A few complaints:
Few atheists have a belief that god does not exist; atheists profess no belief at all.
I don't understand the phrase "But with God Everything is fine" in the atheist section. The phrase "the more you have the happier you will be" doesn't seem true, either.
Other than that, rather cute.
"Few atheists have a belief that god does not exist; atheists profess no belief at all." ? So your position is that atheists have no belief at all?
An atheist is defined as a person who denies the existence of a supreme being or beings, not that they "profess no belief at all."
Atheists have beliefs just like everyone else - they believe that God does not exist just as they probably believe the earth is round. "that God does not exist" is a belief, not a fact as it can not be proven so it requires faith to say god does not exist. Faith is belief.
Atheists display the same form of everyday faith that everyone does.
Atheists undoubtedly do that, but they also—at least normally—display faith at the core of their religious lives, with the very beliefs that make one an atheist. It is common today for atheists to say, “I can’t prove that there is no God—but I think it highly unlikely that he exists, or at least I haven’t seen convincing proof of his existence, so I don’t believe in him.”
Whether they think it highly unlikely that God exists, or whether they just have not been presented with proof they consider sufficient, they are adopting a belief without certain proof. In other words, they are exercising faith.
They are in the same position as the ordinary Christian who holds the existence of God despite his acknowledgement that he does not have conclusive proof of this.
And atheists exercising faith in this way are doing so regarding the central belief of atheism—the non-existence of God.
"World English Dictionary
1. a person who does not believe in God or gods
2. of or relating to atheists or atheism
While it may suit your purposes to make up your own definition, the modern dictionary definition of the word does not include a belief system. It does your credibility no good to pretend that atheists follow the tracks of the believers, in choosing to believe without evidence.
Atheism is a chosen belief with the same lack of evidence. If it wasn't a belief, there'd be a definitive answer. There isn't. There's no proof one way or the other. It really is that simple. No need to over-complicate it.
What do I as an atheist believe in, headly? That I have in common with all other atheists everywhere? If it's a belief, this answer should be simple for you.
It is simple. You believe reality as is can and does exist without being the deliberate creation of a creator.
I'm not entirely sure that's accurate, and I typically don't appreciate people who don't really know me telling me what I do our don't believe. I don't believe in reality. I live in reality. I know you think there is evidence of a creator, but I'm not convinced. If you have to use philosophy as evidence, it doesn't really work for me.
I don't believe that it is the deliberate creation of anything, but I don't believe it isn't either. I don't know. That's not a belief. Nothing I have seen or read has been conclusive for me. I'm not going to dishonestly claim to know something that I don't.
It's not a matter of whether or not I know you. If you label yourself as an "atheist", this is what that means. Holding no belief is not an "atheist". An "atheist" is a particularly chosen stance on the matter. A definitive, defined, stance. Yes, we all live in reality. And because reality exists, it requires explanation for existing. So you have chosen one answer over another where that explanation is concerned.
You're not in a position to say that, headly. An atheist literally means "without belief" a (without) theism (belief) in a god or gods. I do not know for certainty either way, and since I do not know, I do not believe. You're the one complicating things. I am an atheist agnostic, both without belief and without knowledge. You can argue that till the end of the world, but that doesn't make your arguments true to shove all atheists into the little box you want to put us in, on equal footing with your belief in God box. You are not an atheist. And you most certainly do not speak for me.
I most certainly have not chosen a definitive stance on the origin of the universe. I don't know. It's really not that ingesting to me, and I haven't looked into it much. I'm interested in other topics instead. Where the hell are you getting this from? Please stop telling me about myself when you don't know what you're taking about.
I speak as another human occupying the same reality as you. This is a human topic. You have chosen the other 'option' on the topic than I have. Both deal with an explanation for reality. You don't hold a belief in God, which means, you believe without doubt that reality as is is possible without God as an explanation. That's the belief.
You are way off base and out of line. I really thought you off all people would know better than that. You don't know anything about me aside from what I've told you, and I'm pretty certain that I have not claimed knowledge either way, or belief in either. I have not studied evolution or abiogenesis in depth. I don't know. I don't really care, because I'm not interested or invested in that facet of it. I don't have a belief in either. So please stop assuming and projecting.
If all I knew about you was that you were a Christian, would you appreciate me telling you what you do our don't believe as I'm an atheist? Would it be fair for me to tell you assertively that you were, for example, a young earth creationist? (I know you're not, hence the example). Would it be fair for me to project on the label of Christianity that you hate gay people?
None of that matters. I know you are a human occupying this same reality as I am. It's not an assumption or a projection. You have labeled yourself an 'atheist'. That's what I'm going by. That's all I need to reach these conclusions. Your level of knowledge doesn't matter. You have made a choice on the matter. You have chosen an affiliation. A team color, so to speak.
As far as you specifically, you used to be a believer, correct? I know your knowledge of the bible is far above average. So it's not like your conclusion was reached lightly. You actually changed from one to the other. You let go of beliefs you used to hold. No matter your level of knowledge or understanding, God is an explanation for reality. You have to believe reality is possible without a deliberate creator to be an atheist. No matter how much you know or care to know.
No you don't, headly, And I edited the post that may help you understand where I'm coming from.
Because I don't currently have a belief in a god does not mean that my mind is made up on anything else. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in any God. Atheism has nothing to do with the origins of the universe, and atheists have vastly different opinions on it. It's not a dogma of atheism. I don't know about the origins of the universe, so I don't have an opinion. I have not seen conclusive evidence that a god was involved yet, but I don't know how it started. I'm an agnostic on the origins of life. That is a separate issue from my atheism. I'm not sure why this is such a difficult concept for you, but I'm really not interested in arguing with someone who is not me and is not an atheist over what atheists in general and me specifically do or do not know or believe. I wouldn't do that to you. I'd ask questions, which I've Done previously. I'd appreciate the same courtesy without the double standard, Hypocritical crap.
Don't try to twist this around as a lack of courtesy or my being hypocritical. The explanation for belief in a God or gods in general, of any kind, is that it's an invention of the human mind to explain things about the natural world it does not otherwise understand. Whether you're talking about the Hebrew God or whether you're talking about the Norse gods or the gods of the Greek or Roman mythologies. They're reason for being invented, as belief in all of these gods is also a reality and therefore calls for explanation, is that they're created as an explanation for things not understood.
Every atheist, whether I personally know them or not, holds a belief that reality does not require a God to be explained. Like PhoenixV just said, the "I don't know" stance also has a specific title. But you do not subscribe to that title. You subscribe, and self-apply the title "atheist". Which means, you have to have no doubt about reality having no need for a deliberate creator. Your lack of interest in the topic and lack of knowledge is a testament to your level of faith in that. Your mind doesn't require an explanation because you harbor no lingering doubts that require an answer. Therefore, you believe, without doubt, that reality does not require a God as an explanation, which then allows you to be a part of, and interact in reality, with no explanation. Hence, it allows you to be an atheist.
These are just the facts of the case.
I'm an atheist agnostic. I'm an atheist because I'm without belief. I'm agnostic because I don't know for certain. The terms are not mutually exclusive.
I've met Christians who justify the inquisition or new England witch persecution. I've met others who deny or try to justify the Holocaust. Would it be fair for me to label all Christians everywhere with those positions just because they share the same label? There are lots of different types of atheists. The only thing we all have in common is a lack of a belief in God. That's it. I don't know why you don't get that.
What's wrong with just "agnostic"? Why over-complicate it? If you don't know then you don't know, and by default do not hold a particular belief. I don't understand why this is even an issue. Why not save yourself the trouble of having to argue and make clear your stance when simply calling yourself "agnostic" would do all of that for you without the need for explanation.
Because atheism and Agnosticism are two different things that address different questions. Agnosticism/gnosticism address knowledge. Theism and atheism address beliefs. Atheism is without theism - belief. Beliefs and knowledge are not the same question.
You can be a theist who is agnostic on some topic. Not knowing something does not affect or address your overall belief. It means you don't know.
agnosticm - a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.
agnosticism - a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience. - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agnostic
agnosticm - a person who does not have a definite belief about whether God exists or not. - http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agnostic
The word 'agnosticm', as it is most commonly used or defined, is specific to knowledge of God. Your stance, to the vast majority of english speakers, would be agnostic.
Whatever you say, headly. You can assume and assert anything you want, and since you're a Christian, I can (in the interest of fairness) attribute any Christian belief onto you, whether or not you hold then or agree with them, and that is how I will judge you going forward.
Agnosticism is a knowledge claim. Atheism is a position on beliefs or lack there of. You can disagree all you want. Doesn't make you right, thankfully. I don't define myself based on what you, or anyone else, thinks. I'm fine with being an atheist agnostic because I don't believe in a god, but I don't claim to know either way. I'm pretty much done with you after this. You finally showed your true colors to me, and I don't need to waste my time trying to convince you otherwise about me, atheists or my position.
All you're doing here is creating for yourself the need to have this same conversation over and over again. When those labels are designed specifically to save you from having to do that. Agnosticism is a knowledge claim specific to the existence, or knowledge of, a God. Simply using the title 'agnostic' rather than 'atheist' would perfectly sum up the stance you have spent so much time defending here. Rather than perpetually fighting to change the way the whole world thinks, simply adopting another title does that for you.
Why the way you choose to misuse titles reflects back on me is you too. Your wasting your own time. It has nothing to do with me.
The above post is I think an example of where I think things got twisted up a little bit in this greater conversation.
Agnosticism and Atheism mean two different things usually, yet apply in how the person views their world, not how it is being done here in this particular conversation. This is a play on words, to defend an argument that seems to have built up as we go here.
Agnosticism isn't used generally in the ways it is being employed here in this forum. Its not generally used to defend a point from an atheistic point of view to say, "I am agnostic on origins, or evolution", therefore you are wrong. It doesn't actually make the case against the regularly held view of atheists, against that point. I am simply trying to point out how this reasoning works or doesn't, and I think this explains all the seeming confusion. Just because several got on board to help push this view through, doesn't really help it. This idea works or it doesn't, on its own.
If Headly was truly wrong, all that needs to be done is to find at least one atheist that agrees with the view of the theist in the example he gave on the first and second page. The choice to say that what he said was wrong was taken, which is fine. Support hasn't been given to defend it.
EVEN IF you find at least one atheist that agrees with the theists view of the universe's beginning, that person would no longer be an atheist, right? Thus lies the incoherence of the argument.
http://atheism.about.com/od/Agnostic-Di … nition.htm
Oh for the love of God, it's a thing. It wasn't just made up to prove Headly wrong. He is wrong. Cope.
"One of the earliest definitions of agnostic atheism is that of Robert Flint, in his Croall Lecture of 1887–1888."
I don't think she just made up atheistic agnosticism yesterday, another twist, lol. What did you think of my actual points I made? No one showed Headly wrong, to do so, you need to show that the two views he shared don't normally exist between the TWO worldviews.
Showing a third worldview ACTUALLY doesn't work in this argument, for the logical and reasonable reasons given. Not because I say so. I think the struggle is not with the view of how atheism and theism usually think opposite about a possible creator. What is wrong is the reason for disagreeing with an obvious point. Its an incoherent stance on its own. If you choose to defend it then you choose that, but then you are wrong also. No one made you do that. I am not the one that needs to deal with that held view no matter what the reasons might be for it.
It is incoherent only in the part that you don't seem to understand it.
It seems surprisingly simple and non-problematic to those of us that aren't blinded by our faith. You have the same issue as Headly... you can't separate issues. You try to combine everything into a "world view". The "world view" crap only works if you dogmatic to a particular set of ideas that composes your entire thought process with no deviation whatsoever from that dogma.
I guess there are people who have limited themselves to that... I don't think very many. Those who have seem to have a deep seated need to be sheep.
With respect, I haven't seen anyone else here actually separate out the issues to the degree I have. In terms of actual views, and what was actually done to make the cases. I then shared why they don't logically work, or follow.
See, here's what I see as part of the problem. There is no need to separate every view to understand that some can easily be combined. It's like saying the three primary colors are red, blue, and yellow, and should never be combined because you personally see no need for any other of the colors in the spectrum.
If our views were to be colors, and you are red and I am blue and they are being discussed and we disagree with something, how does throwing the views of Orange out there, help? When you are hinging on the yellow of the red and yellow color combo.
The discussion that was going on when JM first gave her objection, was to how people were discussing atheism vs theism, not theism vs atheist agnostic views. That sounds like a trivial thing, but what made it matter so much was it was the agnostic part of her atheistic agnosticism she was hinging on to make the point against Headlys point about atheism.
Instead of offering up views from atheism, we saw her argument hinge on the agnostic part of her atheism, IN ORDER to make a point how someone else's point about atheism was wrong. See?
If our views were to be colors, and you are red and I am blue and they are being discussed and we disagree with something, how does throwing the views of Orange out there, help? When you are hinging on the yellow of the red and yellow color combo. Nothing is "wrong" with ANY of the colors, or their being discussed.
No, you're confused. The problem I'm having with your posts is that you flip flop between asking for clarification and making sweeping assumptions about what you see as the weakness of atheism. Do you want answers or do you just want to opine about atheism?
Headly told me, personally, that I believe that the universe can and does exist without needing a creator. That's what started this whole conversation. It's not true. I don't have a belief about the origins of the universe either way. I'm not trying to "have my cake and eat it too" as you've now stated several times. Do you want me to just make something up and run with it? I'm hesitant to even respond to you anymore. Since Headly said that's something all atheists share and I'm an atheist that doesn't believe that way, his point was moot. That's all.
Which presents us with an interesting thought experiment. If an analogy was made that color blindness was agnosticism of red and green, is their belief true or false?
In terms of my original color metaphor, you're right. There is no way to prove to someone who can't distinguish the differences between red and green that they are indeed two different colors. They can't know. They, on their own, can't prove it. But they believe it.
Yes, they believe that it is truth to them via their perception and regardless of consensus it is indeed truth.. However they can logically deduce that a stop light is red on top and green on bottom, so they have to concede the falsity of their belief.
That is the point that so many seem to be missing. Some colors are ORANGE. Some colors are PURPLE. They may have a little more of one primary color than another but the mixture is its own. At the end of the day, if you assume that one worldview (or color spectrum) contains only ONE ultimate label, you will never be able to see anything individually. Period.
This is the point people were trying to make several pages back and my points address the original problem head on where the crux of the matter actually is. I don't think anyone is arguing the point you made about the colors there. I am not. That is how I know you aren't fully understanding the point I am making.
No one denied some colors are orange, how could they, nor purple, how could they? I certainly am not! No one is assuming what you say there, or at least I know I am not. I have been posting a lot here, hopefully you are more clear as I am explaining it more.
You can't throw an agnostic thought to defeat a simple and obvious point made about atheism (what it turned out to actually be, the more JM defended her posts, I am not making this up), EVEN THOUGH she seems to hold both views equally, or leans towards agnostic with the emphasis needing to be put on it for THIS discussion with Headly. Its a different view being discussed then, especially if it HINGES on the agnostic part to "work".
The problem isn't what views get thrown out when. The problem is the assumption that what one person sees ONLY as red is actually orange to begin with. Maybe with a little more red than yellow, but NEVER HAS BEEN just one.
Ever noticed how many different shades of green there are in nature? Why is that? More yellow or more blue in one than another-but ALL green.
Hopefully JM's own words (pg.1) will clarify what I mean. JM said,
"What do I as an atheist believe in, headly? That I have in common with all other atheists everywhere? If it's a belief, this answer should be simple for you."
He gave an answer. They didn't see eye to eye. He stayed consistent, JM had to then lean heavily ON her agnostic views to prove how he was wrong in what he was saying about her atheistic views.
Asking a question about your atheist views, then disagreeing with the answer is one thing. Defending your position and trying to prove why the other person is wrong by putting your agnostic views AS the reasoning, breaks down.
In fact, what JM ended up doing kind of shows the atheist view WAS probably consistent across the board (Headly's point), because she had to use her agnostic views to try and prove the simple point wrong. He ended up having to defend against agnostic views for what he said about atheistic views. That isn't fair.
You're certainly entitled to see what you choose. When she clarified, he continued to myopically address only that one word and ignore the others in an effort to pigeonhole her. That's what I saw.
The word agnostic, Oceans. As soon as she said that word, he focused on it to the exclusion of everything else to say that she couldn't possibly be an atheist. Going so far as to say that there are no agnostic theists....despite my describing myself as one and later admitting himself to be one.
I have shown how saying that you or I am agnostic on this or that topic doesn't apply in this situation. She asked him specifically about her atheism, and he answered. Meaning, I thought you said you were an agnostic on evolution, which doesn't make you an agnostic for the purpose of defending your Christian views WITH your agnosticism. See?
Its simply illogical.
As is my continuing to try to make this understandable. Enjoy the rest of the conversation. . And try to re-read the wiki link, which totally contradicts you.
Can you point to where it contradicts me in what I have said, since you seem to confident?
I would be very surprised if the wiki article said that people can the facts about Agnosticism, to defend the views of Atheism. It would be illogical for Wiki to suggest such a thing.
but nobody HAS defended atheism with agnosticism. Why do you not understand that they are two different questions? They are not mutually exclusive, and they are not synonymous. They are separate.
Atheism/Theism - belief
Gnosis/Agnostic - knowledge.
