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Author Topic: Atheist Penelope  (Read 155954 times)

KeepACoolin

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #400 on: 31 Aug 2009, 17:26 »

I don't see how you can claim that C.S. Lewis can "fail logic forever"
He formulated the "Liar, Lord, or Lunatic" trilemma. Therefore, he fails logic forever.
Okay, fair enough, I thought you were referring to his conversion itself as a failure of logic.  True, the trilemma is flawed, but I don't believe he truly intended it to be a complete list of all possible outcomes.  I think he just meant to use it to force people to confront their own ideas about Jesus.  And you have to admit that the people who drone on and on about "Well, I don't think Jesus was anything special, just a great teacher..." gets really annoying (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main.JesusWasWayCool)

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KeepACoolin

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #401 on: 31 Aug 2009, 17:29 »

B.)  I don't see how you can claim that C.S. Lewis can "fail logic forever" when it is clear that atheism itself requires a leap past logic: the only position that can be 100% based on logic is agnosticism, as it is impossible to ever disprove the existence of God (how exactly would you go about proving that there can be no invisible, incorporeal being whose existence is independent of the material universe?) and probably just as impossible to ever prove that He does exist.  Essentially, the only completely rational position to hold is agnosticism, with gradations in it- that is, you might be an agnostic who is virtually sure that there is a God, or an agnostic who is virtually sure that there isn't.  Either of the absolute positions, theism or atheism, requires a step beyond logic.  But I think that anything worth doing does.  Don't get me wrong, I think atheism is, in itself, a better position to hold than agnosticism.  But that is not because I believe it to be more rational.

An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in the existence of god, not one who claims that there are no gods.
I think you will find that most atheists don't so much assert evidence against gods, but assert that there is so little evidence in favor of gods that the possibility isn't worthy of consideration.
You're twisting the meaning of the word.  Atheist: a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings (Random House dictionary).  Denying the existence of God is a part of what distinguishes atheism from agnosticism.  Lack of belief is not the same as disbelief, which is why agnosticism is not the same as atheism.
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Scarblac

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #402 on: 01 Sep 2009, 00:05 »

I have a question an atheism vs agnosticism. People on the Internet act as if there's a huge difference, but I was never taught these terms in school and can't figure out which one I am.

So: Let's say I make a up a creature right now; let's call it Asdfsoooxzm. It's unicorn-colored, all-powerful and lives outside this universe. Crucially, you can't prove that it doesn't exist. Neither can I; perhaps everything I can invent really does exist somewhere outside this universe.

I believe in God just as much as I believe in Asdfsoooxzm. And in other gods, for that matter.

If that belief makes me an atheist, why do people keep arguing with stuff like "A-ha! But you can't prove He doesn't exist!" when exactly the same is true of Asdfsoooxzm, and they're trying to convince me my belief in God should be different from my belief in Asdfsoooxzm?

If it makes me an agnostic, then that is really quite meaningless since I'd be mad to consider seriously the possibility that a creature I made up for a forum post actually exists. It'd be so close to atheism the difference is meaningless.
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cerement

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #403 on: 01 Sep 2009, 00:26 »

If you believe in the Christian God, Asdfsoooxzm, AND in other gods, then that makes you a polytheist.

If you only believe in the Christian God, Asdfsoooxzm, OR in one of the other gods, then that makes you a monotheist.

An agnostic would say the Christian God, Asdfsoooxzm, and the other gods probably don't exist, but he/she is holding judgement in case proof ever does show up.

An atheist just flat out says the Christian God, Asdfsoooxzm, and the other gods are nothing more than figments of our imagination, they don't exist in any way that matters (other than as a psychological crutch to overcome our fear of the unknown). In other words, they see religion as nothing more than institutionalized superstition.
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chronoplasm

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #404 on: 01 Sep 2009, 15:36 »


You're twisting the meaning of the word.  Atheist: a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings (Random House dictionary).  Denying the existence of God is a part of what distinguishes atheism from agnosticism.  Lack of belief is not the same as disbelief, which is why agnosticism is not the same as atheism.

Use of the word has changed over time from the original greek atheos which was not used to describe a philosophical or religious position but as a pejorative to refer to someone who believed in false gods. If you look in any dictionary, you may find that as the definition, or you might find the definition you provided, or you might find any other definition that you like.
You might also look up the words evolution or God and find any number of vastly different and definitions for each. It all depends on context and who you ask. For example, the term God may refer to:
The one supreme being.
One of several other divine beings.
An image, or idol.
Something that is worshipped or idealized (such as money).
Nature, or the universe (in the sense that Einstein used the word).

The thing you have to understand about dictionaries is that they are descriptive, not prescriptive.


It's perfectly acceptable to say that an atheist is simply someone who does not believe in the possibility of gods. Now, that does entail the belief that there are no gods, but that is not the be all end all of the definition.

I don't believe there are no gods, I just don't believe in gods. I don't believe that gods are possible, but that is not the same as believing that gods are impossible. It's all a matter of positive claims versus negative claims.
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KeepACoolin

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #405 on: 01 Sep 2009, 19:32 »


You're twisting the meaning of the word.  Atheist: a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings (Random House dictionary).  Denying the existence of God is a part of what distinguishes atheism from agnosticism.  Lack of belief is not the same as disbelief, which is why agnosticism is not the same as atheism.

Use of the word has changed over time from the original greek atheos which was not used to describe a philosophical or religious position but as a pejorative to refer to someone who believed in false gods. If you look in any dictionary, you may find that as the definition, or you might find the definition you provided, or you might find any other definition that you like.
You might also look up the words evolution or God and find any number of vastly different and definitions for each. It all depends on context and who you ask. For example, the term God may refer to:
The one supreme being.
One of several other divine beings.
An image, or idol.
Something that is worshipped or idealized (such as money).
Nature, or the universe (in the sense that Einstein used the word).

The thing you have to understand about dictionaries is that they are descriptive, not prescriptive.


It's perfectly acceptable to say that an atheist is simply someone who does not believe in the possibility of gods. Now, that does entail the belief that there are no gods, but that is not the be all end all of the definition.

I don't believe there are no gods, I just don't believe in gods. I don't believe that gods are possible, but that is not the same as believing that gods are impossible. It's all a matter of positive claims versus negative claims.

All of which makes you agnostic, rather than atheist.  And since the Christianization of Europe, "atheist" has been primarily used to describe someone who disbelieves in the existence of God- various theologians accused their opponents of atheism during the Medieval and Renaissance periods, which is essentially where the modern usage originated.  There was also an Athenian (I can't remember who right now) who was exiled for atheism in the modern sense.

Lack of belief combined with lack of disbelief results in doubt or suspended judgment, both of which are characteristic of agnosticism as opposed to atheism.  Atheism entails active disbelief.
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #406 on: 01 Sep 2009, 21:11 »

Pennelope was unambiguous about where she stands.
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KeepACoolin

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #407 on: 01 Sep 2009, 21:24 »

I believe in God just as much as I believe in Asdfsoooxzm. And in other gods, for that matter.

