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Atheism Discussion Thread

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

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What is your position regarding religion?

Atheist
96
33%
Theist
61
21%
Agnostic/Agnostic Atheist
55
19%
Secular Humanist
25
9%
Skeptic
7
2%
Nihilist/Relativist
12
4%
Anti-Theist
12
4%
Anti-Atheist
12
4%
Satanist/Occultist
7
2%
Esoterical Post-Positivist Dialecticist
6
2%
 
Total votes : 293

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Constitutional Technocracy of Minecraft
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Postby Constitutional Technocracy of Minecraft » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:34 pm

Albrenia wrote:
Constitutional Technocracy of Minecraft wrote:If you haven't figured out, I'm an atheist


I know, just giving my opinion on your questions. :)

If someone showed completely irrefutable proof to me that God exists, I'd become a dystheist (the belief that God exists but is evil)

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Albrenia
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Postby Albrenia » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:36 pm

Constitutional Technocracy of Minecraft wrote:
Albrenia wrote:
I know, just giving my opinion on your questions. :)

If someone showed completely irrefutable proof to me that God exists, I'd become a dystheist (the belief that God exists but is evil)


Same, at least for the Old Testament version. Jesus was a Pretty Cool Dude though, although not perfect.

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Hammer Britannia
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Postby Hammer Britannia » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:36 pm

Constitutional Technocracy of Minecraft wrote:
Albrenia wrote:
I know, just giving my opinion on your questions. :)

If someone showed completely irrefutable proof to me that God exists, I'd become a dystheist (the belief that God exists but is evil)

Pineapple on Pizza Exists

This is proof unintelligent design exists, as nobody with an IQ of over 2 would make such a thing. Ergo a god exists because God has no IQ.
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Cekoviu
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Postby Cekoviu » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:54 pm

Hammer Britannia wrote:
Constitutional Technocracy of Minecraft wrote:If someone showed completely irrefutable proof to me that God exists, I'd become a dystheist (the belief that God exists but is evil)

Pineapple on Pizza Exists

This is proof unintelligent design exists, as nobody with an IQ of over 2 would make such a thing. Ergo a god exists because God has no IQ.

Checkmate, atheists?
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Albrenia
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Postby Albrenia » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:55 pm

Cekoviu wrote:
Hammer Britannia wrote:Pineapple on Pizza Exists

This is proof unintelligent design exists, as nobody with an IQ of over 2 would make such a thing. Ergo a god exists because God has no IQ.

Checkmate, atheists?


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The Xenopolis Confederation
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Postby The Xenopolis Confederation » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:37 pm

New Emeline wrote:I didn't know we even had an atheism thread...

12 hours ago we didn't.
Last edited by The Xenopolis Confederation on Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Albrenia
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Postby Albrenia » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:58 pm

I can't really think of many truly 'militant' atheists. There have been groups which are both atheist and militant (some Communist groups, for example), but none that I can think of which are militant because of their atheism.

Nobody I know of blows themselves up because they disbelieve in gods, or shoots up abortion clinics because god didn't tell them not to, or declares unholy war to cleanse the lands in the name of not collecting stamps.

It seems when people say militant atheist, they mean a nasty douche who acts like a jerk to religious folks.

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The Shrailleeni Empire
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Postby The Shrailleeni Empire » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:08 pm

I have a question for discussion, in what ways can atheists attend to our spiritual wellness? In other words to explore our own sense of meaning and purpose in life, to establish our values and beliefs, and to live in such a way that upholds those values and beliefs?

It seems to me that the religious have nearly a monopoly on the realm of spiritual wellness. For example, an atheist acquaintance of mine required rehabilitation for addiction, but the only programs available were religious (he ended up at a weird Scientology center, of all things). Now happily he has recovered, and remains agnostic atheist, but it occurred to me that I am not aware of many atheist centers or organizations that work on things like this.

It also seems to me that atheists, as a community, are typically far better at establishing what we are not vis a vis religion, but rather bad at constructing what we are. So what do others think? How can atheists establish our spiritual wellness?
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Albrenia
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Postby Albrenia » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:13 pm

The Shrailleeni Empire wrote:I have a question for discussion, in what ways can atheists attend to our spiritual wellness? In other words to explore our own sense of meaning and purpose in life, to establish our values and beliefs, and to live in such a way that upholds those values and beliefs?

