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Rational Atheism

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posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 09:42 AM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
A lack of belief is not a positive claim.

I already addressed that.


Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity.

I know that.


Some are skeptical of the positive notion that God exists (agnostics)

Again, nothing new being said. Etc. etc. etc.




posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 09:51 AM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 


LOL.

I don't need to say anything new. People demand that Atheists are irrational, I'm just making things clear before people start trying to demonise, and waffle on about the burden of proof being on the Atheist.
edit on 5/6/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by SaberTruth
... theism and atheism will forever remain at loggerheads and neither will prove the other wrong.


I'm pretty sure if God showed up, that would prove the atheist wrong.
And I don't have any interest in proving anyone wrong. I don't care about other people's personal beliefs. They're none of my business. I can only speak to MY beliefs.



Atheists are no different; they believe in plenty of things without proof, and believe in theories that cannot be falsified.


I agree. Atheists have beliefs. Just not in a deity.

People assume that all atheists:

- are not spiritual
- have a common belief about our origins
- don't believe in life after death
- worship science
- believe in "nothing"

Many other beliefs are falsely attributed to atheists. Fact is there is only one thing that atheists have in common. they DO NOT believe in a deity or "God". That's it. So, approaching atheism as if it's a way of life or a set of dogma or an organized belief system is ineffective, because none of that is true.

I have all sorts of beliefs.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 10:27 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I'm pretty sure if God showed up, that would prove the atheist wrong.
And I don't have any interest in proving anyone wrong. I don't care about other people's personal beliefs. They're none of my business. I can only speak to MY beliefs.

I've asked many atheists exactly how God is supposed to prove himself to them, in a way they could not write off as hallucination or hoax. I have yet to get even an attempt at an answer. But we do agree that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. I just wish more atheists would take that approach.



Many other beliefs are falsely attributed to atheists. Fact is there is only one thing that atheists have in common. they DO NOT believe in a deity or "God". That's it. So, approaching atheism as if it's a way of life or a set of dogma or an organized belief system is ineffective, because none of that is true.

Agree, and the same is true of theists. Each side puts the other in a box and presume that if belief A is held, then package of beliefs X, Y, and Z must also be held. Dialog could actually get off the ground if both sides stopped with the blanket judgmentalism.

There are zealots and evangelists and fundamentalists in every group of people.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 10:35 AM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 



I've asked many atheists exactly how God is supposed to prove himself to them, in a way they could not write off as hallucination or hoax.


Here's my answer:-


My position is willing. I'm an agnostic atheist; i don't state that God can't be proven, only that there has been insuffiennt evidence (thus far) to warrant belief in such extraordinary claims.

Provide me with evidence, and i'll happily renounce my Atheism.

If i had a spiritual experience; how would it prove Jesus, or Zeus, or Amen Ra, or Oden, or Yahweh or Allah?

For a spiritual experience to prove a specific doctrine is the accurate and the best, would take a fair ammount of personal conviction, and even then, i could be mistaken.


In other words, define God so that when i have a spiritual experience, i would know that is was "him". The Atheist doesn't expect God to use vocals, because that's assuming GOd has the same characterists as a human, which of course, is an assumption.

The obvious follow up question would be; what would prove "GOD" to you, and how do you define God"?

Pantheism? GOD = The universe or God = Nature? That's a labelling game.
edit on 5/6/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 10:48 AM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
Provide me with evidence, and i'll happily renounce my Atheism.

I have already provided the physical evidence, but you apparently want something more. You need to tell me what that is.


If i had a spiritual experience; how would it prove Jesus, or Zeus, or Amen Ra, or Oden, or Yahweh or Allah?

You're trying to change the question from "God" to "which God". One step at a time.


For a spiritual experience to prove a specific doctrine is the accurate and the best, would take a fair ammount of personal conviction, and even then, i could be mistaken.

Sorry, you're not making any sense at all.


In other words, define God so that when i have a spiritual experience, i would know that is was "him". The Atheist doesn't expect God to use vocals, because that's assuming GOd has the same characterists as a human, which of course, is an assumption.

Already defined God as the First Cause, based upon the evidence of scientific observation. If you claim that such observation does not logically conclude a First Cause, then it is you who must specify what sort of evidence you're looking for. Stop trying to wriggle out of this.

edit on 5-6-2011 by SaberTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 11:06 AM
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double post
edit on 5/6/11 by awake_and_aware because: double postage.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 11:06 AM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 



I have already provided the physical evidence, but you apparently want something more. You need to tell me what that is.


