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Atheism Rules !

  1. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    Just thought I would share a few quotes from my favorite atheist - Douglas Adams - and open them up for discussion:

    "Yes, I think I use the term 'radical' rather loosely, just for emphasis. If you describe yourself as 'atheist,' some people will say, "Don't you mean 'agnostic' " I have to reply that I really do mean atheist, I really do not believe that there is a god; in fact, I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference). I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one ... etc., etc. It's easier to say that I am a radical atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and that it's an opinion I hold seriously."

    "Now it is such a bizarrely improbably coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful [the Babel fish] could have evolved by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.
         The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
         "But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED"
         "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic."

    "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"

    "He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife."

    I'm listening big_smile

    And if you want more - there are loads here - Positive Atheism

    1. SparklingJewel profile image65
      SparklingJewelposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      So is atheism your religion...or should you start another thread:D?

    2. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
      Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      LOL.  So, the contradiction never goes away.  Hoping there is no afterlife is no different philosophically than hoping there is.  I'm confident in the afterlife, but, if I wasn't, I would hope I wouldn't have to hope there wasn't.  I'd hope I was certain there was not.

    3. talford profile image85
      talfordposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      At least Mr. adams is acknowledging that his atheism is a religion and not based on fact. wink

      1. Mark Knowles profile image59
        Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        Feel free to explain that,  because it makes about as much sense as..... wink

    4. knslms profile image66
      knslmsposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      You have favorite athiests now? WOW! http://hubpages.com/hub/Where-Has-All-T … -Came-From

      1. Mark Knowles profile image59
        Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        Let's say I have favorite writers, some of whom happen to be atheist. Or happened in this case.

        Nice hub you linked to. No where near good enough to be considered for nomination though.
        lol

        http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/4393

        Does it upset you to think that you are descended from a monkey?

        1. knslms profile image66
          knslmsposted 8 years ago in reply to this

          If I thought I was a good writer I would be doing it somewhere besides hubpages. Doesn't bother me about the monkey, I just find it funny that it's always what excuse no matter what the argument.

          1. Mark Knowles profile image59
            Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

            Sorry, you lost me - would you mind rephrasing that?

    5. Mark Knowles profile image59
      Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Bumping this up for the latest influx of scripturebots.

      Saves repeating myself. big_smile

    6. spiderpam profile image58
      spiderpamposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I still love you.

      1. Paraglider profile image90
        Paragliderposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        No you don't. You believe that most people will end up in a place where "the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched"
        That is a foul belief.
        I suggest you tell us exactly what the worm is going to do?
        Do we get one each or wait our turn?
        Write down exactly what you think hell is about and then tell us - this is your fate, but I still love you.

        Most Christians in Europe have some humanity about them.

        Your version is just savagery.

  2. knolyourself profile image62
    knolyourselfposted 8 years ago

    In the garden I sense no fairies, but somehow if there is still a feeling of fairies, do I deny this feeling?

    1. Mark Knowles profile image59
      Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      If you sense no fairies, how can there be a feeling of fairies? Are you sure you haven't just been listening to the guy who insists there are fairies and tells you that if you believe it too, you will be better off ?

      1. privateye2500 profile image59
        privateye2500posted 8 years ago in reply to this

        Or could it be that the "feeling of fairies" is just that - a feeling -- not a sense - I don't see them, I don't smell them; I can't hear them or touch them - I have yet to taste one.

        But I feel them just the same.

        You said : Atheism Rules ...ummm...Rules WHAT!?

        lol

      2. Candie V profile image68
        Candie Vposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        So, then I would counter: I see what you have written, or inspired someone else to write on your behalf.  I have a picture of "you" or possibly someone who looks like you, or it isn't even close.  I've never met you, I've never heard your voice, I've never felt your presence.

        Does this then mean you don't exist?

        1. Mark Knowles profile image59
          Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I suggest you read some of this thread before using a feeble argument like this which has already been tried several times. Give me your address - next time I am in your town I will pop in and say Hi. big_smile

          I am flattered that you compare me to god - but what sense is this argument supposed to make? Because I say I exist and you have never met me - this must mean that a god exists? lol

          Interesting logic...........

          1. Pest profile image61
            Pestposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Yay Mark!  Love you man! keep up the good fight.

            1. Mark Knowles profile image59
              Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              LOL

              It is beginning to wear thin. big_smile

          2. Candie V profile image68
            Candie Vposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            I have read the thread and i just used the logic you used with someone else.. if it was feeble now it was feeble the first time you used it.  I did not compare you to God.  I compared you to you.

            1. Mark Knowles profile image59
              Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              So do you not see the difference between me saying I am a human being like yourself and all the other human beings around you and you saying there is an invisible super being in the sky who made you and I have a set of rules he gave to some one 2000 years ago and you should follow them?

              Saying that just because you cannot see it means is exists is a pretty feeble argument as far as I am concerned.

              My argument is that because you cannot see it, it does not exist.

              Not really sure why you think you are making exactly the same argument as me when you are in fact merely asking a rather inane question.

              Which seems to be - if you have never met me - do I really exist?

              But go ahead and move to the next step in your argument.

              1. Candie V profile image68
                Candie Vposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                I wish I was more eloquent.  To put my thoughts about this in writing, to be clear and concise is tough for me.  I am surrounded by folks with views similar to yours.  To define ourselves, with the limitations of experience and understanding of our surroundings.  To be so certain that "it is what it is" and there's nothing larger outside of ourselves requires, in my simple opinion, an equally large amount of faith to any views that say "There is a God".  I hope this is worded well. I'm no scholar, so to banter these thoughts back and forth to the level you do is hard.  But maybe simple can be enough for today.

                1. Mark Knowles profile image59
                  Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  Actually I prefer simple. I am a big fan of communicating as clearly as possible. smile

                  "Nothing larger outside ourselves."

                  I do not believe I have ever said such a thing. What I have said is that there is no god with a personality.

                  There are many things larger outside ourselves. Nationalism. Family. The Universe. Just watch a flock of birds wheeling and you will see something in action that is clearly larger than the individual birds.

                  But a personal god, who created us and has a set of rules to follow?

                  I see no evidence for such a thing. In fact - my understanding of the way the universe and the world works does not allow for such a being. Evolution as a theory is useless and broken if there was a pre-arranged destination. It just doesn't work that way.

                  So why is my refusal to believe in a god when there is no evidence of one the same as believing there is a god when there is no evidence of one?

                  1. Candie V profile image68
                    Candie Vposted 7 years ago in reply to this
  3. knolyourself profile image62
    knolyourselfposted 8 years ago

    How should I Frasier this? Fairies are more fun.

  4. Thom Carnes profile image59
    Thom Carnesposted 8 years ago

    Have you seen the YouTube clip where Richard Dawkins invites Douglas Adams to read from the Hitchhikers' Guide? If not, here's the link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ygqJ5ZA5ss

  5. SparklingJewel profile image65
    SparklingJewelposted 8 years ago

    Oh Mark, you woke up on the not self side of the bed today! I guess after all it is Palm Sunday when Jesus rode the ass into Jerusalem to prove that he had human imperfection (and a good sense of humor!) but could still be an instrument of God/Universal Truth/Energy...and your not real self had to take charge just to make sure your Real Self couldn't peep out a bit! and bring your soul some solace.

