Why are you - undoubtedly - sure that a god can't exist?
A vast majority of scientist don't give dualism credibility, sure, but it's also accepted that their theories only last until there're disproven. So, do your beliefs henge so much on fallible human logic, that you have to absolutely disagree with everything that contradicts it? Rather than accepting, that you might be wrong, everyone might be wrong? Instead of just being agnostic... and please, I see the worth in putting useful knowledge to work and un-encouraging harmful beliefs, but why the unquestionable certainty? It seems like the atheist is just an un-considerate agnostic.
Atheism is as much a "religion" as Christianity. They both rely on faith in something that is impossible to "prove".
Not really, atheism to me is the non-acceptance of claims from theists, which include concepts such as gods, but also a variety of other supernatural ghouls and goblins contained within the dogma.
The agnostic is mostly a fence sitter who doesn't really have an opinion. I would also submit they ignore anything mankind has discovered, learned or understood about our universe that may contradict religious beliefs or how those beliefs violate the physical laws, that they don't take into consideration the history of religion, how it came about and changed dramatically over the centuries.
These are all very compelling reasons to not sit on the fence.
Any ideology that deals in absolutes (Christ is Lord, There are no Gods, etc.) must rely on faith. When you couple that faith with a belief structure, you get religion.
I completely agree with your point on agnostics however.
I disagree with this line in your post:
"When you couple that faith with a belief structure, you get religion."
No when you couple faith with structure ,you have a foundation, a reason, a support.
Faith in anything ,self,man, ethos ,a system of beliefs) with many traditional rituals is religion
In other words self made or man made.
Agnostics share your stand on the non acceptance of claims from believers. Be they the beliefs of the theist or atheist.
These are your beliefs ATM. Which you are welcome to hold. The agnostic does attempt to understand the driving forces behind individual beliefs; and I freely admit that I do see the reasoning behind your view point. I don't dismiss, out of hand, your point of view. This doesn't make me a fence sitter, in my estimation. It makes me open to evidence. It also makes me aware of how very similar the theist and atheist are in their need to present their conclusions as universal truths.
Yes, this point comes up continuously from believers who believe everything is a belief as opposed to an understanding, which they have yet to grasp.
Yet, your previous post was nothing more than ===> which would indicate you dismissed it out of hand.
What you continually fail to grasp is that you are attempting to draw universal conclusions gained from a very limited amount of data. What you fail to understand is that science knows this simple fact. That is why science is honest enough to be very clear about the fact that we are theorizing. We observe, we put our observations together and we come to conclusions based on the evidence we have.
And there is growing evidence, however we do not have all of the facts. Science is not ignorant enough to jump to conclusions. It is ridiculous to attempt to imply that science backs your conclusions when the scientific community has the good grace not to make claims from a position of ignorance. There may be some embarrassing members (Dawkins comes to mind) whose insecurities push them into a position of attempting to bully others into agreeing with their conclusions; but anyone in their right mind knows we lack all of the facts necessary to posture around as if we were oh so smart . Most agnostics are not too self absorbed to understand that we don't know everything there is to know.
No. What you fail to grasp is that you are only open to dialogue with someone who agrees with you. I did hesitate to respond because of that fact. I do not share your enjoyment of bickering. I couldn't help the . It was an honest response.
I'm doing no such thing. There's that reading comprehension issue rearing it's head again.
Sorry, but you're going to have to be more specific in regards to whatever conclusions and positions of ignorance you're talking about. At this time, you're just rambling on.
Yes, I know you don't understand Dawkins and science and facts.
An honest request?
You're free to fill these pages with links to dialogues I've had with those whom I agree, but they are far and few in between and you know it.
Cute ATM. The fact that you are calling people fence sitters because they accept the fact that they don't know everything refutes your accusation. And highlights comprehension problems of your own.
Rambling is your game. Specifically, you don't know jack on a cosmic scale. No one does. Attempts to imply otherwise is arrogance to the nth degree.
Your problem is that you are attempting to claim universal truth without the benefit of every piece of data. And I can see how much you really want to believe it is all of the data. I don't expect you to accept facts when you are so mired in fantasy; however I can't be expected to pretend along with you. Can I?
A response Troubled. A response. What purpose would a request serve? To hear a lop sided view of reality? If I wanted that I'd delude myself into thinking I knew all the answers myself.
I don't know everything either nor would ever admit to such a thing. Fence sitters simply have no opinions on those subjects.
Sorry, but your lack of understand does not preclude that of others.
That is entirely false and you know it.
Yes, science really does show a "lop sided view of reality"
And, I'm still waiting for you to show me all of those dialogues you claimed I'm having.
Seriously? That is an honest response? Do you know how many agnostics are offering opinions on this forum alone? Of course you do. What you are actually saying (since you know this) is that their opinions are of no value because they don't offer a rubber stamp of your own.
Bravo Troubled. Spoken with the attempt at superiority of a true believer.
It is entirely true and I know it. Which is why I stated it. It is exactly the same thing I've said to other believers.
I love it. It's priceless. You are science in your mind just as the Christian is God in his mind. You are killing me. I needed a laugh, but not one that split my sides open.
Troubled said, "I don't know everything either nor would ever admit to such a thing. Fence sitters simply have no opinions on those subjects."
That's ridiculous. "Fence sitters" sit atop, with a view of both yards, holding opinions on every understanding, held by you, and lawn gnomes on the other side .
The agnostic accepts that in the end, there's no way to know with out a doubt that these understandings are correct, which is true of everything.
Descarte- "I think, therefore I am"
I contemplate whether or not I exist on a regular basis, ha.
I don't see how anyone can be SO sure, as to let it construe their view of the world in a way that shuts out so many people.
To be certain people are going to hell, is the same as being certain that the world is flat (or that newtons laws will always go unbroken); In the end, you just do not know. You can understand and live by everything you believe as an atheist, but if you simply admit that you know you can't be certain... your agnostic.
Troubled said, "I would also submit they ignore anything mankind has discovered..."
Emile said, "Agnostics share your stand on the non acceptance of claims from believers. Be they the beliefs of the theist or atheist."
Emile refuted your premise much earlier on, if your not going to back it up, you really are just rambling.
Really? So what opinions do agnostics hold, exactly, other than "there's no way to know"?
Baloney. We don't work with absolutes, we work with possibilities and more importantly, probabilities and the laws of the universe, in which we can use to make accurate predictions. It is in this way we have events that have very high probabilities of occurring based on what we know while other events have extremely low probabilities of occurring.
The fence sitter will ignore these and go on the assumption everything is 50/50 or thereabouts.
She did no such thing. If agnostics didn't ignore what mankind has discovered about our universe, they would have an opinion based on that hard evidence. But, they don't.
Holding opinions is different than holding opinions with out a doubt that they are false.
You said, "The fence sitter will ignore these and go on the assumption everything is 50/50 or thereabouts."
How ironic, this is an assumption in and of itself, and it's a logic fallacy - 'faulty generalization'.
For some reason you can't grasp the idea that one can hold an opinion while acknowledging that, that same opinion might be wrong. Acknowledging it to the extent that all other opinions might be right.
An example: my personal opinions fall completely in line with hard evidence, but i'm aware that it MIGHT be wrong (thus, dualism might be right), and I don't see the need in a facade of certainty.
Sadly, this can't continue rationally because your premise is faulty.
Not at all, the premises are not weak.
LOL! You have not shown that. Hard evidence is not wrong, but your personal opinions of it might be. We have yet to see the opinions of fence sitters one way or the other.
...your just being silly now, you should read over the fallacy more, and then re-read this comment stream.
Seriously tho, if you can't handle the idea that hard evidence might prove to be wrong in the future, your a fool or maybe just naive, either way.
LOL. You really just can't grasp what you are missing. What opinion are you looking for? Post a thread on any question you have and I guarantee you agnostics will comment. We are full of opinions. But, if you are looking for a show of hands in a yea or nay vote on cosmic questions they'll simply accept that it is too early to vote.
Sorry, I just can't stand to see someone stand behind rational, to then blatantly deny arguing within it. As in, using fallacies gets you no where logically; theists often embark like that, but rarely atheists.
I understand how science works, and no competent scientist would agree with you, if you are on the naive side of things that I mentioned. Scientist humbly accept that they don't know so much, as to have their theories remain infallible in the face of time and more knowledge. To ignore this truth is alike some caviler pupil of science that has not yet the wisdom to accept that human measurements can only go so far.
The agnostic Isn't blind to how science works, we don't attempt to ignore gravity, we just see its place among every other discovery, it's necessity to live accordingly, and the factuality in all of it; facts and literal truths, that are not outside the lengths of just how wrong man can be.
We all very as to how much we understand the inner-workings of science, regardless of acknowledging it as this concrete -literally true - structure that we must use to base things logically, but be assured I understand every branch to an above average extent.
And again, sorry that I personally insulted you.
And, you failed to find any in my posts despite your claims.
LOL! If you say so.
LOL! If you say so.
Ah, finally we have some meat here. Gravity is a fair example, but there are much better ones that can easily show how the claims of believers totally violate physical laws. Based on your logic, this would appear to be irrelevant and not something you would opine on to show those claims to be false. That's actually how science would work and there would be no wrongs about it.
And, if you had better understanding of science and how it works, you could easily argue the claims of believers and show them to be false. Huge difference between that and fence sitting.
I SAID """You said, "The fence sitter will ignore these and go on the assumption everything is 50/50 or thereabouts."
How ironic, this is an assumption in and of itself, and it's a logic fallacy - 'faulty generalization'."""
