PDA

View Full Version : The Atheist Thread


rice_web
Jun 4, 2003, 08:08 PM
The Christian thread, the Jewish thread....

Now for the real religion!

The atheist thread!

Actually, I'd like this thread to finally throw away some misconceptions on what an atheist is, and perhaps MacRumors is home to ample atheists to improve atheism's image.

Also, I'm curious to see how many atheists we have on this site. Maybe 10%? A little less? I'm guessing it's rather high compared to the national average.

wdlove
Jun 4, 2003, 08:14 PM
Isn't it just simple belief that there is no higher power? That God etc. doesn't exist? Everything happens on it's own?

voicegy
Jun 4, 2003, 08:30 PM
I'm not an Atheist.:)

edited out
---enough with the spamming---

funkywhat2
Jun 4, 2003, 08:35 PM
How about an Agnostic thread? Huh? You all just going to abuse us, leave us out? Well, I won't freaking stand for it!

Once I was an atheist. Then I took a good long look at myself and said "Self, you're looking good today. However, you are not an atheist. While you don't believe in God, you do believe in a higher order that once existed. However, this higher form could have been animal, mineral, or vegetable."

And now I believe that there was a higher order, but it does not have a major bearing on what happens today. That's how I justify all the corruption in the world. Call me insecure, but I don't feel that an all-powerful creator that has offspring who loves everyone would allow people to suffer the way that they do, regardless of what they do to piss said creator off.

shadowfax
Jun 4, 2003, 08:51 PM
Originally posted by rice_web
Now for the real religion!

The atheist thread! i like that you say it's a religion. it is, in a sense. a lot of people don't admit that, and claim it as a reason that atheism is in some way superior to "religions." that bothers me.

anyways, sorry, i'm not one either.

Wardofsky
Jun 4, 2003, 08:55 PM
Well, I wouldn't mind if there's a God or anything, but I do some things that may be considered "Sinful" such as swear (I think that's a sin) and I have an interest in girls.

So I'm agnostic.

(This thread could be considered spamming)

wdlove
Jun 4, 2003, 09:00 PM
I think that investigating different religions at a young age is healthy. It's good to know what others believe. So it's good to share different thoughts with others!

shadowfax
Jun 4, 2003, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by Wardofsky
Well, I wouldn't mind if there's a God or anything, but I do some things that may be considered "Sinful" such as swear (I think that's a sin) and I have an interest in girls.

So I'm agnostic. i don't think agnosticism is the only belief system/religion that allows you to have interest in women. a religion that proscribes such would soon find itself without progeny to propagate itself. lol :p

Wardofsky
Jun 4, 2003, 09:15 PM
Well, I have one friend who is pre-emptively (Thanks US government) against any beliefs.

I have another friend (Jewish, only, the least amount Jewish you can think of) who has nothing against only Buddism.

I s'pose I don't really like being governed by a 3rd part ET body (sounds weird but makes sense) and I tried reading the Bible once and didn't really absorb anything.

In terms of girls, I dunno, but isn't there something against lust or something?

I have a mixture of Chinese and European (Mainly Scot/Brit) descent so there is a mixture of religeons (spelling).

Giaguara
Jun 4, 2003, 09:24 PM
in the last census i was in (UK) i ticked the "religion - not obligatoy but if you answer, tick only one box" - part 3 things: catholic, buddhist and atheist. :D

that was just me - my housemates were greek orthodox and lutheran. :rolleyes:

Alte22a
Jun 4, 2003, 09:24 PM
I'm an Atheist. I think we are here by accident. An accident that made us the most intelligent animals on the planet. But when I say intelligent I dont mean we are sensible. Our planet is dying and we are taking the other animals with us. We are here apparently made by a "higher" power who ever that maybe. I mean we here like all the other "natural" stuff that surrounds us. I mean we are lucky or unlucky depending on how you look at it, for being intelligent. The way I see it we are the same as other animals. Why should we feel different and think we are particularly special? Does my pet dog think I created him? when he was "naturally" born by his biological mother. I guess we are all like little gold fishes in a huge tank. Not knowing whats beyond the 4 glasses?

But hey we have ilife. I look at my iPod I say "WOW" Apple engineers... You're amazing!!! :rolleyes:

rainman::|:|
Jun 4, 2003, 09:55 PM
i'm not quite atheist (more daoist perhaps) but i find that atheists are the only people i can have a religious discussion with-- without trying to strangle them midway through.

it takes someone not associated with any religion or church to sit back and see the fact that any organized religion at all is inherently corrupt at best and deliberatly manipulative/destructive at worst...

:)
pnw

scem0
Jun 4, 2003, 09:57 PM
I'm agnostic.

I believe there COULD be a higher power, and if there WAS a higher power, there is a CHANCE it could be the God of the christian religion (but then again, is the god of Catholics the same god of Babtists, of Episcopalians, etc?).

Alte22a
Jun 4, 2003, 10:01 PM
I was wondering does all the other animals think that there is a higher entity doing this? Just curious. One day the human race will be wiped out the pigeons would have evolved to the next intelligent spices and said that their god was human and use too feed them at Trafalgar sq (London- pigeon city)...:D

scem0
Jun 4, 2003, 10:16 PM
Originally posted by Alte22a
I was wondering does all the other animals think that there is a higher entity doing this? Just curious. One day the human race will be wiped out the pigeons would have evolved to the next intelligent spices and said that their god was human and use too feed them at Trafalgar sq (London- pigeon city)...:D

that's an..... interesting theory. http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/hmmm.gif But I prefer to think dolphins or something iwill be the next intelligent race. Satan = sea world, divine being = the little mermaid or something.

On a more serious note, animals aren't capable of free thought like that. If they were, this world would be a lil' more interesting.

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

alia
Jun 4, 2003, 10:17 PM
I come from a very multi-denominational house. My father is Jewish, my mother raised Catholic. My mother converted while she was married to my father, but kind of gave up on religion after their divorce. I was raised Jewish but never Bat Mitzvahed. I was told it wasn't important fot females. That's probably when I first started questioning the idea of religion.

I'm pretty much an aetheist now. I believe that our 'spirits' are just a complex chemical mixture that makes us individuals. When we die, and those proteins and chemicals breakdown, we are gone. I also believe in taking responsibility for one's own moral code and one's own direction in life. I think it's good to be reliant on yourself for happiness and to know that it is your actions that have brought you prosperity in your life. We make our own world.

Who said aetheists don't have a positive outlook, eh?

Anyway, my boyfriend's also an aetheist, so that works out well for us.

:)

Alia

jethroted
Jun 4, 2003, 10:19 PM
While I believe in some sort of higher power or god, I do not believe in the concept of organized religion. (not that i don't believe it exists, rather i don't agree with it's priciples.) Packing yourself into a building once a week, and adheering to a strick guideline of rules is not my idea of what is planed for us. Instead I agree with believing in the power that made all of this, and doing your own thing to appreciate it. I highly doubt that a 6th or 7th dimensional being that made all of this really cares if we swear or steal a bike. Consider yourself to be more part of something like an antfarm. If you had an antfarm would you really care what the ants did to one and other? Not likely. Would you expect them to cram into a building once a week to "worship" you? That would seem silly. So why isn't it silly when we do it to such a supreme more complicated being? The answer is, it is.

chewbaccapits
Jun 4, 2003, 10:24 PM
Originally posted by funkywhat2
Call me insecure, but I don't feel that an all-powerful creator that has offspring who loves everyone would allow people to suffer the way that they do, regardless of what they do to piss said creator off.


Didn't you ever piss off your parents, yet, they loved you and vice-versa?


[i]...it takes someone not associated with any religion or church to sit back and see the fact that any organized religion at all is inherently corrupt at best and deliberatly manipulative/destructive at worst...

I'm a believer of Christ and I'll be the first to point out hypocrisy with ANY church and that there are problems with organized religion, but I would think that 'any religion at all is inherently corrupt' is a bit overstatement.

scem0
Jun 4, 2003, 10:24 PM
Originally posted by alia

I'm pretty much an aetheist now. I believe that our 'spirits' are just a complex chemical mixture that makes us individuals. When we die, and those proteins and chemicals breakdown, we are gone. I also believe in taking responsibility for one's own moral code and one's own direction in life. I think it's good to be reliant on yourself for happiness and to know that it is your actions that have brought you prosperity in your life. We make our own world.

Where did those chemical mixtures come from. They couldnt have just appeared.

That right there proves the existance of something else, something that started mankind. But something had to create that something. Etc, etc, etc.http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/handball.gif

Creation can never be fully explained.

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

topicolo
Jun 4, 2003, 10:28 PM
Strangely enough, there've been statistical studies that have shown that people who go to church regularly actually tend to live noticeably longer than people who don't. Wierd stuff.

alia
Jun 4, 2003, 10:28 PM
Originally posted by scem0
Where did those chemical mixtures come from. They couldnt have just appeared.

That right there proves the existance of something else, something that started mankind. But something had to create that something. Etc, etc, etc.http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/handball.gif

Creation can never be fully explained.

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

The lack of an explanation doesn't proove God's existance... none of us were there when the moment (mutation) of creation occurred, and neither were the scribes who wrote the bible. I personally believe that evolution was the reason we are here today. We should just agree to disagree. I very much doubt that this thread was started to "prove" to atheists that their beliefs are flawed.

Alia

chewbaccapits
Jun 4, 2003, 10:28 PM
Originally posted by scem0
I'm agnostic.

I believe there COULD be a higher power, and if there WAS a higher power, there is a CHANCE it could be the God of the christian religion (but then again, is the god of Catholics the same god of Babtists, of Episcopalians, etc?).

I was catholic, but you can say my church leans more towards baptist than anything else. I would go out on a limb and say that, yes, we share the same God...Some of those aforementioned religions just DO things differently, i.e., praising, doctrines....

Alte22a
Jun 4, 2003, 10:36 PM
Originally posted by scem0
Where did those chemical mixtures come from. They couldnt have just appeared.

That right there proves the existance of something else, something that started mankind. But something had to create that something. Etc, etc, etc.http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/handball.gif

Creation can never be fully explained.

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

yes thats right creation can not be fully expalined but we dont need to "invent" some ET that is not accessible, to blame why we are here. From my point of view we are here because we are part of the food chain and a very elaborate one at that.

Hey Scem0 those little animate thingys you got going are pretty cool!!

kylos
Jun 4, 2003, 10:37 PM
Originally posted by paulwhannel
i'm not quite atheist (more daoist perhaps) but i find that atheists are the only people i can have a religious discussion with-- without trying to strangle them midway through.

it takes someone not associated with any religion or church to sit back and see the fact that any organized religion at all is inherently corrupt at best and deliberatly manipulative/destructive at worst...

