Georgetown prof: We need our own candidate, fellow atheists

posted at 8:23 pm on September 22, 2007 by Allahpundit

No other minority group in America needs its own candidate, but never mind that. He’s forging an “identity” of nonbelief here and what better way to say you’ve arrived as a collective consciousness than with your own vanity ticket? Fine by me, but only because most of the votes for atheist pride or whatever would be coming out of the Democrats’ pocket. Then again, the biggest concentrations of those voters would be in states which the left is going to win by 20 points anyway. I link it only to quote the author’s taxonomy of atheist subgroups, which I suspect wasn’t meant to sound as contemptuous as it does:

The flora and fauna of contemporary nonbelief is astonishingly variegated. There are the Big Science Secularists (who sometimes have a creepily cocksure, pre-postmodern, faith in the possibilities of reason). There are the Refugees who are escaping dysfunctional Fundamentalist homes. There are the Church-State Lifers who would rather immolate themselves than endure another breach of the Wall of Separation. There are The Philosopher Kings who are in it for intellectual thrills and who might be reading anything from Ayn Rand to Heidegger to the Death of God Theologians. There are The Lone Rangers who see “Stop” signs as infringements on their personal civil liberties and will ferociously resist being wrangled by any institution, organization, campaign, etc. There is a small–too small, I think–Gay contingent. There is The Lunatic Fringe composed of those who–speaking in secular tongues–equate all Evangelical Christians with the Taliban. And lots of others too. In previous posts, I have intimated that non-believing secularists need to make common cause with believing secularists. Before that occurs the groups mentioned above must be positioned, by force if necessary, under a big tent.

Sounds like a real chucklefest. Notably missing would be people who think religion is nonsense but lack any ulterior masturbatory hobbyhorse impelling them towards that conclusion. If they don’t comprise the majority of nonbelievers, if it’s just a patchwork of disgruntled naysayers with different kinds of chips on their shoulders, then it’s an impoverished movement indeed.

He also offers atheist congressman Pete Stark as a possibility to head the ticket. I’d sooner vote for James Dobson.


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AP, I see you as a combination of philosopher king and lone ranger.

The quoted piece was dead on.

jihadwatcher on September 22, 2007 at 8:27 PM

You (or Bryan or See-Dub…someone) linked this Dawkins review of Hitch’s book in Headlines, and he talked about the Mormons “fielding a candidate” in the form of Mitt Romney. This seems to be a natural extension of that goofyness, where the hell do these prominent Atheists get this idea that religions are the ones fielding a candidate?

Bad Candy on September 22, 2007 at 8:32 PM

If they don’t comprise the majority of nonbelievers, if it’s just a patchwork of disgruntled naysayers with different kinds of chips on their shoulders, then it’s an impoverished movement indeed.

Allahpundit

Most movements based on disbelief (of anything) are impoverished.

There are not really many true atheists around, since a true atheist understands that nothing in life matters at all and would, thus, not allow himself to be bound by anyone’s desires but his own. A true atheist wouldn’t even waste the time to discuss atheism, since it wouldn’t matter.

Most who claim to be atheists just WISH they actually were atheists, but the way they run their lives shows that they certainly do believe in an existant meta-physics, and likely, are doing nothing more than rebelling against the religion they were born into.

There are very few scientists who are actually atheists, since the basis of science is the blind faith in the notion that the universe is, in the large, a rational place that is subject to specific mathematical laws. They see God in the mathematics the same way that religious people see God in his creation of the universe (and then letting us loose with free will).

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 8:44 PM

I am an atheist but favorite candidate would be a certain Catholic, if he could be reincarnated. Pope Urban II.

MB4 on September 22, 2007 at 8:47 PM

a true atheist understands that nothing in life matters at all

That would be a nihilist.

and would, thus, not allow himself to be bound by anyone’s desires but his own.

That would be a narcissist.

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 8:44 PM

MB4 on September 22, 2007 at 8:52 PM

a true atheist understands that nothing in life matters at all

That would be a nihilist.

and would, thus, not allow himself to be bound by anyone’s desires but his own.

That would be a narcissist.

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 8:44 PM

MB4 on September 22, 2007 at 8:52 PM

And both are logical conclusions of the premise that God doesn’t exist and there is nothing more to the world than the physical. It’s that whole cause-effect thing that human thinking has always been bound to. If the end is EMPTY …

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 8:55 PM

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 8:55 PM

I agree, but just because someone isn’t being logical doesn’t mean he’s not a true believer (or unbeliever in this case). In fact, I think that’s usually the case with most people.

Darth Executor on September 22, 2007 at 9:03 PM

which I suspect wasn’t meant to sound as contemptuous as it does:

Noooooooo.of course not.
.
.

(Democrats–who would rather be Tasered than Nadered in a battleground state–

Bawawawawawa!

Mcguyver on September 22, 2007 at 9:04 PM

just because someone isn’t being logical doesn’t mean he’s not a true believer (or unbeliever in this case)
Darth Executor on September 22, 2007 at 9:03 PM

Just remember……this headline was tagged with the “red meat” photo…….which means – just to refresh everybody’s memory – comment bait ahead.

