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Thread: Atheism, 21st century-style. New? Militant?

  1. #286
    Registered User jocky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    The problem with the idea of the big bang, if it actually happened, which I think it did, is that people, including myself, think it was some sort of unique event. That uniqueness makes it unknowable, spooky and miraculous. But if it happened once, it probably happened many times in the past.
    How about this for the worst explanation ever? The Big Bang was created by Earthlings who in their ignorance created the Hadron Collider. At first the Earthlings cowered in fear as they realised the experiment cost more than the collapse of the whole Western economy. Stronger intellects intervened " the cause of science is more important than the survival of mankind " And so it goes on. Come on guys if anyone is capable of destroying life as we know it ,I reckon it is down to us? Unless God will save us.

    Quote Originally Posted by JuniperWoolf View Post
    You've got to understand their frustration, though. I mean, when you watch Fox or hear/read some of the willfully ignorant things that the new American far-right are saying, don't you feel that little twinge of reactionairy hostility? Honestly, I've spoken to so many people who think just like Bien that they could fill stadiums - we're not talking about a poor small group of nieve opressed eccentrics that believe that Jesus rode around on a velociraptor. There are so many of them that hostile rebuttal is actually necissairy if you don't want your kids being taught fairy tales from someone who knows absolutely nothing about basic geology because all professionals who understand their field of study before they decide to teach others are "elitist." It's maddening, how can you expect people to not get angry?

    The way I see it, when you're dealing with a group that is already too far off the healthy neutral social balance then sometimes you have to take a strong stance in favour of the opposite just to maintain some balance. It results in polarization and there's a lot of anger and fighting involved, there are mobs created on the opposite side too which isn't exactly progress, but that's better than just going with it and allowing people to push laws that force teachers to teach creationism in biology class, outlaw gay marriage because they aren't given permission in a tampered-with book that's over a thousand years old and ban abortion even in rape cases and even very early because a jumble of undeveloped tissues has a "soul." That is dangerous thinking which will cause harm to people if it isn't adressed in some way by someone. The "militant" atheists are irritating and agressive, but they fill a purpose, and that purpose is keeping the fundies from getting too much steam.
    I have got to reply to your post and simply to let you know that Europeans do actually follow American current affairs. I always watch Glenn Beck and respect his intelligence and wondered how he would respond to the latest outrage. I should have known he would come out swinging and in a total state of denial. I will give him this he is a half decent historian but his conclusions are always flawed. I hope the American people ,and I know one or two, rise above it.
    " There are few more impressive sights in the world than a Scotsman on the make. "

  2. #287
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocky View Post
    How about this for the worst explanation ever? The Big Bang was created by Earthlings who in their ignorance created the Hadron Collider.
    Can you imagine what Douglas Adams would have made of it all?
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

  3. #288
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    ^ He would've liked the Theory that every thing is held together by bits of string.
    Last edited by prendrelemick; 01-12-2011 at 09:23 AM.

  4. #289
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prendrelemick View Post
    ^ He would've liked the Theory that every thing is held together by bits of string.


    Quite right!

    Although, maybe he already did; the earth was a string of sausages in Part V of the trilogy.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

  5. #290
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceM View Post
    To respond to the original question:

    I've been an atheist for three years and was a devout Catholic for fourteen before, and even when I was a Catholic, I didn't see anything wrong with them. Of course, I'm 17, so for the first 14 years of my life, I just viewed atheism as those looking for God but needing better reasons to pursure him. Now, I'm a little smarter than that.

    Is atheism militant? Sure, just in the same way that religion is becoming militant. There is this fear that if one view dominates, the minority will be marginalized and oppressed. My evidence: my years in the Catholic Church. Atheism was preached as an equivalent of satanism, but I knew better. I think it's this fear that continues to drive much of this perception of militantism. Are there militants? Of course, on both sides. However, evidence has shown us that one side is much more willing to incriminate the other of crimes that both are guilty of. Either side can be considered militant because it has such radical members, yet anyone with common sense can tell you a radical sect of a greater whole does not taint the whole.

    Perhaps this springs out of ignorance. Not all atheists believe in science, nor do all theists blindly accept the "Word of God" without actual reasoning. It perhaps is this underlying desire to show one's absolute commitment while cloaking underlying doubts that spawns such an absolutist idea. Then again, maybe peer pressure has an effect too. Saying "I'm not sure if God exists" is held with much more contempt than taking a side.
    In defense of the Catholic Church, this is a bald-faced lie. I don't ever recall them preaching on Atheism in my time as a Catholic, and I misrepresented them and harmed their image by saying this.

    Quote Originally Posted by IceM View Post
    I would like to challenge the idea that evolution in the biological sense does not exist, and that, even if it did, science does not prove this idea.

