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a future without religion?

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posted on Jan, 13 2007 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
how can you see miracles?
why do we not have evidence of these miracles?



Oh! You can't see them because you have already decided they do not exist. You find the easiest answer, which according to your logic is the most reliable, and then because the simplist and easiest answer is all you need, you are not inclined to look further.

Yep, you can't see evidence when said evidence falls outside the realm of how you think is most reliable, (ie simple and easy).




posted on Jan, 13 2007 @ 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
actually, ignorance and easy manipulability cause wars
and some people (ie these scientists and me) feel that religion is simply superstition


Of course you believe religion is simply superstition. you are lazy that way, and you've already admitted that the most reliable answers are usually the simplist.



posted on Jan, 13 2007 @ 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

well, until the existence of god is proven
i will not believe in said deity



The existance of god is proven. Unfotunatley if the evidence is more than a simple answer seeker as yourself cares for, then the evidence you seek must be more than you can handle, or else you would be handling it.

Those who NORMALLY take the simple easy way can't know something that is more than simple, or more than easy. **It is just not reliable enough for them.**



posted on Jan, 13 2007 @ 11:17 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

what's funnier is that there is a much higher percentage of atheists among the leading scientists...
and we're not a christian nation


Actually, yes we are a christian nation. I defer you to the reason the colonialists gave for their intentions of both coming to America, and practicing what they practiced as proof for these claims. This country is mostly christian, and was formed from the get-go in accordance to christian ideals.



posted on Jan, 13 2007 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
This country is mostly christian, and was formed from the get-go in accordance to christian ideals.


yeah, slavery, prejudice and genocide were common in those days.

here's a good take-down of most of the 'christian nation' ideas...


Similarly, Barton argues that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Christian and so the U.S. was founded as a "Christian Nation."

Barton states that "24 of [the signers] of the Declaration of Independence held seminary degrees. These hardly sound like the atheistic Founders who our liberal elite claim wanted all religion separated from the public square!" (Quoted in "After Hoopla, Capitol Tour Goes On", Roll Call 50, no. 98, 4/13/05).

Despite the questionable truth of his statement out of context, the answer is "so what?" No doubt most of the signers were religious men. But the function and purpose of the Declaration of Independence was to declare the intent of American to separate itself from its relationship with Britain. The declaration was a separating document, not a foundational document. It did not in any way set up a legal form of government, Christian or not.

In sum, while there can be little doubt that Christian values shaped the thinking of the Founders, it is wrong to conclude that the Founders were almost all orthodox evangelicals Christians. Even though many of the Founders applauded religion for its utility- believing religion was good for the country- they also argued vigorously for voluntary religion and complete religious freedom. Thus, even if Barton's points were true, they do not compel the conclusion that we should privilege Christianity in any legal or constitutional sense.

....

Washington wrote the following to Baptists in 1789:

"[I]f I could now conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution ... [E]very man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience" (Forrest Church, The Separation of Church and State, p. 107).

www.bjcpa.org...

Puritans left Britain to gain relgious freedom (and you were welcome to them), I don't see how reducing religious freedom by founding the nation based on a particular faith would be their first move.





[edit on 13-1-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 08:05 PM
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Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
This is the brand of thinking that contributes to peoples' stupidity.

Find the first answer (which is the simplist) and it more than likely is the most reliable answer.


Thinking like this actually reduces other answers that are true, because whether or not they are true or not, why look any further if we don't need to?

Just find the easiest answer and stop there, it is after all the most reliable answer usually. * note sarcasm.


well, the simplest answer isn't always the first answer
example, the sun revolves around was the first answer
the more we knew, the harder it was for us to make that model work
it got simpler when we put the sun in the center of the solar system


Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
Oh! You can't see them because you have already decided they do not exist. You find the easiest answer, which according to your logic is the most reliable, and then because the simplist and easiest answer is all you need, you are not inclined to look further.

