jump to navigation

10 questions for Atheists February 18, 2019

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Responses.
Tags: , ,
trackback

I haven’t done one of these lists of questions for a while, especially since they tend to be so repetitive.  But Makugutu put up this list of questions, which were originally collected by Godless Mom.  It includes some different questions that had not come up before, so I’ll give them a shot:

1. How do atheists name their children, if most names have some sort of religious background?

However they want to.  I chose old family names for my kids, which also happened to be popular names in the English Renaissance.  They are coincidentally also biblical names, but that’s not why I chose them.

2. Is atheism a form of Satanism?

By definition, no.  Someone who believes there is a “Satan” is holding a belief in a powerful supernatural being, in other words, a god.  So someone who actually believes in a real Satan is a theist, just as much as any christian is.  (However, most modern “Satanists” actually use Satan as a symbol only, and don’t profess belief that there’s a real Satan out there, so those people would qualify as atheists.)

3. Why has atheism become so popular in the 21st century?

The internet.

Really, I think that’s it.  We can talk to each other now.  When I deconverted 30+ years ago, it was just me and a lot of books.  I didn’t have anybody else to talk to about it, and it took all the way til the end of college for me to finally get to full deconversion.  The internet would have helped a lot.

4. Why do atheists choose atheism?

We don’t just “choose atheism”.  People don’t wake up one morning and say “gee, I think I’ll become an atheist now.”  Some people never had a belief in a god, but others spend a long time thinking about what they believe before concluding that they don’t believe there’s a god.   Suggesting that someone “chooses atheism” in the way that they choose, I don’t know, a laundry detergent, really minimizes and disrespects difficulty and seriousness of  the thought processes that go into this.

5. Are atheists a threat to the United States?

Not in any way.  We are, however, a threat to the religious organizations that are currently holding too much power and influence in the U.S.  (I think those organizations are themselves an actual threat.)

6. How do atheists keep a positive outlook on life?

The meaning and purpose of our life is ours to decide for our ourselves!  It’s ours to create!  And every day is a precious thing to be appreciated, not a “vale of tears” to be endured.  That’s way better than any “good news” any religion pushes.

7. Why do some atheists insist that atheism is not a “group”?

Because it’s not.  People who don’t watch TV are not a “group”.  People who don’t collect stamps are not a “group”.  There are various organized groups of atheists out there, but atheism itself is not a “group”.

8. Why do so many atheists fail to understand that belief doesn’t require proof?

You can believe in anything you want to without “proof”.  If you don’t need evidence, you could believe every fairy tale and work of fiction is actually true.   But if you are concerned that the things you believe ought to be true, or at least likely true, you should have some kind of reason for belief, some evidence that points to your belief being true.  For most atheists, religious claims do not have sufficient evidence to support them, so we don’t believe them.

9. What is paramount for most atheists?

I can’t speak for most atheists, you would have to ask them.  But for me and a lot of the atheists I know, I’d say it’s making the most of the limited time we have.

10. Is it difficult being an atheist?

Sometimes.  It depends on a lot of factors.  For me where I am now, not so much.  In some cases the US people have faced expulsion from their families or shunning by their friends, or loss of work, when their disbelief became known.  In some other countries, lack of belief carries the death penalty, so I’d say that’s difficult, yeah.

 

So that’s it for this list.  Any different answers?

Comments»

1. Steve Ruis - February 18, 2019

Te #6 I would add that we do not start from a position that humans are fallen sinners, doomed to eternal punishment unless they are saved. The people I have met in my life seem quite ordinary, capable of great things, mostly good things. So, staying positive isn’t all that hard when you open your eyes and look around you, without judging people before you have even met them.

Liked by 4 people

NIGEL is a TEAPOT - March 29, 2019

And yet you have no foundation for anything. If you were so happy, why try to solace yourselves by hoping attacking Christians or denying God will make your shame go away?

As Chesterton said, your furious search for pleasure proves you do not have it.

Liked by 1 person

2. Brent - February 18, 2019

Well done. #3/#4 — exactly!

Liked by 1 person

3. jim- - February 18, 2019

#7 you are so wrong! philatelist collect stamps and there are numerous groups like the American Philatelic Society. These groups are so powerful that they influence all Christian lobbyists and politicians worldwide. Part of the deep state.

Liked by 1 person

Ubi Dubium - February 18, 2019

But are the people who “don’t collect stamps” a powerful group?

