Debate and Discussion

Does Atheism "make sense" to you?
Vindibudd at 2:15PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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mapaghimagsik
Surprisingly, I find your proof lacking.

You are asking me who knows that Islam, Judaism and Christianity share certain books, is that not correct?

The answer is, a lot of people know this. Do you want names and addresses or something?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Tantz Aerine at 3:26PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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arteestx
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.

Although I don't like the Loch Ness monster analogy, I'll run with it this time. You say ‘There is no Loch Ness monster’ and you stand by that claim. But are you saying that ‘There can’t be a Loch Ness monster?' Are you saying ‘There never could have been a Loch Ness monster’? How can you possibly support these other statements besides the ‘there is no Loch Ness monster’? My basic problem with atheism is not its capacity to prove or not the existence of God. That would be absurd. My problem is that despite its inability to prove the inexistence of God, atheism claims there is no God nor can there ever be a God.

To me that sounds totalitarian, unscientific and completely stunting human thought. It forbids consideration of the possible existence of God (since it says there can be no God; therefore, drop all efforts to see if there is one). You may try to sugarcoat the definition, but unless this definition of atheism is officially altered, it is what it is and you can't claim to be a fundamental atheist (if you allow me the term ;) ) if you say ‘Given the evidence, I feel there probably is no God, but I’m always open to new evidence that may prove the opposite'. You should be saying ‘I believe there is no God and nothing in the environment or in the nature of proof is ever going to be taken into consideration by me as to His existence, because I don’t believe God exists.'


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.

This is also at a tangent to what I said. I didn't mention any of the religious texts as the word of God. After all, what is said to be the Word of God within it tends to be in the form of admonitions and frames of reference regarding morality. Also, often the authors of these texts are said to be enlightened on these matters and so on and so forth. But does that make them less credible in their reports of events? I am talking about accounts. People reporting what they saw. Not whether it was the Word of God or not. When letters were sent back and forth between such people, when non-religious historians made accounts, should we dismiss this evidence of things having happened in the past simply because some people claim parts of the texts to be inspired by God? If you don't believe in God, it should not make any difference.

I am not sure exactly what your impression is of the religious texts, and how much you differentiate between them, but I assure you that aside of beauty and wonder and everything like that, there are many other things to be seen and inferred and cross-checked. Dismissing a huge battery of evidence (or indications) as to the good chance of God existing does not sound like a good method to me.

I also am not referring only to Christian texts, but to scriptures and reports from all religions across time and culture. Also to all texts pertinent to religious matters that are of a secular nature. All this should be checked and not dismissed even if there is the slightest sliver of ‘reasonable doubt’ that they are not fraudulent and that some of the people in there were actually reporting truths accepted widely or witnessed commonly by throngs of people.


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.

I am not putting words in your mouth, I am merely showing you what your words denote to someone reading them. :) See, you then amend, and then I respond again, and I am hoping this is a learning experience or at least a constructive one for both of us. Now: Please tell me what you accept the religious texts as, and if they do not contain ramblings or lies, what do they contain? The creative talent of a bunch of people who sat down and wrote an interesting story? (of course that would get us back to the content of the texts being just a lie)

I have already covered the personal experiences issue. Go back and read again my post about self report studies and research. Personal experiences and case studies are taken as valid, strong evidence all the time in science.

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.

I'd like to see your logic as to how it can be the result of randomness. Why skip it?


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.


And what is the point of what you are saying in this?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
Aurora Moon at 4:05PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
I'd like to see your logic as to how it can be the result of randomness. Why skip it?

I hope you don't mind me jumping in at this part.

you've been going on about how in nature there's all those “Safe-guards” for lifeforms/whatever in case there was ever inbalances in the area, etc, and how therefore couldn't make it random.

