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The Irony of all Ironies

  1. A.Villarasa profile image79
    A.Villarasaposted 4 years ago

    Atheists like to point out that Atheism's conceptual formulation is humanistic in that it attempts to liberate or unshackle Homo Sapiens from all sorts of religious fervour, fantasies and mythologies. In the process of doing so, however, Atheism have gone  so far as to deny man's inate dignity by degrading him into a mere object that could be reduced to its individual physical parts (objectivism and reductionism); deny  his intrinsic integrity by devaluing him into an mere empirical model (empiricism); deny his spiritual verity by discarding his soulful essence (materialism) that makes him unique in all of earths 'sentient creatures.
    That to me is the mother of all Ironies.

    1. getitrite profile image80
      getitriteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I guess some people just don't need  superstitions to actually have dignity, and self worth...apparently.  Most atheist I know seem to be happy.  How do you explain that?

      1. A.Villarasa profile image79
        A.Villarasaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        @Getitrite:

        Most people are generally happy... now are you perhaps saying that atheists are happier than most folks? If absolutely true, from your perspective as an atheist, then you will have to tell why. It could be enlightening.

        1. getitrite profile image80
          getitriteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          No, I am not saying that.   I was just pointing out that your assertions could, perhaps, be flawed when actually applied to observation.

    2. Titen-Sxull profile image93
      Titen-Sxullposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Atheism has no formulation, it's the negation of theism.

      Theists believe in a god or gods, atheists do not believe.

      Anything else is ADDITIONAL.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image79
        A.Villarasaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        @TS:

        When I say atheists, I am specifically referring to the more analytical and less reflexive members of that group... folks who became atheists not because it "feels good" to deny the existence of a Deity, but because they have analyzed the philosophic underpinning of such a negation of theism, and found it jibes neatly with their fundamental understanding of what it is to be human, and what importance (if there is in fact any) humans have in the grander scheme of the cosmos,

        1. Titen-Sxull profile image93
          Titen-Sxullposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Most atheists I've met, including myself, became atheists because we began to see theism as more and more improbable. In my case this was due to a critical reexamination of the Bible and what I was taught as a child, followed by drifting in and out of belief in various alternatives.

          As for your claim that atheism robs man of his integrity by making just another piece of reality I don't think you're seeing the whole picture there. Human life has value because we value each other. Mankind may or may not have some grand purpose on a cosmic scale, it's hardly a question anyone knows the answer to, but most people find other human beings valuable REGARDLESS of whether they believe in any grand scheme at all.

          You don't love your family members and friends and find them valuable and cherish the time you spend with them based on their place in some divine plan you do it because you love them. And you care about the rest of humanity because of basic things like empathy all of which are helpful to a social species like ours managing to bond with each other and thus survive and overcome obstacles.

          We ALREADY have meaning TO EACH OTHER. You can break down love, you can explain it, you can figure out what it looks like in a brain, what neurons are firing and what chemicals are involved in producing it but in the end people will still EXPERIENCE love and empathy and a sense of right and wrong. It's still something we value, even when we understand it in detail, and human life is no exception. If you want to descend into some dark nihilistic place, where it's all just meaningless anyway so why bother, be my guest, but I see no reason why atheism necessitates such a thing.

          I could also argue that to give MAN a soul, while denying a soul to other animals, is a childish anthropocentric fantasy. As I said, we are already important to one another with no supernatural elements required.

          1. A.Villarasa profile image79
            A.Villarasaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            @TS:

            I am of course coming from a completely different  narrative and  prespective.

            I was born into a christian family, but whose religiosity, (if by that one means, following and observing, religious tenets to its utmost), was minimal. My parents did send me to a catholic High School run by Jesuits, but my religiosity,  at least to the degree that it should have  peaked while in that catholic High School, remained minimalist.... and  even now, my religious beliefs, although colored by christian tenets, remain so.

            My idea of religion and its role in my personal, social,family, and societal affairs is now totally anchored on its evocation of a material world that is suffussed and cocooned by a much bigger spiritual realm. That spiritual reality include a Divine entity, that has given part of  His divine energy to all sentient beings, be they on earth or in another place out there.

            So my conception of humans and of the human family of which you and I are members, are not the same as the formulation as conceived by atheists.... specifically, the part about humans having a soul.... what I would also call as a conscientious consciousness.... as opposed to the licentious  consciousness that the human brain imparts on all of us.