    And you don't believe in fairies either? I call them elementals and they bring me joy. Of course you can't feel them...you are too busy allowing your not real self have the say in everything!

    And...you know for a fact Douglas Adams was an atheist?...it wasn't just that the character in his book was atheist? Maybe Dougy was just having a not self kind of day when he created the atheist character.

  6. Thom Carnes profile image59
    Thom Carnesposted 8 years ago

    Well, shame on you, Mark, for not believing in fairies or Jesus on his ass or even the univesally-known fact that Douglas Adams was a member of the Church of Latterday Saints!

    Where have you been all your life?

  7. SparklingJewel profile image65
    SparklingJewelposted 8 years ago

    Nobody said anything about shame but you Thom!smile  I guess I forgot to put in some smilies so people wouldn't make assumptions that come from within their own subconscious!smile

    I read Douglas Adams when I was a teen...so its been a few decades! Obviously I didn't pursue his work because I intuitively knew his path was not mine to follow. So no, I never knew he was an atheist. Just like you may have never considered that Jesus had a sense of humor...riding an ass...you have to admit that's a pretty good one smilesmilesmile

  8. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    LOL

    Well, I was just having a little fun. I never see Jesus laughing in all those thousands of paintings I have seen of him, but I am keen to learn more about his sense of humor.

    Thom - no I hadn't seen that clip.

    DA was very much an atheist - no question.

    And I guess atheism is the other side of the coin.

    Fairies - No, never seen one. smile Felt them? who knows?

    big_smile

  9. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    LOL

    No, of course not - there is only one way to be certain whether or not there is an after life big_smile

    But, what I found funny was the praying that there wasn't an afterlife. Douglas Adams was awesome and definitely one of my all time favorite writers. He could put a smile on any one smile Well, almost anyone.

  10. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
    Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago

    So, is the thread Atheism Rules (guidelines)(!), or Atheism Rules (Yay atheists)(!)?

  11. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    Both big_smile

  12. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
    Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago

    Clearly atheists need rules, but you better be careful, pretty sure there will be different denominations of atheists.  Didn't you guys learn anything from religion?

    Sounds like you guys need a Messiah too.

  13. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    You didn't know? :
    http://markpknowles.com/wp-content/uploads/The%20Prophet.jpg

    1. Silent Assassin profile image60
      Silent Assassinposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Is the definition of atheism a person who is too self obsessed with their own intelligence to concievce of something greater than what they percieve to be reality?

      Religion may be a long running form of control but without it there would have been no advancing from the dark ages, and there would be nothing stopping us from tearing this world to shreads, whether you believe in god or not.

      Is our conciousness just a collection of electrical synapses meaninglessly intergrated into our biological make up or do they have a ultimate evolutionary purpose?

      1. Marisa Wright profile image93
        Marisa Wrightposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        From where I stand, most of the people who have torn the world to shreds over the ages have been very religious.  The Christians in the Crusades, the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, the Catholics and Orthodox in Yugoslavia, the Hindus and Muslims in India - need I go on?

        1. Silent Assassin profile image60
          Silent Assassinposted 8 years ago in reply to this

          From where I stand guns don't kill people, people kill people. It's fair to say what you said, but a lot of those incidents you refer to were situations where religion was used as an excuse to make enough people angry; so it provoked the reaction that the people who stood to make an amount of financial or political gain out of it got what they wanted and came out smelling like roses.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image93
            Marisa Wrightposted 8 years ago in reply to this

            I don't quite get the relevance of that statement.  I also don't think it matters whether these conflicts arose because of true religious believers, or whether it was caused by devious people using religion as an excuse.  Religion was still a motivating factor, if not for the instigator then certainly for many of the participants.

            1. Silent Assassin profile image60
              Silent Assassinposted 8 years ago in reply to this

              I hope I didnt come cross as confrontational, but my point was that religon was the gun and the people were the ones using it to get their own outcome. I think what you were saying about religion being the motivating factor is important because in a time where everything was supposedly sanctioned by god via the church; they wouldnt have had enough people to invade the holy land if they didnt use that reason.

          2. Mark Knowles profile image59
            Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

            See - War on Terror/Jihad

      2. Mark Knowles profile image59
        Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        As far as I recall from my history lessons, it was scientific advances that took us out of the dark ages and the established religions did their darnedest to keep the status quo.

        I am not sure evolution has a purpose. It just is. Things develop and the ones that work continue to propagate and the ones that don't fall by the wayside.

        Why they work, or for how long they work remains to be seen. Sharks are still around, but we are killing them off in their hundreds of thousands. Evolution? Not sure.

        1. Silent Assassin profile image60
          Silent Assassinposted 8 years ago in reply to this

          As far as I recall from my history lessons, it was scientific advances that took us out of the dark ages and the established religions did their darnedest to keep the status quo.

          I am not sure evolution has a purpose. It just is. Things develop and the ones that work continue to propagate and the ones that don't fall by the wayside.

          Why they work, or for how long they work remains to be seen. Sharks are still around, but we are killing them off in their hundreds of thousands. Evolution? Not sure.

          Your statement is true about the age of science needing to overcome religion in order to advance our society. Especially for knowledge of diseases etc. This happened after the medieval times; not the dark ages though. I am not trying to justify religion as such only acknowledge that without it a lot of good things may have been missed like renaisaance art, and the desire to explore our planet.
          Without the good and bad things that religion brought about, would have there been a need to look to science to dispel them?

      3. gamergirl profile image61
        gamergirlposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        Without scientific breakthrough, without shifts in government/monarchy, without revolt and rebellion, we would have remained in the Dark Ages.  Religion, though close in the hearts of the masses, played no such lofty role as the other points I've mentioned.

        Regardless, our consciousness is a collection of what we've made it coupled with the breeding of time and environment, biology and chemistry.  We improve, adapt, move on as time passes because the world around us is doing the same.  Religion, faith, devotion to a deity, these things do not cause evolution.

        1. SparklingJewel profile image65
          SparklingJewelposted 8 years ago in reply to this

          The very essence of evolution is our consciousness...so there is no way that religions, faith and devotion could have no impact on them. This is exactly what I'm trying to get at, our power of consciousness creates the world as it is...when people take greater responsibility for their states of consciousness (subconscious and unconscious as well as superconscious and conscious), the world will more quickly become a better place. But I guess that is what is the problem, people don't want to believe that they are accountable for the levels of consciousness they haven't gotten a "grip" on yet, but that doesn't make it any less so.

      4. Mark Knowles profile image59
        Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        Well actually, Silent Assassin bought up evolution.

    2. DJ Funktual profile image86
      DJ Funktualposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      LOL!

      1. Mark Knowles profile image59
        Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        Hey, if you are going to have a prophet (or Messiah - I can't remember) , who better?

    3. GeneriqueMedia profile image61
      GeneriqueMediaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I have this on my computer somewhere. And one about "Atheism."

      Is atheism, though, a relevant religion? Or more of a science thing? wink

      1. Mark Knowles profile image59
        Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Neither wink

        1. GeneriqueMedia profile image61
          GeneriqueMediaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          You're a revolution in your own right, Mr. Knowles.

