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  • Which means that there is still an aspect that is based on faith. Religious people put faith in their creator and Atheists put their faith in what the scientists present them with. The balance of probabilities is still somewhat reliant on a degree of faith and not the same as absolute proof.



    It could be argued that the kind of faith exhibited by both atheists and religious types differs massively.. Atheists have faith in the facts they are presented with, but are willing to change that as the 'facts' they have faith in change... They also do not scorn others for not sharing the same faith as themselves (well unless someone tries to force their own faith upon them :whistle:).. Which is very different from the type of faith that is required to be able to have belief in some form of god/higher being... which is normally termed as 'blind faith'... as it is the acceptance of facts without any evidence... ;)

  • i said we had figured out how it could be done, not that we had done it.

    I don't believe we have. I don't believe that science is anywhere near explaining the origins of life.


    I have a friend who finds it comforting that he has a set of moral absolutes to cling to in times of upset. Hmmmm. . .

    Spirituality... and I feel it's really important to differentiate between this and religion... doesn't necessarily involve the belief in moral absolutes. In fact, I'd argue that spirituality is more likely to raise questions than provide answers.


    Unlike many religious types I have never seen a atheist demonstrate against a gay pride march... or outside of an abortion clinic... i know of no wars started in the name of science...

    Plenty of wars have been started without the need for religion. And gay-bashing is practiced by plenty of atheists - general hatred is usually enough to fuel such feelings. I agree that religion can exacerbate such things, but again, we need to differentiate between this and spirituality. Plus, religion is simply a symptom of the human predisposition towards hatred and intolerance... it is not the cause.

  • Quote from tekno

    Unlike many religious types I have never seen a atheist demonstrate against a gay pride march... or outside of an abortion clinic... i know of no wars started in the name of science... most atheists I know do have a moral code that is similar to the moral codes that were dictated to us by a 'god'... but unlike many people who are religious... they follow their moral code as a choice not for fear for their immortal soul...


    Actually, I can think of at least one example of violence committed against christians in the name of atheism... like the spate of church burnings committed by neo nazis in Norway in the early 90's


    http://www.splcenter.org/intel…eport/article.jsp?sid=163


    Just throwing it out there... ;)


    Regarding what Enigma said about certain aspects of atheism being compared to religion, I can definitely see how that pisses you off. But while those kind of comparisons are absolute nonsense when it comes to the majority of atheists (who I have nothing but respect for), there are a few people in recent years (Richard Dorkins in particular), who in their insistence on spreading the word about atheism, their arrogance, their unwillingness to accept that any good could ever come of religion, and their general unwillingness to accept viewpoints different to their own, could maybe justifiably be compared to certain religious people. I'm thinking particularly of this bit from Dorkins: YouTube - "I'm an atheist, BUT . . ." by Richard Dawkins (1 of 6)


    Now, when you start attacking other atheists, there's gotta be something wrong... :rolleyes:

  • Plenty of wars have been started without the need for religion.


    Which is why i said "I don't know of any" instead of "All wars are started because of religion" :D



    And gay-bashing is practiced by plenty of atheists - general hatred is usually enough to fuel such feelings.


    Yes that is true, but we have religion to thank for wide-spread hatred of homosexuality... Or so it seems when we look at history... ;)



    I agree that religion can exacerbate such things, but again, we need to differentiate between this and spirituality. Plus, religion is simply a symptom of the human predisposition towards hatred and intolerance... it is not the cause.


    I agree that spirituality and religion are very different things and do need to be thought of separately. I am confused by your Hobbesian view of human nature though, I personally disagree with the statement that humans are predisposed towards hatred and intolerance... theses things tend to develop as a direct consequence of experience and conditioning... Or in other cases mental illness or neurological damage/malfunction... and cognitive impairment.


    On a similar (but a tad off-topic) vein here is a lecture given by P. Zimbardo (the guy who ran the Stamford Prison experiment) on the causes of evil (and heroism) in humans... it is a really interesting topic (so interesting I decided to do a social psychology degree :D)... http://www.ted.com/index.php/t…e_psychology_of_evil.html

  • although many wars are started in the name of religion

    You can start a war in the name of anything... doesn't mean that that thing is the real cause. If you look at the middle ages, "religious" wars were commonplace, but they were still about the same old thing - control of land and resources. Take away religion, and the wars would still have been fought.


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    Yes that is true, but we have religion to thank for wide-spread hatred of homosexuality... Or so it seems when we look at history...

    I disagree - although I'd certainly support the supposition that religion encourages it.


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    I am confused by your Hobbesian view of human nature though, I personally disagree with the statement that humans are predisposed towards hatred and intolerance... theses things tend to develop as a direct consequence of experience and conditioning...

