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Thread: Why are there so few atheists that actually take their philosophy seriously?

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    Default Why are there so few atheists that actually take their philosophy seriously?

    Following the common atheist mythos that scientific academia agrees with, the universe came to be out of randomness (unspecificed quantum fluctuations in the primordial singularity), is possibly just one of the near infinite number of numbers (as per M theory), biological life is the result of abiogenesis, meaning randomness and chance leading aminoacids to create living creature (through a process not yet identified), and environmental pressures explain everything as to how unicelular organisms came to form the current humans by the vector of evolutionary theory. All of what existed, and all the aforementioned phases have no intrinsic value, importance or significance, since after all, they're just statistical randomness manifesting itself.

    With that in mind, why should anything be attributed any importance? It's really puzzling how while agreeing with all the corpus above, self-described atheists still go out to boast how much they care about humanity, human rights, the ecological situation of the world, LGBT inclusion, freedom or whatever new totem there is. Why? what's the point? Why be moralistic about "oh look at how honest/charitable/courageous I am" if ultimately there is nothing of meaning to it?

    Granted, a few genuine atheists do exist and they can be found in literature or philosophy. Stirner is perhaps a good example that criticises this hypocrisy from the part of egoists (which are after all what atheists really come to be) that dont take their philosophy to total coherence:

    --


    Sacred things exist only for the egoist who does not acknowledge himself, the involuntary egoist ... in short, for the egoist who would like not to be an egoist, and abases himself (combats his egoism), but at the same time abases himself only for the sake of "being exalted", and therefore of gratifying his egoism. Because he would like to cease to be an egoist, he looks about in heaven and earth for higher beings to serve and sacrifice himself to; but, however much he shakes and disciplines himself, in the end he does all for his own sake... [on] this account I call him the involuntary egoist. ...As you are each instant, you are your own creature in this very 'creature' you do not wish to lose yourself, the creator. You are yourself a higher being than you are, and surpass yourself ... just this, as an involuntary egoist, you fail to recognize; and therefore the 'higher essence' is to you an alien essence. ... Alienness is a criterion of the "sacred".

    The book proclaims that all religions and ideologies rest on empty concepts. The same holds true for society's institutions that claim authority over the individual, be it the state, legislation, the church, or the systems of education such as Universities.

    Stirner's argument explores and extends the limits of criticism, aiming his critique especially at those of his contemporaries, particularly Ludwig Feuerbach, and at popular ideologies, including religion, liberalism, and humanism (which he regarded as analogous to religion with the abstract Man or humanity as the supreme being), nationalism, statism, capitalism, socialism, and communism.

    In the time of spirits thoughts grew till they overtopped my head, whose offspring they yet were; they hovered about me and convulsed me like fever-phantasies an awful power. The thoughts had become corporeal on their own account, were ghosts, e. g. God, Emperor, Pope, Fatherland, etc. If I destroy their corporeity, then I take them back into mine, and say: "I alone am corporeal." And now I take the world as what it is to me, as mine, as my property; I refer all to myself.
     Max Stirner, The Ego and Its Own, p 15.



    ------

    Another example, and perhaps a very impressive one since he not only reached full coherence in his ideas but put them into practise, was Donatien de Sade, who made it a very important point in his books to highlight how much he doesn't believe in any notion of God or the metaphysical plane even, instead fully spousing naturalism and abiogenesis as explanation for everything. I read enough from "Philosophy in the bedroom" to see him take the argument to all its final outcomes, meaning that murder and crime aren't somehow something to be shocked at, since ultimately they stem from the natural passions of men, and they feel good, which is after all the only thing an animal should care about. Any concept related to morality is fully vacuous and even the genocide of humanity doesn't mean squat since after all, it came from material randomness and nature could probably recreate it if it so wished it, so there's no need to fret over it.


    So... why aren't the rest of you like this? Why be this hybrid Christian ethics person that however refuses the basis on which said ethics are built? Years ago I already heard someone aptly point out how what we call 'atheists' in general, are better referred to as 'post-Christians', who seem to be unable to really interiorise the meaninglessness and void that their philosophy of choice entails and instead emulate in some mediocre way the ethical model that traditional religion has. Pretty weak.

