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Thread: We need to talk about Atheism.

  1. #1 We need to talk about Atheism. 
    Forum Senior pineapples's Avatar
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    My understanding on atheism is that itís simply the opposite of theist as most will probably agree. There is no in-between. If you believe in a god then you are a Theist. If you donít believe in a god then you are an A-theist.

    But hereís the thing. I answer anyone that asks me that I consider myself to be agnostic (Because I donít know if there is or there isnít a god). So because Iím agnostic I canít consider myself to be a theist (most will probably agree on this). However, if Iím not a theist, by my own definition, I must be an Atheist? So even though Iím agnostic, that by default makes me an atheist.

    Is this the correct approach to the meaning of Atheism?


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  3. #2  
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    I think the distinction between agnostic and atheist is pretty bogus. Atheism would seem to cover everything from those who believe there is no God to those who don't believe there is a God (and those who really don't give a damn).

    Anyone who attempts to appear reasonable ("well, I suppose it is possible there is a God just as it is possible there is an invisible pink unicorn in my garden") is labelled "agnostic" with the (slightly annoying) implication that you admit that God is a definite possibility but you just don't believe (yet).

    Anyone who is agnostic in the sense of "well, there might or might not be a God, it is too complicated for me" is clearly not a theist or they would simply say, "yes there is". So they must be atheist. Just not very decisive!


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    It's just a label. Why worry about it?
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    Well I would say a theist is someone who 'knows' there is a God, quite how they know you'd have to ask one.

    The term atheist does seem to denote being opposite of a theist and thus suggesting anyone who does not 'know' there is a god.
    But in practical terms it's also come to suggest anyone who believes there isn't a God, whilst agnostic generally is accepted as someone who doesn't believe there is or isn't a God. in other words someone who isn't sure one way or another. But strictly speaking an agnostic would also fall under the wider definition of being an atheist, because they don't 'know' there is a God.
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  6. #5  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It's just a label. Why worry about it?
    i think it has historical grounds, having been created in the 19th century when it was no longer bad for your health to declare yourself an atheist, but when it still could affect your social standing (when it was still hazardous for your health, atheists like Hume called themselves deists)
    so in short agnosticism is but atheism that does not fully dare to speak its name
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    I disagree. I am a devout agnostic, which is to say I take with holding of a decision on this point very seriously.

    The existence of the universe is perplexing. The existence of a universe which is capable of evolving elements which can recognise this perplexity is even more perplexing.

    This, together with such issues as the possible fine tuning of fundamental constants, or the logical argument that we are likely existing within a computer simulation, lead to serious doubts as to the non-existence of a creative entity. This does nothing to address the problem of how such an entity may have come to be, other than "It's turtles all the way down".

    SO, i am not an atheist, nor am I a theist, but I am a deliberately indecisive agnostic, certain in my uncertainty, decisive in my indecision and solid in my flexibility.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Its cultural.
    The only reason you have NO reservations about saying "I absolutely dont beleive there is, an invisible pink unicorn with a cloaking device concealed rider that's a transvestite midget in leather biker attire cyrogenically unfrozen from a nazi U-boat lost in the bermuda triangle, in my garden" (Im raising the ante), its because theres nothing like that in your culture. If everyone around you thought, talked, wrote books about, quoted, sang about it, theres a chance you would have a small doubt since there is so many people that seem to think so then maybe Im wrong? Im not really 100% sure there isnt an invisible pink.... If you see several people staring at the ceiling you will have the urge to look up. So the same way you probably have no qualms about saying theres no leprechauns at the end of rainbows or Thor god of thunder in the storm coulds, If you grew in a culture without a mythical figure, you probably would not be saying, "hum, who knows maybe there is a god like the ancient goat herders thought afterall?". For a Mormon, its more difficult to assert their mythical story is utterly ridiculous, but for non mormons its plain as day its BullShite.

    Are you Agnostic towards the undeniable existence of mighty Thor the God Thunder?
    Last edited by icewendigo; October 24th, 2012 at 12:32 PM.
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  9. #8  
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    It's just a label.
    A label that means you're one of most distrusted groups in America even lower than rapist in some studies. It still matters a lot.
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    There is a in-between and it's called Apatheism, click the link to learn about it. Apatheism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  11. #10  
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    more labels
    theist
    monotheist
    polytheist
    euhemerists
    ...
    and the radical
    antitheist.
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  12. #11  
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    It's an unfortunate and misleading word in any case, which by the use of "ism" implies there's something unified about it. Do we have a word for not liking other things... acommunism/acommunist for example.
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    I prefer the terms religious or non-religious, they sound less judgemental and are perfectly good enough for understanding someones likely position.
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    Forum Masters Degree MrMojo1's Avatar
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    It is simpler to have a better distinction of Theism and Gnosticism.

    Theism is holding a belief (that it is true) that gods exist.
    A-theism is having no such belief that gods exist.

    Gnosticism is having knowledge (facts or evidence) of something.
    A-gnosticism is having no knowledge of something.

    Therefore people are either agnostic theists or agnostic atheists, since no one has actual knowledge of the existence/non-existence of gods. Most people I have encounter that have claimed the label "Agnostic" do not hold a belief that gods exists as being true. Many have determined that knowledge is unknowable.

    You can adopt whatever label you feel comfortable with. I prefer the label Ignostic Atheist, because I don't even know what you define as a god. Once you have defined coherently what a god is, then we can begin by rigorously looking at the reasons and evidence of its existence.
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  15. #14  
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    Echoing the previous reply, the definition of 'atheism' is "a lack of belief in gods." It is impossible to ever completely disprove something, so to 'prove atheism' is impossible. However, labels come with a political and ideological stance. Personally, I prefer the term 'atheist' over 'agnostic' because I would rather be perfectly clear to those who may be confused about the definitions-- most people know what 'atheist' means, though 'agnostic' seems to be misunderstood by many people. I prefer to clear any confusion because I personally find religion to be completely lacking in any evidence, as well as promote some moral abominations. However, for you, consider what these 'labels' might do for you. If, for example, you live with heavily religious parents, be advised you may have to deal with unpleasantries, to say the least [perhaps-- hopefully and friends and family you have will respect your views!]
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  16. #15  
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    most people know what 'atheist' means, though 'agnostic' seems to be misunderstood by many people.
    Sometimes you may need to choose the term to suit the audience. There are some conventionally religious people who see atheism as rejecting their God. For such people, the concept behind the agnostic term may be more useful - that such a person is seriously thinking through the idea of god/s. The apparent lack of commitment or final decision about the point of view is a lot more perplexing and thought provoking to people who've not previously thought much about their own acceptance or adherence to a set of beliefs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    SO, i am not an atheist, nor am I a theist, but I am a deliberately indecisive agnostic, certain in my uncertainty, decisive in my indecision and solid in my flexibility.
    Somebody get this man a Dr. Pepper.
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  18. #17  
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    You cannot become a theist by birth. Theists and atheists alike, have no real proof of God(s). A person must rely on faith in a bonafide theist prior to making the transition to theism. Once a theist it is very difficult to just believe in God(s). Theists have different versions of God(s). Theists cannot come to a global consensus with other established theists with respect to God(s).
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    My understanding on atheism is that itís simply the opposite of theist as most will probably agree. There is no in-between. If you believe in a god then you are a Theist. If you donít believe in a god then you are an Atheist.
    Yes this is the case, the thing is though that most theists who are muslim, or christian or Sikh are atheist to the other gods of those respective religions, atheist about ghosts and similar supernatural stories, this is what theists miss. You may get the occasional creationist that will say they're all the same but eventually asking them questions they will hit a contradictory road block.

    But hereís the thing. I answer anyone that asks me that I consider myself to be agnostic (Because I donít know if there is or there isnít a god). So because Iím agnostic I canít consider myself to be a theist (most will probably agree on this). However, if Iím not a theist, by my own definition, I must be an Atheist? So even though Iím agnostic, that by default makes me an atheist.
    Yes there is no such thing as an agnostic, you can't know attitude is a skeptical one of both. Richard Dawkins has a scale of belief in which 1 is the absolute KNOWLEDGE there is a god and 7 is the absolute knowledge that there is no god. Dawkins placed himself when asked at about a 6.9, and I do too. But the more we are learning about possible higher dimensions which make our tiny planet look truly puny and even our entire universe look puny it is seeming more and more likely that that 6.9 is actually 7.0
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  20. #19  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    Yes there is no such thing as an agnostic, you can't know attitude is a skeptical one of both.
    I don't understand this. How is there no way to be skeptical of both sides of the argument? Personally, I don't define my belief with terminology if I don't have to because I simply don't think about the idea of God for the same reason I don't think about the idea of unicorns. It has had no tangible bearing on my life up to this point so devoting time and thought to it seems to be wasteful.