What is the evidence? What physical evidence points towards causality of the universe, that points towards a "First Cause" - Big Bang theorem certainly doesn't declare any truth on causation of the cosmos.


You're trying to change the question from "God" to "which God". One step at a time.


You are aware there are different connoations of, and different positions on "God"?

Monotheism (Theism), Polytheism, Pantheism, Ditheism, Dystheism,

Is it the God whereby you have extracted meaning out of nature; stating that God is "forgiving" God is "loving" i,e, pushing human emotions onto nature (Anthropomorphisation) which could be considered part of Theism (God sending Earthquakes etc.)

This is what i mean by defining God. It's hard to understand the pragmatics when people loosely use the word "GOD".



Sorry, you're not making any sense at all.


No problem, I'll re-phrase. There is no evidence (logical) or (empirical) to suggest that GOd:-

-Is Omnipotent
-Rewards or punishes (Intervenes in human affairs)
-Intervenes in geological events.

That God can easily be falsified. For a spiritual experience to prove that God true, it would have to take an extraoridinary ammount of conviction.

After that spiritual experience, one would have to be enlightened that there is a first cause, and furthermore, it would take an even more extraorindary experience to prove any of the man-made religion's descriptions of God as true, or any of the descriptions i've explained above.


Already defined God as the First Cause, based upon the evidence of scientific observation.


So there is evidence for God? Are you saying causaility of reality itself can be proven by scientific observation? That you know what is beyond the big bang?

Even for a first cause theory, there's no way that a spiritual experience would verify what is beyond the observable universe. Unless, you have pretty convincing evidence that there is a way? Explain it.


Stop trying to wriggle out of this.


I've rephrased my arguments and points of contention.

In short: Causality is an assumption (First Cause), absolute infinity in an assumption, There being "no cause" is an assumption. We simply don't know, the only person who has to concede is those who say they DO KNOW; The Gnostic Theist/Deist.
edit on 5/6/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 


You wrote:

["But as I just posted in another thread (the one on top 7 machines), there are rational reasons to believe that there must be an intelligent and powerful First Cause outside of the laws of physics."]

That would be the updated theist version of 'intelligent design' and, from my contact with such efforts so far, just as much hijacked science.

Quote: ["Because I observe that the physical universe exists and scientists tell me it is running down toward eventual "heat death", and because I hold it to be philosophically absurd to think anything can cause its own existence, the rational conclusion is that this First Cause must exist and have certain minimal properties or characteristics."]

Which still is worthless to validate most of the theist claims.

Quote: ["So my faith in God is completely unlike anyone's faith in entities which have nothing at all to be based upon but imagination."]

All faith is subjective. You claim your subjectivity is less subjective. Objective evidence is needed then.

Quote: [" This faith is not related at all to fear of death as many allege, but simple observation and logic."]

Not to standard logic; maybe to your private version of it.

Quote: ["I don't view my faith in God as outrageous or whimsical, but I do consider such terms to apply to a view that either refuses to say how things came into being or imagines the philosophically absurd such as things creating themselves."]

There's no 'logic' in filling knowledge-gaps with guesses.

Quote: ["If even the "simplest" living cell is not considered proof of intelligent design, then we cannot ever agree on how to identify ID."]

It is not considered 'proof' of ID, and your consent to that is irrelevant, as long as you're pretending to be on science/logic ground.

Quote: ["Atheism, if it says "There is no god", is making an absolute statement."]

So go find some gnostic atheists to oppose.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:29 PM
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Originally posted by SaberTruth
Hi IamBoon, irenic OP. :-) But allow me to address a few points:


Originally posted by IamBoon
Atheism also does not make or take a final stance on unexplained phenomenon, just on the very improbable and mostly impossible beings most religions believe in.

Atheism, if it says "There is no god", is making an absolute statement. Logically, such absolutes must be provable (i.e. you have the burden of proof), even if they pose a negative ("there is no..."). And since those who make this assertion also know it is unprovable, then they cannot demand proof for anyone else's axioms or "givens" that are unprovable.

So let me get this right as an atheist if I say:
* There is no god - I must prove it?
* The Moon is not made of cheese - I must prove it ?
* Elvis is not alive and well living on venus - I must prove it ?

Hmmmm, seems a bit odd to me, the opposite is:

* There is a God - which we must believe!
* The moon is made of cheese - which we must believe!
* Elvis is alive and living on venus - which we must believe.!

The reason for the nonsensical statements is to show that any idiotic statement can be made whereas the default position "something is not until proven to be so" is the logical base starting point in proving anything.

What exists is what we know here and now until proof shows different. No proof of God has come my way therefore the default position "there is no god" remains.

