Fascinating Debate on a Atheistic Question!
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Posted 3/27/11


Most polls conducted in America show that about 80% to 90% of the general public believes in a personal God; yet 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences do not.

All pulls conducted on the topic agree on the 93% members of the National Academy of Sciences are atheist claim. (so that is a solid % that is well backed.)

My question for debate is this:


I find it fascinating how most Americans seem to think atheism is really, really wrong
yet more than some of the smartest and most generous people are atheist. So how
can they justify their predigest, and irrational fear of the Atheist community? On top of
how can they justify/reason why the leading minds, and largest charity groups in the world
are mostly atheist, or run by atheist?






Posted 3/27/11
There is no rationality in allowing a god to do your thinking for you. Beliefs allow the mind to stop functioning. Believe in nothing.
Posted 4/3/11

Darkphoenix3450 wrote:
I find it fascinating how most Americans seem to think atheism is really, really wrong
yet more than some of the smartest and most generous people are atheist. So how
can they justify their predigest, and irrational fear of the Atheist community? On top of
how can they justify/reason why the leading minds, and largest charity groups in the world
are mostly atheist, or run by atheist?


Take this with a grain of salt since it is based of my experience and is hardly reflective of the whole populous: I think people see atheism as a threat to their sense of community. Some religious people lump atheism with the belief that religion, in its entirety, is bad and should be eradicated . For the nonreligious people who believe in a god, they see atheism as directly opposed to their view. In both cases, atheism subverts the community and the sense of identity they gain from belonging to it. It's a misunderstanding rooted in ignorance.

Are you drawing your conclusion that most Americans feel this way based on personal experience, media, actual studies, or equating the idea that if a person “believes in a personal God” they must think atheism “is really, really wrong”?

As an aside: Just because someone is smart and generous does not necessarily mean they are “good” or morally “right”. I do not like those two terms because of the meanings and dichotomies people associate with them but I think what constitutes those ideas are more to the point than a debate over the existence of a divine being. Also if you do not mind, would link/cite the polls either here or in a PM?


Pitch-black wrote:

There is no rationality in allowing a god to do your thinking for you. Beliefs allow the mind to stop functioning. Believe in nothing.


You and I have a different idea of what constitutes a belief. What you call “belief”, I call a “judgment”. Beliefs are fine in my view; they can and should be scrutinized and questioned vigorously and then adjusted accordingly. Judgments, on the other hand, are conclusions. After making a judgment, a person ignores anything that does not support the conclusion. Judgments can be drawn from beliefs but the two are not always connected.
Posted 4/3/11 , edited 4/3/11

kidgloves wrote:


Darkphoenix3450 wrote:
I find it fascinating how most Americans seem to think atheism is really, really wrong
yet more than some of the smartest and most generous people are atheist. So how
can they justify their predigest, and irrational fear of the Atheist community? On top of
how can they justify/reason why the leading minds, and largest charity groups in the world
are mostly atheist, or run by atheist?


Take this with a grain of salt since it is based of my experience and is hardly reflective of the whole populous: I think people see atheism as a threat to their sense of community. Some religious people lump atheism with the belief that religion, in its entirety, is bad and should be eradicated . For the nonreligious people who believe in a god, they see atheism as directly opposed to their view. In both cases, atheism subverts the community and the sense of identity they gain from belonging to it. It's a misunderstanding rooted in ignorance.

Are you drawing your conclusion that most Americans feel this way based on personal experience, media, actual studies, or equating the idea that if a person “believes in a personal God” they must think atheism “is really, really wrong”?

As an aside: Just because someone is smart and generous does not necessarily mean they are “good” or morally “right”. I do not like those two terms because of the meanings and dichotomies people associate with them but I think what constitutes those ideas are more to the point than a debate over the existence of a divine being. Also if you do not mind, would link/cite the polls either here or in a PM?


Pitch-black wrote:

There is no rationality in allowing a god to do your thinking for you. Beliefs allow the mind to stop functioning. Believe in nothing.


You and I have a different idea of what constitutes a belief. What you call “belief”, I call a “judgment”. Beliefs are fine in my view; they can and should be scrutinized and questioned vigorously and then adjusted accordingly. Judgments, on the other hand, are conclusions. After making a judgment, a person ignores anything that does not support the conclusion. Judgments can be drawn from beliefs but the two are not always connected.