          2. A.Villarasa profile image79
            A.Villarasaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            @TS:

            You are correct of course in saying that the value one human places on  or applies  to another human is not  dependent upon the other human's philosophic musings, but on the other human applying the same or even more value to another human... the concept of 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch your back" or "you have my back covered, and I'll cover yours in return" . A wise man once said that gratitude is the most  sublime of all virtues because from it, flows all other virtues. I'd say that gratitude is also the simplest form of emotion because it harks back to early human's attempts at dealing with perplexities and complexities of a perceived hostile world. What do you think would have happened to early Homo Sapiens if they , when interacting with each other  in the environment of a hostile world,  did not express gratitude to each other by covering each other's back?

    3. psycheskinner profile image81
      psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      To reductionists, there is nothing degrading about being a sentient object.

      And there is no need to be 'special' (unique etc) in order to have high ethical value.

      Finally, an irony is a reversal of expectations.  I have no idea how that concept applies here.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image79
        A.Villarasaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        @Psyche:

        I suppose the reason why you did not find any irony was because you did not agree with the premise of both statements. Entirely understandable coming from a scientist who may not necessarily find any validity to the idea that science and religion could "mix it up " so to speak to come to a fuller understanding of man--- the material, and man--- the spiritual.

    4. profile image0
      Rad Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      It's called reality. We are what we are, no sense pretending we are something that we are not.

      1. profile image0
        Deepes Mindposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I can respect this ideal of you being tho you are and not pretending. But you also used the term "reality". I'm understanding this statement to mean that you are implying that the way you are choosing to live is the real way and as such true and a Christian's isn't. Is that what you are saying?

        If yes, Then what makes the way you choose to live better if a Christian is happy with the life they choose and it is reality to them?

        If my understanding is incorrect, can you clarify it for me?

        Not trying to sound angry or argumentative, just curious

        1. JMcFarland profile image91
          JMcFarlandposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          May I answer?

          I get this argument from believers a lot.  "If my personal faith is personal, then what's the harm"?

          Personal faith does cause harm because no one lives in a vacuum.  Your behavior, your beliefs and your choices impact other people because we live in a society.  For example - a lot of christians base their beliefs on biblical teachings.  To them, that means voting for people that share their beliefs and values. 

          In today's society that means that a lot of christians will vote against gay marriage, which keeps certain people from having equal rights.  It also means that a lot of them oppose pro-choice positions in favor of pro-life ones.  Your personal faith is therefore causing harm to others, and it's imposing your beliefs on those that may not share them.  When laws are based on religious ideals, you are minimizing the fact that other people may not share those religious ideals and forcing them to comply, regardless of their own beliefs.  You're therefore putting your religious beliefs above the beliefs (or non-beliefs) of others.  That's how personal faith causes harm.

          1. profile image0
            Deepes Mindposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I appreciate your answer. And I agree with the points that you made. Those points, however, more point to the ideas presented by the more Organized idea of what religion instead of the personalized idea. It is extremely harmful to force your beliefs onto others who do not share the same.

            I'm glad that not all who claim that they are Christians believe the same thing.

        2. getitrite profile image80
          getitriteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Reality is reality.  I don't think atheist are choosing one reality, and believers are choosing another.  No.  There is reality...and there is distortion.

          Objective reality is what can actually be observed...you know...something REAL.

          1. profile image0
            Deepes Mindposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Good answer getitrite. That is why I was asking.

            1. profile image0
              Rad Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Sorry Deeps, I'm getting to this a little late but it looks like others have done a great job in answering your question. Reality is a thing that is actually experienced or seen. Given the choice between reality and a fantasy I choose reality even when the fantasy includes life after death. It's actually difficult to come to grips with when you have been told about heaven since you were a child, but you realize it's just a fantasy and reality doesn't offer heaven. Once you get over the whole dying thing reality is a pretty great place because you see the world for what it is.

              1. profile image0
                Deepes Mindposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Yeah JM and Getitrite both provided great answers and you have given a good answer as well.

  2. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 4 years ago

    Old Ironsides.

  3. A Driveby Quipper profile image61
    A Driveby Quipperposted 4 years ago

    What a well written post! I call it "Treatise in a Paragraph".

