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Atheism, Scientific Atheism and Antitheism
#1
Atheism, Scientific Atheism and Antitheism
Okay, so I'm new here. I could use some advice on the cultural norms, re: the difference between scientific/rational atheism, being a philosophical position, and antitheism, which is basically an antipathy towards god and religions, without the logic? Is it appropriate or useful to hate religion?

I get it. I grew up a gay atheist in the deep south. Until I got to college, my only thoughts towards religion were "I'm not having it". I've dealt with my share of creepy xtian BS - I knew a guy who wouldn't let me touch his Bible.

But I don't hate it. Don't care, really. I just see myself as an outsider in a land where the majority culture has some unusual and sometimes inconvenient rituals. When I'm in a group and they pray, I bow my head and think my own thoughts. I don't care at all about holiday stuff - put a nativity, an xmas tree and a menorah on the Mall, it's all good. People have cultures, they like to express that, so long as it does no harm, it's all good. I can't see a purely secular society - well, at least, I suspect that when you get rid of the religious stuff, it'll get replaced by non-religious stuff that serves the same purpose. People will still have their displays, rituals, symbols, what have you. Frankly, if I had to choose between the Christian idea of Christmas and the Consumer Capitalism version, I'm going with Jesus - I just don't get why xtians blame secularists for ruining xmas instead of capitalism.

The anti-religion thing, where atheists mock and deride religions and religious people, reminds me very much of one facet of the behavior of church-people that I rejected as a youth. The us vs them tribalism. It's not good. When I was on RevLeft, I noticed that a significant number of the members were revolutionary socialists not because they had come to it through political philosophy, but because they were nuts and were looking for something that would justify their alienation and desire to overthrow society. Some of them were excellent logicians and theorists, but the emotions were in the drivers seat - logic was a tool for them to use to get to their goal. And yeah, I know people are emotional. I'm talking about basic motivations. Fanaticism has no place in civil society.

So, tell me - can I be a part of this forum given that I strongly dislike anti-theism?
My book, a setting for fantasy role playing games based on Bantu mythology: Ubantu
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#2
RE: Atheism, Scientific Atheism and Antitheism
Anti-anti-theistic atheist, hmmmm...I checked with the atheist cookbook, I'll allow it.

Seriously though, that's up to you dude. From what I see, this place thrives on differing views. Anybody who's willing to follow the rules is welcome. After that, staying depends on your stomach.

Besides that, I think you'll hardly encounter an argument that is strictly driven by anti-theism. It might come out as anti-theistic at first sight, but usually it's politically or humanitarian based. Hopefully, you do decide to stick around, as I'm curious to see which sides of the typical arguments you end up on.
I can't remember where this verse is from, I think it got removed from canon:

"I don't hang around with mostly men because I'm gay. It's because men are better than women. Better trained, better equipped...better. Just better! I'm not gay."

For context, this is the previous verse:

"Hi Jesus" -robvalue
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#3
RE: Atheism, Scientific Atheism and Antitheism
You "strongly dislike" a position which you are in ignorance -of-. Perhaps if you explored the position, you'd make less unfortunate statements about it? You may not like the position any more than you did before, in fact..I can almost guarantee that you wouldn't......but at least you'd know what it was. Thus, the value of a discussion forum, eh?

-Or-....you could prattle on about how some position that you disagree with is hateful, or illogical..in clear ignorance of that position..like a good little religionist? Either way, it won't really prevent you from being a part of the forum.

"Us-vs-that"..not "us-vs-them"...just for starters. You're welcome.
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#4
RE: Atheism, Scientific Atheism and Antitheism
tantric,

I think you don't do yourself a favour if you approach the world in general, and this forum and the people in it in particular, through the lens of such simplistic labels. From what you write I almost get the impression you think this forum has some kind of industry standard on what to hate, and everyone adheres to it? That's complete nonsense of course. Do some threads have a very irreverent or even aggressive tone against specific ideas or even people - yes. Does everyone feel the same about it, certainly not. I dislike the epithets some people use to describe certain others. Do I jump for joy when Min calls someone a cocksucking creatard or whatever - no, not at all, because I think it's ableist and homophobic, I merely choose not to be very vocal about it except in specific cases. So it goes...
The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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#5
RE: Atheism, Scientific Atheism and Antitheism
As my signature says, I hate religion, I don't hate religious people. I think the idea of faith is ludicrous and religion can and does lead to many problems. I'd like to see the harm done by religion reduced, that's all. I don't consider it us versus them at all. Religious people can also work to reduce this harm, or at least parts of it, if they are so inclined.
Feel free to send me a private message.
Please visit my website here! It's got lots of information about atheism/theism and support for new atheists.

