Debate and Discussion

Does Atheism "make sense" to you?
TnTComic at 11:02AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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And you have to face the possiblity that one day Earth may become like that too.

Its not a possibility, it is inevitible. Our sun will die like all stars die.
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Vindibudd at 11:04AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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And you have to face the possiblity that one day Earth may become like that too.

Its not a possibility, it is inevitible. Our sun will die like all stars die.

Yeah, in 4-5 billion years.
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Tantz Aerine at 11:07AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Being dormant is the same thing as being alive. it's just simply a state akin to hiberbation.

Biologically speaking, it is not. It is a complete Life stasis. It does not fulfill all the requirements in the biological definition of what Life is.

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.

But of course. After all, it is being said that life on earth will end- possibly with a big and dramatic flourish. Or it may just fade out. If we don't blow up the planet on our own first.

That does not mean that while Life on mars (which has not yet been confirmed to have existed, by the way) existed and developed it was not obeying the same safeguards that Earth is obeying now. And before we determine how those safeguards were removed, we cannot assume they were removed by chance factor.
 
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TnTComic at 11:11AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Yeah, in 4-5 billion years.

and your point is?
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Tantz Aerine at 11:12AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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TnTComic
The entire basis for the equation is the principle that life on earth was random chance.

Nowhere in the entire article is this stated. Actually the reason for the equation is this:

Drake
This equation was devised by Dr Frank Drake, in an attempt to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in our galaxy with which we might come in contact. The main purpose of the equation is to allow scientists to quantify the uncertainty of the factors which determine the number of extraterrestrial civilizations.

Anything that is quantifiable and predictable is not random by definition.
 
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TnTComic at 11:16AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Drake
This equation was devised by Dr Frank Drake, in an attempt to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in our galaxy with which we might come in contact. The main purpose of the equation is to allow scientists to quantify the uncertainty of the factors which determine the number of extraterrestrial civilizations.

Anything that is quantifiable and predictable is not random by definition.

…unless you're quantifying uncertainty

The equation loses all credibility if you don't believe that life occurs randomly. That's its entire premise.

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Vindibudd at 11:17AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Vindibudd
Yeah, in 4-5 billion years.

and your point is?

Jus' sayin'
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Tantz Aerine at 11:28AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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…unless you're quantifying uncertainty

The equation loses all credibility if you don't believe that life occurs randomly. That's its entire premise.



When you ‘quantify uncertainty’ what you quantify is the possibility of the circumstances for Life existing elsewhere on the planet. You do not quantify random occurrence. And actually the equation is pointing that there is a very low probability for the same circumstances to exist elsewhere in the universe- this means that it is not random: if it were, there should have been a fair percentage of life in the universe, created by random circumstances occurring. (sort of like Star Trek or something of the kind, where you have all these planets with life- and intelligent life at that)

The more they delve into this equation, the more it seems that the occurrence of this particular planet having life is unique. Unique is not random.
 
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TnTComic at 11:33AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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…unless you're quantifying uncertainty

The equation loses all credibility if you don't believe that life occurs randomly. That's its entire premise.



When you ‘quantify uncertainty’ what you quantify is the possibility of the circumstances for Life existing elsewhere on the planet. You do not quantify random occurrence. And actually the equation is pointing that there is a very low probability for the same circumstances to exist elsewhere in the universe- this means that it is not random: if it were, there should have been a fair percentage of life in the universe, created by random circumstances occurring. (sort of like Star Trek or something of the kind, where you have all these planets with life- and intelligent life at that)

The more they delve into this equation, the more it seems that the occurrence of this particular planet having life is unique. Unique is not random.

Absolutely not! Carl Sagan himself used the equation to bolster his opinion that it is inevitible that there is life in the universe outside of earth.

edit: as seen here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ztl8CG3Sys

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Tantz Aerine at 11:42AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Absolutely not! Carl Sagan himself used the equation to bolster his opinion that it is inevitible that there is life in the universe outside of earth.



It depends on how you interpret the equation:

Wiki
The remarkable thing about the Drake equation is that by plugging in apparently “plausible” values for each of the parameters above, the resultant expectant value of N is generally often (much) greater than 1. This has provided considerable motivation for the SETI movement. However, we do not currently see evidence of this value of N. Other assumptions give values of N that are (much) less than 1, in accord with the observable evidence. This conflict is often called the Fermi paradox, after Enrico Fermi who first asked about our lack of observation of extraterrestrials, and suggests that our understanding of what is a “conservative” value for some of the parameters may be overly optimistic or that some other factor is involved to suppress the development of intelligent space-faring life.

