Page 1 of 18 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 174

Thread: Ask the atheist!

  1. #1

    Default Ask the atheist!

    Okay, I'm doing this in memory of my favorite radio program that was canceled this year when the economy tanked - the Tom Leykis Show. For those who don't know, Tom Leykis was an opinionated loudmouth who had... unorthodox views on dating. I happen to agree with his way of thinking on a lot of things. He was also an unabashed atheist, which I also am. Every so often, he'd do a segment called "ask the atheist", where callers would get a chance to call in and ask him whatever they wanted about his views on religion or atheism. It was always fun to listen to, but always felt restricted because of the artificial limits on discourse forced by radio. Conversations couldn't go on for more than a minute or two thanks to format limitations.

    So I'd like to try the same thing, only right here. I'm an atheist, and I'm not scared to face "tough questions" in any way. Now, please keep in mind that anything I might say I say only for myself. I don't speak for all atheists, since by nature we're a very difficult to pin down bunch. There's only one thing all atheists have in common:

    We don't believe in any gods.

    That's it. Please note, that statement is very different from "we don't believe god exists" - that's a different issue altogether. We simply lack belief in any deities. Some atheists haven't given it any thought and never formed a belief one way or the other. That would be the "apathetic agnostic" position: I don't know, and I don't care. Also note that agnostic means "lack of knowledge" - as in, "I don't know if god exists". Knowledge is different from belief. If you were to chart it out, it would look like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	grid.png 
Views:	5952 
Size:	15.0 KB 
ID:	496
    (clicky clicky)

    Technically, I'm an agnostic atheist. I don't believe in god, but I don't know with certainty that there isn't one. I'm pretty sure, but that's not the same as knowing.

    I'm not just an atheist, I'm also a skeptic. As far as I know, ghosts, psychics, homeopathy, past lives, reincarnation, chiropractic or any other type of 'alternative medicine', moon landing conspiracies, astrology and bigfoot are all bunk. If you would like to ask about anything along those lines, go ahead.

    Something to keep in mind: please don't try to turn this in to a 'stump the skeptic' thing where you ask a question and then go "ha!" and declare victory if I can't answer it. I personally don't know everything (though I often pretend to), so just because I can't debunk some claim doesn't mean it can't be debunked. If any other skeptics/atheists want to chime in and expand on something or outright answer a question themselves, go for it! Other than that, fire away. Want to know how a skeptic thinks? Want to know how a skeptic derives morality? Want to know something else entirely? Go ahead. I'll try to keep it friendly (at least, more than I usually do which doesn't say much ) if you promise to do the same.

  2. #2

  3. #3

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Chillhouse View Post
    What should I have for supper tommorow evening?
    Well, that depends on your culinary skills, how well-stocked your pantry is, and your personal choice, but I would recommend cooking something fast and easy. Since it's the latter days of summer, I'd say something you can cook on the grill would be good. Hamburgers are a fast & simple thing to make that, when properly done, can be quite tasty. Some key things to keep in mind? First, make your own patties if you can from fresh ground chuck. 5 ounces pre-cooked weight is perfect. Using fresh ground meat, you can cook it to medium rare without having to worry about getting sick. That's important, since ground beef turns very dry and tough if cooked beyond medium rare. If you can't use patties you made yourself, then that's okay too - just don't go right from frozen to the grill, otherwise you'll get dry flavorless hunks of rubber. Either way, keep the meat at fridge temperatures (around 4C/39F or lower) at all times until you put it on the grill. Also, when you take the meat off the grill, let it rest in its own juices covered with foil for at least 5 minutes. That will help the proteins relax and reabsorb the flavorful liquid you'd otherwise lose.

    Another thing to keep in mind is simplicity - a properly seasoned beef patty doesn't need much in the way of toppings. Quality ingredients tend to speak for themselves. I see people make hamburgers that are little more than delivery methods for ketchup and mustard. If you need to do that to make your burgers edible, you need to re-examine how you cook them. That's not to say I don't like burgers with the works - but the entire thing is an exercise in futility if the meat and bun themselves don't taste great.

    On the weekends, I prefer to prepare big pots of stuff that portions and freezes well to eat during the week. Red beans & rice, lentil soup, gumbo, jambalaya, etc. That way, if I don't have the energy, time or desire to make something fresh, I can pop a ziplock disposable container of something I made previously in the microwave and eat that.

    Hope that helps!

  4. #4

    Default

    I'm not exactly sure where I fall in religion. I was of course raised one way but as I became educated I question every society's idea of things. Am I exactly an athelist? I wouldn't think so as my views on specific things may change on a daily basis especially if I read or talk to someone and am enlightened in a particular way. I'm willing to buy the gods the Egyptians believed in as much as Allah or God, but I really see all of it as attempting to answer that which is unanswerable and far beyond any minor abilities I have here to judge that myself. But there are many questions that haven't been answered by Physics either and we continue to find out one step closer to how everything works. In essence, I believe in there might be someone tending the light at the end of the tunnel and there also may not be. I believe it's beyond me to know which is right. What does that classify me as?

  5. #5

    Default

    If a plane is on a treadmill, and the treadmill platform is accelerating the same speed in the other direction as the plane, will it take off?!

