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Atheism.........What is the belief?

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posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 11:37 AM
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I know nothing about Atheism. I've heard that it's the belief or rather non belief in God, but that's as much information as I've been privileged to. I would really like to know from Atheists what your belief is.

I see the fights on here between you guys and the Christians and obviously there is a lot of resentment between the two groups. Well I've heard their take on what you believe, now I'd really like to hear it from you.

Just so you know where my head is at with all this, I'll tell you why I believe there is some form of God out there.

For a time I lived in San Diego, CA. I didn't make much money in those days and lived in a blighted area. One day I was sitting at a bus stop and basically, zoning out, lost in my own thoughts. I was facing a cross street and for whatever reason I began looking down that street. Several blocks down that road there was a palm tree gently blowing in the wind. It was silhouetted against the setting sun, and behind it in the distance was the ocean. As I sat there watching a thought crossed my mind. How simply complex that tree was. Basically it's own eco system and yet simply a tree. Funny thing is that as I sat there looking around it occurred to me that nothing man has ever made comes anywhere close to the simple beauty and the complex structure of that one plant. On that day, and in that moment, I began to truly believe in a God source, and on that day in that moment I stopped believing in Christianity. That was like 15 years ago and I still haven't found anything man has made that comes close to that tree.




posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 11:42 AM
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What`s the belief?

In a nutshell, that there is nothing in the form of a supernatural being to believe in.

It` not a belief so much as an epiphany. Once you realize it, you kind of move on with your life from that point.

YMMV



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 12:18 PM
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reply to post by vox2442
 


Thank you for that information. I figure at best a really lucky human has about 100 years on this planet, with that in mind, and looking at it from a "That's final" point of view. It seems a bit self indulgent to think, that we humans would be important enough, in the whole scheme of things, to expect to move on to a higher existance after death. However, it also seems to me, looking at it from the opposite end of the spectrum, that to assume "this is it" leaves one unimportant in the whole scheme of things. I mean why be here in the first place? What value does human life have if all we are is a mass of cells with intelligence and emotion existing for our hundred years?



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 01:53 PM
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The best analogy I have seen for the approach of an atheist is Sagan's 'dragon in my garage'...

www.godlessgeeks.com...

Atheism is the non-belief in deities. We look around and see the lack of evidence, the illogical claims, and the contradictions and come to a position of non-belief in deities.

The video in this post I think also represents the atheist position well...and maybe that of some theists, heh.

www.belowtopsecret.com...



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 04:09 PM
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reply to post by melatonin
 


yeah, this pretty much hits the point spot on

other good examples are russel's teapot, the invisible pink unicorn, and the flying spaghetti monster



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


You know Madness, I like you... You may find that hard to believe, but it is your way of presenting ideas and the basic character I see in you, that attracts me time and again to your posts...

You know my faith and my beliefs and we have debated them from time to time, I just wanted to say one thing....

As I have gotten to know you more and more, it saddens me more and more to imagine that whether I am right or you are right, the uniqueness that is you will disappear forever from this world when you are gone.

Did not mean to get off topic, just feeling kind of pensive and saw your post...

Semper



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 05:42 PM
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hhhmmmm Interesting theory. Sounds logical, and I can see how ppl would believe this to be the only truth. However, it makes me wonder. How would you have presented this concept to Helen Keller? She was blind and deaf. She could neither see nor hear the world around her, how could she have known that it existed at all? Yet with the right teacher she learned to read and write, she learned how to communicate with others around her, but if she had believed what the Atheists do then how could anyone else have proven that the world she lived in existed?

I've said this in another thread, but I'll say it again here. The funny thing about fact is that it's subject to change as new information is presented. We base fact on the evidence of proof which is also subject to change as new information is presented. There was a time when ppl believed that the world was flat. Why? Because they could only see to the horizen and there was no other information to discredit that idea, so for them it was fact. Anyone who disagreed with this I'm sure was considered nutz. lol Then one day someone looked at it a different way and suddenly that fact was changed. It's been this way throughout time. Each and every time we think we understand the world around us it changes and shows us new information.

Pick up a piece of grass, turn it over in your hand, look at it carefully. What I see is a green, flat, thing with a point on one end and a flat side on the other, but is it really? If I take away the Chlorophyll would it still be green? If I look at it under the microscope is it really flat? etc...

So, for the sake of argument let's say that fact is essentially the general consensis, and proof is the evidence we collect to support that opinion. Then the question becomes. Is the information the general concensis holds to be true more valad then the information of the individual who see's things a different way? If your answer is yes then why? It took one curious person to change our perception about the shape of the world, should we have ignored him because the general concensis said it wasn't so?