Interesting. I see that those with true beliefs, out of piety, will judge according to beliefs, discounting any contradicting evidence or what they'd call heresy. All people really have are theories, not beliefs. Except for the fact that that seems to be just another judgment.
Posted 4/3/11
Furthermore, and I stand by it, atheism can't really be called a valid choice of faith. I mean, how do you "believe" that there aren't gods when you feel that there is no established proof of their existence? Atheism, Agnosticism, Nihilism, etc, just don't seem to be necessary, nor do any of the mainstream religions and obscure cults.

For each of us, there is a mental disorder of reasoning to chose, but I chose none of them. Call me oblivious, but you can't make an ideas the form of divine beings run my life, nor really even the discounting of them. Religious doctrines have their bits of wisdom, but nothing teaches quite like experience.
Posted 4/3/11

Darkphoenix3450 wrote:



Most polls conducted in America show that about 80% to 90% of the general public believes in a personal God; yet 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences do not.

All pulls conducted on the topic agree on the 93% members of the National Academy of Sciences are atheist claim. (so that is a solid % that is well backed.)

My question for debate is this:


I find it fascinating how most Americans seem to think atheism is really, really wrong
yet more than some of the smartest and most generous people are atheist. So how
can they justify their predigest, and irrational fear of the Atheist community? On top of
how can they justify/reason why the leading minds, and largest charity groups in the world
are mostly atheist, or run by atheist?








To put it bluntly; because God told them so.
Posted 4/3/11 , edited 4/3/11

kidgloves wrote:


Darkphoenix3450 wrote:
I find it fascinating how most Americans seem to think atheism is really, really wrong
yet more than some of the smartest and most generous people are atheist. So how
can they justify their predigest, and irrational fear of the Atheist community? On top of
how can they justify/reason why the leading minds, and largest charity groups in the world
are mostly atheist, or run by atheist?


Take this with a grain of salt since it is based of my experience and is hardly reflective of the whole populous: I think people see atheism as a threat to their sense of community. Some religious people lump atheism with the belief that religion, in its entirety, is bad and should be eradicated . For the nonreligious people who believe in a god, they see atheism as directly opposed to their view. In both cases, atheism subverts the community and the sense of identity they gain from belonging to it. It's a misunderstanding rooted in ignorance.

Are you drawing your conclusion that most Americans feel this way based on personal experience, media, actual studies, or equating the idea that if a person “believes in a personal God” they must think atheism “is really, really wrong”?

As an aside: Just because someone is smart and generous does not necessarily mean they are “good” or morally “right”. I do not like those two terms because of the meanings and dichotomies people associate with them but I think what constitutes those ideas are more to the point than a debate over the existence of a divine being. Also if you do not mind, would link/cite the polls either here or in a PM?


Pitch-black wrote:

There is no rationality in allowing a god to do your thinking for you. Beliefs allow the mind to stop functioning. Believe in nothing.


You and I have a different idea of what constitutes a belief. What you call “belief”, I call a “judgment”. Beliefs are fine in my view; they can and should be scrutinized and questioned vigorously and then adjusted accordingly. Judgments, on the other hand, are conclusions. After making a judgment, a person ignores anything that does not support the conclusion. Judgments can be drawn from beliefs but the two are not always connected.
Atheism is a strict reasoning than a human religious sense of God(s) doesn't exist. Because when evolution based on natural selection and randomness alone doesn't need the act of God. While humans have a dependency for a sense of security. Plus the history of human religions were feuded with unnecessary violence and abuse, not to mention more than its fair share of psychosocial oppressions and totalitarianism. Religions as a belief system with all its teachings of dogmatism, dichotomy, hierarchy, and radical extremism, are responsible for the arbitrary yet subjective psychosocial inequality.

Also, unless you can objectively establish the negativity of diversity resulting multiple intelligences, and generosity as a result from genuine compassion. You lack sufficient justification for your argument. When all you got were inconclusive entitlement claims, aka prejudice based on strange beliefs due to predictable cognitive biases. And that's not enough for a well argued democratic debate in a secular society, which BTW features a few tricks and wonderment, made possible by the brain magic of connections between beliefs and judgments.


Pitch-black wrote:



Interesting. I see that those with true beliefs, out of piety, will judge according to beliefs, discounting any contradicting evidence or what they'd call heresy. All people really have are theories, not beliefs. Except for the fact that that seems to be just another judgment.

Pitch-black wrote:

Furthermore, and I stand by it, atheism can't really be called a valid choice of faith. I mean, how do you "believe" that there aren't gods when you feel that there is no established proof of their existence? Atheism, Agnosticism, Nihilism, etc, just don't seem to be necessary, nor do any of the mainstream religions and obscure cults.