          1. Mark Knowles profile image59
            Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            I will take that as a compliment. big_smile

            1. GeneriqueMedia profile image61
              GeneriqueMediaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              As you should. big_smile

              "I've found my God in a Box of Crack Jacks. Such a neat toy they've included!"

  14. Marisa Wright profile image93
    Marisa Wrightposted 8 years ago

    Peter

    There can never be separate denominations of atheists. Denominations arise because people have different interpretations of the same belief.  Atheism is not a belief, it's an absence of belief.   There is no variety in absence. 

    It's like the difference between having hair and being completely bald.  If you have hair, you can style it in lots of different ways.   If you have no hair, you just have a chrome dome and that's it.   


    I'm not an atheist - I'm happy to just wait and see what happens.  The principles of living a good life are the same whether you're a religious or non-religious person so what does it matter, really, whether you believe or not?   I don't adhere to the view that if I haven't "accepted Jesus as my saviour" I will go to Hell.  That suggests Jesus (and God) are mean, vengeful characters who would send a good person to Hell just because they refused to take unverifiable information as fact, and that would be just plain silly - and if They are mean, vengeful and silly, then I wouldn't want to have anything to do with Them anyway!

    1. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
      Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      I realize this, Marisa.  I was just teasing Mark a little.  Our religious banter goes waaaaay back, 4-5 days at least.

    2. Misha profile image74
      Mishaposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Marisa, I dare to disagree smile

      There are conscious atheists like Mark, who came to this conclusion after careful studying and observations - and there are religious ones, who still have the body of their atheistic god in Mausoleum on Red Square big_smile

      1. Mark Knowles profile image59
        Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        But this really was just another form of control? There is not room for two Gods. And the atheism you are describing here is just another form of religion?

        So, there can be more than one sort of atheist.

  15. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
    Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago

    I prefer Picard, but a Star Fleet Captain comes pretty darn close.  They do always seem to save the day.

  16. Misha profile image74
    Mishaposted 8 years ago

    LOL Mark, I used to be in your camp for quite some time. In fact, probably 90 to 95 percent of Soviet Union population were atheist. Based on everlasting works by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Brezhnev we religiously believed there is no such thing as god.

    Well, I already got rid of quite a bunch of lies I was taught at that times. And while I'm not 100% sure yet, I strongly suspect this "scientific atheism" was a lie, too wink

    And you know me - I'm not likely to believe to a bunch of ministers whose religious zeal is based on what they were taught themselves and do not really understand. This does not differ a tiny bit from "scientific atheism" of Soviet times.

    But we have people here whose experience is no doubt first hand (at least for me) - people like Sandra, Peter, and Jenny... And that makes me thinking hard...

    I guess you too are thinking - cause your interest to the topic is obvious tongue

  17. Marisa Wright profile image93
    Marisa Wrightposted 8 years ago

    Oh really?  I hadn't noticed smile

    You're not the only one reading this thread, though, so it's a point worth making.

  18. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
    Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago

    Oh, I'm not being critical of the point you were trying to make, I was just pointing out that I was just joking with Mark.  This is kind of a carry-over from an earlier thread.

  19. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    And the great thing about it is - It's banter. smile

    As I mentioned to some one in one of the financial threads - these are public forums that any one can read. And part of my goal is to spread "the gospel according to Mark." LOL

    Misha - Yes, you are correct. But I have a very strong belief system.

    It doesn't include an all-powerful God though. Nor does it include the need to believe there are fairies at the bottom of the garden big_smile

    Nor the need to turn it into a connection with the universe. You are connected to the universe whether you like it or not - and there is NO getting away from it. But you are connected in the same way a grain of sand on the beach is connected. And there is no grand plan - unless it's an huge joke. smile

    As everyone will agree - there is no certainty until you are dead - that's when you find out what's true and what's untrue - for sure - and I suspect there are a lot of disappointed people out there. big_smile

    1. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
      Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Almost everyone.  smile

    2. 0
      Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      I disagree, there are not a lot of disappointed people out there, only decomposing ones.

      Religion is the ultimate escape from consequences, because when a person is dead, he/she won't have to deal with the consequences of his/her actions, so it empowers people who are religious who feel that there is no moral consequence or moral sense of right or wrong that has any validity outside of their particular religious bearing.

      I use to say it myself "If there is no God once I am dead, then I suppose I won't be around to worry about it right?".  It seems win/win but in reality other people will have to suffer for the consequences that dogmatic religions bring to humanity long after the person in question is dead.

      Which is why I do not consider any person who believes in dogmatic religion to be an adult that stands on his/her own two feet, in the fullest sense of the word.

      That is because that person cannot allow himself or herself, as well as others, the ability to recreate and keep elastic their psychic environment.  Dogma does not allow this, so in a sense adults who believe in religious dogma that is not provable or self evident, are in my opinion inherently immature in some way shape or form, because it is not good enough for people to have a difference of opinion as regards say, The Trinity. 

      Nay, all must be of One Opinion regarding the Trinity, lest they suffer the real eternal suffering that hellfire brings.

      God does not unite people he unites opinions first, and people second.

      Doctrine over person.

  20. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    LOL

    So - you are certain you know what comes after death - even though you have never been there?

  21. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
    Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago

    Who said I have never been there?

    However, to your point, if there is no certainty until you are dead, and you are certain there is nothing after death, then you never really do find out, do you?

  22. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    If you are dead - you are dead. In my belief system, there is no coming back from being dead. If you have been there and come back, you were never dead. smile

    Exactly my point big_smile But, I never said there was nothing after death. big_smile Work that one out. LOL

    1. 0
      sandra rinckposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      I like that, why get your hopes up for something that may never happen?  Mark.  I think you are my favorite athiest!  I can imagine it now.  Death...Oh criminy you are real!  Well, sh** God, what can I say? lol.

  23. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
    Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago

    I will try my very best to work that one out.

    ...off to visit my Dad.  TBC tomorrow.

  24. Thom Carnes profile image59
    Thom Carnesposted 8 years ago

    I certainly agree with Marissa that atheism is not a belief system: it is the very absence of (supernatural) belief. It is usually acknowledged that there are two forms of atheism: "negative" atheism and "positive" atheism - although the distinction is one of degree rather than content (because there is no content).

    The negative atheist says: "There is no reason to believe in God".

    The positive atheist says: "There are lots of reasons to *dis*believe in God".

    (Personally, I guess I would have to say that I am a negative atheist: I do not believe there is a God as I can see neither reason nor evidence to justify such a belief.)

    But aren't we all atheist of one sort or another? Even people who believe in the Christian God are usually atheists when it comes to all the other gods that people have believed in (usually quite passionately and unquestioningly) throughout human history.

    There used to be hundreds of them. Now we've got it down to just one.

    It certainly seems like a move in the right direction ....

  25. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
    Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago

    Thom, you said, "But aren't we all atheist of one sort or another? Even people who believe in the Christian God are usually atheists when it comes to all the other gods that people have believed in (usually quite passionately and unquestioningly) throughout human history."

    I think this is another misconception about what Christian belief is.  Yes, Christians believe in one supreme God, but there have been a whole host of other gods that have been acknowledged as lesser, but still spiritual beings (the exact definition is somewhat unclear, demons, fallen angels, etc.), Baal for example.