    However, if pressed, I would call myself agnostic. God can't be proven or disproven so why should I not be allowed to take a neutral stance?
    Last edited by Flick Montana; November 26th, 2012 at 02:54 PM.
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  21. #20  
    Forum Masters Degree MrMojo1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post

    However, if pressed, I would call myself agnostic. God can't be proven or disproven so why should I not be allowed to take a neutral stance?
    Just out of my own curiosity, are you agnostic about unicorns? If you are not, how is it different from being agnostic about any unproven/falsified claim?
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    MrMojo I believe you quoted Flick not me.

    Flick, there is no neutrality on the notion of god, you either believe he exists or are skeptical. I and other atheists do not believe in God the same as we don't believe in unicorns, or fairies because the notion seems implausible and a lot more importantly that it has no evidence supporting it. It would be like calling yourself agnostic about the flying spaghetti monster, or agnostic about being told you are planet mars, you wouldn't seriously consider an agnostic stance on that.

    They are ridiculous claims that have not one shred of evidence. Just because something can be made plausible by any amount of reasoning you cannot have anything more than an imagined scenario that explains these notions. Of course you cannot 100% be sure there is no god, unicorns etc, you can also not be 100% sure that gravity is caused by the curvature of spacetime, that electrons have charge and not some random denser form of gravity or that water is made up of H20 and not some exotic form of chocolate dip. As a scientist you take the stance which is supported by evidence.

    Therefore you can never really be agnostic, I mean if you are actually seriously considering that there is a possibility of God, you haven't studied the evidence enough. Why? If you had you WOULD be atheist. I know personally because I have gone through the whole nine yards, theist, agnostic and atheist. The more I learned about the origin of the universe, the origin of life, Random chance, statistical probabilities and the finite reality of dimensions you realise God is merley in actuality, man. The more you read the bible and holy texts you realise no eternal omnsicient loving being would act like that.
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    You are correct, my mistake.

    You have made the point I was questioning Flick about. If you don't hold the belief that God/Gods exists as being true, then you are an atheist.
    You may choose not to label yourself as such.
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    Message deleted due to copy and past malfunction..
    Last edited by question for you; December 3rd, 2012 at 02:05 PM.
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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm just confused on the terminology.

    I always thought of an Atheist as someone who believed absolutely that there was no God (requiring faith) and Theists believed absolutely that there was a God (requiring faith) while Agnostics refused to apply faith and were thus unable to accept either side.

    I am willing to accept that God exists. I have no problem with that. I'm also willing to accept that he does not. However, because there is absolutely no reasonable evidence to suggest either (at least in my opinion), I am not able to accept either side as more plausible than the other.

    I certainly don't want the term Atheist applied to me because that seems to suggest I have accepted the idea that there is no God when the truth is that I have not.
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  27. #26  
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    Then I guess you would define me as a Point of Originist.
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    I have no belief in god, and will continue to have no belief in god unless presented with evidence to the contrary. What constitutes evidence? Something that makes me believe in the existence of god, whatever it is. It doesn't have to be scientific - if, for instance, god appeared to me in a vision, I might end up believing. But so far, I have found no evidence that makes me believe in the existence of god, so I have no belief in the existence of god.

    I am an atheist.

    I am not undecided on the matter.

    I retain the default position of having no belief in god.

    When I was young, I was introduced to the concept of god. I wasn't sure about the concept, but I went along with it for a while, as it seemed like some sort of social ritual and didn't want to feel left out. At that time I was agnostic - I wasn't sure whether I believed or not.

    But after a few years, I found that I still didn't believe in god, and I didn't want to continue with the social ritual.

    So I went back to the default position of atheism, of having no belief.
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Maybe I'm just confused on the terminology.

    I always thought of an Atheist as someone who believed absolutely that there was no God (requiring faith) and Theists believed absolutely that there was a God (requiring faith) while Agnostics refused to apply faith and were thus unable to accept either side.

    I am willing to accept that God exists. I have no problem with that. I'm also willing to accept that he does not. However, because there is absolutely no reasonable evidence to suggest either (at least in my opinion), I am not able to accept either side as more plausible than the other.

    I certainly don't want the term Atheist applied to me because that seems to suggest I have accepted the idea that there is no God when the truth is that I have not.
    What you choose to label yourself is your right. Your thought process on atheism is incorrect. It really is a simply question, do you believe god/gods exist as a true belief? Atheist don't hold the belief that gods exist as being true, that's it. It doesn't require faith. In such the same manner as it doesn't require faith to conclude that unicorns don't exist.

    I too am willing to accept that god/gods exist, if there was convincing evidence of their existence. As of this writing there is no such evidence. If such evidence becomes available which proves this out, then I will switch my position from Ignostic Atheist to Gnostic.
    Last edited by MrMojo1; November 26th, 2012 at 04:48 PM. Reason: grammar
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    My understanding on atheism is that itís simply the opposite of theist as most will probably agree. There is no in-between. If you believe in a god then you are a Theist. If you donít believe in a god then you are an A-theist. But hereís the thing. I answer anyone that asks me that I consider myself to be agnostic (Because I donít know if there is or there isnít a god). So because Iím agnostic I canít consider myself to be a theist (most will probably agree on this). However, if Iím not a theist, by my own definition, I must be an Atheist? So even though Iím agnostic, that by default makes me an atheist. Is this the correct approach to the meaning of Atheism?
    Don't confuse atheist with anti-theist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerling View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    My understanding on atheism is that it’s simply the opposite of theist as most will probably agree. There is no in-between. If you believe in a god then you are a Theist. If you don’t believe in a god then you are an A-theist. But here’s the thing. I answer anyone that asks me that I consider myself to be agnostic (Because I don’t know if there is or there isn’t a god). So because I’m agnostic I can’t consider myself to be a theist (most will probably agree on this). However, if I’m not a theist, by my own definition, I must be an Atheist? So even though I’m agnostic, that by default makes me an atheist. Is this the correct approach to the meaning of Atheism?
    Don't confuse atheist with anti-theist.
    Anti-theism is to atheism as anti-nazism is to democracy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post

    Anti-theism is to atheism as anti-nazism is to democracy.
    Yep, Hitler was democratically chosen. Twice...
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    Yes as he was in a democratic system still, afterwards that was not the case, I had considered changing anti-nazism to anti-facism but I wanted to make the point sound more concrete. The point is if you are of a certain mindset and see an opposing one to be damaging in either short or long term, you would be irresponsible to sit back and let it happen. The old quote saying "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" applies here.
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    Forum Senior pineapples's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    I and other atheists do not believe in God the same as we don't believe in unicorns, or fairies because the notion seems implausible and a lot more importantly that it has no evidence supporting it. It would be like calling yourself agnostic about the flying spaghetti monster, or agnostic about being told you are planet mars, you wouldn't seriously consider an agnostic stance on that.
    Maybe a glaring hole in my argument here but I’ve always thought it unfair and a little dismissive to compare a god with a unicorn. I hear the comparison made a lot but the big difference between the two is that we know what a unicorn should look like but we don’t know what a god should look like until the person making the god claim defines that god. So I’m not sure we can dismiss god as so easily as a unicorn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    I and other atheists do not believe in God the same as we don't believe in unicorns, or fairies because the notion seems implausible and a lot more importantly that it has no evidence supporting it. It would be like calling yourself agnostic about the flying spaghetti monster, or agnostic about being told you are planet mars, you wouldn't seriously consider an agnostic stance on that.
    Maybe a glaring hole in my argument here but I’ve always thought it unfair and a little dismissive to compare a god with a unicorn.
    On what basis? Some would argue your point in that God is apparently an all loving creative being and a Unicorn is a unicorn, but the notions of compasion are no different, they are both supernatural claims with no evidence and it is perfectly fair to dismiss them both on the same grounds of dismissal. Just because one is the basis of religion and the other not, several billion people believing one and not the other but with the same amount evidence (El zlicho) does not give them a right to be free of criticism and labelling them delusional for believing in a supernatural God or deity.



    I hear the comparison made a lot but the big difference between the two is that we know what a unicorn should look like but we don’t know what a god should look like until the person making the god claim defines that god.
    Do we really know what a Unicorn looks like? Theoretically there has never been one seen with empircal evidence the same as god so someones view on what one looks like could be different to another based on interpretation, so there is no difference in how they would look like. We both know neither exist or it is extremely unlikely that they exist so any image anyone would generate is purely speculative and without evidence and would be based on their culture (white englishmen making God white, Thor wearing Viking armour by the Vikings etc), which thusly makes them even more uncredible.

