Atheist Arrogance?

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So because the theocrats inserting religion into the pledge claim it was a reference to Lincoln, it's suddenly okay to use it for blatant propaganda uses during the Red Scare? When Lincoln never even used it in the pledge? Not to mention that a poltician using it wouldn't affect whether it is officially part of the pledge or not? And where's your protectiveness towards the original now? No, now it's about more recent tradition only, I guess, and not changing things that have been added at any point. Weak.

"But let's look at this way: when you remove something, delete it, CTRL+Z, essentially what you are saying is that what existed was a mistake, and that a proposed omission corrects that mistake. That wouldn't be taken lightly, religion or not."

Yeah, and let me tell you: McCarthyism existed and it was a mistake. You don't have to keep that mistake around forever. You can fix it, keep it in the annals of history, not to be repeated again, yet not to be forgotten. You don't have people continue to claim "it was always there" or something revisionist like that.

Anyway, if I were to add things to the pledge, it'd be something like this:
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation with, without or beyond God and Gods, as are freedom's precepts, indivisible in its essence, with liberty and justice for all, of race, of gender, of sexuality."
You know, put more emphasis on the differences of the populace, include Polytheists, Atheists and others and also ensure the "all"-part clearly states it's not just about white males of voting age.

As a religious person, I'm not without bias when I say I agree.
People hold different beliefs and for that to be grounds for belittling a person, not their faith but the actual person, just disgusts me.
Still, I have to agree with this guy.

Skeleon:
Can't share that experience, but then I am an Atheist, so my point of view differs. It's just that - when it comes to getting involved with other people's personal lives - Christians and Muslims are usually the most intrusive, judgemental and hypocritical in my experience. I would assume it would really depend on your perspective, where you live, whom you interact with etc.. One thing I will say, though: Most ire towards religious folks from Atheists is aimed towards those that are intrusive, judgemental and hypocritical. Co-existence (and even cooperation regarding secularization) with moderate religious people on the other hand is pretty easy and laid-back. *shrug*

A lot of us religious folk really do need to stop being so darn pushy, it REALLY doesn't help anything.
Most of my atheist friends and I have all come to this understanding that we're not going to convert each other.
Because there really isn't any concrete proof of a God or lack thereof.
And before someone quotes this saying there IS proof, to both sides, I say STOP.
What you have is evidence, not proof.
And all we do is run around in circles when we argue that point.
In the end, while I don't agree with the immediate message, I agree with the point...
image
C'mon people, let's just live our lives!

AgedGrunt:

Milk:
In the year 2013 if you are an atheist in Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Sudan the law demands that you be put to death.

There are places in the world where women and homosexuals don't have equal rights, either (the latter faces the death penalty in some cases).

Yup. As I pointed out the same happens to atheists.

There's social and political oppression, too.

Yup.

China is a big abuser yet the world feeds off its cheap labor and manufacturing.

Yup.

A Christian yelled at me that my beliefs are wrong. #FirstWorldProblems

I'm sorry what was the point of this post, especially this last line?

You wrote as if you were making a rebuttal and then tacked on a different issue at the end for you to dismiss.

torno:
As a religious person, I'm not without bias when I say I agree.
People hold different beliefs and for that to be grounds for belittling a person, not their faith but the actual person, just disgusts me.

Tolerance and acceptance like this disgusts me.

A person can hold the most racist, homophobic, sexist, illogical, nonsense beliefs but it is the person who calls them out on it and forces them to be held accountable for them that is considered "disgusting".

Ridiculous.

A lot of us religious folk really do need to stop being so darn pushy, it REALLY doesn't help anything.
Most of my atheist friends and I have all come to this understanding that we're not going to convert each other.
Because there really isn't any concrete proof of a God or lack thereof.
And before someone quotes this saying there IS proof, to both sides, I say STOP.
What you have is evidence, not proof.

Stop trying to put theism on equal grounds to atheism.

Just because there isn't 100% conclusive evidence one way or the other that doesn't make both sides equally valid. One is a position of belief without a single shred of evidence to support. The other is a position of doubt based on the total lack of evidence to support its existence combined with basic logical deduction.

