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Thread: Philosophy of atheism/skepticism/naturalism vs theism/spirituality/religion

  1. #1 Philosophy of atheism/skepticism/naturalism vs theism/spirituality/religion 
    Forum Bachelors Degree Shaderwolf's Avatar
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    I want to inspect the ideas of atheism vs. theism objectively. I would like to write as close to an unbiased paper on the current status of the subject of the two conflicting matters as is possible. One of my favorite pastimes is to watch debates on subjects such as this. I've found that most of them even in the best discussions get stuck between arguing parties using circular logic ignoring many of the more effective points the other party makes.

    Rules in the discussion:

    (Boldused for ease of reading as result of lengthy post)

    1- We all have opinions. We shouldstate them, and also outline what we seeas possible weaknesses to our own arguments countering them in advance asto mitigate the useless back and forth arguments people usually get into onthese subjects.

    2- Give evidence or reasoning foryour statements and be prepared to respectfully provide response to a rebuttal of even your most airtight argument. Provide either evidence or a description of why your reasoning is sound. Realizethat in some cases, two people interpret the same sentence differently having grown up with different definitions and preconceptions for words like"nothing" "religion" "God" "Atheism"Be ready to both correct and accept the definitions other people use for thesewords, and keep this in mind when reading statements. Try to predict misunderstandings and provide your personal definition for a possibly confusing word in your opening statement.

    3- We should all be decently intelligent or at least be striving to be if youspecifically searched google for "TheScienceForum" Realize that we all realize that by definition of “God” thequestion “Does a God exist" cannotbe answered with a yes or no definitively

    4- “semantics” only matter to the point ofunderstanding. As I said, we may have different definitions for the samewords based on our backgrounds. If misunderstanding has occurred, respond by providing a more specific definition for the word. Don’t get stuck on this. Words transfer data. The data transfer being accurate is all that matters.
    5- We are all mediators. Let’s keep theanger levels down and work together to keep the conversation as rational and professional as possible.
    6- We’re not arguing for or against personalphilosophies. The purpose of this entire conversation is to investigate the POSSIBILITY of the existence of a “God”.
    7- There is no definitive proof in science. Sciencecan DISPROVE a theory, but cannot prove anything. There can always be contrary evidence.
    8- We may need Devils Advocates- This is a“science forum” the audience will be skewed. Please if you can postulate a question or statement that fly contrary to your belief provide them. If you have ananswer, provide them in a sensible order of argument vs. counter argument until you’ve reached a personal impasse

    The objective is to bring every argument pro and contrary to the existence of a “God”inspect it until further inspection will be fruitless, and then end with astatement outlining the result of the inspection.

    You can start by either stating your opinion than defending it, or by specifying anargument and providing your counter. If you can think of arguments for or against either side which I do not list in my personal opening statement pleaseprovide them first with a brief outline than followed by a more detailedexplanation to improve the ease of reading, as I expect some comments will become lengthy. Try to be as detailed as possible with your response.

    Periodically I’ll provide a post outlining the status of the argument for easy reference andcounter.


    Here's the problem with questions like "what would we see if we traveled faster than the speed of light". Since the rules that govern the universe as we understand them do not allow for such a possibility, to imagine such an event forces us to abandon those rules. But that leaves us no guide by which to answer the question. We have no idea as to what rules to replace them with, and we can't give an answer. - Janus
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  3. #2  
    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
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    I have seen no objective evidence of any god.


    SayBigWords.com/say/3FC

    "And, behold, I come quickly;" Revelation 22:12

    "Religions are like sausages. When you know how they are made, you no longer want them."
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  4. #3  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Shaderwolf's Avatar
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    Neither have I. I am writing an outline to start the discussion, but until than, here's a simple example of one argument to build off of.

    Something from nothing (causality) – The argument that there had to be a “beginning” God is the answer to what came before the big bang, and before that, and to "what started everything?"

    - Counter to this is “Than what created God?”