Index of useful threads and discussions
Index of my best videos
Quickstart guide to the forum
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#6
RE: Atheism, Scientific Atheism and Antitheism
As long as you follow the rules, you will be welcomed by the site. Don't be a complete dick and I'm sure the members will welcome you, too.

You know, I used to feel the same way about religion until I saw how truly invasive it is in our culture and just how much it is holding us back. Plus, spend enough time here watching theists spew the most nonsensical, indefensible ideas that were a result of their religious beliefs and you will get a glimpse of just what religion does to the mind. As much as I hate the fact that religion absolutely pollutes our political process and vocally religious people tend not to respect boundaries, the thing I really hate about religion is that it takes sloppy, emotional, illogical thinking and peddles it as acceptable. By not opposing that, I feel like I'm not doing my part to get humanity to set better standards for itself. I know it won't really amount to anything, but I feel like I'm ethically bound to try.

ETA: Anti-theists are not the ones that created this "us vs. them" culture, and when an ideology is rotten, pretending that it isn't separating us into groups does us no good.
Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cozy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own - Bertrand Russell
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#7
RE: Atheism, Scientific Atheism and Antitheism
(January 16, 2015 at 8:12 am)tantric Wrote: So, tell me - can I be a part of this forum given that I strongly dislike anti-theism?
Of course! All types, atheist & theist alike, are welcomed and accepted here, sometimes even if they're complete douches. As a group, we tend to be judgmental and vocal but non-exclusive.

Also, there are a variety of definitions for 'anti-theism' from the technical 'any statement in opposition to theism' to the active 'theist-hater'. I assume you strongly dislike people in the latter range of that spectrum? There are many 'anti-theists' who you'll probably get along with.

You won't like Minimalist though.
Sum ergo sum
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#8
RE: Atheism, Scientific Atheism and Antitheism
(January 16, 2015 at 8:12 am)tantric Wrote: Is it appropriate or useful to hate religion?

Yes.

People are free to believe anything they wish; however, I cannot be idly dispassionate when people attempt to force their beliefs on others with no other justification than a god commanded them to think and act a certain way based on the contemporary or ancient dicta of religious authority.

If someone's religion prohibits homosexual relations, he/she is free not to marry someone of the same sex; however, it never stops there does it? Theists use the power of the state to jail, kill, or deny civil rights to those whose nature dictates otherwise. You can sit back and chalk this up to "unusual and sometimes inconvenient rituals", but I'm having none of it and will assail the position in any non-violent manner I choose including the ridicule that such bigoted intolerant positions deserve.

Want to believe that the Earth is only 6000 years old because someone added the years between begets? Fine, I have no problem with someone wallowing in their ignorance. When these same people ignore rational argument and all the evidence to the contrary and wish to shoehorn their religion into science curricula, the gloves come off.

I scoff at those that glibly assert as fact another's impending eternal torment because they don't believe in god, the same god or don't believe in the same god exactly as prescribed. How does this attitude towards a fellow human not deserve derision? If you choose to stay, you'll discover that someone here has no compunction justifying slavery with his understanding of The Bible.

Left unchecked, theists would poison society with their primitive, prohibitive, and puerile religious doctrine. Any mealymouthed attempt to suggest otherwise must ignore their constant attempts to do so, let alone the hideous state of affairs in parts of the world where religion and politics are indistinguishable.

Keep in mind that many believers share my sentiments. Not all religious interpretations conflict with science and secular humanism. Many believers work to maintain a separation of church and state and are no more tolerant of religion's unsubstantiated intrusion into daily life than I am.

My liberty to think and act as I wish so long as I don't cause harm to others trumps the hypersensitivity of those that yearn to deprive me of such liberty.
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#9
RE: Atheism, Scientific Atheism and Antitheism
All it takes for religion to win is for the sane man to do nothing.
Feel free to send me a private message.
Please visit my website here! It's got lots of information about atheism/theism and support for new atheists.

Index of useful threads and discussions
Index of my best videos
Quickstart guide to the forum
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#10
RE: Atheism, Scientific Atheism and Antitheism
(January 16, 2015 at 2:34 pm)robvalue Wrote: All it takes for religion to win is for the sane man to do nothing.

Exactly.
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