Atheist Arrogance?

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@bentusi16 i must admit im fairly ignorant of Dawkins view of religion could you shed some light on it for me please?

Semes:
@bentusi16 i must admit im fairly ignorant of Dawkins view of religion could you shed some light on it for me please?

Not nearly as well as wikipedia or that link earlier that led to the foreword of his book.

But I'd put him as a hardline or militant atheist in that he seems to me to actively be attempting to tear down all religious institutions.

And really, when I think about it, the very idea of religion itself is something he wants to get rid of.

Bentusi16:

Semes:
@bentusi16 i must admit im fairly ignorant of Dawkins view of religion could you shed some light on it for me please?

Not nearly as well as wikipedia or that link earlier that led to the foreword of his book.

But I'd put him as a hardline or militant atheist in that he seems to me to actively be attempting to tear down all religious institutions.

And really, when I think about it, the very idea of religion itself is something he wants to get rid of.

Pimp Ricky Dawkins be against tha institutionz of religion.

Hez a scientist n' as such approaches thangs from a objectizzle point of view n' draws conclusions based on observations n' proof fo' realz. As such, tha religions dat bazillions subscribe ta is flawed n' lack any n' all foundation.

Dude be a militant atheist. Our thugged-out asses need mo' playas like his ass ta stand up n' refuse ta tolerate religion. Dude be also of tha persuasion, like most reasonable playas, dat playas is free ta believe what tha fuck they wanna believe as long as they don't pawn it off as fact or try n' impose they beliefs on others.

Bentusi16:

Not nearly as well as wikipedia or that link earlier that led to the foreword of his book.

But I'd put him as a hardline or militant atheist in that he seems to me to actively be attempting to tear down all religious institutions.

And really, when I think about it, the very idea of religion itself is something he wants to get rid of.

I've read a few of his books, and I believe his position is a little more nuanced than that. He does not set out to "convert" those whose beliefs are personal; he sets out his position, with a great deal of scientific justification, for those who are interested in questioning. What he sets out to actively fight against is the negative impact of religion in the public sphere: science, politics etc.

I'd also like to reiterate my point that Dawkins is a great deal more than the atheist "spokesman" the media have turned him into. He's written eleven books, and one was about atheism. Inevitably, people only ever seem to focus on that one, ignoring a much wider contribution.

Silvanus:

Bentusi16:

Not nearly as well as wikipedia or that link earlier that led to the foreword of his book.

But I'd put him as a hardline or militant atheist in that he seems to me to actively be attempting to tear down all religious institutions.

And really, when I think about it, the very idea of religion itself is something he wants to get rid of.

I've read a few of his books, and I believe his position is a little more nuanced than that. He does not set out to "convert" those whose beliefs are personal; he sets out his position, with a great deal of scientific justification, for those who are interested in questioning. What he sets out to actively fight against is the negative impact of religion in the public sphere: science, politics etc.

I'd also like to reiterate my point that Dawkins is a great deal more than the atheist "spokesman" the media have turned him into. He's written eleven books, and one was about atheism. Inevitably, people only ever seem to focus on that one, ignoring a much wider contribution.

I understand that, but in the context of this conversation the only thing that matters is that he's an atheist, and what he's done around that, and his attitude while doing it.

As I pointed out, much of what he says I agree with. I'm not christian, I'm a deist. So other things I disagree with. But the whole tone he often sets out with smacks of arrogance. Even if you're right, that doesn't make you arrogant. It's the tone in which you do things that makes you arrogant or not.

And like I said, everyone is arrogant once and awhile. Arrogance is a human thing.

Milk:

@ Agema. That was the first and only definition of bigotry that popped up. In was going to elaborate more but I'm pretty sure you're trolling because your argument essentially boils down to:

- The Dictionary's purpose is not to define words but to give an overall 'feeling' for words.
- If a word is used in such a way that matches the definition but is not how it is used commonly than it is still not appropriate to use said word regardless of the fact that it meets the definition.

God I hope you were trolling.

The dictionary does define words, obviously.

Just not in a proscriptive, authoritative way. No-one "owns" the English language to do such a thing.

Words are symbols that represent certain concepts. However, these concepts are rarely entirely uniform across everyone - there are variations in understanding from one person to another (and thus also from one dictionary to another). There is however a fair degree of common ground which dictionaries attempt to summarise: but not necessarily so accurately, particularly as some dictionaries oversimplify in a desire to be concise. Thus what may technically meet a certain dictionary definition of a word is not necessarily how that word is usefully understood.

"Bigotry" relates to or is synonymous with things like prejudice, zealotry, unfairness, narrow-mindedness, dogmatism, etc. It is clear that effectively no-one calls a desire to stop rapists bigotry or any of the other words above, and they would not understand other people doing so either. This is the real yardstick by which we'd measure what a word means; that another understanding can be interpreted via the semantic technicalities of a dictionary definition is just so much flim-flam and sophistry.

The problem is that some people view atheism as a sign of intellect, and become atheists not because they have come to the conclusion that there is no god through careful examination of scientific evidence and truly thinking about what they believe, but because they want to be able to think they are smarter than people who hold religious beliefs.

Agow95:
The problem is that some people view atheism as a sign of intellect, and become atheists not because they have come to the conclusion that there is no god through careful examination of scientific evidence and truly thinking about what they believe, but because they want to be able to think they are smarter than people who hold religious beliefs.

I've never actually met someone who believes in an existence on all knowing, all powerful deity, and then claim they don't believe in it.

