Why are you an atheist?

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Postby HughMungus » Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:12 pm

Rob the Wop wrote:A = ~A; FALSE

They are not logically equivilant.


I'm not saying that the two statements of fact are not equal. I'm saying that the logic used to get to both statements of what people believe to be fact use the same logic.

As to the concept of beliefs, everyone has them. It is the way it we think, and this is a good thing. Agnostics may claim the miraculous ability to be free of faith, but this is wrong.


How so? I choose to not care about the spiritual world and the afterlife and I have no opinion as to whether there is or is not a god or afterlife because it doesn't matter (which is different from what I *believe* to be true). How is this "wrong"? Are you saying it's not possible for someone to say, "It can't be proven"? I have yet to have someone here prove or disprove the existence of god.

Go into a room you have never been in. It is empty save a light bulb and a switch on the wall. You walk over and flip the switch in order to turn on the light. Why? You believe that the switch will turn on the light regardless of the fact that you have not seen this particular switch turn on this particular light. This is the same reason you don't expect a giant man eating purple twinkie behind every closed door you open. You have never seen a giant man eating purple twinkie lurking behind a door, but you can't discount it if you hold your experiences up against infinity.

But humans use 'fuzzy logic' to determine how we react to our immediate reality. We compare our past experiences to new situations and react accordingly. If you take into account our beliefs based upon what we have read (2nd hand knowledge- physics, chemistry, etc), then we add a third removed layer of experiences. This way you can believe that the moon is NOT made of cheese without having actually been there.

Ergo, I believe that there is no omnipotent being responsible for reality. I do not need a logical proof for me to hold this belief any more than you need one to believe in things you have not immediately experienced.


Right, so you being an atheist is based on belief, not absolute fact, correct? (Since you can't disprove the existence of a deity, you just choose to believe there isn't one based on your own experience.)
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Postby HughMungus » Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:13 pm

Rob the Wop wrote:
HughMungus wrote:So it's impossible to prove either the existence or the non-existence of god?

Is there a difference between saying, "There is no god" and saying, "I believe there is no god"?


a) Yes. It is impossible to prove/disprove the existance of god simply because god, by definition, is omnipotent. Therefore unmeasurable (provable).

b) No. Unless you are lying. "There is no god." is actually saying "I believe there is no god." Unless you believe in god and state "there is no god". 'I believe' is inherent.


So, therefore, both atheists and theists are making assumptions based on belief, not proven fact, right?
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Postby blyslv » Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:17 pm

God is in everyone of us. The best thing to do is shut up and listen.
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Postby Ranger Genius » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:21 pm

Hugh:

Once again, you're showing a woeful ignorance when it comes to the working of logic. Let's just get this out of the way, in nice bold letters:

You cannot disprove anything. You cannot disprove the statement that I am one of RtheW's grass monsters or man-eating twinkies. Does that mean you believe it to be true? Or that you even have to consider it to be a possibility? If I tried to convince you that I was a 6-ft weasel in a pink tutu, and my only argument was that you couldn't prove otherwise, you'd think I was an idiot. As I said, the informal logical fallacy at play here is the Argumentium ad Ignorantium, or the appeal to ignorance. In other words, "You can't disprove X, therefore X must be true." In our case, the argument is "You can't disprove [the possibility of God's existence], therefore [the possiblity of God's existence] must be true." Replace the clause in the brackets with something completely absurd (vis-a-vis Rob's excellent reductio ad absurdum examples, and you'll see how patently ridiculous your point is.

I have to go pick up my wife now, but when I get back we'll talk about the standard of knowledge, the different types of beliefs, their relative worths, the burden of proof, and faith vs confidence.
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Postby Rob the Wop » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:32 pm

HughMungus wrote:
Rob the Wop wrote:
HughMungus wrote:So it's impossible to prove either the existence or the non-existence of god?

Is there a difference between saying, "There is no god" and saying, "I believe there is no god"?


a) Yes. It is impossible to prove/disprove the existance of god simply because god, by definition, is omnipotent. Therefore unmeasurable (provable).

b) No. Unless you are lying. "There is no god." is actually saying "I believe there is no god." Unless you believe in god and state "there is no god". 'I believe' is inherent.


So, therefore, both atheists and theists are making assumptions based on belief, not proven fact, right?


Uhm... yes. Theists and atheists are BELIEF systems. I have no idea what point you are trying to make. If the point is that atheists choose to believe in no god, then you are right.

I don't think there is really a difference between the assumption and the belief. They are the same thing in this case. I'm not trying to convince anyone else of anything, I just don't care. So why does my belief in there not being a god bug you so much?

