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#55127 - 05/28/11 04:56 PM The "New Atheism" and it's Value
MattVanSickle84 Offline
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Registered: 05/23/11
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I am very new to this forum but I have been studying Satanism for about 12 years and own just about every piece of Satanic literature/music/film available. I mention this not to pretentiously boast but because I see no reason why you should trust me so soon. But I assure you I am no time waster. I am not particularly fond of easy categorisations but labels can be useful (if only to filter out the stupid), so it is in this spirit, and by all relevant criteria that I call myself a Satanist. It's the only label I feel proud of self-applying.


That said, I am interested in gauging opinion of the phenomena dubbed "new-Atheism" and would very much appreciate some comments as to it's value or lack thereof. My contention is that it is a very welcome movement indeed and I support it's emergence and growth as a balancing force to monotheistic immorality and ignorance and it's application and championing of reason in the public sphere. This is merely because I am not a masochist and see these as also in my own political or social interests.

I am aware that the public sphere is not necessarily of much interest to many here and I acknowledge the general Satanic mistrust of ecumenicalism and collectives and share this distain, and am also aware that Satanism is not a social cause, nevertheless I am always interested in learning the views of the people who post here and I can see that I am in the presence, so to speak, of some very smart people.

I tend to think that the antitheism of someone like Christopher Hitchens (cancer is brave to challenge the man!) is only one step away from the views of many Satanists. He is in some ways a de facto Satanist, though in some ways not (Marxist, socialist activist etc.) Please discuss.

(There are many conversations I would be eager to start but a number of these have been addressed here long ago, so with respect to the regulations I shall have to think of more nuanced ways of addressing them! This is my first discussion subject so try not to brutalise me too much, tempting as that may be!)


Edited by MattVanSickle84 (05/28/11 04:58 PM)
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#55133 - 05/28/11 07:27 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Being 'against Christianity' doesn't make you anything but against Christianity. I find most of these 'new atheists', hitchens included, are still very much engrossed in the touchy feely 'humanism' that is really just magian nazarene memetics minus the superstition.

Personally I could not give a fuck about christianity. Yank that out from under peoples feet and something else equally as tailored to keeping people enslaved would just replace it. In fact, consumer PC culture mostly already has.

Still, though, even the weak and watered down sorts of antinomian ideas forwarded by such as these serve a purpose.
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#55137 - 05/28/11 08:34 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
MattVanSickle84 Offline
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Well, I think that some of these writers are more focused on Christianity than others, like Dawkins. Whereas the main focus for Hitchens and also Sam Harris is usually Islam as well as theism more generally. I think Hitchens rejects almost all of the "love thy neighbour/enemy" Jesus stuff and condemns the New Testament unequivocally, though not all of them do.

I actually can see some value in defining oneself as counter to Christianity though, since it is such a morally corrupt a system that by taking such a stance you are bound to reach some kind of reasonable morality even by accident!

Satanism is obviously much more substantive than this.

I personally see Humanism as a less of an ideological enemy than the other two dominant strains of contemporary thought which seem to me to be Postmodernism (relativism and irrationality etc.) and theism.

I would refer to myself as a misanthropic humanist, but only in so far as that entails more respect for mankind and it's potential than any kind of deity or organised religion. Any humanism that I do possess is without illusions, like George Carlin I suppose. I feel, as he did, that expecting too much from Man is pretty futile. I would submit that Lucifer was arguably the first Humanist. I think Ayn Rand is coming from a similar position of regard for humanity and it's highest achievement: reason and rational thought.

I don't want to press the Humanist thing too much since it implies an egalitarianism or utilitarianism which is not something that I would reflexively support, because it's not realistic but utopian and therefore dangerous to the individual, or as Rand put it - the most important minority.
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#55140 - 05/29/11 12:55 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Shea Offline
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I actually appreciate the "New Atheists" quite a bit: Dawkins is incredibly entertaining as a writer (in both the social and biological sciences); Harris is a little too "New Agey" for my taste, but essentially correct in his assessments of Christianity and Islam; and I love the dry humor of Hitchens.

Ultimately, in my estimation, as that of LaVey, Humanists are essentially fellow travelers. I have no problem with them per se, but their advocacy for egalitarianism all but throws the baby out with the bath water. The whole idea that "we can be good without religion," comes across as very "we can be Christian without Christ/god/whatever." As a Satanist, one must be a misanthrope and be willing to attempt a revaluation of values. We must be the "Attempters" that Nietzsche spoke of.

I love Objectivism, and as Nemo has pointed out, Satanism (as laid out by LaVey) is only distinguished from Objectivism by its definition of the Universe as essentially neutral regarding humanity in contrast to Rand's claim that it is benevolent; and by its refusal to deny the importance (and occasional seniority) of subjective experience.

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#55141 - 05/29/11 02:18 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Shea]
SkaffenAmtiskaw Moderator Offline
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Probably one of the more interesting threads I've seen here in a while. Thanks to everyone for chipping in. Interesting viewpoints, and well-expressed.

Personally, I can't add much except point out that Humanism and Anti-humanism aren't necessarily opposites. I consider myself a selective Humanist in that I can subscribe to most of the ideals, but, like Shea and Dan, cannot abide the egalitarianism.

Curiously enough, this is a hot topic in Secular Humanist circles. Nietzsche said Humanists were but a secular version of theists, out to enslave and suppress the strong. For some Humanists, this is true. For others, not so much. Hence the schism.

As to the new Atheism, I see it as a useful movement. However, due to mankind's overpowering tendency toward Weltschmerz, killing gods creates god-sized holes that need to be filled with some kind of god-substitute. Those people creep me out.

Post-theism is an interesting field of study. You'd see some interesting trends for sure.

While I appreciate both Hitch and Dawkins, I don't carry any deep-seated hatred for religion. Or religious people. Distrust, yes, but hating them would imply they had done something to hurt me. I distrust them in much the same way that I would distrust people talking angrily to themselves in public.

Secular Humanists are indeed our cousins. Some of them are what Nietzsche made of them. Others, not so much. But there is a big difference between just having your cup of Humanism without the egalitarianism on the one hand, and embracing Satanism on the other. That being said, I have a special fondness for them, since all the Humanists I know are good eggs.
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#55151 - 05/29/11 11:51 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Diavolo Offline
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The problem with most atheists and humanists is that even when abandoning god, their morality still seems stuck in the same patterns of thinking. It's no wonder they're about all situated in Leftism, an area who's idealism is so infected by religious ideas you wonder why they ever abandoned god.

By a lack of god and a desperate need to answer the consequential “no god, no morals” dilemma, they fanatically uphold all behavior in nature remotely resembling the idea of altruism, as evidence that therefor we humans must be moral beings, since it is defined by biology. What they forget is that we humans don't look upon all humans as our kind and in such, our morality becomes very flexible.

I personally don't have a very high opinion upon these blokes, even when preferring them above most religious nutters.

D.

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#55154 - 05/29/11 01:14 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
MattVanSickle84 Offline
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What you say is true only only if you ignore the central argument and scientific theory of the leading figure of the movement, Richard Dawkins.

Dawkins' The Selfish Gene goes well beyond a mere philosophical treatise on the virtues of selfishness into a widely accepted theory that individual humans and their genes, and therefore the entire process of evolution, is absolutely selfish in nature. Obviously this completely does away with the idea of the evolution in terms of "the good of the species". The best it can say about altruism is that it only occurs ancestrally in humans only in relation to close kin. It basically expands upon the ideas of Darwin and Spencer.

Rand, Nietzsche and Stirner had some very important philosophical ideas about self-interest but none of them were ever as intellectually undeniable or far-reaching as this one.

There is scarcely a more Satanic idea than that of a gene-centred view of evolution. If we are at all interested in the animal nature of Man, we cannot ignore our evolutionary past and it's implications.

While Dawkins may prefer the idea of an altruist morality personally, and he certainly does profess this by urging us to defy this tendency towards self interest, his most important contribution to science literally explodes the idea. A perfect illustration of the objectivity of science: what we feel or would like to be true may be interesting, but that by no means bears upon the harsh realities of life, such as they are.

I have read all of the main contemporary Atheist texts and in none of them did I find the argument that if you do away with the idea of God you reach a crisis of morality. Rather, they all argue that what religion teaches is morally corrupt and debased and that can only arrive at any sort of decent morality in spite of theistic religious texts. They are constantly putting forward the argument that morality predates monotheism. I've also never once heard of any of them advocating true altruism: complete self-sacrifice for the good of others.

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#55155 - 05/29/11 01:25 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
Jake999 Offline
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Atheism is only Atheism while the Atheist is atheistic in principle and practice. One one simply replaces theism with the GOD Atheism, they become simply another follower, albeit to a different form of god. Once you elevate Atheism to the highest of moral or dogmatic codes, it becomes equally as fragile and frail as any other herdism... walk lockstep with us or you're one of THEM.

In many ways, the strict demand of Atheistic adversarialism reminds me of the paradox of Anarchists, in which the first thing they do is impose rules that can be every bit as rigid and dogmatic as those that came before. Sure... they can come up with all kinds of reasons why THEIR rules are necessary, whereas the ones which caused their anarchism were OBVIOUSLY wrong... all religions and all philosophies do the same. It's inherent in the nature of the beast.

And like all religions and all philosophies, we see new saints of the standard rise and be recognized, and where the heroes of the past begin to fall into disfavor, we see the new icons of Nietzsche, Rand, Hitchens and Dawkins being chiseled out of stone for the new temples... a modern day Mount Rushmore of the new religion is being planned for a stone promontory somewhere. Pay them tribute and quote them well, lest ye be seen as heretics to the new world order of the mind.

But look... in our zeal to damn all gods and condemn the herdism and hero worship of others, let's not become simply like them in a world we create in our minds as somehow superior without REAL change. Granted, Hitchens and Dawkins are excellent articulators and can hold an appreciative audience captive with their rhetoric in rapt and attentive awe... well, so can Billy Graham, Tony Robbins and (for the old as dirt group) Zig Zigler. People come to hear them preach the gospel in their church of choice. Would you EXPECT dissent? Is swaying the masses in one's own banquet hall a feat or a floorshow? People are PAYING to get what they came to hear.

LaVey once wrote, "Never send to ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls because someone is being paid to pull the rope."

Doesn't really matter what "ist" is doing the pulling.
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#55156 - 05/29/11 01:29 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Diavolo Offline
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The “no god, no morals” argument is one made by the other side; if there is no god, there is no good. Without god, the world goes to hell. The emphasis on altruism, reciprocal or not, is a counter argument to give credit to the idea there can be good without god. The “for the good of the species” is the theme heavily played upon, which to no surprise is also quite favored by Leftist ideologies.

I side with the Nietzschean perspective; cooperation as improvement for domination, a side taken by Wilson lately who calls his previous ideas upon kin selection simply wrong. Cooperators cooperate to out-compete non-cooperators.

D.