Mcguyver on September 22, 2007 at 9:08 PM

Darth Executor on September 22, 2007 at 9:03 PM

Yes, but actions tell more about ones true beliefs than talk.

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 9:13 PM

Uh…nuance?

Sir Loin on September 22, 2007 at 9:15 PM

Mcguyver on September 22, 2007 at 9:08 PM

Ahead? I’m pretty sure we already hit it head on.

Darth Executor on September 22, 2007 at 9:18 PM

He also offers atheist congressman Pete Stark as a possibility to head the ticket. I’d sooner vote for James Dobson

Gheeze, AP…what kind of athiest are you?

JetBoy on September 22, 2007 at 9:19 PM

To explain my last answer to you, while many may not be led to the logical conclusions of atheism, by way of logic itself, most will slowly arrive at the correct logical conclusions for their true beliefs by way of the actions that they are forced to choose as they live their life. When an atheist is confronted with something that he really wants, but cannot get, he will look at what is keeping him from his goal. He will see the actions that he is not willing to do and he will understand why he’s not willing to do them. If he were a true atheist, he would realize this each time and do whatever he wanted to do, since atheism offers no penalties for any behavior of any sort. Bit by bit, the true atheist would be led by his choice of actions, and confronting the fact that in an atheist world nothing really matters at all, to the logically correct implications of atheism.

Otherwise, he was never really an atheist, but one who wanted to be an atheist, or wished he were an atheist.

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 9:32 PM

There are the Big Science Secularists (who sometimes have a creepily cocksure, pre-postmodern, faith in the possibilities of reason).

That is one perfectly crafted description right there. Outstanding. Whenever I see the folks pop up who have an utterly blind devotion to (insert their pet scientific certainty here), I’m always in awe of just how obviously their belief is analogous to religious faith – and how desperately they try not to see that obvious truth.

“Creepily cocksure, pre-postmodern, faith in the possibilities of reason” is absolutely perfect.

Professor Blather on September 22, 2007 at 9:35 PM

And both are logical conclusions of the premise that God doesn’t exist and there is nothing more to the world than the physical. It’s that whole cause-effect thing that human thinking has always been bound to. If the end is EMPTY …

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 8:55 PM

It is not the logical conclusion for me and I am an atheist. No one who knows me in real life could think that I am a nihilist or a narcissist. Well maybe 1 or 2 percent nihilist, but not narcissistic at all. One can well believe that the end, which is probably why it is called the end, is “empty” (that is that people are really dead as they appear to be) without believing that what comes before is empty or what comes after one’s own end (death) is empty for those who follow. Actually even though both narcissism and nihilism fit your view of atheists, it would be kind of hard for one person to be both simultaneously.

How about this for a “mental exercise” – hypothetically, what if there once was a god, but there is no longer? Maybe even gods do not live forever. What would be what with all of this now?

And for another “mental exercise” – what if there is a god, but no life after death? Even assuming the existence of a god and God’s continuing existence there would be by no means any certainty of humans being brought back to life or never really dying.

Maybe that would be the greatest “joke” of all. There was and still is a god – God, but there is no life after death.
I guess the “joke” would be on both atheists and believers.

MB4 on September 22, 2007 at 9:43 PM

If he were a true atheist, he would realize this each time and do whatever he wanted to do, since atheism offers no penalties for any behavior of any sort.

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 9:32 PM

Atheism in and of itself, in isolation somehow, may offer no after death penalties, but if one has a conscious, and most people atheist or believer have at least some, some much more than others, of course, there can be penalties, even severe, before death penalties.

MB4 on September 22, 2007 at 9:55 PM

conscious s/b conscience.

MB4 on September 22, 2007 at 10:00 PM

Most who claim to be atheists just WISH they actually were atheists, but the way they run their lives shows that they certainly do believe in an existant meta-physics, and likely, are doing nothing more than rebelling against the religion they were born into.

I have spent a lot of time arguing with atheists over what I think are logical problems with “hard” atheism. I would be careful, though, about presuming to know their motives. I hate it when people misconstrue mine…

mikeyboss on September 22, 2007 at 10:01 PM

And both are logical conclusions of the premise that God doesn’t exist and there is nothing more to the world than the physical. It’s that whole cause-effect thing that human thinking has always been bound to. If the end is EMPTY …

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 8:55 PM

When an atheist is confronted with something that he really wants, but cannot get, he will look at what is keeping him from his goal. He will see the actions that he is not willing to do and he will understand why he’s not willing to do them. If he were a true atheist, he would realize this each time and do whatever he wanted to do, since atheism offers no penalties for any behavior of any sort. Bit by bit, the true atheist would be led by his choice of actions, and confronting the fact that in an atheist world nothing really matters at all, to the logically correct implications of atheism.

Otherwise, he was never really an atheist, but one who wanted to be an atheist, or wished he were an atheist.

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 9:32 PM

As a non-atheist, I find your (and you’re not alone) assumptions about what atheists feel and believe just as offensive as atheists’ assumptions about Christianity.

Both are ridiculous. Unless you are actually an atheist, you have no basis for one word of what you wrote – and all of it is patently offensive. And even if you were an atheist, claiming that your conclusions about your atheism were universal makes as much sense as the non-religious who somehow believe all Christians (or Jews or Muslims) think and feel exactly the same.

