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Is there a God?

  

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  1. 1. Is there a God or Gods?

    • Yes, there is one God
    • Yes, there are many deities
    • There are no gods/God
    • I am unsure
    • Other (please specify)


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It's called an exception to the rule - I'm speaking on a general basis here. I'm not saying there isn't ignorant atheists - they are probably worse than some ignorant theists out there. On the whole, I'm not wrong.

 

EDIT - it depends where you're at actually. If you're closer to the Bible belt, there is. If you're farther from it, it's more lax.

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EDIT - it depends where you're at actually. If you're closer to the Bible belt, there is. If you're farther from it, it's more lax.

[citation needed]


 

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I see nobody has mentioned that the average atheist knows a lot more about Christianity than the average Christian, as proven by several polls.

 

Most people who claim to be Christian also aren't practicing that faith. It's like you said about laziness, people will claim it out of habit because they were born into it. You'll see this happening everywhere - not just limited to the Christian faith. It's just the most talked about because it's still in the majority (but losing ground) in the western world.

 

It's called an exception to the rule - I'm speaking on a general basis here. I'm not saying there isn't ignorant atheists - they are probably worse than some ignorant theists out there. On the whole, I'm not wrong.

 

When others speak on general basis here, they are called wrong because they cannot present evidence for the clear contradictions in their opinions. That's the problem I had, and I had to accept it. I think it's only fair to hold everyone else to the same standard, to get anywhere productive here...

 

 

EDIT - it depends where you're at actually. If you're closer to the Bible belt, there is. If you're farther from it, it's more lax.

[citation needed]

 

I recently moved to the "bible belt" area in Western PA to be closer to my extended family. I wouldn't say that there's pressure to go to church at all. The only way that I could say I relate to pressure, is that most people here just go to church, and lots of the community social events are held at our local churches. That's really all there is in ways of 'pressure', and it's seriously overstated by others.


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A lot of athiests remind me of the hardcore nationalists who dislike immigrants due to a few bad eggs. They have very little knowledge of them, yet try to judge them and what they should be able to do.

Dat irony.

 

Sounds like most Christians I know.


SWAG

 

Mayn U wanna be like me but U can't be me cuz U ain't got ma swagga on.

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A lot of athiests remind me of the hardcore nationalists who dislike immigrants due to a few bad eggs. They have very little knowledge of them, yet try to judge them and what they should be able to do.

Dat irony.

 

Sounds like most Christians people I know.

 

Fixed that for you. That's a specific trait of human nature, not traits you'd only find in Christians. People are naturally opposed to things that are different than their beliefs, their appearance, etc. That's why people tend to take offense to statements like that - why Assume got upset with Danq for his personal beliefs that were based on belligerent people.


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I see nobody has mentioned that the average atheist knows a lot more about Christianity than the average Christian, as proven by several polls.

 

Most people who claim to be Christian also aren't practicing that faith. It's like you said about laziness, people will claim it out of habit because they were born into it.

That's actually a pretty good point - a lot of those who claim to be of the Christian faith don't really believe everything that the religion entails. It raises the question - what defines Christianity? It's pretty clear that the acceptance of 'Jesus' is insufficient here.

 

It's called an exception to the rule - I'm speaking on a general basis here. I'm not saying there isn't ignorant atheists - they are probably worse than some ignorant theists out there. On the whole, I'm not wrong.

 

When others speak on general basis here, they are called wrong because they cannot present evidence for the clear contradictions in their opinions. That's the problem I had, and I had to accept it. I think it's only fair to hold everyone else to the same standard, to get anywhere productive here...

So you submit that it's a fruitless exercise as there's no public data on this. We're all operating on personal experience - and it's difficult to prove who's right. Fair point, but I'm equipped with an explanation of my theory as opposed to no explanation by my detractors.

 

EDIT - it depends where you're at actually. If you're closer to the Bible belt, there is. If you're farther from it, it's more lax.

[citation needed]

 

I recently moved to the "bible belt" area in Western PA to be closer to my extended family. I wouldn't say that there's pressure to go to church at all. The only way that I could say I relate to pressure, is that most people here just go to church, and lots of the community social events are held at our local churches. That's really all there is in ways of 'pressure', and it's seriously overstated by others.

