Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 66 (9049 total)
302 online now:
(302 visitors)
Newest Member: Wes johnson
Upcoming Birthdays: DrJones*
Post Volume: Total: 887,628 Year: 5,274/14,102 Month: 195/677 Week: 54/26 Day: 6/11 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Is science atheism?
Raphael
Member
Posts: 171
From: Southern California, United States
Joined: 09-29-2007


(1)
Message 7 of 126 (886150)
05-07-2021 9:22 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by PaulK
05-07-2021 12:03 PM


Considering my semi recent convo with AZPaul, this thread topic seems like prime Raphael bait

However I tend to agree with PaulK this time around. I do not agree science in and of itself is atheism. I do think some anti-theist scientists would like it to be . There are plenty of spaces of faith and persons of faith who embrace science and plenty of scientists who embrace faith.

However, I would not classify myself as a "creationist" really, at least not in the classic sense of the word, so perhaps I'm the wrong person to argue marc's point.

Those are my final exam week thoughts


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by PaulK, posted 05-07-2021 12:03 PM PaulK has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by nwr, posted 05-08-2021 11:25 PM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 11 by Phat, posted 05-09-2021 6:41 AM Raphael has not yet responded

  
Raphael
Member
Posts: 171
From: Southern California, United States
Joined: 09-29-2007


Message 52 of 126 (886486)
05-21-2021 10:21 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by dwise1
05-21-2021 4:56 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
Final exams have concluded and I find myself climbing out of my cavern back into the real world , and by "real world" of course, I actually mean EvC. What else is there?

@Dwise1 we haven't really interacted here before. I tend to fall on the theistic side of things (sort of), though...I like to think I'm a hard one to pin down . Anyway. Lets go!

dwise1 writes:

Well, atheism is not a religion. To define it as such would require stretching the definition of "religion" to the breaking point by classifying any position regarding religion as a religion in itself. It doesn't make any sense.

Wow, ...there's a lot going on here. Seems like you have experienced a lot man. Though not even 35, I've also experienced divorce....its something I'd never wish upon anyone. Sorry your experience with a church and Christians during that time sucked and you did not feel valued. We are almost always our own worst enemy.

That said, I just wanted to respond to this statement. While I agree atheism is not a religion, it is a belief and sometimes even a set of beliefs depending what brand of atheism you subscribe to.

Here's a test demonstrating this: If you were on an abandoned island and you never heard of any religion, would the position you come to naturally be atheism?

If yes; how would you test or prove such a thing? In reality, you cannot and couldn't, therefore this would merely be a faith decision on your part. The answer any serious scientist would come to then, would be agnosticism, or at least agnostic atheism (though still debatable).

If no; this makes far more sense, and seems more likely. For why believe a negative belief when nobody is advocating for the positive form of the same belief? In this case, theism or atheism would be irrelevant and any serious scientist would also probably land in a place of agnosticism.

In conclusion, this (admittedly non-scholarly, ) model demonstrates the issue I have with atheism. It's a belief stance. Nobody growing up in a space where theism is absent becomes an atheist, why would they? To me, atheism is just as arrogant as fundamentalist religion or dogmatic scientism, and I have the same issues with all three. What objective knower of truth confirmed to you that your belief is true? We have no way of knowing what percentage of knowable information we know about the universe, so to make such a definitive claim is wild to me.

Anyway, just some thoughts! Much love bro,

- Raph

Edited by Raphael, : Spelling/grammar and some final things

Edited by Raphael, : one more thing, haha


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by dwise1, posted 05-21-2021 4:56 PM dwise1 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by nwr, posted 05-21-2021 10:53 PM Raphael has responded
 Message 54 by PaulK, posted 05-22-2021 2:13 AM Raphael has responded
 Message 56 by ringo, posted 05-22-2021 1:07 PM Raphael has responded
 Message 74 by dwise1, posted 05-23-2021 4:37 PM Raphael has responded

  
Raphael
Member
Posts: 171
From: Southern California, United States
Joined: 09-29-2007


Message 57 of 126 (886509)
05-22-2021 9:06 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by nwr
05-21-2021 10:53 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
Oh my, look how defensive everyone got

NWR writes:

No, it isn't a belief.

