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Old 08-10-2013, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 20,577,270 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
It simply means that I have a feeling that there is something responsible for Life the Universe and Everything other than the big bang and subsequent random interaction of Carbon molecules and Amino Acids coming together by chance at the right time in some ancient primordial pool of slime and that I am too small and insignificant on a cosmic scale to make hypotheses as to what that higher power might be.
I'm still interested in this part especially given your stated disinterest in organized religions.

You feel there may be something responsible for designing, propagating, whatever, the universe and its operation, at perhaps one or perhaps many points in its history. Specifically I am interested in why if this is the case you would only choose to frame this as "higher power" and somewhere on a scale of theism. Why couldn't it simply be a more advanced scientist running an experiment? If the universe was created as a scientific experiment, does that make the scientist(s) God, or in your terms, a higher power? Why frame it that way? Why isn't the scientist and the scientist's species just a more intelligent life form that has no theism associated with it?

What I am suggesting is that you are tying together two elements that are not connected. The idea that there is a more advanced form of life out there is not inconsistent with non-theism. The advanced form of life is not automatically higher power/god/deity, even if it is responsible for the sequence of events leading to our existence. It is only those things if we choose to worship it as those things, i.e. create a religion.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
8,138 posts, read 2,793,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood View Post
Theism and atheism are defined by the presence of a belief in god (theism) and the absence of a belief in god (atheism). The strength of a belief, the amount of doubt or certainty, or the allowance for possibilities all fall outside of these definitions.

Sure, someone who actually HAS a belief, can have a degree of certainty about it. But, if someone does not have a belief, then what is this certainty you are referring to?
I don't know where the certainty of Atheists comes from other than their insistence on the lack of evidence being proof enough for them...... but apparently they have some degree of a certainty in their non belief or they would not be able to come to the conclusions that they do about the lack of existence of any Higher Power, even if this stems from nothing more than said lack of evidence.

This is where the original question of this thread stems from.

Even though I don't like or agree with extremists on the religious side of the question (The Crusades, Westboro Baptists, Jihadists etc) I do understand what motivates them, however flawed and misguided it may be.

But I still don't understand what motivates extreme Atheists (Freedom From Religion Foundation types that actually start organizations to fight against what they see as too much encroachment of religion into their daily lives)

As an Agnostic I simply don't understand what all the fuss is about on either side.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:13 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,311 posts, read 19,591,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
I believe in the existence of some higher power in the universe. What that higher power may actually be, I have no clue but I don't subscribe to any organized religion as I feel these are largely made up by man in an attempt to put some meaning to the things he cannot explain.
And organized religion is wholly responsible for all of the bad traits that spirituality in general is saddled with by history, wars, witch burnings etc...

It simply means that I have a feeling that there is something responsible for Life the Universe and Everything other than the big bang and subsequent random interaction of Carbon molecules and Amino Acids coming together by chance at the right time in some ancient primordial pool of slime and that I am too small and insignificant on a cosmic scale to make hypotheses as to what that higher power might be.

That and I like Christmas.....even if I don't believe in "Bible God" per se
For the record, about 2 years ago I was in a similar stage of belief/agnosticism as you are in now. Then I read up on some modern science books which showed that practically everything about life and the universe can be explained without the need for any God. Learning this was pretty much the end of the road of any kind of God-belief for me.

I still enjoy Christmas and other holidays like that. Most of them are pretty secular anyway.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
8,138 posts, read 2,793,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amaznjohn View Post
You can certainly define it however you like, but you are not allowed to call it agnosticism or a pogo stick, without being corrected, because it is neither.
Correct me all you like, it will fall on deaf ears.
Because the continued insistence on being factually correct about the dictionary definitions comes off as nothing more than condescending arrogance and pseudo intellectualism for it's own sake.

The fact is I really don't care, so feel free to take your toys and play in another sandbox.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
8,138 posts, read 2,793,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood View Post
Dooley,

Let me ask a question (or two):

1)Do you hold the belief that I am wearing a yellow shirt?
2)Do you hold the belief that I am not wearing a yellow shirt?

Yes or No?

I understand that you wouldn't "know" whether or not I am wearing one, so I am not asking if (you know) I am in fact wearing one. Despite not knowing, do you hold the belief that I am or am not wearing a yellow shirt. ("I don't know" is not a possible answer).