Based on evidence the existence of God has a much validity as the existence of fairies therefore anyone who does try to argue the existence of God as if it does have any sort of legitimate merit should also do that for every mythological character and creature.

AgedGrunt:
Of course it's easy to take an eraser to something you didn't write, but what you are not realizing is that it changes the meaning, the message, and that is a foul crime to commit. Theoretically I'd rather a new Pledge be written, under a new name, and nothing be done to dilute the original. Removing the word God would be censorship

I'm all for this. I think we should be adding to this to include everyone. I don't get the idea of changing the name though. Pledge of Allegiance works just fine. I would like to see this be the new pledge:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under or not under the Christian God, Allah, Yahweh, Ancestor Spirits, Santa Claus, Unicorns, Fairies, FSM's, Zeus, or Odin, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. And pizza.

Alternately, it could be said it's an equal crime to add things to something you didn't write, because it changes the meaning and message. But who doesn't love pizza?

Milk:
Tolerance and acceptance like this disgusts me.

A person can hold the most racist, homophobic, sexist, illogical, nonsense beliefs but it is the person who calls them out on it and forces them to be held accountable for them that is considered "disgusting".

Ridiculous.

I didn't see that in anything you quoted from Torno. He merely stated having a different belief isn't a good enough reason to belittle a person. Rather that person's beliefs are actually destructive to society is another discussion.

Stop trying to put theism on equal grounds to atheism.

Just because there isn't 100% conclusive evidence one way or the other that doesn't make both sides equally valid. One is a position of belief without a single shred of evidence to support. The other is a position of doubt based on the total lack of evidence to support its existence combined with basic logical deduction.

Based on evidence the existence of God has a much validity as the existence of fairies therefore anyone who does try to argue the existence of God as if it does have any sort of legitimate merit should also do that for every mythological character and creature.

Until proof has been found for or against the existence of God, theism and atheism are both totally valid views to take. The only thing that makes you think they aren't on even ground is if you think your side is right or not.

And believing in God doesn't mean you have to validate fairies because, you know, Christians believe in one and not the other.

Skeleon:
So because the theocrats inserting religion into the pledge claim it was a reference to Lincoln, it's suddenly okay to use it for blatant propaganda uses during the Red Scare?

The man was an attorney and he stated its source. This is the first I've heard of the propaganda claims and doubt many Americans have ever said or understood the Pledge with that mindset, then or now. I see positives in Lincoln's words and the Pledge so I will defend both and the link between them.

Milk:
You wrote as if you were making a rebuttal and then tacked on a different issue at the end for you to dismiss.

The following reviews what happened:

Seanchaidh:

Bentusi16:
There is never an excuse to be rude; when you are rude, when you debase yourself with cries of 'they did it to us', you become no better then the thing you profess to fight against.

I'll keep that in mind when I'm burning people at the stake.

As a reply, and you were correct about the nations having a death penalty, this was said (emphasis and cleanup mine):

Bentusi16:
Don't get me wrong, the religions of the world have had some terrible things done in their name, including yes, hangings, crushings, stonings, and burnings; hold them to it. But do it without being a massive [kitten] about it because nothing gives you an excuse to be rude. Nothing.

I'll take responsibility for my own words which in hindsight I'd take back, but I saw the focus on Atheism as we, the western world understand it (the nations listed are not the western world), and so it appeared to unify the oppression of all Atheists with what we see in those terribly oppressive nations, and possibly that the western world is that minus the stake-burning (I'm not even sure if stakes are used anymore, but whatever).

To reiterate, I felt that while you were technically right about the death penalty it was more in context of the western world, not areas that are rife with human rights abuses, and there was a fair point made that bad people who feel the way they do because of history don't have an excuse.

As this is long enough I won't add another quote, but when you say theism and atheism are not on equal ground, that's only true as it pertains to science and what we can call fact. Socially we should have mutual respect for all philosophies and that necessitates equal ground. It's why I distinguish between the Congress writing a law respecting a religion versus allowing a nativity set display. I see the latter as a sign of respect for something that doesn't change who we are, and I'm ok with that.

Shadowstar38:
Until proof has been found for or against the existence of God, theism and atheism are both totally valid views to take. The only thing that makes you think they aren't on even ground is if you think your side is right or not.