Everyone is composed of belief systems. It's how humans function. Do you believe in electricity? Do you believe in radio waves? Light? Gravity? Do you claim to be free of beliefs altoghether? Or is not believing in this specific issue make you somehow 'more correct' than people that have opinions/assumptions/belief/(place any other of a dozen words here) based upon the existance of an omnipotent being? Would you rather debate your own existance and reality? Whether you believe your own senses (which are surprisingly easily fooled)?
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Postby Rob the Wop » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:34 pm

Ranger Genius wrote:Hugh:

Once again, you're showing a woeful ignorance when it comes to the working of logic. Let's just get this out of the way, in nice bold letters:

You cannot disprove anything. You cannot disprove the statement that I am one of RtheW's grass monsters or man-eating twinkies. Does that mean you believe it to be true? Or that you even have to consider it to be a possibility? If I tried to convince you that I was a 6-ft weasel in a pink tutu, and my only argument was that you couldn't prove otherwise, you'd think I was an idiot. As I said, the informal logical fallacy at play here is the Argumentium ad Ignorantium, or the appeal to ignorance. In other words, "You can't disprove X, therefore X must be true." In our case, the argument is "You can't disprove [the possibility of God's existence], therefore [the possiblity of God's existence] must be true." Replace the clause in the brackets with something completely absurd (vis-a-vis Rob's excellent reductio ad absurdum examples, and you'll see how patently ridiculous your point is.

I have to go pick up my wife now, but when I get back we'll talk about the standard of knowledge, the different types of beliefs, their relative worths, the burden of proof, and faith vs confidence.


I know, I didn't point this one out earlier. I figured this would spark another tirade into the workings of logic, which wasn't worth it. Did think about it though.
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Postby HughMungus » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:46 pm

Ranger Genius wrote:Hugh:

Once again, you're showing a woeful ignorance when it comes to the working of logic. Let's just get this out of the way, in nice bold letters:

You cannot disprove anything. You cannot disprove the statement that I am one of RtheW's grass monsters or man-eating twinkies. Does that mean you believe it to be true? Or that you even have to consider it to be a possibility? If I tried to convince you that I was a 6-ft weasel in a pink tutu, and my only argument was that you couldn't prove otherwise, you'd think I was an idiot. As I said, the informal logical fallacy at play here is the Argumentium ad Ignorantium, or the appeal to ignorance. In other words, "You can't disprove X, therefore X must be true." In our case, the argument is "You can't disprove [the possibility of God's existence], therefore [the possiblity of God's existence] must be true."


Please quote me where I said, "Because you can't disprove that there is a god that there must be a god." I don't think I ever said that. Try reading my posts and replying to them instead of replying to what you think you read or what you think I'm trying to say.

What I *have* said is that both believers and non-believers rely on *belief* instead of fact to form their beliefs. Therefore, both atheists and theists are basing their beliefs on the same type of logic: they both believe something to be true with no verifiable evidence.

If you think I'm wrong, complete this sentence: "I'm an atheist because there is the following verifiable proof that there is no god: ____________."
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Postby HughMungus » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:53 pm

Rob the Wop wrote:
HughMungus wrote:
Rob the Wop wrote:
HughMungus wrote:So it's impossible to prove either the existence or the non-existence of god?

Is there a difference between saying, "There is no god" and saying, "I believe there is no god"?


a) Yes. It is impossible to prove/disprove the existance of god simply because god, by definition, is omnipotent. Therefore unmeasurable (provable).

b) No. Unless you are lying. "There is no god." is actually saying "I believe there is no god." Unless you believe in god and state "there is no god". 'I believe' is inherent.


So, therefore, both atheists and theists are making assumptions based on belief, not proven fact, right?


Uhm... yes. Theists and atheists are BELIEF systems. I have no idea what point you are trying to make.


That atheists and thesist are using the same type of logic to form their belief.

If the point is that atheists choose to believe in no god, then you are right.


Right, so, therefore, an atheist and a theist both believe something to be true because they believe it to be so, not because they can prove it, right?

I don't think there is really a difference between the assumption and the belief. They are the same thing in this case. I'm not trying to convince anyone else of anything, I just don't care. So why does my belief in there not being a god bug you so much?


Where did I say it bugs me? I'm just asking if atheists and theists are both using the same logic. It appears they are. That is, "I believe something that I can't prove."