:)
pnw

You know what Paul? What you say about organized religion is actually quite representative of human organizations in general. So you need to look at the underlying beliefs and not the organization. This has quite a few implications for belief systems and organization/dissemination/coordination of ideas in general. I'd like to discuss this more, but I have to create a presentation I'm giving this morning and finish several programs. Maybe this thread will have taken a more enlightening turn by the time I'm back (instead of simply "who's a jew/christian/atheist). I really want to discuss this more.

MrMacMan
Jun 4, 2003, 10:37 PM
Originally posted by paulwhannel
i'm not quite atheist (more daoist perhaps) but i find that atheists are the only people i can have a religious discussion with-- without trying to strangle them midway through.

it takes someone not associated with any religion or church to sit back and see the fact that any organized religion at all is inherently corrupt at best and deliberatly manipulative/destructive at worst...

:)
pnw

Gotta love daoism! Keep with the flow, if it was meant to be channged, it would have changed itself.

I'm jewish, but to me any religion that you have faith in is the 'true' religion of god.

If you think god's name is Allah, or Adonai or that god is really 3 seperate but rather all of the same being (man that is REALLY confusing, please correct me if I am wrong christians)

If I were to believe that spiritually I need to meditate to become closer to god then maybe I should be a buddhist, I'm totally screwed when I leave my parents house basically.

We lit the menorah (several spellings) and in ONE room away I have a Christmas Tree for my dad's Lutheran side, wooo!

You have 'O Singing a german Chrismas song... (http://uweb.superlink.net/czorn/music/xmas/ot.html)
And in the other we light the menorah, woo.

It is hightly improbably that a an all powerful being created us all, more likely a superior being, but probably not a 'god' as conventional thinkers would want us to think.

vniow
Jun 4, 2003, 10:44 PM
Originally posted by alia


Yay another girl!http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?s=&postid=258478

Anyhoo...I guess I would be classified as agnostic, I most definatly have a belief in something higher than myself, but I'm not exactly sure what it is or if I'll ever find out what it is, Its a personal journey that you and only you can take and everybody's different and ahhhh....

scem0
Jun 4, 2003, 10:44 PM
Originally posted by Alte22a
yes thats right creation can not be fully expalined but we dont need to "invent" some ET that is not accessible, to blame why we are here. From my point of view we are here because we are part of the food chain and a very elaborate one at that.

Hey Scem0 those little animate thingys you got going are pretty cool!!


food chain? That's a scary thought... http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/burger.gif
Just curious, but why do you think we are part of a food chain?

yeah, i like my smilies. You can get them here:
http://www.blizzforums.com/misc.php?action=getsmilies&s=

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

scem0
Jun 4, 2003, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by alia
The lack of an explanation doesn't proove God's existance... none of us were there when the moment (mutation) of creation occurred, and neither were the scribes who wrote the bible. I personally believe that evolution was the reason we are here today. We should just agree to disagree. I very much doubt that this thread was started to "prove" to atheists that their beliefs are flawed.

Alia

Notice I never said God. I just said 'something'. What that something is, I doubt we will ever know. http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/frown.gif

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

springscansing
Jun 4, 2003, 10:48 PM
I think knowing for sure there is no god is just as silly as knowing for sure there is a god. That's why I'm agnostic. You can't prove it either way, period.

alia
Jun 4, 2003, 10:57 PM
Originally posted by springscansing
I think knowing for sure there is no god is just as silly as knowing for sure there is a god. That's why I'm agnostic. You can't prove it either way, period.


My boyfriend, the other atheist in the house, wants to point out that aetheism means that one doesn't believe that God exists. This doesn't mean that they believe God doesn't exist, just that there's no proof, and hence no reason to assume that he does.

There is a difference between not believing in something and believing in the opposite. There are two kinds of atheists: one that does not believe in God and one that believes in no God.

He's of the first category.

Agnostics, however, feel that the fact that there is no proof of God does not neccessarily mean that he does not exist.

Anyway, don't know if that made things any more or less confusing!

:p

Alia

springscansing
Jun 4, 2003, 11:00 PM
No your definitions of atheism are wrong.

www.dictionary.com

Look up athiest and agnostic.

scem0
Jun 4, 2003, 11:00 PM
Originally posted by alia
My boyfriend, the other atheist in the house, wants to point out that aetheism means that one doesn't believe that God exists. This doesn't mean that they believe God doesn't exist, just that there's no proof, and hence no reason to assume that he does.

Alia
Atheism


1. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
2. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.


Agnosticism

The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.


It sounds to me like you and your boyfriend are more agnostic than atheist.

Originally posted by springscansing
No your definitions of atheism are wrong.

www.dictionary.com

Look up athiest and agnostic.

Looks like I already did it :p.

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

Alte22a
Jun 4, 2003, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by scem0
food chain? That's a scary thought... http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/burger.gif
Just curious, but why do you think we are part of a food chain?

yeah, i like my smilies. You can get them here:
http://www.blizzforums.com/misc.php?action=getsmilies&s=

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

I cant explain why we are here... But I believe that we are here by accident. We are "animals", we breath, sleep, eat and multiply. Going back to eating. Thats how we stay alive right? I mean in the beginning way before civilisation we were the hunted and the hunter. Part of the food chain right? But today we just hunt... OF TOPIC? :rolleyes:

well thats what I basically meant..

alia
Jun 4, 2003, 11:07 PM
Originally posted by springscansing
No your definitions of atheism are wrong.

www.dictionary.com

Look up athiest and agnostic.

Actually, I have been to dictionary.com. Denying that God exists is not the same as saying he doesn't exist... it's just saying that it can't be proven and therefore should be assumed to not be true.

The agnostic point of view is that... it can't be proven so no conclusion can be made whatsoever.

There's a good newsgroup... talk.atheism which goes into more depth about the subject.

The first kind of atheist I mentioned is called weak atheism and the other type is called strong aethism. My boyfriend is very interested in theology, and does a lot of research on it.

Alia

scem0
Jun 4, 2003, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by Alte22a
I cant explain why we are here... But I believe that we are here by accident. We are "animals", we breath, sleep, eat and multiply. Going back to eating. Thats how we stay alive right? I mean in the beginning way before civilisation we were the hunted and the hunter. Part of the food chain right? But today we just hunt... OF TOPIC? :rolleyes:

well thats what I basically meant..

http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/suspect.gif wow that sounds a lot like the 'virus speech' from the Matrix. A logical, good theory too in my opinion.

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

scem0
Jun 4, 2003, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by alia
[Bt's just saying that it can't be proven and therefore should be assumed to not be true.

Alia [/B]

so do you think that he can't be proven and therefore shouldn't be assumed to be true, but that it is possible that he can exist.

If you do then that is what I think, and I have always thought (and heard) of this as agnosticism, not atheism.

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

alia
Jun 4, 2003, 11:14 PM
Originally posted by scem0
so do you think that he can't be proven and therefore shouldn't be assumed to be true, but that it is possible that he can exist.

If you do then that is what I think, and I have always thought (and heard) of this as agnosticism, not atheism.

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

Then you would be incorrect. The data is the same... the conclusion is the difference between weak atheism and agnosticism. They both say that you can't prove it. The weak atheists just conclude that you should not believe in God while the agnostics conclude that no conclusion can be made.

Alia

shadowfax
Jun 4, 2003, 11:14 PM
Originally posted by alia
Actually, I have been to dictionary.com. Denying that God exists is not the same as saying he doesn't exist... it's just saying that it can't be proven and therefore should be assumed to not be true.

The agnostic point of view is that... it can't be proven so no conclusion can be made whatsoever.ok, even if you have a point, you are making yourself look really stupid.
from dictionary.com
Deny:
tr.v. de·nied, de·ny·ing, de·nies
To declare untrue; contradict.


To refuse to believe; reject.

Denying god's existence DOES mean actually saying that god does not exist. you can contest whether atheism denies god's existence, but stop trying to muddy the waters of english by trying to make a word's meaning way fuzzy.

by the way, i disagree about atheism being a lesser form of agnosticism. interesting that you used weak and strong as adjectives to it though.

alia
Jun 4, 2003, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by Shadowfax
ok, even if you have a point, you are making yourself look really stupid.

Denying god's existence DOES mean actually saying that god does not exist. you can contest whether atheism denies god's existence, but stop trying to muddy the waters of english by trying to make a word's meaning way fuzzy.

by the way, i disagree about atheism being a lesser form of agnosticism. interesting that you used weak and strong as adjectives to it though.

Okay... First of all... I am not using a fuzzy interpretation of the word deny here... This is from dictionary.com:

1. To declare untrue; contradict.
2. To refuse to believe; reject

If you'll note, there are two very distinct definitions here. The first definition is the weak atheism (it's not true that god exists, hence we shouldn't believe in God), the second is the strong aetheism (I reject any belief in God).

I didn't just come up with these definitions. Here is a bit from a web site defining aethism. The link is below it:

Consider now the sentence "God1 exists," where some definition has been previously given for the subject term "God."
Relative to that sentence, we may put forward the following definitions:

A noncognitivist is someone who declares that the sentence does not express any proposition at all.

A theist is someone who allows that the sentence expresses a proposition and who classifies the proposition as true or probably true.

An atheist is someone who allows that the sentence expresses a proposition and who classifies the proposition as false or probably false.

An agnostic is someone who allows that the sentence expresses a proposition, and who grants that he/she knows what that proposition is, but who is noncommittal about its truth or falsity on the grounds of insufficient evidence.


http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/theodore_drange/definition.html

Anyway, I'm not trying to be some weird aetheist zealot. I'm just getting a more involved definition out there.

Alia


Sorry, I forgot to put the sentence in that relates to the definitions given! :)

Ugg
Jun 4, 2003, 11:31 PM
I don't subscribe to isms. What I do like is to lay in a sunny meadow overlooking the pacific, watch the birds and the waves and the trees, feel the wind blow over my knees and marvel at it all!