And believing in God doesn't mean you have to validate fairies because, you know, Christians believe in one and not the other.

But why? There is exactly the same level of proof of fairies as there is of your god. So how can you believe in one but not the other? Where is your proof that fairies aren't real?

Aris Khandr:

Shadowstar38:
Until proof has been found for or against the existence of God, theism and atheism are both totally valid views to take. The only thing that makes you think they aren't on even ground is if you think your side is right or not.

And believing in God doesn't mean you have to validate fairies because, you know, Christians believe in one and not the other.

But why? There is exactly the same level of proof of fairies as there is of your god. So how can you believe in one but not the other? Where is your proof that fairies aren't real?

Um. Well for one, no one cares about fairies. Their existence or lack of existence has no impact on anything.

But in any case, a person can have faith in something, but not in any other creative thing Milk can come up with.

Shadowstar38:

Um. Well for one, no one cares about fairies. Their existence or lack of existence has no impact on anything.

Why does "people care" have any impact whatsoever on a statement's likelihood to be true?

Shadowstar38:
But in any case, a person can have faith in something, but not in any other creative thing Milk can come up with.

This is how it is, Milk's well aware; he (and I) simply believe that to be illogical.

Silvanus:

Why does "people care" have any impact whatsoever on a statement's likelihood to be true?

It doesn't. The analogy being used here is just pointless and I didn't dwell much on it.

This is how it is, Milk's well aware; he (and I) simply believe that to be illogical.

Logic is limited in its usefulness.

Shadowstar38:

It doesn't. The analogy being used here is just pointless and I didn't dwell much on it.

I, for one, would genuinely like to know what greater reason I have to believe in one god than another, to be honest. The analogy seems the only way to get across the "zero evidence = zero reason to believe" point.

Shadowstar38:

Logic is limited in its usefulness.

Perhaps on purely emotional issues. Not on this. This is an objective question, or as objective as a question can get (that last part inserted to prevent people going all Satre on me). Logic is not limited in its usefulness here.

Silvanus:

I, for one, would genuinely like to know what greater reason I have to believe in one god than another, to be honest. The analogy seems the only way to get across the "zero evidence = zero reason to believe" point.

The only reason you'd believe in the Christian God over any other deity, is your own personal faith in that deity. Atheists have no need for faith as far as I know.

Perhaps on purely emotional issues. Not on this. This is an objective question, or as objective as a question can get (that last part inserted to prevent people going all Satre on me). Logic is not limited in its usefulness here.

The issue that dragged me in here was that Theism should not be put on "equal grounds" as atheism. I may be assuming too much, but that sounds as if he were trying to say that theism is a faulty line of thinking. Or that atheism is somehow of a higher caliber.

I tend to see people's beliefs, or lack of, as subjective and emotional.

Shadowstar38:

The only reason you'd believe in the Christian God over any other deity, is your own personal faith in that deity. Atheists have no need for faith as far as I know.

So, it's faith equal in meaning to the faith of a Norseman in Odin, and equal in meaning to the faith of an Egyptian in Osiris.

I genuinely don't want to be offensive here; I want to know if people believe this to be the case.

Shadowstar38:

The issue that dragged me in here was that Theism should not be put on "equal grounds" as atheism. I may be assuming too much, but that sounds as if he were trying to say that theism is a faulty line of thinking. Or that atheism is somehow of a higher caliber.

I tend to see people's beliefs, or lack of, as subjective and emotional.

People's opinions are purely subjective; but claims of truth are not, by definition.

Silvanus:
So, it's faith equal in meaning to the faith of a Norseman in Odin, and equal in meaning to the faith of an Egyptian in Osiris.

I genuinely don't want to be offensive here; I want to know if people believe this to be the case.

You're not going to offend me personally.

And as far as I'm concerned, all those are equal. Back when I frequented church every Sunday, I came across a practicing wiccan at my school. Some of their beliefs and rituals seemed odd, but she had the same level of conviction to any Christian I'd seen.

That being said, all faith is equal.

People's opinions are purely subjective; but claims of truth are not, by definition.

None of us have the truth. Therefore, every claim has equal validity.

