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Old 11-02-2011, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Midwest City, Oklahoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I think this is unfair. Many atheists have looked into the matter in depth and have good reasons for what they claim and can back it up. To those who deal in 'who knows what's true' this could look like 'know it all' but it isn't.
I have looked into the matter in depth myself. I have come to understand that there is no 100% on anything. All that actually exists is probabilities.

I will concur that it is very improbable that the bible is an accurate depiction of real events. I will concur that it is unlikely that real miracles ever occurred and were performed by Jesus. I will concur that I highly doubt Moses ran into god who gave him the ten amendments. I will concur that the Mormon leader Joseph Smith probably wasn't visited by an angel. I will concur that Muhammad probably wasn't a prophet. I will concur that it is very unlikely that Zeus lived on Mount Olympus. It is even unlikely that there is any sort of afterlife, or reincarnation, or Karma, etc.

At the same time, it is unlikely that anything was created out of nothing. Only one time, and whose properties were perfectly calibrated to allow for life to exist. And for absolutely no reason at all.

And while the odds are extremely low that Jesus is the "son of god". Or that the "devil put the dinosaur bones in the Earth to test our faith". The odds are just as low that you exist at all. But obviously you do exist.

I would be fine if Atheists simply stated that they don't adhere to religious dogma because there is no proof that god exists. And so until there is a real scientific explanation for life, then they will simply say "I'm not saying there is no god, but I don't personally think he exists." Instead most Atheists seem to enjoy pretending that they are somehow the only enlightened ones on this Earth. While badmouthing not only the religious but also the agnostics for being ignorant or unscientific, because they won't absolutely deny the existence of a life or power beyond our existence.


I personally think it is a personality trait. Most people don't like to admit ignorance. And to live your life basically in a perpetual mode of ignorance, is probably the reason both sides of this argument are so adamant in their views.

I am not insecure, so it doesn't bother me one bit to just say "I don't know anything", because I don't.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:59 AM
 
1,570 posts, read 1,737,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshadowz View Post
You don't seem to understand what you are saying. Religious folks aren't the ones proclaiming to be agnostic. Nor did "religious folks" create the term agnostic. People that are effectively the definition of agnosticism created the term agnosticism to separate themselves from the religion-haters that call themselves atheists.


No one is saying that it is the job of atheists to prove that god doesn't exist. But many atheists speak as if they know everything about everything, when they know absolutely nothing. On the other hand, agnostics simply state that, they don't want to take part in the religious debate. They aren't going to say that god exists or doesn't exist, because they simply do not know.


My personal views on religion, atheism, and agnosticism are not really contradictory at all.

I always look at it like this, if there was no god, what is the point of life? If you say it is only to live your life, or to be happy, or to experience things. Then what if I walked up and shot you and killed you. Would it really matter? You wouldn't be upset, because you wouldn't exist anymore. So your life can only actually matter if you have an effect on others. Basically, life only matters because life exists.


In my view, the only point of life in absolute terms, is for your life to affect the world around you. And the only lives worth living are the ones that have a positive effect on the world. If your life has a net negative effect on the world, then the world would have been better off if you had never been born. Effectively, your life is meaningless.

So since we can boil down the only legitimate purpose of life to be to "make the world a better place"(basically, to be a good person). And since when we look at basically every religion that ever existed, it's primary intention is "to get people to be good". Then we know that, regardless of if you are religious or not, as long as you are a good person, then you really should have nothing to worry about.


I honestly find most of the self-proclaimed atheists to be angry and hateful people, who generally have parent issues. Usually in part because they were forced to go to church in their youths. And who are far less scientific than I would have believed them to be. Usually spouting off some crap they read in a book without actually understanding it.
One thing I do understand is that my post had nothing to do with agnosticism...
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:47 AM
 
1,745 posts, read 1,883,796 times
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Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
You cannot prove it doesn't exist either so you are in the same boat as the Christians who do believe.
Not really, because the Christian/Biblical god has pretty much been conclusively proven to be man made by historical and archaeological facts.

That doesn't mean there isn't a God of some sort. It just isn't the Biblical one.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:02 AM
 
1,745 posts, read 1,883,796 times
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Originally Posted by CK78 View Post
Very good points. The fact that we even exist is insane. And science lies a lot about what they really know. They really know very little but pretend to know a lot. There's a lot of problems with carbon dating and it relies on false assumptions about decay rates.