    So I’m not sure we can dismiss god as so easily as a unicorn.
    We already have as we break down your description and belief as to why there would be a distinction between a god and a unicorn, and that is there wouldn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    Maybe a glaring hole in my argument here but I’ve always thought it unfair and a little dismissive to compare a god with a unicorn.
    I agree, it is unfair to the unicorn.

    We should be comparing God to Huitzilopochtli or Huehueteotl.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    I and other atheists do not believe in God the same as we don't believe in unicorns, or fairies because the notion seems implausible and a lot more importantly that it has no evidence supporting it. It would be like calling yourself agnostic about the flying spaghetti monster, or agnostic about being told you are planet mars, you wouldn't seriously consider an agnostic stance on that.
    Maybe a glaring hole in my argument here but I’ve always thought it unfair and a little dismissive to compare a god with a unicorn.
    On what basis? Some would argue your point in that God is apparently an all loving creative being and a Unicorn is a unicorn, but the notions of compasion are no different, they are both supernatural claims with no evidence and it is perfectly fair to dismiss them both on the same grounds of dismissal. Just because one is the basis of religion and the other not, several billion people believing one and not the other but with the same amount evidence (El zlicho) does not give them a right to be free of criticism and labelling them delusional for believing in a supernatural God or deity.



    I hear the comparison made a lot but the big difference between the two is that we know what a unicorn should look like but we don’t know what a god should look like until the person making the god claim defines that god.
    Do we really know what a Unicorn looks like? Theoretically there has never been one seen with empircal evidence the same as god so someones view on what one looks like could be different to another based on interpretation, so there is no difference in how they would look like. We both know neither exist or it is extremely unlikely that they exist so any image anyone would generate is purely speculative and without evidence and would be based on their culture (white englishmen making God white, Thor wearing Viking armour by the Vikings etc), which thusly makes them even more uncredible.

    So I’m not sure we can dismiss god as so easily as a unicorn.
    We already have as we break down your description and belief as to why there would be a distinction between a god and a unicorn, and that is there wouldn't.
    Some interesting points. Something for me to smoke my pipe on!

    My thoughts were that a unicorn was by definition a mythical creature and the term god is so so vague it never gets a consistent definition. So initially hard to compare like for like.
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    I wouldn't worry about offending any Christians by comparing God to a Unicorn. The bible also mentions unicorns. So if they say unicorns are a fairy tale then they have to admit that God is too.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    I wouldn't worry about offending any Christians by comparing God to a Unicorn. The bible also mentions unicorns. So if they say unicorns are a fairy tale then they have to admit that God is too.
    Well, according to the North Korean state news their archaeologists have just unearthed a "unicorn lair" in Pyongyang, once used by an ancient Korean king. Fact!
    North Korea: Researchers Find 'Unicorn Lair'
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    This, together with such issues as the possible fine tuning of fundamental constants, or the logical argument that we are likely existing within a computer simulation, lead to serious doubts as to the non-existence of a creative entity.
    The 'fined tuned universe' argument is bogus. If there were no life, there'd be nobody to say they saw 'fine tuning', and we don't know how many cycles the Universe may have been through, with different constants, and no life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    The 'fined tuned universe' argument is bogus. If there were no life, there'd be nobody to say they saw 'fine tuning', and we don't know how many cycles the Universe may have been through, with different constants, and no life.
    And any intelligent life would have evolved to adapt to its particular conditions--even if very different than Earthlings. Of course with a sample size of one, it's nearly impossible to say.
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    as/re "GOD"
    "the organizational force of the universe" down to each and every atom and living thing(forever? and yet one more?)

    How does one describe something represented by the vastness of space and time when most of it is way beyond our knowledge base, constrained by this tool of language? How does one find a word for that description?

    theism/atheism are just concepts justified by dichotomous thinking-------beyond yin and yang is a unity of opposites----and, I suspect, that somewhere along that vector, a greater appreciation for the patterns within all creation will evolve.

    meanwhile
    enjoy the dichotomous teeter totter ride----both sides need each other for balance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    And any intelligent life would have evolved to adapt to its particular conditions--even if very different than Earthlings. Of course with a sample size of one, it's nearly impossible to say.
    Exactly, I don't see 'fine tuning'anyway, I see carbon based, oxygen breathing, life forms with Iron based blood. Oh, and life forms with copper based blood too. Hmm, copper based blood? Seems there isn't just one answer to animal's chemistry, so maybe, just maybe, if the fundamental constants were different, life would still exist, but just be different? I mean, there are what, 98 naturally occurring Elements on Earth, shift some constants, and maybe one of the other elements makes better blood, maybe Copper gets as good as Iron, maybe silicon replaces carbon, maybe calling Silicon, Silicon is wrong because it's not exactly the same as it is now,....

    The other problem with 'the fine tuned universe' theory, is that for the most part, space is really, really inhospitable, and it took billions of years of stellar formation, and one supernova, so create the heavy elements, and redistribute them into our solar system, and then probably a cometary impact to bring us the water we have. That's chance, serendipity, that there was a planet in the GLZ that wasn't destroyed when the Moon was torn from it, and that was gifted oceans by impacts from comets. Even finding life on Venus _and_ Mars wouldn't help the case for fine tuning, given we know there can be life at extreme temperature and pressure around deep sea vents. Far from 'fine tuning', life seems is accepting a of very wide range of physical conditions, not that the Universe is fine tuned to host it. Douglas Adams came up with a nice story to illustrate the narrow mindedness of people who see 'fine tuning'

    "... imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact, it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the Sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be all right, because this World was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for." (Douglas Adams)
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    This is exactly why I avoid waking up in a puddle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    Some interesting points. Something for me to smoke my pipe on!

    My thoughts were that a unicorn was by definition a mythical creature and the term god is so so vague it never gets a consistent definition. So initially hard to compare like for like.
    Definition of unicorn: 1, Fabulous animal with horse's body and single straight horn.

    Well defined physical attributes as you originally said pineapples. Yes we do indeed know what a Unicorn would look like.

    There is no description of the physical appearance of God within the dictionary definition.

    I thought you made a good point. Why do all these people regurgitate the unicorn analogies? Oh yes, becuase it impressed them when they heard somebody else do it ofcourse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    "... imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact, it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the Sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be all right, because this World was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for." (Douglas Adams)
    Yet the mollecules that made up that puddle in that point of time evaporated and was reincarnated into other puddles. When it's in the sky the water mollecules will see how staggeringly well their new environment suits them. Again when they wake up in another puddle, or in an ocean, they will remark on how staggeringly well they fit into the grand scheme of things in everything they do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Yet the mollecules that made up that puddle in that point of time evaporated and was reincarnated into other puddles. When it's in the sky the water mollecules will see how staggeringly well their new environment suits them. Again when they wake up in another puddle, or in an ocean, they will remark on how staggeringly well they fit into the grand scheme of things in everything they do.
    And we'll be reincarnated as worm food.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    And we'll be reincarnated as worm food.
    Mole food, bird food, fox food, plant food, human food, etc.

    We all know about these amazing ways 'nature' recycles matter and energy...
    But what happens to that intangible thing known as 'the mind' or 'the conciousness' within each organism? Does nature simply break down our consciousness into component parts and built fresh new consciousness? as it does with matter. If so, what does it break consciousness down into before recycling it?

    I'm only interested in what can be explained using robust scientific knowledge of the subject. Not speculation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    And we'll be reincarnated as worm food.
    Mole food, bird food, fox food, plant food, human food, etc.

    We all know about these amazing ways 'nature' recycles matter and energy...
    But what happens to that intangible thing known as 'the mind' or 'the conciousness' within each organism? Does nature simply break down our consciousness into component parts and built fresh new consciousness? as it does with matter. If so, what does it break consciousness down into before recycling it?

    I'm only interested in what can be explained using robust scientific knowledge of the subject. Not speculation.
    The "mind" is a word. The reality is that the brain performs specific physical functions, run by chemical and electrical reactions.
    Alter the brain- alter the person. Destroy the brain, destroy the person.

    The Mind is just the effect of the physical brain. Poor analogy, it's like 'wetness' to water. Water is the physical reality. Take away the water and no more wetness.