Shadowstar38:

You're not going to offend me personally.

And as far as I'm concerned, all those are equal. Back when I frequented church every Sunday, I came across a practicing wiccan at my school. Some of their beliefs and rituals seemed odd, but she had the same level of conviction to any Christian I'd seen.

That being said, all faith is equal.

Aye, agreed.

Shadowstar38:

None of us have the truth. Therefore, every claim has equal validity.

Say somebody is ill, and they're given two choices. One is a medicinal drug, its benefits well-tested, with a demonstrated good success rate. People have ready and available access to the information from the scientific trials.

The second choice is a homeopathic remedy. We know precisely what its chemical composition is; it's indistinguishable from water. The only defense of it is the claim of the homeopath that "water retains a memory" of ingredients it once came into contact with. They cannot provide any trial, any test, any demonstrable benefit greater than the placebo effect.

The claim that the tested medicinal drug is more likely to work has far greater validity.

Claims have validity directly proportional to their positive evidence.

Silvanus:
Say somebody is ill, and they're given two choices. One is a medicinal drug, its benefits well-tested, with a demonstrated good success rate. People have ready and available access to the information from the scientific trials.

The second choice is a homeopathic remedy. We know precisely what its chemical composition is; it's indistinguishable from water. The only defense of it is the claim of the homeopath that "water retains a memory" of ingredients it once came into contact with. They cannot provide any trial, any test, any demonstrable benefit greater than the placebo effect.

The claim that the tested medicinal drug is more likely to work has far greater validity.

Claims have validity directly proportional to their positive evidence.

And because atheists can disprove most of what every else says, they have positive proof to be the most valid choice. That makes sense actually.

Aris Khandr:

Shadowstar38:
Until proof has been found for or against the existence of God, theism and atheism are both totally valid views to take. The only thing that makes you think they aren't on even ground is if you think your side is right or not.

And believing in God doesn't mean you have to validate fairies because, you know, Christians believe in one and not the other.

But why? There is exactly the same level of proof of fairies as there is of your god. So how can you believe in one but not the other? Where is your proof that fairies aren't real?

Speaking only for myself, I don't believe in applying methodology seen in the real world with the supernatural. It's a bit like trying to prove love exists by using mathematics (and I swear if someone finds an equation...(send it to me)). In this context I believe in separating church from state, because the rules of one shouldn't apply to the other.

It's faith for a reason, and one either has it, feels it and believes in it or does not, will not and cannot. In my own conviction it is not up to me to provide proof, nor could I explain it if I tried. It's simply there for people to see if they allow it into their lives.

AgedGrunt:
The man was an attorney and he stated its source. This is the first I've heard of the propaganda claims and doubt many Americans have ever said or understood the Pledge with that mindset, then or now. I see positives in Lincoln's words and the Pledge so I will defend both and the link between them.

Yeah, its completely unrelated source. As I said before, one president saying something doesn't change the official pledge. And - as I had also said - according to your own source, Lincoln didn't even use it with the pledge. Frankly, this sounds like an after-the-fact justification: "But Lincoln said something similar once!" Amazing.

Anyway, this is not the first you have heard of the propaganda claims, it's only the first time I've put it so bluntly. Myself and others have already told you about the Red Scare, which was when it was officially added.

Of course you see positives in it, but others don't. It's particularly ironic to have something so divisive be right in front of "indivisible", when it clearly divides the country into Monotheists (and lets be clear here, primarily Christians only and maybe Jews, on a good day, if they're lucky) and everybody else.

But one thing at least I'm glad about: That you're not using the "it's the original"-argument anymore, so we've at least made some progress. Frankly, I think this is where I'll bow out because clearly we're not getting anywhere. I for one will continue to support people trying to fix what they broke (or add something to be less divisive and excluding, like the example I gave in my post before[1]), but I obviously won't convince anybody who doesn't already think it was a mistake.

[1] Anyway, if I were to add things to the pledge, it'd be something like this:
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation with, without or beyond God and Gods, as are freedom's precepts, indivisible in its essence, with liberty and justice for all, of race, of gender, of sexuality."
You know, put more emphasis on the differences of the populace, include Polytheists, Atheists and others and also ensure the "all"-part clearly states it's not just about white males of voting age.

