Debate and Discussion

Does Atheism "make sense" to you?
kingofsnake at 6:53AM, March 23, 2007
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Ronson
Why does one assume that it cannot?

Simply the fact that it is so complex. I'm not saying it's impossible, it just seems ridiculously unlikely. In my philosophy of science they had the actual probibility rate that even the simplist life could evolve in an atmosphere with all the right conditions, and it was astronomically slim.

The idea that theres something out there that we just can't understand that affects those probabilities just seems like a no brainer to me compared the the opposite.
Have you ever read Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce. I tried once and came to the conclusion that I was just not smart enough to understand that book. Thats how I feel about God. The substance is there. I may be smart enough to see that the substance is there. I'm just not smart enough to get it.

Back in the day before they figured out eliptical orbits, they figured that all orbits were circular. They didn't have concept of gravity, so from a geometric standpoint circles just made the most rational sense. But their empricaly data, the path they saw planets and stars take, didn't match circles. So they would figure that the planet was orbiting around something that was on that orbital parth. Or orbiting around something that was orbiting around something that was orbiting around something that was orbiting around earth. I get the feeling from sciences in general, especially evolution and quantum or astral physics. That this is what they're doing now. Evolution, as a basic theory is valid, but they got some little thing wrong, they misplaced a decimal, and now they're trying to put circles on circles on circles, and yes it works on paper, but its so complicated and requires so much improbable shit to happen that it just doesn't make logical sense. And one day they're going to figure something else out, and go, oh the orbits aren't circular, they're elliptical, now everything works and is pretty simple!

I'm not saying they should just be like “oh, well, its because of God, lets move on” They should keep testing, and find out what's really happening. My issue is with general population that give credit to science that it's not nessecarily due. By it's nature science is always changing. But people assume that contemporary theories are set in stone. After all the mistakes that science has made in the past, you'd think people would be slower to believe something as fact just because science says so.


last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
Ronson at 7:50AM, March 23, 2007
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kingofsnake
Simply the fact that it is so complex. I'm not saying it's impossible, it just seems ridiculously unlikely. In my philosophy of science they had the actual probibility rate that even the simplist life could evolve in an atmosphere with all the right conditions, and it was astronomically slim.

The idea that theres something out there that we just can't understand that affects those probabilities just seems like a no brainer to me compared the the opposite.

Attempt to quantify “astronomically slim”. Is it one in a billion? 30 billion? How big is the Universe. Even if it isn't infinite, there are well over trillions of suns, which means billions of planets in similar conditions of earth. (If you don't presume that the world has to be Earth-like to support life, the number goes up - but that's irrelevant.)

The fact is that we don't know the statistical probability for life forming on a planet. But regardless of how slim it is, the universe is big enough to allow it to happen. Not by chance, but by probability. If you have more planets than the probability states - no matter how large the probability - it WILL happen.

Why us? Well, that's a recursive question that answers itself. It DID happen here, so the why is that we were one of the planets where the probabilities gave way.

I've heard it explained that if you take a deck of cards and deal them out to 5 friends, the chances of dealing out that exact sequence of cards again is highly improbable. But that didn't prevent it from happening the first time.

Have you ever read Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce. I tried once and came to the conclusion that I was just not smart enough to understand that book. Thats how I feel about God. The substance is there. I may be smart enough to see that the substance is there. I'm just not smart enough to get it.

I haven't read Finnegan's wake, but I know what you mean. I don't know if it's intelligence (as you're obviously bright) but mindset. I think there are some thoughts that we are all incapable of understanding because of the way our brains have developed.

Back in the day before they figured out eliptical orbits, they figured that all orbits were circular. They didn't have concept of gravity, so from a geometric standpoint circles just made the most rational sense. But their empricaly data, the path they saw planets and stars take, didn't match circles. So they would figure that the planet was orbiting around something that was on that orbital parth. Or orbiting around something that was orbiting around something that was orbiting around something that was orbiting around earth. I get the feeling from sciences in general, especially evolution and quantum or astral physics. That this is what they're doing now. Evolution, as a basic theory is valid, but they got some little thing wrong, they misplaced a decimal, and now they're trying to put circles on circles on circles, and yes it works on paper, but its so complicated and requires so much improbable shit to happen that it just doesn't make logical sense. And one day they're going to figure something else out, and go, oh the orbits aren't circular, they're elliptical, now everything works and is pretty simple!

Except I've never heard what this “little thing they got wrong” was in regards to evolution. There is nothing that evolution can't explain in it's current theory. It may not have been proven in spots, but so far it's the theory that explains everything very neatly.

For evolution to be wrong, all that would have to happen is for a species B that was thought to have evolved from a prior species A to be found in fossilized records dating back prior - or at the same time as - species A. This has not happened.

I'm not saying they should just be like “oh, well, its because of God, lets move on” They should keep testing, and find out what's really happening. My issue is with general population that give credit to science that it's not nessecarily due. By it's nature science is always changing. But people assume that contemporary theories are set in stone. After all the mistakes that science has made in the past, you'd think people would be slower to believe something as fact just because science says so.

But you're a deist. You believe in a supernatural being, but not one that justifies most of the world's religions. The problem with theism is that it doesn't apply this very reasonable attitude for science to religion as well.

And if you want to split hairs, deists do not either. Deists will accept the existence of God without any proof and doubt science until the theories are completely proven. Which only goes to show that believing in God is in the mind, and a mind that wants it won't give it up.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
kingofsnake at 8:45AM, March 23, 2007
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Attempt to quantify “astronomically slim”. Is it one in a billion? 30 billion? How big is the Universe. Even if it isn't infinite, there are well over trillions of suns, which means billions of planets in similar conditions of earth. (If you don't presume that the world has to be Earth-like to support life, the number goes up - but that's irrelevant.)

