I've run across a slew of believers from various religions lately that seem to have a lot of misconceptions about atheists, what they believe, what they don't believe and what they're like. This is your opportunity to have an open discussion where different ideas can meet and some misconceptions can hopefully be resolved on both sides. If you could ask an atheist anything, what would it be?
Do atheist recognize the existence of anything that is not seen?
I believe in the concept of gravity. I can't see it - but I can see its effects. I believe in air, even though it's invisible. I can feel it entering my lungs and being expelled. The only thing that all atheists disbelieve is the existence of a god. Atheism, originally defined, is "without theism".
Do athiests believe in the "existence of Love". Or is it just chemicals?
of course love exists - but love is a chemical reaction.
I believe in it. But - I think I would define it somewhat differently to you. Love = concept. Not a "thing."
Are any theists actually interested in what atheists think or are you all trying to make an argument to prove your beliefs are valid?
You know, Mark, I think that's actually the problem. No one really wants to know what anyone thinks or believes or desires or dreams of. They just want everyone to think and believe and desire and dream of all the same things they do.
Makes for absolutely no real dialogue in the world.
That's pretty much what I want. If everyone just thought as I do everything would be much better. I'll start my quest for world domination today. I'll put on a suite and dress my youngest up in a suite as well and start knocking on doors. I'll start by telling my neighbours they have been lied to and are delusional. Then I'll get them good and depressed with reality as I know it. I'll explain to them that it's not depressing for me, but it will be for them for the first few years while they sort out reality and lies. They will eventually see the universe for what it is, but may need some meds along the way.
the truth is I don't really give a crap what others think as long as they leave me alone. For crying out loud if everyone thought as I do I wouldn't be perplexed when I see others not understand the separation of Church and State in their own country or when some don't seem to understand the difference between mean words and killing 20 little children in their school.
Don't worry Mo, once I finish my coffee I'll start to feel better.
I'm still working on mine. When it all comes down to it, I don't care who believes what so long as they don't injure me or my children in the name of said beliefs. But, damn it, I can't help my insatiable curiosity about what makes others tick, so I just keep asking questions. The kicker though? As human beings, we really all want the same things. What difference does it make how we get them as long as we interact with each other lovingly and respectfully?
Wow, I am learning a lot, very easily, thanks.
I am actually interested in what atheists think. I have learned a lot from you all that I don't think I would have learned in everyday existence. I don't discuss religion too much in the real world so I haven't met a lot of atheists in my lifetime. But this exchange in dialogue has shown me a lot and has increased and strengthened my respect for you guys.
The concept of "love" most man recognize in marriage or best friend relations I find to only be lust because of our being human or woman -- incomplete man -- our the developed internal nature, femininity or masculinity, is magnetically attracted the the other in someone else. All other forms of love are a type of responsibility such as parents for off-springs or helping others. I don't recognize attachment to things as love but hoarding.
I am one who does. I can't see my lifeforce and believe that is the only thing anyone using the concept of faith -- finding evidence and substance to support the unseen -- will find as god. The way I define Atheist is "not having found evidence nor substance to support a creator god."
When I look at the definition of educate that has been swept under cover of the term schooling, -- to bring forth from within through objective observing, participating and reasoning with the ability to explain their findings -- it suggests there is something within myself which will liberate me from needing to follow the traditional teachings of man. That suggests to me I have the ability to comprehend all things by following those steps. That is what I believe god to be, but since it's in me, I need not believe it's god.
Perhaps the problem is the image of God Himself! Perhaps God is not who or what we think He is (He or Him being irrelevant here). Perhaps God shouldn't be seen as some old man sitting somewhere in Heaven deciding whether or not you're a good person. Perhaps God is, as the words "I Am" suggest it, pure existence---that is, existence itself, life as it is expressed to and through us. Isn't it the answer the Bible says God gave to Moses? "I Am that I Am".
I remember reading somewhere about a rabbi who was talking to an Atheist about God. I don't quite remember the name of the rabbi or the atheist, but the rabbi said something interesting to the atheist, " The God you do not believe in, I do not believe in either".
Perhaps that's what it is. We've got God all wrong!
Do you believe (probably should say think) that there are things that exist that humans have no proof or knowledge of?
Of course. The galaxy MACS0647-JD, which is about 13.3 billion light-years away was only recently detected. Before a few month ago humans didn't know it existed. We now know that 13.3 billion years ago that MACS0647-JD was in that particular position, but have no idea where it would be now.
This is too simple because we know other galaxies exist and it is not such a jump to say that there are ones we haven't seen yet. But to just say it is possible that other life or beings, for example, exists or realize that things can exist without us knowing it also implies other things that some people would not even want to admit to.
Sorry, I don't see the distinction between finding something that we didn't know exist before and knowing that there are things we don't know exists. Sub-atomic particles also comes to mind and well as finding new animals or fish that hasn't yet been seen.
I believe there is something in all man that can cause us to recognize as proof everything we can conceive of, what is required is to overcome believing in good/evil, right/wrong and the like and reason outside of social traditions.
If I could ask anyone...God believer or not...a question (or 2 or 4):
Are you living your lifetime as if you may not 'be' in the next moment? Do you fear 'Death'? I have noticed that God-folk, when provided the experience of death, seem to 'lose their faith' almost instantly...Why is that? What does an Atheist think about when dying?
I try to live my life in a manner that is pleasing to God. If I actually knew I would die soon, I would be scrambling to make certain everything I could do to assure those I left behind are cared for, had been done. I have no personal fear of death, but do have people, including my spouse and a child with multiple disabilities, relying on me. My only concern would be that they remain secure without me.
This comment is actually why I responded to your post. I know of a few examples first hand, and many more relayed through others or even the media, where someone faced with death seeks God. I have never heard of anyone faced with death choosing to renounce God. If you had spent time believing, why would you abandon that when the rubber is about to meet the road, so to speak?
In fact, there is even an idiom based in this exact scenario. The term "get religion," now is used for anyone buckling down and getting serious, but has it's roots in, and is still correctly used referencing someone who, when faced with a major life event or knowledge of their impending demise, all of a sudden gets serious about knowing God in the hopes of securing salvation.
Another famous saying in the military was "There are no athiests in fox holes."
Do you really know someone who abandoned their religion because they were dying?
the "there are no atheists in foxholes" argument is blatantly untrue. I know a lot of atheists that were or are in the military - and the never turned to god in moments where their lives were threatened. One of them even said that "I would rather face an ied with other non-religious people that ACT instead of taking a time out to pray in the face of danger"
So, what does an atheist think of death? Do you just 'disappear'? Become part of an energy source? Become compost, period? I'm truly curious, JMcFarland. I See 'dying' as simply a transition of energy, I do not understand the grieving process, except that a physical being is no longer 'touchable', but it is not a 'sad' event other than that. How do You See it?
This touches home for me right now because I just lost a friend and coworker yesterday. When you die, I think that you're gone. My wife and i say that we'll always be together - even after death - but we don't really believe it. I think once a person is gone, they're gone. I don't feel the need to tell people "oh, you'll see them again in heaven" to try to make the pain of loss go away. It's hard. Everyone knows that it's hard - but I don't need to lie to myself or others to try to make it less hard. I don't know if there's an energy out there that we always go to - I know a lot of other atheists who point to the fact that energy always exists and that since we had energy inside of us, it has to go somewhere. I don't know.
As my mother-in-law would say, when my wife used to be afraid of death - you weren't afraid before you were born, so there's nothing to be afraid of once you are no longer here. You'll be fine - wherever you are, and if you no longer exist - then there's nothing to be afraid of. You won't be here.
I think the point is that none of us really know for sure until we go. We can all have a hardline stance on what we believe, but no one can give us proof one way or the other. Did that sound agnostic?
everyone is on a oneway trip from the day we are born.
if we choose to make it a great adventure, we know that something wonderful will be left even when we are gone from the physical.
those who have made it to the final stop on the travel plan know what is on the other side at the final stop.
the rest of us need to adhere to a moral path to make sure we can get on the right track when we hit that final stop.
No, bBerean...not when they themselves were faced, but when someone near & dear were. I have a friend who actually has a 4-yr. degree in Bible 'science', but when her friend was killed recently in a car crash, it was as if she forgot all that & went into a 'program of grieving steps' rather than embrace her understanding of 'Life IS, always & all ways'. She got alot of meds for these 'steps', too, which I thought was weird for someone so rote in Bible verses.
As you said, "If you had spent time believing, why would you abandon that when the rubber (meets) the road, so to speak?" Which is why I asked.
Thanks for the reply, btw.
J, I wasn't going to ask this question, but there are a few atheists here at HP that I think will answer it honestly and without rancor, you being one of them.
If you are an atheist, and are of the conviction that God does not exist, why devote so much time and energy to arguing with/discussing/questioning/worrying about those who do? I ask with no disrespect whatsoever, but it seems to me that something/someone nonexistent would require none of your attention.
I don't possess a conviction that god does not exist. I lack a belief in a god because I have not found any evidence for one. I talk about it because religion (especially the bible and history) are fascinating subjects to me - probably because I spent so much time being forced to study it. I went to college for this stuff, and once I started really examining it, there was so much more to learn than I was taught in church and school. For example, the way that the bible came about (especially the new testament) is fascinating to me - but it's not broadcasted in churches or schools. The way that books were chosen for inclusion or exclusion is fascinating to me. It's a subject that I am passionate about, even though I don't believe in it, and my background of education and knowledge has given me a firm foundation for further research and discussion. Does that answer your question?