If that belief makes me an atheist, why do people keep arguing with stuff like "A-ha! But you can't prove He doesn't exist!" when exactly the same is true of Asdfsoooxzm, and they're trying to convince me my belief in God should be different from my belief in Asdfsoooxzm?
This is the point where I am almost always disappointed with atheists.  Why do you have to resort to what is in essence a veiled ad hominem attack instead of at least approaching the issue with some sort of dignity?  I think it worth pointing out that some of the most brilliant minds in history not only believed in a God but in fact the same God that I do.  Now, you might argue that they did not know about evolution, but I do and I don't think it is even relevant to the existence of God- why should knowing exactly how a creature developed necessarily solve the question of why it developed?  Given that I- and any number of other theists- adopt this position, the most relevant atheistic arguments must be philosophical and universal.  These are questions that have always existed.  Do you think that Dante didn't know about the problem of evil?  Do you think that Milton was unaware that life can seem random?  Do you think that Augustine, who lived in a jaded and cynical society, was unfamiliar with any number of philosophical arguments for a purely naturalistic universe? 

The answer is "no," which begs the question of why you must insult some of the most brilliant philosophical, literary, and even scientific minds (Newton, in some sense Einstein- and Jonathan Edwards was a leading biologist and physicist for his time) by equating their belief with belief in something "unicorn-colored?"  Do you really think you're this much smarter than people who are still regarded as some of the great geniuses of human history? 

The sad part, to me, is that there can be dignity and pathos in really well done atheistic arguments.  I am willing to accept the basic validity of the atheistic position- I can see that someone could believe in it and not be, as a result, a fool.  Please return the favor: don't be quite so quick to dismiss the people who laid the foundations of this civilization.  Please be willing to at least entertain the notion that a theistic worldview is not inherently retarded.  Thank you.
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Delirium

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #408 on: 01 Sep 2009, 22:30 »

Many of the most brialliant minds in history believed in phlogiston, the flat-earth theory, the geocrentric and heliocentric theories of the cosmos, luminferous aether, orgone, basilisks, phrenology, lamarckian evolution, telegony, the continents of Atlantis, Lemuria, and Thule, need I go on?
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KeepACoolin

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #409 on: 01 Sep 2009, 23:36 »

Many of the most brialliant minds in history believed in phlogiston, the flat-earth theory, the geocrentric and heliocentric theories of the cosmos, luminferous aether, orgone, basilisks, phrenology, lamarckian evolution, telegony, the continents of Atlantis, Lemuria, and Thule, need I go on?
Since ancient Greece, the educated classes have been aware of the spherical earth.  Geocentrism and heliocentrism belong to the same class of ideas as evolution (i.e., no bearing on the question of God's existence) as does the flat earth and- well- everything else you've listed.  My point is this: Darwinian evolution is the only recent development that could change the landscape, so to speak, from what applied to the men I mentioned.  And Darwinian evolution in no way precludes the existence of God. 

Actually, that's not entirely true- quantum physics might be a real challenge to God's existence, as it might invalidate the Prime Cause.  If you care to discuss a quantum physics-related argument against the existence of God, I am more than happy to admit that you have a valid and reasonable platform.  I would disagree with it, but I would admit its rationality.  I think the same could be said of theism.  There is no science except quantum physics that in any way challenges the fundamental assumptions of a theistic worldview (that there must be a First Cause).  It is as rational to assume, on philosophical grounds, that matter is capable of self-generation as it is to assume that there is a self-existent cause behind matter.  One or the other must be true.

Besides which, my main point was that atheists can be self-sabotaging with their "unicorn-colored" or "flying spaghetti monster" ideas.  Those are far more applicable to pagan religions- I think Thor is as inherently goofy as just about anything you could come up with, and Quetzlcoatl too.  But Christians have thought that for two thousand years, and Jews for longer than that.  The fact is that the belief in an omnipotent deity is more reasonable than the belief in any random god.  Call monotheism untrue, call it unsubstantiated, but don't call it patently ridiculous.  Bring that up to the Dionysian cults, or the worshipers of Wotan (the Nazis, for instance).  Don't bring it up to the believers in Yahweh.
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Delirium

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #410 on: 02 Sep 2009, 00:05 »

You still haven't specified why belief in Yahweh is different from belief in any random pagan god, or even one made up on the spot.. The depiction of god in the bible is a patently ridiculous one. Anyways, Yahweh had its origin among many other gods in the land of Canaan.
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cerement

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #411 on: 02 Sep 2009, 00:27 »

I probably wouldn't go so far as "patently ridiculous", but I would wonder about the mental health engendered by something as misogynistic as either the Old or New Testament ...

On the other hand, you don't like Christianity being called "patently ridiculous", but you're perfectly willing to allow the label to be applied to the followers of ┴satr˙ ...
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JonSnow

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #412 on: 02 Sep 2009, 00:31 »

you're really going to say yahweh is real but odin or zeus isn't, because? polytheistic cultures actually just created gods for different aspects of their daily life, things they couldnt explain. So there's thunder and lightning we have a god for that. In egypt there is flooding of the nile that gives us life, so we have a god for that. In more ways then one this is more logical then one god doing it all, as it makes them less omnipotent and thus closer to human. Believing in an invisible god (or in an old bearded man in the sky, you pick) is really no different from believing in a jackalheaded, hawkheaded, hippoheaded, ... god.

As for most of the messiah story, it's a story that tells us about the passing of the sun through the stars of the zodiac in the night sky. Why? because almost every religion has probably the same story in it. The first time the story about a virgin birth, child teacher, death and ressurrection in 3 days appeared, was in ancient egypt before the jews were even slaves there. after that assyrians had a messiah story, there's even one in greek mythology. cant be assed to look em all up right now

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRJlVBQkSSI <-- watch this with a mind that's even a little bit opened and you'll understand more about religion
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #413 on: 02 Sep 2009, 01:18 »

I have a question an atheism vs agnosticism. People on the Internet act as if there's a huge difference, but I was never taught these terms in school and can't figure out which one I am.

So: Let's say I make a up a creature right now; let's call it Asdfsoooxzm. It's unicorn-colored, all-powerful and lives outside this universe. Crucially, you can't prove that it doesn't exist. Neither can I; perhaps everything I can invent really does exist somewhere outside this universe.

I believe in God just as much as I believe in Asdfsoooxzm. And in other gods, for that matter.

If that belief makes me an atheist, why do people keep arguing with stuff like "A-ha! But you can't prove He doesn't exist!" when exactly the same is true of Asdfsoooxzm, and they're trying to convince me my belief in God should be different from my belief in Asdfsoooxzm?

