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Old 2009-02-12, 02:26   Link #1581
LeoXiao
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Quote:
My question here would be how you even know they're atheists. Most of them don't exactly go around advertising it.
If you go around saying "I dont believe in god" that probably means you're an atheist.
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Old 2009-02-12, 03:41   Link #1582
Vinak
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Spoiler for .:
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Old 2009-02-12, 05:21   Link #1583
LeoXiao
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doing this is pretty much on par of telling a homophobe that you are gay.
I don't understand your point, nor can I see any ulterior motive. Explain yourself.
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Old 2009-02-12, 06:18   Link #1584
Liddo-kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinak View Post
what I was trying to say is this.
we are just like everybody else minus the religious parts. I just wish people would keep that in mind before they make assumptions on our character as a person.
That's one of the problems really, some (not all) catholics are quite prejudiced in judging atheists.

I come from a country whose main religion is catholicism. Some catholics here (my coworkers are a good example) get shocked if they knew someone is an atheist. Their usual threats would be either I'd spend eternity in limbo or an evil spirit would surely possess me someday.

Last edited by Liddo-kun; 2009-02-12 at 07:40.
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Old 2009-02-12, 09:35   Link #1585
Hs Vi Germania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liddo-kun View Post
That's one of the problems really, some (not all) catholics are quite prejudiced in judging atheists.

I come from a country whose main religion is catholicism. Some catholics here (my coworkers are a good example) get shocked if they knew someone is an atheist. Their usual threats would be either I'd spend eternity in limbo or an evil spirit would surely possess me someday.
I think you overdo it a bit.
I am + know any Catholics.
Some are very conservative, espacially the older persons, but I have to say that these are the less ones.
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Old 2009-02-12, 12:40   Link #1586
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Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
I don't understand your point, nor can I see any ulterior motive. Explain yourself.
Atheism is still very unaccepted culturally. In an era where the United States has just elected our first black president, there's still extremely few politicians in the entire country who will publicly admit to being atheist. Basically, the public doesn't trust them. Hence the comparison to calling yourself gay in front of homophobes; it's just asking to get attacked or at the very least shunned. Its one of those prejudices that you don't hear much about. Obviously the scale of it depends on where you live though. I don't think many people would care where I live, but I don't exactly bring it up in conversation...

The reasoning behind the dislike of atheism comes from the idea that religion = morality. Some people assume that without a god to tell you what's good or bad, atheists must be amoral hedonists who will do anything without hesitation to satisfy their desires. Personally, I feel like this attitude says a lot more about the person thinking it than the atheist. Does that mean that they, without the threat of hell or whatever, would be an amoral hedonist? That they need some carrot and stick reward to be moral? That's kind of scary actually.

Anyway, atheists generally have some secular philosophy of morality, of which there are an absurd number to choose from (the philosophy of secular morality has been discussed since ~500 BC at the very least; the Greeks even had a simple "proof" that morality must exist prior to God). The most basic of course is "treat others in the way you'd like to be treated" or some derivation of that.
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Old 2009-02-12, 14:20   Link #1587
Vexx
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I'd just add this to Clarste's note:
Evolution seems to drive the idea that for social animals, "win-win" is better served by cooperation rather than selfish actions, hence the natural tendency to share resources once a critter has been socialized. Selfishness still cuts in of course, but the group tends to naturally discourage such behavior (at least publicly). That is the behavior seen in all social animals. That's speculated to be the underlying basis for the moral - "treat other people the way you want to be treated" that every sustainable religion in the world has as a core belief.

