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The Socratic Method takes on Atheism ...

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posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 09:30 AM
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reply to post by Annee
 

Originally posted by dominicus But in the Bible there is one section where Jesus says that the kingdom of Heaven is within you yourself. Were you ever aware of that part?


I have never understood why people use the bible to debate an Atheist.


I never understood why so many people take things out of context. Had you read the post, and the one that corresponds to this one, you would see that the question is speaking within the context that the poster was an Ex-Christian and had previously investigated the claims of Jesus.

Other than that, please feel free to find anywhere in this thread where the Bible is being used by me personally to debate an Atheist and I will personally send you over a hundred dollar bill.
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In reply to Benevolent Heretic,
So because you found what were to you, contradictions in some statements, this prevented you from investigating whether or not certain statements were true?



No. For someone who's claiming to use the Socratic Method, you are making a lot of assumptions. And going in circles.


I personally dont think that was an assumption or a circle. You mentioned something to the effect of God being some man in the sky> that some parents teach children that heaven is up there and hell is down there> then you said you have no proof of this> then I asked if you were aware of Jesus saying that Heaven is within > then you said that you found many contradictions in the Bible > so I asked you if you have searched for this heaven within you and does a contradiction merit no longer investigating the contradictory statements.

And now I am making assumptions and going in circles?
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]You are saying thoughts are real, can you harness this thought and show it to me so that I can know for sure that thoughts are as real as you say they are?



I cannot harness the wind, either, but I can show you the scientific effects of it.

Well I can harness the wind by using a sail on a ship, using a wind farm, and there are numerous other ways to harness the wind.

But back to this thought question because it was never directly answered. Even though you have made the claim that you think and use thoughts, can you in any way prove to me that these thoughts are real?



I can show objective and repeatable results. Can you do the same for what you are claiming?

Perhaps I can. Can a direct experience of having a thought about something count as objective and repeatable results if I bring to you 100 people who all say they have had these thoughts?



Look, I don't know what you're trying to prove - or maybe I do - but I think you might need to study the Socratic method some more. Or else move onto someone else because we don't seem to be getting anywhere with this. Thanks, anyway.

Yes thats fine if you would like to no longer proceed with this, as it does take alot of questions on my end, however I think we are proceeding rather nicely and getting to some key elements in your argument. For example I see that perhaps you have assumed that there are certain contradictions in the Bible and this has kept you for further examining them. I'm still unclear whether you feel or not that a thought is real. I still don't know much about this inner place you have found that you say perhaps could be comparable with Jesus' statement of the kingdom of heaven being with in. I don't have your definition of beleifs. There are still many gray areas that I don't know as far as what your foundations are for your atheism stance.

If we google and or check out some library books on the Socratic method, we do find lots of questioning. As a matter of fact pretty much everything is questioned to see if there is any substantial ground for your stance. Add to that I have already stated some of my own statements such as Bose Einstein condensate and infinity being beyond my personal scope of logic.

So of course I will leave it to you to either answer the last set of questions or if you are not happy with this is going then we can just stop the method between myself and you. and I will continue on with the other members




posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 09:31 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 



Please give me an example.

Here's how I see it.

Person A makes a claim: There are wild flying unicorns in Peru.
Person B says, "Prove it"
Person A cannot prove it.
Person B says: "I don't believe you. I'm going to take the position that there are no wild flying unicorns in Peru.


An example is easy to give using your own example.

Person C is talking to Person B later.
Person B says: "This guy earliers was talking about flying unicorns in Peru"
Person C says: "Oh yeah...what do you think about that?"
Person B says: "Person A couldn't prove it, So there are no wild flying unicorns in Peru."

Person C has no stance on this issue at all. What should Person C do at this point? Should he just say "OK...I believe you because that is a negative statement, and since you can't prove a negative...you must be right". Should he have to go find Person A to get proof of wild flying unicorns? Or should Person C simply ask Person B to prove his CLAIM that he is making???


I find these arguments funny...because perfectly reasonable people would not allow this in any other conversation...but it has been the fall back of atheists for a long time.

Tell me this...what do you think of the following scenario.

Politician A: says that giving tax cuts to the middle class will help the economy
Politician B: "Prove it"
Politician A: cannot prove it
Politician B: "I don't believe you. I am going to take the position that tax cuts to the middle class will not help the economy".

Does the above make ANY sense at all? Would you respect a politician that went around saying "Tax cuts don't help the economy" and the only evidence he has for that is that it can't be 100% proven that tax cuts do help the economy? Seems pretty dishonest to me.

Wouldn't it make more sense for Politician B to say: "Well sense you can't prove it, I don't believe you...but I don't know for sure that it still will not help the econoym either."


The logical flaw that is commited in your statements above is that you ARE saying that absence of evidence is evidence of abscence...which you said in your first reply that you do not agree with. Because in the above scenario, and in what you have been saying...the only evidence you have is lack of proof...are you now saying that lack of proof is good enough for you to take a position on something?

Again...your above scenario would be perfectly fine if Person B stopped at "I don't believe you". Once it continues after that...Person B is MAKING A CLAIM.

How do you explain that?


And I'd also like to know what you think about the validity of a person willingly making a negative statement...knowing it can't be proven.

