Showing posts with label Atheists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Atheists. Show all posts

January 25, 2013

???? Is Atheism a Religion? Could IT Replace it ?????????






Sanderson Jones at the first meeting of The Sunday Assembly, an atheist church.
This idea came from NYTimes Debate page. I usually don’t post articles that make people feel like going to the  adamfoxie* site and inserting a post…well latter I 've been getting abusing ones but that comes  and goes with the weather.  I even know where some of them originates.  I believe in a free press but not in abuse.  So I or the system would mark it as abuse or spam and if it happens to be posted because it was missed, it will be out within the hour. I have taken all this lines to  inform on how the comments work. 

 

>>>>So You Can Comment!  But in this case I will ask the reader  wether  Atheism is a religion itself.  I for my self will keep out of the issue, but will say that I understand how the atheist feels and I understand how the religious people also feel. For myself I don’t have a religion ( but have a degree in Theology) nor believe in any of them; But I post  positive article about it. Im not an atheist but I check their blogs and sometimes I post of something  that they write that makes a lot of sense. So I am not religious but I believe in god, just don’t believe on your regular god of heaven and hell and so fourthNOW the Article Below:Adam*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  Tom Bell, via Nimrod Kamer on pic.
Sanderson Jones at the first meeting of The Sunday Assembly, an atheist church in London.
In Britain, where the Church of England is a laughing stock lately, the percentage of Britons professing no faith has nearly doubled in the last decade — which might explain the rise of an atheist church.
In the U.S., Susan Jacoby recently wrote, moments of tragedy can be a reminder “of what atheism has to offer.” The philosopher Gary Gutting adds that atheists, like religious people, ought to articulate reasons for their beliefs (or lack thereof).
Please post your comments below in the (Red)comments section. You are allow not to identify yourself..   Thank You

Can atheism replace religion? Is it a religion?

December 27, 2012

Shoes Without Souls {Soles?} Do You Have One or Two?


With all the bible thumping that has infiltrated even the government at it’s highest. Judges in the supreme court say that they follow the beliefs in the bible when they decide on cases, the GOP branch of Congress, the ex-president we just had and all this bible following in the government that is supposed to NOT just to follow but protect the constitution { separation of church and state) of the United States. You look into the bible that “Christians” are supposed to follow where Jesus Christ himself says to his disciples ‘Give to Ceasar what belong to Ceaser and to God what belongs to God’ .  But Christians ignore that.  Just like in the case of homosexuality they would rather follow Leviticus written thousands of years before Christ was born and ignore what Jesus says about homosexuality and what Jesus says how to treat your fellow man….and what Jesus says of what is sin and what is not, like he covers everything important to “Christian” follower of Christ is suppose to go by.
Well, People that are not believers of all that stuff (how can you blame them?) have decided to fight back. Atheists have been treated in the past like homosexuals. They had to lie and said they ‘believe' if they wanted to get a job and get along with other people. Because if you not a believer you are supposed to be dishonest, etc., etc. Mind you now we have surveys that have shown that non believers tend to be more honest than believers…..and that makes sense if you think about it. You have an individual who is not going to put money in his pocket that belongs to the store that employs him/her because that is a sin and they will go to hell, because "thieves and  those that lie will not inherit the kingdom of god.”  On the other hand you have an individual that wont steal from the tilt because he/she believes is dishonest to steal,  from the person that is good enough to give him a job.
He/She does it not because he is afraid but because he can distinguish between right and wrong. Particularly if he/she had parents that start them off not in fear of doing things but the common sense of doing the right thing and what it does to a person.  No it does not make a saint, or partof the chosen, but it makes him an honest human being, able to sleep well with his/hers consiense.
Well now those people have been given soles, because before they were told the had no souls and no shoes because all god children have shoes (check Africa, South and central America, part of the Arab world, see if all  god’s children have shoes).
Adam for adamfoxie*
If you’ve never heard about this company and are wondering what it’s all about, here’s how it describes itself:

We are an incredulity of atheists, living in Berlin and furiously dedicating our days to not believing in god. Ok, that’s not true; we barely ever think about god, let alone about being atheists.
But, when one of us had the peculiar idea to make a handmade ‘atheist shoe’, we thought that sounded rather endearing and fun.  And when the idea went gangbusters on reddit.com, we decided we had to roll up our sleeves and make the atheist shoe a reality.
The “about” section also includes sections titled “We don’t believe in any God” and “Taking the God out of good.”
The shoes sell for 129 Euro — or about $170.

