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Old 1st March 2017, 06:55 PM   #361
Egg
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
...

If we are to consider The Effects of Atheism it is relevant to line it up beside The Effects of Theism and make a comparison.

How about it? Any nigglings of the conscience about stuff done by the Catholic Church in the past and more recently?
I think you're right that that's the reasonable comparison to make. However, your jump to the sins of the Catholic Church is problematic.

To get there, you have to add numerous other beliefs to mere theistic belief, as well as a human organization gaining and trying to hold onto political power.

At that point, for a reasonable comparison, we would need to look to an atheistic ideology/philosophy with the same kind of political power ambitions and struggles. Historically, they don't tend to measure up particularly well either.

I would propose that any effects of theism or atheism (in and of themselves) are negligible, but I'm open to a decent argument that position.
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Old 1st March 2017, 07:07 PM   #362
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Golly gosh, Mr. Norseman, I sure did not mean to make you mad at me.

You see, many people start their posts with so and then follow it with a blatant strawman so obvious that a few critical thinkers here adopted the shorthand rule of so rather than point out the obvious.

I have been well and duly chastised, and from now on will forsake the shorthand and instead spell out the blatant strawman as if explaining it to a child.

Gotta admit that it was pretty funny how people jumped on it when I started violating the rule.... That they claimed did not exist.

And of course The Big Dog your starting off with words like that completely destroys any impression that you are contrite.

Then you go on to infer you are talking to children!

All this from someone who wants others to show some sensitivity and not refer to his god as Skydaddy.
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Old 1st March 2017, 07:14 PM   #363
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
All this from someone who wants others to show some sensitivity and not refer to his god Heavenly Father as Skydaddy.
To be more correct
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Old 1st March 2017, 07:27 PM   #364
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
I think you're right that that's the reasonable comparison to make. However, your jump to the sins of the Catholic Church is problematic.

To get there, you have to add numerous other beliefs to mere theistic belief, as well as a human organization gaining and trying to hold onto political power.

At that point, for a reasonable comparison, we would need to look to an atheistic ideology/philosophy with the same kind of political power ambitions and struggles. Historically, they don't tend to measure up particularly well either.

I would propose that any effects of theism or atheism (in and of themselves) are negligible, but I'm open to a decent argument that position.

I must differ with you here.

For a start there is no "atheistic ideology/philosophy" and to say the effects of theism are negligible is a bit much. I can give a a long list if you like.
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Old 1st March 2017, 07:36 PM   #365
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
If we are to consider The Effects of Atheism it is relevant to line it up beside The Effects of Theism and make a comparison.
Theism, especially Christianity, seems to have been crucial in developing the scientific (see below) and moral (Judeo-Christian) foundations of Western societies. Not bad effects!

Blurb from Dr James Hannam's "God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundation of Modern Science" (2009):
The adjective 'medieval' is now a synonym for superstition and ignorance. Yet without the work of medieval scholars there could have been no Galileo, no Newton and no Scientific Revolution. In "God's Philosophers", James Hannam traces the neglected roots of modern science in the medieval world. He debunks many of the myths about the Middle Ages, showing that medieval people did not think the earth was flat, nor did Columbus 'prove' that it is a sphere. Contrary to common belief, the Inquisition burnt nobody for their science, nor was Copernicus afraid of persecution. No Pope tried to ban human dissection or the number zero. On the contrary, as Hannam reveals, the Middle Ages gave rise to staggering achievements in both science and technology: for instance, spectacles and the mechanical clock were both invented in thirteenth-century Europe. Ideas from the Far East, like printing, gunpowder and the compass, were taken further by Europeans than the Chinese had imagined possible. The compass helped Columbus to discover the New World in 1492 while printing allowed an incredible 20 million books to be produced in the first 50 years after Gutenberg published his Bible in 1455. And Hannam argues that scientific progress was often made thanks to, rather than in spite of, the influence of Christianity. Charting an epic journey through six centuries of history, "God's Philosophers" brings back to light the discoveries of neglected geniuses like John Buridan, Nicole Oresme and Thomas Bradwardine, as well as putting into context the contributions of more familiar figures like Roger Bacon, William of Ockham and St Thomas Aquinas. Besides being a thrilling history of a period of surprising invention and innovation, "God's Philosophers" reveals the debt modern science and technology owe to the supposedly 'dark' ages of medieval Europe.
Dr Hannam also wrote "The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution" (2011)
As a physicist and historian of science James Hannam shows in his brilliant new book, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, without the scholarship of the "barbaric" Middle Ages, modern science simply would not exist...