Scientists have no idea how old the earth really is or how we came to be. But the system has to have them pretend to know or people might look to God for the answers. Lucifer can't have that. He didn't take centuries to take back control of every government on earth and have an anti-Pope elected in 1958 so the truth could get out.
Wow. Nice tinfoil hat there.

Typical convoluted parroting of long debunked creationist talking points. And how quaint; he even has carbon dating thrown in as if he knows anything about it or as if it were in any way relevant to the age of the earth - or the only dating method in existence.

Sorry sparky but scientists do in fact know how old the earth is to a very accurate degree (~4.6 billion years). This is corroborated by dozens of highly accurate dating methods (none of which are carbon dating).

The "centuries of satan taking over the world governments" is more accurately people getting smarter and seeing Christianity and religion in general as the absurd mythology that they are/
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:14 AM
 
Location: Ohio
3,441 posts, read 5,184,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuixoticHobbit View Post
Not really, because the Christian/Biblical god has pretty much been conclusively proven to be man made by historical and archaeological facts.

What the HE** does that mean? Keep in mind our perception of our world is based on the world as WE know it.

Remember what is commonly called the Bible is made up of 6,000+ year old document(s) (some much newer) translated multiple times and filtered by the powers that be throughout history.

I try to stay out of these discussions because I am a man of faith AND a man of science and I do not see them as exclusive.
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:46 AM
 
39,023 posts, read 10,819,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshadowz View Post
I have looked into the matter in depth myself. I have come to understand that there is no 100% on anything. All that actually exists is probabilities.

I will concur that it is very improbable that the bible is an accurate depiction of real events. I will concur that it is unlikely that real miracles ever occurred and were performed by Jesus. I will concur that I highly doubt Moses ran into god who gave him the ten amendments. I will concur that the Mormon leader Joseph Smith probably wasn't visited by an angel. I will concur that Muhammad probably wasn't a prophet. I will concur that it is very unlikely that Zeus lived on Mount Olympus. It is even unlikely that there is any sort of afterlife, or reincarnation, or Karma, etc.

At the same time, it is unlikely that anything was created out of nothing. Only one time, and whose properties were perfectly calibrated to allow for life to exist. And for absolutely no reason at all.

And while the odds are extremely low that Jesus is the "son of god". Or that the "devil put the dinosaur bones in the Earth to test our faith". The odds are just as low that you exist at all. But obviously you do exist.
Setting aside %100 certainties and going with probabilities, I am definitely getting the impression that you are assigning favourable probabilities to our being here by intention of some cosmic mind.

The fact is that there are counter - arguments. There is the argument for life arising from conditions, rather than conditions being designed to produce life, overlooking clues that indicate that there was an unplanned element to Life the Universe and everything and that 'chance' and 'random', while applicable terms, can be overdrawn to imply that there is no case for the evolving (in the wider sense) of natural laws without anything having to plan it. Add to this the doubts about nothing from nothing or where a planning cosmic mind could have come from and what we have is a less obvious probability for some intention behind it.

"it is unlikely that anything was created out of nothing" is a bit of a sweeping statement based, so far as I can see, on unfamiliarity with the counter- arguments or an unwillingness to accept them. That is not being open - minded.

Quote:
I would be fine if Atheists simply stated that they don't adhere to religious dogma because there is no proof that god exists. And so until there is a real scientific explanation for life, then they will simply say "I'm not saying there is no god, but I don't personally think he exists." Instead most Atheists seem to enjoy pretending that they are somehow the only enlightened ones on this Earth. While badmouthing not only the religious but also the agnostics for being ignorant or unscientific, because they won't absolutely deny the existence of a life or power beyond our existence.
This again is unfair to atheists or at least to atheism itself. Atheists are just people and sometimes they can go a bit too far. But rather than 'badmouthing' them, to use your term, I think we might point out the case for a planning mind. As Dawkins said, a case can be made, though it's not one I would accept. About that 'mind' I do say 'I don't know' but I also say that there is evidence in favour of unplanned and against planning, so to say that random is 'unlikely' is assigning probabilities on the basis of inadequate information. How are you going to hear that information if you prefer to dismiss atheists as 'they think they know it all' instead of listening to both sides?

