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Chimpanzees, Blades of Grass and the Atheist Argument

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posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 02:07 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule
So what exactly has that to do with the OP?
The guy identifies as an agnostic atheist as do I under the generally accepted terminology, why go so off topic?

I'm still waiting for the OP to present his/her 'many more advanced studies that show evidence of that kind of thing existing' so I can have a read and see if it just an unsubstantiated assertion.
As an agnostic atheist I am more than able to consider new evidence and/or adapt my position as appropriate - the same applies to my lack of belief in souls...and I am waiting for the OP's sources to confirm what he/she asserted.




posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 02:11 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule
Including isolated indigenous tribes?


Well, they got there somehow.
They weren't always isolated.


originally posted by: BlueMule
Yes, people are at liberty to believe a mundane explanation. But I would invite them to spend a few years with the comparative fields first (comparative mysticism, comparative mythology, comparative religion). There is a scholarly depth to these fields that people just aren't aware of.


Scholarly, perhaps.
As any sort of science, meaning subject to the scientific method, no.
Thus the problem.


originally posted by: BlueMule
With all due respect...

How would you know?


The scientific method lends itself well to the study of material phenomena.
It's completely ill equiped to deal with the "supernatural".


originally posted by: BlueMuleHow many years have you spent studying it for yourself?


32 years.
Not in a professional capacity.
But......
The subject of mysticism fascinates me.


originally posted by: BlueMuleOr do you figure that if there was something to it, TPTB would have let you know by now?



I said there are things that make me wonder.
But I have seen nothing that makes me believe there is something to it other than people being people.

That last part was rather disengenuine don't you think?
edit on 29-6-2014 by HarbingerOfShadows because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 02:15 PM
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originally posted by: grainofsand
a reply to: BlueMule
Ah, ok so you perceive that as evidence, ok, I'm pleased for you.
Regarding parapsychology though, I have read a bit about it and I didn't need to purchase a book for the information.
It is always unwise to assume the understanding (or lack thereof) a person may have regarding a given topic.
If you believe in it though again, I'm pleased for you.


Well, I took the time to study for myself, instead of letting TPTB do my thinking for me. And I built my own 'telescope' to judge the claims of 'contemplatives' (mystics). I've seen enough to KNOW. I'm pleased for myself too.

"Imagine where astronomy would be if everyone had to build his own telescope before he could even begin to see if astronomy was a legitimate enterprise. It wouldn’t make the sky any less worthy of investigation, but it would make it immensely more difficult for us to establish astronomy as a science.

To judge the empirical claims of contemplatives, you have to build your own telescope." -Sam Harris

I've been to the other side and I'm just trying to help you out bud. It's not like I'm trying to sell you anything, I have nothing to gain.

The least you could do is act appreciative enough to refrain from accusing me of going OT. You did ask for evidence, after all.

edit on 847Sunday000000America/ChicagoJun000000SundayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 02:16 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

The terms are refering to whether or not they claim to know or not.
A person can lie and claim to have knowledge of something they do not.
And, I should note, this can and does include lying to themselves.
Has nothing to do with whether or not they know what they think they know.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: HarbingerOfShadows

I'm just trying to get a handle on the difference between an agnostic atheist and a gnostic atheist. Is Richard Dawkins a gnostic atheist, because he claims to know there is no God? Does it boil down to the passion behind the position, in your view?



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 02:29 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

I don't like to talk about Richard Dawkins.............
He is a disgrace, if you want my completely honest opinion.
I think he's a gnostic atheist who likes to claim to be a agnostic atheist
So he can claim it has anything to do with science.
Here's the problem, the existence of a higher power is a unfalsifiable question.
The question is too big.

No, it doesn't boil down to passion.
It boils down to what you believe and what you claim to know.
edit on 29-6-2014 by HarbingerOfShadows because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: HarbingerOfShadows

A gnostic theist would claim to have had an extraordinary experience (as I do) of a higher power. For a gnostic, its not a matter of faith, its a matter of experience.

So to maintain symmetry, an gnostic atheist would have to claim they had an extraordinary experience of -no- higher power. Correct?

What might such an experience be like, theoretically?

edit on 859SundayuAmerica/ChicagoJunuSundayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 02:46 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

No.
Only has to do with the knowledge claim it's self.
Not the claimed justification for said knowledge claim.
Understand now?
edit on 29-6-2014 by HarbingerOfShadows because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 02:57 PM
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a reply to: HarbingerOfShadows

No, I don't.

