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Ask An Atheist Anything

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posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
Sorry, again, I'm not inferring where anything comes from. The OP said we could ask questions about what atheists believe, this is one of them. I know what I believe, but that's not the question, and I believe that your supposition about God being the source of something and the cause of its absence is a failure in logic. I could be wrong, of course, but that's another thread, perhaps.


no, i don't suppose god is the source of anything ... obviously. but nevermind, i suppose.


Originally posted by adjensen
From a purely societal benefit view, encouraging non-productive people to remain so, regardless of their reasons for being noncontributing, is nonsensical and would eventually result in chaos, as those with their hands out naturally increased, while those supporting them decreased.

I'm not saying that it's not good to do, just that claiming a sense of altruism comes from wanting what's best for society is in conflict when the act really doesn't benefit society.


again, debatable. some people may think, believe and even purport to have evidence that #1) helping the poor does not encourage them to remain non-productive (if you're looking at human worth under a capitalist magnifying glass), #2) helping the less fortunate does not result in chaos (it seems fair to say that people have been helping less fortunate people since people have existed ... do we have chaos? maybe, but if so, few would argue it is specifically because less fortunate people sometimes receive assistance from fellow human beings) and #3) altruism is, indeed, best for society and not a conflict at all ... on the contrary.

(sorry to op for derailing. i'll stop.)




posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by randyvs
Who exactly are you saying is incorrect?


who do you think?



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 09:51 PM
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There is a bridge between intuitiveness and intellectualism that has to be forged and it requires a balance of solidity and a sense of just knowing. An atheist just makes the same assumption that a person who goes into a religion that believes in heaven or hell. Atheism has been revoked it is an outdated mode of thinking thanks to the revelations of Quantum Physics.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 09:51 PM
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Originally posted by PrimateMarco
reply to post by Annee
 


True, I guess. Bear in mind that English is my second language.

But one could argue that any percentage above 50% in a poll would qualify as "most", wouldn´t it?


And I don´t think that less than 50% of atheists would want to to miss a speech by God, at the UN (or at your YMCA).


What really enraged me is that attitude of qualifying atheists with broad derogatory statements. But that is implicit.

And I wonder, among such interesting and provoking lines of thought, what made me fall for that silly troll bait?


YES. 50% + of any human - - I'd say. Not Atheist exclusive.

YES. This one is to be avoided for serious exchange of concepts.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 09:55 PM
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Originally posted by PositivelyDetermined
There is a bridge between intuitiveness and intellectualism that has to be forged and it requires a balance of solidity and a sense of just knowing. An atheist just makes the same assumption that a person who goes into a religion that believes in heaven or hell. Atheism has been revoked it is an outdated mode of thinking thanks to the revelations of Quantum Physics.


except that's wrong. atheists don't make any assumptions. do you have any assumptions about the core of betelguese being filled with grape flavor-aid? i doubt it. same thing.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 09:55 PM
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Originally posted by Hadrian
(sorry to op for derailing. i'll stop.)


On the contrary, in the absence of an answer from the OP, I'd welcome yours. From where do you believe that a sense of altruism comes from? Is it logically derived? Does one walk past a panhandler, make the philosophical debate you've outlined (which, as I said, is better discussed elsewhere) and decide that the greater good is met by handing him ten bucks?

In the atheistic belief system, is "doing good" (regardless of how we arrive at the concept of what "good" really is) a rationalization?



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 10:31 PM
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traditionaldrummer,

Serious questions -

I would like to know:

What made you become an atheist?
Have you always felt this way?
Is it because of your education?
The problems you experienced?
Or religious hypocrisy and false teachings you've seen?

I'm curious as to what you believe because from what I read and heard people become atheist because of the following reason/s:

→ Revulsion against the excesses and failures of organized religion – source or behind wars and violence.
That is, the same religion have killed one another by the millions in war, with the clergy backing each side.

→ Hypocrisy in religion, oppression and inquisitions.
→ Absurd and unbiblical doctrines such as eternal torment — that God will roast people in a literal hellfire forever.
→ Let down by religion.
→ Victimized by a religious person.
→ Better off without God.
→ No one to answer to.
→ Belief in evolution.
→ Some become atheist because of the suffering they see.
→ Some become atheist because of injustice, oppression, crime, war, sickness and death they see.
→ Seeing is believing.
→ The way they were raised – product of their environment.
→ Believing in God is for the weak minded.
→ Belonging to a prestigious group – super smart people.
ect...
I look forward to your answers.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


I am fond of two rules as the source of a moral code. 1. Everyone can do as they wish provided they don't impeed another's ability to do so. 2. One should do what feels good.

Now with helping others, it often seems to fit in the second category. Doing good often makes people feel good, so it is good. If you give so much that it hurts you, it feels bad and is thus bad.

It might be crap, but its what I go by and it has worked so far.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 10:42 PM
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reply to post by edmc^2
 


I am kinda jumping in here, but eh, I am feeling chatty tonight. For me I became an atheist because I grew up with christianity but saw no reason to keep it when I grew up. I saw no evidence to support the beliefs and decided to find something more in line with my world view, i.e. a agnostic with strong atheistic leanings. (There is likely no god due to the lack of any evidence, but its impossible to prove a negitive.)

[edit on 15-7-2010 by C09JayLT]



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 10:54 PM
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Originally posted by C09JayLT
reply to post by edmc^2
 


I am kinda jumping in here, but eh, I am feeling chatty tonight. For me I became an atheist because I grew up with christianity but saw no reason to keep it when I grew up. I saw no evidence to support the beliefs and decided to find something more in line with my world view, i.e. a agnostic with strong atheistic leanings. (There is likely no god due to the lack of any evidence, but its impossible to prove a negitive.)

