Question about atheists

This is a discussion on Question about atheists within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I like how South Park put it tonigh, the Bible is just a bunch of stories to help you live ...

  1. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    913
    I like how South Park put it tonigh, the Bible is just a bunch of stories to help you live your life. Thats basicly what all religion is for, keeping people good and not scaring them with death.

    But it doesnt always work out....

  2. #17
    Rambling Man
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,050
    To sum it up down to the basic primitives, there are ones who need to practice a religion and/or believe in a higher power for them to go through their life, and there are those of us who do not need to practice a relgion nor believe in a higher power for us to get through our lives. The levels of practice of a religion and beliefs in a higher power vary based on the questions the person needs to be answered.

    If that's not able to answer your question, gcn_zelda, I'm not sure what will. It correctly and directly answers the reason for certain people not needing or wanting to practice a relgion nor believe in a higher power.

  3. #18
    RoD
    RoD is offline
    Redundantly Redundant RoD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    6,331
    Religion is a product of fear, thats all.

  4. #19
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    1,420
    I'm just wondering. If you don't believe in a God, what do you guys/girls believe? What do you think happens when you die? Do you think you're gone without the ability to even think?
    Well, i think when i die, I die, i cease, i don't "go" anywhere, it's like being unconcious.

    I just wonder, because without religion to fill in the holes the scientists leave in their theories,
    Heh, theres a quite a lot wrong with this statement:

    Scientists do not "leave holes" in their theories, you make it sound like they deliberately drop them in. Some theories have more evidence supporting them than others, some involve a greater number of a approximations than others, but they are all constantly being updated revised and even rewritten, science's greatest strength is its adaptability, it always gives you the best bet and is constantly improving the odds.

    There are theories now that do not completely explain the phenomena they describe, but it is a mistake to assume that anything currently unexplainable is due to God. If you do that, your God becomes a God of the gaps, constantly being chipped away by scientific advancement. Consider the people like you 500 years ago who used religion to fill the gaps they saw in science, they would have seen their God go up in smoke as science unveiled explanations for everything they attributed to him.

    it seems that everything would be impossible. For one example, gravity. How was gravity created? Is it just some thing that just happened? A natural phenomenon(or whatever that word is)?
    Well, this line of questioning goes back to the big bang, when you ask how do you explain _this_, there will always be an explanation, along of the lines of because of _that_, gravity is essentially a property of mass, then the questions become well why is that, and if and when we unravell the quantum-gravity you might well get an answer but it will leave something else to query.

    Ultimately it will lead back to the big bang like everything else, you ask "why is this" about anything, and then keep on asking why to the explanation given and you end up at the big bang.

    So then with the big bang itself you have two possibilities:

    Either A, it just happened, there is no prior step.
    or B, something made it

    The intuitive answer is B, it sounds right, it feels right, its makes you happy inside, and many people debating religion will say that this is a reason to believe in God.

    The big bang must have been made by something, therefore God must exist.

    But the reasoning is horribly flawed, for a start God is only one of an infinite number of possible creators, from invisible magic kangaroos to purely unconscious physical processes. Whats more invoking another step doesn't solve the problem at all, because you still have the first step originating out of nothing unless you believe that there are an infinite number of steps, every creator in turn has a creator.

    Since the only two possibilites are either the first step originated out of nothing or there are an infinite number of steps, then it becomes more reasonable to consider whether or not the big bang is the first step.

    What stops things just spontaneously jumping into existence? Well rules do, rules that govern what's allowed to happen and what's not, those rules are the laws of physics, but the laws of physics are a property of the universe, and 'prior' to the big bang they didnt exist, there were no rules! Or atleast our rules that specify cause and effect didn't exist, so there is not neccessarily a problem with the big bang being the first step. Furthermore, TIME itself began with the big-bang, since time began, there could not be a 'before', so its hard to see how there could have been a prior step.

    These ideas are not intuitive they feel instictively wrong, but the more you look at what makes the universe tick you realise that the universe is not an intuitive place.

    It's hard to understand everything if you don't believe in a god, in my opinion.
    You're right, thinking about whether or not causality is absolute is hard when you can just say "God did it" and not think about it any more, the process of evolution is complicated, much more so than the simple "God did it" answer you get from the story of creation. But then relativity is vastly more complex and much much harder to understand than simple Newtonian mechanics, and yet it is the more accurate of the two. Quantum mechanics is probably the harderst thing around to understand and yet is probably the most powerfull explanation that physicists have ever devised.

    The universe is a complicated place, and alot of things are hard to understand, but by substituting simple ideas that don't actually add up but are easy to comprehend for complicated ideas that are logically sound, you are abandoning the search for the truth, and are constructing your own fantasy land. One that can never compare to the astounding nature of the real universe.

    - Hope i've answered your question.

