Reeling from Christian friend's bigotry
July 11, 2015 at 9:01 pm #388
My point number 1 is that if you nurture yourself, you thrive, because evolution, our nature, predisposes us that way. (The raw form of the idea, since it can be selfish.)
My point number 2 is that if you nurture other people, they thrive too. (the moral form of the idea, which is unselfish.)
Together with the concept of truth, awareness of reality, they consitute the basis of an atheist mysticism. Simple, but very profound. I call it mystical because it’s the traditional domain of mysticism, and also because nobody seems to get it.July 12, 2015 at 2:24 am #411
I call it mystical because it’s the traditional domain of mysticism, and also because nobody seems to get it.
We get it. What we don’t get is why you persist in using the word “mystical” for it. Even if I were to grant your premise that the mystics got there first, it has nothing to do with the essence of mysticism.July 12, 2015 at 3:06 am #421
What you’re ultimately talking about is half folk-wisdom, half-common sense and half-motivational-uplifting-snippets-of-warm-gooeyness. There is nothing necesarily wrong with that if you take them as tentative ideas and then thoroughly explore them. Some of what you say/claim can and has been backed up by empirical research…and some has not or cannot. A notable number of atheists are rationalists/humanists and are very weary of entertaining these feel-good-self-help-like-quotes.
I’ll repeat this again (as many of us have numerous times). An Atheist rejects the arguments made that God exists (or lacks a belief in God). That is all. Do you not agree Simon?
It is futile to slap any other adjective or ideology next to it. There is no atheist-morality. There is no atheist-creed. There is no atheist-diet, there is no atheist-ice-cream-preference and there is no atheist-architecture. There is no atheist-cannon, no atheist-style and no atheist-lucky-number. There is no atheist-joie-de-vivre and there most certainly absolutely seriously like-I-really-mean-it totally not any atheist-spirituality or atheist-mysticism.
July 12, 2015 at 8:18 am #462
- This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by Davis.
@steveinco: “… why you persist in using the word “mystical” for it.” – because if you read religious writings, this is what they’re talking about when they say “God’s love” or “Divine mercy” or “streams of living water” etc. Also, this is what they have faith in. So it’s a very important idea. So far, poorly understood.
“the essence of mysticism.” – what do you think is the essence of mysticism?
@davis – it’s more solid than feel-good gooeyness. It’s a function of evolution, and evolution is one of atheism’s favourite things.
“There is no atheist-morality.” – haven’t we just spent 6 months arguing that there is? That atheists are just as moral as religious people? On the other hand, nobody’s come up with much in the way of formality, and if they have, it’s remarkably absent from the public scene.July 12, 2015 at 12:47 pm #471
@simon Payton. No we have not spent six months arguing that there is Atheist morality. We argued that atheists have morality because it’s a human evolutionary trait, not an Atheist trait. Morality is an evolutionary product. Diverse religions attribute their morality to their religious texts in error. Many of them twist their own texts to declare a morality that is falsely based on their own prejudices. An atheist doesn’t have “books of regulatory madness” to twist so if they have twisted morality, they at least have to own it.
It’s sad that six months of debate over morality appears to have left you with the impression that the argument was an effort to declare a morality attributable purely to atheism.
I’m lost on why you think morality has any mysticism attached to it.
July 12, 2015 at 4:30 pm #500
- This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by Strega.
Well, the evolutionary basis of mysticism is the same as the evolutionary basis for compassion. Compassion is part of morality. Obviously morality is morality but there’s morality with or without God, which happen to be the same at heart.July 12, 2015 at 4:38 pm #501
Now that statement makes a bit more sense to me. As written, it’s an assertion that two things came about in similar manner.
But that doesn’t mean they are necessarily integrally connected with each other.July 12, 2015 at 4:41 pm #502
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about: from “First things first with Christine Caine“. Use your imagination to take in some new ideas, see how the two viewpoints match up, the evolutionary and the Christian.
“Can you believe that none of your past circumstances have ever changed God’s perception of your priceless value?
No matter how covered you may think you are with layers of the world’s dirt, grime and pain, God has always had a plan to restore you to your original and priceless value.”July 12, 2015 at 4:47 pm #503
haven’t we just spent 6 months arguing that there is
No we haven’t argued that there is a particular concrete atheist-morality. We’ve agreed that (various) moral systems devised/used by (various) atheists can be just as meaningful or praisworthy as (various) religious based moral systems. We did not…in any way…establish that there is a definable atheist morality. There are various moralities practised by a variety of atheists…or crudely you can say that there are atheists who are moral (and many who are not moral, judged by just about any standard)…but claiming that there is a particular atheist morality is silly…just as silly as claiming there is an atheist-national-athem.July 12, 2015 at 4:51 pm #506July 12, 2015 at 4:54 pm #508
Well, the evolutionary basis of mysticism is the same as the evolutionary basis for compassion.
What is the evolutionary base for mysticism?July 12, 2015 at 5:04 pm #509
I know one major group here that really, really REALLY REALLY loves “Imagine,” a song which I’ve become sick of through repetition in their podcasts.
Always look on the bright side is much more entertaining, a lot less cloying, and I’ve seen it sung at counter-counter-protests. I believe an impromptu chorus treated Westboro Baptist to it at the Reason Rally. (I didn’t see Westboro Baptist there, they were kept away from the other Xians because even most Xians loathe them.) Also it got sung at a Muslim protest at an Australian atheist conference.
Unfortunately, I don’t recall its lyrics being overtly atheist; it just came from a movie that was…well, actually even Life of Brian makes a nod to the Xian nativity fable at the beginning, as the wise men realize their mistake and run off to the correct address, illuminated by divine light.
I wonder if the targets of these serenades ever wonder just what the fuck it is we are singing at them and why. Unless they actually exposed themselves to that film (which they’ve probably been warned away from), the relevance must be lost on them.July 12, 2015 at 5:08 pm #510
I took “the evolutionary base for mysticism” to be a reference to recent work highlighted by J Anderson Thompson, where for various evolutionary reasons, we are predisposed to make some cognitive errors, such as seeing agency in events when it isn’t there. (The idea being that if you are wandering around in the tall grass, and you see a clump of it moving, you’re safer assuming it’s a leopard and taking precautions, than you are assuming it’s just a zephyr blowing the grass around.)
Perhaps Simon meant something completely different, and if so I apologize for the misunderstanding on my part.
July 12, 2015 at 5:21 pm #516
- This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by SteveInCO.
Obviously morality is morality but there’s morality with or without God, which happen to be the same at heart.
Are we talking about the God who directed his followers to murder every man, woman, and child in every city he directed them to conquer by war? Not just once, but on numerous occasions?
That is not my kind of morality.July 12, 2015 at 5:43 pm #519
Oh crap!!!!! I find myself agreeing with a theist!! (Drbob)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.