The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by -1- » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:22 pm

If you are religious, how do you view atheists? Do you have a preconceived idea what they are like? Or you judge each for approachability on an individual basis?

Consider the following, please.

Today has been a bright, sunny, warm day in London, Ontario, no humidity, perfect to sit in the park. I therefore walked to Victoria Park, and sat on a bench for a while. A brown girl (East Indian in origin, likely from the Caribbean Islands) sat down beside me, and engaged me in a talk about Christianity. I think when she sat down she was a deeply devout, God-fearing Christian; when she stood up, half hour later, she was a rabid, blood-thirsty atheist.

NO, really, but we had a good time, I made her laugh aloud several times. I remember now only one: she said she prays for the drug users. Because the power of God is with her. So I asked her, have the drug users stopped using drugs? She could not stand this, she burst out laughing.

She wanted to convince me that I have an undying soul; I replied, I don't know if I do, and I bet she doesn't either, because nobody has come back from the dead yet, to tell us what it's like on the other side of death. As far as I am concerned, we know nothing about it.

She then said that the Bible says... I interrupted her, the Bible is not evidence, it has many false things in it. She said, it does not. I said, how about the prediction and promise by Jesus that he will return before the grandchildren of the disciples die.

She said, I must seek out god, to gain peace and freedom. I said, I already have peace and freedom. She asked rhetorically, where do we come from. I said, from the beginning? She brightened up, yes, from Adam and Eve!! No, I said, I have come from the primordial soup. She had no clue what that was. I said, there were lots of carbon atoms in the sea a billion years ago, and they started to combine with other atoms, and they grew. In a thousand years not much happens, but in a million years a lot did happen, because that is a thousand times a thousand years. Then a billion years is a thousand years times a thousand times a thousand. So I believe that's where we came from. She frowned, and she said, that's biology.

She tried to smear all the bad things in the world on Satan, the Devil, but I came to his rescue, and said, is the devil more powerful than god, according to your faith? I hope not, I said. She said, definitely not, so I said, then the Devil only does what god allows him to do, he is in effect god's minion, isn't he? She looked at me and was speechless. Then she said that Christ died on the cross, and we have these people therefore die in hurricanes and earthquakes. So I said, what's the connection? She said, sinning; she said that poeple turned away from Christianity. I said, but the hurricanes happen as we speak in the Bible Belt of America, where people are mostly and very much devout Christians. Again, she was stumped.

She said we have wars now and everyone is killing and destroying. I said, and pointed at a gentleman in his seventies, a tall, dignified-looking man, is he destroying something, or killing someone? She said who? I said, that guy over there, that tall guy in the black. She said, no. I said, are you killing people? She said, no. I said, because you said "everyone" is killing people. Well, not everyone, but a lot of people. I said, the overwhelming majority of people never kill anyone, and everyone means absolutely everybody. So she apologized.

It was a joyful and happy talk, she said. She told me I am... I forgot, it was either "free" or "happy" or "at peace", and she said, this was refreshing, a happy talk, because people mostly scream at her or throw expletives at her. She stood up and left, after introducing herself, her name is Ruth.

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by attofishpi » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:40 am

-1- wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:22 pm
If you are religious, how do you view atheists? Do you have a preconceived idea what they are like? Or you judge each for approachability on an individual basis?
I have known 'God' to exist since 1997. I have tested and been tested over those years. What do I think of atheists? Mostly short-sighted.

There are people on both camps that I don't gel with:-
- Atheists that are arrogant and continue to call theists 'deluded' etc..(and believe there is no scientific reasoning that would allow such an entity to exist)
- Theists that are plain dumb - whether it be with spiritual claptrap or fundamental buy-bull bollocks.

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by -1- » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:17 am

Thanks for your response, attofishpi.

I am an atheist, not an agnostic, while I do observe that faith or the lack of it is a matter of... well, faith. There is no ultimate proof for or against existence of any number of gods. Therefore whatever an individual chooses to be his or her faith is indeed his or her business.

That said, I do not suffer religions well, mainly because they advocate logical impossibilities. Be these impossibilities empirical or a priori. All religions involve at least one god; and they also teach things, dogma, about this god(s). Whereas god belief can be independent of religion, religion can't be independent of god. Faith in no god is not a religion, while it's a faith. When it comes down to human understanding, everything is based on faith, primarily.

Other than that, I do accept that it's possible (but I don't believe it's true) that a creator has been involved in the making of the universe.