    Oh yea heres a rather beautifull poem (well i think it is) which sums up quite nicely how I as a student of science and as an atheist see Life, the Universe and Everything:

    http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/h...ot_here_ns.htm
    Last edited by Clyde; 08-07-2003 at 07:26 AM.

  5. #20
    Hamster without a wheel iain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    1,385
    the theory of gravity just exisiting is no more impossible than the idea of god just exisiting in the first place.
    Monday - what a way to spend a seventh of your life

  6. #21
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    8,825
    To restate:

    > do you think happens when you die?

    All the major news channels do a 30 second segment where they look teary eyed and show various pictures from my life. Other than that, not much.

    > Do you think you're gone without the ability to even think?

    I sure hope so - being in a coffin 6' under ground might give me too much time to think.

    > religion to fill in the holes the scientists leave in their theories

    HAHAHA! Oh, you're serious. As Clyde said, nothing in science is definite. If something comes up to change our perception of the universe, then the theories can be changed to adapt.

    > it seems that everything would be impossible.

    Why on earth does it seem that way?

    > It's hard to understand everything if you don't believe in a god, in my opinion.

    If you rely on that answer for everything, you will never really understand anything.

  7. #22
    Senior Member joshdick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Phildelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,146
    Someone brought up the question of gravity and how it got here. How did anything get here? I really don't give a rip. Does it matter how the standard libraries got here? No, it just matters that we understand them enough to use them. I understand that if drop something, it will fall. That's all a non-physicist really needs to know about gravity.

    As for an Afterlife, I have no more reason to believe in one than I do a god. I live my life as if it is my only one to live. I'm not going to shortchange myself in the hopes that I'll appease a supernatural being enough to keep myself from fire and brimstone after death. If I go on to a better place after death, that's nice. If not, oh well.

    Oftentimes I see people wrestling with really big philosophical questions like How did we get here? and Where are we going? But I happen to think that philosophy can be more practical than that. Try answering this: What should I do while I'm here? and What will make me happy? Now, those are some questions that require consideration. Instead of worrying about big bangs or creation or heaven or hell, I say worry about the here and now. If someone can tell me how to achieve happiness, I'd be much indebted. I'm still wrestling with that question myself.

    You ask us how atheists can make sense of the world. Well, as an atheist, I ask you how the world makes sense to a Christian. Why so much suffering and injustice if there's a benevolent god watching over all of us?

    I think atheists are generally more accepting of things. Also, we live for this lifetime rather than some Afterlife we think we might get. I hope that clears things up for you.
    FAQ

    "The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs." -- Joseph Weizenbaum.

    "If you cannot grok the overall structure of a program while taking a shower, you are not ready to code it." -- Richard Pattis.

  8. #23
    pronounced 'fib' FillYourBrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,297
    why does this have to happen. People, I'm a Christian and by that definition I should be wanting to convince you all that it is right. In fact the religion binds me to that commitment. But there is a time and place. There is the matter of waiting for a potentially receptive audience. So the process of "witnessing" isn't well served in a message board argument. I wish more people would realize this.

    I hate arguments about religion and politics. You all should too. Those of you who don't believe in God, ought not care what others believe in, as you don't really believe you serve any purpose here anyway. With that in mind, somebody close this. I wish there was a single moderator who's only purpose here was to close threads about religion and politics, or better yet a "Religion and Politics" forum separate from GD so people who can't shut up about it could leave the light-hearted GD feel alone.
    "You are stupid! You are stupid! Oh, and don't forget, you are STUPID!" - Dexter

  9. #24
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    8,825
    > You all should too.

    SOLD!

    > as you don't really believe you serve any purpose here anyway

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just because I don't think I'm here to serve Jesus doesn't mean I think life is pointless.

  10. #25
    pronounced 'fib' FillYourBrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,297
    hmmm...
    I'm not trying to upset you.
    "You are stupid! You are stupid! Oh, and don't forget, you are STUPID!" - Dexter

  11. #26
    Registered User codegirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    76
    hmm, I was going to post a more lengthy reply, but FYB seems to think this will just turn into an argument, so I'll just keep it short. (Although I can't help but wonder, if you don't like religion/politics threads, you don't have to post in them....) Anyway, if you're interested in seeing what Christians believe about science, you can always do some research. Especially with creation/evolution -- that's really the only theory with "holes" that I can think of, because there is a lot that scientists haven't been able to explain and there's also evidence contradictory to evolution -- evidence showing the Earth is about 6000 yrs old, for example. Some good, comprehensive sites on creation/evolution are:

    http://christiananswers.net/creation/home.html
    http://www.drdino.com/

    While they are written from a Christian perspective, they do cite their sources so you can look up the scientific articles if you want. Also http://www.naturalism-1.com/ is one of many articles pointing out the flaws in the famous Stanley Miller experiment where he claimed to have "created" life.