It does. And I appreciate the clarification of conviction v. lack of belief.
Since I've come to HP, I've met a number of atheists. To be honest, I don't know if I ever knew one before showing up here, at least not one who left an impression in my life. The one thing I've learned and have come to appreciate more than anything else is that interacting with you guys has put me in a position where I've learned to articulate and understand my [b]own]/b] beliefs. It's been a great experience, because without being able to do that, how can a person enter into a conversation with other people who may believe differently?
On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your range of perception of reality? 1- believing you have very little range of perceptive ability regarding reality and 10 - having a high range of perception ability regarding reality.
what do you mean? If something is real, it's real. My perception may not always line up with what is real, but neither does anyone else. Perception defines how we SEE reality, but it does not define reality itself.
Can you see quarks? Is that within your range of perception? Can you perceive sound below 20 Hz or above 20,000 Hz?
For instance. I used to walk through my uncles property adjacent to mine. I used to have 2 dogs that would run along and explore the area as I walked, I did it for exercise and to enjoy the scenery, look at the trees etc.
If someone were to ask me did I find evidence of squirrels, quail or deer, I would honestly reply that I did not, although I might have seen some cattle and their tracks along the paths.
If somehow someone was able to inquire my accompanying two dogs if they found evidence of squirrels, quail or deer- they would reply that they found evidence of them and much more on every square foot of 60 square acres. Dogs have much better sense of smell and hearing. They oftentimes have poor vision, so, they are tuned out of a visual perception or almost a bias to visual perception and tuned in to other perception.
Once again I ask you Mr. JMcFarland for the 3rd time , On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your range of perception of reality? 1- believing you have very little range of perceptive ability regarding reality and 10 - having a high range of perception ability regarding reality
I asked about your perception ability to quarks and below 20hz and above 20,000 hz. Then, I guess we can claim that we have some "knowledge" of scientific proofs that we have become aware of, however there will be scientific proofs, that we are currently not aware of and scientific proofs in the future that we don't have knowledge of and never will, but we could I guess include some of that in our range.
But on a larger scale-
What is the shape of the universe? Its pretty large. Hard to miss. Is it shaped like a frisbee or a beach ball? Does it look like a cloud or a recognizable shape of some kind?
On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your range of perception of reality? 1- believing you have very little range of perceptive ability regarding reality and 10 - having a high range of perception ability regarding reality
seek and you shall find, deny and you shall not.
See? I must have seeked too far, because the more I looked, the less I found god, which is why I'm an atheist now and not still a Baptist missionary
Someone on another thread said we need to look with our heart and not our corrupt brains. It's confusing to me because I think he/she is saying we should look with our emotions and turn our critical thinking brain off. That's one slippery slope to me bottoming out with psychosis.
I would think that one does not find God, He finds you. First you have to prove "you" exist- to be found.
Or are you so blown away by it, you laugh in spontaneous response only
It's funny because according to you the all knowing all powerful God doesn't KNOW I exist. That would make him kind of not all knowing don't you think?
Are you claiming that you are different, apart or unique than the rest of a deterministic physical reality?
I have no idea what you're talking about. You said God doesn't know we exist and that we have to help him see us. I said how can an all powerful, all knowing God not know we exist? If he doesn't know we exist then he is not all knowing? I certainly don't think I made the statement that I'm different from other humans and have no idea where you got that.
Are you claiming that you are different, apart or unique than the rest of a deterministic physical reality?
50 billion years ago you did not exist. Then some believe that the universe began to exist 14 billion years ago. Our solar system began to function 4 billion years ago. Eventually your parents gave birth to you. You will live your life. 1000 years in the future you will more than likely be unable to change any part of your life.
You live in a deterministic physical reality. Just causation. You are a biological machine. A somewhat sophisticated electrochemical processor that is creating a feedback or loop that gives you a computational result of self awareness. Very much like a sophisticated calculator.
Nevertheless you are a deterministic effect of a chain of causation, that is no different from the rest of reality.
Do you claim that you are different, apart or unique than the rest of a deterministic physical reality?
Do you claim "that you exist" separately from deterministic physical reality?
I don't see what connection this question has to do with the one I asked you that you did not answer. Answer my question and then we can move on to free will or determinism. To recap, you stated that God doesn't know I exist so I have to let him know I'm here. I asked the question, How can an all knowing God not know I exist? If he doesn't know I exist he is not all knowing?
Let me try to make it simpler.
I am sure that a hypothetical Creator of reality is aware of the reality He has created.
Men and their self awareness are still in that reality. Part of it, but not separate of it. And they had no choice in it. No different than all of reality.
If there was a large haystack I bet you could find words spelled out in the hay. Individual pieces of hay within that haystack spell out a word or two, especially if you look at them at different angles. So what? Still a haystack.
I see, you can't answer a simple question about your own statements. Can an all knowing God no be aware of my existence? Simple, answer it so we can move on.
The onus is upon you to prove your "my" claim.
Lets approach it from another way.
When did you decide to be you?
A. A Billion years ago
B A Thousand years ago.
C I do not have choice in these matters. Because these matters are all one in the same and incapable of being differentiated.
Your questions are logical fallacies. Perhaps you might want to question that deterministic electrochemical computational skills, that electrochemical looping and feedback, you have so much faith in.
Kind of like the emperors new cloths? If I seek and don't find I look like something is wrong with me so do I pretend to have found or admit that I see nothing? I'll take the brave road.
It often seems like atheists have NO RESPECT for Christians. Do you agree with that statement? You guys think you know everything?
I love it when people ask a question in a disrespectful tone. Especially when they're accusing those of whom they're asking the question of being disrespectful.
You think you DESERVE RESPECT? I certainly don't respect your irrational beliefs - no. But - I don't think I know everything.
There's a difference between respecting a human being for being a human being and respecting a set of beliefs that we find silly, evil or hypocritical. I don't know everything, but I know enough to know that a lot of christian beliefs do not deserve respect - at least not from me. That's different than not respecting the person that holds them. Criticizing, questioning or challenging someone's beliefs is not necessarily being disrespectful.
Can you give me an example of one Christian belief you cannot respect and why you don't respect it? Our beliefs may be incredible, but nothing is impossible for God.
the belief that one human being can be a human sacrifice and by his blood and pain magically save everyone else, for one. The fact that his "father" found this to be the only possibility event though he's supposedly an all-powerful god for two. The fact that god created this comedy of errors that caused this entire scenario to be necessary for Three.
so you do not believe that one person confronting and destroying evil who dies while saving the others that were also being confronted is not a human sacrifice of blood that magically saved pain for those others?
every buried hero is of flesh but reponded as Jesus did when confronted by evil.
1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
1 John 2:17
And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
and probably the most ridiculous one at all that I didn't mention previously. If there is a god out there that created not only this world but the rest of the universe and all of the wonders it contains, I find it impossible to accept that deity who is capable of such beauty is petty enough to demand worship from tiny and insignificant human beings.
When you have a child, you created that child with your partner. You don't demand that they worship you. You don't want them to sacrifice things to you, you don't enjoy the "scent of burning flesh" like the biblical god does. You want your child to love and respect you, sure, but you don't FORCE them to, or else. You ultimately want your child to grow up and think for themselves. You want them to examine things critically and not just believe whatever they're told.
If god is supposedly so much above us, why would he be so concerned with us worshiping him? If I were that god, I would have much better things to do with my time than sniff out a burning animal carcass or eternally punishing the children I created that didn't see a reason to believe in me.
Like all of natures laws, the human is provided a choice - good and bad.
Everything of this world is a choice.
That is why there is both moral and immoral.
Those who openly follow the teachings of the Bible attempt to relay the moral principles to followers.
Those who close their mind while following the Bible present a discriminating position for the moral principles.
Those who deny that there is no reason to follow the Bible do not comprehend the reasoning of those who do openly follow the Bible.
This is the way of the earth - and always will be.
For those who openly follow they bible, they comprehend the reason to adhere to the following.
Then the dust [of mortals] goes back to the ground as it was before, and the breath of life goes back to God who gave it.
You can't quote the bible to prove that the bible is real or that jesus is real. Self-confirmation bias.
Atheists, "believe" that they are just dust and have no breath of life, given by God. From the quote we are left speculating on whether God gives the breath of life to all. Perhaps there is a verse that clarifies that?
Atheists, "believe" that they are a series of deterministic chain / causation that results in electrochemical machines that are in a "feedback or loop" giving them an illusion of self awareness or identity. But because of that determinism and physicalism - "they" do not exist as a part of a sum. There is only deterministic physical reality, period.
"Can you give me an example of one Christian belief you cannot respect and why you don't respect it? "
In addition to JM's comments, I might add the Christian belief in an omnipotent God that violates natural laws at will. If such a belief had any evidence whatsoever to support it I would respect it, but there is none. When outrageous claims are made without evidence they do not deserve any respect.
Like claiming nothing is impossible for God, yet God appears to have no power whats so ever. Can't cure cancer or stop some kid from breaking into a school with an assault riffle and killing 20 children. Making the claim that God is all powerful and all knowing and then saying the he choses not to use his power and appears to have no knowledge of the future.
