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Sun May 4, 2014, 01:49 PM

 

Dishonesty and thoughtlessness in believers.

Last edited Tue May 6, 2014, 06:11 AM - Edit history (1)

I'm on the record here as having made the claim that believers are either dishonest or thoughtless. It is a weak claim, in that there probably exists at least one believer who is neither, and it really only applies to Christians, although it might apply to other faiths as well, I just don't know enough to make that case.

What I actually mean by that claim is this:

1. Christianity in modern times is basically divided into "literalist" and "modernist or liberal" camps. The literalist believe that the bible, or large parts thereof, is the literal and inerrant Word of God, while the modernists believe that the bible is instead a series of metaphorical stories not mean to be taken literally, except for some stories, which are.

2. The literalist position is basically an honest position, by which I mean that many literalists really do believe that the bible is the literal word of god and are not being disingenuous or dishonest when discussing their beliefs. This form of belief is however "thoughtless" in that there is no way to reconcile the massive set of contradictions, impossibilities, and immoral horrors contained within the holy text that is claimed to be the literal word of god. The literalist position, if honestly held, is unconsidered, it is not thought out, it is "thoughtless". There are however plenty of literalists who are simply opportunists who don't believe one damn thing in their holy book, but act like they do for various reasons.

3. The modernist position is basically an intellectually dishonest position, by which I mean that the modernist, when discussing their beliefs, reformulates those beliefs based on the context of the argument. The parts of their holy text that are obviously impossible are recast as metaphors to fit with whatever modern conception of reality they conflict with. The contradictory texts are again reformulated on the fly to deal with the logical absurdities. Pinning down actual beliefs in a modernist is, in my experience, impossible. I don't think the modernist position is an honest one.

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Reply Dishonesty and thoughtlessness in believers. (Original post)
Warren Stupidity May 2014 OP
trotsky May 2014 #1
stone space May 2014 #2
Warren Stupidity May 2014 #5
stone space May 2014 #7
trotsky May 2014 #8
stone space May 2014 #9
trotsky May 2014 #18
stone space May 2014 #21
trotsky May 2014 #23
stone space May 2014 #24
trotsky May 2014 #26
stone space May 2014 #28
stone space May 2014 #66
Curmudgeoness May 2014 #3
skepticscott May 2014 #6
LostOne4Ever May 2014 #4
stone space May 2014 #10
uriel1972 May 2014 #11
stone space May 2014 #12
uriel1972 May 2014 #13
LostOne4Ever May 2014 #15
stone space May 2014 #17
LostOne4Ever May 2014 #61
stone space May 2014 #63
LostOne4Ever May 2014 #64
trotsky May 2014 #19
stone space May 2014 #20
trotsky May 2014 #22
stone space May 2014 #25
trotsky May 2014 #27
stone space May 2014 #29
trotsky May 2014 #30
stone space May 2014 #33
trotsky May 2014 #34
stone space May 2014 #35
trotsky May 2014 #38
stone space May 2014 #39
trotsky May 2014 #40
stone space May 2014 #41
trotsky May 2014 #43
stone space May 2014 #44
trotsky May 2014 #46
stone space May 2014 #47
trotsky May 2014 #48
stone space May 2014 #49
trotsky May 2014 #52
stone space May 2014 #54
trotsky May 2014 #55
stone space May 2014 #57
trotsky May 2014 #58
stone space May 2014 #62
trotsky May 2014 #83
stone space May 2014 #84
trotsky May 2014 #91
skepticscott May 2014 #100
mr blur May 2014 #86
stone space May 2014 #92
Goblinmonger May 2014 #93
mr blur May 2014 #94
skepticscott May 2014 #101
Warren Stupidity May 2014 #50
stone space May 2014 #51
Warren Stupidity May 2014 #53
stone space May 2014 #56
Warren Stupidity May 2014 #59
stone space May 2014 #60
mr blur May 2014 #36
stone space May 2014 #37
mr blur May 2014 #42
stone space May 2014 #45
JNelson6563 May 2014 #75
stone space May 2014 #76
JNelson6563 May 2014 #77
stone space May 2014 #78
JNelson6563 May 2014 #85
stone space May 2014 #87
JNelson6563 May 2014 #89
Goblinmonger May 2014 #90
Warren Stupidity May 2014 #95
EvolveOrConvolve May 2014 #80
EvolveOrConvolve May 2014 #65
stone space May 2014 #67
EvolveOrConvolve May 2014 #69
stone space May 2014 #71
EvolveOrConvolve May 2014 #72
stone space May 2014 #79
stone space May 2014 #68
EvolveOrConvolve May 2014 #70
stone space May 2014 #73
EvolveOrConvolve May 2014 #74
Warren Stupidity May 2014 #82
EvolveOrConvolve May 2014 #96
mr blur May 2014 #81
nil desperandum May 2014 #88
mr blur May 2014 #98
LostOne4Ever May 2014 #14
intaglio May 2014 #99
TxDemChem May 2014 #16
nil desperandum May 2014 #31
AtheistCrusader May 2014 #32
defacto7 May 2014 #97

Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Sun May 4, 2014, 02:41 PM

1. I knew exactly what you meant when you first said that.

And you're right. I've seen plenty of otherwise thoughtful people who happen to be Christians just drop any pretense of thoughtfulness when it comes to aspects of their religion. Worse, this is viewed as some kind of badge of honor by many of them. You know, slap a capital M on it so it becomes Mystery and now the fact that you KNOW it doesn't make sense is now considered proof that it does. Dishonest and maddening, to say the least. Is it any wonder fruit loops like Phelps were (and are) able to carry on in their hateful ways? Never mind the evidence and reasoning, the holy truth is something else and can never be disproven.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Sun May 4, 2014, 02:46 PM

2. I don't see peoples' faith as being dishonest simply because they don't fit some fundamentalist...

 

...stereotype.

Hell, my wife certainly doesn't take everything in the bible literally, and she's really pretty honest.

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Response to stone space (Reply #2)

Sun May 4, 2014, 03:40 PM

5. I realize that dishonest has a really negative connotation, but I don't mean "deliberately lying"

 

as much as I mean "intellectually dishonest". The problem with the modernists is that as Curmudgeoness notes below, in a discussion with them on their faith, the goal posts are constantly shifting. They do not seem to have any real fixed position on most of what they believe. Even the absolute core parts of the Christian faith are up for grabs. So your wife isn't lying, but I bet if you really questioned her on what her core beliefs are she would have a very hard time being specific, and where she is specific, if confronted with absurdities or impossibilities or moral outrages as a consequence of that specific belief, would without hesitation modify the professed belief. It is that behavior that I describe as (intellectually) dishonest, and again, she isn't lying, it is the nature of the modernist attempt to fit the square peg of a rigid obsolete iron age theology into the round hole of the modern world.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #5)

Sun May 4, 2014, 04:02 PM

7. Maybe the problem isn't in the answers. Maybe the problem is in the questions.

 

Maybe you just haven't found the goalposts. It's not that the goalposts are moving. It's just that the goalposts haven't been located, yet.