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 06:05 PM
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Well I can only speak for myself but based on the lack of evidence and logic I have concluded that a higher power doesn't exist . That all there is to it .

Cheers xpert11 .

[edit on 1-3-2008 by xpert11]



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 06:11 PM
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Originally posted by xpert11
Well I can only speak for myself but based on the lack of evidence and logic I have concluded that a higher power doesn't exist . That all there is to it .

Cheers xpert11 .

[edit on 1-3-2008 by xpert11]


And that is a very beautiful thing! I personally believe that all of this, belief in God or the non belief in he/she/it/them is a product to our own reality. What works for me will not necissarily work for you, but out of that difference will come growth and new understanding.



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by enchantress62
How would you have presented this concept to Helen Keller? She was blind and deaf. She could neither see nor hear the world around her, how could she have known that it existed at all?


Evidence isn't only that which one can see or hear. We know that gravity exists even though we cannot see or hear it. We see the evidence of it.


Each and every time we think we understand the world around us it changes and shows us new information.


True. And when evidence of a god pops up, I will accept that information.



So, for the sake of argument let's say that fact is essentially the general consensis, and proof is the evidence we collect to support that opinion.


But "fact" is NOT necessarily general consensus. If everyone believes something and they have "evidence" that supports it, and it's WRONG, then it's not fact.



Then the question becomes. Is the information the general concensis holds to be true more valad then the information of the individual who see's things a different way?


No. Not necessarily. What's more valid is the truth. It doesn't matter how many people believe the earth is flat or that there is a god, if they're wrong, it's not fact. Only if they are right is it a fact.

As regards the original question in this thread, the video in the other thread answers it beautifully! Love that vid!



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 07:21 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by enchantress62

Evidence isn't only that which one can see or hear. We know that gravity exists even though we cannot see or hear it. We see the evidence of it.



My point exactly! To say give me proof that there is a god is like saying give me proof that there is gravity. We see the evidence of it, we've put a lable on it, we know it exists, and that it affects us, but we can't see, hear, touch, or sense it.


True. And when evidence of a god pops up, I will accept that information.



Makes no difference to me rather you accept God or not, this is a topic for sharing information, and discussing the possibilities. I'm not a Christian so don't put me in the same catagory please.


But "fact" is NOT necessarily general consensus. If everyone believes something and they have "evidence" that supports it, and it's WRONG, then it's not fact.



Awe! Well then maybe you can share with me one "Fact" that is unrefutable truth. The problem with "Fact" is that how I see it and how you see it is based on our own reality. What I hear, see, touch, experience, is going to be different then what you see, hear, etc...



No. Not necessarily. What's more valid is the truth. It doesn't matter how many people believe the earth is flat or that there is a god, if they're wrong, it's not fact. Only if they are right is it a fact.



We could go on like this for a long time, rendering it somewhere in the rhelm of "Which came first the chicken or the egg?" I understand you're need to find believable evidence of the existance of God or the non exisance of he/she/it/them. I also understand the stance of non belief until credible evidence is obtained. I share that with you, however I also uniquivically believe that fact, proof, and evidance are subject to change within each person's individual reality. To say that God doesn't exist because you have no proof, is as narrow minded as saying he/she/it/them does because you have a book in front of you that says so.


As regards the original question in this thread, the video in the other thread answers it beautifully! Love that vid!


Does it? And which thread would that be in? I watched the one in this thread, but what I saw was a man stating a theory, nothing more, nothing less.



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 07:30 PM
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Sorry for the weird way my last post showed up, I'm still learning how to navagate this bloody site, but my thoughts are all there, I checked. lmao



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 08:03 PM
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Originally posted by enchantress62
Does it? And which thread would that be in? I watched the one in this thread, but what I saw was a man stating a theory, nothing more, nothing less.


It's the one I linked to earlier. It is an atheist and a theist discussing the nature of belief and knowledge, with an appearance from the holy ghost at the end, heh.

You seem to be taking this thread down a different track now. You asked for atheist beliefs, and many have provided an understanding of the nature of their atheism. But if you want to talk about 'possibilities', then OK.


For a time I lived in San Diego, CA. I didn't make much money in those days and lived in a blighted area. One day I was sitting at a bus stop and basically, zoning out, lost in my own thoughts. I was facing a cross street and for whatever reason I began looking down that street. Several blocks down that road there was a palm tree gently blowing in the wind. It was silhouetted against the setting sun, and behind it in the distance was the ocean. As I sat there watching a thought crossed my mind. How simply complex that tree was. Basically it's own eco system and yet simply a tree. Funny thing is that as I sat there looking around it occurred to me that nothing man has ever made comes anywhere close to the simple beauty and the complex structure of that one plant. On that day, and in that moment, I began to truly believe in a God source, and on that day in that moment I stopped believing in Christianity. That was like 15 years ago and I still haven't found anything man has made that comes close to that tree.