I'm starting to think that you're being deliberately obtuse.
No, It's not unfair. I didn't lean on my agnostic views to defend anything. Headly said that all atheists across the board necessarily have to believe that the universe can and does exist without a god. that's not true. I know many atheists who don't hold that view, because atheism does not address the origins of the universe. the only question that atheism addresses is whether or not you believe in a god. Everything else is secondary, and atheists vary greatly amongst themselves on the issue. Therefore, Headly's key point is incorrect. Not all atheists necessarily have to have that belief. I don't. Many of my atheist friends don't. That makes his initial point incorrect. Please don't speak for me when you clearly don't know what you're saying - and don't start talking about how unfair it is, because you're not in a position to be able to determine that since you were NOT the one I was talking to, my points were NOT directed at you, and you do NOT speak for me. I do not have to lean on my agnosticism to protect my atheism, and saying that I do is dishonest. Some atheists have strong ideas and opinions about the origins of the universe. Some, like me, are withholding judgement because we don't know, and may not be as interested in that facet of things. That's not dishonest. It's not trying to have our cake and eat it too. It's the honest position to not have a belief, opinion or anything else when you genuinely don't know.
How is Headly's assertion consistent across the board, if any atheist (let alone several) disagree with it? You're running around in circles, and the only one being unfair about it seems to be you.
You know what really bothers me about your posts? The fact that you flip flop between asking questions and then asserting that this whole conversation just "demonstrates the weakness of the atheist position, they want to have their cake and eat it too" yadda yadda yadda, whatever. If you were just asking questions and not using a difference in terminology to try to prove your own point, then I might think that you were more genuine. What you're doing, however, doesn't seem to be genuine or unbiased at all. You're jumping in, making a bunch of assertions disguised as questions and then running with your conclusions. All while claiming to be unbiased. It's disingenuous, to say the least, and it's why I try to avoid you most of the time. Not because i'm threatened by your points or your brilliance, but they get lost among your opining pieces and assertions.
If you want clarification, fine. Leave it at clarification. Don't take the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon and wax poetic about the "atheist position". As I've seen in other threads, your conclusion overall is that Christianity is true because so many people speak out against it. Maybe we should just say the same for atheism, if that's a valid conclusion to draw. I'm probably going back to ignoring the vast majority of your posts now. You don't seem to get what people are saying. you get what you want to see out of it, and ignore the rest when it doesn't fit your ideas. That's all well and good, but it's not a very honest kind of communicating - especially from an impartial (yeah right) unbiased (supposedly) contributor.
"Headly said that all atheists across the board necessarily have to believe that the universe can and does exist without a god. "
To disagree with him means you wouldn't be an atheist though. You live in this universe, AND you lack belief in a god. If you, an atheist live in this universe you truly lack a belief in a god, then he is actually right in what he said. That did answer your challenge. To offer up views he wasn't even commenting on, that allow for god, just to prove him wrong shows what I said about how your argument logically fails, is correct.
I didn't even address all the other stuff, just the factual stuff in this argument. If you expect me to support you for some reason when I truly think you have made an argument that fails, I can't do that for you JM. I know we are not friends, but even if I was your friend, I wouldn't do that for you. That is how fair I try to be, and you would probably trust me the more for it.
And you now make the same argument as Headly, and also in error.
If one IS an atheist, they do not hold a belief in God. They also do not state AS FACT that God does not exist. Especially if they are also agnostic. So, while not believing that God exists, they also accept that there is no way for them to know beyond doubt.
And I am curious as to what your reaction would be if someone told you what YOU do or do not believe based on your being a woman, or a Christian, or an American. Because, of course, every detail of your personality and character can be summed up by any one of those words to the exclusion of everything else.
While I missed a lot, I did see a lot and addressed much of this already. If I made an error, please show me how logically, like I showed how JM's argument breaks down. Please don't forget that I am the one on here keeping the terms about atheism the clearest I have seen, same as their own. I didn't get that wrong.
"Because, of course, every detail of your personality and character can be summed up by any one of those words to the exclusion of everything else."
That doesn't even make sense as a response to me as I haven't been doing anything like that to JM, nor anyone. We are all trying hard to keep it simple actually, to what she asked, and what was answered, and what followed. I have kept what I observed about her personality and character in all of this, OUT of my reasons for showing how it didn't work. So your comment makes no sense to me.
we HAVE been showing you how, illogically. You just won't see it - either intentionally or unintentionally. To ask to be shown again is just ridiculous. You don't have to like or accept it, no one is forcing you to, but to say that no one has, when we've provided links, resources, and arguments to the contrary is ALSO dishonest. Not liking what people are saying and refusing to see it is not the same thing as not being shown it in the first place. Do you want to try to be a little more honest so that we can start to take you seriously and actually have a conversation with you? I'm guessing not.
No, to disagree with him DOESN'T mean that I'm not an atheist. I'm an atheist. you really need to get over it. An atheist is someone who lacks a belief in a god. That's it. That's the only thing that the word atheist means. You and headly keep trying to lump other things in with the term atheist that simply aren't there. I don't believe in a god. That doesn't mean that I've made my mind up about the origins of the universe, and not all atheists say "the universe can and necessarily does exist without a god". That was his key point, and he's wrong. By default, since you've hitched yourself to his bandwagon for whatever reason, you're wrong too. How can you possibly tell someone that they're not an atheist? I don't tell you that you're not a Christian because you don't agree with some of the other Christians. Don't you see how rude that is? And you think that's fair?
I don't care if you support me or not. I really don't give a flying fig if you even like me. But when you disguise it all under the umbrella of "fairness" when your posts are anything but fair and unbiased, you're showing yourself to be dishonest. If that's how you want to be, that's fine, but don't pretend otherwise. This is why I'd rather just not discuss things with you. I want to talk with honest people, whether they're fair or not. I just don't think you are.
JM, if you truly take me as dishonest in my discussion, then I will gladly take that from you.
This is much more personal I sense.
I think that being told that I don't feel/know/believe something that I said that I felt/knew/believed just because it didn't line up with someone else's limited views/opinions/misinformation would be kinda personal too.
JM: I believe this, but don't know for sure about the other thing.
Headly: You can't feel that way because I don't understand how that would work. You really feel this way.
JM: Pretty sure I know what is going on in my own thought processes.
Headly: No you don't. You can't because it doesn't make sense to me.
You: I agree with Headly, you don't feel that way. This is how you feel. Any other way doesn't make sense to me because I've never encountered that thought process. You must just be trying to wriggle.
I'd be kinda frustrated at the end of that conversation too... actually, I wouldn't but then again I am pretty apathetic to you and headly's opinions of my opinions. I don't know for sure whether I care what you think or not, but I don't hold the belief that I do.
You began with false information again. No one normally thinks its a limited view for atheists to lack belief in a god, while living in a universe whose explanation couldn't be that god. That is just one small part.
I have tried and shown how your false information is wrong many times in the past. You bring back things like, "Your failure to recognize the point is no indicator of my ability to make it."
You don't actually show how your points carry through, and we can see why. Its because they are not good points that can be shown to be good with reasoning logic and facts.
I can accept all of this, but I will keep a quiet distance and discuss with people that can be more fair. No one makes you or your friends choose to back particular sides of arguments, but the low stuff, the putting down and making things up shows to me that you aren't actually, truly, interested in debating facts. If you were, you would just stick to the facts and defend what you thought. When you defend poor ideas, you need something "more" to get ahead, but I am not interested in being part of that "more", no offense. I think not everyone is here to really discuss and debate ideas and topics.
It seems there is a strong need for some people to have others "to just be wrong," in these forums. It drives people's actions and thinking very often. Like I think in this case, someone's comment just needed to be so wrong (even when so obviously not), that it caused the side with the need to do all sorts of fantastic things to try and prove it. It accomplishes the opposite, but wastes all of our time. Point being, we can't always have what we want, like wanting reality to be something else. Things ARE what they are, and if we are "anti" to a whole bunch of things that are true but we don't like, no amount of manipulation will EVER change it. In the meantime, precious days go by.
Prove I did any of that. With links and quotes. Otherwise you are just projecting your feelings onto my posts. I personally think you are more guilty of the things you are accusing me of than I am. But, if you show me proof that isn't just your emotional interpretation, then I'll accept it... exactly in the way you accept it when people show you.
I need those links and quotes though.
Besides the part where you pretended to be talking for all of us, this below in quotes was what I am referring to in particular that I didn't do, that you said I did. Here is what you said, though it was right there in the post you were responding to.
"I think that being told that I don't feel/know/believe something that I said that I felt/knew/believed just because it didn't line up with someone else's limited views/opinions/misinformation would be kinda personal too."
That is false. I know I didn't tell JM that, and didn't see anyone else do that, but i might have missed it if I assume the best and you are confusing me with another. I suppose if you want to start there that would be a good place to start.
You are not addressing my points, and seem to be the one continually putting others down while they don't give it back. So its almost at the point of where I just take everything you say as opposite, due to how you handle yourself in these conversations. You seem to be gunning for a fight, but you won't get it with me. I am more interested in the discussion.
You know, this whole discussion is the perfect example of why these two sides can never see eye to eye on the simplest of matters and why the conversation as a whole is doomed to fail unless all parties involved can recognize there own errors projected into the discussion and correct them. Otherwise, everyone's time is wasted....
"Headly: You can't feel that way because I don't understand how that would work."
How typical and expected that from your viewpoint what I'm "actually" saying is that my simpleton level of thought prohibits me from being able to comprehend the complexity of your viewpoint. I think if there were anything that made me more resistant to your way of looking at things its the apparent requirement of being completely dismissive and condescending. This assumption that you're the more enlightened one and the reason the other doesn't understand is because they're not as advanced in their thinking as you are. If abandoning belief in God turns you into that, I'll pass.
Earlier in this discussion I made a simple comment that anyone simply listening and engaged in mutually respectful discussion would agree with. Instead, you and JM have chosen to cast me as the arrogant one who can't actually comprehend your way of seeing things. So what should have been a simple point easily acknowledged, accepted, and well moved beyond at this point has instead become the center of the discussion. If we can't even agree on the simplest of points, then its no wonder we perpetually argue.
I'm going to try this one more time in the hopes that you can drop your assumptions about me long enough to actually comprehend the words that I am typing and actually "hear" what it is I'm trying to say. If one lacks a belief in God, then they hold the belief that this natural world can and does exist as it does without a God having to have been the creator of it. If you don't believe in God, then you believe this natural world can and does exist as it does without having been created. Which is a true statement. It has to be if your claim that you lack a belief in any God or gods is true. Unless you also reject reality being real. That's the only way that statement wouldn't be true.
If this makes it difficult for you to continue your self-imposed delusion that you hold no beliefs, I'm sorry. But it's true. Everything one holds to be true cannot be factually substantiated. Therefore, everyone holds beliefs of some kind about some things. It's inevitable. But I certainly understand, if one of the tentpoles of your whole argument is being above the very notion of "believing" something that can't be factually proven to be true, then this is most definitely highlights a crack in that tentpole. But that makes it no less true.
No, what I'm saying is that you have have a myopic viewpoint on this topic. You aren't a simpleton, you just have a closed mind and are unwilling to allow that any viewpoint that you can't empathize having could possibly exist. It's not a matter of intelligence, it's a matter of being unwilling to put down you agenda long enough to consider a different viewpoint from the one you hold.
I don't care if you have my way of looking at things. Not one iota. I'm completely fine with you being the special little unique snowflake that is Headly. I can state opinions without needing/wanting anyone else to adopt them. I'm cool like that.
Not advanced thinking or enlightenment, I'm just more open-minded and willing to admit that not everyone holds my way of thinking. That helps me to dislodge my ears from my buttocks when I am close to being overcome with the need to tell someone that they aren't what they say they are and they don't think the way they say they think. Try it sometime.
See, this one I'm really curious about. Could you map out the logical progression that led you to the assumption that I have abandoned my belief in God. I mean if you say I have, I guess you know better than me. I wish you would have told me earlier today though... I spent an awful long time praying to a God that I am, frankly, shocked to find out that I no longer believe exists. Just out of curiosity, am I an atheist now, or agnostic or what? I mean if I have suddenly turned into a Hindu without being aware of it, then that steak that is defrosting in the fridge is slightly inappropriate.
Did you just honestly imply that because someone doesn't agree with you that they are not listening? Or that they are being disrespectful for disagreeing? After you are done mapping out my spontaneous change of faith... could you map that one out for me too?
How dare we disagree with you? Surely your points are so valid that it would be insanity not to readily acknowledge and accept them. We must surely be being stubborn and argumentative not to just take everything you say as the absolute truth. Sorry for our impertinence. How could we ever think you were arrogant? It's obvious that we were just denying the reality that everything you say is beyond contention and completely inarguable.
You keep throwing that "can and does" in there together. You seem to need to do that for some reason. They are mutual exclusive beliefs. Maybe you should drop your assumptions long enough to actually comprehend the words that I am typing and actually hear what it is I am trying to say.
You can know that the universe CAN exist without God without it ever affecting whether you believe it DOES or not. Do you not get that? You want to tie the two together... and if you were honest, you would tell us why instead of shoving it down our throats to try to get us to acknowledge that point so you can make your next one-whatever the hell that might be. The problem is, I can't jump that hurdle that you are throwing up... because- and try to pay attention here-you are telling me that I can't hold the viewpoint that I hold. Do you really not understand that?
Can you please explain to me why knowing that something can be created in one way means that I believe that it was wasn't created in a different way? Just because I know I can peel an apple with a knife doesn't mean that I believe that every apple ever was peeled with a knife. Seriously, this is one I want a logical progression for, for real.
Wait... what? Seriously, what? Do you even read my posts? I've got beliefs coming out of my arse. I'm freaking covered in them. Apparently, I have one or two less... you know, since you dropped the bombshell on me that I have abandoned my faith in God. Did I lose my other beliefs as well? Thank God...er...whatever diety/non-deity I believe/don't believe in now that I have you around to tell me these things... or I would have gone blindly forward with the belief that I had beliefs. Stupid me.
Really, these conversations tend to go better when you read the other person's posts. You are officially continuing a conversation that must have happened without me. I have no idea where the no-beliefs and tentpoles are coming from... but it's not really relevant to anything I've been discussing with you... Unless there is some unarguable innate connection between religion and camping equipment that can't be separated because you said so.
The context of the conversation you hopped into was between me and JM. So I'm speaking in the context of the views that she has stated. The very same views that you are defending. If you're speaking on behalf of that viewpoint, then I'm continuing to make my point in that context.
I'm still trying to get a bead on your beliefs. See what I did there. I just acknowledged I don't get your view. You skipped over my question about how you reject Genesis, as a Christian, though Jesus spoke about the events of Genesis, like Noah's flood and Adam, as if they really happened. In fact, the books of the new testament continue on with the idea that God is the creator. So I'm not really sure how your beliefs work.
It'll be interesting once you finally acknowledge that there's nothing wrong with what I said, and that it actually makes logical sense, to look back at these comments where you state that I'm close minded. Being so vehemently opposed to my statements to JM shows that your mind is already made up that I have some agenda, something you've stated a few times now, and that I'm unable to understand. When in actuality, it's your own self-made assumptions about me that are apparently getting in your way.
Let's try this again. If one lacks a belief in God, how could one continue to believe that the natural world was created by that God. The natural world does indeed exist, therefore, without any knowledge to back it up (lack of interest or whatever), this person has no problem accepting that the natural world can and does exist without a God if they maintain that they lack a belief in God. If they don't believe God exists, then they apparently have no doubt the natural world can exist without a God. What's so hard about that? Is that really worth all the conversation that's come since? Does that really show a lack of understanding, or a closed mind, on my part? Or is that not a simple truth of anyone who lacks a belief in God?
HeadlyvonNoggin, you appear to be inserting your particular version of God into this discussion and assuming everyone else is as well. If you go back I'll think you will find that the person in question never said she/he thinks a god or gods created the universe, she/he said she doesn't know. Let's say as I said before that one has discounted the gods of the OT as being the creators because of the inconsistencies, that doesn't rule out other versions of gods, perhaps ones that no longer exist or gods that have lost interest. Since we are using our imaginations when we are thinking about gods anyway, why not attempt to imagine a way which gods could exist rather than simple assuming others were correct?
No, I'm not inserting any particular version. No need. None of that matters. It doesn't matter what a person thinks about the origin of the universe. If they lack the belief in a god, then they believe the universe can be here as it is without having been deliberately/intelligently created. Throughout history, nearly every god myth ever devised also had assigned to it an explanation of how the natural world came to be. That's not just specific to the Abrahamic God.
Other creation of the universe myths ...
Egyptian - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Eg … tion_myths
Sumerian - http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/sum/sum07.htm
Greek - http://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/The … tion.html\
Roman - http://books.google.com/books?id=KZF25E … mp;f=false
"Let's say as I said before that one has discounted the gods of the OT as being the creators because of the inconsistencies"
There are no inconsistencies. Assuming you're talking about the OT creation account, if read from the perspective it specifically gives, verse 2 says God's spirit was on the surface of the planet, from a surface perspective everything described is accurate according to the standard scientific models of the geological and biological formation of the earth. I wrote a hub on the topic called "Genesis creation story is scientifically accurate" if you'd like a much more detailed explanation.
