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Switch to Forum Live View Secular Humanism just a coward's claim? Is it all talk-do they actually believe it when it matters?
3 years ago  ::  Apr 24, 2012 - 8:25PM #1
Bob_the_Lunatic
Posts: 3,458

 This thread is based on an ongoing idea of impossible thinking, that I continue to see make sense to many atheists on this board, to be specific, two ideas they use at separate times for different reasons-but the two together are contradictory.


1/  "Atheism is simple you idiots, it simply means one who lacks belief in any gods."


And


2/  "Buddhism isn’t atheist, it’s just Buddhism.   Who cares if it lacks belief in gods, and just focuses on the human being, that doesn’t mean it’s atheist, it has nothing to do with atheism."


Note how the "simple idea" suddenly seems to get complicated when it threatens the world view of the atheist in question.  By their argument #1 (which is the accurate one,  via dictionary, Wikipedia, etc.) no question that any belief system which has no belief in gods and THUS LACKS GODS, is by definition an atheist belief system.  And all the more true when they are relatively rare and outnumbered by most religions-which do tend to not just believe in gods but have them at their center.  Like any other atheist, gods are irrelevant to Buddhism and its practice, they contradict Buddhism at its core.  Point being, there are indeed “atheist religions”, by definition-the REAL one, not ones that make fanatical atheists feel cozy.   (And allow me to clarify, I see this confusion (claiming 1 & 2 above have synergy and not the complete mutual exclusivity that they obviously do) frequently, but fanatics on this board are much rarer-so don’t think I equate the accidental ignorance/narrow view of the more common atheist with the nazi talk of the fanatics….  Just like Christians, stick to the definition, objectively, as it IS simple-and you won’t have a problem with this concept, which is indeed true, and instead one should note that it is interesting and unique that some religions have no such theism-and thus likely cannot have the same arguments thrown at theisms thrown at them and make sense.


That said-the real point here is that I just saw it again, this idea that a godless religion is not an "atheist religion" when it clearly is, by definition.  It might be a stretch to say "all trees are atheist-they don't believe in gods" as theism and atheism are irrelevant to trees eh?  But this is NOT some stretch except to the ridiculously insecure:  Atheism is ALL ABOUT RELIGION, so if a religion has no gods, it's not only logical, but proper and appropriate to begin by calling it "theist" or "atheist" as I would argue that simple feature or lack of it has a profound influence on differences in all regards..  It’s like saying that there is “white” and there is “male” but there is no such thing as a “white male”.  They are not at all mutually exclusive, and since atheism is so simple, it has synergy with Buddhism.  I like to use this term “atheist faiths” for one reason:   The atheist faiths don’t tend to murder each other and I believe there’s a correlation, as they don’t have some perfect and all powerful being backing up their points of view and making them think they’re superior… and its much older than the 2 biggest killers, so it’s not like it hasn’t had a chance to be oppressive.


Back to the point and the nature of my thread here:  It was suggested that somehow there are “levels” of atheism.  And further, that Buddhism isn’t even on the list with things that ARE associated with atheism like “secular humanism”.  Now you’ll see I continue to put this in quotes.  I do so as I would assert that while this concept was drummed up based on something real and good-it is now abused by most who claim it as I’ll show in this post.  Now I believe it is usually claimed out of insecurity.   “Naked Atheists” (those without an atheist faith or philosophy, either by their design or another) on the one hand call any follower of a religion a “sheep”, yet they are jumping to a stance somebody else invented as well-so they commit hypocrisy when they do so.   Further, in their behavior and when tested, I see that they tend to fail-revealing they don’t really hold this belief.  By this I mean-it’s all talk, they won’t fight for it, they won’t even admit it sometimes.  And I would argue that the concept was true at some point, today it is just a coward’s way of saying “I’m an atheist”…. “Secular Humanist” just sounds better and safer for an atheist to say, doesn’t it.  Mind you-this is regarding AMERICANS, where “atheism” is an evil, awful word-that is, atheists have a right to be scared.  But if they don’t face that fear, and STAND for their belief or disbelief… then they can’t really claim it’s a belief.  They prove the real belief is to “not stand out when it matters and play it safe, my belief is nothing worth fighting for, even just a tiny fight , much less worth dying for…”  And now I’ll show where I come to this conclusion.  Rebuttals, comments and ad hominems are welcome and encouraged.  And lastly-I’d want to point out the OBVIOUS implication if what I say is even somewhat true:  That secular humanists today (in America) are actually enemies of atheism, so they have NERVE claiming to be atheists, much less to be associated with it….  They are on the front lines, where they can make a difference-but only if they really believe what they say. 