I mean, if somebody starts questioning me about who I want to win the world series, they are likely to get a lot of hemming and hawing while I struggle with the fact that I am being questioned about something that I just don't normally think much about. And the information gathered is likely to be contradictory, since I'd be just making it up as I go along.

And my indecision could very well be interpreted as "moving the goalposts", and you may very well come away with the notion that Atheists are constantly shifting.

But if you ask me about something that I really care about, like the abolition of land mines or cluster bombs or nuclear weapons, then you will get a very clear idea of where I stand as an Atheist.

You would learn something real and significant about Atheist beliefs.

Remember, the concerns of the questioner may not match well with the concerns of the person being questioned.

If one wants to get a real idea of the full spectrum of a person's religious beliefs, then you have to be willing to find out what they really care about to insure that you are asking the right questions.

For example, there's a thread up right now in the religion forum titled something like "What does Jesus think about Capitol Punishment".

This would be an excellent opportunity for Atheists who are genuinely interested in the religious beliefs of Christians to inquire about how they feel about Capitol Punishment.

That's how Atheists can get real and useful insight right this very moment into Christian belief.


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Response to stone space (Reply #7)

Sun May 4, 2014, 04:58 PM

8. What a terrible analogy.

"struggle with the fact that I am being questioned about something that I just don't normally think much about"

Are you saying that religious believers don't normally think much about their religious beliefs? If so, then you are confirming the observation in the OP. Weak sauce, stony.

You are aware, too, that atheist isn't a proper noun, right? You don't need to capitalize it, and in fact it looks odd when you do, almost as if you were trying to make it seem like a religion.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #8)

Sun May 4, 2014, 05:11 PM

9. No, I'm saying that they might define their religious beliefs differently that...

 

...you define them.

Are you saying that religious believers don't normally think much about their religious beliefs? If so, then you are confirming the observation in the OP. Weak sauce, stony.


Just as I might define my Atheist beliefs differently than a Christian might define them.

You are aware, too, that atheist isn't a proper noun, right? You don't need to capitalize it, and in fact it looks odd when you do, almost as if you were trying to make it seem like a religion.


I'm a Mathematician, not a Spelling Bee Champ.

I flunked English 104.

I can live with that.


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Response to stone space (Reply #9)

Mon May 5, 2014, 07:35 AM

18. Then you need a different analogy.

Claiming that it's just like you being asked about the World Series (because you haven't given it much thought) is the exact opposite of what you were trying to say.

Just as I might define my Atheist beliefs differently than a Christian might define them.

There are no "Atheist beliefs", and BTW, it's "atheist." And incorrectly capitalizing it isn't a spelling error, it's a grammatical one.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #18)

Mon May 5, 2014, 07:50 AM

21. i have many atheist beliefs (nt)

 

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Response to stone space (Reply #21)

Mon May 5, 2014, 07:51 AM

23. And I have a unicorn.

Hooray!

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Response to trotsky (Reply #23)

Mon May 5, 2014, 07:53 AM

24. would that be a literal unicorn or a metaphorical unicorn? (nt)

 

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Response to stone space (Reply #24)

Mon May 5, 2014, 08:01 AM

26. Yes! n/t

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Response to trotsky (Reply #26)

Mon May 5, 2014, 08:02 AM

28. cool!

 

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #5)

Mon May 5, 2014, 07:49 PM

66. Core beliefs? Work hard, be nice, and probably some spanish proverb...

 

...version of the golden rule, with a sprinkle of magical realism mixed in for good measure (The spirit of Gabriel García Marquez is still alive.)

No doubt the component of magical realism might disturb you on a cultural level with elements of the absurd, but moral outrage? Seriously?

Having been married to her for 17 years, I highly doubt that.

So your wife isn't lying, but I bet if you really questioned her on what her core beliefs are she would have a very hard time being specific, and where she is specific, if confronted with absurdities or impossibilities or moral outrages as a consequence of that specific belief, would without hesitation modify the professed belief. It is that behavior that I describe as (intellectually) dishonest


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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Sun May 4, 2014, 02:50 PM

3. And I don't know which is worse.

The literalist makes me crazy because it just makes no sense....thoughtless is a good explanation. I will say that I have more respect for the literalist because they will fight to the death defending everything that is written in the Bible. However, it becomes hard to keep that respect when they do not abide by everything that is set down in the Bible. (I am thinking of those Old Testament laws, that, if they truly are the word of god, should be followed without question.)

The modernist makes me crazy by moving the goal posts at their discretion....dishonest. We may have a harder time trying to have a discussion with them, and we might not be able to figure out what their actual beliefs are, but it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that they don't know either.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #3)

Sun May 4, 2014, 03:40 PM

6. There is something more to be respected about the literalist

 

because they at least understand that once you start cherry-picking the Bible, you really have NO justification for keeping some parts and ignoring others that requires a god in the first place. Biblical literalism may be impossible to defend, but it is the only position that makes any sense to try to defend, if your "religion" has anything to do with the Bible and its "god".

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Sun May 4, 2014, 03:40 PM

4. Maybe they don't have any beliefs solid enough to pin down

From my experiences as a former modernist, I would say that some number of modernist possibly don't have any solidly formed beliefs to pin down.

Back then, when I was still in high school, I would argue that the bible was written by men who were fallible, and in a written form that was subject to corruption, misinterpretation, and mistranslation. I believed that the reason that god gave us a brain and conscience was so that we could find the truth on our own and see through the bullshit.

I thought many of the passages in the bible in particular were completely fictitious or the result of bigoted priest and that if there was truth in it God would let me know through my conscious or correct me though thought and reason.

You would have been hard pressed to find any belief that was solid enough to pin down. I was completely open to being wrong and often would change my stance with new information or an insight I missed. I guess this still counts as intellectual dishonesty though.

Of course, looking back, I now know I was just a hair away from being a deist and immediately jumped shipped the moment I learned what Deism entailed. From there I went on to be an atheist. So I am not sure how much any of that counts.

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Response to LostOne4Ever (Reply #4)

Sun May 4, 2014, 05:19 PM

10. See my post #7 above.

 

From my experiences as a former modernist, I would say that some number of modernist possibly don't have any solidly formed beliefs to pin down.


I can't tell you how many times Christian Fundamentalists have missed my own very real Atheist beliefs and proceeded to question me with irrelevant questions based upon their own Literalist Fundamentalist beliefs that have absolutely nothing to do with my actual strongly held beliefs as an Atheist.