They may or may not believe the universe could be created without gods. Once again, perhaps the gods are gone.
“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
Have you read that little gem yet?
There will come a time when the earth will still exist, but we will no longer be farming.
Cold is not something that exists even now, it's the absence of something, not a something.
Need I go on?
Last I checked atheism is the disbelief in the existence of god or gods. Nothing else, it doesn't mean you don't believe in fairies or the easter bunny and it certainly doesn't mean you have to think a certain way about the origin of the universe.
Except that the origin of the universe could have actually happened without the help of a God. Whatever you may think about the origin of the universe or the natural world in general, an atheist believes no God was required or they wouldn't be atheists.
Atheism is the disbelief in the existence of gods.
That definition says nothing about gods that may have existed 14 or so billion years ago just as there are those that believe in gods, but may not believe and specific god created the universe.
Liken it to stating that all christians must believe the universe is under 10 thousand years old so if you don't believe that you are not a christian.
Sometimes one has to wonder at the insistence on the wording, especially if one used to believe fully in god and likely the creation. Perhaps it is giving too much credence to say they don't believe, but I'm not claiming to know. Just observing how some come from believing in god but don't change to not believing in god. They go to lacking belief in god , but it's very very strong as we see.
Everybody has a worldview. That's not something I made up. That's how the human brain works. And it's not that I can't separate issues. It's that these issues really are inseparable because they're related. They all exist in the same single reality. They don't exist in a vacuum, each of them by themselves and each of them unable to effect the other. They're separate components all interconnected with one another, and because they are, one has an effect on the other within that singular worldview. Whether you're wiling to acknowledge it or not.
LMAO... yes everyone has a collection of opinions, thoughts, beliefs... all that happy horsecrap. Why you seem to believe that it can all be summed up in one word is what confuses me.
My "worldview" is that I'm a Christian. Now, tell me what I believe...
If you can't answer that question... then maybe you shouldn't put so much emphasis on having the word "atheist" or "agnostic" completely define someone else's opinion on everything.
Please understand that religion and how we got here may be inseparable to YOU. Other people don't think like you. You do understand that... right? You do get that other people separate them just fine? This myopic "They're the same because some people in some religions sometimes say they are related" stance is just how YOU view it.
World view is A comprehensive world view (or worldview) is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society's knowledge and point-of-view. -wiki
And you can use one word to define all that for any particular individual? You know... an individual that doesn't say Baaaaaa a lot?
"World view" generally means "I'm not interested in what you think, just give me a label so I can argue with the label rather than addressing you personally because I lack the ability to recognize individualism. It's just too hard to treat a person as a person. Human interaction confuses me."
I am Christian... all that "worldview" tells you about me is that I follow a religion that is based on the teachings of Christ... any other assumption would likely make the assumer look like a complete idiot.
People are sheep if they dont believe in your made up definitions? I can see why that would be a cause for confusion. Every individual has a world view
complete; including all or nearly all elements or aspects of something.
"a comprehensive list of sources"
LMAO... You need to tell that to Ocean's then. She seems to think that having an atheist "worldview" means that she can tell everything-right down to the color of your underwear- from that label.
She's not using the word correctly. It's a big word though...
So basically, absolutely no one here knows anyone else's "worldview" on anything. You know since no one, especially not her, knows anyone else's "complete; including all or nearly all elements or aspects" view of the world.
Maybe you should show her the definition.
People are not barn yard animals and their worldviews are not manure. Your made up definitions do not mean anything. Your mudslinging of "its a big word though" is the last resort of a failed individual "worldview".
Adolph Hitler: uhm angelican christian church, raised as a Christian all through his formative years, thinks nature is designed, the design of natural law, as was popular back then, indicates to him there is a God.
False It's really Richard Dawkins
Isolated, individual qualities/factors are not preferable or even applicable, in these cases in regards to a true worldview, whether its Hitler or Dawkins. That is why the term: worldview is superior. That is, the real definition of worldview of course.
Melissa, almost every post today in this thread from you about this, is showing me that you are not clear or confused about what is being discussed. I see it in the factual errors you make like,
" You need to tell that to Ocean's then. She seems to think that having an atheist "worldview" means that she can tell everything-right down to the color of your underwear- from that label.
She's not using the word correctly. It's a big word though..."
That is simply false, since you are sharing what I believe, or think AND I haven't shared it in my discussion here. Your "all or nothing" comments with thinly veiled ad homs, are not reflective of my views actually. Since this is the case, I hope it is helping in clarify the confusion.
Your comment about what Christian is is what I would answer almost verbatim if someone asked me. Someone did ask about it regarding theism, and I said a belief in a god or gods. I am fair.
It seems you aren't fully grasping what I am saying, with respect, and I know you aren't because you share what you think I am doing and not doing, and I know for a fact I am not. I in no way have tried to exclude JM's other views, I was confused at first only because I never saw it before. It doesn't change the points I am making here.
You share an opinion of what YOU think worldview means, but that is an individual point of view you have on it. You are welcome to it, but in my case it is simply, factually wrong. I have never heard another have that very negative view of what worldview means. Anyway, I am arguing that the argument JM was giving with her emphasis needing to be on the agnostic and not atheist part, doesn't work as an answer to make a point against just atheism. It is a little bit wriggly, lol. I don't know how to address her more personally than I have. I have no issues with her chosen worldview, and feel bad I had no idea about the agnostic half of her views, but I have been fair I think. It is why I ask. I am not making stuff up. Seeing if the argument carries through or not.
It is something every person has. It begins forming at a very young age. From day one, we are taking in the world around us, and observing it, making sense of it. When I studied early childhood development I remember being very fascinated at what is actually going on in an infants mind, and that first year and how it progresses is absolutely fascinating.
Strange, it makes perfect sense to me. Why are you not able to understand it?
Atheistic Agnosticism in how it differs from just strict Atheism, makes all the difference in the world where her defense against what Headly said on pages one and two.
She is offering up something that is different than what everyone was discussing on page one, AS the defense against of how atheism was being talked about.
So its natural that they don't fit. Its not that she is wrong for HAVING her view, her view literally didn't APPLY in that scenario. She offered up something as a defense to prove someone wrong, that was something no one was discussing. Then wondered what was wrong with them and why they would do that to her, etc. It was totally turned around.
All I know is in the end Headly said that he should also be labeled agnostic under the current definition.
If one can say they are a Catholic Christian why can't one say they are an agnostic atheist or an atheist agnostic?
You see none of us know anything for certain, some may think they know for certain, but anyone with a brain will tell you there is no way of knowing for certain. So, one can think there are no gods but remain unsure just as one can maintain that gods exist, but understand that they have no real way of knowing for certain.
Headly and any of us all would have likely ended up under the definition. Then his point makes even less sense then original, and we are all one happy group together in regards to actually opposing worldviews? If he is really just an agnostic, as JM is, if that follows through, then there is no point of Sir Dent even making the original post about two differing views, you see?
But people WERE here discussing the two views, and to keep a stance against someone drew upon another worldview (or other half of her view) to make the point that he was making between two particular views. It turned INTO something it wasn't about. I don't have to know all about gods or lack of to know that I can know for certain when an argument works or not.
Much as I dislike Wikipedia, does anyone find this helpful in understanding the points made by some?
Oh. Sorry. Someone already used this link. Read it again, though. Might help someone understand what we've been trying to say.
It was me... about 30 seconds before you did
It did, thank you. That link helped make it clear the now 4 different views that have been being talked about. I am trying to be as clear about it as I can, because things got a little muddied.
I did just read it, and its easy as its short and concise. Forgive me if this point I am about to make then has already been made, as I am trying to catch up myself on posts in this thread and missed a lot.
We are talking about four different views here then, Atheism, Theism, Agnostic Atheism, and Agnostic Theism.
I am trying to address the points of actual confusion here. If this is the true stance, then the points all still remain. JM is holding one view, that contrasts in the way it contrasts with just strict atheism.
In fairness to all, as they may have been like me, I truly didn't know before yesterday that JM is an Agnostic Atheist. Its a little odd to me then that she took such an issue for the sides of the atheists, when she isn't one. (As it turns out, and by not one I mean an Agnostic Atheist, like as you put in your link.)
If what you are saying is true, that this is the view held by JM, then it all makes sense to me now, except for the part where she took issue with Headlys point about Atheism vs Theism which Wilderness and Tsadjatko, Sir Dent, Myself, and Headly were taking the OP to mean it was about. She came in appearing to be speaking for that kind of atheism, but it turns out she is speaking for her own kind, as in the link above. Thanks for your help Mo.
What if one believes no Gods exist, but doesn't rule out that Gods may have once existed?
Is that your view? I don't mind discussing anyone's views and why they think they are the good views to hold. I started to respond a little to a post about that yesterday. What did you want to know from me? What I think about that view? Or if you just want to share more I am happy to learn about it.
Good views to hold? How can one view be good and one be bad? Isn't about the search for the truth and not about who makes the best stuff up?
I personally don't hold a belief in any Gods and none can be shown to exist beyond someone's thoughts and imaginations, but that doesn't mean that Gods didn't exist at the time the universe was created and it doesn't even mean they could have caused the universe to exist. The simple truth is none of us can know for certain what caused the universe to begin, it's all speculation, I think we can be fairly certain that the universe is billions of years old, expanding, and dying. I think it's fairly safe to say the description given in the bible of the universe is inaccurate, which in my opinion eliminates that version of God. For example,
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[a] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
22 “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
In this case God is said to have eliminated everyone and everything with the exception of a few and finds the smell of slaughtered animals a pleasant aroma, and then says that all humans are evil.
Further, the description given of the longevity of the earth doesn't line up with our current understand of what will happen with the future of the earth.
Therefore this version of God has been eliminated for me. What else have you got?
"My bad" for assuming you knew what I meant by the different views. I think every person that has breath has a view of their world. Looking across the planet, there are numerous views about all kinds of things, we adopt them as we grow and learn and observe the reality around us, and also take in what we are taught.
I am of the mind that mutually exclusive views can't all be true at the same time. In forums like this, people are debating or discussing their views against others views, like as in this thread. They were initially discussing atheism and theism in the OP and on the first page. Later, we added in two more views as the conversation grew, and I like that you brought another one in also.
I agree that the universe is billions of years old, and expanding and dying, as I think that is what science shows us to be observably true. Science can't weigh in on the part of origins, and we can go to a point.
In the verses you share, it says as long as the earth endures. It will eventually die, according to science. I can see where conflicts could arise for some people with some views, but in that one part I don't see it.
For me, I think the best and truest views out there will fit reality and also be the most reasonable of all views possible. I think Christs teachings fit that bill better than anything else I have ever heard of to date. Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts with me.
Edited, forgot to take out a quote, my apologies.
Please use quotes when quoting me or anyone else. Otherwise it looks like you don't hold a belief in any Gods as it looks like that is what you said.
The only view that fits with reality is explained by reality. Claiming that the best explanation of reality is a particular version of God doesn't make any sense.
Science tells us that the earth will eventually heat up and no longer be able to contain life. There will come a time when the earth will only be hot. There is also the fact that coldness doesn't exist, it's simply less heat. So,
22 “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
Doesn't jive with what science understands will happen. Cold doesn't even exist and eventually everything will be hot. Winter and harvest time will stop while the earth endures.
One reason agnostic (in the usual sense), isn't sufficient is because I don't think it accurately represents the views in question here. It seems it just wouldn't be a factual descriptor of her view of her world. (From what I have seen from how she describes her views usually, and for most atheists.) I think atheist actually is a better descriptor, but where that has some troubles, another world view is easier to defend, so it might be a reason to put it out there. EVEN THOUGH its being used in a different sense (there's the crux here I think). Different than how agnostics usually use the term for themselves.
When people say "I am an agnostic", there is a general sense of what that is understood to mean. People don't run for their dictionaries and the like, for a reason. We know what agnostic means. She isn't meaning agnostic like THAT, BECAUSE she told me and all of us so. She said she is agnostic regards to origins, not in the regular or broader or regular sense we usually see it used. All things have been covered, and not needed to be defended, as she finds the topics boring. (Fair enough I suppose. i find that topic fascinating, we are all different.)
If this is true, and I think it is, it would sufficiently answer your question of, why over complicate things, rather than just keeping them simple. Its having your cake and eating it too, kind of. Of course I could be wrong, but this is what I think makes the most sense of what we are seeing.
Studying the subject also requires a response, to which I truly believe atheism doesn't fare so well. I CAN almost applaud the one saying they don't want to really study or talk about it, if its that or the other stuff often seen on HubPages as options.
So, as a human occupying the same space as you, you have labelled yourself a theist... therefore I can deduce all of your beliefs and opinions from that one self-labeling.
Nice to know.
That label applies to me. Which is the whole point of labels. One word that takes the place of having to site a definition every time. The only thing redefining labels does is makes necessary a long, drawn-out explanation that the label's design was meant to side-step.
No, it allows one to distill and box another person's ideas, opinions and thoughts into something that is easier for "boxer" to deal with. It is essentially an acceptable form of stereotyping. It means you don't actually have to address the other person, you can assume you know the whole of their belief system by knowing one word.
Lazy thinking that produces incorrect results in almost every case.
Its the atheist song and dance without a stance gig. A turnip also has a no belief, belief system. The honest intellectual default stance is " I dont know". Which is agnosticism.
I thought I saw in a previous post that she, in fact, calls herself an atheist agnostic. At this point, does not believe in God, does not know for certain, and hasn't adopted a definitive "stance" one way or another.
Maybe I was reading something different than you were.
I was speaking in general about atheism not one person in particular. Without a stance one can just attack and not have to worry about defending their own thoughts or conclusions.(because they dont have one conveniently) The more vague and the more the definition changes, to obviously suit them in that respect, the better.
I am am Agnostic Methodist Pantheist Deist Atheist Nazarene. Everyone else is wrong. Discuss.
We can discuss till the cows come home, but until you take off the agnostic label, you've nothing at all that you know for certain, and at the end of the day, are well within your rights to propose or defend or not defend any idea you choose without someone else telling you what you know or believe. IMO, anyway.
If an honest stance is a Sergeant Schultz philosophy of they know nothing, who am I to argue with that? But more to the point "how can I argue with that?"
Proposing your own idea or defending your own idea does not have to be an argument against another's-especially if you both accept that there is no certain knowledge of either. We human beings are so quick to define ourselves according to what we are against that we forget to practice the things we are for.
What's good for the goose is good for....... I see what you did there!
In fairness I always thought she was an atheist, even In this conversation , though Idid see her add agnostic after atheist in the one post when answering why she was disagreeing with the atheists general view. If she is more than just an atheist it's good to know and on her words it seems she is.
To JM, do you disagree with the above? Do you think it's possible for the reality we are in to be explained by an intelligence/creator? Perhaps you are more agnostic than atheist, which I did see you put in too, with another post. Generally though it seems by what you have said that you are an atheist. Is that not true?
Atheism addresses a belief. Agnosticism addresses knowledge. I do not know for certain one way or the other, and have not been convinced by evidence, therefore I do not believe.
Thank you, ocean, for actually asking for clarification. I appreciate that.
I am agnostic on the origins of the universe. I don't know for certain, and since I have not examined it much, I cannot assert knowledge or belief in the subject.
To specifically address your question, sure it may be possible that a god created the universe. It's also possible that no God created the universe. It's also possible that universe creating pixies created the universe. Possibilities do not equal belief in one over the other. Anything is possible. Belief comes one it has been sufficiently proven.
See, I read that differently, Headly. I would say that she simply hasn't yet been convinced that there is indeed a creator, under which circumstances, she isn't comfortable acknowledging something as a fact when she hasn't seen it unquestioningly demonstrated as one.
I'm a total "agnostic" in terms of things like evolution. Things evolve, without doubt. Organisms adapt and change. You and anyone else can show me that. Where I don't "know" is how that evolution is sparked and how it all began. I believe there is a creator...but I wasn't there when things got started and can't tell you how it all began or continued, or for what original purpose.
That particular response was in response to her asking what belief all atheists had in common. This is the belief all atheists musts have in common. That reality, which is real and therefore requires explanation, does not require a God as an explanation for it to exist as it does. That is a common, unsubstantiated belief, that all atheists must share.
The only thing all atheists have in common, again, is that they all lack a belief in any God or gods. That's it. Just like you are an atheist in regards to every other good claim out there.
To even be able to lack belief in a God also requires that you believe that reality can and does exist as it does without a God. In your mind, lacking any belief in the existence of a god, but acknowledging that belief in god is a real thing, what in your mind is the explanation for why belief in any kind of god exists at all? Is it anything other than an explanation for the natural world, including reality?
Just wanted to chime in to let you know i agree with you. A claim of lack of belief of anything on a cosmic scale is nothing more than a belief that another belief is wrong. Without proof every stand is belief.
I don't agree. No two human beings really share anything in common because they are individuals. We slap labels on people to create a commonality that we can argue against/for. The larger and more vocal a group of people, the more likely we are to assume conformity within that group. I tell you I'm a Christian, for instance, and you can pin down my thoughts, feelings, opinions, and beliefs without ever having to ask me what I actually think, feel, opine, or believe.
