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Ask An Atheist Anything

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posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 08:27 AM
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reply to post by mhorndisk
 


I am seeing lots of faries = angels but no faries = gods. Have any refrences?

[edit on 24-7-2010 by C09JayLT]




posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 08:33 AM
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reply to post by mhorndisk
 


I think you are actually talking Hindu, not Celtic. Again, have refrences?



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 08:46 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by Namaste1001
I would ask you if you believe being an atheist really means having no beliefs. For me it is just another belief system. Albeit one that denies the beliefs of others.


Lack of belief in deities is not a belief. Just as the TV not being turned on is not a channel.


I used to think I was an atheist until I realised giving my self a label meant I had to conform to the belief of there being no God/deity. I can't prove there isn't therefor it was just a belief. I'm comfortable admitting that I just don't know.


It's not your burden to prove there isn't deities. Anyone can make any theoretical argument that they cannot prove and you cannot falsify. It doesn't mean their theoretical argument carries any weight.


Lack of belief is based on belief and an atheist , by definition, has no belief in god(s) of any kind. It is not a blind belief or a religion though .

It is more like the fact you believe you understand this . You believe I am writing in English... that sorta belief. Belief is basically everything that perception is so you are kinda bound to it in everything.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 09:01 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen

I agree with everything in that paragraph, save the first sentence. I really fail to see how he thinks that sentence is valid, given the highlighted words (my highlight, btw, not his.) .


With all due respect it seems you may benefit from reading up a bit more about evolutionary theory. The "dog leg" example appears to be a faulty premise. Randi is right: evolution is far from a random process. He is right that there are random mutations simply because DNA cannot reproduce accurately 100% of the time.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by IamBoon
Lack of belief is based on belief and an atheist , by definition, has no belief in god(s) of any kind. It is not a blind belief or a religion though .


No belief does not equal belief. Negative A does not equal A.


It is more like the fact you believe you understand this . You believe I am writing in English... that sorta belief. Belief is basically everything that perception is so you are kinda bound to it in everything.


No, I know that you are writing in English and because I was trained to read, write and speak it I can eliminate all doubt of the fact that this is true and factual. It's no longer a subject of belief.

Belief is not everything that perception is. Belief is required for notions that either not falsifiable or have not yet been proven.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 09:15 AM
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Originally posted by eight bits
In fact, I don't think I've ever met, in real life, an adult native speaker of English who would deny "I believe in the theory of evolution by natural selection."


Well then, perhaps you should read more Shermer then. Googling "accept evolution" renders 14 million hits.

Also, I denied nothing, rather rephrased it to render a more accurate statement of my personal stance on the matter. But this is what happens when you alter context of my statements and rephrase quotes inaccurately to suit your arguments. Haven't we discussed this habit of yours?



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 09:29 AM
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Originally posted by eight bits


In fact, I don't think I've ever met, in real life, an adult native speaker of English who would deny "I believe in the theory of evolution by natural selection."


Look on you tube for the ammount of theists or "creationists" who outright deny the iffutable evidence in favour of the hypothesis and theory for evolution.

Look at the english speaking Muslims who say Evolution is the devils work. It's damn-right irrational and should not be tolerated unless they have a coherent argument against it.

They preach this dribble as if they can't believe in their God AND evolution at the same time.

[edit on 24/7/10 by awake_and_aware]



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by Dark Ghost

Originally posted by adjensen

Actually, I just thought of a way that your (and the other guy's) belief about randomness works.

In our dogs example, do you believe that ONLY dogs with four legs would succeed? That dogs with wheels, or twelve legs, would always inherently fail, so we'd keep getting failure after failure until random mutation finally popped out a four legged one?

If so, it definitely solves your problem (given enough time, we'd have mutated a dog with glowing fur, 1200 legs and lasers shooting out their eyes,) but I think it opens some kind of unpleasant doors, mostly on your end of things.

The same argument can be used against you just as effectively. Why are some humans born without eyes, arms and legs? Why are some born blind, dumb or mentally retarded? How do you explain these anomalies when you believe there is a Creator that has designed all living things in a specific way?

[edit on 24/7/2010 by Dark Ghost]


I most assuredly do NOT believe that, so I can't answer your question, sorry.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 09:37 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Oh, well then I apologise I must have misread something. Sorry.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 09:42 AM
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Randi is right: evolution is far from a random process. He is right that there are random mutations simply because DNA cannot reproduce accurately 100% of the time.

And then, some of the bearers of those random mutations may survive and leave offspring, while other bearers of mutations do not. Who survives is itself a matter of probabilities, regadless of whether or not a mutation has occurred.

And whether or not mutation occurs, in a species like humans, there are four possible outcomes of sexual union for each gene pair. How many of those outcomes are coding-distinct depend on the individuals involved and the current distribution of alleles in the population. Which one of the four possibilities is realized is a matter of probabilities.

So, evolution by natural selection is one example of what English-speaking people call a "random process."

Randi gets it, and he's a retired stage magician, not a biologist or statistician. It can't be that hard.

Again, you are "digging in" to defend some statement of yours with over-broad scope, in this case, that evolution by natural selection is not random in any sense.

That is especially ironic in this case, since the main controversy is what the scope of randomness is in the theory. The creationist-deniers of evolution by natural selection routinely attack it by misrepresenting the role randomness plays. Same as you do to "defend" it.

Protip: One of the things that makes scientific theories scientific is that you defend them only by telling the truth about them.

If you can't bring yourself to do that, then you are no friend of science.



[edit on 24-7-2010 by eight bits]



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 10:02 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen

I agree with everything in that paragraph, save the first sentence. I really fail to see how he thinks that sentence is valid, given the highlighted words (my highlight, btw, not his.) .