    I think there are also positive believers and negative believers, in my estimation.  Most fall into the negative category, they believe out of obligation or pressure with no real reason to believe other than comfort.  These are the folks who Mark enjoys baiting into an argument at the mere challenge of their faith.  It's a shame really, but this is the Christian impotency.  The promise of the supernatural without the delivery, and most Christians are perfectly content remaining in this impotence to the dismay of our God.

    1. Thom Carnes profile image59
      Thom Carnesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      I'm not sure that many Christians believe that the old Greek and Norse gods were "spiritual beings" as you put it. In my experience they either don't give them a moment's thought or, if they do, it's simply to dismiss them as mythical and wholly non-existent beings - in exactly the same way that Mark and I dismiss the Christian and Islamic gods.

      But there's one little conundrum that's been puzzling me for some time and that you might like to try to get your head around ....

      If God is outside of space and time (because He created space and time); if He is outside of nature and natural law (because He created nature and natural law); if He is invisible and intangible and cannot, it seems, be experienced in any sensory way whatsoever, then how exactly does His existence manifest itself?

      In other words, how does His being here differ from His not being here? If He didn't exist or (if you prefer) if He ceased to exist, how would you know? What criteria would you use to distinguish between His existence and His non-existence?

      1. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
        Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        ...back to my asignment. Thom, I have spent 2 years trying to wrap my head around this, and if I spend the rest of my life doing so I will be happy.  The one thing I have learned so far is that God manifests himself in intensely personal ways.  How He would manifest Himself to you would be completely different than He would to me, we might not even recognize the other's as such.

        I can only share my experiences, I can relate some things I have seen in others which can only be described as miraculous, but that would be second hand information and you would have to accept my representation of those matters.  As for me personally, as a former non-believer, God addressed my 3 areas of unbelief in succession.  I did not believe the Biblical account in Genesis, I couldn't accept the whole Jesus account, and I rejected the notion of Satan outright.  I was a little more open the possibility of a God, illogical though it seemed, but the notion of an all-evil devil was completely illogical, what good God would allow it?

        My first real encounter with God was quiet backward from what most people would imagine because it wasn't an encounter with God per se, it was an encounter with Satan's minions.  My own private little exocism (cue spooky music here). The strange thing was that God killed 2 birds with one stone in this respect, He showed me that my only escape was confession of Jesus.  How it happened I cannot say, but God very clearly took me back to the first instance I had personally denied Christ, and although I had never given it much thought, in that instance I felt the same heartbreak Peter felt when the cock crowed.  Immediately upon my confession and acceptance, three very nasty demons were yanked out of me in quite a dramatic fashion.  My wife was scared half to death as we were the only 2 people in the room, but without that oppression, I see the spiritual realm quite differently.

        Within a few months I was in Israel on a mission trip and upon my return God had me studying ancient Hebrew.  You will have to trust me on this, but I had never had any desire nor had I seen the need to learn the languages other than those I know (Eng & Span).  But, I found myself knee deep in ancient Hebrew pictographs and Genesis took on a whole new meaning.  I spend 2 months just in Genesis 1:1, and there was no doubting afterward.  The huge debate over the Genesis account (science or not) is hogwash.  Genesis is not meant as a scientific explanation for how things began, and the truth of Genesis is lost in translation.

        These Biblical phrases we hear, "In the beginning was the Word..." and "the Word became flesh" are not just literary devices, they are the spiritual account of what happened beginning in Genesis through the gospels.  I have included just a few examples of what I am talking about.

        http://hubpages.com/hub/Beauty-of-the-Bible
        http://hubpages.com/hub/Names-of-God--Part-1
        http://hubpages.com/hub/Origin-of-the-Alphabet
        http://hubpages.com/hub/Language-of-God
        http://beautyofthebible.blogspot.com/20 … art-1.html
        http://beautyofthebible.blogspot.com/20 … art-2.html

        Please hear me, I do not expect or intend that this will prove what I believe to you, only that it was the proof that I needed, and it was not at all what I would have expected the proof to be.  What it might take to satisfy you, I have no idea, but God does, and He will if you ask him sincerely.

        1. Thom Carnes profile image59
          Thom Carnesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

          Thank you for sharing that, Peter. It goes without saying that I fully respect what you say and believe, and your personal account is actually very moving. As you admit yourself, it doesn't really address the question I asked - but I acknowledge that at the end of the day the question is probably unanswerable.

          What really fascinates me (and has done for most of my life) is not so much *what* people believe as *why* they believe it: ie the basis for their belief, or the process that led them to it? Your post certainly goes some way towards helping me to understand that. Many thanks.

          1. Lissie profile image86
            Lissieposted 8 years ago in reply to this



            What a fantastic thread - this is the first time I have been in the religion forum - but I saw atheist with Mark Knowles name on it I had to have a look and now 4 pages later!

            I don't get religion or spirituality - I know I often see in self-help books that you need to balance life with emotional/intellectual/spiritual components - but for the life of me I don't understand spiritual at all? I gave up on God when I found science didn't need him to explain most of life's mysteries - OK not all but we know Thor doesn't do thunder and the spring will come again without sarcrfiices and that appeasing Gods won't stop earthquakes if you happen to live near a tectonic plate boundary. So OK we don't quite understand why the universe is expanding or what started it all but we've only been doing science for 500 years give us a chance!

            So for me  the whole God thing for me is obsolete.  I can understand why belief is helpful for people - especailly when horrible things happen to good people - but at the end of the day I can't get over the fact that the belief is prop for us to cope with real life and the fact that the universe really doesn't give a damme as to whether we live or die or get together with Mr Right or have children or whatever else is important to us. 

            I would love to have believed that my mother was going to Heaven when she died a nasty death from melanoma which she got because she played in the sun in the 1920's and 1930's and no-one knew this could be a death sentence for fair skinned children in New Zealand.  She was dedicated, thinking Christian - who never question my rejection of her beliefs but I bet she prayed for me every day!  To see her die too young with that type of disease was absolute proof  for me that either a) God didn't exist or b) if he did I don't want to know about him because he is mean and nasty.  Yet at the same time I saw others of her close friends who are also Christians, take comfort in their faith and believe she was going to a better place - it was a complete disconnect that we reacting to the same thing, a friend/relative in a coma - I guess the mind can do weird stuff. 

            Just my 2c - and if you  are in the mood for a quick tour of the major religious options open to you please check out An Atheists Guide to Religion

            1. Thom Carnes profile image59
              Thom Carnesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

              Hi Lissie!

              Great to have an other non-believer on board (we are rather few and far-between here!)

              I loved your comment about only 500 years of science so give us a chance!

              1. Lissie profile image86
                Lissieposted 8 years ago in reply to this



                All over - but especially in the US - I totally relate to Douglas Adams when he says he has to argue about being an atheist - people say oh you mean you are agnostic - especially when I was younger! I actually think all the people who can't be bothered to go to church or practice their religion are probably atheist but they don't have the courage to step outside the box - think about it if you actually believe that you have the path to salvation or elightenmen or whatever would you be at church 24/7 ?

            2. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
              Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago in reply to this

              Lissie, you know I love you...I hope to get a ride on the back of that bike of yours someday.  Quite honestly, every one of your criticisms is completely valid.  Jesus' criticism was very similar.  He chastised the religious leaders of His day for their powerless "religion".  His criticism was that faith had become form, much as it is today.  He chastised his own followers for not being able to heal the sick the way He did.  This same criticism can be applied to the church today.