Shadowstar38:
Um. Well for one, no one cares about fairies. Their existence or lack of existence has no impact on anything.

Iceland would disagree, seeing as supposed fairy homes have major influences on the building industry.

AgedGrunt:

Skeleon:
So because the theocrats inserting religion into the pledge claim it was a reference to Lincoln, it's suddenly okay to use it for blatant propaganda uses during the Red Scare?

The man was an attorney and he stated its source. This is the first I've heard of the propaganda claims and doubt many Americans have ever said or understood the Pledge with that mindset, then or now. I see positives in Lincoln's words and the Pledge so I will defend both and the link between them.

Obama is a Star Wars fan. Does that mean we can add "one nation under the Force"? I'm sure we could find a good reference somewhere or even just ask him to say the phrase. And it's actually an even better concept since it's no conscious being, doesn't judge or punish and if you use it for bad it's entirely your own fault.
Come to think of it... to the gouvernment suggestion box!

Atheism as a concept cannot be defended further than the point where a lack of evidence for any theistic conclusion leads you to the conclusion that if theism is devoid of evidence the opposite position must be true.
So in that sense atheism has no evidence "for" it, and is only valid because it is the null position to default to when theism cannot be proven to any reasonable degree.

The thing is though, it's not atheism vs. theism, it's science vs. theism, and that makes for a very different conversation.
Science has an overwhelming body of evidence to support its conclusions, to the point where it simply cannot be argued with.
This would have nothing to do with atheism vs. theism were it not for that fact that science contradicts many of the claims made by theism, but because it does theism must be tossed out as a logical consequence of following the scientific method, meaning that the null position (atheism) must be adopted as well.

Arguing that atheism and theism have equal validity is fine if you are referring to atheism chosen for no scientific reason, but when the atheism is a consequence of following the scientific method you cannot claim equal status for theism, one is based on evidence and one is not.

Most atheists follow the scientific method, and frankly we find it hilarious that theists think that the whole spectrum of human scientific knowledge is equal to the origin myth of Bronze-Age goat-herders, it just isn't, and while a superiority complex is not justified, claims of equal validity are so unjustified as to be comical.

Quaxar:
Obama is a Star Wars fan. Does that mean we can add "one nation under the Force"? I'm sure we could find a good reference somewhere or even just ask him to say the phrase. And it's actually an even better concept since it's no conscious being, doesn't judge or punish and if you use it for bad it's entirely your own fault.
Come to think of it... to the gouvernment suggestion box!

Bad idea. It'd boil down the democratic system to either two shifty-eyed dudes with a love-hate relationship constantly plotting to murder or overthrow each other, or a government "advised" by a group of extremely hardline theocrats who consider themselves above the law.

....oh wait...

Skeleon:
Yeah, its completely unrelated source. As I said before, one president saying something doesn't change the official pledge. And - as I had also said - according to your own source, Lincoln didn't even use it with the pledge. Frankly, this sounds like an after-the-fact justification: "But Lincoln said something similar once!" Amazing.

It's not unrelated if those are the words that were taken from the address Lincoln gave. I don't think it's fair to dismiss the source when the "red scare" has been argued in conjecture.

And if you were individual before who referenced this class of "white males of voting age" (repeated in footnote in the above post), that's racist, so yes we are quite at the point where we part ways.

Quaxar:
Obama is a Star Wars fan. Does that mean we can add "one nation under the Force"? I'm sure we could find a good reference somewhere or even just ask him to say the phrase. And it's actually an even better concept since it's no conscious being, doesn't judge or punish and if you use it for bad it's entirely your own fault.
Come to think of it... to the gouvernment suggestion box!

If there's significant approval at public levels we should consider change...

..but please do not give SW fans ideas. They are powerful enough to make things happen.

Balberoth:

This would have nothing to do with atheism vs. theism were it not for that fact that science contradicts many of the claims made by theism

We can safely argue that science as currently understood does not tackle the important claims made by religions - the most obvious being whether gods exist.

