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The Socratic Method takes on Atheism ...

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posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 12:00 AM
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1. Why are you an Atheist?
Because I find the evidence for the existence of a god to be entirely lacking.

2. Does not believing in something prove it does not exist?
No, but you are making the mistake of believing that atheism is the beliefe in the non-beliefe in god, when in fact it's just a non-belief in god. The difference is that one implies a positive claim "God does not exist" while the other implies a rejection of a claim "There are those who say god exists and I find their evidence to be less than convincing; therefore, I do not believe in the god the profess."

3. Do you agree that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence?
Yes, but in this particular case, it is impossible to produce evidence that proves that there is no god. It's a logical impossibility, so your point, if indeed you are trying to make one, is moot.

4. What do you think about the large number of people that say they have experienced God?
That they contribute experiences that they do not understand or cannot explain to god without any evidence or rational reason for that conjecture.

5. Does one's claim to have experienced God hold as much weight as your claim to not having had that experience?
No, because my claim isn't a claim, it's a rejection of a claim. They are making a baseless claim without reason or evidence. I am saying that the events in my life have been ordinary and entirely in the realm of the explainable without the need for a god. There claim is far more 'out there' than mine, and therefore requires more evidence.

6. (Hypothetically) if God did exist, what would your version of he/she/it be?
Big guy, bushy beard.

7. Is logic and reason limited? And if the answer is yes, is there something beyond the aforementioned?
No. Logic and Reason are the basis of our perception or reality. They are human constructs arising from the specific way that we perceive the universe, but that does not make them any less significant or any more likely to change anytime soon.

8. (Hypothetically) if science proved the existence of God as fact, what would you do being an Atheist?
I can't think of a way that this is possible given the logical problems inherent in the traditional concept of god, but if the evidence justifies and upholds the claim, then I will believe it.

9. Do you agree superstition is relative to the knowledge of the times? i.e. airplanes and internet were once considered superstitious.
Yes and no. Superstition is built into our psychology, the manifestation of those superstitions will always change (airplanes, etc) but the theme will always be the same.

10. Do you base your Atheism specifically on what you can comprehend with your 5 senses, logic/reason, and what is currently scientifically known?
Yes, since there are no other venues of reliable and useful information available to us.

Great idea for a thread. I appreciate you being upfront and asking clear questions. I would like to take a chance to emphasize this: atheism is not a positive claim, or a belief. Those who believe in a god claim that their god exists, that 'he' is real; athiesm is nothing more or less than a rejection of that claim. Because of this, it is entirely the believers responsibility to provide evidence for their god; atheists do not have to provide evidence that the god doesn't exist. The common demand of proof from atheists is a logical fallacy, see: Evidence of Absence


edit on 13-9-2010 by avingard because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 12:08 AM
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reply to post by dominicus
 


What would you consider satisfactory evidence for the existence of God?

A pattern of gamma-ray bursts occurring across twenty degrees of celestial arc, ranging in distance between, say, 10,000 and 1,000,000 light-years from us, but all going off at once from our perspective. They should spell out a simple message in English, like EINSTEIN WAS WRONG or PLAYTIME'S OVER KIDS. That would impress the heck out of me.


Why would God have to be a creep if he did exist?

It's called the Problem of Evil, O philosopher. Look it up in a dictionary of philosophy.


So are you saying yes (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence) or no? When you say that it may is well be are you implying that you would like this to be so?

Absence of evidence for a thing usually means it isn't worth worrying about.


Have you ever lied to yourself or to others?

If I said I hadn't, how would you ever know that I was telling the truth?


Have you ever assumed some one to be lying and later found they were telling the truth?

Not nearly as often as I assumed they were telling the truth and later found out they were lying.


What motivates a lie?

All communications are for the benefit of the sender.


From what source did you conclude the terms "fugitive" and "crimes"?

Those who exist, yet take care to conceal all signs of their existence from others, are fugitives. Those who commit crimes, or fail to prevent them when they have the power to do so, are criminals.


Would you agree that the level and scope of logic/reason that a fully matured adult academic uses completely beyond the limits of the level and scope of logic/reason a 5 year old uses?

