| FORUM | ARCHIVE |                    | TOTAL QUIZ RESULT |


  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - The New Atheists: How Do You See Them?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login


Welcome stranger, click here to read about some of the great benefits of registering for a free account with us and joining us in our global online community.


The New Atheists: How Do You See Them?

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1 234
Author
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1352
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 12:06

From what has been written in this thread (and elsewhere) there are two issues regarding the "new atheists":

1. They are not behaving properly (arrogance, intolerance, hate, etc.).

2. Their arguments are only science oriented, they dismiss phylosophycal or theologycal arguments.

Combine these two and you have the picture of a really "bad person". It all comes down to my first post. What do these people argue for:"Intolerance of ignorance, myth and superstition; disregard for the tolerance of religion. Indoctrination of logic, reason and the advancement of a naturalistic worldview."

Why are they so concerned about somebody's personal belief in a deity? If that person is a "good one" why should they, or anyone else, have any concerns whether the deity is real or not? Maybe because they realise they live in a society, not on some isolated island(ivory tower). An individual is a part of the society. He/she interacts with other people and his/her beliefs are important issues since they are part of these interactions and eventually affect other people. Everyone seems to agree that our society is plagued by a whole bunch of fundamentalists. What seems also to be common to al these is the fact that they are more or less tied up with religion. From "by the Book" to weirdos they all support ideas that are not always scientifically backed up and never fail quoting some known or obscure/invented religious texts. But whenever possible, they bring forth scientific arguments, although eventually those arguments turn up to be the result of ignorance (eg. Evolution contradicts Thermodynamics). One could say that the proper conduct is to ignore such extremists and expect them to become extinct as most people are not concerned with such attitudes. That is to expect that most people would act rationally. If this is the case then there should be no problem with the "new atheists" since them being irrational won't make most people getting irrational. So it seems that especially the so called agnostic position should be not to care. Yet somehow the "agnostics" feel more thretened by these guys than the "theists'. Maybe because "theists" have a strong belief to cling to. Anyway, in the end the idea is that we are influenced by what others believe and vice versa. It is up to any person to decide if he/she adopts a passive or active stance regarding a certain belief.

Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
drgonzaga View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar
Plus Ultra

Joined: 01 Oct 2005
Status: Offline
Points: 6262
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 12:42
Does it all not boil down to just one point: the misuse of knowledge. The militant atheists who are forever perorating about scientific methodology as the wherewithall explaining the human experience in all of its facets are essentially only practicing the fallacy of scientism.
Honi soit qui mal y pense
Back to Top
Carcharodon View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 04 May 2007
Location: Northern Europe
Status: Offline
Points: 4959
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 14:25
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Does it all not boil down to just one point: the misuse of knowledge. The militant atheists who are forever perorating about scientific methodology as the wherewithall explaining the human experience in all of its facets are essentially only practicing the fallacy of scientism.
 
What is the alternative? Outdated religious writings and dogms?
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master
Avatar
PM Honorary Member

Joined: 06 Dec 2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 13262
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 14:46
Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:

From what has been written in this thread (and elsewhere) there are two issues regarding the "new atheists":

1. They are not behaving properly (arrogance, intolerance, hate, etc.).

2. Their arguments are only science oriented, they dismiss phylosophycal or theologycal arguments.

I don't think their arguments are sciencve oriented. I think they claim a scientific facade, but their attitude is entirely unscientific since they are so sure they know the truth. That I think is what Dr G calls 'scientism', though I'm more used to seeing the word in the context of economics, where the mistake is also often made of believing that because something works in the physical world it will also work in the economic sphere..
Quote
Combine these two and you have the picture of a really "bad person". It all comes down to my first post. What do these people argue for:"Intolerance of ignorance, myth and superstition; disregard for the tolerance of religion. Indoctrination of logic, reason and the advancement of a naturalistic worldview."

Why are they so concerned about somebody's personal belief in a deity? If that person is a "good one" why should they, or anyone else, have any concerns whether the deity is real or not? Maybe because they realise they live in a society, not on some isolated island(ivory tower). An individual is a part of the society. He/she interacts with other people and his/her beliefs are important issues since they are part of these interactions and eventually affect other people. Everyone seems to agree that our society is plagued by a whole bunch of fundamentalists.