    The stratigraphic history of the Earth, filled with fossils from the myriad of eras prior to the one we currently live in, tells the story of unfortunate species either unable to adjust to the changing environment or unable to live longer; and from this body of fossils a trained paleontologist is able to deduce the structural qualities of the life-form in question. I ask, for anyone whom challenges the notion of evolution, what makes one life-form more successful in surviving in a certain environment than anothers? (When I say surviving, I don't mean longer life-spans, I mean an ability to live in an ever-changing environment, although I know you can manipulate it to make both terms seem synonymous). Certain finches on the Galapagos islands had beaks too thick to puncture holes and eat larvae while others had beaks too thin to puncture the trees where larvae were living. Those poor birds, they died. Others that were able to live in the aforementioned environments lived. Why? What gave them the ability to exist in an environment that killed others? The short-answer of course, is genetics. Something about their cellular, deoxyribonucleic build-up gives these birds an inherent advantage whereas others have an inherent weakness. In the case of the finches, such advantages manifest themselves in either thicker or thinner beaks, depending on what the landscape of the island requires.

    Let's begin on the premise evolution does not exist. I then ask you, what explains the difference between appearances in birds of similar species (oh wait, that's a contraption of evolution too, isn't it)? What explains the difference in appearances between two parents and their offspring? Evolution is most broadly considered change over time, regardless of the progress made or lost by that change. If two parents of different ethnicities (let us say, Asian and Mexican) engage in mating practices and have children, what explains the appearance of that child, who will inevitably possess facial characteristics of both races? Notice, evolution is noticable first and foremost through visual aide. Few could suggest an idea of evolution if everything looked the same. Yet it is this ability to distinguish notable differences that makes evolution noticable. Over successive generations there is a noticable change between what is and what was. What explains this mechanism?

    Of course, evolution in a scientific sense aligns itself with a notion of changes in skeletal structure over time. But let us speak of it broadly. If evolution is change over time, and the appearances of offspring change from generation to generation--indicating a chance of some sort in the genetic makeup of the children--then there is a change occurring, yes? And as the different combinations of genetic sequences and chromosones enter the DNA pool, DNA changes are likely to continue to change, yes? If change occurs, and evolution is change over time, then evolution is occurring, yes? And if skeletal structures change, too, over time, evolution is occurring, for human form has changed from one stage to another.

    Let us move to the premise that science cannot prove evolution. If we reject genetics and evolutionary theory as is necessary to reject the science behind it, I wonder if one too can reject history. Fossils are evidence of life in prior forms in a previous era. If contemporary skeletons of similar species demonstrate changes in skeletal structure in comparison to prior species, there is a change over time--an evolution in a broad sense. What causes this mechanism? Of course, as you observe the fossils, you realize there is still skeletal tissue remaining. We living creatures still have skeletal tissue. There must be some inherent connection between the qualities of that creature--perhaps embodied in the tissue?--that causes a contrast between the creatures of today. Notice I don't say genetics, but it is logical to assume there is something about the tissues that make them distinct.

    Let us assume God played an active hand in creating the change. Notice, there is a still a change over time that causes that of tomorrow to be different from that of today. Is that still not evolution? Is there still no change that creates different creatures? Evolution still hence exists.

    There's no need to reject evolution or be militant against science. While some may attempt to portray science and/or evolution as against God, this simply isn't the case. Science can only study that which lies in the known universe. It can only test hypotheses within the realm of possibility. If we act on the premise that there is a God, there is no scientific test to prove His existence; an entity beyond our dimension is also beyond our means of enquiry. Nor does evolution counterract His existence: is it not possible to say God created the means by which creatures evolved? Is it not possible to say God created the means by which the Big Bang gave birth to the universe? Ultimately, determining God through human reasoning is a guessing game; and while I will take no sides between atheists and theists, I find it incredulous for one to outright discredit science and evolution when they pose no threat under any circumstance to the existence of a supernatural entity.
    Just some points of clarification here. While evolution and the Big Bang theoretically do not eliminate the existence of a god in general, for evangelicals who hold to a Young Earth creationism (or for anyone that does), the Big Bang and creationism are at odds. Also, evolution supposes an origin to life that the Old Testament fundamentally rejects. So, for people who hold the Bible to be inerrant (like myself), there is a sense in which evangelicals must reject evolution and the Big Bang in order to be consistent with the Old Testament narrative.

    Glory to God in the highest.

  6. #291
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    I find such statements rather dangerous. There are plenty religious philosphers extreme lucid, such as Leibniz and Thomas Aquinas.
    Intelligence is not determined by what a person chooses to believe, I think that you generalized religion for meeting way too many people that are ''believers'' but never studied the bible - which also holds great knowledge, truth or not.

  7. #292
    Jai Keshava NikolaiI's Avatar
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    I think you may have to fix your quotes IceM. It reads like you are quoting yourself.

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