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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I believe "there is no God". I don't think I have to prove it to believe it.

    It's like the "flying-spaghetti-monster" argument (which annoys me since I made the same argument earlier and now I can't take credit...although that's what I'm doing now ). Would you really say you have no belief about an invisible flying-spaghetti-monster? Sure, you can't prove it doesn't exist, but like... it just... doesn't exist. That's how I feel about God. Reserving belief is too PC for me.
    The idea of a conscious being deliberately creating life is not prima facie absurd. Humans have been trying to do so for years and would gladly create a working, living model of a universe were it technologically feasible. I imagine there would even be smiting involved. That being said, I highly doubt the existence of anthropomorphic gods on the basis of absurdity, but I stand by my assertion that your belief in no god is logically indefensible due to a lack of evidence.

  2. #92
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dala View Post
    The idea of a conscious being deliberately creating life is not prima facie absurd. Humans have been trying to do so for years and would gladly create a working, living model of a universe were it technologically feasible. I imagine there would even be smiting involved. That being said, I highly doubt the existence of anthropomorphic gods on the basis of absurdity, but I stand by my assertion that your belief in no god is logically indefensible due to a lack of evidence.
    It's defensible if you use Occam's Razor. Here are a few things I wonder about...
    - How would a non-physical God intervene in the physical universe, or, if God is physical, where does he reside and how is he omnipotent?
    - Why would the laws of physics apply across the board given God's intervention and how would it even be intervention if the laws of physics hold anyway?
    - God doesn't help explain the creation of the universe (or life, or whatever), because you're left with the infinite regress of what created God, what created that, etc.
    - Why have no miracles been caught on tape?
    - If God is all-knowing of the past, present and future, where is the knowledge stored? It doesn't seems like there are enough bits of storage space in the universe to store the position of every particle at every time.

    My worldview faces none of these problems and explains reality with as much or more precision than any religious worldview. Of course I can't prove that my worldview is true, but no one can prove that any worldview is true. The "you can't prove it" argument applies equally to all worldviews that haven't been contradicted by direct evidence, therefore it's not helpful in this discussion at all, since it doesn't distinguish between worldviews (which is what we're talking about). The only "logical" way to pick any worldview is a combination of consistency with evidence and simplicity -- since consistency with evidence is equal in this case, simplicity is the only metric we have.

    Have you heard the "grue" argument? "Grue" is a color term I'll define as green before 2012 and blue after 2012. So everything we've ever seen that's looked green can be called grue with as much consistency as it can be called green. But it's clearly ridiculous to think all the things that have looked green so far will turn blue in 2012. No one says, well, I'm not sure...I don't believe things that have looked green will remain green in 2012; I'm gonna reserve belief because I can't prove anything. No. They just say, wow, that's absurd -- of course green looking things will still be green in 2012.

    I think it's way too wishy-washy to hold back belief because multiple hypotheses are consistent with data. Choose a belief. Maybe you'll be wrong later, so change it if that happens. The alternative is to believe nothing, since there are always infinite hypotheses consistent with any amount of data.

  3. #93
    Member Kraska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    I didn't say God told anything, and that's exactly the point. How could people know what was the right thing to do?
    Anyways, I won't be able to convince you of anything, so I guess I should just let you have your opinion.
    When I said that it wasn't God guinding people directlly I meant that He didn't come in person or like some king of voice and told people what to do. God communicated with us through different scriptures. Those scriptures however have been interpretated by the men leading the church in a manner they liked. Those people later convinced the populations that their version is the right one thus manipulating them into doing all those atrocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Communism is probably compatible with religion and with atheism, since its a political ideology, although in the totalitarian varieties the state has tried to impose communism as an exclusive way of thinking, atheism has been part of that historically.
    Communism cared very little about religion, communism was as you said a political ideology. So communism allowed you to go to the church and pray but unlike other sistems before they didn't allowed you to get indoctrinated. This is where they intefered.
    You might have heard those stories about communist destroying churches. Those are partially true. They did destroyed some ruins that could have collapsed anytime but replaced them with other ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I figured it was implied that I meant net benefit instead of absolute benefit. The benefit minus the harm is the total goodness (we also have to include marginal utility, for example, giving a sandwich to a starving person is better than giving a sandwich to a fat person).

    I guess it's still up for question whether or not a little good to a lot of people is "better" than a lot of good to a single person... but I'll leave that up to individuals to decide.



    I'm gonna have to disagree with your hidden premise here -- that faith makes people more (net) empathetic and compassionate. In fact, having a strict sense of external morals seems far less consistent with empathy than a dynamic system such as the one I described in my last post. If you believe in something because of faith, you are by definition less connected to visible evidence -- someone disagreeing isn't a suggestion to question your views, since your views are not predicated on environmental change (like hearing someone say something).



