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Post Reply Religion Vs Atheism
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Posted 6/21/15

GrandMasterTime wrote:


pirththee wrote:

I never mentioned your beliefs or even if you possess any so no presumption there. You and I disagree on the motivations for religion..I'm not sure how "salty" translates.Is it like"crusty" or more like a rime.Could it be that it embodies the connotations of 17th century mariners?
Fascinating expression.Sláinte.


"Salty" in this context translates to being a tad angry or flustered. I found this line implicated this writing tone, " Since you clearly represent a creature of conscious understanding". I must admit I was a bit "salty" especially with your use of "clearly" as I thought it was meant to be read sarcastically unless again I am wrong, do tell. Back to the argument which I failed to grasp you had presented in your previous sentiment, isn't spiritual understanding in your view akin to belief in the first place? If someone believes they're right don't you think they believe they have some kind of understanding about their supposed "truth"?

Oh and I thought "Cheers" was a shared saying. Must be because I'm Australian.

Apparently Sláinte is a Gaelic saying (From a google search), I only know two words from that languages and they translate to "fish" and "milk".

Cheers.



"Clearly" was designed merely as an acknowledgement. No offence or sarcasm was offered or implied.I'll remember the connotations of "salty".It's used rarely in this country and usually is a polite way of saying somethings profane or obscene.You can understand the cause of the confusion.Cheers is used in the UK but rarely in the US.Sláinte was a toast my ethnic grandmother used to apply often, and you can still hear it on the East Coast of the U.S.It's amazing the continuing evolution of such small nuances in language and expressions.You can be termed "spiritual" without any knowledge or adherence to a belief system based on the perception of those that adopt one.My original premise was that things can be considered spiritual by their mere existence.For example as a panentheist you could propose that a rock is a spiritual entity, but it could be construed as unlikely that a rock could identify with this belief.
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Posted 6/21/15
Even in Jesus's day people believed in "religion" but not in God; His Words will stand "all other ground is sinking sand"!
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Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/21/15


Who are some you recommend then? I like to study and read into both sides of the argument and try to form opinions based off of the research and other arguments. I have thought about reading Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion, but from your post the people you mentioned (excluding Michael Ruse) probably won't give me the best information.

To Op: In regards to pray I don't see why not. It can be used for comfort. If you don't believe in the divine, but find comfort in prayer then there is nothing wrong with being atheist, but praying.
In regards to if someone can be atheist and religious...I think. Though I think it would be more of taking the teachings of religion and just applying them to your life. The foundation for Christianity revolves around Jesus being the promised Messiah. If you don't believe that then I am not sure you would be Christian regardless of whether or not you follow the teachings.
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Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/21/15

morechunch wrote:
I wonder if I am a Christian and an Atheist both, which might put me in the crummy camp of Sam Harris. Maybe I miss Extended Discussion more than I let on.


Er, maybe you DO.

You want the comfort of theology, but you also want the social thrill of railing against the Iraqis and the Religious Right, and want to leave some elbow room for which scapegoat to pile all the blame on.
Why not just put "Agnostic" on your forms, that way it still suggests you've got an open mind, and nobody thinks you're going to go into narcissistic Lewis Black rants?


Cotroneo wrote:
What you're asking is no different than saying you believe in Santa, but you also don't believe in Santa.


Ie., that to show how grownup you are and start bonfiring all the "lies your parents told you" also leaves a void to experience the more positive higher ambitions of charity, expectation, goodwill, etc., that all the "lies" conditioned you to believe in connection with it. Which is why grownups feel good about playing along and not telling children there might not be any Santa, despite all the hipsters saying it's "child abuse", just to exorcise their own personal demons.
(There was a similar story about a white first-grade teacher whose big Thanksgiving project was to lead the class in a big interactive scenario about what it would be like to have invaders come in and take your land away from you--Native educational authorities spoke out harshly, saying that no matter how "relevant" the teacher thought he was, that was a line you didn't cross with that age group, and that it was, quote, "Better to let them learn the myth first" about happy peaceful Indians and Pilgrims, to install the idea of tolerance.)

Maybe it's better to be a good person with an open if undeclared sense of imagination, than a cool well-informed jerk.
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Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/21/15
Can you take the teachings of a religion and reject God? You can try, there are atheist churches out there that teach fellowship, charity and love. But it usually comes off as spiteful and self-indulgent. I think it varies from person to person. You have to write your own code and stick to it.
Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/22/15
Can you pray for something that you believe does not exist?

