Why are Atheists Atheists?

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posted on Apr, 17 2007 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by GreatTech
how do you prove that you exist?


descartes already figured this one out. YOU THINK. that's all i need to do to prove that i exist.

and i have already brought this up



Do you need a reference point? Is this reference point infinite or finite in time?


no, a reference point is not need




posted on Apr, 17 2007 @ 12:45 PM
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Originally posted by GreatTech
SmallMindsBigIdeas, as I asked earlier in this thread: how do you prove that you exist? Do you need a reference point? Is this reference point infinite or finite in time?


Proof of Existence is the question its self.

There is and is not needed a point of reference. It is infinite and finite, it is time and not in time.

I realize that you were asking SmallMindsBigIdeas, but I hope you don't mind my contribution

[edit on 17-4-2007 by LastOutfiniteVoiceEternal]



posted on Apr, 17 2007 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by GreatTech
SmallMindsBigIdeas, as I asked earlier in this thread: how do you prove that you exist? Do you need a reference point? Is this reference point infinite or finite in time?


For one, I have no real interest in proving my existence to others, every one I meet and interact with seems to take it for granted that I exist.

I guess I would meet the dictionary's definition of "exist" .. which is "to have life".

Or you could say, "I think, therefore I am". That would work for me.

[edit on 4/17/2007 by SmallMindsBigIdeas]



posted on Apr, 17 2007 @ 09:02 PM
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Originally posted by The Winged Wombat
How do you know you love Australians - how many have you met - what do you know of Australia? - Do you even know where it is ? (I ask this because there was a street survey done in the USA - by an Australian TV station - and about 90% of respondents thought we were somewhere in Europe or on the Asian continent - with the caviat that I'm wary of such things because all TV stations edit their material to suit the story they wish to tell).


I am not an expert on Australia but I know some. I am most impressed by the fact that it is mostly Christian, has a high average life expectancy (I am always impressed by people who know how to live long lives), and has had some good rock bands (AC/DC: I ignore the sometimes Devilish lyrics but I love the guitar work of Angus Young, INXS, and a few others). My sister also use to date a man (a stock market investor) from Australia (near Melbourne). He wasn't an extremely friendly man but an OK guy. Also, I know basic facts on Australia as I have the CIA World Factbook (I recommend this book for everybody). Australia has about 20 million people and is located between the South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. It is the smallest continent but the sixth largest country. It is one of the most developed countries in the world. If I had the time and resources, I might pay a visit.


Originally posted by The Winged Wombat
Which laws do you obey, those of the Catholic Church, or the laws of America, where they are in conflict?


I, first and foremost, obey all American criminal laws, especially when they deal with violence. American law sometimes runs into conflict with Catholic law, i.e., abortion, but this does does not mean that the current law should be broken in order to change the law. I generally follow Catholic law as I believe it frequently has a higher moral code than American law in regards to many issues, abortion, euthanasia, marriage, divorce, Baptism, Communion... Because the Catholic Church has a higher standard of law then common law and I generally follow Catholic law, I am extremely far from being a criminal.

One of the major features of the Old Testament is the 10 Commandments. This type of law and its implication is frequently inculcated in the American and Australian legal systems, making them relatively just legal systems. Likewise, one of the major features of the New Testament is to love and care for the lowest of the low. This is frequently shown in the law and less-developed nations can learn from more developed nations like America and Australia.

American law is not perfect nor is the law of any nation. But it is relatively just by world standards.



posted on Apr, 17 2007 @ 10:13 PM
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GreatTech,

I'm impressed.

Australia is nominally a Christian nation, due to the fact that initial settlement was from Britain, however a statistical analysis of present day Australia indicates a much wider spread of religious belief. Overall the balance is changing continuously away from a predominance of Christianity, because until the 1970s Australia had a migration policy that effectively barred many races from coming here. The policy became known as 'The White Australia Policy'. A matter of shame for the then elected representatives of Australia and the attitudes of Australian citizens.

Given the history of the CIA, and its fallibility, I wonder at the reliablility of the CIA factbook, although it is a fairly reasonable summary.

Both the American and Australian legal systems are modelled on the British justice system, which in turn is based on the British religious system (called the Anglican model here and in Britain, but I believe that you call the Anglican church something else in America). Anglican belief diverges from Catholic belief in fairly minor ways - but seemingly of huge concern to those two organisations - that were introduced by King Henry VIII - mainly for his own personal benefit.

