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Thread: My position: promoting atheism is a moral responsibility

  1. #21
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    Default Re: My position: promoting atheism is a moral responsibility

    Theorease wrote:-
    Out of interest; are you aware of any examples of exclusive homosexuality (as opposed to bisexuality) amongst non-human animals? IIRC I am not.
    I didn't actually mean exclusively homosexual. But activity in the non-human animal world is not exclusively heterosexual. I put homosexuality for brevity, rather list all the combinations and varieties of sex.

    Absolutism = certainty? I thought I was a philosophical naturalist but I agree that certainty is always a mistake if that's what you mean.
    I was a philosophical naturalist. I think it was Simon "susu.exp" who tore me a new asshole on that one. Methodological naturalist if fine. Anything more is overkill and leads to all sorts of epistemological problems.

    At a "street epistemology" level I would say "gods-absolutely fucking not". More rigorously, I cannot make that claim stick.
    Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifiable hypotheses to destruction.

  2. #22

    Default Re: My position: promoting atheism is a moral responsibility

    Quote Darwinsbulldog said View Post
    Not all atheists are rational. And even those that are rational, are not rational all the time or about everything.
    I'm sure we can both name a few folk from other fora who wear their atheism as a badge of intellectual superiority in discourse, basically to the effect of "I am atheist, therefore I am rational" and that acts as their bulwark against all reason.
    "One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion." - Arthur C Clarke

    "'Science doesn't know everything' - which is true. Because if it did, it would stop" - Dara O'Briain

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  4. #23
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    Default Re: My position: promoting atheism is a moral responsibility

    On the top left of my screen I can see a logo and the words "Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc" and, perhaps more importantly, at the top right I see the words "a celebration of reason".

    Not "a celebration of not believing in god".

    I've been a long-time supporter of what has been labelled the "Sendraks Principle" in this thread. And that principle has been well laid out and supported by Sendraks.

    At the same time, religion can be (and often is) a dangerous belief system. And I can see some short-term value in turning people away from religion by converting them to atheism. Because, to be realistic, getting some people to think rationally (in the hope that they will find their own way to atheism) is like herding cats.

    But if you haven't taught someone to use evidence-based, rational thought processes, then they are open to be influenced to the next (potentially dangerous) persuasive woo they encounter.
    Last edited by 142857; 21st February 2018 at 12:23 PM.

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  6. #24
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    Default Re: My position: promoting atheism is a moral responsibility

    *quietly observes that this thread does not deserve to be in the Debates subforum, it not being in the form of a formal fucking debate*
    -Geoff Rogers

    @Goldenmane3


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  8. #25

    Default Re: My position: promoting atheism is a moral responsibility

    Deflective attempt.

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  10. #26
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    Default Re: My position: promoting atheism is a moral responsibility

    Quote Theorease said View Post
    Deflective attempt.
    No, housekeeping.

    Sent from my SM-G925I using Tapatalk
    -Geoff Rogers

    @Goldenmane3


  11. #27

    Default Re: My position: promoting atheism is a moral responsibility

    Quote Darwinsbulldog said View Post
    I was a philosophical naturalist. I think it was Simon "susu.exp" who tore me a new asshole on that one. Methodological naturalist if fine. Anything more is overkill and leads to all sorts of epistemological problems.
    Ah yes; I remember perceiving susu.exp as being an intellectual giant of unparalleled magnitude at the time, back in the day, before the "changes" (we were all so excited about). I'm sure he's got his weak spot(s) too though still; just like the rest of us eh.

    Quote Darwinsbulldog said View Post
    At a "street epistemology" level I would say "gods-absolutely fucking not". More rigorously, I cannot make that claim stick.
    That one's a doozy. "I can't be certain of anything...but I'm certain I can't be certain of anything...so I am certain of (at least) one thing." Bloody fictitious hell: not another paradox.

  12. #28

    Default Re: My position: promoting atheism is a moral responsibility

    Quote Goldenmane said View Post
    No, housekeeping.

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  13. #29
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    Default Re: My position: promoting atheism is a moral responsibility

    Quote Theorease said View Post
    Any opposing positions/arguments?

    ETA should probably state at least one of the reasons I think that lol:

    Quote Theorease said View Post
    There are many cognitive derivatives which logically stem directly from atheism IMO and anybody who's had a proper think about the ramifications of atheism should easily reach those conclusions. Chief amongst those conclusions is that humans need take care of themselves/eachother/non-human animals/the environment etc. because there is no god looking out for us. This is no small revelation - on the contrary.


    Depends whose morality youíre talking about. I feel no moral obligation to promote atheism. Nor do I see it as anyone elseís moral obligation. I personally feel a moral obligation to promote a bucket load of other things but not atheism. You might.
    Your conclusion that we take care of certain stuff because there is no god to do it for us is interesting. Iíve never felt the obligation to take care of anything or anyone because thereís no god to do it for me. I do it because I like to. I have had no moments of great revelation where I understood suddenly that I am on my own, without god, because I have never had one.