Including of course the 'new atheists'.
Quote

What seems also to be common to al these is the fact that they are more or less tied up with religion. From "by the Book" to weirdos they all support ideas that are not always scientifically backed up and never fail quoting some known or obscure/invented religious texts. But whenever possible, they bring forth scientific arguments, although eventually those arguments turn up to be the result of ignorance (eg. Evolution contradicts Thermodynamics). One could say that the proper conduct is to ignore such extremists and expect them to become extinct as most people are not concerned with such attitudes. That is to expect that most people would act rationally. If this is the case then there should be no problem with the "new atheists" since them being irrational won't make most people getting irrational. So it seems that especially the so called agnostic position should be not to care. Yet somehow the "agnostics" feel more thretened by these guys than the "theists'. Maybe because "theists" have a strong belief to cling to. Anyway, in the end the idea is that we are influenced by what others believe and vice versa. It is up to any person to decide if he/she adopts a passive or active stance regarding a certain belief.
What irritates agnostics in general is the attempt of the new atheists to present themselves as somehow 'scientific' or 'objective' when all they are is religious fundamentalism in a new guise.
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.

Back to Top
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1352
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 15:10
Sorry doctorG but for once I would soy that this time you have failed with such a simple statement. They are not just scientism-ists (is this a word?!), from a phylosophical perspective they seem more like a mixture of scientism, naturalism, empiricism, materialism, etc. They are not saying that phylosophy is nonsense, they are saying that phylosophy without science might be nonsense. I've noticed you and others mentioning various phylosophers and philosophic concepts. I would hardly get into a direct confrontation with you on this subject since it is obvious (I believe!) that you are far more experienced than me. One thing that I can't help mentioning is the fact that phylosophy is evolving. I mean, there is hardly a chance to find a pure platonist nowadays. So does theology, religion and science. What I must agree with most of the critics of new atheists is the affirmation that science is the fundamental cause that drives the evolution of human mind. I think that all of these are actually cause and effect for eachother. For instance, Christianity is blamed to have plunged Europe into the Dark Ages but this assuptions fails to consider the fact that the Church was the depositary of most of what science was. That at the same time an institution as the Inquisition emerged is irrelevant. It's like your example of social darwinism: while darwinism generated it it was not a necessary development. The fact that it did emerged should also make the "new atheists" less certain when they estimate that eliminating religion will result in a better society. A propper approach could be trandisciplinarity, but it seems that their moral project is not making much progress. 
Back to Top
drgonzaga View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar
Plus Ultra

Joined: 01 Oct 2005
Status: Offline
Points: 6262
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 15:57
The heart has its reasons that the reason does not know...Blaise Pascal
Honi soit qui mal y pense
Back to Top
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1352
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 10:35
NOTE: THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A PERSONAL ATTACK
 
Those arrogant agnostics!!! Gcle is nothing but an example of fundamentalism of religious nature based on the popmpous assumption that agnostics know better than atheists. Here are the relevant  quotes that underline how deceptive the agnostic stance is:

Quote I get irritated with those I take to be your 'New Atheists', because of the way they try and take on the rather more metaphysically acceptable role of agnostics.
Why is the role of agnostics more metaphysically acceptable?
Quote I agree about 'memes' which I think are ontological nonsense.
The theory of "memes" is not phylosophy. And what makes your "agnostic" opinion mor pertinent?
Quote To deny otherwise seems to be about the same as claiming the universe was created six thousand years ago or that species don't evolve.
What gives your opinion authority as to decree which are the only alternatives?
Quote The problem isn't seeing memes as some kind of metaphor. It's assuming they actually in some way exist and are tenacious. Maybe basically it's using the word as a noun at all, since it has no observable referent (unlike a gene).
Richard Dawkins "observed" the memes. Some people agree with him, some don't. He is developing the theory. How is it that you completely refute the posibility that "memes" are? Do you know it, with no reasonable doubt?
Quote Effetively 'atheism' is merely a branch of theism. It shoud never be confused with agnosticism.
Some people do confuse these notions or think of them as being separate. How do you know there should be no confusion?
Quote Another major problem with the new atheists is that they pretend the two shools are on the same side of the metaphysical/empirical divide: they aren't - they're on opposite sides of it.
Again, you seem to know for sure where atheism and agosticism are. Maybe your agnosticism translates into an immuable agnostic CoC?
Quote Also they are very boring, like Jehovah's Witnesses.
I find poetry boring, but that doesn't mean I think all people should find poetry boring. What does boredom have to do with agnosticism or atheism?
Quote It also bugs me that they have the cheek and the hypocrisy to claim to be agnostic. That really burns me up, since they show not the slightest sign of agnosticism.
RD for example stated that he has no problem with a deist or pantheist type of deity. Tht's kind of agnostic. Unless you are saying that agnosticims should be with whatever supernatural entity. Or only with consacrated religions? Then maybe you know what is a sign of agnosticism so than no misinterpretations can be made.
Quote No. Atheism is from Greek 'atheos' a state of being without God. 'Atheists' believe in atheos.
I have no belief in any kind of deity so I consider myself an atheist. How do you know that your definition is correct?
Quote The 'new atheists' in their politicised drive to recruit members, try anything to get genuine agnostice to sign up to their propaganda. At best that is unethical.
So let's see: agnostics are more ethical than "new atheists: since they do not have a politicised drive to recruite new members, especially genuine agnostics. That goes into saying: beware, genuine agnostics, you know your position is "the best" don't fall for the new atheist propaganda because we know what they're doing is untethical. May I see the ethical scale
used to establish such a definite distinction?
Quote agnosticism is essentially an indifferent attitude, since it considers the question of the existence of God as trivial, if not simply meaningless
Maybe, but this indifferent atitude is reserved only to some trivialities, on other aspects it seems that agnostics have plenty to teach, even to those who think that the question of the existence of God is not trivial. Off course, they know better, it's an essential attitude of the agnostics, especially of the genuine ones
Quote  