Other assumptions give values of N that are (much) less than 1, but some observers believe this is still compatible with observations due to the anthropic principle: no matter how low the probability that any given galaxy will have intelligent life in it, the universe must have at least one intelligent species by definition otherwise the question would not arise.

Sounds like the same problem of search for God, only put in math terms. (Only you seem happy to accept Sagan's interpretation of it over its interpretation by other scientists, despite his lack of evidence)

I put in bold the parts of the quote that denote belief and not scientific inference. The equation itself though gives a very low probability that any galaxy will have life in it. Scientists just choose to ignore it.

 
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TnTComic at 11:47AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Sounds like the same problem of search for God, only put in math terms. (Only you seem happy to accept Sagan's interpretation of it over its interpretation by other scientists, despite his lack of evidence)

I put in bold the parts of the quote that denote belief and not scientific inference. The equation itself though gives a very low probability that any galaxy will have life in it. Scientists just choose to ignore it.



Man, just watch the clip. Sagan is pretty conservative in the numbers he assigns to the variables.

Fermi put very small numbers in the equation, and came up with a number smaller than 1, implying that there is no intelligent life in the universe. It is all subject to the person plugging in the numbers.

“Scientists just choose to ignore it”? Whatever you say, chief.

And what does it have to do with the search for God? Nothing.
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Tantz Aerine at 11:57AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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TnTComic
Man, just watch the clip. Sagan is pretty conservative in the numbers he assigns to the variables.

Fermi put very small numbers in the equation, and came up with a number smaller than 1, implying that there is no intelligent life in the universe. It is all subject to the person plugging in the numbers.

“Scientists just choose to ignore it”? Whatever you say, chief.

And what does it have to do with the search for God? Nothing.

My connection is too unreliable at the moment to load it. I'm sorry. If you feel something should be quoted from it, feel free to do so.

Look in the quote from the article you provided, and you will see that scientists tend to agree that even the modest numbers may be too large.

Scorning me through irony does not speak well in a debate. Nor does it do anything to invalidate my statement.

Well often aliens and the search for them is compared to the search for God. ;) And just as the search for God evidence is inconclusive, so is the evidence for the search for aliens. Only in the case of God you choose to reject the possibility of Him existing, whereas in the case of aliens you choose to accept and believe the certainty of their existence. Sounds like differential treatment to me ;)

And the whole discussion on the Drake equation stemmed from an effort on your part to show that there is no ‘special treatment’ regarding the preservation of the conditions for Life on earth, and that it is random. That's how all this connects to the previous arguments.
 
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TnTComic at 12:04PM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Look in the quote from the article you provided, and you will see that scientists tend to agree that even the modest numbers may be too large.

Scorning me through irony does not speak well in a debate. Nor does it do anything to invalidate my statement.


Sorry, I don't mean “cheif” derogatorily, and forget that people take it as such.

Well often aliens and the search for them is compared to the search for God. ;) And just as the search for God evidence is inconclusive, so is the evidence for the search for aliens.

The search for alien life is limited by our technology and the vastness of space. If god is in some other corner of the galaxy, that would also explain why we can't find god.

Only in the case of God you choose to reject the possibility of Him existing, whereas in the case of aliens you choose to accept and believe the certainty of their existence. Sounds like differential treatment to me ;)

I've said a few times in this thread that I can't reject the possibility of god. I choose to believe that alien life exists because of my beliefs in how we came to exist. If you believe that god created us, then there is no reason to believe in alien life. If you believe that we came about through random chance, then there is no reason to believe that it couldn't happen elsewhere in the universe.

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Tantz Aerine at 12:19PM, Aug. 9, 2007
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TnTComic
Sorry, I don't mean “cheif” derogatorily, and forget that people take it as such.

I believe you. Apology accepted :)

The search for alien life is limited by our technology and the vastness of space. If god is in some other corner of the galaxy, that would also explain why we can't find god.

That could be. Or maybe our technology and means of approach is erroneous.

