Atheists are doing a terrible job.
We try on the likes of Dawkins and Krause and Hitchens, as well as the erudite Harris and Dennett. But they predominantly focus on the behaviours of believers. They focus on the outcomes of their beliefs, which ultimately manifest as behaviours either in a social or political context.
Why we intervene.
When religion begins to interfere with law, statute and education; when it tells me what I can and cannot say, do or believe; when it infringes on my rights NOT to be bound by their fairy stories and when, most importantly, they CANNOT prove that their god is/was/has said/done something yet expect me to respect their superstition, then we’re going to have a problem with religious people. This includes those Muslims who want to enforce Shari’ah on everyone, and those Christians who want to bring god back into schools in America. All schools and ALL governments should be secular because that is the only way we can guarantee freedom OF religion.
It’s time we took the intellectual high ground. Religion has tried to take the moral high ground for centuries and as their grasp of humanity wanes, it is the right time for atheists to step in and demand the intellectual superiority over all faith systems for the superstition nonsense that it is.
He created man and woman with original sin. Then he destroyed all of them for sinning. Then he impregnated a teenager with himself as her child so he could later be born as a man. Then he killed himself as a sacrifice to himself to save everyone from the sin he gave everyone in the first place. Makes perfect sense!
My theory was this: God is real. We are NOT real. In fact, we are a projection of god’s solipsistic perspective on his universe. Everyone of us is simply a manifestation of some element of this “god” character who happens to be the only REAL thing around. Other universes, such as those in the multiverse, are also solipsistic projections of manifestations of god’s buddies on his planet. Imagine that: all this time we’re arguing that god isn’t real, when in reality, he is the only real thing out there and we’re not real!
As an atheist, I notice that the atheist vs theist argument is becoming very tired.
What is new in the argument for belief?
What is new in the argument for atheism? (Yes, there is one!)
Why is it that when I go through the 20 or so groups on FB that are for atheists, I see the same old memes being bounced around constantly, and the same tired old arguments being thrown backwards and forwards at each side, ad nauseam?
Where are the NEW arguments? Where is the NEW evidence for lack of belief?
Where is the neuroscience that backs up WHY someone believes, not WHAT they believe? The “what” is not important.
Where are the condemning and damning arguments from science and rationality that categorically and unequivocally denounce “faith” as superstition and superfluous to a thinking society in 2017?
I have access to an entire department at my university which focuses on belief and superstition. I have a number of scientific papers (not written by me) on the neurological foundations of belief and religion. I’m happy to read through them, and pull out the pertinent research that gets to the crux of “belief” as a function of the brain, so why is no one else approaching the problem from this angle?
Why are we not addressing the psychological experiments on children and belief, and concluding that forcing a child into religion should be against their Human Rights? Why is the scientific point for atheism and rationality not being addressed in such a way as to refute and repudiate religious belief as a way of diminishing religion’s claims?
Where is the group on FB only allows evidence-based science, neuroscience, psychology, evolutionary psychology and so on, that refutes and repudiates religion as a symptom of the function of superstition in the brain, and offers members real evidence for WHY and HOW people believe, rather than simply calling believers “stupid” or “sheep”? If there isn’t one, let’s start one!
What are your thoughts?
God and disability….
17 “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the Lord. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food; 23 yet because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the Lord, who makes them holy.’”
We say there is nothing new in religion, but what is new in atheism?
I scroll through endless atheist pages and see incalculable posts on how ridiculous religion, faith and belief is. But i see nothing NEW!
It’s the same tired old arguments that have always been put forward. You can probably think about the top ten questions religious people have for atheists right now: how can you not believe in god? Why are you angry with god? And so on.
But none of them are NEW questions and no one is answering them sufficiently to ensure in the future the religious people stop asking them. Where is the definitive answer from science and atheism that halts their enquiry immediately?
Now, if you’re going to say that we say these things as atheists BECAUSE the believers have a very limited repartee then that’s fine, but where is our innovation? Where is our Transformation of thought?
We are NOT evolving our perspective. Where is the dialectic?
What is the underlying root cause of “belief”? Is it superstition? Is it a function of our evolutionary brains? Can we answer the question of “god” by the running away of our ancestors from imagined tigers in the savannah?
If so, where is the fMRI evidence for the section or sections of the brain that maintain “belief” as a function?
The Cognitive Science of Religion
James A. Van Slyke
Naturalism, theism aNd the CogNitive study of religion – Religion Explained?
aKu visala, (2016) University of Oxford, UK
THE NEURAL BASIS OF HUMAN BELIEF SYSTEMS
Edited by Frank Krueger & Jordan Grafman (2013)
Theology and the Science of Moral Action
Virtue Ethics, Exemplarity, and Cognitive Neuroscience
James A. Van Slyke, Gregory R. Peterson, Kevin S. Reimer, Michael L. Spezio, and Warren S. Brown
Edward Burnett Tylor (1881), a nineteenth century anthropologist, suggested that religion emerged as an effort to understand the universe. People were bewildered by life and tried to make sense of it. They wondered what caused illness, why rivers flow and so on. They embraced a childish form of thinking called ANIMISM, according to which, supernatural spirits move plants, animals, rivers, mountains and other objects. Why was the village struck by illness? Because of demon possession. Why did the volcano explode? Because the mountain god was angry. Animism.
