Debate and Discussion

Does Atheism "make sense" to you?
TnTComic at 7:57AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Can't remember who said it, but the quote goes, “trying to organize atheists is like trying to herd cats.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
StaceyMontgomery at 8:29AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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I think I would be proud if someone said i could not be easily herded.

is there anyone who would be proud if i said “You xxx types are easily herded, like sheep!”

So it sounds good to me.

- stacey
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
luityler at 9:04AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Maybe god can't be proven to not exist, but every religion that i am familiar with can easily be proven to be false. The bible is ridiculous and i find it hard to believe how anyone can take it seriously.

And even if it were true, the god of the bible is one of the most evil (using the christianity's own definition of what is is evil) entities imaginable. He is jealous and cruel. He orders genocides and advocates the death penalty for disobedience to almost all of his petty rules.

God may not be able to be proven false, but all of the religions who claim to know who he is can.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:48PM
Vindibudd at 9:30AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Vindibudd
Funnier still that you argue with people about something that you don't believe exists.

First, i'm not arguing with anybody on this.

Second, even if I was, why would that be “funny”? The topic of discussion is atheism. That means part of the discussion will be from people who don't believe god exists. It would be “funny” if people were arguing about vegetarians in a thread about atheism.

Seriously, man, read your posts before you hit ‘send’. You're just posting for posting's sake.

Actually, you seem to be taking it beyond the scope of atheism by launching into how science disproves the Bible, so I am not sure what that has to do with atheism. Can you tell me? If you want to discuss atheism, my issue with it is the arrogance of a position that assumes that humans are the highest form of intelligence simply because they haven't found anything higher. The amount of understanding that humans lack based upon science is already enough to posit that they are not the be all end all of the universe. I can't look at the world around me and be happy with an explanation that it all happened because of pure chance. Smarter men than I have arrived at the same conclusion. C.S. Lewis comes to mind.
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Aurora Moon at 10:02AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Vindibudd
my issue with it is the arrogance of a position that assumes that humans are the highest form of intelligence simply because they haven't found anything higher.

I know I was ignoring you, but I just had to comment on this part.

I happen to believe that both the science-crazy as well as the religious group is guilty of this. For instance There's been a lot of religious groups who said that only humans could get into heaven, not animals since animals were supposedly to have no soul at all…snice humans were supposed to be “special” in that regards of how they're supposedly the most intelligent, so only intelligent beings can have souls. Even some Christan groups say this.

So I would have to say that any side isn't perfect at all, and that there's always gonna at least one person in the group that feels that humans are better or is of greater value than everything else, even animals AND the universe.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
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TnTComic at 10:04AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Vindibudd
Actually, you seem to be taking it beyond the scope of atheism by launching into how science disproves the Bibleso I am not sure what that has to do with atheism. Can you tell me? If you want to discuss atheism, my issue with it is the arrogance of a position that assumes that humans are the highest form of intelligence simply because they haven't found anything higher. The amount of understanding that humans lack based upon science is already enough to posit that they are not the be all end all of the universe.

Science disproving religion has EVERYTHING to do with atheism.

Why do you have a problem with assuming we're the best in the absence of something better? Do you have a problem with zoologists saying the blue whale is the largest animal on the planet, simply because they haven't found anything bigger?

And by the way, the “amount of understanding that humans lack based on science” is not as large as you seem to think. We've got a pretty good bead on things, scientifically speaking.

I can't look at the world around me and be happy with an explanation that it all happened because of pure chance. Smarter men than I have arrived at the same conclusion. C.S. Lewis comes to mind.

So? So you can't accept it, so what? Some people can't accept alot of what science has proved. Doesn't make it false. You can't accept it? C.S. Lewis couldn't accept it? Okay, so two dudes couldn't accept it. I don't really know why you go out of your way to point out that you don't understand science, but go ahead. Knock yourself out. By the way, C.S. Lewis? Why on earth did you pick him as an example? There's tons of people out there who believe in God with a more impressive resume than a book that I read in 5th grade.

oh yeah: http://www.whydoesgodhateamputees.com/

love that

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
arteestx at 10:14AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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These replies are getting long so I'm going to forego all the “science vs religion” issues that have come up, not because I'm not interested or wouldn't want to discuss it, but rather so we can focus the conversation instead of having 4 or 5 conversations at once (if anyone wants to create a “process of science and religion” thread, that'd be great).

