The Mystery of Evangelical Atheists

Friul

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
I'm so sorry for rambling on about all of this. I revealed this personal info to basically say that you are absolutely right Gabriel. We are ALL looking for love and acceptance. Like with so many other things, I have sympathy and compassion for professed atheists, but I have little symapathy for atheists like Dawkins who spread their poisonous propaganda to people like my father. My dad is a sincere man who has always claimed to be "searching." So I see people like Dawkins as soulless predators under the manipulation of satanic forces.
One question for you, Gebre.  You say you have little sympathy for what many call "professional atheists", Prof. Dawkins being one of them.  What about other Christians (Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Protestants, etc.), Muslims, etc., that seek to convert others, even those who share core beliefs, to their personal branch of their faith?  Do you "resent" (sorry, probably not the best word) them too?  Atheists do not believe in hellfire, so they are not intentionally out to "damn" people, they are only out trying to help people and provide them with that they think is the "good news", provide a naturalistic, non-theistic way to life.  Their heart, more often than not, is in the right place.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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I apologize if I have erroneously labeled Carl Sagan as an atheist. I did so based on his statement:

"There is and has never been anything in the universe other than matter.”

Selam
 

Friul

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
I apologize if I have erroneously labeled Carl Sagan as an atheist. I did so based on his statement:

"There is and has never been anything in the universe other than matter.”

Selam
Well, if you define an Atheist as someone who denies the Abrahamic God, or other "traditional gods", then I might agree that he was an Atheist.  But if you mean in terms of a general higher power, he would likely fall into the category of an agnostic or a sceptic.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Nebelpfade said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
I apologize if I have erroneously labeled Carl Sagan as an atheist. I did so based on his statement:

"There is and has never been anything in the universe other than matter.”

Selam
Well, if you define an Atheist as someone who denies the Abrahamic God, or other "traditional gods", then I might agree that he was an Atheist.  But if you mean in terms of a general higher power, he would likely fall into the category of an agnostic or a sceptic.
You guys know more about Mr. Sagan than I do, but what about his statement above? This hardly sounds like skepticism or agnosticism. His statement is an unambiguous declaration which is presented as an undisputed fact.

Maybe he backed off of this statement later on in life, and moved towards agnosticism?

Selam
 

Asteriktos

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I apologize if I have erroneously labeled Carl Sagan as an atheist. I did so based on his statement:

"There is and has never been anything in the universe other than matter.”
You guys know more about Mr. Sagan than I do, but what about his statement above? This hardly sounds like skepticism or agnosticism. His statement is an unambiguous declaration which is presented as an undisputed fact.

Maybe he backed off of this statement later on in life, and moved towards agnosticism?
I don't know that much about Mr. Sagan, and I'm still waiting for a couple books of his to arrive here. I also don't know the context of the quote. Because of these two issues, it's hard to know what to make of the statement. However, as long as you aren't thinking of a God associated with the Abrahamic religions, that statement doesn't exclude the possibility of there being a God. I think it leaves open the possibility of certain forms of a pantheistic God, though Christians might object to using the term God in such a case. I also think it leaves open the possibility of certain forms of a deistic God outside the universe that was never involved with the universe after the initial moment of creation. I could be wrong, and I don't accept either of those ideas about God, but I could see how someone else might.
 

Asteriktos

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As for these 'professional atheists', my guess is that their primary motivation is the fact that their books sell so well.
I don't know about that. Sure, Richard Dawkins has sold a lot of copies of The God Delusion. And Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens have probably also made a few bucks off their books, though I'm sure less than Dawkins. But after that, it's all downhill. I can't imagine that Dennett, Stenger, Barker, etc. are getting rich off the anti-religion books they're producing. There are dozens of new anti-religion books published every year now, and I'd bet that if you add together the numbers of all those books sold this year, they probably wouldn't equal the total number of The God Delusion that has been sold. In my opinion, if Richard Dawkins had not published The God Delusion in 2006, no one would be talking about "the new atheism" or the other guys covered by that term.

Btw, welcome back  :)
 

ms.hoorah

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Asteriktos said:
As for these 'professional atheists', my guess is that their primary motivation is the fact that their books sell so well.
I don't know about that. Sure, Richard Dawkins has sold a lot of copies of The God Delusion. And Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens have probably also made a few bucks off their books, though I'm sure less than Dawkins. But after that, it's all downhill. I can't imagine that Dennett, Stenger, Barker, etc. are getting rich off the anti-religion books they're producing. There are dozens of new anti-religion books published every year now, and I'd bet that if you add together the numbers of all those books sold this year, they probably wouldn't equal the total number of The God Delusion that has been sold. In my opinion, if Richard Dawkins had not published The God Delusion in 2006, no one would be talking about "the new atheism" or the other guys covered by that term.
Militant atheist’s book sales:

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins: 1.5 million copies sold
The End of Faith by Sam Harris: 145,000 copies sold
Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris: 123,000 copies sold
God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens: 58,000 copies sold
Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett: 52,000 copies sold
God: The Failed Hypothesis by Victor Stenger: 60,000 copies sold
I Sold My Soul on eBay by Hemant Mehta: 99,213,912 copies sold (joke)

These atheists made approx. $2.00/copy sold. IMO, this verifies that Satan is a shrewd bargainer for souls.
 

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I'll admit, if those numbers are accurate, I'm suprised that Dennett and Stenger have done as well as they have. Having said that, I would still take the bet I mentioned in my last post.
 