Everyone is composed of belief systems. It's how humans function. Do you believe in electricity? Do you believe in radio waves? Light? Gravity? Do you claim to be free of beliefs altoghether? Or is not believing in this specific issue make you somehow 'more correct' than people that have opinions/assumptions/belief/(place any other of a dozen words here) based upon the existance of an omnipotent being? Would you rather debate your own existance and reality? Whether you believe your own senses (which are surprisingly easily fooled)?


Where are you getting this idea that I'm trying to be correct? Jesus, people really read into things here; try reading what I wrote, instead.

The reason I started this thread is because I don't understand why someone would be an atheist instead of just being agnostic. So I was curious to see if any of the atheists here could tell me why they're an atheist. The answer appears to be, "I'm an atheist simply because that is what I believe," with no factual proof to back-up that belief. That doesn't mean I'm knocking atheism. I just find it amusing that both theists and atheists are relying on little more than belief without proof. So, therefore, why would someone believe "There is no god" instead of just not caring?
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Postby Rob the Wop » Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:29 pm

<sigh>

Alright, let me try and point out something.

a) I already stated that it is impossible to prove god exists by the very nature of its existance. It may or may not exist (in this context- I am still an atheist), but providing proof either way is impossible. PLEASE let's get that out of the way, you keep circling back to it to 'prove' your argument.

b) I already stated that my belief has no basis in proof.

You keep asking for people to provide PROOF to justify their BELIEF systems. I am the only one of us two that gets it?

Let's try this again.

A BELIEF system does not require PROOF. That is what differentiates a BELIEF from a FACT.
A BELIEF may be a FACT, a FACT may be a BELIEF, but BELIEF != FACT.

I believe god doesn't exist because I feel that reality as we know it simply is, and that there is no being responsible for its creation. You can accept this or not.
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Postby HughMungus » Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:08 pm

Rob the Wop wrote:<sigh>

Alright, let me try and point out something.

a) I already stated that it is impossible to prove god exists by the very nature of its existance. It may or may not exist (in this context- I am still an atheist), but providing proof either way is impossible. PLEASE let's get that out of the way, you keep circling back to it to 'prove' your argument.

b) I already stated that my belief has no basis in proof.

You keep asking for people to provide PROOF to justify their BELIEF systems. I am the only one of us two that gets it?

Let's try this again.

A BELIEF system does not require PROOF. That is what differentiates a BELIEF from a FACT.
A BELIEF may be a FACT, a FACT may be a BELIEF, but BELIEF != FACT.

I believe god doesn't exist because I feel that reality as we know it simply is, and that there is no being responsible for its creation. You can accept this or not.


I have no idea where you're getting the idea that I need to accept anything. I'm asking if theists and atheists are using the same logical arguments to arrive at different conclusions. You're telling me that yes, in fact, theists and atheists are both making a statement based one BELIEF, not on FACT. Therefore, they are using the same logic, right?
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Postby Rob the Wop » Fri Feb 24, 2006 6:26 pm

HughMungus wrote:I have no idea where you're getting the idea that I need to accept anything.


Uhm, you're the one not accepting another's belief systems. You are going so far as to challenge their reasons for their beliefs. Ergo, entirely missing the point of a belief.
HughMungus wrote:Why would someone try to convince themselves or others that there is no god. What's the point of that?

I personally don't care what you believe, that's your business and religon is the most personal business you can have really. But you are trying to argue, whether you will admit it or not, that atheists should have logical proof before believing in something.

HughMungus wrote:I'm asking if theists and atheists are using the same logical arguments to arrive at different conclusions. You're telling me that yes, in fact, theists and atheists are both making a statement based one BELIEF, not on FACT. Therefore, they are using the same logic, right?

Please define logic, as apparently the couple of semesters I took in logical philosophy were wasted. I thought I was not using a logical argument to defend my belief at all. Please give me some kind of breakdown of my supposed argument for my belief system, so that I may better understand. An ordered list would work best, premises and conclusion.
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Postby HughMungus » Fri Feb 24, 2006 6:51 pm

Rob the Wop wrote:
HughMungus wrote:I have no idea where you're getting the idea that I need to accept anything.


Uhm, you're the one not accepting another's belief systems. You are going so far as to challenge their reasons for their beliefs. Ergo, entirely missing the point of a belief.
HughMungus wrote:Why would someone try to convince themselves or others that there is no god. What's the point of that?

I personally don't care what you believe, that's your business and religon is the most personal business you can have really. But you are trying to argue, whether you will admit it or not, that atheists should have logical proof before believing in something.

HughMungus wrote:I'm asking if theists and atheists are using the same logical arguments to arrive at different conclusions. You're telling me that yes, in fact, theists and atheists are both making a statement based one BELIEF, not on FACT. Therefore, they are using the same logic, right?