  4. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 4 years ago

    I believe I will win the lottery. I don't believe I will win the lottery. Which is the happier?

  5. Trish_M profile image87
    Trish_Mposted 4 years ago

    How does Atheism deny human dignity and integrity?

    'By degrading him into a mere object that could be reduced to its individual physical parts'?
    'By devaluing him into an mere empirical model'?
    'By discarding his soulful essence'?

    I'm an agnostic and I'm bewildered.

    We are what we are.

    Some may suggest that we are 'mere objects', others may say that we are living creatures, who value life and the companionship of those with whom they share the Earth.

    I don't feel devalued by atheists.

    As for soulful essence. Who knows? I would say that it may exist, but I don't know.
    If it does exist, then that still does not mean that it is in the manner suggested by Christians.

  6. JMcFarland profile image91
    JMcFarlandposted 4 years ago

    why are you so obsessed with atheism when you don't even seem to understand that it means?

    1. A.Villarasa profile image79
      A.Villarasaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      @JM:

      Since you know so much about atheism and I don't, perhaps you could give me a coherent , and cogent tutorial on what I am so totally missing about your un-belief  mind set.

      1. JMcFarland profile image91
        JMcFarlandposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        There isn't a mindset.  The definition of atheism is a lack of a belief in a god.  That's it.  You do not have to be a humanist, you do not have to be a materialist.  Atheists are all different, and atheism has nothing to do with a worldview.  Its just a lack if a belief.  An atheist MAY also be a secular humanist, etc, but that is separate from atheism itself.

        1. A.Villarasa profile image79
          A.Villarasaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          @JM:
          I disagree... lack of belief is a mind set because it was derived from your inherent ability to chose (free will) and  because it has a trajectory that involves objectifying, reducing, empiricizing and materializing  humans and their existence. If you do not believe in a Deity/Creator and the spiritual realm that He inhabits, a spiritual realm  that by the way suffuses and envelopes the whole material universe, then you will by rational  extension objectify, reduce, empiricise, and materialize human existence. Those  I totally reject.

          I recognize of course that what I just said about the spiritual realm is total fantasy to you.... and therein lies the conundrum.

          1. JMcFarland profile image91
            JMcFarlandposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            How are you going to tell an atheist what they do or do not think or believe when you aren't one?  The ONLY thing that all atheists have in common with each other is a lack of a belief in a deity.  I don't know why you have to make baseless additional assumptions.  No offense, dude - but you don't know what you're talking about.  Whatever makes you sleep at night, man. 

            Additionally, if the spiritual realm is such a point of contention, simplify it by proving that it exists.  Problem solved

            1. A.Villarasa profile image79
              A.Villarasaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              @JM:

              Baseless you say?... when atheists of all stripes tell me that man's existence is not anymore  purposeful and or meaningful  and or utilitarian than the common slug or the rat that goes scampering in the public dump... that riles me no end because that kind of conceptualization can only come  from an objectivist, reductionist and materialist view of humanity.
              No offense dudette, but I sure know what I am talking about.

              The spiritual realm can never be proven until and unless science start shedding its reductionist, objectivist and materialist approach to scientific methodologies. Thus problem is not solved.

              Oh I see a way out of this conundrum...for us to leave our earthly existence in some manner, and to actually experience the spiritual world. But then again atheists are so tethered to the material and physical, that even if God is staring straight into their faces, they will continue to deny His existence. Not that would be a shame.

              1. getitrite profile image80
                getitriteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                You have no way of proving that there is any higher purpose for humans, yet you, through wishful thinking, believe that there is.  Perhaps it's your conceited view of your fellow creatures here on earth?  Why would you conclude that  the purpose of the slug or rat is inferior to the humans purpose?  Look at the grand scheme, and not your subjective reality.




                What should be used  to replace them?



                But that never happens, except for psychotics like Dr. Eben Alexander, for some odd reason...I wonder why?



                And just which God should we be expecting, as there are way too many Gods to be sure if we are staring into the face of the real God?

                1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                  A.Villarasaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  @Getitrite:
                  I thought ranting is not your style...... until now.

                  1. getitrite profile image80
                    getitriteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    In other words, you refuse to truthfully answer any of the questions I have put to you, and prefer to assert ad hominem attacks.  Smokescreens do not justify accepting your bizarre beliefs as truth, only evidence does.

