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Old 10-18-2011, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raison_d'etre View Post
Proof? We can prove Santa doesn't exist. Just go to the north pole. But the concept of God? Not saying I believe in God, just that we can't exactly prove there is not God. I know.... I know.. you can't prove a negative... Actually you can and I posted that in another forum.
How do you prove a negative like There is no God?
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Washingtonville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theophane View Post
How do you prove a negative like There is no God?
In theory... http://departments.bloomu.edu/philos...eanegative.pdf

However, lack of proof does no give proof of something. Lack of proof is lack of proof. It gives no results either way.
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
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A provable God would be just another natural phenomenon, and thus not a God at all.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
Indeed it is entirely likely that if there was a god that the same effect as I describe could still come about because people interpret that god, and its message, differently.

However given the lack of even an iota of substantiation for the idea that there is a god, it would appear that the effect I describe very much is because of the lack of existence of the entity, rather than our misinterpretation of an existing entity.
So, if you cannot understand something, you draw conclusions anyway?

Quote:
That is entirely up to the person claiming it exists to define. If someone wants to claim there is a god then it is up to them, not me, to tell us what they mean by that word.

For example some people on here think god is anything you want to call god, and therefore god must exist because they have called something that does exist "god". You do this by essentially equating god with feelings like love and cuddles.

Such "arguments" simply bore me. They are not discussing god. They are just playing with language in order to attain a position that is otherwise untenable. If you want to go around relabeling things, fine, it is not the discussion I have been having.

The concept of god I argue against is any concept that is based on claiming that a non human intelligence exists and it is responsible for the creation and/or subsequent maintenance of our universe. This appears to be what "god" means in the major religions like Christianity and Islam.
Similarly, I get bored with the recanting of the same grandpa-in-the-sky version of God... especially when Atheists accept this defintition from Theists, only to reject it. Consider the power of definitions (esp. the definition for God) has!! Enormous power - for good or bad. Why are you going along with a twisted definition? It's like saying, "God is a unicorn. I don't believe in unicorns, therefore there is no God." What's ironic is in one's passion in denying God, one is actually pursuing God (which is the energy/passion that drives life) - although I'd consider it more of a dysfunctional illusion, because fighting against anything is fighting. You must offer something better in its place. What can you offer in exchange for the hope & drive people feel, believing not in current truth, but in the possibilities of truth?

I believe GOD must be redefined... not denied. Denying a higher power or energy is like saying you know all there is to know - but nobody does. It is also denying energy. Yet, we know we are made up & even expressed by energy. Also, consider that dark energy/matter makes up & permeates aprox. 95% of the universe... It's invisible but only known by its influence.

Last edited by SuperSoul; 10-18-2011 at 05:39 PM..
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanspeur View Post
Hmmm, I guess that would make religions a collection of delusions then.
The evidence pretty much makes that obvious.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
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Bertrand Russell on God (1959) - YouTube
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
So, if you cannot understand something, you draw conclusions anyway
I never suggested any such thing. Keep your words out of my mouth please, I clearly have more than enough of my own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
I get bored with the recanting of the same grandpa-in-the-sky version of God
As do I, which is why I use a much more generic definition. I talk of a non human intelligence which exists and is responsible for the creation and/or subsequent maintenance of our universe. I also do not talk of "proof" but of "any argument, evidence, data or reasons which lends the idea even a modicum of credence".

Yet despite my more generic definition and an easier to attain standard of substantiating the claim, people STILL have nothing to offer. This is telling in the extreme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
It's like saying, "God is a unicorn. I don't believe in unicorns, therefore there is no God."
Yet many people on here wish to do the exact same stupid thing, only in reverse, by saying things like "God is the feeling you get when you get a hug. I believe in that feeling, therefore there is a god".

There are users on here that simply equate god to nature and since nature exists god exists. They are merely playing with definitions and wasting all our time. You yourself in your last post appear to simply equate god with anything that is higher than our current understanding. Again, play with definitions all you like but that is not what most people mean by god nor what the religions (the thread is about religions not gods) are based upon.

The fact is that such gods are not what the major religions are based around and as such are not what I am contesting or what this thread is about. The major religions are based more on what my generic definition of god above claims.
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
...The fact is that such gods are not what the major religions are based around and as such are not what I am contesting or what this thread is about. The major religions are based more on what my generic definition of god above claims.
The thread topic asks, "Is all religion delusion?" Religion is based around a concept of God. I'm exploring the concept of God.
Where is the rule that we must define God as "major religions" do?
We all are illusional in our thinking... Atheists & Theists... because we are only aware of a tiny part of reality, yet regularly draw conclusions anyway.
We just need to learn to choose functional illusions over dysfunctional illusions.