“Secular humanists”,  I would argue are perhaps LESS "atheist" than Buddhists if one wishes to boil this unworthy claim down (the claim from the other thread of “What Atheism is not”, which implied secular humanism is associated in some way with Atheism, while Buddhism is not, quote “Buddhism is Buddhism”.  I would argue that they BOTH have an equal claim, PRECISELY because of the truth of that thread-atheism is so simple and neutral toward any other belief (other than gods) that any concept in the realm of atheism (lacking gods) has equal claims to this simple concept.    Normally I would make no such argument; not caring.  But since the implication continues to be brought it to the table... allow me to retort.   I’ve yet to hear a valid rebuttal to my simple, and agendaless claim of this idea of “atheist faiths”, and I’ve made good arguments why religions should be separated first in this regard-due to a strong correlation of body counts with religions with gods, vs. the low body counts of those without gods.   It’s a valid reason to make the claim-yet it’s never been disputed with anything more than ad hominems, nor has the actual argument (ie motivation stated just now been even addressed, much less disputed!)  As such-that argument was won and forfeited by those atheists long ago-that’s not what this is about.  However, the fear of this idea of a marriage between religion and atheism (clearly only by a religion without gods, like Buddhism) seems to enrage some atheists-so quickly forgetting how simple the definition is, how it is only biased against gods, NOTHING ELSE, it’s not “areligionism” it’s ATHEISM.   But here I wish to address this idea that “secular humanism” has more synergy, or more right to be associated with atheism than Buddhism.  And I’d like to argue that if such an argument is to be made, ultimately I bet the opposite is true.


 


I've never heard of a Buddhist recanting Buddhism, nor the atheist aspect (fundamental, but a mere aspect at best) of it upon facing death and certainly not when faced with an inconvience-yet I've seen many such cases with "secular humanists", including LEADERS of it, and 2 examples of that are given, both quite recent.  These secular humanistts bwill sacrifice their so-called belief upon even an illusion of danger-like what others think of them-which means it's not really a belief at all, but just something they say... likely out of insecurity. My father is a very famous atheist (and a "secular humanist")... yet upon realizing death was quite near (diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma cancer, all through his body) he shocked me by suddenly saying things like "IF there is a god... blah blah blah", he even put it in a bulk email as though he didn't realize he just went back on a large portion of his claims over the last 20 years, and did so without a thought.  I always thought christians were full of shit when they said "ya, you'll call out for jesus on your death bed..."  But if it can happen so easily, upon the slightest hint of danger (I see it just when image is at stake too-ie what some guy thinks of you is more important than standing by this so-called belief).... and so close to me, it is logical that it does indeed happen perhaps quite often.   And again, he's quite famous, most notably for spending about $80,000 of his own personal money toward a referendum to pass a law in a state that would be unprecedented anywhere in America, and a big step toward honoring the Constitution.  My point isn't to brag about my father-no, certainly not, he also basically wrecked most of the relationships in my family with lies, and revealed a very low character all of a sudden, mostly over money-while using his cancer to blind those near to the obvious reality.  My point rather is that he's a FAMOUS atheist, a pioneer of atheism at the very least.... and thus all the more frightening that he would weaken so easily on his stance.  I was ashamed.  


With that in mind, I would argue further that "naked atheism", that is... no beliefs in the "really real" (just a joke from X-files, but my point is-"no belief in something deeper" from my perspective, or "something more" to be more general in regard to the "naked" adjective...... as I was saying, "naked atheism" seems like it would lead to a much higher chance of recanting as this famous (but proven fraud to the honorable) atheist recanted.  [And to be clear here:  To go from claiming certainly or at least confidence for a couple decades.... to "IF" upon facing death is FRAUD, and nothing fancier].  And on the other hand...  why would someone fake having a different faith and then do the same thing-that makes much less sense.


