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Atheism - The Final Frontier

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posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by Leahn
What's "The God Helmet" ? A book?


No, it's actually a device which demonstrates that beliefs in deities and the supernatural can be invoked by causing a delusion in the brain. I wish I'd thought quickly enough to list that as a case of science demonstrating a "God Delusion". There's your evidence.




posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by megabytz
I realize that religion and belief systems are different things and I knew this reply was coming. The religious constantly say that atheism is a religion and it is what they are doing when they attempt to categorize it as a belief system. It is simply a lack of belief, nothing more. Would it be a belief system if I went through my entire life and never heard of the concept of god?


Again, as I have repeatedly stated on this thread already, I agree with you. As long as atheists keep themselves to a "lack of belief, nothing more", you're absolutely correct. The problem is that a good deal of atheists do not keep themselves to "lack of belief, nothing more." They espouse the negative belief that God does not exist. And a negative belief is still a belief, and when they move from "lack of belief" to "belief in not existing", it becomes a belief system.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:02 AM
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Originally posted by Doublemint
I thought science at the present time believed that the universe was created. so how does creation not fit into science?


The idea that the Universe had a beginning is new. Georges Lemaître proposed the idea in 1927, so it is less than a hundred years old. Before that, the scientists believed the Universe to be eternal and everpresent.


Originally posted by Blue Shift
Science cannot prove that God doesn't exist, because it's logically impossible to prove a negative.


It is perfectly possible to prove a negative. Take a course in Logic.


Originally posted by Blue Shift
The religious cannot positive prove that God exists, either, since they are unable to adequately define the concept enough to subject it to reasonable proof.


We are not interested in proving that God exists, scientifically. The "religious" are satisfied with the personal experience of God as a proof. It is the non-religious that are interested.


Originally posted by Blue Shift
If you're worried that somehow science is a threat to your belief, then the problem is with your weak faith, not science.


Now that I agree with.



Originally posted by Wertdagf
I fear those who build their lives upon a false premise. Like a sand castle standing against the unstoppable tide.

There will come a day when the all of the gaps are filled and all the corners flooded with light. I listen to people every day hope and wish for death in some socialy acceptable way.... but not one that wants life. Death is the foundation of religion.


Goedel's incompleteness theorem says otherwise. Unless, of course, the Universe is not logically consistent.


Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
Remind me again what claim I made, please. Though I'm growing increasingly unwilling to continue conversation with you due to your condescending, arrogant discourse.


I am sorry about the condescending tone. It is cultural. I am Brazilian, not American. They sound a lot less condescending in person. Allow me to quote your own words, back to you.

Source: "My claim might be incorrect when discussing those other items you'd listed. However, in making the case that belief in deities is a delusion, explorations into theology and philosophy are unnecessary." (the emphasis is mine)



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:04 AM
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Originally posted by Leahn
and when they move from "lack of belief" to "belief in not existing", it becomes a belief system.


How so?
For example, claiming that bigfoot does not exist does not magically become a belief system upon issuing the claim.

The only thing that changes when adopting strong atheism is the burden of proof.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:11 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by Leahn
What's "The God Helmet" ? A book?


No, it's actually a device which demonstrates that beliefs in deities and the supernatural can be invoked by causing a delusion in the brain. I wish I'd thought quickly enough to list that as a case of science demonstrating a "God Delusion". There's your evidence.


"In December 2004 Nature reported that a group of Swedish researchers led by Pehr Granqvist, a psychologist at Uppsala University in Sweden, had attempted to replicate Persinger's experiments under double-blind conditions, and were not able to reproduce the effect. The study was published in Neuroscience Letters in 2005. Granqvist et al concluded that the presence or absence of the magnetic field had no relationship with any religious or spiritual experience reported by the participants, but was predicted entirely by their suggestibility and personality traits."

"Persinger's findings regarding the effects of environmental geomagnetic activity have, to date, not been independently replicated. One published attempt to create a feeling of a "sensed presence" using an EM- and ultrasound-based "haunted room" instead of a God Helmet, found that reports of unusual experiences were uncorrelated with the presence or absence of "complex" environmental eletromagnetic fields similar to Persinger's. Reports of unusual experiences were however, predicted by the personality characteristics and suggestibility of participants."

I thought that "science" need something like peer-review confirmation of findings, and reproducible results.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:16 AM
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Originally posted by Leahn
Source: "My claim might be incorrect when discussing those other items you'd listed. However, in making the case that belief in deities is a delusion, explorations into theology and philosophy are unnecessary." (the emphasis is mine)


Ahhh, thank you.

My point was that the issue can be addressed from a scientific standpoint rather than gravitating to the typical area of the philosophical and theological.