It seems to me that the religious have nearly a monopoly on the realm of spiritual wellness. For example, an atheist acquaintance of mine required rehabilitation for addiction, but the only programs available were religious (he ended up at a weird Scientology center, of all things). Now happily he has recovered, and remains agnostic atheist, but it occurred to me that I am not aware of many atheist centers or organizations that work on things like this.

It also seems to me that atheists, as a community, are typically far better at establishing what we are not vis a vis religion, but rather bad at constructing what we are. So what do others think? How can atheists establish our spiritual wellness?


Many of us don't believe there is a spirit to tend to the wellness of. There is mental and emotional health, but they are a matter outside my expertise to deal with.

As for what we are, well... to put it bluntly:

We're a particularly intelligent species of ape capable of self-awareness and tool use with a complexity of thought we believe is unique to us on this planet. Our ability to question our surroundings is one of our greatest features, which leads to religion, science, philosophy and so on.
Last edited by Albrenia on Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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New Emeline
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Postby New Emeline » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:16 pm

The Xenopolis Confederation wrote:
New Emeline wrote:I didn't know we even had an atheism thread...

12 hours ago we didn't.

Oh. Well thanks for making it!

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Eol Sha
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Postby Eol Sha » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:40 pm

The Shrailleeni Empire wrote:I have a question for discussion, in what ways can atheists attend to our spiritual wellness? In other words to explore our own sense of meaning and purpose in life, to establish our values and beliefs, and to live in such a way that upholds those values and beliefs?

It seems to me that the religious have nearly a monopoly on the realm of spiritual wellness. For example, an atheist acquaintance of mine required rehabilitation for addiction, but the only programs available were religious (he ended up at a weird Scientology center, of all things). Now happily he has recovered, and remains agnostic atheist, but it occurred to me that I am not aware of many atheist centers or organizations that work on things like this.

Well, secular humanism is one nonreligious philosophy that seeks to do things beyond simply rejecting the existence of gods and other similar supernatural entities.

It also seems to me that atheists, as a community, are typically far better at establishing what we are not vis a vis religion, but rather bad at constructing what we are. So what do others think? How can atheists establish our spiritual wellness?

There's a reason for that. Atheism is an inherently denialist position. Beyond rejecting the existence of God, the position offers nothing else. It offers no guidance on how a life should be lived or how a society should be run. There are no texts or rules because atheism is not a religion. It doesn't need to do the things the average religion does.
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New Emeline
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Postby New Emeline » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:42 pm

Eol Sha wrote:
The Shrailleeni Empire wrote:I have a question for discussion, in what ways can atheists attend to our spiritual wellness? In other words to explore our own sense of meaning and purpose in life, to establish our values and beliefs, and to live in such a way that upholds those values and beliefs?

It seems to me that the religious have nearly a monopoly on the realm of spiritual wellness. For example, an atheist acquaintance of mine required rehabilitation for addiction, but the only programs available were religious (he ended up at a weird Scientology center, of all things). Now happily he has recovered, and remains agnostic atheist, but it occurred to me that I am not aware of many atheist centers or organizations that work on things like this.

Well, secular humanism is one nonreligious philosophy that seeks to do things beyond simply rejecting the existence of gods and other similar supernatural entities.

It also seems to me that atheists, as a community, are typically far better at establishing what we are not vis a vis religion, but rather bad at constructing what we are. So what do others think? How can atheists establish our spiritual wellness?

There's a reason for that. Atheism is an inherently denialist position. Beyond rejecting the existence of God, the position offers nothing else. It offers no guidance on how a life should be lived or how a society should be run. There are no texts or rules because atheism is not a religion. It doesn't need to do the things the average religion does.

This exactly. Atheism is lack of belief in a higher power, nothing more and nothing less.

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Eol Sha
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Postby Eol Sha » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:49 pm

New Emeline wrote:
Eol Sha wrote:Well, secular humanism is one nonreligious philosophy that seeks to do things beyond simply rejecting the existence of gods and other similar supernatural entities.


There's a reason for that. Atheism is an inherently denialist position. Beyond rejecting the existence of God, the position offers nothing else. It offers no guidance on how a life should be lived or how a society should be run. There are no texts or rules because atheism is not a religion. It doesn't need to do the things the average religion does.

This exactly. Atheism is lack of belief in a higher power, nothing more and nothing less.

As far as I can tell, a local "atheist community" would consist of a bunch of jackasses meeting in the basement of the local pizzeria, which is owned by Dan (I love Dan), getting high, and railing about how Christians are a bunch of mindless sock puppets paying for Pastor Rick's megachurch and his pretentious trips to Washington in his Lear jet. And, oh, did I mention that Pastor Rick wouldn't let me join the church's choir. God, I hate Pastor Rick! Pass the edible, Dan.
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New Emeline
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Postby New Emeline » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:51 pm

Eol Sha wrote:
New Emeline wrote:This exactly. Atheism is lack of belief in a higher power, nothing more and nothing less.

