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; Sorry, I was mistaken. I actually thought Atheists claim that no God exists I don't know if thats right nvoigt, ...

  1. #91
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    Sorry, I was mistaken. I actually thought Atheists claim that no God exists
    I don't know if thats right nvoigt, they simply do not see any reason to believe he exists.

    Just like with my invisible kangaroo i can't say he doesn't exist, i can say there is no reason to believe he does, which makes believeing in him crazy.

    I don't think it's flawed. Maybe different. I think we have the same base here:
    Evolution is what happened. Most religious theories and books have flaws.
    Ok, with you so far

    They were translated several times and have been written a long time ago. This way, even if they were right at the time written, flaws are to be suspected.
    Fair enough.

    My conclusion is that I cannot come to a conclusion. Your conclusion is as the evidence is flawed, there is no God.
    No but don't you see my conclusions is not flawed, because i'm not concluding "therefore there is no God" (with the exception of my little hypothesis below) , i'm concluding "there is nothing that indicates a God", and that believing in something that has no basis is crazy.

    We are lead back to Santa Claus, or invisible kangroos, or materialising elephants, or any of the infinite number of hypothetical possibilities. It is as reasonable to believe in God, as in them.

    Take another example:
    Ok.

    Joe Farmer was abducted by aliens. Their Ufo landed on top of his barn, taking four cows and him to a planet called yobana where they did various experiments. This is flawed, no evidence whatsoever, probably a made up story. My conclusion is, that this bull$$$$ is not enough to decide if there is life outside of the space we know. Your conclusion would be that as the story is total bull$$$$ and Joe Farmer was drunk at best, there is no life outside of our galaxy.
    Ok so we agree that the tale is nonsense (for whatever reasons), but you see, i would not conclude that therefore there was no life outside of our galaxy.

    If that story was the ONLY thing that pointed to outside life, if there was nothing else at all, no reason whatsoever to believe that there was extraterestrial life other than our farmer's story (which in the example i'm presumeing is supposed to be nonsense) then you are right, i wouldn't believe ETs existed, it would be the same as our invisible kangaroos, santa claus, etc. etc.

    But there are reasons to believe in ET life, our understanding of the origin of life on Earth points to the possibility of life forming else where. We know life can form spontaneously, and in a universe with more suns than there are grains of sand on Earth that makes the possiblity of ET life plausable.

    You see thats the difference, we have basis for suspecting there might be ET life, irrespective of a few crack-pot stories.

    Belief in God, has no line of reasoning like the one above supporting it, it is truly a belief based on nothing, its a random guess at a property of the universe, and as such is completely insane.

    No facts, no decision on my part. And I guess we already agreed above that we don't have proof for anything. We don't even know if my decision to sit here and answer isn't God's way to play Sims on a saturday afternoon.
    Indeed.

    I don't think it's likely or reasonable. I just don't think it's totally impossible either.
    Well interestingly i wonder whether it is actually possible to disprove the idea of a an omnipotent, omnibenvolent, omniscient God.

    Given that i can prove i experience, and my experience is not all it could be, does that not disprove God? (this is just the problem of evil and human imperfection, but it occured to me, that you don't need to assume that your experiences are based on anything real for it to apply, which means that if the problem of evil is logically sound and i think it is, then it constitutes absolute refutation of the God of Christianty, Judaism, and Islam).

    But that is just an aside, i know you can't prove anything because you can't prove your senses are real. So can never say anything with absolute certainty, that doesn't mean however we should believe everything is equally likely.

    I don't believe that God is 100% impossible, i believe that the chance of God existing is so spectacularly improbable that its as good as believing its impossible.
    Last edited by Clyde; 08-09-2003 at 07:47 AM.

  2. #92
    Registered User moonwalker's Avatar
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    Originally posted by okinrus
    I find the evidence on this http://www.zeitun-eg.org/ site convincing enough to believe. You have photographic evidence and many eye witness evidence from people of different faiths.
    Well, I don't!!!
    Terminator 3 looks much more realistic

  3. #93
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    Here's my view (for the 1000th time):

    I take a scientific religious approach to everything. I believe that there is a God and that the created everything (however, not as it is today). Instead, he created the universe as science sees it. Along with the universe, he created laws to govern the place (the rules of science, physics, etc.). Although he has absolute control over everything, he doesn't like to changes things. Instead, he likes to let his system run. Then, when things need to be done, he can do them (ala Jesus, miracles, etc).