    The mind ceases to exist if the brain stops functioning, it doesn't go anywhere or do anything, it simply is no longer valid.
    Just as if you take your computer and smash it up really badly with a sledge hammer, the operating system is no longer "there." Yeah the components that made it are there (All mucked up) but the O.S. is no longer a valid thing. It is simply gone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    And we'll be reincarnated as worm food.
    Mole food, bird food, fox food, plant food, human food, etc.

    We all know about these amazing ways 'nature' recycles matter and energy...
    But what happens to that intangible thing known as 'the mind' or 'the conciousness' within each organism? Does nature simply break down our consciousness into component parts and built fresh new consciousness? as it does with matter. If so, what does it break consciousness down into before recycling it?

    I'm only interested in what can be explained using robust scientific knowledge of the subject. Not speculation.
    The "mind" is a word. The reality is that the brain performs specific physical functions, run by chemical and electrical reactions.
    Alter the brain- alter the person. Destroy the brain, destroy the person.

    The Mind is just the effect of the physical brain. Poor analogy, it's like 'wetness' to water. Water is the physical reality. Take away the water and no more wetness.

    The mind ceases to exist if the brain stops functioning, it doesn't go anywhere or do anything, it simply is no longer valid.
    Just as if you take your computer and smash it up really badly with a sledge hammer, the operating system is no longer "there." Yeah the components that made it are there (All mucked up) but the O.S. is no longer a valid thing. It is simply gone.
    This time I highlighted a key sentence, I will attempt to express it better: What scientific evidence backs up what you say? I apreciate it could be hard to list it all, but some? some evidence that you are right?

    I pretty much knew you would have the opinion you expressed above. I'm looking for the evidence, not the speculations.
    I hope that doesn't sound off, or unreasonable. I don't mean to be curt. I'm laying down the gaunlet for you to pick up... Show the evidence that gives you reason to either think or beleive what you said above, I will try my best to embrace it both critically and objectively, as I would with any evidence of anything.
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    The evidence is the Human Brain. Well documented results of what happens to the mind and the personality due to damage or injury to the brain. Remember Terri Schiavo? The effect of drugs on the brain/mind. Psychiatry, psychology, etc.
    Q4U, I think we can avoid insulting eachothers intelligence by not pretending that the brain as the seat for all awareness and consciousness is not well founded.
    You may as well have said I need to provide evidence that the muscles in my arm are responsible for the actual movement of my arm. The movement is like the mind, the muscle is like the brain.

    Rather, if there is any evidence that the mind is separate from the brain, such as souls, ghosts, etc- Please Present it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Rather, if there is any evidence that the mind is separate from the brain, such as souls, ghosts, etc- Please Present it.
    Evidence of aparitions? I was wondering how you would put the onus onto me. Nicely done.
    It was never my intention to claim that the spirit exists without the body. I only intended to find out about the evidence that makes you so sure of your convictions.

    I don't have any evidence that would convince you. I do have strong testimonial evidence of two witnesses who saw the same thing, which is probably why i'm not so quick to make my mind up. Ofcourse there are countless witnesses to these kinds of things, from all sorts of people that I cannot verify. I tell you this not to try to convince ofcourse, but just to help you understand why I am not as convinved as you are.
    Hypnosis, halucination, brain problems, psychoactive substances, pariola or something you mentioned earlier, this can explain a lot. But how many people have claimed to have experiences? The two that I know are sound. I have also read books by people who should be subjected to experimentations to prove what they are saying, lie detectors at least.
    I can't understand how such books can be legally sold as non fiction without the author being subjected to some verification process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    The evidence is the Human Brain. Well documented results of what happens to the mind and the personality due to damage or injury to the brain.
    Ofcourse I am aware of many examples of these things such as head injuries, comas, mentall illnesses. I don't yet see how you will use them to support your case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Remember Terri Schiavo?.
    No, I was too young. What does this teach us?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    The effect of drugs on the brain/mind..
    Many drugs, many effects... Often enducing 'spiritual' experiences. Often doing harm to the body/brain. What about it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Psychiatry, psychology, etc..
    I don't mean to sound sarcastic but none of this is very specific at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Q4U, I think we can avoid insulting eachothers intelligence by not pretending that the brain as the seat for all awareness and consciousness is not well founded.
    I assure you i'm not trying to pretend anything. I just don't know.

    The brain is a very important organ in the nervous system, it's a 'control centre' for the body along with the second brain or enteric nervous system.

    What point in the brain does consciousness manifest? Where does it sit? What is it? How does it work? why does it work when we are asleep or in a coma? When I remember a dream, I consider that I am conscious of the dream and was conscious of it as it unfolded. I wasn't awake, but my mind was conscious, it was making decisions as the dream unravelled. Consciousness is not just a word, it's a phenomenom of some kind. What is really understood about it?

    I don't mean to be confrontational, I understand it's a hard ask... I genuinely wonder what evidence suggests that our soul isn't real.

    That's not an invite for anybody to inform me that you can't prove a negative and it's on the beleivers to present evidence. I would expect evidence to exist as grounds to dismiss the notion as so many people are convinced it's a fantasy.

    Based on what I have learnt so far I do not know what to think. I actually think that would make a good epitaph.
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    What- all function ceasing when the brain ceases to function isn't good enough?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    And we'll be reincarnated as worm food.
    Mole food, bird food, fox food, plant food, human food, etc.

    We all know about these amazing ways 'nature' recycles matter and energy...
    But what happens to that intangible thing known as 'the mind' or 'the conciousness' within each organism? Does nature simply break down our consciousness into component parts and built fresh new consciousness? as it does with matter. If so, what does it break consciousness down into before recycling it?

    I'm only interested in what can be explained using robust scientific knowledge of the subject. Not speculation.
    The same thing happens to the mind as happens to data when you format a hard drive. It is lost as if it never existed. The mind is equivalent to the data stored in a computer RAM and Hard disk. If you destroy the hard drive and ram permanently by some means that breaks down teh molecular cohesion of the material it is made of, the data is lost forever. The data is the mind. The disk is the brain. It really isn't that mystical.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Remember Terri Schiavo?.
    No, I was too young. What does this teach us?
    So you are less than 7 years old? There should be age restrictions to registering on this site.

    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post

    I don't mean to be confrontational, I understand it's a hard ask... I genuinely wonder what evidence suggests that our soul isn't real.

    That's not an invite for anybody to inform me that you can't prove a negative and it's on the beleivers to present evidence. I would expect evidence to exist as grounds to dismiss the notion as so many people are convinced it's a fantasy.

    Based on what I have learnt so far I do not know what to think. I actually think that would make a good epitaph.
    Science does not prove a negative. You cannot prove that something does not exist. There may be no evidence of rock monsters on earth but that does not mean that rocks cant be alive on some other planet somewhere in the universe. This is why science does not prove the nonexistence of anything.

    But you cannot use science to prove the existence of a soul or a god. There is no evidence of either. There have been many religious scientists in the world who undoubtedly looked for proof of the human soul or god. Imagine the implications of such a scientific discovery. The one who can scientifically prove the existence of a soul or god would be more famous than Jesus. I have known plenty of people in my life that said their main reason for studying science was because they hoped to prove that god and the soul exist one day. But years later they were atheist because for all their trying they failed. And apparently God didn't lend them a hand. You'd think if god were real he would want to set the record straight rather than giving the world the silent treatment and letting people assume he isn't there since he won't show himself.

    Asking scientists to prove a negative is nothing more than a parlor trick of believers who think they are clever. it is smoke and mirrors to confuse the gullible.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    What- all function ceasing when the brain ceases to function isn't good enough?!
    All functions of the body ceasing shortly after death is your evidence against an afterlife?

    I'll be honest, I hasn't exactly rocked my world to the core... On this basis I have to remain agnostic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Remember Terri Schiavo?.
    No, I was too young. What does this teach us?
    So you are less than 7 years old? There should be age restrictions to registering on this site..
    No I'm not less than seven years old... I'd be quite please with myself if I was. I assume that was just a petty insult, I'll be optimistic and call it friendly banter.

    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    genuinely wonder what evidence suggests that our soul isn't real.

    That's not an invite for anybody to inform me that you can't prove a negative
    and it's on the beleivers to present evidence. I would expect evidence to exist as grounds to dismiss the notion as so many people are convinced it's a fantasy.
    Science does not prove a negative. You cannot prove that something does not exist. There may be no evidence of rock monsters on earth but that does not mean that rocks cant be alive on some other planet somewhere in the universe. This is why science does not prove the nonexistence of anything.