Anyway-it was a silly implicit argument you made-so I thought I'd jump in and discuss this accidentally proposed "degrees of atheism" implied by you differentiating atheist faiths from "no faith atheism" like "secular humanism".  


 


And a final thought, so just recently, upon visiting my hometown, I attended a "Freethinkers Meeting".  My sister is very involved with them and I went and had some very nice conversations, most notably with a former Jew.  So my point is.... I found another example of what I mean here:  The man in charge, perhaps president of this group in this area was talking to me.  He was talking about his job and he's obviously (financially) very successful, as it was his home and revealed they made a good deal of money.  Anyway, he was talking about how his supervisor or something would hold these prayer meetings prior to the work day starting.  So my assumption is that he's leading into a story he's proud of, something about leading a charge regarding the hostile work environment this would create.  And I'm right, and any lawyer would agree. Nothing wrong with having something in common with the boss, maybe you both like the Bears, or you both like loose women, or maybe you're both keen on Jesus, fine.  However-when you literally and go out of your way to combine the two-adding prayer groups TO THE WORKPLACE, you've now crossed a legal line and will pay for it if someone gripes.  


I myself have done it:  I worked at an organization that was quite large for our town, about 200 employees.   And the boss (owner and GM), sent out an xmas email, which is fine.  I celebrate xmas, just not with the creepy zombie or any angels or other nonsense.   However, at the end, he wrote "God Bless You".  Which I have an issue with considering he's the boss.  He's essentially saying there IS religion in this work place, and it happened to not be mine.  So I wrote him what I thought was an appropriate email back-which included, "But keep your god to yourself, the workplace should not favor any religion openly, that is discrimination."  And frankly, I very much needed this job, not for the money-but for the health insurance.  Anyway, I don't hear a thing about it until about 3 months later when I actually did something wrong.  And the manager said something about how it wasn't an "isolated incident".  I understood this song half sung, so I pressed, asking what he was talking about.  And he replied as expected, "Well how bout some of the emails you've sent out."  At which point I got pissed again, and basically told him again the nature of the email and that religion has no place in a business unless the business is related to religion (for example, the local scrapbooking place is of course run by mormons and sells piles of temple pictures, etc.-my argument makes less sense to me there, this place was for Windows Tech Support...) and that it was becoming a hostile work environment.  I went on further at this point, since he opened the door and pointed out how the breakroom was offensive to me with the sign on the fridge that said "My karma ran over your dogma", which is very offensive as it makes Buddhism look idiotic (ie like christianity) and it makes no sense from the perspective of what karma means and again... that the work place should have secular jokes, not religious jokes.  I then pointed out that a large number of pods (work stations) had crucifixes in them-and that this place was a lawsuit waiting to happen, etc. threat, etc.


Needlesstosay, that was the end of that argument and he clearly didn't realize what he was walking into.  And that is the PRECISE nature of my point:  Mixing YOUR authority with YOUR religion is an unfair advantage, which also encourages LIKE MINDED subordinates to follow suit and be favored....   Only an idiot would not understand the problem with it... an idiot or a christian lol.


And guess what happened?   It was all removed, later I found out they did indeed talk to a lawyer as I freaked them out with all my bellowing, ranting, and balls to tell off the owner (also a prominent mormon in town).... and found out I was exactly right and I'd likely still win a lawsuit on "unjust firing" due to the circumstances and paper trail.... even if I was really fired for shooting the boss with a gun.   


 


So back to the story about the prominent leader of this atheist group.... He was NOT leading into a respectable story about how he CHANGED and AMERICANIZED his workplace, as I did.  I didn't see it as anything grand, or bold... I simply see that nothing changes, and minorities get stepped on unless they stand up for themselves.  And why wait for someone else to do it.  Well, this man did not do that.  And he was clearly proud of what he was telling me.  He was actually telling me how upon finding out about a new employee's religion, that he would help them by telling them the situation.  He was instructing them to essentially indicate they were christian.. well, really explicitly so.  And this was very specific, telling them to claim they went to the Presbyterian Church, as it had the most pastors or ministers or whatever-so if they (the christian) had a follow up question, they could simply claim to have gone to a different service, thus avoiding getting caught in the lie.  ie He was explaining his view of how a secular humanist (which he is) should function in the workplace-by being more clever and smarter than the christians and hiding one's atheism.