Because whether "god does not exist" is a negative statement(your stance) or positive statement(my stance)...you will agree that it is making a statement...correct???

And you have already said that you can't prove that negative statement...correct?

And would you agree that it is illogical to make statements that you can't prove?



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 11:40 AM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 

dominicus said: So your claim is that you are an atheist that accepts the possibility of God? Other than that you have non of your own claims about God?


Yes however when I say god I mean the concept of a deity. I have plenty of opinions about the gods of various religions, these opinions being based on what these religions say about their respective supreme being.

So you are agnostic yes? If you answer yes I will continue with questions however this was specifically designed as Socratic method takes on atheism

Would you agree that we can have both the concept of an actual automobile and also have the physical actual automobile itself?
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dominicus said: What would qualify for you, a reason to believe in one then? Is there anything you do believe in?

What have you got? Something testable, observable, something that would allow predictions to be made and tested; something like that.

As for what I believe in, many things but none without reason.

Can you name some of these things that you do believe in if its not too personal and you are open to sharing? Also what is your definition of a belief and what exactly makes up a belief?
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2 – No and in answer to your follow up to Edews I know this because of prior cases where non belief in something has turned out to be the incorrect position.


Dominicus asked: Is this the reason why you accept the possibility of a God?

The reason I accept the possibility is because it is impossible to know everything or be absolutely certain about anything.

You are saying it is impossible to be absolutely certain about anything but are you certain about your 5 senses, logic/reason, and what science tells you?
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Mike-A: 4 – I think that just because someone interprets something as being godly in origin does not necessarily make it so.
Dominicus: Can you elaborate as to why you think this?

Mike_A: Not sure how else to put it, if I see my curtain move I could interpret that as the act of a poltergeist but that wouldn’t necessarily be the cause would it.

So we have all these groups all over the world for the last few thousand or perhaps more years, making claims to have experienced God but nobody knows whether these claims are true. Can we at least agree that they have experienced something even though it very well could be explainable?

How can we prove an experience?
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D: Would you agree that there is a wide variation in people's experiences in all matters of life? And if you do answer yes, do these contradictions preclude the arena/subject that they took place in? If you answer no then I have a different question.

Mike_A: What do you mean “do they preclude the arena they took place in?” What I was saying was that if you take these godly experiences at face value one set of experiences would contradict another and so preclude another being true thus leading to a paradox.

But have you yourself ever made a contradiction about something? Don't we have branches of science debating each other over certain branches that to an outside party would be a contradiction? If one person hates chocolate ice cream and wants nothing to with it but another likes it, is this a contradiction?

Also can you list at least one of these contradictions in experiences of God that some have claimed?
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Dominicus asked: So you are saying that in order to experience something, anything, it has to first be defined?

Mike_A: No I’m saying that in order to know what you have experienced that thing must first be defined. For example I can’t say I have experienced smelling a rose without knowing what a rose is.

Dominicus: Is the definition of something exactly the same as the the thing its defining?

Mike_A: So going back to your question someone can say that they have experienced god but without knowing what god is it is a meaningless statement.

Dominicus: So are you saying that somebody can't experience something that is beyond definition? Have you ever been left speechless in life in anyway, knowing that whatever you explain it won't do justice to the reality of what just happened?

Mike_A: The problem is can you define god? You can assign arbitrary qualities such as omniscience but how do you know if that is an accurate reflection of god?

Dominicus: I think that possibly perhaps all things can be defined, but personally a definition to me is just the best possible conceptualized thoughts and representations of what is being defined, i.e I would say the definition is not the same or anywhere close as the actual thing that is being defined. For example for myself, I can read about Mount Everest all day along but to actually go there and experience it is much more preferable.
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Dom: What that make you happy the possibility that you are God?

Mike_A: I think it would have its pros and cons.

Dom: Why would your version of God be you if I would argue there are smarter, richer, and more stronger individuals than yourself that would make a better God? In this instance why you?
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If your point is that at some point we may come to understand god then I’ll save you time and just say that I agree. However this doesn’t mean I should believe in a god now does it.

Well, for me personally a belief has no outcome what-so-ever on whether or not something exists. However with sooooo many people saying that this God does exist, the fact that there are even debates about it, at least personally stirs me to try and see if there really is a God. Some groups say meditate to see, others say read a book and get baptized, yet others say just have faith. So personally I really can't say anything unless I at least try these things out and critically examine them.

If there really is a God and I can somehow tap into that (personal hypothetical assumption) then I would think it would make Life much better than at the current state I am right now if the claims of omnipotent, omnipresence, omniscient hold true ..then I myself would be tapping into a more advanced state of operating in this reality than ultimately would give me an edge over the state of reality everyone else is operating on. It would give some merit to the idea of an "awakening" as these groups say and would also assume that those who don't awaken are sleeping.

So I hold that as a possibility that perhaps there is modes of sleeping and awakening. To what, I can't tell you exactly but it seems to be a universal idea not only in religion but also I find it discussed amongst non-religious philosophers.
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Dom: So you not being an atheist in this hypothetical sense would that in anyway change the lifestyle, morals, and knowledge in the light of science proving there is a God? (hypothetical)

Mike_A: That would depend entirely on the god.

