Debate and Discussion

Does Atheism "make sense" to you?
TnTComic at 8:50AM, Aug. 14, 2007
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ozoneocean
It's not that I have anything against you, seriously TNT (I actually quite like you because of these debates), but you have some rigid ideas about things that are just plain wrong. Sorry man, the nature of nothing in the world is set in stone by the fact it has one or a number of “definitions”. I can't argue with you about something so silly, check it up; Einstein's discoveries really did make Newton's Laws a bit “fuzzy”, and that has always happened in science (refining and changing laws), and always will as long as we don't know everything about everything. Etcetera, and anon.

Look, I get it, you think you're right. Maybe you should dig up something to prove that Laws in science are not absolute.

Good luck on that, because they are. That's really all there is to it, man.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
ozoneocean at 9:13AM, Aug. 14, 2007
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…I keep saying that I don't have to. :) But if you're really interested in this sort of thing you could try reading up about “Newton's Laws” somewhere like Wikipedia, read about how you have to experiment to verify these things and about how discrepancies in results can lead to slight revisions etc. Leading to modifications of theories, especially when you apply them to certain situations… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modified_Newtonian_dynamics
It's interesting, but a REAL tangent. And I really don't think it's helpful to look at “Laws” of science like some kind of heavenly unassailable truths that are revealed to us about the nature of the universe. That kind of thinking is why more mathematicians and physicists are religious than in any other branch of science. Keep going along those lines of reasoning and you'll end up as a strict religious person yourself. Careful ;)

-Science unlike belief systems is simply about trying to find things out by constant exploration, questioning, investigation, and testing everything all the time.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
TnTComic at 10:28AM, Aug. 14, 2007
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ozoneocean
…I keep saying that I don't have to. :)

No, you don't HAVE to. You only have to if you want to be correct.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
ozoneocean at 11:28AM, Aug. 14, 2007
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Tell you what, I'll bear that in mind ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
mapaghimagsik at 2:38PM, Aug. 14, 2007
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Athiesm makes sense to me because every system comes down to handwaving at some point. Athiesm gets there a lot later than the others.

Have you guys looked into this biblical science. They twist around in pretzels trying to justify things before they get to “Well, God Did it.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
Loud_G at 7:17AM, Aug. 20, 2007
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Does atheism make sense to me? Not really, no.

Do I respect atheists in their declaration of ‘no God’? Yes, I respect that position a lot more than the agnostic position. (This is not to say I do not respect the agnostic position) I just think it takes more guts to say, unequivacalbe one way or the other.

Do I believe the ‘no God’ belief is correct? No. There is a God. But everyone is free to believe as they will.

I always find it funny that many atheist start to get frantic, worried and/or foam at teh mouth at the mention of their belief in no God. Try to mention faith or belief in relation to their world view, and they start going nuts. Its like faith is a dirty word to them. Its quite humorous and very unscientific of them to denounce the word faith.

All humans have faith. Even if it is faith that the lights will come on when I flip the switch. They might not, or then again, they might. Do you KNOW they will come on? Do you KNOW that the electrons will traverse the wire, create the needed voltage drop, etc? Nope. You can't even SEE the electrons. Sure SOMEBODY saw them at one time, but did YOU? nope. So you are taking it on faith that it works, because someone else told you that it does.

All science has to be taken on faith, because not every single person (not even every single scientist) has tested every single theorem for themself. Someone else made the discovery, some one else invented it. That is faith. Belief in something that you cannot see but that is true none-the-less.

It is not a bad word. It is not insulting to say that you “believe that there is no God”. That is your belief, no matter how hard you try to wriggle and say its not a belief. The fact that you defend it so tenaciously proves that it is a deeply important belief to you. Don't worry, I respect your belief. I don't agree with you, but I respect it none-the-less. God respects your right to believe that too, though He ALSO disagrees. ;)
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
bobhhh at 12:04PM, Aug. 20, 2007
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Atheism is not the absolute refusal to consider the existance of a diety. I think the converse is true. Faith is absolute willingness to ignore truth that doesn't support unquestioning adherence to a preset, codified set of beliefs.

