Atheism assumes that nature is infinite.
Religions say God is.
what do you think??
are there any more similarities between the two??
What s the difference between nature and God in the first place.
My friend the universe is more alive than any human,We are ignorant and feel its dead due to our egos.
sometimes we control nature and sometimes it controls us.
human beings despite of their ultimate brains and power can't completely control the world.
disasters are an example of what I am saying.
'Religions' say 'God' is. Atheism says 'God' isn't.
Doesn't that make Atheism as much a religion as others. It takes as much faith to say there definately is no God, as it does to say there is. Neither can prove one way or another at this stage.
I think that is pretty insulting to people of faith to equate atheism with religious belief, but that is my opinion.
I would like to think that men and women and children of faith put far more effort and work into their belief in God and their various understandings of Christian doctrine and scriptures than do atheists in their simple assertion that "God is an illusion". Of course that for me makes the whole affair all the more tragic, but it is not so for the Christians.
This might be construed as some to be flattery but I think it raises an important concept, namely:
Is it not rather self defeating and self deprecating to Christians for other Christians to equate atheism as a religion like their own? Is that not kind of self defeating? Is that not kind of self deprecating?
My true "ethics" system is not "atheism" it is secular humanism. My philosophy could hardly be called "atheism" as well.
Atheism is a lack of belief in something, not merely a belief in something else.
If Christians could solidly get this concept they might actually garner more respect from so called atheists, because they would be demanding it. Instead of treating atheism as a religion they would be treating atheism as it is, lack of belief.
If belief in Allah, Elohim, YWHW, Allah, Zeus, Jupiter, Minerva, Quetzalcoatl (and others) is +1, then atheism is merely zero as regards all those things (or perhaps only some with suspension of judgment on others).
Why try and make Atheism a 1 as well? Atheism is a lack of something, it is not something else.
Of course Christians insist Atheism is merely another religion, they self deprecate and self defeat and then sit back and stare in amazement as Atheists rip their belief system to shreds and so dumbfounded that they wind up just chalking it all up to hate.
I say call a spade a spade, Atheism is a lack of belief in something. It is not a belief in something else.
If an atheist were to intellectually state "I don't believe in the Christian God, but I believe in the omniscience and omnipresence of the spirit of my dead uncle twice removed and other spirits as well" then you would be dealing with a belief in something. It wouldn't be "God" as the Christians understand it, but it would be a something because invariably it would be based on faith at some point.
Spade is a Spade.
Doen't the lack of faith mean you have a faith there are no enough evidence?
No, that is fallacious.
I cannot have "faith" that there is a lack of something.
I can claim to "know" that there is a lack of something, but there is no faith involved only knowledge or the claim of knowledge.
Even if it somehow turned out to not be "knowledge" it is still not faith.
It is the lack[/i of faith. Afterall, [i]lacking faith is the reason most atheists do not believe.
They lack faith, as in they do not have faith.
I got what you are saying.
so most atheists lack the faith because they think there is no enough evidence to have one.
is that right?
*here, I want to say that enough evidencein faith of unseen objects could be related to:
our characters in general.
but can't be there a point in the middle that we can identify evidence(define it) in religions for example?
like an average or something.
I don't know.
based on your definition , they both could be FAITH .
it is really sometimes felxible. what I mean 'How do you define religion to include atheism in it'?
This is an interesting approach and I am slowly coming to the conclusion that people who believe in a god just cannot grasp the principal that it is possible not to believe in something, therefore anyone who does not believe in god actually has "faith," and "believes" there is no god - which is actually just another form of religion.
Presumably because that is how you came to your conclusion that there is a god, therefore that must be how everyone else decides on something.
Does it take faith to say, "There is no Santa Claus."? or "There is no Easter Bunny."?
I will try and put it in perspective:
Let us say, I come from a place and a culture that does not have a god worship system in place. I have never even heard of the concept of a god. The scientific explanation of how the universe came about and how the planet evolved are accepted as the correct facts and no one is suggesting there was a personality in charge of this.
Does that mean I have faith that there is no god?
When there are 2 opposing views such as this, and no physical evidence, the onus is on you to prove there is something.
I can easily prove there is no god. Do you see any proof for a god (And you can't include bats as proof) ? No proof. Ergo, no god. Simple.
But that will not make any difference to you because you have decided there is a god and it does not matter how many times it is proven false - you will continue to believe.
I on the other hand will start believing immediately of you show me some proof. I rather like the Norse, ancient Greek and American Indian versions best so proof of one of those would be great.
We are both atheists. I just believe in one less god than you do
there are no physical evidence for either attitudes Mark.
I think there are prooves but some people consider not enough.
if God makes it simple by providing enough evidence . then it would be impossible to test people behaviours as they all believe & fear him.
Well said the tangible proof doesnt exist for either.
From Atheism Rules!
As it would appear you do not understand what atheism means
This doesn't work.
There are plenty who believe in a young earth - despite proof to the contrary. But it certainly applies to atheism.
Prove a god to me and I am all over it.
Baal would be my personal preference.
Failing that, almost any of the Greek gods
Young earth...old earth, we are divided. Personally I believe that beings other than humans exist...somewhere...maybe here...at least the possibility that they exist, although I have never seen one, nor do I personally know anyone who has seen one. I believe what I believe without proof to the contrary. I can only surmise that I believe, because I was raised by parents that did not constrict my imagination, and I grew up in an era that embrased the mystery of the unknown and challenged the established "doctrine," that life could not exist elsewhere, because the bible tells me so.