Much like religion followers like to proselytize, I do too. I like to spread the acceptance and following of atheism. This is a tribal instinct, as I believe religions have many-many psychological and sociological functions, one of the most important ones is sharing trust to protect each other and the tribe, even at a price of one's own loss of life, which is acquired in a common belief of deity on the tribal level. In our modern, huge societies this is no longer an issue, but the feeling remains, and that is the inner spring of why people feel compelled to proselytize.

"Many know, manier don't, that to believe is stronger than to know."

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by attofishpi » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:06 am

-1- wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:17 am
Other than that, I do accept that it's possible (but I don't believe it's true) that a creator has been involved in the making of the universe.
Respect!

Atheism is a rather defunct stance for one wishing to be a philosopher, to have a love of wisdom, when it has been directed to us through various scripture that to know God exists one must simply have some faith. Of course, according to an atheist, scripture is merely man attempting to coerce man.

Since knowing 'God' exists, I have kept an open mind as to its nature with two most likely forms:-
- God is divine - formed its own intelligence perhaps from chaos of an early universe - perhaps result of multiverse.
- 'God' is A.I. - formed out of necessity in relation to increasing entropy.

I encourage you to visit my website and view the artwork - Beyond Reasonable Doubt? www.androcies.com for some inflection to how I proselytise.

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by -1- » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:36 am

attofishpi wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:06 am
Of course, according to an atheist, scripture is merely man attempting to coerce man.
Some arguments go like that, and there is some validity to it. But man manipulating his fellow man is more the USE of the scripture than the original ideas put down when they were put down. I believe that the scriptures have not been written with social application esp. exploitation in mind; those applications are a development further down in time. For instance, early Christians were not concerned with the Papacy or with feudal relationships where the idea was that all power derives from god, and kings are god's earthly governors.

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by Necromancer » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:56 am

I do not see the point of Atheism. Why are not Atheists Atheistic Humanists or Secular Humanists?

To me, and more so in the future, I think, the choice is between "religion" of wart(s) as taint of a corrupt mind and true religion (eg. Christianity/Islam/Judaism etc.).

The Atheists are no better scientists, not more rational, (certainly) not more moral, not better humans, not better humanists... Atheism for the trash heap? :D

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by -1- » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:42 am

Necromancer wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:56 am
I do not see the point of Atheism. Why are not Atheists Atheistic Humanists or Secular Humanists?

To me, and more so in the future, I think, the choice is between "religion" of wart(s) as taint of a corrupt mind and true religion (eg. Christianity/Islam/Judaism etc.).

The Atheists are no better scientists, not more rational, (certainly) not more moral, not better humans, not better humanists... Atheism for the trash heap? :D
"the choice is between "religion" of wart(s) as taint of a corrupt mind and true religion (eg. Christianity/Islam/Judaism etc.)."
I am not sure if I got this straight. Your meaning is lost on me.

The Atheists are no better scientists, not more rational, (certainly) not more moral, not better humans, not better humanists... Atheism for the trash heap? :D This is true. It is also true that The Atheists are no worse scientists, not less rational, (certainly) not less moral, not worse humans, not worse humanists... Atheism for the cream of the heap? :D

Atheists are humans, much like religionists, or whites or blacks or yellows or tall ones or short ones or fat ones or lean ones. Meaning, if there is enough of them, the gamut of human qualities are distributed in any subgroup of humanity in a more-or-less random fashion.

"I do not see the point of Atheism. Why are not Atheists Atheistic Humanists or Secular Humanists?"I can't help you with that. Not that you asked for help. Why are not all atheists humanists? Some them are. Some of them aren't. Being a humanist can be done two ways: thinking and acting like a humanist, or joining a humanist community. Much like being a Christian. So... if you follow some religion, I don't see the point of why you follow that particular religion. And if you don't follow any religion, I don't see the point of why you don't join some religion. Same thing, same difference as what you asked.

Generally, Necromancer, my understanding is that you put this "atheists - religionists" relationship in an antagonistic relationship; to you they seem like "us" and "them" and in your mind the gap between them makes them different altogether. Whereas they are not differentiable; the only difference is that atheists believe there is no god, and theists, that there is. Believe me, there are cruel, base, vile atheists, but not all of them are, much like there are cruel, base, vile theists as well. We share one humanity, like it or not, warts and all.