Seriously though, life on this planet is an amazing experience and although I've thought over the years that I'm in one camp or the other I've come to realize that it is all too vast to be confined under one roof. Why ponder the unknowable when you can stare at an anthill all day and just wonder why those little buggers feel compelled to do what they do?

shadowfax
Jun 4, 2003, 11:37 PM
Originally posted by alia
2. To refuse to believe; reject when you reject someone, it doesn't mean, "well, maybe i like you, probably not, but i'm not sure." it means, "i don't like you. go to hell." (+or- that last part) there is nothing mediary about that. as far as your definitions of the theists and atheists, though, sure, i admit that you are right then--to the point that modern atheism has probably looked at itself and said, "hey, it's kind of hard to prove this absolutely, maybe we should lighten our position so we can seem 'stronger.' yeah, that's a good idea! but we have to keep the name, agnosticism sounds so... blecch!" whatever though. you shouldn't use the word deny.

shadowfax
Jun 4, 2003, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
I don't subscribe to isms. What I do like is to lay in a sunny meadow overlooking the pacific, watch the birds and the waves and the trees, feel the wind blow over my knees and marvel at it all! "not that i condone fascism--or any ism, for that matter. as the great John Lennon said, 'I don't believe in beatles. I just believe in me." John Lennon was the walrus. I can be the walrus too."

alia
Jun 4, 2003, 11:44 PM
Originally posted by Shadowfax
when you reject someone, it doesn't mean, "well, maybe i like you, probably not, but i'm not sure." it means, "i don't like you. go to hell." (+or- that last part) there is nothing mediary about that. as far as your definitions of the theists and atheists, though, sure, i admit that you are right then--to the point that modern atheism has probably looked at itself and said, "hey, it's kind of hard to prove this absolutely, maybe we should lighten our position so we can seem 'stronger.' yeah, that's a good idea! but we have to keep the name, agnosticism sounds so... blecch!" whatever though. you shouldn't use the word deny.

The word deny was first bought up because the dictionary.com definition of aethism uses it. I personally feel that the dictionary.com definition is on the vague side. I further defined the word deny because you seemed to have some confusion on the exact meaning of the word. In any case, I don't understand why you are attacking me. This is an open discussion about atheism. I guess all of those theologists who've spent their entire careers debating it should just throw up their hands and say... "Well, Shadowfax said we should just chuck it and go with agnosticism."

I could care less if you agree with me or not. If everyone agreed, then life would just be boring. I'm going to sleep now.

Alia

janey
Jun 5, 2003, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by alia
I come from a very multi-denominational house.
woohoo me too!
i'm atheist (not agnostic...very sure about that), my mom's christian, my dad's catholic/buddhist, my relatives are like all the same as my parents and my boyfriend is jewish :eek: :) ;) :p :D

shadowfax
Jun 5, 2003, 12:10 AM
Originally posted by alia
The word deny was first bought up because the dictionary.com definition of aethism uses it. I personally feel that the dictionary.com definition is on the vague side. I further defined the word deny because you seemed to have some confusion on the exact meaning of the word. In any case, I don't understand why you are attacking me. This is an open discussion about atheism. I guess all of those theologists who've spent their entire careers debating it should just throw up their hands and say... "Well, Shadowfax said we should just chuck it and go with agnosticism."

I could care less if you agree with me or not. If everyone agreed, then life would just be boring. I'm going to sleep now.

Alia

i'm not attacking you. that's ludicrous. i'm just belittling your opinions :)

seriously, don't take it personally. it's an argument, not a mudslinging fest.

anyways, i seriously hope that theologists don't really waste their lives with semantics. that's the linguists' department. i really don't think you clarified the definition of "deny" either. i would have just said, "well, dictionary.com has a bad definition." you'd be right, too. i can't tell you what atheisn has evolved into as a result of the last decade, or quarter-century, for that matter. i think, though, that it has evolved considerably from its original meaning, then, at some levels, really sinking at its least extreme (the "strong" ones) to the most extreme agnostics.

springscansing
Jun 5, 2003, 12:15 AM
Alia, your definition of atheism was just wrong. Atheism means you believe there is no god. Agnosticism is you believe nothing either way. It's a very clear cut thing. There's nothing muddy about either of them.

So stop bitching at shadowfox.

rainman::|:|
Jun 5, 2003, 12:40 AM
Originally posted by Kyle?
You know what Paul? What you say about organized religion is actually quite representative of human organizations in general. So you need to look at the underlying beliefs and not the organization. This has quite a few implications for belief systems and organization/dissemination/coordination of ideas in general. I'd like to discuss this more, but I have to create a presentation I'm giving this morning and finish several programs. Maybe this thread will have taken a more enlightening turn by the time I'm back (instead of simply "who's a jew/christian/atheist). I really want to discuss this more.

Yes, you're exactly right-- religion itself as a concept is not flawed (of course, communism isn't either) but we as humans will inevitably corrupt any pure system. Whether or not a god is speaking to us, unless he's talking directly *to* us, and explaining everything himself, we have to rely on other humans-- that have passed down the information (i'm using Christianity as an example here) and traditions... The religion is so old that it's been through countless governments who love to edit it to suit their needs, translations and retellings, and we as humans tend to embellish things that we believe in-- So the religion is, in this case, a very different creature than was originally conceived. I know the old arguement about God making sure everything in the church is right as rain, but read the papers to see that isn't true. This alleged God is letting us be fallible, obviously-- which means we're way off of whatever He/Jesus envisioned. If this God exists, I aim to show him that I can live my life in a productive, positive, moral manner that is beneficial to the world around me-- not that I fell into a trap 2,000 years in the making--

But like I said i'm a daoist at heart-- i believe in a force that flows throughout everything in the universe and beyond... tho i happen to believe that it is a creative force rather than stagnant (but still without sentience), and that it is affected by our own karma... none of that is really in line with most teachings...

:)
pnw

Flowbee
Jun 5, 2003, 12:46 AM
Speaking of athiests, Steve Wozniak is on the "Celebrity Athiest List" at http://www.celebatheists.com/

PS - I'm an athiest, but that doesn't mean I'm not praying for the 970 to be announced at WWDC. :p

Ugg
Jun 5, 2003, 12:51 AM
Originally posted by springscansing
Alia, your definition of atheism was just wrong. Atheism means you believe there is no god. Agnosticism is you believe nothing either way. It's a very clear cut thing. There's nothing muddy about either of them.

So stop bitching at shadowfox.

When it comes to religious beliefs or the lack of them, nothing is clear cut and there is endless room for debate. That is what makes religious debate or debate in general so satisfying. In another thread there was an incredibly long debate about the meaning of amoral. I learned a lot although I didn't agree with all that was said. To claim that Alia is merely bitching at Shadowfax is to negate the validity of their debate.

andrewlandry
Jun 5, 2003, 01:06 AM
i'm an atheist, although i dislike defining myself in terms of negatives. but i guess that is a term everyone accepts.

i'm not a big fan of making things up just because you don't currently have a better way of explaining existence.

i've gotten used to the idea that our understanding of the universe is primative and we'll all die not knowing what it was all about.

there might be a god. there might be other dimensions. there could be anything, i suppose - we just don't know.

pseudobrit
Jun 5, 2003, 01:15 AM
According to the dictionary definition of agnostic, I'm an agnostic Catholic who believes in God. Which goes to show that dictionary definitions are a sad thing to argue over, because they're not the be all and end all of the meanings and proper usage of words.

I think that God exists, but that no one can prove it -- that's why they call it faith. If you're looking to religion to prove that God exists, it's no wonder you've been so horribly disappointed and disillusioned.

There's a difference between faith and religion. It's sad that religion is what turns so many people away from their faith.

shadowfax
Jun 5, 2003, 01:15 AM
Originally posted by andrewlandry
there might be a god. there might be other dimensions. there could be anything, i suppose - we just don't know. that sounds an awful lot like agnosticism (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=agnosticism).

it really seems like you guys are just trying to call yourselves atheist for some reason while really being agnostic.

shadowfax
Jun 5, 2003, 01:19 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
According to the dictionary definition of agnostic, I'm an agnostic Catholic who believes in God.

I think that God exists, but that no one can prove it -- that's why they call it faith. If you're looking to religion to prove that God exists, it's no wonder you've been so horribly disappointed and disillusioned.

There's a difference between faith and religion. It's sad that religion is what turns so many people away from their faith. i would say that religion is part of certain faiths. religion is, indeed, a kind of faith. but if by religion you mean "organized religion," why that's totally different. there's no rule that says religion has to be organized and strict. there are varying degrees of such.

also, having faith that god exists is arguably knowing that he does, when you start to ask how you actually know anything in the first place. but i don't know if any of us really wants to go down that rabbithole.

pseudobrit
Jun 5, 2003, 01:23 AM
Originally posted by Shadowfax
it really seems like you guys are just trying to call yourselves atheist for some reason while really being agnostic.

Yes, being atheist means fully denying the existence of a God or gods.

It's the belief that God (or gods) does not exist, which is a form of faith, because that fact can be no more supported or proved than the fact that he does can.

pseudobrit
Jun 5, 2003, 01:33 AM
Originally posted by Shadowfax
i would say that religion is part of certain faiths. religion is, indeed, a kind of faith. but if by religion you mean "organized religion," why that's totally different. there's no rule that says religion has to be organized and strict. there are varying degrees of such.

When I say religion I refer to organised religion/the practicing of one's faith. It's a separate issue from pure "faith."

also, having faith that god exists is arguably knowing that he does, when you start to ask how you actually know anything in the first place. but i don't know if any of us really wants to go down that rabbithole.

Faith means more "trusting" than knowing. You can call it "knowing" but it means the same as trusting (Like when someone says "I know he'll be here; I just know it," when what they really mean is that they believe/trust/hope that someone will be there).

andrewlandry
Jun 5, 2003, 01:35 AM
Originally posted by Shadowfax
that sounds an awful lot like agnosticism (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=agnosticism).

it really seems like you guys are just trying to call yourselves atheist for some reason while really being agnostic.

yeah, i guess. but when i say that it's possible that there is a god - i mean it sort of like it's possible that i could get hit by a meteor in the next five seconds. i'm just kind of saying that it's possible to cover the bases, but it's not a theory i support. does that make sense?

pseudobrit
Jun 5, 2003, 01:37 AM
Originally posted by andrewlandry
yeah, i guess. but when i say that it's possible that there is a god - i mean it sort of like it's possible that i could get hit by a meteor in the next five seconds. i'm just kind of saying that it's possible to cover the bases, but it's not a theory i support. does that make sense?

