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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:24 AM
Original message
Atheism defines itself in opposition to theism.
Without theism, there is no atheism.

Anyone feel like exploring the implications of this?
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:33 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm going to sleep now...
But I'd like to add two questions for you to consider.

How does atheism respond to the mystery of existence?

Does this cosmic riddle have reason?
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Reason implies intent which implies a sentient cause
And since atheists do not believe in gods we tend not to believe that the universe has or needs a reason. Its a semantic question.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
16. "Atheism" cannot respond to anything.
It is not a sentient being, nor is it a belief or religion.


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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-18-05 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #16
200. Atheism, a religion dedicated to its own sense of smug superiority
A quote From the Daily Show that I rather like.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:44 AM
Response to Original message
2. you mean it is a reaction
not an action?
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. If there were no theists
We would not have to define ourselves as atheists.

I like to use the example of smurfs. I don't happent to believe in smurfs. But as there is not a substantial number of people promoting the belief in smurfs I do not find it necissary to qualify myself as an asmurfist.

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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I was really just waiting to see
if this explodes as well.
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:55 AM
Response to Original message
6. Not necessarily the case
All people are born Atheists. It is only when they are taught of the alleged existence of god(s), and indoctrinated into a faith, that they potentially become Theists. One might say that Theism defines itself in opposition to Atheism....
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:11 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. to be more technical
we're all born agnostic, that is to say we don't know anything - one way or the other. but there is a wonder from birth. Why is my butt wet? Why is that stupid man between me and the great dark circle of food?
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Referencing the smurfs again
When we are born we do not believe in smurfs. We are not even aware of the concept of smurfs. We are all without a belief in smurfs at birth. The same is true of gods.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:17 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. we have a god from birth
it is a huge contrasted circle that dispenses milk.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:20 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. heh, we are still working on self at that stage
It takes a while before other things take on a significance of not being us.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 04:41 AM
Response to Reply #10
72. True dat
My ill-received joking about 'contrast recognition' aside it was previously believed cognition beyond self didn't develop for weeks. Recently there has been discussion it occurs much earlier than first thought.. and that all of our concepts of early development are off.

And even if I never succeed in finding an acceptable definition of atheist, agnostic I know. We are born in a state of ignorance, not certainty. Certainty doesn't come until ego and understanding of consequence without underlying morality: the terrible twos. (and much worse threes)
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #72
80. Ah, but certainty is never absolute
You could be a brain in a vat for all you know. Thus claims of gnosticism have to be taken with a grain of salt. I find the term agnostic to be uninformative. I am a militant agnostic. I don't know and neither do you.

Gnostic/Agnostic pertain to what you know. Theist/Atheist pertain to what you believe. Knowing and believing are not the same thing.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #80
93. very well said!
Kudos - I think I'm going to save that to hard disk
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #80
123. But there are different kinds of knowing
there is scientific knowing, but there is also knowing through perceptions that can't, at this time, be scientifically measured. Any intuitive knowledge can't really be measured or even explained some times, nonetheless it is real knowledge.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #123
125. Good point. n/t
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #123
126. Science
Edited on Sat Oct-01-05 09:28 PM by Az
Science is a great tool. But its very nature insists that we can never close the book and claim we know something absolutely. We can find enough evidence and confirmation to claim that it would be ridiculous not to grant acknowledgement of the theory as a fact. But the moment a new peace of information shows up that refutes it we have to toss everything in the trash and rethink our theories.

The use of the word knowing in this case is very specific. It refers to absolutely knowing. And in this universe and with our means of experiencing the world around us we can never come to an absolute knowing of the universe.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #126
129. Never is such a long time... n/t
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #129
131. Yes... it is
And those are the rules science operates by. With faith you can have absolute certainty and no way of actually verifying the faith. With science you can never have absolute certainty but you can ascertain whether you are on the right track and improve your position.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #131
135. I never heard a scientist say,
"We can never come to an absolute knowing of the universe."

That "never" is your leap of faith.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #135
138. No
That never is simply the limit of science. No leap of faith there.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #138
141. Are you kidding?
Science has that limit?

You're getting sloppy, Az.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #141
143. Yes it does
That is the primary nature of science. It always must remain open to any new form of evidence that may show up.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #143
147. The possibility exists that it will arrive at a situation where no more
evidence is needed, or possible. It could also just go on forever, at least as far as we're concerned.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #147
152. Needed?
Its simply not the way the system works. Think of a logarithmic curve. It approaches 1 forever but never reaches it. More evidence just means there is more certainty but we can never reach absolute certainty.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #152
159. Okay, bad word in reference to science.
Let's go with "possible." The possibility exists that science will find itself a situation where no more evidence exists. It's possible that that possibility will result in absolute certainty.

"Never" is in the realm of belief, Az.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #159
162. That simply is not science
Even if there were no more evidence to be had the last scientist would be sitting at a console waiting to see if anymore evidence showed up. Its a process. It is a process that has no end. If the evidence peters out that has no impact on the process. It will sit there and wait.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #162
165. I'm not arguing the definition of science.
Sitting at a console? There you go imagining again.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #165
167. I happen to be wearing a teeshirt that says
Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Albert Einstein

Even has a big pic of the goofy scientist on it as well.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #167
168. That's one of my favorite quotes. n/t
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 02:26 AM
Response to Reply #167
180. "The secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." n/t
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #135
153. all scientists I know
truly believe exploration is never ending. That science does not have an end, or even final conclusions, it is the perpetual cycle of observe > theorize > test
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #153
157. It's a belief though.
And it's a good belief for science to have.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #157
160. That seems important to you
Sure its a belief. But it is not a dogmatic religious belief. It does not require worship. It is open to challenging itself.

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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #160
164. Kinda like my spiritual beliefs.
Hey, someone had to point out that you're a believer. ;)
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #164
166. No one ever said atheists don't believe things
We believe all sorts of things. And there are a lot of things we don't believe.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 02:25 AM
Response to Reply #166
179. And I believe I'll have another drink! n/t
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #131
140. Faith does not require absolute certainty
It absolutely doesn't! All truth is relative, though some a lot truer than others.

Many major theologians, and many religious practices, talk about God being far greater than our ability to know him. This precludes anyone from having the final answer, or absolute certainty, of the nature of God.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #140
142. Can does not mean does
Faith can have absolute certainty.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #142
144. I don't get your point
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #144
150. The point
The use of the word can in my statement means that faith has a range of claims including absolute certainty. Faith is able to have a condition of absolute certainty in addition to other conditions. But faith on its own posesses no techniques to test or adjust itself. It requires other philosophical tools.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #150
155. There is faith in the scientific method as the absolute tool of truth
It is simply a different kind of faith. That method might turn out to be terribly flawed in a future that we can't anticipate now, or it might continue to be supported.

There is faith that there is no God, under the more traditional definition of atheists, and, of course, I see atheists as people of great faith. But, you knew that, and so do others around here, and I am sure most "atheists" here reject that claim.

