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  1. #281
    Energizer Bunny Resonance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lex Talionis View Post
    What "absolutes"? I have basically argued that which you have now agreed with.
    Okay, thanks for clarifying that this is what you were saying all along
    Quote Originally Posted by Lex Talionis View Post
    You have presented atheism as if it were a mere "alternative" to "faith"; as though selecting between the two is the same as selecting between Christianity and Islam. Atheism is a disbelief in the existence of deities: it demands proof and logical clarity. Atheists are therefore skeptics. Simply finding comfort in faith and other delusions does not make them truth, and if such delusions become truth to the individual, then we typically categorize such an individual as insane, but faith seems to have a special privilege in this regard.
    Eh... so does superstition. It's not a big deal. You don't throw someone in a padded cell because they're afraid of black cats. I definitely agree that things like genital mutilation is way over the line, though.

    Atheism doesn't necessarily demand proof and logical clarity - you're talking about a very specific, Western brand of atheism. The scientific, empirical one. I don't know if it has a particular name. Buddhism, on the other hand, is an atheistic religion which demands nothing of the sort :p

    Quote Originally Posted by Lex Talionis View Post
    Nihilism, for example, rejects meaning, and it does so without a belief in disbelief, but through a skeptical critique of our values. It merely asserts that meaning is not an inherent property of the universe. This is a powerful position that one cannot logically refute. Its premise can only be circumvented by invoking a faith in "meaningfulness," which, by definition, eschews proof. Therefore, nihilism is the stronger of the two positions. Likewise, atheism is the stronger of the two with respect to faith in deities.
    Yes, and that's a devastating realization for a mind that isn't prepared for it, which is my point.
    The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together. ~ rCoxI ~ INfj ~ 5w6 so/sp

  2. #282
    Senior Member Sanctus Iacobus's Avatar
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    Default One example of faith supported by scientific experiment on the human brain

    Quote Originally Posted by jwn86 View Post
    Faith is actually not some mystical voodoo spiritual feeling. One's faith is the nature of that person's agreement with God. "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)" This verse is often misunderstood... with knowledge of God's promise through Jesus Christ, one has an ability to be assured of the hope sought for which produces evidence despite that thing having yet to happen. Let's say you have faith that the Amtrak will arrive on time at 7:05... your faith produces a confidence in that event, and that confidence produces evidence because knowing it will be on time means you'll be sure to be there by 7:05, and sure enough your faith is the reason you'll be riding the train at 7:10. Unlike fallible things we're accustomed to, God is infallible. In fact, God is infallible unto Himself, i.e. we "swear to God", but God swears by Himself, He cannot lie and there is no deception or darkness in Him. This is why Jesus would tell people "your faith has made you well"... He was not saying their mystical voodoo feeling is what cured them, no, God cured them... however, He was informing them that as far as their participation in the matter is concerned, it was their agreement to God's ability which allowed the healing to occur.
    Just a short clip which gives a practical, scientific example of how faith works.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQe0o..._order&list=UL

    Similar to my example of getting on the train, this illustrates how our consciousness operates on faith and how that alters reality. Now this is merely a proof that we are designed for faith and are only able to operate out of it consequently the operant of that faith is an object of desire/worship. It is like a gear, and that gear is the human heart. It is our function, it is our purpose in life.

    Also, just a note about the creation of the universe... in order for the Big Bang to happen, the universe/existence would have to function on a finite model of progressive time. However, research suggests this is not how it is made. Somewhere in our consciousness we know this as well, as we never experience the past or future, but only the present. I believe this is because outside of the observable universe, which has an appearance of finiteness, is the "default" existence, and an infinite one where God is. This "present moment" model reflects this as well, in the sense that it is eternally Today.

  3. #283
    Senior Member wildflower's Avatar
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    Default why we all have faith

    just using lex's claim here to show how we all have faith, which i believe he admits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lex Talionis View Post
    Atheism is a disbelief in the existence of deities: it demands proof and logical clarity. Atheists are therefore skeptics.
    if atheism demands proof and logical clarity then one must also demand proof and logical clarity to the assertions of atheism. since it is not possible to prove atheism to be true then one must employ faith to be an atheist. his faith just happens to be in atheism--it could be in any multitude of things. because none of us can prove anything absolutely we all have to subsequently employ faith to make our claims of truth. of course some arguments are more internally coherent than others. regardless, we all stand on the level ground of faith...whether we call it that or not. atheists are therefore believers.

