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What does atheism contribute to society?

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    How about the biggest charity in the world and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation if it has not already been mentioned?
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    (Original post by Bobifier)
    Martin Luther is famous for rebelling against the established church (read "thinking for himself") in an entirely religious context.

    Individual thought is not solely the privilege of atheists.
    sure, but at least atheism seems to encourage it whilst religion seems to keep it on the down low.
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    (Original post by adamrules247)
    Stop making up your own definition of the word "atheist". Stanford correctly defines it as a denial of the existence of God and indeed no one who called himself an atheist 50 years ago would have used your definition.
    You don't even know what your'e saying, or you apparently cannot read...

    CLEARLY the definition of atheist is a belief that God does not exist. What on earth are you talking about? :confused:

    I never once attempted to define atheism in any way... Please try again

    (Original post by adamrules247)
    So you refuse to accept that Lenin ordered the killing of priests because he believed that the notion of God was objectively false and thus damaging. Make up your own history if you like.........
    But did he do it 'in the name of atheism'? No. Clearly not. Atheism doesn't promote any type of violence or non-violence. On the other hand, everything I mentioned was done 'in the name of religion'.
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    (Original post by NYU2012)
    CLEARLY the definition of atheist is a belief that God does not exist. What on earth are you talking about? :confused:

    I never once attempted to define atheism in any way... Please try again
    You seem to have misunderstood what I was talking about. I was merely pointing out in my first contribution that you had sought to clump atheists together and make them a group. As is natural.

    But did he do it 'in the name of atheism'? No. Clearly not. Atheism doesn't promote any type of violence or non-violence. On the other hand, everything I mentioned was done 'in the name of religion'.
    Umm, if you read his letters then quite clearly yes. He thought that these religions were false and thus were poisening the mind. Call it an extreme form of atheism if you will but still an atheism none the less. Now I'll admit it was part of a broader philosophy but it was atheism is snugly part of Marxism.

    As for snide comments about "you don't know what you're saying" I'll assure you I know full well what I am saying thank you.

    (Original post by Agenda Suicide)
    How about the biggest charity in the world and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation if it has not already been mentioned?
    Except of course the largest charitable organisation in the world (in terms of running schools, hospitals, etc.) is the Roman Catholic Church.
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    It's very frustrating that certain religious people argue that atheism is a religion, and then ask questions about it that only make sense if you take their first argument for granted. If you consider atheism to be an absence, not a presence, you can see that this question is clearly nonsensical.
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    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    Except seven billion other humans.
    Getting past your sub-concious guilt (if it even exists) and If you can get away with it, there's nothing. With religion, it's completly different.

    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    I will never understand this insane line of reasoning made by most religious people on this board - why on earth do we need to answer to an invisible bloke in the sky who nobody can conveniently see when true morality evolves from our interactions with one another.
    How does morality evolve from interacting with each other? Morality changes, I agree with that one, like ww2 Germany, the "moral driven" social pressure at that time was to persecute Jews.

    With religion, again, Social pressure becomes meaningless. Everyone's a product of their society, but if it contradicts religious law, then you stick to the law, not how you feel at that time (which could be good or bad).

    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    I choose to not go out and kill, rape or torture people on the basis that I have at least some degree of basic empathy and no situation I can imagine could prompt me to do such a thing.
    We all "choose" to do things, this is a typical Atheist response. You don't know what would happen if you are put in certain situations, in certain circumstances. Something at that time may no longer feel "wrong" or by your standards "immoral", it could be something in the moment, where you may be going through depression or something. You would have nothing to hold you back, unless you were a man of great self created principles (which hardly exist).

    With religion that question will ALWAYS come up, "What would God say", whether you act upon this fail-safe or not is upto you, but it will always be there, whereas for the Atheist it won't, just their self-morality, which could potentially be ever changing, as they have no standards to live up to.

