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Disbelief Is Not A Choice

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posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 08:22 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


In other words you are still open to the idea that God does exist, if the sufficient evidence comes forth to verify God's existence? The same with Aliens, Ghosts and Spirits too?




posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 08:37 PM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


I am absolutely open to all such things. I try to observe the universe as it is, and if such things are part of it I prefer to know about it.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 06:34 AM
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Originally posted by TheFlash
You say that your reading about life on other planets has caused you to become in effect 'choiceless' regarding your belief that life does in fact exist elsewhere in the universe, yet such evidence does not exist for you to make a similar choice regarding belief in a god.


Yes. That's why I don't have a belief in God. After the research and reasoning I've done on the subject (and considering my context in life) I have come to the conclusion that there probably is extraterrestrial life, but probably not a deity.



Please share with us exactly what are the nature of, quality and quantity of evidence required for you to become 'choiceless' about a given issue.


In the case of extraterrestrial life, it would be something like several independent expert agencies or individuals displaying scientific evidence of existence, coupled with thousands of individual witnesses plus the sheer number of planets and possibilities - basically, the odds.

And of course with both of these beliefs: In aliens and in Gods, I could be wrong. There may be some information that I don't have at this time that would change my beliefs about either subject. But it wouldn't be because I choose to believe something different. My beliefs would be the result of information, not choice.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 06:57 AM
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Beliefs can be a choice. What about parental decisions?

You can believe that your children should learn a martial art to protect themselves when they are growing up. You can believe this is unnecessarily exposing them to violence.

You can believe that your child should participate in some type of sport while at school. You might believe this will encourage excessive competitiveness in your child, who gets enough exercise without doing a sport.

You can believe that your child should receive pocket money so that they can learn to manage money from an early age. You might believe pocket money reinforces the idea that they can rely on others for money.

Can you say that any of the above are definitely right or wrong based on objective thought, research and rationality?


edit on 5/10/2011 by Dark Ghost because: formatting, changed example



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 07:08 AM
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Originally posted by Dark Ghost
Beliefs can be a choice. What about parental decisions? You can believe that your children should learn a martial art to protect themselves when they are growing up, you can believe they don't need to. You can believe that your child should participate in some type of sport while at school, others might disagree. You might believe that violent movies are hazardous for young minds and ban your children from watching, others may not share these views.


You're using the term 'believe' in a different context. This thread deals with BELIEF IN something not proven, like God or ETs. Not thoughts, judgments and everyday decisions about life.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 07:29 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Fair enough, maybe I was.


Thanks for clarifying, I think I now see where both you and the OP are coming from.
edit on 5/10/2011 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 08:15 AM
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Originally posted by Dark Ghost
Beliefs can be a choice.


I'm willing to concede that point as certain circumstances may lead to it. However, I cannot find any particular circumstance in which disbelief is a choice.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 08:27 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic


Please share with us exactly what are the nature of, quality and quantity of evidence required for you to become 'choiceless' about a given issue.


In the case of extraterrestrial life, it would be something like several independent expert agencies or individuals displaying scientific evidence of existence, coupled with thousands of individual witnesses plus the sheer number of planets and possibilities - basically, the odds.

And of course with both of these beliefs: In aliens and in Gods, I could be wrong. There may be some information that I don't have at this time that would change my beliefs about either subject. But it wouldn't be because I choose to believe something different. My beliefs would be the result of information, not choice.


I wasn't asking for an example - I was after the precise equation or formula that you apply to the information. Please specify for us what is the nature of, quality and quantity of required information and also please explain what part contradictory information plays. Also, what about existing information that you are aware of but nor familiar with - what part does that play?

The reason I am trying to be so precise is that the entire premise of your threat refers to an 'absolute' quality to such things, i,e., that it is completely impossible for you to make certain choices based in information. I want to know precisely how you process such information.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 08:33 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


When you say believe/disbelieve are you referring to faith?

You can have a belief based on some sort of proof/reasoning/data ect

But if you have a belief with no proof/reasoning/data isn’t that called faith?

religious people have faith in some kind of supernatural element to the world, which because it is supernatural they have to have faith that it’s real


so can you choose to have faith in something - I think some can but I wonder if faith is due to childhood conditioning?