September 2, 2012

Do You Like Philosophy? Reconcile Atheism with The Universe

 

 


"Romantic reductionist" neuroscientist Christof Koch -- who previously posited how the Internet could become conscious -- discusses the search for meaning in the world of science, and the philosophical influence of working with Francis Crick.
glaciermain.jpg(James W. Hamblin)Scientists are now launching one of the most audacious projects ever conceived: an attempt to map the neural circuits within the human brain. Our brains have close to 100 billion neurons and trillions of synapses, so the task is almost impossibly complicated. For some neuroscientists, the goal isn't just to map the brain; it's to crack the mystery of consciousness. But can our minds -- our thoughts and feelings, our experience of joy and sorrow and self-awareness, even our faith in God -- be reduced to brain chemistry?
It's a sobering idea, especially for religious believers. If you really are your brain, will neuroscience bury your soul?
Not exactly, says Christof Koch, a leading neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology. It all depends on how we understand the soul. Unlike his mentor, the legendary scientist Francis Crick, Koch has always nurtured a religious sensibility. In his new book Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist, he writes about his hunger for meaning and his yearning for the transcendent. And in January he plans to meet with the Dalai Lama to talk about the connections between neuroscience and Buddhist meditation
During our interview Koch talked fast and jumped quickly from one big idea to the next. In a piece last week, "The Nature of Consciousness," we talked about Koch's search for the neural correlates of consciousness and the possibility that the Internet could learn to feel. Today, we conclude our conversation.
***
You like big philosophical questions, don't you?
Koch: Well, I think a lot about my place in the universe. What are we doing here? How did we come about? Does it mean anything? I like to think about these problems. You know, usually you ask these questions when you're 18 and 19, and then you get on with the business of living. Even at my age, I still ask these questions because I want to know how it all fits together before I die.
Speaking of death, you write about a night of existential angst a dozen years ago when the fact that you were going to die hit you in some very visceral way. What happened?
Koch: It was pretty late compared to most people. I felt immortal until I was 42 or so. I played one of my son's shooter video games where you are chased by hordes of aliens through empty corridors on alien suns. I did that for a couple of hours and then went to bed. Suddenly I woke up in the middle of the night with the abrupt realization that I was going to die. I didn't have any premonition that something bad was going to happen. I just knew one day I was going to die. That stayed with me for the next four to six weeks. I had a tough time until I accepted it. It's a beautiful illustration of the power of the unconscious. There I was sleeping and something was churning away, probably agitated by all that shooting and killing in the video game, and then came to some startling or unsettling conclusion, and that's when my brain decided to wake me up. Since then, unfortunately, I know I'm going to die. [Laughs.] I shouldn't have played that video game.
You write about how you grew up an observant Catholic and then lost your faith in a personal god. But it seems that the search for meaning, that yearning for the absolute, is still with you.
Koch: That's correct. I try to be guided by what's scientifically plausible. Of course, there is a huge amount of randomness, but we also find ourselves in this universe that is very conducive to life. I don't know how to explain it, but I see this arrow of progress toward an ever-larger complexity and to a larger consciousness and that fills me. I don't know what it means. I can't understand it but I see it. I observe it and I'm happy about it.
So you're not exactly an atheist.
Koch: I'm not a conventional atheist who believes it's all just a random formation. I believe there is meaning. But as you said, I don't believe in a personal god or any of the standard things that you're supposed to believe as a Christian.
Your book suggests that you're a deist, maybe believing there's some sort of supreme being that created the laws of the universe but does not intervene in it.