              Christians are totally comfortable living vicariously through works of the apostles who lived 2000+ years ago.  However, Christians are commissioned to go and do.  Fortunately, I have not battled cancer myself, but I have seen several people healed of this dreaded disease because of those who choose to walk and live in the faith others so weakly profess. 

              I would have loved to have met your mother and prayed with her, she must have been a remarkable woman to have a daughter as fun and full of life as you.

            3. Mark Knowles profile image59
              Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

              Yes, it's a good discussion. smile

              I had a similar experience and came to much the same conclusion as you. I watched my first wife die a slow agonizing death from breast cancer age 34. It took 6 years from first diagnosis. One of the best people you could hope to meet. Not a pleasant experience for either of us.

              So, I pretty much laugh at the idea of a God now. Without going into details this was the icing on the cake as far as God went smile

      2. topstuff profile image60
        topstuffposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        For me the answer is in your question, your  question is
        how does His being here differ from His not being here?If he didnt exist or ceased to exist how would you know?
        As you said nature and natural law is there so He is there,nature and natural law is  existing So He exists.

  26. Kenny Wordsmith profile image82
    Kenny Wordsmithposted 8 years ago

    I have no problems with atheists as long as they are good people. They are people who rely more on intelligence than belief, that's all. Beliefs can be more dangerous than no belief.

  27. funride profile image74
    funrideposted 8 years ago

    Well, I guess I must be in the middle of believers and atheists roll.
    Yes, being agnostic [A person who claims that they cannot have true knowledge about the existence of God (but does not deny that God might exist)] I can not agree with both believers or atheists cause none of them can really prove their points tongue.


    But if I had to choose, and looking backward in time, I should say "Atheism Rules!" lol

    I´m totally harmonize with Kenny`s words: "Beliefs can be more dangerous than no belief."

    1. Kenny Wordsmith profile image82
      Kenny Wordsmithposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Ah, thanks, Funride. And Hi, Peter.

      Mark, this atheism issue has many variables. There are atheists, like you. There are spiritual, non-religious people like me. And there are religious ones.
      To add to the confusion, there are spiritual people who don't believe in God.
      What are you, exactly?

  28. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    Cool an interesting, non-confrontational discussion smile

    Sparkling Jewel - I don't see how the very essence of evolution is our consciousness. And as far as I can tell, most religions have made a backward step in this regard. When I think of the "older" religions, they seem to have more awareness of our place in the scheme of things and the connection we have to our environment. This would seem to be devolution.

    Thom - that's the best question yet. (Looking forward to the reply Peter) LOL

    funride -  You don't need to prove the non-existence of something. It requires proof of the existence. Therefore my friend, whether you know it or not, you are an atheist. big_smile

    1. SparklingJewel profile image65
      SparklingJewelposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, I agree the older religions were more in the "right place" (state of consciousness) my whole point. People just kept mucking it up, and IT got farther and farther off course. But there are the few who have helped to maintain the clarity of the "right place" state of consciousness and kept us from blowing ourselves up..you now the whole good over evil concept. The few mystics, Tibetan monks, secret societies, etc... Even the small portions of consciousness of the mass population  that are in the right place, have made a difference, even when the other levels of their consciousness were out of whack. But mostly it has to do with the concept of reincarnation. The same souls have been coming back over and over, supposedly to try and get it right. Being in the Great Kali Yuga, the ending of an age, all energy is coming due to be balanced. When there aren't enough people that consciously are trying to do better in all levels of consciousness, the natural order of things has to erupt to shift IT all back into the "right place" of balance.
      Creating upheaval, earth changes, "bad things that happen", etc...

    2. Inspirepub profile image87
      Inspirepubposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      I beg to differ, Mark.

      You are taking a starting point of belief that "nothing exists", and then allowing evidence to add items to your belief system.

      This is valid, but not what agnostics do. (At least, not what I do.)

      I have seen enough evidence of people talking about things in "religious language" which later turned out to be explained scientifically (for example the forms of spellcasting now used by doctors in Western hospitals - they don't CALL it that any more, of course, they have much more scientific terms like "visualisation") - that I simply can't justify the starting point of active disbelief any more.

      I start from a position of "I don't know", and all the evidence I get is provisional. I don't have ANY convictions, ie 100% beliefs. I don't even believe that *I* exist, or that the *Universe* exists, in the sense of four (or five or 11) dimensional space-time as we tend to think of it.

      I believe *something* exists, I guess. But I am not in a position to make any more definitive statements than that while in human form.

      *That* is agnosticism, as far as I can tell. It's not atheism, because for all I know there IS a "god" of some form. I am reasonably confident the Judeo-Christian description of "god' is fairly inaccurate, but that's not the same as thinking there isn't one at all.

      Jenny

    3. funride profile image74
      funrideposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/23/23_2_36.gif

      I don´t need to prove non-existance because I never alleged that it doesn´t really exist tongue.

      But I would love to hear an atheist proving the non-existence of something, let´s say for example - god roll.

      1. Mark Knowles profile image59
        Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        OK - big_smile always up for a challenge.

        Have you seen God?
        Have you been spoken to by God?
        Have you smelled God?
        Have you met God?
        Have you heard God?
        Have you ever been shown any proof whatsoever that God exists? (other than other people saying he/she/it exists)

        If you can answer yes to any of these questions, God exists and you already believe smile

        If you answered no to all these questions, God does not exist.

        My point was that you cannot prove the non existence of something - and you don't need to. It's a presumption, like the presumption of innocence. The onus is to prove it exists, not the other way round smile It must be proven to exist and until that time, it's fair to say it doesn't smile

        And when I say you, I mean "one."

        1. funride profile image74
          funrideposted 8 years ago in reply to this

          Have you seen God?
          I use glasses so I might have passed by Him and never notice roll.

          Have you been spoken to by God?
          I don`t think so, but I`m not surprised about that wink

          Have you smelled God?
          LOL I don´t think even believers ever smelled Him big_smile.

          Have you met God?
          I`m not sure, I have very bad memory for faces lol.

          Have you heard God?
          Well, I don´t think He wants to have me as his spokesman sad.

          Have you ever been shown any proof whatsoever that God exists? (other than other people saying he/she/it exists)
          Ok ok, you made your point.

          Call me atheist if you like but I prefer to consider myself as agnostic (Someone who is doubtful or noncommittal about something) smile.

          1. Silent Assassin profile image60
            Silent Assassinposted 8 years ago in reply to this

            funride wrote:

            Mark Knowles wrote:


            OK - big_smile always up for a challenge.

            Have you seen God?
            Have you been spoken to by God?
            Have you smelled God?
            Have you met God?
            Have you heard God?
            Have you ever been shown any proof whatsoever that God exists? (other than other people saying he/she/it exists)

            If you can answer yes to any of these questions, God exists and you already believe smile

            If you answered no to all these questions, God does not exist.

            Some people believe that the existance of something does not have to be proved by the five senses. the existance of sub atomic particles was not known about until recently. Is it possible that maybe we just havent found a way to " See" God? yet?
            It did say in the bible that his mere presence was something that humans could not comprehend or withstand.

