Just a question, but it would seem if there really were no God, then Atheists couldn't exist. Is Atheism a religion? They definitely seem to be unified by a common belief.
Atheism is like I am god which is correct. You have both om namo shiva and shiva ho hum.
I am god and I bow to god.
I was an atheist-didn't believe in god would always say I am god since I was a kid.
Today after having seen the light or god I say both I am god and I bow to god.
God is within you , is actually your inner most core, deeper than blood we are made of this fine light,love tissue which is supremely intelligent and pervades the entire cosmos .
Oh ! really ..I was believing that there is a god to protest us but he played with me...I haven't done any bad thing with anybody then why he is playing with me...
so I am now atheists.
I believe that Atheism is just a way of life. I was raised never to question God. Atheiest are just rebelious children acting out some terrible thing that happen in their lives. some adult who figured they would start a "group" because they felt God ran out on him.
I was an atheist since a very young age .Came from a good school, a good background,had many pretty girl friends,ate in five star hotels a lot and then joined the Merchant Navy where I had a great time.Never had something terrible happen to me and then became an atheist. Today I not only believe but preach god and thats a different story.
You seem to be very happy with where you are, spiritually. Good stuff.
Personally, I cannot understand this need to 'pray' for "unbelievers'" souls, or try to convert them to my way of thinking. If everybody thought like me, it would soon become too crowded, and I hate crowds!
your understanding and tolerance is beautiful.I wish more were like you- live and let live.
God was the biggest shock in my life but today yes I am content .Initial years were a nightmare after enlightenment with family,friends everyone calling me mad but then I have god with me and he is sorting all that out.I do my part and he does his .
Many atheists I know listen and believe me simply because I was one of them.They say out of all the people in the world -you- we know you wouldn't lie to us.
Then this understanding has to come from within.
Poor you. Perhaps one day - you may come to your own conclusions.
GOD is love, the source of life, and fun and very cool so questions are always welcome.
How very unfortunate. To be brought up in unthinking-ness is a terrible tragedy.
I was very lucky. I was brought up in a religious home, and educated in Anglican Church schools, and encouraged at home and school to use my brain.
Well, if there really was no God, people would invent one. So you'd still need athiests.
We also have to deal with unbelievers in the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM). we call them Spagnostics.
There isn't, and we did. So here I am.
Oh - and I have unilaterally decided that the holey spirit is Barbera D'Asti Superiore - 5 years minimum age.
interesting question. I don't think it works that way though. I don't believe in ghosts but my saying that doesn't mean they exist. Me not believing in them is just my opinion. Lots of people have unified beliefs, there are groups who believe gay marriage should be legal and groups who believe it should not. That doesn't necessarily make them a religion.
"A religion is an organized approach to human spirituality which usually encompasses a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices, often with a supernatural or transcendent quality, that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to a higher power or truth."
According to Wikipedia, atheism isn't a religion
My personal thought is that atheists choose not to believe in a higher power. It doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Just like because a religion believes in a higher power it doesn't mean it does exist.
There can be a unified group of people who believe in something. It doesn't make the belief a religion. My friends and I love 311. We wouldn't say we practiced 311-ism.
That would be tantamount to saying that if there really were no bigfoot then bigfoot skeptics wouldn't exist.
Theists(those who believe in a god)make the claim that a god exists. Atheists are skeptical of that claim. Atheists are waiting for theists to provide reasonable evidence to support their claim that a god exists. Until then, atheists believe that gods existence is unproven and therefore does not merit belief. It is as simple as that.
You see, the burden of proof is on the one making the claim not on the one disputing it. It is not up to atheists to disprove god but rather, it is up to the theists to prove god.
Is atheism a religion? Well, look at it this way: if I assumed that you do not believe in Zeus would I be correct? If so, would you consider your disbelief in Zeus a religion? Probably not, right? Atheism is simply the lack of theism, nothing more.
I don't think it can be put any better than this. The problem that I have and most people have with religion is the lack of proof across the board.
I'll believe anything you can show me, and as I used to be a religious fanatic, I have spent plenty of years searching for the evidence that a god does exist. I have seen none.
As of right now, I would probably say that I am an Atheist, but do not practice any sort of religious rituals or consider myself a part of a religion. That is not to say that if I were shown some physical evidence of a god, that I wouldn't then believe.
Most people are rational enough to be convinced of something if shown the proof. It is ashame that it does not work in reverse!
A person who does not believe in a supreme being
A strong belief and following in a higher/supreme being.
Therefore, Atheism is not a religion...
Religion is a system of beliefs built around the worship of something, moral ideas, or philosophical beliefs (websters)--
I hate to burst your bubbles, but atheism is just as a much a religion as buddhism (which is a philosophy just like atheism), taoism, christianity, islam, darwinism or any other system of beliefs that helps a person make sense of life and themselves.
Every athiest has a god as well, they just either won't acknowledge it or they fail to see it-- a god is not just something that is openly worshiped and professed by the worshiper, it is also something that a person devotes his/her life to, and in effect "relies" on for their source of life. So the god of an athiest may be either money, nature, humanity or their own self. Most commonly atheists regard themselves as the highest being in the order (therefore they believe they are the supreme being).