Friul

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I have to admit, I'm surprised Dennett's book did that well too.  Though I agree with what he is going for, I really didn't enjoy the book too much. 

Stenger, on the other hand, I was hoping would have sold more.  I suppose the technical nature cut down on the reading base though.
 
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As much as I disagree with the New Atheists (Vox Day calls them "The Four Horsemen of the B*kk*k*lypse), I prefer the "selling books and crafting offensive art" method of evangelism to "put bullet in head or send to Siberia" method...
 

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As much as I disagree with the New Atheists (Vox Day calls them "The Four Horsemen of the B*kk*k*lypse), I prefer the "selling books and crafting offensive art" method of evangelism to "put bullet in head or send to Siberia" method...
Speaking of the latter form of persuasion, it's sort of funny, but in my former atheism, a writer like Solzhenitsyn had a larger impact than people like Harris or Dawkins ever did.
 

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Sagan on agnosticism:

In a 1996 interview with NPR's Talk of the Nation, Sagan said (when asked about religious beliefs): "Where's the evidence? Now, the word God is used to cover a wide variety of very different ideas, ranging maybe from the idea of an outsized light-skinned male with a long white beard who sits in a throne in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow--for which there is no evidence, none at all--to the view of Einstein, of Spinoza, which is essentially that God is the sum total of the laws of nature. And since there are laws of nature ... if that's what you mean by God, then of course there's a God. So everything depends on the definition of God."
The heroine of Sagan's novel Contact (1985) argues for an agnostic perspective concerning God. However, because she also calls herself a Christian (though of the Jesus-not-divine variety, reminiscent of Thomas Jefferson), she is a Christian agnostic.

Sagan's widow, Ann Druyan, has gathered some of his lectures on science and religion into a new book, The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God.
 

ialmisry

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Nebelpfade said:
ialmisry said:
And they differ from Stalin how?
And Christians differ from previous theistic mass-murdering Emperors, Kings, and other statesmen how? 
Tell me their explanation for this (Luke 9)
51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?" F71 55 But He turned and rebuked them, F72 and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." F73 And they went to another village.

When they believe they are in the right, doing God's will, basic human rights no longer matter.
Without God, all things are possible, and human rights, basic or otherwise, don't exist.  No argument can be made to their existence without recourse to a higher authority.



Of course, I don't actually believe all Christians are stark raving mad, but you seem to enjoy absurd and isolated examples.
Just the facts that humanists like to sweep under the rug.  I used to tell a good atheist friend of mine, the problem is not that you are moral, the problem is that you don't have a basis to make your fellow atheists moral who don't want to be.


Nebelpfade said:
ialmisry said:
In a democracy in which over half the voters don't vote, I'm not sure this point of yours means much.
I'll agree, they are hardly have large, influential lobby groups or special interest groups like various religious organisations. 
Haven't been to Washington I see.


Though, the very fact that some schools actually flirt with the idea of Intelligent Design being taught in public schools shows the need for it.
The fact that the Darwinists continue to insist on their dogma being taught as truth surely shows the need for it.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15104.0.html
 

Jetavan

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ialmisry said:
Just the facts that humanists like to sweep under the rug.  I used to tell a good atheist friend of mine, the problem is not that you are moral, the problem is that you don't have a basis to make your fellow atheists moral who don't want to be.
One could always make rational/common-sense arguments for morality.
 

Friul

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ialmisry said:
Without God, all things are possible, and human rights, basic or otherwise, don't exist.  No argument can be made to their existence without recourse to a higher authority.
With God, all things are possible.  People will do things that violate all logical sense, in belief of "greater glory".

Humanism does not require a higher authority, yet you see people striving for individual and common good through secular means.

Just the facts that humanists like to sweep under the rug.  I used to tell a good atheist friend of mine, the problem is not that you are moral, the problem is that you don't have a basis to make your fellow atheists moral who don't want to be.
No one has a basis to make anyone else "moral".  An atheist can choose to be a humanist, or not.  A Christian can choose to follow their Church's/Christs teachings, or they can choose not to.  The only difference is when an Atheist is immoral, they are "godless".  When a Christian is immoral, they are "fallen".

Haven't been to Washington I see.
Not my favourite place to be.  I've been there before when Clinton and then when Bush were in power.  Though I heard secular rabbling here and there, it was definitely the Jewish and fundamentalist Christian lobbies constantly trying to dictate the government's direction.

The fact that the Darwinists continue to insist on their dogma being taught as truth surely shows the need for it.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15104.0.html
A sound scientific theory vs a creation myth on part with that of the Hindu, Greco-Romans, etc?  Why not teach The Theogony of Hesiod in science class too?
 

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No mistery here.

There once was an angel named Lucifer who attempted to overthrow God using wordplay. He managed to draw to his support one third of the angels of God. This attempt was thwarted by Archangel Michael, who smote Lucifer with the fiery sword and threw him down fron Heaven. Since then Lucifer established himself in Hell and acquired the name Satan. The angels, whome he seduced, became demons.

Even in Hell Lucifer did not stop his attempts to overthrow God. For this purpose he organized the philosophers of Enlightment (who in reality are Illuminati-masons). Those learned folks spoke of bringing Enlightment into masses. In truth this meant that they want to substitute God with the Light one, that is with Luminous, that is with Lucifer.
 
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