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Celebrity Killing Spree
04-01-2013, 10:30 PM
Often when I meet other skeptics it seems to be a matter of degree. Some will claim to be Atheists for instance, but will just as confidently talk about believing in "energy," spirits or healing crystals.

Now, I'm not saying that skepticism and atheism have to be, for instance, one in the same (though, it's probably fair to say that theists are generally less skeptical), nor am I saying that a skeptic shouldn't support bigfoot if there were credible, tested evidence (there just isn't any) what I'm saying is that people aren't very consistent in their skepticism. Most often it seems people pick and choose which aspects of life they want to think skeptically about.

What about you? Do you consider yourself a skeptic? Or are you God fearing, Ghost hunting, Chiropractor visiting, true believer?

Is there such a thing as being too skeptical? Or do human beings need to believe in silly things like Q-Ray bracelets and things that go bump in the night, if for no other reason than our amusement?

J.Lecter
04-01-2013, 10:43 PM
If anything, I'd say I lean more towards the original Illuminati . . .

The goals of the organization included trying to eliminate superstition, prejudice, and the Roman Catholic Church's domination over government, philosophy, and science; trying to reduce oppressive state abuses of power, and trying to support the education and treatment of women as intellectual equals.

Golden Eel
04-02-2013, 11:38 AM
lol oh boy

Cringeon
04-02-2013, 01:17 PM
I'm more skeptical of my fellow humans than anything we dont understand or know.

Whisky And Speed
04-02-2013, 01:49 PM
Yes, I am.

Atom
04-02-2013, 05:06 PM
I'm more skeptical of my fellow humans than anything we dont understand or know.

Elaborate please.

Skeptical of science and scientists? Of fact or religion and hearsay? Humans are pretty much all you can go by to understand anything.

Sure you can experience it yourself but often you don't know what the fuck it is you're experiencing and need a little understanding or research to fully understand.

Cringeon
04-02-2013, 05:47 PM
Skeptical of ideology I suppose. Even those who fight against a certain ideology are still adhering to just a polar opposite. I wouldn't say I am a skeptic of science, because I understand only in few instances is it absolute fact. Science is study, and ideas, and evolving and so I still leave room for error. I'm also not skeptical of religion as a concept, but the motives of people under the idea of religion.

For me, it's possible to experience things for yourself, and have your own understanding even if it's not something you can communicate to others. Of course the way you experience something is completely influenced by your understanding, or the things you seek out - but I think sometimes people in either an attempt to discredit an experience as something, or confirm it as whatever they want it to be - people stop themselves from personal truths that may not be filed under either File A or File B.

Hazekiah
04-11-2013, 03:18 AM
Often when I meet other skeptics it seems to be a matter of degree. Some will claim to be Atheists for instance, but will just as confidently talk about believing in "energy," spirits or healing crystals.

Now, I'm not saying that skepticism and atheism have to be, for instance, one in the same (though, it's probably fair to say that theists are generally less skeptical), nor am I saying that a skeptic shouldn't support bigfoot if there were credible, tested evidence (there just isn't any) what I'm saying is that people aren't very consistent in their skepticism. Most often it seems people pick and choose which aspects of life they want to think skeptically about.

What about you? Do you consider yourself a skeptic? Or are you God fearing, Ghost hunting, Chiropractor visiting, true believer?

Is there such a thing as being too skeptical? Or do human beings need to believe in silly things like Q-Ray bracelets and things that go bump in the night, if for no other reason than our amusement?

Everything else aside, I consider myself lucky that I was at least raised in an atheist/agnostic household and never had the rest of that retarded bullshit forced upon me. Bertrand Russel's Why I am Not a Christian was always readily available yet never recommended, just sitting there on a shelf next to a million other books on a million other subjects and waiting for me to stumble upon it.

That said, I get the "energy" argument...at least to a degree.