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#55157 - 05/29/11 01:31 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
SkaffenAmtiskaw Moderator Offline
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I certainly understand - and to a certain degree agree with - your misgivings. Humanism, for all its vaunted Atheism, seems almost preternaturally concerned with utilitarianism. Guilt, shame and regret are bemoaned as the unavoidable price for living in a society. They do not advocate love of self, self-reliance, or anything that puts one person above another. Rather, faith is placed in Man, mankind and its potential for achievement, all measured in altruism and humanitarianism. That being said, they also work towards enlightenment, excellence, the right to be an individual and to hold one's own convictions. While the collectivist thinking is less apparent in the right-wing Humanists, they also work towards the same ends.

The tendency to make a priori ethical judgements defaulting to the RHP white light standards is not prevalent, but it occurs. I have in conversation made several less-than-altruistic statements and been met with agreement from Humanists, surprisingly. They're a curious bunch, but seem unwilling to make the acquaintance of their inner beast. All that religiously-instilled shame and guilt, I expect, worming its way into their collective subconscious like a racial memory.

Discussing memetics with them, however, makes many uncomfortable. It seems like a topic they're uncomfortable with, despite several Humanist tomes on the subject. I guess it's because of the genealogy of Humanism. To some extent, I contend Humanism is an early offshoot of proto-Satanism as espoused by the literary fathers of modern Satanism. The transparency of their ad-hoc inclusion of secularized xtian dogma is perhaps unsettling.
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#55160 - 05/29/11 01:53 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Diavolo Offline
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I admit that their goals are at least to be favored above those of our more theistic inclined but let's not kid ourselves with fairy tales about equal rights. The right to hold one's own convictions is limited to what they define as “good” convictions and does not allow sharing that which falls beyond. There are enough examples contradicting the basic rights they uphold. If I doubt the holocaust as a whole, or even a part of it, I'll get prosecuted. If I say in public negros are dumb, I'll get prosecuted. If I say Arabs should be killed, I'll get prosecuted. And this is a rather secular country but basic rights only imply all they consider right. Not that I feel inclined to give these speeches in public but it clearly shows “good” is still ruling. And knowing that, I realize the habitat I live in is as hostile as would it still be theistic in nature. Not that it hinders me mind you.

D.

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#55167 - 05/29/11 02:55 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
SkaffenAmtiskaw Moderator Offline
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Boom-ching. Absolutely. These are the ethical judgements that permeate society, and which are considered to be so fundamental and obvious we become surprised when we see different judgements elsewhere. We try to ascribe the motivations for these judgements to each individual from an alien culture, when in reality we have just as many a priori ethical judgements running through our own culture.

I think one of the downsides to identifying these subconscious judgements is that you inevitably become disgusted with all righteous posturing. I mean, I only have so much disgust in me. Well, so far I haven't run out, but sometimes you realize that all that facepalming will flatten your face.

The challenge lies in identifying these judgements and learning them like a general learns his battlefield. Ignore them at your peril. But giving them credence per se is just prolonging the problem.

I'd like to address something Jake said above, about Atheism being just another religion. I disagree. It's as much of a religion as not playing chess is a hobby. I see his point, though, since so many traits are ascribed unjustly to Atheism. Atheism is an absence of faith in the divine, not necessarily the prolonged diatribes of Hitchens or Dawkins. Those are their own creations. It is true, however, that atheists have a higher-than-usual number of heroes, often mockingly referred to as prophets or saints. These are just clever people with some standing in scientific or skeptical circles. I find the hero worship to be a bit much, but I guess it's one of those weltschmerz things, or a thirst for the divine, the exalted.

To this extent I can understand the labelling of Atheism as a religion, but in its purest form, it's just an absence of faith in the divine.

Satanism, in my eyes, is the only philosophical/religious conviction that even attempts to examine the inner beast, to delve deeply and not flinch at what it sees. Secular Humanism just says "Try to be happy, but don't hurt anyone."
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#55170 - 05/29/11 03:33 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Diavolo Offline
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I agree Atheism fundamentally doesn't have much in common with religion. Not believing something is just that and usually that's as far as one can take it. But during the last decade Atheism became much more, caused by the interconnectedness of the Internet and the abandonment of the velvet gloves which avoided direct confrontation with the religious ideas. Ten years or so ago the argument exploded and became quite a nice conflict to observe.

These days many atheists are not only not believing in god but often vehemently opposing everything related to that god. Of course a figure like Dawkins who doesn't shy away from denigrating remarks is considered a hero in these circles. But I'd still not call it a religion and see it more as a movement which has evolved beyond the initial disbelief. That there are leading figures who are often mentioned, quoted or even admired is only logical. The same can be witnessed in every memetic environment; look at Satanism as an example.

D.

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#55195 - 05/29/11 10:23 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Ghostly1 Offline
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 Originally Posted By: SkaffenAmtiskaw


Satanism, in my eyes, is the only philosophical/religious conviction that even attempts to examine the inner beast, to delve deeply and not flinch at what it sees. Secular Humanism just says "Try to be happy, but don't hurt anyone."


This is exactly one of the inner statements which drew me in. Accepting, and nurturing all the human desires and emotions. Just existing without a belief in even your own place in the world leaves a hole. They say you are what you do. It is more accurate to say you are the results of what you have done.

Thank you for saying this.
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#55201 - 05/30/11 12:48 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Ghostly1]
Shea Offline
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There are always going to be those stray wanderers looking for the CAUSE by which they can define their existence; and certainly it's unsurprising that a good chunk of them have adopted the "new" Atheism. Does this take away from the valid points made by many of the more influential writers to be found in this group? Nope, not any more than having a bunch of followers makes one's ideas valid in the first place.

It seems to me that Jake was taking issue with these CAUSE Crusaders, while SkaffenAmtiskaw was making reference to the actual producers found within this particular memetic phenomenon. Not that I would presume to translate for either of them, and I'll wait for them to correct me if I'm missing their respective points.

Of course, being fellow travelers, I can see the value in some of these ideas (the very idea of the meme itself originating in Dawkins) while discarding less important missteps such as humanistic egalitarianism/utilitarianism. The LHP allows for such an adversarial and pragmatic approach when dealing with ideas.

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#55203 - 05/30/11 02:55 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
SkaffenAmtiskaw Moderator Offline
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The religious nutjobs had learned from their opposition, and understood right off the bat that atheists just refuted faith. They didn't actually have anything they could be in favour of. This caused the new Atheism to develop, as atheists borrowed heavily from the secular Humanist movement. Since new Atheism is a different animal altogether, it is still struggling with childhood diseases. Right now, it's still in its cult of personality phase, and seems hesitant to merge with secular Humanism or strike out on its own, e.g. Dawkins' proposed 'Brights' movement.

It's ingrained in new Atheism that you should reject fallacies, groupthink, orthodoxies and dogma, but I think it's running on fumes, unfortunately. So far, their number is shared with both secular Humanists and other groups, but they lack the coherence to become a force to be reckoned with. I'm uncertain if this is even a goal.
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#55204 - 05/30/11 03:45 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Diavolo Offline
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Different organizations appeared indeed, like the Brights you mentioned, promoted heavily by Dawkins and Dennett back in the day, or Dawkins' own foundation, but there isn't much of a goal to be found. They all seem to be heavily stuck at preaching to the choir. Some years ago there was an explosion of activity but these days there is hardly anything noticeable. Much was linked to the popularity of certain books and the media-publicity they triggered but these days all seems back to normal.

I doubt anything will come from it. Seeing "new humanists" wave the slogan "good without god" doesn't really strike me as promising and many non-believers lack the drive most believers have. One of the main problems might be that there is little money or power to be gained in these movements.

If there's no gain, none is prepared to suffer too much pain.

D.

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#55221 - 05/30/11 05:00 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
Lucifer Rising Offline
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I think most of my thoughts on this subject has been summed up quite nicely by others here, so this should be short.

I agree that many of those that may be considered part of the "New Atheism" have tried to fill a "God shaped hole" with their own version of prophets. It is my thinking, however, that the majority of people go through this. I myself have gone through this, but I believe there are better ways to fill such a hole as others. Abandoning one religion and replacing it with what is essentially another one is likely unavoidable to a certain degree. Some make a god of humanity. I am probably guilty of making gods out of reality and myself. It is simply something modern humans do.

I don't like the morality many of the "New Atheists" push forward, and agree that it is little more than a modified version of the judeo-christian morality. It is often used as a counter argument, however, and probably would not be anywhere near as acceptable as it is without it.

Over all, I'm favorable to the movement. I much rather have a discussion with an Atheist or humanist than a Christian or Muslim. I think these "New Atheists" are far more formidable opponents and are usually a more intelligent and knowledgeable breed.
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#55254 - 05/31/11 11:20 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Fnord Offline
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Interesting topic, kudos to you, Sir.

I am late to the conversation and so must echo much of what was already posted in response. I have also noticed thought patterns, as mentioned by others. People in the "New Atheism" movement(?) do tend to break away from the established memes of RHP religions... but they also tend to embrace other patterns, leftward politics (and the oft-false dichotomies therein), Darwin's evolutionary theory etc as if they were a religion in and of themselves.

I can identify with some of the issues/ideas these folks attach themselves to. Other things are heavily dependent on a structure of belief which is where Satanists will differ from them. In my world, it's my job to dismantle belief systems and break them down to primary parts/motivations. Strict adherence to one side of the political spectrum or the other, for example, would require a concession on some or many points. It's the domain of the Satanist to examine both sides of these kinds of arguments from a third side position... without the emotional attachment many feel to them. It's also fun to stir the pot.

As for whether or not I welcome this 'movement'? I don't know, it remains to be seen I suppose. I'm for anything that controls the believers and keeps them out of my hair. If some want to swap god for politics and/or scientific theories it's fine with me. If it catches on I'll have to change my grocery shopping schedule (church time, Sunday mornings in the South) to whatever time the thing that replaces church happens.

As a sidebar: I suspect that the trouble brewing over in Israel at current time might be one of those polarizing events that will serve to renew folk in their godly relations. Talk radio is already speaking in terms of 'us' vs 'them' (my god vs your god) and it's getting the masses lathered up for some bloodshed. This coupled with 'The War on Terra', faltering economies, the questionable dollar, and the impending doom ;\) of 2012 just might send some believers over the edge (the next purge?). The New Atheists might soon find their places in history next to some folks across Europe and in Salem Mass.
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#55633 - 06/09/11 03:30 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Fnord]
Max Stirner Offline
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In terms of practical utility New Atheism is really useful: it destroys creationists and challenges the common religious people, winning most of the time.
But in terms of academic challenge it's just a poor movement and it's ideas may have been strong arguments in the XVIII-XIX century but certainly not now. It brings nothing new and it's arguments are boring in the best case and pathetic in the worst. Any decostructivist (philosophically speaking) can literally destroy their rebuttal of faith and their claim that the Weltanschauung they use is based only on reason (or the claim that a Weltanschauung based only on reason can exist) in less than half a page.
The fact that they all blindly subscribe to leftism is just a consequence of their lack of critical thinking about their claims as many of you already said.

