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Disbelief Is Not A Choice

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posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 08:27 AM
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reply to post by racasan
 


(I must first admit, that I from finishing reading page one skipped to this latest page; so if anyone think I have missed anything essential, feel free to inform me.)

Racasan, your post was right on spot, but will possibly need clarification for those unfamiliar with 'what happens after epistemology'. And especially for the contributor The Flash, who appears to be stuck somewhere between daily-use 'faith vs. facts' and epistemologically considerations on ultimate 'absolutes'.

Quote from your post, for the duration giving a focus:

["so if religionists try to make it look like the young/old earth belief is an either or question they must be unaware that the two beliefs are not equally as valid"].

One of the sad theist last-resorts, when everything else has failed: "If you don't accept our subjective 'absolutes', we turn the whole scenario of 'absolutes' into a perspective of absolute black/white on 'absolutes' per se, and everything will become equally invalid".

So as suggested earlier in this thread 'intuition' is 'higher' than logic (I wouldn't like to use a car-carrying bridge build with 'intuiton');..... poor old Descartes, balancing on the insanity-brink of solipsism would take to drinking instead of thinking as a philosophical argument .....and the theists continue to cherry-pick as is their habit. This time from tidbits taken from competing truth/reality-seeking methodologies.




posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 08:30 AM
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Originally posted by sensibleSenseless
But a belief is not the same - since you do not have to purchase it - it is something in your head - it is written there by choice...


I see one's beliefs arising from a matter of reasoning, not by deciding upon available options. Disbelief in particular seems to be unrelated to choices. We may say that we 'choose not to believe' though this is figurative speech and not a literal descriptor. Disbelief is the elimination of choices.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 08:33 AM
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Originally posted by TheFlash

Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by TheFlash
reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


I'm glad we established that.

It's not who is right that is important to me, it is what is right.




Except maybe I have simply just been loose with my language! Perhaps it is just me, unable to contemplate beyond my microcosm, but I am aware of two things. One is that I didn't choose disbelief in deities over belief. Two is that I am unable to choose to believe that which I don't. In fact,

I tried to believe - in many ways for many years. Once all of these deities revealed their unbelievability disbelief was the only option, all other "choices" removed. And there remains nothing left to choose from, unless I employ irrational reasoning or pure madness to believe that which I don't.

Are there ways to arrive at disbelief of a claim by choice? It certainly didn't seem to happen that way for me.


Let's eliminate the grammar and language issues and be clear about what you are saying.

Are you saying that It is impossible for you, personally to believe in any god? Based on information you have your deductive powers are so good ( a regular Sherlock Holmes) that you have concluded without any shadow of a doubt that God does NOT exist? ... even though you have no proof to support your belief?

Is that what you mean?


What a clumsy way of orchestrating answer-options so they fit to your expectations.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 09:27 AM
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Originally posted by TheFlash
Let's eliminate the grammar and language issues and be clear about what you are saying.

Are you saying that It is impossible for you, personally to believe in any god? Based on information you have your deductive powers are so good ( a regular Sherlock Holmes) that you have concluded without any shadow of a doubt that God does NOT exist? ... even though you have no proof to support your belief?

Is that what you mean?


I am saying no such thing. I do not have a belief that gods do not exist. I have no belief that they do exist. There is a significant difference.

We don't disbelieve in unicorns because we have proof that they don't exist. We disbelieve it because nobody has met the burden of proof to establish that they do exist. I have not chosen to disbelieve in unicorns. Unless the burden of proof is met, belief in unicorns is not an option available for choice.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 09:28 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


it might be due to different styles of viewing the world


To me theists seem more at home with a black/white good/bad style of thinking and belief selection and they seem to sort any new information/ideas they come across into those categories as quickly as possible and any beliefs they have they try to stick with come what may

Sceptics (I prefer the word sceptic to atheist) on the other hand have an loathing of black/white answers and are much more at home with the ‘gray areas’ and any belief are seen as transitory and subject to change when new information comes along and that means they are more ready to challenge their own ideas (this might be why on average atheists are more knowledgeable about the bible than theists - because they have actually read the book to see what it contains)



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by racasan
To me theists seem more at home with a black/white good/bad style of thinking and belief selection and they seem to sort any new information/ideas they come across into those categories as quickly as possible and any beliefs they have they try to stick with come what may


That could be, and though it may not be applicable for all theists, the adherents to the Big Three Abrahamic religions are subject to a theology steeped in many binary choices, i.e., choose heaven instead of hell, etc. To certain flavors of christians I have "chosen" hell and they are unable or unwilling to view it in any other manner.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 10:28 AM
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TD (with thanks to Flash for developing some of the issues)


For those propositions to which there is no apparent evidence for either proof or disproof we have a condition identical to an unfalsifiable claim. The default position is disbelief until the claimant establishes the truth of their claim.