Your idea of atheists not being able to exist because they say god doesn't exist is a strange philosophy-- there are alot of groups who say God exists, and alot of groups who say God doesn't exist. Whether God exists or not is not up to people to decide, but up to none other than.... God existing or not!
Believe in God, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain... when you die, if God doesn't exist then you're no different than the atheists or other religions and it won't matter anyway-- but if God does exist then you'll be very happy you believed in Him.
You may consider my bubble unburst. Extending the definition of religion to include everyone is to make the word meaningless.Similarly, extending the meaning of god to include me doesn't make me god. You're just playing word games.Here we go - close with the veiled threat. You'd better believe in God, so that when you die...
- first reply-- I don't see how that statement includes everyone-- although it certainly includes all forms of beliefs and values.
- 2nd reply- if you believe that you (or humanity) are the highest form of life then you can't deny that humanity is in fact the supreme beings in existence... or you may just think that humans are another part of the food chain with no real purpose except to live, eat and then die.... well.... bummer for mankind.
-3rd reply-- there is no threat-- who said "you better believe in God so that when you die...." I'm not into threatening anyone - I'd say it's more of a statement of reality-- if an atheist is right in saying that there is no god then it doesn't matter what anyone believes because in the end we all end up the same (rotting flesh and bone in the dirt) , so why should an atheist care whether there are people who believe in God or not?
It's the people who believe in God that are the ones who should care, not the ones who don't believe in God.
Atheism is just another belief in a system of ideas-- religion doesn't require there to be the outright worship of something for it to be considered a religion... it can be only a belief in or ongoing practice of some philosophical ideas.
I have a question, if atheists don't consider themselves the supreme being, then, according to an atheist, who (or what life form) is the highest form of life? A yet undiscovered life form? Apes?
You can't dodge the answer... and by believing that humanity is the highest form of life known to man then truly that is a form of worship in itself, you probably don't want to hear that, though...
Atheists do worship something... but we can argue that forever because of different understandings of what worship means. It is inherent in people to adore, devote, bow to, and "give there lives" to something in a fully "surrendering" way- if you are able to stop yourself from this then I applaud you wholeheartedly.
I think the others have addressed your ignorance of the English language and threats of hell fire, but I found this one entertaining.
What are you talking about? Highest form of life?
The closest you could come to that is the food chain. And to all intents and purposes humans are at the top of the food chain on earth. Is that what you mean by ""highest form of life?"
Because to me - there is just "life."
What makes you think you are a "higher form of life" than a worm?
Mark, not only are you attacking me but you're making false accusations regarding statements I've never made.
I don't care for the personal attacks and would appreciate proper respect.
Regardless... I'm not an atheist so I don't know the answer to your question.
I personally don't think that humanity is the highest form of life in existence anywhere.
Attacking you? How exactly?
But you made an assumption about a "higher form of life" and I wondered why?
Mark, can you please explain to me my "ignorance of the english language" and threats of hell fire? I'd like to see where I threatened anyone with hellfire because I did not, and I don't see how I'm ignorant of the english language since my reference for applicable meaning has been good old Mr. Webster.
My assumption of a "higher form of life" comes from 2 things- one, I believe there is a higher form of life, but it's not humanity, Two- Natural selection makes a rather convincing case for higher forms of life in nature.
Ignorance of the English language :
1. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
2. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
"Religion is a system of beliefs built around the worship of something, moral ideas, or philosophical beliefs"
Atheism is a lack of a belief in a higher power and is not a set of beliefs, philosophical or otherwise.
There are plenty of atheists who have developed their own moral code - but I am sure there are plenty how have not. I cannot speak for all atheists - all I can say is I do not need to believe in a god to have a moral code. But the two are nothing to do with each other.
So you do not appear to know what the word "atheist" means.
"Believe in God, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain... when you die, if God doesn't exist then you're no different than the atheists or other religions and it won't matter anyway-- but if God does exist then you'll be very happy you believed in Him."
Why would I be unhappy to not have believed in a god when I die?
So - because you assume there is a higher power - you think everyone else (including atheists) must also believe this?
Actually, most atheists would say exactly that. They don't believe mankind has any higher purpose, we're just part of the ecosystem. What's wrong with that? All it means is that we make the most of the time we have.
But your own definition of religion included worship, you can't just delete that bit because it doesn't suit your argument!
First you say religion doesn't have to include worship, then you say we all worship something. You are right - a great many people feel the need for some kind of devotion, that's probably why religion exists. But just because you feel that need, you shouldn't assume everyone does.
You just disproved your own theory. Yes, atheism involves moral ideas and philosophical beliefs, but it does not include THE WORSHIP OF SOMETHING (sorry, don't know how to do italics...).
Atheists do not worship anything. They don't worship nature (there's a variety of religions that worship nature), or money, or other people, or themselves. They live their life according to "moral ideas and philosophical beliefs" (although I think the word belief is debatable, I'd rather say values).