As usual, sorry for my terrible English.

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#55891 - 06/16/11 04:25 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Max Stirner]
Dimitri Offline
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 Quote:
In terms of practical utility New Atheism is really useful: it destroys creationists and challenges the common religious people, winning most of the time.

The purpose of New Atheism or militant Atheism is not to destroy creationists and challenging common religious people. The primary goal is to EDUCATE them and not to desparatly hang on towards the dogmatic history religion describes.

Within Atheism it was never an idea to erase the morals of religion, it was just a view that the same morals can still stand while not believing in any god. If you think that with the merging of new forms of Atheism political views (i.e lefty vs right ideals/ideas) are to be changed then I have some bad news.
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#55927 - 06/16/11 02:54 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dimitri]
Max Stirner Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
The primary goal is to EDUCATE them and not to desparatly hang on towards the dogmatic history religion describes.


If the goal is to educate them, they are doing it wrong.
Exchanging religious dogma with scientism and logical positivism may sound wonderful for two seconds then you realize that the improvement is not that big.
Before New Atheism: religious people who can't think for themselves.
After New Atheism: Atheist who can't think for themselves but they are not as annoying as before.
(obviously that's not always the case)

I think that education goes beyond that.

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
If you think that with the merging of new forms of Atheism political views (i.e lefty vs right ideals/ideas) are to be changed then I have some bad news.


I've never thought that.

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#58990 - 09/09/11 12:33 AM A selfish paradox [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Gattamelata Offline
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Posts: 44
 Originally Posted By: MattVanSickle84
There is scarcely a more Satanic idea than that of a gene-centred view of evolution. If we are at all interested in the animal nature of Man, we cannot ignore our evolutionary past and it's implications.


But from the perspective of the genes, the human body is but a machine enslaved to propagate the interest of genetic survival. Far from establishing the selfish man, Dawkins establish the selfish gene, for whom man and all his potential (including his potential for selfishness and/or altruism) is just a temporary vessel of utility.

Dawkins shifts the evolutionary perspective away from man, and onto another stage: the alien world of genetic warfare, conducted througout the ages by mysterious agents whose motives and functions our science has only begun to scratch the surface of.

Curiously enough, the most ’satanic’ thing to do seems to use advanced biotechnology to revert the perspective back to man, enslave the genes to propagate the interest of man so to speak, instead of the other way around.
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#70855 - 09/14/12 02:54 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Le Deluge Offline
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 Originally Posted By: MattVanSickle84
That said, I am interested in gauging opinion of the phenomena dubbed "new-atheism" and would very much appreciate some comments as to it's value or lack thereof. My contention is that it is a very welcome movement indeed and I support it's emergence and growth as a balancing force to monotheistic immorality and ignorance and it's application and championing of reason in the public sphere. This is merely because I am not a masochist and see these as also in my own political or social interests.


As a point of reference, I'm "agnostic". It is not really a precise identifier, but it may be relevant to your queary. I don't see Atheism as going much beyond a disbelief in "God". It is tenuous as a description ... let alone a philosophy or praxis.

 Quote:
I am aware that the public sphere is not necessarily of much interest to many here and I acknowledge the general Satanic mistrust of ecumenicalism and collectives and share this distain, and am also aware that Satanism is not a social cause, nevertheless I am always interested in learning the views of the people who post here and I can see that I am in the presence, so to speak, of some very smart people.


I simply walk the LHP. I will grant that there is certainly no call for a social movement amongst the vast majority here.

 Quote:
I tend to think that the antitheism of someone like Christopher Hitchens (cancer is brave to challenge the man!) is only one step away from the views of many Satanists. He is in some ways a de facto Satanist, though in some ways not (Marxist, socialist activist etc.) Please discuss.


I don't see antitheism as a viable movement. To begin with: the surrogate god of consumerism. It strikes me as being as powerful (and detrimental) as the "Christian God" of faith. I suspect other surrogate gods await the masses. Secular humanism is not something I would oppose. If it degenerates into idiocy like communism, it becomes a different matter. Communism enslaves the individual. I can understand an argument "Well, if I'm the cat in charge though". The philosophical premises behind these political persuasions are just anathema to me (beyond that qualifier.)

Militant atheists are an amusing lot. I think many take on the "disbelief" in a manner similar to the "belief" of fundamentalist christians they oppose. Hell, as agnostic we acknowledge that "God" cannot be proven by logical dictate. We simply do not bother with the thesis as some identifying factor. No to the Atheist vanguard. The 20th Century informs us as to what they often degenerate into.



Edited by Le Deluge (09/14/12 03:48 PM)
Edit Reason: tortured grammar
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#70879 - 09/15/12 06:52 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Le Deluge]
Diavolo Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Le Deluge
As a point of reference, I'm "agnostic". It is not really a precise identifier, but it may be relevant to your queary. I don't see atheism as going much beyond a disbelief in "God". It is tenuous as a description ... let alone a philosophy or praxis.


I find agnostic an even more ridiculous position than theist because it pretends to refuse taking sides based upon an uncertainty while every single one of them did take sides and either believes or not believes in god. Like I said elsewhere, it is either the one or the other and the very moment you're confronted with the god concept, you will side with the one or the other. One can't choose not to.

In addition, it is also a position too silly to desire.

It's like someone claiming four is the sum of two and two and I'll respond: “I'm going to be agnostic about this since there's an infinitesimal possibility there might be another answer one day". Or me refusing to accept I am living because there's again an infinitesimal possibility I might be dead and this all happens in my mind at some afterlife party.

Sometimes “maybe” isn't an option.

D.

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#70881 - 09/15/12 07:25 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
Le Deluge Offline
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That is the problem I generally have with militant atheists. I don't desire much of anything. I haven't been confronted with a God beyond the precepts of Judeo-Christianity. Rejecting those, I felt no need to label myself the opposite. You could call it ___ . I just don't find the terms to have any use.

PS: I just noticed your other post. If it is simply the godhead I need reject, I would be an Atheist in that sense. I just maintain an extreme level of skepticism towards all things: secular and "spiritual" both.
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#70882 - 09/15/12 07:59 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Le Deluge]
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Honestly I find the word 'Atheist' to be an insidious and clever bit of christian apologetics. Just as I would not label myself an a-fairyist or an a-leprechaunist, I would not take the label 'Atheist'.

Defining yourself to contrast one particular superstition is to lend that superstition a shit-ton of credibility. Myself, I don't think any one superstition is worthy of any extra portions of importance than any other.


Edited by Dan_Dread (09/15/12 08:47 PM)
Edit Reason: fixed typo
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#70883 - 09/15/12 08:02 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
Le Deluge Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Honestly I find the word 'Atheist' to be an insidious and clever bit of christian apologetics. Just as I would not label myself an a-firtist or an a-leprechaunist, I would not take the label 'Atheist'.

Defining yourself to contrast one particular superstition is to lend that superstition a shit-ton of credibility. Myself, I don't think any one superstition is worthy of any extra portions of importance than any other.


That is kind of the problem I have with it. I rejected the whole damn thing. How can I oppose half of it? If someone needs a definition as to my view on the Godhead, I don't have one. It doesn't exist for me to oppose. The movements though, be they secular or "spiritual", I'm extremely skeptical of their efficacy. I find surrogate gods are placed where the original one seemed to be presented to me as a kid. Not good.


Edited by Le Deluge (09/15/12 08:07 PM)
Edit Reason: surrogate god qualifier
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#70884 - 09/15/12 08:07 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
Diavolo Offline
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That's a weak argument Dan considering you call yourself a satanist. If Atheist is christian apologetic, then surely satanist must top them all.

D.

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#70885 - 09/15/12 08:49 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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Apples and oranges. Satanism is not a claim of belief vis a vis any given superstition..at least not insofar as I understand/deliver it.
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#70886 - 09/15/12 09:34 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
Diavolo Offline
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Apples and oranges?

Come on, now you're being silly. Satanism is pretty much a claim of belief and more than anything a label in contrast to Christianity. The opposer and such. You know, of god and his stuff.

In that regards, and aligned with your specific criticism upon Atheism, it can't get any worse than satanist.

Fact is, Atheism is a reaction against theism because theism simply was the standard mindset and Atheism only came at a later stage when people consciously rejected theism. We are hardwired to believe in funky shit so being atheistic isn't the natural condition but one that requires a certain level of reasoning.

As such, there is hardly anything insidious or apologetic to it.

D.

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#70887 - 09/15/12 10:29 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
Asmedious Moderator Offline
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Atheism doesn't only cover not believing in a christian god, but covers all gods as well. I would go so far as to say that if Leprechauns and fairies were worshiped as gods, then the word Atheism would cover them also.

Although a person is free to give greater details as to what they believe or do not believe, the word Atheist would give at least a general idea expressing ones views.

In general conversation with a group of people if someone stated that they were an Atheist, how many of us would be clueless as to what they were talking about?

If we have so much difficulty accepting the general definitions of words, and insist on making up our very own vocabulary that we feel more precisely express our views, then we will end up sounding like the idiots who use terms like “Satanity,” and sink to the same level as the Ebonics crowd.


Edited by Asmedious (09/15/12 10:32 PM)
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#70893 - 09/16/12 01:23 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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Oh D, you've gone and missed my point altogether.

To say "I am an Atheist" is to say "I reject one particular categorization of superstition", which is also to say that particular subset is somehow more important than the near infinite spectrum of possible faith based superstitions that can be conceived of..which is to offer that particular subset a certain extra level of credibility. This is why it's a sort of apologetic.

To Say "I am a Satanist" has nothing to do with rejecting or accepting any particular superstitions, but a certain sort of view upon the world as a whole and a certain sort of approach to enacting that view. The fact that some use it in a superstitious context also, either by worshiping some devil or living in fear of one, is completely beside the point.

Or in short, Satanism is a broad category of stuff, while 'Atheism' is a very specific claim. Apples and oranges.
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#70895 - 09/16/12 02:23 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
Diavolo Offline
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Are you deliberately trying to be funny Dan?

Atheism is only specific in that it rejects any god out there. How much wider do you like the spectrum to be?

Of course Satanism is reactionary against Christianity and its values. Why else would it be called Satanism? To say it has nothing to do with superstitions is like stating zoology has nothing to do with animals.

It is all about rejecting and accepting superstitions. There is more devoted to that in the SB than there is to any worldview or praxis. We do take that part further but that is completely besides the point here.

D.

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#70896 - 09/16/12 02:45 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Well sure, only none of that argues against what I said. I didn't say Satanism has nothing to do with superstition. You are making a category error.

Atheism is to emphasize the rejection of one particular claim, while Satanism ranges from casting doubt on ALL unevidenced/unsupported claims to ignoring them altogether to accepting some of them wholesale.(depending on who you ask)

You can stop arguing that using the word Satan also ties back to Christian mythos, because I have never claimed otherwise.
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#70898 - 09/16/12 04:12 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
Diavolo Offline
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Actually in your previous reply you said Satanism had nothing to do with superstition.

