Atheism Discussion 2.0 - Roundtable Discussion in Progress

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Fire_Ice_Death, Sep 17, 2005.

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  1. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Unfortunately, my atheism was discovered by my fellow workers when one of the goats I was about to sacrifice escaped.
  2. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Um, I'm pretty sure that's paganism, or old-school monotheism... ;)
  3. SWBob Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2003
    star 4
    Did you make a proper knot? I know my chicken has gotten away before cause of bad knot tieing. :p
  4. nancyallen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 4
    On the topic of arguments against atheism, I think it has to be conceded that atheism is a topic that is impossible to argue.
  5. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I do have a question and I apologize if it's been covered before. For those who work, do people at work know your religious views? Same with school.

    On a more serious note the answer is "no" simply because (a)I don't really discuss personal stuff with my work colleagues; and (b) if I were to discuss personal stuff it would just provide fodder for the inevitable office politics, and (c) it's irrelevant to my work. We do have a few very religious people in the office and they are fine as long as you don't make them work on a Sunday. The company I work for is a US company based in Texas, so we have a pretty regular stream of Baptists coming and going as well as Catholics. We also have quite a few Jewish people in the office and so I also try and keep my pro-Palestinian politics to myself although it is very difficult for me.

    Spike: the FSM is solid gold. [face_laugh] [face_laugh]


  6. Stackpole_The_Hobbit Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    My friends know about my atheism, as well as whoever it's come up with at school (the occasional professor, some classmates), but my parents don't. My mother actually goes to church and prays for things, but my dad is a bit more laid back. He sings in the choir, but I kind of think it's because they let him play tympani at Christmas and Easter.

    The neighbours don't know, and my co-workers don't know, but I don't like any of those people enough to really carry on conversations about such things.
  7. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Don't think its been covered, and does make for an interesting topic, so nice idea.

    I think for both jobs I currently have its at least somewhat known that I am. Granted, both jobs I currently have (as well as school) are all highly tied to physics, as I work as a museum guide at an observatory, a T.A. teaching astronomy general education labs at a university, and a master's student in physics at the same university. So in that sense, all three of those generally come with the assumption that one is probably not terribly religious.
  8. SWBob Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2003
    star 4
    Yeah, as a geology major, it tends to lead away from the religious beliefs. When your proffessor says the earth is ~4.5 billion years old and bible says 6000. You gotta pick one or the other.
  9. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I'd say, it doesn't lead away from the religious beliefs, per se, but it does lead away from things like Creationism, in particular Young Earth Creationism, and other elements that are involved with taking the Bible very literally.
  10. SWBob Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2003
    star 4
    Good point. But it got me thinking, which lead me to the beliefs I have now.
  11. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    Yeah, I've certainly discovered that a belief in God is not incompatible with a scientific understanding of the world. The impossibility comes with ascribing to the Bible some degree of historical or scientific accuracy, which of course is impossible since it was written up to 3500 years ago by human beings with little to no understanding of, say, astrophysics or biology. Even if Scripture is enlightened dictation from the mind of God through humanity's hand (which obviously is debatable), it has had to be filtered through the flawed and limited brains of men, who would have had to record such divine dictation with their own skewed perceptions and prejudices firmly in place.
  12. ShrunkenJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2003
    star 5
    I don't start conversations on the topic or religious arguments as a rule, but I've always been fairly open about my atheism, including within my family. If it comes up, it comes up. Probably helps that neither of my parents are exactly heavy believers themselves, and I live in a very, very liberal state. :p
  13. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    When I was an aetheist in the 80s and 90s, I made sure eveyone knew it. I refused to say the pledge of allegiance based on the "under God" addition, and argued with teachers and students about the supposed primacy of the Bible. I still hold to those ideals, even though I now feel/perceive/believe there is a higher power beyond human comprehension.
  14. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    Everyone at work is aware I don't believe and my family is aware as well. As with Spike though I live in the UK and it's not really a big issue here, I do still get harrassed on the bus by the local god squad though and one didn't take too kindly to me reading a Richard Dawkins book the other week (My soul is being preyed for as we type I'm quite sure)

    We had issues as a family with schooling our child over this though as I didn't want our children to go to a "religious" school as I would rather they make their own mind up, my missus believes a little bit and was happy for them to go to a religious school though as it didn't bother her. As all the non religious schools in our area are crap I had to bite the bullet and agree to it which means I have to show my face there on a semi regular basis or my second child will not be allowed to go to this school.
  15. JMJacenSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2006
    star 4
    I have a large bookshelf in my room, but all of my atheist literature is hidden under my bed like a ten-year-old's porno mags. I'm always thinking that if I die in some accident eventually my room will be cleaned out and they'll be discovered, and I suppose my parents would think I had gone straight to hell. I honestly don't want that to happen, so I should probably get to work on finding a better spot.
  16. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    OK, this is what we're going to do. In a couple of days, Lowie and myself are going to conduct a "mini-focus group" within this thread to get everyone on the same sheet of music.

    The main aspects we are going to look at are:

    1)How to discuss this topic without having it breakdown into antagonism.

    2)Allowing people to discuss various aspects without having to be place on the defensive

    3)Moving the focus of the thread away from a "prove me wrong/prove yourself right" back-and-forth exchange, to one that simply discusses aspects of the topic.

    It's not going to be anything formal, more like a hosted roundtable within the thread. How does that sound?
  17. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    1)How to discuss this topic without having it breakdown into antagonism.


    Frankly, I think the key is to remove antagonizers rather rapidly. If I may say so, I think there's more antagonism from the theistic side, but that's my skewed perspective. I think it needs to be okay to express general disgust, displeasure or outright anger toward religion, God or whatever else on the theistic side (so long as it's not aimed at anyone here) without having a believer in God get huffy about it or take offense in some way.

    I also think a new thread would be a good idea.
  18. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    It's already being examined.
  19. Obi-Zahn Kenobi Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 1999
    star 7
    The Bible is a compilation of 66 different books by a minimum of 40 authors. It's not a single, coherent document.

    Genesis itself, which contains the Christian creation mythos, is generally believed to have two separate authors of the creation mythos itself, regardless of the rest of the book.

    Meaning that the existence of God or the truth of Christianity (of which the basic message is Jesus is the Christ) is not wholly dependent upon any individual scientific or otherwise error in any of the books.

    Obviously this view is considered abhorrent by many Christians (especially the fundamentalists), but it's a reasonable way to reconcile why what Jesus said is true while Genesis may not necessarily be.
  20. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I would agree with this almost completely.

    I've pointed this out before, but if you look at the creation account in Genesis, it roughly parallels our understanding of evolution in the order in which things happened. It's perfectly reasonable to look at it as the best description that someone at that time could give of what they had seen or learned through revelation. I mean, if you showed a locomotive or an airplane to someone from even 500 years ago, they might have a hard time describing it. If you tried to explain microbiology to them, it would seem like so much gobbledygook.

    To me, it makes no sense to insist that science and religion cannot be reconciled. I've never seen any conflict, both because our understanding of science is limited, as well as because I believe that our understanding of religion is limited as well. (Of course, I'm one of those crazy Mormons who believes in continuing revelation, and that God still has many more things to reveal to mankind.)

    Kimball Kinnison
  21. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I apologize, as it's no one's fault but my own. But with regards to my above post, I should add that we are going to pause the regular discussion in the thread. We want to focus on the "inner workings" of the thread itself and examine how each person interacts with each other.

    Once those issues are worked out, we're going to start a new thread, and the regular discussion with resume with it.
  22. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I assume, by the fact that you originally said "in a couple days", that it is allowed for normal discussion to continue until then, right?

    Kimball Kinnison
  23. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I did post that, but after some additional discussion, I think we're going to move it up. Hey, what can I say, things move quickly here in the Senate...

    Or I could sum it up as "Kirk-Spock code," if you're familiar with the scene from The Wrath of Khan, when Kirk uses "days" to actually mean "hours."

    It was weighed against the idea of locking the thread, but then no one would be able to post their thoughts on the idea until it officially started. For now, just limit any posting to the "focus group" aspect, and we'll see how things go from there.
  24. king_alvarez Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2007
    star 3
    Atheism is such a broad subject with many topics that can be discussed, but it seems like the same topics keep surfacing fairly regularly. Personally I don't mind discussing some of the same topics multiple times. Sometimes new people enter the discussion with new viewpoints or people have changed some of their viewpoints over time, and the discussion takes a slightly different route than the previous time it occurred. The frustration comes from discussing the same topics over and over again with the same people.

    Now, from the standpoint of someone entering the thread for the first time, there is no way for that person to know that a topic such as evolution or morality has been discussed extensively just a week earlier, and wading through 100+ pages to check is a pretty intimidating task. However, if we had some of the more common topics (such as evolution and morality) separated into individual threads and kept those specifically on those topics, then it wouldn't be that hard for someone to catch up on the discussion that is being had on that particular topic. That would also make it much easier to respond to newbies that are genuinely interested in discussion, ignore some of the seemingly antagonistic posts, and have a thread to direct people to every time the atheism thread gets sidetracked by a commonly discussed topic.
  25. Spike2002 Former FF-UK RSA and Arena Manager

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2002
    star 6
    Sounds good to me, Mr44. I look forward to it :)
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