Mostly, in fact, science merely disproves a limited number of fringe or non-vital assertions of some religious. For instance, in the context that some 80-90% of Christians are members of denominations that accept evolution as theologically viable (and have done so for generations) or don't care, the vast battle of science and Creationism is no threat to Christianity at all.

Most atheists follow the scientific method...

No, they do not. I'd suggest most atheists are as ignorant of scientific method and how science is actually conducted as a societal endeavour as the next man.

What atheists tend to have is a strong belief that science supplies us with generally reliable information about the world - in my view, a very reasonable conclusion. But that belief is probably rarely based on an understanding of the philosophical underpinnings and methodological processes of science. More likely, simply because it's reasonably clear that science seems to "work" at explaining the world [better than anything else].

AgedGrunt:

If there's significant approval at public levels we should consider change...

..but please do not give SW fans ideas. They are powerful enough to make things happen.

Fun question, if we DID add a starwars reference would you immediately defend that change too like you defend the red scare change? Or would you want it removed because it tainted the original meaning using the exact same arguments we are applying here.

Arrogance is just one of those things that atheists have always had. Just read the works of David Hume, Thomas Huxley, Ernst Haeckel, H. James Brix, Francis Galton, Karl Pearson (etc.) and more recently the "New Atheists" Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett. The list could go on. Regardless of whether or not atheism is true, it is a position that has been held by some of the most aggressive, arrogant, and "intellectual" snobs in history.

In response to your comment on how anti-Christian atheism is, it has been argued at length that atheism is more of a counter-religion than a stand alone belief (See "What Americans Really Believe" and Chapter 2 of "For the Glory of God" by Rodney Stark), though it's best on this forum that I just leave those references and let the people here continue their search elsewhere (I honestly don't feel like restating another's argument which take pages to lay out, but I do think it's worth a look if anyone is interested in sociology).

AgedGrunt:
It's not unrelated if those are the words that were taken from the address Lincoln gave. I don't think it's fair to dismiss the source when the "red scare" has been argued in conjecture.

It's unrelated in the sense that that person simply took a two-word phrase out of context and stuck it into the pledge. Lincoln didn't use it in the pledge, nor would it matter if he did, because that's not justification to add something divisive and exclusionary. It'd be like adding "is our children learning" to the pledge, except that wouldn't have as obvious a propaganda-use, nor would it be as divisive.

And if you were individual before who referenced this class of "white males of voting age" (repeated in footnote in the above post), that's racist, so yes we are quite at the point where we part ways.

Yes, it's racist. It's also sexist and bigoted in other ways. But that's how it was in the past. "All" didn't actually refer to all people. That's why I think that further additions to the pledge should be abundantly clear that it refers to all people. Now, if you're implying that this makes me racist... then you're beyond help.

Agema:

We can safely argue that science as currently understood does not tackle the important claims made by religions - the most obvious being whether gods exist.

The scientific method makes hypotheses based on existing evidence or gaps in our knowledge with limited possible explanations, and from there builds theories.

The scientific method, applied to the question of god, seems to me to dismiss it. For it to progress beyond zero probability, it would need EITHER 1) Uncircumstantial evidence, OR 2) A gap in existing theories, served best by the introduction of a deity.

AMMO Kid:
Arrogance is just one of those things that atheists have always had. Just read the works of David Hume, Thomas Huxley, Ernst Haeckel, H. James Brix, Francis Galton, Karl Pearson (etc.) and more recently the "New Atheists" Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett. The list could go on. Regardless of whether or not atheism is true, it is a position that has been held by some of the most aggressive, arrogant, and "intellectual" snobs in history.

Do you have any quotes of these individuals relating to belief that you feel were arrogant? From what I've seen of the thread there are claims of arrogance but no evidence.

i get the feeling most people are arrogant (especially at a certain age) and religion (or the lack of it) has very little to do with it...

"God" may or may not exist.

but i'm pretty sure if "he" does no one on this planet "has his number" and if anything the scientists are probably closer to knowing it than the churches.

in day to day life it's really not that big a deal.

BiscuitTrouser:
Fun question, if we DID add a starwars reference would you immediately defend that change too like you defend the red scare change? Or would you want it removed because it tainted the original meaning using the exact same arguments we are applying here.

