Sunday, April 26, 2009

Atheism is a crutch for people who cannot cope with religion.



More details here.

43 comments:

DrJ said...

You are, of course, familiar with the exact converse-- that it is religion that is the crutch...for people who can't cope with the uncertainties and chaos of the world.

jewish philosopher said...

And that's of course not true.

Consider my own motives for example.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/01/motives.html

DrJ said...

If we can believe your motives for doing what you do, than you should believe ours.

BlackEyedP said...

I wouldn't say that atheism is much of a crutch, given the absence of anything to lean on. On the contrary, religion is the crutch for those who cannot deal with the fact that humans were not "created" for any sort of "purpose." But if it must be, I would prefer that I lean on the crutch of logic and science vs. one of some mystical fairly tale. I, as an atheist, am ok with the fact that when I die, the lights just go out. I don't need dreams of fluffy white clouds and angels to save my soul. I don't need the fantasy that all of my earthly wrongs will be righted when some supernatural creature comes to visit us to save the worthy. It's really a ridiculous thought and one I find quite humorous. But hey who am I to talk...people stick with whatever gives them the ability to function on a daily basis, right?

jewish philosopher said...

"If we can believe your motives for doing what you do, than you should believe ours."

By that logic, if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would agree that Zionists are sincere, you should agree that he is too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad#Allegations_of_Holocaust_denial_and_anti-Semitism

"I would prefer that I lean on the crutch of logic and science"

Atheism is simply a rationalization for debauchery and psychopathy which is as scientific as Scientology. Darwin was a crackpot.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/02/domino-theory.html

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/04/trip-to-zoo.html

alex said...

Dr. J wrote: "You are, of course, familiar with the exact converse-- that it is religion that is the crutch...for people who can't cope with the uncertainties and chaos of the world."

Sheesh. These charges of "atheism is a crutch" and "religion is a crutch" are both true AT TIMES, but the argument belongs in the kindergarten of religion/atheism debates. Let's get on to something meatier!

DrJ said...

You're changing the subject. (When it comes to Ahmadinejad, his sincerity doesn't matter to me at all-- its his actions that count.)

My point is that you claim to read the minds and know the motives of atheists.

I say that this is unfounded, just as I don't really know your motives. Maybe you're religious because you enjoy cholent, or you like not shaving, or maybe because it was a way to get away from your parents, or whatever, I don't know. I'll accept at face value what you say that your motives are sincere, and I think that we have the right to expect the same from you.

If I say that I stopped believing because I really stopped believing, (for all of the reasons we have written about), is that so hard to fathom? Do you have to invent dark perverted explanations?

jewish philosopher said...

It seems to me that atheists such as Marx, Freud and Dawkins have had plenty of fun coming up with "explanations" for belief in God. (How about this - there is a God.)

I thought we should try looking at things from the other direction a little bit.

DrJ said...

OK, but I think you need to distinguish between the factors involved of a formation of a movement, and those of individual followers. So we can discuss the factors involved in the reformation movement, those of individual leaders, and those of present day followers. I think that there is a big distinction to be made. Movements, beliefs, and causes evolve over time, and aren't necessarily the original ones.

Take as another example the hassidic movement. The original founders had a specific ideology that was a reaction to their contemporaries. But most present day followers probably just go with it because thats all they know or they are attracted by some other emotional aspect, such as a charismatic leader.

I don't share Dawkins' and Hitchens' dim view of religion and religious people. Nor do I see them as "atheist leaders". And their character flaws, whatever they may be, have nothing to do with my individual beliefs.

its the same ad hominem problem...

jewish philosopher said...

Incidentally, as I've predicted, as porn grows

http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/charen121908.php3

so grows atheism

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/us/27atheist.html?th&emc=th

DrJ said...

Agree that porn is a problem. But whats that to do with atheism?

The speed of Intel processors is also increasing, as atheism is increasing . Does that mean that atheism causes microprocessors to speed up?

jewish philosopher said...

You're asking really tough questions DrJ. Why would someone addicted to porn want to believe that no God exists who will hold him accountable for acting out what he watches in the films? I don't know. It's like asking why people who smoke marijuana would support legalizing marijuana? Tough questions, DrJ. Next thing you're going to ask me why anti-Semites deny the Holocaust. What has one thing possibly got to do with the other?

You're stumping JP. Give me a break for once.

DrJ said...

I'll ask some more touch questions to keep you busy.

If the suffering and damage caused to the porn user doesn't deter him from doing it, do you think god would? What punishment in the afterlife awaits the porn user?

I completely reject the premise.