If it makes me an agnostic, then that is really quite meaningless since I'd be mad to consider seriously the possibility that a creature I made up for a forum post actually exists. It'd be so close to atheism the difference is meaningless.

As far as I have been informed, the difference between an agnostic and an atheist is this :
Atheists refuse to believe in the existence of a supreme being, whichever it may be. For them, there is no god.
Agnostics, refuse to believe in any Religion, which is a huge difference. An agnostic accepts the fact that there probably is a supreme being, a God in some sense that created the universe at some point. However, they do not accept the dogmas of any religion, Christianity, Islam, whatever, they believe them to be wrong. They believe in a god, but revere him in there own personal way, without seeking guidance from more enlightened people.

I myself am an atheist. Perhaps I will convert to agnosticism at some point in my life, if I get the feeling that perhaps a god does exist. It's a possibility. I'm doubtful of it, but it could happen. I know for a fact that I will never turn to any religion, because there are too many inconsistencies in the teachings.

First of all is evolution. There are enough proofs of evolution out there to make it undeniable, at least in my eyes.

Second, is the presence of so many different religions throughout time and space. Why, if God really created the first two human beings, would people have ever believed in any religion other than Christianity (or whichever religion is right)? Wouldn't they have passed it on to their children, and only one religion have ever existed in history?

Most important of all, why have all major religions such a short history? 2000 years old for Christianity, less even than that for Islam, Asian religions are older than that, but still a lot younger than humanity. Where have our gods been over the 200,000 years (minimum) of the modern human existence?

And last but not least, look around us. Our world's a mess. Natural catastrophies, wars, global warming, pollution... If there is indeed a god watching over us, he's either doing a very poor job, or he doesn't give a fuck. And in either case, why the fuck should i care about him/her/it?
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cerement

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #414 on: 02 Sep 2009, 01:53 »

And last but not least, look around us. Our world's a mess. Natural catastrophies, wars, global warming, pollution... If there is indeed a god watching over us, he's either doing a very poor job, or he doesn't give a fuck. And in either case, why the fuck should i care about him/her/it?

Congratulations, your answer is Discordianism! The worship of the Greek goddess Eris, the goddess of chaos, confusion, and things that just don't go right. Even from your examples, it's clear you've already seen her influence in your life ...

Quote from: Malaclypse the Younger
The human race will begin solving its problems on the day that it ceases taking itself so seriously.

Quote from: Oscar Wilde
Life is too important to be taken seriously.


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pwhodges

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #415 on: 02 Sep 2009, 02:43 »

don't be quite so quick to dismiss the people who laid the foundations of this civilization.

Newton laid the foundations of much of modern mathematics and science; but when he made the remark about standing on the shoulders of giants, he was talking about astrology.  If the great people of the past had known everything, or got it all right, there would be no scope for development.

Quote
Please be willing to at least entertain the notion that a theistic worldview is not inherently retarded.

In a lifetime of being surrounded by theistic argument (my father was a theologian) I never found any that made a theist viewpoint acceptable to me.  I would be the retarded one if I accepted ideas whose arguments fail for me.  And if I admit that it is still possible for me to be wrong, that does not make me agnostic as you claim above - it merely means that I accept that I am not omniscient.
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"Being human, having your health; that's what's important."  (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #416 on: 02 Sep 2009, 02:53 »

And last but not least, look around us. Our world's a mess. Natural catastrophies, wars, global warming, pollution... If there is indeed a god watching over us, he's either doing a very poor job, or he doesn't give a fuck. And in either case, why the fuck should i care about him/her/it?

Congratulations, your answer is Discordianism! The worship of the Greek goddess Eris, the goddess of chaos, confusion, and things that just don't go right. Even from your examples, it's clear you've already seen her influence in your life ...
Right. And again, i should worship her why?
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #417 on: 02 Sep 2009, 04:53 »

(my father was a theologian)
What drives a person to become a theologian? I mean seriously.
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #418 on: 02 Sep 2009, 05:19 »

I have no idea.  I never talked about it with my father, as I was the odd one out in the family (being a scientist and atheist, though I might have said agnostic while he was alive).  I may still have some documents in which he wrote about his life, but I don't recall that there were any actual explanations there.  Like me, he was brought up in an atmosphere of faith (Methodist in his childhood), and like many he lost his faith for a brief while during his time at university. My mother once told me that his faith was shaken again by the process of dying; but later in life she didn't remember this.

[edit] Well, well - a quote!
« Last Edit: 02 Sep 2009, 05:24 by pwhodges »
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #419 on: 02 Sep 2009, 07:33 »


Since ancient Greece, the educated classes have been aware of the spherical earth.  Geocentrism and heliocentrism belong to the same class of ideas as evolution (i.e., no bearing on the question of God's existence) as does the flat earth and- well- everything else you've listed.  My point is this: Darwinian evolution is the only recent development that could change the landscape, so to speak, from what applied to the men I mentioned.  And Darwinian evolution in no way precludes the existence of God. 

Nobody disputes that. However, it disproves by example the argument from authority , which you used to support your case.  A theory is not true because the scientist coming with it is smart,  the scientist is smart because he comes up  with sound theories.
Therefore, calling an authority to your help to prove the existance of god is meaningless , unless you state that person's arguments. If the arguments are correct they will persuade us

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Actually, that's not entirely true- quantum physics might be a real challenge to God's existence, as it might invalidate the Prime Cause.  If you care to discuss a quantum physics-related argument against the existence of God, I am more than happy to admit that you have a valid and reasonable platform.  I would disagree with it, but I would admit its rationality.  I think the same could be said of theism.  There is no science except quantum physics that in any way challenges the fundamental assumptions of a theistic worldview (that there must be a First Cause).  It is as rational to assume, on philosophical grounds, that matter is capable of self-generation as it is to assume that there is a self-existent cause behind matter.  One or the other must be true.

Argument from prime cause is frankly put nonsense. Why would matter need to have a prime cause, why a god does not have to have a prime cause, and why cannot the causal chain go on forever (such as the universe expanding, then contracting and so on  , with a big bang at beginning of each cycle)???
Even Thomas Aquinas blatantly asserted that the chain cannot go on forever as then we would have no first cause - ie the argument is based on assuming it is true - ie a tautology.

Quote
Besides which, my main point was that atheists can be self-sabotaging with their "unicorn-colored" or "flying spaghetti monster" ideas.  Those are far more applicable to pagan religions- I think Thor is as inherently goofy as just about anything you could come up with, and Quetzlcoatl too.  But Christians have thought that for two thousand years, and Jews for longer than that.  The fact is that the belief in an omnipotent deity is more reasonable than the belief in any random god.  Call monotheism untrue, call it unsubstantiated, but don't call it patently ridiculous.  Bring that up to the Dionysian cults, or the worshipers of Wotan (the Nazis, for instance).  Don't bring it up to the believers in Yahweh.

