What would constitute as the real?

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Postby BunniRabbi » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:19 am

As to your first point Globular> Why are you assuming science has the final word? Certainly there are things unknown, an certainly one can question science, but how does that do anything to undermine atheism?

You stated that a materialistic view impoverishes us. Why would you assume that atheism is materialist? The dualist alternative is no less accessible to atheists.

What about death removes the value of living? Most atheists do not believe in an afterlife, but that is not inherent to atheism.

For those of us who do not believe in an afterlife; In many ways, knowing that one will end at death makes life more precious.

The need for sacrifice, kindness and goodness is the same as it always was; The need is derived from the effect those acts have on other people. That those people will die makes no difference. They live now.

Globular, you bring up religion with the implication that it is non-atheist inherently. This is not the case. There are an estimated eight million atheists out there who are religious people. Some of those religious people that you mention, the ones out there doing good, are atheists.

Comparing who has done more damage to the world is complicated, but ultimately pointless. One could as easily argue that those who do more harm are likely to be right as likely to be wrong.

donnyton> When you said "About things like quarks, atheists don't have "faith" in them." I think you overstepped your point. That theists and atheists can both easily believe in quarks aside, you may be attaching a spiritual sentiment to the term 'faith' that is unneeded. It's perfectly correct to say that someone who thinks quarks are real has 'faith' in their reality. To say that someone has faith is not to imply that they are contradicting reason. Faith may be inspired by data or not.

donnyton wrote:Don't forget, all Christians are atheists with respect to Zeus.

Technically no. Atheism is not the disbelief in a specific god. An individual may disbelieve in a specific god, but if they also believe in a different god or gods, they are not an atheist.

donnyton wrote:All Muslims are atheists with respect to Buddha.

Buddha is not a god. He's very specific on that point.

donnyton wrote:No, there's actually quite a few Buddhist groups, especially in China, that worship Buddha as a deity, perhaps more as a Zeus figure than as a Yahweh figure, but as a god nonetheless.

Do some research on actual Buddhist theology first please.

As someone who has spent several years studying Buddhism, I would very much like to know what branch of Buddhism you are referring to. There are Buddhists who also follow another spiritual path in addition and thus may believe in god, and there's nothing technically to stop a Buddhist from saying they believe in god, but I'm not aware of an 'kind' of Buddhism that is theistic.

donnyton wrote:All Hindus are atheists with respect to Anubis.

Just as an aside, some Hindus are atheists with respect to all gods.

Edward wrote:I have a rather poor opinion of philosophy, because while it can be interesting mental exercise, arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin accomplishes absolutely nothing whatsoever.

I'd like to point out that that among the four main branches of philosophy are Logic and Ethics. That makes logic a kind of philosophy, and ethics a kind of philosophy. So saying you don't value philosophy includes saying you don't value logic or ethics.
If they tell you there is no such thing as truth, ask them if that statement is true or false.
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