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Thread: Any primal non-christians here? page 5

  1. #41
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    I'm always fascinated by threads like this, coming from the province of Quebec (Canada). I know I wouldn't date a religious girl, simply because our ways of seeing life would be too different anyway, but it's never been a problem since... I have almost no religious friends, and those who are are the minority, and no one my age I know is religious. Creationists don't exist here, and the only religious people left are either immigrants, or old people who have been brainwashed in their youth back when the church still had power over people's lives. It might be because I live in a city with a huge university in it, and most people I know are educated, but religion just isn't an issue here anymore. Churches are being turned into useful places like indoor climbing centers or living spaces, and in about 20 years there won't be any priests left because there is no succession.

    Before reading message boards like this one, I never thought a sane educated adult could not ''believe'' in evolution, or finding an atheist to date would be a challenge, it's always a shock.

  2. #42
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    A big part of it is how sheltered a person is. From what I can tell Quebec (as an arbitrary example) boasts a 0.06% atheist population, vs 93.5% who are Abrahamic (muslims, christians, ba'hai... all those monotheistic religions that share the god of Abraham even if they claim it's a different god). That 0.06% is certainly low (just as homosexuality is usually undercounted due to closeting) but even so, even if you count the 5.8% who acknowledge they have no religion but resist the label 'atheist', it's not a huge pool... but it is completely possible for a person to live entirely within that pool, especially if their contact with people outside the sphere is superficial. Step just 1 meter to the left and everyone you encounter will be Abrahamic even though you've hardly moved at all.

    In the US, there is a far more robust competition between churches. They are constantly evolving to attract new members. That's the irony of thinking that religious folk don't believe in evolution...the reason US churches are so aggressive is because of evolution.

  3. #43
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    Catholic here (with leanings toward the Catholic mystics. I love sitting alone in old churches to meditate and collect my thoughts)

    When is comes to marriage and raising kids it's going to be a lot better if you and your spouse share the same religious values. For example, if she's Catholic the expectation is she will want to raise her kids Catholic. Are you willing to let her have that much control over your kids? Marriage isn't just about the two of you unless you plan on not have any children.

    Based upon what I've read in this thread I want to clear up a few things. Since I am Catholic, went to Catholic school, and was taught by a priest with a master degree in philosophy that's going to influence the following.

    Urban Mythology: "The Catholic Church has a history of being anti-science." Not truth. It's urban legend that was largely put forth by Andrew Dixon White in 1896 Wiki Andrew Dickson White - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    "White's conflict thesis has, however, been discredited by contemporary historians of science.[34][35][36] The warfare depiction nevertheless remains a popular view among the general public.[37]"

    From the Guardian: Science and religion: a history of conflict? | James Hannam | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

    This series of video lectures is going to come across as bias but Thomas E Woods is noted PhD historian (Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Woods): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5siHd1P5zk

    This could have been written yesterday about Genesis creationism instead of circa 400AD Saint Augustine on Science and Scripture

    PBS: Big bang theory is introduced 1927 A Science Odyssey: People and Discoveries: Big bang theory is introduced

    Slide the bar to 40 minutes for the beginning of atheistic arguments: BBC Did Darwin Kill God? BBC Did Darwin Kill God? 2009 - YouTube

    Enough of the religious apologetic stuff.

    Moral philosophy: I've seen a number of posts on this thread by atheists speak of morality....as if... there is such a thing as a Universal Moral Code/Truth....a moral order. Sorry, in a Richard Dawkins' metaphysical-materialistic reality moral codes are nothing more (or less) than a given culture's set of shared values. AKA Cultural Relativism. In that reality there is no room...at all...for a theory about Universal Human Rights (Philosophy of human rights - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). In metaethics morality is either Realism (Moral Realism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)) or Antirealism (Moral Anti-Realism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)). What I consistently hear are atheists making moral statements as if there were such a thing as a transcendent moral reality (contrary to materialism). Materialism's anti-moral realism doesn't simply apply to moral actions being relative, it also applies to moral entities. There is no scientific definition for person. Since person hood is a moral description, what/who is or isn't a person becomes arbitrary. If morals are only normative, and subject to arbitrary change as a culture's values change then it follows that the definition of what is a person entitled to whatever rights, is also arbitrary.

    Arguing that someone's rights are being violated in, say, Afghanistan might be true relative to your cultural values but it doesn't follow that it's a violation of some implied universal moral code (a human right) or that it's immoral within the Afghan culture. For Cultural Relativism, what makes one culture's moral values more correct than another culture's values? Nothing. In a materialistic worldview there is no such thing as a better/superior morality, a more correct/worse morality.....or more moral. 10 Reasons Atheists Are More Moral Than Religious Fundamentalists de-conversion In a materialistic philosophy what is good and evil, right and wrong, and who gets defined as a person are arbitrary.

