Go Back   Forums @ The Digital Fix > Entertainment Discussion Forums > Television Discussion

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 18-12-2006, 22:31   #1
Guest 586
Meldrew
 
Guest 586's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Albion
Posts: 2,069
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
'The Trouble With Atheism'

An agnostic fundamentalist, now there's a novelty.

Most of Rod Liddle's The Trouble With Athiesm awful, but two solid points emerged from all the logic-leaps and slander.

1: Man becomes just another animal without God, and can be treated as such.

2: Regardless of its truth, people need religion, and if we remove religion as traditionally understood then the religious instict morphs into something worse, such as Stalin's cult of personality. (I wish either Dawkins or the other Oxford bloke had made the obvious point that Stalinism and Hitlerism were to all intents and purposes religions themselves.)

Both have answers, and the second in particular speaks very poorly of religion, but they're not to be found in this embarassing tract. Liddle has no understanding of the scientific method, as shown by his use of "Dawinism". No reputable scientist propounds the theory of evolution as Dawin understood it: it has developed. That its basic framework still best fits the available evidence in spite of this is not, as Liddle seems to think, a mark against it.

The programme would be better entitled The Trouble With Liddle and turned over to a proper theologian.
Guest 586 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-12-2006, 23:35   #2
Guest 17866
Babylon 5 Chief Engineer
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Epsilon III
Posts: 1,598
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Any belief can be classified technically as a religion, even the belief that there is no such thing as God for example.
Guest 17866 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2006, 00:46   #3
Guest 586
Meldrew
 
Guest 586's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Albion
Posts: 2,069
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Not so. Religion relies on faith (belief without evidence). There's a lot of difference between belief based on proof and belief based on, well, belief.

If you believe that positive claims bear the burden of proof (and not disproof) then it's perfectly possible to be an atheist without claiming omniscience. As Dawkins rightly said tonight, he's agnostic about God in the same way he's agnostic about unicorns.

Last edited by Byron; 19-12-2006 at 00:48. Reason: typos
Guest 586 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2006, 02:21   #4
Jimmyboy
^__^
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 15,613
Thanks: 79
Thanked 23 Times in 14 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron
Not so. Religion relies on faith (belief without evidence). There's a lot of difference between belief based on proof and belief based on, well, belief.
The belief that Faith is pointless is in itself a belief without evidence. Anyway Liddle's main point was that atheist groups have become an intolerant cult themselves with their own rigid dogmatic value systems, their own sacred cows, their own world vision of what a global utopia looks like, and their own contempt for people who don't share their beliefs. What makes them dangerous is that they simply aren't conscious of how loaded with sheer arrogance atheism could/has become.
Jimmyboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2006, 07:12   #5
Raigmore
Ambassador to Earth
 
Raigmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: David Vincent's neighbour
Posts: 7,671
Thanks: 289
Thanked 193 Times in 118 Posts
Quote:
Most of Rod Liddle's The Trouble With Athiesm awful, but two solid points emerged from all the logic-leaps and slander.
All of it was self-indulgent nonsense. He was just trying to force his ideas down people's throats.

Quote:
1: Man becomes just another animal without God, and can be treated as such.
Considering what "man" has done (and still doing) to this planet, I am not sure that this would be such a bad idea.

Quote:
I wish either Dawkins or the other Oxford bloke had made the obvious point that Stalinism and Hitlerism were to all intents and purposes religions themselves.
That's right. A 'religion' is nothing but a collective belief of an entire community. In that sense, Capitalism, Communism or even Fascism can assume religious connotations if accepted on a sufficiently large scale. Agnostism (if that's the right word) without an overstressed manifesto could actually be the closest thing to an 'ideal' religion and might even become the mainstay of a New World Order someday.
Raigmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2006, 09:13   #6
JonLaidlow
Scoundrel
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 2,527
Thanks: 142
Thanked 136 Times in 86 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmyboy
The belief that Faith is pointless is in itself a belief without evidence. Anyway Liddle's main point was that atheist groups have become an intolerant cult themselves with their own rigid dogmatic value systems, their own sacred cows, their own world vision of what a global utopia looks like, and their own contempt for people who don't share their beliefs. What makes them dangerous is that they simply aren't conscious of how loaded with sheer arrogance atheism could/has become.

Who are these atheist groups that he mentioned? I didn't realise the atheists had organised...

