Archive for the ‘ atheist ’ Category

What the F is Egalitarianism

It is not an easy word to say, doesn’t roll off the tongue and does not appear in the daily 24 hour news cycle. So? What is it?

I always go to Merriam-Webster for definitions because I like them

1:  a belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs
2:  a social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people
This seems quite reasonable. So why is it so hard to achieve?
http://urolz12.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/v-for-vendetta-20060221085724795.jpg?w=650&h=275
I don’t want to cast aspersions where they are not warranted but I should point out that religion has been in charge for over 2000 years. Perhaps we should try this without religion?
Thoughts?

Hitler Can’t Help You

or why Christian apologetic arguments that use Hitler as an example are self refuting and circular.

I’ve written about this before here  and here  but I think this video does a better job of showing how the argument of biblical morality is circular and dangerous.

Enjoy.  Please feel free to comment whether you think this is correct or not. The circular biblical morality discussion needs to be out in the open more often.

 

The Soul Of Humanity: Spiritual Belief For Non-Believers

Where oh where are thou, soul of humanity?

http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/165/5/f/sew_closed_my_soul_by_destinyblue-d53i95b.jpg

Over the ages mankind has cried out into the darkness looking for the soul of his kind. They have sought it under every rock which can be identified, each human searching under them in succession like bees in an arboritum.

The soul of humanity is not to be found in a search. It will not be found at all. All that can be called the soul of humanity will be cast upon you like a robe you did not intend to wear when you seek not to find the soul but to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, protect the weak and befriend the lonely. In doing these things you’ll find that the robe will not come off no matter how you try because you’ll have found your humanity, your human dignity, your soul by giving it to others.

We may at times call this the law of reciprocity, or the golden rule among other things. What you cannot do is cheat it, any attempt to do so harms only you. Likewise, any attempt to keep this law helps you in amplified ways just as feeding the poor slakes a hunger inside your mind that you might not have ever know about till you gave your winter stores to a stranger.

There is no soul or spirituality except what hits you in the face when you’re trying to give yours away to others.

The Immorality Of Immortality: Why Forever Takes So Long

American Heathen has a post entitled The Immorality Of Immortality in which they ask “If it were possible to become immortal, would you do it? Would you step boldly into a life of eternal existence? If so, have you considered the ramifications, the consequences of living forever?”

I encourage you to go read their post but here I’m going to answer the question.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/assets/img/posters/pursuit-immortality-in.jpg

I don’t imagine that many people think of immortality much differently than American Heathen. I doubt many feel as I do but then I see life a little bit differently than most seem to.

When I was a kid, life seemed to go so slow and I got bored. Now, later in life, it goes so fast and I have no time at all. No time for the things I want to do or accomplish, not for the pleasures I’d like to experience. There is not even enough time for the very simple things that I can’t seem to get bored with. I would like for time to not be part of the equation for me. Oh, I know there would be problems and AmericanHeathen seems to cover the problems I can think of plus a few that I don’t think would be a problem in my case.

Between the birth of my great grandparents and myself the world has changed more than ever imagined by kings or popes. Because the world has come so far in that time, my grandchildren will never be able to or need to go back… we hope. I can; I can go back. I can travel there and be okay. I stand on the shoulders of giants to reach farther than they yet I watched them, learned what they knew as handed down knowledge from their family lineages. I am both their peer and their patron. I am thrust at the future by their hands, never having left their hearths. My mind is timeless in a sense. I remember their tales as if they were my own and mine as if they were theirs. Yet I yearn for more knowledge, more experiences as if my body is addled with the stuff and craves more. My thirst for more knowledge and experience frustrates me because I cannot cram enough information into my head fast enough for the little time I have in this life. Sometimes the information I try to jam inside my head does not stick so well. I’d really like to have a jack in the back of my head to make the job easier.

http://static4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130724005532/matrix/images/e/e4/Jacking_In.png

There are millions of experiences that I’ve not had yet, and that is just in this country. I’ve also not been into space, to another world or galaxy,  nor have I had a beach side cookout on a planet with two moons. The number of things I’ve not experienced yet but could is as large as the universe.

We meekly admit to ourselves that we’ll never know all there is to know and many of us give up trying. I do not no matter how vain the attempt might be. I want to know everything.

If somewhere along the line I stop being what some might define as human I’m okay with that. I’m okay with being different. I’m sure there is an Aesop’s fable just waiting to hit me in the face here. Never mind. I don’t want to be mere human. I do want to know everything. If that seems heretical, so what? I want to compose music, mine for fun and profit on comets, design warp engines, dine at 7 star restaurants at the end of time and on and on. 80 years is not enough. 80 million years is not enough.

I have a modicum of pity for those that think they would get bored. My mum used to tell us as kids ‘go outside and play if you’re bored’ and that is what I’d do if I were immortal. Send me to Mars… I’ve not been there yet. Let me learn millions of foreign languages from millions of planets. Let me perform magic for the emperor of a galaxy, dance with the princess of 4 worlds and on and on. Let me broker peace between worlds, discover unknown life forms, map vast sections of the universe, find it’s edges. Let me be everything at one time or another.

