Atheism

Jim

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A very-good 2019 informal antitheism-as-atheism conversation (published just last week on Youtube by the Centre For Inquiry and the Richard Dawkins Foundation) mainly between Richard and Ricky Gervaise.

Ably-facilited by the great Professor Richard Wiseman (who I have met in person... @gordonrutter many thanks again for that excellent event, here's hoping the next one will not be too far off in the future)


RG- "the periodic table of non-existent things is infinite"
#crocoduck
Good post but to be honest these type debates will never end. Can't prove Jesus, Buddha, Taoism, Moses, etc were diviny enlightened or not. It's really up to who wants to believe or not believe in what, if that makes any sense.
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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I don't have any religious leanings of any sort. If that is termed 'atheism' then that's someone else giving it a name, not me.
Likewise I don't support a football team.
It doesn't mean I am a supporter of 'not supporting a team', if you will, I just have no interest in it.
(If I don't like 'Andy' or 'Dave', it's not because Andy supports Palace United, and Dave supports City Wanderers, it's more likely it's because they're both twats)
 

ramonmercado

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DEath threats and more.

Somali atheists in the diaspora are running a Facebook group to challenge their community's Islamic beliefs, but they often receive death threats, writes journalist Layla Mahmood.

"I am going to kill you. I am going to find you. I am going to cut your head off," was one of the threats that Ayaanle, a Canada-based Somali atheist, received.

"[But] that's kind of normal," the founder of the True Somali Freedom Page (TSFP) says sardonically as he talks about the death threats that clog his inbox.

The popular Facebook group, which has more than 80,000 members, is predominantly led by atheists, or "ex-Muslims", as they refer to themselves.

It was initially inspired to create a safe space for religious discussion and now promotes all forms of freedom for Somalis who feel marginalised by mainstream Somali culture.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-52620433
 

MrRING

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An interesting article:
Atheists Are Sometimes More Religious Than Christians
Second, the researchers found that American “nones”—those who identify as atheist, agnostic, or nothing in particular—are more religious than European nones. The notion that religiously unaffiliated people can be religious at all may seem contradictory, but if you disaffiliate from organized religion it does not necessarily mean you’ve sworn off belief in God, say, or prayer.

The third finding reported in the study is by far the most striking. As it turns out, “American ‘nones’ are as religious as—or even more religious than—Christians in several European countries, including France, Germany, and the U.K.”

“That was a surprise,” Neha Sahgal, the lead researcher on the study, told me. “That’s the comparison that’s fascinating to me.” She highlighted the fact that whereas only 23 percent of European Christians say they believe in God with absolute certainty, 27 percent of American nones say this.


 

MrRING

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Then those atheists are not really atheists at all. Just not affiliated with any religion.
It's atheists who still gather and sing and talk... Maybe this further bit will help explain it a bit more:
America is a country so suffused with faith that religious attributes abound even among the secular. Consider the rise of “atheist churches,” which cater to Americans who have lost faith in supernatural deities but still crave community, enjoy singing with others, and want to think deeply about morality. It’s religion, minus all the God stuff. This is a phenomenon spreading across the country, from the Seattle Atheist Church to the North Texas Church of Freethought. The Oasis Network, which brings together non-believers to sing and learn every Sunday morning, has affiliates in nine U.S. cities.
 

ramonmercado

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Atheistophobia: It’s time to talk about the most persecuted minority in the world
By Aki Muthali


While apologists create mendacious claims of the “New Atheist” threat that is persecuting Muslims – very little attention is given to how atheists have been a persecuted minority for centuries

When I wrote ‘Death to Infidels’ – I had two questions.

“How many more Avijit Roys, Washiqur Rahmans and Ananta Bijoy Das are required before the world accepts the issues with Islam? How much more should the body of proof weigh before society admits Islam is in need of reform in the most desperate way?”

The questions were based on the probability of the answer. So I wasn’t shocked to hear about the murder of Niloy Neel – although I was deeply saddened and I continue to remain in a place where I have no doubt these bloggers are targeted for their critique of Islam.

The Guardian also published details regarding the release of a global Islamist hitlist that vows violence on prominent Islam critics, atheists, secularists, non-Muslims and liberal Muslims. Remember, this is all emerging from Bangladesh – the same Bangladesh Reza Aslan had deceitful described as secular, 100% equal nation to suit his own dishonest narrative – but then again, I don’t expect much integrity from a privileged man living in the comforts of Western secularism while vilifying atheists, secularists and Islam-critics just to protect a cherry picked interpretation of Islamic scripture. As I had previously exposed – Reza Aslan is an apologist for Islamism – because he holds firm in the claim that Islamism is the antidote to Jihadism.

