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Why Atheism?

Ecurb Noselrub

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Why Atheism?
« on: November 29, 2020, 01:04:03 AM »
So, assume that the demise of "big gods" means that multi-cultural societies no longer have any cohesive belief system that binds them together. What answer to atheists have, if any? Most modern nations are multi-cultural now. In the US, the guiding principles of "all men are created equal" and "are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights" is not working so well right now. What else is out there to keep us from descending into the violent hell of tribalism/racism?  We just saw 74,000,000 people vote for Trump - who is not exactly the epitome of egalitarianism. We've been battling with this problem for 400 years. Yet the people who live here cannot seem to get past the basic idea that we are bound together by ideals, not ethnicity.  It's depressing.  Is US-type democracy a failed experiment?

Sandra Craft

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Re: Why Atheism?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2020, 01:32:52 AM »
So, assume that the demise of "big gods" means that multi-cultural societies no longer have any cohesive belief system that binds them together. What answer to atheists have, if any? Most modern nations are multi-cultural now. In the US, the guiding principles of "all men are created equal" and "are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights" is not working so well right now. What else is out there to keep us from descending into the violent hell of tribalism/racism?  We just saw 74,000,000 people vote for Trump - who is not exactly the epitome of egalitarianism. We've been battling with this problem for 400 years. Yet the people who live here cannot seem to get past the basic idea that we are bound together by ideals, not ethnicity.  It's depressing.  Is US-type democracy a failed experiment?

The thing is, those 74 million people who voted for Trump were largely Evangelical Xtians -- and tribalism/racism seems pretty common for them.  I don't think we can look to Xtians (at least not the Conservative ones) to be a bulwark against violence of any kind.  All things considered, we never really could.

And most of the modern nations that are multi-cultural now, at least in the West, are also very secular if not outright atheistic.  I don't say we can look to them either as examples of how to do it because our culture is nothing like secular and unlikely to be any time soon, but I think they do stand as examples that a large multi-cultural society without big gods can be done.  It's encouraging if nothing else.

As for the real question, I don't think atheists have an answer.  It's hard to know how to deal with people you have nothing in common with who are just itching to start killing perceived enemies, one of whom is you.  I think this problem is in the lap of non-Evangelical/Fundamentalist Xtians, who at least share a basic belief system with them, to talk them off the crazy ledge.
Sandy

  

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Tank

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Re: Why Atheism?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2020, 07:29:26 AM »
I have taken the liberty of splitting this off from the 'Why God' thread as it is deserving of its own specific discussion.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Why Atheism?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2020, 12:32:18 PM »
So, assume that the demise of "big gods" means that multi-cultural societies no longer have any cohesive belief system that binds them together. What answer to atheists have, if any? Most modern nations are multi-cultural now. In the US, the guiding principles of "all men are created equal" and "are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights" is not working so well right now. What else is out there to keep us from descending into the violent hell of tribalism/racism?  We just saw 74,000,000 people vote for Trump - who is not exactly the epitome of egalitarianism. We've been battling with this problem for 400 years. Yet the people who live here cannot seem to get past the basic idea that we are bound together by ideals, not ethnicity.  It's depressing.  Is US-type democracy a failed experiment?

The thing is, those 74 million people who voted for Trump were largely Evangelical Xtians -- and tribalism/racism seems pretty common for them.  I don't think we can look to Xtians (at least not the Conservative ones) to be a bulwark against violence of any kind.  All things considered, we never really could.

And most of the modern nations that are multi-cultural now, at least in the West, are also very secular if not outright atheistic.  I don't say we can look to them either as examples of how to do it because our culture is nothing like secular and unlikely to be any time soon, but I think they do stand as examples that a large multi-cultural society without big gods can be done.  It's encouraging if nothing else.

As for the real question, I don't think atheists have an answer.  It's hard to know how to deal with people you have nothing in common with who are just itching to start killing perceived enemies, one of whom is you.  I think this problem is in the lap of non-Evangelical/Fundamentalist Xtians, who at least share a basic belief system with them, to talk them off the crazy ledge.

:this:

While most Christians won't kill an 'Other' for their beliefs or lack of belief in god(s), there is a very clear us-versus-them with those of more fundamentalist and conservative leanings.

Some people just tend to be more fearful and less likely to entertain new ideas -- their brains respond differently and see threats (to their beliefs, lifestyle and so on) where there are none. In my experience fundamentalist Christians, especially Evangelicals, are more likely to be that way. They make the perfect manoeuvrable mass for politicians such as the shithead Bolsonaro, who plays on fear to sway people his way. People who are afraid don't think, they feel and react.

But anyway, I won't be going off on a tangent here.  ;D   
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Davin

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Re: Why Atheism?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2020, 07:01:24 PM »
When people make decisions on bad data that doesn't represent reality, they tend to make bad choices. And the more shaky the foundation the more they try to keep it up. That's why people should choose to live their lives by trying the best they can to get an accurate representation of reality. That means not accepting things without sufficient evidence, which means no longer believing in a god or gods.
Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.