In The Genesis of Science you will discover:
  • Why the scientific accomplishments of the Middle Ages far surpassed those of the classical world;
  • How medieval craftsmen and scientists not only made discoveries of their own, but seized upon Eastern inventions--printing, gunpowder, and the compass--and improved them beyond the dreams of their originators;
  • How Galileo's notorious trial before the Inquisition was about politics, not science; and
  • Why the theology of the Catholic Church, far from being an impediment, led directly to the development of modern science.
Thanks, Medieval Christianity!

Last edited by GDon; 1st March 2017 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 1st March 2017, 08:03 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I must differ with you here.

For a start there is no "atheistic ideology/philosophy" and to say the effects of theism are negligible is a bit much. I can give a a long list if you like.
I believe you would also differ with Karl Marx on that. Maybe we have a different understanding of the concept here. You don't think an ideology or philosophy can be atheistic in nature or include atheism as a part of the philosophy?

I don't need a long list, but perhaps you could give one or two examples of what you would see as effects of plain theism?
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Old 1st March 2017, 10:59 PM   #367
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
I believe you would also differ with Karl Marx on that. Maybe we have a different understanding of the concept here. You don't think an ideology or philosophy can be atheistic in nature or include atheism as a part of the philosophy?

I don't need a long list, but perhaps you could give one or two examples of what you would see as effects of plain theism?

Karl Marx happened to be an atheist sure but his driving interest was political reform. There are lots of others who are atheists also but don't share his political views. Try again.

In the past:

The Crusades.
Spanish Inquisition.
Burning of witches.
Slavery in USA.

In the present:

Suicide bombers.
Denial of woman's rights.
Sharia law.
Persecution of homosexuals.
Stopping me from buying grog on Good Friday.

I'm sure others could add many more to the list as can I.
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Old 1st March 2017, 11:28 PM   #368
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Originally Posted by Slowvehicle View Post
"Entirely accurate"? Come on, arthwoliipot, you know better than that.

Be so kind (since TBD will not deign to do so) actual instances of "atheist proselytization" here on this forum.
Oh come on. You know and I know that it happens. Atheists - yes, in this thread - are attempting to convince a self-described Christian to change his beliefs. That's proselytisation. It's the whole point of this thread, and the other one. You're all piling on to this Christian and pushing your own interpretations of his religion. Why would you do that unless you wanted to change his mind?

It happens in every thread where a theist dares to raise his voice. And threads are created specifically to call the theists out.

This is the point where you quibble about the definition of "proselytisation". Proceed.

Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
I'm not gonna address the rest of the snipped concern trolling, but as to this part — I don't really understand the mindset. It's someone else's behavior, not mine; how can it possibly be a reflection on me and what I do or say or believe?
Actually, that is a good question. It has an effect because it stereotypes atheists. And every atheist is then affected by that stereotype. The public behaviour of a small group of people who identify as part of a particular group affects all people in that group, whether they like it or not. It's human nature. You may know some quite nice jocks, but jocks will always be loud, beer-drinking frat boys, and there's little that the nice jocks can do about it. Blondes are dumb, despite the presence of any number of intelligent blondes. I could go on giving examples, but I consider my point to have been made.

Unfortunately, the current popular stereotype of atheists is not a good one. You only need to step outside the atheist echo chamber to encounter it. Atheists are stereotyped as dickish in pretty much every circle of popular culture. And the atheists in this thread are directly perpetuating that stereotype by their dickish behaviour.

