why are atheists like they are?

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

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Re: why are atheists like they are?

Post by Metacrock » Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:47 pm

Antimatter wrote:Wow, this thread is rife with misconceptions about atheists. Apparently we desire to be certain about everything, yet we're content with incompetent scientists who can't make up their mind. We're close-minded and refuse to believe anything without absolute proof, yet we explain away religious experience as a "hallucination" without said proof. Some of us have a insatiable god-inspired interest in religion, yet we can't possibly understand religion unless we accept it as true.

In case you're keeping count, none of the above are true. Is it any wonder that few atheists post here?

I think you are making too much out of intellectual criticisms. don't take them to heart
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Re: why are atheists like they are?

Post by Metacrock » Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:51 pm

tinythinker wrote:
LACanuck wrote:
runamokmonk wrote:I would think this would neither be the theist nor the atheist.
There's a theist who doesn't think they know where we came from?

I'm pretty certain that if I asked 100 Christians, that all 100 could tell me where they think we came from ('we' being used in the general "life, the universe and everything" sense).
I would place it more around 90-95 out of 100 for most contemporary Christians in the US, and I think that is unfortunate. It is a misplaced emphasis that prevents any kind of real dialog from taking place and it is a stumbling block for many people who then associate anything having to do with the Divine with a pre-requisite set of adament beliefs. Faith, rather than being a living aspect of one's life that grows from experience of Ultimate Reality by seeking to increase one's understanding and compassion for others, instead becomes slavish allegiance to a set of statements, doctrines, dogmas, etc. about words like "God" and events such "the Flood". Armed with a certainty locked in place by a closed mind and closed heart, many who claim to have "faith" are willing to impose their unshakeable convictions on others for their own good. It's no wonder then some people then develop such a low regard for anything that remotely has to do with cultivating a spiritual depth to one's life.

(And this same kind of arrogance is not lacking in some of the newer forms of reactionary atheism either, particularly among many from the immature crowd that seems to want to tag in on debate threads and embarrass their more considerate and fair-minded counterparts in the non-religious community with uninformed and cliched condescension. Birds of a feather cast aspersions together.)

I am arguing with an atheist on another board now (not carm if you can beileve it--( don't nkow if you remember Laua from carm way way back--she and her hubby run Christiansareus) anyway this guy argues "evolution disproves God because an evolutinoary universe can't be designed, and if the design argument doesn't wash there can't be a god." when asked why? His answer is something like "because."

his other arguments are euqally stupid. Now I know I can find gobs of stupid fundie arguments. that's not the point. the point is I just see less and less intellectualism among atheists and more simplistic mock wanna be intellectualism that doesn't mean anything.


just for grins I'm putting them up on the board.
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Re: why are atheists like they are?

Post by tinythinker » Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:01 pm

I scanned over the thread. Honestly, it is people who make all these adament and specific claims about what God is supposed to be and what God is supposed to want (God is a person, God is not a person, God wants justice, God wants mercy, God wants trust, God wants obedience, God will give you things if you do this, God will punish you if you do that, God is blah blah blah) that set up such silly arguments about why God cannot exist. The person you are debating with doesn't appear to see the possibility, let alone the value, of a different frame of evaluating the nature of God, and this is almost certainly because of the common assertions by the more visible people speaking for their religions online and on television. That doesn't mean this individual couldn't do some actual digging into such alternatives, but then, there really doesn't seem to be much interest in such threads about truly challenging one's own assumptions (and that goes for the Christians too). It's more about trying to show up the other guy and claim it's other peoples fault for not being convincing enough. Moreover, many people are so infused with very narrow and concrete ideas of what God ought to be (or must be), that many theists and atheists would agree that other frames for understanding the Divine are watered down and virtually pointless.
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Re: why are atheists like they are?