    I agree. But they arise out of aspects or our psyche that predispose us in such a direction. If religion was the cause, then why would people be attracted to religion in the first place, unless they were predisposed towards sympathising with such ideas? The interaction is more complex. Religion promotes hatred and intolerance, but religion arises out of our hatred and intolerance.


    You just have to look at some of the posts we've had about chavs on this forum. A different scale for sure, but you can see the same psychological seeds - the desire to group "the others" together and objectify them as the "the enemy".

  • Actually, I can think of at least one example of violence committed against christians in the name of atheism... like the spate of church burnings committed by neo nazis in Norway in the early 90's


    http://www.splcenter.org/intel…eport/article.jsp?sid=163


    Just throwing it out there... ;)


    Strange but the article doesn't seem to suggest that the people who burned down the churches were atheist.. but anti-Christian Satanists and fascists to boot... Not really the same thing really :D

  • Strange but the article doesn't seem to suggest that the people who burned down the churches were atheist.. but anti-Christian Satanists and fascists to boot... Not really the same thing really :D


    Oops... :o Sorry... That'll teach me to post stuff without reading it... :damn:

  • Ok so there have never been any wars started in the name of atheism, but :ditto: to what Atomik said, we still don't need religion to justify war and violence. The thing about the christian right in the USA, is I think that a lot of the time, it's people manipulating the religion to suit their political beliefs, rather than the other way round. I dunno though. :S

  • Ok so there have never been any wars started in the name of atheism

    Course there haven't. Atheism isn't a belief system as such - it's the absence of one. You can't start a war in the name of something you don't believe. However, there have been plenty of wars started in the names of things other than religion - Iraq, anyone?

  • Course there haven't. Atheism isn't a belief system as such - it's the absence of one. You can't start a war in the name of something you don't believe. However, there have been plenty of wars started in the names of things other than religion - Iraq, anyone?


    Good point :D Although I really don't think atheism is as simple as the lack of belief in a god (which I think is splitting hairs over semantics slightly. Surely atheism could also be defined as believing that gods don't exist? Often called 'strong atheism'). Obviously not all atheists believe the same things, but it does seem that many atheists also have certain beliefs in common about the nature of religion. :)

  • Good point :D Although I really don't think atheism is as simple as the lack of belief in a god (which I think is splitting hairs over semantics slightly. Surely atheism could also be defined as believing that gods don't exist? Often called 'strong atheism').

    Not many people have passionate, active belief in atheism though... and it doesn't have a structured ideology.

  • Course there haven't. Atheism isn't a belief system as such - it's the absence of one. You can't start a war in the name of something you don't believe. However, there have been plenty of wars started in the names of things other than religion - Iraq, anyone?


    WTF? Hullo? Iraq? Tony Blair? "I talked to God you know, he told me it was the right thing to do"
    Even where wars aren't about religion, the first thing the warriors do is get the priests to bless the bullets (metaphorically), but I don't want to get into that, it's pointless. What I do want to get into is this. Who the hell is anybody to tell me what the hell I do and don't believe? This thread was started by a member declaring himself an atheist and asking if he was the only one. Several of us have replied and said we are but I don't recall anyone saying they wanted an argument. There is a thread somewhere about how people came to christianity and another one asking who's a christian and I wouldn't dream of posting on it, I'd expect the same courtesy to be extended to people who have no faith, not to be told (for example) that I put my faith in scientists. As I have posted earlier and quite specifically, I don't want to take anyone's faith from them, why should I have people imposing one, (or daring to tell me what I believe), on me. I also said that I rarely talk about my lack of beliefs because I don't need all this, and responding with philosophical arguments might cause grief for people who depend on their faith to survive and I don't want to go there, so I'm fucked both ways. I do have very strong moral beliefs and right now they're being heavily insulted, in a way that I wouldn't tolerate if it was happening to anyone else. Non atheists please note. Thank you.

  • WTF? Hullo? Iraq? Tony Blair? "I talked to God you know, he told me it was the right thing to do"

    Yeah, I;m sure it had nothing whatsoever to do with oil. ;)


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    Several of us have replied and said we are but I don't recall anyone saying they wanted an argument.

    Who's arguing? I'm having a discussion. :eek:


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    I do have very strong moral beliefs and right now they're being heavily insulted, in a way that I wouldn't tolerate if it was happening to anyone else. Non atheists please note.

    Can you please explain specifically where anybody is insulting you?

  • Quote from Atomik

    Can you please explain specifically where anybody is insulting you?