And none of that even touches on the content of your conclusions, all of which are logically fallacious and frankly ludicrous. Where exactly do some people get this idea – and they’re always entirely certain that its accurate – that a non-belief in God automatically leads to the embrace of hedonism and nihilism and amorality?

It’s ironic you repeatedly use the word logic – since there is none in your posts. Not one word.

Atheism does not preclude morality – wide ranges of morality – that in no way resemble what you preach (and you are indeed preaching, its like listening to an old time preacher explain to his congregation about what Catholics, Jews, and homo-sexshuls think and feel).

An atheist could indeed be hedonistic and nihilistic. He could also embrace countless flavors of morality, for countless reasons, all of which could remain consistent with his beliefs. Your assumption that all morality is based on a belief in some external reward or punishment is as laughable as it is simple-minded. And if you take it to its logical conclusion – real logic this time – it is actually Christians who ought to be most offended. Apparently, if you’re right, Christians would all be amoral nihilists, but for their fear of punishment after death.

Strange. I know decent (and indecent) people who believe in all sorts of things. Of course, I don’t assume I understand their morality, either. I guess you could sort it out, with those psychic abilities of yours.

Apparently *you*, if you discovered there is no God, would wake up tomorrow and abandon morality. Why you think you’re in a position to transfer your (a)morality onto atheists is troubling.

That’s your choice. Your belief. You don’t know if it’s theirs. It has nothing to do with logic. And maybe you could let atheists think for themselves? Or do you enjoy it when atheists start quoting scripture and explaining how Christians must feel and think?

It’s amazing how little faith in humanity you have sans God. It’s stunning you think it appropriate to tell others how they think and feel. It’s ironic that you accuse atheists of having a logically inescapable narcissism yet lack the empathy to read what you wrote through their eyes.

And it’s even more amazing you don’t realize just how offensive your comments are.

Jesus wept. So did Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

Ugh. MB4 has way, way more patience than I do. Wierd, since he’s an atheist. Downright illogical, huh? (Nah. Cuz he’s not a real one, right? Probably a closet Christian.)

Bah. Gag. Puke.

MikeyBoss puts it a lot more succinctly and gently (notice the insertion of “I think” in his statement. Wonder why he did that …):

I have spent a lot of time arguing with atheists over what I think are logical problems with “hard” atheism. I would be careful, though, about presuming to know their motives. I hate it when people misconstrue mine…

mikeyboss on September 22, 2007 at 10:01 PM

Professor Blather on September 22, 2007 at 10:07 PM

I find your (and you’re not alone) assumptions about what atheists feel and believe just as offensive as atheists’ assumptions about Christianity.

Indeed.

Allahpundit on September 22, 2007 at 10:08 PM

MB4 on September 22, 2007 at 9:43 PM

It is not the logical conclusion for me and I am an atheist. No one who knows me in real life could think that I am a nihilist or a narcissist. Well maybe 1 or 2 percent nihilist, but not narcissistic at all.

Not yet :)

One can well believe that the end, which is probably why it is called the end, is “empty” (that is that people are really dead as they appear to be) without believing that what comes before is empty or what comes after one’s own end (death) is empty for those who follow.

That’s exactly my point. They don’t matter to an atheist. They are just collections of atoms, just like you and just like me. It doesn’t matter what happens after I die (if I were an atheist) any more than I cared about how things were going in 1623. My relationship to the world (atheistically speaking) is the same before my birth and after my death – ZERO. There is no reason for an atheist to even spend time thinking about a world without him.

Your worry/care about those you love (or feel obligated to) is a sign that you do believe in something more. I’m not trying to call you a liar, but only to point out that you care about attachments that require a larger view of the world than atheism offers. Any “empty ending” leads to a loss of meaning for the process that leads to it.

Actually even though both narcissism and nihilism fit your view of atheists, it would be kind of hard for one person to be both simultaneously.

Not at all. Leftists are narcissistic and nihilistic.

How about this for a “mental exercise” – hypothetically, what if there once was a god, but there is no longer? Maybe even gods do not live forever. What would be what with all of this now?

What if the world suddenly stopped operating according to rational rules? What would the mathematicians and phsyicists do? Wigner addressed the basis of this notion in “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Physical Sciences” (or something to that effect).

And for another “mental exercise” – what if there is a god, but no life after death? Even assuming the existence of a god and God’s continuing existence there would be by no means any certainty of humans being brought back to life or never really dying.

Logic fails at this scale – as is the whole point of Zen koans, but the religious trust that the meaning of their existence is known by God. Atheists have no one to entrust the meaning of their existences with.

Maybe that would be the greatest “joke” of all. There was and still is a god – God, but there is no life after death.
I guess the “joke” would be on both atheists and believers.

LOL. That would really suck.

I would sum this up by saying that the real difference between a true atheist and a believer really comes down to one simple question, in the large scale – do you believe in the actual existence of an infinity or an infinitesimal of some kind?

Most people cannot imagine anything that is actually finite (the atheist’s view), as that goes against basic human thought which is always able to imagine going one step farther or cutting something in half once more. This common sense notion of inifinity (and the difficulty of imagining anything that is truly finite) is what leads most humans to believe in something beyond our universe, and it is natural.