If you do not deny the existence of God outright, then you would be agnostic.

andrewlandry
Jun 5, 2003, 01:42 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
If you do not deny the existence of God outright, then you would be agnostic.

hey, you learn something new everyday. i guess you can call me agnostic :)

honestly, i never really looked too closely at the definitions before because i have very few religious friends and the topic never really comes up.

but actually, although some dictionaries define atheist as one who denies the existence of god - the word suggests to me someone that is simply not a theist - or someone who does not believe in god. and that describes me.

shadowfax
Jun 5, 2003, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by andrewlandry
yeah, i guess. but when i say that it's possible that there is a god - i mean it sort of like it's possible that i could get hit by a meteor in the next five seconds. i'm just kind of saying that it's possible to cover the bases, but it's not a theory i support. does that make sense? i get what you're saying. you're saying that you don't see anything in the universe/your experience or whatever that seems to support the idea of a being(s) having created it. on the contrary, you see a lot of suggestions that there is no such being, but you aren't sure. you're just leaning against it.
i've known tons of agnostics--people who called themselves such. i've never met one who was right in the middle of the fence about it. they always lean one way or the other, at least a little. i think you (and these so called "strong" atheists) are just leaning toward the "no" side of the answer to the question, "is there (a) god(s)?" but you aren't there all the way, and i really think to be an atheist you need a firm "hell no!" ;)

andrewlandry
Jun 5, 2003, 01:52 AM
Originally posted by Shadowfax
i get what you're saying. you're saying that you don't see anything in the universe/your experience or whatever that seems to support the idea of a being(s) having created it. on the contrary, you see a lot of suggestions that there is no such being, but you aren't sure. you're just leaning against it.
i've known tons of agnostics--people who called themselves such. i've never met one who was right in the middle of the fence about it. they always lean one way or the other, at least a little. i think you (and these so called "strong" atheists) are just leaning toward the "no" side of the answer to the question, "is there (a) god(s)?" but you aren't there all the way, and i really think to be an atheist you need a firm "hell no!" ;)

just curious, but does anyone think that i believe that a meteor is going to hit me in five seconds? that seems to me to be a little more than leaning toward no god. thinking something is remotely (and i do mean remotely) possible is a bit different from believing it is true or going to happen or whatever.

the only reason i feel any need to say that it is possible is the same reason why anything could be possible. our grasp of the universe is too feeble to make absolute statements of any kind. physicists who are much smarter than i shy away from making definite statements about anything. it's the same reason that many accepted truths of science are called theories. it is very difficult to prove that something does not exist. and it's kind of annoying that religions get to put the burden of proof on everyone else. i think they should be responsible for proving that they are right.

i could tell you that i believe my lamp is god and no one would be able to disprove that statement. funny huh? i don't have to prove that it's true. i just say that you can't prove that it's not true.

shadowfax
Jun 5, 2003, 01:57 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Faith means more "trusting" than knowing. You can call it "knowing" but it means the same as trusting (Like when someone says "I know he'll be here; I just know it," when what they really mean is that they believe/trust/hope that someone will be there). ah, but contrast thatt with knowing knowing. you "know" you exist? you "know" you weigh 160 lb? not everyone is so sure. then you get into stuff like space--knowing that the earth is round, knowing that it revolves around the sun. it's so easy to question this stuff. so much of it people are telling you and you are believing because they have "proof." what the hell is that? it makes sense to you. wow, that gets you far!

don't try messing with your head, it sucks. by the way, don't take this too seriously, i'm mostly just being argumentative.

pseudobrit
Jun 5, 2003, 02:23 AM
Originally posted by Shadowfax
ah, but contrast thatt with knowing knowing. you "know" you exist? you "know" you weigh 160 lb? not everyone is so sure. then you get into stuff like space--knowing that the earth is round, knowing that it revolves around the sun. it's so easy to question this stuff. so much of it people are telling you and you are believing because they have "proof." what the hell is that? it makes sense to you. wow, that gets you far!

I know that the Earth is round (pear-shaped, really, if you want to be argumentative), I know I weigh 165 and I know I exist because science can tell me these things. I also know they are all relative.

Beyond science, beyond fact, lies faith. If you want to get down to it, you first have to have faith in science and what is "real" before you can trust it to tell you what is fact.

Wardofsky
Jun 5, 2003, 02:53 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
I know that the Earth is round (pear-shaped, really, if you want to be argumentative), I know I weigh 165 and I know I exist because science can tell me these things. I also know they are all relative.

Beyond science, beyond fact, lies faith. If you want to get down to it, you first have to have faith in science and what is "real" before you can trust it to tell you what is fact.

Nothing to do with the world but, does your username mean random Briton?

caveman_uk
Jun 5, 2003, 03:42 AM
I'm pretty certain there isn't a God but I'm not willing to deny there may possibly be one. It'd be nice to know there's someone to blame.

If belief makes people feel more complete and gives their life more meaning then who am I to stop them. They may be right. and they think I'm wrong. But so long as they don't try and force their views on me or anyone else or hurt anyone else I don't mind what folks believe. Sadly history shows that the believers of many religions tend to be quite keen on imposing their views on others.

vollspacken
Jun 5, 2003, 03:52 AM
Originally posted by rice_web
The Christian thread, the Jewish thread....

Now for the real religion!

The atheist thread!

Actually, I'd like this thread to finally throw away some misconceptions on what an atheist is, and perhaps MacRumors is home to ample atheists to improve atheism's image.

Also, I'm curious to see how many atheists we have on this site. Maybe 10%? A little less? I'm guessing it's rather high compared to the national average.

HEY, I'm an atheist (a real one, NOT an agnostic)... :) :) :)

I have always been since I was a kid... actually, most people I know are either atheists (mom & dad, my brother) or agnostics (most of my friends). I nevertheless always got an A in religion class (muharharhar, even in college in the US...)

but:
- my best friend is a Catholic
- my girlfriend is Catholic, too
- my Granddad hated Catholics (he was an old-school German-Lutheran Protestant)

hmm, sorry grampa ;)

I think it's wrong that most people mistake atheists for nihilists, but that's certainly not what I am.

vSpacken

shadowfax
Jun 5, 2003, 04:04 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
I know that the Earth is round (pear-shaped, really, if you want to be argumentative), I know I weigh 165 and I know I exist because science can tell me these things. I also know they are all relative.

Beyond science, beyond fact, lies faith. If you want to get down to it, you first have to have faith in science and what is "real" before you can trust it to tell you what is fact. well, i would mostly agree with you. but then i have questions. one of them is definitely "what is science?" you're relying on other people, your experience, their experience, logic... you're putting faith in those. faith is not a standalone thing. no one has faith in faith. or rather, everyone has faith in faith. but that's irrelevant. everyone puts their faith in something, or a number of things, whether that be science, self, sensory perception, god, what ever.

you say "i know i weigh 165 lb." i say "i know god exists." you say you know from science, i say because i believe what jesus said, what moses recorded, whatever it be.

that's epistemology, the way you know things. you can rely on the authority of others, perception (scientific observation), logic... but ultimately however you do it you are having faith both in what you "know" and in how you know it.

iGav
Jun 5, 2003, 05:13 AM
Originally posted by caveman_uk
But so long as they don't try and force their views on me or anyone else or hurt anyone else I don't mind what folks believe. Sadly history shows that the believers of many religions tend to be quite keen on imposing their views on others.

I'm of the same opinion, one of my biggest pet peeves is when you have Bible bashers knocking on the door, who then proceed to speak, but completely avoid the "We're Religious" angle trying to sneak into your home Poltegeist Priest style, whilst avoiding mentioning their true intentions. :rolleyes:

Alhtough a Catholic by birth, I'm an Atheist by choice...

Alot of the people I know are the same, and I think more are taking a similar opinion, especially considering how corrupt the Church is here in England.

pseudobrit
Jun 5, 2003, 06:08 AM
Originally posted by Shadowfax
ultimately however you do it you are having faith both in what you "know" and in how you know it.

But then, (just to be argumentative here) you have situations where you have faith in what you know and how you know it (science) and a different faith in what you "know" but not how you know it, because you do not seek the "how" and "why" for understanding the "what," and that's religious faith.

That's where the leap is required - to say "I know this, I trust this, but I don't know and I will never know, but I will believe anyway."

true777
Jun 5, 2003, 06:16 AM
I am an atheist, not an agnostic, and have been since early childhood. If there's anything I believe in, it's random chance. To me, most religions are an insult to intelligence.

I just read an interesting article about a small part of the human brain that is responsible for "belief in higher powers". If you electrically stimulate that part, people feel "one with the universe, touched by a greater force", etc. Obviously believers will argue that god created that part of the brain to engrain himself in his little sheep herd, but I don't think so. People who feel in tune with their surroundings probably just have an evolutionary advantage.

For me personally it's quite incomprehensible how highly intelligent people can possibly believe in god - but that's just me.

As an interesting side fact, people always say that you get religious once you're in a really terrible situation - well, my child is critically ill and between life and death, but it hasn't even occurred to me once to start praying. I'd just feel like I'm talking to the wall (which, in fact, I believe is exactly what I'd be doing).

-true

pseudobrit
Jun 5, 2003, 06:55 AM
Originally posted by true777
To me, most religions are an insult to intelligence...

For me personally it's quite incomprehensible how highly intelligent people can possibly believe in god - but that's just me.

Well, if that's how you feel personally, find a less insulting way to say it to everyone collectively. ;)

For me, I don't get a fuzzy warm feeling about Catholicism. Nor do I blindly follow the Church nor am I stupid. It's a personal and communal faith that I believe in that has nothing to do with primitive pleasure sensors or needing someone to pray to. I believe in random chance, in chaos. I don't think that God created anything specifically, nor do I care to know the details of it or explain it. That's part of the idea of "faith."

I went through a phase where I was athiest, quite younger than most Catholics. Most seem to hit it in their adulthood and never recover. I think anyone who presents themselves as a believer should be able to say the same: that they've at one point thrown all their faith away, only to come back to it for their own reasons and no one else's. In this way are the blindly faithful rooted out.

I also will never be caught trying to shove it down someone's throat (I imagine one of those types will be along shortly to tell you that even if you won't pray for your kid, they'll do the [self-serving and self-righteous] praying and step in for you, you evil sinner! ;) )

I will, however, vehemently defend the Catholic Church when she is attacked, and will do so with the timidity of a rabid Tasmanian devil. That's my family you're talking about.

WinterMute
Jun 5, 2003, 09:04 AM
I don't know, you turn your back for a second and another faith thread breaks out...;)

I've posted extensivley in the "Do you believe in God" thread and the massive religeous thread that went some way to getting Shrek banned, so here's a precis of my position.

"I'm an atheist . There is no rapture and there will be no hell, death is an ending, just as everything returns to entropy and chaos. Our purpose, as far as I can tell, is to hold off entropy as long as we are physically able.

