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A question for atheists and theists/deists

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posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 05:36 PM
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reply to post by Icon_xof
 


How would it matter to me?

Not greatly. If god does exist then fine, it can do as it pleases and I'm not going to be able to do much. But if one odes exist then it's likely to have always existed and considering the rise and fall of religions over the millennia, I think we can safely assume that none of them had it right and that god is somewhat unconcerned by our follies.

So I would say that we should as always, concern ourselves with trying to improve ourselves in areas of intellect, health, relationships, technology/quality-of-life and our ongoing evolution as a species (I am of course talking about transhumanism).

Oh and stop picking on the gays! Let them marry for goodness sake, we could use the revenue right now.




posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 08:12 PM
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Originally posted by Welfhard
reply to post by Icon_xof
 


How would it matter to me?

Not greatly. If god does exist then fine, it can do as it pleases and I'm not going to be able to do much. But if one odes exist then it's likely to have always existed and considering the rise and fall of religions over the millennia, I think we can safely assume that none of them had it right and that god is somewhat unconcerned by our follies.

So I would say that we should as always, concern ourselves with trying to improve ourselves in areas of intellect, health, relationships, technology/quality-of-life and our ongoing evolution as a species (I am of course talking about transhumanism).

Oh and stop picking on the gays! Let them marry for goodness sake, we could use the revenue right now.



I do not think it is safe to assume that none of them had it right. Perhaps all of them had it right, IN THE BEGINNING. Then of course, man with his brilliant ideas, steps in to mix things up a bit. Throw in a few curveballs so that he can manipulate the system in order to substantiate his ego.

Transhumanism is both beneficial and destructive IMHO. As we continue to age and grow as human beings we become more and more disconnected with our spirits. We begin to revel in this world that we can EXPERIENCE. I believe an overall effort towards both humanism and spiritualism is more suitable. Of course, that's coming from the view of one who believes in creation and a Grand Creator.

If indeed this world is the only thing you believe we have. Then by all means, transhumanism is definately the way to go.



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree
 


I do not think it is safe to assume that none of them had it right. Perhaps all of them had it right, IN THE BEGINNING.

In the beginning? So God won't try to maintain his religion? You seriously think that "Man with his brilliant ideas" has a more powerful influence than god?

I certainly think it's possible that God could exist, I concede that point, but looking around the world, looking at our evolution, looking at our history and how religious thought has done nothing but hold us back, the only way that I can reconcile the idea that god exists with reality is that it plainly doesn't care about us. And even if god did exist, it's incredibly arrogant and narcissistic to presume that we are its special little creation that it will nurture and guide into sentience.

First we presumed the earth was flat. We were wrong.
We presumed the universe stretched as far as we could see. We were wrong.
We presumed the Earth was the centre of the universe. We were wrong.
We presumed life was always as it is now.
We presumed the continents were fixed.
We presumed Earth was the only planet.
We presumed the galactic bodies and the size of the universe were fixed.

Today many still presume that God or gods exist as well as spirits and the afterlife but most significantly that we are the most significant thing there is. Why?

Life has been here on Earth for 4.5 billion years yet we appeared and prospered in the last 100 million years. This earth isn't designed for us, evolution instead designed us for it.

Why presume that we are special just because we can think better than anything that we have discovered? Our intelligence seems more like one of those occasional freakish attributes that nature tries out and scraps when it all goes horribly wrong.


We begin to revel in this world that we can EXPERIENCE.

Everything in life is experience - literally.


If indeed this world is the only thing you believe we have. Then by all means, transhumanism is definately the way to go.

Wow, far more diplomatic than what I'm used to.

[edit on 20-8-2009 by Welfhard]



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 04:12 AM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree
 


As for elaborating, I thought I did.

But I'll reiterate it.

I don't care what anyone wants to believe or practice - so long as it does not infringe upon the rights or lives of someone else. I think that's pretty common sense.

As for the hinderance - again, what I object to, is ANY person in a position of power, such as a politician, whose moral code and basis for governance is derived from a religious practice that I am not part of.

What I mean is, if person X is of religion Y. Person X is elected into office, which I didn't vote for. Now Person X is in a position to make new laws or regulations that might be heavily influenced by their religious faith which has no basis in logic or rational reasoning. Well, I'm not part of religion Y and I don't support its morals and ideals. What about someone from religion X or religion A? They too have different morals on what is 'acceptable' but Person X has made his decision as a politician for all of us, based largely in part to his faith.

