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Old 07-03-2011, 06:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
Possible god: It is possible that there is a supreme being that exists outside of our universe. There is no reason why there could not be. I am not suggesting that there is, just that it is possible.
I'm still confused.

Since when is "Sure, there's no reason there could not be.." equal to "It's entirely possible." ?

I'm one of those who 100% don't believe in the supernatural, and it's honestly an odd way of thinking to consider all superstition, ghosts, paranormal, gods, etc man made, but to give credence to some supernatural entity living outside the universe. My suspicion is a person with that view has a warm, fuzzy, small emotional feeling deep inside implanted by religion, and is searching for a way to hold on to it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
Impossible god: I think I made a very sound argument that since suffering exists, god cannot be both all-powerful and all-loving here: http://www.city-data.com/forum/relig...erful-all.html
Just for the sake of argument, I would take the - who are you to say it's needless and that there isn't a purpose to it. Don't forgot the faith aspect to religion - if God just beamed down whatever into our minds, it would negate the reliance on faith. There's also a contrast aspect to it.

Blah, I don't know, don't care. People are born with pain receptors which serve a biological purpose, people are born with emotions which serve a biological purpose, that we know and is concrete...and that's the world I choose to live in.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
I am an atheist who acknowledges that since it cannot be proven that no god exists, it must be at least possible for a god(s) to exist. It just really looks to me that the concept of god is a man-made idea that has no real counterpart in existence.

So, you asked if there is anything that could change my mind. That would mean that I would go from thinking that there probably isn't a god in existence to thinking there probably is a god in existence.

Well, first things first, what are we talking about when we say "god"? Before I can tell you what might change my mind, I need to know what it is that I am supposed to be determining whether it is likely to existence or not. Am I looking for a corporal being, a force, an energy, what? I am not asking about the effects of god (the earth, life, a feeling during prayer), I am asking what god is.

If you tell me god is incomprehensible, then I can honestly answer that there is nothing that can change my mind, and it is not due to my stubbornness, it is because you have left me no options. If I can't comprehend god, then I can't comprehend god.

But, if god can be defined, even in part, in sufficient detail so that I know what I am looking for, then I can begin to formulate what it might take to convince me that a god probably does exist. But, until you define god, I can't tell you what it would take because I don't even know what it is I am supposed to be evaluating.
Some of us would say (and do believe) that God is Spirit and that God is Love. The Holy Spirit = the Spirit of Christ = Pure Love and Light/(Understanding). Just thought I'd put my thoughts in the discussion.

Heartsong
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,498,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEarthBeneathMe View Post
I'm still confused.

Since when is "Sure, there's no reason there could not be.." equal to "It's entirely possible." ?

I'm one of those who 100% don't believe in the supernatural, and it's honestly an odd way of thinking to consider all superstition, ghosts, paranormal, gods, etc man made, but to give credence to some supernatural entity living outside the universe. My suspicion is a person with that view has a warm, fuzzy, small emotional feeling deep inside implanted by religion, and is searching for a way to hold on to it.
Your suspicion is wrong. How about you keep you psychoanalysis of me to yourself? Let's not make this personal. I do not believe in anything supernatural, gods included. I don't have a secret wish that they were real.

Oh, and to answer your question about, "Since when is 'Sure, there's no reason there could not be...' equal to 'It's entirely possible?'". Logically, the only reason a proposition could be considered impossible is if there is some logical contradiction, so if "there's no reason there could not be" then it does mean that it is possible.

From wiki:

Quote:
A logically possible proposition is one that can be asserted without implying a logical contradiction. This is to say that a proposition is logically possible if there is some coherent way for the world to be, under which the proposition would be true. Thus, "the sky is blue" (and all other actually true propositions) is logically possible: there exists some logically coherent way for the world to be such that it is true, viz., the way that the world actually is. But this "way for the world to be" need not be the way the world actually is; it need only be logically coherent. So, for example, the false proposition the sky is green is also logically possible, so long as we are able (as we indeed seem to be) to conceive of some logically coherent world in which the sky is green. Philosophers generally consider logical possibility to be the broadest sort of subjunctive possibility in modal logic.