Have you ever heard of cancer going into remission? It is not a doctor doing that.
No, sometimes it is the body doing it.
Okay, so sometimes God gives people cancer and then takes it away, but sometimes he just gives a child cancer and lets them die and painful slow death. If you give your God credit for stoping the cancer you should give him blame for not stopping it or starting it. He has the power, but doesn't us it. We have laws against such things.
Plus it is the medication that typically puts cancer in remission. Give credit where it's due.
I've actually noticed this phenomenon a lot. People always seem to god credit for when things go right, but none of the blame when things go wrong.
This has never been as disturbing to me as it was in the past couple of years when a rash of tornadoes hit the midwest. The tv had a bunch of interviews with survivors standing in front of their mangled homes talking about how they're so grateful to god for saving them and letting them live - all the while their neighbors were killed and all of their property destroyed. Apparently god didn't love the neighbors as much, and god didn't want them to have a home, either.
Yes actually it usually is. Sometimes the body itself causes cancer to go into remission (Very very rare) but the vast majority of the time it's chemotherapy causing the remission.
It often seems like christians have NO RESPECT for atheists. Do you agree with that statement? You guys think you know everything?
How original, Rad Man. No, I do not agree with that statement. But you guys seem to be full of hate--anger towards a god you don't even believe in.
There is no anger towards a God. I've noticed several people mention this lately. When we show how ridiculous the bible is people assume we are attacking christianity, that's not the case at all. We are not angry with something that does not exist, we do something get upset when someone tells us that something does exist that clearly doesn't.
Who guys? You guys? Love the generalizations. Have you considered that your (yours only, not everyone else who claims to be Christian) posts tend to carry a very angry, condescending, and defensive tone? Perhaps that's why that's the tone you read into everyone else's posts.
You know Mo, I've taken a liking to reversing the statements for questions to show them what it looks like from the other side, but they don't get it.
It is a time honored technique pioneered in early childhood, which when presented in it's basic form goes something like, "nuh uh, Your Are!"
Or it could be what we learn in debate classes about putting the shoe on the other foot by switching a few words around.
Not really....it's actually a conversational technique called 'mirroring.' It basically responding to someone in the same tone as you repeat their words or logic back to them to see if after someone else says it, it still makes sense to that person.
I can't hate god. I don't hate aliens or bigfoot or unicorns either - I just don't believe in them. I'm not even angry at believers. I don't understand them, but I'm not angry at them. I am, however, angry at some of the things they do when they claim to be acting on god's behalf or speaking for him.
Atheists can't be angry with something they don't believe in. They can be upset by people beating them over the head with something that they do not believe in.
The truth is that there are SOME on both sides that have little respect for the other side.
Believers mistake our laughter and ridicule of their beliefs for anger. They seem to also believe that the never-ending line of evangelists who each take their turn at telling us all about their god and their religion and how we're all going to fry for an eternity if we don't accept their god is something we should just accept as freedom of speech.
Sure, they'll just tell you to not listen to them if you don't want to, completely oblivious to the fact that as they move on to their next conquest for conversion, another believer has pulled up to the door to tell you the same thing again, and again, and again... ad nauseum.
And sometimes it is nauseating. My house has been flagged by Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons as a house to not even try to knock on because I engage them in discussions that shake the very foundations of their faith often.
A Jehovah's Witness came to my house recently with his 10 year old son (I asked the father the age) to tell me that Christianity was a lie and produced one of their pamphlets showing the top 6 lies about Christianity. Of course, I immediately launched into a discussion regarding the validity of his religion, which he couldn't support. The discussion led into evolution and it was clear he knew little about the subject matter. Eventually, he turned away in disgust, but before he did, I stopped them in their tracks and asked the boy, who had been silent the entire time, what he thought.
All he said was, "I don't believe in evolution"
What's interesting is that there is no curriculum in schools for the study of evolution at the ripe age of 10.
Then things have changed because I learned about evolution at that age. But I digress
It has been only very recently decided that basic biological evolution should be taught in schools at that age (8-9). You didn't learn it in school, unless it was a private school that had such a curriculum.
No.. I learned it in 5th grade at a public school in my hometown in Georgia.
Sorry, but I find that very hard to accept considering it isn't offered until high school.
That may be the case where you are from, but where I'm from it was part of the science class. I understand that you find some things hard to believe, but since you weren't there you have no reason to accept or believe those things you didn't experience for yourself.
It's not a matter of belief, it's a matter of reading the school curriculum and not seeing evolution being taught at that age.
Ok, and not everything that is taught in school was actually always outlined in the curriculum. Again, we will agree to disagree on this one. I know what I was taught in school and at what age I was taught it. It may have been the 80's, but I can remember that far back
And there probably shouldn't be that curriculum. Fourth grade students don't have the background in the sciences and math to really understand even the basic tenets of evolution (particularly the time involved) and thus will go home to be met with ("They said you came from a monkey? How disgusting!" and that will be the end of that.
Probably better to wait until they can assimilate what they're being taught and tie it into the rest of the knowledge. The concept of evolution do not work in a vacuum, but hand in hand with biology, geology, physics and a host of other studies - how else could it be? Let the kids, then, learn some background that can be used to learn of a subject taboo to their parents.
My 13 year old came home and told me he had an argument with his teacher. He said his teacher doesn't believe in evolution.
I had them at my door just yesterday. They think I won't give them a piece of my mind because they brought a child with them? That's like hold a child in front of you when someone is pointing a gun at you. Cowards.
Really? And does a chicken have lips, too? Why laugh and ridicule when you have a choice to be civil and polite?
For me, laughter and ridicule directed at those who have a belief in a Higher Power means,
Jr High mentality of mocking others for making a choice to have a belief in something bigger . Snide and verbal attacks on those who have a differing ideology. Voicing an attitude of superiority toward individuals in a demeaning manner.
Proper Definition of RIDICULE
: to make fun of
— rid·i·cul·er noun
Now, mix laughter and ridicule together and what do you have?
a title or classification of atheist does not provide or restrict respect.
a person earns or loses respect regardless of title or classiffication as atheist.
this same rule applies to all titles or classifications.
through the anonymous shadows of the digital and media highways, some individuals radically engage themselves attempting to sway their readers.
astute individuals recognize this while weaker minds normally do not.
Wow!! I might be missing something here, but I don't quite detect the respect in this question. Lybrah, I disagree with your assessment. Rad, JM, ATM, and even Mark have shown me a lot of respect. Some of them have even shown my beliefs respect (although irrational, silly, and delusional as well , in Mark's case, confrontational at times)
What I see that they don't respect is the way some believers try to force their believs on them, attacking them personally for questioning said beliefs, quoting a book that they take no stock in (other than as a reinforcement of their lack of belief and confirmation of the arrogance of some believers), threatening them with "the hot place", and people using prayer as a weapon against them..
Does that about cover it JM, Rad, ATM, and Mark?
Atheists have little or no respect for the BELIEFS of a religion, but that doesn't mean they don't respect the PEOPLE who hold those beliefs, that is two completely different things.
Since the religious beliefs are the most important things in the life of many believers, they obviously will assume the disrespect for the beliefs means disrespect for them, as well. They have made the critical error of assuming the beliefs are part of them like their arms and legs, hence if you ridicule the beliefs, you are ridiculing the person, too.
You know, ATM, it's interesting to me that there are many who feel exactly this way. As a believer, I am not offended when someone criticizes or opposes my beliefs. I'm fairly convinced that we all behave out of our own sense of irrationality at times, and that's usually the biggest criticism of faith by those who do not share it.
I have to respect that there are those, however, who willingly attempt to understand a person's beliefs before they offer such criticism. THAT'S respecting a person. When the explanations have all been given, and either accepted or rejected, and two people can continue to engage each other in dialogue respectfully and courteously, that's when we discover that disagreement over beliefs is not what makes or breaks a relationship, even a casual, online relationship.
You and I engaged in such a dialogue a while back. We still don't agree about religious beliefs, but I know that we like and respect each other. I wish others would all take that opportunity to understand each other.
Here's the thing.
Do I respect your religious beliefs? Not really.
However, you are not here to tell us we need to have Jesus in our lives or face the consequences.
You are not hear to spread propaganda.
You are not here to deny, reject or ignore facts and evidence about the world around us.
Essentially, you are not here to lie. You are here showing understanding and honesty and that's what I respect about you.
If believers throughout history were more like you, this world would be a very different place.
What do we want?
When do we want it?
Good points and honest. This is one of the reasons I respect you ATM
Thank you! I feel the same way.
But if we were never challenged about our beliefs, we would become arrogant and complacent. Sad thing is that most of us, when challenged even, retreat right back to that attitude.
I think an open heart is far more important than an open mind. I'd rather love everyone in all our differences than spend the rest of my life arguing with them about 'em.
I don't get offended with someone questioning my beliefs. My biggest issue that I have had to overcome is the issue of People trying to lump me in with other believers. Like atheists, not all believers believe exactly the same thing in exactly the same way
If all believers on the planet DID believe in exactly the same thing in exactly the same way, atheists might not have a leg upon which to stand. It is the detriment of the believer to not agree with each other.
Not really, It could also be to the detriment of the believer if we all believed the same thing exactly the same way because then we would be unthinking robots with the same programming, Which goes against intelligent design.
