Since joining HubPages, I have read the many evolution versus creationism and atheism versus religion debates. As an atheistic evolutionist, I have read what I considered to be the strange views of a religious minority, including beliefs in intelligent design and other forms of creationism.
However, I have just decided to google atheism, and have been surprised to discover that only 2.3% of the world's population are atheists. I was further amazed to discover that in Britain, the birthplace of Charles Darwin, only 25% of people believe that evolution is certainly true, with another 25% believing that it may be true. 50% believe in creationism of one kind or another. In the US, the figures for belief in evolution is even smaller.
I had wrongly assumed that creationism was a minority belief, shared by an uneducated few, and am therefore surprised to discover that it is atheism that is such a tiny minority belief as to be considered insignificant. And, that after over a century of scientific evidence in support of evolution, it is still considered to be a wild theory for much of the world's population and in spite of the lack of evidence for God, most still have a religious belief. I can understand why religions began, but why in spite of all the evidence in favour of evolution, does the supernatural explanation still hold sway?
The figures for religion in the UK are so far off it is unbelievable. Apparently Christianity is around the 70% mark, however after living there for the first 25 years of my life, it seemed more like 3% of the people I met actually followed any religion at all. The only time I really saw any evidence of religion at all was in areas predominantly inhabited by muslims.
Even the local church in the village I grew up in was more about community events over Christianity (IE ladies social every sunday, Sunday school for children which was more arts and crafts than bible reading, social club for teenagers).
I have lived in several areas in England and never have I felt any real predominance of belief. In the office I worked at, close to 400 employees, there was one older lady who was devout, and only one younger man who was willing to call himself Christian.
At the local bar we had a guy who called himself Christian, but thought that the whole God/Jesus thing was bull.
Around Europe, I have travelled most of the western european countries, religion is also sparse, and it only seems to gain a foothold in poorer countries as you head further east.
Infact the only place I have been where I have actualy seen people who are really, really, Christian is small town America. That FREAKED me out. (Had to pray at the tabel when I visited my wife's grandparents, refering to Obama as the incarnation of satan, constant referencing to the bible).
I have to say that this is my experience. I don't know anyone who would call themselves Christian. The only people I have met who have been religious have been Muslims. I have never met anyone either who believes in creationism. This is why I was so surprised with the findings stated in the article. I had also hoped that Britain would have believed more in the evidence of evolution, because Charles Darwin has been described as one of the most influential people in British history, and his image is even on the £10 note. I remember seeing Richard Dawkins comparing the £10 note with an American one, which made some reference to God, and saying how it made him proud to be British. I hope his is not a minority view concerning Darwin and evolution.
I do think though that lots of people when asked will state that they are Christian, often C of E, because of tradition. I does not mean that they have a religious belief. For a long time, being English and being C of E went hand-in-hand. Most of my family describe themselves as C of E, even though they never go to church or even believe in God.
I found out I was included as Christian as a child because I went to a C of E school as a child, this followed me all the way through high school until I actually went and had it changed.
Makes me wonder how many millions have not changed it and are listed in stats as christian?
Stop it you three! Have you no decency, no pity?
You leave me in the corner, crying in shame. You make public my humiliation and disgrace.
How could my country, the only one to have walked the moon, have come to this? A land of ignorance, howling in the darkness of fear and bewilderment while (most of) the rest of the world moves on in an orgy of learning and understanding?
America has a real split in knowledge in my view. Some of the best minds on the planet, and a lot of ignorant frightened people who seems to hang around the religiously impaired parts of the country.
Religion has a lot to answer to for this "ignorance by choice."
Funny thing is that I have lot's of American friends and none of them are stupid or religious zealots.
Unfortunately I agree with you.
I need a drink.
Don't feel too bad. Your country gave the world drive-thru McDonalds and Family Guy - where would we be without these?
It's all TMZ's fault and reality television. People are too busy "keeping up with the Kardashians" to deal with real issues and real life. This is why China will win.
I actually watched a complete show, fascinated to understand how the hell such crud has a television audience!
Then I remembered Benny Hinn can fills the audience on his stage show with people who came along to be knocked on their collective a*es by the lords power.
I know it constantly amazes me that a Moon walking nation has so many screwed up Govt depts...seriously even my bank cant handle an International cheque wt!!
And the reverse too Earnest ..new Christians etc
There are numerous answers I can give and the biggest is mainly that religion is passed from parents to children. It's hard to break that cyclical gap, I mean let's face it not many atheists live life by a "be fruitful and multiply" creed the way some religious folks do. And many atheists are free thinkers who don't want to force their atheism on their children if they have any.
Theism on the other hand tends to successfully spread from the parents to the children through indoctrination.
Another reason could be human ego, we want to believe we're special, that we've got a destiny. Being accidental products of natural processes gets in the way of people's delusions about mankind being better than the other animals and being special in the mind of some creator God.
Than there's comfort when it comes to fear of death and just psychological comfort in general seems to stem from the irrational belief of having this spiritual Father looking after you.
When it comes to evolution I firmly blame the education system for presenting the theory poorly to children. I remember learning about evolution maybe one or two years of school and they were always brief sections of the book that the teacher glossed over. As such I made it through school with my creationist beliefs in tact, beliefs that had been indoctrinated into me partially by my parents.
And yes you're right that many people label themselves with a church or religion when they don't really believe or show up. My guess is that if you stripped all that away atheists and agnostics probably make up almost a third of the population, maybe more than that if you include the agnostic-theists.
While the numbers for many religions remain strong I believe the actual religiosity of society has decreased and I think that better education about science, logic, religion and philosophy will help reduce the number of theists drastically in the coming decades.
Heh, my wifes biology teacher in Childress, Texas told her class that they could read over the evolution chapter at home if tehy wanted to, but that he (the teacher) would not teach the theory of evolution, and that they would not be tested on it. +1 for ignorance right there.
South Park was all over it! A great episode. I saw it just a few days ago for the second time.
That's Texas (and the rest of the Bible belt states) for ya! Stories of how life was created by magic in a plush garden inhabited by a talking snake, oops! I meant searpent, makes more sense to them than the study of physical evidence.
There is an entire valley full of religious fundies just north of Surfers Paradise here in Australia.
Tourists are warned about the area by other locals. Apparently they lob on you as soon as your picnic lunch is out of the car!
They try to indoctrinate all visitors to "their valley"
I have been reading today about the growth of creationism in Australia, which surprised me, because none of the Australians I have met here in Birmingham have been religious.
We have had increases in many beliefs partly due to immigration, but after a few years here most become very lay back about things, and our education system works well, so it soon goes away in the next cycle.
Generally speaking we are not a very religious country.
There are many filthy low life worse than scum non-believers like me here than one would guess.
Well reading this, i too am amazed with those numbers, the religion marketing machine is the best form of marketing, no matter how many evidence there is most people prefer to believe in imaginary figures.
There is deception in this world. People are misled to believe that atheism is growing and that religion is dying and that this happens as people get educated. People are misled to think that religion and belief in God comes to people because they are uneducated and ignorant. We are also misled to think that people in the past were ignorant and uneducated people who did not know better and hence attributed what they did not understand to God and hence were theists. When the fact is that people in the past were also well educated. They were not ignorant. They also had the similar analytical mid we today have. It is just that what considered education was different from what we consider education.
So people like you, who have been misled to think that religious people are a minority comes to contact with the truth of the situation you are surprised because all along you had believed a lie someone told you.
The same goes with evolution. People are trying to propogate that evolution is the truth and that Charls Darwin was someone great. But the fact is that evolution is just a very unrealistic theory. That is why most people are unwilling to accept it. If not why are those ID scientists ignored that scream out that they their study have show that evolution can never be possible?
ID scientists are not doing real science, so they aren't scientists at all even if they show you a diploma. Screaming just makes them that much more annoying.
Of course there is always going to be a never ending debate on what is considered proof. I was a geology major in college and do not believe evolutionary theory, I believe in creationism. There will always be those who believe in the God of the bible and those who don't. Also those who believe in God and those who don't.
Most poeple believe that there are realities beyond the domain of human reasoning. Why? Some would say because they want to believe there's more to life than are short and often cruel existence. You can observe many things in nature and in poeple that defy a rational explanation, except that God did it.
I have actually witnessed supernatural occurances and know personally that it was God who did it? There is faith involved in much of what I believe but not blind faith.
I don't know that "proof" is the big difference - evidence is. The problem is that what is seen as evidence is very different between the two sides of the debate, as exemplified by your own post.
The non-believers require evidence in the scientific manner - repeatable, available to everyone, objective, etc. The believers considers evidence to be their own ignorance in particular matters ("defy a rational explanation, except that God did it"), personal anecdotes (you have personally seen occurrences and somehow know without knowing that God did it). Many believers believe "defy a rational explanation, except that God did it" but wanting to believe will never satisfy the non believer.
Proof of the supernatural by scientific definition is not available and may never be, but the believer will still believe. At the same time the non-believer will never accept what the believer considers as evidence bordering on absolute proof to be anything but subjective wishing.
Even from a scientific standpoint, any theory which best fits the facts should be considered regardless of its source. Just because some don't believe in the accuracy of the bible doesn't mean that they should automatically discount a theory that happens better fit the observable facts.
I think there are more athiests in the US than statistics show. It took me a long time to 'come out' as an athiest. I can't speak for other countries but athiesm is very frowned upon in the states. We are on the same level as devil worshippers. I have yet to meet a devout Christian who isn't racist, closed minded or judgemental. Most athiests I know are quite the opposite. Go figure that one out.
Sherlock, the major problem with your premise is the theory of evolution, itself. Even Darwin, who so many consider the champion of evolution, presented a work that was merely an example of environmental adaptation rather than evolution. That is accepted in most scientific circles, which is why support for evolution as you define it is falling.