I wish I still had the figure. I still have my PoS notebook somewhere, I'll look for it. It was far slimmer than even 1 in 30 billion. The way it was described was that if every planet in the universe had all the nessecary elements to sustain life, there still shouldn't be any life in the universe. Because out of every possible combination of amino acids only certain ones in a very specific order make up life. And even then that number was on the conservative side. It was a scientist who was addressing the exact statement you make here:

Ronson
The fact is that we don't know the statistical probability for life forming on a planet. But regardless of how slim it is, the universe is big enough to allow it to happen. Not by chance, but by probability. If you have more planets than the probability states - no matter how large the probability - it WILL happen.

Why us? Well, that's a recursive question that answers itself. It DID happen here, so the why is that we were one of the planets where the probabilities gave way.

I've heard it explained that if you take a deck of cards and deal them out to 5 friends, the chances of dealing out that exact sequence of cards again is highly improbable. But that didn't prevent it from happening the first time.

You fail to make note that more probable events, will happen more than once. Whereas less probable events might just not happen at all. Lets say I worked out what the probability was that if I randomly dropped some lincoln logs from a 6 foot height, that they would fit perfectly into a log cabin. Lets say its one in one billion. If I do it one billion and one times I'm not garunteed to get my log cabin. Each instance is it's own probability. Each time I drop those logs theres a one and a billion chance they'll form a log cabin.

This
If you have more planets than the probability states - no matter how large the probability - it WILL happen.
is not how probabilities work.

Ronson
I haven't read Finnegan's wake, but I know what you mean. I don't know if it's intelligence (as you're obviously bright) but mindset. I think there are some thoughts that we are all incapable of understanding because of the way our brains have developed.
In a nutshell, how I feel about god

Ronson
Except I've never heard what this “little thing they got wrong” was in regards to evolution. There is nothing that evolution can't explain in it's current theory. It may not have been proven in spots, but so far it's the theory that explains everything very neatly.

For evolution to be wrong, all that would have to happen is for a species B that was thought to have evolved from a prior species A to be found in fossilized records dating back prior - or at the same time as - species A. This has not happened.

The circular orbits ontop of circular orbits worked too, but they weren't right. It probably won't be anything to do with evolution that turns out to be the “little thing they got wrong.” It will probably be something to do with the still-not-yet fully understood, genome, or simple rna strands, or the living cell, that indicates something to be true across scientific boundries. Gravity, at the time, had nothing to do with astronomy. Astronomers weren't wrong because they were misreading their data, they were wrong because there was data from somewhere else they hadn't factored in yet. Evolution can explain things like complex organs, alterations on a cellular and chromosonal level, and how the simplest forms of life could theoretically form from a lifeless state, but it's very very messy, they have had no sucessful laboratory tests, and most evolutionary scientist admit to as much (when they're not trying to argue with intelligent design “theorists”'s ridiculous claims to being scientifically valid) The fact of the matter is that creationism and Intelligent Design, has done a great job of pointing out some of the flaws in evolutionary theory. It doesn't prove creationism, but it show scientists where there theory needs more information. And more information will always be a good thing.

Ronson
But you're a deist. You believe in a supernatural being, but not one that justifies most of the world's religions. The problem with theism is that it doesn't apply this very reasonable attitude for science to religion as well.

And if you want to split hairs, deists do not either. Deists will accept the existence of God without any proof and doubt science until the theories are completely proven. Which only goes to show that believing in God is in the mind, and a mind that wants it won't give it up.

I've posed logical arguments that back up the reason I choose to believe in God. However I recognize my belief structue is not built on fact beyond what is suggested by the intial logical arguments. Science aims to build knowledge not beliefs. Thats why religion has no business being included in a scientific theory, like intelligent design is trying to pass itself off as being.

If I'm supposed to know something is an absolute fact I want proof. If I only want to believe it is a fact, I don't require that absolute proof. Everyone does this to a certain extent. You want the figure for the probability of the likelihood of the existence of life. If I get you that figure, you'll probably want the math to back it up. You want absolute proof so you can KNOW that it's true. But I'm sure there are things you accept are true even though you have no proof. You can't REALLY say you know that they're true, but you believe their true.

Like “America would be better off with a different president” you really have no proof of this, but its hard to think of someone who could do a worse job. A different president could've screwed up the country in different, ultimately worse ways.

I'm not exactly sure how, but theoretically it's possible.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
Ronson at 9:16AM, March 23, 2007
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is not how probabilities work.

No, but it did happen, so we know that it's possible.

I've posed logical arguments that back up the reason I choose to believe in God.

The only argument I've seen you pose for it is that there's no proof that he doesn't exist. I don't think that passes a logic test, but I find it perfectly acceptable as a belief system.

If I get you that figure, you'll probably want the math to back it up.

Nah, it's worse than that. I won't understand the math backing it up. It implies a working knowledge of the contents of the universe and their relative distributions as well as a grasp of probability math that I don't understand. I chose to believe those who say that though the odds are incredibly remote, it isn't so remote that the universe doesn't reduce it to a probability.

I have absolutely no doubt that there are scientists and mathematicians that say as you do. I chose not to believe them because it doesn't fit my world view, just as you choose to believe them because it does fit your world view.