So you are implying that depending on how this God is, would result in you shifting your lifestyle, knowledge, and morals one way or another?
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Mike_A: No, logic and reason have always existed, perhaps not formally but without these two tools humans would be totally none functioning.

Dom: Logic and reason has always existed? Even prior to the existence of Humans? Would you say round earth theory took one individual's claim of it to bring it up as a possibility for further investigation?
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Dom: There are folks who say that through logic and reason they concluded that there must be a God, what do you think about that?

Mike_A: I ask them to demonstrate how they came to this conclusion, as I did with you. Can you tell me?

Dominicus: Well we several arguments for the exist of God that use the rules of logic and reason to come to their conclusions such as the Ontological argument and the Transcendental Argument amongst many others. Of course there are counter arguments to these, but my point is that we have a set of arguments that use logic and reason for the existence of God.

I think a big surprise here is that many scholars consider Parmenides, an ancient Greek Philosopher, to be the Father of Logic, who brought it into its existence which we still use today. Arguably some may say Plato, Aristotle, amongst others. Still I bring this up because all of these individuals considered themselves Spiritual beings, talked about an afterlife, God, and claimed that they were inspired to Logic by supernatural forces.
Parmenides
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Dom: Do you believe there is substance and matter that exists that is out of the range of our 5 senses such as as certain frequencies of sound and spectrums of light?

Mike_A: Yes but these can be detected or inferred by other means.

Can you explain to me these other means?
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Mike_A: In relation to your answers to my questions I think you’re playing semantics so I’ll reword question two.

Dom: Well semantics is definitely important. I do not intend to play any games, trickery, or to deceive anyone by the use of semantics, but it is important for us to be clear with the semantics of certain words as it sometimes semantics become relative to each person and a large number of additional factors.
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Mike_A: 2 – Do you believe that to determine something’s objective existence it must be done through the use of logic and reason?

Well personally my opinion (key word opinion) if something exists objectively then it already does exist in that matter regardless whether or not anyone takes the time to prove so. Now in order to prove this to others, yes I would agree that to a certain extent we would use logic and reason to prove so and in order to communicate so with others.

Why do I say to a certain extent? Well because in science experiments in cold fusion are not sometimes repeatable. So I have always theoretically imagined that perhaps there are areas within science where the result in certain experiments will always give you random and unrepeatable results by the very nature of the substances random character. We have set rules around the scientific method in such a way the we need to have always repeatable results, but certain theoretical substances may never allow that to happen, so in this case the scientific method could not be applied in the manner in which it is used today.

I'll quote Objectivity here from wikipedia (as they have been fairly reliable to me in the last few months)

"Objectivity is both a central and elusive philosophical category. While there is no universally accepted articulation of objectivity, a proposition is generally considered to be objectively true when its truth conditions are "mind-independent"—that is, not the result of any judgments made by a conscious entity or subject."

This would rather put an interesting spin on this discussion from here on out. Perhaps is could be said that everything that is known now becomes fairly relative to these "judgments made by a conscious entity or subject"
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Mike_A said:
You can also substitute “fact from fiction” in Q4 with “what is real and what is not”

Perhaps you can now answer the questions.

Dom: I can't answer that right now at this point in time and I'll tell you why personally again and opinion only: Objectivity and subjectivity to me are both concepts, agreed upon ideas based on logic and reason which in turn are also a systematic set of thoughts, ideas, and concepts.

Dom: Now keeping this in mind, I am right here right now existing and everything is as it is prior to me having any thoughts, concepts, ideas about it. So first, what is already is and then all these ideas come up and start manufacturing an organized system of thought to make sense of it all. But the explanations, ideas, theories, concepts, logic/reason, and all this other stuff we are using is all of the realm of imagination/thoughts/ideas ....I don't know if that makes sense to you guys, and it is a little hard to explain, but it is something I wrestle with here.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 12:11 PM
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reply to post by dominicus
 


1. Why are you an Atheist?

this is actually a tough opener to elucidate on. I am an atheist because all my previous experience of the results of religious teachings are contradictory to the message of love, peace and forgiveness that these religions claim to extol. Whether this is in relation to the torturous treatment of kids by catholic priests or outright religious wars, it is always the same. Religion is a man-made belief system, created by primitive minds with a need to find an explanation for the world around them. The human brain evolved to be creative and questioning, religion was a quick fix that has hung around for too long. If there had never been religion, look at the wars and suffering that would have been averted. Religion is not worth the hassle.


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

No, just as believing does not prove that it does, but we are gifted with a mental faculty that allows us to make choices.

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

Of course

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

I think they may be delusional in some case, but generally I would say they have had an emotional epithany, the human heart, spirit and mind are very powerful things and the emotions they can stir do not necessarily point to the existence of god

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

no explanation is needed for something that has not happened, I have just posted a possible explanation for what happened to them, I do not think they are lying, just mistaken.


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

My version of (a) god would be just some unknown intelligence that caused the creation of the universe (possibly as an experiment carried out in their own universe, but not necessarily) who then left well alone and never turned back. much like a scientist in a lab who caused an explosion, noted it, and then moved onto something else. ie, even if they were real, praying and worshipping is just pointless, they don't even know we are here. (although I really had to stretch the point in order to give an answer fuller than 'there just isn't one')


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

it is limited yes, by our own knowledge and understanding. this is expanding all the time as the Human being has not finished evolving, this process will continue for millenia (if we don't all kill each other first). Ascribing the lack of our current knowledge to the existence of god is just plain illogical.


