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Author Topic:   Are Atheists Mentally Ill
Stile
Member
Posts: 3258
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


(2)
Message 61 of 117 (705384)
08-26-2013 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Jon
08-26-2013 3:26 PM


Re: Short Summary
Jon writes:

Then what does the quote have to do with this thread?

From the conclusion of the blog this thread is about (2nd last paragraph):

quote:
the evidence today implies that atheism is a form of mental illness... one crucial reason why believers are happier religious people have all their faculties intact, they are fully functioning humans

"The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality."
-- George Bernard Shaw

...seems to flow pretty well to me.

Like I said to you in Message 43, there are two points that this quote makes:

1. Simply being happy doesn't make someone a better person.
2. A whole bunch of people who are happy and say that they are happier because of God... doesn't make God exist.

The blog seems to be saying that religious believers are happier and equates this with them being "fully functioning humans."
The quote from George pretty much rebuts this entire blog's conclusion and adds a bit of humour to boot.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by Jon, posted 08-26-2013 3:26 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by Jon, posted 08-26-2013 6:05 PM Stile has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 6249
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 62 of 117 (705385)
08-26-2013 3:56 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by New Cat's Eye
08-26-2013 2:43 PM


Re: Short Summary
Catholic Scientist writes:

Not at all. Plenty of people's lives have had a purpose that had nothing to do with just reproducing.

Many people believe that their lives have purpose. So?

Our lives can, in fact, have a purpose.

If you mean that people can find things to do with their lives that they find worthwhile and satisfying then I agree. That, however, is not purpose.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 17879
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 63 of 117 (705386)
08-26-2013 4:01 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Tangle
08-26-2013 3:56 PM


Re: Short Summary
Tangle writes:

If you mean that people can find things to do with their lives that they find worthwhile and satisfying then I agree. That, however, is not purpose.

Right. It's the whole question of, "Why are we here?" I think we'd all really like to know the answer, but given that there's been no answer after thousands of years it seems very unlikely there'd be one on our watch.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 6249
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.4


(2)
Message 64 of 117 (705387)
08-26-2013 4:04 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by Jon
08-26-2013 3:28 PM


Re: Short Summary
Jon writes:

I think it's clear that Tangle was being an equivocating wise ass.
No need to dwell on his nonsense.

It's clear you either don't understand the point or don't want to.

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

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nwr
Member
Posts: 5583
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 65 of 117 (705389)
08-26-2013 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Rahvin
08-26-2013 2:41 PM


Re: Short Summary
The fuzzy definition of "happiness" is part of what I'm trying to point out. In one sense a person seeking "happiness" is a hedonist trying to maximize pleasure and enjoyment in life. In another sense "happiness" can be the contentment of having fulfilled a value, even though the process was not enjoyable.

I distinguish "happiness" from "pleasure". I see hedonism as relevant to pleasure, rather than to happiness.

When those who wrote the US Declaration of independence referred to "the pursuit of happiness", I have a hard time believing that they meant "the pursuit of pleasure."


Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Rahvin, posted 08-26-2013 2:41 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 66 of 117 (705390)
08-26-2013 4:19 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Tangle
08-26-2013 3:56 PM


Re: Short Summary
Many people believe that their lives have purpose. So?

And you simply believe that they don't, which is equally irrelevant. But what I said was that they do actually have a real purpose, not just that they believe that they do.

If you mean that people can find things to do with their lives that they find worthwhile and satisfying then I agree. That, however, is not purpose.

A king has a son so as to have an heir; one purpose of that life is to be the next king.

We can also make our own purposes in life.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Tangle, posted 08-26-2013 3:56 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 67 of 117 (705391)
08-26-2013 4:23 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Percy
08-26-2013 4:01 PM


Re: Short Summary
Right. It's the whole question of, "Why are we here?" I think we'd all really like to know the answer, but given that there's been no answer after thousands of years it seems very unlikely there'd be one on our watch.

That's not what I've been talking about, nor is it what I think Jon was asking about. I'm talking about the individual level, and how we can have all sorts of different purposes for our lives. Jon's calling them all the pursuit of happiness, in the there's-no-unselfish-acts sort of way.

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : No reason given.


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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1139 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 68 of 117 (705392)
08-26-2013 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by nwr
08-26-2013 4:16 PM


Re: Short Summary
I distinguish "happiness" from "pleasure". I see hedonism as relevant to pleasure, rather than to happiness.

Again, the fuzziness of the definition is part of what I was trying to address.

When those who wrote the US Declaration of independence referred to "the pursuit of happiness", I have a hard time believing that they meant "the pursuit of pleasure."

Agreed. Yet in the ongoing discussion with Jon, "happiness" has been used in such a way that it can mean any emotional state so long as values are being satisfied, whatever those values might be. In this way a person would be described as "happy" if they were in prison after protesting human rights abuses - I think that if you can say that a person pursues "happiness" by going to prison, the term "happiness" has lost all meaning.

The relevant fact is that the "pursuit of happiness" is not, as Jon claimed, the ultimate purpose of life. Yes, we all seek to fulfill our values, but "happiness" is just one of those values, and its place in the hierarchy with other values is variable by individual. This means that a person might sacrifice their happiness in order to achieve a goal they consider more important - for example, some people spend more time at work instead of trying to be happy; other people might protest civil injustice and wind up in prison, tortured, or killed instead of just basing their decisions on what would make them the most "happy."

