Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Why atheism fails.

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Why atheism fails.

    It is because we don't have anything to replace theism.

    At the end of the conversation with Daniel Dennett in The Atheism Tapes he made that comment and I found that it to be very a very profound statement.

    What do we replace it with? What is simple and understandable and comforting in bad times? For not only the simple thinking but also those that need a bit more complexity.

    Not saying that it is impossible to replace theism, just that we don't have anything at the ready.
    Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

  • #2
    Re: Why atheism fails.

    Its a self defeating argument though, from a purely logical standpoint. If you are an atheist, you have replaced theism with atheism. You have replaced a belief in a guiding higher power with a belief that there is no higher power.

    But my question is this: why does there have to be something to replace it? I'm not an atheist. I have read many religious texts and observed many religions in practice. But I dont believe or subscribe to any of them. I dont believe in God, Allah or any heavenly power. I have no proof that one exists, so I cant justify having faith in one. I'm agnostic. So where does that leave me? I have no solace in ultimate science because the questions of creation havent been answered. Likewise for religion.

    In that light, I suppose I dont understand why someone would NEED to have something to understand and take comfort in during bad times. I mean, I can understand why some people would need it, and I respect their right to believe in anything they wish. If they derive comfort from the flying spaghetti monster, fine. But I need no such comfort. If I fall upon hard times, I dont waste my energies questioning a higher power as to why or putting energy into the fact that a higher power will guide me through. I simply motor forward under my own steam, because from my experience, the choices I have made and the actions I have taken are what has led me to where I am, not some invisible force. The actions that I decide on and the decisions I make are what will determine how bright the future is. Thats my belief. I dont take comfort in it, I just deal with things and move on.

    A big part of that comes from my job. In medicine, you can either have a devout belief that everything is part of god's plan or you can have no belief in god. But you know what, the first time you see something along the lines of three small children (all under the age of 10) who get locked in a chest freezer for three days by their crack-addict mother and you have to watch those three innocent children slowly die in front of you, faith takes a dive. If that is god's plan, it isnt a god I want. Feel free to deliver that message for me. (sure, you can argue that maybe those kids would have grown to be gangbangers or serial killers or whatever and god was saving us all the trouble, but you cant prove it. i can prove that these were three innocent, helpless kids with no criminal records who were killed because their junkie mother decided to turn tricks so she could go on a crack bender and leave her kids to die.)

    So I dont see where atheism fails. Where is it dictated that when you are left with a lack of belief in one area, that you MUST fill it with something else?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Why atheism fails.

      Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
      It is because we don't have anything to replace theism.
      What makes you think it needs to be replaced? As we grow up we disbelieve in many things. What has replaced my belief in Santa Clause?

      At the end of the conversation with Daniel Dennett in The Atheism Tapes he made that comment and I found that it to be very a very profound statement.
      Yea, and here'd another profound statement in picture format.

      What do we replace it with? What is simple and understandable and comforting in bad times? For not only the simple thinking but also those that need a bit more complexity.
      I don't know. Manning up and dealing with the issues? Knowing that no matter how bad you might have it, you're posting about how atheism sucks from some form of dwelling with electricity, on a thousand dollar computer, and likely on high-speed Internet.

      Besides, I'd replace God with Condoms in Africa and the Deep South (which has AIDS rates on par with Africa) in a heartbeat. Seriously, trade in bibles for condoms.

      And people can and will fall back on something they always fall back on: their community and/or society itself. Because that's what church really offered, a communal meeting place where like minded individuals could help each other out. Even today it's used more as a place of social networking, rather than pure worship. Mainly because people aren't buying the fire and brimstone bit for the most part (unless you're from the south).

      Not saying that it is impossible to replace theism, just that we don't have anything at the ready.
      See, atheists or non-Christians don't really care about replacing God. What we really want is for Christians to quit acting like us fighting against them pushing Jebus down our throat is an attack on their religion itself. I don't need God. If you do, that's awesome, but really: I'll keep working 9 to 5 and keep shaking my head when I get passed illegally, get the middle finger, then see the Jesus fish on the back of said car containing the person flicking me off.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Why atheism fails.