 I still prefer the table.........(theos)................................(atheos)

....................................there are gods.....................there are no gods

believes.............................theist...................................atheist

does not believe.............agnostic.................................agnostic.

Even the most radical atheist would only say that "there are no gods" is not a belief, it's rather the result of an assement of available knowledge. Your table is made only to be consistent with your claims that atheist are believers. The fact that atheist are "non believers" is an argument you know better than to take into consideration. Actually you know that "I don't believe X" means only and only "I believe ~X".
Quote I'm pointing out that for many people they are the same. And the people who equate belief and knowledge include the new atheists - no matter what they say it reeks from every inflection and attitude.
Contrary to your atitude that is definitely an agnostic one: no matter what an atheist say you know that for him/her, belief and knowledge is the same, you know there can be no argument for the atheists. 
Quote I don't think their arguments are sciencve oriented. I think they claim a scientific facade, but their attitude is entirely unscientific since they are so sure they know the truth.
Since you appreciate the memes theory based on ontology it is obvious that you know what scientific attitude is and that a bilologist like RD for example cannot ever have a scientific attitude or use scientific arguments, unless, perhaps, he converts to genuine agnosticism.
Quote

What irritates agnostics in general is the attempt of the new atheists to present themselves as somehow 'scientific' or 'objective' when all they are is religious fundamentalism in a new guise.

Off course, the not fundamentalist attitude of the agnostics being in establishing clearly defined limits of what an atheist should do, what is ethical, how should an argument be formalised, when to use science and/or phylosophy, etc, etc.

 
The purpose of this post is not to attack Gcle as some sort of fundamentalist, but to show that there is no way to avoid being called arrogant, or unethical, or whatever, according to your actions. And also that most people are inconsistentWink!


Edited by Cezar - 30 Mar 2011 at 10:39
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master
Avatar
PM Honorary Member

Joined: 06 Dec 2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 13262
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 15:05
Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:

NOTE: THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A PERSONAL ATTACK
Nor taken as such ....
Quote  
Those arrogant agnostics!!! Gcle is nothing but an example of fundamentalism of religious nature based on the popmpous assumption that agnostics know better than atheists.
Not at all. Based on the not so presumptuous assumption that atheists doon't know any more than agnostics do, but don't admit it.
Quote
Here are the relevant  quotes that underline how deceptive the agnostic stance is:

Quote I get irritated with those I take to be your 'New Atheists', because of the way they try and take on the rather more metaphysically acceptable role of agnostics.
Why is the role of agnostics more metaphysically acceptable?

Because it avoids making  metaphysical statements as far as possible. Maybe I should have written 'less metyphysically unacceptable'. You can't eliminate metaphysics altogether (Ockham's Razor is a metaphysical tool that I guess most agnostics would support) but the less of it there is around (and the more it is recoginised for what it is) the better. 
Quote
Quote I agree about 'memes' which I think are ontological nonsense.
The theory of "memes" is not phylosophy. And what makes your "agnostic" opinion mor pertinent?
It's philosophy in my book. It certainly isn't science. It's pertinent because I'm presenting an agnostic view. The thread asks how I see the new atheists, so my opinion is obviously pertinent. Whether it's more valuable is a different matter.
Quote
Quote To deny otherwise seems to be about the same as claiming the universe was created six thousand years ago or that species don't evolve.
What gives your opinion authority as to decree which are the only alternatives?
They're not the only alternatives. Just the first examples that came to mind. There are lots of others I guess.
 