They are placeholders for unverifiable beings and how dare you assert the IPU is not omnipotent :D
 I myself prefer to use a teapot floating around Saturn, Baba Jaga and Ded Moroz.
The belief in an omnipotent deity as christians do is self contradictory - why is there natural evil then (diseases, floods, droughts ) if god is both good and omnipotent? I am not even going to refer to the holy writ since there is even more contradictions. (such as judas dying twice or the blatant lack of god's justice with regards to Job)
Also omniscience blatantly contradicts with free will since an action can either be determined or not.
To myself , the dualist or polytheist religions seem much more logical, with their only faults being lack of evidence for support of them , and for some older ones , redundancy (ie science explained the stuff they did)
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #420 on: 02 Sep 2009, 08:15 »

Right. And again, i should worship her why?

Because she can be a royal bitch and she doesn't like being ignored.  :-D The first time she got snubbed, she started the Trojan War ...
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #421 on: 02 Sep 2009, 09:37 »

You still haven't specified why belief in Yahweh is different from belief in any random pagan god, or even one made up on the spot.. The depiction of god in the bible is a patently ridiculous one. Anyways, Yahweh had its origin among many other gods in the land of Canaan.
My point is that the belief in a fractured-divine cosmology is inherently weirder and more childlike than a belief in one God.  The creation of many gods simply introduces another level of being within the universe, whereas an omnipotent creator God at least attempts to explain the origin of the universe.  And to be honest, the "Yahweh comes from Near Eastern paganism" argument has holes.  In any case, I am once again done with this thread, and this time I'm going to (hopefully) stick to that decision. 
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #422 on: 02 Sep 2009, 10:05 »

How is 'god came into being and created a universe' a better explanation than 'universe came into being' ?
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #423 on: 02 Sep 2009, 11:28 »

Agnostics, refuse to believe in any Religion, which is a huge difference. An agnostic accepts the fact that there probably is a supreme being, a God in some sense that created the universe at some point. However, they do not accept the dogmas of any religion, Christianity, Islam, whatever, they believe them to be wrong. They believe in a god, but revere him in there own personal way, without seeking guidance from more enlightened people.


Nope. Agnosticism is simply the stance that you don't know if there is a god. It's a very wide umbrella and a lot of different stances stem from that basic statement. For example, there's weak agnosticism, in which people say that is possible for there to be a god but that nobody has ever proven it. There's also strong agnosticism, in which people state that the existence of a god is inherently unknowable since we are natural beings and god would be a supernatural phenomenon. There's apathetic agnostics who wonder why we even waste our time on this shit. There's even people who could be described as agnostic theists, who are like strong agnostics in the sense that they believe it is empirically impossible to know if there is a god yet they continue to believe anyway (think Kierkegaard). What you're talking about is just flat out unaligned theism.
« Last Edit: 02 Sep 2009, 18:37 by Alex C »
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #424 on: 02 Sep 2009, 11:51 »

You still haven't specified why belief in Yahweh is different from belief in any random pagan god, or even one made up on the spot.. The depiction of god in the bible is a patently ridiculous one. Anyways, Yahweh had its origin among many other gods in the land of Canaan.
I don't think there's a difference between Yahweh, Allah, any random pagan god or one made up on the spot. Everything said about them is a lie, it doesn't matter if it's said by a believer or a nonbeliever.


Quote
you're really going to say yahweh is real but odin or zeus isn't, because? polytheistic cultures actually just created gods for different aspects of their daily life, things they couldnt explain. So there's thunder and lightning we have a god for that. In egypt there is flooding of the nile that gives us life, so we have a god for that. In more ways then one this is more logical then one god doing it all, as it makes them less omnipotent and thus closer to human. Believing in an invisible god (or in an old bearded man in the sky, you pick) is really no different from believing in a jackalheaded, hawkheaded, hippoheaded, ... god.
Anthropomorphic gods are simple projections. Xenophanes of Colophon satirized this perfectly:
"The Ethiops say that their gods are flat-nosed and black,
While the Thracians say that theirs have blue eyes and red hair.
Yet if cattle or horses or lions had hands and could draw,
And could sculpt like men, then the horses would draw their gods
Like horses, and cattle like cattle; and each they would shape
Bodies of gods in the likeness, each kind, of their own."
Egyptian gods with nonhuman heads are projections of different skills and attributes on animals (like in fables).
C.G. Jung would say the bearded old man is a manifestation of the teacher archetype similar to Obi-Wan (orig.tril.) or an old Kung Fu master of a cheesy Eastern film.

I think a monotheistic god is more logical because of the ontological argument of Anselm of Canterbury. To me, it doesn't prove that there is a god, but for certain views of god it proves that his inexistence is unthinkable. I'll quote wiki because of my lazyness:
    1. God is something of which nothing greater can be thought.
    2. God may exist in the understanding.
    3. It is greater to exist in reality and in the understanding than just in understanding.
    4. Therefore, God exists in reality.

I the end, i'll go with Thomas Aquinas:
"All that I have written seems like straw to me."
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #425 on: 02 Sep 2009, 12:35 »


    1. God is something of which nothing greater can be thought.
    2. God may exist in the understanding.
    3. It is greater to exist in reality and in the understanding than just in understanding.
    4. Therefore, God exists in reality.



I realise that this is not your view , but i will comment anyway.

This argument is also flawed, since thinking of something does not make it reality. I can also think of an perfect banknote (paper cash)  in my hand, which has the property of existance, yet it does not make it real.
But this is the essence of the previous argument, since it only goes on to prove (albeit strangely, since i do not see how existence has anything to do with greatness) that a necessary property of the concept of a god must be existance, and leaves on the reader to wrongly assume that this makes the concept exist ie be real. In the same way one can imagine an existing unicorn etc.
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #426 on: 02 Sep 2009, 13:25 »

The only flaw I see is that i haven't rewritten 4. as "Therefore, it's unthikable that god doesn't exist in reality".
The argument is valid is because of the definition of god it uses. If you define god as a geezer who sits on a cloud and papparazzies you taking a shower, this argument doesn't apply. The same for a perfect banknote, the pink invisible unicorn, etc. etc. etc.
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #427 on: 02 Sep 2009, 16:39 »

The only flaw I see is that i haven't rewritten 4. as "Therefore, it's unthikable that god doesn't exist in reality".
The argument is valid is because of the definition of god it uses. If you define god as a geezer who sits on a cloud and papparazzies you taking a shower, this argument doesn't apply. The same for a perfect banknote, the pink invisible unicorn, etc. etc. etc.

But it boils down to the same. Essentially you define something with a necessary property of existance, and then you assert that it must exist by virtue of its definition, such as a perfect god or a real unicorn.
The flaw is the same - your thoughts and definitions have no impact on reality - what existed would continue to do so even without you, and you cannot make something appear simply by defining it as existing.