Fundamentalist Atheist Literalists who question Modern non-Literalist Christians risk making the same errors.

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Response to stone space (Reply #10)

Sun May 4, 2014, 06:50 PM

11. Fundementalist Literalist Atheists?

What exactly are they? Someone who fundementally, literally doesn't believe in god/s. Well then count me in.

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Response to uriel1972 (Reply #11)

Sun May 4, 2014, 07:11 PM

12. I was hoping somebody would notice that...lol.

 

I would define a Fundamentalist Literalist Atheist as somebody who denies the existence of God, but who nonetheless interprets the Bible in a Fundamentalist Literalist manner.

Such an individual would be well-suited to interrogate Fundamentalist Literalist Christians regarding their faith, but might be ill-equipped to interrogate more modern Christians in a similar fashion, due to their uncompromisingly Literalist perspective and lack of imagination and/or empathy, since they suffer from the very same ailment as their Christian counterpart.

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Response to stone space (Reply #12)

Mon May 5, 2014, 01:37 AM

13. I don't think an atheist can interperet the bible in such a manner...

after all we don't believe the bible is the word of god. What I think you are seeing is atheists taking believers on their word, that they believe in the bible and calling them on it.

What is being criticised here is the shifting goalposts when an atheists ask them what in the bible they believe to be true. So as to aid in the discussion of their faith and the consequences.

Modernists as you call them are very vague, elusive and shifty when it comes to saying what is actually fact and what is 'metaphor' when it comes to the bible. So it leaves us with great difficulty in discussing their beliefs as what was yesterday solid 'fact' becomes today's 'metaphor'.

It is this part which we call 'intellectually dishonest'. It makes for a very frustrating experience. If they didn't say the bible was true and the word of god, it wouldn't matter. Allthough they might say the bible is 'metaphorically' true and the word of 'god and man' whatever that all means.

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Response to stone space (Reply #12)

Mon May 5, 2014, 04:22 AM

15. Well you could get that point across with just literalist atheist

Putting the term fundamentalist into that phrase just sounds weird and (given that many members of this forum probably were abused in some way by fundamentalism) it could easily act as a trigger here.

Anyway that sounds more like a straw atheist than a real one. Nonbelievers have nothing really invested in any particular interpretation to garner a commitment to it. If we tend to focus on literal arguments more its probably because the literalist are the main opponents of church and state separation and the main instigators of religious based laws.

That, and the more metaphorical interpretations can be pretty much unfalsifiable.

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Response to LostOne4Ever (Reply #15)

Mon May 5, 2014, 07:22 AM

17. Well, I'm not really used to using the terms "literalist" or "modernist".

 

I never hear either term used here on the street in Iowa. I'm using both of those terms here only because I see others using them.

Here in Iowa we talk about fundamentalists, mainly because that's what they call themselves here, I suppose, so that's what I'm familiar with. I think they are pretty much the same folks that are being referred to as "literalists" in this thread.

We don't really have a name for "modernists" here. They're just normal people who happen to be christians.

The atheist/agnostic thingie seems to get used a little differently here in Iowa than in some places on the internet, also.

If somebody (like myself) calls himself or herself an atheist, it pretty much means that they don't believe in the existence of a god or gods. If a person is unsure, they usually call themselves an agnostic. One can quibble about where to draw the line, and how strong that belief has to be (just as one can quibble about where to draw the line between a agnostic and a Christian having doubts), but we do see a distinction, and that distinction seems to get blurred on the internet for some reason.

The result is that some folks who call themselves atheists here and other places on the internet seem somewhat wishy-washy to me. Probably because in Iowa terminology, they're really agnostics.

Oh, well...






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Response to stone space (Reply #17)

Mon May 5, 2014, 05:17 PM

61. Well there is a difference between the common definition of the word

and its technical use. You are a mathematician correct?

Then you are probably aware of the differences in the definition of the word theory from the common use, as it is used in the natural sciences, and how it is used in mathematics.

This is probably an example of using different words to pin down a more precise definition. Literalist, I am guessing in the case of the OP, refers to someone who not only believes in the bible, but takes every word literally. I am also taking the term modernist as someone who takes more modern views on the world and incorporates those views into their theology by interpreting the bible more figuratively.

This tendency for a common definition to be at odds with a technical definition would also apply to the definition of atheist and agnostic. I would agree with you that if I grabbed a regular person off the street they would probably agree with your definition. They would also, more than likely, define a theory as a guess or a hunch.

On the other hand, the technical definition, which I believe you will find most of the members of this forum agreeing with, is very different. Atheism taken from its etymological roots means lacking or without theism. Thus it means without or lacking theism or a belief in gods. Both the person you describe as an atheist and the one you describe as an agnostic fit this definition. Generally a person who neither believes in any gods or believes there are no gods is called an weak/negative/ or implicit atheist, while one who believes there are no gods is a positive, strong, or explicit atheist.

Depending on the dictionary you choose, you will find that as the definition of the word:

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/atheist

Now compare oxfords definition with Merriam Websters:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheist

If you go back to really old dictionaries you will also find them defining us as wicked or immoral persons. Why? This is because old dictionaries were largely written by theists and mainly represented the common definition of the word, while more modern ones use more technically and politically correct definitions.

Also, if you go far enough back you can hit REALLY interesting common definitions of the word. The ancient romans used their word for it to describe anyone who did not acknowledge their pantheon. This means they called the early Christians atheists as well.

Again, I would argue that I and most of us who identify as atheists probably use the technical definition of lack of belief in god(s). For example, here are a couple of links from two of the biggest atheist organizations:

http://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/what-is-atheism?

http://ffrf.org/component/k2/item/18391-what-is-a-freethinker

Here are some more links on this topic if your interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicit_and_explicit_atheism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism
http://www.religioustolerance.org/atheist4.htm
http://www.religioustolerance.org/atheist14.htm

Now agnosticism etymologically means without knowledge. To put that into its technical definition one that believes that it is impossible to know if god(s) exist or not.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/agnostic
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agnostic
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism
http://www.religioustolerance.org/agnostic.htm

By this one can be both an agnostic and an atheist or both an agnostic and a theist. Many implicit atheist call themselves agnostic atheists because of this fact.

One other thing to note is that there is a HUGE stigma associated with the word atheist. Some atheist will take advantage of the common misconception of these definitions to avoid the ostracism that comes along with the atheist label. Other atheist actually might buy into the stigma and reject the atheist label entirely because they believe that only bad people/assholes can be atheists.

Many of us are trying to fight this stigma, and as such will object STRONGLY if you describe us using the common definition. I, myself, am an implicit atheist or if you will an agnostic atheist with some explicit atheist leanings. By your definition, you would probably call me a agnostic who leans toward overt disbelief. But I would quickly correct anyone who would try and say I am not an atheist.

