Atheism +

Discussion in 'The Sanctuary' started by tequila togorgeous, Aug 30, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,351
    i think this is the main flaw with your argument... you are conflating the concept of "religion" with the loose definition of any sort of "organized ideology."

    the original post you made could very well fit either of the major political parties in america.

    tbh i had never heard of 'atheism +' before now.

    from the looks of it, it's not the dawkins/hitchens wave of atheism you guys keep referring to.

    atheism +, from what i can tell from a couple articles, was started by some feminists who are tired of the 'misogyny in the skeptic community.' the beginning of their beef dates back a year or so to dawkins mocking some feminist who was complaining about being hit on in an elevator at a conference. since then there's apparently been a lot of back and forth bickering between the feminists and the other atheists. atheism + is atheism + accepting a bunch of predetermined political/social stances.

    we'll just have to see if they succeed in creating an actual 'schism.' so far it's looking like a pretty compelling reason to not associate with any of these official atheist groups.
    test
  2. x calibur

    x calibur

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 1999
    Messages:
    54,160
    it's tricky to distinguish. on one hand, the new atheism movement is like an organized secular ideology. on the other hand, strong atheism makes metaphysical claims, while secular political persuasions and world-views do not.
    test
  3. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,351
    yea but is that really all religion boils down to? it seems like you're omitting the aspects that don't fit the comparison.

    ritual, symbolism, some sort of supernatural or animistic quality to nature, and (usually) a type of moral code that is either divinely dictated or flows naturally out of that particular religious view. all religion seems to have some combination of these characteristics, in addition to making metaphysical claims.

    now could i say that art movements start to approach religion as they both use suggestive symbolism to convey deeper meaning? can i say materialism is a religion because it is making a metaphysical claim? i mean i'm just saying. i don't think that kind of argument will hold.

    i agree its a hard definition to pin down. but it's clear to me that having an attribute or two in common with religion doesn't put you in that category. it's a unique thing that religion actually offers through these various elements; it's the ability to peer further than mortals can peer, and to 'transcend' the material world that humans are naturally trapped in.
    test
  4. x calibur

    x calibur

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 1999
    Messages:
    54,160
    all solid points. I suppose I was too hasty and rash with the comparison.

    New Atheism is an ideology though, and is definitely prone to the related patterns and pitfalls, in spite of the proclaimed emphasis on independent thought.

    ultimately, religion will not be wiped out. it's simply too strong and established, and it also fills a certain niche in culture and the psyche.

    as long as atheism is a negative position of denial and ridicule, it cannot hope to displace religion's sphere of influence. It needs a positive counterpart, some sort of secular humanistic doctrine, in order to compete.
    test
  5. Radium

    Radium f k

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    5,535
    why should you attack it
    test
  6. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,351
    because it distorts people's view of reality in far reaching and unnecessary ways.

    this leads to a number of hazardous side effects such as people opposing science and medicine, promoting misguided bigotry or even causing unnecessary conflicts, which many atheists often cite as their reasons for opposing religion.

    but i think the core problem is an unnecessary and willful distortion of reality. there's no benefit i can think of that would rationalize this problem away. if all religions were benign and had no extremists in their midst, they'd still be worth opposing to me. obviously the more extreme and harmful, the more deserving of scorn they are.

    but we don't make excuses for tv psychics, homeopathy, revisionist pseudo-historians, or any other number of seemingly benign bullshit artists. so why make an exception here? it's far too easy to deceive people. the last thing we should be doing is giving people a free pass to do so under certain banners.
    test
  7. Radium

    Radium f k

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    5,535
    and thus you feel no guilt when you try to tear down what they want to believe in?
    test
  8. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,351
    i can agree with that

    i've suspected this myself, but who knows what the future will hold. i don't see it going away anytime soon, but the number of atheists is growing. certainly not challenging it at all would be less effective, anyways. there are certain countries that are more or less completely secular and highly atheistic, so it might not be quite as necessary to the human psyche as you suspect.

    as for a positive counterpart.. the problem being that religion's shoes are too big to fill for any seriously 'skeptical' ideology. you can't have all the answers without making some of them up.
    test
  9. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,351
    i don't feel any more guilt than if i were attacking someone's political ideology.

    i might feel guilt if i'm particularly mean about it. but i try not to be.
    test
  10. Radium

    Radium f k

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    5,535
    test
  11. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,351
    do you think i should feel guilty?
    test
  12. Radium

    Radium f k

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    5,535
    for that it doesnt matter what i think
    test
  13. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,351
    just trying to move the discussion forward.
    test
  14. Carpe Noctem