Faith doesn't requre tools or techniques, it is simply belief, which is a choice.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #155
158. The leap over solipsism
There is a sort of faith in science. It presumes the universe we have before us is relevant.

Science is a method of determing the processes and functions found within this universe(or multiverse). If it turns out we are a brain in a vat science has no means of testing for that within the confines of this universe.

But as we have nothing to suggest we are vatted brains it isn't relevant to the pursuit of science. If anything came along that suggested such a thing we would have to reconsider our methodologies.

Suffice to say that science is the best we seem to have found for examining this universe in a methodological way. It works. If something better comes along we should switch to it. If we find out we are brains in vats then we have a whole new ballgame.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #158
169. There are things that are important that have no way of being tested
and that is the bottom line. This is where religion and faith kick in.

As to whether science CAN test for these things, at some time in the future, helps us not one little bit today, in the here and now.

And, yes, I think the scientific method is the current religious faith in many circles.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #169
170. I wonder about that
I do not hold to the notion of all things not being testible. It seems to presume we won't make any breakthroughs in the future.

As to the here and now we work with what we have. Sometimes we have to look at something and say "We don't know yet".

As to the things that are important, I find love to be pretty important and for a long time it was presumed we could never understand it. Yet today we can examine a brain and discern whether the individual is in love, looking at their love, and a host of other things. There are countless things we can test and understand today that were once thought impossible.

As to religion and science. Religion is another unfortunately very broad term. A group of stamp collectors could be called a religious group and still fit within a broad definition of religion. I don't expect it would be difficult to wedge science into that broad a def.

But in the context of a dogmatic authoratative religion I don't believe the argument can be made. For the basic reason that science demands that its own claims be challenged. Science is as opposite to dogmatic authoratative religion as you can get.

To quote Stephen Gould(IIRC), scientists do not sit around holding hands and chanting that they will continue to believe in gravity. They probe it and question it.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #170
176. We deal in our lifetimes with the information currently available to us
Edited on Sun Oct-02-05 10:54 AM by kwassa
Az:
"I do not hold to the notion of all things not being testable. It seems to presume we won't make any breakthroughs in the future."

My point is that there are many things that are not testable right now, and we as humans in this lifetime are dealing with the here and now with the information available to us now. We don't have that future information.

"But in the context of a dogmatic authoritative religion I don't believe the argument can be made. For the basic reason that science demands that its own claims be challenged. Science is as opposite to dogmatic authoritative religion as you can get."

Though there certainly are instances within science where one group of theories are challenged by another, and there could be a parallel with religious dogma, I basically agree with you. A dogmatic, literal faith can't stand up before science. Most religious believers are not literalists, however, regardless of faith.
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CarbonDate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #169
172. You're really trying hard to equate religion and science.
Sorry, but it's not going to fly. Science is a self-correcting process while religion is a belief in things for which there are no evidence. Atheists do not have "faith" any more than you have "faith" that there is no Santa Claus. To claim that a lack of faith is, in fact, faith is ridiculous. By that standard, any number of things can be argued to be the opposite of themselves. "Right is just left looking the other way." "Up is really down if you're standing on your head." You can argue any number of convoluted perspectives from which something with a clear definition is the opposite of itself, but doing so renders language irrelevant.

A lack of belief is not a belief. If, through science, we discovered higher intelligences composed of energy with the power to bend space-time to their will, we might, in fact, call them gods. But as they would be mundane and physically verifiable, they would no longer be religious entities, but a part of nature. It requires no faith on my part to state that gods do not exist. I've seen no evidence of them, and it is the obligation of the one claiming the affirmative to provide evidence of their existence, not those claiming the negative to provide evidence of their lack of existence. Such a task is impossible.

Take Carl Sagan's "dragon in the garage" as an example. For every possible test offered to detect the dragon's existence, a convenient explanation is offered as to why the test will not work. If asked to see the dragon, we are told the dragon is invisible. If asked to gauge the temperature increases in the garage from the dragon's fiery breath, we are told the fire is heatless. If asked to lay flour on the garage floor to see its tracks, we are told that the dragon floats. If asked to touch the dragon, we are told it is intangible. And on and on. But, as Sagan asks, what is the difference between an invisible, intangible, floating dragon that breathes heatless fire and no dragon at all? And such it is with gods. Reason is a different mindset entirely than faith. "Faith" as defined by the religious requires the absence of reason. And reason requires the absence of faith. The two are mutually exclusive.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #172
177. Not really
Carbondate:
"Atheists do not have "faith" any more than you have "faith" that there is no Santa Claus. To claim that a lack of faith is, in fact, faith is ridiculous."

Since I haven't talked with you before, and I have been through this discussion in this forum a number of times, you would not be aware that I don't accept the definition of atheist as one who has simply a "lack of belief" in God or gods. Atheism is an affirmitive belief that there is no God. It is a strongly-held belief by many who participate here and spend quite a bit of energy arguing that point. If it wasn't such a belief, they would be indifferent to the idea and wouldn't argue it.

"Lack of belief" is a belief in and of itself.
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EvolveOrConvolve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #177
185. That definition doesn't fly with most atheists
As an atheist I have an absence of belief regarding the existence of any higher power. I do NOT have an active belief that there is no god - that's as intellectually indefensible as an active belief in god.

I'm simply neutral regarding the existence of any sort of deity. If there is tangible physical evidence for a deity, I will revise my view. Until then, I remain neutral.

Most atheists I know have similar views. I know very few atheists who actively argue for the non-existence of god, although it is discussed in atheist online communities on a regular basis. Atheists pride themselves on using reason and logic to make decisions. It simply is not reasonable, logical, or even provable to make the argument that there absolutely is no such thing as a higher power or a god.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #185
186. which makes someone an agnostic, not an atheist
evolveorconvolve:
"It simply is not reasonable, logical, or even provable to make the argument that there absolutely is no such thing as a higher power or a god."

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EvolveOrConvolve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #186
188. No, I am an atheist
I'm also agnostic, but that's beside the point. You're trying to define me using a definition that is outdated and simplistic. Agnosticism, by definition, relates to the knowledge of a god, rather than being the middle ground in the theist/atheist debate.

Someone who is agnostic may or may not be atheist. I know plenty of people who are agnostic theists. They believe in a god, but don't believe that we can have exact knowledge of the existence of that god.

I know that it's easier to attack a position if you can redefine it first, but that's a chicken-shit and illogical proposal. The republicans call it "framing the issue", but it amounts to little more than a straw man.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #188
189. No one defines themself by what they aren't, but by what they are
There is nothing illogical about my position, by the way. The new definition that "atheists" here choose to put forward just isn't plausible. If it were not an active belief, they wouldn't be participating, they just wouldn't care. Their active advocacy of this position indicates an active belief, not a lack of belief.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #189
190. Really?
Whats a vegetarian?
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-05 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #190
193. What is an avegetarian?
'Splain that.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-05 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #193
194. One would hope they were a carnivore
But we don't really use the term do we. Because just like asmurfists there are not a lot of people wandering around not eating vegegatables. Perhaps if there were we would have to come up with a term for them.
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EvolveOrConvolve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #189
191. I'd like you to point out to me
an example of an atheist here at DU promoting an absolute and active belief that there is no god. You just won't find many instances of it. We are active in defending ourselves from the misinformation spread by posters such as yourself. That doesn't logically translate into an active belief that god does not exist. Your loud protestations only prove to us that our education campaign should continue.

kwassa said:
"There is nothing illogical about my position, by the way."