All humans share commonality in being biped mammals who exist on earth. We all have the same needs as far as sustenance, sleep, passing waste. The commonality is so strong in fact that as long as blood type matches, we can mix and match body parts. We all descend from the same common ancestors.
I am not claiming to know everything about an individual by that one title. But I disagree that atheism does not require a belief. It still requires the belief that reality can and does exist as is without a God. Without that belief, you can't be atheist.
It's just a simple matter of how the brain works. The brain fills in the blanks where certainty lacks. It holds beliefs where certainty lacks. That's how the brain operates within reality. It creates a construct of reality. Where certainty lacks, the brain doesn't just not put anything. It holds a particular belief until certainty can be achieved.
No, atheism only requires the knowledge that a world can exist without a God. I also have the knowledge that a world can exist without God, and I'm a Christian.
That knowledge doesn't exist for anyone to have. Because there is only one reality, and whether or not a God was involved is not known. So it is impossible to KNOW that a world can exist without a God.
And there is your failing in logic. Just because a God could have created the world, doesn't mean he had to. Science quite adequately explains how the world could have existed all on it's own. It doesn't matter one iota- in that reguard- whether He did or not.
To bring it down to a less threatening level, take a grain of sand. Now, there is a perfectly rational explanation of how that grain of sand was created. That doesn't mean God didn't create it, it just means that it could have also been created completely without God's influence... scientifically.
An atheist lacks the belief that God created that grain of sand. A theist may or may not have that belief.
No. This is highlighting a failing in your logic. Science does not yet have an explanation for the singularity that its said that all of existence came from. Until that can be accounted for, nobody can say whether a God was or wasn't involved. Until science can explain the entirety of the story, you cannot claim that "science quite adequately explains how the world could have existed all on its own".
Once again, the question of whether a God was involved or not is completely different than whether there had to be or not. Please exercise critical thinking instead of trying to lump both questions together to further an agenda.
I'm directly addressing your statements. I'm not lumping two questions together.
You- "I also have the knowledge that a world can exist without God"
No, you don't. How can I say that with such certainty? Because nobody has that knowledge.
You- "Science quite adequately explains how the world could have existed all on it's own."
Wrong. Like I said, until that explanation explains the entirety of the story, this cannot be said.
Then you have an issue with established science. The science is sound. My knowledge of the scientific process allows me to know that.
You believe differently.
That still has nothing to do with a belief in God.
Nope, I have no issue with science. I just recognize there are still gaps in the explanation. Until those gaps are filled with explanations that illustrate no need for a God, nobody can say with any certainty what is or isn't required for existence to exist.
Think about it. The most widely accepted scientific model requires that the universe began with a singularity made up of all the matter/energy in the universe, and also began with the fundamental laws that shape this universe already in place. Yet there is, to date, still no explanation for how this singularity came about. Yet this singularity is a required component for existence to exist as it does.
And one doesn't have to believe in something they can know. So, if something, as you say, is impossible to know one way or another, why would I then have to believe in anything?
If we're talking about something that most definitely exists, and therefore demands an explanation of some kind, like the universe, then you have to hold beliefs where that is concerned of some kind. If you do not believe there is a God, then by default you believe that existence can and does exist without a God. You believe its possible. If you didn't, then you couldn't be an atheist.
No, you just have to know that it can exist without a God. You don't have to believe that it does. You don't have to have any belief at all.
Once again, am I an atheist? I know that the universe can exist without a God... does that mean that I also believe it does?
Yes you do. And no, you can't know that the universe can exist without a God. Because there's only one universe that does in fact exist and is observable. And we can't know if a God was involved in creating it or not. Yet the explanation for how this one observable universe exists is not complete. So nobody can say whether or not a universe can exist without God. It's simply not known.
Are you saying then that it's possible to both believe and NOT believe yet not to KNOW for certain? If so, it seems to me that you've walked yourself right around to making the point you've been been fighting.
See, you are absolutely wrong.
The question of whether the universe can exist without a God has absolutely no bearing on my belief in God.
You have just said something about me that is untrue. Are you now willing to argue with me that I believe something that I know I don't just because if screws with your agenda?
What agenda? And the question of whether the universe can exist without a God has everything to do with belief in God. Your beliefs don't exist all by themselves in a vacuum. They still exist within this reality, which includes people who believe in God. If there is no God in this existence, yet people who believe there is, then that belief has to be accounted for as well. The most common explanation is that God was invented by people to explain things about the natural world they didn't understand. Like the origin of the universe. How we're here. All of that. The whole God explanation is tethered to existence, how it exists. You can't separate the two.
I totally disagree. I don't need to know how or why I exist to enjoy and treasure my existence. At the end of the day, what I spent my life wondering about isn't going to mean anything to anyone but me. I'm more concerned about those things that will matter to those I leave behind. Understanding science (and not being remotely concerned about filling the gaps) hasn't even begun to lessen my fascination with reality, with creation, with humanity.
For example, why do ships float? I totally understand the natural physics behind ships, but it does not lessen my wonderment at the fact that objects weighing tens of thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of pounds can FLOAT.
I am okay with gaps. If not, I'd have discarded both religion and science decades ago.
Understand, my comment was in response to Melissa claiming she knows the universe can exist without God. What I'm trying to point out is until we know entirely, gaps and all, how the universe came into being, nobody can make that claim.
No... YOU can't separate the two. I can separate them quite nicely. I can happily believe in God, whether or not he created the Universe. I can also happily know that there are other possible ways that the universe came into being... and that that has no bearing on whether he did or not.
You apparently can't.
What I'm talking about is the belief in God in general. If we do indeed exist in a universe where a God does not, belief in the existence of a God is still a reality. There really are people who do believe in a God. whether true or not. The most common reasoning behind the invention of a God is as an explanation for the natural world. This is what I mean about the two being tied together.
And see, I feel like the most common reason for a belief in God is that what seems random or cruel or inexplicable actually holds a greater purpose than we can identify, regardless of how it happened.
Really? That's not at all what we've been arguing the last few pages.
Yes, people make up all sorts of things to explain the natural world... aliens, demons, Gods, alchemy,ghosts, astrology etc.
That in no way relates to anything we've been talking about though.
But it does. Follow me on this. What other reason would the belief in Gods exist? If not to as an explanation for existence? The two are intrinsically tied together. This is why the bible begins with creation. This is why there are Egyptian myths about the god who created the world. Explanations for creation are intrinsically tied to gods. Whether or not you believe in any of these gods, the mere fact that we're here talking about it shows that belief in God/gods is real. The most common explanation, given the stories surrounding these gods, is that they were "invented" to explain existence.
It appears that no matter how much knowledge rolls in there will always be some who claim that we need more knowledge. There are those looking for the missing links when they in fact exist.
So, would this statement mean that you're agnostic?
Well, that depends on who's definition you're going by. By the definition currently being used in this conversation, yes technically I'd be agnostic because I acknowledge there's no way God's existence can be empirically known.
so then you're an agnostic theist - the very thing that you said didn't exist, and that you adamantly say is redundant and unnecessary in reverse for an atheist agnostic. Thank you, finally, for making my point FOR me. that's all I've been saying all along. You can use it to suit your purpose, but FSM be damned if anyone else does who opposes you. THIS is why I was talking about a hypocritical double standard.
I was referring to your alterered definition in that comment. You and now motown are the only two people I've ever heard tie agnosticism and belief together into one viewpoint. Nearly everyone I've ever talked to who claimed to be agnostic was because they didn't hold a belief in God, but also did not make the proclamation that they are atheist.
Belief is 'knowing' without confirmation. How can you know/believe in God, yet be agnostic? The whole concept of faith and belief is that you can know God exists. Am I wrong?
No, the concept of faith is believing without evidence. Not knowing. Is that what's tripping you up?
I have met literally dozens of theist agnostics. Maybe you just need to get out more. I'm kidding, kind of, but it's not nearly as rare as you seem to think it is. i'm not revising any definitions here, headly. I don't believe in a god, which makes me an atheist. I also don't know for certain that no god exists, which makes me an agnostic. Belief and knowledge are NOT the same thing here.
Belief is believing in something - with or without confirmation/evidence. Knowledge is knowing for certain that something is true. No matter how hard you believe in something, it doesn't become knowledge (at least to anyone but you). You can say it does, but unless that knowledge is demonstrable, it's still belief. Lots of Christians claim to know with certainty that god exists, but they can't demonstrate that knowledge to anyone else. It's just a feeling they have, or something they have derived from personal experience. That's still belief. It's not knowledge.
If you have knowledge or evidence of something, you don't need faith to believe that it's true.
Not exactly. The concept of faith and belief is that you accept it as true/false without having evidence to support it. That isn't the same as knowing
According to wikipedia and the dictionary, Agnosticism speaks to what is known or unknown about the existence of God. So by definition, you are agnostic. On the other hand, By seeing some of your posts in other threads, you are also theistic in thought because you hold a belief in God one way or the other (in your case God is real)
So by definition you are an agnostic Theist. You hold a belief but you don't know for sure
Well that would mean every believer is simultaneously agnostic, or there wouldn't be any need for faith or belief.
I believe that mirrors exactly a point I made earlier. There is no need to believe what one knows. Hence, if one figures in many instances that they can't know if there is no God, they hold no belief. A wise man I know once said atheism is a lack of belief, not a belief in lack.
Exactly. Because if someone were Gnostic and knew for sure with sufficient proof, then there is no need for theism. You are absolutely correct. without absolute proof either way, the default position is agnosticism for knowledge. This is the reason for belief. since you do not know or cannot know for sure then you have to rely on belief or non
Forgive me for interrupting, I'm new here and hope it's not considered rude to due so, but can a person be an atheist if they don't think any Gods currently exist, but is open to the idea that Gods may have created the universe, but no longer exist?
Yes, because they hold no belief in a God.
However such an option confuses those who must label things with only two choices, so it would be best to avoid such questions
You've just introduced Deism, which Motown and I were just discussing
No sir. I don't think I did. Deism is when you think a God exist but doesn't intervene. It seems to me someone who doesn't think any God currently exist would be considered an atheist. But that same atheist may be open to the idea that Gods once existed. Much like living in a house that was built by someone who has passed away.
The thing responsible for this universe is eternal. If god, why cease to exist? That would be dangerous too because this earth is going to obviously not exist forever. So that would be the end all things. Like the mother of all "The Ends", ever.
Not understanding why someone/something would cease to exist does not equal that thing NOT ceasing to exist... dangerous or not. Ends happen, whether we like it or not.
I doesn't seem fair that it's you who gets to decide that it's impossible for a God to cease to exist because you don't like the idea of the universe ending. It seems to me that everything we are aware of has a beginning and an ending. Why would any God be any different? It would explain our existence and explain why there is no evidence in him.
That may be a gray area because there's no telling why a god doesn't intervene. It's possible that a God that created the world then walked away no longer exists for one reason or another. Of course, I just started reading up more on it, but...
LOL, sorry that struck me as funny! Yes, non reconcilable views can't work, and fail before they even get out of the gate. And not because anyone just says so.
Then why? Why can't I imagine God once existed, but no longer does?
I was assuming you meant the god that would have created this universe. That god would need to be eternal. If that god is eternal, there isn't any good reason I can think of to suggest THAT eternal existence to suddenly become finite. It begins to sound just like it happens to suit a particular needed scenario (like what we saw with the agnosticism example) in order to rescue an already much lesser reasonable view taken on atheism by JM.
Its more reasonable that at this point, that is probably the reason for the eternal god to stop existing rather than the fact that we just have the suggestion out there that it could have, so why not? That is why, at least.
I can't say I've ever heard that particular position, and I'm clearly no expert, but I'd have to say no. That is still a belief in a God. I don't believe there's any qualifier that says that God must still exist. Just that one played a significant role.
Except that the individual would not think said God exists. It's irrelevant as to wether it once existed or not.
One could say:
I don't have a belief in God, but I'm open to the idea that a God could have at one time existed to start the universe.
But that would mean that existence is dependent on the existence of a God. Time isn't really relevant here. If at any time a God existed that played a role in us being here existing as we do, then that God existed. And we wouldn't if it hadn't.
So what? There is currently no evidence that any God exists, but it's possible that some once did. If you are open to the belief in a God then you should be open to many Gods as even the bible mentions more that one God. Everything is possible.
So are you a believer or an agnostic? You seem very concerned that the two can't coexist for an atheist, but then very clearly talk about how you can't know for sure. It's applying, the way I see it, a double standard. Or, a desperate attempt at making believers out of those who aren't by calling them agnostic?
That's exactly what it is. To tell someone that they couldn't possibly hold the views that they do and must hold views closer to yours is laughable. The motive is obvious. It is an obvious attempt to degrade someone's views in order to weaken their status.
It actually shows lack of confidence in one's ability to persuade... and by association lack of confidence in one's own beliefs.
" To tell someone that they couldn't possibly hold the views that they do and must hold views closer to yours is laughable."
That has to be true for the rest of your post to be true. Where did anyone say that? I might have missed it, or you made it up? It doesn't even sound like something anyone here would say. You didn't make the point I'm afraid.
Is a better answer, that you all lack a belief in god or gods? Don't all atheists believe that?
Even with taking out the word belief, and using Wilderness' definition of atheist,
" — n
1. a person who does not believe in God or gods."
Headly's point stands. The atheists have chosen a view, no one forced them. People align with the lack of belief in gods, view. Atheism. They hold that view that they chose. Now, take the view of Christians, they don't lack a belief in gods. They choose that view. Does one of those sides have more evidence for it than the other?
Does taking the word that caused all of this disagreement out, successfully make "null and void" what Headly said near the beginning?
I am addressing these original comments, because this is where things went a little haywire, imo. By haywire, it kind of turned into something I think it wasn't actually about.
Especially in light of what followed, with the very soft views of atheism being tossed about and no one really knowing for sure, etc
A person who does not believe in God is equal to a person having belief that there is no God. So, the atheist believes that there is no God. Atheist is also a believer just like theist but in the opposite direction.
That's like saying if you believe in God, you believe in all gods.
That is to say, it's not at all true. Not believing in something does not equate to a positive belief of the oposite.
Do you believe there is a nickel coin in my pocket? Or do you have insufficient information to formulate a belief whether there is one there or not?
Now apply that concept to a belief in a god. The lack of such belief merely means there is insufficient evidence to formulate a belief at all, not that there is a belief there IS no god.
What would you do if I said a nickel didn't exist? You are comparing apples to oranges with that example.
Prove you were incorrect, assuming I HAD a nickel to do it with. I make the claim there IS a nickel in my pocket - you say there is no such thing as a nickel whereupon I either put up or shut up. Same with a god.
Now if you told me there was a nickle in your pocket, I'd be more likely to believe. I wonder if that's not why believers go to such an effort here on this forum.
But why would you believe? Because I have an honest (avatar) face?
No, but I wouldn't assume you were lying either.
And not for nothing, but I wouldn't spend my days trying to prove you didn't.
But there is another option, or even two.
Mistakes can be made, honest ones. And what is thought to be fact can actually be only opinion or even wishful thinking. Perhaps I only thought I had a nickel, forgetting I had put it into a gumball machine the day before. Or perhaps I felt a quarter and mistook it for a nickel. I could be wrong, in other words, but still not be lying.
Yes, they are gullible. They believe what they are told and they stick to it regardless of the evidence. BTW, I have some great Florida land for sale, very cheap.
"they" meaning believers?
Isn't that a banning offense? I wonder if you have to say, "In my opinion Believers are gullible."
Or maybe you have to personalize it and say "I knew a Believer who was gullible." Other wise it seems kind of insulting don't you think?
Gullible - easily persuaded to believe something; credulous.
"an attempt to persuade a gullible public to spend their money"
synonyms: credulous, naive, overtrusting, overtrustful, easily deceived, easily taken in, exploitable, dupable, impressionable, unsuspecting, unsuspicious, unwary, ingenuous, innocent, inexperienced, unworldly, green;
Is that an insult? It's not like he said that specific people are stupid or idiotic.
Isn't petty bickering a ban-able offense?
The question is regarding theist and atheist. Theist believes in existence of God and an atheist not believes in His existence. So, it is unnecessary wastage of time in trying to make them believe. That is all I wanted to say.
Comparing existence of nickel in your pocket with God's existence is a silly point. If you say nickel is in your pocket, anybody will believe immediately. But if you say there is God, it requires some innate feeling and belief and even experience. But ultimately one has to accept to this sooner or later as there is no other way to explain things. This is what I feel. You are at right to refuse it
"But if you say there is God, it requires some innate feeling and belief and even experience."
No it doesn't. It takes a fear of death. Or perhaps a desire for a father figure, someone/something to apply guidelines to our life. But it certainly does NOT require any experience with a god, as no one has every been able to show that such a thing happens at all. Feelings - sure, we all have feelings, but it does not require a feeling there is a god to believe. Just that desire that there be one.
"But ultimately one has to accept to this sooner or later as there is no other way to explain things. This is what I feel. You are at right to refuse it"
Of course there are other ways to explain things - you even know some of them. You just don't like them and prefer the one you've made up in your own mind. That you "feel" that your explanation is the true one doesn't make it so - it doesn't provide one iota of evidence that you are correct. You are correct that there isn't much reason to try and convince an atheist that your feelings are the one and only reality we all live under, though - the large majority of atheists require more than "feelings" from someone else to form a belief of their own. It's why they are atheists, after all; no one can provide anything but their own opinions and feelings without ever having actual evidence to support those opinions and feelings. It isn't enough for the atheist.
