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Does being an Atheist make you closed minded? [Answered: NO]


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Dark energy and dark matter have never been proven, in the lab, to be real. These two things are inferred from large scale affects in the universe, which can't be explained using only the current assumptions of how the universe works.

 

How does this differ from someone saying the finger of God does this? This finger of God can't be proven in the lab,either. They both have that in common. But both can be inferred by an affect,that the current theory can not explain.

 

No one has (yet) posited the finger of god explanation and from that hypothesis produced other predictions (which are amenable to observation by disinterested sceptics) that follow from the prediction.

 

Stars orbit galaxies at an unexpected speed/radius (over-simplified) therefore GOD is a full stop. God doesn't need to follow up on one intervention with others which a reasonable man might expect

 

Stars orbit galaxies at an unexpected speed/radius (over-simplified) therefore we might be missing some mass that does not interact electromagnetically; if that is the case then we should be able to see this through altered galactic gravitational lensing (check), differential speed of normal/dark matter after nebula collision (check), filaments of dark matter in otherwise empty voids (check) ....

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The dictionary definition of closed minded -- having a mind firmly unreceptive to new ideas or arguments -- seems to be the antithesis of the scientific mind, which has to be open to new ideas and arg

Stereotypes are often accurate.

1) I haven't mentioned my beliefs, so I'm not sure how this applies.   2) My beliefs are irrelevant. I would have taken you to task if you've made the same bigoted statements about Christians, Jews

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I'm more agnostic than atheist, irreligious agnostic, but I'm not giving any arguments that could be used to defend Christianity. I know from experience that highly religious/spiritual people fear us, and it's probably because of religion. I'm not sure about the person(s) who intimidated me etc. Maybe fear and hate are connected, but regardless I would much rather be hated than feared. I don't support religion, however closed-minded that may seem. It would seem self-defeating to do so.

Edited by MonDie
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One difference is that science won't mind if Dark energy is shown to be wrong. OK, it will irritate some people for a while- until they get over having found out they were mistaken-, but that will be true whether they are theists or not.

 

I am a conceptual modeler. This means I look at the foundation premises that support theory. Dark energy and matter are needed because the existing foundation cannot support some of the latest observational data. Dark matter and energy is needed to sister up some of the support structure, so they can continue to build. These claims can't be wrong or else any rational person will condemn adding more weight to a structure that has been compromised. It is like a building that was designed for two stories but they wish to add a third. This is an accident waiting to happen unless they sure up the foundation.

 

I used the finger of God as an example of parallel inference so one can better see the detachment that is hoped will sure things up.

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Actually, the most blatant (sexual) harassment (hate) I faced was probably about percieved sexual deviance. It all gets so confusing. I just kept thinking "Don't run me over!"

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I am a conceptual modeler. This means I look at the foundation premises that support theory. Dark energy and matter are needed because the existing foundation cannot support some of the latest observational data. Dark matter and energy is needed to sister up some of the support structure, so they can continue to build. These claims can't be wrong or else any rational person will condemn adding more weight to a structure that has been compromised. It is like a building that was designed for two stories but they wish to add a third. This is an accident waiting to happen unless they sure up the foundation.

 

I used the finger of God as an example of parallel inference so one can better see the detachment that is hoped will sure things up.

The problem there is that the "finger of God" has absolutely no foundation to shore it up.

It's possible that some other explanation might be found for the observations of, for example the rotation rates of galaxies; possibly another force with rather odd scaling factors.

The difference between science and religion is that when science realises it is "wrong" in that it's model fails to explain something, science thinks "Goody! An opportunity to improve". On the other hand religion takes the view that it is better not to look through the telescope- nor let anyone else do so, lest you find out that the dogma is wrong.

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I think Atheists are more open minded than Theists. Most religious people I know are dangerously close-minded. On the other hand, Atheists, because they think independently, can think outside the box and give rise to great minds.

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"Do you lose some of that spark of "human imagination/freedom of thought" once you state yourself an Atheist, only believing in what you can prove?"