I've said a few times in this thread that I can't reject the possibility of god.

Wonderful. It seems there is no reason then for debating, at least from my side.

I choose to believe that alien life exists because of my beliefs in how we came to exist. If you believe that god created us, then there is no reason to believe in alien life. If you believe that we came about through random chance, then there is no reason to believe that it couldn't happen elsewhere in the universe.



Well, that is a discussion for another day, but actually alien life does exist within scriptures. It is beyond the point of this thread though. :)
 
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TnTComic at 12:23PM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Sorry, I don't mean “cheif” derogatorily, and forget that people take it as such.

I believe you. Apology accepted :)


I blame David Letterman. Back when he was good.
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StaceyMontgomery at 1:33PM, Aug. 9, 2007
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I've fallen way behind on this thread, so my comments are likely out of step. But i do want to respond to something: as an atheist, I can think of lots of things that would convince me that there is a God.

For instance, new data on the distribution of galactic superclusters could reveal that they are arranged to spell out “there is a God.”

Or Pi could turn out to contain a code that translates to “I like atheists, but they just aren't paying attention.”

Or the Earth could stop in it's orbit, causing the sun to seem to be still in the sky. while Angels appear to explain my errors to me.

Sure, I'd double check all these phenomena, just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. But these are discrete events that would be very convincing.

It doesn't have to be so such a dramatic scale. But those are especially easy examples.

Of course, I can imagine having a personal revelation, of the kind that many people have had throughout history. I would never say “I will never change my mind” - I save that kind of certainty for people who think they know how the Universe works.


“I have been called arrogant myself in my time, and hope to earn the title again, but to claim that I am privy to the secrets of the universe and its creator - that's beyond my conceit.”
– Christopher Hitchens

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Tantz Aerine at 2:28PM, Aug. 9, 2007
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StaceyMontgomery
Of course, I can imagine having a personal revelation, of the kind that many people have had throughout history. I would never say “I will never change my mind” - I save that kind of certainty for people who think they know how the Universe works.


"I have been called arrogant myself in my time, and hope to earn the title again, but to claim that I am privy to the secrets of the universe and its creator - that's beyond my conceit."
– Christopher Hitchens



Excellent premise. Still outside of the definition of atheism. I am happy you are not a fundamental atheist then. And I think I'm done in this debate.

Lovely quote, by the way ;) And thoroughly true.
 
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tiirikka at 3:21PM, Aug. 11, 2007
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Well… If you really, really want to cathegorize ways to look life at sensible and nonsensible, only being agnostic makes sense. Agnostics are ready to believe if they get good proof enough. Those who have religions are ready to believe without evidence, and atheist wouldn't believe even if you would slam them with evidence. Those with religion same as atheists walk blind folded, they have only one option how everything is, agnostics have eyes all open.

So no, atheism doesn't make sense more than believing a deity. It's just as looney.

Amen. :D
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StaceyMontgomery at 6:27PM, Aug. 11, 2007
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I totally disagree with this whole “atheism means you are rigid and foolish” nonsense. It's terribly silly, and rather rude.

Look: I don't believe in the tooth fairy. When it comes to the tooth fairy, I'm an atheist. There is no tooth fairy.

But if you tell me you have evidence that proves me wrong, I'll take a look. If you *really do* have evidence that there really is a tooth fairy, of course I will change my mind. (Others have made this point, but it seems worth repeating here).

Wiktionary defines an atheist as “A person who does not believe that deities exist.” That seems like a pretty standard definition. If you care to re-define the word to mean something else, that's all you. The term's standard usage does not lend itself to meaning that Atheists as a group are close-minded or cannot be swayed by new evidence or ideas.

of course, Wiktionary tells me that one definition of “Agnosticism” is “the view that the existence of God or of all deities is unknowable or unprovable” which is not the same thing as being open minded at all! Generally, though, I do not pick one definition out the pile and insist (religiously, if you will) that it is the whole of the truth. I certainly would not do that to agnostics, so let's put the “unknowable or unprovable” bit aside. Not all Agnostics feel that way, after all.

I've used the word “theist” in this thread to mean “someone who believes in a deity or deities.” I suppose I could have defined it “A person with a crazy, unreasonable opinion that there is a deity or deities who won't open their eyes even if you slam them with evidence” but I did not do that, because it's not true - and because I was raised to be more polite than that.

