Atheists/Agnostics lack of morality? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Atheists/Agnostics lack of morality?

Kiedis
04-09-2012, 07:31 PM
Well, in the GM forum I saw this:

Nadal is an self-confessed atheist (this is not true, he is agnostic)

That explains his lack of morality!


Do you agree with him/her/it? Do you think this is a tolerant attitude?

Related with this a recent Gallup poll in the USA reveals that Americans are much more likely to elect a black man or a woman president than a Mormon or an old man. More interestingly, they’d rather be governed by a homosexual than an atheist:

Yes, would No, would not
vote for % vote for %
Catholic 95 4
Black 94 5
Jewish 92 7
A woman 88 11
Hispanic 87 12
Mormon 72 24
Married 3th time 67 30
72 years of age 57 42
A homosexual 55 43
An atheist 45 53

Very similar results in Brazil

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/black_president_more_likely_than_mormon_or_atheist _/

are we the atheists the social group who more prejudice have to suffer right now?

I don't think so in Europe but America (North & South) I am not sure :unsure:

Har-Tru
04-09-2012, 07:51 PM
Wasn't Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile, a non-believer?

Atheists are indeed confronted with unjustified mistrust in many regions of the world. I'm glad to live in a place where that is not the case.

Kiedis
04-09-2012, 08:02 PM
^^ I personally don't trust in the moral values ​​of religious people.

First, their moral scheme is imposed from out (a priest / rabbi, book, etc...). If they sometimes have doubts about their faith then they lost their moral system too. And all the believers pass some period when faith fails them.

Second, their morality is selfish. They do this or that because they will have a reward or a punishment, not for a personal conviction.

Too bad.

Filo V.
04-09-2012, 08:03 PM
MJAU is a complete fucking troll. Ignore the clown.

Ben.
04-09-2012, 08:08 PM
I just saw that disgustingly prejudiced post by that self righteous and arrogant troll, mjau. Infuriating and typical holier than thou attitude.

GOAT = Fed
04-09-2012, 08:12 PM
No, not really. In fact many liberal, secular countries have a far lower homicide rate than some of the more religious countries in the world: (All homicide rates per 100,000)
Japan: 0.40
Norway: 0.60
Switzerland: 0.66
Spain: 0.69
Germany: 0.86
Italy: 0.98

There are many more secular countries with very low homicide rates compared to the rest of the world.

Literally all the countries with the lowest homicide rates are the secular ones. Even in the US, the ''bible belt'' part of the country has a higher rate of homicide than the rest.

Kiedis
04-09-2012, 08:16 PM
No, not really. In fact many liberal, secular countries have a far lower homicide rate than some of the more religious countries in the world: (All homicide rates per 100,000)
Japan: 0.40
Norway: 0.60
Switzerland: 0.66
Spain: 0.69
Germany: 0.86
Italy: 0.98

Literally all the countries with the lowest homicide rates are the secular ones. Even in the US, the ''bible belt'' part of the country has a higher rate of homicide than the rest.

Which State of USA Consumes The Most Online Porn?
(http://consumerist.com/2009/03/which-state-consumes-the-most-online-porn.html)
http://consumerist.com/images/31/2009/03/030509-004-pornrankings158.jpg

And is the more conservative religious American State. I am not criticizing porn, I'm a critical of religious hypocrisy. Like these huge amount of pedophile priests (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases) :o

Filo V.
04-09-2012, 08:29 PM
Statistically, the reality is social conservatism (not necessarily religion but conservatism) is connected to higher murder rates, lower education rates, higher porn-viewership, more hate crimes, more STDs, higher rates of divorce.............do I need to continue? You get the picture.

Har-Tru
04-09-2012, 08:29 PM
Haha gotta love that chart.

abraxas21
04-09-2012, 08:31 PM
Wasn't Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile, a non-believer?


yes, same as Ricardo Lagos. yet, both were elected presidents in a predominatly Christian nation.

i don't think atheists face nearly as much discrimination as the homosexuals, the poor or the indigenous/black people in south america. i'd go as far to suggest it is primarely the same virtually everywhere.

peribsen
04-09-2012, 09:00 PM
Related with this a recent Gallup poll in the USA reveals that Americans are much more likely to elect a black man or a woman president than a Mormon or an old man. More interestingly, they’d rather be governed by a homosexual than an atheist:

Got to love Gallup polls, they are soooo detailed. Wonder if they asked about voting for an elderly lapsed-Mormon atheist black Latino lesbian planning to enter into her fourth same-sex marriage to a Jew?

No, not really. In fact many liberal, secular countries have a far lower homicide rate than some of the more religious countries in the world: (All homicide rates per 100,000)
Japan: 0.40
Norway: 0.60
Switzerland: 0.66
Spain: 0.69
Germany: 0.86
Italy: 0.98


Bottom line is all of those countries belong to the rich world. Of course, one could also say that most rich countries are less religious. But would that mean that being less religious is a good move for socioeconomic progress, or just that, the fatter the cat, the least likely it is to worry about religion? I mean, in the first world, being diagnosed of cancer or sent off to war seems to work wonders for bringing at least some people back to the pew.

Which State of USA Consumes The Most Online Porn?
(http://consumerist.com/2009/03/which-state-consumes-the-most-online-porn.html)
http://consumerist.com/images/31/2009/03/030509-004-pornrankings158.jpg

Well, to be fair, one has to make allowances for the fact that in Utah, if you really need to find a date, you have to walk for miles.

Like these huge amount of pedophile priests (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases) :o

Well, in fact, on a more serious note, it must be said that the incidence of cases of pedophilia among Catholic priests is no larger than among Protestant pastors, Rabbis, gym monitors or dentists. I'm serious about this, the data were published on Newsweek a couple of years back. The problem with the RCC is the poor way they handled the cases, with some culprits being guilty of dozens of cases of abuse.

Har-Tru
04-09-2012, 09:11 PM
Well, to be fair, one has to make allowances for the fact that in Utah, if you really need to find a date, you have to walk for miles.

Uh? About 85% of the population of Utah live in the greater Salt Lake City urban area (the so-called Wasatch Front).

Naudio Spanlatine
04-09-2012, 09:18 PM
Mjau:o:o:o

StevoTG
04-09-2012, 09:32 PM
I don't need the promise of eternal happiness to be kind to others. If there's no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world.

peribsen
04-09-2012, 09:56 PM
Uh? About 85% of the population of Utah live in the greater Salt Lake City urban area (the so-called Wasatch Front).

Yeah wiseguy, how do you know that all the porn isn't seen by the other 15%?

Gagsquet
04-09-2012, 10:37 PM
Some religious people think that. But in the History, religious people were the most immoral ones.

Mjau!
04-09-2012, 10:42 PM
Because the materialist-reductionist approach to consciousness implies that we are essentially nothing but biological robots, slaves to purely deterministic processes, and thus cannot be held responsible for our actions... or something like that...

MJAU is a complete fucking troll. Ignore the clown.

I just saw that disgustingly prejudiced post by that self righteous and arrogant troll, mjau. Infuriating and typical holier than thou attitude.

Stop slandering me or I will report you! :(

Filo V.
04-09-2012, 10:52 PM
Stop slandering me or I will report you! :(
You're a drama queen and two-faced. Stop crying and playing victim ALL the time when called out on your shit. You are so incredibly childish. You bait people into an argument and say things intentionally to cause offense, and then act like an innocent, ignorant school girl. You honestly need to check yourself. And I ain't even saying that as a means to attack you, but for your own good.

Gagsquet
04-09-2012, 11:01 PM
You're a drama queen and two-faced. Stop crying and playing victim ALL the time when called out on your shit. You are so incredibly childish. You bait people into an argument and say things intentionally to cause offense, and then act like an innocent, ignorant school girl. You honestly need to check yourself. And I ain't even saying that as a means to attack you, but for your own good.

And this is coming from the Arse clown contest winner of the last year so beware mjau!

tripwires
04-10-2012, 03:11 AM
Because the materialist-reductionist approach to consciousness implies that we are essentially nothing but biological robots, slaves to purely deterministic processes, and thus cannot be held responsible for our actions... or something like that...


:haha: Good to know you don't even know what you're arguing against.

Jverweij
04-10-2012, 08:00 AM
Because the materialist-reductionist approach to consciousness implies that we are essentially nothing but biological robots, slaves to purely deterministic processes, and thus cannot be held responsible for our actions... or something like that...





Stop slandering me or I will report you! :(

first of all, you obviously don't have a clue what you are talking about. Second, to put yourself on a moral highground because you have an unsubstantiated believe in a higher power is plain stupid. Noone is slandering you, you are making a fool out of yourself.

Har-Tru
04-10-2012, 08:13 AM
Yeah wiseguy, how do you know that all the porn isn't seen by the other 15%?

Wtf?? :lol:

Because the materialist-reductionist approach to consciousness implies that we are essentially nothing but biological robots, slaves to purely deterministic processes, and thus cannot be held responsible for our actions... or something like that...

:rolls:

Time Violation
04-10-2012, 08:56 AM
Lol, the article is pretty clear, if anyone actually read it :)

Edelman notes that "in regions where more people report regularly attending religious services, overall subscription rates are not statistically significantly different from subscriptions elsewhere."

Instead, it looks the higher consumption is actually connected to states "that have enacted conservative legislation on sexuality."

"If it is distinctively difficult to get this material in retail locations in Utah, Utah residents who seek such material may have to get it online," said Edelman, in an e-mail.

GOAT = Fed
04-10-2012, 10:25 AM
Because the materialist-reductionist approach to consciousness implies that we are essentially nothing but biological robots, slaves to purely deterministic processes, and thus cannot be held responsible for our actions... or something like that...






Why do you seek a simple and simplistic solution to life?

Har-Tru
04-10-2012, 11:50 AM
It is nonsensical to suggest that only theists (and even more, only believers in a certain God and of a certain religion) can be moral. Or else that the existence of objective moral values demands the existence of a God.

Objective morality exists irrespective of anything supernatural. As soon as we accept that there are yes and no answers to questions of morality, we are accepting that there is an objective morality, and one that demands no theistic beliefs.

One of the most widespread philosophical currents regarding morality, and one to which I would adscribe, is utilitarianism. It has received various definitions from many different philosophers throughout history, but it basically posits that the most moral approach is that which maximises the overall happiness.

Hence, murdering and stealing is wrong not because it says so in any holy book, not because God told us, but because it objectively fails to maximise the overall happiness. Humans are by definition social beings, and no society based on rampant killing and widespread stealing (these days it usually falls under the term "corruption") will thrive and prosper as much as one that bars that kind of behaviour.

My favourite living moral philosopher (in my avatar) exposes it brilliantly in this debate:

vqZ5azg8mlg

habibko
04-10-2012, 12:34 PM
4aCRHjH6d4Q

GQcGXBo8HP8

1KVr1rIzG5o

habibko
04-10-2012, 12:36 PM
cy64UdS5sxI

Sapeod
04-10-2012, 01:27 PM
The way I see it, we should just get rid of religion all together. If there was no religion, no questions like this would be brought up and there would be less war in the world (fact).

solowyn
04-10-2012, 01:35 PM
Morality is both innate and learned. Whether you learn it from your peers, family, society or from religion makes no difference.

Start da Game
04-10-2012, 02:40 PM
The way I see it, we should just get rid of religion all together. If there was no religion, no questions like this would be brought up and there would be less war in the world (fact).

well said.....

Start da Game
04-10-2012, 02:42 PM
I just saw that disgustingly prejudiced post by that self righteous and arrogant troll, mjau. Infuriating and typical holier than thou attitude.

she has created a drug thread attacking nadal and djokovic in GM and got away with it.....

Aloimeh
04-10-2012, 03:07 PM
Morality of a sort can exist without God but it is fragile and unstable.

Time Violation
04-10-2012, 03:26 PM
One of the most widespread philosophical currents regarding morality, and one to which I would adscribe, is utilitarianism. It has received various definitions from many different philosophers throughout history, but it basically posits that the most moral approach is that which maximises the overall happiness.

Hence, murdering and stealing is wrong not because it says so in any holy book, not because God told us, but because it objectively fails to maximise the overall happiness. Humans are by definition social beings, and no society based on rampant killing and widespread stealing (these days it usually falls under the term "corruption") will thrive and prosper as much as one that bars that kind of behaviour.

You are saying basically the same thing any church is saying; be good and you will receive blessings/overall happiness/thrive and prosper. Just the wording is different, but any priest could use it in his sermon almost unchanged, probably just two nots would be extra :p

tripwires
04-10-2012, 03:29 PM
Morality of a sort can exist without God but it is fragile and unstable.

I think it's the other way round. The strongest morality is one that's intrinsic to the person without reference to an external higher power or without it being informed by religion.

Pirata.
04-10-2012, 03:56 PM
Related with this a recent Gallup poll in the USA reveals that Americans are much more likely to elect a black man or a woman president than a Mormon or an old man. More interestingly, they’d rather be governed by a homosexual than an atheist:

Yes, would No, would not
vote for % vote for %
Catholic 95 4
Black 94 5
Jewish 92 7
A woman 88 11
Hispanic 87 12
Mormon 72 24
Married 3th time 67 30
72 years of age 57 42
A homosexual 55 43
An atheist 45 53

Where did they conduct this poll? Call me a cynical black woman, but I can't believe that this poll represents a wide range of Americans' beliefs when rampant racism and sexism against Obama, Hillary, Bachmann and Palin (for all the idiocy of the latter two) is very common among a large percent of the population in this country.

Filo V.
04-10-2012, 04:56 PM
88% would vote for a woman is an abject lie. 87% for a Hispanic individual? Get real.

No surprise atheism and homosexuality are the two lowest. Because both are seen are rebellious against basic morality. Which highlights the stupidity of Americans.

Har-Tru
04-10-2012, 06:31 PM
Morality of a sort can exist without God but it is fragile and unstable.

As opposed to God's morality, which has been subject to an infinite number of interpretations throughout history? Is that your definition of stable?

You are saying basically the same thing any church is saying; be good and you will receive blessings/overall happiness/thrive and prosper. Just the wording is different, but any priest could use it in his sermon almost unchanged, probably just two nots would be extra :p

Inasmuch as what you say is true, it is irrelevant. Inasmuch as it is relevant, it is not true.

Kiedis
04-10-2012, 06:51 PM
Where did they conduct this poll? Call me a cynical black woman, but I can't believe that this poll represents a wide range of Americans' beliefs when rampant racism and sexism against Obama, Hillary, Bachmann and Palin (for all the idiocy of the latter two) is very common among a large percent of the population in this country.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/26611/some-americans-reluctant-vote-mormon-72yearold-presidential-candidates.aspx

Time Violation
04-10-2012, 06:52 PM
Inasmuch as what you say is true, it is irrelevant. Inasmuch as it is relevant, it is not true.

Yup, the best argument of all, it is not true and relevant because I say so :lol:

Kiedis
04-10-2012, 06:52 PM
Morality of a sort can exist without God but it is fragile and unstable.

I think just the opposite. See my second post in this thread for a explanation.

Har-Tru
04-10-2012, 07:04 PM
Yup, the best argument of all, it is not true and relevant because I say so :lol:

Not because I say so, but because it is.

The change that that priest would have to make does not consist of two dots, it would entail changing the fundamental principles that drive morality in both scenarios (theism and secular universalism).

For starters, the priest is promising you the prize in another life (one that might well not exist), the universalist in this one.

emotion
04-10-2012, 07:14 PM
If the people who follow Islam or Christianity were to emulate their God's behavior, than they would be considered not just unstable, but also certainly very immoral. Anyways, it is always those with a inflexible ideological view who cause violence and conflict in the world

Roger the Dodger
04-10-2012, 08:20 PM
The way I see it, we should just get rid of religion all together. If there was no religion, no questions like this would be brought up and there would be less war in the world (fact).

True in a sense, no doubt. But if there were no religion, chances are, given where we were in the past, we'd still be beasts. Religion did not simply rise by itself, as intentional evil. As men evolved, their minds grew. The more the mind grew, the better did men understand nature and interpreted their understanding of Truth as "rules" (the subjective paths taken to get to a more universal truth). Its when these "rules" (which are subjective observations of different enlightened men from various eras) become singular to the followers of these enlightened men that Religion as an institution is born. Take for instance the fact that Mohammed might have bowed five times a day to his Allah because it him good, and the few who really understood him, followed his route, but eventually, when these people told the next generation of followers, something of the 'real' got lost, and so on and so forth. Of course, when people tell someone with a visibly good heart that he's not a good muslim because he does not bow down to Allah five times a day, it marks the beginning of the damage done by religion. And then, if a self-righteous Osama takes charge, he will chops heads of anyone who wants to find the supreme Truth in his own way. So that's the degradation.

