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Is Atheism the official stance of boards.ie on religion?

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  • 17-02-2011 12:36pm
    #1
    Posts: 0


    Edit: Only noticed this now- the title should read: "Is Atheism the official stance of After Hours on religion?"

    I questioned biko on this, and he said he was ok with Atheism being promoted in After Hours.

    If so, then he must also be OK with the promotion of any other religious belief in After Hours.

    I ask, what is the difference between using After Hours to promote the idea that "there is no god" and using it to promote the idea "there is a God/Allah/loads of gods/Buhdda/a ceiling cat"?

    I would hope that *all* AH Mods leave their religious beleifs at the door when entering AH and moderate on the principle that "all beleifs (including atheism) are equally bullsh*t and will be put in their respective forums."

    Religion is the most personal decision a person can make for themselves. I would hope that boards.ie is a welcoming place for all religions and none.
    Post edited by Shield on


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    A mod is entitled to have their belief and to post in that vein. It's only the moderating decisions which need to be tempered objectively.

    I understand that you feel that religions are coming in for "bashing" in AH, but if you look at the threads, atheism comes in for a similar bashing. So I don't see any evidence that moderating decisions are favour either side.

    FWIW, all organisations which are not involved in religion are de facto atheist because an organisation is incapable of having a belief.

    But that's a discussion for a different thread.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    You're confusing agnostic with atheist there seamus, otherwise thank you.

    So this marks the return of religious hamsterwheels to AH?

    God/Allah/Ceiling Cat/the Devil/Bob/Vishnu/Ourselves help us all!


  • Registered Users Posts: 81,220 ✭✭✭✭biko


    It's not ok to start a thread to promote any religion.
    It might be ok to start a thread to promote atheism.

    But, once a thread is rolling you may use it to advocate/defend your religious point of view, just as other people can advocate theirs.
    If someone posts "there is no god" or "there is a god" that's ok.
    If someone posts "there is no god but Allah" or "there is no god but Jesus" that's ok too.
    If the god/no god or Allah/Jesus discussion gets out of control the mods steps in.

    Again, atheism isn't a belief, it's the lack of belief in supernatural beings.
    Have you accepted Darwin?


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    You're confusing agnostic with atheist
    Nope. :)
    You can be both. My dog is atheist. She does not believe in any God. Except me, but then we know I exist. :)


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 47,816 Mod ✭✭✭✭cyberwolf77


    Everyone is an atheist to some degree:
    http://www.kontraband.com/pics/25595/Belief-In-Gods/


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  • Registered Users Posts: 81,220 ✭✭✭✭biko


    biko wrote: »
    Have you accepted Darwin?
    Actually, that was just rude and I apologise for that.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    biko wrote: »
    It's not ok to start a thread to promote any religion.
    It might be ok to start a thread to promote atheism.

    But that's it. It shouldn't be ok to start a thread that promotes atheism. That sets atheism apart from other beliefs and gives it preferential treatment. I see no difference between advocating "there is no god" and advocating "there is a god/gods/devil/bob".

    They either all need to be ok (which I oppose, because if you let everyone spout whatever it is they blindly follow the place'd be unworkable) or atheism needs to be treated like it is, another answer to "The Big Question".
    biko wrote: »
    Actually, that was just rude and I apologise for that.

    Original comment ignored, apology accepted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 81,220 ✭✭✭✭biko


    This seems to be the issue here?
    "That sets atheism apart from other beliefs".
    Atheism isn't a belief in the sense that atheists believe anything.

    I understand your point of view but I disagree.
    An atheist is empirical, s/he only puts value in what s/he can experience and what can also be experienced by others (and no, I'm not talking about some religious experience when the lord entered your body and made you a Christian). An atheist embraces the "now and here" and doesn't put stock in an afterlife.
    Atheism is connected to empirical scientific study, religion is connected to what has been written in books by some guy(s).

    And furthermore, anyone can replicate a scientific experiment to see for themselves that it is indeed true, not the same can be said for religious beliefs.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    So, you explain the "favoured status" of Atheism by explaining the Atheist doctrine to a non-believer? I'd liken that to someone quoting Bible at me if I questioned a Christian bias.