It is the atheist who refuses to accept faith without proof. As an atheist, if I was shown compelling proof of a deity, I would logically have to consider it, and if the deity turned out to be all powerful, then I would need to decide whether it was worthy of love and worship, or fear and supplicance.

The problem with most Faith types is that they tend to wear their contempt of the facts as a badge of honor as if believing without proof makes them better and more spiritual people. They feel that proof denies faith. That supreme beings are playing an elaborate game with us, that we are meant to love and respect them in absence of any real contact or communication.

Smite me with a lightning bolt, but I feel that any deity worth his omnipotence, ought to stop by and wave once in a while.

Bob
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
bobhhh at 12:16PM, Aug. 20, 2007
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Vindibudd
Okay, let me break this down for you since you cannot see it for yourself.

Atheist: God does not exist, we have proven it.
Same Atheist: You cannot prove that something does not exist.

Do you or do you not see the conflict in these statements from the same individual?

Oh really. I must have missed that rules meeting of the Atheist Church.

Listen I am an atheist, and I just don't buy the bag theists are selling. Period. If one of you theists stops by with a nice bag, we'll talk.

Bob
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
Vindibudd at 1:26PM, Aug. 20, 2007
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bobhhh
Vindibudd
Okay, let me break this down for you since you cannot see it for yourself.

Atheist: God does not exist, we have proven it.
Same Atheist: You cannot prove that something does not exist.

Do you or do you not see the conflict in these statements from the same individual?

Oh really. I must have missed that rules meeting of the Atheist Church.

Listen I am an atheist, and I just don't buy the bag theists are selling. Period. If one of you theists stops by with a nice bag, we'll talk.

Bob

Well let's see, this quote was in reference to TnT contradicting himself. If you don't think he was contradicting himself, by all means explain. I don't think atheists contradict themselves with their beliefs, I just think TnT did with his comments.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Loud_G at 3:29PM, Aug. 20, 2007
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bobhhh
Atheism is not the absolute refusal to consider the existance of a diety. I think the converse is true. Faith is absolute willingness to ignore truth that doesn't support unquestioning adherence to a preset, codified set of beliefs.



The problem with most Faith types is that they tend to wear their contempt of the facts as a badge of honor as if believing without proof makes them better and more spiritual people. They feel that proof denies faith. That supreme beings are playing an elaborate game with us, that we are meant to love and respect them in absence of any real contact or communication.

Smite me with a lightning bolt, but I feel that any deity worth his omnipotence, ought to stop by and wave once in a while.

Bob

I'm sorry, but again we are misunderstanding faith. The problem I fear is not completely in you, Bob. I fear that the loudset Christian believers have led many to this same conclusion.

Faith is not how you say it is. Faith holds all truths. Individual people may shut their eyes because they do not understand how God works in our world. I'm talking about the Christians who take the stance of “if its not in the Bible its not real”…

Those people don't help the case of rational Christians. Faith is not blind. Should not be blind. Faith is not a religious term, but a human term.

You claim that “Atheism is not the absolute refusal to consider the existance of a diety”, yet if I were to ask you straight out, “Is there a God.” You would reply “No.”
Or you might if you are squeemish, reply, “We have no evidence that God exists.” I'm sorry but that makes you Agnostic.

Every Atheist I've spoken to has come right out and proclaimed the non-existance of God. There is a group on my campus that have the equivalent of Bible study for Atheists. They get together and bash believers. These are people who BELIEVE in the non-existance of God. I'm sorry. The more denials I hear of the poor Atheists who “does not under any circumstances, and you better not say that dirty word again, have *shudder* faith” the more obvious it is that they have faith.

It ok, like I've said. You can have faith that “there is no point in even bringing up the subject of God”. That is ok. You're allowed to feel that way, just chill out. :)


And just for your info, God has stopped by on occation. He has visited more than one person. Even in these modern times.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
bobhhh at 4:00PM, Aug. 20, 2007
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Vindibudd
bobhhh
Vindibudd
Okay, let me break this down for you since you cannot see it for yourself.