Religion has no doubt done much harm, but the "religious feeling" - the fervent feeling of gratitude, and the ennobling greatness when one find's one's soul and purpose in life, one's connect with the Universe - is innate to all human beings, believers, theists, agnostics, or atheists.

Time Violation
04-10-2012, 09:11 PM
Not because I say so, but because it is.

The change that that priest would have to make does not consist of two dots, it would entail changing the fundamental principles that drive morality in both scenarios (theism and secular universalism).

For starters, the priest is promising you the prize in another life (one that might well not exist), the universalist in this one.

Not exactly, it's both this and next life as well. To save me some trouble, this short video explains it a bit more:

i2e8hQOzX0c

Moreover, your universalist will most likely be at a loss to explain how come many murdering and stealing people have no problem maximising their happiness, and how millions, if not billions of good people suffer.

Har-Tru
04-10-2012, 09:26 PM
Not exactly, it's both this and next life as well. To save me some trouble, this short video explains it a bit more

I know, I know. No need to preach.

The issue at hand was your illogical comparison.

Moreover, your universalist will most likely be at a loss to explain how come many murdering and stealing people have no problem maximising their happiness, and how millions, if not billions of good people suffer.

What? :confused:

Did you understand what universalism means? Here's what I said in my original post:

Utilitarianism (...) posits that the most moral approach is that which maximises the overall happiness.

What does that have to do with murderers and billions of people suffering? Utilitarianism is a philosophical theory of morality. As such, its purpose is not to explain how the world is, but how it ought to be.

If anything, it is the theist who should account for the suffering of billions of innocent people.

sicko
04-10-2012, 10:44 PM
88% would vote for a woman is an abject lie. 87% for a Hispanic individual? Get real.

No surprise atheism and homosexuality are the two lowest. Because both are seen are rebellious against basic morality. Which highlights the stupidity of human race

fixed that for ya.

still debating the childish concept of god? jeez, there's no god, get the fuck over it and enjoy your present life, because it's the only one you're gonna witness, guarantee you that.

:devil::devil::devil::angel::angel::angel:

buddyholly
04-10-2012, 11:35 PM
f

:devil::devil::devil::angel::angel::angel:

Great Bobby Vee hit.

Clydey
04-11-2012, 10:59 AM
Atheists are good for the sake of being good, not to appease an invisible dictator.

Clydey
04-11-2012, 11:04 AM
Where did they conduct this poll? Call me a cynical black woman, but I can't believe that this poll represents a wide range of Americans' beliefs when rampant racism and sexism against Obama, Hillary, Bachmann and Palin (for all the idiocy of the latter two) is very common among a large percent of the population in this country.

Atheists have a horrendous time in America. There is a solitary elected official who is open about his atheism. It is almost impossible to get elected as a non-believer, so atheist politicians are forced to feign belief in God. Frankly, I have a suspicion that Obama is a non-believer.

buddyholly
04-11-2012, 11:25 AM
Where did they conduct this poll? Call me a cynical black woman, but I can't believe that this poll represents a wide range of Americans' beliefs when rampant racism and sexism against Obama, Hillary, Bachmann and Palin (for all the idiocy of the latter two) is very common among a large percent of the population in this country.

Why didn't you mention Obama's being a member of a racist church - until he suddenly wasn't, that is?

tripwires
04-11-2012, 03:19 PM
Atheists have a horrendous time in America. There is a solitary elected official who is open about his atheism. It is almost impossible to get elected as a non-believer, so atheist politicians are forced to feign belief in God. Frankly, I have a suspicion that Obama is a non-believer.

I agree.

He seems too smart to be sprouting that God stuff.

Echoes
04-11-2012, 04:49 PM
Answer is yes, obviously.


Atheism & Freemasonry are a universalist political movement aiming at Global Governance (dictatorial of course), undifferentiated man (without any cultural background) who would barely be reduced to a consumer. (see HG Wells' World Set Free)

EU is one of their best building (EU don't even recognize Europe's Christian legacy, while it's evidence)

Religious people are their enemies, since religious people do not believe in material happiness but that happiness should be found on the inside (spiritual). Hence of course, religious people would be "less good" consumers.

Hence a revival of Islamophobia in Europe today. I'm not a muslim. I'm a Roman Catholic. But since 1965 (Vatican II), the Roman Catholic Church 'adapted' to the World, which means destroyed itself. So atheists are only left with Muslims who had kept traditional values. Of course, atheists do not care about Islam's many flaws, about the non-distinction between the Temporal and Spiritual power (which they even deny to Christians, while it obviously exists). All they're interested in is that Muslims believe in God, period.

I wish RCC could get back to its roots. Not likely to happen very soon, though.

Har-Tru
04-11-2012, 05:12 PM
Answer is yes, obviously.


Atheism & Freemasonry are a universalist political movement aiming at Global Governance (dictatorial of course), undifferentiated man (without any cultural background) who would barely be reduced to a consumer. (see HG Wells' World Set Free)

EU is one of their best building (EU don't even recognize Europe's Christian legacy, while it's evidence)

Religious people are their enemies, since religious people do not believe in material happiness but that happiness should be found on the inside (spiritual). Hence of course, religious people would be "less good" consumers.

Hence a revival of Islamophobia in Europe today. I'm not a muslim. I'm a Roman Catholic. But since 1965 (Vatican II), the Roman Catholic Church 'adapted' to the World, which means destroyed itself. So atheists are only left with Muslims who had kept traditional values. Of course, atheists do not care about Islam's many flaws, about the non-distinction between the Temporal and Spiritual power (which they even deny to Christians, while it obviously exists). All they're interested in is that Muslims believe in God, period.

I wish RCC could get back to its roots. Not likely to happen very soon, though.

It's official. You have gone absolutely insane.

habibko
04-11-2012, 05:39 PM
I wish RCC could get back to its roots. Not likely to happen very soon, though.

wouldn't be surprised if the "roots" you mean are witch-hunting, the inquisition and the crusades, this time against atheists of course

habibko
04-11-2012, 05:53 PM
Frankly, I have a suspicion that Obama is a non-believer.

I always thought the same, and we aren't the only two thinking so

ITsYUjv_aEA

at 4:16

F6SKbGOcxbs

buddyholly
04-11-2012, 06:18 PM
Answer is yes, obviously.


Atheism & Freemasonry are a universalist political movement aiming at Global Governance (dictatorial of course), undifferentiated man (without any cultural background) who would barely be reduced to a consumer. (see HG Wells' World Set Free)

EU is one of their best building (EU don't even recognize Europe's Christian legacy, while it's evidence)

Religious people are their enemies, since religious people do not believe in material happiness but that happiness should be found on the inside (spiritual). Hence of course, religious people would be "less good" consumers.

Hence a revival of Islamophobia in Europe today. I'm not a muslim. I'm a Roman Catholic. But since 1965 (Vatican II), the Roman Catholic Church 'adapted' to the World, which means destroyed itself. So atheists are only left with Muslims who had kept traditional values. Of course, atheists do not care about Islam's many flaws, about the non-distinction between the Temporal and Spiritual power (which they even deny to Christians, while it obviously exists). All they're interested in is that Muslims believe in God, period.

I wish RCC could get back to its roots. Not likely to happen very soon, though.

Step aside, Aloimeh.

Clydey
04-11-2012, 06:53 PM
Answer is yes, obviously.


Atheism & Freemasonry are a universalist political movement aiming at Global Governance (dictatorial of course), undifferentiated man (without any cultural background) who would barely be reduced to a consumer. (see HG Wells' World Set Free)

EU is one of their best building (EU don't even recognize Europe's Christian legacy, while it's evidence)

Religious people are their enemies, since religious people do not believe in material happiness but that happiness should be found on the inside (spiritual). Hence of course, religious people would be "less good" consumers.

Hence a revival of Islamophobia in Europe today. I'm not a muslim. I'm a Roman Catholic. But since 1965 (Vatican II), the Roman Catholic Church 'adapted' to the World, which means destroyed itself. So atheists are only left with Muslims who had kept traditional values. Of course, atheists do not care about Islam's many flaws, about the non-distinction between the Temporal and Spiritual power (which they even deny to Christians, while it obviously exists). All they're interested in is that Muslims believe in God, period.

I wish RCC could get back to its roots. Not likely to happen very soon, though.

You're clearly just a troll at this point.

orangehat
04-11-2012, 09:21 PM
Ann Coulter never ceases to amaze me.

She can be so insane sometimes and yet so amazingly accurate and insightful at other times. (Atheist, then the reference to Bill Ayers and how most Democrats are atheists :lol:)

A complete eradication of religion is impossible, religion was functionally created to sustain mankind, without it mankind cannot survive. (not from a theological viewpoint, simply from a sociological viewpoint).

Actually the more accurate thing to say would be, if religion were to be eradicated, man would just create something else to believe in.

In fact, the most stable equilibrium for the world would be if everybody believed in 1 god.
That's not going to happen though.

buddyholly
04-12-2012, 01:24 AM
A complete eradication of religion is impossible, religion was functionally created to sustain mankind, without it mankind cannot survive. (not from a theological viewpoint, simply from a sociological viewpoint).

How could you be sustained by something if you actually know it was just made up?

Gagsquet
04-12-2012, 01:29 AM
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_xq2S9F9yjl8/TCU2j2P5CpI/AAAAAAAAH60/8ioxzLs34H0/s400/2624ggz.jpg

orangehat
04-12-2012, 01:34 AM
How could you be sustained by something if you actually know it was just made up?

Should have phrased it better: A significant proportion of mankind cannot survive without religion.

Furthermore, you don't have to think of it in terms of made up. Just think of it as non-falsifiable.

A lot of non-religious people still want to think that they can change outcomes by praying to a higher power. My parents, hardly religious people, go to the temple when they need a favor in life. It's not so much as believing in it, but more of a "what the hell it can't hurt" hope.

buddyholly
04-12-2012, 01:38 AM
Well certainly you could believe in a higher power and not be religious - I think. But praying just to hedge your bets is a bit of a copout.

orangehat
04-12-2012, 01:42 AM
Well certainly you could believe in a higher power and not be religious - I think. But praying just to hedge your bets is a bit of a copout.

Maybe :lol:

Just think of it as the "leave no stone unturned" mentality.

Clydey
04-12-2012, 01:49 AM
Maybe :lol:

Just think of it as the "leave no stone unturned" mentality.

This God must be pretty naive.

Ilovetheblues_86
04-12-2012, 03:01 AM
True in a sense, no doubt. But if there were no religion, chances are, given where we were in the past, we'd still be beasts. Religion did not simply rise by itself, as intentional evil. As men evolved, their minds grew. The more the mind grew, the better did men understand nature and interpreted their understanding of Truth as "rules" (the subjective paths taken to get to a more universal truth). Its when these "rules" (which are subjective observations of different enlightened men from various eras) become singular to the followers of these enlightened men that Religion as an institution is born. Take for instance the fact that Mohammed might have bowed five times a day to his Allah because it him good, and the few who really understood him, followed his route, but eventually, when these people told the next generation of followers, something of the 'real' got lost, and so on and so forth. Of course, when people tell someone with a visibly good heart that he's not a good muslim because he does not bow down to Allah five times a day, it marks the beginning of the damage done by religion. And then, if a self-righteous Osama takes charge, he will chops heads of anyone who wants to find the supreme Truth in his own way. So that's the degradation.

Religion has no doubt done much harm, but the "religious feeling" - the fervent feeling of gratitude, and the ennobling greatness when one find's one's soul and purpose in life, one's connect with the Universe - is innate to all human beings, believers, theists, agnostics, or atheists.

This.

There wouldnt be a Voltaire without religion.

It gaves us Santo Agostinho, Erasmo of Rotterdam, it used Platos' myth of the cave, it taught us about maniqueism, it taught us about Ying and Yang, it gave us eastern philosophy, myths...
The teaching of tales by using metaphorical histories its one of the most powerful ways to educate a children and both religion and folklore can be rich in that kind.

No, religion isnt the only source of morality, but it is kind of intrinsical to human evolution. When we evolve to be less flawless religions would naturally disappear and transform into something more fair.

Roger the Dodger
04-12-2012, 07:21 AM
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_xq2S9F9yjl8/TCU2j2P5CpI/AAAAAAAAH60/8ioxzLs34H0/s400/2624ggz.jpg

...Which in my understanding is one of the all-time flaws of religion. Religion somehow does not clearly state its use of metaphors as metaphors. Instead it authoritatively conveys that these things actually happened and indeed, a large number of people do think so. It might have had some use in the past when humans did not have much scientific evidence for things, but to take the metaphors as truth in this day and age is to reenter a very dark cell and close yourself.

Noah's arc is of course still largely understood as metaphor, but the subtler/ powerful ones are even more confusing to most people. For instance, Moses parting the oceans in the Bible (a poetic expression for the exodus, celebrating the power of a great leader), or a baby Krishna slaying terrifying demons (the body of the exceptional baby withstood successfully some horrifying diseases that usually kill children of that age); but the images that are formed from these metaphors leave a ridiculous effect on the mind of those who take these for truth.

tripwires
04-12-2012, 07:54 AM
^^Not sure if that's the fault of religion or the inherent stupidity of human beings. :lol:

sicko
04-12-2012, 01:16 PM
EU is one of their best building (EU don't even recognize Europe's Christian legacy, while it's evidence)

what do you want recognition for? church should be privatized, TOTALLY. please get the fuck out of the educational system (voluntary religious education has no business there), and please dont collect your money via taxes.

and last but not least: all the religious buildings that are of historical relevance should be nationalized immediately. I am so SICK of people that want to claim historical buildings for them. churches are cultural heritage, I don't want no fucking priest or whatever it's called to have the power over this heritage.

Lopez
04-12-2012, 01:52 PM
...Which in my understanding is one of the all-time flaws of religion. Religion somehow does not clearly state its use of metaphors as metaphors. Instead it authoritatively conveys that these things actually happened and indeed, a large number of people do think so. It might have had some use in the past when humans did not have much scientific evidence for things, but to take the metaphors as truth in this day and age is to reenter a very dark cell and close yourself.

Noah's arc is of course still largely understood as metaphor, but the subtler/ powerful ones are even more confusing to most people. For instance, Moses parting the oceans in the Bible (a poetic expression for the exodus, celebrating the power of a great leader), or a baby Krishna slaying terrifying demons (the body of the exceptional baby withstood successfully some horrifying diseases that usually kill children of that age); but the images that are formed from these metaphors leave a ridiculous effect on the mind of those who take these for truth.

To be fair, I'd say the stories were considered true a while back before we knew better. Nowadays they're explained away as "metaphors" by people who are trying to reconcile their faith with the things we know to be true today.

Many of the stories about the Greek Gods were considered true by the ancient Greeks as well but they're not considered true by practically anyone nowadays simply because their religion lost the battle of being the "true one" with time.

Har-Tru
04-12-2012, 02:14 PM
what do you want recognition for? church should be privatized, TOTALLY. please get the fuck out of the educational system (voluntary religious education has no business there), and please dont collect your money via taxes.

and last but not least: all the religious buildings that are of historical relevance should be nationalized immediately. I am so SICK of people that want to claim historical buildings for them. churches are cultural heritage, I don't want no fucking priest or whatever it's called to have the power over this heritage.

You're clearly part of the atheist conspiracy for world governance.

Aloimeh
04-12-2012, 02:22 PM
I think it's the other way round. The strongest morality is one that's intrinsic to the person without reference to an external higher power or without it being informed by religion.

Why would this be the case? If you are the author of your own morality, you can also play editor and make a new morality, should the circumstances invite you to do that.

That's why I said it was unstable. It can appear to be a decent sort of morality until the system gets very stressed. At that point, it is apt to fail.

Aloimeh
04-12-2012, 02:25 PM
As opposed to God's morality, which has been subject to an infinite number of interpretations throughout history? Is that your definition of stable?

This is not a logical argument. The fact that there were many theories of matter or of the motions of the planets (the firmament around a fixed earth, etc.), did not render it a meaningless endeavor to get at the bottom of "how things really work," nor does it invalidate the current model, which is pretty much correct.

Even if there are multiple religions, each with their own respective moral code, this says nothing about the validity of any particular one of them. We do know, however, that since many of these moral laws are mutually exclusive, that multiple religions cannot be distinct reflections of a single God.

If anything, the need for an integral moral law is what demolishes the argument that Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, etc. can all be "valid." Either one (but no more than one) of them is valid, or none of them are valid.