 


Personally I was DISGUSTED, and I really offended my sister as after we left, I said "Gee, I thought you were taking me to a party of REAL atheists".  [Cowards]-hiding in the shadows, and any of you who do that are WORSE than christians, as you hide, like cowards instead of not only recognizing your rights, but STANDING UP for them.  We also noticed, as we walked around that they all frequently were having the same converstaion-the nature of which was to justify their atheism.... even though among their "own kind" in that regard.


In other words, I'm starting to see a consistent insecurity with "naked atheism".  That man, the leader of the local chapter or something-all I know is he was in charge of this group of a few hundred freethinkers/atheists, many of which are secular humanists, likely most-but I know firsthand at least "many".    So again.... we have an atheist leader who won't stand up for atheism.... even when the Constitution says he's right to do so, etc.  Humanity too says so, yet the secular HUMANIST doesn't seem to get it, but to the Buddhist-there's no question and it's just second nature.  



Lastly, now that I've shown my point... allow me to finish MY story when I stood up for atheism and every other non-christian (well, the last part goes without saying.... who else pushes their religion at everyone else?)  I did indeed get fired, a few months later.  They waited a few months, and then began monitoring EVERY CALL I made.  Normally you monitor each agent once per week, you never monitor the same agent everyday for his entire shift. I know all this as I had previously been promoted as a senior technician (ie, we help the other techs when they get stuck and take over their calls), and knew many of the people in QA, one of which told me what went down.  So one might argue this atheist leader was right-you rock the boat you get fired.  But I don't regret it, again, he's a fraud.  I wasn't aware that principles were less important than dirty paper, or careers. Obviously he and I don't even speak the same language.  


So in the final analysis, those atheists, who both happen to be atheist leaders, and both are "Secular Humanists" are really ENEMIES of atheism and of justice.  They are both cowards who do the easy thing when the real test is put to them, and shrink from the challenge, from the light, from the truth and ultimately both revealed (without realizing it) that their lack of belief, their atheism, and therefore their "secular humanism" is just a joke, it's paper thin and as fragile as a rose.  So they are fools helping perpetuate the injustice (christians pushing everyone else around in the US), and showing more respect to christianity than atheism or secular humanism, or themselves.


Now these are just 2 examples, but they are very relevant to my argument as these were both atheist leaders-and neither of them saw a problem with compromising their disbelief.  And that brings us full circle:  Without a belief in place of that which they reject, it appears to be a lot of talk. I have a different belief, but it's about this world-so where better to apply it than when I experience or witness tyranny or injustice?  If they cannot put whatever it is they believe into action, what the hell good is it?


So to these 2 men, obviously while atheism is NOT their belief, neither is "Secular Humanism".  As beliefs are NOT what you say folks, they are what you DO when it matters, and both were cowards in light of their claims of secular humanism.  Instead, their "beliefs" are clearly very shallow, based on quick gratification or security rather than any semblence of deep principles-which would make it seem natural, and without even a moment's debate on whether or not to stand up for rights that are being violated.  People fight for what they care about... if anything, obviously the atheists I know don't see atheism or secular humanism worth fighting for.  


I'm betting this isn't a strange set of anomolies.  I'm betting it's likely the case in the majority at least in America-where indeed atheists are hated, and christians trample everyone else's rights and hold much of the power.  Yet a man with principles cares not about a job, or anything really... not when they conflict with his principles.  They are the ones making it hard for atheists, not the christians.  Why would one expect anything from the latter?  This group, the christians are basically adults who believe in Santa Clause.... and atheists expect THEM to wake up and start showing equity to others??????????  They must be if they sneak around, as the job is obviously theirs and they avoid it and in the end-they too act like little children who don't know any better, looking for a quick fix, instead of standing up for WHO THEY ARE, and nobody can deny regardless of cowardice or shallowness, if you are an atheist, whatever it means to you-is part of you.  But apparently, replacing one's deepest beliefs with nothing or let's say, something less than honest, but clearly still nothing if we consider behavior when it matters.... so instead of nothing, we'll call it "secular humanism".   