Atheist: God does not exist, we have proven it.
Same Atheist: You cannot prove that something does not exist.

Do you or do you not see the conflict in these statements from the same individual?

Oh really. I must have missed that rules meeting of the Atheist Church.

Listen I am an atheist, and I just don't buy the bag theists are selling. Period. If one of you theists stops by with a nice bag, we'll talk.

Bob

Well let's see, this quote was in reference to TnT contradicting himself. If you don't think he was contradicting himself, by all means explain. I don't think atheists contradict themselves with their beliefs, I just think TnT did with his comments.

My bad, I thought it was a blanket condemnation of atheists.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
mechanical_lullaby at 4:21AM, Aug. 21, 2007
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All of this is personal opinion. That's what happens when religion or the lack thereof is debated.

This is not toward anyone in particular.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:57PM
mapaghimagsik at 5:12AM, Aug. 21, 2007
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Yes, because hundreds of years of scientific method, with all of its rigor, peer review, failures, triumphs, cures for disease, remarkable leaps in metallurgy and science which produced these diddly beepy things that we use to post over the intertubes and doesn't answer everything is *exactly the same* as the earth is only 10,000 years old, some guy rose from the dead after using a bag of infinite fish and bread.









last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
mechanical_lullaby at 5:20AM, Aug. 21, 2007
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I'm not going to be dragged into this.

Religion or the lack there of + debate is a perfect recipe for disaster.

It's called live and let live.

–neep–
Also, I'm a pagan. Thanks.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:57PM
mapaghimagsik at 5:29AM, Aug. 21, 2007
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Oh, I didn't mean that to anyone in particular. Sorry if you felt dissed. While I agree with live and let live “this one is the same as the other” isn't live and let live. Its false equivalence.

I respect your live and let live position, but it wasn't what you said earlier.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
mechanical_lullaby at 5:34AM, Aug. 21, 2007
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don't worry about it. -_-;;
I'm uppity today.
what i said or what i meant?

because what I said earlier was last year. People mature over time, ya? Because I looked back over it and found that I didn't agree with what I said myself a year ago.

or do you mean when i was quoting ronson?
this thread's been going on forever over the same argument again and again.
i wish we could get this thing over.
I'm not even athiest and the title's insulting to me.
so i was probably trying to kill it. i don't even remember.
it's a horrible debate topic.
it was basically over on page 6.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:57PM
TheMidge28 at 7:19AM, Aug. 21, 2007
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mechanical_lullaby
this thread's been going on forever over the same argument again and again.
i wish we could get this thing over.
I'm not even athiest and the title's insulting to me.
so i was probably trying to kill it. i don't even remember.
it's a horrible debate topic.
it was basically over on page 6.


I totally agree…
the horse has been dead for sometime now…can we can this dog food and put on a shelf already?

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:21PM
ozoneocean at 7:55AM, Aug. 21, 2007
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mechanical_lullaby
it's a horrible debate topic.
Well the original purpose of the thread was to get people to examine Atheism with the same rigour that they were doing with all the threads on the Christian beliefs at the time. It was only fair. ;)

And what do you mean by “Pagan” by the way? I never really get this… It's a derogatory term for non-Christians really. :/ (but has since been extended to mean any religion that isn't one of the big five) Which specific non-big 5 are you then? I don't mean to be insulting but “pagan” is a bit general.
mapaghimagsik
Yes, because hundreds of years of scientific method, with all of its rigor, peer review, failures, triumphs, cures for disease, remarkable leaps in metallurgy and science which produced these diddly beepy things that we use to post over the intertubes and doesn't answer everything is *exactly the same* as the earth is only 10,000 years old, some guy rose from the dead after using a bag of infinite fish and bread.
That doesn't define Atheists and non Atheists in any way at all. This is the problem we always get back to I think; characterising one group as crazies and one group as sensible, The “straw man” people keep going on about?