I pointed out your lack of logic in previous posts. You haven't rebutted that, so I'm not going to revisit it.

kwassa said:
The new definition that "atheists" here choose to put forward just isn't plausible.

Of course it's plausible. As I pointed out, atheists are logical and reasonable, and asserting that there absolutely is no god, is what is implausible. However, I see very, very few atheists advocating that position. We are able to define ourselves any way we choose, and I'm sorry if we don't fit into some predefined mold into which you think we should conform.

kwassa said:
If it were not an active belief, they wouldn't be participating, they just wouldn't care.

I don't see where it's implied that, because we spend time defending our honor and standing up for our principles, that we all have an absolute belief that no god exists. Again, you are choosing to put your preconceived notions of atheists over common sense. That's called bigotry.

kwassa said:
Their active advocacy of this position indicates an active belief, not a lack of belief.

Acting as if we are proseletyzing doesn't make it so. We will defend ourselves from christian bigots and educate people about the misinformation. Being a part of these activities doesn't imply an active belief in no god.

I challenge you to find the proof that backs up your assertions. If you can't, then you're doing nothing more than blowing hot air.

I have a question for you: why does atheism scare you so much?
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #191
192. The key here is to imagine a world with no theists
If there were no theists we would not be gathering together and making note of our single common trait. Namely our lack of being a theist.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 02:28 AM
Response to Reply #169
181. That was the true intent of Sufism
it should be considered a mystic/philosophical technique, not a religion.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #181
187. Mysticism is a form of religion, too, the natural outgrowth
And many religions have mystic traditions, Sufism being an outgrowth of Islam.

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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. In another thread you equated histamine reaction with god
Now you seem to be saying that women's breasts are god. This certainly is a new brand of theism, do you have a name for it?
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. So god is a boobie?
Well, that explains the disturbingly obsessive behaviour of several ex-boyfriends. :P
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. Is Old Mouse promoting
the free exercise clause of the first amendment?
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #21
29. If you are not lactating, you are not Holy
Your ex-boyfriends may have been seeking false gods!
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #29
37. You mean they were heathens???
Oh well, they were happy heathens and that's all that matters I guess.
:evilgrin:
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heidler1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
50. Devotion to the giver of food is common to all animals.
My mother saw to it that every dog I had was fed and therefore they were very quick to come when she called, even if they were playing with me and seemed to be completely engrossed in the play. They would come to me if they were in the mood for play, but they were always in the mood for food. Soothing babies is infinitely easier for its nursing mother. All food sources are real and provable one way or the other and have only dependence in common with Gods which are neither real IMO or provable and in fact extremely undependable IMO. Their specialty is behaving in mystical ways IMO.

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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #9
54. some of us ever retun to worship
at puberty
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:32 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Bingo
I heard of "god" to be sure as I was growing up, but the concept was just a word to me that didn't really mean anything until I was about 8 years old. That was when my mother found religion and began taking me and my sisters to church. Thus began my indoctrination into theism.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. You are AGAIN trying to redefine atheism after having been told countless
times that it is NOT an active disbelief in god.

Constantly trying to stereotype and redefine a minority while completely disregarding their objections is bigoted.

How many more times are you going to beg the question?


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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 04:28 AM
Response to Reply #17
71. Actually...
I've had you ignored for days. I had no idea you were so upset.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 05:45 AM
Response to Reply #71
75. Obvious religious bigotry against us upsets a lot of atheists.
Film at eleven.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 05:58 AM
Response to Reply #75
76. I do not understand
how you decided I was religious? Don't you think that a little presumptuous? Or is anyone you don't like automatically religious?
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #76
81. The intolerance is religious in nature.
I could care less what beliefs spawned it.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #81
83. so anything you don't agree with
or you feel doesn't agree with you is automatically religious in nature?
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #83
84. Bigotry against atheists IS religious bigotry.
Jeez.

Why would brown people hate us?
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #84
88. you have a non-connecting logical loop
You claimed I disparaged atheism by, intentionally or unintentionally, attempting to categorize it as inferior to religion. I ask you how you come to this conclusion.

I have for days done noting but repeat the same questions in different forms, always applying the advice of people who profess allegiance to atheism to alter the wording to find an acceptable respectful tone in which to frame discourse.

My approach has and always will be that atheism and theism, at least for the purposes of beneficial discussion, need to be mutually respectful. I have never professed either position. You did that to my statements by yourself, and you should find that some cause for alarm.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #88
89. Perhaps you should re-read the post that I originally replied to.
to be more technical
we're all born agnostic, that is to say we don't know anything


You have been told by many DU atheists that atheism is NOT an active disbelief in god nor is it a refusal to believe in it.

Therefore, we are all born atheists.

Your pathetic attempt to beg the question and re-frame the debate is obvious.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #88
90. Respectful? What do you know of respect?
Skinner banned you from our A&A group for invading it and insulting us with a backhanded "plea".

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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #83
86. and anything you disagree with
You ignore. What a Hoot!
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #75
85. He ignored you and thought you would go away!
What a Hoot!
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #85
87. Yeah, apparently Az's tactics worked.
And they think he's so sweet and innocent!
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
12. Not really.
But in addition to Az's smurfism/asmurfism example, consider this:

Do you believe in Zeus?

No, you are an atheist with respect to Zeus.

Is your atheism w.r.t. Zeus defined as an opposition to Zeus?
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
13. Theist want to frame the debate in those terms.
I reject the framing. Theist define themselves and insist on the Divine right to define others. Then they expect us atheists to defend ourselves based on their definition. My beliefs and my belief systems in no way depend on theist for validation. In fact, theism is not in the least relevant to my beliefs.

From my perspective that is like saying "without insanity there would be no sanity". Perhaps semantically you are correct, but it does not establish a relevant relationship between the two. I can be an atheist without the help or even the existence of theists.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. And if I don't believe in theists
does that make me an atheist atheist?
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. And another thought
If theism disappeared from the universe today, it would have no impact on atheist other than the incessant giggling and an occasional "I told you so".

