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Atheism
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Posted 11/17/08

cardmage wrote:


yella_fella wrote:

Yes. "original" buddhism, or Theravaden Buddhism (which is probably reliably a VERY close version of what Buddha actually taught his disciples) is technically atheistic. Buddha was very specific that one must (indeed CAN ONLY) rely on only themselves (indeed we have all the power and possibility w/in ourselves) to reach enlightenment. No one will help you. not the gods, in fact, he told them, NOT EVEN HIMSELF THE BUDDHA could be called on for aid. indeed no one COULD help you, since the power is there, within your own breath and your practice of intropection (vipassana) that will open up the inner worlds, from which will flow forth blessings, and healing, and ultimately (through many lifetimes, possibly this one) enlightenment, which means complete release from the cycles of birth and rebirth in this temporal realm, (moksa, you will be released from samsara.)

within a hundred years the Mahayana texts were "discovered" as the "secret" teachings of Buddha, so powerful and dangerous, that the Nagas (snake gods that look like giant cobras) kept them hidden under the earth. Then once the world was ready they were revealed. in these teachings there are boddhisattvas who are buddhas who out of their compassion for the world, vow to not release themselves until all souls are saved from suffereing (rebirth). so now you can pray to a bodhisattva to "help" you or "save" you. then later, you see othe Mahayana sects develope: Zen (a mix of Taoist philosophy and buddhist meditation practices, taoist meditation practices are often different, more "active"), and even Pure Land Buddha, which is a Buddha who creates the Pure Land (like a Buddhist "heaven" or paradise, where the Pure Land Buddha dwells) and to whom if you pray the "Amitabh Buddha" chant (that you hear Shaolin monks chant in the kung fu movies, cuz Pure Land made its way into nearly every Zen and Chinese/ Korean Buddhist sect) then you are basically guaranteed to be reincarnated into the Pure Land to spend an eternity there w/ the Pure Land Buddha. As you can see these are distinctly theistic, yet more "marketable" and easier, less demanding than Theravadan, which monks will continually admit and remind you is very difficult and takes, "great effort."

So that's what "Mahayana" means the "Greater Vehicle" and they pejoratively called older, "original" Theravadan Buddhims "Hinayana" or "Lesser or Smaller Vehicle". The analogy is, if Mahayana is a bus that can take you along your journey (available to anyone, even non-monks), then Theravadan (available really to those who dedicate a TREMENDOUS amount of time to non-chanting, silent, day-long mediations) is a motorcyle!!!!

Again, Mahayana while much more accessible (suggesting concepts such as "sudden enlightenment" where one can while doing daily activites-- what they called Fetching Water and Chopping Wood-- anyone can suddenly "remember" that they are already in fact an enlightened being, without the years and multiple lifetimes of prolonged and concentrated effort of the Theravadans), relies on powers outside of oneself to a certain degree (except for sudden enlightenment which is due to every sentient being having "buddha nature" already in his heart.) Theravadan being more demanding is not as "sexy" or accessible to the average idiot. praying and having everything solved by some outside higher power is much easier for the scoundrel within us.

in short, theravadan buddhism it can be argued is atheistic. (but the story is a little more complex than that...)


Yup that was what I was looking for. Quite detailed. Thanks.

Actually I have a different question and its for agnostics. Since the only thing that you're sure about (okay we since I'm also an agnostic), isn't it also ok to make the stand that "since the existence or non-existence of God is impossible to know, when asked about God I've decided that the answer is I don't know". That would be an agnostic stand but its really neither theistic nor atheistic, right?


this all depends on how it's defined. I usually think of atheism as itself almost a religious belief that there CANNOT or IS NOT a god. and agnosticism as ambivalent (there may or may not be, i don't know). however, in the literature, atheism is described as having two forms, hard and soft (described above). there is another odd twist to the story. in the Bible, Paul, on his way to I believe either Ephesus or Corinth, described an altar that he saw outside the city. it was dedicated to "The UNKNOWN god." So one can also worship a god that cannot be known. in hinduism there is the Saguna Brahman or "the god w/ a face." so like specific deities and idols / statues. then there is what they argue is an even higher form of the Divine which is the Nirguna Brahman or the "faceless god". the one w/o form or name. above and beyond this world altogether. interestingly though this concept may be increasingly twisted, technically in Islam, "Allah" is the god beyond this realm w/ o form and unknowable. this is why islam is ICONOCLASTIC and they would destroy idols, because at the time of Mohammed, all the arab tribes had their local gods that would meet once a year (in peace) and worship/ parade at the Kabah. he devised a religion that superceded these local gods. so allah is the nameless faceless god above all earthly gods and idols.