Also - by existing, i mean manifesting itself in some clear, and verifiable way. Even if your god existed in the sense you jut described , two things could happen A) he would verifiably manifest by some phenomena, then that would be a proof, and the argument is redundant, since better ones abound (like the guy who distinguishes his twins by the fact that the black haired has a pigment mark on her cheek while the blonde one does not)
B) he would not manifest in any such way, and not affect the material world in any way consistently attributable to him, then i am not the least interested in such existance, and for all practical means he does not exist, because such an existance is an empty statement, it implies nothing about the world
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #428 on: 02 Sep 2009, 18:45 »

1. God is such that there is nothing better than God.
2. If you're starving, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich is better than nothing.
3. Therefore a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich is better than God.
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #429 on: 02 Sep 2009, 21:00 »

1. God is such that there is nothing better than God.
2. If you're starving, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich is better than nothing.
3. Therefore a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich is better than God.


that is because we are sure a penut butter and jelly sandwich exists while god is still in debate.
if god is real and beliefs in him are corect he created (well the ingredients etc. anyways) the penut butter and jelly sandwich which means god is stil beter than the penut buter sandwich. yet if god is not real a peice of gravel is better than him unless god is the reason why the starving person can force him/her self can continue in wich god is the driving force yet that would be the human mind creating the thought so the human mind in this situation is better than or at least equal to god.
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #430 on: 02 Sep 2009, 23:43 »

Indeed - though I expect the argument was made with the Christian God in mind, and being omnipotent/omnipresent/omni-anything-you-care-to-mention is kind of his thing.
"Nothing greater" kinda implies omi-anything-ness.

But it boils down to the same. Essentially you define something with a necessary property of existance, and then you assert that it must exist by virtue of its definition, such as a perfect god or a real unicorn.
Can you tell me where this necessary property of existance is? It's not like this wants to prove something like a triangle having three angles.

The flaw is the same - your thoughts and definitions have no impact on reality - what existed would continue to do so even without you, and you cannot make something appear simply by defining it as existing.
We make it real by thinking about it, because the world is what we think it is.

Also - by existing, i mean manifesting itself in some clear, and verifiable way. Even if your god existed in the sense you jut described , two things could happen A) he would verifiably manifest by some phenomena, then that would be a proof, and the argument is redundant, since better ones abound (like the guy who distinguishes his twins by the fact that the black haired has a pigment mark on her cheek while the blonde one does not)
B) he would not manifest in any such way, and not affect the material world in any way consistently attributable to him, then i am not the least interested in such existance, and for all practical means he does not exist, because such an existance is an empty statement, it implies nothing about the world
If you think like that, then you have to dismiss numbers, because they dont manifest. There may be three trees or three mountains, but can you see a three? No, only different symbols for it.
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #431 on: 03 Sep 2009, 02:04 »

But it boils down to the same. Essentially you define something with a necessary property of existance, and then you assert that it must exist by virtue of its definition, such as a perfect god or a real unicorn.
Can you tell me where this necessary property of existance is? It's not like this wants to prove something like a triangle having three angles.


Yes, you said it before. Essentially the argument goes on to (prove)  that a perfect god must have the property of existence (much like a real unicorn must have a property of existence).

Quote
The flaw is the same - your thoughts and definitions have no impact on reality - what existed would continue to do so even without you, and you cannot make something appear simply by defining it as existing.
We make it real by thinking about it, because the world is what we think it is.
I would say we observe and process reality by perceiving it , not make it in our minds

Quote
Also - by existing, i mean manifesting itself in some clear, and verifiable way. Even if your god existed in the sense you jut described , two things could happen A) he would verifiably manifest by some phenomena, then that would be a proof, and the argument is redundant, since better ones abound (like the guy who distinguishes his twins by the fact that the black haired has a pigment mark on her cheek while the blonde one does not)
B) he would not manifest in any such way, and not affect the material world in any way consistently attributable to him, then i am not the least interested in such existance, and for all practical means he does not exist, because such an existance is an empty statement, it implies nothing about the world
If you think like that, then you have to dismiss numbers, because they dont manifest. There may be three trees or three mountains, but can you see a three? No, only different symbols for it.

Numbers are an abstract concept, representing a quantity, the same way property is an abstract concept representing all one owns.  I have no problem with them, as they truly are not real (except when therir imaginary part == 0 :D) just an abstraction.  In the same way defining a god simply as a term for a possible sum of 'greatness' (whatever that means) is OK but that will not make it a real concrete being, and would not be very useful anyway.
Numbers help us model reality in increasingly complex ways, but the stated definition of god does not do anything useful
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #432 on: 03 Sep 2009, 03:20 »

But it boils down to the same. Essentially you define something with a necessary property of existance, and then you assert that it must exist by virtue of its definition, such as a perfect god or a real unicorn.
Can you tell me where this necessary property of existance is? It's not like this wants to prove something like a triangle having three angles.

Yes, you said it before. Essentially the argument goes on to (prove)  that a perfect god must have the property of existence (much like a real unicorn must have a property of existence).

I said it before, it doesn't prove that god exists, but that his inexistance is unthinkable. it says more about my thoughts than about god.

Quote
The flaw is the same - your thoughts and definitions have no impact on reality - what existed would continue to do so even without you, and you cannot make something appear simply by defining it as existing.
We make it real by thinking about it, because the world is what we think it is.
I would say we observe and process reality by perceiving it , not make it in our minds
The flat earth was real because they believed it was real. They feared exploring if it was relly flat because they thought they'd fall down. It doesn't matter that earth isn't really flat. Columbus was able to go to America because he believed that the earth was spherical.

Quote
Also - by existing, i mean manifesting itself in some clear, and verifiable way. Even if your god existed in the sense you jut described , two things could happen A) he would verifiably manifest by some phenomena, then that would be a proof, and the argument is redundant, since better ones abound (like the guy who distinguishes his twins by the fact that the black haired has a pigment mark on her cheek while the blonde one does not)
B) he would not manifest in any such way, and not affect the material world in any way consistently attributable to him, then i am not the least interested in such existance, and for all practical means he does not exist, because such an existance is an empty statement, it implies nothing about the world
If you think like that, then you have to dismiss numbers, because they dont manifest. There may be three trees or three mountains, but can you see a three? No, only different symbols for it.

Numbers are an abstract concept, representing a quantity, the same way property is an abstract concept representing all one owns.  I have no problem with them, as they truly are not real (except when therir imaginary part == 0 :D) just an abstraction.  In the same way defining a god simply as a term for a possible sum of 'greatness' (whatever that means) is OK but that will not make it a real concrete being, and would not be very useful anyway.
Numbers help us model reality in increasingly complex ways, but the stated definition of god does not do anything useful
it helps me to pursue a most rational view of god.
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #433 on: 03 Sep 2009, 03:34 »

The flat earth was real because they believed it was real. They feared exploring if it was relly flat because they thought they'd fall down. It doesn't matter that earth isn't really flat. Columbus was able to go to America because he believed that the earth was spherical.
Just yesterday, i nearly fell on the exit of our house. Somebody has put his shoes where i believed it was only the floor, and i kicked into one of them and only my reflexes saved me.
According to what you say, this could not have happened, since before the fall, i did not believe there was any object that could interfere with my motion in there.