Atheists also don't consider themselves the supreme being. Some may consider humanity the highest form of life currently known, but that doesn't mean they're up themselves.
Oh, and did you know that many people agree with you that Buddishm is not a religion.
pjh - My observations thus far lead me to suspect that humans have more developed cognitive ability and higher languages with which to communicate than any other species on Earth. Our technology seems to be better developed too, though I'll admit that owls make better nests.
I think it's quite likely that there are life forms elsewhere in the Universe that are at least as highly developed as humans, but I haven't any hard evidence to support that idea.
I see no need do describe us as the supreme anything.
I'm perfectly OK with the idea that we die and are either burnt (in a crematorium, not hell!) or buried. That's fair enough. Dead, we're of no further use, except as a source of nutrition for other species.
I don't have to fall in with your belief systems.
Paraglider-- that's my observation as well-- but as I said before- bummer for mankind (regarding your last paragraph)-
I respect your beliefs and don't expect you or anyone to fall in with my belief systems. That's not the point. I believe it's always important for every person everywhere to carefully examine their own system of beliefs rather than just accepting status quo.
Why a bummer? Mankind can go on for a long time yet, as long as we don't destroy the ecosystem. Individual humans apear to be mortal, a trait we seem to share with every other species on Earth.
I expect you'll struggle with this notion, but I try not to have beliefs. I'm happy to be agnostic beyond the limits of my knowledge. It's called Rationalism and is the antithesis of a belief system.
It's a bummer for mankind and the individual because apart from trying to make life as pleasurable as possible, there is really no hope at all-- I suppose you could just say that the general advancement of mankind is cause for enough hope... but how does that help the individual other than giving the peace of mind that his/her children will live and die with better technology or advancements?
If I was an atheist, I would do everything I possibly could to find a cure for death because the only hope would be to live forever... but then again, I'd rather just die anyways because I really don't want to live in my body forever and the world is full of too many criminals who disregard life.
Rationalism will only take you so far because what is thought to be rational today can turn out to be utter foolishness tomorrow.
I understand your notion, but realistically, trying to live life without beliefs, my good friend, is like a ship without a rudder... it also goes against nature-- our development is partially based on gathering information to form a basis for or about something and then being able to act upon that basis. Simple examples are children learning how to speak and walk.
I love rational thinking, believe it or not.
That's not sensible. Rational means reasoning from the known or apparently known facts. If future discoveries belie the earlier 'facts' it does not turn the rationalist into a fool. It simply says s/he did not have accurate data to work with. The fool, surely is the one who ignores the apparent facts and holds fast to a belief that flies in the face of same.That's patronising. Maybe you need a belief system. But I don't. I decide moment by moment what to do. I appeal to my own judgment, not to some arbitrary 'belief' The difference seems to be that you seem to have decided that you've gathered enough information, so now you 'know' and have stopped gathering. For me, life is an unended quest.not
Mark, if you believe in forgiveness then please forgive me for threatening you with the statement "believe in God... blah blah blah"-
the definition I pulled
"Religion is a system of beliefs built around the worship of something, moral ideas, or philosophical beliefs"
comes quoted from Websters New world dictionary.
I don't think everyone else has to believe there is a higher power just because I do-- but me, as a passionate human being, would rather try to argue with people who don't believe than do nothing. That's just me being me. Do I respect them? Yes. Do I respect their beliefs? Yes, to the extent that their beliefs are not compulsory to others. I won't force my beliefs on you, please don't force your beliefs on me... but I will argue (in a good way) with you regarding beliefs as long as you want. As soon as things turn to name calling, bashing, and hatred, that's where I stop.
Ok - let's accept your definition a la webster.
Surely that applies to every single person in the world - regardless of what they believe.
Even if I happen to believe sex with 6 years olds is fine and people with skin darker than mine should be shot. This is a "philosophical belief," and therefore a religion.
My point is that atheism is not a belief system.
It is a lack of belief in a higher power.
Edit - and you do not need forgiving for what you said. Two reasons -
1. As I keep trying to explain to people - forgiving benefits the one doing the forgiving.
2. If I believed what you believe, I would be holding people down and screaming "Believe in god or burn in hell !" LOL
1. Forgiving benefits both parties involved equally and re-establishes a broken relationship (if the relationship was ever made or broken in the first place)-- it also shows a place of humility and "feeling sorry about.." on the part of the one asking for forgiveness, and it shows respect and a "holding in high regard" for the one who is being asked for forgiveness. The one who is being asked for forgiveness naturally has the right to extend or deny.
2. For that, I'm glad you don't believe what I believe. LOL
In my dictionary (you won't find it in bookshelves or online), a religion is anything that you have an overwhelming and strong belief in...
I would regard "Aussie Rules" as a religion.
Fifty thousand, or even double that, people getting caught up in a frenzy. It's like worship.
Some atheists can put so much passion and fervour into this 'non-religion' or 'anti-religion' you wonder why they put so much effort into not believing in believing.
I've also noticed that some atheists spend a lot of time evangelising.
In a definition (because this is all a game of semantics, and of tripping, and therefore NOT a real argument, but some sort of device) neither so narrow nor so broad, what about those of us who believe and espouse some aspects of one belief system, some of another, and maybe create beliefs that are unique to us and us only?
