Talk:Atheism/archive19

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'Attention atheists' message

There is a mistake in the text of your message. You should ask atheists for proof and evidence (by the way, aren't "proof" and "evidence" synonyms?) that atheism is true, not false. But then again, I am not sure that "true" and "false", as adjectives, can apply very well to "atheism", so I'd rather change it to "Please provide evidence against the existence of God", or to "Please provide evidence that atheism is logically justifiable". Also (but this is nitpicking), there is a full stop after the question mark. Please don't get me wrong, I am a devout Christian and I am applaud your crusade against atheism, but I just had some minor issues about the FORM of your message :) I did not correct the text of your message directly, because it is in a talk page, and not in a main page. Best regards, --Leo-from-UK 08:28, 17 June 2011 (EDT)

Someone had changed the message. I changed it back. conservative


Atheism and Racism, new evidence (from Wikipedia)

Sociologist Phil Zuckerman analyzed previous social science research on secularity and non-belief, and concluded that societal well-being is positively correlated with irreligion. His findings relating specifically to atheism include:

Compared to religious people, "atheists and secular people" are less nationalistic, prejudiced, antisemitic, racist, dogmatic, ethnocentric, close-minded, and authoritarian.

In the US, in states with the highest percentages of atheists, the murder rate is lower than average. In the most religious US states, the murder rate is higher than average.

http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Zuckerman_on_Atheism.pdf

Zuckerman is a secular, that's the word Atheists use when they want to disguise their believes. Naturally an atheist says that societies are better off without religion, it's clear that this is not the case. Now pick up a history book and start educating yourself instead of believing atheist propaganda. --StevenAA 16:55, 8 July 2011 (EDT)


True, he is secular, but one is either secular or religious, and both sides have a stake in the argument - by your logic, no one can comment on the validity of statements regarding the characteristics of religious or non-religious people, since both a secular or non-secular commenter would want to slant the argument towards their point of view. What Zuckerman does do is lay out the results of previous studies, perform a meta-analysis, and draw reasonable conclusions from the results of his analysis. Mass murder (however sensational it is), does not speak to the question Zuckerman tries to answer with his study. I think a complete, non-biased discussion about the relationship between atheism and morality should include all of the studies that address the issue. After all, we should be teaching the controversy. --Stairmaster 21:50, 8 July 2011 (EDT)

Secularism is the attempt to take religion out of everything, as Atheism doesn't see itself as a religion - actively attacking all other religions - it is clear that secularization actually means atheismization. Atheism is a religion. Quoting some falsy famous Atheist leaders who I fail to remember now "Religion is believe despite evidence" - Atheist believe despite the evidence for Christianity, they believe despite the evidence that evolution is false, they believe despite the evidence that the big bang did not occure, and son on in thousands of cases. Atheism is a religion even by the standards atheists use. Atheism is bad for society because atheism leaves no reason not to be selfish, not to follow the path Darwin described so pseudoscientifically. Atheism is all that what immorality means. Why don't we see this you might ask. Because Atheists know that they can't behave this way in a society that has Christian roots. They would be kicked out, they would not be tolerated, every smile from an atheist towards a Christian is fake, every friendly gesture is a trick to make us think they are good people. They are not, they are deeply selfish people that trick innocent Christians, Jews and all other people that don't suppress the knownledge that they are religious, every time they are friendly into thinking that they are friendly.
Christians can know the truth, because they know that Christianity is true their basis of thinking is not contaminated by what is false. No matter if Atheists knownlingly lie to us or are just too indoctrinated or too stupid to see the truth how wrong they are, we shoot look twice at everything they say. And if an Atheist claims that Atheism makes for a better society he does not only meassure with his own Atheist instruments of "equality" and "social equality" which is problematic but also is he biased in his perseption of how good it actually is. Of course he will think that such a society is "better" (aside that the murder rates also stem from the fact that Scandinavians have no temper, which Americans have) simply because he is not reminded all the time how awefully wrong he is. You are naturally free as a member of a totalitarian state if you are an adherent to that ideology, you simply will not notice any difference.
I sincerely hope you learned something today. --StevenAA 13:38, 9 July 2011 (EDT)
"...from the fact that Scandinavians have no temper, which Americans have..." Thanks for the chuckle. My grandfather and mother were Swedish, and believe me, they had a temper. SharonW 16:00, 10 July 2011 (EDT)


Well, I certainly learned how to spell words in some interesting ways. Some sources for these lovely statements would be much appreciated, as I know Conservapedia prides itself on citations. In particular, "every smile from an atheist towards a Christian is fake, every friendly gesture is a trick to make us think they are good people". Also I'd like a fact check on the statement that "the murder rates also stem from the fact that Scandinavians have no temper, which Americans have", (which also doesn't answer the point I made comparing murder rates between different states in the US).