No, logic is the same for everyone. Logic for beginners


Why would you conclude that this God would be responsible for these certain charges?

Omnipotence implies responsibility for everything that happens, anywhere, any time.


So do you a agree the term is relative to the knowledge of the time?

Do you mean, are some things regarded as impossible and fanciful through ignorance, although they are in fact possible? Yes, of course.


Can you define morality? Where does this morality come from?

Morality is a set of beliefs about what types of behaviour are right or wrong. Moralities are usually shared by social groups, though individuals within these groups may have beliefs that vary from the group norm.

Morality emerges from culture. It is the conscious elaboration and regulation of instinctive behavioural impulses.

*


Those are your responses to my answers? Seriously? Well, well.

Have fun with your exponentially expanding thread. You do realize you'll be at this the rest of your life, don't you?

By the way, you know, the Socratic method... it's supposed to be a dialogue.

:shk:



edit on 13/9/10 by Astyanax because: to clean up more formatting.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 12:15 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
By the way, you know, the Socratic method... it's supposed to be a dialogue.


Indeed. I gave an honest, heartfelt reply in here and was only shunned, presumably for it being mistaken as mockery, which it was not. I do have a personal atheist and can be that if need be.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 01:20 AM
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Personally, I don't think that science has anything to say about God one way or the other. I don't deny its usefulness in dealing with the physical-material sphere, but has no such utility in dealing with matters of personal faith and spirituality.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 02:42 AM
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reply to post by dominicus
 


Dude, we're getting lost in quotations here you may have to skip some of your questions or deal with one or two at a time because by the time we respond and review what we originally responded to the post starts to look like a block of text.

For the sake of clarity and to avoid very lengthy posts perhaps you would do better to respond to one poster at a time and see the dialogue through to its' conclusion.

Perhaps the mods could suggest to you a way to solve a problem due to happen because I for one am beginning to get lost in the "who said what" .

By the way, what do you hope to achieve from your "Socratic method takes on atheism" Q and A" session ?

You don't appear to be getting anywhere so far, the atheists don't seem to be hit by waves of enlightenment and dropping to their knees to kiss holy butt.

I don't mind responding to your previous questions but you don't appear to have anything new up your magik sleeve. Come to think of it it looks likely that should a less engaging atheist review the thread from a birds eye view he/she would more than likely have their opinion bolstered by the intelligent reasoning responses you've received.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 02:44 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 





A pattern of gamma-ray bursts occurring across twenty degrees of celestial arc, ranging in distance between, say, 10,000 and 1,000,000 light-years from us, but all going off at once from our perspective. They should spell out a simple message in English, like EINSTEIN WAS WRONG or PLAYTIME'S OVER KIDS. That would impress the heck out of me.


Priceless ! Thank you.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 03:42 AM
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reply to post by bsbray11
 


If you need a dictionary definition to accept that atheism is not necessarily a claim that god does not exist then please look at both the definition of atheist and of disbelief.

Atheist - One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.
Disbelief - Refusal or reluctance to believe

www.thefreedictionary.com...
www.thefreedictionary.com...

Therefore atheism can simply be a refusal to believe and not a belief in itself.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 05:12 AM
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I don't know what the thread is showing about the Socratic method, but it has been a fine illustration of the importance of preserving the distinction between agnosticism and atheism.

Since agnostic is a relatively recently coined word, we have a complete etymology for it. It originally meant "to hold the views of Thomas Huxley." Nowadays, it just means assent to the compound proposition:

I do not believe "a god exists" and I do not believe "no god exists."

Throughout its evolution, agnostic has always served the purpose for which Huxley coined it: to express that someone is neither atheist nor theist. Usages such as "agnostic atheist" are simply fail buckets waiting to be filled. They will not be understood.

On the other hand, English is forgiving of oxymoronic self-description. If you would like to call yourself, say, "a womanly man," then you are free to do so.

The price is that you forfeit the right to complain about others' stupidity when they have no clue what you are talking about. Nobody else bears the burden of figuring out what you were trying to say.

Another distinction worth preserving is between a claim and a self-description.

"There is no god" is a claim. "I believe there is no god" is a self-description.