I think there's a little difference between pressure on theists to attend church, to pressure on atheists to convert and start attending.

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I think there's a little difference between pressure on theists to attend church, to pressure on atheists to convert and start attending.

 

Mm. Maybe, but I don't really think that's the case here. Either way, in the eyes of my ultra-religious cousins, my soul is damned for not practicing faith and acts in order to "obtain salvation" in the same way an atheist is supposedly damned, no grey area.

 

Then again, I hate my family and they're probably not the best indication of the population of this area. For example, one of my cousins frequently say that Obama is the antichrist. Herpaderpa.

 

EDIT:

 

 

It raises the question - what defines Christianity? It's pretty clear that the acceptance of 'Jesus' is insufficient here.

 

I was taught ages ago that it was a combination of good acts and faith & adherence to the teachings of God/the Christ that was the marks of a "true" Christian. I wonder if anyone else here was taught differently (anyone else who adheres to Christianity that is.)


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Of course there's no pressure to go to church if you're already a theist. But if you're in a social circle of mostly theists and you come out as an atheist, you better believe there is pressure to conform. I have personal experience with that... I won't get into too much detail here.

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It's because atheists actually take beliefs seriously

This is categorically false. As someone who switched his username from "Skeptic" to "Assume Nothing", you would be expected to know that nothing can be proven objectively, that nothing within our subjectivity can be proven if it can't be perceived (as is the case with theological questions), and that therefore, in order to believe there is no God, one has to be relatively indulgent towards beliefs. Both atheism and theism are dogmatic positions: atheism can never be proven, and theism will only ever been proven if God indubitably presents himself to us. And since you have to act as though one or the other were true, it is equally valid to act as though God existed than it is not to. You do at least vaguely sense that a skeptic who debates metaphysical issues is not following the rigorous logic which brought him to skepticism, right? Modern philosophers have been convinced for centuries that this question is a waste of time; the writing that remains discusses the problems raised by the absence of proof.


Matt: You want that eh? You want everything good for you. You want everything that's--falls off garbage can

Camera guy: Whoa, haha, are you okay dude?

Matt: You want anything funny that happens, don't you?

Camera guy: still laughing

Matt: You want the funny shit that happens here and there, you think it comes out of your [bleep]ing [wagon] pushes garbage can down, don't you? You think it's funny? It comes out of here! running towards Camera guy

Camera guy: runs away still laughing

Matt: You think the funny comes out of your mother[bleep]ing creativity? Comes out of Satan, mother[bleep]er! nn--ngh! pushes Camera guy down

Camera guy: Hoooholy [bleep]!

Matt: FUNNY ISN'T REAL! FUNNY ISN'T REAL!

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[hide]

It's because atheists actually take beliefs seriously

This is categorically false. As someone who switched his username from "Skeptic" to "Assume Nothing", you would be expected to know that nothing can be proven objectively, that nothing within our subjectivity can be proven if it can't be perceived (as is the case with theological questions), and that therefore, in order to believe there is no God, one has to be relatively indulgent towards beliefs. Both atheism and theism are dogmatic positions: atheism can never be proven, and theism will only ever been proven if God indubitably presents himself to us. And since you have to act as though one or the other were true, it is equally valid to act as though God existed than it is not to. You do at least vaguely sense that a skeptic who debates metaphysical issues is not following the rigorous logic which brought him to skepticism, right? Modern philosophers have been convinced for centuries that this question is a waste of time; the writing that remains discusses the problems raised by the absence of proof.

[/hide]

 

If you're miscategorizing what atheistic viewpoints entails, you'd be right. We don't assert that there is no God with any certainty, we simply don't believe that there is a god of any description. If you're going to argue that atheism is dogmatic, you'd have to prove or otherwise illustrate how atheists follow the same set of principles.

 

Atheism doesn't hold the burden of proof, it's a default state of skepticism. You do mention the problem of proof in terms of theistic beliefs - that this 'god' character must present themselves to humanity before it could be plausibly taken into account as a true event, but that's at the fault of the Christian. It's the way that 'God' has been defined over the years that has made this an impossible task by humanity.