Quote
Quote The problem isn't seeing memes as some kind of metaphor. It's assuming they actually in some way exist and are tenacious. Maybe basically it's using the word as a noun at all, since it has no observable referent (unlike a gene).
Richard Dawkins "observed" the memes.
No he didn't. He dreamed them up as an explanation of what he thought he observed. No-one else has ever observed them either.
Quote
 Some people agree with him, some don't. He is developing the theory. How is it that you completely refute the posibility that "memes" are? Do you know it, with no reasonable doubt?
Nope. I just don't see any reason to assume they exist, any more than I should think pink elephants exist just because someone claims he saw them (let alone thought them up as an explanation for some phenomenon. 
Quote  
Quote Effetively 'atheism' is merely a branch of theism. It shoud never be confused with agnosticism.
Some people do confuse these notions or think of them as being separate. How do you know there should be no confusion?
It's not a question of knowledge, merely one of acepting the pointlessness of using two diifferent words to describe two different concepts at the same time. When you have two words and two concepts it is certainly confusing unless one is used for one concept and the other for the other. It also helps to pay at least some attention to the derivation of the words.
 
That it is confusing is a matter of direct observation. This thread wouldn't have taken the turns it has if people were clear what other people were saying.
Quote
Quote
Another major problem with the new atheists is that they pretend the two shools are on the same side of the metaphysical/empirical divide: they aren't - they're on opposite sides of it.
Again, you seem to know for sure where atheism and agosticism are. Maybe your agnosticism translates into an immuable agnostic CoC?
I can define the underlying concepts. Some people believe there is no god or gods. Some people do not believe there is a god. The two statements are different, as becomes imediately obvious if you turn to symbolic logic. We have two words available. From their derivation it's clear that one - the first - corresponds to 'atheos-ism' and the other to 'a-gnosis', so it makes sense to use them that way around, especially since 'x-theism' then means holding some kind of belief about gods and the other means not holdingany beliefs about gods.
But you could call them 'squids' and 'crayfish' for all the difference it would make to the underlyig reality.
Quote
Quote Also they are very boring, like Jehovah's Witnesses.
I find poetry boring, but that doesn't mean I think all people should find poetry boring. What does boredom have to do with agnosticism or atheism?
I had been asked to explain my crotchetiness on the subject, hadn't I? It's one of the reasons. I don't mind wasting space and time on something entertaining or fresh.
Quote
Quote It also bugs me that they have the cheek and the hypocrisy to claim to be agnostic. That really burns me up, since they show not the slightest sign of agnosticism.
RD for example stated that he has no problem with a deist or pantheist type of deity.
Then he shouldn't claim to be atheist. This is another thing that irritates me, especially since he is so transparent about it. If you're deist you're deist. If you're pantheist you're pantheist. It's obvious from what he says elsewhere that this kind of shilly-shallying is just a PR exercise to try and confuse people into accepting him as a leader when actually he believes something entirely different.
Quote
Tht's kind of agnostic.
Which is what I just said burns me up. He's preaching atheism and at the same time claiminig to be agnostic just in order to get a better press.
Quote
Unless you are saying that agnosticims should be with whatever supernatural entity. Or only with consacrated religions?
Certainly doesn't make any difference what religion. Deist, pantheist, monotheist, polytheist, atheist, any kind of theist, and also non-theist religions like Buddhism. None of them have any reason to claim that they encapsulate some kind of eternal truth. On the other hand of course I'm perfectly happy they believe what they believe as long as they don't harm other people.
Quote
 Then maybe you know what is a sign of agnosticism so than no misinterpretations can be made.
Refraining from criticising religions and the religious is not a bad first inicator. Criticisinig them the way Dawkins and co do is a indicator of their own certitude.
Quote
Quote No. Atheism is from Greek 'atheos' a state of being without God. 'Atheists' believe in atheos.
I have no belief in any kind of deity so I consider myself an atheist. How do you know that your definition is correct?
By authorities like this:
Originally posted by http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=atheism&searchmode=none http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=atheism&searchmode=none wrote:

]
atheism Look up atheism at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Fr. athéisme (16c.), from Gk. atheos "without god" (see atheist).
 
However, the term got confusing rather early on, which is why Huxley invented the term 'agnostic' in 1869, specifically to refer to lack of belief in the existence or otherwise of gods, and as opposed to belief in there being no gods.
Quote
Quote The 'new atheists' in their politicised drive to recruit members, try anything to get genuine agnostice to sign up to their propaganda. At best that is unethical.
So let's see: agnostics are more ethical than "new atheists: since they do not have a politicised drive to recruite new members, especially genuine agnostics. That goes into saying: beware, genuine agnostics, you know your position is "the best" don't fall for the new atheist propaganda because we know what they're doing is untethical.
No it doesn't. It's equivalent to saying 'Don't believe the salesman who tells you the swampland is going to be drained.'' Or don't believe the politician who tells you of course he's going to get you universal health care.
Quote
May I see the ethical scale used to establish such a definite distinction?
Are you really asking for an ethical scale in which lying to people to gain their support is worse than telling them the truth? That's all I'm proposing.
Quote
Quote agnosticism is essentially an indifferent attitude, since it considers the question of the existence of God as trivial, if not simply meaningless
Maybe, but this indifferent atitude is reserved only to some trivialities, on other aspects it seems that agnostics have plenty to teach, even to those who think that the question of the existence of God is not trivial. Off course, they know better, it's an essential attitude of the agnostics, especially of the genuine ones
Quote  

