Author Topic: Is there a religion for atheists?  (Read 10131 times)

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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #90 on: August 09, 2017, 01:39:30 PM »
The fact is that this this "star stuff" religious idiom is a favorite of pop atheists today.
There's evidence that not only are we "star stuff", but we are also "black hole stuff":

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As the late Carl Sagan once put it: "The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff."

But what about the heavier elements in the periodic chart, elements such as gold, platinum and uranium?
....
In a paper published August 7 in the journal Physical Review Letters, [George Fuller] and two other theoretical astrophysicists at UCLA -- Alex Kusenko and Volodymyr Takhistov -- offer another means by which stars could have produced these heavy elements: tiny black holes that came into contact with and are captured by neutron stars, and then destroy them.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline augustin717

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Offline Indocern

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #92 on: September 11, 2017, 07:04:20 AM »
No, atheists don't like God.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 07:05:57 AM by Indocern »

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #93 on: September 11, 2017, 09:45:06 AM »
I this review of Jung's Red Book by David Bentley Hart this morning. A really dead-on exploration of the problem not only in Jungianism but so much that passes for spirituality today.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 09:45:25 AM by Iconodule »
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #94 on: September 11, 2017, 11:46:34 AM »
Amazing! I wonder how could a Jungian piece be deemed as too esoteric to be publishable after Seven Sermons to the Dead:P
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Offline William T

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #95 on: September 11, 2017, 12:13:38 PM »
In America or probably even Europe today, were I to meet an ideal type of an atheist I would be shocked, and gushing over such an individual - he would be a relic of a better era.   Everyone seems to be a spiritual fanatic now.  I probably have a similar kind of incredulous eye of our time as Gibbons had of Medieval Western Europe or the stranger manifestations of the Reformation. 

And yes, a crank like Carl Jung fits nicely into the spiritual temperament of many people in the "atheist" West today.  Whatever religion or spiritual drives are, we seem to be stuck with them no matter how much we wish to get rid of them or deny their existence.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 12:18:51 PM by William T »

Offline RobS

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #96 on: September 11, 2017, 12:26:22 PM »
If I was an atheist, there is only one religion to be devout in: JamesRism. Indulge in every single whim, vice, carnality, desire, want, etc. beholden to no ethic or moral. A total hedonist in debauchery. Eliminate any obstacle that would get in the way of that. Sure I'd still have some idols, but hey as long as I'm pleased who cares? I would see no reason to live virtuously, what for? You're going to die anyway, so eat, drink and be merry. Indulge your bliss, YOLO!

I kid...


Either that or some kind of antinatalist suicide cult.  Refusing to realize one's state in despair apart from God is living in bad faith IMO. Or to construct some positive philosophy in spite of this despair is delusional. Modern atheists are in either situation and there's only one way out of it...
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 12:37:47 PM by RobS »
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline augustin717

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #97 on: September 11, 2017, 12:37:59 PM »
I think Harts conclusion is plausible. Except that when God makes a come back I doubt it's gonna be the old, orthodox god of Nicaea. 
We might be in a limbo right now, awaiting new gods and prophets .
She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #98 on: September 11, 2017, 12:38:42 PM »
If I was an atheist, there is only one religion to be devout in: JamesRism. Indulge in every single whim, vice, carnality, desire, want, etc. beholden to no ethic or moral. A total hedonist in debauchery. Eliminate any obstacle that would get in the way of that. Sure I'd still have some idols, but hey as long as I'm pleased who cares? I would see no reason to live virtuously, what for? You're going to die anyway, so eat, drink and be merry. Indulge your bliss, YOLO!

I kid...


Either that or some kind of antinatalist suicide cult.  Refusing to realize one's state in despair apart from God is living in bad faith IMO. Or to construct some positive philosophy in spite of this despair is delusional. Modern atheists are in either situation and there's only one way out of it...
Well, if we go there, we might as well completely bypass run-of-the-mill sophomoric dudebro hedonism and go straight to Marquis De Sade and his let's-torture-orphans-poison-the-water-supply-and-start-a-famine outlook. And I guess a lot of powerful people do go that way but they cover it up with a lot of Eat-Pray-Love escapism.
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Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop
- GK Chesteron, "Lepanto"

Offline William T

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #99 on: September 11, 2017, 12:48:38 PM »
I think Harts conclusion is plausible. Except that when God makes a come back I doubt it's gonna be the old, orthodox god of Nicaea. 
We might be in a limbo right now, awaiting new gods and prophets .

For the past few hundred years hipsters and uncritical critics have infested higher education with the axiomatic presupposition of new men, new gods, new ages and them being "prophetic".  That's why they are such fanatical goofballs.  Give me that "sterile" old time irreligion any day of the week than what some spiritualized bureaucratic crackpot concocts.

Offline RobS

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #100 on: September 11, 2017, 01:02:33 PM »
For the past few hundred years hipsters and uncritical critics have infested higher education with the axiomatic presupposition of new men, new gods, new ages and them being "prophetic".  That's why they are such fanatical goofballs.  Give me that "sterile" old time irreligion any day of the week than what some spiritualized bureaucratic crackpot concocts.