    So you're saying without faith people are sociopaths? I strongly disagree. Atheism and hedonism are entirely different things.

    I have a suspicion that people that think not having religion would lead to moral weakness are actually confusing the issue of LOSING your faith and the crisis that would ensue with the actual belief system people without faith have formed over time. I agree that the moment of world-shattering realization would probably be pretty traumatic and would have long term emotional consequences. But that doesn't really have anything to do with whether or not good morals are harder or easier to reach without God. Like I said before, I think they're easier to reach, since you don't have the confounding factor (Hitchens referred to it as a moral dictatorship) of not being able to question your core beliefs without "sinning". Now, there are many pick-and-choose religious people that basically build their moral systems the same way I have, and I have no problem with them. But then, what's the point of God in their systems? They just choose when to follow the word and when not to -- when to take it literally and when not to, etc. I do that too, I just focus on all external influences instead of giving extra weight to the bible, which is clearly just a book.
    Wow, I never knew that now you can calculate good and evil in a mathematical way. Very interesting.

    You want to tell me that someone beliving in something that can be touchted is more empathetic and compassionate than someone that belives in untouchble things. I find it hard to belive that someone beliving the in 10 Commandaments is less compassionate than someone touching a gun.

    I never said that people without faith are sociopaths. However people are full with pain and misery and faith and the though of dooming your soul is the only one stopping them from breaking out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    If God, in your personal narrative, is literally "love and compassion", then you're setting up a tautology. "How can atheism be "good" if it is defined as the lack of God?" really means "how can atheism be "good" if it is defined as the lack of love and compassion?". The answer is, it can't. If you defined God that way, atheists are assholes. And I'm not an atheist.
    God is in everybody just like Satan. It doesn't matter if you accept this or not. So everybody can be very compassionate or extremelly evil, not matter what they belive into.
    In my post I never said that atheist can't be compassionate, I only pointed out God's essence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Then what does God even do?
    He created us and gave us the possibility to chose between good and evil. What do you want more?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I don't just dread dying, I dread an eternal afterlife, even in heaven.

    Now you're sounding like a gnostic.

    Anyhow, you can't deny that many, probably most theists have a rather anthropomorphic idea of God. At least in the USA, I recall data showing that only a quarter of religion people believe in a God that was neither interventionist nor judgmental.

    To me, if God is an omnipresent thing that never punishes nor rewards, never forces thing in a tangible way, and it cannot be proven or disproven exist, then it is irrelevant, and I could care less whether or not this so-called God exists and consider the discussion a waste of time.
    Why would you dread Heaven?

    Sure we have an anthropomorphic ideo of God. Have you read the Genesis?

    God reward the good ones and punished the evil. Sure he won't clap his fingers and strike him down but if you watch carefully you will see.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Are you saying God has no causal relationship to reality?
    So, you start to understand what I try to say. Yes God is beyond this logical, physical univers you all try to conquer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    You cannot prove a negative. I cannot prove to you that there is no afterlife anymore that you can prove to me that there are no unicorns and mermaids.



    Reality is based on proof, not the absence of proof. What I believe to be real is what I can observe with my own eyes or can logically justify.

    The concept of justice in the afterlife as described in major religions seems ludicrous to me. People die (leave their physical bodies) just so they can be punished or rewarded in sensuous ways? How does one feel the burning of hellfire or the sexual pleasures of 72 virgins without a body? And how does one retain memories after death, so they know for what they are being punished? People lose their memories after getting roofied or by falling down a flight of stairs. Dying seems a lot more dramatic. And what is the point punishing or rewarding someone when he doesn't even remember what he did to earn that?
    You called the non existence of the afterlife a reality. As you said reality is based on proof so what proof you you have?
    By the way, it's true that I cannot prove the existence of the afterlife but I'm not the one proclaiming it a reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Let's turn this around.

    What proof do you have that there is actually something after death? Because if you call that a reality then you must have some solid proof.

    You shouldn't use this argument because it applies equally to your stance. (And in fact, the burden of proof should go to positive claims, not negative ones.)

    Let's all forget about proof for a second and remember Occam's Razor. The simplest explanation consistent with evidence is the best. Since both belief in the afterlife and un-belief in the afterlife are consistent with all the evidence we have, we should default to the simple explanation... which is, when our brains shut down, that's it -- with this belief we don't have to create an entirely new universe to explain how our consciousness is transferred to the non-physical realm, etc.