These propositions are also to be contrasted with logically impossible propositions, i.e., propositions which could not possibly be true under any circumstances in any universe because they are formal contradictions. While it is logically possible for the sky to be green, it is not logically possible for a square to be circular in shape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEarthBeneathMe View Post
Just for the sake of argument, I would take the - who are you to say it's needless and that there isn't a purpose to it. Don't forgot the faith aspect to religion - if God just beamed down whatever into our minds, it would negate the reliance on faith. There's also a contrast aspect to it.
I answered this exact argument, again and again and again in the thread I linked you to. There is nothing I could say now that I haven't said many times before in that thread. It has nothing to do with me. The logic is perfect. If god is all-powerful he could have accomplished whatever ends suffering serves for us now without suffering. If you say he could not then you are admitting he is not all-powerful. I am not going to argue this point anymore in this thread, if you want to keep arguing it, post it in that thread if you want me to respond.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEarthBeneathMe View Post
Blah, I don't know, don't care. People are born with pain receptors which serve a biological purpose, people are born with emotions which serve a biological purpose, that we know and is concrete...and that's the world I choose to live in.
That is the world I choose to live in as well. We evolved pain receptors and emotions because they gave our ancestors a survival advantage. Makes sense to me; you'll get no argument from me on this point.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,498,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartsong View Post
Some of us would say (and do believe) that God is Spirit and that God is Love. The Holy Spirit = the Spirit of Christ = Pure Love and Light/(Understanding). Just thought I'd put my thoughts in the discussion.

Heartsong
OK, you said God is Love. I know what love is. Wiki defines love as:

Quote:
Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection.
I believe love exists. Are you really simply calling that love we all know by another name, namely "God"? Because when I think of love, it does not carry with it the idea of a conscious, intelligent, supreme being. For me, love is just love, an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. If that is your god, well, that is fine for you, but I don't see the point in calling love by the word "God". However, if you mean God is something more than just love, then don't equate god with love because that would not be what you mean. An equal sign "=" literally means the two things on either side of the equation are completely synonymous; there is no room for saying it is that and a little more.

You also said God is Spirit. I don't know what you mean when you say "Spirit". But, you also said God is Love. So, if A = B, and A = C, then B = C. So, Spirit is Love. Alright, so we are back where we started. I know what love is and I know it exists.

Then, you said, "The Holy Spirit = the Spirit of Christ = Pure Love and Light/(Understanding)". I think you need to define your terms a little more. When you say "Understanding" do you mean comprehension or compassionate empathy. Well, love and understanding do exist. So, basically, it seems to me that you are saying God is a couple of things we already know exist, and naturalists and atheists already believe in those things. So, just by going off the definition that you have given me, you are no different than any atheist, except you call an emotion and comprehension by the word "God".

PS - I think that you believe very differently than atheists; I said the above to show you what I mean by adequately and accurately defining what you mean by God. If we are going to get serious about discussing the likelihood of a god existing, we need a real, non-metaphorical, definition to work from. Seriously, what are we really talking about? If I found God, how would I know it? How could I distinguish it from other things I might mistake it for?

For instance, if God is Spirit, what is Spirit? Does it have mass? Does it have gravity? If it is light energy, what is it's frequency and amplitude? If it has none of the above, then how does it interact with matter that only moves when acted upon by a physical force? If you don't know, then I'd suggest you don't know what Spirit is.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:10 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,372,762 times
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Default The Catch-Up Seminar. Don't worry; I won't go on after this one....

Let's face it folks: as we age we thinkers and those of a naturally curious nature tend to take on the best, and most reasonable set of beliefs we take to be rational, to have been formed as a result of our life's experiences and of the consequences of ours' and others' actions. Those of us who perhaps deflected away from the path of spiritual, myth- and faith-based stories often sought alternate logical and forward thinking answers, ones that actually fit the observable world around us better and better.

Those explanations, lo and behold, seemed to fit, for many of us, right into that temporal point in your growing & maturing life when you were presented with alternate explanations. Your post-adolescence questions to science about the errors inherent in the elementrary-level Christian bedtime story books were being answered with far more reason and logic, not to mention all that evidence laying around out in the real world.

If you take the time and effort to learn how these conclusions are reached, what the built-in checks and balances, and peer-review processes in true Scientific Methodology can and do accomplish, you tend, over time, to develop a pretty firm and accepting faith in the step-wise answers that the Scientific Process generates.

Through this inevitable and self-correcting process, It also builds on its own correct and asserted answers, and usually establishes even more rigorous proofs of some of the less understood or less rigorous hypotheses, while religious faith-based acceptance often demands an unquestioning, non-critical non-thinking process of just plain acceptance, obediently towing the official Church Line. If you do ask those pointed questions, you are often ostracized, as I, once a practicing & devout Christian at age of about 18 - 20, was told to do. "Sit down and stop asking such problematic questions!"

