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Atheist Chat

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posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 02:54 PM
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BH! I was wondering what happened to you!

MIMS I am going to try to watch that video later, when my kid is asleep.

And about the ethical dilemma I had:

I shouldn't have bothered. My daughter is with her father this weekend, so I took her birth certificate, my ID and her school registration form. I stood in line in the hot sun with my toddler son for an hour and when we got to the head of the line I was told I had to leave because I was supposed to have my kid with me. I tried to explain the custody situation and that her abusive dad would never in a million years bring her himself (I have to supply her stuff) or let me have her for a couple hours to bring her (it's HIS time dammit!), but they didn't care.

That's the last time I go to a church for a handout. :shk:

Screw em.




posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 03:01 PM
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Interesting quotes in Why Darwin Matters:

"Christians in the twentieth century have been playing defense. They've been fighting a defensive war to defend what they have, to defend as much of it as they can. It never turns the tide. What we're trying to do is something entirely different. We're trying to go into enemy territory, their very center, and blow up the ammunition dump. What is their ammunition dump in this metaphor? It is their version of creation. ... This isn't really, and never has been, a debate about science ... It's about religion and philosophy."

Phillip Johnson, the founder of the modern Intelligent Design movement, 2/6/2000, at the National Religious Broadcasters annual conference in Anaheim, CA.

All the talk the ID proponents make that it's about science is lies. It IS about religion, and about attempting to destroy actual scientific fact, to suit their own beliefs. It is a religious war against all science.

The founder of the movement said it himself. This is what it is. A war on reason by the religious, in the disguise of pseudo-science.



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 10:21 AM
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Humph! It sure has been quiet around here lately. Where my peeps at? Burned at the stake, perhaps?

Richard Dawkins has a new show out that's aired in the UK last couple of weeks, The Enemies of Reason.

I found parts one and two on YouTube last night, and watched the first episode. It was very good, and went into more detail about why we as a species might keep believing in the supernatural despite all evidence to the contrary. He talked a bit about it in The God Delusion, but sometimes having a visual explanation such as on a documentary brings home the point more easily.

He believes it is our biology, our pattern-seeking ability gone awry. I highly recommend that anyone who has time watch this. It's broken up on YouTube in 9:54 segments, so it's easily digestible.

On to my other point of the day, I'm reading Christoper Hitchens' God Is Not Great.

It's tending to make me even more vocally anti-religion, the points he makes and discusses are excellent.

One thing that has been in my head since I read it a couple of days ago concerns Christian Scientists and Jehovah's Witnesses and how members of these particular cults will deny their own children medical care and allow them to die because their religion forbids it.

I knew about this peripherally, but not much about it. I intend to do some research on it in the future, time permitting, but I find it absolutely appalling that if any other parent denied their children necessary medical care, they'd be jailed for neglect and child abuse, but because these two sects are religions, they are allowed to get away with these cruel acts.

Why should religions be given exemptions to laws of society designed to protect people? I don't think that any "belief" system should trump the law when it comes to protection of innocent children. If an adult wants to deny him or herself a blood transfusion, I say, good luck and enjoy the ride into oblivion. But denying such to a child who has no choice and no doubt does not want to die for the glorification of their sky fairy, is an abomination.

Religion goes too far. I am in agreement with Hitchens, it's a poison. It poisons everything.

Thoughts?



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 10:59 AM
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Some people don't need a god, maybe they are comfortable with reality and fearless of the unknown.


Edn

posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 11:19 AM
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I just thought when you mentioned the exemptions of law religions sometimes get. Is there any specific reasons why religions get so many exemptions? I don't think ive actually ever heard anyone tell people why the government gives religions exemptions from tax, certain laws, etc, etc.

At the most I can see a religious organisation as being exactly that a non-profit organisation with the exception (it just occured to me) that almost all religions are for-profit organaisations who run charitable events now and then.

Which bings up a point, what on Earth are the actually clasified as, there deffinetally some sort of company as they sell products, they make profit so there not non-profit, but they accept donations though id guess thats just a side effect of the illusion that religous organisations are non-profit organisations.



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 11:37 AM
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WOW MM, this Richard Dawkins video is awesome, I am near the end of part three, it goes into the dangers of CT's.



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 11:41 AM
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Edn, I think it has something to do (in the US at least) with the Constitutional right to practice religion. It's definitely something worth researching when time permits. The Wiki entry on Christian Science touched on this subject slightly.

Stormdancer, I agree with you, that video was fantastic! I am looking forward to watching all of part two tonight. It really brings to light the fact that people who practice supernatural techniques such as dowsing and astrology really are deluded into thinking that these things work, which is why it's so hard to convince them that they don't. Delusions are so powerful in the human psyche.