The issue here is that while “I am an Atheist” indeed rejects one thing, which is god, it in itself is a very clear statement. Atheists don't do god. There are no exceptions to that. In the days of yore about all believed in god but a couple clever ones that used their reasoning skills decided that this belief in god was not too intelligent. Hardly apologetic.

“I am a satanist” however can mean about anything one likes and as such, doesn't necessarily even reject anything. Surely I can state that as a satanist I reject and doubt this and that, and in that require that which I reject or doubt as much as Atheism requires theism, but besides that, the next one that comes along and says “I am a satanist” could embrace the whole damn lot but just side with Satan.

The difference between “I am an Atheist” and “I am a satanist” is that in the first case, you at least are sure he doesn't believe in gods. Everything else is as individually dependent in the one as it is in the other but none of both is a stand-alone concept.

D.

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#70937 - 09/17/12 05:58 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
Dimitri Offline
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 Quote:
Honestly I find the word 'Atheist' to be an insidious and clever bit of christian apologetics. Just as I would not label myself an a-fairyist or an a-leprechaunist, I would not take the label 'Atheist'.

I wouldn't say it is Christian apologetics seeing the basic idea is thriving against it.
On the other hand, I would say most in the Atheist movement are closet agnostics when considering their reasoning for their raison d'etre. Seeing the foundation on which they base their Atheism starts with "you don't know if there's a god" or the question "the burden of proof lies within the camp of those who claim", implying a more agnostic state of being than a true Atheistic one.
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#70945 - 09/17/12 10:33 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dimitri]
Diavolo Offline
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"The burden of proof..." has little to do with belief itself but is purely related to the debate. Since one can not prove a negative, the burden of proof rests on the side making the claim.

It is not the Atheist that needs to provide evidence for his disbelief in god but the theist for his claim that god exists.

D.

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#70946 - 09/17/12 11:04 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
Dimitri Offline
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The burden of proof, while mostly used during debate, has also been used as a quick cop-out both in and out of debates. It's also a variation of the "divine and mystical ways" theists use to set themselves apart and justify their beliefs.

I agree with (and always have) the burden of proof lies with the one making the claim. I merely pointed out more than often that statement has an agnostic undertone in debate than an actual Atheist one.

On the other hand, it is always nice for the Atheist to give a reason which has led to the disbelief than a mere feeling in the gut. On that part it is otherwise not any different as a moderate theist who takes what its poobahs said.
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#70949 - 09/17/12 12:02 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
Dan_Dread Offline
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 Originally Posted By: D
Actually in your previous reply you said satanism had nothing to do with superstition.


I certainly didn't. I said -

"To Say "I am a Satanist" has nothing to do with rejecting or accepting any particular superstitions..<snip>"

That is to say, Satanism can't really be narrowed down to rejecting any one particular superstition, or even narrowed down to the rejection of all superstitions. While the nature of 'doing' Satanism generally leads to the expulsion of vacuous ideas like spiritual bogymen and the like, there is certainly more to it than that.

While Atheism, on the other hand, is a term that denotes the rejection of one particular superstition, and that's all it is. Hence apples and oranges.

My critique, restated again, is that to define yourself as an Atheist any other place or time than when theism is being directly discussed, or to use 'Atheism' as ones primary philosophical position(which most self described 'atheists' often do) is to place that particular superstition(theism) on a sort of pedestal above the rest. Where are the a-unicornists?

 Quote:

“I am a satanist” however can mean about anything one likes and as such, doesn't necessarily even reject anything. Surely I can state that as a satanist I reject and doubt this and that, and in that require that which I reject or doubt as much as Atheism requires theism, but besides that, the next one that comes along and says “I am a satanist” could embrace the whole damn lot but just side with Satan.

Sounds a lot like -
"Atheism is to emphasize the rejection of one particular claim, while Satanism ranges from casting doubt on ALL unevidenced/unsupported claims to ignoring them altogether to accepting some of them wholesale.(depending on who you ask)"

This is why my critique of 'Atheism' as a sort of spotlight apologetic doesn't really apply to Satanism very well.

And even if it did, it wouldn't make the critique any less valid..it would just make me a hypocrite right? ;\)
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#70950 - 09/17/12 12:10 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dimitri]
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 Quote:

On the other hand, it is always nice for the Atheist to give a reason which has led to the disbelief than a mere feeling in the gut. On that part it is otherwise not any different as a moderate theist who takes what its poobahs said.

Of course! Like for instance, if I asked you why you don't believe in shit-monsters that live in the sewers, you would never answer flippantly, and instead seek to spend your own time doing extensive research into shit monsters before giving your carefully weighed and measured answer.

;\)
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#70951 - 09/17/12 12:20 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
Dimitri Offline
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 Quote:
Of course! Like for instance, if I asked you why you don't believe in shit-monsters that live in the sewers, you would never answer flippantly, and instead seek to spend your own time doing extensive research into shit monsters before giving your carefully weighed and measured answer.

I'm always willingly to reach down the shithole to test the theory when asked. Be my guest to belief things in any way you want it.
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#70952 - 09/17/12 12:26 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dimitri]
Dan_Dread Offline
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A claim isn't a theory, what are you going to test?

My point was that vacuous/ridiculous claims are not entitled to due measure simply because some halfwit managed to think it up. The rational thing would be to tell me to show you some shitty footprints or evidence of poo-man civilization before giving it even a passing glance.

Yet, we extend this 'theism' that very consideration, and after all of these thousands of years still not one shitty footprint.
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#70953 - 09/17/12 01:08 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
William Wright Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
I find agnostic an even more ridiculous position than theist because it pretends to refuse taking sides based upon an uncertainty while every single one of them did take sides and either believes or not believes in god. Like I said elsewhere, it is either the one or the other and the very moment you're confronted with the god concept, you will side with the one or the other. One can't choose not to.

I would argue that agnosticism is simply maintaining that the existence of a supernatural god or gods is unknown. Acknowledging this, the agnostic then “picks a side,” theist or Atheist. Agnosticism doesn’t run contrary to belief but simply accepts that belief is an opinion that may or may not be accurate.
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#70954 - 09/17/12 01:14 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
Dimitri Offline
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 Quote:
My point was that vacuous/ridiculous claims are not entitled to due measure simply because some halfwit managed to think it up. The rational thing would be to tell me to show you some shitty footprints or evidence of poo-man civilization before giving it even a passing glance.

In this instance I equal claim to theory. I'm prepared to test or at least see the person who made the claim try to proof it. Even demand it.

But again, things might as well be fenced off with things alike "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", "it's (a) divine '...' " or even "the burden of proof..." for that matter.

Excuses enough and you don't even have to be a specific -ist to use them.


Edited by Dimitri (09/17/12 01:16 PM)
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#70957 - 09/17/12 02:41 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
Diavolo Offline
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I guess “I am a Satanist” has as little to do with Satanism as “any particular superstition” has with “superstition” but anyhow...

You're creating apples and oranges where there are none. You presuppose that claiming “I am an Atheist” is limited to only not believing in god while “I am a Satanist” is so wonderfully broad that it applies to all and everything.

As a statement, they both reveal little; atheists don't do god, satanists don't like baby J. but beyond the statement, you can find the same depth or shallowness. Anyone disbelieving god, logically should disbelieve everything of which this god is the cornerstone which in turns makes it hardly different from Satanism. Of course this is not true for all but then again, we encounter the same problem in Satanism.

Atheist isn't limited to debating theism alone although it of course is relevant if a subject has god as its cornerstone or origin and while you might defend the validity of satanist above Atheist, I bet that in the majority of cases when you state “I am a Satanist”, the very next statement is “I am an Atheist”.

D.

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#70963 - 09/17/12 04:28 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
Asmedious Moderator Offline
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 Quote:
I bet that in the majority of cases when you state “I am a Satanist”, the very next statement is “I am an Atheist”.


For me it's the other way around. Usually, if the subject should come up and I feel like playing along, I "come out" as an Atheist first, and then in time I may reveal or give hints to being a Satanist. Interestingly, many times I am "accused of," or hinted at being a Satanist, before I come out openly as one. Although many who have "accused" me of being a Satanist don't really know much about it.
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#70966 - 09/17/12 06:57 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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 Quote:

I guess “I am a Satanist” has as little to do with Satanism as “any particular superstition” has with “superstition” but anyhow...

LOL, what? I am not sure you are following me here.


I'm fairly sure you are arguing just to argue now, as you still haven't addressed my point at all.

"Atheist" = defining yourself negatively vis a vis one particular superstition, hence empowering said superstition.

You can say, well ya but you call yourself a Satanist, isn't that the same thing? I have explained why it isn't, but even if I were wrong about that my point about defining ones self as an 'Atheist'(rather than just using the term contextually when god-belief is discussed) stands.

You know when some folk scream 'ad hominem!' when people insult them, to try to sound smart? Those sorts don't actually understand the nature of how that fallacy works. A true adhom fallacy would be to say 'Your case is invalid because of this other unrelated thing you do or say'

Just throwing that out there.
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#70967 - 09/17/12 08:43 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
William Wright Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
"Atheist" = defining yourself negatively vis a vis one particular superstition, hence empowering said superstition.

That's a good point. But how could you discuss believing in god(s) vs. not believing in god(s) without using the terms theism and Atheism?
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#70969 - 09/17/12 09:31 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: William Wright]
Dan_Dread Offline
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I'm not saying the term isn't useful contextually, only that there are pitfalls to using 'Atheist' as a primary philosophical position that many seem to overlook.

Myself, I find 'nonsuperstitious' more robust anyway.
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#70982 - 09/18/12 07:31 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
Bette Doom Offline
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[quote=Dan_Dread]
 Quote:

"Atheist" = defining yourself negatively vis a vis one particular superstition, hence empowering said superstition.



Does it not? There's something funny about watching an otherwise brilliant mind expend hours of precious time debating the existence of something he considers no more relevant than unicorns. Likewise, I have yet to see in print anything like "The End of Unicorns," "Letter to a Nation of Unicorn-Lovers," "Unicorns are NOT great!", although that last one I would pay full cover price for, read and highlight extensively.
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#70987 - 09/18/12 08:43 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Bette Doom]
Jason King Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Bette Doom
[quote=Dan_Dread]
 Quote:

"Atheist" = defining yourself negatively vis a vis one particular superstition, hence empowering said superstition.



Does it not? There's something funny about watching an otherwise brilliant mind expend hours of precious time debating the existence of something he considers no more relevant than unicorns. Likewise, I have yet to see in print anything like "The End of Unicorns," "Letter to a Nation of Unicorn-Lovers," "Unicorns are NOT great!", although that last one I would pay full cover price for, read and highlight extensively.


