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  1. #151
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Early Christians were actually denounced as atheists for their refusal to worship pagan gods, more specifically the Emperor.
    Well, Socrates and Anaxagoras too were accused of being Atheists, and therefore faced trials. The former was sentenced to death, and the latter to exile.

    ---

    "There was a time when the life of men was unordered, bestial and the slave of force, when there was no reward for the virtuous and no punishment for the wicked. Then, I think, men devised retributory laws, in order that Justice might be dictator and have arrogance as its slave, and if anyone sinned, he was punished. Then, when the laws forbade them to commit open crimes of violence, and they began to do them in secret, a wise and clever man invented fear (of the gods) for mortals, that there might be some means of frightening the wicked, even if they do anything or say or think it in secret. Hence, he introduced the Divine, saying that there is a God flourishing with immortal life, hearing and seeing with his mind, and thinking of everything and caring about these things, and having divine nature, who will hear everything said among mortals, and will be able to see all that is done. And even if you plan anything evil in secret, you will not escape the gods in this; for they have surpassing intelligence. In saying these words, he introduced the pleasantest of teachings, covering up the truth with a false theory; and he said that the gods dwelt there where he could most frighten men by saying it, whence he knew that fears exist for mortals and rewards for the hard life: in the upper periphery, where they saw lightnings and heard the dread rumblings of thunder, and the starry-faced body of heaven, the beautiful embroidery of Time the skilled craftsman, whence come forth the bright mass of the sun, and the wet shower upon the earth. With such fears did he surround mankind, through which he well established the deity with his argument, and in a fitting place, and quenched lawlessness among me ... Thus, I think, for the first time did someone persuade mortals to believe in a race of deities."

    Critias (455-403 BC), "Sysiphus"
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  2. #152
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Well, Socrates and Anaxagoras too were accused of being Atheists, and therefore faced trials. The former was sentenced to death, and the latter to exile.
    Yeah, and? Are you just adding onto to what I said, or presenting a counter-argument?

  3. #153
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Yeah, and? Are you just adding onto to what I said, or presenting a counter-argument?
    Neither. I'm just adding the whole context. What happened within the Greek world, centuries before the Romans authorities persecuted the early Christians, is also quite interesting.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  4. #154
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Neither. I'm just adding the whole context.
    Ok so adding onto what I stated. Gotcha.

    What happened within the Greek world, centuries before the Romans authorities persecuted the early Christians, is also quite interesting.
    Well yes indeed it is. Unfortunately, that discussion will have to wait til tomorrow at the soonest. I'm off to bed now. Gotta get up early to do some work at the factory.

  5. #155
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    It's as much a leap of faith to believe in no God. They just can't see that.
    Sigh. Wrong wrong wrong.

    It's a leap of faith to accept positive atheism, which is essentially, "I am certain there is no god."

    It's NOT a leap of faith to accept negative atheism, which is essentially, "I lack belief in any particular god because I haven't seen evidence for it."

    Can you either learn to read/think or just go away? Honestly, this is getting silly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    That's like having a non-belief in Easter bunnies. How can you have a non-belief? Atheism is a reaction to theism rather than its own set of principles. It's the cognitive equivalent of "I don't like vegetables" to which I say, "Fine, don't eat any!" Don't start a club called "Down with vegetables" and try to make people bad or stupid for enjoying vegetables.

    The only logical position on such subjects is to have no position. In the realm of science, we should make decisions based on what is provable, but this should really extend no further.
    Oh really, the only things we should believe in are those which can be proven 100%?

    Do you believe you're reading this on a computer right now? Because any philosophy 101 student can explain all the reasons that could technically be untrue and you wouldn't know it.

    Stop looking for absolute certainty. The real world operates in probabilities, not absolute certainties.

    As such, I'm an agnostic atheist because I consider it extremely improbable that any popular theist conceptions of God exist.

    I don't know this for certain, but being that I've seen no evidence for it, I'm forced to consider it as a probability cloud, not as an absolute yes/no proposition. This is true of almost anything--we conceptualize ideas in terms of truth probability, not in terms of absolute truth or falsehood. We simply don't have enough information to describe much of anything in these terms.

    And you need to check your definition of atheist. Faith in the nonexistence of God is NOT a prerequisite.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bertrand Russell
    There is exactly the same degree of possibility and likelihood of the existence of the Christian God as there is of the existence of the Homeric God. I cannot prove that either the Christian God or the Homeric gods do not exist, but I do not think that their existence is an alternative that is sufficiently probable to be worth serious consideration.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  6. #156
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Faith in the nonexistence of God is NOT a prerequisite.
    I approve.


    "All children are atheists - they have no idea of God."

    Paul-Henri Thiry, baron díHolbach (1723-1789)
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  7. #157
    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    I approve.


    "All children are atheists - they have no idea of God."

    Paul-Henri Thiry, baron díHolbach (1723-1789)
    It sure is a good thing we teach them both ideas and possibilities if not more.
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

  8. #158
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    riiiiight, and an -ism is a belief so....
    Why must we consider this question in terms of absolute truth value?

    Does my answer to "do you believe in God?" have to be 100% yes or 100% no?

    I don't like those options.

    I don't require faith to lack belief in God because my disbelief in God is not 100% certain. I conceptualize this, as with virtually anything else, from a perspective of probable truth value.

    Say I'm gambling it up in the old local casino and I really need a 7 to come up on the next card. "Do you believe a 7 will come up?" you ask.

    "No," I respond, "because only 4 of the remaining 40-odd cards are 7s."

    "But how can you be totally certain that a 7 will not come up next?" you continue.

    I can't, but that isn't really the point. Since I've seen no evidence that a 7 will come up, I'm forced to consider its truth value only partially, in terms of a probability cloud.

    And it's ridiculous for me to waste time defending against your assertions that I have "too much faith" that a 7 will not come up. I don't have absolute 100% certainty or faith in anything; I just consider the existence of God to be of a low enough probability so as not to warrant serious consideration.

    Is a 7 coming up next? We obviously can't answer this question definitively or with total certainty in either direction, but which are you putting your money on?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  9. #159
    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    *By nature our DNA (provided and intelligently designed by our savior) gives us a desire to believe in something. Dang atheists and there complexes.*
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

  10. #160
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    ^ Hey you, quit plagiarizing my closet type idea!

    Where's bananatrombones when you need him??
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

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