This is the fallacy you started with, FAULTY GENERALIZATION: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faulty_generalization
It's like you only read half of everything anyone says (is that what your doing?? just to be frustrating? ha)
You said " Based on your logic, this would appear to be irrelevant and not something you would opine on to show those claims to be false"
If you read all of my original prompt you'd find, "and please, I see the worth in putting useful knowledge to work and un-encouraging harmful beliefs, but why the unquestionable certainty?"
I can un-encourage harmful beliefs, or (as you put) show the claims of believers to be false, all that is possible from the fence. That's all besides the question, because you started with a fallacy we aren't even having a linear discussion from the prompt, you're still stuck on the notion that agnostics can't express opinions.
This is my last attempt to get you on track, no one else had a problem with understanding the actual question... I wash my hands of this
nope, ain't no fence under my butt.
I'm reasonably aware of the achievements of the last several centuries
I'm also fairly positive we've only just begun to scratch the surface of the knowable, let alone the stuff the human race may never discover, and of course I'm limiting that to the realm you are most comfortable in: that of the rational.
We have so much more to experience out of so called reality. It is far too soon to say we know how it began and that there is unequivically no way that there was a creator involved.
just my opinion
Sure, just as we an unequivocally state no way that the universe was created from a giant lizard sneezing the universe out of it's nostrils. In fact, we can let loose our imaginations and create endless scenarios and then sit on the fence.
The fence that says 'I don't know how it happened' is one that everyone sits on if we're honest about it. Lack of knowledge does not equal indecisive.
We don't have enough experience or information to be decisive. What we're left with is opinion. Mine, yours, theirs and ours.
When two people have similar opinions on the matter, we have a religion.
Hiya, ATM. How goes it?
I can sort of get behind your definition of atheist. I don't think I agree with your definition of agnostic, though, or think it's quite fair. I think that agnostics concern themselves less with 'religion' than they do with God. While they may not subscribe to the Christian God, the Islamic God, the Jewish God, or any other well defined God, they acknowledge the possibility that a 'Creator God' may exist. It's not that they ignore what humanity has discovered about the universe that contradicts 'religious beliefs' - as far as that goes, they have no religious beliefs - just a willingness to be open to a Creator despite the fact that His/Her creation has really jacked things up over history. They understand that there is still SO much we don't know or understand about the universe, despite the oodles of things we've been able to explain and come to understand.
What do you think?
Hi Motown, I understand that position quite well and do agree with you. However, a Creator has been claimed in a number of religions, many of them having extreme explanations contained within, most quite contradictory to the next explanation. All of them have very little evidence or basis in fact.
The point is that we can come up with endless scenarios of how our universe came into existence, none of them having any evidence or basis in fact and then we sit back on the fence and as you say, retain "a willingness to be open" to those scenarios.
If that's the case, we must then be agnostic about Santa Claus and Leprechauns, always open to those scenarios because "we don't know or understand about the universe" - and then we must take that to it's obvious conclusion and be agnostic about everything, always sitting on the fence and never making an argument one way or the other.
In other words, religions cannot have a monopoly on agnosticism, so to speak, as we must use that method of understanding as a standard across all topics and agendas if we are to use it in this case.
I get that. And, I can understand where you're coming from. I admire the willingness to take a stand one way or the other. I do it.
I don't necessarily think agnostics refuse to do so, though.
Thanks for explaining your viewpoint. It helped me understand it better.
Only factual claims have binary, true-false answers, so it is only factual claims that concern me enough to give them even cursory examination. In other words, I would be agnostic about the existence of Santa Claus, if his existence were presented as a factual claim.
I don't believe in ghosts (in the sense of the apparition of a dead person). However, my lack of belief -- my "a-ghostism" -- doesn't mean that I am claiming that they do not exist. They might exist; my belief or disbelief concerning their existence is irrelevant. I am simultaneously "a-ghostic" and agnostic concerning ghosts.
I am 51 years old. I bought my first typewriter when I was twelve. if you had asked me, then, whether I would one day have a conversation with persons thousands of miles away via a keyboard, I would have lacked belief in the likelihood of such a development, while still remaining ultimately agnostic about it.
I read Dune and Stranger in a Strange Land at about the same time that I was buying that first typewriter. I idolized the Mentats of Dune and the Fair Witness of Stranger, just as I had idolized Spock before them. In a way, I still do.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stranger_i … ir_Witness
In argument, nothing is more important than objectivity, However, if the subject is worthy and capable of being argued. I can't be objective, if I have already made up my mind. I'm _not_ saying that I am always impartial, or that I leave every factual claim on the table. I'm not, and I don't. For instance, I reject ghosts and miracles as explanations of anything. Truthfully, I reject the entire supernatural as an explanation of anything. However, I remain agnostic, and would put all of these things back on the table if sufficient evidence were presented.
It isn't an important distinction to everyone, but, for me, the difference between "lacking-belief_in" and "rejecting-the-possibility-of" are huge, and need to be maintained. All factual claims need to be examined with the open-minded skepticism, or intellectual integrity is vacated. That's what an agnostic atheist manages, although it isn't always easy.
Good answer, however the point is that explanations such as the supernatural violate many of the physical laws of our universe, hence whatever it is believers claim exists there cannot exist in our universe. The question then becomes how do believers know these things exist?
At this point, we can then turn to the origins of religions to see how those beliefs came about and understand they were man made concepts from long ago that evolved into what they believe in today. Once again, there is little reason to fence sit.
Some atheists _are_ agnostic, including myself.
I lack belief in God or gods, which is all that is required to make me an atheist. However, I also acknowledge that God or gods might exist, which makes me an agnostic atheist.
If my wife claimed the existence of flying aquamarine hippogriffs, I would lack belief in them, unless she provided evidence. In other words, I would be atheist concerning flying aquamarine hippogriffs. However, I would also concede that flying aquamarine hippogriffs might exist. In fact, I _do_ concede the possible existence of flying aquamarine hippogriffs, while simultaneously lacking belief in them. In other words, concerning the existence of flying aquamarine hippogriffs, I am an agnostic atheist .
Nice, you made a critical distinction clear, yet to be brought to light. Atheistic views are held towards individual things, not all dualism in general, i.e. Christians are atheistic towards all others gods.
However, being atheistic towards - rejecting - all gods (more specifically dualism), and accepting that they all might exist is contradictory.
It sounds like you are an agnostic, who is atheistic towards every god known to man?
I think that's what you were already saying; it's just kinda assumed that agnostics are atheistic towards most specifications man has created for - this "might" exist - god. This comment is really just to try and kill the whole term, "agnostic atheist", because it's confusing and redundant on its own.
I don't claim to "know" the truth or falsity of factual claims; I believe them with greater and lesser degrees of confidence. To assert the existence or non-existence of God or gods is to make a factual claim. I lack confidence in the existence of God or gods to the same degree that I lack confidence in the existence of flying aquamarine hippogriffs.
After reading the above paragraph, you probably assume that I place confidence on a continuum, with "99.999% certain" at one end, and "99.999% doubtful" at the other. If you make that assumption, then my lack of belief in the existence of God or gods -- while simultaneously acknowledging the possibility of their existence -- might seem contradictory. However, reality is a bit more complicated than that.
Humans can, and do, hold conflicting beliefs simultaneously. I suspect that this dissonance occurs because our two cerebral cortices are completely separate from one another. Whatever the reason, what seems logically true -- in an epistemological sense -- isn't always true, literally. When I describe myself as holding two apparently contradictory beliefs, I am describing what is literally true, and not what seems true -- or logical -- epistemologically.
http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_tay … sight.html
You said, "When I describe myself as holding two apparently contradictory beliefs, I am describing what is literally true, and not what seems true -- or logical -- epistemologically. "
What is literally true, may still prove to be not true later, this is why the epistemological side of the contradiction will always be; my view is, the acceptance of this epistemological - the seemingly true doubt in atheism - is enough to make one agnostic.
Dissonance was another great point to bring to light, and I love that video. I had seen it before but watched it again, she's such an enthralling public speaker. I had an experience like hers once, but it wasn't a stroke; twas entirely intentional, mind shattering incredible, and more controllable.
My apologies, but I am not sure, after reading your reply, that my meaning was entirely clear.
First, I am not examining what is meant by the words "God" or "gods," except to clarify what I _don't_ mean, which is deistic or pantheistic gods. Second, when I write "God," I am referring to a specific, singular god. Yahweh, for example. Third, When I write "gods," I am referring to any number of other gods. Last, I am writing from the assumption that it is possible for God or gods to exist, without examining the likelihood of that possibility.
God or gods either exist, or they/it/she/he don't. The question is binary, with a "yes" or a "no" answer. We might never know the answer to this question, but it has an answer; it isn't an opinion.
For me, all of the above is axiomatic, whenever I embark on a discussion of atheism or agnosticism.
I see what your saying, and why it's comforting to pick one axiomatic answer that is so much more likely to be true versus none. What I also see is that defending - or proclaiming - one axiom over another, gets one no where in discussion, thus only a distraction to someone that wants to guide people to think more rationally.
This assuming the side of someone who wants a theist to base beliefs more logically. It's a matter of one title being more rationally conducive than the other, while one title may say more about you than the other.
I sum this up in a comment to Paulg' near the bottom of this forum.
Odd question: is "flying aquamarine hippogriffs" a WoW reference?? If so, fuck yah, I had the mount, they do exist! ahahaha
Dustin Staples, I think you ask an excellent question, and I think the answer rests in the definition of what an atheist is.
Firstly, I am an atheist, and not in a million years would I argue that that it's impossible for a God to exist - depending on how one defined God. If the argument were that the Life Force - that thing which makes people alive - is what God is, well then it's apparent that there very definitely is 'a God.' If on the other hand, the definition of a God is that it's a personal god rules that personally rules the universe like a king and takes a personal interest in me, well, then, absolutely I don't believe that. Why? Because I have never seen any evidence of it.