My relationship with the Lord has nothing to do with fear of death (love drives out fear), I don't desire a father figure (I've unfortunately failed to even really embrace this aspect/benefit of faith based on my own distaste for "father figures") and in the natural I HATE guidelines/rules (as INFP types generally do).
Our personal knowledge, our "first-hand faith" and our relationship with the Lord all require our EXPERIENCE with him. This personal experience has nothing to do with our ability to PROVE this to you or anyone else. It's OUR experience and it REVEALS TO US. We may give testimony of it to you, but UNTIL YOU EXPERIENCE IT, it means little to nothing to you.
Still, some events are pretty difficult to dismiss even before you've personally experienced the Lord yourself. A great example is found in Sed-me's post to you.
the 'strong' atheist position is "no gods exist". I know very few atheists who fall into that category.
The overwhelming amount of atheists have a "lack of belief" in a god. I'm an atheist agnostic, because I do not have a belief in a god, but I cannot know with certainty either way.
It seems that you just want to make up your own definitions to fit your preconceptions about atheists, which is a bit disingenuous since you're not one and you're not in a position to say, don't you think?
The view is filled with beliefs however, and I point them out often on debates when I see an atheist express them. It's filled with ideas, views , and all are chosen. If you asked an atheist on a given day, "do you believe in a god or gods?" They might say "no I don't believe in a god or gods."
The straining at the emphasis of trying to avoid the word "belief", is so strong that it's worth noting. It adds unneeded confusion to try and avoid the obvious. No one needs to say something like "I have a lack if a belief the universe had a beginning," unless they are trying hard to avoid an obvious conflict inherent in ones views. Without thinking that through the definition sounds great. I respect it though because they are holding to it.
If someone doesn't want what comes with their view naturally, (like illogic, etc), THIS us one way to get to keep the desired view but be able to wiggle out of the tight spots that come from the view when things get fleshed out. It's like it was written by a lawyer. I see this.
I think your post completely misses that the distinction is important. That's very telling.
You assume that it is to "wriggle" out of something, which is also telling. I view it more as an important distinction... one that you obviously don't like for some reason.
I have always respected the distinction, which can be seen in how I always refer to them. I always say "lack of a belief in god or lacking belief I god", etc.
The idea that it's ok for some to point things out but others can't, is not a view that I hold or think is really fair.
I don't think that anyone is saying that you can't point things out... We're just saying you're wrong. Point incorrectly all you like
But lacking a belief in God is not the same as believing there is no God.
But does not rule out believing there is no god. Which may be why "atheist" is the best terminology - it encompasses both the lack of belief (either way) AND the belief there is no god.
No, I don't think you understand. There is nothing illogical about saying you don't believe in something for any reason.
Atheists may hold many beliefs in many different topics, but they don't necessarily stem from atheism. They're separate issues. I accept evolution, not because I'm an atheist, but because I accept that it has been scientifically proven to happen. I would accept evolution with or without atheism. My atheism is not dependent on evolution. My acceptanceof evolution is not dependant on my atheism. They're completely separate issues.
I think you're trying to turn a discussion about labels and definitions into a wide sweeping polemic about atheism in general, and it's not going to work. At least not with me.
Do atheists have beliefs? I'm sure they do. I have beliefs. They're not related directly to the fact that I'm an atheist and more than your acetylene that the earth is round is dependant upon your theism. Atheists are individuals, and their beliefs vary on almost every topic. Just like Christians.
In the first few sentences of your first post, you were speaking about atheism in general, and in this Quote from your next one you asked about all atheists specifically,
"What do I as an atheist believe in, headly? That I have in common with all other atheists everywhere?"
This is another point where it shows the original points and the later defense of the points took a big turn. The Iisue taken with the answer to your question, countered by the finer details of your personally held view. I say to clarify my earlier points.
Going back to Wilderness' post that made the point initially, I just wanted to make a comment. I believe it is true that if you asked an atheist if they professed any belief in a god or gods, they would say no. I do think they have beliefs and many of them, about all kinds of things as we see in other threads on HubPages. But of course you won't PROFESS a belief. It doesn't claim to be a religion or anything of the sort.
My first search on "belief definition" turns this up, the first definition under the word too..., lol
: a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true."
I found that rather curious.
You know, after thinking about it, that phrase is used by some atheists in the forums here, not pertaining to themselves but to believers. They say, at times, that believers can do anything they want and everything is fine. Just a possible explanation.
It was very clever of the person who wrote it.
A couple little things could be said on either side I am sure, but considering how very clever this is, that isn't bad! Being able to read it through, then backwards on up was too weird. When I am not so tired I may have more critique of it, lol. Thanks for sharing, never saw anything like it.
Cute trick, for certain! As neither, nor Agnostic.."Huh, what?..", I am merely amused, and thank you, btw,for that in such a "discussion" on vaporous non-facts! Look inside yourself and forget anything and everything you've "absorbed;" only the truth will remain. DO IT.
I have been an Atheist and trust me, I was never comfortable with these kind of thoughts. This might sound crazy, but I wasn't able to sleep at night thinking that there is no God and I will surely wake. Where in reality, nothing is in your own hands.
Very creative and original. Whoever wrote it was talented and an outside of the box thinker.
My core beliefs are not "chosen" like an apple from a basket of fruit. They are fundamental intuition that come from my essential nature and every life experience I have ever had. I could not "chose" to belief differently.
I think what we are seeing is some of the struggles of the atheistic worldview. There are multiple ways anyone can deal with those facts, we are observing some I think. Wanting to distance some seems natural to me. I hope it encourages others to see the inherent problems with the view.
No, what we're seeing is the problems in slapping preconceived assumptions on labels that other people have to define themselves. This has nothing to do with my "worldview" What does someone who does not believe in any God? An atheist. What do you call someone who doesn't think it's possible to know one way or another? An agnostic. What do you call someone who neither believes or knows? An atheist agnostic. It says nothing about the position itself, and I think telling anyone else that their label doesn't work and they need to use something else is silly and arrogant. Who would know better than the person themselves? A stranger on the Internet? Almost all of the atheists I know use the same definitions. I am not alone, and headly knows that.
If the label Christian meant that non believers would automatically associate you with the Westboro Baptist Church, and their views, would you not argue against that and try to clarify your own position? Would distancing yourself from that one group demonstrate problems with your worldview? Would you be okay with everyone just assuming what you meant by Christian, then using those preconceived ideas to judge you?
I just read another post of yours from another thread, oceans, in which you said "Also, why do you share all this with me, as a lot of it, the majority of it I actually agree with. Perhaps you are assuming I have views I do not." So it would seem that you do counteract this type of thinking when it comes to your Christian beliefs.
A common misconception and misunderstanding that is taught in religious circles is the definition of atheism. Christian circles teach that theism is belief that God exists and atheism is belief that God does not exist. These definitions are incorrect. THEISM is having a BELIEF, whether positive (God exists) or negative (God does not exist) in God. Theism is the black and white stance of yes or no. Atheism is a lack of belief. IT is a point of neutrality in the BELIEF scale (as opposed to agnosticism that speaks to knowledge). An atheist simply states that since there is no evidence one way or the other of God's existence, an atheist does not hold an belief one way or the other.
This is separate from being agnostic. Agnostics simply do not know if God exists or not. Gnostics claim knowledge of whether God exists or not and presumably have evidence to prove one or the other.
An individual can hold a position of belief and of knowledge. You can have Theist agnostics, theist gnostics (which many believers claim), atheist gnostics, and atheist agnostics.
As far as beliefs vs knowledge, you can have people confined to one group, but it really isn't as black and white as theists try to force some things to be
Is that a fact or your infallible opinion? Petitio principii. I think the absolute truth is reality is a product of Agency, based upon logical conclusion of the information available. I reject the notion of debating anyone that would make such a flawed assumption or has a philosophy of "i dont know". Now what?
Well, if you refuse to debate someone that has the stance of "I don't know", my advice to you would be not to debate someone like that. It's that simple. You choose what debates to get into and not to.
Edit- But why debate anything? Who not have a simple discussion?
Look, my intent here is not to step on anyone's toes or insult anyone's beliefs. I'm just trying to keep the goalposts where they need to be to keep the conversation as unconvoluted as possible.
A title like "agnostic atheist" is redundant. That would be like me calling myself a "Christian Theist". Agnostic, in and of itself, also means you don't hold a belief in a God and it explains why. The only reason one would need to adopt the title "agnostic atheist" would be if everytime you introduced yourself as "agnostic", if the next question was always "so does that mean you believe in God, yet acknolwedge there's no way of knowing that for sure?" Because that is not the case, the title is unnecessary. And attempting to shame other people into acknowledging and adopting this change in definition only results in discussions like this that are otherwise totally unnecessary and resolved by simply using the titles as defined.
Another alternative is that they have no knowledge of whether they themselves are atheist or not. Or perhaps they have no agnostic belief, of they dont know?
Edit: I see no difference between the belief system and an Abbott and Costello routine.
I'm only responding to the redundancy issue...Muslims are theists. Jews are theists (sometimes). Christians are theists. Not many Christians align their beliefs with Muslims or Jews. What about a Mormon theist, as opposed to a Catholic theist, as opposed to a PAN-theist.
See where the distinctions become important?
What I don't understand is why someone would tell someone else what they do or don't believe in, to the point of telling the person who had adopted a particular set of labels that their labels are WRONG and then say they didn't mean to step on any toes, when if the same was done to then, they'd be up in arms.
If I told you, for example. That your label of Christianity automatically meant you were aligned with the Westboro Baptist Church, I don't imagine that you would agree or accept that assumption. Hence all of the arguments we see about "true" Christians, negating the purpose of the label Christian completely.
Yes, I do. Unless you're atheist. How many people do you know claim to be Agnostic, yet hold theistic beliefs?
Personally? Lots. Most of them are living or deceased members of my family. I'm personally one of the still living ones (I think).
What is a common ground view then for atheists? It seems there is at least the belief in no beliefs, is that fair at least? If they do have them what are they?
Moving the goalposts is still just that, IF it is what is going on. I tried to agrees why it might be seen as a way to go when that situation arises.
All atheists do not have a belief in any God. No atheist believes in a god. That is the only thing we all have in common. Everything else is up for grabs, as the belief or non belief is the only question atheism addresses. Look at the link I posted. It explains it better than I can.
Here it is again, in case you missed it. http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php? … ._agnostic
As far as moving the goalposts, lacking a belief in something is nothing of the sort. You lack a belief in Thor. Should you be expected to provide evidence as to why you lack that belief, or is it up to the person who DOES believe in Thor provide evidence for his resistance? String atheists who say there are no gods should have evidence to conclusively prove their claim. I'm not considered a strong atheist. I just don't currently hold a belief in any God. What is my burden of proof in that? How do you prove what you don't believe? Is like asking a Christian to provide proof for Allah, when they don't believe in Allah.
Let me clarify. For those that adopt the term atheist, that is the case.
Christians are atheists for all other god claims. So are Muslims. People that call themselves atheists just take it one God further.
Since Christians do not believe in Thor or Zeus, or Allah, they are atheistic towards those gods. Does that make sense?
What are the common ground beliefs for theists? And I don't mean to sound flip.
Theists believe in one god at least. Not too different from lacking a belief in a creator or being for the majority of atheists. These are ideas they each hold (usually), in our shared reality.
Right, and that's exactly my point. The commonality between theists ends at the answer to the one question that theism addresses: a belief in God. Atheism is the lack of a belief in a god, and that's all it addresses, just like that's all the question addresses in theism.
One God at least. What about Romans who labeled Christians atheists because they didn't accept the Roman pantheon?
So in the first century, were Christians theists or atheists? See where applying a very general label doesn't encompass specific qualities of belief? And, just so you know, I love this conversation, and I'm paying attention to who is posting this time because it caught my very personal interests.
How does that all apply in this particular conversation exactly?
The Romans were right or wrong, that if you believed in only one god, you were an atheist.
It's the people switching up the definitions that ought to be the ones that need to defend why they do so. Defending the problems a view brings on itself, by shielding it with more palatable view is still just that if and when it's done. It just ceased to be the thing being talked about, and got real wriggly.
A wiggly fish can escape a grasp but no one should deny the wiggle itself when it happens. No one can fairly get mad when someone sees the wriggling and points it out. On this case wriggling can save a fish but the view has to own it's stuff or else it ceases to be.
How exactly do you consider it wriggling for an atheist to clarify a misconception on a label that they have given themselves. Do you conversely see yourself wriggling when attempting to clarify your views on Christianity, or is that different somehow, so you get a pass? I have owned and explained my atheism and my Agnosticism, so I guess by your words that means it's safe. Thanks for the concern.
Not at all my point. My point is that your understanding appears to be that all atheists believe there is no God. A) that is not the case. The just don't believe in gods period. Most do not claim 100% with certainty that a god or gods does/do not exist. B) what we label TODAY as a theist was labeled originally as an atheist. So...leaving every other thing aside, what is a Christian? And what is an atheist? Are there common understandings among those in each respective groups? Yes. But I'm hard pressed to find commonalities of belief. Possibly DISbelief, but it's sorta like having oodles of denominations among Christians. There are oodles of denominations among atheists, and no ultimate ruling body. Like, you and I might agree that the Christian God is a trinity. I know of two Christians on this forum who DO NOT, and make it very clearly known when they discuss the issue.
I actually don't talk like atheists believe, because I have seen over the years their severe distaste for the word in relation to their views.
Someone maybe not using a preferred word in this case, didn't change the actual views held by JM. Yet this backlash, which I find telling.
What backlash? You mean the conversation? I don't consider discussions to be backlash. Maybe that's another one of my elusive atheistic beliefs. *snark
Um, excuse me? Could you please disconnect your remote spyware from my computer, you thought-stealer!
From page one on, id be happy to rephrase it as severe displeasure , to one word, believe.
BIG response for the deed!.
I was teasing and being sarcastic. It's my personality. I'm slightly sorry that it was lost on you.
No forum ever stays on topic. There are always dozens of conversations taking place, as is the nature of an open forum. That doesn't make it backlash. That makes it an open forum. I really thought that was clear by now.
Telling of what? I don't see this as backlash, just a sincere effort for people to understand each other and not so summarily dismiss each other with labels.
Hey Ocean, I am a devout believer in any and all beliefs that believe that reality is the product of agency. Some of my favorites are AUM, HUNAB-KU, and Tetragrammaton, even though I know almost absolutey nothing about the former two. I just like them. To claim I am an atheist to all other Gods is an ontological error, what about you, are you an atheist to any beliefs that believe that reality is the product of agency?
A belief in at least one deity. That's about where it ends for some.
A deist can have that too. So what makes the difference between a theist and a deist?
Where their belief stems from. A deist looks at nature and reason but rejects supernatural causes. Deists also believe that God created the world then walked away. Theists believe in supernatural revelation as evidence for a God. They also believe that their God still takes an active role in their creation
How can a deist believe these two contrary things: that there is no supernatural cause, but a GOD created natural processes?
A deeper question is why we automatically want to link creation with religious beliefs. They aren't the same question. One answers a belief in God, the other answers a belief in how we/stuff got here. That's where the label thing fails. We are assuming that the answer to one question answers questions that are unrelated. Stereotyping.
That's exactly true, and exactly my point. Headly told me quite plainly that as an atheist, I have to believe that no God had to create the universe, and that it all happened naturally. I don't have a belief either way and don't claim to know, but origins of life have nothing to do with atheism. Telling me I'm an agnostic and not an atheist because I don't know what started life is infuriating because they're not the Anne issues. Equating the two just to further stereotypes and biases is dishonest.
Possibly. I personally don't think belief is now, or has ever been, meant the address the question of how, but rather WHY. Some people get over the why pass of questioning before they hit first grade. Others of us continue to seek the answers to the why questions.
And we can educate ourselves out the ass, but every single fact that we ever learn will lead us to the ultimate FACT that there's a helluva lot we just don't know. Stephen Hawking will have to face that, Billy Graham will have to face that, I will have to face it, and so will every human being on the planet. Do we stop learning? No. Do we maybe have to stop being convinced that we know EVERYTHING? I think so. And one thing we still haven't figured out through religion, philosophy, science, and humanities studies is why....some people need to or want to know. Others don't care.
Maybe I didn't word it correctly. A deist believes that God created the world, but does not believe that God interferes day to day with the world. As I stated, a deist just thinks God created everything and walked away from it. They do not believe in a Holy spirit like theist (Christians) do
Fair enough. What kind of spirit then do they believe in? A supernatural realm made only of evil? No supernatural realm at all, which would mean no immortality of any sort since everything natural eventually dies? If God's not supernatural, then is he natural, and if so, when did/will his existence end?
I don't know. I only have the most basic understanding of deism that is limited to the dictionary term. But I do have a project to read up on. Thanks
Edit- The reference to spirit was more of an example of the supernatural that is rejected
I will concede that you're still learning as long as you concede that my questions are genuinely interested and in an effort to better understand.