    Therefore, by your reasoning, Atheism is indeed the preferred stance in After Hours, because you, as a mod, deem that it is a different answer, the "one true" answer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,425 ✭✭✭Morag


    Have you visited the religion and spirituality section in the Soc Cat?
    That is were that sort of serious discussion is held on the site.
    As for AH if you were to look and make generalisations about that forum and apply it to the site you'd be doing both a disservice.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,750 ✭✭✭liah


    What exactly do you mean by 'promoting'?

    I see a lot of people talk about their own atheism and talk negatively about religion but I can't actually say I've ever seen anything along the lines of decided promotion. Atheism is kind of hard to promote, it has no doctrine or dogma, it has no rulebook or guidelines. It's simply not believing in one extra god than everyone else. How do you promote that? You can explain it, certainly, but it's hardly as if anyone's preaching it. There's nothing there to preach!

    Can you be more clear with what you mean by that or give some examples?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 15,914 ✭✭✭✭tbh


    biko wrote: »
    Atheism isn't a belief in the sense that atheists believe anything.

    Atheists believe that there is no God. They are as sure of that as Christians are that there *is* a god. Nobody can say for sure, so it's all about what you choose to believe. I'm with you on this one, btw, I believe there's probably no God, but I think the OP has a point here. IF it's ok to start a thread saying "hey guys, it's great to be an atheist isn't it?" then it should be ok to start similar threads about god or whatever.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,890 Mod ✭✭✭✭Insect Overlord


    Is this about the "Body of Christ" thread, or did I miss another atheism/agnosticism/religion thread this week?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,750 ✭✭✭liah


    tbh wrote: »
    Atheists believe that there is no God. They are as sure of that as Christians are that there *is* a god. Nobody can say for sure, so it's all about what you choose to believe. I'm with you on this one, btw, I believe there's probably no God, but I think the OP has a point here. IF it's ok to start a thread saying "hey guys, it's great to be an atheist isn't it?" then it should be ok to start similar threads about god or whatever.

    Atheists have a lack of belief in God (e.g. it's not been proven so why believe in it), it's only a very arrogant one who claims to know, as a fact, there is no God, and is actually pretty rare..


  • Registered Users Posts: 81,220 ✭✭✭✭biko


    I questioned biko on this, and he said he was ok with Atheism being promoted in After Hours.
    If so, then he must also be OK with the promotion of any other religious belief in After Hours.
    biko wrote: »
    This seems to be the issue here?
    "That sets atheism apart from other beliefs".
    Atheism isn't a belief in the sense that atheists believe anything.
    You seem to equate atheism with religious belief and I do not. Atheism is the lack of religious belief, hence "a-theism".
    Religion is the belief in afterlife, heaven, prophets, hell, a holy book, satan, saints, 72 virgins, harps, nirvana, bliss, clergy knows best, papal infallibility...
    Atheism means not believing in that stuff.

    Besides, people slag religion every day in AH - that's what we do. Boards have special forums for religious discussion where the religious people can get away from that.

    Can you elaborate on how this discussion started? It was a post in AH that triggered it?


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Biko, this is how the discussion started, when you wrote in a PM:
    Promoting atheism in AH is fine by me.
    You can start a thread in Feedback if you think the admins will see it your way.

    And here I am.

    Every answer to the question "Do you think there is a God or anything similar?" is an opinion, is a belief.

    I believe all beliefs *must* be treated equally in moderatorship, theist, non or unsure, otherwise there is a bias towards one belief.

    I thought I made myself crystal clear in my first post.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 14,670 ✭✭✭✭Wolfe Tone


    Why is it not ok to start a thread promoting belief in a god, yet is ok to start one promoting non belief?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,752 ✭✭✭pablomakaveli


    I'd rather see no threads on AH about religion/atheism but thats wishing against fate.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,388 ✭✭✭gbee


    Religion is the most personal decision a person can make for themselves. I would hope that boards.ie is a welcoming place for all religions and none.

    I can't really agree with this. Islam, radical Islam is known to organise the deaths of hundreds in the name of their religion, sorry but this simply cannot be tolerated.

