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A question for atheist


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#1    markdohle

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 02:28 PM

Do the atheists on this site think that they are superior to believers?  Also do you think that we are weak and only believe because we are afraid of death and non-existence?  In other words to you think we are actually dishonest in the reasons we give about our different spritural paths.  The more outspoken atheist, seem to think this, but I don't want to fall into the trap (that some atheist seem to fall into to when talking about believers) of stereotyping all atheist in this way.  So your input will be welcome, whatever it is.


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#2    HerNibs

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 02:39 PM

View Postmarkdohle, on 18 April 2011 - 02:28 PM, said:

Do the atheists on this site think that they are superior to believers?  Also do you think that we are weak and only believe because we are afraid of death and non-existence?  In other words to you think we are actually dishonest in the reasons we give about our different spritural paths.  The more outspoken atheist, seem to think this, but I don't want to fall into the trap (that some atheist seem to fall into to when talking about believers) of stereotyping all atheist in this way.  So your input will be welcome, whatever it is.


Peace
Mark


Nope.

I'm a very outspoken atheist and I don't think less of anyone because of their beliefs.  I begin to think less when they repeatedly state that their belief is the "right" belief.

I also begin to think less of those that "feel sorry for" or "pray for" others to be enlightened.  I find this patronizing and offensive.

BUT - I will engage in a great debate with anyone else.  I try to NOT make it personal but I will question.  I also try to keep this in the correct forum (here and IRL).

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#3    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 02:42 PM

View Postmarkdohle, on 18 April 2011 - 02:28 PM, said:

Do the atheists on this site think that they are superior to believers?  .


I have seen a handful that have...then again I have seen a lot that don't

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#4    ShadowSot

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 02:42 PM

Quote

Do the atheists on this site think that they are superior to believers?
Nope.

Quote

Also do you think that we are weak and only believe because we are afraid of death and non-existence?
Not necessarily. I've met some who base their faith around that premise, but I don't feel it's universal. I've known some who's faith is a support for them to lean on for daily matters.

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
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#5    Euphorbia

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 03:05 PM

View Postmarkdohle, on 18 April 2011 - 02:28 PM, said:

Do the atheists on this site think that they are superior to believers?  Also do you think that we are weak and only believe because we are afraid of death and non-existence?  In other words to you think we are actually dishonest in the reasons we give about our different spritural paths.  The more outspoken atheist, seem to think this, but I don't want to fall into the trap (that some atheist seem to fall into to when talking about believers) of stereotyping all atheist in this way.  So your input will be welcome, whatever it is.


Peace
Mark

I am a life long Atheist.

I don't believe that I am superior to believers, and I think on a whole that believers and non believers have more in common than not.

I try not to stereotype but sometimes it is difficult and I have to rationalize those thoughts away. I have religious friends that range from never speaking about their beliefs to ones that simply can't utter one single sentence without some religious input. I tend to be around the latter much less.

For me to say that believers are being dishonest, I would first have to understand why they believe. I have been reading the two religious forums on UM for over a year now to try to understand why believers believe, but have yet to get any type of answer that satisfies and maybe I never will.

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#6    Viral

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 03:21 PM

View Postmarkdohle, on 18 April 2011 - 02:28 PM, said:

Do the atheists on this site think that they are superior to believers?  Also do you think that we are weak and only believe because we are afraid of death and non-existence?  In other words to you think we are actually dishonest in the reasons we give about our different spritural paths.  The more outspoken atheist, seem to think this, but I don't want to fall into the trap (that some atheist seem to fall into to when talking about believers) of stereotyping all atheist in this way.  So your input will be welcome, whatever it is.


Peace
Mark
Well, I wouldn't say Atheists are superior to all believers however I would say they are superior to those believers who used their beliefs to persecute others or to do immoral acts (such as the Muslim riots about a book being burnt, burn 'The God Delusion' and see if any Atheists kill two UN workers).

Well, one issue I've seen with people coming out of faith is the sudden fear of death and seeing as the whole idea of religion tends to be 'if you live your life exactly as we say you should then you'll go to heaven for eternity' it makes this life very trivial and death far more of a pleasure than life so I'd say it's an integral part.

I don't think anyone is dishonest about it though, most Theists are taught it by their parents (as I was) and as such only learn of alternatives far after their indoctrination into faith. I'd say that almost nobody would be theist if they weren't taught it until they were adults.

The thing you need to realise about outspoken Atheists is that they have argued this all a million times and when you've argued it so much you just abridge it for other people and it seems far more simplistic than the reasons they could actually give. However some are just idiots and there's no way around that :lol:

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#7    Ereshkigal

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 03:42 PM

No one is superior to anyone else.

This is only my own opinion .... but I think
It helps in Life if you can have either

A belief in a God, or some kind of Divine Force.
A belief in Humanity and it's essential goodness.
Or failing either of them ...
A belief in Yourself.

Life could be tough without a belief in anything at all.
It's over simplified I know but all three can make for the self satisfied smug egotist, meglomaniac or dangerous extremist.


#8    Mr. Miyagi

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 04:38 PM

View Postmarkdohle, on 18 April 2011 - 02:28 PM, said:

Do the atheists on this site think that they are superior to believers?  Also do you think that we are weak and only believe because we are afraid of death and non-existence?  In other words to you think we are actually dishonest in the reasons we give about our different spritural paths.  The more outspoken atheist, seem to think this, but I don't want to fall into the trap (that some atheist seem to fall into to when talking about believers) of stereotyping all atheist in this way.  So your input will be welcome, whatever it is.


Peace
Mark

Hola Mark!