Anyway, back on topic, another way of looking at it is to think of gods being your car and belief being your garage. An theist believes his/her car is in his/her garage, an atheist either is not sure or believes their car is not in the garage. A gnostic KNOWS whether his/her car is in the garage, and an agnostic does not know if it is there or not.



Sorry for the long post and 50 million links, but this is a very contentious issue and the subject of many wars in the religion forum.

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Response to LostOne4Ever (Reply #61)

Mon May 5, 2014, 06:07 PM

63. I found a cool word on wikipedia once.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apatheism

I guess that you might say that I'm an apatheist explicit atheist.



But the common term "atheist" works just as well for me.

I generally don't burden folks with technical mathematical definitions of common English words, either.

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Response to stone space (Reply #63)

Mon May 5, 2014, 06:54 PM

64. Here is another cool concept related to this topic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignostic

I got to say, they do have a point

I generally don't bother people with technical terms from biology and engineering, unless they are wanting to talk about those fields. For instance, creationist trying to use the common definition of "theory" when discussing evolution.

Similarly, if they want to talk to me about what I do or do not believe, I tend to be a stickler for the correct definition. Otherwise the stigma will never be overcome.

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Response to stone space (Reply #12)

Mon May 5, 2014, 07:38 AM

19. No such atheist exists.

It's a straw man that is used by Christians and people like yourself. If an atheist took the bible literally, they'd be a fundamentalist Christian.

I've seen atheists take a literalist position for the sake of argument, but that's as far as it goes.

And even "modern Christians" take some parts of the bible literally. Are you going to slap an insulting label on them, too?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #19)

Mon May 5, 2014, 07:46 AM

20. That's a fine thing to do, in a discussion with a literalist christian.

 

I've seen atheists take a literalist position for the sake of argument, but that's as far as it goes.


When an atheist does that in a discussion with a non-literalist christian, i would tend to see the literalism as more reflective of the atheist in the discussion, rather than the Christian in the discussion.

And even "modern Christians" take some parts of the bible literally. Are you going to slap an insulting label on them, too?


It depends on which parts they are taking literally, and in what way they are doing it. I guess that I'm a cafeteria atheist at heart.



http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1218&pid=128216

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Response to stone space (Reply #20)

Mon May 5, 2014, 07:51 AM

22. Also a fine thing to do in a discussion with a moderate Christian.

The main difference between them is they take different parts of the bible literally.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #22)

Mon May 5, 2014, 07:58 AM

25. if you are a literalist atheist, then go for it

 

don't let me stop you

you are correct that christians come in as many different flavors as atheists come in

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Response to stone space (Reply #25)

Mon May 5, 2014, 08:02 AM

27. Again no such thing and I would appreciate if you would stop insulting atheists.

Thanks much!

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Response to trotsky (Reply #27)

Mon May 5, 2014, 08:16 AM

29. i didn't see it as insulting, just descriptive

 

didn't mean to offend

there are many flavors of atheists

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Response to stone space (Reply #29)

Mon May 5, 2014, 08:19 AM

30. But not one of the flavors is "biblical literalist."

It's instead used as a term to insult, belittle, and dismiss. Please don't use it in our safe haven.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #30)

Mon May 5, 2014, 12:32 PM

33. If an atheist takes a literalist position with respect to the bible in a discussion with...

 

...a Christian who does not take a literalist position, is it not the atheist who is acting as the literalist?

Are atheists not allowed to speak here? I thought that this was a safe haven for atheists where we are allowed to speak our minds.

If you don't want read the honest and direct views of atheists, then perhaps you should refrain from posting an an atheist forum.

Atheists are not a monolith, you know.

We have a wide variety of attitudes and beliefs.


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Response to stone space (Reply #33)

Mon May 5, 2014, 12:59 PM

34. Aha - key word: "acting"

Even you recognize there is a difference between being a literalist, and taking the literalist position for the sake of argument.

So I don't understand why you would want to deliberately use the word to insult and dismiss, which is what you are doing.

And I just love reading about your unusual views about what you consider "Atheism" to be. Let's continue our open, honest dialog!

We have a wide variety of attitudes and beliefs.

We sure do. But none of us are biblical literalists, or else we'd be Christians.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #34)

Mon May 5, 2014, 01:24 PM

35. Now there's an interesting question, regarding what makes one a christian.

 

But none of us are biblical literalists, or else we'd be Christians.


I doubt that most christians would consider somebody else a christan simply on the basis of taking the bible literally. One could reject Christianity in its entirety and still take every single word in the bible literally.

If one takes the bible literally, does not consider ones self a christian, professes no faith, and rejects every one of those literally taken words as false or meaningless, is one thereby automatically a christian?



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Response to stone space (Reply #35)

Mon May 5, 2014, 01:56 PM

38. I think it's been pretty well established...

that Christians of just about every flavor have difficulty accepting the other flavors as beinALSO Christian.

So you aren't exactly putting forth something new and unheard of.

The point is, if I take the bible literally, then I believe that Jesus Christ literally died for my sins. To truly believe that means I am a Christian, if we are to go by the pretty much bare minimum a Christian needs to believe in: the sacrifice made by Jesus and the redemption one can receive through that act.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #38)

Mon May 5, 2014, 02:09 PM

39. How so?

 

The point is, if I take the bible literally, then I believe that Jesus Christ literally died for my sins.


If I am reading a math book literally and come across a statement that says 2+2=5, and I take that statement literaly, does it then follow, simply because I took the statement literally that I know believe that statement?

That's a trivial example, but I take many statements that I read in mathematics books literally (unlike physics books, which I tend to read metaphorically), and find false statements all the time. It does not mean that I believe that those statements are true.





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Response to stone space (Reply #39)

Mon May 5, 2014, 02:26 PM

40. Math != religion

Once again you've come up with a really poor analogy.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #40)

Mon May 5, 2014, 02:36 PM

41. I never said it was, but you are claiming that taking something literally = believing it. (nt)

 

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Response to stone space (Reply #41)

Mon May 5, 2014, 02:50 PM

43. When it comes to a holy book, uh, yeah, that's kind of the point.

Guess I just don't understand your Advanced Atheism.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #43)

Mon May 5, 2014, 02:55 PM

44. "Advanced Atheism"? That's sounds like an interesting topic worthy of its own thread. (nt)

 

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Response to stone space (Reply #44)

Mon May 5, 2014, 03:13 PM

46. Perhaps you could tell us a little about your atheism.

Why are you an atheist? Have you always been one? Were you a believer at some point? If so, why did you discard your religion?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #46)

Mon May 5, 2014, 03:20 PM

47. answers

 

Why are you an atheist?

Because I don't believe in God.

Have you always been one?

No.

Were you a believer at some point?

I suppose so, but it was half a century ago, and my memories of that time are somewhat vague.

