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Thread: Atheism

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Post Atheism

    Atheism, the denial of or lack of belief in the existence of a god or gods. The term atheism comes from the Greek prefix a-, meaning "without," and the Greek word theos, meaning "deity." The denial of god's existence is also known as strong, or positive, atheism, whereas the lack of belief in god is known as negative, or weak, atheism. Although atheism is often contrasted with agnosticism -- the view that we cannot know whether a deity exists or not and should therefore suspend belief -- negative atheism is in fact compatible with agnosticism.



    Atheism has wide-ranging implications for the human condition. In the absence of belief in god, ethical goals must be determined by secular (nonreligious) aims and concerns, human beings must take full responsibility for their destiny, and death marks the end of a person's existence. As of 1994 there were an estimated 240 million atheists around the world comprising slightly more than 4 percent of the world's population, including those who profess atheism, skepticism, disbelief, or irreligion. The estimate of nonbelievers increases significantly, to about 21 percent of the world's population, if negative atheists are included.


    Scope of Atheism

    From ancient times, people have at times used atheism as a term of abuse for religious positions they opposed. The first Christians were called atheists because they denied the existence of the Roman deities. Over time, several misunderstandings of atheism have arisen: that atheists are immoral, that morality cannot be justified without belief in God, and that life has no purpose without belief in God. Yet there is no evidence that atheists are any less moral than believers. Many systems of morality have been developed that do not presuppose the existence of a supernatural being. Moreover, the purpose of human life may be based on secular goals, such as the betterment of humankind.

    In Western society the term atheism has been used more narrowly to refer to the denial of theism, in particular Judeo-Christian theism, which asserts the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good personal being. This being created the universe, takes an active interest in human concerns, and guides his creatures through divine disclosure known as revelation. Positive atheists reject this theistic God and the associated beliefs in an afterlife, a cosmic destiny, a supernatural origin of the universe, an immortal soul, the revealed nature of the Bible and the Koran, and a religious foundation for morality.

    Theism, however, is not a characteristic of all religions. Some religions reject theism but are not entirely atheistic. Although the theistic tradition is fully developed in the Bhagavad-Gita, the sacred text of Hinduism, earlier Hindu writings known as the Upanishads teach that Brahman (ultimate reality) is impersonal . Positive atheists reject even the pantheistic aspects of Hinduism that equate God with the universe. Several other Eastern religions, including Theravada Buddhism and Jainism, are commonly believed to be atheistic, but this interpretation is not strictly correct. These religions do reject a theistic God believed to have created the universe, but they accept numerous lesser gods. At most, such religions are atheistic in the narrow sense of rejecting theism.


    History

    In the Western intellectual world, nonbelief in the existence of God is a widespread phenomenon with a long and distinguished history. Philosophers of the ancient world such as Lucretius were nonbelievers. Even in the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century) there were currents of thought that questioned theist assumptions, including skepticism, the doctrine that true knowledge is impossible, and naturalism, the belief that only natural forces control the world. Several leading thinkers of the Enlightenment (1700-1789) were professed atheists, including Danish** writer Baron Holbach and French encyclopedist Denis Diderot. Expressions of nonbelief also are found in classics of Western literature, including the writings of English poets Percy Shelley and Lord Byron; English novelist Thomas Hardy; French philosophers Voltaire and Jean-Paul Sartre; Russian author Ivan Turgenev; and American writers Mark Twain and Upton Sinclair. In the 19th century the most articulate and best-known atheists and critics of religion were German philosophers Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Friedrich Nietzsche. British philosopher Bertrand Russell, Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, and Sartre are among the 20th century's most influential atheists.




  2. #2
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Reasons for Rejecting God

    Criticisms of Theism

    Atheists justify their philosophical position in several different ways. Negative atheists attempt to establish their position by refuting typical theist arguments for the existence of God, such as the argument from first cause, the argument from design, the ontological argument, and the argument from religious experience. Other negative atheists assert that any statement about God is meaningless, because attributes such as all-knowing and all-powerful cannot be comprehended by the human mind. Positive atheists, on the other hand, defend their position by arguing that the concept of God is inconsistent. They question, for example, whether a God who is all-knowing can also be all-good and how a God who lacks bodily existence can be all-knowing.


    The Problem of Evil

    Some positive atheists have maintained that the existence of evil makes the existence of God improbable. In particular, atheists assert that theism does not provide an adequate explanation for the existence of seemingly gratuitous evil, such as the suffering of innocent children. Theists commonly defend the existence of evil by claiming that God desires that human beings have the freedom to choose between good and evil, or that the purpose of evil is to build human character, such as the ability to persevere. Positive atheists counter that justifications for evil in terms of human free will leave unexplained why, for example, children suffer because of genetic diseases or abuse from adults. Arguments that God allows pain and suffering to build human character fail, in turn, to explain why there was suffering among animals before human beings evolved and why human character could not be developed with less suffering than occurs in the world. For atheists, a better explanation for the presence of evil in the world is that God does not exist.


