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Carlos Allende

Religion versus Fiction

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Carlos Allende
12 hours ago, danydandan said:

Atheists reject the notion of God. Obviously most Religions are affiliated with a God of some description. But there are a number of Religions that are atheistic by definition.

You are conflating being Irreligious and Atheist. These are two different perspectives, kind of ironic that you tagged a lazy description on your thread don't ye think?

 

12 hours ago, Desertrat56 said:

No, atheists are about a rejection of a supreme being that  people call god, not a rejection of religion.  Many Non-Atheist reject religion.  You can't lump them all together.  The line is in the wrong place when you draw it based on a rejection of religion.

I just think ...look, there's a time for semantic finessing and intellectual chicanery and this isn't it. It isn't what the atheism versus theism debate is really about. If it was, then this whole forum would be full of conceptual algebraic formula ala a Wittgenstein or Slavoj Zizek, densely annotated with dialectic provisos --and that would be a valuable debate, for sure, and you might even get somewhere-- but it would be _very_ boring for the layman (of which I am one). 

What's wrong with painting with a broad brush? Set your screen to x500 zoom, use your broad brush, set it back to 1:1 and hey presto u dun a masterpiece. If I started working with someone, and they spontaneously said, "My favourite show is Battlestar Galactica", I wouldn't immediately say, "Yeah, but Space: Above and Beyond is better", I'd just say, "Wow. I like Battlestar Galactica, too". This debate should be all about building bridges. People have a _very_ short attention span for things they haven't already experienced or thought about. That might even turn out to be the ultimate definition of what we are as incarnate, temporally-locked lifeforms.

I understand your arguments perfectly. But religion as a practice versus the concept of God _are_ too closely linked to draw a distinction between, in my opinion. They both rely on a non- or semi- intellectual devotion to a subjective supernatural element. Last night I watched 'Silence' by Martin Scorsese, about Buddhism versus Christianity in old Japan: hell of a film. The question I want to know is, why dispute devotion to a subjective supernatural element but give a free pass to the subjective element that's fiction --which might turn out to be equally insular and unproductive?

And 

12 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

If it makes you happy, or inspires you, or makes you feel stronger in the face of adversity, Great!  But,if someone told me I had to live like characters in Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings or that women should be treated like they are in the Handmaid's Tale; then I would say you have gone too far into the novels you are reading.  If you want to be kind, or opposed to abortion for yourself (presuming you are a woman) or spend your free time learning Elvish or Klingon, that is OK too.  Don't force me to learn Klingon.

Thanks for the reply, mate. HISlaH tlhIngan maH! But as I said in my opener --and everyone can use this for future reference in all my posts-- I don't care about how anyone is oppressed by religion! People don't have a frame-of-reference for being treated badly by religion, just as they don't have a frame-of-reference for capitalism being lazy. I'm not happy about it, but whut u gonna do? Maybe religious oppression is an important subject, and it needs to be debated --but you'll find _reams_ and _reams_ and _reams_ about it on other forums. I'm more interested in the common ground and common themes that atheists and theists share in their inner lives. Aren't you?

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Rlyeh
14 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

 

Let me try to clarify my opinion a bit more. Quite often, one of the distinguishing features of the atheist position is that religion stands in the way of scientific progress, or intellectual progress, or just _truth._ That suggests, to me, that atheists think the human race has a finite amount of mental processing power, that mustn't be wasted. And if that's the case, why doesn't it equally irk them that people are reading something that's a fantasy? 

I'm not aware of any atheist who believes everyone must contribute to the collective mental power of the human advancement.  In fact I'm pretty sure it's the opposite.

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Pettytalk
On 5/23/2019 at 1:18 PM, danydandan said:

It's all bloody fiction.

Let us define this "all" for the ordinary figments of our imagination. It's all fiction, when it comes to our physical existence. We have fiction within the fiction of the reality we are cognitive of within the fictitious spatial sensation of space and the sensational linear progression of time, a timely fiction of movement in and of itself.

Needless to say, as you put it, correctly. It's all a bloody existence of fiction.

 

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danydandan
1 hour ago, Carlos Allende said:

I just think ...look, there's a time for semantic finessing and intellectual chicanery and this isn't it. It isn't what the atheism versus theism debate is really about. If it was, then this whole forum would be full of conceptual algebraic formula ala a Wittgenstein or Slavoj Zizek, densely annotated with dialectic provisos --and that would be a valuable debate, for sure, and you might even get somewhere-- but it would be _very_ boring for the layman (of which I am one). 