                2. A.Villarasa profile image79
                  A.Villarasaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  @getitrite:

                  From existentialism to nihilism... you just bridged the two belief systems that drink from the  fountain of atheism.

                  1. Mark Knowles profile image61
                    Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    As opposed to the egotism you display from the fountain of theism.

              2. JMcFarland profile image91
                JMcFarlandposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                No, that's not it at all.  If god was sitting there face-to-face with me, i couldn't possibly deny his existence.  However, that doesn't mean that I would choose to worship him.  It is possible to have free will and still go against god.  Satan did - if you believe that angels have free will that is (which doesn't make sense, because the majority of christians claim that free will is what sets mankind apart from the angels, which makes me wonder how Satan became Satan at all). 

                There's a difference between having evidence that is JUSTIFIED and having faith in something that is not.  It comes down to a simple question.  Do you care if what you believe is true?  If not, then no conversation is necessary.  You're free to believe whatever you want, but since you do not exist in a vacuum, your belief potentially causes harm to other people.  If you DO care if what you believe is true (and I did, when I was a christian) then I looked for things that backed those beliefs up and figure out whether I had a justification for those beliefs or not.  I didn't. 

                I know it may be comfortable for you to make sweeping assumptions about "all atheists" but that doesn't make those assumptions true.  I'm an atheist, but I'm not a materialist.  And I really can't believe that there's a world wide, gigantic science conspiracy going on beneath the surface.  It  think that the world is growing by leaps and bounds in terms of scientific discovery, technology and knowledge and as we turn towards those concepts, the need for mythical god beings is decreasing.

                Wait... Dudette - are you the same person as the good "brother" who also likes to make sweeping assumptions and insults with no good reason?

                1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                  A.Villarasaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  @JM:

                  Typical atheist... likes to hurl insulting aspersions i.e. dude etc, and when insulting aspersions are thrown back i.e dudette,  cries fowl. I'm telling you the narcissism in the atheistic world is just too stunning to contemplate.

                  1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                    A.Villarasaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    @JM:

                    Having said the above, I must tell you that I do enjoy your discoursive abilities... if that is any consolation.

                  2. JMcFarland profile image91
                    JMcFarlandposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I didn't say (or imply) that "dudette" was insulting.  I was recently called that exact same term by someone who seemed to go out of their way to insult me - and due to your response immediately following that discourse, I wondered if you were the same person.  Again, you're making assumptions about me that are based on your own perception.  Next time why don't you just ask?

                    I said:
                    "Wait... Dudette - are you the same person as the good "brother" who also likes to make sweeping assumptions and insults with no good reason?"

                    That was a question.  What about that was "crying foul" or calling it an insult?

          2. getitrite profile image80
            getitriteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            So it is the BELIEF in a deity, but not God himself that is your issue?  And are you just livid at atheist because we have the psychological strength to boldly reject the dictates of authority.

            You seem to be upset that we have the fortitude to do that, which you lack the courage to do.

            1. A Driveby Quipper profile image61
              A Driveby Quipperposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              How do you think this guy is upset? He seems calm enough in his dissertation. I believe you hope to upset someone and are projecting your expectations.

              1. getitrite profile image80
                getitriteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Get real!  Are you also angry that you don't possess the courage to think for yourself?



                This conclusion is completely.........Absurd!
                Btw, which sock puppet are you?

                1. A Driveby Quipper profile image61
                  A Driveby Quipperposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I knew you would get upset and say that.

                  1. bBerean profile image60
                    bBereanposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    "This is why your religion causes so many conflicts".   Just figured I would beat them to it for you, Quip.  wink

  7. ZZInteractive profile image60
    ZZInteractiveposted 4 years ago

    Once you see the unexplainable with your very eyes it really blends what's considered reality and fantasy.

    1. JMcFarland profile image91
      JMcFarlandposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      that depends on what you consider "unexplainable"

      1. profile image0
        Deepes Mindposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Which of course makes a lot of stuff both subjective and objective and easily able to dismiss depending on bias (generally speaking of course)

        1. ZZInteractive profile image60
          ZZInteractiveposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Exactly which is why this whole argument people are having is a waste of time.

          1. profile image0
            Deepes Mindposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Not to those having the argument...LOL

    2. profile image0
      Rad Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I've seen magicians perform things that I couldn't explain, does that mean others couldn't explain them?

 
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