Twilight of the godless: The death of atheism?

Discussion in 'Religions & Cults' started by Mighty_Emperor, Nov 13, 2004.

  1. Shadowsot

    Shadowsot Phantom

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    I have to admit, I've never really understood this line of thinking.
    Theists started using the term first to describe nonbelievers, eventually the label was adopted as a response.
    I agree in a sense it doesn't provide much useful information. It tells you nothing of my personal beliefs, my politics, and very little of my personal philosophy of life.
    However in a country like the US, at least the part I'm in, not believing is a big thing.
    It's a distinction that can have a major effect in your life.
    From social and business isolation, to loss of access to parts of society, to being part of a subgroup readily mocked by parts of our supposedly representative government.
    Having a joint label that will help identify other people of similar mindset, or tribe, is a good thing.
     
  2. ramonmercado

    ramonmercado CyberPunk

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  3. escargot1

    escargot1 Justified and Ancient

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    Here in the UK religion is a private matter and one can perfectly respectably live a non-religious life, which it seems most do. It doesn't generally trouble us unless we have a strong religious background to rebel against.
     
  4. Shadowsot

    Shadowsot Phantom

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    Which is why I tend to think that's why while you all have Atheist speakers it seems they are more popular here.
    Though part of it is also that we tend to have a sort of celebrity culture in general.
     
  5. Coastaljames

    Coastaljames Justified and Ancient

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    Nah. Not for me.
     
  6. escargot1

    escargot1 Justified and Ancient

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    Yes, I can understand that. We Brits might not grasp how free we are in our mainly secular daily lives.
     
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  7. Shadowsot

    Shadowsot Phantom

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    Cool. Most people do.
     
  8. graylien

    graylien Justified and Ancient

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    I don't think agnostic theism is being unsure whether God exists. I think it's more that - as limited beings - it's impossible for us to have absolute knowledge about a being unlimited by matter, time or space.

    Religions don't define themselves by the simple assertion of the existence of God. They define themselves by claiming privileged knowledge of God's nature and moral philosophy.
     
  9. Ermintrude

    Ermintrude Existential pixelfixer

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    The majority also claim absolute exclusive rights to the primacy of their particular brand of gnostic insight.

    I've often wondered: if one considers the high percentage commonality of canon shared between Protestant Christianity, and classic Catholicism, yet they mutually consider each-other as being nearly-heritical. So goodness knows how any kind of reconcilliation could ever be achieved at a fundamental level between apositional fundamentalists....
     
  10. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    When did it become widely acceptable to treat 'gnostic' / 'agnostic' as a formal duality partitioning (in the strict sense of logic / set theory ... ) the set of possible positions?

    Treating them as such (cf. the graphic posted in post #162) makes for a neat 2X2 matrix, but it butchers these terms' longstanding usages and connotations.

    Some cursory 'Net rummaging seems to indicate this oversimplified and misleading pseudo-duality has been proliferating since circa 2009.
     
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  11. Coastaljames

    Coastaljames Justified and Ancient

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    The majority, or the minority come to that, can do as they please. Means not a thing to me.
     
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  12. Shadowsot

    Shadowsot Phantom

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    I've been trying to collect opinions from around the States and from places like the UK and Australia. It seems like many speakers and writers come from fairly lightly religious areas, while their popularity is usually in very highly religious areas.
    Not strictly, I can think of several counter examples. But it seems a general trend.
     
  13. Coastaljames

    Coastaljames Justified and Ancient

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    I'd definitely argue that, unlike in the U.S., the U.K. doesn't have areas one could call highly, or lightly, religious.
     
  14. JamesWhitehead

    JamesWhitehead Piffle Prospector

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    The grip of Methodism on Wales may be weakening but I doubt if it has been so diluted that a thirst for Dry Sundays and the wish to chain up the swings in the parks has disappeared entirely! :p

    The power to do so may have waned but I remember the reality! More the lost swigs than the swings.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017 at 9:10 PM
  15. Ermintrude

    Ermintrude Existential pixelfixer

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    Precisely the same case holds true for much of the Free Church, in the Scottish isles.
     
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  16. PeteByrdie

    PeteByrdie Privateer in the service of Princess Frideswide

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    Perhaps if you word it that way, it does. The problem is, people say, 'I don't believe in such and such,' when what they mean is they believe something doesn't exist. When most people say, 'I don't believe in ghosts,' they don't mean they neither believe nor disbelieve, they usually mean that their world view simply doesn't include ghosts, and they find it odd that some people are so deluded as to take the subject seriously.

    If that's what you mean. On the other hand, if you mean that when someone says, 'God doesn't exist,' or, 'I believe God doesn't exist,' that they're somehow proving he exists by discussing him at all, then you're wrong.
     
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  17. PeteByrdie

    PeteByrdie Privateer in the service of Princess Frideswide

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    Also, it's just a picture someone drew. I can't say I recognise it as representing many of the people I've known.
     
  18. rynner2

    rynner2 Justified and Ancient

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    Exactly.
     
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  19. Coastaljames

    Coastaljames Justified and Ancient

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    Who is God if he doesn't exist?
     
  20. PeteByrdie

    PeteByrdie Privateer in the service of Princess Frideswide

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    Who Sherlock Holmes if he doesn't exist?
     

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