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Believers: Why is Atheism Irrational?

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posted on May, 17 2011 @ 06:13 PM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 



Perhaps some questions will further my understanding for mysticism so that i can decide for myself whether Atheism is irrational:-


You ask some interesting questions, and I doubt I could do justice to them within the scope of a short post.


Do dogs have a "spark of the divine" within them? Or is this just the human species?


All living beings are sustained by the "divine spark" or spiritual energy within them, but the degree or intensity of this spirit is proportional to the complexity of the living being, with humans at the apex, and a single-cell organism requiring the least amount of spirit to sustain it.


Do you consider humans superior than all known lifeforms because our neo-cortex evolved differently to other animals? (i.e. we are pattern seeking animals)


Humans are superior in that they are the only living beings who have the potential to become self-realized, both mentally and spiritually, and are given the opportunity to attain awareness of the source of their spark of divinity.


Do you consider volcano to have "sound" and "spirit" or consider them divine in nature?


All of the material universe is imbued with spirituality, but this spirituality is very attenuated in inanimate objects.


If it's not JUST humans that are "divine" - Then what is the need to call it divine? It's just another construct that has formed on earth - Whether it be a dog or a beatle, or a rose? It's life. It's not "magic" or anything, the pieces arn't magically put together, so what makes it divine? If it is divine, why isn't a rock divine? Why isn't water?


Recognizing the divinity in physical objects is not the same as divinity itself. For instance, my computer needs electricity to power up and remain operating, but that does not mean that my computer is electricity, and neither is my computer the electricity power station. The electric current is what gives it the energy or power to do what it was designed to do. In a similar manner, the spirit current supplies just enough energy to everything in the material universe to enable it to function according to its design or purpose.




posted on May, 18 2011 @ 10:53 AM
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reply to post by mysticnoon
 



All living beings are sustained by the "divine spark" or spiritual energy within them


I still can't understand words used such as "divine" and "spiritual" - I mean i understand that living things are sustained by energy and sunlight etc.

I'm finding your explanations very hard to reason with, hard to work out the semantics at play.


with humans at the apex, and a single-cell organism requiring the least amount of spirit to sustain it.


I understand that humans are pattern seeking animals, Our evolutionary path (development of the neo-cortex) has seen the beginnings of "memory" and then physical gestures moving onto more advanced communications such as language development.

Personally, i don't class humans as the "apex" of evolution; I just see them as evolving "differently" to other animals. I don't consider a dog inferior just because it is unable to laugh or talk - I just see that it has evolved with different needs in mind. (evolution by natural selection)


Humans are superior in that they are the only living beings who have the potential to become self-realized, both mentally and spiritually, and are given the opportunity to attain awareness of the source of their spark of divinity


Again, I disagree. Humans being superior might certainly be your opinion, but it's completely subjective; Some even declare other animals to be more "fine-tuned". We have archaic DNA that is of no use - the legacy of our evolution - Our appenxdix, for example, we do not require this organ any longer.

If you can reason humans to be superior to other animals because of their evolutionary path, you could easily move that position to racism from "eugenics".

And perhaps at some point the human species will divide and no longer be able to reproduce between each other, thus creating an entirely new species.


All of the material universe is imbued with spirituality, but this spirituality is very attenuated in inanimate objects.


Perhaps i've been mistaken but i wasn't aware rocks and waves had "spirit" - A rock can't talk, or listen, or ponder. They are not consciouss "beings" - They can't communicate with anything "meaningful". Inanimate seems to be the key word here.


Recognizing the divinity in physical objects is not the same as divinity itself.


Are you talking about Anthropomorphism?


Anthropomorphism is a term coined in the mid 1700s[1][2] to refer to any attribution of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed to belong only to humans) to non-human animals or non-living things, phenomena, material states and objects or abstract concepts, such as god(s). Examples include animals and plants and forces of nature such as winds, rain or the sun depicted as creatures with human motivations, and/or the abilities to reason and converse. The term derives from the combination of the Greek ἄνθρωπος (ánthrōpos), "human" and μορφή (morphē), "shape" or "form". Characters from the story of Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story are great examples of Anthropomorphism.


Again, using words like spiritual and divine seem incredibly vague to me. It's not that i don't have a metaphoric sense of "spirit" within me, like anyone. natural phenomenon may seem mysterious when we arn't sure of the inner-workings. I.e. the Sun rising 5000 years ago, we may have actually thought it was a God, a living being moving.

