At least 6 types of Atheists, according to study

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DJ Droood
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Re: At least 6 types of Atheists, according to study

Postby DJ Droood » 19 Jul 2013, 15:24

Probably important to point out that being atheist does not make one a scientist...or even rational, for that matter.
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Re: At least 6 types of Atheists, according to study

Postby Explorer » 19 Jul 2013, 15:35

1 My feeling is that science is in constant evolution and does not represent ultimate truth.
I agree, I do not mean it as ultimate truth either.
What I mean is stuff like the whole biosphere crammed into a wooden boat, or a sun/galactic alignment in 2012 that heralds the end of times, or how pluto influences life on earth. Things like that are not a matter of opinion or belief, but of common sense and education.
2 Science and religious philosophy operate on different premises and often their disagreement is based on an invalid comparison.
Bingo!... that is exactly what I meant with that 'believers' often do not understand that it often does not contradict.
And if one tries to learn what science really is, and what mysticism really is, then one can discover that.
3 Science often becomes an ideology (not, I think in your case) and blinds believers to the phenomenology of spirituality, which has a powerful reality in its own terms.
I agree. And indeed, not in my case.
Science plays an important role in fact finding about our natural world, in gathering Knowledge.
But for us humans, the phenomenology of spirituality (nicely said) also plays an important role to give all that Meaning.

Those are two different things, Knowledge (science) and Meaning (spirituality), but not perse opposites. And when you manage to reconcile the two you find interesting answers. Sometimes paradoxal, but not contradicting.
(if you do find them contradicting, then IMHO you made a mistake somewhere).
Regarding point three I've noticed that this case can frequently be attributed to Atheists. Philosophically speaking an attempt to debunk all religion in scientific terms is impossible, a recent acrimonious exchange on this board shows the futility of trying. Religious understanding has to be investigated ideographically to do it justice - see the variety of views already expressed on this thread - and science largely rejects the investigation of individual cases as valid and veers towards the nomothetic (data collection of a class of thing and validation through statistical analysis).
I agree again.
But 'believers' do it also, they often try to use 'reason' to back up their truth. Randomly borrowing from science even, I've seen 'quantum mechanics' and 'energy' making interesting appearances in the new age spirituality. And lets not even start about all the 'miracles' of the christians.

And it is indeed futile. It reminds me of a long conversation I once had with a Spanish guy in a restaurant. We had a long discussion, in french. But the next day, when I was sober again, I realised that I don't even speak french, and neither did he.
and you are right that science and spirituality don't collide as much as most people think.
Cool?
Very cool, and one of the mysteries ;-)
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Re: At least 6 types of Atheists, according to study

Postby Sciethe » 19 Jul 2013, 17:35

And it is indeed futile. It reminds me of a long conversation I once had with a Spanish guy in a restaurant. We had a long discussion, in french. But the next day, when I was sober again, I realised that I don't even speak french, and neither did he.
Subtle. You rest my case. :shake:
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Re: At least 6 types of Atheists, according to study

Postby Sciethe » 22 Jul 2013, 00:36

I class as "wrong" (personally) any religion or philosophy that often fails the happiness test.
S

Isn't it interesting how the same religion can affect people so differently? A good friend of mine and my father are both Christian. The friend uses her religion to keep herself positive, and to motivate her to do good in the world. My father uses it to reassure himself he won't be burning in hell and condemn other people. Also, in my dealings with Wiccans locally, I find some that use it to empower themselves and connect to the earth, and others who use it for the symbolism, the threat of spells, and to generally appear 'spooky'. There are so many interpretations of every religion...
Yes, good point, hadn't thought of that
Probably important to point out that being atheist does not make one a scientist...or even rational, for that matter.
And D J Droood makes it too, in another way. But I reckon that the happiness test applies to both cases, an irrational atheist is just as likely to spread general despondency as a grouchy Christian might.
Religion and spirituality are about connection with the great Divine, the Force, the Immanent Spirit. Re-ligio, re-connect. This process should (eventually) make one happy. Improve life for the person AND those around them.
With the happiness test and Explorer's intelligence test all we have to contend with is all the happy intelligent people who are simply wrong... :thinking: :-)
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Re: At least 6 types of Atheists, according to study

Postby Explorer » 22 Jul 2013, 07:32

With the happiness test and Explorer's intelligence test all we have to contend with is all the happy intelligent people who are simply wrong... :thinking: :-)
S
Mmm, I would say that slightly different. Intelligent people who are happy with what they discover, and who also dare to say 'I Don't Know'
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Re: At least 6 types of Atheists, according to study

Postby elementalheart » 22 Jul 2013, 08:23

Can I ask what you mean by "passing the happiness test" Sciethe? Are you saying a spiritual belief is only valid if it makes you feel happy? Or that it is most invalid when it claims to make you happy?