But my friend nwr, of course it is! What objectively true test did you use to come to that conclusion? Who confirmed its objectivity? I'm always baffled when atheists get defensive about this.

As a theist, I believe by faith that a God exists. This is not testable and therefore a truth claim based on faith.

The atheist ( I know this is not quite your position nwr) believes by faith that no God exists. This is not testable and therefore a truth claim based on faith.

It's not really that hard to understand lol, at least in my view, but maybe I'm missing something. Always open to learn.

Perhaps not. Atheism is a rejection of particular kinds of belief. And if you have never heard of them, then there isn't anything to reject.

Exactly! Well, that's one of the atheisms for sure, and while pretty convenient for arguments sake, most atheists I know usually say something along the lines of "I do not believe in God." Which, in reality, after digging a little dedeper and listening to them articulate, this is really a way for them to say "I believe there is no God." Most do not do credible scientific tests to come to this conclusion. I'm not really mad about it, I just think its important to be honest about terms.

(The above is pretty anecdotal, so I'll just double down in that direction) Besides, not only have I been an atheist myself for a time, I have numerous friends who would use the term to describe themselves. Essentially none have done anything remotely close to scientific tests to determine such a thing. For most, it's merely an opposite belief, and most are fine with that. It seems to bother this community though

In summary, "atheism" seems to be a loaded term and the non-faith community don't seem to have consensus on what it means, in my view.

nwr writes:

What belief stance do you take me as having?

I think you already understand the confusion, or you would just use the term rather than agnostic, right? I am a theist, but agnosticism is probably the most intellectually honest place to be. To me it is less of a belief stance and more of an intellectual posture. Based. (that's a gen z term I learned this week )

- Raph

Edited by Raphael, : grammar, punctuation


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by nwr, posted 05-21-2021 10:53 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by nwr, posted 05-22-2021 9:47 PM Raphael has responded
 Message 66 by Tangle, posted 05-23-2021 4:07 AM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 73 by dwise1, posted 05-23-2021 12:26 PM Raphael has responded

  
Raphael
Member
Posts: 171
From: Southern California, United States
Joined: 09-29-2007


Message 58 of 126 (886510)
05-22-2021 9:33 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by PaulK
05-22-2021 2:13 AM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
PaulK writes:

Arguably yes. You wouldn’t necessarily make up a God and start believing in it. You wouldn’t necessarily take up the position that there might be some sort of God.

Really? I don't think you actually believe that. What about essentially every culture known to mankind throughout history that did exactly this? Superstition, creating a shared mythos or understanding of how the world works, this is what almost every people group we have ever observed does.

As I’ve argued above they wouldn’t be theists or agnostics in any meaningful sense either. Atheism makes more sense as a label then either of the other two.

I agree in the first half, but disagree with the second; atheism would be equally as much of a nonsense term. What's more, as seen throughout history, the human default seems to be attaching spiritual significance and meaning to things, even if they are not inherently spiritual. We are spiritual beings, it seems.

In fact the arrogance is yours. Here you are declaring a belief off-limits for no reason. Agnostics seriously consider that belief a possibility so to be consistent you should condemn them too.

Whew, a lot to unpack here. Haha. I never declared any belief off-limits! I have been an atheist and have atheist friends who I love. If you're an atheist, cool man. I'm not mad about it, and I'd love to understand how you got there. However, to not acknowledge that atheism is a faith stance, and for one to act as if they are more objective than anyone else, or have received some objective truth nobody else has is pretty intellectually arrogant.

It's the same sort of dogmatism non-religious folks dislike in fundamentalist religious people, and I would come against that just as strong.

There is nothing wrong with taking a provisional view on the available evidence or on the use of valid heuristics like parsimony. And yet here you are condemning that very thing. What gives you the right to declare this conclusion out of bounds ?

