Profiling the atheist

83 Replies, 11194 Views

From Michael Tymn, at http://whitecrowbooks.com/michaeltymn/en...he_atheist:


Quote:Over the years, I have developed a profile of the typical hard-core atheist. He or she may not have all of the characteristics indicated below, but here are 21 fairly common characteristics I have observed.

The atheist: 
    
1) was likely brought up in a religious family, quite often in an evangelical family;

2) had problems with parental authority when young and was often rebellious;

3)  while in school, adopted science teachers and professors as substitute parent figures and quickly divorced religion in favor of the “intellectual” reductionist approach of the teacher or professor;

4) cannot now believe anything that can’t be replicated and validated by science;

5) believes that it is necessary to prove the existence of God before considering the evidence for an afterlife;

6) believes wars, famine, poverty, premature death, etc. are evidence that there is no God, as a benevolent God would not permit such things.  No God, no afterlife;

7) had an inferiority complex most of his or her life, but now sees his “intellectual” atheism grounded in science as making him/her better and smarter than all his/her friends who still suffer from religious superstitions;

8) has never really studied the evidence for the survival of consciousness but finds it convenient to parrot people like James “The Amazing” Randi and Michael Shermer by saying it is all fraudulent;

9)  assumes that celestial ways and means must meet terrestrial standards, thereby further assuming that science has it all figured out;

10)  attempts to put on a courageous front in his or her belief that life is nothing more than a march into an abyss of nothingness, but is really shaking in his or her boots, especially in his/her old age, when the courage turns to bitterness and despair, i.e., the pretend courage is really bravado;

11)  doesn’t fully grasp the difference between evidence and proof;

12) assumes that the afterlife is nothing more than angels floating around on clouds and strumming harps for eternity;


13)  fails to recognize that the evidence coming to us through psychical research and parapsychology is not always consistent with religious dogma and doctrine;

14)  thinks that television “ghost hunting” programs are what psychical research and parapsychology are all about;

15) accepts the debunker’s explanation that all psychical phenomena are the result of fraud, hallucination or self-delusion;

16)  believes everything he/she reads concerning paranormal phenomena at Wikipedia is the straight scoop;

17) assumes that psychics, if real, should be able to pick winning lottery numbers and be totally correct in everything he or she says;

18) stresses the “misses” in the testing of psychic phenomena, while ignoring the “hits,” even though they are far beyond chance;

19) assumes that if spirits exist, they should be all-powerful and able to more effectively communicate;

20) says we should “live for today” and not concern ourselves with what happens after death;

21) fancies him- or herself as a self-appointed guardian of truth in the war on superstition. 
 
[-] The following 12 users Like nbtruthman's post:
  • OmniVersalNexus, Vortex, darkcheese, Brian, The King in the North, Ninshub, Mediochre, Enrique Vargas, Raimo, Valmar, Doug, tim
LOLOLOLOL!!!!! Brilliant. Lethal  Big Grin Big Grin  Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
[-] The following 1 user Likes Enrique Vargas's post:
  • tim
As weird of a comparison as this may sound, this list reminds me a lot of how the UAC got depicted in the 2016 Doom reboot. As a literal cult of science, with sayings like "Science will set us free" and whatnot, and then Hell got depicted as basically a roman/viking/mongolian-esque conquest and glory driven, semi established,  interdimensional empire using pretty standard espionage and statecraft tactics like promising positions of power in the resulting vassal states to key influential people for the semi-cost of research and infrastructure deals.

I was too blind to even attempt playing a game as fast paced as that so I watched a playthrough and I could not help but laugh at the science cult thing, I wondered how many, if any, hardcore atheists got mad at it because there were points that really seemed like they were deliberately put in there just  to mock the hardcore atheist mindset.

::EDIT::

I am a little confused at #9 though - assumes that celestial ways and means must meet terrestrial standards, thereby further assuming that science has it all figured out;

What does "ways and means" even mean? Like.. political and self interest? Physics?
"The cure for bad information is more information."
(This post was last modified: 2018-11-13, 04:22 AM by Mediochre.)
My favorite is #10

Quote:10)  attempts to put on a courageous front in his or her belief that life is nothing more than a march into an abyss of nothingness, but is really shaking in his or her boots, especially in his/her old age, when the courage turns to bitterness and despair, i.e., the pretend courage is really bravado;


It's always just an excuse not to try at things, thinly veiled as helpful advice to be "realistic". But really is a statement that you are delusional for thinking you can do anything and insane for trying. That you should be noble and enlightened like them and just accept your horrible fate.