But I have to say, there's no real safeguards at all. Take the ice age for instance. before the ice age and us, there was tons of life on earth before. Plants that doesn't exist nowdays. Various Species, that if the ice age had not came, would proably had been the single dormant species on earth in terms of the food chain, etc. But then came a sudden inbalance, and the ice age wiped out nearly all but those which could manage to surive even in such artic conditions. And you know something? it wasn't the first time…. the earth is always going though freezing and heating periods, at random. And despite such diffcult temptures in the past and what is to come in the future, life still exists regardless even though thousands of species dies off and new ones are born. Heck, there can be flora and bacetria living on metors and comets IN SPACE according to some sciencists. and what about those fossils they dung up in mars? So peraphs that margin for the conditions of life is much wider than you think. So yes, it can be possible for life to happen within randomness just as much as there can be death happening randomly. That's just that life, such as that bacteria on a meteor, is simply waiting for a random chance that it might end up in a place where it may flourish and turn into something more. Maybe that day might never come, and then one day it might. but even if it didn't get that chance, it would still continue to exist, living on a rock in the vacuum of space.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
TitanOne at 8:09PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
My basic problem with atheism is not its capacity to prove or not the existence of God. That would be absurd. My problem is that despite its inability to prove the inexistence of God, atheism claims there is no God nor can there ever be a God.

To me that sounds totalitarian, unscientific and completely stunting human thought. It forbids consideration of the possible existence of God (since it says there can be no God; therefore, drop all efforts to see if there is one). You may try to sugarcoat the definition, but unless this definition of atheism is officially altered, it is what it is and you can't claim to be a fundamental atheist (if you allow me the term ;) ) if you say ‘Given the evidence, I feel there probably is no God, but I’m always open to new evidence that may prove the opposite'. You should be saying ‘I believe there is no God and nothing in the environment or in the nature of proof is ever going to be taken into consideration by me as to His existence, because I don’t believe God exists.'




The logical position of atheism would be dispassionate disinterest in religion. This isn't something I see very often. If I did see it I would respect it, and I even think that it could potentially lead to pleasant philosophical conversations.

However, what I see more often, at least in print and on the Internet, is petulant intolerance of religion, especially Judeo-Christian religion. I'm not sure that qualifies as atheism. If you don't believe in God, why hate people who do? Why characterize them as backward hayseed hillbillies out of the movie “Deliverance”, who are snake handlers in a revival tent? Why compare Jesus Christ to Peter Pan or the tooth fairy?

If I lived in Thailand, I would not make it my mission in life to disprove, tear down, and attempt to deconstruct Buddhism, or ban Buddhist religious statues from public squares. I don't believe in Buddhism; therefore I am ambivalent, and I can even see cultural charm in its displays. Buddhism does not threaten me…I have a Judeo-Christian belief system, so I really don't care what Buddhists do.

I actually have a larger problem with Christians who are un-Christian. And we have lots of those in our society and the highest levels of government. I am reminded of the Mahatma Gandhi quote “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

My thought is that a real Christian and a real Atheist could get along with each other quite well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
dueeast at 10:52PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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These are very relevant points, TitanOne. Gandhi sure summed up CINOs (Christians In Name Only) quite succinctly, too.

I also agree with your other point. One of the reason I have no problem having friends who are atheists is because I don't spend any time or effort trying to tear down atheism wherever I see it. It's a curiosity to me and occasionally leads to a good philosophical discussion. I do sometimes let myself get offended by some people's attacks on the Judeo-Christian faith but I really shouldn't.

So, I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize on the record for anything I may have said that was out of line or offensive to anyone in any of the atheism-related threads (including the evolution thread). I'm here to discuss, yes, but my faith requires me to live peaceably with everyone, if at all possible.

I may not like how people put down God or Jesus or Christians but they don't need me to defend them. They need me to just live this life how I'm living it.

Therefore, I hope there's no hard feelings. I'll try to pick my discussions a little better, because I do enjoy a good conversation with my fellow DD'ers.

TitanOne
Tantz Aerine
My basic problem with atheism is not its capacity to prove or not the existence of God. That would be absurd. My problem is that despite its inability to prove the inexistence of God, atheism claims there is no God nor can there ever be a God.

To me that sounds totalitarian, unscientific and completely stunting human thought. It forbids consideration of the possible existence of God (since it says there can be no God; therefore, drop all efforts to see if there is one). You may try to sugarcoat the definition, but unless this definition of atheism is officially altered, it is what it is and you can't claim to be a fundamental atheist (if you allow me the term ;) ) if you say ‘Given the evidence, I feel there probably is no God, but I’m always open to new evidence that may prove the opposite'. You should be saying ‘I believe there is no God and nothing in the environment or in the nature of proof is ever going to be taken into consideration by me as to His existence, because I don’t believe God exists.'





