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Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

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Losing your enthusiasm for atheism
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CollecemallPosts: 338Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:53 am

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

tuxbox wrote:Indeed! I can't really understand how anyone can be enthusiastic about a non-belief in the first place, but that is just my opinion. :)



I think for a lot of people it comes from having been a part of a religion to start with. When many of us see reality it angers us that we were "duped" or "brainwashed" and as a result become almost evangelic about telling others the things we've learned. This of course varies for everyone but I think this is a very common process for atheists giving up a religion.
"Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives, and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of their time."
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ~~Voltaire
Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:47 am
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

Collecemall wrote:

I think for a lot of people it comes from having been a part of a religion to start with. When many of us see reality it angers us that we were "duped" or "brainwashed" and as a result become almost evangelic about telling others the things we've learned. This of course varies for everyone but I think this is a very common process for atheists giving up a religion.


I can understand where you are coming from to a certain extent. I come from a Christian background, but I do not think I was duped or brainwashed. That would require the head of religions to know for fact that their beliefs were false. I really believe they believe in what they are preaching.
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:57 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2354Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

tuxbox wrote:That would require the head of religions to know for fact that their beliefs were false.


No it wouldn't, it would only require that they were making claims to knowledge they didn't or couldn't possess.

IMO, all clergy are professional liars for this reason.
Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:03 am
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

hackenslash wrote:
tuxbox wrote:That would require the head of religions to know for fact that their beliefs were false.


No it wouldn't, it would only require that they were making claims to knowledge they didn't or couldn't possess.

IMO, all clergy are professional liars for this reason.


Lying requires intent to deceive. My cousin's husband is a Southern Baptist preacher and he truly believes the Christian Bible is the word of God. He truly believes in prayer and miracles. He is not trying to deceive anyone, at least not intentionally.
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:43 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2354Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

tuxbox wrote:Lying requires intent to deceive.


And when you claim to knowledge that you can't possibly possess, that's what you're doing.

My cousin's husband is a Southern Baptist preacher and he truly believes the Christian Bible is the word of God. He truly believes in prayer and miracles. He is not trying to deceive anyone, at least not intentionally.


He's claiming to knowledge he can't possibly possess. It doesn't matter in the least how sincerely he believes in its veracity. If he's claiming it as knowledge, and passing it off as knowledge to others, he's engaging in deceit.
Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:36 am
DepricatedZeroChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1333Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:43 amLocation: Cincinnati, OH Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

hackenslash wrote:
tuxbox wrote:Lying requires intent to deceive.


And when you claim to knowledge that you can't possibly possess, that's what you're doing.

My cousin's husband is a Southern Baptist preacher and he truly believes the Christian Bible is the word of God. He truly believes in prayer and miracles. He is not trying to deceive anyone, at least not intentionally.


He's claiming to knowledge he can't possibly possess. It doesn't matter in the least how sincerely he believes in its veracity. If he's claiming it as knowledge, and passing it off as knowledge to others, he's engaging in deceit.

Can't speak directly for him anyone, but I suspect It's knowledge he thinks he has. Not just belief in its veracity, he believes it is knowledge he does have. Just as you (presumably) grasp abstract concepts like mathematics, some religious nuts believe that their belief is as firmly rooted in fact and is as supportable as the first thousand digits of pi.

The fact is, math is a mental construct to define and explain natural phenomenon. The universe would keep on running just as it does without our understanding of math or our definition of it - there is no grand consciousness to conceptualize math. Math is just how we put labels on the world around us.

The same for religious and their deities. Their deities are mental constructs to define and explain natural phenomenon. The universe would keep on running just as it does without their gods or their definitions of them.

But just as sure as you and I are that i is the square root of -1, they're sure that the knowledge they pass on is real knowledge.

So no. Your attribution is rife with assumptions. There's a whole class of religious that you're failing to account for. Not all of them are liars. The ones who aren't are delusional.

anyway...

I think defining yourself by what you're not is a silly thing to do. I'm an apteryx, but I don't feel the need to define myself that way. If the most interesting part of your personality is what you're not, then you're pretty vapid. One of the reasons I like this forum and keep coming back is that, though many of us are atheists, this is not 'an atheist forum' - it is, sort of, but it doesn't brand itself that way. Our focus has always been more about dialectic and enlightenment, than about "dem danged old evil creatards."
Why does my life have to be so small
And death is forever
And does forever have a life to call its own?
Don't give me an answer cause you only know
As much as I know
Unless you've been there once
And I hardly think so

Green Day - One of My Lies
Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:00 pm
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

hackenslash wrote:
And when you claim to knowledge that you can't possibly possess, that's what you're doing.


No it isn't, not when he truly believes he has the knowledge. I'm not sure what type of atheist you are, but if you claim that there are no gods, which you have no knowledge that no gods exist, then how does that make you any different than him?
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:19 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

tuxbox wrote:
hackenslash wrote:
And when you claim to knowledge that you can't possibly possess, that's what you're doing.


No it isn't, not when he truly believes he has the knowledge. I'm not sure what type of atheist you are, but if you claim that there are no gods, which you have no knowledge that no gods exist, then how does that make you any different than him?


