Debate and Discussion

Religion versus atheism
ozoneocean at 5:36AM, Oct. 15, 2010
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El Cid
And btw how are we defining Atheist and Agnostic here? Because I consider myself an atheist, but I don't necessarily claim to know one way or another whether Yahweh or any other deity actually exists; I just consider it unlikely enough that I don't believe in it, like the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot. Possible. But highly unlikely.
Hahaha! That'd pretty much make you an agnostic- just one that likes the idea of being an atheist better. :P

But it's one of those things- people don't really get what the terms mean anymore and are redefining them according to their understanding, so the meanings are shifting (like how initialisims all suddenly became acronyms because people don't really know what “acronym” means). Agnostics are all calling themselves atheists and atheists are just glad of the extra company.

So soon there will be no more agnostics.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Genejoke at 3:57PM, Oct. 15, 2010
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If you say you are agnostic then it suggests you are undecided as opposed to atheists who actually reject religion, being open minded in spite of belief necessarily doesn't change that belief.

Do all religious followers say that without a doubt that there is a god? No, many are open minded enough but do still believe. It is the difference between belief and blind faith. Some religious zealots may argue that those aren't truly christian/muslim or whatever they follow but let's just ignore the fanatics for now.

I think that is also part of the answer to the original question, no one likes to be rejected.


I think that makes sense, I'm tired amnd struggling to form thoughts.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
El Cid at 4:20PM, Oct. 15, 2010
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Damn you, Dictionary.com! I tried looking up “agnostic” and it actually lists “atheist” as a synonym! Now I know that's not right! I guess that's two things I've now lost all faith in.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
TheShah at 7:14AM, Oct. 16, 2010
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Loud_G
ayesinback
I've regarded aetheism as a loose equivalent to political “independents” who co-exist with those who are strongly affiliated with a political party. There's quite a spectrum.

Actually, I would say that Agnostics are the TRUE “independents”. In the whole realm of “is there a God or not?”

Christians have decided, yes.
Muslims have decided, yes.
Jews have decided, yes.
Atheists have decided, no.

While there is no organized religion, I think of Atheism as a belief.

A true lack of belief would be Agnostic. IE. Don't know one way or the other.
Atheism is not that. Atheism says that “There is no God”. As you cannot prove a negative, it requires some sort of belief to hold that line of thought.

That is why I find Agnostics to be much more scientific/ secular than Atheists, because they freely admit that they have no idea.

Now that is not to say Atheists, or Agnostics, or Christians, or what have you, are bad people. I respect everyone's right to believe or disbelieve whatever they want.

But I really cannot equate Atheism with a lack of belief. Lack definitely would be in the middle and that would be agnostic.

I see what you're saying.
I guess for me, personally… the logical reasoning behind the conclusion is important.
I mean neither Theists or Atheists can prove/disprove God's existence, however the different ways they both reach their conclusion is what makes me lean towards Atheists over Theists.
Theists = God exists due to a broken telephone type of record of his existence through out history.
Atheists = God doesn't exist as explanations given in that historical record of how the universe came to be, has been proven otherwise, among other things.

Also in my experience I find Atheists willing to be open minded and not as blind in their ‘belief’ as you said… whereas Theists tend to be very defensive and get into a sort of trance-like rationalization mode if anything about their belief is questioned, even for discussion purposes.

At the end of the day, I guess you're right in the sense that Atheists can be more on the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to non-believers… and Agnostics are truly the middle ground.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:28PM
TheShah at 7:24AM, Oct. 16, 2010
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kyupol
Ah yes… religion vs atheism.

Its one of those favorite sidetrack issues that happen in pretty much every other forum out there that isnt even about religious debate club.

It gets pretty annoying (and at times funny). Both sides are equally guilty.

Its like I join a forum that suppose to be about cats (hypothetical topic but you get the point) but it all turned out to be this endless debate between the christians and atheists who just feed the endless loop.



Cats have beliefs too.

Species-ist. tsk tsk.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:28PM
Evil_Hare at 7:33AM, Oct. 16, 2010
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I'm a christian, but don't believe in forcing my beliefs on others, though I do get peeved about how the government tries to force atheist beliefs on our children, or when some jerko atheist tries to force their faith in ‘science’ on me.