To be clear, the alterations to the Pledge generally added language ("my flag" did become "the flag", but it's a nuance). Now, if the offered Star Wars reference were to replace the word "God" with "the Force", I don't think I could support it. My opinion for integrity aside, I generally believe in democracy; some form of that should be necessary to make changes.

I'm reminded of something interesting. There was a thread not long ago where a large writing board was placed in public and anyone could write something on it. If I remember correctly, one only had to write something of their own. Now if someone were to be so offended by a message that he replaced a word he disagreed with, should we say something about that?

Semes:

AMMO Kid:
Arrogance is just one of those things that atheists have always had. Just read the works of David Hume, Thomas Huxley, Ernst Haeckel, H. James Brix, Francis Galton, Karl Pearson (etc.) and more recently the "New Atheists" Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett. The list could go on. Regardless of whether or not atheism is true, it is a position that has been held by some of the most aggressive, arrogant, and "intellectual" snobs in history.

Do you have any quotes of these individuals relating to belief that you feel were arrogant? From what I've seen of the thread there are claims of arrogance but no evidence.

I don't have a "I'm an arrogant atheist" quote for every atheist I mentioned, but study their works and you will find that they all have a very condescending attitude towards their opponents. Story time! The atheist account of the debate between Thomas Huxley and Samuel Wilberforce is a good example. Before I tell this story though i should point out that even though Huxley was technically considered an "agnostic, (though there is significant evidence he had atheist leaning, but that is not my point here)" that doesn't matter to the following display of arrogance. It was the atheist supporters of Huxley who embellished this story and thus atheism gets the blame for it:

I was happy enough to be present on the memorable occasion at Oxford when Mr. Huxley beared Bishop Wilberforce... The Bishop arose and in a light scoffing tone, florid and fluent, he assured us that there was nothing in the idea of evolution... Then turning to his antagonist with a smiling insolence, he begged to know, was it through his grandfather or through his grandmother that he claimed his descent from a monkey? On this Mr. Huxley...arose...and spoke these tremendous words... He was not ashamed to have a monkey for an ancestor; but he would be ashamed to be connected with a man who used his great gifts to obscure the truth. No one doubted his meaning and the effect was tremendous. (Isabella Sidgewick)

H James Brix went even further by describing Wilberforce as "naive and pompous, a man whose faulty opinions were those of a fundamentalist creationist" and who provided Huxley with the opportunity to give evolution "its first major victory over dogmatism and duplicity." Almost every writer you find tells the tale that Huxley was given a standing ovation, and apparently Wilberforce was given the nickname "Soapy Sam" after the encounter.

However, we know that this is not the true account of what happened. Ironically, this account given by Isabella Sidgewick and the others that advocate this viewpoint never actually attended the debate, and this article (appearing in Macmillan's magazine in 1898, titled "A Grandmother's Tales") was written over 13 years after the actual debate! In reality, "Soapy Sam" was not at all against the origin of the species on the basis of "faith," and his reasons for disagreeing were far from him being "a fundamentalist creationist (he was a mathematician)." In fact, after Charles Darwin read Wilberforce's review of "The Origin of the Species," he wrote his friend J.D. Hooker with very positive things to same about Wilberforce:

His review is uncommonly clever; it picks out with skill all the most conjectural parts, and brings forward well all the difficulties. It quizzes me quite splendidly. (Charles Darwin)

Wilberforce's review of "The Origin of the Species" actually caused Darwin to revise his book on many points. I don't know if you have read it, but I have the original unedited version and it is quite different from revised copy in several places.

But anyway, where were we? Oh, yes. It seems that all accounts of Huxley's fascinating "victory" over Wilberforce were fabricated, and we have known this for almost thirty years thanks to J.R. Lucas. But even more modern biographies on Huxley repeat the fiction anyway. Lucas has suggested that "the most important reason why the legend grew is that it is a point of professional pride for academics.... to know nothing outside their own special subject." Or in the words of Rodney Stark, "They firmly believe that outsiders are necessarily ignorant; hence Huxley must have succeeded on that occasion." And Lucas again, "the quarrel between religion and science came not because of what Wilberforce said, but because it was what Huxley wanted; and as Darwin's theory gained supporters, they took over this view of the incident."