Personally, I don't like knowing that people think I'm a dick. I don't like that feeling. You, of course, may revel in it. I don't know. Some people think that being a dick is actually a positive trait. I disagree.
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Old 1st March 2017, 11:30 PM   #369
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
And what have we here. The oh so sensitive to believers arthwollipot being somewhat less than sensitive to a fellow atheist.
You're right - that was unworthy of me. I let my frustration get the better of my good sense. I apologise.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 04:00 AM   #370
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Oh come on. You know and I know that it happens. Atheists - yes, in this thread - are attempting to convince a self-described Christian to change his beliefs. That's proselytisation. It's the whole point of this thread, and the other one. You're all piling on to this Christian and pushing your own interpretations of his religion. Why would you do that unless you wanted to change his mind?

It happens in every thread where a theist dares to raise his voice. And threads are created specifically to call the theists out.

This is the point where you quibble about the definition of "proselytisation". Proceed.
After this bit of well-poisoning, why bother?

I will simply point out that you did not substantively respond to my request, and move on, leaving you to your unsubstantiated claims and your sloppy definitions.

---
The fact that there are annoying atheists and annoying theists is a clue to the reasonable person that the characteristic of "being annoying" is not an "effect" of atheism or theism. One might even reflect on the idea that being annoyed by a theist is not an "effect" of theism, but a characteristic of one's interactions with that particular theist; a deeper reflection might lead one to understand that, even when a theist is trying to be annoying (as when a hypothetical theist insists, in the face of multiple corrections, that atheism is a "belief system"), one is not required to show up to all the fights to which one is invited. There is a reason they call it bait.

---RASHOMON ALERT---

The fact that there are annoying theists and annoying atheists is a clue to the reasonable person that the characteristic of "being annoying" is not an "effect" of theism or atheism. One might even reflect on the idea that being annoyed by an atheist is not an "effect" of atheism, but a characteristic of one's interactions with that particular atheist; a deeper reflection might lead one to understand that, even when an atheist is trying to be annoying (as when a hypothetical atheist insists, in the face of multiple requests, upon referring to one's "heavenly father" in a flippant manner), one is not required to show up to all the fights to which one is invited. There is a reason they call it bait.

---

On the other hand, I cannot think of an example of atheism being "enforced" upon theists...I, for one, do not care what a theist does (or a group of theists do) in the fastness of their keeps (and it ought not to have to be said, but given the tenor of the thread, I shall point out that this does not set aside issues of consent); yet theists cannot seem to avoid trying to enforce their superstitions upon me (and that, inconsistently). As a trivial example, it is difficult to articulate a compelling non-religious reason to proscribe, with the power of the law, the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday morning (and Sunday morning only). As a non-trivial example, it is difficult to articulate a compelling non-religious reason to proscribe, with the power of the law, my choice of life partners.

"I will not do that, as it is against my religion" is a respectable position to hold, particularly if held consistently. "You may not do that, as it is against my religion" is an odious bit of attempted oppression.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 06:01 AM   #371
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Karl Marx happened to be an atheist sure but his driving interest was political reform. There are lots of others who are atheists also but don't share his political views. Try again.

I agree. That's kind of the point I'm making about the comparison between theism and atheism.

Quote:

In the past:

The Crusades.
Spanish Inquisition.
Burning of witches.
Slavery in USA.

In the present:

Suicide bombers.
Denial of woman's rights.
Sharia law.
Persecution of homosexuals.
Stopping me from buying grog on Good Friday.

I'm sure others could add many more to the list as can I.

And for every example, there are countless theists who do not share the religious and/or political beliefs that lead to these effects. Are you not seeing the double standard here? You're not comparing like for like.

Theism is merely the belief in a god or gods.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 10:07 AM   #372
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Mod WarningI understand that this is a discussion about deeply held belief (or even non-beliefs, if you'd like), but that does not excuse the personalization of the topic. Now, knock it off.

No, I don't care who started it.
Posted By:kmortis
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Old 2nd March 2017, 11:52 AM   #373
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I want these ten pages of my life back.

Look, atheist and theist arguments are sometimes so similar because the people willing to argue about theology in public are usually smug jerks. And smug jerks like to argue by telling other people what they're supposed to believe and why that's wrong, because only the smug jerk knows how the world really works. Whether the smug jerk is a theist telling an atheist they must be secretly bitter because they don't have religion or an atheist telling a theist their god is contradictory based on passages from the Bible they've never read, it's still being a smug jerk. That's all it boils down to.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 12:19 PM   #374
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
I want these ten pages of my life back.

