"All atheists are angry and unhappy!" (Page 4)
Zanjan: " Look closely at Djinnaya's last sentence one more time, maybe you'll discover something"
Nothing I didn't already know. Djinnaya left religion due to her own lack of understanding, becoming an atheist through that same absence of understanding - one doesn't become a genius overnight, as she claims.
Then she implies people can be dishonest about their research findings. Well, I'm sure she can name someone who accepted a bribe, or who's temptations caused them to ignore their findings.
If a person discovers what they once thought was true is now false, they adjust that one thing in their perspective - Djinnaya claims *everything* one has ever thought to be true can be discovered as false.
How quickly you forget, Orkanen, she said she never thought that stuff to be true, she just *wanted* it to be.
She throws out the baby with the bathwater and with it, a complete lifestyle she expects us to believe she'd actually been living. Get real here.
"I'm not the only one noticing this".
Well, you and she are in good company, aren't you?
The topic is about why Athiests are angry and unhappy - you don't think she did a good job of explaining that? Maybe you can explain why you are........oh wait..........you're still mad at me for not telling you what berry you were eating.
orkanen: Zanjan wrote: Nothing I didn't already know. Djinnaya left religion due to her own lack of understanding, becoming an atheist through that same absence of understanding - one doesn't become a genius overnight, as she claims.
Ad ridiculum, ad ignorantium, ad hominem, wishful thinking.
Zanjan wrote: Then she implies people can be dishonest about their research findings. Well, I'm sure she can name someone who accepted a bribe, or who's temptations caused them to ignore their findings.
Unrepresentative sample, red herring, missing the point, projection.
Zanjan wrote: If a person discovers what they once thought was true is now false, they adjust that one thing in their perspective - Djinnaya claims *everything* one has ever thought to be true can be discovered as false.
False compromise, ad hominem, false dichotomy
Zanjan wrote: How quickly you forget, Orkanen, she said she never thought that stuff to be true, she just *wanted* it to be.
Ad absurdum, missing the point, unrepresentative sample,
Zanjan wrote: She throws out the baby with the bathwater and with it, a complete lifestyle she expects us to believe she'd actually been living. Get real here.
exaggeration, begging the question, exception fallacy.
Zanjan wrote: Well, you and she are in good company, aren't you?
We have 2 things in common. Escaping religion by being honest towards ourselves while analyzing it, and discussing it. I don't know what else we have in common.
Zanjan wrote: The topic is about why Athiests are angry and unhappy - you don't think she did a good job of explaining that? Maybe you can explain why you are........oh wait..........you're still mad at me for not telling you what berry you were eating.
No, she didn't explain it, I have though. No, I expected you to make excuses and chicken out, which you did.
Wow, 2 out of 7 paragraphs without logical fallacies, must be a new record! Careful, you might end up thinking rationally.
CoIin: I have a question for Zanjan, if she doesn't mind.
From what you've posted here on WireClub, life hasn't been particularly kind to you. I suspect you'll reject this characterization and rephrase it in a more positive way, but nevertheless perhaps we can agree that you've been "challenged" more than most of us? Would that be fair? I doubt you'd want sympathy either, so I'll just offer my admiration for your obvious strength.
You remind me of another member who was quite high-profile here for a while. He had struggled with personal issues before finally being embraced and supported by a Christian community, turning his life around, and consequently becoming a devout Christian himself.
I asked him the same question that I'd like to ask you. Is it possible that the beliefs you currently hold with regards "Truth" are a result of purely psychological processes? After all, it is quite natural for the person "saved" to become attached to the "savior" - the patient falls in love with the nurse, the drowning woman falls in love with the lifeguard... in some cases we even see the abductee feeling gratitude to the kidnapper/hijacker for sparing his life (I'm not suggesting this last example is analogous to your case).
From the psychological point of view, this is all perfectly understandable. I can't help wondering though if it has also shaped your notions of "Truth". I can't help thinking that if in time of despair you'd been offered solace from Moslems, or succor from Buddhists, you'd be a Moslem/Buddhist today.