I suppose the communists might come under that category, although it turns out that religion was alive and well under the iron curtain, just waiting to come out from undercover.

J
JonLaidlow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2006, 09:30   #7
ben.bayliss
Senior Citizen
 
ben.bayliss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St Albans
Posts: 3,010
Thanks: 2
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
I didn't watch the whole show through, but what I saw was him very selectively choosing atheists and organisations that have become so blindly insistent in the correct-ness of atheism they have actually become what they critisise. This doesn't say anything about atheism per-se, only the extremeists. Ditto with religion I suppose - the ones causing the trouble are extremeists from whatever religion becoming too evangelical about their beliefs.

At least I know where that South Park episode came from now!!!
ben.bayliss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2006, 18:04   #8
Guest 586
Meldrew
 
Guest 586's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Albion
Posts: 2,069
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmyboy
The belief that Faith is pointless is in itself a belief without evidence. Anyway Liddle's main point was that atheist groups have become an intolerant cult themselves with their own rigid dogmatic value systems, their own sacred cows, their own world vision of what a global utopia looks like, and their own contempt for people who don't share their beliefs. What makes them dangerous is that they simply aren't conscious of how loaded with sheer arrogance atheism could/has become.
I'm an atheist, and I find the very idea of a creating a temporal "utopia" horrifying.

As for arrogance, claiming that your holy book contains Perfect Truth, and all infidels will burn in hell is just a little condescending, no?

You're quite right that Liddle claimed atheism has become a religion. A shame the claim was complete tosh. Modern Evolutionary Theory is already a long way from The Origin of Species. No scientist is reluctant to contradict details from Darwin's book if new evidence comes to light. And the book was based on evidence, not devine revelation.

So, what are atheism's "value systems", who are it's "leaders", and what is it's plan for globel domination. Please clue me in, I feel I've been missing out!

Guest 586 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2006, 18:12   #9
Guest 586
Meldrew
 
Guest 586's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Albion
Posts: 2,069
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonLaidlow
I suppose the communists might come under that category, although it turns out that religion was alive and well under the iron curtain, just waiting to come out from undercover.

J
The personality cults of Stalin and Hitler engaged all the religious impulses in society. Hitler and Stalin weren't atheists; they simply cut out the middle man and worshipped themselves. Stalinism waged war on Orthodox Christianity because it was itself a political religion. It needed to destroy the competition. A leader whose word was infalliable, a Creed that could not be questioned, mass religious rites (with added tanks).

Stalinism also suppressed Dawinian evolution, always an amusing anecdote to relate to the creationists/intelligent designers.
Guest 586 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2006, 18:15   #10
Guest 586
Meldrew
 
Guest 586's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Albion
Posts: 2,069
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ben.bayliss
I didn't watch the whole show through, but what I saw was him very selectively choosing atheists and organisations that have become so blindly insistent in the correct-ness of atheism they have actually become what they critisise. This doesn't say anything about atheism per-se, only the extremeists. Ditto with religion I suppose - the ones causing the trouble are extremeists from whatever religion becoming too evangelical about their beliefs.

At least I know where that South Park episode came from now!!!
As Dawkins said in The God Delusion, he's "fundamentalist" about facts, whereas the fundamentalists are fundamentalist about faith.

Quite a difference.
Guest 586 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2006, 19:24   #11
Jimmyboy
^__^
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 15,613
Thanks: 79
Thanked 23 Times in 14 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron
I'm an atheist, and I find the very idea of a creating a temporal "utopia" horrifying.

As for arrogance, claiming that your holy book contains Perfect Truth, and all infidels will burn in hell is just a little condescending, no?
The difference is that for most rational followers of faith it's a purely personal belief system which improves their daily lives and not something to bully others with. It's somewhat hysterical to portray Church goers in the light of witch hunters out to get you for being a non-believer when you're hardly being coerced by the Church to sign up or fall on your sword. In contrast atheism has become extremely arrogant and views those of faith with contempt, either they are backwards at best or nutters at worst. Atheism attacks religion (or more accurately Christianity in most cases because Islam and Judaism become civil rights issues for many confused liberals) yet religion remains largely silent about atheism. So whether you acknowledge it or not atheist have become an agitator.