When infact, we are mistaken, as we often are. The earth revolves around the sun. Not the other way around

edit on 18/5/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 08:35 PM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 



I'm finding your explanations very hard to reason with, hard to work out the semantics at play.


It seems that in my attempt to clarify and bring some understanding about the mystic position, I have inadvertently fostered even more misunderstanding.

I am at a loss to know how my words could be so badly misconstrued. My communication skills really need some refining, so until I am able to be more precise in my statements, I think it may be best to withdraw from this dialogue.

All I will say at this point is that every one of your responses have been well off the mark, though I do take full responsibility for failing to get my point across.



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 06:45 AM
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reply to post by mysticnoon
 


You wrote:

["I follow what you are saying, and I do agree the word "God" can lead to misunderstanding in philosophical dialogues. What are your suggestions to overcome this problem?"]

'The unknown', 'The nameless' or for the more rationally orientated 'A possible ultimate reality'.

While this problem of naming generally isn't the most recurrent on the religious sub-forums here, it often is on threads with a somewhat upgraded level of reasoning. At least some on the pro-theist camp have a rudimentary knowledge of science/logic, which is (mis)used into pseudo-arguments.

By insisting on specifics in methodology and semantics, positions will be clearly outlined, making misunderstandings, confusions and even hijacking less likely.



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 07:32 AM
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reply to post by mysticnoon
 


I find your communication-exchange with awake-and-aware very interesting, and take the liberty of commenting on some of it.

Quote: ["All living beings are sustained by the "divine spark" or spiritual energy within them,..."]

Just for now, I'm unable to enlarge on the subject, but the concept of a 'divine spark' needs some further examination, before it's useful. Not that I disagree with this concept on a very broad basis, but I find both the term itself semantically lacking in precision, and also potentially leading to several not quite identical options (I have my own version, to extensive to take up now).

But just shortly: A 'divine spark' can both be something around which existence builds itself, with the 'spark' being reality and the rest cosmetics; or it can be something intrinsic in absolutely everything, the 'spark' BEING everything. So....

Quote: [" but the degree or intensity of this spirit is proportional to the complexity of ,......"]

'Sparkishness', in the obervable part of existence, manifests mundanely in various degrees of complexity (including non-organic constellations), where....

Quote: [".....of the living being, with humans at the apex, and a single-cell organism requiring the least amount of spirit to sustain it."]

.....human beings (and similar) are a potential apex, with options of 'self-realization', because of the functional level of their complexity. With a functional level I mean, that there's an OPTIMAL level of complexity. It's long been a speculation of mine, that a too advanced complexity doesn't give the possibility of self-realization'.

Quote: ["Humans are superior in that they are the only living beings who have the potential to become self-realized, both mentally and spiritually, and are given the opportunity to attain awareness of the source of their spark of divinity."]

Personally I prefer to start with the concept 'self-organizing' (rather than 'self-realizing'), as it can be included in an overall analysis of the situation, instead of the exclusive 'spiritual' facet. Eventually this whole and complicated chain of reasoning relates strongly to whatever cosmogonic principles (and 'intent') are implied.

Quote: ["Recognizing the divinity in physical objects is not the same as divinity itself. For instance, my computer needs electricity to power up and remain operating, but that does not mean that my computer is electricity, and neither is my computer the electricity power station."]

Similarly every part of cosmic dynamics implies energy.

Quote: [" to do what it was designed to do. In a similar manner, the spirit current supplies just enough energy to everything in the material universe to enable it to function according to its design or purpose."]

As said above: This is the debatable point. Imo the key concepts are

a/ The relationship of what mankind calls 'universal creation'
to a possible 'ultimate reality' (these two don't need to be directly associated)

and b/ Examination of 'intent' (if any) in universal creation.



edit on 20-5-2011 by bogomil because: paragraphing and typo



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 07:46 AM
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I am going to put in my 5 cents worth here...

Atheism is not irrational, as it has been the road science has travelled down for many many years. And in many ways science had a thing or two to prove to the faithful as many of their beliefs were just plain silly. However, science has now progressed to a point where it is starting to come back around on itself with the God thing and creation theory etc.

I suggest you watch the video 'what the bleep? - down the rabbit hole' It is an excellent video that explores the cutting edge of quantum physics. It is entirely fascinating and presented in rational, scientific and non religious terms.

