Monday, April 6, 2015

573: Atheism is just another religion

It was said last Tuesday in the discussion: Atheism is just another religion. 
Often theists (believers in a god) will try to place atheism and theism on the same plane by arguing that while theists cannot prove that god exists, atheists also cannot prove that god does not exist.
From the very beginning I had trouble with the word “atheism”. It sends the wrong message, is my opinion, for atheist is no “-ISM”.
Rationalism, utilitarianism, idealism, catholicism, protestantism…. all big theories with all kinds of metaphysical layers and backgrounds.
But atheism? Comprehensive, unabridged dictionaries use "disbelief in God or gods" when defining atheism. 
When we take a closer look at "disbelieve," we find two senses: an active and a passive. In the passive sense, "disbelieve" simply means "not believe" ,
thus a person who disbelieves a claim may simply not accept the truth of the claim without going any further, like asserting the opposite. 
Confusion occurs, when people start to think that atheism has something to do with an active deniai of the existence of a god.
But in the previous lecture we have concluded, that we can deny the existence of something if there it includes a conceptual contradiction, like in  “a married bachelor” or “virgin prostitute”.
If taken as an empirical statement, the denial of the existence of something, we never can prove that. The best we can achieve is a high probability of the non existence of something.
So, atheism is not the “denial of god” religion. But what is meant by a “religion”? 
For something to be a religion, does it have to be a comprehensive worldview, a system of rituals and canons of conduct, or something else?
If it was sufficient for a comprehensive worldview to be called a religion, then many detailed ideologies would have to be considered religions. 
Arguably a religion needs to be based on belief in some kind of entity or force with supernatural powers.
However, the concept of religion itself is by no means unproblematic. There does not seem to be an uncontroversial definition for the purposes of scholarly fields such as anthropology, or for the purposes of the law.
Just try to find any meaningful common denominator between the “everyday magical practices” of an indigenous tribe, 
Judaic obedience to the commandments of God, 
the practice of Sunni Islam based on the Qur’an, of Sufi mysticism or of Buddhism (which has no god).
Atheism is not a religion. For example, it is not a comprehensive worldview, a way of life, or a system of rituals and conduct.
It is no more than an informed lack of belief in any god(s) or at most a positive belief that no god(s) exist. Atheism is compatible with many views of the world.
Atheism is not a “way of life,” a “world outlook,” or a “total view of life,” any more than a failure to believe in magic elves is any of these things.
While some philosophical positions are atheistic, atheism in itself does not entail any specific system of thought but can be incorporated into many.
Besides, I do not make my atheist stance on religion central to my live in the same way as many evangelical Christians do, and should, in their view.
Thank you… the floor is yours…. ^_^