It is the different perspectives that lead to further research that can lead believers closer to grasping the reality that atheists have apparently already grabbed hold to
That makes no sense. The only way believers could argue that there is only one God is to show that all believers on the planet believe in the same god and share the same beliefs.
It is the different perspectives from believers that demonstrate there is no one god, that there are many gods sporting many different beliefs.
It is possible to believe in the same God, but have a different understanding of the material presented to support that one God. Similar (slightly) to philosophy, Two different people can read and believe the same thing but get a different understanding and perspective out of what is read.
It could be that there is one God but people have different understandings of that one God. Some of the debates between believers support that (in my opinion)
This discussion between you and I can even support it. You are looking at things from your perspective and understanding of the subject and I am doing the same. Same subject, Different understanding
When "understanding" does not agree with reality it becomes a "belief" instead of understanding.
If two people have a different understanding of the same material, one is wrong. That one has a belief only, unsupported by the material offered.
How is it that only one of them must be wrong? What if both are wrong in their own understanding? Sometimes evidence provided only reinforces what can be an incorrect belief, but still doesn't make it true
Perfectly true - both may be wrong. Both may have a belief without connection to reality.
The point was that additional people with different beliefs (beliefs, not understanding) does not contribute to knowledge.
True, but some beliefs are formed from an understanding of what is presented. As opposed to indoctrination to where the belief is given by another without any analysis and understanding development
Beliefs may be founded on understanding, yes, but the beliefs on religious affairs seldom follow that path. The belief that Thor caused the thunder arose from an understanding that there was a loud noise in the sky, for instance.
By definition, beliefs are concepts conjured primarily from a desire that it be so. Any basis in fact is extremely limited, almost always with facts that don't fit being ignored. As such, beliefs can indeed have a strong connection with reality but seldom do, and they cannot be depended on to determine what reality is.
Sorry, I don't agree. If there is a different understanding, then God has failed.
This is not just a matter of reading materials, it's a matter of each and every one of us having the knowledge, understanding and agreement of one god.
Then, God has failed.
My perspective is strictly from reality and an understanding of it.
We will agree to disagree on this one. You are correct in that your perspective is based in AN (As in one) understanding of it, which may not be specifically ACTUAL reality. My perspective is also based on AN understanding of reality, a reality that i have often stated may be incorrect and that I am open to the idea that I may be incorrect. I am still learning and as I learn, my perspective is constantly changing. I believe that is similar to evolution. The more things go along, we adapt
The odd thing about this OP is that atheists are usually adament that the only thing which binds atheists is a simple nonbelief in God. So, I'm not sure what purpose a question would serve; other than to find out what JMcFarland thinks. How do we know you are the typical atheist? From the posts I've read, you are an ex Baptist missionary. Would you consider that to be the typical atheist?
Strange, she seems to be right on target with me anyway. She's typical to me.
Now I'm completely confused. So you guys do all think alike? Good to know. I suppose the next time I say 'atheists' I shouldn't expect a complaint that I appear to lump you all together.
The post was "ask an atheist". Not "ask all atheists". I don't claim to be a "typical" atheist. I don't know what a typical atheist is. I get in trouble when I talk about typical christians, though.
I can sympathize. I get comments from both sides when they think I generalize. You may have noticed.
But that was the point of my post. You open with a stated desire to dispel any misconceptions about atheists. But, you are one person, sharing the opinion of one person. (make that two. Rad man has given you the green light). Your stated goal seems unattainable, considering the fact that no two people think the same.
Well, first of all - I'm no longer the only atheist here. Secondly, I have been more than happy to supply links to external sites that back up my answers - or provide the answer entirely. Thirdly, I think if you're entering a forum called "ask an atheist" you can see that you're asking one, or maybe a couple (since more than one have showed up) and that they may not speak for the whole of atheism - especially since there is no "whole of atheism" out there. But for the questions I've been asked, they're rather simple and easily addressed. I wanted to provide a forum where people could ask questions to me or others and seek a more balanced understanding - rather than just thinking that atheists eat babies for breakfast (which I have been told before, surprisingly) or that all atheists hate god and want to take over the world and abolish religion by force. Seems to me, by the last four pages of posts, that goal is succeeding.
No one thinks atheists easy babies for breakfast. That
is a joke. I do have one question. How long have you been an atheist?
Realistically about 10 years. I just came out about a year ago.
Did you get any genuinely interested questions - or were they all assumptive questions written in an attempt to prove that believing in god is no more or less rational than believing the sun will come up tomorrow?
Ok Mark... Genuine question... I am truly interested in your answer.
Do you believe that there is any room for the irrational in life?
I mean do you accept that some decisions/opinions based on a completely emotional basis are valid?
(As I have literally not slept in 5 days... pretty much all of my decisions are based on emotion right now)
Of course there is. Being irrational seems to be part of what makes us human. I suspect it goes hand in hand with an imagination. As an evolutionary tool, it was very useful in our past.
There is no valid/invalid. I might find some or your irrational decisions invalid I suppose.
Does that make them invalid? It depends. Are you burning witches or saying grace? The issue with belief in a god is - as history has shown us - it very rarely stays in your head where most emotion decisions belong.
Sorry - missed that. It must have gotten buried under the deluge of the zealots trying to show that believing the sun will come up tomorrow is as irrational as believing in majikal Invisible Super Beings so therefore their beliefs are valid.
And they wonder why their religion causes so many fights lol
I figure it this way - how do you even know if a person believes differently if you don't ask? If you make assumptions and jump down their throat, it's no wonder they might get offended and pissed off. For example, there are so many of us who believe similarly about the state of the world and what we should and can do to fix it - why be so concerned with what motivates a person to do good, and then get aggressive to make sure their motivation is the same as yours.
I have friends who are motivated by the same thing that motivates me - LOVE. And some of them don't believe in God at all. They may have once. They may someday in the future. They may never change. As long as their interaction with me is guided and motivated by love and as long as they do no harm to others, we share one core belief - that every human being has value and deserves to be loved and respected.
P.S. I miss Ernest. He totally got the point.
I miss him too. I had to remove him from my FB friend list because it was weird seeing him pop up in my feed when people posted stuff to his time line.
I did that also. Just yesterday, I did it with another of my friends who had passed away too. It felt eerie and was painful to boot.
It is certainly different to losing some one in the "real world."
I don't know - one for me was a real world friend but it had been over a decade since we'd seen each other. I don't know that we can achieve the same closure with an online friend though.
In my experience, what I hear from and atheist when I bring up a lack of mutual respect is that they feel it is ok since religious people try to force feed them religion, or the church abandoned them in the past. ***this is a correction. I meant only 17.7% did not come from a religious background***17.7% of atheists come from a religious background, so typically their anger should be toward the church, but instead they focus their anger towards God. I understand this so I am willing to walk on eggshells even though I have never tried to convert anyone.
One thing you have to get used to in these chatrooms is that because Christianity is the dominant belief, we will always be politically incorrect or trying to force our religion on others when talk about our beliefs, but atheist have free reign with what they say because it is their belief and they are not being personal. I have gotten used to it.
BTW, You will get to realize who the hardliners are and not have conversations with them.
***this is a correction. I meant only 17.7% did not come from a religious background***
Interestingly enough, I know who the hardliners are...lol And converse with almost all of them quite regularly. Simple point of fact - everyone should treat others with respect. Often, when respect has left the interaction, it's because both individuals are responding in kind to one antoher. Respect breeds respect....disrespect breeds...well, I'm sure you get the picture.
This is utter nonsense. No atheist directs any anger towards your nonexistent friend in the sky.
Odd you feel the need to be so dishonest about this. Why is that? I see a lot of self professed believers saying almost anything to attack anyone who does not share their irrational beliefs - how come? I thought you guys think you get the lake of fire for doing that? Almost like you don't actually believe....
"Odd you feel the need to be so dishonest about this."
As far as this is concerned, I have no clue what you are talking about. I have never been dishonest.
"I see a lot of self professed believers saying almost anything to attack anyone who does not share their irrational beliefs - how come?"
As far as this; I agree with you and also said that atheists feel this way, so you are actually proving my point.
I don't agree with people forcing their beliefs on others, or disrespecting others beliefs, but that is a two way street.
Really? You see atheists getting angry at the Invisible Friend they don't believe exists?
You don't agree with disrespecting other people's beliefs? Why not?
Rather than saying it is not right to disrespect another's beliefs, try understanding that respect is due to the person - not their beliefs. Mark doesn't respect my beliefs at all. He does, however, respect me and my right to believe as I choose. He thinks that what I believe is nonsense, but he respects me as a person.
But I don't think calling someone a liar is respectful towards that person
Unless it is true. Tell us about all them pesky atheists who are angry at god again.
Person? You joined a few days ago specifically to have an argument on the religion and politics forums. You hide your true identity and use an image that is not you as your avatar.
You need to show us a person before demanding respect.
How are those nail wounds healing up Mark?
*Smooches* Hiya pretty lady. Just passing through.
Can you two stop that? It's very distracting when I'm trying have a decent argument with a perfectly good Christian about who is disrespectful and who is not. All these images come into my mind and it completely tears my train of thought apart. See, I've completely lost interest. Thanks a lot. Now please continue.
