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Atheism and short-sightedness

September 22, 2013
Eleanor Roosevelt and United Nations Universal...

Eleanor Roosevelt and United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Spanish text

Atheism is not believing in a God and there are fairly good reasons to do so. Atheism is the most rational system, but it consists of a thinking pattern which is a typical western thinking pattern. Of course we need to differentiate between different forms of atheism, but the western version of atheism can be mostly regarded as a movement which is against supernatural claims and which wants to uncover lies about our reality. These are good objectives, but if people want to fight this because of values which were founded in the age of Enlightment, people should obey to the rules of the system which they adhere. The Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration which can be traced back to the French Revolution, values like liberty, freedom and fraternity are values which can also be found in the Declaration of human rights and when we read it we can’t say that they are bad. Respecting others, regarding every human being as a human, the right to develop yourself and no social boundaries to high positions are pretty good ideas. This is also the reason why some atheists are, what is called, militant atheists. It’s a movement which can be considered as a countermovement to a christianity which went too far and is imposing too many values on the whole population while not necessarily the whole population agrees with their values. Christian values are hard to uncover, because it’s very unclear what christian values exactly are. The Old Testament and New Testament are preaching different values or at the least, show a difference in values, though they are considered as being one and the same by christians.

The philosophers G.W.F. Hegel and Ludwig Feuer...

The philosophers G.W.F. Hegel and Ludwig Feuerbach, whose ideas on dialectics heavily influenced Marx.

Atheists began to rise after the Enlightment. After Hegel, who was a protestant christian, his philosophical ideas were used to preach a form of atheism, among the people who did that Ludwig Feuerbach and Karl Marx are some examples, which was mostly an ideology that was similar to the way in which christianity was fulfilled, feeding the poor, but being done by atheists who wanted the poor people to become equal, or like Karl Marx stated it: To let them rise up against their bosses and take their rights. This is quite different from christian ideology, the difference though is how in both ideologies the general population is the focus and the ones who are helped.

After that there were still a great number of people who believed in Christianity. This changed after the Second World War. A lot of people decided to turn against religion and join secularism and the new way of capitalism. Because of the seperation between state and religion, capitalism could also develop without religious boundaries and the economy started to develop with a greater pace because of marketing and more freedom in the market.

It seemd to be all due to secularism, people like Atatürk agreed, and maybe that is one of the reasons why people adhere atheism. Secularism seems to work better in which it doesn’t matter if there are religious institutions or not.

Now let’s go back to modern atheism. Atheism is a movement which wants freedom and fights against short-sightedness of religious people, it fights for a world in which everything is based on facts and equality between humans.

Of course this is great, but atheists may need to stick to philosophy in order to realize how important philosophy is for knowing what is true. Like the famous philosopher Socrates said: ‘The only thing which I know is that I don’t know anything at all‘.

Atheists seem to take the following steps: It isn’t sure if God exists, but there is no reason to believe in little green men which are constantly changing chairs when we don’t see it, so why would I believe in the possibility of such a thing to exist? They immediately take the assumption: It’s nonsense, go get some proof. This is, I think, as much a version of short-sightedness as extremist religious people who claim to know the complete truth. We are limited to a reality which we can only experience as human beings and we can’t know anything for sure, because we don’t know what is behind our experience. Everything what we know about neurology, physics, physiology and other subjects is only useful in our reality, but it isn’t useful for, what we can call, the reality behind the universe. The reality behind the universe can’t be unlocked, because everything what you discover is distorted by human experience, you can unlock certain information, but it will be always a distortion of the real facts which you will never find out. In order to understand if God exists or can exist, you need to know what the thing is like which created us, not important if it was conscious or not. You are, no matter if you are a religious person or an atheist, taking the wrong steps if you make a judgement about that without even being able to answer this question. Again, you can understand other human beings because of you being a human yourself too, but you can’t understand your pet completely, you can’t understand strange animals or objects, how would you be able to understand something like God without any sufficient knowledge based on facts?

What we call God can be anything within our interpretation, but it is a fact for sure that whatever God is, it will stay a mystery and for every person, no matter if he or she is an atheists, buddhist, christian or agnostic it will always be.

As long as people are happy with their religion and not harming others with it, I recommend atheists to stick to their way of viewing life if they get happy by it, but don’t harm religious people who are happy and don’t try to take away something which is precious for another person, you can’t decide in what way someone should live like.