Let me recap, just so I can keep this straight in my head, and make sure I haven't lost track of what we're talking about (please correct me if I misstate anything)…

Does atheism “make sense”? To some theists, it does not because the Universe must have been created, that you can't have something from nothing, therefore there must be a God to create everything. Others of us (StacyMontgomery and myself for example) have said that God falls into the same logical “something from nothing” conundrum. The reply has been that the nature of God as energy means God is of a different type of existence than the Universe that we see, therefore does not fall into the same conundrum. Is what I've said fair, so far?


Tantz Aerine
…to dismiss the existence of something so great and vast in scope because there is no conclusive evidence (which does NOT mean there are no indications or inconclusive evidence ;) ) is an error of logic we don't commit or claim not to commit in other areas. We let out murderers in the street with less evidence for ‘reasonable doubt’ ;) heheheh!
I'm not following. We do dismiss possible murderers for lack of conclusive evidence. We dismiss astrology (some of us) and the Easter Bunny for lack of evidence. Why would we not do the same for God? Atheism doesn't negate the possibility, only that there isn't enough evidence to justify the belief. Which leads to the next section…

Tantz Aerine
But atheism precludes that what you just said {that atheism is always subject to revision} is not true. It specifically specifies there is no such thing nor can there be such thing as a God or any such entity….It assumes based on inconclusive evidence that there can't be a God. Period.
On what basis do you say that? Most of what I've read from atheists says that God can neither be proven nor disproven. I think that's where the majority of atheist are. God cannot be disproven, but they don't find enough evidence to justify the belief. Where do you find atheists claiming that there cannot be such a thing as God? What atheist has disproved God?

Tantz Aerine
…The point being discussed is ‘is atheism a valid theory’? Is it scientific, if you like? Or is it in essence just as valid as another religion? What my cosmology is is irrelevant. It is within the ‘package’, if you like, of my belief system. The atheist's cosmology is within the ‘package’ of the atheist's cosmology. The issue here is whether there is any reason to consider atheism as anything else than analogous to yet another set of belief system. To me it does not look scientific at all.
If I understand you correctly, you seem to be saying that atheism is not science, testable and falsifiable like biology or geology; instead atheism is a belief construct, similar to religion in that assumptions are made about what one sees in the world. If that's what you're saying, I agree.

Science can't disprove God, so atheism of the “definitely proven there's no God” type is not scientific, true. But I think that's a misconception made by theists, and I don't think that's what most atheists think. Most atheists acknowledge that there is no scientific proof, or disproof, of God, so one makes the best interpretation of the facts as one sees it. Atheism is an interpretation of those facts. Theists see the world and say “God must have created this.” Atheists see the world and say “this was not intentionally created by another being called God.” I think there is justification for the atheistic view. Not proof, not a definitive absolute, but a reasonable and valid viewpoint.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
Vindibudd at 10:29AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Aurora Moon
I know I was ignoring you, but I just had to comment on this part.

I happen to believe that both the science-crazy as well as the religious group is guilty of this. For instance There's been a lot of religious groups who said that only humans could get into heaven, not animals since animals were supposedly to have no soul at all…snice humans were supposed to be “special” in that regards of how they're supposedly the most intelligent, so only intelligent beings can have souls. Even some Christan groups say this.

So I would have to say that any side isn't perfect at all, and that there's always gonna at least one person in the group that feels that humans are better or is of greater value than everything else, even animals AND the universe.

That is a theological debate about the nature of man as it relates to God. God made man in his own image and set him to rule over the animals. The issue is did God send Jesus to die for all mankind's sin or all creation's sin? The answer is, mankind's sin because humans have the ability to reason between right and wrong and animals do not. The Bible does not talk about animals getting into heaven and that is why most Christians don't believe they will be.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Tantz Aerine at 10:44AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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arteestx
Does atheism “make sense”? To some theists, it does not because the Universe must have been created, that you can't have something from nothing, therefore there must be a God to create everything. Others of us (StacyMontgomery and myself for example) have said that God falls into the same logical “something from nothing” conundrum. The reply has been that the nature of God as energy means God is of a different type of existence than the Universe that we see, therefore does not fall into the same conundrum. Is what I've said fair, so far?