Koch: I don't know. I grew up with that picture in mind, which is very difficult to get rid of when you acquire it in your formative years. This God I have in mind is very ephemeral. It's much closer to Spinoza's God than to the God of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. The mystic Angelus Silesius, who was a contemporary of Descartes, had this wonderful quote: "God is a lucent nothing, no Now nor Here can touch him." It's totally different from any conventional conception of a god. In fact, it's much closer to Buddhist thought than to any monotheistic religion. I just grew up calling this "God" because that's my tradition, but it's not any god that we in the Western world would recognize. There isn't an old guy with a beard who watches over us.
Do you look for meaning in the world of science?
Koch: I find meaning in science. It's this incredibly beautiful thing. Isn't it a wonder that we can understand the universe using mathematics that's comprehensible to our minds? That's just absolutely amazing. There's no law in the universe that says it should be like that. Physics can make predictions about the shape of the early universe. We can predict the size and the pitch of the initial bang in the universe. That's just amazing that the universe actually is comprehensible to our minds. So that fills me with great contentment.
You take this even further in your book. You talk about experiencing the numinous, the transcendent. What does that mean for you?
Koch: That's more personal. It's just that I often feel - I don't know - I find it very difficult to talk about. I can't really describe it. I just feel the universe is filled with meaning. I see it everywhere and I realize it's a psychological mindset. I fully realize other people don't have this. I have it. It's very difficult to explain where it comes from. I just have this firm belief and the experience of numinosity. It's difficult to put into words.
It's so interesting hearing you talk about your spiritual life, given your partnership with Francis Crick, the famous scientist who was also a famous atheist. How did you end up working with Crick?
Koch: He had already left England to live in California when I moved there in 1986. He also switched from molecular biology to neuroscience. We began to interact very intensely from 1989 until he died in 2004. We wrote 24 papers together and interacted daily, trying to explore the neural basis of consciousness. At the time it was still very unpopular for scientists to think about consciousness. He said a retired Nobel laureate can do that but working scientists who don't have tenure shouldn't do this. It wasn't considered a scientific problem. I think our writing helped change this attitude. Now it's much more widely accepted by the neuroscience community that consciousness can be tackled empirically.
It wasn't mainstream science until the late 80s or early 90s, partly because of functional brain imaging. Then you could track the footprints of consciousness in the human brain. That really made a big difference, and people with big reputations like Francis Crick said, "Listen guys. If science wants to have a complete picture of the universe, it has to understand consciousness. We aren't forced to listen forever to just philosophical talk. We can actually turn this into real empirical science."
Crick was 40 years older than you. Do you regard him as your mentor?
Koch: Yeah. Because of the age difference, we had sort of an intellectual father-son relationship, and we got along very well. Throughout his life, he worked with one person quite intensely. Most famously, he did that with Jim Watson. Then with Sydney Brenner for three decades, and then for the last two decades of his life he did that with me. It was a very intense experience.
What was it like to work with someone who was so brilliant?
Koch: Sheer joy and pleasure. So often he would take the same fact that I read and he would come to a startling new conclusion. He made this jump because he connected these facts to, say, something he'd done earlier in molecular biology. He was very good at using metaphors and analogies from other fields. Later on he didn't sleep well, so he would often lie awake at night and think about these things and come to the breakfast table with great new ideas. He wasn't afraid of continuously throwing out ideas. Many of them were crazy. Many were interesting but didn't work. Occasionally there were wonderful ideas. He just generated so many more ideas than other people did.
Crick was also an ardent atheist. In fact, didn't he leave Churchill College in Cambridge because they built a chapel over his objections?
Koch: That's correct. I was just at Churchill College and I visited the college because of that story.