Here was a claim I made that you challenged:


t doesn't take a biology doctorate to realize the fundamental, inescapable problem of those proposing the existence of a god or deity: the complete lack of evidence for such a proposition. Without such evidence, philosophical argumentation is superfluous.


I do agree with you that my original claim wasn't universal, that in many cases such as the ones you listed it didn't apply. But, in the case of establishing the existence of a deity, no philosophical argument can achieve that goal. It ultimately takes objective, verifiable evidence.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:21 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by Leahn
and when they move from "lack of belief" to "belief in not existing", it becomes a belief system.


How so? For example, claiming that bigfoot does not exist does not magically become a belief system upon issuing the claim.


Ok, maybe "become a belief system" was too strong an expression to use. Let me put it this way, everything you belief affects you somehow. If you believe that "bigfoot does not exist" it will change the way you perceive, let's say, an article in a magazine telling you that evidence for the bigfoot was found. Due to selection and confirmation bias inherent in humans, you will start from the assumption that it is a hoax, that the evidence is flawed, and will resist believing it much more than a person that holds no belief whatsoever about the subject. If the evidence trully happens to be a hoax, you will experiment a different sensation than if you had no belief about the subject. You need not to go much far to see it being true. Pick any topic that it is usually hotly debated here on ATS. Chemtrails, NWO, 9/11, you name it. See how each people react to evidence presented (when it is presented) and how it relates to their prior stance on the subject.

So, I think "become a belief system" was too strong an expression to use and I stand corrected. It is more like it will become a part of the belief system you already possess (we all have one) and influence your experience of the world because of it.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:32 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
Ahhh, thank you.

My point was that the issue can be addressed from a scientific standpoint rather than gravitating to the typical area of the philosophical and theological.

Here was a claim I made that you challenged:


t doesn't take a biology doctorate to realize the fundamental, inescapable problem of those proposing the existence of a god or deity: the complete lack of evidence for such a proposition. Without such evidence, philosophical argumentation is superfluous.


I do agree with you that my original claim wasn't universal, that in many cases such as the ones you listed it didn't apply. But, in the case of establishing the existence of a deity, no philosophical argument can achieve that goal. It ultimately takes objective, verifiable evidence.


The claim that I challenged was "making the case that belief in deities is a delusion" for which you have not provided the necessary medical evidence establishing this fact. Whether you believe that such should be accomplished by means of science or by means of philosophy, I trully do not care. I do, however, care that the evidence is presented before the claim can be made.

I do not accept the "god helmet" as evidence since its findings could not be independently verified, therefore they do not qualify as "science." It is pseudoscience until independent verification happens.

I am of the opinion, and this is my personal opinion, that God cannot be proven. According to Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem, a logically consistent system cannot have all its premises proven. I very much cherish the idea that the Universe is logically consistent, therefore I remain open to the idea that there will be many premises that are not only necessary but also necessarily unproven. When I understood this, I stopped caring about trying to prove God.

I am, however, curious about the special pleading.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:33 AM
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reply to post by Leahn
 


I agree 100%. One's beliefs inform their actions, including processing incoming information. And the "strong atheism" is problematic because one assumes a responsibility they cannot fulfill (burden of proof).



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:40 AM
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Leahn:

May I ask you a question? You seem to be very intelligent and, though we disagree often, I do enjoy our conversation. I'm also genuinely interested in your personal belief. I'm not asking this to ridicule or belittle your beliefs, but because you are intelligent and I'm interested in your viewpoint. The question: what do you believe and why?



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:58 AM
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Self-conceited threads like this are necessary to display the fallacies of modern belief systems, both religious and non-religious.

For instance, science doesn't disprove God. Science simply proves the mechanics for which our universe operates. And those mechanics are seemingly ever changing. Therefore, science doesn't prove anything except momentary truths that help us understand the inner-workings of our surroundings.

Science was never meant to take religion hostage, and atheists are foolish. Trust me, I used to be one.

On the flip-side of the coin, organized religion is just as bad.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 11:00 AM
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You know some atheist are so down right arrogant and ignorant of others peoples beliefs it is frightening.They literaly turn science into narrow minded view of the world like fanatical people do with hardcore exetremist in religion.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by DocEmrick
and atheists are foolish. Trust me, I used to be one.


In what regard are atheists foolish?
Just curious.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by Jobeycool
They literaly turn science into narrow minded view of the world like fanatical people do with hardcore exetremist in religion.


Atheism has nothing to do with science.
Could you give an example that would support your claim?



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 11:24 AM
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Seriously you guys, bravo. Bravo indeed!
Reading this entire thread has kept me entertained for over an hour!

Im not going to voice my actual opinion on certain aspects of the discussion which made it so entertaining, as I could offend someone... but seriously... well done guys, this has made my afternoon.

I also have a question, for the OP.

