Author Topic: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities  (Read 3665 times)

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Offline superdave

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2017, 11:01:33 AM »
I think that atheism removes a lot of baggage and clears the path for more progressive thought, especially in the US where the majority is Christian, but it does no more than that.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2017, 02:04:50 PM »
There are still some protestants that think the Pope is an anti-christ after all and some "Catholics" that think the Pope is a heretic.

Yep. In the peace group I belonged to in North Dakota there was a Catholic priest. One time I tried to give him a hard time by asking about the Pope. His reply was to sigh, and basically say that the Pope was wrong on pretty much everything. Catholics are famously all over the map on their personal theology. They acknowledge the Pope as the head of the Church, but the majority think he has his head up his ass on at least a few issues. I'm speaking here of all Popes, not just the current one.

And the only reason this does not apply to other religions is that they don't have a single leader for people to disagree with.
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Online Ah.hell

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2017, 04:55:38 PM »
What you say is true but I was really talking about the Mel Gibson style catholics that literally think there is no Pope or have their own pope because the official Catholic church embraced heresy with Vatican II in the 60s. 

Offline God Bomb

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2017, 10:15:01 PM »
I never understood why PZ has a following.  He's a complete idiot.
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Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #34 on: January 04, 2017, 10:21:33 PM »
I never understood why PZ has a following.  He's a complete idiot.

Pop-scientists need to maintain a following.  The easiest way to do that is to target a niche and appeal to it.  Similarly, a sufficiently famous person will attract people who agree with / like them till it's all yes men all the time.  Two paths leading to the same dead end road ideologically.
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Offline GodSlayer

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2017, 10:39:28 PM »
I think that atheism removes a lot of baggage and clears the path for more progressive thought, especially in the US where the majority is Christian, but it does no more than that.

it should do. for a lot of Americans it seems to mean some instant moral superiority. 'I think for myself, therefore my conclusions must be better' ... we know when it comes to scientific reality that's abject nonsense, but people seem to have a blind spot for the entire discipline of ethics.
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Offline Zed

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2017, 05:22:15 PM »
I read the article, and I more-or-less think it has merit. He's saying that people that identify as atheists falsely believe they are free of moral assumptions. His major points seem to be:

1. all atheists have at least some moral viewpoints that are rooted in biases and assumptions (because that's how humans work)
2. atheists are sometimes guilty of cherry-picking evidence to support their biased and assumption-ridden moral viewpoints
3. atheists that claim they used logic to come to their moral viewpoint when they are actually cherry-picking are just as false as theists that base their moral viewpoints on religion

But from a purely definitional perspective, I think he's wrong. Atheism is just a lack of belief in deities. You can be a scientist or woo-practitioner or believer of magic and be an atheist.


Offline GodSlayer

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2017, 05:52:15 PM »
3. atheists that claim they used logic to come to their moral viewpoint when they are actually cherry-picking are just as false as theists that base their moral viewpoints on religion

just as false _what_?

just as misguided morally, sure. #moralnihilismftw
but 'are false'? are false whats?
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Offline Zed

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2017, 09:07:41 PM »
I'm using it more as an adverb than adjective. The people are behaving falsely. Disingenuous may have been better a better word. Maybe it's a colloquialism that I've picked up.

Offline Colonel Panic

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2017, 04:04:42 PM »

Exactly. PZ Myers committed a non-sequitur.

That's exactly what he's doing. I just can't understand how he can make this argument. He's smart enough to know that atheists aren't claiming that atheism is some kind of basis for their morality. At least none I've talked to. It makes me wonder if he genuinely believes what he's saying here or just trying to get his fan base worked up while hoping to trick someone into thinking this makes sense in the process. I mean he even goes as far as to say we're lying when we say how we define atheism. Not that we're mistaken, we know he's right and we're lying?

P.Z. Meyers is no dummy. I don't believe that he doesn't understand the difference.

I think he knows quite well what is the literal definition of the word "atheism," but he's politically motivated to redefine the word in the public mind in order to remove its stigma and inspire a kind of social change that he deems beneficial. This seems to me like a clear example of an ideologue employing a dialectical approach to rhetoric.

Offline Nosmas

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2017, 04:22:34 PM »

Exactly. PZ Myers committed a non-sequitur.

That's exactly what he's doing. I just can't understand how he can make this argument. He's smart enough to know that atheists aren't claiming that atheism is some kind of basis for their morality. At least none I've talked to. It makes me wonder if he genuinely believes what he's saying here or just trying to get his fan base worked up while hoping to trick someone into thinking this makes sense in the process. I mean he even goes as far as to say we're lying when we say how we define atheism. Not that we're mistaken, we know he's right and we're lying?

P.Z. Meyers is no dummy. I don't believe that he doesn't understand the difference.

I think he knows quite well what is the literal definition of the word "atheism," but he's politically motivated to redefine the word in the public mind in order to remove its stigma and inspire a kind of social change that he deems beneficial. This seems to me like a clear example of an ideologue employing a dialectical approach to rhetoric.

I agree. I think this is the most likely explanation. Sadly I think a considerable number of his following will read it and actually find it compelling.
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Offline Colonel Panic

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2017, 05:27:39 PM »
BTW I feel I should clarify that when I said a "dialectical approach," I specifically meant a Hegelian approach.

Offline lubbarin

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2017, 06:31:37 PM »
BTW I feel I should clarify that when I said a "dialectical approach," I specifically meant a Hegelian approach.
I'm interested to see how that applies. I puzzled over it, then decided you meant something along the lines of the present day colloquial, but now I'm puzzling all over again
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Offline Colonel Panic

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2017, 12:01:24 AM »
BTW I feel I should clarify that when I said a "dialectical approach," I specifically meant a Hegelian approach.
I'm interested to see how that applies. I puzzled over it, then decided you meant something along the lines of the present day colloquial, but now I'm puzzling all over again

Hegel's dialectic theory postulates a model for how new ideologies and social movements emerge out of the interplay between conflicting ideals within society. These days the term "Hegelian dialectic" is often used to denote the Marxist interpretation, which is a purpose-driven strategy to leverage Hegel's theory to shift public discourse toward leftist or progressive causes.

Not saying it's necessarily a bad thing; just throwing that out there.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 12:06:03 AM by Colonel Panic »

Offline lubbarin

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Re: PZ Myers once more claims that atheism is more than non-belief in deities
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2017, 12:11:27 AM »
These days the term "Hegelian dialectic" is often used to denote the Marxist interpretation, which is a purpose-driven strategy to leverage Hegel's theory to shift public discourse toward leftist or progressive causes.

Not saying it's necessarily a bad thing; just throwing that out there.
OK I see where you were coming from there.

Not really seeing the contradiction synthesis, but I don't pay a whole hell a lot of attention to PZ--
Although I imagine our politics are quite similar, I think he's out in the weeds with A+
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