Some Questions for the Atheists Here

Discussion in 'Off-topic Discussion' started by Deleted Account, Apr 21, 2017.

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  1. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    Yes, we are all 'religious' animals... in so far as belief is primary. It is our natural adolescent state. Since the Enlightenment, we considered ourselves more adult-like and autonomous; we reasoned out our beliefs for ourselves, where some stayed with a rational religion, and others became sceptics. And yet some have also returned to the old beliefs, for they lost the optimistic faith in reason, and learnt the true principles of criticism.

    Criticism is aware of the limits, and is itself an enlightened form of skepticism. The divide that exists now is between the old orthodoxy and a post-modern 'anything goes'. It seems reason has run its course.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  2. Bowcaster

    Bowcaster Fapstronaut

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    Not you specifically but here are some interesting quotes:
    I have not researched this thoroughly but I am quite certain that it is simply incorrect. In general religious areas have (drastically) lower crime rates.

    As to violent crime. Religious people are certainly more prone to political/ideological violent crime, but there are plenty of violent crimes that aren't political or ideological (gang violence etc..). Of course terrorism gets more news but overall I don't think that religious are more violent. In any case "most people who commit violent crimes" are religious is far off the mark.

    This is just a lack of knowledge of theology and of religious philosophy.
     
  3. AscendRestore

    AscendRestore Fapstronaut

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    Nope. I've had my fill of 30 years of Christian formative teaching from both Catholic and Pentecostal traditions.

    How can you be sure that theology correctly tells you about God, and doesn't instead just tell you the 'rules of game' for getting along with other people who share this theology? I mean - pick a religion you disagree with... surely it's easy to see that people of that religion only believe those things because it makes their day to day relationships easier.
     
  4. Bowcaster

    Bowcaster Fapstronaut

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    I don't want to be rude, but many of my friends are atheists that went to Jew school for most of their lives. Surprisingly all of them (literally 100%) know almost nothing about Judaism. Even worse their "credentials" make them think that they know more than I do because I became religious only a few years ago.

    Not saying you're like them, but I don't judge people by their credentials but rather by their words (at least ina scholarly discussion, otherwise I judge by their actions).

    I cannot quote any Chirstian sorces but Maimonides makes it very clear that G-d's mind is not like ours. G-d is unity. He is infinite and limitless and has no divisions. Thus his mind is not separate from himself, for how could it be? He is everything! Mind incuded. Your understanding of G-d seems to be that he resides within our universe and therefore contained by our rules of physics. This is not true. He has no body because he is not physical, he has no need for neurons. He is above the physical, he created the physical and all the laws of physics as well!

    You can argue that such a G-d doesn't exist, but saying that he couldn't have a mind without a body is a non-applicable and nonsensical argument if we are talking about the monotheistic Judie-Christian G-d.

    Read through the first 10 pages of the Mishna Torah.

    As to my views being formed by my community just to make social exchanges easier. I know that's not true because I chose to become religious, and I chose to join this community. I could have stayed accepted with my secular community. In fact in that respect it has made my life harder because most of my friends are secular and disagree with me.

    And lastly to picking a religion I don't like. More than a religion I believe monotheism. Though I have theological disagreements with Christian's and Muslim's we all believe in the same G-d and philosophers of all three religions have described Him (that is.. as much as it is possible to understand and describe his greatness) in shockingly similar ways.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
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  5. Have you heard of preterism?
     
  6. AscendRestore

    AscendRestore Fapstronaut

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    @Bowcaster Okay. It's not that I even have to argue that that God doesn't exist - I just know that that definition is not specific enough. It verges on a contradiction in terms because human kind knows of zero minds that exist without bodies.

    Being infinite and limitless and a unity makes it sound like he is a kind of mind that cannot think at all, because thinking is a process and an infinite god can never not be the entirety of every process at the same time. The mind of god doesn't learn, because that would mean it lacked something. The mind of god doesn't sense things - because that would imply there are things yet for it to sense. The mind of god cannot care about us because that would imply that it could be deprived of us, but its limitlessness could never include deprivation.

    In short. This is not a mind at all. No neuron, no process, no sensation, no cognition, no need for memory, no dreams, no error, no body with which to feel emotion. It's almost like 'mind' is a redundant word.

    It's almost like the definition for god is so unruly that we can't be held accountable for believing in it or not because it makes no sense.

    And so, given that I cannot comprehend ... and he is meant to have authored the limits of my comprehension ... he can only judge himself, his design, and never my faith or lack.of it, because he has made himself incomprehensible by giving us minds-that-are-bodies.
     
  7. AscendRestore

    AscendRestore Fapstronaut

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    Heard of. Mostly considered heresy. And if true.... then largely ineffectual in terms of my life.
     
  8. With all due respect to believers of all religions I will now give my opinion, not a fact about anything, just my opinion. And a disclaimer, I got nothing against you believing in some deity. You could believe in pink pandas from Jupiter who will come and save us from the giant strawberry hippo in the marshmallow apocalypse and I'm totally cool with it, that said, here we go...