    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    Anyone who would do such a thing will answer to the international community or secular legal systems, as well as societal judgement.
    There's so many "cold cases" out there. And let's be honest here, we can't measure justice, - to say that the Secular legal systems or international community could give "justice" is absurd. Everyone terms justice differently, for some the death penalty is justice, for others, life-term imprisonment is justice etc.

    And then we cannot forget, there is a huge role that emotion plays, in moral based judements.

    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    Also pitiful how many religious people make exceptions for themselves, notably suicide bombers. "Oh yeah, they'll all be judged for murdering Taliban fighters in one part of the world, but I'm cool if I blow up this train right here, and I'll even get virgins to boot."
    This is ignorance.


    “The data show that there is little connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism, or any one of the world’s religions. . . . Rather, what nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland” Professor Robert Pape source


    The leaked report from the UK’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), which predated the attacks, warned:


    “Events in Iraq are continuing to act as motivation and a focus of a range of terrorist related activity in the UK”.



    In April 2005, a report drawn up by the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) entitled “International Terrorism: Impact of Iraq” was even more explicit, stating:


    “We judge that the conflict in Iraq has exacerbated the threat from international terrorism and will continue to have an impact in the long term. It has reinforced the determination of terrorists who were already committed to attacking the West and motivated others who were not.”



    And I never said religious people are an exception, they commit crimes aswell, like Atheist. I am only talking about principles here, about religion in itself and Atheism in itself. Not everyone is religious or follows their religion as they should.
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    (Original post by adamrules247)
    You seem to have misunderstood what I was talking about. I was merely pointing out in my first contribution that you had sought to clump atheists together and make them a group. As is natural.
    Hmmm... All atheists share a common belief that no god exists... Hmm, seems oddly like a grouping based on a shared common belief.

    (Original post by adamrules247)
    Umm, if you read his letters then quite clearly yes. He thought that these religions were false and thus were poisening the mind. Call it an extreme form of atheism if you will but still an atheism none the less. Now I'll admit it was part of a broader philosophy but it was atheism is snugly part of Marxism.
    Yep, good distortion you did there. Atheism is a belief that there is no God. Let's note your use qualifiers: "He thought" - not "atheism teaches"

    On the other hand, religion teaches some very awful things.

    (Original post by adamrules247)
    As for snide comments about "you don't know what you're saying" I'll assure you I know full well what I am saying thank you.
    You clearly don't. You tried to say I was attempting to redefine atheism - I clearly never did such a thing.
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    (Original post by NYU2012)

    Yep, good distortion you did there. Atheism is a belief that there is no God. Let's note your use qualifiers: "He thought" - not "atheism teaches"
    Except of course it does force you to take certain positions. An atheists must, by default, be a naturalist which also makes them a reductionist. Let's also take the worshipped Christopher Hitchens as an example. In his debate with Craig, youtube it if you want, he openly says he's like objective moral values to exist but because of his world view he can't. His atheism clearly forces him to make black or white choices.


    You clearly don't. You tried to say I was attempting to redefine atheism - I clearly never did such a thing.
    With respect you clearly said this "A lack of a belief in God does not promote anything". Link. So you think atheism is a lack of belief in God rather than a denial of the existance of God, which has always been the classical definition. Or do you retract that statement?
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    (Original post by adamrules247)
    Except of course it does force you to take certain positions. An atheists must, by default, be a naturalist which also makes them a reductionist. Let's also take the worshipped Christopher Hitchens as an example. In his debate with Craig, youtube it if you want, he openly says he's like objective moral values to exist but because of his world view he can't. His atheism clearly forces him to make black or white choices.
    You SERIOUSLY need to go back to ethics 101. Being an atheist is NO WAY forces one to accept that objective moral values do not exist. :rolleyes:


    (Original post by adamrules247)
    With respect you clearly said this "A lack of a belief in God does not promote anything". Link. So you think atheism is a lack of belief in God rather than a denial of the existance of God, which has always been the classical definition. Or do you retract that statement?
    I never defined atheism as being a lack of belief in God. I simply said that a lack of a belief in God doesn't promote anything in terms of morality or actions.