If you consider me to be the most representative of theists (since you just quote my personal belief here, which is not actually, to my knowledge, any official verdict of theism on the matter) then I suppose you are right.

But let me please point out that I did not suggest that as proof that God exists. It is, to me, a fair indication, but even if you do not accept the Universe being created, you still are left with a justification that cannot be ‘it came from randomness, a mere result of chance’ because if that had been the case, chances state that the brittle balance within the limits of which nature and life exists would be destroyed within a relatively short period of time. The fact that there exist safeguards against that denote some sort of strategic thinking. Now you may not want to consider the universe as being created, but even if it were not created, it still seems to have an awareness of some sort- there is reasoning and laws and rules that are strictly followed and which guard against annihilation.

The fact that it is unlikely that the Universe is the result of random processes is what in my opinion makes a good stance at least for Agnosticism (saying that you do not know what is out there it terms of divinity, but accepting that probably something does exist) rather than atheism. Atheism negates. It seems to reject indication that is too valid to be dismissed, even if too inconclusive to be interpreted.



Tantz Aerine
…to dismiss the existence of something so great and vast in scope because there is no conclusive evidence (which does NOT mean there are no indications or inconclusive evidence ;) ) is an error of logic we don't commit or claim not to commit in other areas. We let out murderers in the street with less evidence for ‘reasonable doubt’ ;) heheheh!
I'm not following. We do dismiss possible murderers for lack of conclusive evidence. We dismiss astrology (some of us) and the Easter Bunny for lack of evidence. Why would we not do the same for God? Atheism doesn't negate the possibility, only that there isn't enough evidence to justify the belief. Which leads to the next section…

Ok, let me clarify for you: I meant that a person we believe is guilty of murder is released on the premise of ‘reasonable doubt’ even if EVERYONE knows he/she did it, and that many times this ‘reasonable doubt’ is fickle evidence of much less validity than the indications in our environment regarding its non-randomness. We do not extend the same courtesy to the existence of God when there is ‘reasonable doubt’ as to his non-existence. That's what I am saying.


On what basis do you say that? Most of what I've read from atheists says that God can neither be proven nor disproven. I think that's where the majority of atheist are. God cannot be disproven, but they don't find enough evidence to justify the belief. Where do you find atheists claiming that there cannot be such a thing as God? What atheist has disproved God?

Legal ones, apparently. Look: This is from http://www.atheists.org

American Atheists
Atheism is a doctrine that states that nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units. This definition means that there are no forces, phenomena, or entities which exist outside of or apart from physical nature, or which transcend nature, or are “super” natural, nor can there be. Humankind is on its own.

The following definition of Atheism was given to the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Murray v. Curlett…

It clearly states that God cannot exist. This being the official definition in America, I'd say it probably is what most atheists believe. And it is where I base my conviction that atheism is not a scientific take on the world.

If I understand you correctly, you seem to be saying that atheism is not science, testable and falsifiable like biology or geology; instead atheism is a belief construct, similar to religion in that assumptions are made about what one sees in the world. If that's what you're saying, I agree.

Wonderful :) I am saying that atheism makes many scientific/ methodological errors and cannot profess to by at all superior to theism who can be accused of making the same sort of sweeping errors, especially when we speak of organized religions and their political power.

I am happy we agree on this.

Science can't disprove God, so atheism of the “definitely proven there's no God” type is not scientific, true. But I think that's a misconception made by theists, and I don't think that's what most atheists think. Most atheists acknowledge that there is no scientific proof, or disproof, of God, so one makes the best interpretation of the facts as one sees it. Atheism is an interpretation of those facts. Theists see the world and say “God must have created this.” Atheists see the world and say “this was not intentionally created by another being called God.” I think there is justification for the atheistic view. Not proof, not a definitive absolute, but a reasonable and valid viewpoint.


No, these are agnostics. Atheists state there is no God. I just posted the definition from their official American site - the one they legally submitted in Court.

The viewpoint stops being reasonable or valid the moment people begin disregarding evidence to the contrary. It is different to say ‘God, in my opinion, needs more evidence for me to acknowledge Him’ and completely different to say ‘God cannot ever exist and I know so’. They are making the same fundamental error that theists are accused of making, and it is ironic, because they scorn theists pretty much in the same levels and manners they are scorned back.