 

I don't follow on anything you've said after 'And since you acted' - care to explain in layman's terms so it could be easily deciphered?

 

EDIT - according to webster's dictionary, dogma is defined to be doctrines laid upon by an authority. It'll be misuse of terminology if that's what you're calling atheism.

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Actually, there are several non-equivalent definitions of atheism out there, some of which are also incompatible with agnosticism.

 

The question in this thread in this thread is the following: "Does a deity exist?"

You and I agree this is unknowable; this is the default/neutral position. You've gone on to ask for justification for others' beliefs, which is what I interpret from what I quoted in my last post, where you made it sound like atheists' justifications for their belief in the absence of a deity is more valid. If the statement I underlined is true, these two positions are incompatible: atheists can't prove their belief, therefore it is underpinned by nothing better than a theists'--a belief being either logically validated or empirically corroborated.

One of the two beliefs, however (this is me explaining the part you didn't understand) has to be held by anyone conscious of the issue, because they direct our actions; as Pascal explained, if the answer to the topic question is unknowable, it isn't necessarily irrelevant: you either decide to go to church, or you don't; being undecided belongs to the "not going to church" realm of possible actions. At this point, it is a matter of picking the most handy belief to live your life. Considering religion as well as irreligion are largely determined by social heritage (and not only your parents' influence), that whatever choice of a belief is left is largely a matter of a subjective choice of a way of life and that, barring nihilism (you wouldn't even be posting) you have to have some similarly irrational faith in something, there is nothing to justify your contempt of religion and your praise of an atheist's thoughtfulness. Kierkegaard has more philosophy in his pinky than this entire thread, and that didn't stop him from being very religious despite his skepticism.


Matt: You want that eh? You want everything good for you. You want everything that's--falls off garbage can

Camera guy: Whoa, haha, are you okay dude?

Matt: You want anything funny that happens, don't you?

Camera guy: still laughing

Matt: You want the funny shit that happens here and there, you think it comes out of your [bleep]ing [wagon] pushes garbage can down, don't you? You think it's funny? It comes out of here! running towards Camera guy

Camera guy: runs away still laughing

Matt: You think the funny comes out of your mother[bleep]ing creativity? Comes out of Satan, mother[bleep]er! nn--ngh! pushes Camera guy down

Camera guy: Hoooholy [bleep]!

Matt: FUNNY ISN'T REAL! FUNNY ISN'T REAL!

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[hide]

Actually, there are several non-equivalent definitions of atheism out there, some of which are also incompatible with agnosticism.

 

The question in this thread in this thread is the following: "Does a deity exist?"

You and I agree this is unknowable. I've stopped there whereas you've gone on to ask for justification for others' beliefs, which is what I interpret from what I quoted in my last post, where you made it sound like atheists' justifications for their belief in the absence of a deity is more valid. This is, as I said earlier, not true.

[/hide]

 

I'll operate on a definition consistently: not to reject theism as such, but to exercise skepticism on the claim thus non-acceptance of the claim by default. It's written hastily, so if need be I could further clarify in future posts.

 

Even if it's unknowable, it doesn't mean we shouldn't speculate - especially when it pertains to our daily lives and how we're meant to live (see ethics & morality). I request for justification on a positive claim that a deity does exist, because the claim 'I don't believe you' doesn't really have much to say in terms of worldviews.

 

I think you might be misreading me, but a quote would help to clear up ambiguity here. I've always edged closer to atheism than theism though - theistic beliefs leave too many holes in even the basic, verifiable events/things. But then again, I'd be faced with the criticism that it only applies to fundamentalists, even though that's untrue.

 

EDIT - I'll wait for your edit.

 

EDIT 2 - it looks like you've disappeared before completing your post. Is there any point of progressing from this discussion if you've left?