However, the American and British legal systems have evolved in different ways and many of those present differences (particularly capital punishment) are seen in a critical light by some of Britain's senior barristers - I refer you to Geoffrey Robertson's book 'The Justice Game'. (It also makes interesting reading concerning the ongoing case of the 'friendly fire' incident during the first Gulf War, where two American A-10's attacked a British armoured column and the politically motivated withholding of evidence from the British Coroner). The book is a collection of observations from Geoffrey Robertson's career as a QC and is quite eye-opening with respect to the British legal system as practiced in many countries around the world as well as Britain.

Just as an aside (and well off topic) I don't actually see OBL as the real mover and shaker of al-Qaeda. He is certainly the figure-head, but I rather see the situation as being similar to that of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. While Castro sought, essentially, a nationalist revolution (ie a political revolution for Cuba), it was Guevara who provided the idiology with which to rally support for that revolution. In the present case, I see Dr. Ayman Muhammad Rabaie al-Zawahiri (called, by the West, OBL's 'deputy' and a failed revolutionary in Egypt) as fulfilling the role of Che Guevara. Regardless of the success or otherwise of al-Qaeda, I think that al-Zawahiri will eventually move on to 'other revolutions', because he will never be satisfied until his beliefs (not necessarily himself) rule the whole world - a trait he shares with Guevara and Hitler.

Can you cease attempting to convert others until everyone shares your 'faith' ? No, you are not Guevara, al-Zawahiri or Hitler, but on a lesser scale there is a parallel here. The insistance that everyone else share your 'faith'.


Originally posted by GreatTech
I generally follow Catholic law as I believe it frequently has a higher moral code than American law in regards to many issues, abortion, euthanasia, marriage, divorce, Baptism, Communion... Because the Catholic Church has a higher standard of law then common law


Many of these things are matters of great debate in society at the moment. That you consider Catholic law as being the definitive answer on these matters is purely a matter of your adherence to that faith. In that sense you are making a rhetorical decision for yourself and telling yourself that you will not give the subject matter any serious personal and independant thought because it is not in accordance with what your church and its teachings proscribe. (And this has been evident on this thread, in that you defend your position merely by re-stating your position, rather than with supporting evidence)

As you can see from many of the responses you've received, there is a vast wave of feeling that your church, the Bible, and the teachings of your church are open to some doubt, with regard to translation and interpretation. Obviously, and logically, your 'faith' precludes you from addressing those doubts, and some of the subjects you quote, as others are able to. If you like, others are able to think more 'outside the box' than yourself, because they are not inhibited by the thinking that the answer is already laid down for them.


Originally posted by GreatTech

American law is not perfect nor is the law of any nation. But it is relatively just by world standards.



Given the incarceration rate in America compared to other developed countries, I'm not at all sure that you can claim this.

The Winged Wombat

Sorry for all the edits and additions. Contrary to GreatTech's praise of my verbal abilities, he is in error - I need time to formulate my responses - my verbal ability is 'crap' actually, so a written communication works better for me.


[edit on 18/4/07 by The Winged Wombat]



posted on Apr, 18 2007 @ 01:29 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

Originally posted by GreatTech
how do you prove that you exist?


descartes already figured this one out. YOU THINK. that's all i need to do to prove that i exist.

and i have already brought this up




Descartes was not completely accurate. He indicated that "I think, therefore I am." However, a better statement would be that "I feel, therefore I am." One can feel without a thought (in words or image), but one cannot think without a feeling.

Do you need a reference point? Is this reference point infinite or finite in time?



Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
no, a reference point is not need


You are interested in science. You know that a reference point is needed for everything to find the truth. The Ultimate "FEELER" of everything is God.

If you believe that the Universe was created by a "cosmic accident", you would have to explain this to billions of believers in God in history. You would also have to explain "cosmic accidents before this one."

The Universe is not as unkind as you believe it is. There is nothing that God does not feel. He will humble the most powerful feeling in the Universe and exalt the weakest feeling in the Universe.

[edit on 18-4-2007 by GreatTech]



posted on Apr, 18 2007 @ 01:46 AM
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GreatTech,

Just a comment on 'pro-America / anti-America' and what the world really thinks (including your own population). This Just In on the world's wire services....

'A majority of Australians continue to trust the United States but elsewhere in the world there is growing mistrust of the planet's only superpower, according to a multinational poll released today.

The study was conducted in 18 countries which together represent roughly 56 per cent of the world's population.

This survey found international frustration with the US is broader in scope than previously thought and has deepened in the wake of the war in Iraq.

The most stark results were those showing a lack of trust that the United States would act responsibly and a sense that it had overreached on the global stage.