Do I think crystals help me harmonize my being with the will of the universe? Show me concrete evidence or STFU and GTFO, and I highly fucking doubt anyone's gonna come up with anything that doesn't make them look like a thalidomide imbecile. But do I concur with the ideas that human consciousness is basically an electrical signal sent through organic systems and the conservation of energy? STFU, I'm not a biologist OR a physicist. But it kinda makes sense, I guess.

There's still a BIG difference between what's understood to be bioelectricity and an what's tantamount to an "aura," though.

So do I believe my energy lives on and continues to propagate life into whatever consumes it? Kinda.

But do I actually believe that after all that I'm still me and having a kickass time as a mineral deposit or a tree? STFU you goddamned fucking moron.

So am I a skeptic? HELL FUCKING YEAH.

Make of that what you will.

:P

Hazekiah
04-11-2013, 05:46 PM
Haha, WOW. I was fuckin' trashed last night when I wrote that and barely even remember doing it, lol.

Sorry for the double-post, I just want to clarify that in no way whatsoever was any of that directed at anyone in here! Re-reading it now I can totally see how it might've seemed a bit rude and aggro and might easily have been misconstrued as being directed at the OP. Repeatedly directing my surly examination of the topic at "you" was nothing more than a rhetorical convenience. Don't want anyone getting the wrong idea about that!

>_>

<_<

Drunkpost was drunk.

Atom
04-13-2013, 01:47 PM
Yeah, that was painful to read. Telling others to "STFU" unless they have evidence while you support the idea "that human consciousness is basically an electrical signal sent through organic systems and the conservation of energy" while not providing any evidence and stating that you're not a biologist or physicist but it "kinda makes sense" and for whoever to once again "STFU".

There's better ways of getting your point across without sounding like an arrogant asshole and calling people who don't share the same beliefs as you "goddamned fucking moron(s)". Regardless of whether or not you were drunk. I'm an atheist but that sort of attitude you showed is what makes people think that people who don't believe in god are arrogant assholes.

It doesn't matter if it wasn't directed at any particular person in the thread. If you're going to try to sound intelligent... fucking sound intelligent, for the love of fuck.

1984
04-13-2013, 11:33 PM
I never really understood why people start getting into this kind of thing when they drink, anyway. I drink to shut off and enjoy myself, not contemplate intellectually challenging things like science and bioelectricity.

Sentimentalism while drinking, I can understand... But fuck me I hope I don't run into you at a bar.

ThreeEyedGod
04-13-2013, 11:56 PM
Never know what to believe anymore. :P

Golden Eel
04-16-2013, 11:54 AM
that sort of attitude you showed is what makes people think that people who don't believe in god are arrogant assholes.

Plenty of people who don't believe in god are arrogant assholes. And I'd argue that they have every right to be, to a point.

There's always a time and place for everything, but just because you hold a belief close to your heart doesn't mean I can't say that it's irrational, borderline insane, or just plain fucking retarded. You opened yourself to that criticism when you chose to believe nonsense to be true.

People say fundamental atheism is just as bad as fundamental theism, but it's really not. Fundamental theism influences politics, shapes laws, and affects everyone in a community/region/country. Fundamental atheism at its worse, might hurt a few feelings.

Atom
04-16-2013, 01:13 PM
Plenty of people who don't believe in god are arrogant assholes. And I'd argue that they have every right to be, to a point.

There's always a time and place for everything, but just because you hold a belief close to your heart doesn't mean I can't say that it's irrational, borderline insane, or just plain fucking retarded. You opened yourself to that criticism when you chose to believe nonsense to be true.

People say fundamental atheism is just as bad as fundamental theism, but it's really not. Fundamental theism influences politics, shapes laws, and affects everyone in a community/region/country. Fundamental atheism at its worse, might hurt a few feelings.