That is probably the nugget of irrationality in my belief system that differs from yours. Without becoming a super genius physicist/mathametician, I have to live with it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
kingofsnake at 9:31AM, March 23, 2007
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Ronson
The only argument I've seen you pose for it is that there's no proof that he doesn't exist. I don't think that passes a logic test, but I find it perfectly acceptable as a belief system.

I listed a bunch of ‘em in a previous post. You must’ve missed them. Infinite regress, “I can think of that of which there can be no greater,” blind watchmaker, are the three that come to mind. None of these PROVE anything, but show that logically it's more probable than not.

Ronson
I have absolutely no doubt that there are scientists and mathematicians that say as you do. I chose not to believe them because it doesn't fit my world view, just as you choose to believe them because it does fit your world view.

I don't beleive it because it fits into my world view. I believe it because it's a logically (and in this case mathematically) sound point. The fact that it fits into my world view is just a bonus.


My biggest issue with athiesm is that it is a position based on the idea that one can take up a position that rejects logic. But will reject logic anyway when it serves them to reject it. At least theists are consistent.

Ocean was quite right when he noted that the average person has individual reasons for chosing the position they have, and are as often as well thought out as anyone elses. Looking at a mass and making a judgement on it really isn't fair, regardless of what side you're on.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
Ronson at 9:42AM, March 23, 2007
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kingofsnake
I listed a bunch of ‘em in a previous post. You must’ve missed them. Infinite regress, “I can think of that of which there can be no greater,” blind watchmaker, are the three that come to mind. None of these PROVE anything, but show that logically it's more probable than not.

They aren't LOGICALLY sound. They imply a being of which there is no proof, therefore there is no logic only supposition. But we've circled around this tree a few times already.

I don't beleive it because it fits into my world view. I believe it because it's a logically (and in this case mathematically) sound point. The fact that it fits into my world view is just a bonus.

It's only mathematically true to if you accept the mathemetician's math. I have heard mathematical models that imply that the Earth is just in the “sweet spot” that ensures life. I don't know if I buy that either, but if you were to accept that math, it would mean that any planet located in the same way as Earth around the same type of sun would have life … making it a dead certainty.

You choose to believe certain math equations not based on their logic - which I assume is above you as it is above me. I do the same. It isn't logical.

My biggest issue with athiesm is that it is a position based on the idea that one can take up a position that rejects logic. But will reject logic anyway when it serves them to reject it. At least theists are consistent.

We reject drawing a conclusion based on nothing observable or something very improbable.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
kingofsnake at 10:26AM, March 23, 2007
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They aren't LOGICALLY sound. They imply a being of which there is no proof, therefore there is no logic only supposition. But we've circled around this tree a few times already.

The arguments themselves ARE logically sound, the end result suggests something that you believe is not logically sound, but the argument in-and-of itself is not flawed by irrationality.

There is finite matter. Finite matter can not exist over an infinite timeline. This will hold true if the timeline is either progressive or regressive.
Therefore over a regressive timeline there would be no finite matter.
But there is finite matter.
This leaves us two possiblities, either finite matter came into the timeline at a specific point in-and-of it's own violiton, or something outside the timeline created the finite matter.

The logic is sound. Now you can either choose to believe that there is such a thing as spontaneous creation of matter, or that there is a force outside the timeline with the ability to put something into the timeline.

If that something that places finite matter in the timeline is itself finite, it will be finite within it's own infinite timeline and will need to be placed there by something outside of that timeline, or to create itself spontaneously. The only way to avoid spontaneous creation of matter is an infinite being that exists outside of the finite timeline.

The only way to question the permise, as far as I can see, is to state that there is no infinite regressive timeline, that there was a beginning. But if there was a begining then there was before that beginning nothingness (which is perhaps meven ore incomprehensible than infinity) and now your beginning is both it's own cause and it's own result which brings us back around to spontaneous creation of matter.

I reject spontaneous creation of matter. There is only one other logical option. Show me another option that works with the infinite regressive timeline, I will weigh how likely I think it is.

Now you can choose to accept spontaneous creation of matter. It's the more scientific answer than God, because it's limited to nature, which is the only thing that science can study. But even the most complicated physics does not show any reason to suspect that there could be spontaneous creation of matter. This would be a phenomenon that we could test. By the nature of something infinite outside of our timeline we could not test it unless we could find a way to transcend the timeline we are a part of. An element of nature would have to be able to break the confines of the laws of nature using only nature to do it. But now I'm just talking science fiction.

Ronson
It's only mathematically true to if you accept the mathemetician's math. I have heard mathematical models that imply that the Earth is just in the “sweet spot” that ensures life. I don't know if I buy that either, but if you were to accept that math, it would mean that any planet located in the same way as Earth around the same type of sun would have life … making it a dead certainty.

No it would just be in the state that, were life to exist, it would survive. It would just have the potential for life. Even in those conditions you have to have the right elements of life combine in just the right way. And the latter is what is even more improbable than there being a planet as perfectly positioned to incubate protocellular life as ours.

Ronson
You choose to believe certain math equations not based on their logic - which I assume is above you as it is above me. I do the same. It isn't logical.

We reject drawing a conclusion based on nothing observable or something very improbable.

Math is always logical. It's logical and it's nothing else. It's the only thing that is absolutely logical. Math isn't an art. It's 1+1=2. Developing statistics isn't easy. But it's definately logical. You can't jump right into a complicated math problem. You have to start at the basics and work your way to the complex, because everything builds on everything before it. Observation is subjective to the observer and it always will be. There is no true “double blind” especially when physics is involved. You can never determine absolute facts from observation. Only from logic and math. Logic and math is the only thing that is objective. Regardless of your beliefs, upbringing, gender, cultural background or even how much you just want 1+1 to equal 3, it's not going to happen. Math is the one thing prespective can not alter.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
Volte6 at 10:35AM, March 23, 2007
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Hmm…

I would describe myself as Athiest. Now, what does that mean? That means that I believe there is no God or supreme power as much as I can believe anything in my life. Much like I believe I am human, male, or live on the planet Earth.