Please define logic, as apparently the couple of semesters I took in logical philosophy were wasted. I thought I was not using a logical argument to defend my belief at all. Please give me some kind of breakdown of my supposed argument for my belief system, so that I may better understand. An ordered list would work best, premises and conclusion.


Let me spell it out for you: How do you think you arrived at your belief that there is no god? I'm starting to think that you're agnostic, not atheist.

By the way, I'm not challenging anyone. I'm curious as to how someone arrives at "There is no god."
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Postby Bob » Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:12 pm

There are varieties of atheism, as I suppose there are varieties of theism.

My own personal Genius tells me I believe I simply don't give a shit -- from the Greek a- (without) theos (shit).

Other varieties of atheism would instill one with a strong belief that there is no god. Again, I don't give a shit, because this is a useless answer to a stupid question I stopped caring about long ago. And that's not the same as agnosticism, fwiw.
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Postby joel the ornery » Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:50 am

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Postby Ranger Genius » Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:27 am

Okay, I guess we need to talk about the Burden of Proof.

Because it is not possible to prove a negative (refer to my tutu-wearing weasel), the burden to prove a claim always lies on those who affirm it. the PROPONENT of a claim is the only person who has a burden to prove it. Lack of evidence for that claim is sufficient to disbelieve it.

So, one who says "I believe [X]" has a burden to show some reasonable amount of evidence to support it. Which theists cannot do, by definition. On the other hand, one who says "I disbelieve [X]" has only to show that the evidence in support of X is flawed.

Now, "I don't believe in God" is in the latter of those classes of argument. And since there's absolutely no evidence of any god's existence (in fact, cannot be because proof denies faith and without faith, god is nothing [see again, Babel Fish]) it's a belief based on evidence (a much easier standard to establish than a standard of fact), as opposed to a belief based on faith. This is what I like to call "soft atheism."

I, however, subscribe to a view I call "strong atheism," which does state "I believe there is no god," which is a different claim from "I don't believe in god;" a subtle but important distinction. In the standardized form we were using earlier, this one would be expressed "I believe [-X]." You'll notice that we are now using the same logical form for the claim as we were for theism ("I believe [X]"). So they are, indeed the same type of claim. However, there are some important distinctions, not the least of which being that [X] is a an extraordinary explanation to questions which ordinary ones answer. Again, refer to the standard of reasonability. So while the two claims take the same logical form, they're in a very different class of belief.

A pair of syllogisms.

If God created man, he did so in his own image.
God is perfect.
Therefore: if god created man, man is perfect.

If god created man, man is perfect.
Man is not perfect. (see Incompetent Design, by Don Wise, and The Blind Watchmaker, by Richard Dawkins)
Therefore: god did not create man.

Please quote me where I said, "Because you can't disprove that there is a god that there must be a god." I don't think I ever said that. Try reading my posts and replying to them instead of replying to what you think you read or what you think I'm trying to say.


You've misunderstood me. I said that you're trying to claim that one must give credence to the possibility of god's existence, not to his actual existence, in your argument. This is based on extrapolation of your argument that atheism and theism are the same type of belief, which would mean they have equal weight.

Obviously, I go beyond saying "I don't believe there's evidence God exists" to saying "I believe there's evidence God does not exist." And while both of these are beliefs, saying that they're equally meritorious is like saying that belief in the Easter bunny deserves as much credence as belief in the Law of Universal Gravitation. True, they're both beliefs; but they're radically different types of beliefs held for very different reasons.

All beliefs are not created equal.
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Postby cowboyangel » Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:01 pm

why am I??.....hmmmm well, I am a theist because no one can prove anything to anyone else, so err on the side of caution.......or don't err at all. Who cares? these folks obviously do http://www.proofgodexists.org/
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Postby Bob » Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:02 pm

You people watch too much television. Atheist:Theist is not like Whig:Tory.

An "-ism" isn't necessarily a belief or practice -- often, it's simply a state, a quality, or the result of an action, eg "Baptism", the result of a priest bapping you in the forehead with a sphincter of holy waters.

And ya'll'll be happy to know that "festival" shares an Indo-European root with "atheist".
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Postby Kinetic IV » Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:31 pm

Engineers have always tended to believe in science and dismiss religion at the earliest possibility. This is more of the same. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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Postby HughMungus » Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:58 pm

Ranger Genius wrote:Okay, I guess we need to talk about the Burden of Proof.