            1. Mark Knowles profile image59
              Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

              Which takes us back to my opening - some quotes from my favorite atheist, Douglas Adams.

              Some people believe there are fairies at the bottom of the garden, but - if we could see them, would they still be there?

    4. gogetter profile image61
      gogetterposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Great topic to get some attention

  29. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    SJ - You seem to be using the term, "evolution," in a different sense. i.e personal evolution, as opposed to "evolution of a species."

    And also - as you believe to be true. Not everyone subscribes to the beliefs you are suggesting here. Plus, as I understand it, a Yogi can live innumerable life times in a single day thanks to their ability to control their perception of time? big_smile

    1. SparklingJewel profile image65
      SparklingJewelposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      How can you separate the two? (if you believe in oneness) If all is one, what is the difference with the evolving soul, is it not one with the evolving souls of everyone else? How could a species evolve without each one evolving as well, by their connection/unity? I guess you are thinking linearly, not multi-dimensionally.

      When did I mention Yogi? I talked about the Kali Yuga? or Are you placing yogis in the category with the adepts I mentioned that have kept us from total destruction? Adepts, if some yogis do so, as well, use their abilities to hold the balance during the Kali Yuga, which may include controlling time and space perception until the upheaval has past, in its intermittent waves. If they are adepts that are  working for the benefit of humanity, that is.
      It is  complicated. The more I learn the harder it is to talk about in words, spoken or written.

  30. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    Well, you mentioned mystics and Tibetan monks. I assumed you meant Yogis in there as well? No?


    And - what adepts that have prevented us from total destruction?

    I agree - it is complicated. So complicated in fact that it is almost impossible to explain to someone else. smile I rarely try big_smile Other than to point out the obvious flaws in their own argument LOL

    1. SparklingJewel profile image65
      SparklingJewelposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Please, I hope we can continue to refine each others minds!? I know my human mind doesn't have the intellectual maneuvers down like those of you that have spent so much time developing it.

      The novices (me for instance) and adepts that use the science of the spoken word and power of consciousness, in prayer, fiat, decree and mantra, etc. to help  transmute  their own and world karma.

      1. Inspirepub profile image87
        Inspirepubposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        So, Mark, I have a very strong science background, and SparklingJewel, I know what you are talking about. Perhaps it might help if I articulated the way I deal with these things.

        Mark, people use waffly, unscientific-sounding language when a phenomenon is not mapped out by science. That does not mean there is no real basis for the phenomenon.

        SparklingJewel, to converse with people of a scientific background, you do need to modify the language you use - understand how your concept can be worded in more "rational" language.

        So, karma is a religious word. And the whole "energy fields" thing is far too fluffy-bunny.

        I would put it like this.

        For centuries, people have been talking about "mind reading" and "feeling other people's emotions" and having to "put up protective barriers" and suchlike.

        Scientists would scoff at the notion that the tiny electrical impulses which make up brain activity could possibly travel across the distance between two people, especially since the space between is already full of electro-magnetic impulses of much greater magnitude.

        But recently, neuroscientists have been describing "mirror neurons", which are triggered by input from the five senses, and kick in to reproduce in the observer's body the exact emotional state that is in the person they are observing.

        So it's not "brain waves" travelling across space.

        But it IS person A feeling the emotions of person B.

        In other words, the phenomenon is being accurately described in a subjective sense. Science is still working on the objective description of how that subjective experience comes to occur.

        Science is still working on things like mass psychology, the irrationality of market movements, "tipping points" which seem to arise (you know, when the taxi drivers all start talking about real estate investing? suddenly?) and so on.

        There are definitely broad patterns, and they are definitely influenced by individuals, or small number of individuals. I think we have all had the experience of "feeling" the atmosphere shift when a speaker hits a particularly emotional point. You can even pick it up on video.

        We are all sensing and responding to one another at a subliminal level.

        For thousands of years, intelligent people have been experimenting with how that works.

        Their objective explanations for how it comes to occur still lack ... well, let's just say they aren't there at all, really.

        But the subjective descriptions of "what works" based on empirical observation still contain a description of a phenomenon which is occurring. A shift in one person, without any words being spoken, can case a "ripple effect" of shifts in others, through the effects of mirror neurons, if nothing else.

        While we wait for science to map the territory and separate the fact from the inflated claims, shall we throw away the folk wisdom? Like the early doctors who thought ritual hand-washing was a superstitious practice and went straight from autopsy table to delivery room without washing their hands? Killing thousands of women from preventable bacterial infections?

        Or shall we apply our own intelligence, extract the "how to" from the religious packaging, and get some benefit in the meanwhile?

        Just my 0.02 ...

        Jenny

  31. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
    Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago

    Sheesh, I can't leave for half a day without the thread exploding.  I guess there is plenty of drama in all the forums to go around today.  I'll get to my responses to Thom when I get home, I'll have more time to reply and think.

    ...and hello Kenny.  It's nice hear from you.

  32. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    Well, I can't say I didn't ask for this LOL



    I don't think so. Without getting too metaphysical, I am stating that it is impossible to "prove," the non-existence of something. If it doesn't exist, there is the proof in and of itself. But - you do have to "prove" the existence of something.

    As far as I am concerned, until I am presented with evidence to the contrary, God doesn't exist. I am more than happy to be proved wrong and will immediately go out and buy a skull cap, or clothe my woman from head to foot in black or whatever - depending on which God is proven to exist smile



    Me too. But, as we have both agreed , it is extremely difficult to explain in words, what our TRUTH is.

    It is certainly easier to say what it is not.

    I will try and explain my truth:

    I am part of the system we call the universe (not God - very different)

    But - I am a very, very, very small part of this system. I do my thing. I help people I see that I can help. I recycle. I argue with people who try to force "Religion," down my throat and others'. I prevent as much garbage being spread as I can. I make people feel good - or I question them in a way that makes them question themselves.

    I am a physical person. I revel in the physical experience. I love food. I love to eat macrobiotically. It works. It makes sense.

    It is physically impossible to destroy or create something from nothing. Therefore what I am physically now was part of something else before, and will be a part of something else after I am gone. You might call this reincarnation. I don't smile

    Jenny might wonder if I "exist" at all. LOL

  33. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    LOL -

    Well I have one word - Morphogenetics.

  34. 0
    sandra rinckposted 8 years ago

    This is probably one the best forums yet.

    I think that it's all real.  Whatever you can think of becomes what it is as soon as you are able to speak it or give it a name.  Like Mark called it Morpho...bla, bla,bla.  Or Sparkling Jewel calls it something else, bla, bla, bla.

    Really I think that whatever you pick is right for you as long as you can know why it is right for you.  I think it is stupid to even consider someone elses opinions or beliefs stupid unless it is being forced because when you do it, you just set your self up for disaster. 

    I mean you are setting yourself up to be challenged and all that does is cause emotions to amplify and there not good emotions.  I do it all the time, but mostly to see what effect I can have on someone else. 

    I think everything has an effect on everyone or everything else.  Who knows were wind comes from or why it blows certain ways besides the clouds, maybe a large group of people are standing around somewhere and decided to blow in one direction and cause wind.  Can't be proven but its funny to think about. 