This is to say that an argument that a supremely powerful, hyper intelligent, metaphysical being is the cause of, or in control of, everything we now experience and interact with, is the least grounded in what we all as human beings accept in our day to day lives.

Whether ANYTHING can be truely accepted as 100% true is questionable. Whether all of this is an illusion, whether I am in fact not human, and really an alien on earth performing research for colonization (without my own knowledge, even), is all questionable. There is ALWAYS that possibility.

However, in order to even function on a day to day level, we all as humans take the sum of our experiences, and make judgements based on what is more consistent with those experiences. Do you accept it as truth that you yourself are human, or is it a debatable theory that possibly you are in fact an animated jello mold? I imagine you would think it quite preposterous for me to make such suggestions and then ask you to consider it as a possibility. I mean think about it. You HAVE to consider it a possibility. You don't know whether or not your perceived existence here is real or not. Whether the laws of physics you accept as true are real or not… And yet you DO accept and reject ideas for no doubt one reason alone… because those ideas are not consistent with the universe that surrounds you. With the experiences you've had, the truths you've ALREADY accepted in your life.
It is irrational to set yourself up with many suppositions, acceptances, and rules, and then take something as foreign and contrary as most religions/theology as acceptable. As has been suggested, you MUST accept that you are being irrational in such a case.

The flying spagetti monster, while a great idea, fails in an argument because it's simply so absurd nobody wants to consider it's significance. Think of it as a mental exercise. Take the position of defending the FSM, or make up a belief and defend that. You'll find that all of the same arguments apply, on both sides of the fence. The difference is that YOU are (secretly) critical of the argument you are making in that case. And yet, you yourself would have to accept it as a possibility, correct?

Do you see why this argument holds no water? To accept everything as a possibility is to accept nothing as fact. You cannot. And yet you do accept SOME THINGS as fact.
The real question comes to why you apply that rule of behavior to no doubt every aspect of your life, but stop short when it comes to super natural being(s) and metaphysical entities? That's not something I can answer for you. We all have our own reasons. For me personally I held on very tight for a long time to the idea that an afterlife awaited me. I had my soul on the line. My future existence and persistence relied completely on it. It's a scary thing. But there are those of us who feel scary or not, we want to be honest with ourselves, and with others.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:43PM
Ronson at 11:32AM, March 23, 2007
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Volte6: I agree with you except that the FSM is in any way more absurd than many established religions.

Kingofsnakes: I'm not saying that math isn't logical, but it's an input problem. There are a lot of unknowables in the universe that make any statistic on the likelihood of life occuring truly impossible to pin down. There are conflicting equations, and therefore until all variables are known it is almost dead certain these equations are being used to prove a preexisting notion. On both sides.

I will not argue existing probability statistics because to me it seems like the argument is fundamentally flawed from it's inception on both sides.

The problem with your view of probability is that you look at it going forward. But we don't have to do that because if you assume it is possible for life to start, you know it's possible. Since we're here, that assumption is a fact.

Now, work backwards. I can't do it with the probabilities of the universe, but I can do it with a coin toss. Say a coin is tossed 10 times. Do it 10 times. The chances for each toss is 50/50, but in review, you'll see that the chances of 10 heads is much less likely than some sort of mix. If the chances for life are 1 in a trillion (you can make the number as large as you like), and there are at least 1 trillion worlds to work from (the universe is big. I mean really, really big), then the fact that life on Earth occured as the result of a combination of events is statistically possible. Statistical possibile is vastly different from probability equations.

The view you are looking at in the log cabin logic is not valid because under atheistic thinking, the events that had to occur to make life possible have happened because there is life on Earth, so it isn't quite as improbable as dropping a pile of logs and forming a cabin.

In Douglas Adams words: Whatever happens, happens. Your statistic does not include the idea that life HAS occured, only that the chances of it happening are huge. As big as they are, we know they happened.

_______

ABOUT THE INFINITE BEING

Even if I were to agree that the finite universe was created from the infinite, that still doesn't mean there's a God, just that there is some sort of infinite quantity that led - possibly quite naturally - to the creation of a finite universe.

It doesn't imply a watchmaker or a being of any sort, just a higher level of existence of something.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Volte6 at 11:41AM, March 23, 2007
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Ronson
Volte6: I agree with you except that the FSM is in any way more absurd than many established religions.
I'm referring to the point of view of a theology minded person. The idea of a plate of spagetti flying and doing stuff is intentionally absurd, so forces a very defensive reaction. It fails to present a point well to somebody defensive, unless that person is put into the position of trying to defend the FSM themselves, and can see the comparison.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:43PM
kingofsnake at 12:16PM, March 23, 2007
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Ronson
The problem with your view of probability is that you look at it going forward. But we don't have to do that because if you assume it is possible for life to start, you know it's possible. Since we're here, that assumption is a fact.
Assumption is never fact. We're here does not prove that life can generate itself in a lifeless environment. What if all science tried to use that argument?