    Historical Evidence

    Atheists have also criticized historical evidence used to support belief in the major theistic religions. For example, atheists have argued that a lack of evidence casts doubt on important doctrines of Christianity, such as the virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because such events are said to represent miracles, atheists assert that extremely strong evidence is necessary to support their occurrence. According to atheists, the available evidence to support these alleged miracles -- from Biblical, pagan, and Jewish sources -- is weak, and therefore such claims should be rejected.


    Diversity in Atheism

    Atheism is primarily a reaction to, or a rejection of, religious belief, and thus does not determine other philosophical beliefs. Atheism has sometimes been associated with the philosophical ideas of materialism, which holds that only matter exists; communism, which asserts that religion impedes human progress; and rationalism, which emphasizes analytic reasoning over other sources of knowledge. However, there is no necessary connection between atheism and these positions. Some atheists have opposed communism and some have rejected materialism. Although nearly all contemporary materialists are atheists, the ancient Greek materialist Epicurus believed the gods were made of matter in the form of atoms. Rationalists such as French philosopher René Descartes have believed in God, whereas atheists such as Sartre are not considered to be rationalists. Atheism has also been associated with systems of thought that reject authority, such as anarchism, a political theory opposed to all forms of government, and existentialism, a philosophic movement that emphasizes absolute human freedom of choice; there is however no necessary connection between atheism and these positions. British analytic philosopher A. J. Ayer was an atheist who opposed existentialism, while Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard was an existentialist who accepted God. Marx was an atheist who rejected anarchism while Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, a Christian, embraced anarchism. Because atheism in a strict sense is merely a negation, it does not provide a comprehensive worldview. It is therefore not possible to presume other philosophical positions to be outgrowths of atheism.

    Intellectual debate over the existence of God continues to be active, especially on college campuses, in religious discussion groups, and in electronic forums on the Internet. In contemporary philosophical thought, atheism has been defended by British philosopher Antony Flew, Australian philosopher John Mackie, and American philosopher Michael Martin, among others. Leading organizations of unbelief in the United States include The American Atheists, The Committee for the Scientific Study of Religion, and The Internet Infidels.




  3. #3
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    While i do respect the ability for people to choose to belive there is no god, i cant look around even in my own garden and not wonder how all this organization could occur without the existance of a god who has put everything in its place, has thought of every little detail. I cant study biology and not become enchanted by how every little cell works.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    خداناباوران چه کسانی هستند؟
    Leuba? اين دانشمند سردمدار حركتي بود كه آنرا به "يورش سپاه دانشمندان سرتا پا مسلح بر پيكر دين" تعبير كردند. اين حركت پس از مدتي گسترده شد، و چنان گسترده شد، كه اكنون نه تنها از آن بر ضد دين استفاده مي شود، كه حتا به نفع دين هم استفاده مي شود !

    دقيقا به ياد دارم زماني در كتب معارف دبيرستان مي خواندم كه "كمي افزايش دانستگي و تحصيلات باعث كاهش اعتقاد به خدا مي شود، ولي افزايش بيشتر آن باعث تقويت اين اعتقاد مي شود." و هنوز هم كتابي در كتابخانه ام دارم كه در صفحه ي اول آن جمله أي مشابه بالا را به نقل از پاسكال نوشته است. سوالي بود كه هميشه براي من مطرح بود : آيا اين گفته ها پشتوانه ي آماري دارند ؟

    اين سوال نه تنها براي من، كه براي بسياري از افراد مطرح بوده و هست. اولي كسي كه سعي كرده است به شيوه أي علمي اين مسئله را بررسي كند (و ما از آن اطلاع داريم)، متخصص آماري به نام لوبا بوده است. او يك بار در سال 1916، و بار ديگر در سال 1933 آماري در اين زمينه تهيه كرد. كار او در سال 1996 توسط متخصصين ديگر پيگيري شد، و مجموع اين نتايج موضوع اصلي اين نوشته است.
    منظور از بي دين (None-Religious) كسي است كه به نوعي از خدا يا خدايان اعتقاد دارد، ولي به هيچ ديني اعتقاد ندارد. و آتئيستها (Atheists) كساني هستند كه به هيچ نوعي از خدا يا خدايان اعتقاد ندارند.