And so from one form of theism you changed to another because of beauty and complexity of a tree. So, I guess this can be called an argument from 'it's all so wonderful and complex'.

Neither are actually evidence for any form of deity, just the ease with which your awe leads you to faith-based positions. Francis Collins was walking and saw a frozen waterfall, the wonderousness of this sight led him to kneel down and accept jesus. So, it's just an irrational process of justifying faith through emotion and wishful-thinking. It led you to whatever, it led him to accept virgin births, resurrections, and a three part god.

Obviously awe at trees leads to your faith, awe at frozen waterfalls to Xianity.

Now that's great, if it floats ya boat that's cool by me. But it's not evidence for a deity. The same sense of awe amazingly led me to be a scientist and to take walks in the wilderness as much as possible.

ABE: this is the video that BH is talking about...



[edit on 1-3-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 08:41 PM
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Originally posted by melatonin

Originally posted by enchantress62
You seem to be taking this thread down a different track now. You asked for atheist beliefs, and many have provided an understanding of the nature of their atheism. But if you want to talk about 'possibilities', then OK.


And so from one form of theism you changed to another because of beauty and complexity of a tree. So, I guess this can be called an argument from 'it's all so wonderful and complex'.

Obviously awe at trees leads to your faith, awe at frozen waterfalls to Xianity.

Now that's great, if it floats ya boat that's cool by me. But it's not evidence for a deity. The same sense of awe amazingly led me to be a scientist and to take walks in the wilderness as much as possible.


That's just it, that's where the Atheist belief that has been presented here today looses me. There is no way to prove anything because what's real and factual today will be changed as new information is presented tomorrow. You can minimize my experience until hell freezes over, but it is my reality and that can't be argued. That said, I neither agree or disagree with you, I'm only here to learn your views and share my own.

Being a scientist, as you say, this must be clear to you. It's through science that we understand how little we know.



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 09:00 PM
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Originally posted by enchantress62
That's just it, that's where the Atheist belief that has been presented here today looses me. There is no way to prove anything because what's real and factual today will be changed as new information is presented tomorrow.


Well how do you know that? Do you think we'll find the earth is cuboid next year? It's a humble approach to what we know, it is led by evidence and reason. We accept we can never know anything 100%, but we can follow where the evidence takes us. We want to accept positions that are most likely to be true, and this tends to require an evidence-based approach.

As noted in the video, it works for everything else. We don't convict people by just allowing a judge to use revealed knowledge or fuzzy feelings, but rather be led by evidence. Of course, sometimes it's wrong, but we can only do our best with the most reliable evidence we have.


You can minimize my experience until hell freezes over, but it is my reality and that can't be argued. That said, I neither agree or disagree with you, I'm only here to learn your views and share my own.

Being a scientist, as you say, this must be clear to you. It's through science that we understand how little we know.


Cool! I'm glad you understand the value of scientific approaches.

I'm not going to minimise your experience, it obviously holds great meaning to you - I do understand this, I have many subjective experiences that have been formative in my life. However, personal feelings are not really going to be a reliable approach to understanding nature.

As I noted, a personal feeling you had led you to some form of pagan beliefs (I'm guessing here) with all its baggage. Whereas, the same feeling for the scientist, Francis Collins, led him to all the metaphysical baggage of Xianity. What not him pagan, and you buddhism or hinduism, or something else? Why not Zeus or Odin? These are rather big decisions to be making on a fuzzy feeling.

There appears to be no rhyme or reason really. Why the existence of a tree that looks beautiful = pagan beliefs?

[edit on 1-3-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 09:22 AM
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Nice reply! lol Anyway it's not important what religion I follow. I'm here to learn about you guys. However, I find the best way to get to the truth of what ppl really think and feel is to play the devils advocate. It's easy to ask questions and listen to the answer, but for understanding, I think you have to punch holes in the theory and see how it's then fixed.