Ronson
Now, work backwards. I can't do it with the probabilities of the universe, but I can do it with a coin toss. Say a coin is tossed 10 times. Do it 10 times. The chances for each toss is 50/50, but in review, you'll see that the chances of 10 heads is much less likely than some sort of mix. If the chances for life are 1 in a trillion (you can make the number as large as you like), and there are at least 1 trillion worlds to work from (the universe is big. I mean really, really big), then the fact that life on Earth occured as the result of a combination of events is statistically possible. Statistical possibile is vastly different from probability equations.
I'm not saying that it's statistically impossibe, I'm saying it's statistically unlikely. That probablity was not meant to show that life could not evolve on it's own, he was a scientist, so at some level he had to believe it could. It was response to blanket statements that there must be additional life in the universe. And it was meant to show that not only is there probably not additional life in the universe, even out existence is a statistical anomoly.

Ronson
The view you are looking at in the log cabin logic is not valid because under atheistic thinking, the events that had to occur to make life possible have happened because there is life on Earth, so it isn't quite as improbable as dropping a pile of logs and forming a cabin.

Now you are granting legitimacy to evolution's theory of genesis, which even evolutionary scholars admit they don't yet have any proof of. This is the same argument you burn theists on. The fact that we are here does not mean that your explaination for why we are here is the right one.

Ronson
ABOUT THE INFINITE BEING

Even if I were to agree that the finite universe was created from the infinite, that still doesn't mean there's a God, just that there is some sort of infinite quantity that led - possibly quite naturally - to the creation of a finite universe.

It doesn't imply a watchmaker or a being of any sort, just a higher level of existence of something.

By the mere fact that it is not within our finite universe therefore makes it supernatural. Nature is limited to what we can observe, not what exists outside of what we observe. It's a sementic argument, i know, but until we have different words thats how we have to define supernatural. I'm not saying that this being does whatever it does to create the universe randomly, or intentionally, or that its natural to it's own infinite being (however you wish to define nature outside of nature, like nature 2.0) I'm just saying that logic tells me it's there.

At that point agnoticism make the most sense, because theres nothing that can absolutely prove the what this being is like. He's outside our universe, all we have to make decisions on are observations of the universe, and logic. Theres no reason to assume that either of these things apply outside of the confines of this universe. Therefore, beyond the existince of this infinite supernatural being or force we can know nothing definate, or in fact that one thing is even more probable than another. It's an utter unknown.

In following religion I make the step of saying “I'm pretty sure he's out there, I might has well base some opinions on how I imagine he would be.” But thats what they are, opinions, nothing more.

Which is why I don't go on forums touting how athiests are going to hell. I don't even know for a fact that there is a hell, how can I pretend to know if they would go to it.

You know what theistic “argument” I hate the most? This one:
“I figure if I die and God exists I will be better of having believed in him. But if I die and theres no God then it wont matter anyway.”

Then you don't beleive in god! you beleive in self-preservation. And if God is the Judao-christian God you're worshiping then he's going to effin know the differece. Pretending to believe in God is just a waste of everything.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
Ronson at 2:19PM, March 23, 2007
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I don't quite get what sort of God you're talking about, I guess. Are you just saying some force brought our universe about and that's God? I can't argue that. Anything prior to the big bang is as yet unknown. That could be true.

Or are you saying God created life on Earth directly? That seems unlikely, but still not provable either way.

Or are you saying God watches us, judges us, offers heaven and hell … or whatever? Are you insisting on the existence of a soul?

That seems impossible, to me, and is only supported with stories and no data.

I'm not saying that it's statistically impossibe, I'm saying it's statistically unlikely.

But it happened at least once. So it's statistically certain.

Now you are granting legitimacy to evolution's theory of genesis, which even evolutionary scholars admit they don't yet have any proof of. This is the same argument you burn theists on. The fact that we are here does not mean that your explaination for why we are here is the right one.

True, but this theory fits all the data we have available to us today without having to create a supernatural force. The fact that your supernatural force theory also works with existing data is true, but unnecessary. If this supernatural God created the universe, he doesn't necessarily care about us, watch us, hand down laws of behavior to us.

In following religion I make the step of saying “I'm pretty sure he's out there, I might has well base some opinions on how I imagine he would be.” But thats what they are, opinions, nothing more.

Which is why I don't go on forums touting how athiests are going to hell. I don't even know for a fact that there is a hell, how can I pretend to know if they would go to it.

Which is an opinion based on nothing necessarily logical. You add a God for no other reason than you want one.

If you can say that deist or atheistic beliefs are equally logical, I'll grant you that that could be true. If you want to say theistic arguments are in any way logical, I won't budge. If you want to say deist beliefs are more logical than atheist, I don't see where or how that could be proven.

Agnosticism is fence sitting. Which is probably understandable. But I doubt that deep down any agnostic really spends no time forming opinions on the matter. It's more fun to have skin in the game. :)
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Zac at 2:53PM, March 23, 2007
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I just read through a lot of this debating. I'm going to throw in just a little bit of some stuff I learned from my honphi intro class last semester.

First of all, it's infinitely easier to argue from an atheist perspective simply because nothing has to be proven in order to support the arguement.

The entire basis of a religion is faith and not science. You can't simply science a god into being. Where is the proof of God's existence other than religious texts (which are discarded as stories and fables by those outside the faith). The strongest proofs of God's existence come from Descartes and Anselm, and they can't begin to argue with an atheist arguement because where is the physical proof?
“ 1. I have an idea of supremely perfect being, i.e. a being having all perfections.
2. Necessary existence is a perfection.
3. Therefore, a supremely perfect being exists.


Basically, Descartes's ontological arguement states that he can think of something so perfect nothing can be greater than that. Because he can think of this level of perfection it must exist. I tend to agree with this (though I over simplified it a ton.) Check out http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-ontological/
for more on Descartes.