That said, the idea of a non-Spiritual, un-Supernatural "creator" isn't something I, personally, can wrap my head around. One who holds the power to create in totality, or spark the evolution of, a universe would have to be supernatural as far as I understand the word.
It would be like a ghost breaking a vase. The act is supernatural, the broken vase isn't.
Yes, God is supernatural but that's it. Deists recognize the supernaturalness of God they just think the supernatural ended at creation. Wherever he/she is, they are still supernatural... they just kinda laid an egg on a log (us, the universe...etc) and let the sun hatch it.
I certainly concede your questioning as an effort to understand.
I think the misunderstanding between you and I still hangs on my original lack of clear description. My references to a deists rejection of the supernatural isn't related to the creation of the world, universe, etc... Let me try it a different way. Let's use Christians as a theist example. A lot of Christians believe that they are guided by the "Holy Spirit" or "Holy Ghost", which is a supernatural being or another extension of God. Deists do not believe in anything supernatural that currently interacts with this world. They believe that God created everything then walked away..
Maybe Wikipedia can help us both gain clarity on this subject
Well, for me it is because I believe that a God does exist. Creation has absolutely nothing to do with my faith, therefore intrinsic is obviously an inappropriate word. There are religions that center around fire, volcanoes, animals, really smart guys, war, death... you name it. Sometimes religions are created to explain the origins of everything... SOMETIMES. Sometimes religions touch on it, but that's not the reason for the faith. Sometimes there is absolutely nothing in the religion about creation. Sometimes there are explanations for the universe that have nothing to do with God.
No one ever denied that some people believe in Gods. That's the only point you've successfully made. I'll also give you that some people believe God made everything.
You are trying to connect creation and God in every single case... that's not happening. You are also implying that knowing that there are other possible reasons for the Universe means not believing in God... it doesn't. You are also implying that believing in God means that you must believe he created the Universe... it doesn't mean that at all.
The two questions are unrelated. You are trying to force them to be related. Here's the acid test...
Can a Christian say that the BBT is completely plausible scientific theory and still be a Christian? If your answer is yes, then your implied association fails. If it is no, then you are in the vast vast minority of people who believe that way.
You're acting like creation vs. evolution isn't a thing because of exactly what I'm talking about. Why do you think it is that Darwin was concerned about how believers would take his theory? Because God is tethered to our origin. This isn't new. This isn't something I'm doing. This is why science and God are often said to be at odds with one another. Because science offers explanations for things that were always attributed to God.
"Why do you think it is that Darwin was concerned about how believers would take his theory?"
Because the church was well known for it's intolerance of actual knowledge and he had a very real fear for his life and liberty. Certainly not because he thought that a god created us; that would have pleased the church a great deal and he could still have presented his new learning to the world. (He repeatedly reiterated that his theory or "Origin of Species" did NOT include thoughts on origin of life.)
My point being that the origin of the universe and the natural world and the concept of a God are tied together. Melissa is acting like I'm making this up. But your comment about the churches intolerance of actual knowledge isn't exactly accurate. Not that I'm a fan of organized religion, I am not, but that's not accurate. The beginnings of science are tethered to the church. Many people who make claims like you just did will often refer to Galileo being put under house arrest as a heretic by the church. But what they'll often leave out is that the pope at the time invited Galileo to do a presentation about his finding of a sun-centric universe. Not exactly something in line with your statement. He only got in dutch with the church when he insisted on publicly giving his own take of biblical scripture where the sun was concerned. The church felt like they were the authority on what biblical passages meant.
Creation vs. evolution is very much a thing... a silly and asinine thing, but a thing nonetheless... However belief in God vs. Non-belief is not the same thing as creationism vs. evolution.
I've noticed you want to do this a lot... wrap all sorts of topics up as one single question. It doesn't work like that for most people. Separate topics require separate conversations. If one single theist acknowledges evolution and believes God... then the belief that they are the same question is logically flawed.
In addition, evolution does not address creation. It never has. So that point is also moot.
They are tied together because belief in God goes hand in hand with an explanation for the natural world. Without that you also lose the explanation. If the one responsible for creation is believed to not exist, then out the window also goes the explanation for creation. The natural world to the believer is the creation of God. That's why it's referred to as "creation". Remove God, or adopt a viewpoint that doesn't include God, and reality still requires an explanation.
No, it doesn't. That's what I'm trying to explain. It ONLY goes hand in hand for a very specific group of believers in a very small handful of religions (mainly the Abrahamic religions). Most Christians don't group the two concepts, certainly most Jews don't either... Muslims are split. Buddhists certainly don't. Hindus tend not to. Atheists don't. Pagans REALLY don't.
Creationist Christians, Jews and Muslims. That's what you got. The rest of the world keeps the issues quite separate.
You are basically saying that a belief in God (A) equals a belief in creationism (B). A does not equal B. It may for you, but it doesn't for the majority of the world.
In addition, evolution (C) does not equal the origins of the universe (D)...
You are trying to say that A = B= C = D.
They are all separate concepts.
In addition, you are saying that by default a non-belief in a deity means that one has explain the origins of the universe and everything in it with evolution and the BBT (which you have erroneously grouped).
"It ONLY goes hand in hand for a very specific group of believers in a very small handful of religions (mainly the Abrahamic religions)."
You mean the three largest religions whose followers make up over half the world's population? Just those?
"You are basically saying that a belief in God (A) equals a belief in creationism (B). A does not equal B. It may for you, but it doesn't for the majority of the world.
In addition, evolution (C) does not equal the origins of the universe (D)...
You are trying to say that A = B= C = D."
I'm not sure if you've noticed, but this is very similar to the stance of a majority of atheists I've talked to. (C - evolution) plus (D - origins of the universe) mean God isn't real. Clearly these issues are not as separate as you seem to be trying to make it sound.
"In addition, you are saying that by default a non-belief in a deity means that one has explain the origins of the universe and everything in it with evolution and the BBT (which you have erroneously grouped)."
I never said evolution and BBT specifically in regards to non-belief. All I said is that existence clearly exists, and with a rejection of belief in God also comes a lack of an explanation for existence existing. This can and often is replaced by evolution and BBT, but I didn't say that.
In fact, I never said one has to explain the origins of the universe. One just must believe without doubt that existence as is is possible without a God. Otherwise, how could one disbelieve in God if they didn't believe existence could exist without a God?
"You mean the three largest religions whose followers make up over half the world's population? Just those?"
Yes, only a small handful of creationists within those three religions. I.E. not every Christian, Jew, and Muslim believes that God created everything... according to polls, less than half of Christians do. Jews even less (they discounted Genesis decades ago). Muslims are about half and half.
Once again, you can't separate religion from the origins of everything.
"I'm not sure if you've noticed, but this is very similar to the stance of a majority of atheists I've talked to. (C - evolution) plus (D - origins of the universe) mean God isn't real. Clearly these issues are not as separate as you seem to be trying to make it sound."
Nope, evolution plus BBT just mean that God doesn't have to be involved... not that he wasn't. It's a really simple concept, I'm not sure why you aren't understanding. Look at it this way, say I have a cake sitting on my counter... just because a baker has the ability to make that cake doesn't mean I didn't. What about that is hard to get?
"I never said evolution and BBT specifically in regards to non-belief. All I said is that existence clearly exists, and with a rejection of belief in God also comes a lack of an explanation for existence existing. This can and often is replaced by evolution and BBT, but I didn't say that. "
My foot clearly exists. With a rejection of Unicorns comes a lack of explanation for my foot existing. This can and often is replaced by a belief in human anatomy. That sentence is no different-logically-than your sentence. My knowledge of human anatomy (at least to the point of knowing that feet exist-and how they get there) has absolutely no bearing on my belief or non-belief in Unicorns.
What you are essentially saying is that an atheist is going to lack the belief that God created the universe. Which is peachy. I am a Christian, I also lack the belief that God created the Universe. (Largely because I don't care enough to form a belief. Seriously, not a rat's behind is given)
So how does that work in your labeling of "Worldviews"? I mean an atheist and a Christian both lacking the same belief. So now are you going to say I don't believe in God... or that the Atheist does. You have to do one or the other for your "connection" to hold true.
The only question, the only question that the label of atheism answers is whether there is a belief in God present. That's it. Anything else you think it means is purely conjuncture and assumptions.
"In fact, I never said one has to explain the origins of the universe. One just must believe without doubt that existence as is is possible without a God. Otherwise, how could one disbelieve in God if they didn't believe existence could exist without a God"
I know, without a doubt, that the BBT is a scientifically sound, completely plausible explanation for how a universe could have come into being. That knowledge has absolutely nothing to do with my faith. Like I said, just because something COULD have happened one way, doesn't mean that's how it happened. You would find the idea ridiculous in any other aspect of your life... why are you so stuck on it when it comes to faith?
"Yes, only a small handful of creationists within those three religions. I.E. not every Christian, Jew, and Muslim believes that God created everything... according to polls, less than half of Christians do. Jews even less (they discounted Genesis decades ago). Muslims are about half and half.
Once again, you can't separate religion from the origins of everything. "
Show me. Show me the polls. All three religions are built around the books of Moses, which in themselves begin by explaining that this God did in fact create everything. The whole concept of a day of rest is built around this.
"Nope, evolution plus BBT just mean that God doesn't have to be involved... not that he wasn't. It's a really simple concept, I'm not sure why you aren't understanding. Look at it this way, say I have a cake sitting on my counter... just because a baker has the ability to make that cake doesn't mean I didn't. What about that is hard to get?"
Well then you haven't been paying very close attention. For one thing, NO, that doesn't mean God doesn't have to be involved. Everything that made this universe what it is already existed in essence within the singularity. The entirety of the universe inflated forth from this "seed" into what it is now. The origin of this "seed" is still unaccounted for. Until that happens, you can't say what does or doesn't have to be involved for the universe to be.
"My foot clearly exists. With a rejection of Unicorns comes a lack of explanation for my foot existing. This can and often is replaced by a belief in human anatomy. That sentence is no different-logically-than your sentence. My knowledge of human anatomy (at least to the point of knowing that feet exist-and how they get there) has absolutely no bearing on my belief or non-belief in Unicorns."
If you see no logical difference in my statement and that one, then it makes way more sense that you seem to be so unable to comprehend the simplest of points. And if you continue to put the blame on me, and refuse to recognize your own broken logic, you'll be unable to fix it. Acknowledgement is the first step.
"What you are essentially saying is that an atheist is going to lack the belief that God created the universe. Which is peachy. I am a Christian, I also lack the belief that God created the Universe. (Largely because I don't care enough to form a belief. Seriously, not a rat's behind is given)"
Okay, so you apparenty think beliefs have to be consciously formed. Maybe that's part of the problem. So, maybe you can explain how you, as a Christian, reject Genesis? Jesus often referred to the stories of Genesis as if they were historical fact. How does that work?
"The only question, the only question that the label of atheism answers is whether there is a belief in God present. That's it. Anything else you think it means is purely conjuncture and assumptions. "
That's all I need to know to make the statements I made true.
"I know, without a doubt, that the BBT is a scientifically sound, completely plausible explanation for how a universe could have come into being. That knowledge has absolutely nothing to do with my faith. Like I said, just because something COULD have happened one way, doesn't mean that's how it happened. You would find the idea ridiculous in any other aspect of your life... why are you so stuck on it when it comes to faith?"
You're the one that keeps talking about the BBT. The statements I made that started all of this did not once refer to the big bang. I simply referred to the natural world existing as it does. You're the one that started injecting the big bang theory into it.
Start here: http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/30/publ … evolution/
I'll give more and answer the rest of your post when I have time. This much reading/typing has been very painful and I need to go lay down now. That should give you plenty of time to come up with reasons that the above link is inapplicable to what you are saying.
why does anyone who is not interested in the origins of the universe or the big bang theory or in-depth evolution of species HAVE to explain the origins of the universe, whether they believe in a god or not? It's not a topic that interests me. I can sit here and pretend to explain it without any evidence (because I haven't studied it in depth) which you will reject because there's no evidence, or I can simply say "I don't know", leave it at that, and find the topics that I'm actually interested in. I'm not required to explain anything that I don't want to. I don't currently believe in a god. Like it or not, that makes me an atheist. That doesn't mean that I have an opinion on the nature of reality. It means I have withheld judgement - possibly forever - since it's not a topic that interests me. Is it possible a god created the earth? Sure. Is it possible that no god was required? Sure. Is it possible that universe creating pixies created the earth? Sure. I don't care either way. It's not a subject that I want to study or care to investigate personally. That's it. That's all I've been telling you from the beginning.
"why does anyone who is not interested in the origins of the universe or the big bang theory or in-depth evolution of species HAVE to explain the origins of the universe, whether they believe in a god or not?"
I never said anything about having to explain it. In fact, the stronger your belief that existence can exist without God as an explanation, the less inclined you'd feel to need explanation. So it only makes sense that you would/could lack interest. It's not a question that requires answering for you. Because of the strength of your belief.
Reality may require an explanation to those who want one, but there is no need to simply make one up.
You seem to have a very narrow view of what god is. If gods exist they may not be as described in the bible at all. Perhaps the watched to beginning of the universe, but didn't start it themselves, kind of like watching waves on a beach. Perhaps they live and die and have families like ourselves, some were once interested in us, but lost the interest.
That I think would be a better explanation than the bible as one doesn't have to struggle with the living for ever and always there alone thing and it explains why we don't see evidence in any Gods.
I suppose that could be an explanation. But far from the best explanation, in my opinion. I don't necessarily think it's a "struggle" with the living so much as a necessity. The main component to the story is free will. By that I mean a will apart from God's. In the context of Genesis, the creation account illustrates how all of existence, whether animate or inanimate, behaved exactly according to God's will. Then in chapter 2 God created two beings that that story clearly illustrates are able to behave contrary to God's will. From that point forward in the story, anyone 'of Eve' could do the same. They were capable, unlike anything else in the natural world, to behave in ways that are contrary to God's will. One could say it's a central theme to the overall story. This is what would require God's interaction. Because with free will existing in the world, there is an element that exists that is not under God's total control. Us. If we were not able to behave of our own free will there'd be no need for judgement, no need for commandments, forgiveness, any of it.
But free will, as the story illustrates, is a volatile element. Not one easily created, but one well worth being created. That's the best explanation in my mind. The explanation Genesis gives. God created this environment in order to create beings with their own minds and their own wills. This universe, where nothing is permanent, is the perfect place to create beings with free will and to allow them to live with it and learn how to wield it responsibly.
What a wonderful story, but any Gods could have created us, you like your version because you like the story. Plus thinking ones self is not restricted to humans and according to the bible it's not restricted to those on earth. Seems Satan has some will of his own.
Well, this was totally unexpected. I was away all day today starting at 7 Am and didn't get home until 10 PM.
I now have a headache from trying to read all the posts. Will try and read more tomorrow. Sleep well.
Psa 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Okay, this is ridiculous.
It is arrogant beyond belief to tell someone without a belief in god that they necessarily have to believe something or disbelieve something in order to correctly have the label that they use for themselves.
Let's make an analogy. Can you imagine telling a lesbian that she's not really a lesbian because she doesn't hate men? Would you have the audacity to say that to someone? Just because you think that being a lesbian automatically includes hating men? I think not. I doubt anyone here would think that's acceptable, but apparently telling an atheist that they're not an atheist despite their attempts to clarify is perfectly fair and acceptable. It's absurd.
If you want to deny that I'm an atheist, fine. Go right the heck ahead. Whatever helps you sleep at night. Whatever labels you want to throw on me to make me fit into your narrow little box of worldviews, that's fine. That doesn't change my reality and how I define and understand myself. If you want to sit on the high horse and think you're superior or fairer because of it, knock yourself out. I'd like to see how you would like it if the tables were turned and somebody started telling you that you weren't a Christian because you didn't accept this or that doctrine, or because you don't believe this or that.
I'm done with these stupid little games on this thread. Think whatever you'd like.
Reality works against me. I'd like to think I'm over 6 feet tall and 2 hundred pound of muscle and look like a young Mel Gibson, but sadly thats not the case. While I'm only 5'11" and just under 200 lbs of muscle I look nothing like a young Mel Gibson, I unfortunately look like a young Paul Newman. Life is so unfair.
I really don't understand your reaction. I'm not sure how you don't agree with this, actually. You keep referring to your lack of care or interest in the origin of the universe or the origin of life. That is completely irrelevant. My point is very simple. If you are able to lack belief in the existence of a God, then you believe without doubt that the natural world can and does exist as it does without a God. How could you lack a belief in God if you didn't believe the natural world could exist as is without a God? I'm sorry, I don't mean to offend or anything. This is just a simple fact of the matter. Obviously, if your worldview lacks any reason to think a God exists, then clearly it includes the belief that the natural world does not require a God to exist as it does. If you did lack this belief, then you wouldn't be so able to disbelieve in God. All I can figure out is that you're so opposed to acknowledging that you hold a belief of any kind that you're not allowing yourself to hear the simple logic of this. Seriously, I don't mean to offend. In fact, if I remember correctly my reply was in direct response to a question I was asked, by you I believe, about what beliefs all atheists hold? Something along those lines. I'm simply trying to answer the question asked directly of me.
Found it ...
What I see as the biggest struggle going on here in this thread, is that several people are acting like opposing views regarding the existence of God (Atheism, Theism, and Agnosticism) or some combination of them, can be true at the same time,
You have an agnostic stance say on evolution, or big foot, origins, etc.