The Discussion

Max Chatnoir: Couldn't you make some of those same claims about being something like a Presbyterian?
CB Axel: Which claims?
herman Bergson: which claims, Max?
Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): The sad... truly sad... part is that religious people try to "smear" atheism by calling it a religion... what does that say about the religious view of their own system?
Max Chatnoir: Claims about it not setting your world view, for example.
Max Chatnoir: Or being compatible with different philosophies?
herman Bergson: The problem is really in the name...atheISM....
herman Bergson: it suggest that this is some kind of metaphysical theory or the like...
Max Chatnoir: Oh, does A-Theism also include A-deism?
herman Bergson: It is just an empirical statement......
Bejiita Imako: indeed
herman Bergson: it includes everything that is not part of the naturalistic universe
Bejiita Imako: its basically wrong term to use
Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): I see atheism as primarily a political movement... focused on maintaining separation of churches and state... this can also be called secularism...
herman Bergson: yes Bejiita I agree....but we have no other word...:-(
Max Chatnoir: That's an interesting point.
Bejiita Imako: indeed, what other term could be useful
Bejiita Imako: ateism sound indeed like a lifestyle when it is in fact no specific lifestyle at all
CB Axel: Heathen?
Max Chatnoir: It does sort of define a world view, in which the world is limited to the natural world.
herman Bergson: lol Don’t think so CB....the heathen wil get killed by muslims ....
CB Axel: So will atheists
herman Bergson: And ...a political movement......
herman Bergson: is too much Sousi....
herman Bergson: I tis just an empirical obeservation....
herman Bergson: the observation that there are no gods that interact with our reality...
CB Axel: There can be theists who are also secularists.
Max Chatnoir: I see it more as a human rights movement.
herman Bergson: what you do with such an observation is your choice
Max Chatnoir: That's a nice point also, CB.
Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): There CAN... but it is rare.
herman Bergson: yes....those who believe that god doesnt interfer with our lives...
Bejiita Imako: ah
herman Bergson: is just there as the Beginning of all things
CB Axel: I'm not so sure it's as rare as it seems. I think the theist secularists are just quiet about it.
Max Chatnoir: Well, it's sort of in the constitution.
Max Chatnoir: So it's not totally closeted.  :-)
herman Bergson: you have two options....
Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): Mainly... ignored.
herman Bergson: on the one hand some believe that there is a god who created all and still manipulates our lives...
herman Bergson: ton the other hand there are who believe that this all was created indeed and then left alone by god
Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): Sad thing about religion is... the more people are religious in a country, the worse off quality of life is for that country
Max Chatnoir: Well, what disturbs me is people who are making the argument that the writers of the constitution meant to identify the US as a christian nation.
herman Bergson: But he put in his divine insights in his creation
Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): That correlation is quite clear
Bejiita Imako: yes
herman Bergson: Both ideas have no empirical justification in my opinion...but people believe in them
Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): It has been said that 25% of humanity have the ability to feel religious feelings.
herman Bergson: and the most fascinating matter still is the question WHY DO PEOPLE BELIEVE?
Max Chatnoir: Yes, I heard a woman on NPR this morning who was talking about being a cancer survivor and said something about that being part of a plan for her.
Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): The rest of the religious bunch follow them for social reasons
herman Bergson: Oh sure Sousi...
Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): Because they feel stuff the rest of us can't imagine
Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): Stuff they can't deny
CB Axel: I think people believe in a god because they're afraid not to.
Bejiita Imako: group pressure
herman Bergson: If you knew what I feel Sousi, you can not imagine ^_^
herman Bergson: But that doesn’t make me religious or close to a god :-))
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol Herman
Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): Oh, I might have an idea or two. =)
Bejiita Imako:
herman Bergson grins
herman Bergson: yes standard issue SL thoughts :-))
Bejiita Imako: hehe
Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): Bye
herman Bergson: But from a psychological point of view....this habit of believing in things....really fascinating
herman Bergson: .
CB Axel: I think the only thing atheists believe in is that other people's religious beliefs should not be used to control everyone's behaviors.
herman Bergson: begin with CB
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): believe is not so bad as long as it is free and not a power to kill people
CB Axel: If atheism is a religion, it's creed is "bugger off."
CB Axel: Beertje, there are other religious beliefs that don't kill me but that I don't want controlling my life.
Bejiita Imako: indeed religion is mostly used in a bad way today, IS tries basically to wipe out the planet at moment for ex