Liked by 1 person

jim- - February 18, 2019

Lol. 🎯

Liked by 1 person

4. Arkenaten - February 19, 2019

10. Is it difficult being an atheist?

As a vegetarian, eating Christian babies was very difficult for me at first, but I soon realised that one has to do what one has to do otherwise one’s membership of the Worldwide Atheists Society of Planet Earth, Milky Way Galaxy would be revoked, and all the hard work atheists have done over the years – Official magazines, clubs, T-shirts, stamps, coffee mugs, pretending science is real, sending out hundreds of blow-up, bondage Jesus Dolls to self aggrandizing pretentious, snake-handling Pentecostals and the hundreds of other despicable things atheists are known for would all go to waste.

In light of the above, munching on a few dead babies is no big deal, and I am beginning to enjoy the crunchy toes. Yummy!

Liked by 3 people

NIGEL is a TEAPOT - March 29, 2019

I can see you are consistent in your devilry. Also seems all of your kind know each other.

Liked by 1 person

5. Steve Morris - February 19, 2019

The internet may have accelerated the decline in religious belief, but I think it’s a long-term trend, or at least it is in Europe. In the UK, for example, the number of atheists overtook the number of Christians back in 1992. The majority of young adults in Europe do not hold any religious belief.
https://faithsurvey.co.uk/uk-christianity.html
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/21/christianity-non-christian-europe-young-people-survey-religion

Liked by 2 people

6. NIGEL is a TEAPOT - March 29, 2019

The religion of atheism was founded sometime in the 19th century to modernize gnosticism in order to corrupt the weakest of the weak in the west. The reasoning being that it is impossible for the man-centered eschaton of fabian socialism or freemasonry or any totalitarian government to take hold as long as the Church stands.

The reason your denial of God seems ritualistic, is because you honestly think it is a ritual you are performing to apotheosize yourselves.

The relative longevity of your specific sect of gnosticism is due to the way your kind is unaware of / unable to recognize your own views or position. This means it is hard to reason with you and expose your errors to you, because you cannot even admit your own axioms to yourself.

We would call this insanity in any other age.

Like

Nan - March 29, 2019

And back to you …

This means it is hard to reason with you and expose your errors to you, because you cannot even admit your own axioms to yourself.

We would call this insanity in any other age.

Liked by 1 person

NIGEL is a TEAPOT - March 29, 2019

So I was right, you all do know each other. I suppose it is necessary as you are pack hunters.

I recall telling you this a month ago, but projection by despair is mortally sinful.

Like

shelldigger - June 30, 2019

Holy projection Batman!

I find it amusing we begin with unsupported assertions boldly claimed as fact, then we seamlessly move to massive projection. Am I the only one seeing this? it’s freaking clinical.

Liked by 2 people

NIGEL is a TEAPOT - July 9, 2019

This screaming of “I know you are but what am I” will not absolve you.

atheism IS a gnostic sect based around the delusion that denying God as a ritual will apotheosize you. you ARE able to last longer than other sects because you cannot admit your own position.

you trying to silence me by accusing me of being insane is an old soviet tactic.

Like

Ubi Dubium - July 9, 2019

Do you let non-christians define for you what your beliefs about christianity are? I should hope not! Neither do you get to dictate to me what I believe. When I say “I’m an atheist” I mean “I don’t have a belief in any god.” That’s it. No sect, no religion, no rituals, no “apotheosis”, no “gnosticism”, none of that stuff you are trying to claim. Theists believe a bunch of stuff about the supernatural, and I just don’t buy it. Anything else you are trying to put on top of that looks like projection on your part.

Liked by 1 person

NIGEL is a TEAPOT - August 7, 2019

I am telling you what you believe as you will deny what you affirm and affirm what you deny.

Like

Ubi Dubium - August 7, 2019

You don’t get to tell me what I believe. That’s not a good strategy for changing anyone’s mind, anyway. It’s just an attempt at gaslighting, which is bullying behavior, and I won’t tolerate that sort of thing here.

Like

NIGEL is a TEAPOT - August 21, 2019

Yes I do, considering you truly do not know, or you are a terrible liar as you are very open about your views (you just try to pretend you do not have them).

I don’t care about your approval, I care about Love, Absolute Truth, and Natural Law. feebly muttering about “bullying behavior” because you cannot reply substantively will not make your shame over sin go away.

If you have something of value to say, go on and do it. you have yet to.

