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Old 10-08-2011, 08:41 PM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,736,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Djuna View Post
My opinion is you have way too much time on your hands

You have to be able to think before you can 'be' anything. The very definition of coma is a state of deep unconsciousness.
Haha, I do have too much time on my hands... usually while I should be working!

But these are the type of conversations that I have no one but my internet friends to have with. My real life friends would not be interested at all.
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:08 AM
 
39,252 posts, read 10,922,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
If we are speaking in terms of a person born in a state in which there has never been any cortical activity, the person has never had a thought nor even awareness of physical stimuli. I doubt if such has ever happened. But for sake of debate and to keep within the bounds of the OP, let us assume it has happened.

By definition, the person would be an atheist, because they do not believe in God(swt). But, that would be like saying a rock is an atheist as a rock has no thought.

We are speaking of a fetus that never developed into being a sapient person. From a religious view it could be said the person is no more than living tissue devoid of a soul and no more human than any removed tissue being kept alive.

Blood is a tissue, a fluid shapeless tissue but still living tissue. If a person donates blood and the blood is in a container, it is living tissue and not much different from the person being spoken of. Would or could that bag of blood be called an atheist?
It would by me. Simply because, if I had to judge whether it had heard of and believed in any god, I would have to say that, so far as I could tell, it hadn't.

There can be a lot of abstruse chat about the innate consciousness of the biological operation of organic matter or for that matter, mineral reactions. I'd have to say that I could not be persuaded that this amounted to anything resembling what we would call a 'god belief' (though it might be related to these innate feeling we get when we look at nature and think it's pretty wonderful) and would have to say something more like mental comprehension is required for embracing the concept of a 'god' and deciding to buy in or no.

Thus, logically, rocks, shoes, squirrels, babies, human vegetables or tribes who have never heard of gods and never thought one up themselves (there was famously one such tribe who deconverted a missionary) are all, by default a- theist; having no god - belief.

Those who have heard and understood a god claim and do not believe it are Atheists as well as being atheist. I further use a term 'thinking atheist' for one who has been exposed to some evangelical persuasion and has considered the claims, examined them and has decided that they did not convince.

Ps! you mentioned 'soul' only in passing. So I don't look at that aspect and indeed see it as not only a red - herring but likely to rather throw up some tricky questions, such as whether the container of blood has a bit of soul or if you lose a leg, the soul stays intact and the leg is just a bit of meat. But if you don't want to go into that aspect as regards atheism and innate god - perception, I'm happy not to.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 10-09-2011 at 06:57 AM..
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood View Post
Atheism doesn't address the question "is there a god", but rather "do you believe in god"? "Is there a god" is a question that addresses knowledge (or the lack thereof).

For example:
-Is there a god? "Yes". This is a response that implies knowledge (gnosticism). In reply: Yes? How do you know there is a god?

-Is there a god? "No" This is also a response that implies knowledge (gnosticism). In reply: No? How do you know there is no god? Have you searched all the corners of the universe?

-Is there a god? "I don't know". This is a response that implies no/knowledge (a/gnosticism).

On the other hand, theism and atheism address belief. The question of "do you believe in god" is a yes or no question. You either believe (theist) or you don't (atheist). If you cannot answer with the affirmative, then you would by default, be without a belief (atheist). Answering the question with "I don't know", means that you obviously do not have a belief (or you would have answered "yes" and could have told us more information about the god that you believed in).

People can be agnostic atheists/ theists, or gnostic atheists/theists. They can answer the "is there a god" question one way, and the "do you believe in god" question another way.

For example:
An agnostic atheist would answer the questions as follows:

-Is there a god? I don't know
-Do you believe in god? No, should any gods exist, I have not yet found any evidence which has convinced me to believe.

An agnostic theist would answer the questions as follows:

-Is there a god? I don't know
-Do you believe in god? Yes, even though I don't know for sure if a god exists, I still have faith.