I'm fairly sure hackenslash will agree with me on this: I claim that no evidence to date has been sufficient to establish that there is a god.

I'd suggest all of the following videos on a complete summation of my views on the subject:






"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:10 pm
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

Inferno wrote:
hackenslash wrote:
And when you claim to knowledge that you can't possibly possess, that's what you're doing.


tuxbox wrote:No it isn't, not when he truly believes he has the knowledge. I'm not sure what type of atheist you are, but if you claim that there are no gods, which you have no knowledge that no gods exist, then how does that make you any different than him?


Inferno wrote:I'm fairly sure hackenslash will agree with me on this: I claim that no evidence to date has been sufficient to establish that there is a god.

I'd suggest all of the following videos on a complete summation of my views on the subject


First off, I dig your views and the vids you posted. Secondly, when I said "I'm not sure what type of atheist you are", I was wondering if he was a Gnostic Atheist that claim they know their aren't any gods.
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:03 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2354Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

tuxbox wrote:No it isn't, not when he truly believes he has the knowledge.


Yes it is, if he doesn't possess the knowledge. What I previously said about belief stands.

I'm not sure what type of atheist you are, but if you claim that there are no gods, which you have no knowledge that no gods exist, then how does that make you any different than him?


I make no such claim.
Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:50 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2354Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

DepricatedZero wrote:Can't speak directly for him anyone, but I suspect It's knowledge he thinks he has. Not just belief in its veracity, he believes it is knowledge he does have.


His belief is irrelevant. If he claims to knowledge he can't possess, whether or not he believes it to be knowledge, he's lying.

So no. Your attribution is rife with assumptions. There's a whole class of religious that you're failing to account for. Not all of them are liars. The ones who aren't are delusional.


There are no assumptions, only facts, and the fact is that any claim to impossible knowledge, whether or not you believe it to be possible, is a lie.
Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:54 am
DepricatedZeroChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1333Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:43 amLocation: Cincinnati, OH Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

So what constitutes attainable knowledge? I chose math for my parallel because it's an abstraction. It is, as I would consider it, unattainable knowledge (and I work in applied mathematics). Logic is the same. There are many things that can only be proven through conjecture and inferance. At what point does one move from thinker to con artist?
Why does my life have to be so small
And death is forever
And does forever have a life to call its own?
Don't give me an answer cause you only know
As much as I know
Unless you've been there once
And I hardly think so

Green Day - One of My Lies
Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:18 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

Greetings,

I think the issue is intent.

If someone truly believes something that happens to be false, they are misguided and - yes - may misguide others.

If someone knows what they're claiming is false, then they are lying - intentionally misguiding.

I agree with Tuxbox's distinction.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:18 pm
MugnutsBloggerUser avatarPosts: 383Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

hackenslash wrote:
DepricatedZero wrote:Can't speak directly for him anyone, but I suspect It's knowledge he thinks he has. Not just belief in its veracity, he believes it is knowledge he does have.


His belief is irrelevant. If he claims to knowledge he can't possess, whether or not he believes it to be knowledge, he's lying.

So no. Your attribution is rife with assumptions. There's a whole class of religious that you're failing to account for. Not all of them are liars. The ones who aren't are delusional.


There are no assumptions, only facts, and the fact is that any claim to impossible knowledge, whether or not you believe it to be possible, is a lie.



Think of it like this.
In school you are introduced to math for the first time, and this teacher instructs how to count to 10. For some reason, this teacher is a dick and rather than showing the class how to count the conventional way of 1-10, he/she counts it out as
1-3-2-4-5-7-6-9-8-10.

When you get home, your parents asked you what you learned at school and you reply with your knowledge of counting to ten. You recite 1-3-2-4-5-7-6-9-8-10 just as you learned it.

Of course your parents would be confused, but do you think for a second they would call you a liar?

This does specifically rely on intent. The intent to deceive and the un-intentional deceit do essentially have the same effect, and with many preachers, priests, rabbis, mullahs, sheeple, and so on, proving such intent is quite a task. My profession is based on dealing with liars and I find it very hard to catch a hint of intent from most of the fore mentioned.

It's the apologists, and Hovind's that are easy to pick out.

To say that either way they are both lying regardless of intent is akin to the religious stating we all know there is a god but suppress him because we love our sin.
"In the end theologians are jealous of science, for they are aware that it has greater authority than do their own ways of finding “truth”: dogma, authority, and revelation. Science does find truth, faith does not. " - Jerry Coyne
Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:44 pm
SpecialFrogUser avatarPosts: 827Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 pmLocation: Great White North Gender: Tree

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

Tuxbox wrote: I come from a Christian background, but I do not think I was duped or brainwashed. That would require the head of religions to know for fact that their beliefs were false. I really believe they believe in what they are preaching.


Dragan Glas wrote:I think the issue is intent.

If someone truly believes something that happens to be false, they are misguided and - yes - may misguide others.

If someone knows what they're claiming is false, then they are lying - intentionally misguiding.

I agree with Tuxbox's distinction.


I agree with you to an extent, though I don't think true belief precludes the possibility of brainwashing someone, though that's another topic.