Yep, you can't see evidence when said evidence falls outside the realm of how you think is most reliable, (ie simple and easy).



no, i don't believe miracles don't exist outright
i believe there is a possiblity that they exist, but i rule out their existence until i see evidence that they exist


Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
Of course you believe religion is simply superstition. you are lazy that way, and you've already admitted that the most reliable answers are usually the simplist.


lazy?
i'm actively seeking answers through observation of evidence
i don't just say, here's the answer because it's the simplest
i look at all the other answers, and then i rule out the ones that i find ridiculous and go with the most reliable
i then say to myself "time to look for more possibilities because i may or may not be right here"
i KEEP LOOKING



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 08:07 PM
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Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
Actually, yes we are a christian nation. I defer you to the reason the colonialists gave for their intentions of both coming to America, and practicing what they practiced as proof for these claims. This country is mostly christian, and was formed from the get-go in accordance to christian ideals.


just because the majority of the population follows christianity doesn't mean we're a christian nation
the USA is about 15% non-theist, for example


also, we were founded on the ideals of JOHN LOCKE not JESUS CHRIST

evidence?
life, liberty, and "the pursuit of happiness" (read money)
those are the ideals of john locke



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 08:39 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

well, the simplest answer isn't always the first answer


Perhaps not, but according to what you said on the previous page, the simplist answer is normally the most reliable. If this is true, then once you have the simplist answer, and you have already decided it's the norm that it is the most reliable, then what motivation is there to look any further?



no, i don't believe miracles don't exist outright


YES, you do believe miracles don't exist.

A miracle is by it's very definition an act of divine (deity) intervention.
And on page 3 you said:


hell, i only rule out the existence of a deity because there is no evidence to support belief in a deity.

So, unless you have re-assigned a new definition to the word "miracle", you have already decided no deity exists, hence that miracles do not exist.

But, this is more than likely the simplist answer, which according to your accepted logic, is also probably the most reliable as well.



lazy?
i'm actively seeking answers through observation of evidence
i don't just say, here's the answer because it's the simplest
i look at all the other answers, and then i rule out the ones that i find ridiculous and go with the most reliable
i then say to myself "time to look for more possibilities because i may or may not be right here"
i KEEP LOOKING


No. You are not looking.


hell, i only rule out the existence of a deity because there is no evidence to support belief in a deity


How can you keep looking with eyes that have already decided that no deity exists? Your subconscious gets the info on what you have seen first. So, if your subconscious mind (split personality) has decided that you are not prepared to see the evidence, you won't be consciously aware of what it is you've seen.

I'm telling you, not suggesting, i am telling you that if you've already decided that certain things are real, then ALL incoming information via your senses that is contrary to what you accept as true will not be experienced by you. Your own experiences, if they are contrary to what you already accept as truth, will not be experienced by you because the truth that is known by your own subconscious mind is that the truth it knows would be detrimental to your conscious mind. And since the truth of your experiences cannot be acceptable to your conscious mind, you cannot be permitted by your subconscious mind to experience the evidence you seek, since you've already decided that there is no deity.

The choices you've made prevent you from experiencing your own experiences.

[edit on 15-1-2007 by Esoteric Teacher]



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 09:44 PM
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I had a post all written out to reply to that post ET, but I think madness should have the opportunity to respond first.

But I will say that your last post was nonsense.



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 09:53 PM
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Originally posted by melatonin

But I will say that your last post was nonsense.


How so?

You say you are looking for evidence of something that you have already decided doesn't exist.

So, i question the validity of your claim that you are looking for that which you've already stated is non-existance.

So either you are lying, or admitting to wasting your own time.

I am also saying that you can not be permitted by your own brain to consciously experience what would be detrimental to what you consciously are willing or capable of accepting.

It is not nonsense, however perhaps the words i use confuse the meaning of what i intended.

i apologize for that. I also apologize, as i may have misquoted you and madness. I think i confused the quotes. Sorry.

thanks,
john

[edit on 15-1-2007 by Esoteric Teacher]



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 10:00 PM
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Originally posted by melatonin
I had a post all written out to reply to that post ET, but I think madness should have the opportunity to respond first.