And yes, the surest path to political death in the USA is to admit being an agnostic or atheist. The average voter doesn't necessarily care WHICH you are (though Muslim seems to scare a few, we do have a Muslim or two in Congress) -- you can be Hindu, Buddhist, Mormon, Catholic, etc ... what seems to scare them is the notion that someone has an ethical system that doesn't derive from "a higher source". Interestingly, USA is about the only industrialized nation in the world where many of the voters place that check on any priority list at all, outside of those countries where people actually shoot each other or form political parties based on their religious quirks.
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Old 2009-02-12, 14:28   Link #1588
Vinak
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just mentioning the possibility of non religion is a taboo.
Spoiler for youtube:
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Old 2009-02-12, 15:07   Link #1589
Vexx
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Ah yes.. Fox "News".. the disinformation source for the 30%ers so they can remain in their little fantasy world, imaginary revisionist history, and roll in fear and anxiety. Toxic....
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Old 2009-02-12, 15:11   Link #1590
Kusa-San
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Originally Posted by Vinak View Post

The people of religious background that I've encountered seem to be of the opinion that atheists are somehow vile, narcissistic creatures that only think about murdering and raping people since we apparently don't have any morals. Or that we don't hold any value in human life.
You're serious They really think that ?

Personnaly, I'm atheist but i have a strong sense of values, I have dream etc....
But i don't believe in God that's all.


But i think the more the society progress the more there is Atheist (sorry i'm not sure how to say that in English). And i tend to believe that's for many peoples the only god is money...
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Old 2009-02-12, 15:15   Link #1591
Lord Uiruu
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Originally Posted by Kusa-San View Post
You're serious They really think that ?

Personnaly, I'm atheist but i have a strong sense of values, I have dream etc....
But i don't believe in God that's all.


But i think the more the society progress the more there is Atheist (sorry i'm not sure how to say that in English). And i tend to believe that's for many peoples the only god is money...
same for me.
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Old 2009-02-12, 15:18   Link #1592
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Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
Anyway, atheists generally have some secular philosophy of morality, of which there are an absurd number to choose from (the philosophy of secular morality has been discussed since ~500 BC at the very least; the Greeks even had a simple "proof" that morality must exist prior to God). The most basic of course is "treat others in the way you'd like to be treated" or some derivation of that.
There's no such thing as secular morality. Ethics is secular in and of itself, which you indicated. The divine command and natural law theories have been dismissed long ago. Any theist claiming morality comes only from religion is simply uneducated, and shouldn't be paid attention to.

It was Socrates who asked the following: "Is conduct right because the gods command it, or do the gods command it because it is right?"

Both ways lead to serious difficulty. If something is right simply because god has commanded it, than anything would have been okay prior to god making it a rule, including murder and lying. So from an objective standpoint, god could've just as easily chosen things the other way around and murder would be completely alright, which goes against human reason. Therefore it's more likely morals are derived from reason, not god given. Otherwise all atheists would be murdering.

If you go the other way, there must be some kind of "rightness" that exists independently of god, which he in his almighty wisdom has acknowledged to be right and therefore commands it. However this view is quite secular since god wouldn't actually be the almighty creator. Morality would somehow be greater than god.
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Old 2009-02-12, 15:37   Link #1593
klowny
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Ah yes.. Fox "News".. the disinformation source for the 30%ers so they can remain in their little fantasy world, imaginary revisionist history, and roll in fear and anxiety. Toxic....
Fox news are as believable as believing in the boogie man
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Old 2009-02-12, 15:43   Link #1594
Vexx
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Spoiler for Probably moving off-topic here:


We're starting to move off topic here.... the line of query is "what's your religion" .... not "what's wrong with religion or the lack of it". People may explain WHY they feel a certain way and others can direct them to information that may resolve that -- but the mods are pretty firm about deleting derails away from that.
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Old 2009-02-12, 15:51   Link #1595
Echoes
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Originally Posted by Hs Vi Germania View Post
I think you overdo it a bit.
I am + know any Catholics.
Some are very conservative, espacially the older persons, but I have to say that these are the less ones.
I find it funny that you insist to know better than him how the catholics around him behave, when you quite likely don't even know where he's from, much less what he's experienced.