An gnostic atheist would answer the questions as follows:

-Is there a god? No
-Do you believe in god? No

An gnostic theist would answer the questions as follows:

-Is there a god? Yes
-Do you believe in god? Yes
You're right. It answers the question "do you believe in God?" and until you can take a stance on it, you're not anything. Even being agnostic is taking a stance in degree or fervency of belief.
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:17 AM
 
39,252 posts, read 10,922,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricky D View Post
Originally Posted by tilli You know the op is rather irrelevant, because whether gods do or do not exist history has taught us that man will eventually 'invent' them.
What atheists seem to forget is that atheism is a reaction to theism.
Heck every human culture has found or invented their own gods to explain whatever they could not explain themselves.

Heck if man's default position is atheism he would probably never had survived the freakin' jungle.
If ya ask me atheism eventually leads to individualism so it could not have been the default position. And even if atheism was man's default position he would've been too busy with survival and thus would've had no time for philosophical questions which eventually would lead to advanced science.
Only because of advanced science is man able to become an atheist (read: become more individualistic).

In short man is a herd animal thus it would only be logical to conclude that theism is his default position.
That is a very good point. Very good indeed. I have sometimes opined that, if a god did not exist then evolution would have found it advantageous to invent it. Thus evolution theory might make god - belief an innate part of being human. In which case I shall have to reconsider. At least where conscious god - belief and unconscious god - feelings divide.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 10-09-2011 at 07:09 AM..
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
that is in-evident. sheep are herd animals too, and by your standards their default position is atheism. are you saying that if sheep became self-aware they would immediately become theists? Are you saying that the only way for a species to stay together is to lie to each other?
That is a good response. Evolved god feelings would not be theological but would be aimed at a survival advantage. Whatever feelings one had would be perpetuated because they allowed a particular genetic group with that mutation of their mentality to survive better. In animals they develop kingship, community spirit, marriage, autocracy, ownership of harems and politics (1). In the case of humans, the same can come out - as it does, so far as I can see, with badges, flags, suppression of truth in order to preserve Authority and the well - known feelings that something is looking out for us. That is an obvious success advantage in everything from exploration and sports to warfare. It is often manifested in religion but for the less religious (e.g Napoleon and Nelson (2) it comes out as Destiny. They did not believe in personal gods but had this feeling that some Fate was in charge of their lives and it took a while for some to realize that they actually had failed. Such persons can have great inner strength but, by the cringe they can be a persistent pain in the arse.

This is all an unproven theory but I only thought of it. It's up to the bloody scientists to prove it. So this evolved instinct is a more diffuse feeling which doesn't necessarily need to be called a 'god belief' It is really more manifested in trust in family and authority figures. So I'd have to say that theism was a more specific concept which needed to be explained before once could accept it in any meaningful way and thereby become theist. Or not.

I shall copy this exchange as I can see it coming up again. Thanks for the thoughts.

(1) or breeding pairs, hunting packs, forming a ring of defensive horns, occasional pairing for life, being alpha male and jumping up and down and screaming at the baboons across the clearing.

(2) strenuous efforts NOT to mention Hitler this time

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 10-09-2011 at 07:14 AM.. Reason: some failed, not all.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 13,311,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
It would by me. Simply because, if I had to judge whether it had heard of and believed in any god, I would have to say that, so far as I could tell, it hadn't.

There can be a lot of abstruse chat about the innate consciousness of the biological operation of organic matter or for that matter, mineral reactions. I'd have to say that I could not be persuaded that this amounted to anything resembling what we would call a 'god belief' (though it might be related to these innate feeling we get when we look at nature and think it's pretty wonderful) and would have to say something more like mental comprehension is required for embracing the concept of a 'god' and deciding to buy in or no.

Thus, logically, rocks, shoes, squirrels, babies, human vegetables or tribes who have never heard of gods and never thought one up themselves (there was famously one such tribe who deconverted a missionary) are all, by default a- theist; having no god - belief.

Those who have heard and understood a god claim and do not believe it are Atheists as well as being atheist. I further use a term 'thinking atheist' for one who has been exposed to some evangelical persuasion and has considered the claims, examined them and has decided thst they did not convince.