But I will say that your last post was nonsense.


i was going to respond
but how about i let you say what you want
i always appreciate your stuff

so, shoot mel



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 10:30 PM
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Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
You say you are looking for evidence of something that you have already decided doesn't exist.

So, i question the validity of your claim that you are looking for that which you've already stated is non-existance.

So either you are lying, or admitting to wasting your own time.


I occassionally do waste my own time. It is the only way to be thorough, it is part of my job.

Last summer I spent weeks creating an experiment I knew was not going to work, I knew it wouldn't but my PI (academic supervisor) wanted to do the study. I created the study and looked for an effect. I found none. Weeks of effort wasted, but I now my supervisor knows as well.

Just last week, I spent a few hours looking for a study on a particular psychological effect I knew had not been studied. But I have to look to make sure 110% it hasn't been done before, would be a waste of time otherwise. It hasn't.

Many other occassions I have felt the same and found myself to be wrong. I do experiments I really want to work, they don't, no matter what my subconscious wants, the data is there.


I am also saying that you can not be permitted by your own brain to consciously experience what would be detrimental to what you consciously are willing or capable of accepting.


Falling off a cliff will be experienced I reckon. I wasn't willing to accept that my mum died from starvation whilst in the last stages of stomach cancer, I did experience it. My dad died when I was 12, I really didn't want it to be true, but I experienced it.

The subconscious has only very rough and ready processing abilities, it tends to throw up false positives, it is evolutionary adaptive to do so. If you see a shadow in the woods and think it is a bear, you run, even if it wasn't, you are still alive. If you see a shadow and ignore it, if it is a bear, you may be dead.

The problem is that you think madness, with his statements, is saying that 110% god doesn't exist and neither do miracles. However, most atheists (I can't speak for him, but I can for myself) do not claim this. They take a sceptical position but leave room for the unexpected. Even Dawkins does this. It is more like 95% for me. I leave room for what we do not know. If I see the evidence, I will assess it on it's merits. I've said it before if you claim 100% that god exists, you are deluded, if you claim 100% he doesn't, you are also deluded.

20 years ago, I was probably a little less sure (75%) there was only 2 natural forms of pure carbon, I was taught it throughout my education until graduation. If you asked me I would have said it explicitly and said, well bring me evidence and I will assess it". Then Harry Kroto found a third form, buckminster fullerines, my subconscious didn't stop me from seeing it, I wanted the evidence, I assessed it, I accepted it as reliable and now I'm 75% sure there are only three natural forms of carbon.

As someone who studies the unconscious (implicit processes), I know the role they play, they do not hide things you don't like, they tend to slightly bias processing under situations of ambiguity. It is not a great effect but it is present. The major job of unconscious processing is to bias processing to environmentally important and novel/unusual stimuli, not to hide them, often it fails, often it suceeds, often it gives false-positives.

Now, if we move to miracles and what I see, it all seems rather different. I have read what people have claimed for miracles, those they have personally experienced, many are easily explained. One in particular, I could have just blown it out the water, I see the same miracle occassionally, no supernatural needed - but I wouldn't do that to someone. What we see is emotional attachment to beliefs and wishful-thinking, normal occurances become 'miracles'.

Experience tells me, and most other sceptics, that if it looks to good to be true, it probably isn't true, but we still examine the claims. Supernatural and miracles is the easy and lazy answer, the hard one is to look for a natural explanation.

[edit on 16-1-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 10:41 PM
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Originally posted by melatonin
Supernatural and miracles is the easy and lazy answer, the hard one is to look for a natural explanation.


What is your natural explanation for God?



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 10:55 PM
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Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
What is your natural explanation for God?


You first have to define and set the boundaries of what it is you want me to explain.

It's like asking what is my natural explanation for blig. We need to see the evidence and nature of blig.

If it doen't have evidence and nature how can I explain it?

Now if you said what is your natural explanation for the phenomena that people claim they feel as god, I would say it is likely a human creation and is a product of social learning, wishful-thinking, and part of the mind's tendency to see causal agents behind natural phenomena, and for some, an explanation for the unusual subjective experiences they suffer that are based in neurology.