Now, some people might think of atheism as a sign of intelligence (i don't, although i can't figure out how anyone reasonable well educated person in modern society can still believe in god, i do accept many people much smarter than me seem to), but i doubt anyone claims to be an atheist to appear more intelligent (they might go overboard in broadcasting their atheism or trying to "convert" other people in attempt to look smart though).

Bentusi16:

Actually I was thinking of someone like Richard Dawkins, who essentially says that anyone who isn't an atheist is an idiot.

While not citing him, specifically, this is generally the impression I get from some outspoken Atheists, which again is nothing unique to any one group. Constant need of vindication, self-righteousness and even mild cases of superiority complex are as old as dirt; the issue is people need to accept the presence everywhere and not feel that, because they belong to a group that they "own" it.

The best advice I've heard is to "be a quiet professional" in life; it means to be humble and lose the egos we may have built up.

nyysjan:

Agow95:
The problem is that some people view atheism as a sign of intellect, and become atheists not because they have come to the conclusion that there is no god through careful examination of scientific evidence and truly thinking about what they believe, but because they want to be able to think they are smarter than people who hold religious beliefs.

I've never actually met someone who believes in an existence on all knowing, all powerful deity, and then claim they don't believe in it.

I'm confused... Are you saying you've never met a fundamentalist turned atheist? If so, nice to meetcha!

Kaulen Fuhs:

nyysjan:

Agow95:
The problem is that some people view atheism as a sign of intellect, and become atheists not because they have come to the conclusion that there is no god through careful examination of scientific evidence and truly thinking about what they believe, but because they want to be able to think they are smarter than people who hold religious beliefs.

I've never actually met someone who believes in an existence on all knowing, all powerful deity, and then claim they don't believe in it.

I'm confused... Are you saying you've never met a fundamentalist turned atheist? If so, nice to meetcha!

No, i meant that i have never met anyone, who believes in god, and claims to be an atheist at the same time.
Ofcourse, i'm not a mind reader so i might have, but it just sounds so illogical thing to do that it just fails to compute.
Plenty of atheists that deny being an atheist, usually calling themselves agnostics instead, and i've heard of people who are atheists and claim to believe in god for whatever reason (family, job security, etc...), even of a priest who became an atheist (and continued as a priest), but never of anyone who truly believes, but claims not to.

nyysjan:

Kaulen Fuhs:

nyysjan:

I've never actually met someone who believes in an existence on all knowing, all powerful deity, and then claim they don't believe in it.

I'm confused... Are you saying you've never met a fundamentalist turned atheist? If so, nice to meetcha!

No, i meant that i have never met anyone, who believes in god, and claims to be an atheist at the same time.
Ofcourse, i'm not a mind reader so i might have, but it just sounds so illogical thing to do that it just fails to compute.
Plenty of atheists that deny being an atheist, usually calling themselves agnostics instead, and i've heard of people who are atheists and claim to believe in god for whatever reason (family, job security, etc...), even of a priest who became an atheist (and continued as a priest), but never of anyone who truly believes, but claims not to.

Oooh... Well, apparently followers of Islam are allowed to deny their faith if they feel that it will serve Allah in the end. Also, don't know if you've heard of them, but lying for Jesus is considered an acceptable practice for some Christians, though I can't imagine any circumstances under which lying about one's faith would be seen as beneficial (maybe to infiltrate an atheistic group and subvert them??).

Kaulen Fuhs:
I can't imagine any circumstances under which lying about one's faith would be seen as beneficial (maybe to infiltrate an atheistic group and subvert them??).

If one wishes to remain employed in some parts of the United States it is very beneficial to lie about one's faith.

In one wishes to remain alive in many parts of the Middle-East it is very beneficial to lie about one's faith.

If you're talking about calling yourself an atheist when really being religious it would require a very specific set of circumstance as there are not many organizations that could get away with denying employment or access due to someone else being religious.

Kaulen Fuhs:

nyysjan:

Kaulen Fuhs:

I'm confused... Are you saying you've never met a fundamentalist turned atheist? If so, nice to meetcha!

No, i meant that i have never met anyone, who believes in god, and claims to be an atheist at the same time.
Ofcourse, i'm not a mind reader so i might have, but it just sounds so illogical thing to do that it just fails to compute.
Plenty of atheists that deny being an atheist, usually calling themselves agnostics instead, and i've heard of people who are atheists and claim to believe in god for whatever reason (family, job security, etc...), even of a priest who became an atheist (and continued as a priest), but never of anyone who truly believes, but claims not to.

Oooh... Well, apparently followers of Islam are allowed to deny their faith if they feel that it will serve Allah in the end. Also, don't know if you've heard of them, but lying for Jesus is considered an acceptable practice for some Christians, though I can't imagine any circumstances under which lying about one's faith would be seen as beneficial (maybe to infiltrate an atheistic group and subvert them??).

Yes, i understand the concept, but i have never, ever, actually heard of it happening, and find it extremely hard to think of a situation where it would be of any advantage (atheists, as a rule, hold little to no power in any organization anyone might want to infiltrate).
And least of all i could see anyone trying to pretend to be an atheist in order to seem smart (if you believe in a supreme omnipotent all knowing being, how smart would it be to deny it's existence?).

nyysjan:
Yes, i understand the concept, but i have never, ever, actually heard of it happening, and find it extremely hard to think of a situation where it would be of any advantage (atheists, as a rule, hold little to no power in any organization anyone might want to infiltrate).