I believe many things that I cannot prove, I guess because I am a believer in endless possiblities
The only way we are divided on the young/old earth question is by people who insist it is young despite proof to the contrary
Believing in some thing you cannot prove is different to believing in something which has proof to the contrary
Although you could argue that a lack of proof is, in fact, proof to the contrary......
may be I'll have some time for you tonight mr.Encyclopedia
or may be soon
by the way, there is one thing I agree with you from our discussions.
that is some people become religious just to feel important.
you wanted to proove that you don't need to be riligious in order to be significant.
I am awake.
LOOK AT BLUE LINES FROM YOUR QUOTE
 This is Atheism problem I think. They close the door.
 Very biased part
I was not aware there was a problem with atheism. I tried real hard to open the door, only to discover there was no door. And I have said on many occasions that if I am shown proof of a god, I will start believing immediately.
And if you think not believing in something there is no evidence for is biased, how do you think believing in a god that there is absolutely no proof for looks?
That is the problem with religion - close minded, no possibility of any other answers to your questions. Just look at the way Mo talks to people - see how offensive that is and how it absolutely fails to show any respect for the other person? That is one of the reasons I believe he is wrong. Any one with an ego that size who claims enlightenment treating people the way he does. How can that be correct?
Sorry but I d not have respect for atheists, they have very little knowledge but will shout a lot
of course you do not have any respect for atheists. They do not agree with you, therefore not worthy of respect.
You have consistently insulted me and demonstrated a complete ignorance of how to conduct yourself. I have never shouted at anyone here - not even you, when you were attacking me while I was trying to help you. But - because I do not agree with your mumbo jumbo, you think I have very little knowledge lol. I have one word for you:
Look it up in a dictionary.
Especially those who come on a religious forum and speak their hubris that God doesnt exist and believers are delusional and atheist have it figured out correctly.
Like I said - Look it up in a dictionary.
Shadesbreath - I don't have time today (birthday) but I think we first need to agree on the definition of god we are to discuss.
How about -
A personal god, with a personality and an interest in us - personally.?
Does he exist? Yes or no?
Happy Birthday MARK . no arguing with you today-enjoy your day,its yours
Ok lets continue.Personal God for me would be say I take him for my best friend,My brother,father or mother.All or any is fine.
God is the Light.Yes the interest is there a very deep one.God is the supersoul and you are the soul .Both are incomplete without the other.I respect the God in you more than you do simply because I know.
You have already told me you have no respect for me, therefore this is a worthless piece of meaningless rhetoric. You know, I do not, therefore I am not worthy of your respect. You treat me badly, attack me at every opportunity and then claim to be enlightened and "know," god.
Yet another good argument in favor of atheism - If this is what "knowing" god does to you.
For your atheist views I do not have any respect.You are angry because I do know and you do not.I will never acknowledge your atheist views simply because I know God and write in his praise.I dislike anyone who insults God and the prophets,especially on a religious forum.Will protect them.You easily forget you insulted my poems ,my enlightenment and my rankings and are still doing so,what arrogance.
You are the atheist fanatic and you prove it by coming on this forum.If you here to learn then you are welcome but if you are here to insult then I will not take it.
Basing your respect for another being on whether or not it has knowledge, or shouts, is not very enlightened ...
Very interesting to read that description of Atheism.
It is difficult - because most young people in the UK would describe themselves as atheist - yet I doubt more than 0.01% would consider the above a good description of their belief.
To me atheism is almost a reaction to the religious oppression that has occurred of the last couple of millennia. People that really don't think about religion or God - and when pushed have to call themselves atheist when challenged by people that assume everyone must be one religion or another...
Interesting. I assume you have what? Taken a poll and the 0.01% have said this ?
As a matter of fact, this was a quote from the Encyclopedia Britannica.
But I am sure you know better.
Perhaps you too think atheism is a belief system?
We really believe in god - just a little bit......
LOL As if anybody has any doubts about his enlightenment by now
Agnosticism is the only way to go. Requires no evidence, only calm and reason. It's ok to not know everything.
Its a more intelligent and open minded approach than atheiim.I dont know is speaking the truth.
It's honest, but it for many it is an irksome stance because the existence of God is so often stuffed into an either "yes" or "no" thing, and the voraciously athiest can be as untenable as the righteously pious (hence my displeasure with the whole concept of binary opposites. Nothing every works out as simple as that, but humans always try to stuff everything into the simplest form).
"voraciously atheist can be as untenable as the righteously pious"
That right there is illogical, you cannot equate the two from a logical perspective. That is an emotive statement, that represents how you feel about that which you perceive to be the "righteously pious" and that which you perceive to be the "Voracious atheist". You feel they can be as untenable. That sentence I quoted that you typed is not a logical statement.
As far as the existence or non existence of "God" it is an incoherent statement until someone tells their version of God and gets very specific on whether or not that God could exist if certain doctrinal understandings the believer held were proven to be false.
"God" is an incoherent statement until people bring in specifics.
As such I am atheistic agnostic, meaning I tend to think there is no validity to occult concepts ("Jesus" included) but I can not be more than fairly certain as I am dealing with something that is by definition incoherent and maintains it's shiftiness with a sometimes highly sophisticated system of multiple outs.
It is only when one asks questions that one knows what one is dealing with.
I agree this topic is endless and debatable .There are two sides to a coin.
Does it take as much faith to say "there is no Flying Spaghetti Monster" as it does to say "there is a Flying Spaghetti Monster"?
but depends to the side you are looking at it.
*saying there is a spaghetti monster may makes who say so biased that it is a faith and anything else is the opposite faith in this matter.
*but who say they don't exist would say I don't need a faith to say they don't exist because there are no enough evidence.
so FAITH depends on EVIDENCE in the first place for unseen objects.