    Like I said, I never tried to define atheism.

    A denial of the existence of God is also be a lack of belief in God - in the same sense as all squares are rectangles; one encompasses the other. :rolleyes: Good job
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    (Original post by NYU2012)
    You SERIOUSLY need to go back to ethics 101. Being an atheist is NO WAY forces one to accept that objective moral values do not exist. :rolleyes:
    I never said it did. Indeed Daniel Came, the atheist philosopher, has a belief in objective moral values but is an atheist. I was merely saying that, for Hitchens at least, it did force him to make this choice. Or do you deny that? Please reply to this with a yes or no answer. And if it's a "yes", you do deny it, then please justify it.


    I never defined atheism as being a lack of belief in God. I simply said that a lack of a belief in God doesn't promote anything in terms of morality or actions.
    Then if you are not defining atheism as that then why mention it?


    A denial of the existence of God would also be a lack of belief in God - like all squares are rectangles. :rolleyes: Good job
    Yes but not the other way round. A lack of belief would not necessarily be a atheism. On that we can agree, no?

    I also suggest you quit with the snide comments. They merely hinder any kind of grown up discussion.
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    Sanity.
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    (Original post by adamrules247)
    I never said it did. Indeed Daniel Came, the atheist philosopher, has a belief in objective moral values but is an atheist. I was merely saying that, for Hitchens at least, it did force him to make this choice. Or do you deny that? Please reply to this with a yes or no answer. And if it's a "yes", you do deny it, then please justify it.
    Atheism doesn't force one to accept any moral beliefs whatsoever - so, yes, in fact, it's easily deniable.

    He merely thinks that it does potentially due to his other beliefs.

    (Original post by adamrules247)
    Then if you are not defining atheism as that then why mention it?
    The thread is on atheism and religion, is it not?

    (Original post by adamrules247)
    Yes but not the other way round. A lack of belief would not necessarily be a atheism. On that we can agree, no?
    Quite obviously.

    But, none of what you're saying has any relevance, unless you're attempting to reiterate my points - everything I've said still stands and nothing you've said in any way challenges it.

    A lack of belief in a god does not promote anything; atheism does not force one to accept any particular meta-ethics, and a denial of the existence of god is a lack of belief in god.
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    What a lovely open-minded, unbiased post OP, with no generalisations whatsoever... ohhh wait...
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    Rational thinking, perhaps?
    The encouragement for people to think for themselves?
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    (Original post by NYU2012)
    Atheism doesn't force one to accept any moral beliefs whatsoever - so, yes, in fact, it's easily deniable.

    He merely thinks that it does potentially due to his other beliefs.
    So you don't actually deny the point at all seeing as I was directing the point about Hitchens. You also failed to mention in any way the point about naturalism.

    The thread is on atheism and religion, is it not?
    Yes but why did you mention it with regard to our discussion? Stop trying to wriggle out of justifying it.


    But, none of what you're saying has any relevance, unless you're attempting to reiterate my points - everything I've said still stands and nothing you've said in any way challenges it.

    A lack of belief in a god does not promote anything; atheism does not force one to accept any particular meta-ethics, and a denial of the existence of god is a lack of belief in god.
    We seem to have our wires crossed. We both agree that atheism is the denial of the existence of God, as defined by Stanford, correct? Can that view, as some religious views, drive people to extremes (it may not force them so but I know of few religious beliefs that do). Can that division into a group give it its own identity mentality? Yes. And we'll also agree that in many cases to dividing identities is a cause of friction.

    I don't know why, either, you're still banging on about the lack of belief thing seeing as we've clearly established that has no relevance to our discussion. Therefore can the denial of the existence of God cause certain things to happen. Indeed, yes it can.
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    (Original post by adamrules247)


    Except of course the largest charitable organisation in the world (in terms of running schools, hospitals, etc.) is the Roman Catholic Church.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...le_foundations


    The Roman Catholic Church is a religion. The only reason it has schools and the like is to promote it's catholic values and endorse it's religion.