Happened from time to time in the Soviet Union, I think. Possibly China as well. Basically anywhere that employed State Atheism or had large Marxist uprisings could plausibly have had this phenomenon.

nyysjan:
No, i meant that i have never met anyone, who believes in god, and claims to be an atheist at the same time.

I have, sort of. It depends what is meant by a god.

Traditionally, a god is supposed to be a real, supernatural being, and the philosophy of atheism is rejection of belief in any such things. However, some models of religious belief do not view a god as an independently existing entity of any sort, but a sort of symbol of the faith or their own spirituality. Thus they meet the criteria of an atheist by not actually believing in a supernatural being, but still believe in something they would call a god.

Seanchaidh:

nyysjan:
Yes, i understand the concept, but i have never, ever, actually heard of it happening, and find it extremely hard to think of a situation where it would be of any advantage (atheists, as a rule, hold little to no power in any organization anyone might want to infiltrate).

Happened from time to time in the Soviet Union, I think. Possibly China as well. Basically anywhere that employed State Atheism or had large Marxist uprisings could plausibly have had this phenomenon.

Ah, yes, i hope i may be forgiven having forgotten about things that happened when i was still a preteen, in a place i have never had much of an interest at.
But yes, it has happened, i have been in error (still haven't actually met anyone who has had done so though).

Agema:

nyysjan:
No, i meant that i have never met anyone, who believes in god, and claims to be an atheist at the same time.

I have, sort of. It depends what is meant by a god.

Traditionally, a god is supposed to be a real, supernatural being, and the philosophy of atheism is rejection of belief in any such things. However, some models of religious belief do not view a god as an independently existing entity of any sort, but a sort of symbol of the faith or their own spirituality. Thus they meet the criteria of an atheist by not actually believing in a supernatural being, but still believe in something they would call a god.

Which is less about Atheism/Theism schism, and more about the definition of god.

Also, and i admit this is nitpicking, Atheism is not rejection of belief in god or any such things (and, has nothing to do with belief in supernatural, only god or gods), merely the lack of belief in god or gods.
Which is not to say that many atheists don't reject, consciously, the belief in god or gods, but simply never having heard of the concept would be enough.

nyysjan:

Which is less about Atheism/Theism schism, and more about the definition of god.

Also, and i admit this is nitpicking, Atheism is not rejection of belief in god or any such things (and, has nothing to do with belief in supernatural, only god or gods), merely the lack of belief in god or gods. Which is not to say that many atheists don't reject, consciously, the belief in god or gods, but simply never having heard of the concept would be enough.

Atheism has a history and its own philosophical development. Although atheistic musings go back to ancient times, it is effectively quite a modern philosophy that emerged relatively recently (ca. 18th century). As a Western philosophy, it has very much relied upon a Western conception of supernatural entity - that is to say, the Christian God. Whilst some atheist arguments have often been religion-specific relating to theological problems, the core premise of atheism is a materialist one of rejecting the existence of supernatural entities or forces: why believe in what you cannot identify to exist?

However, other cultures and religions have different understandings of the supernatural. Under your assessment, for instance, animists or ancestor-worshippers would all be atheists (because they do not believe in a god). However, the supernatural spirits of flora and fauna they do believe in are subject to exactly the same basic atheistic criticism as the Christian god, and it seems to me simple absurdity to call them atheists when the philosophy of atheism denies their beliefs exactly as it does those of theists.

There is plentiful evidence to suggest belief in the supernatural is as old as humanity; there has been for the most part an innate assumption throughout history that gods / spirits / etc. exist. More specifically, as above, atheism was an explicit rejection of belief in god, and would need to be: in the absence of any concept of supernatural entities, no philosophy to refute them would have been created (even though its unthought-of principles would still be valid).

In other words, I reject your nitpick about "reject". However, I do not say your definition is wrong, either. Both are just looking at atheism (for which no single, absolute definition exists) from a slightly different angle, and both reasonable definitions.

Atheism is not the rejection of the supernatural (scepticism might be a closer fit), many, probably even most, atheist may reject the supernatural, but then most theists (in western/industrialized nations atleast) also reject supernatural not fitting into their personal religious beliefs, atheists just take one step further.
Yes, belief in supernatural may be as old as humanity (even older), but that has nothing to do with atheism, or definition there of, religious people can be atheists (for instance, some schools Budhism require no belief in god if i'm not mistaken), and there is no rule that atheists can't be superstitious.

Atheism, at the core, is simple non belief in god or gods, many atheists also believe in non existence of god, but that's completely different matter (opinion vs no opinion so to speak.), and many atheists are sceptics who reject the supernatural (most outspoken atheists seem to be), but the core definition of the word does not change because of additional beliefs, philosophies or opinions people who fit into the core meaning of atheism (no belief no god/s) may have.

Also, god does not have one single definition however, some believe in omnipotent god, others in ones with limited powers, some believe in one god, others in many, some think gods are immortal, others don't, which can make peoples heads hurt from trying to figure out what people mean when they say god, and that can cause confusion, but that does not change the meaning of the word atheist.

Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.
Other definitions exist, and are often used, but simply using the less inclusive meaning of "rejects the belief in/existence of god" would drop me out of the definition, and i am an atheist, so i will continue to protest against that usage.