Aloimeh
04-12-2012, 02:27 PM
Atheists are good for the sake of being good, not to appease an invisible dictator.

What is good?

Aloimeh
04-12-2012, 02:28 PM
Atheists have a horrendous time in America. There is a solitary elected official who is open about his atheism. It is almost impossible to get elected as a non-believer, so atheist politicians are forced to feign belief in God. Frankly, I have a suspicion that Obama is a non-believer.

Give me a break. Atheists are all over the place in my field (science) and they get away with mocking and making jokes at the expense of theists (usually Christians) all the time. Nobody is persecuting them.

buddyholly
04-12-2012, 02:29 PM
This is not a logical argument. The fact that there were many theories of matter or of the motions of the planets (the firmament around a fixed earth, etc.), did not render it a meaningless endeavor to get at the bottom of "how things really work," nor does it invalidate the current model, which is pretty much correct.



I thought you had already claimed that endeavouring to get to the bottom of how things really work was heretical.

Aloimeh
04-12-2012, 02:31 PM
Well certainly you could believe in a higher power and not be religious - I think. But praying just to hedge your bets is a bit of a copout.

What does this even mean? Higher power?

Who is that higher power?

Agnostics are functional atheists but lack the guts to say so. They realize full well that God's existence can neither be proved nor disproved and that an officially atheist position is one of faith and bias. But they lack the emotional commitment to figure out whether God exists or not. They just go on with their lives, calling themselves "agnostics" but living their lives totally as if there were no God and spending no time on clarifying that all-important question.

Aloimeh
04-12-2012, 02:32 PM
...Which in my understanding is one of the all-time flaws of religion. Religion somehow does not clearly state its use of metaphors as metaphors. Instead it authoritatively conveys that these things actually happened and indeed, a large number of people do think so. It might have had some use in the past when humans did not have much scientific evidence for things, but to take the metaphors as truth in this day and age is to reenter a very dark cell and close yourself.

Noah's arc is of course still largely understood as metaphor, but the subtler/ powerful ones are even more confusing to most people. For instance, Moses parting the oceans in the Bible (a poetic expression for the exodus, celebrating the power of a great leader), or a baby Krishna slaying terrifying demons (the body of the exceptional baby withstood successfully some horrifying diseases that usually kill children of that age); but the images that are formed from these metaphors leave a ridiculous effect on the mind of those who take these for truth.

I do not take Noah's Ark or Moses' parting of the Red Sea to be metaphorical. That is your interpretation, because you do not believe in a God and/or you do not believe in a God who can or will interfere in the material world.

buddyholly
04-12-2012, 02:36 PM
What does this even mean? Higher power?

Who is that higher power?

Agnostics are functional atheists but lack the guts to say so. They realize full well that God's existence can neither be proved nor disproved and that an officially atheist position is one of faith and bias. But they lack the emotional commitment to figure out whether God exists or not. They just go on with their lives, calling themselves "agnostics" but living their lives totally as if there were no God and spending no time on clarifying that all-important question.

Surely you can figure out what higher power means? Supreme Being, God, Flying Spaghetti Monster, any power that can defy the laws of nature. So in effect, supernatural.

And you are absolutely correct, we are all agnostics, nobody has the proof.

Aloimeh
04-12-2012, 02:53 PM
Morality is something that arises when you have more than 1 person in the picture. A lone individual (assuming no God) who inhabits his world totally in the absence of other people lives in an amoral world. His behavior is not circumscribed by right and wrong, only by what's pleasurable or unpleasant, what's useful or wasteful.

Let's say we have two equal individuals in the universe. Is there a morality that arises between them? I would say no. The only principle from which we can construct morality is the principle of utility: is this pleasurable or not? Is it useful or not?

Surely some will say that what feels good and is useful is a universal thing. But is it?

Let me give you the example of Armin Meiwes, the German cannibal. He got together with his friend, Brandes. They had sex. He cut off Brandes' penis and fried it and served it to the two of them (Brandes is meanwhile bleeding out). Then he slaughtered Brandes with a knife, butchered him, and stored the meat in his freezer, cooking some of it over the following weeks. He videotaped it all.

The thing is, this is a somewhat hermetic pseudo-two-person system. Brandes wanted to have his penis cut off and eaten. Brandes also wanted to be killed. Meiwes wanted to eat human flesh. There was local utility maximization here. Both were deriving pleasure from the events described, and pleasure is a thing worth having.

We from the outside recoil in horror at these events. But absent a God, and His morality, we have no right to.

We could assemble an n-person closed system (no God), and utility might be maximized by some of the people brutally and sadistically torturing others (who are masochists), then engaging in cannibalism. And let's just add the constraint that if the cannibals cannot torture and kill and eat others, they will become so despondent that they will all commit suicide and the masochists will become ill from the lack of abuse and become lethargic and die. This is just an extreme example, but you get the point.

The point is, while humans have a contractual morality of utility maximization (absent God), we end up with some potentially nightmarish scenarios precisely because the question of utility is very much subjective.

Hitler and many millions of his followers thought he was doing good deeds "saving" Europe by wiping out millions. The millions of his victims thought he did evil things to them. How do we decide what's right?

To put it in equation form: ax1+bx2+cx3+dx4+... = Cx?. The coefficients a, b, c, d, etc. correspond to the importance or power of that respective term (individual) to the system. The vectors x1, x2, x3, x4, etc. correspond to the moral systems ascribed to by each of the individuals in the system (each vector with its own array components, corresponding to individual moral values). This equation has many solutions. No one term dominates the equation, driving it towards one particular value regardless of what the other terms are. No universal moral law can emerge between equals, because x? will be unlike x1, x2, x3, or x4, etc.

Assuming these persons are mortal and new persons arise, the equations terms fall out and new terms arise over time. In the end, the most powerful (highest coefficient) terms impose their moral systems on others, often against their will, and this is apt to change as the power balance changes. This is true both of individuals and societies/countries. So the moral system that emerges is a function of time and location. It is unstable and cannot be said to be universal.

Only when there is a God can true morality exist. It's a bit flippant to put that in equation terms, but in brief: if coefficient a=infinity, i.e. we ascribe infinite weight to that person, then the equation ax1+bx2+cx3+dx4+... = (infinity)x1. And thus only moral system x1 survives.

Aloimeh
04-12-2012, 02:56 PM
Surely you can figure out what higher power means? Supreme Being, God, Flying Spaghetti Monster, any power that can defy the laws of nature. So in effect, supernatural.

And you are absolutely correct, we are all agnostics, nobody has the proof.

No, I can't. If you only believe in a material world, then that's it. This higher power but no God nonsense is pure BS by people who recognize that the natural world is a bit to strange and grand to have arisen solely by the processes embraced by science, yet lack the willingness to deal with the moral consequences of God.

And if you reread what I wrote, you'll see that I said agnostics are functional atheists. There are no true agnostics. A true agnostic would make it his life's mission to learn about who God is, poring through the religious texts for years and decades, etc. Those people don't exist. They don't care and they want to live their lives without God intruding on their filthy and/or self-righteous behavior.

tripwires
04-12-2012, 03:15 PM
Why would this be the case? If you are the author of your own morality, you can also play editor and make a new morality, should the circumstances invite you to do that.

That's why I said it was unstable. It can appear to be a decent sort of morality until the system gets very stressed. At that point, it is apt to fail.

If you make a new morality, is that still morality? It's probably more a case of you trying to justify doing something that isn't part of what's strictly speaking "morality". Of course it's highly debatable whether there's any universal brand of "morality" (though I tend towards the idea that certain fundamental moral values are universal), and there are always exceptions to every rule. My original point contemplated more a situation where a person knows instinctively what's right or wrong without his religion telling him so, because he's not taught these things and just knows them. That said, I accept that most people probably (hopefully) know that it's wrong to kill and steal, etc and that religion simply reaffirms these things.

Also, your point is applicable to everyone, not just atheists. A brand of morality founded on religion gets unstable too and is also apt to fail. What happened to their morality when Catholic priests decided to sexually abuse children? Essentially, human beings are not immune to their own flaws and no one is perfect; it's therefore the people with an intrinsic sense of morality that's not taught by religion whom, in my opinion, are most able to decide on the right thing to do in a morally-challenging situation.

buddyholly
04-12-2012, 03:25 PM
No, I can't. If you only believe in a material world, then that's it. This higher power but no God nonsense is pure BS by people who recognize that the natural world is a bit to strange and grand to have arisen solely by the processes embraced by science, yet lack the willingness to deal with the moral consequences of God.

And if you reread what I wrote, you'll see that I said agnostics are functional atheists. There are no true agnostics. A true agnostic would make it his life's mission to learn about who God is, poring through the religious texts for years and decades, etc. Those people don't exist. They don't care and they want to live their lives without God intruding on their filthy and/or self-righteous behavior.

''higher power'' and ""God'' were meant to be synonymous. Any higher power would fit the definition of God.

And you just can't resist revealing what a self-righteous prick you really are.

Roger the Dodger
04-12-2012, 08:00 PM
I do not take Noah's Ark or Moses' parting of the Red Sea to be metaphorical. That is your interpretation, because you do not believe in a God and/or you do not believe in a God who can or will interfere in the material world.

I TOTALLY am a Believer - believe it or not. I have neither recollection of me forcing myself into existence on this planet, nor the will-power to do so. Whom do you think I ascribe all that to? Obviously, there is something/someone higher than me. The only difference is, I do not presuppose my God to be a bearded overlord, or give him any image handed out to me by others.

That God exists is beyond any doubt - what I seek to understand is how s/he/it really exists in our world, and how s/he/it really functions in this chaos, or does he function at all, or does the creator/consciousness/divine/nature only create and then let go of the creature? I seek to understand these things empirically and without any previous image/legend of the Divine being put forward to me. That is my right as a Being.

As for Noah's Ark, it is a far outdated story, best suited for toddlers to read alongside Enid Blyton's Noddy series.

Har-Tru
04-12-2012, 08:54 PM
This is not a logical argument. The fact that there were many theories of matter or of the motions of the planets (the firmament around a fixed earth, etc.), did not render it a meaningless endeavor to get at the bottom of "how things really work," nor does it invalidate the current model, which is pretty much correct.

Even if there are multiple religions, each with their own respective moral code, this says nothing about the validity of any particular one of them. We do know, however, that since many of these moral laws are mutually exclusive, that multiple religions cannot be distinct reflections of a single God.

If anything, the need for an integral moral law is what demolishes the argument that Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, etc. can all be "valid." Either one (but no more than one) of them is valid, or none of them are valid.

You misunderstood my post. I was talking about the changing dominant morality within a religion (or I should say within the culture in which that religion is prevalent), not about the different religions.

Morality is something that arises when you have more than 1 person in the picture. A lone individual (assuming no God) who inhabits his world totally in the absence of other people lives in an amoral world. His behavior is not circumscribed by right and wrong, only by what's pleasurable or unpleasant, what's useful or wasteful.

Let's say we have two equal individuals in the universe. Is there a morality that arises between them? I would say no. The only principle from which we can construct morality is the principle of utility: is this pleasurable or not? Is it useful or not?

Surely some will say that what feels good and is useful is a universal thing. But is it?

What feels good isn't universal. That there is a feeling of good (happiness, pleasure, well-being) that all conscious creatures can experience, and that there are different degrees of it, is universal.

Let me give you the example of Armin Meiwes, the German cannibal. He got together with his friend, Brandes. They had sex. He cut off Brandes' penis and fried it and served it to the two of them (Brandes is meanwhile bleeding out). Then he slaughtered Brandes with a knife, butchered him, and stored the meat in his freezer, cooking some of it over the following weeks. He videotaped it all.

The thing is, this is a somewhat hermetic pseudo-two-person system. Brandes wanted to have his penis cut off and eaten. Brandes also wanted to be killed. Meiwes wanted to eat human flesh. There was local utility maximization here. Both were deriving pleasure from the events described, and pleasure is a thing worth having.

We from the outside recoil in horror at these events. But absent a God, and His morality, we have no right to.

From a utilitarianist standpoint (by the way utilitarianism isn't the only secular theory of morality), there might be different answers to this.

Act utilitarists will probably say what Meiwes and Brandes did was not necessarily wrong. It was wrong if the overall happiness was reduced after their actions (for instance, if the degree of suffering their families experienced was greater than the degree of happiness they both enjoyed). But it was not wrong if that isn't the case.

Rule utilitarianists on the other hand would perhaps say that what they did was wrong because cannibalism is always wrong (since it tends to minimise the overall happiness).

Two-level utilitarianists would say the same as rule utilitarianists probably.

Note, however, that the atheists who adscribe to these systems of morality do not decide what is good and wrong at will on their own. They use their reason and logic to figure out what is moral and what is not - which is objective.

We could assemble an n-person closed system (no God), and utility might be maximized by some of the people brutally and sadistically torturing others (who are masochists), then engaging in cannibalism. And let's just add the constraint that if the cannibals cannot torture and kill and eat others, they will become so despondent that they will all commit suicide and the masochists will become ill from the lack of abuse and become lethargic and die. This is just an extreme example, but you get the point.

The point is, while humans have a contractual morality of utility maximization (absent God), we end up with some potentially nightmarish scenarios precisely because the question of utility is very much subjective.

What is subjective is claiming that that scenario is wrong without substantiating that claim.

It is of course a very unrealistic scenario, but were it true, why would it be immoral?

Hitler and many millions of his followers thought he was doing good deeds "saving" Europe by wiping out millions. The millions of his victims thought he did evil things to them. How do we decide what's right?

Genocide is wrong precisely because it does not lead to an increase in overall happiness. And I think the Second World War is a good testament of that.

Jimnik
04-12-2012, 08:55 PM
This will be a chat thread before long.

habibko
04-12-2012, 09:00 PM
an officially atheist position is one of faith and bias.

an atheist lacks faith

your atheism regarding tooth fairies, Santa and Zeus isn't a position of faith and bias, it's a rational position due to the highly improbable chance of such creatures existing

Jimnik
04-12-2012, 09:04 PM
I use to be a believer but now I have atheism regarding Roddick winning Wimbledon. Seems even more improbable than the existence of Zeus.

fast_clay
04-12-2012, 09:07 PM
wow... this mjau is good

habibko
04-12-2012, 09:22 PM
Only when there is a God can true morality exist.

even if that was true, there is still the burden of proving whether that one true God exists or not, and which God out of the countless gods we knew/know would that be, and then having to decide and prove if that God's morality is actually good for us or not, or is that an evil God that doesn't care about our well being to begin with, these questions still have no definite answer and will never have one

absolute morality never existed, morality is something we decide, edit and agree upon as we get wiser and more knowledgeable to maximize the well being of conscious creatures socially and individually

one thing is for sure, morality such as that of the god of the old testament should never come back, thankfully we have risen above that despicable state and order

abraxas21
04-12-2012, 09:22 PM
i have said it before and i'll say it again, the fact that aloimeh didn't win the ACC makes me lose my faith in clowns in general

Echoes
04-12-2012, 10:15 PM
It's official. You have gone absolutely insane.

And then you'll give moral lessons on the need for constructive discussions ...

wouldn't be surprised if the "roots" you mean are witch-hunting, the inquisition and the crusades, this time against atheists of course

Atheists' historical knowledge blows off the map.

Step aside, Aloimeh.

He's an Orthodox, lol. :lol:

what do you want recognition for? church should be privatized, TOTALLY. please get the fuck out of the educational system (voluntary religious education has no business there), and please dont collect your money via taxes.


For the sake of truth and secularism.

And for the rest, keep that in your country, Frog. In my country, confessional education gets subsidies and it works perfectly well.

Har-Tru
04-12-2012, 11:04 PM
Oh now you want a constructive discussion!

Get lost, troll. I'm not wasting my time on your babble anymore.

Clydey
04-12-2012, 11:17 PM
What does this even mean? Higher power?

Who is that higher power?

Agnostics are functional atheists but lack the guts to say so. They realize full well that God's existence can neither be proved nor disproved and that an officially atheist position is one of faith and bias. But they lack the emotional commitment to figure out whether God exists or not. They just go on with their lives, calling themselves "agnostics" but living their lives totally as if there were no God and spending no time on clarifying that all-important question.

Spot on.

Everyone is technically agnostic, but those who claim to be agnostic are atheists in practice. It's a nonsensical term. People seem to think atheism is the assertion that there is no God, when it is the belief that there is no God. There is a difference. A lot of people either don't understand the distinction or have an incorrect definition.

Kworb
04-12-2012, 11:48 PM
What does this even mean? Higher power?