The video is so interesting because the more they explore and discover this field of physics they more they are discovering the fingerprints of a 'divine creator' - i.e. the more minute the level you study the universe on, the more the realisation becomes that this is all more than just random happenstance.

It almost gets to the point of de-mystifying the mystic through scientific analysis. ie it actually makes a lot of sense from a religious point of view as it is starting to explain the 'how' of many mystic beliefs such as the creation theory instead of debunking them.
edit on 20-5-2011 by markosity1973 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 08:57 AM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 


Implied in what I wrote to Mysticnoon, I have a great esteem for the posts from both of you. Here is my comment on your part of it.

Generally I will say, that Mysticnoon's semantics fit rather well to his/her (?) basis. It doesn't contain the far too common pro-theist efforts of twisting things into a (for them) useful pseudo-argument, and I believe, that the communication problems mostly are based on the premises Mysticnoon operates with. Premises you can't/won't accept or are unfamiliar with.

My own position is kind of halfway in the present dialogue. I want to carry the rational, objective methodology as far as possible, up to and hopefully including 'creation'. First then will I engage in purely trans-mundane speculations.

You wrote: ["I still can't understand words used such as "divine" and "spiritual"]

Personally I'm not happy about them either. Ultimately they contain suggestions of a 'reality'-model, which still is to verified.

Quote: [" I mean i understand that living things are sustained by energy and sunlight etc."]

As said in my post to Mysticnoon, even non-living things are relating to each other with energy-implications.

Quote: ["I understand that humans are pattern seeking animals, Our evolutionary path (development of the neo-cortex) has seen the beginnings of "memory" and then physical gestures moving onto more advanced communications such as language development."]

Self-organizing. (The philosophical aspects of this is quite a subject on its own).

Quote: [" Personally, i don't class humans as the "apex" of evolution;"]

In the present, common, western perspective mankind is the observed 'apex' of evolution concerning 'self-organization'.

Quote: [" Again, I disagree. Humans being superior might certainly be your opinion, but it's completely subjective;"]

I agree. The only superiority I can see is in 'self-organizing' capacity (an interesting association to science can be found in the principle of 'the anthropic principle'). Neither in universal 'necessity', not in ethical considerations is mankind 'superior' (at best only filling a specific position and function).

Quote: ["Perhaps i've been mistaken but i wasn't aware rocks and waves had "spirit" - A rock can't talk, or listen, or ponder. They are not consciouss "beings" - They can't communicate with anything "meaningful". Inanimate seems to be the key word here."]

Well, here I have a completely digressing opinion of my own. There's no need of 'spirit', as little as there is a need of 'communication' on human terms. The whole cosmos is a great communication system, where the only differences in communication-form and -degree is complexity (with the consequences of self-organization as a part). Stones bump into each other, and from this move position or shatter, atoms/molecules interact physically/chemically etc.

The cosmic play of dynamic interaction isn't restricted to an ability to be 'aware' (whatever that really is, no-one seems to know precisely) and even less to describe it.

Quote: ["Are you talking about Anthropomorphism?"]

That's an everpresent risk present in human-based models of 'reality'.

Quote: ["Again, using words like spiritual and divine seem incredibly vague to me."]

Here I agree again also. Semantically, words like 'anomalies', 'paranormal' or even 'trans-mundane' would make communication easier. And while 'anomaly' and 'paranormal' COULD be put in the box of sofar un-explained, but 'natural' phenomena, 'transmundane' would gain some respectability if the word is cleaned from premature 'answers' and if 'transmundanity' per se would be examined from a basis of evidence and concievability.

I'm as far from the usual moronic versions of 'intelligent design', as it's possible to be, but a sensible debate about causality is possible to have already now.

For me this wouldn't mean personally, that I would need an endless chain of regressive reasoning on principle. I take the rather pragmatic position of questions-leading-to-answers step by step. First when we have a reasonable 'answer', can we formulate a new 'upgraded' question, which is useful for anything.

Saying with Tom Lehrer: "If you ask a stupid question, you get a stupid answer".

If mankind eventually arrives to acknowledging trans-mundane/trans-cosmic existence (which now IS an option), THEN it can be examined on common premises also satisfying parameters of epistemology.

(Religionists will possibly claim, that an analysis of the trans-cosmic is already happening in religion; but with some 50.000 different 'answers', including 3.500 different 'gods' the methodologies used are far from reliable or convincing).