The logical position of atheism would be dispassionate disinterest in religion. This isn't something I see very often. If I did see it I would respect it, and I even think that it could potentially lead to pleasant philosophical conversations.

However, what I see more often, at least in print and on the Internet, is petulant intolerance of religion, especially Judeo-Christian religion. I'm not sure that qualifies as atheism. If you don't believe in God, why hate people who do? Why characterize them as backward hayseed hillbillies out of the movie “Deliverance”, who are snake handlers in a revival tent? Why compare Jesus Christ to Peter Pan or the tooth fairy?

If I lived in Thailand, I would not make it my mission in life to disprove, tear down, and attempt to deconstruct Buddhism, or ban Buddhist religious statues from public squares. I don't believe in Buddhism; therefore I am ambivalent, and I can even see cultural charm in its displays. Buddhism does not threaten me…I have a Judeo-Christian belief system, so I really don't care what Buddhists do.

I actually have a larger problem with Christians who are un-Christian. And we have lots of those in our society and the highest levels of government. I am reminded of the Mahatma Gandhi quote “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

My thought is that a real Christian and a real Atheist could get along with each other quite well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
Ludus Pragma at 10:53PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
Although I don't like the Loch Ness monster analogy, I'll run with it this time. You say ‘There is no Loch Ness monster’ and you stand by that claim. But are you saying that ‘There can’t be a Loch Ness monster?' Are you saying ‘There never could have been a Loch Ness monster’? How can you possibly support these other statements besides the ‘there is no Loch Ness monster’? My basic problem with atheism is not its capacity to prove or not the existence of God. That would be absurd. My problem is that despite its inability to prove the inexistence of God, atheism claims there is no God nor can there ever be a God.

To me that sounds totalitarian, unscientific and completely stunting human thought. It forbids consideration of the possible existence of God (since it says there can be no God; therefore, drop all efforts to see if there is one). You may try to sugarcoat the definition, but unless this definition of atheism is officially altered, it is what it is and you can't claim to be a fundamental atheist (if you allow me the term ;) ) if you say ‘Given the evidence, I feel there probably is no God, but I’m always open to new evidence that may prove the opposite'. You should be saying ‘I believe there is no God and nothing in the environment or in the nature of proof is ever going to be taken into consideration by me as to His existence, because I don’t believe God exists.'


We cannot disprove that leprechauns do not exist but I am drawing a line and saying they do not. If one of them showed up, after a period of investigation, I would change my world view. Most anti-atheists claim that non-believers are actively shunning the truth but most of us are actively searching for what is real.

Can anyone prove a negative? No, but any argument that can be made to “prove” god can be made to “prove” leprechauns exist.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:48PM
DAJB at 3:04AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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TitanOne
The logical position of atheism would be dispassionate disinterest in religion.
Yep. That pretty much sums me up.

TitanOne
My thought is that a real Christian and a real Atheist could get along with each other quite well.
Absolutely. I married a devout Catholic and, yeah, we seem to get along “quite well”.
:)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
TnTComic at 4:20AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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TitanOne
The logical position of atheism would be dispassionate disinterest in religion. This isn't something I see very often. If I did see it I would respect it, and I even think that it could potentially lead to pleasant philosophical conversations.

However, what I see more often, at least in print and on the Internet, is petulant intolerance of religion, especially Judeo-Christian religion. I'm not sure that qualifies as atheism. If you don't believe in God, why hate people who do? Why characterize them as backward hayseed hillbillies out of the movie “Deliverance”, who are snake handlers in a revival tent? Why compare Jesus Christ to Peter Pan or the tooth fairy?

I don't know, its a good question. Maybe they learned it from the christians making fun of jehova's witnesses.

As far as that being the prevalent type of atheist, as you said, that's the attitude you see most on the internet and in print. There's a very good reason for that. An atheist who doesn't really give a damn about religion won't be talking about it, will he?

edit: yeah, I also married a christian. She's content to leave me be, and i'm content to leave her be. And as far as the child goes, i'm going to keep my mouth shut.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
TheMidge28 at 5:00AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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dueeast
These are very relevant points, TitanOne. Gandhi sure summed up CINOs (Christians In Name Only) quite succinctly, too.

I also agree with your other point. One of the reason I have no problem having friends who are atheists is because I don't spend any time or effort trying to tear down atheism wherever I see it. It's a curiosity to me and occasionally leads to a good philosophical discussion. I do sometimes let myself get offended by some people's attacks on the Judeo-Christian faith but I really shouldn't.