Truly to escape Christ involves an exact appreciation of the price we have to pay to detach ourselves from Him. It assumes that we are aware of the extent to which Christ, insidiously perhaps, is close to us; it implies a knowledge, in that which permits us to think against Christ, of that which remains Christian. We have to determine the extent to which our anti-Christianity is possibly one of His tricks directed against us, at the end of which He stands, motionless, waiting for us. Atheists are doomed to find Christ waiting patiently at the end of whatever road they travel (even if they walk backwards). 8)

*cough got rid of Hegel in this Foucault quote cough*
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 01:03:25 PM by RobS »
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #101 on: September 11, 2017, 01:09:55 PM »
It is very, very hard to bring out a new god. It's not like a new brand of laundry detergent or breakfast cereal, though our commodity culture makes us think this way. The basic configurations of religious belief have all been laid out already. The successful new religions have to position themselves as successors of some tradition, whether it's a legitimate succession or not- e.g. Muhammad as the true and final successor of Moses and Jesus. Even then, it's not very easy. Even religions that seem tailor-made for some modern ideal- Bahai or Wicca, for instance- can't break out of a certain bubble.

So if a new God isn't the old, orthodox God of Nicaea, it will have to be a reiteration of some other old, orthodox God. And in either case you'll get a circle of devotees and everyone else will wonder what the point is.

I think more compelling, and more frightening, are the militant iterations of existing faiths- BJP-style Hinduism, Islamic State, those Russian nutters framing the war in Ukraine as an Orthodox holy war, etc. They combine the veneer of tradition with a very modern and kinetic force.
Quote
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop
- GK Chesteron, "Lepanto"

Offline William T

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #102 on: September 11, 2017, 01:20:51 PM »
It is very, very hard to bring out a new god. It's not like a new brand of laundry detergent or breakfast cereal, though our commodity culture makes us think this way. The basic configurations of religious belief have all been laid out already. The successful new religions have to position themselves as successors of some tradition, whether it's a legitimate succession or not- e.g. Muhammad as the true and final successor of Moses and Jesus. Even then, it's not very easy. Even religions that seem tailor-made for some modern ideal- Bahai or Wicca, for instance- can't break out of a certain bubble.

So if a new God isn't the old, orthodox God of Nicaea, it will have to be a reiteration of some other old, orthodox God. And in either case you'll get a circle of devotees and everyone else will wonder what the point is.

I think more compelling, and more frightening, are the militant iterations of existing faiths- BJP-style Hinduism, Islamic State, those Russian nutters framing the war in Ukraine as an Orthodox holy war, etc. They combine the veneer of tradition with a very modern and kinetic force.

Right, and I think this is something that people seem stuck on.  This kind of mindset seems to have plagued the modern mind for some time.  If you've ever read Comte, he is kind of a poster boy for this kind of thing.  In the same way as Greek, Egyptian, etc forms of worship can not be brought, or we can't "go back" to some "pure" form of Xtian worship in 35AD you can't just construct these things out of thin air and to expect it to be taken seriously.  Much of human life isn't arbitrary acts of will discarding old things or creating new things.

Tradition is one a safe guard against this kind of epistemology, but yeah that needs checks to, as the examples you point out illustrates how that  is a word that can be abused and isn't as straightforward a thing that it may seem to be.  But to my minds eye, if someone tells me they worship Zeus, my answer is "no you don't"..that can't happen anymore.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 01:22:09 PM by William T »

Offline RobS

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #103 on: September 11, 2017, 01:23:48 PM »
So if a new God isn't the old, orthodox God of Nicaea, it will have to be a reiteration of some other old, orthodox God. And in either case you'll get a circle of devotees and everyone else will wonder what the point is.
Lol exactly, how can anyone get away from a revivalism of sorts?

Quote
I think more compelling, and more frightening, are the militant iterations of existing faiths- BJP-style Hinduism, Islamic State, those Russian nutters framing the war in Ukraine as an Orthodox holy war, etc. They combine the veneer of tradition with a very modern and kinetic force.
Ah the retrograde fundies, do you really see that lasting? Maybe the romantic/nostalgic vs progressive modernism will never end, or maybe that's the wrong way to frame it?
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline augustin717

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #104 on: September 11, 2017, 01:29:08 PM »
Repeating a truism here but The orthodox God also installed himself violently at the center of people's imagination/psyche/heart. New gods or new iterations of old gods won't be different.
She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.

Offline RobS

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #105 on: September 11, 2017, 01:34:36 PM »
Tradition is one a safe guard against this kind of epistemology, but yeah that needs checks to, as the examples you point out illustrates how that  is a word that can be abused and isn't as straightforward a thing that it may seem to be.
I agree with you on tradition as a safeguard, but it certainly clashes with modernism hence the reactionary outbursts. This is a topic I am very torn on. I love indoor plumbing and modern medicine, but I am nostalgic for that ol tyme religion that tells me the Earth is the center of the universe and man is the measure of all things and a peculiar enchantment of the world. All we've done in decentering ourselves away from this has resulted in nothing but nihilism. But I'm fussily old fashioned...