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 10:13 PM

Atheism in and of itself, in isolation somehow, may offer no after death penalties, but if one has a conscience, and most people atheist or believer have at least some, some much more than others, of course, there can be penalties, even severe, before death penalties.

MB4 on September 22, 2007 at 9:55 PM

But one has the ability to look at his conscience and decide (logically) that he was brainwashed into it by people who didn’t understand that there was no God and no afterlife and no reason to have a conscience. Do other species have consciences? Bacteria? By evolution, we are no different, qualitatively, from any other species.

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 10:18 PM

Professor Blather on September 22, 2007 at 10:07 PM

I assume, from your post, that you find the entire field of psychology to be offensive, since they do nothing but sit around all day and try to figure out what other people are thinking.

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 10:40 PM

what if there is a god, but no life after death? Even assuming the existence of a god and God’s continuing existence there would be by no means any certainty of humans being brought back to life or never really dying.

Maybe that would be the greatest “joke” of all. There was and still is a god – God, but there is no life after death.
I guess the “joke” would be on both atheists and believers.

MB4 on September 22, 2007 at 9:43 PM

When I was a non-Christian, this argument didn’t work on me, but since you offered a thought experiment, how about this. What if the Bible is true and Jesus is who He says He is? Then there really is a God of Love who paid for salvation with His own life and a God of justice who allows only those who have accepted His payment into Heaven. (God is perfect. No sin allowed in Heaven. Since I accept His sacrifice, He sees me as if I haven’t sinned!) If you are right I have nothing to lose. Joke is on me, but I don’t exist to appreciate it. If I am right then there’s Hell to pay and that ain’t no joke…

Ordinary1 on September 22, 2007 at 11:12 PM

I assume, from your post (Professor Blather) that you find the entire field of psychology to be offensive, since they do nothing but sit around all day and try to figure out what other people are thinking.

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 10:40 PM

Damned you!

I almost choked on my own saliva, I am laughing so hard!

Good thing I wasn’t drinking any wine….

Humpf….
No luck in breaking my daily habit of snorting all sorts of liquids while reading Hotair.

Mcguyver on September 22, 2007 at 11:34 PM

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 10:40 PM

Damned you, again!

I now have to officially sign off for the day, because I cannot stop laughing!

I am literally choking as I type this!

Just that fact, makes me believe there is something infinite about Allahpundit.


I mean the gift justs keeps on giving!

Cripes!

Goodnight.

Mcguyver on September 22, 2007 at 11:45 PM

but only to point out that you care about attachments that require a larger view of the world than atheism offers

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 10:13 PM

My conscience comes from neither atheism or religion. It is independent from both.

But one has the ability to look at his conscience and decide (logically) that he was brainwashed into it by people who didn’t understand that there was no God and no afterlife and no reason to have a conscience.

progressoverpeace on September 22, 2007 at 10:18 PM

If one really has a conscience it does not work that way, not at all. One can not turn it on and off. I can not.
*
A man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills. Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but
also in accordance with inner necessity
.
- Schopenhauer
*

As Professor Blather said, and I said a couple of weeks or so ago when we “went at it” on this, your implication that believers only keep from doing all manner of selfish and bad things for fear of punishment by God is the biggest insult of all, and it’s to them not athiests.

BTW, Professor Blather (September 22, 2007 at 10:07 PM), you are very articulate.
Memo to self – never get into debate with Professor Blather on a subject unless I have really got my $hit together on said subject.

MB4 on September 22, 2007 at 11:45 PM

If I am right then there’s Hell to pay and that ain’t no joke…

Ordinary1 on September 22, 2007 at 11:12 PM
*
If there is a god and God is as small as all that then if by chance, hypothetically now, I were called to heaven, I will not go.
*
If there are is no cigars decent God in Heaven, I shall not go.
- Mark Twain

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 12:01 AM

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 12:01 AM

I have a feeling the only cigar Mark Twain is smoking in hell is the type of cigar only Monica Lewinski would enjoy.

Darth Executor on September 23, 2007 at 12:05 AM

I don’t wish to further offend folks, so I’m going to address this and be done:

My conscience comes from neither atheism or religion. It is independent from both.

MB4 on September 22, 2007 at 11:45 PM

So what is your sense of right and wrong based on? The Golden Rule (and its contrapositive)? – which is what most atheists say. Of course that would be part of the self-referential nature I was talking about above, judging everything from ones own feelings – which may or may not even be closely related to the feelings of others in similar situations.

But, if you have a different basis for your morality I’d like to know it.

If one really has a conscience it does not work that way, not at all. One can not turn it on and off. I can not.

Really? I guess that you have no faith in any sort of possibility of rehabilitation, at all? Do you not believe that it is possible to change ones attitudes about right and wrong?

*
A man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills. Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but
also in accordance with inner necessity.
- Schopenhauer
*

Not surprisingly, I don’t subscribe to the notion of “free will”. It violates everything we know about the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which is what Schopenhauer is getting at. Penrose is fooling around with quantum effects to find the “free will” at that level, but in general there is no physicist who believes that any sort of spontaneous organization without an expenditure of energy is possible (which is what the cause-less free will would be).