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 10:06 AM
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reply to post by bogomil
 


Thanks for your comments Bogomil, i always respect your take on things.

I guess, like most claimed "rational" Atheists, i feel if i chose any other position than Agnostic Atheism that i would be left feeling a sense of cognitive disonance.

It's not that i disrespect Mysticnoon's position, infact,quite the opposite; i'm trying to challenge the arguments that lead me to assume my position from skeptical doubt based on agnosticism...

But reading over our conversation and your comments, there seems to be nothing stopping any Atheist from being a mystic themselves; i'm guessing it just takes an open mind.

I find myself in a very mixed position; sometimes agnostic, sometimes gnostic depending on how God is defined, if specifically, then i must assume the position from Gnosticism.(omnipotence/hellfire/sins) To something vague like a "causing" force i would assume Agnostic disbelief.

Omnipotent being that dictates geological events and intervenes in human affairs? I quite confident in saying i'm gnostic atheist to this. Some may claim that it would be rational to remain agnostic to such definitions of God but i feel there is no evidence to make the claim in the first place, Someone must be conjuring theories, and contiune to do so by a form of induction, and poor deductive logic.

Argument: "Evolution negates an intelligent designer"
Response: "The intelligent designer made evolution"

It's just forever inferring, the "God of the gaps"

Also, I don't "dislike" words like "spirit" or "soul" - I feel they are useful at conveying a message in language, But i feel the context must be appropriate in order to convey the real meaning. For example, it adds a sort of literary emphasis to an account "The child had his "soul" destroyed" - It makes for a more interesting read and does the context greater justice.
edit on 20/5/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 10:17 AM
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Originally posted by mysticnoon
reply to post by awake_and_aware
 



I'm finding your explanations very hard to reason with, hard to work out the semantics at play.


It seems that in my attempt to clarify and bring some understanding about the mystic position, I have inadvertently fostered even more misunderstanding.

I am at a loss to know how my words could be so badly misconstrued. My communication skills really need some refining, so until I am able to be more precise in my statements, I think it may be best to withdraw from this dialogue.

All I will say at this point is that every one of your responses have been well off the mark, though I do take full responsibility for failing to get my point across.


Not at all, again my lack of understanding of mysticism doesn't do your semantics justice. I reverted to asking questions to aviod confusion on my part. Thanks very much for your responses.



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 12:17 PM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 


Thanks for your response and the friendly words.

You wrote:

["I guess, like most claimed "rational" Atheists, i feel if i chose any other position than Agnostic Atheism that i would be left feeling a sense of cognitive disonance."]

Imo a sound position, both from a science/logic perspective and also from a social perspective. It doesn't support any ultimate claims, from where elitism or exclusivity can be justified. And as is apparant on this thread, different open-ended (non-exclusive) positions can meet without being nasty to each other.

Quote: ["It's not that i disrespect Mysticnoon's position, infact,quite the opposite; i'm trying to challenge the arguments that lead me to assume my position from skeptical doubt based on agnosticism..."]

Defined in western terms, I would consider myself a philosophical scepticist. In eastern terms as related to Jain philosophy. Hard-core atheism and theism with absolutes would probably consider such as wishy-washy, but 'relative reality'/perspective based 'local' answers can be excellent used in their proper context. For me there's no question of science/logic being the far best method of understanding cosmos.

What's possibly beyond the cosmic perspective, requires other methods, but that's not keeping me sleepless in fear of being schizoid. There is, maybe for the time being, just a missing link, just as there is in scientific micro- and macrocosmic models, which both function on their own.

Quote: [" But reading over our conversation and your comments, there seems to be nothing stopping any Atheist from being a mystic themselves; i'm guessing it just takes an open mind."]

By disregarding the 'name-giving'...No, there's nothing preventing an atheist. It's basically a state of mind, not leading to any ultimate doctrines of superior and specified trans-cosmic beings. If any 'mystic' wishes to interpretate his/her experiences this way, that's an individual option, but it seldom, if ever, creates the tension of organized, doctrinal religion.

Quote: [" To something vague like a "causing" force i would assume Agnostic disbelief."]

The need of finding 'ultimate causes' is probably more psychological than scientific/logic/philosophical. As is the need of spreading such 'absolutes' against other peoples' wishes, but for other peoples' 'own good'.