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Sorry, I'm not as prolific as you. I'll give you this quick example: Nietzsche believed the measure of all things is life itself, a "will to power" present in every organism. You don't need to understand this concept (I hardly do) if you're not familiar with his point of view; just keep it in mind. Nietzsche thought that our way of life should be determined by this principle: values can themselves be evaluated through it. What promotes life is good, what negates it is bad. He detested Christianity not so much because it was false, but because it negated life. Any value (belief in our case), whether it is true or not, is valid if it promotes life, according to Nietzsche, especially considering the truth-values of these values are unknowable. Man, at first, loads himself with external values, then, realizing they are all inventions, rejects them: this is the step of nihilism which follows true skepticism and which is not your case. Finally, he can create his own values according to the principle I mentioned.

Nietzsche's principle of will to power can be substituted for whatever; Nietzsche offered little proof for it himself. Considering everyone has a different measurement for the value of a value (happiness being a common one), no belief is more justified than another.


Matt: You want that eh? You want everything good for you. You want everything that's--falls off garbage can

Camera guy: Whoa, haha, are you okay dude?

Matt: You want anything funny that happens, don't you?

Camera guy: still laughing

Matt: You want the funny shit that happens here and there, you think it comes out of your [bleep]ing [wagon] pushes garbage can down, don't you? You think it's funny? It comes out of here! running towards Camera guy

Camera guy: runs away still laughing

Matt: You think the funny comes out of your mother[bleep]ing creativity? Comes out of Satan, mother[bleep]er! nn--ngh! pushes Camera guy down

Camera guy: Hoooholy [bleep]!

Matt: FUNNY ISN'T REAL! FUNNY ISN'T REAL!

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You've gone on to ask for justification for others' beliefs, which is what I interpret from what I quoted in my last post, where you made it sound like atheists' justifications for their belief in the absence of a deity is more valid. If the statement I underlined is true, these two positions are incompatible: atheists can't prove their belief, therefore it is underpinned by nothing better than a theists'--a belief being either logically validated or empirically corroborated.

Of course atheists can't prove their disbelief - it's not even a belief in the first place. In fact, no negative position could be disproven if we're questioning the very foundations of our beliefs - i.e. physical laws of the universe and their origins. I don't entirely follow how it's underpinned by nothing better than a theist's, given that it's not a belief in the first place.

 

I submit that it's difficult to make an argument against all gods, but I can quite easily argue against the concept of the Christian god given the blatant contradictions in its very own scripture. I don't know what a moderate religious God entails (as others have failed/refused to clarify), so I'll operate on the biblical depiction.

 

One of the two beliefs, however (this is me explaining the part you didn't understand) has to be held by anyone conscious of the issue, because they direct our actions; as Pascal explained, if the answer to the topic question is unknowable, it isn't necessarily irrelevant: you either decide to go to church, or you don't; being undecided belongs to the "not going to church" realm of possible actions.

Uh, I can't say I disagree that unknowable doesn't mean irrelevant - but what are you trying to get at?

 

At this point, it is a matter of picking the most handy belief to live your life. Considering religion as well as irreligion are largely determined by social heritage (and not only your parents' influence), that whatever choice of a belief is left is largely a matter of a subjective choice of a way of life [...]

It's one of the things I hold contention with - picking and choosing religions doesn't make the belief in the deity validated. I read on.

 

[...]and that, barring nihilism (you wouldn't even be posting) you have to have some similarly irrational faith in something, there is nothing to justify your contempt of religion and your praise of an atheist's thoughtfulness. Kierkegaard has more philosophy in his pinky than this entire thread, and that didn't stop him from being very religious despite his skepticism.

It depends how you're defining faith. You claim that I 'must have some irrational faith in something' to justify my 'contempt of religion' - what exactly are you designating to be faith? If we operate on the webster's definition of 'belief without evidence', then I'd argue that this assertion is untrue.

 

I can't see where I've praised the thoughtfulness of atheists, if that's what you're trying to suggest. I see no relevance on the Kierkegaard comment so I'll disregard that.

