In one recent discussion, a good lady, Dogly, said this about me:
“It is just that Madhukar seems to be trying to find a common set of beliefs or opinions among us all. I'm trying to convince him that that is impossible.”
Earlier, she had hardly participated in the several discussions posted by me but seems to have observed me from distance, because her observation is accurate.
My reply was obvious:
“I do not, cannot and will not deny that I would be very happy to evolve some commonalities in atheist character,”
I feel most annoyed when an atheist says that ‘atheism is nothing more and nothing less than not believing in god.’ I also find some opposition to me when I say that atheism is an ideal. This may be a result of a fear that calling atheism an ideal will turn it into an ideology, which, indeed, is to be feared! However, there is some difference between an ideal and ideology. To me, atheism is an ideal that every intellectual should try to achieve. Attaining this ideal would be the best proof of an intellectual’s intellectualism. This is supported by the result of a recent discussion that finally seems to have established that atheism is based on knowledge and not on ignorence.
Likewise, I strongly believe that there should be something like an “Atheist Identity” that should distinguish an atheist from the rest of the people, by his character. The religious faithful often try to say that being an atheist is being immoral. Why should anyone try to attach such labels to us? Why should it not be obvious to others that being an atheist gives some good attributes to one’s personality?
Aren’t there enough good qualities that all atheists can posses and that can be attributed to atheism? Whatever be the answer, it will not deter me from finding such a common character.
The no-true-Scotsman doesn't apply.
Then what is your evidence that he is not an atheist?
It's nothing like that. He's not proposing Creationism. You're pulling out one of the lines about teaching I.D. in school, as if it was somehow relevant. That's not even vaguely appropriate. He's not stepping outside the bounds of things associated with atheism.
It's as if he's confusing atheism and humanism ... or skepticism. He's just getting his concepts a bit scrambled, which is often the result of a language barrier, as I've discovered dealing with Asian immigrants at work, who haven't completely mastered English. Getting technical concepts across to them can be a real pain in the ass, when I'm using very precise language to construct the concept.
And this makes you accuse him of being a theist ... why exactly?
The comparison to Stork Theory is horrible, even if you weren't trying to draw it to the heavily used counter-argument for "teaching the controversy" about Evolution in science class. It's actually worse that you weren't making a play on the I.D. argument. Your usage of it is a complete mismatch.
We're not talking about theories or hypotheses. We're talking about classifications and semantics.
And don't call me 'son'. Using diminutives in an argument just makes you look like an asshole.
That's a partial accusation, yes. You're using a comparison to theism as a pejorative. It's one of the more disgusting things I see from atheists, unless it's a direct, detailed comparison to dogmatic behavior or irrationality. Madhukar's issue is one of semantics and comprehension. You can't get from there to dogma and irrationality.
And no, it's not spot-on. Presenting Stork Theory versus adding on additional baggage to the definition of an atheist. Complete type mismatch. Please demonstrate how the two are analogous.
So, now you've switched from usage of diminutives to outright childishness. And you have the nerve to criticize Madhukar?
You make such grandiose use of the royal we. I'm still waiting for anyone else to back you up.
You are right, though. I think you're a total waste of time, at this point.
You want to continue supporting this person, go ahead
WOW! Unless he agree with your characterization of Madhukar then he supports him? Have you not noticed that he is in agreement with the rest of us about the atheist character nonsense?
I do not think that there is any need to be so much angry because someone does not bow to your opinion. I haven't demanded anything particular from any atheist. I have not demanded that atheists must not use foul language or that they all must be gentlemen or anything that will offend any atheist. I do not think that I am commiting any crime because I am not convinced.
If you or he can't stand the heat then get out of the kitchen.
This is too strong Tom, think of it a bit.
Sigh. This conversation has become ridiculous. It's like having a serious debate with a four-year-old.
Go to Browns's list of Human Universals. There just aren't any outward characteristics that we DON"T share with the xians, or with any OTHER culture for that matter...the problems mostly occur because the theists are protecting the moral turf. The problem that atheists have is getting over the moral high ground dominated by the theists. Best way to do that is through science (in particular evolutionary psychology, and sociobiology and evolutionary neurochemistry) and provide sound objectively obtained evidence for a non-revelational cause of morality. Searching for differences amongst us only deepens the philosophical divide. Kind of fighting Protestantism with Mormonism...both sides will claim a metaphysical reason for why they hold their respective positions and why it is superior. We atheists can not be drawn into these kinds of discussions.
Let me first thank you sincerely for not trying to brow-beat me.
I am not trying to find any commonalities among atheists. It takes all kinds to make this world and atheists are also are among these all kinds. Those who have argued with this assumption above, have argued needlessly.
All I am saying, with as much patience as I can gather, that atheists may acquire some good common characteristics as a group. For example,(just for example) we may say that atheists should not use foul language, a very simple proposition. Let me repeat that this is only an example, but assuming such a character would make atheism appear only in a better light.
Now, a foul-mouthed person would certainly want to oppose this and would find any pretext, true or false, not to agree with me. Now, just carrying the same example forward, whether everybody agrees with it or not, a person should be willing to discuss the pros and cons of the matter, in a manner that appeals to intelligence. To tell you the truth, after reading my name, some persons seem to feel a superiority complex and feel that I should accept something because they say it, if not they have the right to tell me to 'get out of the kitchen' as if they own the kitchen for several previous generations!
I hope I have clarified my position. I repeat that I know that commonalities do not exist. I am so relieved that I have been able to do this after some 80 replies.
If you please, I wish to say that I have merely given an example. Enjoy yourself.
You do know you are contradicting yourself, right? If you find common characteristics of a group then they have commonalities. As for your statement that we have superiority complexes. The only person who is trying to tell us what an atheist is or is not is you. We keep telling you what atheism is, just because you don't like what you are hearing does not makes us wrong but, telling people you will not change your mind no matter what we say does show the close mindedness that you accuse others of having. What you want is skepticism which is not the same as atheism. Ironically, you have no desire to be skeptical of your own ideas. You demand that others agree to it or tat makes them wrong.