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#1
who do you think argues for agnostic causes better than any other?

Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett are the main ones but I personally turned agnostic when I read a derren brown book at 14. Many people propagate the idea, who first did it for you?
"I specialize in driving a set like I'm driving a Lexus" - Uncle Mez
#7
Ultimate-Guitar
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~ A Rolling Potato Gathers No Moss ~
#8
None. The idea of atheism was a shocker to me at first, and I dug it a lot, apparently.


I genuinely dislike all four of those. Especially Hitchens and Dawkins, although not so much with Hitchens.
#13
I don't particularly dislike any of those, but I wouldn't say I'm particularly a fan of any of them either.

I was never actualy influenced by anyone to 'become' an atheist, I just never believed in religion. The first time anyone told me about God as a kid, I just assumed that they were talking about an imaginary being.

Y'know how lots of little kids are about dinosaurs and can remember the names of lots of them? Well I was kinda like that but with ancient gods, particularly the Greek pantheon. I think it stemmed from watching the old 1963 film 'Jason and the Argonauts'.
As far as I was concerned, they were all fictional characters, so when someone tld me about the Abrahamic god I just considered him, and every other god that I've ever heard of, in the same way.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Jun 2, 2014,
#14
To be honest, Richard Dawkins' smug gittery was one of the things that really smoothed my transition out of my angry atheist teenager phase into agnosticism.
#15
Quote by LostLegion
/r/atheism
What does /r/ mean?

The title of thread says atheism, but then you say agnostic causes.
What does agnostic mean to you, ts? That there might be a god, but there might not be one?
Not sure if a sig is a necessity.
#17
Quote by Guodlca
What does /r/ mean?

The title of thread says atheism, but then you say agnostic causes.
What does agnostic mean to you, ts? That there might be a god, but there might not be one?

the belief that nothing is known about the existence of god. i'd identify as an agnostic atheist though
"I specialize in driving a set like I'm driving a Lexus" - Uncle Mez
#20
yeah i don't think ts knows the difference between athiesm and agnosticism. the title is completely different to the op.
"I specialize in driving a set like I'm driving a Lexus" - Uncle Mez
#21
Shit like this makes me cringe... and I say that as an Agnostic Atheist.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



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#22
Quote by ChemicalFire
Shit like this makes me cringe... and I say that as an Agnostic Atheist.

bravo sir, truly brave of you
"I specialize in driving a set like I'm driving a Lexus" - Uncle Mez
#23
the real question is: who is your favourite horse of atheism?
| (• ◡•)| (❍ᴥ❍ʋ
#24
Quote by Wormholes
You said atheists then said agnostic. You can't have both ts.

I'm an agnostic atheist.
I consider that it's impossible to know if gods exist or not, but I believe that they don't exist.
Quote by Cianyx
the real question is: who is your favourite horse of atheism?

The horse in any 'cart-before-the-horse' arguments, which are often used (by both sides) in religious debates.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Jun 2, 2014,
#26
Quote by Cianyx
the real question is: who is your favourite horse of atheism?

I always liked Red Rum. He was euphoric going over those hurdles.

On topic: none of them because I'm not an atheist. Although I did like Hitchens because he could #rek people.
"If God exists, there's no way he is French" - Andrea Pirlo

S A D B O Y S
#28
I was raised going to church etc, but tbh I don't remember any time when atheism "clicked" or anything in particular I read. I just thought about it and realised how little sense God made.

I'm reading the God Delusion at the moment though (there happened to be a copy in the house and I thought I'd have a go seeing as it was a pretty influential book) and if I'm completely honest Dawkins really is pretty persuasive. He gets a really bad name because he can be a bit of a prick in real life, but when you read him and he's taking everything very slowly and step by step... he's really pretty good.

I haven't really read any of the others though. I read a lot of Dennett when doing about consciousness in my degree, but none of that was anything to do with theism. Similarly I read Sam Harris' "The Moral Landscape" last year (partly as a component of studying ethics and partly just out of interest), and I really liked that. But again, whilst it's pretty clear he doesn't like religion, it's not really about God or religion.

I read Christopher Hitchens' last articles he wrote when he was dying (in a book called Mortality), which were pretty interesting. But that was more about him facing his mortality than any real attack on theism or religion.

EDIT: I should probably mention though that I don't identify as "atheist". Firstly because I guess I'm technically agnostic (as indeed even Dawkins is, actually), and secondly I just disagree with the label.
Last edited by MadClownDisease at Jun 2, 2014,
#30
Gonna read The God Delusion then. Honestly my impression of Dawkins has come entirely from his interviews/debates/personal appearances and not at all from his writing.
#31
I like what Hitchens did for the world and him as a person, but he wasn't really someone who I looked to atheism for. For me, it was actually watching Penn and Teller and another guy called AronRa on youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jBlotl6uJE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnJX68ELbAY

Rest of it was just looking up the definitions of things, seeing if they make sense, then just accepting what I came up with. Dere be no gods, mang.
o()o

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#32
Quote by ali.guitarkid7
Gonna read The God Delusion then. Honestly my impression of Dawkins has come entirely from his interviews/debates/personal appearances and not at all from his writing.