        Why do we need to replace it? I have faith in the power of my will.

        Also, http://uscnews.usc.edu/university/st...nd_racism.html
        Do or do not, there is no try....
        -- Yoda, Dagobah

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Why atheism fails.

          Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
          It is because we don't have anything to replace theism.

          At the end of the conversation with Daniel Dennett in The Atheism Tapes he made that comment and I found that it to be very a very profound statement.

          What do we replace it with? What is simple and understandable and comforting in bad times? For not only the simple thinking but also those that need a bit more complexity.

          Not saying that it is impossible to replace theism, just that we don't have anything at the ready.
          I grew up in a fairly strict catholic family. I have never believed from as far back as I can remember and always found their practices to be empty and hypocrical. So for me a healthy dose of rationality and critical thinking in my early teens (ironically at a junior seminary) has allowed me to take FULL responsibility for my life, supernatural free. And that's what gives me comfort in hard times, knowing I have made the best decisions and efforts I could, always keeping the people I love and respect in mind.

          Any failure on my part is mine and mine alone and believe me, I am the the most critical person I have get along with.
          We are not apologetic for who we are. What we can do, however, is educate people so that they fear us for the right reasons.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Why atheism fails.

            Atheism fails because of two reasons IMO:

            1) It's inaccessible. In most societies, a Religion is part of 'Normal'. Being curious or open-minded about spirituality is about as acceptable as being curious or open minded about sexuality. In other words, one can never find the answer to a question that's never asked.

            2) It takes some minimum cognitive ability... I mean, you need to understand logic and causality, and in much of the world (including USA), pseudo-science is good enough. For many, the image of Mary in a grilled-cheese sandwich passes as scientific evidence to the existence of god. Great 13min video on cognitive mistakes: TED Talks: Why People Believe Strange Things

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Why atheism fails.

              All I know is it sickens me how intolerant some folks are on both sides of the theological debate. For being a nation that is a melting pot built on tolerance, we fail miserably. Can't tell you how it pains me to read comments after various articles from both sides just name calling, insulting, challenging intelligence, and whatever. To me, ones faith, whether in science or spirituality, is a personal thing. I never could understand why someone takes so much pleasure bashing something others take so much solace and gain so much hope in. Whether it be bashing folks who believe in global warming, or disbelieve, or bashing folks those who feel living well opens the doors to greater things in an afterlife. I blame the internet for the significant decline in respect of other peoples opinions, but hey that is just my belief :)
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Why atheism fails.

                I think extreme zealots of any type fail, and these types of people are the ones that have a voice in America. Rational, respectful, tolerant, people of conscience are almost never allowed to speak, and when they are, they are quickly ridiculed and discredited by radical, polarized, partisan wing-nuts. All of these traits are prevalent in the never-ending debate over religion, wich is full of intolerance for other religions and beliefs or unbeliefs.
                |TG-X| mp40x



                Register for the Forums! | Get on Teamspeak! | Play Squad! | Join Discord! | Support Tactical Gamer!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Why atheism fails.

                  I think atheism (and agnosticism) fails because it isn't organized. Churches are organized and zealously search for more members, guard existing members and otherwise arrange things to support their faith and grow their influence. Atheists do none of those things, and so are subject to the other reasons that people have already noted in this thread. Atheists, including myself, optimistically believe that eventually people will come around to thinking rationally and logically when it's simply not going to happen.
                  Become a supporting member!
                  Buy a Tactical Duck!
                  Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
                  TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Why atheism fails.

                    Actually you all fail because you are equating atheism to an organized religion.