My guess is that many Athiests' motives for arguing against the belief in God are because they've learned of how such a belief has caused mass killings & other suffering. They may also be motivated because they or others they care about were depressed because of fear & shame taught by some religious doctrine interpretations. Some may have simply clinged to science & want to convince others to do so too. Those are understandable motives, yet simplifying belief in God to ONLY that, is like seeing with just one eye - a flat perspective, instead of a united, 3-dimensional perspective.

God could be defined in many ways, but I think in essence, God is ENERGY. God represents motivation - for the future. IE: I found a flyer for a 5k race & decided to try to beat the challenged time. I'd never run one & wasn't used to running for exercise & I only had 2 weeks to train. Some told me it was impossible for me, but I believed in the possibility anyway. The 1st time I timed myself, I took 13 minutes over the time. So, the current reality at that time, was that I was running too slow. Yet, I still believed I could do it... kept training & I beat the time with a couple minutes to spare! That's faith... which some call God... hope in the truth of possibilities.

People need hope - they need motivation - to contribute in positive ways to society. A belief in God can either inspire fear & shame or hope & motivation.
So, doesn't it make sense to redefine God so it inspires others to think, feel & behave in functional ways?

Last edited by SuperSoul; 10-19-2011 at 02:44 PM..
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
One time a panicy Ned Flanders called Reverend Lovejoy and the conversation went something like this:

Ned: What part of the bible should I read to help me?

Lovejoy: Any part will do. They're all about the same.

The same goes for religions. They all have the same basic messages that may help you deal with the situations you face in your life, but please avoid the silly dogmatic stuff like dietary laws or dress codes.


I think you missed the point of The Simpsons. It's social satire.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:25 PM
 
7,811 posts, read 5,081,177 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
The thread topic asks, "Is all religion delusion?" Religion is based around a concept of God. I'm exploring the concept of God.
Then maybe we can agree that religion is somewhat delusional. You agree with something I say all the time. Religion is based around the concept of god.

There are many differences between Islam and Christianity. I am sure you agree with that too so we are 100% agreed so far.

However at their heart Islam and Christianity are based around the same thing. The idea that there is a non human intelligence... an intelligence that is not human.... and that this intelligence is responsible for either.... or both of.... the following.... the creation and subsequent maintenance of our universe.

Yet there is NO evidence... NO arguments... NO data... NO reasons to substantiate that core claim. So yes, given the unsubstantiated nature of the core claim of all these religions, I would therefore be forced to call those religions delusional.

To give an analogy... there is no evidence, arguments, data or reasons to suggest you can fly without the aid of technology. That you, on your own, with no technological assistance... can fly. If you built an entire world view around that core idea however, would I not be justified in calling your world view "delusional"?

As long as someone insists on building a worldview around a core unsubstantiated claim, I have no choice but to call their world view delusional. Not because I want to. Not because it makes me feel good. Not because I make money from it. Not because it sounds good. I simply have no other choice but to label it thus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
My guess is that many Athiests' motives for arguing against the belief in God are because they've learned of how such a belief has caused mass killings & other suffering.
Your guess would be wrong, at least anecdotally for the atheists I have met... but I have something of a strong anecdote given I am a founding member of Atheist Ireland and I helped run, organise and execute the 2011 AAI conference in Dublin. So I know quite a number of atheists.

And what I can tell you is that the main motivation for arguing against god is that most atheists argue not against god, but against ANY idea that is unsubstantiated. That is all. If you understand what one sentence you will understand atheists more than most people do.

The word is full of ideas. Ideas are great. Some of those ideas turn out to be right, some wrong. Some of those ideas come to us.... even the wrong ones.... with reasons to think them credible. Some ideas however.... like UFO abductions, god, a still living elvis and homeopathy..... come before us with literally no substantiation at all. Not just a little, but NONE. People such as me, and most atheists, merely dismiss unsubstantiated ideas on face value.

Again if you want to really understand atheists and why they are the way they are, then put down your strawmen and really read the last two paragraphs.

-------------------------
PS just for the sake of transparency, you PMed me just now objecting to my use of the word "stupid" in the above posts. Why you PMed me with it rather than replying here I am not entirely clear on, but I will give you my response here.

I think ideas are fair game. I am happy to call ideas stupid. In doing so I am not calling the holders of such ideas stupid. Some of our most brilliant and intelligent minds have held the stupidest of ideas we have ever heard. Newton would be a lovely example. No one would doubt either his intellect, nor my respect for the man. Yet some of his ideas were Stupid. Egregiously so. So before you take offence at me using the word stupid again and getting all haughty in PM with me, ask yourself am I directing that word at an idea or a procedure.... or a person or a group of persons. When you find me doing the latter THEN you can get on your high horse PMing me and I will apologise profusely. If you find me doing the former however, then save your breath, you will get no apology or regret from me.
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