If so, why did you discard your religion?

Not sure I'd call it "discarding religion". More like not believing in God.

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Response to stone space (Reply #47)

Mon May 5, 2014, 03:22 PM

48. Why don't you believe in any gods? n/t

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Response to trotsky (Reply #48)

Mon May 5, 2014, 03:30 PM

49. Not sure I can point to any particular reason. It's just what I believe. I don't claim to have...

 

...any proof for my beliefs in this regard. They just are what they are.

I'm sure that there are reasons, and perhaps some advanced technological beings could do a brain scan of some sort and find some causal biological or neurological explanation for my beliefs.

But I'm just a mathematician.

What do I know about such things?

I find it all quite confusing.

Perhaps if I took a course in advanced atheism, I might find an answer?

I'm sure that it all reduces to a question of mathematics somehow, as I indicated in this thread:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1218126271




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Response to stone space (Reply #49)

Mon May 5, 2014, 03:51 PM

52. So you have no reasons, none at all, to reject belief in gods?

You just one day up and decided to call yourself an atheist?

Weird, I have never met an atheist who didn't have reasons for lacking belief in gods.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #52)

Mon May 5, 2014, 04:07 PM

54. I didn't just decide to call myself an atheist. I call myself an atheist because that's what...

 

...people who don't believe in a God or Gods are called in English.

Or so I've heard.

Do you have a better name for folks like me and you who don't believe in God?

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Response to stone space (Reply #54)

Mon May 5, 2014, 04:10 PM

55. Why don't you believe in any gods? n/t

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Response to trotsky (Reply #55)

Mon May 5, 2014, 04:19 PM

57. I don't know.

 

I'm a mathematician, not a psychologist or neurologist.

It's not a question that I lose much sleep over, or even give much consideration to.

There are other much more important things for me to think about when it comes to my atheist beliefs than pondering why I don't believe in God.

That particular question just doesn't seem very important to me in the larger scheme of things.






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Response to stone space (Reply #57)

Mon May 5, 2014, 04:28 PM

58. You keep using that term: "atheist beliefs."

What are your "atheist beliefs"?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #58)

Mon May 5, 2014, 05:39 PM

62. Oh, I have lots of atheist beliefs, far too many to list here.

 

The fact that I don't believe in God is a relatively unimportant and minor one, in my view, although it is the one that you have been focusing most of your attention on in your questioning of me.

Some of my atheist beliefs would include my support for civil rights, such as the right to marry. (At one time, our own marriage would have been illegal, even here in Iowa.)

The year after Bowers v Hardwick (1986), I joined with 480 others (including many Christians as well as other atheists) in a nonviolent direct action sitting on the steps of the US Supreme Court and refusing to move, demanding that Bowers be overturned as an expression of my atheist beliefs in support of civil rights. We were released from jail 48 hours later, and 17 years after that, the US Supreme Court did finally overturn Bowers in Lawrence v Texas (2003).

My atheist pacifism would be another. I'm an abolitionist when it comes to things like land mines, cluster bombs and nuclear weapons. (And many other things.) I also support the repeal of the 2nd Amendment.

My atheism includes, somewhat ironically given our previous discussion here in this thread, a rather literal interpretation of the biblical prophesy in Isaiah 2:4, which might put me as a Pacifist Atheist in closer company with Pacifist Christians from the Plowshares Movement than to Cluster Bomb Atheists like Christopher Hitchens, I suppose.

and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more


The list of my deeply held atheist beliefs could go on, but that's a start, I suppose.



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Response to stone space (Reply #62)

Tue May 6, 2014, 07:00 AM

83. I've got news for you.

None of those are "atheist beliefs." None of them have anything to do with atheism.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #83)

Tue May 6, 2014, 07:22 AM

84. Do you tell Christians what their Christian beliefs are and are not, also?

 

Or do you ask them respectfully and listen to the wide diversity of answers that they give?

Never mind, I'm beginning to see the pattern here. I think that I know the answer to that already.

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Response to stone space (Reply #84)

Tue May 6, 2014, 08:01 AM

91. Christianity is a religion.

It has a holy text. Lots of people can read lots of different things in that text, and base their beliefs on it.

Atheism isn't a religion. It has no holy text. There is no definitive guide to atheism, nothing to base one's beliefs upon.

You seem to be very confused about what atheism is.

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Response to stone space (Reply #84)

Wed May 7, 2014, 07:38 PM

100. Speaking of patterns

 

More than one is beginning to emerge here.

And if you want to see people telling others that that they are not "true" Christians or that their beliefs are not "Christian", you don't have to look too hard on this site.

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Response to stone space (Reply #62)

Tue May 6, 2014, 07:36 AM

86. You keep using the word "atheist" -

 

I think it might mean something different where you live.

Lots of pacifists believe in gods, as do many civil rights supporters, anti-nuclear activists, anti-gun people etc.

If you are "a Pacifist Atheist in closer company with Pacifist Christians..." then that's because of your pacifism, isn't it? Nothing to do with atheism.... right?

Hitchens' support of things of which you disapprove had nothing to do with his atheism. I wonder why you feel the need to go to the Religion group and criticise "his particular brand of Atheism" because he appears to support cluster bombs?

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Response to mr blur (Reply #86)

Tue May 6, 2014, 08:01 AM

92. Oh, Cluster Bomb Christianity has been around for a long, long time, also.

 

It's history stretches back well before the invention of the Cluster Bomb itself.

I'm sorry if it offends you, but I will criticize Cluster Bomb Atheism every bit as harshly as I criticize Cluster Bomb Christianity.

Let us Pray...


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Response to stone space (Reply #92)

Tue May 6, 2014, 08:06 AM

93. Atheism is about a lack of belief in any god. That is it.

 

Don't attribute Hitchens' support of the war to his atheism. That is another thing that makes you read like a non-atheist pretending to be one. Next thing you would do if you want to keep coming across that way is to say that he supported waterboarding even after he had it done to himself. See...we've all been through these conversations a million times already and know where they go. That you apparently haven't is what makes it suspect. And as I've said elsewhere, perhaps you have a different cultural experience and you would be well served to fill us in on that.

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Response to stone space (Reply #92)

Tue May 6, 2014, 08:45 AM

94. I 'm not offended in the slightest. No need to apologise,

 

but then you weren't doing that at all, were you?

WTF is "Cluster Bomb Atheism"?!

I had thought that we could have a dialogue, but I guess for you that would have to be an "atheist dialog" which, I understand, is very similar to a Christian dialogue. We all have so much in common! Who knew? Anyway, I find it difficult to figure out exactly what you're saying so I guess it would be better, and safer, to try to ignore each other.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #52)

Wed May 7, 2014, 07:39 PM

101. And you may not have met one yet

 

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Response to stone space (Reply #41)

Mon May 5, 2014, 03:37 PM

50. wait, you have to start from: that book is the revealed truth from god.

