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117   Bap33   ignore (7)   2012 Apr 20, 2:10pm     ↓ dislike (2)   quote   flag        

I am sure there had to be the first ateist ... lets call him Alpha Atheist , or AA for short. AA was the one that shared with others that he did not believe all of the stories about ancient times told by the old people (in text or around the cave fire). There MUST be an AA ..... and I bet you really smart guys know why.

118   leo707   ignore (1)   2012 Apr 20, 2:19pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Bap33 says

I am sure there had to be the first ateist ... lets call him Alpha Atheist , or AA for short. AA was the one that shared with others that he did not believe all of the stories about ancient times told by the old people (in text or around the cave fire). There MUST be an AA ..... and I bet you really smart guys know why.

Two things.

1. Actually it was probably the other way around. As human brains and society evolved to the point where religion was viable there was probably an Alpha Spirit Seeker, or ASS for short. This ASS started to tell stories to explain things that primitive humans did not understand. The ASS probably made up stories like angry gods make rain and thunder, etc.

2. Either way AA or ASS there was most likely no single originator of either.

119   leo707   ignore (1)   2012 Apr 20, 2:23pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

leoj707 says

This ASS started to tell stories to explain things that primitive humans did not understand.

Oh, one more thing. There have been "primitive" tribes found that do not seem to have a single ASS among them. So even primitives are at least capable of recognizing resiting the allure of an ASS.

120   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 20, 6:04pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Bap33 says

I am sure there had to be the first ateist ... lets call him Alpha Atheist , or AA for short.

Man did not start out believing in a god. Man started out believing in other superstitions, monsters and magic. Some of the monsters were real: lions, and tigers, and bears. Others were imaginary. Some of the magic was real: herbal medicines containing chemicals that treated food poisoning and other ailments. Most of the magic was imaginary. But at this time, there were no gods, no polytheism, and no monotheism. Everyone would have been an atheist if the question of god was brought up by anyone. But, of course, no one thought to bring up such a question.

Later tribes invented the idea of the spirit. All living things had "spirits". Many non-living things did too. Animals, trees, rocks, the ocean, all had spirits.

Only when tribes started settling down did they invent a kind of "god". Gaia, the Earth goddess, was the first god. She represented fertility, both human fertility and the fertility of the land.

But Gaia and other Earth fertility spirits fell wayside when agriculture took off and man started building cities. This became the age of male gods, gods of war and power. The Egyptians were the first to capitalize on this given their strategic location that served as a trade hub and had mild weather compared to the competition north.

The ancient Greeks had their own pantheon of gods. It is at this time that the first atheists are known to exist as some of the Greek scholars rejected the idea of gods controlling the world and sought natural explanations.

At about 2500 BCE, the first monotheist religion Zoroastrianism was invented. This religion set the ground work for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Zoroastrianism is not only the first monotheist religion, but is also one of the oldest religions still practiced today. In its beginning, Zoroastrianism competed with polytheistic religions.

Of course, Hinduism is also much older. It is possible that there could have been detractors of gods from Hindi cultures, but I don't know of any records of that.

In the very least, we know that there were atheists in ancient Greece including Aristophanes and Epicurus. There were also agnostics like Protagoras. And Aristotle believed in a clockmaker god that had no effect on the universe after creating it.

"Shrines! Shrines! Surely you don't believe in the gods. What's your argument? Where's your proof?" - Aristophanes

"Men create gods in their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life." - Aristotle.

"Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. If, as they say, God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?" - Epicurus

"As to the gods, I have no means of knowing either that they exist or do not exist. For many are the obstacles that impede knowledge, both the obscurity of the question and the shortness of human life." - Protagoras

In any case, doubt is old. And the more intelligent and educated the person and more enlightened the society, the more doubt and disbelief there is. This pattern holds throughout history regardless of a few notable exceptions who lived in highly religious cultures.

121   ArtimusMaxtor   ignore (10)   2012 Apr 20, 9:08pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I'm not an atheist. I really DO NOT like anything that puts something into a category. You give an American or a propaghandist something or someone to put into a category your screwed. Those bastards will throw you in a box. Put a fucking label on it and ship you off somewhere. All the morons will stare at the box (category) your in. Will sit there and shake their little goober heads up and down saying yep er we know what that is sure do.