But of course, there are millions of dictionaries, and we can split the fine hairs of their definitions forever - but it's silliness. And I say, let's have an end to such silliness.
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tiirikka at 11:36PM, Aug. 11, 2007
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Sorry, I wasn't meant to be rude, seriously. You see, I used to be very strong atheist in the pas and I'm currently theist, so hey, I really don't have anything against anyone. :D I've always thought my belives have been as justified as anyone elses. Personally, I think its extremely silly to divide people by the believes. It's simply stupid.

but there's “make sense”- words in the topic title. After wasting half of my highschool years reading about religion and philosophy, I'm just just defining “make sense”-words differently than you may. :D I'm not talking about people here, I'm merely pointing things about ideas.

Um, I try to explain this, but my english may fail me… So, we all have to agree that being theist is atleast slightly silly? I mean, deities seem to be all bunch of creatures you can't see and they seem to be something which we can't rationaly explain. So, if we assume now that deitys don't exist, which is by far as we know completely possible, then doesn't that make theists seem a bit silly?

When it comes atheists, they assume that deities don't exist. Believing is pretty much assuming in a long run. This is because for example science can't prove deities existance. “There's no prove, so now possible to this thing work.” Well, Let's imagine a dog. It comes to you and tries to make you pet himself. So we see the dog now. we don't see anyone or anything else, just the dog. So dogs, there, it walks, jumps, licks your face and seems to be perfectly fine at it's own. It doesn't need anyother creatures to exist to be like that doesn't it? It can be without us too, if we weren't there? So if it can be without us, does that mean it's possible that it never had a mother?

We are talking this in a idea level folks, so please no “science proves it has a mother”-thing, because seriously, that's not my point. We're just looking this all inside a box now. we don't have a power to use modern tecnology to prove things right now, we're just talking about faith. LEt's just say that we're in some empty room with that dog ok? door is lock, just you and the dog, nothing else exists at the moment, you're totally trusting in your onw judgement at the moment.

There is 3 ways to approach to this thing. First oine is assuming that “Of course it's has a mother!” Second is assuming “Well I don't see the mother of the dog so it doesn't exist” and third is just facing the fact that from your position your just unable to say does that dog have a mother or not.

Just like that dog, world is something which seems to work perfectly on it's own. deities are like mother of that dog in this case. Theists assume that deities exist, because to them it seems silly that something would come out of nowhere, un less it's something larger than life , like god of somesort. Atheist assume that deities don't exist and rely on their current evidence, which is, as we know, a bit frail from the begin with: I mean, if you think about the history, you see that most things we know now, are first came from some religion. Egyptian, Babylonians, Romans, Greek, Middle-East… All highly educated and very, very religionous cultures. They made math, took first steps on asronomy, biology, chemistry- very foundation of born of science is from religion, they started to be because of religion, as silly as it sounds. Science was first born because of religios needs. Odd huh? Science works so that it first assumes something and then it tries to proof it, if it fails it trows the idea to trash can and finds a new one. Like Big bang theory, there been numerous evidence for it but noe scientists have found some things which talk against it and are desperately find a new way to deal with it. Big bang theory will probaply stop existing in next 20 years or so.

Also, for example, if Christianity finds something they can't answer like the gay question, they start to look for answers from their evidence, Bible. Bible is writen by numerous people, so it's clear that some of their own ideas shine true from the “word of God”, so finding the truth may be a difficult one, cause some of tha facts are shaky. If it seems that there is few possible answers, people divide in to people who believe in that other theory and people whos believe in to the other theory. Scientists work in the same way, but their evidence isn't Bible, it's scientific tests. they do, like all others, get disacreament from things and divide to diffenrent schools, because science is constantly changing.

Scientist don't claim to know everything. That leaves a huge whole in it. There's so many things it can't proof yet, too many holes in it. As long as it remains so, it can't 100% proof that there's no deity. Since it may just be one of those things we haven't found yet, there is so much to explore. As an idea, only agnostism is ready to accept that. It doesn't assume anything. It doesn't make conclutions, since it faces the fact that they have no evidence, and without bullet proof evidence it can't make conclusions. It's like sitting in a jury. It's silly to judge people just by feeling, innocent person might go to jail. As far as science closes that cab it has and theist find bulletproof evidence there is now evidence.