While apologists create mendacious claims of the “New Atheist” threat that is persecuting Muslims – very little attention is given to how atheists have been a persecuted minority for centuries. Both in historical and present-day context – atheists and secularists are scorned and dehumanised by society worldwide. ...

http://nation.com.pk/blogs/27-Sep-2...out-the-most-persecuted-minority-in-the-world
Update on Avijit Roy case:

A court in Bangladesh has sentenced five men to death and one to life in jail for hacking a secular blogger to death six years ago in Dhaka.

Avijit Roy, based in the US and of Bangladeshi origin, was attacked with machetes as he left a book fair in the capital in February 2015. It was one of a spate of attacks on secular figures, which were blamed on Islamist militants. Roy, an atheist, had angered hardliners with his writings on religion. His wife Rafida Ahmed was with him when the attack took place as they left the Dhaka University campus. She was critically wounded, but survived.

The assault was carried out by a banned group, Ansar al-Islam, which is believed to be linked with al-Qaeda, the court heard. ...

Police believe the group were behind the murders of more than a dozen secular activists and bloggers. A string of deadly such attacks took place in Bangladesh between 2013 and 2016, and were blamed on groups inspired by al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group. ...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-56082108
 

Mikefule

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The behaviour of religious believers or of atheists is no guide to anything. People are people: some are bad and some are good, whether they are religious or not. Religion helps many people by providing a consistent framework for their interactions with the world. Some other believers have found in their religion a spurious justification for the worst behaviour imaginable.

Agnosticism is not simply the state of being undecided about the existence of God, nor is it the state of reserving judgement in the absence of evidence. Technicaly, "agnosticism" is the belief that it is fundamentally impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God. This is itself a respectable religious position: that as you cannot prove that God exists, there is virtue in believing through faith alone.

The idea of god(s) includes covers a spectrum of beliefs. At one end of the spectrum is the pagan god of a waterfall, pond or cave: one god among many. Such a god has powers that may be very limited and specialised. At the other end of the spectrum is the sophisticated modern concept of the monotheist's God who is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent.

There are also some beliefs that sit to one side of this spectrum, one example being pantheism: the belief that all of reality is identical with divinity. Instead of God creating and ruling the universe, God actually is the universe.

An omnipotent God would have the power to do absolutely everything, all at once, everywhere.

Somewhere part way along the spectrum is the god, such as Zeus, who has what you might call "limited omnipotence". He can do any single thing he chooses, but not everything. He can cause an earthquake or a tidal wave, or change himself into a bull — but while he's busy doing that, he can't be doing something else as well. It's like having a million Pounds to spend: you can buy any car you want, but not every car you want.

When considering an atheist's position, you first need to ask which of the above sort of god(s) they reject, and why.

I imagine most of us here (but perhaps not all) would reject the idea of a "god of thunder" who causes the thunder with his big hammer. Most of us would reject the idea of the god of the sun, riding across the sky in his fiery chariot.

We reject this type of god because we have better, evidence-based, theories for why there is thunder, and why the sun crosses the sky as it does.

An important aspect of these modern theories is that they enable us to make reasonably accurate predictions. We have a scientific model, we can feed in data and produce a forecast. We can observe what really happens and then refine the theory. Belief in a thunder god does not enable us to predict when or where there will be thunder. Meteorology allows us to make pretty good weather forecasts. Therefore, the belief in thunder gods has been replaced by a demonstrably better explanation.

Now, let's look at this idea of the best theory being the one that helps us to make predictions.

The sophisticated modern view of the monotheistic God is that He is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. He is everywhere, knows everything, and can do everything. He is also considered to be ineffable: we cannot possibly know His thoughts or understand his motives. The Lord works in mysterious ways: he causes the devastating tsunami but saves one child who is swept away — and we can never know or understand why.

If you have such a concept of God, then absolutely every possible set of circumstances, every possible event, can equally be explained by the existence of God, and by God's will. The child dies, God called him home; the child lives, God saved him.

If every possible set of circumstances can equally be explained by the existence of God, and by God's will, then our belief in God does not enable us to make any predictions of any kind, about anything. The existence of this type of God is not a testable hypothesis because there is no conceivable set of circumstances that could only occur if God did not exist.

If you follow this line of argument, then it is not a case of whether or not God exists, it is a case of "a stupid question". You might as well ask what Otzi the Iceman's real name was; whilst it is likely that he had a name, because personal names have been used in all or most societies, there is absolutely no way of either verifying or falsifying one name or another.

And that is why I consider myself to be an atheist: because "Does God exist?" is not a useful question.
 

Aurora Newman

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I do believe in other peoples religions as its all very similar histories. I worship Goddesses. And included in them are the Earth, Sun and Moon and the rest of the Solar System. But mainly Earth, Sun, Moon. In my eyes they're the Deities who didn't abandon us because they're still there shining life(Sun), taking hits from asteroids(Moon), creating breathable air for us(Earth).
 
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ramonmercado

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I'm agnostic towards those who push such a strict definition of Agnosticism.

I also admire the Celtic and Norse Pantheons, I don't think of them as actually existing; rather as archetypes and inspirations.
 
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