Fifty-nine per cent of Australians surveyed said they trusted the US either a "great deal" or "somewhat" and the Philippines, Israel and Poland were the other staunch supporters with 85, 81 and 59 per cent respectively.

But 40 per cent of Australians answered "not at all" or "not very much" when asked how much they trusted the US "to act responsibly in the world".

But 80 per cent of Australians think the US takes on the role of international enforcer more than it should, agreeing with three out of four Americans.

Globally, the majority of respondents answered "not at all" or "not very much" when asked how much they trusted the US "to act responsibly in the world".

Eighty-four per cent of Argentinians answered "not at all" or "not very much" as did 80 per cent of Peruvians.

In Russia the figure was 73 per cent, in France 72 per cent, in Armenia 58 per cent, in Indonesia 64 per cent, in China 59 per cent, in Thailand 56 per cent, in South Korea 53 per cent, in India 52 per cent and in the Ukraine 37 per cent.

Most respondents also thought the US takes on the role of international enforcer more than it should.

France was at 89 per cent, China at 77 per cent, Russia and Peru at 76 per cent, the Palestinian territories at 74 per cent, South Korea at 73 per cent, Indonesia at 68 per cent, Ukraine at 67 per cent, Armenia at 63 per cent, Argentina at 62 per cent and India at 53 per cent.

Only the Philippines disagreed, with 57 per cent. Israeli respondents were split at an even 48 per cent.
Mixed messages

The poll found broad international frustration on how the United States conducts its foreign policy, but few people around the world want the US to completely back off its role as a global policeman.

Christopher Whitney, executive director for studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, helped coordinate the 18-country study.

"There's clearly a trend in terms of deepening negative attitudes to the US in how it executes foreign policy," he said.

But he said the frustration was mixed with an understanding that the US has a significant role to play internationally and should not withdraw completely.

He noted there was not consistent support for closing US military bases overseas and many respondents felt their bilateral relationship with the US was improving.

"It is not a consistent message of 'we don't want the US to be involved,' it's more nuanced," he said.

"They just want the US to play a more cooperative role and be a more constructive international player in terms of working through international organisations and listening to allies and friends when they have concerns."

The random sample surveys were conducted by telephone and in person from June 2006 to March 2007, with margins of error ranging from 1.5 to 4 percentage points.'

Also of concern is some of the comments coming from Korea and Korean students in the US following the revelation that the shooter at Virginia Tech was a South Korean. The content of those comments shows a great fear of xenophobic reaction within the USA both against Koreans and South Korea and even US Government reactions against South Korea. I don't agree with their comments because South Korea could hardly be held responsible for the mental health of a student studying in America, but the fact that they have made such comments certainly points to the commenter's fear of US xenophobia.

The Winged Wombat

[edit on 18/4/07 by The Winged Wombat]



posted on Apr, 18 2007 @ 02:06 AM
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Originally posted by GreatTech


The Universe is not as unkind as you believe it is. There is nothing that God does not feel. He will humble the most powerful feeling in the Universe and exalt the weakest feeling in the Universe.



GreatTech,

I don't see God humbling OBL's feelings of power, or exulting the misery of many of the people of New Orleans, whose needs have yet to be addressed.

And who said that the creation of the universe was an accident - it may well be a recurring cycle - we just don't, as yet, know (if indeed we ever will know). Live with the fact that we may never know.

The Winged Wombat


[edit on 18/4/07 by The Winged Wombat]



posted on Apr, 18 2007 @ 02:23 AM
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Originally posted by GreatTech

Descartes was not completely accurate. He indicated that "I think, therefore I am." However, a better statement would be that "I feel, therefore I am." One can feel without a thought (in words or image), but one cannot think without a feeling.



GreatTech,

'Not completely accurate'? That would mean wrong, wouldn't it? (like 'a little bit pregnant' again).

Any other of the world's acknowledged great thinkers and philosophers you'd like to bend into your own theory, while you're at it?

The Winged Wombat

[edit on 18/4/07 by The Winged Wombat]



posted on Apr, 18 2007 @ 09:05 AM
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We must think to know that we feel, we must feel to know that we think. I'm sure Descartes felt some thing that ignited his famous "I think... therefore I am!".

I highly doubt it was just a random unemotional occurence.

Word and feeling are associated to thought. Thought is associated to word and feeling



posted on Apr, 18 2007 @ 09:49 AM
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Originally posted by GreatTech
Descartes was not completely accurate. He indicated that "I think, therefore I am." However, a better statement would be that "I feel, therefore I am." One can feel without a thought (in words or image), but one cannot think without a feeling.


one cannot realize that they are thinking without thought, descartes was completely accurate




You are interested in science. You know that a reference point is needed for everything to find the truth.


ok, i'll put it this way, an EXTERNAL reference point is not needed for me to prove my own existence to myself.