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

It cannot, as we are nowhere near capable of such a full understanding of the universe, if it did I wouldn't be much bothered as he clearly has no interest in what any of us think.


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

but if I may flip that around, people did not have religions worshipping aeroplanes and TV's for millennia beforehand either, so the comparison is flawed. Those that worshipped the gods of rain, sun, wind, war etc and made human sacrifices, and buried their dead with tools, weapons and food 'for the journey' are now looked back on as primitive delusional fools, why would modern religion be any different?


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

That is a part of it, but also the long line of past beliefs and superstions that we now know to be total nonsense,plus, the death and suffering inflicted on fellow humans in the name of 'gods love' mean that even if 'GOD' knocked on my door and introduced himself I would tell him to' **** off' for letting people commit those acts in his name. If he 'appears' to people, why not to those vicious murdering scumbags through the ages to put them right?



edit on 14-9-2010 by waynos because: missed a /



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 12:12 PM
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Just a quick note:

At my current place on employment, I am on a call and most of my jobs are out of state. So I will be away from the thread for about a week or so. I apologize to anyone who was keeping up with the tread thus far, and I do think that we are starting to get somewhere with this questioning, however I will have very little time over the next week for responses.

I hope to continue this thread sometime next week.

Thanks and stay tuned



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 12:22 PM
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Thats almost looks like I won the thread with my first go


I'm sure it was just a coincidence and will check back for a reply in a few days



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 01:18 PM
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reply to post by dominicus
 



So I will be away from the thread for about a week or so.


Then I’m out, it’s taking long enough already and we’re yet to see anything of substance that actually deals with the subject of why atheism is wrong or why we should believe in god.

If, when you come back, you actually want to make a thread with your own arguments then please drop me a pm. If not good luck “crushing” the rest of my fellow heathens.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by dominicus
reply to post by Annee
 

Originally posted by dominicus But in the Bible there is one section where Jesus says that the kingdom of Heaven is within you yourself. Were you ever aware of that part?


I have never understood why people use the bible to debate an Atheist.


I never understood why so many people take things out of context. Had you read the post, and the one that corresponds to this one, you would see that the question is speaking within the context that the poster was an Ex-Christian and had previously investigated the claims of Jesus.


So was I (former assimilated Christian). It is a general statement to all. You are hardly the only poster to use the bible to debate Atheists.

Atheist. Do not believe in Jesus (of the bible). Hence do not believe in bible. There is zero point to present the bible or Jesus in debating an Atheist.

In my opinion. That's all.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by waynos
 



this is actually a tough opener to elucidate on. I am an atheist because all my previous experience of the results of religious teachings are contradictory to the message of love, peace and forgiveness that these religions claim to extol. Whether this is in relation to the torturous treatment of kids by catholic priests or outright religious wars, it is always the same. Religion is a man-made belief system, created by primitive minds with a need to find an explanation for the world around them. The human brain evolved to be creative and questioning, religion was a quick fix that has hung around for too long. If there had never been religion, look at the wars and suffering that would have been averted. Religion is not worth the hassle.

The love, peace, forgiveness that religions extol is this something that happens automatically once you are part of that religion or does it take a while to learn to practice and put into effect these things? Does everyone do so equally?

As far as the acts of priests and wars is this done by individual humans? Can we really say a systematic state of beliefs themselves did these acts or is it wholly on the individuals themselves?

Would you agree that all beleifs, systems of thought, logic/reason, concepts, ideas, philosophies are all man made?

Had there never been religion would we still have suffering and wars and if so who could we blame for it?




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

No, just as believing does not prove that it does, but we are gifted with a mental faculty that allows us to make choices.

WHat exactly makes up this mental faculty, I mean is it a real thing, can you show it to me?




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

I think they may be delusional in some case, but generally I would say they have had an emotional epithany, the human heart, spirit and mind are very powerful things and the emotions they can stir do not necessarily point to the existence of god

But some of these claimants say that their experience of this so called God was beyond any emotions, that it was nothing like an emotion and was beyond all concepts of what an emotion can be. Would you then say that this claim could be some new as of yet perhaps unknown unstudied emotion?




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

no explanation is needed for something that has not happened, I have just posted a possible explanation for what happened to them, I do not think they are lying, just mistaken.

Have you ever told the truth about something but were mistaken about the contents of that truth and if so can you give an example?

In the theory that these claimants are mistaken, then you are still going with the answer being just emotions of some sort?




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

My version of (a) god would be just some unknown intelligence that caused the creation of the universe (possibly as an experiment carried out in their own universe, but not necessarily) who then left well alone and never turned back. much like a scientist in a lab who caused an explosion, noted it, and then moved onto something else. ie, even if they were real, praying and worshipping is just pointless, they don't even know we are here. (although I really had to stretch the point in order to give an answer fuller than 'there just isn't one')


This version of your God, how did you come up with it? Is it hypothetical and imaginary?

Also you say praying and worshipping would be pointless. I would add the Webster definition of "Worship" here:

"extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem"

Do you have any extravagant respect or admiration for anything?