This is another area where people tend to get very excited if anyone accuses them of having no free will, but that’s what the physics says and that’s what any atheist should believe, or at least entertain as a 50-50 chance.

As Professor Blather said, and I said a couple of weeks or so ago when we “went at it” on this, your implication that believers only keep from doing all manner of selfish and bad things for fear of punishment by God is the biggest insult of all, and it’s to them not athiests.

There’s more than the punishment. There’s also the reward, and there’s also a sense of larger purpose. Atheists have none of these, ideologically. Atheists have nothing but their own feelings and perceptions, which are nothing but chemical reactions, which mean nothing.

An atheist can make up a larger purpose for himself, but he knows that it is made up and arbitrary, since there is nothing else to shoot for.

progressoverpeace on September 23, 2007 at 12:19 AM

Darth Executor on September 23, 2007 at 12:05 AM

Now is that a Christian attitude or is it an Islamic attitude?

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 12:20 AM

progressoverpeace ,the night is late and we seem to be just going in circles, so let me ask you this – If somehow you were to stop believing, hypothetically now, in a life after death with punishment/reward there, would you do all sorts of selfish even monstrous things if you thought that Johny Law or someone else on Earth wouldn’t catch up to you?

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 12:25 AM

If somehow you were to stop believing, hypothetically now, in a life after death with punishment/reward there, would you do all sorts of selfish even monstrous things if you thought that Johny Law or someone else on Earth wouldn’t catch up to you?

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 12:25 AM

I don’t know how I would act, but there would be no logical reason for me not to do whatever I wanted. I mean, why shouldn’t I, by the ideology?

progressoverpeace on September 23, 2007 at 12:33 AM

Atheists Believers in God have nothing but their own feelings and perceptions, which are nothing but chemical reactions, which mean nothing.

An atheist A believer in God can make up a larger purpose for himself, but he knows just doesn’t know that it is made up and arbitrary, since there is nothing else to shoot for (for him, not all believers).

progressoverpeace on September 23, 2007 at 12:19 AM

See works that way too, maybe even better.
Now if I were a believer I would get pretty depressed if I thought (and I do not believe that most believers believe this way, I sure hope not) that I only do good things because I think that I am going to get some big reward somehow after I am reanimated after being dead and only keep from doing all manner of bad things as I think that I am going to be reanimated after being dead to get all sorts of punishment.

WOW!!!

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 12:39 AM

I find your (and you’re not alone) assumptions about what atheists feel and believe just as offensive as atheists’ assumptions about Christianity.

I think some are misconstruing progressoverpeace’s point to be about particular atheists, when it is really more appropriate for atheists as a whole. From an athiest’s perspective, and I lived for 40 years as one, we are all simply mechanisms that evolved through a variety of happenstances. Just as some people happen to be smart or had the opportunity for education and others not, some people have a conscious and others do not. Having a conscious might have evolutionary advantages, but not everyone has the same degree.

To an atheist, a conscious either comes from nature or nurture. To the extent is by nature, than those without one will have no other rule in their life than doing what they can get away with. So the fact that one atheist has a conscious says nothing about ones that do not.

If having a conscious is by nurture, then the question is if Christianity is discarded, then what will replace it to preserve us against a repeat of the first half the 20th century, but this time with nukes. Not that Christians were entirely innocent of WWI, but until Christians see a atheistic moral philosophy that can succeed, you will have to pardon our suspicions.

When an atheist moral philosophy comes up, libertarianism often follows, but libertarianism is a tiny minority. The major force of atheism is from the left, so the natural affinity of atheism and socialism has to be admitted. So when a Christian expresses disapproval of atheism, remember who the majority of atheists are.

pedestrian on September 23, 2007 at 12:50 AM

Now if I were a believer I would get pretty depressed if I thought (and I do not believe that most believers believe this way, I sure hope not) that I only do good things because I think that I am going to get some big reward somehow after I am reanimated after being dead and only keep from doing all manner of bad things as I think that I am going to be reanimated after being dead to get all sorts of punishment.

WOW!!!

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 12:39 AM

It’s not like that. God created us to live forever. It’s not being reanimated for pain or pleasure, it’s who we are. Eternal beings created in God’s image. The question is, where will you spend eternity? God is Holy. Pure. “Other” To live in God’s presence, one must be the same. Holy. Pure. Adam was created without sin, but chose to disobey. So, we all find ourselves separated from God thanx to him. (would we have done any differently?) But, because of God’s great love for us, He died our death. He paid the price. All we have to do is believe that Jesus did that for us.

John 3:17-18 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

God was even nice enough to give us His Word! Philosophers are only men. They know what they know, but what do they base their “truth” on? If it’s on God’s Word, then I can trust it. As for me and my house, we’re with God! Even though I mess up on a regular basis, it’s nice to know that the God of the Universe knows my name and cares for me!!! It’s really quite awesome! No need to act out of fear of punishment or to gain reward (although there are rewards). Just knowing God is a pretty cool reward in itself! It’s a gift ready for the taking for any and all who will accept it!