Quote: ["Omnipotent being that dictates geological events and intervenes in human affairs?"]

Considering that geological events follow natural cosmic laws, and that divine intervention needs tons of semantic gymnastics to be 'proved', there's no reason for that in any case.

An interesting question though could be on a possible origin of the general cosmic rules, as in a refined version of 'intelligent design', but as we hardly know anything about randomness (one of the names of scientific 'chaos'), it's our best bet to search for whatever patterns we can discern in basic cosmic construction.

Quote: ["Some may claim that it would be rational to remain agnostic to such definitions of God but i feel there is no evidence to make the claim in the first place, Someone must be conjuring theories, and contiune to do so by a form of induction, and poor deductive logic."]

Whatever possibly could be there, outside cosmic perception and general human ability to even conceptualize, it's arrogant presumption to characterize it. The 'god' of South Park is as good or bad guess as are the spaghetti monster or Jahveh.

Quote: ["Argument: "Evolution negates an intelligent designer"
Response: "The intelligent designer made evolution"]

It's my impression, that this extremely simplistic level or argumentation (I refer to both statements here) only is actual in debates with creationists.

Quote: ["Also, I don't "dislike" words like "spirit" or "soul" - I feel they are useful at conveying a message in language, But i feel the context must be appropriate in order to convey the real meaning. For example, it adds a sort of literary emphasis to an account "The child had his "soul" destroyed" - It makes for a more interesting read and does the context greater justice."]

For daily-usage and in e.g. artistic contexts these words may be justified. But in most rational contexts they are worse than worthless. They are introducing postulated and generalized components into exstential models already overburdened by guessess.

E.g. does a major part of early buddhism NOT contain such concepts, which makes it meaningless to describe such buddhism as 'spiritual', and in contemporary, western esoteric systems Gurdjieff's model can be mentioned. He used the concept 'essence' instead, signifying something vaguely similar to 'soul', but actually being of a radically different nature.



edit on 20-5-2011 by bogomil because: grammar and typo



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by bogomil
 



Thanks for your response and the friendly words.


It's the least i could offer for the explanations you provide, and the effort you undergo in order to word your arguments in a more understandable way (for laymen like myself). It's very commendable, especially on ATS



Imo a sound position, both from a science/logic perspective and also from a social perspective. It doesn't support any ultimate claims, from where elitism or exclusivity can be justified. And as is apparant on this thread, different open-ended (non-exclusive) positions can meet without being nasty to each other.


This is Christopher Hichen's position. So if we had to define; could we call your position agnostic atheism (skeptical disbelief)


Hard-core atheism and theism with absolutes would probably consider such as wishy-washy, but 'relative reality'/perspective based 'local' answers can be excellent used in their proper context. For me there's no question of science/logic being the far best method of understanding cosmos.


I agree. But Atheism is simply a belief, it doesn't even make any positive claims. Infact it's an negative belief to a positive claim. No rational Atheist would claim "there is no God" - Only when someone begins to define God (Theism) do i become a Gnostic Atheist. As i'm Gnostic in regards to Fortune Tellers.

In other words, i refuse to be agnostic to such cold reading and verbal conjuring.


What's possibly beyond the cosmic perspective, requires other methods, but that's not keeping me sleepless in fear of being schizoid. There is, maybe for the time being, just a missing link, just as there is in scientific micro- and macrocosmic models, which both function on their own.


I agree. Although any claim that is beyond demonstration is unprovable, such claims are not always illogical - Forgive my short comings but isn't the "multiverse theorem" formed using findings from quantam theorem? Every reality having a quantam potential. (Again, forgive my lack of knowledge)

Like supernatural claims (Heaven, Hell) these metaphysical claims are unfalsifiable, but contrary to religious metaphysical claims, have been formed using reasoned logic and even mathematics (correct me here if i am wrong)

So in other words, some unfalsifiable theories seem to be formed with logic, reason, even empirical evidence whilst others have simply being "conjured" as the fortune teller conjures the future and the medium conjures the words of the death.

What are your thoughts on what i mention here?


The need of finding 'ultimate causes' is probably more psychologically than scientific/logic/philosophical. As is the need of spreading such 'absolutes' against other peoples' wishes, but for other peoples' 'own good'.


But not nessasarily always psychologically though, some Atheists may even yearn for a universal dictatorship, a big brother watching over them, rewarding them in the afterlife but simply cannot bring themselves to believe in such a theory.