Here's a hint, "Secular Humanists":  Animals do what is easiest in the moment-they take advantage of opportunties, and RUN from danger, thus psychology's "Fight or Flight" theory-which of course was based on humans being like any other animal.   Then call it "Secular Animalism" because so far, I don't see how the average secular humanist shows any difference from a dog, or a bear or anything else that says there's anything different about being a human.  And if you Do think there's anything special about us as human beings-THEN and ONLY THEN may you use the word, showing some clue of what it means:  It means we will indeed get fired rather than compromise our deepest beliefs or the nothingness that replaced them-or at least in the principle of  having the right NOT to believe in any religion... yet it appears to be all talk-a job is more important, image is more important, it's a fucking joke.  Nothing special about hiding or running.  And, I'd point out-it's THOSE atheists, those "secular humanists" who give the REAL atheists-you know the ones that also WALK THE WALK, and hint-usually they're the ones that DON'T have bumper stickers-funny isn't it:  If your beliefs are REAL, or your disbelief is important.... you don't need to advertise, instead you reveal it WHEN IT MATTERS, at the MOMENT OF TRUTH.  But from what I see, the emptiest barrels make the loudest noise, and so far I only see a bunch of empty garbage cans in this so-called "Secular Humanism".  


Why?  Because I see this consistent pattern of fear, of insecurity.   So you're outnumbered, big fucking deal, stand up for something-you believe you only live once, gonna spend it hiding, waiting for some OTHER atheist to have the balls to MEAN what he/she says?  Ya, just do what's easiest, talk about it at parties, on the internet-but when it comes down to battle, you better run and let the Buddhists and other REAL atheists fight-fine by me, I'm proud to take those battles and proud when I get fired for "dropping a call" after being a senior tech for 3 years and a spotless record... until I told off the boss about piimping jesus in the workplace.    Because in the end-I am true to myself.  I just didn't realize it was such an uncommon thing.  He was proud of it (explaining how he told other atheists to deal with christians by pretending to be among them....), unfucking believable.  I had a great time until then... but it wrecked the party for me, realizing I was among frauds apparently.  So I put the quesiton to all the secular humanists-you know you have been tested, what did you do?  It's one thing not to advertise, it's another to LIE about important beliefs to avoid dealing with the reality of being a minority.   Also, I would argue that what I said about Bumper Stickers is true:  It reveals INSECURITY not confidence, why else do you need to tell people?  If it's true, that's enough-no need to brag or make some statement, which again, when you boil it down is empty and easy and likely not meaningful when it matters....


And one last point (for real this time) I would argue that the very CONCEPT of "Secular Humanism" was born out of insecurity... by those who take a pride (later found to be false and thin apparently) in rejecting "all of it"... yet still feel the need to claim something.  What else could it be.... it makes such atheists come across as, again, very "fragile", "insecure", and not someone I want next to me in battle with dangerous, bloody, murderous bastards like the christians!!    But they don't kill us anymore.... you behave as though they did, almost like you miss the days where we (non-christians) DID Have to sneak around, meet in private.  


Frankly, that freethinkers meeting felt just like that-worse than an AA meeting, pathetic.  Anyway, I'm simply saying to those of you who need bumper stickers or a claim of something.... not only do you appear to contradict your whole premise (ie "I reject all of it, it's all manmade nonsense, and it's okay to believe in nothing spiritual, etc.") but it makes you look like frauds:  So you're essentially saying you're not followers... and not sheep like the christians, and the Buddhists (although most of you seem to know NOTHING about the latter, yet lump us in with them like we have ANYTHING in common-frankly YOU ("secular humanists" have MUCH more in common with the christians than Buddhists do, I think the premise of both groups is today based on BULLSHIT, not reason-secular humanists are just aware of what reason looks like, thus fakes it better-but all it really says is that the latter is dishonest and just as ridiculous as christianity-at least christians seem to believe their bullshit-they'll fight, they'll die for it, WILL YOU??? If not, then it's nonsense, nothing, not even a real belief-not if you sacrifice it for a job, or a paycheck or an opinion of a christian-"humanism" what a joke!!!!!)