Quote
But to my minds eye, if someone tells me they worship Zeus, my answer is "no you don't"..that can't happen anymore.
Well let's not be so hasty here, the same could be said towards nominalists Christians which seem to make up much of Christendom currently. We're just as secular as anyone else, it seems. And this is something else I am constantly fighting against in my own personal life...
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #106 on: September 11, 2017, 01:44:32 PM »
Repeating a truism here but The orthodox God also installed himself violently at the center of people's imagination/psyche/heart. New gods or new iterations of old gods won't be different.

It's true, especially with the right social conditions, a new faith can very rapidly spread. It's very, very difficult but it has happened. I bet if the Taiping rebellion had prevailed in China we would be dealing today with Taiping Christianity as a major global force.
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Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop
- GK Chesteron, "Lepanto"

Offline William T

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #107 on: September 11, 2017, 01:57:22 PM »
Tradition is one a safe guard against this kind of epistemology, but yeah that needs checks to, as the examples you point out illustrates how that  is a word that can be abused and isn't as straightforward a thing that it may seem to be.
I agree with you on tradition as a safeguard, but it certainly clashes with modernism hence the reactionary outbursts. This is a topic I am very torn on. I love indoor plumbing and modern medicine, but I am nostalgic for that ol tyme religion that tells me the Earth is the center of the universe and man is the measure of all things and a peculiar enchantment of the world. All we've done in decentering ourselves away from this has resulted in nothing but nihilism. But I'm fussily old fashioned...

Quote
But to my minds eye, if someone tells me they worship Zeus, my answer is "no you don't"..that can't happen anymore.
Well let's not be so hasty here, the same could be said towards nominalists Christians which seem to make up much of Christendom currently. We're just as secular as anyone else, it seems. And this is something else I am constantly fighting against in my own personal life...

To be quick; history, technology, and complex societies have existed for a very long time.  In this I am pulling genetics: my people were some of the first people out of hunter-gatherer societies and into complex societies and haven't looked back since, for that I am grateful.  I think you are attaching yourself to a philosophy, methodology, and interpretation of time, history, and civilization that holds no water though it is very much a mindset of many well educated people of our time.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 02:01:37 PM by William T »

Offline RobS

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #108 on: September 11, 2017, 02:15:03 PM »
To be quick; history, technology, and complex societies have always existed.  In this I am pulling genetics: my people were some of the first people out of hunter-gatherer societies and into complex societies and haven't looked back since, for that I am grateful.  I think you are attaching yourself to a philosophy, methodology, and interpretation of time, history, and civilization that holds no water though it is very much a mindset of many well educated people of our time.
To be quick also since I'm on a phone: I disagree. History may have existed but it is profoundly different today than it was say in antiquity. I'd have to ask you what you mean by technology, in some vulgar sense perhaps but I might argue arose from modernity. The way technology levels out beings in the world to something calculable and extractable is intrinsically nihilistic. This was not the way it was understood throughout many different cultures in the past. The complexity found in today's post-industrial societies are markedly different than in the past in a lot of ways. To say "complex societies always existed" grossly overlooks distinctions and differences IMO. It gives us nothing to analyze and compare.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline William T

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Re: Is there a religion for atheists?
« Reply #109 on: September 11, 2017, 03:13:58 PM »
To be quick; history, technology, and complex societies have always existed.  In this I am pulling genetics: my people were some of the first people out of hunter-gatherer societies and into complex societies and haven't looked back since, for that I am grateful.  I think you are attaching yourself to a philosophy, methodology, and interpretation of time, history, and civilization that holds no water though it is very much a mindset of many well educated people of our time.
To be quick also since I'm on a phone: I disagree. History may have existed but it is profoundly different today than it was say in antiquity. I'd have to ask you what you mean by technology, in some vulgar sense perhaps but I might argue arose from modernity. The way technology levels out beings in the world to something calculable and extractable is intrinsically nihilistic. This was not the way it was understood throughout many different cultures in the past. The complexity found in today's post-industrial societies are markedly different than in the past in a lot of ways. To say "complex societies always existed" grossly overlooks distinctions and differences IMO. It gives us nothing to analyze and compare.

Let's use a Karl Marx quote as an example:

"The hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill society with the industrial capitalist."  There a varying ways I've heard this interpreted, almost all very wrong. 

But for what I am saying in this statement we don't have to use the time and economic principles stated.  You could switch it from raw economic material to a lateral on more recent interpretations and  say "the earth centered world gave us the ancients, the newtonian the modern, Einstein the post modern" and then wipe out all the particulars, and processes and say "therefore we are all postmodernists now"...this is taking generalizations too seriously for the actual subjects taking place and is the pretense of knowledge.  It's not a view of historians, artists, or scientists but a view with people who wish to talk about art, history, or science.  It's trying to use a particular kind of interpretive and rational edge as some archmedian lever that you simply do not have. 

Do you want to talk about fundamentals of cities in the fertile crescent, or in places like Rome, Persia, and Carthage?  I don't know if a forum is a place for me to knowledge dump that info, I doubt I could do that, but I could try if you wan. Many of the basics still exist: as they do with travel, ship building, and many many other things.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 03:20:39 PM by William T »