Misguided

posted January 8th, 2016, 2:01 am


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February 27th, 2015, 4:02 pm

GreenKrog

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Aaaaaaaaaaaand then that happened.

Atheists, a word please?
You can fight religion better with logic than you ever will by freaking out. The appeal to emotion is the single strongest argument theists will ever have - you can't beat that with your own attempt at it.

What Julie is doing here right now is wrong. Even if Annie's father did give Annie the curse of religion, this will only make him retreat further in to it. And if he didn't, which appears to be the case, he would no longer trust her judgement.

Further, I urge all atheists to watch the following video;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPL8yRffPOU

Personally, I do not believe that we, in the age of reason, have any reason to allow ourselves or each other to participate in the notions of magic, regardless of the source. It goes directly in the face of science - magic does not exist.
That said, I also feel strongly that if a person's faith gives them hope, then there is no reason to take it away from them. I believe there is no afterlife, and it makes me want to be a good person now because it is all we've got. My girlfriend believes in eternal salvation, and it gives her hope for what happens after this shitty life is over. Rationally, she knows how I feel about believing in a soul. But emotionally, it gives her hope. So why would I push to take that from her?

Atheists - don't be ass-faces.

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January 8th, 2016, 2:38 am

Yan Mouson

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The weird thing about religion is we assume that it corrupts people, but I find that the opposite is true: people corrupt religion. I mean, religion is objectively factually wrong, but it's the people that make it evil. Religion reflects what's already there. I've heard plenty of stories of people turning their faith into a force for good. And then you've got the hateful dickheads flinging bible verses at everything they disagree with and you know what? I absolutely believe that these people would still be hateful dickheads without religion.

Even as he states that he's never practiced, Annie's father is convinced that religion only taught good values to his children and I believe that, had he been a practicing Christian, that's what he would have taught his kids.

If you really want to defeat the worst parts of religion, even logic won't help you. Religion is basically logic-proof. If you want to win that debate, you've got to do it through religion's own ass-backwards internal logic. Luckily for us, the Bible is so insanely contradictory that you can use it to support virtually any opinion, so demonstrating to people that they are wrong according to their own book is actually not that hard.

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January 8th, 2016, 11:39 pm

Stephanie (Guest)

"True Believers"

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Eric Hoffer wrote a very good book on the psychology of mass movements called "The True Believer". It discusses what draws people in and how is generally pointless to use logic with someone who's given themselves over to cultish beliefs. I highly recommend it.

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January 9th, 2016, 12:28 am

GreenKrog

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@Stephanie: I have deconverted one Christian every 3 or so months in the past two years through the power of logic. I can't get them all, but, it is worth trying so we can live in a better world.
You CAN show people how they could be wrong. You CAN plant that seed and let it come to fruit.

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January 9th, 2016, 3:29 am

Nick (Guest)

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Ok, so something that really bothers me about most atheistic arguments is that they fail to consider simple spirituality and magic, and always act like disproving the "big man in the sky" means that all religion or spirituality must be wrong.

I used to be a pentacostal christian, and then I studied paganism for a while after college. Most "prayer" and "magic" fall under psychological effects, the mass hysteria of a really good worship service or the meditative trance of a good spell... these are things that aren't dependent on religion or big men in the sky. Hell, you can get many of the same effects through various drugs and chemicals. A rave is just a praise and worship service with better music.

Your advice to other atheists seems very condescending toward theists, coming across with a very "be careful not to burst their bubble or hurt their feelings" vibe that I believe you didn't intend.
Consider for a moment what many practicioners already believe, that magic is simply a mixture of psychology, understanding, intuition, and at most a slight ability to manipulate chance. It's not absurd to think that there are forces we don't understand scientifically. Hell, it's practically asinine to assume that in just a few hundred years we've managed to observe and understand every force in the universe. Just as there are colors most of us can't see, there are possibly forces that most can't perceive, and thus have no technology to perceive or record them. Obviously I don't lean much toward the physical sciences, but there are numerous particles in quantum physics that make little to no sense at all. I learned of one that behaves differently when observed, for some reason.
Just as theists cannot definitively prove the existence of a non-scientific god, atheists cannot disprove the existence of non-scientific magic. You may choose to not believe in spirituality, the soul, or magic, but it comes across as arrogant to say that something can't exist just because a certain percentage of the population has never perceived it. By that metric, Antarctica is probably a myth.