'Science' puts diabetics on drugs for life, even though a natural 30-day detox of raw food and clean water can cure them. Google ‘going raw.’ Science has its uses, but I refuse to blindly believe what corporate and government funded ‘scientists’ tell me, especially when it's conducive to their profits. By the same token, I don't take what the preachers say as gospel truth, either, as they are often motivated by the same god – money.

What I'd like to see is people having some integrity, religious or not. I'm tired of being surrounded by scumbags ;)

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:24PM
TheShah at 7:50AM, Oct. 16, 2010
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ayesinback
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ayesinback
I've regarded aetheism as a loose equivalent to political “independents” who co-exist with those who are strongly affiliated with a political party. There's quite a spectrum.

Actually, I would say that Agnostics are the TRUE “independents”. In the whole realm of “is there a God or not?”

Christians have decided, yes.
Muslims have decided, yes.
Jews have decided, yes.
Atheists have decided, no.

While there is no organized religion, I think of Atheism as a belief.

A true lack of belief would be Agnostic. IE. Don't know one way or the other.
If we continued with the metaphor, I suggest that Agnostics are the ones who don't vote at all and Atheists are those who will not register with a party. But I think it's better to toss away the metaphor because it doesn't fit well.

I also think there's a fourth group: those who believe in a God-sort of entity but do not believe in organized religion. Not sure what to call these folk, but I think they're numbers are growing as too many people associated with organized religions (interesting that idea: to structure faith) have become overbearingly hypocritical in not living the creed/s that the religion's founders have propounded.
There's one thing to being a fanatic (like: support 10:10 or die) but to act in hate when most organized religions preach to act in tolerance is beyond fanaticism.

On the other hand, to be coolly asperger-like in the pursuit of knowledge can lead to discoveries that are then utilized by others in horrific ways never intended by the knowledge-hunters (thinking of the A-bomb here). Total objectivity can be even more devastating than fanaticism — at least fanatics are more easily recognizable.

Incidentally, for those interested, one of the small NJ papers is doing a survey about religious views and hopes to represent all. You can add yours to the mix by filling out the online survey (until the 17 Oct) at
http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22ARDFQAY2F

See this ‘fourth group’, (in my experience) is majority of everyday, common religious folk.
People that believe in a God + religion, mostly due to influences growing up, conditioning by parents, go through the motions come religious ocassions… but their knowledge about the religion itself is next to nothing and their own personal beliefs doesn't go further than just being ‘participants’.
Now, these people aren't bad people, they just have been ingrained with religious doctrine, which when combined with their own thoughts and liberal views developed through influences in modern day society.. tends to cancel out any passionate belief either way.
So they kind of go about it with a ‘meh’, aloof, indifferent kind of attitude.
Don't believe in it enough to comitt to it, don't question it enough to condemn it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:28PM
ayesinback at 8:25AM, Oct. 16, 2010
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TheShah
ayesinback
a fourth group: those who believe in a God-sort of entity but do not believe in organized religion.

See this ‘fourth group’, (in my experience) is majority of everyday, common religious folk.
People that believe in a God + religion,
Valid as 5th group (?), but not what I was describing. A belief in God does not mean a religious participant. As far as upbringing, I know plenty of agnostics that were raised in religion. Often how one's raised influences adult belief, but there's lots of exceptions.
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
TheShah at 10:07AM, Oct. 16, 2010
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Evil_Hare
I'm a christian, but don't believe in forcing my beliefs on others, though I do get peeved about how the government tries to force atheist beliefs on our children, or when some jerko atheist tries to force their faith in ‘science’ on me.

'Science' puts diabetics on drugs for life, even though a natural 30-day detox of raw food and clean water can cure them. Google ‘going raw.’ Science has its uses, but I refuse to blindly believe what corporate and government funded ‘scientists’ tell me, especially when it's conducive to their profits. By the same token, I don't take what the preachers say as gospel truth, either, as they are often motivated by the same god – money.