It turns some people into obnoxious fucking assholes who don't actually understand what it is they're constantly quoting. Much like the religious nuts they're arguing with. And what's this "you" nonsense? I'm not religious in any way.
I don't think atheists have every right to be arrogant assholes either. That sort of attitude turns people off and closes minds when you're preachy and arrogant about your beliefs or lack of belief. Isn't that an important aspect? Educating people? If people don't want to be educated then fine. If they don't want to know the facts and push their beliefs onto others then yeah, fuck them, they deserve ridicule.

I realize some people are new to it and just read The Origin of Species, Dawkins, Hitchens, and/or Harris, are all hyped up and ready to go shout their wisdom to the masses and raise hell about how "oppressed" they think they are. But it doesn't work that way. They need to also form their own opinions (and sometimes their own fucking personality) based off of the knowledge they've acquired. Some need stop reciting the same shit they've read over and over word for word and also need to stop turning everything into a fucking debate just because they've spent hours on youtube watching Hitchens destroy some fools.

And fundamental atheism would only "hurt a few feelings"? Really? Are you fucking kidding me, man? Have you gone to some of those atheist events and "reason rallies" or whatever? There's some nutjobs there just like any other group. I've spoken to fundamental atheists who believed that it was important, and a goal if not the goal, to wipe out religion completely. They might have thought I'd agree with them because I too fall under the stupid label of "atheist".
Fundamentalists of any group can affect people outside of their group negatively. To pretend that fundamental atheism wouldn't do the same is ridiculous and you're either choosing to not believe it or you're just as ignorant as the people you're against.

TOO LONG DIDN'T READ:
As an "atheist" I completely support (even encourage) questioning and criticizing religion so long as you have something to say. "Fuck you, you're fucking retarded." Is not exactly the kind of criticism I'm talking about. Which is why I said what I said to Haz. Even though he was drunk. Don't drink and preach, comrades.

Golden Eel
04-17-2013, 12:34 AM
And what's this "you" nonsense? I'm not religious in any way.

Sorry, I didn't mean 'you' specifically. Just using it as a general term.


I don't think atheists have every right to be arrogant assholes either. That sort of attitude turns people off and closes minds when you're preachy and arrogant about your beliefs or lack of belief. Isn't that an important aspect? Educating people? If people don't want to be educated then fine. If they don't want to know the facts and push their beliefs onto others then yeah, fuck them, they deserve ridicule.

Sure. I definitely don't encourage going up to random people and screaming in their faces that they're idiots for being religious. It took a while for me to get to this point. As plenty of people on this forum know, I used to be much, much more outspoken about my atheism/antitheism. I've pretty much gotten over that, but that doesn't mean I find most (if not all) religious beliefs to be on par with belief in Santa Claus. I might still be a giant asshole about it, but I'm generally not a giant asshole about it during conversations with religious people.


And fundamental atheism would only "hurt a few feelings"? Really? Are you fucking kidding me, man? Have you gone to some of those atheist events and "reason rallies" or whatever? There's some nutjobs there just like any other group. I've spoken to fundamental atheists who believed that it was important, and a goal if not the goal, to wipe out religion completely. They might have thought I'd agree with them because I too fall under the stupid label of "atheist".
Fundamentalists of any group can affect people outside of their group negatively. To pretend that fundamental atheism wouldn't do the same is ridiculous and you're either choosing to not believe it or you're just as ignorant as the people you're against.

I'm really not trying to speak about the far outer fringe of fundamentalism, that's why I didn't mention Planned Parenthood bombings or Al-Qaeda or anything like that. I just mean in general. When is the last time you heard of some oppressive law being made with a Christian basis versus the last time your heard of some oppressive law being made with an atheist basis? Gay-marriage and abortion being the obvious two most prominent subjects lately. This stuff isn't about fringe whackjobs, this is what a huge amount of American Christians believe, and they're voting to change laws based on their religious beliefs. I might be rambling right now, but I think it's fair to say that fundamental Christianity affects more people than fundamental atheism.

Other than the few parts I highlighted, I generally agree with you on most things.

