Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 57 (9173 total)
2 online now:
Newest Member: Neptune7
Post Volume: Total: 917,596 Year: 4,853/9,624 Month: 201/427 Week: 11/103 Day: 11/0 Hour: 0/2


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   How Darwin caused atheism
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 4708 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 46 of 122 (601447)
01-20-2011 2:29 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Modulous
01-20-2011 1:59 PM


Modulous writes:
Otherwise, it would help to explain an alternative for specifically what caused the rise of atheism in the late 19th century and the 20th century.
Two massive brutal and bloody wars? The transistor? Expanded travel and communications? The rise of the media? The 1960s? (When atheism started it's rise) Vietnam? To be honest - that period was so revolutionary socially, economically as well as intellectually we can't rule out the sheer shock of it all was itself a factor.
The rise of the media may be the best competing hypothesis. I think the winning point may be the dying off of deism in the late 19th century. Deism has wound up with it the liberalism, the skepticism, and the the lack of religion that atheism has. The difference is that deism has the explanation of a creator god, and atheism does not.
Edited by ApostateAbe, : bad writing

This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Modulous, posted 01-20-2011 1:59 PM Modulous has seen this message but not replied

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 1336 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 47 of 122 (601453)
01-20-2011 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by ApostateAbe
01-20-2011 12:09 PM


OK, would you say that the combined science of Newton, Kepler, Galileo, Copernicus, Lyell Darwin and so on provided a good accumulation of explanatory science that essentially eliminated the need for God?
It struck down the most popular argument for God, and there was hardly anything left to be explained by God.
The problem of course, which you have so far ignored, is that gods don't explain any of those things, and gods aren't needed because of them. Gods were conceived because of human inability to explain things they didn't understand, that much is true. But it doesn't follow from that that gods actually explained the things they were conceived to explain.
Obviously, the ToE doesn't strike down the most popular argument for gods, since most people who believe in gods also understand that evidence supports the ToE.
Also, I'm still waiting to hear what you consider an "activist defender of the ToE."

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson
We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat
It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate
...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-20-2011 12:09 PM ApostateAbe has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-20-2011 8:46 PM subbie has replied

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 4708 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 48 of 122 (601485)
01-20-2011 8:46 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by subbie
01-20-2011 4:09 PM


subbie writes:
OK, would you say that the combined science of Newton, Kepler, Galileo, Copernicus, Lyell Darwin and so on provided a good accumulation of explanatory science that essentially eliminated the need for God?
It struck down the most popular argument for God, and there was hardly anything left to be explained by God.
The problem of course, which you have so far ignored, is that gods don't explain any of those things, and gods aren't needed because of them. Gods were conceived because of human inability to explain things they didn't understand, that much is true. But it doesn't follow from that that gods actually explained the things they were conceived to explain.
Maybe what you mean to say is that the gods do not explain something like life nearly as well as something scientific. In modern times, it is easy to denounce any "explanations" that involve the gods as essentially no different in quality as no explanations at all. But, before the modern scientific theories, explanations that had God were taken very seriously, because they were the only (and often the seemingly best) explanations available. That is why seemingly all of the scientists before Darwin accepted belief in God to explain life.
Another misleading fallacy, I think, is to use the modern philosophies of science to project backward to infer what seemed reasonable in centuries past. Before the modern era, there was no methodological naturalism, no Popper's doctrine of falsifiability and no nonoverlapping magesteria. God was actually a central part of science. For better or for worse, scientists very often doubled as theologian. Newton, it could be argued, was more of a theologian than a scientist. His theory of God was as revolutionary as his theories of science and mathematics.
subbie writes:
Obviously, the ToE doesn't strike down the most popular argument for gods, since most people who believe in gods also understand that evidence supports the ToE.
The most popular argument for God remains the teleological argument (intelligent design) as it applies to life, and the theory of evolution effectively struck down that argument. It does not follow that everyone will accept that argument, because decisions of religious belief among the wider population are only in small part influenced by the best explanations of science. However, among the most intelligent people, those in the upper echelons of intellect, non-belief in God is the predominant position.
subbie writes:
Also, I'm still waiting to hear what you consider an "activist defender of the ToE."
An activist defender of the ToE is anyone who spends a significant amount of time defending the theory of evolution against the skeptics. I am one of them, so are you, and there are very many of them among activists who denounce religion and promote atheism.
Edited by ApostateAbe, : mistake

