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markdohle

Sam Harris, the dangers of atheism

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I love what he said about the dangers of attaching labels and how doing so negatively affects conversations around the issue. And I did laugh when he talked about the LDS.

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This guy Harris has a very clear eye on things, he strips things bare and raw and that's all good. Labeling might not be the problem, but people giving those labels a heavy tone and using them as weapons and fortresses like we do with anything we get our hands on. Even bread can be turned to poison in the right hands (Monsanto).

There's one fault in singular views, if you stick to them and ignore their opposite. The law of opposites in cases like these are, that they support each other through energous competition. Faith and reason support each other through that energous competition. Faith gives science new goals and even insights and creativity, while science gives faith stronger foundations by assuring what's there as well as clears the faith to be more pure of things that aint there. They both are instruments of observation, one of our many eyes. The more you look with the both of them, the more you see.

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I really liked that, Well said on his part.

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I like to listen to Harris. I don't agree with much, but he makes people think who are thiest, which is good. His thoughts on the mind and going deeper come from his buddhist leanings. I like buddhist thought, in the future I believe it will have a profound affect on my own faith, the part about simply looking at ones thoughts and not always acting on them or for that matter believing them, is somethilng sorely needed in our fast pace culture.

Peace

mark

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"There is no religion in general?" Tell that to the Pope. Tell that to the Dalai Lama. Tell that to the Moslems. Humanity as the main focus for all to come together is fine. The UM forums are a good example of that. We all have different values and religions but we seem to get along after a good debate. Sticking to the issues of humanity has always been the rallying cry of "smart" atheists. He hasn't said anything new. He said "advocate intellectual honesty and reason". Who gets to judge? Who gets to decide? Why bother if you're only going to end up like a patronizing politically correct "human being"? When a pushy atheist starts attacking my core beliefs about my God I usually give that person my Obama smirk. With or without a label, a deeply religious person will figure you out when you start attacking his core beliefs. His talks on happiness is at best idealized. I'm not convinced and some of the people felt the same from their body movements. This guy hasn't said anything new but I will continue watching after I take my nap. I have nine more minutes to go.

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"There is no religion in general?" Tell that to the Pope. Tell that to the Dalai Lama. Tell that to the Moslems. Humanity as the main focus for all to come together is fine. The UM forums are a good example of that. We all have different values and religions but we seem to get along after a good debate. Sticking to the issues of humanity has always been the rallying cry of "smart" atheists. He hasn't said anything new. He said "advocate intellectual honesty and reason". Who gets to judge? Who gets to decide? Why bother if you're only going to end up like a patronizing politically correct "human being"? When a pushy atheist starts attacking my core beliefs about my God I usually give that person my Obama smirk. With or without a label, a deeply religious person will figure you out when you start attacking his core beliefs. His talks on happiness is at best idealized. I'm not convinced and some of the people felt the same from their body movements. This guy hasn't said anything new but I will continue watching after I take my nap. I have nine more minutes to go.

In your face atheist don't understand that they are also part of the problem. An atheist who is a black and white thinker, when and if he or she converts, their religion will be the same. In the book the "True Believer" deals with this in a very down to earth manner.

peace

mark

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Sticking with the theme of not labeling, it's in-my-face people I have a problem with, irregardless of religion or atheism. I don't like rants, because the one ranting usually has no regard for the other person.

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I get the feeling there are some religious people around here who don't like it when atheists attack their beliefs, and would like to find a soft reason to disregard them.

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I get the feeling there are some religious people around here who don't like it when atheists attack their beliefs, and would like to find a soft reason to disregard them.

I am wondering if you have watched the vid? It is an Atheist speaking at an Atheist convention.

Personally, I think we are a mixed bag of believers/non believers et al. I certainly do not get offended when my beliefs are attacked but I do recognise that a common theme in some (by no means all just some) of those doing the attacking is a lack of genuine interest in a real study of phenomena eg: meditation to the point that they would feel "silly" to even attempt it much less continue for any extended period without prejudice against any outcome that may ensue. That's just one example.

I found the speech insightful and in fact wisely spoken. I think religious folk could take a leaf from that in how we create militant struggles amongst various sects even within the same belief system by the application of labels and "grouping" or defining what a person stands for based on what they commonly with others stand against aka: sin is a classic example or the concept of Hell and Salvation wherin the inference is that we are condemned and require the commodity of "salvation" which we currently by extension lack - yet at the same time we are told not to judge, so how did we arrive at the notion that specific folk around us are outside salvation in the first instance or define our own position in relation to the matter such that we can look upon another and see ourselves "the better" of the two?