It's hard to keep up with all that stuff going on, right?
absolutely, it's like this, I'm right and your wrong, let's go out for a beer to discuss the images in my ADHD head.
They should be more considerate. I'm trying to work and post at the same time and they have all that going on. How rude! lol
And the hopes that someday some rich man or woman will sweep me off my feet and whisk me away to the highlands of Scotland...
Or at least hire me a maid
You know we have to be fair and it certainly wouldn't be fair if we looked like this with lots of money.
Really? I didn't read that in the fine print. Or do you just make the rules up as you go.
I didn't demand respect. Just said we should be respectful.
And let's be honest, talking big doesn't accomplish anything. It's not like we are face to face or anything.
Plus, what did I say that warranted me being called a liar? Give me 20 examples.
And spouting that all Atheists are angry with God is respectful?
I never said all. You are putting words in my mouth, which doesn't work here since everything we said is in black and white.
Oh, I'm sorry, what did you say then? Most? Many? Lots? The question was do you think that's being respectful?
I said that most that I have run into disagree with a religion they belonged to, but confused that with God. Is that disrespectful?
That's not what you said at all. Mo has me all confused so I can't really remember right now.
Let me clear this up, then.
I do currently belong to the same religion my parents belong to, but at one time I did lose my faith. Therefore I do belong to the same church I did as a child that my parents raised me in, but I did change my mind at one time.
And in the immortal words of George Castanza "I'm back, BABY!"
Okay, why go back to the same denomination? Did you check out Islam?
I guess if you can "check out" atheism. The fact is I lost my faith
You didn't loose your faith because here you are in the same denomination that you grew up in.
What I am saying is that I lost faith when I was younger. Now I have regained my faith. Get it?
I get that you came back to the same denomination and have no understanding of Atheism. Anger has nothing to do with Atheism.
It shouldn't, but it sometimes does. That was the point I was trying to make, which is I think there are those that direct their feelings the wrong way. I meant this in no way saying that this was how all or most atheists feel. Just a microcosm of what I have heard directly from the atheists I have met.
The fact is that Christians shouldn't judge, but they sometimes do. It is not a Christian behavior, but unfortunately it happens.
*Disclaimer* I just want to clear up AGAIN that I never said all or most atheists. I said "most that I have met" which is a BIG difference than all or most atheists total in the world or US. I realize this is only a small number.
And for the next question;
No, I cannot count how many atheists I have met. Sorry.
No - that is not what you said at all. This is what you actually said:
Nothing about atheists you have met. That is the problem with lying about what you said - it is there in black and white. Oh well....
No - that is not what you said at all. This is what you actually said:
Nothing about atheists you have met. That is the problem with lying about what you said - it is there in black and white. Are you learning yet?
If you want to argue about my punctuation; go ahead. Whatever, you want. Those are petty arguments.
The fact is that your replies show that you are angry, and makes my point stronger. People will associate you with Atheist with anger. Get it?
Your point stronger? I thought you were here to learn not argue. Oh dear......
Where do you get the anger from exactly? Because I pointed out that you did not say what you claimed you said, I am angry at God? No wonder your religion.........
Yes my point. Because I have a point doesn't mean I was arguing. Are you saying my first post was an argument with someone? No it wasn't. You make this stuff up as you go.
Can someone not have a point and not be arguing? You have no clue what you are talking about and that is clear. You are reaching for anything now since you don't have a clear point.
And as for the anger part. All I can say is misery loves company. You are trying to provoke an argument with anyone that will argue back.
I also never came here to argue. I have always stated I am here to learn. I seem to remember you picked the argument with me.
Once again there is no anger towards God as God doesn't exist.
Why do these guys need to lie about this? It is like they are totally closed off to the possibility that some one else does not believe in their Invisible Friend. Talk about your basic disrespect.
I've noticed that when we explain our issues with the bible, they seem to think we have issues with God. I think these things are so wrapped up in their minds they can't discuss them separately. I blame indoctrination.
I have never been indoctrinated; I was only relating my personal experiences which do not reflect how all atheists believe. It was not a personal attack towards anyone.
I also was not defending the Bible, which I am a student of, not an expert. If you look through my past posts, I have always claimed I am in the process of learning, which is why I post to these forums.
Then why do you say you understand Atheists are angry with god? If I'm angry it's because I have to repeat the same thing over and over. God doesn't exist so I can't feel emotions towards something that doesn't exist. I can however feel emotions for the people who are telling me he does exist.
I don't think you have issues with God.. Last time I checked, you have to believe in something to have an issue with it.
You seem to be taking this very personal. I always consider this type of forum is for sharing ideas, so I always try to be objective and not wear my heart on my sleeve. If I hurt your feeling, I do apologize.
Oh - you haven't hurt my feelings - just reinforced my opinion of your belief system. I do find it entertaining when believers in majick start talking about objectivity though.
Thanks for the laugh.
And with every one of your replies, you reinforce what I said.
Sorry - I am not angry at your non existent friend, no matter how many times you say so.
This is why your religion causes so many fights.
On another note, I have been reading your duck recipes. I have a friend that is giving me a duck and I had no recipes until I came across your page. Your 200 tries at success should help me well on my first. You are a very good writer.
P.S. I am glad you don't waste the wine on the duck!
I stand corrected. I should have used disbelief instead of anger.
Rad, you always keep me on my toes. But that helps me stay sharp.
Speaking of forums, has anyone heard from Deepes, Melissa, or Getitrite? They haven't been here in a while.
I was on earlier.
I'm not on as much during the week because I like money and lately I've thankfully had the opportunity to earn it. Plus while working I am home schooling the kiddies and doing their therapy during the days. I do peek in and drop a few one liners on most days in my abundant free time.
Did I hear my name?? I had to unplug from the matrix for a while... But I've been trying to catch up
Okay, I tried to reread your post using believe instead of anger, but it makes no sense like that. Except perhaps your saying we should not let religion get in the way of our belief in God? But Religion is not why I don't believe in God.
Totally understand. I never meant for it to be an all or nothing statement. That is why I said in the cases I have run into.
Also, the only 17.7% of atheists don't come from a religious background doesn't mean they all gave up the belief in God because they had personal issues with religion or those in religion. With that said, I also felt that can't be just a coincidence that 83.3% of atheists have left a religion at some point in their life.
You are correct - it is not coincidence. You guys are taught to indoctrinate your children as young as possible, so the chances of not being indoctrinated into your religion are low in most countries where Christianity is widely practiced.
Odd you did not fathom that for yourself.
some use the word indoctrinate, others would say educate. Were you indoctrinated?
You don't educate a child into a religion. You indoctrinate them. Of course I was indoctrinated.
My pleasure with the duck.
So you educate a child by teaching them that you have to believe in God or you will burn in hell? Sorry, buddy that's not education, that's extortion.
What I will say is that my parents took me to church with them, but never told me not to lie/steal/cheat because I would go to hell. They just taught me it was wrong to do this to your fellow man.
I guess I am pretty open minded about religion because I was given the freedom to think for myself. I can see how people could be turned off when something is forced on them.
I did say the Lord's name in vain in front of my mother when I was a child and got a nice lesson in choosing my word wisely.
Let me ask. Do you belong to the same faith as your parents?
They are both Christian, different denominations.
No you, did you stay with the same faith/domination that your parents brought you to or were your parents muslims or something else?
Why, you said you haven't been indoctrinated, but you haven't changed your faith.
You just said you belong to the same denomination that your parents raised you in. That's saying you didn't change your mind isn't it?
I do belong to the same denomination my parents belonged to.
Your question is why haven't I changed my mind and I asked you what made you think I haven't changed my mind? It has been a long time since I was a child, so a lot of things could happen between now and then, right?
I am answering all of your questions correctly, am I not? If you want a specific answer, you must ask a specific question.
Okay, we must not be communicating well. If you have belonged to the same denomination your entire life then you haven't changed your mind. No?
I also corrected my first post of today
***this is a correction. I meant only 17.7% did not come from a religious background***
I did say to me. I didn't speak for anyone else.
So many posts about atheists. Any problems?
Remember the 'Pit' starring Diesel. I believe in God, but he is such a mother fucker.
Any good deed that needs rewarding is paid off and set off. The balance is zero.
Morality historically has not been defined by religions - it's been defined by society. Completely non-theistic societies are not immoral. Secular morality is just as valid as a religious morality - even arguably more so.
http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php? … r_morality
Completely non-theistic societies...does not exist
Then tell me where are they....
Simple Atheist logic proves this true...
Atheism is because of theism.
Where there is no Theism there can be no Atheism...
Completely non-theistic societies Do not exist
Showing my ignorance here, but do Buddhists believe in a god? If not, then there is little doubt that you will find non-theistic mini-societeis in Buddhist countries.
You would seem to be correct, however, that the world is homogenous enough that any large society (country) would have a least a few theists in it somewhere.
Do you realise you said mini societies?
Using that Logic, I also say there are non-thiestic societies (mini) in New york.... they are called atheist
Even the Christian says they are not a religion...
There probably are, just as there are societies (Amish, for example) that are 100% theistic inside a country that is at least half atheist.
But neither does a theist society exist by your logic, Kess.
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
My morals are based on am I willing to have done to me what I do to others yet it isn't my responsibility to judge others in what they do. i feel the only thing I should do for others is share my views concerning topics they inquire of me but not to consider how they believe to be in error.