It also depend on how to look at it and how biased you are
it is important to be as much biased as we can & look at it from different sides knowing that no specific side is right.
is that right?
sometimes, like in my case.
I had a belief which I think I gain from my reading and it strangely sometimes seems as a reallty to me.(could be for many factors, super power reason should be tested as well)
my question is:
is there a concludidon for this denial state or it is the normal state to human natures?
This must be some new definition fo the word "faith" of which I was previously unaware.
There has to be a "something" when someone has faith - a person or thing, code of ethics, etc. There has to be a something in which to have confidence or trust. Atheists don't have confidence or trust in the "nothing supernatural" they think other people have illusions about - they may have confidence or trust in their own perceptions and intellect, perhaps, but they have proof of their own existence, so that wouldn't qualify as "faith".
To say Atheism is a lack of belief in something is not entirely true
Atheism is the belief that a god or gods do not exist, as opposed to theism which is the belief that a god or gods do exist.
So both Atheism and Theism are both a lack of belief in something, but replaced by a belief in something else. Both beliefs require faith.
Nobody can really prove that god DOES exist but nobody can prove god DOESNT exist either.
Now you are telling me what I "believe."
You see what I mean? Because you have used faith to determine your beliefs, you cannot see what I am saying.
How can I "believe" and have "faith" that something does not exist?
Do you "believe" that Santa Claus does not exist? Are all your decisions based solely on faith?
I have already proved god does not exist. A complete lack of evidence does it for me every time.
The onus is on you
Athiesm about saying you believe there is no god.
It is not about saying you don't believe in god.
These are two different things.
actually I think they are the same but in different ways.
1 says with certainty there is no such thing as god. The other says there is a god that you don't believe in. Big difference.
then the other knows there is a god but rejects him.
which is different from what I am saying.
I am saying''not believing in God=believing in no God''
To assert that "there IS a God" would fairly firmly imply that one believes there is a God. To go on and say "there IS a God, but I don't believe there in God" is to indulge in either sophistry or schizophrenia.
If you think there IS a God, then you believe there IS a God, that is, you believe in God.
I can't imagine how you can both believe there is a God and NOT believe in God at the same time.
Do you perhaps mean "there is a God but I don't WORSHIP Him"?
To say that one believes there is "no" god is clear cut. To say that one does not believe IN god has a subtle difference in that it allows for the possiblity of one and that there is a lack of belief in that possibility. One is precisely declarative the other is less so. And my response was on the grounds of this interpretation of meaning in the two sentences more than to do with any belief system that I have.
Mark, happy birtday! /cheers!!!
And yes, I can agree on that as the definition for the discussion. And so the question is: Do I believe in a personal god with a personality [and I'm assuming intelligence is included] and that takes an interest in us?
My answer is that, like you, I haven't seen any good evidence of this, so it seems unlikely. While believers will often point to beautiful things and incredible events as evidence for Him; horrific events and ugly things counter them easily to my mind (and I know all the counter arugments for the counters etc., God's will; we can't understand God's methods, etc. Not buying it). I do, however, sometimes find myself hoping that I'm wrong, frequently, but I can't honestly convince myself that such a God exists. Hope is not reason. Wanting something bad enough does not make it real. I just can't make that last step and believe that it does. Maybe I've just never been scared enough to need to yet. Dunno. But that's my answer as honest as I can give.
Thanks. I had a great day. Went on on a boat and drank champagne all day long then had a fantastic meal with friends. Indian food, cooked by another friend who is teaching me how to cook genuine Indian recipes. Awesome
Back to the discussion.
The answer you have given about a personal god is surprisingly close to some of my own reasoning. In my darkest days I often wished I could persuade myself to believe in a personal god who was interested in the specifics of my life. Ha! This is simply not the case, and it is too much of a stretch to think it is so. And for you also, by the sound of it.
So, I will agree that the lack of proof for something does not automatically discount it's existence, . I would also say that lack of evidence for something does not necessarily mean it's existence is just as likely as it's non-existence. In this case, there are other things to take into consideration.
I have to also take into account my own personal observations and reasoning before I can decide whether there is a personal god or not.
One of the questions I always ask myself, whether or not I am considering this question or any other is, "Does that make any sense to me?"
A few examples can be - Does it make any sense to me that:
I can run my car on water
I can make a huge income working from home 2 days a week.
If I buy this computer program and give $1000 to a forex broker I will make $100s a day.
If I open my heart to Jesus Christ, I will live forever.
If I die killing christian infidels I will go to heaven where there will be 72 virgins waiting for me to have my way with them.
If we drill holes in the Alaskan Wildlife refuge, this will mean we stop sending money to terrorists who will blow up my country because they hate me.
If I sign up for a biometric ID card and cover my country in CCTV cameras this will protect me from evil-doers.
There is no such thing as global warming and the ice caps melt every few years or so and this is the natural way of things.
I was created in the image of god, and this god is interested in what I do, and he secretly gave instructions to selected people who were then charged with telling this story in such a confusing way that it is impossible to make any sense out of the story without having faith. And these people's main goal over the centuries has been to collect money, build edifices in honor of this god and start wars in his name to prove the superiority of this god and these ideals just happen to exactly match those of the ruling political and economic class.
So this is where I must look to my own experiences and observations and then make a valued judgment as to whether it makes any sense to me.
As a younger man and interested in these things, I noticed that my car or motorcycle seemed to run slightly better on cold, misty mornings and I then experimented with adding a wet air filter instead of a dry one and adjusted the air/fuel mixture (pre-fuel injection) to see what worked best.