    From Infidel.org: Philosophical Materialism
    "[14] An evolutionary account of the origin of moral judgment in human beings does not tell us what (if anything) makes a specific action moral. On a materialist view, all codes of conduct must ultimately be man-made or socially constructed; there are no objective moral laws existing independently of sentient beings in the way that laws of nature do. Thus there are no objective criteria for determining if human actions are right or wrong. The objectivity of laws of nature is clear--our approximations to them (laws of physics) are publicly falsifiable and can be corroborated by empirical evidence. Moreover, unlike natural laws, moral laws can be violated. But if what we call moral laws are really man-made inventions, our ethical rules are arbitrary and thus individuals are not obligated to follow them. Nothing makes an action objectively moral or immoral; individual and social codes vary because ethics, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. But then there are no compelling grounds for arguing that Aztec human sacrifice, Nazi or Serbian genocide, or infanticide is really wrong [or to profess that someone's human rights are being violated]. Core ethical rules are no doubt determined by intersubjective consensus across cultures--for example, incest and murder are universally prohibited [within the given culture]. But such consensus does not demonstrate the objectivity of ethics; it merely demonstrates that human beings or societies are largely 'built' the same way and react similarly to certain types of behavior. Suppose we have inherited an aversion to committing murder. That such a genetic disposition would be widespread makes evolutionary sense. A known murderer's neighbors will fear that the murderer might kill them. Out of mutual self-interest they would be wise to band together and eliminate the murderer before he could eliminate them. Since murderers would tend to be eliminated before they could reproduce, individuals with a genetic inclination to commit murder would tend to dwindle. But this is merely an accident of natural selection, and trying to base morality on the fact that adhering to certain ethical norms will make you more "fit" to stay alive and reproduce is insufficient. The origin of behavior is irrelevant to whether a behavior is right or wrong; what makes an individual evolutionarily 'fit' (e.g. infidelity) is not necessarily moral. There will no doubt still be some individuals who are genetically inclined to commit murder; but we do not conclude that the are exempt from moral prohibitions on murder because of this. Furthermore, the fitness of certain evolutionary traits changes when the environment changes. Would murder suddenly become morally acceptable--even obligatory--if it provided us a selective advantage? On a materialist account, the only foundations for behavioral codes are preserving self-interest and satisfying one's conscience--there are no additional 'moral facts' which motivate behavior." And to add to this quote: Nothing objectively makes you a person, either.
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

  4. #44
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  5. #45
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    Scott F.... what's your point?

    The Catholic Church has a love/hate relationship with science for a long time. Yeah, I know all the "dual spheres" talk, and I know they run some cool observatories and the like... but does the word "heliocentric" ring a bell??? You may wish to brush that away as ancient history, but it's YOUR history. Still, the Catholic church is today one of the more pro-science religious organizations around. That should sound some major alarm bells.

    As for moral philosophy, it comes down to this: Of course. Of course we're dealing in relative terms. Of course we're seeing the world from a 21st century, 1st world, human, primate, mammal, animal, earth-based, life perspective. Of course we would see things differently from a different perspective. All of us. That's the truth you don't want to admit: so are you. Your "objective" is only objective to you because you believe something you cannot prove. In other words, it isn't. We're both in the same muddle, the only difference is that I acknowledge the problem and deal with it openly, whereas most religious people take refuge in Authority.

  6. #46
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    I addressed several points. 1 to the OP and the other two to statements I saw in other replies to this threads.

    I was wondering if Galileo would come up. You might want to research the Galileo Affair
    Scientific American Galileo affair - Google Scholar

    Scientific American
    http://ftp.beitberl.ac.il/~bbsite/mi...lali/01_20.doc
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Him View Post
    Scott F.... what's your point?

    The Catholic Church has a love/hate relationship with science for a long time. Yeah, I know all the "dual spheres" talk, and I know they run some cool observatories and the like... but does the word "heliocentric" ring a bell??? You may wish to brush that away as ancient history, but it's YOUR history. Still, the Catholic church is today one of the more pro-science religious organizations around. That should sound some major alarm bells.