I know plenty of nice Catholics too. There are, after all, around a billion of them, there's bound to be both nice and not so nice ones.
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Old 2009-02-12, 16:08   Link #1596
klowny
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i also know many Nice Christians and my family is mostly catholic.
Everyone can get along still with or without beliefs
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Old 2009-02-12, 17:02   Link #1597
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Personally I am agnostic, I grew up with a Catholic family though and I still celebrate Christmas and Easter and stuff. I also go to church(not willingly..) with my parents cause they prefer it.

I believe in a higher power, just not sure what it is yet. I have yet to be enlightened.
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Old 2009-02-12, 18:46   Link #1598
Clarste
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Originally Posted by Xrayz0r View Post
There's no such thing as secular morality. Ethics is secular in and of itself, which you indicated. The divine command and natural law theories have been dismissed long ago. Any theist claiming morality comes only from religion is simply uneducated, and shouldn't be paid attention to.

It was Socrates who asked the following: "Is conduct right because the gods command it, or do the gods command it because it is right?"

Both ways lead to serious difficulty. If something is right simply because god has commanded it, than anything would have been okay prior to god making it a rule, including murder and lying. So from an objective standpoint, god could've just as easily chosen things the other way around and murder would be completely alright, which goes against human reason. Therefore it's more likely morals are derived from reason, not god given. Otherwise all atheists would be murdering.

If you go the other way, there must be some kind of "rightness" that exists independently of god, which he in his almighty wisdom has acknowledged to be right and therefore commands it. However this view is quite secular since god wouldn't actually be the almighty creator. Morality would somehow be greater than god.
That's... exactly the proof I was referencing, although I didn't post it because its sort of off-topic. I guess you were arguing with the somewhat redundant phrase "secular morality" but just because its redundant doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The great part about language is that we can say things that don't really add any meaning (or mean anything at all). The round circle, the secular morality, and the benevolent God. And the ATM machine.

Also, you can avoid that dilemma by positing that God is morality and is reason and that rationality among humans is merely partaking in the aspect of God that is reason. Or you could say the exact opposite: that God is beyond reason and, being infinite, is not confined by finite logic. God has long since be de-anthropomorphized by philosophers and is host to all sorts of funny properties.
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Old 2009-02-12, 19:22   Link #1599
LeoXiao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
Atheism is still very unaccepted culturally. In an era where the United States has just elected our first black president, there's still extremely few politicians in the entire country who will publicly admit to being atheist. Basically, the public doesn't trust them. Hence the comparison to calling yourself gay in front of homophobes; it's just asking to get attacked or at the very least shunned. Its one of those prejudices that you don't hear much about. Obviously the scale of it depends on where you live though. I don't think many people would care where I live, but I don't exactly bring it up in conversation...

The reasoning behind the dislike of atheism comes from the idea that religion = morality. Some people assume that without a god to tell you what's good or bad, atheists must be amoral hedonists who will do anything without hesitation to satisfy their desires. Personally, I feel like this attitude says a lot more about the person thinking it than the atheist. Does that mean that they, without the threat of hell or whatever, would be an amoral hedonist? That they need some carrot and stick reward to be moral? That's kind of scary actually.

Anyway, atheists generally have some secular philosophy of morality, of which there are an absurd number to choose from (the philosophy of secular morality has been discussed since ~500 BC at the very least; the Greeks even had a simple "proof" that morality must exist prior to God). The most basic of course is "treat others in the way you'd like to be treated" or some derivation of that.
That was a good explanation and I agree with you but my original post was in regards to "how you define an atheist," to which I said "if you say 'I don't believe in God' it probably means you are atheist." It had nothing to do with atheists being looked down upon or whatever, it was my thoughts on the definition.
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Old 2009-02-12, 19:36   Link #1600
Xrayz0r
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Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
I guess you were arguing with the somewhat redundant phrase "secular morality" but just because its redundant doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
I got slightly offended because it implies there's also a "theistic morality" which somehow stands equal to it, which even if such a thing did exist, it wouldn't. Sorry for being an ass.
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