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; quote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Joe Farmer was abducted by aliens. Their Ufo landed on top of his barn, taking four cows and ...

  1. #106
    Much older and wiser Fountain's Avatar
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    quote:
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    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.

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    Were the cows ok?
    Such is life.

  2. #107
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    It all depends. Does cheese eat pizza?



    Indeed.

  3. #108
    Much older and wiser Fountain's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gcn_zelda
    It all depends. Does cheese eat pizza?



    Indeed.
    I guess it does yes, in the oven
    Such is life.

  4. #109
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    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
    That was a very interesting read, but unless i'm mistaken it seems to imply that the every belief i hold about everything is agnostic.

    It says:

    So, if a person cannot claim to know, or know for sure, if any gods exist, then they may properly use the term "agnostic" to describe themselves
    Well, i cannot claim to know for "sure", whether my arm exists.

    Because there is no such thing as absolute proof for anything based on the senses, does that mean we are all agnostic regarding every belief we have?

    In which case surely it's a pointless definition?
    Last edited by Clyde; 08-09-2003 at 05:51 PM.

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    You still have disproved the apparition. It would be interesting if you looked into it because I have of yet found a rational explanation except for talk that it is a UFO.

    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.
    Faith is the inner sight possessed by the soul. It is not blind belief.

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    >>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.<<

    thats exactly what i mean. we dont know how the big bang really happened but if we were to explain how this world was created, then we would either have to rely on either a scietific explanation or a religious assumption but not both at the same time.

    cheers.
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  7. #112
    Cat
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    Originally posted by Clyde
    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.

    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.
    These arguments are flawed -- religion does not (or should not) try to explain HOW an event happens. Religion focuses on WHY. Science is a tool for understanding the mechanisms. Religion is devoted to understanding the meaning behind the actions.

    For example, you can very scientifically examine one of Van Gogh's paintings. You can determine how the artist created it -- what paints he used, what brushes, what material he painted upon. You can quantify how he used various types of dyes to control the absorption and reflection of incident light. All that falls in the realm of science.

    The appreciation of the art, however, is the analog of religion. Not how the painting was done, but rather why. The artist's motivation, the meaning that he put into the painting, the reason he painted what he did.

    Religion is found in seeking of the purpose of the events, not the mechanism. Knowing how the tools work doesn't cheapen the motivation. Understanding how our brains work doesn't make them any less marvelous, nor does understanding the chemical nature behind a miracle make it any less done by design.

    If god exists, and I am not saying anything one way or the other, then the very scientific laws we are discovering, the subtle interactions of chemicals under the electromagnetic force, are the tools he uses. And just as it is up to science to understand how the tools work, it's up to religion to attempt to answer why.

    Originally posted by Ben_Robotics

    thats exactly what i mean. we dont know how the big bang really happened but if we were to explain how this world was created, then we would either have to rely on either a scietific explanation or a religious assumption but not both at the same time.

    cheers. [/B]
    Not so. In that scenario, science could tell us how it happened. It couldn't tell us the meaning behind it.

    Of course, atheists don't believe there IS a meaning behind the events, or a directed purpose of a creator. It's as valid a point of view as any other, but I don't think it's superior.
    Last edited by Cat; 08-09-2003 at 08:36 PM.

  8. #113
    ¡Amo fútbol!
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    Originally posted by Cat
    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.
    Exactly my point!

    Furthermore, a miracle is undefinable in its essence. If it were explainable, then it wouldn't be a miracle.

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    >So, if a person cannot claim to know, or know for sure, if any gods exist

    I think his definition may be a little strong for practical purposes.
    If you take "cannot claim to know" as the definition, its more applicable. Although no one can know anything absolutely, there is reason to believe things are true because of the overwhelming evidence that suggests they are true. And I think in that case one can rightfully make the claim to "know" something is true, eventhough they may not be absolutely sure. Then one wouldnt be agnostic about everything.

    >These arguments are flawed -- religion does not (or should not) try to explain HOW an event happens. Religion focuses on WHY. Science is a tool for understanding the mechanisms. Religion is devoted to understanding the meaning behind the actions.

    Your missing the point. If you go by the premise that it is irrational to belive anything that doest have evidence suggesting it, then what reason would there be to believe in a soul if science could figure out everything about consciousness? None.

