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  1. #21
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CopyPaste View Post
    What do atheists/agnostics have to lose if they're wrong?
    I don't think one can be "right" or "wrong" in this matter. So, in effect, nothing.

    I think all belief systems come from the same place and that's the place in human minds that demands an explanation for the unexplainable. We're all, just about, believing in or exploring the same things...that there's something out there out of our control and bigger than us and that our goal is to try to understand or name this something so we feel like we have an illusion of control over our perception of it. Religions seek to place a name and attributes to it. Atheists seek to scientifically quantify it and name it. Agnostics seek to understand the possibility of it. (Those were all big assumptions made to try to make my point. I probably couldn't sum up those three belief systems in just one sentence while remaining 100% accurate.)

    Regardless, we all have this drive to believe there is something bigger than ourselves that influences the universe. It doesn't have to be a spiritual something. It could be gravity or dark matter or the universe itself. Or it could be God or Zeus or some omnipresent ether. It could be anything. But this desire for this force bigger than us seems to be something innately human.

    No one is "right" or "wrong". Just like nothing is "good" or "bad". It's all subjective, really. And that's the problem. There's no objective evidence, yet, that satisfies our drive in this matter, so we must rely on subjective understanding.

    Even if it's not the consequence of Christianity, but of some other belief system? Wouldn't it make most "logical sense" to at least commit oneself on to some belief?
    What about all of them being "right" all at the same time?
    "I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."

    Robert Frost

  2. #22
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Pascal's Wager?

    Either God exists or God doesn't.
    If God exists, you're totally screwed if you don't believe.
    If God doesn't exist, what have you lost by going along with the crowd?
    So, believe!

    Both conditionals are probably faulty, not least because they both describe a limp-wristed commitment to your faith.

    And atheism is a faith if "But I can imagine lots of ways you're wrong" is a substantial objection to saying that God does not exist.

  3. #23
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    If God doesn't exist, what have you lost by going along with the crowd?
    So, believe!
    Hipocrits!
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  4. #24
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Actually, Pascal's arguments were better than the spiffy Dilemma I rendered them as above. And there is some sense in taking it not as a proof you should believe, but as a proof that it's worth beginning the process of coming to believe.


    But I'm INTJ and I'm constrained by cognitive functioning to avoid admitting to deities, so there.

  5. #25
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    I can't be bothered with outdated social mores on how to live my life.

    Thus, I'm agnostic.
    You sound atheist to me... (and agnostic, yes).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    Both conditionals are probably faulty, not least because they both describe a limp-wristed commitment to your faith.
    Pascal's wager fails due to the probability of choosing the right outcome, all of which are contradictory. It can be as simple as Islam vs Christian, both with equally bad outcomes. It can depend on how you interpret the 'burning in hell' (ie: non-believers in purgatory, or simply obliteration, which changes the reward matrix)...

    For example, why not simply find a religion that doesn't require you to believe, but still be saved. That way you don't even have to believe. Or join.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    Pascal's Wager?

    Either God exists or God doesn't.
    If God exists, you're totally screwed if you don't believe.
    If God doesn't exist, what have you lost by going along with the crowd?
    So, believe!

    Both conditionals are probably faulty, not least because they both describe a limp-wristed commitment to your faith.

    And atheism is a faith if "But I can imagine lots of ways you're wrong" is a substantial objection to saying that God does not exist.
    The problem with this, and the original scenario, is that it's set up like discarding a free lottery ticket. Why throw away such a thing even if it's very unlikely to win?

    However, I don't think most atheists think in such ways. I certainly don't. First of all, the ticket is hardly free - there are a number of pros and cons to buying into this lottery, social customs and limitations that a faithful should adhere to. Second, unlike the christian perspective, the atheist will see any infinite number of possibilities rather than "god or not". For example, what if god hates worship and sends all worshippers to hell? It's not implausible that the people who scribed the bible were wrong or even malicious. What if we should be worshipping moon men instead? We can't worship every plausible (however unlikely) scenario, and we have no way to know the ultimate result of our efforts without proof, so *any* route is as good as any other, so we may as well focus on what's best and applicable to our current and known life, which is to follow that of reason and science.

  7. #27
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    For example, why not simply find a religion that doesn't require you to believe, but still be saved. That way you don't even have to believe. Or join.
    Quite so, ptgatsby. I do believe you've hit the nail on the head.

    Why would any religion need to have faith as a precursor for salvation unless it had a hidden agenda - other than getting the masses through the Pearly Gates, of course.

    I can't see anything wrong in letting non-believers into Paradise; and if I was God, I'd let the unbelievers in - just to show how merciful I can be on a good day.

  8. #28
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    The problem with this, and the original scenario, is that it's set up like discarding a free lottery ticket. Why throw away such a thing even if it's very unlikely to win?
    Exactly. I think the real scenario is more like buying a very expensive lottery ticket (as you said), and furthermore there is no proof that nobody ever has or ever will "win". Doesn't sound very rational to me.

    I will be agnostically atheist until something happens that makes religious beliefs seem more plausible to me than science. Not proof, just....you know, anything. And I have a high degree of doubt in religious literature intended to be taken as fact. If there were a god, I really doubt its true intentions would be revealed word-for-word in a book written by humans.

    Of course, if there's a god and it likes to play guessing games with humans, there will never be any evidence, so we can't prove the non-existance of god. That doesn't mean it makes any sense to mindlessly start believing in one, "just in case".

    That being said, if it genuinely makes your life happier to believe in god, that's great and I'm happy for you, as long as you don't go around making other people miserable.
    -end of thread-

  9. #29
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    If there is a god, there's no more reason to suspect it will punish Atheists moreso than Christians.

    Unless you have evidence, faith is a lucky dip.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    Don't see this as an attack of any kind. This is just my view as clear as I currently can describe, on how I feel towards this subject. It is in no way intended to stir or ruse.
    I didn't see it as an attack. At the same time I sincerely hope I didn't offend anyone with my own musings. It's important to me to see everyone's point of view here. Life and death is, has, and will be a controversial issue, and I'm glad we could have this discussion.

    A few of you had questions that, from my interpretation, are directed towards me. They are really important suspicions, some of which date back to the Biblical era itself! Like I said earlier though, I didn't intend this thread as a defense of Christianity (I just used it as an example in the OP since I'm Christian). I'd like to answer your questions if you have an authentic interest in obtaining a better understanding, but let's get real... opening one can of worms just sets off a chain reaction on forums, and from what I can perceive, I could just be typing the painted letters off the keyboard here (that and I really get antsy sitting at the computer for long periods of time). Plus, as it is another forum tradition, there are some who ask questions only in attempts to "set traps" or justify their own, immovable position on an issue, or even attempt to belittle someone else's position/reputation. Therefore, since it's hard for me to differentiate whether a question is a genuine inquiry or not, I ask that we have a PM discussion as this reflects there is no ulterior motive of being "showy" to the forum public. Or if you don't feel like having a discussion but still curious, we know there are endless resources out there that you can find answers to by just using a little creative search engine technique (or I can give you some resources).

    But seriously, there are a few points of view I've read here that I hadn't heard from other atheists/agnostics before. Thanks for participating.

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