Thank you Mark Dohle for providing that vid, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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You know, not everyone everywhere is able to load such vids. When people post one and don't provide good description, assumptions have to be made.

You don't really address what I said. Believers so often get hostile at atheists and vice-versa. Then there comes the complaint that those of the other side are trying to "shove" something down their throat.

None of us likes to hear stuff contrary to what we believe, but I think it not good at all to try to censor others behavior with this sort of theme.

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What do you mean, censoring the atheist's or believers or whose behavior? I think the behavior of both has better chances to get highlighted through these kind of themes. You can't assume that anyone of us is perfect, we're just people here and making our statements that'll have their flaws too.

I can't look into Mark's head, but I think he wanted to share this video because it was much about that "atheists should not label themselves, not so tightly and not always attach an offensive tone or theme to that label, but instead look at what's really there behind all the labels and all". Mark may have his reasons, but I'd say that between fortifying-to-your-views and opening-up, he's much more on the opening-up side with this video.

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It seemed like his biggest issue with the use of the "atheist" label was simply that inhibits his ability to attack religion. Perhaps he should focus less on attacking religion and more on understanding science.

I did like the fact that he actually criticized Islam, though. There are many atheists that seem to actually prefer Islam to Christianity for some reason, even though it's an absolutely baffling stance for anyone trying to proclaim himself reasonable or intellectually honest.

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There are many atheists that seem to actually prefer Islam to Christianity for some reason,

Really?

Like who?

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Really?

Like who?

I second that, who...

Atheisim was labled but not by atheists but those that opposed them as none believers. The lable will never go away as it`s used as a tool. Atheisim is not about science but about lack of eviedience of a super natural. It`s really that simple and if critical thinking leeds to science its a bi product of the for mentioned lack of any solid proof to imagine a being that does not conform with what we know, not what we believe.

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Really?

Like who?

I usually ignore the mainstream atheist figureheads, so I can't really give any names. I'm just referring to idiots I've seen on some other online forums.

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That you ignore them speaks loudly about you.

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Why? They're pompous idiots out to establish their own celebrity for financial gain. They're about as interesting intellectually as the Kardashians.

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I usually ignore the mainstream atheist figureheads, so I can't really give any names. I'm just referring to idiots I've seen on some other online forums.

Maybe you shouldn't ignore them. You'd probably find that they are just as venomous toward Islam as to Christianity - and often more so.

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Maybe you shouldn't ignore them. You'd probably find that they are just as venomous toward Islam as to Christianity - and often more so.

Maybe, but Harris seemed to imply in the speech that criticism of Islam was relatively rare amongst his fellow mainstream atheists. Perhaps things have improved since then, though.

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People become prominent because they have interesting things to say and they say them well. If they make money from it, good for them.

Personally I don't see how anyone can remain in one of the Abrahamic religions, except for cultural reasons, if one is fully familiar with all the facts, and one does not become familiar with all the facts without being informed fully about what those of other views have said. The way these religions maintain themselves is by preventing people from becoming fully informed, through coercion, social pressure, indoctrination (especially of children) and meme devices such as "faith" and "sacrifice" and "you will be persecuted."

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Maybe, but Harris seemed to imply in the speech that criticism of Islam was relatively rare amongst his fellow mainstream atheists. Perhaps things have improved since then, though.

I can't comment on Harris' view, but a quick search through atheist blogs (such as Free Thought blogs) will produce plenty of anti-Islamic rhetoric. I think it's fair to observe that Christianity gets the bulk of criticism, but no religion gets a free pass.

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I can't comment on Harris' view, but a quick search through atheist blogs (such as Free Thought blogs) will produce plenty of anti-Islamic rhetoric. I think it's fair to observe that Christianity gets the bulk of criticism, but no religion gets a free pass.

And Christianity only gets the bulk of criticism because thats what most know best.

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You know, not everyone everywhere is able to load such vids. When people post one and don't provide good description, assumptions have to be made.

You don't really address what I said. Believers so often get hostile at atheists and vice-versa. Then there comes the complaint that those of the other side are trying to "shove" something down their throat.

None of us likes to hear stuff contrary to what we believe, but I think it not good at all to try to censor others behavior with this sort of theme.

:) I think you will find that you and the speaker in the VID are on the same page, it is a shame you can't see the VID, this topic will not censor alternative views, in fact it encourages their expression but that's just my opinion.

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I've found that "being against" is almost always a dead end, whereas being "for" often leads to a more productive conversation and discoveries that we have more in common than we originally thought. And I think finding mutuality is a good thing. It seems to me that when I focus on the negative that's pretty much stops forward movement; however, when I state what I do believe in there tends to be a more positive outcome.

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