 

I suspect you lose this whenever you call yourself anything. It's like digging a hole and jumping in. There is no doubt in my mind that most avid atheists are not adventurous or even honest thinkers, but then this seems true for most avid theists as well.

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The problem, of course, is that saying someone is an atheist provides next to zero descriptive information about the person. The label atheist is not informative about anything about the individual except the single issue that they don't accept as valid the tortured idea of all-powerful deities.

 

That's it.

 

You have no further information about the type of person they are, how they think or reason, or anything else, really.

 

Suggestions about a persons level of adventurism or honesty based solely on the knowledge that they don't believe in god or gods are the epitome of a baseless and unfounded assertion.

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Atheism is the default stance. You must choose actively a God to believe in to be a theist. To be an atheist you don't need to decide on anything, it is just as you were born, it is not a choice it is the lack of a choice.

 

Given the above to be true, then we can say that atheists are more open minded than theists.

 

Theists have chosen their God in which to believe, there are many kinds, most theists with different gods disagree with one another, closing their mind to others beliefs possibly being true. Limiting the openness of their mind to only 1 possibility.

 

Atheists however haven't chosen a belief, they are open to any one of the possibilities being correct, they're open to possibilities no one has even thought of yet.

 

Beliefs held despite the absence of evidence are closed minded. Being of no belief yet open to consider all possibilities and even accept those which have convincing evidence is the definition of open minded.

 

In response to insinuating that stating a position (or non position) somehow changes the reality of it:

 

I'm fairly certain that if someone who couldn't ride a bike never called himself an "acyclist", he still wouldn't suddenly magically know how to ride a bike.

 

Just as an atheist need never "STATE" they are such, because that is what everyone is until they choose a god to believe in.

 

Being an atheist doesn't limit your imagination or the possibilities, as shown above it's the opposite of that, theism does. Being atheist just means you don't believe in god (whichever one(s) or what ever that might be).

Edited by Sorcerer
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Atheist

Is there some kind of god? - No / I don't know

 

Christian Theist

Is there some kind of god? - yes - Did he inspire The Bible? - yes - Was he incarnated as Jesus to take away your sins? - yes - Does he answer your prayers or talk to you? - yes

 

Oddly enough, you don't get a whole lot of inbetween.

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After 5 pages i think it may be time to conclude that the answer to the question posed in the thread's title is simply "no" and close the thread.

(someone might want to edit it so the title says "closed minded" rather than "close minded"; it refers to a state where the mind is not open rather than one that is near)

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Atheist

Is there some kind of god? - No / I don't know

 

Christian Theist

Is there some kind of god? - yes - Did he inspire The Bible? - yes - Was he incarnated as Jesus to take away your sins? - yes - Does he answer your prayers or talk to you? - yes

 

Oddly enough, you don't get a whole lot of inbetween.

 

In discussions here this is usually true, but generally I would disagree. I would suggest that the truth lies in-between. This argument between the extreme views on both sides is not very interesting and history shows that it is not productive.

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The problem there is that the "finger of God" has absolutely no foundation to shore it up.

It's possible that some other explanation might be found for the observations of, for example the rotation rates of galaxies; possibly another force with rather odd scaling factors.

The difference between science and religion is that when science realises it is "wrong" in that it's model fails to explain something, science thinks "Goody! An opportunity to improve". On the other hand religion takes the view that it is better not to look through the telescope- nor let anyone else do so, lest you find out that the dogma is wrong.

 

If you look at the concept of space-time it is based on the union of two mental abstracts. Time, for example, is not considered a substance or a potential, but only an abstraction. We can't save time in a bottle or use time to do work. When gravity bends space-time nothing tangible is actually bending. Only an abstraction bends therefore the bending occur only in the imagination or on paper. We use this abstraction as a placeholder for the imagination so we can model reality..Religion does the same thing.

 

Space-time is often represented as a fabric. The fabric analogy helps the intangible appear more tangible. Let us start with this fabric of space-time and separate the weave into separate threads of space and separate threads of time. Separated threads allows us to follow a time thread independent of space, or a space thread independent of time. The former allows us to know the history (passage of time) for the universe, simultaneously, since it is not dependent space; omniscience. If we follow a space thread independent on time, we can be anywhere in the universe in zero time; omnipresence. These are two attributes that have historically been attributed to God. It appears space-time was reversed engineered from religious concepts. The intersection of space and time to begin the weave of the fabric defines a limiting case where omnipresence and omniscience limit each other; BB universe.