In the end, fanaticism is just one religion, no matter where the fanatic claims to be coming from, don't you think? ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
Aurora Moon at 10:45AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Vindibudd
That is a theological debate about the nature of man as it relates to God. God made man in his own image and set him to rule over the animals. The issue is did God send Jesus to die for all mankind's sin or all creation's sin? The answer is, mankind's sin because humans have the ability to reason between right and wrong and animals do not. The Bible does not talk about animals getting into heaven and that is why most Christians don't believe they will be.

funny how in the begining Adam and eve was living in equality with all the animals in the garden of eden… but the mintue they leave with new knowlege from the apples, all of a sudden it's Mankind rules animals and so on.

Everything that is alive has an soul, or a essence. and the rest of that crap I happen to believe to be nothing but man's flawed and arrgoant interperation.

I sure wouldn't want to go to some heaven where I wouldn't get to see my beloved pets again… as seeing they're like family to me. So heaven without family, even though they were never directly related to me by blood to start with….. is like compete hell to me.

Heh, that makes me think of that one twilight zone episode.
Where this dude was trying to convince this old man to enter into heaven without his dog. But then the old man declines, saying he'd rather wander the underworld with his dog than to be without his dog. He goes further down the road, and then he discovers from an angel that the so called heaven that didn't let animals in, was in fact hell. Why?
Because animals/pets that escorted humans to the afterlife could smell hell a mile away, and could easily warn humans before they got too deep in to escape.
But the real heaven let them both in, since they recognized the fact that some humans were just happier with their animals than they were without.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
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TnTComic at 10:51AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Question: if God is responsible for creation, why do all land mammals have the same basic physiology? I'm no god, but I can imagine a 6-legged mammal pretty easily. Or a squirrel with 4 eyes.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Vindibudd at 10:53AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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TnTComic
Science disproving religion has EVERYTHING to do with atheism.

Incorrect, science can neither prove nor disprove God so therefore atheism cannot rely on the dangerous ground of science to back up its definitive assertion that God does not exist.

Why do you have a problem with assuming we're the best in the absence of something better? Do you have a problem with zoologists saying the blue whale is the largest animal on the planet, simply because they haven't found anything bigger?

Your analogy is poor because science would say that the blue whale is the largest known animal on the planet. Humans are an insignificant speck on the scale of the universe. I don't believe that the finite experience of the human race on one planet in the entire universe is definitive enough to claim the position as the highest intelligence. Unless we can create life, I will still have trouble believing that we are the highest intelligence.

And by the way, the “amount of understanding that humans lack based on science” is not as large as you seem to think. We've got a pretty good bead on things, scientifically speaking.

That is a woefully speculative statement. We don't even know how much water falls on the earth in a day.

So? So you can't accept it, so what? Some people can't accept alot of what science has proved. Doesn't make it false.

Science has not disproved what I believe.

You can't accept it? C.S. Lewis couldn't accept it? Okay, so two dudes couldn't accept it. I don't really know why you go out of your way to point out that you don't understand science, but go ahead. Knock yourself out.

I do understand science, and judging from your illustrious commentary, I daresay I understand it better than you do.

By the way, C.S. Lewis? Why on earth did you pick him as an example? There's tons of people out there who believe in God with a more impressive resume than a book that I read in 5th grade.

Well get back to me when you have taught at Cambridge and have become one the most important literary figures of the 20th century.

oh yeah: http://www.whydoesgodhateamputees.com/

love that

God is not your Neat Tricks Monkey. Arguments like “If God was so and so then God would make me have lots of money” demonstrate a lack of understanding of the nature of God.
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TnTComic at 11:08AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Vindibudd
God is not your Neat Tricks Monkey. Arguments like “If God was so and so then God would make me have lots of money” demonstrate a lack of understanding of the nature of God.


I think you missed the point, which is that God is not an Any Tricks Monkey. God doesn't answer prayers, people do. There's a reason why that's the case.

But hey, why listen to science from the 21st century when you can believe a guy who was a Lit major before the great depression? That's how I get all my science. Lit majors from World War 1. Its sound logic, which is why all my engineering professors were Lit majors. NASA? All Lit majors.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Vindibudd at 11:23AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Aurora Moon
funny how in the begining Adam and eve was living in equality with all the animals in the garden of eden… but the mintue they leave with new knowlege from the apples, all of a sudden it's Mankind rules animals and so on.