You're talking to someone who befriended an egg as a child. Of course I can, not saying that I do.
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Posted 6/21/15
religous is just something you belive in, rational or not. take the marine corp. the dude that flys the Maire flag ever single day, wears the hat and talkd about non stop abo0ut how great they are, is pretty mucht esame behaviour as a religous person.
we humans are religous by nature for the most part, for some its god, for some its food, for some its money.
religon at its core is a wanting to be saved.

or something like that.
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Posted 6/21/15
I consider myself religious, but I don't really believe in any gods or other superhuman entities. I occasionally personify the forces to which my religion pertains, but it is fairly rare... And when people ask, I generally just describe myself as atheist. Too much trouble to really explain half the time, and sometimes when I do take the time I feel like a looney.


pirththee wrote:

I never mentioned your beliefs or even if you possess any so no presumption there. You and I disagree on the motivations for religion..I'm not sure how "salty" translates.Is it like"crusty" or more like a rime.Could it be that it embodies the connotations of 17th century mariners?
Fascinating expression.Sláinte.


An bhfuil Gaeilge agat? Is aoibhinn liom Gaeilge, ach níl ionam ach dalta.
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Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/21/15

morechunch wrote:

I have a very complicated question that I need answered.

Can you be religious and atheist at the same time?

Can you pray for something that you believe does not exist?

I've recently been paying attention to Reza Aslan, a self-described Muslim, but is he?

He claims the gospels have only been interpreted literally in the past two centuries. I cannot dispute this claim, he is the historian. But I wonder how somebody can have an allegorical view of their religious doctrine and maintain their adherence to their faith.

I can easily cite situations where governance goes against gospel while governance cites gospel.

But certain politicians in America's Christian base and certain politicians in Israel's Jewish base and certain politicians in Iraq's Muslim base are all trying to toss secular ideas to each other. If they all took their gospels as fact and feared divine judgement, they would take pity on each other, but instead they are selfish and pragmatic.

Can somebody believe in a religious teaching without believing in the divine? I have always tied the two together, while keeping very American Christian values and denying the divine.

I wonder if I am a Christian and an Atheist both, which might put me in the crummy camp of Sam Harris. Maybe I miss Extended Discussion more than I let on.


What a coincidence. Reza was one of my writing professors back when I was in Riverside so I personally know him. I studied with him for two years. We used to tape pictures of lions on his office door lol

Can you be religious and atheist at the same time?
I think you can. Atheism seems like a type of religion to me. Then, again, does that mean most people are religious because they adhere to a belief system? Maybe.

Can you pray for something that you believe does not exist?

Yes. But whether you believe your prayer will be answered is another question entirely. It's not uncommon for people to pray for something they know is extremely unlikely or will not happen. People pray for their dead to be brought back to life, for instance. When under great stress or something, it's not too unexpected for people to do illogical stuff like that. I've heard of people who don't believe in God praying to God, too.

I must admit I haven't really spoken to Reza about his religious studies writings much, since I was in his non-fiction workshops, not any of his religion or history courses. He has talked about his writing a little but I don't know the nuances in his theories. He just says he's Muslim but that's up to him. He probably believes himself to be Muslim, so that's that.
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Posted 6/21/15

Schmooples wrote:

I consider myself religious, but I don't really believe in any gods or other superhuman entities. I occasionally personify the forces to which my religion pertains, but it is fairly rare... And when people ask, I generally just describe myself as atheist. Too much trouble to really explain half the time, and sometimes when I do take the time I feel like a looney.


pirththee wrote:

I never mentioned your beliefs or even if you possess any so no presumption there. You and I disagree on the motivations for religion..I'm not sure how "salty" translates.Is it like"crusty" or more like a rime.Could it be that it embodies the connotations of 17th century mariners?
Fascinating expression.Sláinte.


An bhfuil Gaeilge agat? Is aoibhinn liom Gaeilge, ach níl ionam ach dalta.


Two generations removed from being able to answer that.My grandmother could give you a go.
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Posted 6/21/15

pirththee wrote:

Two generations removed from being able to answer that.My grandmother could give you a go.