'Does Atheism “make sense”' talks purely from idea, not the people. Topic title doesn't say does atheistic people make sense to you, it asks about idea. As an idea, like religion, it just assumes stuff. And just because you're friend says hi to you everytime you meet him/her you can't assume s/hewould do it today too. Assuming things is never logical. It's like Hume said. just that things are always been in one way as far as we know, just because laws of physics are like they are, there's no way telling that it will be like that after next 5 minutes. It's NEVER save to assume ANYTHING. BUT it's unpractical to be scared that world will fail you in every 5 minutes. So in name of common sense we assume things so we won't go nuts and we can do stuff. That's why we assume, althougt it isn't smarterst thing to assume.

Was that better?
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Shar at 7:08AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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As others have stated i don't see any point to this discussion at all. I'm not sure if all this has already been said or if i come of as ignorant due to not knowing many advanced words for different types of atheistic or theistic indoctrinated “Call and Response” Arguments for theese kinds of discussions.

Theist arguments rely on faith as the proof behind their theory. Meaning you already have to be in agreeance with the person before hearing the proof in itself. Atheist's as stated don't believe in the proof behind the arguments because they are in essence NOT followers of that specific religion. Arguing from a perspective of all relgions being true or false fails due to the fact that all religions possible have not been created or found yet and one might one day be true. Therefore it would be more fruitful to argue about one specific one.

It all falls down to things like “Pascal Wager” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascals_wager

Or similar philosophical arguments.

There is also the whole dimension of a divine being, being above logic and natural laws but as some people have already said that once we remove logic as prerequisite for something to be true we also open the way for things such as Dragons, Elfs, Titans, Minotaurs, And so on as being just as “Ilogically” sound.

For myself i would consider myself someform of cross between a Atheis a Nihilist and a Thoreauvian. The main reason i consider myself part of the atheist community is this statement.

The following definition of Atheism was given to the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Murray v. Curlett, 374 U.S. 203, 83 S. Ct. 1560, 10 L.Ed.2d (MD, 1963), to remove reverential Bible reading and oral unison recitation of the Lord's Prayer in the public schools.

“Your petitioners are Atheists and they define their beliefs as follows. An Atheist loves his fellow man instead of god. An Atheist believes that heaven is something for which we should work now – here on earth for all men together to enjoy.

An Atheist believes that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction, and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and enjoy it.

An Atheist believes that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.

He seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to know a god. An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man.

He wants an ethical way of life. He believes that we cannot rely on a god or channel action into prayer nor hope for an end of troubles in a hereafter.

He believes that we are our brother's keepers; and are keepers of our own lives; that we are responsible persons and the job is here and the time is now.”


Also my first post here. Hi to everyone and a special hi to Wyldflowa if she happens to see this as i am a big fan of Rainbow Carousel.



I'm With Shar.
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ozoneocean at 7:29AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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The problem is you see that this is a discussion about Atheism, not about religions… There is indeed a point to talking about Atheism, because it's an interesting world view and actually means some quite fundamental things about the way you look at the universe, the trouble is that not many people seem to get it. :(

They're either all about justifying why they're a follower of a specific religion, explaining why they think Christianity specifically is silly, or just generally defining Atheism by the fact that it's not like this or that religion. I'm sorry, but that's not what Atheism's about and it's really boring and dull to read reams of text that go on in those veins, it's like asking somebody to say what they like about being an American and have them blather on uselessly for 5 days about how crap they think Russia is. SO what? You're not Russian and don't like Russia, who the fuck cares? I want to know about what it's like to be an American!

Similarly, can you talk about Atheism in some way that doesn't involve denigrating belief in specific religions or belief in religions in general? If you can't, then I don't think you're much of an atheist. ;)
 
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Shar at 8:03AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Denigrate i think is a poor choice of word.

Denigrate
1. to speak damagingly of; criticize in a derogatory manner; sully; defame: to denigrate someone's character.
2. to treat or represent as lacking in value or importance; belittle; disparage: to denigrate someone's contributions to a project.
3. to make black; blacken: rain clouds denigrating the sky.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=denigrate&x=0&y=0


You believe that to be a atheist i have to speak derogatory or belittle religion ?
I can make a case for my disbelief in a divine or celestial being without resorting to such things. But it would in the end be the same words others have already said here and wouldn't add anything to the discussion.