If you believe that the Universe was created by a "cosmic accident", you would have to explain this to billions of believers in God in history.


see evolutionary psychology, they've done a bunch of work to understand why the human mind is predisposed to belief.



You would also have to explain "cosmic accidents before this one."


...i don't understand what you mean here.



The Universe is not as unkind as you believe it is.


i don't believe the universe is unkind, i believe it is BENIGN. the universe is just there.



posted on Apr, 19 2007 @ 12:16 PM
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I missed a lot.

Oddly, I don't think I have anything else to say. Well, wait a minute....Hey Winged Wombat, rock band huh? That's interesting....I'd join in on that thread.

I think I'm delirious today. Hope you all had a nice week.



posted on Apr, 19 2007 @ 05:12 PM
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"all thought comes from emotion" I disagree with that. I'm sure that there are people who make logical decisions, and think without emotions becoming a factor. think of Spock.

I'm confused by what you mean if one has no feelings or emotions they can't think.
please explaine.

Also, to say I think therefor I am and I feel there for I am. Are accurate statements independent of each other so you can't say that you must be able to feel to think. Not always true.



posted on Apr, 20 2007 @ 08:11 AM
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Originally posted by BASSPLYR
"all thought comes from emotion" I disagree with that. I'm sure that there are people who make logical decisions, and think without emotions becoming a factor. think of Spock.

I'm confused by what you mean if one has no feelings or emotions they can't think.
please explaine.


There are such people, they usually possess lesions to the ventromedial frontal lobe or the amygdala. They usually exhibit dysfuntional social behaviour. Antonio Damasio has a couple of books on this issue. 'Descartes Error' is probably the best read.

Emotions are essential for adaptive social behaviour. But some people do think without emotion, and it's generally not a good thing - unless risky behaviour is the best option. Occassionally it can be adaptive though, Damasio gives one example of skidding a car on ice. Without emotion, you may well perform better in this situation, same goes for other situations that can be better undertaken without the infusion of emotion - without fear or empathy. This is why VMPFC patients can be labelled as 'acquired sociopaths'.

[edit on 20-4-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Apr, 20 2007 @ 11:51 AM
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I agree that emotion is an important factor in governing what we think about, or that a synergy between emotion and pure thought are signifigant parts of human phsycology.

But say hypotheically the Greys exist. (not saying they do, but hypothetically) Greys are said to be devoid of emotion, but they think just fine. So there could be a, all be it a hypothetical example, a creature that exists devoid of emotion and is more than capable of thought. How bout psycopaths that can disassociate their actions from their emotions.

I'm not disagreeing with your last post, just saying that if we thought about it we could probably find examples of people, or possiblities for thought without emotion.

I know I didn't put my argument forward very clearly but hopefully you know what I'm trying to say.



posted on Apr, 20 2007 @ 12:21 PM
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There's no such thing as "no emotion", it's merely an "emotion/pathology" that is yet nomenclatorial.

To feel is to think, to think is to feel. They need each other.

If you couldn't think then you wouldn't know you were feeling, if you couldn't feel then you wouldn't know you were thinking.

Even depression, a state that can some times induce a feeling of "no emotion", is still a feeling. Feelings create memories, memories are re-membered through thought. Memories contain feelings, feelings can ignite certain memories. It's all together.

Wait, why are athiests, atheists? Cause they choose not to be btheists or ztheist?



posted on Apr, 20 2007 @ 12:41 PM
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or cthiests or dthiests but not ethiest but certaintly not fthiests



posted on Apr, 23 2007 @ 03:25 AM
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For all atheists: do you believe in an afterlife? If so, do you believe in consequences, positive or negative, based on your earth-life actions? If not, how do you cope with the loss of a family member?



posted on Apr, 23 2007 @ 08:30 AM
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Originally posted by GreatTech

3) Atheists' mind's eyes are underdeveloped:


Why are athiests athiests? Because we aren't arrogant egotists.



posted on Apr, 23 2007 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by GreatTech
For all atheists: do you believe in an afterlife? If so, do you believe in consequences, positive or negative, based on your earth-life actions? If not, how do you cope with the loss of a family member?


Your type of afterlife( as in christian heaven) or any type of afterlife??

Yes I know consequences happen, in fact I have faith in consequences to my actions - just what are you trying to get at? What has consequence have to do with bereavement? unless it was you that caused the death/whatever.


G





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