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Sorry, I'm not as prolific as you. I'll give you this quick example: Nietzsche believed the measure of all things is life itself, a "will to power" present in every organism. You don't need to understand this concept (I hardly do) if you're not familiar with his point of view; just keep it in mind. Nietzsche thought that our way of life should be determined by this principle: values can themselves be evaluated through it. What promotes life is good, what negates it is bad. He detested Christianity not so much because it was false, but because it negated life. Any value (belief in our case), whether it is true or not, is valid if it promotes life, according to Nietzsche, especially considering the truth-values of these values are unknowable. Man, at first, loads himself with external values, then, realizing they are all inventions, rejects them: this is the step of nihilism which follows true skepticism and which is not your case. Finally, he can create his own values according to the principle I mentioned.

Nietzsche's principle of will to power can be substituted for whatever; Nietzsche offered little proof for it himself. Considering everyone has a different measurement for the value of a value (happiness being a common one), no belief is more justified than another.

 

It's a philosophical issue, but I think the idea of this thread is more concerned about whether it is true on the basis of argument/evidence. You're making too many philosophical references without explanation - since I don't study it, I wouldn't really understand and thus it remains wholly unpersuasive.

 

  • Why is it more relevant to be concerned about what promotes life?
  • What is 'life'? It doesn't sound like you're speaking in its traditional context.
  • How does Christianity not promote it?
  • What do you mean when you say 'unknowable'? Is anything 'knowable' - and if so, how does it reach that stage?
  • What is external values, and how does man realise that it is all inventions?
  • What makes beliefs no more justified than others, if we could approximately agree on the values of certain values (e.g. social prosperity, standards of living, health/wellbeing, pleasure/happiness, liberty etc.)?

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Of course atheists can't prove their disbelief - it's not even a belief in the first place. In fact, no negative position could be disproven if we're questioning the very foundations of our beliefs - i.e. physical laws of the universe and their origins. I don't entirely follow how it's underpinned by nothing better than a theist's, given that it's not a belief in the first place.

It's not a belief, but you do act as though it was true in everyday life, because you don't do anything to . That's what's important: the question is relevant on more than just on a philosophical level.

 

I submit that it's difficult to make an argument against all gods, but I can quite easily argue against the concept of the Christian god given the blatant contradictions in its very own scripture. I don't know what a moderate religious God entails (as others have failed/refused to clarify), so I'll operate on the biblical depiction.

Gods transcend reason by definition and as such are beyond your arguments. The "create a rock so large he can't push it" argument is invalid because it's possible for God to do both; we just don't understand how. Besides, scripture was written by men and Christianity was propagated by them: our version of Christianity is corrupt.

 

Uh, I can't say I disagree that unknowable doesn't mean irrelevant - but what are you trying to get at?

You have to act in some way or another, despite having no justifications. In this sense, you are not any more justified than a theist is.

 

It's one of the things I hold contention with - picking and choosing religions doesn't make the belief in the deity validated. I read on.

Truth is impossible to know for such things, and yet we have to act according to one of the positions in the debatewhich is why picking and choosing is justified. Going by the truth means doing nothing. Humanity will eventually be erased from the Earth, life is meaningless... This is why morality is indeterminable universally.

 

It depends how you're defining faith. You claim that I 'must have some irrational faith in something' to justify my 'contempt of religion' - what exactly are you designating to be faith? If we operate on the webster's definition of 'belief without evidence', then I'd argue that this assertion is untrue.

I am speaking of faith in values--progress is probably yours. There is no justification for belief in progress.

 

I can't see where I've praised the thoughtfulness of atheists, if that's what you're trying to suggest. I see no relevance on the Kierkegaard comment so I'll disregard that.

You wrote they were more serious about their beliefs.

 

@ your questions:

The first three you just have to accept as part Nietzsche's philosophy. It's only an example: the measurement he uses to figure out whether a value is one to live by is what he calls "life", Christianity doesn't promote it, and therefore it's bad. Christians

The fourth: values are all empty in the end as life is meaningless. Unknowable was not a good word to use.

The fifth: external values are imposed upon us by others, e.g. Christian values. We realize they are inventions through skepticism.

The sixth: nothing, but we can't agree on those values you mentioned. Think of cannibals, murderers, dictators... These values you mentioned are the ones you have faith ("unjustified", as they are meaningless objectively, and "belief", because you have to believe in them to act according to them) in.

 

Gonna go work, see you later.