If you give a christian a copy of the quran (for example) the christian might reject the claims of the quran for the same reasons any atheist would, if so it might be because the christian wasn’t conditioned at an early enough age to see the quran as anything but a book of myth (I am not picking on muslims this is just an example)



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 08:56 AM
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Originally posted by racasan
But if you have a belief with no proof/reasoning/data isn’t that called faith?


Yes. Excellent description.


so can you choose to have faith in something - I think some can but I wonder if faith is due to childhood conditioning?


Yes, and to an extent the conditioning essentially amounts to a limitation a choices.


If you give a christian a copy of the quran (for example) the christian might reject the claims of the quran for the same reasons any atheist would, if so it might be because the christian wasn’t conditioned at an early enough age to see the quran as anything but a book of myth (I am not picking on muslims this is just an example)


The subject was probably also conditioned to reject any other choices or things that appear to be other options. However, the subject could still choose another religion, but this choice results from the pre-existent belief in deities (which doesn't change when selecting a different religion).

The reasons for belief can be convoluted. The reason for disbelief appear to be rather simple and wholly unrelated to choices.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 09:03 AM
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Originally posted by TheFlash
The reason I am trying to be so precise is that the entire premise of your threat refers to an 'absolute' quality to such things, i,e., that it is completely impossible for you to make certain choices based in information.


I can't speak for B.H., as if that is her assertion I would personally think it a bit too extreme an assertion. In my case I have tried to limit the concept to simply belief or disbelief in (religious) claims. The answer to whether a claim is either true is binary - it's either true or not - and assessment of whether the claims satisfy their burden of proof does not appear to be related to choice. I could be wrong though and I'm open to further viewpoints.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 09:20 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by TheFlash
The reason I am trying to be so precise is that the entire premise of your threat refers to an 'absolute' quality to such things, i,e., that it is completely impossible for you to make certain choices based in information.


I can't speak for B.H., as if that is her assertion I would personally think it a bit too extreme an assertion. In my case I have tried to limit the concept to simply belief or disbelief in (religious) claims. The answer to whether a claim is either true is binary - it's either true or not - and assessment of whether the claims satisfy their burden of proof does not appear to be related to choice. I could be wrong though and I'm open to further viewpoints.


Okay then - for YOU specifically - on the topic you created this thread about, religion - please share the precise equation or formula that you apply to the relevant information. Please specify for us what is the nature of, quality and quantity of required information and also please explain what part contradictory information plays. Also, what about existing information that you are aware of but nor familiar with - what part does that play?



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by TheFlash
Okay then - for YOU specifically - on the topic you created this thread about, religion - please share the precise equation or formula that you apply to the relevant information. Please specify for us what is the nature of, quality and quantity of required information and also please explain what part contradictory information plays. Also, what about existing information that you are aware of but nor familiar with - what part does that play?


Personally I don't think formulas or equations enter the picture in assessing whether a claim meets its burden of proof. The nature of, quality and quantity of required information is likely going to differ based on the nature of the claim. If there is information I am aware of but not familiar with it is my duty to familiarize myself with it if it is integral to determining the truth or falsehood of a claim. No matter components of the process, if the claim remains unsupported there exists no remaining option to believe the claim. Disbelief is the result of eliminating believability.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by TheFlash
Okay then - for YOU specifically - on the topic you created this thread about, religion - please share the precise equation or formula that you apply to the relevant information. Please specify for us what is the nature of, quality and quantity of required information and also please explain what part contradictory information plays. Also, what about existing information that you are aware of but nor familiar with - what part does that play?


Personally I don't think formulas or equations enter the picture in assessing whether a claim meets its burden of proof. The nature of, quality and quantity of required information is likely going to differ based on the nature of the claim. If there is information I am aware of but not familiar with it is my duty to familiarize myself with it if it is integral to determining the truth or falsehood of a claim. No matter components of the process, if the claim remains unsupported there exists no remaining option to believe the claim. Disbelief is the result of eliminating believability.


So it sounds like your decision (i.e. whether to 'believe' or be an atheist) is discretionary, and not objective, logical or absolute in any way, is that correct?