Have you done a sociological study or questionnaire of porn users thoughts? Most Americans are not atheists, but porn use is widespread. Why?

Why do any believers sin? What rationale are they using?

That OJ adherents consume less porn is probably true. But its probably cultural/peer pressure more than actual belief in god. Cultural taboos have more effect on people's behavior than anything else.

jewish philosopher said...

"If the suffering and damage caused to the porn user doesn't deter him from doing it, do you think god would?"

Like most evil people, he claims that he's not hurting anyone. Did you know that Hitler died regretting only that he had been too compassionate? That's actually true.

"What punishment in the afterlife awaits the porn user?"

Hell.

"Have you done a sociological study or questionnaire of porn users thoughts?"

Have you done a sociological study or questionnaire of Holocaust deniers thoughts?

"Most Americans are not atheists"

That may change.

"Why do any believers sin?"

Why do people smoke or overeat? Because they like to.

DrJ said...

"Like most evil people, he claims that he's not hurting anyone. Did you know that Hitler died regretting only that he had been too compassionate? That's actually true."

Great comparison. Hitler and porn users. BTW, did belief in god stop the Christians from perpetrating pogroms and the inquisition? They did it in the name of god.

"What.... awaits the porn user?"

"Hell".
Sources?


"Have you done a sociological study or questionnaire of Holocaust deniers thoughts?"

Holocaust deniers=porn users. Another great comparison, JP. I have to wonder about your talmudic analysis skills, using something not even remotely related as an analogy.

"That may change".
Maybe that will be good.

"Why do people smoke or overeat? Because they like to".

My question is how do believers rationalize their "sins" notwithstanding their belief in god? The fact is that people can raionalize anything, and god doesn't change that.

DrJ said...

"Darwin was a crackpot"
credible sources, please?

Jimmy Swaggert said...

Jewish Philosopher

Didn't Jews forget most of their religion post second temple destruction?

You guys don't even know the hebrew name of God anymore (YHWH)

What's the point of Yom Kippur without a high priest to carry it out?

If more than half of 613 mitzvohs require a temple, which today doesn't exist as has been the case for the majority of Jewish history, then Judaism being practiced today is mostly just a dead religion.

And with the coming extinction of Israel, chances of Jewry ever getting a temple are even more remote.

In truth I don't think Jews are gonna survive much more than just another 150 years.

jewish philosopher said...

DrJ, every analogy means comparing two different things. That's what makes it an analogy.

The more atheistic America becomes the closer it comes to the Soviet Union, that great citadel of atheism and paradise for humanity.

"The fact is that people can raionalize anything, and god doesn't change that."

I suppose we should abolish law enforcement also. People commit crimes anyway, so why are we paying all those cops?

Regarding Darwin, "crackpot definition: one given to eccentric or lunatic notions"

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crackpot

"Judaism being practiced today is mostly just a dead religion."

The Messiah will restore the Temple.

"In truth I don't think Jews are gonna survive much more than just another 150 years."

People have been saying that for about 3,000 years.

jewish philosopher said...

About porn and hell, check out the Talmud.

http://www.come-and-hear.com/niddah/niddah_13.html

onionsoupmix said...

It's just sad. Seeing a person being so hard on himself. JP, you are not going to go to hell, you can stop projecting on everyone else.

All these posts about porn have nothing to do with atheism or religion and you know that. These are just ways for you to expiate your sins in public and you think it makes it better. Go to a therapist for your problem and leave the blog for intelligent debate.

jewish philosopher said...

onion, if you are hoping that men will stop looking at porn and start looking at you, I think you need to diet a little first.

Anonymous said...

I understand that Titus had engarved on his arch "Iudea Delanto Es", Judea is no more. Well, Titus is no more, Judea is still here. (I might have the exact Latin wrong, but I'm just not in the mmod to look it up. But you get the point).

DrJ said...

"About porn and hell, check out the Talmud.
http://www.come-and-hear.com/niddah/niddah_13.html"

Like most of the Talmud it is allegorical aggada. Most of the Jewish population will be condemned to hell for holding their ****. Maybe I'll meet you there in person.

"every analogy means comparing two different things"

To different things but similar in essense. Both "orthodox" and "orgasm" both start with an "or" but I don't make analagies between them.

"The fact is that people can raionalize anything, and god doesn't change that."

I suppose we should abolish law enforcement also. People commit crimes anyway, so why are we paying all those cops?"

OK, we know that law enforcement reduced crime. Can you show that belief in god reduces "sin", as defined by god? The history of the Jewish people is endless "sin" for which we are endlessly punished.

jewish philosopher said...