I hope that makes since.



posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 09:29 AM
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reply to post by melatonin
 


By the way, the tree didn't lead me to Paganism, it led me away from Christianity. And I was hardly awed by it, just had a new curiosity. The feeling was more like, Wow! so there IS some life force out here and it damn sure isn't what their talking about in church. lol I didn't find my religion until years later.



posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by enchantress62
Nice reply! lol Anyway it's not important what religion I follow. I'm here to learn about you guys. However, I find the best way to get to the truth of what ppl really think and feel is to play the devils advocate. It's easy to ask questions and listen to the answer, but for understanding, I think you have to punch holes in the theory and see how it's then fixed.

I hope that makes since.


Oh, that's cool. I actually have much more respect for people who are able to form their own beliefs rather than take on some sort of organised spiritual 'package' transmitted by their parents. I can never remember the user who said it, but they called it 'spiritual anarchy'. I like the idea, although I don't buy into it, of course.

I think it's great you are honestly interested in what atheists think, and how they come to the positions they/we/I hold. Many think we take on a sort of absolute dogmatic position, but it's rather different really.


Originally posted by enchantress62
By the way, the tree didn't lead me to Paganism, it led me away from Christianity. And I was hardly awed by it, just had a new curiosity. The feeling was more like, Wow! so there IS some life force out here and it damn sure isn't what their talking about in church. lol I didn't find my religion until years later.


It's good you were willing to question you're own position, and being curious is a great trait. Some scientists and philosophers have the same sort of feeling, leading to forms of deism and pantheism (you might like David Chalmers and Roger Penrose). Again, I don't buy it, but these ideas are more respectable to me than some form of bedroom-watching, prayer-listening, reward/punishment-giving sky-daddy.

YMMV.

[edit on 2-3-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 10:46 AM
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I am all about looking beyond the norm. In fact I've been accused of going too far the other way and being resistant to anything mainstream. I really don't know about that and really don't care, but I'll confide in you this. That day with the tree changed me. There is no way to tell you what I experienced then, and have you fully understand, but it was an experience that has me looking for what's beyond the physical.

Let me put it another way. I have 2 professions. First I am a nurse, have been for 10 years now. I've worked in everything from Pediatrics to Oncology. I've seen many many many births and deaths. Each time I'm priviledged enough to experience this, I look into the eyes of the one being born or dying. I look for that moment when life is realized or life ceases to exist. All I can tell you is that there is a life force in each of us, well not just us but in everything. However, in us it's discernable. At the moment of entry or exit there is the same look. Doesn't matter the circumstances of the birth or death they all have a look of simutanious (sp) wonder and confusion. That facinates me, and I guess since seeing the tree that day, I've been on a quest to identify just exactly what that is. Logic tells me I'll probably never know, but I look anyway.

The 2nd profession is writing. I'm a fiction writer (unpublished) within a few paragraghs I can spin a scenario that can provoke emotion in others. Because of this I have an understanding of how easily the mind can be manipulated, that keeps me from preaching to others what I instinctively know to be true.

I've been working all night and I'm probably starting to babble, but I hope, that if nothing else, this will engage us in more conversation.



posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by enchantress62
but I'll confide in you this. That day with the tree changed me. There is no way to tell you what I experienced then, and have you fully understand, but it was an experience that has me looking for what's beyond the physical.

I look into the eyes of the one being born or dying. I look for that moment when life is realized or life ceases to exist. All I can tell you is that there is a life force in each of us, well not just us but in everything. However, in us it's discernable. At the moment of entry or exit there is the same look.

I'm a fiction writer (unpublished) within a few paragraghs I can spin a scenario that can provoke emotion in others. Because of this I have an understanding of how easily the mind can be manipulated, that keeps me from preaching to others what I instinctively know to be true.


So, we have two interesting things here. The two subjective experiences comments suggest the presence of some form of emotion-based belief. That you take subjective experiences that foster wonder and awe in you, to have some form of value in the understanding of the nature of wider reality.

Then, the second part talks about how easily minds can be manipulated by emotional arguments. Indeed, as a research psychologist who studies this sort of thing, I know emotions have a massive influence on human behaviour.

Do you think that aiming for a non-emotional objective method of analysis of nature is more effective than a subjective emotion-based analysis? That is, we need to do more than use internal feelings to produce an understanding of the external?

A couple of my old sigs which coincide with my own position on such things...


"The human understanding is not composed of dry light, but is subject to influence from the will and the emotions, a fact that creates fanciful knowledge; man prefers to believe what he wants to be true.
F. Bacon, 1620


"Ideas, engulfed by an overpowering emotion, are more likely to conform to the emotion than to objective evidence"
G. Allport (1954)



I've been working all night and I'm probably starting to babble, but I hope, that if nothing else, this will engage us in more conversation.


No worries, I know the feeling. It was very coherent.

[edit on 2-3-2008 by melatonin]



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