Something J. Michael Straczynski sums up as "The Tyranny of Reasonable Voices"

"The cure for bad information is more information."
(This post was last modified: 2018-11-13, 05:55 AM by Mediochre.)
[-] The following 2 users Like Mediochre's post:
  • tim, Raimo
That list sounds suspiciously like it is a reflection of the author’s bias, rather than an accurate representation. I couldn’t find a single point which applied to me, and I call myself an atheist (perhaps not a hardcore atheist, though).

Someone who has an interest in atheists may get more out of this book:
https://www.amazon.com/Atheists-Groundbr...ref=plSrch

Linda
(2018-11-13, 06:37 AM)fls Wrote: That list sounds suspiciously like it is a reflection of the author’s bias, rather than an accurate representation. I couldn’t find a single point which applied to me, and I call myself an atheist (perhaps not a hardcore atheist, though).

Someone who has an interest in atheists may get more out of this book:
https://www.amazon.com/Atheists-Groundbr...ref=plSrch

Linda

He's specifically talking about "hardcore atheists", thus not talking about you, although technically it's only your opinion that none of these points apply to you, other people may not see it that way. I've come across people like this so I know they exist, I think he nailed the points pretty well. Hell in the past I've been guilty of some of them, and who knows maybe I still am.

::EDIT::

I suppose the biggest point is it's talking about atheistic reactions to psi research and the ideas therein. Atheist do seem overall less prejudicial... until it comes to this sort of stuff, then for whatever reason rationality is gone. Sometimes in an overt way but in my experience usually in a more subtle and intellectually dishonest "virtue signalling" sort of way where the person will utilize tactics like acting emotionless and saying the right things in a debate to sound rational while maintaining plausible deniability. Like paying lipservice to the idea that they can't know for sure that something doesn't exist. While displaying behaviors or other opinions that demonstrate that they don't actually hold such a neutral position at all but are quick to point out that they didn't explicitly say they held such a position when people inevitably call them on their bias.

I know, because I use to use those tactics too, just like others I knew.
"The cure for bad information is more information."
(This post was last modified: 2018-11-13, 08:58 AM by Mediochre.)
[-] The following 3 users Like Mediochre's post:
  • tim, Ninshub, Larry
(2018-11-13, 08:15 AM)Mediochre Wrote: He's specifically talking about "hardcore atheists", thus not talking about you, although technically it's only your opinion that none of these points apply to you, other people may not see it that way.

These aren’t matters of opinion. I wasn’t raised in a religious or fundamentalist (of any type) family, I wasn’t rebellious against authority (didn’t really apply), I don’t believe/assume those things which are prefaced with “believes/assumes”, etc.

i suspect the only relevant statement is “hardcore”, and “atheist” is immaterial. That is, it is a description of dogmatism, not atheism. The author simply worded the points so they were specific to dogmatic atheism, but with a little rewording, it could be made into a list of characteristics of hardcore believers. If you look at the reference I provided earlier, dogmatism is found at a higher level among the religious, than the non-religious, though.

I don’t find it hard to believe that you exhibited characteristics of dogmatism.

Quote:I've come across people like this so I know they exist, I think he nailed the points pretty well. Hell in the past I've been guilty of some of them, and who knows maybe I still am.

::EDIT::

I suppose the biggest point is it's talking about atheistic reactions to psi research and the ideas therein. Atheist do seem overall less prejudicial... until it comes to this sort of stuff, then for whatever reason rationality is gone. Sometimes in an overt way but in my experience usually in a more subtle and intellectually dishonest "virtue signalling" sort of way where the person will utilize tactics like acting emotionless and saying the right things in a debate to sound rational while maintaining plausible deniability. Like paying lipservice to the idea that they can't know for sure that something doesn't exist. While displaying behaviors or other opinions that demonstrate that they don't actually hold such a neutral position at all but are quick to point out that they didn't explicitly say they held such a position when people inevitably call them on their bias.

I know, because I use to use those tactics too, just like others I knew.
Sure, I see that from some people, regardless of ideology - again, nothing specific to atheism.

Linda
(This post was last modified: 2018-11-13, 07:57 PM by fls.)
Much as I like and respect the work of Michael Tymn, I think there is a danger, when producing a list such as this, of caricature. Most of us would agree that there is probably not a single atheist who checks all of the listed characteristics yet, despite what fls claims, we all know some in whom we would recognise at least a few of those listed. I certainly know of several.

I have some quite strident atheists among my close family and friends with whom I've had some lively discussions and my frustration has never been that there is an unwillingness to accept the existence of God/gods. I'm fine with that and understand that anyone is free to reject belief in anything. I, myself, do not believe in the kind of God that my religious friends believe in and reject much of the teaching of organised religion.