Like

shelldigger - July 9, 2019

First of all I could give a flying rats ass for your absolution. Ok?

Your second paragraph appears to be some word scrabble nonsense based in the confines of a very limited, bigoted, worldview. Unless of course you can actually prove atheistm is what was it? ” a gnostic sect based around the delusion that denying God as a ritual will apotheosize you.” Or this little gem “The religion of atheism was founded sometime in the 19th century to modernize gnosticism in order to corrupt the weakest of the weak in the west. The reasoning being that it is impossible for the man-centered eschaton of fabian socialism or freemasonry or any totalitarian government to take hold as long as the Church stands.” Got any proof for any of these claims? Any at all?

Only the far right YEC’s seem to disdain knowledge (gnostic) as it slices holes right through their idiocy. You a YEC? Apotheosize? Really?
Most of the atheists I know are down to earth normal people who want nothing more than to get by in the world without the oppression of religion in our lives and government. Let’s leave the apotheosizing for power hungry asshats, alright?

And I did not bring up insanity, you did. I made a simple observation based upon your own writing, which still shows me you are prone to making bold baseless assertions and project your own shortcomings on those who find your religion laughable.

…of course if the shoe fits. Wear it.

Liked by 2 people

NIGEL is a TEAPOT - August 7, 2019

Oh, evil one. As Chesterton said, you are not advanced enough to understand my philosophy and you are too cowardly to admit you even have a philosophy.

your delusions of usurping Godhood by overthrowing God’s order is absurd, but even your kind knows that you cannot do so with the Church present. john locke (whom your views are based upon) knew the Church was the arbiter of Absolute Truth and so his first step was to deny Absolute Truth to de-legitimize the Church.

The Church and Absolute Truth are still here.

Like

Ubi Dubium - August 7, 2019

And now you are name-calling, also a bullying behavior. You are welcome to criticize ideas here, that’s fine. You can take issue with what someone says, or say that their idea is a bad idea, or unsupported, or that their reasoning is terrible. But flinging personal insults is not productive conversation. This is my space, and I don’t tolerate bullies here. Be civil, or be gone.

Liked by 1 person

NIGEL is a TEAPOT - August 21, 2019

And you are a vile, abject coward. But such is the case for the demonic.

As I said, I know both my position and yours. you can’t even admit your own position to yourself and you do not have the capability of understanding mine.

Like

Ubi Dubium - August 21, 2019

I have no interest in having a conversation with you. I have already warned you to “be civil or be gone”. You are still throwing insults, so it’s obvious that you can’t be civil. So I’m showing you the door.

Liked by 1 person

Nan - August 21, 2019

Isn’t it fascinating how those who “believe” can utter such remarks as “I care about Love” and then turn around and metaphorically spit in your face because you don’t agree with them?

Liked by 1 person

Ubi Dubium - August 21, 2019

It’s also fascinating how the all-powerful superbeing he claims to be friends with doesn’t tell him to knock it off, because he’s making the religion look bad.

I was just going to let him blather on, demonstrating the awful things religion does to your brain. But he got abusive, so I had to bring out the banhammer. I’ll put up with a lot, but that’s where I draw the line.

Liked by 1 person

shelldigger - August 8, 2019
NIGEL is a TEAPOT - August 21, 2019

So you have nothing to add?

Like

shelldigger - August 21, 2019
7. colonialist - August 5, 2019

Good answers. Another question, though, with particular reference to No 6, is a knee-jerk tendency by Atheists to dismiss anything that might provide an alternative ‘good news’ with far greater credibility.

Liked by 1 person

Ubi Dubium - August 5, 2019

I’m not sure I’m understanding you correctly. I know from experience that the christian “good news” is nothing of the kind. I have not heard any other religion with any “good news” that is any more credible. Do you know of an alternative “good news” that deserves more careful consideration?

Liked by 2 people

colonialist - August 5, 2019

Any deity/god/force or view that provides greater meaning for existence than simply existing would do that. So would anything that establishes, with irrefutable evidence, the continuation of some life force in individuals after death — the age-old argument of spirit or soul. Good evidence does exist here, but still subject to other explanations. In these directions, though, I have found most atheists of my ken as closed in thinking as the most fundamental religionists.

Liked by 1 person

Ubi Dubium - August 5, 2019

“Any deity/god/force or view that provides greater meaning for existence than simply existing would do that.”