I see a strong difference there. If all I cared about was being happy, I'd make significantly different life choices than those I actually do make. I'd rather be depressed and have a very accurate internal model of how the world is and works, than be happy but wrong. Yes, happiness is one of my values, and I do seek to have that value fulfilled, but I have other values that I consider more important. And while you can try to describe the fulfillment of values itself as "happiness," as Jon is doing in effect, I think that such a usage contradicts the more common usages of the term, as this would mean that a miserable person could be "happy," which most would consider to be a contradiction.

Edited by Rahvin, : No reason given.


The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...

"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

Nihil supernum


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Tangle
Member
Posts: 6249
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 69 of 117 (705394)
08-26-2013 5:12 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by New Cat's Eye
08-26-2013 4:19 PM


Re: Short Summary
CS writes:

But what I said was that they do actually have a real purpose, not just that they believe that they do.

What's the difference between a purpose and a 'real' purpose?

A king has a son so as to have an heir; one purpose of that life is to be the next king.

You're using the word 'purpose' in a trivial sense, which is fine, but it's not particularly interesting. I can clean my shoes with a purpose and having accomplished that purpose i can feel happier with my lot. But again, so?

This is EVC, when we talk about puropse, it normally means Purpose. And Purpose is what religious people believe life is for. One of the things that believers puzzle over - or at least, I hear over and over again from them - is how an atheist can have Purpose without belief.

The answer is simple - if you like clean shoes, you clean them as best you can.

Once you've accepted that life has no Purpose you can find happinesses in cleaning shoes with a purpose.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-26-2013 4:19 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5777
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005


Message 70 of 117 (705396)
08-26-2013 5:27 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Jon
08-26-2013 2:10 PM


Re: Short Summary
You are right. I gave you too much credit.

Though both are an appeal to consequence. Your argument is much simpler and sillier.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


This message is a reply to:
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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5777
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005


Message 71 of 117 (705397)
08-26-2013 5:30 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Rahvin
08-26-2013 1:29 PM


Re: Short Summary
Doesn't even strike me as Pascal's Wager - it's just an argument from consequence that he went ahead and embraced.

But that is all Pascal's Wager is; an appeal to consequence. But alas his is no where near as refined and complex as Pascal's Wager.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


This message is a reply to:
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 72 of 117 (705398)
08-26-2013 6:05 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by Stile
08-26-2013 3:38 PM


Re: Short Summary
Where does the article claim that happiness in the belief in a deity is evidence for that deity's existence?

Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Stile, posted 08-26-2013 3:38 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Stile, posted 08-27-2013 11:25 AM Jon has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 73 of 117 (705399)
08-26-2013 6:05 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Tangle
08-26-2013 3:56 PM


Re: Short Summary
If you mean that people can find things to do with their lives that they find worthwhile and satisfying then I agree. That, however, is not purpose.

I think my case can be rested on this.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Tangle, posted 08-26-2013 3:56 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
marc9000
Member
Posts: 949
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 74 of 117 (705400)
08-26-2013 6:44 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by NoNukes
08-25-2013 9:01 PM


Re: Listing the Issues
I think your method of gathering information on religious background is highly flawed.

I actually agree with that, in some cases. But here are my exact words;

quote:
I sometimes tend to let my own actual experiences lead me to conclusions, or at least use them to balance the proclamations I see from special interests, like the scientific community, or the news media.

The bolded part is what applies to this thread. Since I used my skepticism to further explore the claim that was made, I found that it made a lot of sense in this case.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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marc9000
Member
Posts: 949
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 75 of 117 (705404)
08-26-2013 7:36 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by bluegenes
08-25-2013 10:05 PM


Re: Listing the Issues
marc9000 writes:

I'd like this thread to take a closer look at "the impact of religious practice on social stability", from the Heritage Foundation link found within this threads topic link,....

There's considerable variation in religiosity around the world, marc, and also considerable regional variation in your own country.

I agree.

I was interested to read this on the health benefits of religiosity. Interested, because I happen to know that there's a general negative correlation between high religiosity and longevity around the world, and also within the United States.

Your link "states by life expectancy" shows many different classifications for the different states, but shows only a 5 year variation between the two extremes. I think that's pretty insignificant, one of the most insignificant parts of the Heritage Foundation link. If it interests you that's fine - I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you on it.

But I need to clarify what I meant by the "social stability" part of the sentence of mine that you quoted. I was more interested in the following statements from the Heritage Foundation link;

quote:
There are many indications that the combination of religious practice and stable marital relationships contributes to a strong and successful next generation.

quote:
Numerous sociological studies have shown that valuing Religion and regularly practicing it are associated with greater marital stability, higher levels of marital satisfaction, and an increased likelihood that an individual will be inclined to marry.

quote:
Four of every 10 children experience parental divorce,[9] but a link between religious practice and a decreased likelihood of divorce has been established in numerous studies

The last one especially, earlier in this thread we saw the claim that atheists are less likely to get divorced. Both can't be right.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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