Let me clarify. You said that "I don't think formulas or equations enter the picture in assessing whether a claim meets its burden of proof". The alternative to any such objective, logical, formulaic determination has to be subjective and discretionary. In other words, the resulting 'state' of believing or disbelieving in religion after reviewing the available evidence is your subjective, discretionary decision, is that correct?
edit on 5-10-2011 by TheFlash because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 10:11 AM
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Originally posted by TheFlash
So it sounds like your decision (i.e. whether to 'believe' or be an atheist) is discretionary, and not objective, logical or absolute in any way, is that correct?


No. My personal disbelief in deities results from discovering that the claims about them remain unsupported. This requires logic and objectivity, though "absolute" doesn't seem to be an applicable adjective.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 10:14 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by TheFlash
So it sounds like your decision (i.e. whether to 'believe' or be an atheist) is discretionary, and not objective, logical or absolute in any way, is that correct?


No. My personal disbelief in deities results from discovering that the claims about them remain unsupported. This requires logic and objectivity, though "absolute" doesn't seem to be an applicable adjective.


Why not? Your assertion that you have "no choice" is absolute in nature.

Once again - what is the process by which you determine that such a claim is "unsupported"? Share the logical and objective process with us.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 10:21 AM
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Originally posted by TheFlash
Why not? Your assertion that you have "no choice" is absolute in nature.


Indeed, you are correct.


Once again - what is the process by which you determine that such a claim is "unsupported"? Share the logical and objective process with us.


Without detailing it all I'll summarize it as the application of scientific method, to meet a scientific burden of proof.

I'm interested to hear what your personal opinion on the matter is. Do you have a position on this topic?
edit on 5-10-2011 by traditionaldrummer because: itchy



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 10:27 AM
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reply to post by TheFlash
 


If there are two answers to some question then you will most likely pick the answer that is better supported by observation/sound reasoning and so on


So if religion was humanities first attempt at an answer for the question of ‘life the universe and everything’ but that we now have better answers backed up by observation

then why waste time with an outdated unsupported illogical answer such as ‘some sort of Jewish wizard done it’?



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


The Scientific Method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. It has nothing whatsoever to do with personal beliefs or choice. Scientific proof may in fact be considered to be in a way the opposite of scientific proof. If scientific proof of a god existed then belief would not apply to such knowledge. Where knowledge exists faith and belief do not apply.

On a related note let me point out an aspect I am familiar with regarding religious choice/faith/belief. I am not purporting to hold this belief myself but rather pointing it out as relevant here. Some people claim that the 'non-provability' of God's existence is intentional and by (His) design. The reason for this has to do with Man's unique (in a religious sense) and fundamental quality of Free Will. The concept is that God has provided you with certain information regarding His existence (you are clearly aware of such claims) but He makes it a matter of personal choice rather than fact so that you must exercise your Free Will in order to believe or not. The concept is that such a free choice to believe is virtuous and referred to as "faith". I certainly want significant others in my own life to be faithful to me, don't you? Related beliefs are that those who have such a choice to believe are rewarded for such choosing. Conversely failure to make that choice has its consequences as well.

So if you are trying to say that there is no scientific proof that a God exists then you are absolutely correct. If on the other hand you are saying that it is completely not possible for you to believe otherwise then I disagree wholeheartedly. Facts such as the billions of people who choose to do just that with similar or less knowledge than you should prove that. Beliefs in consciousness beyond mortal death, ET life and others are similarly and commonly held beliefs.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 10:54 AM
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Originally posted by TheFlash
I was after the precise equation or formula that you apply to the information.


Sorry, I don't have an equation or formula.




The reason I am trying to be so precise is that the entire premise of your threat ...


THREAT? What threat did I make?




...refers to an 'absolute' quality to such things, i,e., that it is completely impossible for you to make certain choices based in information.


I never said it was impossible to make certain choices based on information. I don't know where you got that. Perhaps you should read over my posts in this thread. It sounds to me that you don't understand my position.


I want to know precisely how you process such information.


Sorry, I'm not a Neurologist. I cannot explain how the brain processes information.



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