This is egregious when a devout Christian, having developed many traits of intransigence, now gloms onto some newly "discovered" factoid that seemingly scientifically proves an instant 6-day Creation, or that boards from Noah's Ark have now been conclusively found near the summit of Mt. Everest, etc., etc, yada yada yada, or that the earth's inhabitants will al be raptured away on, what was the most frequent abject "failure to launch us all?",leaving behind the poor sinners. The abject gloating by devout but unthinking Christians was stunning and did little to build confidence in the human condition in the summer of 2011! Quite sad, really, sad IMTO. The tomfoolery which accompanied that bag of soggy nonsense was telling, to be sure!.

So this poorly presented and erroneously interpreted non-observation, not even done in controlled lab or field lab conditions, is suddenly considered worthwhile and "absolute" by the IDTr* community, the same group who completely denies literally decades by entirely independent researchers and reproducible results, to verify some biblically irrelevant story line or fact.

But nope: the newly emergent facts, like Dr. Venter's ground-breaking study, is hand-wavingly dismissed, but a street-grime covered statuary in Greece that seemingly bleeds from it's eyes "Is Absolute Proof of God's Love and Presence! Hurrah!" (Of course that one turns out that the upstairs maid had overwatered the flowers in the Jesus Bobble-Head casting outside the flower shop with a red-dyed soil supplement...) That part is ignored, since after all, this had to be God's calling. (Pause for poignant wailing and hand-waving, and for terrified and tearstained eyes cast towards the heavens, looking for salvation....)

This is also typical of IDTrs (*Intransigent Dogmo-Theists) who cannot functionally conceive of nor accept alternate explanations of events and chronology. They deny all the well-establishjed archeological dating methodologies, all the facts about the geological layering, categorically denying, with nary a scintilla of formal theoretical molecular physics education in their vacuous brains) and the rates and directions of formal erosion, of astronomical and nuclear decay rate calculations, and of the recently discovered changes that our own living cells can easily perpetrate as part of the great Evolution End-Game we're all tied up in.

Nope; instead it's vigorously denied over at The Creation Institute, with wild-eyed pious platitudes and denials as to the inability of man to ever see it all through to a loving, St. Peter's Gate ending. And yet, the quiet men and women of science plod on, at an ever-increasing rate it turns out, building on the growth of past information to build new hypotheses and eventually facts and truths.

That's how it goes. And so, given the ongoing and now typical and predictable type-cast story-lines that burble, predictably, out of the Churchy side of this room, we've slowy learned that they simply don't "get" nor comprehend science or how and why it works: it's straightforward goal is to ask Mother Nature simple questions, without built-in biases, one at a time.

And to be emotionally prepared for a good answer that may, however, not quite meet our spiritually predetermined and anticipated answers! In other words, be prepared to be surprised, but you can be, it's OK! As in; forget and dispose of the old dinky bible stories about the universe and our glorious god-given magical and predominant place in it.

The absolute paucity of proof or logical support for anything even remotely approaching evidence in support of the instant Godly one week Creation myth and our origins and final resting place in this universe are simply too far gone now, lest there be some great and magical appearance from some Godly eminence, capable of throwing down some of the stuff he did way back when, but NEVER since the development of, for instance, the TV or film camera, or of modern event recording systems.

But then, even if He didd show up late and drunk, then I'd have some PRETTY SERIOUS QUESTIONS as to his ****-poor performance and participation during all the major humanistic events, (tsunamis, plagues, World Wars started by absolute, sadistic tyrants, over-population, ecological disasters on a yearly basis, and so on... ) failures and trials we've, it seems, unnecessarily endured if He's such a gracious, living and concerned God. Would a carefully strategized reaction by a Godly figure turn up and provide a new set of rules of engagement that could, miraculously, cure the situation and return it to a stable loop vevet

[Fact: He ain't participated, and this scenario isn' owing to happen ever, because he's not out there!]

The Mythical Fairy-Tale God has Not Been Good To Us! Fact. Because he's only an olde tyme mythical fairy-tale carnival barker with a truly kooky story solely designed to temp the un-educated and/or spiritually terrified masses with free water-into-wine, and quality of life improving goods! ["Oh Praise Our Loving, Compassionate Lord Jesus Christ!]t
But..... if he DOES change all this factual and observable interaction, and then provide deeply convincing and independently verified research results that refute ans/or clarify how things really do work, I'll at least sit forward and take note, ask some rigorous technical queries and see if his late-breaking versions of "how Things Happen!" might, in fact and deed, be correct.

Otherwise, it's the end of the world s we know it! Nice setup with the piano player in the park though, huh?

Well, it's time to drift off pleasantly into dream land, to explore my inner me, and learn how that enthusiastic part might invoke some very least (probably a no-show,,,) promised God. Or His Trusted Secrets So far, though, in my well over 63 yrs of my life, He still hasn't ever unequivocally and shown up. Got Tom (34) a job though.... simple things create simpler conclusions I suppose: Well-Rehearsed & Chanted Inhibitions about accepting alternate but well-studied and logical conclusionsare still hard targets.