Do we also have religion, or have we truly lost it?
What about those human beings who have truly examined nothing--and I believe they are out there. Do they have 'religion' by this definition?
(Sorry all, sometimes I cannot resist!)
This sounds a lot like "Pascal's Wager."
It assumes that:
1. There is only one religious belief system and one heaven/hell. (Which god should we believe in? If you pick the wrong one you risk the hellfire of another vengeful god)
2. That a person can will themselves to believe something. (Would a deity honor belief that is motivated only by ones desire to save his/her arse?)
Insurance policies are good for something huh?
I'd personally rather enjoy the ride the way it was intended
the food chain theory reminds me of my biology teacher-- he was real abusive with his teachings. He made me want to bury my head in the ground and hide until this pathetic puny existence withered away to dust... perhaps the wind will blow me away and some other fortunate soul will find a gold treasure awaiting.
I get what you were saying previously--atheists may be unaware of actually believing..or even preaching what they believ. Get what atheists here are saying, too. Essentially, they have no need for a deity as previously established to live a decent and meaningful (or even not) life. Morality/ethics, ie, is separate from belief in God.
A nicer 'insurance' policy would be that any true God would forgive their disbelief/or even, reasoning.
This whole 'argument' is nothing but a game of words that both intend to use as presented thus far.
my last post until another day-- I have to go-
but anyhow, this is the saddest part about atheism (in my opinion)- by sad, I mean I feel sorrowful about this-
"the atheist has no need of a god"--
The true God does forgive disbelief-- but I'm not sure that's what atheists are looking for.
Is anyone else having as much fun with this post as me?
They are deffinitely not looking for forgivness, because they have not "sinned".
What they are looking for is "disputes" with believers. They love to rubbish everyones beliefs.
If they don't have any religion, why post in that forum?
I've been having a ball for months!!!!
So - now you have stopped telling me what I should believe and are now telling me that what I don't believe is a religion.
And you wonder why people are reacting against you?
The only ones who say atheism is a religion are the ones who cannot conceive of life without a religion.
Much like keep on repeating that there is a god - this will not make it magically come true.
Religions are based on prophets or the enlightened ones teachings on the Light.Atheist do not have a prophet or guru as such so it cannot be labeled as a religion.
Tell that to the atheists Michael Ruse, Herbert Spencer, Thomas Henry and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who believe atheism is a religion. Or tell it to the federal court of appeal who ruled that atheism is a religion.
I figured I'd bump this post just in case it got missed. There were about 3 pages quickly posted today since it was posted. It relates to the original topic.
So, I am a Christian who believes in evolution. Does that mean that I have two religions? Is that like dual nationality or something? By supporting evolution, I am saying that there is no god: By being a theist, I am saying that there is. My brain hurts.
Getting very perplexed by the whole thing.
I have two religions- hindu and parsee best of both worlds
Hey Sulfi- how does believing in evolution mean that there is no God? Maybe God created evolution to keep our world inhabitable. There is some truth to some ideas of evolution- However, human beings carry a special uniqueness about them that separates them from all of the other creatures on the planet (or in the universe, if you believe in aliens).
Mark I have never ever told you what you should believe.
You are coming to these Religion forums on your own free will.
Personally Mark I think you just like being called the high priest of atheism.
Mo mentioned another deity called shiva ho hum. Maybe you would prefer Mark ho hum?
Ah - so you don't think my opinion of Religion should be allowed on a religion forum?
But it is OK for you to spend your time foisting your religious opinions on the politics, health, family and science forums.
All is Shiva , Mark, you and ever human. If you understand god you will understand the meaning of shiva ho hum- I am shiva- I am god- truth which every human will understand .
Jesus- I am the Light = shiva ho hum- same thing.
I understand one thing be nice to Mark and he is nice to you, threaten him and he defends himself just like me, I hate being ordered or threatened.
In that case only the enlightened ones should be allowed as they are the only ones to have come across god.
Sure I guess your militant atheism has a right on these religion forums, in fact the HubPages administration has deemed your form of attack not to be attacks. You know similar to the League of the Militant Godless in communist Russia. But don't deny your form of militant atheism is not a religion. You even try to evangelize. In fact you even proselytize for the FSM.
So - how many times have you complained about me saying your beliefs are irrational and wrong?
Oh - I am sorry - attacking you.
Actually no I don't know anything about the Catholic insurgency masquerading as communists in an effort to wipe out the orthodox church.
A few people doesn't represent everyone. I'm sure their are Catholics people don't agree with. Catholics in high standing as well. As far as the government. Isn't your argument for government to stay outta things? So why do you care about the federal court?
Looks like that - I tend to believe insiders, Mike is no exception
Well that makes me wanna sign up right away Sorry Mike, I just don't get what you're saying. Relating atheism to religion is just annoying. You know that. You can think what you want. Just like you not believing your religion is a "cult", atheists (and non) don't think they belong to a religion. We're not gonna get anywhere.