Yes, we both know that the natural human reaction is to dismiss such an "allegation" - "I believe as I do because it's TRUE". But would you even entertain the possibility?
I ask in all sincerity.
Zanjan: Orkanen: "Escaping religion by being honest towards ourselves"
That's the most honest thing you've ever said since I've been at Wireclub.
I prefer your taking the time to type something meaningful over your incessant use of form letters, most likely developed by someone else. Being true to one's self is important. Now, dying for it is even more important. How many atheist martyrs have you heard about?
Orkanen: "No, I expected you to make excuses and chicken out, which you did".
That wasnt a chicken act - I smashed your idol. Here's how it went down, folks:
Orkanen pretends he cares to educate others at Wireclub. He knows that there are no wireclub eyewitnesses to his berry, so it's safe for Ork to create a trap, one that should make him look good, whether the prey bites the hook or not. Ork asks Zan to meet his demand.
Zan considers thusly: Let's see........Orkanaen has dedicated himself to insulting God, to being rude and treating me with disrespect........now he wants a favour of me? Er.....I think not.
Orkanen presses on with his request. Zan lets Ork know she's on to him so the answer is No, we will not dance for you, lil buddy. Perhaps Ork can pray and convince God to de-ice my heart..........oh wait, Ork doesn't believe in God. Well, then he's screwed.
So here is Ork, helpless on his own. Such a pathetic sight! If Ork really wanted to know, just for himself, one might be moved by his plight. Well, he's got one redeeming factor - he doesn't swear...maybe that can be used as currency for another chance. This time though, God decides the rules........
Zan secretly sends Ork a telepathic thought (not related to any berry); if God approves, Ork will pick it up and show me. Well, Ork did..whaddya know? I immediately posted gratitude for Ork's submission. The subject was never brought up again until this moment.
Ork..........I hadn't planned on exposing you like this but hey, you asked for it, buster.
Colin.......I will get to your question after I've had a bite to eat.
Zanjan: Colin: “perhaps we can agree that you've been "challenged" more than most of us? Would that be fair?”
Maybe ‘challenged’ isn’t exactly the right word. Everyone has to learn the same lessons to acquire a skill. To achieve mastery, no test will be omitted; ergo, everyone gets the same number of tests. How many times can you sensibly expect one to fail before they pass? Is there a Par? Obviously, the more times one fails, the more challenging the test seems.
Most of my failures took place when I was young; since I was a disadvantaged child, I had to start from rock bottom. But I learned quickly so I think it would be fair to say I’ve had fewer challenges but more tests than most in a lifetime.
At one point, when my car was parked, I could have camped for good, accepting my lot and be done with it. Apparently, God had plans for me. When God says move, you can’t say no; thus, I became like a feather in the wind, landing wherever He wanted me to be. Lots of surprises, I tell ya - this is what happens when you give up your will to God.
“Is it possible that the beliefs you currently hold with regards "Truth" are a result of purely psychological processes? After all, it is quite natural for the person "saved" to become attached to the "savior"
Um, no…….there was never a time I didn’t believe God existed. Yet it took me a long time to figure out His ways; once I did, I fell in love with His Beauty. This was long before I ever became religious.
As I said, I’d have been fine staying that way, just me and God, but this was not to be. God sent me to religion, the very last place I ever wanted to be. Arrrgh!
God knew full well my agony, dealing with such ignorance and faithlessness as those liars who pretended to appreciate and love God….
So that’s what I expected when He sent me to His Divine Messenger. I didn’t find what I expected. What a shock!
When the reality hit me Who this Personage was, I knew God well enough to know what my duty was. This community was going to get me, whether they liked it or not, so there! Note: I wasn’t yet saved, I was just doing what God has always wanted humans to do.
“I can't help wondering though if it has also shaped your notions of "Truth"
Not the basics, those were the same. A Revelation reveals something new, right? I had no need to learn something I already knew. I’d not have been there if there hadn’t been something new for me to learn, no matter how difficult to master.
