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Skeptics rainbow

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Nara

Well-known member
Non-believers and free thinkers come in all sorts of varieties and dispositions. They cover the entire spectrum of any ideology one can think of, political, economical, professional, cultural, sexual orientation, etc. Not long ago Subbudu sir wrote about a great Indian atheist Goparaju Ramachandra, aka Gora. This gave me the idea to research and present the names of some famous and not-so-famous atheists in this thread.

I will start with two most recognizable names who are also the two top philanthropists in world history, (i) Warren Buffett ($30.7 billion) and (ii) Bill Gates ($29 billion).

Warren Buffett:
From "Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist", by Roger Lowenstein, page 13.
"He did not subscribe to his family’s religion. Even at a young age he was too mathematical, too logical, to make the leap of faith. He adopted his father’s ethical underpinnings, but not his belief in an unseen divinity.”

Bill Gates:
From an interview by David Frost PBS (November 1995)
Frost: Do you believe in the Sermon on the Mount?

Gates: I don't. I'm not somebody who goes to church on a regular basis. The specific elements of Christianity are not something I'm a huge believer in. There's a lot of merit in the moral aspects of religion. I think it can have a very very positive impact.


Frost: I sometimes say to people, do you believe there is a god, or do you know there is a god? And, you'd say you don't know?

Gates: In terms of doing things I take a fairly scientific approach to why things happen and how they happen. I don't know if there's a god or not, but I think religious principles are quite valid.

To me it is kind of puzzling to note that Gates says he does not believe in the Sermon on the Mount -- the few places in Bible that are clearly moral -- and yet he says there is lot of merit in the moral aspects of religion. Perhaps he is saying that he rejects the historicity of the SOM, but likes the moral principles enshrined in it.

Cheers!
 
OP
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
The next one is a world renowned astrophysicist. NASA named their X-ray observatory after him. A Nobel laureate with a very familiar name, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.

Please take a look at the transcript of this interview he gave in 1987, here. About 60% of the way down (or search for "atheist"), talking about a colleague of his, Chandra says,

"Of course, he knew I was an atheist, and he never brought up the subject with me.
"

It is interesting to observe that if this self-proclaimed atheist were to join this forum and express this view under a moniker, he would be termed a self-loathing brahmin, foreigner-worshipping Indian, immature, childlike, and would have been given the middle finger as a matter of duty ordained by BG and thrown to the dogs -- all the while attracting loads of "Likes" from the jalra caucus.

:) or should I say LOL?

Cheers!
 
OP
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
From one physicist atheist of the modern era (Chandra) to a pair of ancient physicists and confirmed atheists -- a pair among the earliest ones in recorded human history -- Leucippus and his pupil Democritus.

These two pre-Socrates free thinkers theorized a world made up of atoms. To them the world was spheroid, there were many worlds and many suns, and that all things manifest in nature were comprised of atoms bound together.

Atheism even in those early times promoted natural justice and compassion. Democritus wanted governments to aid the poor. He appealed to the rich to be generous. He was for a heavy dose of estate tax as he thought hoarding wealth to be left behind for children is a mark of greed.

Some of what I read about him was amazing, he advocated contentment, free of envy or admiration, free of over indulgence -- one may see some similarities with the teachings of BG sans religiosity and faith.

Democritus it seems was known as the "Laughing Philosopher," indicative of his scoffing rejection of faith and gods.

Please take a moment and read about these two great free thinkers here and here.

Cheers!
 
OP
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
The next Atheist I want to present is Linus Pauling. Here is a piece of trivia about him from this wiki article:

"Pauling is one of only four individuals to have won more than one Nobel Prize. He is one of only two people awarded Nobel Prizes in different fields (the Chemistry and Peace prizes), the other being Marie Curie (the Chemistry and Physics prizes), and the only person awarded two unshared prizes."


While his Chemistry was much heralded, his activism was a source of lot of controversy. He was one of the leading peace activists of his time. His tireless work to end nuclear weapons testing, production and use of nuclear weapons, and wars in general as a means to settle political conflict, earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.

However, this activism also earned him the wrath of the establishment. He was accused of being a Communist sympathizer. The U.S. Senate characterized him

"the number one scientific name in virtually every major activity of the Communist peace offensive in this country",

and the US State Department cancelled his passport.

Linus Pauling, my atheist hero today ....