Let's turn to intelligent design theorists. In the first place, for all of you so full of venom as your only mode of response, the ID community as a whole does NOT proscribe the Christian God as the progenitor. The premise of the ID community is that an organism can only be reduced so far before the base component, one that cannot logically be expected to produce a different organism, is reached. Ergo: human DNA with all of it's racial variations, is still human DNA. Because of this, they surmise an "intelligence" of some sort behind the production of life.
Intelligent design has a much smaller body of information to back it up. It is more of an unproven hypothesis than a complete theory. Theories are not the same thing as truth, or laws, but they are the backbone of science. There is a word for people who foist questionable "theories " into the scientific debate. They are called Cranks. Darwin was not a crank.
Not so much...in reference to evolution, Darwin really proved nothing. As i said, all of his examples were of adaptation, not evolution. Take the famous Galapagos Finches. Even though there were differences in beak patterns, etc., they were all identifiable variations of the same bird.
I am a Catholic who believes in evolution. Do you believe in me? ^_~
Seriously, though, many people seem to believe a person with my combination of beliefs cannot exist--even though Catholic doctrine states that the Creation story in Genesis might well be metaphorical, and acknowledges that God as we understand Him is certainly capable of setting evolution into motion. .
..Of course, there are also people who don't believe that I can be a feminist because I'm against abortion. I don't advocate outlawing it, because I don't think that's the right way to go about things. And I don't believe that women who get abortions or the doctors who perform them are murderers, because I believe they do what they do out of what they believe to be self-defense. But I can't convince myself that a newly fertilized egg isn't a human life, either, and so I could never counsel a woman to get an abortion. And so I'm called anti-woman and anti-choice.
Yup...I'm an evolutionist Catholic and a pro-life feminist. I cannot possibly exist. I'll just go stand with the bisexuals. At least Susan B. Anthony is here to keep me company.
If Catholic doctrine states that the Creation story in Genesis might well be metaphorical (although this is not the position Catholicism had not long ago) what else is to say other stories in the Bible are not also metaphorical? All of them, for example?
Just as there is no evidence in evolution suggesting Gods divinity, so there is no evidence for God putting evolution into motion.
It doesn't look so much as if your position is an "evolutionist Catholic" but more of one who has their cake and eats it too.
So, by your theory; anyone who calls himself a scientist shouldn't incorporate new information into their theories. They should dogmatically hold to what historical scientists believed was the truth. Or, shame on musicians for using new instruments. Only the piano, never the keyboard? Or, I suppose a cook should make meringue how the first chef did it, by hand?
Those who profess religion don't have to ignore proven facts in the physical world. They are allowed to incorporate new information and new ideas into their belief system and their way of life. It's a free world inside each person's head.
They can deny facts, but they can't ignore them.
It's strange how you equate the absolute word of God in the Bible with the process of science, ingenuity and flavor. They are unrelated, unless you can show how they are related?
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but are you actually saying that the facts of our physical world can be used to change the word of God? Just because its' a "free world inside each person's head"?
They can use what they know to be true to better understand what they believe to be true. Beliefs should be compared to reality.
You can't disprove spirituality. No matter how much you might like to. But, if someone claims something to be true, when solid evidence contradicts it; they are deluding themselves.
And yes. To an extent, that would include any religious text. Is what is written true, by your understanding of it? If not, does that mean it is wrong; or, is your understanding wrong? They aren't the same thing, you know. People with religion have a right, and I would think an obligation, to constantly search in an attempt to ensure that the book they claim has authority maintains its integrity; by their perception of reality.
Just because you want to consider the religious sheep it doesn't mean they are. That's your perception of reality. The ' Word of God' as you put it is processed differently by every set of eyes that read it. Insisting that everyone interpret it the same way would negate the value of the lessons. We all have different things we need to learn.
And, not compared to the Bible. Okay, I get you now.
Ah, here we go chasing our tails again, but this one is actually about not disproving spirituality, regardless of when spirituality has yet to have any defined meaning.
Funny, I don't recall ever disagreeing with that.
LOL! Exactly! Why do you think the worlds religions are in the state they're in?
It is compared to the Bible. Their perception of the message contained.
You do realize no one actually owes you a definition? If it was something you were interested in, you'd define it yourself.
And, again, you do understand that this is a matter of perception? The religious don't appear to perceive a problem. Reading their posts; they all appear to be processing the information differently.
Okay, now I'm confused. You say beliefs are compared to reality AND compared to the Bible. Yet, when I compare reality to the Bible, I have to shrug my shoulders.
Never. If I decide to make up my own word, then I'll define it, too. But, I don't redefine words just because I can.
Really? They appear to be processing the information differently? With no problem whatsoever?
If their beliefs were attained through reading the Bible, then of course they have to compare it to the Bible. You shrugging your shoulders at your interpretation of the Bible doesn't change their beliefs.
No one is redefining words. You just haven't gotten an explanation to your liking yet. But, really. Did you expect to?
I didn't say I don't perceive a problem with some people's interpretations. I said they were all going by their own interpretations. I see that as a good thing. Individual thought. Independence. It means organized Christianity is losing its stranglehold on its followers. How could that be bad? Maybe Islam will follow in their footsteps.
Hey, HealingHands1668, holding contradictory positions is fundamental to the great issues of debate in most of Western thought! Unlike you, most people simply don't have the guts to admit the INTERESTING extent to which contradictions are tissued through the fabrics of their lives. Yes, INTERESTING--good grief! can you imagine how unspeakably dull human interaction--especially connversation/debate--would be if we strove for focused consistency and single-minded relevance above all other goals? The mind reels!
Kudos to you for being a pro-life feminist, whatever that is! I don't care, because the seeming contradiction inherent in your language quickened my interest and got me thinking about how language and thought flow and interact and how we become bovine and malleable when language is utterly and finally "defined", and energetic and creative when language is fluid, alive, multi-faceted. Your "pro-life feminist" phrase was a reminder to me of the danger of labels. Labels create comfort zones of predictability; refreshing language, on the other hand, leads to curiosity and creativity.
Has anyone noticed that huge chunks of philosophy and religion, spanning a couple of thousand years of written tradition, are presented in stories, images, and metaphors? Plato constantly uses images and metaphors to present some of the seminal ideas of appearance and reality that fascinate and influence us to this day. The Jesus of the Gospels virtually never lays out a great Truth to the disciples in clear, declarative language; rather, he throws a metaphor at them, every time: you want to know how to live a righteous life and serve God, he says--here's the answer: "Consider the lillies of the field--they toil not, neither do they spin". Then he walks off, leaving John and Luke and the boys scratching their heads and mumbling "whadhe say? whadhe say?"
Plato and Jesus are telling their audiences that every metaphor builds on its own reality, (gee!) but because that reality is "metaphorical" (open-ended), the final component in the metaphor is [[b]YOU[b]. So to make the metaphor work, you have to open yourself, think, probe, feel. . .and move forward.
Thanks HealingHands1668, for reminding me of this important stuff. I would hope that a few other Hubbers, whose posts might be a little too inclined to lean heavily on their favourite "labels", rather than their careful thought, would also read your post with the care it deserves.
I thoroughly understand what you are saying, in as much as I agree with much of what you wrote.
On my own, I disagree with the Catholic Church's teachings on contraception. I think that its better to prevent pregnancy than deal with the consequences of an unwanted one i.e. abortion. As far as I am concerned, abortion should only be countenanced in cases of rape, incest, and to save mother's life based on medical decisions and recommendations. Third trimester abortion is an abomination, and most would most certainly be against it if they see or witness its human detritus i.e. a mangled fully formed fetus/infant.
I have always thought that the Bible narratives are for our ethical and moral edification... and looking for science in it is a fools errand. Now the issue of what passages could be interpreted literally or metaphorically, I leave to the biblical scholars in conjunction with historical/anthropological/geological/ and other empirical data culled all through the years.
You disagree with the catholic church on contraception - does that not put you in the rather untenable position of disagreeing with God's direct orders? He DID say to go forth and multiply, putting no restrictions or time limits on it.
And a question on your abortion position - if aborting a fetus in the first trimester is murder, how can it be less murder because of what the father did (rape). Aren't you visiting the sins of the father onto the child (I realize that is God's policy, but humanity is generally a little more ethical here). And if it is not murder, why limit abortion at all in the early weeks?
God's direct orders was for sex to be used for procreational purposes. Nowadays, sex is mostly used for recreational purposes, and as such "going forth and multiply" has lost most of its meaning and purpose.
Now rape and incest, for all intent and purposes, aside from being recreational on the part of their perpetrators, are not only immoral but criminal as well. Any conception and pregnancy that results from those activities are now legally allowed to be terminated... preferably as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed. Now the woman who conceived because of rape and incest may yet exercise her prerogative to continue that pregnancy until birth, and no one will begrudge her that prerogative and responsibility.
Abortion is an abomination (with the exceptions that I mentioned above) whether done in the first trimester or second or third, but most specifically horrific during the third trimester because the abortus is now a fully formed human being, capable of all the sensory-motor-perceptive functioning that we associate with being human.
28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days."
According to the bible, rape is a way to get a wife.
@ Encephalo: line 28 seems to imply that the sex is consensual... not rape. A woman could be a virgin and not betrothed, but it does not mean that if someone found her lying in bed with a man , that the consummated sex was forced on her.... unless of course if she says it was... and nowadays, she has to prove it medically speaking.
In practice this is what is happening around the world. There was a case recently (damned if I can remember which country, it was on the BBC World Service podcast) where the man escaped a rape charge by marrying the victim (she was forced to go along with it by her family to avoid "shaming" them).
Really? "Lay hold on her" sounds very much like rape to me. Are you sure you aren't putting words in God's mouth again?
I don't know about you, but I always want to "lay hold on her" whenever I am involved in sex. So far no one has mistaken my "laying hold on her" as rape.
That's odd, every single source I found stated explicitly it's about raping a virgin. I suppose we atheists have to do all your homework, too.