Who is that higher power?

Agnostics are functional atheists but lack the guts to say so. They realize full well that God's existence can neither be proved nor disproved and that an officially atheist position is one of faith and bias. But they lack the emotional commitment to figure out whether God exists or not. They just go on with their lives, calling themselves "agnostics" but living their lives totally as if there were no God and spending no time on clarifying that all-important question.
Actually, it is the other way around. Most atheists are functional agnostics. They call themselves atheists but don't really believe in anything, they don't give it much thought, they think that the answers to life's "big" questions cannot possibly be answered. This is exactly the agnostic viewpoint. Agnostics believe the truth is unknowable. So that is why most agnostics don't spend time looking through holy texts and researching religions, because it would be time that's wasted.

A true atheist is someone who has actively taken the stance that a "higher power" does not exist. That is indeed a position of faith and bias, one that most self-professed atheists actually look to avoid, because they tend to only "trust" that what can be perceived.

Har-Tru
04-12-2012, 11:51 PM
Spot on.

Everyone is technically agnostic, but those who claim to be agnostic are atheists in practice. It's a nonsensical term. People seem to think atheism is the assertion that there is no God, when it is the belief that there is no God. There is a difference. A lot of people either don't understand the distinction or have an incorrect definition.

Or rather the lack of belief that there is a God.

Though one might interpret my sentence as being synonymous with yours.

Pirata.
04-13-2012, 12:15 AM
i have said it before and i'll say it again, the fact that aloimeh didn't win the ACC makes me lose my faith in clowns in general

ACC for 2011 was just dreadful. Filo V. had a fluke to the title. Only won because Start da Game withdrew.

Mjau!
04-13-2012, 12:47 AM
Spot on.

Everyone is technically agnostic, but those who claim to be agnostic are atheists in practice. It's a nonsensical term. People seem to think atheism is the assertion that there is no God, when it is the belief that there is no God. There is a difference. A lot of people either don't understand the distinction or have an incorrect definition.

Right, and I suppose deism is actually agnosticism by that logic? People seem to think deism is the assertion that there is a God, when it is the belief that there is a God! A lot of people don't understand the super important difference...

agnosticism is :shrug: It means you don't take a stance. Atheists and deists do.

Mjau!
04-13-2012, 01:03 AM
I use to be a believer but now I have atheism regarding Roddick winning Wimbledon. Seems even more improbable than the existence of Zeus.

I have photographic evidence of the existence of Zeus.

http://cseligman.com/text/planets/jupiter.jpg

Clydey
04-13-2012, 03:39 AM
Or rather the lack of belief that there is a God.

Though one might interpret my sentence as being synonymous with yours.

Precisely the same thing, but I prefer your wording, actually. I dislike using words like 'belief' to define atheism. To a lot of people it implies faith.

Aloimeh
04-13-2012, 03:41 AM
If you make a new morality, is that still morality? It's probably more a case of you trying to justify doing something that isn't part of what's strictly speaking "morality". Of course it's highly debatable whether there's any universal brand of "morality" (though I tend towards the idea that certain fundamental moral values are universal), and there are always exceptions to every rule. My original point contemplated more a situation where a person knows instinctively what's right or wrong without his religion telling him so, because he's not taught these things and just knows them. That said, I accept that most people probably (hopefully) know that it's wrong to kill and steal, etc and that religion simply reaffirms these things.

Also, your point is applicable to everyone, not just atheists. A brand of morality founded on religion gets unstable too and is also apt to fail. What happened to their morality when Catholic priests decided to sexually abuse children? Essentially, human beings are not immune to their own flaws and no one is perfect; it's therefore the people with an intrinsic sense of morality that's not taught by religion whom, in my opinion, are most able to decide on the right thing to do in a morally-challenging situation.

Where does anyone get their morals? Usually they are inculcated in them from an early age. Those who do not "get it" re: the basic moral principles of not lying, stealing, cheating, killing end up becoming the sociopathic criminals we hear about on the news. More rarely, morals are gotten from religion later in life. Other than religion or upbringing (which can certainly be religion-free), where do we get our morals?

How do you know what's instinctively right or wrong? I'm just asking for some clarity? I learned right and wrong from my mother, who learned it from the Bible. Later in life I saw that what she was saying was based in the Bible, and as I am a believer, too, the Bible (rather than my mother's words) became the foundation of my morality.

I also don't understand why you think the Catholic church's odious behavior reflects moral instability. If anything, it reflects complete moral rot from the very top. These were not random deviations: this was systemic decay proliferated throughout the entire organization. What can that tell us about religious morality? The Catholic church doesn't even practice what the Bible says about the church...

And why would those people who have an "intrinsic" sense of morality (whatever that means?) be able to be more stable in that than people who know there is a God who stands behind that morality?

Clydey
04-13-2012, 03:43 AM
Right, and I suppose deism is actually agnosticism by that logic? People seem to think deism is the assertion that there is a God, when it is the belief that there is a God! A lot of people don't understand the super important difference...

agnosticism is :shrug: It means you don't take a stance. Atheists and deists do.

No, it doesn't. Agnosticism does not mean that you are indifferent to the question. It means you don't believe we can ever know the answer to the question.

You really should educate yourself before jumping into these discussions.

Aloimeh
04-13-2012, 03:43 AM
I TOTALLY am a Believer - believe it or not. I have neither recollection of me forcing myself into existence on this planet, nor the will-power to do so. Whom do you think I ascribe all that to? Obviously, there is something/someone higher than me. The only difference is, I do not presuppose my God to be a bearded overlord, or give him any image handed out to me by others.

That God exists is beyond any doubt - what I seek to understand is how s/he/it really exists in our world, and how s/he/it really functions in this chaos, or does he function at all, or does the creator/consciousness/divine/nature only create and then let go of the creature? I seek to understand these things empirically and without any previous image/legend of the Divine being put forward to me. That is my right as a Being.

As for Noah's Ark, it is a far outdated story, best suited for toddlers to read alongside Enid Blyton's Noddy series.

In other words you are a Deist? Where do you get the idea that your assertions about Noah mean anything to me or another Christian? You have no foundation for your views other than doubt that God could - or wanted - to do it.

Next.

Aloimeh
04-13-2012, 03:57 AM
You misunderstood my post. I was talking about the changing dominant morality within a religion (or I should say within the culture in which that religion is prevalent), not about the different religions.



What feels good isn't universal. That there is a feeling of good (happiness, pleasure, well-being) that all conscious creatures can experience, and that there are different degrees of it, is universal.



From a utilitarianist standpoint (by the way utilitarianism isn't the only secular theory of morality), there might be different answers to this.

Act utilitarists will probably say what Meiwes and Brandes did was not necessarily wrong. It was wrong if the overall happiness was reduced after their actions (for instance, if the degree of suffering their families experienced was greater than the degree of happiness they both enjoyed). But it was not wrong if that isn't the case.

Rule utilitarianists on the other hand would perhaps say that what they did was wrong because cannibalism is always wrong (since it tends to minimise the overall happiness).

Two-level utilitarianists would say the same as rule utilitarianists probably.

Note, however, that the atheists who adscribe to these systems of morality do not decide what is good and wrong at will on their own. They use their reason and logic to figure out what is moral and what is not - which is objective.



What is subjective is claiming that that scenario is wrong without substantiating that claim.

It is of course a very unrealistic scenario, but were it true, why would it be immoral?



Genocide is wrong precisely because it does not lead to an increase in overall happiness. And I think the Second World War is a good testament of that.

There's nothing really to say here. Utilitarianism is the dominant secular theory of morality and indeed the one we implicitly see practiced by most. It's probably such because it happens to (usually) be a good approximation of traditional Christian morality as it applies to relationships between humans.

Of course, utilitarianism avoids those nasty responsibilities we have towards God, such as no fornication/homosexuality/bestiality/coveting/idolatry/etc. But these are perfectly well accepted by secular societies because they are perceived to not directly impinge on 3rd-party relations.

Again, we could discuss all sorts of scenarios, but rule based utilitarianism doesn't seem like a very solid moral theory. I say that because it places value in what is typically the case rather than what is the case in any particular instance. As we all know, averages and approximations are well and good, but we can't apply them in something as important as a theory of personal conduct.

As for act utilitarianism, again, as you pointed out, it's perfectly OK with sadistic cannibals killing and eating masochistic victims. A normal person would revolt against the entire moral theory that accommodates that - rather than somehow implying that my lack of rigorous logic in rejecting the acceptability of that scenario is an indication of the fault being mine. The fault lies with you for continuing to accept utilitarianism as even a possibility. My moral theory doesn't accommodate the sadist-masochist cannibal scenario. Sorry.

Re: genocide, of course that is not true. Many cases of genocide have occurred which seem to have amplified the utility for the many. Take the Americas, for instance. These countries were founded on land theft, intentional and unintentional transmission of deadly diseases, and outright massacres. This was done to Stone Age peoples who had little effective means to defend themselves (I am speaking here primarily of N. American tribes, but many S. American tribes also fit the bill).

The result is a prosperous, powerful country of hundreds of millions thriving, "well-living" Americans.

Isn't Brazil also doing better than it would have had it remained a jungle populated by primitive tribes?

What is their suffering to all the benefit that has arisen from European colonization of the Americas?

I really don't see that genocide is so wrong according to secular ethics. If anything, it's often less wrong from a utility perspective than merely killing one person. One person may be killed for very petty, personal reasons. Entire societies, countries, continents (Europe?) can benefit from genocide for centuries!

We need to give genocide a chance. Utilitarianism dictates it so.

Aloimeh
04-13-2012, 04:00 AM
even if that was true, there is still the burden of proving whether that one true God exists or not, and which God out of the countless gods we knew/know would that be, and then having to decide and prove if that God's morality is actually good for us or not, or is that an evil God that doesn't care about our well being to begin with, these questions still have no definite answer and will never have one

absolute morality never existed, morality is something we decide, edit and agree upon as we get wiser and more knowledgeable to maximize the well being of conscious creatures socially and individually

one thing is for sure, morality such as that of the god of the old testament should never come back, thankfully we have risen above that despicable state and order

There is no burden.

God is. Accept it and move on or reject it and move on. Enough of this "proving God" nonsense.

Absolute morality has not been revealed to us, that I agree with. Morality has differed at different times in history. Clearly the morality in ancient Israel was not the morality Christ preached. The morality in Noah's time was different from ours or that of Israel. And the morality in Adam's day was different from all three. This is all from a consistent, coherent single religious perspective.

Other religions probably also have their conceptions of morality changing.

But in Christianity (and Judaism and Islam), morality was never unstable. You always knew what was expected of you at any particular point in time.

No Christian advocates a return to Old Testament morality. Besides, it wasn't meant for us and isn't meant for the Jews/Israel of today, either. It's over. It applied to a country and people thousands of years ago and is neither valid in Christianity nor in modern rabbinical Judaism.

Aloimeh
04-13-2012, 04:02 AM
He's an Orthodox, lol. :lol:

Actually, I'm not. I go to a Protestant church currently and have never been Orthodox.

But if I did have a choice between Orthodox and Catholic, there would be no debate in my mind.

I would be banned if I said exactly what I think of the Catholic church, but it can be summed up in three words words: apostasy, pedophilia, genocide.

Aloimeh
04-13-2012, 04:05 AM
Right, and I suppose deism is actually agnosticism by that logic? People seem to think deism is the assertion that there is a God, when it is the belief that there is a God! A lot of people don't understand the super important difference...

agnosticism is :shrug: It means you don't take a stance. Atheists and deists do.

I said that agnostics were functional atheists. I stand by that statement. By saying that, I mean that they live their lives as if God doesn't exist and they don't care to put in the time/effort to figure out if he really exists and if he does, whether he is knowable.

Mjau!
04-13-2012, 04:12 AM
No, it doesn't. Agnosticism does not mean that you are indifferent to the question. It means you don't believe we can ever know the answer to the question.

You really should educate yourself before jumping into these discussions.

That's essentially what I said! :stupid:

It does not mean someone who believes there is no god, as you proclaimed in the post I was responding to.

I said that agnostics were functional atheists. I stand by that statement. By saying that, I mean that they live their lives as if God doesn't exist and they don't care to put in the time/effort to figure out if he really exists and if he does, whether he is knowable.

That's true.

Aloimeh
04-13-2012, 04:16 AM
That's essentially what I said! :stupid:

It does not mean someone who believes there is no god, as you proclaimed in the post I was responding to.



That's true.

That's why I said it, because agnosticism is a lazy way of saying "I don't believe in God, I can't rigorously deny the possibility of His existence, and I don't particularly care enough to figure out either way. I'll just live my life assuming that He doesn't exist." Operationally, it's a more rational form of atheism than those we would label "atheists."

Ilovetheblues_86
04-13-2012, 04:26 AM
Aloimeh,


there were more indigenous people in Brazil than portuguese people or even other foreign colonizers at least in the first two centuries of colonization when a lot of indians were killed or hunted for slavery. The total sum is around 5 millions spreaded throughout all the Brazilian territory.

In this case we cant say the genocide came for the benefit of all, because indians were killed by white diseases and off course, by assassination and slavery and they were the majority of the inhabitants. What the catholic church tried to do was to put the indians into missions, destroying their culture, but trying to protect them from the settlers by converting them to catholicism and teaching them christian values.

So, maybe the priests and the Church already knew that it was more moral to not kill them but rather, circumscribe them inside those villages? Thus the country could benefit from european intervention and colonization (yeah right, after releasing from its colonial status that only meant to supply tropical products to be sold in Europe) and incorporating the people into the society by not commiting a genocide.

Or would this be still a cultural genocide? ;)

Clydey
04-13-2012, 04:35 AM
That's essentially what I said! :stupid:

It does not mean someone who believes there is no god, as you proclaimed in the post I was responding to.



They are different questions.

Most who identify as agnostics are functional atheists, as Aloimeh said. Due to the perpetuation of a bogus definition of agnosticism, you're highly unlikely to find a religious person who self-identifies as an agnostic; therefore, most agnostics do not believe in God and are atheists in practice.

Clydey
04-13-2012, 04:42 AM
That's why I said it, because agnosticism is a lazy way of saying "I don't believe in God, I can't rigorously deny the possibility of His existence, and I don't particularly care enough to figure out either way. I'll just live my life assuming that He doesn't exist." Operationally, it's a more rational form of atheism than those we would label "atheists."

You were doing so well until that last sentence. They answer different questions, so you can't compare them. One is an ontological claim and one is an epistemological claim.

Mjau!
04-13-2012, 05:07 AM
They are different questions.

Most who identify as agnostics are functional atheists, as Aloimeh said. Due to the perpetuation of a bogus definition of agnosticism, you're highly unlikely to find a religious person who self-identifies as an agnostic; therefore, most agnostics do not believe in God and are atheists in practice.

They aren't by your definition of atheism. Not believing in god is not the same as believing there is no god. There's a subtle but important difference.

Clydey
04-13-2012, 05:28 AM
They aren't by your definition of atheism. Not believing in god is not the same as believing there is no god. There's a subtle but important difference.

There really isn't. If you don't believe in god, you believe there is no god. You can't have one without the other. I understand the point you're trying to make, since one phrase implies more emphasis on a lack of faith. It's a linguistic illusion, though. They mean exactly the same thing.

If you want to argue that they are different claims, you have to answer the following question: how does one not believe in god while believing there is a god?

I'll make it more simple for you. I want you to turn 'not believing in god' into a statement.

Roger the Dodger
04-13-2012, 10:11 AM
In other words you are a Deist? Where do you get the idea that your assertions about Noah mean anything to me or another Christian? You have no foundation for your views other than doubt that God could - or wanted - to do it.

Next.

No, I am not a Deist. A Deist believes that the Creator steps aside from his creation indefinitely, leaving it to itself. I believe the creator is there in the creation, but how he functions in this creation are yet a mystery to man, or people would not be skeptical of the Supreme Power's hold on man. Where do you see a direct divine intervention like a parting of the ocean? Obviously, all of us believe we act by our free-will and the capacity of our nature to support our free-will mingled with the play of chance is what defines our destiny. But if there is a God, - and our Existence itself being a proof of a Higher power (read God) given no one in this forum "willed" himself into existence, it becomes necessary to know how exactly it functions; how does the Divine chart our course in our lives overriding our free-will is a matter of intense study.

Where has a great miracle involving man happened in our recent times? If we are to believe in fables of Noah's Ark and Moses parting the Ocean which are definitely beyond the scope of rational thought (hence a miracle), why does it not happen all the time? Was Saddam or Osama's death a work of divine intervention and justice, or an utterly human scheme? "Where is God in our daily affairs" is a valid question, that even Believer's can and should ask.