Theism is the system that requires an opposite, not atheism. Theist require an "evil" as a foil for their "good". There is no such requirement in atheism.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. If all the theists disappeared today
I think the atheists would be left sitting here going "ohoh" :evilgrin:

Forgive me for misinterpretting your comment delibrately. The joke as bad as it was, was simply irresistable.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. I am enRAPTURED
by your sense of humor
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #13
22. Still yet another thought
Atheism and theism are NOT opposites. Just as evolution and creationism are not opposite. They are two different ideas, and they do oppose each other, but they are not mirror images.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. Of course they aren't
Zero and One are not opposites. One and Negative One are opposites. In the world of theology the opposite is an apostate.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #13
32. "without insanity there would be no sanity"
That would make more sense the other way around.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Perhaps to you,
But to me it makes perfect sense. It all depends on the point of view that you start with. (and to some extent, whether you accept the legitimacy of the other side)
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
25. Theists started calling "heretics" and nonbelievers "atheists."
Theists, in other words, responded to nontheism or heresy and labeled it to make it other. Atheism has always been just nonbelief in a particular theism.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. They framed the debate so well
That even atheists still use the same negative words that the theists use to describe us. Even the word atheist is negative (the Latin prefix "a" meaning away from). Now we are stuck with their labels and they expect us to defend them.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. It came about
Because in order to prosecute someone you had to show that they had done something deliberately and maliciously wrong. Merely reporting that you don't happen to believe in god or don't have faith was insufficient. It had to be an active refusal or denial of god.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I understand the origins
and I appreciate your input, but my "Holy Crusade" is to change the framing of the debate.

If theists wish to be characterized by us in neutral terms, they should do us the courtesy of characterizing us in neutral terms. Otherwise, they should allow us the same liberty they take in characterizing us as "non-this" and "un-that" or lacking something. Just try using any of those prefixes on a theist and watch the flames hit the fan (i.e. "non"-rational, "lacking" in critical thinking, or "un"-enlightened). The double standard cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. When they frame the debate, they automatically win.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-18-05 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #27
201. Atheism, a religion dedicated to its own sense of smug superiority
I do like History that reports true fact and then anther true fact and then says one caused the other - a not true fact.

A bit sloppy.

By the way - the quote is from the Daily Show.
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onager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
30. You asked...
How does atheism respond to the mystery of existence?

To paraphrase Mr. Teller (the quiet half of "Penn &..."):

We atheists often ponder the awe, beauty and mystery of existence. We just don't sit around and make up a lot of BS about it.

Speaking only for myself, I don't believe there is any Great Mystery Of Existence. That whole idea was invented as a Jobs Program by underemployed ex-philosophy students.

And I am only one atheist, so here are a few more...

"I'm an atheist, and that's it. I believe there's nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people."--Katharine Hepburn, Ladies' Home Journal inteview, October 1991

"I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap.

My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go.

Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him against the liberty of his fellow-men."
-Kemal Atatrk

"The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance...logic can be happily tossed out the window."--Stephen King


http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Atheism

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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
31. I decided to bring this up...
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 12:51 PM by VioletLake
after reading the following definition of an atheist:

An "Atheist" is a person who has a lifestyle premised on the weltanschauung of materialism. That is, we accept "objective reality" in living our lives and we reject any phantasmagoria of the imagination of theistic fold. We live in the real world. Theistic folk live in a world of make believe. To put it simply, an Atheist says to you, "What you see is what you get...." An Atheist uses reason to solve human problems, to make his way in life, to seek happiness, to live with the human community. We eschew the irrational idea of theism.

http://www.atheists.org/faqs/faqs.html

I was struck by how much this definition relies on painting theists in an unfair and not altogether rational way. (If I have to point it out to you, let me know.)

It seems to me that a definition of atheism can't be considered without it including a definition for theism. In effect, atheists define themselves by defining theism in a certain way. And theists define atheism according to a particular definition of theism. It's all about theism.

What is theism about? At its core, it's the expression of single belief: there is a reason for existence. What do I mean by reason? I mean, is existence reasonable? Does the possibility exist that a way can be reasoned to the conclusion? And is that conclusion not the complete answer, including the reason for "why?" Ultimately, "There is no reason" is not a reasonable answer to "why" because it side steps the question, by denying its validity, instead of attempting an answer. Effectively, "there is no reason," means, "why is not a valid question." I believe that the question is as valid as reason itself.

In terms of belief, which is really all we have to go on at this point, the dilemma can be reduced to two questions. The first is a ternary question:

Do you believe "why" is a valid question? Answer "yes," "no," or "I don't know."

The second question is essentially binary, and contingent on answering "yes" to the first question: What do you believe the answer is? Answer "I don't know," or make an attempt to answer the question.

How does atheism address these questions? It's hard to tell, because so much of its essence is focused on the effects that answers to the second question have on reality. That's the reason why I suspect that atheism is essentially a reaction against the logical integrity and cultural implementation of certain answers. Atheism's focus on the second question implies that the answer to the first question is "yes," (although I believe that it isn't necessarily a deliberate affirmation.)

It seems to me that properly elucidated, the definition of atheism should begin with the following statement: The belief that "why" is not a valid question. A third question would be established, contingent on answering "no" to the first question: Why is "why" an invalid question? Answer "I don't know," or make an attempt to answer the question. I imagine that the average answer would go something like this:

"Why" is an invalid question because there is no reason. Existence is ultimately unreasonable.

How many atheists are willing to carve out a definition based on that belief, and discard the antagonistic paradigm constructed in opposition to a secondary, presumably worthless question?
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. One response
First question: Yes all questions are valid, it is answers that are invalid.

Second question: What we believe is irrelevant, what is relevant is what we know, and what we don't know. You can see how this differs from the theist point of view.

Third point: The propaganda mills on both sides crank out plenty of loaded definitions to glorify their own point of view. In fact, the only attribute shared by all atheists is that theists disagree with us. All other common attributes are coincidental. We do not all have rhythm and like watermelon.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. Splendid !!!
Well said!

Why don't these curiosity seekers head on over to the GLBT forum and ask them if they define themselves as anti-hetero?

Or ask African Americans if they define themselves as anti-white?

Why should we define ourselves as what we are or are not in relation to someone else?

I'm surprised that atheists would allow themselves to be categorized that way in order to suit another's agenda.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. So do you?
have rhythm and like watermelon?

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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Nah.
I yodel and like sauerkraut.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. LOL
I knew there was a reason I liked you.
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CarbonDate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #38
53. I do.
I'm a good dancer and like fried chicken, too. No good at basketball, though.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. One thing you should consider
Not having a reason for your "Why?" question is really no different at all than making one up (or believing one that someone made up millenia ago).

We don't even know if "Why?" is a valid question, so while you knock atheism for not having an answer that satisfies *you*, remember that there are a lot of us that are perfectly OK with that.

(By the way, "no reason" does not make existence "unreasonable." That's you editorializing.)
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WhollyHeretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
40. That really is just semantics. If there was no theism then I would not
call my self an atheist. That one word would be the only difference, it would have absolutely no affect on me as a person or in my beliefs. My beliefs about life and the world around me would not change one bit. This question really isn't some cosmic conundrum, just semantics.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #40
74. It seems to be difficult
Edited on Sat Oct-01-05 04:58 AM by Old Mouse
words are insufficient to communicate concepts as complex as we are capable of imagining, but words are what we have.