7. Is logic and reason limited? And if the answer is yes, is there something beyond the aforementioned? it is limited yes, by our own knowledge and understanding. this is expanding all the time as the Human being has not finished evolving, this process will continue for millenia (if we don't all kill each other first). Ascribing the lack of our current knowledge to the existence of god is just plain illogical.

Why would this kind of argument be illogical? I mean if some religions say that God is unlimited and our logic and reason is limited, then I personally do not see how we can use logic and reason to approach the existence, proof, or matter of a God with such a characteristic.




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

It cannot, as we are nowhere near capable of such a full understanding of the universe, if it did I wouldn't be much bothered as he clearly has no interest in what any of us think.

IS it impossible for science to ever know the full understanding of the universe and are we incapable of such understanding, this is what you are implying? Does science look for God?

Why would this God, not have an interest in what we think, if by its very nature (omnipresence, omniscient) it would be everywhere and know all thoughts at all times (according to the characteristics of the Monotheistic God of some of the most popular Religions out there today)?




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

but if I may flip that around, people did not have religions worshipping aeroplanes and TV's for millennia beforehand either, so the comparison is flawed. Those that worshipped the gods of rain, sun, wind, war etc and made human sacrifices, and buried their dead with tools, weapons and food 'for the journey' are now looked back on as primitive delusional fools, why would modern religion be any different?

Perhaps religion evolves like science does. So you are implying that the religion of today may be looked back at some day in the future as delusional foolishness?

Do the knowledge of science 200 years ago look foolish to what we know today? Do you think 200 years from now scientists will look back to the science of our day and can say that we were fools?

Time then is relative to knowledge?




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

That is a part of it, but also the long line of past beliefs and superstions that we now know to be total nonsense,plus, the death and suffering inflicted on fellow humans in the name of 'gods love' mean that even if 'GOD' knocked on my door and introduced himself I would tell him to' **** off' for letting people commit those acts in his name. If he 'appears' to people, why not to those vicious murdering scumbags through the ages to put them right?

But some of these, what some people would consider beliefs and superstitions, are still around today (heaven, God, a soul, an afterlife, etc)

Is it true that people commit and are free to commit all kinds of terrible acts in the name of all kinds of things like for example anger, hatred, jealousy, race, gender, patriotism, etc etc?

Once you have children and they grow older, they themselves have the possibility to commit some kind of terrible act in the name of anger, hatred, and all those mentioned above. However you raise them and instill morals into them they still just might with questionable odds commit these acts.

In this case would you have the ability to stop them from doing this? Have you yourself ever made any mistakes? I am assuming you will say yes, and in that assumption I ask what happened after you made a mistake?



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 01:48 PM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 




Then I’m out, it’s taking long enough already and we’re yet to see anything of substance that actually deals with the subject of why atheism is wrong or why we should believe in god.

If, when you come back, you actually want to make a thread with your own arguments then please drop me a pm. If not good luck “crushing” the rest of my fellow heathens.

I never said anything about heathens. My basic premise is that any argument is crushable, specifically that of atheism and Agnosticism. Now we have to get to what exactly does "experience" mean and break down semantics of a few things as well as define thoughts, theories, beliefs, etc. I'll drop you a pm when I get back.
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In Reply to Annie:



So was I (former assimilated Christian). It is a general statement to all. You are hardly the only poster to use the bible to debate Atheists.

Atheist. Do not believe in Jesus (of the bible). Hence do not believe in bible. There is zero point to present the bible or Jesus in debating an Atheist.

In my opinion. That's all.

I just told you, show me where I sued the Bible to debate Atheists in this thread and I'll give you $100 dollar bill or I'll donate it to any cause you prefer and send you the receipt with proof of donation. Right now it seems to be some wacky assumption and unexamined false lying claim.

Please do post here your proof (specifically from this thread) so we can all then take you seriously in this assumption. But until then, there is not much else to say if you cannot find proof.

______
k guys, bags backed, gotta go.
Be back next week



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by dominicus

I just told you, show me where I used the Bible to debate Atheists in this thread



I didn't actually say you did - now did I?

Verbiage.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 02:24 PM
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reply to post by dominicus
 



My basic premise is that any argument is crushable, specifically that of atheism and Agnosticism.


Hang on a minute, in the thread that spawned this one your first post was…


Non of this really matters in the long term, when each every skeptic and atheist finally learns about the existence of God and the after life at the time of death.

You figure there is place in the afterlife where a bunch of us gather around the "about to be deceased: skeptic just so we can see the reaction on their soul face when they realize that they continue on in the after life. Oh man that look has to be priceless.

But to be back on topic, yeah most Brits that I know are skeptics or atheists. And then when I get into debates with them and crush them intellectually they start to question they're own doubt.


I asked if you would start a new thread setting out your argument for there being a god/afterlife and you replied by linking to this with the line “Socratic argumet for/against afterlife/God...”

www.abovetopsecret.com...&mem=dominicus

Let’s be clear, you were saying that there is a god (and you’ve done so in other threads) and that atheism was wrong. This thread was supposed to be your attempt to back up those assertions but so far all we’ve had is eight pages of obfuscation.

Just tell me why is atheism wrong and/or why should I believe that there is a god? I don’t think you can.


Edit to add another question;

Here is one of your questions and my answers,



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

Mike_A: Yes.