The transformation period is a rather ugly, awkward stage – lost some feathers, had big stumbling feet, tiny hands, morphed into some weird shades. That kinda stuff. Glad nobody took pictures But I have a binder with essays I wrote at the time…….omg, I still cant believe I wrote that crap - sounds like the grade 7 first year band. I had a lot of to get rid of.
I keep it to remind me where I came from.
“I can't help thinking that if in time of despair you'd been offered solace from Moslems, or succor from Buddhists, you'd be a Moslem/Buddhist today”
Nope, see above. I wasn’t looking for solace - I was responding to God’s call. No one taught me anything. God called me to something I’d never heard about, to a name I’d never seen before. I saw a name in print and phoned it, asking who they were. At the time, I didn’t even know it was a religion…..hahaha…… that God, what a sense of humour!
Colin, when God calls people to Himself, they ask where they should go. Since He calls them to different religions, it should be evident those are the best places for that individual to learn the lessons he needs to learn. Sometimes, people from different religions even help each other out on certain questions and projects – that’s why we’re family.
CoIin: Nice response. Thanks.
Well, it is interesting that people can see the world in such very different ways. It's also interesting that an argument which is utterly convincing to one person can be utterly unconvincing to another. Djinnaya's beautifully-crafted manifesto on the previous page is a case in point. The responses were unsurprising.
I think these endless theism vs atheism "debates" reflect the conviction most of us attach to our core beliefs; no argument, no matter how well constructed, is likely to dislodge them. Our core assumptions about the way the world is win out every time. (Or as the cynic might say - "When the facts are at odds with my beliefs, the facts had better watch out" )
One source of frustration to the non-believer, I guess, is the adamant assertion (and this can work both ways) by the theist of his/her worldview - no alternative can be entertained - and by extension, that everyone else is wrong. This perhaps is partly a product of monotheistic doctrine itself; the stronger the faith, we are told, the better.
Personally, I couldn't describe anyone so implacably committed to one particular worldview as a "lover of truth". The true philosopher ( lit. "lover of wisdom" ) has to examine all possibilities.
Most importantly, he/she must endeavor to be aware of and subdue all our natural biases, at least as far as is humanly possible. Whenever you start becoming devoted to your beliefs, you can hardly expect to remain objective about them.
But I could be hopelessly wrong
spiritual: I am out of the theist-atheist debate, since I believe in an universal presence, not a god that can be found in any religion. But what I don't understand, is why some debaters absolutely have to be so unkind, typically by repeating the old I-am-right-and-you-are-wrong mantra to boredom and thereby degrading the others and their opinions in the process. Since it is impossible to prove or disprove the "almightiness" of a god, such immature debating techniques should be avoided. I have followed many of the threads, but now, I will stop doing so, because in case after case, certain debaters tackle the player instead of the ball and thereby display too much disrespect for my liking. I will now build a fence around this forum and only take a peek over it every now and then, to see if there is any point to continue here at all, or if I should transfer my creative activity to a more appreciative environment.
? ? ?
Zanjan: Colin, I've observed the same thing as you.
Nevertheless, there comes a time one has to make a stand. Fence-sitting is a temporary position. Inevitably, the period of observation comes to an end and one has to decide where to place their loyalties.
Nothing in life is free. Whatever club you choose to join, there's a price to be paid. We instinctively know that. Some defend their choice, saying the price for the other was too high, but that's not the reality - costs are equally steep - it's the method of payment:
Play now, pay later...........or..........pay now, play later.
When we choose the deal that suits us, we'll never depart from it. You see, we had the chance to play both ends while we were fence sitters; now the window closed. I think this is what people fail/forget to see when they proselytize/pressure to convert others.
I've never met anyone who broke away after age 35. Maybe there is somebody somewhere; then it would be a very rare thing indeed. I'd be most interested in talking to them because that would just be mind-boggling to me.
When someone begins to feel they've made the wrong choice (doesn't matter the side) and they try to opt out, they get beat back. They cant find their way out so, this is why you see the frustration.
CoIin: In a similar vein....
On his deathbed, Voltaire (supposedly) was urged to embrace God and renounce the Devil.