(Also I know my post has a huge American bias. That was conscious.)

Atom
04-19-2013, 09:03 PM
Well, it seems that I actually agree with everything you've said MMT and I appreciate you stating your opinion respectfully and thoroughly. That is extremely rare when discussing religious beliefs or lack of beliefs. Maybe we should fuck. I'm just kidding. We shouldn't fuck. Because that goes against my beliefs.

Hazekiah
04-20-2013, 12:40 AM
Yeah, that was painful to read. Telling others to "STFU" unless they have evidence while you support the idea "that human consciousness is basically an electrical signal sent through organic systems and the conservation of energy" while not providing any evidence and stating that you're not a biologist or physicist but it "kinda makes sense" and for whoever to once again "STFU".

There's better ways of getting your point across without sounding like an arrogant asshole and calling people who don't share the same beliefs as you "goddamned fucking moron(s)". Regardless of whether or not you were drunk. I'm an atheist but that sort of attitude you showed is what makes people think that people who don't believe in god are arrogant assholes.

It doesn't matter if it wasn't directed at any particular person in the thread. If you're going to try to sound intelligent... fucking sound intelligent, for the love of fuck.

Was I trying to sound intelligent?

Because I'm pretty sure I was just going off on a drunken rant addressing the subject of the thread, actually.

And I'm also pretty sure I backed off and took the time to apologize and excuse myself for my poor manners and unnecessarily combative tone without requiring or even waiting for anyone else to bring it up. I even bumped the thread with a double-post just to make sure my apology wasn't missed by anyone who might've seen my earlier post in the interim.

While we're at it, that was pretty much the very first thing I did upon sobering up, waking up, and revisiting the post about 12 hours later.

A corrective action which was taken unprompted almost two full days before your own post following it, I might add.

Nonetheless, I stand by the core points I raised within the drunken rant.

I also don't think anyone in this day and age really needs to supply sources and citations for the ideas of the conservation of energy or that consciousness is rooted the brain or that the brain is an organ which functions electrochemically. Come on now. Adding as an aside that I'm neither a physicist or a biologist was simply meant as a humorous nicety displaying an awareness of the limitations of my own understanding tempered by the acceptance of established science. Something which is QUITE often lacking severely from the other side of this general debate and, in fact, served precisely to intentionally undermine the perceived arrogance you found so offensive within my discourse.

Hope that helps clarify things a bit.

And if not, well...whatever.

I mean, I was so fuckin' drunk I barely remembered the thread let alone posting in it...AND YET I nonetheless managed a decent-if-gruff and fairly comical examination of the subject at hand while punctuating properly, exercising good grammar, referencing the Laws of Physics, AND I didn't even misspell "thalidomide," ffs!

WTF MOAR DO YOU WANT???

:-\


I never really understood why people start getting into this kind of thing when they drink, anyway. I drink to shut off and enjoy myself, not contemplate intellectually challenging things like science and bioelectricity.

Sentimentalism while drinking, I can understand... But fuck me I hope I don't run into you at a bar.

Well, I don't really go out to bars much so the odds were slim anyway.

And I don't generally hold forth on the topic without someone else raising it first, regardless of the setting. Certainly not while sloshed, either. It's more typically the sort of thing which comes up while tripping or speeding, I find. For that matter, I learned well over a decade ago that it's best to stay in "read-only" mode while perusing the internet while intoxicated, lol. But, hey, I was bored and the thread caught my fancy for whatever reason that night. So be it.

I'm sure we'll all survive the ordeal, ffs.




Unlike death.