Demon ID:
Something has been bugging me lately and I wanted to share and gauge other peoples opinions on this, mostly to see if they feel at all similar to how I've have felt for a while. What I'm talking about is that for over a year now I've noticed repeatedly that Atheists seem to be the most arrogant, self important, condescending people going. I can't go a day without reading, hearing or seeing something about how those who have a faith (of which I am not one) are moronic and stupid whilst an Atheist is smart and cultured, that they are somehow 'better' because they don't need a god.

I know this doesn't apply to all Atheists because I feel I'm closer to that group than I am an organised religion (agnostic, I like to think their is something more but I think it's just more fear of death than anything else). I just get the overwhelming feeling that their is a constant need to point out how much they think their choice is the best, that others (christians mostly) are inferior and it really has just started to grate on me. Perhaps it's because I'm in England, where we tend not to get many right wing religious nuts to latch onto in the media compared to how it's reported in the USA but I can't remember the last time someone of faith made me feel bad for my lack of faith, but already today I can think of two counts of Atheist superiority complexes.

I know this is a rant and I do apologise for that but I felt I needed to just air out my opinion in a public place and hear others opinions on the matter in return.

EDIT:

I just thought I'd say thank you to those that have responded, I had a fear I would start some sort of flame war but instead I got some very insightful opinions. Also, quote of the thread:

Sonofadiddly:
Pretty much can't be arrogant about religion as an agnostic. Is there a God? Dunno. But there is pizza.

And then we eat pizza.

Truest thing I've ever read on this subject: "There's a word for most intelligent people who don't think God exists. That word is agnostic."

I value logic and skepticism. Religious people do not value those things. I suppose I can't exactly call them stupid or bad for not valuing those things. I can however say that I don't much respect people who don't value them.

2012 Wont Happen:
I value logic and skepticism. Religious people do not value those things. I suppose I can't exactly call them stupid or bad for not valuing those things. I can however say that I don't much respect people who don't value them.

And from what philosophy do you come from that you hold the absolute belief and proof that they do not?

http://www.annarbor.com/faith/science-vs-religion-what-are-scientists-religious-beliefs/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science

Hell, for hundreds of years the Muslim empires of the middle east essentially set the bar for scientific progress and understanding of mathematics and medicine.

You're theme parking two different groups. The Christians as ignorant people who throw all logic and skepticism out the window, and scientist as cold empiricist who discard emotion and belief in favor of 'Vulcan' logic.

Science and religion are not mutually exclusive in a single body. You can be a scientist and be religious. Most scientist aren't going to let their religion effect their science, or the other way around.

Bentusi16:

2012 Wont Happen:
I value logic and skepticism. Religious people do not value those things. I suppose I can't exactly call them stupid or bad for not valuing those things. I can however say that I don't much respect people who don't value them.

And from what philosophy do you come from that you hold the absolute belief and proof that they do not?

http://www.annarbor.com/faith/science-vs-religion-what-are-scientists-religious-beliefs/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science

Hell, for hundreds of years the Muslim empires of the middle east essentially set the bar for scientific progress and understanding of mathematics and medicine.

You're theme parking two different groups. The Christians as ignorant people who throw all logic and skepticism out the window, and scientist as cold empiricist who discard emotion and belief in favor of 'Vulcan' logic.

Science and religion are not mutually exclusive in a single body. You can be a scientist and be religious. Most scientist aren't going to let their religion effect their science, or the other way around.

Very true. New Atheists often forget that many scientists are at least spiritualists, if not theists. But do you deny that a scientific, skeptical viewpoint is more conducive to truth than not? I hardly think of all Christians as ignorant desert dwellers, but I do see a lot of cognitive dissonance in my day to day; people extending skepticism to everything but their faith.

Kaulen Fuhs:

Bentusi16:

2012 Wont Happen:
I value logic and skepticism. Religious people do not value those things. I suppose I can't exactly call them stupid or bad for not valuing those things. I can however say that I don't much respect people who don't value them.

And from what philosophy do you come from that you hold the absolute belief and proof that they do not?

http://www.annarbor.com/faith/science-vs-religion-what-are-scientists-religious-beliefs/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science

Hell, for hundreds of years the Muslim empires of the middle east essentially set the bar for scientific progress and understanding of mathematics and medicine.

You're theme parking two different groups. The Christians as ignorant people who throw all logic and skepticism out the window, and scientist as cold empiricist who discard emotion and belief in favor of 'Vulcan' logic.

Science and religion are not mutually exclusive in a single body. You can be a scientist and be religious. Most scientist aren't going to let their religion effect their science, or the other way around.

Very true. New Atheists often forget that many scientists are at least spiritualists, if not theists. But do you deny that a scientific, skeptical viewpoint is more conducive to truth than not? I hardly think of all Christians as ignorant desert dwellers, but I do see a lot of cognitive dissonance in my day to day; people extending skepticism to everything but their faith.

Cognitive dissonance is a fact of life; I think everyone suffers from it.

And skepticism can be good, but their are lines of skepticism. I think the best one is somewhere between Agent Mulder and Agent Skully. In fact, agent skully is probably the easiest example of exactly what you're talking about. Highly scientific, extremely intelligent, well educated, and rigorously catholic. Mulder is written as more of a hollywood atheist.

Faith by its nature denies skepticism being applied to ones own faith. When 'faith' wavers, that's when skepticism comes into play. An atheist has as much faith as a catholic, because both are operating on an arbitrary belief, one that god cannot exist, the other that god must exist. Both are unequally provable or disprovable points, and both are arbitrary claims. Both claim theirs is backed up by evidence, but the evidence only works if you accept their basic premise without skepticism.