Bejiita Imako: wipe
Bejiita Imako: awful
Bejiita Imako: but their way of islam is ls also a bit disturbed
CB Axel: Yes. That's an extreme example.
herman Bergson: But what fascinates me is the question....what drives Homo Sapiens to this behavior.....?
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): fear i presume
herman Bergson: There are a few ideas....
CB Axel: I think it's fear, herman.
herman Bergson: Social cohesion
herman Bergson: fear indeed
Bejiita Imako: ah
herman Bergson: wishful thinking...
CB Axel: Social cohesion is a good one.
Bejiita Imako: yes
herman Bergson: ohh...I'll tell you next lecture about this social cohesion idea..and what is happening today!
Max Chatnoir: That will be interesting.
CB Axel: Something to look forward to. °͜°
herman Bergson: really amazing observation....
Bejiita Imako: aaa
Bejiita Imako: yes
CB Axel: I can't wait. That will be fun.
Max Chatnoir: Oh, you mentioned an example of something last time?
herman Bergson: I mean...the belief that religion is deminishing....forget it....
Max Chatnoir: I may have missed it.  I didn't lock my door and somebody came in....
Max Chatnoir: Certainly isn't diminishing in the US.
herman Bergson: In Europe it is ....
herman Bergson: No indeed Max...
herman Bergson: I read about some event....
herman Bergson: at the end of the school year there would be some gathering and they had planned a prayer to be said as one of the items...
Max Chatnoir: Seems like countries that are awash in both guns and religious fervor are especially dangerous.
Bejiita Imako: bad combo indeed
herman Bergson: someone pointed out that that was not allowed in a public school...
Max Chatnoir: Ah, this was in the US?
herman Bergson: was in the US..2011....
Max Chatnoir: Football game?
herman Bergson: this came out....this complain....
herman Bergson: the man was threated....ortracized...from the community...even had to fear for his life!
Max Chatnoir: My school is formally Methodist, and our faculty assemblies always begin with a prayer.
herman Bergson: no was a school gathering...a public school
CB Axel: Yes, Max, but yours isn't a public, tax-funded school. Right?
Max Chatnoir: No, it's private, and we don't get funding from the church, so far as I know.
CB Axel: But it's not a school run by the state.
Max Chatnoir: No.
CB Axel: So go ahead and have group prayer.
herman Bergson: Then they are allowed to follow their own rules
herman Bergson: but praying has no effect on the real world....:-)
herman Bergson: The experiment was really done...
Max Chatnoir: Yes, nominally it is a religious institution.  We have a chaplain and so forth.
Max Chatnoir: Chaplain.
CB Axel: I get a little perturbed, though, when a kid, or even a group of kids, want to say a prayer in a public school and are stopped.
herman Bergson: one group prayed for sick people...another group dint....
herman Bergson: something like that :-)
herman Bergson: no difference in recovery in both groups of patients
Bejiita Imako: thus non existence of god proved
CB Axel: And that's why there are no faith healers in hospitals.
Bejiita Imako:
herman Bergson: I must admit..this result was regrettable...
Bejiita Imako: or god maybe just don’t care
CB Axel: Chaplains, yes. But not faith healers.
Bejiita Imako: about prayers
Bejiita Imako: i dont know
herman Bergson: know....
CB Axel: Praying didn't help Tim Tebow's football career.
herman Bergson: we have thousands of years of religions now..of all kinds....
herman Bergson: and not a single god ever has shown up
Bejiita Imako: yep
Bejiita Imako: very true
Bejiita Imako: just in peoples minds
Bejiita Imako: same with ghosts
herman Bergson: and still people believe....
Bejiita Imako: or ghosts maybe just don’t like me
Bejiita Imako:
Bejiita Imako: indded
herman Bergson: Like those of IS who believe that they can create the end of times and may see the return of the big Madi....
herman Bergson: anno 2015!
Max Chatnoir: THAT is scary!
Bejiita Imako: well creating the end of time they sure tri to do, wipe out all life from the planet
Bejiita Imako: try
Max Chatnoir: And fundamentalist christians, ditto.
herman Bergson: so absurd...
Bejiita Imako: yes
Max Chatnoir: Worse than absurd.  Leads to very bad political decisions.
CB Axel: That's why a lot of American Christians support Israel. They think a war there will bring about Armageddon.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): if they wipe out all life..who is left to see the big Madi?
herman Bergson: oops....did they think of that?
Bejiita Imako: well suicide bombers believe they come to allah when they blow themselves up
Bejiita Imako: i guess IS thinks same, if they could they would blow the entire planet to cosmic dust
herman Bergson: yes a nasty islamic sect....
Bejiita Imako: very worrying and they strike everywhere without warning, just hope they don’t here
Bejiita Imako: they have to be stopped but how?
Bejiita Imako: they and boko haram
CB Axel: Cut off their supply of weapons?
Max Chatnoir: It's a tough problem.
Max Chatnoir: Yes, that would help a lot.
Max Chatnoir: But some people don't care how they make their money.
herman Bergson: the only way to stop this is EDUCATION....
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and that is a big problem there
CB Axel: That helps, too, but some of the kids going to the middle east to join are educated.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they only have the Koran
Bejiita Imako: indeed, in sweden for ex we export weapons to places like that, with the motivation, "but people loose their jobs at the factories"