I don’t think that’s necessarily “good news”. If that deity’s idea of meaning is spending eternity kissing it’s ass, that’s not good news at all.

Likewise, evidence for continued existence after death might not be “good news” depending on what sort of existence we are talking about.

But I would consider both of those to be extraordinary claims, and so would require extraordinary evidence to be seriously considered. So far, the evidence people have provided for those claims is not sufficiently extraordinary. If some better evidence comes to light, I’ll re-examine my views.

Liked by 2 people

colonialist - August 5, 2019

I couldn’t agree more on the rump-smooching.

However, evidence for spirits, for example, based on personal experiences, are cumulatively impressive and the alternative explanations sound rather hollow. Such as, in the case of my grandfather, being aware of the death of a favourite nephew a day before any news could possibly come through, and other legends from particularly non-impressionable and unimpeachable sources in my family.

The attempts to debunk evidence from reincarnation experiments are also beginning to resemble clutching at straws. Individually, they may seem to hold water. Cumulatively, something better needs to come up. This illustrates, however, the scientific community’s tendency to grasp at anything whatsoever, no matter how ridiculous, to counter what might impinge on their established views.

Liked by 1 person

Ubi Dubium - August 7, 2019

As far as “spirits” go, there’s no real way to disprove them. We have lots of individual testimonies from people about their experiences, but only that.

But on the other side, we have what we know about the fallibility of the human brain, and the unreliability of memory. People mis-identify things all the time. A story may be added to each time it is told, and the accuracy of our memories fades over time. And people lie for attention or gain. But deliberate deception is not necessary for someone to believe in something that didn’t happen. “People are easy to fool, and the easiest person to fool is yourself.” (As Feynman said.) We want this stuff to be true, and that influences our perceptions and memories.

So to get beyond anecdote, to determine whether something is likely true, we need to find a way to investigate the claims that compensates for these human weaknesses. We need to try to rule out confirmation bias, wishful thinking, and outright trickery, as much as we can. And for all the investigations I’ve seen into this sort of thing, the more robust the protocols are, the more careful people are to rule out those problems, the weaker the evidence for “spirits” becomes.

So at this point, I don’t see a reason to have a positive belief that “spirits” are real, or to take the idea very seriously. I’m open to changing that opinion, but only with real research, not just a bunch of individual stories.

Liked by 3 people

Nan - August 7, 2019

Perfect summation — We want this stuff to be true.

Liked by 1 person

colonialist - August 7, 2019

One story, utterly vouched for, should be enough. However, in the case of my grandfather the whole large family saw him come down to breakfast ashen-faced to claim that the nephew had sat on his bed, smiled, and vanished, before he got up. There are any number of others like that, too, not embellished after the fact.

What I find compelling is research done as far as one can do research on such a subject by independent researchers on a scientific basis, where deep hypnosis produces results (Stevenson, Martini et al) that takes a great deal of effort to research and verify — but verified it is, with consistent results.

Liked by 1 person

Ubi Dubium - August 7, 2019

No amount of “vouching for” a story will make it more likely to be true. My husband was once convinced he saw a ghost, and the experience was very much like the one your grandfather described. He was convinced it was a ghost right up until he learned about the phenomenon of sleep paralysis and hypnopompic hallucinations. He realized that this is what he experienced, not a ghost, but a temporary defect in his brain’s waking-up process. Since he had not initially understood what had happened, he had mis-identified his initial experience as a ghost.

This is an example of why we have to be so careful about this stuff, and not just accept when somebody “utterly vouches for” something. The actual existence of “spirits” would be an important thing to know, but it’s too important to jump to conclusions about.

Liked by 2 people

colonialist - August 7, 2019

This is the thinking I started off by deploring. So determined to disprove everything in this area that no straw goes ungrasped.
I should have told the tale in a wealth of detail, but what it boils down to is that knowledge he couldn’t possibly have had came to him with that experience and that he was the most sceptical imaginable person in that direction. Telepathy? A message from little green men from Mars?
How do you know that the explanation for the phenomenon you refer to is not a lot of psychobabble and the experience was real?
How do you explain the consistent results from regression hypnosis or NDE? A similar disfunction in the brain on each occasion where in fact the brain has flatlined?
No, I am on the other side of the same coin: I am prepared to be convinced that these things are invalid, but only on conclusive alternative information. At the moment, the more I read the more I become convinced there is something in it.

Liked by 1 person

Ubi Dubium - August 28, 2019

No, I am on the other side of the same coin: I am prepared to be convinced that these things are invalid, but only on conclusive alternative information.