    When it comes to the existance of something after death, you really wont know until you die.  Who knows, maybe Mark really is God or something, maybe Jenny is, maybe Sparkling Jewel is, who knows, but if anyone said they were, you know everyone would say otherwise unless you got a lot of money! lol.

  35. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    big_smile I was just using scientific terminology for Jenny's benefit big_smile

  36. 0
    sandra rinckposted 8 years ago

    I hear you knocking but you can't come in.  - cheech marin.lol

  37. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    Awww. Let me in. Look up Morphogenetics. It's an interesting phenomenon. smile

    1. 0
      sandra rinckposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      why you smoke?  lol.  I was just reading about it, doesn't sound like anything new, just an over anylized thoery of the same statement that has been made since the beggining of time. 

      History repeats itself.  I was thinking of declaring a day of Bible burning to prove that life will exist with or without it and not a damb thing will change but our attitudes towards each other.

  38. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    Actually, what attracted me to it was the ability to learn.

    There was a study done. can't remember when (after WW2) - about shared learning. 2 groups of students studied how fast they could learn two codes - Morse code, and another similar code. The group learning Morse code learned much faster than the other group.

    So they taught he other code to a bigger group. After a while, the two codes became just as easy to learn smile

    Morophogenetics.

  39. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
    Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago

    See, there it goes again.  I leave for just a few hours and now look...

    What was I supposed to respond to again???

  40. Misha profile image74
    Mishaposted 8 years ago

    You were supposed to convert Mark, so he starts spending all his time in the church and gives a break to spammers over here big_smile

  41. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
    Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago

    Right, right.  Do you think telling him that spammers are trying to infiltrate the church would at least get him there?

  42. Misha profile image74
    Mishaposted 8 years ago

    Umm, my impression was he considered church to be spammers motherland  - so this shouldn't surprise him a tiny bit wink

  43. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
    Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago

    Indeed, Misha.

    Kenny, spiritual, non-religious is the way to go.

  44. Kenny Wordsmith profile image82
    Kenny Wordsmithposted 8 years ago

    Yesterday a preaching couple knocked on my door. I told them the truth: I believe in Jesus and God but not in religions. Also that I thought God would not have a problem with the way I am. They left, non-plussed. big_smile

    I will never believe anybody who says that theirs is the right way. In that regard, I feel people like Mark are better. I would take Mark with me on a trip, but not a fanatic who suddenly sees a vision in which his god asks him to kill me! Atheists are safer!

    1. Peter M. Lopez profile image92
      Peter M. Lopezposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      I would take Mark on a trip too, not so much because he's safer, although he probably is, but he's probably a lot more fun than stuffy religious folks, and Jesus was all about fun.

  45. 0
    sandra rinckposted 8 years ago

    I was watching this video clip on ABC new online, and there was a two faced baby born in India that is being called the incarnation of God.  Why can't all kids be God.  Not to be overly rude here, but everything about God seemes to be two faced.  ( no disrespect to the baby though, so don't think that)

    1. SparklingJewel profile image65
      SparklingJewelposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      I don't know for sure, beliefs vary so widely, but it may be that their claiming the child to be special, is their way of accepting the child..not be repulsed and unaccepting. A human cultural thing.

      An incarnation of God from what I understand of Hinduism is a soul that had  balanced their karma and earned a position in this life to "embody" a being of higher consciousness, a buddha (of course Hindus don't call them a buddha), that will teach important lessons, just by being  alive, to those they are involved with in this life. It is an honor, to the child and the people the child is involved with. Not a comparison or put down of any kind of others.

      And yes of course God seems two faced (I think you mean a negative way, right?) but I mean in a mystical way...the whole duality concept and the "is a person human or divine" question.
      All souls are of God, and we are all where we are in our journey to uncovering and discovering how we are of God.

      just IMHO (is that the right use of that acronym "in my humble opinion"?) I am having a lot of fun learning these things! smilebig_smile

  46. Thom Carnes profile image59
    Thom Carnesposted 8 years ago

    Here's a question:

    Do you think an atheist can be "spiritual"?

    And what exactly does the word mean, anyway?

    1. Inspirepub profile image87
      Inspirepubposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      I think so, because I think spirituality and religion are mutually independent phenomena.

      That is, you may find Spirituality occuring in a religious context, but no more often that it occurs anywhere else with the same triggering characteristics - like personal development organisations, AA meetings, apparent impending death, and intense emotional anguish.

      "Spiritual" is the label some people apply to non-ego experiences. Those triggering situations are ones which push the ego beyond its tolerances and cause it to "break" and have to "reboot".

      In the blessed interval of peace during which its carping and whining and judgementalism are gloriously absent, there is the opportunity to be fully present to the experience of being alive.

      Some people use the word "spiritual" to describe those times, and certainly all accounts of them contain common features, regardless of age, gender, culture, ethnicity, religious affiliation, etc.

      Jenny

      1. Kenny Wordsmith profile image82
        Kenny Wordsmithposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        Inspirepub wrote:


        That's profound, Jenny; must meditate on this and hope to get insights. smile

      2. Thom Carnes profile image59
        Thom Carnesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks for that, Jenny. I certainly feel that, as an atheist, I am just as capable of "spiritual" experiences as the next person. It's what I experience when confronted by a particular piece of music, a poem, a sunset, a landscape, a memory, a loved one, etc.... - ie my mind is turned outwards to something other than self and material things.

        I was very interested in what you said in an earlier post about the way that some "faith-based" truths (for want of a better expression) have been demonstrated by the scientific method to be demonstrably true.

        This is certainly fascinating stuff. But isn't the biggest problem with faith-based knowledge the fact that it's got such a bloody awful track record? The annals of human history are littered with the abandoned husks of myths, legends, fables, folk stories and other old wives' tales that were once believed to be true but were then comprehensively debunked and discredited by science and reason. Sure, once in a while one or two of them may turn out to be "scientifically" true - but wouldn't the simple law of averages or the vagaries of random chance be sufficient to account for that?

        Doesn't the application of the scientific method reveal, if nothing else, that these phenomena (such as the examples you cite) have a perfectly rational, natural explanation and do not rely on the involvement of any supernatural or paranormal agency? And isn't that worthwhile in its own right?

        I have been accused (on this forum and elsewhere) of having an unshakeable belief in science. This isn't actually true: I am something of a scientific ignoramus and am often highly sceptical of scientific truth.

        I just happen to be even more sceptical of faith and superstition!

        1. Inspirepub profile image87
          Inspirepubposted 8 years ago in reply to this

          Thom Carnes wrote:



          This is certainly fascinating stuff. But isn't the biggest problem with faith-based knowledge the fact that it's got such a bloody awful track record? The annals of human history are littered with the abandoned husks of myths, legends, fables, folk stories and other old wives' tales that were once believed to be true but were then comprehensively debunked and discredited by science and reason. Sure, once in a while one or two of them may turn out to be "scientifically" true - but wouldn't the simple law of averages or the vagaries of random chance be sufficient to account for that?



          I draw a distinction between the observation of a phenomenon and the explanation of it.

          Observations may be valid , eg "the trees are moving even though nothing is visibly pushing them", but explanations (which we seem to insist on attaching, whether or not we have any basis for them) may be completely invalid, eg "invisible spirits are pushing the trees".