Arguing against the existence of a greater deity with someone with faith will generally end up either looping in circles, or having the atheistic point of view win. All you have to say is “Where is the proof”. The challenge for religious people is keeping their faith intact. After all it's what You personally believe in. Everyone has their own way of getting by day by day. Religious debates pull from all the philosophes.

So while I know you guys are arguing about the Purple Spaghetti Monster and the watch maker theory. Both of those are not strong theorys, but I'll go back and answer the first question. I would say atheism makes sense to those who need it to go about their day to day life, where as religion makes sense to people like me, who need to believe in something greater than mankind.

Ronson
And if you want to split hairs, deists do not either. Deists will accept the existence of God without any proof and doubt science until the theories are completely proven. Which only goes to show that believing in God is in the mind, and a mind that wants it won't give it up.

There it is said better.

I just said a bunch of nothing up above. But oh well.

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kingofsnake at 2:55PM, March 23, 2007
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Ronson
I don't quite get what sort of God you're talking about, I guess. Are you just saying some force brought our universe about and that's God? I can't argue that. Anything prior to the big bang is as yet unknown. That could be true.

Or are you saying God created life on Earth directly? That seems unlikely, but still not provable either way.

Or are you saying God watches us, judges us, offers heaven and hell … or whatever? Are you insisting on the existence of a soul?

That seems impossible, to me, and is only supported with stories and no data.
I'm saying that the infinite supernatural force or being that exists outside the infinite timeline, and is responsible for the existence of finite matter, for the sake of the argument is labeled god. Now any qualities that infintie force or being may have that makes him more or less like my idea of what God should be, or even historically what god should be, is completely hypothetical, and can not be substantiated by logic or anything else.

I didn't say any of the rest of that that. I choose to beleive alot of it. But none of it is tied to the infinite regress argument I posed. By the very nature of that argument any characteristics that God would posess is an unknown.

Ronson
True, but this theory fits all the data we have available to us today without having to create a supernatural force. The fact that your supernatural force theory also works with existing data is true, but unnecessary. If this supernatural God created the universe, he doesn't necessarily care about us, watch us, hand down laws of behavior to us.
You can't hold an argument as true part of the time (when it supports your worldview)and not true other parts of the time (when it doesnt.) Thats illogical. And if you want atheistic position to seem better than the theist position, you gotta maintain logic, thats what athiesm is supposed to be based on. It's either a correct argument or it's an incorrect one. In an objective argument, if I can not hold a theory to be true when it fits the data we have, but does not have evidence in and of itself, then neither can you.

Ronson
Which is an opinion based on nothing necessarily logical. You add a God for no other reason than you want one.

I don't add a God, I add characteristics to a god thats already there. The being or force outside of the infinite timeline, I add characteristics to him. These characteristics are unprovable, completly faith based. There is equal chance that that infinite being is jesus, as it is that hes FSM, as it is he's neither. I readily admit it. But the actual being is not the same as the FSM. The being itself, at least, has logical arguments that suggest his existence.

Ronson
If you can say that deist or atheistic beliefs are equally logical, I'll grant you that that could be true. If you want to say theistic arguments are in any way logical, I won't budge. If you want to say deist beliefs are more logical than atheist, I don't see where or how that could be proven.

Agnosticism is fence sitting. Which is probably understandable. But I doubt that deep down any agnostic really spends no time forming opinions on the matter. It's more fun to have skin in the game. :)

I would say deist is more rational than athiest.

I would say that athiest is slightly more rational than theist, but I give theistic arguments respect when they admit that their break from logic is just that, while athiestic arguments also break from logic, but refuse to admit it.

And I would say agnostics the most rational of all. We're talking about a being that exists outside our universe. Humans, being limited to our universe, will never be able to say for sure whether he exists or what he's like if he does. We can make logical arguments that strongly suggest he exists, but even they are not absolute proof. agnosticism is the perfect example of wisdom in regocnition at the lack of wisdom.
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Ronson at 6:08PM, March 23, 2007
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The Deist argument is the same as the atheist argument, with god squeezed into the cracks of information that are as yet unknown.

There's no logic to say that there's a God in these cracks, but neither can there be any logical reason to say there isn't. By definition, these things are unknown.

But if you don't believe there is logic in organized religous beliefs - souls, God watching everything, heaven, hell, morality handed down from on high - then we have no bones of contention.

I will believe in a god when I see him or witness verifiable proof of his existence, you will believe in a god until science proves you wrong. It is my contention that we'll both be gone long before either of these events transpire.

I would say deist is more rational than athiest.

And yet your own words:

In an objective argument, if I can not hold a theory to be true when it fits the data we have, but does not have evidence in and of itself, then neither can you.

Which makes the belief in your version of god no more substantial than my belief in there not being one. Despite your best efforts, you haven't used logic to prove your beliefs are rational. You've only proven that the things you consider in the abstract make sense to you.

We are going around in circles, and I am done with this for now. I imagine you will consider this a “win” for your argument, but I feel it has been refuted so many times in the course of this thread we don't need to beat it into the ground. In simple terms, I say it one last time: Your belief in an infinite supernatural god is a personal decision, not a logical choice. It is rationalized but not rational. We are all guilty of similar irrational beliefs at our core because of the inability to know everything.

If you want to continue this debate, I only ask that someone else just cut and past those last three sentences by me after every post.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
kyupol at 4:39AM, March 24, 2007
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Atheism makes sense.