The simple notion of human decency, maybe? Why do Christians only feel compelled to do the right thing only because some omnipotent tyrant will murder them and torture them for eternity if they don't?
how are you defining theism? Theism is not the same as religion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheistic_religions
You can be a Buddhist and an atheist - yet buddhism is considered to be a religion. You can be a Hindu without believing in a god. You can follow a lot of religions without being a theist. (and if you had even clicked on the link at all, you would have known that)
And you Live in a society that does not live/believe exactly as you do....
This is why there is the label religion to differentiate and classify societies.
the fact still remains that not all religions are theistic. In fact, Buddhism (which is considered to be a religion) doesn't even have a god to believe in.
If a budhist lives in a Completely non-theistic society, then he need not classify themselves as budhist,
The ONLY reason why he classifies himself as Budhist is because Completely non-theistic societies Does not exist.
Hyperlinks do not create sound logic... you do. but right now you are not.......
"If a budhist lives in a Completely non-theistic society, then he need not classify themselves as budhist"
you are a buddhist if you follow the teachings of buddha. as a matter of fact, i believe that jesus may have been a buddhist. read: Borg, Marcus. Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings. CA: Ulysses Press, 1997 "
jesus was teaching the same thing buddha taught... the "bible" is a creation of catholic priests who chose and discarded various writings to create a book that said what they wanted it to say.
I'm a follower of the Bible and don't believe in god, I even call myself Christian-Atheist.
Interesting, you follow Jesus but don't believe he was or there is a God. The why follow the bible if you think it's writers were liars?
I understand the Bible to be metaphors, allegories, parables and symbol/types explaining life on earth. I don't recognize many facts in it but quite a set of stories designed to get people reasoning into understanding how things on earth works.
JM wrote: You can be a Buddhist and an atheist - yet buddhism is considered to be a religion. You can be a Hindu without believing in a god.
i am the buddhist/atheist. i was raised southern baptist. had a lot of trouble with the church and bible. also, this religion could not answer my questions about my life. my search for answers led me to buddhism which i felt answered my questions. from that time on i considered myself buddhist. i no longer believed in the god of the christians or the bible.
i made the mistake of choosing a "christian" college when i took some classes online. their idea of studying religion was "my beliefs are right, everyone else is wrong". in an attempt to prove that god exists, they proved to me that he doesn't.
that is how i became a buddhist/atheist.
to me, the basis of morality is simple. i know i don't like to be hurt. at about the age of four, i realize you are like me and wouldn't like to be hurt. i have parents whom i've bonded with and whom i'd like not to see hurt. this begins my empathy. i eventually extrapolate that it's best if i don't hurt anybody. the golden rule, part of every major religion, exists outside religion.
Dear Ask an Atheist - can anyone tell me who the father of the entire human race is?
why does there need to be a father of the human race?
because it is legitimate question, relevant and most important
No doubt you know the answer.
Leading, assumptive questions based on irrational beliefs are not relevant or important.
Yes indeed not relevant nor important to those who feigns Knowledge...
...it is indeed much easier to dismiss the question rather than entertain even the remote possibility of an answer.
... covering your ears and screaming?
This would be why your religion causes so many fights. You think you know what is relevant for other people without having done any work.
Covering my ears and screaming? No? Pointing out that you do not have any answers? Yes.
Odd you need to attack me because I don't believe what you say. Why is that?
It would have been odd that one wod percieve this as an attack....
But when its mark knowles it expected.
He is still not sure what his role is,
...Cry baby or bully.
Why don't you go and hijack someone else's thread or start your own?
Calling me a cry baby or a bully is a verbal attack, as was your last comment about me.
Why the need to attack anyone who does not hold your ridiculous beliefs in any esteem? This is why your beliefs cause so much ill will.
Well, your ancestors and mine must have started from some man unless there was a being as indicated in religion.
So, I am interested in who started it.
Really? Sure you are not defending your religious beliefs? Because proven scientific facts say there was not a "man" started it.
Pesky facts huh?
please provide your source for these scientific facts that state it was not a man that started it.
I feel certain you can find these facts if you can be bothered to look. LOL
Let's get this straight. You want to be provided with the name of the first human man some 200,000 years ago? And you don't need the name of the first woman?
I'm wondering about the plight of the mother who had to deliver all those 'human race'.
This is such an interesting question. There are so many ways to rephrase this question. For example.
Can anyone tell me if there is a father of the entire human race?
Why would there be just a father to the human race, isn't that unnatural, it generally takes two?
Can anyone tell who the first humans were?
Can anyone tell me who the father of the entire bonobo race is?
How about, do atheists think that something fathered the entire human race?
The real question is, why do you need to think that God fathered us? Your question perplexes me because you think your stumping us, when we already know the answer. We already know there doesn't have to be a Father/God.
Anything having seasons doesn't need a founding father although observers without the knowledge of the cycles will call something founding father like the writers of the Bill of Rights, Constitution and declaration of Independence are called founding fathers of the United States of America.
There are 2 possible definitions for the prefix hu in human -- cut by mighty blows as in hew or a shade of as in hue -- and both suggest it means human are incomplete man. The Bible's metaphor has Adam in the position as this [b]human civilization's beginner which he renamed us another term meaning incomplete, woman meaning woven from man.
Thanks, I have been provided this answer before.
So, does this mean you believe that Adam is my great..great...great and so forth.............. long departed originating parent.
No, the Adam concept is only the beginning of civilization which became compete at the metaphor of the great flood. It was not a flood of water but washing away the knowledge the sons of god had and supposedly Jesus demonstrated. The people didn't discarnate but their abilities were destroyed our of everyone except 1 tribe of the 4 primary ethnics, yellow, red, black and white, which Noah and his children represents.
can you provide your source for these statements?
The source is applying the logic of everyday experiences with what's written in the book. The Genesis accounts shows impossible things when read questioningly after eliminating the supernatural being called god. One example is the "let there be light" the first day but without a source of light until the fourth. That told me they aren't facts but a metaphor, so by recognizing cycles are throughout existence I sought something in the scriptures to give me a hint as to what it was.
Concerning Genesis', flood Revelation 12:15 has a flood coming out of the dragon's mouth which would be ignorance attempting to prevent the woman from coming into the understanding of life, therefore, the flood or Noah was a knowledge washing away the abilities man had prior to. After all, the genesis one man, the sons of god, had dominion powers as supposedly demonstrated by Jesus but the world over don't have them anymore. Then, the story of Israel has them in the wilderness carrying the 10 Commandments in something called ark of the covenant therefore the ark Noah built represents the laws they were living prior to their intermingling with Adam's descendants, thus, Noah represent the father of civilization and his 2 sons the other three ethnics. .
Why is it that atheists appear to get upset when theists, appear to be ignorant of something and just take it on faith? It seems that that would be appropriate for theists. So why the antagonism toward toward that appropriate faith based logic?
for me personally (and I can't speak for all atheists) the words faith and logic do not go together. When we see anyone taking something based on faith instead of evidence, rationality and logic, I can't understand it - especially when we see direct evidence that points to the contrary. Faith is believing in something without proof and without a justifiable reason. I personally don't choose to just believe in something because I want it to be true or because someone tells me to. I care whether or not my beliefs ARE true, which leads me to investigation. When I investigate something, I try to go into it with an open mind and I follow the evidence - even if it means that I have to change my original opinion about it. Faith prevents a lot of believers from doing that. They seem to investigate until their faith is challenged and then refuse to investigate anymore.
Well you closing is just plain sad but I think you are right.
On Logic, you should brush up. Logic is not a universal concept. Logic must develop and form within a given set of constructs, and faith my be one. Certainly mathematics and morality have their own logic as does an aborigine. You must accept the logic of faith in order to study the logic. If 'God can do anything' you have to learn to argue within that logic. There is no logic to the imperative conclusion that the earth will continue to rotate, yet almost all scientific inquiry assumes this to be the case. That is scientific logic.
I get what you're saying - but for me, logic is the opposite of faith. I don't simply accept something because i was told to. I don't "just believe" impossible claims without a good reason. Logic is examining every bit of available evidence and forming a rational conclusion because of it - and sometimes my conclusions are challenged, and that's okay.
Do you believe in your heart that the sun will rise tomorrow?
Well, let's see. Our knowledge of physics demands that momentum, including angular momentum (rotational) must be conserved without an outside force acting on it. To stop the earth's rotation, then will require a great deal of force, one which is calculable. We can then see that that much force, acting for less than 24 hours, is far more than enough to destroy the habitability of earth.
Available evidence thus says both yes and no; while it is possible to stop the rotation of earth in less than 24 hours (planetary collision, perhaps) it is not possible to do so and leave anything alive to witness that morning.
No faith required; simply thousands of years of experience coupled with hundreds of years of the study of basic physics.
So you know for a fact that the sun will rise tomorrow.
No. I very definitely said it is possible to stop the earth's rotation and even gave an example of how it could be done.
I merely said that if there is anyone left alive to witness the proposed action (sun rising) then the earth has to be rotating, which will result in a sunrise.
We could also discuss the possibility of the sun going out (I didn't because even then the sun will rise, just as the moon does), but the answer is the same. Anything that can turn off the sun's fusion process will also destroy it and the earth at the same time.