I'm guessing that you probably would answer "no" to both questions. You would have no reason to hold either belief, because I have not provided you with any convincing evidence either way. Not holding one belief does not mean that you must therefore hold the opposite belief. In other words, not holding the belief that I am wearing a yellow shirt (#1) does not mean you must therefore hold the belief that I am not wearing a yellow shirt. It is the lack of belief re: question 1 that alone would define you as an "a-yellowshirtist", not a possible belief re: question 2.

In other words, if I asked the following questions:

1)Do you hold the belief that god exists?
2)Do you hold the belief that god does not exist?

The majority of atheists would answer no to both of these questions as well. Lacking the first belief does not mean you must therefore hold the opposite belief (#2) that god does not exist. However, just answering "no" to question 1 defines one as an atheist.

I do not need to know if you are wearing a yellow shirt or not.

I do not need to believe you are wearing a yellow shirt or not.

I do not need to have the existence of yellow shirts proven to me to hypothesize that yellow shirts may exist someplace and have enough belief in my hypothesis to think that therefore there is a slight chance you may be wearing a yellow shirt....or no shirt at all.

So saying "I don't know" to both questions is a perfectly legitimate answer as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
8,138 posts, read 2,793,159 times
Reputation: 4398
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Yes, you explained that already but what has that to do with 'Something Greater' out there or Karma and Love? The beef of the atheists you regard as extremists is a beef with organized religion and its influence.

As I said, even if we thought that made a case, we would still have that same beef with organized religion.

I can see that those who believe there is a God are willing to tolerate religious organizations, but if you hate the extremists, what are you doing about it?

Why come and attack us, because we, as active militants, are the 'extremists' that you speak of?
I think some Atheist have a hard time separating those who subscribe to organized religion from those who do not but still have some sense of spirituality or "Something Greater".....thus the references to Fairies and Unicorns.

The only difference I see between modern, current day militant Theists and militant Atheist is their belief in a God of some description or the lack of belief.

They are two sides of the same coin......when the obsession with non existence becomes so over encompassing that you feel the need to sue others over it, it has become a sort of religion in it's own right.

I know that most Atheist will not like that comparison, but neither will most Theist.

Do not mistake my admittedly rough edges when asking what motivates you for attacking you.

Last edited by FatBob96; 08-10-2013 at 10:32 PM..
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
8,138 posts, read 2,793,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
I'm still interested in this part especially given your stated disinterest in organized religions.

You feel there may be something responsible for designing, propagating, whatever, the universe and its operation, at perhaps one or perhaps many points in its history. Specifically I am interested in why if this is the case you would only choose to frame this as "higher power" and somewhere on a scale of theism. Why couldn't it simply be a more advanced scientist running an experiment? If the universe was created as a scientific experiment, does that make the scientist(s) God, or in your terms, a higher power? Why frame it that way? Why isn't the scientist and the scientist's species just a more intelligent life form that has no theism associated with it?

What I am suggesting is that you are tying together two elements that are not connected. The idea that there is a more advanced form of life out there is not inconsistent with non-theism. The advanced form of life is not automatically higher power/god/deity, even if it is responsible for the sequence of events leading to our existence. It is only those things if we choose to worship it as those things, i.e. create a religion.

Everything you say has here as much credence as anything I might answer with.
I never said that a "higher power" must be some form of religious based Deity.....but I do not insist that it is not either.

I use the term higher power simply because it would be just that, higher on a scale of understanding than I am capable of.....and I'm sure if you asked others they might say it's also because I'm a knuckle dragging cretin with a limited vocabulary.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:09 PM
 
Location: USA (dying to live in Canada)
1,034 posts, read 1,563,235 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
I could see why a business owner would not want someone wishing their customers "Merry Christmas" - I grew up in Jersey. I was surrounded by Christians, but also Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and lord knows what other religions. The atheists usually don't care about whether they get wished a merry whatever, but people who are DEVOUT IN THEIR FAITH, if it happens to not be Christianity, can feel marginalized or unwelcome in a place of business. I don't wish anyone anything holiday related unless I know them or they have let me know what their faith is, and then I will wish them a happy whatever-they're-celebrating, not a happy whatever-I'm-celebrating.