And I discovered that a lean mixture with a small amount of misted water vapor works best. But - there are many other variables, and if you lean it off too much or add a tad too much water mist, your engine will seize, and you will end up skidding down the road on your ass and all but destroy your favorite bike
So, I trust the engine makers to have done this research and am pretty certain that I cannot buy a $100 device that will make my car run better by using water4gas I do not know for 100% certain, because I have not paid the money and tried the device myself, but I am happy with my judgment.
And so on with the other examples. I have made my own observations and can come to a valued judgment as to whether they are likely or not.
I am pretty sure covering my country in CCTV cameras and introducing mandatory biometric ID cards will not protect me from evil doers; I am pretty sure that the dwindling polar bear numbers and the melting ice caps are not a natural concurrence that will magically repair itself; I am pretty sure that accepting Jesus Christ as my personal savior will not guarantee me a place in heaven and I know that the only people who will benefit from drilling Alaska in to oblivion will be the oil companies and their lackeys; and I also know damn well that there is no easy way to make money unless you are very, very lucky, which I am not.
There are of course things that I do not have enough research or observations to be able to make a valued judgment, but I am lucky enough to have enough friends around the world that there is usually some one I trust to ask what they think and if I need a new rechargeable power drill or want to know where to buy incoming links to my websites, or how best to cook a lobster, etc etc, I can probably get an answer I will trust, secure in the knowledge that they have done the research and observation.
Which brings me to the personal god.
Using my own personal observations and research, which has been extensive, I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a personal god.
It makes no sense at all.
It does not fit in with my understanding of the way the universe works. There is a cyclical nature to the universe that means it is vital that some things die to allow other things to grow, and I have seen with my own eyes the consequences when that is interfered with. How can it possibly make sense that the "real" life we are going to live is after death and we can live forever?
The only people who can believe this must be very, very desperate people - or have an agenda.
It certainly hasn't helped that most of the religious people who believe in this personal god have obvious financial or political motives attached to their belief system, and it is fair to say that these people have helped me in coming to my decision.
Does it really make sense to you that you were created by an intelligent being for a reason?
And some other person know this reason?
And for any one interested in refuting what I am saying, this is about a personal god with a personality and intelligence.
happy days Mark
you have got an argument stated very well here may be because a man does his best after the greatest times he has.
well, my point is if you assume God is there for a moment.
*if he created all the justice & knowledge in life, so don't you think that he may know what we don't?
*don't you think that who created justice would be the most unbiased one?
in my opinion, God knows more than I do.
that doesn't mean I mustn't try to understand what he is doing.
it means there is an order of priorities.
i.e. I try to know if he exists without any amotinal interference first & I think about his intentions of creartion after that .
you can't believe or disbelieve through your emotional experiences.
though, I think emotion is related to biased brain thinking sometimes.
have a good chance
Thank you - I had an excellent birthday
But you have just dismissed my entire discourse. If you start with this:
"if you assume God is there"
You do not need to even think about it. You do not need to wonder anything, or ask any questions. It doesn't need to make sense to you. It just is. Simple.
This is the difference between you and I.
You assume there is a god and take it from there. I ask the question, "does it make sense to me?"
Do you think your attitude is partially based on emotional experiences?
Do you think a person may determine his positon well ( in your opinion) in this issue without his emotions interfering?
Of course my emotions play a part in it. I am an emotional person. What has that got to do with it?
You have completely dismissed my rationale though.
And starting from the assumption that there is a personal god gives you zero options.
your emotions wont give you right decisions sometimes, will they?
Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. It depends - both on the emotions and the decision.
Although, I did start from your assumption lolo
I would think that man "assumed" what was justice and knowledge in life; completely "assumed" by the way it made the person feel. If you feel nothing, you do nothing.
I don't know that any person could actually do anything if we didn't have feelings of some sort.
Plus, for arguments sake, if God is unbiased, then literally it is man who decided to define what is right and wrong or good and bad. -does that make any sense?-
Essentailly (to me) it reads that God has no say. So who said?
do you want to say God must be biased to control over people?
I think God has set a different exam for each of us.
That wasn't really the point I was getting at. I was saying that there is good and bad and if God doesn't show any emotion then who defines what is right and wrong, good and bad?
I don't disagree with you that God has a different exam for each of us. The question I ask is for personal understanding.
I have heard many times muslim or islam say that God does not care either way that God needs nothing to exist. If that were a reasonable statement, then it assumes that God does have an emotion, and it assumes that humans took it upon ourselves to decide.
So that would be free will...right?
Also I have to strongly agree with gamergirl how can we talk about God and be seperated emotionally. When it is an emotional thing.
Even if I understand what Islam is trying to say, ie: I accidentally hit a possum on the road, it didn't die. My emotional side says I want to take care of it and stuff cause I feel bad. However logic and emotion aside, I would decide to just finish the job because it has been taught to me it is the right thing to do.
But either way, it is something that is playing on my emotions. I want to do what was told to me to do that is right and end it's needless and accidental suffering, but to do it, it is emotionally unsettling. All I could say is you have to make a choice.
Who choses God...or me? I really don't know.
Good or bad is defined by God justice which must be biased.
I think God would give everyone what he/she deserves even if he/she was an atheist.
I didn't get that Sandra. I guess I need to improve my English . lol
see my other post replying Gamegirl please.
I didn't understand this part also.
I think both.
Hi Sandra - I take it from your recent change in demeanor that you have picked up the good book again?
But yes, bearing in mind the idea of good or bad is completely subjective, it makes sense to me from what I have seen.
One man's good is another man's bad
Interesting. Yes, I jumped to conclusions about your belief because you are telling me what I believe and what atheism is as it applies to me. My apologies for that. "Atheist" is the best label I can come up with - not perfect, but it will suffice.