    Finally, an excellent source on creation and on joshdick's questions on happiness and meaning of life is the book "The Case for Faith" by Lee Strobel. Lee Strobel was originally an atheist who several years ago set out to prove that Jesus could not have been the Son of God and could not have risen from the dead, but when presented with so much archealogical and historical evidence, he concluded that Jesus had to have been God and wrote the book "The Case for Christ." His second book, "The Case for Faith," addresses 8 common questions athiests have about Christianity -- why is there suffering, creation/evolution, how can a loving God create a Hell, etc, and answers them by interviewing qualified scientists and philosophers. So he answers the questions from an intellectual viewpoint, not the emotional viewpoint that so many Christian authors take, which is a nice change. If nothing else, that book can give you a little insight into what Christians believe about such things. So if you don't like arguing, I'd encourage you to check out that book or do a little online research.
    My programs don't have bugs, they just develop random features.

  12. #27
    pronounced 'fib' FillYourBrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,297
    (Although I can't help but wonder, if you don't like religion/politics threads, you don't have to post in them....)
    I usually don't. But I'm trying to promote the cause of separating the forums at the moment. I know it probably won't happen though. The Case for Faith is a good one by the way.
    "You are stupid! You are stupid! Oh, and don't forget, you are STUPID!" - Dexter

  13. #28
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    4,831
    The reason religious threads get long and out of hand on here is simple. Neither side of the argument is prepared to change their mind. So the same old arguments get touted out again and again in different forms, and the same old rebuttals are made against them.

    People who believe in god, believe in god. People who don't, don't.

    QED.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

  14. #29
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    8,825
    Just sayin'.

    Seems a lot of times in these threads the religious people make sweeping generalizations about the atheists, saying that atheists feel that everything should be "natural" - there should be no laws, we only should try and satisfy ourselves, etc. Of course, this isn't true. Atheists then point out the reliigous people exist only to live their lives by a 2000 year old book and are afraid of any change because the Bible doesn't agree. Of course, this isn't true either.

    Right about then, someone will bring up Linux or American Imperialism or Commies or Nazis, and the whole thing becomes one giant cluster$$$$ of shouting and fingerpointing. The religious people fight the atheists, the linux supporters fight the windows supporters, people from America fight the rest of the world, and in the center, there's the site admin, vainly struggling to maintain his sanity while creating the illusion of free speech.

    Whoa. I think I summed up the Internet in 2 paragraphs.

  15. #30
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    1,420
    or better yet a "Religion and Politics" forum separate from GD so people who can't shut up about it could leave the light-hearted GD feel alone.
    Why don't you just not read threads that are going to involve religion or politics? What exactly did you think this thread would be about? Chicken soup?

    Especially with creation/evolution -- that's really the only theory with "holes" that I can think of, because there is a lot that scientists haven't been able to explain and there's also evidence contradictory to evolution -- evidence showing the Earth is about 6000 yrs old, for example. Some good, comprehensive sites on creation/evolution are:
    No no no no no no no!

    And no! again.

    Evolutionary theory has not got "holes" in it, it fits, it works, its observeable it is as much fact as the theory of heliocentricity. There are always minor adjustaments to be made, but the mainstay of the theory is here to stay.

    Likewise the evidence points to Earth's age being 4 billion odd years old, there is no debate, no real doubt, not among the scientific community, only people with vested interested in a young Earth (for religious reasons) doubt it.

    I realise it is very easy to be lead astray if you don't have a background in science and are in a religously orientated environment, because there are a wealth of sites out there no doubt including some of the ones you posted (I haven't yet gone through them) that talk absolute gibberish about evolution, the age of the Earth etc. they have many arguments but every single one has been refuted hundreds of times.

    Of course you might think that once an argument has been refuted it would simply go away and not resurface, but because of the vested interest that doesn't happen and the same ones go round and round and round and round.

    *Checks links*
    OH DEAR GOD you've got HIS site The ARCH-moron himself Kent Hovind, that man has not got the faintest clue about.... well anything. He is almost as stupid as Ken Ham.

    I cannot stress just how stupid this guy is, just how fantastically ignorant of science he is, and i'm afraid thats pretty much the case with all the YEC protangonists, because the conclusion based on the available evidence is crystal clear.

    . Also http://www.naturalism-1.com/ is one of many articles pointing out the flaws in the famous Stanley Miller experiment where he claimed to have "created" life.
    Miller's experiment never claimed to have created life, merely amino acids.
    Last edited by Clyde; 08-07-2003 at 09:11 AM.

Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. Alice....
    By Lurker in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 06-20-2005, 02:51 PM
  2. Debugging question
    By o_0 in forum C Programming
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-10-2004, 05:51 PM
  3. Question about pointers #2
    By maxhavoc in forum C++ Programming
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 06-21-2004, 12:52 PM
  4. Question...
    By TechWins in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 07-28-2003, 09:47 PM
  5. Question, question!
    By oskilian in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-24-2001, 12:47 AM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21