About reducing sin, you don't think that fear of God deters people from doing anything bad?

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/orthodox-jewish-crime.html

Jimmy Swaggert said...

"The Messiah will restore the Temple."

So for 2000+ years not having temple = Judaism not being able to be practised properly for the majority of Jewish history

Yom Kippur without a highpriest is useless.

Can you imagine muslims forgetting salat, or how to perform hajj, or forgetting the name Allah for God? What does it mean when people have lost so much of their religion that they don't even know how to pronounce the name of their God anymore in their own language? This proves there was some serious forgetting of scripture going on in Judea in second temple period.

The rituals/religion you practise today are very different than what temple Jews practiced. It was after all Zorastrian ideas that Pharisees, predecessors to modern Judaism, brought into the fold

"People have been saying that for about 3,000 years."

Actually no. The Jewish people are no more special in suriving than hindus or native americans; both of whom have forms of monotheism that predate Judaism and both of whom as a people predate the Jewish people by thousands upon thousands of years.

Heck the natives had 90% of their population eradicated, through imported diseases, something Jews have NEVER had happen to them, and yet natives are still here. So if surviving is a miracle then natives are much better than Jews at it, and indeed have been doing it for much longer.

But the reason I don't believe Jewry is gonna last is because first of all you have the 50% intermarriage rate. And let's not forget intermarriage isn't just a problem for Jews in the US, its a problem that is quickly reducing Jewry in Brazil, Canada and all other places where Jews thrive.

The converts and BTs who come back to Judaism, hardly make up for the massive numbers Jews lose to apostasy and liberalism, and even you know this.

Also Jews have been slowly losing numbers for centuries to boot, and it isn't a modern phenomenon. Did you know the Kurds are genetically proven to be the closest match to the original Israelites, as opposed to Ashkenzai who are just later converts. And all those millions of Kurds, who ought to be Jews, are now following different religions, mostly islam.

The only place Jews are growing is Israel, and since more than half of Jewish Israelis are thinking of emigrating to other countries, and since we all know Israel is about to be nuked in our lifetimes, I ask what future do Jewry have?

jewish philosopher said...

Unfortunately, I don't know the future, however I didn't know that I had to make all decisions in life based on demographics, opinion polls and popularity.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is the basis for saying that Yom Kippur without the High Preist is useless?

And I seem to recal reading the the book of Kings that 10 out of twelve tribes dissappeared. Thats not 90% but it is over 80%. And unless I'm very much mistaken, the Aztecs were very polytheistic. And the Native Americans are not a monolithic group. Ther were hundreds of different cultures. And I understand that hinduism has evolved so much that it barely resembles the polytheistic original. And there are hundred of different Hindu cults with different belief systems. And what exactly did the Rabbis import for Zoroaster?

And have the Hindus ever had anyone try to exterminate them? Remeber, we had Haman, Titus, Chmelnitzcki, Hitler, etc.

To the best of my knowledge there aren't many Native Aztec who sacrifice to Quetzacoatle. There aren't many Hopi who make katchina dolls or do the snake dance. There aren't many Lakota who do the ghost dance. Pima don't meet in kivas for ceremonies anymore. And there aren't any Iriquois who do the thing with the false face society. Though there might be some Najavo who do sand pantings.

So I don't think thst the Naitve Ameicans have clung to their culture and beliefs like we have.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one last thing. the name of G-d that we forgot was only used once a year by the High Priest. So even if we knew it, we couldn't use it. All the othe names, Elokim, Kel, Kel Shakay, Adoshem, etc. that we use we still know.

DrJ said...

"About reducing sin, you don't think that fear of God deters people from doing anything bad?"

NO!! That's my point. I think that it is the COMMUNITY and CULTURE that deters them, and only from doing things that the community thinks are unacceptable. Community and culture determine 90% of human behavior and the rest is personality. People want to conform to the community they identify with.

The biggest proof of this is the ultraorthodox uniform. Nowhere does god or the talmud say you should wear black hats, or that women should wear wigs. Yet this is THE marker of frumkite in your world. I'm not criticizing it. I'm just pointing out that its a uniform, that's all, even though it has been imbued with religious and moral significance. In my community, the uniform is different. Most orthodox women here wear pants and don't cover their hair. And they believe in god, too. Its about community.

The Palestinian Muslims think they are doing a mitzvah and carrying out god's will by blowing themselves up to kill Jews. Why? Did god tell them? No, its just what their culture/community supports.

I do think that all forms of spirituality (whether or not involving a monotheistic idea) make a person more reflective and self aware. But its not fear of god, for most normal people.