    :ditto:


    Julian, questioning your beliefs and having a healthy discussion about them does not equal insulting you. FYI there have been plenty of threads on this forum discussing and questioning christianity (and a couple about scientology). :)

  • Which means that there is still an aspect that is based on faith. Religious people put faith in their creator and Atheists put their faith in what the scientists present them with. The balance of probabilities is still somewhat reliant on a degree of faith and not the same as absolute proof.

    I'm deliberately not mentioning Christianity though, I'm talking about all belief in a higher "thing" whether it's God, the spirit of the universe or the great green arkleseizure.


    The above is a clear example I would have thought. As far as Iraq is concerned, of course it was about oil. TB used his religious beliefs to legitimize it. I didn't hear any of our religious leaders stand up and say "no tony, you're schizophrenic, god has NOT told you to go to war", although many christians did indeed oppose it.
    I can't see the thread and write at the same time, if I've missed something I'll come back to it.

  • :ditto:


    Julian, questioning your beliefs and having a healthy discussion about them does not equal insulting you. FYI there have been plenty of threads on this forum discussing and questioning christianity (and a couple about scientology). :)


    True. Read your previous post "I don't think atheism is as simple as not believing in god" Sorry if I misquote. Actually, you aren't an atheist are you? Then why are you posting about what atheists do or don't believe? If you want a thread questioning atheistic beliefs or lack of then let's start one, but doesn't it seem rude as someone who isn't an atheist to be posting about atheists beliefs or lack thereof on a thread specifically started by an atheist asking if there are any others? You don't think that might be offensive? Question away if you will, but give us some space of our own, "every dog needs a home, a shelter......go on, you know the rest:)

  • True. Read your previous post "I don't think atheism is as simple as not believing in god" Sorry if I misquote. Actually, you aren't an atheist are you? Then why are you posting about what atheists do or don't believe? If you want a thread questioning atheistic beliefs or lack of then let's start one, but doesn't it seem rude as someone who isn't an atheist to be posting about atheists beliefs or lack thereof on a thread specifically started by an atheist asking if there are any others? You don't think that might be offensive? Question away if you will, but give us some space of our own, "every dog needs a home, a shelter......go on, you know the rest:)

    Dude... chill out. There was nothing in the original post to suggest that the thread was intended strictly for atheists. It seemed more of a general musing to me (particularly given the latter comment). If you wanna start a thread that's intended exclusively for atheists to discuss and share their beliefs, then be my guest. I will personally actively mod it and make sure that you get the breathing space you apparently need. In the meantime, please refrain from attacking people who are simply politely and respectfully attempting to discuss their views on the subject. It's very confrontational and entirely unessecary.

  • Sorry Atomik, I didn't intend to be confrontational, and I didn't suggest that this thread should be exclusively for atheists. I also didn't mean to attack anybody. I felt quite strongly though that I was being dissected like a lab specimen by people who don't know anything about my beliefs, particularly in Paul's post and was reacting defensively. As I posted earlier, I don't often discuss what I do or don't believe very often, because there is so often an assumption by theists that I've failed to miss something obvious, like some kind of backward child who might one day grow up (i.e. join in their godfest) and who meanwhile will be prayed for, to the one true god usually (which one of course depending on who you're talking to. If I've upset anyone, them I'm truly sorry, but please understand where I'm coming from. I don't have "faith", but I do have beliefs, ethics, and a clear sense of morality, including moral outrage, just as christians/muslims/whoevers do, and can be just as easily hurt. Being told what I believe felt really degrading and I felt hurt, hence the outburst.Peace,
    Julian

  • Sorry Atomik, I didn't intend to be confrontational, and I didn't suggest that this thread should be exclusively for atheists. I also didn't mean to attack anybody. I felt quite strongly though that I was being dissected like a lab specimen by people who don't know anything about my beliefs, particularly in Paul's post and was reacting defensively. As I posted earlier, I don't often discuss what I do or don't believe very often, because there is so often an assumption by theists that I've failed to miss something obvious, like some kind of backward child who might one day grow up (i.e. join in their godfest) and who meanwhile will be prayed for, to the one true god usually (which one of course depending on who you're talking to. If I've upset anyone, them I'm truly sorry, but please understand where I'm coming from. I don't have "faith", but I do have beliefs, ethics, and a clear sense of morality, including moral outrage, just as christians/muslims/whoevers do, and can be just as easily hurt. Being told what I believe felt really degrading and I felt hurt, hence the outburst.Peace,
    Julian

    No worries. Thanks for staying calm. :)

  • Any Atheists around? I've been one forever. I can remember back in primary school finding Christianity a bit contradictory. As I got older I discovered I was a Marxist/Socialist by nature so thats when I understood why I don't believe in the existence of any god. None of that 'mystical' nonsense has made any sense to me. I doubt seriously whether its possible to be a Free thinker' and religious.