Let's say the option for a vote on legalising some currently illegal activity or items. What is this politician, who is supposedly representing me, votes No because his religious beliefs say it's morally wrong. But mine do not because I use reason and logic to come up with my morals.

That's a very basic example. The real life situations are in the US where many politicians are very religious and base their decisions and morals on their faith. If I lived in the US, I'd hate that fact - that so many decisions are based on an single person's sense of morals which they have arrived at based on a religious faith.

That's what I'm getting at.

As an atheist - I don't care what you want to believe in your own home or your own mind. Just don't bring them to work or use them in a way that impedes on my free thinking life. That's all.


[edit on 21-8-2009 by noonebutme]



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree
 


Actually, most atheists I know have been, in years gone by, basically ignoring theists, with the thought that they will eventually go away.

But sadly, we've been learning the hard way that radical Christian Fundamentalists or Evangelicals have no interest in playing fair and allowing everyone to choose for themselves what or what not to believe.

Sure, if all Christians were moderates who respected everyone else (and I'd still like to believe that MOST Christians are moderate) there'd be little need for us atheists to be so activist. But because the moderates can't seem to reel in their extremist fringe, and because that fringe is dead set to get all the political power they can in order to force their beliefs on the rest of us, we are left with no other choice than to fight back.

So yes, there is war, but it's not one that I wished for, and it's not a war with all the religious but only those fanatics who feel they must impose their beliefs on others. The Evangelicals should understand that more and more of us are very resolved to defend our rights to be free from religious imposition



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 05:21 PM
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In the beginning? So God won't try to maintain his religion? You seriously think that "Man with his brilliant ideas" has a more powerful influence than god?


It's not God's religion, therefore it's not his to maintain. It is in our hands. It was given to us.

And sure, you may you see it as naive to think we are his special creations.

Does a mother/father not cherish his/her child(ren)? Does one not try to nurture them to be something they can be proud of? (generally speaking)



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 05:24 PM
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reply to post by noonebutme
 



The real life situations are in the US where many politicians are very religious and base their decisions and morals on their faith.


Do you have any specific examples of such atrocities? I haven't taken notice to anything that is really too degrading to your particular religious stands, or lack thereof.



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 05:30 PM
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reply to post by RickLannoye
 


I whole heartedly agree with you and that is why I find it genuinely upsetting to be lumped in with the "fanatics".

There are radicals in just about any type of belief system. It's kind of a natural phenomena of human behaviour, if you will.

I believe these are the ones that really need to see, and not just see but understand, what their ego is doing to them and the rest of the world. One man's ego does not affect just him. Any associated social group or network is also going to be affected.

The egotistical thinks "good, maybe they'll see I am right." They tend not to look from the other side of the fence, where the grass is more logical.



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree
 


It's not God's religion, therefore it's not his to maintain. It is in our hands. It was given to us.

But religions are astonishingly different and they all come and go. What makes your religion and more truthful that the Ancient Egyptians or Ancient Greeks. The God of the old testament is more angry and sadistic than all the sill god's of the ancient Greeks. It's nonsense.


And sure, you may you see it as naive to think we are his special creations.

Does a mother/father not cherish his/her child(ren)? Does one not try to nurture them to be something they can be proud of? (generally speaking)

But we are not god's children, it's offspring. If god exists, that still doesn't mean it made us, cosmically we are infinitesimally insignificant with sort lifespans. At least with parents they hold you and teach you, god is not even apparent. And look at the crappiness of the world, he must be a very poor parent.

Skip to about halfway though..


The god that you envision is lazy, irresponsible and incompetent when it comes to us. So to presume that it made us and cares for us is a very stupid thing to do. But I'll ask you. "Do you want to believe that god exists and cares for us?"

If the answer is yes, and I'm figuring that it is, then you need to consider that perhaps reality just isn't what you want it to be. Hell, it's not what I want it to be either.

It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
- Carl Sagan

[edit on 22-8-2009 by Welfhard]



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 05:42 PM
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I personally don't care what anyone believes or doesn't believe.

Just - Stay Out of my Government.

The logic of simple laws - does not require any religious belief system.