Nope - you can't twist the words. God's order was to "be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein...". Nothing in there allowing sex for fun; the order was to multiply and make lots and lots of new believers. You are trying to put a meaning into it that is not there; to twist God's word to include the conception that procreation for fun is wrong, but he never said that. If God does not want a pregnancy to happen it won't; it's not up to you to see that it doesn't.
I didn't ask what the law was on rape and abortion; I asked how a rape made that fetus no longer human and abortion no longer murder. Ethically and morally, not legally - we all know the law. I can only repeat: the father was a rapist and sinful so the child must also be sinful and can be safely destroyed even though a human being that might one day enter heaven.
Let's forget late term abortion; we agree there and have no argument. It is just when you suddenly decide that a fetus, any fetus, is no longer human and no longer an abomination to abort it that I begin to wonder. While I might condone killing a baby to let the mother live, I would never, ever condone killing the child of a rapist because of what the father did. Yet you do, and that gives me mightily to wonder; just how firm ARE you in you beliefs? Only when it is convenient? Or all the time?
"Twisting " God's words are the atheist's stated prerogative and I'm not an atheist. Suffice it to say that as per the Catholic Church's interpretation, God's command to be "fruitful and multiply' was meant for sex to be solely for procreation. Having imparted to humans free will and ego, God have no say on where that free will and ego would lead huiman's to, including using sex for recreational, aside from procreational purposes.
In discussing God's omnipotence, a secularist on HubPages once proposed the enigma of God, creating a rock/stone so huge that He himself could not move it.... thus proving his assertion that God is not a "creator" and if He is, he is not an omnipotent creator after all. I could apply that scenario, metaphorically of course, to God creating humans with free will (free will being the stone) , and thus created, humans who are not receptive or susceptible to divine intervention( because of that free will), becomes unmovable.
You raised a very valid point about abortion being murder in whatever stages of pregnancy it is done. And I agree with you. The reason I did not label it murder was because your particular American society via a Supreme Court ruling has made abortion legal, thus no punishment are ever meted to abortionists and the woman who undergoes such a procedure. Now in the case of rape and incest, abortion would not only be legal but humane,.... who would want to impose on any woman who has been subjected to a criminal act like rape or incest(against her consent) to go through the emotional turmoil of carrying the result of those acts. Not me, and neither should you.
I have a lot of admiration for Christopher Hitchens' writing skills, but the above quote is akin to putting the buggy before the horse. Human decency is not inate, but learned, and religion with its ethical and moral precepts undergirds that learned behavior.
So, what you're saying is there was no such thing as human decency before the Bible?
Spiritual longing (not necessarily religion based) has always been with homo sapiens from the very beginning, for even at that stage of the specie's evolutionary growth and development, they had the sense that there exist someone who is far superior than them. The Bible is not a religion establishing piece of narrative... for God exist even without religion.
Human decency directly emanates from the idea that not one man is supreme over another... religion came into being because of our spiritual needs to have a firm underfooting ( i.e. ethics and morals) in the belief for a supreme being.
And, you know that how?
And, you know that how?
No, it evolved in us and other animals over millions of years.
Instinct, intuition and being receptive to realities that are not necessarily inferred from your 5 physical senses. You should hone your instinctive and intuitive and receptive skills my friend and you can go farther than where you are now..
Sorry, but there is only one reality and it is our 5 physical senses that detects it.
You should hone your thinking skills so you can offer intelligent responses.
Nothing wrong with my thinking skills I assure you... to the extent that I would go against the current thinking rage of saying:" I exist therefore I think". I have always argued that it should be the other way around, i.e. : I think therefore I exist. For without any entity (human's specicifically) thinking about reality ,does reality (material and non-material) truly exist?
And, there is nothing wrong with my instinct or intuition, which works quite well putting up red flags when I hear about realities proposed that no one can verify or quantify in any way.
The non-material existing is an oxymoron.
"Religion was invented when the first con-man met the first fool" - Twain
Instinct most definitely does not deal with unreal things or concepts. Intuition is based upon prior information and experience; it can thus only deal with reality as well, unless you wish to include "imagination" in "information".
And quantum mechanics I suppose belongs to the realm of imagination. If it does I would go for imagination anytime.
?? Are you saying that intuition revealed the details of QM, and to a non-physicist at that? Or that subatomic particles are not real? Somewhere along here I got lost and understanding went right over my head.
Understanding and or trying to understand the absurdity and weirdness of QM entails and involves a lot of imagination and philosophical perseveration. Philosophical concerns becomes clear when one considers how Qbism forces us to reconsider what is meant by probability. The probability that Schroodinger's cat is both dead and alive involves a quantum event, but does not become real until and unless an observation (by a sentient entity, preferrably by a human) collapses the cat as either dead or alive, and not both.
I don't see that - any more than understand a spherical world took a lot of imagination. It's different, yes, and hard to understand how it can fit into our accepted world view, but then so was that round world. And that we go around the sun. And relativity.
Anything new is like that, but I don't see what it has to do with intuition. Or am I off track again, and misunderstanding the point?
Consider a system of ten coins, each of which is equally weighted, balanced to yield- for ten separate tosses:
H H T H T H H T T T
Then out of this ensemble of ten fair tosses, T appears as many times as H which is 5, so
P = E/ K = 5/ 10 = 0.5
Thus, the objective observer will assign a probability of P = 50% to a single event embodying any such coin toss and this will reflect the observer’s belief the event will occur at least half the time.
On the other hand, for the Bayesian the probability is not inherent in a similar system of events but is projected via different agents who may have different beliefs based on pre-supposition. Say Agent X has the pre-supposition a particular series of coin tosses is weighted toward tails to appear, for whatever reason, then his expectation will be: P(T) = 0.6 perhaps.
This personalist Bayesian view of probability is widely held, though not by many physicists.
@Wilderness: You introduced the subject of imagination, and my post about imagination (philosophic meanderings) and QM followed.
LOL Then we're way off track; the comment was to the effect that imagination is not generally considered to be information. Something to do with intuition being based on actual information and experience and was imagination to be considered information in that context. Oh well - not the first time I've taken off on a goose chase.
Your question does not beg for any answer except this one: God works in mysterious ways, but I suppose the reason you don't know that is because you do not believe in His existence. Try opening you heart to the idea that there is a Supreme Being much higher that yourself, then things will begin to gel in some very mysterious ways.
Many of us prefer to find answers rather than living a life of "mysterious ways". Such were the mysterious ways of the earth being the center of the universe, being flat and only 6000 years old. Those mysterious ways are no longer mysterious.
Not only that, modern medicine has also dispelled many "mysterious ways" of which I'm quite positive you yourself have taken advantage of so that you may live a longer, healthier life.
Biology has shown that hearts are not open to ideas, the brain is, while the heart feeds blood and oxygen to it. Perhaps, the problem is open hearts that are not allowing the oxygen to get to the brain.
What sources were you using? There are various ways of defining atheism and a sliding scale of agnosticism. It is a minority but to an extent that varies wildly by country.
Personally I do not see a tight connection between evolution and/versus religion. Most Christians are not doctrinally prevented from believing in evolution--IMHO only those with a highly literal interpretation of the Bible. That is, those who also won't touch a woman who is menstruating or where a shirt that blends two fibers.
Thus most people can, if they wish, decide what they think about evolution on its merits.
Too much distortion and misinformation by those who have hidden based agendas to maintain control over the masses.
Religion in all its forms creates a natural catalyst of disempowerment, rigidity and distortion to those who follow them. Whereas the rejection of the existence of 'God', presents the assumption that we are linear, finite beings with no creation source except organic chance. So, neither side of the argument works for me.
I keep saying, they are the vocal minority... I am not as wrong as you all want to believe I am.
Atheism is not the dominate belief system in the world. They just occupy key positions at the moment and screech a lot louder and the rest of us.
And Psyche is right, a lot of Christians I know have no problem with Evolution, it is when some want to place it as a "creator force", rathing than a force for modifying creation, that the issue arises.
Correct, Atheism is a small section of the overall human species. However, it and total non-belief is growing.
This is absolutely not correct.
Atheism is the #1 predominant belief ever.
Whenever you hear a religious person say otherwise, ask them this simple question: "Do you believe Loki will have a hand in releasing Fenrir for the Ragnarok?"
You will soon find out that, while the individual believes in ONE SINGLE DEITY, he does NOT believe in Billions of others.
The following are some of the sources I have used. They may not be the best available. I especially don't know how accurate wikipedia is. As psycheskinner said, there are many religious believers, who believe in evolution. The Roman Catholic Church accepts evolution, as does the Church of England. There are also relgious believers, amongst Buddhists and other religions, who do not believe in a god.
My personal belief in evolution allows for no possibility of a god, because for me, the purpose of a god is to create. If the evidence shows that the species evolved, then I don't see the point in a creator who doesn't create.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/ … reationism
Generally the stats are from census of direct survey data. The fun comes from running states of crime rates (like murder) versus atheism rates per country.
I can answer your last question. Science has no interest in proving religion right or wrong.
The only screaming scientists I see are indoctrinated religionists. Every last one of them. The rest is whitewash. Do the research.
Those statistics are surprising to me as well. But, you can never underestimate the power of fear within people. While the evidence clearly points to evolution being real and god being impossible, people still want to believe that they serve a higher purpose on earth.
Many simply cannot believe or cope with the fact that we are all just animals on a planet; breeding, eating and dying. People want to think that there is more to life than that, that there is some bigger meaning involved. Their ego takes over. They look at a child being born and say, "Wow, a miracle, a higher power had to create that." But I say, childbirth is no more of a miracle than eating and then going to the bathroom. No more of a miracle than when your body gets hot, you sweat. It's evolution.
People are too scared to think of themselves as a very, very minor part of this universe.
Evidence? Got any citations?
Yes, evolution is real. I've read the evidence and it seems sound. But what is this "evidence" about God being impossible?