I get your point, but the reason is obvious. Unicorn-lovers don't tend to fly planes into buildings, brainwash their children, blah blah.

Ahh, but that was your exact point, wasn't it?

Regarding the Opie (however long ago little Richie Cunningham posted it) - the new Atheism is an attempt to combat fire with fire, and is hence misguided at best. Don't get me wrong, though, I love me some Sam Harris. Dawkins is a toad, Hitchens has been elevated to demigod status (irony, huh?), and Dennett is a dry philosopher with a long white beard.

My bottom line: it works, but it could be working a whole lot better if it actually understood human nature beyond an anthro 101 level. Which, again, see Sam Harris, the only one who really gets it.

JK <3 Unicorns
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#70989 - 09/18/12 09:03 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Jason King]
Bette Doom Offline
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Well then there you have it, Jason. Religion is a cocktail stronger than fantasy, and so the response to it must necessarily be stronger than reason alone.

And I concur that of all the fellows you listed, Sam Harris is the most difficult to ignore. There's something about Dawkins too, though, that inspires a kind of condescending sort of affection. I mean he's an uptight English bug-collector, and his primary concern is something like "the children."
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#71000 - 09/18/12 12:17 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
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Wutz with the “ad hominem” thing?
I didn't say you're wrong because you're Canadian did I? But now I'm thinking about it... ;\)

Why would I empower theism by stating I'm an Atheist? That's like saying I empower watermelons by stating I don't like those. Or empower the Yeti by claiming he is not real. I don't empower Christianity by stating I'm a Satanist do I?

I don't make god nor the idea of god more valid or real by rejecting it. Else the more disbelieve something, the more valid that what they disbelieve becomes. That would be strange me thinks. You'd start to believe in god just to hasten his demise.

Atheist is a position just as much as satanist and just as much as satanist it is an oppositional claim since the majority subscribes to that which one claims not to.

Again, there's no apples and oranges.

D.

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#71003 - 09/18/12 07:12 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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Well sure it's apples and oranges..as per my arguments to that effect that are right up there ^^ for everyone to read. I don't feel the need to re-iterate if you don't feel the need to refute.

Ad-hom - your argument about Atheism fails because you call yourself a Satanist, even though the argument would stand just fine on its own regardless of who made it. Logic man, logic. This whole divergent 'Satanist' thing you keep dangling is just not relevant to my point.

Again, where are the people defining themselves primarily as a-unicornist on poll surveys? Why is the superstitious idea of a deity more important than the superstitious idea of a unicorn?
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#71004 - 09/18/12 08:07 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
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Maybe you should stop thinking of Satanism as how you fill in the label and you'd see how little Satanism differs from Atheism in regards to your criticism.

Regardless of what we personally fill it in with, Satanism is simply reactionary against Christianity and its morality. It doesn't imply a whole world view since that exactly is what Satanism always lacked and we fill in ourselves. So what you consider logic, I see as bias.

I'll wonder where the a-unicornists are if you wonder where outside the West-christian areas the satanists are. Maybe that will answer your question too why to people, the one superstitious idea is more important than the other.

Yes to you too.

D.

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#71005 - 09/18/12 09:12 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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Sigh. Again, you didn't address my point vis a vis why Atheism is an apologetic, and instead chose the "ya but Satanism..." distractionary. How about you pretend I'm not a satanist for a second if it helps you focus.
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#71007 - 09/18/12 09:53 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
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Speaking of 'new' Atheism, I'm kind of interested in why so many self proclaimed atheists are interested in Satanism at all?

I suppose I can somewhat see the attraction until ritual magic comes into the picture. There is no doubt that ASL thought it an important component as he dedicated 1/2 of the Satanic Bible to it as well as authoring another full book on the subject. When I saw that C/S video from 6.6.6 I couldn't help but see a guy just going through the motions because it was expected of him (speaking of Gilmore the Atheist).

It just seems odd to me that someone (an Atheist) who would take such a hard line worldview would also be attracted to playing around with sticks, bones and daggers, I mean wouldn't it seem pedestrian to them?

Are there people here who are hard line atheists who also practice ritual magic and identify as a Satanist?
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#71009 - 09/18/12 10:02 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
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Why would I need to address it if, as I mentioned before, it hardly is apologetic?

“I'm a satanist but we're really not that bad and we real satanists don't sacrifice virgins to Satan.” would be an example of apologetics. "I don't believe in god." is not apologetic unless I add: "but it doesn't make me an amoral being like Stalin."

Is the fact that I don't believe Harry Potter is real also apologetic?

D.


Edited by Diavolo (09/18/12 10:17 PM)

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#71010 - 09/18/12 10:08 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Fnord]
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 Originally Posted By: Fnord
Are there people here who are hard line atheists who also practice ritual magic and identify as a Satanist?


The question is: would a hard-line Atheist practice ritual magic?

D.

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#71012 - 09/18/12 10:21 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
 Originally Posted By: Fnord
Are there people here who are hard line atheists who also practice ritual magic and identify as a Satanist?


The question is: would a hard-line Atheist practice ritual magic?

D.


Some seem to D. I'm trying to follow this debate. Like Fnord, I am somewhat curious about the Atheist to satanist pivot (lacking a better term). I can understand it in theory. I found the baby went out with the bathwater (in my case), when I knew I had rejected judeo-christian premises.

If I'm to understand you correctly, your point of contention with some Atheist-satanists revolves around morality and what they present in public? I'm asking this as a point of reference (as opposed to debate). I can understand that in praxis even.


Edited by Le Deluge (09/18/12 10:22 PM)
Edit Reason: tortured grammar
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#71013 - 09/18/12 10:32 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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You're right D, that's a more succinct way of putting it. Though I also have to include the 'Satanist' component.
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#71020 - 09/19/12 06:22 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Le Deluge]
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The disagreement I have with Dan is that it's silly to say atheists are poo-poo because they reject only one superstition while satanists are yeah-yeah because they reject that much more. This is just one of those feel-good arguments which we use to pat ourselves on the back.

What he considers an ad hominem (you're a satanist thus...) has nothing to do with it because what I disagree with, besides the apologetic and empowering thing, is the actual comparison which is simply biased; atheists disbelieve one, satanists disbelieve a lot. Thus satanist trumps Atheist. It only trumps when you fill in the blanks. Fill them in different and the result will be different.

That's all there was to it.

On Fnord's position my only remark was about the fact that what you could call hard-line atheists, and thus are not the type that believe god doesn't exist because someone said so, but that do understand the reasoning and argumentation leading to such conclusions, will most likely apply the same analytical thinking to ritual magic.

D.

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#71021 - 09/19/12 07:03 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
Why would I empower theism by stating I'm an atheist? That's like saying I empower watermelons by stating I don't like those. Or empower the Yeti by claiming he is not real. I don't empower Christianity by stating I'm a Satanist do I?


Theism, as a supposed well-defined term, is empowered by "Atheism" simply by terminology. I actually claim that "theism" is relatively meaningless since it attempts to make "gods" out of ignorance. The gods of any age are just those things that gain reverence because they are not understood.

A true divinity would not concern any measures that are possible, yet not derived at T-now. Rather it would concern sheer and infinite facticity incapable of relative measure.

JK
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#71023 - 09/19/12 07:49 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Jason King]
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That's nonsense King.

Disbelieving something doesn't empower but disempowers. Calling yourself an anarchist doesn't empower the state either.

D.

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#71024 - 09/19/12 09:51 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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Derision better than simple defiance would erode and disempower a powerful idea. And whether or not it sways our own sentiments, no one can deny that "God" is a powerful idea. You see somber disbelief accompanied with rigorous debate lends religion the veneer of being "peer and competitor" to Atheism. Otherwise none of us would expend any effort talking to these people like they can be reasoned with. We treat religion (for the most part) as an intellectual and behavioral commitment rather than just an unfortunate quirk of neurchemistry. We want to persuade them on the grounds that that their beliefs are un-TRUE, not merely unnattractive. Debate dignifies the believer and (largely) wastes the effort of the non-believer.

Likewise, calling oneself an anarchist may WELL empower the State, if the way in which you present anarchism inspires your neighbors to further reliance on the State, and it well can. Wherever anarchism fails on the marketplace of ideas, the State can claim a small victory and expansion of its own influence while expending no effort. If the anarchist becomes a visage of "just what we need these pigs around here for..." then undeniably that image feeds the State. Be careful how you play the scapegoat.


Edited by Bette Doom (09/19/12 09:56 AM)
Edit Reason: because I'm flippant
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#71028 - 09/19/12 12:08 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Bette Doom]
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I'm going to try explain one last time and then leave it at that.

Atheism, just as much as anarchism, is opposing that which already has authority. As such, through rejecting, denying or opposing that given authority you will always subtract from this authority and thus effectively disempower them.

Even when related to those sitting on the fence in certain matters, and should these because of your position sway to that of the opponents, you do not empower this opponent since those on the fence, by being on that fence, already authorized that very opponent.

Thus in regards to theism, theists and agnostics empower theism. Atheists do not.

D.

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#71029 - 09/19/12 12:35 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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 Originally Posted By: Diavolo

On Fnord's position my only remark was about the fact that what you could call hard-line atheists, and thus are not the type that believe god doesn't exist because someone said so, but that do understand the reasoning and argumentation leading to such conclusions, will most likely apply the same analytical thinking to ritual magic.


Exactly right.

So, if, as is now the position of many, it is true that the difference between an Atheist and a Satanist is the ritual magic component, then the only reason for such an Atheist to bother would be because:

a). they aren't really Atheist or
b). ritual magic works

(or both)


Edited by Fnord (09/19/12 01:06 PM)
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#71031 - 09/19/12 01:38 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Fnord]
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Not really; the difference between an Atheist and a Satanist is above all that the Satanist with certainty calls himself a Satanist but not necessarily an Atheist. For the Atheist it's the other way around. Of course we're ignoring individual aspects here which could add more differences.

I'd not say that Atheists who perform ritual magic by definition are not Atheist but that they are not what I would consider hard-line Atheists. As mentioned elsewhere, being an Atheist doesn't exclude anyone from believing or doing funky things.

D.

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#71032 - 09/19/12 01:45 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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Fair enough.

My purpose in this line of thought/postings was to try to draw out a response from someone who identifies as an Atheist and a Satanist and to see if they could adequately defend the position as there are some details about it that don't make sense to me.

The only way it would make sense to me would be if that person actually performed ritual magic and achieved a quantifiable result (repeatedly).
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#71033 - 09/19/12 02:12 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Fnord]
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I'm sorry to disappoint you but to me ritual magic is a practice of what I consider a more primitive sort of humans and I have about as much in common with them as they have with Chimpanzees.

Besides that, I don't doubt there are atheists who perform ritual magic and claim to repeatedly have positive results. But then again, someone who doesn't have the skills to notice the illogic of ritual magic probably doesn't posses the skills either to detect confirmation bias.

The old example would be: "Each time I flush my toilet, somewhere the lights go out". The only question is: is one the type to see the link?