If I do say, yeah sure... theres a god.
Which god is the right god... or is it gods?
or not even gods, maybe spirits control the universe, as the Aboriginals of Australia believe... what nullifies their belief that the universe was created when two opposing spirits battled it out and gave birth to love and hate?

I do hope You will reply



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
What do you believe and why?


This is a broad question. For the purpose of the discussion, I assume you mean what are my religious views.

I believe in truth. I hold no allegiance to anything but truth. While I have opinions and beliefs that are not proven beyond reasonable doubt, I have taken time to read the arguments for each side for as far as I could follow, and from that I made my mind based on which case I found to be the strongest. Those opinions are subjected to change if someone presents me an argument stronger than the one I currently possess. Today I find the argument for "God" to be stronger than the argument for "no God" therefore I believe in God.

As per my specific religious views, I was brought up as a Jehovah's Witness and still follow it. They can make, in my opinion, one of the strongest cases for their own views of theology, and they hold the values that I consider to be paramount for Christians, one of the most important ones being the ideal of "no compromise". We will defend what we believe to be true, to death, if necessary. Due to my own strong allegiance to truth, I can not be a member of a religion that does otherwise.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 01:28 PM
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reply to post by Leahn
 


Thank you kindly for your reply. It's good to see that you are willing to change should new information comes in. Very admirable quality for a theist.

Since you hold truth to be paramount what standards do you use when clear evidence cannot be provided? I think we'd both agree that nobody has evidence to either prove or disprove the existence of a deity, but you find argumentation for a deity's existence more compelling than that for no existence. Is there any particular thing that pushes you in favor of belief?

You also referenced your participation in the J.W. branch of christianity. Is there a particular reason that you feel that christianity is a 100% true and accurate representation of the deity you believe in? Also, do you believe the bible to be inerrant?

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. If I'm getting too personal or you don't feel comfortable discussing this just let me know.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 01:44 PM
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Originally posted by mendicantBias
Seriously you guys, bravo. Bravo indeed!
Reading this entire thread has kept me entertained for over an hour!


*bows deeply*


I also have a question, for the OP.

If I do say, yeah sure... theres a god.
Which god is the right god... or is it gods?
or not even gods, maybe spirits control the universe, as the Aboriginals of Australia believe... what nullifies their belief that the universe was created when two opposing spirits battled it out and gave birth to love and hate?

I do hope you will reply


I am not the OP but then, the OP doesn't seem to be replying anymore. I do have the answer; 'it is irrelevant.'

"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

The Bible calls Satan "the god of this system." It calls many other thing "god", as well. "God" is a title. It is not a name, it is not a quality. It is a title. Like president, or doctor. Therefore, we do not worship "God" because He is a god. We worship "God" because He is our creator. There could be tens of thousands of other gods, yet there is only one Creator, and He we worship.

The Bible also does not say "how" God created everything. It says that everything was created by His will, but not how He did it. It could be, indeed, that the process involved two spirits battling and giving birth to love and hate. It is not important. Those spirits battled because God commanded them to do so. They were tools. They were means to an end. They are no more worthy of our worship than a hammer is worth your praise for correctly sticking the nail in the wall.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 01:52 PM
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reply to post by Exuberant1
 


You dont think Britains colonial past might have played a part in that? we invited many muslims from the sub continent to help rebuild our country after they helped fight in our armies against the Germans in ww2. They have only become the "baddies" since 9/11.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 02:13 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
Since you hold truth to be paramount what standards do you use when clear evidence cannot be provided?


I do not subscribe to scientism. I accept evidence in the proper meaning of evidence, and not restricted solely to scientific evidence. However, when clear evidence cannot be provided, I hold the position of skepticism and bear no position on the subject.


I think we'd both agree that nobody has evidence to either prove or disprove the existence of a deity, but you find argumentation for a deity's existence more compelling than that for no existence. Is there any particular thing that pushes you in favor of belief?


Logically speaking, the case for "no God" is a defensive one that rests on the (correct) premise that the case for "God" has the heavier burden of proof. There are very few arguments that advance the idea of "no God". Most arguments are restricted merely to counter-argue the case for "God".

The argument that has convinced me is the Unmoved Mover argument originally by Aristotle, which has progressively turned into the Cosmological Argument.


Is there a particular reason that you feel that christianity is a 100% true and accurate representation of the deity you believe in?


I don't think that exists a 100% accurate and true representation of the deity I believe in. I don't think that it is even possible to accuratedly represent God in human terms in the same way that it is not possible to trully represent a 3D shape in a 2D drawing. However, I believe Christianity to be the closest possible representation, while still being self-consistent.


Also, do you believe the Bible to be inerrant?


No. I do, however, believe that God made sure that what we need to know is there.




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