 

A math book makes no such claim. Of course one reads a math book literally, and if one finds errors, one expects that is because a human committed an error while producing the book. This is not a problem. If the error found is profound enough you may be a math genius New truths not in the text are fine.

However, when a book is claimed to be revealed truth, errors of any sort (except perhaps translation errors) are problematic. So there is a problem with the bible in the modern world, because it is full of glaring errors, impossibilities, improbabilities, outright contradictions, and moral horrors. The literalists just bend the modern world to the world view of the bible, and resolve all problems as mysteries, astounding facts, just so stories, etc. The modernists discard entire books, rewrite plain meanings, and hide behind "metaphor".

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #50)

Mon May 5, 2014, 03:47 PM

51. The post you replied to was only addressing the question of whether or not...

 

...taking something literally = belief in the actual content of that which you take literally.

It's one thing to read that the heavens and the earth was created in 6 days (or 7, allowing for downtime),but taking that claim literally is not the same thing as actually believing that the heavens and the earth was created in 6 or 7 days.

Literal reading of a statement does not equal belief in the truth of said statement.

Not in math, not in religion, and not in anything else.


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Response to stone space (Reply #51)

Mon May 5, 2014, 03:56 PM

53. and again, when the text being read claims to be the truth

 

"taking it literally" and also "believing it to be the truth", which is the state of a literalist believer (that is what the "believer" condition means) does in fact imply that one believes "that the heavens and the earth was created in 6 or 7 days." The modernist also "believes it to be the truth" but avoids the problems of the literalist by being able to re-interpret anything that causes a problem. So the reading of genesis is transformed into compatibility with whatever the currently accepted theories on cosmology demands. Days aren't days, the earth isn't the earth, the sun isn't the sun, the beasts aren't the beasts.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #53)

Mon May 5, 2014, 04:10 PM

56. Taking something literally does not = believing that the literal interpretation is true. (nt)

 

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Response to stone space (Reply #56)

Mon May 5, 2014, 04:35 PM

59. I give up.

 

I've tried three times to explain why a person who believes the bible is true and reads the bible literally also believes that the literal interpretation is true, but you seem to be unable to connect these two conditions that apply to a literalist believer.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #59)

Mon May 5, 2014, 05:12 PM

60. A literalist believer believes.

 

I've never disputed that. You could take out the work "literalist" and it would still be true.

A non-literalist believer believes, also.

But what about a literalist non-believer?

Does a literalist non-believer believe?

Reading something literally does not = belief in the literal interpretation of that which was read.

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Response to stone space (Reply #33)

Mon May 5, 2014, 01:30 PM

36. Perhaps it's you who is posting in the wrong Group?

 

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Response to mr blur (Reply #36)

Mon May 5, 2014, 01:41 PM

37. Am I? Are atheists not allowed here? (nt)

 

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Response to stone space (Reply #37)

Mon May 5, 2014, 02:47 PM

42. Of course atheists are 'allowed' here; you just seem a little confused. nt

 

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Response to mr blur (Reply #42)

Mon May 5, 2014, 02:57 PM

45. Oh, I'm confused about a lot of things. Aren't we all? (nt)

 

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Response to stone space (Reply #29)

Mon May 5, 2014, 10:19 PM

75. I find this insulting...

On Mon May 5, 2014, 10:59 PM an alert was sent on the following post:

I think Warren did a far better job upthread describing what is meant by "dishonest"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1230&pid=22336

REASON FOR ALERT

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate.

ALERTER'S COMMENTS

my wife is most certainly not dishonest

this is a lie

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Mon May 5, 2014, 11:08 PM, and the Jury voted 1-6 to LEAVE IT.

Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: Lol, this is the Atheists
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: This group is a safe haven for atheists. This poster has been here two weeks and has been mostly posting in this safe haven but in a disruptive sort of way. If a poster wants to defend religion/religionists, they should do it somewhere other than the AA group.
Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: I think somebody needs a thicker skin. Step away from the alert button.
Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: This comment is made in the context of a complex religious discussion involving opinions so I don't think it violates any of the rules here.

Juror #5 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: If you are going to jaw with the atheists, you better be ready for hand to hand ... gloves off..
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: Shouldn't have brought your wife into it. Plus, alerter, you're being pretty mean in some other posts, so I find this alert disingenuous at best.
Juror #7 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given

Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future.
------------------------------------------------

Have read many of your posts and get the distinct smell of chum when doing so. It would appear I am correct. You should read and heed the juror comments.

I was juror #2 fyi. Not all juries get packed with over-sensitive believers. Better luck next time. If there is a next time...

Julie

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #75)

Mon May 5, 2014, 10:43 PM

76. It's a haven for people to insult the families of atheists.

 

Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: This group is a safe haven for atheists. This poster has been here two weeks and has been mostly posting in this safe haven but in a disruptive sort of way. If a poster wants to defend religion/religionists, they should do it somewhere other than the AA group.

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Response to stone space (Reply #76)

Mon May 5, 2014, 10:48 PM

77. Believers and beliefs get discussed.

Sadly you chose to make it personal by bringing your wife (or any specific believer) into it. Views don't change when replacing a generic believer with a specific.

Why do I get a strong sense that you aren't here to enjoy being free of the world of believerdom as the rest of us are?

Julie

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #77)

Mon May 5, 2014, 10:52 PM

78. I don't even know what this means.

 

Why do I get a strong sense that you aren't here to enjoy being free of the world of believerdom as the rest of us are?




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Response to stone space (Reply #78)

Tue May 6, 2014, 07:32 AM

85. But you're an atheist, uh-huh, sure you are!

I believe you are in the wrong forum. Head back, I mean over to Religion. You'll find others who like to cliam atheism falsely.

Julie

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #85)

Tue May 6, 2014, 07:44 AM

87. Claim atheism falsely? Am I being excommunicated? I didn't even know it was possible.

 

How does this work, anyway?

Do I get reported to the atheist Pope and charged with blasphemy or something?

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Response to stone space (Reply #87)

Tue May 6, 2014, 07:56 AM

89. Just callin' a stinky pantload when I smell it.

And, sadly, the only "punishment" (or perhaps you prefer "penance"?) is banishment from this safe haven. Not that you need it, being so fond of Christendom and all, why you'd bother with this group is a mystery to me.

Julie

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Response to stone space (Reply #87)

Tue May 6, 2014, 07:58 AM

90. My first foray into this discussion and my impression.

 

A lot of what you write reads as someone who isn't an atheist trying to be an atheist to make a point. We've had them here before and they are distruptors to the site as a whole, but it happens.

