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Mr Walker

"In atheists we distrust"

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Did whatchamacallit Ara Norenzayan did a little research about John Locke before quoting him. I did a entire class on his work while working on my Poli-Sci master. John Locke had to flee England and go to Paris because he was wanted by the protestants. He had to reconcile with the church in order to return to UK. So I would put a serious ton of salt on anything Locke wrote about worship. In fact he feared religious people. Just my 2 cents.

He was not the only one to fear religious people. The difference back then really was education. Well, education did not buy into the biblical mythology. They understood the social benefits of religion, and also the draw backs. If anyone cares, literacy in Greek and Roman classics is essential to a healthy understanding of freedom. What we have today is uneducated and unhealthy!

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Have I made it clear how a good economy makes it possible for us to be pretty ruleless, and how a bad economy can make understanding the rules very important?

Those who do not understand them and are not willing to play by them, are homeless and they are getting pushed further and further to the margins of society, and their children will not have the chance of snow flake in hell, because they will not be conditioned to succeed. Perhaps we need to rethink our freedoms?

The choice each person makes in their personal morals and values are important. However, I do need to qualify that I made my comments in context with the OP - aka: "In Atheism we distrust". The concept of interfering with peoples free will to choose whether to believe or disbelieve in a supreme being and which faith they choose if they do believe is what is at question in this thread. To add all surrounding sociological factors regarding choice is going to remove the context of the proposed discussion.

That said, yes every choice has a consequence. Some are foreseeable, many are not. Hindsight is a great teacher but a poor master. The fact remains that people are entitled to their own choices, and if they are to suffer for them it should not be by the criticism of their friends, family or passers by in the street for not being "smarter", "wiser" or "religious" aka: it should not be our place to criticise because others do not see the world as we do and especially they should not be distrusted because they have not had the evidence to believe in a supreme being or God.

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If I recall Walker we have had many discussions about the idea an atheist doesn't have a moral foundation without god which I have taken exception too. My father was atheist and a moral man. More moral than many Christians I have encountered. My father never dumped a friend because of their beliefs, which is more than I can say about the Christians who dumped me when they found out I had become a Pagan. I find atheist morality comes from empathy and ethics, which works for me. I don't understand why theist can see that. I guess it is a lack of education on their part.

Fundamentalist of any religion scare me. Why, they have this idea their way is the only way and like to take away freedom of thought, so they can impose their belief system on everyone. While atheistism has never stopped a war, never has religion, either. We been making the mistake of going to war for one god or another for a long time actually. Time to rethink that one.

IMO, theist fear atheist because they have been brainwashed that people can't live peaceful happy lives without the fear of divine punishment.

Ah but neither this article, nor my own position, is that humans cannot have morality without a belief in "god". It is that others perceive/believ this to be so, and so distrust a non believer.

The actual "truth" is revealed in many psychological and anthropological/sociological studies, and suprised and disappointed me. I will get to that later.

My own opinion is that human ethics, and moralities, and spirituality, have the same source within our evolved nature, and are constructed from the same abilities inherent in human sapience and language.

Edited by Mr Walker
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Bad person? What is a bad person? Might there be good in a bad person? If you do something wrong, does that make you a bad person?

It is not a good idea to raise a child by telling the child s/he is bad. The intention is to teach the child the difference between right and wrong, but what the child hears is what is true of who s/he is. We want children to understand the difference between right and wrong, without identifying oneself as a bad person.

Not only do i like this but it is incredibly important with children (and with adults) to differentiate to them disapproval of behaviour, from approval and love of them as a child/person. I was consistently punished for bad behaviour, but always loved completely and absolutely, in theory/words and in practice; and rewarded for good behaviour in a variety of tangible and non tangible ways.

My father went back to night school, for example, to learn the new maths curriculum, so that he could help his children with their maths homework and improve their outcomes. That is a sign of true love. It didn't stop him caning me for dangerous, stupid disobedient or destructive behaviours though, and i loved him even more for his courage to do both.

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I agree Me Wonders, but see that is the point. Cause and effect is each individuals responsibility and choice as in which effect they enact with their causes. There are laws of the land in every nation, these I have no problem with as they are designed to ensure people are safe from harm, particularly from each other.

However, criticizing someone for their religious views or lack of religious view is not our place. The fact is, if they knew different they would believe different. Each person can only believe that which they know or understand. We would need to live their life, walk in their shoes, to understand how they came to their various views on life and I do not believe we can say with any certainty that we would believe any different if we had lived the lives given to others.

