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#51 Posted by Zolkowski (52 posts) -

@Mageman

I just went on the assumption there was some kind of vote on it. Though I've had some pretty strange topics on my Modern Problems class before.

#52 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1724 posts) -

A reasonable, well thought-out and well-expressed post by an atheist that is open to another's point of view? On the internet? 
Kind sir, I don't think you've read the rules! 
 
Followed..

#53 Posted by Zolkowski (52 posts) -

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

A reasonable, well thought-out and well-expressed post by an atheist that is open to another's point of view? On the internet?
Kind sir, I don't think you've read the rules!

Followed..

I'd be honored! Thank you Veggie Side. I wasn't sent a memo on proper internet etiquette, fortunately.

#54 Posted by sanchopanza (247 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

Same goes with my thoughts on religion. I used to be a staunch atheist, but nowadays I don't label myself with anything. It's too deep a mystery for us to ponder right now, and the thoughts and arguments on both sides went in circles. It of course helped that I had a close friend who had a pretty dramatic conversion into religion, but our discussions remained fair, level-headed and interesting. He had his reasons and they made sense, even if they didn't work for me, I now keep a very open mind when it comes to these matters. Now I'm as bothered with the zealotry that the hardcore atheists display than I was with hardcore theists. I think that specific debate is kinda silly.

Finally someone said it. I really have to laugh when atheists mention the word 'evidence' in relation to their views, someone on this topic did it. Even a guy like Dawkins will say 'I don't know' at the end of the day, you can bullshit about probability all you wan't but the best we can say on this is we will know (or not) when we are dead.

I think atheism has become a kind of religion, but worse in my view because of the smug superiority that some people adopt as a result.

@Zolkowski: Good blog sir, I look forward to more.

#55 Posted by Pezen (1561 posts) -

They made a poll regarding the possibility of global warming, they asked both scientists and common folk. What they envisioned was that scientists would be closer together as global warming in essence is a scientific problem with calculated variables. However, what they found was that the scientists had a larger gap between each side than the common folk had. The reason was they found was that when you have an opinion and you have the know-how about things, you can use the facts you get to fit your point of view, rather than change your point of view in regards to the facts. In essence, it seems our bias always come first, even in the most knowledgable of us. And for many, it's not even a conscious decision.

Personally, I try to keep myself neutral and open to new ideas. Because if you don't take other people's opinions into account, you're not really exchanging ideas, and that should be the basis for the reason of discussion. Everything should be debatable. However, but I'm also aware that when I am "right" I tend to become impossible to talk to as I'll argue things to death. My dad even bought me a coffee mug that read "It's hard to be humble, when you're always right." -- Which fit how I sometimes behave rather well as I tend to sometimes move from "exchanging of ideas" to "I'll convince you I'm right". It's something I'm continually working to getter better at not doing as it's not constructive.

Still, there are some subjects which I still wholeheartedly dismiss as nonsense. Religion is one subject where the discussion is flat out broken because two sides are arguing from two different places of knowledge. I used to like discuss religious themes and ideas until I met a guy at my job that were truly "born again", when he talked about religion he had an intensity about him that came from his utter devotion to what he felt. (I don't have religion and I don't even care to call myself atheist because why would I define myself by a lack of something I consider nonsense?) He is a nice guy though and we had some interesting debates in regards to religion and science. But it always came down to a few points that made me realize it was pointless;

- A religious person will not take a scientific argument against the "word of god".

- A person that doesn't believe in god will not take arguments from the bible above the "word of science".

We had a few of these and at some point we silently "agreed to disagree" because nothing more could come of it. The only thing I came away with was that I don't respect religion, and discussion regarding religion is a stalemate from the get go. How can I take someone seriously that says Unicorns are fairytales but an omnipotent God and Jesus exists? And how could he take me seriously when all I had was "human perception of reality"?

At the end of the day, my main goal is to learn more and stay curious. The world is filled with information and new ideas ready to be discovered. And hopefully I'll have the energy not to stagnate and become that which I don't like.

#56 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Mageman said:

@MikeGosot said:

@Zolkowski said:

@MikeGosot:

Thank you so very much for your kind words and the follow! One of the worst things I find is when two sides are arguing for something they really don't understand themselves and especially don't understand what you believe. The fact of the matter, if this is the case, is both parties need to realize there is nothing productive to come of it until more effort is put on both sides to understand their own views as well as each other's.

I had a philosophy teacher who wanted to teach the basics of a discussion. He divided the class in two groups. Ben 10 and Naruto. And we needed to discuss which one was the best. He gave a week for us to research BOTH animations, saying: "Before EVERY debate, you need to know both sides of the coin. You may even switch sides. Of course, you don't know the next time you will be discussing something, so always study. Culture, Intelligence, and the way you use and express both are your weapons not only to debates and discussions, but to life as a whole." Sorry if my english is bad, i'm kinda falling asleep here...

You can't be serious....

Well, we were 15 at the time, so many people were saying "WAT! THIS IS FOR KIDZ!" even tough everybody knew these shows pretty well. But the teacher chose that on purpose. He wanted a dumb topic that everybody knew more or less. Also, he was a weird teacher. One of his tests was: "Show 10 REAL reasons to vote for a comediant".
#57 Posted by Zolkowski (52 posts) -

@sanchopanza said:

I think atheism has become a kind of religion, but worse in my view because of the smug superiority that some people adopt as a result.

@Zolkowski: Good blog sir, I look forward to more.