          Later on, the explanation is replaced by "there is an invisible substance called "air" which is a medium for pressure waves", but the original observation "the trees are moving even though nothing is visibly pushing them" remains completely accurate.

          If somebody says "There ARE no invisible spirits, therefore you cannot possibly have seen the trees moving when nothing was visibly pushing them", they are making an error of logic, and I see people who were raised with a blind faith in "science" make that logical error all the time.



          I never said spirituality was supernatural or involved paranormal agency.

          I expect all observed phenomena to have a "perfectly rational, natural explanation".

          I expect that one day kids will be required to learn how to "contact their higher power", and will not be given any fanciful superstitions about the nature of that "higher power".

          It probably isn't objectively "higher", even, but people's experience is when they have a spiritual moment is a feeling of something much larger, grander, and higher than themselves, which is why I use that term.

          But should we wait until science has definitively pinpointed the electrochemical correlates of gratitude before we start actively working to increase our experience of it?

          Observations indicate that the higher the proportion of your time you spend in a state of gratitude, the more capable you become of having the things you want to happen actually happen.

          Will you wait for the explanation of HOW that happens, or just make use of the observation in your own life and see if it works that way for you?

          Jenny

        2. Inspirepub profile image87
          Inspirepubposted 8 years ago in reply to this

          I draw a distinction between the observation of a phenomenon and the explanation of it.

          Observations may be valid , eg "the trees are moving even though nothing is visibly pushing them", but explanations (which we seem to insist on attaching, whether or not we have any basis for them) may be completely invalid, eg "invisible spirits are pushing the trees".

          Later on, the explanation is replaced by "there is an invisible substance called "air" which is a medium for pressure waves", but the original observation "the trees are moving even though nothing is visibly pushing them" remains completely accurate.

          If somebody says "There ARE no invisible spirits, therefore you cannot possibly have seen the trees moving when nothing was visibly pushing them", they are making an error of logic, and I see people who were raised with a blind faith in "science" make that logical error all the time.



          I never said spirituality was supernatural or involved paranormal agency.

          I expect all observed phenomena to have a "perfectly rational, natural explanation".

          I expect that one day kids will be required to learn how to "contact their higher power", and will not be given any fanciful superstitions about the nature of that "higher power".

          It probably isn't objectively "higher", even, but people's experience is when they have a spiritual moment is a feeling of something much larger, grander, and higher than themselves, which is why I use that term.

          But should we wait until science has definitively pinpointed the electrochemical correlates of something, for example, gratitude, before we start actively using it to improve our quality of life?

          Observations indicate that the higher the proportion of your time you spend in a state of gratitude, the more capable you become of making the things you want to happen, actually happen.

          Will you wait for the explanation of HOW that works, exactly, or just make use of the observation in your own life and see if it works that way for you?

          Jenny

          1. Thom Carnes profile image59
            Thom Carnesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

            You are right, of course: it might be foolish to reject something which improves the quality of our lives simply because we have no ready explanation available for how it works. I just happen to think that we should be very careful about attributing things like external origins or provenance to such phenomena before we have more evidence to go on. (Spiritual placebo effect?)

            It's quite possible, for instance, that if I suddenly acquired a deep and meaningful believe in God, this would dramatically improve the quality of my life. But at what cost? Isn't this one of the most interesting questions about religious belief? If faith improves the quality of millions of people's lives - bringing comfort, consolation, inspiration, meaning, purpose, etc. - does it really matter whether its baisc premises are "true" or not? I think it does matter. I think truth is important - although I concede that I may be a little hard-pressed to explain *why* I think it is.

            1. SparklingJewel profile image65
              SparklingJewelposted 8 years ago in reply to this

              I think and feel it is important to remember that everyone gets what they need. If their psychology (from cultural upbringing, etc) denotes a need for God, that's great...because they realized their own need and went for it! It's not up to each of us to judge  another's needs...we compassionately, I would hope, want them to get what they need, whether we think what they think is the same.

              1. Mark Knowles profile image59
                Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

                The problem comes when an attempt is made to inflict their belief system on some one else. I personally have no problem with people believing whatever they need to believe.Just don't try and make me believe it. 

                I for instance, still believe that the only reason planes don't fall out of the sky is because more than 50% of the people on it think it won't. Once you reach critical doubt, the plane crashes. That's why I rarely fly big_smile

                1. SparklingJewel profile image65
                  SparklingJewelposted 8 years ago in reply to this

                  LOL:D Good Morning Mark,
                  I have just been dealing with a similar situation! Some of my family want me to go to Hawaii with them. I have only flown once, round trip, a 2 hour flight each way, in a smaller under a hundred passengers...and the plane shook too much for my taste. And to think about flying over ten hours in a tin can across the ocean is a little much for me...even with the prize of Hawaii dangling at the end of the string!
                  But I know that I am learning a next step in my approach/perception of faith. (Plus several others aspects of lessons as well).  In that, if as I profess, that God is in Ultimate Control, than my doubt will only make it not so, and yes, I would be left to considering that my safety is up to all on board and their state of human mind. But knowing that the superconscious mind (God) is in Control, I would have faith that the mind of each on board has a connection with God mind too, and enough so that we would be fine. If there weren't enough of the passengers on board that would secure our safety, something would occur that would make it safe for us. Like, a change of plane, or pilot, or adding or subtracting of passengers that would make it safe, or I would get an "inner message" not to go, etc.. any number of possibilities.
                  And so I deliberate over each lesson in that manner.
                  For whatever reasons, in my life, I have to make these kinds of decision. I know some don't, they are already with the "flow" I guess. I have had it in the past and at times. But I know in this instance there are many other factors that affect that "flow", the psychology between me and my family...which is way to extensive to get into:) so I have just been working on those factors and not worrying about going...after all, I think that is what is more important...the working out of the not-love between us, there are some big honor issues. Hawaii will be there a while, I can always go another time when I feel good about it.

                2. Thom Carnes profile image59
                  Thom Carnesposted 8 years ago in reply to this

                  Mark, do you really believe that if someone flew a planeload of depressed paranoid schizophrenics somewehre, the plane would almost certainly crash?

  47. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years ago

    Bit busy today, but I will definitely be back to explain what I am not LOL

    Welcome to the discussion Kenny. Piercing questions and insights as always smile

  48. About-The-Home profile image60
    About-The-Homeposted 8 years ago

    When you talk about spirituality, no one considers the non human animal world.

    We have lost a lot of what Jenny was talking about earlier, i.e. the ability to communicate mind to mind.

    I know my cat can tell me things. Sometimes I know she's standing by the door even when I haven't seen her there. She's shouting at me through my mind.

    When aeroplanes are flown in tight formation, the pilots are in constant verbal communication, When birds fly or fish swim in tight formation (as one) how do they communicate? It happens too fast for "follow the leader"

    I think we as a species have lost a lot of powers (instead of gaining them).

  49. topstuff profile image60
    topstuffposted 8 years ago

    Perhaps its  better to have no beliefs rather than having wrong beliefs.Having no beliefs is also some kind of belief.

  50. knolyourself profile image62
    knolyourselfposted 8 years ago

    Consistence evidence as occurrence, that defies all odds, like using the I Ching, throwing the number one (the creative) three times in a row. Can't be proved, but then if it was, how much free will would I have?

 
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