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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:04 PM 
Trakanon is FFA!
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Hmm, there's punctuation missing there that looks like I'm attributing one of my arguments to you. It's not supposed to read that way.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:42 PM 
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2. On the other hand, this "Atheism requires faith" argument seems silly too. I do not think any of us apply that argument to any other imaginary situation. For example, I do not go around saying, "wow you think there are no unicorns. You must have faith to do that!" It's not necessary, and it sounds ridiculous.


Nope, still necessary if you're going to make a claim of nonexistence and/or suggest no basis in faith.

Lack of popularity of a belief, no matter how seemingly ridiculous, says absolutely nothing about the qualification of the faith requirement in disbelief without proof.

Pick the most childish and base belief humanly possible to place on top of your straw man. Still applies. The end.

(Brief recap: Ridiculous of a belief lends credit to nonexistence, but does not prove it. Again, no one would fault someone for not going out of their way to disprove the existence of unicorns. However, it is still faith.)

Oh, and the idea that it's merely a semantic argument is as silly as the fact that so many people have supported atheism in the first place without forethought. Atheism attained popularity because of its more radical claims than agnosticism. However, it always had the problem mentioned in this thread regarding faith. If you didn't want an argument of supposed "semantics," you probably shouldn't have picked an ideology that was based on semantics in the first place.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:52 PM 
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Uhhhh...atheism is not "popular" at all.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:57 PM 
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I consider it a purely semantic argument because it makes no practical difference to me, whether I have faith or not.

I don't feel like I have faith. I don't feel like I need to have faith. I just don't believe things without some sort of evidence. That applies to far more than religion, but it gets grouped in there, sure.

If someone wants to define faith strictly as "belief of some concept, without proof" and further define nonexistance of all manner of imaginary things as the aforementioned concepts, and thusly attribute faith, defined as such, to me... cool. I am now a man of faith. I'm not offended, but it doesn't change much.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:30 AM 
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Atheism attained popularity because of its more radical claims than agnosticism.


Atheism by definition makes no claims other than a disbelief in any deities. There might be groups that identify themselves as atheists and make certain claims, but that doesn't make them atheist viewpoints.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:55 AM 
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Fribur wrote:
Uhhhh...atheism is not "popular" at all.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:53 AM 
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Bovinity Divinity wrote:
Quote:
Atheism attained popularity because of its more radical claims than agnosticism.


Atheism by definition makes no claims other than a disbelief in any deities. There might be groups that identify themselves as atheists and make certain claims, but that doesn't make them atheist viewpoints.


The worldwide number of atheists is hard to gauge, but there's probably a hundred million of them just in India. Coming from every country in the world and carrying an identical creed to that of every other race's atheists, they're almost certainly in the top five worldwide. All of that being said, agnostics probably still outnumber them if you accept that "don't care" qualifies as a subset of "don't know". Venen points out above that atheism makes more radical claims; I don't think radical is correct, but it isn't necessary. Atheism makes a claim (explicit absence of deity), and agnocistism does not.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:47 PM 
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In 2007, there are an estimated 157,529,444 people worldwide who are atheists. This is according to data compiled from the 2010 World Factbook of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. This number represents about 2.32% of the world population at that time. Translated to current population statistics there would be about 170,088,267 atheists in the world today.


http://www.numberof.net/number-of-athei ... the-world/

Take that however you wish. 2% of the population is tiny. Fringe. Nothing. An argument based on the "popularity" of atheism seems weak.

I'm certainly the only one I know around me in my school system, although like me they could feel the need to keep their thoughts on the subject to themselves. I know Christians like to bitch about the persecution they supposed suffer under in the United States, but I can tell you they are pretty damn good at running anyone too "different" from them out of town here where I live.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:30 PM 
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Coming from every country in the world and carrying an identical creed to that of every other race's atheists


This is something else that annoys me, and I know you're not doing it, but others do so I'm gonna emo rage about it anyway.

Despite the name assigned to it, identifying oneself as an athiest does not imply that you hold similar beliefs as any other individual that identifies as an athiest. It's merely the lack of one particular belief.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:21 PM 
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Atheism by definition makes no claims other than a disbelief in any deities. There might be groups that identify themselves as atheists and make certain claims, but that doesn't make them atheist viewpoints.


Which is a claim, unless, as I spoke of, you're suggesting the "live in a vacuum" philosophy which doesn't hold any water.

Even if that is true, however, my suggestion is along the lines that it is considered more radical per the reasoning of requirement of faith as opposed to agnosticism which requires none. Whether or not it makes claims is irrelevant when put alongside agnosticism in terms of how far in one direction it leans, or at least is perceived in leaning. I'd add that perception is important insofar as the fact that people flock to atheism as a result.

In other words, people who want to live on soap boxes and be attention whores would more easily flock to atheism.

Quote:
Uhhhh...atheism is not "popular" at all.


There's a difference between "attaining popularity" or "catching on" in terms of where things once were(think medieval times) and being popular in general.

Quote:
Take that however you wish. 2% of the population is tiny. Fringe. Nothing. An argument based on the "popularity" of atheism seems weak.


You can't really look at the 2% figure by itself. Take in the fact that the majority of academia, scientists, and other focused fields that require high amounts of education typically consist of larger populations of atheists. Now consider: Who controls the vocabulary and context in which we see arguments framed? Are poorer religious folks going to participate in these arguments to their fullest extension? In that context, 2% looks more like 75% in terms of its impact on society.