As far as I can tell, a local "atheist community" would consist of a bunch of jackasses meeting in the basement of the local pizzeria, which is owned by Dan (I love Dan), getting high, and railing about how Christians are a bunch of mindless sock puppets paying for Pastor Rick's megachurch and his pretentious trips to Washington in his Lear jet. And, oh, did I mention that Pastor Rick wouldn't let me join the church's choir. God, I hate Pastor Rick! Pass the edible, Dan.

Most of my friends are atheists by chance, and we don't really talk about religion at all.

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Albrenia
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Postby Albrenia » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:53 pm

New Emeline wrote:
Eol Sha wrote:As far as I can tell, a local "atheist community" would consist of a bunch of jackasses meeting in the basement of the local pizzeria, which is owned by Dan (I love Dan), getting high, and railing about how Christians are a bunch of mindless sock puppets paying for Pastor Rick's megachurch and his pretentious trips to Washington in his Lear jet. And, oh, did I mention that Pastor Rick wouldn't let me join the church's choir. God, I hate Pastor Rick! Pass the edible, Dan.

Most of my friends are atheists by chance, and we don't really talk about religion at all.


Not a whole lot one can debate about how much god doesn't exist.

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New Emeline
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Postby New Emeline » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:56 pm

Albrenia wrote:
New Emeline wrote:Most of my friends are atheists by chance, and we don't really talk about religion at all.


Not a whole lot one can debate about how much god doesn't exist.

Yeah.

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Major-Tom
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Postby Major-Tom » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:57 pm

I'm sure we've had a thread for non-believers before, but I'll bite. I was raised Catholic, attended Catholic school from age 10 to 18 (and a Lutheran school when I was a wee little kid), but became the sort of edgy "anti-theist, in your face atheist" by sixth grade. After a few years of sounding like a pretentious twit, I remained largely atheistic/agnostic, but realized there's no point in trying to spread your religious beliefs if you don't have any. It's just obnoxious. Sometime late in high school, after a lot of negative life experiences, I began drifting back to Catholicism but found that while the Catholic community I've known can offer lots of support and positive things, it wasn't my answer, I was just searching for one.

So, I remain vaguely agnostic, since I'm not sure about the existence of deities or lack thereof, I just don't know. I still volunteer in my hometown with the Church now and then, but not in a religiously motivated sort of way, more so because I think religious organizations have the potential to offer a lot of good (while some, obviously, do a lot of bad). I'm always open to hearing new or interesting perspectives on religion, but agnosticism is where I'm at.
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New Emeline
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Postby New Emeline » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:58 pm

Major-Tom wrote:I'm sure we've had a thread for non-believers before, but I'll bite. I was raised Catholic, attended Catholic school from age 10 to 18 (and a Lutheran school when I was a wee little kid), but became the sort of edgy "anti-theist, in your face atheist" by sixth grade. After a few years of sounding like a pretentious twit, I remained largely atheistic/agnostic, but realized there's no point in trying to spread your religious beliefs if you don't have any. It's just obnoxious. Sometime late in high school, after a lot of negative life experiences, I began drifting back to Catholicism but found that while the Catholic community I've known can offer lots of support and positive things, it wasn't my answer, I was just searching for one.

So, I remain vaguely agnostic, since I'm not sure about the existence of deities or lack thereof, I just don't know. I still volunteer in my hometown with the Church now and then, but not in a religiously motivated sort of way, more so because I think religious organizations have the potential to offer a lot of good (while some, obviously, do a lot of bad). I'm always open to hearing new or interesting perspectives on religion, but agnosticism is where I'm at.

Yeah, I went through an "I'm angry at religion" phase in middle school, which is especially weird considering I was never forced to participate in any sort of religion nor was I harmed at all by it.

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The Shrailleeni Empire
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Postby The Shrailleeni Empire » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:58 pm

Albrenia wrote:
The Shrailleeni Empire wrote:I have a question for discussion, in what ways can atheists attend to our spiritual wellness? In other words to explore our own sense of meaning and purpose in life, to establish our values and beliefs, and to live in such a way that upholds those values and beliefs?

