A letter from an atheist to other atheists

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ScioVeritas
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A letter from an atheist to other atheists

Post #1

Post by ScioVeritas »

I came across this letter which was cited as being from an atheist to other atheist concerning the author's perceived understanding of the atheistic worldview. My question is to atheist - do you agree or disagree with his assessment? and why?

Here is the letter:

“[To] all my Atheist friends.
Let us stop sugar coating it. I know, it’s hard to come out and be blunt with the friendly Theists who frequent sites like this. However in your efforts to “play nice� and “be civil� you actually do them a great disservice.

We are Atheists. We believe that the Universe is a great uncaused, random accident. All life in the Universe past and future are the results of random chance acting on itself. While we acknowledge concepts like morality, politeness, civility seem to exist, we know they do not. Our highly evolved brains imagine that these things have a cause or a use, and they have in the past, they’ve allowed life to continue on this planet for a short blip of time. But make no mistake: all our dreams, loves, opinions, and desires are figments of our primordial imagination. They are fleeting electrical signals that fire across our synapses for a moment in time. They served some purpose in the past. They got us here. That’s it. All human achievement and plans for the future are the result of some ancient, evolved brain and accompanying chemical reactions that once served a survival purpose. Ex: I’ll marry and nurture children because my genes demand reproduction, I’ll create because creativity served a survival advantage to my ancient ape ancestors, I’ll build cities and laws because this allowed my ape grandfather time and peace to reproduce and protect his genes. My only directive is to obey my genes. Eat, sleep, reproduce, die. That is our bible.

We deride the Theists for having created myths and holy books. We imagine ourselves superior. But we too imagine there are reasons to obey laws, be polite, protect the weak etc. Rubbish. We are nurturing a new religion, one where we imagine that such conventions have any basis in reality. Have they allowed life to exist? Absolutely. But who cares? Outside of my greedy little gene’s need to reproduce, there is nothing in my world that stops me from killing you and reproducing with your wife. Only the fear that I might be incarcerated and thus be deprived of the opportunity to do the same with the next guy’s wife stops me.

Some of my Atheist friends have fooled themselves into acting like the general population. They live in suburban homes, drive Toyota Camrys, attend school plays. But underneath they know the truth. They are a bag of DNA whose only purpose is to make more of themselves. So be nice if you want. Be involved, have polite conversations, be a model citizen. Just be aware that while technically an Atheist, you are an inferior one. You’re just a little bit less evolved, that’s all.
When you are ready to join me, let me know, I’ll be reproducing with your wife.

I know it’s not PC to speak so bluntly about the ramifications of our beliefs, but in our discussions with Theists we sometimes tip toe around what we really know to be factual. Maybe it’s time we Atheists were a little more truthful and let the chips fall where they may. At least that’s what my genes are telling me to say.�

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Post #31

Post by Divine Insight »

Artie wrote:
In fact, if we allow survival of the species and procreation to be the guiding point of morality, then obviously being gay would be immoral because same sex couples can't procreate.
Since they can't procreate their genes will automatically be selected out of the gene pool.
Not only that but it would also be immoral for any heterosexual couples to choose to no have children! Or for anyone to even remain single.
If they don't have children their genes will automatically be selected out of the gene pool.
The mere existence of gays proves your theory wrong in any case.

Where did gay tendencies come from in the first place if they aren't conducive to evolution and survival? :-k

You wouldn't then have an explanation for gay attractions. So your theory breaks down already.

And why haven't the gays already been automatically selected out of the gene pool over the development of the human evolution?

I don't think any hypothesis that evolution is the sole driving force of everything humans do stands a chance at being valid. It's clearly not the case.

Moreover, you asked where your thinking could be dangerous. Well, if you are already viewing gay people as freaks of nature who will automatically be weeded out of the gene pool naturally anyway, then you already have a very dangerous mentality.

The type of thinking that you are proposing is very much along the lines of the thinking of Adolf Hitler already.

Let me put it this way, if you are looking for my vote to support your views on morality and evolution, you can forget it.
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Post #32

Post by Neatras »

Goat wrote: That might be so. However, if there is a behavior that is counter well being of the society, over time, it will be changed and filtered out. It just might be uncomfortable for some people
This is logical and intuitive when considering the fact that non-surviving cultures do not pass their trends on to future generations. However, it still decries the notion that a trend does not necessarily promote survival tendencies. Just as in biological mutations, some may be positive, some may be negative, and some may be neutral in terms of longevity and procreation. I don't see how one might try to contort all of history to justify the claim that every moral code necessarily includes a feasible impact on mortality and reproduction.