He replied, "This is no time to be making new enemies"
CoIin: Well, with regards the "placing your loyalties" perspective, it seems to me that such an attitude already presupposes the correctness of one of the candidate worldviews (i.e. western monotheism).
The choice here is not between say, a stranger and a friend (where comparative loyalty is relevant) but between the theistic and the naturalistic worldview; the latter being indifferent to loyalty.
If you were faced with a choice between, say, two candidate theories describing the constitution of the Sun, any talk of "loyalty" would be nonsensical (unless perhaps you were a scientist directly involved in the controversy and the loyalty is of a more pragmatic nature). The rest of us stand to gain or lose nothing. And likewise for the Sun.
The fact that you feel the need to "place your loyalty" seems to suggest that you have already committed yourself to only one particular worldview - the one pertinent to reward/punisnment. If we're going to be objective, any talk of loyalty should come AFTER you've made your rational judgement and commitment to your religion, not before.
A truly objective judge would FIRST ascertain which of the candidate worldviews is the correct one, and ONLY THEN make the adjustment to that worldview (eg. considerations of faith, loyalty, salvation, etc)
You, on the other hand, have apparently presupposed the theistic worldview to be the correct one and thus given it your loyalty.
In other words, if we assume the theistic worldview is true, then the theistic worldview is true.
Or try an analogy...
A : Peter, why did you choose the Christian worldview over the naturalistic worldview?
B : Because I was worried about the fate of my eternal soul
Peter only needs to worry about his eternal soul if the Christian worldview is correct. He needn't worry about it if the naturalistic worldview is correct BECAUSE THERE IS NO SUCH THING. His "choice" is a foregone conclusion. He's arguing in a circle. His belief in the soul, even if tentative, already presupposes that the spiritual worldview is the correct one.
Desire for reward and/or fear of punishment, not reason, were the deciding factors.
I think I'll keep observing
CoIin: P.S. Just a couple of thoughts after reading through this thread again...
1. Why do atheists feel the need to defend other atheists? Let's say I have a mustache - why should I be bothered if other mustache owners are angry or unhappy? Does that reflect on me at all?
2. Re Zanjan's challenge (twice) to name an atheist martyr... Isn't that kinda silly? Isn't that like challenging other people to name a non-Olympic competitor who has an Olympic medal?
DawnGurl: My father has a moustache and he neither defends or attacks atheists, theists, vegans or absurdists. This does not reflect on Colin or other members of his species. As for atheist matyrs, may I suggest Fat Louie who lives near me. When offered Extrreme Unction upon his deathbed he shooed away the priest, picked up the remote for his TV and watched "I Love Lucy" reruns until he died. He is indeed remembered.
ReturnOfTheJam: From my own personal experiences, atheists have been by far the most hateful, arrogant, and dishonest group of people I've ever encountered. Knowing this, I tend to believe that an overwhelming majority of them are, in fact, angry and unhappy. Then again, why wouldn't they be considering the bleakness of their delusional worldview?
CoIin: ^^ It's perhaps unsurprising (and not very objective) that you would hold such a poor opinion of an otherwise unrelated group whose only apparent commonality is the rejection of a worldview which you hold dear.
If we're looking for commonalities, it seems to me you'd be more likely to find them in the group that bought a certain product than those who didn't.
Does anyone out there even TRY to be unbiased in these "discussions"?
Zanjan: Colin - Monotheism is a worldview?? A Western God? Well, I don’t agree, even if some book defines it as such.
A worldview is an individual’s perspective on contemporary life in the physical world. Depending on the observer’s location, class, education, and intellectual keenness, there would be different contemporary world views around the globe. There’s no right or wrong here because it’s the colour of one’s vision as they stand at one point in a very wide spectrum of reality.
Monotheism, on the other hand, is a description of the divine. Here, one positions the self in relation to perfection, accepting that God is the better judge of the true state of affairs of humanity. Since His vision is all-embracing, that which He conveys is one reality.
Colin: “The fact that you feel the need to "place your loyalty" seems to suggest that you have already committed yourself to only one particular worldview - the one pertinent to reward/punisnment.”
