Poly Weekly 228: Does poly cause atheism?

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Introduction and host chat

Intro, under-18 warning and re-direction to http://www.scarleteen.com; friend us on Twitter and answer questions about what you want on the show, call 206-202-POLY with comments or discuss your own topics at the forums.

Co-host
Our fabulous atheist expert cohost, Joreth. Her atheist writings are at http://joreth.livejournal.com/tag/atheism

Topic: Does poly lead to atheism/agnosticism/irreligion?

From the forums: are there other poly atheists/agnostics/irreligious out there, and how did they come to their beliefs?

Feedback: Cheating

Happy Poly Moment
Courtesy of CA Sizemore

Feedback
LeakyPen calls in with comments on several episodes; Amul suggests another word for “needing hugs”

Wrap-up

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Our intro and outro music is courtesy of Pacemaker Jane, “Good Suspicions.”

7 comments to Poly Weekly 228: Does poly cause atheism?

  • Broddhisatva

    PW#228 :
    Joreth makes an interesting point about belief about a subject (for example ‘faith’) meaning that inquiry on the subject ends; my main problem here is that atheism is, itself, a belief that limits discussion. In the absence of overwhelming evidence one way or another, the truly rational response is to say ‘I don’t know’, which is the agnostic viewpoint. Atheism is the denial of god, which is itself an affirmative statement belying a bias toward dismissing ideas or subjects that don’t resonate with one’s worldview.

    The Discordians say that “Convictions cause convicts.” Meaning, of course, that beliefs tend to imprison people psychologically. I tend to like this. For myself, I think that in the absence of clear evidence either way on a subject like deity (or UFO’s, or Abominable Snowmen, or Available Kinky Polyamorous Podcast Hosts, or whathaveyou) to say ‘I don’t know, but I have some ideas’ and, all else being equal, run with the idea that seems most fun.

    -B

  • bmben

    Broddhisatva, you are my f’ing hero. Discordians seperate! Fnord!!!

    Pantheist here. Agreed with everything you just said, but would like to include that the culture of Atheism is intolerant. Just check out some Christopher Hitchins, James Randi or Micheal Shermer. Richard Dawkins, their most vocal prophet, even had the temerity to call my faith “sexed up Atheism”. This from the guy who is most famous for stealing basic ideas from linguistics and rewriting it for evolutionary biologists, calling it his own. That’s right, memetics is about original as a homosexual Republican (ie, not unless you are stupid). Here is some linguistics for you, Pantheism- everything is god. Atheism- no god. Pantheism does not equal Atheism. Actually, they are linguistic and conceptual OPPOSITES!

    I don’t like the “these things are not to be explained” thing. I love all peoples positive beliefs, but I have to go with Kierkegaard with the idea that unquestioned faith is bad faith. The most fervent Christians (to just pick on a majority) are converts, thus usually having had those questions religions are supposed to be afraid of, and yet they brought them into the fold.

    Sorry. Degree in Comparative Religion and I seem to get into these battles a lot on the interwebs. Most of my friends are Atheists (damned philosophy department) and they agree with the intolerance of the talking heads listed above. PS. Debating a pop religious moron like Deepak Chopra against Dawkins, who I will now admit is a genius (I’m just bitter about the smug attitude,) does NOT lead to conclusive results.

    Last thing. No problem with Paganism, but I must admit that I suspect many of the people I find in the community are Pagan only for the fantasy element. Please argue with me. I know this might be shallow, ignorant and misguided, but I get frustrated with the “vampire people” at the fetish clubs (the ones who just want to dress up, not the ones with a real vampire fetish) and Pagan feels to be swinging that way (pun not intended.)

    New to the site. Love you!!!

  • [...] for fundamentalist, faith-based, and militant atheism in polyamorous circles, if responses to one controversial podcast provide any indication. What’s more important, though — i think — is that polyamorous [...]

  • Anyone who claims that atheism is a belief in the same vein as theism does not know the definition of atheism, nor does he understand atheists as people.

    • You might as well say that all adults who lack belief in Santa Claus have exactly the same sort of belief as children who do believe in Santa Claus. If you think atheism is the same thing, then I suggest you better start tithing to the Church of A-Leprechaunism, because your lack of belief in Leprechauns is just another belief that is equal to the belief IN leprechauns.

      Agnosticism is not separate from atheism and atheism is not a denial of gods. Most atheists ARE agnostics, and most agnostics ARE atheists, whether they use the labels or not. Agnosticism covers what we know and atheism covers what we believe. A person can say “I don’t know for certain, and I don’t think we CAN know for certain that Zeus exists, but I haven’t seen any evidence of it yet, so I’m just going to go without believing in him, even though I don’t know for sure.” That’s both agnosticism and atheism.

      A = “without” and theism = “belief in gods”. Nowhere in that is there an affirmative positive statement about there being no gods. It’s being WITHOUT gods, which everyone is to one degree or another. The atheist merely goes one more god further (or several, if you’re confronting a pantheist). There *are* individuals who make affirmative statements about there not being any gods, but that is not atheism, that is a subset of atheism called gnostic atheism, or anti-theism. Atheism does not require any such affirmative statement.

  • To be fair, I think Penn goes overboard at the end with “everyone is atheist” but it’s the difference between atheism & agnosticism part that makes the point I am trying to make.

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