Yeah, it did for me too, which is why I was pleasantly surprised by his book.

A lot of people just think of him as a bit bigoted, closed-minded, and aggressively anti-religious because of all the shit they hear him say in real-life/on Twitter, but if you read his book you see he really is very well informed, has very good and fair arguments, and is generally very reasonable.
#33
Quote by MadClownDisease
A lot of people just think of him as a bit bigoted, closed-minded, and aggressively anti-religious because of all the shit they hear him say in real-life/on Twitter, but if you read his book you see he really is very well informed, has very good and fair arguments, and is generally very reasonable.

Why can he not be reasonable in real life, then? I mean, even he accepts that he's not definitely right about God, so I don't see why he feels the need going around making teenage girls cry* in the name of what's "probably" the truth. You can have as much evidence as you like, but there's a right way and a wrong way to make a point.

*Something that happened when he visited a school near where I live. He basically talked about how he thinks raising a child to be religious is child abuse (I'm sure he's said that one several times), and when questioned on it he told a girl that, yes, she had been abused by her parents. She wasn't happy about that.
Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Jun 2, 2014,
#37
I've been an atheist for a long time... At least 40 years. The guys that originally reinforced my lack of belief were none of the current crop, but rather writers like Isaac Asimov and Stephen Jay Gould.... Both deeply involved in the sciences and writing clearly and intelligently on the subject.

Throw Bertrand Russell into that mix... Though he was long gone already. His dictum..."Faith is an unsupported belief in the unlikely." Is still one of my favorite quotes.

Of the current "Horsemen"... I have read Dawkins the most. The God Delusion, The Selfish Gene, The Greatest Show On Earth...
His writing is clear, well-reasoned, and effective.
I know that he comes across as to many as abrasive and snarky... But I think with good reason. The irrational denial of science that's so pervasive in the world today is deeply troubling.

Let me mention Neil DeGrasse Tyson. If you are not watching the current run of Cosmos, by all means do so. I'd wait for the DVDs to come out, because the network TV presentation is very good but obviously being snipped for commercial time.
#38
Quote by K33nbl4d3
Why can he not be reasonable in real life, then? I mean, even he accepts that he's not definitely right about God, so I don't see why he feels the need going around making teenage girls cry* in the name of what's "probably" the truth. You can have as much evidence as you like, but there's a right way and a wrong way to make a point.

*Something that happened when he visited a school near where I live. He basically talked about how he thinks raising a child to be religious is child abuse, and when questioned on it he told a girl that, yes, she had been abused by her parents. She wasn't happy about that.

Firstly, I should point out that saying he's not definitely right, or that it's a case of probability doesn't mean he should he should be indifferent about it. There are degrees of probability and reasonable-ness (sorry that's not a word). If pushed to say "so you definitely know what you say is true?" in a lot of cases he'd be forced to say "no", but that doesn't mean he can't say "but it's what the overwhelming weight of evidence and reason would say. That's I'm not definitely right doesn't mean my position isn't vastly more reasonable and likely."
It's just the Russel's teapot thing again: if I said there were a teapot orbiting in space, it would be almost impossible to disprove, but that doesn't mean we have to be agnostic - we can say "that's flies entirely in the face of all evidence and reason".

But anyway more relevantly:
The reason he can sound so much more reasonable in the book is that he can actually take argument by argument in turn and give them fair hearing. In normal life, when people start talking about god, they see it as an all or nothing affair and draw on all arguments at once. It's hard to have a conversation about cosmological arguments, for example, with it straying in arguments about faith and epistemic norms, morality and god's command, the truth of the bible etc etc.

Since he is writing the book and can pace it properly, he can take the time to calmly and properly approach each argument without being seen as simply attacking everything. People who believe in god often don't like to concede any ground on one point because they feel it undermines their belief as a whole. They feel attacked as a whole even on arguments concerning single points, and so debates in real life often seem so aggressive and fundamentalist. Debate is often framed around "god?" as a question, which makes it very difficult to discuss, whereas in the book Dawkins gets to address each stage completely on its own. "The problem of evil?" "the authority of scripture?" "cosmological arguments?" etc etc need to be taken piece by piece, otherwise Dawkins ends up sounding aggressive and as "religious" and preachy as the other side.
#39
Quote by Lord_Doku
I was raised to believe in whatever I want.

So I believe in nothing.
Not even that a good wank can take the edge off a bad day?
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#40
Quote by slapsymcdougal
Not even that a good wank can take the edge off a bad day?


That's not something you need to believe in if the evidence suggests its true.

wanks r k

vote wank

wank 4 prez
o()o

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