Quote:
I personally think it is a personality trait. Most people don't like to admit ignorance. And to live your life basically in a perpetual mode of ignorance, is probably the reason both sides of this argument are so adamant in their views.
That's quite true and it's the hardest thing to see an argument knocked down even if it isn't a firmly held belief. I'm hoping that you are open - mined enough to understand that there are arguments for and against some creating 'god' (let's use the term, eh? ) and that to not know one way or the other logically requires non - belief until we do know. I'm hoping that you are open - mined enough to see that much of the argument for it being of low probability that we are here by chance (unplanned) is based on inadequate information, really.

The atheist position based on not knowing one way or the other is quite logical and while some atheists can sound as if they know it all, it is unreasonable and not open - minded to dismiss what they argue because you don't like their tone.

Quote:
I am not insecure, so it doesn't bother me one bit to just say "I don't know anything", because I don't.
I also am not insecure. I am quite sure that the Bible is not true and nor are the other religions and their Personal gods. I don't know about a planning mind. I have looked at the First cause argument, the necessary conditions argument and the funny feelings in the head argument. I have also looked at the objections to the materialist default, reliability of evidence and the absence of 'spoor of god' and I am willing to take what we know as a default theory rather what we don't (as you say) know.

Until 'god' probability can make a more persuasive case, 'don't know' and it's logical follow - on 'don't believe' are the logical default. However atheists come across to you (you sounded a bit strident yourself, chum ) the rational basis for their disbelief in any kind of god (as yet) is sound.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 11-03-2011 at 03:57 AM..
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Midwest City, Oklahoma
8,090 posts, read 4,710,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Setting aside %100 certainties and going with probabilities, I am definitely getting the impression that you are assigning favourable probabilities to our being here by intention of some cosmic mind.
I am not assigning favorable possibilities. I am merely stating that it is a possibility. Atheists tend to believe it isn't a possibility at all. And that is where I disagree with them.

I will say one thing, I do not personally believe that any organized religion is true. Even if somehow they were divinely inspired at one point, they have been thoroughly corrupted by men for their own purposes. And they are used as a tool to mold society into what those men want society to be.

That isn't to say that I would dare tell a Hindu man that he is a fool for believing in whatever it is he believes in. The same can be said for every religion in the world today, or ever. If people want to believe in a religion, I'll discuss probabilities with them, and how their religion affects the world and people. But I don't believe it intelligent of me to proclaim to know something that I simply do not know.

Quote:
The fact is that there are counter - arguments. There is the argument for life arising from conditions, rather than conditions being designed to produce life, overlooking clues that indicate that there was an unplanned element to Life the Universe and everything and that 'chance' and 'random', while applicable terms, can be overdrawn to imply that there is no case for the evolving (in the wider sense) of natural laws without anything having to plan it. Add to this the doubts about nothing from nothing or where a planning cosmic mind could have come from and what we have is a less obvious probability for some intention behind it.
You are trying to explain something that I already know. Yes, nothing came from nothing regardless of if you believe in god or not. My problem with the situation of god or no god, is the fact that the people wanting to condemn religion and call it ridiculous, are doing so because they believe what is written in many religions "goes beyond logic"(or are at least are so ridiculously unlikely to seem to be logically impossible). While at the same time not caring about the fact that the probability of life existing at all is so ridiculously unlikely to seem to "go beyond all logic". We couldn't even create a number small enough for the likelihood of anything existing. There would be an almost endless line of zero's

Even if we took out the rest of the Universe for a second and only looked at the Earth and our solar system. It was MUCH MUCH MUCH more difficult for intelligent life to exist on Earth than most people want to believe(there are thousands or millions of factors that if they didn't line up right, we wouldn't exist, things as simple as the weather, or the way the continents line up). And I get tired of supposedly "scientific people" polluting the minds of young people anyway.

Take for instance, the planet Mars. People are always talking about going to Mars, terraforming it and turning it into the new Earth. Let me be one of the first people to tell you, that is one of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever heard and people need to block it out of their minds.

First, Mars is about 1/3rd the mass of Earth. Which means its gravity is a third of ours on Earth. If you lived on Mars for any length of time, it would be basically impossible for you to return to Earth because you would be incredibly weak. In your time on Mars, many of your muscles would probably atrophy to the point of near uselessness, because you aren't adapted to live there.