    As for moral philosophy, it comes down to this: Of course. Of course we're dealing in relative terms. Of course we're seeing the world from a 21st century, 1st world, human, primate, mammal, animal, earth-based, life perspective. Of course we would see things differently from a different perspective. All of us. That's the truth you don't want to admit: so are you. Your "objective" is only objective to you because you believe something you cannot prove. In other words, it isn't. We're both in the same muddle, the only difference is that I acknowledge the problem and deal with it openly, whereas most religious people take refuge in Authority.
    BTW why don't you at least give my links a look if you are open minded? And if you noticed I made no statement about morality actually being real or not. You assumed it because I state I was Catholic. I simply stated what logically follows from a materialistic perspective. It's been my experience that when most people (atheist or not) talk about morality they think they have the moral high ground.
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

  8. #48
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    Long familiar with the Galileo Affair. You will notice I did NOT bring up Galileo. You jumped to Galileo, but I was talking about something bigger.

    Here's what it boils down to: "[the idea that the Sun is stationary relative to the earth is] foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture..." The Catholic Church officially held that view from inception until 1758...centuries, and 140+ years after the scientific community had strong evidence to the contrary. They actively worked against books which forwarded the heliocentric viewpoint during that time. They worked against one specific bit of science for multiple lifetimes.

    BTW why don't you at least give my links a look if you are open minded? And if you noticed I made no statement about morality actually being real or not. You assumed it because I state I was Catholic. I simply stated what logically follows from a materialistic perspective. It's been my experience that when most people (atheist or not) talk about morality they think they have the moral high ground.
    I did follow your links, to see if you were talking about anything different than what I already knew.

    As for morality, you are correct... I assumed that if you are Catholic that means you broadly follow Catholic teachings. I don't have a problem with your claim of what follows from a materialistic perspective though I may disagree with nuances. It's my experience that everyone thinks their opinions are facts, and thinks what they hear others say is BS. That could be mistaken for thinking they have a moral high ground but it's a more general problem of perspective.
    Last edited by Him; 11-29-2012 at 12:30 PM.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Him View Post
    Long familiar with the Galileo Affair. You will notice I did NOT bring up Galileo. You jumped to Galileo, but I was talking about something bigger.

    Here's what it boils down to: "[the idea that the Sun is stationary relative to the earth is] foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture..." The Catholic Church officially held that view from inception until 1758...centuries, and 140+ years after the scientific community had strong evidence to the contrary. They actively worked against books which forwarded the heliocentric viewpoint during that time. They worked against one specific bit of science for multiple lifetimes.



    I did follow your links, to see if you were talking about anything different than what I already knew.

    As for morality, you are correct... I assumed that if you are Catholic that means you broadly follow Catholic teachings. I don't have a problem with your claim of what follows from a materialistic perspective though I may disagree with nuances. It's my experience that everyone thinks their opinions are facts, and thinks what they hear others say is BS. That could be mistaken for thinking they have a moral high ground but it's a more general problem of perspective.
    "the idea that the Sun is stationary relative to the earth is] foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture..." Then why is Austine held up as a doctor when is criticize Christians for reading Genesis as being literally true is also contradictory of written Scripture? As far as the sun being center. That wasn't proven until a century after Galileo's death.
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott F View Post
    "the idea that the Sun is stationary relative to the earth is] foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture..." Then why is Austine held up as a doctor when is criticize Christians for reading Genesis as being literally true is also contradictory of written Scripture? As far as the sun being center. That wasn't proven until a century after Galileo's death.
    So, Scott, tell me, how would our bantering about this subject help the OP of this thread or further the idea that Atheism is an accepted and respected viewpoint according to mainstream religions?

    To address your Galileo point... Copernicus came up with mathematical models describing the behavior of the universe more accurately than was previously possible. Specifically, they described the Heliocentric motion of major astronomical objects. Those models were used, and accepted and valid within their context, immediately. Why? Because they worked far more accurately than anything before. The fact that they worked STRONGLY indicated that they were more correct than the preceeding geocentric views. The fact that it took some hold-outs 200 years, or that there are still hold-outs that haven't accepted current knowledge, really has no bearing on anything. All it tells us is something we already know: There are stubborn people around.

    As for proof... it took over 100 years to prove Darwin's theories, yet many sensible people accepted them as a more accurate understanding of how the world works than what came before them. Why? Because they were usefully predictive of observed conditions. It took decades to prove many of Einstein's most basic theories, yet they were widely accepted. Why? Again, they are useful/accurate ways of understanding how the universe works. How long it takes to prove an idea has little or no bearing on whether that idea should be adopted if it provides a meaningful insight into the real world.
    Last edited by Him; 11-29-2012 at 01:00 PM.

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