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Old 06-21-2013, 02:16 PM
 
354 posts, read 246,115 times
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Good stuff rifleman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman
I'm now asserting that there are two sub-species of recently Evolved hominids to be found here: the "we need constant spiritual guidance, and a blindered faith in some therial entity ghat we have never seen nor heard from, but just blindly assume is there with our best inteerests at heart!",

Or the other type, us "Creative, intrigued, critically
thinking types, those who are always on the lookout for improved
answers or even new ones to persistent and old questions". They who would not
be able to utilize any such "Stop Your Non-Linear Thinking Processes
Immediately!" types, those mental cretins who demand attention and allegiance to
their "fraught with fakery" but absolutely mandated ministrations.

I'm happily a part of the second sub-species.
I set firmly in the second sub-species group as well. However, I don't apply my critical thinking to just the question of gods; it's applied to every human proposition you can possibly think of. We live in a world a probabilities, with some ideas being more probable than others. Some probabilities, like the Christian god (depending how it's defined) existing, have a near 0 probability of being true. Other probabilities, like the basic tenants of the theory of evolution (common decent), have a near 0 probability of being false, or conversely, a greater that a 99 percent probability of being true. While you can say I am a not a theist, you can also say that I am a Bayesian.

Last edited by NOTaTHEIST; 06-21-2013 at 02:43 PM..
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:28 PM
 
354 posts, read 246,115 times
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To my question: Would anyone (theist or atheist) here worship anything that was proven to be material in nature?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
I fail to see any reason why I might.
This is exactly how I feel as well. Sorry for poorly beating around the bush, but this is were I was going. Most people (aside from maybe pantheists and various obscure nature cults) would not and do not worship what is natural.

Where does this leave us? If a god can not be a material entity, than it must be something else. However, we have not one iota of evidence of anything existing as something other than the material. So basically, most anthropogenic god concepts exist of nothing.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:42 PM
 
354 posts, read 246,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by searchingwithin View Post
god is a word used to describe the indescribable- our minds cannot put a label on what it is... no words or explanation can answer what it is in totality.
our minds are limited.. "God" is unlimited.

people have given "him" a gender.. a race , and all kinds of labels ..but "god" is nothing that we can limit or put in a box.. neither is "god " something we can explain with out limited understanding.. God is all and everything and more
he is you, me and everyone and everything else.
I once read a really great book by the author Mathew Alper entitled: The god part of the brain. In his book, he asked the same question I'm asking here. What is a god? He came to the ultimate conclusion that all we can say about god, is that it is a word.

Is it anything more than a word/concept? Probably not.

Last edited by NOTaTHEIST; 06-21-2013 at 03:00 PM..
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:09 AM
 
39,213 posts, read 10,895,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
To my question: Would anyone (theist or atheist) here worship anything that was proven to be material in nature?



This is exactly how I feel as well. Sorry for poorly beating around the bush, but this is were I was going. Most people (aside from maybe pantheists and various obscure nature cults) would not and do not worship what is natural.

Where does this leave us? If a god can not be a material entity, than it must be something else. However, we have not one iota of evidence of anything existing as something other than the material. So basically, most anthropogenic god concepts exist of nothing.
That's very similar to the paradox that becomes apparent when we are asked what scientific evidence for the supernatural would look like or what we should be looking for. It soon becomes apparent that anything that can be explained and known scientifically becomes natural and scientific.

Perhaps the real question is what evidence for a god would be convincing. Well, the historical claims for any of the personal gods would have to stand up, but in fact, the more we have looked at them, the less substantial they seem to be.

We are in the position of asking 'What evidence would persuade us that the world is flat, that the sun and planets revolve around the earth and that the earth and all its bioforms was created ten thousand years ago?' There is simply too much evidence against for such a question to look even worth positing.

There is some mileage still in trying to find evidence for an invisible force that affects our actions and conditions. There have been many attempts to prove statistically that prayer works, that miracles happen, that people get healed and that something controls the weather. This turns out to have no statistical credibility or at best we can only say that we don't know the explanations and so can't say whether it has a natural or supernatural cause. Which is where we came in.

As to worship. This rather puts the need for worship under the magnifying glass. While, if God appeared a mile tall and announced that he would be doing the ruling from now on, it might be a relief to have Him sort out all our problems. belief would not be a problem as the fact would be undeniable. We would admire, respect and even love the being that had sorted it all out and given us all happy lives, but worship? Would this thing need us all to chant how wonderful it was five times a day or assemble a chorus and symphony orchestra to sing about how big it was and how nice it was where He lived?

I cannot believe that a worthwhile deity would be so petty -minded as to need this human grovelling, more reflecting the needs of insecure human potentates to assure themselves that their subjects were being kept in their place.