The claim of an -extraordinary experience- is behind the knowledge claim of a gnostic theist.

Therefore, if a gnostic atheist is to be the mirror image of that,

The claim of an -extraordinary experience- must be behind the knowledge claim of a gnostic atheist.

Otherwise the term gnostic doesn't apply.

It's easy to imagine the kind of extraordinary mystical experience that could be behind the knowledge claim of a gnostic theist.

It's harder to imagine the kind of extraordinary mystical experience that could be behind the knowledge claim of a gnostic atheist.

What would you imagine such an experience would entail?



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 03:07 PM
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It would be disappointing if this thread becomes p̶o̶l̶l̶u̶t̶e̶d̶ derailed with off topic discussions about gnostic/agnostic, there are plenty of dedicated topics on ATS about that.

I'm still excitedly waiting for the OP to present his/her 'many more advanced studies that show evidence of that kind of thing existing' (souls) so I can have a read and see if I can learn something new, or consider it just an unsubstantiated assertion.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 03:10 PM
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a reply to: darkbake


There are many atheists who would like to see us only do things that have a purpose, which to them is rooted in evolution, these are the Social Darwinists.

I believe that there is an ulterior motive in that kind of thinking in that it takes away individuality and freedom and makes people believe that it is their duty to work for the state and not indulge in "arbitrary" matters


I see the point you’re trying to make here, but conflating atheism with social Darwinism is NOT something I would ever condone. Social Darwinism is what led to the creation of the eugenics program and it was in part what enabled Hitler to do what he did during World War 2 (the Jews were inferior people and needed to be put down for their own good, etc.) It may have been possible to justify it with atheism, but I read somewhere that Hitler was more of a deist or even a strict theist rather than an atheist.

The only thing atheism entails is a lack of belief in deities. Even more “extremist” atheists who explicitly deny the existence of a god lack a belief in deities. This is the only thing that all atheists have in common. Everyone, on both sides, is guilty of pigeonholing. It helps a person explain the way the world works, and this is just the way things are.


These Atheists will have you believe that there is no soul and no free will - but the example with the Chimpanzees is an isolated example of free will in action - there was no evolutionary purpose to the blades of grass.


If that’s how you conceptualize free will, I have no problem with that. Acting on instincts can be just as freely willed, such as when you get an idea that seemingly comes from nowhere and you act on it.


The soul, according to my definition, is what generates our free will and experiences life - neither definition has been disproved by science, and there are many more advanced studies that show evidence of that kind of thing existing. My definition states that the soul is squarely in the exploratory realm of science - something that both atheists and religious folk tend to deny.


If you are basing your philosophy on what hasn’t been disproven by science, I’m just not going to comment on what I think of that.


But it is an important way to look at things, because not only does the evidence support it, but we risk supporting oppressive governments if atheist policy involving this kind of thinking gets into the upper ranks.

Yes, keep all those atheists away! They’re all baby-eating devil-worshipers. It’s impossible to know how a policy would be formed based on the idea of a lack of a deity. It could just as well be argued that we all need to look out for each other because there’s no god to do it for us as it could be that it’s “every man for himself.”
Social Darwinism is MUCH different, however.


The link in my signature has yet another link to my thesis paper for my psychology major, in which I researched the possibility of a Quantum Theory of Mind, which I still fully support.


I’ll probably read it.

PS: The only thing I thought was questionable was your redefinition of terms, along with the low possibility that you are using the lack of evidence against your theory as evidence of your theory. There is no evidence that there isn't a teacup orbiting pluto, either, but the odds appear so unfathomably low that it is difficult to consider seriously.

One other thing is that you appear to be using a person's consciousness as his or her free will. I only hope you will consider things in the department of social psychology. The relative gullibility of certain individuals certainly has implications about the quality of this free will you may want to consider.

PPS: If you want feedback on your paper, let me know somehow that you would like it, whether that is through carrier pigeon, private messaging or a reply to this post.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 03:16 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule
It's simple.

Do you believe a god exists?
Yes.
Theist.

No.
Atheist.

Do you claim that the existence or not of a god is known?
Yes.
Gnostic.

gnos·tic
/ˈnästik/
adjective
adjective: gnostic
1. of or relating to knowledge

SOURCE


No.
Agnostic.

a person who claims, with respect to any particular question, that the answer cannot be known with certainty

SOURCE

That is literally all the labels encompass.
edit on 29-6-2014 by HarbingerOfShadows because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 03:33 PM
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a reply to: HarbingerOfShadows

I can understand the desire to keep it simple. But I'm surprised at you, bud. I wouldn't expect such a simplistic view of the gnostic from someone who has an interest in mysticism. There is a higher meaning to that word that seems to have escaped you, or maybe you are chosing to ignore it.