Since there is no God. There is no heaven and hell. No angels, no demons… no afterlife. So whats the fuckin point of existence anyway? Whats the fuckin point of being good? I mean… hey. Its ok to cheat on my wife/husband. Its ok to screw my husband over in divorce court… since hey! the nanny state supports my behavior! Its ok for me to fuck and chuck every single badboy I see and pop out his kids (and abort them after since they will only get in the way). Hey. The nanny state supports me! There is no God. I will not be held accountable for my actions.


There is no God. Its ok for me to exploit my workers… and make my bank account get fatter and fatter and fatter. So that I can buy another mansion, a new car… since my car is already 1 month old and I need another one. Who cares about my employees! I'd just out-source my production… cut labor costs by $10 million… and reap in profits. Who cares about unemployment. They are unemployed because they are losers. And to further save, I will only make them contract work. To hell with what that fuckin columnist wrote about contract jobs being stressful and shit. I dont care. As long as I'm getting rich. If my bank account gets larger, thats a good indication of a strong economy!!!


There is no God. The mofucka next door has pissed me off. I'm gonna kill him. There is no God. I go to jail so what. I got good lawyers… I'd just get a slap in the wrist. Or get out of jail eventually. There is no hell. So fine. I'll shoot that mofucka tonight. And once I'm outta jail, I get a purple heart from teh hood! I can do ma new album called… the mofuckin murdarar in teh hood! And I'd be famous!


There is no God. I hate my life. Everything is shit. I hate myself I want to die. I have no friends, no family, no purpose for existence. I'm just a fuckin waste of oxygen. Since there's no heaven, there's nothing to look forward to. Since there's no hell, there's no way I wont be punished. So there. Time to slash my wrists and fold a frisbee then shove it down my throat.



So… Atheism does make sense.

NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
ozoneocean at 5:02AM, March 24, 2007
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kyupol
There is no God. I hate my life. Everything is shit. I hate myself I want to die. I have no friends, no family, no purpose for existence. I'm just a fuckin waste of oxygen. Since there's no heaven, there's nothing to look forward to. Since there's no hell, there's no way I wont be punished. So there. Time to slash my wrists and fold a frisbee then shove it down my throat.
Nihilist hedonist…
You should read The Sea Wolf by Jack London. You're Wolf Larsen!

If you depend on a heavenly reward as an incentive to do good things or a fiery hellish damnation if you do bad things, then you're a very bad Christian anyway. The reward/punishment scheme is just a European medieval interpretation of Christianity, designed in order to convert simple people to the faith. Christianity is mostly about doing what's right and good because it is good. It doesn't have to be about god at all! Jesus Christ in the bible is just a good man who wants the best for others when you strip away all the mythology and magic. Like Buddha he presents you with a reformed, humanist version of his religion: Judaism in the case of Jesus Christ, and Hinduism in the case of Buddha.

It's just a shame that their positive, society reforming messages are lost under all the distraction of fairy lights that lead some to misunderstand their teachings and others to dismiss them.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:26PM
kyupol at 5:38AM, March 24, 2007
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Christianity is mostly about doing what's right and good because it is good.

I agree.

But the others dont. And what is good for some, may not be good for others. People do everything because of a perceived “good”. A thief steals money because of the “good” he sees… which is to help him get the money to buy stuff. He doesnt steal it in order to get caught by the police. A suicide kills himself because he thinks that death will end all his suffering (a perceived good).


So if you do what is good because of what you think is good, that means that the end justifies the means. :)


NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
ozoneocean at 6:04AM, March 24, 2007
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No Kyupol, in “Christ's” teachings “good” is based on what is good for others, not the self. That's the key. Relative morality is irrelevant to the discussion… At least not directly. So rather than thinking “Mmm, that pie looks GOOD to eat, I think I'll have some!”, you should think “Hmm, that pie looks good to eat, I'll give it to my friends because they'll like it.”
See the difference?

Or “I wouldn't like to be beaten and robbed myself, so I know I shouldn't do it to others either.” -That's it at it's simplest. That sort of thing doesn't require a heaven or hell, or a magical being up in space who watches over you; just a thoughtful, intelligent, member of a community. :)

Of course it's a lot more complicated and advanced than that, and you can still get into all sorts of stupid and nasty grey areas very easily (so easily I can't be bothered discussing them or this post will be thousands of words long), but this is what's there at its root.

That's why Atheism doesn't lead to evil and depravity without a god to back it up, and why atheistic thought is actually eminently compatible with our western Christian society that of course gave birth to our *Western atheist school of thought. ;)

*As opposed to Atheist schools of thought that originated elsewhere: that are no less good, they just didn't arise from the same place.
 
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WingNut at 9:05AM, March 24, 2007
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I agree with Oz. I'm an agnostic, and I attend a Unitarian church. Now, for those of you who don't know, Unitarians have no holy book, no divine being, just everyone's own drive to find what is true and right in life. Essentially, it's the community of church, and none of the religious hold ups. ;D

Now, as a unitarian, faith and religion are two entirely different things. There are people from all religions who attend my church, were cool with that, but we still believe that faith is one of the most important cores and aspects of human nature. Faith, be it in a divine power, be it in science, be it in the good of your fellow man around you, it matters not. Everyone has faith, the just might not have religion.

I think thats why people don't understand why most atheists are so hostile against people who push religion on them. They don't need it, they've found a way to exist without it, and that frightens people. They still have faith however, the just choose what to have faith in.

Thinking about all of this made me come up with a great name for a band.

“Fox-hole Atheists”

Who's with me?

-W
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:50PM
CorruptComics at 1:43PM, March 24, 2007
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ozoneocean
just a thoughtful, intelligent, member of a community

Those are lacking on both sides.