  1. Atheism is about the least rational system of thought imaginable.

    When you ask an atheist to answer a question and are lucky enough to get a civil answer it’s usually a link to an atheist website.

    And of course it’s that very website that has has spoon fed them everything that is in their head.

    Every atheist I’ve ever conversed with thinks that reasoning consists of expressing their personal opinion with as many words as possible.

    That is the antithesis of our Western Heritage. In fact, atheism is a complete rejection of our Western Heritage.

    • I have a different opinion and a different experience. Atheists use arguments which are very universal, they often don’t come up with arguments themselves but they borrow them from philosophers like Ockham (Ockham’s Razor) or Feuerbach or the moderntime atheist philosophers Dawkins and Dennet, but they don’t really come up with their own stuff and rational thinking. In my opinion they are just copying a certain thinking system and aren’t independent at all, like some of them claim, because they are within a certain system just like christianity, judaism, islam and other religions. If an atheist really has original thinking, they will often be less disrespectful and narrow-minded and they will often be open to new ideas, they just don’t believe in a God too, but that would be in a very different way than the way in which a lot of modern atheists are, which is what I ‘m criticizing in this post.

      • Roel,

        You just proved my point. You answered with a personal opinion.

        Facts are facts, not opinion.

        And an atheist’s opinion is hardly universal.

      • I recommend you to read more about atheism or speak more with atheists, your post doesn’t make sense, no offense.

      • Let’s start with the easy point: To somehow expect that an atheist must have great new thoughts to be taken seriously is strange. Don’t you accept a mathematicians expertise even if he didn’t make huge new discoveries? Is it important if an argument is old or new – as long as it is valid? Atheists simply don’t believe in a god. Atheists who argue with other people normally just react to arguments given from believers – and all these arguments are pretty old and have been countered before, again and again. There is not much room for clever new thoughts – and no need for such, as even the old clever thoughts are simply ignored if they don’t fit into a believers world view.

        Anyway, claiming that atheism isn’t rational is strange. First of all, it’s just the absence of belief, so to show that it is irrational, you would either have to prove belief to be the only rational choice – and if you could do that, the only thing from you and a Nobel prize in philosophy is the lack of its existence – or find another way to prove the irrationality of atheism, which, not really surprisingly, nobody has done by now.

        As for your own point, honestly, it seems quite… useless. “The reality behind the universe can’t be unlocked.” Ok, let’s, for the sake of this argument, assume that to be true. What does it mean? It simply means, that we don’t need to talk about it. Nobody can make any statements about it. It’s completely useless. Why should we talk about it? You cannot claim that there is, for example, a god behind the universe, because that “truth” can also not be unlocked. It’s talking about things we can never know, so it’s pretty much a waste of time. We could assume something about it, but every assumption would be equally valid (that is, not valid at all) so they all can be discarded, which leads to atheism: No need to believe anything about the reality behind the universe, because every belief about it is totally unfounded and random.
        Honestly, I really don’t see the point. The only chance to somehow make this argument into something that makes religion sound valid, is a special pleading… “You cannot know something about the reality behind the universe, but with faith, you can feel, which is, somehow, true.”. Again: What is the point?

        Perhaps I simply didn’t get what you want to say. “As long as people are happy with their religion and not harming others with it…”. Honestly, most atheists couldn’t care less about that. If religion would not harm anyone, if believers would not try forcing their views onto others, force them to change their behavior, deny them rights, etc. – new atheism would not exist. Many atheists would not feel the need to even mention religion. The only reason why the new atheism is becoming louder and louder is because more and more people see the problems religion brings. If there were no problems, atheists would not need to speak out (of course, some would, because some people are always obnoxious, even if there is no reason to). But there are problems. And this is, why atheists speak out, this is, why atheists discuss with other people, share opinions, etc.

      • I can’t remember saying that atheism is irrational, I said that atheism can be very narrow-minded because it excludes other possibilities, because it stays within it’s own thinking pattern.

        You can always form very logical relationships between events, for example, I know that if I drop a box from my hands, it will fall. That’s most likely possible, because you certainly know David Hume who said that you can never be 100% sure that it will happen, just very sure. Another event would be if I touch a chair with my foot, the chair will most likely move if it isn’t a heavy chair or colled with lime to the floor. It’s something which we can expect too because of physics, different powers which influence eachother.