What's wrong with painting with a broad brush?

You are correctly stating the bolded above now. Where as before you were stating Religion vs Atheism, you'll find the vast majority of Atheists are Religious. For example sects of Hinduism, Buddhism and Shintoism. 

The start of your second section actually is annoying. 

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Liquid Gardens
3 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

The question I want to know is, why dispute devotion to a subjective supernatural element but give a free pass to the subjective element that's fiction --which might turn out to be equally insular and unproductive?

Quote

 I don't have a problem with any religion or any novel (per se), but I honestly don't see how an atheist can disentangle the two things.

I don't honestly see why someone would entangle fiction and religion.  Atheists don't believe gods exist and that's it; they aren't against things that are insular and unproductive, nor against symbolism and metaphor.  The only commonality I see is that an atheist thinks both are fiction, but no one proposes that novels and other fiction is real; if a sizable group of people started thinking Animal Farm is true history, then a-Orwellians would probably emerge.  Why bother disputing a notion that no one is actually arguing for?  Fiction and religion may be 'a bit' like each other but that bit they are alike doesn't overlap with what atheism is referring to, so I'm not sure why you are seeing different standards.

Quote

Would you make Ornette Coleman look up what 'Saxophone' means?

If he started discussing how he tunes the strings on it, yes. 

Despite what you say I do think that now is the time for 'semantic finessing'.  Atheists don't believe in gods.  What are you seeing in that which would suggest some or any specific approach to fiction?

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Will Due

 

That there is no God, is a fiction.

A figment of imagination.

 

 

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Desertrat56
7 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

 

I just think ...look, there's a time for semantic finessing and intellectual chicanery and this isn't it. It isn't what the atheism versus theism debate is really about. If it was, then this whole forum would be full of conceptual algebraic formula ala a Wittgenstein or Slavoj Zizek, densely annotated with dialectic provisos --and that would be a valuable debate, for sure, and you might even get somewhere-- but it would be _very_ boring for the layman (of which I am one). 

What's wrong with painting with a broad brush? Set your screen to x500 zoom, use your broad brush, set it back to 1:1 and hey presto u dun a masterpiece. If I started working with someone, and they spontaneously said, "My favourite show is Battlestar Galactica", I wouldn't immediately say, "Yeah, but Space: Above and Beyond is better", I'd just say, "Wow. I like Battlestar Galactica, too". This debate should be all about building bridges. People have a _very_ short attention span for things they haven't already experienced or thought about. That might even turn out to be the ultimate definition of what we are as incarnate, temporally-locked lifeforms.

I understand your arguments perfectly. But religion as a practice versus the concept of God _are_ too closely linked to draw a distinction between, in my opinion. They both rely on a non- or semi- intellectual devotion to a subjective supernatural element. Last night I watched 'Silence' by Martin Scorsese, about Buddhism versus Christianity in old Japan: hell of a film. The question I want to know is, why dispute devotion to a subjective supernatural element but give a free pass to the subjective element that's fiction --which might turn out to be equally insular and unproductive?

And 

Thanks for the reply, mate. HISlaH tlhIngan maH! But as I said in my opener --and everyone can use this for future reference in all my posts-- I don't care about how anyone is oppressed by religion! People don't have a frame-of-reference for being treated badly by religion, just as they don't have a frame-of-reference for capitalism being lazy. I'm not happy about it, but whut u gonna do? Maybe religious oppression is an important subject, and it needs to be debated --but you'll find _reams_ and _reams_ and _reams_ about it on other forums. I'm more interested in the common ground and common themes that atheists and theists share in their inner lives. Aren't you?

The thing is, you named your thread "Religion vs Fiction" which is idiotic at best if you want atheists and those who aren't atheists to discuss anything besides religion or god.  To me Religions are fiction, mythology wrapped up to be someone''s truth, so how can it be versus fiction.  Your founding premise is faulty.  As for the discussion you want, maybe you could be more concise in your diatribes.  As far as I can tell, you seem to have a problem with people being offended by others religious views but not being offended that others are reading fiction instead of documentaries and histories (and believe me that is fallacious in theory as I have had many religious people tell me that Harry Potter is an evil book and should be banned).  Some people prefer their fiction to be fun.  Some people don't get enough stimulation in their daily lives so they read the kind of things you want people to read.  I assume you are the one who is offended that people read books like Game of Thrones instead of The History of the World or some such.    Is that it?  If you have been on this forum for even a month you have read enough to know how a thread like this is going to go and getting uppity about how others respond to your thesis or opinions is a waste of time and emotion for you.