Ah, figured that was the case. Nice language, I'm only learning myself. My family has been in America for a long, long time... My interest in the language is mainly aesthetic, wrapped up in the history of it, and because the language isn't in the healthiest state.
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Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/21/15
Google it. Or just ask my pal, Jesus! He has all the answers, and He is the answer! Seriously, ask Jesus.
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Posted 6/21/15

Ctonhunter wrote:



Who are some you recommend then? I like to study and read into both sides of the argument and try to form opinions based off of the research and other arguments. I have thought about reading Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion, but from your post the people you mentioned (excluding Michael Ruse) probably won't give me the best information.

To Op: In regards to pray I don't see why not. It can be used for comfort. If you don't believe in the divine, but find comfort in prayer then there is nothing wrong with being atheist, but praying.
In regards to if someone can be atheist and religious...I think. Though I think it would be more of taking the teachings of religion and just applying them to your life. The foundation for Christianity revolves around Jesus being the promised Messiah. If you don't believe that then I am not sure you would be Christian regardless of whether or not you follow the teachings.


Well, I always recommend anyone to read and study both sides. The reason I say to avoid those people not because I want to slander them, but rather they predicate their atheism on misunderstandings, strawmen, and red herrings. I prefer academics because they tend to be more about arguments, and they tend to be better behaved. The skeptic and atheists I would recommend at no particular order are; Friedrich Nietzsche (He is very misunderstood and very poetic), Albert Calmus (one of the best existential nihilist in my opinion), Alex Rosenberg (he is a philosopher), James Randi (He leads a non profit organization that seeks to debunk frauds and charlatans), Thomas Nagel (a philosopher of law), Steven Pinker (a very famous cognitive scientist, that explores whether substance dualism or material naturalism is a thing), James A Shapiro (a famous molecular biologist that is challenging neo darwinism even though he still holds to evolution), and of course a good popular read, and I can't recommend enough is Muchio Kaku. He is a theoretical physicist. Another which was a hero of mine when I was an atheist was Antony Flew. He is a great in my opinion.

Here are some atheist that write some good stuff from time to time or they are past their prime; Stephen Hawking (his early work is remarkable, but now he is just petty, and philosophically illiterate), Richard Carrier (He was great until he become a Jesus myther), PZ Myers (when he speaks about science he is great, but when he speaks about religion, yeah... not so much).

Here are other people you should refrain from; Michael Shermer, Laurence Krauss, and Peter Atkins. I can explain why you should avoid them if you like.

P.S. The moral of the story is this, which I know you know; slandering another position that different than yours, does not make your position anymore correct. The theist or atheist must contend to the evidence, proof, or arguments. Furthermore, not liking the character of God doesn't make him non existent. Also, atheism and theism must carry their own burden of proof and refutations. Like for example, me being a theist, and insulting atheism does not make it any less true.
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Posted 6/21/15
I also appreciated Coyne's recent Fact vs Faith book for what it was. For most of the book's chapters, he's extremely exhaustive about nearly everything. This is partially because Coyne's thesis, in a nutshell, is basically that science is incompatible with religion; because the focus is so narrow Coyne can focus on providing the best arguments for his case and trying to spell everything out. That said, there are a few times, most notably in the last chapter, where his argument seemed flimsy, e.g. trying to conflate global warming denialism as psuedo-science that is, in part, based on religious beliefs. Mind you, my complaint there is "based on religious beliefs;" not the denialism itself being psuedo-science. The effectiveness of Coyne's rhetoric is the fact he's extremely concrete that he'll try to focus more on his evidence than his argument such that the evidence can make the argument for him. It's worth noting that this book takes the fact that evolution is provisionally true as granted, which generally alright, since Coyne's only other book is precisely arguing why evolution is true (in fact, that's the name: 'Why Evolution Is True'). His blog is of the same name, but I wouldn't recommend his blog. Coyne is very opinionated--which isn't a bad thing--but he's only makes good argument when he puts the effort. Since his blog is more about quantity than quality, most of it isn't terribly convincing and is only useful to get an idea of what Coyne believes.
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Posted 6/21/15
How do you even believe in something you believe doesn't exist? Atheism is rejecting that a greater being created the universe.

Agnostic is neither rejecting that a greater being created the universe or believing that a greater being created the universe.

If I got something wrong there correct me asap!
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