Just as an addendum, try living in Seattle for a few years and tell me you aren't driven completely insane by the level of diehards here. There is NO room for alternative viewpoints, you're either an atheist or you're an idiot here.

I just say that because I know Fribur and a few others have lived in areas populated by religious right-wing nuts, but try and look at the other side too. Realize that other areas are completely filled with morons on the other side of spectrum. I'm sure it's helped to shape my philosophies as well, admittedly =)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:23 PM 
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Which is a claim, unless, as I spoke of, you're suggesting the "live in a vacuum" philosophy which doesn't hold any water.


Well, yes it's a claim. That's why I said "no claims other than...".

Quote:
Even if that is true, however, my suggestion is along the lines that it is considered more radical per the reasoning of requirement of faith as opposed to agnosticism which requires none. Whether or not it makes claims is irrelevant when put alongside agnosticism in terms of how far in one direction it leans, or at least is perceived in leaning. I'd add that perception is important insofar as the fact that people flock to atheism as a result.

In other words, people who want to live on soap boxes and be attention whores would more easily flock to atheism.


Atheism is "radical" so it attracts assholes? I...guess that's what you're getting at? Ok, you've made the startling discovery that philosophical viewpoints can and do attract fanatics and jerks.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:05 PM 
I schooled the old school.
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You can't really look at the 2% figure by itself. Take in the fact that the majority of academia, scientists, and other focused fields that require high amounts of education typically consist of larger populations of atheists. Now consider: Who controls the vocabulary and context in which we see arguments framed? Are poorer religious folks going to participate in these arguments to their fullest extension? In that context, 2% looks more like 75% in terms of its impact on society.


Maybe it is just a function of where each of us is living. My impression is that it is exactly the opposite. The entire conversation on any political or religious topic revolves around the evangelical Christian God here. Everything. I get emails every day from co-workers with religious quotes. My facebook friends fill my notifications with posts about god... "God did this for me" "God answered my prayer." "Like this if you love God" etc etc etc. The other day a student posted on Facebook, "Why does God give people cancer?"... a heartbreaking question to be sure, but I had to sit and watch while the standard "God has a plan" and "God works in mysterious ways" and "You don't really think God gave xxxx cancer do you?" stuff filled up the conversation. I can't give my side, because I teach these kids, and their parents would go apeshit if they knew there was a crazy atheist with any influence over their children in their school.



It is so ingrained in every part of life here that I really feel the need to keep my thoughts on the whole subject entirely to myself, or risk losing my job.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:06 PM 
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God has a plan.....

A religious person's way of saying shit happens.

Also a great excuse for not taking personal responsibility for the results of your own actions. (Not referring to Cancer here)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:16 AM 
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I can't give my side, because I teach these kids, and their parents would go apeshit if they knew there was a crazy atheist with any influence over their children in their school.
You might be surprised. I lived for 10 years as a vocal atheist. Never had any problems, and I worked for an extremely conservative company at the time. Still found ways to get promoted.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:19 AM 
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Fribur wrote:
Quote:
I can't give my side, because I teach these kids, and their parents would go apeshit if they knew there was a crazy atheist with any influence over their children in their school.

It is so ingrained in every part of life here that I really feel the need to keep my thoughts on the whole subject entirely to myself, or risk losing my job.


I hate that for you Frib. You guys know that I am an opinionated sort and I have had to hold my thoughts because I know that it would cause damage in my relationships. If that damage would extend to my employment I don't know how I could handle it.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:10 PM 
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:03 PM 
I schooled the old school.
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You might be surprised. I lived for 10 years as a vocal atheist. Never had any problems, and I worked for an extremely conservative company at the time. Still found ways to get promoted.


Maybe... but it's different than working for some company. I TEACH. I spend hours every day with their own children. With some of these kids, I spend more time with them than their parents do. Because I'm the band director, I see them after school and before school, every day, for 7 or 8 years if they stay in the program. I have massive influence over them. Of course, I don't talk much about politics or religion because it's not my subject, but I'm sure I say things sometimes...

I know... I KNOW here that it would be a serious problem. I know that if I said what I really thought in staff meetings when it comes up, or in my classroom, or in situations like that Facebook message, that there would be instant complaints about me to the school board. I am hear to teach music, not fight for atheism, so I'm ok with that a lot of the time. But it is very hard for me sometimes to feel like I am constantly being muzzled.

And then when I hear the same people bitch because they feel like they can't be open about their faith... it makes me want to go crazy :p.

I know every time I post here I take a risk. I keep this user name completely separated from my online and offline life with work/school, but on this end many of you have enough personal information about me that you could find me pretty easily. Maybe someday someone in my teaching life will put these boards together with me and then I will be forced to deal with it. I really don't look forward to that day, because I like it here overall.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:08 PM 
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98% of Catholics use contraception.

I like the concept of living faith, vs doctrine faith. Live and let live, your beliefs should stand for you without a requirement to force others to your beliefs. The minute your faith requires others to share your beliefs to validate your own beliefs its a cult. Anything that isolates or excludes. The country club religions.

Seperation of church and state to not raise one church above others is true religious freedom.

Religion is a human construct and we are fallible, horribly flawed creatures.
My favorite is Buddhism, least is evangelical who look for new rules in a book of metaphors, and miss the fucking point.

Thank you Rick Santorum for making most of America feel really creepy, and reminding us of how fucking crazy the fringe really can be.


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