                    Atheism is like not believing in Santa Claus. Do we need an alternate outlook for children when they realize Santa Claus is make believe? Do we need organized events to show off how belief in something that has no proof, has been admitted to be a retelling of past moralistic tales and clearly a retelling of pagan celebrations of bounty is just ridiculous?

                    Atheists don't need to draw people away from religion, we just want religious people to not push their fairy tales upon us through laws and mob rule. No extra work needed.
                    |TG-6th|Snooggums

                    Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Why atheism fails.

                      In addition to my post on the subject earlier, want to know what really opened my eyes to questioning religion? here (I was 8 years old when I read this for the first time mind you):
                      Originally posted by Lazarus Long
                      The most preposterous notion that H. Sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all of history.

                      The second most preposterous notion is that copulation is inherently sinful.
                      Of course, being 8, I had to look up the definition of copulation. However, once I understood that copulation means sex, I realized the truth in this (I was raised by a naval aviator, never needed the "big sex talk" because I saw my first table dance in my living room at age 3 during a squadron party...feel free to confirm this with my brother, Nomad). Awakening through the philosophies of a science fiction character, not your typical loss-of-faith scenario, but it's how I gave mine up.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Why atheism fails.

                        Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                        I think atheism (and agnosticism) fails because it isn't organized.
                        Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                        Actually you all fail because you are equating atheism to an organized religion.
                        LOL.

                        There was another discussion with a theist and the theist said he feared general apathy with regard to religion more than he feared atheism. At least with atheism there was something to argue.

                        I don't think, nor did I say, that theism was proper or good. It is kinda like democracy. It is simply better than the alternatives.

                        Doubting and questioning and disbelief is all fine and good for some. But many, maybe even most, need an organized fantasy. Fantasy is able to be molded to what is needed at the time.

                        Going to die soon? Fantasy says you can live forever after death. Someone close to you just died or is about to die? Fantasy says they are still around and you can meet them in the future. Need a simple source or foundation for your morals? Fantasy fills in that gap. Live a horrible life with no future? Fantasy give hope of heaven and virgins.

                        Religion gives structure to fantasy.

                        It is that structure for fantasy that doesn't have a replacement. And any replacement imagined is no better, and probably worse.
                        Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                        - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                        - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                        - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                        - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                        - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                        - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Why atheism fails.

                          Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                          I don't think, nor did I say, that theism was proper or good. It is kinda like democracy. It is simply better than the alternatives.
                          What makes it better than the alternatives? A personal belief, thats what. You're presenting a biased opinion. What you're expressing is that theism, as seen through the eyes of someone who is steady in their faith in a higher power, is better than atheism or agnosticism or any other alternative to theism. Its equitable to a democrat saying that being a democrat is better than being a republican, or a communist saying that communism is better than democracy, while simultaneously having no basis for comparison. So setting aside your bias, what makes your belief better than mine? Or anyone elses? Because more people agree with you?

                          So my problem with your argument is just that EGG: do you have any basis for comparison? Have you ever been an atheist or any other form of non-believer? Have you experienced a lack of belief altogether so you can realistically say without bias that being a believer is better than any other possible alternative?
                          It is that structure for fantasy that doesn't have a replacement. And any replacement imagined is no better, and probably worse.
                          Again, you didnt answer any of the arguments counter to your original point: WHY do we need a replacement? What mandates that when you stop believing in something you must replace it with a belief in something else? What makes theism any different than a belief in santa claus? My other point stands as well, since you seem to be falling back on the "if you're not a theist, you're wrong because any idea other than theism simply sucks"

                          I dont doubt that there is or is not a god, i dont question whether or not god exists and i dont waste time with disbelief. I simply dont care. I have neither the time nor power to satisfy my curiosities on the issue and the issues related to it, and neither does anyone else, so I refuse to spend a lifetime believing in what may or may not be a fantasy but cant be proven either way. I also dont waste my time seeking answers which are clearly outside of my scope. So it really is like a belief in santa claus for me. Not believing in santa claus doesnt make me feel any more empty than not believing in an almighty deity. I dont feel like something is missing, I dont feel like I need a crutch to prop up what I know.