    But you cannot use science to prove the existence of a soul or a god. There is no evidence of either. There have been many religious scientists in the world who undoubtedly looked for proof of the human soul or god. Imagine the implications of such a scientific discovery. The one who can scientifically prove the existence of a soul or god would be more famous than Jesus. I have known plenty of people in my life that said their main reason for studying science was because they hoped to prove that god and the soul exist one day. But years later they were atheist because for all their trying they failed. And apparently God didn't lend them a hand. You'd think if god were real he would want to set the record straight rather than giving the world the silent treatment and letting people assume he isn't there since he won't show himself.

    Asking scientists to prove a negative is nothing more than a parlor trick of believers who think they are clever. it is smoke and mirrors to confuse the gullible.
    I wasn't asking scientists... I was asking your friend neverfly, not to prove a negative, but to provide evidence to back up the positive claims he made.

    No, I wouldn't think God would lend em a hand, you might. That's all about you preconceptions.

    I never asked any scienctists to prove a negative so I suggest every irrelevant and irrational comment you have made is mere smoke and mirrors to confuse the guillible.
    Why you would want to do that, I have no idea. Why anybody would promote Atheism when they don't even have any evidence that it is the right way of thinking, I have no clue. Why anybody would insult all theists, it's beyond me.

    Since you fail to present any evidence even though I specifically requested it, in anticipation of overbearing opinions being expressed, I now feel that I've done my best to tap into the professed wisdom, but never found it. Maybe the next Imtheist will be able to help me with the science aspect. Surely some of them have some logical basis for their stance which they can express!
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    Surely some of them have some logical basis for their stance which they can express!
    The logic is simple, maybe brutal. No evidence.

    The difference between believers and atheists is that atheists don't believe at all. We don't believe in science either.

    We accept what observations, data and analysis lead us to accept as the truth - however limited and partial each truth might be. We neither want nor need anything that might be called the truth. We reject anything that requires belief rather than evidence. When we want wonder or mystery we look at the sky or into a microscope or at our gardens or the local beach. There are wonders and mysteries waiting for all of us in the natural world if we just look.

    It's that simple. If you want to say that it isn't really simple, it's simplistic, that's fine too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The difference between believers and atheists is that atheists don't believe at all. We don't believe in science either.
    No exactly how I would phrase it, but it's as close as it gets to how I personally lead my life. Throughout the years, I've noticed that I have developed a involuntary response of frowning when people use the word "believe". When people ask me what do I believe, I have a habit of replying that I prefer to not to operate on beliefs; and that I prefer to either know, or not know. That certainly does not mean that I am unable to entertain possibilities, and follow through on what I do know. But I have come to accept that as a species; we have evolved to utilize our higher brain functions of rationalizing and analyzing subject matters to the point where IMO I would prefer that we do away with laziness of believing and work on finding out what I/we do not as yet know enough of (if possible).
    Last edited by scoobydoo1; December 3rd, 2012 at 11:05 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post

    All functions of the body ceasing shortly after death is your evidence against an afterlife?

    I'll be honest, I hasn't exactly rocked my world to the core... On this basis I have to remain agnostic.
    Neverfly covered this already, damage to the brain can cause changes to your personality. Drugs can cause changes to your personality. Your personality is a product of your physical brain. When your brain stops, your personality is gone. If you wish to present some mechanism by which this personality can endure, please do, and we'll scrutinise that. Oh, and the onus is on you, if you arr saying that it's a reasonable claim. The rest of us are simply saying we've seen no evidence for an afterlife, and plenty of evidence linking personality to a physical brain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    Some interesting points. Something for me to smoke my pipe on!

    My thoughts were that a unicorn was by definition a mythical creature and the term god is so so vague it never gets a consistent definition. So initially hard to compare like for like.
    Definition of unicorn: 1, Fabulous animal with horse's body and single straight horn.

    Well defined physical attributes as you originally said pineapples. Yes we do indeed know what a Unicorn would look like.

    There is no description of the physical appearance of God within the dictionary definition.

    I thought you made a good point. Why do all these people regurgitate the unicorn analogies? Oh yes, becuase it impressed them when they heard somebody else do it ofcourse.
    So, the less is known of a thing the more plausible it becomes? I cannot visualize god, so it must be true?

    Actually I disagree with the notion that we don't know anything about gods. We know a lot about gods, at least we thought we did, and have known gods for perhaps tens of thousands of years. There was the sun god, the god of thunder, the rain god, the fire god. We all saw them at work and proof was in their constant battles for the affections of man, if they weren't too angry to destroy man.
    But every god we have known has been debunked by science, except for the one we know least about. He just HAS to exist, somehow, beyond the reach of science, so that he can never be debunked.
    The greatest God of all seems to be always one step away from knowledge (he is unknowable). Yet he dwells (is known) in the hearts of some special people, the ones that will be saved when armageddon and the rapture come.

    I more readily believe in the entity known as Gaia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I genuinely wonder what evidence suggests that our soul isn't real.
    You seem to make a habit of this: asking for evidence against something that there is no evidence for.

    Where is the evidence that grunkles (a thing I just made up) do not exist?
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    We all know about these amazing ways 'nature' recycles matter and energy...
    Yes, because we observe these things happening. We have evidence.

    But what happens to that intangible thing known as 'the mind' or 'the conciousness' within each organism? Does nature simply break down our consciousness into component parts and built fresh new consciousness? as it does with matter. If so, what does it break consciousness down into before recycling it?
    Where is the evidence that such a "thing" exists and can be "broken down" and recycled?

    I'm only interested in what can be explained using robust scientific knowledge of the subject.
    Robust scientific knowledge of the subject: there is no evidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Definition of unicorn: 1, Fabulous animal with horse's body and single straight horn.

    Well defined physical attributes as you originally said pineapples. Yes we do indeed know what a Unicorn would look like.
    And there is nothing that prevents a unicorn existing. They are not physically impossible.

    There is no description of the physical appearance of God within the dictionary definition.
    But, by definition, gods are metaphyscial, supernatural, beyond the laws of nature.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I genuinely wonder what evidence suggests that our soul isn't real.
    You seem to make a habit of this: asking for evidence against something that there is no evidence for.

    Where is the evidence that grunkles (a thing I just made up) do not exist?
    You at your gibberish best yet again.

    If you made a claim that grunkles exists I would ask what evidence you have. If you made a claim that grunkles or unicorns cannot exist I would ask what is the evidence that leads you to this conclusion.

    Please stop filling threads with this unecesary rubbish.

    I was going to muse over your next two posts quoting me but I just noticed others posted before you so will direct my attention to their comments before I check your other posts. If posibble try to adress any issues you have, in one post.

    And try to curb the silly analogies, we'r all adults.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    If you made a claim that grunkles exists I would ask what evidence you have.
    Well, by asking for evidence against souls you are (implicitly) claiming they exist. And yet there is no evidence for souls so why would you ask for evidence against?
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Maybe the next Imtheist will be able to help me with the science aspect. Surely some of them have some logical basis for their stance which they can express!
    The logic is simple, maybe brutal. No evidence.

    The difference between believers and atheists is that atheists don't believe at all. We don't believe in science either.

    We accept what observations, data and analysis lead us to accept as the truth - however limited and partial each truth might be. We neither want nor need anything that might be called the truth. We reject anything that requires belief rather than evidence. When we want wonder or mystery we look at the sky or into a microscope or at our gardens or the local beach. There are wonders and mysteries waiting for all of us in the natural world if we just look.

    It's that simple. If you want to say that it isn't really simple, it's simplistic, that's fine too.
    I totally get the Atheist thing adelady. I have no objections or quarms with the stance at all.

    You shouldn't generalise so much... Many Atheists might have beleifs in other areas, but not to worry.

    You can see from my quote that I was talking about 'imtheists' which is a word I now use to describe Theist bashers. They may well be Atheists too, but they go further into the realms of righteousness and beleif.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post

    All functions of the body ceasing shortly after death is your evidence against an afterlife?

    I'll be honest, I hasn't exactly rocked my world to the core... On this basis I have to remain agnostic.
    Neverfly covered this already, damage to the brain can cause changes to your personality. Drugs can cause changes to your personality. Your personality is a product of your physical brain. When your brain stops, your personality is gone. If you wish to present some mechanism by which this personality can endure, please do, and we'll scrutinise that. Oh, and the onus is on you, if you arr saying that it's a reasonable claim. The rest of us are simply saying we've seen no evidence for an afterlife, and plenty of evidence linking personality to a physical brain.
    There is no onus on me Phlo... I have not said that any claims are reasonable... I anticipated this response from members when I enquired as to what evidence neverfly can present to verify his position.