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 12:14 PM
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This is a very interesting thread! I'm sure alot of people reading are asking important questions.

All I wish to say is that Christianity, to a Christian, is not and should not be a religion. Christ condemned ritual and framework. God is living to the Christian,
God is not a picture of an old white man with a long beard, God is alive and well.

There is no idol in Christianity, no image to worship (we don't worship a cross)
It is a new life, It is a change not of thought, but of the heart.

Ask, and ye shall receive.


On the topic of why there are anomalies in the body and in science.
After the split (man made apart from God in the "garden".) Order broke down, pain was manifest and the motor of decay activated. All things down to the smallest size are basic shapes and forms. If there is a problem with the lattice framework of particle and bond etc, mutation occurs.

Simply put, after man inherited free thought, he literally could think like God, (plan ahead, do what he desires, form conclusion, initiate action, and judge things). Since man is imperfect though, he cannot foresee the consequence of his action, we have war when one man or groups of men (man/men means the human race as a whole in this instance.) judge another group. When men want to build, or nourish, he must acquire resource, which leads to war, as we're seeing now and have seen since "free" man began.

See, free thought is invaluable, but extremely dangerous. Think of giving your child powerful knowledge. He or she may understand to some degree what you've told them, but they cannot appropriately handle that knowledge.

Imagine trusting your child (young child) with a pistol. You can show him diagrams, the owners manual, what parts make it up, but he still cannot be trsuted to handle that power. He could hurt himself or others. This happens everyday when man can't control his will, can't contain it. He believes he is but since he is not all knowing or perfect, folly results.


I will write what people fear most about faith and Christianity (which in it's original form was not religion, there was no church, the people were the church.)

There is nothing more terrifying than staking your soul and being on faith.

But when you do. Ohhh it is amazing.

Picture this. You are standing on a cliff, darkness below you. Faith lies in the unseen, it is dark down there and you are afraid to make the leap, afraid of where you might end up. But you jump! You hang onto that rope of self knowledge and ego though. You experience the jolt of jumping off only to have your rope snap tight, you climb back up and walk away. "It simply can't be true, there's nothing at the bottom..."

To be free, let go of the rope. Think of the word God right now.

God.

Now for some of you this instantly conjured up pompous feelings of "god is fake, I know he is, I know this and that and I.I.I."

For others they still don't know what to trust in. and for others still they are comforted by that mere word.

Moreso than anything. I respect each being God has made and I respect their opinions! This is where many Christians go wrong, the way to life is not through force!(I will not force God on someone) It is through peace.

So I say, peace be with you!


edit: typos galore!

[edit on 23-8-2007 by depth om]



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 01:14 PM
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Well, thank you for your input, DO, I appreciate your stepping in.

But to me, not speaking for any of the other atheists here, belief in the supernatural is the danger. If there was a god, wouldn't it/he/she have given us reason and rationality for a purpose? It makes no sense then, even in the light of religion, to let go of that.

I could have faith that the sky is green, but it is not green. The evidence shows that the sky is not green, so all the faith in the world does not make that a truth. This is why faith is dangerous and is anathema to people who look to reason. Faith is ultimately just storytelling in one's head, and saying that something ephemeral that there is absolutely no evidence for, is true. This flies in the face of rationality and is the opposite of real thought.

Faith and superstition are phenomenon of thought from when our species was in its infancy. We needed an authority to answer the questions we couldn't answer for ourselves. Faith and superstition are primitive needs that our species is outgrowing through the use of science. I am beginning to think that people who eschew religion are growing up and leading the way for the people who are still stuck in our species' infantile mindset of needing something bigger and more than us in order to feel safe.

What you describe as leaping into the dark abyss is actually what faith is. There is evidence all around for the opposite of creationism and religion, but people still leap into the crevasse of belief with no supporting evidence, and deny the evidence around them that there is no god.

Our species needs to finish growing up, or religion is going to destroy us all. Now that jihadists and Christian fundamentalists alike have nuclear weapons, it's scarier than ever that they are willing to kill one another over which version of their invisible friend is the correct one.

I suppose it's scary for some people to see the world clearly without the filter of a creator. I personally find it liberating.

Which leads me to a question for all in this thread:

If, as Dawkins thinks, faith is an evolutionary trait, will we evolve out of it? Will our DNA shift to preclude this part of our brains that feels a need to believe in something without proof and kill others over that belief? Is it a part of our brains that is physical and can be changed? Are we evolving out of it right now? Or does it have more to do with programming, and the only way to kill the meme is to cease teaching it to our children?