Sure, Im down with all that. Provisional views about things, I'm on that page. But I think this goes back to my comment above to our boy nwr; I don't think the non-faith community has consensus on what the term "atheism" means.

You define atheism as a provisional stance. That is new to me, I appreciate that clarification. Curious how this differs in your mind from a more agnostic stance? To me, when the word "atheism" is used, it is used to mean a non-openness to supernatural data. Do you feel like this is an accurate representation of where you are at?

- Raph

Edited by Raphael, : grammar things and such


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by PaulK, posted 05-22-2021 2:13 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by PaulK, posted 05-23-2021 2:10 AM Raphael has not yet responded

  
Raphael
Member
Posts: 171
From: Southern California, United States
Joined: 09-29-2007


Message 59 of 126 (886511)
05-22-2021 9:46 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by ringo
05-22-2021 1:07 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
ringo writes:

The default is that if they never heard of leprechauns, most people would not make them up.

Really? People make up all sorts of things though. I think you are underestimating the human imagination

Quite easily. If my leprechaun traps are empty, I don't need to concern myself with leprechauns.

Haha. A few questions:

1) How would one build a leprechaun trap if one has no data on leprechauns?
2) Consider after building said trap, how would one even know if their trap (test) was sufficient to trap (test for) leprechauns?

Island ringo has assumed a lot about leprechauns and their knowledge of them

See above. There is no need for faith when we have observations.

I trust observations. However, in this case, we have no way of knowing if our tests are even able to test what we are trying to test.

In conclusion, we remain leprechaun agnostics, never really knowing whether or not they are real, though an intellectually honest person would probably remain open to the possibility. Anything else is a faith stance.

- Raph

Edited by Raphael, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by ringo, posted 05-22-2021 1:07 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by ringo, posted 05-23-2021 11:41 AM Raphael has not yet responded

  
Raphael
Member
Posts: 171
From: Southern California, United States
Joined: 09-29-2007


Message 61 of 126 (886513)
05-22-2021 9:57 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by nwr
05-22-2021 9:47 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
nwr writes:

You are confused between "atheist" and "anti-theist". There are plenty of atheists who are not anti-theist and who have not ruled out the possibility that there's a god.

I appreciate this clarification man. I always want to be a learner. Help me understand, how do you personally understand and differentiate between atheism and agnosticism? I am curious if the others who take such stances would agree. My hypothesis is, as stated above, I do not think there is clarity among non-believing folks. Either way, appreciate the learning.

- Raph

Edited by Raphael, : oops, quote code mistake, fixed


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by nwr, posted 05-22-2021 9:47 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by nwr, posted 05-22-2021 11:01 PM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 63 by anglagard, posted 05-22-2021 11:02 PM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 64 by Tanypteryx, posted 05-23-2021 12:24 AM Raphael has not yet responded

  
Raphael
Member
Posts: 171
From: Southern California, United States
Joined: 09-29-2007


(5)
Message 75 of 126 (886554)
05-23-2021 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by dwise1
05-23-2021 12:26 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
For the sake of time I won't respond to each response, but attempt a sort of synthesis of what I've been hearing from everyone.

First, just want to apologize. After reading all the responses, I recognize now that in my op it was definitely arrogant to assume I understood what atheism meant to everyone. I realize now this is a term many of you use in different, nuanced ways, and it was pretty reductionist of me to use it as a catch-all term. I also perceive that this word is very meaningful to you, and for me to simply make assumptions about its meaning was pretty gross and elementary. I also tend to be pretty silly in my typing and emoji use, I am a millennial after all . However, this may have come across as flippant or dismissive as well. Apologies for that.

I especially appreciated nwr, Tanypteryx, and dwise1's responses, which led me to understand better where y'all are coming from. I see now that I have been equating the term atheist with anti-theist, for one.

Anyway. This has been really helpful to me in my continued journey of learning! Appreciate y'all for helping to educate. I hope to be known as a learner who is able to intellectually shift when presented new information. Thank you.