To believe in God, to have faith in the Divine, is justified but to know how exactly, how mysteriously god functions in our world is equally justified. Does the higher power go of to sleep after creating or does it need to be invoked for intervention are valid queries, and that does not make me a Deist, because I have formed no conclusion about God's ways.

Roger the Dodger
04-13-2012, 11:37 AM
Why has Buddy Holly been banned? Is such an interesting poster.

tripwires
04-13-2012, 12:09 PM
^^I asked that and my post got deleted for seemingly no reason.

Gagsquet
04-13-2012, 12:14 PM
Buddyholly banned. Pretty surprising.

habibko
04-13-2012, 12:24 PM
God is. Accept it and move on or reject it and move on. Enough of this "proving God" nonsense.

and that is supposed to end the discussion?

you can put anything there and it would be as meaningless, the flying spaghetti monster is, Santa is, Zeus is, accept it and move on or reject and move on

and which God would that be, the Muslim Allah? the Jewish Yahweh? the Hindu Brahman?

there is no way for us to know what true morality intended by the supposed higher being is except by arbitrary belief with no tangible certainty

habibko
04-13-2012, 12:42 PM
Absolute morality has not been revealed to us, that I agree with. Morality has differed at different times in history. Clearly the morality in ancient Israel was not the morality Christ preached. The morality in Noah's time was different from ours or that of Israel. And the morality in Adam's day was different from all three. This is all from a consistent, coherent single religious perspective.

Other religions probably also have their conceptions of morality changing.

But in Christianity (and Judaism and Islam), morality was never unstable. You always knew what was expected of you at any particular point in time.

there was nothing revealed to anyone

correctly put, people knew better and got wiser generation upon generation until we reached the current secular human rights model (with conspicuous disparity in application across societies and nations)

No Christian advocates a return to Old Testament morality. Besides, it wasn't meant for us and isn't meant for the Jews/Israel of today, either. It's over. It applied to a country and people thousands of years ago and is neither valid in Christianity nor in modern rabbinical Judaism.

it says a lot about the god you believe in that he failed to advance and promote the people of that era to anything remotely close to our modern societies, achieved by the accumulated work of science and secular philosophy, rather than relying on pseudo-divine verses to tell us how to best live our lives

Kworb
04-13-2012, 12:48 PM
There really isn't. If you don't believe in god, you believe there is no god. You can't have one without the other. I understand the point you're trying to make, since one phrase implies more emphasis on a lack of faith. It's a linguistic illusion, though. They mean exactly the same thing.

If you want to argue that they are different claims, you have to answer the following question: how does one not believe in god while believing there is a god?

I'll make it more simple for you. I want you to turn 'not believing in god' into a statement.

It's not one or the other. You can be in the middle.

1. I believe there is a god (deism/theism)
2. I'm not sure if there's a god or not (agnosticism)
3. I believe there is no god (atheism)

If you say "I don't believe in god", then you only reject the first statement, but you haven't said yet if you agree more with the second or third. It's quite simple logic, and not a linguistic illusion.

Roger the Dodger
04-13-2012, 02:35 PM
^^I asked that and my post got deleted for seemingly no reason.

Mods are amoral! :shrug:

They do as they please.

Roger the Dodger
04-13-2012, 02:42 PM
and that is supposed to end the discussion?

you can put anything there and it would be as meaningless, the flying spaghetti monster is, Santa is, Zeus is, accept it and move on or reject and move on

and which God would that be, the Muslim Allah? the Jewish Yahweh? the Hindu Brahman?

there is no way for us to know what true morality intended by the supposed higher being is except by arbitrary belief with no tangible certainty

Perfect answer. I did suspect s/he was simply trolling. Like Abraxas mentioned about the ACC bit.

Also I don't agree with Agnostics being functional atheists. The fact that they are not sure about the existence of God does NOT make them unbelievers. In the pure sense of the word, if they were to have a glimpse or clarity about God's existence or had definite experience of the absence of any higher power in the creation and determination of life and destiny, they might have formed a conclusion like Atheists or Theists.

Agnostics exist as a middle-category. Rightfully so.

Start da Game
04-13-2012, 02:47 PM
a simple question to you all groups here......who first created matter in this infinite vacuum even if it was all a small dense particle of unimaginable density?

habibko
04-13-2012, 02:53 PM
In the pure sense of the word, if they were to have a glimpse or clarity about God's existence or had definite experience of the absence of any higher power in the creation and determination of life and destiny, they might have formed a conclusion

if there was sufficient proof for the existence of God, atheists wouldn't be atheists either, they simply think there is no basis to think there exists a God except blind faith at this point, so yes we are all agnostics in reality, and those who remain agnostics after contemplating the issue are essentially atheists, or irreligious, depending on the context

habibko
04-13-2012, 02:55 PM
a simple question to you all groups here......who first created matter in this infinite vacuum even if it was all a small dense particle of unimaginable density?

it's possible that matter came to existence spontaneously out of nothing, this is a good read to explore the scientific explanation for that

http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/files/2012/02/a-universe-from-nothing1.jpg

YUe0_4rdj0U

Ilovetheblues_86
04-13-2012, 03:02 PM
there was nothing revealed to anyone

correctly put, people knew better and got wiser generation upon generation until we reached the current secular human rights model (with conspicuous disparity in application across societies and nations)



it says a lot about the god you believe in that he failed to advance and promote the people of that era to anything remotely close to our modern societies, achieved by the accumulated work of science and secular philosophy, rather than relying on pseudo-divine verses to tell us how to best live our lives

He didnt failed. Monotheism helped societies advance.

habibko
04-13-2012, 03:10 PM
He didnt failed. Monotheism helped societies advance.

faith/superstition - be it monotheism, polytheism or any other philosophical and religious system - is both a unifying and soothing force and has had its social functions at many stages in our history when our ignorance was too much to explain even the most basics of facts in our lives, but we now know better and much more to the extent that it became possible to advance and go on without petty supernatural beliefs, in some circumstances it's not possible to advance on certain levels without disposing of them

in many ways, societies advanced in spite of monotheism

Start da Game
04-13-2012, 03:12 PM
it's possible that matter came to existence spontaneously out of nothing, this is a good read to explore the scientific explanation for that

http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/files/2012/02/a-universe-from-nothing1.jpg

YUe0_4rdj0Ueven after reading that book, i think we will be once again lead to thinking who created that, who created this......

books like that above and such ideas were brought forward in ancient india as early as 5000 BC or a little later than that......so there are no shortage of resources here if i want to go through who felt what about this universe but i have noticed that nobody could ever answer that question.....

as for my personal belief, i believe that there is a supreme power which created the universe and is controlling the entire dynamics and the balance of the universe......'god' is just a name of that, 'worship' is just a name for the act of remembering of that power.....

we will never know who created this universe......never.....

Mjau!
04-13-2012, 04:45 PM
There really isn't. If you don't believe in god, you believe there is no god. You can't have one without the other. I understand the point you're trying to make, since one phrase implies more emphasis on a lack of faith. It's a linguistic illusion, though. They mean exactly the same thing.

If you want to argue that they are different claims, you have to answer the following question: how does one not believe in god while believing there is a god?

I'll make it more simple for you. I want you to turn 'not believing in god' into a statement.

Because the deity question is not like whether Santa exists or whether there's a tooth fairy, no matter how much atheists like to claim it is. The deity question is a philosophical question concerning the origins and nature of time, space, matter, the natural forces, the laws of nature, life and consciousness. That's why it's different and that's why a distinction between not believeing in god and believing there is no god matters. Because the latter means you are taking a stance on those questions regarding the origin and nature of all existence, just as much as a deist or theist does, whether you like to admit it or not. These are questions science cannot yet answer (if it ever will) and you have a belief about the answer to those questions. It has to be coincidence, it has to come from nothing and for no reason whatsoever. An agnostic, on the other hand, is... agnostic.

it's possible that matter came to existence spontaneously out of nothing, this is a good read to explore the scientific explanation for that

http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/files/2012/02/a-universe-from-nothing1.jpg

YUe0_4rdj0U

I find it quite illogical to believe in a creation story while being an atheist, because you have to chuck the 'cause' from 'cause & effect'.

Something from nothing is surely a miracle.

Roger the Dodger
04-13-2012, 05:14 PM
Can any atheist in this forum tell me how he became an atheist? Did he make the necessary effort to find God or a higher power and yet come to the conclusion that his own personal powers are the highest in directing his destiny, that he created himself on earth of his own will and can destroy his existence of his own volition again. I think the stance of atheism rises from a bit of laziness in the part of the seeker; a lot of desire for life as he gets it - especially an attachment to the sensual side of life; and lack of genuine faith-based 'spritual' experience that opens another dimension of his life outside the mental rational life which appeals to the atheist who always seeks after a Visible God.

I think 'faith' or the act of believing in some other power outside their own domain is difficult for an atheist. Just my opinion, please feel free to enlighten me otherwise on this matter.

Jimnik
04-13-2012, 05:19 PM
Most religions don't make perfect sense but atheism makes even less sense.

It's an impossible argument. Either you have faith or you don't. Trying to make a rational debate out of it is a waste of time.

Clydey
04-13-2012, 05:34 PM
It's not one or the other. You can be in the middle.

1. I believe there is a god (deism/theism)
2. I'm not sure if there's a god or not (agnosticism)
3. I believe there is no god (atheism)

If you say "I don't believe in god", then you only reject the first statement, but you haven't said yet if you agree more with the second or third. It's quite simple logic, and not a linguistic illusion.

That isn't what Mjau said. Read his/her post again. It is a linguistic illusion.

Incidentally, I should clarify the definition of agnosticism again. We are all agnostics, since no one can be sure if there is a god. I am both an agnostic and an atheist. Moreover, it is not possible to be exactly in the middle. The moment you consider the question, you will instinctively favour one side over the other, even if you do not spend a single extra second examining the question.

Clydey
04-13-2012, 05:39 PM
Because the deity question is not like whether Santa exists or whether there's a tooth fairy, no matter how much atheists like to claim it is. The deity question is a philosophical question concerning the origins and nature of time, space, matter, the natural forces, the laws of nature, life and consciousness. That's why it's different and that's why a distinction between not believeing in god and believing there is no god matters. Because the latter means you are taking a stance on those questions regarding the origin and nature of all existence, just as much as a deist or theist does, whether you like to admit it or not. These are questions science cannot yet answer (if it ever will) and you have a belief about the answer to those questions. It has to be coincidence, it has to come from nothing and for no reason whatsoever. An agnostic, on the other hand, is... agnostic.

Wrong again. Atheists are also agnostics. You don't seem to get that agnosticism is not a practical position.

You also didn't take up my challenge. I want you to turn the phrase 'not believing in god' into a statement. If you're right about there being a subtle difference, you should be able to phrase it in such a way that the claim cannot be made by an atheist.

GOAT = Fed
04-13-2012, 05:45 PM
Most religions don't make perfect sense but atheism makes even less sense.

It's an impossible argument. Either you have faith or you don't. Trying to make a rational debate out of it is a waste of time.

Any reasons why you believed atheism makes even less sense than most religions? Pretty big accusation to make without any argument, eh? :lol:

Gagsquet
04-13-2012, 05:45 PM
The question of how matter appeared is the central question in all religious vs. scientific debates. It's very difficult to imagine that before the Bing Bang is not a acceptable sentence, it's an universe-centered sentence. When the science will prove that matter can come out from nothing, religion will be almost dead.

emotion
04-13-2012, 05:48 PM
Wrong again. Atheists are also agnostics. You don't seem to get that agnosticism is not a practical position.

You also didn't take up my challenge. I want you to turn the phrase 'not believing in god' into a statement. If you're right about there being a subtle difference, you should be able to phrase it in such a way that the claim cannot be made by an atheist.

Dawkins converted me on this :lol:
Used to describe myself as an agnostic, but he makes a good point about practicality

GOAT = Fed
04-13-2012, 05:51 PM
The question of how matter appeared is the central question in all religious vs. scientific debate. It's very difficult to imagine that before the Bing Bang is not a acceptable sentence, it's an universe-centered sentence. When the science will prove that matter can come out from nothing, religion will be almost dead.

There is also a flaw with using this argument in terms of religion. Science may or may not find out the cause of the big bang or how the singularity that existed before the big bang came to be in the near future, but if arguing this way, you need to ask the theists, who created your God? What was he doing for infinite amount of time before he decided to create the universe? Usually theists will then say that God has no creator (Nice logic, eh?). Then why do theists find it hard to accept that the Universe too did not necessarily need to have a creator, just like the creator didn't need to have a creator. Obviously the scientific answer is that at this moment in time we do not simply know, but the universe having no creator is a possibility.

Clydey
04-13-2012, 05:56 PM
Dawkins converted me on this :lol:
Used to describe myself as an agnostic, but he makes a good point about practicality

Yeah, I think I described myself as an agnostic for about 5 minutes. I vaguely recall making a single contribution to an argument as an agnostic, before realising how impractical the position is.

Gagsquet
04-13-2012, 06:49 PM
There is also a flaw with using this argument in terms of religion. Science may or may not find out the cause of the big bang or how the singularity that existed before the big bang came to be in the near future, but if arguing this way, you need to ask the theists, who created your God? What was he doing for infinite amount of time before he decided to create the universe? Usually theists will then say that God has no creator (Nice logic, eh?). Then why do theists find it hard to accept that the Universe too did not necessarily need to have a creator, just like the creator didn't need to have a creator. Obviously the scientific answer is that at this moment in time we do not simply know, but the universe having no creator is a possibility.


That's pretty clever.

Kworb
04-13-2012, 07:02 PM
That isn't what Mjau said. Read his/her post again. It is a linguistic illusion.

Incidentally, I should clarify the definition of agnosticism again. We are all agnostics, since no one can be sure if there is a god. I am both an agnostic and an atheist. Moreover, it is not possible to be exactly in the middle. The moment you consider the question, you will instinctively favour one side over the other, even if you do not spend a single extra second examining the question.
I think that's the issue here, that we all seem to define agnosticism and atheism differently. I don't agree that we are all agnostics. Because if someone believes in a god, then to them it feels like they know a god exists. If they have that complete certainty, who are we to say that they are not sure?

And for me atheism follows a similar logic. I define atheists as people who believe that there is no god. For atheists the inexistence of a god is something they are completely sure of. Something they know.

When we enter the realm of things that can't be shown or proven (like the existence of a god, the creation of the universe, the meaning of life), I don't see how a distinction between belief and knowledge can still be made.

Clydey
04-13-2012, 07:15 PM
I think that's the issue here, that we all seem to define agnosticism and atheism differently. I don't agree that we are all agnostics. Because if someone believes in a god, then to them it feels like they know a god exists. If they have that complete certainty, who are we to say that they are not sure?

That that's not atheism. You are completely redefining the term. I do not believe there is a god, but I don't know there is no god. There is absolutely no contradiction. It doesn't matter whether someone claims to be certain about the existence or non-existence of god, since they cannot possibly know the answer beyond any shred of doubt.

And for me atheism follows a similar logic. I define atheists as people who believe that there is no god. For atheists the inexistence of a god is something they are completely sure of. Something they know.

Again, you're wrong. I am as sure that there is no god as I am sure that there are no unicorns, but that is not something I can ever prove for certain. You are fundamentally misrepresenting the terms atheism and agnosticism. It doesn't matter how you define the terms, but rather it matters how the terms are actually defined. Nowhere does it state that atheism is defined as the certainty that there is no god.

I really wish people would stop redefining well established concepts and/or telling me what it is that I believe. Dawkins is probably the most famous atheist on the planet and even he does not say that he can ever be 100% certain that there is no god. He is both an agnostic and an atheist.

When we enter the realm of things that can't be shown or proven (like the existence of a god, the creation of the universe, the meaning of life), I don't see how a distinction between belief and knowledge can still be made.

Because knowledge and belief are not the same thing. Do you understand the difference between ontology and epistemology?

Kworb
04-13-2012, 08:03 PM
That that's not atheism. You are completely redefining the term. I do not believe there is a god, but I don't know there is no god. There is absolutely no contradiction. It doesn't matter whether someone claims to be certain about the existence or non-existence of god, since they cannot possibly know the answer beyond any shred of doubt.
I am not redefining anything. Over the years atheism has been defined in many different ways. There is not one single correct definition.