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    I'm an atheist but I don't take it too seriously because I don't care about all this religion stuff

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto Grande View Post
    I'm an atheist but I don't take it too seriously because I don't care about all this religion stuff
    So long as you apply this to your own life and everything in your mind, then it's actually coherent. Gj.

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    There is no reason whatsoever to link Atheism to LGBT and other forms of degeneracy.

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    The so called Golden Rule has existed under different names and in many different societies without the worship of a Godhead being necessary.

    The Golden Rule or law of reciprocity is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated oneself. It is a maxim of altruism seen in many human religions and human cultures.
    You're basically arguing that people should accept something without tangible evidence (a Godheaad) over evolution (which there is evidence for) because one is based on religion that offers ethical rules, while ignoring there have been cultures that don't believe in a Godhead and yet have similar ethical rules (Chinese culture/Confucious) or believed the Gods and ethics weren't tied together (Ancient Greeks).

    The OP thinks he's coming at everyone with strength but it's in fact weakness. Instead of seeing religion as a product of man's moral nature (a consequence of an evolutionary process that allowed our ancestors to be more successful by working together) he sees morality as a gift from religion, which is a gift from God despite the fact there are cultures that as I said don't believe in a Godhead but have the same moral rules.

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    But to be consistent, the atheist should admit that, for them, life is meaningless and they might as well not exist. The highest thing they can aspire to is hedonism.

    But I think that many people who call themselves atheists are actually agnostics - they are just lazily using a popular term.

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    Quote Originally Posted by what View Post
    There is no reason whatsoever to link Atheism to LGBT and other forms of degeneracy.
    What's degeneracy? If you're an atheist, you don't have any absolute beliefs. Fertile and infertile behaviours are just the statistical fluctuations of time and are all equally meaningless by the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taiguaitiaoghyrmmumin View Post
    Believing there is a God means next to nothing if not taken as an ensemble with a sense of purpose and direction.
    There are people who say they believe in God and then eat someone else's liver while chuckling. Means nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel Frank Grimes View Post
    The so called Golden Rule has existed under different names and in many different societies without the worship of a Godhead being necessary.

    You're basically arguing that people should accept something without tangible evidence (a Godheaad) over evolution (which there is evidence for) because one is based on religion that offers ethical rules, while ignoring there have been cultures that don't believe in a Godhead and yet have similar ethical rules (Chinese culture/Confucious) or believed the Gods and ethics weren't tied together (Ancient Greeks).
    Not asking people to accept a thing. Just asking why so few atheists take their philosophy to its ultimate final outcome and linger on a system that somehow argues that while there is no meaning to anything per se, people should revere as a principle other stuff like human rights or freedom.

    The OP thinks he's coming at everyone with strength but it's in fact weakness. Instead of seeing religion as a product of man's moral nature (a consequence of an evolutionary process that allowed our ancestors to be more successful by working together) he sees morality as a gift from religion, which is a gift from God despite the fact there are cultures that as I said don't believe in a Godhead but have the same moral rules.
    What does the survival of humanity matter if humanity itself is just a product of physical randomness and statistics? If the universe is infinite, it means that several other humanities, or humanoid lifeforms are spawning and have spawned, if only because every single physical event replicates itself when the medium is expanded far enough. Why bother fretting over it?

    Also. If morality is 100% a byproduct of survival, shouldn't ethics be modelled like acting in pure bargaining manner, trying to get as much as we can of things and other people? Why care about something that in no way affects our survival, like animal cruelty for instance? Not hitting dogs means nothing for the survival of a human tribe, yet people somehow naturally feel pity and reject that behaviour.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neon Knight View Post
    But to be consistent, the atheist should admit that, for them, life is meaningless and they might as well not exist. The highest thing they can aspire to is hedonism.