    Whilst we can consider other religions as crackpots, they generally don't advocate mass murder.

    Religion of itself is a good thing and if everybody followed their religions [perhaps with the exception of the above mentioned], then there could be no war or crimes as you'd be occasioning an offence directly towards your creator.

    But there is plenty of war and crime and violence, all that aside from the religious martyrdom, so it would presuppose that in fact a minority actually believe in their religion at fundamental levels.


  • Registered Users Posts: 81,220 ✭✭✭✭biko


    Biko, this is how the discussion started, when you wrote in a PM
    Yes but there was a discussion between you and me in PMs before this thread. And those PMs started when I wouldn't step in to officially clamp down on what you perceived was "evangelising" atheism in AH in the "communion wafer the actual body of christ" thread? What post(s) there were evangelising atheism?
    Wolfe Tone wrote: »
    Why is it not ok to start a thread promoting belief in a god, yet is ok to start one promoting non belief?
    What I said was "It's not ok to start a thread to promote any religion. It might be ok to start a thread to promote atheism."
    Here's one promoting atheism http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055840727

    There has been a few attempts to spread The Word in AH, my favourite was this


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,750 ✭✭✭liah


    Oh jesus it just had to be one of my threads, didn't it. Thanks Biko. :p


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,565 ✭✭✭✭Tallon


    Like most catholics, i'm an atheist


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,750 ✭✭✭liah


    Actually, really, how was that thread of mine 'promoting' atheism? I didn't add any of my personal opinion to the original post, simply cross-posted an article with nothing of my own added with the intent of seeing where the discussion led.

    Does this mean there's no difference between promotion and discussion points?


  • Registered Users Posts: 81,220 ✭✭✭✭biko


    Liah, saying/quoting that atheists are more intelligent seemed to me be promoting it?
    Sure, a thread saying Christians are happier than atheists would be promoting religion but that wouldn't be locked. Just as long as there was facts/stats posted.

    It's a case by case thing, but in essence: AH is a cross section of today's Irish society and tbh that society slags religion frequently.
    If there is a miracle performed somewhere then by all means, post about it in AH.


  • Registered Users Posts: 82,686 ✭✭✭✭Overheal


    Biko wrote:
    Besides, people slag religion every day in AH - that's what we do.
    Are you actually trying to qualify religion-bashing as a policy in AH?

    I don't see why Atheism deserves any special treatment, even if it is the antithesis of theism. Atheism, and Theisms, are discussable in the Religion and Spirituality Forums and one does not need special treatment over the other in After Hours. I say treat them equally or don't treat them at all, and move all discussions into the R&S family of forums.

    We had this thread the other day

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2056182694&page=2

    I reported it, wondering if it was going to set a precedent. A couple mods agreed they wouldnt have had a problem with it if it were about Catholics or Atheists, etc. and let it go. It was later locked for Racism against Muslims, despite Muslims not being a race of people or a nationality, but a term for a follower of Islam. Note the thread was about Muslims, not the Arab people. Catholics are also not a race of people.

    Personally I'm happy to let one have a debate with the other, but to give special status to one over the others isn't a policy I will support at all.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 7,142 ✭✭✭ISAW


    biko wrote: »
    You seem to equate atheism with religious belief and I do not. Atheism is the lack of religious belief, hence "a-theism".
    Religion is the belief in afterlife, heaven, prophets, hell, a holy book, satan, saints, 72 virgins, harps, nirvana, bliss, clergy knows best, papal infallibility...
    Atheism means not believing in that stuff.

    Besides, people slag religion every day in AH - that's what we do. Boards have special forums for religious discussion where the religious people can get away from that.

    Can you elaborate on how this discussion started? It was a post in AH that triggered it?

    Bhuddism can be atheistic.
    Some insist it must be.
    Buddhism however is a religion.