  6. #6

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by yanni2 View Post
    -snip preamble-
    In essence, I believe in there might be someone tending the light at the end of the tunnel and there also may not be. I believe it's beyond me to know which is right. What does that classify me as?
    Well, if you truly feel the need to classify yourself one way or the other, I can help with that. Technically, you'd fall in to the same category as I do - agnostic atheist. The agnostic part covers your belief that you can't *know* the answer, and the atheist part covers the lack of belief. It seems to me that the root of your dilemma is the connotations assigned to the word "atheist" in our culture. Once you ditch the emotional baggage other people try to associate with atheism, things become much easier.

    To understand what I mean, you need to look at the root of the words. The prefix "a-" means 'lack of or without', such as in 'asymmetric' and 'apolitical'. Theism means belief in one or more deities. Gnostic comes from the Greek word 'gnosis', which means "to know" and translates to "claim of a higher spiritual knowledge". Put them together and you get:

    atheist - lack of, or without, belief in one or more deities
    agnostic - lack of, or without, claim of a higher spiritual knowledge

    Lack of belief doesn't mean you believe the opposite statement. There was a tribe recently discovered that has no concept of gods. They had never been introduced to the concept of a christian, jewish, muslim or any other type of god. It's not that they believe those gods do or don't exist, they simply lack any belief one way or the other. And that's a fine position to take. They are atheist - they lack belief, and that's all it takes by definition. Now, some people (myself included) take it further. We believe that there's probably no god, but you don't have to go that far to be an atheist despite what a lot of very loud people otherwise claim.

    You might want to look in to Deism, the belief of many of the Founding Fathers. They believed that there was likely a god of some kind, but the nature of that god (and by extension, what that god wants from us) is completely unknowable. Basically, they figured that at some point, some Supreme Architect made the universe, hit "go" and has sat back and watched everything unfold since. This Supreme Architect wants us to behave morally, but doesn't care if we worship or love or pray to it. The Wikipedia article is quite thorough on the subject (Deism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    Hope it helps!

    *edit* Just so you know, your uncertainty? I greatly respect that. You've considered the options, aren't sure where you fall on the issue, and instead of defaulting to belief or disbelief simply because you think you have to, you've gone with unbelief (does not believe; incredulous, skeptical) which is a perfect acceptable position to take. So many people feel they have to choose one way or the other when it's perfectly acceptable and rational to say "damn, I dunno". Kudos to you. I know it's not a very satisfying place to be, psychologically speaking, but that's what makes it a position I respect. It's NOT easy to admit you don't have the answer. It's actually a sign of personal strength to admit that what you did - kudos.
    Last edited by bgi39jsjw0ggg; 26-Aug-2009 at 06:08.

  7. #7

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Point Blanch View Post
    If a plane is on a treadmill, and the treadmill platform is accelerating the same speed in the other direction as the plane, will it take off?!
    Well, kinda no, since lift is generated by the movement of air under the wing. Moving forward is what makes this possible, and the engines are there simply to move the plane forward. It IS possible to have a stationary plane lift up - you simply need high winds moving across the body.

    Ultimately, though, the problem is in the details. The wheels of the plane aren't responsible for the forward momentum - they're just there to provide contact with the ground and aren't powered. The engine will still cause the plane to move forward at basically its normal speed as if the treadmill weren't even there. The plane would not remain stationary, it would still go at its normal speed and take off. The minor pull backwards from the treadmill would barely be noticed by the plane moving forward. The propeller or turbine would still be putting the exact same amount of thrust on the air behind the plane, and much like how a rocket ship blasts off, would still be pushed forward.

    So, yes.

    Hope that helps!

  8. #8

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by bgi39jsjw0ggg View Post
    Well, kinda no, since lift is generated by the movement of air under the wing. Moving forward is what makes this possible, and the engines are there simply to move the plane forward. It IS possible to have a stationary plane lift up - you simply need high winds moving across the body.

    Ultimately, though, the problem is in the details. The wheels of the plane aren't responsible for the forward momentum - they're just there to provide contact with the ground and aren't powered. The engine will still cause the plane to move forward at basically its normal speed as if the treadmill weren't even there. The plane would not remain stationary, it would still go at its normal speed and take off. The minor pull backwards from the treadmill would barely be noticed by the plane moving forward. The propeller or turbine would still be putting the exact same amount of thrust on the air behind the plane, and much like how a rocket ship blasts off, would still be pushed forward.

    So, yes.

    Hope that helps!

    YouTube - Mythbusters - Plane on a Conveyor Belt

    that works a bit better. :P

  9. #9

    Default

    /me huggles the atheist. As you may well know Raccoon Orthodox requires people to be at peace with their own belief system... I frame my belief system as a monotheistic one because that is the viewpoint that makes me comfortable; so if atheism is right for you then that is what God would have you believe! Whatever belief system that works best for YOU is the one to embrace; so mote it be.

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Fire2box View Post
    Dang, I haven't been keeping up on my Mythbusters. I didn't even know they did this. Nice to have Adam and Jamie confirm what I said, tho

    Since you didn't ask a question, I'll have to assign one to you.

    Your question: Why does purple?

    Answer: Because otherwise, it would be green, and nobody wants that.

Similar Threads

  1. Are you a person of faith or are you an atheist?
    By Kovy in forum Mature Topics
    Replies: 59
    Last Post: 30-Oct-2008, 06:25

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
ADISC.org - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community.
ADISC.org is designed to be viewed in Firefox, with a resolution of at least 1280 x 1024.