This is about Ego - the self. Each time opportunity presents itself, one must choose between acceptance or rejection. Instant gratification is the choice of those who put themselves first. It doesn’t matter what you believe – this is about what you are. You may be slow but if you’re too slow, you’ll never catch up.
“You, on the other hand, have apparently presupposed the theistic worldview to be the correct one and thus given it your loyalty.”
Not exactly. You may believe God exists but that doesn’t guarantee your devotion. You may have chosen a specific religion and be devoted to its truths, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll actively serve that religion or its Prophet. Loyalty is devotion to servitude.
Those who serve themselves first are immature – when self is the center of focus, seeing and understanding anyone or anything beyond that spot is impossible to get right. An immature adult, although fully capable of doing a thing, cannot think, on his own, to do it. You mentioned Voltaire; while his literary skill was unquestionably superb, he was seen as not ever having had an original thought.
“Desire for reward and/or fear of punishment, not reason, were the deciding factors.”
Yes, which are properties of self. Self is pushy. Reason can be grossly manipulated by self so I’d discount that as my only tool to reach understanding. Genuine, unconditional love is the only reliable magnet that can pull one towards the actual reality - this was the building force for all of creation.
Zanjan: Colin: " Isn't that like challenging other people to name a non-Olympic competitor who has an Olympic medal?"
Erk.....how did you come up with that? I'm wondering what do you think a martyr is.
When a person is given a specific order, they must obey or suffer the consequences - this is a prisoner/slave. However, when the prisoner/slave is ordered to recant all he believes in, he's being asked to tell a lie. This is confirmed by the condition that when he recants, he must accept somebody else's beliefs instead.
If he refuses the command to lie, he will be killed....his death makes him a martyr for the truth.
My question asks how many *atheists* have had this happen to them? How many atheists are willing to back their 'truths' with their lives?
Zanjan: Judging by the flood of responses, I think we can say that nobody is particularly interested in taking atheists into their fold by deadly force. Why might this be? Perhaps they're seen as not having any worthwhile powers the club might find useful to employ?
I can certainly see how atheists would be royally irked over this snub.
ReturnOfTheJam: "It's perhaps unsurprising (and not very objective) that you would hold such a poor opinion of an otherwise unrelated group whose only apparent commonality is the rejection of a worldview which you hold dear." -- CoIin
Atheists share the common belief that all of existence is ultimately purposeless, and that humanity is a cosmic accident; a meaningless grain of sand in an infinite beach of chaos. That may be but two shared views, but they're two immensely crucial views that will shape an entire mindset. From my own experiences, that mindset tends to be angry, aggressive, dishonest, disrespectful, and irrational.
CoIin: @ Return - "From my own experiences, that mindset tends to be angry, aggressive, dishonest, disrespectful, and irrational. "
Received and understood, and of course you're entitled to your opinion. From my experiences however, they are generally not. Hmm, I wonder why
It's also my experience that people tend to react "in kind". (You me and I'll you kinda thing ) Why not try a little tenderness?
It seems you just "burst onto the scene" here in the last day or two. I'd point out that my first impression of you (and I'm trying to be honest, even though as you perspicaciously pointed out, honesty doesn't come easily to the atheist) could be described as "angry and aggressive".
Or is it just me?
ReturnOfTheJam: Oh, no. I absolutely am angry and aggressive. I've always described myself as a theist with an atheist's temperament. While I'd be perfectly happy with a nice, peaceful discussion, the fact is this isn't possible with atheists; they're too uncivil. Couple that with my firm belief in fighting fire with fire, and the end result is exactly what you've observed: Anger and aggression.
CoIin: @ Zanjan - re martyrs
Well, again, I think we need to be wary of equivocation between the different uses of the word martyr. Since our topic here is religion, I'd take martyr to be a person who gives his life for his religion (usually with expectations of an afterlife), analogous to a soldier who gives his life for his country.
(And a quick search at dictionary.com gives us - "1. a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion" )
A person without a religion is unable, by (this) definition, to be "martyred". The atheist cannot die for his religion simply because he doesn't have a religion. (Likewise, a stateless individual can hardly be expected to die for his country)
Now, if you want to broaden the scope of "martyr" to include all those who give their lives for their beliefs...
