Is it just me or has this site become a Believer/Atheist warzone?

by BU2B 288 Replies latest jw friends

  • OnTheWayOut

    No one can KNOW for sure. You can simply believe or not believe.

    One day, the struggle of atheists will be compared with the struggle of African American slaves gaining their freedom, and then having to deal with Jim Crowe laws and other factors of inequalities between the whites and nonwhiltes.

    One day, our struggle will be compared to the struggle for acceptance that homosexuals have had to deal with for so many years.

    One day, the statement above will be so politically incorrect and it will be phrased as:
    No one can KNOW with sureness greater than 99.99999%. You can simply ignore evidence and believe or not believe because you follow evidence/logic.

    My point is that even when you tire of such discussions, you slip in your strong feelings.

  • DJS

    LisaRose, Regarding your comments: "I was thinking about this lately and it occurred to me that one reason people keep fighting to hang on to their belief in a diety is that you are taking something away from them (faith) while giving nothing back other than cold, hard facts. If you do not understand that, then all the logic in the world will not work."

    My experience is that leaving my belief system behind has given me EVERYTHING. I like myself and the world so much more now than I ever did when i was a theist, and it isn't even close. I no longer have to spend energy defending a belief system either to myself or others. I no longer have to think that I am right and 'they' are wrong. I no longer have to judge others or worry about them judging me. And I no longer have to worry about some imaginary god giving me a carrot or hitting me with a stick because I fail in some way (I mean really doesn't he/she have something better to do than worry about my sorry ass - like stopping clitorectomies or genocide or rapes or domestic abuse or wars or chemical attacks on civiilans or . . . .) I have been able to center my life around an old pagan philosophy: "Harm no one." Very simple. As long as my behavior or anyone else's doesn't harm anyone, I see no need to waste energy thinking about it.

    My atheism has given me everything. Lurkers and theists alike. Think about this.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Now here's the thing - no one is ever going to convince someone who believes in God that there is no god.

    Not entirely true. People wake up all the time. But the typical atheist makers are the likes of cults like Jehovah's Witnesses.

    A couple of things I find annoying are...

    I think a much bigger amount of damage is done to newbies who come here and are reading of those that pretend to get divine personal attention in their lives.

  • snare&racket

    I have noticed the same people keep writing threads to bait atheists into having the same discussion week in and week out. It starts sincere, but 2 or 3 replies in, out comes the copy and paste with evidently no understsnding of what they are repeating.

    I don't personally have the time or life yesrs to waste talking to people who pretend to ask questions but have their mouth open and ears closed.

    Atheists are here pushing evidence in the,most honest fashion, i.e. 'We know X but we dont know Y" but amazingly some people have been convinced that belief supersedes evidence.... Despite that being totally illogical snd inappropriate .

  • LisaRose

    DJS, I did not mean to imply that Athiesm is wrong. What I was trying to say is that some who have a belief in a diety may cling to that belief because they feel they will lose something, they are not yet ready to face a world without the idea of a God. I think in that case logic will not convince them. Which is not to say that these discussions are futile, I am sure there are many who are helped by these discussions. I just think people should not be attacked because they are believers.

    I know many Athiests who are happy and get by just fine, including my son and his wife. I myself have never been happier since I left the Borg, so I am not advocating for belief in a diety, just some compassion for those who are still figuring it all out.

  • EdenOne

    If an atheist claims that he cannot know that God doesn't exist - for lacking of rationally accepted evidence - isn't he, by definition, agnostic?


  • adamah

    My 2 cents:

    Yeah, Cofty's right in that 'agnostic' is a useless term, since the term was coined by TH Huxley in the 19th century and his inspiration was to contrast his position on the existence of God with that of the extinct gnostics (they were long-before squashed by orthodox normative Christianity, in 300-500CE). The gnostics were those early Xians who felt that knowledge (gnosis) of sprititual matters was given as a gift from God in the form of Divine Revelation, such that they claimed to simply KNOW with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY about certain "secret" spiritual matters which Jesus only shared with the cream-of-the-crop believers, the 'in-crowd'.