I take it you've never had an OBE (out of body experience). No drugs, no trauma, no surgery -- it's possible to see clearly without Homo sapiens eyeballs. Pretty cool stuff. Such an experience actually leads to fearlessness. The body may be vulnerable, but the true self isn't.
And your example of a miracle is pretty pathetic, but I guess that was your point, right? I guess you've never seen a real miracle (walking on water, parting the sea, etc.).
Evolution pertains to the temporary vehicle -- the Homo sapiens shell. The sleeping passenger, inside, is what is important.
And you don't need to be an atheist to know that evolution is right.
Gods can't be proven or disproven, by definition.
It helps to keep up with modern science to know when talking about a particular delusion should be stopped - if you want to keep deluding the masses. Out of body experiences are so passe'.
(ScienceDaily (July 11, 2011) — Although out-of-body experiences (OBEs) are typically associated with migraine, epilepsy and psychopathology, they are quite common in healthy and psychologically normal individuals as well. However, they are poorly understood. A new study, published in the July 2011 issue of Elsevier's Cortex, has linked these experiences to neural instabilities in the brain's temporal lobes...)
If you have personally experienced OBE, you may want to have a CT of the brain to rule out tumor - better a safe spirit than a dead spirit.
Theists are product of natural evolution; atheists are deviant from it.
So you are highly educated in the theory of evolution?
You would only know this as a fact if you are an atheist. Believers believe because they are told to by their parents in most cases. Did you inherit your parents religion or choose it from the many others offered?
I chose French to learn at school because my father didnt want me too. lol
The world indoctrinates -think about it.
When a person becomes a Christian ,they spend the rest of their lifetime 'unlearning' bad habits
Like, for instance, not lying, using one's brain, treating all humans as the same irrespective of caste and creed........ Won't be very hard to unlearn.
No, but not surprising someone would be sarcastic,lol
Its true that you can live a good clean life without God,but the worlds message is you dont need God to survive.
Maybe. Probably not.
Too many people feel hopeless ,helpless,and broken ,so I doubt mankind is surviving.
It is not my belief.
I love having a relationship with a living God,who has taught me my worth.
According to this world Im not worth anything.
Im not rich or famous and I didnt walk on the moon or recieve an Oscar.
I didnt give birth to anyone famous (yet)
I wont makeit on the front page of any newspaper when I die.
Why I only made $1.03 yesterday.
My worth in $'s is low.
This world values money,status and beauty.
But to God ,I am unique.
He knows when I sit,down ,whenI go out ,and when I sleep.
He calls me by name.
He pursues me with an everlasting love.
I am loved.
I was planned
I am His
As somebody said, if there is no god, we'll have to create one!
Isn't it your religion that says you are a sinner? Who is telling you you're not worth anything? Those people are wrong and so is your religion for saying you are not worthy.
Sin is wrong ,but its not a defination of my worth.
No, does the world know who you are ?
It doesn't matter whether the world knows me or not, that has nothing to do with my worth.
But, if your religion is saying you are a sinner, doesn't that devalue your own worth if you believe it?
I was a sinner ,because I believed I was sinning.
No biggy ,but made sense (to me)
Bit like hey if ya keep putting ya hand in the fire ,you get burned.
Now I know the fires burning over there ,but I stay clear, in fact avoid it.
Stupid example I know ,but I need food
The world compared to Christ has different standards and value system was what I was refering to earlier.
Fair answer. What sins were you committing? Were they sins based on the ten commandments?
Some against God and some against my parents, myself and others.
Wouldnt put me in jail,but did mess me up emotionally some.
Like I said ,no biggy ,but lying to myself was/is harmful too.
Its not like I woke up and thought Oh boy Im a useless good for nothing sinner because God said so.
It was a series of events based over a long period of time, cause and effect and searching for a better way of living ,not a higher way ,just a more purposeful way.
Slowly life makes sense....and less problems...less bad ...more good....
You ignored my last question, EK. Or was your answer simply a substitute for the one you did not want to give?
The reason is confirmation bias, which affects all of us, btw. However, the theistic confirmation bias must be destroyed before any contradictory explanation can even be considered.
I know all the theists hate to see quotes and data, as reality destroys myths and makes them have to work hard to justify the paradox. Regardless, here are the words of William Lane Craig, Ph.D., an intelligent human and a terrific debater who has allowed confirmation bias to warp his reasoning skills in order to hold on to his beliefs:
"Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter, not vice versa." [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Revised edition, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), p. 36.]
How much more plainspoken can you get? The Christian faith is right so any argument or evidence that does not support it must automatically be rejected in favor of beleif based on faith.
And this guy had a book published?
They way I see it many people when asked what their religion is will pick the one they were raised in. For the longest time when asked I said I was Anglican even though I did not go to church and did not believe. Many people are afraid to call themselves atheists...
Randy Ive scrolled ,cant find where you mean
So bump it up for me plse.
"Did you inherit your parents religion or choose it from the many others offered?"
The answer is maybe both.
My mother introduced me to Sunday School..(like good mummys did in the 60's)
Dad drank beer on the porch and told me how life really was
As a teenager (after my Mum died) who by the way was a Presbyterian,we attended the Mormon temple for after school bakery and etiquette classes) good fun and yep learned about Joesph Smith etc.
Left that all behind and for many years my life probably alligned more with my fathers indoctrination that is
The school of hard knocks called Life.
But still not happy , I finally searched and tested for myself....
I dont adhere to any Religion -they are self righteous and oppressive.
Jesus is where its all at
And if you had been born in the Middle East, you would more than likely say "Mohammed is where it's all at." Many never get a choice of gods at all. Children usually follow their parents particular cult or one related to it.
Free will is interfered with in these cases, but I hear christians use the term often when discussing their faith in their inherited god. Thanks for the answer as it confirms my thoughts on how most believers, whichever deity they follow, find the right god. They are apparently born into it.
I agree Randy,
Religion is constantly reinforced by whichever culture it is part of which ensures which version of the god story is chosen.
I see the Sunni and Shiites are still splitting hairs and heads over their god.
The biblical religionists are no longer able to kill non-believers with the blessing of a government anymore thank goodness!
I saw a bunch of posters on the net the other day that said we should all be killed that don't follow the right fairy, so ya never know, if the mob down your way get in to power they may bring it back!
Extremists are a dangerous lot no matter whose flag they fly thats for sure.
Remember a group protesting out of Kansas(?) who were visiting the funerals of the military who had fallen ,believing they were killed because Pres. Obama passed that bill that protected homosexuals in the military.
I did see that. One crazy woman made it all happen as I recall. I also saw her interviewed on TV.
The price for freedom of speech.
I researched that family and it was just one family ..dad,wife and many children (hmm)...but yea thats in a Western Country...
Side note : How come we dont see that kinda thing in Aussie or NZ Earnest? just curious.
Not the same percentage of fundamentalists. You can find thousands of them where Randy lives for example. I'm surprised he hasn't provided some of them with a bit of buck-shot, I probably would have by now!
Yep many many churches ,on almost every corner.
Did you know too ,that church buildings are excempt from taxes.
Theres big one right across the road from me ,they havent services for ages ,yet the locals obviously use it for 'sleepovers'
I did not know the buildings were tax free, no.
Many parts of America I have seen reminds me of Adelaide with all the churches.
Oh home of the beautiful black swans.
Adelaide must be a little like Christchurch (NZ) where I lived for 26 yrs. English like.
I love Adelaide but sadly although I have friends there I have not been to the South Island despite a few visits to NZ, but yes, I would say Adelaide is similar.
I hate boats in heavy seas and the crossing from Wellington was not for me because it was a raging wind when I was there and the waves looked terrifying to a non salt like me. I have seen plenty of postcards though! One time I drove to Wellington from Auckland, that was great.
Oh you are a brave man making that crossing in choppy waters ,not uncommon for that stretch of water either.
Must admit that was on my mind when I did a trip with my sister 2001.
Apparently her answer was to head for the bar and teach me how to relax wild child that she is.
We did the Thelma and Louise journey ,toasting each town with a glass of red.
I surprised my son who was doing training at Waioru military.
To this day he thinks we were going through some kind of mid life crisis
Us girls had a blast ,picked up a couple of Aussie too,Scoobydoo and Mutts - but,thats another story
Man ......reading these posts is like day care kids talking about santa claus , childish and uninformed .....But very P.C .notice all religions are fools "except perhaps Muslims" , If you don't believe fine , keep drinking your cool aid and leave Christianity alone . They believe , you don't or wont or mommy wont let you.....fine. Walk away.....but no ! You cant leave it alone. Childish!
You are welcome to inform us then.
I am not beyond reaching ,but best ya do it before 10pm ,after that I am definately grasping for a sense of humour.
Just so ya know
Uh-it was a member of your cult who made drinking Kool-Aid so representative of ignorance in recent history, AHB.
But then, you'll probably say HE wasn't a true christian like yourself, right? "lol"
Don't you All really find atheism a kind of a wimpy kid to hang with?
Not at all, I prefer the intelligent atheist to the superstitious fundamentalist any day of the week. I'm agnostic myself. What religious cult have you been indoctrinated into? The same as your parents?
Actually No ! Not of any organized denom. Only one problem with your version , "Intelligent Atheist" ? Whats that ? My parents are none of your business. I have never read of a post by an atheist on these forums without them dissing Christians to bolster thier weakened state of reasoning!
Sorry your parents are such a touchy subject and that you don't wish to share your experience of finding whatever god you have discovered. This is indeed rare for a true believer.
I hope you will be as understanding if your questions are regarded or unanswered in the same manner.
And the "dissing" of christians, as you so elegantly put it, is because of their own illogical answers, or as in your example, refusing to answer questions from those in the discussion.
Randy , but thats my point ....why do you have to bolster your atheistic standing by demanding"Proof "from something you wont believe in anyway ? Why do you need proof ? I am not a practicing believer but a spiritual loner by nature . And my parents were he same.