Ordinary1 on September 23, 2007 at 1:02 AM

Now if I were a believer I would get pretty depressed if I thought (and I do not believe that most believers believe this way, I sure hope not) that I only do good things because I think that I am going to get some big reward somehow after I am reanimated after being dead and only keep from doing all manner of bad things as I think that I am going to be reanimated after being dead to get all sorts of punishment.

WOW!!!

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 12:39 AM

Since I’ve seen this misconception before, I’ll risk preachiness to layout the standard teaching.

The New Testament is quite clear on the concept that the reason Christians do good is because the Holy Spirit acts in us. We experience the presence of the Holy Spirit as having a conscious. So it is not that we are simply to do things at God’s bidding or be punished, but rather we are to go through life expressing the love that God gives to us.

pedestrian on September 23, 2007 at 1:06 AM

To an atheist, a conscious either comes from nature or nurture.

Since other than “random chance” nature (internal necessity) and nurture (external compulsion) cover it all, that applies to everyone.

If Christianity is discarded, then what will replace it to preserve us against a repeat of the first half the 20th century, but this time with nukes.

Europe, including Germany, was far more Christian right before and during WWII than now when there has been a very long peace. I do not think it very likely that religion contributed to there being a WWII, though I have heard some arguments to that affect, but it sure did not seem to help at all.

The major force of atheism is from the left, so the natural affinity of atheism and socialism has to be admitted. So when a Christian expresses disapproval of atheism, remember who the majority of atheists are.

I am not of the left and I have no affinity for socialism. There are many Christians and Jews (most) who are on the left.

pedestrian on September 23, 2007 at 12:50 AM

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 1:12 AM

pedestrian on September 23, 2007 at 1:06 AM

Excellent posts, pedestrian.

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 12:39 AM

I think you might need to have some words with Hindus and others out there, since the notion of Karma is pretty explicit in the do’s and don’ts (how do you spell that?) and how payback is a bitch! That’s not to prove that I’m right, or anything, but only that a few major religions explicitly state that people should behave because of the consequences to themselves. So, I don’t think that too much ridicule of the notion is warranted.

progressoverpeace on September 23, 2007 at 1:13 AM

Since I’ve seen this misconception before

pedestrian on September 23, 2007 at 1:06 AM

It is not my believe. It is that of progressoverpeace.

At least that is what he says.

Frankly I have my doubts.
I think he may not do all sorts of selfish and bad things if he did not think that a God would punish him, but may just rethorically have “painted himeslf into a corner”.

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 1:18 AM

There are men who hold every opinion in mild contempt. They do not forget to hold in mild contempt the unreflective opinion that it is good to hold every opinion in contempt.

Kralizec on September 23, 2007 at 1:30 AM

We experience the presence of the Holy Spirit as having a conscious.

pedestrian on September 23, 2007 at 1:06 AM

Some may perceive a conscience as a Holy Spirit or bad thoughts as the presence of the devil or evil spirits.
Some may perceive a conscience as a alien mind probe or maybe bad thoughts as an alien mind probe.
Some may even, on occasion, perceive a conscience as being gas or gas as being a consciense!
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
A conscience is just a conscience.

BTW, I see that you have as much trouble spelling that word as I did earlier!

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 1:35 AM

There are men who hold every opinion in mild contempt. They do not forget to hold in mild contempt the unreflective opinion that it is good to hold every opinion in contempt.

Kralizec on September 23, 2007 at 1:30 AM

Every nation religion ridicules other nations religions, and all are right.
- Schopenhauer

Oh I just love quoting Schopenhauer.

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 1:40 AM

Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world.
- Schopenhauer

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 1:50 AM

Gestern ein Katholischer, heute ein Atheist :)

“It’s neither cold, nor hot here” –Mark Twain

p.s. “I’m keeping 3 spots, and 3 very fine cigars for AP, MB4, and the very clear-thinking and fair Professor” –MT

Entelechy on September 23, 2007 at 2:09 AM

Gestern ein Katholischer, heute ein Atheist

Entelechy on September 23, 2007 at 2:09 AM

und immer eine Dame!

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 2:19 AM

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 12:20 AM

It’s not an attitude, it’s a joke. It seems, however, that when Mark Twain makes fun of my religion it makes him quote worthy. When I make fun of Mark Twain I have the attitude of an “Islamist”. I can’t roll my eyes back enough.

Darth Executor on September 23, 2007 at 2:25 AM

Darth Executor on September 23, 2007 at 2:25 AM

I used a question mark!

Chill.

Have a Widmers. It will get your eyes back on center.

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 2:29 AM

Okay Jacques, skin that smokewagon and see what it gets ‘ya.

TBinSTL on September 23, 2007 at 3:44 AM

“Creepily cocksure, pre-postmodern, faith in the possibilities of reason” is absolutely perfect.