Again, you're wrong. I am as sure that there is no god as I am sure that there are no unicorns, but that is not something I can ever prove for certain. You are fundamentally misrepresenting the terms atheism and agnosticism. It doesn't matter how you define the terms, but rather it matters how the terms are actually defined. Nowhere does it state that atheism is defined as the certainty that there is no god.
The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy defines atheism as "either the lack of belief that there exists a god, or the belief that there exists none." You define it as the former, I define it as the latter.

I really wish people would stop redefining well established concepts and/or telling me what it is that I believe. Dawkins is probably the most famous atheist on the planet and even he does not say that he can ever be 100% certain that there is no god. He is both an agnostic and an atheist.
Again this just depends on how you personally define these concepts. They might be well established but they mean different things to different people.

Because knowledge and belief are not the same thing. Do you understand the difference between ontology and epistemology?
Of course there is a difference between knowledge and belief, but there is no difference between believing in a god and knowing a god exists. To that person it is exactly the same thing.

Clydey
04-13-2012, 08:21 PM
I am not redefining anything. Over the years atheism has been defined in many different ways. There is not one single correct definition.

Atheism has been defined in many different ways because of a fundamental misunderstanding of the term. It is simply the lack of a belief in god. I don't understand why people insist on complicating concepts that are so simple.


The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy defines atheism as "either the lack of belief that there exists a god, or the belief that there exists none." You define it as the former, I define it as the latter.

They mean exactly the same thing. I'll issue the same challenge to you as I issued to Mjau. Turn the phrase "not believing in god" into a statement that an atheist could not make.

If you lack the belief in god, it follows that you also believe there is no god. You cannot lack a belief in god and simultaneously believe in god. It is logically incoherent to say that lack of a belief in god is different to believing there is no god.


Of course there is a difference between knowledge and belief, but there is no difference between believing in a god and knowing a god exists. To that person it is exactly the same thing.

In practice, yes. That's why agnosticism is not a practical position. No one is a functional agnostic.

Kworb
04-13-2012, 08:37 PM
They mean exactly the same thing. I'll issue the same challenge to you as I issued to Mjau. Turn the phrase "not believing in god" into a statement that an atheist could not make.

If you lack the belief in god, it follows that you also believe there is no god. You cannot lack a belief in god and simultaneously believe in god. It is logically incoherent to say that lack of a belief in god is different to believing there is no god.
"I don't believe in a god, but there might be one, who knows." An atheist (when defined as someone who believes there is no god) could never say that. They have completely rejected the possibility.

Clydey
04-13-2012, 08:42 PM
"I don't believe in a god, but there might be one, who knows." An atheist (when defined as someone who believes there is no god) could never say that. They have completely rejected the possibility.

That just isn't true. That is exactly my belief and it is what every atheist I know believes. Dawkins holds that belief, as does Harris, Dennett, and so did Hitchens.

You cannot disprove god's existence, so it then follows that there might be one, however unlikely. Atheists do not completely reject the possibility. Please, find me an authority that defines atheism as the rejection of the possibility that god exists.

Atheists believe that there is no god. They do not reject the possibility that one could exist.

Kworb
04-13-2012, 09:44 PM
That just isn't true. That is exactly my belief and it is what every atheist I know believes. Dawkins holds that belief, as does Harris, Dennett, and so did Hitchens.

You cannot disprove god's existence, so it then follows that there might be one, however unlikely. Atheists do not completely reject the possibility. Please, find me an authority that defines atheism as the rejection of the possibility that god exists.

Atheists believe that there is no god. They do not reject the possibility that one could exist.
That's perfectly fine, but then TO ME you are not an atheist, I see us both as agnostics. Why does it matter what label I put on you? As long as I know what you believe, that should be enough. We don't have to give it a name.

As for authorities, wikipedia covers all the different definitions along with the scholarly sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Definitions_and_distinctions

Look at this in particular: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicit_and_explicit_atheism

In my view only explicit atheism is "true" atheism. Implicit atheism includes agnosticism.

Clydey
04-13-2012, 09:56 PM
That's perfectly fine, but then TO ME you are not an atheist, I see us both as agnostics. Why does it matter what label I put on you? As long as I know what you believe, that should be enough. We don't have to give it a name.

I would rather not give it a name, since I think it's absurd to label yourself based on something you don't believe in.

Again, we are all agnostics. In practice, however, I am an atheist. Are you agnostic when it comes to fairies? You can't disprove them, after all.

As for authorities, wikipedia covers all the different definitions along with the scholarly sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Definitions_and_distinctions

Look at this in particular: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicit_and_explicit_atheism

In my view only explicit atheism is "true" atheism. Implicit atheism includes agnosticism.

But 'explicit atheism' is fundamentally irrational and anyone who holds the view is by definition wrong, as it requires that the existence of god be disproved. You are arguing that the true definition of atheism is a definition that is false on its face.

fast_clay
04-13-2012, 10:46 PM
you cannot defeat clydey... his logic is impenetrable... if having blood piss out your ears in defeat is your type of enjoyment then by all means attempt to break him down...

he also possesses a world class vulcan sleeper hold...

Clydey
04-13-2012, 10:51 PM
you cannot defeat clydey... his logic is impenetrable... if having blood piss out your ears in defeat is your type of enjoyment then by all means attempt to break him down...

he also possesses a world class vulcan sleeper hold...

Nothing to add to this masterpiece of a post. It stands on its on own merit.

Gagsquet
04-14-2012, 01:01 AM
Abraxas21 banned. Buddyholly double account...

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 01:11 AM
Wrong again. Atheists are also agnostics. You don't seem to get that agnosticism is not a practical position.

You also didn't take up my challenge. I want you to turn the phrase 'not believing in god' into a statement. If you're right about there being a subtle difference, you should be able to phrase it in such a way that the claim cannot be made by an atheist.

I just explained the difference between "I don't believe in god" and "I believe there is no god" in the post you are responding to. The former is lack of belief, the latter is belief. Because the former does not necessarily have any particular beliefs about the origin of the universe and the laws that govern it, while the latter definitely does. That is the difference.

There is also a flaw with using this argument in terms of religion. Science may or may not find out the cause of the big bang or how the singularity that existed before the big bang came to be in the near future, but if arguing this way, you need to ask the theists, who created your God? What was he doing for infinite amount of time before he decided to create the universe? Usually theists will then say that God has no creator (Nice logic, eh?). Then why do theists find it hard to accept that the Universe too did not necessarily need to have a creator, just like the creator didn't need to have a creator. Obviously the scientific answer is that at this moment in time we do not simply know, but the universe having no creator is a possibility.

Probably because you believe the universe was created. Creation out of nothing, for no reason, is not logical, nor scientific.

Yes, because they claim god is eternal and therefore does not need a creator. That's much more logical than something out of nothing. Atheism makes more sense if you believe the universe and the laws of nature are eternal and thus did not have to be created.

Clydey
04-14-2012, 01:14 AM
I just explained the difference between "I don't believe in god" and "I believe there is no god" in the post you are responding to. The former is lack of belief, the latter is belief. Because the former does not necessarily have any particular beliefs about the origin of the universe and the laws that govern it, while the latter definitely does. That is the difference.

I've already dealt with that claim. I asked you to turn "I don't believe in god" into a statement that an atheist could not also make.

If you do not believe in god, it follows that you believe there is no god. It is logically incoherent to argue the contrary.

habibko
04-14-2012, 01:17 AM
even after reading that book, i think we will be once again lead to thinking who created that, who created this......

books like that above and such ideas were brought forward in ancient india as early as 5000 BC

it's a sign of a parochial, ignorant mind to assume what you are going to think about a book even before reading it, as well as to judge the contents of a book that discusses modern physics and compare it to a time and a nation that knew nothing about it

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 01:22 AM
I've already dealt with that claim. I asked you to turn "I don't believe in god" into a statement that an atheist could not also make.

Sorry, but that has no relevance to this discussion. It's about whether there's a difference between what the two statements imply and there clearly is. "I don't believe in god" does not imply any particular beliefs about the origin of the universe and the laws that govern it, whereas "I believe there is no god" does.

habibko
04-14-2012, 01:28 AM
I find it quite illogical to believe in a creation story while being an atheist, because you have to chuck the 'cause' from 'cause & effect'.

it's not a "creation story", the word creation carries connotations of a "creating" entity, and I don't see the relation between chucking the cause with what you said before that, science could well prove that the universe came to being without an external causing force

Something from nothing is surely a miracle.

many things were considered miracles before science explained them

habibko
04-14-2012, 01:41 AM
Did he make the necessary effort to find God or a higher power and yet come to the conclusion that his own personal powers are the highest in directing his destiny

by all means do point out a conscious creature with higher intelligence than humans, while atheists wouldn't jump to declare them gods, it would still be an illuminating discovery

that he created himself on earth of his own will and can destroy his existence of his own volition again

which atheist claimed to have created himself?

I think the stance of atheism rises from a bit of laziness in the part of the seeker; a lot of desire for life as he gets it - especially an attachment to the sensual side of life

that's incorrect, there is no proof of anything supernatural, therefore atheists don't waste time chasing unicorns, it's as simple as that

and lack of genuine faith-based 'spritual' experience that opens another dimension of his life outside the mental rational life which appeals to the atheist who always seeks after a Visible God.

atheists diverge on spirituality and numinous experiences, not all of them completely dismiss them, they just don't think you need a divine entity to experience them

g0B-cUSX57Q

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 01:42 AM
it's not a "creation story", the word creation carries connotations of a "creating" entity, and I don't see the relation between chucking the cause with what you said before that, science could well prove that the universe came to being without an external causing force

Of course it's a creation story, because it involves the creation of something. Namely, everything. Exactly. Thank you for pointing out how illogical creation from nothing is.

Just how do you propose empirical science can prove creation without a causing force? It's an intrinsically illogical concept.

many things were considered miracles before science explained them

A meaningless platitude.

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 01:46 AM
you cannot defeat clydey... his logic is impenetrable... if having blood piss out your ears in defeat is your type of enjoyment then by all means attempt to break him down...

he also possesses a world class vulcan sleeper hold...

B requires A, therefore A=B is not impenetrable logic.

Clydey
04-14-2012, 01:47 AM
Sorry, but that has no relevance to this discussion. It's about whether there's a difference between what the two statements imply and there clearly is. "I don't believe in god" does not imply any particular beliefs about the origin of the universe and the laws that govern it, whereas "I believe there is no god" does.

So you're avoiding the challenge. I think that speaks volumes.

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 01:49 AM
The question of how matter appeared is the central question in all religious vs. scientific debates. It's very difficult to imagine that before the Bing Bang is not a acceptable sentence, it's an universe-centered sentence. When the science will prove that matter can come out from nothing, religion will be almost dead.

Here's a small problem. "Nothing" does not exist in the physical world. "Empty space" is not nothing. "The vaccum" is not nothing.

habibko
04-14-2012, 01:51 AM
Of course it's a creation story, because it involves the creation of something. Namely, everything. Exactly. Thank you for pointing out how illogical creation from nothing is.

while I'm not interested in the least in your false use of semantics, the book I pointed out above is written precisely to explain that it isn't illogical for something to come into existence out of nothing

Just how do you propose empirical science can prove creation without a causing force? It's an intrinsically illogical concept.

I'll be happy to discuss the scientific basis of the book after you read the book

or did you finish reading it already?

A meaningless platitude.

on the contrary, treating smallpox would have been considered a miracle 1000 years ago, typing words on a keyboard from Saudi Arabia for you to read it 5 seconds later in Europe would have made both of us Gods back then

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 01:52 AM
So you're avoiding the challenge. I think that speaks volumes.

:haha:

I'm not avoiding any challenge. You are avoiding the actual subject and instead putting up a "challenge" which I have no interest in, because I do not disagree. Believing there is no god requires that one does not believe in god. OBVIOUSLY!

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 01:57 AM
while I'm not interested in the least in your false use of semantics, the book I pointed out above is written precisely to explain that it isn't illogical for something to come into existence out of nothing



I'll be happy to discuss the scientific basis of the book after you read the book

or did you finish reading it already?



on the contrary, treating smallpox would have been considered a miracle 1000 years ago, typing words on a keyboard from Saudi Arabia for you to read it 5 seconds later in Europe would have made both of us Gods back then

The book is wild speculation wrapped in scientific pretensions. The notion has no basis in actual science, which is empirical. There is nothing in our world that supports the idea that something can come from nothing.

habibko
04-14-2012, 02:00 AM
The book is wild speculation wrapped in scientific pretensions. The notion has no basis in actual science. There is nothing in our world that supports the idea that something can come from nothing.

at which chapter did you come to this conclusion?

Clydey
04-14-2012, 02:01 AM
:haha:

I'm not avoiding any challenge. You are avoiding the actual subject and instead putting up a "challenge" which I have no interest in, because I do not disagree. Believing there is no god requires that one does not believe in god. OBVIOUSLY!

Wow, it seems like we have two trolls in this thread.

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 02:03 AM
at which chapter did you come to this conclusion?

I don't have to read his book to have an idea about the scientific basis of his claims.

habibko
04-14-2012, 02:05 AM
I don't have to read his book to have an idea about the scientific basis of his claims.

need I say more?

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 02:08 AM
Wow, it seems like we have two trolls in this thread.

You have nothing to say, do you?

Clydey
04-14-2012, 02:13 AM
You have nothing to say, do you?

Yep, you're logic has overwhelmed me. It's not like I've been deconstructing these arguments for the past couple of days.

You have been evasive throughout our exchange.

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 02:19 AM
need I say more?

You're such a hypocrite. The burden of evidence rests upon You. If you claim there is a scientific basis for the notion that something can come from nothing, then go ahead and present the empirical scientific evidence. Your argumentation is ludicrous and dishonest. You don't to get to claim superiority because you read some book and I didn't. It does not make your opinion on the subject discussed in said book fact and mine worthless. Perhaps I should name-drop a book by some deist and go; "Until you read this, you are not allowed to think something from nothing is not illogical or unsupported by science, because you have not read this book, period."? :rolleyes:

Aloimeh
04-14-2012, 02:21 AM
I find it hilarious how the atheists here, rather than actually engaging in science themselves as their profession, choose to take a religious approach to their atheism. How appropriate! They seem to have a mini-god (Darwin) and lots of apostles (Dawkins) and prophets (Hitchens, Harris). They quote and video-link these imbeciles and trot them out as some sort of authorities for the rest of us.

Here's a hint, guys: most of these freaks are professional failures. If Dawkins had been a competent biologist, he would have stuck to writing actual textbooks expounding new theories and publishing a whole mass of papers, and he would have moved out of his morphological universe into the realm of molecular genetics (at the very least), or something like biochemistry or biophysics. Dawkins is a no-talent hack. The fact that he's turned himself into some sort of Moses of atheism is a testament to his megalomania.

habibko
04-14-2012, 02:23 AM
If you claim there is a scientific basis for the notion that something can come from nothing, then go ahead and present the empirical scientific evidence.

I wasn't going to summarize the book down to you if you are unwilling to read it to find the answer yourself, let alone having seen you dismissing the scientific basis of it even before you learned what that is to begin with

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 02:23 AM
Yep, you're logic has overwhelmed me. It's not like I've been deconstructing these arguments for the past couple of days.

You have been evasive throughout our exchange.

You have never responded to my arguments. You have consistently ignored the actual subject and repeatedly presented a straw-man. Unless you seriously believe that "B requires A, so A=B" is sound logic.

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 02:30 AM
I wasn't going to summarize the book down to you if you are unwilling to read it to find the answer yourself, let alone having seen you dismissing the scientific basis of it even before you learned what that is to begin with

Your stance is that my opinion doesn't matter unless I read some book you've read. You are unwilling to substantiate or discuss the assertions of the book and you claim superiority in this discussion by virtue of having read said book.

How ironic.

Clydey
04-14-2012, 02:33 AM
I find it hilarious how the atheists here, rather than actually engaging in science themselves as their profession, choose to take a religious approach to their atheism. How appropriate! They seem to have a mini-god (Darwin) and lots of apostles (Dawkins) and prophets (Hitchens, Harris). They quote and video-link these imbeciles and trot them out as some sort of authorities for the rest of us.

Here's a hint, guys: most of these freaks are professional failures. If Dawkins had been a competent biologist, he would have stuck to writing actual textbooks expounding new theories and publishing a whole mass of papers, and he would have moved out of his morphological universe into the realm of molecular genetics (at the very least), or something like biochemistry or biophysics. Dawkins is a no-talent hack. The fact that he's turned himself into some sort of Moses of atheism is a testament to his megalomania.