I also don't see there being any difference between agnosticism and atheism. My late father called himself an agnostic. He very definitely did not believe in God. Why? Because he saw no evidence for God.
For me, the main difference between agnosticism and atheism is the degree to which they say, "bring on the evidence.'
An agnostic is still prepared to be polite about it because s/he probably still enjoys debating the issue while an atheist has grown weary of the endlessly 'same' arguments.
Thanks, and i agree with you. Your last sentence really hits home, except that that's part of the reason I switched from atheism to agnosticism; the concreteness of science, repetitive conversations about theists, and an assumed close-mindedness by these same theist closing them to insights. It just became stagnant, only considering the fundamental side of the dualist coin .
It must be some kind of divine intuition for them to be so undoubtedly sure that there is no God. A gut feeling perhaps, since it is impossible to scientifically disprove the existence of deity. Particularly considering the fact that modern day science admits it's limited knowledge of the physical realm.
I consider myself an agnostic, but that is not because I prefer to sit on the fence. No! I am quite secure in the 'restrictive' 'until proved wrong' scientific hypothesis on the creation of the Universe and in that I see no scope of either a God or an Adam and Eve. So I can accept the psychological and sociological studies and the studies on the different theologies and know how religions came to be - not from any 'God recounting details' to his favorite son or daughter- but in intelligent people who had time on had to delve into the psyche of people and devise a security notion for the less-strong-willed and called 'faith'.
Unfortunately all the above are written by someone who never studied religion because she is happy to have read a bit of science and quite early in her life decided that she was satisfied to allow her whims and circumstances to dictate her life and its flow rather than wait for an unknown God (or Satan, but being a non-Christian we have never been burdened with that awful device; we rather resort to something called 'conscience' and that may be more effective) and also not to be bothered about afterlife or reincarnation (though you bet I would love to be born again and enjoy it all- or do better, if given a choice). But in this society there are people (in my immediate family too) who find some solace in the thought that there is a sense of balance, a law, an overseeing power - that will take care of their little troubles and set things right. I see no reason to disturb their tranquility, if they do not start harassing others with their fundamentalist notions.
In the Hub Pages I do notice a lot of aggression, that seems very surprising. If Christians (I am mentioning them as they are the majority who represent the theists in this forum) can not be patient and loving - as I thought Christians are supposed to be, on matters that should be only an individuals purview, but must impose community (or rather religious laws to those) - I doubt in that religion and the God they vouch by. If atheists, who don't believe in God, do not think the subject is too redundant to talk and waste time on- I am surprised at that too. I am secure in my understanding (which may be similar to an atheists) that the physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, psychology- to name a few of the sciences, leave no scope for any Heaven and Hell, and that abortion is a necessary medical requirement and should be legalized in all states of the world (but not gender discrimination of fetus)- the Christians may call me an atheist; if I do not want to reform a Christian who kneels in front of his own icon at home and prays for protection at night- the atheists may call me a faithful. It is either way- redundant. Discussion on theology is only of academic interest.
it's also accepted that their theories only last until there're disproven.
On the contrary, theories aren't accepted until they're proven, or at least until sufficient evidence is provided.
But yeah, if one was to be intellectually honest, atheists should really be agnostic, because even if they allowed a .00001 percent chance of a god existing, that would make them agnostic. In practice, though, most atheists, myself included, maintain that without evidence to believe in a god, there is no reason to suspect one exists.
Your correct, but I was attempting to imply that the theories yet to be disproven had already been proven, maybe I should have said laws'?
So it comes down to everyone being agnostic technically, but labeling themselves otherwise to better contrast with others; as is with all claims to a priori reasoning.
Then, by your logic, we are all technically agnostic about Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and Leprechauns, not the mention the Flying Spaghetti Monster. In fact, we must remain agnostic about absolutely everything, technically.
As a person ho relies on the evidence to dictate the truth there are many claims that can easily be dismissed because they contradict not just thee evidence but simple logic. Not to mention all claims of truth must for me be backed by evidence. Extrordinary claims require extrodinary evidence. So, why so certain that a God does not exist and not be an agnostic? By definition, there is no evidence, none, that a God exists or is necessary for anything in the universe that exists. There is no reasonable excuse besides personal preference or desire to believe such a thing exists. All evidence leads to a natural universe acting upon it's own natural forces.
I am going to put this another way, I am 100% sure that God(s), Easter Bunny, Lock Ness Monsters, Big Foot, Alien Abductions, Ghosts, Chupacabra....etc.... is all fictional and does not exist. I am also as a non-agnostic in these areas open minded enough to consider any evidence that claims these things are real. I am willing to be wrong about everything. Why, because if someone asks you to jump out of an airplane 100,000 feet in the air with no parachute, you will know that you WILL die, right? Has anyone ever survived this kind of fall? People make all sorts of claims that they have seen such things or survived such falls but do they have evidence to support this? When they do I will change my mind.
Your view of atheism is wrong. Hence your confusion. Most atheists are not strong atheists because it is not a defensible position. No one can prove a god of some sort does not exist any more than anyone can prove that a god does exist. Both belief in a god and belief that there is no god are weak positions.
The agnostic is usually just sitting on the fence, They usually believe there is some kind of higher power but they don't know what it is. That position is also not really defensible. All three come down to basic subjective feelings and nothing more.
The atheist, however, has the strongest position. We lack belief that there is a god. That does not mean we believe there is no god. Lack of belief is not belief in lack.
You believe there is a god, we simply lack that belief. If you ask me if I believe there is a god I say no. That does not mean there couldn't be one, it just means that I do not hold the belief that there is.
I lack belief in big foot. It does not mean I believe that big foot does not exist. It means I lack the belief that it does. If you show me evidence that it does I am more than willing to change my opinion.
There is a vast difference between belief and opinion. I put no faith in an opinion based on evidence or lack or evidence. There is no objective evidence of a god so I see no reason to believe one exists.
There is no reason for faith at all. Facts do not require belief or faith. They are facts whether you believe in them or not. And speculation is not worthy of belief. So what is belief good for? All it is, is an investment in a speculative idea.
This can be dangerous. People kill themselves or get depressed if what they believe in turns out to be false. Better not to invest faith or belief in anything at all.
Hope is always good. But belief is not required for hope. So belief is pretty much useless.
So the modern atheist generally lacks belief that gods exists because there is no proof to compel them to accept it as fact.
After all, the existence of the christian god or any god is just as likely as invisible pink squirrels existing. Once an idea is out there, particularly one that can not be proven or falsified, there are always people who will believe it. Elvis might still be alive, but I lack belief that he is. The idea of god has no more veracity than that.
In my obscure opinion:
Atheism, despite vehement squeals to the contrary, is very much a fundamentalist approach to living. And we are acutely aware that fundies are extremists. The antagonist perspective is rooted in selfishness, as any other emphatic determinism can be. Often a passive aggressive. The underlying tone in atheism however is its desire for evidences to debunk its own beliefs, exemplified by it leaning on the sciences as nothing more than shelter from the Storm of the Centuries. Quite equally sensational fundamentalism leans on its emote-document.
Its conflict cannot suspend all possibilities to prove itself, nor is it willing to research all possibilities without bias, and thus becomes paradoxical in nature. If it considered all possibilities, using the scientific approach or even the sensational approach, atheism would become the most extreme form of agnosticism and maybe even gnosticism as a whole. Which is something they do not want, because it brings with it a heaping spoon of responsibility. That spoon then becomes the focal point for counterattack and flips the script in their direction. It becomes massively visible, demanding full transparency. That is a problem for most, because of the secretive, reclusive self, regardless of the necessity for constant attention, pampering.
Nevertheless, extreme fundamentalism is just too narrow and selfish to see beyond itself without "hissing and gnashing". Such is the issue with all elements of Theos. To be agnostic is to be void of fundamentalism; to be open without directed or predetermined outcome, judgment. It is to view all possibilities as apart of the greater probability. While we can agree atheism should be more agnostic in its view, atheism is too young, too arrogant yet to even consider flexibility. Sadly, when the science-crutch breaks, they are not going to have a fallback same as sensationalism is quickly discovering.
Oh gosh! I love gnosticism, I can't believe I hadn't looked into it yet. Thanks for bringing it to mind, and I may consider myself gnostic, if not only in a metaphorical sense.
"Abused children" - that's a good analogy
and you said "...extreme fundamentalism is just too narrow and selfish to see beyond itself without 'hissing and gnashing' "
I agree with this and your stance completely, aside from the sensational rhetoric .
Other than that, I wonder what you think about switching "extreme fundamentalism" with "fundamental sensationalism", and filling the spoon with uncertainty of faith, that theist don't - aren't supposed to - look past?
I modified the post about abused children, as some might be offended.
But yes, clearly, fundamental sensationalism is presently suffering from the spoon effect. It too must give up its arrogance, its immovability and accept a more realistic, practical application of what is termed faith. Sadly, faith to a fundie is jumping off the building without any realistic destination, observation of where it is going while blatantly stating it knows for certain. That is the tone I mentioned. That stubborn teenage-type attitude shared by both sides of the coin.
That is an interesting point of view, I don't agree wwith it 100% because it generalizes about people of positive belief no mattar what believe they exhibit. And theee fact that anyone would attempt to have a conversation with anyone about their beliefs shows an open mind, unless their argument is a personal character attack with no possible counter argument. Agnostics can fall under a fundamentalist stance by being too open minded to all possibilities no matter how nonsensical they are when considering evidence and logic.