                          If I'm going to die soon, I'd rather spend my time recalling the best moments of my life and spending the remaining time I have with the people I care about than worrying whether or not I have made peace with god so I can live eternally in some magical land in the clouds. I've had family members die in front of me and I've had many many people of no relation or acquaintance die while I was trying to save them, but I've never been haunted nor felt a presence or any other evidence to that effect. If I were to spend my time worrying about the fact that those that I lost were still around, I couldnt get anything done at work, because when someone dies, I HAVE to move on to the next patient lest I lose them too. My morals are strong enough to serve my purposes well. I dont cause other people harm or do anything that might lead to that end. That doesnt have any need to be backed by words from an almighty power, it simply makes sense. Would you want other people causing you harm? No. So why do it to anyone else? Simple logic prevails without the need of a support foundation. As I said earlier, if I was living a horrible life with little prospect of a future (I've been down that road, so i speak from experience), its not the prospect of heaven or some such to make me feel better or try to improve my station in life. It's the prospect that if I dont make things better on my own, i'm going to be miserable, and I dont like being miserable, so I take steps to fix it. Me. Not god. Not allah. Not jesus christ. Me.

                          Many people dont need religion. They simply follow a faith out of training and conditioning. Been raised by a devout churchgoing family? Chances are you're going to be a person of faith. I have two friends from high school, both sons of baptist ministers. In high school, both of them swore up and down that they wouldnt ever get into religion as a profession. Not because they didnt like religion or didnt believe, but that they didnt want to pursue it as their life's work. Guess what, both of them have done so. One took over his father's ministry, the other is a theological scholar with three doctorates.

                          Get an idea trained into your head for long enough and it becomes impossible to question. I got out when I was young. Expanded my horizons and examined things for myself. My parents, one catholic, one lutheran, decided to encourage that. So when I became interested in exploring other religions, they supported me. My parents library at home contained buddhist, taoist, hindu, muslim, christian, jewish and sikh texts. I explored, read them as philosophies and great stories rather than sacred tomes. Sure, the poetry and storytelling of religious texts is beautiful, but, like fiction, there are many things that just didnt add up for me. (Gautama Buddha sat mediatating for 49 days under the Bodhi tree and didnt eat or drink and it led to enlightenment? Not without IV nourishment, he didnt.)

                          So, did I choose to rely on any of them? No, i didnt, because I was raised to believe that if I wanted something, I had to make it happen, nobody was going to help me. I've never had a belief in a higher power, only a belief in me, and seeing as I'm a successful and happy person, that seems like a pretty good replacement to me. So if you can illustrate to me how its worse than believing in God, please, open my eyes.

                          As I said earlier, I fully respect other people's beliefs, which is why I'm not throwing out phrases like "religion is for people who are too weak minded to function on their own", because I dont take stock in that. Whatever drives people to their goals and happiness is fine with me. But you seem to be taking the opposite tact, that anyone who doesnt believe is in a worse place than those who do simply because they dont believe. Circular logic is always a bad rhetoric to follow.

                          Theism, or any belief structure based on anything, doesnt need a replacement if the individual doesnt need one. It doesnt need justification. It isnt any better or any worse. It just is.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Why atheism fails.

                            Ugh, didn't take many posts to degrade into proselytization.

                            Lets pull this back on topic, which is atheism, not agnosticism.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Why atheism fails.

                              It doesnt really matter whats being discussed Glory. The OP lumped them all into the same category. The point was that atheism fails because it leaves nothing to replace theism, which is a null argument because atheism does indeed replace theism. On belief for another in equal exchange: the belief in god for the belief in no god. So that point is vacated.

                              Comment

                              Connect

                              Collapse

                              TeamSpeak 3 Server

                              Collapse

                              Advertisement

                              Collapse

                              Twitter Feed

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X