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Tatetopa
7 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

Thanks for the reply, mate. HISlaH tlhIngan maH! But as I said in my opener --and everyone can use this for future reference in all my posts-- I don't care about how anyone is oppressed by religion!

Greetings Carlos.  Well that was implicit in your opener;  "Whats the difference between somebody being absorbed in a novel or religion?"  The difference can be oppression.  So I don't care whether one is absorbed in novels or religion as long as that one does not impose their obsession on me.

 Theist versus atheist in my own understanding comes down to the need for a  personality to relate to . 

A Theist might want to relate to an understandable human  personality as the primal cause.  Various communities parsed that out in different ways; the god of thunder, the goddess of the hearth, the god of war, the goddess of fertility, the god of bears and antelopes.  All were forces defined as individual personalities, superhuman people (still with understandable egos and foibles), that a worshiper could relate to, ask favors of, cajole, sacrifice to for goodwill, placate, all of the ways one might interact with another person.  Was it that great a theistic stride to roll all of those into a single unit, a one stop shopping divinity?  Some people think so.  But the basis is still a relatable personal face on the universe that one can cajole, praise, or ask for comfort and understanding in difficult times. It is a way not to be  alone in the universe.

An atheist is not blind to the wonders of the universe.  An atheist might not have a god of nuclear physics or galactic formation yet can find wonder in and study those things none the less.  Is it cold and lonely to be without a divine personality to talk to?   Depends on point of view I guess.  It engenders a sense of personal power and responsibility. It is also liberating not to be concerned with the greed, wrath, temper tantrums, and short-sightedness of a human like personality running things. 

Evolution still seems to work just fine without a guiding human personality responsible for the design and inter-relations of every creature.  The universe seems to take care of itself.

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Carlos Allende
9 hours ago, Rlyeh said:

I'm not aware of any atheist who believes everyone must contribute to the collective mental power of the human advancement.  In fact I'm pretty sure it's the opposite.

That's cool. But if that's the case, why would anyone ever bring up their atheistic opinions in a public forum like this? 

 

6 hours ago, Liquid Gardens said:

What are you seeing in that which would suggest some or any specific approach to fiction?

 

2 hours ago, Desertrat56 said:

I assume you are the one who is offended that people read books like Game of Thrones instead of The History of the World or some such.    Is that it?  If you have been on this forum for even a month you have read enough to know how a thread like this is going to go and getting uppity about how others respond to your thesis or opinions is a waste of time and emotion for you.

No offence or uppitiness on my part (can you imagine if I was getting wound up? Admittedly, that would be hilarious). The thing is, at a (3rd? 4th?) attempt at explaining my contention...

Firstly, I'm asking atheists so take a very, very bold, unusual step --to imagine that atheism is no longer needed to combat religion-as-a-force-of-oppression. Let's say -- society has tweaked the human personality in such a way that _all_ oppression just ends --economic, age-based, gender-based, not just religion ...all without anyone ever needing to regurgitate a Dawkins, Hitchens or Maher diatribe. Would you guys be willing to give up atheism as a subject for debate?

Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't. It's cool either way, in my book. But if you continued to harbour a ...disquiet (?), unappreciation (?) of religion, it would then _have_ to be related to the individual religious stories, right? @Rlyeh assures me that no atheist believes everyone must contribute to the collective mental power of human advancement ...therefore, de facto, what you'd be objecting to is either wonky artistic merit, bad writing or the sheer time-wasting of indulging in something that isn't real.

I mean, that's my third or fourth attempt to explain my argument. I've got a lot more attempts inside me; like Lionel Richie, I can go all night long (especially if it annoys @Danydandan) <-- good-natured banter.

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Liquid Gardens
8 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

Let's say -- society has tweaked the human personality in such a way that _all_ oppression just ends --economic, age-based, gender-based, not just religion ...all without anyone ever needing to regurgitate a Dawkins, Hitchens or Maher diatribe. Would you guys be willing to give up atheism as a subject for debate?

What would giving up atheism as a subject for debate entail?  I think my answer would be no; there's no reason I can't debate the existence of the Loch Ness Monster even though there's no oppression, or really anything, riding on that.