[edit on 15-7-2010 by C09JayLT]


So are you saying then that you don't believe in the existence of God because he is unknowable? Or is it because he is unknown?

edit from: Or is it because is unknown? to: Or is it because he is unknown?

[edit on 15-7-2010 by edmc^2]



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 10:56 PM
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Originally posted by C09JayLT
reply to post by adjensen
 


I am fond of two rules as the source of a moral code. 1. Everyone can do as they wish provided they don't impeed another's ability to do so. 2. One should do what feels good.

Now with helping others, it often seems to fit in the second category. Doing good often makes people feel good, so it is good. If you give so much that it hurts you, it feels bad and is thus bad.

It might be crap, but its what I go by and it has worked so far.


If I may summarize, both of these reflect pleasuring (in a generally nonsexual sense, of course) the self, correct? Which is what I would expect an atheistic view of reality to reflect. As I said earlier, if we're nothing more than "wiser than most" meat sacks, enjoying things that make us feel good should be our biggest drive.

I agree that doing good makes one feel good, but I'd appreciate it if you could elaborate on what your atheistic view of things attributes those feelings to? It's contrary to a truly narcissistic view of reality, so I'm curious to know where you believe this selflessness comes from.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 10:57 PM
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reply to post by edmc^2
 


I don't believe because there is no evidence, but I can't be 100% certain in the nonexistance of deities because it is unknowable.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 11:09 PM
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Originally posted by C09JayLT
reply to post by edmc^2
 


I don't believe because there is no evidence, but I can't be 100% certain in the nonexistance of deities because it is unknowable.


Interesting, so you are one of those "To see is to believe".
In other words, unless something can be proven physically/materially then you will believe of their exixtence. Am i correct in my assumption?

What about invisible force, do you believe in thier existence?



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 11:10 PM
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I can't Ireply to post by adjensen
 


I can see how it would be useful to evolve good feelings for positive actions in a community as being in a community offers many good benefits. Doing good to others makes it more likely for others to do good to you, and communities can accomplish more for the individual than the individual can.

Personally I typically just worry about what feels good, but sometimes its interesting to think about why.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 11:16 PM
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Originally posted by C09JayLT
I can't Ireply to post by adjensen
 


I can see how it would be useful to evolve good feelings for positive actions in a community as being in a community offers many good benefits. Doing good to others makes it more likely for others to do good to you, and communities can accomplish more for the individual than the individual can.

Personally I typically just worry about what feels good, but sometimes its interesting to think about why.


Do you think that it is possible that the "why" of that admirably questioning sentence might involve something that is not pure animalistic instinct? Something that isn't inherently in your nature?



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 11:25 PM
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i reply to post by edmc^2
 


For the most part yes. It doesn't have to be physical, just demonstratable. For instance, love is not physical but it can be observed.

I have theorized about a sort of life force, but I am always cautious to believe a theory without sufficient evidence. I would be interested to see if there is room in the extra dimensions theorized to make string theory work find this sort of thing.

Basically, I only believe if there is proof, but I am open to entertaining new theories.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 11:25 PM
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Originally posted by edmc^2
Interesting, so you are one of those "To see is to believe".
In other words, unless something can be proven physically/materially then you will believe of their exixtence. Am i correct in my assumption?

What about invisible force, do you believe in thier existence?

Perhaps there is such an enormous gap between the claims made and the tangible evidence to support these claims that people simply have doubts. If I want to prove to you that I have a mobile phone, I can pull one out of my pocket and show you. (Technically, it might not be mine or maybe I stole it, but the fact I have one in my possession is hard to deny.)

If I want to prove that I can use my mobile phone to read the minds of other people, that then becomes a problem. If I tell my friend that "it can be done, but you need to have faith", would I expect him to believe me? What if I said "mobile phones can read minds, but our ability to understand how they perform this task is beyond our capabilities in this life"?

[edit on 15/7/2010 by Dark Ghost]



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 11:28 PM
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I class myself as an Agnostic. IMO it's the best mindset to be in; Agnostics tend to sit on the fence with the big questions; which keeps you asking questions about everything, as opposed to completely shutting something out. It's better to be open to all, it's the best way to learn. Mind you I do tend to sway more towards the Atheist side of things, But I haven't completely shut out the fact of a higher power.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 11:45 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


I have not seen any ultimate sense of good. I would be interested in seeing the source if it existed. I can imagine such a source, but without proof I can't say in truely believe in it.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 11:54 PM
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Originally posted by Super Chubby
I class myself as an Agnostic. IMO it's the best mindset to be in


Well, I'd beg to differ, if for no other reason than if you've accepted the fact that you're not in a position to dismiss the existence of God, you now have the responsibility to evaluate whether, in fact, God has made any effort to reconcile himself to you. Sitting on the sidelines and saying "who knows?" isn't really much of a position.

It's ironic, I suppose, but, as a Christian, I have more respect for the honest atheist, who is agreeable to say that he has a solid belief in the non-existence of anything beyond what we are, than an agnostic, who shrugs his shoulders and says "I dunno. Maybe yes, maybe no." I don't agree with the atheist's choice, I mourn for his loss, but I can, at least, acknowledge that he has made a decision and holds to it, and respect him for his beliefs.

If agnosticism isn't a path to recognizing God, or recognizing his non-existence, it's nothing at all. As Neil Peart says, "if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice!" And, if the Christian perspective is correct (I don't know, it probably applies to all deistic perspectives,) claiming to make no choice is the same thing as saying "no thanks" to whatever the faith has to offer, which makes one wonder at the logic of this viewpoint at all.



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