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Post #33

Post by Divine Insight »

Neatras wrote: ..., and some may be neutral in terms of longevity and procreation. I don't see how one might try to contort all of history to justify the claim that every moral code necessarily includes a feasible impact on mortality and reproduction.
Exactly.

Many traits and behaviors may be totally inert in terms of longevity or procreation. Therefore it is neither necessary or even wise to suggest that everything needs to be explained in terms of evolutionary pressures, etc.

Human morality can be, and most likely is, totally independent of any evolutionary pressure.

In fact, this can actually be shown to be the case can it not? After all, the vast majority of the animal kingdom doesn't exhibit any abstract notions of morality, and they, in fact, often behave in ways that humans would deem to be "immoral".

Therefore, evolution can't have anything at all to do with producing morality or even being the basis for morality.

Of course, humans could decide to use evolution and survival of the fittest as a foundation for their abstract concept of morality. But as we have already seen historically with Nazi Germany this typically doesn't result in behavior that most people would consider to be "moral".

So even the suggestion that evolution should be part of the moral equation seems to be a historically proven bad idea.

We'd be far better off just accepting that morality is a totally subjective opinionated view of individual humans, and attempt to seek as much consensus on morality as much as we can.

Also, I'm not even convinced that humanity needs the very concept of "morality".

We can have laws without proclaiming that they have anything to do with "morality".

We can make laws that it's illegal to kill someone without good reasons (i.e. self-defense, etc.) and laws against rape, etc. without any need to even suggest that these actions or behavior are "immoral".

All that needs to be said is that they are "illegal". Period.

The concept of morality doesn't even need to be part of the equation at all.

We can arrest people and incarcerate them for the safety of others without any need to proclaim that they are "immoral". They are simply criminal, and unsafe.

That's all that needs to be said.

If we want to look into the psychology of why they are criminal in behavior, that's fine. And if we decide that they actually enjoy hurting other people then we can either label them as being "immoral" or "mentally ill". Take your choice.
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Re: A letter from an atheist to other atheists

Post #34

Post by Haven »

[color=red]ScioVeritas[/color] wrote: I came across this letter which was cited as being from an atheist to other atheist concerning the author's perceived understanding of the atheistic worldview. My question is to atheist - do you agree or disagree with his assessment? and why?
Do you have a source for this? It honestly reads like a conservative Christian straw-person stereotype of an atheist, not like something an actual atheist would say.
[color=brown]ScioVeritas' source[/color] wrote:Here is the letter:

“[To] all my Atheist friends.
Let us stop sugar coating it. I know, it’s hard to come out and be blunt with the friendly Theists who frequent sites like this. However in your efforts to “play nice� and “be civil� you actually do them a great disservice.

We are Atheists. We believe that the Universe is a great uncaused, random accident.
No. Atheism is just the absence of belief in gods. It has nothing to do with the view that the universe is some type of random, uncaused accident (and what would "random" even mean in a state of existence where there's no probability; what would "accident" mean in a state of existence where there's no intent?).
[color=violet]ScioVeritas' source[/color] wrote:"All life in the Universe past and future are the results of random chance acting on itself."
No. Atheism is just the absence of god belief, and science refutes the idea that life exists due to "random chance." Abiogenesis and evolution are not caused by "random chance."
[color=orange]ScioVeritas' source[/color] wrote:"While we acknowledge concepts like morality, politeness, civility seem to exist, we know they do not. Our highly evolved brains imagine that these things have a cause or a use, and they have in the past, they’ve allowed life to continue on this planet for a short blip of time. But make no mistake: all our dreams, loves, opinions, and desires are figments of our primordial imagination. They are fleeting electrical signals that fire across our synapses for a moment in time. They served some purpose in the past. They got us here. That’s it.
This is fallacious on two levels:

1) It assumes that if something is a human construction it's therefore worthless, but there's no reason to believe this. For example, money is an entirely human construction, yet most of us sacrifice large parts of our lives in pursuit of it.