I tend to the latter view, the "happy happy" myth is one of the most damaging perpetuated by all kinds of new age, classical religion and indeed atheist and purely commercial sales pitches. Selling happiness as a commodity, something to be bought, achieved and held continuously, making anyone that "fails" to be happy have something wrong with them or not good enough, rich enough or something else enough to have deserved, earned and held on to that elusive happy feeling despite all challenges. Like being human, like dealing with a shifting world and like the fact that it is biologically unnatural for only one hormone to be constantly running through the physical system, it's an addiction to always want to feel one way, not a religious ambition one should expect/demand/promise humanity. Surely?
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Re: At least 6 types of Atheists, according to study

Postby Sciethe » 22 Jul 2013, 09:43

Can I ask what you mean by "passing the happiness test" Sciethe?
Hmm. I'd best tell a story. This is true. When I was eighteen I lived with my grandmother and grandfather, and they had a friend, a lady of seventy or so. She was white-haired, and she smiled and laughed constantly - and spent a good deal of her time helping and bringing light into the lives of others. She was married, and her husband was kind and thoughtful too. As an eighteen year old I fell head over heels in love with this woman, whose nickname was Sunshine, thought about her all the time for a long time and would look at no other woman. I never said anything to her about that, just got as much of her company as I could. That made me wistful, but happy too. She's dead now of course, but I still remember knowing her as a high point of my life.

Sunshine passes the happiness test because she brought light to others in their sadness and in their ordinary lives, and incidentally inspired me to think of it. It's my ambition to reach her perfection of radiance, but I know I never will. It's a worthwhile journey though, and a reason to move my aching feet and worthless carcass forward all the time.
Love :)
S
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Re: At least 6 types of Atheists, according to study

Postby DaRC » 22 Jul 2013, 14:08

I suppose these are just (my) notes on terminology
I don't think I'd call it the happiness test more like the positivity test.
Maybe because I think that constant happiness is an unrealistic expectation or result whilst positivity (i.e. bringing a beneficial improvement to a situation or moment) is realistic.

I like to separate spirituality and religion;
spirituality being around an individuals relationship with their (or their belief system's) concept of spirit.
Whilst religion I view as essentially a social construct to organise & control followers of a particular belief system.

A final point woud separate true science (as related to the scientific method) from media science which is where it becomes a powerful ideology or quasi-religion.
As young atheists (and I've been dealing with teenage binary thinking a lot recently :duck: ) are so used to kicking against Christianity just challenging their definition of God is always interesting. They struggle to understand any concept of deity that is not patriarchal, omniscient, omnipresent and defined by western cultural archetypes.
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Re: At least 6 types of Atheists, according to study

Postby Whitemane » 22 Jul 2013, 16:04

A final point woud separate true science (as related to the scientific method) from media science which is where it becomes a powerful ideology or quasi-religion.
As young atheists (and I've been dealing with teenage binary thinking a lot recently :duck: ) are so used to kicking against Christianity just challenging their definition of God is always interesting. They struggle to understand any concept of deity that is not patriarchal, omniscient, omnipresent and defined by western cultural archetypes.
Been there, done that, and it was long time ago :old:, but they have my understanding.

Sometimes I think that the Abrahamic religions are their own worst enemies. By not any leaving any room for doubt or questioning, people with inquiring minds will turn away, rather than accept too much doctrine.
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Re: At least 6 types of Atheists, according to study

Postby DJ Droood » 22 Jul 2013, 17:25

I suppose these are just (my) notes on terminology
I don't think I'd call it the happiness test more like the positivity test.
Maybe because I think that constant happiness is an unrealistic expectation or result whilst positivity (i.e. bringing a beneficial improvement to a situation or moment) is realistic.
Of course, as happiness and positivity are both ephemeral and nebulous, I would like to propose a third test...a usefulness test. Does your spirituality/religion, or lack thereof, serve any useful purpose to either yourself or (for me) more importantly, your community? Does it motivate you to help others, be of service, be a constructive force? I think we overemphasize the importance of people's "beliefs"....they are of no real importance, outside the echo chamber of our craniums. Whether or not we "believe" in gods is irrelevant (unless one takes Pascal's wager seriously...and even then, it is a personal gain/loss)...they either exist or they don't ....same with Evolution or who we think will be the dominant world economy in 2050. How one puts beliefs into practice, and the cost/benefit analysis for community at the end of the day, is of more importance, imo.
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