Quote
it helps me to pursue a most rational view of god.

To restate it, your definition of an abstraction of 'great' terms which you associated with a term 'god' lets you define that term ? ie. the belief is self-serving, and has no other use. In the same way one could associate terms with thinkable maxima of other qualities , such as smallness  ... if we define them as the existing maxima, then their non-existance would also be unthinkable
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #434 on: 03 Sep 2009, 06:08 »

The flat earth was real because they believed it was real. They feared exploring if it was relly flat because they thought they'd fall down. It doesn't matter that earth isn't really flat. Columbus was able to go to America because he believed that the earth was spherical.
Just yesterday, i nearly fell on the exit of our house. Somebody has put his shoes where i believed it was only the floor, and i kicked into one of them and only my reflexes saved me.
According to what you say, this could not have happened, since before the fall, i did not believe there was any object that could interfere with my motion in there.
You can step out of your door and they too. But they weren't always able to sail to America because their ships weren't good enough, so they made up stories. Their belief in those stories made it true for them.


Quote
it helps me to pursue a most rational view of god.
To restate it, your definition of an abstraction of 'great' terms which you associated with a term 'god' lets you define that term ? ie. the belief is self-serving, and has no other use.
Religion is a part of every culture, so I want to understand it and not trashcan it by saying "They believe because they don't know therefore they're stupid".
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #435 on: 03 Sep 2009, 07:39 »


You can step out of your door and they too. But they weren't always able to sail to America because their ships weren't good enough, so they made up stories. Their belief in those stories made it true for them.

Now you state something entirely different than before, which i can agree with. Except that the 'it made it true to them' is better stated as they considered it true. It was not true any more than it is now, just (next to) nobody knew it then
there is an objective reality and any attempt to undercut it is a 'fallacy of stolen concept'
Quote

Religion is a part of every culture, so I want to understand it and not trashcan it by saying "They believe because they don't know therefore they're stupid".

Firstly god and religion have not so much in common (eg buddhism is an atheist (== godless) religion) and each of them defines a god or multiple ones differently, so your definition is still unhelpful.
Religion possibly was good enough before the advent of science, although namely christianity has done more bad than good by quelling scientific progress (the reason why in the middle ages, arabs were waay ahead of us)
Currently the only reason it propagates in large numbers is that it is put into people in their youth when they believe anything parents tell them.  This comes from the fact that it is a great tool of social control. Also there are other psychical reasons - frankly dying sucks whether it is you or your surroundings, so the stories are often soothing in this way.
That are the three elements that compose IMHO an understanding of it - why it has arisen and so.
All and all i am all for trashcanning it, especially since i have firsthand experience :D
Also in great majority of cases the problem is not stupidity as you assert, but ignorance - as you could see even here - KeepACoolIn was trying to use the Prime cause proof, since he was not aware of the fact that it is logically invalid.
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #436 on: 03 Sep 2009, 11:16 »

Now you state something entirely different than before, which i can agree with. Except that the 'it made it true to them' is better stated as they considered it true. It was not true any more than it is now, just (next to) nobody knew it then
there is an objective reality and any attempt to undercut it is a 'fallacy of stolen concept'
Funny thing, to me it's the same thing as I said before. And only the physical reality is more or less (relativity, quantum physics) objective, and even there it's only the stuff we've seen.

Firstly god and religion have not so much in common (eg buddhism is an atheist (== godless) religion) and each of them defines a god or multiple ones differently, so your definition is still unhelpful.
Buddhism is clearly not an atheist religion. It's extremely agnostic, but not atheist. The basic message about god etc. is "We can't know what there is, so don't even try to ask". But there's still lots of mythological stuff. I think that my definition can be applied to every bigger religion, even the polytheistic ones, because they have a bigger god (Odin for Norse paganism, Brahman for Hinduism). The lower gods can be compared to angels.

Religion possibly was good enough before the advent of science, although namely christianity has done more bad than good by quelling scientific progress (the reason why in the middle ages, arabs were waay ahead of us)
It was the power-hungry popes and priests who prevented scientific progress, not the religion. Let's take the geocentric model. It was part of aristotelian pilosophy, and thanks to Thomas Aquinas, christian theology was heavily based on that. When Copernicus and Kepler came with Heliocentrism, the priests feared that everybody would think that their writing is complete bullshit and they might lose power.

Currently the only reason it propagates in large numbers is that it is put into people in their youth when they believe anything parents tell them.  This comes from the fact that it is a great tool of social control. Also there are other psychical reasons - frankly dying sucks whether it is you or your surroundings, so the stories are often soothing in this way.
Partly I don't mind that memetic reproduction, because it gives some people a reason not to kill. I don't like it if it degenerates into spam and/or hate. I don't think there will ever be a time without religion because of the psychical reasons and to a lesser extent because of the memetic stuff.

All and all i am all for trashcanning it, especially since i have firsthand experience :D
Also in great majority of cases the problem is not stupidity as you assert, but ignorance - as you could see even here - KeepACoolIn was trying to use the Prime cause proof, since he was not aware of the fact that it is logically invalid.
I tend to judge belief and not believers, because everybody's stupid in some kind of way. Belief tends to condense the less stupid stuff.
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #437 on: 03 Sep 2009, 13:47 »

Funny thing, to me it's the same thing as I said before. And only the physical reality is more or less (relativity, quantum physics) objective, and even there it's only the stuff we've seen.
The problem was in the wording make it true for someone, because various people can consider various statements
true, but there is only one truth, independant of them (even in rel theory, when two people differ in times of perceiving something, they are located at different coordinates so in fact they are both saying the same thing - like looking at an object from diff sides)

Quote

Buddhism is clearly not an atheist religion. It's extremely agnostic, but not atheist. The basic message about god etc. is "We can't know what there is, so don't even try to ask". But there's still lots of mythological stuff. I think that my definition can be applied to every bigger religion, even the polytheistic ones, because they have a bigger god (Odin for Norse paganism, Brahman for Hinduism). The lower gods can be compared to angels.

Atheist i used in its basic meaning - a-theist ie. lacking a god, such as a-vitamin-osis is a non inflamatory disease caused by lack of vitamins.
Hinduism has 3 equally important ones Brahma, Visnu and Siva ! On a funnier note , i would rather compare angels to lower gods - they are both an earlier and broader concept.