The best opportunity we have to help anyone is to be something they can aspire to. If we present ourselves and our beliefs as a means of being a genuinely better human being with potential for greater understanding then we are standing on solid ground that others may see and wish to share in.

I am coming back, because I read you again, and think I did misunderstand you the first time. However, I want to leave my misunderstanding stand, because I want to emphasize the importance of reasoning, and regardless of if a person is a believer or a non believer, there are times when we need to encourage others to question what they believe. I have very strong feelings about getting scientist to be more concerned about morality! I want bankers and just about everyone to be very concerned about morality. What we think and decide to do, is not just personal, but effects others and our planet. I am not atheist and wish everyone held an understanding of logos and Rita.

Now back to what I said the first time.

Let me be sure I understand you correctly, if someone decides to be a suicide bomber, this person should not be criticized for this decision? If Billy Graham and Bush Jr. work together to convince us that it is God's will we engage in war with a country that did not attack us, and people are going along with this for religious reasons, we should not criticize them? If for religious reasons, Palestinians loose their homes and orchards and people they love, we should not criticize this? How about contributing to the destruction of the planet, because one chooses to ignore science? How about the 2012 Texas Republican Agenda of preventing public schools from teaching the higher thinking skills necessary for independent judgment? Like is there a line where we can say no, this is not right, or should we allow religious (and non religious) people to do whatever, on the grounds this is their religious (or intellectual) freedom?

Edited by me-wonders

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Bad person? What is a bad person? Might there be good in a bad person? If you do something wrong, does that make you a bad person?

It is not a good idea to raise a child by telling the child s/he is bad. The intention is to teach the child the difference between right and wrong, but what the child hears is what is true of who s/he is. We want children to understand the difference between right and wrong, without identifying oneself as a bad person.

I struggle to understand this response. Was Hitler not bad? is Charles Manson not bad, was not Andrei Chikatilo bad beyond belief?. My post was nothing about telling children they are bad, I appose this idea. Idea of telling children they are essentially bad, and with ridiculous concept of "original sin" is exactly the sort of thing I am against.

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Let me be sure I understand you correctly, if someone decides to be a suicide bomber, this person should not be criticized for this decision? If Billy Graham and Bush Jr. work together to convince us that it is God's will we engage in war with a country that did not attack us, and people are going along with this for religious reasons, we should not criticize them? If for religious reasons, Palestinians loose their homes and orchards and people they love, we should not criticize this? How about contributing to the destruction of the planet, because one chooses to ignore science? How about the 2012 Texas Republican Agenda of preventing public schools from teaching the higher thinking skills necessary for independent judgment? Like is there a line where we can say no, this is not right, or should we allow religious (and non religious) people to do whatever, on the grounds this is their religious (or intellectual) freedom?

Hey Me Wonders :)

I was actually very clear about the parameters and context of what I was saying, please refer the below from my original quote especially the highlighted bit.

It seems that if God himself gave us free will - then where do we get off subjugating the free will of our fellow man? I know that my life is my own and put bluntly "none of anyone elses business" how I go about living it and what I choose to believe, as long as I am not hurting anyone else.

People in positions of power who make decisions that affect others and potentially harm others - on behalf of us, their constituents in various countries are, of course, subject to criticism - they are speaking for us, if they are not we should be vocal in saying they are not - government is chosen by people to act on behalf of the wishes of the people, it's an entirely different context and paradigm to distrusting someone simply for their religious views or lack thereof.

The context of the OP is "In Atheists We Distrust". That is where my commentary belongs, we are perfectly entitled and required where possible to recognise if the rule of law is being breached and act against it and we perfectly reasonable in taking whatever steps we need to prevent harm to others. This is not the same as Religious Freedom and the attitude of the religious who distrust those who believe differently to them for no other reason than that they believe differently and treat the "different" as pariahs of society or lesser beings.

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Hey Me Wonders :)

I was actually very clear about the parameters and context of what I was saying, please refer the below from my original quote especially the highlighted bit.

It seems that if God himself gave us free will - then where do we get off subjugating the free will of our fellow man? I know that my life is my own and put bluntly "none of anyone elses business" how I go about living it and what I choose to believe, as long as I am not hurting anyone else.

People in positions of power who make decisions that affect others and potentially harm others - on behalf of us, their constituents in various countries are, of course, subject to criticism - they are speaking for us, if they are not we should be vocal in saying they are not - government is chosen by people to act on behalf of the wishes of the people, it's an entirely different context and paradigm to distrusting someone simply for their religious views or lack thereof.