I said the word liberal on Patrick.net once. MY fucking bad. The goobers were all over me. Goobers an idiot that lives in the back of a gas station. Hes got bed a TV, refrigerator a toaster oven, electricty and well plenty of gas. He's got Weaver's Department Store and a food store in Mt. Pilot. Hes not to bright of course. Andy tells him what to think. Cause goober can't "process" all that well. Andys polite of course. Andy, calls having sense, "processing".

I used to say it take a village to raise the village idiot. I'm changing that now in light of recent developments. How people don't listen. How they sit in front of the television glassy eyed with their mouths open, drool running down their chin. Believing everything they see and hear. Yes the idiots are actually, running the village. Turns out the village loves their subconscious, childhood and fantasy.

That just some of the benifits of living in this society. Being in debt up to your hairline. Learning only how to buff and shine to a high gloss someone elses shoes. Congratulations your 6 years old again.

The village is actually filled with superstitious people that have to believe in "something" if it ain't religion well I guess its government or the "family", group or some other inane thing that keeps their little minds occupied. Otherwise their little brains start squirming when they realize the situation they are in just isn't all that good. Point out fact. They crawl under the bed.

122   veritas   ignore (0)   2012 Jul 22, 3:33am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

......and atheists say they don't proselytize....LMFAO

Why don't you have the balls to just call atheism what it is...a religion...stop hiding.

123   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 22, 4:05am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

veritas says

Why don't you have the balls to just call atheism what it is...a religion...stop hiding.

No matter how hard you try to push the false meme "atheism is a religion", it doesn't make it true.

There is a growing trend in this country that needs to be called out. And that is to label any evidence-based belief a religion. ... It's a dodge of course. It's a way of saying, "we all believe in some sort of faith-based malarkey, so let's call it a push". No...

It's not fair that people who can't defend their own nonsense get to make a fake "fair and balance" argument, the way they do when they assert that evolution and creationism are equality valid.

...

But when it comes to religion, we're not two sides of the same coin. And you don't get to put your unreason up on the same shelf with my reason.

Religion is based on lying about the truth to gain power. Atheism is a conclusion based on facts and reasoning that does not give power over others to you, but rather empowers all individuals to make the most of their lives.

124   zaxon   ignore (0)   2012 Jul 22, 4:16am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

So in addition to Christianity, you're a believer in
non-santaism; non-toothfairism, non-unicornism, and a wide variety of other religions?

It makes more sense to say you don't believe than you believe in all possible opposites.

Hence atheism is the lack of belief.
Someone once said, I contend we are both atheist, you just believe in 1 less religion than me.

125   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 22, 4:25am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

Stephen Roberts

126   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 16, 11:10pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

(I saw a reference to this thread and the classic Dan (his words) quoted from above.)

Dan never did answer this, and I think I know why.

marcus says

1) Are there a significant number of people who are more intelligent than you that believe in god in some way? Are there possibly even a million or more such people?

More importantly

2) Are there atheists who are significantly more intelligent than you, who chose to be the kind who just don't believe but don't really have much to say about what others believe, and who would even totally neutral as to whether non-fundamentalist religious people are a good or bad thing for humanity ?

(a little later in the same comment)

marcus says

I don't have much else to say on this, but I would love to hear your answers to my questions above.

Maybe you could just make it a simple yes or no, and then devote another comment to the thousands of words on why if the answer is yes, it doesn't bother you and also why if the answer is yes, these people aren't by your definition superior to you.

127   Bigsby   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 16, 11:53pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

Dan never did answer this, and I think I know why.

marcus says

1) Are there a significant number of people who are more intelligent than you that believe in god in some way? Are there possibly even a million or more such people?

More importantly

2) Are there atheists who are significantly more intelligent than you, who chose to be the kind who just don't believe but don't really have much to say about what others believe, and who would even totally neutral as to whether non-fundamentalist religious people are a good or bad thing for humanity ?

Perhaps he thought there was no point in responding because your query is irrelevant. Let's say the answer to both questions is 'yes.' So what? Do you think that means that person is then not allowed to express their views?
There are all sorts of religious people. Those that keep their religion entirely to themselves, those that practice it openly, those who proselytize etc. etc. Which ones are acceptable to you? All of them? None of them? Why exactly is an atheist supposed to tow a particular line that you prescribe for them? Why can't they openly express their opinion on a matter that is obviously of some importance? After all, religions have been doing it for many thousands of years. A handful of atheists openly speak out for a few years and all of a sudden it's a problem. Forgive me if I don't think it is.