Cheers!
 

suraju06

Well-known member
A Nobel laureate with a very familiar name, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.....
.........................It is interesting to observe that if this self-proclaimed atheist were to join this forum and express this view under a moniker, he would be termed a self-loathing brahmin, foreigner-worshipping Indian, immature, childlike, and would have been given the middle finger as a matter of duty ordained by BG and thrown to the dogs -- all the while attracting loads of "Likes" from the jalra caucus.

:) or should I say LOL?

He would be certainly termed a self-loathing brahmin -- yes if every now and then he kept making fun of brahmins, coined a term "brahminism" and credited it with everything stupid without end, called brahmins names like lazybones, pot-bellied idiots etc, quoted from some weird personal experience with some seer about the queer practices followed by his followers as if they represent the entire brahmin community's culture etc.

Brahmins here have no hesitation or fear whatsoever about calling a spade a spade.

He would be called a foreigner worshipping Indian--If he worships undeserving foreigners.

"the middle finger" -- we will not comment about this as we have no obsession with any specific part of human anatomy.

If "likes" can be called pat from the jalra caucus, there are more than one such caucus here and many members have received such a pat.
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Today's featured Atheist is a well known freedom fighter, a revolutionary, and an inspirational figure to many Indians young and old, theists and skeptics -- Bhagat Singh. Just four days before he was to be executed, a friend of his visited him in prison with a petition of clemency for Bhagat Singh to sign, but he refused.

Many theists say in their conceit there are no atheists in a foxhole. Bhagat Singh proved them wrong. From his death row cell he wrote a pamphlet with the title, "Why I am an Atheist". Here are some stirring words of his from the pamphlet:

".....But what am I to expect? I know the moment the rope is fitted round my neck and rafters removed, from under my feet. That will be the final moment, that will be the last moment. I, or to be more precise, my soul, as interpreted in the metaphysical terminology, shall all be finished there. Nothing further."

"A short life of struggle with no such magnificent end, shall in itself be the reward if I have the courage to take it in that light. That is all. With no selfish motive, or desire to be awarded here or hereafter, quite disinterestedly have I devoted my life to the cause of independence, because I could not do otherwise. The day we find a great number of men and women with this psychology who cannot devote themselves to anything else than the service of mankind and emancipation of the suffering humanity; that day shall inaugurate the era of liberty."



Cheers!
 

sangom

Well-known member
Today's featured Atheist is a well known freedom fighter, a revolutionary, and an inspirational figure to many Indians young and old, theists and skeptics -- Bhagat Singh. Just four days before he was to be executed, a friend of his visited him in prison with a petition of clemency for Bhagat Singh to sign, but he refused.

Many theists say in their conceit there are no atheists in a foxhole. Bhagat Singh proved them wrong. From his death row cell he wrote a pamphlet with the title, "Why I am an Atheist". Here are some stirring words of his from the pamphlet:

".....But what am I to expect? I know the moment the rope is fitted round my neck and rafters removed, from under my feet. That will be the final moment, that will be the last moment. I, or to be more precise, my soul, as interpreted in the metaphysical terminology, shall all be finished there. Nothing further."

"A short life of struggle with no such magnificent end, shall in itself be the reward if I have the courage to take it in that light. That is all. With no selfish motive, or desire to be awarded here or hereafter, quite disinterestedly have I devoted my life to the cause of independence, because I could not do otherwise. The day we find a great number of men and women with this psychology who cannot devote themselves to anything else than the service of mankind and emancipation of the suffering humanity; that day shall inaugurate the era of liberty."



Cheers!

Dear Shri Nara,

I was thinking that I will not post anything more in this forum, but was seeing your threads. These lines from Shri Bhagat Singh makes him look much above the so-called Rishis propounding Upanishadic secrets to "understand" Iswara (as one self-acclaimed brahmin here says), or to Brahman itself.

I bow down to Bhagat Singh out of deep reverence and my head hangs down also due to shame on what his motherland has been made now!
 
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tks

Well-known member
These lines from Shri Bhagat Singh makes him look much above the so-called Rishis propounding Upanishadic secrets to "understand" Iswara (as one self-acclaimed brahmin here says), or to Brahman itself.

I am reminded of a delightful Zen story

Here it is
icon7.png


"Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"
"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"
 

ShivKC

Active member
{{{""Non-believers and free thinkers come in all sorts of varieties and dispositions"".}}}


in a situation where atheists are so blind folded to rely only physical proof, than trying out many other modes like logics, reasoning, philosophy etc etc, i wonder if , atheists are really free thinkers or Non-thinkers?
 
OP
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Today I would like to feature two of the most unlikeliest of athiests, Savarkar and Jinnah. These two non-believers nurtured and used religious sentiments to promote their own political agenda.