At this point I'm off to bed. I've just finshed marking 80 first year psych projects that I wish my subconscious had eliminated from my experience.

[edit on 15-1-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 04:16 PM
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mel, couldn't have said it better myself
and great example with the "bucky balls"

hell, i was taught for my entire life that matter existed in 3 forms
solid liquid and gas
then i found out about plasma and supercooled matter
my exclusivity with the 3 most common forms of matter on earth did not stop me from recognizing the existence of the 4th and 5th

also, i'm 95ish% on the nonexistence of 1 or more deities



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 05:15 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
hell, i was taught for my entire life that matter existed in 3 forms
solid liquid and gas
then i found out about plasma and supercooled matter
my exclusivity with the 3 most common forms of matter on earth did not stop me from recognizing the existence of the 4th and 5th

also, i'm 95ish% on the nonexistence of 1 or more deities


I think this is the important point, even someone like Dawkins, who is painted as the archetypal 'fundamentalist' atheist, clearly states "there is almost certainly no god", he doesn't claim 100% such a thing doesn't exist.

I think the major claim of atheists is that the common conceptions of god are purely human constructions, they provide an easy answer to tough questions. Yet we have people claiming the absolute status of something that has no objective nature. As Dawkins says...


If there is a God, it's going to be a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more incomprehensible than anything that any theologian of any religion has ever proposed.


Today, I read that one of the Iraqi government officials claimed that Al-Tikriti's decaptitation, whilst being hung, was the 'will of god', how could he know such a thing? Was it because he just thought it was justified to himself? I'm sure somewhere some sunni religious guy is claiming it the work of the 'great satan' as he didn't think it was justified.

We have a world leader consulting a 'higher father' to direct foreign policy which has led to more soldiers alone dying than in 9-11, with probably a hundred thousand iraqi's for company in search of non-exisitent WMDs and no end in sight.

And, finally, the 'end times' believers who would welcome devastation and an earthly apocalypse, maybe even help it along, just for a fantastical hope their magic man will save the day. Crazy.

Well, I suppose we do live in interesting times...scary, but interesting...

[edit on 16-1-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 12:10 PM
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If anyone is interested and for those who are confused on the issue: article which delineates Jesus' (and Christianity's) support of women's equality

www.cta-usa.org...

[edit on 17-1-2007 by NowAmFound]



posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 05:39 PM
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Originally posted by NowAmFound
If anyone is interested and for those who are confused on the issue: article which delineates Jesus' (and Christianity's) support of women's equality

www.cta-usa.org...

[edit on 17-1-2007 by NowAmFound]


alright, counterpoint, the bible is quite sexist

some new testament passages
(because i know i'll get the "christians don't need to follow the old testament" arguement if i bring those up)

Romans 1:27
1 Corinthians 11:3
1 Corinthians 11:7
1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Ephesians 5:22-24
Colossians 3:18
1 Timothy 2:11-12
1 Timothy 2:14-15
Titus 2:4-5
1 Peter 3:1
1 Peter 3:2-6
1 Peter 3:7

all of those passages are very sexist
they are in the bible
and they are basis for christianity



posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 06:09 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

some new testament passages
(because i know i'll get the "christians don't need to follow the old testament" arguement if i bring those up)

Romans 1:27
1 Corinthians 11:3
1 Corinthians 11:7
1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Ephesians 5:22-24
Colossians 3:18
1 Timothy 2:11-12
1 Timothy 2:14-15
Titus 2:4-5
1 Peter 3:1
1 Peter 3:2-6
1 Peter 3:7

all of those passages are very sexist
they are in the bible
and they are basis for christianity


You neglect to take into account ALL OTHER PASSAGES in the bible.

To isolate a few verses, while omitting all others sure makes your point valid, they are sexist comments, in and of themselves.

But, those verses are not the basis for christianity.

It is the equivelant of taking one word from the ten commandments to disprove the validity of the ten commandments.



posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 06:15 PM
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teacher, i see what you're getting at
but the comparison isn't valid
those passages don't seem any less horrid when you look at them in context







 
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