With all due respect it seems you may benefit from reading up a bit more about evolutionary theory. The "dog leg" example appears to be a faulty premise. Randi is right: evolution is far from a random process. He is right that there are random mutations simply because DNA cannot reproduce accurately 100% of the time.


I don't doubt that I'm woefully deficient in the particulars of evolutions, but it strikes me that one doesn't need to dig into a lot of details to see an obvious issue.

I agree that the natural selection end of things isn't random (well, sort of -- as I noted, there's a cascade involved there, but I'll leave it go for now.)

But natural selection has to act on something, right? If all it acts on is homogeny, the result is always going to be the same, until one of the variables changes. Therefore, natural selection is reliant on differentials coming in the genome. Everything that I have read leads me to believe that there are a number of ways that this happens, but mostly, it comes down to randomness.

Evolution that gets us from our single celled ancestor to where we are today, with dogs that have legs, rather than wheels, requires natural selection, a lot of time (lots and lots of time) and randomness. If there was no randomness, we'd still just be at that single celled stage, because all of the eons of natural selection would have no impact if there were no differences to select.

It seems obvious, even on a visible scale. My daughter has a collection of physical traits that were passed on from her mother and I. Half of those traits came from me, but unless you believe that sperm have a purpose, the one that impregnated her mother was a random chance. Heck, it required that I meet her mother, decide to marry her, decide to have kids, etc, all seemingly random things. If she's got something useful to pass on, it's coming from chaos, not purpose.

Are you sure that you're not a believer in predestination? lol, just kidding.

To say that evolution is purely random may be a bit of a stretch, because it implies (and I think you're offended by the implication) that there is no order or reliable process involved, but it seems ludicrous to claim that randomness doesn't play a significant role in giving natural selection variety to work with.

Otherwise, if you had enough data, you would be able to take that single celled ancestor, the environmental conditions at the time and mathematically project the whole of our current existence. In reality, I would guess that all you could get would be nothing but single celled beings, or no life, when the environment changed in a fashion that killed the single celled beings, and with no variation, there was nothing left.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 10:05 AM
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Originally posted by Dark Ghost
reply to post by adjensen
 


Oh, well then I apologise I must have misread something. Sorry.


No worries. If I misled you, I'm sorry and would appreciate the correction. Christians are all too often pigeon-holed into "Creationists" and "Intelligent Design" categories (the second being a rationalization of the first) but, for me at least, there's a third category that disagrees with both of them.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 10:38 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


To do anything you have to have belief that doing it is right. You believe in space? Believe you actually know and understand what these words REally are? Believe there is no god? Believe you father is your biological one?
Believe in the ego? Believe in your consciousness? Belief in feelings? Belief you are alive? Belief you know reality? It is all belief and you can argue til you are blue in the face, will not change a damn thing because it is true by all logic and deductive reasoning for if you did not believe or have faith in anything you would not come to do it.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen
No worries. If I misled you, I'm sorry and would appreciate the correction. Christians are all too often pigeon-holed into "Creationists" and "Intelligent Design" categories (the second being a rationalization of the first) but, for me at least, there's a third category that disagrees with both of them.

No worries. I think it's more that there are so many members with such a diverse range of opinions in this thread that sometimes you just get caught up in it all and make errors and misjudgements. And those people you mentioned are also the victims of generalising; it definitely works both ways! Thanks for clarifying your position on the issue.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by IamBoon
 


Everything on your list other than God can be proved and rationalised. Nice try thats a very poor argument and doesn't even make sense.

I put my beliefs in something when i can at least have the gathered knowledge and opinions of professionals and researchers, i put my belief in science because they present evidence.

They don't always arrogantly say they understand everything but they update their theories and records when new data becomes available until we have ultimate truths,; like the size and shape of the earth, sattelites to refine weather predictions, measurement to quantify elements and materials.


[edit on 24/7/10 by awake_and_aware]



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 


God can be rationalized also by inference . The argument stands on firm ground. In order to prove or use any concept of knowledge must mean you believe in that concept's validity. That concept is a belief. You can prove it ... to yourself because there is no proof unless someone else believes it to be proof.

So can you prove "reality"? PLz do. And the consciousness or ego? Plz do.
Or that we can sense all phenomenon? Go for it. You only believe you can and I only believe you can't.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by eight bits
Again, you are "digging in" to defend some statement of yours with over-broad scope, in this case, that evolution by natural selection is not random in any sense.


Fair enough.

"In any sense" was a poor choice of words on my part.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
It seems obvious, even on a visible scale. My daughter has a collection of physical traits that were passed on from her mother and I. Half of those traits came from me, but unless you believe that sperm have a purpose, the one that impregnated her mother was a random chance. Heck, it required that I meet her mother, decide to marry her, decide to have kids, etc, all seemingly random things. If she's got something useful to pass on, it's coming from chaos, not purpose.


It seems to me that this is natural selection at work. You both decided to pass your genes on to a next generation. Now, which sperm out of the millions you provided became the one to impregnate your wife... there's a bit of chaos involved, but the decision to mate and create offspring appears to have been intentional and purposeful (not random).


To say that evolution is purely random may be a bit of a stretch, because it implies (and I think you're offended by the implication) that there is no order or reliable process involved, but it seems ludicrous to claim that randomness doesn't play a significant role in giving natural selection variety to work with.


Agreed, randomness and chance are factors in the process and I was incorrect and overstated my case by claiming it "wasn't random in any sense". However, adaptation to an environment is relative to the environment: not a random process.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by IamBoon
It is all belief and you can argue til you are blue in the face


I have no interest in that. If you wish to think that "it is all belief" then you are welcome to your opinion. To me, however, disbelief is certainly not the same as belief.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Depends on the form of belief. Everything is deduced through some belief, now whether the belief is blind or not makes a lot of a difference!



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