    همانطور كه در بالا ديده مي شود، حدودا 5% از جمعيت جهان را كساني تشكيل مي دهند كه به خدا اعتقاد ندارند. لوبا در سال 1916 براي اولين بار آماري مشابه را تنها در ميان دانشمندان برگزار كرد. ميزان اعتقاد در بين دانشمندان چگونه است؟

    آمارهاي ديگري كه انجام شده است نشان مي دهد كه ميزان بي اعتقادي به خدا در بين فارغ التحصيلان دانشگاه به 14% مي رسد (كه از ميانگين جهاني بالاتر است). نتايج آمار لوبا نشان مي دهند كه ميزان بي اعتقادي به خدا در بين دانشمندان تا 60% افزايش پيدا مي كند.

    اين مطالب ثابت ميكنند كه با افزايش تحصيلات، اعتقاد به خدا دايما كمتر ميشود، طوري كه بي اعتقادي در بين دانشمندان 12 برابر ديگران است.

    در سال 1996 تحقيق لوبا توسط دو محقق ديگر تكرار شد. اين دو، يك پروفسور تاريخ علم به نام لارسون، و ديگري خبرنگاري به نام ويتهام بودند.

    نتايج نشان دهنده ي اين بودند كه ميزان اعتقاد دانشمندان در طول اين 80 سال تغيير نكرده است. البته در آمار قديم بيشترين بي اعتقادي در بين رياضيدانها بود، در حالي كه در آمار جديد بيشترين بي اعتقادي در بين فيزيكدانهاست.

    يكي ديگر از فاكتورهايي كه لوبا در آمار خود آنرا گنجانده بود، اعتقاد افراد به جاودانگي بود. حدودا نيمي از دانشمندان به جاودانگي انسان اعتقاد داشتند. اين اعتقاد در نتايج جديد كاهش يافته بود. فاكتور ديگر تمايل به جاوداني بودن، در بين كساني كه به آن اعتقاد نداشتند بود. اين رقم در آمارهاي جديد به شدت كاهش يافته است.

    نكته ي جالب در اينجاست كه لوبا كتاب خود را "تحقيقي بر ضد خدا" نامگذاري مي كند، در حالي كه ويليام جيمز، يكي از محققين جديد كه از روشي مشابه استفاده كرده است، نام كتاب خود را ميگذارد "دانشمندان هنوز اعتقاد دارند."

    او بر اين نكته بسيار تاكيد دارد كه با وجود كمتر بودن اعتقاد دانشمندان، اين اعتقاد در طول 80 سال كاهش نيافته است. دانشمندان در سال 1996 هنوز هم به اندازه ي سال 1916 به خدا اعتقاد دارند (40%). در حالي كه اگر بنا بر گفته ي لوبا افزايش دانش باعث كاهش اعتقاد به خدا شود، افزايش سطح كلي معمولات بشري در اين 80 سال، و در نتيجه آگاه تر بودن دانشمندان فعلي نسبت به دانشمندان زمان لوبا، مي بايست باعث كاهش بيشتر اعتقاد آنها شود، در حالي كه چنين نيست. چرا؟

    ويليامز تاكيد ميكند كه ماهيت مسئله اين است : "نيمي از ليوان پر است، يا نيمي از آن خالي ؟"

    و اعتقاد دارد كه بايد به نيمه ي پر ليوان (كه اتفاقا در طول 80 سال ثابت مانده است) توجه كرد. از ديد او نتيجه ي آمار اين است كه "حتا 40% از دانشمندان نيز به خدا اعتقاد دارند!"

    البته با وجود اينكه آمار جديد هم اعتبار به نسبت خوبي دارد، ولي برخي در دقت آن شك دارند. در سال 97 آمارگيري ديگري از طريق موسسه ي Nature انجام شد، كه نتايج آن بسيار پايينتر از آمار قبلي بود. اين گروه از محققين اعتقاد دارند كه نتايج آنها دقيقتر از نتايج لارسون و ويتهام است. متاسفانه در اين زمينه تحقيقات ديگري براي مقايسه در دسترس نيست.

    برخي ديگر از آمارگيريهايي كه تا كنون در مورد فاكتورهاي مشابه، به خصوص ضريب هوشي انجام شده است، در ادامه به طور خلاصه خواهند آمد.



    1927، Thomas Howells

    در تحقيق او بر روي 461 دانش آموز، كودكان مذهبي در تست هوش امتياز كمتري به دست آوردند.



    1933، Hilding carlsojn

    در تحقيق او بر روي 215 دانش آموز نشان داده شد كه ضريب هوشي بالا آمادگي بيشتري براي بي اعتقادي به خدا در آنها به وجود مي آورد.