Dom: Do you believe there is substance and matter that exists that is out of the range of our 5 senses such as as certain frequencies of sound and spectrums of light?

Mike_A: Yes but these can be detected or inferred by other means.

Dom: Can you explain to me these other means?


Can you tell me where were you going with this line of questioning? What is your point in asking these specific questions?



edit on 14-9-2010 by Mike_A because: additional content



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 04:17 PM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 

I have another hour before my ride gets here, figured I'd clear this up


Hang on a minute, in the thread that spawned this one your first post was…

Non of this really matters in the long term, when each every skeptic and atheist finally learns about the existence of God and the after life at the time of death. You figure there is place in the afterlife where a bunch of us gather around the "about to be deceased: skeptic just so we can see the reaction on their soul face when they realize that they continue on in the after life. Oh man that look has to be priceless. But to be back on topic, yeah most Brits that I know are skeptics or atheists. And then when I get into debates with them and crush them intellectually they start to question they're own doubt.

Did I personally make that claim? yes ....does it have anything to do with this thread, not necessarily. This thread is all about Atheism and rather or not it has any footings so by and large any claims I have made really don't matter here specifically.

I have experienced things personally being a skeptic about them at first, that now in retrospect would be impossible for me to be a skeptic about. Have I personally crushed atheists in debate, yes I have and I can get them to admit it, though I don't think they will admit it was a crushing but a loss yes and I have convinced some atheists in person to both become agnostics and also to reconsider and look into what is written about God by certain folks/parties. .

You should have seen my own face when I personally experienced some things that I once was skeptical about, that's why to me it would be the funniest thing ever to see the look on the soul of an atheist who just passes away and then realizes he still exists in another form. Call me what you will but that to me it's hilarious and I really do find it funny.

Did I come off as brash, with the above statement? Perhaps, but it was all said in good humor more than anything else as I find these debates fun, humorous, and feel that death holds the ultimate answer as the ultimate decider of things.



I asked if you would start a new thread setting out your argument for there being a god/afterlife and you replied by linking to this with the line “Socratic argument for/against afterlife/God...”

Yes thats correct, yet to me the strongest method to see if a stance has any weight is the socratic method which may just have to question everything about a stance including definitions, objectivity/subjectivity, semantics, and everything else involved.

You want my claim? Sure, my claim is that I have glimpsed the afterlife, near death experiences, and have experienced God, although technically there was no longer an 'I' in that experience, yet it was beyond all logic/reason, science, and 5 senses and have sat with other people describing the mechanics behind this (in person) and have led them to have an experience of what I talk about. Is there some substance to what I just said? Yes of course there should be because if I climb Mt. Everest and can come back from there and show you how to do it, there is definitely substance to that.

I think beliefs, theories, ideas, logic/reason, and everything else mind based is all imagination, all made up of thoughts that nobody can show me, or harness, or capture and provide me, and that this instant right now is before any of those thoughts or formulations even happen. The Isness of all things is reality and is prior to anything said or thought about it and this Isness of things was even prior to mankind being here.

When thoughts and words do come into the picture, well thats all in retrospect to what is real and we are now using imaginations and unreal representations to discuss the real.



Let’s be clear, you were saying that there is a god (and you’ve done so in other threads) and that atheism was wrong. This thread was supposed to be your attempt to back up those assertions but so far all we’ve had is eight pages of obfuscation.

Call it what you will, had me and you been sitting in person, all the questions and answers exchanged between me and you could have happened in about 10 minutes. The thread and typing format itself is to blame for this one as we are most certainly getting somewhere between the exchange that we are having, in my opinion. Also this thread is to see if Atheism has legs to stand on, we can start another thread for my claims at another time.



Just tell me why is atheism wrong and/or why should I believe that there is a god? I don’t think you can.

I personally think Atheism is inconclusive because it hasn't looked everywhere in every possible way. I think if you question long and deep enough, that you can reveal that there are deep inner contradictions and lack of substance in certain foundations of it all. Has nothing to do with belief since I see beliefs as just imaginary representative thoughts whether its God, belief in your self, belief that you will wake up tomorrow, all belief to me is B.S.

I think agnosticism is wayyyyyy better and more stable as a general stance to all of this, however still incomplete.
_________

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

Mike_A: Yes.

Dom: Do you believe there is substance and matter that exists that is out of the range of our 5 senses such as as certain frequencies of sound and spectrums of light?

Mike_A: Yes but these can be detected or inferred by other means.

Dom: Can you explain to me these other means?



Can you tell me where were you going with this line of questioning? What is your point in asking these specific questions?

Well you base your agnosticism on logic/reason, 5 senses, and science. All of these things are not looking for God necessarily and all of these things are all built on man made premises of thoughts, ideas, concepts, and so on. It is then said man is not God .....

We are living in a world of incomplete knowledge, limited senses, and limited logic/reason which when I go investigate who started Logic it ends up being Philosophers who said that the Super natural exists and inspired Logic.

While I have much much more to add, I can save it for another thread but to me Atheism and agnosticism just seems to be incomplete and lacks legs to stand on. It doesn't matter what I think or say however because if these positions lack anywhere it will be revealed by your answers to my questions and wouldn't be accepted until you yourself could come to a possible (key word possible) conclusion that your own stance is incomplete.