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 02:00 PM
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Thank you Major Malfunction.

To touch on what you said about science. Science is mans observations of his environment, And as a christian, I believe we observe Gods construct.

I do not separate my faith and science. Honestly, I have yet to see a scientific observation disprove or in any way discredit the idea that there was a creator.

Evolution does not disprove God. It only opens up more questions about our origin. Why are apes still here if they came before us. Why do we coexist with what was supposed to be a precursor to man. They are just another animal in the construct.

Not everyone is jihadist or "death to all sinners". Extremism has no place in Christianity. Alot of atheists I meet seem indignant over Christians, or either see them as fools.

1 Corinthians 2:14
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

You have a spirit. I've seen a human being die, something is drawn up out of them when that happens. A soul.

All this energy, came from a source, the singularity, if the big bang theory is true, had to come from somewhere. God is unseen, GOD is just a human word. The true identity of that under-lying force is unfathomable. Anyone who believes or is starting to believe, The finger of a higher power is extended out to you. Christ gave everyone a gift, his body and soul on the cross. some will choose to open the gift, some will choose to re-gift.


Take it easy everybody. Relax and tune back into the novelty of what surrounds us. Rediscover the beauty around you.



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 02:09 PM
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OK, I see where you're coming from, but I can't agree with you.

And if you don't mind, this thread is for chatting about aspects of atheism.

I do have a thread where the debate can be carried out, Belief vs. Unbelief Slugfest! It's meant for debates of all intensities between believers and nonbelievers.

So I'm not trying to censor you here, but this thread is getting off topic, I would prefer no preaching in this particular thread, and would prefer it be carried over into the one that debate is welcome in.




posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 03:15 PM
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Originally posted by depth om
I do not separate my faith and science. Honestly, I have yet to see a scientific observation disprove or in any way discredit the idea that there was a creator.


it has shown us that the universe can function and exist in the absence of a creator



Evolution does not disprove God. It only opens up more questions about our origin. Why are apes still here if they came before us. Why do we coexist with what was supposed to be a precursor to man.


...they weren't. the current living apes weren't a precursor to humanity, they actually evolved from a COMMON ANCESTOR



Not everyone is jihadist or "death to all sinners". Extremism has no place in Christianity.


unfortunately, you're wrong about this. extremism has an unfortunate place in any system that isn't based on reason.



Alot of atheists I meet seem indignant over Christians, or either see them as fools.


no, we just think they compartmentalize their brain so that it allows them to accept one foolish thought without any proof



1 Corinthians 2:14
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.


the problem with that... you have to accept the arguement before you see the proof... that's a bit of a fallacy right there.



You have a spirit. I've seen a human being die, something is drawn up out of them when that happens. A soul.


that is in no way a proof of anything. i've seen a ghost.. it turned out to be a loose curtain... it looked a lot like a ghost, it had a face, teeth, eyes, etc... but there wasn't anything there because as i approached it i realized my mind was playing a trick on me



All this energy, came from a source, the singularity, if the big bang theory is true, had to come from somewhere.


indeed, it will be fascinating when we figure out where... or maybe it was infintiely preexisting... we don't know yet



God is unseen, GOD is just a human word. The true identity of that under-lying force is unfathomable. Anyone who believes or is starting to believe, The finger of a higher power is extended out to you. Christ gave everyone a gift, his body and soul on the cross. some will choose to open the gift, some will choose to re-gift.


ok, that really doesn't have a place here...



Take it easy everybody. Relax and tune back into the novelty of what surrounds us. Rediscover the beauty around you.


beauty is found through understanding...



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 04:25 PM
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Got it, no more preaching.

I'll be on later to continue discussion. Good day.



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 04:27 PM
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Thank you very much for your understanding!

I'll be glad to carry it over to the other thread, though. That one has free reign within the T&C.


Edn

posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 08:57 PM
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I believe we have touched this before however I have a specific question regarding what Atheist believe happens then you die. Now i know a lot of people say when we die were dead, cease to be, become non-existent however wouldn't this be a belief?

I ask because I have never heard anyone show any evidence of this which obviously is quite hard to do, you cant because to prove theres nothing after death you would need to present no evidence. However there is a reasonable amount of evidence and accounts that show something may happen after the death of your body and plenty of theres out there about what happens after death.

So without reasonable evidence to show the non-existence of existence after death should atheists really say such?

Second part, does anything think this is a common belief among atheist because the 'afterlife' tends to be linked to religion?



posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 09:15 PM
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I'd be willing to bet that different atheists have different opinions. Maybe the religion/afterlife link is a valid point.