Who makes a claim assumes a burden of proof. Who self-describes is extended the courtesy of being assumed to tell the truth about something only they could ever know.

An atheist who self-describes has no burden of proof. That is not because there is anything special about atheism. Nobody who self-describes has a burden of proof.

"I believe Jesus is your Lord and Savior." How nice. "Jesus is your Lord and Savior." Let the proofs commence.

"I believe there is no god." That's nice, too. "There is no god." When the other guy finishes, you're up.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 07:53 AM
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I'd like to point out that Socrates asked one question at a time, not ten.


Originally posted by dominicus
1. Why are you an Atheist?


I have yet to see convincing reasons to believe in a deity.



2. Does not believing in something prove it does not exist?


I never said that there is a causation between disbelief and disproof.



3. Do you agree that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence?


No, but in the complete absence of evidence there is an absence of belief. Just like there is an absence of evidence for a teapot orbiting the Earth, but it doesn't mean that there couldn't be one. I just happen to not believe it's there.



4. What do you think about the large number of people that say they have experienced God?


They might be mistaken in one of many ways: They could have experience an event that they did not understand or that they imagined or hallucinated.



5. Does one's claim to have experienced God hold as much weight as your claim to not having had that experience?


Neither claim has any weight.



6. (Hypothetically) if God did exist, what would your version of he/she/it be?


Whichever the one the facts pointed to. I honestly don't care about the particulars, I just care about what's real and what is not.



7. Is logic and reason limited? And if the answer is yes, is there something beyond the aforementioned?


The only limit on them are time and effort.



8. (Hypothetically) if science proved the existence of God as fact, what would you do being an Atheist?


Well, I'd become a deist unless they were a lot more specific about which deity. I would be happy to accept something that was scientifically proven.



9. Do you agree superstition is relative to the knowledge of the times? i.e. airplanes and internet were once considered superstitious.


Um...I don't understand what you mean.



10. Do you base your Atheism specifically on what you can comprehend with your 5 senses, logic/reason, and what is currently scientifically known?


More or less. There has yet to be anything that is outside the realm of sense experience and reason combined.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 10:34 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


Well said...people should read your post over and over and over.

Atheists like to hide behind the "you can't prove a negative"...but they don't realize that when they say "There is no god(s).", that this is a "positive" claim and the burden of proof is on them.

Now if someone else makes the claim "god exist"...and an atheists ask them to prove it...and they say "prove he doesn't exist"...then that is being asked to prove a negative.

But if YOU make the claim...then the burden of proof is on you.

This is something that atheists get wrong all the time...which to me just shows that some (most?) have a very poor grasp of logic...even though they claim they use it.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 11:24 AM
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reply to post by OutKast Searcher
 



but they don't realize that when they say "There is no god(s).",


But you don’t realise that not every atheist makes that claim. Regardless of whether Eight Bits thinks atheism can only be the claim that god does not exist huge numbers, perhaps the majority, of actual atheists (and scholars, philosophers, etc) disagree with him and do not make this claim. If that means you must think of them as agnostics then so be it but be aware then when you are talking to an atheist it is best to ask them what they think and not tell them.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 11:24 AM
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Originally posted by dominicus
So if we are basing our conclusions on whether or not God exists based on science which has still not discovered everything of which has been existing prior to the discovery of it, is it then sufficient to be an Atheist based on an argument that because Science hasn't found God, then God doesn't exist?

Look at it this way. Instead of science proving there is a/no god, science has proved many times before that things attributed to 'the power of (the) god(s)' were in fact things that could be explained by a deeper understanding of biology,math,physics.... Thereby proving there is no god of lightning, thunder,weather, earth, wind, fire,....


Originally posted by dominicus
But you are saying there is a rational argument to be an agnostic? If yes can you provide that?

Of course, the complete lack of evidence for either standpoint is the most rational argument to be an agnostic imo. It is nearly impossible to prove something doesn't exist. Just as it is nearly impossible to prove god(s) exist(s) that's why they call it belief and I call myself an agnost




edit on 13-9-2010 by sn00daard because: spelling



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


I do realize that...and yes I do think of them as agnostic rather than atheists...and so would other atheists.