You can ask the exact same question of believers. Why have they chosen to believe in their god out of the thousands of gods we have invented over the millennia? Do they not accept that they might also be wrong?
Exactly! but that's not the question, and I didn't ask theists because many of them have a god overseeing their thoughts.
As a Christian I consider I may be wrong about some things,but then if I was right about everything ,I wouldnt need to consider God at all
If you believe in God, your no longer considering him. Considering him to be true can only be in light of doubt, and thats not true faith; maybe all Christians at base, are just agnostic?
(this sounded so antagonistic, but these are only points on a theist actively considering their faith, not a personal attack )
Its ok I dont take respectful discussion as a personal attack ,besides you look like a happy person ,how could I be offended lol
I guess I meant more how God is represented by a host of people or written about throughout history.
Even my neighbour who in my opinion is a good person ,but has some strange ideas about God etc,but so long as she keeps them as her opinions and not as something God told her is for everyone , thats ok with me.
Its at that point that I feel people cross over into the "I must control you (with my ideas) area
lol, thanks I try, and I see what your saying now; great point.
While thats a more harmonious world than the one we have today, I think if less views are pressed on everyone from all sides it would lead to a more stagnent, seclusive, society; since these differences in views seem to cause most if not all problems, I find that constantly testing and modifying all of them is the only way truly innovate our species to one that's more... united.
Not to say that people should be overly intrusive, they're just the outliers - subconsciously - supporting my point, likely deterring its cause.
People believe what they believe. I can't know for 100% sure that my dog isn't an alien, or that the world won't be destroyed by a meteor tonight. We all go with our best estimate of what is true and proceed on that assumption.
I think the point this prompt gets to is, no one knows anything 100% and are therefore agnostic, but people want words to speak as if they needed everyone to believe that they were certain.
So sure, i'm calling all theists "agnostic theists".
God asks humanity to follow him in action, in the face of all conscious criticisms or inquires that may cause doubt. It's not about being a theist, it's about upholding values, God being the ultimate value.
Absusing anyone is a sin ,a wrong against their will.
Sin is ugly ,always has been ,always will be.
The question really is 'how do we get rid of sin?
Not (IMO) calling it another name ,or blaming it on God-really?
If I drink then drive ,speed ,lose control ,injure or kill - whose fault is that?
Mine or Gods?
Have not seen you in ages. Good to see you.
You know this is a very good question, obviously. lol. The only way to get rid of this thing called sin is to stop believing in it. By this I mean the good-evil; right-wrong; yes-no Duality of our own thinking. To let go of the mechanical and mystical duality of Theos -even expel Theos itself- which is Reason.
I know its sound a bit redundant saying this, but am pretty much convinced human thinking is what is aloof. Knowledge/Logic is presently divided in human thinking, causing a million billion perfectly designed threads of information to be miss appropriated, applied incorrectly. It certainly explain the entire conundrum.
Oh my is this really you ,finally I get to put a lovely face to a great name Great to see you too!
Hmm I like psychology or parts of it lol
Even if we dont call it sin , some prefer to use the word morals. I still think we need some kind of order to survive as a species.
A body without order would be like waking up with a hangover every morning ,and in the great scheme of things throws all manner of things out of order.
I do appreciate people can live good lives and reap the benefits,that phenomena is not disputed.
I personally searched for more purpose I guess
Ack! It is really me. Well the photo is a year old.
lol Well my pic is 2 yrs old and Im just too lazy to change it.
Speaking of changes though ,wow there have many on HP in the last year thats for sure.
Miss a few of the regulars too. Do they have their own clubhouse or something now ,lol
Well my coffees gone cold ,time for the Kiwi to refocus and kick Monday in the pants!
Eaglekiwi, greetings from across the Tasman. Good to see you again.
I have found that becoming aware of my thoughts, desires and actions is much more useful than trying to categorize them into good/bad, righteous/sinful. The judgment can get in the way of this awareness. Being fully aware is being fully conscious of everything in life...... persons around me, the scenery, the activities, the hustle and bustle of life, etc. This is the object of my existence, surely?
I don't know how either side can argue. Nobody can prove or disprove whether there is or isn't a god, people can only say what they think. Not basis for an argument.
If you want to or don't want to believe something does or doesnt exist, then it's up to you as far as I'm concerned and as long as you don't try and push your opinions on me, I don't care what you're into.
I don't think real Atheism is staunch. I think real Atheism and real Agnosticism are much the same. An Atheist is simply someone who lives without the knowledge of a supernatural creator, not that there isn't one, just that there is no knowledge - to this point - of one. An Agnostic is one who recognizes that there is no way to prove the existence of something supernatural (the real Atheist acknowledges this too) and is ok living with the possibility being one way or the other and never knowing. So, I am not afraid to call myself either or, but because of common beliefs about both words I suppose I would say that I am Agnostic.
Your comments capture the subtle differences at the heart of both views. I wish more atheist could see it that way, if to do nothing else than provoke more discussions about things.
For posterity, agnosticism (strictly speaking) is the view that we can't currently, "prove the existence of something supernatural (the real Atheist acknowledges this too) and is ok living with the possibility being one way or the other and never knowing"
I hate that staunch Atheists view Agnosticism as the sissy way - but then I probably wouldn't consider them real Atheists, rather fundamentalists as some of you have eluded . . .
I accept that a negative cannot be proved. And also that from scientific point of view, there is a theoretical possibility that one or more gods, eg God, Allah, Krishna, Thor, The Spaghetti Monster exist, even though there is zero evidence for their existence. I call myself an atheist because I believe that the chances of a god or gods existing is so slim as to be discountable. The famous American scientist, Carl Sagan was a non-believer with beliefs similar to my own, but called himself an agnostic. It doesn't matter, the important thing is to argue the case for science and reason and against superstition and delusion.
Exactly! "And also that from scientific point of view, there is a theoretical possibility that one or more gods, eg God, Allah, Krishna, Thor, The Spaghetti Monster exist, even though there is zero evidence for their existence."
But it does matter, it becomes part of what defines you, and while you know what type of atheist you are, other people don't. Other people, let's say the theist will take whatever inferences they perceive from you, and see it all through a lens fogged by whoever they (or whoever teaches them) view the "atheist".
We label ourselves so people can more readily understand our point of view, and because you are against superstition and delusion I presume you actively speak out to those who follow said delusions, but is it productive to put yourself at this far extreme to make your points? If your talking to a theist do you think it's more conducive to have them know your an atheist from the start?
While the beliefs are the same, the sect cultures are seen as different, thus allowing different channels of discussion.
It's like if you were trying to convince a bunch of children that Santa isn't real, but your walking up with a shirt that reads "I hate Santa clause".
It's not that you hate Santa, you just believe that he doesn't exist, but to the children it's all the same from afar. This versus "I don't know if he's real, but i'll consider it" - the openminded agnostic.
Not that you need be openminded to delusion, or that you shirt reads exactly that to everyone; one of them is more approachable, one of them will lead to more people confiding in rational and science, do you think that one is atheism over agnosticism?
Dustin Staples, excellent points.
These days I am very forthcoming. The other day someone needed some bus fare. I gave him the dollar or two he needed. He said, "God bless you."
I said, "I am an atheist. I don't believe there is a God. I gave you money out of the goodness of my heart."
Why did I say that? Because there appears to be a belief that if someone does something good, they have to believe in God...
Try reading some Dostoevsky. He was a very conservative Russian Orthodox Christian but I can guarantee that his understanding of the human condition is way beyond anything that science, reason and logic will ever come up with.
The problem is of course, populist religions are such a regression, it is hard not to groan in pain as soon as the practitioners start to speak.
At heart, because I cannot defend the possible existence of something that I cannot even define to the satisfaction of myself and any I encounter. When we can achieve a globally accepted definition of what this god thing is, only then can one actually consider the probability of this god thing existing. As it stands people argue about the nature of what god is and cannot agree on much of anything, why concede that something might exist when what it might exist as is indefinable? A teapot orbiting Jupiter would be easier to accept as being a possibility (however improbable).
Sometimes I think there are far too many words in the English language..ugh far far too many.
The difficulty (imo) for people in defining who they are is people change. They change their minds, ( some more often then there underwear) they learn new things ,they discard other things, they mellow, they reason, they become unreasonable, on an on an on...
For example I am not who I was 20 yrs ago,and perhaps 20 yrs from now I will be different again too.
Atheists convert their thinking. Christians convert
Christians distort their thinking Non believers distort ( See how the language thing happens) lol
Good judges ,Corrupt judges
p.s I used to think agnostic meant ,you just hadnt made up your mind yet- see more information for my mind lol.
Atheists are as cold as ice , inhuman if you will . At least all the ones posting here ! Why care if another human being believes in and uses simple faith as his justification? Being a part of humanity itself requires that we have faith every single hour of every day ! Have any faith in your wife ? How about that your children behave when behind your back or out of sight , did you have faith when you voted for a completely unvetted president this last election ?...... Come on..... Faith ! Every single hour of the beauty in life , every sunset and every time a baby cries . Every picture perfecct day of life , Do you have faith that you are living your life to it's fullest ? YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE OVERLOADED [ AND OVERDOSED ] ON FAITH TO BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS actually NO HIGHER BEING UP THERE SOMEWHERE ! And therein lies the issue of the confusions of faith in hub-atheists ! Purely and precisely full of horsebucky !Each and every one !
YOU would be without electricity, phone, computers, antibiotics, reaching the moon, DNA sequencing, and many other of the world's most important discoveries and inventions if it wasn't for atheists. Why? Because if was atheists and agnostics who produced these things. Christians are still waiting for God to take them out of the primitive backwaters.