Professor Blather on September 22, 2007 at 9:35 PM

I’d wouldn’t say perfect, as I tend to think “postmodernism” in philosophy is utter nonsense. In particular, Postmodernism did not invent a sophisticated and nuanced doubt about one’s own position as this statement implies. There were plenty of modern atheist philosophers who weren’t creepily cocksure. For instance,iIf one pays attention to the nuance of Nietzsche instead of his tendency to rhetorical hyberbole, you’ll find that he clearly did not have a creepily cocksure faith in Reason. Nietzsche was a pluralist who admitted many different interpretations of the world.

thuja on September 23, 2007 at 3:52 AM

I love these people and their blind devotion to science! What they miss is that almost everything that they accept as fact today, will be proven wrong 50 years from now…as is almost everything accepted as fact 50 years ago! But they are true believers! I’ll put my faith in the Creator rather than the creation and my limited understanding of it, thank you!

sabbott on September 23, 2007 at 6:09 AM

I think the Professors’ analysis as quoted by Allah is very, very good. The rest of his piece is just silly however.

There are the Big Science Secularists (who sometimes have a creepily cocksure, pre-postmodern, faith in the possibilities of reason).

Well said! I know committed Darwiniac Atheists who think they are far more brilliant than they really are who are on an evangelical mission to convert Christians to Atheism, and even stalk Christian websites for the sole purpose of deriding and scorning the “stupidity” of Christian beliefs and their silly myths.

There are the Refugees who are escaping dysfunctional Fundamentalist homes.

True again! I run into these people all the time at Left wing blogs and coincidentally they all suffer from BDS.

There are the Church-State Lifers who would rather immolate themselves than endure another breach of the Wall of Separation.

I don’t know about immolating themselves, but the ACLU does act as a sort of church in guiding and enforcing their devotion to rigid secularism.

There are The Philosopher Kings who are in it for intellectual thrills and who might be reading anything from Ayn Rand to Heidegger to the Death of God Theologians.

No doubt.

There are The Lone Rangers who see “Stop” signs as infringements on their personal civil liberties…

How true! Also see the Second Amendment controversies.

There is a small–too small, I think–Gay contingent.

I can’t speak to that.

There is The Lunatic Fringe composed of those who–speaking in secular tongues–equate all Evangelical Christians with the Taliban.

100% accurate.

There ended the intelligent analysis by the Professor.

Buy Danish on September 23, 2007 at 9:18 AM

I’ve heard it said it is often that a person is an atheist because they dislike or hate the concept of God.

What this may mean in the long run…? If God were not a concept, but a real thing? If it is merely that you find all religions ridiculous, it would be better to be agnostic.

But then, I don’t speak for any of you.

Especially not McGuyver. Thank God for that.

RiverCocytus on September 23, 2007 at 9:38 AM

A question to all anti-atheists here:
How come that I am an atheist and a good guy?
After all, I am supposed to be a “narcissist and nihilist”. Just wondering…

And no, please don’t say that I “believe in God, but don’t admit it”. I really do not believe in supernatural beings.

Syndic Nuruodo on September 23, 2007 at 10:05 AM

“There is no God. There’s only noise”
- The Atheists 1980

ronsfi on September 23, 2007 at 10:26 AM

There goes the neighborhood.

saved on September 23, 2007 at 10:52 AM

It’s a God’s will ! lol

Syndic Nuruodo on September 23, 2007 at 11:09 AM

There are The Philosopher Kings who are in it for intellectual thrills and who might be reading anything from Ayn Rand to Heidegger to the Death of God Theologians.

Socrates and his author seem to have meant for the philosopher-king to be funny. (After all, a close look at the Phaedo shows that Socrates and Plato keep having fun, right up to Socrates’s last words to Crito.) I think our inkling that Socrates and Plato knew the philosopher-king is funny can help us return to the Republic in hopes of better understanding.

Kralizec on September 23, 2007 at 11:29 AM

And no, please don’t say that I “believe in God, but don’t admit it”. I really do not believe in supernatural beings.

Syndic Nuruodo on September 23, 2007 at 10:05 AM

But it’s apparent you believe that a god must be a supernatural being. Unexamined opinion seems to be everlasting, omnipresent, and above all, omniscient.

Kralizec on September 23, 2007 at 11:36 AM

How come that I am an atheist and a good guy?
After all, I am supposed to be a “narcissist and nihilist”. Just wondering…

And no, please don’t say that I “believe in God, but don’t admit it”. I really do not believe in supernatural beings.

Syndic Nuruodo on September 23, 2007 at 10:05 AM

I was a good guy and agnostic before I became a Christian. It can happen :-) You see a cause and effect Universe and you want good effects perhaps. Maybe you were born with a good disposition and are naturally pleasant. It’s a gift from God, if you’ll accept that!

No doubt that non-believers can be good citizens and good people. Most are! We are all created in God’s image, so we have a lot of His traits. (work, sense of justice, right and wrong, compassion) However, we are not all born as children of God. Most religions believe that has to be earned. In Christianity it’s bought and paid for by God who loves us.

Ordinary1 on September 23, 2007 at 11:37 AM

I love these people and their blind devotion to science! What they miss is that almost everything that they accept as fact today, will be proven wrong 50 years from now…as is almost everything accepted as fact 50 years ago! But they are true believers! I’ll put my faith in the Creator rather than the creation and my limited understanding of it, thank you!

sabbott on September 23, 2007 at 6:09 AM

What I admire in some of the scientists is a desire to go on using their faculties as best they know how, despite being aware of their flaws. Such continual striving seems to have a source and an end beyond them themselves. They wittingly or unwittingly render their impure service in obedience to a divine urge; nor is their service ever turned down, despite its impurity.