Bentusi16:

Kaulen Fuhs:

Bentusi16:

And from what philosophy do you come from that you hold the absolute belief and proof that they do not?

http://www.annarbor.com/faith/science-vs-religion-what-are-scientists-religious-beliefs/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science

Hell, for hundreds of years the Muslim empires of the middle east essentially set the bar for scientific progress and understanding of mathematics and medicine.

You're theme parking two different groups. The Christians as ignorant people who throw all logic and skepticism out the window, and scientist as cold empiricist who discard emotion and belief in favor of 'Vulcan' logic.

Science and religion are not mutually exclusive in a single body. You can be a scientist and be religious. Most scientist aren't going to let their religion effect their science, or the other way around.

Very true. New Atheists often forget that many scientists are at least spiritualists, if not theists. But do you deny that a scientific, skeptical viewpoint is more conducive to truth than not? I hardly think of all Christians as ignorant desert dwellers, but I do see a lot of cognitive dissonance in my day to day; people extending skepticism to everything but their faith.

Cognitive dissonance is a fact of life; I think everyone suffers from it.

And skepticism can be good, but their are lines of skepticism. I think the best one is somewhere between Agent Mulder and Agent Skully. In fact, agent skully is probably the easiest example of exactly what you're talking about. Highly scientific, extremely intelligent, well educated, and rigorously catholic. Mulder is written as more of a hollywood atheist.

Faith by its nature denies skepticism being applied to ones own faith. When 'faith' wavers, that's when skepticism comes into play. An atheist has as much faith as a catholic, because both are operating on an arbitrary belief, one that god cannot exist, the other that god must exist. Both are unequally provable or disprovable points, and both are arbitrary claims. Both claim theirs is backed up by evidence, but the evidence only works if you accept their basic premise without skepticism.

I'd dispute your assertion that both atheists and theists are necessarily claiming a truth, (that God exists or does not), but otherwise, I think you and I are in agreement.

Bentusi16:
Faith by its nature denies skepticism being applied to ones own faith. When 'faith' wavers, that's when skepticism comes into play. An atheist has as much faith as a catholic, because both are operating on an arbitrary belief, one that god cannot exist, the other that god must exist. Both are unequally provable or disprovable points, and both are arbitrary claims. Both claim theirs is backed up by evidence, but the evidence only works if you accept their basic premise without skepticism.

Do you even know what an atheist is?

One who does not believe in any gods.
There is no faith involved, just as you don't need to have faith that faries don't exist. I haven't heard of a single atheist who has said that 'god cannot exist', because that is a ridiculious and unscientific claim. Most atheists I've talked to are also agnostics.

lowhat:
Truest thing I've ever read on this subject: "There's a word for most intelligent people who don't think God exists. That word is agnostic."

Actually it's negative atheist. An agnostic thinks that whether God exists or not is impossible to know.

Bentusi16:
Actually I was thinking of someone like Richard Dawkins, who essentially says that anyone who isn't an atheist is an idiot.

Now I'm no fanboi of Dawkins by any means, but...

One should be careful here, as the word Dawkins tends to use is "deluded" not "idiot". A definition from him might be:

'A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence'. -Richard Dawkins

...and that's fair.

I should also say that to my knowledge, he has applied this in a specific context (similar to that explored by Maher in "Religulous"), that being one should not trust the science of one that claims faith. Put another way, if a scientist is comfortable taking god as a given without evidence, what's to prevent said scientist from advancing his science in the same way?

Thoughts on this?

lowhat:
Truest thing I've ever read on this subject: "There's a word for most intelligent people who don't think God exists. That word is agnostic."

Food for thought: wasn't it Mark Twain that famously said 'Agnosticism is an inability to make up one's mind'?

'There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?' -Richard Dawkins

Cheers,
-Aes

Aesmodan:
'A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence'. -Richard Dawkins

...and that's fair...

Just wanted to interject here, and add that this is really where New Atheism begins to bump into problems. Psychology, the science of the operation of mental functions and behaviours, has defined a delusion as:

... a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.

So, the definition of a "delusion" as provided by outspoken Atheists contradicts the definition of the very field of science they're attempting to leverage to make their point.
For faith in God or Gods to be labelled a delusion, evidence for the non-existence of God must first be provided in order to fulfill the requirement for the definition. Being as Atheists are quite infamous for their "We don't have to prove that God doesn't exist" statements, it would stand that sufficient evidence has yet to be provided.
Such casts and re-definitions are used to in order to leverage known words such as "delusion" in appeal to intelligence statements, discussion and debates.

Zeh Don:

Just wanted to interject here, and add that this is really where New Atheism begins to bump into problems. Psychology, the science of the operation of mental functions and behaviours, has defined a delusion as:

... a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.

So, the definition of a "delusion" as provided by outspoken Atheists contradicts the definition of the very field of science they're attempting to leverage to make their point.
For faith in God or Gods to be labelled a delusion, evidence for the non-existence of God must first be provided in order to fulfill the requirement for the definition. Being as Atheists are quite infamous for their "We don't have to prove that God doesn't exist" statements, it would stand that sufficient evidence has yet to be provided.

Completely false.

The complete and total absense of evidence gives suffient reason to assume there is evidence of absense. Everyone uses this logic regarding things that there is zero evidence for. E.g. Fairies, buttfuck insane conspiracy theories and so on.

It's only when the topic of "God" is brought up that people use this insane troll logic to try and justify this completely evidenceless claim.

It's stubborn, it's childish and it is completely intellectually dishonest.