NB There is no such thing as elephants, according to Victorian British society, and so they dismissed the tales from the explorers until an elephant was shown in London. The proof!

So , bring the physical proof of God to London......



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by malcr
So let me get this right as an atheist if I say:
* There is no god - I must prove it?
* The Moon is not made of cheese - I must prove it ?
* Elvis is not alive and well living on venus - I must prove it ?

According to the rules of logic, yes--- which is why wise people don't go around making absolute claims. They can express convictions, but not claim them as proofs. It's also important to know where empirical science ends and interpretation of data begins. And it's no secret that such interpretations are often filtered through preconceived philosophies.

So when you say "There is no god", you are saying you have all knowledge and have observed all that exists yet found no god. You are also saying that you reject observed design and complexity in nature as evidence supporting an intelligent source, framing the debate in such a way that your naturalism is presumed from the start and the game is rigged.

But if you say, "I don't believe there is a god", that's fine, and you have no reason to think poorly of those who say "I believe there is a god". The fact that so many atheists obsess over theism isn't helping their cause. I spend the bulk of my time studying my own beliefs, not those of others. When I encounter those who believe differently I try to present my case and reason with them, but this is not the focus of my life.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:50 PM
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I belive like a cave gave way to groups of humanoids once upon a time who learn to team up, once they began to communicate religion was a way to keep them all safe as the cave did before, now we have technology and a grasp on our enviroment we reluctant to leave the last "cave" of religion.

Only inteligence taught, without prejudice or religion, will be the way forward for our race. The sooner we understand that the better.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by SaberTruth

Originally posted by malcr
So let me get this right as an atheist if I say:
* There is no god - I must prove it?
* The Moon is not made of cheese - I must prove it ?
* Elvis is not alive and well living on venus - I must prove it ?

According to the rules of logic, yes--- which is why wise people don't go around making absolute claims.


May I ask which rules of logic those are? (And I am not saying that in a snarky way, I am really and truly curious. I've never taken a class in logic, so it is all new to me).

I'm curious, because I've heard this debate many times, and it always seems to come down to who has the burden of proof (is that right?), but I've never seen anyone (on either side) point to anything that helped me figure the whole thing out better. From a bit of scanning pages online, it seems that one is not allowed to say that atheists have the burden of proof because most people believe in some kind of deity, so I can't figure out why theists would have the benefit of assumption.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by AlphaBetaGammaX
May I ask which rules of logic those are? (And I am not saying that in a snarky way, I am really and truly curious. I've never taken a class in logic, so it is all new to me).

Here is an overview, one of many handy sites: overview,
and one more specific to the matter of burden of proof:
burden of proof
Excerpt:

SHIFTING THE BURDEN OF PROOF

The burden of proof is always on the person making an assertion or proposition. Shifting the burden of proof, a special case of argumentum ad ignorantium, is the fallacy of putting the burden of proof on the person who denies or questions the assertion being made. The source of the fallacy is the assumption that something is true unless proven otherwise.

The person making a negative claim cannot logically prove nonexistence. And here's why: to know that a X does not exist would require a perfect knowledge of all things (omniscience). To attain this knowledge would require simultaneous access to all parts of the world and beyond (omnipresence). Therefore, to be certain of the claim that X does not exist one would have to possess abilities that are non-existent. Obviously, mankind's limited nature precludes these special abilities. The claim that X does not exist is therefore unjustifiable. As logician Mortimer Adler has pointed out, the attempt to prove a universal negative is a self- defeating proposition. These claims are "worldwide existential negatives." They are only a small class of all possible negatives. They cannot be established by direct observation because no single human observer can cover the whole earth at one time in order to declare by personal authority that any “X” doesn't exist.



I'm curious, because I've heard this debate many times, and it always seems to come down to who has the burden of proof (is that right?), but I've never seen anyone (on either side) point to anything that helped me figure the whole thing out better. From a bit of scanning pages online, it seems that one is not allowed to say that atheists have the burden of proof because most people believe in some kind of deity, so I can't figure out why theists would have the benefit of assumption.

Exactly, and many people have presumed that since "you can't prove a negative" then any negative assertion escapes the burden of proof. This is a fallacy as the quote above shows, and actually a type of "red herring" or distraction. Any absolute claim bears the burden of proof. The only instance where this is not the case is when one's opponent demands that s/he prove a negative, so the key here is who actually makes the argument: yourself or your opponent. Since in this thread it is atheism which asserts that there is no god, then the burden of proof is on them as the ones making the claim. In contrast, if it were theists demanding that atheists do this, then the burden of proof would lie with the theists.