Moderated by Jcarlinbn on Apr 25, 2012 - 03:30AM
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 24, 2012 - 9:40PM #2
Fodaoson
Posts: 11,162

Humanism puts humans and human expression at the center of life.  Life, living are the basis, reason, and purpose of life for a humanist. Secularism shuts out, ignores, religion and religious thought.   In academic terms the Humanities are studies of the way man expresses himself;. Art Music, literature, performance, religion , philosophy, are among “the humanities”. Secular Humanism leaves out Religion and Religious expression.


Atheism ignores denies or rejects the concept of  deity/theism ; secularism  ignores religion and deities;   Humanism  accept religion as a human activity ,but  places it as a peer to literature, dance,  music, etc. The three, atheism, secularism, humanism, have commonalities but are each distinct       

“I seldom make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.” Edward Gibbon
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 4:05AM #3
JCarlin
Posts: 6,942

Apr 24, 2012 -- 8:25PM, Bob_the_Lunatic wrote:


 This thread is based on an ongoing idea of impossible thinking, ...



Interesting rant.  I don't have time to pick it apart piece by piece at this time but I will mention a few misconceptions.  Atheism is not a religion, nor a belief system, nor something to defend.  As noted some atheists may not even defend their atheism on their deathbed.  This is all consistent with a non-belief based philosophy.  But I won't be at your back in sham battles for "rights" I find that a much more effective tactic is walking the talk and showing that living without God is a more effective and productive alternative to religious battles. 


I would tend to agree that atheists that need meetings tend not to walk the talk, and use meetings as a substitute for effective action.  There are of course exceptions, but in general I have not found meetings to be a productive use of my time. 

J'Carlin
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't cram your foot in it and complain.
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 3:41PM #4
costrel
Posts: 6,226

Apr 24, 2012 -- 8:25PM, Bob_the_Lunatic wrote:

This thread is based on an ongoing idea of impossible thinking, that I continue to see make sense to many atheists on this board, to be specific, two ideas they use at separate times for different reasons-but the two together are contradictory.


1/  "Atheism is simple you idiots, it simply means one who lacks belief in any gods."


And


2/  "Buddhism isn’t atheist, it’s just Buddhism.   Who cares if it lacks belief in gods, and just focuses on the human being, that doesn’t mean it’s atheist, it has nothing to do with atheism."


I would agree that Buddhism can be atheistic, just as it can be theistic. Atheistic, as an adjective, would be describing what kind of Buddhism it is, just like prefixing proper nouns (Rinzai, Soto, Himalayan, Tibetan, Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Mahasamghika, etc.) to Buddhism can describe and define what kind of Buddhism one practices or is discussing. 


I also think that one of the difficulties some have with Buddhism is that it is, after all, a religion. It has doctrines, terminology, scriptures, monastic codes and sanghas, rituals, prayers and chants and offerings and other forms of devotion, clothing, art, architecture, ethical codes, music, poetry, eating and tea-drinking practices, etc. For those of us who were raised Catholic, it does seem just as complicated and ritualistic as Catholicism. For instance, I recall the second Buddhist funeral that I attended in Japan. While the monks chanted in the front of the room with their backs to the laity, one of my Japanese friends, who was a serious student of Buddhism, whispered to me that even he couldn't understand the old form of Japanese that the monks were chanting in. 


So I think that those who identify atheism not only as a lack of belief in god(s) but also as a rejection of religion might have a difficult time appreciating that Buddhism can be (though not always is) an atheistic religion. 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 6:46PM #5
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Apr 24, 2012 -- 9:40PM, Fodaoson wrote:


Humanism puts humans and human expression at the center of life.  Life, living are the basis, reason, and purpose of life for a humanist. Secularism shuts out, ignores, religion and religious thought.   In academic terms the Humanities are studies of the way man expresses himself;. Art Music, literature, performance, religion , philosophy, are among “the humanities”. Secular Humanism leaves out Religion and Religious expression.