Given your own background as a Catholic, did you talk much about religion with Crick?
Koch: We did. He was gentle with respect to my faith. When I first met him I still went to church and took my family there. He didn't push me in any aggressive way. He knew I had some religious sensibilities but it didn't impede our ability to have vigorous discussions about the neural correlates of consciousness. I guess his ardor for fighting against religion had cooled by the time I met him.
Did you ever push back? Did you ever challenge his atheist assumptions?
Koch: No. We once had a very interesting discussion about death. It's one of the things I greatly admire about him. Not only that he was a genius and a great inspiration, but also his attitude about dying. He knew he had a short time to live because he had colon cancer. Every morning when I came in, we talked a bit about the current state of his health but then he would say, "Okay, let's move onto more interesting things" and we would talk about science. He kept that attitude until the bitter end. Two hours before he passed away, he dictated to his secretary the last correction to one of our papers. He knew he was going to die but he didn't let it interfere with the business of trying to understand how consciousness arises from the brain.
Maybe the old religious definitions of the soul are outdated. Is part of your project trying to formulate a new, science-based idea of the soul?
Koch: These theories about the complexity of consciousness are essentially a 21st century conception of the soul. The soul in this case is conscious experience. It's attached to certain physical systems. They could be computers or biological systems. However, unlike the classical soul from Plato onwards, the soul disappears if this physical system is destroyed.
This is not a soul that can survive death.
Koch: It could in principle survive death by using technology - if my brain has some fancy reconstruction technology to transcribe it into software on silicon. In principle this simulacrum could survive death and have aspects of the old me. Unless I have a backup code, my soul dies when my brain dies. End of game, unfortunately.
You have worked at Caltech for decades, and you recently took a second job as Chief Scientific Officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. What are you doing there?
Koch: We've started with a very large donation from Paul Allen, who is very interested in trying to understand the cortex. It's one of the most complex systems in the known universe. This 10-year project called MindScope has enormous resources - between 200 and 300 scientists and engineers - all focused on trying to understand the cortex, particularly the visual cortex. We want to understand its complete wiring and the structure down to the level of a single neuron. Some people call this the connectome. The Allen Institute for Brain Science is somewhere between a university and a biotech company, where we can focus all our resources to try to understand the cortex.
Can't you do a project of this scope at a top university like Caltech?
Koch: No. Universities are great at producing individual scientists who are brilliant at pushing new ideas, but the entire scientific endeavor is constructed on the notion of being hyper-competitive and as different as possible from other people. Otherwise, you don't get a Ph.D. You don't get tenure. You don't get grants. You don't get papers in high profile journals. So it's very difficult to focus an enormous amount of research in a disciplined way.
I was at Caltech for 25 years and I loved it. But academics want to do whatever they damn well please, which is great for exploring something new. But just like in physics - for example, the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva that found the Higgs boson - you need many people to focus on one large project that has clear specs, deadlines and a standard operating procedure. Such large projects can't be done at a university. By and large, neuroscience is still just a professor, her post-doc, and her one student working together. So we're still at the stage of small science. But just like the Human Genome Project 10 or 15 years ago, or like physics 50 years ago, the field of neuroscience is now getting ready for a few very large projects where you assemble large teams and focus on a very specific question.
Are you leaving Caltech?
Koch: Yes. Unfortunately, I can't really do both. MindScope is a very large project. Doing that and also running a lab at Caltech is just impossible. By next year I will cease to be a Caltech professor.