I also think that many true believers deliberately attempt to dupe people.

Virtually all people who have attended any kind of competent seminary will be aware that the Bible is both textually and historiographically far more problematic than many of them are prepared to acknowledge to their parishioners.

Additionally, you have apologists like William Lane Craig, who I suspect is a true believer but who also has no problem using arguments he knows to be dishonest in order to reassure Christians that their beliefs are sound.

And I think it's generally safe to assume that anyone preaching prosperity theology is a liar. :)

So while we don't know about Tuxbox's cousin in particular, I don't think him being a true believer is sufficient to conclude that he isn't trying to dupe people into believing.
"Life is nothing but an electron looking for a place to rest" -- Albert Szent-Gyrgyi
Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:51 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2354Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

DepricatedZero wrote:So what constitutes attainable knowledge? I chose math for my parallel because it's an abstraction. It is, as I would consider it, unattainable knowledge (and I work in applied mathematics). Logic is the same. There are many things that can only be proven through conjecture and inferance. At what point does one move from thinker to con artist?


Well, the thing about mathematics is that it's founded upon the simplest of axioms which are necessarily true by definition. That makes it attainable knowledge. That's why your example was, frankly, silly. Perhaps a better example would make the point better for you, but mine stands as it is.
Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:53 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2354Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

I think the issue is intent.

If someone truly believes something that happens to be false, they are misguided and - yes - may misguide others.

If someone knows what they're claiming is false, then they are lying - intentionally misguiding.

I agree with Tuxbox's distinction.

Kindest regards,

James


I agree that the issue is intent, but from a slightly different perspective. The intent is to sway others, especially impressionable children, to a particular way of thinking that cannot possibly constitute knowledge. That is deceit.
Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:55 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2354Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

Mugnuts wrote:Think of it like this.
In school you are introduced to math for the first time, and this teacher instructs how to count to 10. For some reason, this teacher is a dick and rather than showing the class how to count the conventional way of 1-10, he/she counts it out as
1-3-2-4-5-7-6-9-8-10.

When you get home, your parents asked you what you learned at school and you reply with your knowledge of counting to ten. You recite 1-3-2-4-5-7-6-9-8-10 just as you learned it.

Of course your parents would be confused, but do you think for a second they would call you a liar?


No, if they had any sense they'd gently correct me, and then call the teacher a liar, which would be accurate. There is no priest who doesn't actually know that his position is bollocks, not least because the training involves learning the counters.

This does specifically rely on intent. The intent to deceive and the un-intentional deceit do essentially have the same effect, and with many preachers, priests, rabbis, mullahs, sheeple, and so on, proving such intent is quite a task. My profession is based on dealing with liars and I find it very hard to catch a hint of intent from most of the fore mentioned.


I maintain that the deceit is actually intentional.

It's the apologists, and Hovind's that are easy to pick out.

To say that either way they are both lying regardless of intent is akin to the religious stating we all know there is a god but suppress him because we love our sin.


Well, I don't actually insist that it's regardless of intent, I maintain that the intent to deceive is actually in play. They know they possess no such knowledge. They're lying.
Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:58 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

Greetings,

SpecialFrog and hackenslash, I take on board both your perspectives on this although I still feel that the distinction is valid.

A true believer believes (s)he is "saving" you - or a child.

Even though, from a atheist's perspective, the believer is misleading the individual.

I can understand how this may appear when the "victim" is a vulnerable person - whether a child or a recovering addict, who are often targeted by Jehovah's Witnesses and/or Mormons or other cults.

I agree that it's sometimes hard to tell from the outside whether this is intentional or whether it's just a case of a true believer.

We may not always be able to distinguish whether it's intentional (lying) or not (genuine concern for your "salvation") - but it still comes down to intent.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:09 am
SpecialFrogUser avatarPosts: 827Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 pmLocation: Great White North Gender: Tree

Post Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

Dragan Glas wrote:A true believer believes (s)he is "saving" you - or a child.

Even though, from a atheist's perspective, the believer is misleading the individual.

I can understand how this may appear when the "victim" is a vulnerable person - whether a child or a recovering addict, who are often targeted by Jehovah's Witnesses and/or Mormons or other cults.

I agree that it's sometimes hard to tell from the outside whether this is intentional or whether it's just a case of a true believer.

We may not always be able to distinguish whether it's intentional (lying) or not (genuine concern for your "salvation") - but it still comes down to intent.


I agree that a true believer is not lying when they think they can "save" someone. However, many seem to feel that this noble goal justifies lying and misleading people to get them on board or keep them there.

The most overt example of this of which I am aware is the Church of Scientology which trains recruiters to find out what a perspective member wants and then claim Scientology addresses whatever that is. The instruction from Hubbard is to "find their ruin". The justification is that they will be better off with Scientology so the recruiter is helping them even though they might be deceiving them about the specifics.

I don't believe that most people who have studied at a seminary honestly think everything they say to their parishioners is actually true. Unless they adopt Martin Luther's position that reason is the enemy and should not be applied to Christian thought.
"Life is nothing but an electron looking for a place to rest" -- Albert Szent-Gyrgyi
Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:21 pm
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