Tylor viewed animism as the forerunner of religion because it sustained belief in supernatural spirits, and the intellectual need for understanding is the true origin of religion.
James George Fraser (1890) also an anthropologist, suggests that religion rose in part from a need to control natural events essential to survival. In his book: “The Golden bough: A Study in comparative Religion”, Fraser discussed magic and religion. He noted the “witch doctor’s” claims about consorting with the spirits, who controlled the world. So they practised magic to influence the spirits. Some scholars say that religion emerged from the teachings of medicine men regarding magic.
Tylor = understanding. Fraser = control.
The desire to embrace religion for either of these points are driven by different psychological needs and values. Many curious people are not assertive and many assertive people are not curious.
But because they are totally different drives and needs, we cannot say that either is the true cause, only a contributing factor. Today, we know more about both, so what do you think it is?
Please quote the verse in the Bible that says a foetus is equal to a fully formed and viable human (and God breathes air into an infants nostrils)…there is none. Prior to viability, there is no moral or legal standing to assume a life ever existed to become death and there is nothing in the Bible to say otherwise. What it does say in Exodus 21:22-25 is “And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no [further] injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any [further] injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise…” See that? Causing a miscarriage = a fine; not the same as taking a human life. Presuming that a woman wants to induce a miscarriage to end a pregnancy, there is not even the prescription of a fine. Your “death” analogy is hereby annulled. Abortion, in and of itself, is not a sin – much less a deadly sin.
The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth
1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
3. When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.
4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.
7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
9. Do not harm little children.
10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him
Flat Earth Bullshit
You constantly fail to differentiate between velocity and acceleration. As the world spins (at ca 1000 mph near the equator), its angular velocity is constant. Therefore there is no horizontal acceleration. As F=MA, there is no horizontal force to feel. However you and everything else on the surface is accelerating radially towards the centre of the Earth or else you would move at a tangent off into space. The force providing that radial acceleration is provided by gravity (which is much more than enough) and is given by the equation MV(squared)/R. You don’t feel the acceleration because it only uses a small proportion of your weight. This effect is directly measurable.
Apistevist. New Word Suggestion. A person who does not use faith to know things-especially in the religious sense
Religious Studies Day Out
Dear SCHOOL NAME
I am not happy for my daughter to attend a mosque, a synagogue or a church under the guise of education.
I think all schools should be secular as they are foundational in education, not superstition, and the way neuroscience is deconstructing religious belief, it is most definitely a superstition.
The American Association of Psychology has even gone so far as to categorise some aspects of belief as a mental illness. Click this link for more information.
I would consider those people who represent their faiths in the buildings mentioned above to be representative of the categorisation mentioned, and as such, I do not want my daughter attending any places of superstition where she is forced to cover her skin for their superstitious oppressive rules NOT enforced by UK and British law. If this were truly an exchange of cultures, I would expect my daughter to be able to attend any place of worship in the UK without the need to cover up, as the places and communities she would visit would also be tolerant of her culture. I don’t see this happening.
If you have any scientific evidence that refutes my position, I will happily take it on board, but being a school, I want you to teach my children facts, not superstitions.
As I progress my career with a PhD in cognitive psychology, I view ALL religion as divisive and separatist, only causing division and harm. This is a point that has been argued admirably by the likes of Stephen Fry, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Laurence Kraus, Richard Dawkins, The Freedom From Religion Foundation, The British Humanist Association, Dr Bart Ehrman and many more.
Also, I trust as part of your education programme on cults and religions, you will be taking them to the nearest Satanic place of worship in London (click here) so they have a fuller, more rounded understanding of ALL superstition? If not, why not? The belief in any god is exactly the same as the belief in the imaginary enemy of god.
With all of the above in mind, I think it would be best to keep my daughter away from school on the day you go to London, as I am quite certain that any ritualised superstition will be against my daughter’s sex, age and upbringing – I have taught her to think, not to follow superstitions. The only division I want to see is the division between church and state, including making all schools secular and removing so-called “faith” schools, as the BHA is petitioning to do.
Finally, the points raised above are emphasised in your email below when you call them “communities” – an act of separation and non-integration. Where is the atheist “community” you will be sending the children to experience, where they can learn HOW all religion is a superstition and HOW our thinking grows and develops when not indoctrinated into such a ‘faith’?
I’d be happy to set that up for you!
Feel free to contact me if you would like to talk about my position, but if you cannot demonstrate why it is a good idea to have my daughter forcibly cover her skin before entering a building on UK soil, I will consider this the end of the matter and let her do homework on this particular day.