And to be honest i don't think of myself as a person with opinions that are simple enough to be defined using one word.

But to move on to what you said about people trying to justify why they follow this or that view on the world.

I consider it the same as people calling themself feminists. It just as atheism is a common and popular stance today. But they are both very large subjects. To compare it to something it's like saying i am a theist. Which follows back to my previous post about defining all religions collectively.

As for my previous statement on the fact that most discussions seem to end with a reference to pascals wager that was why i copied the text from lawsuit. I feel that atheism is both socially and logically more sound than any religion so far.
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ozoneocean at 8:29AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Shar
You believe that to be a atheist i have to speak derogatory or belittle religion ?
That's not what I said at all! That's the opposite of what I said! I even used an analogy! I did, you can see it for yourself. ;)

In fact that goes exactly against everything I said in that entire post!

What I believe is this: An Atheist is a person who thinks of the universe as being purely physical, understandable, without the possibility of or need for divine beings or metaphysical dimensions.

There, simple. And I find the idea of justifying that world view and explaining it many times more interesting than someone going on about why they don't like this or that religion or why the Christian god just doesn't do it for them. That's banal. Even more so are all the posts defending belief in Christianity, but then I suppose they're perfectly justified since this whole discussion becomes: Religion is stupid Vs no it's not.
 
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Lord Shplane at 8:34AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Though personally I am an Agnostic I think that Atheism makes a lot of sense. The vast majority of things in various “Holy Texts” can be proven wrong (we know how the universe/stars/sun/earth/ all of that stuff came to be, and it's COMPLETELY different from what any religious text has ever said) Then the things that can't be proven wrong can't be proven RIGHT either. Not to mention that most of these religions can be traced to some point of origin that was long after humans appeared. Wouldn't whatever creator there is have made their religion show up at the same time as humans?

It is my personal belief that all religions are wrong, but there may be SOME form of divine being. Though I actually lean slightly more toward Atheism than any sort of religion.

Also, the only religion that I would really make fun of someone for following is Scientology. But I won't get into that now.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:40PM
Shar at 8:56AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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The problem lies in Faith.

To believe in a religion faith is needed. Since as far as i know no theistic religion so far being monotheistic or polytheistic relies on science or logic as it's main proof. Athiest in it's essence tries to argue with the religions without including the axiom that faith in the religions scriptures or prophet implies.

This leads to religion feeling threatened due to atheism in essence denies the main form of proof they have for their religion.

The fact that topics like this always turn into “Religion is stupid DURRh.” or “Atheists are stupid DURRh.” lies in the fact that they don't discuss things on the same level.

If religion tries to argue without using their axiom of faith they have no case other than probability to argue with atheist. But if atheists includes the axiom of faith they are in a position where they have nothing to argue with since faith doesn't require logic or scientific evidence.

This is why having a constructive argument on atheism having religious people and atheists in the same thread fails. One side will try to define atheism since that is required which will cause a responce from the other side.

This might have worked if people would have only stayed with the original topic of “Does atheism make sense?” And i would have to say logically and scientifically it does. But saying that also means i am denying any spiritual or divine aspect of the world which will also cause a response from religious people.

In short the only way i can think of a thread like this to work is if you had mainly theist and mainly athiest people in different threads with a select number playing devils advocate.

I might have babbled a bit there but i hope the point im trying to make gets trough.
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
ozoneocean at 9:34AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Yes, there are pro religious posts that distract from the topic, but having religious people participate isn't the problem, the problem is people still talking about why religion doesn't make sense and others saying why it does.
Shar
This might have worked if people would have only stayed with the original topic of “Does atheism make sense?” And i would have to say logically and scientifically it does. But saying that also means i am denying any spiritual or divine aspect of the world which will also cause a response from religious people.
No, science and logic don't have anything to do with Atheism, this is a misconception, a very common one.

Let me explain: we use science to evaluate and discover things about the physical world and we use logic to work out information from known data. That's all. While Atheism is a philosophical outlook, it's an outlook on the universe and existence that says: there can not be any gods. That's not scientific or logical, that's just an outlook. There are no scientific experiments that can disprove the possibility of divine existence, just like there are none that can prove it. And logic logically fails at this point since it simply cannot help you reason beyond the data you have available to you, if you try, that involves extrapolation, error, and ultimately just speculation.