What I'd like to see is people having some integrity, religious or not. I'm tired of being surrounded by scumbags ;)

I completely agree.
What grinds my gears is that majority of people think Religion is the measure or the basis for distinguishing between right and wrong.
How about we teach our kids about ethics and morality independant of religion or the law?
How about explaining that something is the wrong thing to do, simply because it IS wrong… instead of being so due to fear of going to hell and/or jail?

I feel a morally good person, (no one's perfect, but the intent should count) who lives life with some sort of integrity and personal dignity and respect for their fellow man… trumps anyone that's pious and follows their faith to the letter.
And keep in mind being morally good isn't exclusive to being either Theists or Atheists.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:28PM
TheShah at 10:18AM, Oct. 16, 2010
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ayesinback
TheShah
ayesinback
a fourth group: those who believe in a God-sort of entity but do not believe in organized religion.

See this ‘fourth group’, (in my experience) is majority of everyday, common religious folk.
People that believe in a God + religion,
Valid as 5th group (?), but not what I was describing. A belief in God does not mean a religious participant. As far as upbringing, I know plenty of agnostics that were raised in religion. Often how one's raised influences adult belief, but there's lots of exceptions.

Sorry, I ‘mis-bolded’ your post.
I meant to respond more to the– not following the Religion's creed to the letter.

I mean, there's neutrality in everything.
I'm sure there people with a multitude of religious beliefs or lack thereof in various combinations of atheist/ agnostic/ religious/ indifferent/ ignorant/ patricipant/ etc.
Personally, I don't see the point of categorizing oneself into a group for something like spiritual beliefs… because that's something that
a) can't really be defined by a set of rules. e.g.: What if I find certain teachings from certain Religions beneficial to living my life as a good person?
b) is meant to be completely and utterly personal, regardless of how ridiculous or unfathomable it may be to someone. e.g.: I can believe that unicorns will take me for a joyride every weekend if I eat a bowl of sweet potatoes with ice cream (I'm exagerrating of course). If that makes me be a better person and happy in life (excluding the fact that I might have a mental illnes) then why should it matter to others?

^ This is all my own personal opinion of course.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:28PM
ayesinback at 10:44AM, Oct. 16, 2010
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TheShah
How about we teach our kids about ethics and morality independant of religion or the law?
How about explaining that something is the wrong thing to do, simply because it IS wrong… instead of being so due to fear of going to hell and/or jail?
I entirely support this idea.

Where we live the public school has “social science”, theme months. Examples: February is black history month (?? because blacks have had 1/9th of the world's history?), and I think April is Holocaust month, which means dragging Ann Frank out year after year.

A question posed by both of these examples is: How is it that one race believes that they can enslave or exterminate another? It's a question that can be asked in many contexts across cultures, throughout history. But we examine it in history classes, with a focus of “look what happened”. imo, it'd be better to look at it from an ethical standpoint instead.
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
Genejoke at 3:19PM, Oct. 18, 2010
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Evil_Hare
I'm a christian, but don't believe in forcing my beliefs on others, though I do get peeved about how the government tries to force atheist beliefs on our children, or when some jerko atheist tries to force their faith in ‘science’ on me.

'Science' puts diabetics on drugs for life, even though a natural 30-day detox of raw food and clean water can cure them. Google ‘going raw.’ Science has its uses, but I refuse to blindly believe what corporate and government funded ‘scientists’ tell me, especially when it's conducive to their profits. By the same token, I don't take what the preachers say as gospel truth, either, as they are often motivated by the same god – money.

What I'd like to see is people having some integrity, religious or not. I'm tired of being surrounded by scumbags ;)



Uh huh. How much do you know about “going raw”? I looked it up and have to say I have doubts seems to me they just want to sell dvds. Much like the point you made about drug companies.
Science is method and learning not a controlling entity, a tool sometimes used dishonestly maybe but a tool regardless.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
El Cid at 5:26PM, Oct. 18, 2010
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There actually are some health benefits to “going raw.” Some nutrients are leeched out of food when they are cooked, among them chromium which helps insulin to work, so I can see where it could be helpful for diabetics to switch to eating at least some foods raw. The advocacy for traditional treatments over alternatives like “going raw” isn't really an indictment of “science;” it's through science that we can understand why alternative treatments work and perhaps improve upon them.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
Genejoke at 12:27AM, Oct. 19, 2010
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I agree completely, I just avoided going too heavy into it. I am looking into going kind of raw to improve my health.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
mlai at 9:05AM, Oct. 19, 2010
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When you say “going raw”… do you mean salad, or raw meat?