The word atheist exists, and therefore must have a definition, or finite series of definitions. The paradox I see is that some who identify as atheists actively protest the inclusion of another person who identifies as atheist's definition.
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WhollyHeretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #74
78. Will you give it up already. First of all this post makes no sense
Second of all you have no interest in honest debate, you do nothing but post condescending back-handed insults to atheists (like the garbage you posted in the atheist's group).
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #78
92. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #92
94. "Personality defects"? Are you serious?
So if I posted that religious people shared "personality defects" - such as delusions of superiority, a patronising and sanctimonious attitude, that sort of thing for example - how long would that post last? What affect does a lifetime of indoctrination into the belief that you are better than many others and will be rewarded in neverland after death have on the ego?
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WhollyHeretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #92
95. Again your supposed sympathy is laced with nasty insults. If you have
a problem with atheists just come out and say it. I have respect for someone who states what they believe even if we have a heated argument. I have absolutely no respect for people who make barbed back-backhanded comments and veiled insults to try and get their jollies.
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really annoyed Donating Member (650 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-05 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #78
198. Too bad I'm missing the fun...
Edited on Fri Oct-07-05 10:27 PM by really annoyed
I gave up on that poster long ago...

No really, I love you all... O8)
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really annoyed Donating Member (650 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-08-05 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #198
199. Sorry, wrong poster....
I was thinking about somebody else.... :evilfrown:
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #74
79. I gave you a definition
There is only one characteristic common to all atheists, that theists disagree with us. To try to include other attributes is no more valid than saying that we all like watermelon or have rhythm.

I believe that the only reason you won't accept this definition is because it doesn't allow you to denigrate others. (and that seems to be your goal)

An atheist is a person with whom theists disagree. That is the ONLY definition that is TRUE for all atheists.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
41. I wouldn't say "opposition", as that implies a fighting stance to me.
I'd say "in the context of" - the term 'atheist' would not exist without theism defining the context of arguing that 'gods exist'.

If no one believed in gods, we'd all be atheists, but we wouldn't call each other that.

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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. The prefix 'a' means without
Its not to far a leap to see what an atheist is from that. We know that a theist is someone that believes in god or gods.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. Agreed, I just don't agree with the implications of the term "opposition".
I don't OPPOSE theism, which is another way of saying "deny", which is another way of saying "god exists, you just reject him".

I repudiate the idea that I oppose theism. I just don't agree with its flawed, unsupported conclusions.

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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
45. Come on, atheists, you should be ashamed.
Is that all you have? I wouldn't wipe my rear end with these tired thoughts, let alone waste my time responding to them.

If you want to make it interesting, give me more to work with. I took my time in order to give the ideas, and you, the appropriate respect. You're welcome to do the same. Let's make it last, baby. ;)

Relax, I'm just making funny faces. But I do mean it that it can be more interesting.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. Maybe you missed the other threads
We have been fighting this one for a while now. You really didn't throw anything new into the arena. Most of us saw this as "Oh great, here we go again." Sorry.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. Maybe she missed the posts in her own thread.
;)
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. I'm sure I've missed most, but caught enough to know what tired is.
Look at it this way, Az: now you have to fight me. If you want to that is... I'm not makin' ya...

O8)
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. Heh, how bout a game of global thermo nuclear war
:evilgrin:

I believe I agreed with your original contention. If there were no theists we would not have to make note of the absense of our belief in god. Just as we do not go around actively noting our lack of belief of fizzblobbles we would not have to express our lack of belief in gods.

Atheism by its basic nature is a reactionary position. Without the impetus to react against it fails to rise to significance.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #49
56. Oh no, what have I done?
You win then. :hug:

I don't know if I've told you before, but I like reading your posts very much. You apply your vision well. But atheism has weaknesses that atheists seem to be somewhat unaware of. It wasn't my intention to present new information; it was to present a fresh way of looking at the available information.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. If you want to open pandora's box
Perhaps you could illuminate some of these weaknesses you percieve. Wear asbestos underwear though.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. Again?
Damn, you're tough. Give me a little while to roll it over in my mind.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #57
59. Let's talk about the smurf in the room then.
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 08:32 PM by VioletLake
Do you realize that you can't invalidate the second question (from my model) by answering it? You are answering a question that has a virtually unlimited number of possibilities, including "smurfs," and "no reason." Until the answer, if there is such a thing, is known, "no reason" is practically on equal footing with "smurfs." Of course I exaggerate a little. The point is that atheists seem to believe that they're not answering the question when they actually are. They seem to believe that they're not taking part in the world of belief, but they are.

Atheists are guilty of committing some of the same violations that they accuse theists of committing. Each side defines the other as narrowly as possible, and claims superiority over it.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. Of smurfs and gods
Atheism and Asmurfism both relate to matters of belief. They don't proclaim that they know there universe is devoid of gods or smurfs. It merely relates the fact that they do not happen to believe in either.

Now how individuals come by their positions is another matter.

For myself I cannot presume to know that the universe is free of smurfs and gods. I don't expect to find either if I did manage to search the entirety of the multiverse. But since I cannot I cannot make a positive claim of knowledge.

Now, suppose someone said that smurfs or gods were what made rocks float in mid air at all times. This claim can be tested. Merely pick up a rock and let go. If it falls we have refuation of the claim that smurfs or gods keep rocks floating in midair. I can definitively claim that smurfs and gods that make all rocks float in midair do not exist.

Thus we can see there are examples of claims that positive statements of denial are possible on. I can positively state that there are no smurfs or gods making rocks float all over the place. There are other smurfs and gods I can exclude from possibility. Some take more consideration than rock floaters. But they can be examined.

There are infinite claims of god. Some of them can be examined and refuted. These we can stake strong claims against. Others are not as easy to refute. But if the evidence for their existance does not rise to sufficient levels to convince a person they need not grant their acceptance. They can continue to lack belief in the face of noncompelling reasons.

So as many descriptions of god as there are a single atheist can have as many reasons for not believing. Thus atheists have a bit of trouble finding the right label for themself.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #60
63. I guess that can be a problem.
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 09:31 PM by VioletLake
Not having an accurate label, that is.

My central point is that most atheists already answer "yes" to the first question (from the model). Accepting the validity of "why" is the point where theists and atheists meet. As long as the possibility exists that "no reason" is wrong, atheists should respect a thing that most people experience intuitively. I can understand the revulsion that atheists feel for what I called the logical integrity and cultural implementation of certain answers (primarily Christianity). And I believe that religion has no business in government and science. But I don't believe that erasing "magical" thinking is a particularly worthy or realistic endeavor.

I can probably make a pretty good case for "magical" thinking if push comes to shove.

If things were kept in their proper perspectives, there probably wouldn't be much of an issue.

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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #63
66. When smurfs fail
The trouble is that every once in a while we come across someone promoting belief in the smurfs they believe keep rocks floating in midair. The insist that the truth of these rock floating smurfs form the basis of our science and society.

See many real claims for gods do not just fail to convince atheists. There are many dominant strains of belief that many atheists believe they can demonstrate are false. And there in lies the problem.