Because it is not possible to prove a negative (refer to my tutu-wearing weasel), the burden to prove a claim always lies on those who affirm it. the PROPONENT of a claim is the only person who has a burden to prove it. Lack of evidence for that claim is sufficient to disbelieve it.

So, one who says "I believe [X]" has a burden to show some reasonable amount of evidence to support it. Which theists cannot do, by definition. On the other hand, one who says "I disbelieve [X]" has only to show that the evidence in support of X is flawed.

Now, "I don't believe in God" is in the latter of those classes of argument. And since there's absolutely no evidence of any god's existence (in fact, cannot be because proof denies faith and without faith, god is nothing [see again, Babel Fish]) it's a belief based on evidence (a much easier standard to establish than a standard of fact), as opposed to a belief based on faith. This is what I like to call "soft atheism."

I, however, subscribe to a view I call "strong atheism," which does state "I believe there is no god," which is a different claim from "I don't believe in god;" a subtle but important distinction. In the standardized form we were using earlier, this one would be expressed "I believe [-X]." You'll notice that we are now using the same logical form for the claim as we were for theism ("I believe [X]"). So they are, indeed the same type of claim. However, there are some important distinctions, not the least of which being that [X] is a an extraordinary explanation to questions which ordinary ones answer. Again, refer to the standard of reasonability. So while the two claims take the same logical form, they're in a very different class of belief.

A pair of syllogisms.

If God created man, he did so in his own image.
God is perfect.
Therefore: if god created man, man is perfect.

If god created man, man is perfect.
Man is not perfect. (see Incompetent Design, by Don Wise, and The Blind Watchmaker, by Richard Dawkins)
Therefore: god did not create man.

Please quote me where I said, "Because you can't disprove that there is a god that there must be a god." I don't think I ever said that. Try reading my posts and replying to them instead of replying to what you think you read or what you think I'm trying to say.


You've misunderstood me. I said that you're trying to claim that one must give credence to the possibility of god's existence, not to his actual existence, in your argument. This is based on extrapolation of your argument that atheism and theism are the same type of belief, which would mean they have equal weight.

Obviously, I go beyond saying "I don't believe there's evidence God exists" to saying "I believe there's evidence God does not exist." And while both of these are beliefs, saying that they're equally meritorious is like saying that belief in the Easter bunny deserves as much credence as belief in the Law of Universal Gravitation. True, they're both beliefs; but they're radically different types of beliefs held for very different reasons.

All beliefs are not created equal.


Interesting. You don't believe that there is no god because you have evidence of your own, you believe that there is no god because those who say there is a god have no evidence.
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Postby MoisturePup » Sat Feb 25, 2006 8:25 pm

HughMungus wrote:
sputnik wrote:Can I just say because?


Somebody tried that with me once. I said, "Why are you an atheist" and all he could say was, "Because." I'm not someone who's trying to say that people who don't think there is a god are wrong. I just don't understand why someone would identify themselves as stating, categorically, "There is no god." It's like whether someone believes that there might be alien life or not -- if someone says, "I don't believe there is alien life in the universe" then the first question that comes to my mind is, "Why do you believe that?" (And not because I believe there is or isn't, just because I'm trying to understand how they came to such an absolute statement of what they believe to be fact.)


I'm athiest. Does that mean there is no god? No. But I sure doubt there is a god which is in touch with any human being on this planet, nor any god that could give two wits about us and our foibles. We would be to God as the tiniest microbe on a planet billions of light years away are to us.

I've come up with a theory on how we got here that very neatly and logically explains the entire existence of the universe. Sounds crazy? That's fine, this theory is only for me, I rarely share it with others, and it's really just meant to answer this for myself so that I don't have to keep devoting thought cycles to the question.

My theory, as best as I can put it into words (I primarily see it visually in my head, and some of the things going on in that vision aren't easily described by words.) Mass, Gravity, and Time are all related. The Universe, according to modern science, began in a big bang. If Mass, Gravity and Time are all intertwined, the moment of the big bang (ie, the beginning) was simultaneously the same moment as the end of our Universe. It sound paradoxical, but it's not because at the moment of the Big Bang the entire Universe, everything in it, including Mass, Gravity, and all Time, everything is compacted in upon itself. If you were to look this on a timeline, you would see not a loop, but a single line with two identical end points (but not a loop, they merely share all time/mass/gravity at that moment. ) To visualize this I think about something like the show Battle Star Galactica's Faster Than Light drive where a ship just blinks out of existence and reapears elsewhere. Except in this case it's the entire universe restarting at the other end of the single time line. Why would they need to be the same point? Because if they weren't you would need a begining insertion of Mass into the timeline before the Big Bang, in which case the universe would grow with each iteration since Mass can't be destroyed.