Now, perhaps there is a cultural difference which is making some of this come through. We have had people in Religion that are English as a Second Language speakers and that caused some problems with the way things have come across. I don't get that from you, but if you aren't coming from a US or native English speaking culture, perhaps let us know. But I would imagine that many people here are reading you as someone who is just pretending to be an atheist because of what you say. You do not appear to have the same experiences as us. And, again, this could be cultural but you need to fill us in if it is.

Sorry if we are overly skeptical, but this is a safe haven that has been shit on plenty of times and you are pretty new to the site and are coming in making some bold claims about the way we conduct ourselves. Perhaps you would be better served by letting us get to know you.

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Response to stone space (Reply #87)

Tue May 6, 2014, 11:19 AM

95. No dude you are being identified.

 

Your game is a bit lame. You haven't fooled anyone. We've seen this all before. Many times. But carry on, you are at least amusing.

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #75)

Tue May 6, 2014, 12:48 AM

80. Ha!

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Response to stone space (Reply #12)

Mon May 5, 2014, 07:08 PM

65. Just so you know, the word "fundamentalist" is frowned upon here in A&A

As atheists, we have NOTHING to be "fundamentalist" about. We have no dogma. There are no sacred texts that we rely upon for "truth". It's a meaningless word when describing unbelievers.

The term is only used as a pejorative, often by apologists or anti-atheists as a strawman (since they have no logical basis upon which their argument stands). People using the term are viewed with suspicion, since it's often used either 1) without proper aforethought; 2) as a device in a debate intended to shut down opposing views; or 3) as a passive-aggressive attack on free-thinkers, atheists, or agnostics.

Using the term to describe atheists or scientists is really a short-cut to thinking, but you're free to use it. Just don't expect a warm welcome or fond farewells from the group here.

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Response to EvolveOrConvolve (Reply #65)

Mon May 5, 2014, 08:23 PM

67. Oh, I get that. I'm atheist myself.

 

As atheists, we have NOTHING to be "fundamentalist" about. We have no dogma. There are no sacred texts that we rely upon for "truth". It's a meaningless word when describing unbelievers.


But in this case the reference is to atheists who interpret the Bible literally.

Perhaps the term "literalist" is better. As I said, I don't normally use that term, since this is usually a phenomena that I associate with people who call themselves "Fundamentalist Christians".

But I'm happy to use the term "literalist", even if it feels a little weird and academic to me, since it is indeed more specific and accurate when applied to people who interpret the Bible literally.

Hell, in some ways I'm a biblical literalist myself, since there are some biblical prophesies (specifically Isaiah 2:4) which as an atheist I wholeheartedly support in the most literal fashion possible.







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Response to stone space (Reply #67)

Mon May 5, 2014, 09:21 PM

69. I've never met an atheist who "interpreted the bible literally"

As atheists, we don't interpret anything that purports to be supernatural (as the bible is), and we surely don't treat it as "fundamentalists" do. It's entirely illogical for someone who actively rejects the bible as a sacred text to at the same time consider it true and infallible (as fundamentalists do).

My point about the word still stands - it's verboten in A&A because it's been used as a slur for years by believers because it allows them to dismiss the things atheists say without having to think about them from a logical point of view. I'm not asking, I'm telling you - don't use it.

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Response to EvolveOrConvolve (Reply #69)

Mon May 5, 2014, 09:26 PM

71. Ok, now I'm confused.

 

but you're free to use it.


My point about the word still stands - it's verboten in A&A because it's been used as a slur for years by believers because it allows them to dismiss the things atheists say without having to think about them from a logical point of view. I'm not asking, I'm telling you - don't use it.


My atheist head is now officially spinning.

My only regret is that there is no smiley to convey that.

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Response to stone space (Reply #71)

Mon May 5, 2014, 09:29 PM

72. I said you were free to use it

I didn't say there weren't consequences for your actions.

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Response to EvolveOrConvolve (Reply #72)

Mon May 5, 2014, 11:46 PM

79. Freethinking has always had its consequences.

 

I said you were free to use it

I didn't say there weren't consequences for your actions.


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Response to EvolveOrConvolve (Reply #65)

Mon May 5, 2014, 08:39 PM

68. Incidentally, we are in a thread where people like my wife are being described with...

 

...the false dichotomy of being either thoughtless or dishonest (in my wife's case, dishonest), so I take the lack of warm welcome as a given, and inherent to the thread in which I am posting.

Using the term to describe atheists or scientists is really a short-cut to thinking, but you're free to use it. Just don't expect a warm welcome or fond farewells from the group here.


So please excuse me if I've hurt somebody's delicate fee-fees.

True atheism is better than this.

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Response to stone space (Reply #68)

Mon May 5, 2014, 09:23 PM

70. Sometimes the truth hurts

If you don't like to hear it, you're welcome to find another group at DU that would be more willing to accommodate your desire to use slurs against atheists. http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1264

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Response to EvolveOrConvolve (Reply #70)

Mon May 5, 2014, 09:32 PM

73. The truth about my wife is that she is dishonest???

 

WTF???

You don't even know her.



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Response to stone space (Reply #73)

Mon May 5, 2014, 09:38 PM

74. I think Warren did a far better job upthread describing what is meant by "dishonest"

I've never met a believer who wasn't dishonest about their belief, so yea, your wife is probably dishonest (again, using the definition described upthread). The day a believer is consistent in their beliefs is the day that pigs fly.

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Response to EvolveOrConvolve (Reply #74)

Tue May 6, 2014, 06:12 AM

82. and the alert nannies struck again.

 

but there is no problem here with people targeting specific groups and people for alerts.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #82)

Tue May 6, 2014, 07:31 PM

96. I don't like the word "nanny"

It's much too mild a word to describe what's happening here. And I'd mention some other words more apt to the situation but can't because I'd probably get alerted on.

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Response to stone space (Reply #68)

Tue May 6, 2014, 04:23 AM

81. "True atheism"? You've reached the 'No True Atheist' defence?

 

What are you, the Atheism Police?

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Response to stone space (Reply #68)

Tue May 6, 2014, 07:55 AM

88. delicate fee fees

So my use of "rabid" was totally offensive to you (http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1218&pid=128392) and you posted to let me know that, but someone here in this forum lets you know something is offensive to them and you provide a mocking response....I guess I won't bother apologizing that your delicate fee-fees were hurt in my other post as I was about to do before reading this....additionally I wasn't mocking the seriousness of rabies I was making an analogy that sometimes violent humans have no more control over their actions than a rabid animal making that person a rabid animal as well....but you knew that you were just being contrary and deciding you were offended enough to make a point to me.

One man's offense is apparently another's delicate fee-fees...