Post by Metacrock » Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:11 am

tinythinker wrote:I scanned over the thread. Honestly, it is people who make all these adament and specific claims about what God is supposed to be and what God is supposed to want (God is a person, God is not a person, God wants justice, God wants mercy, God wants trust, God wants obedience, God will give you things if you do this, God will punish you if you do that, God is blah blah blah) that set up such silly arguments about why God cannot exist. The person you are debating with doesn't appear to see the possibility, let alone the value, of a different frame of evaluating the nature of God, and this is almost certainly because of the common assertions by the more visible people speaking for their religions online and on television. That doesn't mean this individual couldn't do some actual digging into such alternatives, but then, there really doesn't seem to be much interest in such threads about truly challenging one's own assumptions (and that goes for the Christians too). It's more about trying to show up the other guy and claim it's other peoples fault for not being convincing enough. Moreover, many people are so infused with very narrow and concrete ideas of what God ought to be (or must be), that many theists and atheists would agree that other frames for understanding the Divine are watered down and virtually pointless.

in that thread I have fallen into the trap of trying show up the other guy. Its' just gauliing when I put out three and four pages of facts, studies, arguments, logic and he says "you havent' showen a single fact." ( ( have 326 studies and he says I don't have one fact!

you and fleet and Zebnuts (QT) and some others have helped me challenge my assumptions.
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Re: why are atheists like they are?

Post by tinythinker » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:54 am

Metacrock wrote:in that thread I have fallen into the trap of trying show up the other guy. Its' just gauliing when I put out three and four pages of facts, studies, arguments, logic and he says "you havent' showen a single fact." ( ( have 326 studies and he says I don't have one fact!

you and fleet and Zebnuts (QT) and some others have helped me challenge my assumptions.
Ironically I wasn't referring specifically to you in my assessment - I think it is just the overall attitude that has come about in discussing religion.
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Re: why are atheists like they are?

Post by ChumpChange » Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:24 pm

Antimatter wrote:Wow, this thread is rife with misconceptions about atheists. Apparently we desire to be certain about everything, yet we're content with incompetent scientists who can't make up their mind. We're close-minded and refuse to believe anything without absolute proof, yet we explain away religious experience as a "hallucination" without said proof. Some of us have a insatiable god-inspired interest in religion, yet we can't possibly understand religion unless we accept it as true.

In case you're keeping count, none of the above are true. Is it any wonder that few atheists post here?

Actually in my experience with atheist all of these things are very true. Sorry. So if you say these things arent true then maybe your an anomaly. This post of yours sums up all the hypocrisy that comes with the atheist world view. You are close minded yet claim you arent. You are certain about everything yet you change your mind every other day. I'm not sure what your failing to understand...go to any atheist board and read for yourself.
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Re: why are atheists like they are?

Post by ZAROVE » Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:43 pm

I'd not say all Atheists act oen way or think one way. Doign so is like readingAtheists type abotu how Christians think.

Nevertheless, the trends described in this thread do appear in a goodnumber of Atheists who post on inernet message baordsfor the intent of arguing their worldview.

But I suspect a lot of the Symptoms listed above are the result of a need to justify those beleifs.

IE, the need for absolute proof of everything. Most Ahtiests don't need Absolute proof for Most fo the thigns they beleive. However, The need for absolute proof form some Athiets in regard to the exustance of God exists because they want to argue agaisnt Gods existance.

Arguing form a strict A Priori of the Non-Existance of God, in an attmeot to undermine an Argument form a theist, they will seek to exploit any option to show why the Thsistic argument is invalid.

Thus, if the Theistic argument fdoesn't provide 100% evidence, tis simply not true.

Its the same problem fasced on the other end, and why I abandoned Apologetics.

The truth is, the peopel who engage in such excersises do so with the sole intention of arguing for and reinforcing their own views on things. The arguments arne;t abotu an equel exchange of idea sin most cases, and the people posting simply want to present their arugment and counteract other arguments.

Heck, most of the arguments I've been in with Ahtiets end in them tellign me how stupid I am and beign unable to even relaly respod to my actual argument.

Most fo the time, the Atheists are tryign to repsind to Stock Christian arguments they have alreayd heard, and their reply is usually a stock atheist argument they pulled form the Secular Web or Richard Dawkins.