Untill the atheist can prove that God does not exist, I will believe that He does. Philosophical arguments prove nothing either way and science changes it's mind every-other week on their concrete this is fact undisputable "proof" of almost everything. We have barely scratched the surface of understanding the universe or human beings, let alone if there is a god.
As far as I am concerned God and science are not two separate things. You can't have one without the other. There have been, throughout history, and are today many, many, religious scientist. And Scientist are only human beings who do not create anything - they only discover how to manipulate what already exist, and it seems strange that the more scientist discover, the more questions remain unanswered.
It is well known that mankind - from earliest times believed in something greater than himself. Man has always realized his fragility in a world beyond his control and his need for meaning to his existence. How each of us defines that realization or need is up to the individual, that is why we have so many different religions and denomonations, and atheist. I wonder how many creators of super heros are atheist?
For those who don't believe - fine. But don't try to humilate those of who do and try to stand us under a sign that says ignorant, uneducated fools.
And for all of us - compassion, not a shovel, is the elixir for peace and paves a smoother road toward understanding.
I'm just saying...
I think that we are all trying to do the best we can, with what we have to work with.
Is atheism a religion? No, not by any definition.
Why is it so important that it is classed as such? This argument is almost entirely meaningless.
About as much use as asking: Is my cat a dog?
I totally agree-This argument is almost entirely meaningless.
Having seen your cat, I'd say, possibly, yes....
Butterfly, that isn't true at all. Atheist aren't just rebellious children. My brother was raised in a happy healthy home, he just chooses not to believe in God. As with most Atheists. A lot of atheists never have believed in God, it isn't that they think "God ran out on them." They never believed in God in the first place.
Make Money, So what is the point of posting on a public forum when you don't want everyone to comment? Do you only want to hear those whom agree with you?
Maybe you could point out where I said that in this post UW.
Actually I have never posted in the health or family forums and I just posted my first post in the science forum about a half an hour ago.
Well you did say not to deny that atheism is a religion. When that is the point of this forum. Is atheism a religion or not? You say it is. And you don't want others to deny against it.
Raven, but not for everyone. Saying that God is love, source of life, fun and cool... is what He is to you. Mark was stating that Butterfly was raised to not ask questions. I think that anyone who does not question is just assuming the answer. I don't choose to live my life that way.
My response was too long. So now I'm writing a Hub.
I dont have enough Faith to beleive in Atheism
But its easy ( for me) to see God exists .
His hand is Everywhere ,our creative minds ,talents and abilities ? too many to mention
My opinion is that Atheism is a self made god , a belief that will credit anything except the true Creator because if he does he would have to acknowlege that he is a sinner.
Pride comes in many forms , most of which will seek to deny the existance of Christ or Superior Being.
I know some will respond with intellectual facts and figures and scientific revelations from all kinds of people in history but like I shared I dont have enough faith to believe in man's wisdom,for my life here and later.
I guess the answer to your question is Atheists seek to prove by trying to disprove, Gods existance
What a shame. No one can disprove a negative. So it must be true huh?
Don't want to bother you with any facts or anything.
Not a sinner here. But you believe you are worthless and need forgiveness if you want.
A long time ago ,before man created god, life was good on earth.
Than misery started,questions could not be asked anymore because the answers could 've been inconvenient to the religeous powers.
Medical science was slowed down because dissections where forbidden by the church.
Galileo and others had to swallow their scientific dicoveries.And thousands of people where burned alive or beheaded in the name of god.You want to get rid of someone? Easy,call him a heretic.
God is an invention of people not courageas enough to keep seeking and thirsty of power.
By the way,no atheist shall deny the existence of Christ.For immaculate conception and resurection,that's another question.
But deep in you, you know the answer,don't you?
Atheists don't have to prove anything. They're not interested in proving anything. They're waiting for you to provide proof.
Please explain? If you're referring to the Bible, it was written by men. None of the people who wrote the Bible claimed they were God (the disciples, etc).
You can claim it was written by men who were divinely inspired by God, but you can't prove it.
I've posted a question a couple of days ago : When did religion start ? In other words : when and why did man create god ?
Any answers ?
I posted a Hub. If anyone cares. I didn't go into too much detail. If I get lame comments like the ones in this forum I'm going to deny them, so don't even try me
Isn't God smart enough to tell when one is lying? So if someone said "I believe in God" and didn't mean it its just the same as not saying it. Pointless to say you believe in something "just in case". Especially when it is a lie. "Believe in God, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain..." Uh not if it goes against what you truly think. You can't just tell someone "Believe in God."
wow very thought inspriring question? hmmm i think that they are uniformed in the fact that they either can't grasp the concept of god or they just have had something bad happen so there is no god.
It seems you need me to prove something that I already believe in?
The Bible was written by men inspired of by God .
That is what is meant "It Is Written"
Written by men who where inspired , is sufficient .
No, but as the person who started this thread said, it is (or should be) human nature not to believe blindly, but to examine one's beliefs to ensure they make sense.
Like I said, how do you know they were inspired by God? If you believe it just because they say so, then you must also be a Mormon and a Muslim, because the leaders of both those belief systems claim they were inspired by God. Why do you choose to believe the men who wrote the Bible and not the man who wrote the Quran?