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by Welfhard
 



But we are not god's children, it's offspring. If god exists, that still doesn't mean it made us, cosmically we are infinitesimally insignificant with sort lifespans. At least with parents they hold you and teach, god is not even apparent. And look at the crappiness of the world, he must be a very poor parent.


We are made in his image. We are only to call Him The Father. Hmm...Not a parent? As for God not being apparent, perhaps he's not apparent in your life because you are the child that strayed from his family. You have gone your separate way and left Him. He did not leave you, you left him.



The god that you envision is lazy, irresponsible and incompetent when it comes to us.


Or is it the other way around friend? Perhaps you are lazy, irresponsible, and incompetent, when it comes to Him.



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 05:47 PM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree
 

Where is the proof that we are made in his image? We are a product of evolution.

You also completely ignored my other points, btw.


Or is it the other way around friend? Perhaps you are lazy, irresponsible, and incompetent, when it comes to Him.

How can I be? I don't have reason to believe it exists and it has not revealed itself to me - even when I was a Christian.

[edit on 22-8-2009 by Welfhard]



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 07:09 PM
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reply to post by Welfhard
 


Proof and faith cannot coexist. There is no absolute proof that we are indeed creations. I will be the first to admit it. There will never be that proof in this world. If there was proof, there would be no need for faith, it would then be knowledge.

As for your other points. Sorry if I overlooked them. They didn't seem relevant, however:


But religions are astonishingly different and they all come and go. What makes your religion and more truthful that the Ancient Egyptians or Ancient Greeks. The God of the old testament is more angry and sadistic than all the sill god's of the ancient Greeks. It's nonsense.


I cannot say without fallacy that my religion is for everyone. Everyone is to make up their own minds. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." As for the OT God being angry and sadistic, he is indeed vengeful. Those are indeed different times.

Religion to me is a personal thing. One must make up their own mind. In my mind, the NEW Testament, is called NEW for a reason. The teachings of Jesus have conflict with the teachings of the OT, I will admit. This is why I am prone to think the OT is more or less the product of man. Not indefinately, yet still diluted.


But we are not god's children, it's offspring. If god exists, that still doesn't mean it made us, cosmically we are infinitesimally insignificant with sort lifespans.


"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”
(Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)

Perception friend, we are indeed infinitesimally insignificant through your eyes.



So to presume that it made us and cares for us is a very stupid thing to do. But I'll ask you. "Do you want to believe that god exists and cares for us?" If the answer is yes, and I'm figuring that it is, then you need to consider that perhaps reality just isn't what you want it to be. Hell, it's not what I want it to be either.


'Want' is what my flesh does. Like the Buddha said, reality is what we make it. I am perfectly content with my reality. I know what I want and I strive to achieve it. Am I wrong for doing so?


"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
- Carl Sagan "


Sagan should know full-well that 'grasping the universe as it really is' is to persist in a delusion as well. How does one substantiate the claims of knowing the universe as it really is? I do not know....

edit to add:


How can I be? I don't have reason to believe it exists and it has not revealed itself to me - even when I was a Christian.


Again, the reason is faith. If it has revealed itself to you, you no longer have to rely on faith.

[edit on 22-8-2009 by Agree2Disagree]



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 08:08 PM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree
 


Proof and faith cannot coexist.

True, but it doesn't need to be one or the other.

Faith is defined as a belief without evidence, it therefore also means belief without certainty.

So I remain in a position of uncertainly, a.k.a. doubt.



Those are indeed different times.

The bible says God is unchanging.

Edit to add:
Also, a great deal of the OT is completely unverifiable. Not a scrap of evidence for the existence of King Solomon, for starters. Exodus, is another. ALL of Genesis is unverified and much is impossible.


Religion to me is a personal thing. One must make up their own mind. In my mind, the NEW Testament, is called NEW for a reason. The teachings of Jesus have conflict with the teachings of the OT, I will admit. This is why I am prone to think the OT is more or less the product of man. Not indefinately, yet still diluted.

But there are still major issues here. There is no guarantee, after all all the books of the bible had human authors. There is also the Problem of Paul who seems to have a greater impact on Christos's religion than Christos. Then there is the problem that there is no evidence for Christos Yeshua's existence, conflicting accounts and alternate accounts in apocryphal texts. There is also the fact that much of even Christos's teachings are borrowed from other religious sects - The golden rule pre-dates Christos by 500 years by Confucius. Much of the doctrines and even texts can be seen to be lifted from older religions, many of them Pagan religions. For instance, an early version of Psalm 104 was known as the Hymn to the Aten.