So, I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize on the record for anything I may have said that was out of line or offensive to anyone in any of the atheism-related threads (including the evolution thread). I'm here to discuss, yes, but my faith requires me to live peaceably with everyone, if at all possible.

I may not like how people put down God or Jesus or Christians but they don't need me to defend them. They need me to just live this life how I'm living it.

Therefore, I hope there's no hard feelings. I'll try to pick my discussions a little better, because I do enjoy a good conversation with my fellow DD'ers.

TitanOne
Tantz Aerine
My basic problem with atheism is not its capacity to prove or not the existence of God. That would be absurd. My problem is that despite its inability to prove the inexistence of God, atheism claims there is no God nor can there ever be a God.

To me that sounds totalitarian, unscientific and completely stunting human thought. It forbids consideration of the possible existence of God (since it says there can be no God; therefore, drop all efforts to see if there is one). You may try to sugarcoat the definition, but unless this definition of atheism is officially altered, it is what it is and you can't claim to be a fundamental atheist (if you allow me the term ;) ) if you say ‘Given the evidence, I feel there probably is no God, but I’m always open to new evidence that may prove the opposite'. You should be saying ‘I believe there is no God and nothing in the environment or in the nature of proof is ever going to be taken into consideration by me as to His existence, because I don’t believe God exists.'





The logical position of atheism would be dispassionate disinterest in religion. This isn't something I see very often. If I did see it I would respect it, and I even think that it could potentially lead to pleasant philosophical conversations.

However, what I see more often, at least in print and on the Internet, is petulant intolerance of religion, especially Judeo-Christian religion. I'm not sure that qualifies as atheism. If you don't believe in God, why hate people who do? Why characterize them as backward hayseed hillbillies out of the movie “Deliverance”, who are snake handlers in a revival tent? Why compare Jesus Christ to Peter Pan or the tooth fairy?

If I lived in Thailand, I would not make it my mission in life to disprove, tear down, and attempt to deconstruct Buddhism, or ban Buddhist religious statues from public squares. I don't believe in Buddhism; therefore I am ambivalent, and I can even see cultural charm in its displays. Buddhism does not threaten me…I have a Judeo-Christian belief system, so I really don't care what Buddhists do.

I actually have a larger problem with Christians who are un-Christian. And we have lots of those in our society and the highest levels of government. I am reminded of the Mahatma Gandhi quote “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

My thought is that a real Christian and a real Atheist could get along with each other quite well.

Ditto!

That is the problem with these personal beliefs/philosophies…their personal.
It is very hard for people to discuss them and be detatched from them.
I find what TnTcomic interjected to be quite profound.

TnTComic
As far as that being the prevalent type of atheist, as you said, that's the attitude you see most on the internet and in print. There's a very good reason for that. An atheist who doesn't really give a damn about religion won't be talking about it, will he?

If your solid on your perspective or belief system you will probably not spend the time to argue/debate about it.

"My thought is that a real Christian and a real Atheist could get along with each other quite well." -TitanOne

My thoughts exactly.
The true christian would love regardless and be there if help is needed.
The true atheist would love regardless and be there if help is needed.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:21PM
TnTComic at 5:43AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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TheMidge28
If your solid on your perspective or belief system you will probably not spend the time to argue/debate about it.


Unless you're bored and on the internet.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
TheMidge28 at 6:21AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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TnTComic
TheMidge28
If your solid on your perspective or belief system you will probably not spend the time to argue/debate about it.


Unless you're bored and on the internet.
touche`
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:21PM
arteestx at 7:32AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
My basic problem with atheism is not its capacity to prove or not the existence of God. That would be absurd. My problem is that despite its inability to prove the inexistence of God, atheism claims there is no God nor can there ever be a God.
I think you're reading a bit more into the definition than is there. As a reminder to everyone, the definition we're referring to (emphasis added) is from American Atheist at www.atheists.org: “…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."

Nothing can exist apart from nature, that's all it's saying. It's a claim about the nature of reality. It's not forbidding God or the exploration of science in cosmology, quantum mechanics, or anything else that touches about the nature of reality; it's a viewpoint that says there is no God, and there is nothing outside of physical nature. You can spin it as totalitarian and stunting human thought, but I think you're pushing that phrase farther than intended.


