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Interesting Essay on disbelief
Bob of QF
http://goodtobebl...thing.html

Here's the first several paragraphs:


... as an atheist, faith is one of the big issues I have with religion. Faith is not simply a religious concept - it is a concept of knowing, of being absolutely sure of your ideas, your leaders, your concept of right and wrong, to the point where any evidence to the contrary just annoys you, it doesn’t have the power to convince you.

This concept has caused immeasurable harm to the world - it is what made Stalin so sure that his five-year plans weren’t starving Russia, it is what made Hitler think that the Jews were the root of all the world’s problems ...

The criminals who rape, murder and pillage our country do not do so out of a lack of faith, out of a sense of doubt in the rightness of their actions, they do it rationalising that their victims deserve it. These criminals think that they are still good people.

Edited by catman on 11/08/2008 15:51
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
catman
Bob, I fixed the link to make it clickable. You can't just underline it, you have to use the url button.

Anyway, I agree with the gist of the blog. To me, faith is equivalent to saying, "I don't need proof. I just know". No, if you don't have proof, or at least very strong rationally arrived-at evidence, you can'y possibly know. You're simply believing what you want to believe.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Bob of QF
catman wrote:
Bob, I fixed the link to make it clickable. You can't just underline it, you have to use the url button.

Anyway, I agree with the gist of the blog. To me, faith is equivalent to saying, "I don't need proof. I just know". No, if you don't have proof, or at least very strong rationally arrived-at evidence, you can'y possibly know. You're simply believing what you want to believe.


Thanks!

I did use the "url" button. I wonder what I did wrong, then? Maybe I miss-clicked which button?

Aaaah: I see, the underline is right next to the url, and likely that's what I did...

ROFL!
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
derF
excellent article. I don't know who wrote it but it expressed a very valid point of view from an atheists aspect. Thanks for the link, BoQ.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
Cynic
I wish I could find the exact quote, but in an interview promoting Religulous, Bill Maher said, in reference to politicians and others stating that they allowed faith to guide their lives and decisions, something to the effect of "Really? A lack of critical thinking? That guides you?"

I've always appreciated Maher's ability to be breathtakingly blunt about his views. Smile
 
catman
Me too. I just wish he understood the definition of 'atheist'. I wanted to see Religulous, but it came and went in a hurry here in the Big Red State.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Nails3Jesus0
"The conflict between Christian theism and atheism is fundamentally a conflict between faith and reason. This, in epistemological terms, is the essence of the controversy. Reason and faith are opposites, two mutually exclusive terms: there is no reconcilitation or common ground. Faith is belieff without, or in spite of reason."

- George H. Smith
The Case Against God


'bout sais is all for me.

*edited for quote block
Edited by Skeeve on 11/09/2008 19:00
 
Bob of QF
I agree, N3J0.

I like that last line: "Faith is belief without, or in spite of reason."

In spite of.

Or, as I've often said, "willful ignorance".
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
neilmarr
***George H. Smith. The Case Against God***

One for the Wish List, Nails. Thanks. Does the rest of the book live up to the line you quote? Cheers. Neil
 
derF
George Smith's "The Case Against God" has many rehashed arguments denying the existence of god and some convincing arguments as to why he believes so. But there is nothing new here. It is similar to my own posts here on Atheists Today where I shriek my objections to religion but offer no new arguments supporting my position.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
Nails3Jesus0
neilmarr wrote:
***George H. Smith. The Case Against God***

One for the Wish List, Nails. Thanks. Does the rest of the book live up to the line you quote? Cheers. Neil



I think it does. Smith origanaly published it in 1979 (I think). It's written in a bit of a formal style, although Smith himself states numerous times throuout the text that he will just give the "cliff notes" version of certain philosophical concepts and arguments, which I was grateful for actually. I think this may have been one of the first, if not THE first book I read on atheisim when I first realized I was an atheist oh so many years ago. It's funny when I think of it now, but back when I first purchased this book, in 1989 or '90, I actually read most of it in the dark, back aisles of a backalley bookstore before I gathered up the courage to buy it. Like I was some 16 year old kid tying to buy a nudie magazine in some sticky adult book store. Silly, when I think of it now, but because this book was one of the first to express so much more clearly what I had been thinking at that young age, it was like getting a pair of presciption glasses for the first time when you've been walking around near sighted for so many years. For this reason, it will alway hold a place in my bookshelves.
Edited by Nails3Jesus0 on 11/11/2008 06:54
 
comfortable
neilmarr wrote:
***George H. Smith. The Case Against God***

One for the Wish List, Nails. Thanks. Does the rest of the book live up to the line you quote? Cheers. Neil

Hi, Neil.
LTNS.
Catman first recommended this book to me a few years ago. What it does is organize most of the logical arguments against any sort of supernatural being, and also gives useful working definitions to many of the terms one needs when discussing these issues philisophically. I thought it was one of the best books of its kind.

Of course, these days I've moved beyond all of that. The main point Smith points out is that "God" is a meaningless syllable which no one can define or agree upon the definition of, and therefore using the word is really not an explanation for anything (if you, like me, require coherent explanations/answers to questions).

Where I am today is
1. ....no I cannot disprove 'god' but I can easily disprove any 'god' to the extent you can define it. i.e. soul is judged for my actions, yet my actions can be altered by brain tumor or injury.
2. Monist - there is only the physical universe and the laws of physics. If those laws include weird stuff like schroedinger's cat, so be it. It's still not spirits.
3. I refuse to cow before malicious extortionists. If I wouldn't buy "fire insurance" from Vinnie, the local Mafia enforcer, to protect my small store from a mysterious fire which 'could happen' (in Vinnie's not-to-subtle threat), why would I ever profess love for a cosmic version of 'Vinnie' who demands weekly payments to prevent the eternal torment which this cosmic-Vinnie himself will provide (the eternal torture)? In fact this cosmic Vinnie-the-enforcer admits that he created Hell. Can anyone spell Stockholm Syndrome?

Is this thread long-dead?
.
The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion.
.
Men are sheep in credulity, but wolves for conformity.
 
Skeeve
How did I miss this thread? Thank you, comfortable, for bringing it up on the recent thread list. I do like the mafia analogy.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
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