Look, atheist and theist arguments are sometimes so similar because the people willing to argue about theology in public are usually smug jerks. And smug jerks like to argue by telling other people what they're supposed to believe and why that's wrong, because only the smug jerk knows how the world really works. Whether the smug jerk is a theist telling an atheist they must be secretly bitter because they don't have religion or an atheist telling a theist their god is contradictory based on passages from the Bible they've never read, it's still being a smug jerk. That's all it boils down to.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 01:34 PM   #375
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Oh the irony . . .
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Old 2nd March 2017, 02:06 PM   #376
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Oh the irony . . .
I thought so too.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 02:12 PM   #377
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
I agree. That's kind of the point I'm making about the comparison between theism and atheism.
The point you are making eludes me.


Quote:
And for every example, there are countless theists who do not share the religious and/or political beliefs that lead to these effects. Are you not seeing the double standard here? You're not comparing like for like.

Theism is merely the belief in a god or gods.
You are not making much of a case here. Religion is the driving force behind all these. Religious scripture is the authority referred to to justify the actions, and the actions are carried out because the majority, (well at least those in power), believe them.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 02:58 PM   #378
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
The point you are making eludes me.

You are not making much of a case here. Religion is the driving force behind all these. Religious scripture is the authority referred to to justify the actions, and the actions are carried out because the majority, (well at least those in power), believe them.
But we were talking about comparing theism and atheism. You're adding all kinds of extra political, theological and philosophical beliefs to theism by bringing in religion, scripture, authority etc.

You, rightly, reject Karl Marx and the effects of his politics as direct effects of atheism, but don't appear to be consistent with that line of thinking regarding theism. Neither theism nor atheism is a belief system.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 03:16 PM   #379
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
But we were talking about comparing theism and atheism.
If that were true then the thread may have have ended on the first page . . .

Theism – Belief in god(s).
Atheism – No belief in god(s).

Effectively we're talking about theists and atheists, and how they act and interact.

That involves - "all kinds of extra political, theological and philosophical beliefs to theism by bringing in religion, scripture, authority etc.".
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Old 2nd March 2017, 03:22 PM   #380
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
Neither theism nor atheism is a belief system.
Perhaps you mean theism is a belief and religion is a belief system?

This thread is about "effects" and would have been better titled "What are the Effects of Atheists". Atheism (lack of religious beliefs) can only have any effect when put into practice by atheists. Visa-versa for theism/theists.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 03:34 PM   #381
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Perhaps you mean theism is a belief and religion is a belief system?
Yep. And as a belief in itself, I would suggest the effects are negligible, as are the effects of not holding that belief.

When we start looking at the effects of a whole belief system, I don't see that as comparing like for like anymore, to compare that with not holding one particular belief.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 03:48 PM   #382
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
Yep. And as a belief in itself, I would suggest the effects are negligible, as are the effects of not holding that belief.

When we start looking at the effects of a whole belief system, I don't see that as comparing like for like anymore, to compare that with not holding one particular belief.
A "whole belief system" can be how one theist put's their god belief into practice. Many theists are as independent as most atheists are.

Essentially we're looking at the like for like effects of "belief in god(s)" compared to "no belief in god(s)" when they're put into practice.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 03:54 PM   #383
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
But we were talking about comparing theism and atheism. You're adding all kinds of extra political, theological and philosophical beliefs to theism by bringing in religion, scripture, authority etc.

You, rightly, reject Karl Marx and the effects of his politics as direct effects of atheism, but don't appear to be consistent with that line of thinking regarding theism. Neither theism nor atheism is a belief system.

This is getting more confusing all the time.

Adding religion and scripture to theism?

Religion is theism unless you have some other idea contrary to popular understanding.

Quote:
theism |ˈθiːɪz(ə)m|
noun [ mass noun ]
belief in the existence of a god or gods, specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe. Compare with deism.
Do you deny that religion involves the belief in gods?
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Old 2nd March 2017, 04:05 PM   #384
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
I want these ten pages of my life back.