8 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

But if you continued to harbour a ...disquiet (?), unappreciation (?) of religion, it would then _have_ to be related to the individual religious stories, right?

I don't harbor a disquiet, I just don't believe it is true.  I treat or respond to religion differently than fiction because one is claimed by some to be true and one is claimed by no one to be true.  Just because someone doesn't believe religion is true doesn't mean they object to its artistic merit, or to bad writing, time-wasting, and indulging fantasies in general.

8 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

I mean, that's my third or fourth attempt to explain my argument.

Okay, well this attempt made no mention of 'fiction' which your earlier attempts were implying that atheists were not perhaps treating consistently.  There's nothing inconsistent about an atheist enjoying stories that I'm seeing.

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jmccr8
On 5/24/2019 at 2:57 PM, XenoFish said:

Believe me or not, but I've been told I'm wrong a lot. 

Hi Xeno

I am all out of likes.

I found being single shortened the list of what I was wrong about considerably but then again that is just my subjective experience.:lol:

jmccr8

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Rlyeh
11 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

That's cool. But if that's the case, why would anyone ever bring up their atheistic opinions in a public forum like this? 

So because atheists don't believe everyone must contribute to human advancement, they won't give their opinions.

What?  You're really not making a whole lot of sense.

 

11 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

@Rlyeh assures me that no atheist believes everyone must contribute to the collective mental power of human advancement

Nope, I said I'm not aware of any atheist who believes everyone must contribute to the collective mental power of human advancement.

I've seen both atheist and non-atheist, who believe not everyone should be contributing to human advancement.

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Carlos Allende
57 minutes ago, Rlyeh said:

So because atheists don't believe everyone must contribute to human advancement, they won't give their opinions.

What?  You're really not making a whole lot of sense.

 

4 hours ago, Liquid Gardens said:

I don't harbor a disquiet, I just don't believe it is true.  I treat or respond to religion differently than fiction because one is claimed by some to be true and one is claimed by no one to be true.  Just because someone doesn't believe religion is true doesn't mean they object to its artistic merit, or to bad writing, time-wasting, and indulging fantasies in general.

This is great. We're making headway. You're indulging me ----(thanks!)----- that religion can be disassociated with oppression, a contribution to human advancement, bad writing, time-wasting and fantasy-indulging in general ...what are we left with?

You said it yourself, LG, that it's all about whether you believe that something's true. But since it's a special category of truth that involves 99.9% (recurring) subjectivity, don't you think that --in even thinking about the validity of religion one way or another-- that's _A LOT_ like the suspension of disbelief we all use, automatically, when watching a film, or picking up a novel? What's the criteria of a good story? Firstly, it has to grab our attention. Secondly, you should be able to perceive the author's artifice as little as possible. Maybe, as a third thing, there should be some stakes involved, a sense of something being established or destroyed.

My contention is this: atheists are being a bit disingenuous when they allow their suspension of disbelief to automatically tell them that, for example, the lass from Game of Thrones is a tragic hero for wanting to end Westeros sectarianism, and yet Jesus' story is somehow worthy of dismissal --BEARING IN MIND THAT WE'VE ESTABLISHED THAT RELIGION CAN BE DISASSOCIATED WITH OPPRESSION, A CONTRIBUTION TO HUMAN ADVANCEMENT, BAD WRITING, TIME-WASTING AND FANTASY-INDULGING. The disingenuousness manifests itself by the fact that the subconscious mechanism that chooses what we focus our attention on, chooses what preoccupies us, _has no appreciation of conceptual hierarchy._  The stakes involved for _any_ character in _any_ holy book is the deliverance of reality by some kind of supernatural factor that's intimately linked to their own lives. Forget about whether it's baloney or not --what earthly story has bigger stakes than that? Dr Strange. Dr Strange can control time but Jesus can't. Trumped. So my new question is this: how closely should we monitor Dr Strange fan-clubs? Do we warn all those seven year old kids in colourful pajamas about which Marvel writers can be trusted with the character and which can't? That Brian Michael Bendis keeps the character just the right side of believable, but Robbie Thompson doesn't?

Because unless you're willing get involved with arguments like that, about _all_ stories, your judgement of religion --bearing in mind it can be disassociated with oppression, a contribution to human advancement, bad writing, time-wasting and fantasy-indulging in general-- is inherently a double-standard. In this life, we take things or leave things, innit.

So yeah. Feel free to fillet up the above by quoting me. I will defend my position vigorously for the honour of my crazy Marvel gods.

