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Old 01-24-2012, 01:44 AM
 
Location: Athens, Greece
526 posts, read 579,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orogenicman View Post
It isn't too hard to imagine that since human beings are a species of ape, we find it hard to imagine a world not ruled by an angry alpha male. Think about it.
Only that the angry alpha male emerged at approximately 2500 BCE while millions of angry males called gods were at work, raping and killing, by 50,000 years ago.
You have to read what was said of the gods by those who first spoke of the gods in order to decide.
In the early myths, for example, the gods were producing humans by ordering a goddess to summon some mother-wombs (common women) so that they rape them and produce humanity. In later myths the alpha male god fashions men in the potter’s wheel !!
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtango View Post
Only that the angry alpha male emerged at approximately 2500 BCE while millions of angry males called gods were at work, raping and killing, by 50,000 years ago.
You have to read what was said of the gods by those who first spoke of the gods in order to decide.
In the early myths, for example, the gods were producing humans by ordering a goddess to summon some mother-wombs (common women) so that they rape them and produce humanity. In later myths the alpha male god fashions men in the potter’s wheel !!
It's older than that, much older. It's in our genes, a legacy of our animal ancestry. So the angry alpha male is more than an archetype. Its a genetic legacy. Since man tried to rise above his animal ancestry, but could not entirely rid himself of the ancient fear that the angry alpha male instills, he had to make up angry alpha males to take its place. It's a lost paradise complex. That's my theory, anyway.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:29 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,637 posts, read 10,941,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtango View Post
Before refusing to worship the wicked deity you would have to consider torture and death for you and your family.Listen to some Hittite “Instructions for temple Officials”:

If then, on the other hand, anyone arouses the anger of a god, does the god take revenge on him alone?
Does he not take revenge on his wife, his children, his descendants, his kin, his slaves, and slave-girls, his cattle (and) sheep together with his crop and will utterly destroy him? Be very reverent indeed to the word of a god. (ANET, p.208)

Well? What do you say now?
I say the same as before. Even if such a being was real I would not worship it, how could I worship something that is clearly so evil as to threaten me and everyone I love with torture. The best it could hope is that I would pretend to worship so it would stop hurting me. If it was really an omnipotent diety it would not have to resort to threats and it would know if I was faking. If it was omnipotent it could simply persuade me. But there is no omnipotent diety and the reason all those threats are there is because humans put them there to try to frighten people into doing what they wanted them to do.

Quote:
A deity is a supernatural entity and surely science would never provide evidence for the material existence of such an entity.

A supernatural diety could prove itself to science if it wanted, but when you posit an invisible all-powerful diety that does not want to be found, there isn't much science can do. If this omnipotent diety actually cares enough that we atheists do not believe in it, it could allow itself to be found rather than hiding and sending believers to threaten us. OR there is no diety at all, only believers threatening us. Guess which one I think is more likely?

Quote:
A god, however, was originally an empirical idea, not a theoretical one, and there is a very good chance that science will find out some day that our ancestors were neither idiots nor living in a world of fantasies and that the gods they were talking about was just another human race.

How do you figure dieties are empirical ideas? The concept of dieties predates empiricism. If the other dieties that people made up in the past were just other people, what's with the superpowers?

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This answers my question “Who did the imagining and who the copying?”
Quote:
By saying “People did” we return to “people did it independently” and I believe we have already agreed that imagining independently the same story is not possible.
Then you wrote: “They both have mythology, as do all human civilizations, and this is exchanged at meetings. Asians and Europeans had lots of contact via trade and if you go far enough back all these groups converge”, which is correct. They converge to the original mother-culture and therefore we are not dealing with just fantasies but mostly with that kernel of truth you mention below.
You claim that but have yet to present any evidence. "Joseph Campbell said" doesn't really hold a lot of weight with me. I dispute that they necessarily did it independently and certainly did not say that. It is more than possible that any individual deity story arose in one particular culture and then spread out from there, changing as it went, spawning variations as human stories are wont to do. Never played the telephone game as a kid?

Quote:
There is no conflict between myths dealing with gods and their deeds. Myths are distinguished from legends because they are found in more than at least two different cultures.

Hmm, to refresh my memory I looked up the definitions of these words, and they are synonyms. There was nothing listed as to the distinction you claim. Does that come from Joseph Campbell, too?

Quote:
“Humanity's creation of deities” is a preconception. If you want to know historical truth you should get rid of prejudice. As regards the subforum, agnosticism can only turn into atheism when the agnostic learns the early history of religion.