This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by subbie, posted 01-20-2011 4:09 PM subbie has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by Taq, posted 01-20-2011 9:25 PM ApostateAbe has replied
 Message 52 by subbie, posted 01-20-2011 9:31 PM ApostateAbe has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 49 of 122 (601493)
01-20-2011 9:23 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by ApostateAbe
01-20-2011 9:56 AM


I don't know for sure if there was ever a historical study to answer the question on whether or not Darwin "broke the dam" for atheism, . . .
I would agree with this metaphor as it relates to atheism as a socially acceptable (or tolerated) position. Since the beginning of the Enlightenment Western culture had steadily moved towards secularism resulting in secular, representative states like the US. The Church was losing power as a voice of reason with science playing a small but active role. The Deist movement of the time was atheism with a theistic hangover, for all intents and purposes. It was a bit like Intelligent Design. While ID is religion dressed in the clothes of science, Deism was atheism dressed in the clothes of religion.
The Enlightenment marked the point when the reservoir behind the dam of Church dogma started to fill. If it weren't for the Age of Enlightenment would Darwin have even considered trying to disprove the prevailing dogma of the fixity of species? If it weren't for the preceding geologic revolution led by Lyell would Darwin have come up with his theory on the evolution of species? If Darwin were subject to the Inquisition would he have even dared to write down his ideas? Science and Reason pulled the drapes aside and exposed the Wizard of Oz, and there was no going back for many people.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-20-2011 9:56 AM ApostateAbe has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by jar, posted 01-20-2011 9:32 PM Taq has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 50 of 122 (601494)
01-20-2011 9:25 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by ApostateAbe
01-20-2011 8:46 PM


An activist defender of the ToE is anyone who spends a significant amount of time defending the theory of evolution against the skeptics.
If only they were skeptics. Skeptics can be convinced. Personally, I see myself as defending Reason from Superstition.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-20-2011 8:46 PM ApostateAbe has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-20-2011 10:05 PM Taq has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 51 of 122 (601496)
01-20-2011 9:31 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by ApostateAbe
01-20-2011 1:49 PM


Re: claims are nice.
If I had to prove that the sharp increase in atheists were at the exact year of 1860, then my position would be a lot tougher, because it would be impossible.
It would be impossible to get any good estimates from that time period to begin with. Atheism was not tolerated like it is today. You might as well try to estimate the prevalence of homosexuality in the early 1900's by citing polls where people openly admitted that they were gay.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-20-2011 1:49 PM ApostateAbe has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-20-2011 10:15 PM Taq has not replied

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 1336 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 52 of 122 (601497)
01-20-2011 9:31 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by ApostateAbe
01-20-2011 8:46 PM


Maybe what you mean to say....
I'm one of those odd ducks who says what he means. Gods don't explain anything. As I described above, "Goddit" isn't an explanation, it's an excuse for not looking for an explanation.
The most popular argument for God remains the teleological argument (intelligent design) as it applies to life....
You need to square that with the fact that most religious people acknowledge that the ToE is the best explanation for life on this planet.
I think you will find that these discussions would progress faster if you actually respond to the points others make rather than simply quoting them, then reasserting the same error that they are trying to correct. Just a thought.
...decisions of religious belief among the wider population are only in small part influenced by the best explanations of science.
And thus, you have refuted your own point. Well done.

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson
We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat
It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate
...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist

This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-20-2011 8:46 PM ApostateAbe has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Taq, posted 01-20-2011 9:57 PM subbie has seen this message but not replied
 Message 59 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-20-2011 10:08 PM subbie has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 34054
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 53 of 122 (601498)
01-20-2011 9:32 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Taq
01-20-2011 9:23 PM


I'm old and forgetfull but ...
... didn't the Enlightenment start just after Darwin published "On the Origin of Species"?

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Taq, posted 01-20-2011 9:23 PM Taq has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by Iblis, posted 01-20-2011 9:46 PM jar has seen this message but not replied
 Message 55 by Coyote, posted 01-20-2011 9:47 PM jar has seen this message but not replied
 Message 57 by Taq, posted 01-20-2011 10:00 PM jar has replied

  
Iblis
Member (Idle past 3976 days)
Posts: 663
Joined: 11-17-2005


Message 54 of 122 (601500)
01-20-2011 9:46 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by jar
01-20-2011 9:32 PM


Re: I'm old and forgetfull but ...
No, in the 17th century. About the time Theophrastus was published, and the dam was opened for atheism.
By most accounts the Enlightenment ended before Darwin was born, with the rise of Napoleon.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by jar, posted 01-20-2011 9:32 PM jar has seen this message but not replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 2187 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 55 of 122 (601502)
01-20-2011 9:47 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by jar
01-20-2011 9:32 PM