 I still prefer the table.........(theos)................................(atheos)

....................................there are gods.....................there are no gods

believes.............................theist...................................atheist

does not believe.............agnostic.................................agnostic.

Even the most radical atheist would only say that "there are no gods" is not a belief, it's rather the result of an assement of available knowledge.

I'm not concerned with what they say, I'm concerned with the positions they adopt. Mind you, your difference is no difference really. Atheists think they know. What's the difference beteen a belief and 'an assessment of available knowledge'? When it comes to the existence of gods, the agnostic position is that there is no available knowledge. Atheists act as if they know they are correct: not least because they attempt to prosetylise and criticise others for their beliefs.
Quote
Your table is made only to be consistent with your claims that atheist are believers.
It's meant to explain my position. It's more logical than what you gave.
Quote
The fact that atheist are "non believers" is an argument you know better than to take into consideration. Actually you know that "I don't believe X" means only and only "I believe ~X".
No it doesn't. The difference manifests itself in behaviour. If I don't believe I will be run over by a car, then I nevertheless walk carefully across he road. If I believe I will not be run over by a car, then I don't bother with precautions. In 1939 is I believed there would be a war I would have taken precautions (built a shelter in the garden and so on). If I didn'tbelieve there would be a war I would still probably have taken similar precautions. If I believed there wasn't going to be a war I wouldn't have taken any precautions.
 
Symbolically if B(x) mans 'believes x' then B(~x) is not the same as ~B(x). Draw yourself a Venn diagram.
Quote
Quote I'm pointing out that for many people they are the same. And the people who equate belief and knowledge include the new atheists - no matter what they say it reeks from every inflection and attitude.
Contrary to your atitude that is definitely an agnostic one: no matter what an atheist say you know that for him/her, belief and knowledge is the same, you know there can be no argument for the atheists.
Agnosticism is scepticism of our knowledge of the 'real world' (including in that whether the real world includes or not). It is not scepticisim about deduction or deductive truth. I know for instance that Pythagoras' theorem is proven, because proven merely means consistent with given assumptions and definitions. It is not sceptical of phenomena but of the noumena we induce from the phenomena we notice:  I know therefore that I observe what I observe, even if my observation may be incorrect.  
 
So I am not saying that any particular individual is known to me to be agnostic, atheist, or any kind of theist. (For instance Dawkins' position as I indicated above veers from one side to another in irritating fashion.) My position is deductive: IF an individual holds certain beliefs he should be classified one way, IF he doesn't he should be classified another. Mixing them up leads to confusion - to for instance one person claiming the same label as someone else even though the beliefes, and more importanatly their behavious) are opposite to each other.
Quote
 
Quote I don't think their arguments are sciencve oriented. I think they claim a scientific facade, but their attitude is entirely unscientific since they are so sure they know the truth.
Since you appreciate the memes theory based on ontology it is obvious that you know what scientific attitude is and that a bilologist like RD for example cannot ever have a scientific attitude or use scientific arguments, unless, perhaps, he converts to genuine agnosticism.
Well that's mixing up religious agnosticism with other kinds. I do thnk a scientist cannot really claim the term unless he is agnostic in the relevant field. However it's perfectly easy to be sceptical about say string theory and at the same time for instance be a Christian in religious belief.
 
I don't think Dawkins is sceptical about meme theories, but then as you say he is a biologist and as a biologist I don't think it makes any difference.
Quote
Quote

What irritates agnostics in general is the attempt of the new atheists to present themselves as somehow 'scientific' or 'objective' when all they are is religious fundamentalism in a new guise.

Off course, the not fundamentalist attitude of the agnostics being in establishing clearly defined limits of what an atheist should do, what is ethical, how should an argument be formalised, when to use science and/or phylosophy, etc, etc.

Why do you think an agnostic shouldn't have ethical standards? Or appreciate logical thinking? Or understand the scientific method? (In fact scientific method stands on the same base as agnosticism: scepticism.) Or be capable of defining a concept?
 
You seem to be assuming that having a point of view is necessarily fundamentalist. By the standards you are applying here, everybody is a fundamentalist. Which is kind of distorting the word in a way that is highly reminiscent of the kind of religious preaching I observe from the new atheists in general.
 