And on, and on. It all makes sense in my head when I visualize it, it's nearly impossible to type out into words though.

Should any of you believe that? Absolutely not. It's probably based on some faulty understanding of physics, and false from it's very begining premise of a relation to mass, gravity and time. But... since I don't work in science, I don't have to care. I can just hold that in my head as my "this is how we got here" and move on and think about other things. Hell, ever since I came up with that I have devoted almost no brain cycles to how we got here.

So the real answer is, I don't know how we got here, but I'd bet an eternity in hell that there is no god.

Some undoubtedly a couple of you (since that's probably all that managed to read this far through this long post) are asking yourselves "well if you can believe that fiction, why do you post threads pissing on what you think is other peoples fictions?" And that's because Religion is not like an unshared thought in my head. Religion has to perpetuate itself somehow. whether that be through evangelists, terrorism, persecution, or bribery ("Hello 3rd world person, we'll feed you our tastey rice if you believe in our god! Oh, what's that? No. Well fine, starve to death. Next? You don't want to starve to death too do you? I didn't think so.") I'd be fine if every person came up with their own description of how we got here. What bothers me is when people subscribe to somebody elses "this is how we got here."
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Postby cowboyangel » Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:45 pm

if there is such a thing as pure awareness, then it would be almost like...nothing.....so full of itself as to admit nothing else, looks alot like nothing, else. So perhaps, the god thing is like a nice big comfort cookie for those who need it. And awareness, pure awareness, remains an intriguing possibility. Ya so how do we then explain this? If pure awareness encompasses everything into itself, then this is included, and we would have to conclude that either we are missing something or there is more to it than meets the eye. See Patanjali's Yoga Sutras for the ultimate cookbook that explains it all, or not.
http://www.brightpathvideo.com/MP3/YogaSutras1&2.mp3
http://www.brightpathvideo.com/MP3/YogaSutras3&4.mp3
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Postby Rob the Wop » Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:02 pm

HughMungus wrote:Let me spell it out for you: How do you think you arrived at your belief that there is no god? I'm starting to think that you're agnostic, not atheist.

By the way, I'm not challenging anyone. I'm curious as to how someone arrives at "There is no god."


I love rabid agnostics. Its funny to meet them, they tend to be far worse than the most rabid hard-core Evangelists. Unfortunately, they always try to convince atheists that they are truely just agnostics.

I believe in the notion that the universe exists, has always existed, and will always exist. I believe that all the rules that shape the universe (physics, etc) have always existed, and will not change. I do not fear the concept of infinity to the point where there has to be an intelligent being that created everything.

So I guess to answer your question, I did not follow some convoluted logical arguement to arrive at a conclusion that God does not exist. I simply accept the fact that the universe exists, and I don't think a specific intelligent being was required for this to happen. I believe in God to the same degree as I believe in the man-eating purple twinkie or any other imaginary being created to scare children (or adults).

So the 'thought' of god was really just a non-thought. I accept the universe. I do not accept the concept of god. I truely can't make this any plainer to you.

So here's a question to you, since you steadfastly refuse to listen to the reasons behind my belief- what makes you think you are an agnostic?

Seriously. Saying 'I don't care either way" does not mean you haven't thought about the existance of god. I guarantee that you have. I also believe that you have formed an opinion one way or another, maybe 30% no and 70% yes- but some opinion nonetheless. What is it?
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Postby Rob the Wop » Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:46 pm

Oops. My bad. I just found out a couple seconds ago that I do believe in God.

And here's my logical proof for you Hugh.

1) A man's belief system is individual to them.
2) Every man is different from any other man based upon their genetics, experiences, and environmental conditioning.
3) Technology does not allow a man to fully read the mind of another man.
4) A man's belief system is held only within their own mind.
5) Since every man's belief system is different and technology does not allow us to read another man's mind, a man can never fully understand another man's belief system.
6) Only an omnipotent being can have a better understanding of another's belief system than that individual themself.
7) The only omnipotent being is God.
8) Atheism and agnosticism are both individual belief systems.
9) Hugh Mongous understands that I am an agnostic, whereas I had always thought I was an atheist.

C) Hugh Mongous is God.

(Unfortunately Hugh, since you are God and you believe that your own existance is unimportant- you will have to disappear in a puff of logic. Sorry dude, but that's just the way logic works.)
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Postby Ranger Genius » Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:30 am

HughMungus wrote: Interesting. You don't believe that there is no god because you have evidence of your own, you believe that there is no god because those who say there is a god have no evidence.