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  15. #30
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    Default Re: My position: promoting atheism is a moral responsibility

    Quote Mjt said View Post
    Depends whose morality you’re talking about. I feel no moral obligation to promote atheism. Nor do I see it as anyone else’s moral obligation. I personally feel a moral obligation to promote a bucket load of other things but not atheism. You might.
    Your conclusion that we take care of certain stuff because there is no god to do it for us is interesting. I’ve never felt the obligation to take care of anything or anyone because there’s no god to do it for me. I do it because I like to. I have had no moments of great revelation where I understood suddenly that I am on my own, without god, because I have never had one.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    This makes sense to me, Mjt. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in any god or gods. It is the default position of a person at birth - they have to develop some concepts, to go from being atheist, to being theist. Quite a few people may be apatheists.

    To distinguish from apatheists, I like to think of a group I call Considered Atheists. What I mean by considered atheists, is those of us who have chosen to be atheists, by consideration of all of the evidence and arguments to which we have access. It's not necessarily a negative position, ie. one does not have to say: "there are no gods", to be an atheist; all one has to do to be atheist is to not accept the existence of any gods. Atheism ought not to necessarily mean the rejection of the existence of any gods, (though some concepts of certain gods can be rejected on logical or evidential grounds).

    All that being said, if one finds out that a person is an atheist, (and that's all you know about them), the rest of them, (their morality, their attitudes, their conscientiousness, their honesty etc.), could be anywhere in a wide range of possibilities.

    So I as a, (hopefully), considered atheist, would promote rational, sceptical thinking, as a key thing to adopt, and to encourage others to adopt. Just as we do not like theists to choose the end point which they want, and then to twist, interpret, mangle or ignore evidence which might undermine their position, so too with atheism, I'd say: "Let us look at the arguments and evidence, and sagely, (one would hope), decide whether or not the case for theism has been successfully made". If not, then the individual ought to choose to refrain from belief, and would thus be atheist.

    This approach would be mine, and I'd strongly urge it to be the one for everyone else to adopt, on all issues, not just the god one. In some cases, the conclusion to an issue may best be: "I don't know". In other words if one doesn't know, one does not simply choose some answer, just so one has an answer, in order to ease the discomfort, (if any), of not knowing.

    I don't know may be the best answer, at times.

    Quote Theorease said View Post
    . . .
    Both should be taught by all means IMO, but just teaching critical thinking skills seems a mistake to me. I mean do we expect each child to do a Charles Darwin and come up with the theory of evolution independently or do we teach them the TOE?
    . . .
    {Extracted}
    Which group are you considering to be the teachers? Is it the general population, professional teachers or parents etc. ?

    As a retired teacher, I would say that the teaching profession as a group, ought to have a very high code of ethics in their teaching methodologies and pedagogy. Teachers can air many ideas, and be critical thinkers themselves. Teachers should teach their students how to think, and not so much what to think.

    Of course the Theory of Evolution ought to be taught, and it should be taught with critical thinking. Among the vast majority of scientists, evolution is an established theory, and there is good reason to teach why they have reached that conclusion. There are also people who accept intelligent design, and divine creation. There is no reason not to teach that such a group exists, and what their ideas are, but that too should be done through the lens of critical thought, (and evidence seeking, and research of the literature etc.), pro and con.

    Other groups who might do teaching, (the general population, ministers of religion or parents etc), etc may have a barrow to push - they may have a conclusion they want the learner to reach, (and they may not). But if they do, I would view that as less than ideal. The best teaching IMHO will be through the lens of critical thinking. Critical thinking ought to be the bedrock. The rest should be laid onto that. So if your minister of religion teaches something, then that minister ought to promote evidence seeking, and research of the literature etc., pro and con. They may not, and that's a problem for a healthy minded, well informed population, (or sub-population).

    Quote Sendraks said View Post
    I'm sure we can both name a few folk from other fora who wear their atheism as a badge of intellectual superiority in discourse, basically to the effect of "I am atheist, therefore I am rational" and that acts as their bulwark against all reason.
    I agree strongly, Sendraks. Just saying: "I am rational", doesn't necessarily make it so. Let us all try to be rational, well informed, (by requisite effort), and critical thinkers, who can follow logic, seek and destroy b*llsh*t. A problem I find with some posters who think that they are rational, and critical thinkers, is that they are much too certain, (at times), and will not happily say: "I don't know" or "Ahh, I have been wrong". That's too bad.

    I guess in summary, I would say that promotion of atheism is a good thing, and that atheism should be well considered, (ie. Considered Atheism). I want people to be atheists because they can see that it makes sense to be that way, and that theism makes insufficient sense to be that way. If a person finds their theism to make sense to them, then so be it. Maybe they have some good points, and some good reasons, maybe not. Maybe, if they'll engage, then we can teach them something via critical thinking, with good evidence when available, and maybe vice versa too, (them teaching us).

    Maddox Zenatah

    Last edited by Maddox Zenatah; 27th February 2018 at 12:30 PM.

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