    Hospitals? Pretty sure most hospitals are all groups of people from a whole host of beliefs in most charities.

    Why do you think they sprint over to Africa to build churches?
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    People should just believe what they want...
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    (Original post by Agenda Suicide)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...le_foundations


    The Roman Catholic Church is a religion. The only reason it has schools and the like is to promote it's catholic values and endorse it's religion.

    Hospitals? Pretty sure most hospitals are all groups of people from a whole host of beliefs in most charities.

    Why do you think they sprint over to Africa to build churches?
    That's called "list of wealthiest charities", no the ones doing the most work Charity has never been about throwing money at a problem but about actually fixing it. Correct, it's a religion, well observed, however it does a huge amount of charity work.

    You think that's all it's schools do? How sadly mistaken you are. The Catholic Church is at the forefront of women's education, for example, if it didn't exist then women in the third world would simply receive no education, often because of strong Islamic presences.

    You also seem to misunderstand my point about hospitals. What I mean is, especially in Africa but also elsewhere, they pay for, build, and run the hospitals themself. With no "other people". Providing care to all. I seriously suggest you look up what the RCC actually does in the third world as it is quite amazing.
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    (Original post by adamrules247)
    So you don't actually deny the point at all seeing as I was directing the point about Hitchens. You also failed to mention in any way the point about naturalism.
    Being an atheist doesn't force one to be naturalist, no. There can be things outside of the physical universe which affect the universe but are not a 'God'.

    (Original post by adamrules247)
    Yes but why did you mention it with regard to our discussion? Stop trying to wriggle out of justifying it.
    I'm not trying to wriggle my way out of justifying anything. Why mention it? Again, this thread is on atheism and religion - kind of the perfect place to bring up atheism.

    (Original post by adamrules247)
    We seem to have our wires crossed. We both agree that atheism is the denial of the existence of God, as defined by Stanford, correct? Can that view, as some religious views, drive people to extremes (it may not force them so but I know of few religious beliefs that do).
    No. Having the belief that there is no God does not force or drive anyone to accept anything.

    Religious beliefs encompass far more than 'There is a God' - they encompass all the beliefs associated with that particular religion. I.e. Catholics don't believe simply 'God exists' - the Aztecs didn't merely believe 'Gods exist'.

    Atheism is simply the belief that there exists no god. Full stop.

    People may associate other beliefs with atheism - but they are in no way inherently linked to one another as is the case with religious beliefs in religions. I.e. The belief that Gods exist and you must have human sacrifices are intrinsically tied together in Aztec religion. No such necessitated beliefs stem from atheism.

    (Original post by adamrules247)
    Therefore can the denial of the existence of God cause certain things to happen. Indeed, yes it can.
    That doesn't even come close to logically following.
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    (Original post by Camel)
    As a born again Christian, the only argument I would ever make in favour of Christianity is that it is the only way to have everlasting life with the Lord.

    However, people of all religions, including Christians, often have to defend their faith to non-believers, and a good way of doing this is by pointing out all the societal benefits of religion - charity, compassion and hope.

    Atheists typically respond by pointing out what they believe to be negative effects of religion. However they never make an argument for atheism.

    I wonder why?

    Do atheists feed the poor? Do atheists offer pastoral care on a similar scale?

    I think the answer to that is a big fat NO.

    So, prove me wrong. Enlighten me. Name something good which is a direct result of atheism.

    Thanks, Cam.


    Ever heard of atheists starting wars? We probably contribute more peace to the world by NOT following a religion/belief, surely that's an argument for atheism? And do we really need one, considering there are so many AGAINST religion?

    Atheists still give to charity, compassion and hope you ignorant pig. Just because we don't believe, that doesn't mean we don't care, and don't have hearts...!!

    As a "born again Christian" surely you should be able to accept other peoples' beliefs? Why do you care if people don't believe? You can't force others to believe the same as you.

    PS: why did you need to become a "born again Christian"? Maybe cuz you saw a flaw in the religion to begin with...? Says enough, no?
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