That's why the questions. If you slip up anywhere or we find holes then it comes from you yourself, and in that perspective it has nothing to do with any claims of my own. I am simply here to completely question every train of every thought that supports your personal stance.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 04:43 PM
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I'll come back to the specific points you asked about dom when I have a bit more time, I just wanted to add something to my previous posts for clarification and it relates to what you have said tonight.

I think that this belief in god and the afterlife has a root in people being unable to accept, emotionally and intellectually, that there will be a time when they are just dead and gone. That all their thoughts and experiences will be as nothing and their very consciousness ceases to exist. This is simply unacceptable to many and this is why there is a belief in an afterlife. It is a comfort.

My take is that just as there was a time before we were born, there will also be a time after we are gone, just like every other creature that inhabits the earth, when our time is up, thats it, poof, gone.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 05:21 PM
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Originally posted by dominicus

The love, peace, forgiveness that religions extol is this something that happens automatically once you are part of that religion or does it take a while to learn to practice and put into effect these things? Does everyone do so equally?

As far as the acts of priests and wars is this done by individual humans? Can we really say a systematic state of beliefs themselves did these acts or is it wholly on the individuals themselves?

Would you agree that all beleifs, systems of thought, logic/reason, concepts, ideas, philosophies are all man made?


I make no claims about peace and love, but every religion does, whilst the killing goes on. It is pure hypocrisy. Yes, it IS all man made and that is its problem. Humans are contrary and thus the religions, all of them, are basically flawed. All the books are written by men, they are translated by other men and interpreted by even more men, therefore the whole message is meaningless, the biggest case of chinese whispers in history, therefore I reject it all.

Those who represent god on earth are also mere humans following an interpretation they were taught by their predecessors, so if they are all misinterpreting this thing called religion, then is it not possible that the whole concept could be flawed and wrong? Arguments and questions can work both ways.


Had there never been religion would we still have suffering and wars and if so who could we blame for it?


Of course there would be, there have been plenty of wars for greed and revenge, but religion has been the biggest killer of all. Are you saying that those who killed in the name of their religion got it wrong? Who decides?





WHat exactly makes up this mental faculty, I mean is it a real thing, can you show it to me?


Are you saying that if I can't then god exists? If not, what is the point of the question?





But some of these claimants say that their experience of this so called God was beyond any emotions, that it was nothing like an emotion and was beyond all concepts of what an emotion can be. Would you then say that this claim could be some new as of yet perhaps unknown unstudied emotion?


Do you think that just because someone says something then it is completely true and accurate? All the time, or only when they talk of experiencing god?

A personal interpretation of ones own experience can never be anything more than only that.




Have you ever told the truth about something but were mistaken about the contents of that truth and if so can you give an example?

In the theory that these claimants are mistaken, then you are still going with the answer being just emotions of some sort?


A colleague told one of our customers they had free minutes in Egypt, when they were chargeable. Rather more trivial than claiming the existence of god, but to him, at the time, it was the truth. But he was wrong. You see the parallel?





This version of your God, how did you come up with it? Is it hypothetical and imaginary?


Yes, completely, and purely for the purpose of answering the question, that is what you asked for. in truth I do not think there is any great intelligence or being at play in the universe.


Also you say praying and worshipping would be pointless. I would add the Webster definition of "Worship" here:

"extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem"

Do you have any extravagant respect or admiration for anything?


No




Why would this kind of argument be illogical? I mean if some religions say that God is unlimited and our logic and reason is limited, then I personally do not see how we can use logic and reason to approach the existence, proof, or matter of a God with such a characteristic.


You tell me how it is logical to from 'I don't yet know why' to 'that means god exists'? If you cannot show the link then it is indeed an illogical assumption.

Is god bothered that we should believe in him? If he is then he will show himself to me. If he isn't bothered then why should you care about him?




IS it impossible for science to ever know the full understanding of the universe and are we incapable of such understanding, this is what you are implying? Does science look for God?


Who said anything about 'ever'? I distinctly said 'yet' and that evolution and understanding will continue to evolve.


Why would this God, not have an interest in what we think, if by its very nature (omnipresence, omniscient) it would be everywhere and know all thoughts at all times (according to the characteristics of the Monotheistic God of some of the most popular Religions out there today)?


Who is it that defines god this way? Is it the same flawed beings that perpetrated killing in gods name which you seem to dismiss as the mere act of foolish humans? Doesn't that undermine the basis of the belief system that they helped shape and enforce? Why should the assumption of omnipresence and omniscience be held to true?





Perhaps religion evolves like science does. So you are implying that the religion of today may be looked back at some day in the future as delusional foolishness?


Maybe it will, only time will tell, science evolves through experimentation, proof and discovery, results that are verified and repeated time and time again. Each new discovery leading into the next. Religion only changes when part of it becomes embarrassing or unacceptable. If the message given to the disciples was not completely correct when it was given, what value can we place on versions written more than a thousand years later?


Do the knowledge of science 200 years ago look foolish to what we know today? Do you think 200 years from now scientists will look back to the science of our day and can say that we were fools?


No, only primitive. Back in past centuries science was in such an infant state in terms of explaning natural phenomena, and in the hands of such a select few men, that religion looked like a viable alternative to the uneducated masses. What is our excuse today?