Look, atheist and theist arguments are sometimes so similar because the people willing to argue about theology in public are usually smug jerks. And smug jerks like to argue by telling other people what they're supposed to believe and why that's wrong, because only the smug jerk knows how the world really works. Whether the smug jerk is a theist telling an atheist they must be secretly bitter because they don't have religion or an atheist telling a theist their god is contradictory based on passages from the Bible they've never read, it's still being a smug jerk. That's all it boils down to.

There are many "people willing to argue about theology in public" who do so because they are genuinely concerned about the harmful effects of religion on society and there own lives. There are others who are motivated by altruism to speak up on behalf of others. Straight guys who defend the rights of gays and men who defend the rights of women. These are not smug jerks.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 09:08 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
A "whole belief system" can be how one theist put's their god belief into practice. Many theists are as independent as most atheists are.

Essentially we're looking at the like for like effects of "belief in god(s)" compared to "no belief in god(s)" when they're put into practice.
Sure, but then we're seeing the effects of a whole collection of beliefs at play for both theists and atheists. I suspect it would be the effects of some of those beliefs that would be far more apparent than any effects of believing or not in god(s).
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Old 2nd March 2017, 10:31 PM   #386
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
Sure, but then we're seeing the effects of a whole collection of beliefs at play for both theists and atheists. I suspect it would be the effects of some of those beliefs that would be far more apparent than any effects of believing or not in god(s).
If I understand the OP correctly, the thread is about what tactics atheists use to protect themselves from the effects theists have on them. More particularly whether they're similar to the tactics theists use to do visa-versa. Although the title seems to say something different (titles should never be taken too literally).

Specifically we’re talking what tactics theists and atheists use to debate on the region section this forum. The participating members are therefore debating from their usually declared or apparent positions of either having a god belief or not. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a theist using their bigfoot belief to help support their god belief.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 10:33 PM   #387
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
Sure, but then we're seeing the effects of a whole collection of beliefs at play for both theists and atheists. I suspect it would be the effects of some of those beliefs that would be far more apparent than any effects of believing or not in god(s).

But the thread is about the effects of non belief in gods and effects of belief in gods on the flip side.

If you want to argue about the effects of other beliefs that are not religion related then please start another thread on that topic.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 11:20 PM   #388
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
There are many "people willing to argue about theology in public" who do so because they are genuinely concerned about the harmful effects of religion on society and there own lives. There are others who are motivated by altruism to speak up on behalf of others. Straight guys who defend the rights of gays and men who defend the rights of women. These are not smug jerks.
Indeed. Just like there are many "people willing to argue about theology in public" who do so because they are genuinely concerned about the harmful effects of atheism on society and their own lives.

Regardless of whether you believe that the effects of atheism are harmful or not, they do. Which brings me back to my point that your motivations are identical in both cases.

The effects of atheism that these people believe are harmful include but are not limited to: the increased secularisation of government and public life, the marginalisation of religious belief, prohibition of religious worship in publicly-owned locations such as schools, increased acceptance of sinful acts and behaviours, and ultimately the condemnation of large groups of people to hell.

Again - regardless of whether you or I believe that these effects are harmful or not, they do. And therefore they expend effort and resources to combat them.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 11:30 PM   #389
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
This is getting more confusing all the time.

Adding religion and scripture to theism?

Religion is theism unless you have some other idea contrary to popular understanding.

Do you deny that religion involves the belief in gods?
I don't think that does represent popular understanding. Theism and religion are really not the same thing. One is a single specific belief and the other is a non-specific set of beliefs and practices that often, but not necessarily, includes theistic belief.

I'll try to clear up what I'm saying using one of your examples:
Take witch burning. Theistic belief by itself does not lead to witch burning.
To get to witch burning, we would need something like the following beliefs:
  • Witches are real
  • The disease and disasters in our village are the result of witchcraft
  • Griselda is the witch cursing the village
  • Griselda can still curse the village from a jail cell
The effect in question is the result of these other beliefs. While there's a path to that first point from theism, it involves several jumps in beliefs that don't necessarily follow on from each other to get to. Someone could probably get to witch burning without any theistic belief at all.