D.

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#71034 - 09/19/12 02:16 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
The disagreement I have with Dan is that it's silly to say atheists are poo-poo because they reject only one superstition while satanists are yeah-yeah because they reject that much more. This is just one of those feel-good arguments which we use to pat ourselves on the back.

What he considers an ad hominem (you're a satanist thus...) has nothing to do with it because what I disagree with, besides the apologetic and empowering thing, is the actual comparison which is simply biased; atheists disbelieve one, satanists disbelieve a lot. Thus satanist trumps Atheist. It only trumps when you fill in the blanks. Fill them in different and the result will be different.

That's all there was to it.

On Fnord's position my only remark was about the fact that what you could call hard-line atheists, and thus are not the type that believe god doesn't exist because someone said so, but that do understand the reasoning and argumentation leading to such conclusions, will most likely apply the same analytical thinking to ritual magic.

D.


Ok, I got ya. The disbelief of one v. many is the distinction I missed. I guess we'd be back to the magic as "psychodrama" canard on the 2nd point. Think we can rest on that one.
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#71035 - 09/19/12 02:35 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Le Deluge]
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It's no disappointment to me, D. It's simply a point of interest. I'm a student of motivation (and many other things).

The position is a clockwork orange to me and I'm only trying to see what makes it tick.
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#71042 - 09/19/12 09:42 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Fnord]
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Not everything of value can be validated with logic, Diavolo. I don't choose to make magical ritualism my example here because a practitioner would have a more legitimate investment in doing so. I can however give you dance, which itself is often ritualistic enough for the comparison to be borne. In fact, I don't think you can validate any work of art with simple logic, keeping in mind that any sort of magical ritualism has long and ubiquitously been constructed as an art if not "the Art."

Oh wait, I forgot...I'm sure art in general is for faggots or something;-).
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#71050 - 09/20/12 04:54 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Bette Doom]
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The logic or illogic here isn't in the psychological reward but in the linkage and expectations.

If I look at Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and get satisfaction out of that, there's hardly anything illogical about spending time to enjoy such art. If I perform ritual magic purely to obtain the same sort of psychological satisfaction, there's also nothing illogic about such act. In that, it wouldn't differ from any hobby which satisfies us, although a silly sort of hobby.

But performing ritual magic and expecting that to trigger real world changes is as illogical as looking at Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and expect that to increase the odds to win the lottery.

D.

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#71054 - 09/20/12 07:01 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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General reply in regards to hard core Atheism and Satanic rituals:

I consider myself a “Hard core Atheist,” as well as a Satanist. Neither definition would express everything about who I am as a person, but it would be an introduction of my way of thinking in case a new acquaintance was to inquire about my general ideals.

Choosing to define myself as an Atheist or a Satanist would depend on my audience. If I believed that the people around me had a fair grasp of what Satanism truly is then I would use that term, however if it was a more conservative person or group who's main knowledge of Satanism came from movies and trash novels, then I would tell them that I was an Atheist.

Although I haven't as of yet had to opportunity to do so, I believe that I would enjoy participating in Satanic rituals with other Satanists if there were any in my area.

I believe that rituals are beneficial for the human psyche. Even if it's just something as simple as the ritual of sitting down with my first cup of coffee, cigarettes and browsing the internet in the morning. It calms me, and I find pleasure in it.

When it comes to a Satanic ritual, I don't expect it to cause and tangible changes in the world as some theists might. Instead it's on par with going out dancing with a group of friends. It is a social event, doing something together that we enjoy as a group and it also allows for some psychological decompression.
It's a game that is fun and although from the outside might look silly, it does (I believe) have some psychological and social benefits.

Ritual might also “feed” an ancient part in our brains that might be a leftover from times when certain social activities were necessary to keep us anchored to a group of people that we as humans dependent upon for our survival in ancient times. Thinking about this “need,” to belong and to participate in group rituals might seem silly and unnecessary in modern times, but if there is a remnant of this need still in us and if we ignore it then we might end up off balance in some way, which is why (it seems to me) most human beings, even those of us who are “nonsuperstitious,” still participate in some form of ritual in modern times.

Sitting down regularly as a group to eat, going out dancing, cocktail parties, going to karaoke, on a somewhat regular basis with the same group of people is ritualistic. A formal Satanic ritual is simply more focused and honest then other rituals that the rest of the world enjoys without giving it much thought.
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#71057 - 09/20/12 07:55 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
That's nonsense King.

Disbelieving something doesn't empower but disempowers. Calling yourself an anarchist doesn't empower the state either.

D.


I thought I replied to this already. Whatever.

Atheism does not disempower theism, rather it strengthens it. Why? Because "theism" becomes the topic. And "Atheism" is simply a reaction to it. Didn't DD kill this a few days ago?

And D, YES, calling yourself an anarchist actually DOES empower the state. More boogeymen for DHS to budget themselves a larger payroll.

JK
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#71060 - 09/20/12 08:21 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Jason King]
Diavolo Offline
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Yes you did reply but at least this time you did some effort.

It's almost sad you don't see that Atheism can only react if theism is already the topic.

So if I have to believe you guys, the only solution left that doesn't empower what one disagrees with, is simply to no longer oppose. That seems a darn fine strategy.

Sing hallelujah...

D.

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#71061 - 09/20/12 08:40 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
Jason King Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
Yes you did reply but at least this time you did some effort.


Nice chop then, bro.

 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
It's almost sad you don't see that atheism can only react if theism is already the topic.


Of course. But what exactly is "theism"? Give me a good definition. Unambiguous. Precise.

 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
So if I have to believe you guys, the only solution left that doesn't empower what one disagrees with, is simply to no longer oppose. That seems a darn fine strategy.

No, not at all. I mentioned Sam Harris earlier, and he deals with this rather deftly. If a topic is pure silliness, you DON'T ENGAGE. At least not as a genuine counterpoint. If theism is an absurd position, you treat it as such. You don't stick an A on the front, you reject the entire nomenclature.

JK

 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
Sing hallelujah...

D.


p.s. try this
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#71064 - 09/20/12 09:36 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Jason King]
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"Hello sir, what is your religious persuasion?"

" I'm a-fairy. I don't believe in fairies"

"So you define yourself with a concept that you don't believe in?"

"Yes. A-fairy. Don't believe in them."

"Righto then"
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#71065 - 09/20/12 10:40 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
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“Hello sir, what is your religious persuasion?”

“I'm not religious, I don't believe in god.”

“Isn't that what they call Atheism?”

“Yes. Atheists, those that don't believe in god.”

And with that, I'm off to the zoo teaching monkeys how to play chess. I'm pretty sure that'll cost less effort.

D.

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#71075 - 09/20/12 05:21 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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 Quote:

“I'm not religious, I don't believe in god.”

Using the word 'Atheist' or not, you have still introduced the concept of theism where it isn't needed. This is precisely the sort of special consideration that makes the term 'Atheist' an apologetic ;\)
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#71076 - 09/20/12 05:48 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
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So when someone asks me if I'm religious and I answer I don't believe in god, it is me that introduced the concept of theism where it isn't needed?

That's quite an accomplishment.

I guess next time I just press my lips tightly together and anxiously wait until those people with their tricky questions disappear.

This is going beyond dumb Dan.

D.

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#71077 - 09/20/12 06:00 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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I don't think so, I think my point is salient. Since you haven't actually refuted it, I'll assume you do too. \:\)

Hint - Why does 'religious' have to relate to the specific thing, deity? There are plenty of religions that do not even bother with that idea, because it's just not important. By defining yourself contra this idea, you empower it.
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#71078 - 09/20/12 06:15 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
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Really.

Disbelief is always a reaction against since someone first needs to believe something and share it in order for someone to disbelieve that very thing the other believes in. That seems easy to grasp not?

As such, Atheism is simply a reaction against a pre-existing belief and in the example you gave, the only correct answer if you do not believe in something like a god. Being religious implies believing in a god creator and following some sort of praxis related to that. If I don't and am asked, Atheist seems the only logical answer. The only other option is not say anything and look really dumb.

Further, there are no “religions” that do not have such a creator. Some just try very hard to ignore that issue.

D.

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#71104 - 09/21/12 09:35 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
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 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
I don't think so, I think my point is salient. Since you haven't actually refuted it, I'll assume you do too. \:\)

Hint - Why does 'religious' have to relate to the specific thing, deity? There are plenty of religions that do not even bother with that idea, because it's just not important. By defining yourself contra this idea, you empower it.


Brilliant. I was going to go there myself, but I like to read threads through before replying.

The word "religion" comes from a Latin root meaning "to tie together; to bind". This can be either positive (school spirit) or negative (targeted bigotry). It is the same Spirit which moves, in either case. And at the end of the day, that spirit is a Human Spirit.

JK
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#71105 - 09/21/12 09:56 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
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 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Using the word 'Atheist' or not, you have still introduced the concept of theism where it isn't needed. This is precisely the sort of special consideration that makes the term 'Atheist' an apologetic ;\)


I have been accused (not without some degree of merit) of being a theist. Yet, I have been extremely critical of the coherence of the term "theism". What does it mean? Compare these three "gods" and give me a common definition which includes all, excludes none, and retains a proactive definition of Divinity: Olodumare, Odin, YHWH.

Don't get me wrong, it CAN be done, but it will require a bit of SAVVY that has not been present heretofore.

And dude, if your reply is going to be a simple "who gives a fuck," don't bother. Because after all, if you understand neither a proactive belief, nor a reaction based in knowledge, you have failed in every degree that is not simple polemic.

JK
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#71106 - 09/21/12 10:17 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Jason King]
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Before I respond, I need to clarify if you accidentally quoted the wrong block. This seems as if it relates more to what D said.
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#71107 - 09/21/12 10:28 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
Jason King Offline
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Indeed I did, and my apologies to you both. Unlike SIN, the quote feature here takes the whole thing and you have to edit it to get to a point, or whatever. Still, I failed, not the Club. I quoted DD when I should've quoted D. My bad.

JK
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#71109 - 09/21/12 11:15 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Jason King]
Diavolo Offline
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Assuming you replied to my remark that all “religions” have a creator, I'll answer in relation to that remark.

What I pointed at isn't about comparing individual gods or manifestations of gods but about a similarity all religions share including these three. There is a creating-god as originator and a judging-god constantly present.

It doesn't necessarily need to be a gray-bearded guy in the sky who created and observes us while scribbling down all things good or bad in his little notebook. A god doesn't even need to be the lead figure in any specific religion for him to be required as a creator or be present, even if by proxy, as a judge. Buddhism would be a good example of this.

So all three you mentioned, and I discovered how fascinatingly uninteresting I find African religions while checking Olodumare, are part of religions possessing those two key features.

No religions without gods.

If you disagree, feel free to show me where I'm wrong.

D.

