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Old 12-22-2011, 06:25 AM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,947,298 times
Reputation: 1354

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartsong View Post
Just passing through and thinking what a depressing black hole atheism seems to me in that it's purpose seems to be to suck souls into outer darkness - to "turn off the light" (so to speak), to "shut one into a philosophical coffin". I just don't get why people are drawn to it. There is no hope for the atheist. That's why it makes no sense to me to embrace it as a definitive answer to our questions about reality. Apparently I'm incapable of being an atheist. Maybe it is as if one is born with or without that ability, just as we are born with sexual preferences and so forth.
'Outer darkness' you say???

Heartsong, I realize you ascribe to a feel good Christianity that spiritualizes the bible into a less literal interpretation its contents. It works for you and that's great. You see, we humans are full of arrogance and feel that somehow the universe revolves around us. Some deity out there is concerned about "me/us" and has some great plan now and beyond for us. It's unthinkable to many of us that THIS life is all we've got or that death is final so we have had to make up dream worlds beyond the grave where we reunite with loved ones and/or live in eternal bliss.

That being said, some of us are quite content with living this life the best we can and enjoying it the best we can and acknowledging death as being final. If, for some reason it isn't, NONE of us know what is beyond the grave and speculating about it, at this point in time, is futile anyway. You nor I have ANY control over it, but we have control over THIS life to an extent and this is where the atheist operates.

At the end of the day, all gods or our impressions of said gods are nothing more than our projections of what we are or what we want or want to be. They are idealized or debased projections of our deepest fears and/or our deepest aspirations. The atheist does not fall into this. It's about them, the world and universe they live in and how best to understand them, live in them and how to co-exist with their fellow man. Not always perfect by ANY stretch, but I see it as the best way to go. No gods, holy books, holy men or rituals.

Last edited by InsaneInDaMembrane; 12-22-2011 at 07:35 AM..
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
9,290 posts, read 8,600,531 times
Reputation: 15996
Quote:
Originally Posted by looking4answers12 View Post
Isn't everything flawed in some way? I get that many atheist rely on evidence and science. I admit I'm not a scientist or thoroughly educated in science. But, from my limited knowledge, it seems to me that even science is also (flawed) at least sometimes.
Sure it is. Sometimes. In fact, the process of science involves making a lot of mistakes. But from this process a lot of knowledge emerges. I would also submit to you that science has proven its utility. After all, here I am in my living room typing a response to you on a hunk of plastic and silicon, and people all over the planet can read it. That is pretty amazing when you think about it.

And to point out the minor issues of science is silly. Sure, nutritionists can argue about how much vitamin C is best in your diet. But so what? Science discovered vitamin C. And where it comes from, how it interacts with our body, and the fact that dogs synthesize their own vitamin C and we need to eat oranges. How amazing is that knowledge?

Contrast this with religion, which has stories to inspire, stories to threaten, and no real evidence of any of it.

Which is the better bet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by looking4answers12 View Post
Apparently my limited intellect is preventing me from comprehending a few things about atheism. I keep seeing a few statements repeated by some of the atheists in this forum.

I am getting the impressing that it is the consensus of most atheists, that if you can't prove it, then it doesn't exist. Is that correct?
No. Many things exist that we cannot prove. We have only started to prove that planets exist outside of our solar system, yet they have always existed.

It would be better to say that if you make a positive assertion about something significant, then you should have evidence to back this up.

So, if you claim that you have 2 children, I will believe you because it is not significant in my life, and I have no reason to believe that you are lying. It also sounds quite reasonable, as many people have a small number of children. If you claim 200 children, I will not believe you, as this is an astronomical number that simply does not make sense. However, it does not really effect my life, so you are free to go about making this absurd claim.

Now, if you claim 200 children as dependents on your tax form, and I am an IRS employee, I want evidence for this claim, as it effects me, and the taxes you pay.

Sometimes you need evidence, sometimes you don't. It all depends upon the claim and how it effects me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by looking4answers12 View Post
What I am having trouble with, is the fact that certain things that we know now, were not "proven" at some point in time. Did that mean those things did not exist? I may have asked this question already in another thread, but you'll have to bear with me, apparently, I'm a little slow.
And whatever answer I got, didn't quite clear it up for me.
Of course they existed. We just did not know about it. But a skeptic (different from an atheist) would not necessarily accept their existence without proof.

Go back to my example of extra-solar planets. They always existed. We suspected that they probably did, based upon our observation of our own solar system. But we did not have proof. As such, a skeptic would assign some sort of probability to the matter. Are planets likely to exist? Or not?

The probability was good, because we can see planets in our solar system, and extrapolate that other solar systems were formed in similar manners to ours, so at least some probably have planets.

But god is another story. We simply have no evidence at all, nor a proven analogous situation. What we do have are a number of defunct religions that are widely accepted to be mythology (Thor, etc). Based upon this, the probability that a god exists is minimal.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:05 AM
 
2,031 posts, read 2,430,641 times
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No.

I also never have doubts regarding my disbelief in Zeus or leprechauns.

So?
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Ohio
20,261 posts, read 14,422,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartsong View Post
Just passing through and thinking what a depressing black hole atheism seems to me in that it's purpose seems to be to suck souls into outer darkness - to "turn off the light" (so to speak), to "shut one into a philosophical coffin". I just don't get why people are drawn to it.
Not really. The black hole is religion. It sucks the life out of you. Atheism is liberty, and enlightenment. The volume of knowledge I have gained is invaluable, at least to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartsong View Post
There is no hope for the atheist.
Of course there is hope, but there's a difference between real hope and false hope. There is no god and no after-life. This is it. All that you are is in the "here and now" so you need to make the best of it.