Atheism ignores denies or rejects the concept of  deity/theism ; secularism  ignores religion and deities;   Humanism  accept religion as a human activity ,but  places it as a peer to literature, dance,  music, etc. The three, atheism, secularism, humanism, have commonalities but are each distinct       




Put that way, humanism alone (without the "secular" part)  could be theist just as easily as atheist. 


In that regard, I consider myself humanist.  

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 7:08PM #6
Bob_the_Lunatic
Posts: 3,458

Apr 25, 2012 -- 4:05AM, JCarlin wrote:


Apr 24, 2012 -- 8:25PM, Bob_the_Lunatic wrote:


 This thread is based on an ongoing idea of impossible thinking, ...



Interesting rant.  I don't have time to pick it apart piece by piece at this time but I will mention a few misconceptions.  Atheism is not a religion, nor a belief system, nor something to defend.  As noted some atheists may not even defend their atheism on their deathbed.  This is all consistent with a non-belief based philosophy.  But I won't be at your back in sham battles for "rights" I find that a much more effective tactic is walking the talk and showing that living without God is a more effective and productive alternative to religious battles. 


I would tend to agree that atheists that need meetings tend not to walk the talk, and use meetings as a substitute for effective action.  There are of course exceptions, but in general I have not found meetings to be a productive use of my time. 




That's fine, but not what I said.  I said "belief or disbelief".  One should defend one's principles, PERIOD.  And it's not about defending in these cases, but again, the word I used, which was "recanting".  Which mocks real atheists when an "atheist" of any variety, including so called "secular humanists" lie and claim they are christians to avoid discrimination.  That's betraying the self, not defending the self.  I would consider that if you can't get that part straight, you'll get shredded in an argument on the whole rant as you'll generally be arguing against points in your head instead of those in my rant :)  So please read it, get it, THEN respond.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 7:20PM #7
Bob_the_Lunatic
Posts: 3,458

Apr 25, 2012 -- 3:41PM, costrel wrote:


Apr 24, 2012 -- 8:25PM, Bob_the_Lunatic wrote:

This thread is based on an ongoing idea of impossible thinking, that I continue to see make sense to many atheists on this board, to be specific, two ideas they use at separate times for different reasons-but the two together are contradictory.


1/  "Atheism is simple you idiots, it simply means one who lacks belief in any gods."


And


2/  "Buddhism isn’t atheist, it’s just Buddhism.   Who cares if it lacks belief in gods, and just focuses on the human being, that doesn’t mean it’s atheist, it has nothing to do with atheism."


I would agree that Buddhism can be atheistic, just as it can be theistic. Atheistic, as an adjective, would be describing what kind of Buddhism it is, just like prefixing proper nouns (Rinzai, Soto, Himalayan, Tibetan, Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Mahasamghika, etc.) to Buddhism can describe and define what kind of Buddhism one practices or is discussing. 


I also think that one of the difficulties some have with Buddhism is that it is, after all, a religion. It has doctrines, terminology, scriptures, monastic codes and sanghas, rituals, prayers and chants and offerings and other forms of devotion, clothing, art, architecture, ethical codes, music, poetry, eating and tea-drinking practices, etc. For those of us who were raised Catholic, it does seem just as complicated and ritualistic as Catholicism. For instance, I recall the second Buddhist funeral that I attended in Japan. While the monks chanted in the front of the room with their backs to the laity, one of my Japanese friends, who was a serious student of Buddhism, whispered to me that even he couldn't understand the old form of Japanese that the monks were chanting in. 


So I think that those who identify atheism not only as a lack of belief in god(s) but also as a rejection of religion might have a difficult time appreciating that Buddhism can be (though not always is) an atheistic religion. 




In that regard, religion in general could be first best described and categorized as "theistic" or "atheistic", which was the first point, but more of background on the real issue of "atheist frauds".