despite these twists, the short answer is that technically you could say that about agnostics, (which is greek for 'no knowledge") that they are not atheisitic, but really, they are more skeptical that there is a god and that we could possibly know anything about it if there were. besides the above examples (which are a bit arcane), i wouldn't think that common convention would think that on "off" days an agnostic will suddenly be theistic!! it's more a position that says we don't know and quite possibly CAN'T know.
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Posted 11/18/08

cardmage wrote:

On a different note I want to talk about how teaching evolution is not in any way promoting atheism. Evolutionary theory is not specifically trying to fight against any religious views. It's simply a scientific theory grounded in observation and scientific testing. Evolution being taught in schools simply means that it is the view that the scientific community find most acceptable or correct at this time. Teaching evolution is simply teaching science. Most people would agree that teaching science is not anti-theistic. Could teaching gravity be anti-theistic, for instance? Teaching evolution is no more anti-theistic than teaching gravity is. It irritates me to no end when religious people claim that teaching science is teaching people to be atheistic just because that part of science happens to disagree with their view of the world.


The reason some people have a problem with evolution being taught in schools is that it actually does go against their religious beliefs. For example, anyone who believes that the bible is completely infallible and true in a literal sense believes in creationism (God created Adam and Eve, etc.). Therefore, they believe that evolution can't be possible because humans were created as humans, instead of evolving. The obvious solution would be to teach both evolution and creationism, but a) there is no decent scientific evidence in favor of creationism, and b) then schools would have to accomodate for every difference in religious belief (for example, if I said that I believed the world was created by Spiderman, they would have to teach that as well). And teaching evolution is not teaching people to be atheistic, but it is teaching people that creationism is false, which some disagree with.
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Posted 11/19/08

madlibbs wrote:

The reason some people have a problem with evolution being taught in schools is that it actually does go against their religious beliefs. For example, anyone who believes that the bible is completely infallible and true in a literal sense believes in creationism (God created Adam and Eve, etc.). Therefore, they believe that evolution can't be possible because humans were created as humans, instead of evolving. The obvious solution would be to teach both evolution and creationism, but a) there is no decent scientific evidence in favor of creationism, and b) then schools would have to accomodate for every difference in religious belief (for example, if I said that I believed the world was created by Spiderman, they would have to teach that as well). And teaching evolution is not teaching people to be atheistic, but it is teaching people that creationism is false, which some disagree with.


I know that. It doesn't change the fact that people who think that teaching evolution is akin to teaching atheism are wrong. Its teaching science. Teaching science and teaching atheism are two different things. Schools have no need to accommodate religious beliefs in the teaching of science. Just because their own personal religious beliefs are against the science that is taught doesn't make the science atheistic. It is still simply science. Teaching creationism on the other hand would no longer be teaching science. It would be teaching religion because that is not a scientific belief but a religious one. Unless its a religious school religion shouldn't be taught.

Let's talk about a different scientific theory to see that teaching science is completely different from teaching atheism: the Big Bang Theory. From the view that says that teaching evolution is teaching atheism, we can have a case for saying that teaching the Big Bang theory is also teaching atheism since it also disagrees with creationism. The problem with such a claim however, would be that there is at least one religion that has a theory similar to the Big Bang, Taoism. Taoism claims that everything came from "wu" or nothingness. Do we say that teaching the Big Bang is teaching Taoism then? That would be complete and utter rubbish. It just happens to be the same and it is taught as science, not religion.

People also often think that people who are atheistic are necessarily scientific. That is also not true. Being atheistic has nothing to do with how scientific one is. Atheism is a position regarding God. One can know next to nothing about science and still be atheistic. Atheists just happen to agree with science more on more issues because they see science as more logical, which appeals to them. It is possible to have atheists that disagree with evolution as well.
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Posted 11/19/08

cardmage wrote:

Actually I have a different question and its for agnostics. Since the only thing that you're sure about (okay we since I'm also an agnostic), isn't it also ok to make the stand that "since the existence or non-existence of God is impossible to know, when asked about God I've decided that the answer is I don't know". That would be an agnostic stand but its really neither theistic nor atheistic, right?


As the scope of atheism includes both a lack of belief in and rejection of God, it might seem that an agnostic is necessarily atheist, since it does not make much sense to believe in something that one willingly admits is unknowable or uncertain. On the other hand, there are those who believe, for whatever reason, in spite of not knowing: agnostic theists. The concept eludes my understanding, but to each his own...