I will now make a statement:
I do not believe in god.
One of the main reasons I do not believe in god is the complete lack of evidence for one. This is a reasonable position to take as far as I am concerned. It makes sense to my little brain.
And the only reason I need to say"I do not believe in god" is in response to some one saying, "There is a god." If no one says this, I do not need to say it. It is moot.
Lets take it from there.
As for most decisions being based on faith, I am not sure how you arrive at this conclusion. Perhaps you could give me a few examples in every day life. I make decisions all day long, and much of my decision-making is based on past experience and knowledge, whether gained myself, or second hand. In fact I am having difficulty coming up with a decision I have made based on faith alone, but I am open to listening to the argument.
Mark, I generally agree with the stuff you say when you combat the zealots, but you're starting to work as hard as they do and your logic is unraveling.
Prior to the discovery of, say, bacteria, there was no "evidence" of the existence of it either. As long as nobody asked anyone else, "Do you believe in bacteria?" there was no point in considering the question either. Just because no one asks you about something, and just because you have not found or been presented with the evidence for that something, the lack of queries and clues do not in and of themselves make a good argument for the non-existence of the thing in question: it merely makes the likelihood of that something as possible as the unlikelihood. No more, no less, and quite subject to human limitations in all their many facets. The ontological "truth" of God becomes something of a "glass half empty" or a "glass half full" at that point. Lots of fun metaphysics plays with this kind of thing, Plato's Forms most famously, along with the idea of possible worlds and the instantiation of attributes (forms, possible worlds, concepts, however you'd like to pin it down).
I don't see how this changes my position. And there is a great deal of difference here. There was evidence that bacteria existed, some one asked the question, investigations were made and when the microscope was invented, a final conclusion was drawn. i.e. bacteria exists and we can now see them with a microscope. The question was asked well before the discovery and it took a scientific advancement to be able to prove they exist.
I have been asked the same question. "Do you believe in god?" Investigations were made, and a conclusion was drawn. i.e. there is no god.
Any time any one wants to provide me with some evidence, I will change my tune.
I also like an interesting argument. I am bored
You mentioned earlier that there is a force which no scientific instrument can capture.
You do agree that there is a very superior intelligence at work in the cosmos.Things like planets are moving with too much precision, also science today says that there is order in what seeems like chaos.If you look in any direction big or small you will see the evidence of God or a higher mindboggling intelligence at work.That is if you want to see .
I don't think that's what he said at all (and it's damn sure not what I said). Just because humanity is too dim to figure out how the universe works doesn't make the reason for the universe working the way it does the doings of a magical creature. That is not only a non sequitur it is horrifically vain and self-aggrandizing. That "logic" assumes that man, in his brilliance, can answer anything, and if he can't, anything he can't noodle through must be the doings of an awesome and powerful being. For it to be anything other than an all-knowing god might mean man just ain't as smart as he thinks he is, and, well, that's powerful unsavory fer some. What amazes me is how so many are willing to be "humble before God" but unwilling just to be humble in the universe.
Again, I'm not saying there is or isn't a god here, being the agnostic that I am, but I am interested in following the debate, ready to be convinced one way or the other should anyone come up with a GOOD argument. Saying, "Oh, it's really cool and super complicated," does not count as one.
I don't know if that comment from Mo was aimed at me because I damn sure never said those things either.
I never said there is a force that no scientific instrument can capture, and I do not agree that there is a very superior intelligence at work in the cosmos.
I am very humble in the universe, and I have said many times I am as important as a grain of sand on the beach is.
I do not agree that there is a very superior intelligence at work in the cosmos.
a couplet for you,
This tree standing in front of me,
How much more confusion can there be?
You will as usual laugh at this ,yet I hope one day you contemplate on these lines and understand them.
The answer you think is implied there isn't there. You have to fill that question in with an answer, at which point, saying "God" can be called a false conclusion as easily as it can be seen as the "truth." That couplet is lovely, but "proof" of nothing.
For it to be anything other than an all-knowing god might mean man just ain't as smart as he thinks he is, and, well, that's powerful unsavory fer some.
This is what many masters have said drop the ego,man is nothing compared to the universe where intelligence goes.This universe is as alive as you and me and you able to come into contact with the source,God.This happen via meditation,one pointed concentration.I cannot show you God,you have to see him for yourself. This is what is called awakening.Man is in a trance,sleep like state and must awaken.Isnt revolution,rotation of this planet complicated.Can any man fathom the thoughts of creating such gigantic spheres and then spinning them at such incredible speeds.Its how you see,loook at things,either you can look at it as mundane or divine.
The evidence for bacteria only came about in the last 150 years or so, take a step back 300 or more years and you will see my point if you choose to try. You know as well as I do what the point there was and it had nothing to do with bacteria. If you like an interesting argument, truly and not just saying so to cast a fog of false erudition around something else, you have to do a little work and seek the meaning of what other's are saying rather than finding some technical means to dismiss the point. That's what lawyers do, not intellects.
No, I think I see your point completely.
I disagree with it though, because you are suggesting that lack of evidence for something is not proof that it does not exist. You seem to be saying that lack of evidence for something means there is a 50/50 chance that the something exists.
You also need to take into account the fact that well before bacteria was discovered, people were experimenting with ways to ensure diseases did not spread: doctors were washing their hands before and after seeing patients, ships that carried a disease were quarantined and not allowed to dock in ports, etc etc. There was evidence that there were small, invisible organisms that carried disease - we just could not see them or give them a name until after the invention of the microscope. At the time, I would like to bet there were a lot of naysayers saying, "It is the hand of god. There is no such thing as a tiny little, invisible organism carrying diseases. Repent and ye shall be saved."