 

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Rlyeh
5 minutes ago, Carlos Allende said:

My contention is this: atheists are being a bit disingenuous when they allow their suspension of disbelief to automatically tell them that, for example, the lass from Game of Thrones is a tragic hero for wanting to end Westeros sectarianism, and yet Jesus' story is somehow worthy of dismissal --BEARING IN MIND THAT WE'VE ESTABLISHED THAT RELIGION CAN BE DISASSOCIATED WITH OPPRESSION, A CONTRIBUTION TO HUMAN ADVANCEMENT, BAD WRITING, TIME-WASTING AND FANTASY-INDULGING. The disingenuousness manifests itself by the fact that the subconscious mechanism that chooses what we focus our attention on, chooses what preoccupies us, _has no appreciation of conceptual hierarchy._  The stakes involved for _any_ character in _any_ holy book is the deliverance of reality by some kind of supernatural factor that's intimately linked to their own lives. Forget about whether it's baloney or not --what earthly story has bigger stakes than that? Dr Strange. Dr Strange can control time but Jesus can't. Trumped. So my new question is this: how closely should we monitor Dr Strange fan-clubs? Do we warn all those seven year old kids in colourful pajamas about which Marvel writers can be trusted with the character and which can't? That Brian Michael Bendis keeps the character just the right side of believable, but Robbie Thompson doesn't?

Why should we monitor Dr Strange fan-clubs?  What agenda are they pushing and does this agenda negatively affect your freedom?

Now my question to you is, why are you unable to understand the concept of fiction?  How can you not comprehend that published fiction is acknowledged as fiction?

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eight bits
1 hour ago, Carlos Allende said:

So yeah. Feel free to fillet up the above by quoting me. I will defend my position vigorously for the honour of my crazy Marvel gods.

Have you lost track of what you're arguing, or it just me?

I don't think a real Daenerys commands real dragons; compare Pope Francis who professes that a real Michael battles a real dragon, Satan. There is a difference between these two mental states, and the difference is not subtle.

Even if I were wasting my time, and Pope Francis is wasting his, only one of those wastings would be of any interest to atheists as atheists.

Also, the phrase "suspension of disbelief," at least in American English, refers only to mental stances like mine relative to GOT, and not to what Francis professes about his own mental state relative to heavenly politics. (Nor, on the off chance that Francis is uncandid about his real beliefs, does the phrase refer to hypocrisy, either).

 

Aside:

6 hours ago, jmccr8 said:

I am all out of likes.

I gave him one of mine on your behalf :)

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Desertrat56
18 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

That's cool. But if that's the case, why would anyone ever bring up their atheistic opinions in a public forum like this? 

 

 

No offence or uppitiness on my part (can you imagine if I was getting wound up? Admittedly, that would be hilarious). The thing is, at a (3rd? 4th?) attempt at explaining my contention...

Firstly, I'm asking atheists so take a very, very bold, unusual step --to imagine that atheism is no longer needed to combat religion-as-a-force-of-oppression. Let's say -- society has tweaked the human personality in such a way that _all_ oppression just ends --economic, age-based, gender-based, not just religion ...all without anyone ever needing to regurgitate a Dawkins, Hitchens or Maher diatribe. Would you guys be willing to give up atheism as a subject for debate?

Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't. It's cool either way, in my book. But if you continued to harbour a ...disquiet (?), unappreciation (?) of religion, it would then _have_ to be related to the individual religious stories, right? @Rlyeh assures me that no atheist believes everyone must contribute to the collective mental power of human advancement ...therefore, de facto, what you'd be objecting to is either wonky artistic merit, bad writing or the sheer time-wasting of indulging in something that isn't real.

I mean, that's my third or fourth attempt to explain my argument. I've got a lot more attempts inside me; like Lionel Richie, I can go all night long (especially if it annoys @Danydandan) <-- good-natured banter.

Again, another fallacy.  Most atheists, unlike religious people, do NOT feel the need to combat religion as a force of oppression.  The ones who do are considered as crazy as the religious zealots that insist everyone adhere to their standards.  The only "combat" would be refusing to allow legal madates based on religious ideology that infringes on their rights as citizens or humans.  To what do you refer that causes you to think "atheists" feel the need to combat religion?

Maybe you need to give us your back story so we can understand where your assumptions are coming from.

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danydandan
20 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

That's cool. But if that's the case, why would anyone ever bring up their atheistic opinions in a public forum like this? 