Some want it to be true. Personally, i don't. But even if i did want to be true, i couldn't bring myself to believe (again, that feeling of cognitive disonance i would get)
Even if God did exist, i wouldn't resent him because



Considering that geological events follow natural cosmic laws, and that divine intervention needs tons of semantic gymnastics to be 'proved', there's no reason for that in any case.


What i meant was that geological evens were dictated at the will of a supernatural being or sentient being. And sometimes for punishment. It seems similar to suggesting that the movement of celestial bodies dictate the future affairs of humans (astrology)

I understand what you mean about semantics. Sort of similar "standard" of argument to that listened below as you mentioned:-


Quote: ["Argument: "Evolution negates an intelligent designer"
Response: "The intelligent designer made evolution"]

It's my impression, that this extremely simplistic level or argumentation (I refer to both statements here) only is actual in debates with creationists.



it's our best bet to search for whatever patterns we can discern in basic cosmic construction.


I think we're doing a nice little job so far. But always with education it seems, the more we discover, the less we know about more. ^_^


For daily-usage and in e.g. artistic contexts these words may be justified. But in most rational contexts they are worse than worthless. They are introducing postulated and generalized components into exstential models already overburdened by guessess.



E.g. does a major part of early buddhism NOT contain such concepts, which makes it meaningless to describe such buddhism as 'spiritual', and in contemporary, western esoteric systems Gurdjieff's model can be mentioned. He used to concept 'essence' instead, signifying something vaguely similar to 'soul', but actually being of a radically different nature.


I've often heard Alan Watts speak in such ways. Perhaps you've heard of him. I'm always cautious around his words as he takes more of an entertainment approach to Philosophy:-



Animated by South Park (felt that was relevant as you mentioned it, funny how things co-incide
)

Thanks again for taking the time. You've cleared a few things up for me.
edit on 20/5/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 05:29 PM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 


In european time I'm closing shop for today, and as a friend is coming tomorrow to help me with building my new house, an answer will take a few days to manifest.

I REALLY enjoy being able to communicate this way, and I hope that this kind of thread eventually can influence the general level here. Opposing invasive christian mission isn't that exciting after you've learned to respond with closed eyes, the intellect turned off and pie-throwing somewhere in the middle of the process, if it's an especially dumb missionary.

There are some 10-20 standard 'christian gambits', and it gets repetitive eventually, so this is a pleasant change.



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by bogomil
 



I REALLY enjoy being able to communicate this way, and I hope that this kind of thread eventually can influence the general level here. Opposing invasive christian mission isn't that exciting after you've learned to respond with closed eyes, the intellect turned off and pie-throwing somewhere in the middle of the process, if it's an especially dumb missionary.




There are some 10-20 standard 'christian gambits', and it gets repetitive eventually, so this is a pleasant change.


I know what you're getting at and i agree somewhat; i much prefer this approach to provoke meaningful discussion, especially to encourage a more civil and intellectual platform.... but to some abrupt responses or demonstration of ignorance, i feel a sense of sarcasm is in order, especially to warm the fence-sitters and new-comers into debate highiting obvious straw men that are used by some. I don't always find sarcasm to be the lowest form of wit


Unfortunately, it seems to be that the critique or parody of religion is seen as disrespectful, so indeed i may "offend" some people along the way.


In european time I'm closing shop for today, and as a friend is coming tomorrow to help me with building my new house, an answer will take a few days to manifest.


No problem. Take it easy and keep up the brilliant writing, what an amazing time to be alive where the exhange of ideas and information is so easy. Good luck with the house; you won't need it if your building is as good as your debate decorum


edit on 20/5/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 05:49 PM
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reply to post by bogomil
 



Generally I will say, that Mysticnoon's semantics fit rather well to his/her (?) basis. It doesn't contain the far too common pro-theist efforts of twisting things into a (for them) useful pseudo-argument, and I believe, that the communication problems mostly are based on the premises Mysticnoon operates with. Premises you can't/won't accept or are unfamiliar with.


bogomil, thanks for taking over where I stumbled. I am not used to losing my way in these kinds of diaolgues, as I have had many years of practice in debating both atheists and Christians, so it has been a humbling experience for me.



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 06:02 PM
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reply to post by mysticnoon
 


And my apologies to you if i seemed obnoxious or aggressive in my questioning. Again, it was my misunderstanding of the semantics.