Quote
The purpose of this post is not to attack Gcle as some sort of fundamentalist, but to show that there is no way to avoid being called arrogant, or unethical, or whatever, according to your actions. And also that most people are inconsistentWink!
I think that was pretty obvious already.


Edited by gcle2003 - 30 Mar 2011 at 15:14
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.

Back to Top
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1352
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 10:09

But, Gcle, even your reply is somehow fundamentalist!

You take into account for atheism only the definition of your choice, and refuse to take into account that there are other definitions, or to give reasons for why are you are doing so other than your opinion.

You claim that agnostics have a “less metaphysically unacceptable” role because it avoids making metaphysical statements, and throw in Occam’s razor. I fail to follow your argument since this tool does not state one should refrain from making metaphysical statements”. AFAIK the principle is about necessity not about statements count.

You are saying that is ethical not to lie to people and tell them the truth. What truth? You’re not holding the ultimate truth, are you? If Hitchens believes that what he says is true then he is not unethical. (Actually the new atheists do not preach any absolute truth, they are attacking religions on the basis that these are about absolute truths that fail to be proven)

Your table is not more logical (it shows no logical path so far), it only explains your position. What I was proposing were three definitions with a wider degree of coverage in order to avoid confusion within this topic. Using Occam’s razor you seem so fond of it is not necessary to set in the agnostics as a third party:

Theist  = a person for whom the attribute (believes in at least one deity) is true.

Atheist = a person for whom the attribute (believes in any deity) is false.

Or:

Theism = any form of belief in at least one deity.

Atheism = lack of belief in any deity.

That should be enough, except that off course attribute, belief and deity are too to be defined, which might lead to broader set where knowledge might be involved and would need to be defined too. The point is that you can’t just “make it simple”.

Actually, fundamentalist is not what I would call your attitude. I find it quite reasonable. You are uncomfortable with the behaviour of the new atheists. To call them fundamentalists might be OK although I would use radicals. But to call them unethical?!
Back to Top
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1352
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 10:19
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

The heart has its reasons that the reason does not know...Blaise Pascal
THAT'S IT!!! ENOUGH!!! Poetry gives me headaches! I knew that religion was only a mere facade, after all, there are so many religious nice people! Poetry is the root of all evil (the bible is full of verses!!!) How subtle of the poetic meme to slip into everything we do and constantly getting us to be inconsistent. Love, hate, violence, you name it and there's a poem somewhere containing it. I will start to collect the empirical facts about the evil poetry, put them into a phylosphically acceptable shape and then publish my studies proselitising Apoetry. Then I'll deal with religion if there seems to be no chance of it getting better after poetry is gone. 
Back to Top
drgonzaga View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar
Plus Ultra

Joined: 01 Oct 2005
Status: Offline
Points: 6262
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 15:26
Forsooth! Can Caesar be cross?
Or is that yon misty dagger
a dark foreboding of imminent end.
Alas! Are we not all at a loss
when intimations of near mortality
forces the neck to bend
and all we behold is dust!
 
Only the fool wages battle on creativity.
 
There is no problem with the empirical as long as it knows its place, Cezar, and given the choice between a Quijote and a loveless empiricist at the least the former saw the danger in windmills.


Edited by drgonzaga - 31 Mar 2011 at 15:30
Honi soit qui mal y pense
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master
Avatar
PM Honorary Member

Joined: 06 Dec 2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 13262
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 15:51
Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:

But, Gcle, even your reply is somehow fundamentalist!

You take into account for atheism only the definition of your choice, and refuse to take into account that there are other definitions, or to give reasons for why are you are doing so other than your opinion.

I think I said I didn't mind what labels you used as long as the distinction is made. If you like you can call black, 'clunk' and white, 'skedaddle' as long as you subsequently still take 'skedaddle' as meaning 'all colours' and 'clunk' no colours. What there is absolutely no point in doing is calling both black and white grey (or plunket')
You can call whatI call agnostics, 'atheists' and what I call 'atheists' 'agnostics' if you like, but it will hardly facilitate understanding since you have no basis at all for doing that. What is hopeless is to call both of them 'agnostics' and both of them 'atheists' at the same time, which the 'new atheists' do at the drop of a hat.. It's even worse when you do as they do and say yoou can be atheist abd still believe in pantheism. The whole system is then descending into logical chaos.
Quote

You claim that agnostics have a “less metaphysically unacceptable” role because it avoids making metaphysical statements, and throw in Occam’s razor. I fail to follow your argument since this tool does not state one should refrain from making metaphysical statements”. AFAIK the principle is about necessity not about statements count.

