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View Poll Results: How plausible is this theory (explain)?
You've convinced me, where do I join your cult? 0 0%
Nope, totally don't buy it. 10 83.33%
Sorta of, but I believe X instead... 2 16.67%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-19-2014, 12:05 PM
 
2,826 posts, read 1,864,431 times
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Okay, here's an idea, so just bear with me.

Okay, maybe there was an original Source of existence. But we're not gonna dwell on this.

Instead, we're gonna view humans as spiritual beings. We laugh, we cry, we pray, and do all sorts of things. Now, Christianity holds that viewing oneself as self-sufficient is arrogance. Atheism holds that there is something deeply wrong with dependence on a third party entity. So let's go at this from a purely humanistic standpoint to see if we can make sense of things.

Human beings do need each other to survive. A person completely cut off from other people typically ends up becoming a hermit, a psycho, or otherwise strange. If, then, you would want to find a non-Christian definition of Savior, it would be "any person who saves other people." You don't like that Christian groups seem woefully incompetent at helping the community at large? Guess what you have to do? Do it yourself! Care about other people, let them help, and help them too. Do charity organizations come about from just praying about them, or do people actually have found them, maintain them, and care for them? (Rhetorical)

Likewise, the idea of Creator is "anyone who creates." When you live, that's practically everyone. When you make art. When you plant a tree. Seeing someone of the opposite sex and... you get the idea. Where before there was nothing at all, suddenly you had a ton of pleasure and nine months later, a new child. So, go out and have more children! Oh, and plant more trees.

In other words, we don't need to believe in a higher power, because higher power is simply about how we live. I dunno what this means in terms of prayer and afterlife, are you praying to yourself? Do you in fact have the ability to live on, just in terms of willpower? Thoughts.

Last edited by bulmabriefs144; 03-19-2014 at 12:21 PM..
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,190 posts, read 9,077,440 times
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Human beings are human beings. They are minds in bodies. Applying labels like "spiritual" is basically meaningless because there is no agreed definition for "spiritual" and because the term is generally introduced as a wedge with which to shoehorn some sort of deity into the picture with no more evidence than our emotional responses, hopes, dreams and aspirations. Just because some aspects of existence are hard to define precisely doesn't mean we multiply entities in an effort to improve the definition.

The self sufficiency question isn't strictly one of Christianity claiming it's arrogant and atheism claiming it's healthy. I don't think that is either side's unqualified straight-up opinion and it's a major source of talking past each other. The better way to frame it IMO is that regardless of our existential belief positions, we are all in the same boat together (the human condition), and the question is, are humans fundamentally damaged and incapable and in need of divine intervention to accomplish anything enduring or worthwhile, or are we simply what we are and have to rely on ourselves on on each other?

That said, ,overall I like where you are going which is the only thing that presents itself is reality, the only saviors are people individually and collectively helping one another, and the only creators are artists and designers and technicians. I don't think it's anything other than an atheism-friendly philosophy while not being theist-hostile.

If you're wondering how it'd fare as a social movement, seeing as it lacks hope for an afterlife or influencing the universe in your favor, probably the response would be middling at best. The world isn't quite ready for something like that yet. As a species we are still getting over ourselves. Give it another century.
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,858 posts, read 3,782,423 times
Reputation: 4592
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulmabriefs144 View Post
Okay, here's an idea, so just bear with me.

Okay, maybe there was an original Source of existence. But we're not gonna dwell on this.

Instead, we're gonna view humans as spiritual beings. We laugh, we cry, we pray, and do all sorts of things. Now, Christianity holds that viewing oneself as self-sufficient is arrogance. Atheism holds that there is something deeply wrong with dependence on a third party entity. So let's go at this from a purely humanistic standpoint to see if we can make sense of things.

Human beings do need each other to survive. A person completely cut off from other people typically ends up becoming a hermit, a psycho, or otherwise strange. If, then, you would want to find a non-Christian definition of Savior, it would be "any person who saves other people." You don't like that Christian groups seem woefully incompetent at helping the community at large? Guess what you have to do? Do it yourself! Care about other people, let them help, and help them too. Do charity organizations come about from just praying about them, or do people actually have found them, maintain them, and care for them? (Rhetorical)

Likewise, the idea of Creator is "anyone who creates." When you live, that's practically everyone. When you make art. When you plant a tree. Seeing someone of the opposite sex and... you get the idea. Where before there was nothing at all, suddenly you had a ton of pleasure and nine months later, a new child.

In other words, we don't need to believe in a higher power, because higher power is simply about how we live. I dunno what this means in terms of prayer and afterlife, are you praying to yourself? Do you in fact have the ability to live on, just in terms of willpower? Thoughts.

Sorry maybe its just me but I'm not sure what question you are asking?
I'm not trying to be obtuse but you might have to explain further what you are getting at.
  • What do you mean by "atheism holds that there is something deeply wrong with dependence on a third party entity"? In what way do you mean wrong? Misguided, delusional maybe. How can you be dependent on something that doesn't exist?
  • I don't hold the idea that people need 'saving'. Saved from what? Most people seem to do fine on their own.
  • I don't understand prayer. Who as an atheist am I praying to?
  • I don't believe in an afterlife
  • I don't believe in a creator. I believe in nature.
  • I don't think that Christian groups seem woefully incompetent at helping the community at large at all. I believe they do a lot of good.
If you want a Humanist approach then I'm your person since I consider myself a humanist. If what are you asking is should we help each other, then yes, I believe we should because it can enrich your life. All the work I currently do is voluntary and for charity.