 

If you look at a fabric there are always short lengths of pure threads between intersection points; below. The intersections of space and time are separated giving us a quantum universe, between which are segments of pure time and/or space threads. This composite was historically attributed to the two entangled realms; material and spiritual. The spiritual realm of pure threads is where the whim of the gods; randomness, impacts the material realm. It is random only in the material realm where time and space are self limiting.

 

 

 

twillweave.gif

 

Acceleration due to forces of nature is d/t/t . Force and acceleration imply a fabric woven with two parts time threads and one part space threads. If we begin with space-time to be consistent, then acceleration and therefore force is due to extra time embroidered into the fabric of space-time.

 

d2af716ea57a20a963939cbbffb83e06.jpg

Edited by puppypower
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If you look at the concept of space-time it is based on the union of two mental abstracts. Time, for example, is not considered a substance or a potential, but only an abstraction. We can't save time in a bottle or use time to do work. When gravity bends space-time nothing tangible is actually bending. Only an abstraction bends therefore the bending occur only in the imagination or on paper. We use this abstraction as a placeholder for the imagination so we can model reality..Religion does the same thing.

 

 

 

And then religion just makes s*** up.

Specifically, it makes stuff up in accordance with an old book.

So, only stuff consistent with the the old book is permitted.

Their minds are closed to anything outside the old book.

Now, that's all very well, but I have to accept that technically, it has nothing to do with the topic.

It does give evidence of closed mindedness among a group who are not atheists, but that doesn't tell you anything about atheists per se.

 

Do you have anything to say about whether or not atheism makes people closed minded?

Edited by John Cuthber
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If you look at the concept of space-time it is based on the union of two mental abstracts. Time, for example, is not considered a substance or a potential, but only an abstraction. We can't save time in a bottle or use time to do work. When gravity bends space-time nothing tangible is actually bending. Only an abstraction bends therefore the bending occur only in the imagination or on paper. We use this abstraction as a placeholder for the imagination so we can model reality..Religion does the same thing.

God is not treated as an "abstraction" by people who believe in him/her/it. God is a specific entity with a name (Jesus, Krishna, Apollo, Buddha, Zeus, etc) and a laundry list of human like thoughts and judgements. No scientist or atheist claims the "abstraction" that is time has an opinion about the universe, an awareness of itself, or power over anything. By definition God is an individual. You are attempting to broaden the definition of God out into a vagueness that is not applicable to this conversation.

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Being closed minded is a result of not being open minded; not a result of one’s attitude towards a deity.

 

Deciding your belief is correct, no matter what, constitutes a closed mind; an attitude that’s shared by both, atheist and theist, sometimes.

 

People are people, much like a dog is a dog, and while we may flatter ourselves that we are more important; dogs have an equal claim on that importance, anything else is closed minded.

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Deciding your belief is correct, no matter what, constitutes a closed mind; an attitude that’s shared by both, atheist and theist, sometimes.

 

What about deciding your lack of belief is the best default until evidence supports something specific?

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What about deciding your lack of belief is the best default until evidence supports something specific?

I think he was alluding to the danger of having absolute certainty in knowledge, even that backed by good evidence, to the point where it delays or even prevents acceptance of an alternative. Fortunately however most rational scientists will eventually be swayed to accept the new view, which should only be seen as a better model/theory, more accurately describing reality, but not blindly accepted as a 100% perfect description that can never change, or even not contain a possibility of being 100% incorrect.

 

The comparison on religion I don't think was made on the point of the existence of God, but rather the extra beliefs that are attached. For instance some religious people will hold on with fanaticism to the idea that God has condoned the use of murder for a "crime" as simple as a lack of belief in said god. While simultaneously agreeing god has commanded they shall not kill. And when confronted either stare in bewildered cognitive dissonance as the sound of a strong breeze passes between their ears or concoct some suitable 5 course word meal seasoned with enough logical fallacies to teach Sunday school. And that's if you're lucky, most likely they'll just torture and murder you.