128   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2013 Apr 17, 4:38am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Following post split due to character limit...

129   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2013 Apr 17, 4:38am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Part 1

marcus says

1) Are there a significant number of people who are more intelligent than you that believe in god in some way? Are there possibly even a million or more such people?

More importantly

2) Are there atheists who are significantly more intelligent than you, who chose to be the kind who just don't believe but don't really have much to say about what others believe, and who would even totally neutral as to whether non-fundamentalist religious people are a good or bad thing for humanity ?

I didn't answer the question because it was obviously a trolling attempt to entrap, distract, and poison the well. There was no sincerity behind the question. It was the equivalent of the Republicans asking Clinton about having sexual relations with Lewinski, irrelevant to the topic at hand and asked for purely selfish political reasons.

However, if Marcus wants to suggest that there is anything I am afraid to honestly answer -- obviously bullshit to anyone who even remotely understands me or people like me -- then I'll address it in detail, but on my terms, not Marcus's.

Let's go over each question in ordered asked.

Are there a significant number of people who are more intelligent than you that believe in god in some way?

In this question Marcus is trying to trap me into either sounding childishly arrogant or submitting that it is reasonable to believe in god since "more intelligent" persons than I do. Let's address each of those core arguments first and then the question itself.

There is no more humble paradigm than that of a rational, atheistic, naturalist. I do not believe that the universe was created for my benefit. I do not believe I was create in some deity's image. I believe that my very exist and the existence of my entire species if pretty damn arbitrary and could have easily not have happened if countless trivial things had not happened.

For example, if my great-great-grandfather hadn't stopped in a restaurant for a cup of coffee one morning, he would not have ran into my great-great-grandmother walking on the street ten minutes later, and my entire family would not exist. That's right, I'm saying that everything I am is simply because of a completely arbitrary and unimportant decision my ancestor made a century ago. And there are quadrillions of such arbitrary and unimportant things that must have happened for me to even exist. The same goes for you and our species, and even life on Earth itself, perhaps even life in the universe itself.

This paradigm is far more humble than anything religion offers. To suggest that atheists are arrogant because they are certain that there is no god is ridiculous. It takes humility to admit that your very existence, your entire world, doesn't amount to a hill of beans in the universe. If a black hole were to swoop by and swallow the Earth, the universe wouldn't even notice the difference.

The second point Marcus was trying to make in his loaded question was that if any person smarter than I am believed in god, the belief in god was justified. This is a false and, quite frankly, silly conclusion. First off, it's too personal and local. As I've said many times, the messenger is irrelevant; all that matters is the message. Who proposes a theorem has absolutely nothing to do with the truth of the theorem. Whether or not I or you or the pope or anyone else believes or disbelieves in one or all gods does not make a damn bit of difference as far as the truth of whether or not there is a god. This should be freaking obvious, and that's why I don't consider Marcus's question to be sincere. He's trying to poison the well. Dan is bad, therefore anything Dan says must be bad. It's a logical fallacy and a weak position to hold in a debate. The correctness of an argument is determined by the contents of the argument, not the person who wrote the argument. The messenger is irrelevant.

Again, this line of reasoning follows the principles of humility and objectivity. I have never argued that people should accept that god doesn't exist because I say so and I'm smarter than they are. This is what Marcus wants you to believe, as evident in the title of this thread How I (Marcus) see athiests (his misspelling, not mine) who wish to prosthelytize (again his misspelling). The very title and the image linked to shows bigotry against atheists. Even referring to telling the truth as "proselytizing" or preaching is utter bullshit. If I prove that the square root of two is an irrational number, am I proselytizing? If I give an accurate account of evolution, continental drift, the age and size of the Earth, or world history, am I proselytizing? The Earth is round and if your religion says otherwise, your religion is wrong. And I am not proselytizing by pointing that out. It's actually an important fact that the Earth is round. It affects things like national security, GPS, flight paths for commercial airlines, shipping lanes, etc. Similarly, it matters whether or not a god or your particular god exists. It affects laws, rights, liberty, diplomatic relationships, wars, reproductive rights, taxes, free speech, education, and a shitload of other very important things in your daily life.