        Concerning supernatural events or religion, you are speaking about something which you can’t be sure of. I can’t be sure if my thoughts will influence what will happen to me, because I first have to test that and

        The reason why I ‘m agnostic is because I believe that dropping a book from my hands it will fall, but I don’t see why I would exclude the possibility of a God or influencing reality with my thoughts, because I start with a draft which is my experience and this subject is very vague, which makes it very hard to get accurate evidence out of it. The reason why I ‘m not only against extreme forms of atheism but also against extreme forms of religion is because they claim to be sure about things which you can’t even test properly.

        The reason why I don’t exclude the possibility is because I have an open mind and I don’t assume that things can only influence eachother with physics, that is in contrary to quantum mechanics of which we know that particles can be in contact with eachother at a distance. I can see why certain things can be possible through quantum mechanics, the reason why I still don’t agree with religious persons is because they claim to be absolutely sure about their statements with quantum mechanics, which is nonsense.

      • “Irrational” was in reference to what silence wrote, as my response was for both postings, yours and his.

        If you are not sure about something, then you postpone judgement, thus you don’t start to believe (also not in the opposite). What’s it called when you don’t believe in god? Atheism. It’s not required to believe that there is no god, simply bot believing there is one is completely enough. Agnosticism is a totally different thing, as it’s not about belief, but knowledge.

        Having an open mind is ok, I have, too, but that doesn’t mean I waste my time believing in fairies, just because some other people do. As soon as someone gives me a good reason to, I will consider it. Same thing with religion, as long as there is no good reason, I don’t start believing.

      • Well, I will explain a bit to you. I have been hanging around a few years ago when I was still a teenager on forums with people who practiced what’s called psi. Some very unlikely claims are that they can do telepathy and telekinesis and such things. I talked with them though and I did some experiments and it made me doubt if it really is all just nonsense. I keep an open mind, it’s possible that it was coincidence, but I couldn’t conclude that they were always wrong, some of them were right a lot of times when you tested them, others not. I think that a possible explanation could be that maybe, if we make the assumption that you actually can influence things with your mind, it depends on your belief that it will work, that has to do with that your thoughts will influence and if you think you can’t influence, it won’t work. Seems legit to me, if we assume that this thing works. Now that would explain why a lot of them refuse to cooperate in scientific experiments. If you are around people who don’t believe in it, they will influence the experiment with their disbelief and make it more unlikely to work. My propose would be to, in some way, test it scientifically without any human influence from the outside
        Again, we have the problem, if we let people look at the results afterwards, they will probably be biased, that can be either in a negative or in a positive way. Both of them are bad and if we make the assumption that thoughts influence the results, it’s quite pointless to do the experiments at all.

        That’s why I keep an open mind, maybe it’s possible but it’s very hard to research because of this reason which I just gave here.

      • Let me try to say it nice… That’s not the way how science works. You don’t start formulating reasons why something works or not BEFORE you actually are pretty sure THAT is works. If you don’t know for sure THAT prayer works, then it doesn’t make sense to ask WHY it works. Same here: Asking yourself why it works based on some personal anecdotes is pretty useless. Yes, I also have had a look at ESP, etc. – but I did it by looking for scientific studies, etc. which lead me to being reasonable sure that it’s not there (at least not in a way that’s significant).

        Of course there is a remote probability that our way of testing something is not good enough – but that does not mean, that vague anecdotes suddenly get more weight, they don’t. It’s also possible that tomorrow someone will give me a million bucks, yes, but I wouldn’t suggest using that as a basis for any plans for the future. The reasonable point of view is still, that it probably won’t happen. Some with ESP: If the test fails, it is of course possible, that it’s because of the test… It’s just not likely.

      • This same argument is used a lot that personal anecdotes can’t be used. Fact is that I ‘m not basing this on anecdotes but on things which I experienced myself. You can keep telling me that these things most likely don’t exist because of science and the scientific method, I say that there is a problem in the current scientific method if you do that claim, because I ‘m not having psychosis.