On any other normal day they would admit this and discuss like we all know this is true. That is what this is all about, one group seems to be trying trying to force a view we all already know doesn't work.
This would have to be the case if these arguments even can be made in the first pace, before e can even see if they work.
Having a stance on God's existence is not the same as all the possible information on all a persons views, their character, personality, and what their favorite ice cream is. Its seems a true shell game going on. People are digging in their heels in order to be right, but reality doesn't work that way.
Having a stance on God's existence means exactly that. That's all atheism, agnosticism or theism does. Look it up. Really. It doesn't indicate the answer to any other question. Don't you think it might be hypocritical to imply that it does and then say that a "worldview" "is not the same as all the possible information on all a persons views, their character, personality, and what their favorite ice cream is."
Maybe you should take your own advice.
The reason why you think people are holding opposing views on atheism/agnosticism/theism is that you are comparing their view on God to a completely different question. That's why you are so confused.
The only conflict is coming from you assuming the answer to an unrelated question (orgins of stuff) just from someone's belief/lack of belief in a deity. That's the reason things aren't making sense to you. Try to work on it.
Maybe if you stop trying to force a view we all already know doesn't work, things might go easier. Any other day, people wouldn't try to use the answer of one question to answer a completely unrelated and separate issue. They would admit that two different questions would have no reason to have the same answer. I guess those people are digging in their heels to deny something that we all know is true. If they would stop, we could discuss it.
This whole thing came about because someone said atheists don't believe in God, and believe the universe they live in came about some other way. (Paraphrase- see recent quotes or pg 1.) Unless any atheist KNOWS how the universe came to be, she indeed lives in a universe without known origins AND lacks a belief in a god. None of you has shown how that is not the case.
The stance against that commonly held atheistic view has taken a very strange course. Had it been any other atheist maybe they could have agreed to lacking a belief in god and thinking they live in a universe that has something other than a god to explain its existence.
JM was the one that first to use the terminology like "all atheists and "the overwhelming amount of atheists", etc. She gave a rebuttal with views from an opposing worldview AS the reasoning people were wrong in what they said about atheism. (Purposeful, or knowingly, I can't know.) That is a logical fallacy. If not purposeful at first, later it seems to be because of how plainly it was laid out.)
Equivocation was done by a few here, using the word agnosticism in this discussion. Using the same word different ways, with different meaning. A true self proclaimed agnostic is one thing, and an atheist with an agnostic view of say evolution (an ex. Mo gave) is ANOTHER kind of use of the word. You guys were using the word agnostic interchangeably. We all get that many christians and atheists are agnostics in regards to big foot, etc. The thing is, when the word agnosticism being used in THAT minor sense, is being then offered AS the reasoning using the major meaning of agnosticism to defeat another persons point about atheism, that isn't fair. Its cheating. I don't think it was set out to be done at first, and she might have backed herself into a corner so to speak, and stuck to her guns. Now that its been pointed out repeatedly,we now know that you guys expect people to TRULY buy a bad argument even when its been shown wrong.
In all sincerity, I can't imagine JMcfarland even REALLY wants people to do that for her. What true benefit would that be to her? I just know I wouldn't want it.
Weary of seeing the people take the victim route, and shaming OTHERS as if they have done something wrong in these kinds of cases. (Where things got very turned around.) I don't buy it. We all want to be right. I know you guys are just trying to back her, support her. Help her to ACTUALLY do so with the tools people use to prove things like logic, reason, and facts. To me, this drama stuff is for the birds. The coming alongside to encourage a poor argument, could be seen as possibly giving a false sense of security (that she is right) I care about JM and all here, and to anyone showing such an argument, I think what I am doing shows I care more, than if I just said, "oh, you are right, I am sorry." Even when it doesn't feel like it. Especially not in a forum meant to do this very thing. No one has to believe me, but if people are here for ear tickling they will probably not like me nor want to discuss with me. I can actually understand that and will respect it by keeping a quiet distance myself.
I don't think anyone here actually really cares if JM's personal views are really so different from most other atheists after all, or where they are the same. I know I don't and can move forward with the new found information. Clearly she is very well liked by many. I just am glad to know WHAT her views are now. They just can't be used to be a reason to COUNTER people when they share a key common view held by atheists world over, which was the original topic when she came in. Not in the areas where they differ anyway. Its not a forcing of an opinion, its people's location, this universe, and that they lack a belief in god.
Suppose that you are neither a Christian nor an atheist and still believe in God?
This could all be solved so simply. The group supporting JM's syance in this discussion need to find just one atheist that DOESNT lack belief in a god and thinks that god could have created the universe.
This solves the whole page one dilemma. The over complicating and changing the debate doesn't change what this is about.
It's the stubborn supporting of an incoherent and indefensible view that is the problem here, not other peoples reading comprehension or education.
Haven't you been reading my posts?
I don't believe any gods currently exist, but that doesn't rule out that it's possible gods did once exist. Therefore I am the one person you are looking for.
I will bet you a dollar to a doughnut that the response will be that you aren't an atheist.
What, in your opinion, may have happened to these gods that once existed?
1) If a construct of man, they cease to "exist" as man learns better and his knowledge base grows.
2) if actual, living beings, they die. We have only made up attributes and, possibly, the word of the gods they are immortal; neither is necessarily true and everything dies. Even non-living things (stars, planets, etc.) "die" in a sense of the word and certainly everything living will die.
Perhaps they died, just like everything else that we know of has a beginning and an ending. There have been many descriptions of gods with beginnings and endings.
Without good reasoning given, I find no reasons to consider these finite gods coming into being and dying and find it a little odd such gods could be given so much credence by atheists in the first place, unless it's just to defend a view.
Before remotely considering, it would need to be established how a finite god could qualify for creating a finite universe.
The "all atheists everywhere" comment is for those self described as lacking a belief in a god. That is the atheists view.
You don't lack the same belief based on what you said. Unless you are suggesting equivocation sometimes works just to win an argument. The current status of the god you believe in doesn't mean you don't believe in it.
Further you need to show why it's more reasonable that an eternally existing into the past god would cease to exist over not reasonable. You can skip that second part for now but that was never established.
You don't count because of how your self described views include a belief in a god to make your point. The current status of that god doesn't negate your belief in a god. Semantics and equivocation, and twisting.
Is that not still a belief in a God or gods? As far as I know there isn't a "currently" qualifier in the definition of atheist. If you believe a God or gods played a role in the creation of the universe, then you hold a belief that a God, or gods, were once real and played a role in creating the universe.
I want to throw out a reflective question about this particular statement. If there is no "currently" status attached to an atheist's (any atheist) lack of belief in a God, then does that mean that there is also the same caveat for Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or had those people always been believers?
People, thoughts, ideas, and beliefs change and are fluid. I hold beliefs and have discarded beliefs that are entirely different now from when I began my faith journey. Do we allow absolutely NO ROOM for, forgive this choice of words, the evolution of humanity and ideas?
No, the "currently" isn't in regards to what beliefs one currently holds. What Dr McLoven is saying is that he believes a God or gods existed in the past that created the universe, but are no longer around. So, his concept of the natural world includes a creator God. That is still a belief in a god, even if he doesn't believe this god still exists "currently".
An atheist doesn't belief any gods exist. The definitions says nothing about what once existed. I said anything is possible, I didn't say I believe gods created the universe.
If one believes that at some point in the past our existing was the result of a God creating us, then that's a belief in a God. If one believes that God no longer exists, then the belief is a belief in a God who created the universe, then ceased to exist. That is still a belief in a God.
I'll try once again, as you keep putting words in my mouth.
If you acknowledge the possibility of aliens, it doesn't necessarily mean that you believe aliens exist?
1. have objective reality or being.
2. live, esp. under adverse conditions
Where in that definition does it say anything about something that no longer is alive?
If we can have any kind of dialogue we need to stick with what words mean, rather than make us stuff.
I'm not assigning these beliefs to you. That's why I made sure to use the pronoun "one". That doesn't mean you specifically. Just if a hypothetical "one" believes this, then this.
'Where in that definition does it say anything about something that no longer is alive?"
1. have objective reality or being.
Reality in this universe includes anything that's happened from the very beginning to now. Especially if the deity in question played a role in everything existing. Then that God is part of that reality as reality would not have been what it is if that deity had never existed. So, that deity, even if it no longer exists, is part of reality.
So you are claiming that an atheist can claim to be an atheist if they are open to the possibility that any gods once existed even though that thinking follows the very definition of being an atheist?
What? I'm not sure I'm following you. If one is open to the possibility, but doesn't hold any specific beliefs, then one can be an atheist.
That's all I've been saying. That's all anyone has said (I think).
But even that doesn't change what I said. If one is an atheist, then one has the belief that it is possible that the natural world can exist as it does without having been created. If you lack this belief, then you cannot be an atheist.
Of course it's possible. Did anyone say it wasn't possible? Did anyone say they that no gods exist, but one must have existed to create the universe?
Me. I don't think it's possible. The question I was originally asked is what belief do all atheists hold. That's my answer. All atheists must believe that the universe is possible without a god to even entertain the possibility that no god exists.
I am seriously considering becoming a theist-deist. That way, when someone asks me to get God, to do a miracle for them, outside the already existing miracle, I can say "you don't know me!" I am a DEIST- theist or a weak theist-deist.
I might join you, PhoenixV. We can just maintain to anyone who asks that our beliefs, as a theist-deists, are too far beyond their capability to understand. That you have to be as enlightened as we are to be able to grasp the complexity of our beliefs. That way anyone who even attempts to speak as if they have even the most limited of grasps on what we believe we can just dismiss them and say, "How dare you speak as though you understand when clearly you do not". You're not me, so how can you speak as though you understand what I think.
Funny, that's what I hear from those true christians.
I think it's a grand idea. Maybe Richard Dawkins could even create a new wikipedia article or category, replete with the ensuing, predicable and inevitable claims it was the outcome of evolutionary meme, along with some posthumous opinions from Christopher Hitchens and anecdotal advice from Daniel Dennet, on how to overcome it. After all, admitting we are theist-deist is the first step to recovery.
Lol! that is priceless. More importantly though it makes the points again.
But that doesn't seem to be what you were arguing. It seemed to be that you were stating that to be an Atheist, one must think no gods exist and can't be open to the possibility that any gods exist.
Of course it possible for the universe to exist without the help of any gods, that doesn't mean you have to not be open to the possibility that any gods ever existed.
No, that is not what I was arguing. But I do think we've found the reason why you're having such a hard time getting my argument....
"Of course it possible for the universe to exist without the help of any gods"
It seems you hold the very same belief I'm talking about, and because you do, my argument makes no sense to you. Now, to be clear, simply holding this belief does not in itself make one an atheist. It just makes it possible.
In your mind, "Of course it's possible for the universe to exist without the help of any gods". Maybe we can use this as an exercise to show that this is an unsubstantiated belief, and by no means an established fact. Explain to me what makes you so certain that it's possible for the universe to exist without the help of any gods that makes it seem to you that this statement you just made is accurate.
That's the second insult I've received from you regarding my intelligence. Is that something your religion has taught you? I'll have to have another look through the bible to see where Jesus was quoted as saying that we should insult the unintelligent and or assume that if they don't agree then they must be unintelligent. Perhaps you can't find that for me since I'm slow and all?
No, that was something that I was taught being the youngest sibling of four. Religion has toned that down a bit, but hasn't solved it. If I were free of sin, I would have no need to go to church. Right?
You are now changing the discussion? Why is that? It's possible because anything is possible. Is it more likely that a God exists that you have no explanation for or that the universe popped into existence much like sub-atomic particles? But that is a wash since you have admitted that an atheist can be open to the possibility that the universe was created by gods. On another day we can discuss it a theist can be open to the possibility that the universe created it's self.
Nope, I've been consistently saying the same thing the whole time. In my mind, it's more likely that a God exists, given what's observed. Similar to the way we can only really glean the existence of 'unseeable' dark matter based on observing its affects on what can be seen, I glean that God exists based on the natural world being what can be seen. Given intelligence exists, and is apparently a naturally occurring phenomenon in this universe, given what's been observed, it's much more likely that an intelligence was involved in how this one observable universe came together than the non-sensical view that the universe just created itself through pure happenstance.
That's a fair assessment, but now you are left with explaining where gods came from which in my mind seems much more difficult than explaining how the universe started without gods.
Why? We now know through physics that time itself is too a product of this universe. So, time as we perceive it does not exist beyond this one observable universe. Things that exist within time must have a beginning and an end, but if there is a God who is creator of the universe, then He too exists apart from this universe and apart from time. So, why would God need an explanation of where He came from? Only things that exist in time as we do must have a beginning and an end. Outside of time, there's only what exists and what doesn't.
So then your explanation for the existence of gods are that they exist without time. How do you know that? Do you know that time doesn't exist outside our universe? We have places in our universe where time doesn't exist, but still has a beginning. You've invented gods that exists without time and still can get stuff done without a beginning or ending. To get stuff done, one needs the time to do it.
You've got a rather obvious paradox there. Good try though, most simply say it's beyond our understanding.
I didn't invent Him. The God described in the bible is consistent with a being that exists apart from this universe as we now understand it. Having no beginning and no end, unaffected by time, constant, unchanging. This is how He was described by people who didn't have the knowledge we do now. From our perspective, within both time and space, a being like God who, being the creator, must exist apart from this universe as well as space/time, would be exactly the same in every moment everywhere. Just as described.
But beyond that you've got 2000 years of history that lines up with what's described and you have an actual dramatic change in human behavior that resulted in the emergence of multiple independently formed civilizations. An expected result given the story being described.
OMG... Give me verses.
I want specific verses that back your claim.
OMG ... Okay
Psalm 90:4 - A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.
2 Peter 3:8 - But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
Psalms 139: 7-10 - Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Proverbs 15:3 - The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.
Psalms 33: 13-14 - From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—
For verses regarding the 2000 years matching up with actual history, Gen1-11, I'll just refer you to my "God Created Evolution" hubs. I cover it all there. I illustrate using a timeline built on top of the Genesis 5/11 genealogy lists how actual historical events in the very same region specified in the story line up with what's described and show in great detail the impact that these events had can be seen in our historical record. These events that line up with Genesis aren't just some cherry-picked events, they're the events that actually led directly to the modern human age.
Yeah, having had the conversation with you about birds flying out of oceans after they changed from dinosaurs that were destroyed by meteor... I'll pass on the hub.
None of those verses say that God exists outside of time or the universe. You realize that... right?
That certainly says time is different for him, but nothing about existing outside of space-time and nothing about existing forever.
Everyplace except outside of our universe. All those things describe someplace inside our universe.
Sounds like from inside our universe to me. Sounds like a place where he could see us, like on top of a cloud or something.
"... nothing about existing forever."...
Revelation 22:13 - I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
What I'm trying to point out isn't that the bible directly explains what I'm explaining, it's that how the bible describes Him is consistent with a being who exists apart from this universe. One way God could see all the living and every place all at once would be if He did in fact exist apart from this universe. Space is a dimension, like time, that we perceive because we too are products of this universe. What the bible describes is way more on point with a creator God who exists apart from the universe, because He would have to being the creator of it, than anyone of that age could have just imagined, as this knowledge about the universe and time/space being relevant was not known at the time.
Those are your words. Anyhow I've discounted the biblical God for me anyway because of all the contradictions.
Did you gloss over the ending of the flood story? Did you gloss over the entire flood story?
Most definitely not. It's an important part of the story.
"20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done."
22 “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
Us humans are the evil ones? This guys just ripped out the entire earth, and enjoys the pleasing aroma of slaughtered animals.
Nevermind that the one guy god picked to survive cursed his grandkid into slavery because his father stubbled in on him drunk and passed out naked.
Does 22 accurately describe who the end of the earth will come?
See, this is something that placing these stories in the correct historical context highlights. One of the least understood, or most under-appreciated, elements of the story is free will. This is the capability introduced into the world through Adam. If you think about the first two chapters and what they're saying, the first chapter shows how the entirety of God's creation responds to His every command without question. It becomes what He wants it to become. Which is what is so significant about the following story about Adam. This is the first of God's creation that's able to directly go against something God said. God said don't eat that, and they did. Now in the context of God being the creator of the natural world, this action is the equivalent of someone being able to decide they're not going to conform to the laws of gravity and falling up. God's word, God's law, is the equivalent of the natural laws. There is no breaking it, unless one has free will. That's what makes that capability so powerful and so significant.
So, once this component is introduced into the world, this means the world is no longer totally within God's control. As the story from that point forward illustrates. A central theme of the story from that point forward has to do with humans who behave contrary to God's will. Warranting commandments and judgement and all of that.
Think about it in the context of how our bodies work. Our bodies are made up of trillions of individual cells, each one behaving exactly as the DNA code of our body dictates, so that this system of trillions of individual components can work together as a single unit. Free will would be the equivalent of cells in your body able to choose whether or not they're going to adhere to your DNA code. As I'm sure you can imagine, this could quickly become a problem in such a complex system.
The natural world works much the same way. It's numerous individual components working together in a delicately balanced system. So components of that system having free will can be a very volatile element.