Zeh Don:

Aesmodan:
'A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence'. -Richard Dawkins

...and that's fair...

Just wanted to interject here, and add that this is really where New Atheism begins to bump into problems. Psychology, the science of the operation of mental functions and behaviours, has defined a delusion as:

... a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.

So, the definition of a "delusion" as provided by outspoken Atheists contradicts the definition of the very field of science they're attempting to leverage to make their point.
For faith in God or Gods to be labelled a delusion, evidence for the non-existence of God must first be provided in order to fulfill the requirement for the definition. Being as Atheists are quite infamous for their "We don't have to prove that God doesn't exist" statements, it would stand that sufficient evidence has yet to be provided.
Such casts and re-definitions are used to in order to leverage known words such as "delusion" in appeal to intelligence statements, discussion and debates.

Actually, what you've pointed out there is the usual discussion on what constitutes 'superior evidence'.

Let's look at what you said there: "evidence for the non-existence of God must first be provided". Out of curiosity, how would you expect anyone to prove a negative? (What sort of proof or argument would you find acceptable for the non-existence of a thing?)

Of course, proving a negative is impossible, and attempting to do so (or expecting a negative argument to support a positive assertion) is a logical fallacy.

You see, in order to make an argument or claim that something is 'true', the scientific method expects supporting proof. For example, Evolution is 'true' because there's an incredible volume of evidence, such that it is no longer even reasonable to call it 'a theory'.

So something is 'true' because it has supporting evidence; an assertion is never true because you say so until someone else proves it false (that's called faith, not reason, and that's really the impasse here). In science, the onus for proving that 'X is true' is on the individual that is stating it, and wants others to accept it as a valid assertion. Faith on the other hand simply requires no evidence, being based on subjective belief and emotion, not reason.

This is why Atheists "don't have to prove that God doesn't exist", because 1. no one can prove a negative, and 2. it's not on Atheists to do so -- it is on you to prove god exists as the one that claims he does. Put another way, it's sorta arrogant and egotistical to expect others to accept an argument you like, without proof -- just cuz you believe it's a good one.

So what's really exposed here are flaws in your thinking, not any flaws 'in Atheist logic'. (I agree that it's a difficult position to be in, because Atheists are unlikely to accept what you would consider to be evidence of god, since any such 'proofs' are highly likely to be testable or verifiable).

Cheers,
-Aes

Milk:

Zeh Don:

Just wanted to interject here, and add that this is really where New Atheism begins to bump into problems. Psychology, the science of the operation of mental functions and behaviours, has defined a delusion as:

... a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.

So, the definition of a "delusion" as provided by outspoken Atheists contradicts the definition of the very field of science they're attempting to leverage to make their point.
For faith in God or Gods to be labelled a delusion, evidence for the non-existence of God must first be provided in order to fulfill the requirement for the definition. Being as Atheists are quite infamous for their "We don't have to prove that God doesn't exist" statements, it would stand that sufficient evidence has yet to be provided.

Completely false.

The complete and total absense of evidence gives suffient reason to assume there is evidence of absense. Everyone uses this logic regarding things that there is zero evidence for. E.g. Fairies, buttfuck insane conspiracy theories and so on.

It's only when the topic of "God" is brought up that people use this insane troll logic to try and justify this completely evidenceless claim.

It's stubborn, it's childish and it is completely intellectually dishonest.

Think bringing up God is bad, trying bringing up God and Sexual repression issues brought on by western religion and culture at the same time. It's like watching a fire cracker turn into a movie-esque gasoline powered fireball.

Milk:
...The complete and total absense of evidence gives suffient reason to assume there is evidence of absense.

Unfortunately, you're fundamentally wrong right out of the gate. Evidence of absence does not come from the lack of evidence. If this were so, then the inverse logic could be applied to virtually anything we don't currently know - the cure for cancer, treatment for spinal injuries, or search for extraterrestrial life, for example.
Taking the last example, we have zero evidence of the existence of aliens - and no, the existence of life on Earth is not sufficient "evidence" - and so we must assume that there is no life in the universe, and halt all attempts to find it? Of course not. Because the childish logic of "I cannot see it, therefore it does not exist" had been proven false more than it has been proven true.
I won't even touch the assumption you've used there, because assumptions are never valid.

Milk:
Everyone uses this logic...

I'll just stop you right there. That's really more of a psychological fallacy than a factual statement - that is, you're using known information about yourself to fill in the unknown information about others.

"I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?" - John Lennon.

Skeptical thinking - that is, assuming everything is false until it is proven - is not the default position for every one, nor should it be. We need competing schools of thought in order to ensure we're not being narrow minded and defeatist. Believing everyone must think the same has the potential for a slippery slope forming, depending on how radical you are in that belief.

Milk:
...It's only when the topic of "God" is brought up that people use this insane troll logic to try and justify this completely evidenceless claim...

I'd recommend looking to the fundamental discoveries that spawned the various schools of science. The initial studies into pain, as well as the human anatomy, are terrific examples.
The men responsible for the fundamentals didn't have any evidence, proof or factual information to back up a single thing they thought. They just rolled up there sleeves and had it because, frankly, why not? Funnily enough, they were spot on correct more often than not.
This occurred because people, somewhere, had to actually start. And they did so without knowledge, or evidence. It is not illogical to do so, nor to act so. This is because "logic" is worthless in the practical world, because logic is not a physical concept, nor an absolute guarded by the fundamental laws of the universe. It is merely useful for testing the validity of statements using known information.
Being a slave to logic prevents the experimentation necessary to refining logic.