130   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2013 Apr 17, 4:39am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Part 2

So the question itself is bullshit and disingenuous, but let's try to answer it honestly and as accurately as possible. The question was, "Are there a significant number of people who are more intelligent than you that believe in god in some way?".

Well, it's not my fault it's a shitty question even disregarding the motives behind it. The fact is, it is a meaningless question that cannot be answered. This is so for a number of obvious reasons.

First, how do we measure intelligence? IQ tests are pretty much bullshit and certainly don't work well as a comparison between the top 1% of the population, for example, by using the Mensa test criteria, which I have passed. How do you compare the genius of Mozart against the genius of Einstein? Is there even a meaningful way to do so? I think that intelligence is far better modeled as a vector space than a scalar, so any heuristic that reduces the vector space to a scalar will be arbitrary and subjective. Having the ability to reason would be important in figuring out if god myths are bullshit or not. Having the ability to compose music would not be important for that purpose, but is still an important aspect of intelligence and needed for other tasks. Marcus wants to force the complexities of the universe to fit in his simplistic worldview. Nature has no obligation to conform to the unimaginative worldview of human beings.

But let's say there were some magic way to meaningfully rank all the people in the world by intelligent in a very precise and objective way. Then we have the problem of determining if each person ranked above me (an arbitrary person) believes in god. Well, this presents a number of insurmountable problems. First, everyone has to agree on the exact definition of god, or this whole exercise is meaningless bullshit. Try getting that to happen. Then we have to determine if each person believes in one or more gods by that definition. Well, you can't just ask the people, even if doing so were practical, which it isn't. The problem is that people, even smart people, lie to themselves. A smart person who disbelieves in god will say that he is "spiritual, but not religious" or "agnostic" in order to avoid being alienated by the multitude of dumb asses he has to live with in his society every single day. Remember, history is full of atheists being tortured and burned alive by these idiots. Today, atheists are still heavily discriminated against. In fact, they are the most discriminated against group. We'll have a black, female, Islamic president before we have an atheist president according to every poll conducted on the subject. So, we would need some way of telling what people really believe rather than what they say they believe.

So there is no way I, or anyone else, could possibly answer Marcus's first question honestly or accurately. But let's say, for sake of argument, that the most intelligent people on Earth believed in the Christian god. Hell, let's say that I, nay, the entire world universally believes in Jesus Christ and every Catholic doctrine. Does that make us correct? Hell no. The truth is independent of the number of people who believe in it. And the truth is, that by ever definition of god used by every popular religion, god does not exist and this is objectively provable using a priori logic and/or historical facts.

Are there possibly even a million or more such people?

The second question is meaningless for the same reasons as the first discussed above.

131   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2013 Apr 17, 4:39am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Part 3

Are there atheists who are significantly more intelligent than you, who chose to be the kind who just don't believe but don't really have much to say about what others believe, and who would even totally neutral as to whether non-fundamentalist religious people are a good or bad thing for humanity ?

This is a complete bullshit question, like "Have you stopped drowning puppies? Yes or No, damn it!".

There certainly are people, atheist or not, that I consider more intelligent than I am in many areas. I don't know of anyone more intelligent than I am in all areas, but it's plausible. I just happen to be damn good at what I do, which although is a large area is still just a tiny fraction of all subject matter. Perhaps I am the best at what I do, perhaps not, but I work my ass off in being good at what I do. That's not arrogance. That's pride in workmanship, and it's a good thing. Everybody should be like me in this respect regardless of their career. Imagine if all doctors, lawyers, policy makers worked as hard to correctly do their jobs as I do instead of doing mediocre jobs or taking bribes from lobbyists. The world would be much better off.

However, the really stupid part of this question is the childish implication that I am "unkind" because I tell the truth and do so convincingly and objectively such that my opponents cannot come up with any counter-arguments. So, instead of attacking my arguments -- which are evidently unassailable -- they resort to making personal attacks on me. Again, the messenger is irrelevant, but since Marcus wants to keep trying to poison that well, I'll snip this in the butt.