I'm also not going to respond to your claim about the "evidence that evolution is false", because there is much, much, much, much more evidence supporting the fact of evolution. However, this evidence will likely be ignored by those who want to believe in design, similar to the way the evidence in the article I posted beginning this discussion was ignored.

As far as indoctrination, based off the encounters I've had, it seems most atheists examine the facts and reach that position on their own. Similar to the way that babies make the conscious choice to be baptized or circumcised and become members of a certain religion.

Didn't Jesus talk a lot about equality and treating people equally? I don't think equality is solely an atheist trick, and I'm not sure how it is bad that equality is an "atheist instrument". A society with equality and low murder rates - what a horrible scenario. I know I'd definitely prefer one with high rates of crime and slavery.

--Stairmaster 22:20, 9 July 2011 (EDT)

"Weak" vs "Strong" atheism; Implicit vs Explicit, etc.

I wanted to add something like this, but can't because the page is locked. If an admin thinks it is a good idea, please add it:

Many atheists like to make a distinction between strong atheism and weak atheism. They define strong atheism as believing God does not exist, while weak atheism as neither believing nor disbelieving. However, this usage is incorrect, and has been invented by atheists to boost their numbers. If you believe God does not exist, you are an atheist. If you neither believe nor disbelieve, you aren't an atheist, you are some kind of agnostic.
Another distinction atheists like to propose is between implicit and explicit atheism. Explicit atheism means active conscious rejection of God's existence. "Implicit atheism" refers to having no belief in God, due to not being aware of the concept. Atheists use this to argue that "babies are atheists", again in order to boost their numbers. However, again, this is an abuse of terminology. "Implicit atheism" is not atheism. Babies, just because they haven't learnt the concept of "God" yet, are not atheists. To be an atheist, you must have encountered the idea of "God", and chosen to reject it. A baby isn't even an agnostic, since an agnostic has encountered the idea, and isn't personally sure whether it is right, or even thinks we'll never know if it is. A baby hasn't encountered the idea yet.
Another specious atheist argument is "Christians are atheists about all Gods but one". But this ignores that god is used in two different ways. Little-g god, refers to a limited being, like the gods of mythology, with immense but not absolute power. It is possible for multiple such limited beings to exist. Capital-G God, refers to an omnipotent being, as conceived in religions such as Judaism and Christianity. It is impossible for there to exist more than one omnipotent being - what happens if two omnipotent beings have a disagreement? So, Zeus is not comparable to the Christian God, and the Christian's disbelief in Zeus is not a form of atheism.

What do people think? I think this is a good way to address some common atheist distortions. Of course, maybe it could be worded better, feel free to edit it if someone decides to... Maratrean 16:50, 6 July 2011 (EDT)