For the record, there is absolutely no reason why anyone should be obliged to go around flattering the ego of people saying things like, "Oh, that's so nice." "You're so clever." "I totally agree with you." "Praise the Lord." It is this refusal to be hypocritical that you're finding cold. People who are accustomed to not coping with harsh reality find anything and anyone who doesn't 'soft soap' them lacking in compassion.'
I have repeatedly found that the people who are the most compassionate in the world are NOT the religious people, but the atheists and the agnostics. Also, for the record, you would also find that the atheist population has fewer criminals per capita than any religion in the world.
The reason there is such a backlash against Christians by atheists this last decade is because we've had a gutfull of the arrogance, 'witnessing,' and forcing of opinions and world view on us. Christians have no respect and capacity for allowing people to think differently to themselves. They are threatened by anyone who thinks differently. Also a great Christians enjoy the kudus they get from the church congregation for being instrumental in bringing someone to salvation. None of this has anything to do with being Godly. It is all a lack of emotional maturity. And it's nothing but vanity and ego - all sins.
Atheists, per capital, help more people, invent more things that are useful to humanity, than any other section of humanity. That's because we know that there is no God to help us, and if we don't help humanity, nobody else will.
Before you criticize another atheist, I suggest you get rid of all the electricity, computers, antibiotics, phones, and technology and medicine that atheists and agnostics have invented. Oh, yes, and add the Israeli and Jewish contribution as well.
Then take a time machine back to the middle ages and see how you like living..
Your post is full of as much fantasy as the religious offer. I won't bother refuting a lot of what you said. You've been proven wrong with these ridiculous assertions so many times already that it is obvious the fantasy is more fun than reality.
I will say that I can't, for the life of me, understand why some atheists try so hard to mimic the religious in their condescending, holier than thou, need to stick their noses in the air and tick off the reasons that they are better than others.
We are all people. Just people. This is directed at you too Ahorseback. Get over yourselves. No one is better than anyone else. Your little club doesn't trump anyone else's except in your own minds.
Emily R. None of what I have said has been disproved. If you mean lots of people on HP have disagreed with me. Oh, I get that - but that's opinion. Nobody has come to me and said, "Well Edison, Einstein, Marie Curie, Alexander Graham Bell, etc. were Christians. They weren't. All of them were either agnostics or atheists.,
And I will repeat this until it finally sinks in. I am so sick and tired of this Christian and Atheist argument. I
Christians seem to have an enormous need to convert people to believing in Christ, and, in addition, to proving atheists wrong.
It's enough already.
And I responded to this thread because it is specifically addressed to atheists.
Alot of generalizations in your post and smacks of the very arrogance you say has been the fault of Christians throughout the ages.
Just for the record there have been many inventors and scientists who profess Jesus as Lord. But then some people still think Christians (many) are afraid or do not enjoy science.Nothing could be further than the truth.
Personally I believe God created ,Science defines it. Or another fondly held personal belief God is the father of Science.
Objectively there has always been two sides opposing each other .The Christian ,and I use the label loosely as obviously I do not know all Christians and the non-believer. ( once again, not all agnostics attribute everything to science)
Yes we have progressed in many fields of Science ,but equally we are no better off either. Sure we put a man on the moon, discovered penicillan (and other drugs) split the atom etc but
Our planet is sick.
Global warming, polution
New diseases cropping up, Cancer on the rise.
Crime ,poverty increase
Wars still fought
So with all this new modernization (not that I dont enjoy them) realistically how far has mankind really progressed in terms of its longevity or sustainability?
I think it is a wise person who admits they do not know everything there is to know.
Some prominent atheists have had their fair share of the limelight in recent years and most media is rampant with world standards ie low morals, new standards on censorship (or none)etc.
Civil laws, homosexual laws, prostitute collectives. corruption and lies by people in positions of power and responsibility -the list goes on.
I am sick of all that rammed down my throat every time I open a newspaper,turn on tv or listen to the radio too.
Consequently I am more selective in what carnage my eyes feast on ,or fills my head, but I object to you implying its a one sided deal. It is not and has never been.
They have not progressed, nor evolved. Man is as primitive as he was 3000 or more years ago. If anything he is regressing in many respects. The difference today, he is able to deflect that primitiveness with mechanics and entertainment. The mob is no longer in the arena live, now they have live streaming/broadcasting and tweets to thumbs up or down the same violence, etc.
As you mentioned, not that we do not participate in the use of mechanics, etc, but the reality is clear: nature is, by far, near the point of unrepairable. Even the greatest of scientists and sensationalists know this, admit this and firmly state-- as another rocket launches; another load of chemically altered food is made, another super flu designed; another prophecy and prediction made --man has about 100 years until all natural 'hell' breaks loose. He must stop now.
I can't believe that you've said that ahorseback. I'm an atheist, and not once have I ever judged you or been cold towards you because of your religious beliefs. I'm as critical about atheists who make daft assumptions about the religious as I am about those who try to tell me that my atheist lifestyle is wrong. Tolerance, tolerance, tolerance.
I would classify myself non religious, perhaps agnostic if I needed to label myself. However I often take comments towards atheists personal because I don't hold a belief in God. I've heard so many things and now this about atheism that is so frustrating and sad. Lost, immoral, hateful, heartless, cold, and inhuman are some of them. Is this what is taught in religion about people not of that religion or any religion? I guess the bottom line is that no one really wants to hear other people tell them they are wrong but some people are able to debate and dialog in a mature matter and some aren't.
I don't have a problem with anyone believing whatever they want, the problem is, and the reason I post or even argue the topic, is because believers in this God thing use it's principles to dictate how other people should live their lives. It's mostly stuff in politics for me at this point but it is also many things I have to deal with everyday from other believers in my life. They feel that because I am "Godless" that indicates that I am an immoral and untrustworthy person. However, the opposite is true, I find the fact that they must push their beliefs in God on others in American laws, UnAmerican and immoral. I find many of the laws of God to be immoral and sometimes evil. I won't tell you how to live your life but in forums such as this, I will express my beliefs especially to defend against the slander that many Christians use against atheists and people who express themselves.
I'm not as cold as ice. If anything, I am overemotional. I am also logical, but the two aren't mutually exclusive.
I care what another person believes, when their belief leads them to actions which adversely affect my well-being, or the well-being of others. I accept many things on faith, but I don't necessarily accept the same things on faith that you might. I accept on faith that the sun will rise tomorrow. I accept on faith that my feet will meet solid earth when I walk to the bus stop. I don't accept on faith any claims of the supernatural. I don't accept them on faith because I have never observed a single supernatural claim to be true, whereas the sun has always risen and the earth has always met my feet.
My whole point is , I'm pretty sick off everyone making "factual " statements about one side or the other , bragging about the scientific accomplishments ......."ramming christianity down our collective throats"......... poor litlle atheists , everyone picks on them ! The last I knew christians or any religion for that matter isn't knocking down doors and stealing children ! Get over it , the are christians living next to you ! ........Yes , you're smarter because you have no faith and don't believe in boogy men ! Congrats to you . Atheists created the world . Now punch out and go home , your job is done .........ever heard of TOLERANCE ?
It's Christians who are called to witness for their faith. It's Christians who are told by their pastors every week that they have to go out and tell the world about their faith.
There is no such call by atheists. Also, this thread was specifically addressed to atheists - not to Christians.
And of course they stuff it down your throat right Sophia ?
Think about it. Why do you think I'm so antagonistic about it? I really couldn't give a ... what people believe. However, I'm sick and tired of so many people wasting a great deal of my time and energy trying to tell me about Christ. It eventually becomes incredibly difficult to be polite to these people. They all seem to think that they're the first one to tell me something that I couldn't possibly have heard before. And if they realize that I must have been told before, then, obviously I couldn't have understood it, So they feel obligated to tell me to 'just listen' and they'll all explain it to me nicely again.
So, yes, that is exactly why I am so antagonistic about it.
Hell, the world is approaching over population. We have climate change. We have drought, approaching starvation, water resources drying up, most of the people in the world starving, and I've got to spend my day listening to people talking about mystical beings.
yes, I've had a gut full.
Ahorseback, I pretty much keep out of the religious forums unless I feel inflamed by a particular remark. It was only the other day that I addressed an OP who said why don't we all accept (or some such) that there is no Christ? I said the question was daft and he had no right to ask people of religion to accept his belief. I don't think I'm a poor atheist and I'd never ask you to believe as I. We are individuals, but that doesn't make you or I cold, does it? I can't remember ever ramming my opinions down the throats of others. Some atheists do, as do some of the religious, but not all of us.
These forums that question someone elses belief or faith are just baiting by immature minds bent on getting down on the next guy , one of the newest hobbys of the E-mind . !
Evangelism is commanded by God, for you to go out and convince people to question their beliefs, so that they accept yours; immaturity in the mind of the doer will vary, as is with the atheist and their calls to leave delusions.
You said "Your all expounding rhetoric against Christianity is but generalizations, I dare you guys to talk about muslims the way you chastize todays Christians "
Your generalizing what some atheist do, that's all you keep doing, taking what some do and placing it on everyone (generalizing it across the board of atheist).
But you have accepted this by ignoring it, and again talking about how some atheist chastise.
and I dare you to respond to my comment above this .
Some people are just hypocrites though, don't you think?
And another thing , atheists blindly profess themselves as eletist intellectuals ! Somewhere above all others especially the redneck hubcap stealing church attendee . Always showing thier biased self centered prejudging side for everyone to see ! Its so blatently obvious ! Get over your intellectual pride and prejudiced shell and listen .....you might even learn to be tolerant!