I consider myself an atheist in a verrry loose sense of the word lol. I hope you don't mind my two cents here. I think a religous believer has had personal experiences which have strenghthened their faith. I don't think it ever comes down to simple belief. Personally, I think the issue arises when one claims that their personal experiences should be viewed as objective evidence of whatever they hold a belief in. It's an unreasonable request to accept such experiences as evidence, particularly for that of an Atheist who puts little stock in the spiritual. Likewise, I feel it is unreasonable to demand objective proof from a believer unless they are suggesting that they have such proofs. Unfortunately this evidence is usually a misunderstanding between subjective and objective or anecdotal in nature.

Thanks, good question.


#9    KRS_One

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:01 PM

View Postmarkdohle, on 18 April 2011 - 02:28 PM, said:

Do the atheists on this site think that they are superior to believers?

No.

Quote

Also do you think that we are weak and only believe because we are afraid of death and non-existence?

Yes, but only 'weak' in the way that someone is scared to go to the doctor or any other unpleasant necessity.  You're scared of death and that it may hold nothing for you.  That's a weakness.  I don't think it some terrible personality flaw.  Everyone's scared of unknowable, potentially unpleasant things.

Quote

In other words to you think we are actually dishonest in the reasons we give about our different spritural paths.

I think you're intellectually dishonest to believe in any aspect of the religious or paranormal without the same type of proof needed to believe in any known truth such as mathematics.


#10    dougeaton

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:13 PM

Quote

I think you're intellectually dishonest to believe in any aspect of the religious or paranormal without the same type of proof needed to believe in any known truth such as mathematics.


There are a lot of things people believe in that  can't  be proven.  I would say 'love' is one of them.  Trust is needed for that, and while that has to be earned, yet one never really knows if it is real or not, the love proclaimed.  Some people don't believe that 'love' is possible at all, so live in a loveless universe.  

doug

Edited by dougeaton, 18 April 2011 - 10:13 PM.

If you must have  finale absolute answers, then become an  hard nosed atheist or a fundie of any religion, both seem to be black and white thinkers, and have only contempt for those who think differently.

#11    KRS_One

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:22 PM

Interpersonal trust and relationships, chemical reactions within our bodies, and learned responses to pleasurable stimulus (happy memories of a person, place or thing) are not and never will be on the same level as proclaiming that an invisible, unknowable entity exists and holding to the belief in spite of lack of evidence.

Apples, oranges.


#12    dougeaton

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:55 PM

View PostKRS_One, on 18 April 2011 - 10:22 PM, said:

Interpersonal trust and relationships, chemical reactions within our bodies, and learned responses to pleasurable stimulus (happy memories of a person, place or thing) are not and never will be on the same level as proclaiming that an invisible, unknowable entity exists and holding to the belief in spite of lack of evidence.

Apples, oranges.


Yes, faith, something I can't seem to manage, yet others do, and they seem better for it, so for many, perhaps most, faith allows life to have more depth and meaning, at least for them.

doug

If you must have  finale absolute answers, then become an  hard nosed atheist or a fundie of any religion, both seem to be black and white thinkers, and have only contempt for those who think differently.

#13    arglebargle

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:14 AM

View Postmarkdohle, on 18 April 2011 - 02:28 PM, said:

Do the atheists on this site think that they are superior to believers?  Also do you think that we are weak and only believe because we are afraid of death and non-existence?  In other words to you think we are actually dishonest in the reasons we give about our different spritural paths.  The more outspoken atheist, seem to think this, but I don't want to fall into the trap (that some atheist seem to fall into to when talking about believers) of stereotyping all atheist in this way.  So your input will be welcome, whatever it is.


Peace
Mark

Superior? I think the scientific method is superior to intuition or deference to authority, which is predominantly the two reasons people are religious. So I think that in that particular respect I am superior, because I've picked what I consider to be the better path. That's not to say that I'm superior in any other way, most likely I am not. So if you consider me as a person, all in all, I don't consider myself superior to believers in general (unless I knew them to be pedophiles or something like that, in which case I would probably consider myself superior than that person, but you get my point here I'm sure).

Do I think you are weak and only believe because you are afraid of death and non-existence? No I don't think that's neccesarily the case. I think it might be the case for quite a few people claiming to be religious, but in no way does this apply to all or even most religious people, so I wouldn't say so, if we are going to generalize, no.

This might all seem really cocky and egotistical, but I am of the opinion that gathering and analyzing evidence to arrive at conclusions - and adjusting the conclusion as neccesary when new evidence comes to light, is the superior method to going by emotions or essentially what someone told you. But I don't look down on people because they believe. I'd need additional information to consider that person in any particular light compared to myself.


#14    Ryu

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:16 AM

View Postmarkdohle, on 18 April 2011 - 02:28 PM, said:

Do the atheists on this site think that they are superior to believers?  

No. At least I don't. But then again I do not adhere to such labels. I am not an "atheist". I simply am a person who does not accept the concepts of one or more personified and anthopomorphized deities.


View Postmarkdohle, on 18 April 2011 - 02:28 PM, said:

In other words to you think we are  actually dishonest in the reasons we give about our different spiritual  paths.

Some may be. Some seem to actually believe in the religions they were brought up in and then there are some who believe because it never occurred to them to decide for themselves and there are some who believe just to be on the "safe" side.
It depends on the person.

One cannot pigeon hole everyone really.


#15    arglebargle

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 09:45 AM

View PostRyu, on 19 April 2011 - 12:16 AM, said:

No. At least I don't. But then again I do not adhere to such labels. I am not an "atheist". I simply am a person who does not accept the concepts of one or more personified and anthopomorphized deities.




Some may be. Some seem to actually believe in the religions they were brought up in and then there are some who believe because it never occurred to them to decide for themselves and there are some who believe just to be on the "safe" side.
It depends on the person.

One cannot pigeon hole everyone really.

Ironically enough this is enough to pigeonhole you as an individualist. :lol:





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