When you mention the Catholic Church, as you have done a few times in this thread, the effects you criticize are not the results of theism, but of other beliefs (and power struggles), perhaps, but not necessarily or directly, related to theism.

To take this point back to the comparison and to the effects of atheism. In the same way, theists of various religions could have good reasons to be concerned about a powerful atheistic faction. Not for the absence of a god belief, but for other beliefs that could have more direct effects. For example, the beliefs that god beliefs are harmful, that religious folks are delusional, that raising children in Catholicism is child abuse. Combined with power, these can lead to persecution (and I don't just mean the kind of imagined persecution some US Evangelicals seem to think secularism brings).
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Old 3rd March 2017, 04:01 AM   #390
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
I don't think that does represent popular understanding. Theism and religion are really not the same thing. One is a single specific belief and the other is a non-specific set of beliefs and practices that often, but not necessarily, includes theistic belief.

I'll try to clear up what I'm saying using one of your examples:
Take witch burning. Theistic belief by itself does not lead to witch burning.
To get to witch burning, we would need something like the following beliefs:
  • Witches are real
  • The disease and disasters in our village are the result of witchcraft
  • Griselda is the witch cursing the village
  • Griselda can still curse the village from a jail cell
The effect in question is the result of these other beliefs. While there's a path to that first point from theism, it involves several jumps in beliefs that don't necessarily follow on from each other to get to. Someone could probably get to witch burning without any theistic belief at all.

When you mention the Catholic Church, as you have done a few times in this thread, the effects you criticize are not the results of theism, but of other beliefs (and power struggles), perhaps, but not necessarily or directly, related to theism.

To take this point back to the comparison and to the effects of atheism. In the same way, theists of various religions could have good reasons to be concerned about a powerful atheistic faction. Not for the absence of a god belief, but for other beliefs that could have more direct effects. For example, the beliefs that god beliefs are harmful, that religious folks are delusional, that raising children in Catholicism is child abuse. Combined with power, these can lead to persecution (and I don't just mean the kind of imagined persecution some US Evangelicals seem to think secularism brings).
You should be thinking theists, not theism or religion.

Theism is believing in a god. But no theist merely believes a in a god without also having beliefs about that god and how that god wants them and everyone else to live their lives.

Doctrine/persuasion religion tells theists what their beliefs and practices should be. Independent/personal religion allows theists to decide for themselves. Regardless, all theists have thestic beliefs beyond merely believing a god exists.

Witches and witchcraft have always been claimed by theists to be agents of the Devil. I doubt that anyone that ever burned a witch was an actual atheist. But even if they were, so what? Atheists aren’t claiming that all the “evils” of humanity are perpetrated by theists, but many are.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 06:36 AM   #391
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Do you deny that religion involves the belief in gods?
Few would say Buddhism is not a religion yet there's nothing theistic about it.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 09:21 AM   #392
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
I want these ten pages of my life back.

Look, atheist and theist arguments are sometimes so similar because the people willing to argue about theology in public are usually smug jerks. And smug jerks like to argue by telling other people what they're supposed to believe and why that's wrong, because only the smug jerk knows how the world really works. Whether the smug jerk is a theist telling an atheist they must be secretly bitter because they don't have religion or an atheist telling a theist their god is contradictory based on passages from the Bible they've never read, it's still being a smug jerk. That's all it boils down to.
Sorry this isn't true. On average Atheists have read more of the Bible then theists. And considering I come from a good old fashioned Bible thumping family and went to Bible camp three summers in High school I've read plenty of the Bible. It was my commitment to reading the book that made me an atheist.

As for smugness, who cares? One could say your attempt to paint both sides as smug is the one acting smug. Above the fray and superior. I wouldn't give a crap about theists if they didn't cause so much damage to so many people.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 10:25 AM   #393
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
You should be thinking theists, not theism or religion.
Should I? In this thread people are saying they're anti-theism not anti-theist.