I am being quite kind and nice. First off, I have never attacked a religious person for being religious, for being an asshole, sure, but that's fair game. I'd attack assholes for being assholes and trolls for being trolls regardless of how religious they are. What I have done is attacked the arguments that a god exist, that only one god exists, that a particular (Judeo-Christian) god exists, that a soul exists, that heaven or hell can or do exist. I have done so in purely objective and verifiable ways, and that's precisely is what pisses off people like Marcus, because there is no counter-argument he can make, no flaw he can exploit.

It isn't being mean to point out that a belief is incorrect. In fact, I would argue that I'm looking out for everyone's interest. The false belief in gods has caused enormous suffering in the world throughout history and to this very day. Just the direct consequences of religion from wars to suppression of reproductive rights to the harm done to the education of minors are themselves grave. The indirect costs of religion on society and every individual in the world are incalculable. So, when I illustrate why religion is wrong and there is no god, I'm being nice and trying to make the world a better place. I have nothing to gain, and in fact probably have lots to lose, by pointing out this fact and educating people. So I object to the very premise that I am being unkind by sticking up for truth and rationality.

In Marcus's last question are implied two other points. The first is that even though all of religion is a lie, it is better for the world that the dumb ass masses believe that lie because it does more good than bad. OK, I'm willing to discuss that topic. We haven't done that yet, although we've skirted the issue in other threads. If Marcus wants to have an honest, adult debate with me on this topic, let's do it. I'll let you know right now I'll take the position that the lies cause more harm than good and that a socially just society can only be sustained on a foundation of truth, transparency, and equality, but I'm more than willing to hear Marcus's arguments to the contrary. This debate does not change the fact that all religions are based on deliberate lies, drug-induced hallucinations, and the tales of idiots and the mentally ill. (And no, I'm not saying the mentally ill are idiots, so don't even try that bullshit.)

The second point implied by Marcus's last question is that all the bad things that happen because of religion are all due to a tiny, fringe group he labels "fundamentalists" and that almost no "normal" religious people do bad things in the name of religion. This is, of course, a No True Scotsman fallacy. You'll notice that Marcus never gives a definition or criteria for "fundamentalist". Basically, if I ever show that religious person X does something bad because of religion, then Marcus says person X is a fundamentalist and doesn't count.

So hundreds of millions of Muslims are "fundamentalist" and should be ignored when questioning whether or not religion is a good or bad thing. Also, everyone who lived before 1700 A.D. is a "fundamentalist" who should be ignored when asking whether or not religion is good. But wait, all those good American Christians during the 19th century who supported slavery and used the Bible to do so or who supported segregation were also "fundamentalists" and should be ignored. Oh, and about one third of modern Americans, today, right now, while you and I are having this discussion, one third of Americans who oppose gay marriage, define personhood at the moment of conception, and propose teaching "intelligent design" in schoolbooks (I'm talking to you Texas), are all "fundamentalists" and have to be ignored when discussing religion. That's right, I have to ignore one out of three people in my immediate vicinity when evaluating whether religion causes people to do more good or bad.

But even if I did all that, there would still be negative effects of religion. They would have to be small, by the arbitrary process of labeling a "fundamentalist" anyone who actually did something non-insignificant, but even that multitude of small effects would add up. And these effects have everlasting consequences as they slow down the progress of social and political reform and the gathering of wisdom by our society. Every high school student who's mind is poisoned with "intelligent design" is no longer capable of applying evolutionary theory to find a cure for cancer or AIDS or to even contribute to the path to such a cure. So even the small evils you overlook are incredibly significant over decades, centuries, and millennia.

And that is my answer to Marcus's "questions".

132   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 11:56am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Dan8267 says

I didn't answer the question because it was obviously a trolling attempt to entrap, distract, and poison the well. There was no sincerity behind the question. It was the equivalent of the Republicans asking Clinton about having sexual relations with Lewinski, irrelevant to the topic at hand and asked for purely selfish political reasons.

Well, you sure have my number. It couldn't have been because of the quote below, or because I think you could benefit a little from being more humble, or because of a desire to introduce a little "cognitive dissonance" in to your mind.

Dan8267 says

Since I have no problem acknowledging the superiority of others in particular qualities, there is no reason why I should have any problem acknowledging my superiority in intelligence to someone who can't figure out that a book is bullshit if it contains allegedly true stories that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, a man lived after being eaten by a whale, and all the animals on the planet fit on a wooden boat.