Respectfully,

- Raph

Edited by Raphael, : grammar, couple things

Edited by Raphael, : one more thing lol


This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by dwise1, posted 05-23-2021 12:26 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
Raphael
Member
Posts: 171
From: Southern California, United States
Joined: 09-29-2007


(1)
Message 76 of 126 (886557)
05-23-2021 6:35 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by dwise1
05-23-2021 4:37 PM


Re: Non-Creation Christianity
dwise1 writes:

I decided I needed to learn more about what I was supposed to believe as a Christian, so I started reading the Bible...

Thanks for sharing about your experience (not sarcasm). I don't really have any reason to come against it, except to say...it sounds like you experienced many of the things I also dislike about fundamentalist Christianity, and frankly, oppose as counterfeit.

So just believing something makes it like a religion?

Not at all! As I said, I do not think atheism is a religion or club or anything. I have learned a lot from the responses of others in this thread, and I feel myself shifting on this point. It seems to me that since atheism is not a religion/creed/club/group, it is so deeply personal, different people hold their atheism differently. It would be arrogant of me to assume (as PaulK pointed out) I understand how each person holds their atheism.

Just as it would be arrogant for you to assume how I hold my theism .

For that you call us "arrogant", whereas the true arrogance in all that is in Christians' thinking that they have a right to force their beliefs on everybody else.

I don't disagree, Christians (I am one) can be the most arrogant of all. However I will only add an addition: arrogance can grow anywhere, especially in echo chambers where you surround yourself with people who believe and think like yourself. There is a sort of grace that happens when you meet someone who has totally different values and beliefs and realize wow, I'm not right about everything, this person has a gift to give me! This is why I intentionally seek out others who believe differently and attempt to understand them. It's why I'm here, too

You are leaving too much out.

Agreed! I realized after, it was an extremely simplistic model, however I did say "non-scholarly," you were warned!

And if your scenario would result in ignorant savages resorting to superstition to try to make some sense of what's happening around, do you think that that would be a good thing? Why would you think that?

Hmm, I don't know if it is a good or bad thing. We all impose meaning onto things, whether they have meaning or not. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Are ancient spiritualistic cultures, like Native North Americans, Inuit, Jamaican Taino, or Australian Aboriginals lives better now because of colonialism, genocide, religion (counterfeit Christianity, still, ironic), science, disease, clearcutting, industrialization (the list could go on)? In some ways, definitely. But mostly no. Now what?

My point is, whether or not the spiritual significance peoples impose onto things reflect any higher or objectively real reality is irrelevant; myth, mythos and meaning are powerful cultural forces and have given meaning, purpose, and beauty to life for millennia. Though personally I do believe these things reflect actual spiritual reality, one does not need to to see what these beliefs add to humanity and human flourishing.

Also, your scenario begs of question of what you would call "atheism." To us atheists, it means "not theism.

Unpack this more, if you would. What does "not theism" mean to you? You reject theism? You do not believe in theism? If it is not a stance, why take a stance? If it is a stance, what stance is it? Is it an intellectual category under which, say, agnosticism and anti-thism might fall as types of atheism? How do you understand this?

Indeed, you have done the same thing several times in your life, looking at other religions and deciding to pass on them. Did you need some "objective knower of truth" to make those determinations? Or did your sense of smell suffice?

This is true! Though I would rather say I remain agnostic to Ganesha, Susanoo and Zeus; while I have thoroughly investigated their truth claims and found theirs wanting, nobody knows anything about the supernatural, as you have said, therefore I remain open to new data, always.

To put it a bit more succinctly, I don't have to submit my beliefs to some Grand Inquisitor for validation. I only need to be satisfied that I cannot believe in your religion.

That's helpful to understand. And I respect where you're at man. Appreciate this dialogue!

- Raph

Edited by Raphael, : grammar, gloss


This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by dwise1, posted 05-23-2021 4:37 PM dwise1 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by dwise1, posted 05-31-2021 3:56 PM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 78 by Percy, posted 06-01-2021 10:31 AM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 86 by dwise1, posted 06-06-2021 8:28 PM Raphael has not yet responded

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2021