STEVE PAULSON - Steve Paulson is the executive producer of Wisconsin Public Radio's To the Best of Our Knowledge and the author of the book Atoms and Eden: Conversations on Religion and Science. He is now producing a radio series on the science of consciousness.


Love And Pride Sale! Up to 70% OFF                                                                

June 10, 2012

The Atheist at The Table




Ross Harvey wedged himself into the back pew of the North Shore Unitarian Church in North Vancouver, British Columbia, as a visiting gospel choir filled the vaulted nave with soaring harmonies. Harvey, whose white T-shirt beneath a black dress shirt made him mistakable for a padre at a distance, was among the first to stand and clap and groove at the chord changes and the shared emotion. The only thing that came between him and full-on abandon was the part of himself that was irked by the words. "You know why the Baptists are so much better singers than we are?" he later joked. "It's because Unitarian Universalists are always reading ahead to make sure that what we're about to say we actually believe in. That slows us down."
Unitarian Universalists are full of questions, not answers; heavily into social justice and community service; and strong on dogma-free religious education for kids. And that suits Harvey just fine. He's an atheist. Just three years earlier he had confided to his wife that he wished there were "a church you could go to where you sang and heard inspirational talks and you didn't have to get into all that other nonsense." Then he found the UUs. No sooner did they join than they were asked to be in the Christmas pageant. Ross laughed, then said yes. He and Gabi were Joseph and Mary; their infant son, Jackson, was the baby Jesus. 
There are two kinds of atheists: the kind you hear about, and the rest, the kind you don't.
The kind you hear about have been making headlines pretty consistently since 9/11. They aggressively confront religious arguments at every turn, in order to expose the perceived perniciousness of organized religion. Whenever religious bigotry raises its head, they step up their campaign, galloping through the chapel with the guns-ablaze fervor of a persecuted minority.
That strategy has raised the profile of atheists—witness the saw off between Christopher Hitchens's God Is Not Great and Todd Burpo'sHeaven Is for Real on best-seller lists. But it hasn't exactly endeared atheists to the majority of Americans. Indeed, polls tell an unrelenting story: In America, dislike and distrust of atheists is more widespread than for any other identifiable group.
The large cohort of nonbelievers that you don't hear about refrains from actively evangelizing atheism to theists. For them, religion isn't a militant stance; it's just, well, not that big a factor in their lives. And they compose the first generation to think like this. That a in atheism simply means without, not against, belief in God. Not an adversarial position, just a position. There, in the vast middle of the religious spectrum, a space not occupied by fundamentalists of any sort, live tens of millions of atheists and agnostics, more or less quietly, mostly with their families. And their numbers are growing.
  Psychology Today  
By Bruce Grierson

May 25, 2012

The Atheist at the Breakfast Table




Ross Harvey wedged himself into the back pew of the North Shore Unitarian Church in North Vancouver, British Columbia, as a visiting gospel choir filled the vaulted nave with soaring harmonies. Harvey, whose white T-shirt beneath a black dress shirt made him mistakable for a padre at a distance, was among the first to stand and clap and groove at the chord changes and the shared emotion. The only thing that came between him and full-on abandon was the part of himself that was irked by the words. "You know why the Baptists are so much better singers than we are?" he later joked. "It's because Unitarian Universalists are always reading ahead to make sure that what we're about to say we actually believe in. That slows us down."
Unitarian Universalists are full of questions, not answers; heavily into social justice and community service; and strong on dogma-free religious education for kids. And that suits Harvey just fine. He's an atheist. Just three years earlier he had confided to his wife that he wished there were "a church you could go to where you sang and heard inspirational talks and you didn't have to get into all that other nonsense." Then he found the UUs. No sooner did they join than they were asked to be in the Christmas pageant. Ross laughed, then said yes. He and Gabi were Joseph and Mary; their infant son, Jackson, was the baby Jesus

There are two kinds of atheists: the kind you hear about, and the rest, the kind you don't.
The kind you hear about have been making headlines pretty consistently since 9/11. They aggressively confront religious arguments at every turn, in order to expose the perceived perniciousness of organized religion. Whenever religious bigotry raises its head, they step up their campaign, galloping through the chapel with the guns-ablaze fervor of a persecuted minority.
That strategy has raised the profile of atheists—witness the saw off between Christopher Hitchens's God Is Not Great and Todd Burpo'sHeaven Is for Real on best-seller lists. But it hasn't exactly endeared atheists to the majority of Americans. Indeed, polls tell an unrelenting story: In America, dislike and distrust of atheists is more widespread than for any other identifiable group.
The large cohort of nonbelievers that you don't hear about refrains from actively evangelizing atheism to theists. For them, religion isn't a militant stance; it's just, well, not that big a factor in their lives. And they compose the first generation to think like this. That a in atheism simply means without, not against, belief in God. Not an adversarial position, just a position. There, in the vast middle of the religious spectrum, a space not occupied by fundamentalists of any sort, live tens of millions of atheists and agnostics, more or less quietly, mostly with their families. And their numbers are growing

Featured Posts

Supreme Court orders Deutsche and Capital 1 Banks Most Comply With Congress and Release Trump/Fam Records

 The guy for the common man that steals and does not wants to get caught but finds a brother in arms with similar views fro...