Tantz Aerine
You may try to sugarcoat the definition, but unless this definition of atheism is officially altered, it is what it is and you can't claim to be a fundamental atheist (if you allow me the term ;) )
Fundamentalist atheist? Hrmmm…. I like it! :) But you're probably right, I'm not a true fundamentalist in that sense. If forbidding the existence of God is a requirement for being a fundamentalist atheist, then that's not where I'm personally at… that'd be like forbidding my neighbor's cat to exist. I don't control reality and can't forbid anything or any God from existing. I just have my own personal suspicions about the nature of reality, that's all.


Tantz Aerine
Please tell me what you accept the religious texts as, and if they do not contain ramblings or lies, what do they contain?
To me, religious texts are a compiliation of human understanding of spirituality. As an example, The Bible shows an evolution of thought about God. The God of the Torah/Old Testament flooded the world and destroyed all of humanity out of frustration, ordered the slaughter of women and children, spoke through burning bushes, turned people into pillars of salt, and so forth. Big, huge dramatic gestures of His existence and will. By the end of the Old Testament, God stopped doing so many dramatic things and had more personal experiences with individuals. Then Jesus shows up and God is loving father who shows mercy, not vengance. I would think God would be eternal and unchanging, so to me, this shows an evolution in human understanding of God, rather than God Himself changing.

And other religions capture other understandings and experiences with spirituality. Buddhist teachings captured the Buddha's experiences with nirvana. The varied stories of the Greek gods are expressions of our struggles with the nature of humanity, free will, and a host of other spiritual matters. Religious texts collect the personal experiences many people have with the divine. Doesn't mean I believe them all to be literally true or that they literally happened per se, but they are expressions of spirituality.


Tantz Aerine
I'd like to see your logic as to how it can be the result of randomness. Why skip it?
I only skipped it because it was tangential to the whole atheism discussion. I'm being slammed at work, so I don't know when I'll start a new thread about it, but I'll try to do it soon.


And what is the point of what you are saying in this?
You asked a pointed question, so I was trying to answer it. No point beyond that.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
TnTComic at 8:06AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
My basic problem with atheism is not its capacity to prove or not the existence of God. That would be absurd. My problem is that despite its inability to prove the inexistence of God, atheism claims there is no God nor can there ever be a God.

Well, when you conjure up something as grand as god, the burden of proof is on the people claiming existence, not the people who disagree.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
DAJB at 8:33AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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TnTComic
Well, when you conjure up something as grand as god, the burden of proof is on the people claiming existence, not the people who disagree.
Not really. The whole “burden of proof” thing is pretty much irrelevant when you're dealing with faith/belief like this. You either believe or you don't. Any argument that one side considers persuasive (or even conclusive) will just be meaningless to the other. That's why these discussions will never sway anybody either way.

Being in the atheist camp, I cannot imagine any form of proof that would convince me there is a God. But I accept that, to someone who does believe in His existence, there is no “proof” I could bring to bear that would convince them otherwise.






last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
Vindibudd at 9:10AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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DAJB
Being in the atheist camp, I cannot imagine any form of proof that would convince me there is a God. But I accept that, to someone who does believe in His existence, there is no “proof” I could bring to bear that would convince them otherwise.

Would God showing up at your house with angels flying around him convince you? ha.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
DAJB at 9:35AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Vindibudd
DAJB
Being in the atheist camp, I cannot imagine any form of proof that would convince me there is a God. But I accept that, to someone who does believe in His existence, there is no “proof” I could bring to bear that would convince them otherwise.

Would God showing up at your house with angels flying around him convince you? ha.

Such a thing could just as easily be attributed to aliens, food-poisoning induced hallucinations or a mindless prank by a reality TV show.

But thanks for mentioning it as a possibility. I'll get some biscuits in, just in case.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
TnTComic at 9:38AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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DAJB
Vindibudd
DAJB
Being in the atheist camp, I cannot imagine any form of proof that would convince me there is a God. But I accept that, to someone who does believe in His existence, there is no “proof” I could bring to bear that would convince them otherwise.

Would God showing up at your house with angels flying around him convince you? ha.

Such a thing could just as easily be attributed to aliens, food-poisoning induced hallucinations or a mindless prank by a reality TV show.