This is not a knee-jerk reaction, I have come to this position after many conversations and arguments (some very heated) over many years. Consequently, the fact that someone has drawn parallells in contemporary events with writings that are altered in translation and by church politics means precisely nothing to me.

I hope that everyones faith is a source of comfort and strength to them, I personally find no need for it" (from "Do you believe in god" thread)

also:

"I'm reminded of the line "If god wanted us to believe in him, he'd exist"

There is no god, just try to get your head round billions upon billions of years of random events from the cosmic to the sub atomic, life is no big deal, it's just another random variation, now, what we do with our self awareness, there's a different story.

If you need the support of a belief in god, fine, I find I do not, I used to, but various events in my life made me question installed beliefs from my childhood, and once questioned in the light of adult reason and logic I decided there was no god.

The continued arguments and wars that are continually fought over this question only serve to strengthen my belief. God, Allah, Buddah, all part of the same support system, it's big business for those in power, just remember that religeon and god are almost mutually exclusive.

You want to believe in god, feel free, talk to me about it, evangelise if you must. I know I am alone in cosmos that cares nothing for me and mine, and that's just fine." (from DYBiG thread)

and:

"There is no god, religion is a tool of manipulation and oppression at its worst and a fine basis for personal growth and stable loving society at its best. I know and deeply respect christian, muslim, bhuddist and other adherants, but their world-views do not match my own.

I was raised a christian, I attended church regularly and studied the bible, but certain episodes in my life have convinced me that belief in god and religion are counter-productive to development for many people, and I now believe we are alone in an uncaring and hostile universe with entropy snapping at our heels and only our own strength of mind and body to rely on.

I am extremely happy with this position, I stand on my own and face life understanding the limits and the challenge, I expect no mercy and no second chance, I'll make my mark or I'll vanish utterly from history, either way is fine and natural.

If you need to believe and find comfort and strength in your belief, I'm very happy for you, the promise of an afterlife is persuasive, but you'll never know you were wrong, as it doesn't exist. Conversely, if it does, then I'm in for a tough ride, but if so, then the christian devil is a creation of god, and therefore physical, if you can wrestle angels, you can spit in the devil's eye.

The biggest arguments (and I mean stand-up, screaming rows) I have had about religion have been with believers who cannot accept that I have no interest in, or fear of, their god.

I can't get angry about statements about homosexuality or religious doctrine, as the basis is false in my view, similarly, quoting scripture at me means nothing as again I believe the underlying reasons for the writings to be erroneous.

I've never walked away from a discussion about religion, but I've had many give up and walk (or often storm) away from me. I don't attack belief or religion, I simply don't believe in it myself." (from shrek's religeon thread)

Conclusion: Definately an atheist, definately not agnostic.

pseudobrit
Jun 5, 2003, 09:12 AM
Thank God you're atheist. ;) :p (I love that line!)

pseudobrit
Jun 5, 2003, 09:14 AM
I like your quote: "I don't attack belief or religion, I simply don't believe in it myself."

That's a good rule of thumb to live by, like that or flipped around for a believer in a God or gods.

WinterMute
Jun 5, 2003, 09:20 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Thank God you're atheist. ;) :p (I love that line!)

lol:D

springscansing
Jun 5, 2003, 10:00 AM
How can you be an atheist?

You claim you know for sure there's no god or supreme force anywhere in the universe.

I'm sorry, but if that's true, wouldn't that make you all-knowing? Perhaps even.. godlike?

It's ridiculous to be 100% sure that there is no cosmic force anywhere acting on anything. It doesn't even have to be acting on you, it just has to exist somewhere.

To be an atheist is to be more foolish than someone who is religious. Atheism has so many fundamental and immediate flaws that its ridiculous to subscribe to it, and then insult people who are religious as being unintelligent, as some people in their thread have done.

I myself am an agnostic, because religious people have a faith which I do not possess, and atheists are idiots, which I am not.

pseudobrit
Jun 5, 2003, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by springscansing
How can you be an atheist?

You claim you know for sure there's no god or supreme force anywhere in the universe.

I'm sorry, but if that's true, wouldn't that make you all-knowing? Perhaps even.. godlike?

It's the same as having faith in God. They have faith that there is no God. I don't have the same faith. But...

Here's the key part, one you should take heed to: I don't disagree with their opinion either, because when it comes to matters of faith, the very essence of it transcends agreement and disagreement.

It is something that can be shared in some ways with others who believe and in other ways with those who do not.

One constant remains: true faith cannot be forced and it cannot be shaken.

It's ridiculous to be 100% sure that there is no cosmic force anywhere acting on anything. It doesn't even have to be acting on you, it just has to exist somewhere.

They're not -- they have faith. It transcends simple concepts of "being sure" and "existence."

To be an atheist is to be more foolish than someone who is religious. Atheism has so many fundamental and immediate flaws that its ridiculous to subscribe to it, and then insult people who are religious as being unintelligent, as some people in their thread have done.

Better watch it there; you just called a lot of people foolish and foolisher, er...

anyway, you insulted both groups in one paragraph while yelling at one group for insulting the other... see the irony?

I myself am an agnostic, because religious people have a faith which I do not possess, and atheists are idiots, which I am not.

Atheists and religious are the same -- they have faith. You do not. It doesn't matter. Stop namecalling. You're not going to convince either side.

e-coli
Jun 5, 2003, 10:24 AM
I'm Daoist. But since that's not a truly recognized religion in the U.S, I guess I'm atheist. ;)

mactastic
Jun 5, 2003, 10:26 AM
I'm an agnostic. I am open to persuasion about the existence of a higher power (though many have tried and failed to convince me) and I have no illusions about my ideas being more correct than any others. My life experiences have led me to conclude (even though I was raised catholic) that there likely is no god, espescially not a white male with a beard and a lightning bolt in his hand.
My favorite line is when Frank Lloyd Wright was asked about his faith. He was a noted atheist at a time when it was dangerous to hold that position since it was equated with the godless communists. His repy was "I put a capital "N" on Nature and call it god."
Just out of curiousity I wonder how many pagans we have on here as well.

mactastic
Jun 5, 2003, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by e-coli
I'm Daoist. But since that's not a truly recognized religion in the U.S, I guess I'm atheist. ;)

I believe it is spelled "Taoist" though your speling is the way it is pronounced.
And if I was going to pick a religion to follow it would likely be that, or zen buddihsm.

dethl
Jun 5, 2003, 10:32 AM
I am Jewish by birth, and agnostic by choice. I do follow some of the Jewish faith, but there are some things I do not accept, so I guess that makes me an agnostic Jew. I don't really know whats out there, as others have said, but I do think there is something out there.

vollspacken
Jun 5, 2003, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by springscansing
I myself am an agnostic, because religious people have a faith which I do not possess, and atheists are idiots, which I am not.

watch it boy, DON'T call me an idiot!!! :mad: :mad: :mad:

how about some tolerance instead of overzealous sense of mission??? you believe what you want and let others the freedom to not believe. PEACE!!!

my 2 €cents (and my last post on this topic)

springscansing
Jun 5, 2003, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
I believe it is spelled "Taoist" though your speling is the way it is pronounced.
And if I was going to pick a religion to follow it would likely be that, or zen buddihsm.

It can be spelt either way nowadays.

funkywhat2
Jun 5, 2003, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by chewbaccapits
Didn't you ever piss off your parents, yet, they loved you and vice-versa?

Yes, but my parents never caused me harm/let other cause me harm as a result of it.

mactastic
Jun 5, 2003, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by springscansing
It can be spelt either way nowadays.

Oh, I didn't know that. I've never seen it spelled with a D before. Weird.

Flowbee
Jun 5, 2003, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
Oh, I didn't know that. I've never seen it spelled with a D before. Weird.

http://www.daoism.net/

WinterMute
Jun 5, 2003, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by springscansing
How can you be an atheist?

You claim you know for sure there's no god or supreme force anywhere in the universe.

I'm sorry, but if that's true, wouldn't that make you all-knowing? Perhaps even.. godlike?

It's ridiculous to be 100% sure that there is no cosmic force anywhere acting on anything. It doesn't even have to be acting on you, it just has to exist somewhere.

To be an atheist is to be more foolish than someone who is religious. Atheism has so many fundamental and immediate flaws that its ridiculous to subscribe to it, and then insult people who are religious as being unintelligent, as some people in their thread have done.

I myself am an agnostic, because religious people have a faith which I do not possess, and atheists are idiots, which I am not.

Speaking as an idiot, I find it difficult to understand how many times you could miss the point in one post.

This "cosmic force" you are so sure about is what exactly? There are many forces acting upon me, gravity being perhaps the most important, but none of them created or controls this universe IN MY OPINION. (Clear enough even for an idiot).

This is a question of faith, I have a reasoned position bourne of study, conversation, argument, trial and personal conviction, you have a position based on "not being quite sure", and "maybe I'll leave a trapdoor in case I'm wrong."

Get some backbone, if god exists render his adoration to him, in return for the promise of eternal life after your death or the rapture and final battle against evil when he wins anyway and the believers all go to heaven. If god doesn't exist all bets are off and entropy gets us all in the end.

Make your choice and take a stand, or shut up and let us idiots get on with stuff we plainly know more about than you do.

WinterMute
Jun 5, 2003, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Atheists and religious are the same -- they have faith. You do not. It doesn't matter. Stop namecalling. You're not going to convince either side.

PPP shoulder to shoulder, even on these thorny metapyhsical issues:D

jayscheuerle
Jun 5, 2003, 11:55 AM
Originally posted by alia
A theist is someone who allows that the sentence expresses a proposition and who classifies the proposition as true or probably true.

An atheist is someone who allows that the sentence expresses a proposition and who classifies the proposition as false or probably false.

An agnostic is someone who allows that the sentence expresses a proposition, and who grants that he/she knows what that proposition is, but who is noncommittal about its truth or falsity on the grounds of insufficient evidence.


So a theist sees the glass as half full,
the athiest half empty,
and the agnostic says it's too hard to tell.

What do you call somebody who wishes it was vodka? - j

:D

Ugg
Jun 5, 2003, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by jayscheuerle
So a theist sees the glass as half full,
the athiest half empty,
and the agnostic says it's too hard to tell.

What do you call somebody who wishes it was vodka? - j

:D

A drinking buddy!

Flowbee
Jun 5, 2003, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by jayscheuerle


What do you call somebody who wishes it was vodka? - j

:D

Russian Orthodox?

jayscheuerle
Jun 5, 2003, 12:20 PM
I consider myself an agnostic with Taoist philosophical underpinnings (go with the flow, eh?).

