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Old 03-16-2014, 08:04 AM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,255,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Actually, I don't remember having any additional feelings of awe and/or wonder back when I was a theist. I felt pretty much the same way I do now.

But from the way they talk, you would think theist sit around all slack-jawed with a tear running down their cheek every time the sun sets.

I don't remember it being that way.
Proof that we never were Scotsmen!

This was actually a first major step away from Christianity for me. Music has always deeply affected me, and at one point I took those reactions as signs from God that He was speaking directly to me through that medium. Then at one point in my life I started listen to music that didn't come from church or the Christian book store. When U2 affected me like this, I thought it was because of Bono's faith that God could use this music to speak to me. When I finally felt this beautiful cathartic release, peace and energy while listening to NIN's "Head like a Hole" and "Closer" , I realized that this emotional response was not a reaction to the divine at all, but a reaction to art. It made me look a lot closer at other subjective experience I had, like the feeling of oneness and communion at the Brownsville Revival, or the sense of tranquility I had after I had utterly wrung myself out for hours pleading with God. I realized that I achieve the same responses through intense shared experiences with friends, or being emotionally drained and finally just letting it out. It wasn't God at all, it was my humanity itself.

-NoCapo
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:13 AM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,551 posts, read 17,783,363 times
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Re: Oprah

The older I get the more average, in intelligence and morals, I realize these vaunted celebrities and paragons of our society and culture are. Gaining success on the level enjoyed by Oprah is largely a crapshoot. She may have a spark that most people do not, but it is not commensurate with her rewards.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:57 AM
 
5,462 posts, read 5,945,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
Well aren't we getting into that turned- over- so-many-times debate about the difference between science and religion?
'Olde tyme religion' doesn't get paid to worry about baryons...;-...
Nice attempt at avoiding the question. It is hard to come up with facts or knowledge that religion has come up with, isn't it?
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:05 AM
 
39,255 posts, read 10,922,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCfromNC View Post
Nice attempt at avoiding the question. It is hard to come up with facts or knowledge that religion has come up with, isn't it?

KC - Quote:
Can you give an example of a fact or knowledge discovered by religion? I get that it provides a bunch of opinions, but does it have a track record any better than guessing?
tavric Well aren't we getting into that turned- over- so-many-times debate about the difference between science and religion?
'Olde tyme religion' doesn't get paid to worry about baryons...;-...

I have to agree with KC. If religion has a better track record in fact than religion, then science is more reliable as a fact - source than religion.

If this cannot be denied (and the tavric response sure looked like a best effort at evasion of the question) then just what reason is there to believe the claims of religion, and is not the verified corpus of scientific data to be preferred as a basis for what we believe?

If Old tyme religion didn't bother about mere verified facts but preferred unsupported faith-claims, it for sure ain't good enough fer me.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Maryland
3,540 posts, read 6,085,863 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopOnPop View Post
I think the Nyad-Winfrey interview hilighted a rarely talked about fundemental difference that most atheists are, at least, vaguely aware of, but (as Winfrey's unintended insult belies) virtually no one on the other side seems to have a clue about. The phenomenon of false-attributions to religious concepts. So much time is wasted in debates without ever addressing the heart of the matter (whether God is real, or rational, or myth, or possible, or ...etc.) because atheists have to first wade through and beat down a huge shrouded of false-attributions that theists have been thinking were acceptable all of their lives -- God is awe, God is love, God is forgiveness, God is Goodness, God is everything,...which implies those of us without God can't feel awe, love, forgiveness, goodness...or anything?). Sorry to be prosaic, but I thought you were claiming God was a THINKING BEING of some sort...how does love or awe create a universe?

Theists cling to this kind of sloppy thinking for years -- until they are abruptly challenged by an atheist who not only doesn't share their core belief in God, but is actually justifiably OFFENDED by the implications of their simple-minded and clearly false attributions that they have about their alleged deity....and down the rabbit hole we go, without ever getting back to any kind of real discussion over the actual core belief that defines the theist/atheist divide. We are reduced to mental janitors, spending all our time sweeping out their dusty offensive and thoughtless drivel, rather than getting down to brass-tacks, rolling up our sleeves and actually hammering out our real differences.
It's my hope that someday, this forum will provide for this.

In the meantime, we have to deal with fundamentalists, of all stripes.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:50 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,290,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppySead View Post
Winfrey’s response may have been well intended, but it erased Nyad’s atheist identity and suggested something entirely untrue and, to many atheists like me, offensive: that atheists don’t experience awe and wonder.
Christopher Hitchens before he died expressed an almost identical sentiment. He was asked if he could make one change in the mentality of the masses what would it be. He said it would suffice if he could build a divide in peoples minds "between the numinous and the divine" because theists, as in your anecdotal story, are all too keen to conflate the two as one in order to smuggle god thought into an area where it simply has no place.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
For most Christians, it is a rather fine line going from "awe and wonder about the universe" directly to "Jesus died for our sins so that we may all have eternal life."
I've always been amazed that believers can say that Jesus is in heaven with god, and then, later, say that god gave his only son so that we can be saved (from god's own misguided wrath, apparently).

If Jesus is in Heaven, god couldn't have given him. Loaned him, possibly, but not "gave"..