If you say so, but that is three choices:

> to express any view at all about someone's open claim (nobody is forcing to take one side or the other, that's on you, you could dismiss them, which means not discuss with them),

> which of the available views you adopt "by default" in such a situation, (apparently not because you actually are persuaded or believe something, but by using a heuristic that appeals to you, ... and so that is the sense in which you distinguish "disbelief" from belief, aha!..), and

> to continue to view a hypothesis as somebody's claim, even when that somebody is no longer present, when you could instead consider it as a neutral hypothesis if you chose to.

It's certainly fine if you're minding your own business, somebody comes up to you to say "There is a God! I have no evidence!" and you say, "In that case, I have chosen not to dismiss claims like that, but rather to advocate a categorical view about them, to deny them." Choices, well within your prerogatives. And, if you consider the hypothesis that there is a God only when there is some advocate of it who is available, then that, too, is a choice you make. Well within your prerogatives, but yet another choice.

I cannot get past the setting of this experience. If you went to a Christian chat room to challenge the beliefs of the people who clearly belong there, then you made a claim, that there is something about their beliefs to dispute. At which point, you became the one saying to someone mindiing their own business "There may be no God! I have no evidence!"

If the believers then engaged you, then they weren't making any claim. They were simply announcing "In that case, I have chosen not to dismiss claims like that, but rather to advocate a categorical view about them, to deny them."

You should be flattered that your opponents agree with so many of your choices, despite your disagreement with so many of their beliefs.

And now I'm thinking that the lady may have meant something like that after all. If so, then she didn't err, although she may not have communicated clearly, and so seemed to be saying something that could be rejected out of hand. She may have meant "chosen atheist" as opposed to another kind of atheist, someone who has considered the question of God as a hypothesis rather than a contest, and who may have been involuntarily persuaded that there is no God.


We don't disbelieve in unicorns because we have proof that they don't exist. We disbelieve it because nobody has met the burden of proof to establish that they do exist.

Who's we? Unicorns have been searched for thoroughly enough that if they existed, then searchers almost certainly would have found them or their mortal remains. Such mortal remains as have been offered turned out to be narwhal tusks. Some people also have affirmative knowledge of the variability of equine phenotypes. No horns.

Thus, the rest of us conclude there are no unicorns. "Conclude" combines two things: an involuntarily adopted belief and a decision to refrain from further investigation, although the matter remains uncertain, at least scrupulously. That the corpus of evidence looks bad for the unicorn hypothesis is involuntarily persuasive, we have no choice about that. That there will be no more unicorn searches is a choice we made, because we have better things to do.

It is fortunate that the rest of us do approach the question of unicorns as a hypothesis rather than a contest. That way, we can close the case. Otherwise, we'd have to wait around for somebody to shoulder the advocate's burden of proof, and that could have been a while. The only known advocates are narwhal tusk vendors, and when was the last time you met one of them?
-
edit on 6-10-2011 by eight bits because: I like it better this way than the way it was before.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Ah yes you're right it does seem to be a Abrahamic religion thing

One of the symptoms of that style of ‘thinking’ that always makes me smile is when I see some theist write something like “the problem with science is it’s always changing its beliefs”
edit on 6-10-2011 by racasan because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by eight bits
I cannot get past the setting of this experience. If you went to a Christian chat room to challenge the beliefs of the people who clearly belong there, then you made a claim, that there is something about their beliefs to dispute. At which point, you became the one saying to someone mindiing their own business "There may be no God! I have no evidence!"