Also Costrel, I too was raised Catholic-so I can understand your point.  However, Buddhism is much more diverse than Christianity.  For example:  My sect has ZERO monks, no priests, JUST laity.   And there are no rules other than "keep chanting", which should indeed be the only rule of any religion, ie "practice this religion".  If a religion has any truth.... it would arouse wisdom to live properly, thus why would it NEED rules?   So I never found it "complicated", just "deep".  And by this I mean, first-it's backward of what Catholicism teaches (reliance on jesus, priests, lower status than both, humans can't know the answers to these deep questions, etc.), second-I frequently find some theory that just boggles me, I just cannot get it.  But upon chanting, and then reading-I see it completely differently.  Which makes sense as the point of Buddhist practice is to raise one's life condition and awaken wisdom.  


Ultimately I would say this about it:  It's very difficult, the "it" being the practice.   But not rituals, or ethics, or other surface things.  Also, my faith is equal, not just for laity vs. priests obviously, but also men and women (women lead the chanting as frequently as men), all ages, nationalities, and even sexual preferences.  I say the "even" on the latter as it appears to be among the last things recognized in America, precisely BECAUSE of the christians who vilify "sodomy", yet have interestingly redefined it to mean "anal sex" while ignoring that "oral sex" is also sodomy.  Perhaps they recognized that with rules against fellatio, any religion would instantly shrink lol.  


My point is simply that if I understand Catholicism, I cannot claim I understand LDS (Mormonism), as they are drastically different, yet BOTH are "christianity".   Then is likely 100x more true in Buddhism as it is much more diverse than Christianity.



Did you read the rest of it Costrel as you only commented on the background point. I ask as I had specifically looked forward to your answer as you are one of the people here that I think adds to respect for atheists, and I believe you are the real deal.  And the nature of this thread is that I think many atheists are frauds, so I wanted your take on the issue, as well as the reasoning I've given.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 7:22PM #8
Bob_the_Lunatic
Posts: 3,458

Apr 25, 2012 -- 6:46PM, mytmouse57 wrote:


Apr 24, 2012 -- 9:40PM, Fodaoson wrote:


Humanism puts humans and human expression at the center of life.  Life, living are the basis, reason, and purpose of life for a humanist. Secularism shuts out, ignores, religion and religious thought.   In academic terms the Humanities are studies of the way man expresses himself;. Art Music, literature, performance, religion , philosophy, are among “the humanities”. Secular Humanism leaves out Religion and Religious expression.


Atheism ignores denies or rejects the concept of  deity/theism ; secularism  ignores religion and deities;   Humanism  accept religion as a human activity ,but  places it as a peer to literature, dance,  music, etc. The three, atheism, secularism, humanism, have commonalities but are each distinct       




Put that way, humanism alone (without the "secular" part)  could be theist just as easily as atheist. 


In that regard, I consider myself humanist.  




Well duh, bahais are everything yet understand nothing.  Hell one Bahai even claims to be "atheist" and "theist", it's clear that bahais are so smart, they don't even need dictionaries.  I never thought christianity would be bested in arrogance by another religion... but at least they use dictionaries lol.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 7:57PM #9
JCarlin
Posts: 6,942

Apr 25, 2012 -- 7:08PM, Bob_the_Lunatic wrote:

That's fine, but not what I said.  I said "belief or disbelief".  One should defend one's principles, PERIOD. 


Not a value I find important.  I live my principles, and other people's behavior affects them not a whit. If someone wants to start a meeting with a prayer, I hope it is long and boring as I will be working on my presentation. 


My father used to attend church with the family.  He didn't defend his right to rehearse his golf match later in the day, he just did it.  He might complain if the sermon was so interesting that it interfered with his rehearsal.  But he didn't rail against the minister for preaching his beliefs.


Methinks thou protestest too much.  The Buddhists I know don't let anything affect their meditations,  or for that matter their work on their inner peace.   If humanists want their secular Sunday Country Club I don't care whether they believe in secular humanism or are just faking it for social reasons.  If God helps someone get through the day, God bless herm.  It doesn't affect my principles one way or another. 

J'Carlin
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't cram your foot in it and complain.
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 8:35PM #10
Blü
Posts: 25,176

Bob


Would you care to digest your OP into a one-liner for us folk with short attention spans?

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