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Thread: Atheist / Theist Reconciliation Thread

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    Atheist / Theist Reconciliation Thread

    Starting Point: This is NOT a thread about the existence of God, or gods. I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone. In fact, I'm going to try to do my best to stay out of this one, outside of the initial question. Not making any promises, but that's the intent. I'm posting this to learn something. At most I'll ask for clarification, if required.

    Rather, this is a discussion around what it would take to bridge the gap we see here, between atheists and theists. We see a lot of angry posting here, that goes well beyond the academic debate of "real or not real", from both sides. Is there a way to deal with that anger, or is this a manifestation of the overly combative climate we find ourselves in generally?

    Of course I have my own thoughts, but I'm trying to leave this wide open.

    Important note: It is important to acknowledge that not all atheists and theists fall into the "angry" category. Many folks are happy to live and let live, irrespective of what camp they have landed in. If you are not "angry", which we'll define for this thread as going out of your way to disrespect someone for their lack of belief or belief as a starting point, then I am not attempting to say that you are.

    So...if you're "angry" at atheists, what would it take your to not be? And, if you're "angry" at theists, what would it take to not be?
    Life's too short...

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    Re: Atheist / Theist Reconciliation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by OlNate View Post
    Starting Point: This is NOT a thread about the existence of God, or gods. I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone. In fact, I'm going to try to do my best to stay out of this one, outside of the initial question. Not making any promises, but that's the intent. I'm posting this to learn something. At most I'll ask for clarification, if required.

    Rather, this is a discussion around what it would take to bridge the gap we see here, between atheists and theists. We see a lot of angry posting here, that goes well beyond the academic debate of "real or not real", from both sides. Is there a way to deal with that anger, or is this a manifestation of the overly combative climate we find ourselves in generally?

    Of course I have my own thoughts, but I'm trying to leave this wide open.

    Important note: It is important to acknowledge that not all atheists and theists fall into the "angry" category. Many folks are happy to live and let live, irrespective of what camp they have landed in. If you are not "angry", which we'll define for this thread as going out of your way to disrespect someone for their lack of belief or belief as a starting point, then I am not attempting to say that you are.

    So...if you're "angry" at atheists, what would it take your to not be? And, if you're "angry" at theists, what would it take to not be?


    It's difficult to have a discussion when we don't have definition of subject matter, or exclude what else should be in the range of subject.

    Many people are not atheist but rather agnostic and may not know it but for giving some further, critical thought to the matter. Agnostics are more about science and recognize that the supernatural being cannot be proven but cannot be disproven either. Therefore, however slim the possibility, the existence of a supernatural being is "possible". An atheist believes there is no such thing and can't be any such thing. That it's an impossibility. Pretty much black and white. Einstein, for instance, was agnostic. Though he might just have said he's not an agnostic, he's a scientist.

    Anyway, to your point, it bothers me when people do not practice what they expect of others, whether they be theist, atheist, agnostic, naturalist or what. It can make me angry when any group attempts to force, legally binding, their belief upon others that must be followed. I will add that it is much easier to practice atheism/agnosticism/naturalism or even deism than to practice some form of religion and say you practice what you preach. Much easier.

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    Re: Atheist / Theist Reconciliation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by OlNate View Post
    Starting Point: This is NOT a thread about the existence of God, or gods. I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone. In fact, I'm going to try to do my best to stay out of this one, outside of the initial question. Not making any promises, but that's the intent. I'm posting this to learn something. At most I'll ask for clarification, if required.

    Rather, this is a discussion around what it would take to bridge the gap we see here, between atheists and theists. We see a lot of angry posting here, that goes well beyond the academic debate of "real or not real", from both sides. Is there a way to deal with that anger, or is this a manifestation of the overly combative climate we find ourselves in generally?

    Of course I have my own thoughts, but I'm trying to leave this wide open.

    Important note: It is important to acknowledge that not all atheists and theists fall into the "angry" category. Many folks are happy to live and let live, irrespective of what camp they have landed in. If you are not "angry", which we'll define for this thread as going out of your way to disrespect someone for their lack of belief or belief as a starting point, then I am not attempting to say that you are.

    So...if you're "angry" at atheists, what would it take your to not be? And, if you're "angry" at theists, what would it take to not be?
    Interesting thread.

    Important distinction here. Are you asking about how people act and react to topics and comments here at DP, or are you asking more about "real life" interactions?

    I do wonder, am I perceived as an "angry atheist" here at DP? I'd guess yes would be the answer.