Quote
It was the power-hungry popes and priests who prevented scientific progress, not the religion. Let's take the geocentric model. It was part of aristotelian pilosophy, and thanks to Thomas Aquinas, christian theology was heavily based on that. When Copernicus and Kepler came with Heliocentrism, the priests feared that everybody would think that their writing is complete bullshit and they might lose power.

It was an interpretation of the religion which was at fault - an good example is with originally catholics rejecting vaccination, as it supposedly went into god's competence, and now the movement against in vitro fertilisation for example.
And also there is little purpose to it besides being as K Marx said it, opium of the masses used to pacify them into obedience


Quote
Partly I don't mind that memetic reproduction, because it gives some people a reason not to kill. I don't like it if it degenerates into spam and/or hate. I don't think there will ever be a time without religion because of the psychical reasons and to a lesser extent because of the memetic stuff.


Who does it give a reason not to kill ? :D The guys who murdered the abortion doctors in the US? The priest who prays for Obama's death? The clerical-fascist regime of ThDr Josef Tiso in my country who collaborated with Hitler and his government deported thousands of jews +  POHG (the equivalent of SS) burned down and killed at least two villages? The fanatics who give grease to the fire of the conflict between arabs and the israel state?
Or the nice guys in Afganistan who after winning a war against the soviet-supported democratic forces welded their enemies into steel containers and left them in the desert sun to die? O
Or , to go back , crusades?

You  will surely say that a majority of religious people does not do such deeds , which is true, but so does the majority of atheists, so i do not see any added value by the religion. To the contrary i see that only religious influence can persuade people certain cases of extreme injustice, and cruelty are just and honorable
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #438 on: 04 Sep 2009, 03:30 »

The problem was in the wording make it true for someone, because various people can consider various statements
true, but there is only one truth, independant of them (even in rel theory, when two people differ in times of perceiving something, they are located at different coordinates so in fact they are both saying the same thing - like looking at an object from diff sides)
My fault, I'm better with wording in my mother tongue.

Atheist i used in its basic meaning - a-theist ie. lacking a god, such as a-vitamin-osis is a non inflamatory disease caused by lack of vitamins.
Siddhartha said that he doesn't teach the teachings of a god. If you ignore trinity and that stuff, the middle ages description of god sometimes resembles nirvana imho.

Hinduism has 3 equally important ones Brahma, Visnu and Siva ! On a funnier note , i would rather compare angels to lower gods - they are both an earlier and broader concept.
I meant Brahman (it means something like world-soul), not the god Brahma. Brahma is more or less a personification of Brahman (as god is of heaven). These personifications basically exist because they're easier to understand, but they're also easier to attack.

It was an interpretation of the religion which was at fault - an good example is with originally catholics rejecting vaccination, as it supposedly went into god's competence, and now the movement against in vitro fertilisation for example.
And also there is little purpose to it besides being as K Marx said it, opium of the masses used to pacify them into obedience
Yes, the interpretation was wrong, but at that time they clearly didn't want to change it because they feared a loss of power and not because they weren't able to believe it. Always keep in mind that the catholic church was a big political force at that time. You porbably won't see communists saying that communism is wrong or neoliberalists saying that free market is evil.
And you confuse Marx and Lenin. Marx said it's opium of the masses and they take it freely because their life is too hard. Lenin said it's opium for the masses and the priests give it to them for obedience stuff.

Who does it give a reason not to kill ? :D The guys who murdered the abortion doctors in the US? The priest who prays for Obama's death? The clerical-fascist regime of ThDr Josef Tiso in my country who collaborated with Hitler and his government deported thousands of jews +  POHG (the equivalent of SS) burned down and killed at least two villages? The fanatics who give grease to the fire of the conflict between arabs and the israel state?
Or the nice guys in Afganistan who after winning a war against the soviet-supported democratic forces welded their enemies into steel containers and left them in the desert sun to die? O
Or , to go back , crusades?

You  will surely say that a majority of religious people does not do such deeds , which is true, but so does the majority of atheists, so i do not see any added value by the religion. To the contrary i see that only religious influence can persuade people certain cases of extreme injustice, and cruelty are just and honorable

Quote
A few weeks ago I saw a blog somewhere - I forget where. Anyway, there was a post and a series of comments about whether we possess free will or not. The discussion centred on the thought experiment of "would you shoot an innocent person, given no extenuating circumstances"? For the vast majority of us the answer is, instantly and incontrovertibly, no. The application to the free will question then is that if you are incapable of shooting this person, perhaps you don't actually possess the free will to actively decide to shoot them. Of course this invites the argument that, "Well, actually I could decide to shoot them, I just wouldn't." At which point the argument can go in circles for as long as the arguers enjoy it.

Someone raised the question, "Well if you have the free will to decide to shoot, but never actually do shoot, what's stopping you?"

Someone answered, "God."

"And what if God doesn't exist?"

"Well then I guess I'd shoot the person."
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danman

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #439 on: 04 Sep 2009, 08:56 »


My fault, I'm better with wording in my mother tongue.
It is normally OK but in this debate it was exceedingly important since it was one of the topics.
English is not my mothertongue either it is slovak .
What is yours?

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I meant Brahman (it means something like world-soul), not the god Brahma. Brahma is more or less a personification of Brahman (as god is of heaven). These personifications basically exist because they're easier to understand, but they're also easier to attack.
My error . But then , it is more a kind of pantheistic  concept than the concrete deities we were looking at.


Quote
Yes, the interpretation was wrong, but at that time they clearly didn't want to change it because they feared a loss of power and not because they weren't able to believe it. Always keep in mind that the catholic church was a big political force at that time. You porbably won't see communists saying that communism is wrong or neoliberalists saying that free market is evil.
And you confuse Marx and Lenin. Marx said it's opium of the masses and they take it freely because their life is too hard. Lenin said it's opium for the masses and the priests give it to them for obedience stuff.
No, i do not - the ending was my addition - i only said it is as marx said opium of the  masses and continuing with the original thought just as now. Sorry if it was inobvious.
Each interpretation is a  religion in my understanding since just about every such text has countless interpretations. Catholics , orthodox and eg. husites all stem from one set of holy scripts.


Quote
A few weeks ago I saw a blog somewhere - I forget where. Anyway, there was a post and a series of comments about whether we possess free will or not. The discussion centred on the thought experiment of "would you shoot an innocent person, given no extenuating circumstances"? For the vast majority of us the answer is, instantly and incontrovertibly, no. The application to the free will question then is that if you are incapable of shooting this person, perhaps you don't actually possess the free will to actively decide to shoot them. Of course this invites the argument that, "Well, actually I could decide to shoot them, I just wouldn't." At which point the argument can go in circles for as long as the arguers enjoy it.

Someone raised the question, "Well if you have the free will to decide to shoot, but never actually do shoot, what's stopping you?"

Someone answered, "God."

"And what if God doesn't exist?"

"Well then I guess I'd shoot the person."