Matt: You want that eh? You want everything good for you. You want everything that's--falls off garbage can

Camera guy: Whoa, haha, are you okay dude?

Matt: You want anything funny that happens, don't you?

Camera guy: still laughing

Matt: You want the funny shit that happens here and there, you think it comes out of your [bleep]ing [wagon] pushes garbage can down, don't you? You think it's funny? It comes out of here! running towards Camera guy

Camera guy: runs away still laughing

Matt: You think the funny comes out of your mother[bleep]ing creativity? Comes out of Satan, mother[bleep]er! nn--ngh! pushes Camera guy down

Camera guy: Hoooholy [bleep]!

Matt: FUNNY ISN'T REAL! FUNNY ISN'T REAL!

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I would just like to put up that I hate how believers seem to think they have the exclusive rights to be offened. Why should a non-believer conform and respect their religion, when clearly the believer doesn't respect the non-believer.

 

 

I'm on the fence on religion, but man I hate many atheists with a passion. They are some of the most bigoted people I know. They can often be so blinded by logic and not understand the concept of belief, that they will be just as offensive, pushy and intolerant as they claim religious people to be.

 

From personal experience, atheists are actually even more pushy and offended by the subject of religion than theists are by the topic of atheism. Atheists will often take their misunderstandings of a religion to an extreme, without actually knowing what they are talking about.

 

I'm not on either side, but hell, if I support any side in arguments it's usually the theists simply because atheists can be such arses.

 

In reply to bedman, I actually see non beleivers who get offended more than believers. Apart from extremists which are such a minuscule minority, I find atheists often so offended any time anything religious happens in public. Just as athiests can express their views, so can theists.

 

I was referring more to for in stance the fact that the whole Islam world was offended by the cartoons about Mohammed or the fact that my girlfriend is offended whenever I joke a bit about her beliefs. (or another one: when I said I do not go for the Eucharist (hostia?) when I'm in church (I only go for funerals)).

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I've written a response before reading the edit, so I'll post that first.

 

Of course atheists can't prove their disbelief - it's not even a belief in the first place. In fact, no negative position could be disproven if we're questioning the very foundations of our beliefs - i.e. physical laws of the universe and their origins. I don't entirely follow how it's underpinned by nothing better than a theist's, given that it's not a belief in the first place.

It's not a belief, but you do act as though it was true in everyday life, because you don't do anything to . That's what's important: the question is relevant on more than just on a philosophical level.

I think you’ve left your sentence incomplete. ‘because you don’t do anything to […]’ I’ll refrain from commenting until you clarify.

 

I submit that it's difficult to make an argument against all gods, but I can quite easily argue against the concept of the Christian god given the blatant contradictions in its very own scripture. I don't know what a moderate religious God entails (as others have failed/refused to clarify), so I'll operate on the biblical depiction.

Gods transcend reason by definition and as such are beyond your arguments. The "create a rock so large he can't push it" argument is invalid because it's possible for God to do both; we just don't understand how. Besides, scripture was written by men and Christianity was propagated by them: our version of Christianity is corrupt.

Gods transcend reason? It sounds as much as a non-answer as ‘God works in mysterious ways’, if I’m interpreting you correctly. Everything we know of has been explainable – scientifically, mathematically, or philosophically. Please clarify: is it another way of saying ‘beyond reason’?

 

I have no idea where you’re getting the ideas of ‘corrupt Christianity’ - how exactly do you know? I’d place a [citation needed] tag, but I don’t really want to engage in informal debate.

 

Uh, I can't say I disagree that unknowable doesn't mean irrelevant - but what are you trying to get at?

You have to act in some way or another, despite having no justifications. In this sense, you are not any more justified than a theist is.

I don’t think it requires justification for a neutral/default position – in fact – as part of the justification; it is the lack of justification of the opposition. (Don’t get philosophical here, it’ll only serve to distract us from the crux of the argument.)

 

It's one of the things I hold contention with - picking and choosing religions doesn't make the belief in the deity validated. I read on.

Truth is impossible to know for such things, and yet we have to act according to one of the positions in the debatewhich is why picking and choosing is justified.