Faulty generalization isn't going to get you anywhere. (reader interest diminishes, clairvoyance shows the horse to be ironically ignorant)
"Faulty generalization" ? Your all expounding rhetoric against Christianity is but generalizations , I dare you guys to talk about muslims the way you chastize todays Christians ! You don't have the politically correct hair !
I'll take that dare, have never shied away from it when someone comes along posting how much better muslims are to christians. The only difference is, there are fewer muslims coming onto this site who post those sorts of religious forum threads.
As a matter of a fact, I have pointed out how their religion is around a supposed prophet who by modern standards would be called a pedophile. I have next to no respect for the male in Islam, the religion seems to treat them like children who simply cannot be held responsible for anything they do so the women have to be responsible for their sexual urges (hence the burka and hijab). I respect people because they are responsible for themselves and while individuals in islam (male and female) will be responsible for themselves, the fact that the religion does not support men being responsible for their own sexuality disgusts me.
Have you heard the most recent story about a down syndrome girl who has been jailed for burning words from the koran? They have been calling for her execution, a little girl of like 10 who is down syndrome!!! Makes me sick! This Allah seems as sick and depraved as this Yahweh or Jehovah.
It is my deeply held belief that religion is both dangerous and wrong. Religion is like a loaded gun, dangerous and deadly in the wrong hands and it seems completely impossible that any supposed god would create/inspire something like that for humanity.
What might you think of someone who waves their gun around in the air? Well, thats how I feel about those who wave their religion around in the same manner. I moved to London and thought I wouldn't get any more knocks on the door from people with watchtower magazines, not only do I get them as often as I ever have, I often find myself being approached by other religions when I am out and about. My local park seems to be a popular spot, I sit on a bench as far away from the walk ways as possible to get a little space, and they walk ages out of their way to come disrupt my space with their beliefs (no interest in what beliefs I may already have, no respect there). I go to the shops and can't get into the shopping centre without muslim guys with koran quotes on signs trying to talk to/convert anyone they can. I swear, the religions all seem to have their 'turf' for trying to convert as many as they can.
I feel the same way about Muslims that I do about Chritians. The Quran is just as morally repugnant as the Bible, in my opinion, and Allah is just as nonexistent as the Christian God. But what is the point in saying that to a Christian? Or discussing my opinions about other religions with Christians?
HI everyone, I have only just come in on this forum, so have some catching up to do in the general discussion.
My first amazement was to find this statement of Ahorseback: "Always showing their biased self-centered prejudging side for everyone to see ! Its so blatantly obvious ! Get over your intellectual pride and prejudiced shell and listen .....you might even learn to be tolerant!"
Thanks for putting these words together so aptly, in regard to fundamentally-thinking christians. It describes them to a "T." (I took the liberty of cleaning up your spelling mistakes.)
I'm not sure that I ever actually met an atheist that wasn't the son of an angry minister or priest ? Anyone ?
My late father was a German Jew who, after the holocaust, became an agnostic. My late mother was the daughter of Afrikaans Calvinists who ran away from home as a result of extreme abuse. I did not grow up in a religious home, but then, again, I didn't grow up in an atheist home. I grew up in a home where everyone was too busy going to drama classes, music classes, dancing classes, French and German classes, ballet classes, speech classes, etc. Besides reading, there wasn't really time for anything else. I learnt about religion when I went to boarding school at the age of 13. I sincerely believed in God because I could feel a presence. I became an atheist in my late 50s. I left Christianity at the age of 35, then explored other religions and isms for the next 15 years, and finally came to the realization that I could find no verification for a personal God.
Me, though we haven't "met." That we're disgruntled believers is one of the stereotypes of atheists. My parents stopped taking me to Sunday School when I was 5. They were half-hearted believers at best. It just wasn't an issue for us.
Oh, I'm so glad to meet you! I get tired of the whole 'disgruntled believer' thing also. I'm a believer, and I get tired of the attitude from some atheists that I've been indoctrinated since birth to believe what I do and I only stick with it because of fear. Some of us come to faith as adults, just like some atheists recognize their disbelief quite young and without any push from anyone else.
I actually became a card-carrying atheist somewhat later in life, but I was never a very fervent believer. I think I just took God as sort of a given.
Hey! They give you guys CARDS? Christians don't get cards. I think I'm going to convert!
Most certainly, Motown, you show a reasonable and rational mindset when discussing a number of topics here, as does Melissa. And, while the vast majority of believers were indoctrinated from birth, there is going to be a small minority that was not.
This forum shows quite adequately those who were and those who probably were not.
Now, perhaps your parents and peers did not indoctrinate you, is it possible you may have grown up in a religious environment nonetheless?
I wasn't the son of an angry minister or priest. My mom is a really nice lady. And my father is just nerdy. Both Christians.
My father was a hard-working market gardener all his life. He was very honest, never got involved in the "black market" during World War II although he could easily have done so, as he always had plenty of produce available. He was not a minister or preacher. In fact most of his life he did not have time to go to church..... there was always important work he had to do on Sundays. He looked after his wife, my Mum, my sister and me dutifully and conscientiously.
I have come by my atheist views without any pushing from my parental background. My non-acceptance of the existence of a judgmental god is from my own deductions. This is separate from the matter of being a christian or non-christian.
It is my experience of and with fundamental, bible-thumping, self-righteous christians which has convinced me I don't want to be a member of "The Club."
And there is not one thing wrong with that ! Sophia , really ! You only left out that you are beautiful too! Seriously , is is just the anti-s of anything that bug me . My point ......fine , be;ieve or don't believe . But don't be a hypocrite and beat down on anyone else , I am guilty as well of being a bit jaded by humanity ! Sorry if I have offended anyone ! I get bluesy trying to listen to the same dialog day after day !
It's your right to express yourself no matter what it is you believe and you have a need to vent sometimes at whatever upsets you, I can appreciate that, even if I disagree with what it is you are saying. What we all need though is a bit of empathy for the other person we argue with. We all have our reasons for why we believe the way we do and argue or even fight the way we do. Some people are more angry than others and are blind towards the other persons reasons and upbringings and daily issues.
I consider myself an agnostic atheist. Meaning that I have zero belief that there is any type of God, but being rational I know that every so often I must reevaluate my position and confirm there is no new proof to sway me the other direction. I have no problem in admitting that I may be wrong. As soon as I am provided proof I will change my stance.
Atheism is more than simply not believing in God, and it is certainly not a religion -- nothing like religion at all. Religion is dogmatic and atheism is not. Atheists DO leave room for doubt, but the possibility that gods exist is so vanishingly small that it's not a particularly interesting topic of discussion for them. See the work of Richard Dawkins, for one, particularly _The God Delusion_, if you want to know what contemporary atheism is.
I'm not an atheist. So, I don't know if I can really address this question. But I think the only true FACT of the matter is this: None of us knows for certain regarding God. Period. We may believe, we may not believe, but we just don't know. We may never know. Some demand objective, empirical proof - others believe with faith. But not a single one of us is absolutely knowledgeable and can say without doubt one way or the other.
So, ultimately, we're all agnostic.
Good point, and very brave of you, as a believer, to say so.
And no -one ! ... can say others are 'stuffing it down our throats ", religious believer or not . I think thats spoken of far too much by many . Yes , christians are vocal and resourceful in recruiting newbies . And Non-believers can be just plain nasty in thier off the cuff remarks about believers. Tolerance is by far the rarest form of communicating going on in all of these secular , non-secular threads .........
I agree that no one can know something without proof. Being atheist is saying you know for sure or don't believe in a god, right? You can't be sure.
The idea here is that you are affirming the existence of something that is the cause of something else. God is this thing. SO let's say for example that God is claimed to be the cause of something like, Rain.... so we find out what causes rain and it happens to not be God, so we have eliminated God as the cause of rain.... we have gone so far back scientifically we know that God is not the cause of many things, so what does God actually do? If we were his boss and we were to ask him what he did and we find out that he doesn't do this thing then he (or really the people defending him) back track and say no he caused the thing that caused the thing that caused the thing to happen.... then we go back and we find out that is also not true, and he still back tracks and finally says, "I am the first cause" and we find out there is no "first cause" or that this "first cause" caused itself or that God wasn't necessary in any of those aspects or something to that extent. Then as his boss (this is all hypothetical to a boss employee rational) would we not fire him as someone that does nothing? Science, and you can find specifics in my hubs, has shown that God not only is not necessary to the existence of anything he has no evidence for existing. So what is God? What does he do? How do you know he exists? How do we know the people claiming that they speak to him aren't either pretending or hallucinating or just wishful thinking? There is no reasonable reason for ME to think that God is anything but a fictional character used to explain what they don't understand or make them feel better about their mortality. Why would I be agnostic about that? I can know that something is fictional based on it's logical ability to exist based on or verses the evidence presented for what IS true.
Okay, so by that reasoning, let's look at your rain example. We've gone back to find out what causes rain. How does that eliminate God? Look at it this way, what would you expect to find if it were God? Would you be looking for a large physical being who's actions resulted in rain? Or would the lack of the ability to find a cause be proof of God? Is there anything in that scenario that would lead you to believe that God is the cause? Or would the assumption be that it's still not proven to be God, there's still no reason to believe God exists, so the inability to find a cause simply means we're incapable of determining the cause yet?
What about the unanswered questions? Like the origin/physical cause of the singularity at the beginning of the universe? Or the origin/physical cause of gravity? Or the origin/physical cause of the beginning of life? If God is not physical, and cannot be detected physically in any way through science, then does that mean the inability to determine an origin/physical cause is proof of God? I agree the answer is no. But does that not at least still leave the door open for the possibility?