I merely gave the Razor as an example of a metaphysical tool - i.e. there is no logically valid reason for it. It is a metaphysical tool. The original quotation has been lost to time, but the accepted version is that entities should not be multiplied more than necessary. So it is about both count and necessity.  Anyway I was only quoting it as an example of a metaphysical tool  in order to help demonstrate that agnostics do accept metaphysical assertions and are not competely free of them.
Quote
You are saying that is ethical not to lie to people and tell them the truth. What truth? You’re not holding the ultimate truth, are you? If Hitchens believes that what he says is true then he is not unethical.
I don't believe he does so believe. I believe - from readng what he says - he is an atheist pretending to be agnostic. I believe he is intolerant pretending sometimes to be tolerant.
Quote
 (Actually the new atheists do not preach any absolute truth, they are attacking religions on the basis that these are about absolute truths that fail to be proven)
That's where you don't appear to have been following what they write. They are attacking religion fundamentally because they don't like the religion they were brought up in. (Just as Hitchens, for instance, hates the society he was broought up in, irrespective of religion.) Which is why they concentrate on attacking that religion. I don't actually think they are attacking it because they are atheist. Anti-religion and atheist are not the same thing.
Quote

Your table is not more logical (it shows no logical path so far), it only explains your position. What I was proposing were three definitions with a wider degree of coverage in order to avoid confusion within this topic. Using Occam’s razor you seem so fond of it is not necessary to set in the agnostics as a third party:

Theist  = a person for whom the attribute (believes in at least one deity) is true.

Atheist = a person for whom the attribute (believes in any deity) is false.

I can do it in two as well:
x-theist = a person for whom the attribute (believes in x gods) is true
agnostic = a person for whom the attribute (believes in x gods) is false.
Quote

Or:

Theism = any form of belief in at least one deity.

Atheism = lack of belief in any deity.

That should be enough, except that off course attribute, belief and deity are too to be defined, which might lead to broader set where knowledge might be involved and would need to be defined too. The point is that you can’t just “make it simple”.

Actually, fundamentalist is not what I would call your attitude. I find it quite reasonable. You are uncomfortable with the behaviour of the new atheists. To call them fundamentalists might be OK although I would use radicals. But to call them unethical?!
 
However one of the things about behaviour that I object to is using different referents for the term 'atheist' for different people. That is preaching strict atheism  to some people who agree with it, but then claiming they are really agnostic to appeal to people who are reluctant to go 'all the way' (and even get support from some kinds of theists).


Edited by gcle2003 - 31 Mar 2011 at 15:52
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.

Back to Top
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1352
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 15:52
Is that Shakespeare, dr. G? I've only read him in Romanian, a long time ago.
I don't wage war on creativity, I'm only inviting those who create to STOP creating poetryTongue
Back to Top
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1352
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 16:07
@ Gcle. I can think of myself as being atheist although I fit into your idea of agnostic. I also think of you as being an atheist agnostic. But since discussing these leads to nowhere I think it is best to agree to the fact that we made our position clear on the matter, and eventually go on. I'm not enforcing my concepts to you and you don't do it on me. It's OK. I may sometimes slip into calling you atheist but I'll try not to. Just don't post POETRY!
Back to Top
drgonzaga View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar
Plus Ultra

Joined: 01 Oct 2005
Status: Offline
Points: 6262
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 16:24
Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:

Is that Shakespeare, dr. G? I've only read him in Romanian, a long time ago.
I don't wage war on creativity, I'm only inviting those who create to STOP creating poetryTongue
 
Why thank you, Cezar, for calling my little effort "Shakespeare". No it is not the Bard but just little old me having some fun while reaching for a point.
 
As for me, the principal charge than can be made with full justice against the New Atheists is that they are boring! One may commit many crimes and escape more or less unscathed, but to bore another for the sake of opinion merits the imposition of a capital sentence!
 
There is no truer hell than being seated next to a New Atheist at a dinner party!


Edited by drgonzaga - 31 Mar 2011 at 16:25
Honi soit qui mal y pense
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master
Avatar
PM Honorary Member

Joined: 06 Dec 2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 13262
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 16:33
Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:

@ Gcle. I can think of myself as being atheist although I fit into your idea of agnostic. I also think of you as being an atheist agnostic. But since discussing these leads to nowhere I think it is best to agree to the fact that we made our position clear on the matter, and eventually go on. I'm not enforcing my concepts to you and you don't do it on me. It's OK. I may sometimes slip into calling you atheist but I'll try not to. Just don't post POETRY!
 
Agreed.
 
If I happen to quote poetry on another thread, just close you eyes Smile I promise not to use it as a weapon. 
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.