Secondly, you cannot give Mars an atmosphere that would actually be liveable(let alone actually heat the damn place up and keep it heated). Because it's gravity is too weak and it doesn't have things like a magnetosphere or ionosphere to protect people from radiation. Any atmosphere you attempt to produce on Mars would simply be blown away into space by solar winds. Even if you wanted to create a space colony on Mars. It would be a complete and total waste of resources and would simply be impractical(where does all the metal come from? What protects us from solar radiation? Why would we even bother?). And no where else in this solar system will ever be habitable for humans either. Earth is quite a rare gem.

The other thing that irritates me is people talking about traveling to other solar systems or galaxies. Which would necessitate being able to travel at the speed of light or faster. It is already been scientifically proven that time dilates as you speed up. Which means, if you could actually travel anything near the speed of light, the world you left would be gone forever. And even if you could travel at near the speed of light, you wouldn't even make it to the nearest star before you died.

Also, they believe that if you moved faster than the speed of light, that time would actually go backwards. Time-travel right? Well, I don't believe that time-travel could ever be possible(not to say that it can't). But if time-travel actually was achieved. All of time would be destroyed, as people would continue going further and further backwards in time, screwing everything up more and more until everything was destroyed. Basically, if time-travel was ever possible in the future, those people already would have come back to this time or earlier, as the ability to travel faster than the speed of light(to go back in time) would continue to be invented earlier and earlier in time.

I have come to the conclusion that the most probable reality is that, none of us will ever really be able to leave the Earth(other than trivial crap). We are never going to be able to see those other areas of the universe that we dreamed up as kids. We are never going to find other intelligent life(that's if it even exists somewhere else, the odds of that are actually incredibly low). You are basically stuck on the ball of rock till the day you die. Your children will be stuck on this ball of rock till the day they die. Same with your grandchildren, and their children, and their children, and so on.

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe they will find out a way to stop time dilation. Maybe they will be able to fold the fabric of space-time. But I doubt it. And even if there were other dimensions, we would never be able to visit them anyway. More likely than not, they would be uninhabitable anyway. Most likely obeying different laws of physics than in our version of reality. It is all useless speculation of dreamers, discontent with life as it is.

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The atheist position based on not knowing one way or the other is quite logical and while some atheists can sound as if they know it all, it is unreasonable and not open - minded to dismiss what they argue because you don't like their tone.
Who said I dismiss them? I simply said when people make adamant statements as if there is no room left for discussion, it makes me cringe. I love listening to what people have to say as long as it makes sense. I have heard the atheist position a thousand times, I know exactly what they are saying, and I agree with them on every single thing except when they start declaring that it is impossible for "higher power" to exist. It is unlikely, but it is certainly possible.

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Until 'god' probability can make a more persuasive case, 'don't know' and it's logical follow - on 'don't believe' are the logical default. However atheists come across to you (you sounded a bit strident yourself, chum ) the rational basis for their disbelief in any kind of god (as yet) is sound.
Yes, the rational basis for the disbelief in god is sound. I agree. There is no absolute proof that god exists. There is also no absolute proof that there is no higher power that created everything. There is no absolute proof that there is no life after death.

My nephew always cracks me up because he says he doesn't believe in god, but he will go on and on about how ghosts are real. There are many other people who don't adhere to a religious faith but believe in some sort of "life force". I mean, I don't believe in anything at all. But I try to give everything an open-mind regardless. I mean, what if there are ghosts? Well, it most likely won't have a direct effect on my life, so I can't concern myself with it.

That is sort of how I look at life in general. I don't believe in anything, but I can't say for certain that the things that others believe are not true. So I look at what religion is intended to be, rather than what it is. I see the good in it, and also the bad in it. I have great respect for religion as an institution. I think it is a very useful tool for helping to organize society(regardless of it's faults). Primarily, it gives people purpose.

Nothing is more depressing to me than to possibly accept the idea that life is completely meaningless. Just thinking about it seriously makes me want to kill myself.

I get so tired of Atheists trying to argue that they need to live "so they can experience the cool things in life". But to what end? What does it matter if you climbed mount Everest if you don't exist? They reply, well, I'm not dead and I want to experience it. So I reply, why don't I just pop you in the head with a .45 caliber. Would it really matter? How could you possibly care at that point? You wouldn't exist anymore. And if you don't exist, you cannot possibly care whether or not you climbed mount Everest.