Unfortunately each side develops their own internal logic. So the arguments of the atheists as presented to the believers will fall flat for them. They use different methodologies for their acceptance. Meanwhile the atheists believe their logic to be sound and determine that the believers are unsound. Dialog becomes difficult at this stage.

Now in a diverse Post Modern society such oppositional beliefs can coexist. But the trouble is as time goes by truths are learned that are accepted by many. In this way the society progresses. But not all share in the acceptance of this progress. If certain beliefs hang up upon these progressive ideas a rift can appear in the society. And then religious beliefs can begin to present a threat to those that do not share in their beliefs.

Thus the nonbelievers are driven out of their complacency and begin to see the resistant religious views as a threat. The simple course seems to be to challenge the logic of the views with their logic. But of course the resistant views do not share in their particular logical premises. Thus they site the actions as further oppression of their particular views.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. Good observations, as usual.
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 10:08 PM by VioletLake
I wonder if I can convince you that the smurf argument just adds fuel to the adversarial fire. Think about it: it's not what they believe that matters, it's what they're doing with it. At best, the smurf argument is a misguided attempt to reason them out of their beliefs; at worst, it's adversarial taunting.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #67
68. The useful smurf
I fear the smurf ref is soon going to fail but I shall try to nurse it along as best I can.

The creation of smurfs and gods are not deliberate acts. They arise out of our need to understand and desire to have control over our environment. Over time as the stories behind them increase they take on identity and form. Along the way they accumulate wisdom.

As different claims and ideas concerning these smurfs and gods accumulate the ones that resonate best with the social mind are the ones that find themself repeated. They are the notions we continue to hold true. Thus over time smurfs and gods accumulate wisdom beyond what single individuals can fathom on their own.

There is wisdom in the ideas behind smurfs and gods even if they are not based on true premises. It is social evolution that gives them strength. But is also this process that makes them dangerous.

The means by which this process works is not deliberate. It takes no responsibility for its outcomes. And history is full of when things go horribly wrong in this process. It cannot look forward. It can only draw from what it has learned. And powerful though it may be it is not deliberate.

We live in a time where we can ill afford to not make our descisions without looking forward. We don't need to jettison the wisdom that we have accumulated. But we have to use other means of determining our lives as well.

The utilitarian use of god may have some value. And for those that find such value I encourage them. But for me unweaving the rainbow has more value. In finding the truth of things we are better able to see how things connect together. There may be some observations that religious traditions have catalogged that carry value but that value is just as relevant without the trappings for some. In time perhaps a deliberate examination of these observations will gleen why they are true. So they have value yet.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. Clear up a little semantics first
invalidity is not an attribute of questions, only answers. Of course the question can't be invalidated. No question can.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #61
64. I guess that's kinda my point.
:toast:
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #64
69. My mistake
I realized just a little too late that I had gotten into a debate with someone who believes that "You can't invalidate the question" is a debatable proposition. :shrug:
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 04:43 AM
Response to Reply #46
73. LOL n/t
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heidler1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #45
52. Most humans can't understand all of the possible ways of looking at this
issue, but my way of comunicating where I'm coming from is "I'm not Religious". Sure you get nearely the same shock and sometimes anger, but it seems to be a little less severe. I do believe that honesty about the issue is preferible to letting it slide, but I'm against starting a war over words. Sometime you might meet someone that you like even though you know that this gulf exists. Finding people that you like is tough at best so widening the gulf is not too cool. The great beauty of Internet chat is one can be totaly honest. The downside may be that humans may be incapable of total honesty.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #52
91. "The great beauty of Internet chat is one can be totaly honest"
That is an interesting reminder.

There is the danger that instantaneous reaction leads to escalating misunderstanding. but that may be an old mans' pessimism. I'm going to strive to apply your enthusiasm.
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heidler1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #91
98. I've read a lot of your posts and still do not have you pegged.
You are sympathetic to religious people and do not want their feelings hurt, IMO. You seem to be agnostic some times, IMO. You like to argue, but dodge the bullet and seldom shoot to kill. Am I close? As far as being old I'm the oldest.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #98
133. Thank you for taking the time to read and ask.
I try to be sympathetic to everyone.

All I want is a united front between liberal atheists and theists against that which is against both. That requires a common vocabulary. Not an outrageous request, I believe there comes a time in which individual expression must give way to the common good.

I understand the culture of theism better than I do atheism, but many atheists have been kind enough to explain the range of difficulties facing atheists today.

What I don't like, a trait similar in all DU discussions, is the demand for a declaration of affiliation before a statement can be considered valid. A statement should be judged on ts own merit, not if it is already pre-disposed to favor a particular point of view. That is the polarized divide we need to eliminate.

If you speak with such certainty that you are the oldest, i can only be in awe in the margin you have accumulated to let you have such confidence! Please accept my sincerest respect.
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
51. Without insanity, there would be no sanity.
Explore the implications of that.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #51
55. You, again? Phooey...
You chose the most uninteresting thing to pick on, and for that, I will refrain from addressing your point until you manage to make it more than just a facile and pointless counter-challenge. I would rather discuss smurfs with Az, and that's not saying much.
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #55
77. Turning the other cheek ...
Your position requires a certain amount of binary thinking - yes/no. As I know your aware, but you choose to ignore for the sake of your case, there is a third state - yes/no/maybe - which throws the entire system from Manicheanism into shades of grey.

I would contend that this third state, doubt, uncertainty, is the default state. It is the quintessentially human state. We are born agnostic.

Remember, this view is endorsed by Christianity as the concept of Original Sin. You have to be brought into the church after birth, you are not born into it. Theism is a learned social construct, and in such atheism is a reaction to it. But only to the extent that theism is a reaction to atheism. But your case assumes that theism is somehow a "natural" state; it isn't, it's just a widespread one; your very assertion that there is a God automatically creates the opposing notion that there might not be a God. So I think your case was flawed in that atheism and theism only define each other as they define themselves against doubt. Without doubt, faith is nothing; without doubt, reason is worthless.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #77
97. The first question (from response #31) is ternary.
Edited on Sat Oct-01-05 06:34 PM by VioletLake
I labeled the third choice "I don't know," but "maybe" works too.

My assumption is that the natural state is to ask "why" among other things. Obviously, that leads to theism, atheism, antitheism, maltheism, syntheism, and cheetheism.

Did I make the assertion that there is a god?
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #97
99. You didn't assert there is a God, you simply strongly implied that you
hold that belief by defining atheists in a set separate to you. Therefore, I assumed you were a theist. There goes that binary thinking again.

And I was responding to the OP, not post #31.

I would persist with my point that the natural state is doubt. Although doubt causes many people to ask "why?", it doesn't cause every doubtful person to ask why. So "why-asking" is simply a subset of doubtfulness. I would add that many religious people, believeing as many of them do in a personal god, would ask "why me?" which is a completely different question.