I think we do a good enough job on the definition of atheism and we also link to Creation Ministries International's atheism article which goes into the implicit vs. explicit atheism issue. I think where Conservapedia could be stronger is the "Atheism is a religion" issue. Like this material: http://creation.com/atheism-a-religion except summarized and compact. Also, courts have called atheism a religion. conservative 19:41, 6 July 2011 (EDT)
Here is what Conservapedia has now: http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_is_a_religion Except for another topic I want to add later which I have referred to as the pièce de résistance I don't want the article to get much bigger as I believe it is a large article although it is an organized article that hits the main/common/interesting points that are or can be raised about this topic. I really like the wiki software in that it creates a table of contents so people can read what they want to read easily. I hit the print preview on Firefox 5.0 and it says the article is 63 pages long if printed out. It is probably Conservapedia's largest article. conservative 19:49, 6 July 2011 (EDT)
I understand your logic, the article is big already and you don't want it to get bigger, that makes sense. Do you think the points I made would fit in another article, maybe one of the other articles the site has about atheism, or else a brand new one (e.g. "Definition of atheism")? And then I guess, this can be the main atheism article, and it can link to various subarticles, for people interested in more detail on specific points about atheism. Maratrean 15:30, 7 July 2011 (EDT)
Expanding Definition of atheism sounds good. I will get a clip of William Lane Craig challenging atheist Christopher Hitchens on the definition of atheism once you complete the article which I predict will be a popular article. Hitchens claimed his earphone didn't work and got nervous. Even an atheist said Dr. Craig "spanked Hitchen's like a foolish child" at the debate. [1] Conservative 06:44, 8 July 2011 (EDT)
Hi Conservative, please see I have added my content to the Definition of atheism article. Please let me know if there is anything I could improve. I think your clip sounds good. The reality is, William Lane Craig is a professional philosopher, Christopher Hitchens is a dilettante journalist. I think, if atheists want to debate Craig, they need to find people on Craig's own level, or else they'll just get steamrollered. I never watched that debate, but I've seen others - like a video of this atheist geologist who debated Craig, and I really felt sorry for the guy, because Craig was just wiping the floor with him. Maratrean 18:34, 8 July 2011 (EDT)
I would go into the implications of atheism being defined as a religion. John Calvert, the intelligent design lawyer (I provided two links for you), believes that if atheism is defined as a religion then you can argue that the evolutionary paradigm should not be taught as it advances the religion of atheism. It has been a while since I looked at his material but I think that is the gist of it. I would read Calvert's material again. I think it is important to include that material now that people are insisting in "atheism chaplains" for the military. I see possible future precedents being set in favor of Calvert's position. In addition, do any other courts outside the US recognize atheism as religion? Conservative 15:20, 9 July 2011 (EDT)

MIS-ATTRIBUTED MLK, JR quote

"We must remember that it's possible to affirm the existence of God with your lips and to deny the existence of God with your life. The most dangerous form of atheism is not theoretical atheism but practical atheism."

i cannot find the original transcription of this quotation. i found very little, at all, but the most that i could track down that i could reasonably attribute to King was:

[i]I decided early to give my life to something eternal and absolute. Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow, but to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.[/i] (MLK, Jr.; from "Rediscovering Lost Values," Feb. 28, 1954) AND [i]... I want you to think with me this morning from the subject: "Rediscovering Lost Values." "Rediscovering Lost Values." There is something wrong with our world, something fundamentally and basically wrong. I don't think we have to look too far to see that. I'm sure that most of you would agree with me in making that assertion. And when we stop to analyze the cause of our world's ills, many things come to mind.

We begin to wonder if it is due to the fact that we don't know enough. But it can't be that. Because in terms of accumulated knowledge we know more today than men have known in any period of human history. We have the facts at our disposal. We know more about mathematics, about science, about social science, and philosophy than we've ever known in any period of the world's history. So it can't be because we don't know enough.

And then we wonder if it is due to the fact that our scientific genius lags behind; that is, if we have not made enough progress scientifically. Well then, it can't be that. For our scientific progress over the past years has been [sic] amazing. Man through his scientific genius has been able to dwarf distance and place time in cha8fs, so that today it is possible to eat breakfast in New York City and supper in London, England. Back in about 1:53 [sic] it took a letter three days to go from New York City to Washington, and today youcan go from here to China in less time than that. It can't be because man is stagnant in his scientific progress. Man's scientific genius has been amazing.

I think we have to look much deeper than that if we are to find the real cause of man's problems and the real cause of the world's ills today. If we are to really find it I think we will have to look in the hearts and souls of men.[/i]" [b]MLK, jr.[/b]

DOES seems to exist, but the entire section on "Manifestations of atheism" is thoroughly un-sourced. further, if i'm to understand manifestations to mean observable differences between possible reactions to athiesm, then i don't understand the distinction. i think that behaving/believing in deities are two sides of the one coin; there is no effective difference, and the quote is mis-attributed.