    1934، Abraham Franzblau

    354 كودك 10 تا 14 ساله ي يهودي را تست كرد، و به يك همبستگي منفي بين مذهبي بودن و ضريب هوشي دست يافت.



    1935، Thomas symington

    با مطالعه ي 400 دانش آموز، به اين نتيجه رسيد كه ضريب هوشي بالا آنها را از نوع سنتي دين، به انواع غير سنتي سوق مي دهد.



    1938، Vernon Jones

    پس از تحقيق بين 381 دانش آموز، به همبستگي مثبتي بين هوش و گرايش به انواع مدرن دين دست يافت.



    1940، A. R. Gilliland

    پس از تحقيق بر روي تعدادي از دانش آموزان به اين نتيجه رسيد كه همبستگي معني داري بين ضريب هوشي و اعتقاد به خدا وجود ندارد.



    1942، Donald Gragg

    پس از مطالعه ي 100 نمونه، به اين نتيجه رسيد كه همبستگي بين ضريب هوشي و اعتقاد به خدا منفيست.



    1951، Brown & Love

    در تحقيق گسترده أي كه از طرف دانشگاه دنور انجام دادند، پس از مطالعه ي 613 نفر، به مجموع 119 امتياز هوش براي بي اعتقادها، و 100 امتياز براي معتقدين به خدا دست پيدا كردند.



    1958، Micheal Argyle

    به اين نتيجه رسيد كه دانش آموزان باهوش، آموزه هاي ديني را سريعتر فرامي گيرند، و زودتر نيز به آن شك مي كنند.



    1963، Jeffery Hadden

    همبستگي معني داري بين رتبه ها و اعتقاد به خدا نيافت.



    1966، Young, Dustin & Holtzman

    ميانگين اعتقادات ديني با افزايش رتبه ي دانش آموزان كاهش ميابد.



    1967، James Trend

    با مطالعه ي دانشجويان به تفاوت چنداني دست پيدا نكرد.



    1967، C. Plant & E.Minium

    دانشجويان در دو مقطع، هنگام ورود به دانشگاه، و دو سال پس از ورود مورد مطالعه قرار گرفتند، آنها كه باهوشتر بودند كمتر مذهبي بودند.



    1978, Robert Wuthnow

    از بين 532 دانش آموز، 37% از مذهبيها، و 54% از غير مذهبيها امتيازي بالاتر از ميانگين گرفتند.



    1967, 1974، Hasting & Hoge

    با مطالعه ي 200 دانش آموز به اين نتيجه رسيدند كه ارتباطي بين اعتقادات مذهبي و هوش وجود ندارد.



    1975، Norman Poythress

    امتياز هوش دانش آموزاني كه به شدت مخالف مذهب بودند 1148، آنها كه تا حدي مخالف بودند 1119، آنها كه كمي مخالف بودند 1108، و آنها كه مذهبي بودند 1022 به دست آمد.



    1980، Wiebe & Fleck

    با مطالعه ي دقيق 158 دانش آموز، نتيجه گرفتند كه غيرمذهبيها باهوشتر هستند.



    1977، Caplovits & Sherrow

    ميزان بي اعتقادي در مدارس رده پايين 5%، و در مدارس نمونه 17% به دست آمد.



    1978، Niemi, Ross, & Alexandre

    44% از دانش آموزان مدارس معمولي دين را امري مهم ميدانند، در حالي كه تنها 26% از دانش آموزان مدارس نمونه چنين اعتقادي دارند.



    1959، Terman

    با مطالعه ي افرادي داراي ضريب هوشي بالاتر از 140، به اين نتيجه رسيد كه 10% از اين مردان، و 18% از اين زنان كاملا معتقد به دين، 28% از مردان، و 23% از زنان كاملا بي اعتقاد به دين هستند.



    1960، Warren & Heist

    رابطه أي بين هوش و مذهبي بودن پيدا نكردند. (جامعه ي آماري آنها مشخص نيست)



    1927، William S Ament

    به اين نتيجه رسيد كه افراد بي دين، يا اقليت هاي مختلف مذهبي، درصدي 40 مرتبه بالاتر از درصد جمعيت خود در بين دانشمندان دارند.



    1931، Lehman & Witty

    در دو مرحله آمارگيري از دانشمندان، در مرحله ي اول 50% و در مرحله ي دوم 25% خود را مذهبي معرفي كردند.



    1951، Kelley & Fisk

    ضريب همبستگي 39/0- بين شدت اعتقادات مذهبي، و ميزان علاقه مندي به تحقيق پيدا كرد. به عبارت ديگر، هرچه افراد مذهبي تر باشند، كمتر گرايش به تحقيق كردن خواهند داشت.