If this is your thought...why hang on to the title of atheists instead of agnostic...does the title of atheist gain you something?



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by OutKast Searcher
 


You misunderstand me; atheism is the lack of belief in god, it is correctly used to define anyone who holds this position whether they think there definitely is no god or whether they just don’t believe in one but accept the possibility. Personally, I accept the possibility of a god but I don’t believe in one, I can therefore be described as both agnostic and atheistic or indeed an agnostic atheist.

Atheist is the correct term for someone who does not believe in god(s) regardless of any other claims that they may or may not make.

The point is that saying atheism is wrong because one cannot prove god does not exists is fallacious since an atheist is not necessarily saying that god does not exist.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 11:43 AM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


Again...why the need to hold on to that title?

You can twist definitions all you want to avoid making illogical statements...but why the need to be able to call yourself an atheist...why is that important to you?



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by OutKast Searcher
This is something that atheists get wrong all the time...which to me just shows that some (most?) have a very poor grasp of logic...even though they claim they use it.


Hey, slow down there, college.


When you're saying that an atheist "makes a claim" that there is no God, you HAVE to assume that someone has made a claim that there IS a God first.

The atheist's stance is NO claim. We make no claim. Along comes religion, that says, "There's a man in the sky and his name is God. details, details, details..."

Then the atheist says, "I don't believe that. There is no God." But without the positive claim in the first place (There IS a God) the atheist would make no claim whatsoever about "god".

"God" is a construct that has been around in people's minds for a long time. It's a matter of which came first - The claim that a god exists or the claim that god doesn't exist? We must start at the default (nothing) to find out who is actually making the claim. Just because the claims of god have been around for a long time doesn't mean that the existence of god is the default.

Like right now, for example, I'm going to make a claim that "Frumpledorf" exists. I could tell you all about Frumpledorf and write a book about it, but the details really don't matter. But if I get a bunch of people to agree with me that Frumpledorf DOES exist and you come along and say, "Nah - I ain't fallin' for it. There is no Frumpledorf" - it's not up to YOU to prove that Frumpledorf is a figment of our imaginations, it's up to me and the other Frumpledorf followers to prove the claims I've been making all along.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 11:55 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 



Then the atheist says, "I don't believe that. There is no God." But without the positive claim in the first place (There IS a God) the atheist would make no claim whatsoever about "god".



If the atheists would stop at "I don't believe that"...then everything is fine...no burden of proof...nothing but the atheists personal opinion.

Once they make the CLAIM that "There is no God"...then they have made a positive statement...regardless of what statement they are responding to. And now it is on them to prove their claim.

Your example of the character you are describing...I can say "Well I don't believe that...because I see no proof". Fine...that is my opinion...I am entitled to that. I could even say "if you want me to believe that, then you have the responsibility of proving your claim.". But once I say, "That does not exist"...then I am making a claim myself...and I am required to prove it.

Let's take evolution for example. From your point of view...the default view is nothing. Then Darwin made a claim that "Evolution exist and explains the diverse species we see today".

If a Creationist simply says "I don't believe that"...would you say that is fine for them to hold that opinion?

How about if a Creationist says "I don't believe that...Evolution does not exist."...would you then ask them to prove why they think Evolution does not exist?



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 12:18 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 

A pattern of gamma-ray bursts occurring across twenty degrees of celestial arc, ranging in distance between, say, 10,000 and 1,000,000 light-years from us, but all going off at once from our perspective. They should spell out a simple message in English, like EINSTEIN WAS WRONG or PLAYTIME'S OVER KIDS. That would impress the heck out of me.
Ok thats fine. So my next question is, if we gave a book on string theory written in modern english to all the first modern societies around the world, would they understand it? Is it possible God is comminicating to us but we just don't understand this form of communication?

Why would God have to be a creep if he did exist? It's called the Problem of Evil, O philosopher. Look it up in a dictionary of philosophy.
But evil when it is committed is committed by people themselves is it not? And wouldn't you agree that each and every one of us has the freedom to do evil or good?

So are you saying yes (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence) or no? When you say that it may is well be are you implying that you would like this to be so? Absence of evidence for a thing usually means it isn't worth worrying about.
So what you are saying is that if there is evidence for something then we should worry? Can you tell me some things you do worry about?