I am intelligent, and intelligence is a good thing. If that hurts your ego Marcus, than like the Fonze said, sit on it. I'm not going to apologize for having a strength that makes you feel insecure, nor am I going to pretend that it's not a great quality to have. That's false modesty like if Scarlett Johansson said she thought she was plain looking.

I don't have much else to say on this. I still haven't figured out the answer to what interests me at this point about this behavior of the atheist who is religious about their non religiousness.

As for definitions of God, or ontological arguments for the existence of God, I don't think I ever even tried to make these. But the history of famous philosophers and Mathematicians who enjoyed these is impressive. Who knows, maybe a few of these could hold a candle to your awesome intellect.

(I shouldn't have brought this up (ontological arguments), because here comes another 20,000 words.)

133   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 11:58am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

marcus says

or because of a desire to introduce a little "cognitive dissonance" in to your mind.

By the way, just a small comment/observation. I hope your code is a little more concise and a little more elegant than your comments above.

134   Bigsby   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 12:20pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

I don't have much else to say on this. I still haven't figured out the answer to what interests me at this point about this behavior of the atheist who is religious about their non religiousness.

As for definitions of God, or ontological arguments which I don't think I ever even tried to make, but the history of famous philosophers and Mathematicians who enjoyed these is impressive. Who knows, maybe a few of these could hold a candle to your awesome intellect.

(I shouldn't have brought this up, because here comes another 20,000 words.)

He's already very effectively addressed those points and yet you trot them out again. Why?

135   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 12:39pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Bigsby says

Do you think that means that person is then not allowed to express their views?

Of course not.

Bigsby says

Why exactly is an atheist supposed to tow a particular line that you prescribe for them?

They aren't. I wouldn't say a religious christian is supposed to not prosthelytize either. But that won't prevent me from expressing preference and greater respect for those who keep their beliefs somewhat to themself. This is my view, that I'm free to express.

And I guess I would add, that I think it's very possible to be an atheist, without it becoming your religion. This is just another way of my saying what this thread says, and what this thread says.

136   Bigsby   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 12:59pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I think the fact that you are still trotting out the extraordinarily tired 'atheism is a religion' line after all that has been said speaks volumes.

137   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 1:11pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I get that you have nothing to say here. I never said and do not believe that atheism is a religion. Quite the contrary.

138   Bigsby   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 1:43pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

I get that you have nothing to say here. I never said and do not believe that atheism is a religion. Quite the contrary.

I rather think you have nothing to say outside of repeating the same tired lines. And good grief, if you don't believe atheism can be a religion, then why are you saying (repeatedly) such things as:

marcus says

it's very possible to be an atheist, without it becoming your religion.

139   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 1:46pm     ↓ dislike (3)   quote   flag        

I hope English isn't your first language.

140   Bigsby   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 1:55pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

I hope English isn't your first language.

Perhaps you'd like to point out what was so wrong with what I said seeing as you are such a grammarian.

141   curious2   ignore (0)   2013 Apr 17, 1:55pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

marcus says

How I see athiests who wish to prosthelytize

And how they see Marcus:

Based on Marcus' comments, I can easily picture him saying an elephant must be bigger than the moon, because the elephant feels bigger, even looks bigger. On the other hand, Marcus' use of a different browser to stalk people he pretends to Ignore, and his endless attempts to debate Dan, and his profanity-laden tantrums based on false accusations, make it simply impossible for me to picture him teaching math.

142   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 2:13pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Bigsby says

Perhaps you'd like to point out what was so wrong with what I said seeing as you are such a grammarian.

I'd call it semantics rather than grammar.

1)
marcus says

I think it's very possible to be an atheist, without it becoming your religion.

2)
Bigsby says

I think the fact that you are still trotting out the extraordinarily tired 'atheism is a religion'

3)
marcus says

I never said and do not believe that atheism is a religion.

4)
Bigsby says

good grief, if you don't believe atheism can be a religion, then why are you saying (repeatedly) such things as:

marcus says

it's very possible to be an atheist, without it becoming your religion.

If you don't see it, don't worry about it. Too much detail perhaps. I've been working 12 hour days recently, so if it's tiredness, or the effect of a cocktail, I can relate.

143   Bigsby   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 2:29pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

I'd call it semantics rather than grammar.

