afore mentioned evidence.

    In essence, they don't believe in something until it's existence is proven.

    Compare and contrast this to religious beliefs that are based upon a willingness to believe in something (an all powerful being who built the world, and has control over our lives) before they have an any empirical evidence of its existence.

    In essence, they believe in something before they get proof, and conversely don't believe that something does not exist, until it can be absolutely proven.

    Now tell me which set of views is the most contrived and open to 'interpretation'??? :wink:
  9. Also the root of both words gives the meaning:

    A good definition can be found here: , basically means without god, in the same way that asexual means without sex.

    Agnostic means without knowledge, and also has a good definition in Wiki.

    Whichever way you slice it atheists follow no belief system. In the broadest sense Buddists can be classed as atheists as they do not believe in a diety.

    So there are 2 groups of people in the world those who believe in a god, or many gods, and those who do not believe in god (s).

    Agnostics just haven't had god proven yet!!
  10. They may be willing to apply that principle to scientific matters, but they (or at least the most strident atheists like Dawkins and Harris) don’t seem willing to apply it to matters of religious faith or the lack thereof. In this case they do not simply not believe in a thing which has not been and cannot be proven to be true (which would be logical), but they actively disbelieve in a thing which has not been and cannot be proven to be false (which is not logical).

    For instance, Dawkins' book “The God Delusion” makes the argument that religious belief is a delusion because god does not exist. An application of the scientific method would lead to the conclusion that religious belief might be a delusion because god might not exist. Dawkins takes his argument beyond agnosticism, which is a neutral lack of belief, into atheism, which is a disbelief.

    Disbelief in something is the antithesis of belief in that thing. Non-belief is neither, and it is the logical position to take when presented with a hypothesis that can neither be proved nor disproved.

    Personally, I have no more problem with atheism than I have with monotheism or polytheism. What I do have a problem with is the arrogance of anybody who tries to tell me that I should subscribe to their view of something which is not provable one way or the other, particularly when their belief or disbelief is based solely on the fact that their opponents can’t provide evidence to gainsay them. The proselytising of Dawkins, Harris et al is no different to the proselytising of Evangelical Christians.

    I suspect that the attitude of stridently atheist scientists is their unwillingness to admit that there are some questions that simply can’t be answered by science. When faced with unanswerable questions they refuse to accept that other people’s speculation is as valid or invalid as their own.

    They get as wound up about religion as any Muslim or Christian fundamentalist. As an agnostic, I find their attitude both illogical and amusing. Personally, I neither know nor care who’s right.
  12. Look,
    The fact of the matter is, the world is made up of two kinds of people.
    There are those people who think the world is made up of two kinds of people and there are those people who don't.

    yeah alright I'll get my coat.
  13. The Christian , Hebrew and Islamic definition of God is so different from the tribal or far eastern religions it is almost impossible to compare the two concepts.

    An Indian Hindu I used to work with tried to explain this to me but I was too ignorant to listen properly.

    Personally I like the idea of the mother nature view/opinion.

    The world and everything in /on it is one big entity.

    The more we respect or look after the planet the better our lives will be.

    It's a shame if true , we are all fcuked.
  14. As a scientist and na athieist (agnostic if you like) I ask you can we please not go on about Richard bloody Dawkins. He is just as fanatical and closed minded as any God botherer you care to think of.

    His books are dull and shallow and show no humanity what so ever. All of the the things he camplains about thiestist doing for God he does himself fo rhis beliefs.

    He gave a talk at my uni years ago when after I had finnished studying. A bigger hypocrite you are not likely to meet. All of this talk about him just fuels his already huge ego.