Have you ever lied to yourself or to others?
If I said I hadn't, how would you ever know that I was telling the truth?
I guess I couldn't truly know if your lying just based on words alone, but if you told me I would die tomorrow and yet I live another week then I would know you lied. The proof for me would be in the experience of the lie and whether it proves true or not.

Have you ever assumed some one to be lying and later found they were telling the truth?
Not nearly as often as I assumed they were telling the truth and later found out they were lying.
So in this case when you are told something you more often assume they are telling the truth?

What motivates a lie?
All communications are for the benefit of the sender.
So if a child is crying and I go over there to cheer the child up for their sake, it is for my benefit?



From what source did you conclude the terms "fugitive" and "crimes"?
Those who exist, yet take care to conceal all signs of their existence from others, are fugitives.
So if I conceal my existence from a psycho ex-girl friend and all her friends who take her side, then I am a fugitive? If I live in communism and conceal my existence from them because they are looking to destroy all paintings of flowers and nice colors and I paint said paintings then I am a fugitive?

Those who commit crimes, or fail to prevent them when they have the power to do so, are criminals.
If you have children or family members and they have committed crimes, yet you had the power to prevent them from happening by either bringing your children up morally, or being involved more in your family ...but the crimes of this person was committed, so that means you are also a criminal for failing to prevent the crime is this correct?

If you have children will you give them the freedom to make their own choices even if those choices can lead them to be arrested, addicted, or make mistakes in life?


Would you agree that the level and scope of logic/reason that a fully matured adult academic uses completely beyond the limits of the level and scope of logic/reason a 5 year old uses?
No, logic is the same for everyone. Logic for beginners

How can logic be the same for everyone if a 5 year old doesn't yet understand logic? Or are you saying all 5 year olds understand logic?

Why would you conclude that this God would be responsible for these certain charges?
Omnipotence implies responsibility for everything that happens, anywhere, any time.

I would imply that you yourself have certain powers such as the power to communicate, change, make decisions, etc. Do you interact and make decisions in every situation you come across or do you sometimes just allow things to be? Or perhaps both?

So do you a agree the term is relative to the knowledge of the time?
Do you mean, are some things regarded as impossible and fanciful through ignorance, although they are in fact possible? Yes, of course.

Is there anything you yourself are ignorant in? Have you been ignorant in the past and then through the act of knowledge, experience, and time eventually rid yourself of ignorance in any particular subject?

Can you define morality? Where does this morality come from?
Morality is a set of beliefs about what types of behaviour are right or wrong.

So you do admit that you believe in certain types of moral behaviors and try to follow them in the best possible way?

Morality emerges from culture. It is the conscious elaboration and regulation of instinctive behavioural impulses.
Do you make use of consciousness? Does science know what consciousness is factually?

You also mention "instinctive behavioral impulses". Are these I.B.I's dependent on logic/reason, the 5 senses, and/or science?

Is there such a thing, reality, or your own personal definition as an absolute truth?

Those are your responses to my answers? Seriously? Well, well.
Well we are just warming up. If you find my responses a certain way, then I accept that however I do not see us as having concluded the specific discussion personally between myself and yourself. For example in this last line of answers of yours that I responded to it seems I need further clearification on certain matter such as criminal, fugitive, logic, and absolute truth amongst others.

Have fun with your exponentially expanding thread. You do realize you'll be at this the rest of your life, don't you?
Actually I believe we are getting to certain points already. Some folks who clearly have defined themselves as Atheists for example, would seem to indicate more so that they are in fact agnostics by the popular definitions of our day. While others are saying they are both atheists and agnostics which surely needs further clearification. ALso I think I have proven to the Djin and other members from other threads that it is alot easier to do the socratic method one on one and in person versus on a thread which I was intitially asked by some individuals to do and this is the outcome. Some people I still have yet to get to and I'm working on that. Also I do not mind if this thread continues for a few months and thats fine as we are starting to clearify some rather murky matters.



By the way, you know, the Socratic method... it's supposed to be a dialogue.