You said - "When a person is given a specific order, they must obey or suffer the consequences - this is a prisoner/slave. However, when the prisoner/slave is ordered to recant all he believes in, he's being asked to tell a lie. This is confirmed by the condition that when he recants, he must accept somebody else's beliefs instead. "
I've no doubt there have been unsung ( ) scattered individual atheists in history who were killed over belief issues, but this would more likely be a refusal to accept someone else's "orthodoxy", rather than falling victim to a pogrom which specifically targeted atheists, for the reasons that atheism is a relatively modern worldview, numbers are small, and atheists have not constituted a coherent, unified group (although this may change in the future... ) . As such, they have never posed a significant threat to anyone else's hegemony, at least as far as I'm aware.
In this case the atheist "martyr" would fall into the catch-all category of "all those who do not accept a particular orthodoxy", i.e. the complement of the set of that "orthodoxy", which is NOT equivalent to the set of atheists. (the complement of the set of heroes is not cowards)
Let's say vegetarians got nasty and decided to persecute the meat eaters. Those who resisted, and perhaps died in their carnivorous cause, might be known as the Anti-Vegetarian Reactionary Front. It's unlikely though that we would hear of any "venison martyrs", say, because there would be no reason to single them out from all the other freedom fighters. The issue is not venison, but anti-vegetarianism in general.
But who knows... perhaps in the future if atheism does become institutionalized, we may indeed see "atheist martyrs"
Finally, and I think most importantly (because I'm not entirely convinced by the above arguments myself LOL ), you said -
"If he refuses the command to lie, he will be killed....his death makes him a martyr for the truth. My question asks how many *atheists* have had this happen to them? How many atheists are willing to back their 'truths' with their lives? "
Well, I'm glad you used these scare quotes LOL. While martyrdom doubtless tells us a great deal about a person's character, and may even tell us something about the "content" of the relevant beliefs (eg. belief in an afterlife would seem a good motivator), it tells us absolutely NOTHING about the validity (i.e. truth/falsity) of said beliefs.
CoIin: Zanjan said - "Perhaps they're seen as not having any worthwhile powers the club might find useful to employ? I can certainly see how atheists would be royally irked over this snub. "
Well, as Karl Marx said, the fact of the matter is, I'd never join a club that would have me as a member
Zanjan: I laugh through any pain...makes it so much more fun
Colin: "a person without a religion is unable, by (this) definition, to be "martyred".
I see where you're coming from; yet a word means what it says. Belonging to a religion or believing in one isn't necessary to play the role of a martyr. Look at Muslim terrorists - they choose to die, saying they are martyrs; since no one tried to make them recant their beliefs, this isn't martyrdom. Neither were the Jonestown religious cult suicides. So, attaching the name of a religion to the act doesn't compute.
Look at Aung Sung Lee's father, who lost his life because he wouldn't recant, under pressure, his political position on democracy. This was martyrdom. She was nearly killed herself for the same reason. Louis Riel was put to death by the Government for espousing a belief that Metis are humans and should have the same rights as others. He refused to recant, though he was given a choice. He was a martyr.
But a religious Martyr wears the crown with a big M because there is no gain for anyone by his death. He doesn't die to save another's life, or to protect his religion, political ideal, territory or practices because they'll live on with or without him.
What does he die for then? The truth, the reality (the knowing) - this is why religious Martyrdom is the most princely of deeds.
If he were so interested in a heavenly position in the afterlife, he could have had it without being a Martyr......he could have settled for sainthood and his name would still have sparkled in lights down through the ages.
No, a true martyr owns the truth and nobody but nobody can take it away from him. He wont give it up for anything. My question to the atheist was if he could do the same........whatever he deemed that truth to be.
Of course, the atheist could say 'yes' so the truth of that statement would need to be put to the test. It's not likely that will ever happen since God doesn't give anyone a burden greater than they can bear.
Oh dang, is that another shot at atheists? Please don't be offended people, it's just the reality.