    its a funny one dude.....
    hey hold on, i know many christian marxist/socialists, in FACT the UK socialist movement mainly came from the christian pentecastal wave of "the spirit" in the late victorian and early parts of 20th century, so its not that...


    if "GOD" IS "SPIRIT" AND if "SPIRIT" IS not a ghosty thing, but a tangible QUALITY or vibe of being.. then... if for eg you say....


    god is love.... god is comapssion... god IS serenity, and all those QUALITIES, then we are looking at some thing that takes us beyond and matures us beyond ANY label (eatheist, pagan, anarchist)
    as if u live and breath those qualities/spirits, then you are just a cool person whatever the bullshit and gang you do or do not belong to (not that i think you do, just simply tying to convey this stuff)

  • woops, fogot to add, so basically dont matter to me if you are aetheist or pagan or christian i'll be looking at quality of being/spirit... as i think many of us actually do, wether conscientiously or not...

  • Ok so there have never been any wars started in the name of atheism, but :ditto: to what Atomik said, we still don't need religion to justify war and violence. The thing about the christian right in the USA, is I think that a lot of the time, it's people manipulating the religion to suit their political beliefs, rather than the other way round. I dunno though. :S


    your right, however....


    thats what religion always was.... exactly the kind of systematic abuse you mention or hint at there, and it aint just the christain right as you know...


    religion is ONLY just that.... remember here in UK for eg, it was (after orignal wave that came from the family and friends of christ) brought to us by usually the son of a family that cam AFTER the first son who got all the land and money, so rhe pther spns needed a way to aquire such... so easy way???
    BE A BISHOP! ha ha ha, yep, was generally so sickeningly simple, as a bishop you had the liscence to be your own warlord to win land and mopney and more power by a roman THEn protestant church who both were very very hungry for all this stuff,


    maybe worth saying it was the protestant prders in the UK who did the witch burning and book burning here in UK...
    the RC's actually saved most of the ancient scots fairy tlaes and legends in scotland!! not a lot of people know that!!


    aetheism, yeh fine, if its making your spirit thrive, then go for it, thats good! xxxx love

  • its also if i amy say VERy naive to say that no war has been began in the name of aetheism... dont you know much about the history of RUSSIA?
    so much blood shed, and again, where lennin and stalin socialists or even communists? NO they wernt at all were they?


    so the same "RELIGIOUS" spirit that infected so called christianity etc, was right there in those movments to, (although its easy to deny any alignment to bad folk whatever religion/politic u subscribe to, they all say that those "bad people dont belong to us, )


    you get me?

  • atheism doesn't say life was an 'accident at all tho. from what little we know so far of how life came about it was far from accidental, it was a natural progression on a planet that happened to have an atmosphere and conditions favorable to carbon based life forms. life blossoms everywhere, in pitch dark caves, in amazingly got geothermal vents in the oceans, it has evolved into almost every niche imaginable, and no luck was necessary, neither was an 'accident' of fate. it just happened, and its amazing and wonderful that it did. personally i'd find it a lot less miraculous if all this was some 'god's pet project. something dreamed up be a mind or being for goodness knows what purpose.


    it just is...and that is astounding. it flourishes through natural disaster, it adapts to every new situation put in front of it, even if only at the bacteriological level.


    gnowave...my spirit thrives when i look at a sunset, and see its beauty, i don't need to think god made it to appreciate it. :)

    Turned on, tuned in, loved up, trippin out, freaky on the outside, shiny in the middle.

  • If you wanna start a thread that's intended exclusively for atheists to discuss and share their beliefs, then be my guest.


    I set up a group for atheists to discuss and share beliefs if anyone wants to:)

    Turned on, tuned in, loved up, trippin out, freaky on the outside, shiny in the middle.

  • True. Read your previous post "I don't think atheism is as simple as not believing in god" Sorry if I misquote. Actually, you aren't an atheist are you? Then why are you posting about what atheists do or don't believe? If you want a thread questioning atheistic beliefs or lack of then let's start one, but doesn't it seem rude as someone who isn't an atheist to be posting about atheists beliefs or lack thereof on a thread specifically started by an atheist asking if there are any others? You don't think that might be offensive? Question away if you will, but give us some space of our own, "every dog needs a home, a shelter......go on, you know the rest:)


    Sorry if I offended you julian, perhaps I should have been clearer, I was just speaking from what other of my atheist friends have told me about their beliefs. As I said in the very same post, I am well aware that it's not the same for all atheists. :)