My thanks go to bogomil also for providing perspective.



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 06:11 PM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 



But reading over our conversation and your comments, there seems to be nothing stopping any Atheist from being a mystic themselves; i'm guessing it just takes an open mind.


This I believe to be true, though I may add that mysticism is more of a practice and way of life rather than a belief system and set of dogmas. The notions of God, soul, spirit current, and so forth, are taken as an hypothesis until these can be verified for oneself through the practice of meditation. Faith is not an essential requisite to follow a mystic path, only a keen determination to understand more about the self and gain knowledge of the metaphysical realities.



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 06:29 PM
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reply to post by mysticnoon
 



But reading over our conversation and your comments, there seems to be nothing stopping any Atheist from being a mystic themselves; i'm guessing it just takes an open mind.




This I believe to be true, though I may add that mysticism is more of a practice and way of life rather than a belief system and set of dogmas


I understand, much like Taoism? Free from dogma.


Faith is not an essential requisite to follow a mystic path, only a keen determination to understand more about the self and gain knowledge of the metaphysical realities


Then by that definition most people, believer or non-believer are mystic by default. A desire to to know the unknown, i guess you could say that is the "goal" for science.

I think i understand that mysticism is about a open-minded direct approach to gaining enlightenment on profound unknowns, but i find meditation often doesn't lead to absolutes as such, and i wouldn't trust my own convictions in regards to such concepts as "The notions of God, soul, spirit current, and so forth" - As i could be mistaken, and often have been in the past. I feel there has to be a logical basis for a hypothesis to begin with.

I know it sounds silly (and i'm sure bogomil will slap my wrists for such an argument) but isn't it much similar to go out searching for unicorns or fairies?

We can only experience reality and work with the evidence we've got. I guess anything is possible, but not every thing is probable.

I'm not against Mysticism, especially if it is humble enough to admit what is known and what is unknown, and especially if it provokes further investigation.

Peace
edit on 20/5/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)

edit on 20/5/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 07:28 PM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 


Then by that definition most people, believer or non-believer are mystic by default. A desire to to know the unknown, i guess you could say that is the "goal" for science.


Science confines itself to acquiring exoteric knowledge of the material universe, whereas mysticism accesses knowledge of the non-physical universe through interior experiences. I regard mystic meditation as an inner science of consciousness, though I guess that will lead to more questions.


I think I understand that mysticism is about a open-minded direct approach to gaining enlightenment on profound unknowns, but I find meditation often doesn't lead to absolutes as such, and I wouldn't trust my own convictions in regards to such concepts as "The notions of God, soul, spirit current, and so forth" - As I could be mistaken, and often have been in the past. I feel there has to be a logical basis for a hypothesis to begin with.


The mystic path isn't about words, concepts, and conviction, it is essentially about internal experience in consciousness. The hypotheses of mysticism do have a very logical basis, but this would require elaborating on the cosmogony. I prefer to avoid getting into too much detail because I am not here to promote any specific mystic path, only to engage in the topic from a philosophical point of view.


I know it sounds silly (and i'm sure bogomil will slap my wrists for such an argument) but isn't it much similar to go out searching for unicorns or fairies?


It probably doesn't sound silly to those who believe in the existence of unicorns and fairies, and you might be surprised how great their number is. However, I think it is fair to say that anyone searching for these creatures are looking for them externally, not internally, so from that point of view, it is a search in the opposite direction of mysticism.


We can only experience reality and work with the evidence we've got.


That is all that mysticism does, except the latter expands "reality" to include internal experiences in consciousness.


I'm not against Mysticism, especially if it is humble enough to admit what is known and what is unknown, and especially if it provokes further investigation


Mysticism focuses on practice, not precept, and it is through practice that the unknown becomes known.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 08:01 AM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 


It's raining, so the house must wait.

You wrote:

["No rational Atheist would claim "there is no God" -"]

Sad as it is, I've found, that you have to repeat definitions in practically every post. Especially considering the religionist tendency to operate with inductive categories, where specific elements in such a category maybe only share one or a few characteristics, but where the religionists freely IDENTIFY all the elements. As in: Blue and cell-phones are 'the same', because both are maifestations of EMW (electro-magnetic waves).