Ps! you mentioned 'soul' only in passing. So I don't look at that aspect and inded see it as not only a red - herring but likely to rather throw up some tricky questions, such as whether the container of blood has a bit of soul or is you lose a leg, the soul stays intact and the leg is just a bit of meat. But if you don't want to go into that aspect as regards atheism and innate god - perception, I'm happy not to.
I threw that in as some of us theists believe a human is not human until the soul enters the body for some theist this is at the moment of conception, for others it occurs later, usually shortly after 3 months for others it is not until the newborn takes it's first breath. I was sort of trying to cover all bases. On a personal basis, I do not consider a person as being alive if there is a flat line EEG
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:07 AM
 
39,252 posts, read 10,922,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
You're right. It answers the question "do you believe in God?" and until you can take a stance on it, you're not anything. Even being agnostic is taking a stance in degree or fervency of belief.
I think that is a false argument since it assumes that atheism must be taking a conscious non - belief stance of the matter of god - claims.

It does not admit the possibilty that one does not need to take a conscious stance to not have a god - belief and assumes that if one does not take a conscious stance of god - belief then one believes or that the result is something other than not believing

The problem is again trying to make the facts conform to the label. Does a rock have a belief in god or not? No it doesn't. Then it has no god - belief though the point is a purely technical, academic and importantly tactical one in the debate and most people would only see the question as really relevant when talking about whether one was theist until taught atheism (in which case why in thunder do we need missionaries) or whether one was atheist (albeit not having consciously rejected god claims) by default until taught theism. Again, if they are not, why is it necessary to teach them what they already instinctively know?

The answer is I suppose that they need to be taught the right kind of theism.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:11 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,647,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I think that is a false argument since it assumes that atheism must be taking a conscious non - belief stance of the matter of god - claims.

It does not admit the possibilty that one does not need to take a conscious stance to not have a god - belief and assumes that if one does not take a conscious stance of god - belief then one believes or that the result is something other than not believing

The problem is again trying to make the facts conform to the label. Does a rock have a belief in god or not? No it doesn't. Then it has no god - belief though the point is a purely technical, academic and importantly tactical one in the debate and most people would only see the question as really relevant when talking about whether one was theist until taught atheism (in which case why in thunder do we need missionaries) or whether one was atheist (albeit not having consciously rejected god claims) by default until taught theism. Again, if they are not, why is it necessary to teach them what they already instinctively know?

The answer is I suppose that they need to be taught the right kind of theism.
That's the definition of atheism.

I'm not saying that they have a God belief either. But they don't have any belief in any direction. So they are just "nothing". Not atheist or theist.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:24 AM
 
39,252 posts, read 10,922,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricky D View Post
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA Whether 1 is told about a mythical Hell or not, I believe that Sartre is right by proclaiming that 'existential' Hell is other people.
In short when 2 people are unwilling to compromise their lives will indeed become a hell.

At its most basic religion simply is about morality and free will.
Since free will cannot exist without another option you will always have good & evil.
There is much in what you say. However, I believe that we not powerless to improve matters while there which, from all I have heard, is not an option in the Hell - teachings of the Bible.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:31 AM
 
39,252 posts, read 10,922,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
That's the definition of atheism.

I'm not saying that they have a God belief either. But they don't have any belief in any direction. So they are just "nothing". Not atheist or theist.
That is just what I see atheism as being, logically. 'Nothing' as regards God - belief. All the other stuff, the debates, the politics, sociology, history studies, cosmology and evolution wrangles, are all matters that are responses to the efforts to try to put something - a buy - in to a god - belief - in that empty shelf marked 'god - belief'.

Axiom: Bald is not a hair - colour.

This is why I cannot really understand this fence - sitting on a really fine wire between being convinced by god - claims and not being convinced and calling it 'agnosticism'. Though I do begin to see that there could be a large grey area where one could see merits in both arguments.

But there, my position has always been, where there is any doubt, it should be directed at the unvalidated claim rather than at the established corpus of data or indeed at skepticism, for to doubt doubt is surely an oxymoron. Or do I mean tautology...there's never a grammar Nazi about when you need one.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 10-09-2011 at 07:41 AM.. Reason: Axiom.
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