But thanks for mentioning it as a possibility. I'll get some biscuits in, just in case.

Oh please. If god showed up with angels, and you still didn't believe, I'd call you one of Those Atheists myself.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Vindibudd at 9:40AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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DAJB
Such a thing could just as easily be attributed to aliens, food-poisoning induced hallucinations or a mindless prank by a reality TV show.
But thanks for mentioning it as a possibility. I'll get some biscuits in, just in case.

Bro, sense of humor. Not making a serious point there. Lighten up!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Tantz Aerine at 10:04AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Aurora Moon
I hope you don't mind me jumping in at this part.

Not at all :)

But I have to say, there's no real safeguards at all. Take the ice age for instance. before the ice age and us, there was tons of life on earth before. Plants that doesn't exist nowdays. Various Species, that if the ice age had not came, would proably had been the single dormant species on earth in terms of the food chain, etc. But then came a sudden inbalance, and the ice age wiped out nearly all but those which could manage to surive even in such artic conditions.

YOu obviously missed the essence of my argument. Let me clarify: I didn't say there was a safeguard for any one species or geological era. What I said was that from the point of the emergence of life, everything that has occured has been within the strict confines of what it takes for life to exist. And in the above quote, you say yourself that ‘something happens’ to make way for other species, and species which would have made the existence of the current ones impossible on earth were wiped out by unforeseeable events. Doesn't it sound like someone was clearing the board for the next set of species to have their turn at playing?

Anyway, you are not disproving my point in this manner.

And you know something? it wasn't the first time…. the earth is always going though freezing and heating periods, at random. And despite such diffcult temptures in the past and what is to come in the future, life still exists regardless even though thousands of species dies off and new ones are born.

My point exactly. If you took the time to examine all this amazing ups and downs, you will see that none are either as extensive or as extreme to make Life completely disappear. This cannot be random. ‘Random’ has no limits and there is no chance that after millenia upon millenia of trials, there would not have come the one trial to wipe out all life and leave Earth a barren rock, like it once had been.

Heck, there can be flora and bacetria living on metors and comets IN SPACE according to some sciencists. and what about those fossils they dung up in mars? So peraphs that margin for the conditions of life is much wider than you think. So yes, it can be possible for life to happen within randomness just as much as there can be death happening randomly. That's just that life, such as that bacteria on a meteor, is simply waiting for a random chance that it might end up in a place where it may flourish and turn into something more. Maybe that day might never come, and then one day it might. but even if it didn't get that chance, it would still continue to exist, living on a rock in the vacuum of space.

YOu are forgetting that those bacteria are not alive, on those meteors. Or if they are, they are dormant, remnants of a process similar to earth's. Fossils are dead, not alive. The traces of life do not mean that the narrow boundaries needed for Life are not valid. First off, the boundaries for Life is not my invention; those very scientists you quote say they must exist for Life to exist. The bacteria and other such things they discover only offer the hope for another planet with the Earth's conditions.

You are also forgetting that for the bacteria to even exist, the circumstances for their creation demand to have been the same as in Earth. That they are dormant now, waiting for a friendly environment to become active again (and fully living) is not indication that Life was created differently. Also, I am curious to see where it was reported that LIVING bacteria were discovered in space. To my knowledge, there were only fossils or not even that- just hints of a past existence.


…and if such a planet were to be discovered just as our own is becoming imbalanced (as it promises to become with our destructive behavior), then that will have been some good indication of Providence existing- not randomness.
 
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TnTComic at 10:07AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
…and if such a planet were to be discovered just as our own is becoming imbalanced (as it promises to become with our destructive behavior), then that will have been some good indication of Providence existing- not randomness.

Quite the opposite, really.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation
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Tantz Aerine at 10:17AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Ludus Pragma
We cannot disprove that leprechauns do not exist but I am drawing a line and saying they do not. If one of them showed up, after a period of investigation, I would change my world view. Most anti-atheists claim that non-believers are actively shunning the truth but most of us are actively searching for what is real.

Can anyone prove a negative? No, but any argument that can be made to “prove” god can be made to “prove” leprechauns exist.

To be entirely honest, you can disprove the existence of leprechauns. If you gather up all the myths about them, put them down and compare them against the scientific knowledge we have about how possible it would be for the existence of such a creature, and you will see there is none. So things that truly do not exist you can always find a way to disprove their existence through logic.

