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Ask An Atheist Anything

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posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 07:49 PM
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reply to post by Squirt1
 


Just to clarify that tiny bit of misinformation, as the OP has already kindly pointed out: humans do not descend from monkeys, but they most probably do share a common ancestor.

I strongly suggest you try reading Evolution 101 offered at Berkeley site.

Quite some fascinating stuff, I assure you!




posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 08:20 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by 547000
traditionaldrummer, if you one day decided to try asking God for proof, because you wanted to try out that route and see what happens, and lo, behold, God reveals Himself to you, would you still disbelieve it because it's not objectively provable to other people?


If I were to be rational about it I would have to call such a subjective experience into question. There is the chance though that if I'm in such a quest and experience such a subjective event I may not be operating from a rational standpoint at all. Either way, the subjective event has no objective reality.

Case in point: hallucinogenic substances. I have had many experiences with these when I was younger. Subsequently I had many subjective experiences that one could describe as mystical, other-worldly or perhaps even "spiritual". In no way do I feel that such experiences have any objective truth. So yes, I would need more than a revelation.


What if God said that he only reveals Himself to those who truly seek Him, and as such only shows Himself to certain people so as to not interfere with free will? You said you give credence to scientific knowledge or personal experience, but what if personal experience tells you your beliefs are wrong?



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 08:29 PM
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First of all I would like to thank the OP and others who answered my questions.

Someone made a comment asking, Who made God and who made that being. I prefer not to point fingers by quoting. This person used this to prove that god does not exist, to this person I would like for them to explain what is outside our galaxy and what it outside of that?

I personally believe that many on both sides of the argument of the existence of God are wrong. Simply stated, I believe in God because I chose to. If you chose not to believe then that is apparently the right choice for you. If you believe in God because you were born into that environment, were taught to believe your whole life, then I would say you need to question your beliefs and make your own decision.

The reason I chose to believe is simple. Believing in God gives me a goal. I live my life according to what I believe to be correct. That view of what is correct and incorrect is constantly changing and through this change I can grow and become a better person. I do not expect anyone to agree with me but I also do not expect anyone to tell me that my belief is wrong.

Now I will end this post with two questions that I would like both believers anf non believers to answer honestly.

1. Is there anything that anyone can post on this thread that will convince you to change your mind about the existence of God?

2: Then why are you so determined to change the minds of others?



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 08:53 PM
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Originally posted by ChicUFO
1. Is there anything that anyone can post on this thread that will convince you to change your mind about the existence of God?

2: Then why are you so determined to change the minds of others?



1. Nope. I used to be a hardcore atheist until I had personal experience of spiritual things like angels and God. It started right after I decided to try praying to God for evidence since I could see none. I now know that God is real. Nothing anyone can say can convince me otherwise since I had personal revelation.

2. Because I literally did a 180 over night and over the months what I experienced solidified my new beliefs. If I can change positions like so, it might be possible to convince others too. Or, at the very least, open the mind to the idea that it is possible for there to maybe be a God.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:00 PM
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Originally posted by 547000
What if God said that he only reveals Himself to those who truly seek Him, and as such only shows Himself to certain people so as to not interfere with free will?


I would find that extremely suspicious.


You said you give credence to scientific knowledge or personal experience, but what if personal experience tells you your beliefs are wrong?


Without objective evidence confirming the subjective experience I'd have to call the personal experience in to question. Our minds play tricks on us often.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:03 PM
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Originally posted by ChicUFO
1. Is there anything that anyone can post on this thread that will convince you to change your mind about the existence of God?


Objective, tangible evidence of the existence of a deity.


2: Then why are you so determined to change the minds of others?


I have no reason to change anyone's mind about issues of belief unless they are a danger to themselves or others by acting on their belief.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:06 PM
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Originally posted by ChicUFO
The reason I chose to believe is simple. Believing in God gives me a goal. I live my life according to what I believe to be correct. That view of what is correct and incorrect is constantly changing and through this change I can grow and become a better person. I do not expect anyone to agree with me but I also do not expect anyone to tell me that my belief is wrong.


That is a very admirable point of view, and I agree that faith is a journey with many stages, some quite challenging. For me, at least, it's been a largely positive experience.



Now I will end this post with two questions that I would like both believers anf non believers to answer honestly.

1. Is there anything that anyone can post on this thread that will convince you to change your mind about the existence of God?

2: Then why are you so determined to change the minds of others?


1. No. I do not believe that I will change my mind for any reason, Internet forum postings or not.

2. Actually, I am not. I don't care whether atheists change their minds or not. My perspective is that, once a person is aware of Christ (and it seems that some atheists here know more about Christianity than many Christians!) they are then free to make their choice to accept God or reject him, and that's really not my problem.

If asked, I will educate and correct misconceptions, but I'm not really interested in converting anyone.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:10 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


excellent answer!



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by ChicUFO
 


1. I find it unlikely that anyone could show proof for god on an internet forum.

2. I don't really care what others believe so long as they don't try to inhibit others from doing as they want, provided that those others are doing the same.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by 547000
What if God said that he only reveals Himself to those who truly seek Him, and as such only shows Himself to certain people so as to not interfere with free will?


I would find that extremely suspicious.


While I take umbrage with the terms "shows Himself" and "certain people" in the post, I think that the general premise is sensible, rather than suspicious.

If I lose something, say, a ring, what is the likelihood of finding it if I don't look for it? Particularly if said ring is something that could blend in with the surroundings, be mistaken for something else, or otherwise thwart casual discovery?

Now, suppose that you intentionally prevent yourself from finding the ring. You know that it's in your house, so you have the entire structure filled with cement. You can still theoretically find it, chipping all that cement away, but what is the likelihood that you would do that, and what then are your odds of finding the ring?