Once again, I have studied religion and I stand by my words. Humans invented dieties. If you care to produce some evidence to the contrary I am all ears. And almost all atheists are in fact agnostics, too. Agnostic does not mean undecided.

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“God” is a concept not an entity.

"God" is the concept of a diety - which is an entity.

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One has to know how that concept came to be in order to realize that no such entity exists. Academia dares not fight religion, especially in your country and mine.

LOL, you have some very weird ideas about academia and again - I have studied and I still come to the same conclusions. There is no great mystery where the concept of dieties came from. They came from humans. We made them up. Just like the easter bunny.

Quote:
Do not forget that the earliest figurines of the Mother Goddess were produced while Neanderthals were still alive in Europe. They were made by the Cro-Magnons, the first modern people to arrive in Europe from the Near East just after the Diaspora –the Babel Tower incident/myth.

Even if I accepted that Babel was a true event, this does not demonstrate anything. Neanderthals were a type of hominid, I don't find the idea of them making up dieties to be particularly troubling, although I have never seen anything that attributes early mother goddess figures to them.

Quote:
Or just people. Wicked people. No?

Yep, it was all just made up by people.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Ostend,Belgium....
8,820 posts, read 6,366,929 times
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the older I become the more sure I am that there are no deities...so doubts are long gone
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Athens, Greece
526 posts, read 579,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilli View Post
How do you figure dieties are empirical ideas? The concept of dieties predates empiricism. If the other dieties that people made up in the past were just other people, what's with the superpowers?
Ancient people described gods as persons born on earth, living and dying on earth and therefore as empirical ideas. Scholars, in their attempts to justify this fact, are of the opinion that ancient people were incapable of transcendental thinking and thus they expressed themselves empirically, which of course is absurd but serves to show that scholars do accept the gods of the ancients as empirical ideas. In Homer’s epics men are indistinguishable from gods. One sees a beautiful woman or a handsome man and is wondering whether that person is human or god. Gilgamesh is said to be two-thirds god. How one decides that Gilgamesh is god by two-thirds if one has never seen gods?

Take the most devoted believer in Paradise, Hell and the afterlife and tell him that you will pay him ten times the value of his old car if he accepts a promissory note payable in afterlife. He will tell you to go and see a shrink. Yet, the Celts would accept such a note because they were brought up in a culture where these notes were acceptable. People believe weird things if they are taught to believe them but if you trace the absurd custom back to its origin you will be met with a reasonable explanation. What I mean to say is that no one can make people believe absurd ideas if the people have not been prepared for such absurd ideas.
So, people knew from their forefathers that gods and men were indistinguishable and thus they were accepting what Homer and the author of the epic of Gilgamesh were telling them about gods.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tilli View Post
You claim that but have yet to present any evidence. "Joseph Campbell said" doesn't really hold a lot of weight with me.

Campbell favours the “immemorial imagination” and I favour the “mother culture.” I do not agree with Campbell’s theory but he is an expert in the particular field and I cannot ignore him.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tilli View Post
Once again, I have studied religion and I stand by my words. Humans invented dieties. If you care to produce some evidence to the contrary I am all ears. And almost all atheists are in fact agnostics, too. Agnostic does not mean undecided.

Agnostic means “not knowing.” Agnosticism is the reasonable approach to topics like the universe and its particulars but when it is applied to theological or philosophical issues it is just unacceptable to me.
The statement “Humans invented deities” does no harm to religion while the statement “God is a joke” does.
“Humans invented deities” can be followed by “because people need to believe in a supreme being” and thus it ends up a theistic argument.
“God is a joke” demands an explanation and when given it ends up showing extremely hostile to religion.

What do you know of angels (messengers of the gods)?
Following are two relevant accounts. A myth by the Yorubas of Africa, free of theological additions and a report by Herodotus. Read them and if you want tell me whether a logical explanation stands behind these unrealistic beliefs of those people.

Once, long ago, all people lived in one town, called Ife, and they all spoke one simple language, Yoruba. In those days everyone was equal in all respects. Their skin was the same color, they were all good at the same things, they were all equally strong, equally beautiful, and equally healthy. Everyone had enough of what they needed, but no one had too much. If anyone needed something, they had only to inform God’s messenger, and he would tell God, who would provide them with what they needed.
There was only one problem. People were bored. They wanted a change. So they started complaining to God’s messenger, asking for different things. Some wanted a bigger house. Some wanted different color skin. Some wanted to speak differently. So it went on. In the beginning the messenger would faithfully carry all their demands to God and God would listen patiently. But after a while God became irritated. He told the messenger what to tell them. The messenger went back to the people.
‘God says you are to be content with what he has given you. He has deliberately arranged things in this way so that you will not have anything to quarrel with each other about.’ But the people were not happy. ‘Tell God he must give us what we ask, or we will revolt against him. We will have nothing more to do with him. We will organize our affairs the way we want them, without his help.