Quote:
You're quite right that Liddle claimed atheism has become a religion. A shame the claim was complete tosh. Modern Evolutionary Theory is already a long way from The Origin of Species. No scientist is reluctant to contradict details from Darwin's book if new evidence comes to light. And the book was based on evidence, not divine revelation.
Liddle was quite right to point out that atheism is inconsistent as it supports a theory of evolution yet fails to continue it's own exemplary logic because morality poses an obstruction to natural selection. It's an argument I used myself in the Dawkins thread when he attacked religion. Atheism has become a religion in the sense that it falls back on an "I'm right everyone who disagrees with me is ignorant!" mentality, something which Dawkins himself revealed only too well when he ended up calling a Church gathering the Nuremburg Rally.

Quote:
So, what are atheism's "value systems", who are it's "leaders", and what is it's plan for globel domination. Please clue me in, I feel I've been missing out!
Atheism obviously doesn't have it's leaders as you can hardly lead someone when you have nothing of belief. If anything I'd compare it to the model of the invisible empire. It's value systems lie in the desecration of value systems because of a fear of judgementation and a belief that anything which can mobilise people under a common banner must be dissolved to maintain individualism and resist warfare. But this is simplistic in itself, first off many people don't want to be purely individual and would prefer to be part of a collective movement as individualism feels powerless. Secondly, while atheists hold religion responsible for wars (which it often isn't), they ignore the fact that rallying around religion has helped societies to win wars against an aggressor they otherwise would have been powerless to oppose.

There's also the fact that man has had a tendency to replace God with something morally void whenever he has tinkered with the idea of man kind itself being the optimal form of species so I don't see the point in claming intellectual/progressive rights on athiesm (which to be honest is my main problem with it). Anybody who proclaims to know exactly how the world works is an idiot, part of my personal definition of an idiot is someone who can't accept that they have their own intellectual limitations instead watering everything down into a case of "I'm knowlegable, You must be ignorant". So if someone states that God doesn't exist as fact, then they're verging on being an equal to the believers that baffle you so much as nobody can seriously make that claim as fact. That's why I don't get athiesm just like you don't get religion, I can however understand being agnostic which strikes me as far more rational and logically based than athiesm.

Last edited by Jimmyboy; 19-12-2006 at 19:29.
Jimmyboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2006, 19:36   #12
Guest 45362
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,619
Thanks: 26
Thanked 150 Times in 115 Posts
It's somewhat hysterical to portray Church goers in the light of witch hunters out to get you for being a non-believer when you're hardly being coerced by the Church to sign up or fall on your sword.

So in other words, generalisation is a bad thing...



In contrast atheism has become extremely arrogant and views those of faith with contempt, either they are backwards at best or nutters at worst. Atheism attacks religion (or more accurately Christianity in most cases because Islam and Judaism become civil rights issues for many confused liberals)


I thought you didn't like generalisations?
Guest 45362 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2006, 19:38   #13
Guest 45362
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,619
Thanks: 26
Thanked 150 Times in 115 Posts
Oh and I thought that the show itself was awful - the interviews were obviously cut and editted to the point of being meaningless or were with a hand-picked select few who were then portrayed as holding the views of the majority.
Guest 45362 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2006, 20:13   #14
Padwah
Fuelled By Alcohol
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Forest
Posts: 2,383
Thanks: 1
Thanked 10 Times in 9 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmyboy
Liddle was quite right to point out that atheism is inconsistent as it supports a theory of evolution yet fails to continue it's own exemplary logic because morality poses an obstruction to natural selection. It's an argument I used myself in the Dawkins thread when he attacked religion. Atheism has become a religion in the sense that it falls back on an "I'm right everyone who disagrees with me is ignorant!" mentality, something which Dawkins himself revealed only too well when he ended up calling a Church gathering the Nuremburg Rally.
I'm not entirely sure how Atheism can be inconsistent when it is something that is individual to each person, there isn't an underlying organisation or structure to be inconsistant.
__________________
My Feedback
Padwah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2006, 21:32   #15
Guest 329
Trusted User
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Birmingham, UK
Posts: 1,300
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmyboy
The difference is that for most rational followers of faith it's a purely personal belief system which improves their daily lives and not something to bully others with. It's somewhat hysterical to portray Church goers in the light of witch hunters out to get you for being a non-believer when you're hardly being coerced by the Church to sign up or fall on your sword. In contrast atheism has become extremely arrogant and views those of faith with contempt, either they are backwards at best or nutters at worst. Atheism attacks religion (or more accurately Christianity in most cases because Islam and Judaism become civil rights issues for many confused liberals) yet religion remains largely silent about atheism.
A central tennat of Christianity is evangelism. Infact many churches preach an interpretation of the Bible that says you can't be a true Christian unless you spread the word. Hence Christian evangelism exists and is pretty much accepted, and by it's very nature attacks atheism. Hence I don't see anything wrong with the likes of Dawkins evangelising atheism through books and TV appearences.
Also as a quick straw pole, could anyone let us know if you've ever had someone stop you on the street or come to your door, ask about your religious views and then ask if you'd ever considered not bothering? Because until there's some evidence that that is happening, it seems clear that religious evangelism and the associated arrogance is far more widespread than that of atheism, so any belief that somehow atheism is out of control is badly misguided.