 

The best default is indeed that which holds no firm conviction but yet isn't closed to consider, create and investigate possibilities. It is however important to be able to discriminate between the many unknowns and lend your energy to those with merit. Waiting to be fed the answers by authority limits the ability to question for having lack of practice.

 

It is not necessary to be theist to think vaccines cause autism or that global warming is a hoax or that smoking isn't bad for you. In these cases the default stance of no opinion shouldn't continue and normally isn't even known prior to the supposed answer being introduced and the question only coming later. People need to be able to decide between real things which can be seen when simplified as a dichotomy.

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It is not necessary to be theist to think vaccines cause autism or that global warming is a hoax or that smoking isn't bad for you.

 

No, but it's necessary to react emotionally first, then allow your fears to have more influence on your decisions than your reasoning. This insures that you remain in ignorance, confirming your own biases, with no mechanism for improving objectivity.

 

Many people use strong emotion when they find their knowledge lacking. Theists who are also anti-vac, AGW-denying tobacco defenders are just a subset of a broader group with a heart default instead of a head default.

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No, but it's necessary to react emotionally first, then allow your fears to have more influence on your decisions than your reasoning. This insures that you remain in ignorance, confirming your own biases, with no mechanism for improving objectivity.

 

Many people use strong emotion when they find their knowledge lacking. Theists who are also anti-vac, AGW-denying tobacco defenders are just a subset of a broader group with a heart default instead of a head default.

In many ways yes, but we must remember our knowledge is almost always taught to us backwards thus without active questioning preventing any attempt to consider the opposing answer.

 

For instance I was told young that smoking is bad for people's health. That was just stated as true, if it wasn't true I would've accepted it for years until I decided to question it.

 

I was never posed the question, "is smoking bad for you?" I was never given a chance to begin with I don't know. I was never given any information about how it's bad for you until many years later. Any questions I asked were returned circularly "why is smoking bad for you?", "because it damages your health". Most likely because the topic of cancer and death was thought to be beyond me... IMO a ridiculous taboo, probably resulting from ones inherently internal fear of death.

 

So like religious dogma I was doomed to accept blindly smoking is bad for you as true. I could have been told the opposite.

 

Anyway I'm off to have a smoke because someone once told me being a rebel is cool. Pity they never posed it as a question.

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In many ways yes, but we must remember our knowledge is almost always taught to us backwards thus without active questioning preventing any attempt to consider the opposing answer.

 

Most people learn the basics and thus give themselves a framework with which to judge future circumstances, before they start questioning this knowledge. If you start questioning before you grasp those basics, you can't possibly understand when the opposing answer you're attempting to consider is trivially wrong. It seems "backwards" to you.

 

Some people mistakenly consider themselves capable of thinking outside the box before they ever learn what's in the box. They spend valuable time fooling themselves when they could be learning.

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It's true what you say, but I consider rote learning to be risky in that it is essentially the same as dogma. Of course most schools teach correct, or atleast correct when simplified, facts by rote, the important information which should be taught is how things work and how those mechanisms are linked and interact between various field of study.

 

It's fine knowing what an aeroplane is and being able to recall the various names of parts and the names of the forces. But the names are actually the least important part. If you forget a wing is called a wing and lift is called lift, but can describe how faster air is lower pressure than slower moving air and that creates a force that's more important.

 

Or take cell biology, most final year highschool bio classes will have you memorise all the cell organelles and their normal positions and even briefly their functions. But linking together all those processes into a unit which provides self sustained metabolism isn't considered necessary. The names take first importance, when its the functions and interaction that are of primary importance.

Edited by Sorcerer
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Or take cell biology, most final year highschool bio classes will have you memorise all the cell organelles and their normal positions and even briefly their functions. But linking together all those processes into a unit which provides self sustained metabolism isn't considered necessary. The names take first importance, when its the functions and interaction that are of primary importance.

How else could you teach it?

One thingy does this, some other thingy does that and a third thingy does the other?

You need names for the bits.

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