So, what I'm interested in is the outlook; The narrowing of possibility that it entails (no gods, there can't be, ever), and also the widening of possibilities: we ourselves are the ultimate intelligence, there is nothing above us, there is no “mystery” to existence, and therefore we should be able to eventually learn all there is to know about everything.

I keep bringing this up, because it's the most truly interesting and worthwhile aspect of Atheism that occurs to me, and yet all your average Atheist seems to care about is telling people why they're not religious.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Shar at 10:03AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Well although there is no scientific proof against the existence of divine or mystical beings overall there is within science certain laws of nature that theese beings would brake.

And since we use science to describe the world today they cannot exist within the parameter. One such example would be the law that energy cannot be created or destroyed which celestial powers would breake if they were to create something from nothing. But we also have to within that take into account the concept of quantum physics in this where ordinary laws doesn't work. And as you said logic is derived from this knowledge. And then saying that they would be above such laws would mean they don't follow logic. And once we remove logic from a argument anything goes. Sorry if i seem to be only repeating myself but i feel it's the best explanation.

But we are now arguing about arguing about atheism.

To go back to the subject of atheism as a whole i feel that i myself am drawn to the social aspects to it. Knowing that there is nothing to judge us after death reduces the restraints we have upon ourselfs to do things. And spending less money on things like churches and the elaborate and expensive glass windows and sculptures that go with them we can build hospitals, schools and librarys to help our fellow people. Also i feel religious groups constantly try to censor things that are not in accordance with their morals. Such a thing would be movies like “The passion of the christ” and the “Harry Potter” series. When looking at the uproar caused by simple comedy pictures of mohammed i simply don't feel like i wan't to be part of a group that would go to such lengths over something so silly.

This is not to say that there aren't religious groups that help people alot. Things like alcholics anonymous use religious systems to help people away from addictions.

Beyond that there is the whole concept of people believing people do good or evil simply because they are evil.

Hitler was a christian but i don't blame christianity for the evil's he commited.
Similarily i don't blame Atheism for what Staling commited. The fact's one hitlers religous belief is kind of mixed but i hope you see the point im trying to make.

It is for me a simple way of spending more time on the people around you while you are alive and less worrying about what will happen after you die.

I know i have already said this once but i will say it once more because i believe it is a very good summary of what i and many other like me believe. But you should not assume that all atheists are the same in the same way that you should not believe that all christians, muslims and scientologhists are the same.

“Your petitioners are Atheists and they define their beliefs as follows. An Atheist loves his fellow man instead of god. An Atheist believes that heaven is something for which we should work now here on earth for all men together to enjoy.

An Atheist believes that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction, and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and enjoy it.

An Atheist believes that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.

He seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to know a god. An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man.

He wants an ethical way of life. He believes that we cannot rely on a god or channel action into prayer nor hope for an end of troubles in a hereafter.

He believes that we are our brother's keepers; and are keepers of our own lives; that we are responsible persons and the job is here and the time is now”
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
TnTComic at 10:10AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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ozoneocean
Let me explain: we use science to evaluate and discover things about the physical world and we use logic to work out information from known data. That's all. While Atheism is a philosophical outlook, it's an outlook on the universe and existence that says: there can not be any gods. That's not scientific or logical, that's just an outlook. There are no scientific experiments that can disprove the possibility of divine existence, just like there are none that can prove it. And logic logically fails at this point since it simply cannot help you reason beyond the data you have available to you, if you try, that involves extrapolation, error, and ultimately just speculation.


Let's perform an exercise, Ozone. I claim that I am immortal. Prove that I am not.

Of course, the point to that is that if I make a grandiose claim, the burden of proof is on me, not on people who don't believe me. Even though I claim I am immortal, there is no reason to believe me. Nobody has ever been immortal, and there is no reason to think anyone will be immortal. There is no reason to believe my claim. The same goes for God. There is no reason to believe that there is a supreme being that defies everything that we know about physics, for example.

It is impossible to prove something does not exist. Think about it. Prove something doesn't exist? That is some backward thinking right there.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Shar at 10:14AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Could always have you commit seppuku and see if you live ?

But i see the point you are trying to make :p
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM

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