The discussion didn't die due to people having talked it out, the trouble was that I don't think many people were ever secure enough in their beliefs to be able to discuss them without defending them or attacking those of others (religious people and Atheists). But you CAN discuss something like Atheism without defending it all the time, Just like you can talk about nuclear power without defending it; there is enough meat in the subject itself, even though people's natural reaction is to attack it (or defend it).

But I think it comes down to what I said about being secure enough in your beliefs. If you really are secure in your beliefs and convictions then you shouldn't always feel then need to defend them, you should be able to attack them and examine them for yourself! Like the way they do on the Atheist discussion groups… I tend to feel that the most intractable and vehement people in these kinds of debates are usually the crazy ones (on all sides), the people who're most likely to switch sides in later life and become zealots for the cause. (I've seen it happen so many times and we can point to many cases in history- -I'm talking about ideologues in general here)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
bobhhh at 1:39PM, Aug. 24, 2007
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ozoneocean
Is Atheism a philosophy that makes sense? Essentially the idea is that there are no gods or divine beings, or even the possibility of such things existing.

Actually looked it up and maybe this will add to the debate.

Atheist: a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

Denies OR disbelieves. So atheism is not neccesarily a closed mided dissmissal of god, it is instead a very justified skepticism on the vociferous claims of others who say he does.

looked up agnostic too and here's this:

agnostic: "Agnostic was coined by Professor TH Huxley in to indicate one who believes nothing which cannot be demonstrated by the senses.

So technically, you can be an atheist and an agnostic counter to your assertion.


Bob
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
Empty Brooke at 10:10PM, Sept. 6, 2007
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Personally, since most people consider me an aithiest, i find it kind of enjoyable.
There's really no presssure if someone is looking down at you or if something else is watching you. It's a pretty calm existence.
I'll admit, the surprise that everyone has when they find out is a little unsettling, especially since they tend to quiz me about the whole ‘aithism thing’. Other than that it's not bad.
I used to be Christien so, if you ask me, it's not much different from a religion… Except you're free EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK.
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ipokino at 9:31AM, Sept. 7, 2007
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There was a time when I was an agnostic. On one level however, I felt this strong sense that a deity existed for me. Having found that deity–and opened up to faith in that deity, I am fulfilled. I do however, uderstand that some people;

A: Have never felt a connection with a deity of any kind
B: Don't WANT to have a connection with a deity.

Both are valid points. I do, however feel a tiny bit sorry for you guys…

I guess on some level I am a coward, and on another level I am an egotist. I cannot fathom the idea of NOT existing, and I have this odd belief that somehow I am actually important enough to deserve to continue to exist inperpetuity. Is this not, fundimentally, the real reason d'etra for religion? I guess this is the curse of being self-aware. Still, my faith gives me comfort. I like StacyMont's idea of stories (panthiestic multiperson solipsism) being how we attain our immortality–and in some measure that is why I write books and creat comics. Call it a legacy of insurance!!!!
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TnTComic at 9:51AM, Sept. 7, 2007
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ipokino
I do, however feel a tiny bit sorry for you guys…

the feeling's mutual
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
mapaghimagsik at 9:58AM, Sept. 7, 2007
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I think fear is a big driver for people needing some sort of big daddy, big mommy intelligence to grant power/wishes/enlightenment. I think it also appeals to people's sense of justice, where “all will be set right” in the end.

There's also the SWAG factor (Stuff We Ain't Got). If I've got enlightenment or salvation on my side, I *must* be right.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
TnTComic at 10:34AM, Sept. 7, 2007
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mapaghimagsik
I think fear is a big driver for people needing some sort of big daddy, big mommy intelligence to grant power/wishes/enlightenment.

I think its more that people can't get their head's around the idea that if you die, you're done.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
StaceyMontgomery at 11:14AM, Sept. 7, 2007
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Myself, I believe in Stories.

Humans are story based creatures. Ask any human a simple question, and they'll probably answer with a story. It's the way we think. Sharing stories is the essence of how we communicate. Stories are how we understand things and their meanings - we turn them into stories, and then we tell them.

And when we're gone, we'll live on as stories.