Or are you trying to make some other point and I have missed it?
In which case, the likelihood of Santa Claus and the Flying Spaghetti monster existing are just as high as god existing?
As for casting a fog of false erudition.......
I respectfully submit that I don't think you see my point completely at all.
First, I did not say anything about probabilities, much less pin one down as precisely as 50/50. To suggest that I tried to quantify likelihood of unverified concepts is a red herring of monstrous size (which is why I didn't and wouldn't want to go there unless I was really, really drunk).
As for the idea that men were aware that there was a pathogenic problem, depending at what point in history we are talking about, the awareness of a problem is not the same as the awareness the facts pertaining to that problem. As you said, it could just as easily be the hand of god causing a plauge as it could be bacteria... or perhaps a witch's magic or some devil's work (all of which were also theories of the times you're trying to stuff my anology into). I could just have easily have placed my analogy 10,000 years ago when there was no hand washing going on at all. So, and again trying to stay to the point rather than chase red herrings all over this theoretical pond, the purpose of the anology of bacteria (I could have used any number of things) was to point out that lack of evidence for something doesn't not preclude its existence, and I certainly didn't set down a probability scale. Futhermore, as absurd as it sounds, if you are familiar with Plato's forms and with the nature of the instantiation of them, you know that even things as silly as Spaghetti Monsters and Santa Clause have an ontology too, existing as concepts that have not been instantiated yet, but I admit that could start a different philosophical debate.
My point was merely to say, as I did earlier, that a lack of evidence for something does not preclude it from being. To use your own argument again: you say some of the men way back when were chasing down the reason for disease by washing their hands and placing ships in quarantine. You say it was "because they had evidence of small, invisible organisms." To this I say, No, they (some of them) believed there must be some kind of small invisible organism because that idea seemed logical given that people got sick when in proximity to other sick people etc. Until they actually SAW in a microscope (as you pointed out) these small invisible things, all they could do was believe in them. They had a lot of good reasons to believe their hypothesis was true, but the truth was, it was not proven until it was proven; it was a belief.
People who believe in God can make (an do make) the same kind of argument that those early doctors did. They see an amazingly complex world that does all this stuff in unfathomably infinite complexity and awesome homeostatic balance and can come to no other conclusion than that it must be the work of some large, invisible organism... God this time (who may turn out to be an infinitely large bacteria, who knows?). Anyway, my point is not to prove or disprove God, only to illustrate that the absence of evidence is not evidence for anything.
Ah well this is what confused me. When you said:
I took that to mean that something that has no evidence for it is just as likely to exist or not - 50/50 chance.
Sorry - what does this mean in that case?
I am not drunk either, but it is my birthday tomorrow so perhaps then?
I agree - let us not go down that road. As far as I am concerned, we are sharing the same reality and I am prepared to accept that you exist in mine and I in yours.
Yes, but it was a belief based on observations and measurements that they were later able to prove when the technology became available. It was not a "Well, I can't think of anything better so this must be it," belief.
This is where we digress. The doctors were seeing something happening, and postulated reasons why that may happen and experimented until they tied it down. It took them a while, but they got there eventually.
This is actually not an unreasonable conclusion to jump to. Rational even. I could have come to this same conclusion myself. I have no problem with this. What I do have a problem with is when some one tries to "prove," this by saying things like, "Well dolphins could not have evolved, therefore they were created by god, therefore there is no such thing as evolution, therefore my book is correct." And want to teach this to our children.
I also have a problem when they tell me that they know what this god's purpose is and if I follow their rules and (fill in whichever religious doctrine you wish) I will go to heaven. And the know this is true. For sure, no possibility of a mistake, this is how it is. And they start wars based on spreading this word and persecute people who do not believe and go to great lengths to indoctrinate people into whichever cult they represent.
At some point one has to take responsibility for one's beliefs and ask one self whether or not they make any sense.
So, let's for a moment look at the two possibilities here:
1. The universe was created by a personal god who takes a direct interest in the affairs of men and has a plan in mind which involves following a set of rules which will insure life after death. We will live forever if we follow those rules.
2. It wasn't. The universe came about naturally and the idea that we can live forever is wrong.
There is no evidence for the former.
Yet according to your idea that in the absence of evidence, either one is just as likely as the other.
This makes no sense to me. Therefore, based on the fact that there is no evidence for the first, and my own observations, where I see an underlying cycle of life and death, it is reasonable for me to decide that there is not a god controlling events.
Generally, I agree with that assessment. I was was just pointing out the inference of the one over the other.
You're still trying to quantify something that can't be quantified (or trying to make it look like I am trying to). How do you apply a mathematical value to "possibility." If we were talking "probability" sure, but that's not what I wrote.
You insist on stuffing my analogy into that tiny envelope in time at which point the discovery of bacteria was made rather than recognizing my actual point that, in the 50,000 years of human evolution prior the the last 150 years since those little critters were discovered, the fact remained that there existed something for which there was no proof, namely bacteria. I could have used any number of examples from flight to tectonic plates to breast implants. Stop dodging the real issue.
To me this seems to go against what you generally say. You say there is no evidence for god so you don't believe in him and then you turn around and say that up there. So, because my computer is complex beyond my reckoning, it would not be an "unreasonable conclusion" for me to assume it was evidence of god? I mean, I could be wrong, but by your statement, you agree with Mohotmisra that those things which are complex beyond our intellectual means are therefore reasonably attributed to the existence of divine or magical beings? I must tell you that seems to contradict everything else I've seen from you. (Please don't tell me that I could go out and read a manual and learn how to make computers, doing so would be akin to stuffing the bacteria thing into the 50 year window you keep doing to that analogy above.)