To me, declaring agnosticism means being comfortable with the acceptance that I really don't know squat about the big picture in any way and that there's a pretty good chance that what I know about the little picture has some serious flaws.

I'm comfortable with the idea of being worm food with the exact same atoms that formed me being spread out through other living creatures, possibly even ending up as part of a human again (not that I'll care).

Most religions seem so uncreative, so thought up by man as to say "Wings, halos and pearly gates? This is the best the Almighty can do?". If something is out there that is grand enough to control/understand the big picture AND wants us to be a part of this understanding after we pass on, then we can't begin to fathom what it would be like. I don't believe in an afterlife, but I'd be happy/freaked out/amused to be hit by one at the end of the first reel.

Religious people often ask the question "Well even if there was a Big Bang, where did it come from, this primordial speck of energy?" Such thinking demonstrates the limits of our minds. Who says it had to "come" from anywhere? In our world, things come from places, but at the beginning of time, there were no places, there was no stuff (and there was no time). We haven't had much experience seeing how things work outside our universe.

Whatever gets you through the night people... - j

shadowfax
Jun 5, 2003, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by true777
For me personally it's quite incomprehensible how highly intelligent people can possibly believe in god - but that's just me. you must not, then, be very intelligent. or i am reading you wrong. some of the most intelligent people that have ever lived have been devoutly religious. Einstein comes to the forefront of my mind. religion is not a mark of foolishness by any means. what you are doing is looking at the world and assuming that everyone sees it the same as you, and thus couldn't possibly be intelligent and believe in god. you're right about that, maybe, but no one sees the world the same as you. at all.

shadowfax
Jun 5, 2003, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
But then, (just to be argumentative here) you have situations where you have faith in what you know and how you know it (science) and a different faith in what you "know" but not how you know it, because you do not seek the "how" and "why" for understanding the "what," and that's religious faith.

That's where the leap is required - to say "I know this, I trust this, but I don't know and I will never know, but I will believe anyway." then you're haveing faith in what you know, that god exists, and how you know it, by faith... just kidding. most religious epistemological thinkers will tell you that we do have evidence of god's existence from everything from written records of witnesses to revelations to the nature of the earth/universe to the nature of man himself, and all sorts of things. to them, this proves the existence of a god just as well as science proves anything for atheists, or anyone else who wants to rely on it.

ultimately, my point is to critique science and logic as ways of knowing. they can be very flawed, often without your knowing it. logic on the basis of what premises you are using, and science for how easily it can be manipulated by people with agendas and so on. i was using that basic example of weight, but try using science to find how susceptible people are to getting cancer from smoke, or to what extent evolution is true... it gets so damned fuzzy...

on the lighter side of things:Originally posted by Flowbee
Russian Orthodox? i move we forego this entire discussion and all convert to Russian orthodoxy for the vodka.

Ugg
Jun 5, 2003, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by Shadowfax
you must not, then, be very intelligent. or i am reading you wrong. some of the most intelligent people that have ever lived have been devoutly religious. Einstein comes to the forefront of my mind. religion is not a mark of foolishness by any means. what you are doing is looking at the world and assuming that everyone sees it the same as you, and thus couldn't possibly be intelligent and believe in god. you're right about that, maybe, but no one sees the world the same as you. at all.

Unless I'm mistaken the belief in a god or gods is not equal to being religious.

shadowfax
Jun 5, 2003, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
Unless I'm mistaken the belief in a god or gods is not equal to being religious. ok, you got me on semantics. but that doesn't hit my argument at all. extremely intelligent people have been religious.

Ugg
Jun 5, 2003, 02:44 PM
Originally posted by Shadowfax
ok, you got me on semantics. but that doesn't hit my argument at all. extremely intelligent people have been religious.

I do wonder why extremely intelligent people profess a belief in god(s) but it does go to show that belief/faith and intelligence do not go hand in hand. All the logic in the world cannot prove what doesn't exist ;)

scem0
Jun 5, 2003, 04:00 PM
As an atheist I think the cause of the Crusades, the Inquisition, and other religious mishaps are due to self-deception.

'One of the strongest forces in human life is the power of self-deception'
-Tom Morris

And might I ad, that many atheists and agnostics get themsleves into a loop because of relativism. Many atheists and agnostics thing that all truth is relative, and that there is no absolute truth. Sort of like if you set a ramen noodle package on the ground and it doesn't move you may assume that the truth is that it isn't moving. But if you change your frame of reference from the earth to the solar system, then the ramen package is rotating around the sun with the earth, and everything on it. So, a relativist is actually denying (god I'm afraid to say that word around Shadowfax now http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/yeah.gif) what he believes. He is saying that the only truth is that there is no absolute truth.
'It is not showing respect for any point of view to say that no points of view can possibly cature reality the way that it is'
John Morris (again :p)

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

bryanc
Jun 5, 2003, 04:04 PM
A big part of the problem in this thread is the very poor definition of 'atheism' given by dictionary.com.

A simple examination of the words in question may help here:

Theism: beliefs pertaining to gods. (eg, Monotheism: the belief that there is one god. Polytheism: the belief that there are many gods)
Gnosticism: knowledge pertaining to gods.

Atheism: lack of beliefs pertaining to gods
Agnosticism: lack of knowledge pertaining to gods.

There are two fundamentally different philosophical positions that are both labeled 'atheism'. 1)"There is no god" and 2)"I have no belief in god". The first is a statement of belief, and the second is a statement of *Lack* of belief. I have yet to meet someone who can philosophically defend the first position, and all the atheists I know are proponents of the second position. Yet the definition given by dictionary.com is of the first position (also known as 'strong atheism').

While most atheists would likely argue that supernatural entities like gods probably don't exist, I have never met one who claims to have proof of that proposition.

Thus, atheism and agnosticism are mutually compatible philosophies. I consider myself an atheist agnostic. I have no knowledge of gods, and therefore have no beliefs in such entities.

Similarly I have no knowledge that would lead me to believe I'm being followed by an invisible pink space pixie, and I thus have no belief that I'm being followed by such an entity. That doesn't mean I *know* for a fact that such pixies don't exist and aren't following me.

shadowfax
Jun 5, 2003, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
I do wonder why extremely intelligent people profess a belief in god(s) but it does go to show that belief/faith and intelligence do not go hand in hand. All the logic in the world cannot prove what doesn't exist ;) i don't think that core beliefs, whatever they are, are a matter of intellect at all. you can certainly get very intellectual about it, but the intellectual aspect of it, at the end of the day, doesn't prove anything. all the logic in the world can't disprove what does exist, either, ugg, so i don't see what you are getting at there. once again this is not so much a matter of intellect and logic.

Flowbee
Jun 5, 2003, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by bryanc
A big part of the problem in this thread is the very poor definition of 'atheism' given by dictionary.com.

...

While most atheists would likely argue that supernatural entities like gods probably don't exist, I have never met one who claims to have proof of that proposition.

Thus, atheism and agnosticism are mutually compatible philosophies. I consider myself an atheist agnostic. I have no knowledge of gods, and therefore have no beliefs in such entities.

Similarly I have no knowledge that would lead me to believe I'm being followed by an invisible pink space pixie, and I thus have no belief that I'm being followed by such an entity. That doesn't mean I *know* for a fact that such pixies don't exist and aren't following me.

It's always nice to read clear, thoughtful writing here. Well said. Thanks

pseudobrit
Jun 5, 2003, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
I do wonder why extremely intelligent people profess a belief in god(s) but it does go to show that belief/faith and intelligence do not go hand in hand. All the logic in the world cannot prove what doesn't exist ;)

Ah, but there's the crux: all the logic in the world cannot prove God doesn't exist either.

pseudobrit
Jun 5, 2003, 05:59 PM
I thought one of the most important lines I've heard in a movie in a long time came out of Matrix2:

"Not everyone believes as you do"

"My beliefs do not require them to."

Such a cool line, and so pertinent to the debate here today.

scem0
Jun 5, 2003, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Ah, but there's the crux: all the logic in the world cannot prove God doesn't exist either.

but it sure can prove the impossibility of such a thing. Which is why I'm agnostic. I believe it could be a possibility that God, Vishnu, or Zeus exists, but I believe they don't exist. But my beliefs aren't knowledge, because knowledge is justified, true beliefs, and I can not prove that God, Vishnu, nor Zeus exists.

pseudobrit
Jun 5, 2003, 06:25 PM
Originally posted by scem0
but it sure can prove the impossibility of such a thing. Which is why I'm agnostic. I believe it could be a possibility that God, Vishnu, or Zeus exists, but I believe they don't exist. But my beliefs aren't knowledge, because knowledge is justified, true beliefs, and I can not prove that God, Vishnu, nor Zeus exists.

So you're kind of a skeptical agnostic. Cool. I'm a skeptical Catholic. I don't know that anything's what it seems, nor do I care to know, because I can never be on the plane of consciousness that would allow such observations, but I believe that certain things are, just as I believe in God.

actripxl
Jun 5, 2003, 06:25 PM
Well everyone is free to belive what they want, myself there was a time when I doubted a belief in God then I went to college. See Im a big science freak (dental student) taken physics, chem, physio.etc. The thing is once you get past the basic sciences, you realized one thing, Science can't prove a lot. We still don't know how everything in our bodies work, you have know idea how many things in the medical field are just rough estimations, and guesses, with plenty of things we can't explain. So before you all start preaching about science learn the facts, just like religion has holes, science has just as many. Think of it this way why is it that all life HAS to be carbon based, if science were correct in its theories then there should be life other than carbon based and im not just talking about here on earth. Sure what they teach you in highschool they make it sould like Darwin's theory is law, well hate to burst your bubble, but do some real reasearch and there are some questions though unpoplular and unadvertised theories that put big holes in it. Again it is these holes in Science that led me to belive in God since there are so many things that can't be explained.

janey
Jun 5, 2003, 07:02 PM
springscansing: by calling atheists idiots, don't forget that you're basically calling the following people idiots:
Albert Einstein
Douglas Adams
Pearl Buck
Steve Wozniak
Richard Stallman
Linus Torvalds
Bill Gates
Ayn Rand
Albert Camus
Diego Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo
Sigmund Freud
Thomas Edison
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
Andrew Carnegie
Walt Whitman
Karl Marx
Abraham Lincoln
George Bernard Shaw
Joseph Conrad
Marie and Pierre Curie
Frank Lloyd Wright
Sir Alfred Hitchcock
Ernest Hemingway
Walt Disney
Langston Hughes
George Orwell
Jean Paul Sartre
Isaac Asimov
Charles Schultz
Carl Sagan
John Lennon
John McCarthy
Sir Ian McKellen
Arthur Miller
Marvin Minsky
Jack Nicholson
Christopher Reeve
Steven Soderbergh
...and many more

If you do in fact still insist that atheists are idiots, I feel really sorry for you. If you find one or two people in that list who are idiots, I don't care, but by calling all those talented, successful people idiots you are an idiot yourself.