*tisk tisk*
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:46AM
Mistchiff at 7:47PM, March 24, 2007
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ok ok i just need to say this i think this makes sense to everyone.

God is a circle

life is a spiral.

The spiral is inside the circle.

when i say god i mean As in whatever everything is the unit wich everything is.

and life wich is in it
are spirals that start and end
whiles the circle always stays consistent.

even tho everything would turn into nothing that nothing would be everything and that everything would still be the circle.

but that doesent mean time and space isent a spiral.

last edited on July 14, 2011 2:04PM
MagickLorelai at 1:49PM, March 25, 2007
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Just stepping in to say…I don't mind when someone's an Atheist. Does it make sense to me to not believe in something divine? It makes sense in that, we have no measurable proof of divine existence (arguable, but proceeding). It doesn't make sense to ME, though, because I've been through enough spiritually that I can't discount that there's “something” there. But, each get to walk their own path.

The only part of Atheism that I have any real problem with, is the section of Atheists who make it their LIFE'S. WORK. To tell anyone with a religion or definable spirituality that they are ignorant sheep, blind, narrow-minded, or even just stupid. Yes, there ARE those who use faith as a blanket against things that scare them, but I for one have decided that I'll take in all sides of an argument before determining my stance. As a sort of example of “SCIENCE VERSUS FAITH, OMG!”, I accept and know how a tree forms from a seed, how the seed contains the basic nutrition, the cell growth, the adaptation, etc. I also feel that, that information doesn't detract from how magical or spiritual the whole experience is. Ignorance is not necessarily the hallmark of a religious/spiritual person. It's just the hallmark of an IGNORANT person.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
Ludus Pragma at 1:14PM, March 26, 2007
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kyupol
Since there is no God. There is no heaven and hell. No angels, no demons… no afterlife. So whats the fuckin point of existence anyway? Whats the fuckin point of being good? I mean… hey. Its ok to cheat on my wife/husband. Its ok to screw my husband over in divorce court… since hey! the nanny state supports my behavior! Its ok for me to fuck and chuck every single badboy I see and pop out his kids (and abort them after since they will only get in the way). Hey. The nanny state supports me! There is no God. I will not be held accountable for my actions.

If the only reason you do not act in the manner quoted above and expanded upon in your post is the presence of a superpowered alpha male in the sky, than I would say you have a severe mental illness and should seek help.


last edited on July 14, 2011 1:48PM
subcultured at 1:52PM, March 26, 2007
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law and order helps to keep civilization from crumbling upon itself. most of the 10 commandments help man/woman get along together, since humans are sociable animals. humans have a very complex hive mind able to run villages/cities/countries. humans have come far from nomadic existance, which was unable to support large groups of people.

when humans began to settle down, they had to create a society. To have a society, humans must specialized so some people are put into categories to hunt/gather/take care of children. if there's no law/order the ant hill/society will collapse because it disturbs the human connection.

whether or not there is a God, is debatable. but being “good” helps humans to coexist.
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:01PM
kyupol at 5:25AM, March 27, 2007
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If the only reason you do not act in the manner quoted above and expanded upon in your post is the presence of a superpowered alpha male in the sky, than I would say you have a severe mental illness and should seek help.


Ok I need mental help :)


Now please explain to me. The existence of massive gangstaism, skankism, corporate piggyism, suicide kingism, roadrageism etc… etc… etc… that seems to be very all too common right now.

I dont need to travel a thousand miles to find them. All I need to do is go out in the street… and one way or another, I'd find such shitbirds.


So all these shitbirds need mental help then?














NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
kyupol at 6:18AM, March 27, 2007
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If everyone believed in God… and had a devotion to him… the world will be a much more orderly place to live in.

But hello!!! What do you want? Middle ages style religious authority?!?

Not exactly. Middle ages style religious authority doesnt really believe in God. They only wanna get their asses rich, while everyone else suffers. They do not believe in God but rather, use the name of God in vain (the second of the 10 commandments). They use the name of God to absolve themselves from their sin of getting all the wealth and stuff.


But think about it. If everyone became loyal to their husband/wife… If everyone did not steal… If everyone did not kill… If everyone did not cheat… and respected the dignity of everyone (including the unborn)… The world will be a happier place to live in.


Very nice eh… No need to grab the fucking world by the fucking balls in order to get respect. Because you are confident enough that you wont be screwed over if you act wimpy.

NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
subcultured at 6:56AM, March 27, 2007
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being able to influence many people gives them power
if the leaders are corrupt, the power becomes corrupted

solution? appoint responsible leaders.
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:01PM
skoolmunkee at 4:13PM, March 27, 2007
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Athiesm does make sense to me, although that kind of thing is always a personal choice. Personally, I've found too many contradictions about God and the various ethics and moralities to believe in him/her/it. The Bible itself is a terribly contradictory book, and there is no way that everything in the Bible can be right even if you take it all in abstract and allegorical terms. Basically to me this means that any religion with the Bible as its centerpiece is, essentially, made up of arbitrary choices and value judgments, which I really just can't get behind from an organized religion point of view. I don't have anything against people who believe in God, they can have their own faith all they want. But I don't think a religion centered on God will ever ‘make sense’ to me.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:39PM
7384395948urhfdjfrueruieieueue at 4:06PM, March 28, 2007
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…Yeah, that's alot of reading but I'd just like to point out that we don't all ignore science just because we believe in a possibility in a God. Also, I don't like the bible either.
i will also like to know you the more
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:03AM

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