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:28 pm

-1- wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:22 pm
If you are religious, how do you view atheists? Do you have a preconceived idea what they are like? Or you judge each for approachability on an individual basis?
Individually. There are several types of people who, at least nominally, regard themselves as "Atheists." Some are very reasonable and pleasant. Some, not so much.

One type is what we might call "The Accidental Atheist." This is the person who has just really never thought about the idea of God, and so regards himself or herself as a sort of Atheist-by-default. Many of these are very reasonable people.

Another is the "Angry Atheist." This is the kind of person C.S. Lewis said he was, before he became a Christian. Of himself, he wrote, "I was at that time living like many atheists; in a whirl of contradictions. I maintained that God did not exist. I was also very angry with God for not existing. I was equally angry with him for creating a world. Why should creatures have the burden of existence forced on them without their consent?" These sort of Atheists can be personable sometimes, and sometimes not.

A second type of Angry Atheist is the kind who has had a trauma of some kind in his/her life...maybe neglect, abuse, tragic loss, disability, sexual dysphoria, illness...something they find very hard to live with, and for which they are angry at God, and get back at him by disbelieving in Him. Not very rational, of course; but somewhat understandable. Really, they're wanting to ask a question, something like, "God, if you mean well to me, how come you've allowed this to happen?" But when they made that "call," no one seemed to answer. At least, not within the expected time, anyway. So they hung up, saying, "Nobody's there." And this kind can be possible to talk to, if you respect their pain and work with them to seek answers together.

Then there's the Richard Dawkins-type, the Evangelical Atheist. These are they guys (and statistically, they're overwhelmingly middle-aged men, according to studies) for whom Atheism is a flag-carrying cause. They believe some legend like, "The Enlightenment / Nietzsche / The Decline of Catholicism / The Crusades / Positivism / Modern Science / Social Justice / the Fall of Rome...something has "disproved" God decisively. They're on a holy crusade to free the world from "ancient superstition," and cannot stand that anybody even entertains the possibility of a God. They're also very angry, because increasingly it's clear that their key historical interpretation, known as The Secularization Hypothesis, has not turned out to be true: the world is not becoming "less religious," but more. So they're earnest to spread the "bad news" of Atheism to all corners of the globe, and reverse this trend. And these Atheists are nearly impossible to speak with, since they're so invested in disbelief that no amount of argument, reasons or evidence will ever "count" to them.

There are other types as well; but you can see that even these few range from the completely understandable and tractable, to the sanctimonious extreme. You can only address them on an individual basis, therefore. Type 1 will talk to you, type 2 will, if you're sensitive, as will type 3. But type 4 is often closed off, and the more you show the irrationality of their Atheism, the angrier and more strident they get.

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by Harbal » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:08 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:28 pm

One type is what we might call "The Accidental Atheist." This is the person who has just really never thought about the idea of God, and so regards himself or herself as a sort of Atheist-by-default.
Accidental in the same way as someone who goes for a walk and returns home completely dry because he "accidently" went out when it wasn't raining.

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:52 pm

Harbal wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:08 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:28 pm

One type is what we might call "The Accidental Atheist." This is the person who has just really never thought about the idea of God, and so regards himself or herself as a sort of Atheist-by-default.
Accidental in the same way as someone who goes for a walk and returns home completely dry because he "accidently" went out when it wasn't raining.
Or "accidental" in the way we use the expression, "an automobile accident." Not-by-deliberation, that means. The secondary implication of careless production of a serious personal injury is just...what's the word I want here?

..."accidental."

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by Harbal » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:11 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:52 pm
Or "accidental" in the way we use the expression, "an automobile accident." Not-by-deliberation, that means. The secondary implication of careless production of a serious personal injury is just...what's the word I want here?

..."accidental."
Well I do think that religion and theism can often resemble....now what's the phrase I'm looking for?

..."a car crash."

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by Necromancer » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:51 pm

-1- wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:42 am
"the choice is between "religion" of wart(s) as taint of a corrupt mind and true religion (eg. Christianity/Islam/Judaism etc.)."
I am not sure if I got this straight. Your meaning is lost on me.

The Atheists are no better scientists, not more rational, (certainly) not more moral, not better humans, not better humanists... Atheism for the trash heap? :D This is true. It is also true that The Atheists are no worse scientists, not less rational, (certainly) not less moral, not worse humans, not worse humanists... Atheism for the cream of the heap? :D

Atheists are humans, much like religionists, or whites or blacks or yellows or tall ones or short ones or fat ones or lean ones. Meaning, if there is enough of them, the gamut of human qualities are distributed in any subgroup of humanity in a more-or-less random fashion.