Yes well aware of that, and just above this I have also made some statements and continue to do so. For example as far as Atheism I am not an atheist and so I am asking for understanding on this matter and I want to know what is the motivation, logic and reason behind each answer. Hence the reason why there are so many questions. If you feel I am going in circles on any particular matter specifically between our exchange please indicate so and I will refrain or go somewhere else with it. Also I do agree the tread has gotten rather sloppy and that it needs some sort of systematic cleansing. Perhaps we can do a Thread part 2 and you guys can give advice on how to make it more organized before we do so?



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 01:21 PM
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reply to post by OutKast Searcher
 



Again...why the need to hold on to that title?


Because that is what atheist/atheism means, I’m not making it up that is what it means to many atheists, it’s how it is defined in dictionaries, it is how scholars use the word, it is what the word means when broken down into its roots etc. I hold on to that title because it most accurately describes my position on theism.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 01:22 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 




Hey, slow down there, college. When you're saying that an atheist "makes a claim" that there is no God, you HAVE to assume that someone has made a claim that there IS a God first. The atheist's stance is NO claim. We make no claim. Along comes religion, that says, "There's a man in the sky and his name is God. details, details, details..."

So you are saying that these religions have made the claim that God is a man in the sky?

Then the atheist says, "I don't believe that. There is no God." But without the positive claim in the first place (There IS a God) the atheist would make no claim whatsoever about "god".

Do you believe in anything? Have you ever used belief in any aspect in your life, outside of theological reasoning?

"God" is a construct that has been around in people's minds for a long time. It's a matter of which came first - The claim that a god exists or the claim that god doesn't exist? We must start at the default (nothing) to find out who is actually making the claim. Just because the claims of god have been around for a long time doesn't mean that the existence of god is the default.

I like this idea to start with nothing as a default. I am hoping we can go forward in this default nothingness area in terms of questioning that.

You say that God is a construct that has been in people's minds for a long time, now would you agree that the mind uses constructs in all matters of thinking, logic, reason and so on? Would you agree that logic and reason are also constructs and that this default of the premise of starting with nothing is also a construct of the mind?





Like right now, for example, I'm going to make a claim that "Frumpledorf" exists. I could tell you all about Frumpledorf and write a book about it, but the details really don't matter. But if I get a bunch of people to agree with me that Frumpledorf DOES exist and you come along and say, "Nah - I ain't fallin' for it. There is no Frumpledorf" - it's not up to YOU to prove that Frumpledorf is a figment of our imaginations, it's up to me and the other Frumpledorf followers to prove the claims I've been making all along.

First for me personally, I don't see frumpledorf as that popular. What I do see popular is this God that all these billions of people seem to be discussing. Sure there are differences such as racial, regional, theological, geographical and so on ...but the God premise itself is extremely popular.

2nd, if you made this claim about frumpledorf I would ask, ok can I have an experience with this frumpledorf character and if so how can I? Well if you tell me, he has such and such characteristics, and I interacted with him, and had a real life experience with him. Then I would ask what do I have to do to meet him myself and have this experience with him?

IF you tell me, "well if you thought about him than you already experienced him". I would say no that's my own thought. Then you tell me, "well how do you feel about him?" and I say, hey makes me laugh, then you say, "well that emotion of laughter is Frumpledorf." I would say no that was my own emotion in reaction to the thought of him.

I would dismiss all things about frumpledorf unless I had some kind of experience of him that was outside of and not relative to my own emotions, thoughts, instincts, intuitions, or anything I have been used to. There is just soooo many dynamics involved in this.

I cannot possibly claim frumpledorf is real and I cannot possibly claim he is not real. However if more and more people start talking about having experienced frumpledorf then it would be further motivation for me to at least examine that claim. If somebody told me eventually that I have to ingest a certain leaf from the top of a tree in tibet then sit with my eyes closed for 12 days to even have the chance to experience frumpledorf, and if I haven't done so ...then in a sense until I do that and see for myself, I can't make a claim one way or the other.

Also what I'm trying to find out is if Atheism is a stance you take inspired by something such as a bad childhood repressed memory, or it was the cool thing to be in high school, or I was raised by atheists, or they think God is some man in the sky, or so on. Is there an initial motivator?




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