The Bible never says they lived in equality. It says the exact opposite.

"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'" Genesis 1:26

Everything that is alive has an soul, or a essence. and the rest of that crap I happen to believe to be nothing but man's flawed and arrgoant interperation.

You can believe that, but there is no Biblical basis for it, so don't be surprised when Christians don't subscribe to it.

I sure wouldn't want to go to some heaven where I wouldn't get to see my beloved pets again… as seeing they're like family to me. So heaven without family, even though they were never directly related to me by blood to start with….. is like compete hell to me.

Okay then.

Heh, that makes me think of that one twilight zone episode.
Where this dude was trying to convince this old man to enter into heaven without his dog. But then the old man declines, saying he'd rather wander the underworld with his dog than to be without his dog. He goes further down the road, and then he discovers from an angel that the so called heaven that didn't let animals in, was in fact hell. Why?
Because animals/pets that escorted humans to the afterlife could smell hell a mile away, and could easily warn humans before they got too deep in to escape.
But the real heaven let them both in, since they recognized the fact that some humans were just happier with their animals than they were without.

Twilight Zone is a fun show.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
TnTComic at 11:29AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Vindibudd
Aurora Moon
funny how in the begining Adam and eve was living in equality with all the animals in the garden of eden… but the mintue they leave with new knowlege from the apples, all of a sudden it's Mankind rules animals and so on.

The Bible never says they lived in equality. It says the exact opposite.

"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'" Genesis 1:26

Who says the bible is right? Who says the christian god is The God? Even a filthy atheist like myself has to admit the possibility that there is a god. But I don't see any reason to think the christian god is the right one. There's no denying that people all over the world feel a need to believe in god, but which one seems to be entirely dependent upon region or upbringing. So don't you think its a bit presumptious to use the bible to back up your claims instead of dealing in generalities?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Vindibudd at 11:30AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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TnTComic
I think you missed the point, which is that God is not an Any Tricks Monkey. God doesn't answer prayers, people do. There's a reason why that's the case.

Which is why all prayers are addressed to God who never answers them instead of to people who are constantly monitoring the Prayer Signal from the Prayer Signal Tower in the North Pole, ready to dispatch Prayer Answerer Teams at a seconds notice.

But hey, why listen to science from the 21st century

You do not speak for science as much as you would like to think you do.

when you can believe a guy who was a Lit major before the great depression? That's how I get all my science. Lit majors from World War 1. Its sound logic, which is why all my engineering professors were Lit majors. NASA? All Lit majors.

I suppose all NASA employees are atheists, too. Do you want to talk about science or do you want to talk about atheism, because these are two different topics and you can't seem to stick to one or the other for more than 2 seconds.
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Vindibudd at 11:35AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Who says the bible is right? Who says the christian god is The God? Even a filthy atheist like myself has to admit the possibility that there is a god. But I don't see any reason to think the christian god is the right one. There's no denying that people all over the world feel a need to believe in god, but which one seems to be entirely dependent upon region or upbringing. So don't you think its a bit presumptious to use the bible to back up your claims instead of dealing in generalities?

She is making an argument about what the Bible says and what Christians believe, why do you insist on arguing that the Bible is not the authority in a debate about what Christians believe?

Is the Bible not the authority of what Christians believe? Do you know of another basis that Christians use other than the Bible? Could you please enlighten me with another source that Christians hold as more definitive of their faith than the Bible?

You do realize that the conversation that she and I are having is what the Bible says about people living with animals in Genesis, don't you? Is there another book out there that starts with Genesis? Please share.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
arteestx at 11:44AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Ok, I'm beginning to see at least one nub of the problem. Atheism is the claim that there is no God. That is what atheism states, you're right. What I'm saying is that most atheists don't claim to be able to prove that. I don't think most atheists say they can definitively disprove God, they simply say that the claim “there is no God” is a more sensible interpretation of the world than the religious claim that there is a God.