The problem with this approach is that it leaves you open to every huckster and charlatan out there. If you start with believing everything you are told, including the extraordinary claims, until you have reason to disbelieve, then you will wind up believing a lot of things that are not true. Even if some of the stuff you believe in is actually correct, there are certainly lots of people out there faking it, and they are ready to take your time and your money. They will encourage you to be as credulous as possible, because they can use that.

I know of exactly zero formal studies of “regression hypnosis” that produced any kind of result that indicates that this is anything more than suggestion on the part of the hypnotist and suggestibility on the part of the subject. And remember that a “NDE” is not a report of what it’s like to be dead. It’s a report of what it’s like to have an oxygen-starved dying brain temporarily, and then to try to reconstruct memories out of all that jumble of confused impulses afterwards. And people reconstruct their memory using the ideas and imagery that they are already familiar with, so it’s no wonder that they come out with something that confirms what they already believe.

As Matt Dillahunty so often says, I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible. Since there are so many people out there that stand to profit by beliefs in false things, I have very tough standards for evidence, and when it comes to extraordinary claims, I don’t start from a position of acceptance.

Liked by 1 person

8. colonialist - August 28, 2019

I think one needs to confine oneself to two things; repeated reports from sceptics who reluctantly concede from experience/s that there is something in afterlife; and researches conducted on a completely scientific basis where other explanations take on increasingly wild nature. Stevenson and Richard Martini among others, as well as researchers at respected universities, have used a scientific approach with astounding results. Deep hypnosis brings up information the person couldn’t possibly have, and which takes exhaustive research to verify. Unless there is massive fabrication (unlikely) there is a lot worthy of consideration; detailed memories contained in the genes do not really seem a viable solution.

Liked by 1 person

Ubi Dubium - August 28, 2019

I don’t know who “Stevenson” is. As far as I can tell, Richard Martini is a filmmaker, not a serious researcher. Can you tell me what journal they publish their results in? Because if anyone actually managed to demonstrate any of this reliably, and in a way that other researchers could verify and replicate their results, there would be a Nobel Prize in it for them.

Liked by 1 person

colonialist - August 28, 2019

Richard Martini has written a number of books on the subject quoting his results in detail.
You are mistaken in your view that most researchers would come anywhere near this subject, no matter how well documented the research. There is a knee-jerk reaction to regarding it as faked or whatever. Interestingly, Martini never draws conclusions. He simply records the results. Dr Ian Stevenson (now deceased) researched accounts of past lives by young children, compiled with assistance from Dr Jim Tucker; Richard Martini did his own researches and wrote books about them — serious enough.
Dr Brian Weiss is said to have proved it conclusively. In fact, numerous respected academics in the fields of psychiatry have stated that the afterlife is real, from their researches into it. I still maintain a dogged scepticism, in common with the average person, but it is wearing rather thin. The same sort of scepticism counts out Nobel prizes even though one reads that many other researchers have in fact verified and replicated the results.

Liked by 1 person

9. cag - August 29, 2019

Richard Martini L. Ron Hubbard, a specialist in fiction, writes some books. Believable.

Ian Stevenson is granted a life pass by the founder of Xerox to be paid to ride his hobby horse. Believable.

Liked by 2 people

10. ca - September 25, 2019

Very late to the party here, but I just found your blog from your comments on “Cross Examined”. Regarding:

8. Why do so many atheists fail to understand that belief doesn’t require proof?

I’m convinced that most Christians believe they have evidence. They believe they have proof. I know I did. That’s what apologetics is all about. That’s how we wind up with books called “Reasonable Faith” and “The Case for Faith.”

Never mind that Hebrews 11 states flatly that faith is a substitute for substance and evidence — Christians believe that they have actual evidence for their beliefs, that it is not truly a matter of faith. Not that they’d ever say that, and perhaps some Christians really do have faith — they believe in things like a god and eternal reward and punishment, knowing full well that there’s no actual evidence for those things. But the industry around apologetics is evidence that Christians are looking for proof — looking for something to assuage their very reasonable doubts.

Liked by 2 people

11. leendadll - April 12, 2021

I once had a long discussion with a middle eastern friend about item #6. He couldn’t comprehend “doing right” without a fear of being punished by gawd if he did not. I couldn’t/can’t comprehend doing tight only out of fear.

Liked by 2 people


Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: