I am an Atheist.

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Davis 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #33439

    Andrew Brown
    Participant

    I am an Atheist.

    I do not accept the many definitions and/or claims regarding divinity and/or supernatural phenomenon.

    The easy part is done.

    The most difficult, most exhausting, most confusing search for truth begins.

    Now that I realized “argument from authority” is a major fallacy, it is up to me to discover everything.

    What have you discovered?

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by  Andrew Brown.
    #33441

    jakelafort
    Participant

    It is more what i realize than discover. We have not even gained access to the cave. No shadows. only a bit of the onion to unpeel but without much hope of getting to the center. So unless AI super intelligence can do it we humans are highly unlikely to answer any fundamental questions. It is clear that positing our importance in the universe is just silly.

    #33443

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    The easy part is done.

    I’ve confirmed, as I only suspected before, that coming out as atheist is not always easy and not easy at all for some people. It activates the “shaming module” in a lot of believers, against non-believers.

    I’ve learned that the faith-inducing blinders imposed by culture causes a lot of people to even be afraid of considering atheism. One person I came out to looked stymied, finally only able to reply… “So what is an theist, really?”, as if there surely must be at least some residual faith in everyone.

    Actually, to be literally accurate, I’m only agnostic, or as (I think) Unseen says, an agnostic atheist, but using that phrase to explain myself would make some of theist’s eyes glaze over. Here at AZ I’ll fly an atheist banner because too many citizens of the world, especially in USA and under other theocratically-bent governments, need to learn that agnosticism and atheism are real, and are viable options.

    I’m also disliking the emotional phrases permanently fixed in my language, like “oh my God”, “Jesus”, or even “bless you”… and others.

    #33445

    Andrew Brown
    Participant

    I see your point about the declaration being difficult and everyone is free to choose their family and public persona.

    I’m referring to the intellectual step. It’s easy to declare someone else wrong! But now I should justify my position, at least to myself…likely in my personal journal.

    #33446

    Davis
    Participant

    We apply rational principles to almost every aspect of our lives. If someone claims you did something wrong you demand evidence. If someone claims a person pulled off an incredible accomplishment you ask for the evidence. And we use technology all the time which is the result of a fierce application of these rational/scientific principles (medicine, GPS, devices, weather forecasts etc). However some people make exceptions for the application of rational principles or trusting this process and they do it in two cases:

    ideology or ideological doubt: trickle down economics proponents, COVID conspiracists, climate change and vaccine denial, tough on crime advocates, gun rights advocates etc.

    religion and myths: appeal to authority, faith as justification, explainable mystery, tradition, belief in numbers

    The first case is easier to deal with. Trying to show that the person shows zero resistance to science when it comes to life saving medicine, GPS directions on their phone and yet suddenly shows fierce denial and skepticism of this process for the one thing they have a vested interest in denying (climate change especially in resource rich countries) or have magically found celebrities or convincing people have woven the seeds of doubt for this one thing (vaccine idiots). You can ask why they accept everything else and yet believe in an enormous fantastical conspiracy for this. Most will heavily resist this. The only recourse is to appeal to self interest if they won’t budge per reason. What are the consequences of being unreasonable and how can they benefit from changing (their children not dying from simple diseases and their great-grand children not growing up in a world on fire and enjoying a stronger economy from early investment in green technology).

    Religion is a lot more difficult because people magically believe that with metaphysics everything functions differently and authority, tradition and personal deep inside feelings are as important if not more important than rational processes. Probably the best way to go about it is asking them by what means they can determine which is the best practice/beliefs to follow and how it can be demonstrated they are wrong, and to point out the dangers of believing/following something that cannot be reasonably improved or demonstrated wrong. Many won’t budge on the issue and unless they pose an immediate danger to others its best to move on with them. As xkcd hinted at in their “I can’t go to bed yet honey, someone on the internet is wrong” cartoon…you have to move on for those who won’t budge (unless they pose an immediate threat or abuse to others) or unless you deeply passionately care about the topic and have a strategy to bring about change or slow improvement.

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