And maybe that's the answer. This whole worship thing is more to do with human needs than with those of a god.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:16 PM
 
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God is subjective. That word can be used to mean whatever you damn well please. It's a futile word.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will307 View Post
God is subjective. That word can be used to mean whatever you damn well please. It's a futile word.
Yes, it's totally ambiguous and what it is/means, is usually relative to the believer.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will307 View Post
God is subjective. That word can be used to mean whatever you damn well please. It's a futile word.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
Yes, it's totally ambiguous and what it is/means, is usually relative to the believer.
Indeed, but what is worse is that it is not even fixed from believer to believer. There is a subset of believers who happily modify their use and meaning of the word to suit the situation and agenda. There are a group of users on this very forum who will use as dilute a definition as is humanly possible in order to get you to accept "god" exists.

The meaning of "god" they use there is so empty and meaningless that it is all but impossible to reject linguistically the existence of that "god".

Having gotten the victim to accept the existence of this "god" however they then start piling in attributes out of nowhere in the back door.

So you accept "god is love" or "god is everything" or "god is just the universe itself" and therefore "god exists" and then before you know it they are suddenly telling you that the Bible is a book authored or inspired by it or that this "god" manifested itself in Human form through Jesus Christ.

The leap for this empty "god" to this very specific "god" is done without explanation, evidence, or theatrics. They just move from A to B as if by magic. You ask them to substantiate a single aspect of "god B" however and they instantly retreat back to talking about "god A" again.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:11 PM
 
354 posts, read 246,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
Indeed, but what is worse is that it is not even fixed from believer to believer. There is a subset of believers who happily modify their use and meaning of the word to suit the situation and agenda. There are a group of users on this very forum who will use as dilute a definition as is humanly possible in order to get you to accept "god" exists.

The meaning of "god" they use there is so empty and meaningless that it is all but impossible to reject linguistically the existence of that "god".

Having gotten the victim to accept the existence of this "god" however they then start piling in attributes out of nowhere in the back door.

So you accept "god is love" or "god is everything" or "god is just the universe itself" and therefore "god exists" and then before you know it they are suddenly telling you that the Bible is a book authored or inspired by it or that this "god" manifested itself in Human form through Jesus Christ.

The leap for this empty "god" to this very specific "god" is done without explanation, evidence, or theatrics. They just move from A to B as if by magic. You ask them to substantiate a single aspect of "god B" however and they instantly retreat back to talking about "god A" again.
A very astute observation indeed. What you've noted is the old "bate and switch". This is a very common contemporary tactic used to spread religious memes. They attempt to inject belief in a nebulous god with all sorts of mental gymnastics, lots of question begging and arguments from ignorance. Then before you know it, it's Jesus! Praise the lord!

I've seen this so many times it's becoming laughable.

Quote:
There is a subset of believers who happily modify their use and meaning of
the word to suit the situation and agenda.
All believers probably do this to some degree or another. After all, most holy texts are just big books of multiple choice.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
All believers probably do this to some degree or another. After all, most holy texts are just big books of multiple choice.
It's called "compartmentalization". I always kept the wrathful god in a different compartment from the jealous god and the meek and mild Jesus-god. I never saw the disconnect until I got some distance from it. All my fellow evangelicals had no problem with it so it seemed like I shouldn't. Unsavory forms of god were generally safely packed away in the Old Testament or in some special-case era or some special-case demonstration to the world of god's holiness or something. I was socialized to read about god commanding rape and pillaging with no problem at all because it was a bit like the god-and-country right-or-wrong ethos that allows people to cheer for the righteous satisfaction of bombing the enemy with no regard for the individual human suffering, or at least heavy rationalization of it as regrettable but necessary.

Even in the New Testament there are disturbing images of overdone punishment, as of Ananias and Saphirra dropping dead over petty theft or Herod being eaten alive by worms because of arrogance. For us, that was in the "early church" compartment -- where god was trying to get things established at a time when, they said, "the canon of scripture was not yet complete" -- once we had the authority of the scriptures defined, miracles (including horrific supernatural punishments) conveniently ceased, being no longer needed. The irony is that the scriptures lack coherency, much less authority, and are in any event subject to human (mis)interpretation, resulting in the thousands of Christian denominations today -- so are not so impressive a vehicle for conveying god's thinking after all.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:00 PM
 
354 posts, read 246,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordant
I was socialized to read about god commanding rape and pillaging with no problem at all because it was a bit like the god-and-country right-or-wrong ethos that allows people to cheer for the righteous satisfaction of bombing the enemy with no regard for the individual human suffering, or at least heavy rationalization of it as regrettable but necessary.
And I thought I was the only one who drew this accurate conclusion. Very well said.
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