    I can tell you for sure I'm not an "angry atheist" in the real world.
    I doubt anyone outside of my spouse and children have the slightest clue that I'm an atheist.

    And again, I have Jehovah's Witnesses for in-laws.

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    Re: Atheist / Theist Reconciliation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesmoke View Post
    It's difficult to have a discussion when we don't have definition of subject matter, or exclude what else should be in the range of subject.

    Many people are not atheist but rather agnostic and may not know it but for giving some further, critical thought to the matter. Agnostics are more about science and recognize that the supernatural being cannot be proven but cannot be disproven either. Therefore, however slim the possibility, the existence of a supernatural being is "possible". An atheist believes there is no such thing and can't be any such thing. That it's an impossibility. Pretty much black and white. Einstein, for instance, was agnostic. Though he might just have said he's not an agnostic, he's a scientist.

    Anyway, to your point, it bothers me when people do not practice what they expect of others, whether they be theist, atheist, agnostic, naturalist or what. It can make me angry when any group attempts to force, legally binding, their belief upon others that must be followed. I will add that it is much easier to practice atheism/agnosticism/naturalism or even deism than to practice some form of religion and say you practice what you preach. Much easier.
    RE: the bolded - what do you need to make it clear? Legit asking, if I f-ed up the OP, let me know how.
    Life's too short...

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    Re: Atheist / Theist Reconciliation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesmoke View Post
    An atheist believes there is no such thing and can't be any such thing.
    That's not true at all.

    Atheism is simply that there's not sufficient evidence to prove a god/gods exists.
    There's no "positive" statement that god/gods don't exist, or can't exist, or never could have existed.

    Not for the vast majority of atheists anyway.

    Most are smart enough to know they can't make a positive statement about something that can't be proved.

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    Re: Atheist / Theist Reconciliation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by OlNate View Post
    Starting Point: This is NOT a thread about the existence of God, or gods. I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone. In fact, I'm going to try to do my best to stay out of this one, outside of the initial question. Not making any promises, but that's the intent. I'm posting this to learn something. At most I'll ask for clarification, if required.

    Rather, this is a discussion around what it would take to bridge the gap we see here, between atheists and theists. We see a lot of angry posting here, that goes well beyond the academic debate of "real or not real", from both sides. Is there a way to deal with that anger, or is this a manifestation of the overly combative climate we find ourselves in generally?

    Of course I have my own thoughts, but I'm trying to leave this wide open.

    Important note: It is important to acknowledge that not all atheists and theists fall into the "angry" category. Many folks are happy to live and let live, irrespective of what camp they have landed in. If you are not "angry", which we'll define for this thread as going out of your way to disrespect someone for their lack of belief or belief as a starting point, then I am not attempting to say that you are.

    So...if you're "angry" at atheists, what would it take your to not be? And, if you're "angry" at theists, what would it take to not be?
    For a start theists could finally accept that they do not in fact have evidence or even a good reason for the existence of a god, it is purely faith based.

    Then you could drop the "angry" crap. That is nothing more than theists whinging that they are once again being persecuted for being told their arguments are pure ****. And that sentence is a deliberate example of how a theist will through some ridiculous moral belief system turn words such as crap and **** into proclamations of anger. Where as in fact they are nothing more than another atheist refusing to play the foolish morality of a theist.

    And finally and more importantly than amusing myself with pointing out how silly the arguments of theists are, there is the dealing with the already mentioned ridiculous morality of a theist who insists that their moral judgments are sound because they come from a badly written book of fiction.

    The list really can go on much further but it is really a case of listening to each individual theist and pointing out why they are wrong rather than just accepting their nonsense.

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    Re: Atheist / Theist Reconciliation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    Interesting thread.

    Important distinction here. Are you asking about how people act and react to topics and comments here at DP, or are you asking more about "real life" interactions?

    I do wonder, am I perceived as an "angry atheist" here at DP? I'd guess yes would be the answer.

    I can tell you for sure I'm not an "angry atheist" in the real world.
    I doubt anyone outside of my spouse and children have the slightest clue that I'm an atheist.

    And again, I have Jehovah's Witnesses for in-laws.
    First, I'm not trying to define anyone with this... It's not about who's what, there's lots of callouts in other threads, and they generally turn to **** as a result.

    As for the distinction, I'd accept either, but I suppose I'm most interested in what goes on here - or online, anonymously, if that works. What would it take to say "I believe because" or "I don't believe because", without adding "and because you're the opposite, you're a dummy" - either literally, or with the chosen tone of responses, and the cavalier disrespect shown for differing opinions.