I know because my conscience tells me ,I hear , I listen , I believe not because they say its true.
I read the evidence ,listen to others ,practice the behaviour , observe the consequences ( for me) read some more , analyse what works ,what doesnt...
I think generally speaking, far too many people obcess over labels and stereotypes....titles and names why cant it be just
works for me
Belief is often kindled by faith and sometimes even by the faith of others. If you believe in something then it is like a seed that is planted within. If it grows then the seed is good because it edifies the soul and enlarges by the power of the holy spirit, and if it is a bad seed then it will wither and die. I would say (in the spirit of the prophets and apostles,)that if you lack wisdom then ask God with sincerity of heart and he will give it to you freely.
I thought Religion just meant anything 'man made' ( thought up) anyway.
This is interesting:
http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/?scp=1-sp … amp;st=cse
But no 'argument' from me on here, lol.
Not all rational liberalists are atheists, necessarily, MM, . Or see their political leanings as a failed belief system--they just file it in a certain place. There is a discussion on reading a certain playwright vs. climbing a set of stairs in there, I think...
The thing with the above screed is that it should not be taken as absolutist, or portions of it out of context, either. It is only asking questions....which I see as a good thing.
I have to.
My bottom line: I have no issue with those who have truly examined their life/mind/beliefs and come up with atheism or agnosticism. I'm not going to speak for God, (can't), but any idea I have of a God would see clearly enough not to have an issue with them, either.
Lita I posted the portion of Dr. Fish's blog post back on page 6 of this thread because I believe that portion clearly defines what he was saying, with out posting the entire blog post.
My intention wasn't to take anything out of context. The title of Dr. Fish's blog post is "God Talk".
Dr. Fish has quite the following for his blog. In less than 3 days his entry "God Talk" received 721 comments. http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/?scp=1-sp … amp;st=cse
That is a rant. It defies the meaning of the word "superstition" for one. It goes ad-hominem on Hitchens and Dawkins. It makes claims like "religion was never meant to be an explanation". Well, what was it meant to be then? It purports to be able to explain and make sense of the world. If that doesn't qualify as an explanation of it, what does? And since when does love, transformative and otherwise, preclude atheism or liberalism or whatever straw men? Also, the notion of value. I can't claim to know what he's talking about in that but neither can you since you're citing a review of a work, not the work itself.
And finally, faith and religion are not the same thing. I have faith that there is still some flounder in the fridge. I have faith my roommates didn't eat it and deprive me of dinner.
The premise of this blog is retarded.
Are you proving there is a Santa Claus by saying you don't believe in him?
The impossibility of completely disproving anything does not constitute an argument for its evidence.
Please don't use "retarded" to mean dumb or stupid. However, I agree with the latter.
I respectfully disagree, calebd, that I claim or claimed that I know exactly what he's talking about. Instead I posted it here as I stated, because I do find it interesting.
MM is taking much of what has been written, I think, a bit out of context if that is all that you read...
One thing I would say, is that at some point, you do have to move a little beyond what they tell you in school--'read the original work,' blah, blah, blah, as sometimes second hand is the way you encounter original authors in all actuality. Just a fact. That doesn't invalidate or validate anything... But jumping to conclusions a little bit does, lol!
If anything, for my own thinking, some of the ideas put forth in the Fish piece does dovetail a bit with those of John O'Donohue, a scholar and poet who basically writes on beauty and faith and their current and possible meaning in the world. It is a huge misnomer and giant injustice to believe that people of some measure of faith (Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, what have you) are incapable of complex thought. A point of view you see espoused all over these religious forums... I think mainly because they stay away, as it is better for their headaches.
As I said before, I do not like semantic games, so I'm done playing here. And you should relax--I'm almost sure our views virtually amount to the same... If Fish turns out to be a raging fundamentalist conservative theist (which I doubt--and I've only read a little of his writing on constitutional rights, so I'm not sure yet), I'm sorry, lol.
These kinds of posts can go on forever and typically turn nasty- it's the way of the world I guess...
There are a few things that can't be denied, no matter what your system of values/beliefs/philosophies/religions or gods tell you---- and that is the fact that we all die and we really don't fully understand the why's, what's and how's of life.
Trying to make sense of this life is where everyone has different conclusions based on previous experiences, teachers, mentors, ideals, traumatic events, spiritual enlightenments..blah-blah-blah-- and for reasons unknown, those conclusions are highly problematic to others who don't agree with them or who have had different experiences.
Since no person can really know what happens when you die (other than your body becoming a stinky pile of bacteria)- We are left with few options regarding "after-life":
1. We choose to ignore it and resign to the fate.
2. We form our own personal beliefs and hope for the best.
3. We follow the advice of others who seem to know a few things (usually our parents or wise professors).
4. We search and test different ideals/religions for suitability (which usually means reading books and having a "spiritual leader")
5. We beg gods (usually any god that would listen) to give us the answer/guidance/knowledge/protection or whatever, usually by means of self inflicted isolation, hunger-strikes (fasting) or desecrating ones self in an effort to gain enlightenment, or during traumatic events.