Between these two, Savarkar is a self-professed atheist, but, nevertheless, is more of an unlikely atheist, because, he was once president of Hindu Mahasabha (talk about atheists being trustees of temples!) and was the original proponent of the Hindutva ideology. This ideology required all Muslims to live under a single country, in a one-man-one-vote system where the "Hindu" cultural norms predominated. Some may like this outlook, and others may not.

Many of secular disposition, obviously, rejected this view. In this Rediff interview Bipin Chandra, a renowned and pro-communist historian says the following:

People did not realise it was not important who Gandhiji's assassin was. It was Savarkar and Golwarkar who declared Gandhi as anti-Hindu. They carried out a campaign that Gandhi was anti-national and anti-Hindu and that he was a lover of Islam and wanted India Islamised, his non-violence meant disarming the Hindus.




Jinnah's case is not very clear cut. He did not declare his religious beliefs openly. But, Ibn Warraq, a Pakistani atheist asserts he was an atheist. Here is an excerpt from one of his articles.

It is ironic that Pakistan which was created for the Muslims of India should have as its founder, Jinnah, who was an atheist. Educated in England, Jinnah had acquired decidedly un-Islamic tastes for alcohol, and pork. In the last speech that he ever gave, Jinnah clearly envisages a secular future for the newly created state. In his presidential address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, August 11, 1947, Jinnah said:

“We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on, will vanish. Indeed if you ask me, this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain the freedom and independence and but for this we would have been free people long long ago.

[...]

“Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”



What a contrast between Savarkar and Jinnah. Savarkar wanted to thrust Hindutva upon everyone. Jinnah advocated unity in the public sphere,one in which not just Hindus will cease to be Hindus, but Muslims will cease to be Muslims as well.

The vision of both of these atheists was rejected by the two respective nations -- fortunately for India, and unfortunately for Pakistan.

Cheers!
 
OP
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Atheist trivia --

There are six atheist ministers in MMS's cabinet. They are A K Antony, P Chidambaram, Sushil Kumar Shinde, M Veerappa Moily, S Jaipal Reddy and C P Joshi.

Source: UPA ministry quick facts
 
OP
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Today I want to present a poem that has come to be known as some sort of unofficial atheist anthem. It is a lovely song, enjoyable to even theists. It is by John Lennon. Click here for the video. Lyrics below from here.

(Note the last line: I hope someday you'll join us, And the world will live as one -- nice :)).

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one
 

ShivKC

Active member
It is by John Lennon. Click here for the video. Lyrics below from here.


Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can


me too feel the same.. I wonder if you (atheists) can!!
hope some day, you'll join us..

Yamaka!!! my larynx is resonating at 160 Decibels.
 

DrBarani

New member
me too feel the same.. I wonder if you (atheists) can!!
hope some day, you'll join us..

Yamaka!!! my larynx is resonating at 160 Decibels.

Well, you can see the rainbow but it doesn't really exist, it is a play of light scattered by water molecules on our eyes, much like the mirage in deserts.

You can "see the sky", but really no such thing as "sky" that can be felt, bounded or defined precisely.

That is the point. There are things that you can see which really don't exist. There are things that you can't see which really exist.
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
How many eminent personalities who have declared themselves as Atheist in front of this world, really have/had believe in GOD, personally concealed within them for long? OR at least during getting close to their death?

Is there any proof of what they say/said in the public is the fact of their conscious? Can the facts about one's belief in GOD within their consciousness can ever be proved?




 
OP
OP
Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Today I want to present a Persian skeptic and a free thinker, Muhammad ibn Zakariya Razi (August 26, 865 - 925). The Wiki article about him states he is probably the greatest and most original of all the physicians...

There are many great discoveries attributed to him, please refer to the Wiki article, but one quote drew my attention that spoke to his humanity. This one is about ethics in medical care.

"The doctor's aim is to do good, even to our enemies, so much more to our friends, and my profession forbids us to do harm to our kindred, as it is instituted for the benefit and welfare of the human race, and God imposed on physicians the oath not to compose mortiferous remedies."


I know that the theist friends may cease on the reference to God in the above quote, but, Razi did not mean anything more than an idiom, and his god cannot be anything more than the god of a Deist at best will become clear when you read the following quotes of his on religion.