For each of us, there is a mental disorder of reasoning to chose, but I chose none of them. Call me oblivious, but you can't make an ideas the form of divine beings run my life, nor really even the discounting of them. Religious doctrines have their bits of wisdom, but nothing teaches quite like experience.
According to The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris, based on cross-cultural studies, "religion is largely a matter of what people teach their children to believe about the nature of reality."
Posted 4/4/11

DomFortress wrote:

Also, unless you can objectively establish the negativity of diversity resulting multiple intelligences, and generosity as a result from genuine compassion. You lack sufficient justification for your argument. When all you got were inconclusive entitlement claims, aka prejudice based on strange beliefs due to predictable cognitive biases. And that's not enough for a well argued democratic debate in a secular society, which BTW features a few tricks and wonderment, made possible by the brain magic of connections between beliefs and judgments.



My post was never meant to be an argument, hence the idiom at the opening, only to continue discussion. The point of the post is not that being “smart” and “generous” is bad, it is: those attributes alone do not make a person “good” or morally “right” (good and right are the terms I do not like if that is not clear my first post). I am using the conceptual meanings of “smart” and “generous” because the OP did not specify they should be interpreted otherwise.

Generosity is, according to my version of Webster's, the quality of being generous which is to be free and liberal in giving. It is this regardless of intent. It can be used to gain status within a community as seen on page 6 of this review. And the link to the study it cites there (I only read the abstract for that one). It's interesting to note that the online version of Merriam-Webster includes the archaic definition of generosity to be “highborn” (of noble birth); “magnaminous” is a synonym which also includes a sense of being higher up.

The word “smart” is more difficult to analyze because synonyms are used to define it (clever, witty, shrewd, etc.) however I am going to say it means to “have awareness of facts, truths, and principles”. More simply put: to have knowledge. What is this knowledge of and how is it used? The word itself does not qualify either. Coupling “smart” with “generous” does not necessarily qualify the former, and when it does you are still left with the problem how and why it is distributed. The words “smart” and “generous”, alone and coupled together, do not determine if a person is “good” or morally “right”.

I agree with the direction Mrs. Tippett is going with the redefining of compassion. The standard definition literally means “pity or sympathy” which is far removed from its associative meanings. So I also agree with your claim that generosity needs to be rooted in this form of compassion. I was going to relate this generosity to a smart person by having them act out of it but I'm wondering if compassion needs to qualify the person as well.
Posted 4/4/11 , edited 4/4/11

kidgloves wrote:



My post was never meant to be an argument, hence the idiom at the opening, only to continue discussion. The point of the post is not that being “smart” and “generous” is bad, it is: those attributes alone do not make a person “good” or morally “right” (good and right are the terms I do not like if that is not clear my first post). I am using the conceptual meanings of “smart” and “generous” because the OP did not specify they should be interpreted otherwise.

Generosity is, according to my version of Webster's, the quality of being generous which is to be free and liberal in giving. It is this regardless of intent. It can be used to gain status within a community as seen on page 6 of this review. And the link to the study it cites there (I only read the abstract for that one). It's interesting to note that the online version of Merriam-Webster includes the archaic definition of generosity to be “highborn” (of noble birth); “magnaminous” is a synonym which also includes a sense of being higher up.

The word “smart” is more difficult to analyze because synonyms are used to define it (clever, witty, shrewd, etc.) however I am going to say it means to “have awareness of facts, truths, and principles”. More simply put: to have knowledge. What is this knowledge of and how is it used? The word itself does not qualify either. Coupling “smart” with “generous” does not necessarily qualify the former, and when it does you are still left with the problem how and why it is distributed. The words “smart” and “generous”, alone and coupled together, do not determine if a person is “good” or morally “right”.

I agree with the direction Mrs. Tippett is going with the redefining of compassion. The standard definition literally means “pity or sympathy” which is far removed from its associative meanings. So I also agree with your claim that generosity needs to be rooted in this form of compassion. I was going to relate this generosity to a smart person by having them act out of it but I'm wondering if compassion needs to qualify the person as well.
Then the challenge lies in the often ethnocentric attitude of the common, aka the mainstream media culture. When acts of generosity shouldn't matter in terms of magnitude, great or small. Furthermore, this means that what the society should do isn't to honor the individuals' effort at generosity, but rather is to simply nurture the behavior by administrating the cultural practices of compassion through kindness, curiosity, and engagement. In other words, eliminate favoritism altogether, when it comes to honoring humanitarian efforts.

Ultimately, the misguided ideology of individualism in mainstream needs a new heading. Otherwise we'll just be repeating the status quo, without progressing towards a more egalitarian civil society.
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