Well- here's more fodder for the folly
Nobody can find God- but you can hide from God, you can also respond to God-
Nobody can prove there is a God but God can prove Himself real to any person-
You'll never know the true meaning of your life until you die- although, you may find along the way that there really is a meaning to life.
I really think that atheists should try to understand those who believe in God just as believers should try to understand those who say their is no God. Similarly, believers of many gods should try to understand believers of one God, and vice-versa--
Everyone is searching for truth. If we all try to understand each other in that quest for truth then there may be a greater chance for the truth to be less hidden... or maybe we'll just have more wars and hatred, because the truth, when it's revealed, can be very, very hard to accept... do you agree?
Of course I believe the 'two sides' should try to understand each other. Don't think some want to or can, though.
Understanding is sometimes a good reason to continue arguing.
"You can hide from God" and "You can respond to God" both make the same assumption - God exists. Yet you say nobody can prove that is true.
"God can prove Himself real to any person" also makes the same assumption - God exists.
Why does there have to be a "true meaning" to my life, any more than to Sufi's cat/dog's life?
Isn't it possible that consciousness is its own meaning?
Sorry to shatter your argument, Paraglider, but my cat saw the light, shaved his head, and ran off to join the Hare Krishnas. He can now be found outside Athens airport.
Oh - so that was your damn annoying cat with the mini cymbals? I have some bad news........
99.99999999% of the population are outside Athens Airport. Or any other airport for that matter...
Paraglider- you seem interested in the paranormal?
1-- Yes, That's my point- confusing? not if you think about it, and it makes perfect sense if you're open to the idea.
3-- There isn't true meaning to your life if you're not interested in it... cats and dogs have their own problems to deal with- why pull them into our problems?
4-- "Isn't it possible that consciousness is it's own meaning"-- that's interesting-- however, consciousness itself is found wanting in the areas of hope, faith... and even love--- consciousness naturally strives to find purpose and meaning, guidance and strength- consciousness itself already knows (subconsciously?) that there is something amiss with simply eating, drinking, working, sleeping and then dieing... this is why we are having this debate.
The conscious mind without God is full of fear and uncertainty until it's learned to suppress the fear and deal with the uncertainty by adhering to, or creating some belief (or form of god) that temporarily soothes the wanting soul-- Consciousness was meant to feel devoid, just as an empty stomach is meant to feel hungry, so that the person will know that he/she needs something to fill it-- you can either eat garbage or healthy goods, the result will either be sickness or health. The conscious mind is the same. There are poisonous teachings about life that destroy the consciousness just as there are poisonous foods that destroy the body. Something that looks good on the outside may actually eat you from the inside out. Do you understand what I'm saying?
Anyhow, even if atheists are presented with proof that God exists they wouldn't believe it and they would say "how does this prove that God exists?", Furthermore, if an atheist were to meet God, they wouldn't acknowledge God- and (supposing),when an atheist dies, and they stand before God, they won't acknowledge or even recognize Him as God... why? Because they've chosen to be godless, this is the path they have chosen and they will remain godless forever according to their desire.
Let's flip that around and say that person who believes in God, and they adhere to following what they believe God has spoken to them, even without proof that God exists-- then an atheist comes and presents him with proof that God does not exist... a die-hard believer will still believe that his god exists even with proof that the god doesn't--- so, when that person dies, and (supposing) there is no God-- then what happens? Nothing.
So mankind will continue to debate this whole thing as I've described above, so let the godless be godless, let the believers believe and let those who worship multiple gods or the "god within themselves" continue on because the only way that anyone will find the truth is if the truth finds them.
This is a lie. Although it is interesting that you think can read all atheists minds and predict the future. Is that one of the free gifts for joining the cult you prefer?
Show me proof that god exists and I will change my tune.
But it has to be actual proof. As opposed to the sort of proof that begs the question, "how does this prove that god exists."
You love dictating for humankind, don't you? My mind is not full of fear. Never was. Uncertainty is totally different from fear and completely healthy. You should try it sometime. Uncertainty creates questions which make life interesting. Certainty creates answers, the stuff of boredom. Music, poetry, philosophy, even hill-walking or golf - there are so many ways to climb Maslow's pyramid that don't require a god to exist or a belief in any unknowable.
not dictating- but if that's how you see it... so be it- I prefer to think of it as observing and coming to rational conclusions.
So you're saying that you are, and have never been afraid of death? Even when you were a teenager? I find that hard to believe, but stranger things have happened I suppose... I believe you.
Quite true about uncertainty and well put- and I never said it was unhealthy, however, it's the resolve of uncertainty that gives a person confidence and stability. Uncertainty, when properly resolved, is replaced by trust... this is a good thing indeed.
I'm not saying I've never been afraid. I'm saying I've never lived in fear. Entirely different.Misplaced confidence isn't good at all. It's barely distinguishable from arrogance. Largely, in consists in 'knowing' what can't be known and assuming others should 'know' the same unknowables.