The example is artificial and not something you experience. Secondly it is absurd since a reasonless decision is not free but random. The question can be abstracted as Would you do something without any reason? to see its full absurdity.
And besides the (probably christian)god which stopped one respondent from shooting a random person, there were historically, deities which would encourage such an action. On the contrary many such people would be glad to kill a 'heretic' or a 'sinner' which is equally stupid but directly encouraged by many religions (it is ordered in the old testament for example) (note - i am for death penalty but in cases where it is justified  by extent of crime done)

Again  i repeat. In reality religion does not force evil  people not to do evil deeds, to the contrary it gives good people honorable reasons to commit abominable acts
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Surgoshan

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #440 on: 04 Sep 2009, 18:00 »

PenPen is one of those militaristic atheists who feel the need to attack others believes because they are not their own, much like Christian monasteries throughout history.

No one is so zealous as a convert.

Grow up with and surrounded by asshole Christians and you'll be an asshole antichristian.  It's science.  Well, social science.
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #441 on: 04 Sep 2009, 19:00 »

Pennelope probably feels betrayed by the people responsible for her early education.
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #442 on: 06 Sep 2009, 09:06 »

Pennelope probably feels betrayed by the people responsible for her early education.

It's a classic reaction for a person who feels like they are given no choice to go against what they are forced to do, without asking themselves wether it was right or wrong in the first place.
In this case, Penelope feels like she was indoctrinated when she was younger and unable to form an informed opinion, and as soon as she realized this, she withdrew from that earlier education so far that she's no a vehement opposer. Ironically, if she hadn't been in such a heavily christian environment to start with, she either would be a "casual" atheist, or might even be a believer herself. Who knows .
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #443 on: 06 Sep 2009, 12:08 »

It is normally OK but in this debate it was exceedingly important since it was one of the topics.
English is not my mothertongue either it is slovak .
What is yours?
Mine is German (actually Swiss German (if that's a difference is up to debate (BRACKETS YAY!))).

My error . But then , it is more a kind of pantheistic  concept than the concrete deities we were looking at.
Not really. It's like god, except it isn't thought of as a person. I actually think more educated believers of any religion see god as something like Brahman.

The example is artificial and not something you experience.
It's a real person who wrote this, so yeah.

Secondly it is absurd since a reasonless decision is not free but random. The question can be abstracted as Would you do something without any reason? to see its full absurdity.
Who said it was a reasonless decision? I see that this person has another sort of reason than us two, but it's not completely reasonless. This person probably thinks that morals are given by god, therefore they are meaningless without god who is watching if you follow them. The assumption is not ours, but reason is reason.

And besides the (probably christian)god which stopped one respondent from shooting a random person, there were historically, deities which would encourage such an action.
Most of those, if not all, were exploited by the government, who mostly was the priests. Again, at that time priests were politicians.

On the contrary many such people would be glad to kill a 'heretic' or a 'sinner' which is equally stupid but directly encouraged by many religions (it is ordered in the old testament for example).
The only religions who have texts that encourage killing people for religious reasons are the abrahamic religions. They also have texts that say otherwise and it's often only practised by a tiny minority.

Again  i repeat. In reality religion does not force evil  people not to do evil deeds, to the contrary it gives good people honorable reasons to commit abominable acts
Are they good people if they do evil? It's only used as an excuse by evil people either a real excuse or as a psychological rationalisation). It's the same for the cause of their home country and other stuff.
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danman

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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #444 on: 07 Sep 2009, 06:35 »



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It's a real person who wrote this, so yeah.
No but it is artificial in the sense that such situations do not occur. and the example that i stated are situations that do occur.
Quote
Who said it was a reasonless decision? I see that this person has another sort of reason than us two, but it's not completely reasonless. This person probably thinks that morals are given by god, therefore they are meaningless without god who is watching if you follow them. The assumption is not ours, but reason is reason.
You are not really answering. Shooting or not someone random with no information about him as an hypothetical
decision is a reasonless one because you lack information. I would not do it precisely for that reason - to do something i need some reason. external or internal. Killing someone just because one has an option to do so is just as stupid whether there are objective morals or not.

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The only religions who have texts that encourage killing people for religious reasons are the abrahamic religions. They also have texts that say otherwise and it's often only practised by a tiny minority.
Then they are selfcontradictory nonsense! Believing a statement and its negation is the most primitive kind of logical error
Quote
Are they good people if they do evil? It's only used as an excuse by evil people either a real excuse or as a psychological rationalisation). It's the same for the cause of their home country and other stuff.

Anyone will do almost anything given right reasons. It is called brainwashing. For example it is not a problem for someone who devoutly believes in an afterlife (eg certain fundies) to execute people with little evidence (as is done in some US states) since in their belief God will sort them so those who were innocent will be rehabilitated post mortem,
Same with crusades.
This is an arbitrary example, but as long as you accept some ideas, many of these things follow logically. Those who tortured the heretics to admit the error in their ways often thought they are doing so to save their souls ie a good deed.
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Re: Atheist Penelope
« Reply #445 on: 07 Sep 2009, 12:05 »

No but it is artificial in the sense that such situations do not occur. and the example that i stated are situations that do occur.
The end result is the same, this person follows certain morals because he believes that they are given by god. And it's impossible to say that such situations don't occur. Have you ever seen a history book that counts people who weren't killed?

You are not really answering. Shooting or not someone random with no information about him as an hypothetical
decision is a reasonless one because you lack information. I would not do it precisely for that reason - to do something i need some reason. external or internal. Killing someone just because one has an option to do so is just as stupid whether there are objective morals or not.
Is it a difference? As you say, a lack of reasons to shoot somebody is a reason not to shoot somebody. That's your reason. This person's reason is because god says so. And the situation isn't that hypothetical. There are many wars where innocent people have been killed for no real reason. In the Thirty Years' War, 3 or 4 million people were killed (of 17 million inhabitants in these regions, that's about 20 %), and a lot of these were farmers who didn't fight at all.

Then they are selfcontradictory nonsense! Believing a statement and its negation is the most primitive kind of logical error
It's good marketing, because everybody will quote what he wants to and forget the rest. I've also heard that the selfcontradictions apply to different situations, but I can't verify that.

Anyone will do almost anything given right reasons. It is called brainwashing. For example it is not a problem for someone who devoutly believes in an afterlife (eg certain fundies) to execute people with little evidence (as is done in some US states) since in their belief God will sort them so those who were innocent will be rehabilitated post mortem, Same with crusades.
This is an arbitrary example, but as long as you accept some ideas, many of these things follow logically. Those who tortured the heretics to admit the error in their ways often thought they are doing so to save their souls ie a good deed.
I don't believe real brainwashing (with torture, sleep-deprivation, etc.) is used by more than a tiny minority. It's psychologically evident that the desire to kill is a part of human nature. Some use religion as a rationalisation, some use other stuff.
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