Yep, here you and I are in absolute agreement.
This is a false binary opposition, and one that I did not set up. You created the either/or scenario there, as there was no such claim in what I wrote. My point was to show that the reasoning you were employing to make your points was flawed and had nothing to do with binaries (particularly as rhetorically loaded as that one is).
I could easily make ten or fifteen different options out of just your number one choice up there, and another ten or maybe a hundred out of your number two. Likely all of them would be wrong, but at least it wouldn't be setting up a ficticious black or white argument.
Happy Birthday!!!!!! Dude, I'll throw some beers back in your honor.
I will be out on a boat in the med and start drinking around 11.30 GMT +1 so any time after that will be fine. Should stop around 2.00 GMT +1 on the 31st.
Good argument/discussion though.
Mo is generally not worth responding to. He will end up telling you how stupid you are for not agreeing with his masterful assessments.
Anyway, back to the meat of the matter:
We seem to be disagreeing on two major points here. Whether or not there are more than 2 options and whether or not a lack of evidence is proof enough to take the contrary position?
You are taking the position that just because there is no evidence for something, that does not mean it does not exist, and to a certain extent, I can see that. But - and it is a big but - that does not automatically mean it does exist.
OK, the bacteria did turn out to exist, and I appreciate what you are saying. Just because it was not proven earlier, it was a "belief," that became fact.
So you are an agnostic.
You are saying, "I have no evidence either way, therefore I choose to take no position until I have some evidence."
Which is where I was for a long time.
But then I decided to make a decision. Is there a god or not?
And this is the duality I see. Only 2 options. Is there a god?
Yes, or No?
One of the things that has persuaded me there is not a god is the lack of evidence for one. Especially a god with a personalty.
But there is more. Interested?
As my position may be deemed stupid or ignorant. I chose that there is a God because I don't have an external battery. and the Sun doesn't count, neither does the Earth, I can't even say that because there is a Universe, I have life.
Something made us start ticking. A stramatolite didn't just start working, gravity didn't come from nothing, and the Sun got its energy from something else.
The big bang has a force, and a singularity didn't come out of nothing. A dead tree can come back to life after 2000 years and the Earths placement wasn't at random (or at least that is how I feel).
The Earth is only 4.5 billion years old, and the Universe only 15 billion years old. So life existed here for a long time and in a short time, our life time, we have somehow managed to use up the majority of our resouces, invent stuff like tv and internet, fly into space, build sky scrapers, dig up our history invent math, that ironically enough manages to work itself out and 1 plus 1 will always be two.
We know there is some order to whatever you want to call life and for whatever reason I cannot get passed the coincedence that is seems like we are here for a reason, and the reason for my own personal satisfaction is to learn and become like God.
Which we do, we make things, destroy thing, we rule things, invent things and we are pretty accurate too. I have said before that my idea of what God actually is isn't really a thing at all but whatever it is, it's what gave us the kick in butt to get going.
Something set us off. I think that is a really good reason to believe that there is a God. We cannot see God for what it actually is but we know it by what was produced. You can call it evolution, that works for me. You cannot see what evolution actually is. I mean you don't see some tiny invisable little bubble floating around magically changing things, but we know it exist because we can see it working through the things it produces.
I mean, we wont live long enough to watch the final outcome, but we know it has been going on. So what is wrong with that? Of course my possition is that people, if they chose to accept it, are very special. Sure not any more signifant than a grain of sand on the beach, but in some way we are special because a grain of sand doesn't look at something and say it is beautiful or ugly and it doesn't have eyes. Which is another thing I cannot wrap my head around. Why everything that can see, all have eyes and all of which have the same characteristic features. Like a somewhat round slot in the head. LOL. or else where...
Lala dee lala da, life sucks but at least we get to have one and that means something. I am never absolutly certain why it should mean so much but hell, we got life once so I don't see why it is impossible to have it again.
Maybe a resurection from the dead does not literally mean that we will up and crawl out of our graves and stuff, or even reincarnation, but "life" the spirit of life will sprout again. We don't have to know if it is true or not, but our own history is proof enough that it will happen again.
You never know in another billion years, we could have colonized the entire Univrse and every planet and life will rule the entire Heavens. We don't know that someone will not plant a seed on some desolate planet and the seed will miraculously sprout.
We don't know that life is not happening in other galexies cause we can't see them or reach them or them us, and who says we aren't the first of the intellegent kind to exist and that we are not the begining?
To me, it is enough to want to at least try to do what is right so that we can keep going and the human seed continues on to see what we can do with what was given to us...the Universe and all.
Mark, yep, totally interested. Go for it. (and this has been a lively conversation... broke up an otherwise boring day quite nicely, thanks.)
And, on the two things or not that we aren't agreeing on, I am willing to accept a binary opostion that is simplified to 1. there is divine intelligence or 2. There is not. But all the "plans, rules, life after death, interest in man," that stuff you added in there, all complicates the God that we are contemplating the existence of. For me, I want to find out if there IS a god first, then we can start arguing over his motives, disposition, and itinerary. Heck, just saying "intelligence" complicates it. There could be a God that is dumb and completely uninterested in us, which would defy both your assertion that there is no God and the common theist's belief that there is an intelligent one. I would use "There is a God or There is not" just for the sake of having a binary oppostion to make the conversation easily polemic, but even the use of the word "God" has implications that lead us back to the kinds of things you mentioned in your option number one. I will, for the sake of argument, accept a simple God or No God approach, but I do so as reluctantly as one might place a foot in a circle of rope found spread on the groud beneath a very tall tree.