For the record, I am an agnostic. I believe in spiritual forces, but I strongly doubt that they have names and I don't think they should have any impact on our laws and rules.

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January 9th, 2016, 11:44 am

GreenKrog

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@Nick: When I gave the advice to atheists, I meant to not ruin a person's philosophy by making them discard what gives a person drive. The old adage of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, if you will.
If the thought of an afterlife fills someone with hope, and it makes them lead a better life, I am behind that entirely. Science cannot prove there is no afterlife, so any atheist saying there is none is a speculative as any theist is - the only answer should be, from either side, 'I don't know, but I lean towards X side'. The problem I have with most theism is that they say they know 'the truth' when they are simply regurgitating what they have been told before.

You are very right that we do not know everything. And we likely never will. The issue that most atheists take with magic/theism in this regard is what is called the 'god of the gaps' argument. For example: we know everything that happened when the big bang started and onwards, but we don't know what caused it or what was before it. An atheist would say 'we don't know, so we will keep looking'. A theist would say 'science doesn't know, therefor god did it'.

Unfortunately your example of Antarctica does not work because any person, at any time, can go there and observe it. This is how science works - results must be replicated and *must be replicated*. Not only do you have to show it works, and be able to make it happen again, but you must be able to give the same instructions to any other humans on this planet and they must be able to recreate it.
I highly recommend the following channel and the playlist 'the art of woo';
https://www.youtube.com/user/Martymer81

I am atheist/agnostic (whatever levels of separation people decide to put on it, whatever). I lean towards there being forces we do not understand that some people MAY have harnessed it. There is no reason why telekinesis CANT work, based on electrical outputs affecting someone else's electrical outputs. We have just never observed it. So is it fair to say it doesn't exist? No. But it is fair to say that it has never been shown to exist in a non-anecdotal situation. As they say on Heathcare Triage (another youtube channel): The plural of anecdotes is NOT evidence.
I am really looking forward to the day when someone wins the James Randi challenge and can show the world that these things exist.

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January 9th, 2016, 4:22 am

mittfh

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It would be interesting being a fly on the wall if Julie ever visited Annie's mother - no doubt there'd be plenty of verbal fireworks...

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January 9th, 2016, 11:44 am

GreenKrog

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@mittfh: Given how she went off on Bill when they met, I sort of think that Julie would be a less than rational person. Probably better to keep them separated. Usually when a mother gets protective of their child, they tend to get.. um.. protective.

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January 9th, 2016, 11:00 am

Stephanie (Guest)

I would hope..,

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That Annie's mother will consider Annie's parting words to her. If she's able to break through to her mom, there's a chance she can change their relationship for the better.

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January 12th, 2016, 12:27 pm

Jax Rhapsody (Guest)

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I'll admit, I'm not a fan of the abrahmic faiths, they are take over religions, especially Christianity. They seem to be the most hardened religious types next to middle eastern muslims. It was intended to be the only religion, and many things in the bible reflect that, the thing is, you'd have to know the actual history of the religion to see it- not the "history" in it, but real history, such as the Byzantine empire, where Christianity was used as a pitical movement. There are lots of countries where it is the majority religion, where it either should be a small number, or not even exist, like China.

I was Christian, went to a Missionary Baptist church, after a while, I just ended up using the program as a check list, or getting good naps. I don't want to say Christianity is wrong, but I think how it's taught is wrong, and some of the things taught, is wrong.

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