Interesting. You don't believe that there is no [easter bunny] because you have evidence of your own, you believe that there is no [easter bunny] because those who say there is a[n easter bunny] have no evidence.

How is it intellectually profitable to posit--or even consider--an entity of whom there is not and cannot be any evidence? If I told you that you couldn't rule out the possibility of Santa Claus' existence because you can't disprove it, and told you your reasons for believing in him were irrational or illogical because you can only refute the evidence others present, rather than providing your own evidence of his nonexistant, you'd think I was daffy.

I said before, in less strong terms than the ones I'm about to, that you cannot prove a negative. It is up to the proponents of a statement of affirmation to provide evidence for it. A lack of evidence is sufficient reason to disbelieve anything, and someone who expects you to give credence to a belief simply because it cannot be disproven is an idiot.
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Postby HughMungus » Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:55 pm

Ranger Genius wrote:
HughMungus wrote: Interesting. You don't believe that there is no god because you have evidence of your own, you believe that there is no god because those who say there is a god have no evidence.


Interesting. You don't believe that there is no [easter bunny] because you have evidence of your own, you believe that there is no [easter bunny] because those who say there is a[n easter bunny] have no evidence.

How is it intellectually profitable to posit--or even consider--an entity of whom there is not and cannot be any evidence? If I told you that you couldn't rule out the possibility of Santa Claus' existence because you can't disprove it, and told you your reasons for believing in him were irrational or illogical because you can only refute the evidence others present, rather than providing your own evidence of his nonexistant, you'd think I was daffy.

I said before, in less strong terms than the ones I'm about to, that you cannot prove a negative. It is up to the proponents of a statement of affirmation to provide evidence for it. A lack of evidence is sufficient reason to disbelieve anything, and someone who expects you to give credence to a belief simply because it cannot be disproven is an idiot.


I don't care if there is or is not a god, easter bunny, aliens, santa claus, whatever. If someone asks me, "Do you believe in God," (as someone did last week, in fact), I say, "I don't care. It's not relevant to my life."

My question for you is: why do you believe that there is not a god instead of simply not caring either way?
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Postby HughMungus » Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:18 pm

Rob the Wop wrote:
HughMungus wrote:Let me spell it out for you: How do you think you arrived at your belief that there is no god? I'm starting to think that you're agnostic, not atheist.

By the way, I'm not challenging anyone. I'm curious as to how someone arrives at "There is no god."


I love rabid agnostics. Its funny to meet them, they tend to be far worse than the most rabid hard-core Evangelists. Unfortunately, they always try to convince atheists that they are truely just agnostics.


Not trying to convince anyone of anything. Just wondering how people arrive at "There is not god", a strong affirmative statement vs. having no opinion.

I believe in the notion that the universe exists, has always existed, and will always exist. I believe that all the rules that shape the universe (physics, etc) have always existed, and will not change. I do not fear the concept of infinity to the point where there has to be an intelligent being that created everything.

So I guess to answer your question, I did not follow some convoluted logical arguement to arrive at a conclusion that God does not exist. I simply accept the fact that the universe exists, and I don't think a specific intelligent being was required for this to happen. I believe in God to the same degree as I believe in the man-eating purple twinkie or any other imaginary being created to scare children (or adults).

So the 'thought' of god was really just a non-thought. I accept the universe. I do not accept the concept of god. I truely can't make this any plainer to you.


So here's a question to you, since you steadfastly refuse to listen to the reasons behind my belief-[/quote]

The statements are plain but how you arrive at "I do not accept the concept of god" is a statement that you haven't explained. The universe being eternal and the existence of God are not mutually exclusive. Are you saying that since the universe is eternal that there is no need for a creator and, thus, no need for a god? Or are you saying that whether there is a god or not is a non-question because it is irrelevant to your life? If the latter is the case, wouldn't you be agnostic instead of atheist?

what makes you think you are an agnostic?


Because the question of whether there is a god, afterlife, heaven, hell, etc. are irrelevant to my life. I'm a humanist. Instead of wasting a bunch of time on trying to figure out how to live my life according to some spiritual belief, I live my life based on how it affects the world around me in human terms.

Seriously. Saying 'I don't care either way" does not mean you haven't thought about the existance of god. I guarantee that you have. I also believe that you have formed an opinion one way or another, maybe 30% no and 70% yes- but some opinion nonetheless. What is it?