Sandra, I totally respect that opinion and can't say that I see anything that could be deemed ignorant or stupid in what you said. You present your beliefs fairly and without rancor. And I think you, like Mark, have thought about the idea and come to a conclusion, albeit different than his. You've chosen to believe the glass of universal divinity is half full rather than half empty as it were. Nothing stupid about that. The interpretations you make about meaning and motivation for life that stem from that decision are logical coming from that belief set. In my opinion, beliefs like yours only become ignorant if someone tries to jam them down other people's throats or are condescending like many folks get when it comes to ontology and God.
You need to look up "untenable" and get back to me, but I appreciate your enthusiasm. It's like you had it for a minute, but then lost it for some reason. Either that or you don't see the obvious non-emotional comparison between a "voracious athiest" and the "righteously pious." If that's the case then you probably stand in one camp or the other and therefore fall into the absurd yet profound old saying that "A fox can't smell its own hole" for whatever that actually means.
Nah, your wrong man.
I am voracious at times, but equating the two is not a logical statement.
I could say "Wow Tom is just as stupid as Bill".
I could say "Betty is as smart as Tina"
I could say "Sally is as eager as Pam is"
I could say "Ruben is just as worn out as Bob is, so cut him some slack"
None of those are logic assessments, those are intuited assessments.
They are intuitive in nature or emotive in nature and cannot be qualified easily.
I suppose Tom and Bill could be given IQ tests and EQ tests to determine how stupid they are on an EQ and IQ level and if there scores turned out to be the same they might be said to be "just as stupid" as each other.
However that is still stretching it a bit.
The same would go for Betty and Tina.
An observation is not necessarily a logical statement.
As far as the untenable sentence, it was late at night/early in the morning and it came out wrong, I dunno what I meant by that.
Good post, Mark. I'm not in this discussion, but that was a good read.
I pretty much agree totally, although I might argue about some of your reasoning on global warming (LOL). I think if god really wanted worshippers (the very idea of which is so entirely human to begin with... I mean, what kind of living personal god needs everyone throwing themsleves the ground, sniveling in his honor. Only a man would think of that) he would come back and set it straight. Logic says if this entity cared he would see, "Hmm, I guess the 'secrets revealed to a select few and handed down for millenia via. scrolls buried in jars scattered throughout vast desert regions' isn't working very well, perhaps I should go down myself, or at least send Jesus back down and let them know they've got it all muddled up." This seems much more reasonable, even if it assumes a very egotistical and flawed intellect in the God. I could buy that before I could buy the idea of one just setting it all in place with a horrifically terrible plan for spreading the message and a total lack of follow up, merely starting the system up and letting it run, knowing full well the whole system was going to fall apart in the end, and planning to come back at some point and pick up the ones who still believed after the two or three thousand year game of "telephone" finished up. That doesn't fit with the "personal god who cares" thing, nor does it work for "intelligence" for me, given that when I think of Divine Intelligence, I like to think that at least means smarter than the average joe walking down the street.
Mo - once again you are putting words in my mouth.
I have never once said the Universe is dead. It is very much alive and I am very aware of my part in it.
I am not angry. You have consistently insulted me time and time again because I do not share your beliefs and I have refrained from attacking you back other than to poke fun at your claims of enlightenment and your poetry rankings.
Hard not to when you are shoving them down everyone's throat every chance you get.
But you are apparently not intelligent enough to understand that there is a huge difference between "God," and "religion" lol
Work it out.
Since when is faith and belief anything less than a deeply emotional, psychological, spiritual journey? Why should an extremely personal thing such as belief in a God or Goddess or Flying Spaghetti Monster be spoken of without emotion?
Human beings cannot separate from emotional responses. Nor should we want to.
I am sorry. I think we should separate as much as we can in some matters.
God or chance?
That is a choice every person has to make for themselves.
You say religion and faith come later - but then ask a question to which the answer is faith, or lack thereof.
what I mean is:
if you have a bad life situation, then you shouldn't let that affect your judgement.
I know I don't make sense but I thought sometimes we need to be emotionless.
A relationship with God/dess is NOT formed by deciding first then thinking later.. it is always thought, it is always feeling, it is recognition - which is a mental ability.
that wasn't what I meant.
let me put it this way.
(Condition: if God exists , then we assume he knows what is right more than we do)
Now, to believe or disbelieve in God we shouldn't judge all the actions in the world emotionally like disasters, killing , murders, povetry and etc
because we relied on the condition above.
I meant our way should be mentally only.
e.g. I don't say there is no God because there is alot of oppressions.
instead I say, he may know what I don't.
this is the emotionless I meant.
emotion is included in religions but not in the way I meant.
did you get what I am trying to say Gamegirl.
The only person who can prove God exists is the person asking the question. No one can prove God exists to anyone. The person has to prove it to themselves.
Things of the supernatural exist differently than the things of the natural realm.
I love Scifi but believing time travel is possible goes against the natural order of things. Yes, we can see events that happened millions of years ago such a a star exploding. Only problem is by the time we travel to that spot the star and the explosion will be way in history.
There are people who refuse to believe things even in the face of evidence.
To believe in God is to be forced to change how you live your life. Once you believe God exists then you have to consider what God requires of you. The moral implications alone keep millions from believing in the Christian/Jewish God.
The Muslims concept of Allah is such that they live in fear.
What you believe or refuse to believe impacts how you live!
I think, maybe. Your English is bad. LOL
Are you saying that rather than blaming God for all the evil in the world, we should just think about it and make a lesson of it?
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