The other claims are not worth addressing, but this claim is simply obscene. Along with Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins is likely the most influential evolutionary biologist of the last 50 years. What planet are you living on? You no doubt think Michael Behe is a well respected figure within the scientific community.

habibko
04-14-2012, 02:34 AM
I find it hilarious how the atheists here, rather than actually engaging in science themselves as their profession, choose to take a religious approach to their atheism. How appropriate! They seem to have a mini-god (Darwin) and lots of apostles (Dawkins) and prophets (Hitchens, Harris). They quote and video-link these imbeciles and trot them out as some sort of authorities for the rest of us.

science, rationality and reason are what atheists regard the highest, whoever preaches in the name of them is going to get the due respect

interesting that you are trying to undermine atheists by comparing them to the religious model, quite telling, even more amusing coming from a young-Earth clinger

Here's a hint, guys: most of these freaks are professional failures. If Dawkins had been a competent biologist, he would have stuck to writing actual textbooks expounding new theories and publishing a whole mass of papers, and he would have moved out of his morphological universe into the realm of molecular genetics (at the very least), or something like biochemistry or biophysics. Dawkins is a no-talent hack. The fact that he's turned himself into some sort of Moses of atheism is a testament to his megalomania.

I don't have any personal interest in defending Dawkins so what you think of him doesn't bother me at all, I do think he is very good at what he does, the way he is communicating evolutionary biology to the masses and to what extent the creationist illusion has become incompatible with modern science, not all biologists can be Dawkins and I'm sure many of them wish they could

Clydey
04-14-2012, 02:37 AM
You have never responded to my arguments. You have consistently ignored the actual subject and repeatedly presented a straw-man. Unless you seriously believe that "B requires A, so A=B" is sound logic.

The point is that the statements presented mean precisely the same thing. B does not simply require A, but rather B is A. It's not as though one can be true without the other also being true, as you have suggested. If either statement is true, the other statement must also be true. The claims are identical in any practical sense.

habibko
04-14-2012, 02:37 AM
Your stance is that my opinion doesn't matter unless I read some book you've read. You are unwilling to substantiate or discuss the assertions of the book and you claim superiority in this discussion by virtue of having read said book.

How ironic.

you have dismissed it without knowing what it actually is, with that unscientific attitude you aren't worth discussing science with

I'm not going to repeat myself more than that

Aloimeh
04-14-2012, 02:39 AM
The other claims are not worth addressing, but this claim is simply obscene. Along with Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins is likely the most influential evolutionary biologist of the last 50 years. What planet are you living on? You no doubt think Michael Behe is a well respected figure within the scientific community.

I am currently reading Gould's TSOET and it's nothing special. Dawkins' Blind Watchmaker was propagandistic trash, in many ways more crudely proselytizing than a Bible tract.

Clydey
04-14-2012, 02:43 AM
I am currently reading Gould's TSOET and it's nothing special. Dawkins' Blind Watchmaker was propagandistic trash, in many ways more crudely proselytizing than a Bible track.

Of course you think it's trash. You're a biblical literalist and you do not approach evolutionary claims with an open mind, despite the weight of empirical evidence. By your own admission no amount of evidence against the genesis account could sway you. With that in mind, 99.5% of the biologists out there must be guilty of the same propaganda.

Aloimeh
04-14-2012, 02:50 AM
Of course you think it's trash. You're a biblical literalist and you do not approach evolutionary claims with an open mind, despite the weight of empirical evidence. By your own admission no amount of evidence against the genesis account could sway you. With that in mind, 99.5% of the biologists out there must be guilty of the same propaganda.

No, it's because it's poorly written. TSOET is well written and somewhat compelling. I started going through Darwin's Origin and that, too, is much better written. Dawkin's books are junk, no better than Reader's Digest or Harry Potter.

Clydey
04-14-2012, 02:58 AM
No, it's because it's poorly written. TSOET is well written and somewhat compelling. I started going through Darwin's Origin and that, too, is much better written. Dawkin's books are junk, no better than Reader's Digest or Harry Potter.

What a bizarre thing to say. One of Dawkins' best qualities is his eloquence and his ability to communicate complex ideas (although Neil Tyson famously disagreed with that assessment), something he is almost universally praised for. I happen to think Harris is a better writer, but it's the first time I've heard that particular criticism aimed at Dawkins.

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 03:09 AM
The point is that the statements presented mean precisely the same thing. B does not simply require A, but rather B is A. It's not as though one can be true without the other also being true, as you have suggested. If either statement is true, the other statement must also be true. The claims are identical in any practical sense.

Have you never met someone who said "I don't know how the universe came into being. Maybe it was a higher power and maybe it wasn't. I dunno"? Do you really believe that's no different than believing there is no god? :confused: I'll explain, yet again, why there is a difference.

Meet person A and person B. Person A doesn't have any particular belief regarding the answers to the existential questions, she doesn't take a stance on the existential questions. Does she believe in god? Obviously not. That would mean taking a stance. She lacks belief either way.
Person B, on the other hand, believes there is no god. That necessarily means he believes the universe just appeared from nothing. Unless he rejects the BBT, in which case he believes the universe and its laws have always been around. So, in conclusion, Person A does not believe in god and Person B believes there is no god. Is there a difference? Yes, clearly, because Person A does not take a stance on the existential questions while Person B does. That's a real and pretty relevant difference, wouldn't you agree?

The example above shows that B requires A, but A is NOT B (which is grade school logic anyway).

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 03:16 AM
you have dismissed it without knowing what it actually is, with that unscientific attitude you aren't worth discussing science with

I'm not going to repeat myself more than that

:BS:

Why do I have to read that particular book to have a worthwhile opinion on the logicality and empirical scientific basis of the notion that something can come from nothing? Why is your opinion on the matter superior to mine purely by virtue of having read Krauss' book? So much so that you feel that you do not have to substantiate your claims?

Clydey
04-14-2012, 03:17 AM
Have you never met someone who said "I don't know how the universe came into being. Maybe it was a higher power and maybe it wasn't. I dunno"? Do you really believe that's no different than believing there is no god? :confused: I'll explain, yet again, why there is a difference.

Meet person A and person B. Person A doesn't have any particular belief regarding the answers to the existential questions, she doesn't take a stance on the existential questions. Does she believe in god? Obviously not. That would mean taking a stance. She lacks belief either way.
Person B, on the other hand, believes there is no god. That necessarily means he believes the universe just appeared from nothing. Unless he rejects the BBT, in which case he believes the universe and its laws have always been around. So, in conclusion, Person A does not believe in god and Person B believes there is no god. Is there a difference? Yes, clearly, because Person A does not take a stance on the existential questions while Person B does. That's a real and pretty relevant difference, wouldn't you agree?

The example above shows that B requires A, but A is NOT B (which is grade school logic anyway).

You don't seem to understand that by not having any particular belief regarding existential questions, person A is an atheist at present. It is the default position. I fail to see why this point is so difficult for you to grasp.

Start da Game
04-14-2012, 08:29 AM
it's a sign of a parochial, ignorant mind to assume what you are going to think about a book even before reading it, as well as to judge the contents of a book that discusses modern physics and compare it to a time and a nation that knew nothing about it

bullshit.....you don't need to read books written by other humans to judge upon indeterminable things like this one.....all you need is some common sense.....

Lopez
04-14-2012, 09:10 AM
bullshit.....you don't need to read books written by other humans to judge upon indeterminable things like this one.....all you need is some common sense.....

Common sense is notoriusly poor at determining how things actually work scientifically, especially when talking about things that are far removed from our experience base. Just look at quantum mechanics for example.

sicko
04-14-2012, 09:52 AM
haha, people in 100 years will laugh at our generation. a generation that still believed a guy upstairs is controlling everything. (just think about how ridiculous this idea sounds.:))

just like we laugh at the people from medieval times that believed the earth was flat.

feel free to join the pioneer group of probably less than 5% of humankind that totally rejects the idea of any kind of supernatural power. the sooner the better.:wavey:

Roger the Dodger
04-14-2012, 10:17 AM
by all means do point out a conscious creature with higher intelligence than humans, while atheists wouldn't jump to declare them gods, it would still be an illuminating discovery

Like I said, for an atheist, God has to be visible to his senses, and appeal to his rational mind.

which atheist claimed to have created himself?

Who or what do they attribute their birth to then?

that's incorrect, there is no proof of anything supernatural, therefore atheists don't waste time chasing unicorns, it's as simple as that

Exactly my point. Atheists believe in proofs. What can be made objective, is to them sensible. What requires faith or some communion with a higher force, is to them nonsensical. Atheists, having no faith are likely to say beforehand, 'first show me the God/ higher force, then I will have faith in him.' That is their rightful, logical stance, but it will not bring them any higher answers. The believer's way: 'You have to believe. Then you can experience.'

Whereas faith is the necessary route one has to take to engage in a communion with the creator.

atheists diverge on spirituality and numinous experiences, not all of them completely dismiss them, they just don't think you need a divine entity to experience them

Sorry, but what Sam Harris defines as spiritual experiences are to me, purely higher emotional experiences any human can have. Most people at some point of their lives, do appreciate a sunset, and nearly all have a great time with their kids, and marvel how they came into being.

To have a true spiritual experience, one has to make the experience, the one goal in life, which is not what most of us are capable of. Yes, it is true of those mystics and savants in India who spent ages in the pursuit of the Divine, by undergoing rigorous disciplines. But not everyone can be that single-minded.

g0B-cUSX57Q[/QUOTE]

Roger the Dodger
04-14-2012, 10:28 AM
haha, people in 100 years will laugh at our generation. a generation that still believed a guy upstairs is controlling everything. (just think about how ridiculous this idea sounds.:))

just like we laugh at the people from medieval times that believed the earth was flat.

feel free to join the pioneer group of probably less than 5% of humankind that totally rejects the idea of any kind of supernatural power. the sooner the better.:wavey:

Did you create life? No, right? Nor did I.

Clearly there is some Power in the Universe that does this, and has been particularly doing so on earth for millions of years now. We don't know how that Power functions, we don't know for clear what it aims at, but we do know we are created by that 'something else' it could be a 'guy upstairs' as you put it, or it could be something else that is capable of creating everything else from mosquito to frog to giraffe and humans.
I prefer to call it Consciousness or the Divine Consciousness. How it appears, how if functions, what it aims at, I might not know as of now, but I do know it is there.

Science can never conclude anything about this great mystery fully without including Consciousness into its premise. Till then it can only observe and conclude from the existing mechanisms of nature, but it cannot answer the great mystery.

sicko
04-14-2012, 04:21 PM
Did you create life? No, right? Nor did I.

Clearly there is some Power in the Universe that does this, and has been particularly doing so on earth for millions of years now. We don't know how that Power functions, we don't know for clear what it aims at, but we do know we are created by that 'something else' it could be a 'guy upstairs' as you put it, or it could be something else that is capable of creating everything else from mosquito to frog to giraffe and humans.
I prefer to call it Consciousness or the Divine Consciousness. How it appears, how if functions, what it aims at, I might not know as of now, but I do know it is there.

Science can never conclude anything about this great mystery fully without including Consciousness into its premise. Till then it can only observe and conclude from the existing mechanisms of nature, but it cannot answer the great mystery.

mate, why do u need a creator? can't u just accept the fact that things exist? if you think there must be some sort of god because things need to be created, then, who created god? and if you think that god just exists, then why don't u think the same of our life?

and if you really want to study these very interesting questions, then please study astrophysics, not theology!

Start da Game
04-14-2012, 06:02 PM
mate, why do u need a creator? can't u just accept the fact that things exist? if you think there must be some sort of god because things need to be created, then, who created god? and if you think that god just exists, then why don't u think the same of our life?

and if you really want to study these very interesting questions, then please study astrophysics, not theology!

things exist? how did they come into existence and since when? how's it possible without creation?

can you make a cup of tea out of vacuum? you need milk, tea leaves, sugar and a stove.....just for that damn little cup of tea.....imagine what would have been needed to create this universe out of nothing.....

bottomline is it will remain a mystery forever and ever and ever.....there's no beginning or end to time but there's definitely a beginning point to 'matter'......

something(we will never know what it is) must have created it or maybe has been creating it since endless time backwards......who knows if there already exist several trillions of planets like earth all in different phases of their growth?

habibko
04-14-2012, 06:10 PM
bullshit.....you don't need to read books written by other humans to judge upon indeterminable things like this one.....all you need is some common sense.....

Common sense is notoriusly poor at determining how things actually work scientifically, especially when talking about things that are far removed from our experience base. Just look at quantum mechanics for example.

exactly, in the words of the great Neil deGrasse Tyson: "No longer are you justified saying 'that idea in science is not true because it doesn't make sense', who cares about your senses? your sense came out - forget the Serengeti - just growing up! as a kid you hold something in your hand, you let go of it; it falls, you tip a glass; water is spilled, you are assembling a rulebook for how nature works in the macroscopic world. The microscope takes you smaller than that, the telescope takes you bigger, and other laws of physics manifest themselves in those regimes that you have no life experience reckoning"

Start da Game
04-14-2012, 06:26 PM
Common sense is notoriusly poor at determining how things actually work scientifically, especially when talking about things that are far removed from our experience base. Just look at quantum mechanics for example.

you don't need to be an einstein to know that something out of nothing is practically impossible......theoretically anything can be proved......quantum mechanics is once again a theory proposed by a human being(s) just like you who spent his life studying something proposed by some other human being(s) who spent all his life studying something proposed by some others......

the biggest irony is that even this saga of scientific theories leads back to who first proposed this, who first proved that and all that inturn takes us back who's the ultimate creator behind all this......

GOAT = Fed
04-14-2012, 06:49 PM
I think this thread perfectly fits with this video:

kvhWS0qm2dU

Carl Sagan :worship:

Roger the Dodger
04-14-2012, 06:58 PM
mate, why do u need a creator? can't u just accept the fact that things exist? if you think there must be some sort of god because things need to be created, then, who created god? and if you think that god just exists, then why don't u think the same of our life?

and if you really want to study these very interesting questions, then please study astrophysics, not theology!

One, I totally accept the fact that things exist. But where came this existence from is a valid quest for truth.

Two, God is an Absolute. No one creates God. Everything just begins and ends there. You get all your answers to every last question there. Its the grand terminal. So your argument is false.

habibko
04-14-2012, 07:06 PM
Two, God is an Absolute. No one creates God. Everything just begins and ends there. You get all your answers to every last question there. Its the grand terminal. So your argument is false.

not only is there no proof of such an entity existing, nowadays we can explain so much by modern science that was once attributed to a supposed God, therefore this is a classic case of a God of the gaps, I suggest you read about this concept

science is set about explaining known complex things such as life and the universe, you aren't solving anything by bringing in the picture even more complex entities to explain them

rather than citing Occam's razor to support that point, I like to use the late Hitchens' Razor: "What can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence"

habibko
04-14-2012, 07:52 PM
Like I said, for an atheist, God has to be visible to his senses, and appeal to his rational mind.

obviously, just like Leprechauns, fairies and unicorns

Who or what do they attribute their birth to then?

their parents

Exactly my point. Atheists believe in proofs. What can be made objective, is to them sensible. What requires faith or some communion with a higher force, is to them nonsensical. Atheists, having no faith are likely to say beforehand, 'first show me the God/ higher force, then I will have faith in him.' That is their rightful, logical stance, but it will not bring them any higher answers. The believer's way: 'You have to believe. Then you can experience.'

Whereas faith is the necessary route one has to take to engage in a communion with the creator.

theists never bind themselves with blind faith outside the realm of the religion they choose to blindly believe in, with everything else they demand proof to accept

theists are atheists regarding all other gods in existence which they don't believe in and would require tangible proof to believe in them, atheists just go one more god

sicko
04-14-2012, 09:37 PM
Two, God is an Absolute. No one creates God. Everything just begins and ends there. You get all your answers to every last question there. Its the grand terminal. So your argument is false.

that's an utterly cheap answer to such a fascinating scientific and at the same time philosophical question.

since god is an absolute, it is not to be proved, right? the very definition of god demands it can't be disproved, right? but then my friend, this is not a valid hypothesis.

don't u believers see this? it can NEVER be disproved, no matter what the evidence. this is a big WTF moment.

by this rationale, I can claim that I am god, because you can never disprove this, right? then everyone can start making hypothesis' that can't be disproved. ERROR

I mean, u can do this for sure, u can believe whatever u like, but it's just pointless to believe in such an entity.

sicko
04-14-2012, 09:42 PM
things exist? how did they come into existence and since when? how's it possible without creation?

can you make a cup of tea out of vacuum? you need milk, tea leaves, sugar and a stove.....just for that damn little cup of tea.....imagine what would have been needed to create this universe out of nothing.....

bottomline is it will remain a mystery forever and ever and ever.....there's no beginning or end to time but there's definitely a beginning point to 'matter'......

something(we will never know what it is) must have created it or maybe has been creating it since endless time backwards......who knows if there already exist several trillions of planets like earth all in different phases of their growth?

no, no, no, why has it to be "something"? just why? it was probably the big bang, and there is all your power. believe it or not, the whole goddamn energy of the universe can be compressed into an infinitesimal small "point". every physicist is gonna approve of that.

sicko
04-14-2012, 09:46 PM
"What can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence"

that's such a good one, thx. :)

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 10:39 PM
You don't seem to understand that by not having any particular belief regarding existential questions, person A is an atheist at present. It is the default position. I fail to see why this point is so difficult for you to grasp.

