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Old 15th January 2017, 09:24 PM
Azurisan21 Azurisan21 is offline
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Default Need to be a full atheist

In 99% of the times, I do not think rationally. I only exercise rational thinking when I feel like to.

However, I'm not fully atheist but still desire to become so. I'm still slightly agnostic and do experience warm fuzzies when god comes to mind.

I would still like to overcome faith-based prejudices and irrationality via any possible means, including receiving convincing arguments from strong atheists around to help me debunk the plausibility of god at its fullest, NDEs long documented, UFOs and immortal soul.

Can we get started on helping me cleanse my irrational thoughts?
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Old 15th January 2017, 09:42 PM
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Strato Strato is offline
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Default Re: Need to be a full atheist

I very much doubt cleansing works Az.

Neither does heroin.

If you want to think critically and rationally and clearly, isn't the battle effectively won?

All one needs after all, is intellectual honesty, despite what one feels, admitting we feel the feelings. That's always healthy. It's unhelpful to deny feelings.

Don't believe everything you think: a very good bumper sticker.
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Old 16th January 2017, 12:24 AM
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DanDare DanDare is offline
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Default Re: Need to be a full atheist

Quote:
Azurisan21 said View Post
In 99% of the times, I do not think rationally. I only exercise rational thinking when I feel like to.
As do we all. Rationality can become a habit but it is also work, hard work. However I only let my rational thoughts push my actions.

Quote:
However, I'm not fully atheist but still desire to become so. I'm still slightly agnostic and do experience warm fuzzies when god comes to mind.
I think most of us here are agnostic atheists. We don't accept the claim that there is a god, but we don't think you can ever know if there is one or not. That being said I have not seen any descriptions of a god that I didn't know where false.

Quote:
I would still like to overcome faith-based prejudices and irrationality via any possible means, including receiving convincing arguments from strong atheists around to help me debunk the plausibility of god at its fullest, NDEs long documented, UFOs and immortal soul.

Can we get started on helping me cleanse my irrational thoughts?
The first step is to learn that it is enough to say "this is unconvincing, I don't accept it". That is the proper, rational position. Recognising that faith has no support is all you need. Don't expect more, you don't need it, it wont happen.

However if you would like to present specific claims for us to work on to show how they fail their burden of proof then go ahead.
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Burden of proof is the obligation on somebody presenting a claim to provide evidence to support its truth (a warrant). Once evidence has been presented, it is up to any opposing "side" to show the evidence presented is not adequate. If claims were accepted without warrants, then every claim could simultaneously be claimed to be true.

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Old 16th January 2017, 02:14 AM
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hackenslash hackenslash is offline
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Default Re: Need to be a full atheist

Hey Az.

Quote:
Azurisan21 said View Post
In 99% of the times, I do not think rationally. I only exercise rational thinking when I feel like to.
I think this is probably true of everybody. I'm easily the most sceptical person I know in real life, and probably among the most sceptical of my internet friends, which mostly consists of fully die-hard sceptics. We all accept things without sufficient reason. It isn't always easy to spot this, because we have things that we accept that have lingered from prior to our development of critical thinking skills, and which haven't really been examined, yet they still colour our perceptions.

One of my blog posts deals with this in some considerable depth, especially with what I've termed 'cognitive inertia', the idea that we cling onto ideas long after we should have discarded them.

http://reciprocity-giving-something-...-of-ideas.html

For a fully developed sceptic, it generally only requires that we look at one of these ideas critically in order to discard them, but the rub is that we don't often examine them unless we've been given a good reason to do so. Many's the time I've launched into writing a rebuttal to some bit of apologetic bullshit, taking a particular approach that seems appropriate, then stopping myself short when I realise that there's an underlying idea that I haven't fully justified, just accepted as true. Of course, I always have another approach ready, so it isn't a problem.

As Dan said, getting in the habit of examining these ideas takes work, and it isn't always that easy. The first step is not the examination of the claims of others, but the examination of your own biases and prejudices. To be a successful sceptic, there should be two questions central in your mind. The first of these is 'why do I think that?' Without that question, you can't properly assess anything, because your biases aren't being addressed, and your own biases are the single biggest barrier to understanding anything.

The second question is the central question underpinning all philosophy and proper thought, and it's simply this: 'Is this the right kind of question?'

It looks a bit odd, but that is the only question that philosophy really deals with. Indeed, in my opinion, that question is the entirety of philosophy's remit.

More on that HERE.

Quote:
However, I'm not fully atheist but still desire to become so. I'm still slightly agnostic and do experience warm fuzzies when god comes to mind.
The term 'agnostic' is thrown around a fair bit, most often without understanding what it actually denotes. Most atheists are agnostic in sensu Huxley, because they think that knowledge of the existence of god is not just unknown, but fundamentally unknowable. It's often treated as occupying some middle ground between theism and atheism but, of course, there is no middle ground, because belief is properly binary. You believe or you do not. It's really a qualifier rather than a position on god in and of itself.

Two offerings on this, namely THIS and THIS.

Quote:
I would still like to overcome faith-based prejudices and irrationality via any possible means, including receiving convincing arguments from strong atheists around to help me debunk the plausibility of god at its fullest, NDEs long documented, UFOs and immortal soul.

Can we get started on helping me cleanse my irrational thoughts?
Hope this has been of some help. Feel free to pester me on anything that isn't clear.
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Old 16th January 2017, 03:01 AM
Spearthrower Spearthrower is offline
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Default Re: Need to be a full atheist

Quote:
Azurisan21 said View Post
In 99% of the times, I do not think rationally. I only exercise rational thinking when I feel like to.

However, I'm not fully atheist but still desire to become so. I'm still slightly agnostic and do experience warm fuzzies when god comes to mind.