For those that think immortality is for crazy people, I say that you have no considered the possibilities of infinite experience and reward. The thought that humans are alone in the universe is astoundingly arrogant. There are other life forms, other intelligences. I want to meet and know them. Our future is limited only by  our imagination’s limitations. Mine is not so limited as to think I’d get bored. I’ve always been a bit more industrious than that.

Yes, I know the title doesn’t seem to match, but I wanted a direct relation to the original post that asked the question.

Forever takes so long… well, only if you’re sitting around waiting for it. If you’re busy being out and about and re-arranging the universe, time flies and forever comes along way too soon.

 

 

 

The Psychological Make Up Of An Atheist

There is mounting evidence of the growth in western societies of three mind-sets:

narcissism, materialism and atheism

There is no attempt to show evidence for this otherwise empty claim. More’s the pity. I’d like to see it. One might argue that new atheists is evidence, the me generation is evidence and so on but it would have been nice to see a bit more background information on this claim. I think they are way off on the narcissism claim but we’ll get to that in a bit. The right question to ask is how this ‘growth’ in atheism accounts for Carl Sagan, Bertrand Russell, Frank Sinatra and the billions of non-believers that came before them. That something has become easier to see does not mean it was not always there.

It seems to me that materialism and atheism are twin sides of the same coin, essentially an “I-It” rather than “I-Thou” existentialism according to Martin Buber.  I have wondered for some time what causes someone to become a militant-proselytising materialist atheist. After all the implication of their dogma, if true, of is nihilism, depression. No reason, no free-will. Why exist at all. As one atheist puts it – we would simply be the scum on the side of the universe. If that is what they truly believe – then why-oh-why do they want (I ask myself) to convert all others to their cause. It seems to me that Dennet, Dawkins et al have a NEED to convert. What is the psychological well-spring of their neediness?

One might be forgiven for the ‘twin sides of a coin’ metaphor if there was some reasoning to support it. As it is we are left to guess why. The author’s wonderment might be okay as a statement up to the point where they conclude that atheism has dogma and it explicitly implies negative things which are not true except of, perhaps, a very small subset of atheists. They build this into a kind of straw man. The author makes no attempt to understand what they frame as dogma nor explain it. The entire attempt is aimed at a straw man argument and negative toned argument.

I had wondered, looking at Dawkins life, whether it was a kind of Oedipus complex. Kill your father. Even Freud speculated as to that as the need behind atheism. However having read about the epidemic of narcissism I think that this instead  is the link or cause for materialist-atheism. I am told that narcissistic behaviour stems from a lack of love, or sense of love during childhood. This leads to an in-turning – deriving love from one-self – and denying the need for or existence of love elsewhere. Is it not possible, even probable then, that this mind-state would need to make itself the centre of all and deny that love elsewhere exists? Aggressively. In order to preserve it’s centred universe.

Now there is a piece of work. Freud also speculated that sexual arousal was a smell oriented response. Hypotheses are good except without evidence. Evidence seems to be a weak point for this author. The Mayo Clinic does not include atheism as part of the symptoms of Narcissistic personality disorder. In fact they define it rather differently. This looks like another straw man. We can’t say who told them the definition they are using. All we can do is say that it conflicts with some of the best information available and that their conclusion is completely off base, wrong, and perhaps childish.

If then the rise of narcissism and materialism/atheism are linked – which is the cause and which the effect? Perhaps neither – and both are a product of some other factor.

Nobody has said they are linked and the author fails to show that they are. In fact, minor research shows this entire post to be a straw man. What this says about the author is up for grabs but I’d be willing to bet that this person is dishonest.

Worth considering.
As a post-script – in reading around for this blog I found this from the militant atheist philosopher Daniel Dennett.

“I adopt the apparently dogmatic rule that dualism is to be avoided at all costs. It is not that I think I can give a knock-down proof that dualism, in all its forms, is false or incoherent, but that, given the way that dualism wallows in mystery, accepting dualism is giving up“.

A more complete context of Dennett’s quote is:

Dr. Dennett sets the stage by introducing the means by which he intends to “demystify” the notion of consciousness.  His first move is to reject Cartesian Dualism as a matter of principle.  It will strike some readers odd that, save for a couple of humorous comic strips and a handful of vague comments regarding the, all too cliché, problem of interaction, he seems entirely uncompelled to provide rigorous argumentation against the Cartesian view.  Most, however, will be sympathetic to the fact that it is far more economical in a lengthy work of philosophy to simply pronounce, ex cathedra, the death of an opposing point of view.  Such an approach, I might point out, makes the task of promoting one’s own view far easier.  To be fair, though, it must be conceded that Dr. Dennett makes several strong assertions about why we should ignore dualistic theories of the mind.  He declares that dualism is both unscientific and mysterious.  As he states:

[The] fundamentally antiscientific stance of dualism is, to my mind, its most disqualifying feature, and is the reason why in this book I adopt the apparently dogmatic rule that dualism is to be avoided at all costs.  It is not that I think I can give a knock-down proof that dualism, in all its forms, is false or incoherent, but that, given the way dualism wallows in mystery, accepting dualism is giving up (37).