Atheism is simple. Straightforward. No praying, no afterlife, love others, help people where you can and where they need it, live your life and make the most of it.
Quote:
No one owns being good. I’m good. I just don’t believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It’s knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that’s where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. “Do this or you’ll burn in hell.” You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway. Ricky Gervais
I'd like to think most atheists already think this way.

Last edited by Cruithne; 03-19-2014 at 01:14 PM..
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:00 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,518 posts, read 2,445,913 times
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I was a little confused by your post also, not sure what it is you're trying to say or ask. I second what Cruithne said.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,839 posts, read 18,553,245 times
Reputation: 18653
I'm with those who failed to identify the point you wish to be making. If you were to rewrite it all in a clearer manner, I suspect that my response would then be.."What is the necessity of any of this?"

As best as I can tell you are among those who find spiritualism/the supernatural impossible to defend intellectually, but of value emotionally, so you are embarking on some means for finding intellectual justification. I tend to view such a dynamic as a search for the means to fool oneself.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Maryland
3,540 posts, read 6,079,527 times
Reputation: 981
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Human beings are human beings. They are minds in bodies. Applying labels like "spiritual" is basically meaningless because there is no agreed definition for "spiritual" and because the term is generally introduced as a wedge with which to shoehorn some sort of deity into the picture with no more evidence than our emotional responses, hopes, dreams and aspirations. Just because some aspects of existence are hard to define precisely doesn't mean we multiply entities in an effort to improve the definition.

The self sufficiency question isn't strictly one of Christianity claiming it's arrogant and atheism claiming it's healthy. I don't think that is either side's unqualified straight-up opinion and it's a major source of talking past each other. The better way to frame it IMO is that regardless of our existential belief positions, we are all in the same boat together (the human condition), and the question is, are humans fundamentally damaged and incapable and in need of divine intervention to accomplish anything enduring or worthwhile, or are we simply what we are and have to rely on ourselves on on each other?

That said, ,overall I like where you are going which is the only thing that presents itself is reality, the only saviors are people individually and collectively helping one another, and the only creators are artists and designers and technicians. I don't think it's anything other than an atheism-friendly philosophy while not being theist-hostile.

If you're wondering how it'd fare as a social movement, seeing as it lacks hope for an afterlife or influencing the universe in your favor, probably the response would be middling at best. The world isn't quite ready for something like that yet. As a species we are still getting over ourselves. Give it another century.
Atheism and Theism both require an element of faith.
Theists have faith that a "higher power" exists.
Atheists have faith that none exists.

I think your looking for an easy way out.

Take a side, and let the chips fall where they may.
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,858 posts, read 3,782,423 times
Reputation: 4592
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakback View Post
Atheism and Theism both require an element of faith.
Theists have faith that a "higher power" exists.
Atheists have faith that none exists.

I think your looking for an easy way out.

Take a side, and let the chips fall where they may.
Oh here we go again.

Faith is a belief that is not based on proof or evidence. That's why it's called faith. If there were evidence you wouldn't be calling it faith, you would be calling it something else.

Atheism does not require an element of faith.
I believe what I believe based on proof or evidence.
That's all there is to it.
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:04 PM
 
40,040 posts, read 26,720,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
Oh here we go again.
Faith is a belief that is not based on proof or evidence. That's why it's called faith. If there were evidence you wouldn't be calling it faith, you would be calling it something else.
Atheism does not require an element of faith.
I believe what I believe based on proof or evidence.
That's all there is to it.
Not to put too fine a point on it, Cruithne . . . but isn't your lack of belief based NOT on proof or evidence . . . but on a lack of proof or evidence? They are not the same thing . . . so the definition of faith you used is less clearly exclusionary of your position..
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,858 posts, read 3,782,423 times
Reputation: 4592
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Not to put too fine a point on it, Cruithne . . . but isn't your lack of belief based NOT on proof or evidence . . . but on a lack of proof or evidence? They are not the same thing . . . so the definition of faith you used is less clearly exclusionary of your position..
NO.






Ok I was going to leave it there but oh well..


You seem to have a double negative there for a start.
"My lack of belief is based on a lack of proof or evidence" ?

I don't even know if that makes any sense.
I suppose it does but it's making it too complicated.

Lets keep it simple. The way I view the world requires no 'faith'.
The things I believe to be true are based on evidence - not no evidence. That's why I have never understood 'faith'.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:49 PM
 
40,040 posts, read 26,720,362 times
Reputation: 6047
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Not to put too fine a point on it, Cruithne . . . but isn't your lack of belief based NOT on proof or evidence . . . but on a lack of proof or evidence? They are not the same thing . . . so the definition of faith you used is less clearly exclusionary of your position..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
NO.
LOL. You forgot the exclamation points !!
Quote:
Ok I was going to leave it there but oh well..
You seem to have a double negative there for a start.
"My lack of belief is based on a lack of proof or evidence" ?
I don't even know if that makes any sense.
I suppose it does but it's making it too complicated.
Lets keep it simple. The way I view the world requires no 'faith'.
The things I believe to be true are based on evidence - not no evidence. That's why I have never understood 'faith'.
I understand Cruithne . . . but you DO need to acknowledge that not only do you NOT have any evidentiary basis for your preference . . . you never can have. You can not evidence anything by lack of evidence!
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