 

 

No offence or uppitiness on my part (can you imagine if I was getting wound up? Admittedly, that would be hilarious). The thing is, at a (3rd? 4th?) attempt at explaining my contention...

Firstly, I'm asking atheists so take a very, very bold, unusual step --to imagine that atheism is no longer needed to combat religion-as-a-force-of-oppression. Let's say -- society has tweaked the human personality in such a way that _all_ oppression just ends --economic, age-based, gender-based, not just religion ...all without anyone ever needing to regurgitate a Dawkins, Hitchens or Maher diatribe. Would you guys be willing to give up atheism as a subject for debate?

Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't. It's cool either way, in my book. But if you continued to harbour a ...disquiet (?), unappreciation (?) of religion, it would then _have_ to be related to the individual religious stories, right? @Rlyeh assures me that no atheist believes everyone must contribute to the collective mental power of human advancement ...therefore, de facto, what you'd be objecting to is either wonky artistic merit, bad writing or the sheer time-wasting of indulging in something that isn't real.

I mean, that's my third or fourth attempt to explain my argument. I've got a lot more attempts inside me; like Lionel Richie, I can go all night long (especially if it annoys @Danydandan) <-- good-natured banter.

I wish we had an angry face response button. Grrrrr.!

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Carlos Allende
4 hours ago, Rlyeh said:

Now my question to you is, why are you unable to understand the concept of fiction?  How can you not comprehend that published fiction is acknowledged as fiction?

Of course, published fiction is acknowledged as fiction. To reposition my idea once again -- religion, particularly in today's jaded and over-educated world, is asking _so_ much of prospective believers. It always blows my mind that any new Christian doesn't just google the nigh forensic account of the historical Jesus as researched by Barbara Thiering and just say, "Ah, well". That suggests to me that, deep down, all anyone really cares about is a compelling story, something to inspire their imagination. Fiction is designed to take us out of our regular worlds; religion develops as a byproduct. My contention is, _that's_ the thing that allows religions to exist, not because of something the Pope or an evangelical, dogmatic family says. And if that's the case, why _wouldn't_ an atheist then choose to engage with religion at its roots --in the concept of fiction itself, all fiction everywhere?  

So much of today's fiction has a religious aspect, from beloved franchises like Star Wars and Game of Thrones to under-the-radar cultural smashes like True Detective and The Leftovers. Who's to say the writers of these things weren't using the religious aspect for exactly the same low-brow or manipulative purposes as religion proper? Because they aren't asking anything from us (apart from viewing figures?) Religion doesn't ask anything of us, either, no more than we're willing to give, and even if we _do_ give it ...it must be ...because we're gullible? The thing is, I, personally,think it's uncool to accuse _anyone_ of being gullible, so ...probably best no to discuss it at all. What do you think?

4 hours ago, eight bits said:

Even if I were wasting my time, and Pope Francis is wasting his, only one of those wastings would be of any interest to atheists as atheists.

Also, the phrase "suspension of disbelief," at least in American English, refers only to mental stances like mine relative to GOT, and not to what Francis professes about his own mental state relative to heavenly politics. (Nor, on the off chance that Francis is uncandid about his real beliefs, does the phrase refer to hypocrisy, either).

But yeah. This is exactly what I'm saying. 'Suspension of disbelief' has always traditionally been used to refer to fiction ...but then, it's still just shoe-horning, necessary to assimilate someone else's ideas into your own. Poor auld Pope Francis. Is he the one that looks like Jim Bowen?

 

1 hour ago, Desertrat56 said:

Again, another fallacy.  Most atheists, unlike religious people, do NOT feel the need to combat religion as a force of oppression.  The ones who do are considered as crazy as the religious zealots that insist everyone adhere to their standards.  The only "combat" would be refusing to allow legal madates based on religious ideology that infringes on their rights as citizens or humans.  To what do you refer that causes you to think "atheists" feel the need to combat religion?

Well, D56, there's the whole of 'The God Delusion' for a start. And _a lot_ of Youtube videos. But the atheism you describe sounds very cool, and liberal, admittedly.

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Carlos Allende
12 minutes ago, danydandan said:

Grrrrr.!

That just makes you sound like a dog, DDD. And all dogs are loveable.