Once more, I'm agnostic, not atheist. I don't know if there is a god or many gods in existence. I'm also not 100% sure they're aren't any gods either. Does this explain why I seek some sort of proof there is a god?
I'm not sure if I understand the term "practicing believer" at all. To me it means the same as if you had said "I'm not a practicing Star Trek fan". Sort of a "I like the show but don't go to the Trekie conventions" type statement.
So, what spirits do you follow?
Cagsil has access to all of humanities knowledge and claims there are no gods based on that knowledge. Since he is your trusted acquaintance, you should be able to take his word for it. He knows.
LOL! There is one correct thing you've written here on HP. Your user name.
Can I presume the same about you and your avatar?
No, I didn't mean let's take cheap shots at one another, I meant let's challenge each others intellectual capacity, if you're able, that is.
My username is my real name, Troubled dude. I have no need to cower behind a fake name nor troll forums on a writing site. And why would I need to know any more about your "intellectual capacity" after you've exhibited your capabilities so clearly on your previous forum posts.
Write a hub exhibiting your skills and I may change my mind. Otherwise, you are still considered a troll and not worthy of wasting my time with. Only you can change how you appear to others by your own actions here. I can't do it for you.
How very disingenuous and egotistical of you to call me a troll and say I am not worthy of you wasting your time.
It's pretty obvious you have no interest in debate or discussion,
all you can do is insult and put words in other peoples mouths, much like your trusted acquaintance.
If I were going to write a hub, it would be on how woefully poor members who write hubs attempt to debate on the forums. For the most part, their hubs are as ill informed and void of content as their debating skills.
If I have demonstrated my capabilities on these forums to some degree you find incompetent or irrelevant, you certainly have failed miserably in pointing that out with any reasonable responses, again, much like your trusted acquaintance.
Jump in anytime to a discussion and challenge my posts. At this point in time, I don't see that as being even remotely probable.
If you don't "cower behind a fake name", then I can only conclude you are a talking snake.
I'm certain you are a grand author and insightful debater, but you couldn't consider a great many of your posts as debating the issues of the OP' s.
I make this suggestion from the most courteous stand possible. Would it be possible for you to try and stay on topic in these threads?
I have been trying to do so from the beginning, however I've been forced to deal with trolls who would much rather take cheap shots at me than debate the subject matter.
I have no problem returning to the regularly scheduled programming if they would do so too.
"It's pretty obvious you have no interest in debate or discussion, all you can do is insult and put words in other peoples mouths, much like your trusted acquaintance."
You have complained about others putting words in other people's mouths regularly on these forums. Can you point out where I stated "Cags was my trusted acquaintance"?
If not, you are guilty of the very thing you accuse others of. There's a name for such folk. Know what it is?
Why are you afraid to give your true identity? Too famous?
Which trolls are you referring to, by the way?
Are you saying that you were not referring to Cagsil when you made that statement?
There's a name for such folk.
Yes, I can state I wasn't referring to Cags in the post you quoted. He is not a longtime acquaintance of mine and will tell you the same if he deigns to speak with you again.
Got another excuse or post you can throw out here to defend your hypocrisy? Not even a good try. And the trolls you mentioned bothering you? You ignored this request made in my last post. Is this an example of your "intellectual capacity" for debating skills?
Oh, then I offer my deepest apologies in assuming that you were indeed referring to someone else completely different than Cagsil.
Evidently, they just can't seem to stop. For some reason, they continue to obsess about me rather than getting back on topic.
Why are you so angry?
God presented Jesus as a sacrifice and a gift-if you believe ,you accept his gift.
Everyone should be respected however for whether they choose Christ or not ,it is your responsibility to love regarless of their life choices.
That is the greatest commandment of all.To love one another.
Maybe, but he's smart, he learns things and thinks clearly and will probably go a lot further in life than the football jock.
Actually, it is the religious believer who may be described as the wimp. Because of their fear of death, they are willing to believe in any old nonsense, in an attempt to overcome their fears. Such people are unable to think for themselves, but instead believe anything their priest tells them. The atheist on-the-other-hand is able to be their own person and stand on their own two feet, by honestly considering the facts, instead of letting fear rule them. And, when you consider the fact that atheists are often discriminated against, in a society, which shows undeserved respect to relgion, to stand up and be counted as a non-believer takes some courage. So, if there is a wimpy kid, with whom to hang, it is not the atheist, but the believer.
Oh please, forgive us for having faith in anything rather than a childish and imbittered way of explaining your lack thereof ! I just posted that I have never listened or read an atheists posting without them having to dis christianity doing so!
Is there then another reason for belief in the supernatural? One that can be shown and demonstrated to another?
Stating facts isn't dissing someone - it is an attempt to explain irrational thinking (at least in this particular case). If the shoe fits, wear it without complaint.
Oh yes ....excuse me Except of course the Muslim religion!.........P.C. anyone....
I base my atheism on real evidence. Whilst it is not possible to prove the non-existence of a god, scientific understanding leaves little room for the possibility of there being a god. Evolution is a fact, that the universe is billions of years old is also a fact, not the 6,000 years the creationists would have us believe. I understand why people believe in whichever deity their culture taught them to believe in. I get it, because I was once in that place. Like all humans, I fear my own death, so looked for a god to answer my prayers. As a Western European, the god I looked to was the Christian one. If I had been from the Middle East, it would have been the Muslim one, if I had been born in India, it would have been the Hindu gods. If I had been born in ancient Greece, I would have turned to Zeus.
My lack of religion is now based upon the very real fact that although all belief may be for a god, there really is no evidence that gods exist outside of the human mind, no matter how much you will disagree with this, swearing to a personal relationship with your Lord and Saviour.
My atheism certainly is not a bitter one. In fact, since becoming an atheist, I have discovered so much more about the beauty of the universe. The size of it is awe-inspiring, far removed from the small and narrow idea that Christianity and other religions believed it to be. A scientific understanding of creation is one of appreciation of beauty and an amazement at its complexity and unimaginable size.
You believe in your god, if it gives your life meaning, but don't expect everyone to share your belief. And I can't see why you should have singled out the Muslim relgion. To me, all religions are equally false, all based upon nothing more than a childish hope, which is itself based upon mortal fears. To me, there is no difference between a belief in Jesus, Mohammed, Jehovah, Allah, Zeus, Wotan, Thor, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I just fail to understand why the theist gets so upset and angry, when others choose not to believe in their version of the truth, or why the religious believe that they are deserving of more respect than people of other faiths or of no faith at all. Respect is something which needs to be earned. The fact that you call yourself a Christian means nothing to me. I cannot believe that because of this, you are somehow better than anyone else. Of course, you know for a fact that your god and only your god is the real one. Just as for a Muslim Allah is the real deal, or for a Hindu, their many gods are very real, as real as is Jesus for you. But all religions, always think that theirs is somehow special, and that they alone are the chosen people.
"scientific understanding leaves little room for the possibility of there being a god. "
What happened before the big bang?
Lots of room in eternity, no?
"What happened before the big bang?"
The big erection, I would assume.
The big bang theory is one which is still evolving. Whilst it offers the best explanation as to how the universe began and evolved, it is recognised to be incomplete, and relies on such theoretical ideas as dark matter, for which there is as yet no evidence.
The problem with using God to fill the gaps in scientific understanding, is that it offers no explanation at all. If God is not necessary in the 13.7 billion years that the universe is estimated to have existed, but only for the fraction of a second that it took to create the first particle, which was to develop into the universe, then He would seem to have a lot of time on his hands. To have a God of causes, who existed for an eternity, without a beginning, who suddenly decided billions of years ago, to put into motion a universe, of which he was to have no further involvement, would seem to make the concept of God redundant in our day-to-day existence, and this is not generally the type of god, the religious believe in. They need a god, who answers prayers, creates miracles and disapproves of our sex lives. If God's purpose is reduced in time to a billionth of a second in a 13.7 billion year old universe, then what purpose could religion be said to have? If God managed to exist for an eternity, without feeling the need to create a universe, and then to have had such a tiny period of involvement in His creation, only to retire again, to have no more to do with it, then for the religious, there would seem little on which their religions are based.
In addition, this begs the questions, where exactly did God come from, did He have a beginning, if not, why for eternity was the universe unnecessary, and why does He now have nothing to do with His creation? So, using God as an explanation under these circumstances would seem a very reductionist view of God, and one where He seems almost irrelevant. The concept of a god, who directly involves Himself with His creation is more appealing than this view.
You are operating under the assumption that there was nothing at all before the big bang. In all eternity. On the basis of that assumption, you imagine a god sitting and twiddling his thumbs.
Eternity is a long time. The 13.7 billion years of the universe is nothing next to it. There is time enough for 13.7 billion additional universes. There is space enough for 13.7 billion concurrent universes.
I don't know that there is or is not a god, but human scientific understanding (at a best estimate no more than 10,000 years of history against 13.7 billion years) has plenty of room for the possibility of a creator. Granted it is very unlikely that said creator has anything to do with the written works or religious beliefs of man. But it simply isn't accurate to say that our mighty all powerful science leaves no room for the possibility of a creator.
How is 'I don't know what happened before the big bang' materially different from 'it's possible the universe is an artifact?'
Aha! Egad! Zounds! Thank you, Sherlock221b, for a couple of thoughtful, intelligent, well-written posts (this one and your earlier post beginning "I base my atheism on. . ."). I'm a new Hubber, and I joined this site because it promised an ongoing, provocative, stimulating exchange of ideas between people who wanted to make real contributions of thought to whatever topic was under discussion. Stress the word "discussion": working through ideas as a route to greater understanding, maybe casting a little more light on some of our darker problems.
All of the foregoing is surely a reasonable expectation of posts on a topic as huge as Evolution and Atheism.
Instead, I've waded through interminable posts of one-liners, pale attempts at wit and humour, sniping little thrusts and parries between posts, idle anecdotes posturing as "evidence", and illogical partial sentences presented as "argument". I would expect this level of triviality in a Facebook blog on dating practices or drinking contests or Jo-Lo's latest dress--but NOT on a topic like Evolution and Atheism on a site like The Hub..