I did not write that material. However, I listened to a tape series of MLK speeches and I am 95% confident that he said it. I can try to confirm it though without listening to the whole tape series again. ;) Conservative 14:12, 20 July 2011 (EDT)
I fixed it, here is the sermon: http://www.globatron.org/truth/rediscovering-lost-values-martin-luther-king-early-sermon Conservative 14:21, 20 July 2011 (EDT)
There is something in this universe that justifies the biblical writer in saying, “You shall reap what you sow.” (Amen) This is a law-abiding universe. (Amen) This is a moral universe. It hinges on moral foundations. (Lord help him) If we are to make of this a better world, we’ve got to go back and rediscover that precious value that we’ve left behind. (Yes)
And then there is a second thing, a second principle that we’ve got to go back and rediscover. (Help him) And that is that all reality has spiritual control. In other words, we’ve got to go back and rediscover the principle that there is a God behind the process. Well this you say, “Why is it that you raise that as a point in your sermon, in a church? The mere fact we are at church, we believe in God, we don’t need to go back and rediscover that. The mere fact that we are here, and the mere fact that we sing and pray, and come to church—we believe in God.” Well, there’s some truth in that. But we must remember that it’s possible to affirm the existence of God with your lips and deny his existence with your life. (Amen, Preach) The most dangerous type of atheism is not theoretical atheism, but practical atheism (Amen)—that’s the most dangerous type. (Lord have mercy) And the world, even the church, is filled up with people who pay lip service to God and not life service. (That’s right, Filled up with, Come on, Lord help him) And there is always a danger that we will make it appear externally that we believe in God when internally we don’t. (Yes) We say with our mouths that we believe in him, but we live with our lives like he never existed. (That’s right) That is the ever-present danger confronting religion. That’s a dangerous type of atheism.
And I think, my friends, that that is the thing that has happened in America. That we have unconsciously left God behind. Now, we haven’t consciously done it; we have unconsciously done it. You see, the text, you remember the text said that Jesus’ parents went a whole day’s journey not knowing that he wasn’t with them. They didn’t consciously leave him behind. (Well) It was unconscious; went a whole day and didn’t even know it. It wasn’t a conscious process. You see, we didn’t grow up and say, “Now, goodbye God, we’re going to leave you now.” The materialism in America has been an unconscious thing. Since the rise of the Industrial Revolution in England, and then the invention of all of our gadgets and contrivances and all of the things and modern conveniences—we unconsciously left God behind. We didn’t mean to do it.
... we need [various worldly things] ; all of that’s important to live. But whenever they become substitutes for God, (Yes) they become injurious. (Amen)
... And may I say to you this morning, (Lord help him) that none of these things can ever be real substitutes for God.
... And I say to you this morning in conclusion (Lord have mercy) that I’m not going to put my ultimate faith in things. I’m not going to put my ultimate faith in gadgets and contrivances. As a young man with most of my life ahead of me, I decided early (Oh yeah) to give my life to something eternal and absolute. (All right) Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow, (Come on) but to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Amen, Amen)
Not in the little gods that can be with us in a few moments of prosperity, (Yes) but in the God who walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death, (That’s right) and causes us to fear no evil. (All right) That’s the God. (Come on)
... [after this it gets a bit psychedelic;p]:::::


i also found the speech here, on google books:


http://books.google.com/books?id=Uwi_HJUbJUMC&pg=PA253&lpg=PA253&dq=%22The+most+dangerous+type+of+atheism+is+not+theoretical+atheism,+but+practical+atheism%22&source=bl&ots=YSE23jsEZY&sig=b6e3gkMcP-b_36uMuaIKNtjyiWw&hl=en&ei=9H8nTuGLEZCgtwfvhdG7Cg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22The%20most%20dangerous%20type%20of%20atheism%20is%20not%20theoretical%20atheism%2C%20but%20practical%20atheism%22&f=false


so now it's well sourced, but i think MLK Jr is talking about materialism rather than modern atheism. i think it's explicit, even. "That's a dangerous type of atheism." would seem to imply logically that there are benign forms of atheism, or at least neutral, morally.