BTW, that "swaggart" guy is an ex-Jew Muslim anti-semite, AKA "Shalmo", you're might as well ignore or delete his comments.

jewish philosopher said...

I don't think Orthodox Jews commit few violent crimes because their community would disapprove. Not too many communities approve of violent crimes. I think it's because they know that God will punish them.

Incidentally, DrJ, I notice that you like visiting my blog every day and criticizing almost anything I write, however you do realize that basically I am right and you are wrong. The fossils do not disprove Judaism and they do not prove evolution.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-i-understand-genesis.html

That means that Judaism is true and atheism is false. You do realize that, right?

DrJ said...

Arguing with you is amusement.

Besides, any of the readers of our dialogue can plainly see that the whole thrust of your arguments is based on ad hominem attacks, which are invalid.

If you don't find it amusing just say so and I will stop commenting.

jewish philosopher said...

DrJ, I don't think you understand what ad hominem means.

An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the man", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the source making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

When I have I done that?

Some of my posts try to explain the motives behind false ideas, however that isn't an ad hominem argument. That's called explaining motives.

DrJ said...

"Some of my posts try to explain the motives behind false ideas, however that isn't an ad hominem argument. That's called explaining motives."

Ideas can't have motives, they are just abstract concepts. People have motives.

Look at the definition you quoted yourself:
"...by attacking or appealing to a CHARACTERISTIC or BELIEF of the source making the argument or claim"


Isn't that motive? What else is it? Look back at all of your posts and comments. You discredit Darwinism by saying he was a bitter angry crackpot mad at god. You discredit arguments against orthodoxy by claiming that people who make such arguments are sex addicts. You discredit atheism by showing its proponents are hedonistic and drunkards. You also claim that people only believe in Darwin because it allows them to be atheists so that they can watch porn.

Sorry, JP, that's classic ad hominem.

Anonymous said...

Please excuse my going off topic, but this is interesting.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090417144848.htm

The acanthostegia was suppose to be the ancestor of the Ichthiostegia, but it turns out that the acanthostegia has more advanced forelimbs. Meanwhile orther parts of its anatomy are more primitive. This seems to be a fairly common problem with "transitional" species.

jewish philosopher said...

"Sorry, JP, that's classic ad hominem."

No it's not.

Ad hominem means "You're wrong about Holocaust denial because you're an anti-Semite."

Explaining someone's motives means "The reason why you believe in Holocaust denial is because you're an anti-Semite."

Explaining people's evil motives is not a logical fallacy.

DrJ said...

Your pilpulistic hairsplitting distinction is not valid and is just semantic. This is because your attacks are on a source or authority figure on the subject. I agree that ad hominem would not apply to Ahmadinejad, as he is not an authority on the subject of holocaust. But it would apply to a bona fide historian, where impugning his motives is a way of undercutting his authoritative opinion on the subject. That is the logic that underlies the ad hominem argument, its not just technical.

Imagine that I make the following claim: Rabbi Elyashiv of Beni Brak rules that using 3g cellphones and internet is assur. He explains his ruling based on concerns about porn sites and the pasuk "lo toturu acharei levavchem". But I would claim the real motive is that the rabbis fear that they will lose control of their followers if they don't keep them ignorant and insulated from outside ideas and information. They must control what they read and hear.

Now as you say I could say the rabbi is wrong because... or I could say the rabbi believes its assur because of the reason I suspect. I'm "only" explaining his motives, but it doesn't matter-- I'm undercutting the authority of his argument.

Darwin is universally recognized as an innovator, an authority figure who produced seminal work on the subject of evolution. Therefore if you attack his motives you are trying to undercut his authoritativeness and scientific integrity. Don't deny this.

jewish philosopher said...

"I'm undercutting the authority of his argument."

But that's not an ad hominen argument and a logical fallacy. The logical fallacy is "You're wrong because there is something wrong with you." I never say that. I say "You're wrong for reason's ABC and you believe that nonsense because there is something wrong with you."

"Darwin is universally recognized as an innovator"

And no doubt 500 years ago Jewish apostates like you were arguing "Jesus is universally recognized as our savior".

DrJ said...

I'm proud to be an apostate :)

jewish philosopher said...

Apparently not as proud as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is of himself. He too is a liar and a crackpot, but he has the guts to show his face in public.

DrJ said...

One could say that your philosophy is a dying breed, held only by a few liars and crackpots...

jewish philosopher said...

People have been saying that for about 3,000 years.

DrJ said...

I'm not talking about Judaism, I'm talking about your religion.

jewish philosopher said...

I'm Jewish. The Jewish Philosopher!