The context of the OP is "In Atheists We Distrust". That is where my commentary belongs, we are perfectly entitled and required where possible to recognise if the rule of law is being breached and act against it and we perfectly reasonable in taking whatever steps we need to prevent harm to others. This is not the same as Religious Freedom and the attitude of the religious who distrust those who believe differently to them for no other reason than that they believe differently and treat the "different" as pariahs of society or lesser beings.

Just to go off on a slight tangent,

Who decides when you begin hurting someone else? was it burke who said "my freedoms end when they begin to impinge on anothers" or similar>

In an urban densel ypopulated and modern society your freedoms may well 'hurt" another, and so modern societies increasing regulate everones' freedoms.

This has nothing to do with religious impositions except that they all work on a similar principle. Individuals within a society especially a democratic society, have to surrender some indivdual liberties to live within that society and gain the benefits it gives to all.

At the moment it is getting ridiculous in my state They have stopped pubs offering happy hours to women and have banned separate men's and women's lawn bowling competitons, both in the name of equal opportunities There are a myriad of other laws which restrict everyones freedom for many reasons from public safety to environental protection.

Anyone working in the evening of a public hoiday must now be payed 2.5 times their usual hourly pay rates. As a consequence most restaurants in Adelaide wil not be open on New years eve because the owners cant afford to pay staff and still make a profit on the evening.

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Just to go off on a slight tangent,

Who decides when you begin hurting someone else? was it burke who said "my freedoms end when they begin to impinge on anothers" or similar>

In an urban densel ypopulated and modern society your freedoms may well 'hurt" another, and so modern societies increasing regulate everones' freedoms.

This has nothing to do with religious impositions except that they all work on a similar principle. Individuals within a society especially a democratic society, have to surrender some indivdual liberties to live within that society and gain the benefits it gives to all.

At the moment it is getting ridiculous in my state They have stopped pubs offering happy hours to women and have banned separate men's and women's lawn bowling competitons, both in the name of equal opportunities There are a myriad of other laws which restrict everyones freedom for many reasons from public safety to environental protection.

Anyone working in the evening of a public hoiday must now be payed 2.5 times their usual hourly pay rates. As a consequence most restaurants in Adelaide wil not be open on New years eve because the owners cant afford to pay staff and still make a profit on the evening.

I think this is closer to what Me Wonders would like to discuss, perhaps you would like to raise a new topic on this issue? As interesting as these concepts are (and they are) it will really only continue to take the thread out of context with the OP to continue here.

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Today, theist do what atheist do, they paint the opposing group with broad strokes. Atheist are just as intorlant, well some of them, as some theist are, no difference. While I might vote for an atheist in high office, it would take a lot for me to do so. After all, why would I want someone to represent me who very probably has only contempt for me and my beliefs.

Most atheist I know are decent human beings, yet sterotypes live forever, and one militant atheist can do a lot of damage for their cause. Just as a few militant christians can make it diffiuclt for the rest of us. Why some people have the compulsion to constantly build themseves, by putting others down is strange to me.

Peace

mark

Edited by markdohle
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I've never believed that morality and ethics are dependent on a set of religious beliefs. If we look at our families, friends, community, we see far more ethical, compassionate behavior than the media would lead us to believe. It's possible that one of the outcomes of ethics & morality is survival. When people behave well it has a beneficial impact on the community by creating a cohesive community, which allows the genetic pool to continue and thrive. Certainly people misbehave, but there are laws and social/peer pressure that discourage that kind of behavior. It's odd and a little sad that when we start applying labels to people there is almost always some implied negative judgment and/or criticism.

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The title for this thread comes from a short article by Ara Norenzayan, associate professor of psychology at the university of Vancover in British Columbia in the New Scientist 17 march 2012 I will write out the article here

One of the most persistent but hidden prejudices tied to religion is intolerance of atheists.Surveys consistently find that in societies with religious majorities, atheists have one of the lowest approval ratings of any social group, including other religions.(American Sociological review, vol. 71, p 211)

This intolerance has a long history., Back in 1689 Enlightenmant philosopher John Locke wrote in "A Letter Concerning Toleration."

"Those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of God. Promises, Covenants and Oaths, which are the Bonds Of Humane Society, can have no hold upon an atheist"

Why do believers reject atheists, who are not a visible, powerful or even coherent social group? The answer seems to be the same force that helped religions expand while maintaing social cohesion: supernatural surveillance.

My colleagues Will Gervaise, Azim shariff and I have found that Locke's intuition-that atheists cannot be trusted to cooperate- is the root of the intolerance.(Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol.101,p.1189)

Outward displays of belief in a watchful God are viewed as a proxy for trustworthiness. Intolerance of atheists is driven by the intuition that people behave better if they feel that a God is watching them.