Oh, I think I understand you a little better now. If you mean justified in the context of ‘having a good reason to act in such way’, but if you mean ‘having good reason to believe’ – I’d argue otherwise.

 

It depends how you're defining faith. You claim that I 'must have some irrational faith in something' to justify my 'contempt of religion' - what exactly are you designating to be faith? If we operate on the webster's definition of 'belief without evidence', then I'd argue that this assertion is untrue.

I am speaking of faith in values--progress is probably yours. There is no justification for belief in progress.

I’m not entirely sure what that means – faith in values. How exactly are you defining faith? If you won’t clarify, I’ll presume the Webster definition of ‘acceptance of a claim as true without sufficient evidence’ – which doesn’t seem to fit the context (thus I ask for clarification).

 

I can't see where I've praised the thoughtfulness of atheists, if that's what you're trying to suggest. I see no relevance on the Kierkegaard comment so I'll disregard that.

You wrote they were more serious about their beliefs.

I’ll clarify: by serious, I mean with greater concern for its truth values. You’ve illustrated a position with little/no concern for truth values – which makes this argument a little moot, but it’s a fun discussion nonetheless.

 

[hide]

@ your questions:

The first three you just have to accept as part Nietzsche's philosophy. It's only an example: the measurement he uses to figure out whether a value is one to live by is what he calls "life", Christianity doesn't promote it, and therefore it's bad. Christians

The fourth: values are all empty in the end as life is meaningless. Unknowable was not a good word to use.

The fifth: external values are imposed upon us by others, e.g. Christian values. We realize they are inventions through skepticism.

The sixth: nothing, but we can't agree on those values you mentioned. Think of cannibals, murderers, dictators... These values you mentioned are the ones you have faith ("unjustified", as they are meaningless objectively, and "belief", because you have to believe in them to act according to them) in.

 

Gonna go work, see you later.

 

I'll have to come back to this, it's more than what I could handle at 1:43am. We'll refer to this later.[/hide]

 

EDIT - question of curiosity: does positive affirmation of the existence of God enhance life, or degrade it?

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Warning: I might be making things up. I'm not really sure.

 

Someone mentioned time and predetermined destiny a while back, and I had a thought.

 

My understanding of the current understanding of time is that its not thing change so much as we progress through different sequential states of being. In human terms you could imagine living in a two dimensional world, where all the changes are represented by the two dimensional slice moving through three dimensional space. In other words, what we perceive as time is actually movement through a dimension that we can't comprehend. What this would imply is that all time coexists, and it is only our perception that is limited. This would mean that everything that has happened and everything that will ever happen exists right now, outside our ability to perceive it. It's not an argument that you can't determine how your life plays out, just that your life has already played out and you just don't know it yet.

 

Actually, its kind of like the matrix when the oracle keeps saying that you've already made the choice, which would make our perception of life the journey to understand the choices we make.

 

 

Of course, since I don't have the fogiest idea where this understanding actually came from, its also entirely possible that I just drempt it up a while ago and now falsely remember it as a real memory.

 

Either way, its made sense to me for as long as its been in my head, at least as much as an incomprehensible concept can make sense (the concept of understanding an additional dimension would be a akin to trying to imagine what infraread or ultraviolet colors look like. The human brain simply can't do it, because the entire concept is not supported by the brain hardware itself any more than an N64 processor would be able to process 64 bit colors in 1080P resolution).

 

EDIT: And maybe this is how religion starts. The brain just makes shit up because of some desire to understand the world/universe, so it takes everything it knows at that time, and figures out an answer that makes sense to it. The trick would be accepting a different viewpoints, and now that I think about it, I probably made this up and then forgot that's what happened, and I'm pretty sure that the second someone gives me an actual real theory, my brain is going to attempt to disregard it for the theory it likes more (the one it made up).

 

And now that I have blown my own mind, I need to eat something.

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I think you're referring to these concepts, but its very digressive:

 

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Heh, I remember those, and well enough to know at least concioulsy that they aren't valid. What I can't tell is if I was inspired by them, or if I used selective logic to justify part of one of them.

 

What I do know is that the logic basis was that the first three dimensions are physical, so it would reasonably follow that the fourth (time) is also a physical dimension, which would make time itself movement.