But this dodges the fact that you have sidestepped a few of my points. I would contend that theism needs the posibility of atheism and doubt in order to survive, yet the same is not true of atheism and doubt.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #99
100. Did I define atheists in a set separate to me?
I don't call myself an atheist. But then I usually don't call myself a theist either; I'm definitely not a theist in the conventional "supernatural" sense.

Post #31 was my attempt to map the thoughts that prompted the OP.

Say I ask, "Why do birds fly?" Please explain to me how doubt caused me to ask that question.

Atheism doesn't need theism? Perhaps conceptually, and I think that's the hang-up here. Atheism - as a labeled concept - has an actual, living history, and that is what I'm referring to in the OP. My apologies for not making that more clear.

In other posts, I have pointed out that atheism, in practice, isn't quite as pure as the concept. Read the definition of an atheist at the beginning of post #31, and then tell me that atheism doesn't need theism. Okay, don't tell me that. Tell me that atheists don't need theists.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #100
101. Perhaps your focus is
Individual atheists and particular groups of atheists. There has been a history of certain atheist that find their reason and definition in opposition to theists (Nietzsche comes to mind). But the thing of it is that they are not representitive of all forms of atheism. Just their own.

These particular atheists may indeed find their egos dependent on the opposition to theists. But we will never have the chance to find out. Theism is so entirely saturated in our society that it is not likely to present a chance to find out.

The trouble is once you try to put an idividual into a labeled box you cease dealing with them. You try to predefine them and you cut off any real dialog.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #101
103. "But we will never have the chance to find out."
Surely you jest. I see evidence around here of more than one atheist ego dependent on the opposition to theists.

Boxes are bad, dialog is good. :toast:
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #103
105. The point was
That we will never find out if their world view is built upon opposing theists as it is unlikely for the world to suddenly be free of theists.

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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #105
109. That's almost like saying..
that we will never find out if the Protestant world view is built upon opposing Catholics as it is unlikely for the world to suddenly be free of Catholics.

What counts is what actually happens, and the "material" evidence is pretty convincing.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #109
110. Its a complex world we live in
Its difficult to say what if any amount of opposition an individual has towards another defines them. To try to lump an amorphous group such as atheists into a readily defined narrow claim is going to garner you little more than a lot of yowls and protests.

The question is not is atheism defined by opposition to theism. The question is how much is opposition to theism a motivation for the individual atheist.

Atheism carries no requirement of opposition. It is at it's simplest an absense of theism. An individual may be an entirely different creature. Atheism is just one part of who we are.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #110
114. "To try to lump an amorphous group...
such as atheists into a readily defined narrow claim is going to garner you little more than a lot of yowls and protests."

I guess that's why theists would be upset by the definition of an atheist that I posted in response #31. By the way, I got that link from one of your posts on another thread.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #114
117. Indeed
I am not partial to that particular site. It is a site that is created by atheists. But as I said there are many groups and many types of atheists.

Set theory. Set theory is how we mathematically represent these boxes we have been talking about. In the world of set theory atheist and theist would be two sets that do not share any members or subsets. Of the theist set Catholic and Protestant would be a subset of the larger theist set. Similarly in the set of Atheism the creators of www.atheists.org are a subset of the larger Atheism as well.

The atheist crowd is very fractured and unorganized. We squabble over many things including how to define ourselves. I have an atheist friend that believes that the utilitarian nature of the concept of god warrants its belief. I know other atheists that have a near violent reaction to the idea of exhibiting tolerance to the idea of promoting the existance of god. Its a big house. Don't presume you know who you are talking to because you know what house they live in.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #101
108. I think you've got something there
VioletLake is trying to deal with the box not the individual. He/She wants us to defend the box even though we did not put ourselves in the box and it is not even our box.

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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #108
111. I have news for you, Mr. Debris.
When you call yourself an atheist, and you present yourself in public as an atheist, you're putting yourself in the box.

If you don't like the way I'm interpreting your box, then help me out. Say, "That's not what my box looks like; it looks like this..."
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #111
112. True, it is a box
But it is a very large box. The box you seem to be trying to construct is a much smaller box.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #112
115. It is indeed a smaller box.
But I didn't construct it.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #115
118. But you are trying to place all atheists in it
And thats the problem. Do not put me in a box I did not construct. In fact its best not to try to place anyone in a box. Let them build their own boxes and find out what you can about the one they built. Better yet, just get to know the individual.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #118
121. Why am I trying to do that?
Hmmm... :think:

Could it be that I have a mad desire to stuff atheists into tiny boxes?

Could be, rabbit. Could be...
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #121
122. Cute
:eyes:
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #111
113. So what does the "theist" box look like?
Large, I'll bet.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #113
116. Huuuge...
LOL

If you want to see what my box looks like, read the opening post on my blog.

http://violetlake.blogspot.com/
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #116
148. Interesting blog.
One of the reasons I discuss these matters is many questions on the exact nature of human consciousness have been definitively answered, but by those without the philosophical discipline to realize the scope of their discoveries. Our scientific and philosophical societies are disinclined to cooperate.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #111
130. I believe I did that
From #34 above:

"In fact, the only attribute shared by all atheists is that theists disagree with us. All other common attributes are coincidental. We do not all have rhythm and like watermelon."

That is what my box looks like. So why did you ignore me?
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #130
137. I didn't mean to ignore your box.
I saw the watermelon and smiled.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #137
149. Damn, I did it again
I feel so silly.

see post #69 above
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #100
102. But that definition is meaningless.
Edited on Sat Oct-01-05 07:44 PM by Taxloss
It's as meaningless to me as a Muslim's definition of theism would be to a Christian or a Hindu. Most atheists fiercely guard their lack of pack mentality. So I dislike things like that stupid "atomic orbit" logo. I don't want a damn sign. (No offence to my fellow atheists here who might like it.)

If there is a hang-up here, it is theism's hang-up. You're quite right that "atheism - as a labeled concept - has an actual, living history", but that history is imposed by, defined by, and controlled by theists - the ones who slapped a label on a trait they considered dangerous and on many occasions attempted to persecute out of existence. The theists created the terms in this argument and seem to be happy to define them as they go along.

It's interesting to consider that there have been some moves towards giving atheism a better "brand" - that logo I mentioned earlier, for a start, but also replacing the term "atheist" with the term "Bright". Most atheists - myself included - dislike the term "Bright". Why? Because it might be considered belittling by theists. Yet I don't see any concerns like that from the theist side over the fast and loose use of the term "atheist".