Because obviously eating raw meat has risks which greatly outweigh any potential benefits, even if you are diabetic.

I had to wean myself off of eating raw beef because of the risks. Dang that was hard; raw beef was addictive.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
Genejoke at 4:27PM, Oct. 19, 2010
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I am not sure on the meat side of things, need to look into it more.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
ozoneocean at 6:22AM, Oct. 20, 2010
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mlai
I had to wean myself off of eating raw beef because of the risks. Dang that was hard; raw beef was addictive.
Even my cat prefers cooked meat to raw, I think attraction to raw meat in humans is a bit of a deviation from the norm psychologically- for three reasons:
1. Eating raw meat is a cultural taboo.
2. It's potentially disastrous to your health and has always been that way.
3. We are pretty much hard wired to prefer meat cooked.- changes happen in the cooked flesh that make it much more appealing to our senses. Scientists now theorise that the cooking of flesh (and everything involved from hunting, hunt coordination, weapon making, fire usage, and perpetration) was quite instrumental in the development of early humans.
They reason that the practise of cooking was instrumental in the evolution of humanity as an intelligent, tool using, cultural species.

We aren't apemen. We're humans.

Cooking vegetables is quite a good idea too- there are many, many types of vegetable, legume etc that are unpalatable, inedible, or plain poisonous till they are properly prepared.

You can eat lots of stuff raw, but cooking opens up a much bigger variety of sustenance that is available to you.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
mlai at 1:17PM, Oct. 20, 2010
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Oh, you were talking about “raw” fruits and veggies! Then yeah, ofc eating them “raw” has health benefits. Like salads.

However, even vegetables have risks of conveying diseases when uncooked. Also, some nutrients are better released after green vegetables are lightly steamed – it breaks down the cell walls a little. Kills bacteria too.

About raw beef:
I didn't care about the taboo etc of it. It tasted grrrrreat. With the proper seasoning I mean; I wasn't just eating it with nothing else. But towards the end I think I started using less and less seasoning LOL.

Damn I'm salivating just thinking about it. Pity I'll never eat it again. Parasites are scaaaaaaary. Looked in my textbooks on parasites in cattle, and right then and there swore I'll never eat another bite raw.

Humans prefer cooked meat? Does sushi count?

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
ozoneocean at 10:07PM, Oct. 20, 2010
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mlai
Humans prefer cooked meat? Does sushi count?
I don't think so. There's a lot of preparation involved in making Sushi, it's not just a hunk of fish hacked out and gobbled up.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
mlai at 5:34AM, Oct. 21, 2010
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Huh??? Ofc it's just a hunk of raw fish. They're not cooked in any way, and they're not seasoned. Outside of the sauce you dip them in.

Only certain species of fish are suitable for sushi. But they're raw fish.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
ozoneocean at 7:57AM, Oct. 21, 2010
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mlai
Huh??? Ofc it's just a hunk of raw fish. They're not cooked in any way, and they're not seasoned. Outside of the sauce you dip them in.




:)

Besides, while “cooking” can be defined as heat treatment of food, it's also about preparation to change the food state. Even with sushi or sushimi the preparation is heavy… Traditionally the sauces, vinegars, or fermentation served the same role as heat treating the fish.

Personally, I don't like sushi. I always find it a bit lame and disappointing. I mean, it LOOKS fantastic, but tastes… lame. -_-
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
F Y R E 13 R A N D at 12:03PM, Oct. 21, 2010
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El Cid
And btw how are we defining Atheist and Agnostic here?

As far as I'm aware, there are solid definitions for these terms, at least as they apply to the discussion here:

THEISM = The belief in a god or gods, or some form of supernatural force of creation.

ATHEISM = The lack of a belief in whatever god or gods are purported to exist.

GNOSTIC = You think you know whether there is a god or gods, or at least you believe it is possible to have knowledge about the “truth” of these entities.