Well, let us not make assumptions. I was in a Christian forum for the same reason I am in a conspiracy theory forum. Because having a fundamentally different philosophy than those the forum is designed for generates interesting conversation. I am a skeptic, therefore a forum full of conspiracy theorists is sure to generate conversation; I am an atheist, therefore a forum full of Christians is sure to generate conversation. Also, if you read my OP carefully you'll see that I simply announced myself as an atheist simply to identify my general stance on theological issues.. I do not hang around religious forums telling people there is no god nor to challenge their beliefs. I hope that clears up any confusion you may have had about my experiences in the christian forums.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 10:51 AM
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Originally posted by racasan
reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Ah yes you're right it does seem to be a Abrahamic religion thing

One of the symptoms of that style of ‘thinking’ that always makes me smile is when I see some theist write something like “the problem with science is it’s always changing its beliefs”
edit on 6-10-2011 by racasan because: (no reason given)


That's a pet peeve of mine also. The self-correcting qualities of science are what make it trustworthy, not suspicious.

Additionally, they fail to realize that their religions also constantly change their minds and re-tailor themselves to the current social and ethical zeitgeists. No Christian today practices 2nd century Christianity.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
reply to post by racasan
I believe that I clearly and concisely demonstrated, earlier in this thread, that your generalization is only based upon the common and false doctrine which is popular in modern culture.

reply to post by traditionaldrummer
There are many who practice different forms of "Eastern Orthodoxy" which remains similar to ancient practices. You would know this if you were moderately aware of non-westernized history/cultures in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (and to some degree, Russia).
---

Regarding myself, philosophically speaking, my beliefs would be directly rooted in Abrahamic theology, despite the drastic difference in cultural lifestyle (that is not to say that I would not prefer a shepherd's daily life, I would, but that is a retirement dream in our culture rather than a healthy job option - Imperial decay at it's finest).

However, this is not to push aside that intricacies in doctrinal understanding do come to light as the human culture expands in knowledge, and maturity (even if in little pockets of life). While the false believers do tear down science as non-believers tear them down in like manner, I generally am pleased to see progress in the realms of observation and am sickened by the arrogance and covered-up-ignorance on both side of the matter of "religion and science." Where there is no humility, there is no true wisdom despite knowledge. This is the case within science and within religion. Consider our common use of technology today being primarily for entertainment and sexual gratification. What silly animals we are. It often makes me uncomfortable that my primary skill-sets are in technology. Nevertheless, my personal life is far removed from technology (in terms of reliance, but my family does make use of certain conveniences when reasoned to be wise).


All in all I am simply trying to make you aware that generally bashing a group like "Abrahamic Religions" may be accurate "generally," there are the few of us who have our eyes set on Life and we do not have the same issues of skirting around "reason," but rather, it is reason which has communed with us so that we see what cannot be seen with the eye alone.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by Dasher
You would know this if you were moderately aware of


Why must I become "moderately aware" of Eastern religions to determine whether someone can support their claims about deities?


All in all I am simply trying to make you aware that generally bashing a group


Making a reference to a group is not "bashing". I didn't even say anything negative in that post.

To segue back into the topic, unless someone establishes the existence of a deity I have no options to choose from. Disbelief is the only option.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 

I was simply pointing out your ignorance shown in this:

Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
Additionally, they fail to realize that their religions also constantly change their minds and re-tailor themselves to the current social and ethical zeitgeists. No Christian today practices 2nd century Christianity.



Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
That could be, and though it may not be applicable for all theists, the adherents to the Big Three Abrahamic religions are subject to a theology steeped in many binary choices, i.e., choose heaven instead of hell, etc. To certain flavors of christians I have "chosen" hell and they are unable or unwilling to view it in any other manner.

While I understand that you are not trying to slander, your words are not just narrow, but obviously condemning of the abilities to reason of Abrahamic theists. This is not the case for all Abrahamic theists.



While I understand you will reject this, I will try to communicate basically the basis for rational theism.

Are you alive?
Yes.

Am I alive?
Yes.

Life is Alive, or it would be dead.

Whether you understand that is another issue.

Do you clearly see that life is alive?
Probably not.

Do I clearly see that life is alive?
Certainly, yes.

Life is Alive. Life is God.


But again, to each their own.
edit on 10/6/2011 by Dasher because: changed "theists" to "Abrahamic theists"



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by Dasher
I was simply pointing out your ignorance shown in this:

While I understand that you are not trying to slander, your words are not just narrow, but obviously condemning of the abilities to reason of theists. This is not the case for all theists.