On what basis do atheists claim there is no God?
1) Science
2) Logic
3) Personal experiences

On what basis do theists claim there is a God?
1) Religious Texts
2) Science
3) Logic
4) Personal experiences

So to discuss atheism vs theism, what can we truly discuss? Religious texts and personal experiences aren't helpful, because while they are valid within a person's worldview, they aren't necessarily valid to other people. Logic is interesting to bat around (like “if there were a God, why do children die of painful, horrifying diseases?” ) and are good ways to stretch our imagination. But ultimately this doesn't constitute proof either.

So all we're left with is discussing scientific facts, which is why invariably we keep coming back to science, grappling for factual proof we can both accept. For example….

Tantz Aerine
….. even if you do not accept the Universe being created, you still are left with a justification that cannot be ‘it came from randomness, a mere result of chance’ because if that had been the case, chances state that the brittle balance within the limits of which nature and life exists would be destroyed within a relatively short period of time.
I don't know entirely what you're saying, because I'm sensing so many misinterpretations that I can't follow. Nature doesn't stay in balance, it goes out of balance all the time, which can lead to the extinction of species. The randomness of life merely increases the likelihood that at least some species will adapt and survive. But “life would be destroyed in a short period of time?” What do you mean? Are you talking about a catclysmic event, like the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs? Or do you mean that randomness itself would eventually destroy life without an intelligence behind it?

And we can discuss whether the energy of matter is the same as other forms of energy. Or let's try to define the nature of time. But I think the discussion tends to devolve into minute details pretty quickly and we lose track of the overall discussion. And at the end of the day, even if we were to agree on the scientific facts, I daresay our interpretations will still differ.

I deleted a lot of the other text, simply because I'm trying to get at the heart of the discussion and don't want to continue going down too many tangents. if there's any point you want to bring up again, please feel free to do so.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
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TnTComic at 11:51AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Vindibudd
TnTComic
Who says the bible is right? Who says the christian god is The God? Even a filthy atheist like myself has to admit the possibility that there is a god. But I don't see any reason to think the christian god is the right one. There's no denying that people all over the world feel a need to believe in god, but which one seems to be entirely dependent upon region or upbringing. So don't you think its a bit presumptious to use the bible to back up your claims instead of dealing in generalities?

stuff

Its obvious that i'm asking why the christian god should be treated as The God. I'm asking a completely different question. If you think you can play referee and tell everyone what to talk about, you've got another thing coming.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
mapaghimagsik at 11:59AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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I'm generally surprised that most people don't seem to know that Islam, Judaism, and Christianity share books from the bible.
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Vindibudd at 12:08PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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TnTComic
Its obvious that i'm asking why the christian god should be treated as The God. I'm asking a completely different question. If you think you can play referee and tell everyone what to talk about, you've got another thing coming.

Yet, I still don't see what that has to do with atheism and why Christians should not hold the Bible as the foundation for being Christians. I am not refereeing anything, I am trying to hold you on point which you seem determined to avoid.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Vindibudd at 12:09PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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mapaghimagsik
I'm generally surprised that most people don't seem to know that Islam, Judaism, and Christianity share books from the bible.

Who is saying they don't?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
mapaghimagsik at 12:17PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Vindibudd
mapaghimagsik
I'm generally surprised that most people don't seem to know that Islam, Judaism, and Christianity share books from the bible.

Who is saying they don't?

Who knows they do?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
TnTComic at 12:20PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Vindibudd
TnTComic
Its obvious that i'm asking why the christian god should be treated as The God. I'm asking a completely different question. If you think you can play referee and tell everyone what to talk about, you've got another thing coming.

Yet, I still don't see what that has to do with atheism and why Christians should not hold the Bible as the foundation for being Christians. I am not refereeing anything, I am trying to hold you on point which you seem determined to avoid.

Aurora was asking questions about animals and YOU turned it into a discussion about the bible. Which is why i'm asking why the animals should be subject to the religion of YOUR choosing. With all the other religions of the world, all of which having a god in some form or another, why does yours win?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Vindibudd at 12:47PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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TnTComic
Aurora was asking questions about animals and YOU turned it into a discussion about the bible.

Oh so you MISSED the part where she said:

Aurora Moon
Even some Christan groups say this.

And then you must have ALSO MISSED the part where I said:

Vindibudd
The Bible does not talk about animals getting into heaven and that is why most Christians don't believe they will be.

And MISSING THESE KEY ELEMENTS OF THE CONVERSATION led you to say:

TnTComic
Which is why i'm asking why the animals should be subject to the religion of YOUR choosing.