Milk:
It's stubborn, it's childish and it is completely intellectually dishonest.

Actually, quite the opposite, really. Tacit evidence is the most convincing form of evidence, because it is experienced first hand. However, as a result, it is not reproduce-able, and works on a person-to-person basis only.
Empirical evidence is the least convincing form of evidence, because it is presented via third parties. However, as a result of this, it is the easiest form of reproduce-able evidence we have.
Most of the world's theist or spiritual population - some 89% of the world - claim to have experienced something in their life that leads them to believe in a higher power. To ignore their own tacit evidence requires them to live more by the opinions and thoughts of others, than by their own life experiences.
If this is what you think others should do, could the same not be required of you? Of course not, and it shouldn't be. It's ridiculous. Yet, this is what the atheistic population generally fall back to - some variation of "We're smart enough to think for all of us".

Aesmodan:
...Out of curiosity, how would you expect anyone to prove a negative?... Of course, proving a negative is impossible, and attempting to do so (or expecting a negative argument to support a positive assertion) is a logical fallacy...

Unforuntately, that's really an atheist problem when attempting to label theism, deism or spiritualism as a "delusion". You ran off topic a little there, though it's forgivable as - frankly - it's hard not to do so.
The issue is: atheists are attempting to over-ride a requirement in order to use a word that implies something that hasn't actually occurred.

So, a delusion requires that a position be proved, and that the "delusion" is belief in the opposite of what is proven.
This is a carefully constructed definition used by psychologists in detailing the behaviour of a subject. Delusions usually indicate serious psychological issues, or even potentially medical issues with the brain itself.

Atheists are attempting to override the initial requirement - that a position be proved - by stating that "one cannot prove a negative" and thus can not be required to. This is an attempt to use logical philosophy to override a field of science - using the "double negative" to do so - for the purposes of implying that "it is proven that God does not exist", and thus that belief in God is a delusion.
If this requirement were over-turned as such, than a belief in anything can be said to be a delusion by anyone holding the opposite belief. Do you believe that a cure for cancer can be found? That's a delusion, because you can't prove it - thus the double negative over-rides, and it must be assumed that a cure for cancer will never be found. This is, of course, idiocy.

For the use of the word Delusion to be accurate, the requirement cannot be removed - it's a fundamental nature of the disorder and is required for it's use to make sense. Thus, if you cannot prove that God doesn't exist - regardless of the practicalities of that requirement - one cannot use the term "delusion" to describe a belief in God.

Zeh Don:
Do you believe that a cure for cancer can be found? That's a delusion, because you can't prove it - thus the double negative over-rides, and it must be assumed that a cure for cancer will never be found. This is, of course, idiocy.

There is plenty of evidence that a cure for cancer will be found... whatever point you were trying to make, this example bleeds it of any strength. There are not only the advances made in cancer research itself, but also a continuing pattern of advancements in medicine; cures happen, and there is no particular reason to believe that cancer will be an exception to this trend. Even more generally there is the fact that we have every reason to believe that all of human cell biology is reducible in some way to chemistry and physics: healthy cells exist, therefore it should be possible to cure cancer if in no other way than by manipulating matter. It is a matter of increasing understanding and/or increasing the precision of instruments and operations. Guess which way the trend is going for both of those. This constitutes a strong argument that there will be a cure for cancer.

Also, 'delusion' is not a word that is specific to psychiatry. Unless you'd care to share where Aesmodan or Dawkins said, in seriousness, that psychiatry needs to tackle religion with medication or the like, or even mentioned psychiatry in relation to the issue... If you can't do that, then it seems plain you are merely interpreting their statements in your own narrow way, attacking that narrow interpretation, and then treating that attack as if it is a rebuttal to the statements themselves.

Further weakening your point, psychiatry is not to any degree an exact science. It makes and relies upon value judgments (X behavior "is disturbing" or "is maladaptive"-- disturbing to who? Maladaptive in regards to what purpose?) It crafts definitions of disorders post hoc specifically to avoid certain conclusions-- such as that there is too large a number of people who are mentally disordered in some way. Indeed, "atypical" is one of the general components of mental disorder according to psychiatry. If there is something wrong with a majority of humans, the ideology of psychiatry is not to acknowledge it. In that way it is somewhat structurally predisposed to conservatism. "Normal" changes, but in gathering data about what is normal one can look only to the past.

Now, as for God, if you really want to hang your hat on "despite superior evidence to the contrary", then I would be remiss not to point out that "superior evidence to the contrary" is actually a very low standard in the case of The Almighty. If you acknowledge that there is little or no evidence for the belief, there need only be a little bit more than that small amount against in order for the contrary to have evidence that is "superior". Needless to say, I would advise you not to rely on that definition.

Seanchaidh:
There is plenty of evidence that a cure for cancer will be found... whatever point you were trying to make, this example bleeds it of any strength. There are not only the advances made in cancer research itself, but also a continuing pattern of advancements in medicine; cures happen, and there is no particular reason to believe that cancer will be an exception to this trend.

Unfortunately, you're now entering the realm of faith, which if I am not mistaken, is bit of a misnomer in the realm of hard science.
You believe that the past successes with entirely different illnesses serve as a sign of what will come to pass for all illnesses, a generalisation that Doctors would blush to hear. The only illness that has been effectively cured is Small Pox, and even then vigilance must be maintained with vaccinations to ensure it stays that way.