It seems to me that the religious have nearly a monopoly on the realm of spiritual wellness. For example, an atheist acquaintance of mine required rehabilitation for addiction, but the only programs available were religious (he ended up at a weird Scientology center, of all things). Now happily he has recovered, and remains agnostic atheist, but it occurred to me that I am not aware of many atheist centers or organizations that work on things like this.

It also seems to me that atheists, as a community, are typically far better at establishing what we are not vis a vis religion, but rather bad at constructing what we are. So what do others think? How can atheists establish our spiritual wellness?


Many of us don't believe there is a spirit to tend to the wellness of. There is mental and emotional health, but they are a matter outside my expertise to deal with.

As for what we are, well... to put it bluntly:

We're a particularly intelligent species of ape capable of self-awareness and tool use with a complexity of thought we believe is unique to us on this planet. Our ability to question our surroundings is one of our greatest features, which leads to religion, science, philosophy and so on.



Well, like I said, "spiritual wellness" doesn't necessarily mean belief in a soul. It's about having values, and living in a way that promotes those values. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that everyone has some kind of values, and would like to live their lives in accordance with them. But that can often be easier said than done, which is where communities come into play.

Also that was much more eloquent than blunt! But I meant as people with an atheist identity, not as Homo Sapiens sapiens.

Eol Sha wrote:
The Shrailleeni Empire wrote:I have a question for discussion, in what ways can atheists attend to our spiritual wellness? In other words to explore our own sense of meaning and purpose in life, to establish our values and beliefs, and to live in such a way that upholds those values and beliefs?

It seems to me that the religious have nearly a monopoly on the realm of spiritual wellness. For example, an atheist acquaintance of mine required rehabilitation for addiction, but the only programs available were religious (he ended up at a weird Scientology center, of all things). Now happily he has recovered, and remains agnostic atheist, but it occurred to me that I am not aware of many atheist centers or organizations that work on things like this.

Well, secular humanism is one nonreligious philosophy that seeks to do things beyond simply rejecting the existence of gods and other similar supernatural entities.

It also seems to me that atheists, as a community, are typically far better at establishing what we are not vis a vis religion, but rather bad at constructing what we are. So what do others think? How can atheists establish our spiritual wellness?

There's a reason for that. Atheism is an inherently denialist position. Beyond rejecting the existence of God, the position offers nothing else. It offers no guidance on how a life should be lived or how a society should be run. There are no texts or rules because atheism is not a religion. It doesn't need to do the things the average religion does.


Secular humanism contributes a lot to the discussion yes. That said, it does not take any position on issues of morality or ethics, which is more what I am talking about. In fact that is exactly what I am talking about: don't human beings need guidance on how a life should be lived or how a society should be run? And if that guidance isn't coming from religion, where should it come from?
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Sif said to her, "This is a modern Shrailleeni Empire military parade. Like as in this is what they wear, this is what they use. This is it."

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New Emeline
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Postby New Emeline » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:59 pm

There are plenty of systems of ethics that don't come from religion.

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Postby Neutraligon » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:06 pm

The Shrailleeni Empire wrote:
Albrenia wrote:
Many of us don't believe there is a spirit to tend to the wellness of. There is mental and emotional health, but they are a matter outside my expertise to deal with.

As for what we are, well... to put it bluntly:

We're a particularly intelligent species of ape capable of self-awareness and tool use with a complexity of thought we believe is unique to us on this planet. Our ability to question our surroundings is one of our greatest features, which leads to religion, science, philosophy and so on.



Well, like I said, "spiritual wellness" doesn't necessarily mean belief in a soul. It's about having values, and living in a way that promotes those values. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that everyone has some kind of values, and would like to live their lives in accordance with them. But that can often be easier said than done, which is where communities come into play.

Also that was much more eloquent than blunt! But I meant as people with an atheist identity, not as Homo Sapiens sapiens.

Eol Sha wrote:Well, secular humanism is one nonreligious philosophy that seeks to do things beyond simply rejecting the existence of gods and other similar supernatural entities.


There's a reason for that. Atheism is an inherently denialist position. Beyond rejecting the existence of God, the position offers nothing else. It offers no guidance on how a life should be lived or how a society should be run. There are no texts or rules because atheism is not a religion. It doesn't need to do the things the average religion does.


Secular humanism contributes a lot to the discussion yes. That said, it does not take any position on issues of morality or ethics, which is more what I am talking about. In fact that is exactly what I am talking about: don't human beings need guidance on how a life should be lived or how a society should be run? And if that guidance isn't coming from religion, where should it come from?