    I had a long journey to atheism, I grew up in a Christian home, but my parents never pushed any specific brand of Christianity in me. Not catholic, not protestant, we were just Christians, that's it. This gave me a wider perspective, it allowed me to observe denominations from the outside, and what I realized early on in life, was that for everyone to believe in the same god, it was strange that they couldn't agree on anything. I never doubted early on about his existence, but this was influenced and strengthen by my parents, who when I asked if god was real they replied yes, so why not believe your parents?

    I got into a Pentecostal church when I was a teenager and I was a "Born again" Christian. I preached about the bible everywhere, I sat and read the bible for hours. I did find it strange that when I went to church they would never point out the terrible things written in that book, they would just skip over those bits and just preach the good stuff. Still, that didn't make me lose my faith, but I started to doubt the church.

    In time I stopped going to church, and I began doing some thinking of my own, and I realized that there were more than a thousand Christian denominations, none agreed with each other, and everyone interpreted the bible in their own way. One thing that bothered me a lot, was how they told me that Jesus was God himself, and that made no sense to me. Jesus is supposed to be god's sacrifice to us, so that he can forgive us for our sins. In ancient times people would sacrifice a goat, and it wouldn't be just any goat, it had to be the healthiest and the one you loved the most. So it made sense for Jesus to be God's favorite for him to offer his son as a sacrifice, and also, it bothered me that Jesus is often quoted to speak in third person praying to god, so, he's praying to himself?

    This is where I figured that maybe, the bible wasn't really god's word, I was thinking that men through history messed up and made up stuff along the way about god, and god wasn't this destructive force of nature, that needed to sacrifice himself to forgive us from himself. The more I thought of god's actions in the bible, the more he started to sound ridiculous to me. Like Adam and Eve for example, if God was so happy with his creation, why did he make a loophole such as the tree of knowledge. If Adam and Eve were to fill the earth with people, who have free will and can make a mistake, it would have been a matter of time for someone to get curious and eat the freaking fruit, so putting the tree there was a mistake, and god is not supposed to make mistakes.

    Noah's ark was also a stupid story, since God is all powerful, he could've just come down and scare the living hell out of everyone and tell them to get in line, instead he chooses a 600 year old drunk to make a boat to carry a pair of every land animal on the planet for 40 days, which made no sense since animals would have had to swim and not every animal fits on a boat and what did they eat? I mean the list goes on, so I stopped believing in the bible.

    So first it was the church, then the bible, I still believed in god, as an outside source, but if we go into definitions my god was a deistic god. He wasn't petty or cruel, he just created stuff and let it roll on it's own. In time however I stopped seeing the need for god when I became more knowledgeable with science. And the more science I learned through research, the less important god became to me.

    The day I really sort of doubted the existence of god for the first time was after I watched this clip...




    I was laughing so, I had already had these thoughts in my head. I watched lots of debates between Christians and Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris. I listened to every debate, I watched movies such as Zeitgeist the greatest story ever told, Religulous, The god who wasn't there...

    I just one day stopped believing, and here I am.

    I don't believe everyone can be an atheist, you have to doubt in your heart, and be uncomfortable with what the church teaches, you have to see the errors and dumb stuff from the bible, to appreciate science and understand it.

    It takes work to become an Atheist

    Believing is just easier in my opinion, no effort, just blind belief, no offence.
     
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  9. Poseidon

    Poseidon Fapstronaut

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    Can anyone prove that it did happen?
     
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  10. AscendRestore

    AscendRestore Fapstronaut

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    This is a really frustrating thing to digest.
    We have a perfect man/deity that lives a perfect life, fulfils hundreds of prophecies, performs miracles, conquers sin and death, dies and is resurrected. Then in Acts he appears to believers in many ways proving beyond doubt (ie. does not require faith if you have proof beyond doubt) that he is alive, allows Thomas to touch his wounds. Basically he is Neo in the Matrix, can go anywhere and do anything - could help his disciples spread the word to Antarctica and Mars. He's won!

    But.

    "Oh, hey guys. I have a better idea. This real, true, living, solid God that can speak directly to you without any mediation, well... I'm going to float up into the clouds and replace myself with a totally invisible spirit instead. Yeah, that will work. Because ... hmm, even though I am an infinite God I still have to do weird things such as "labour" and build a place for you in heaven. I know that if I stayed Christianity would be the only religion whose God is real and present on Earth, but I think that just makes things too easy, it would beat out all other religions basically overnight... I mean... I could just materialise inside every emperor's bedroom and make them believe in me, the whole world would convert in a matter of weeks. But, nah, I am going to leave all the hard work up to you guys.... who will waste millennia arguing about theology and amassing wealth, starting wars and genocides and basically not doing what I want you to do. I'm not even going to write a single thing down because I like, believe you have really good memories and won't ever make any mistakes in recording what I've done. I say I am coming back soon, but... could be a few thousand years, eh."