Secondly, you can be an atheist without believing in evolution. You can choose any theory you want that doesn't involve divine intervention. Atheism is purely catogorised by a lack of belief, it's merely been given a wholey unecessary label. If you're a doctor you could have any number of titles: medical doctor, sugical doctor, pschotherapist and so on. There's no title for someone who isn't a doctor, as it isn't needed: you're simply "None of the above". But the fundamentalist religious groups try and catorgorise those that don't believe so they can be more easily derided and passed of as 'evil' somehow.

Atheism isn't about choosing a side that opposes religion. It's about deciding not to play the game in the first place.
Guest 329 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2006, 00:04   #16
Guest 586
Meldrew
 
Guest 586's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Albion
Posts: 2,069
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmyboy
The difference is that for most rational followers of faith it's a purely personal belief system which improves their daily lives and not something to bully others with ... [and] religion remains largely silent about atheism. So whether you acknowledge it or not atheist have become an agitator.
Oh where to begin. Any creed that threatens unbelievers with eternal damnation is bullying. Atheism makes no such threat. And if you think religions are "silent" with atheism ... well I'm not even going to bother finding links, just type the appropriate words into google and trawl to your heart's content.
Quote:
Liddle was quite right to point out that atheism is inconsistent as it supports a theory of evolution ...
How can "atheism" support anything, lacking as it does any organisational structure, or any belief besides denying a deity's existence?

What about all those theistic evolutionists. Most notably the Catholic Church!
Quote:
... yet fails to continue it's own exemplary logic because morality poses an obstruction to natural selection. It's an argument I used myself in the Dawkins thread when he attacked religion. Atheism has become a religion in the sense that it falls back on an "I'm right everyone who disagrees with me is ignorant!" mentality, something which Dawkins himself revealed only too well when he ended up calling a Church gathering the Nuremburg Rally.
Why keep referencing Dawkins? He's one man. Many atheists (including myself) don't like his methods. He certainly doesn't speak for biologists on the subject of evolution.

Evolution by natural selection fits the available data by an overwhelming margin. If people deny it on scientific grounds, they'll need some damn good evidence to back themselves up. No such evidence exists, and neither does a credible scientific alternative. If people deny it on religious grounds in defiance of the evidence: well, what else can you call them but ignorant? (Deluded?)

Morality could in fact help natural selection. Any anyway, even if it "opposes" it, how does that have any bearing on evolution's truth?
Quote:
Atheism obviously doesn't have it's leaders as you can hardly lead someone when you have nothing of belief. If anything I'd compare it to the model of the invisible empire. It's value systems lie in the desecration of value systems because of a fear of judgementation and a belief that anything which can mobilise people under a common banner must be dissolved to maintain individualism and resist warfare. But this is simplistic in itself, first off many people don't want to be purely individual and would prefer to be part of a collective movement as individualism feels powerless. Secondly, while atheists hold religion responsible for wars (which it often isn't), they ignore the fact that rallying around religion has helped societies to win wars against an aggressor they otherwise would have been powerless to oppose.
Atheism is simply disbelief in God. You're attributing other beliefs that just aren't there. There are deeply conserative atheists (the Heffalump himself).