Since the Stock Christain reply is usually a Neo-COn Evangelical Protestant answr, and one I don't hold to with my Classical theology, they have no actual answer for my point, and often don't even know hat my poitn is. THey have ceased readign with the intent of gettign to know what the other person acutlaly thinks, and simply assume.

The problem, as I said, exists on both sides, but it is a very real problem indeed.

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Re: why are atheists like they are?

Post by ChumpChange » Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:59 pm

Im reading both Dawkins 'The God Delusion' and Lee Strobels 'A Case for Faith' at the same time. Im all about knowing both sides of the argument. So far both books are good but they both have there faults as well. I find it ironic that atheist and christians both tend to reject the other sides work without having ever read it. Not this super-theist!!!
"Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices."

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Re: why are atheists like they are?

Post by ZAROVE » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:36 pm

I've read "The God Dilusion", thoghh it was a couple of years bakc now and I can't assure everyone that my memory of its content is 100% . I've never read anythign by Lee Strebel outside of a few articles.

But I also have reservatiosn about the "Both sides" rule that many seem to pomulgate.

It seems thye want peopel to read sme sort of Christain apolegetic work and an Ahtiest Apologetic work to compare notes. All you end up with is a set of arugments of varyign degree of validity, but no real Substance.

Rahter than read sets of argumetns agisnt each other, I prefer to read what I htink I will gain smethign from, deviing into the Neo_Athiests apologetics books only when I need to for the sake of knowugn whats new on that front.

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Re: why are atheists like they are?

Post by ChumpChange » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:40 pm

LACanuck wrote: As for the idea of God contradicting the laws of nature, unless I'm mistaken you believe that God has. Any miracle that God performs is such a contradiction. As is the resurrection. So while God could work within the natural laws, it would appear that it doesn't always work that way.
This guy says it better than me: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ ... acles.html

If miracles violate laws of nature, then they could never be explained by appeal to natural law. Note that it needs to be a genuine law of nature that is violated by a miracle, not a manmade generalization erroneously taken as a law of nature. This needs some clarification. By a law of nature I mean a proposition which describes an actual uniformity that obtains in our universe. An example would be the Archimedean Law that a floating body always displaces an amount of fluid the weight of which is equal to its own weight. And an example of a miracle which violates that law would be a man walking on water (thereby displacing an amount of fluid the weight of which would be considerably less than his own bodyweight). In science, events are explained naturalistically (i.e., by appeal to laws of nature), so a miracle would be an event that could never be explained in that way. But if events which cannot at present be explained in that way were to come to be explained naturalistically in the future, then, in retrospect, it would need to be said of them that they were never miracles, although they may at one time have (erroneously) been thought to be that. At the very least, the laws that miracles violate need to be genuine ones.

Consider an example. Centuries ago, it was regarded a law of nature that matter cannot be destroyed. Thus, an event like an atomic explosion, in which matter is destroyed, would at that time have been considered a miracle, for it violates the given law. But subsequent science came to abandon or amend the law in question in such a way that atomic explosions no longer violate natural law. A miracle, then, must be regarded, not as an event which violates current law (which may very well come to be superseded), but an event which violates one or more genuine laws, i.e., ones which can never be superseded by laws of nature which are more accurate and which cohere better with other parts of science.

Another issue is that of truth. If a law of nature were to be violated, then could it still be true? One answer that might be given is: Yes, a violated law could still be true because laws of nature are only intended to describe events within the natural realm and miracles are outside the natural realm. Thus, miracles would not then render laws of nature false, for they would not show that the laws fail to correctly describe the natural realm. However, to view the matter in this way, the definition of "miracle" would need to be changed slightly. Instead of saying that miracles violate laws of nature, we would need to say that miracles are outside the natural realm and would violate laws of nature if they were in the natural realm. They would then not actually violate laws of nature, since laws of nature only describe events within the natural realm.
"Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices."

-Ecclesiastes 7:29

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