Ugg
Jun 5, 2003, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by actripxl
Sure what they teach you in highschool they make it sould like Darwin's theory is law, well hate to burst your bubble, but do some real reasearch and there are some questions though unpoplular and unadvertised theories that put big holes in it. Again it is these holes in Science that led me to belive in God since there are so many things that can't be explained.

Darwin's theory is just that, a theory. Just like Einstein's theory of relativity. I think science does itself a great disservice by claiming to be THE answer to everything. However, for me, the theory of evolution makes a lot of sense. It can't be proved 100% but given the alternatives "On the first day..."

I don't need to have fully explained or all the holes filled for it to be believable, a boat can still be a boat whether it floats or not.

WinterMute
Jun 6, 2003, 05:09 AM
Originally posted by übergeek
If you do in fact still insist that atheists are idiots, I feel really sorry for you. If you find one or two people in that list who are idiots, I don't care, but by calling all those talented, successful people idiots you are an idiot yourself.

Yay übergeek!:D

I went for wry humour, you just slapped him round the face...:D :D :D ;)

amnesiac1984
Jun 6, 2003, 09:59 AM
I'm a scientologist. heh! I sent all my savings to this guy cos he assured me I'd get a room full of 970's after I die. :D

Seriously though, the whole "what is truth" thin gis very important. I got into lengthy discussion with groovesonic on the christians thread and he found it hard to accept my view that the "absolute truth" could not exist. Scem0's quoted John somebody had it right. I had some good ideas in my last post in the christian thread but I was wasted and didn't really know what I was saying, :p

I think what I was trying to say is that I can never have a true belief, or thats the way I feel at this point in my life, because I cannot think of something that I do not question at some point, and it makes it hard for me to believe something knowing that I have doubts. Maybe I am too unwilling to take risks, but I don't see what the risk is in this situation, I mean so what if I'm wrong? I mean I could be agnostic but I don't feel I'm the definition posted earlier, as in no knowledge of gods. I have knowledge of beliefs and agree with aspects of all sorts of beliefs like wintermutes atheism makes a lot of sense to me, but its still too sure for itself, even though I lean towards it i cannot say that is it, maybe one day I will find my own version of all sorts of beliefs mixed together that I can say is the one for me and stick to it, commited and a "believer".

I agree with the guy who put a capital N on Nature and called it their god, but I would not call it a god in the sense that it is an all-knowing conscious being, more in the sense that it is something to be respected as a powerful chaotic force. I believe in science and the theory of chaos but only because it is more logical, but logic says that you should not rule anything out, so there you go, my convoluted messed world view. Man I need to read some more philosophy, any suggestions?

jayscheuerle
Jun 6, 2003, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by amnesiac1984
I agree with the guy who put a capital N on Nature and called it their god, but I would not call it a god in the sense that it is an all-knowing conscious being, more in the sense that it is something to be respected as a powerful chaotic force.

All knowing... What is "knowing" or even "awareness"? Reductivism would show us that our knowledge, our perceived existence, is simply an organization of chemical processes, electrical impulses. It's a structured communication.

Why can't Nature have this? I'm not talking mysticism here, but perhaps even the universe as a whole has an "awareness". Certainly gravity effects over long distances, causing pulls and tugs and even devestation over long periods of time. Light and other kinds of waves can travel trillions of miles. Not that we'd register on this kind of scale, but there may be some sore of "consciousness" out there that we don't understand.

Okay Mr. Scheuerle.... Step away from the bong...:D

Kid Red
Jun 6, 2003, 10:39 AM
Firstly, Atheism is not a religion because it's practices are not based on the teachings of any higher power because we (Atheiists don't believe in a higher power). So Atheists are anti-religion to an extent. I do not believe in god, I do not believe in the bible other then some possibly true historical facts as certain places and people but not in there Greek Mythical type powers and grand stories. A young adult man and women did nmot pop up naked under a tree in the middle of a forest one day. Sorry, I'm not naive enough to fall for that.

I believe more in energy, good and bad energy. Kind of based on traditional morals and an a little 'what goes around comes around' thrown in. Not sure where I would stand other then I don't believe in god. And for those that do, it always makes me wonder how they have the balls to think/preach/attempt to convert people to their god as opposed to another religion's god(s)? Why is a christian's god any more relevant to a religious person then budda?

Long discussion, never ending debate and neither side is ever going to let in, give in or accept the possibility the other is right. So why bother? I just wanted to pop in and proclaim my disbelief in anyone's god.

I do worship my mac tho...

mactastic
Jun 6, 2003, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by amnesiac1984
I'm a scientologist. heh! I sent all my savings to this guy cos he assured me I'd get a room full of 970's after I die. :D

Seriously though, the whole "what is truth" thin gis very important. I got into lengthy discussion with groovesonic on the christians thread and he found it hard to accept my view that the "absolute truth" could not exist. Scem0's quoted John somebody had it right. I had some good ideas in my last post in the christian thread but I was wasted and didn't really know what I was saying, :p

I think what I was trying to say is that I can never have a true belief, or thats the way I feel at this point in my life, because I cannot think of something that I do not question at some point, and it makes it hard for me to believe something knowing that I have doubts. Maybe I am too unwilling to take risks, but I don't see what the risk is in this situation, I mean so what if I'm wrong? I mean I could be agnostic but I don't feel I'm the definition posted earlier, as in no knowledge of gods. I have knowledge of beliefs and agree with aspects of all sorts of beliefs like wintermutes atheism makes a lot of sense to me, but its still too sure for itself, even though I lean towards it i cannot say that is it, maybe one day I will find my own version of all sorts of beliefs mixed together that I can say is the one for me and stick to it, commited and a "believer".

I agree with the guy who put a capital N on Nature and called it their god, but I would not call it a god in the sense that it is an all-knowing conscious being, more in the sense that it is something to be respected as a powerful chaotic force. I believe in science and the theory of chaos but only because it is more logical, but logic says that you should not rule anything out, so there you go, my convoluted messed world view. Man I need to read some more philosophy, any suggestions?

It was Frank Lloyd Wright who put the capital "N" on Nature, and I don't know if he meant an all-knowing anything. He was an incredible egotist though, so it is hard to imagine he could see anyone or anything as better than him.
As far as reading, here's some stuff I've read recently:
Bertrand Russell - Why I am not a Christian
Carl Sagan - The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
Joseph Campbell - The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Rene Girard - Violence and the Sacred
Sun Tzu - The Art of War
Robert Pirsig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintanance

jayscheuerle
Jun 6, 2003, 10:45 AM
Originally posted by Kid Red
Firstly, Atheism is not a religion...

Right.

But it is a faith. - j

jayscheuerle
Jun 6, 2003, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
Robert Pirsig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintanance

That one needed more of the Art of Verbosity Maintenance. I found it to be a short story struggling to stay alive in a paperback. The concept is good though! - j

mischief
Jun 6, 2003, 11:48 AM
Okay. I take 6 weeks off and these threads start popping up like mushrooms.Here goes:

First the rhetorical questions to get us all limbered up:

? Have you ever noticed that religions in a particular person's name (ie: christianity/buddhism) are founded and written not by that person but by their followers?

? Have you ever thought that devotees who are quoted in such books are often as bad a source of accurate data about their Guru's methods and meanings as your average casual macuser is about OS X?

( Ex: Say Jesus and the Apostles were sitting around having lunch in a Diner. Jesus turns to Luke and says " Every good waiter deserves a good tip." Now Luke is high on the proximity of his Guru and his mind embellishes what he hears. What Luke relates later is " He who lives in my service shall live amongst the Kingdom of Heaven forever and ever.")


Now in terms of the whole absolute truth bit.... This is one that causes a whole lot of strife for no reason.

On the one hand, where the assumption is that relativism negates truth entirely and there is no uniting cosmic entity life has no meaning. This tends to be the view of those who have Lost Faith in a more traditional religion or who have chosen Self ans their Faith.

On the other hand the assumption is made that everything stems from the same infinite and creative All which is aware and has a Plan for it all, therefore Absolute Truth can be known only to The Creator as a result of Relativism being limited to Mortals. This is typically the belief of those who want a formula and don't want to have to think about the metaphysics of the Universe.

This is where I confuse both sides: I feel that if all of this is

1: Relative.
and
2: Part of an All Being.

Than the conclusion that fits most eligantly is that the All Being is simultaniously manifesting as all beings and manifestations of everything in all existences everywhere and throughout all of time simultaniously.

This means that all views are the truth both in individual context and as Absolute Truth if taken as a whole. It also means that there's no such thing as "Going against the will of God" because we're ALL GOD.

The bitch of this conclusion is that NO RELIGION can be more than half-right. If you want to really understand and believe deeply in Faith at a pure level you have to make your own peace with YOUR TRUTH.

That is: No Belief or Faith has any creedence unless it flows from within. This is why all Avatars have said something to the effect of " There is no Judge but the Almighty".

so the only absolute truth is that: Everyone's truth is Absolute.... but only on a personal basis. Everything else is the Ethics that are shared between the most Personal-Truths.

But that's just my oppinion, I'm sure I'm wrong to someone.;)

MetallicPenguin
Jun 6, 2003, 11:55 AM
Oh yeah Seth Green is an Atheist also.

I'm not sure if I am Atheist or not. I think I am agnostic or whatever. My father is Jewish. My mother is Christian. I have only gone to Church like twice. And only 3 or 4 times to temple because of relatives. I have no clue what everyone is talking about right now actually.

Everyone go register at my site I like these kind of these discussions and I need these kind of people on my site which has only 13 people :(

mactastic
Jun 6, 2003, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by mischief
Okay. I take 6 weeks off and these threads start popping up like mushrooms.Here goes:

First the rhetorical questions to get us all limbered up:

? Have you ever noticed that religions in a particular person's name (ie: christianity/buddhism) are founded and written not by that person but by their followers?

? Have you ever thought that devotees who are quoted in such books are often as bad a source of accurate data about their Guru's methods and meanings as your average casual macuser is about OS X?