Quote:
Theism is believing in a god. But no theist merely believes a in a god without also having beliefs about that god and how that god wants them and everyone else to live their lives.

Doctrine/persuasion religion tells theists what their beliefs and practices should be. Independent/personal religion allows theists to decide for themselves. Regardless, all theists have thestic beliefs beyond merely believing a god exists.
I take your point. Theism in the wild is not going to be found without various other theistic related beliefs. Although, I suspect there are many people who might fall in the theist end of the belief spectrum with some pretty vague ideas and beliefs about the god they believe in. That said, I think you'd hard pushed to find a self-labeled atheist without opinions on religion and an atheistic philosophy on life.

But it's these beliefs I'm talking about as being the ones that have more discernible effects than mere belief or non-belief. The waters get pretty muddy here - some beliefs are more directly related to theism than others. Religious beliefs combine with cultural, tribal, traditional and political beliefs. I don't think it's so simple to point at something crappy that people do or have done and say it's the effects of theism.

To to try to highlight this with a simple model: Person A believes in a warlike god who wants to destroy the tribe over the hill. Person B believes in a loving god who wants the tribes to unite and care for each other's needs.
Surely, the belief that has a significant effect is the belief about the nature of the god, not the existence of the god?

Something more current: Persons A, B and C all believe in a god that hates abortion. A believes legislation and punishment is the best way to reduce the numbers. B believes in the separation of church and state and that education, contraception and providing alternative options is a more effective way to go. C believes that terror is an effective tool and that killing one doctor saves hundreds of lives. The beliefs affecting behavior are only in a small part theistic.

Quote:
Witches and witchcraft have always been claimed by theists to be agents of the Devil. I doubt that anyone that ever burned a witch was an actual atheist. But even if they were, so what? Atheists aren’t claiming that all the “evils” of humanity are perpetrated by theists, but many are.
I wouldn't be surprised in the least if many witch burnings were perpetrated by atheists. I think when we look at the harms of religion, often the real monsters are the ones who don't believe any of it and view religion as a useful political tool.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 10:53 AM   #394
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
There are many "people willing to argue about theology in public" who do so because they are genuinely concerned about the harmful effects of religion on society and there own lives. There are others who are motivated by altruism to speak up on behalf of others. Straight guys who defend the rights of gays and men who defend the rights of women. These are not smug jerks.
Yeah, but if they aren't both smug jerks, the argument doesn't happen. A smug jerk arguing with a not-smug-jerk will only last until the not-smug-jerk realizes the smug jerk is a smug jerk. Two not-smug-jerks arguing is usually called a "conversation," and that's where most of the productive dialog takes place.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Sorry this isn't true. On average Atheists have read more of the Bible then theists. And considering I come from a good old fashioned Bible thumping family and went to Bible camp three summers in High school I've read plenty of the Bible. It was my commitment to reading the book that made me an atheist.
I was afraid I wasn't being clear enough. I meant passages that the theist hadn't even read.

People rarely base their beliefs on literal interpretations of every word in their holy books, even in the sects where that's supposed to be the entire point. So yelling at these people that their god is a dick based on his behavior in Jerb 3:10-15 isn't going to do anything to sway them. Yet atheists of the smug jerk variety do exactly that all the time, even here where you'd think they should know better.

Quote:
As for smugness, who cares? One could say your attempt to paint both sides as smug is the one acting smug. Above the fray and superior. I wouldn't give a crap about theists if they didn't cause so much damage to so many people.
Okay then, just jerks. Suit yourself.

Originally Posted by Peregrinus View Post
Few would say Buddhism is not a religion yet there's nothing theistic about it.
Sure there is. Chinese Buddhism in particular has a full suite of deities, from heaven to hell.

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Old 3rd March 2017, 12:42 PM   #395
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
I wouldn't be surprised in the least if many witch burnings were perpetrated by atheists. I think when we look at the harms of religion, often the real monsters are the ones who don't believe any of it and view religion as a useful political tool.
Exactly! One of the most dangerous and potentially harmful consequences of the blind belief and faith of religious belief is how easily the believers are susceptible to being controlled and manipulated by others. Whether these “monsters” are genuine believers or not is irrelevant. One of the biggest cons of religious beliefs is that having blind belief and faith is somehow a good and desirable thing for anyone but the "monsters".