    I'm going heavy with the disclaimers in this thread, so I'll add that I'm not centering out theists over atheists, or vice versa. I've seen it from both sides, and both sides have gotten mad at me for calling it out.
    Life's too short...

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    Re: Atheist / Theist Reconciliation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by soylentgreen View Post
    For a start theists could finally accept that they do not in fact have evidence or even a good reason for the existence of a god, it is purely faith based.

    Then you could drop the "angry" crap. That is nothing more than theists whinging that they are once again being persecuted for being told their arguments are pure ****. And that sentence is a deliberate example of how a theist will through some ridiculous moral belief system turn words such as crap and **** into proclamations of anger. Where as in fact they are nothing more than another atheist refusing to play the foolish morality of a theist.

    And finally and more importantly than amusing myself with pointing out how silly the arguments of theists are, there is the dealing with the already mentioned ridiculous morality of a theist who insists that their moral judgments are sound because they come from a badly written book of fiction.

    The list really can go on much further but it is really a case of listening to each individual theist and pointing out why they are wrong rather than just accepting their nonsense.
    Ok, cool...I hear all that. (not brushing over what you said, thank you for contributing, but I promised in the OP not to argue, only ask questions)

    Do you see anything YOU could do to bring about these changes you'd like to see in the conversation? Do you see anything YOU could do, to help theists see that, despite appearances, and quotable tones (which could absolutely be demonstrated on both sides, which I note so you don't think I'm centering out atheists), you aren't actually disrespecting their way of life? Do you see anything in your own approach that might cause confusion in this regard?
    Life's too short...

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    Re: Atheist / Theist Reconciliation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by soylentgreen View Post
    For a start theists could finally accept that they do not in fact have evidence or even a good reason for the existence of a god, it is purely faith based.

    Then you could drop the "angry" crap. That is nothing more than theists whinging that they are once again being persecuted for being told their arguments are pure ****. And that sentence is a deliberate example of how a theist will through some ridiculous moral belief system turn words such as crap and **** into proclamations of anger. Where as in fact they are nothing more than another atheist refusing to play the foolish morality of a theist.

    And finally and more importantly than amusing myself with pointing out how silly the arguments of theists are, there is the dealing with the already mentioned ridiculous morality of a theist who insists that their moral judgments are sound because they come from a badly written book of fiction.

    The list really can go on much further but it is really a case of listening to each individual theist and pointing out why they are wrong rather than just accepting their nonsense.
    Will add one more thing, just for clarification's sake. I was careful with the word angry, which I took time to give a definition for in the OP, and I applied it evenly to both sides. This isn't the typical rant against "angry atheists".

    Just wanted to clarify where I'm coming from.
    Life's too short...

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    Re: Atheist / Theist Reconciliation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by OlNate View Post
    Starting Point: This is NOT a thread about the existence of God, or gods. I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone. In fact, I'm going to try to do my best to stay out of this one, outside of the initial question. Not making any promises, but that's the intent. I'm posting this to learn something. At most I'll ask for clarification, if required.

    Rather, this is a discussion around what it would take to bridge the gap we see here, between atheists and theists. We see a lot of angry posting here, that goes well beyond the academic debate of "real or not real", from both sides. Is there a way to deal with that anger, or is this a manifestation of the overly combative climate we find ourselves in generally?

    Of course I have my own thoughts, but I'm trying to leave this wide open.

    Important note: It is important to acknowledge that not all atheists and theists fall into the "angry" category. Many folks are happy to live and let live, irrespective of what camp they have landed in. If you are not "angry", which we'll define for this thread as going out of your way to disrespect someone for their lack of belief or belief as a starting point, then I am not attempting to say that you are.

    So...if you're "angry" at atheists, what would it take your to not be? And, if you're "angry" at theists, what would it take to not be?
    I consider myself a "happy" atheist, and I feel just as comfortable among the deeply religious as I do among the deeply irreligious. If anything, I generally find myself standing against ideological anti-theistic atheists who openly desire to seek the annihilation of religion in public life far more often than religious theocrats trying to impose their religious views on others, if only because the 1980s are dead and gone and there isn't as much Bible-thumping anymore.

    My main thought when it comes to religion is to simply leave people alone and let them live their lives as they see fit.
    Itís in the small things that the rot starts. Do the wrong thing once, itís easier to do it again. Do the individualistic thing once, it is easy to do it again.

    Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus

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