Certainly not, which is why I specified a certain kind of theist, then a certain subculture within that group. Before you criticize me for ignorance, make sure you're not ignoring all the qualifiers of my statement.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 01:16 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


You're right, your comments were narrowed down to Abrahamic theists. I edited my post to reflect that. I apologize for not having been as specific as your qualifiers required me to be in response.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by Dasher

While I understand you will reject this, I will try to communicate basically the basis for rational theism.

Are you alive?
Yes.

Am I alive?
Yes.

Life is Alive, or it would be dead.

Whether you understand that is another issue.

Do you clearly see that life is alive?
Probably not.

Do I clearly see that life is alive?
Certainly, yes.

Life is Alive. Life is God.


But again, to each their own.


How is that "rational theism", or rational in any way? You stated lengthy, unrelated premises to arrive at an asserted, non sequitur conclusion. Not only do I reject it but so would every other rational individual on the planet.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


So, the life we share is dead? I fail to see the rationale that leads to that conclusion.

While I understand that it is distasteful for many to have any part of the greater body, life is alive or it would be dead.

For my own progress, if life is dead, please show me and I will acknowledge that we are both dead and not alive.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by Dasher
reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


So, the life we share is dead? I fail to see the rationale that leads to that conclusion.

While I understand that it is distasteful for many to have any part of the greater body, life is alive or it would be dead.

For my own progress, if life is dead, please show me and I will acknowledge that we are both dead and not alive.


"Life is dead/life is alive" are unrelated to your conclusion: "life is alive. life is god". Life is LIFE. Redefining it doesn't make it something else.

I don't see coherency in the premises or conclusion of your argument.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by TheFlash
Let's eliminate the grammar and language issues and be clear about what you are saying.

Are you saying that It is impossible for you, personally to believe in any god? Based on information you have your deductive powers are so good ( a regular Sherlock Holmes) that you have concluded without any shadow of a doubt that God does NOT exist? ... even though you have no proof to support your belief?

Is that what you mean?


I am saying no such thing. I do not have a belief that gods do not exist. I have no belief that they do exist. There is a significant difference.

We don't disbelieve in unicorns because we have proof that they don't exist. We disbelieve it because nobody has met the burden of proof to establish that they do exist. I have not chosen to disbelieve in unicorns. Unless the burden of proof is met, belief in unicorns is not an option available for choice.


Well then let me ask you this... Based on your study of the available data, what is your personal estimation of the odds (expressed as a percent will do) that a God might exist?



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by Dasher
While I understand that it is distasteful for many to have any part of the greater body, life is alive or it would be dead.

I don't see coherency in the premises or conclusion of your argument.


I know.
Because spiritual understanding is not about reasoning. Despite the logical simplicity that Life is Life, the wisdom, the spiritual "nourishment," that there is for those who are in communion with Life escapes many because they cut themselves off from the very life that defines their own existence. (I will specically go around the idea of whose "choice" that is since I already posted specifically about that).

Life in this realm was raised up from the "void." It should be no surprise that many still happily wear the garments of decay which hold us down to the void. This is why baptism is given to us as a sign. We wash the decay and filth from our bodies, but so many fail to see that we decay even while growing, and also that our minds wrestle with eternal things even if we do not understand them to be eternal (truth, law, grace, wisdom, etc).

So then, it is by the provision of Life of Life (repeated purposefully) that we are washed of our spiritual decay because we cannot use water to wash that part of us. How great the wisdom there is to see, even in our daily washing.

Breaking of bread is also another ritual given to us to understand that we are One in Life. Christ gave the bread and said, this is my body. The dust, which makes up all things. This is His body. It is also my body, and yours as well.

The sharing of the wine was also a similar type of declaration, however, this requires a bit more of a mature spiritual understanding and an understanding of grape wine processing/fermentation and the physical properties of plants/grapes to see it's spiritual correlation to communion, grace, order, etc.
* added - the process by which a plant is cultivated and then later processed for increased value is an allegory for the spiritual process that we are in. Life planted life into the void, raised up fruit and is in the process of "wine-making." In the fullness of time, Life will return to His wine and drink it up. (I know, weird allegory, but just file it away as you see yourself age and grow more "wine," I mean wise).

There is a whole layer of spiritual understanding that escapes most people, and oddly, it seems to be honored more often by "scientists" than the "religious," but not often to the point of communion in either group.
edit on 10/6/2011 by Dasher because: added a note

edit on 10/6/2011 by Dasher because: added another note




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