    (A GREAT comparison would be those who claim to hear God's voice today, those who just KNOW certain spiritual matters as TRUTHS. Us 'non-hearers' would thus be described as 'agnostics', since we apparently haven't been gifted by God or deemed as worthy to warrant bestowing with this special knowledge. As such, I suspect Huxley's term 'agnostic' required one's tongue being planted firmly-in-cheek, since such types have a tendency to come off as pious "Holier-than-Thou" personalities; they cannot help but coming off as gloating, even by only casually mentioning their 'special gift' to others).

    In order to support the concept of the Divinely-inspired authors of the Bible, orthodox theologians placed this God-given knowledge on a pedestal, while dismissing those who made the claim of revelation in modern times as nut-jobs; the gnostics actually encouraged these experiences in the rank-and-file, validating such personal experience of Divine revelation by even placing it above one's conflicting a prioiri (pre-existing) beliefs. Hence why philosophers and theologians will claim that Divine knowledge is a special SUB-SET of beliefs, and is to be given greater weight.

    It's completely bassackwards from the findings of psychcology and neurology, where the assumption is that ALL knowledge is simply information (both true AND false), but BELIEFS are defined as that information the individual accepts as TRUE (although they may NOT be, eg delusional beliefs). That's a more-modern view, and note that God is nowhere in the definition. Note that beliefs are a SUB-SET of knowledge, and given no special weight due to the known-phenomena of delusions (beliefs which aren't true).

    So in contrast, Huxley claimed he hadn't been given this special gift of Divine knowledge from God, and hence couldn't claim he could KNOW God exists.

    However, the unintended consequence is the term 'agnostic' actually validates the concept of Divine revelation from Gdd ('gnosis') which has been long-since been discarded as worthless, since it assumes that an individual can confirm the existence of God by hearing voices, AKA relying on internal validation (which is a form of circular argument): hence 'gnosis' is useless, as we know that up to 10% of individuals will experience an auditory/visual hallucation at some time in their lives. Why premise a position of not deciding on the existence of God, based on a flawed concept, an ambiguous term? The term 'atheist' is clear: it contrasts to 'theists' (those who believe God exists). Not so for 'agnostic'.

    Of course, most modern people don't know that he was referring to DIVINE REVELATION (gnosis), and NOT just their position of not possessing general knowledge (AKA evidence) on which to make a rational decision, and hence the meaning of the term has changed in their minds. And good luck explaining all of this to people, since the term has taken on a different meaning and built up a momentum of popular usage (which happens frequently in language)!

    That's why some are calling for discontinuing the use of the term 'agnostic', and instead using a system that is more-useful since it clarifies who bears the burden of proving their claim in a debate: this is the 'soft/hard' adjective, combined with the noun, 'atheist/theist' (eg 'hard atheist', etc).

    But until everyone adopts that system (I wouldn't hold my breath!), it would be better to add 'agnostic' to the list of terms that need to be defined (eg 'God(s)', 'religion', 'theist', 'atheist', etc) BEFORE beginning any meaningful discussion on the question of God's existence, since you cannot safely assume that the other person's usage means the same as yours, and such misunderstandings result in wasted time and agro.


  • Laika

    I am not your enemy!

  • Giordano

    "What I was trying to say is that some who have a belief in a deity may cling to that belief because they feel they will lose something, they are not yet ready to face a world without the idea of a God. I think in that case logic will not convince them."

    As far as these debates go I enjoy them. I think they are healthy exchanges for new arrivals to read and participate in. I also see the Atheist baiting as an attempt to keep from going one bridge beyond. A fading JW is saying....... I don't believe in the 'truth' any longer but in my mind God exists.....has to. They are just not ready to reject that final belief so logic doesn't work.

  • cofty

    If an atheist claims that he cannot know that God doesn't exist - for lacking of rationally accepted evidence - isn't he, by definition, agnostic? - Eden

    Please stop misusing word like "know", and confusing evidence with proof.

    Proof belongs to mathematicians. A mathematical proof is effectively a tautology - just not a very obvious one.

    There is zero evidence for god and overwhelming evidence against. How sure do you have to be before you adopt the term atheist? 60%? 80%, 99.9992147%

Share this