    But I think that many people who call themselves atheists are actually agnostics - they are just lazily using a popular term.
    That's my point. The % of atheists that are fully consistent, like De Sade or Stirner seems to be minimal amongst the people who self-describe as such. Most seem to be caught spousing a poorer version of religious ethics while providing no foundation for them to matter at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A_V_E View Post
    Following the common atheist mythos that scientific academia agrees with, the universe came to be out of randomness (unspecificed quantum fluctuations in the primordial singularity), is possibly just one of the near infinite number of numbers (as per M theory), biological life is the result of abiogenesis, meaning randomness and chance leading aminoacids to create living creature (through a process not yet identified), and environmental pressures explain everything as to how unicelular organisms came to form the current humans by the vector of evolutionary theory. All of what existed, and all the aforementioned phases have no intrinsic value, importance or significance, since after all, they're just statistical randomness manifesting itself.
    No one knows if the Universe certainly started with the big bang but that there was likely a big bang. There could have been something before it. Another theory believes that the Universe goes into a cycle of shrinking and expanding. Shrinking till its so condensed and big bangs again. Then after expanding condenses again. but no one knows for sure. We just know that scientificly there is no evidence for God. Logically there can't be no god either because it has too many logical fallacies.

    Problem with religious people is they don't know how to update to the times of newer information when things get discovered. What religious people do is conform other ideas to fit their purpose. Even when Science doesn't back up the notion of god existing they go off tangent, sometimes even try to use psuedo science or manipulate something off context, or just some typical religious jargin.

    With that in mind, why should anything be attributed any importance? It's really puzzling how while agreeing with all the corpus above, self-described atheists still go out to boast how much they care about humanity, human rights, the ecological situation of the world, LGBT inclusion, freedom or whatever new totem there is. Why? what's the point? Why be moralistic about "oh look at how honest/charitable/courageous I am" if ultimately there is nothing of meaning to it?
    Because they truly care about others existence while they are alive. Even if you die one day you are still alive. The Fact that you will die and there is likely no after life means your life is more unique and special to you. Atheists care about others genuinely while religious people usually tend to care for others more out of fear of going to hell or punishment by their religious codes.
    Granted, a few genuine atheists do exist and they can be found in literature or philosophy. Stirner is perhaps a good example that criticises this hypocrisy from the part of egoists (which are after all what atheists really come to be) that dont take their philosophy to total coherence:

    --





    The book proclaims that all religions and ideologies rest on empty concepts. The same holds true for society's institutions that claim authority over the individual, be it the state, legislation, the church, or the systems of education such as Universities.
    No actually religious people are more egosists. They are usually extremely intolerant toward other beliefs. I just reject there is god. Its all over history. Mudering Infedils, non believers of their faith ect. Christians muslims and all other different religions have done it before. Also Religion overall slows down scientific progress because when scientific revelations or discoveries go against what a religion institution says being political the church will stop it and even kill, condem or imprison scientists.
    [/QUOTE]

    Stirner's argument explores and extends the limits of criticism, aiming his critique especially at those of his contemporaries, particularly Ludwig Feuerbach, and at popular ideologies, including religion, liberalism, and humanism (which he regarded as analogous to religion with the abstract Man or humanity as the supreme being), nationalism, statism, capitalism, socialism, and communism.

    — Max Stirner, The Ego and Its Own, p 15.

    ------

    Another example, and perhaps a very impressive one since he not only reached full coherence in his ideas but put them into practise, was Donatien de Sade, who made it a very important point in his books to highlight how much he doesn't believe in any notion of God or the metaphysical plane even, instead fully spousing naturalism and abiogenesis as explanation for everything. I read enough from "Philosophy in the bedroom" to see him take the argument to all its final outcomes, meaning that murder and crime aren't somehow something to be shocked at, since ultimately they stem from the natural passions of men, and they feel good, which is after all the only thing an animal should care about. Any concept related to morality is fully vacuous and even the genocide of humanity doesn't mean squat since after all, it came from material randomness and nature could probably recreate it if it so wished it, so there's no need to fret over it.
    You are kind of over estimating Humans self centeredness. Yes humans are self centered but they still inherently care for others however their needs need to be met first before caring for others. Caring for others is an important element in family. This is a thing observed in animals although since we live in societies we also learn to care for others who we relate to as well.
    So... why aren't the rest of you like this? Why be this hybrid Christian ethics person that however refuses the basis on which said ethics are built? Years ago I already heard someone aptly point out how what we call 'atheists' in general, are better referred to as 'post-Christians', who seem to be unable to really interiorise the meaninglessness and void that their philosophy of choice entails and instead emulate in some mediocre way the ethical model that traditional religion has. Pretty weak.
    Life is meaningless, you give your life purpose when you feel satisfaction in something you want to do. The only other purpose is your biological purpose to survive. As much as you wish life was much more complicated as to why you are alive its not that complicated. You are born from chance but the processes in detail are very complicated. We have ethics because of various reasons, humans have emotions which is very important. If we had no emotions we would have no ethics because we would not care for anything. Ethics also provide sense of whats needed for order in society. problem with religious people is they want to feel special because they have a figure thats powerful and loves them. Also that they want to have a purpose but don't understand that they create their own destiny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A_V_E View Post
    What's degeneracy? If you're an atheist, you don't have any absolute beliefs. Fertile and infertile behaviours are just the statistical fluctuations of time and are all equally meaningless by the end.
    You need to create a God to have absolute beliefs? What is the meaning of absolute (in a philosophical sense)?
    noun
    1.
    PHILOSOPHY
    a value or principle that is regarded as universally valid or that may be viewed without relation to other things.
    "good and evil are presented as absolutes"
    A universally valid principle. As I pointed out before the so called 'Golden Rule' has existed in cultures across the globe among people who both believed and didn't believe in a Godhead.