    The only "evidence" for the soul is the mystery surrounding the brain and human consciousness. But science is slowly unraveling the mystery. And when we get to the point that everything can be explained, what reason would there be to believe in a soul?
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  10. #115
    Cat
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    Originally posted by *ClownPimp*
    Your missing the point. If you go by the premise that it is irrational to belive anything that doest have evidence suggesting it, then what reason would there be to believe in a soul if science could figure out everything about consciousness? None.

    The only "evidence" for the soul is the mystery surrounding the brain and human consciousness. But science is slowly unraveling the mystery. And when we get to the point that everything can be explained, what reason would there be to believe in a soul?
    Because there's more to who we are than just what we are made of and how we work. It doesn't matter how much "mystery" there is. Whether we know the whole of every mechanism of our body, or none of them, is irrelevant from the religious standpoint.

    From a religious standpoint, how we exist is not as important as why we exist. The mechanics of life is not as important as the meaning of life.

    Religion is not about filling gaps in our understanding of the universe, it's about finding meaning and purpose.

  11. #116
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    Cat:

    >>>
    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.
    <<<

    If you want your mind boggled somewhat, check out Membrane Theory, (more colloquially 'M' theory). Not only does it produce a model for the origin of the big bang, it also describes the "membrane multiverse" which exists outside of the universe. It's radical stuff.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

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    >Because there's more to who we are than just what we are made of and how we work.

    Thats your opinion, but science is starting to show that that isnt the case.

    >Religion is not about filling gaps in our understanding of the universe, it's about finding meaning and purpose.

    Thats fine with me. Religion can do that without claiming supernatural beings exist. But they dont and thats the problem. Furthermore as science explains more and more about the natural world, the necessity for religion wanes, and is already gone in my opinion.
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  13. #118
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    Because there's more to who we are than just what we are made of and how we work.
    What is the basis of this statement?

    It doesn't matter how much "mystery" there is. Whether we know the whole of every mechanism of our body, or none of them, is irrelevant from the religious standpoint.
    I don't think it is irrelevent, when people had no understanding of how/why (in many instances i think how and why are the same question) things happened the idea of a God was much more plausible, thus when they saw a meteor they concluded it was a sign from God. Now that science has offered up an alternative explanation most people recognise that meteors aren't actually signs from God.

    Likewise if/when science uncovers a naturalistic basis for the human mind surely the concept of the soul will be cast aside in the same way as the hypothesis that meteors are signs from God was.

    From a religious standpoint, how we exist is not as important as why we exist. The mechanics of life is not as important as the meaning of life.
    But then religion is making a fanstastic mistake, it is assuming there must BE a meaning to life. Science does not by definition assume that there isn't, but its findings do seem to make a mockery of the idea.

    Religion is not about filling gaps in our understanding of the universe, it's about finding meaning and purpose.
    I can accept that, and religion COULD do that without entering science's real, it could offer a guide to life, how to feel fulfilled, how to go about feeling happy, without making specific claims over supposed real phenomena that have no basis.

    Consider buddism, subtract belief in reincarnation, subtract belief in some kind of mystical soul, subtract all beliefs other than the guide to life part, and you are left with a religion that would truly be compatable with science. And what i think will be similar to the religions of the future.
    Last edited by Clyde; 08-10-2003 at 06:01 AM.

  14. #119
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    I think his definition may be a little strong for practical purposes.
    If you take "cannot claim to know" as the definition, its more applicable. Although no one can know anything absolutely, there is reason to believe things are true because of the overwhelming evidence that suggests they are true. And I think in that case one can rightfully make the claim to "know" something is true, eventhough they may not be absolutely sure. Then one wouldnt be agnostic about everything
    This is an interesting topic, and i think it leads to the root of why i don't really consider myself agnostic.

    If you accept that 'absolute' certainty does not exist, then when people claim they are certain of something or that they "know" something presumeably they mean that in their eyes the chance of the alternative is too small to consider reasonably likely.

    Well in that case the same reasoning can apply to the non-existance of God; if you accept there is no basis to divine belief, then belief in God becomes little more than a random guess, as such the chances of the guess being right are in my eyes too small to consider reasonably likely.

  15. #120
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    If you want your mind boggled somewhat, check out Membrane Theory, (more colloquially 'M' theory). Not only does it produce a model for the origin of the big bang, it also describes the "membrane multiverse" which exists outside of the universe. It's radical stuff.
    Have you got any links Adrian? i'mthink i read about it in Hawking's last book, but that was ages ago, and i only have a vague recollection.

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