Thereby making your comments irrelevant.

TnTComic
With all the other religions of the world, all of which having a god in some form or another, why does yours win?

I'm not getting into a theological debate with an avowed atheist about other theologies.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Tantz Aerine at 12:47PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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arteestx
Ok, I'm beginning to see at least one nub of the problem. Atheism is the claim that there is no God. That is what atheism states, you're right. What I'm saying is that most atheists don't claim to be able to prove that. I don't think most atheists say they can definitively disprove God, they simply say that the claim “there is no God” is a more sensible interpretation of the world than the religious claim that there is a God.

Then you must admit that these atheists are definitely not what they are supposed to be. They either must be adamant that there is no God at all and be willing to bet their life on it because they are so convinced, or they should say they are agnostic and step back or go back to amassing evidence to either claim. There is no lukewarm way to go about this, whether any one likes it or not.

It doesn't sound nice or so well thought out when the definition is boldly stated, but unfortunately that's what atheism claims. If you do not agree with the 100% certainty that there can't be a God, then you are not an atheist.

On what basis do atheists claim there is no God?
1) Science
2) Logic
3) Personal experiences

On what basis do theists claim there is a God?
1) Religious Texts
2) Science
3) Logic
4) Personal experiences

So to discuss atheism vs theism, what can we truly discuss? Religious texts and personal experiences aren't helpful, because while they are valid within a person's worldview, they aren't necessarily valid to other people.

I don't agree with this for one basic reason. You are dismissing all religious (and secular, not just religious) texts as the ramblings or lies of other people. This is yet another gross overgeneralization and a horrible methodological error if you claim to have independent and free thinking. You cannot dismiss the chance that at least part of what there exists in religious texts is true.

Again taking the court analogy, if you had a legal statement from more than a single witness than something did occur, you cannot dismiss their claim unless you have actual proof they are lying. And many of the things contained in the religious texts were not written with the motive of ever surviving through the ages and the people that wrote them had no vested interest in what they claimed. If anything, it marked them as fair game and targets to be executed by at least two different sources of political power at the time (I am talking about the evangelists). I think we should at least give them the benefit of the doubt and not dismiss them as old codgers right off the cuff. The same goes for all religious texts, not just Christian ones.

Personal experience is often discredited, but it should not be. After all it is a great part of the scientific process. In all social sciences there is such a thing as a ‘self report’ which is always taken into consideration- in addition with other evidence, but when the evidence is inconclusive, self reports are taken into account to ‘tip the scales’ so to speak, as to what is true in a theory. Why not extend the same courtesy to the atheism vs. theism arguments? Why this differential treatment?

Logic is interesting to bat around (like “if there were a God, why do children die of painful, horrifying diseases?” ) and are good ways to stretch our imagination. But ultimately this doesn't constitute proof either.

Logic and such questions have tortured theists for ages. We can go ahead and discuss this, but it won't constitute an argument of atheism vs. theism because we are not discussing if God cares or not or is good or not towards people, but whether he exists. So logic would have to be applied not to God's stance towards dying babies, but whether he exists or not given the indications and testimonies of people around the globe and across the ages.

It is very easy to stray from the subject. You are not the first nor the last to try to prove a point with another point's argument.

And that brings us to science.

I don't know entirely what you're saying, because I'm sensing so many misinterpretations that I can't follow. Nature doesn't stay in balance, it goes out of balance all the time, which can lead to the extinction of species. The randomness of life merely increases the likelihood that at least some species will adapt and survive. But “life would be destroyed in a short period of time?” What do you mean? Are you talking about a catclysmic event, like the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs? Or do you mean that randomness itself would eventually destroy life without an intelligence behind it?

No, I was not referring to a cataclysmic event OR the chance of humans blowing the planet up lol!. I was referring to the ‘conditions for life to exist’. If you take any biology course, you will see that, for example, the temperature margins that need to be adhered to for Life to exist are stiflingly narrow. Several things happen every moment to throw this temperature balance off, but there are always safeguard mechanisms that keep returning it to the normal, required levels. This is definitely not the result of randomness.

Speciation and the extinction of a species is not imbalance of nature. That is part of evolution and development. Imbalance of nature would be for the conditions of life in general, for all species upon the earth, to be thrown off. Do you see what I mean now?