 

 

What I will say, is that I now have a much better grasp of what true belief is (because this is not at all how I feel about religion, which I already did know). I am also going to need to read some actual real theories now too.

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Sounds a lot like the Tralfamadorians in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. Whether determinism is true or not is also a question we can't answer, like the question of the existence of God; all we can discuss is its relevance, as Assume has begun (I'll get back to you, by the way, but the answer is "yes, if it promotes my values (for Nietzsche, that would be life; for utilitarians, happiness, etc)"). The question of whether determinism exists must remain unanswered, and the decisions which this question influences should deal with the possibility of its existence.

I don't understand the premise to your understanding of belief, though. If time is a movement, isn't that redundant? Does movement not imply time? Can something move without being somewhere at one point, and somewhere else at another?


Matt: You want that eh? You want everything good for you. You want everything that's--falls off garbage can

Camera guy: Whoa, haha, are you okay dude?

Matt: You want anything funny that happens, don't you?

Camera guy: still laughing

Matt: You want the funny shit that happens here and there, you think it comes out of your [bleep]ing [wagon] pushes garbage can down, don't you? You think it's funny? It comes out of here! running towards Camera guy

Camera guy: runs away still laughing

Matt: You think the funny comes out of your mother[bleep]ing creativity? Comes out of Satan, mother[bleep]er! nn--ngh! pushes Camera guy down

Camera guy: Hoooholy [bleep]!

Matt: FUNNY ISN'T REAL! FUNNY ISN'T REAL!

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Not sure I got the question.

 

In regards to my having a better understanding of belief, none of my religious beliefs exist in my head as absolute fact. They are always open for constant revision, and a part of me is atheist anyway, because my logical self has examined my belief structure and concluded that, for me, it exists as a comfort and support mechanism to help reduce stress and keep me sane if I accidently think about the fact that one day I am going to die. It also means I self limit my religion views to those which have no impact on how I live my life. They deal exclusively with my soul. Where it comes from and where its going. I have no religious views (that I know of) on abortion or the legal system. I don't think that killing is wrong because you will go to hell (partially because I actually don't believe in hell at all, at least not a separate entity from heaven), I think its wrong because I value life.

 

As for the whether or not movement is time anyway (obviously an understanding of time will do nothing to change our perception of it), it matters to me because of my need to understand the universe, regardless of whether it has any impact or not. The concept of a constantly changing universe vs moving through a static one in sequence would determine if future events are set or not. It doesn't mean anything, unless we actually invent time travel, but that doesn't reduce my curiosity.

 

As a side point, with complex enough math, and the tools to measure everything, you could (probably) model the entire universe and run it in accelerated time to predict the future (I think this falls under hidden variable theory which states that nothing is truly random, that everything can be predicted with sufficient knowledge and data).

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Chaos theory/deterministic chaos or Laplace's demon?

I was just asking how time could be a movement, but I reread your post and you never said that.


Matt: You want that eh? You want everything good for you. You want everything that's--falls off garbage can

Camera guy: Whoa, haha, are you okay dude?

Matt: You want anything funny that happens, don't you?

Camera guy: still laughing

Matt: You want the funny shit that happens here and there, you think it comes out of your [bleep]ing [wagon] pushes garbage can down, don't you? You think it's funny? It comes out of here! running towards Camera guy

Camera guy: runs away still laughing

Matt: You think the funny comes out of your mother[bleep]ing creativity? Comes out of Satan, mother[bleep]er! nn--ngh! pushes Camera guy down

Camera guy: Hoooholy [bleep]!

Matt: FUNNY ISN'T REAL! FUNNY ISN'T REAL!

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As a side point, with complex enough math, and the tools to measure everything, you could (probably) model the entire universe and run it in accelerated time to predict the future (I think this falls under hidden variable theory which states that nothing is truly random, that everything can be predicted with sufficient knowledge and data).

 

Not possible as far as I know, even theoretically:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle

 

What this means for determinism/ causality / free will etc, no idea. Philosophical consequences of quantum mechanics was a topic that wasn't much discussed in QM1.

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