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#71117 - 09/21/12 03:57 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
Bette Doom Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Diavolo

It doesn't necessarily need to be a gray-bearded guy in the sky who created and observes us while scribbling down all things good or bad in his little notebook. A god doesn't even need to be the lead figure in any specific religion for him to be required as a creator or be present, even if by proxy, as a judge. Buddhism would be a good example of this.


No religions without gods.

If you disagree, feel free to show me where I'm wrong.

D.


Neither [Mahayaha] Buddhism nor Taoism appeal to ANY gods for the validation of their philosophical or ethical underpinnings. Judgement, law-giving, and active creation are all properties of personal beings, so where no personal being is introduced, there can be no claim of theism on the part of the religion. Honestly, D, I just assumed you knew better than this... Buddhism is a *deplorable* example because no particular divine figure is recognized throughout the tradition. Since you didn't take the tack of "Buddhism isn't really a religion because it doesn't require on a belief in God[s] then you just can't skirt this. Perhaps I'm the ignorant one, and you can enlighten me as to this definitive Buddhist "god" that every Buddhist acknowledges. You're defining an vast swath of human activity (namely religion) according to the standards and boundaries of Johnny-come-lately religions such as Christianity. By contrast, both Buddhism and Taoism are ancient, vital, and vastly influential yet neither of these two faiths rest their basic assumptions on God or anything equivalent to God[s]. The fact that some theistic practice and belief is marginally tolerated in both religions is by no means an indication that they are theistic religions in and of themselves. Obviously the same could be observed of Satanism.

On a side note, how can something be "fascinatingly uninteresting?"
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#71121 - 09/21/12 05:38 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Bette Doom]
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Do you really assume that the belief in a circle of life and death, a concept like reincarnation and a possible escape through a specific praxis doesn't require, and the installment of such a mechanic, and the involvement of judgment by proxy?

There's your hidden god.

Fascinatingly uninteresting is when I look up something and only then realize why I forgot that I already read it in the past. Olodumare was mentioned a year or so ago when King and I were arguing which qualify as deus absconditus or not.

D.

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#71141 - 09/21/12 06:20 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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Reincarnation, as described by most dharmic faiths, would qualify to me as borderline crazy but still distinct from theism. Why? Because the mechanism that drives it is assumed to be natural. You can say that no such mechanism exists and I would agree with you, but that's still not theism or God-in-disguise. Similarly, one may be a philosophically libertarian Atheist and contend that individual free will is programmed into the cosmos. That's almost certainly a lot of nonsense but there are many flavors of nonsense and not all of them are theistic nonsense. Now answer me Taoism, thanks.

Edited by Bette Doom (09/21/12 06:22 PM)
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#71144 - 09/21/12 06:34 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Bette Doom]
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I disagree.

If assuming a system like reincarnation would be in place, it still becomes theistic the moment there is a sort of judgment whether your praxis was good enough to go either route or B. The god is hidden in the system and you'd continuously have to watch you're doing the “right” thing unless you desire to be punished. If you think about it, it really doesn't differ much from the "hell – purgatory – heaven" scenario we are familiar with. In their system, "hell- purgatory" can be regarded as the circle while "heaven" is the actual escape.

Tao will follow, life demands me right now.

D.

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#71149 - 09/21/12 10:38 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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How about the stalwart Church of Satan types? You know, the ones that have canonized every word LaVey ever wrote, and follow to a tee his 'teachings' with as much or more commitment as any mormon or jehovahs witness. Raelians? Scientologists?(super aliens don't really count as gods) 'Atheists'?(you know, the ones that eat sleep and shit not believing in old jehovah)

The problem here, as it is much of the time, in language. Most modern western dictionaries define theism right into the definition of 'religion' simply because of it's predominant influence on the people writing those dictionaries. By that criteria, this is obviously a dead horse.

Or said another way, what do you mean by religion?
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#71150 - 09/21/12 11:43 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dan_Dread]
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I think I mentioned it elsewhere but anyways, what I consider religion is any belief system that has a god and a praxis, adjusted to a, by this god, defined moral manner of living. What it also requires to be accepted as a religion is a certain amount of people actually believing and practicing it. Two man and a horse head does not a religion make.

I agree that dictionary definitions can be limited since often they're traditional descriptions that are simply copied into each new generation of dictionaries but the role of a dictionary isn't to give any and all accurate meanings of a word.

We can abandon the dictionary definitions, which I do, and be creative in how we define the god and praxis depending upon the religion. So, regardless whether there are enough of such hardcore CoS types to officially qualify as a religion, if their praxis involves following the words of Lavey to the letter and they feel bad when breaking some rule, like a Christian after he has sinned, I consider them as much believers as any traditional sort of believer. I wouldn't even have a problem considering them theists even when in this case, their imaginary god and his word is of quite a different nature. Of course officially they'd not qualify as theists but in reality, what would be the difference between them and a congregation like that surrounding Sergei Torop, the Jesus of Siberia?

Raelians surely qualify and in their belief system your actions do also define whether or not you'll be included in the next resurrection. Good boys are rewarded, bad boys will be fucked. Their space theme didn't seem to exclude that age-old bullshit. Scientology does not exclude god either but I'm too unfamiliar with their stuff to know enough about the details. Hubbard surely was no Atheist as the quote of him shows so I assume he incorporated it in Scientology too.

 Originally Posted By: Ron L. Hubbard
“No culture in the history of the world, save the thoroughly depraved and expiring ones, has failed to affirm the existence of a Supreme Being. It is an empirical observation that men without a strong and lasting faith in a Supreme Being are less capable, less ethical and less valuable to themselves and society....A man without an abiding faith is, by observation alone, more of a thing than a man.”


Even Taoism, as Bette proposed, isn't free of the bullshit but to find deities and even concepts like sin, you'd have to look more into the religious than the philosophical branch.

Atheism however would be hard to consider a religion since it simply implies not believing in something and there isn't any sort of praxis attached to it. Not reading books isn't a hobby either.

So even when abandoning the dictionary, an awful lot still qualifies as theism even while the traditional parts might be filled in different. Officially however it is quite a different matter.

D.

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#71157 - 09/22/12 03:36 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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[quick reply]
Seeing this topic has evolved towards an "Atheism empowers Theism because ....".

It would seem most think Atheism is alike Theism in the sense of adhering to a sort of system. I see no need to define the term "religion", which has been asked by a few here to D, seeing they are trying to draw a non-existing parallel.

Atheism is simply non-belief in divinity. There's no fucking doctrine or even collection/further elaboration/distinction in between as it is the big NO (to a belief in..). It is pure and simple non-belief, stating Atheism means stating there's no belief in any god(s) and their following rules.

Even so, implying Atheism brings up the topic and strenghtens the idea of Theism and the many further elaborations of it makes me think the ones claiming that are a bunch of retardos with the grand R(s).
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#71160 - 09/22/12 10:36 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
Assuming you replied to my remark that all “religions” have a creator, I'll answer in relation to that remark.

What I pointed at isn't about comparing individual gods or manifestations of gods but about a similarity all religions share including these three. There is a creating-god as originator and a judging-god constantly present.

It doesn't necessarily need to be a gray-bearded guy in the sky who created and observes us while scribbling down all things good or bad in his little notebook. A god doesn't even need to be the lead figure in any specific religion for him to be required as a creator or be present, even if by proxy, as a judge. Buddhism would be a good example of this.

So all three you mentioned, and I discovered how fascinatingly uninteresting I find African religions while checking Olodumare, are part of religions possessing those two key features.

No religions without gods.

If you disagree, feel free to show me where I'm wrong.

D.


You're not wrong, you're just not right. No "religion" without "gods"? Sadly, I think I'll have to take the former as the more well-defined. I mean really, at least it's a human behavior, or subset thereof. That's just people gathering together to do shit under some pretense.

Happy Hour is a religious festival to some. Dionysus is hardly the God of that religious enterprise. Christmas: Santa Claus. Easter: a Bunny. Halloween: a carved pumpkin. MEANING is what matters, D.

Rejoin "gods" and/or "theism" under such a rubric, and we will have a nice conversation . . .

JK
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#71161 - 09/22/12 10:47 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
Jason King Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
I think I mentioned it elsewhere but anyways, what I consider religion is any belief system that has a god and a praxis, adjusted to a, by this god, defined moral manner of living.


My god is science. Science teaches me that climate change is real. Refusing to act in counterbalance of climate change will lead to the destruction of a vast proportion of the biosphere. I choose (as a "moral manner of living") to do so.

Am I religious?

And if I am, what is the converse? And why is it preferable?

JK
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#71164 - 09/22/12 12:58 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Jason King]
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These are not that great examples King.

Dionysus is a part of the Greek mythology and Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and even Halloween are evolved remnants of older religious practices. They are as much a religion as eating fish on Friday is.

The same with science and climate change. Sure to some science has godlike proportions and becomes Scientism. Climate change and proposed solutions could surely become someone's alpha and omega and while it might define those as believers, what it above all lacks to qualify as a religion is organization and uniformity.

D.

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#71174 - 09/22/12 07:53 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
Bette Doom Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Diavolo

The same with science and climate change. Sure to some science has godlike proportions and becomes Scientism. Climate change and proposed solutions could surely become someone's alpha and omega and while it might define those as believers, what it above all lacks to qualify as a religion is organization and uniformity.

D.


The process of scientific consensus building is not only better and more efficiently organized but (as a result) more uniform than that of religious indoctrination. By organization I mean that an interdependent network of institutions train, employ, and foster the activities of scientists according to mutually acknowledged standards. The same scientific method is taught and observed everywhere. The same just isn't true about religious institutions at all.
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#71180 - 09/23/12 12:29 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Bette Doom]
XiaoGui17 Offline
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Jason King: Brilliant. I was going to go there myself, but I like to read threads through before replying.

I've had that reaction quite often when reading this thread. It encourages me, both in that the people responding are intelletual forces to be reckoned with, who have thought of everything I have (and more), and that I'm at least approaching their caliber if I'm on the same page.

Dan Dread: "Hello sir, what is your religious persuasion?"/ "I'm a-fairy. I don't believe in fairies"

Granted, one might express one's stance more broadly than "Atheist" by using the labels "philosophical materialist" (I don't accept supernatural claims), "skeptic" (I don't accept unsupported claims), or even "empiricist" (I accept only claims that are tested and verified.) But that may seem like evasion of the religious question, and leave the asker scratching his head. One must answer in a manner that the asker can understand, if one desires to informatively answer.

The term "Satanism" sounds anti-Christian. If "Atheism" gives weight to "Theism," "Satanism" gives weight to "Christianity." The fact that a Satanist identifies himself as more than "anti-Christian" doesn't change the fact that this is the only reference point most outsiders have. Choosing a label is usually a representation to others. So yes, to the individual Satanist, Satanism may indeed mean more than Atheism. But the guy asking the question probably won't know that.

Diavolo: Disbelieving something doesn't empower but disempowers.