The four-fold symmetry you are building breaks down once this higher meaning is fully considered. The gnostic experience is an 'enlightenment' experience, and comparative mysticism scholarship shows that it is much deeper than a mere claim. It's a universal experience that has led to a deep harmony in the mystical literature of the world that wouldn't be there otherwise, and its an experience that leads to a psi-conducive state which elicits strong psi in a lab.

edit on 900Sunday000000America/ChicagoJun000000SundayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 03:42 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule
The four-fold symmetry you are building breaks down once this higher meaning is fully considered. The gnostic experience is an 'enlightenment' experience, and comparative mysticism scholarship shows that it is much deeper than a mere claim. It's a universal experience that has led to a deep harmony in the mystical literature of the world that wouldn't be there otherwise, and its an experience that leads to a psi-conducive state which elicits strong psi in a lab.

Wow, lots of words but so vague.
Have you any specific source references to a study or such like to support your 'strong psi in a lab' claims?
Which lab? University, commercial, free-lance in a basement? Right now all that just appears as personal assertion to me, but I am as always, open to new information.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 03:52 PM
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a reply to: darkbake



I believe that there is an ulterior motive in that kind of thinking in that it takes away individuality and freedom and makes people believe that it is their duty to work for the state and not indulge in "arbitrary" matters.

These Atheists will have you believe that there is no soul and no free will - but the example with the Chimpanzees is an isolated example of free will in action - there was no evolutionary purpose to the blades of grass.


I was the one who referred to souls in that thread and I consider myself an agnostic rather than atheist. It appears you misunderstood the context of the reference. It was raising the question of what defines a 'soul?' If it's free will and sentience, we're in the company of elephants, crows, monkeys and apes.

Chimps and bonobos have demonstrated empathy, pre-planning and tool use and so have most humans. Chimps have learned to communicate with us using sign language.

Humans also exhibit these expressions of conscious thought so where do you draw the line between chimps and us? If these traits are evidence of 'souls' in humans, isn't it worth asking if 'souls' are present in the chimpanzees?



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 03:53 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

*facepalm*
How did I know at some point soon you'd work some sort of insult in?
Pity it's backfiring and only making you look silly.


We are talking about semantics sir.
The labels.
It has nothing to do with me.

And I would love to see the papers for these supposed studies.
Not a bunch of pseudoscientific woo woo "studies" made by people trying to "prove" what they already think they know.

The only studies I know of using reputable science is ones that show that we react a few miliseconds before the provided stimulus takes place.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 03:56 PM
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a reply to: grainofsand

Don't mind that, it's clearly been written under the impression that emotions can will something to be true. There's no way to know that something can be universally true and the "strength" with which it was asserted means it most likely was meant to be a statement of fact. (that can be shown to be true because people don't even have access to the next planet over, let alone 13.7 billion light years and beyond) I'm having a universal feeling right now that I'm going to have $4 billion delivered to my door in about three seconds.

My 'common sense' sense says you probably knew all of this already, but it never hurts to say it again.

PS: I didn't get the $4 billion delivered to my door.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 03:59 PM
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5 times stronger far more agile and thinks twice as fast it is a fact that in many ways the chimpanzee is a superior being to us puny humans physically and mentally.

Thankfully however we have evolved speech and more organized thought processes otherwise it might be us in zoos with grass in our ears.

Thank god for evolution!!



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 04:09 PM
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a reply to: HarbingerOfShadows

Well first of all, I meant no insult. I have a lot of respect for you, nevertheless I'm surprised and disappointed at your glib treatment of the word gnostic. It deserves better. There is much more to it than a mere line from the dictionary.

Second of all, the reaction time to future stimulus is several seconds, up to ten seconds IIRC. And that really isn't the only parapsychological line of experimentation that has produced impressive results.

There really is no excuse for a worldview that excludes psi. The evidence is abundant. From there, one has limited philosophical options.

Have you read Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill?

edit on 926SundayuAmerica/ChicagoJunuSundayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 04:43 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule
Are you able or willing to provide those source references to a study or such like supporting your 'strong psi in a lab' claims yet? I'm still interested in discovering more about this lab and reading the paper/s.






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