    Beyond fucking frustrating - and we're supposed to think that this is the greatest intellect possible? What could possibly be the rationale for this - other than it is just a fake made-up story that makes no sense?
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  11. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    If you could rationalize faith then it would not be faith. But there is an alternative faith at play here; the faith in Reason. But when Reason is truly critical with itself, as opposed toward religious faith, then it understands its true nature as a faith itself. The most honest of thinkers know they do not know, along Socratic lines, and then you are left with a radical choice between faiths. The will is central. And then you start thinking of other ideals, such as Goodness, Beauty, and Unity that serve to counter-balance the claims of Truth. This is why there exists on this planet artists, scholars, monks and Priests besides scientists.
     
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  12. AscendRestore

    AscendRestore Fapstronaut

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    Hmm, when I am truly critical of reason - I realise that all the feelings of certainty, profundity, security and interest that I have could just be illusions - mistakes or mirages of evolution that exist just to get the most people to pass on their genes. So why should faith be any different to this? It's just an illusory mechanism to get people to breed.

    NoFap itself exists only because our bodies are too good at picking up breeding-like behaviours. And giving up masturbation could be as good as giving up on faith (if faith means getting excited about the idea of something that never fully materialises, then it is like porn in that respect, an image our brains play with to increase dopamine).
     
  13. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    This is doubt. The mind's function is to exercise doubt... moderately not radically [radical doubt is a from of addiction in my opinion- ad- diction.. to words]. Faith though is not so much a movement of the mind. You have natural instincts and feelings, and the mind then allows them to develop. In this view faith is natural as opposed to artificial. It starts at a very simple level... and builds into forms of art and philosophy, through aesthetic experience.. it then tends to culminate in some form of religious faith. This is a process that leads to what was called magnanimity of mind. The mind in this picture is like a rider on a horse. The central you is the horse. With the mind in right control, the horse is neither repressed [moral and I would add rational repression/ egoism], nor allowed to bolt [addiction].
     
  14. AscendRestore

    AscendRestore Fapstronaut

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    Okay - so it's kind of a cultural glue that holds different sets of social concepts together, which would otherwise disintegrate if hunger and strife took over?

    That is a fair definition, but to me, I just call this 'learning' and not 'faith' - but, why argue over labels, I hear ya!
     
  15. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    Yes, there are fundamentally differing worldviews at play here. The question is which is the most coherent, which worldview can most effectively incorporate all the aspects of our existence.. where our own psyche can overcome its divisions and experience something like harmony.
     
  16. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    Sure, but there is no 'God's eye view' involved here, where one looks from the outside, from some sociological, objective, or 'scientific' perspective. You, the thinking you, is inescapedly the subject. And that subject is caught up in this intelligible and psychic development, which is the stuff and drama of life. Life is an existential adventure which you must participate in. You can not afford to be a mere spectator.
     
  17. NZT 48

    NZT 48 Fapstronaut

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    My questions to atheists are :

    1. It has been scientifically proven that the Big Bang occurred, nobody denies this. But how do you think the Big Bang came about in the first place? Scientific laws state that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, what is your view on this? How is it physically possible for such a vast universe to come from absolutely nothing?

    2. If you believe in evolution, can you really believe that this all came from 1 basic cellular organism? In this day and age we only know about 25% of the genes in the human body and the vastness and complexity of the body perplexes even the greatest of scientists. The reality is, most scientific professionals will tell you that more is unknown about the human body than is actually known. You truly and honestly believe that humans coming from 1 cell is plausible?

    3. Where were you before you were born? Before your mother and grandmother were born?
     
  18. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    Who is 'we'? People who say they are atheists, usually have a naive faith in science. I wouldn't say a more sophisticated view of science necessarily leads to faith, but it does lead to a more open-minded perspective on things. Science is just the mathematics of observation, and the postulation of hypothetical models.... 'our' own creation. It probably equates to only half of a person's actual lived experience. And a person's lived experience is no abstract model but real in the way science never could be. To have a naïve faith in science is to have your mind bound to an ideology.
     
  19. PanicButtonSam

    PanicButtonSam New Fapstronaut

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    I think your statistic may be flawed. I believe the number of people who have at least prayed to a god in the last year within the US is around 80 percent. So if crime rates were the same with people who 'associate' themselves with god and people who don't, you would still see four times the amount of crime coming from people who (again) 'associate' themselves with god just because of the larger group.

    And if you look at recent news many of the crimes are caused by non-Christians.
     
  20. Dake1963

    Dake1963 Fapstronaut

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    If my God you mean the Jewish-Christian God, then I think the thing that confirms my atheism is reading the Bible and other stories of the same time. So when I read Gilgamesh, etc, the story of Moses in the basket and the Flood and a semi-devine being born to a Virgin is not so original. Also, the Jewish-Christian God is really cruel and tyrannical. Not lots of Christians know that because they just don't read the Bible, but only little sections of it that they read and re-read.

    By late medieval times the idea in mainstream Christianity in western Europe was that we go to Aristotle or the experimental sciences for scientific knowledge but to the Bible for ethical / moral knowledge. I think the Old and New Testaments even fails this test.
     

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