Hope that helps.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 04:16 PM
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one could descibe sceince as a very long list of things that do not happen, slowly ruling out, one by one, the non fact so all we are left with is the truth.

Yes its the long way round, but certinly more thorough than dreaming up things and proving them right, unless you happen to be particular good at it hehehe



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 04:24 PM
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reply to post by IamBoon
 


Yay, an 'atheists discussing things with each other' thread! It's been an age and a bit since I've seen one of these. You get a preemptive star and flag!


Originally posted by IamBoon
Although I hold strong opinions regarding most faiths I would like you to know something. Overall, I believe religions such as Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism are help many more people than they harm.


Alright, I disagree with you. But before I get in to my reasons for disagreeing with you on the matter, I'd like you to state your case for how they actually help people in more ways than they cause harm.



The interpretations of each in many ways make people gravitate to compassion and love rather than psychopathy and hate.


How so? And how valid are those interpretations? And how valid is the love and compassion engendered by those interpretations?



So please when I and maybe other Atheist voice our opinions please do not consider it a straight attack on you or that I think everything about your religion is awful.


Here here. I agree with some parts of what Jesus said. Hell, I agree with a few of the things Muhammad said (particularly about charity). It would be a hard task to find an ideology that is universally awful.



that couldn't be farther from the truth, my only crime is that I may be just as passionate about my stance as you are about yours.


Well, I would like to point out that my objection to religion is the very concept of faith. More than anything else, the perversion of reason by making acceptance of a claim despite or even in spite of evidence is quite possibly the most harmful part of religion. This simple problem of religion, just that one thing, is the root cause of all the evil caused by it.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 04:28 PM
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reply to post by XmikaX
 



Originally posted by XmikaX
the opposite side of the same coin... same biased perspectives


What is biased about skepticism?



atheism is based on beliefs and faith


Name a single belief and a single idea within atheism based upon faith. You cannot. Hell, I don't know why you came up with the plural there...atheism is a singular statement: I do not believe in any deity



: it gives final answers it will never question again although it can never prove them True. fear of death my friend it all comes from there.


What final answer does it give to anything?



look for agnosticism, maybe you're confused with definitions of words ?


Agnosticism is an adjective, it is used to describe either theists or atheists. I made a whole damn thread addressing this issue.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 04:34 PM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 


Yes, you're right to bring up the burden of proof, which you and your ilk continually like to try to shift on to skeptics. I do not believe in any deity, I am skeptical of the claims of deities. You must present your case, I must evaluate your case on its own merits. I need not provide a counter-proposition.

Granted, I may further make the case that the lack of support for your claim and the weakness of your case is a point against the case you're making in a positive light, but I need not.

I'm a skeptic, the burden is never upon me.

You're acting as if I'm making the claim "Not A" when I'm making the claim "I do not see justification to claim A".

Or do I also have to disprove greys, the NWO, the royal family being reptillians, the flying spaghetti monster, unicorns, leprechauns, faeries, drow, the incredible Hulk, Gallifreyans, hobbits, the Thor, the Force, etc?

You've set up a mile-high straw man to set alight here. Atheists do not have the burden of proof because we are not making a claim, the null hypothesis is the beginning point, anything which contradicts the null hypothesis is to be backed up by evidence.

Or did you never learn critical thought?

This is why babies are atheists. A baby has no concept of anything let alone a deity. They cannot understand things and therefore are unable to believe them. All things must be demonstrated to a baby before they come to accept them. We call this process learning.

Prove your damn claims and stop trying to weasel out of the burden of proof.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by Partygirl
reply to post by IamBoon
 


I don't usually get into discussion with athiests on the internet because our worldviews are too different



Are you serious? is it just atheists you do not converse with or anyone that does not agree with your worldview? I am not sure what religion you subscribe too but i would think that each religion is as different enough from the others to say "your world views are different from mine".

seems like you close more doors than you open with that method of thinking. but to each their own i guess.

interceptor



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 05:18 PM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 




So if the burden of proof is on those that make a claim, and an atheist claims there is no deity, should they not have to prove that?

Or is it that, instead of saying "I believe there are no deities", they say "I have the absence of belief in deities", then they no longer have to prove anything since there is no claim being made? Does this lack of belief shift the burden of proof to those that believe?

And, Thanks for the info! I've always avoided all of this because I've seen too many people throw these terms around in an argument without really doing anything else, and it always seemed so ridiculous. But when I see people use true logic in an argument, and still follow the flow of the argument without arguing for argument's sake, then it becomes interesting.... (and since its summer and I'm only taking two classes at school, maybe I'll actually try and learn a bit about this!)




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