As for winning wars, Winston Churchill was a non-believer.
Quote:
There's also the fact that man has had a tendency to replace God with something morally void whenever he has tinkered with the idea of man kind itself being the optimal form of species so I don't see the point in claming intellectual/progressive rights on athiesm (which to be honest is my main problem with it). Anybody who proclaims to know exactly how the world works is an idiot, part of my personal definition of an idiot is someone who can't accept that they have their own intellectual limitations instead watering everything down into a case of "I'm knowlegable, You must be ignorant". So if someone states that God doesn't exist as fact, then they're verging on being an equal to the believers that baffle you so much as nobody can seriously make that claim as fact. That's why I don't get athiesm just like you don't get religion, I can however understand being agnostic which strikes me as far more rational and logically based than athiesm.
Generalisations are bad. Arrogance is bad. Calling holders of an opposing point of view "idiots" is generally very bad (Scientology excluded).

I've already said this, but to repeat myself: are you also "agnostic" about the existence of unicorns, faries, and tea-pots orbiting the earth? If not why single out God for special treatment.

Atheists do not claim oniscience. Very few (including Dawkins) claim God definitely doesn't exist. They simply disbelieve in the abscence of evidence. It's a perfectly reasonable position for human beings to adopt, and one that explicity acknowledges our limitations.

I actually understand the religious impulse very well; I have it myself. But I find other explanations more convincing than a sky god. I certainly don't find the traditional monotheistic Judeo-Christian texts internally consistent, let alone convincing. That doesn't lead me to call people who have faith ignorant, unless they give that faith priority over evidence.
Guest 586 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2006, 09:58   #17
Guest 980
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Swansea
Posts: 476
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The trouble with Ron Liddle is he is a useless ****. Choose the 4 letter word of your choice.

Last edited by gareth101; 20-12-2006 at 10:00.
Guest 980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2006, 10:42   #18
chrisns
Common or Garden Member
 
chrisns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,574
Thanks: 24
Thanked 57 Times in 11 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth101
The trouble with Ron Liddle is he is a useless ****. Choose the 4 letter word of your choice.
'cake'?

(hmmmm, cake...)
chrisns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2006, 12:56   #19
Guest 9392
professional time waster
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: somewhere in london
Posts: 3,987
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The Trouble with Rod Liddle..

I too thought Rod Liddle's program was infuriating.

He accuses atheists of being arrogant and smary, but that was the prevailing tone of his program, coming from him throughout interviews with atheist figures and through his voice over work which was full of insults and tirades AGAINST non-believers.

I don't think atheists ever claimed to have all the answers. I don't. Personally speaking i just don't see the fuss for a belief system in a god. Where was Rod Liddle's point at religion that most religious people are "good natured" for fear of being punished in the after life, because it's decreed by their god - and NOT necessarily because it's a honest choice to be good, or kind? It's like Clockwork Orange. Alex can't be good without first wanting to be good. No training or brainwashing can turn someone. Of course, we never got that point, instead Rod Liddle asserted that those without god are essentially drab, droll, disappasionate, detached and worst of all: immoral.

TBH, this kind of atheism bashing is perfectly suited towards the Xmas season where religious folk are preparing for prayer and celebration. It fits right in the the current flux of religious swelling for those that complain they can't express their religious "freedoms" without losing their jobs, or being lynched by a PC brigade of Observer readers.

Liddle's program raised an interesting link though, but a reaching one at that. From Darwin to Eugeniks to Hitler. The implication being what, atheists are all Nazis in waiting?! Nazism was it's own particular brand of the occult. Was itself a form of religion. Hitler had a perverse twist on Catholocism. I'm not buying that atheism is any sort of religion, no matter who beats the drum that "belief is a religion". It is not. Religion by my understandiong of the term is an massive organisation of spirtitual or divine belief. Atheists don't have troops in order to fight it's cause, or muder in the name of non belief. They don't have buildings to go and pray in, they don't have a worldwide cash fund or specialised bookstores in your highstreet, they don't knock on doors to ask for subscriptions and they don't even a RULE a country under "no-god".

Apparently, atheists are all commies or fascists, or murdering Jacobians. Or self-serving and smug scientists.

The religious are now some kind of openminded pursuers of truth and enlightenment! Give me a break!

Even so, despite the pathetic nature of the investigative journalism from our new moral lecturer, Rod "Atheists Are Fascists" Liddle, the startling point will always remain as long as humans are alive:

Biggotry and violance will always exist regardless of religion. With it's prescence or without it. It's simply human nature.

Wow - didn't know that Rod, thanks for sharing. But this was something atheists realised all too early in their intellectual careers

Last edited by Idle Child; 21-12-2006 at 13:04.
Guest 9392 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 04:01.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018 Poisonous Monkey Ltd. Part of The Digital Fix Network