    Fits well for me and keeps me happy.

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    Well, I don't!!! Terminator 3 looks much more realistic
    Well it was good enough to convince the "Report of General information and complaints" http://members.aol.com/bjw1106/marian7.htm
    Also at the time that this was happening, high end effects such as what is seen in terminator were impoosible. It is also impossible to have been a photographic botch because she was seen by thousands of muslims and christians.

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    Clyde are you going to respond to my post or not? Is that an invisible kangraroo? Give us your skeptical interpretation. Otherwise, you are dismissing evidence only because of your disbelief in the supernatural.

  6. #96
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    Well, i don't actually have realone on my PC, I'll have to down load it, but the picture is so fake it could teach Pamella Anderson a lesson or two.

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    >>I take a scientific religious approach to everything <<

    scientific religious? what is that? you cant use both terms at the same time together. If you use science, you have no reason to believe that god created the universe. using scientific approach would help you to conduct studies on explaining what the "big bang" was, how it happenend etc..... and if you are using religion and religious beliefs, then you have to "assume" that a god created this universe.
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    No but don't you see my conclusions is not flawed, because i'm not concluding "therefore there is no God" (with the exception of my little hypothesis below) , i'm concluding "there is nothing that indicates a God", and that believing in something that has no basis is crazy.
    This and most of your other statements were well said Clyde.
    EDIT: and I like the things you say Clyde because they seem truly objective.

    I wonder why god has to be personified and described as a being. What if god is or was just an automaton that is ultimately responsible for our existance, but not by choice or rational decision making. There aren't words to describe it, but what if this 'thing' is so infinitely complex that it is responsible for the 'creation' (again, loss of words) of energy? It seems logical to assume that whatever is responsible for energy is also responsible for us.

  9. #99
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    Originally posted by Ben_Robotics
    >>I take a scientific religious approach to everything <<

    using scientific approach would help you to conduct studies on explaining what the "big bang" was, how it happenend etc.....
    That's impossible by current scientific thinking. Given the "singularity" model for the big bang, the events (if any) which preceded the Big Bang cannot leave any evidence in this universe. You cannot look "behind" the Big Bang because, by definition, it would be impossible for any piece of information to survive.

    So, we're left in a case where, not only is there no data, there can never be data.

    Further, I don't think "scientific religious" is an oxymoron. Religion as an abstract doesn't have to impinge on the domain of science, and science cannot impinge upon the domain of religion.

    I think the major problem is that religions are ill-formed. They try to be all-encompassing, so they try to "muscle in" on science, morality, etc. But simply because most religions are ill-formed, and stretch beyond the theological doesn't mean religion in general can't coexist with science, morality, etc. and not interfere with them.

  10. #100
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    well said, I think you are also onto something. I'm glad we're finally getting people that have objective views.

  11. #101
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    I think the major problem is that religions are ill-formed. They try to be all-encompassing, so they try to "muscle in" on science, morality, etc. But simply because most religions are ill-formed, and stretch beyond the theological doesn't mean religion in general can't coexist with science, morality, etc. and not interfere with them.
    That's a fair point, but then what kind of religion could exist that didn't muscle in on science?

    Presumeably such a religion would not make any claims over any phenomena after the big bang.

    So God answering prayers and performing miracles? Human beings having a soul?

    You would have to lose all those because they are tangible claims over things that are actually supposed to happen in the physical universe, that's science's field.

  12. #102
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    I think the question of the existence of a soul is also outside of the scientific arena. Science can only deal with hypotheses which are disprovable -- questions of spirituality can't be disproven. Science, for example, could never disprove the existence of a soul.

    All of those things you mention (the origin of the universe, souls, god answering prayers and performing miracles) could never be disproven by science; they're perfectly acceptable topics for religions to discuss.

    Atheism is also a form of religion. It is well-formed; it simply asserts that nothing exists except that which is logically proveable or scientifically verifiable. Atheism, itself, is not scientific in basis; it makes assertations about the existence or nonexistence of things outside of the realm of science. Atheists must take the nonexistence of god on faith, just as a theist would take the existence of god.

    The true absence of religion would be agnosticism, which is essentially the absence of any belief or disbelief in spiritual matters.
    Last edited by Cat; 08-09-2003 at 02:52 PM.

  13. #103
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    For me, choosing atheism over the Christianity I was raised with was a form of self-liberation. I am satisfied being aware that I can never truly know every detail about the way the universe works or how life evolved. I consider it better than closing my mind and accepting a dillusionary myth that contradicts other such myths as a fundamental truth and then using that as a foundation for an outdated system of morality that restricts the natural range of human expression because it is considered a sin or heresy.