    I mean, imagine I said "when you die, you turn into an invisible rock on some island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and maintain your consciousness but you lack the ability to communicate. You can, however, fly around, but if a human instrument could observe an effect you have on the environment, you lose this ability". You'd probably think this was completely crazy, but it's a theory just as consistent with evidence as any other theory regarding the afterlife.
    First of all you can't answer a question with another question.
    Second I never said that afterlife is a proven reality so I don't have to give any proof. Edgar on the other side claimed that the non existence of the afterlife is a reality thus something proven. So I asked him some proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Atheism is the lack of a belief in god(s)

    You are making into your own construct while ignoring the meaning. You have invented your own notion of what atheism is, and it is completely separate from atheism.

    Blindfully believing everything science gives you would be a unique belief structure, completely separate from atheism, and it would be worthy of skepticism by anyone, especially an atheist.
    Ok, I admit. My vision of atheism is wrong.
    So what do you actually belive into?

  4. #94
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraska View Post
    Ok, I admit. My vision of atheism is wrong.
    So what do you actually belive into?
    Knowledge and optimism. My beliefs, of course, may cause delusion. I am, however, firmly rooted in nature and reject the supernatural.

    I believe that a moral person would treat others with reverence, honesty, and love. I believe that a moral person would refrain from causing harm. I believe that a moral person would seek to learn more. I believe that a moral person would never overlook the immoral, but intervene appropriately.

  5. #95
    You're fired. Lol. Antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraska View Post
    I just wanted to know how exactlly does Atheism help you in your life? I mean how does it make you feel better to belive there is no God?

    This is not meant to insult anybody but I'm just facinated about how some people can live without any kind of faith.
    I'm not atheist, but I do believe if there is a god, we can't exactly prove it.

    Firstly, it takes out the complications. What texts to believe? What events to believe in? What people to believe in?

    Secondly, it takes off mindless following. At some point, you must give up rationale for faith. That is very, very hard for some people.

    Does it make one feel better necessarily to not have faith? Maybe not. But it might be easier, or more understandable.
    Excuse me, but does this smell like chloroform to you?

    Always reserve the right to become smarter at a future point in time, for only a fool limits themselves to all they knew in the past. -Alex

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Knowledge and optimism. My beliefs, of course, may cause delusion. I am, however, firmly rooted in nature and reject the supernatural.

    I believe that a moral person would treat others with reverence, honesty, and love. I believe that a moral person would refrain from causing harm. I believe that a moral person would seek to learn more. I believe that a moral person would never overlook the immoral, but intervene appropriately.
    I agree with almost everything you said. However limiting youself to the nature I find a bit unconfortable, at least for me.
    But I have one question. You are optimist about what?

  7. #97
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraska View Post
    You are optimist about what?
    It is not limited to any one noun or group of nouns. I don't know how to answer this.

    I believe that a person can make a good decision. Would that suffice?

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antimony View Post
    I'm not atheist, but I do believe if there is a god, we can't exactly prove it.

    Firstly, it takes out the complications. What texts to believe? What events to believe in? What people to believe in?

    Secondly, it takes off mindless following. At some point, you must give up rationale for faith. That is very, very hard for some people.

    Does it make one feel better necessarily to not have faith? Maybe not. But it might be easier, or more understandable.
    I like your post.
    I always belived that the truth lies not in devoted religion because that leads to indoctrination nor of total rejection of the supernatural because that leads to a close mind. I belive people must balance both of them.

  9. #99
    You're fired. Lol. Antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraska View Post
    I like your post.
    I always belived that the truth lies not in devoted religion because that leads to indoctrination nor of total rejection of the supernatural because that leads to a close mind.
    This is true. One can be devout in their religion, and it be healthy. However, organized religion closes minds, overall. Or often, it leads to it. I think what it comes down to is the individual. @Peguy is religious and lacks that closed mind.

    Some people are naturally closed minded. Very set in their ways. And for some people, that is far more comfortable. I know people who have clung to religion because they couldn't organize their lives, and in short, didn't know what to do with themselves.

    But truth...what is truth?
    Excuse me, but does this smell like chloroform to you?

    Always reserve the right to become smarter at a future point in time, for only a fool limits themselves to all they knew in the past. -Alex

  10. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antimony View Post
    This is true. One can be devout in their religion, and it be healthy. However, organized religion closes minds, overall. Or often, it leads to it. I think what it comes down to is the individual. @Peguy is religious and lacks that closed mind.
    If Peguy is your standard for open-minded, could you cite an example of a (preferrably recognizable) religious adherent that you consider close-minded for spectrum context?
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

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