Gnosticism and agnosticism pertain to knowledge, theism and atheism to belief.
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Posted 11/19/08

cardmage wrote:


madlibbs wrote:

The reason some people have a problem with evolution being taught in schools is that it actually does go against their religious beliefs. For example, anyone who believes that the bible is completely infallible and true in a literal sense believes in creationism (God created Adam and Eve, etc.). Therefore, they believe that evolution can't be possible because humans were created as humans, instead of evolving. The obvious solution would be to teach both evolution and creationism, but a) there is no decent scientific evidence in favor of creationism, and b) then schools would have to accomodate for every difference in religious belief (for example, if I said that I believed the world was created by Spiderman, they would have to teach that as well). And teaching evolution is not teaching people to be atheistic, but it is teaching people that creationism is false, which some disagree with.


I know that. It doesn't change the fact that people who think that teaching evolution is akin to teaching atheism are wrong. Its teaching science. Teaching science and teaching atheism are two different things. Schools have no need to accommodate religious beliefs in the teaching of science. Just because their own personal religious beliefs are against the science that is taught doesn't make the science atheistic. It is still simply science. Teaching creationism on the other hand would no longer be teaching science. It would be teaching religion because that is not a scientific belief but a religious one. Unless its a religious school religion shouldn't be taught.

Let's talk about a different scientific theory to see that teaching science is completely different from teaching atheism: the Big Bang Theory. From the view that says that teaching evolution is teaching atheism, we can have a case for saying that teaching the Big Bang theory is also teaching atheism since it also disagrees with creationism. The problem with such a claim however, would be that there is at least one religion that has a theory similar to the Big Bang, Taoism. Taoism claims that everything came from "wu" or nothingness. Do we say that teaching the Big Bang is teaching Taoism then? That would be complete and utter rubbish. It just happens to be the same and it is taught as science, not religion.

People also often think that people who are atheistic are necessarily scientific. That is also not true. Being atheistic has nothing to do with how scientific one is. Atheism is a position regarding God. One can know next to nothing about science and still be atheistic. Atheists just happen to agree with science more on more issues because they see science as more logical, which appeals to them. It is possible to have atheists that disagree with evolution as well.


I completely agree, but the extremely religious have a tradition of being both obstinate and vociferous when it comes to their beliefs. And technically they do have a point in this case, it does go against their religious beliefs. I personally see nothing wrong with teaching evolution in schools, seeing as it is completely valid and has actual evidence behind it (unlike creationism), but some parents don't want their children to be exposed to anything that disagrees with their religious beliefs. "Science = atheism" is clearly a false statement, but while science says nothing for or against the existence of God, it does go against creationism. Religion shouldn't be taught, but religious beliefs should be respected. The problem is, "respecting religious beliefs" is a very vague phrase. I don't think that should include censoring evolution, but it could involve teaching that belief in evolution is a matter of personal choice.
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Posted 11/19/08

madlibbs wrote:


cardmage wrote:


madlibbs wrote:

The reason some people have a problem with evolution being taught in schools is that it actually does go against their religious beliefs. For example, anyone who believes that the bible is completely infallible and true in a literal sense believes in creationism (God created Adam and Eve, etc.). Therefore, they believe that evolution can't be possible because humans were created as humans, instead of evolving. The obvious solution would be to teach both evolution and creationism, but a) there is no decent scientific evidence in favor of creationism, and b) then schools would have to accomodate for every difference in religious belief (for example, if I said that I believed the world was created by Spiderman, they would have to teach that as well). And teaching evolution is not teaching people to be atheistic, but it is teaching people that creationism is false, which some disagree with.


I know that. It doesn't change the fact that people who think that teaching evolution is akin to teaching atheism are wrong. Its teaching science. Teaching science and teaching atheism are two different things. Schools have no need to accommodate religious beliefs in the teaching of science. Just because their own personal religious beliefs are against the science that is taught doesn't make the science atheistic. It is still simply science. Teaching creationism on the other hand would no longer be teaching science. It would be teaching religion because that is not a scientific belief but a religious one. Unless its a religious school religion shouldn't be taught.

Let's talk about a different scientific theory to see that teaching science is completely different from teaching atheism: the Big Bang Theory. From the view that says that teaching evolution is teaching atheism, we can have a case for saying that teaching the Big Bang theory is also teaching atheism since it also disagrees with creationism. The problem with such a claim however, would be that there is at least one religion that has a theory similar to the Big Bang, Taoism. Taoism claims that everything came from "wu" or nothingness. Do we say that teaching the Big Bang is teaching Taoism then? That would be complete and utter rubbish. It just happens to be the same and it is taught as science, not religion.