    1954, Francis Bello

    در تحقيق خود در مورد دانشمندان، دريافت كه 45% از ايشان آتئيست، 22% بي دين، و 33% ديندار بودند.



    1964، Jack Chambers

    با مطالعه ي 740 نفر، در رشته هاي شيمي و روانشناسي، ه اين نتيجه رسيد كه 40% از روانشناسان، و 16% شيميدانها با دين مخالف نيستند.



    1965، Vaughan Smith, & Sjoberg

    با مطالعه ي 850 نفر در رشته هاي جانورشناسي، فيزيك، مهندسي شيمي، و جغرافيا، به اين نتيجه رسيد كه 5/38% به زندگي پس از مرگ اعتقاد ندارند در برابر 8/31% كه اعتقاد دارند.



    Gallup

    بر اساس آمارهاي بسيار گسترده و معتبر سازمان Gallup (كه سازماني مذهبي نيز هست)، 63% از كساني كه دانشگاه ديده نيستند دين را مسئله أي لازم و مهم ميدانند، در برابر 54% از كساني كه دانشگاه ديده هستند. كساني كه كمتر از 20 هزار دلار درآمد در سال دارند داراي 66% اعتقاد به لزوم دين، كساني كه بيش از 50 هزار دلار درآمد دارند 48%، و بين اين دو درآمد داراي اعتقادي برابر با 56% هستند.



    نگارنده ي اين خطوط در سال 79 اقدام به برگزاري يك آمارگيري گسترده در مورد اعتقادات ديني كرد. اين آمار از 800 دانشجو، از دانشگاه هاي خواجه نصير، شريف، تهران، اميركبير، و علم و صنعت گرفته شده است. اين آمار بر خلاف اكثريت مطلق آمارهاي ديگر به صورت فازي بوده است. در اين آمار، ميانگين اعتقاد به خدا 85%، با انحراف معيار 30% بود.

    بر اساس اين آمار، مطالعه ي آزاد با اعتقاد به خدا همبستگي 07/0- دارد. به اين معني كه غير مذهبيها مطالعه ي بيشتري دارند. همچنين بين تحصيلات والدين و اعتقاد به خدا نيز همبستگي منفي، برابر با 14/0- وجود دارد. يعني هرچه خانواده ها تحصيلكرده تر باشند، فرزنداني غير مذهبي تر خواهند داشت




  5. #5
    Member siamak's Avatar
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    How should I tell my family I'm atheist?
    My mom is a firm believer in the Bible, but doesn't go to church.
    My dad is a believer of god, but not any form of organized religion.

    What's a good way to break it to them easy? I'm still living with them so I don't want a bad reaction.

    They never had me baptized as a child because they wanted me to choose a religion of my own, but I don't think they were expecting me to not believe.

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...7074235AALpHO9

  6. #6
    Member Dokhtar Bandari's Avatar
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    LOOOOOOOOOOOL...dude you are going to die, you have no clue where you are going so why affirm or deny anything?

    I mean what is a difference between the one that says there is a God and that my God is right and your God is wrong and my God created me and I am going to worship him because he wants me to and I believe that my prophet was the righteous one who really really came from God and brought these messages from heaven and I will share that reality with him and others who believe in him.

    And the atheist who says there is no God, I was made from microbes and gases in the nature and have been randomly selected by nature to carry on life, I have no prophet except Mr. Darwin and his apostles the scientists, they tell me so and they are right and you are wrong and I choose to share that reality with them...

    Do you see the irony? If you believe in something higher than your Self you are still a prisoner no matter how they paint it for you. If there is a God, you have created it, if there is gaseous life form, you have created it. All of it, the totality of your being is who you are, because you are the source of it all. Think hard about this and question yourself in every level of thought and you will arrive at your own self as the God, the gas, the microbe, the earth and the universe and beyond. I guarantee it.

    So instead of telling your parents that your an atheist, tell them you are the source....MUCHO LOVO
    I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
    I would be pure, for there are those who care;
    I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
    I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
    I would be friend of all—the foe—the friendless;
    I would be giving and forget the gift;
    I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
    I would look up and laugh—and love—and lift.
    Howard Walter
    http://www.farsinet.com/poetry/images/poemvatn.gif

  7. #7
    Member indian_blues's Avatar
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    Love is God. Period.
    “I want to feel passion, I want to feel pain. I want to weep at the sound of your name. Come make me laugh, come make me cry... just make me feel alive.”

    If you wish to be loved, show more of your faults than your virtues. - Edward Bulwer-Lytton


    http://www.foriegnmoviesddl.com

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