While atheists think of their disbelief as a private matter of conscience, believers treat their absence of belief in a supernatural surveillance as a threat to cooperation and honesty.

Any spelling errors etc. are my own.

I am interested in comments, opinions and observations, on this POV.

I'm against atheists -

1. I join an atheism debate.

2. I listen to why people believe in atheism.

3. I find a lot of them have personal issues putting them off God (life not gone the way they had hoped etc).

4. I find a lot of them think they live in a Newtonian universe, are philosophically ignorant and have no understanding of modern physics.

5. I find their flawed Newtonian assumptions have reduced them in their own eyes to nothing more than robots with a computer program for a mind.

The one thing that annoys me about them the most is that you can point out that modern physics doesnt support their worldview, you can give them the links that show it and you can even explain it in simple language but they just will not accept anything at odds with their Newtonian worldview. They are biased and delude away anything pointed out to them which would change their worldview because, and this is the true motivation behind atheism, they dont want God to be real.

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The one thing that annoys me about them the most is that you can point out that modern physics doesnt support their worldview, you can give them the links that show it and you can even explain it in simple language but they just will not accept anything at odds with their Newtonian worldview.
You fail at even doing that. You've admitted yourself you reject science that doesn't support your ego-centric universe; studies in geological processes, genetics, cosmology, even the research done at CERN.

That makes you the most biased and ignorant person here. 90% of your claims are a bastardisation of pseudoscience and philosophical m********ion.

Edited by Rlyeh
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You fail at even doing that. You've admitted yourself you reject science that doesn't support your ego-centric universe; studies in geological processes, genetics, cosmology, even the research done at CERN.

That makes you the most biased and ignorant person here. 90% of your claims are a bastardisation of pseudoscience and philosophical m********ion.

In psychology people who have a trauma buried in their unconscious react strongly to comments which would make them revisit it. I suspect I hit the nail on the head with my last comment which is why you're giving me such a reply. Would you like to share whatever is bubbling around in your unconscious with us Mr Rlyeh?

I always accept currently valid science but have noticed that you dont. For instance you always try to avoid or distort away colour being sensory perception, Why arent you able to deal with reality being a collection of perceptions? Even with the Wiki, neuroscience and psychology links you try to distort away whats being said or manage to read something which isnt there.

It would be far more healthier for you to address whatever is in your unconscious in a way which doesnt require distortion or self-delusion. I know that atheism serves a purpose for you but it comes with a catch.

Edited by Mr Right Wing

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In psychology people who have a trauma buried in their unconscious react strongly to comments which would make them revisit it.

This why atheists annoy you?
I always accept currently valid science but have noticed that you dont.
"Scientifically I am unable to justify materialism, reductionism, the big bang, evolution, the list goes on." - http://www.unexplain...75#entry4598887

You further go on to list your misconceptions about the universe, even asserting mathematics is physically real (I'm positive these have been explained to you before).

* and no mathematics is abstract.

But anyway a bit of a contradiction? Nature science isn't valid science?

Why arent you able to deal with reality being a collection of perceptions?
Because by definition reality is not perception. What is so hard in accepting that you aren't the center of the universe?
Even with the Wiki, neuroscience and psychology links you try to distort away whats being said or manage to read something which isnt there.
You've given wiki links when beating on about colour perception but that is it. Don't pretend to have done something you haven't. Edited by Rlyeh
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This why atheists annoy you?

"Scientifically I am unable to justify materialism, reductionism, the big bang, evolution, the list goes on." - http://www.unexplain...75#entry4598887

You further go on to list your misconceptions about the universe, even asserting mathematics is physically real (I'm positive these have been explained to you before).

* and no mathematics is abstract.

But anyway a bit of a contradiction? Nature science isn't valid science?

Because by definition reality is not perception. What is so hard in accepting that you aren't the center of the universe?

You've given wiki links when beating on about colour perception but that is it. Don't pretend to have done something you haven't.

Its not my definition that reality is a collection of perceptions its what science and biology say. You know that as its been pointed out to you with many links before (Wiki and Non-Wiki). Your mind plays dot to dot with the electrical signals it receives from your senses. The end reality you experience isnt out there its something your mind has put together from its dot to dot operations. Its called sensory perception.

What are the flaws associated with material reductionism? I know how you like to believe its a watertight philosophy but unfortunately you are wrong (as has been pointed out to you before). Whats the precise area of a circle? You cant tell me because you cant give a precise answer if it has infinite decimal places. Now how can something have infinite decimal places in a universe where everything is reducable to fundamental building blocks? It doesnt take a genius to see the contradiction.