Except secular humanism does take positions on morality and ethics. There is also of course the society you live in, as well as your own personal experiences and opinions. I asked the question earlier how did religious people determine that god was good.
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Albrenia
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Postby Albrenia » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:07 pm

To me, ethics and morality is about doing as little harm as possible, and as much good. Being kind, honest, loyal and truthful are all 'good', because they make the world less shitty for all of us.

Just because we live in an uncaring void which is for the most part horrifically dangerous to us doesn't mean we have to be arseholes. Much like forest fires, only we can prevent the world from being shit.

From my perspective, most religion's gods are actually actively evil. They punish the innocent for the crimes of the guilty, punish infinitely for finite crimes, kill or order killing based on thoughtcrime and (worst of all) allow every single evil thing which has ever happened to occur, while having the power to predict, perceive and stop said things.
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Eol Sha
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Postby Eol Sha » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:08 pm

New Emeline wrote:
Eol Sha wrote:As far as I can tell, a local "atheist community" would consist of a bunch of jackasses meeting in the basement of the local pizzeria, which is owned by Dan (I love Dan), getting high, and railing about how Christians are a bunch of mindless sock puppets paying for Pastor Rick's megachurch and his pretentious trips to Washington in his Lear jet. And, oh, did I mention that Pastor Rick wouldn't let me join the church's choir. God, I hate Pastor Rick! Pass the edible, Dan.

Most of my friends are atheists by chance, and we don't really talk about religion at all.

That's not really a community, mate. A "religious community" is bound by their reverence for the religion. Going by that logic, an "atheist community" would need to be bound by their disbelief in gods. Beyond saying "I don't believe" and maybe giving a short spiel about how you reached this position, what is there to talk about? In this aspect, religions work because they provide more than a sense of belonging. They offer a path through life that atheism simply doesn't. They offer lively, sometimes bloody, debate on the nature of God, the gods, the supernatural, etc.

In video game terms, atheism might as well be a sandbox, open world game whereas religion has a linear story line and a message to impart to the player.

The Shrailleeni Empire wrote:
Eol Sha wrote:Well, secular humanism is one nonreligious philosophy that seeks to do things beyond simply rejecting the existence of gods and other similar supernatural entities.


There's a reason for that. Atheism is an inherently denialist position. Beyond rejecting the existence of God, the position offers nothing else. It offers no guidance on how a life should be lived or how a society should be run. There are no texts or rules because atheism is not a religion. It doesn't need to do the things the average religion does.


Secular humanism contributes a lot to the discussion yes. That said, it does not take any position on issues of morality or ethics, which is more what I am talking about. In fact that is exactly what I am talking about: don't human beings need guidance on how a life should be lived or how a society should be run? And if that guidance isn't coming from religion, where should it come from?


Well, if you look at China, much of the society is and was built on the lessons imparted on the land by Confucius and his disciples. Confucianism is a decidedly nonreligious philosophy that does many of the things that religions do. It provides rules on not only how individuals must act in order to live righteous lives, but also how society should be organized and how leaders should act.

If you look at the failed socialist states of the past, they attempted, with varying degrees of success, to supplant the old, religious assumptions with a new, socialistic view of the world that relied on science and rationalism and not religious texts or priests.
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Postby Neutraligon » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:10 pm

Albrenia wrote:To me, ethics and morality is about doing as little harm as possible, and as much good. Being kind, honest, loyal and truthful are all 'good', because they make the world less shitty for all of us.

Just because we live in an uncaring void which is for the most part horrifically dangerous to us doesn't mean we have to be arseholes. Much like forest fires, only we can prevent the world from being shit.

I think we get our basic morality from self interest and empathy. When I talk about morality I am talking about well being. Thus to me the god of the bible is in fact immoral.
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Ex-Nation

Postby Eol Sha » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:10 pm

Albrenia wrote:To me, ethics and morality is about doing as little harm as possible, and as much good. Being kind, honest, loyal and truthful are all 'good', because they make the world less shitty for all of us.

Just because we live in an uncaring void which is for the most part horrifically dangerous to us doesn't mean we have to be arseholes. Much like forest fires, only we can prevent the world from being shit.

From my perspective, most religion's gods are actually actively evil. They punish the innocent for the crimes of the guilty, punish infinitely for finite crimes, kill or order killing based on thoughtcrime and (worst of all) allow every single evil thing which has ever happened to occur, while having the power to predict, perceive and stop said things.

To use your analogy, not all forest fires are bad. In fact, forest fires can be good way to refertilize the soil.
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