The point is, an atheists view is basically that there is no real point to life. You are just alive so do whatever you feel like doing. And while "secular humanism" is generally a philosophy that comes out of many enlightened atheist types. Atheism doesn't equate to humanism.

To me, Atheism could potentially lead to anarchy. For some reason when I think of Atheism, it makes me think of sociopaths. People who are incapable of caring(sometimes I wonder if I am really able to care, or if I just fake it).

When I think of Atheism, it is always a vision of me sitting in a room staring at a big red button with a label that says "destroy world". All I have to do is hit the red button and the whole world disintegrates into nothingness. All life is gone in a flash. Would it be wrong for me to hit the button? Why?
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Redshadowz View Post
I am not assigning favorable possibilities. I am merely stating that it is a possibility. Atheists tend to believe it isn't a possibility at all. And that is where I disagree with them.
I think you are wrong in saying that is what atheists tend to do. They must rationally admit that it is a possibility but it isn't a probability. What's so wrong about that?

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I will say one thing, I do not personally believe that any organized religion is true. Even if somehow they were divinely inspired at one point, they have been thoroughly corrupted by men for their own purposes. And they are used as a tool to mold society into what those men want society to be.

That isn't to say that I would dare tell a Hindu man that he is a fool for believing in whatever it is he believes in. The same can be said for every religion in the world today, or ever. If people want to believe in a religion, I'll discuss probabilities with them, and how their religion affects the world and people. But I don't believe it intelligent of me to proclaim to know something that I simply do not know.
Yes, you said. This isn't about man - made religions or personal gods, but about a supposedly irritating, dismissive, 'know it all ', 'not a possibility' attitude towards a creator - theory which is very much unknowable. It is about what I see as your rather unfair view of what atheist say.

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You are trying to explain something that I already know. Yes, nothing came from nothing regardless of if you believe in god or not.
No, that wasn't my point. Eternal matter or pre- matter is also a possibility just as eternal atom - potential or eternal 'god' is a possibility. 'Don't know' means that we cannot begin to assign probabilities, but not being able to say that something is more than 'just possible' is all the rationale atheism needs.

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My problem with the situation of god or no god, is the fact that the people wanting to condemn religion and call it ridiculous, are doing so because they believe what is written in many religions "goes beyond logic"(or are at least are so ridiculously unlikely to seem to be logically impossible). While at the same time not caring about the fact that the probability of life existing at all is so ridiculously unlikely to seem to "go beyond all logic". We couldn't even create a number small enough for the likelihood of anything existing. There would be an almost endless line of zero's

Even if we took out the rest of the Universe for a second and only looked at the Earth and our solar system. It was MUCH MUCH MUCH more difficult for intelligent life to exist on Earth than most people want to believe(there are thousands or millions of factors that if they didn't line up right, we wouldn't exist, things as simple as the weather, or the way the continents line up).
The way the continents line up? I've never heard that was anything other than random (read 'unplanned') and explained by natural forces. I'd certainly like to hear how that is evidence for planned creation. Again, I think the question of life adapting to conditions rather than conditions being arranged for life is being overlooked. Interesting in the 'Boxcar goes agnostic' discussion, he referred to Humancentric (I think that a valid term) . In fact I don't buy the humancentric fallacy (and only referred to biology as we knew a lot more about its working) but we see that Humancentricity fallacy is at the centre of this idea that everything had to be arranged so as to produce us. There's this idea that we are special. We are the end result so of course, with that view, the statistics are going to look billions to one against chance. But it is a false reasoning based on an unjustified idea that we are something special, not just an evolved Jurassic shrew.

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And I get tired of supposedly "scientific people" polluting the minds of young people anyway.

Take for instance, the planet Mars. People are always talking about going to Mars, terraforming it and turning it into the new Earth. Let me be one of the first people to tell you, that is one of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever heard and people need to block it out of their minds.

First, Mars is about 1/3rd the mass of Earth. Which means its gravity is a third of ours on Earth. If you lived on Mars for any length of time, it would be basically impossible for you to return to Earth because you would be incredibly weak. In your time on Mars, many of your muscles would probably atrophy to the point of near uselessness, because you aren't adapted to live there.