I'd like to agree that atheism has become a blind following for some, but I think the worst that has come of it is people denouncing other's religion without fully understanding their own reasoning or logic as to why they are atheist. The majority of these people have probably had a bad experience and are emotionally detached from religion as opposed to logically. Which is equally as potent as a fundamentalist in any belief as there is a lack of reasoning. Potent in the sense of verbal attacks.

Thanks for your sentiments, I also look forward to hearing from you guys more with other blog posts.

#58 Edited by fetchfox (1221 posts) -

It makes me happy to see that there are other atheists on GB that are open minded, willing to accept that their own idea about something might be wrong. I grew up in a "bible belt" city and was introduced to christianity at a very young age, though I never ended up believing in any form of religion, only doubting. It's only recently that I can say I'm more of an atheist than an agnostic. I think that one of the reasons that made me so accepting of anyone beliefs is that one of my best friends when I was twelve (and still a good friend) was muslim. It introduced me to an entirely different kind of Abrahamic religion that, in the end, showed me now mans faith or culture is "the one", and that one should be open to others opinions.

In july I read "God Is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens, and while not changing my view on religion, it certainly added to my knowledge of religious traditions and influences. I believe one can gain knowledge from any belief and culture, as long as one avoids being completely consumed by it. Or said in a better way: "Let my house not be walled on four sides. Let the windows be open. Let all the cultures blow in. But let no culture blow me off my feet" – Mahatma Gandhi

P.S. followed.

#59 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@pixieface said:

I like this.

The problem I have with a lot of atheists, mainly the younger ones, is that since atheism is considered an intellectual belief, it sometimes makes an individual feel that since they are part of this smart group it means that they themselves are now smart, and they subsequently have some kind of intellectual authority over everyone who is not part of the intellectual club. I've seen bullheadedness, unnecessary venom, and ignorance on both sides, even when both claim to be humble and learned. This is speaking as an agnostic.

I try to live by Socrates' words, "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Humility, to me, is the foundation to becoming a healthy human being. Pride is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason, after all. It leads to arrogance, ignorance, zealotry, and probably the dark side. I am happy to learn as much as I can about this really stupid and really neat world, bask in dull and rusty glint of my ignorance, and then blip out of existence when my time is up.

Maybe.

The history of the human society has proven that unless you are proud, and consequently ignorant, clinging to what you know and what you believe, you are a loser. 
I am one of the very few people of my closed minded back-fire-like-a-motherfucker Arab-Israeli community, and for that I really am a weak individual amongst these proud tall-walking individuals. 
 
Yes, in theory, you and I are the better people for being understanding like this. We evolve, our conversations are always based on the fact that we're discussing to learn, not to win. But in practice, in our everyday lives, the people who are doing the most with their lives, fucking like animals, building skyscrapers, popular on facebook, losing weight, getting over misfortunes, are those who have that ignorance-soaked pride. 
 
And the reason is because.. you know how a very popular advice 'stable' people use to help 'shaky' ones is "Just be yourself, enjoy your moment, HATEZ GAWN HATE" ? That advice, which is usually a success, stems from the whole "I don't have time to be understanding, Im gonna cling to this collection of beliefs, thoughts and habits I have, and take pride in them. That is how I become stronger"
#60 Posted by OtakuGamer (1224 posts) -

This is a good, well informed post and I agree with you.

#61 Posted by Vodun (2370 posts) -

@Zolkowski: Yes of course, you can't just accept the thought du jour, then you'd get nowhere. You have to think critically but at the same time always be open for those ideas which are foreign to you.

#62 Posted by Zolkowski (52 posts) -

@fetchfox said:

Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens, and while not changing my view on religion, it certainly added to my knowledge of religious traditions and influences. I believe one can gain knowledge from any belief and culture, as long as one avoids being completely consumed by it. Or said in a better way: "Let my house not be walled on four sides. Let the windows be open. Let all the cultures blow in. But let no culture blow me off my feet" – Mahatma Gandhi

P.S. followed.

Those are very good quotes somewhere along my line of thinking right now. Having an identity makes a diverse and rich world. It's when people get absolutely blinded by who they think they suppose to be are is when it becomes a problem.

@AhmadMetallic said:

The history of the human society has proven that unless you are proud, and consequently ignorant, clinging to what you know and what you believe, you are a loser. I am one of the very few people of my closed minded back-fire-like-a-motherfucker Arab-Israeli community, and for that I really am a weak individual amongst these proud tall-walking individuals. Yes, in theory, you and I are the better people for being understanding like this. We evolve, our conversations are always based on the fact that we're discussing to learn, not to win. But in practice, in our everyday lives, the people who are doing the most with their lives, fucking like animals, building skyscrapers, popular on facebook, losing weight, getting over misfortunes, are those who have that ignorance-soaked pride. And the reason is because.. you know how a very popular advice 'stable' people use to help 'shaky' ones is "Just be yourself, enjoy your moment, HATEZ GAWN HATE" ? That advice, which is usually a success, stems from the whole "I don't have time to be understanding, Im gonna cling to this collection of beliefs, thoughts and habits I have, and take pride in them. That is how I become stronger"

That first sentence screams of truth. While maybe not losers, as you can blame human nature to be content with where it's current sphere of knowledge is. Too much pride in what we know and who we are is probably one of the worst things. It's the reason when you say anything that might be counter to their point of view, no matter how relevant or right it might be, you might just get an answer like "Fuck you." Or a fist to the face because you don't dare mention anything related to their background or culture even if it's a critical thought.