Perception friend, we are indeed infinitesimally insignificant through your eyes.

Not through my eyes, but in the context of all that we know about the universe. Some 14 billion years the universe has existed, hand god's "special creation" as it is now has only existed for around 8 thousand years (before hand we were no greater different to animals foraging, hunting in packs). The universe will be awash with life now and long after we are gone. The only way that we could become significant is if we evolved ourselves technologically to stretch our lifespans to match that of cosmic events.

Surely if you were to humble yourself as your book teaches, you'd be willing to make the ultimate step of humility and accept the possibility (though I would say "probability") that we are naught but dust in the wind.


'Want' is what my flesh does. Like the Buddha said, reality is what we make it. I am perfectly content with my reality. I know what I want and I strive to achieve it. Am I wrong for doing so?

But if your desire is influencing your perception of reality, then "you've been living in a dream world, Neo."


Sagan should know full-well that 'grasping the universe as it really is' is to persist in a delusion as well. How does one substantiate the claims of knowing the universe as it really is? I do not know....

He is not saying that he knows absolutely the nature of the universe, he's saying that one should not indulge in beliefs that have no evident basis.


Again, the reason is faith. If it has revealed itself to you, you no longer have to rely on faith.

But why should I rely on faith?! There are 100's of thousands of 'faith's in the world and every one of them is equally valid. And faith is no reason to believe - I can't understand how people could take such pride in ignorance - if god is going to send me to hell for not believing then it is his fault for not giving me reason to believe.

I want you to try and visualise your argument from the otherside.

A skeptic criticises your belief for lack of empirical evidence. You respond by basically saying that evidence is unimportant. To us you sound no better than the psychics and pallor magicians. "Believe anyway." is the long and the short of your argument. "... No." we'd respond because your argument doesn't deliver.

I was a fundamentalist Christian about a year ago, now so you will have to do better.

[edit on 22-8-2009 by Welfhard]



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 10:09 PM
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reply to post by Welfhard
 


sob...I had lots of info but my computer created an error.



True, but it doesn't need to be one or the other.


What else is there? There is the known(fact), the unknown(with proof becomes known), and the unknowable(faith, you can relate to this as the universe if it pleases you)


Faith is defined as a belief without evidence, it therefore also means belief without certainty. So I remain in a position of uncertainly, a.k.a. doubt.


If you are in doubt my friend, do not be quick to toss my perception to the wind. It is mine, I am not asking you to believe what I believe, simply stating MY reality/perception. Doubt is a double bladed sword, if you doubt my beliefs in the unknowable, you must also doubt your own.


The bible says God is unchanging.
Also, a great deal of the OT is completely unverifiable. Not a scrap of evidence for the existence of King Solomon, for starters. Exodus, is another. ALL of Genesis is unverified and much is impossible.


Romans 1:19-20 says, "because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

When the Bible says that God's attributes can be known, it is dealing with the quality and characteristics of God. No created thing can properly represent God. All that is created bears, to some degree, His fingerprints; but each created thing does not sufficiently represent the creator. Therefore, the creation, the world, does not completely represent the nature of God, which is unchangeable.

The OT and NT both exist in this world, which is capable of change. Man has faultered somewhere. We must each make up in our own mind what is to be considered truth and what is deception. It is easy when you recognise trees for their fruits.


But there are still major issues here. There is no guarantee, after all all the books of the bible had human authors. There is also the Problem of Paul who seems to have a greater impact on Christos's religion than Christos. Then there is the problem that there is no evidence for Christos Yeshua's existence, conflicting accounts and alternate accounts in apocryphal texts. There is also the fact that much of even Christos's teachings are borrowed from other religious sects - The golden rule pre-dates Christos by 500 years by Confucius. Much of the doctrines and even texts can be seen to be lifted from older religions, many of them Pagan religions. For instance, an early version of Psalm 104 was known as the Hymn to the Aten.


Again, this is history as according to man, and we all know man can and will falter.


Not through my eyes, but in the context of all that we know about the universe. Some 14 billion years the universe has existed, hand god's "special creation" as it is now has only existed for around 8 thousand years (before hand we were no greater different to animals foraging, hunting in packs). The universe will be awash with life now and long after we are gone. The only way that we could become significant is if we evolved ourselves technologically to stretch our lifespans to match that of cosmic events.