So to finalize this comment on atheist arrogance:

The episode involving Gladstone and Wilberforce reveal several methods frequently (emphasis added) used by the Darwinian Crusade [which has always been lead predominantly by atheists at the forefront] to overwhelm its opponents. When possible, focus all attention on the most unqualified and most vulnerable opponents, and when no easy targets present themselves, invent them - as Huxley's celebrated biographer Adrian Desmond admitted, he "made straw men of the Creationists." Thus today it is a rare textbook on general biology or on evolution, to say nothing of popular treatments of evolution and religion, that does not reduce "Creationism" to Bishop Ussher's calculations concerning the age of the earth or William Jennings Bryan's antics during the so called Scopes Monkey Trial. (Rodney Stark)

Have I made my point? I don't need a quote from each and every one of those men I mentioned (and if I looked I could find dozens more). I know the reactions and embellishments atheists have made in history to make themselves look bigger and badder. As long as hindsight isn't 20/20, atheism seems to come out on top, all thanks to the atheists who refuse to be beaten or matched because of the condescending view where they "firmly believe that outsiders are necessarily ignorant..." Man, so many more cool stories about this are coming to mind, but I have spent far to much time writing this and I have other things to do. Have fun!

[Oh, and don't confuse the Darwinian Crusade with people who believe in evolution]

Shadowstar38:

I didn't see that in anything you quoted from Torno. He merely stated having a different belief isn't a good enough reason to belittle a person. Rather that person's beliefs are actually destructive to society is another discussion.

Demanding all beliefs be respected and not belittled includes those beliefs which are destructive to society.

Until proof has been found for or against the existence of God, theism and atheism are both totally valid views to take. The only thing that makes you think they aren't on even ground is if you think your side is right or not.

No and no.

One side believes something without a single shred of evidence to back it up, the other side doubts the existence of that something due to the complete lack of evidence. The most logical side is the latter.

If you insist otherwise you must concede that the existence of fairies, unicorns, Pokemon and so on is equally likely as them not existing (they've all just been hiding REALLY well!)

@ Ammo Kid. Don't know why you're labelling Hume as one of the "Arrogant Atheists". He was just as critical of the Atheists of the time (d'Holbach mainly) as he was of the religious.

Silvanus:

The scientific method makes hypotheses based on existing evidence or gaps in our knowledge with limited possible explanations, and from there builds theories.

The scientific method, applied to the question of god, seems to me to dismiss it. For it to progress beyond zero probability, it would need EITHER 1) Uncircumstantial evidence, OR 2) A gap in existing theories, served best by the introduction of a deity.

The probability of a thing existing in the absence of any evidence for or against is not zero: the probability is unquantifiable. If something is beyond the means of science to test, then scientific methodology can be of no use to prove or disprove it.

It is a point of logic, not science, that suggests a lack of evidence in the existence of a god should lead us to prefer the belief that one does not exist.

Agema:

The probability of a thing existing in the absence of any evidence for or against is not zero: the probability is unquantifiable. If something is beyond the means of science to test, then scientific methodology can be of no use to prove or disprove it.

It is a point of logic, not science, that suggests a lack of evidence in the existence of a god should lead us to prefer the belief that one does not exist.

The scientific method rests on logic. It is logical to dismiss statements that are without evidence, and this is precisely how the scientific method functions. Science is not the same thing as logic, no, but science is logical.

The probability of a god is "unquantifiable" in the same way that evidence for Osiris is "unquantifiable". The working probability rests at "negligible" until evidence is found, at which point, the working probability would rise.

AMMO Kid:
Arrogance is just one of those things that atheists have always had.

AMMO Kid:

Snip
Have I made my point?

No, I don't think you have made any point at all other than say "X Person said Y Person said Z, but A and B People claim different."

There is not a single hint of arrogance by anyone would could be identified as an atheist in your entire unsourced post.

Unless you are able to point to any arrogance to support your argument, I suggest you remove your claim that all atheists are both arrogant and have always been.

AMMO Kid:

[Oh, and don't confuse the Darwinian Crusade with people who believe in evolution]

What is this "Darwinian Crusade"?

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