Of course I've thought about it. But then I realized that it's not relevant when your focus is improving the human condition. It's like saying, "Do you believe there are other forms of intelligent life in the universe?" Some people will argue vehemently one way or another, and some people, like me, find the question interesting and the arguments interesting and the concept of aliens interesting (as a big fan of science fiction) but have no opinion either way because it's not relevant to my life. It's like asking someone who doesn't vote who they'd vote for if they did. They don't care enough to form an opinion because they don't spend any time considering the question; it's simply not relevant to their lives.
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Postby Ranger Genius » Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:04 pm

HughMungus wrote:I don't care if there is or is not a god, easter bunny, aliens, santa claus, whatever. If someone asks me, "Do you believe in God," (as someone did last week, in fact), I say, "I don't care. It's not relevant to my life."

My question for you is: why do you believe that there is not a god instead of simply not caring either way?


Not relevant? If you found out your elected officials believed in the Easter Bunny, would you still have as much confidence in them? Would you fly in an airplane designed by a man who believes in Santa Claus?

I've already said (and I think it's pretty evident) that god-belief is one of the most destructive phenomena in all of human history, causing more suffering and bloodshed than anything else. It is intellectually, socially, and morally destructive. Our current war is religiously motivated, as have been many of the most destructive conflicts in human history. Religiously motivated and rationalized legislation and litigation are constantly whittling away at our civil liberties, and you say that it has no bearing on your life?

And you're asking me why I care about finding the truth, and helping others to do the same? Is not truth-seeking virtuous? Or only when it's marketable?
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Postby HughMungus » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:04 pm

Ranger Genius wrote:
HughMungus wrote:I don't care if there is or is not a god, easter bunny, aliens, santa claus, whatever. If someone asks me, "Do you believe in God," (as someone did last week, in fact), I say, "I don't care. It's not relevant to my life."

My question for you is: why do you believe that there is not a god instead of simply not caring either way?


Not relevant? If you found out your elected officials believed in the Easter Bunny, would you still have as much confidence in them? Would you fly in an airplane designed by a man who believes in Santa Claus?

I've already said (and I think it's pretty evident) that god-belief is one of the most destructive phenomena in all of human history, causing more suffering and bloodshed than anything else. It is intellectually, socially, and morally destructive. Our current war is religiously motivated, as have been many of the most destructive conflicts in human history. Religiously motivated and rationalized legislation and litigation are constantly whittling away at our civil liberties, and you say that it has no bearing on your life?

And you're asking me why I care about finding the truth, and helping others to do the same? Is not truth-seeking virtuous? Or only when it's marketable?


I judge people by their ability to do what they set out to do, not what their moral or religious beliefs are. There are plenty of people who have had what some of us might consider strange beliefs yet excelled at whatever they did.

Ah. So your problem is with religion, not god. That explains everything.
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Postby Ranger Genius » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:15 pm

Belief in god IS religion. It's one and the same. It promotes and encourages ignorance and discourages pursuit of the truth about how the world really works.

If someone asks you whether or not the moon is made of cheese would you say you don't care because it has no bearing on your life? You'll probably never walk on the moon, so it won't affect you directly. Does that mean you don't care whether or not it's true? Or that you would stand idly by while someone told your kids (or anyone else's, or their own) that it was the case?

Do you think that crackpots should be allowed to tell diabetics, cancer patients, and others with chronic illnesses that they can cure themselves with acupuncture, herbal remedies, magnet therapy, aromatherapy, hypnosis, or other such bullshit? It doesn't really affect you, even though it will have catastrophic effects on those who fall for it, so you'd just like to let that slide by unchallenged?
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Postby HughMungus » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:32 pm

Ranger Genius wrote:Belief in god IS religion. It's one and the same. It promotes and encourages ignorance and discourages pursuit of the truth about how the world really works.

If someone asks you whether or not the moon is made of cheese would you say you don't care because it has no bearing on your life? You'll probably never walk on the moon, so it won't affect you directly. Does that mean you don't care whether or not it's true? Or that you would stand idly by while someone told your kids (or anyone else's, or their own) that it was the case?

Do you think that crackpots should be allowed to tell diabetics, cancer patients, and others with chronic illnesses that they can cure themselves with acupuncture, herbal remedies, magnet therapy, aromatherapy, hypnosis, or other such bullshit? It doesn't really affect you, even though it will have catastrophic effects on those who fall for it, so you'd just like to let that slide by unchallenged?


So because some aspects of some religions are destructive and anti-progressive, you dismiss all of them completely? I wasn't going to get into the argument of the positive vs. negative effects of religion but don't you think people would act vastly worse towards one another if they had no fear of some kind of judgement/retribution in the afterlife?
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