See, the essential lesson of all supernatural/mythological thinking is “there is another world, beyond the physical one, and the worlds affect each other.” Well, it's true. There is the physical world where our bodies live, and the world of stories and fiction and ideas - a shared plane that we use to understand each other.

I do think that people sometimes mistake the world of stories for the world of matter - the two worlds dont really touch in that way, but they *do* affect each other. What happens to us changes the stories we tell, and the stories we tell change us.

When I die, i will be lost to the world of matter. But people will still tell stories about me, so I'll live on, in the other world. And when I am forgotten? They'll tell stories about the groups I was in, or the time and place i lived, and I'll be in those stories, too.

As long as people tell stories. And after that? Who cares.

Like, I remember my friend David, who was killed saving a homeless man who fell onto a subway track. Twenty five years later, I still tell his story. And my grandmother, who taught me yoga, and to ask questions. And now I've told you about them.

As for the matter version of me - I'm not afraid to die, not really. i just think about what it was like before I was born - that wasn't so bad - was it?

There, you see - you can have a whole philosophy, and meaning, and comfort - and you don't have to make anything up to do it - except, maybe, in your stories.


edited for clarity
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
mapaghimagsik at 11:33AM, Sept. 7, 2007
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TnTComic
mapaghimagsik
I think fear is a big driver for people needing some sort of big daddy, big mommy intelligence to grant power/wishes/enlightenment.

I think its more that people can't get their head's around the idea that if you die, you're done.

You're not really. There's a great book called ‘Stiff’ which has a great discussion of what happens to various corpses when they die.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
kyupol at 12:02PM, Sept. 7, 2007
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Atheism by itself does not make sense.

Organized religion by itself does not make sense.


Thats why it is logical and reasonable to combine elements of both sides that make sense. I believe in God but I do not confirm to a “set” form of religion. As a former devout catholic, I've seen the weakness in Catholicism per se. The main one being its inability to comprehend human relationships and social structures. Often attributing the ‘WHY’ things happen to a ‘GOD’. Science and atheism has done a better job on that.

However, Atheism has done a poor job in explaining the reason for human existence. All they can come up is long winding paragraphs about the big bang, evolution, and things just happening because they happen because of chemistry or physics. Then ramble around in circles only to be summed up into “its just IS”. lol While organized religion often point to a “GOD” as the purpose for human existence. GOD being a purpose of existence is something that stabilizes thought. Because GOD is the only being who cannot deceive nor can be deceived.

Too much of ANY of them can lead to bad things.







NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
mapaghimagsik at 12:07PM, Sept. 7, 2007
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I don't think atheism tries to explain our existence. It just says that this whole creationist thing is at the very least, “highly dubious”

And combining two things because you don't buy either one isn't logical or reasonable. Its just what you want to do.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
bobhhh at 9:17PM, Sept. 7, 2007
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kyupol
However, Atheism has done a poor job in explaining the reason for human existence. All they can come up is long winding paragraphs about the big bang, evolution, and things just happening because they happen because of chemistry or physics. Then ramble around in circles only to be summed up into “its just IS”. lol While organized religion often point to a “GOD” as the purpose for human existence. GOD being a purpose of existence is something that stabilizes thought. Because GOD is the only being who cannot deceive nor can be deceived.

Too much of ANY of them can lead to bad things.

Reason for human existence???

There is no reason in the sense that god or anybody else thought that the universe would be a good idea. Existence defies reason.

Ever hear of the term Deus Ex Machina? It's when there is no way to end a play so you just have god show up and wave his arms. This is just human nature. When explanations aren't easy to find, just blame it on god. It's easy and impossible to prove false, and because its god, it requires nothing but faith to be true.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
TnTComic at 10:00AM, Sept. 8, 2007
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kyupol
However, Atheism has done a poor job in explaining the reason for human existence.

Atheism doesn't try to explain anything. Its not a real belief, its an adjective that describes a person's opinion on god's existence.

kyupol
All they can come up is long winding paragraphs about the big bang, evolution, and things just happening because they happen because of chemistry or physics.

Science came up with that.

You should've caught the History Channel's series “The Universe” this past week.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM

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