People also often think that people who are atheistic are necessarily scientific. That is also not true. Being atheistic has nothing to do with how scientific one is. Atheism is a position regarding God. One can know next to nothing about science and still be atheistic. Atheists just happen to agree with science more on more issues because they see science as more logical, which appeals to them. It is possible to have atheists that disagree with evolution as well.


I completely agree, but the extremely religious have a tradition of being both obstinate and vociferous when it comes to their beliefs. And technically they do have a point in this case, it does go against their religious beliefs. I personally see nothing wrong with teaching evolution in schools, seeing as it is completely valid and has actual evidence behind it (unlike creationism), but some parents don't want their children to be exposed to anything that disagrees with their religious beliefs. "Science = atheism" is clearly a false statement, but while science says nothing for or against the existence of God, it does go against creationism. Religion shouldn't be taught, but religious beliefs should be respected. The problem is, "respecting religious beliefs" is a very vague phrase. I don't think that should include censoring evolution, but it could involve teaching that belief in evolution is a matter of personal choice.


So do you think that teaching gravity, should be a matter of Personal choice? What about History? There is a lot of history that many religions want to hide away, and say did not happen, some even goes agents what is said in the bible. Should we History a personal choice as well?

We teach evolution because "Evolution" is a fact. The Theory of Evolution is the explanation of that fact. What your saying is people should have the right to deny facts, and believe things that are not true.

SO people that Think stoning someone to death for being raped by some other person because thats what there religion said is how it should be, your saying they should fallow the law and the states moral code and not stone her for it should be there personal choice?

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Posted 11/19/08

Darkphoenix3450 wrote:


madlibbs wrote:


cardmage wrote:


madlibbs wrote:

The reason some people have a problem with evolution being taught in schools is that it actually does go against their religious beliefs. For example, anyone who believes that the bible is completely infallible and true in a literal sense believes in creationism (God created Adam and Eve, etc.). Therefore, they believe that evolution can't be possible because humans were created as humans, instead of evolving. The obvious solution would be to teach both evolution and creationism, but a) there is no decent scientific evidence in favor of creationism, and b) then schools would have to accomodate for every difference in religious belief (for example, if I said that I believed the world was created by Spiderman, they would have to teach that as well). And teaching evolution is not teaching people to be atheistic, but it is teaching people that creationism is false, which some disagree with.


I know that. It doesn't change the fact that people who think that teaching evolution is akin to teaching atheism are wrong. Its teaching science. Teaching science and teaching atheism are two different things. Schools have no need to accommodate religious beliefs in the teaching of science. Just because their own personal religious beliefs are against the science that is taught doesn't make the science atheistic. It is still simply science. Teaching creationism on the other hand would no longer be teaching science. It would be teaching religion because that is not a scientific belief but a religious one. Unless its a religious school religion shouldn't be taught.

Let's talk about a different scientific theory to see that teaching science is completely different from teaching atheism: the Big Bang Theory. From the view that says that teaching evolution is teaching atheism, we can have a case for saying that teaching the Big Bang theory is also teaching atheism since it also disagrees with creationism. The problem with such a claim however, would be that there is at least one religion that has a theory similar to the Big Bang, Taoism. Taoism claims that everything came from "wu" or nothingness. Do we say that teaching the Big Bang is teaching Taoism then? That would be complete and utter rubbish. It just happens to be the same and it is taught as science, not religion.

People also often think that people who are atheistic are necessarily scientific. That is also not true. Being atheistic has nothing to do with how scientific one is. Atheism is a position regarding God. One can know next to nothing about science and still be atheistic. Atheists just happen to agree with science more on more issues because they see science as more logical, which appeals to them. It is possible to have atheists that disagree with evolution as well.


I completely agree, but the extremely religious have a tradition of being both obstinate and vociferous when it comes to their beliefs. And technically they do have a point in this case, it does go against their religious beliefs. I personally see nothing wrong with teaching evolution in schools, seeing as it is completely valid and has actual evidence behind it (unlike creationism), but some parents don't want their children to be exposed to anything that disagrees with their religious beliefs. "Science = atheism" is clearly a false statement, but while science says nothing for or against the existence of God, it does go against creationism. Religion shouldn't be taught, but religious beliefs should be respected. The problem is, "respecting religious beliefs" is a very vague phrase. I don't think that should include censoring evolution, but it could involve teaching that belief in evolution is a matter of personal choice.


So do you think that teaching gravity, should be a matter of Personal choice? What about History? There is a lot of history that many religions want to hide away, and say did not happen, some even goes agents what is said in the bible. Should we History a personal choice as well?

We teach evolution because "Evolution" is a fact. The Theory of Evolution is the explanation of that fact. What your saying is people should have the right to deny facts, and believe things that are not true.