There are other planets in our solar system that also rotate. They rotate or not, independent of observers. All planets that do rotate, do it independent of observers so statements like that are irrelevant.
You just believe the sun will rise tomorrow. Whether or not you were justified in that belief, wont change astrophysics.
?? Yes, there are other planets, and they all rotate. I doubt that you will find any body that does not rotate with respect to the sun, and that rotation will continue until some force acts to stop it; it won't stop all by itself.
Sounds like you wish to claim my "belief" as the same as the theist, but it doesn't wash. JM presented the difference above; logic requires evidence. Evidence which I gave you and which you choose to ignore, but that doesn't make knowledge into belief.
Well the correct answer would be that you believe the sun will rise, but you do not know for sure.
Evidence is that our solar system, is 4 billion years old. The universe is 14 billion years old. Our solar system probably wont last as long as the universe and barring a myriad amount of possible events that could happen to our planet, for the most part, based on evidence of percentages is that sunrises are a rare occasion. You have noted it in the near past, so you believe it will occur tomorrow. But you do not know for sure.
"You have noted it in the near past, so you believe it will occur tomorrow. But you do not know for sure"
That's what I said, if you read. The sun will most likely rise, but there is a possibility it will not.
If your claim is that all questions concerning future events are belief only I would agree, but only because we do not have all the supporting evidence. Not because I have chose to believe based on a desire of what the future holds as the theists do.
Evidence is evidence regardless of whether you believe it or have no future knowledge of it. Reality does not stop and wait on whether you approve or not. I am a believer. Sometimes I desire that the sun dont rise if I am in a bad mood or dont feel well. Sometimes I desire that it rises and makes for a nice sunny day. My desires make no changes in astrophysics, so you are presenting a fallacy.
Be careful there, you are verging on logic rather than belief.
A Christian believes in God, but without evidence. The believe because they want to; it comforts them to think of a father figure watching them. Then the idea of omnipotence is added, perhaps because if God can't do whatever the believer wants Him to He's worthless to them. No evidence, just a desire it be so.
Does that help you understand the difference between logic or knowledge and belief?
No, the sun does rise anywhere in the morning. That's an illusion. But yes, the sun will be visible in the morning, we just don't know who or what will be alive to see it.
Interesting question... Firstly you'r heart pumps blood and has no knowledge. If by heart you mean emotions then looking for answers to how the physical universe works should not be done with your emotions.
JM you can't do that! Applying scientific logic to faith logic is apples and oranges. That is like applying visual logic to a blind man. It is like applying the logic of gravity in outer space or the logic of fluids to that which is frozen. Logic has to be based in context, otherwise you find yourself saying something like whatever goes up must come down -- shear foolishness unless in a certain context.
But I do think our discussion here has helped us to better understand each other --- In Eric Dierker logic that is a good thing, note the morality attached.;-)
so - according to your theory, you know the sun is the sun, because you did not accept this on faith based on learning man's definition of the sun.
and - you know that blue is the color of the sky because you have proven, not accepted on faith, that blue is the man's correct title for the atmosphere surrounding the earth.
and - the grass is green because you have proven that this title is correct also.
oh - those of little faith - seem to easily accept some statements on faith that has been passed down for centuries, but refuse to accept others because they choose not to see.
selective blindness has been corrected in some but others may never see.
no, actually not at all. It does not take faith to believe in the sun, or to understand what colors are.
Spectacular metaphysics. I sometimes wonder if chlorophyll is real or vapors bluish and that whacko orb we call Sun (that is really silly)
You should not speak to a contextual philosopher of such matter.
I now ask the atheist - "who takes things more serious - the atheist or the Christian?"
nice feedback. I too question the reason that the orb we know as sun was not called the "hotest orb" or "violent planet at the core". But when I research these things - I find that the titles all came from man.
what you say about faith and logic... i totally agree with. i have one thing to add. to all the theists out there, do not try to prove your point to me using your bible. it won't work. i don't believe in your bible and that means you cannot use it to convince me of anything.
That is great advice! The Bible is the word. The word is for believers. (although others are welcome) U
Interesting that you don't understand why this artificial division believers/others is why your religion causes so many fights.
GOD CAN HEAR YOU !!!
ASKING FOR MEAT PUPPET, CASTLE
1.How did we get here?
2.What happens at the end of our lives? Do you have proof where we go?
3. Atheist can’t prove the nonexistence of God. Atheist only lack the belief of God. Dose that not make an atheist (honestly) an agnostic
4. Is your trust in science based on faith or based on science?
5. Do you find it important to make most everyone an atheist vs, being Religious now. Do atheist lack the members, leadership, history and imagination to do so?
6. In what terms do you define the value of human life? Is the life of a human child more or less valuable, for example, than that of an endangered species of primate?
7. Why is there something rather than nothing? Has the Big Bang theory have a wealth of scientific evidence confirming it.
8. If there is no God, then why does every society have a religion?
9. If we were are all gods,( no group God or personal God that is the one and only) respect for most humans on the earth would be better, yes,or no?
When mommies and daddies (or sometimes mommies and mommies or daddies and daddies) that love each other and get together... this is all explained through evolution.
I can supply evidence that our bodies (including our brains) naturally decay unless they are cremated in which case the bodies energy burns.
There was a time when I was very young when I wasn't sure (agnostic), but I grew up and now lack the belief in god (atheism). This may sound offensive and for and for that I'm sorry, but it's much like the belief in Santa. Do I need to prove he doesn't exist or do I just know?
I personally have no trust/faith in science. Science is like geography or History, just another method of learning about our surroundings.
No, I rarely bring up my lack of belief in God in everyday life. Most of my friend have no idea what I think, as I have no idea or care what they think. The few who preached to me are no longer my friends.
Yes, no value can be put on human life, because I'm human and understand the suffering of those left behind. If an endangered chimp was about to kill a human and I had the ability stop/kill it I kill it in a second. Are we not all humans? This is nature at work. The vast majority of mammals will kill anything attacking it's own kind for family.
The Big Bang theory has not yet been confirmed. Perhaps if we can look further back in time just a little farther we may see it? Don't know, don't care. Why are we here, stuck to a rock on the outer edge of our galaxy in the midst of billions of galaxies? Enjoy the ride, we are here for a good time, not a long time, so have a good time, the sun can't shine everyday.
Because it's a great way to keep people well behaved. Children are told Santa is always watching and know if you've been naughty or nice and in the end gives you a toy for your good behaviour. Sound familiar?
Sorry I don't really understand this question. Are you asking if we were all gods would we respect each other more? No, I don't think so, it would be the same dog eat dog world, but with bolts of lightning instead of bad looks.
Is that it? I have to get back to crappy job I'm working on.
I give RAD 2 Kudos for achievement in honesty and courage attempting these hard questions in which some questions nobody are able to answer.
No other atheist on this thread have attempted these questions yet. Haven’t handed out any angle wings to Christian yet, like Mark said, I don’t think I have ever met a Christian.
That is why I don’t belong to any group, for it’s us against them conflict. When I only want to discuss things and figure out a few things without a lot of negative feelings.
God being everyone gives equal respect to the 90% who think God exist or they rather fight than switch.
The original poster almost groups all atheists together, as if we all work together and have the same ideas. There are a lot more radical atheists out there that believe religions are intolerant and do no good in the world, and there are other atheists who believe there is good in religion. To group all atheists together and say "hey, why are you saying stuff about us?" is pretty odd, especially considering some atheist views are pretty damn wrong and ignorant.
I disagree. I understand that all atheists are different - which is why the post was designed to open a dialogue - not mandate what "atheists" all think of one subject or another. It's ask AN atheist - not "let me tell you what all atheists on the planet think"
Ah, no problem. The idea is great, to allow religious people to ask questions to an atheist rather than the other way round. I just feel that too often grouping is done and instead of saying "well this is what I believe" it is "well atheists believe".
I think that if you look through my posts, you'll never find me saying "atheists believe". It's always personal. I have said, in this hub and others, that the only thing all atheists have in common is a lack of a belief in a god. On every other matter, they are as varied and different as believers are.
I'm not completely sure of that. Sure the one thing we all have is the lack of a belief in God, but I'm willing to wager (not really, I like money) that our sceptical, critical thinking minds follow similar patterns. For instance, if we polled atheists on gun control or I'd bet we have more in common generally than just the lack of belief in a God.
I was raised atheist and now I have a belief in a higher power. I only feel lucky to have had the opportunity to come to my own conclusions, without any pressure. No organized religion has ever fit into my belief system, though. I believe humans are missing the mark with that one, trying to put a name and rules to something that they cannot ever fully understand.
Yea, people in religions need to learn they are a work in progress, not a finished product.
HEY!!! Not one atheists has attempt to answer even one of my 9 questions.
GOD'S WAITING ............................................................................................................................
Are they too hard?
Not going to impress them...they don't believe he is waiting.
Why are atheists rebellious to my questions?
Atheist can't leave God out of the questions, because 90% of this world's population believe or think God could exist.
If Atheist are smarter and superior than other people, tell me how do they think God is very delusions, when 2/3 of their topic are about God on Atheists forums? Why associate with people of the Religious type, like an ugly marriage?
I guess nerds and politicians know more or do Atheist lack imagination?
Okay okay, I'll go back and look at your question, but not because you asked so nicely, but because I don't like the particular job I'm working on.