    If Christianity is supposed to be a religion based on tolerance and love of all people, it seems to be failing continuously. The Christian Right has created needless divisiveness by pushing their religious views on the rest of the population. President George W. Bush, who has tried his hardest to cater to the Christian fundamentalists without upsetting more moderate voters too much, has said he will work to prevent any state from allowing a legally sanctioned homosexual marriage; why should the government interfere in two law-abiding, loving citizens' lives if they have a different sexual orientation? Other concerns include the Religious Right's attempts at affecting science education at public schools. Even more moderate, more mainstream Christians in this country sometimes have a misunderstanding of atheists and other non-Christians.

    I don't have anything against those who choose to believe in their religion, but I would like them to be understanding of those who choose to believe in no religion or god and who would like to see society be more accepting and nonjudgmental of the differences all people have.

    Atheism is also a form of religion. It is well-formed; it simply asserts that nothing exists except that which is logically proveable or scientifically verifiable. Atheism, itself, is not scientific in basis; it makes assertations about the existence or nonexistence of things outside of the realm of science. Atheists must take the nonexistence of god on faith, just as a theist would take the existence of god.
    When I say atheism, I simply mean the lack of a belief in an all-powerful, all-knowing being or beings. I don't include in my definition anything about the need only for scientifically verifiable proof. I prefer to call myself nonreligious: I don't hold rigorously to any religion, philosophy, or absolute belief system, but I am open to explore different world outlooks even if I choose not to believe them as truth. In many matters, one can only hold an opinion or belief based on, well, belief, not science. Politics is a good example.

  14. #104
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    I think the question of the existence of a soul is also outside of the scientific arena. Science can only deal with hypotheses which are disprovable -- questions of spirituality can't be disproven. Science, for example, could never disprove the existence of a soul.
    If science explained consciousness, explained everything about human experience, would it not have explained away the soul? It would not directly have disproved it, it would merely have removed any reason to believe it exists.

    All of those things you mention (the origin of the universe, souls, god answering prayers and performing miracles) could never be disproven by science; they're perfectly acceptable topics for religions to discuss.
    But miracles can be "disproved", because science can offer up naturalistic explanations: its a miracle he sat by this stone where dead religious person X once sat and he was cured, MIRACLE FROM GOD, science can say uhh... no its because there was this in the air that did that to his blood chemistry that did..... etc. etc. etc.

    Atheism is also a form of religion. It is well-formed; it simply asserts that nothing exists except that which is logically proveable or scientifically verifiable.
    I don't think it does you know, i'm quite happy to accept there may be aspects to the universe we can never discover, there might not be, but there might be.

    I wouldn't call atheism a religion at all, its simply the lack of any religious convictions, i simply believe in things that have some form justification behind them. It applies no more to God than to anything else.

    Atheism, itself, is not scientific in basis; it makes assertations about the existence or nonexistence of things outside of the realm of science.
    No i don't think it does, it merely says it is unreasonably to believe in something that is no reason to believe in. - A bit a trueism eh?

    Atheists must take the nonexistence of god on faith, just as a theist would take the existence of god.
    But its not faith. Its not faith NOT to believe in invisible kangaroos, its not faith NOT to believe you are about to crushed to death by a materialising elephant.

    The only logical way of deducing reality is to go on what there is evidence for because there are an infinite number of possible realities that there is no evidence against, and if you followed that reasoning you would live in a complete fantasy land.

    The true absence of religion would be agnosticism, which is essentially the absence of any belief or disbelief in spiritual matters.
    Right in that sense then I am agnostic then, and I'm agnostic about invisible kangaroos too, they "could" exist, but the likelyhood is infinitesably small. The reason i use the term atheist and not agnostic is because agnostic implies that I think the chance that God exists is reasonably high.

    I don't think the chance of God existing is reasonably high, because i don't think there is any reason to believe in God, which means he is as likely to exist as any of the other infinite number of possible characteristics (invisible kangaroos et al).
    Last edited by Clyde; 08-09-2003 at 04:17 PM.

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    >The true absence of religion would be agnosticism, which is essentially the absence of any belief or disbelief in spiritual matters.

    Another common misconception (I once thought so too). Agnosticism is not an in-between for atheism and theism. Better than try to explain it myself, just read here
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