Haven't you read any of the texts?

Why do you think Yahweh (and other "gods") kill people, instead of condemning them to Hell?

Because there is no Hell.

Yahweh has to kill people in the "here and now" because once they die, they are beyond his reach. He cannot punish them.

Same with rewards. Yahweh cannot reward people after they're dead, so they're rewarded in the "here and now."

In fact, the Hebrews had no concept of an after-life or Hell, until they came into contact with the Greeks in the 5th through 3rd Century BCE. And it was the Greeks who invented Hell, making the same mistake as modern christians misinterpreting ancient texts.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:21 AM
 
Location: FL
1,727 posts, read 2,191,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
Of course that is false, and I'd love for you to show me one quote from any atheist poster in this forum in which he or she ever said such a thing, because I have been here for years and never once saw an atheist poster write that. I have, from time to time, seen theists try to accuse us of believing that, but it is a straw man argument, meaning a position we do not hold and is easily knocked down.

I admit, it is MY interpretation of some of the comments I've read here.
If and when, I have more time and my attention span isn't that of a fly (as it seems to be right now) I will come back and show you some of the comments that I've read, which have helped me to come to this conclusion.

In the meantime let me just repeat that this is my impression of some atheists not all. For me, that distinction is important.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:11 AM
 
508 posts, read 1,664,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyageur View Post
No.

I also never have doubts regarding my disbelief in Zeus or leprechauns.

So?

Nor Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny.

What is up with these questions?
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
857 posts, read 1,266,106 times
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The only time I have had any doubt about whether there is some sort of cosmic force or fate was when me and my buddies were backpacking through Europe. We were in Interlaken, Switzerland and ran into a friend from college, which doesn't sound like much until you factor in the circumstances. We had no idea he was in Europe, yet alone Interlaken. We hadn't posted our travel plans so he could not have known where we were going. We went the wrong way from the train station for our hostel and just happened to go by his hostel while he was outside. If any of these circumstances were different we probably would have been right next to each other and never known it. Now the logical side of me says that it was just luck, but I am astounded when I try to comprehend the odds of that happening and if nothing else, it makes me wonder...
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,513,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulnevrwalkalone View Post
The only time I have had any doubt about whether there is some sort of cosmic force or fate was when me and my buddies were backpacking through Europe. We were in Interlaken, Switzerland and ran into a friend from college, which doesn't sound like much until you factor in the circumstances. We had no idea he was in Europe, yet alone Interlaken. We hadn't posted our travel plans so he could not have known where we were going. We went the wrong way from the train station for our hostel and just happened to go by his hostel while he was outside. If any of these circumstances were different we probably would have been right next to each other and never known it. Now the logical side of me says that it was just luck, but I am astounded when I try to comprehend the odds of that happening and if nothing else, it makes me wonder...
I don't find the odds of that happening all that unlikely. You ran into someone you know far from home in Europe. All of the other details you included such as going the wrong way, etc, it is not fair to add them into your odds estimation. Why? Because it wasn't a predicted event that both these things would happen in conjunction. Going the wrong way is an independent event that has its own odds, which is pretty likely to occur by the way.

I don't feel like I am explaining myself very well. So, let me draw an analogy. The fact that someone wins the lottery jackpot every couple of weeks is not that unlikely, in fact it is very likely that someone will win the lottery every few weeks. What becomes amazing is if the Pope predicts a particular person is going to win the lottery jackpot during tonight's drawing and that person does in fact win. Why? Because the odds of one particular person winning the lottery on one drawing (with one ticket) is like 150,000,000 to 1 (depending on the lottery). So, if the Pope could choose that person, although it is technically possible by chance, it would be very impressive.

So, how would we make the odds of you running into someone you know in Europe impressive? Without your knowledge, back when you were in high school, your mom predicts that 5 years from then, you will run into that particular friend (naming them by name) by happenstance in Interlaken, Switzerland, after first going the wrong way. Now that would be impressive provided you and your friend don't know about the prediction and aren't influenced by her to visit Interlaken.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:18 PM
 
16,308 posts, read 25,099,760 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
No.

I mean, sure, I'm probably like everybody else. I walk down the street and I wonder if today's the day Thor will smite me with his mighty hammer, Mjolnir, or if the stranger presenting himself to my door is Zeus, disguised to test whether I will live up to his standards of hospitality, or even if the Flying Spaghetti Monster will ever reach down and touch me with his Noodly Appendage, but since I know that there is no evidence to justify a belief in any of the gods I've heard of so far I really don't worry about it.
Reading this begs me to ask (and because of dinner tonight), does chowing down on a big plate of spaghetti with my homemade sauce equate to cannibalism in the same vain as the symbolic cannibalism as practiced by the catholics and their nibbling on pseudo flesh and sipping pseudo blood.
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:44 AM
 
Location: CA
2,464 posts, read 5,848,805 times
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Do I have doubts in my own beliefs? To a degree, but only because I don't know everything. I tend to think atheist naturally question and doubt everything.

My twinge of doubt would NEVER lead me to embracing religion in any form though. Not ever. I have no doubts about this at all.
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