Actually 2% of the world claim to be atheists. 4% in US. 17% in UK. The rest of Europe hovers in between. But remember the 98% includes individuals that believe in one or more deity, no matter how many deities that may be.
I'm sorry but that is just not true. The UK has a lot more non-believers than 17%, in fact, Richard Dawkins said that at least 50% of people don't believe in any God at all.
Across Europe that figure is even higher, rising in Sweden and Norway to 80 - 90%.
Regarding Dawkins and his use of "facts and percentages" lol
Professor Dawkins VS Ben Stein The Visine Guy and from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Professor Dawkins seemed so convinced that God doesn't exist that I wondered if he would be willing to put a number on it.
Dawkins: "Well, it's hard to put a figure on it, but I'd put it at something like 99% against or something like that."
Ben Stein: "Well, how do you know it's 99%?
Dawkins: " I don't."
Ben Stein: "and not, say, 97%?"
Dawkins: "You asked me to put a figure on it and I'm not comfortable putting a figure on it. I think it's, I just think it's very unlikely."
Ben Stein : "But you couldn't put a number on it?"
Dawkins: "No, of course not"
Ben Stein: "So it could be 49%?"
Dawkins: "Well, it would be, I mean I think it's unlikely, but it's quite far from 50%
Ben Stein: "How do you know?"
Dawkins: "I don't know...
Strange, I've read this and Dawkins is the one making sense. It's a ridiculous question and he's being honest.
I just googled it and watched the video. I rolled on the floor laughing. Dawkins is, for want of a better word, an idiot. I'd vote him out as the poster child of atheism. What an embarrassing interview.
Yes, the vast majority of believers would say such a thing about a guy who is so beyond their intellectual capacities, they haven't got a clue what he's saying.
I understand what he is saying. I simply find the arrogance associated with his beliefs problematic. But, one believer is like another when they become overly interested in sharing their beliefs; as if only their conclusions are valid. I would call him the BO of the atheists.
Yet, he shows no arrogance whatsoever, hence you are creating false premises, thus making false conclusions.
Did you watch the video?
Either way. We came to different conclusions. I could also state that you are creating false premises and coming to false conclusions. The difference is, I do know that reasonable people can arrive at different conclusions and still both be reasonable. Since you appear to only consider your own conclusions reasonable I can assume you are unreasonable. I'll leave the rest to you.
I've probably watched a lot more of Dawkins than you have. I own 5 hours of his lectures on dvd.
Yours is obviously biased because you're a believer.
Um, that wasn't the question. Did you watch the video I was laughing at? There is a difference between a person giving a lecture in their field of study and a person attempting to talk on a subject which they have particular beliefs in. I would hope you would understand the difference, Maybe not. You appear to need to desperately believe what you want.
I think Hitchens can support this.
"Anything claimed without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Hitchens' Razor
Sorry, that is no where nearly accurate. But thanks for commenting
Several studies have found Sweden to be one of the most atheist countries in the world. 23% of Swedish citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", whereas 53% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 23% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".
Christopher Hitchens (RIP) renounced god despite his terminal illness, that's one person.
Given their lower suicide rate and massively lower incarceration rates than religious people the claim is pretty laughable.
Four weeks per month
Seven days per week
12 hours a day /12 hours a night
Molten core of earth
Its all so perfect.
A perfect accident.
Those who do not sense God in their lives today will sense God in their lives some day... maybe not this life time ... maybe another life time... some day. Those who do sense God have better things to do than listen to those who do not. And God who loves us waits patiently for us to love him back. It is sad to me that those who cannot prove God, do not blame themselves for their lack of perception. Instead, they tell those who accept and sense God that they do not. When indeed, they do. If one cannot find God it is due to one's own lack of faith and perception. God loves you no matter what. He is waiting and will continue to wait whether you accept that fact or not. I think it is really sad when atheists counter theists. Let those who want to believe in Him do so. Why Not? Are atheists against the belief in God? Or just against false doctrines.
Ahhh....but which one is the key. The God they find may not be yours. There are tens if not hundreds of Gods out there worshipped by many. Not one of them has the right to say "mine is the right one". They have the right to say "Mine is the right one, for ME."
I find it funny that on a thread about Atheists people keep saying" ah, but you will find God at some point".....just cause you believe in it, doesn't mean the rest of us MUST.
Atheists, in my experience, aren't so much against the belief in God - they usually are much of the "believe if you wish, but I don't" category. Nor are they against false doctrine - for it to be false, something about something else must be true, and when you don't believe in a God or Gods at all - NOTHING about religion is true for you, so it's all false doctrine.
MOstly what they seem to be against is this, simply:
Being told that they MUST believe in something that they do not.
Hell, as an agnostic - I'm sick and tired of the same ol' crud about it. I do not wish to believe, you CANNOT make me. If it makes you happy to believe - do so, I could not care less. Just leave me alone.
Or to borrow from another:
Religion is like a penis. You are free to have one and do as you wish with it - but if you whip it out and start shoving it down mine or my children's throats - then I have a problem.
- their own God which ever one they perceive... all are are representatives of the same and one God, if spiritual. (No graven...sculptures, etc.... images please.)
I never liked being approached by the religious, either. One time, I freaked out at some Jehova Witnesses at my door. They said something about children mimicking their parents just like monkeys. "No, they have their own soul's and act from a sense of their own beings!" I yelled at them... They ran away pretty fast.
And that would just happen to be the one you believe in?
*shakes head sadly*
Missed the point entirely
There is only One spiritual force in the universe... He doesn't care what you call him/her...! Some do call the spiritual force Divine Mother, as that is part of His /Her aspect too.
This is what YOU believe.
Why does everyone have to believe as you do?
I do like that your belief that all are part of one conveniently covers you for saying "you must believe in mine" - as you believe that all are of one...well played!.
However, one who does not believe in God, or Gods, may not EVER believe in any Gods. This does not make them wrong, or right. Just as your belief in God does not make you wrong or right. What it makes you is: happy. You have found what works for you - one size does NOT fit all, and your God (and yeah, etc etc etc about all being one) does not fit all either.
Just because you believe, doesn't mean everyone else has to. That was my point...missed tho.
Actually, I just re-read your inital reply to me....and realised that it may sound like I was aiming all of this at you....I wasn't it's more at the religious who cannot stop themselves.
I do like your idea about all being of one.
And I too can't stand the religious approaching me to tell me about how my God (or lack thereof) is wrong, oh...and " by the way you're Gay???!!!! Well, let me tell you about what MY god thinks of you." type things.
I enjoy religion, and learning about it - which is why I am perfectly happy to be agnostic - can look and learn, and figure it all out later.
Meh, sorry if there was any misunderstanding...I'm hot, bothered, and trying to write an article at the same time!
You are not refuting there is a God to me? If not, we are done discussing and I apologize.
( Why would anybody try to bombarded me with there being NO God... that is MY point.
- in other words, denying me my acceptance of the fact of God, which Atheists do continuously in these forums.)
This just in... believers still haven't figure out there are other religions in the world.
That made me laugh. If only more people were like a penis the world would be a better place. LOL
It's the liberal agenda activists who keep trying to "shove" something down everybody's throat.
THEY are the exhibitionists who seem to want to show everyone their penises. I've not seen one "religious" person who points to their penis; but almost every word that comes out of liberal activists' mouths either hints at or directly mentions that nether region. AND yes they try to expose that idea to this Nation's children. That's sooo tiresome. And it's emotional/mental child abuse. And it's wrong for you to try to apply that to religious people.
Are you against the belief in Allah or do you believe in Allah?
Allah is God. All God's names refer to OCLI: Omnipresent, Creative, Loving Intelligence. Humans have all these attributes except omnipresence because they identify so strongly with their bodies.
Like so many other verses in scripture I Can’t Remember Chapter & verse but ….
And this isn’t directed at anyone.
God was talking to somebody about pride. God was saying that we have nothing to be prideful about; how good looking we are or how strong and brave or how smart we are cause all of these things are gifts that have been given to us … not to even be proud of ourselves for having faith in him cause he gives this also to those that he chooses and not to those that he chooses not to.
I especially like and agree that "Most" Atheist Are NOT against the belief in God? BUT just against false doctrines.
I couldn't care less if there was a God - I want to learn about all religions, without the cloud of my own faith in front of my eyes changing the way I view - i've never had a religion, and until I find the right one for me and stop learning about them - I don't plan to either - I find it just clouds how you see things, instead of seeing them as they are.
If some of His believers are to be 'children' of God - I don't really want to meet the parent! When some of those 'children' are lacking in knowledge of their OWN religion's history, and use religion to stand behind to promote their hatred and bigotry, then I don't want to meet a parent who lets them sully his word in such a way.
But you see, if there is a God, and as an agnostic, I'm honestly not sure either way (nor do I care all that much but hey! - Humanist Agnostic I am) - I know that His or Her followers are not the best examples of their teachings. So, I'll just wait and see...and keep learning.
Why are you bombarded with there being no god? ....errr...Because you come into a thread entitled "Ask an atheist?"
You or I entering into a religious discussion are going to get bombarded with the opposing side....so, we take that risk when we enter into it. If we take the risk, we can't go off and be mad because we are being bombarded with "no God" or "yes, God!".....we can but learn.
I was just letting off steam I guess. I was blatantly complaining. Like they do Elsewhere.
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