For example, just before the flood, at the beginning of Gen6 it says God actually "regretted" putting humans on the earth. These are the beings that Adam and his descendants began mating and procreating with. This action introduced free will into humanity. For an all-knowing God to actually "regret" something gives some insight into how powerful and volatile this capability is. Because He chose to include in this world humans that are the same 'image' and 'likeness' as Adam and his descendants, beings of their own free will decided they found these 'daughters of humans' beautiful and began having children by them. This introduced free will, and the capability of 'evil' or 'wickedness' into humanity. Warranting a flood. Something that God regretted having to do because there was an element on the earth that behaves outside of His control that caused an undesired outcome, which warranted a flood. Not something He wanted to have to do.
It is a metaphor. A story with a truth you must make up for yourself, not what it says at all. A fictional tale intended to show morality and the necessity to fear God. A gross exaggeration of a small, local flood that wiped out a village.
It is anything but truth, as we know it never happened.
Yes, it was regional, but very much as big of a deal as the story describes. Not exaggerated. There's a silt deposit found in the strata of the remains of the region of Ur that shows a that a flood that occurred there brought an abrupt end to a 1500 year old culture.
The key to the Genesis story that makes it so seemingly disconnected from history is because most read it to mean Adam was the first human ever. Not true. The humans created in Gen1 were homo sapiens and had already populated the world by the time Adam was created. These were the 'others' that Cain feared would harm him in Gen4 when he was banished from the land where his family lived.
Well, that culture that came to an abrupt end because of a flood, the Ubaid culture, lasted the same length of time as 'pre-flood' Genesis, about 15 centuries, and was the first location of the first human city-state. Which lines up with the city that Gen4 says Cain built. According to the Sumerians, an immortal god named Enki built Eridu.
The key here is that Adam wasn't the first human, Adam was first of God's creation able to behave contrary to God's will. Like Gen2 illustrates, he was able to break the one rule God created in the garden. Well this capability, this free will, was introduced into the Gen1 humans according to Gen6.
Humans had to have free will for them to even be capable of "wickedness". So the flood only had to be regional, as it was only intended for these.
That Ubaid culture was a pivotal point in human history. That first city-state, Eridu, was the first place in all of human history that we see class stratification and a male-dominated society. From there these same characteristics spread throughout the region. The Ubaid culture, after it's abrupt end, became the Uruk culture. And from the Uruk culture came the Sumerians, the inventors of civilization.
There is a dramatic shift in human behavior that can be traced from this same region/timeframe that eventually spread throughout the world. This is exactly what should expect to see if a being like Adam was introduced into the world. If a capability like free will was introduced.
Genesis 6:1-4 - 6 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] humans forever, for they are mortal[b]; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
The above verses are the key. First, they show a distinction between two different groups; the 'sons of God' and the 'daughters of humans'. They also specify humans as "mortal" who only live 120 years, just one chapter after explaining that Adam and his descendants live for centuries.
Well, the Sumerians, the Egyptians (both of which are spoken about in Genesis), the Greeks, the Romans, all these civilizations claim immortal gods, male and female, lived among them in their ancient past. Interacted with them. Sometimes bred with them. According to the above verses, the off-spring between these 'sons of God' and 'daughters of humans' were "Nephilim", who are described as "heroes of old, men of renown". These would be the 'demi-gods'. Like Gilgamesh, for example, was a demi-god according to the Sumerian story. Gilgamesh would most certainly fit the description of a "hero of old, man of renown". According to the Epic of Gilgamesh, there really was a flood survived by one man who built a boat and saved a handful of family and bunch of animals. And in that story the "flood hero" was an immortal, like Noah.
There's a lot that lines up with actual history if read in this context. It actually tells one cohesive story that offers explanations for how humans so quickly went from hunter/gatherers to multiple independent civilizations, each with their own unique culture and language.
roughly a century after that flood that ended the Ubaid culture in Ur, there really was a climate event, known as the 5.4 kiloyear event, that mirrors the story told in the Babel story. This really did cause the population of that region to get spread all throughout the world.
In this context, these still long living descendants of Noah got dispersed into an already populated world. Within mere centuries of one another, Sumer, Egypt, the Indus Valley in India, Akkad to the north, multiple civilizations sprang up from this region, each with their own unique language.
Placing Genesis within the context of actual history, it becomes apparent that these stories are describing the events that set the modern human world in motion. Just after Babel, in the context of the story, you've got the time of Abraham, who it says was from the Sumerian city of Ur and who had dealings with the Egyptians.
And can you point to any scriptural language that says it was regional, not world wide? Because Genesis very plainly says God flooded the entire world and killed all animals that walked upon it.
Or are you just making up stories, like I said the tale was intended for?
Yes, biblical translators certainly assumed it was global and translated it that way. But the simple fact is, whoever the author was could not have even understood or known about a global flood at the time. A major flood of the Mesopotamian valley would seem like the entire world to them. But nobody doubts this major flood actually took place, considering the Sumerians wrote about it too.
The commonly accepted "author" of the bible was God, writing through various men. If it were not so, and the men that actually penned the words were writing their own thoughts, the bible could only be considered worthless. Men are known to lie, they are known to make errors and they are quite well known to tell tall tales in order to further their own future endeavors. ALL men, including those that held the pens that wrote scripture.
So - the bible was "written" by a god, using men for tools much as we use a typewriter or computer. And unless we wish to assign lying as an attribute of the god we worship we will make the assumption that the god is telling the truth: the earth was covered in water deep enough to kill every living creature. Not most, not 99.99%, not all but one lucky camel that swam away: ALL life not on the ark.
And your twisting, spinning and changing of the words of Scripture are the evil work of Satan. Or some such; it's also pretty well accepted that Satan and Hell are a fabrication of the church and not biblical at all, although it DOES make a difference just who you listen to.
LOL The Alpha and Omega needs humans to write stuff down for him. He can exist everywhere at the same time, just can't write instructions down.
Well, why not? He had to send his son/himself down to earth to be tortured just to forgive future generations for the actions of their ancestors, didn't he? Why not consider Him as unable to write the tome Himself?
I guess it does make sense, the kind of guy that loves the smell of slaughtered animals may not be able to write.
Hey now! There isn't much better than the smell of a steak over a mesquite fire, wafting out over the neighborhood. Or maybe a spitted pig over the fire pit...
AND I can write. Not well, perhaps, but I CAN write - longhand OR keyboard!
He carved commandments into stone. Besides, the separation between God and humans is a pretty key part of the story. Notice how early on God could walk and talk with Adam/Eve. But as soon as they behaved contrary to His will things changed.
Think of it more in terms of white blood cells. They, by nature, destroy things in the body that are potentially harmful. The story describes how people who come in direct contact with God are in danger of being destroyed. Like when Moses asked to see God. God had to back him up into a crevice of rock and cover him with His hand to protect him....
Exodus 33:19-23 - 19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
People going into the Tabernacle had to have ropes tied to them so if they died while in there, there remains could be pulled back out without having to send someone in after them.
If the purpose of this existence was to create free will, and if that capability makes it possible for you to be out of line with God, then similar to how a white blood cell acts, the 'unclean' element is destroyed. That would mean this natural world was created to keep us separate. So we could be free to behave however, even if that behavior is in conflict, without being destroyed.
It's actually not a contradiction. It's consistent with the rest of the story. God often had to have people act on His behalf. Like Moses. People are often representatives for God. God appearing Himself could have consequences. Not to mention the impact of God's physical presence would have on our free will.
Think of it in terms of you and I being products of this natural world. Our being able to behave contrary to God's will (natural law) makes us, in a sense, unnatural. And as the story illustrates, simply coming into contact with God while in this state can destroy us. It's not God being mean anymore than you would blame gravity for being mean if you fall and hurt yourself.
I don't know. That whole concept of God working people like puppets, writing through them, kind of flies in the face of the whole theme of the story regarding free will. Nobody really knows when the books of Moses were written or who wrote them. But if the story it's telling is correct, then there were plenty of opportunities for humans to get an accurate telling of, say creation, straight from the source. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God early on. Genesis 5 breaks its repetitive list of descendants to explain that one in particular, Enoch, walked and talked with God. And of course Moses and the Israelites, while wondering in the wilderness, had the ark and the tabernacle where people could enter and converse with God.
Here's the most obvious of clues that the flood wasn't global, even in the context of the story. The "Nephilim" are only mentioned twice in all the bible. Once before the flood ....
Gen6:4 - The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
And once long after the flood, after the exodus, when Moses and the Israelite tribes encounter descendants of these Nephilim ...
Numbers 13:33 - We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
So, it would seem these were descendants of survivors of the flood. They were not on the ark, yet have descendants who lived on well beyond the flood.
I don't know, it's rather specific. It even says "They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered." and "The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits." What's that? About 80 feet about the tallest mountain?
What about this?
"Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark."
Or are you saying all of the writers in the bible could have exaggerated grossly or perhaps were mislead by the repeated tellings of the stories, such as the miracles performed my Jesus?
A quick look through the Hebrew text will show you that the same word translated here as "mountain" is translated elsewhere as "hill". And I'm sure you've seen the Mesopotamian valley on a map, there's not a lot of mountains in the area. You have to keep in mind that when translators translate from English to Hebrew, there's a lot of room for this kind of thing. The context of the story dictates which words are used. So, if the translator is assuming a global flood, each place a decision is to be made, like whether to use "hill" or "mountain", or whether to use "land" or "earth", it's informed by the assumed context of the story. So, translating a line that says, "Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out", rather than "Every living thing on the face of the [land] was wiped out" makes it sound much more global, and much less localized.
No, I didn't say I believe anything, only that I don't know how the universe started, but I don't think any gods currently exist. What happened before now, I can't say, but the possibilities are endless.
I guess we can add a "theist atheist" to the list of things to make support for JMs stance on page one, correct. If only the uneducated (like me) could see how illogical things actually worked.
Honestly, what you write in these forums shows what you believe or don't believe. Jesus said, "What goes in the mouth does not defile a man but what comes out defiles a man. For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." The same goes for what is typed in a forum.
Peter was accused of being a follower of Jesus; Mat 26:73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
Mat 26:74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
He lied to those who accused him out of fear. His speech still gave him away.
People really want what they want, over what is reasonable and true sometimes. Truth and reality never really conform to our wants, preferences and desires. They just "are." When we try and force what we want to be true through other means, it won't work. It's much better to struggle through the reasons we want views that don't work, and then maybe reassess.
After all that we all still choose, but we get what comes with our choices whether good or bad. Like you can't win in a debate or discussion with a poor idea, not even with numbers and tactics. Not even when people can't figure out exactly what's being done, the idea still flies or fails.
Blaming others for poor views and arguments usually shines a brighter light on the failings in the end. So whatever we think we "win" for siding with or believing in poor ideas is never really "free." It's the nature of truth I think. We aren't picking toppings in a pizza here.
Perhaps you missed the post where HeadlyvonNoggin admitted that I was right. It's possible to be an atheist and still be open to the possibility that gods may exist or have existed.
Boy... the thought that YOU may be the one who is using bad definitions and misunderstanding/lacking knowledge has just never occurred to you, has it?
Even when things are linked/pointed out/given defintions... you just ignore them in favor of what headly says. Not what YOU say... because you haven't had a thought of your own since you started typing. You just repeat what Headly says.... and then say that we are being stubborn/wriggling because we disagree with his "wisdom"
Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and discount everything you say from now on. When I am curious about your opinion I'll ask Headly what it is.
The very same thing could be posed back to you ...
"Boy... the thought that YOU may be the one who is using bad definitions and misunderstanding/lacking knowledge has just never occurred to you, has it?"
I'm willing to accept that I might be completely wrong.
Just post one single link from a reputable source that backs any of your points up.
Of course by this point, your points have changed so many times I can't count... so if you would like to write the point you are trying to make then give a link supporting it... that would be great.
If you are supported by anybody/institution/organization that isn't like "Bob's theology school" then a link should show that... yes?
I mean the other people telling you that your assumptions are wrong have given links. You haven't.
Incorrect. I do welcome people pointing out how my definitions or lack if knowledge, anything I say could be wrong. Many of us here seem to think it better to show how and where that happens with things other than sheer denials or dismissals, or assertions, etc.
just show how. Like point me to something within a link that shows what I am saying us wrong. No one gets a pass on anything FOR showing a link.
This was beyond mere disagreements about definitions and that was something I keyed in on and showed how and why.
Part of that included referring back to Headly's and JM's points as often as it got away from that or was needed. That post there was all mine. No need to copy others. As for who I tend to agree with often, that goes to whoever is being reasonable, fair, giving facts, not resorting to tactics and more I'm sure. That COULD be you or JM or whoever else does it. That part is out of my hands though and in yours and others.
"None of those verses say that God exists outside of time or the universe. You realize that... right?"
Genesis 1:1 does when it says that God created the heavens and the earth. How could God only exist within a universe He is the creator of?
How else does it make sense that God perceives time so differently than us? How else could it be possible that 1000 years would be like a day to Him? The point is, how He's described by these people who did not have the knowledge we do now, is consistent with a being who exists apart from time/space as we now understand both to be products of this universe.
What's wrong with what I said about birds? They did come from the oceans, did they not? They did evolve from dinosaurs, did they not? You can knit-pick the finer points that you don't want to accept all you want, the fact is what's described lines up quite well with what one would actually observe if able to observe it from the specified point of view, from the surface ...
Day 1: Verses 1 through 5 - Hadean Eon - Age when oceans formed and atmosphere became translucent
Day 2: Verses 6 through 8 - Archaen Eon - Age when water cycle and oxygenated atmosphere were established
Day 3: Verses 9 through 13 - Proterozoic Eon - Age when continents formed; Paleozoic Era - Plantlife on land
Day 4: Verses 14 through 19 - Paleozoic Era - Age when continents moved from beneath planet to between poles
Day 5: Verses 20 through 23 - Mesozoic Era - Age when life from the sea thrived ultimately leading to birds
Day 6: Verses 24 through 31 - Cenozoic Era - Age when modern mammals and humans developed
I have discovered this thread to be interesting and presenting opportunity for thought. I liked this presentation and went on a tour of the web rather than books. I found this you may like to read. It shares two biblical accounts for creation. I was not aware and now ponder. I share this only as you may have interest too. Nothing more or less.
Thank you for this. This is a good resource. It's important in deciphering what's what in Genesis to understand that it's pieced together from multiple sources. Some bits written in one form, some in another. Point of view changes and story telling style shifts make way more sense when you understand where one piece ends and another begins. It also really helps clarify what's being read. This is good information to have. Thank you for sharing.
You are welcome Thank you for inspiring me to look. I learned enough to know I know very little regarding the approach(s) of a biblical scholar. That article alone changes perspectives all across the board for me.
It's this information that first inspired me to focus in on the first 11 chapters of Genesis. The various source texts that link refers to comes from an overall assessment of the books of Moses known as the Documentary Hypothesis ....
Yahwist source (J) : hypothetically written c. 950 BCE in the southern Kingdom of Judah.
Elohist source (E) : hypothetically written c. 850 BCE in the northern Kingdom of Israel.
Deuteronomist (D) : hypothetically written c. 600 BCE in Jerusalem during a period of religious reform.
Priestly source (P) : hypothetically written c. 500 BCE by Kohanim (Jewish priests) in exile in Babylon.
What I find absolutely remarkable about those first 11 chapters is that these stories were very well known in that region. In fact, two of these four sources were so similar that they were actually edited together. The Sumerians also spoke of a once universal language being confused into many, about a great flood survived by one man who built a boat, and quite a few others parallels, but their stories are much older than the dates proposed by the documentary hypothesis. There are many today who take this to mean the writers of Genesis borrowed these themes from the Sumerian stories, suggesting their made up. But, if these stories actually happened like Genesis describes, the Sumerians would have been the population that existed in the region as these events were happening. So it makes sense that their stories would share such commonality. This would mean the Sumerian stories actually add legitimacy, rather than take away from.
That was in response to this comment... "[atheism] certainly doesn't mean you have to think a certain way about the origin of the universe."
My response - "Except that the origin of the universe could have actually happened without the help of a God."
I have shared this story before. You will try to minimize it, but that doesn't change the truth.
My friend was without child. They had lost a baby years before. They had been trying for 15 years to have a child, but remained barren. At a prayer meeting, I heard the Lord speak to my heart. He told me April (April or May, I don't remember now.) I knew I was supposed to tell my friend this month, but I was afraid. I thought if it was my own thoughts, it would be cruel to raise her hopes and I surely did not want to say I was speaking for the Lord if I wasn't. So I tried to suppress the leading all night. I asked the Lord not to make me share this with my friend, but He didn't let me off the hook. So I came to the point where I asked Him to only let it be from Him, and not to let me speak my own words. Finally, at the end of the meeting, I went up to her and told her I felt the Lord had told me to tell her "April". We talked a bit and I prayed for her and we went home. That night she couldn't sleep so she went to Walmart at 4 or 5 am and bought a pregnancy test. After 15 years, she was pregnant. She had a little boy (in April or May) she named him Samuel, just like my son. I have had many stories like this in my life... I have known ppl who have had many stories like this. We have all the proof we need. We share our stories in hopes that you will one day know the truth that we know.
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Atheists claim that God does not exist, show me the proof that backs up this claim.
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