    I have no position, i'm seeking answers. There cannot logically be any onus on me. I do hope that nobody else asks me to provide evidence for some claim that I haven't made, becuase it is tedious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    Some interesting points. Something for me to smoke my pipe on!

    My thoughts were that a unicorn was by definition a mythical creature and the term god is so so vague it never gets a consistent definition. So initially hard to compare like for like.
    Definition of unicorn: 1, Fabulous animal with horse's body and single straight horn.

    Well defined physical attributes as you originally said pineapples. Yes we do indeed know what a Unicorn would look like.

    There is no description of the physical appearance of God within the dictionary definition.

    I thought you made a good point. Why do all these people regurgitate the unicorn analogies? Oh yes, becuase it impressed them when they heard somebody else do it ofcourse.
    So, the less is known of a thing the more plausible it becomes? I cannot visualize god, so it must be true?.
    Why would you want to put those words into my mouth? This bears no relation to anything I have said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Actually I disagree with the notion that we don't know anything about gods. We know a lot about gods, at least we thought we did, and have known gods for perhaps tens of thousands of years. There was the sun god, the god of thunder, the rain god, the fire god. We all saw them at work and proof was in their constant battles for the affections of man, if they weren't too angry to destroy man.
    But every god we have known has been debunked by science, except for the one we know least about. He just HAS to exist, somehow, beyond the reach of science, so that he can never be debunked.
    The greatest God of all seems to be always one step away from knowledge (he is unknowable). Yet he dwells (is known) in the hearts of some special people, the ones that will be saved when armageddon and the rapture come.

    I more readily believe in the entity known as Gaia.
    Well theres a lot of God concepts created over the ages... I didn't create them and understand very little about them. It's easy to interpret the exoteric version of the 'myth' and beleive I understand it. I try not to do that. I have no clue about these 'Gods' or myths, nor how science was used to debunk them.

    My comment that you quoted simply refers to these over used unicorn analogies, nothing else. the kind of analogie that might impress and make a child laugh, but actually I think lacks intelligence, except maybe for the man/woman who invented the analogy. The rest of the regurgitators are simply acting like parrots. They are under the spell of the parrot diety. The God of mindless repition, The God of the sincerest form of flattery.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    There is no onus on me Phlo... I have not said that any claims are reasonable... I anticipated this response from members when I enquired as to what evidence neverfly can present to verify his position.

    I have no position, i'm seeking answers. There cannot logically be any onus on me. I do hope that nobody else asks me to provide evidence for some claim that I haven't made, becuase it is tedious.
    Neverfly gave you an explanation of why an afterlife is unreasonable. If you doubt his reasoning feel free to make some testable statement, make some counter point, BUT if you think it's reasonable there _could_ be an after life, well yes, the onus is on you to present facts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    My comment that you quoted simply refers to these over used unicorn analogies, nothing else. the kind of analogie that might impress and make a child laugh, but actually I think lacks intelligence, except maybe for the man/woman who invented the analogy.
    If you think unicorns are just silly - after all, nobody believes in unicorns - then substitute dragons. Plenty of people belive in and report seeing dragons. Are you open minded about those too?

    Can you explain why you think the analogy lacks intelligence? In other words, why is it reasonable to ask questions about God but it is unreasonable to ask the same questions about other mythological entities?

    Your anger suggest it might be because it highlights the emptiness of your questions about God.

    You claim to be open minded (agnostic) about God. Why only about God? Isn't it equally reasonable to be open minded and agnostic about every mythological entity (including unicorns and dragons)? What is the difference?

    p.s. I came up with the idea of using unicorns myself, as far as I know. I was quite surprised and pleased to hear a "real" philosopher on the radio use the same thing.
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    Asking why a person does not believe is absurd because in order to believe something, you need evidence. You're asking me to prove what is lacking, what doesn't exist. It is complete nonsense to do that.

    If you say you do not believe then you've not been convinced by evidence that there is reason to believe it.

    For me, the evidence that human behavior is in the physical structure is overwhelming and trying to type it out, in order so it makes sense, would be 3 pages at least. It would be time consuming and redundant. It's many years worth of gathering of the facts.
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    The one thing that I don't get,
    is
    Why, if you are certain that no being/force/entity that one might call "god" could possibly exist,
    do you feel the need to talk about that non-being/non-force/non-entity?

    I do not believe that I have ever set out to prove that flying pigs don't exist, nor have I ever actually talked about my non-belief in flying pigs(until now, of course).

    So, if you are so certain in your non-belief, then why waste one single precious non-replaceable moment of your too short life on the subject?(really, you only live once, and as the noticable lack of posts from meteor wayne might indicate, that "once" could end at any moment)

    Or, are you all just trying to make us theists feel superior?
    Nice feeling though. Thanks alot. Y'all 've given me some satisfied smiles.
    (and a few condescending thoughts)

    keep up the good work
    Last edited by sculptor; December 4th, 2012 at 11:09 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    The one thing that I don't get,
    is
    Why, if you are certain that no being/force/entity that one might call "god" could possibly exist,
    do you feel the need to talk about that non-being/non-force/non-entity?

    I do not believe that I have ever set out to prove that flying pigs don't exist, nor have I ever actually talked about my non-belief in flying pigs(until now, of course).
    Exactly!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    The one thing that I don't get,
    is
    Why if you are certain that no being/force/entity that one might call "god" could possibly exist
    do you feel the need to talk about that non-being/non-force/non-entity?

    I do not believe that I have ever set out to prove that flying pigs don't exist, nor have I ever actually talked about my non-belief in flying pigs(until now, of course).

    So, if you are so certain in your non-belief, then why waste one single precious non-replaceable moment on the subject?(really, you only live once, and as the noticable lack of posts from meteor wayne might indicate, that "once" could end at any moment)

    Or, ar you all just trying to make us theists feel superior?
    Nice feeling though. Thanks alot. Y'all 've given me some satisfied smiles.
    (and a few condescending thoughts)

    keep up the good work
    Because flying pig belief is not a common dogma of the majority. Pig belief is not interfering with how schools educate children nor is it interfering with politics.

    God belief is- it seeks to hold back scientific progress out of fear that science may 'disprove' God (Creation Museum/Chicktracts) and seeks out the young to indoctrinate quickly. It seeks to undermine proper education for fear that evolution taught in schools may lower it's reception of tythes and revenue.
    It's a source of bigotry and judgment against others who are different (gay marriage), impinging on freedom.

    This is an impressive video. This man defied the status guo and showed critical thinking and progression. However, in so doing, he also drew an eerie parallel... One worth thinking about. Watch to the end to get the full context.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_1997036.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Exactly!!
    Nonsense, no one is obligated to not speak out against what they find to be in error. After-all, this is a science forum, not a "believe in whatever you want" forum.
    We are obligated to speak up, to educate, to dispel conspiracy theories, myths and misconceptions. We are obligated to promote education, science, critical thinking, skepticism, and rationality. Yes, we absolutely speak out about the ancient myths violating and influencing modern life, attacking scientific progress and promoting fear, prejudice and ignorance.

    If you are opposed to these things, what are you doing as an administrator of a science forum? Perhaps you can find a "Politically Correct and never question predominant manipulative absurdities and harmful myths forum" to administrate instead?

    Are we also not supposed to address claims of "Relativity is fundamentally wrong," the "Universe was always here and made of cheese" as well? After-all, if I don't believe that the Relativity is wrong, why should I have the need to speak out about those that do on here?

    Let's all just get high and let anyone say whatever wrong things they feel like. What is wrong with us, being all mean and educating people about their delusions. Sheesh, we're jerks.
    Last edited by Neverfly; December 4th, 2012 at 11:33 AM.
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    ahem:

    A true theist has an unquenchable thirst to know god, and science is one extreemly valuable tool in that quest.'
    So, I submit that no true theist would ever do anything that might stifle scientific inquiry.
    Quite the contrary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    God belief is- it seeks to hold back scientific progress out of fear that science may 'disprove' God (Creation Museum/Chicktracts) and seeks out the young to indoctrinate quickly. It seeks to undermine proper education for fear that evolution taught in schools may lower it's reception of tythes and revenue.
    It's a source of bigotry and judgment against others who are different (gay marriage), impinging on freedom.
    I get the feeling that you have a specific genre of religion in mind; specifically the abrahamic religions. If my guess is correct, does your disapproval apply only to this specific few religions, or are there other religions you have in mind?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    ahem:

    A true theist has an unquenchable thirst to know god, and science is one extreemly valuable tool in that quest.'
    So, I submit that no true theist would ever do anything that might stifle scientific inquiry.
    Quite the contrary.
    What world are you living on? Are you kidding?
    I guess the Creationist Museum is just a figment of my twisted imagination, right?