The extent to which the people actually believed that the messengers could communicate with the gods, is shown by Herodotus. In his 4th book, in paragraph 94, he is referring to the Ghetes, whom he considers to be the most brave and law-abiding tribe of the Thracians:

This is how they explain their belief in their immortality. Whoever of them departs from this life goes to live with Salmoxes, a deity called by others Gheveleize. Every five years they select by lot one man from among them and they send him, with their requests, as a messenger to Salmoxes.
The mission begins as follows; some of them line up in tight lines holding three spears upright, while others catch the man by his hands and feet and throw him in the air so that he falls on the spearheads of the erect spears. If the man dies, they consider it an omen of favorable disposition on the part of Salmoxes; if he survives, they accuse him of wickedness and select another messenger.
The instructions are naturally given to him while he is still alive. !!

P.S. I have the age of your great grandpa and I have been studying this matter for over twenty years. So do not misunderstand me.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:55 AM
 
707 posts, read 572,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshi View Post
There is a ton of evidence that no deity other than maybe a deistic one exists.
Show me your ton of evidence, I'd be very interested to know.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:00 AM
 
707 posts, read 572,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
How does this make even the slightest bit of sense?

The existence of a deity is a factual question, and like all factual questions some answers are correct and some are incorrect.

Regardless of people's feelings, since the factual claims of the various religions are so directly contradictory a maximum of one of them is correct.

Your gut feeling may get you an answer that makes you feel good, but who cares about that? It is of absolutely no benefit to you to come to a comforting, but incorrect, answer.

If you abandon reason, logic, and evidence in regard to this question, why adhere to them for any other question?
How is this a factual question? To know if something exists or not has to do with what evidence is able to be brought to the table. Things exist even if we humans don't yet have proof.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:02 AM
 
707 posts, read 572,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCfromNC View Post
I think for something like Santa Claus our feelings are what work best. Especially because there is no proof either way and deep down we often know what feels right. When you take everything into account our feelings are all that is really left to make such a decision. There is no proof that shows Santa Claus does not exist so proof means nothing.
Now you are just being silly. The origins and meaning of life is a very important topic.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:19 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,283,006 times
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Were it to be shown that there was an actual "meaning" to life in and of itself then of course it would be an "important topic" as you put it. Until such a time as this is established then it is not. What meaning we find in life is the meaning we ourselves subjectively assign to it and no more.

It would appear many of you would just like to assume it, and then discuss it. It is not an assumption that is really open to us other than for a little fun fantasy role play.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:45 AM
 
39,147 posts, read 10,857,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vansdad View Post
Show me your ton of evidence, I'd be very interested to know.
and

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vansdad View Post
How is this a factual question? To know if something exists or not has to do with what evidence is able to be brought to the table. Things exist even if we humans don't yet have proof.

The question of 'negative evidence', the materialist /Naturalist default and 'how do we know what we know' has been discussed before and I don't mind running over it again. I will begin (perhaps ) by saying

(a) scientifically validated evidence can be and should be taken as reliable. Speculation, guessork and religious convictions should not.

(b) The evidence for natural/material processes is general and universal. Attempts to show a 'Mind' behind it, either through science, philosophy or rhetorical trickery have not produced validated results.

(c) therefore, all the sound and valid evidence we have does not provide any really convincing support for a 'Mind' (Aka 'God') and the only logical position is to regard it as unproven, unsubstantiated and nothing more that supposition and therefore not worthy of belief.

(d) speculations about 'what we don't yet know' are invalid to cite as evidence for a 'God'. It might very well equally NOT support a 'God'. So far, pretty much everything else has tended to validate the materialist/natural default.

And (e). This is just talking about a postulated sortagod, the intelligent mind that runs the universe. Biblegod is a different matter. This utterly appalling, reprehensible and unfeasible being is evidentially supported only by a single book which has been demonstrated to unreliable insofar as the religious claims are concerned.

I do hope that this straightens out apparent your misapprehensions of what is evidence and what isn't.
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