Just another mindless inconsistency that is part and parcel of being a "believer".
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:27 AM
RPF
 
1 posts, read 588 times
Reputation: 11
Hello,

I do not subscribe to organized religion because of personal experiences, however, I still remain unsure of of the existence of a creator. I think that's because I am a human, and as such, my intelligence is limited to that of an evolved ape-like animal. With limited intelligence, it is impossible for any human to 'know' anything for certain, including understanding the mysteries of existence and the universe. Here is my thinking:

Let's say humans evolve over the next 100,000 years, (hopefully), and they come to understand new technologies that currently seem like mysticism, (very likely). Obviously, an atheist's current understanding would change to accept these new discoveries over time - because atheists have unbridled faith in the ability of humans, as I understand it.

Because our intelligence is limited to current human abilities, (similar to a spider being unable to comprehend algebra as we understand it); how can atheists believe they know for absolute certain what does and does not exist in the universe, including a creator, (or DNA programmer)? Not only are we limited by our relatively primitive mind, but we are also limited to the EXTREMELY narrow bandwidth of our senses. For all I know, there could be undetectable entities residing in the same space as me, but in another dimension - a concept that our intelligence CANNOT comprehend at this time. This inability to understand dimensions also applies to mysteries about our existence and the universe. We are 3D Earth animals who are naturally inclined to trust our senses and brains. We believe that we have most things figured out, or we will eventually solve these mysteries on our own, but we still cannot answer a lot of the age-old questions about our existence.

For me, however, I am convinced of only one thing: My primitive intelligence and severely limited senses are not sophisticated enough to absorb or understand the evidence needed to dismiss any belief system, not limited to theism and/or atheism. We simply CANNOT comprehend the real truth about anything as we currently exist.

Respectfully,
RF
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPF View Post
I still remain unsure of of the existence of a creator., it is impossible for any human to 'know' anything for certain
While this is true, I do not think that warrants feeling too much uncertainty. While we may not "know" anything 100%, there is still currently zero evidence, argument, data or reasoning that even suggests there MIGHT be a god. There simply is no reason to subscribe to it.

So while we can not "know" for certain there is no god we can "know" for certain that at this time, here and now, there simply is no reason to think there is one or might be one.

The claim there is a god simply lacks any substantiation or credibility at this time.

And on the continuum of things we humans can be "unsure" about therefore.... there being a god really lies at the far low end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPF View Post
because atheists have unbridled faith in the ability of humans, as I understand it.
I come in contact with a lot of atheists. More than most given my involvement with Atheist American, Atheist Ireland and Atheist Alliance International.... and all the conventions and events I have organised in their name.

And not one of them, to my recollection, fits the description you just gave here I am afraid. It simply does not match anyone I have ever met or spoken with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPF View Post
how can atheists believe they know for absolute certain what does and does not exist in the universe, including a creator
Again as previously, I am currently unaware of a single atheist who expresses any such thing. The vast, almost total, number of atheists I know of or have communicated with have expressed the same thing I opened this post with. Not that we know there is no creator, but that we currently lack any reason to think there is one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPF View Post
For me, however, I am convinced of only one thing: My primitive intelligence and severely limited senses are not sophisticated enough to absorb or understand the evidence needed to dismiss any belief system
If a belief system is unsubstantiated.... that is to say the people espousing the system do not offer you a SHRED of evidence, argument, data or reasoning to support it.... then you have all the grounds you need to dismiss it right there. Nothing more is required.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:55 AM
 
Location: The High Desert of the American Southwest
214 posts, read 188,203 times
Reputation: 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppySead View Post
What Oprah gets wrong about atheism – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs - video link

Nyad, 64, who swam from Cuba to Key West last month, said “I can stand at the beach’s edge with the most devout Christian, Jew, Buddhist, go on down the line, and weep with the beauty of this universe and be moved by all of humanity — all the billions of people who have lived before us, who have loved and hurt.”

Winfrey responded, “Well I don’t call you an atheist then.”

Winfrey went on, “I think if you believe in the awe and the wonder and the mystery then that is what God is… It’s not a bearded guy in the sky.”

Nyad clarified that she doesn’t use the word God because it implies a “presence… a creator or an overseer.”

Winfrey’s response may have been well intended, but it erased Nyad’s atheist identity and suggested something entirely untrue and, to many atheists like me, offensive: that atheists don’t experience awe and wonder.

Do you find that people lack understanding that an atheist, or non believer can experience wonder, or be moved by all of humanity or astounded at the beauty of the world?

I don't personally think Oprah meant to ditch Nyad but I do think she illustrated what Theists believe they hold the keys to. I find myself going overboard to explain this to believer when they assume I have no awe inspiring moments without a God.

I hear ya. I too am a deist rather than a theist and I find my Spirituality and Higher Power in Nature, and in the contemplation of the cosmos: their vastness, timelessness and sheer beauty. I guess those people who label the different types of believers might call me a "pantheist."
And it IS frustrating at times when religious types think my type cannot fully appreciate the Wonders of the World without inserting a biblical-type God into the equation. I don't let them bother me much anymore though; I just chalk their views up to narrow-mindedness. (and in the event they are 6-day creationists, I equate that with a type of neurosis.)
Another irony: fundamentalists who read the bible as a history book actually get LESS out of it than us liberal Christians who see it as a collection of poetry, allegory and mythology.
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