    Carpe Noctem Neos Helios

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 1999
    Messages:
    5,202
    Wouldn't it be a far crueler thing to enable one's delusions?
    test
  15. x calibur

    x calibur

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 1999
    Messages:
    54,160
    still, religion has pretty much always been around in one form or another. before settled civilization, there was animism and ancestor worship. as societies became more advanced, religions likewise became more complex, with articulated tenets and scripture. even in the modern age of science and reason, religion has stubbornly held out. It has even made new developments - for example, see the rise of radical islam and new religious cults.

    religion's pervasiveness and endurance leads me to believe that it is highly effective at filling certain niches in psychology, culture, and society. and as long as we're still physically and mentally 100% human, that will continue to be true.

    possibly. I don't think any non-religious humanistic doctrine could hold the same sway as religion. however, that is what's needed for the new atheism movement to become more competitive and established.
    test
  16. Radium

    Radium f k

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    5,535
    i think that we do things for prizes and rewards and that manifests in us as a huge acceleratory push to a state of never ending ecstasy. as it accelerates this push to ecstasy gets very disjointed and hard to maintain and whenever we try to do it we always get shot down by reality at an arbitrary point.

    this push to ecstasy suddenly gets blocked by a barrier created by reality and must cease accelerating at that point.

    many times i think these barriers are purely regulatory and thus necessary. our body even produces many of them so that we can momentarily pause our huge push to a never ending state of ecstasy and remember to do things like sleep or eat. society creates many things to check this push to ecstasy just to even exist.

    by this every person is constrained by a very unique arrangement of barriers, and i think everything that we do is largely just a way to get as near as we can, to whatever ecstasy remains that we can see, that is not yet sealed away by barriers.

    some of us have a unique arrangement of barriers that make us more shrewd, and in an unquiet way, we go to try to take down the barriers that block our ability to have more and more ecstasy. sometimes we can beat these barriers and create things like new technology or art. it makes you wonder what kind of state humanity is ultimately accelerating out to.

    anyway i think we always try to think of a way to produce some kind of work around when reality arbitrarily produces a barrier - and when we cant think of a way we have to try to look for whatever ecstasy remains that reality hasnt sealed away yet. some of us have a unique arrangement of barriers that make us more aware that there is ecstasy everywhere we look and some have a unique arrangement of barriers that make ecstasy very hard to see.

    as for the act of producing work arounds i think some of the quickest and most instantaneous kinds are our urges to simply tear down and aggressively destroy a barrier. thus i think we generally use these kinds of work arounds the most and in humanity these are the most common kinds that we always see.

    there are very few things that have an ability to check these kinds of urges and one of these things is guilt. therefore if you are shrewd you can think of a way to engineer a work around to it so that you can continue to push out to more ecstasy.

    i dont know if youre cruel to do it because i think many things dont deserve a moral judgement and its just immature to use that kind of gaze on most things. for this i wasnt interested in any moral judgements but just the kinds of work arounds we try to create to unlock more ecstasy.
    test
  17. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,351
    how can you talk about 'working around' guilt without moralizing, though? how do you distinguish working around guilt from guilt not existing in the first place, unless you're assuming the guilt should be there for some reason?
    test
  18. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,351
    one of the ways (western) religion has changed over the last couple centuries is that it's actually become less literal and dogmatic and has made many adjustments in the last century in order to try to cope with modernity. i see this as a winning compromise, but it also seems like a stepping stone towards becoming less religious. i think fundamentalists recognize this too, which is why they reject this transition so passionately.

    i don't think islam has seen the same transition. of course i don't know enough about it to comment on why there's such a rise in islamic extremism.

    i guess i'm not really expecting religion to disappear. i'm just hoping that its way of reasoning and approaching the world will lose its prominence, even if the cultural remnants of it retain their significance.

    the 'age of science' is still young. it's impossible to gauge what its long term effect will be.
    yea, well i don't think any atheistic movement can or should try to fill that void. ultimately, i think that what's needed is the ability for people to face uncertainty.

    short of that, 'becoming more competitive' isn't worth pursuing.
    test
  19. Radium

    Radium f k

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    5,535
    i think you feel guilt reflexively (you just cant control it) and i was suggesting that crying was being used as a mechanism to activate it

    thus i thought that things can reflexively activate it, but since we're always trying to max out to more and more ecstasy, we tend to always engineer ways to go around this penalty

    i think we like to use these kinds of work around because they can justify quicker and more instantaneous ways to take down barriers: by simply tearing them down and destroying them
    test
  20. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,351
    so do you figure that guilt is inherently present each time two humans have any sort of conflict?
    test
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)