C'mon folks! I love casual chit-chat, just like everyone else, but context should provide a frame for appropriate behavior. A person who insists on Oxonian English in the company of loggers in the bush, is a thoughtless. boor. The logger who attends a formal affair in boots and suspenders, is a thoughtless boor. And the Hubber who uses an intellectual debating forum as a platform for idle chatter is. . .please fill in the blank .
Or so it seems to me. But I'm a neophyte at Hubbing. Maybe there's something I'm missing here.
Discussion is a fine thing,and for it to be enjoyed by a wide range of people,not just a select bunch of intellects,it should contain at times ,many of the things that you may need to develop a tolerance for,or not.
Besides its not unusual for subjects to go off topic,then meander back in again..
Relax and enjoy.
Eaglekiwi, I think you've just slapped my wrist, told me to be more tolerant of the views of others, and suggested I lighten up a bit. I will certainly grant you that I do think serious, complex topics should be approached with a style and argumentative nexus that mirror the depth of the topic. Thus, Socratic dialogue (though not ideal) should prove a more successful mode for discussing atheism and evolution than would a lively exchange of limericks on the topic. Don't misunderstand me: limericks are cool. Love 'em! But not here; not as platforms for hugely problematic issues.
So, yes, I do think that quick exchanges that are little more than stuff like this--hey! I think Jesus rocks! Yeah, me too: if ya got Jesus ya don't need speculation! Or, on the other side of the equation--any religious nut that can't see the truth of billions of years of evolution, don't have a mind that works! These are metaphorical limericks.
So, Eaglekiwi--rapidly becoming one of my favourite Faithers--it is NOT that, in addition to being long-winded, I'm also humorless, grim, and intolerant. No! No! I have the greatest respect for the ideas of others, and you cannot even imagine what a Party Animal I can be. Consider this, please (a little leap here): An American poet, Robert Creeley, once said (or wrote--not sure which): FORM IS NOTHING MORE THAN AN EXTENSION OF CONTENT. I've been rolling that epiphany of recognition through my mind for a long time. Don't understand it yet, but it's central to the style and quality of discussion/exchange we're all having in this Hub. "Limericks" ain't appropriate here.
You are creating an impression that I care that atheists exist , Wrong , I really don't care about that , My point of contention is that as an atheist blows his trumpet , Almost always ! He does it in the face of a Christian , in theory that if somehow you ask for "proof" of a God and aren't handed it like some kind of test tube creation , that it cannot exist. Thats the absolute wonder of christianity , Faith! Muslim , Hindu or monty python , there is room for everyone on this planet to practice his religion or to practice none . Except of course for an atheist, he has to take up Christianities parking space! As if somehow you and they are insecure enough in your conviction that you have to dis christians. Thats my only beaf here and in almost every post about atheism! I think perhaps you dont know how to 'handle' a christian with an open mind.
I believe you have it a little backwards.
Is it the atheist or Christian that demands no alcohol be sold on Sunday?
That demands we cover out bodies according to religious teachings?
That demands we teach our children an obviously wrong myth instead of evolution?
That demands that we teach that our forefathers were all good Christians when some of the most prominent were not?
That demands we teach abstinence instead of birth control?
That prohibits Gay marriage?
Just who is in whos parking space here? Looks to me as if it are the Christians that require that everyone on the planet believe their myths and live life as the Christians think they should.
Wilderness , you still wont acknowledge that its a pre-requisite for an atheist to build your foundation of Non-belief with the bricks you tear away from religion. Period.
??? I'm missing something here. The intent of my post was to respond to the concept that believers leave room for other peoples belief systems, not to discuss the reasons for such beliefs.
Yes, I point out great inconsistencies in religious beliefs and statements, but they have nothing to do with my own beliefs. In this case you have claimed that atheists cannot abide others beliefs, while I find that it is exactly the opposite.
I can assure you that I have never blown my trumpet in any Christian's face, as I am not in the least bit musical.
I don't like your thinking that there is room on this planet for people of all religions, who base their beliefs upon faith alone, for which there is no evidence. Yet you would deny those who believe only that for which there is sound scientific evidence.
It reminds me of the sign on some churches, which reads, 'Don't think, just believe.'
Well some people minds are so open ,there brains fall out !!
Please dont be one of them.
I think your comment says it all. The religious do consider having an open mind to be a dangerous thing. Believing without questioning whatever you are told, and ignoring anything which does not fit with your religious belief. I'm afraid that as a believer in rationality, I could never be that closed-minded.
In the reverse though ,are you not close-minded to the voice of God ?
I think if I were to start hearing voices, I would contact a doctor, rather than a priest.
So your scenerio's only works one way. Limiting and not exactly objective,but to each their own
I spent months searching out and testing cause and effect of the words of Christ,watching his people (did their actions match their words)...did mine?....why ..who ..where...
Who is God? I didnt ask myself Do we need Him ,I asked Do I need Him...
I considered the lifestyle choices of my family ,and friends etc.
Good people, loving people .except for one thing.
They never had the answers I was looking for.
My point is people who have not accepted Christ seems to assume (wrongly) that people stumble across God like some zombie sleep walking in the night!
Thats not true at all ,many people including myself have lived different kinds of lifestyles BEFORE making the decision to change. And trust me when I say ,they usually have lost faith in this world to provide any kind of peace ,sensibilty,or long term purpose.
So I disagree with you when you assume ,I dont think with an open mind.
The world, et al, has no answers, so that is why you were frustrated. Serenity comes when you accept there are no answers and stop asking silly, redundant questions that are ultimately meaningless.
God is simply a proxy for our own egos' desire for answers - there aren't any answers so we make up a superhero who has answers.
How do we know this? Because there is simply nothing that cannot be known or felt with a god that cannot be known or felt without a god.
Glad I didnt run into you 20 yrs ago
My questions were/are not silly.
I believe we are made to seek ,humans are wired to find answers (about many things)
Besides all the world does is offer a pill ,a bottle or puffed up psyches to cover everything from grief to pyshosis.
Nooooooo, theres more
Mysticism, of which theism is part, bases its conclusions on subjectivity, granting a wholly inappropriate amount of consideration to feelings. No one converts because of logic or arguments, nor do they continue to beleve due to reason.
But feelings are only feelings, elusive and subject to whim. To rely on the subjective nature of "faith" above reason is the Achilles' Heel of the religious, and it paints them into a corner they cannot defend either with logic or reason so they suffer either cognitive dissonance or irrational explanations of the inherent paradoxes of their beliefs.
I know who lives in my heart and I know who I serve
Its no mystery at all.
I also know whose word I stand on ,it is not my own and Gods promises have come to pass.
Still no mystery.
Bottom line, my values and beliefs make me a healthier person.
A person with love ,hope ,joy and peace,not the kind of peace that the world offers but peace deep down inside that remains.
The world cant take it away -because the world didnt give it to me.
Mysterious or logic?
It is good to question the things of Spirituality ,for even God said "Test and see that it is not good"
But you will require more than an Intellectual mind to refute the spirit of God...even the Pharisees learned that much.
Beside Science already tells us that we only use a small percentage of our brains (which is kinda funny ,when ya think about it) a human deciding how another human works?....like wouldnt it be better to ask the person who created that body?
But if you don't believe in a Creator ,then you must take the word of another human being for having ALL that knowledge for your sole purpose in 'being'!!
Which incidently another human being has already determined we only use a percentage of our brains?
Mysterious ,confusing ,absolutely.
Not good odds if ya do the math
Not true, we use all of our brain capacity.
(I know who lives in my heart and I know who I serve)
Thank you - you just validated my entire post. Son of Sam thought the neighbor's dog talked to him for the same reasons you think a first century ghost has taken up residence in one of your vital organs.
Can you tell me where exactly in the muscle of your heart this creature exists, and where we will find the image on x-ray - or are you just blowing smoke about the way you "feel"?
In other words, blowing smoke about your personal opinions based on your subjective feelings?
Kiwi, Exactly. Seek and you shall find. It's just that easy.
Hey and what's even better is ,we dont have to wait billions of years for maybe's ,we can seek and find Him today
Actually, I think I may have more religious experience than you. I come from an Anglican family, and when I was a teenager, I believed that I had a calling to being a Franciscan monk, and got as far as writing to the order and seeking advice from a couple of priests. Having decided to complete my A Levels first however, I decided against becoming a monk. Since then, I spent some years as a Jehovah's Witness, before becoming a Quaker, and then a Spiritualist. In addition, I used to work in a Roman Catholic seminary, and studied "World Religions" at degree level, where I learned a lot about, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. I also have a library of over 6,000 books, much of which consists of religious books.
So, please don't assume that anyone who is an atheist is so because they refuse to examine the claims of religion and therefore have a closed-mind. It is the fact that I know so much about religion, that I came to realise it is all entirely manmade. Added to this my research into the scientific understanding of the universe and of man's place in it has made me realise that the belief in any god necessarily requires the suspension of logic and its replacement with a faith based not on evidence but upon emotion and a need to believe we are more important than we are and that when we die, we don't simply cease to exist, but have a cloud somewhere with our name on it. I understand this childish hope, we are all children at heart, no matter how old we are. We all have our fears, so I understand why you need to believe in a fairy tale, it is so much more comforting than cold scientific fact.
Actually it was you who generalised about Christians in the first place ,nowt you are indignant because I did it to you ( in your opinion)...
Yes you definately have a Religious background.
I try not to group all atheists into the same group ,if I came across like that I opologise. On scrolling though I was responding to what you had to say.
Personally I ran from any establishment such as the ones you described.
There was a huge difference for example how a born again church operates compared to any one of the mainstream groups.
For we are not saved by good works alone.
I am still learning, and will never say I have learned there is to know.
But today I try to live with the knowledge I do have ,which I am sure you do likewise.