Except it's not an issue of semantics. It's an issue of you clearly contradicting yourself but pretending that you aren't. If you state that atheism isn't a religion, then you can't come out with the argument that certain atheists are making it their religion. If it's not a religion, then how can they be? The simple answer is they aren't.

marcus says

If you don't see it, don't worry about it. Too much detail perhaps. I've been working 12 hour days recently, so if it's tiredness, or the effect of a cocktail, I can relate.

I rather think it's you who can't see what a convoluted nonsense of an argument it is that you are making. Maybe it's your 12 hour days that explain the lack of logic shown in what you are saying.

144   leo707   ignore (1)   2013 Apr 17, 3:02pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

robertoaribas says

If atheists don't proselytize, how can they be sure they'll get into a heaven they don't believe in?

145   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2013 Apr 17, 3:12pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dan8267 says

If Marcus wants to have an honest, adult debate with me on this topic, let's do it.

Well, I guess this isn't going to happen based on Marcus's childish remarks.

I take the time to explain, sincerely and honestly, every fine point related to Marcus's questions and the subject matter of religion. Instead of rising to an adult level and accepting, questioning, or challenging the actual arguments I made, Marcus once again resorts to baseless personal attacks.

Well, Marcus, you are entitled to your opinions about me, but as such opinions have no basis in reality, the rest of us are entitled to thinking your opinions really reflect your pathetically small mind rather than the persons you bitch about.

Bigsby says

He's already very effectively addressed those points and yet you trot them out again. Why?

It's like Fox News. If you cannot make a good argument, you simply repeat lies and hope the audience is dumb enough to accept the lies if they are repeated enough times. Unfortunately, some people are dumb enough to believe ridiculous lies if they are repeated enough times. How else do you explain Republicans carrying almost half the popular vote?

curious2 says

... make it simply impossible for me to picture him teaching math.

I often, too, questioned Marcus's claim that he is a math teacher. He makes every logical fallacy known to man, avoids reasoning, thinking, and objectivity wherever he sees it, contradicts himself continuously, and avoids even indirectly addressing the subject at hand. He obviously discourages questioning beliefs. He's the antithesis of everything a teacher, particularly a mathematics teacher, should be.

Any good teacher encourages students to question everything.

marcus says

I get that you have nothing to say here. I never said and do not believe that atheism is a religion. Quite the contrary.

This is a perfect example of Marcus contradicting himself. This very thread accuses atheists of "proselytizing". And just a few moments ago Marcus says

I still haven't figured out the answer to what interests me at this point about this behavior of the atheist who is religious about their non religiousness.

And then he claims that he never said atheism is a religion. Oh, I'm sure he'll make up some semantic bullshit about how there is a difference between "atheists being religious about atheism" and "atheism being a religion", but it's all still bullshit and contradiction.

Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position.

marcus says

I've been working 12 hour days recently, so if it's tiredness, or the effect of a cocktail, I can relate.

I just got done with literally a 12-hour work day, one of several in a row. Yet, I still can discuss a matter coherently. Don't blame tiredness for your lack of articulation. Have you've been tired every time you posted in the past year?

146   JodyChunder   ignore (3)   2013 Apr 17, 3:14pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dan, you really oughta sit yourself down with The Good Book.

147   Waitup   ignore (0)   2013 Apr 17, 3:15pm     ↓ dislike (2)   quote   flag        

I can see a lot of Atheists griping about religions being evil but I bet not a single one has researched with curiosity, any religion from the religion's point of view (the scriptures and religious books). All their info about various religions is from either TV or the internet. My suggestion would be to first spend some time and research, study, and understand the various religions, compare them, and when you're actually qualified to comment,..comment!

148   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2013 Apr 17, 3:19pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

(I shouldn't have brought this up (ontological arguments), because here comes another 20,000 words.)

Have you ever heard a teacher complain that a paper, report, or argument was "too long", especially if it was only 15,000 characters (about two pages of text)? There's no way Marcus is a real teacher. Maybe the kind of teacher that sits in "teacher jail" because it's impossible to fire him, but no one wants him near kids.

149   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2013 Apr 17, 3:25pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

JodyChunder says

Dan, you really oughta sit yourself down with The Good Book.

I have.

150   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 3:30pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dan8267 says

Any good teacher encourages students to question everything.