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Response to stone space (Reply #68)

Wed May 7, 2014, 07:16 AM

98. Who mentioned your wife?

 

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Response to stone space (Reply #10)

Mon May 5, 2014, 03:43 AM

14. I don't see how your reply relates to my comment

I was using my own experiences from when I was a believer and saying that they might apply to an indeterminate number of believers just as well. I was not saying that was the reason for all believers or in any way trying to push my beliefs on those who disagree.

Could you maybe elaborate further?

As for post #7, I would say that those you are describing as not having given it much thought, would be similar to those I am describing in my reply. Of course, finding the goal post is the reason we ask follow up questions.

"Oh you don't believe that huh? Then how do you interpret this?"


Seems pretty simple to me.

As for the goal posts part, I think that post is referring to a tendency among some believers to claim something to be literally true till that position becomes problematic, and at that point demand that it is nothing more than a metaphor, or to change interpretations on the fly.

Its frustrating to have a discussion about the specifics of a system of belief when the moment that those specifics become problematic they no longer mean what you thought was understood a while ago. Literal truths become metaphors. A bad metaphors then must mean that the interpretation is wrong not the source material. The conclusion that the source material is always good and always right is never questioned.

It pretty much makes everything unfalsifiable. You can't argue against something that can never be proven wrong, and you become the evil atheist for not accepting their interpretation of "bunnies and rainbows" or finding it unfullfilling.

I am not saying those believers are wrong. They very well could be right. I don't know everything. But without some objective method of telling if something is a literal truth, a metaphor, or just wrong; and another objective way of correctly interpreting said metaphors it feels more like a game of "catch me if you can" than an actual search for truth or knowledge.

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Response to stone space (Reply #10)

Wed May 7, 2014, 07:40 AM

99. Fundamentalist?

There is no fundamental atheist teaching there is only the theorum "there is no God," which most people arrive at via introspection.

Literalist?
What book? There is no required reading for an atheist.

Atheist?
You have been told before atheism and atheist are not capitalised. Neither can be a proper noun (literally). Note that there are movements within the class atheist that can be capitalised; New Atheism and Atheism Plus are two

Once you start to realise errors these you might start to see how your misconceptions about the subject might be considered patronising and insulting.

There are rude and/or noisy and/or inconsistent and/or incoherent atheists but there are no literalist ones. There are also rude and/or noisy and/or inconsistent and/or incoherent theists (another word not capitalised because it is not a specific movement); some of these, however, often claim to be literalist and fundamentalist, which words are frequently used interchangeably.

Your real difficulty seems to be that you want every discussion about religion to be conducted in terms of respectful reverence but, given the insistence that many theists insist that they accept the guidance (literal or metaphorical or allegorical) of the chosen texts. Such entirely logical discourse is unlikely because those same texts are (to an atheist) irrelevant, nonsensical, contradictory and often fraudulent.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Mon May 5, 2014, 04:57 AM

16. I get what you're saying. I don't personally know if any biblical literalists,

But I've read enough of Ken Ham and the like to know they truly believe in a literal reading if the bible. All of the liberal Christians I know don't read the bible. Sure, they'll take a look at feel-good verses their faith leaders point out in church, but they haven't read most of what is in the bible. And anytime one of them tries to debate me, I like to bring up some terrible verse and force them to justify why god's word is all good. They can't. The amount if mental gymnastics is hilarious. But they never justify it and just walk up saying something about having to pray about it, or that's how things used to be in the old days.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Mon May 5, 2014, 10:07 AM

31. All religions

Each religion with its' modernists suffers the same issues. Intellectually dishonest is not far off the mark because in every case people are attempting to justify their variance with their holy books as an alternate interpretation of the subject matter. I know a fair amount of adulterers, muslim and christian, who attempt to justify their actions as having come from a "bad" marriage....as if their religious books make exceptions for such...most of them are not keen on the idea of eternal damnation for breaking their marital vows or being stoned to death for those actions.


I think most believers like the idea that their god will provide them with a life of ease after they die in this world. The thought that all of this struggle to succeed, to live, to provide for a family is not just an accident of cosmic chemistry but a meaningful exercise to prove that one is worthy of an existence after death where there is no longer a struggle and no longer an inequity in life as on earth where man has created a world of death and violence and exploitation on a global scale. I understand the appeal of such thoughts, and I understand that most people don't actually wish to live in full compliance with their religious dogma, they just want to enjoy their existence on earth and make things easier for themselves and their families.

The dishonesty and thoughtlessness enter into play when they attempt to explain how they arrived at these doctrinal positions that deviate from the strict fundamentalist positions of others in the same religion. I would prefer they just say they don't believe most of their own religious book, they just like the part about getting to heaven and enjoying a blissful existence with loved ones after death. I could at least understand that, even if I don't believe any of it. Pretending that some of the book applies and some doesn't and that's okay because of changing scholarly reviews is a completely dishonest explanation.

It's as dishonest as pretending that covering for pedophiles or suicide bombers is a tenable position because of the good works of others in the same faith who don't do those things.

Christians shooting doctors over abortion is as disgusting as muslims killing kids with a plane or a suicide vest in a market, failing to proclaim that evil is dishonest at every level.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Mon May 5, 2014, 12:23 PM

32. I understood your meaning.

I know some that are neither dishonest, nor thoughtless, but they know they are engaged in special pleading, which is a form of self-deception so I suppose you could consider it a passive form of dishonesty or something.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 10:14 PM

97. I wrote this comment to stone space yesterday

and decided not to post it. I am glad I didn't because the discussion that ensued has been very well said and I may have disrupted it. It follows and would have been comment #15:

-------
I've noticed a couple of things too..

Respectfully, I am not convinced of your sincerity. In reading your comments you either have no interest in change when confronted by the necessity, you have no respect for atheism or its constituents, you are making up your own religion, or you are just playing atheist for some strange reason. You use terms that are inconsistent with atheism and you're choosing to be consistent at it. Why is that? Your arguments, as well as any other person's arguments are worthy of discussion but your insistence on concept conjuring, definitions that could be interpreted as theistic, and case mangling at will is telling. Certainly math or English 104 has nothing to do with it. Didn't you once write that God wants to be a mathematician? Hmmm?

Maybe you decided to be atheist last week and haven't caught up.. and really don't want to catch up. I suppose that would be consistent, and hey, there's nothing wrong with being a newbie. If you are a newbie I apologize for confronting you, but trying to look like you know what your talking about and not learning from mistakes is suspicious... at least to this non-theist.

Honesty.. dishonesty...? or maybe I just distrust clergy-speak.

Be well.

----

A person has to show some humility to be atheist because we can be wrong about a lot of things. Standing firm on a trusted premise is good but the real difference between atheists and theists is the ability to learn and evolve. Evolving does not include making up your own rules and expecting not to be confronted, that's naïve. Either our friend is new to atheism and has no desire to discuss outside his own world with it's own terms or he's very possibly not atheist at all.

I wish him well, but maybe it's time to grow up.

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