( Ex: Say Jesus and the Apostles were sitting around having lunch in a Diner. Jesus turns to Luke and says " Every good waiter deserves a good tip." Now Luke is high on the proximity of his Guru and his mind embellishes what he hears. What Luke relates later is " He who lives in my service shall live amongst the Kingdom of Heaven forever and ever.")


Now in terms of the whole absolute truth bit.... This is one that causes a whole lot of strife for no reason.

On the one hand, where the assumption is that relativism negates truth entirely and there is no uniting cosmic entity life has no meaning. This tends to be the view of those who have Lost Faith in a more traditional religion or who have chosen Self ans their Faith.

On the other hand the assumption is made that everything stems from the same infinite and creative All which is aware and has a Plan for it all, therefore Absolute Truth can be known only to The Creator as a result of Relativism being limited to Mortals. This is typically the belief of those who want a formula and don't want to have to think about the metaphysics of the Universe.

This is where I confuse both sides: I feel that if all of this is

1: Relative.
and
2: Part of an All Being.

Than the conclusion that fits most eligantly is that the All Being is simultaniously manifesting as all beings and manifestations of everything in all existences everywhere and throughout all of time simultaniously.

This means that all views are the truth both in individual context and as Absolute Truth if taken as a whole. It also means that there's no such thing as "Going against the will of God" because we're ALL GOD.

The bitch of this conclusion is that NO RELIGION can be more than half-right. If you want to really understand and believe deeply in Faith at a pure level you have to make your own peace with YOUR TRUTH.

That is: No Belief or Faith has any creedence unless it flows from within. This is why all Avatars have said something to the effect of " There is no Judge but the Almighty".

so the only absolute truth is that: Everyone's truth is Absolute.... but only on a personal basis. Everything else is the Ethics that are shared between the most Personal-Truths.

But that's just my oppinion, I'm sure I'm wrong to someone.;)
"Don't play mind-checkers with me boy" - Hank Hill:D
Seriously though, good post. Very interesting thoughts.

pseudobrit
Jun 6, 2003, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by actripxl
Think of it this way why is it that all life HAS to be carbon based, if science were correct in its theories then there should be life other than carbon based and im not just talking about here on earth.

And who says there's not? When you get back from the trip to Cygnus Alpha 4 and find out, let us know.

Sure what they teach you in highschool they make it sould like Darwin's theory is law, well hate to burst your bubble, but do some real reasearch and there are some questions though unpoplular and unadvertised theories that put big holes in it.

Not as many hole as there are in the Big Bang theory, but that one's taught with more of an emphasis on its being accurate, plus it flys in the face of religion just as much. If Hawkings had said a word about monkeys in it, they'd be all over his theory in the same way.

BTW, I learned evolution in Catholic elementary school.

WinterMute
Jun 6, 2003, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by mischief
so the only absolute truth is that: Everyone's truth is Absolute.... but only on a personal basis. Everything else is the Ethics that are shared between the most Personal-Truths.

But that's just my oppinion, I'm sure I'm wrong to someone.;)

Surely everyone's faith comes down to that caveat.

Believing absolutely in something no-one can prove is a question of faith, be it the certainty of an organised religious faith or the intellectual lonliness of the Solipsist.

At this point in time no belief suits my world view as well as atheism, in the future, who knows? If I lose my open mindedness then I'm in trouble, and there's a truth:D

Kid Red

I don't think all atheists are anti-religion, I'm certainly not, atheism refutes the existance of a god, not the freedom to chose to believe in one.

jayscheuerle
Jun 6, 2003, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by WinterMute
Surely everyone's faith comes down to that caveat.

Believing absolutely in something no-one can prove is a question of faith...

As is disbelieving absolutely in something no-one can disprove...

;)

WinterMute
Jun 6, 2003, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by jayscheuerle
As is disbelieving absolutely in something no-one can disprove...

;)

Ohhhh Yeah!

Can you say hallelujah?

I thought you could.:D

bryanc
Jun 6, 2003, 05:14 PM
There is clearly a great deal of confusion about what science is, how it works, what it does, and, most importantly what it *dosen't* do around here.

Originally posted by Ugg
Darwin's theory is just that, a theory. Just like Einstein's theory of relativity. I think science does itself a great disservice by claiming to be THE answer to everything. However, for me, the theory of evolution makes a lot of sense. It can't be proved 100% but given the alternatives "On the first day..."

I don't need to have fully explained or all the holes filled for it to be believable, a boat can still be a boat whether it floats or not.

Empirical science can never prove anything. It can only *DISPROVE*. The objective of empirical science (of which biology is a good example) is to falsify incorrect hypotheses. That is why, for any hypothesis to be scientifically testable, it must be falsifyable. Evolution and General Relativity are theories from which one can generate innumerable falsifyable hypotheses. Such hypotheses have been generated and tested extensively, and found to be correct (i.e., they have not been falsified by the tests employed). This does not *Prove* these theories, but it does *SUPPORT* them.

Evolutionary theory has proven to be one of the most powerful theories in all of science. After a century and a half of vigorous testing, it has been supported by every methodology attempted. That still does not *prove* it in a mathematical sense. On the other hand, there is no doubt within the scientific community that the theory is fundamentally correct, and it has formed the cornerstone of all the biological sciences (and their practical applications, such as medicine, agriculture, biotechnology and so-forth).

But science makes no claims to 'TRUTH' (TM)...religions do that. Science is a methodology that allows us to separate false ideas from ideas that may not be false. As such, it has proved a most valuable tool for understanding our universe.

In contrast, religious doctrines are non-falsifiable almost by definition. Therefore they are neither of use nor of interest to most scientists.

scem0
Jun 6, 2003, 05:25 PM
Yes, Darwin's theory is just a theory that has been proven over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. Darwinism and Evolution have too much backing them up for someone thinking logically not to agree with them. But anyways, this is semi-off topic, so let's quit this mess with Darwinism and Evolution right now.

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

janey
Jun 6, 2003, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by WinterMute
Yay übergeek!:D

I went for wry humour, you just slapped him round the face...:D :D :D ;)
her not him

scem0
Jun 6, 2003, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by übergeek
her not him

Does that make it a bitch slap? http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/boxing.gif

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

Rower_CPU
Jun 6, 2003, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by übergeek
her not him

They have an identity problem.

Huked on Fonick
Jun 6, 2003, 10:08 PM
I am an Atheist....I beleve in a god but not in any religion, except maybe buddism which doesent beleve in a god, geez its complicated...

scem0
Jun 6, 2003, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by Huked on Fonick
I am an Atheist....I beleve in a god but not in any religion, except maybe buddism which doesent beleve in a god, geez its complicated...

http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/confused.gif Why don't you believe in a religion which doesn't have a god? And why is Bhuddism (maybe) and exception?

Just wondering.

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

vniow
Jun 6, 2003, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by übergeek
her not him


Umm...WinterMute was talking about springscansing who if I'm not mistaken, is a he, not a she.

scem0
Jun 6, 2003, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by vniow
Umm...WinterMute was talking about springscansing who if I'm not mistaken, is a he, not a she.

no springcansing is a she. Or at least it said it was a she earlier. :D

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

janey
Jun 6, 2003, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by Huked on Fonick
I am an Atheist....I beleve in a god but not in any religion, except maybe buddism which doesent beleve in a god, geez its complicated...
doesn't that make you a theist, not an atheist? atheist means that you don't believe in a god.
perhaps you're agnostic, you're not sure if god exists.

Huked on Fonick
Jun 6, 2003, 11:12 PM
Originally posted by übergeek
doesn't that make you a theist, not an atheist? atheist means that you don't believe in a god.
perhaps you're agnostic, you're not sure if god exists.

I think ur right i am agnostic but i dotn belong to any church, i have better things to do with my money, like by cheep beer wine and women...........so wouldent that make me athest then??? i dont know

voicegy
Jun 7, 2003, 12:28 AM
Originally posted by scem0
no springcansing is a she. Or at least it said it was a she earlier. :D

- scem0 http://www.blizzforums.com/images/smilies/twitch.gif

Actually, springcansing has claimed to be both male in one post and female in another. To me, the jury is out on this particular members' sex.

janey
Jun 7, 2003, 12:30 AM
Originally posted by Huked on Fonick
I think ur right i am agnostic but i dotn belong to any church, i have better things to do with my money, like by cheep beer wine and women...........so wouldent that make me athest then??? i dont know
lol it wouldn't make a difference, unless you do believe that there is no god.

Ugg
Jun 7, 2003, 12:36 AM
Originally posted by springscansing
It can be spelt either way nowadays.

That may be but spelled is still the correct spelling of the past tense of to spell, just as smelled is the past tense of to smell unless you're talking about those little fish called the smelt. Unless of course, you are an anarchist when it comes to grammar like Huked on Foniks. Although I sort of like the idea of phonetic spelling it seems like some times it's more trouble to do it that way than it is to memorize the correct way.

janey
Jun 7, 2003, 12:52 AM
Originally posted by Ugg
That may be but spelled is still the correct spelling of the past tense of to spell, just as smelled is the past tense of to smell unless you're talking about those little fish called the smelt....
I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, lough and through?
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and and sounds like bird,
And dead: it's said like bed, not bead --
For goodness sake don't call it 'deed'!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).

A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear;
And then there's dose and rose and lose
Just look them up -- and goose and choose,

And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart --
Come, come, I've hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I'd mastered it when I was five!
And yet to write it, the more I tried,
I hadn't learned it at fifty-five.

Ugg
Jun 7, 2003, 01:00 AM
Originally posted by übergeek
I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?........
\

I've never seen it before, thanks for posting it! I didn't want my post to sound too critical, I apologize if it came across that way. Just trying to point out the vagaries of our language. It's a wonder that the dominant language of business and cultchuh in the world is the messiest.

WinterMute
Jun 7, 2003, 06:19 AM
Originally posted by voicegy
Actually, springcansing has claimed to be both male in one post and female in another. To me, the jury is out on this particular members' sex.
The post I and others replied to was so male in tone that I assumed a man had written it, but on reflection it could have been a woman.

The language seemed too blunt to be female, in my experience, when a woman wants to rank you out like that they are a little more subtle and elegant.:D ;)

janey
Jun 7, 2003, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
I've never seen it before, thanks for posting it!...
np :p that part of your post reminded me of that poem so much that i just had to go on google to search for it :) it's called "A Dreadful Language".
Originally posted by WinterMute
The language seemed too blunt to be female, in my experience, when a woman wants to rank you out like that they are a little more subtle and elegant.
heh not always :) women are almost always never more subtle or elegant :) well, at least i'm not