:P

S.D.
04-20-2013, 05:01 AM
I've never felt it necessary to have a term defining whether I disregard another person or culture's belief structure as ludicrous. I don't need to call myself a 'Punk' to enjoy the Sex Pistols any more than I need to call myself an 'Atheist' to assess the notion of an imaginary superbeing presiding over us from the sky as nonsense. My opinions on religion, culture, morals, science, art or philosophy aren't really skeptical, but by my estimations, they are at least realistic. Skepticism often veers too close to cynicism, and you'll find no peace in life if everything always has a negative connotation surrounding it. I wouldn't even call myself an optimist, I can tell when the grass is greener and I'm having a bad time, but for various reasons over the past few years, I've learned to just dust off and take pleasure in the simpler events life offers.

So, being - for want of no term at all - a 'Realist', I generally just see what's in front of me and work out whether it's good or bad. Sometimes I do silly, habitual things like avoiding cracks in the pavement or saying hello to magpies, but not because I genuinely believe there to be some bad luck or stigma attached, but more because I like patterns. Having a bit of nonsensical structure to live by is good for the soul, it contributes to all the bizarre minutiae that makes us who we are.

In short, I 'believe' in what I see before my own eyes, which can either be positive or negative.

Shangri-LIE
05-02-2013, 07:58 AM
There are two types of skeptics. We have skeptics and we have pseudo skeptics. We have people who say there is a God or there definitely is no God. Then we have people who say their could be a God or their could be no God. The question is, what is "God"? I like that question. If you are looking for an Abrahamic God who performs miracles, interventions, and is a magical deity that watches over us from an invisible place outside of our comprehension, then it's not very hard to dismiss that. If you are in search of a source, that's when it becomes interesting. A lot of "pseudo skeptics" assert that their reasoning's for not believing in something is based on scientific data, when in fact it is the exact opposite. They dismiss, ridicule, and ignore claims made by people that contradict what they claim to know without hesitation and often with hostile arrogance. It's not hard to disprove a mythical deity or an occurrence that primitive civilizations attributed to a supernatural overlord that can be explained now very easily.

In the meantime, we're still making discoveries. Consciousness itself, to me, is the most profound ability to have, yet people want to either be staunch atheists because something seems silly, and others choose to be fundamentally religious because it requires less effort to want to understand anything else than their intuition. Either way, both modes of thinking are critically flawed.

The truth is that lot people seek evidence of whatever it is with an agenda. When you look at any data with an agenda, then you aren't looking for an answer, you're looking for a way to manipulate your findings into your own "I was right and you're wrong" conclusions in order to force it on other people and make yourself look like less of an idiot than everyone else. That's not how it should work. I myself subscribe more to Spinozism than I do anything else. Personal Gods, most likely do not exist. However there are equations and orders that do exist. The question is why? So instead of trying to make someone feel stupid for not being a staunch believer or disbeliever in whatever it may be, (not related to just religion, the afterlife, God etc), just have the understanding that with all of the technology we have and all of the data that we have, it is still a very remote bank of absolutes and theories even though you may think that it is overwhelming.

So answer the question if I am a skeptic or not. Yes. Everyone should be. To be convicted 100% in anything in my mind is equivalent to being dead. If we had all of the answers we needed, we wouldn't need physicists, neurologists, anthropologists, or any type of science anymore as we'd already know everything we need to. Stop being arrogant. We may have an abundance of knowledge, but on a larger scale, we really don't know that much at all and that is what makes life exciting and gives it a purpose.

Golden Eel
05-02-2013, 07:15 PM
I've never felt it necessary to have a term defining whether I disregard another person or culture's belief structure as ludicrous. I don't need to call myself a 'Punk' to enjoy the Sex Pistols any more than I need to call myself an 'Atheist' to assess the notion of an imaginary superbeing presiding over us from the sky as nonsense.

It doesn't really matter whether you want to describe yourself as an atheist or not. You are an atheist. It's an objective description.


In short, I 'believe' in what I see before my own eyes, which can either be positive or negative.

In short, you're a skeptic.

Whisky And Speed
05-02-2013, 08:42 PM
In short, I 'believe' in what I see before my own eyes, which can either be positive or negative.

Right, for seeing is believing.