I would still like to overcome faith-based prejudices and irrationality via any possible means, including receiving convincing arguments from strong atheists around to help me debunk the plausibility of god at its fullest, NDEs long documented, UFOs and immortal soul.

Can we get started on helping me cleanse my irrational thoughts?

Ok, but I guess you probably want a softer cleansing than the usual sandpaper enema given to Creationists!

1) What can it possibly mean to 'want' to become an atheist. Atheism is simply the non-acceptance of a particular claim, namely that of the existence of a divine entity. If you accept the god claim, then you're not an atheist. I suppose you could seek out arguments that undermine the god claim if you were really motivated, but it seems an odd desire to me. Regardless, I am sure that many of us - with many years experience arguing the point with theists - can provide a barrage of arguments against divine entities. I know of a goodly number - in the region of 10 theists who put aside their belief in gods during our discussions on RDF and RatSkep fora.

2) Most atheists are actually agnostic because they reject the notion that truth claims can be made about the existence of something that is undetectable. At a most rigorous level, atheists don't deny the existence of gods, they deny that the claim of existence is valid, supported, or provides any reason to accept it.

3) Rationality is something learned by doing, by engaging, by self-discovery, and by being willing to really dig into the available evidence.

4) As I've mentioned before, I don't really identify as being an atheist. I do, however, identify as a skeptical empiricist and that motivates me to debunk claims made by people in all fields, not just the arguments of the existence of gods. Therefore, I have encountered all these topics before: NDE's, UFO's, and the particularly laughable notion of mini-me homunculi, plus many more you may not even know of.

5) If you're feeling mentally and emotionally fortified, then let's start tearing down all the rubbish cherished notions you've uncritically bought into for the fuzzies!

Last edited by Spearthrower; 16th January 2017 at 03:02 AM.
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  #6  
Old 16th January 2017, 10:59 AM
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142857 142857 is offline
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Default Re: Need to be a full atheist

A few weeks ago I attended a "Family Mass" with my family. Under protest.

I haven't been to a Catholic service for several decades, but most of it was still familiar to me. It was funny how as a disbelieving kid I had learned to tune the words out, but now hearing them again I actually gave them some thought.

It was strange how sad I actually felt that all these nice ideas of a loving God, of an afterlife where we get to spend eternity in paradise with our loved ones, were just a bunch of made-up myths and wishful thinking. I can understand how seductive these ideas are to a lot of people.

I didn't choose to be a skeptic. If someone had given me a choice when I was 7 years old and before I stopped believing: "do you want to continue to believe or do you want to stop?" I would have chosen to keep believing.
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Old 16th January 2017, 11:31 AM
Wrenn Wrenn is offline
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Default Re: Need to be a full atheist

Quote:
Azurisan21 said View Post
In 99% of the times, I do not think rationally. I only exercise rational thinking when I feel like to.

...

Can we get started on helping me cleanse my irrational thoughts?
If you want to be a good runner or juggler or mathematician or architect you need to practice those skills a lot. The same applies to critical thinking and other qualities of character that you might want to develop. As others mentioned, and I suspect you know, this will take a lot of effort. It is a lifelong journey that you will never complete.

I think that while we have good education systems for physical and knowledge based skills we have neglected the training required to develop quality of character. If you want to develop a more rational mind I would recommend looking at some of the exercises developed by the stoics.

Take a look at the following article. I think the five exercises that I have highlighted would be useful ways to help develop a rational mind.

Just remember, these aren't quick fixes. You will need to work hard and employ these techniques on a daily basis. The good thing is that most of them are short simple things and easy to do. A few minutes a day spent on each one is probably more than you need. The goal is to make them a habit.

For example, for me I do a reflection in the mornings on my ride to work and in the evenings on my ride home and I do one or two focused meditations while eating my lunch. I use other stoic tools but more sporadically. It took a few months to develop the habits but I have found them beneficial.

http://observer.com/2016/02/ten-insa...oic-exercises/

Quote:
STOIC EXERCISE #1: EARLY MORNING REFLECTION
STOIC EXERCISE #3: CONTEMPLATION OF THE IDEAL MAN (OR WOMAN)
STOIC EXERCISE #6: PHILOSOPHICAL JOURNAL
STOIC EXERCISE #7: THE STRIPPING METHOD
STOIC EXERCISE #8: BEDTIME REFLECTION
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Old 16th January 2017, 07:47 PM
surreptitious57 surreptitious57 is offline
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Default Re: Need to be a full atheist

I try to avoid irrationality as much as possible. I try to think more logically and less emotionally. I try to avoid truth claims that can not be supported
However I am still human and so have to allow for the fact that I will display irrationality and emotion and unsupported truth claims on occasion. And
so the first step is to acknowledge them. And the second step is to eliminate or reduce them. And it is ongoing since one is always a work in progress

I have no problem hearing opinions different to mine. I have no monopoly on wisdom and so I cannot be right all the time. I have no problem in being
proved wrong since that is the only way I can grow intellectually. But I remind myself regularly that like Socrates I know nothing. The sum total of my
knowledge is infinitesimal compared to the sum total of all knowledge. That realisation is an excellent antidote to hubris and keeps the ego in its place

What also works is the avoidance of dogma even for positions that are demonstrably true. I find that emotional detachment aids this
process wonderfully. I know that I am merely passing through this life and that nothing truly matters in the grand scheme of things
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Old 16th January 2017, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Need to be a full atheist

I don't know if I am a full atheist, but I'm probably a fool atheist! Actually, I think I will pig out on pizza tonite so I will be a full atheist then.
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Old 16th January 2017, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Need to be a full atheist

lol
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