So rather tiresome, I usually present my own 'poltical argument' not as democracy, but as egalitarian, liberal, secular democracy. Similarly it's probably necessary to emphasize the difference between gnostic - and agnostic atheism.

Quote: ["As i'm Gnostic in regards to Fortune Tellers."]

Strangely enough (I will return to the point of anomaly later) I once met a 'clairvoyant', who gave me a DETAILED and very EXACT 'reading' (as I believe it's called) about a person. Already the same afternoon I met a person, who fitted to that description (and I don't meet that many people, that statistics is an important aspect). Unfortunately not the person, I initially asked about.

So as I sometimes say, maybe the whole area of high weirdness per se has something speaking for it in a general way, but nobody seems to be able to make any precise or specific sense out of it.

Quote: ["Although any claim that is beyond demonstration is unprovable,"]
'Demonstrability' is the subject of epistemology. Shortly I prefer to compress it to a functionality of 'relative realities' with each its own perspective and degrees of 'approximate truth'. Not to be confused with relativism.

Quote: ["Forgive my short comings but isn't the "multiverse theorem" formed using findings from quantam theorem?"]

The multiverse theory (and similar) is just one interpretation. Personally I would debate, if it even is a theory, but rather a hypothesis.

Quote: [".......... but contrary to religious metaphysical claims, have been formed using reasoned logic and even mathematics (correct me here if i am wrong)"]

IF some of the speculations of progressive science are true, we may end up with a level of existence, where known causality breaks down (= scientific chaos). If there's another kind of causality intrinsic in this proposed trans-cosmic existence-level, we don't know about it. So logic etc may or may not be a functional 'tool' outside the known cosmic laws.

Quote: ["So in other words, some unfalsifiable theories seem to be formed with logic, reason, even empirical evidence whilst others have simply being "conjured" as the fortune teller conjures the future and the medium conjures the words of the death."]

Both Mysticnoon and I have suggested a rational, but not necessarily rigid 'hard-science' approach to this. As in the case of most 'soft' social sciences, a lot of the work is done through the use of e.g. comparative analyses. Trying to establish a safe foundation for further research......

Which is a kind of answer to a former question of yours in your post:

Quote: ["So if we had to define; could we call your position agnostic atheism (skeptical disbelief)"]

Not quite. I differ in the sense of attaching more importance to human experience of the anomalous, (even sometimes the trans-cosmic) than any agnostic would do. As a category such experiences strongly indicates 'something', which should be taken more seriously than 'science/logic' generally do.

But I certainly distance myself from any premature interpretations of this 'something'. I just suggest a first step of examining if there IS a something at all (instead of fabulations), and then much later a more detailed study.

Quote: ["I think we're doing a nice little job so far. But always with education it seems, the more we discover, the less we know about more. ^_^"]

I actually enjoy the humour implied in this, and from my own sense of curiousity, I see it as a fascinating challenge. But then, it's a question of mindsets. Some people get panic-attacks from the idea of having to live without 'absolutes'.

Quote: [" I've often heard Alan Watts speak in such ways. Perhaps you've heard of him."]

I formerly owned a few of his books. But I found him a tad to american-liberal-intelletual to my taste, with mental constructions sometimes overshadowing what I see as the original asian content.

From your later post:

Quote: ["i feel a sense of sarcasm is in order, especially to warm the fence-sitters and new-comers into debate highiting obvious straw men that are used by some. I don't always find sarcasm to be the lowest form of wit"]

Personally I fell sarcasm to be acceptable, when you're opposed to heavy one-way filters in an opponent, who from a doctrinal position refuses to listen, but just repeat his/her own identical message without any effort of communication.

Quote: [" Unfortunately, it seems to be that the critique or parody of religion is seen as disrespectful, so indeed i may "offend" some people along the way."]

Imo far less disrespectful than invasive ideology-monopolizing on the grounds of: "I'm right, because I'm right."

No matter how verbally vicious any parody or criticism on ATS can be, it doesn't start any major conflicts at a physical level. It doesn't even suggest it. Quite contrary to most of the monopolizing ideologies, whose' extremists time and again start wars.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 08:05 AM
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reply to post by mysticnoon
 


You wrote:

["bogomil, thanks for taking over where I stumbled. I am not used to losing my way in these kinds of diaolgues, as I have had many years of practice in debating both atheists and Christians, so it has been a humbling experience for me."]

No worries, mate. I just happened to stand in the middle in this special case.







 
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