Secondly, you cannot give Mars an atmosphere that would actually be liveable(let alone actually heat the damn place up and keep it heated). Because it's gravity is too weak and it doesn't have things like a magnetosphere or ionosphere to protect people from radiation. Any atmosphere you attempt to produce on Mars would simply be blown away into space by solar winds. Even if you wanted to create a space colony on Mars. It would be a complete and total waste of resources and would simply be impractical(where does all the metal come from? What protects us from solar radiation? Why would we even bother?). And no where else in this solar system will ever be habitable for humans either. Earth is quite a rare gem.

The other thing that irritates me is people talking about traveling to other solar systems or galaxies. Which would necessitate being able to travel at the speed of light or faster. It is already been scientifically proven that time dilates as you speed up. Which means, if you could actually travel anything near the speed of light, the world you left would be gone forever. And even if you could travel at near the speed of light, you wouldn't even make it to the nearest star before you died.

Also, they believe that if you moved faster than the speed of light, that time would actually go backwards. Time-travel right? Well, I don't believe that time-travel could ever be possible(not to say that it can't). But if time-travel actually was achieved. All of time would be destroyed, as people would continue going further and further backwards in time, screwing everything up more and more until everything was destroyed. Basically, if time-travel was ever possible in the future, those people already would have come back to this time or earlier, as the ability to travel faster than the speed of light(to go back in time) would continue to be invented earlier and earlier in time.

I have come to the conclusion that the most probable reality is that, none of us will ever really be able to leave the Earth(other than trivial crap). We are never going to be able to see those other areas of the universe that we dreamed up as kids. We are never going to find other intelligent life(that's if it even exists somewhere else, the odds of that are actually incredibly low). You are basically stuck on the ball of rock till the day you die. Your children will be stuck on this ball of rock till the day they die. Same with your grandchildren, and their children, and their children, and so on.
All very interesting and speculations which don't seem very feasible at the moment. But what has this to do with the probability or not of a planned creation? Isn't it marvelous that theists twit (scientific) atheism with being devoid of fantasy, humour and wonder and yet when science indulges in flights of fancy, which at least might be possible, to you it is 'polluting the minds of young people'. True, there may be an element of promising another planet to ruin if we mess this one up, but let the Young People listen to both sides eh?

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Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe they will find out a way to stop time dilation. Maybe they will be able to fold the fabric of space-time. But I doubt it. And even if there were other dimensions, we would never be able to visit them anyway. More likely than not, they would be uninhabitable anyway. Most likely obeying different laws of physics than in our version of reality. It is all useless speculation of dreamers, discontent with life as it is.
Curiosity and the need to explore is what makes us human. I think this is an evolved instinct which was needful for our survival. That doesn't matter. It is a rewarding instinct and to deny it is to deny our humanity. Embrace the speculations and dreams. It's what makes us what we are.

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Who said I dismiss them? I simply said when people make adamant statements as if there is no room left for discussion, it makes me cringe. I love listening to what people have to say as long as it makes sense. I have heard the atheist position a thousand times, I know exactly what they are saying, and I agree with them on every single thing except when they start declaring that it is impossible for "higher power" to exist. It is unlikely, but it is certainly possible.
Well, as I am arguing, the only adamant statement here is yours about what atheists supposedly say. I don't deny that some atheists may not have thought it through and they may need to have a few deeper ideas run across them, but that is just not a rational basis for your claim that somehow agnosticism is more open - minded than atheism.

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Yes, the rational basis for the disbelief in god is sound. I agree. There is no absolute proof that god exists. There is also no absolute proof that there is no higher power that created everything. There is no absolute proof that there is no life after death.

My nephew always cracks me up because he says he doesn't believe in god, but he will go on and on about how ghosts are real. There are many other people who don't adhere to a religious faith but believe in some sort of "life force". I mean, I don't believe in anything at all. But I try to give everything an open-mind regardless. I mean, what if there are ghosts? Well, it most likely won't have a direct effect on my life, so I can't concern myself with it.
Arguably, there is better evidence for ghosts than for gods. I have argued that the evidence for UFO's is better than for God. That's not to say that I find the Ghost or UFO case persuasive, but the evidence for God (the specific Biblegod) is pretty much subjective. So maybe your Nephew has some rationale for his views. I might not agree but maybe you might give him a bit of credit for what he believes. I have argued elsewhere that it a false view that atheism, because it doesn't believe in gods must therefore have a lit of 'supernatural claims' which it is forbedden to believe in. It all comes down to whether there is persuasive evidence for it.