The whole "Merry Christmas" thing is less about atheism and more about recognizing the multiplicity of faiths in our country and not foisting the dominant one on everyone no matter their personal beliefs.
Well Christmas Day is a national holiday while other religions holiday aren't. Most New Jerseyans are Christians anyway. As a Jew myself, I don't care if somebody wishes me Merry Christmas.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:58 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,026,983 times
Reputation: 453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood
Dooley,

Let me ask a question (or two):

1)Do you hold the belief that I am wearing a yellow shirt?
2)Do you hold the belief that I am not wearing a yellow shirt?

Yes or No?

I understand that you wouldn't "know" whether or not I am wearing one, so I am not asking if (you know) I am in fact wearing one. Despite not knowing, do you hold the belief that I am or am not wearing a yellow shirt. ("I don't know" is not a possible answer).

I'm guessing that you probably would answer "no" to both questions. You would have no reason to hold either belief, because I have not provided you with any convincing evidence either way. Not holding one belief does not mean that you must therefore hold the opposite belief. In other words, not holding the belief that I am wearing a yellow shirt (#1) does not mean you must therefore hold the belief that I am not wearing a yellow shirt. It is the lack of belief re: question 1 that alone would define you as an "a-yellowshirtist", not a possible belief re: question 2.

In other words, if I asked the following questions:

1)Do you hold the belief that god exists?
2)Do you hold the belief that god does not exist?

The majority of atheists would answer no to both of these questions as well. Lacking the first belief does not mean you must therefore hold the opposite belief (#2) that god does not exist. However, just answering "no" to question 1 defines one as an atheist.
I do not need to know if you are wearing a yellow shirt or not.

I do not need to believe you are wearing a yellow shirt or not.

I do not need to have the existence of yellow shirts proven to me to hypothesize that yellow shirts may exist someplace and have enough belief in my hypothesis to think that therefore there is a slight chance you may be wearing a yellow shirt....or no shirt at all.

So saying "I don't know" to both questions is a perfectly legitimate answer as far as I'm concerned.

Actually, "I don't know" is not a legitimate answer to the "yes" or "no" question. The question isn't asking whether or not you know if I am wearing a yellow shirt (or if god exists), but whether or not you believe that I am wearing a yellow shirt (or believe that god exists). I would hope that one would know whether or not they hold a particular belief! If your belief is so imperceptible that you "don't (even) know" that you have it, then my guess would be that you don't hold the belief. Otherwise, if you did hold the belief that I am wearing a yellow shirt (or did hold the belief that god in fact exists) then you would have given an affirmative answer to the question. A person who believes that god does in fact exist, does not say that a god is "possible" or there is a "slight chance that a god may exist." That only comes from someone who does not (yet) hold that belief.

If someone asked the question "do you believe in god?", a theist would respond with "yes".....period. It would not make sense to say "yes, but I believe that it is possible that a god could exist." A theist believes that a god does in fact exist, not just that gods are possible. Believing in the possibility of god is not the same as believing god actually exists.

From what you have described, you do not have a belief in god. Like many other atheists, you only believe in the possibility of a god, however slight.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
8,138 posts, read 2,793,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood View Post

Actually, "I don't know" is not a legitimate answer to the "yes" or "no" question. The question isn't asking whether or not you know if I am wearing a yellow shirt (or if god exists), but whether or not you believe that I am wearing a yellow shirt (or believe that god exists). I would hope that one would know whether or not they hold a particular belief! If your belief is so imperceptible that you "don't (even) know" that you have it, then my guess would be that you don't hold the belief. Otherwise, if you did hold the belief that I am wearing a yellow shirt (or did hold the belief that god in fact exists) then you would have given an affirmative answer to the question. A person who believes that god does in fact exist, does not say that a god is "possible" or there is a "slight chance that a god may exist." That only comes from someone who does not (yet) hold that belief.

If someone asked the question "do you believe in god?", a theist would respond with "yes".....period. It would not make sense to say "yes, but I believe that it is possible that a god could exist." A theist believes that a god does in fact exist, not just that gods are possible. Believing in the possibility of god is not the same as believing god actually exists.

From what you have described, you do not have a belief in god. Like many other atheists, you only believe in the possibility of a god, however slight.


Holy over complicating the issue Batman!!

Insisting that a yes or no answer is the only acceptable one is for bad courtroom dramas.

Which is why I prefer watching the Discovery Channel or classic movies on Netflix.
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