Talk:Atheism/archive8

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American Atheists

I would like to add some material on the organization American atheists. So far I found the following information: American Atheists. If anyone has any more material, particularly regarding the current apparent leadership change and the apparent controversy surrounding it I would appreciate it. please let me know any additional information you might find on this talk page. Conservative 19:19, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

Internet Infidels and Richard Packham

I believe the material by Richard Packham regarding the Christian legal apologetic work of John Warwick Montgomery is exceedingly weak and faulty. Richard Packham did not even address each of the notable exceptions to the hearsay rule and how they would apply to the New Testament/Gospels (statements against interest, etc. ). It also appears as if the Christians have had eminent legal scholars, judges, and legal practitioners speak highly of the resurrection of Christ when Western legal rules of evidence are used to weigh the evidence. It doesn't appear as if the atheists have had anyone notable in the legal community stick their neck out and address this whole issue. Does anyone have any suggestions regarding a notable Christian in the legal community to comment on Packham's work and to comment on Internet Infidels inability or unwillingness to find someone more notable and competent/scholarly than Richard Packham? For example, perhaps Phillip E. Johnson might be well enough to do it (I heard he was somewhat ill due to a past illness). Conservative 19:30, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

Ways I would like to restructure the article....

I am just compiling this list here so we can discuss, and so I can see it for myself. I will just go ahead and apply these until someone objects.

Categories of Atheism
 One God or many?
 Common Reasoning for Disbelieving
 Manifestations of Atheism
Statistics
 Population
 Atheists in the Polls
History of Atheism
 Modern Atheistic Culture
   Foundation of Modern Science
   Brights Movement
   The New Atheism
   Impact in Academia
   Impact on the Internet
   Notable Atheists Who Rejected Their Faith
 The Future of Atheism
   Decline as a Theoretical Position
Why Some Atheists Became Atheists
Criticisms and Responses to Atheism
 [Christian Apologetics Specifically Addressing the Issue of Atheism] << Turn that section into some sort of intro paragraph to the criticisms section...
 Primary
   Arguments for the existence of God
   Attempts to Dilute the Definition of Atheism
   Biblical Response
   Communism
   Existence of Evil
   Immoral Views
   Mass Murder
   Miracles
   Origin of the Universe
 Secondary
   Biblical Skeptics
   Claims of the Conditionality and Nonconditionality of Atheism
   Denials That Atheists Exist
   Mental and Physical Health
   Quotes Responding to Atheism
   Tenuousness of Atheism
   Uncharitableness of American Atheists
   Unfair Debaters
Miscellaneous
 Famous Atheists

--Ymmotrojam 00:16, 16 June 2008 (EDT)

Okay, I did it. Nothing was removed, I just reordered things. And it changed from the above while I was doing it, as I realized there were better ways to title certain headings and such. Let me know what you think... :-) --Ymmotrojam 02:27, 16 June 2008 (EDT)
One key to having an article that is widely cited is to grab people's interest with interesting and relevant information on the top of the article. The tenuousness of atheism, uncharitableness of atheist community, mental and physical health, etc should be on top. I think that within 3-4 months the article should be widely cited and be ranked #5 by Google. I also think reasonable explanations of atheism is a very important part of the article. I do have a number of projects I am working on, so I will not say much more for now. Conservative 19:02, 16 June 2008 (EDT)
Sounds good. Some comments...
  1. Does "Reasonable Explanations for Atheism" sound like a good name? (a) The main article is titled "Causes of Atheism," and (b) what if people misunderstand the title, without reading the rest of the section, to mean arguments supporting Atheism. In other words, they think, "oh, this section is about the reasonableness of Atheism." I would prefer the title that I gave it on my draft page, "Causes of Atheism: Why Some Atheists Become Atheists." What are the nice things about this title? (a) It sticks with the Main article title, Causes of Atheism, and (b) it puts into plain english what the meaning is.
  2. About the order of things... (and I have the draft page in view while making these comments) What if we simply moved the Statistics to the bottom of the page, and we moved Causes of Atheism... to the top below Categories of Atheism? Look at the draft page. That would give it WAY more center stage than it is currently getting.
  3. On your point about The tenuousness of atheism, uncharitableness of atheist community, mental and physical health, and whatever etc means. My system of organization differentiates between the really good arguments against atheism, and the good, but not best arguments. In other words, when you say an Atheist is tenuous (lacking in sound basis), couldn't they simply say that about us? Of course we can give examples, which somewhat validates that, but can you see my point that it is a good argument but not the best argument? That's why I labeled them "Primary" and "Secondary." I think as a compromise, I could see another section being made entitled, "Popular Criticisms," and stick whatever criticism you want in that, and have that at the top. That way there is a main Criticisms section, but then you have your popular ones at the top.
  4. On Google Rankings. It is true that people look at the top of the article first. But guess what else is at the top? That little outline thing! That tells them what is in the article. And if that is disorganized and not logically structured, then it will be more difficult to navigate the page. However, if it is logically structured, then they just might navigate the entire page rather than being the average google visitor that only looks at the top of the page :-). See, I think we need to worry more about quality of the article than simply google rankings, although that is important also.
--Ymmotrojam 09:46, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

Definitional tweak

The opening sentence reads:

Atheism, as defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, is the denial of the existence of God.