That's not what this discussion is about. What is wrong with you? How can you fail to understand what the person you are attempting to argue with is actually arguing when it's so very clear? I just don't get it.

You claimed that believing there is no god, is the same as not believing in god. I have shown that's not the case. It doesn't matter if they both fall under some definition of atheism. It doesn't make them indistinguishable.

Mjau!
04-14-2012, 10:59 PM
Exactly my point. Atheists believe in proofs. What can be made objective, is to them sensible. What requires faith or some communion with a higher force, is to them nonsensical. Atheists, having no faith are likely to say beforehand, 'first show me the God/ higher force, then I will have faith in him.' That is their rightful, logical stance, but it will not bring them any higher answers. The believer's way: 'You have to believe. Then you can experience.'

Not neccessarily. Atheists like Clydey and Habibko clearly have faith in unsubstantiated (and intrinsically illogical) concepts. I'm not sure why believing there is some form of consciousness behind the origin of time, space, matter and the laws of nature is brushed off as blind faith, whereas believing that time, space, matter and the laws of nature appeared from nothing, for no reason, is supposed to be rational and scientific. Neither can be supported by empirical science.

I like to use the late Hitchens' Razor: "What can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence"

Try applying this to something from nothing for a change.

obviously, just like Leprechauns, fairies and unicorns

Or something (everything) from nothing.

mate, why do u need a creator? can't u just accept the fact that things exist? if you think there must be some sort of god because things need to be created, then, who created god? and if you think that god just exists, then why don't u think the same of our life?

and if you really want to study these very interesting questions, then please study astrophysics, not theology!

http://www.menstennisforums.com/showpost.php?p=11902315&postcount=151

Har-Tru
04-15-2012, 12:08 PM
Nevermind all those astrophysicists and cosmologists who have published comprehensive papers detailing how the universe could have come into being out of nothing!

Nevermind the fact that we are talking about stuff so complex that none of us, unless we have a degree in physics, could possibly begin to grasp!

Nevermind that we are falling into the trap of the logical fallacy Bertrand Russell so eloquently described: using the laws of physics to describe the event that created these laws of physics. Seldom does one find such a straight-forward logical fallacy.

When talking about this topic I have to think of its most foremost proponent, William Lane Craig, and how he has taken to quoting the Borde/Guth/Vilenkin theorem to prove his point that the universe couldn't have come into being out of nothing, since it cannot be infinite in the past. Interestingly, though, he fails to then add that both Alan Guth and Alexander Vilenkin have publically stated that their theorem would allow the universe to come into being from literally nothing.

Lopez
04-15-2012, 12:40 PM
When talking about this topic I have to think of its most foremost proponent, William Lane Craig, and how he has taken to quoting the Borde/Guth/Vilenkin theorem to prove his point that the universe couldn't have come into being out of nothing, since it cannot be infinite in the past. Interestingly, though, he fails to then add that both Alan Guth and Alexander Vilenkin have publically stated that their theorem would allow the universe to come into being from literally nothing.

William Lane Craig is debating tomorrow in Finland. I will likely attend and I intend to ask him something along these lines in the Q&A :).

Roger the Dodger
04-15-2012, 05:53 PM
Nevermind the fact that we are talking about stuff so complex that none of us, unless we have a degree in physics, could possibly begin to grasp!

Still in the mind. Always in the mind. No wonder you can't grasp the sheer magic of the fact that you exist. There are disciplines in spirituality where they show how you can enlarge your consciousness to the extent of the Universe and view the whole drama of life as through the eyes of the Divine. Thankfully, believers wouldn't have that problem, because we believe we don't need a degree in physics to simply contact the Supreme Consciousness.

Mind is a faculty to rationalize experience, but the magic of life cannot be deduced rationally; the first principles of creation are not in the realm of science. Science has its utility, no doubt, but that is in understanding things already created, and in creating again from within the ambit of what it understood. But it cannot create from nothing. That is something marvelous and above the capacity of rational science.


Not neccessarily. Atheists like Clydey and Habibko clearly have faith in unsubstantiated (and intrinsically illogical) concepts. I'm not sure why believing there is some form of consciousness behind the origin of time, space, matter and the laws of nature is brushed off as blind faith, whereas believing that time, space, matter and the laws of nature appeared from nothing, for no reason, is supposed to be rational and scientific. Neither can be supported by empirical science.

Ditto! Why are they stricken by the fact of using a living Consciousness as a premise to conclude the origins of these things.

Try applying this to something from nothing for a change.

Good one.

William Lane Craig is debating tomorrow in Finland. I will likely attend and I intend to ask him something along these lines in the Q&A :).

Please post it here.

Har-Tru
04-15-2012, 09:38 PM
Still in the mind. Always in the mind. No wonder you can't grasp the sheer magic of the fact that you exist.

For the sake of this discussion, please stop being so annoyingly patronising.

There are disciplines in spirituality where they show how you can enlarge your consciousness to the extent of the Universe and view the whole drama of life as through the eyes of the Divine. Thankfully, believers wouldn't have that problem, because we believe we don't need a degree in physics to simply contact the Supreme Consciousness.

Have you got any evidence to back up your claims, or are you just going to state them?

What reasons do you have to believe that minds and consciousness can exist independent from human brains? I imagine they have to be pretty good if you're going to go against the accumulating and growing findings and knowledge of neurology, psychology, medicine, etc.

Mind is a faculty to rationalize experience, but the magic of life cannot be deduced rationally; the first principles of creation are not in the realm of science. Science has its utility, no doubt, but that is in understanding things already created, and in creating again from within the ambit of what it understood. But it cannot create from nothing. That is something marvelous and above the capacity of rational science.

Again, what reasons do you have to back up those claims?

Ditto! Why are they stricken by the fact of using a living Consciousness as a premise to conclude the origins of these things.

Again, because we have no reason to believe that consciousness can exist independent from brains.

Har-Tru
04-15-2012, 09:50 PM
Not neccessarily. Atheists like Clydey and Habibko clearly have faith in unsubstantiated (and intrinsically illogical) concepts. I'm not sure why believing there is some form of consciousness behind the origin of time, space, matter and the laws of nature is brushed off as blind faith, whereas believing that time, space, matter and the laws of nature appeared from nothing, for no reason, is supposed to be rational and scientific. Neither can be supported by empirical science.

As I said, many scientists disagree about your last sentence, but I'll ignore that for the sake of argument.

Just like I said in my previous post, the hypothesis that there is a consciousness behind the origin of the universe is brushed off because not only is it not supported by evidence, but it directly contradicts our current knowledge.

Consciousness takes place at the level of the brain. Asserting that it can exist without a brain is profoundly irrational and unwarranted.

Try applying this to something from nothing for a change.

The most reasonable answer to the question "how did the universe begin?" is indeed "we don't know". Anything else, unless it is backed up by evidence, is speculation.

However, proposing a complicated eternal consciousness as the creator of the universe is by far a more far-fetched hypothesis than saying the universe came into existence out of nothing.

What is the need for such a being? As Carl Sagan said, if we say that being is eternal and created time and space, why don't we save the step and say the universe is eternal, or that it created itself? After all, at least we know the universe to exist and to do quirky things.

Mjau!
04-16-2012, 01:22 AM
Nevermind all those astrophysicists and cosmologists who have published comprehensive papers detailing how the universe could have come into being out of nothing!

Nevermind none of them actually base their comprehensive speculation on empirical science! We have never observed anything coming from nothing, nor have ever observed nothing, so I'm guessing it's going to be pretty tough to show that something can come from nothing when you don't have any nothing to work with. Real science is about observation and explaining how things work, based on experiment. Theories are useful (but might still be flawed) only if they make predictions that are confirmed by observation. Hypotheses that aren't based in experiment and make no testable predictions are useless. It's basically scientists moonlighting as philosophers.

Nevermind the fact that we are talking about stuff so complex that none of us, unless we have a degree in physics, could possibly begin to grasp!

Are you suggesting you accept concepts whithout understanding the arguments for them if the person makin' 'em has a claim to authority?

Just like I said in my previous post, the hypothesis that there is a consciousness behind the origin of the universe is brushed off because not only is it not supported by evidence, but it directly contradicts our current knowledge.

Consciousness takes place at the level of the brain. Asserting that it can exist without a brain is profoundly irrational and unwarranted.

I LOVE this argument! It almost makes you think it wasn't made by the very same person who defended the something from nothing hypothesis with the following:

"Nevermind that we are falling into the trap of the logical fallacy Bertrand Russell so eloquently described: using the laws of physics to describe the event that created these laws of physics. Seldom does one find such a straight-forward logical fallacy."

Please try harder to present an intellectually coherent argument.

What reasons do you have to believe that minds and consciousness can exist independent from human brains? I imagine they have to be pretty good if you're going to go against the accumulating and growing findings and knowledge of neurology, psychology, medicine, etc.

Consciousness takes place at the level of the brain. Asserting that it can exist without a brain is profoundly irrational and unwarranted.

None of the "accumulating and growing findings and knowledge of neurology, psychology, medicine, etc", have any relevance for the question of whether consciousness can exist independent from the brain. All we know is that biological organisms with brains wont be conscious without a functioning brain. Besides that, we now next to nothing about what consciousness is and how it works. We are completely in the dark concerning the nature of consciousness.

Again, because we have no reason to believe that consciousness can exist independent from brains.

But we have reason to believe everything can come from nothing? I'd say we have more reason to believe consciousness can exist independent from brains, though I'm sure you'll find the reasons quite weak.

However, proposing a complicated eternal consciousness as the creator of the universe is by far a more far-fetched hypothesis than saying the universe came into existence out of nothing.

What is the need for such a being? As Carl Sagan said... why don't we... say the universe... created itself? After all, at least we know the universe to exist and to do quirky things.

1. Something doesn't exist.
2. Something gets sick of not existing and creates itself.
3. Something now exists.

Yes, very rational and so much more logical than the non-biological consciousness hypothesis.

if we say that being is eternal and created time and space, why don't we save the step and say the universe is eternal

Well, that isn't what you believe. You believe in the BBT.

Arkulari
04-16-2012, 03:08 AM
I am Catholic and I do practice my religion but I don't think the morality of a person has got anything to do with their religion (or lack of).

There are priests that have ***** children and atheists that have saved tons of other people with charities.

Of course the same case is the other way around: not because you're religious then you're automatically a bad person, a moron or a loon.

In my experience it goes in a case by case basis ;)

Jimnik
04-16-2012, 03:21 AM
Bless atheists, one of the few groups we can still make fun of.

As for the thread title, obviously it's a lazy generalization. The 20th century produced some of the worst atheists in the history of mankind. But beliefs, or lack their of, can never be blamed for humanity's natural flaws. We're biologically programmed to be apathetic and self-serving, not matter what we believe in.

Har-Tru
04-16-2012, 09:52 AM
Nevermind none of them actually base their comprehensive speculation on empirical science! We have never observed anything coming from nothing, nor have ever observed nothing, so I'm guessing it's going to be pretty tough to show that something can come from nothing when you don't have any nothing to work with. Real science is about observation and explaining how things work, based on experiment. Theories are useful (but might still be flawed) only if they make predictions that are confirmed by observation. Hypotheses that aren't based in experiment and make no testable predictions are useless. It's basically scientists moonlighting as philosophers.

My post was a response to your claim that scientists proposed the universe had come to being from nothing without evidence.

You might say the evidence is not sufficient or compelling enough, and I already agreed, but it still isn't pulling things out of one's ass, as you implied.

Are you suggesting you accept concepts whithout understanding the arguments for them if the person makin' 'em has a claim to authority?

No dear, I'm saying I'm not naive or vain enough to pretend I can fully grasp concepts of complex astrophysics simply by using my everyday common sense logic.


I LOVE this argument! It almost makes you think it wasn't made by the very same person who defended the something from nothing hypothesis with the following:

"Nevermind that we are falling into the trap of the logical fallacy Bertrand Russell so eloquently described: using the laws of physics to describe the event that created these laws of physics. Seldom does one find such a straight-forward logical fallacy."

Please try harder to present an intellectually coherent argument.

Well aren't you cute!

Let's see, one argument tries to use the laws of physics to describe the event that created these laws (that is, it's using the laws of physics to describe events at a point when these laws didn't exist).

The other one is using the brain to describe a product of it: consciousness.

How are they the same??

None of the "accumulating and growing findings and knowledge of neurology, psychology, medicine, etc", have any relevance for the question of whether consciousness can exist independent from the brain. All we know is that biological organisms with brains wont be conscious without a functioning brain. Besides that, we now next to nothing about what consciousness is and how it works. We are completely in the dark concerning the nature of consciousness.

No, we are not!

We know full well that consciousness begins and dies with the brain. We only find conscious creatures inasmuch as they possess a functioning brain. When they do, they are conscious. When they don't (dead, in a coma) they are not.

Once again, consciousness is a product of our brain. What reasons do you have to claim that consciousness can exist independent of a brain?

But we have reason to believe everything can come from nothing? I'd say we have more reason to believe consciousness can exist independent from brains, though I'm sure you'll find the reasons quite weak.

I'm sure I would, if you even presented them to me.

1. Something doesn't exist.
2. Something gets sick of not existing and creates itself.
3. Something now exists.

Yes, very rational and so much more logical than the non-biological consciousness hypothesis.

Refer to my second answer in this post.

Well, that isn't what you believe. You believe in the BBT.

The Big Bang Theory doesn't exclude the possibility of there being events past the singularity, be it an eternal flow of big bangs-big crunches, parallel universes, etc.

Go read a book!

habibko
04-16-2012, 04:26 PM
Habibko clearly have faith in unsubstantiated (and intrinsically illogical) concepts.

where did I say I have blind faith that the universe came from nothing? kindly stop making assumptions you make up about those you are arguing with

it has not been established yet as a scientific fact, but it's a valid theory with plenty going for it, certainly much more than a supposed deity, let alone a particular religion or teaching

it's logical to try to explain the complex universe we know without bringing even more complex fictitious entities which would also require explaining how they came about, as Dawkins so frankly puts it "a carbuncle in the face of science"

one should pursue the hypothesis that makes the fewest assumptions and hence proposes the simplest explanation until proven wrong, before making even more complex assumptions and bring an even more complex entity - where nothing points to its existence AT ALL - in the picture

Try applying this to something from nothing for a change.

there's plenty of scientific explanations and data to support this idea as you would learn if you bothered to read the book intended to answer this question before rushing to dismiss it

if you don't want to put the necessary effort to learn more about the subject by actually opening a book, here's a lecture where the author quickly goes through the main points the book covers

7ImvlS8PLIo

habibko
04-16-2012, 04:52 PM
Nevermind none of them actually base their comprehensive speculation on empirical science!

such posts makes me wonder if you have any idea how science works to begin with

just how many times has scientists proposed theories before empirical science began to support them?
that's how we began to explain facts such as gravity, relativity and evolution, when Darwin proposed that natural selection "could" explain the diversity of species, he didn't have empirical evidence to support his claim, but later when science advanced enough to validate his claim it has become a valid scientific fact

sometimes you can't empirically demonstrate a scientific fact but there's enough scientific knowledge and evidence that begs the theory in question to explain the full picture, even if you can't ultimately demonstrate it empirically as is the case of macro-evolution vs. micro-evolution, science can work with that which you can't disprove if it has consistent applications and evidences that help explain the natural world

jacoblewis2008
04-20-2012, 11:43 AM
I don’t agree with the notion that a person who is not religious is not moralistic. The sense of right and wrong comes with the understanding of humanity.

Start da Game
04-20-2012, 11:56 AM
I don’t agree with the notion that a person who is not religious is not moralistic. The sense of right and wrong comes with the understanding of humanity.

concurred.....humanity is my first religion.....i am a hindu next.....