I totally agree with you! I am also an atheist, and I am also shocked at the number of people who do not believe in evolution. I think that we humans are narcissistic beings who can't accept the fact that we may not be able to completely understand and explain our own existence. I think the comfort of religion is huge for a lot of people also...however, I have often wondered the same thing...with all the scientific proof supporting evolution why do so many intelligent people deny these facts but have no problem accepting the stories in the Bible? Baffles me!
People choose to ignore the evidence of evolution for one reason alone. Because to accept that humans are part of the animal kingdom, would they believe make mankind less important. It is the same religious thinking, which for centuries denied that the Sun is the centre of our solar system and not the Earth. Humans need to believe we are the centre of the universe, around which everthing else orbits. To realise that this is not the case would seem to be an attack on the ego.
It's impossible to argue against evolution at this stage in human history. People use evolution on a daily basis, and there are documented observations of speciation.
The only real argument that the religious can actually make is against Abiogenesis.
However, this will soon collapse as well. There are some fantastic experiments dealing with Abiogenesis, and I can only imagine that the first synthetic genesis is but a few decades away.
On the other hand, it is a bit foolish to think that only athiests/agnostics/secularists can be athiests. After all, even the Pope realized evolution to be true.
I think you meant "...can support evolution" in that second-to-last sentence. And agreed. Only frightened fundamentalists deny evolutionary theory.
Right sorry. I'll correct that.
I can't! Damned time limit!
EDIT: Livelonger = right. The second to last sentence of my last post should read:
"ON the other hand, it is a bit foolish to think that only atheists/agnostics/secularists can support evolution"
Absolutely, plug the term "speciation process" into Google Scholar and find at least 200K papers with such evidence.
I'll do ya one better: I'll post it here so that we can just copy+paste for the blind.
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=spe … amp;tab=ws
Here's "observed animal speciation"
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en … p;as_vis=0
I don't know what will change the mind of an atheist. If you want to argue Carbon Dating, I might get lost. If you want to argue about the flood and fossils I must confess I am not a scientist. I have read some scientist privately believe in creation but publicly proclaim evolution so they will continue to receive grants for research. I do have common sense though and evolution just does not meet the smell test.
If we evolved from something how come we don't see an alligator in the middle of changing to a monkey or something. I mean come on a bird switching to a dog or something. I thought science had something to do with duplicating evidence. Oh yea faith not evidence right.
One thing I believe is the evidence I see in predictability. Predictability means order and order means intelligent creator as opposed to random chance. Look at the sunrise and sunset or the ocean tides. These are so predictable they can be printed years in advance because of their reliability. The predictability of extremes of heat cold and wind on this planet make sense to me.
The regenerative properties of the human body are amazing and also testify to intelligent design. The comparison of humans to animal kind only makes sense to me when I consider, The Creator planned the differences.
You may very well see an alligator in the middle of becoming a dog, but how would you tell? It might, at this point, only have an extra wart on it's back and you certainly won't be around 5,000,000 years from to see it in the final form.
Predictability, yes. We can reliably predict that when the ice age returns and North America is once more covered in ice we won't find any parakeets in Minnesota. Penguins maybe, or some other new cold weather bird, but not parakeets. Pretty predictable, although not to nearly the amount that the path of the earth around the sun is.
How does the body repairing itself testify to ID? Because you don't understand the mechanism or because you haven't studied the concept of evolution and how it changes animals (including most definitely Man)?
Evolution of speciation takes millions of years of very small changes, it doesn't happen overnight or in a fortnight.
Are you sure your olfactory glands are working?
I certainly do not have the kind of faith that would require me to believe in theories that might materalise in billions of years from now.
Me neither, however a good understanding of evolution would have me know that would materialize in billions of years from now, no faith needed.
Most of us cant remember what we had for dinner yesterday, let alone accept a theory that predicts billions of years ahead ,based on billions of years gone by.
Who invents these numbers ..
Boy I like and respect Science ,but seriously c'mon.
I like Science also, but I will not put my faith in it.
You won't put your faith in humankind(real and substance), but you're willing to put your faith in something invisible(non-real and substance hoped for).
Faith in man has proven to be unreliable, and irresponsible.
Take a look around Cags, flick on the TV ,read a local newspaper,
Greed,power,money,vanity rule this world.
(Its real ,and its nasty)
We pollute,waste,destroy and kill.
If primates could talk ,I bet they'd say
"Man descended alright,but he didnt descend from us"
Yes, man is unreliable and irresponsible in many ways. One reason is because he puts so much faith in the unseen and imagined, yet has none in evidence or fact. In order to maintain his belief in fairies at the bottom of the garden, man needs a certain amount of irrationality. The same irrationality is what has caused so many wars and acts of terrorism. The belief that God is on our side, is what throughout history has made man kill his fellow man, and this threat is just as much a reality today as it has ever been.
Greed, power, money and vanity are a part of man's nature and always have been. Yet man has always believed in one god or another. So, it would seem that belief in a god has not been able to make a positive change upon our innate nature.
I prefer to put my trust in objective realism, rather than in fairies or unicorns. Atheism does not make atheists want to kill in its name. If only the same can be said of religion. Science flies man to the moon, whilst religion flies planes into buildings.
Strange analogy to not trust man ,yet trust some of them (scientists) with theories but it is your choice.
I respect you right to share a different opinion and in so doing wont make fun of your beliefs.
Aint it good lifes like that, all about choices
Fairies ,Unicorns, things that go bump in the night...hmm not in my garden
And you comment doesn't negate that over 60% of the world has or hold a religious belief in some sort. For you to make the claim that humankind has many negative aspects, but not point out any of the positive ones, shows how little you understand self or others.
Do you seriously believe that the people who have no religious view or belief are causing all the problem in the world today? If so, don't you think that is a little naive?
Most of the people in positions of power around the globe, hold some sort of religious belief and they use their power to obtain more power and wealth(greed), while demanding people who don't believe like them, to conform to their way of thinking.
All you would have to do is look at those who are politics and positions of religious power, all over the globe. Not putting your faith in your fellow humans, actually shows that you don't want to ensure that the world improves. So that speaks volumes about you as an individual and anyone who has the same thinking or agrees with you.
What a shame.
Yes, seriously, c'mon. You can't remember what you had for dinner yesterday. What does that have anything to do with facts and theories about evolution?
No one invents the numbers. If you respected science, why do you know so little about it?
I respect some science ,I dont buy into all the 'guessing' which is what a theory is..an idea still to be proved!
100 yrs from now ,someone else will no doubt predict and new thing,to replace the previously held theory.
Nothing wrong with ALL that research,but just between you and I ,we wont be here,meanwhile there is Jesus and he makes sense,for yesterday ,today and tomorrow.
This argument is shallow conjecture. Besides, which Creator designed this "Intelligent Design?"
Let me guess: It was your God. Wasn't it?
Common sense should also tell you the world is flat, because it loooks that way, and that the Earth is stationary, becaue it feels unmoving beneath our feet, and the sun moves across the sky, as anyone can see just by looking.
The trouble with reliance on common sense is that confirmation bias will not allow an unfetttered viewpoint, so those of faith end up with common belief rather than having any sense whatsoever.
Should we believe a hundred thousand or more theories that have to dovetail across all the disciplines and be refutable to comply with the rigours of scientific method?
Or an invisible fairy from the stone age dunnit.
Gee let me think about that for a millisecond.
Everyone has an opinion.
Knowledge on the other hand. . .
There is absolutely no reason why it should be either/or with respect to evolution or creator.
Every book written on the subject is the opinion of the writer.
Perhaps the creator spoke to all of them
Perhaps there is no creator
Everyone has a piece of the elephant. It is not possible or even likely that any one human position has it all.
Scientists do not agree on what the data tells them
Theists do not agree on what their religious book is telling them
Philosophy is as varied as the culture.
No one is offering proof of anything. Evidence yes, no proof.
Evolution has been clearly observed and documented as the engine of speciation
But scientific research has not answered how order comes from chaos, or why we have music, or where our thoughts initiate. so there is certainly room for speculation.
As for needing proof before one stops being an Atheist. . .
If there is a creator that wanted to demonstrate his/her/its existence, you would have had it by now. Stop waiting for it.
But this does not preclude the existence of a creator. It is abosolutely possible that the creator has no desire, need or intention to prove that he/she/it exists.
You are presenting false conclusions. Scientists do agree on data and evidence. Proofs are for math. Evidence shows us the real world and how it works. Order comes from chaos and is explained using the laws of thermodynamics. Our thoughts are initiated in our brains.
Why do we have music? Are you seriously using that as a reason for anything, especially a reason to believe in God?
If scientists agree on data and evidence, than why are there scientists debating the big bang, the existance of dark matter, quantum mechanics and all the other little tidbits that discuss 'the beginning'
Why don't neurologists agree how the brain works (or why)?
If proofs are for math, why are so many on this post saying they won't believe without proof?
How does order come from chaos? Thermodyanmics says nothing about sentience.
I haven't yet seen a good argument for how music helped us evolve. If its natural selection why do we have it? Music is pure math and how it works is pretty rational, but why do we need it?
There is no evidence that the initiate action of thought begins in the brain. Science stops at the first neuron fire, just like it stops at the big bang.
I'm not at all saying that religion is correct. I'm saying its pretty arrogant to think 10,000 years of civilization and roughly 4,000 of scientific thought on one planet in a minor galaxy does not at all qualify us to say to a certainty that 'it all just happened this way'.
At least not in my opinion. Who am I?
"No one is offering proof of anything. Evidence yes, no proof."
I have never seen or heard of any evidence for creation at all. Can you enlighten me?
Evidence is what one takes it to be.
Rationalists will for example take the ease with which science can refute the bible as evidence that god does not exist (actually some go farther and call that proof)
Everything we observe appears to have a cause so it is not an unreasonable notion that the universe was also caused. Observable cause and effect is evidence that the universe was caused.