No, my frustration comes with their rejection of any possibility of a spiritual reality along with the rejection of religion. A belief in the afterlife, therefore, must be a religious belief and is counted as part of religious superstition. Thus atheism's scope is extended beyond the theological to the spiritual and further to the non-physical (as we have witnessed with Steve001 and his crusade against what he terms "immaterialism"). So, while attacks are concentrated on the reviled god, the concept of which usually aligns closely with the Old Testament Abrahamic God, whatever spiritual baggage they can attach gets included in the attacks.

Mostly, I find that atheists and I are not having an argument where the concepts are understood to be the same by both sides. I'm almost always confronted by #6:

Quote:6) believes wars, famine, poverty, premature death, etc. are evidence that there is no God, as a benevolent God would not permit such things.  No God, no afterlife;

But this God who allows such horrors is, apparently, now my God and I am confronted with examples of divine retribution from Leviticus or Deuteronomy. What is this fixation many atheists have with the Old Testament and how does it disprove the afterlife? Why am I expected to justify the actions of a capricious God that I don't believe in either? 

This is not some bogus charge against atheists, as fls would have it, because I guarantee that I am not the only one to have faced that argument head on. The impression that I am left with after such discussions is that there is at least a degree of truth to the characteristics described in points 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9. It is the security that many atheists feel that science is on their side and that science shines a light on superstition and shows it to be without substance. Then, of course, they feel free to list what they consider to be superstitions, claiming the authority of science as justification.
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
[-] The following 11 users Like Kamarling's post:
  • OmniVersalNexus, nbtruthman, Vortex, The King in the North, darkcheese, Brian, Ninshub, Larry, Doug, Valmar, tim
(2018-11-13, 07:56 PM)Kamarling Wrote: Much as I like and respect the work of Michael Tymn, I think there is a danger, when producing a list such as this, of caricature. Most of us would agree that there is probably not a single atheist who checks all of the listed characteristics yet, despite what fls claims, we all know some in whom we would recognise at least a few of those listed. I certainly know of several.

I have some quite strident atheists among my close family and friends with whom I've had some lively discussions and my frustration has never been that there is an unwillingness to accept the existence of God/gods. I'm fine with that and understand that anyone is free to reject belief in anything. I, myself, do not believe in the kind of God that my religious friends believe in and reject much of the teaching of organised religion.

No, my frustration comes with their rejection of any possibility of a spiritual reality along with the rejection of religion. A belief in the afterlife, therefore, must be a religious belief and is counted as part of religious superstition. Thus atheism's scope is extended beyond the theological to the spiritual and further to the non-physical (as we have witnessed with Steve001 and his crusade against what he terms "immaterialism"). So, while attacks are concentrated on the reviled god, the concept of which usually aligns closely with the Old Testament Abrahamic God, whatever spiritual baggage they can attach gets included in the attacks.

Mostly, I find that atheists and I are not having an argument where the concepts are understood to be the same by both sides. I'm almost always confronted by #6:


But this God who allows such horrors is, apparently, now my God and I am confronted with examples of divine retribution from Leviticus or Deuteronomy. What is this fixation many atheists have with the Old Testament and how does it disprove the afterlife? Why am I expected to justify the actions of a capricious God that I don't believe in either? 

This is not some bogus charge against atheists, as fls would have it, because I guarantee that I am not the only one to have faced that argument head on. The impression that I am left with after such discussions is that there is at least a degree of truth to the characteristics described in points 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9. It is the security that many atheists feel that science is on their side and that science shines a light on superstition and shows it to be without substance. Then, of course, they feel free to list what they consider to be superstitions, claiming the authority of science as justification.

Dear Karmy, show the world a superstition that turned out to be true.
Valuable contribution Steve.  Much appreciated.  Advances things.  Ignore Kam's entire post as one coherent point, throw a grenade at one, cherry-picked sentence in an attempt to be cute, and depart.

It reflects poorly on you, especially considering Kam was being charitable towards atheism in general.

Back on the topic, I agree with your post Kam.  The dogmatic dismissal of anything not yet proven positive by science is the hill so many atheists choose to die on.  Not all of course.  Its mystifying to me.  There seems to be no ability to modulate by audience: Sure, in a room full of dogmatic, bible-is-factual-history types I get it.  In a room like this "one" I don't.
[-] The following 7 users Like Silence's post:
  • OmniVersalNexus, nbtruthman, Valmar, The King in the North, Brian, tim, Kamarling

  • View a Printable Version
Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)