Peace.... and intelligent debate, brothers!

Last edited by rifleman; 07-04-2011 at 04:34 AM..
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:49 AM
 
39,070 posts, read 10,842,814 times
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At the risk of giving a theist a chance of a tatty cheap point by sneering about atheist mutual back -slapping, that was a darn good post.

Yes, as the You tube about open - mindedness (which should be required viewing by theist and atheist alike -URL on request) explains, wot we have are those who are fiercely skeptical of science, the data we live by and use DAILY and the verified, checked and tested shedloads of knowledge and fact and yet who devoutly believe dodgy claims about Noah's ark, the site of Exodus and dinosaurs giving piggy back rides to Peruvian Indians, even when such claims are shown up to be pretty flimsy or false.

It's all the way one looks at it and it comes down to preconception or pre-judgement.

Faith takes the 'god' concept as a given and requires atheism to disprove it; which it never can to someone who is quite willing to regard maintaining Faith in the face of a torrent of counter - evidence as not only praiseworthy but a requirement for entry to the happy - clappy praisegod for evermore afterlife (the idea of which appeals to me as much as an eternity of having to listen to Rap).

The rational view, however, begins with no assumptions and requires everything, including theism, to make its case. Atheism doesn't need to make a case. It is the default position. It really is. We are born atheist and only are taught theism as soon as our malleable little minds can be brainwashed into the unquestioning acceptance of god - claims. It is not logic to presuppose an invisible intelligent cosmic deity, not even if one argues first cause, since the fact is that we know little about the origins of the universe or even what it is. All we do know is that the data points away from genesis and towards an 'event' of some kind.

We (rationally) ought to be aware and on our guard against various attempt to wangle 'god' as a presupposition by such rhetorical cheats, bamboozlements and flummeries as taking some vague concept such as 'love' and equating it with 'god' or vaguely hinting that quantum indeterminacy or (for crying out loud) all sorts of yet unsolved questions must be something to do with 'god' or just taking the natural unthinking processes of matter and suggesting that we call it 'god' as an alternative to 'cosmos' or 'nature' and using that as the thin end of the theological wedge.

Such scams and philosophical swindlery should be detected and mercilessly exposed right away but, because (I keep saying this) we do not teach logic in school, people do not have the mental tools to detect such bamboozlement, so such tosh is still hard worldview currency worldwide.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 07-04-2011 at 05:02 AM..
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:45 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,281,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEarthBeneathMe View Post
Curious what you consider examples of a possible, and a contradictory god.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
Impossible god: I think I made a very sound argument that since suffering exists, god cannot be both all-powerful and all-loving here: http://www.city-data.com/forum/relig...erful-all.html
To interject uninvited between the two of you, if either of you have not done so already I strongly recommend listening to the opening speech in the debate between Barker and Butt from some years ago.

Barker's approach is very similar to the conversation you are having here in that he goes through one of the common interpretations of god from a Christian perspective (Barker himself was once a believing minister) and lists many of the contradictions which show that... even if a god exists.... THIS god which many Christians are subscribing to clearly does not.

I think he calls this argument the "Find me a married Bachelor" argument.

Skip forward to 6 minutes in video one as the first 6 minutes are just introduction.

As for the rest of the video, just for the sake of completeness.... Butt simply focuses almost entirely on the moral objectivity argument for god.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:32 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 13,044,384 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper 88 View Post
Atheists only please......

Is there anything that could ever change the views you have now? Even the staunch anti-theist Christopher Hitchens admitted on 60 minutes that he wont say nthat there is nothing that could change his mind, but he has yet to see anything that could come close

Moderator cut: Deleted
Let's see now, you troll your way onto the Atheist forum and ask what it would take to make believers out of us. By in large we are already believers, By in large, we mostly agree that the god thingy is a myth. Now.....I don't troll the christer forums and ask them what it would take for them to come to their senses and see religion for the sham it really is.... I hope you can see where this line of thought is headed.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 21,978,743 times
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Sure, there are things which could change my mind, but they are extremely improbable. I would say impossible but there isn't a way to prove the negative logically. Let's just say it ain't gonna happen and leave it at that.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:20 AM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,961,439 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Rhodes View Post
Let's see now, you troll your way onto the Atheist forum and ask what it would take to make believers out of us. By in large we are already believers, By in large, we mostly agree that the god thingy is a myth. Now.....I don't troll the christer forums and ask them what it would take for them to come to their senses and see religion for the sham it really is.... I hope you can see where this line of thought is headed.
And if you did, it would be deleted
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