On edit: Missed part of your post. Why do birds fly? You're right, doubt won't cause the initial question. But it will be the force that creates the other "whys" that define the answer.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #102
104. Tell ya what...
Give me your definition of atheism, in your own words, and we'll go from there.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #104
106. Are you investigating the base status of atheism, or
are you looking to find the motivation of specific atheists and whether their integrated identity is dependent on opposition to theists?
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #106
119. I'm exploring the subject in general.
It's not just atheism and atheists that I'm interested in though. The theist/atheist dynamic interests me too.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #119
120. You are going to find
Edited on Sat Oct-01-05 08:53 PM by Az
That the dynamic of all theist/atheist interactions is entirely dependent on the theists and atheists involved. To try to sort it out with just the labels theist and atheist is like trying to put together a puzzle with a bulldozer. You have to get closer and look at the individual peices.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #120
124. That's a cop out, Az.
One has to look at the labels. I'm also looking at the individual pieces. And the contexts.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #124
128. Look at the labels, don't presume the labels
And that is the entire gist of this entire conversation.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #128
134. There ya go.
:toast:
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #134
136. You do understand
That the label you should examine is the one the individual presents to you. Just verifying because the wording of my previous comment was not entirely clear on the matter.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #136
139. Remember that next time you write about Republicans,
or any other group. Make sure to get all the individual definitions ahead of time. Good luck.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #139
146. I always try to
When talking about groups I typically attempt to allow for variance within the set I am talking about in the wording I choose. It just takes a bit of effort.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #146
154. That's why you reduce all belief to a smurf.
Variance.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #154
156. Ok .... huh?
Didn't get that one. Can you restate it?
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #156
161. No, but I can give you a hug.
:hug:
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #161
163. Hugs are always welcome
:hug:
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #104
107. OK.
Edited on Sat Oct-01-05 08:06 PM by Taxloss
I have absolutely no belief in God. For me, all empirical evidence points towards the absence of a controlling deity. The existence and popularity of religion is not evidence for God, it is a social phenomenon that can be fairly easily explained.

I would be described by theists as an atheist, and use the term out of convenience maore than anything else.

To save you the bother, I'll define theist as well: anyone who believes in a controlling entity or entities that, although not of this universe, freely interact with it, mostly in a position of control. That covers most theisms.

Edit: entites = entities
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #107
127. I guess I'm not a theist then, if that's the definition.
:crazy:

As for what atheism means to you: it's okay by me. It's nice to finally get to know you a little. :)
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #127
132. Thanks for the "crazy" smiley, really nice.
Having read a bit of your blog, you certainly seem to believe in a higher power.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #132
145. A limited higher power that is not "supernatural."
I hope you weren't offended by the smiley. I really didn't mean it as an insult. I meant it to be "all these definitions are making me dizzy."
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #104
151. That's the question that wins me friends and admirers! n/t
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #51
62. Don't feel bad Taxloss
They always get defensive when mental illness is brought up. Especially the ones who hear voices and talk to invisible people.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #62
65. Oh, stop it.
Silly goose... I don't have the kind of things invested in this that would make one defensive.
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #62
82. Doesn't bother me. A non-response response. Very zen.
If a post is ignored in the forest, does any notice the haughty indifference I ignore it with?
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CarbonDate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
70. Darkness is the absence of light.
It is not an entity in itself.

Atheism is the absence of theism. It is not an entity in itself.

"Without light, there is no darkness." Well, actually, without light, there's nothing but darkness. And without religion, there's nothing but atheism.

And before you get all snarky with me for posting a simplistic response to your simplistic idea, extrapolate a bit.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #70
96. I'm out of snark.
Sorry :shrug:

I already have extrapolated a bit in other responses. You're welcome to pick up the thread there.

If you want to start a new branch here, perhaps you can tell me why my simple observation bothers you? It doesn't seem to contradict what you're saying.
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
171. The thing that sucks most about life,
other than having to deal with nasty people, is that one gets too used to it. It becomes ordinary. It's easy to get caught in a trap of just doing stuff, like a machine. It's easy to forget how implausible it all is. "Why me?"
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #171
173. Its an unfortunate part of our nature
We are a learning species. Our basic instinct is to struggle together and look out for each other. But there are always aberations. And as we grow older the learned difficulties of life begin to override our basic impulses. We learn to look out for ourselves rather than being concerned about those around us. We learn to get ours before someone else takes it. We learn to hit before being hit.

Fortunately the nasty things in life are not the only things we learn. Hopefully the things in your life are teaching you hope as well. So when you meet a person remember that you are teaching them about the world. That you are part of their life experience and show them what to expect of the world. And you are teaching them how to treat you.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 01:23 AM
Response to Reply #171
174. It is part of the design
we seek out the unique and turn it to routine. It's how the brain adapts ad learns. Only novel experiences keep us engaged and thoughtful.
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heidler1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 03:36 AM
Response to Reply #174
175. True & thats why I decided long ago that if humans ever do stumble onto
perfection we'd soon tire of it and keep on looking. I suspect that Atheists may have clearer picture of what is good in their life, but only because their thinking is more earth bound and they see a greater enlightened selfish interest in getting their life to be more rewarding, because that's all there is to it. To me one of the flaws of Christianity is like the Hymn "This world is not my home" This view opens the door to a whole lot of foolish decisions. Granted it easier to deal with anything if you can believe that its screw up proof because all you have to do is pray for forgiveness and it is granted. Just imagine how much Bush relies on forgiveness, with all of his gross screw ups he needs all the help he can get. Even if it is all a fantasy.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 02:01 AM
Response to Reply #175
178. Its impossible to live a blameless life
"repentance" is an easy way to cope with the issue. As we become more philosophically complex, we realize it is impossible to have joy without also having suffering... usually at the expense of another. The more evolved your philosophy, the greater the range of suffering you emphasize with, and the greater guilt you feel.

Morality, mortality and regret are difficult issues, and repentance is an effective tool for people to deal with the issue of how to die happy. But one of the greatest human talents is the ability to look at any rule and think "how much does this let me get away with..."

And I don't thing bush is too worried about forgiveness. He's a pretend President, a pretend Texan, and a pretend Christian.
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heidler1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #178
182. My guess is that Bush pretends to pray, pretends to be forgiven,
even pretends to hear advice from God, pretends that he is following his pretend advice and to top it off pretends that he is infallible. Do you envy him? Or do you feel sorry for him? Neither for me.

Rule one: never envy anyone.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 02:47 AM
Response to Reply #182
183. I do think he truly believes he is infallible
and the entire rest of the world is wrong. Including the weather.

I think his narcissism runs so deep we won't even get the satisfaction of him achieving even a moment's realization of the unparalleled human suffering he's responsible for.
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heidler1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 03:06 AM
Response to Reply #183
184. He has given religion a bad name and don't care about that either.
If I had the power to open peoples eyes to the reality of the above subject it would please me more than anything. The people bought his con and they don't want to admit their fallibility either and were stuck with it. Yes there were quite a few including me who thought he was a problem from the get go.

Sat. morning I went a group coffee and cookie get together and got angry with a guy who still likes Bush better than Clinton. And another one thought we should just write off New Orleans. Why can't they see that it's not a workable option.
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jackthesprat Donating Member (184 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-05 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
195. Without North Dakota there would be no South Dakota?
Problem solved.
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really annoyed Donating Member (650 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-05 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #195
197. hehehe....
:)

Humor is always good in these situations....
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jackthesprat Donating Member (184 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-05 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
196. Without North Dakota there would be no South Dakota?
Problem solved.
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