Now, is that proof? No of course not. It brings up a lot of questions. who caused the causer? why was it caused? If not caused what's the alternative? and so on since we started thinking.
Are we truly thinking as a result of a random explosive generation of matter 13.7 billion years ago?
I have never seen a snow storm build an igloo. Is it possible one could? Maybe. Maybe the wind could whip up snow into uniform, straight edged blocks, dig a relatively round hole, stack the blocks to form a self supporting dome, a small arch and a tunnel. I wouldn't bet on it though. No matter how long I waited. And an igloo is relatively simple. A child could do it.
That seems a lot more likely than an exploding singularity over a period of 13.7 billion years created at least 6 billion sentient human beings on a single planet . But this is what rationalists believe the evidence points to.
The fact that we are thinking at all is evidence (not proof) for underlying order. The thoughts you use to refute a god are themselves evidence of that order.
Of course it says nothing about the nature of that order, and does nothing to support religion.
Evolution and Atheism
Atheism is not a product of evolution; it is its devolution. Evolution existed before the birth of atheism.
Nar! Nar! Nar!
And I'm working so hard to keep that pot belly from forming!
Back to the pool! Swim Johnny Swim!
It's a sunny day and I'm feeling optimistic, so I'll throw in a comment or two on this fascinating but unsolvable conundrum. First off, Eaglekiwi and cooldad and sherlock221b--you might all be interested in checking out
This site does a pretty good job of laying out the historical, semantic, and etymological rabbit warren of complexity that ensnares even DEFINING the term "Atheism". Nonetheless, we could begin with a literalist approach: the prefix "a-" means "without" or "devoid of" and the root "theos" simply means "God". So Atheism would then be the state of not believing in the concept of God. This position would then render invalid (or at minimum illogical or unproductive) any speculation about homosexuals getting into heaven or being "forgiven". The concepts of heaven and divine forgiveness PRESUPPOSE belief in the existence of God, because He invented these ideas. So if you're an Atheist, don't worry about this stuff, because for you it doesn't exist anyway.
And I'm having some difficulty understanding Eaglekiwi's observation that a theory is "guessing" about an idea that hasn't been proven (I think I've got that right? Please check above). I would suggest, with all respect, that you might be thinking more about a HYPOTHESIS, rather than a theory. The latter has real foundation in research, in the accumulation of predictive data, in empirical observation, in the application of the Scientific Method. Neither theories nor hypotheses can result legitimately from "guessing" as an actual methodology, because guessing can be entirely random, frivolous, and subjective. A guess CAN, of course, result in a conclusion that repeated procedures could prove to be valid, but such an occurrence would be accidental, and I don't think any of us would embrace "accidents" as the foundation of our thinking.
So where is all this taking us? The three posts above this one--from Cooldad, Sherlock 221b, and Eaglekiwi--are, I think, responding to one another on a topic concerned over a somewhat hazy sense of Atheism/Homosexuality vis-a-vis entrance to the gates of Heaven, annoyance over statistics that seem to dramatically downgrade the prevalence of Atheism in the world, and a cynical dismissal of scientific research as fruitless, because today's theories will only be supplanted by tomorrow's, and who cares anyway because "there is Jesus, and he makes sense for yesterday, today, and tomorrow."
Rather obviously, Jesus does not make the kind of clear sense that Eaglekiwi confidently asserts, or we would not still be having these kinds of of circular chats that whirl in ever-diminishing circles, disappearing finally into the vortex of the chat itself. The snake eating its own tail.
My reason for writing this--where all this is taking me, so to speak--is a plea to my three fellow Hubbers to perhaps lay out their terms of reference on such complex topics a little more clearly, so that we can all stand on more common ground and bring each other closer to understandings that will work better for our individual needs. Then we can GROW. . . .
Ok say that all again after 3 glasses of wine.
J/k I will re-read again later ,its late here
Hmm. I've already SAID it, so merely repeating the thought after three glasses of wine won't change anything, or advance the discussion. The three glasses of wine, however, is a wonderful idea. I'm going to get started on that immediately. Or perhaps you meant that YOU needed three glasses of wine as preparation to reading my stuff. . .
Sorry it was my attempt at humour
Your post has provided a challenge and in respect of your effort and viewpoint ,I will do my best to explain my terms of reference,under this paragraph.
I also read the link you provided,from the Cambridge Uni.
Ok the word 'theory'in Scientific fields is different when used in laymans terms,which is perhaps where I got confused ,a little.
I do accept some theories have been tested and proven ie.Newtons law etc ,but I also know many ideas are still considered hypothesis,which is why I used the word ,guess work.
Of course many theories are a conclusion of a progression of a hypothesis,but not all hypothesis will become a proven theory.
My vision and objectives:
To glean other peoples points of view,not necessarily to debate them,but first to listen,analyse,accept/reject or make comment.
If I am questioned directly ,my objective then is to claify my belief or explain my faith , and back it up with further resources ie Personal experience of Scripture(sometimes).
Risks and Responsibilities:
The risk to me in sharing my beliefs are negative criticsim,mockery,prejudice. I am therefore responsible in how I respond ,reject or accept.
If my behaviour or attitude reflects badly on the concept of God, I will attempt to clarify my position. I accept that sometimes this inevitably occurs and it wont matter what I say,but I should still say it.
Resources: I draw on these things.
The Holy Spirit,The Bible,personal life experiences, other peoples influences in my life. University of hard knocks.Spiritual and Secular media.
~To Your Best Life~
P.S Good luck to my fellow debaters, you have been called out by the Dean ,hehe
A little joke...
Teacher: "Who were the first human beings?"
Student: "Adam and Eve."
Teacher: "And what religion was this Adam and Eve?"
Student: "Communist, of course."
Teacher: "And how do you know that they were Communist?"
Student: "Easy, they had no roof over their heads, no clothes to wear, and only one apple between them, yet they still called it paradise!"
(Reminds me of my days in Cuba!) LOL
Here's another one!
One day the zoo-keeper noticed that the monkey was reading two books - the Bible and Darwin's The Origin of Species. In surprise he asked the ape, "Why are you reading both those books"?
"Well," said the monkey, "I just wanted to know if I was my brother's keeper or my keeper's brother."
Evolution is not a function of atheism. Evolution existed before the atheism.
You don't have to be an atheist to agree with evolution. Charles Darwin was not an atheist. It calls into question the Creationist paradigm in which God created the earth in 6 days, but if one reads the Bible literally one would have to believe that "stars will fall to earth" or that there is something like a firmament that separates us from heaven, and from which the moon hangs. Science and technology have debunked a lot of the physical observations in this two thousand year old book, but this does not debunk the existence of God.
"Science and technology have debunked a lot of the physical observations in this two thousand year old book, but this does not debunk the existence of God."
The psychosis in the OT debunks all of it. It was written by people with mental problems that were yet to be understood by most, perhaps only the Greeks understood psychosis in any way then, as they were the first to deal with mental illness humanely.
Yes, you must exist to be able to think--materialists ans dualist both agree on this. Whether thought exists in a realm outside/beyond material existence--that take more thought to form a position on
'I am therefore I think' is just a straw man nonsense. Things can be without being sentient. Reversing this statement is no more useful or constructive than reversing "I am a human so I have two legs".
You might want to review the literature on Quantum Mechanics. As you may already know, quantum mechanics flawlessly account for the behavior of matter on scales from the subatomic to the astronomical. As such it is the most successful theory in all the physical sciences, and as propounded via Qbism, is one of the most elegant.
As applied to the famous example of Schrodinger's cat, the cat and a vial of poison are sealed in a box. A quantum event that happens with a probability of 50 percent breaks (or does not break) the vial and kills (or does not kill) the cat. Before an observer(preferably a human) looks inside the box, the wave function describing the system is in a superposition of both "alive" and "dead" states, as is the cat itself. The observation collapses the cat into one state or another. In Qbism, by contrast, the wave function is merely a description of the observer's mental state. The superposition applies to this state, nothing more.. The cat is either alive or dead; the observation reveals which.
The above treatise was posited by Hans Christian von Baeyer, a theoretical particle physicist and Chancellor Professor emeritus at the College of William and Mary.
So as you can see, the reality of existence is never proven to be true unless perceived, observed and interpreted, by in our case, humans and other sentient entities. Thus my contention that objective reality does not exist unless observably interpreted.... thus my belief in the statement: I think ( ie. perceive, observe and interpret), therefore I exist.
Try reading a book called "The Kybalion" by The Three Initiates.....will clarify a lot of what you are discussing.
by Phocas Vincent 8 years ago
Is it possible to truly be religious as well as believe in the evidence of science with theories such as evolution, the Big Bang and dinosaurs existing prior to man not along side? (Please keep it clean and civil guys, thank you.)
by MrMaranatha 11 years ago
I'm sick to death of listening to people bash religion with this line of thinking... "Where is my freedom from your religion?" Well... Where is MY freedom from YOURS? Yours is being taught in the schools as Science... call it Evolution if you will but the fact is that...
by TheBlondie 12 years ago
I'm an atheist, and even though I'm a generally good person (volunteer at an animal shelter, nice to people, generous, etc.), I've been told I'm going to hell simply because I don't take part in any religion. I'm really not trying to start a fight or argument, I'm really just curious- why are...
by M. T. Dremer 8 years ago
Theists/Atheists: Can you compliment the opposite belief system?If you're a theist, what's something positive you could say about atheists? If you're an atheist, what's something positive you could say about theists? Please no sarcastic or passive-aggressive responses.
by Brittany Williams 3 years ago
Atheism only means the lack of a belief in God. Why is it so hard for Christians to realize that we dismiss their religion for the same reasons that they dismiss all other religions? It doesn't make us horrible people, immoral, or mean that we are going to hell. It just means that we think the...
by il Scettico 9 years ago
Many believe Atheism is not a religion because it does not follow traditional beliefs. Others believe it is a religion because it has to do with existentialism. What do you think?
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