I did run with the Nessie myth because it resembles that of a dinosaur or other such great reptile or amphibion or fish which could have at some point existed as the last of a species at Loch Ness. However it dying at some point, left the lake lacking of any monster. There is a possibility that the Loch Ness monster existed, and then night-time story telling made it reach our age. (That and the attraction of tourists ;) )

What most atheists do however, is that they do not use logic to prove or disprove a thing. They just choose to believe something based on pretty much the same data theists have. It's a question of belief. And where belief is concerned it is a personal matter and I won't judge it.

But I won't call it scientific, either.
 
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Tantz Aerine at 10:19AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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TnTComic
Tantz Aerine
…and if such a planet were to be discovered just as our own is becoming imbalanced (as it promises to become with our destructive behavior), then that will have been some good indication of Providence existing- not randomness.

Quite the opposite, really.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation

Excellent. Please now demonstrate how this is the opposite to what I have stated :)
 
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Tantz Aerine at 10:23AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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DAJB
Not really. The whole “burden of proof” thing is pretty much irrelevant when you're dealing with faith/belief like this. You either believe or you don't. Any argument that one side considers persuasive (or even conclusive) will just be meaningless to the other. That's why these discussions will never sway anybody either way.

Being in the atheist camp, I cannot imagine any form of proof that would convince me there is a God. But I accept that, to someone who does believe in His existence, there is no “proof” I could bring to bear that would convince them otherwise.


I think you pretty much summed up the concept of ‘belief system’ :) I completely agree with you.
 
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DAJB at 10:23AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Vindibudd
DAJB
Such a thing could just as easily be attributed to aliens, food-poisoning induced hallucinations or a mindless prank by a reality TV show.
But thanks for mentioning it as a possibility. I'll get some biscuits in, just in case.

Bro, sense of humor. Not making a serious point there. Lighten up!

Ummm … ditto.
Perhaps I should have added a ;-) !
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Tantz Aerine at 10:37AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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arteestx
Nothing can exist apart from nature, that's all it's saying. It's a claim about the nature of reality. It's not forbidding God or the exploration of science in cosmology, quantum mechanics, or anything else that touches about the nature of reality; it's a viewpoint that says there is no God, and there is nothing outside of physical nature. You can spin it as totalitarian and stunting human thought, but I think you're pushing that phrase farther than intended.

No, I am not. When we make definitions, we must be very careful for what we mean. I chose a definition that must have been very profoundly thought of since it was part of a court case. If you say ‘can’t', that means ‘no possibility of’. That's what mathematics state. It is as authoritarian as any religion's claims of what there exists in the cosmos and what doesn't. Besides, in your elaboration of the definition, you just stated the same thing yourself.

It's fine- it's your belief. But what saddens me is that you are trying to pass it off as something that's better than anyone else's beliefs and claim it is a more scientific way of thought. It isn't. Agnosticism can make a better shot at passing off as that.

Fundamentalist atheist? Hrmmm…. I like it! :) But you're probably right, I'm not a true fundamentalist in that sense. If forbidding the existence of God is a requirement for being a fundamentalist atheist, then that's not where I'm personally at… that'd be like forbidding my neighbor's cat to exist. I don't control reality and can't forbid anything or any God from existing. I just have my own personal suspicions about the nature of reality, that's all.

Great :) I'm glad you aren't.

To me, religious texts are a compiliation of human understanding of spirituality. As an example, The Bible shows an evolution of thought about God. The God of the Torah/Old Testament flooded the world and destroyed all of humanity out of frustration, ordered the slaughter of women and children, spoke through burning bushes, turned people into pillars of salt, and so forth. Big, huge dramatic gestures of His existence and will. By the end of the Old Testament, God stopped doing so many dramatic things and had more personal experiences with individuals. Then Jesus shows up and God is loving father who shows mercy, not vengance. I would think God would be eternal and unchanging, so to me, this shows an evolution in human understanding of God, rather than God Himself changing.

Sounds like a very nice and profound thinking you have there. I would love to explore it further and exchange ideas.