      • Science is there to negate the influence of personal bias, of personal error, of personal opinion. Your method on the other hand is the combination of personal bias, error and opinion. Do you really think I will trust your personal opinion more than studies that tried to remove as much of that as possible? What you say is “I am right and I don’t care what dozens of studies say that have been done by people much better than me.” Honestly? Isn’t that a little bit arrogant? Personally, my first idea would be, that I got something wrong and not that my personal experience is the big exception and that I, of course, never make mistakes, have no bias, etc.
        You can chose to believe whatever you want, but if you wanted to convince me, that there’s more to it, then you should have gotten more than that, sorry.

      • Actually there is scientific research done into this which isn’t negative, look at the video:

      • And as soon as there are good peer-reviewed studies, meta-studies, etc. we can talk all day long about it. Until then, guys on a TV show don’t make compelling evidence.

      • Really? An article that claims that scientists have tried to find out HOW IT WORKS? Honestly? I could accept “scientists have tried to find out IF it works”, but HOW? And of course, the whole text has nothing to do with some form of natural telepathy, it’s simply stimulation of the brain via electrodes. Nice experiment, but nothing that has anything to do with psi.

      • You seem to be a bit lagging in science. You are of the first generation which considered these phenomena to be nonsense. Scientists of the new generation want to research this subject and have theories and experiments which give positive results:

        One of the reasons why it would be in accordance with science is because of the evolutional benefits of these phenomena, they aren’t irrational at all, only if you are narrow-minded and stuck in old thinking patterns they are impossible, that’s not how science works though, science has constantly changing thinking patterns and paradigms.

      • Discovery channel? Really? You are using this word “scientists”, but I get the strange feeling that it doesn’t mean what you think it means…

        And what’s that last paragraph supposed to mean? Something that has not been proven in any way would perhaps be an evolutionary benefit, thus it must be true? Honestly? And nobody is talking about impossible – just unlikely.

      • I just offer you some sources of scientific research in this subject, if you don’t want to look just say it, because I don’t want to waste my time with looking for sources for you.

      • Honestly, when I talk about sources for something like that, I normally use peer reviewed magazines or at least studies and not TV shows. TV shows are nice, if well done, to understand things basically, but nothing you can quote.

    • How about at least pretending to have any proof for your claims? At the moment, you just stand there and claim that you are right, so everyone who disagrees must be stupid, stupid, stupid! As soon as you make a complete argument, we can talk about it, but as long as you only throw your personal opinion around, there is nothing to talk about.

      • I don’t really get his comment too. His comment about atheists is: [i]’And an atheist’s opinion is hardly universal.'[/i]

        I wonder if he has even researched atheism, atheists work together pretty well and the arguments are often shared too. Russell’s Teapot is used by a lot of atheists…

  2. Just a thought:

    “What we call God can be anything within our interpretation, but it is a fact for sure that whatever God is, it will stay a mystery and for every person, no matter if he or she is an atheists, buddhist, christian or agnostic it will always be.”

    That is exactly true, especially if god doesn’t exist.

    “As long as people are happy with their religion and not harming others with it, I recommend atheists to stick to their way of viewing life if they get happy by it, but don’t harm religious people who are happy and don’t try to take away something which is precious for another person, you can’t decide in what way someone should live like.”

    The problem is that religion is harming people, it is caustic to society over all. If your precious things is oppressing the civil rights of others, why should you be allowed to continue with it?

    • If God doesn’t exist and it satisfies you then I ‘m satisfied for you, it’s really nice that you found a way to live which brings you happiness, this just isn’t so for every person, there are also people who get really unhappy about not having a God or something to believe in and because I believe in empathy and humanity I ‘m not a person who says: ‘If you can’t live without religion you aren’t supposed to do.‘ That would be a form of brainwashing if you would force those people to not believe, I completely agree with atheists however that people should get a free choice to believe and learn about different religions.

      I ‘m supporting those people who need a religion but who aren’t hurting other people with it, I however completely agree with you that negative influences of religion need to be stopped. Maybe they are big in the United States, but here in Europe the religion doesn’t really have a big influence, christianity and judaism don’t have in any case, islam seems to gain more influence though.

      Because you don’t necessarily need to go into politics with your religion. My recommendation would be to just create a secular state and only give religion the right to decide over religious affairs, not state affairs. That means that christian parties are only allowed to make political decisions about churches and what will happen in them and how they can support society, read: support, not forcing other aspects of society to do things.

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