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That is sort of how I look at life in general. I don't believe in anything, but I can't say for certain that the things that others believe are not true. So I look at what religion is intended to be, rather than what it is. I see the good in it, and also the bad in it. I have great respect for religion as an institution. I think it is a very useful tool for helping to organize society(regardless of it's faults). Primarily, it gives people purpose.

Nothing is more depressing to me than to possibly accept the idea that life is completely meaningless. Just thinking about it seriously makes me want to kill myself.

I get so tired of Atheists trying to argue that they need to live "so they can experience the cool things in life". But to what end? What does it matter if you climbed mount Everest if you don't exist? They reply, well, I'm not dead and I want to experience it. So I reply, why don't I just pop you in the head with a .45 caliber. Would it really matter? How could you possibly care at that point? You wouldn't exist anymore. And if you don't exist, you cannot possibly care whether or not you climbed mount Everest.

The point is, an atheists view is basically that there is no real point to life. You are just alive so do whatever you feel like doing. And while "secular humanism" is generally a philosophy that comes out of many enlightened atheist types. Atheism doesn't equate to humanism.

To me, Atheism could potentially lead to anarchy. For some reason when I think of Atheism, it makes me think of sociopaths. People who are incapable of caring(sometimes I wonder if I am really able to care, or if I just fake it).

When I think of Atheism, it is always a vision of me sitting in a room staring at a big red button with a label that says "destroy world". All I have to do is hit the red button and the whole world disintegrates into nothingness. All life is gone in a flash. Would it be wrong for me to hit the button? Why?
You really do have a poor view of atheism. I don't know where you got to this state of mind, so I won't prejudge, but this view of atheism as nihilistic, depressive, meaningless life, suicidal, nothing to hope for is so woefully wrong that you really need to talk to some atheists and find out that they have as much relish for life, concerned with morals and treating their fellows fairly meaning in life, are comfortable about what comes after and are optimistic (or at least hopeful) about our future as theists. In fact I have been often surprised about how impatient with this life, compulsively insistent that we are all doomed and persistently pessimistic about human life that I'll take atheism any day, thanks.

The old argument about 'If there is no afterlife/meaning to life, why don't I just kill myself/someone else, is one I sorted in my TEENS (I am now ancient) and is hoary and long - refuted at too great length to go into other than what I've said here.

I had thought of starting a thread on 'The New Agnosticism' as paranoid ol' me wondered whether the recent swathe of attacking atheism through agnosticism was just the latest attempt to disguise ID, but I had a quick Google and I won't go that far just yet. I'll just say that this is not an unfamiliar attempt to keep unfeasible religion on the books through an argument that we need it for a decent society. Which of course means attacking atheism so as to discredit it and leave religion' (true or not) as a necessary institution. To that end, attacking atheism for not being open - mindedly agnostic (which is untrue) is not intended to make 'god' credible, but to render those who (supposedly) deny a possibility of any kind of god without any credit.

Have I sussed you out?

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 11-03-2011 at 06:45 AM.. Reason: Usual tidy -up
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Redshadowz View Post
To me, Atheism could potentially lead to anarchy. For some reason when I think of Atheism, it makes me think of sociopaths. People who are incapable of caring(sometimes I wonder if I am really able to care, or if I just fake it).
Then your mindset is wrong, because 'us' atheists don't sit around moping or planning to blow up the world.

We go to work and provide for our families, we do our hobbies, we contemplate the wonders of life and we care deeply for the ones we love and the ones suffering in the world.

Not believing in gods doesn't take away our humanity or our morals and ethics.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Ostend,Belgium....
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I'm the most open minded person I know (and that sounds conceited as heck but I don't care). It takes practice to accept differences in others, especially if you're raised to believe that some are not as good/decent as we are. The only type person I will not tolerate is someone who is trying to push their beliefs on me or who ridicules me for being accepting of how others are or live... so far I think those who have less religious restraints, are the most openminded, religions do not favor everyone... they try to tell a group that their group is better than that group and that's the opposite of open mindedness...
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