Oh, questioning. Is that what you're doing ? Sounds more like you have all the answers.

151   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2013 Apr 17, 3:32pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Waitup says

I can see a lot of Atheists griping about religions being evil but I bet not a single one has researched with curiosity, any religion from the religion's point of view (the scriptures and religious books). All their info about various religions is from either TV or the internet. My suggestion would be to first spend some time and research, study, and understand the various religions, compare them, and when you're actually qualified to comment,..comment!

You do realize that most atheists grew up in religious communities, including myself, right?

I have first hand experience with religion having attended parochial schools. Hell, I had to take a Church History class in high school. I am fully aware of the mythology, doctrines, customs, rituals, history, theology, and practice of Christianity. Perhaps far more so than most Christians, which is exactly why I'm an atheist.

I have also studied history, and yes, that matters. For over two thousand years, the "great" religion of Christianity has promoted slavery, torture, rape, murder, and the oppression or destruction of all opposition. In big and in small ways, it still does. From reproductive rights to preventing the spread of AIDS in Africa, the Catholic Church, Christianity at large, and religion in general, continues to harm the world.

My opinion is not based on "pre-judging" religion, but rather "judging" it based on its history. And there is nothing wrong with doing that. At least I'm not burning people to death or drowning them like the religious did to atheists, gays, and pagans until recent history when modern men stopped them from doing just that.

152   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 3:33pm     ↓ dislike (2)   quote   flag        

You know what.. Fuck all of you for not calling Dan out on being the arrogant prick he is.

153   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2013 Apr 17, 3:34pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

Dan8267 says

Any good teacher encourages students to question everything.

Oh, questioning. Is that what you're doing ? Sounds more like you have all the answers.

Bitch and moan all you want, you have yet to actually attack any argument I've made.

Hell, Marcus, if you can provide a valid, mathematical proof that the square root of two can be expressed as the ratio of two integers, I'll admit I'm wrong about everything and that my world view makes no sense. But I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for you, or anyone else, to do that.

154   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2013 Apr 17, 3:35pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

You know what.. Fuck all of you for not calling Dan out on being the arrogant prick he is.

Even if I am an arrogant prick, I'm still right and you're still wrong.

155   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Apr 17, 11:33pm     ↓ dislike (4)   quote   flag        

marcus says

By the way, just a small comment/observation. I hope your code is a little more concise and a little more elegant than your comments above.

156   CornPoptheOriginalGangster   ignore (5)   2013 Apr 18, 3:23am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Waitup says

I can see a lot of Atheists griping about religions being evil but I bet not a single one has researched with curiosity, any religion from the religion's point of view (the scriptures and religious books). All their info about various religions is from either TV or the internet. My suggestion would be to first spend some time and research, study, and understand the various religions, compare them, and when you're actually qualified to comment,..comment!

Don't be absurd. I know much more about Judaism and Christianity that the vast majority of not only the lay members, but many of the ministers know. I've read the bible several times, went to religious sunday school as a kid, even learned a little Hebrew, and have read plenty of books on the Bible, from everybody from Bart Ehrman to John Crossan to Issac Asimov and Richard Price.

Did you know there is no evidence, none, that the Hebrews were ever enslaved in Egypt in vast numbers, and that the Hebrew occupation of Israel was continuous? Or that the Pyramids were built by corvee labor of Egyptians, and not slaves? Not my opinion, a fact. We know that Egyptian Peasants even competed with each other in teams about who could move the most stone the fastest because we have records. Not Ancient Astronauts, Not Psychic Powers, and Not Moses and his People.

The majority of Americans get their information about both Religion and History about the Ancient Hebrews, the Early and Late Roman Empire, from movies like Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments, and the Greatest Story Ever Told, as well as shitty tabloid "History" Channel shows about Noah's Ark and Empty Tombs.

Here's a better idea: The series "The Bible Unearthed", produced by an Israeli-French team and featuring two of the world's leading archeologists working on Ancient Israel, actual PhDs, not Matchbook University Ministers and Relic Hucksters featured on Discovery Channel shows. What we know about Ancient Israel from archeology is a very, very different story than is hawked by the Priests of Judah in the OT. I've never seen it on US Television, and never will, because Christians would demand the advertisers stop the program.

But nothing in it is controversial, it represents mainstream Archeology.

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