AGNOSTIC = You don't claim to have knowledge of the absolute truth of a god or gods, or don't think it's possible to know with the current evidence.


I would wager most religious people (theists) are also gnostic, since most organized religions are centered around a holy book of some type which claims aboslute knowledge of a god figure who manifested in some way on Earth and relayed information to humanity directly.

Theists can also be agnostic, if they believe in a god and follow its teachings, but don't claim to know absolutely that it is true.

Atheists can also be gnostic or agnostic, and I'd wager that most people erroneously assume that all atheists are gnostic – that is, that atheists believe that there is no god. Remember, there is a difference between “not holding a belief in a god” and “believing there is no god.”

Most honest atheists would probably have to be, in the technical sense, agnostic. This is purely because you cannot possibly know everything about everything in the entire universe, and know absolutely that there is not, nor was there ever, a god. But when you consider that the same uncertainty can be held for unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters, goblins, etc., that uncertainty becomes trivial and useless in discussion and everyday life.

Another very important thing to remember is that atheism cannot exist in a vacuum. Atheism is simply a response to a claim. Whatever the supernatural or god-related claim says, an “atheist” response is that such a claim is either unfounded or lacking in sufficient evidence so as to justify belief.

Atheism also doesn't have to be a wide-sweeping, objective blanket for all claims. We are all atheists with regards to some gods out there. How many people believe in Thor or Zeus? If you don't believe in those gods, then in some sense, you are an atheist.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
Genejoke at 2:27PM, Oct. 21, 2010
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Someone
We are all atheists with regards to some gods out there. How many people believe in Thor or Zeus? If you don't believe in those gods, then in some sense, you are an atheist.

Atheism is a rejection of god(s) of all kinds, to believe in a god of any kind would make you a theist.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
El Cid at 5:00PM, Oct. 21, 2010
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I guess I'm an agnostic atheist then? I agree that gnostic atheism isn't really possible; that whole thing about not being able to disprove a negative and all. In fact I don't see how anyone could claim gnosticism at all when it concerns matters of religion, unless they know something the rest of us don't. I guess the next question then would be for all the people who call themselves just plain “agnostics” to ask themselves whether they're agnostic theists or agnostic atheists.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
El Cid at 5:03PM, Oct. 21, 2010
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Oh, and I gotta agree with Ozone. Sushi is lame.

But I will admit sometimes I'll scarf down a few not-all-the-way-cooked bits when I'm browning some beef over the stove. *shrugs* tastes fine to me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
bravo1102 at 10:42PM, Oct. 21, 2010
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El Cid
In fact I don't see how anyone could claim gnosticism at all when it concerns matters of religion, unless they know something the rest of us don't.

Historically that has been the whole point of any religious doctrine called gnosticism. It was a “secret doctrine” of those who “know” as opposed to the rest of the believers.

Those who “get it” versus those who don't/can't.

You could be a gnostic agnostic. It would literally mean that you know that you don't/can't know. Which is ridiculous but then H. L. Mencken said. “One belly laugh is worth 10,000 syllogisms.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
ozoneocean at 10:51PM, Oct. 21, 2010
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bravo1102
It would literally mean that you know that you don't/can't know. Which is ridiculous
That's not in the least bit ridiculous, it's actually quite profound.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Genejoke at 11:22PM, Oct. 21, 2010
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wouldn't that just make you agnostic?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
mlai at 4:19AM, Oct. 22, 2010
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Sushi is… lame?

You blasphemers do not deserve to eat sushi.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
God of War at 2:13PM, Oct. 22, 2010
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I'm horrified how much emotions this kind of debates can generate over the Internet. I mean, for me it's pointless. Question whenever God exist or not is unscientific - theres no scientific way to find an answer, so the only logical answer is “I don't know”. From scientific point of view atheism equals religion as they're both regually unscientific and not really logical. But both sides are full of fanatics who claims to “know the truth” (theists) or “be more logical” (atheists) and try to enforce their beliefs on others because they're under an illusion of being right and better. Whenever I admit being Catholic on the web, I'm attacked by anti-theists, and I seen theists attacking people who admit being atheists. This is stupid, disturbing and annoying. And entirely pointles, because what does come from it aside shitstorm? Nothing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:38PM

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