    All the YEC's doing everything they can to pressure politicians into interfering in Education to remove Evolution from being taught in schools or, at the very least, call it an Alternative viewpoint to Creationism.

    Yes, they are all quite thirsty for scientific knowledge...

    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    God belief is- it seeks to hold back scientific progress out of fear that science may 'disprove' God (Creation Museum/Chicktracts) and seeks out the young to indoctrinate quickly. It seeks to undermine proper education for fear that evolution taught in schools may lower it's reception of tythes and revenue.
    It's a source of bigotry and judgment against others who are different (gay marriage), impinging on freedom.
    I get the feeling that you have a specific genre of religion in mind; specifically the abrahamic religions. If my guess is correct, does your disapproval apply only to this specific few religions, or are there other religions you have in mind?
    I think bunk is bunk.
    Last edited by Neverfly; December 4th, 2012 at 01:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    I think bunk is bunk.
    I'm afraid I do not adequately grasp your meaning, and will have to ask that you elaborate a little more on the above is relation to my question.
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    epimetheus:

    If you have a problem with a specific sect of a specific religion, whether it be southern baptist, wahabi, catholics, etc...then that is precisely what you should be actively attacking.
    fight the battles you can win
    One local nutjob forced the removal of a stone with a bronze plaque upon which were enscribed the 10 commandments from the lawn of the local courthouse.
    It was a simple gesture and easily accomplished.

    as/re schools
    I used to volunteer to teach simple science at the local gradeschool when my sons were there. Among other things, we would go on field trips with rock hammers seeking fossiles, then sit and discuss the lives of the things fossilized, and the shallow sea in which they lived...200+ million years ago.
    If you should want to attack the bible thumpers at the school board meetings, then you had better know the book they're likely to be holding in one hand.
    Forewarned= fore-armed.

    Then, you might well challenge their "faith"
    and diminish their potential
    forget not the lessons from ancient ireland
    the bards and druids used lampoon to show the silliness of others, including leaders and kings.
    ...............
    edit: metaphor
    Rather than lying behind a log and squeexing off a burst, or firing a scattergun in the general direction of where you think your enemy is, Use a rifle.
    Plan your KZ carefully, and zero your weapon for that KZ, then sucker your enemy into the KZ, then aim carefully. If you set up the circumstances wherein you can't miss, you won't miss.

    (use this strategy for arguement as well)
    Last edited by sculptor; December 4th, 2012 at 12:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    I think bunk is bunk.
    I'm afraid I do not adequately grasp your meaning, and will have to ask that you elaborate a little more on the above is relation to my question.
    Whether it's 9-11 conspiracies, Moon hoax conspiracies, claims of alien visitors without evidence, ghost stories, fairy sightings, religions, sightings of Virgin Mary on Grilled Cheese Sammich, Jihad, bigfoot, Nessie or various other examples of bunk- I think bunk is bunk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Whether it's 9-11 conspiracies, Moon hoax conspiracies, claims of alien visitors without evidence, ghost stories, fairy sightings, religions, sightings of Virgin Mary on Grilled Cheese Sammich, Jihad, bigfoot, Nessie or various other examples of bunk- I think bunk is bunk.
    I was specifically referring to the portion of your post that I have quoted in post 76, where you mentioned the following.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    God belief is- it seeks to hold back scientific progress out of fear that science may 'disprove' God (Creation Museum/Chicktracts) and seeks out the young to indoctrinate quickly. It seeks to undermine proper education for fear that evolution taught in schools may lower it's reception of tythes and revenue.
    It's a source of bigotry and judgment against others who are different (gay marriage), impinging on freedom.
    And my question was "... does your disapproval apply only to this specific few religions, or are there other religions you have in mind?" in relation to that portion of your post where you have highlighted what (I'd presume to be) a specific genre of (abrahamic?) religions that I am aware of that does the above.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    And my question was "... does your disapproval apply only to this specific few religions, or are there other religions you have in mind?" in relation to that portion of your post where you have highlighted what (I'd presume to be) a specific genre of (abrahamic?) religions that I am aware of that does the above.
    My disapproval applies to any bunk that seeks to undermine actual knowledge and verification.
    The answer I gave made this clear. I do not care if it's YEC's, Buddhists, Bart Sibrel or what have you.
    The religion or sect or denomination makes no difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    ahem:

    A true theist has an unquenchable thirst to know god, and science is one extreemly valuable tool in that quest.'
    So, I submit that no true theist would ever do anything that might stifle scientific inquiry.
    Quite the contrary.
    Do you have any examples of when science has helped someone to know god better? It's been my experience that understanding science usually leads to atheism. And only pseudoscience has aided to confirm faith or help people to think they know god better.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Remember Terri Schiavo?.
    No, I was too young. What does this teach us?
    So you are less than 7 years old? There should be age restrictions to registering on this site..
    No I'm not less than seven years old... I'd be quite please with myself if I was. I assume that was just a petty insult, I'll be optimistic and call it friendly banter.

    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    genuinely wonder what evidence suggests that our soul isn't real.

    That's not an invite for anybody to inform me that you can't prove a negative
    and it's on the beleivers to present evidence. I would expect evidence to exist as grounds to dismiss the notion as so many people are convinced it's a fantasy.
    Science does not prove a negative. You cannot prove that something does not exist. There may be no evidence of rock monsters on earth but that does not mean that rocks cant be alive on some other planet somewhere in the universe. This is why science does not prove the nonexistence of anything.

    But you cannot use science to prove the existence of a soul or a god. There is no evidence of either. There have been many religious scientists in the world who undoubtedly looked for proof of the human soul or god. Imagine the implications of such a scientific discovery. The one who can scientifically prove the existence of a soul or god would be more famous than Jesus. I have known plenty of people in my life that said their main reason for studying science was because they hoped to prove that god and the soul exist one day. But years later they were atheist because for all their trying they failed. And apparently God didn't lend them a hand. You'd think if god were real he would want to set the record straight rather than giving the world the silent treatment and letting people assume he isn't there since he won't show himself.

    Asking scientists to prove a negative is nothing more than a parlor trick of believers who think they are clever. it is smoke and mirrors to confuse the gullible.
    I wasn't asking scientists... I was asking your friend neverfly, not to prove a negative, but to provide evidence to back up the positive claims he made.

    No, I wouldn't think God would lend em a hand, you might. That's all about you preconceptions.

    I never asked any scienctists to prove a negative so I suggest every irrelevant and irrational comment you have made is mere smoke and mirrors to confuse the guillible.
    Why you would want to do that, I have no idea. Why anybody would promote Atheism when they don't even have any evidence that it is the right way of thinking, I have no clue. Why anybody would insult all theists, it's beyond me.

    Since you fail to present any evidence even though I specifically requested it, in anticipation of overbearing opinions being expressed, I now feel that I've done my best to tap into the professed wisdom, but never found it. Maybe the next Imtheist will be able to help me with the science aspect. Surely some of them have some logical basis for their stance which they can express!

    Saying "genuinely wonder what evidence suggests that our soul isn't real. " implies proof of a negative. What you did was ask for proof of a negative then claimed immediatly in the next sentence that you aren't.

    thats the same as saying, "Prove to me that a horse isn't male, but I am not asking you to show me it's genitals."

    You ask for evidence of a negative but without proving a negative. And you accuse me of smoke and mirrors. Your debate tactics are dishonest.

    And the remark about you being less than 7 years old is because Terri Schaivo died 7 years ago. If you are not lying about being too young to remember it then you have to be less than 7 years old. Would you have preferred that I just call you a liar?
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  86. #85  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post

    All functions of the body ceasing shortly after death is your evidence against an afterlife?

    I'll be honest, I hasn't exactly rocked my world to the core... On this basis I have to remain agnostic.
    Neverfly covered this already, damage to the brain can cause changes to your personality. Drugs can cause changes to your personality. Your personality is a product of your physical brain. When your brain stops, your personality is gone. If you wish to present some mechanism by which this personality can endure, please do, and we'll scrutinise that. Oh, and the onus is on you, if you arr saying that it's a reasonable claim. The rest of us are simply saying we've seen no evidence for an afterlife, and plenty of evidence linking personality to a physical brain.
    There is no onus on me Phlo... I have not said that any claims are reasonable... I anticipated this response from members when I enquired as to what evidence neverfly can present to verify his position.