And other religions capture other understandings and experiences with spirituality. Buddhist teachings captured the Buddha's experiences with nirvana. The varied stories of the Greek gods are expressions of our struggles with the nature of humanity, free will, and a host of other spiritual matters. Religious texts collect the personal experiences many people have with the divine. Doesn't mean I believe them all to be literally true or that they literally happened per se, but they are expressions of spirituality.

I agree with you on most counts. You don't need to believe them all to be literally true. You just need to give the benefit of the doubt. Which you have already said you are giving. That's all. Still, I do believe there is more to be had from the scriptures than the journey of man's spirituality. That, of course, is a talk for another day.

I only skipped it because it was tangential to the whole atheism discussion. I'm being slammed at work, so I don't know when I'll start a new thread about it, but I'll try to do it soon.

I know what you mean. It's murder to keep up with discussions like these when working.

 
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TnTComic at 10:41AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
Excellent. Please now demonstrate how this is the opposite to what I have stated :)

The entire point to the drake equation is how randomness results in life in the universe. That goes against your “then that will have been some good indication of Providence existing- not randomness” statement.
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Tantz Aerine at 10:52AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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TnTComic
Tantz Aerine
Excellent. Please now demonstrate how this is the opposite to what I have stated :)

The entire point to the drake equation is how randomness results in life in the universe. That goes against your “then that will have been some good indication of Providence existing- not randomness” statement.

If there is an equation for it, therefore the possibility for prediction of the event, then it is not random.

Also, from what I have read, this equation tends to point that there may have been unique circumstances for the event of Life on earth. It is not pointing to randomness resulting in life.
 
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TnTComic at 10:57AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
If there is an equation for it, therefore the possibility for prediction of the event, then it is not random.

Also, from what I have read, this equation tends to point that there may have been unique circumstances for the event of Life on earth. It is not pointing to randomness resulting in life.

The entire basis for the equation is the principle that life on earth was random chance.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Aurora Moon at 10:58AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
YOu are forgetting that those bacteria are not alive, on those meteors. Or if they are, they are dormant, remnants of a process similar to earth's. Fossils are dead, not alive. The traces of life do not mean that the narrow boundaries needed for Life are not valid. First off, the boundaries for Life is not my invention; those very scientists you quote say they must exist for Life to exist. The bacteria and other such things they discover only offer the hope for another planet with the Earth's conditions.

You are also forgetting that for the bacteria to even exist, the circumstances for their creation demand to have been the same as in Earth. That they are dormant now, waiting for a friendly environment to become active again (and fully living) is not indication that Life was created differently. Also, I am curious to see where it was reported that LIVING bacteria were discovered in space. To my knowledge, there were only fossils or not even that- just hints of a past existence.

Being dormant is the same thing as being alive. it's just simply a state akin to hiberbation.

And those fossils were once creatures that was alive. That was my whole point…that Mars once sustained life JUST LIKE EARTH and yet something happened to wipe life out competely… proving that in certain situations, there was no “safeguards” for life itself in certain places, such as Mars. Mars was full of life, now it's just some dead planet. And you have to face the possiblity that one day Earth may become like that too.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
Runosonta at 10:59AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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NOTE! Personal opinion.

I'm not rising against religious folks, though unfortunately many of them seem to dislike me because of my lack of interest in their beliefs. Or to be exact, I'm perfectly OK with religious people. I just don't like their religions.
Religion can help someone over a tough period of life, but I see it as a personal psychological getaway car rather than something supernatural.


Some points that have made me and kept me an atheist all my life:
- religions have caused far too much damage in general compared to the good sides of and individual gaining from it, why would something “godly” accept that?
- aura, spirits.. I have nothing against these. With my rather creative scientifical understanding they can be explained as unknown energy form etcetera. But I DO NOT understand some DUDE running EVERYTHING. That's just, well, UNBELIEVABLE.
- I do NOT need to prove anything. Do the believers do it? It's our own goddamn business.
- creationists! Geez, that's the worst bunch I've ever seen… Believe what you like, but DO NOT TEACH THE ADULTS OF TOMORROW to act based on it. There IS a way how the real world, nature and all works.


Yet again stating, just my opinion. Not here to hurt anyone's feelings. I do know believers and have them as friends aswell. Just today visited and orthodox church, it was beautiful. I've travelled to Vatican. I come from a family of church musicians and composers. My grandpa wrote a religious opera. It's OK by me as long as you KEEP IT SEPERATE FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND EDUCATION.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:12PM

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