    Believing there is a God means next to nothing if not taken as an ensemble with a sense of purpose and direction.
    There are people who say they believe in God and then eat someone else's liver while chuckling. Means nothing.
    Perhaps their interpretation of the Godhead includes murder and eating people's livers? Lets not forget the God of the old testament ordered that all men in the city of Jericho be murdered and the women and children enslaved. Lets not forget the God of the OT had the first born male of Egypt killed despite having nothing to do with the Pharaoh's decision not to free the Jews. I wouldn't be able to justify eating a human liver but I could justify doing many horrible things by referencing the OT.

    Not asking people to accept a thing. Just asking why so few atheists take their philosophy to its ultimate final outcome and linger on a system that somehow argues that while there is no meaning to anything per se, people should revere as a principle other stuff like human rights or freedom.
    Human rights and freedom fall under the 'Golden Rule' of which I already showed isn't a sole product of any religion but can be found every where including among people who don't worship a Godhead.

    What you did was create a strawman argument. You point at some atheists who have made particular statements and say, "Look there! They say life has no meaning!" This is like me pointing to the atrocities committed in the name of God and saying "Look there! Christians slaughter innocent people!" You take the actions and beliefs of a few to define the whole.

    What does the survival of humanity matter if humanity itself is just a product of physical randomness and statistics?
    The joy of being an active participant in life, maybe?

    If the universe is infinite, it means that several other humanities, or humanoid lifeforms are spawning and have spawned, if only because every single physical event replicates itself when the medium is expanded far enough. Why bother fretting over it?
    Man's natural curiosity of the unknown and discovering the answers to all questions? Humanity is where it is today because of our intelligence and curious nature that goes with being intelligent. We want to understand the world around us.

    Also. If morality is 100% a byproduct of survival, shouldn't ethics be modelled like acting in pure bargaining manner, trying to get as much as we can of things and other people?
    No society survives without trust. If everyone was looking to get the most out of people regardless of what happened to that person society would collapse Altruism also creates strong bonds in a community and so it's not surprising that people with particular personalities exist at higher numbers than other personalities if it's beneficial for a functioning society.

    Why care about something that in no way affects our survival, like animal cruelty for instance? Not hitting dogs means nothing for the survival of a human tribe, yet people somehow naturally feel pity and reject that behaviour.
    Many societies on Earth have reached the point where other life becomes sacred to them. Much of this has to do with the observation that animals have emotions and so many people see something of themselves in other intelligent beings. A tree is a living thing. A tree doesn't whine. A tree doesn't have emotions. We can cut down a tree without a care. A dog whines when its struck. A dog shows emotion. We related to a creature that shows emotion. No one cries about a fish being killed.



    That's my point. The % of atheists that are fully consistent, like De Sade or Stirner seems to be minimal amongst the people who self-describe as such. Most seem to be caught spousing a poorer version of religious ethics while providing no foundation for them to matter at all.
    My statement about the 'Golden Rule' does away with your argument.

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