Rather than wallow in mystery (and, really, who wants to wallow?), Dr. Dennett proposes a more sensible way—materialism.  But not just any form of materialism, a materialism that faces the problem of consciousness realistically; without ignoring the key features of conscious mental states which render them so difficult to account for.  The bulk of his book, therefore, is spent attempting to provide a broad materialistic framework by which we might account for all of the features of consciousness.

As we see below, the author is conflating arguments to their own advantage, and unfairly so. Again, I would wager this author is dishonest. The context of the quote makes it very clear what the giving up is about. This author simply quote mines a famous philosopher to confuse matters toward their own favor. This is dishonest.

Giving up? On what? The possibility of God, a reason for existence. Why would that a problem to be avoided or considered? Is the language not that of a narcissist – if you don’t agree with me you must be “wallowing in mystery”.

How depressing that a “philosopher” starts with a dogma of denial and then seeks to justify that with logic. Dogma isn’t philosophy. It’s dogma.

This author has failed to define or explore atheism, narcissism, or the consequences of either. Despite that the author wants the reader to believe that they have done so and that their straw man allows them to rightfully denigrate atheism. It is dishonesty at best. The truth is that atheism is not a world view for if it is then not believing in tooth fairies or santa claus would be world views and that would put the author in the admirable spot of holding three world views at the same time, talented indeed.

I speak for myself as an atheist I do not need a reason for existence, experiencing life is enough.  What dogma I have is not related to atheism and is pointed more squarely at wilful ignorance and dishonesty. As a nihilist (a malady they forgot to mention) I do not see any objective purpose to life or any part of it, rather I find meaning in what I want to find it, how I want to find it, and when I want to find it. This does not make me narcissistic, it makes me responsible for my own life. Any theist knows that their god will hold them responsible for their lives but they cannot appreciate that I hold me responsible for my life. Likewise, I hold the author responsible for theirs, a seemingly dishonest life.

 

God Helped Me Find My Car Keys

I was thinking about this tonight and something twitched in me. I thought about what this might mean. Someone helped me find my car keys, as in some human, means that I was weak and unable to remember where I put them. I was at fault. I was failing at life. I needed help to do what normal people do every day. I was failing to be normal. So when a believer claims that their god helped them do something normal….

What they are saying is that they were unable to be normal, that they were failing at being normal and needed help. Further, and most astoundingly, they claim it a miracle that their ‘god’ helped them to be normal.Think about that for a minute. Go on, I mean it.

 

Yes, believers are saying that they need help to be normal and better than that they are claiming a miracle for it. It does not matter whether it was finding the car keys or that their sports team won, the point is they are claiming the need for help to be normal and declaring it a miracle. Every thinking person who hears such flotsam should rightfully shove these claimants into the mud and explain exactly how ignorant they are. There is no excuse for it. To think that an unexplained god gave them the power to be normal for a minute is the ultimate admission of ignorance. Whenever you hear this kind of stuff please explain to the claimant how utterly ignorant they are. It would be doing all of us a favor, including the claimant.

 

There Is No Explanation For God

… or my recent absence. Now some might be wont to say I’ve equated myself with god but let me assure you that I have a much higher opinion of myself. For a start I’ve never claimed to be omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent. Nor have I ever claimed to love everyone. Perhaps gods are like me and just don’t want to talk about it but in any case I can be coerced to explain my absence… primarily because I can prove I exist. Before your philosophy senses start twitching, just stop. I’m as real as anything that questions the reality of a god and more real than the hopes of a championship ring for some sports clubs.

If there is a god and it was not absent this would be a pretty stupid post but it is not a stupid post for one simple reason: not one theist can demonstrate that their god exists.

 

 

Even the most famous of theological apologists cannot demonstrate that their god exists. There is a natural conclusion that can be drawn from this simple fact: Theists are delusional and any influence that they have on society is detrimental. Perhaps their charity or other seemingly benign activities might be seen as neutral if not positive but the net effect of their influence remains negative because it teaches superstition and fear… at least in the case of monotheism. (my favorite targets)

Some of you might still want to ask why I’ve been gone lately or even demand it. Odd that we only expect such of entities we believe are real. Why don’t believers demand to know why their god has not been present? Shouldn’t their prayers end with questions like “why can’t you heal amputees?” or similar? Perhaps I expect too much but when I hear that I’m bound for hell I always loudly opine that the speaker isn’t going to heaven. Think about that for a second or two.

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