No, they dont. Merely saying that God does'nt exit does not prove this statement. There was only one evolutionist-Miller in the 200 year old history of evolution who tried to prove the universe to be started as a mere chance and it is not a God's job BUT failed in very badly.
I was referring to the highlighted part in MM's post. We posted at approximately the same time so I wasn't actually responding to what you said. I'm perfectly fine with inquiry and most everything you've said that I'm aware of
My point about "value" had to do with that it's impossible to tell what the author means by value without reading either his work or an interpretation of it. He is possibly making a much more nuanced point than the article as quoted by MM is making it out to be. In either case, without clarifying what the word means, we're agreeing that the parameters of something possibly specific considering its book-length don't matter.
I wasn't ever arguing that people who are religious are incapable of complex thought. I read many religious people fairly religiously, hehe. I respect the religious' views and their rights to it unless it distorts or infringes on something I hold dear. I think the Guide For the Perplexed is one of the most interesting complex books ever and it's nothing if not religious.
I hope that he tasted good and did not give you indigestion.
You bloody cat-eating Commie atheist. Sadly, you are going to hell. Not your everyday normal Hell, with lakes of fire, thumbscrews and listening to Celine Dion for all eternity.......the special part, reserved for estate agents, lawyers, merchant bankers and atheists.
Don't say I didn't warn you.......
Don't make me go to the one with them. I would join up to avoid that.
Now you will get to spend eternity in heaven, listening to wholesome Christian Rock music for ever. Occasionally, if we feel a little naughty, we play charades and other sinless parlour games. You made the right choice
There are no sinless parlour games. You have been misled by the dark one.
How can I turn aside from this path of sin?
Do I need to send money to the usual address?
Athens Airport is built inside out, like Wonko the Sane's asylum!
anything? That's rather vague and you'll get a vague answer-- c'mon, give me something concrete-- I want to know exactly what kind of proof you are looking for.
Well - it is fair to say I am not "looking for proof," because I do not believe an external god such as you described as me being "happy" to have believed in when I die exists.
But - I think a burning chariot drawn by four white unicorns would probably do it. Or any of the proofs the bible talks about - moving mountains, bringing the dead back to life - that sort of stuff.
World peace would be nice. Although that is still one of those "how does this prove" ones, I would relent and start groveling or begging for forgiveness or whatever it is I have to do.
I like Guru Nanaks quote-everyone is a master or to be master- enlightenment or the ultimate proof of god is bound to happen to every human soul,its a matter of time
Funny thing is that none of those things prove that God exists because a mountain can be moved by volcanic activity, the dead can be brought back to life by CPR and shock pads, and a burning chariot drawn by four white unicorns sounds like a serious mushroom trip to me-
you're not looking for proof is the concept I was talking about earlier to which you said I was a liar.
I can say that God exists but it has to do with my life and therefore it would not be proof to you, and you probably don't really give a rip to know how God has clearly proven Himself to me (and I'm not talking about inner tissues or positive energy) in very real, personable and amazing ways. But that's my experience and it's not scientific proof. If God came in the flesh and said He was God (and it turned out that He was), would you believe Him... I would venture to say not. So physical proof won't work.
I don't belong to a cult, by the way.
Well, what you actually said was something entirely different. You said atheists would not accept proof if it was given.
As for the other stuff - why bother asking me what I would accept as proof if you are then going to argue with me. And yes - physical proof would work. Some random stranger coming and telling me he is god? Probably not going to work.
And no - I do not give a rip what occurrence you have decided proves to you a god exists.
As a matter of interest - how old are you?
And I am with Paraglider to a large extent. My mind is not full of fear - but I think fear is a healthy response in certain situations.
yes that's what I said, you're right- but it's the same concept= I can't figure out how to make it quote only certain parts...
you can see the evidence of God at work all over the place... but it won't be accepted as evidence or proof.
I wanted to ask you because I was interested in seeing what kind of proof would make you believe in God so I guess then I'll just ask God, on your behalf, that you'll start seeing burning chariots drawn by unicorns.
I figured you wouldn't give a rip -
as for my age, I'm 38.
fear? the kind of fear I'm talking about is the fear that we all feel or have felt at one time regarding our own inevitable death.
of course fear is healthy.
how's the eye? out of curiosity...
Well - I would think a more effective way of saying what you want to say is that atheists will not accept the sort of proof that you accept. Speaking for myself - I require something more concrete than the "evidence" you are talking about - because that "evidence" presupposes the existence of a god in the first place.
I do not fear death at the moment. I will die. we all die. This is how it works. Old things die and new things grow out what was.
The very idea that I am "special" and do not have to die if I subscribe to a particular beliefs system (cult lol) is so far-fetched as to be one of the reasons for my atheism.
I understand you
"Why do I write I do not know,
It is only ink on paper to show."
I wish I could show the light to all.
Then there was this time a person I know was laughing at me and irritating me where it concerns the light, he kept saying you must have seen a tube light-nonsense.
The next moment there was light all around me and he said he will never laugh at me again .
There is a reflection on the lens of your glasses in your photo that upon first look appears to be a white patch on your left eye, like the kind you'd get in the Emergency Room.
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