No, I don't believe that, if you suddenly proclaim yourself a Christian, you'll see visions, develop stigmata or anything else tangible. But if you don't look for faith, you are very unlikely to find it, and if you completely block out the idea, I would say that you've closed that door, and only you can open it again.

I don't think that it's some sort of "game" that God plays, it's just the nature of our relationship to him.

If you believe that you will find nothing, when you seek it, that's exactly what you'll find.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen
If you believe that you will find nothing, when you seek it, that's exactly what you'll find.


And the opposite is that if you believe you'll find something when you seek it you will?

In that case, you likely haven't found anything. You're simply employing a confirmation bias and any "sign" will be interpreted as favoring that which you seek. Such "searching" with a conditioned brain will tend to render the results you want (as you stated above).

If one goes "ghost hunting" in a graveyard on Halloween night and a gate closes behind you, you'll readily believe it was a "ghost" rather than simply the wind. The same principle applies when "searching" for invisible deities.

In the end a subjective experience has no objective meaning and is shoddy proof of anything existing objectively. "Searching" with bias is unscientific and the results dubious.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen
If you believe that you will find nothing, when you seek it, that's exactly what you'll find.


And the opposite is that if you believe you'll find something when you seek it you will?


No, that would imply that our expectations produce our reality, which I do not believe. If you want to find a pot of gold in your backyard, it doesn't increase the chances of there being one there to find.

My point is that by the process of coming to your assumption of nothingness, you've put up a lot of barriers to seeing anything but nothingness.

God is not going to take a physical form, come up to you, shake your hand, introduce himself, and give you his calling card. That sort of tangible, undeniable proof is something that you are never going to see. The "why" of that is not a simple thing, so maybe I'll start a separate thread to stop threadjacking yours.

But I personally see evidence of God, acting in my life, the lives of others and in the world quite frequently. You would see these same things and find other explanations for them. The difference of our views is that I have faith, and you do not. I find no "right" or "wrong" in that, just a different point of view.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen
If you believe that you will find nothing, when you seek it, that's exactly what you'll find.


And the opposite is that if you believe you'll find something when you seek it you will?

In that case, you likely haven't found anything. You're simply employing a confirmation bias and any "sign" will be interpreted as favoring that which you seek. Such "searching" with a conditioned brain will tend to render the results you want (as you stated above).

If one goes "ghost hunting" in a graveyard on Halloween night and a gate closes behind you, you'll readily believe it was a "ghost" rather than simply the wind. The same principle applies when "searching" for invisible deities.

In the end a subjective experience has no objective meaning and is shoddy proof of anything existing objectively. "Searching" with bias is unscientific and the results dubious.


There is no confirmation bias if you ever perceive the presence of something divine. It's not like saying, aha, yahtzee, there must be a God! It's more like holy # there really is a bigger reality that you somehow directly perceived with your limited senses. Because if you have an experience that you can't explain away with confirmation bias, either you temporarily went mad or such things do exist.

I would die a martyr rather then deny Christ because I had an experience like that. Obviously I checked if I was mad but I wasn't. I asked God for something subjective evidence I couldn't deny to my own self if objective proof was not available. I received it. It wasn't something feely-touchy like I feel in my heart there must be a God; it was direct revelation that there is a God.

So basically, if God only wanted to show himself in personal ways, you would never believe, because you would discount your own personal experience as madness or hallucination?



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


It is not a matter of assuming nothingness; it is a matter of insufficient evidence to support the existence of a deity. I can't make an unjustified assumption then attempt to prove it. That is bad analysis. I analyze the data and then come to a conclusion. The opposite order produces biased analysis; thats why objectivity and independence are such strong elements of 'good' science.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 01:19 PM
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How can atheists be so sure we are not a dream? We did not make ourselves? It was magic elves that hide and watch? How can atheists be so sure it was not all kinds of things? Well, we can't so there is really no reason to entertain each and every insane idea anyone comes up with is there? If you have some evidence of a creation, then please bring it forward. If not, assuming we were created is as good as assuming the matrix is real.

I do not believe we were created...but with so many possibilities, and no way to travel back in time to find out how this universe came to existance, how can one form a 100% sure conviction, like atheism?



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by -TruthSeeker-
I do not believe we were created...but with so many possibilities, and no way to travel back in time to find out how this universe came to existance, how can one form a 100% sure conviction, like atheism?


What is it atheists are 100% convicted about, exactly?

I do not believe flaming unicorns fall from the sky. Am I arrogant for feeling pretty certain in that until someone were to give me a reason to think otherwise?



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 01:28 PM
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reply to post by -TruthSeeker-
 


Who ever said that atheists form a 100% conviction about the origins of the universe? Atheists just reject the claim that deities exist. That rejection does not make a claim about the origins of the universe, especially not one with which atheists have 100% conviction.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by C09JayLT
 

You're right, i'm going a little off-topic here...



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by C09JayLT
reply to post by adjensen
 


It is not a matter of assuming nothingness; it is a matter of insufficient evidence to support the existence of a deity. I can't make an unjustified assumption then attempt to prove it. That is bad analysis. I analyze the data and then come to a conclusion. The opposite order produces biased analysis; thats why objectivity and independence are such strong elements of 'good' science.


Your expectations affect your perceptions. I think even science supports the concept of "preconceived notions."

If you were in need of money, and a stranger walked up to you and handed you $100 out of the blue, I would see divinity in that, you would see something else. Your assumption, that there is no God, means that your perception cannot include that possibility.

Again, nothing "right" or "wrong" about that, because it's merely perception.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 01:37 PM
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reply to post by -TruthSeeker-
 


NP. I will give you that I don't think deities made the universe. Beyond that I am pretty clueless. I have wondered if one has to be outside of a universe to see and understand how one gets made... but that is a whole different thread.



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