Kralizec on September 23, 2007 at 12:07 PM

Philosophers are only men. They know what they know, but what do they base their “truth” on?

Ordinary1 on September 23, 2007 at 1:02 AM

Socrates is famous for having claimed to have knowledge of ignorance. I assure you that close attention to Socrates opens up a fascinating area of inquiry.

Kralizec on September 23, 2007 at 12:22 PM

A question to all anti-atheists here:
How come that I am an atheist and a good guy?
After all, I am supposed to be a “narcissist and nihilist”. Just wondering…

And no, please don’t say that I “believe in God, but don’t admit it”. I really do not believe in supernatural beings.

Syndic Nuruodo on September 23, 2007 at 10:05 AM

I wouldn’t describe myself as anti-atheist, but here goes.

It’s possible your pleasant personality traits were selected due to increasing survival value for you and your community. I think that is plausible, and probably a sufficient explanation. But I do think there is such a thing as spirit. It feels like that to me. I suspect you have love for your fellow creatures and a desire for good things to happen. Again, this could be explained logically without attributing it to anything immaterial, but my own experience leads me to believe there is more going on.

mikeyboss on September 23, 2007 at 1:01 PM

Why otherwise reasonable people cling to a cosmology conceived of by men who’s greatest achievment was the sharpend stick is me.

ronsfi on September 23, 2007 at 1:59 PM

insert beyond

ronsfi on September 23, 2007 at 2:00 PM

What if there was an agnostic candidate?

ackrite55 on September 23, 2007 at 3:51 PM

It is not my belief. It is that of progressoverpeace.

At least that is what he says.

MB4 on September 23, 2007 at 1:18 AM

That’s not exactly what I said, but it was part of it.

Frankly I have my doubts.

I think he may not do all sorts of selfish and bad things if he did not think that a God would punish him,

And that is fine for you to say, and you might even be correct. But why is it that I am not in the least offended by your claim that I am claiming to believe something that you think I don’t, while there seem to be many “offended atheists” and (atheist supporters?) who take issue with my saying the same thing about their claims?

but may just rethorically have “painted himeslf into a corner”.

I would have responded to your later questions, but I painted myself into having my comments moderated … on a thread about ATHEISM!!! That was my cue.

It was a nice discussion while it lasted, but if my comments are getting moderated because of my views on the psychology of self-proclaimed atheists … That’s a new one on me. That’s almost as good as those atheists who claim to be offended by the words “under God” in the pledge, when it should just make them laugh.

progressoverpeace on September 23, 2007 at 4:48 PM

What I admire in some of the scientists is a desire to go on using their faculties as best they know how, despite being aware of their flaws. Such continual striving seems to have a source and an end beyond them themselves. They wittingly or unwittingly render their impure service in obedience to a divine urge; nor is their service ever turned down, despite its impurity.

Big difference between admire and worship!

sabbott on September 23, 2007 at 7:23 PM

but if my comments are getting moderated because of my views on the psychology of self-proclaimed atheists
progressoverpeace on September 23, 2007 at 4:48 PM

That was funny how you “mopped the floor” last night, with the insert about, psychologists figuring out what other people are thinking!
Thanks for that laugh!

Mcguyver on September 23, 2007 at 8:42 PM

Mcguyver on September 23, 2007 at 8:42 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Mcguyver. I was a little stunned, myself, when that line of argument initially came up. I guess I inadvertently stepped into some family-thing, here.

progressoverpeace on September 23, 2007 at 9:41 PM

I guess I inadvertently stepped into some family-thing, here.
progressoverpeace on September 23, 2007 at 9:41 PM

That was the best debate comeback I’ve ever heard, bar none!
I was telling my friends about it today and getting another round of laughs!

Comebacks like that, really contribute greatly to a debate, because it forces people to think.
It’s a word picture they can never completely get out of their brain.

Never shrink, from that basic duty in debate, please, no matter what the push back may be.

The idea that there is no infinity, is so absurd and takes, more faith to believe in, really.

The chopping in half of a carrot, for an eternity, and still end up with something, is so profoundly true.

The study of quantum physics, just barely coming into mainstream, now, is for once and all, proving just that.

Below the atomic level, is a whole, another, ever-deepening level, of sub-atomic particles, which, really comes down to, being nothing but energy, thoughts, actions, plans, intentions, etc. of which, can be broken up, into more pieces, for an ever increasing eternity, yet again.

And, for someone, any one, to deny that, simply portrays them, as begging to lose the debate.

So turn up the heat! Never give up!

Mcguyver on September 23, 2007 at 10:24 PM

I’ll spare you all the morality play because for some reason this is the only Atheism topic that didn’t attract The Troller and srrreal.

I find any and all references to identity politics insulting. The idea that all atheists or all Christians or all blacks have fundamentally the same exact needs and should believe the same on all issues is ridiculous on its face.

I wouldn’t vote for a candidate because he’s an athiest.

I wouldn’t vote for a candidate because he’s a Christian.

I wouldn’t vote for a candidate because he’s black.

I support someone based on their morals, their principles, and their convictions. I’m not interested in demographics, I’m interested in the republic.

BKennedy on September 24, 2007 at 1:16 AM