    Also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamentalism#Atheistic_fundamentalism

    The term "atheistic fundamentalism" is controversial. In an hour-long documentary entitled The Trouble with Atheism, Rod Liddle criticized atheism, arguing that it is becoming just as dogmatic as religion.[44][45][46] In The Dawkins Delusion? Christian theologian Alister McGrath and psychologist Joanna Collicutt McGrath compare Richard Dawkins' "total dogmatic conviction of correctness" to "a religious fundamentalism which refuses to allow its ideas to be examined or challenged."[36]


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,750 ✭✭✭liah


    biko wrote: »
    Liah, saying/quoting that atheists are more intelligent seemed to me be promoting it?
    Sure, a thread saying Christians are happier than atheists would be promoting religion but that wouldn't be locked. Just as long as there was facts/stats posted.

    It's a case by case thing, but in essence: AH is a cross section of today's Irish society and tbh that society slags religion frequently.
    If there is a miracle performed somewhere then by all means, post about it in AH.

    So quoting anything that could be positive towards a group is considered promoting it even if my personal viewpoint is left entirely out? What if I had been a Christian who wanted to tear apart the article for being invalid or something? Does that still qualify as promotion?


  • Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 32,387 Mod ✭✭✭✭DeVore


    Mentally chewing this and kicking it about with a few people. No decision but i do see a difference between atheism and religion in that religion seeks to foist itself alarmingly on others (children being baptised christian, islamic fundamentalism and sharia law, scientology... the whole thing, Intelligent Design instead of real science etc etc).

    Atheism is simply the unacceptance of faith in a higher being. i dont see it is possible to prosletyse it in the same way.

    interesting question though, but I feel the difficulty arises in the assumptions present in the question to start with, ie: that atheism is a sort of "religion".

    (again, rambling thoughts, no decision as yet)


    DeV.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,840 ✭✭✭Dav


    First of all, cards on the table, I consider myself pagan and polytheistic - I acknowledge the existence of *many* gods - but I don't believe in them, that would only encourage some of them :p Prachett said it best with "believing in gods is like believing in the postman." I also firmly believe in currently accepted scientific theory that the universe was created in a big bang and that we have evolved from Primates :)

    I know people who I would consider Fundamentalist Atheists - they simply cannot even entertain the notion that somehow, somewhere they too *might* be wrong. I consider them as pig headed as I do fundamentalist *anythings* be it Islamics or Christians or Fianna Fáil supporters. These are people who will see no wrong in their arguement/point of view. Fundamentalism is a bad thing. It gives us things like Sharia Law and Creationism being taught in schools as fact.

    I would however take a dim view of pro-atheist topics being given more "preference" over pro-religious ones on AH. That is censorship and discrimination and that is *not* what this site is about.

    Ultimately though, this once again annoys me because people are trying to use After Hours to discuss topics that we have a fairly substantial sub-section of the site for. If you want to inteligently and seriouly debate faith or religion and the rights and wrongs contained within, or indeed just shoot the breeze with like minded folk, we've already given you a place for that.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,556 ✭✭✭✭AckwelFoley


    I dont believe in god.

    I dont insist however because i dont believe in a god, that there is no god. I could be wrong.


    I personally dont think that there should be a preferance shown toward the debate or the stance of the non believers over those of us that believe.

    Should the people that do not believe in santa clause be allowed to start threads on santa discussing his non existance, while believers be denied?

    I have to take issue with one point Dev has made:
    religion seeks to foist itself alarmingly on others (children being baptised christian, islamic fundamentalism and sharia law, scientology... the whole thing, Intelligent Design instead of real science etc etc).

    I have gone through phases, i never missed a weeks mass until was 23, i suddenly stopped going around the time the church decided to protect their clergy over the interests of their "flock" and justice due. I have however only recently mellowed in my stance, mainly brought about by seeing the comfort that religion brings to many millions of people. When people die, their comfort comes from in many ways the belief in a higher power, and personally i dont want to disrespect their beliefs because of that - i still dont believe in god, but i do see the comfort and solice it brings to so many.

    Religion doesnt force itself on people, people force their beliefs on people, so in essance it the fundamentalism that is the problem, not the religion.

    Most wars are fought over race or religion,but if there were neither, we'd still kill each other, we would just need to find another reason

    If it is "ok" to perhaps start threads on the non existance of a god,in my opinion it would be of best practice to allow the same for those that hold a faith


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