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Switch to Forum Live View Atheism, Materialism, and Freethinking.
5 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2013 - 1:22AM #1
JCarlin
Posts: 8,225

It is occasionally suggested on this board that if one does not subscribe to materialism or other Atheist dogma one cannot be an atheist.  And that by even questioning Atheist dogma one's 'credentials' as an atheist are questioned. 


In a long lifetime of atheism the only consistent attribute of atheists I have observed is what can be described as freethinking.  That is a questioning of all "truths" and dogmas no matter what the source.

Can a freethinker be an atheist?  


J'Carlin
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't cram your foot in it and complain.
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5 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2013 - 4:21AM #2
Blü
Posts: 26,191

Anyone can be an atheist.  Or a believer. Or a Don't Know.


And as for what's true in reality, anyone can subscribe to reasoned enquiry - scientific method, historical investigation and so on. Or to their own thing, ancestral wisdom, unconfirmed opinion, mystery for its own sake, soggy thinking, wishful thinking, prejudice, faith, woo, pretty beads, whatever.


But in a fair fight, reasoned enquiry will only lose to better reasoned enquiry.


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5 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2013 - 6:55AM #3
JCarlin
Posts: 8,225

Apr 22, 2013 -- 4:21AM, Blü wrote:

Anyone can be an atheist.  Or a believer. Or a Don't Know.


And as for what's true in reality, anyone can subscribe to reasoned enquiry - scientific method, historical investigation and so on. Or to their own thing, ancestral wisdom, unconfirmed opinion, mystery for its own sake, soggy thinking, wishful thinking, prejudice, faith, woo, pretty beads, whatever.


But in a fair fight, reasoned enquiry will only lose to better reasoned enquiry.


In a fair fight reasoned enquiry will prevail, but for discovering

Apr 13, 2013 -- 5:32PM, christine3 wrote:

Truth:  Useful information people have to live effectively.


one using only reasoned enquiry will have one arm tied behind one's back.  The left one of course.  Art, music, myth and perhaps even mysticism may have valuable things to teach that can't even be discussed with reasoned enquiry. 


This weekend I am involved in a music, dance and movement war protest.  It uses a civil war letter from a soldier to his wife and other civil war poetry as a metaphor for all war.  I probably could use reasoned enquiry to discuss the issues presented.  But reasoned enquiry would produce no gasps for breath or gut wrenched tears from either of the reasoned enquirers. 

J'Carlin
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't cram your foot in it and complain.
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5 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2013 - 7:13AM #4
Blü
Posts: 26,191

JCarlin


Art, music, myth and perhaps even mysticism may have valuable things to teach that can't even be discussed with reasoned enquiry.


I don't doubt the potential value of art, of art criticism and esthetics, of placebos, motivational speeches, all sorts of things that address human makeup.


It may be that as we understand, map and model human psychology better, these too will have regular 'rules', regular methods of changing or revolting against not only existing norms but the 'rules' behind them, and so on. The power of individual personality may be describable fairly completely, and of smaller and larger collectives of humans. Having been a somewhat beige version of a young Turk at one stage, I'd be sorry to see Young Turkery, Bète Noirery, Rebelwithoutacausery, even simple angst, reduced to technique, but reasoned enquiry (and the need to do SOMETHING for your thesis) are causing things to trend that interesting way.


And it may be that the end result of our best analysis is best automation, of law, medicine, art and science. Homo sap sap will be superceded by H. sap mechanicus. Serious millions are at large even now to build automated weapons, and not only drone aircraft but drone soldiers.


O brave new world, that hath such puters in it!

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2013 - 7:36AM #5
Ken
Posts: 33,858

Apr 22, 2013 -- 1:22AM, JCarlin wrote:



It is occasionally suggested on this board that if one does not subscribe to materialism or other Atheist dogma one cannot be an atheist.  And that by even questioning Atheist dogma one's 'credentials' as an atheist are questioned. 


None of that is ever suggested.on this board. Of course, if by "atheist dogma" you mean disbelief in the existence of gods, I'm afraid you have to subscribe to that. Merely regarding gods as useless is not atheism.


Apr 22, 2013 -- 1:22AM, JCarlin wrote:

In a long lifetime of atheism the only consistent attribute of atheists I have observed is what can be described as freethinking.  That is a questioning of all "truths" and dogmas no matter what the source.

Can a freethinker be an atheist?  




"Freethinker" is a rather Victorian term. What you're describing is a skeptic. You don't like skeptics.

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2013 - 10:50AM #6
Clardan
Posts: 1,378

Apr 22, 2013 -- 1:22AM, JCarlin wrote:



It is occasionally suggested on this board that if one does not subscribe to materialism or other Atheist dogma one cannot be an atheist.  And that by even questioning Atheist dogma one's 'credentials' as an atheist are questioned.  





What is dogmatic materialism ?

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, no matter that I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
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5 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2013 - 11:33AM #7
Lavengro
Posts: 770

I would have judged that you understand the concept better than most here, Clardan. So I wonder why you ask.

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2013 - 12:45PM #8
Clardan
Posts: 1,378

It's the dogma part I am mainly asking about.

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, no matter that I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
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5 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2013 - 12:57PM #9
wohali
Posts: 10,227

The dogma I see here seldom comes from atheists..........

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2013 - 4:48PM #10
JCarlin
Posts: 8,225


 

Apr 22, 2013 -- 7:36AM, Ken wrote:

Apr 22, 2013 -- 1:22AM, JCarlin wrote:

It is occasionally suggested on this board that if one does not subscribe to materialism or other Atheist dogma one cannot be an atheist.  And that by even questioning Atheist dogma one's 'credentials' as an atheist are questioned. 


None of that is ever suggested.on this board. Of course, if by "atheist dogma" you mean disbelief in the existence of gods, I'm afraid you have to subscribe to that. Merely regarding gods as useless is not atheism.


a- is generally understood to be without amoral, agnostic, apathetic, etc.  How one gets to be without theism seems to me to rather immaterial to the definition. Disbelief in the existence of gods is certainly a valid reason for atheism.  It is certainly not the only one. A person may be conditioned from birth to believe in the existence of God, but find the milk God to be distasteful or even hateful and reject any association with that or any other god. I would certainly call such a person an atheist.   

J'Carlin
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't cram your foot in it and complain.
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