    I have no position, i'm seeking answers. There cannot logically be any onus on me. I do hope that nobody else asks me to provide evidence for some claim that I haven't made, becuase it is tedious.
    One who seeks answers, listens. They do not argue with the teacher.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  87. #86  
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    I would be satisfied with a simple answer of the question, "What does God do?"

    But allow me to introduce an atheist equivalence to God. A condition (entity) which in all respects is comparable to the actions and characteristics of god-like behavior and purpose.

    The one difference, this condition (entity) is not self-sentient. It just performs it's creative functions with apparent mathematical precision. It is that which may become reality, just before it becomes reality.

    And the name is Potential. I am not an atheist, I am a Potentialist, a somewhat different religion......, ("thanks Einstein").
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  88. #87  
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    You ask for evidence of a negative but without proving a negative. And you accuse me of smoke and mirrors. Your debate tactics are dishonest.

    And the remark about you being less than 7 years old is because Terri Schaivo died 7 years ago. If you are not lying about being too young to remember it then you have to be less than 7 years old. Would you have preferred that I just call you a liar?
    I think you are being unfair on Q4U. I believe Q4U is still developign his debating skills and critical thinking skills. Rather than being dishonest I think he is just being sloppy in his thinking. That is a character weakness rather than a defect.

    Equally, his comment on Schaivo could mean, "I was too young to take interest in the news of the day". That could make Q4U almost any age!
    And, for the record, I had no idea who Terri Schaivo was.
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  89. #88  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    You ask for evidence of a negative but without proving a negative. And you accuse me of smoke and mirrors. Your debate tactics are dishonest.

    And the remark about you being less than 7 years old is because Terri Schaivo died 7 years ago. If you are not lying about being too young to remember it then you have to be less than 7 years old. Would you have preferred that I just call you a liar?
    I think you are being unfair on Q4U. I believe Q4U is still developign his debating skills and critical thinking skills. Rather than being dishonest I think he is just being sloppy in his thinking. That is a character weakness rather than a defect.

    Equally, his comment on Schaivo could mean, "I was too young to take interest in the news of the day". That could make Q4U almost any age!
    And, for the record, I had no idea who Terri Schaivo was.
    Not knowing who she is would likely have sparked the question of who she is. Assuming one was too young to remember implies some knowledge of the name at least. I usually consider calling someone dishonest to be less insulting than calling them stupid. but if that's considered the kinder approach.....I will keep it in mind for future run ins with illogical inaccurate and shady debate tactics.

    And to assume he meant he was too young to take interest is an assumption. He asked me not to make assumptions about what he meant and only take him for what he said. he said he was too young to remember something that happened 7 years ago. So taking him at face value as he requested, I had to assume he was telling the truth and was not born yet.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  90. #89  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    I would be satisfied with a simple answer of the question, "What does God do?"
    God/Gods have been used explain gaps in our knowledge about observed phenomena (e.g. Origin of the Universe), but using an invisible, undefined agent, to explain a mysterious phenomena is worthless. The concept of God/Gods now seem to provide emotional comfort to the believers. God helps make some people feel good, when they aren't feeling bad about God.
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  91. #90  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    I would be satisfied with a simple answer of the question, "What does God do?"
    God/Gods have been used explain gaps in our knowledge about observed phenomena (e.g. Origin of the Universe), but using an invisible, undefined agent, to explain a mysterious phenomena is worthless. The concept of God/Gods now seem to provide emotional comfort to the believers. God helps make some people feel good, when they aren't feeling bad about God.
    This I don't understand. When I feel down, I may listen to Brahms or Miles, that is sure to make me feel better. But then Brahms composed and orchestrated the music and Miles composed music while he was playing (improvisation). These artists DID something, and it was good.

    But God doesn't do anything, the personal belief in God is the active agent of comfort. The believer is his/her own instrument and composer.
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    That reliance on a higher power can be problematic. It can be absurd. Such as a person failing to take proper effective action thinking that Gods Will would allow it to happen if it's in his divine plan.

    However, it can have the opposite effect as well and that can be a very positive thing. Such as an addict using the strength lent from a "higher power" to overcome addiction. Yes, they are their own composer and in reality, the strength comes from themselves. but the impetus to reach it seems to require a neat psychological trick to get them to do it.
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  93. #92  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    The one thing that I don't get,
    is
    Why, if you are certain that no being/force/entity that one might call "god" could possibly exist,
    do you feel the need to talk about that non-being/non-force/non-entity?
    I can't believe you are so naive. Religion, whether you yourself are religious or not, controls many aspects of your life. If the POTUS believed in flying pigs, you wouldn't want them to have any knowledge of nuclear launch codes, but Romney believing God lives on the planet Kolob is OK?

    So we try to bring some reason, sway people, sever ties between religion and politics, explain that your creed binds only you, and prevent you making laws based on your dogma. Hell, in some states (like Kansas) an American citizen ('Land of the Free' right?) can't even buy a beer on a Sunday. Here's a more extensive list of religious meddling with civil rights: Atheist Alliance of America - Policy Positions on Religion-Based Laws

    So simply, separation of church and state needs to be fully applied, religious based laws repealed, and all tax breaks and advantages for religious organisations ended. We're not going to just sit and be quiet while religious leaders preach hate and intolerance, while dodging taxation.
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  94. #93  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    ahem:

    A true theist has an unquenchable thirst to know god, and science is one extreemly valuable tool in that quest.'
    So, I submit that no true theist would ever do anything that might stifle scientific inquiry.
    Quite the contrary.

    Yes yes, and no 'true theist' would cover up the sexual abuse of children within their organisation either, except that happened on a large scale in the Catholic Church. Your problem is that people are thought of as 'true theists' until they are caught out.
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  95. #94  
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    The more I think about it, the more respect I get for the old native american philosophy that one's connection to god is so uniquely personal, it is impossible to share it with anyone else. Each theist has their own subjective symbolic mimetic of god.
    This is of course responsible for the many (sometimes incompatible) religions, each claiming to be the true religion, IMO it is also the reason for enforced dogma to compel obedience and prevent individual interpretation (straying from the path).
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  96. #95  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    The more I think about it, the more respect I get for the old native american philosophy that one's connection to god is so uniquely personal, it is impossible to share it with anyone else. Each theist has their own subjective symbolic mimetic of god.
    I have absolutely no problem with that philosophy. The problems occur when some leader says 'your God commands we make war on our neighbours, so let's get smiting!' People in large groups suck.
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    I would like to know who suspended my account after post 68? Also, why did you suspend my account after post 68? Finally, why did I get no warning prior to having my account suspended?

    I know I was arguing against the anti theist agenda, and using honest logic and reasoning which is difficult to compete with, yet to censor me without warning seems a little bit 'dark age'. I must say I was suprised that this happened.
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  98. #97  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I would like to know who suspended my account after post 68? Also, why did you suspend my account after post 68? Finally, why did I get no warning prior to having my account suspended?

    I know I was arguing against the anti theist agenda, and using honest logic and reasoning which is difficult to compete with, yet to censor me without warning seems a little bit 'dark age'. I must say I was suprised that this happened.
    Are you absolutely sure you were suspended? I thought i was suspended one day but i hadn't even gotten to attempt to log in. I pulled up the site and it said in big red letters. "This account has been suspended" i had a minor little freakout then remembered something Admin had said in the chat box. That his server account needed to be temporarily suspended for some maintenance and it was sending everyone the default page saying "This account has been suspended".

    Is that what you got? Or were you able to see the forum and got the suspension notice after entering your password.

    I know I didn't make any formal complaints about you or suggest that you be banned.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  99. #98  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    using honest logic and reasoning
    You think?

    I have no idea why your account was suspended. But now you are back, can you explain why you think it "lacks intelligence" to compare your questions for evidence against God, souls, etc. with evidence against any other mythical entity?
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    using honest logic and reasoning
    You think?
    I said it, I meant it. Are you getting confused again and thinking that my above quote somehow relates to the unicorn analogies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    But now you are back, can you explain why you think it "lacks intelligence" to compare your questions for evidence against God, souls, etc. with evidence against any other mythical entity?

    If you would like to post my quote, in context, that is... along with the comment that my post responds to. Then ask any questions you have regarding my post in it's context... Then I will try to answer you as clearly as possible as this is obviously a point that you really want to have cleared up.

    Just remember, full quote plus full context is important, especially as this is now a bygone discussion.
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  101. #100  
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    I went to hit the post button and got the this account has been suspended page.

    Not likely to beleive that my particular account needed maintenance, either the site works for all or it doesn't surely?

    Anyway.. maybe an admin will know...
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