I think the foundation of that belief should be incorporated into the definition. The foundation of the belief is the denial of all things supernatural. This tenet of atheism is basis upon which ID deniers seek to exclude ID or intelligently guided evolution from scientific discourse. By establishing this as a foundation of atheism, we can more easily exhibit the flaws of this philosophy and we can do so with scientific examples.

At the Large Hadron Collider, atoms are smashed and subatomic particles are analyzed. Initial research indicates that some matter "disappears", which indicates that there is another dimension or that time travel is possible. Both of these are clear indicators that our scientific understanding of the supernatural (that realm outside our universe) is limited, but there can no longer be a doubt that there is in fact a supernatural realm. If there is a supernatural realm than fundamental tenet of atheism is baseless. Everwill 08:57, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

So, are you aware that the LHC hasn't been activated yet? And that one of its key goals is to explain /why/ some matter appears to disappear? DannyRedful 10:23, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
My awareness of any fact is not part of the issue. Please leave me out of it.
That said, I don't see your point? The issue is:
The atheism is founded on the naive belief in the premise that hold that anything which cannot be explained, measured and falsified does not exist. This was a valuable idea in the Middle Ages when we were clearing dragons and unicorns out of the bestiaries, but this is by no means a foundational law of the universe or even science.
Our best scientists are well aware that things exist which we do not understand and can't (at the moment) measure or even experience. The implication that there are other dimensions beyond our perception certainly makes a valid argument for the long held belief that spirits, dreams, God and the supernatural exist (if no where else) on another dimension. We are on the cusp of proving that other dimensions exist. Thus, the supernatural is scientifically possible by any definition. And, therefore yet another shaky prop of atheism is dismantled. Everwill 10:44, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
[Edit conflict] I was referring entirely to your last paragraph, where you talk about the Large Hadron Collider.
Leave you out of it? When YOU started this section? No.
That's real great, Everwill. I can see that you're looking to argue with an atheist and insult them for a while. Unfortunately for you, I'm not taking your bait. Find another punching bag. DannyRedful 10:48, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

Do you have a point or are you going to fixate on me? If you want to talk about me, you can do so on my talk page. Everwill 10:52, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

... Everwill. Quite simply, I tried to inform you that your information about the LHC is incorrect, and was met with hostility. Quite simply, Everwill, I have no choice but to focus on you because you're the only other user editing here. But as per your request, I'll move my advice about conflicts to your page. DannyRedful 10:55, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

Your point of fact is well taken. LHC will very soon open, as I am well aware. (Thankfully, it's very easy to make such a correction.) My point didn't really have anything to do with when LHC will open. Rather it was about atom smashers / super colliders / subatomic particles / the fourth dimension, etc. The point is that for atheists to assume that the supernatural doesn't exist simply because the supernatural has not (yet) been measured in a laboratory is naive, limiting and (to my mind) foolish. Everwill 11:29, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

A little more food for thought. We should carefully draw the distinction between atheist and areligious. The journey that an atheist makes back to religion starts with the acceptance of God. Once the subject accepts the existence of God, he has two choices: invent is own religion (a worrisome and problematic task) or study religion with a more enlightened acceptance of divinity. By welcoming this kind of rational and reasoned thought, we encourage continued spiritual growth. Everwill 09:08, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

"atheism is founded on the naive belief in the premise that hold that anything which cannot be explained, measured and falsified does not exist". Are there any credible atheist scientists who hold this view? To this atheist the point about proof is demonstrating that you actually know what you say you know.

To the preceding unsigned comment: please demonstrate how you know that the supernatural does not exist ... Everwill 16:56, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

I don’t know that the supernatural doesn’t exist. I can only form an opinion based on the information available to me, which at this stage is the reasons believers have provided to support their belief. In practical terms I don’t have an opinion on the existence of the supernatural but rather on the quality of the reasons given for belief. Technically I suppose this isn’t atheism as it doesn’t actually address the issue of whether God exists or not. --SwissTony 08:42, 18 June 2008 (EDT)

Sounds like you're beginning to understand why atheism as an affirmed position is problematic for the rational mind. The evidence for the supernatural (i.e. divinity) is overwhelming and undeniably obvious.
The argument lies not in the existence of the supernatural, but rather the properties of the supernatural. This why learned men (we call them philosophers and theologists) devote their entire lives to pondering divinity, life and the supernatural. Of course, if you are not willing to devote your life to a given field of study, it would be wise to highly regard the opinions of those who have studied the field extensively.
Imagine how foolish highly regarded men such as Moses, or Plato or Thomas Aquinas or Confucius would appear if thye had the temerity to offer opinions about astronomy or the science of evolution or how to make a good movie. By the same token, why do some expect astronomers like Sagan or evolutionists like Dawkins or actors like Tom Cruise to know anything at all about philosophy or religion? Everwill
Everwill, the article does mention "atheism vs. miracles" and also scientism, however, your point is well taken. There are many miracles in history through Christian faith. I think this needs to be brought out more. Plus Bible prophecy. I do plan on citing a "atheism is presumptious" type work soon which would incorporate what you say above. The "atheism is presumptious" work I will cite is a work in progress and will be cited soon. I don't want to alter the first sentence as the works I cited are very authoritative works. Conservative 01:51, 20 June 2008 (EDT)
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