Are the many Catholic priests that sodomise young boys for years actually theists? Do they really believe an all present, all knowing, all powerful god is watching and judging them while they do it? Do they really believe “Forgive me Father for I have sinned “ or "The Devil made me do it" will save them from the eternal fires of a hell? I doubt it.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 01:38 PM   #396
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I don't believe in Gods, not because I want to protect myself from anything. I don't believe in Gods, cause I don't believe in them. Even if it turned out that there is a God and I'm going to Hell. So if anything, I'm open to the possibility that I may not be protected from the punishment of Hell. But unfortunately, that still doesn't change my lack of belief in Gods.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 01:48 PM   #397
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
I don't believe in Gods, not because I want to protect myself from anything. I don't believe in Gods, cause I don't believe in them. Even if it turned out that there is a God and I'm going to Hell. So if anything, I'm open to the possibility that I may not be protected from the punishment of Hell. But unfortunately, that still doesn't change my lack of belief in Gods.
Why" unfortunately"?
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Old 3rd March 2017, 02:01 PM   #398
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Exactly! One of the most dangerous and potentially harmful consequences of the blind belief and faith of religious belief is how easily the believers are susceptible to being controlled and manipulated by others. Whether these “monsters” are genuine believers or not is irrelevant. One of the biggest cons of religious beliefs is that having blind belief and faith is somehow a good and desirable thing for anyone but the "monsters".

Are the many Catholic priests that sodomise young boys for years actually theists? Do they really believe an all present, all knowing, all powerful god is watching and judging them while they do it? Do they really believe “Forgive me Father for I have sinned “ or "The Devil made me do it" will save them from the eternal fires of a hell? I doubt it.
Yep. "Faith" can be a tricky word, but how you're using it here, I have no disagreement with you. Blind belief can be dangerously open to manipulation, as can the belief that God essentially dictated a fairly confusing and sometimes contradictory collection of ancient texts ("and my interpretation is the right one!").
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Old 3rd March 2017, 02:09 PM   #399
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
Should I? In this thread people are saying they're anti-theism not anti-theist.


I take your point. Theism in the wild is not going to be found without various other theistic related beliefs. Although, I suspect there are many people who might fall in the theist end of the belief spectrum with some pretty vague ideas and beliefs about the god they believe in. That said, I think you'd hard pushed to find a self-labeled atheist without opinions on religion and an atheistic philosophy on life.
Never heard of an "atheistic philosophy on life" - what does it look like?

Quote:
But it's these beliefs I'm talking about as being the ones that have more discernible effects than mere belief or non-belief. The waters get pretty muddy here - some beliefs are more directly related to theism than others. Religious beliefs combine with cultural, tribal, traditional and political beliefs. I don't think it's so simple to point at something crappy that people do or have done and say it's the effects of theism.

.................


I wouldn't be surprised in the least if many witch burnings were perpetrated by atheists. I think when we look at the harms of religion, often the real monsters are the ones who don't believe any of it and view religion as a useful political tool.
Just lifted something from the ABC news about the struggles of the gay community:

Quote:
There are more than 70 countries where homosexual acts are illegal.
Most of these countries fall within two main categories — just over half are former colonies mostly in Africa that inherited discriminatory laws but never repealed them, while the others are majority-Muslim countries.
Well the former colonies were European of course and the colonizing countries have moved on from their religiously obsessed past. Countries that allowed religious scripture to hold sway when laws were made. Scripture like Timothy 1:10:

Quote:
8Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,b liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to soundc doctrine, 11in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
In the Muslim countries religious scripture still holds sway in lawmaking and in some, (countries that practice Sharia Law), religious control is absolute. There are a number of these that have the death penalty for persons who practice homosexual acts.

These are the undeniable effects of theism.

Oh, and back in the days when they were burning witches, atheists were very thin on the ground, so I doubt many would have taken part in this charming ritual.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 02:11 PM   #400
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Why" unfortunately"?
Pssst! It's called irony!
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