Time then is relative to knowledge?


Not always, war etc can cause knowledge to be lost. Our civilisation has enjoyed an unprecedented continual progression since the fall of Rome that has allowed our own knowledge to grow in an unbroken sequence. Previous civilisations were not so fortunate.




1
But some of these, what some people would consider beliefs and superstitions, are still around today (heaven, God, a soul, an afterlife, etc)

Is it true that people commit and are free to commit all kinds of terrible acts in the name of all kinds of things like for example anger, hatred, jealousy, race, gender, patriotism, etc etc?

Once you have children and they grow older, they themselves have the possibility to commit some kind of terrible act in the name of anger, hatred, and all those mentioned above. However you raise them and instill morals into them they still just might with questionable odds commit these acts.

In this case would you have the ability to stop them from doing this? Have you yourself ever made any mistakes? I am assuming you will say yes, and in that assumption I ask what happened after you made a mistake?



And if there was a god, and he was remotely interested, he would presumably step in, like a parent would. Or is god the kind of parent that social services would descend on in a snap for neglect?

What is worse for you, no god, or a god who doesn't care?

There appears to be a continual attempt with these question to direct the discussion to a point where it can be said that, if you don't know then maybe its god.

If that is the case then I find it a very weak one to which I would have no problem saying 'you might think that, but I cannot agree'.

From what I have seen 'victory' in the debate seems to be based on forcing the agnostic side to admit they cannot prove something. The very best you can achieve with that tactic is a stalemate, as you cannot show proof either. Unless I have misread you.


edit on 14-9-2010 by waynos because: extra paragraph



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 05:46 AM
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reply to post by dominicus
 


I think those claims do have something do with this thread when they are what prompted its existence. I wanted to see you back up those claims; it is what you said you were going to do when you replied to me.


You want my claim? Sure, my claim is that I have glimpsed the afterlife, near death experiences, and have experienced God, although technically there was no longer an 'I' in that experience, yet it was beyond all logic/reason, science, and 5 senses and have sat with other people describing the mechanics behind this (in person) and have led them to have an experience of what I talk about. Is there some substance to what I just said? Yes of course there should be because if I climb Mt. Everest and can come back from there and show you how to do it, there is definitely substance to that.


So is your position that one should believe in god based entirely on this experience?

How do you know it was beyond all logic and reason? Have you submitted this to systematic examination? What exactly is this experience? What about people who have claimed to have experienced god but one has seen Vishnu and one has seen Jesus? Does everyone you lead have this experience? Are these experiences consistent? Can you tell us how to repeat this experience?

Why does you having this experience mean that I should believe in god? If I haven’t experienced it and had no evidence to suggest that your experience was real and it was an experience of god why should your experience impact on my belief or none belief?

This isn’t the same as Mount Everest, I have experienced other mountains, I know that (for all practical purposes) mountains exist; I can see pictures of Everest. When it comes to your experience of god I have no such frame of reference and you have no such proof; however I do have experience of strange feelings, visions etc that I can put down to other causes which gives me reason to doubt your explanation of what your experience was.


I personally think Atheism is inconclusive because it hasn't looked everywhere in every possible way. I think if you question long and deep enough, that you can reveal that there are deep inner contradictions and lack of substance in certain foundations of it all.


Can a lack of belief be conclusive?

I, or anyone else, can never actually look everywhere in every possible way. As it stands I have no reason to believe so what should be my default stance? Should I believe that god exists just because I haven’t looked everywhere for one? If that is the case then shouldn’t I also believe in fairies, unicorns and everything else that I have not looked everywhere for?

What are these contradictions in atheism, if one takes atheism as a lack of belief in god?

Also doesn’t theism have the same problems, no matter what you think you have experienced unless you have look everywhere for an alternative explanation you can never actually know for certain. I think we both agree on this. Ultimately you can reduce both atheism (of any kind) and theism to being fundamentally uncertain and unknowable but this isn’t really very useful since everything can be reduced to this level.


Has nothing to do with belief


Of course it has something to do with belief, atheism and theism are labels that describe whether a person believes in a god or not.

If all beliefs, theories and everything mind based are, as you say, BS then everything is; unless you have an example of something that you can experience/know that doesn’t require your mind. This does not help resolve the atheism vs theism debate; they are both on level ground when it comes to this as is everything else. At some point you have to take a practical stance and pick a position; I don’t think you stand in the middle of the road looking at an oncoming car thinking “hmm is this real or just my mind, what is truth” and then get run over. I think you look at the car think “oh crap, better get out of the way”, for all intents and purposes you believe that the car is real. So to with god, either you think god is real or you don’t and while we could ponder on whether anything is actually real it has no practical value.



Well you base your agnosticism on logic/reason, 5 senses, and science.

We are living in a world of incomplete knowledge, limited senses, and limited logic/reason


Yes we already agreed on all of this, but why were you asking me to describe how we can detect waves that are outside the range of visible light waves? What answer could I give to that question would demonstrate the inconsistencies with my atheism?



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 06:15 AM
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reply to post by dominicus
 


At my current place on employment, I am on a call and most of my jobs are out of state. So I will be away from the thread for about a week or so.



Looks like our Socrates has gone peripatetic on us.




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