We are significant my friend. If only you were to open your eyes and ears. To really understand the significance though, I suppose you would have to first have faith and believe that there is a Creator that loves you and made you in His image. Just as we humans find compassion for a starving child halfway around the globe, how much more would an infinite God find?


Surely if you were to humble yourself as your book teaches, you'd be willing to make the ultimate step of humility and accept the possibility (though I would say "probability") that we are naught but dust in the wind.


As faith cannot coexist with proof, nor can faith coexist with doubt.


But if your desire is influencing your perception of reality, then "you've been living in a dream world, Neo."


What is reality? What is perception? How do we know? Could they not be one in the same? Again, how do we know?


He is not saying that he knows absolutely the nature of the universe, he's saying that one should not indulge in beliefs that have no evident basis.


Faith is the basis for my belief.


But why should I rely on faith?! There are 100's of thousands of 'faith's in the world and every one of them is equally valid. And faith is no reason to believe - I can't understand how people could take such pride in ignorance - if god is going to send me to hell for not believing then it is his fault for not giving me reason to believe.


He did give you reason to believe. He gave his Son. He gives love. He gives courage. He gave the Universe. He gave His Spirit. He gives Himself, and still you do not see.


I want you to try and visualise your argument from the otherside.
A skeptic criticises your belief for lack of empirical evidence. You respond by basically saying that evidence is unimportant. To us you sound no better than the psychics and pallor magicians. "Believe anyway." is the long and the short of your argument. "... No." we'd respond because your argument doesn't deliver.


I am not the one to decide for you. You must decide for yourself. There are no "facts" that say there is/isn't a Grand Creator.



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 10:36 PM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree
 


I was going to respond to all the points you made in your post but I need not because it comes down to this.


I am not the one to decide for you. You must decide for yourself. There are no "facts" that say there is/isn't a Grand Creator.

Then there is no reason to believe.



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 10:39 PM
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reply to post by Welfhard
 


For you friend. For me it is different. I have facts within myself that are impossible to reveal. You must search yourself for the answer, and if your answer is to not believe, then I wish you the best of luck.



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 10:55 PM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree
 


For you friend. For me it is different. I have facts within myself that are impossible to reveal. You must search yourself for the answer, and if your answer is to not believe, then I wish you the best of luck.


Truth is demonstrable. These facts are not but subjective beliefs that you have a great amount of faith in but you probably don't realise that believing in them convinces you they are truer when they may not at all be.

Faith Feedback Loop.

Don't you care that you maybe living in a complete fantasy? What if one of the other fantasies isn't a fantasy but the truth - believing as you do would then be a blinder to truth as faith is.



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 11:32 PM
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Originally posted by Welfhard
reply to post by Agree2Disagree
 



Truth is demonstrable. These facts are not but subjective beliefs that you have a great amount of faith in but you probably don't realise that believing in them convinces you they are truer when they may not at all be.


Who are you to say what I know and what I don't? To have my reality is to have walked in my shoes, which indeed you have not.


Don't you care that you maybe living in a complete fantasy? What if one of the other fantasies isn't a fantasy but the truth - believing as you do would then be a blinder to truth as faith is.


It does not bother me. I bear not a single fraction of regret for living a life of love, compassion, and understanding.

When the time comes for real truth, let us all be enlightened. Until that time, we will be separated. I will only be proven right or wrong only in death, as will you. Will you regret it? Probably not, because you believe in your own comprehension, knowledge, and life experiences. The same goes for me.



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 11:47 PM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree
 


Who are you to say what I know and what I don't? To have my reality is to have walked in my shoes, which indeed you have not.

I don't know what you think you know, but I know I don't claim 'truth'. I know that one limitation of man is that we cannot know absolute truth by the very nature of our perception. Nothing we experience is as it appears. Also, truths are demonstrable: if a truth cannot be proven, it cannot be truth.

I am more humble than, thee it seems, because I recognise that I do not know.


It does not bother me. I bear not a single fraction of regret for living a life of love, compassion, and understanding.

When the time comes for real truth, let us all be enlightened. Until that time, we will be separated. I will only be proven right or wrong only in death, as will you. Will you regret it?

That's not strictly true. If you are right, then I will meet my maker.
If I am right then you will meet oblivion and not know anything.




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