2) It assumes that subjective or emotive grounds can't serve as reasonable bases for morality, which is not only unsupported, it's absurd. Why are preferences any less important because they're subjective in origin? For instance, cultural values and traditions are entirely subjective and socially constructed, and yet they hold great personal importance to many (most?) people.
[color=olive]ScioVeritas' source[/color] wrote:All human achievement and plans for the future are the result of some ancient, evolved brain and accompanying chemical reactions that once served a survival purpose. Ex: I’ll marry and nurture children because my genes demand reproduction, I’ll create because creativity served a survival advantage to my ancient ape ancestors, I’ll build cities and laws because this allowed my ape grandfather time and peace to reproduce and protect his genes. My only directive is to obey my genes. Eat, sleep, reproduce, die. That is our bible.
This is the naturalistic fallacy: the erroneous assertion that because something is a certain way it should be that way. Evolution drives us to reproduce and hoard wealth, but there's no moral imperative to do so.

In addition, philosophies like absurdism address the apparent pointlessness of life in a succinct and surprisingly simple way: since life is objectively meaningless, one must create their own purpose. Where's the harm in that?
[color=darkred]ScioVeritas' source[/color] wrote:We deride the Theists for having created myths and holy books. We imagine ourselves superior. But we too imagine there are reasons to obey laws, be polite, protect the weak etc. Rubbish. We are nurturing a new religion, one where we imagine that such conventions have any basis in reality. Have they allowed life to exist? Absolutely. But who cares? Outside of my greedy little gene’s need to reproduce, there is nothing in my world that stops me from killing you and reproducing with your wife. Only the fear that I might be incarcerated and thus be deprived of the opportunity to do the same with the next guy’s wife stops me.
This is total nonsense.

I can't speak for other non-theists, but I'm kind to others and obey laws because my conscience would make me miserable if I did otherwise. I also have this thing called empathy which allows me to understand that harming another sentient being causes pain and that, since I wouldn't want to be in pain, I shouldn't hurt others. This is kindergarten-level ethics.

Also, on an evolutionary level, humans are social animals. Because of this, widespread murder would be evolutionarily disadvantageous because it would weaken group ties and make humans more susceptible to predation, starvation, and so on.
[color=darkblue]ScioVeritas' source[/color] wrote:Some of my Atheist friends have fooled themselves into acting like the general population. They live in suburban homes, drive Toyota Camrys, attend school plays. But underneath they know the truth. They are a bag of DNA whose only purpose is to make more of themselves. So be nice if you want. Be involved, have polite conversations, be a model citizen. Just be aware that while technically an Atheist, you are an inferior one. You’re just a little bit less evolved, that’s all.
When you are ready to join me, let me know, I’ll be reproducing with your wife.
What? Just what? I honestly don't understand what this person's point is. This has to be a conservative theist satire of atheism or some serious sarcasm.
[color=indigo]ScioVeritas' source[/color] wrote:I know it’s not PC to speak so bluntly about the ramifications of our beliefs, but in our discussions with Theists we sometimes tip toe around what we really know to be factual. Maybe it’s time we Atheists were a little more truthful and let the chips fall where they may. At least that’s what my genes are telling me to say.�
As I said earlier, this is either a conservative theist parodying atheism or an atheist applying a strong dose of sarcasm. Poe's Law comes to mind.
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Re: A letter from an atheist to other atheists

Post #35

Post by SkyChief »

Divine Insight wrote:
This was either written by one very sick "atheist" or it's definitely a dishonest scam created by dishonest theists.

I don't personally know of any atheists who would agree with the above quoted sentiment.
Spot on, D.I.

This was my impression after reading the first paragraph. This letter reeks of a scam letter by a dishonest theist.

The writer begs for concessions to be made by Atheists. He (she?) makes the claim that an Atheist is inferior to a Theist:
Just be aware that while technically an Atheist, you are an inferior one. You’re just a little bit less evolved, that’s all.
Thats a common misconception held by Theists. They think because they have the ability to believe in gods, they are somehow superior to Atheists.

Which is hogwash, of course.
We are nurturing a new religion, one where we imagine that such conventions have any basis in reality.
Here's another signature misconception that many Theists have. They believe that atheism is a religion. It most certainly is not. No real Atheist would make such a claim. IMO. O:)

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