  4. #284
    Energizer Bunny Resonance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildflower View Post
    just using lex's claim here to show how we all have faith, which i believe he admits.

    if atheism demands proof and logical clarity then one must also demand proof and logical clarity to the assertions of atheism. since it is not possible to prove atheism to be true then one must employ faith to be an atheist. his faith just happens to be in atheism--it could be in any multitude of things. because none of us can prove anything absolutely we all have to subsequently employ faith to make our claims of truth. of course some arguments are more internally coherent than others. regardless, we all stand on the level ground of faith...whether we call it that or not. atheists are therefore believers.
    I believe he just made a better explanation - we (atheists) accept and understand that we can't prove anything absolutely and take that as a presupposition to our belief. Thus, no faith is required.
    The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together. ~ rCoxI ~ INfj ~ 5w6 so/sp

  5. #285
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwn86 View Post
    Just a short clip which gives a practical, scientific example of how faith works.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQe0o..._order&list=UL
    I don't understand how this is an example of faith? Oh and the interpretation of Libet's experiment was funny. There is no 'backwards in time' there was a short period of latency before the somatoseonsory neurons recognised a stimulus and then further latency (a greater period) before a conscious response was generated. The only 'unexpected' observation was our conscious mind is aware of this additional latency.

    As for quantum mechanics, I think too many people have 'faith' in the classical method of interpreting the world. The point about quantum mechanics is that physical objects are completely described neither as waves or particles. Physicists have not ruled out further methods, which is why theoretical physics continues to exist and why experimentalists continue to perform experiments to test our understanding of quantum mechanics.

    Here is an example of a scientist:
    http://xkcd.com/242/


    Clearly the scientist lacks faith in this example.

  6. #286
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catbert View Post
    I don't understand how this is an example of faith? Oh and the interpretation of Libet's experiment was funny. There is no 'backwards in time' there was a short period of latency before the somatoseonsory neurons recognised a stimulus and then further latency (a greater period) before a conscious response was generated. The only 'unexpected' observation was our conscious mind is aware of this additional latency.

    As for quantum mechanics, I think too many people have 'faith' in the classical method of interpreting the world. The point about quantum mechanics is that physical objects are completely described neither as waves or particles. Physicists have not ruled out further methods, which is why theoretical physics continues to exist and why experimentalists continue to perform experiments to test our understanding of quantum mechanics.
    OMG, my mum told me about this experiment when I was a kid. She used it to illustrate that our conscious mind is only the tip of the iceberg as far as brain activity is concerned and that free will is a problematic concept. I had never heard about the backdating explanation. So I went to wikipedia only to see that the German entry said what I just said (the decison to move the body part was triggered in another part of the brain and then the conscience gets informed "by the way, you just decided to move your finger") while the English entry focuses on the backdating theory.

    That seems to imply that either wikipedia sucks (which is quite possible) or that there is still a lot to be investigated. I am however a bit biased towards the unconscious decision side of it, because it seems to be intuitively plausible (bad reason, I know, but I am no neurologist).

    By the way, the video seems to describe a slightly different experiment! :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Libet
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  7. #287
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    I had never heard of the Libet experiment, but the results fall entirely in line with my beliefs about human consciousness; namely, that we are a product of our physical selves acting in response to stimuli, and that free will and choice are illusions. Our consciousness is simply an awareness of the workings of our physical selves, and it makes perfect sense that there would be some lag time between our volition to act and our recognition of our volition to act. As for quantum mechanics, I have a weak understanding of physics and thus decline to comment.
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  8. #288
    Senior Member wildflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resonance View Post
    I believe he just made a better explanation - we (atheists) accept and understand that we can't prove anything absolutely and take that as a presupposition to our belief. Thus, no faith is required.
    lol, good try but no. if you can't prove something absolutely then your arguments are ultimately based on faith whether you incorporate said faith into your argument or not. i'll give you points for creativity though.

  9. #289
    Energizer Bunny Resonance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildflower View Post
    lol, good try but no. if you can't prove something absolutely then your arguments are ultimately based on faith whether you incorporate said faith into your argument or not. i'll give you points for creativity though.
    how are any of my arguments based on faith?
    The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together. ~ rCoxI ~ INfj ~ 5w6 so/sp

  10. #290
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildflower View Post
    lol, good try but no. if you can't prove something absolutely then your arguments are ultimately based on faith whether you incorporate said faith into your argument or not. i'll give you points for creativity though.
    I think there is a distinction to be made here. Atheists demand proof and logical clarity before they will accept something to be truth (insofar as we can really think of something as true). However, this needn't be applied to the belief that something doesn't exist, because essentially it is impossible to prove that something does not exist. So, when atheists say they don't believe in God, they aren't so much saying that they believe that God does not exist, but that they don't believe that he does. If I told you that I believed a giant anus is flying through the galaxy heading for earth, would you really need faith to not believe in such a thing?
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