MLK Jr isn't really discussing atheism, at all. the insinuation that MLK Jr was particularly concerned with atheism is, afaik, unfounded, so the quote is still mis-attributed; it's also misapplied as an argument. but i would like to see any relevant documentation, otherwise. it think it sounds too much like original research, but maybe that's the point of this wiki;p

MLK mentions atheism/practical atheism and consumerism/materialism in the sermon I cited. I don't know if he spoke about "practical atheism" in the original sermon that was cited by another editor. I think you are either reading the sermon sloppily and/or merely being contentious at this point. Conservative 23:28, 23 July 2011 (EDT)

Requested Addition

I have written this paragraph and recommend its incorporation in the article as well as this article:

A comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.[1][2] The study revealed that forty percent of worship service attending Americans volunteer regularly to help the poor and elderly as opposed to 15% of Americans who never attend services.[1][2] Moreover, religious individuals are more likely than non-religious individuals to volunteer for school and youth programs (36% vs. 15%), a neighborhood or civic group (26% vs. 13%), and for health care (21% vs. 13%).[1][2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Religious people make better citizens, study says. Pew Research Center. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “The scholars say their studies found that religious people are three to four times more likely to be involved in their community. They are more apt than nonreligious Americans to work on community projects, belong to voluntary associations, attend public meetings, vote in local elections, attend protest demonstrations and political rallies, and donate time and money to causes -- including secular ones. At the same time, Putnam and Campbell say their data show that religious people are just "nicer": they carry packages for people, don't mind folks cutting ahead in line and give money to panhandlers.”
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Religious people are 'better neighbors'. USA Today. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “However, on the other side of the ledger, religious people are also "better neighbors" than their secular counterparts. No matter the civic activity, being more religious means being more involved. Take, for example, volunteer work. Compared with people who never attend worship services, those who attend weekly are more likely to volunteer in religious activities (no surprise there), but also for secular causes. The differences between religious and secular Americans can be dramatic. Forty percent of worship-attending Americans volunteer regularly to help the poor and elderly, compared with 15% of Americans who never attend services. Frequent-attenders are also more likely than the never-attenders to volunteer for school and youth programs (36% vs. 15%), a neighborhood or civic group (26% vs. 13%), and for health care (21% vs. 13%). The same is true for philanthropic giving; religious Americans give more money to secular causes than do secular Americans. And the list goes on, as it is true for good deeds such as helping someone find a job, donating blood, and spending time with someone who is feeling blue. Furthermore, the "religious edge" holds up for organized forms of community involvement: membership in organizations, working to solve community problems, attending local meetings, voting in local elections, and working for social or political reform. On this last point, it is not just that religious people are advocating for right-leaning causes, although many are. Religious liberals are actually more likely to be community activists than are religious conservatives.”
Anupam, I added the material. However, given the size of this article/web page, I deleted all the notes in the footnotes. Conservative 23:06, 23 July 2011 (EDT)

Conspiring Atheists

Atheists supposedly conspired against Youtube Users, Nephilimfree, and ShockofGod. The medium claim to be used is voxli, more specificlly the following website, [2]

Sounds like a small fry YouTube soap opera. It does appears that some atheists have cried wolf before. Shockofgod allegedly engaging in phishing (yet no YouTube atheist accounts seem to have been shutdown). From what I have seen, there appears to be a lot of strange atheists channels at YouTube (guy posing as a woman, atheist guy who had a weird relations with his teddy bear. etc. etc. etc.). Conservative 01:20, 24 July 2011 (EDT)

Conservative Hey I read somewhere that Atheists were more likely to be unemployed then Christians or too have lower paying jobs. I can't remember where I read it but I know it's true. We might want to add that in, maybe in the same paragraph as the one on being uncharitable.

I don't know how anybody can look at a beautiful woman and not believe there is a God. Rob Smith 20:51, 3 August 2011 (EDT)

Length of Page

Is it possible to split this material up at all? I noticed on the Penn Jillette article that you claim that this is 53 pages of written text. If that is true I believe that dividing this page in some way would make it more accessible (Its really difficult to parse 53 pages of information and most people don't have an hour to read a wiki article). Anyway just a suggestion. --MRellek 20:42, 3 August 2011 (EDT)

Thanks for the feedback. I will take your feedback into consideration. Have trimmed atheism, evolution and homosexuality articles recently. I will look into your suggestion in the fall perhaps. Feel free to offer suggestions on possible trimming. I generally put the most important/interesting material closer to the top of the page plus table of contents helps. Conservative 20:46, 3 August 2011 (EDT)
I'll look into the page and try to offer up some suggestions in the coming weeks. It's just a little intimidating coming to a page and having my scroll bar almost disappear ( I have a small screen so this is definitely partly to blame). --MRellek 21:44, 3 August 2011 (EDT)
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