    = Counter to this is “God has just always existed”

    - Counter to this is “Why can’t the universe have “just always existed” also, modern theoretical physicists have formulated actual equations that explain how the universe(everything) could have possibly erupted from literally nothing: a space time with a radius of 0, 0 energy/matter, and 0 physical laws. (see Laurence Krauss)

    as you can see I provided an argument against my personal belief, and provided the logical progression as I saw it up to the point that I could see no rebuttle. you could find another argument, continue or disagree with any level of my own. We could even create a "tree" of arguments, with different branches comming from each level of argument.
    Last edited by Shaderwolf; September 26th, 2014 at 02:21 PM.
    Here's the problem with questions like "what would we see if we traveled faster than the speed of light". Since the rules that govern the universe as we understand them do not allow for such a possibility, to imagine such an event forces us to abandon those rules. But that leaves us no guide by which to answer the question. We have no idea as to what rules to replace them with, and we can't give an answer. - Janus
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  5. #4  
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    I have always been partial to the law of three stages described by Comte, that primitive societies explain phenomena in terms of abstract beings and causes which are extrapolated from everyday experiences (our idea of God comes from our perception of order, power and creation), and that more civilised societies use science as descriptive and empirical approach to phenomena that attributes explanations to concrete causes.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Shaderwolf's Avatar
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    Otherwise related to the "God of the Gaps" reason
    Last edited by Shaderwolf; September 26th, 2014 at 05:40 PM.
    Here's the problem with questions like "what would we see if we traveled faster than the speed of light". Since the rules that govern the universe as we understand them do not allow for such a possibility, to imagine such an event forces us to abandon those rules. But that leaves us no guide by which to answer the question. We have no idea as to what rules to replace them with, and we can't give an answer. - Janus
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    Its not so much 'God of the gaps' as 'the God of Ignorance' . Its like "Oh we don't know how that occurred, so it must be god's work', as though this says something intelligent or revealing about the problem And as for suggesting that it solves the problem, well it is patently absurd and counter to rational investigation.
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  8. #7  
    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaderwolf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda
    I have seen no objective evidence of any god.
    as you can see I provided an argument against my personal belief, and provided the logical progression as I saw it up to the point that I could see no rebuttle.
    Ok, is this more what you had in mind?

    A> I have seen no objective evidence of any god.

    B> Have you seen the power of prayer?
    A> No. I have seen people praying but never seen it work any better than random chance.

    B> Have you seen the beauty all around?
    A> Beauty is subjective, not objective.

    B> The bible is proof that god exists.
    A> No. It is a book written by humans.
    SayBigWords.com/say/3FC

    "And, behold, I come quickly;" Revelation 22:12

    "Religions are like sausages. When you know how they are made, you no longer want them."
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  9. #8  
    Time Lord
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    I view religion less as a flaw in individual thinking, than as an evolved feature of society. And I wonder in what ways was religion advantageous, to society.

    All religions have in common the requirement to share a belief with other members. Moreover the belief must be incredible, often so incredible that willful faith is necessary. If you can't muster such faith, or you follow only halfheartedly, you'll be an outsider to some extent. Traditionally this meant that everyone in a society knew just how faithful each individual was. And that is very telling about a person's character, or at least the person's commitment to societal expectations. So religion in this context serves to reveal qualities in another that matter quite apart from religion - like will this person trust the beliefs of others, will he change his mind by his own rationalizations, will he stick to his word? It should be obvious how a society benefits when members can read each other so plainly. That religion is irrational and apparently a waste of effort, is actually a necessary paradox here for selfish and rebellious types to fail the test. It wouldn't work if it is only what it says it is.

    I can appreciate religion when it's advantageous to a society. And I believe in some aspects of life it's better we be foolishly good, than correctly bad. If you take the religious individual in isolation, ignoring the social aspects of life, then religion is simply a flaw in individual thinking. We usually criticize religious belief on that level.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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