Back to Top
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1352
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 18:02
Doctor G you see that
Creativity or not
Spring is still around 
Back to Top
drgonzaga View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar
Plus Ultra

Joined: 01 Oct 2005
Status: Offline
Points: 6262
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 02:28
Spring? A much over-rated season for any with allergies to pollen. The coziness of Winter, the abandon of Summer, and the reflections of Fall, those I understand. But Spring, never! Best to hang Flora and all those pesky poets that sing her glory...see I can compromise on poets or at least a rather large lot of them that deserve defenestration either in flesh or book form!
 
Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war...now that's Shakespeare.
 
Oops, we are disrupting the thread but there is little more that can be said about the militant pedantry of the likes of Wilson and Dawkins. Hitchens gets a pass but that solely because I consider him a cynic with a penchant for satire. He obviously does not give a hang as to what others believe as long it does not interfere with his cocktails.


Edited by drgonzaga - 01 Apr 2011 at 02:33
Honi soit qui mal y pense
Back to Top
kowalskil View Drop Down
Knight
Knight


Joined: 12 Jan 2011
Location: New Jersey, USA
Status: Offline
Points: 57
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kowalskil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2011 at 17:31
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

The atheist position is only slightly stronger than theist's, as the absence of God is more easily observed than his existence.

Neither presence nor absence of God can be "observed." These facts are accepted, like axions in mathematics.

Ludwik 
.
.
Ludwik Kowalski author of Diary of a Former Communist: Thoughts, Feelings, Reality.

http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html

Diary kept in the USSR, Poland, France, and the USA
Back to Top
Panther View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar
Editorial Staff

Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 4577
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2011 at 17:37
Originally posted by arch.buff arch.buff wrote:

To this end, it seems to me that the New Atheists arguments are of the weaker, and more emotionally charged, type.     
 
-arch.buff


I am rather late to this clam bake, but i agree with the quote above. They also seem to be more of the proselytizing nature then their more agreeable predecessors. I hope the old atheists attitude hasn't gone the way of the dinosaurs?


Edited by Panther - 03 Apr 2011 at 17:44
Back to Top
Woofer View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 06 Sep 2013
Status: Offline
Points: 61
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Woofer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Sep 2013 at 08:04
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Quote I think what they are saying, by and large, is that the moral fabric of our society (the equal dignity of every human life, compassion for the weak and the poor, etc.) would have came about had Christianity never made its arrival. I don't agree with that; especially when so many atheists have asserted their aversion for the weak and downtrodden.


No one else other than a Christian is capable of such things?  Such good will predates Christianity by millions of years and is observable in our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom, Chimpanzes.

 
Good will and chimpanzees? Zagros are you taking anthropomorphism to quite an extreme? Chimpanzees are about the most distasteful of all the simians. And, no they are not "our closest living "relatives" since such a contention has more Darwinism than Science in its proferance. I'd opt for the Orangutan if we are to be made "monkeys".Wink


1: Chimps are not monkeys, neither are orangutans, they are apes.  Two of four species of great ape, we are a third and gorillas a fourth.
2: Chimps are the closest animal to us genetically and socially speaking, more so than the orangutan.
3: Chimps display many, if not all, of the basic human emotions and impulses, both the negative and the positive (from deplorable savagery to gentle kindness).

This is not Darwinism, it is observable fact... unlike much of the tripe in holy books.



Actually you missed out two. We are nearest to the Bonobo Pan paniscus 'rather than pan troglodytesand you didn;t mention the Gibbons those of the Hylobatidae family

Back to Top
Woofer View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 06 Sep 2013
Status: Offline
Points: 61
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Woofer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Sep 2013 at 08:12
What is so frustrating is the way that people criticise the position of people like Dawkins without actually knowing what that position is. Dawkins does not insist he knows that there is no god. Like me he asserts that he does not believe in god NOT that he believes there is no God.

I consider myself a new atheist. Having been bullied by Christian teachers at school and forced to attend religious services by the same school I find it a bit rich that Christians are now complaining that we are intolerant of their demands for their beliefs to be accepted.

No New Atheist is demanding that Christian worship be banned but we certainly object to nonsense like creationism or intelligent design being taught  in a science class and we object even further to the constant misrepresentation by many Christians over what we believe, what science is and their refusal to give evidence whilst insisting that God is provable.
Back to Top
Woofer View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 06 Sep 2013
Status: Offline
Points: 61
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Woofer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Sep 2013 at 08:13
When Deists talk about our 'more agreeable predecessors' what they means is in the good old days when Atheists were marginalised and oppressed. It reminds me of the way some racists hearkened back to the good old days when "negras knew their place''
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1 234
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.156 seconds.