So, with these unanswered questions, how do you reach a conclusion that's so certain? Where these questions are concerned, at least in our current time/place, without acknowledging that you can't be certain you only have two options left... faith that it is God, or faith that science will one day determine the origin/physical cause. Right?
Not you again.... We've gone back to find out what causes rain. How does that eliminate God? This in itself only eliminates God from the cause of whatever it is we are looking at. what would you expect to find if it were God? That is the big yet unanswered question for which no one, especially not you, has a rational logic answer for. Would you be looking for a large physical being who's actions resulted in rain? No, like I said there is nothing that states anything that results in the nature of an intelligent being that is necessary in the causation of anything natural. The very fact that you must ask me or anyone this question shows that you cannot logically say God exists or is the cause for anything because then you would have an explanation that would be logical enough not to ask a question in hopes of an answer that would lead the nonbeliever to think God is possibly an answer to any question you may ask.
What about the unanswered questions? If God is not physical, and cannot be detected physically in any way through science, then does that mean the inability to determine an origin/physical cause is proof of God? I agree the answer is no. But does that not at least still leave the door open for the possibility?
The best answer is no, you still have no real definite reason for believin God is the possible answer to anything except the idea that yu don't yet know the answer.... this is the God of the Gaps, the more answers we find the smaller and smaller God has any influence or is the cause for it. You don't even have a definite definition for what God is so you yourself cannot say God is or isn't anything or even use God as anything but the X factor in the unknown answer to the question you have yet to ask the question to..... for example: X=1+1 or God=1+1 until you calculate 1+1 you are going to say God did it and let's not keep questioning that God is the answer.... eventually someone will answer this question and say 1+1=2 The answer was never actually God or X it was 2 X was just the variable we use to describe the unknown answer to the question. The fact is God and X are the same thing, they are imaginary answers to questions we don't know the answer to unless we calculate, research, study, test, discover and stop being lazy by using God as the answer to anything. Yes I think saying God is the character used by lazy people to answer the questions they are too lazy to answer. It hurts to think so hard, it's scary to think you will cease to exist when you die, but the sooner you accept these facts the sooner you can lead a happy and productive and beneficial to you, your family, and your society kind of life.
Why am I so certain of my conclusion that God doesn't exist and is not the answer? Because of the above statement that God has no definition that is consistent. He is definitely Not the God of any Bible, he is definitely not by logical means an intelligent being of any kind, and if he is outside any physical realm then he is UNKNOWNABLE, he cannot be the cause of existence because then you'd have to come up with the answer to what caused God and in order to do that you'd have to first prove that God exists, define what it is he is and how it is that he got there... you cannot show any of them so to use God as a subject in any form of questioning is futility at it's finest. God is a concept and nothing more. If I say That a Paralax Organism exists and is outside our realm of physical understanding then what would you say to me? You cannot disprove that this organism exists so you cannot dispute it.
Extraordinary Claims require Extraordinary Evidence. If you can say God exists and is the cause you must prove it as well as give a definite reason you believe this thing exists without falling back on a book which is a same said statement/claim. I saw God, can I prove I saw God? No, except others saw him too, can they prove it? No. Then how do you prove to the people who have never experienced it that it exists? You can never do that, you and the other believers are alone in your shared experiences and some of you, as many claim, have never actually experienced God and many preachers and priests and ministers who are now atheists can attest to the fact that you can make yourself believe anything you want but it doesn't make them true.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvP4-0A … ature=plcp
Haha... what a warm greeting.
The point you're missing is that finding a physical cause in no way eliminates the involvement of God. If God is the creator of existence then He exists before, and therefore outside, the observable physical realm. The physical sciences can only be used to observe and study existence from the big bang forward. You trying to reach a concrete conclusion on whether or not a creator of the universe exists using the physical sciences is the equivalent of using a screwdriver to loosen a bolt. It's the wrong tool. This illustrates a flaw in your logic.
And just as you say my asking this question goes to show I have no logical explanation, the same could be said of your calling my credibility into question. After all, when one party in a debate begins to attack the other that's a pretty good indicator that you have no logical answer or you'd say it.
I have plenty of logical answers that do not contradict logic, facts, or evidence. The only thing my answers conflict with is your faith-based belief system.
"He is definitely not the God of any bible..."
Definitely? How can you be so certain? Don't get me started.
Everything you've stated as your reasoning only illustrates why you believe what you believe. It in no way justifies your answer as "the best answer". The very same findings also justify my beliefs.
"If God is the creator of existence then He exists before, and therefore outside, the observable physical realm." And how do you infer or assert this statement? Where do you get the idea or information that this thing which is "therefore outside, the observable physical realm." a realm for which we are unable to see or experience outside of, exists?
"The physical sciences can only be used to observe and study existence from the big bang forward. " Also an assumption.
The flaw is not in my logic, you are saying that I am using the wrong tool for assessing the existence or nonexistence of a God, I am saying there is no tool in existence that can assess the existence of nonexistence of something we have no rational reason for believing exists.
"I have plenty of logical answers that do not contradict logic, facts, or evidence." I have yet to see any from you and considering I have dismissed you as delusional once before why do you insist on trying to convince me of something you have yet to show logical or evidential proof for? You have yet to even appeal to my doubt or skepticism or requests for some reasoning/evidence for such a beings existence.
"The only thing my answers conflict with is your faith-based belief system. " I don't have a faith based belief system. you ca argue all you like that something I believe in is based on faith but that would be more akin to calling me a liar without proving it and you lose your case with me even further, rather the accusation appeals to the choir and not the person you are attempting to convince, me.
"Definitely? How can you be so certain?" I think we have went through this and why I believe you have deluded yourself into thinking the Bible is a viable source for world history, universal prehistory or logic human history. The Biblical God is a self contradicting character made more so by the addition of the New Testament to the Jewish Torah/Old Testament.
"Everything you've stated as your reasoning only illustrates why you believe what you believe. It in no way justifies your answer as "the best answer". The very same findings also justify my beliefs."
Yes, I am aware of this, because the fact is the best answer is not my answer or your answer or anyone else's answer.. The question is why do I, me, myself, Art, call myself an atheist and NOT an agnostic? That is my answer, if you think it's not good enough for you, that is not MY problem. YOU are the one attempting to convince me of your God's existence and failing, not because I am unwilling to hear your reasons but because your reasons are flawed and don't like my response that they aren't good enough and they are logically flawed and they are contradictory.... nothing I can do about that except say, too bad, better keep looking.
However, HOW does the same findings justify your beliefs? They don't. You couldn't convince a court of law that what you are saying is justifiable reason for believing that God exists to anyone except yourself. You have yet to give me one reason for thinking that a God had anything to do with it or is the only possible explanation. You keep repeating the same reasons and I keep telling you the same reason why it's false and you don't say anything new. Why do you keep confronting me with something you know is not good enough reason for myself or anyone to believe in without the benefit or aide of faith, for which I don't subscribe, no matter how much you'd like to demand or believe that I subscribe to?
Find a new reason and give me explicit simple reasons why I should believe God exists or go find some other atheist to try and convince that your delusions are valid reality.
This particular discussion is happening in a public forum. I'm not engaging you to convince you, but to bring another perspective to the discussion. You specifically called your view the best answer.
The inability to see anything beyond the big bang is not my assumption. I borrowed that particular point from Neil LeGasse Tyson. You can take it up with him if you like.
If we're talking about the creator of existence then the logical conclusion is that this creator exists outside and before. You assert that my view is illogical. I am pointing out the flawed logic in the conclusion you have reached.
If you want evidence I can give you plenty, well beyond anything you and I have discussed because you dismiss me before we can really get into it. We end up spending more time having discussions like this that don't allow for actually discussing the evidence itself.
"You specifically called your view the best answer." Okay then it's the best answer because it is the only one that has any valid arguments that aren't based on assumptions and presuppositions.
"If you want evidence I can give you plenty" Didn't I just ask you to state them? Where are they? State them already!
"Okay then it's the best answer because it is the only one that has any valid arguments that aren't based on assumptions and presuppositions. "
If you didn't make assumptions and presuppositions then you'd be agnostic.
"Didn't I just ask you to state them? Where are they? State them already!"
Alright, but just remember you asked for it....
To be clear, this is proof that the God of the books of Moses truly exists. We can't detect God Himself through any observable/provable means, but Genesis describes events, locations, and gives specific timelines. Given the detailed history a few centuries of scientific investigation provides, we should be able to pinpoint what it describes.
The first order of business is to remove the fallible human element as much as is possible. This includes anything we've ever been told by anyone as far as biblical interpretation. Science has given us a clear view of history void of human influence. If Genesis is true, then we should be able to stand them side by side and actually see what it describes. In an attempt to keep this short (haha!), I'm going to skip past the creation account and just focus on Genesis 2-11, with the exception of the creation of humans at the end.
Humans - Gen1:26-28
When humans were created, it says God gave them specific commands and then says He looked on all He created and deemed it 'good', meaning what He commanded actually happened. Those specific commands were to be fruitful and multiply, fill and subdue the earth, and establish dominion in the animal kingdom. By 10000 BC homo sapiens had filled the earth, adapting to every condition along the way, and had established themselves as the dominant species by finishing off the last of the previously dominant creatures, megafauna. Not to mention being the only remaining species of the homo genus.
The First Horticulturists - Gen1:29
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_agriculture ....
"When major climate change took place after the last ice age (c. 11,000 BC), much of the earth became subject to long dry seasons. These conditions favoured annual plants which die off in the long dry season, leaving a dormant seed or tuber. These plants tended to put more energy into producing seeds than into woody growth. An abundance of readily storable wild grains and pulses enabled hunter-gatherers in some areas to form the first settled villages at this time."