CB Axel: Kids from the US and Europe.
herman Bergson: yes...I guess 90% of these IS fighters can not read nor write...
Bejiita Imako: well manufacture other stuff then weapons then
CB Axel: I agree, Bejiita.
Bejiita Imako: like finish the Max 4 synchrotron light source and ESS facilities
herman Bergson: First we have to put those who finance this against the wall and shoot them
Bejiita Imako: much better use of that money
herman Bergson: they are war criminals
Bejiita Imako: to do good research that benefit all of s
Bejiita Imako: us
CB Axel: Well, I don't really believe in murder, but shooting them with their own guns is tempting. °͜°
herman Bergson: I agree CB :-)
herman Bergson: Exposing them to the public would be better
Max Chatnoir: Yes, it's hard to change minds by blowing them up.
Bejiita Imako: ill smash them to higgs bosons with LHC
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no..i think that is worng..we lower our selves to their level then
Bejiita Imako: problems they are to fat to go into the machine
CB Axel: Max, they are getting cooperation from people by threatening to blow them up.
Bejiita Imako: hehe
Max Chatnoir: Yes, I think public disclosure of how large amounts of money are spent would be socially useful.
Bejiita Imako: yes me too
herman Bergson: yes
herman Bergson: and you know....
CB Axel: I feel that most problems in this world can be traced to who supplies the money.
Max Chatnoir: Unfortunately, that's just the lobby that would prevent that legislation from being passed.
herman Bergson: for all this you even dont need to be an atheist ^_^
Bejiita Imako: very true
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): IS is not about religion, it's about money and power
Bejiita Imako: yes very true
CB Axel: Yes, you don't have to believe in a god to be against killing. You just need to have empathy.
Bejiita Imako: and they use religion as cover up
Bejiita Imako: to motivate killing and oppressing
Max Chatnoir: and the ease of recruiting young men with few job options.  Offer them guns and glory.
herman Bergson: So weird, Max....
Bejiita Imako: yes
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they think that they will get virgins in heaven..who says those virgins are woman?
herman Bergson: But again.....if these young ones had a proper education, they wouldn’t have gone
CB Axel: Good one, Beertje!
Bejiita Imako: indeed
herman Bergson: They are grapes, Beertje....
Bejiita Imako: hehe yes
Bejiita Imako:
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes I know Herman..but do THRY know?
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): THEY
herman Bergson: there is a problem with the translation of this term that refers to these "virgins"...
herman Bergson: the word also can be translated as "grapes", so I read
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
Bejiita Imako: ah
Max Chatnoir: I think Texas is about to pass an open carry law for public colleges  I think that is REALLY scarey.  I'm glad are not public.
CB Axel: I like grapes better than virgins.
Bejiita Imako:
Bejiita Imako: ah
herman Bergson: what means "open carry", Max
Max Chatnoir: gun in your pocket.
CB Axel: I will never understand why people think that the antidote to gun violence is more guns.
Max Chatnoir: I don't get that either.
CB Axel: Open carry means you can carry a gun around.
herman Bergson: is all so silly....
herman Bergson: IN Europe not a single person is allowed to wear a gun....
herman Bergson: private persons...
Bejiita Imako: indeed, only the police
Bejiita Imako: a good thing
herman Bergson: and we live a perfect comfortable life guns around...except under criminals
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): not all the police Bejiita
Max Chatnoir: Conservative religions and gun loving seem to go together.
Bejiita Imako: no not all those either
CB Axel: Do people hunt in Europe still?
Bejiita Imako: US claim its to defend themselves but thr result is opposite
Bejiita Imako: knock on wrong door and you get shot in te head
herman Bergson: so why do they believe in guns in the US, while a whole continent proves on a daily basis that you can live safely without them?
Bejiita Imako: totaly crazy
CB Axel: Can one still go and shoot pheasants or deer or whatever?
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no CB
CB Axel: Hmmm.
herman Bergson: Here...going to can....seriously regulated yet
Bejiita Imako: you have to have hunters and weapon license
Max Chatnoir: It's framed as a second amendment issue.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): just to regulate the popularity
Bejiita Imako: and strict rules about storage of weapons
Bejiita Imako: need to have a weapon safe
herman Bergson: need licenses...special areas and so on
Bejiita Imako: ah
herman Bergson: yes indeed Bejiita...same here
CB Axel: The jerks carrying their guns into stores are not a militia. So the second amendment doesn't cover them.
Max Chatnoir: Right.
CB Axel: Hunters here have to be licensed, too, but the laws are not very strict, IMO.
Max Chatnoir: Just makes it likely that somebody with a nasty temper turns into a killer.
Bejiita Imako: ah
CB Axel: The people I see who want to have open carry are not the people I want as a militia to protect me.
herman Bergson: I guess we area bit off topic a good moment to dismiss class ^_^
Bejiita Imako:
Max Chatnoir: Yes, I guess we are.  :-)
CB Axel: We did ramble, didn't we.
Max Chatnoir: Sorry about that.

Bejiita Imako: hehe

No comments:

Post a Comment