This:
Or do you mean that randomness itself would eventually destroy life without an intelligence behind it?
is close enough to what I mean.

And we can discuss whether the energy of matter is the same as other forms of energy. Or let's try to define the nature of time. But I think the discussion tends to devolve into minute details pretty quickly and we lose track of the overall discussion. And at the end of the day, even if we were to agree on the scientific facts, I daresay our interpretations will still differ.

Are you saying that we basically don't know enough or need to study far more before we can address the issues? Or are you saying that basically even science can be interpreted every which way according to what someone wants to see in it? Or something else??

I deleted a lot of the other text, simply because I'm trying to get at the heart of the discussion and don't want to continue going down too many tangents. if there's any point you want to bring up again, please feel free to do so.

No, that's fine. If I feel something you have dismissed is relevant, I am sure we can find it and quote it again ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
Vindibudd at 12:48PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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mapaghimagsik
Vindibudd
mapaghimagsik
I'm generally surprised that most people don't seem to know that Islam, Judaism, and Christianity share books from the bible.

Who is saying they don't?

Who knows they do?

Lots of people?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
DAJB at 1:42PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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posts: 1,462
joined: 2-23-2007
So much debate here …!

Isn't the answer just “yes”?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
mapaghimagsik at 1:56PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Vindibudd
mapaghimagsik
Vindibudd
mapaghimagsik
I'm generally surprised that most people don't seem to know that Islam, Judaism, and Christianity share books from the bible.

Who is saying they don't?

Who knows they do?

Lots of people?

Surprisingly, I find your proof lacking.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
arteestx at 1:57PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
{Atheists} either must be adamant that there is no God at all and be willing to bet their life on it because they are so convinced, or they should say they are agnostic and step back or go back to amassing evidence to either claim. There is no lukewarm way to go about this, whether any one likes it or not.
Well, I fundamentally disagree. I stand by the claim “there is no Loch Ness monster.” I can't prove that claim, I have no definitive proof that there is no monster there. I cannot disprove any monster. But I say that claim is the most sensible claim to me given the evidence available. I stand by the claim, knowing full well I can't prove it. And that is where most atheists are as well. God cannot be disproven, and most atheists understand that. You don't have to be able to 100% prove something to stand by it as a belief.


Tantz Aerine
You are dismissing all religious (and secular, not just religious) texts as the ramblings or lies of other people. This is yet another gross overgeneralization and a horrible methodological error if you claim to have independent and free thinking. You cannot dismiss the chance that at least part of what there exists in religious texts is true.
Noooononono, I don't dismiss religious texts at all. I find them extrememly helpful, insightful, full of beauty and wonder, and so forth. But the difference is that some say the Bible is the Word of God. And I don't. So for a theist to use the Bible as proof of some sort isn't going to hold the same weight for someone like me. That's all I'm saying. Please don't put words in my mouth… well, computer screen. Religious texts are not the ramblings or lies of other people. I just don't accept it as the Word of God, and therefore don't look upon it as proof of anything, that's all. Same with personal experiences, of course they're valuable… to that person. Others may or may not find value in it, but it's not generally considered proof one way or another.


Tantz Aerine
Imbalance of nature would be for the conditions of life in general, for all species upon the earth, to be thrown off. Do you see what I mean now?
I think so. I don't think “imbalance of nature” suggests planetwide destruction like you're suggesting, but we're drifting off into semantics. I think what seems like “too good to be coincidental or random” to us humans can in fact be the result of randomness, but I'm gonna skip over this for now.


Tantz Aerine
Are you saying that we basically don't know enough or need to study far more before we can address the issues? Or are you saying that basically even science can be interpreted every which way according to what someone wants to see in it? Or something else??
I don't think scientific facts can (or rather ought) to be interpreted differently be different people. But how meaningful that fact might be, the worldview you draw from it, etc. can be interpreted differently. For example, some spiders paralyze their prey, lay eggs inside the near dead victim, and then the baby spiders hatch and eat their way out of this prey. That's a fact. The interpretation of that fact can differ, such as the world is too cruel to be created by a loving God, or that God has built a world that has inherent struggle in it as part of a plan we don't understand, or whatever interpretation you might draw. Our interpretation of that fact can differ based on our culture, personality, experience, etc. That's what I mean.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM

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