Re: I'm old and forgetfull but ...
... didn't the Enlightenment start just after Darwin published "On the Origin of Species"?
No, it was quite a bit earlier.
From Wiki:
The Age of Enlightenment (or simply the Enlightenment) is the era in Western philosophy, intellectual, scientific and cultural life, centered upon the 18th century, in which reason was advocated as the primary source for legitimacy and authority. It is also known as the Age of Reason.[1] The enlightenment was a movement of science and reason.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by jar, posted 01-20-2011 9:32 PM jar has seen this message but not replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 56 of 122 (601503)
01-20-2011 9:57 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by subbie
01-20-2011 9:31 PM


Gods don't explain anything. As I described above, "Goddit" isn't an explanation, it's an excuse for not looking for an explanation.
While I completely agree with you, I think it is important to look at the historical context. 2,000 years ago there was no viable way to even look for an explanation for such things as the makeup of matter, the ancestry of species, etc. We live in an age now where the mysteries of nature are easily solved. We can go to Radio Shack, pick up a few parts, and construct experiments that would have stunned Newton.
So what does one do when no explanation is even in sight? What if nature really did seem inexplicable in almost every way? What would you have believed in such a time?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by subbie, posted 01-20-2011 9:31 PM subbie has seen this message but not replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 57 of 122 (601504)
01-20-2011 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by jar
01-20-2011 9:32 PM


Re: I'm old and forgetfull but ...
... didn't the Enlightenment start just after Darwin published "On the Origin of Species"?
Not at all. Darwin, and modern science for that matter, was a product of the Enlightenment. His grandfather Erasmus was a noted figure of the Enlightenment.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by jar, posted 01-20-2011 9:32 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by jar, posted 01-20-2011 10:09 PM Taq has not replied

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 4708 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 58 of 122 (601505)
01-20-2011 10:05 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Taq
01-20-2011 9:25 PM


Taq writes:
An activist defender of the ToE is anyone who spends a significant amount of time defending the theory of evolution against the skeptics.
If only they were skeptics. Skeptics can be convinced. Personally, I see myself as defending Reason from Superstition.
There are some skeptics who absolutely cannot be convinced, but they still fit the common definition of "skeptic," and it is the name they give themselves. I know that the defenders of the ToE don't prefer that word to describe the "C" side, and, yeah, it is another peculiarity of that large echo chamber. The defenders of the ToE overlap strongly with the skeptics of religion, they have appropriated the word and they prefer it to describe someone who is critical for a good reason and will change his or her mind when the evidence is sufficient. I prefer the more generic definition. It is more useful when the point does not relate to who is reasonable and who isn't.
I have argued religion a lot, and there are a lot of self-described skeptics who refuse to grant any probability to the claim that Jesus existed as any more than myth. I think it is a very unreasonable position, but I will still call them "skeptics," though I have formerly used the phrase, "hyperskeptics," because they are more likely to misinterpret the title of "skeptic" as a compliment that describes someone who is perfectly reasonable, as atheists tend to do.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Taq, posted 01-20-2011 9:25 PM Taq has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by Taq, posted 01-20-2011 10:16 PM ApostateAbe has not replied

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 4708 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 59 of 122 (601506)
01-20-2011 10:08 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by subbie
01-20-2011 9:31 PM


subbie writes:
Maybe what you mean to say....
I'm one of those odd ducks who says what he means. Gods don't explain anything. As I described above, "Goddit" isn't an explanation, it's an excuse for not looking for an explanation.
The most popular argument for God remains the teleological argument (intelligent design) as it applies to life....
You need to square that with the fact that most religious people acknowledge that the ToE is the best explanation for life on this planet.
I think you will find that these discussions would progress faster if you actually respond to the points others make rather than simply quoting them, then reasserting the same error that they are trying to correct. Just a thought.
...decisions of religious belief among the wider population are only in small part influenced by the best explanations of science.
And thus, you have refuted your own point. Well done.
OK, I am done with you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by subbie, posted 01-20-2011 9:31 PM subbie has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by subbie, posted 01-20-2011 10:10 PM ApostateAbe has not replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 34054
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 60 of 122 (601507)
01-20-2011 10:09 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Taq
01-20-2011 10:00 PM


Re: I'm old and forgetfull but ...
His Grandfather? Wow. So it's likely Darwin might have grown up in a skeptical environment?

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Taq, posted 01-20-2011 10:00 PM Taq has not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024