"If the people of this religion are asked about the proof for the soundness of their religion, they flare up, get angry and spill the blood of whoever confronts them with this question. They forbid rational speculation, and strive to kill their adversaries. This is why truth became thoroughly silenced and concealed."
[SUP]

[/SUP]
Here I am reminded of Rama flaring up against Jabali that put him in his place, if Jabali had not backed down would his head have been safe?

Here is another interesting quote:

"From the beginning of the human history, all of those who claimed to be prophets were, in his worst assumption, tortuous and devious and with his best assumption had psychological problems"


Among the books he wrote on religion are:[SUP]
[/SUP]
  • The Prophets' Fraudulent Tricks
  • The Stratagems of Those Who Claim to Be Prophets
  • On the Refutation of Revealed Religions
Razi surely lived during a time when Islam was making serious inroads into Persia. From a Persian friend I gather Razi would have had no problem saying such things even about 30 years ago, but now of course he couldn't live past the first of his blasphemies about the prophet whose name must not be uttered without showering upon him sufficient amount of peace.

Cheers!
 
OP
OP
Nara

Nara

Well-known member
I would like to present a thespian atheist today -- Katharine Hepburn. She had a long career, on stage and in big and small screens. She won a record four Best Actress Oscars out of 12 nominations, not equaled to date. In 1999, the American Film Institute named her the greatest female star in the history of American cinema.

Here is what she said on The Dick Cavett Show in 1973, about her own religious beliefs,

"I am an atheist and that's it. I believe there's nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people."


By now the common thread among atheists must be apparent, they all put emphasis on being kind and compassionate to one another.

Cheers!
 

nachi naga

Well-known member
nara
By now the common thread among atheists must be apparent, they all put emphasis on being kind and compassionate to one another.

finally you wrote the truth.god loving people belief system is personal.atheist disrespect god loving people,at least in my personal experiance.being kind compassionate is a virtue of the noble,regardless of ones personal faith.
 

sangom

Well-known member
The believers in God are like "covered by insurance" in my view. They will do any unworthy or even heinous act but then take the name of God and say like "Sarvam Krishnaarpanam astu" and will feel completely guilt-free. (We can see this in the posts by some of the brahminists - not all - here in this forum itself; they will write anything and then sign off as though they have defeated the atheist groups!).

While in Kanpur, I have heard second-hand reports from respectable people about some people committing murder, taking the corpse, disfiguring its face and throwing it in Ganges. It seems they do this post-murder steps towards midnight and then take some fixed number of "dips" in that river itself, shouting "Jai Gangaa maiyaa". That makes them psychologically guilt-free.


Atheists and agnostics, on the contrary, have no such "insurance" or "remission of sin by God or Ganga" coming to their psychological rescue. So, they have to take full responsibility for all their acts. Hence they will be more careful and restrained in their acts.

The old Tamil film "Krishnabhakti" with P.U. Chinnappa, has an opening sequence which graphically describes the Bhakti way of looking at one's own sins.
 

sangom

Well-known member
Today I want to present a poem that has come to be known as some sort of unofficial atheist anthem. It is a lovely song, enjoyable to even theists. It is by John Lennon. Click here for the video. Lyrics below from here.

(Note the last line: I hope someday you'll join us, And the world will live as one -- nice :)).

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Dear Nara,

I do not think, nor do I want, the above union and the "live as one" utopia to fructify. To me it appears that Sankara's advaita essentially promotes agnosticism. And to me it is enough if we get what many other agnostics got in their after-life. But all I ask is the freedom to express our views and dissent when warranted.
 
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OP
Nara

Nara

Well-known member
....I do not think, nor do I want, the above union and the "live as one" utopia to fructify.
Talking about utopia, our next atheist is probably the most in-your-face kind. He says if there is god, then the dominion under this god will be like North Korea, with the dear leader controlling everything and telling you what to do and what to think.

He then deadpans, at least in death the North Koreans will be free of their dear leader, but if you are in the celestial paradise of god, there is no escape, ever.

He likes to say he is more than an atheist, he is an anti-theist. If there is a god he says he would be against him.

He is Christopher Hitchens who wrote a classic book with the title "God Is Not Great" with an equally provocative subtitle, "How Religion Poisons Everything".

Heavy smoker and drinker, was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus, a rare kind with not too great a prognosis. He is undergoing chemo. He has given some honest and poignant interviews while in treatment.


To me it appears that Sankara's advaita essentially promotes agnosticism.
That would be the view of a minority of o-n-e I think. In as much as agnosticism is firm conviction of indeterminacy of brhman, advaitam, being a definitive view of brhman, cannot be or promote agnosticism, no?

Cheers!
 
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