Shall we do Quantum Mechanics again? Shall I explain yet again that a wavefunction is just a bit of maths and when no measuring is going on atoms cease to exist? Every philosophy is flawed except non-dualism. That isnt a belief its comes from people being able to pull apart the other philosophies with simple logical arguments such as the infinite decimal places above.

I have never claimed to be at the centre of the universe I said my mind is the universe. From my perspective thats true because the reality I experience is a collection of perceptions created by guess what - my mind. From your perspective you would be the universe too. If you struggle to understand how that could be true for everyone go watch the Matrix which is based on our present understanding of Quantum Mechanics.

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If someone who is distrustful of another simply because they are an atheist, then it says a hell of a lot more about them then it does an atheist.

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If someone who is distrustful of another simply because they are an atheist, then it says a hell of a lot more about them then it does an atheist.

My word, that was short and sweet.. Well said.. It's true though, if you do that, then you are showing a more darker side to yourself.. Willing to judge without knowing and condemn not to mention brand them unfairly.. In short you would be nothing more than a sour grape with a lot of issues And you would be pushing out your own form of discrimination You would blend in with bigots because you are on that path.. Hate takes over .People that do this usually are not very intelligent, the bigots I have met ( on line and in real life ) never are... In a way I feel sorry for them

Dishonesty can be anyone's game.. It doesn't matter if you are Atheist, Christian, Jewish, Deist and so on.. If you are willing to lie and mislead others, then your chosen religious and non religious path has sweet fanny all to do with it..... Remove your religious and non religious label and you will STILL see a dishonest person .. I have met dishonest people from various pathways ..

Edited by Beckys_Mom
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i agree with what libstak said in post #4 "Distrust is born of fear and ignorance" . Yup, fear of the unknown. People fear each other for all sorts of reasons , some rational, some not.

It does puzzle me sometimes how morality can exist without a belief in spirituality . No God watching? No eternal soul to worry about ? You are a completely separate and isolated being ?.. so, What is the REASON that person should be good to others? Logic?

I hear people say.. i don't believe in "god" but i consider myself "spiritual" . that confuses me. either ALL is spirit or NOTHING is?

*

Edited by lightly

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I wonder if a the creator of that video has ever herd of a STRAWMAN.

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How could one possibly believe that ethics/morality are dependent on religious or spiritual beliefs? Especially when so much violence and harm done have been done by people for whom religion is important. If ethics were entirely dependent on religion, then we wouldn't have seen the witch burnings, the Inquisition, the slaughter of Huguenots in France during Louis XVI reign, the Holocaust, or slavery, none of which are morally defensible yet were sanctioned by religious authority. I'm not making a statement about how many Christians participated in or approved of this, or condemning Christianity, but as a consideration that morality is not dependent on religious or spiritual beliefs. If you make the argument that morality IS dependent on religion then you'd have to separate the immoral from the moral Christians, and how would you do that? Because the immoral Christians are people of faith, and yet their religion had little or no impact on their behaviors.

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If someone who is distrustful of another simply because they are an atheist, then it says a hell of a lot more about them then it does an atheist.

Not really, if said atheist shows that he has only contempt for those who disagree with him, is overbearing and a prig. Atheist like this are common, possibly not the majority, but there none the less. I don't trust strong, militant, overbearing theist either.

peace

mark

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It is not a group that is not trusted, but people within anyone group. Person to person, that is were trust is earned, it has to be earned and when lost hard to retrieve.

peace

mark

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How could one possibly believe that ethics/morality are dependent on religious or spiritual beliefs? Especially when so much violence and harm done have been done by people for whom religion is important. If ethics were entirely dependent on religion, then we wouldn't have seen the witch burnings, the Inquisition, the slaughter of Huguenots in France during Louis XVI reign, the Holocaust, or slavery, none of which are morally defensible yet were sanctioned by religious authority. I'm not making a statement about how many Christians participated in or approved of this, or condemning Christianity, but as a consideration that morality is not dependent on religious or spiritual beliefs. If you make the argument that morality IS dependent on religion then you'd have to separate the immoral from the moral Christians, and how would you do that? Because the immoral Christians are people of faith, and yet their religion had little or no impact on their behaviors.

Hi Beany, Personally, I never equate spirituality with religion. I see the first as a Unifier .. and the second as a divider. anyway, What are morality and ethics based on? Or what should they be based on ? Mind sharing your views on that?

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