SO people that Think stoning someone to death for being raped by some other person because thats what there religion said is how it should be, your saying they should fallow the law and the states moral code and not stone her for it should be there personal choice?



Do I think that teaching gravity should be a matter of personal choice? No. I'm just playing devil's advocate here and saying that these people do have a point, even if I don't agree with it. I personally think that evolution should be taught in schools, and the parents can teach their children that it's false at home if they want to. Like in your example, gravity should be taught in school, but if someone chooses not to believe in gravity despite evidence to the contrary, then that's their choice. As long as their choice isn't hurting anyone, why not let them believe that?

I agree that evolution is a fact. But people do have a right to believe what they want, even if it's not true, as long as their beliefs aren't hurting anyone. If someone wants to believe that unicorns exist, for example, they have the right to believe that, no matter how stupid and illogical their beliefs may be. If, on the other hand, they believe that they need to go on a killing spree in preparation for the apocalypse, that is not okay.
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Posted 11/23/08
atheism is a religon,just as much as catholcism(please correct my spelling if wrong).it is diferrent beliefs.i am an atheist.theres nothing wrong witht that.my grades are good,i dont drink,smoke,do drugs.i dont get in fights.im not a republican nor a democrat,liberal or conservative,i am an anarchist.(if i had to chooes though id be a democratic liberal)it is simply a religon choice
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Posted 11/23/08
atheism is so marxist...
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Posted 11/23/08
Suppose you find a watch in the middle of a desert. What would you conclude? Would you think that someone dropped the watch? Or would you suppose that the watch came by itself?

Of course no sane person would say that the watch just happened to emerge from the sand. All the intricate working parts could not simply develop from the metals the lay buried in the earth. The watch must have a manufacturer.

If a watch tells accurate time? Consider the sunrise and sunset. Their timings are so strictly regulated that scientists can publish in advance the sunrise and sunset times in your daily newspapers. But who regulates the timings of sunrise and sunset?



Allah tells us in the Quran : "Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the Night and the Day; in the sailing of the ships through the Ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth, (here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise"


The message is clear, if a watch can not work without an intelligent maker, how can the sun appear to rise and set with such clockwork regularity? Could this occur by itself?

Consider also that we benefit from the sun only because it remains at a safe distance from the earth, a distance that averages 93 million miles. If it got much closer the earth would burn up. And if it got too far away the earth would turn into an icy planet making human life here impossible.

Who decided in advance that this was the right distance? Could it just happen by chance? Without the sun plants would not grow. Then animals and humans would starve. Did the sun just decide to be there for us ?!

The rays of the sun would be dangerous for us had it not been for the protective ozone layer in our atmosphere. The atmosphere around earth keeps the harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching us. Who was it that placed this shield around us?

We need to experience sunrise. We need the sun's energy and it's light to see our way during the day. But we also need sunset. We need a break from the heat, we need the cook of night and we need the lights to out so we may sleep. Who regulated this process to provide what we need?

Moreover, if we had only the sun and the protection of the atmosphere we would want something more-beauty. Our clothes provide warmth and protection, yet we design them to also look beautiful. Knowing or need for beauty, the designer of sunrise and sunset also made the view of them to be simply breathtaking.

The creator who gave us light, energy, protection and beauty deserves our thanks. Yet some people insist that he does not exist. What would they think if they found a watch in the desert? An accurate, working watch? A beautifully designed watch? Would they not conclude that there does exist a watchmaker? An intelligent watchmaker? One who appreciates beauty? Such is God who made us.




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Posted 11/23/08
But all you're doing is crediting god with all the nice and nifty stuff. What about child abuse? What about s**t? What about violence? What about animals eating each other? Religion should be more balanced. Its not. It leaves it up to you to try and figure out the horrible things for yourself. But make sure god gets all the credit for the good things...

The basic problem with that is that everyone quickly forgets that god made the bad stuff too.
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Posted 11/23/08

draw160 wrote:

atheism is a religon


No it's not.
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Posted 11/24/08

leviathan343 wrote:


draw160 wrote:

atheism is a religon


No it's not.


yes it is....how stupid are you?
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Posted 11/24/08

draw160 wrote:


leviathan343 wrote:


draw160 wrote:

atheism is a religon


No it's not.


yes it is....how stupid are you?



Lack of a belief in a god or gods does not make for a religion (have to be stupid to think it does.)
Atheist can have a religion, but Atheism in it self is not a religion.
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Posted 11/24/08

draw160 wrote:


leviathan343 wrote:


draw160 wrote:

atheism is a religon


No it's not.


yes it is....how stupid are you?


Stupid enough to know the definitions of words.
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