I just look at it as logically as I can, and surmise that in the absence of evidence, there is no afterlife. As far as I personally am concerned, my consciousness is produced by the firing of the neurons in my brain and how they interact. The neurons fire because my body is still making chemical reactions. When the reactor shuts down, the organic computer will shut down, too.

Frankly, it's all been rather a relief to come to this conclusion. The idea of going on and on forever in any particular version of paradise makes me shudder with intimations of infinite boredom.

For a long time I believed in reincarnation, but I'm not convinced at this time that there is such a thing as a soul.

Even if some part of our energy does not die with us, and changes form as I understand energy is wont to do, I doubt our consciousness would survive entire. So even if some of our energy transformed into something else, we would still cease to be.

No matter how I look at it, I still come up with the same answer: as far as I'm concerned, when we die, we cease to exist on the conscious level, and become nothing more than cooling meat.



posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 09:37 PM
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reply to post by MajorMalfunction
 


Everything we perceive is just firing of nuerons I agree. Its all perception, but who is perceiving?
Its the ghost in the machine question for me.
Way I see it is nothing disappears, that means when our body dies it doesnt disappear, and neither does the perceiver.


Edn

posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 09:38 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Frankly, it's all been rather a relief to come to this conclusion. The idea of going on and on forever in any particular version of paradise makes me shudder with intimations of infinite boredom.


Lets not assume that there is paradise at the end of our current physical life, thats the religious/afterlife link talking there.

The accounts of children with knowledge of past life's for me is enough for reasonable doubt that we don't simply cease to exist. Though it isn't proof in its self certainly you would need more than just accounts from children of memory's of past life's or the experiences of people with nde's. The fact that people even have these experiences should (for me anyway) be enough not to simply assume we just die and thats it, though that may simply be the case.

Is there any actual proof theres no 'afterlife'? can you discount every single nde, every single recollection of a past life?

I wouldn't even say this (if reincarnation or an continued existence after death exits) is religious in anyway, i regard it the same as when religions worshiped the sun as there god, people don't understand it so it must be god or heaven or whatever the reason may be for atheists.



posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 09:48 PM
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Originally posted by Edn
Now i know a lot of people say when we die were dead, cease to be, become non-existent however wouldn't this be a belief?


When your dead your dead this isnt a belief along the lines of faith instead it is based on the complete lack of evidence available.




So without reasonable evidence to show the non-existence of existence after death should atheists really say such?


That kind of thinking makes it seem like that you went to school in the 19th century. Its not a good idea to say that something has happened or exists and then look for the evidence. Instead the only logical thing to do is to let any evidence that is found lead you to your conclusions.


Second part, does anything think this is a common belief among atheist because the 'afterlife' tends to be linked to religion?


Well I can only speak myself but I think that your onto something indirectly because religion relies on faith and reaching conclusions without even bothering to produce any evidence to back up there claims.



posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 09:51 PM
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Nice meaty chat here, Edn, thanks.

Extraordinary claims (or beliefs) require extraordinary proof. I don't consider NDE's proof (or even merely evidence) because it's been reproduced chemically with various drugs. As far as the children knowing about past lives thing, I'm not sure that there is real scientifically verifiable evidence there, either. I'm not an expert on that topic (yes, it's true, I don't know EVERYTHING
) but if I looked into it a bit, I might be able to come up with a hypothesis that does not involve a supernatural explanation.

But when it comes right down to brass tacks, you're correct. There is no way to falsify the afterlife -- any version of it. So there's no way to prove it either. Which takes it out of the realm of science and into the realm of philosophy, something that I only dabble in.

I guess I'm not sure enough of my own concept of death to defend it harder right now. It's the ultimate mystery. But I still think when we die, we die.

Let me ask you something along this line: do you consider other animals to have something "after" as well? Or plants? Bacteria? I tend to think that we want there to be an afterlife because we want to be important enough to merit something like this.

The human psyche is so very vain in some ways. We've always insisted we're the center of the universe, from being made in "god's" image to the sun revolving around the earth, to being watched by aliens from other planets who prefer to communicate through crop circles rather than via radio transmissions. In some ways it is parallel to a small child, who thinks it is the center of the universe and that everything revolves around them; everything that happens is because of them or for their benefit.

Our species is at a point where we are growing out of infancy. I think that all these concepts of needing to be important in the universe may fall away over time. Or maybe not. Maybe it's a psychological defense mechanism for small beings on a small planet in a corner of an insignificant galaxy in this huge expanding universe.

Or maybe it's just another of society's superstitious memes.

Or maybe there really is a heaven and I have a lot of 'splaining to do.



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