As I'm sure you know, the earliest horticulturists were in Mesopotamia roughly 9-8000 BC. As a result of climate change, at the beginning of a series of dry seasons, the conditions made for abundant plant life that produced a lot of seeds, which led directly to the discovery of horticulture and the first human settlements.
Gen 1:29 - And God said, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."
Adam and Eve - Gen2/3
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8.2_kiloyear_event ...
"The 8.2 kiloyear event is the term that climatologists have adopted for a sudden decrease in global temperatures that occurred approximately 8,200 years before the present, or c. 6,200 BCE, and which lasted for the next two to four centuries." ...
"Drier conditions were notable in North Africa, while East Africa suffered five centuries of general drought. In West Asia and especially Mesopotamia, the 8.2ky event was a three-hundred year aridification and cooling episode"
The conditions of the Mesopotamian landscape from around 6200 BC on matched how the terrain was described at the beginning of Genesis 2...
Genesis 2:5 - Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground.
What's most notable here as far as the Adam/Eve story is the difference between Adam/Eve and the humans in Gen1. The Gen1 humans followed God's commands to the letter though it took numerous generations to do so. Adam/Eve only had one rule commanded by God and they broke it, illustrating a will apart from God/nature. When they did they gained the 'knowledge of good and evil' which resulted in a kind of self-awareness that wasn't there before....
Genesis 3:7 - Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked;
This will prove important later, as will this ...
Genesis 3:16 - Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
Cain's city and descendants - Gen4
According to Gen4:25 and Gen5:3, Cain killed Abel and was banished within 130 years of Adam's creation. This is where the timeline is most important. Sometime after his banishment ...
Genesis 4:17 - "...Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.
Genesis 4:20 - "Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock."
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eridu ...
"Eridu appears to be the earliest settlement in the region, founded ca. 5400 BC, close to the Persian Gulf near the mouth of the Euphrates River."
"The third culture that contributed to the building of Eridu was the nomadic Semitic pastoralists of herds of sheep and goats living in tents in semi-desert areas."
The Flood - Gen6-9
If you add up the years you'll see that the flood happened 1656 years after Adam was created, or roughly 1500 years after Cain's banishment. Keep in mind that Eridu, the first Sumerian city, was established around 54-5300 BC...
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ur ...
"Archaeologists have discovered evidence of an early occupation at Ur during the Ubaid period. These early levels were sealed off with a sterile deposit that was interpreted by excavators of the 1920s as evidence for the Great Flood of the book of Genesis and Epic of Gilgamesh." ...
"The further occupation of Ur only becomes clear during its emergence in the third millennium BC (although it must already have been a growing urban center during the fourth millennium)."
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubaid_period ...
"The Ubaid culture had a long duration beginning before 5300 BC and lasting until the beginning of the Uruk period, c. 4000 BC." ...
"The archaeological record shows that Arabian Bifacial/Ubaid period came to an abrupt end in eastern Arabia and the Oman peninsula at 3800 BC, just after the phase of lake lowering and onset of dune reactivation. At this time, increased aridity led to an end in semi-desert nomadism, and there is no evidence of human presence in the area for approximately 1000 years, the so-called "Dark Millennium". This might be due to the 5.9 kiloyear event at the end of the Older Peron."
And speaking of the 5.9 kiloyear event ....
Babel - Gen11
According to Gen10:25/Gen11:16, the events described at the tower of Babel happened roughly a century after the flood....
The location of the oldest/largest ziggurat (tower) ...
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eridu ...
"The Egyptologist David Rohl, has conjectured that Eridu, to the south of Ur, was the original Babel and site of the Tower of Babel, rather than the later city of Babylon, for several reasons:
- The ziggurat ruins of Eridu are far larger and older than any others, and seem to best match the Biblical description of the unfinished Tower of Babel.
- One name of Eridu in cuneiform logograms was pronounced "NUN.KI" ("the Mighty Place") in Sumerian, but much later the same "NUN.KI" was understood to mean the city of Babylon."
Evidence of mass human migrations due to drastic climate change ...
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.9_kiloyear_event ...
"The 5.9 kiloyear event was one of the most intense aridification events during the Holocene. It occurred around 3900 BCE (5,900 years BP), ending the Neolithic Subpluvial and probably initiated the most recent desiccation of the Sahara desert. Thus, it also triggered worldwide migration to river valleys, such as from central North Africa to the Nile valley, which eventually led to the emergence of the first complex, highly organised, state-level societies in the 4th millennium BCE." ...
"Historically the period of the 5.9 kiloyear event is associated with the increased violence noticed in both Egypt and throughout the Middle East, leading eventually to the Early Dynastic Period in both the First Dynasty of Egypt and Sumer."
Remember that according to Genesis, the reason God dispersed the people at Babel was because these 'children of men' were firing mud bricks (first invented in Mesopotamia) and were building a city and a tower...
Genesis 11:5-6 - And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men built. And the Lord said, “Behold, the people are one and they have all one language, and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be withheld from them which they have imagined to do.
Finally wrapping it up
So, roughly 1500 years after the establishment of the first Sumerian city, there's evidence of a flood that stopped the Ubaid culture of Ur in it's tracks followed by a drastic climate change that triggered mass migrations towards the human settlements along river banks like the Nile in northern Africa and the Tigris/Euphrates. If these mass migrations were truly what's described at Babel, then these people were the descendants of Adam/Noah. So, they each carried with them the 'knowledge' gained as well as the heightened self-awareness.
What's important to note here are the differences between early humans and these. As it says above, the 5.9 kiloyear event is historically associated with the increased violence in both Egypt and the Middle East and the eventual rise of the early Dynastic periods in both Sumer and Egypt. Before this time, humans all around the world had notable similarities like ....
* equality between men and women (no male domination), * overall equality and a lack of social/class stratification, * close ties with nature, * no hoarding or accumulation of wealth or possessions, * no war like activity and very little violence between humans at all.
Many of these same qualities can still be found in the few unspoiled indigenous tribal cultures still in existence today, namely in Africa south of the Sahara, the Aborigines of Australia, and island bound cultures....
"it is an error, as profound as it is universal, to think that men in the food-gathering stage were given to fighting... All available facts go to show that the food-gathering stage of history must have been one of perfect peace." - Archaeologist WJ Perry
"For the first ninety-five thousand years after the Homo sapiens Stone Age began (until 4000 BCE), there is no evidence that man engaged in war on any level, let alone on a level requiring organized group violence. There is little evidence of any killing at all." - Anthropologist Richard Gabriel
Humanity changed drastically during the 4th millennium BC, and these changes began in Mesopotamia and northern Africa and spread from there. According to archaeological evidence these changes came upon the arrival of nomadic tribes who came from the Sahara region. Everywhere these people showed up we begin to see technological advances, much more aggressive war-like behavior, male-dominance, hoarding of possessions and wealth, class stratification, and a complete change in attitudes towards nature....
"Archaeologists have never been able to conclusively answer the question of who the original Egyptians and Sumerians were. But evidence clearly suggests that the Egyptians who "civilized" the Nile region were immigrants from the desert areas. As Brian Griffith points out, in North Africa recorded history begins against the background of mass migrations out of a growing desert. He notes that "pre-dynastic Egyptians were a jumbled assortment of tribes, many of them recent arrivals from the deserts."
-Steve Taylor, The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History the Dawning of a New Era
The above quote is from a book that compares the differences between prehistoric humans and native tribal cultures still in existence to the semetic and indo-european speaking nomadic people who arrived just before the technological boom in Sumer and Egypt and the dawn of the first civilizations. He makes the case that this marks the emergence of the human ego. A stronger individual awareness that is notably absent in prehistoric and native tribal cultures.
His theory is that it was the drastic change in climate that coaxed the emergence of the ego in these humans. I believe it was Adam that was the introduction of the individual human will/ego (around 5500 BC) and that these nomadic semetic and indo-european speaking people who came from the desert were the descendants of Adam/Noah who were all 'of Eve' and therefore each carried with them the knowledge and self-awareness gained. In either case, we both agree this is what sparked the dawning of the first civilizations as each one tells a very similar story, in Sumer, in Egypt, in the Indus Valley culture in India, and in China. And it spread from there. Nowadays the majority of the world's population is made up of descendants of mainly indo-europeans and a good number of descendants of the semetic speaking people.
http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingLists … ncient.htm – “From around 3500 to 3000 BC there were great and very sudden advances in craftsmanship and technology, which culminated in the working of copper, stone mace heads and ceramics.”
http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingLists … ulture.htm – “As the first great civilizations took shape in Sumer and Egypt, a people of unknown origin who were centered in the Indus Valley in modern Pakistan and India began constructing their own series of cities. These were as remarkable as any the world had yet seen, and at the same time trade flourished, and a system of writing evolved.”
"The thousand years or so immediately preceding 3000 BC were perhaps more fertile in inventions and discoveries than any period in human history prior to the sixteenth century AD" - Archaeologist and Philologist V. Gordon Childe
"a tremendous explosion of knowledge took place as writing, mathematics, and astronomy were discovered. It was as if the human mind had suddenly revealed a new dimension of itself." - Anne Baring and Jules Cashford, The Myth of the Goddess
And, for just one more little fun fact, Abraham's father was from the Sumerian city of Ur, which you'll notice gets mentioned later in the same chapter as the Babel story ...
Genesis 11:28 - And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
Genesis 11:31 - And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran and dwelt there.
Genesis 15:7 - And He said unto him, "I am the LORD who brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give thee this land to inherit it."
Now, aren't you glad I skipped the creation account to keep it short? Assuming you've even read this far.
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