Other diseases are manageable, or even treatable, but not cured. So, no, my example is not bleed of any strength. It stands to reason that the most complicated illness we've put under the microscope - to clarify, in terms of it's sheer audacious operation - will enter the realm of the "manageable", but not cured. We have no current evidence to sustain the position "Cancer will absolutely be cured", however we have hope and faith, and so the search continues in spite this lack of evidence.
If you believe other wise, then you hold that in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. Thus, you hold it with faith - or, as you would have it called, a delusion. Faith in science is evidenced whenever someone declares in some variation "Science cannot do this. Yet."

Seanchaidh:
Also, 'delusion' is not a word that is specific to psychiatry...

The definition of delusion itself prior to creation of the psychiatric practice mirrors the definition that I provided - hence it's use in the psychiatric field in the first place, instead of a entirely new term coined to refer to that particular mental illness.
To argue that the origin of the word denounces a usage while ignoring the origin of it's use in the context within which is it used is, frankly, asinine. Are you attempting to draw a line in the sand of time, to state that whichever arbitrary definition and context you point to is the only one with which it can be used? The definition I provided is quite old, and adopted for the very definition itself.
As for the specific Dawkins quote, he is clearly providing his apparent definition of the word. If the definition he was providing was the same as that which is in common usage - that is, the one I provided - why is he quoted as defining it at all? Would not a dictionary be a better source than a professional atheist and dedicated skeptic who is quite literally changing the meaning of words to further belittle those of opposite beliefs?

Seanchaidh:
Further weakening your point, psychiatry is not to any degree an exact science.

"Exact science is not an exact science." - Nikola Tesla

Psychiatry is the study of the ever-unpredictable human mind, rather than the far more finite sciences such as geology and botany. To argue that psychiatry is not a science is to first discredit the work in the field - all of it - and second to argue that only finite sciences are truly studies at all.
Science, as defined as "The intellectual, practical and academic activity encompassing the systematic and systemic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world", encompasses everything. Therefore, the study of the human mind must be considered a field of science.
To argue that it must be an exact science in order to qualify for the aforementioned moniker is to remove the label from everything, such as physics and mathematics, as even within our archives of knowledge, there are unpronounceable random elements which prevent true reproduction - physics, in particular.
Psychiatry is a young science, but a science none the less. Given your preaching of faith in science as addressed above, I thought you might have more respect for such pioneering.

Seanchaidh:
...If there is something wrong with a majority of humans, the ideology of psychiatry is not to acknowledge it.

A commonly misunderstood position. "Normality" actually has no meaning within the field of psychiatry, as it is understood that every mind - every living human being - suffers from a least one mental disorder. The term disorder has taken on a very negative context, however it is not meant as such in all cases. Disorder, within this context, can be similar though not equal to the use of the word "characteristic" in terms of it's application to the masses.
The American CDC lists around 10-15% of the population of the USA suffer from diagnosis of some form a depression disorder. That is enough for it to be considered an epidemic. However, within the broader context of "mood disorders", of which depression disorders reside, the CDC lists around 6-7 out of every 10 Americans suffer from one. If this were not to be acknowledged... why is it acknowledged, diagnosed and then treated?

To recap, you've attempted to stipulate that belief in God is a "delusion" that is ignored due to the number of people who have it, yet you come to this conclusion by using the term disorder in reference to a persons mental cognitive state, a term which you've attempted to re-define in contrast to field of study that refers to a persons mental cognitive state, then attempting to discredit that same field in order to allow that re-definition, and then again use that same field which you have attempted to discredit in order to justify the discreditation of the field of study in which you refer?
I haven't seen such twists and turns since Alfred Hitchcock were making movies.

Seanchaidh:
Now, as for God... I would be remiss not to point out that "superior evidence to the contrary" is actually a very low standard in the case of The Almighty... there need only be a little bit more than that small amount against in order for the contrary to have evidence that is "superior"...

Once again, I have to point out the psychological fallacy in play with this type of reasoning.
You use the term evidence with implied definition of empirical evidence, without stating such. The issue is, of course, that empirical is not the only type of evidence. Nor is it the most convincing, and generally speaking it is not what those who hold beliefs in whichever higher power they believe in refer to. Tacit evidence, however, is what these same people refer to, and which you do not.
The psychological fallacy in play is, of course, to assume that everyone thinks the same as you do, and thus must be accountable to those who also think the same as you do.

When contrasting categories of evidence are presented, it is for the individual to be convinced and thus for them to subconsciously, and ultimately, decide which category of evidence is to be bestowed with greater weight in comparison to the other categories in judging it's application and relevance. For context, a Jury decides if a witnesses statement is "superior" to, say, a foot print cast.
You're attempting to stipulate that this is not the case, and that it is not for the individual to weigh and decide. As I mentioned, most people who believe in a higher power stipulate that this is because of events that they have experienced first hand. Are you really attempting to argue that a person must actually ignore their own first hand experience because others don't agree with what they describe?

I'll just leave these two here, because I think they're relevant, and that you might even enjoy them.
"One of the earliest resurrection scenes in the Bible is that of Thomas demanding evidence - he wanted to see, to touch, to prove. Those who question and probe and debate are heirs of the apostles just as much as the most fervent of believers." - Jon Meacham

"The belief that there are other life forms in the universe is a matter of faith. There is not a single shred of evidence for any other life forms, and in forty years of searching, none has been discovered. There is absolutely no evidentiary reason to maintain this belief." - Michael Crichton

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