If the group in question has a persecution complex, publicly declaring disbelief can empower. Christians often use militant "Atheism" as evidence that, despite being the influential majority in Western society, someone is "out to get them" and they must fight more fervently to counter this "threat." It's an "Us vs. Them" mentality.

Diavolo: So if I have to believe you guys, the only solution left that doesn't empower what one disagrees with, is simply to no longer oppose. That seems a darn fine strategy.

The strategy should not be to renounce one's position. Rather, if one's aim is to be influential, one should use discretion, taking likely reactions into account.

"I am Atheist, hear me blaspheme!" is great if all one's trying to do is to accurately represent one's stance regarding the issue and express personal pride. But if one is trying to change minds, it may be more effective to make a good impression first, and then reveal oneself as an Atheist, to demonstrate just how darned upstanding and awesome atheists can be. Strategy depends on goals. If the four horsemen are/were trying to change minds, they're going about it ineffectively. If they're just trying to let people know where they stand, they're right on target.

Bette Doom: The process of scientific consensus building is not only better and more efficiently organized but (as a result) more uniform than that of religious indoctrination.

There are some religions, through sheer force of pushiness of authority, that have far more uniformity than the scientific community. Clearly, uniformity alone does not make science>religion.
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#71182 - 09/23/12 01:17 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: XiaoGui17]
Diavolo Offline
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It doesn't matter whether a group has a persecution complex or not. The reason a religion does well is because too many handle them with kid gloves. One needs to be tolerant and consider their feelings but ironically, the religious themselves don't feel inclined to return the favor. In most cases, simply disagreeing with them does hurt their feelings regardless if done in a civilized manner of not. So by opposing, instead of empowering them, you only might make them show how much power they actually got. You don't add to their power at all.

Atheism is a reaction. I am only an Atheist as a response and besides that, it doesn't matter. My society is largely god-free and as a result, Atheism doesn't matter either. Contrary to the religious, I never met someone that said; I'm an Atheist, would you care to have a conversation about what I not believe in? If religion isn't the subject, Atheism doesn't surface. People usually only have an interest starting a conversation about what they believe but close to never what they don't believe in.

If theism becomes irrelevant, so does Atheism.

D.

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#71186 - 09/23/12 05:38 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
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 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
These are not that great examples King.

Dionysus is a part of the Greek mythology and Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and even Halloween are evolved remnants of older religious practices. They are as much a religion as eating fish on Friday is.


Man of Straw, bro. I never claimed a coherent mythos containing all of those characters, in fact, I'm pretty sure I was using them as a sequential illustration. Periods instead of commas. BTW, all gods are evolved; Dionysus only became an Olympian when Hestia bowed out.

 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
The same with science and climate change. Sure to some science has godlike proportions and becomes Scientism. Climate change and proposed solutions could surely become someone's alpha and omega and while it might define those as believers, what it above all lacks to qualify as a religion is organization and uniformity.

D.


Actually, all I did was take your definition and put it to some productive use. I made absolutely sure I kept every proverbial adverb in its place. My point (in case it was lost) is just that definitions of "gods" and such tend to be too broad when presented. Upon genuine analysis, such terms tend to disintegrate into the sea of meaninglessness. Which, again, is why I do not consider myself either religious, or a "theist".

JK
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#71187 - 09/23/12 05:54 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
Jason King Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
The reason a religion does well is because too many handle them with kid gloves.


If you believe this, not only are you an idiot, but you understand very little about human nature. Oh, wait, maybe that was redundant.

The REAL reason religion "does well" (operates) is because it satisfies the human condition in a twofold and piggybacking manner:

A) Religion confronts the Unknown and attempts to provide answers (kinda like science);

B) Religion fosters social cohesion, cultural development, and yes, novel paradigms.

The "evil" of religion is just the "evil" of humanity. One religion will always replace another. And yes, militant/hardcore Atheism is just another religion. We will only escape religion (in whatever form) when we cease being human.

JK

p.s. nice fairy tale, though . . .
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#71189 - 09/23/12 06:51 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Jason King]
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 Quote:
And yes, militant/hardcore atheism is just another religion. We will only escape religion (in whatever form) when we cease being human.

Militant Atheism has the goal to educate people moralistic behavior can be attained without the proverbial divine judgement hammer for punishment when walking out of line and other fallacies strewn around by religious masses. It confronts by active lectures and attempting to remove religious indoctrination by reasoning and active campaign. Such as openly manifesting against "evolution is but a theory" adds in biology textbooks or even battling against various forms of religious hypocrisy in education.

It is the "lighten up dudes, we don't need a god to live a proper and decent life because A,B and C". It lacks fundamentals to even be considered as a religion lest it even has things in common. Anyone seeing it otherwise, IMO, is still engrained in the dualistic religionist thinking or has chosen the cowards way of agnosticism.


Edited by Dimitri (09/23/12 06:59 AM)
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#71193 - 09/23/12 08:47 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dimitri]
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In some ways, I find moralistic atheists even more offensive than religious types, and for two reasons. One, I hold people as responsible as I find them capable. A stupid person who believes stupid things is far easier for me to tolerate than an intelligent person who does the same. If a baby punches me, I laugh. Two, atheists are usually far more insistent that the things they say and believe are TRUE. Ergo, the arguments they make in favor or moral behavior are often more persuasive. Net result? Moralism wins whether God lives or dies. Isn't that a greater constraint on the speicies anyway?
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#71194 - 09/23/12 09:49 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Bette Doom]
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Not sure how a world view could be considered "cowardly".

Are some of them like enlisting for a battle while others are more safe? What is being feared?


Edited by Jayhawker (09/23/12 09:52 AM)

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#71195 - 09/23/12 10:08 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Jason King]
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There's always the possibility I'm an idiot but then again, I do live in a society where religion was confronted and in that lost most of its power. Strangely when we were forced to treat another one with kid gloves, it kept doing quite well and now some of them demand sharia for us all. How nice of them.

Human nature is similar everywhere, if you give them rope, they hang you. Will to Power; theirs or yours.

It's that easy with humans.

D.

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#71221 - 09/24/12 01:57 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Diavolo]
XiaoGui17 Offline
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Diavolo: The reason a religion does well is because too many handle them with kid gloves

Somewhat true today, though it's applicable to more than religion. Disproportionate offense as a response to any disagreement is often a response to rarely having been subjected to any disagreement in the first place. It's why the "self-esteem generation" curls up into a fetal position when subjected to anything other than sycophantic praise. It's also why the very religious tend to isolate themselves into homogenous groups.

Religions throughout history have achieved success largely by exterminating any opposition, perceived or actual. It's only in modern times in the Western world that this new-fangled concept of "religious freedom" has given the opposition anything resembling a fighting chance. In the past, and currently in other parts of the world, one was either a believer or a corpse. That is responsible for the historical and continuing success of religion far more than "kid gloves."

Diavolo: In most cases, simply disagreeing with them does hurt their feelings regardless if done in a civilized manner of not. So by opposing, instead of empowering them, you only might make them show how much power they actually got.

Somewhat true. By remaining the cool opposition in response to a hot-headed opponent, one comes out looking like a winner by sheer decorum.

The issue is that many militant atheists get every bit as fired up as the militant theists, stooping to their level. Certain YouTube atheists, in addition to some members of the Four Horsemen, are guilty of throwing stones in that regard. The key is not to stop opposing, but to be the bigger man. Oppose in a manner that is more dignified than the red-faced, spittle-spraying, righteous indignation of the religious. Some militant atheists throw temper tantrums that make many of the religious look civil by comparison. ("You suck! Your religion sucks! Stop breathing my air!")

Diavolo: If theism becomes irrelevant, so does atheism.

True. It becomes relevant quite frequently where I live. More than a few times, someone has confronted me out of the blue with "Do you believe in God?" without so much as a "how-do-ya-do?" My response is to say "no," move on, and leave them to pick their jaw up off the floor. Such interrogations don't dignify any more. I've got better things to do than lecture the religious on the error of their ways. Apparently, some don't.

Diavolo: Atheism is a reaction. I am only an Atheist as a response and besides that, it doesn't matter.

Using "Atheist" as a reaction to a direct question is an honest answer, and I certainly wouldn't fault you for that.

Proudly parading "Atheism" around as one's primary source of identity, however, is deeply silly. Sure, if someone asks your religious persuasion, and you answer with "I'm an Atheist," fair enough. When someone makes his screenname "The Amazing Atheist," I raise an eyebrow.

Diavolo: Contrary to the religious, I never met someone that said; I'm an Atheist, would you care to have a conversation about what I not believe in?

I have met quite a few people who introduce themselves as atheists, usually followed by, "You got a problem with that?" When I say "no," the conversation pretty much ends. Such people live to defy, and with no one to argue with, move on to the next target.

Granted, being a militant minority is a natural reaction the the prevailing militant majority. Still, it doesn't help.

Dimitri: Militant Atheism has the goal to educate people...

That goal is admirable, but actual achievements toward that goal are lacking. Militant atheists are largely unsuccessful in changing minds. Rather, they usually end up preaching to the non-believing choir.


Edited by XiaoGui17 (09/24/12 01:58 AM)
Edit Reason: redundant adjective
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#71379 - 09/29/12 03:04 AM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: XiaoGui17]
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 Quote:
That goal is admirable, but actual achievements toward that goal are lacking. Militant atheists are largely unsuccessful in changing minds. Rather, they usually end up preaching to the non-believing choir.

What most have who call themselves militant atheists is the same need as the regular believer has. Just spewing back and forth a point of view on a yes/no-accusational base.

Others on the other hand, and I take a look at the "hotshots" alike Dawkins, educate and use a certain educational reasoning. It's a certain attitude manhandling the religious indoctrination. A response on the pussy-feeting around religion and the "thou shalt respect ones other beliefs" by responding with a "if you keep on shitting around the house I live in I'm gonna pull your plug instead of cleaning up your shit over and over again".

The youtube-ists throwing rocks are there for keeping religionists up their toes. Sometimes just giving that anonymous person a little push into a direction better suited.


Edited by Dimitri (09/29/12 03:05 AM)
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#71390 - 09/29/12 09:04 PM Re: The "New Atheism" and it's Value [Re: Dimitri]
XiaoGui17 Offline
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Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 1126
Loc: Amarillo, TX
 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Others on the other hand, and I take a look at the "hotshots" alike Dawkins, educate and use a certain educational reasoning. It's a certain attitude manhandling the religious indoctrination. A response on the pussy-feeting around religion...

You got me there. I like Dawkins. Most of what I've read in his publications lays out evolutionary biology. I concur that this genuinely serves the purpose of education. Even if the religious don't like what he has to say, and thus don't listen to him, at the very least he arms the opposition with cogent arguments.

While the religious normally rely on the argument that God is the origin of all morality (and Hell is the only deterrent from "evil"), Dawkins points out that common human morality has its origins in evolution. This undermines one of the primary arguments that the religious make today. In addition, much of his detailed explanation of the theory of evolution helps to undermine common misconceptions that creationists trumpet.
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