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Rlyeh
58 minutes ago, Carlos Allende said:

Of course, published fiction is acknowledged as fiction. To reposition my idea once again -- religion, particularly in today's jaded and over-educated world, is asking _so_ much of prospective believers. It always blows my mind that any new Christian doesn't just google the nigh forensic account of the historical Jesus as researched by Barbara Thiering and just say, "Ah, well". That suggests to me that, deep down, all anyone really cares about is a compelling story, something to inspire their imagination. Fiction is designed to take us out of our regular worlds; religion develops as a byproduct. My contention is, _that's_ the thing that allows religions to exist, not because of something the Pope or an evangelical, dogmatic family says. And if that's the case, why _wouldn't_ an atheist then choose to engage with religion at its roots --in the concept of fiction itself, all fiction everywhere?

So imagination.. you're saying we should police people's thoughts.  This is something more inline with religion than it is with atheism.

But why stop there?  Humans are the cause of religion, eliminate humans and we eliminate religion.

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Carlos Allende
16 minutes ago, Rlyeh said:

So imagination.. you're saying we should police people's thoughts.  This is something more inline with religion than it is with atheism.

I'm championing neither atheism or religion, mate. And for 'police' I'd just say, 'indulge'.

 

18 minutes ago, Rlyeh said:

But why stop there?  Humans are the cause of religion, eliminate humans and we eliminate religion.

Nah. Don't do that.

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Rlyeh
2 minutes ago, Carlos Allende said:

I'm championing neither atheism or religion, mate. And for 'police' I'd just say, 'indulge'.

Your argument is Atheists should care what people think.  Which I disagree, you should only care what people think if they act on it and it affects you.

 

2 minutes ago, Carlos Allende said:

Nah. Don't do that.

If we took your logic to the extreme, humans are the ultimate cause.

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Carlos Allende
9 minutes ago, Rlyeh said:

Your argument is Atheists should care what people think.  Which I disagree, you should only care what people think if they act on it and it affects you.

Normally, it's not necessary to care about what people think. But if you're inclined to think about the nature of life and death, whether there's some kinda supernatural element or not, maybe it's best to absorb as much information as possible, from everything and everyone? I understand pragmatic people dislike anecdotal evidence, but unfortunately, the whole of reality is anecdotal on a quantum level. I guess it all boils down to whether you're Freudian or Jungian in nature. If you're Freudian, life is more about nuts-and-bolts biological necessity. If you're Jungian, you're more holistic, using whatever kind of psychological resource is to hand to understand things, even if it's abstract.

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Liquid Gardens
7 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

Fiction is designed to take us out of our regular worlds; religion develops as a byproduct.

Okay, that is a theory, I'd say maybe on it.  When you mention religion as a 'byproduct' though you are leaning towards why I don't think your argument works, as I see a 'byproduct' as something sufficiently separate from its source. I wouldn't phrase it as religion is designed to take us out of our regular worlds, I think it instead says our regular worlds are much larger, more meaningful, and more wonderful than we may have previously thought. It's not an escape from reality like fiction, it's an enhancement of reality.

7 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

And if that's the case, why _wouldn't_ an atheist then choose to engage with religion at its roots --in the concept of fiction itself, all fiction everywhere?  

For the same reason we don't annihilate all bats and raccoons just because a minority of them have rabies.  At some point I think your argument needs to incorporate and acknowledge the facts on the ground, that there is a difference between religious writings (fictional as they are to atheists) which are proposed to be true and fictional stories which are not.  They are different, different things are rightly treated differently by people, and the existence of differences go a long way towards defeating the idea of a double standard.  In a way suspension of a belief for fiction is the exact opposite of the adoption and living of the usually strong belief that is religion.  

An atheist, or an a- anybody for that matter, is usually saying something isn't true.  Fiction says it itself isn't true.  Atheists agree with that.  Why would an atheist have any obligation to engage fiction when there's nothing in dispute?

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Rlyeh
10 hours ago, Carlos Allende said:

Normally, it's not necessary to care about what people think. But if you're inclined to think about the nature of life and death, whether there's some kinda supernatural element or not, maybe it's best to absorb as much information as possible, from everything and everyone? I understand pragmatic people dislike anecdotal evidence, but unfortunately, the whole of reality is anecdotal on a quantum level. I guess it all boils down to whether you're Freudian or Jungian in nature. If you're Freudian, life is more about nuts-and-bolts biological necessity. If you're Jungian, you're more holistic, using whatever kind of psychological resource is to hand to understand things, even if it's abstract.

How does what other people think affect you?

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