"I do not see the point of Atheism. Why are not Atheists Atheistic Humanists or Secular Humanists?"I can't help you with that. Not that you asked for help. Why are not all atheists humanists? Some them are. Some of them aren't. Being a humanist can be done two ways: thinking and acting like a humanist, or joining a humanist community. Much like being a Christian. So... if you follow some religion, I don't see the point of why you follow that particular religion. And if you don't follow any religion, I don't see the point of why you don't join some religion. Same thing, same difference as what you asked.

Generally, Necromancer, my understanding is that you put this "atheists - religionists" relationship in an antagonistic relationship; to you they seem like "us" and "them" and in your mind the gap between them makes them different altogether. Whereas they are not differentiable; the only difference is that atheists believe there is no god, and theists, that there is. Believe me, there are cruel, base, vile atheists, but not all of them are, much like there are cruel, base, vile theists as well. We share one humanity, like it or not, warts and all.
Actually, the Atheists may very well be worse human beings because they have no (credible) moral code they follow! Therefore, I nudge you toward (Atheistic/Secular) Humanism to which you display blunt ignorance! Religious people are known to fight evil/very bad morals such as torture of people. Again? :) :arrow:

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by thedoc » Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:40 am

Harbal wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:11 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:52 pm
Or "accidental" in the way we use the expression, "an automobile accident." Not-by-deliberation, that means. The secondary implication of careless production of a serious personal injury is just...what's the word I want here?

..."accidental."
Well I do think that religion and theism can often resemble....now what's the phrase I'm looking for?

..."a car crash."
If you are saying that a person does not intentionally or deliberately become a Christian, then I disprove your rule. I am not an accidental or inherited Christian.

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by -1- » Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:07 am

Necromancer wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:51 pm

Actually, the Atheists may very well be worse human beings because they have no (credible) moral code they follow! Therefore, I nudge you toward (Atheistic/Secular) Humanism to which you display blunt ignorance! Religious people are known to fight evil/very bad morals such as torture of people. Again? :) :arrow:
I contest this argument of yours.

Atheists have no fear of god or punishment by god to behave well. The well-behaving atheists behave nice because there is goodness in their heart.

The religious behave well because they fear god and his punishment. Therefore it's not THEM that are good, but a fear that drives them to good behaviour.

In the final total, atheists are good because they are good people, who have peace in their heart and wish goodness for their fellow men WITHOUT COERCION BY AN EXTERNAL SOURCE. The religious, on the other hand, need to be whipped by the fear of their god to behave nicely.

So there. Who is the better person? Who has the superior moral code? Well, the atheists, of course, because they behave well by their own, without needing to be ordered and without needing to fear if they should misbehave.

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Re: The friendly atheist... not everyone is a barking dog

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:52 am

-1- wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:07 am
The well-behaving atheists behave nice because there is goodness in their heart.
Yes, we've seen how "well-behaving" some Atheists can be. Over 140 million bodies piled up while certain self-declared Atheists were demonstrating their "well-behaving."

And that's the problem, really. What's inside people naturally is NOT always good. Racism, genocide, rape, pornography, substance abuse, infanticide...the impulse from these things has to come from somewhere. And if we grant Atheism, where can it come from but from the same kind of humans you so confidently declare "well-behaving"?

For that matter, if, as an Atheist, you decry the religious impulse, where can THAT have come from, by Atheist account, except from the human heart? It wasn't manufactured by trees, rocks, paramecia or guinea pigs.

In fact, if we believe the Atheist cynics about the nature of morality, even much of what appears to be good may well be merely self-serving...more a matter of an agent wanting to feel good or appear good than to be good. After all, in Atheist reckoning, "good" isn't a genuine property or objective description of anything...it's just got to be a contingent, human attribution of what some human beings happen to say they happen to like...and many don't. So there is no actually way to BE good. "Good" isn't a thing.

But if you believe that some things are actually evil -- like, say, killing over 140 million people -- then all that nastiness has to come from somewhere. If the Atheist's suppositions are correct, then there's only one place it CAN come from -- human nature. Human beings...Atheists, as it happens...did it. So why would we start trusting "the goodness in [the human] heart" again?

Don't we already have enough dead bodies piled up to the failure of that blind optimism?

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